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 at 7:00 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.

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 jwhannum@gmail.com or Sandy Hannum at smhannum@gmail.com.

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 minister@uucuc.org.

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 revisioning@uucuc.org.
– 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 minister@uucuc.org

Help Decide Next Year’s Shared Offerings

The Social Action Committee is soliciting nominations for Shared Offerings for 2015!

Do you know of a non-profit organization that you think is deserving of a financial contribution from the church? The Social Action Committee (SAC) is now soliciting nominations for the 2015 Shared Offerings to be chosen by members and friends of the church at the November SAC meeting. Those organizations that are chosen for a Shared Offering will receive half of the plate cash collection and all designated checks from each Sunday service for a month.

There are three ways to nominate an organization:
  1. In the Order of Service on Sunday, October 5th, there will be a form you can fill out to nominate an organization. You can take that form to the SAC table in the Fellowship Hall afterward.
  2. Use the new online nomination form, available here.
  3. Email Ryan Latvaitis, SAC chair, with your suggestions at ryan.latvaitis@gmail.com.
The deadline for nominations is Friday, November 14th.

The meeting to choose 2015's Shared Offerings will be Monday, November 17th at 7:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Shared Offering choices are divided among local organizations (usually 6-7), as well as national (2-3) and international (2-3). Organizations are chosen to represent different categories of help, such as Housing, Environment, Food, Children, Medical/Health, and social justice concerns, and will also be discussed regarding how well they align with UU Principles as well as their charity rating, if available.