The Newsletter , December, 2016     
           
Winter Solstice Service & Drum Circle
Dec. 21, 7:00 PM

Come share in a worship full of poetry, music, and candlelight; with rituals for releasing the past and setting our fresh intentions as wheel of the year turns yet again.  The service will be in the sanctuary from 7:00 PM-7:40 PM.  All interested are invited to stay for a drum circle that will take place in Fellowship Hall at 8:00 PM.  Solstice treats of mulled punch, gingersnaps, and fresh clementines will be served in between the events.  This special seasonal event is open to the whole community; please share this announcement with your friends and neighbors!
  
Worship
Adult Enrichment News

What is done...Ongoing...and What's to Come...

Rev. Ritchie's Unitarian Universalist History course in October was well attended and informative.

"Mindful Writing" has been part of Adult Enrichment at NUUC for about two years now, and new people continue to join the group to share written thoughts on a multitude of subjects. Recently the writers have chosen to do a "potluck" approach, with everyone offering poems, journalings, and other kinds of prose-even short stories-about whatever topics appeal individually. For example, we've heard a series of poems that will in time make up a published booklet, and some vignettes of life-as-it-was in part of Appalachia, written down for family to enjoy. As always, we have room at the table for new writers, or for anyone who simply would like to come to listen. Please contact Marty Keith for details.

And.... We're going to have a Women's Group for anyone who identifies as a woman and who might enjoy relaxing, sharing perspectives on a variety of topics, going on outings, and, well, who knows?! It will be fun. This will start in early January, following, at least to begin with, a covenant group style. We have some source books to get us going, and then we can decide and plan what all we'd like to do. The group will meet once a month at a mutually agreeable time. Keep an eye on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall. Marty Keith will post some information and a sign-up list for us ladies to express what days/evenings and weeks of the month work best for each of us.

Thanks for Help Mowing!

We have just completed the mowing season and as you may know, we handled the mowing ourselves at NUUC instead of using a mowing contractor. Our coordinated mowing efforts went quite well and saved a lot of money. We estimate we saved $3,050 by not contracting out the mowing this year. For the yards around the church and Nielsen House, the Building and Grounds Committee members took turns mowing each week except for the 4th and 5th weeks each month, which were handled by volunteers from the congregation.

We give a big thank you to the following congregational volunteers for their fine mowing efforts, which filled out the mowing schedule this season:
Jan Bourke*
Roger Johnson*
Neil Kirby*
Rod Myers*
Alicia Reckart**
Susan Ritchie*
Tracy Steinbrenner*
Jeff Turner***
*** = mowed 3 times
** = mowed 2 times
* = mowed 1 time

For 3 weeks each month, 3 members of the B & G Committee took turns mowing. We give a hearty thank you to these committee members for their efforts each month:
Roger Orwick
John Rodeheffer
Bob Keith

Also, we give a great big thank you to B&G Committee member Gary Rusk for his work mowing the large field at the rear of our property plus west of the parking lot. Gary volunteered to handle mowing the fields for the entire mowing season, which really enhanced the appearance of our property.

Since our volunteer mowing approach worked so well, we plan to continue this approach in the coming mowing season. Watch for more information on our mowing plans as spring approaches.

 Brown Bag Books

Meets at Noon the Third Tuesday of the month.  Get all the details by  clicking here.
Christmas Eve Service
Dec. 24, 7:00 PM


Join us for a special service of candlelight, carols, music and story.
 
Opportunity for Service Auction Planning
 
Our exciting and fun service auction is coming in April and we would like your input in making it the best service auction ever.  I invite you to attend the kickoff planning meeting for our annual service auction on Mon. Dec. 12th at 7 PM in Fellowship Hall. 
 
At the planning meeting, we will set the date for the service auction, seek theme ideas, and look at the time-line and overall structure of the service auction.  This meeting involves no commitment beyond just attending and offering your input.  Some of you have expressed interest in being part of the ongoing service auction planning team and it will be great to have you be part of the team.  Others of you may not want to be on the planning team and that is perfectly fine.  We value your opinions and will be thrilled to just get your input at the kickoff meeting.
 
We hope you can attend this meeting.
 
Best regards,
Bob Keith

HOLIDAY FAMILY: HELP US SUPPORT WOMEN IN PRISON  

This holiday season we will be giving to the women at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) who are participating in the Horizon Prison Initiative program. Horizon Prison Initiative is a multifaith program whose mission is to transform prisoners who then transform the prison and community. To participate in the nine month, the women have made a commitment to live together in one of the 13 "households" in the Horizon dorm and to complete extensive coursework that addresses spirituality, trauma, character development, and building community. Many of the women are serving long prison sentences and some have little support from their families or the outside community. The holidays are an especially difficult time for inmates. Our compassion, support, and generosity mean a lot to the women.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has very specific and strict rules about what items are permitted into the facility so we will need to adhere to a list of approved items. It is also important that each inmate or household gets the same or comparable items. For these reasons, most items we donate will need to be purchased by designated shoppers with the money donated through checks and the Loose Change Offering.

Opportunities for you to contribute and get involved: 

* Donate to the Loose Change Offering on December 11th. You can also make check donations to NUUC with Horizon Holiday Family in the memo line.

* Write messages in holiday greeting cards following Sunday services on December 4th and 11th

* Coordinate or help make Reindeer Chow 

 * Donate box of holiday cards to be signed after church on 12/4 and 12/11 (multifaith and appropriate for inmates who will be away from family)

* Donate individually wrapped holiday candy - we will be giving to all 220 residents in the dorm so we need lots of candy

* Donate ingredients for reindeer chow (Rice Chex, Cheerios, peanuts, small pretzel twists or sticks, red and green M&Ms, white chocolate)

* Doante 13 boxes of colored pencils (24 count) - 1 person needs to buy all 13 for consistency

* Donate 13 adult coloring books for "Praying in Color" (mandalas, butterflies, nature) 1 person needs to buy all 13 for consistency

* Donate 13 boxes of fine markers (24 count) - 1 person needs to buy all 13 for consistency

*Assist with purchasing items with donated money (this may include individual planners, journals, dry erase boards, beads for pray bead bracelet)

*Assemble individual gift bags

*Deliver gifts to the Horizon participants.

Contact Pam Patsch at pgp723@aol.com if you would like to help.
Please also contact Pam if you want to donate the pencils, markers, coloring books, or reindeer chow ingredients. 

You can find more information about Horizon's program on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall or on the Horizon website at http://horizonprisoninitiative.org/. 



INTERFAITH PRAYER SERVICE  

We the People Calling for the Spirit of Peace: An Interfaith Prayer Gathering
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Join others of faith and conscience on Saturday, December 10, for an Interfaith Prayer Service at 6 pm and Community Potluck at 7 pm (bring covered dish to share) at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 West Weisheimer Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43214. NUUC is one of the co-sponsors. Kindly RSVP by December 7 to office@iaco.org.


REPURPOSING PLASTIC BAGS/DONATING YARN, SCRAPS OF MATERIAL, and CALENDARS

Sometimes we forget to bring our reusable bags to the store and end up with plastic bags. Now you can donate your plastic bags to the Ohio Reformatory for Women where inmates are making sleeping mats for homeless people. To make the mats, inmates cut the bags into strips, link those strips into circles, then roll them into a yarn-like ball. They knit the strips into chains, and then link all the chains together. It can take up to 90 hours and 600 to 800 bags to complete a mat. The Vineyard, a Columbus church, distributes the mats to homeless people living in camps through its urban ministry program. Crocheting the mats gives the women purpose and meaningful activity by teaching them they can take care of someone else and the Earth. You can leave your plastic bags in the designated bin next to the office in Fellowship Hall. Some of the women in Horizon are also working on service projects including knitting or crocheting items for charitable groups or making quilts and they greatly appreciate donations of yarn, scraps of material, or patterns that you no longer need. We also use the large pictures from wall calendars in some of the instructional activities.