The Newsletter December 2015                  
Attention Youth!  Pre-Coming of Age Party and Bonfire
Come and invite a friend to the church on December 4th, 7:00 - 9:30 to bake some cookies, have a bonfire, get to know each other and get your questions answered about the Coming of Age Program.  The party, and the Coming of Age program, is for youth ages 14 - 18.
The COA program is a rich combination of experiences intended to mark the transition from childhood to adult religious identity. 
We look forward to meeting you.
Melinda Rosenberg and Nancy Gamso, Coming of Age Co- Chairs
Interested in Helping Plan the Service Auction?

Would you like to help with the planning of the annual service auction? Our exciting and fun
service auction is coming in April and we're like your input in making it the best service auction ever. We invite you to attend a meeting on 
Thursday, Jan. 17th, at 5 PM 
in Fellowship Hall, which will seek theme ideas and look at the overall structure of the service auction. 
This meeting involves no commitment beyond just attending and offering your input. But if you
would like to be part of the ongoing service auction planning team, please contact Bob Keith
or Becca Morse.
Get your baking sheets ready!  
NUUC is starting a new tradition!  And if you are not interested in the "ovenly" arts, then be ready to reap the benefits of the many who are. NUUC members who just love to stand in the kitchen for hours at a time, wiping the flour (or potato starch!) off their brows as they create wondrous treats.
On December 13, we will be having a very special "Cookie Walk."  
Bakers - In this new event, we are accepting the donation of any individual treats you would like to bring - cookies, brownies, cupcakes, candies - as long as it can be cut or sliced or somehow arranged as an individual serving.
Buyers - We will provide boxes and gloves and the opportunity for you to browse the vast array of goodies, and choose what you want to take home, or give away, or eat right there.  We will weigh your choices and charge an amount by the pound.
Proceeds will benefit NUUC directly, and this event is a shared project, like so many of our new ideas this year.  For more information, contact Becca Morse (add your phone or email, Becca Morse ( or 614-805-6680)   or Eileen Watters ( or 740-225-5342)
Covenant Group
   Do you long for a deeper sense of community? Do you crave meaningful conversation with trusted friends? If so, you might enjoy attending a covenant group here at NUUC. As many of you know, we have a covenant group that meets on the second Monday morning of every month (see Sue Frederick for more information). 

Since weekday mornings do not work for everyone, we are considering forming a second covenant group that would meet monthly either on a weeknight or a weekend. If you would be interested in joining this group, look for the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall, or submit your name to our virtual "bulletin board" at
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Mindful Writing

The Mindful Writing Adult Enrichment group is back to its third-Wednesday-of-the-month schedule; therefore, the next session will be November 18, at 6:30 pm, in Fellowship Hall.  Our writing topic is "Belief," the same as NUUC's and Children's RE's theme for November.  We will be sharing original poems and prose about various aspects of "Belief" and having, I have no doubt, an interesting and insightful evening.  Please feel free to join us!  Contact Marty Keith if you have questions (740-369-1919).Mindful Writing

On December 27, the Mindful Writing group will present the Sunday service, sharing a few of our favorite creations and telling why we find our sessions "mindful" and spiritual. We're looking forward to it!

Our sessions are the third Wednesday of each month. The topic for December 16 is "The Holidays: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." All are welcome! Please join us in Fellowship Hall at 6:30 pm.

Bring your written thoughts (poems, stories, journal entries, whatever forms your creations take) on what you like or dislike about the holidays. Any interesting traditions?

Contact Marty Keith if you have questions.
NUUC Recorder Ensemble

The NUUC Recorder Ensemble has full wind in its sails once again. We would like to invite you to join our
tootling fun! For more information, contact Becca Morse at 
(or 614-805-6680) 
or Nathan Morse at 

We rehearse together on the second and fourth Fridays of each
month at noon at Friendship Village of Columbus. If you're interested, but the rehearsal time doesn't work for you, just go for Baroque and contact us anyway: 

If enough people are interested in an alternate time, I'm sure we can work out a second rehearsal schedule. Just because a hobby blows doesn't mean it's not fun!
Ways and Means 

Share your passion for fair trade and UU-ism with others by giving gifts whose labels proudly display these values.    


If you are interested in volunteering for these opportunities, or if you have other ideas for fundraising opportunities for our congregation, Please contact Becca Morse at  

Thank you! 

Ohio Meadville  District of the UUA

   Click here for the Latest News!
Brown Bag Books

Meets at Noon the Third Tuesday of the month.  Get all the details by clicking here.

This December, I'm adopting a counter-intuitive but firm point of view: more is less.  We have a lot of holiday services this month, but that is exactly as it should be.  I was so glad that I took the time the day after Thanksgiving to just wind down some and refocus with our good church folk during our Green Friday event.  Similarly, I hope you will join me in seeing the many opportunities to spiritual connect this month not as more things to do, but vitally important chances to recharge and refocus.
So here's a guide to the winter holidays, NUUC style:
Dec. 13, during the regular Sunday service, we celebrate Hanukkah with a service on the theme of "Walk Towards Trouble."   Dec. 20, also during the regular service, we'll focus on the commonalities of the seasonal holidays: "With Joy We Claim the Growing Light." 
And then we have two very special evening services, both of which we hope will be of interest to the larger community.  On Dec. 22, at 7 PM, we'll celebrate the Winter Solstice with music, poetry, drumming, ritual, and lots and lots of candlelight.  During this service we'll acknowledge the hope that this season offers, but we'll acknowledge some of the more complicated and blue feelings that can come this time of year as well.  Then on Dec. 24, also at 7 PM, we have our traditional Christmas Eve service, complete with the choir under director of Marlene Hartzler, the piano of Wade Jones, songs for all, and yes!  more candlelight--you can't have enough this time of year. 
Please--do join us, and Happy Holidays.
To Life!


New Discussion Group for January:
 "As We Age"

In keeping with NUUC's theme for January, "Growing Up," Marty Keith will facilitate a four-part course/discussion series on aging.

Aging affects us all. Children often are in a hurry to "grow up"; once we are adults, we "mature"; and then after midlife we "age"--a process not usually regarded as positively as the first two. But our aging lasts hopefully many years and offers us opportunities as well as the inevitable losses. It certainly is a time that deserves reflection.

So, please consider attending the sessions of "As We Age" beginning on THURSDAY, January 7. The sessions, in Fellowship Hall, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, will be January 7-- "Phases" We will look at aspects of the phases of aging: Initiation/Losing Youth (ages 50-65), "Borderline" (ages 65-75), "On the Bridge"/The Age of Compassion (75-85), "The Curtain Call"--but Still on Stage (85 +). If you have them, please bring pictures of yourself as a adolescent...a young adult.... Yeah, we've all changed, but I bet we're recognizable in those pictures!

January 14-- "A Traveler's Guide" Preparing for our transitions, planning for our "trip." Who will be your companions? Do you have a bucket list or holes to mend?

January 21-- "Keeping the Spirit of Independence" Handling the changes and remaining ourselves

January 28-- "Fruits of Our Harvests" What are we leaving the next generations? What fruits of your life are you enjoying now or hope to enjoy?

I (Marty Keith) will put a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall for each session. You do not have to attend all four; come when you can! Contact me if you have questions.
Thanks for Helping with the Mowing at NUUC

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 $2,900 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 efforts to fill out the mowing schedule during the season:

Neil Kirby*
Michelle Ludsin*
Jeff Turner**

** = mowed 2 times
* = mowed 1 time

For 3 weeks each month, 4 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
Jerry Schardt
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.

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 about 7:45 PM.  Possible dates in next month are December 13th or December 20th.  If you are interested in joining the other IACO members who are volunteering, please contact Michael Greenman, Moderator of the IACO Social Justice Task Force, at mgreenmanoh@gmail.comm.  The Van Buren Shelter is also seeking volunteers to work in the Homework Help Center on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Fridays from 4:00 to 6:30 PM. 

If interested, contact Abby Rutschilling For more information, see the SAC bulletin board or ask Pam Patsch.

DECEMBER LOOSE CHANGE OFFERING:The Loose Change offering in December will be donated to Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), an independent non-profit agency serving refugees, asylees, and immigrants in central Ohio.  Their mission is to help refugees and immigrants reach and sustain self-sufficiency and achieve successful integration into the central Ohio community through the provision of high quality services addressing: Resettlement (reception and placement of refugees from overseas); Employment; English Language Skills; Legal Issues Related to Immigration; Early Childhood and Parenting; Older Adult Needs; Interpretation and Translation; and Outreach to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations. Donations support self-sufficiency:

$25 can provide: Basic toiletries and household consumables
$50 can provide: A professional outfit for a work interview
$75 can provide: Steel-toe boots for a warehouse job or a one-month COTA bus pass for learning the city and getting to work
$250 can provide: Medical interpretation training that will lead to professional employment for high level English speakers. 

For more information about CRIS, see the SAC bulletin board in Fellowship Hall or go to

UUSC'S REFUGEE RESPONSE: UUSC responds to the forced movement of refugees caused by humanitarian crises around the world. Our Rights at Risk Program addresses human rights violations against refugees and asylum seekers that are fueled by border restrictions, short-sighted immigration controls, and other nationalistic policies.
Our response to the Syrian refugee crisis examines critical areas along the Syrian refugee migration route where there is a lack of international protection, cooperation, burden sharing, and upholding the basic human rights of displaced people. So far, we have raised over $400,000 for the UUSC-UUA Refugee Crisis Fund
Our support will go directly to partners in host and transit countries to do the following:
  • Immediate response: Provide effective protection for refugees and access to legal avenues for relief in Europe (Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, and Greece). UUSC funding goes to partners in host and transit countries providing direct legal, medical, and social services to incoming refugees. UUSC also supports organizations focused on advocacy to bolster the crumbling European asylum system, promote safe routes of passage, and promote decent reception conditions and effective protection for new arrivals.
  • Intermediate work: Support capacity building for overburdened nongovernmental organizations on the ground in neighboring countries such as Jordan and Turkey that are working with vulnerable groups such as women, children and stateless refugees. The UUSC will support advocacy for medium- to long-term relief needs: education access, asylum policy and procedure, and ensuring positive public reception to resettlement.
  • Ongoing: In the United States, we will ensure that the U.S. government lives up to its international obligations to protect those most vulnerable in situations of conflict.  UUSC plans to provide further funding to grassroots organizations in the United States working to safeguard the rights of incoming refugees and ensure their access to education, legal support, livelihood opportunities, and social services. UUSC will aim to partner with organizations in metropolitan areas where significant numbers of refugees are being resettled.
Take action
  • In light of the recent backlash against refugees and Muslims after the Paris attacks, we are asking our supporters to call Congress and urge them not to turn their backs on the millions of refugees seeking safe haven. 
  • Join our national justice-building conference call on December 3 to learn how you can advocate for Syrian refuges.
  • Use this UUSC-compiled list of talking points to inform your conversations with friends, family, and community members about the Syrian refugee crisis. 
PROJECT LINUSCOMING IN JANUARY 2016:  Project Linus began in 1995 after Karen Loucks saw an article in Parade Magazine about a little girl who was comforted through her chemotherapy treatment by her blanket. Karen and some of her friends began making blankets and donating them to children at the local cancer care center. Since then, Project Linus has given over 2,000,000 blankets to children worldwide in a variety of stressful situations.  Their name is taken from the Peanuts character that is never without a blanket of his own.  During January, Brad Bushman will coordinate an effort by NUUC  "blanketeers." You will have the opportunity to provide new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children, ages 0-18. All blanket styles are welcome, including quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors.  Look for more details in the January newsletter.  See the SAC bulletin board or visit the Project Linus website for more information. 
UUSC FAIR TRADE COFFEE:  Shop for delicious Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate after the service on December 6, 2015.  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.