The Newsletter , December, 2019   
           
Winter Solstice Service & Drum Circle
Saturday, 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 7:45 pm. Snacks 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!
  
You are Invited: Service Auction Kickoff Meeting
Kickoff of Service Auction Planning - You're Invited!

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 Wednesday December 4 at 7 PM in Fellowship Hall.

At the planning meeting, we will set the date for the service auction, establish the revenue goal, and seek theme ideas. 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 will attend this meeting.

Best regards,
Bob Keith

Hospitality Team Needs Volunteers

Are you interested in hosting coffee or greeting people as they walk into church?  It is easy, fun and a good way to meet people.  Sign up at https://tinyurl.com/nuuc-signup or call Melinda at 614 204-9849.  
An introductory meeting for anyone new to the tasks will be held immediately after worship on January 5th.
PS.  We need a coffee host on Dec.15th, greeter on the 29th and both on January 5th.

Brown Bag Books
B rown Bag Books met last Tuesday to discuss Educated by Tara Westover.  I was only present for a short time, however from what I heard it sounded as if this book was well received.  If any of you would like to add to that, please feel free by replying to all!  Upcoming books are as follows:
 
December   
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

January       
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

February    
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
 
Brown Bag Books meets on the third Tuesday of each month at noon at the North Church.  We would love to have you join us as you are able and interested.  Hope to see you at our next Tuesday gathering, December 17th.
 
Happy Reading,
Ruth Rusk

Mowing Thank You's
 
With thoughts of the Thanksgiving holiday still fresh, we have something else to be thankful for at NUUC. It is the efforts of the many volunteers who have helped with the mowing this season. 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 $ 3,530 by not contracting out the mowing this year. The Building and Grounds Committee members took turns mowing each week except for the 4th and 5th weeks each month and occasionally an extra week, 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:
Rick Gentry*
Dan Patridge***
Doug Reeder**
Harold Shrock*
Jeff Turner*
    *** = mowed 5 times
        ** = mowed 2 times
        * = mowed 1 time
 
We also want to thank Neil Kirby, who was signed up to mow 2 times but didn't have to mow due to the grass not growing because of the extended drought conditions.
 
For about 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 monthly efforts:
Roger Orwick
John Rodeheffer
Bob Keith
 
Everyone enjoyed using our fairly new new zero-turn mower, which we purchased in mid-2018. T he mower's cost was totally funded by a very generous donation from Gary and Ruth Rusk, plus a generous donation from John and Lynn Foreman. We again give a big thank to the Rusks and Foremans! The zero turn mower has cut our mowing time in half and some even say the mowing is now fun. In addition, we've found that with 15 minutes of training, even people that have never used a zero-turn mower before were able to mow and feel confident and at ease.
 
Since our volunteer mowing approach worked so well and we now have a new zero turn mower, we plan to continue this approach in the coming mowing season. Watch for more information on our mowing plans as spring approaches.
 
 
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Game Night

GAME NIGHT, Dec. 13, starting at 6:30, Fellowship Hall.  It's time again for our pre-holiday chance to relax, become better acquainted, play various board games, and eat delicious pot-luck desserts.  This is a fun event for the entire family.
Sign up on the bulletin board in fellowship hall or by calling Marty Keith  740-368-1918.
Christmas Eve Service
Dec. 24, 7:00 PM











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Join us for a special service of candlelight, carols, music and story.
 
The theme in worship and religious education this month is AWE.
A Holiday Letter from NUUC

At NUUC, we will be celebrating the holiday in multiple ways: our community Solstice service, our Christian Eve worship, and, our Holiday Family program. For the Holiday Family program, we have adopted the participants in the Horizon Prison Initiative at the Ohio Reformatory for Women again this year. We will be providing them with journals, food and drink for a holiday party, ongoing support for their programming, and personalized holiday cards. It matters so much to the women to know that people remember them and their situation. This time of year is often an especially challenging one for them. Supporting the Horizon program-with both volunteer and monetary resources---is just one of the things we do here at North Unitarian Universalist Congregation to support our mission of "Welcome - Connect -Inspire-Act."  

Speaking of realizing our mission, the holiday season seems like the perfect time to catch you up on the doings of this past year.  

We have had a very busy year this year with our efforts to build our capacity to further advance our mission by expanding our building in a way that will more fully allow us to realize our goals. Here's a quick look of where we are and where we are going (should you like more detail, you can find it on our website, from the front page just click the menu button for "building expansion").
 
Building Design and Construction
We have a full set of schematic design for the building expansion from our architect, Kay Onwukwe, based on the original design scheme we approved last December. You can see his designs in 3-D and artistic renderings on our website, just head to www.nuuc.org and use the "Building Expansion" menu tab. We are excited by Onwukwe's plans, which give us considerably more space for worship, religious education, and fellowship. What's next? We are currently in the process of completing the purchase (for legal and transactional costs only) of two acres of property from DelCo Water company. This brings our total property holdings to five acres, which will allow us to have the considerable size of our expansion approved by the Orange township Zoning board without special consideration. As soon as that transaction is complete, Mr. Onwukwe will complete the site plan. The Grounds Design Committee will work with him on planning locations for a memorial garden, natural playscapes, protected play areas for the children, an outbuilding, and other features. Once the site plan is complete, we can return to Orange Township for final approval of our plans. At that point the Building Committee will spring into action, asking construction companies to bid on our project. We anticipate breaking ground this Spring.
 

Capital Campaign
The first phase of our Capital Campaign launched this past Spring was enormously successful, with a little under $800K raised or pledged. What's next? Once we have the final drawings of both the building and the site, we can refine our current cost estimates to a more precise figure. Once we have that figure, we will launch the final, "matching gift" "close the gap" phase of the capital campaign. We have one matching gift of $45K promised and three additional donors who have already indicated a willingness to contribute for the match.
 
Our Annual Operating Budget  
This summer, we switched our fiscal year from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31 to the more standard July 1-June 30. This also allowed us to do a combined ask for the capital campaign and the operating budget in the Spring. It also left us with a rather confusing six-month fiscal period that lasted from Dec. 31, 2019-June 31, 2020. As we did an ask for pledges in the spring, we did not do an additional campaign for the annual budget with the start of the July 1 new fiscal year. For these reasons, we find that our current pledges total a little under $10K the amount needed to sustain our current operating budget. Because of this, we are making a special holiday appeal for gifts to the annual operating budget. Your gift of any size is most welcome to help us sustain our programs until we develop a new canvass and a new budget in the late Spring of 2020. You can give by enclosing a check made out to NUUC with "holiday appeal" in the greeting card you return to us, by mailing us a check at any time or placing one in the offering basket (again, noting "holiday appeal" in the memo line), or online by going to the www.nuuc.org website and clicking on the red "donate" button. We realize that all the changes to the way we do the annual canvass and budget have been confusing for many, so in early December all pledging members will receive an accounting of what we have received from you during the July 1-June 30 period, and what you have contributed since July 1, 2019, as well as what we have as your current record pledge amount. This letter is in addition to the usual tax deduction later we will send out in January.
 
Thank you so much for all you do to support our programs and mission. If you have any questions, please contact board@nuuc.org.
 


 


 

SOCIAL JUSTICE NEWS



THE INTERFAITH ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL OHIO (IACO) 4th Annual Interfaith Prayer Gathering & Potluck will take place on Sunday, December 8th at Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna. The theme this year is: "Caring for the Earth, Our Shared Home" and IACO is partnering with Ohio Interfaith Power and Light. The time is 4:30-7:30 pm (Prayer Gathering 5-6; Potluck: 6-7:30). The one hour Prayer Gathering involves all 9 faith traditions sharing values and ideas on protecting our planet. There is no cost; people are encouraged to bring a dish to share for the potluck. It is a wonderful family activity. To register, call the IACO office (614-849-0290), or go to the IACO Facebook page or website: iaco.org. For more information, contact Pam Patsch at pgp723@aol.com.

FAITHFUL FOOTPRINTS: HOME ENERGY SAVINGS PROGRAM: Would you like to lower your energy bills while caring for the Earth? Our faith calls us to be good stewards of the Earth. One way to be a good steward is to be efficient with the natural gas energy we use in our homes. The Interfaith Association of Central Ohio (IACO) is partnering with Ohio Interfaith Power & Light and Columbia Gas to provide energy efficient solutions for us. Through the Faithful Footprints Program you can sign up for a home energy audit performed by a trained energy professional. The audit takes about 2-4 hours. Afterward, you'll receive a personalized report of your home's energy efficiency with potential savings of up to 50% off the cost of energy-efficient upgrades. A home energy audit is valued at $500, but is only 50 which is a bargain! For every home energy audit completed, IACO will receive $20.

The Home Energy Audit includes:
* A comprehensive test for air leaks
* Infrared scan of walls to detect insulation levels
* A safety check of your natural gas furnace
* Interior/exterior inspection
* Installation of free energy-saving products as needed (e.g. programmable thermostat, energy efficient showerhead, faucet aerator, water heater pipe wrap)
* A Report Folder which includes:
- A list of any eligible energy efficient improvements through the program which can include attic insulation, wall insulation and duct sealing
- Testing results
- Information about rebate offers for energy-efficient home upgrades
- Application for rebates
- Contractor options for scheduling efficiency upgrades
- Information on heating system rebates available through Columbia Gas

A home energy audit helps you conserve energy and save money with installation of free energy-saving products, expert home improvement recommendations, and rebates to make those improvements. And saving energy not only lowers your monthly bill, but also helps our community move toward a brighter, cleaner, healthier future for everyone.

Signing up for a home energy audit is easy! Simply visit www.ColumbiaGasOhio.com/EveryRoomMatters or via phone 877-644-6674. Be sure to use promo code: IACO so that IACO gets $20 for every audit completed. If you have questions, contact Deb Steele of Ohio Interfaith Power & Light at dsteele@ohipl.org