The Newsletter  August 2019


A hearty and heartfelt "Bravo!" to all the musicians who have performed during summer worship services. Your true talent and generosity of spirit are an inspiration.

Regular choir rehearsals will resume Sunday, September 8 at 9am in Fellowship Hall. Singers, please mark your calendars for rehearsals every Sunday morning at 9am through Christmas.

Folders for new and returning choir members will be available at worship services on August 25 and September 1. Please see Music Director Marlene Hartzler for a folder of music and please practice the first three pieces before rehearsal on September 8. Note that we will be singing for Ingathering on September 8, and our first rehearsal is the same day! Be sure to check your email for practice videos and helpful hints.

Musically Yours,
Marlene Hartzler

NUUC's Women's Group will meet at Nielsen House after service August 4 (freeing us to go to the picnic July 28!)  Marty Keith will supply material about and excerpts of writing by Jessica Valenti, a columnist and an author whose books include Full Frontal Feminism and Sex Object.  We will discuss her perspectives. 
Excellent News on our Building Expansion Project!

Your building committee (Bob Keith, John Foreman, Becky Gentry, Susan Ritchie, and Roger Johnson) is feeling quite joyous and grateful this month.  One of the several gates we have to pass through on our building expansion process is the Orange Township Zoning Board.  They have a stricture that you cannot expand a non-conforming building more than 50% on less than five acres of land. We are "non-conforming" because, in part, the church building is too close to our east property line. They have given us a variance for that in the past since the church was originally built in 1865 before there were zoning codes.   And our, building design would expanding or building 150% and this on only about three acres of land.  Rather than approve another variance, the Township Zoning Board suggested we ask Del-Co Water, whose property adjoins ours (south and west), if they might give us the necessary land.   We did ask, and on Wednesday, July 17, the Del-Co Water Board approved of the donation to us of about two acres.  We will have to shoulder the transfer costs and fees, but we estimate we're getting at least $70k worth of land.  But more importantly this additional land ensures zoning approval, passing a major threshold in our building expansion process.

In case you missed our June update, here is a recap: 

Capital Campaign and Building Expansion Project Going Extremely Well!  An Update. 

Likely you have been wondering what's going on with our building expansion project.  A lot has been happening-while the duck's body above the surface has been calm, the feet below the water are paddling hard.  The building committee has been working hard with Kay Onwukwe, our architect, and Shaun Greer, our construction consultant, on the details of Kay's building design.  Meanwhile, the capital campaign is going well.  We have a total of $795K pledged so far, which is 94% of the low end of our goal for the campaign.  Success for achieving that goal is practically guaranteed, as we have a generous offer of $40K to use to match gifts intended to close the gap between our current collection and our goal.  We also have had three donors who have already indicated their wiliness to contribute generously if we need extra to meet our goal.  At a recent meeting of the Capital Campaign Committee, we decided to wait until Ingathering (the second Sunday in September) to official announce our "close the gap, matching gift" campaign.  This is for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it allows us to both contribute to and benefit from the excitement of the start of the church year.  At that time we plan to show you some exciting renderings of what our building will look like when completed:  both a series of 2-D drawings done by a professional artists and a 3-D building "fly through" put together by our own John Foreman.  Secondly, we want to wait to wait to announce exactly how much we need to close the gap until we know our building budget in exact detail.  By then we will have a specific and detailed cost estimate for construction of Kay's design, as well as specific numbers for some of the "soft costs," including financing for a bridge loan that will allow us to start construction before the end of our three year capital campaign collection period.  This way, we will be able to make our ask based on a precise picture of our needs.  And while we are working to establish precise figures, all signs now indicate that we have every reason to anticipate our financial resources will enable us to build the design Kay has present to us.    When will construction begin?  You might see some action late this summer or fall with some initial steps, but our best projection right now has us breaking serious ground in early Spring, 2020.  Let your Board know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns:
Right now, we celebrate that we have every reason to believe that we will be able to achieve our goals.  Thank you for your continued generosity.

NUUC is excited to announce a new Adult Education Opportunity: Stories of Power and Passion: Reading the Hebrew Bible, led by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere.

"Hebrew Bible" is an alternative term for the books of the Bible called the 'Old Testament' by Christians and Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvi'im by Jews. We will explore stories, legends, poetry, songs, prophecies and scandals from passages well-known and others that are pretty obscure. Drawing on the tools of literary, historical, and sociological criticism, we will discuss questions of: Who wrote the Hebrew Bible? Why and when was it written? What role has it played in our western culture? And what lessons can we draw for our day and age, especially from the Literature of Resistance? Then, starting February 2020, there will be a follow up series, "Once Upon a Time in Judea," when we will look at the New Testament.
The class will meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, at 7 pm in the Fellowship Hall of NUUC, starting Sept. 10 - and ending January 2020. You do not have to attend all of the classes to participate, but do understand that if you join late or miss some classes there might be some catch up to do. SIGN UP for the class by signing the sign up sheet on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall, or by emailing, or click on this link to an online sign up:

Rev. Joan Van Becelaere is the Director of UU Justice Ohio and a passionate lover of the Hebrew Bible, after having the honor of studying with some of the great modern biblical scholars in seminary. In the past, Rev Joan taught a much shorter version of this class at Summer Institute and for the regional online leadership school.

Lewis Center Road Closed at North Road

The next time you head to church, you will likely find Lewis Center Road closed at the intersection of North; the county is constructing a traffic circle there (North Road is located between High Street/23 and the railroad tracks).  During this time it would be best to approach church from the East/Old State Road.  The closure started on June 24, and is expected to last 60 days.  This is just one of the signs of the many changes in our church neighborhood!

Social Justice News

ANNUAL SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE:   It's back to school!  In Delaware, the first day of school is August 14th.  NUUC members and friends have an opportunity to help others by participating in the annual School Supply Drive to benefit students who are served by the Delaware County Juvenile Probation Program.  The donation of school supplies is one way for the congregation to express its belief in the importance of education to a group of students who are at higher than average risk for failing and dropping out of school. This program serves approximately 150 middle school and high school students, ranging in age from 13 to 19.   A collection box for school supplies will be available at the church through Sunday, August 11th. Your donation of school supplies, or money to purchase supplies, will be greatly appreciated. If you choose to donate money, please write your check to NUUC and put "School Supplies" on the memo line. This can be dropped in the offering basket or mailed to: NUUC, P.O. Box 541, Lewis Center, OH 43035. If you have any questions, please contact Diane Mattox at 614-204-4184 or  Thank you for your continued support!
COLUMBUS IMMIGRANT TRANSIT ASSISTANCE (Cbus ITA) also known as the Overground Railroad, is a group of volunteers that regularly go to the local Greyhound bus depot to greet immigrant families with supplies as they continue on their long bus journey to their relatives or asylum sponsors. Most spend 3 or more days traveling and have no food, money, or supplies. For more information, see the bulletin board, NUUC July newsletter, or UUJO website/Facebook page. The Cbus ITA Facebook page provides updated information and offers more opportunities to help.  Watch for more information in the coming weeks about how our congregation plans to help collect supplies.
INTERFAITH ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL OHIO (IACO): 2019 Main Event Dinner - Civility in an Era of Hostility , August 18, 2019, 5:00 pm at Bethel International United Methodist Church, 1220 Bethel Road, Columbus, OH 43220. There is abundance of incivility, hostility and polarization in our community, our country, and around the world. Professor Paul Numrich of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University will moderate a panel discussion on ways to address this negativity from an interfaith perspective. Look for more information on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall or the IACO Facebook page or website.
INTERFAITH ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL OHIO (IACO) The Columbus Foundation Big Table Event: The Big Table is a day of community building through conversations designed to connect and inspire Central Ohio. Through open, thoughtful conversations, we spark new relationships and new ways for working together by deepening our understanding of each other and what our community needs. Join IACO members on Wednesday, August 28th from 7:00-9:00 pm at 65 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215. We will meet in the lower level conference room in The Carriage House located at the rear of the complex. The conversation will focus on civility, the interfaith community, and its potential impact on the future of Columbus.