Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Be a Buddy: Bring a Backpack

Our church is participating in the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen backpack project, as we have done for the last few years. The Soup Kitchen celebrates the holidays by giving filled backpacks to the men and women who are guests at lunch. This year, they will not be giving backpacks to children, since the Champaign-Urbana community is very generous to children at Christmastime through such projects as Shop with a Cop, Salvation Army Toy Store, toy drives, etc. However, the men and women who attend the Soup Kitchen daily are rarely remembered. For many, these backpacks will be their only presents.

Backpacks should be stuffed with hats, gloves, scarves, socks, thermal underwear, sweatshirts or pants, and toiletries such as deodorant, hand lotion for hands chapped by the cold, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, and shaving cream. Other appreciated items include hand warmers, cough drops, books, decks of cards, small fleece blankets, candy, gum, and food items. We are asking that backpacks and included items be new. All backpacks should be labelled with the gender and size of recipient (from S to XXXL). We found last year that most of our guests requested at least a size large, and many preferred XL, or XXL.

We will collect backpacks at the church on Sundays, December 6 and 13. When dropping off a pack, please sign your name to the list at the Social Action table so that your gift can be acknowledged. Tax forms will also be available.

Backpacks will be given away at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen on Friday, December 18 beginning at 10:00 a.m.

If you have questions about this project, please contact Sandy Hannum at

Listen to Our Podcast!

Each week, we record our service. The service recordings are edited into 35-50 minute “podcast episodes,” which are published online in the early afternoon.

You can choose to listen to the latest podcast episode, or listen to past episodes to catch up with services you may have missed. Or perhaps you heard a great sermon you want to revisit, or share with a friend?

Each podcast includes inspiring musical performances, thoughtful readings, and a sermon by our Interim Minister, the Reverend Doctor Janet Newman, a guest minister, or the Worship Committee.

Podcasting lets you download episodes for later playback when you are without internet access – maybe when you are walking the dog, or traveling by car/bus/train/plane.

There are many ways to listen! Podcasts are featured on the church Facebook page, and also on this website. But the easiest and most convenient way to subscribe and to listen is with a “podcasting application.”

On your desktop or laptop computer, you can subscribe to our feed with Apple iTunes. In iTunes, click on Podcasts, and search for “UUCUC” to find our feed.

On your Apple mobile device (iPad or iPhone), use the built-in Podcasts App.

On an Android smartphone or tablet, we recommend two apps:
  • OneCast: This is free, but very limited in features.
  • PocketCasts: This one costs a few dollars, but it is the absolute best podcasting app you will find.
In either of these or any other apps, just search for UUCUC and you will find our feed. Alternatively you can enter our feed URL manually:

You may want to configure your podcasting app to only download episodes while on a WIFI network, so you don’t have to pay mobile data charges. More questions? Please contact us at

Friday, November 6, 2015

The First Step Into the Unknown

Our guest minister next Sunday, November 15 is the Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher. Emmy Lou will lead the morning’s service, titled “Into the Unknown,” followed by a Question and Answer session to address your questions and concerns about the ministerial search process and timing.

Emmy Lou is the Ministerial Settlement Representative for UU congregations in search within Illinois. As such, she visits congregations and their Ministerial Search Committees in order to keep them informed and on target. This is her first visit with UUCUC and, after the Q and A session, she will meet with the Board.

The Q and A session will convene in the Sanctuary at approximately 15 minutes after the end of the service, around 11:30 a.m., so you will have time to pick up a snack and a drink. Childcare will be provided for those who give advance notice to our Director of Religious Education Cindy Wakeland at

We hope to see you there!

We Want to C-U Healthy!

Your Social Action Committee and Immigration Justice Task Force, as part of your elected two-year initiative, is co-sponsoring the Champaign-Urbana (C-U) Immigration Forum’s Immigrant-Friendly Health Fair and Forum this Tuesday, November 10 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at UUCUC! This fair will help immigrant communities to find affordable healthcare options, receive health screenings, learn about possible future coverage options, and help us continue the conversation on immigrant-friendly access to healthcare and to other important community resources.

This event is free and open to the public. Free childcare will be provided for all eventgoers in the Nursery downstairs. Refreshments will be provided for all eventgoers in Fellowship Hall.
More information will be available at the Social Action Committee (SAC) table after service on Sunday.

Donations of snacks (such as juices, fruits, cookies, etc.) by members of UUCUC would be most welcome. You can leave these items in the Kitchen on Sunday with a note or bring them in person to the event itself. All are welcome!

Friday, October 30, 2015

November's Shared Offering: CCHCC

Founded in 1977, Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) is a grassroots citizen action organization which believes that health care is a basic human right; as such, it is dedicated to the mission of working for quality affordable health care for all. CCHCC organizes individuals and communities to have a voice in the health care system and to affect social change. CCHCC carries out its mission through consumer education, advocacy, and community organizing. Its current issue campaigns include: Access to Care for those with low income, those with significant medical debt, and those for whom English is not their primary language; Environmental Health campaigns, focusing on the Fifth and Hill toxic manufactured gas plant site as well as working to protect the Mahomet Aquifer from toxic waste being dumped at the Clinton Landfill; organizing to address harmful medical billing and collection practices by local health care institutions; and organizing the Medicare Task Force to protect, strengthen, and improve Medicare and other vital programs like Medicaid and Social Security.

In addition, CCHCC provides services directly to clients through programs like the ACA Enrollment Program, the Consumer Health Hotline (a free resource for Champaign County residents who need help navigating the health care system) that receives hundreds of calls a month, the Dental Referral Program, and the Medicare 100/Plus Discount Program (which offers eligible Medicare beneficiaries free and discounted care at area providers).

CCHCC could not sustain their current efforts without the active involvement of volunteers for many of their campaigns, as well as volunteers for the Consumer Health Hotline. Most of CCHCC’s community organizing campaigns grow out of calls to the Hotline, as affected consumers are brought together to work to create system change.

For more information about CCHCC, their numerous victories and community campaigns, as well as volunteer opportunities, check out their website at

Holiday Pageant Volunteers Needed

We need a few kind folks to help with costumes and scene painting in preparation for our annual Holiday Pageant, to be held on December 13. We have plenty of costumes, but they need sorted and assigned to students. Some costumes are also in need of light mending and sizing adjustments. We even have materials and a potential scene constructed; however, we need hands for painting and energy for preparation! If you are able and willing to lend a few hours of your time in this season of giving, please contact Director of Religious Education Cindy Wakeland at

A Conversation About Kids, Guns, And Safety

The Religious Education Committee is proud to sponsor and invite you all to a special presentation and potluck gathering on Saturday, November 14 in Fellowship Hall at 5:30 p.m. titled Keeping Children/Youth Gun Safe. The Be SMART campaign was created to bring together all responsible adults to reduce the number of unintentional shootings that occur when children and teens get ahold of an unsecured firearm. We will discuss how we, as a community, can keep our children safe. Church member Sophie Meyn will be our leader, and childcare will be available.