Friday, October 31, 2014

Friendsgiving, Food, and Fun

Would you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with UU friends? Our church's second annual Thanksgiving potluck will be held in Fellowship Hall on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th. We will sit down to eat at 5 p.m. Sign up in Fellowship Hall after each Sunday service, or contact Sylvia McDermott at to let her know you will attend and what dishes you’ll bring. We hope to see you there! Like last year, we're asking for contributions of food and/or beverages amounting to a $10 expenditure per person. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Coffeehouse Celebration

Join us in an intergenerational celebration dedicated to Kent Conrad, our beloved former Music Director, as we hold a UU Coffeehouse Saturday, November 8th from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. You’re invited to present a song, skit, musical theater snippet, poem, dance, or whatever else you think the congregation would enjoy. Take advantage of the church’s new percussion instruments (drum set, maracas, claves, cymbals, etc.) purchased this summer!  We will follow the usual format of brief performances (8-10 minutes), yummy desserts, and beverages for the entire family.

For more information, please view our online flier.

Sign up to perform, bring goodies, or help with setup/cleanup in one of three ways: in person between Sunday services or via email to either Jim Hannum at or Sandy Hannum at

Kent Conrad Memorial

A celebration of our longtime Music Director Kent Conrad’s life will be held on Monday, November 3rd at 2:00 p.m. in the Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. We know that individuals from the many worlds Kent contributed to will want to attend. These will include current and former students, members of the faculty, community members, and members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign.

Because of the large number of people who would like to share memories of Kent, we are seeking comments from those who would be willing to write about one or two of their favorite memories and experiences with him. Our minister Axel Gehrmann has agreed to collect these writings and we will be identifying individuals to read excerpts during the service. If you would like to share your stories, please send them to Axel at

Immigration Justice Task Force Needs UUs!

This fall, our church kicked off our two-year initiative focusing on Immigration Justice with the C-U Immigration Forum as our September Shared Offering, and also by hosting a well-attended community dialogue titled “Central American Children at the Border: What Can We Do?” In addition, you may have noticed that Axel’s sermons this month all have immigration justice as a theme. Several other events have been held and others are being planned by our UU Immigration Task Force in conjunction with the C-U Immigration Forum.

Would you like to get involved with the UU Immigration Task Force and help make our two-year initiative a success? The next meeting is this Thursday, October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in the church Library. All who are interested in participating and planning activities around this theme are welcome!

Hello Today, Envision Tomorrow

You have probably noticed that our Sunday worship experience has changed a little this year. The process for lighting candles of joys and concerns is different. The chalice is now front and center. We have a Suggestion Box to receive feedback from the congregation. These changes are all a part of our efforts to realize our second Strategic Plan goal, namely to “support our current worship services and explore, experiment, and evaluate new and innovative worship services.” A major step towards fulfilling this goal was taken this fall when the Board of Trustees created the Re-visioning Task Force, a group of church members and friends who will be spending this year looking at how we “do” worship and what things (large or small) we might change to improve the experience.
In the coming weeks, you will be hearing more from this task force. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to participate, please send us an email at
– Chris Hannauer

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Welcome to our Interim Accompanist

We are happy to welcome Gonzalo Farias as our Interim Accompanist. Gonzalo is a native of Chile and has lived in Boston since 2004, before coming to Illinois this summer to pursue a graduate degree in conducting at the University of Illinois Music School. He holds several degrees in piano performance. Gonzalo joined us in early September and will remain with us through January 1st, as the Personnel Committee conducts its search for a permanent accompanist.

Three-Part Orientation to UUism

Are you new to this church? Have you recently signed the membership book, or are you considering joining? Would you like to learn more about Unitarian Universalism? Axel Gehrmann and the Membership Committee will offer a three-part orientation at 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays, October 16th,  23rd, and 30th.

The sessions focus on individuals’ religious journeys, discuss UU history, beliefs and polity, as well as explore the various groups and activities of this particular church. If you are interested, please sign up using the sheet on the Minister’s Office door, call the church office, or email Axel at