April 2021
Your monthly news & updates
The theme this month in worship, religious education and small groups is "Story"

To receive a copy of this month's "Soulful Home" packet for how to add elements of ritual and spirituality to daily family life especially with younger children, please email the request to minister@nuuc.org
NUUC to Aid Returning Citizens
WELCOME BACKPACKS FOR RETURNING CITIZENS: Members of NUUC (Lyn Savidge & Pam Patsch) and First UU (Dick Dawson & Marge Lynd) formed a UU team and participated in Horizon Prison Initiative’s webinar series about the role of faith communities in addressing the opioid crisis. It was an excellent series, and we learned a lot about addiction, trauma, treatment, and resources available in Central Ohio. At the end of the series, each team was asked to commit to taking a concrete action together. 
Most people who are incarcerated committed offenses related to an addiction. Everyone on our UU team has worked with individuals who were in prison or had been recently released. We got to know them as fellow human beings, learned about the challenges and trauma they have faced in their lives, witnessed the positive changes they were making, and listened to their concerns about reentry. When released from prison, people are given a trash bag containing a few of their belongings. They leave with the clothes they are wearing, but no hygiene items, extra clothes, food, or other necessities. The lucky ones are released to family members who can provide for their needs immediately after release. Others go to a halfway house where they have housing and meals, but little else. Some leave with no where to go and only what is in their trash bag. Successful transition from prison to the community is already challenging when you have a felony record and are recovering from addiction, but even more so if you have limited support and resources on the outside. 
To help with the transition, two nonprofit groups have joined together to collect items to welcome returning citizens back to the community. A Step in the Right Direction strives to break down the barriers of re-entry and change the stigma around citizens reentering society by providing quality programs and supportive services to individuals of primarily low to moderate incomes. Visionz of Love serves inner city youth in Columbus with programs that promote mental, physical, and emotional well-being through the core values of perseverance, empowerment, education, and accountability. One of their target groups are children whose parents have been incarcerated. The backpacks are not only a way to provide for some of the immediate needs of returning citizens, but to also let them know that people in the community care and support them.
Our UU team is inviting members of our two congregations to collect items for the Welcome Backpacks including:
·       Backpacks or Duffel bags
·       Toothbrush & Toothpaste
·       Deodorant (men's & women's)
·       Socks (men's & women's)
·       Underwear (men's & women's - all sizes)
·       Combs/Brushes
·       T-shirts (any size or color)
·       Encouraging notes such as “You are closing the old chapter and starting a new one.” or “This is your chance. You can make it!” or “Welcome home. Know that people care and support you.”
​At NUUC, we will be collecting backpack items in May and June. If you have items to contribute, please contact Lyn Savidge (Delaware area) or Pam Patsch (Columbus area) to arrange to drop off or have items picked up. You can email Lyn at lynsavidge@gmail.com or text her at 614-443-2741. Pam has new contact information. Her email is bealight2010@icloud.com and phone number is 614-715-7290. Donated items will be delivered to A Step in the Right Direction at the end of June. Let us know if you are interested in helping to assemble backpacks with other volunteers from the non-profit groups.

Ways to Connect
Creative Fellowship
Are you longing for connection in these difficult times? Do you have unfinished craft/art/sewing/knitting or other projects that you would like to work on but haven’t? If so please join Commissioned Lay Minister Teri Cornell in Creative Fellowship! We will have a zoom meeting once a month (the first Thursday of each month from 6:30PM-8:00PM) and we can work on our projects, exercise our creativity, and talk about whatever is on our minds and hearts. No need to sign up, just drop by using the same Zoom link that we use for regular NUUC worship service (see below).

The Second Monday Morning Covenant Group, meets from 10:00 until noon via “Zoom.” For a link, contact Marty Keith at martykeith @zoho.com. On May 10, Participants plan to consider "Stuff: What Is It, and Why Do We Have It?"

Wednesday Noon Check In
Join us using the regular NUUC zoom connection at noon everyday Wednesday for informal check- ins and chat with your fellow members. Use the regular Sunday morning Zoom login, or write minister@nuuc.org for a direct link.

NUUC's Women's Group Want the Zoom link to participate in our monthly meeting? Please contact Marty Keith at marthkeith@zoho.com for a Zoom link. The group meets the last Sunday of the month at noon. The topic for May 23 is "Breakin; Out of the Pandemic Blues."

Interested in the Once a Month Brown Bag Books? The next meeting is MY 18, beginning at Noon, to discuss the "Parable of the Sower" by Octavia Butler. Weather permitting, the group is meeting on the lawn at the church. Again (as in the autumn), participants will not be entering the building. In the event of rain or a chilly day, a Zoom session will be arranged.  

Soul Matters Small Groups
We currently have three different Soul Matters Small Groups virtually meeting, for regular in depth check ins, and for exploring together different spiritual themes. New members are welcome at any time, write to minister@nuuc.org
Mowing at NUUC: We Need Some Help
For this mowing season, the Building and Grounds Committee (B&G) again 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 $3,900 in the budget. With activities starting to pick up from the COVID-19 virus lockdown, we feel we can include volunteers from the congregation in our mowing plans. We will be taking recommended virus precautions for volunteers. But we want to point out that the mowing is mostly a solitary activity.

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 the church yard (bounded by the driveway and the parking lot) plus the yard around Nielsen House. The southern field at the rear of our property and the west side of the parking lot are excluded and will be mowed separately by the B&G Committee members.

We got a zero-turn riding mower about 3 years ago, which can be used for almost all of the mowing.
The 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. For a few small, tight areas, which the zero-turn mower cannot handle, we then use a self-propelled push power mower. If you are not familiar with using a zero-turn mower, we will give you some brief training for about 15 minutes that gets you familiar enough with the mower to comfortably mow the main parts of the yard. You will still trim the edges of the yard with the self-propelled push mower. Using a zero-turn mower is fun and allows the mowing to be done in about half the time. But, some people prefer to use the push mower to mow the entire yard instead of the zero-turn mower.

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 this year volunteers from the congregation only will be needed beginning in the last week of April through October. Three of those months will contain 5 weeks and require 2 volunteers, so we need a total of 10 volunteers.

Please consider volunteering to mow one time this season. To get scheduled, contact Bob Keith at bobkeith@zoho.com or 740-369-1919. You also can contact Bob if you have questions or would like more information.


Saturday, May 1, 2021
10 am to 2:00 pm ET (lunch break at noon)
Come join UUJO, UUs from around the state and others from our partner organizations as we talk about the future of democracy in Ohio and our country, including the threats to democracy and what we can do about them.
 We will have a panel of Ohio State Senators and Representatives in the morning who will discuss the anti-democracy bills, the Ohio Equality Act and more.

You will also learn more about the Our Voices Together coalition of justice groups in Ohio that are working together to preserve our First Amendment rights in the state.

Music will be provided by Columbus jazz pianist, Wade Jones. (http://www.wadejonesmusic.com/)

In the afternoon, we will turn to issues of anti-racism and explore the movement that is growing in Unitarian Universalism to add an 8th Principle. We will also discuss how you can take the issue back to your congregation and talk about why we should adopt this Principle. With Samuel Prince, Chair of U.

Please register in advance for this meeting: https://bit.ly/uujomayday2021

The registration page will direct you to enter your name into Zoom for a personal link. And you will receive a confirmation email before the event.

Registration for May Day for Democracy is free. But we request that, if possible, you give a small donation to UUJO.  You can donate online at: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/support-uujo?source=direct_link&
You can also send a check to:
PO Box 980
Worthington, OH  43085

With Hope For the Future
Rev Joan VanBecelaere
Director, Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio
info@uujo,org,  303-641-5896


Check out the latest activities at UU Justice Ohio by clicking here.


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