The Newsletter May 2018   

The Arts

This month in worship and religious education 
we explore the spiritual dimensions of the arts


Adult Enrichment News

Student Minister Holly Brown's Adult RE class, "Growing the Circle Wider-Facing the Stigma of Mental Illness," is underway. Participants are exploring how our congregation can be more intentionally welcoming to individuals with mental illness, and discussing the difficulties they encounter. Classes are April 25, May 2, and May 9 at 7:00pm.

Also, just in time for what finally feels like true spring, the "Eat and Meet Dinners" have started! On April 28, a mix of new and established members and friends of NUUC met at the home of Bob and Marty Keith for food and entertaining conversation. At least one more of these get-better-acquainted suppers will be happening in May, and possibly they will go on into June. Please see the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall.

NUUC's Women's Group met April 26 to start analyzing Naomi Alderman's novel The Power, in which women take over the world. This book offers an interesting view of what might be considered the "flip side" of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, discussed by the group a year ago. On May 24 (the fourth Thursday of the month, our new time), we will continue looking at The Power, especially its intriguing ending, and the relative goodness/badness of the various characters.

After nearly four years of sharing written thoughts, the "Mindful Writing" group has decided to stop gathering due to everyone's busy schedule. But, should anyone have an idea for another adult enrichment opportunity, Marty Keith (Adult Enrichment contact) will be happy to help you get it underway!

Art Show at NUUC

Currently hanging in our "sanctuary gallery" space is Donna Alena Hrabcakova's art show called
Recent Paintings: NEW ANCIENTS
This is based on her extensive indigenous work, modern cave painting techniques and the cycle of life, birth death and rebirth.   A portion of the sales will go to the NUUC fund and Donna's art therapy service work in Kathmandu, Nepal to work with displaced youth and widows that were effected by the earthquake.  
Mowing at NUUC - We Need Some Help

F or this mowing season, the Building and Grounds Committee plans to handle the mowing using the same approach as last year, which will avoid us having to contract out the mowing and save about $3,360 in the budget. Our plan is for the B&G Committee to handle the mowing on a rotating basis with some help from the congregation. B&G Committee members will mow 3 weeks of each month, and the 4th week plus sometimes the 5th week will be handled by a different volunteer from the congregation. This approach will spread the work so each committee member will mow about once a month, and each congregational volunteer would mow just one time during the season. Our approach will keep everyone's work commitments reasonable. 

The areas to be mowed include both the church yard (bounded by the driveway and the parking lot) plus the yard around Nielsen House. We have a riding mower, which can be used for almost all of the mowing. For a few small, tight areas, which the riding mower cannot handle, we then use a self-propelled push power mower. But some people prefer to use the push mower to mow the entire yard instead of the riding mower. However, the southern field at the rear of our property and the west side of the parking lot are excluded and will be mowed separately, compliments of Gary Rusk using his large tractor.

Therefore, we would like to get 1 or 2 volunteers from the congregation each month to mow one time in the season. The mowing season runs from April through early November. But volunteers from the congregation will be needed only from May through October, which is 6 months. Two of those months have 5 weeks and will require 2 volunteers, so we need a total of 8 volunteers.

Please consider volunteering to mow one time this season. If would like to help the church handle the mowing, you can sign up on the mowing sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall. Just pick a date that works for your schedule. If you have questions or would like more information, just contact Bob Keith at 740-369-1919 or .

News from your Steering Committee....


This month at NUUC continues to be a busy one for our building project. Be sure to check your emails for further information. On the website you will find a timeline of the project past and present. By clicking a tab you will see additional information about that part of the project.

We especially request your attendance at the May 20th Town Hall Meeting immediately following our church service.

May 6th: There will be a meeting after worship when we will share expansion plans for the congregation. There will be a question and answer period after the presentation.

May 13th: Steering Committee members will be available before and after the service to answer any questions.

May 20th: The Town Hall meeting will be held immediately after the service. A straw poll of those in attendance will be taken to make a selection concerning our expansion plans. Our architect, Dave Kerr, plans to attend the Town Hall. The decision made that day will be used by our consultant, Barry Finkelstein, during his Financial Feasiblity Study to help determine how much money we need to raise in our capital campaign next fall.

May 21st - 23rd: Financial Feasibility Study.

Respectfully submitted,
The Steering Committee

Allison Fagan, Chair
Teri Cornell
Christine Jones-Leavy
Dick Leavy
Rod Myers
Lauren Richards
John Rodeheffer

Mark your calendars for May 20 - Music Sunday! This is our annual celebration of music at NUUC. The Youth Orchestra, Adult Choir, and small ensembles will perform during our usual worship time.

There are still a couple of spots available for other performers: instrumentalists and vocalists. Priority is given to ensembles over soloists. Please let Music Director Marlene Hartzler know if you are interested. Every effort will be made to accommodate everyone who wants to perform, if we are not able to program y our offering for May 20, there will be many opportunities for performing during summer services.

In addition to performing for Music Sunday, the Youth Orchestra will also play for worship on Sunday, May 6. The youth will have a brief rehearsal in the sanctuary at 9:45 before both performances.

Vocal Resistance, Central Ohio's social justice choir, meets on the first Thursday of every month at NUUC. Our next rehearsal is Thursday, May 3 at 7-8:45p in the sanctuary. New members are always welcome in this inclusive ensemble. In May and June, Vocal Resistance will be participating in several events with the Poor People's Campaign. Visit for more information.

Musically yours,
Marlene Hartzler

Social Justice News

The MAY LOOSE CHANGE colelction will be donated to TRANSIT ARTS, a program of Central Community House (CCH) and the Columbus Federation of Settlements, is a youth arts development program working in partnership with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. TRANSIT ARTS transports young people to a place of discovery -- where creative abilities expand & doors open to a world of possibilities. Our team of inspiring professional artists guide and learn from young people as we travel together to reveal and nurture our talents and entrepreneurial abilities. TRANSIT ARTS engages young people, ages 12-21, with a wide variety of interactive, multi-disciplinary arts workshops where they can dance, write, draw, rap, paint, drum, beatbox, or sing. Workshops are FREE for youth members. Central Community House, 1150 East Main Street, Columbus, OH 43205, is a comprehensive community center serving near east and near south neighborhoods of Columbus since 1936. Their mission is to empower people to reach their full potential, to be self-supporting and to live cooperatively with all others.

INTERFAITH ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL OHIO (IACO) Helping Central Ohio Homeless: Join representatives from other faith communities to help serve meals at the Van Buren Shelter, 595 Van Buren Drive, Columbus, 43223, from 5:30 PM (introduction and tour) to 7:45 PM on Sunday, May 27th. If you are interested in joining the other IACO members who are volunteering, please contact Gwyn Stetler at For more information, see the SAC bulletin board or ask Pam Patsch.

2018 UUJO WEBINAR SERIES: BUILDING BELOVED COMMUNITY - Making It All Work: A Case Study In Renewing Justice Ministry, Wednesday, May 9th, 7 p.m. Presented by Scott Piepho and Sarah Culver (UU Church of Akron, Ohio). This free webinar is a case study of how one mid-sized church successfully revisioned, renewed and reorganized its commitment to justice ministry. The Akron Church Team will share the congregation's journey as it found its justice ministry focus, developed support and strength for the work, and engaged in building partnership with immigrant rights organizations and relationships with local immigrants that made it possible for the church to unanimously declare itself a Sanctuary. The UU Church of Akron was awarded the UUA's Bennet Award for Congregational Action on Human Justice and Social Action in 2015. The church now proudly stands in solidarity with immigrants living and working in northeast Ohio. Through a variety of programs and initiatives, including legal research on asylum cases, assistance with social and cultural celebrations, attending rallies on behalf of immigration reform, and teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as well as citizenship and GED classes, the congregation stands on the side of love with immigrant families.

UUSC FAIR TRADE COFFEE: Shop for delicious Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate after the service on Sunday, May 6, 2018. Your purchase of Fair Trade products means that workers along the supply chain are provided a living wage. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) supports a number of worker-owned, local producers who are in danger of being replaced with multinational corporations that have little respect for workers' rights. Making consumer choices that are aligned with our UU Principles is one way to help create a more just world community.
2018 NUUC Service Auction: Great Fun & Great Success!

Our service auction on Saturday evening April 14th was a lot of fun and a great success. The theme "Country Bash" gave us a plethora of amazing country decorations. The Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall were both decorated to reflect the theme with country scenes depicted in many large murals featuring fields, farms, a windmill, sunflowers, and scarecrows. In addition, there was a cornfield, straw hats, farm animals, mason jars, quilts, birds flying overhead, and even outhouses, just to mention a few more items.

Beyond the decorations, many activities went on simultaneously. There were the Silent Auction and the Theme Basket Auction for adults. Meanwhile the children were eagerly vying for passes and certificates for fun events, games, and entertaining books in the Kids' Raffle Auction. In addition, there was a fantastic selection of foods with a country motif provided by Susan Ritchie and Donna DeGeorge, plus other refreshments, including wine

In Fellowship Hall, we had 6 colorful, fun activity booths. A popular activity was the "Stitch-n-Sticks" craft booth hosted by Dee, Alex, and Jason Burlison, where you could make a Popsicle stick and fabric creation. Many liked Marty Keith's "Hens' Pick" game booth and tried their hand at first picking a square for their chicken to sit on a nest and then hoped to win a prize when the bingo balls rolled and one was picked. At the "Happy Horseshoes" game booth operated by Lynn Foreman, people showed their skill at pitching horseshoes and trying to make ringers. Another popular booth was the "Interactive Down-Home Music" booth where people could select a country instrument and play along with Elowen Conley and her violin. Instruments available to choose from included a washboard, a bucket, drumsticks, pot lids, pans, spoons, kazoos, mouth harp, cow bells, castanets, a tambourine, a harmonica, and slide whistles. At the "NUUC BUILDS" booth hosted by the Steering Committee, kids competed making projects with LEGOs. The "Fanciful Faces" face painting booth of Beth Wilcox was also popular as Beth created many delightful faces during the evening.

The evening got more exciting when the 1st of 2 live auction sessions began with Nathan Morse as our quite entertaining auctioneer. Not to be left out during the live auctions, children could still do face painting. At the intermission, people again enjoyed the 6 fun activity booths, more excellent food, and finished up the silent auctions. The 2nd live auction session then continued the excitement and was quite fun due to Nathan Morse's lively sense of humor. Throughout the evening, the changing of activities was marked by the trumpet fanfare of the Country Trumpeter, Susan Ritchie, and the Country Crier, Bob Keith. During the evening, three $25 gift cards for nice restaurants were given as door prizes for adults, plus 3 kids received door prizes of fun books and activities. At the end of the evening, we saw the children's happy reactions to winning items as the tickets were drawn for the Kids' Raffle Auction. This service auction was a truly memorable evening, and we look forward to next year's service auction.

The service auction is NUUC's biggest fund-raiser and this year's auction was a great success with impressive results. We grossed just over $10,645 in sales, which is a new record! Our goal this year was $9,500 and last year we grossed $9,407. We thank all the donors for their many auction items and all the bidders who bought them. This amazing community event could not have happened without each and every one of you. There were only about $675 in expenses thanks to many special donations by the service auction team members and activity booths' hosts, plus people's creativeness in finding low-cost ways to do the event's decorations.

In addition to the money, another big benefit of the service auction is that it builds and strengthens NUUC's community throughout the whole year. People get together for dinners, outings, or to provide their services for each other. The result is that people meet and spend time with others over the next year that wouldn't have happened otherwise. Whether you are a donor or winning bidder, the service auction is a great way to get acquainted with others.

We give a hearty thank you to the Service Auction Magic Makers team, which planned and conducted this fabulous service auction. We also give a big thank you to both the setup and decorations teams, who did a great job in transforming the church into the "Country Bash." A special thank you goes to our activity booth hosts identified earlier in this article. Additionally, we give a hearty thank you to John Rodeheffer and Bob Keith for constructing the 6 activity booths, which was one more booth than in past years. And let's not forget a large thank you for our super auctioneer, Nathan Morse, for skillfully conducting the live auction and using humor to add to the fun. In addition, we thank Galen Morse for announcing with humor and finesse the winners of both the kids' door prizes and the winners of the Kids' Raffle Auction. We also give a big thank you to the cleanup team for their quick work right after the event to get the church ready for the Sunday service the following morning. Another special, large thank you goes to Chris Aultman for putting together the event's catalog, handling the data inputs on auction day, and following up with participants on their donations and purchases. In addition, we thank the remaining people not specifically identified here, for their help in putting together this big event. Lastly, we thank all the donors, and all the buyers that made the service auction such a fun event and a great success.

Emails were sent to both winning bidders and donors to notify them who won each offering and who donated the offerings. In addition, to help people easily locate who bought and sold each item at the service auction, we will have 2 new reports available online at NUUC's website which will be available throughout the coming year. We'll also have this year's service auction catalog and the catalogs of past service auctions online, too. You can reach this service auction information at For questions, contact Chris Aultman or Bob Keith.

While winning bidders cannot claim a tax deduction because they received something in return, donors can claim a tax deduction. If you would like a letter recognizing your donation, please contact Susan Ritchie. Please note that there might be some IRS restrictions on certain types of donations though.

Everyone definitely can look forward to the next service auction, which will be held in the early spring of 2019. We're sure it will be even more exciting and surprising than this service auction.

Best regards,

The Service Auction Magic Makers (Jan Bourke, Dee Burlison, Lynn Foreman, Marty Keith, Azin Sharifi, Trina Timson, Chris Aultman, and Bob Keith (chair).