Friday, May 22, 2015

CROP Hunger Walk 2015 Final Results

This photo, taken by Erich Adickes, shows a few of the UU Walkers getting ready to start out on the CROP Hunger Walk 2015 on April 19th. It was a rainy Sunday, but precipitation stayed mostly in the form of a fine mist and never became an all-out storm. The UU Walkers had 16 “units” signed up to gather donations and walk – some individuals and some families. A few had to drop out because of illness or injury, but an impressively high percentage actually went out and walked in the rain. I was most proud of Bianca Banning, eight years old, who walked the entire course!

As you may recall, 75% of the funds raised are designated for overseas projects. This year, most of that funding is going to Nepal to help earthquake victims. The other 25% of the funds will be used locally for the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, the Wesley Evening Soup Kitchen, and the TIMES (Transitional Initiatives and Men’s Empowerment Services) Center. It is gratifying to be able to contribute to a variety of great causes through this one community-wide event. This year, the whole community raised a total of $29,726. Our church raised a total of $3,490, which is the highest of all the participating groups. Way to go UU Walkers!

The other part of our efforts took place in the church, where our stellar building hosts and snack providers made everyone feel at home. We heard many favorable comments about the food! Once again, I was reminded of why I love this church. What a generous and welcoming community this is. Thank you everyone.

Food and Water Watch Champions Fair Trade

Grow your brain and have fun learning about fair trade in game! This PowerPoint presentation and simulation game event is free and open to the public, and will begin at 6:00 p.m. this Tuesday, May 26th in Fellowship Hall. It is hosted by the local Food and Water Watch chapter and co-sponsored by the Green UUs and Social Action Committees. For more information, contact Green UUs Chair Andy Robinson at

This event begins with a brief Powerpoint presentation led by Lois Kain on Fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). These are very pressing and immediate issues for Food and Water Watch. We are trying to get the word out to our local communities about just how devastating previous “fair trade “ agreements have been by giving so much power to corporations to rule over every aspect of our lives, from jobs to our health to our environment. These trade agreements are a race to the bottom and we have to let our lawmakers know that Americans do not want a corporate takeover of our country.

Afterward, participate in a Trade Simulation Game led by creator Gina Chamberlain. Have you ever wondered how we apply our principles of justice and peace to the ways that trade agreements work? Does the topic seem too big, too far away and too complicated?  The Trade Simulation Game is designed to bring these issues to life through stories from our global partners.  Participants assume a character in four trade stories loosely based on real scenarios.  The characters share their realities with others and work together to understand the role of trade agreements and the people impacted by these agreements. Discussion focuses on how we can respond on behalf of the poor and the environment. The game – which requires about two hours to complete – is an interactive, fun way to learn about this important issue.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Have Your Say with Summer Service Survey

It’s time to plan our eight lay-led services that will be held this summer during July and August. Included in this week’s Order of Service is a slip you may use to have a say in the planning process. Please fill out the slip and return it to the basket on the Connections Hub table in Fellowship Hall. The questionnaire is available online from the Members and Friends page of the church website under Current Initiatives (here). If you do not like filling out questionnaires, please feel free to contact Assistant for Services Beth Cobb directly at

Friday, May 15, 2015

Paint as the Spirit Moves You

Tempera paint, finger paint, watercolors, Monet, Van Gogh, sunsets, portraits… in my style, your style, Picasso style! However the Spirit moves us is how we are going to paint this summer. Come join us and be free – be you as a child, as an adult, as a free spirit. You can also just help the child or guide them in their thoughts and not paint at all. Assistants are needed beginning June 21st through August 16th. Afterward, parents and assistants are needed to help plan a worship service around the children’s art work. Contact Cindy Wakeland at or sign up at the Religious Education table in Fellowship Hall.

Animal Crackers Fly the Summer Camp Coop

Summer Camp is fast approaching… June 15th is only a month away! Adults are needed to help with driving to field trips and even arts and crafts. You do not have to plan a thing; just come and have fun with us! The theme this year is Animal Crackers. We will be learning all about animals! We will be talking about the Heifer Project (the giving of animals to those in need as well as teaching those families both how to care for them so the animals produce food for years to come and how to raise more) and how we in Champaign-Urbana can help. We also will be seeing a lot of animals. 

The Decatur Scovill Mobile Zoo will be here opening day on Monday, June 15th. Tuesday, we’ll be invaded by rabbits, a puppet maker and storyteller, as well as Gus the hamster. There will be a field trip to the Prairie Fruit Farms on Wednesday to visit with the goats. On Thursday, our animal of interest is sheep and we hope to have a visit from a sheep farmer. Finally, on Friday, we will visit the cows at Prairie Farms. Of course, there will more than just animals. The registration deadline is June 5th, so call Cindy Wakeland at 791-2787. Alternatively, complete a registrations form from the Religious Education table in Fellowship Hall.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Join the Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort

Donate to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) fund to help the Nepal earthquake victims.

The Social Action Committee urges members of our church to contribute to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund established by the UUSC. You can donate online via credit card.

Alternately, bring a check made out to our church with "Earthquake Relief Fund" on the memo line. We will collect these checks and then mail a summary check to UUSC.

Information will be available at the Social Action table after church this Sunday, May 3rd.

Hot Off the Press And Too Hot to Handle

The 2014-2015 Annual Report is now ready for your pick-up! Find a copy at the Literature Table in Fellowship Hall today or download an electronic copy from the church website. To do so, just click here!