Friday, January 16, 2015

Open Bidding: Join the AUUction Committee!

The AUUction Committee will hold an organizational meeting on Sunday, January 25th after the service in Children’s Chapel. We will discuss many aspects of the auction and assign preliminary roles. The auction is our largest fundraising activity of the year and is a lot of fun to work on. If you are interested in helping, there are many opportunities both large and small for you to participate.

Please email the committee chair, Bill Childers, at to be included on the listserv for the committee for this year and/or to RSVP to attend this month’s meeting.

Setting the Stewardship Table

Save the date for the Annual Stewardship Campaign Kickoff: Sunday, February 15th, immediately following our worship service at 11:15 a.m. We'll have brunch, fellowship, activities, and information to share as we prepare for our future together. Stay tuned for more information! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Welcome to our New Accompanist

We bid a fond farewell to Gonzalo Farias, who has served as our Interim Accompanist since September, and we plan to welcome Matthew Gladden as our new Accompanist.

Currently a DMA candidate in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying at the U of I, Matthew has served as a pianist/organist for the First United Methodist Church of Urbana, he currently accompanies The Singing Men of WGNN, and he has also been an accompanying assistant at the U of I. In addition, he owns Gladden Music LLC (, which sells instructional books to piano teachers. Prior to moving to Champaign in 2009, Matthew served as a pianist in various churches in Oregon, Colorado, and Washington, and he was the winner of a number of musical awards.

Many thanks to members of the Accompanist Search Committee: Marsha Clinard, Axel Gehrmann, Tanja Hodges, Frank Knowles, and Matt Sheppard.

-- Millie Davis, Chair

Monthly Shared Offering: The Public i

January’s Shared Offering will help support The Public i, the longest-lived alternative paper in Champaign-Urbana (C/U). Affiliated with the Independent Media Center for all of its 12 years, the Public i is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We are all volunteers to “a collectively-run, community-oriented publication,” and invite anyone from the community who wants to attend editorial committee meetings and contribute a story. Providing a forum “for topics underreported and voices underrepresented,” we are local authors writing about local, national, and international issues, plus people originally from C/U who continue to contribute or let us reprint their stuff (Mark Weisbrot, Robert Naiman, Dave Roediger, Sarah Lazare). Every article promotes social justice by valuing diversity, fighting injustice, and promoting equality. Pieces range from “A Day at Stateville,” performed at UU church last May, and Pete Seeger's 1958 visit to UIUC, to the Northwestern Football Player Union, to Russia, Ukraine, and Hungary, and from local healthcare and local prison and police reform (not building a new jail, returning the MRAP, not employing tasers) to the environment and environmental justice (Mahomet aquifer, Homer Bulldog mine). For these and other stories, visit our website at

We operate on a shoestring budget. In addition to an online edition, we publish an eight page print edition that works out to 10 issues/year. We distribute our ca. 3000 print run in numerous cubbies located throughout C/U. The poor quality, old-timey newsprint vs the better-looking online version means you have to wash the ink off your hands when you're done reading.

Money from UUCUC Shared Offering will go entirely towards publication costs, approximately $300/issue. The Public i does not run ads and all labor (editing, distributing) is volunteer-donated.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Shared Offering Recipients for 2015

The Social Action Committee (SAC) is pleased to announce our Shared Offering Partners for 2015!
  • January is The Public i, a non-profit community newspaper published by the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. 
  • February is Illini Service Dogs, a registered student organization at the UI which trains service dogs for people with disabilities. 
  • March is Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County, which works to eliminate poverty housing locally and globally. 
  • April is the East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center, which seeks to provide services essential to immigrant re-settlement in East Central IL. 
  • May is Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice, which seeks to expand the availability of restorative justice practices. 
  • June is Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, which works to eliminate the poverty sustaining effects of disease-causing parasites. 
  • July is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which works to fight hate-groups and promote tolerance. 
  • August is Sanctuary 2014, a network of churches that provides refuge to undocumented immigrants who face deportation. 
  • September is Compassion & Choices, which works to reduce people's suffering and provide some control over the end-of-life process. 
  • October is Cunningham Children's Home, a place where children with serious emotional and behavioral disabilities can heal, learn, and grow. 
  • November is Champaign County Health Care Consumers, a group who works for quality, affordable health care for all. 
  • In December our Shared Offering is traditionally the Partner Church Committee, which supports our UU partner churches in Romania and India.
In the coming months, half of our cash collection during services, as well as designated checks, will go to support these organizations.  Please give generously.

As always, it was difficult to settle on just 11 organizations to support. All are invited to think of deserving organizations during the coming year, and submit nominations during the fall months, when we select our Shared Offering Partners for 2016.  Thank you! 

– Ryan Latvaitis, Chair

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Meeting the Parking and Seating Space Challenges of One Sunday Service

The Membership Committee looks forward to the opportunities for increased connections and fellowship on Sunday morning as a result of going to one service beginning January 4th (see the article from the Board on the next page for more information about this experiment). Changes in some of our past practices will be required by all of us to make our experiment with one service work. We are asking your cooperation in two specific areas.
Seating in the Sanctuary: Please be mindful of the increased attendance at the single service by moving to the center of the pews in all rows of the Sanctuary to make room for everyone, especially those who may arrive late to the service. Be aware that our ushers may encourage you to do so on Sunday mornings as well.
Parking on Sunday mornings: Please reserve the church’s parking lot for our members with mobility issues and for our visitors on Sunday mornings. There are two lots within a block of our church that we have permission to use on Sunday mornings: the lot behind Timothy John’s Salon on the northwest corner of Green and Birch, and the lots used by Urbana Library patrons (which are city lots) on the south and west side of the Urbana Library on Cedar and Green Streets. In addition to these lots, there is free street parking on Birch, Green, and High Streets every weekend. See the graphic below for a visual representation of Sunday morning parking options.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation in these matters as we strive to make our one service trial succeed.
Questions or comments? Don’t hesitate to contact Membership Committee Co-Chairs Peggy Patten and/or Karen Retzer Alternatively, stop by the Connections Hub table in Fellowship Hall on Sunday mornings.

Friday, December 12, 2014

December's Shared Offering: The UUCUC Partner Church Committee

The mission and objectives of the Partner Church Committee (PCC) are to develop long term mutually supportive relationships with our fellow Unitarians in Transylvania, Romania and in the Khasi Hills of India.
Our two Partner Churches are quite different, although they share an economy based on farming. In Szekelykal, Transylvania, the economy is mixed agriculture, while in Nongtalang, Khasi Hills, the primary crop is beetle nut. In Szekelykal, the church building is dated from before the Reformation, during which the Church became Unitarian. The Church in the Khasi Hills is 125 years old and needs renovations.
The Transylvania church has heated homes and electricity. In the Khasi Hills, the level of income is frequently below the global poverty level of a dollar a day, although they do have electricity off and on.
If you wish to help support this ongoing effort to benefit those churches, please note that collections throughout the month of December are designated to that end. You may write a check addressed to the UU Church, with a note in the memo that your donation is for Partner Churches.
To join our congregation’s Partner Church Committee, please contact Brigitte Pieke, chair, at