The News is, of course, dominated by news of the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan in the first week of March, but here, for us, the news is dominated by the loss of Shirley DenBroeder.  Shirley Jean denBroeder, 75, of Reynoldsburg, passed away on March 3, 2011.

She was born January 11, 1936 in Newark to the late Murrell and Ruth Orr.
She is survived by her son, Jody denBroeder; her brother Paul Orr; her sisters, Nancy Channell, Caroline King, Elizabeth Williams, and Marjorie Bergstrom.  She is preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, David Bline, John and Lee Orr.

Shirly graduated from Newark High School. She was a volunteer with the Columbus Metro Parks.  Donations are requested to Columbus Metro Parks, 1069 West Main Street, Westerville, OH 43081 in her memory.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held later.

In other news, the church (almost) monthly potluck is to be held Saturday March 19.  It will be a St Patrick’s day theme, and all who have any kind of music making equipment or a voice should come.  We have decided to see if we can actually sing… and St Patrick’s day is the excuse to find out.  If it doesn’t turn out well, maybe some merciful person will bring a movie to pop into the DVD machine.

The monthly (really, we do this every month… much more reliably than we do the potluck) congregation board meeting was held Mar 13.  Old business:  we decided not to have the $200 energy audit but we decided to spring for the $25 energy assessment by AEP.  Stay tuned for ideas.  On the subject of rental of the facility, we charge $50 for half a day of use.  However, we don’t charge the members to use the grounds.  So it turns out we don’t collect much because most of the people interested in the place are our members.  So we are all encouraged to make use of the facility whenever it makes sense for you.

New Business:  Marko is doing well in his new home in California.  He is going to be a Father in July.  Marko generously paid for 3 years of our website fees, so THANKs MARKO!

We need more people to step up and help with the building.  Some more people need to come early and help set up or stay and clean up.  We are a small group folks, we can all help a little more so we don’t require the same generous people do these chores week after week.

John Martin is going to be ordained as a minister for the UUCE congregation.  We talked about the task of putting on the ceremony, which, for obvious reasons, we don’t often do.  Jan found a little guide book online for these kinds of ceremonies, but she thought it a tad sanctimonious.  Folks, sanctimony is not our strong suit at UUCE.  We need help with this.

And, FINALLY, we are going to have an “Open Forum” Sunday in April.  We debated whether the “Open Forum” should be open, or whether the “Open Forum” should be targeted at a topic.  We decided that we should use the day to address Earth Day and related environmental subjects.  Nevertheless, “Targeted Topic Forum” just doesn’t have the zesty feel of inclusiveness that “Open Forum” has.  SO we are going to call it “Open Forum” anyway.

Now aren’t you sad that you did not attend the congregation’s board meeting?

Peace, Rick