Snowflake Garland

Anvil header

Newsletter of 2nd Unitarian Church of Chicago
December 1, 2013
In This Issue
Worship at 2U
Sunday, December 1
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Rudra Dundzila
Music by Michael McElvain

Wednesday, December 4
Vespers Service at 6:30pm
Holiday Decorating at 7pm

Sunday, December 8
Music Sunday
Intergen Service at 10:30
Worship Leaders: Rev. Adam Robersmith & Marianne Parker

Wednesday, December 11
Vespers Service at 6:30pm

Sunday, December 15
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Marianne Parker

Wednesday, December 18
Vespers Service at 6:30pm

Sunday, December 22
Intergen Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith

Tuesday, December 24
Candlelight Service at 7:00pm

Sunday, December 29
No Service Today!
Pancake Breakfast at 10:30am
Children & Youth Faith Development Schedule
Child care for infants and toddlers is available every Sunday (except where indicated) in the Green Caterpillar room.
Sunday, December 1
Spirit Play
UU Explorers
Sunday, December 8
Intergen: No Classes
Coming of Age meets at
3rd Unitarian at 1:00pm
Sunday, December 15
Spirit Play
UU Explorers
Youth Group 
Sunday, December 22
Intergen: No Classes
Sunday, December 29
No Service Today!
Pancake Breakfast at 10:30
No classes or child care
Church Office Information & Staff

773-549-0260, ext. 13
Office Hours:
Wed-Thurs 1:00-9:00 pm
Dir. of Faith Development
773-549-0260, ext. 12
Office Hours:
Wed 5:00-9:00 pm
Sun 9:00-3:00

Office Administrator
773-549-0260, ext. 10
Office Hours: 
Mon-Thurs 10:00-4:00 
Community Minister
Music Director
2U Ministry Leaders

Board of Trustees


Building & Grounds

Committee on Ministry

Finance Committee

Green Sanctuary


Lifespan Faith Dev.




Night Ministry Outreach

Pastoral Care

Safe Congregations 

Small Group Ministry

Social Justice

Sunday Services

Sun/Moon Group

Transylvania Church


Young Adult Group
Erin Rusmi
Board of Trustees 

From the Minister

For Don and I, this is our first holiday season at home with a dog in the house. She's a great girl: she doesn't chew on or play with things she shouldn't. We'll still do a few things differently, though. The fragile ornaments will go higher on the tree. Gifts that involve food won't be under the tree and on the floor this year.


Every year, the holidays become something different for my partner and I, even while we try to bring back the things we've always loved about holidays past. Sometimes it's as simple as putting the tree in a new place every year in our house until we find the perfect spot. Sometimes it's a little more complicated, like incorporating our dog into our Yuletide decorating and plans. Sometimes it's a big change: the stories of the season don't mean what they once did, or maybe they've come to mean something once again. Someone isn't celebrating with you this year, you're not celebrating with them, or you're learning to incorporate someone else's traditions into your own expectations.


Many years, I want this holiday to feel like that one that I enjoyed so much years ago. The sneaky thing about the holidays is that those wonderful ones I remember so well were perfect just as they were, not trying to recreate something from years past. The year where everyone was at home together was wonderful. The year where I was snowed in and had Christmas all by myself with a good book, holiday music, and hot cocoa all day? Heaven!


May all our holidays this year be just right for this year, with just enough of the past to feel good and the joys of the here and now as our best presents.



Rev. Adam

A Special Season. A Special Church.
The 2U Special Gifts Campaign.

December 1 begins our church's annual Special Gifts Campaign, a special fundraising effort that provides provides members and friends the opportunity to make a special gift to 2U to recognize, during this special season, the special role of Second Unitarian Church in your life. Our goal this year is for every member of our congregation to make some identifiable financial contribution during the campaign. We need to raise $10,000 to meet the goal that we budgeted for ourselves during our annual meeting in May; the money we raise through the campaign supports the basic work of the church and we can't manage without it.

The members of the board of trustees and our minister have kicked off this year's Special Gifts Campaign by committing $1,350 toward the $10,000 goal.

In an effort to encourage participation and to stretch our generosity beyond our walls, 2U will donate half of all that we raise beyond $10,000 to the Broadway Youth Center, a program of the Howard Brown Health Center, that serves LGBTQA youth just a few blocks from our doors.

Please give as generously as you are able and as soon as possible during this year's Special Gifts Campaign! Every contribution makes a difference. Donations may be made via the church website or by making a special contribution and placing it in the offering plate during a Sunday service in December. In either case, please indicate that your gift is for the "Special Gifts Campaign."

If you have questions about the campaign, please contact 2U board chair Monica Drane.

Thank you!

2U's Holiday Schedule
Wednesday, December 4th: Please join us after Vespers at 7pm for our annual holiday decorating party.
Sunday, December 8th: Our Holiday Music Service and Cookie Sale!
Saturday, December 21st: Join us at 7pm as the 2U Sun Moon Group offers our yearly Winter Solstice service.
Sunday, December 22nd: This Sunday will be an intergenerational service, celebrating the season as we approach Christmas Eve. There will be no regular children's classes, but the Green Caterpillar Room will be open.
Tuesday, December 24th: Please join us for our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service at 7pm! There will be no children's classes or Green Caterpillar.
Sunday, December 29th: A 2U tradition continues this year! On the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's, we'll have a Pancake Breakfast and Fellowship Sunday. There won't be a full worship service this day; instead, we'll have time for members of the congregation to come together for a morning of good food and great fun. No children's classes or Green Caterpillar.
Remember that our church office will be closed from December 25th to January 1st. Rev. Adam and the church staff will be working from home and will be reachable by email. Church office hours return to normal on January 2nd.
Regular children's classes resume on January 5th.
We look forward to seeing you through out the holidays!
DecoratingDeck the Halls at 2U!
sanctuary wreaths
Wednesday, December 4, 2013



Please join us this Wednesday evening for 2U's annual holiday decorating party! Come at 6:30pm for Vespers, and stick around afterward to decorate the sanctuary and Palmer Room for the holidays. The staff will provide the decorations, the music, and the coffee, tea, and hot cocoa; we're counting on you to provide the laughter, the helping hands, and the fellowship to get us ready for the holiday season.


We hope to see you there!

cookiesAnnual 2U Holiday Cookie Sale
gingerbread man Sunday, December 8, 2013

Enjoy the beautiful music on this Music Sunday, and afterwards purchase a wide variety of homemade cookies to enjoy or give as gifts. This is a wonderful 2U tradition.

Cookie bakers and volunteers to help on the day of the event are still needed! Sign up at the Welcome Table, or online at Signup Genius. For more information, contact Barb Hailey at (773) 844-8846 or Kate Friedlob at (773) 528-0884.
Coffee Hour Hosts Needed!
Signing up to host coffee hour is now easier than ever! Just click the link below, enter your email, and choose the date that works best for you. 
Then, on the Sunday you've chosen, you'll:
  • bring snacks for about 100
  • make coffee
  • set out coffee & snacks prior to the end of the service
  • clean up at the end of coffee hour
  • bask in the warm glow of a grateful community
Questions? Email coffee hour maven Laura McKee.
Thanks for helping to make Sundays at 2U warm and welcoming!
SolsticeWinter Solstice Celebration
Saturday, December 21, 2013

Come celebrate Winter Solstice with the Sun Moon Group on Saturday, December 21st at 7pm in the sanctuary. This is the 8th year of celebrating Winter Solstice at 2U and we look forward to seeing you at the ritual. If you haven't joined us before, please join us this year.
We celebrate the first day of Winter, the spirit of the darkness, and the return of the light. Celebrate the spirit of the season with Pagan carol singing with live guitar music by Kat Wyand. Celebrate Yule and the turning of the Wheel of the Year!
Come celebrate with us in song and ritual. Refreshments and merriment to follow. Please feel free to bring a treat to share with all!
Choir Corner
choir Enjoy the warmth of musical community in the cold of winter. Join the choir! The choir rehearses in the 2U sanctuary on Tuesday evenings from 7:15 to 8:30pm-- the schedule may vary slightly this month because of the holidays. For more information, contact music director Marianne Parker.
For Reflecting, Writing, Coordinating, and Preaching

The Sunday Services Committee, (SSC) is offering new opportunities for your participation, starting in January!


First, we are offering a new Articulating Faith Writing Workshop. Have you ever wanted to share an insight? Express an inspiration? Declare a conviction? Advocate for a principle? Write a blog? Explore your faith through writing? Perhaps even deliver a sermon?


The new 2U Articulating Faith Writing Workshop will support you in reflecting on and expressing your faith through writing. In this ongoing workshop you'll learn how to deepen and extend your faith by reflecting on your own spiritual experience, current events, and religious texts and traditions. Then you'll learn to express yourself through writing in genres such as blogs, personal stories, essays, prayers, manifestos, homilies, and perhaps even poetry. If you've ever had an idea or insight you wanted to express but didn't know how, this workshop is for you.


The fun monthly workshop sessions will include lots of short in-class exercises in finding inspiration, developing ideas, brainstorming strategies, and writing in different forms. We'll read classic examples of good religious and spiritual writing, looking "under the hood" to understand the nuts and bolts of what makes it work. Between sessions we'll work on our own individual projects. An online forum will enable us to share our work and encourage one another between sessions.


This workshop is offered by the SSC as an opportunity for anyone to develop and express their spiritual life. It also supports those interested in becoming lay preachers, but does not replace the Lay Preacher Training. You need not have an interest in lay preaching to join this workshop.


The Articulating Faith Writing Workshop will begin Thursday, January 9th from 7:00 a 9:00 P.M. For more information, email Dan Lewis or call him at (708) 209-5670.


Second, the SSC is offering a training workshop with a broader focus. We would like to invite you to this training if you want to explore worship, consider preaching either solo or as part of a group (a patchwork service), or learn more about how services come together. If you want to explore coordinating or participating in an alternative service (like our recent Hymn Sing service), we invite you to this training, also-- and watch for more information about these alternative service possibilities in the next Anvil!


The training will be on Thursday, January 16th from 7:00-9:00pm. Please contact Rev. Robersmith or Linda Marquis for more information.


You may sign up for either or both the workshop and the training on the Welcome Table in the Palmer Room.

Caregivers Group
The last meeting of the Caregivers Group will be on Wednesday, December 11th from 7:00 to 8:30pm. The group will meet downstairs in the library at 2U. For more information, email Myra Epping, or call her at (773) 338-4086.
Sun Moon Book Group
The Sun Moon Group will be hosting a book group this winter; we will be reading Paganism, by Joyce and River Higginbotham, written in 2002. The book is available through the Chicago Public Library system, or for purchase. Cost for a new copy is about $14.00, and it can also be found used.

This book presents the basic fundamentals of Paganism. It explores what Pagans are like; how the Pagan sacred year is arranged; what Pagans do in ritual; what magick is; and what Pagans believe about God, worship, human nature, and ethics. It is recommended for those who are exploring their own spirituality, or who want a good book to give to non-Pagan family and friends. It provides a hands-on learning tool, with magickal workings, meditations, discussion questions, and journal entries, and offers in-depth discussion of ethics and magick.

A sign up sheet will be available on the Welcome Table in the Palmer Room. The book group will meet in Fleishman Hall at 7pm on the first Thursday of each month, starting in February 2014 and ending in May 2014. Please contact Shauna with any questions.
Santa Songs: A Christmas Cabaret
December 13 and 14, 2013
Second Unitarian Church, 656 W. Barry Ave, Chicago

Santa Songs is a concert of holiday music celebrating Santa traditions, featuring original music by New York City composer Paul Johnson, as well as traditional favorites such as Toyland by Victor Herbert and Here Comes Santa Claus by Autry and Haldeman, together with songs from stage and screen. This is family-friendly entertainment starring Daniel T. Johnson, with music director Matthew Ellenwood.

This 2013 edition of Santa Songs: A Christmas Cabaret is being presented to benefit Brotherhood of the Phoenix, a neo-pagan order for gay, bisexual, and transgender men who love men. Tickets are $20 for general admission, or $10 for children under 12 years of age, and can be purchased at (800) 838-3006 or via Brown Paper Tickets.
Money Matters
The weekly cost of running 2U is $5,275!

2U's annual budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014 is $274,324. This includes a budgeted deficit of $7,174.

For the Year to Date period July 1 to October 31, 2013:
Actual Pledges + Collection Plate =
Budgeted Pledges + Collection Plate =
     Surplus or (Deficit)

Total Revenues Year-to-Date =$86,589$85,871
Total Expenses Year-to-Date =$92,720$89,584
     Total Surplus or (Deficit)$(6,131)$(3,713)

In October, we raised $745.56 for the collection plate sharing recipient, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Thank you so much for helping to make 2U possible!

Did you know?
Prefer to give by donations of stock? 2U can accept your donation of stock via the UUA. Please contact Jen Duston for details. This could be a way to preserve your cash and give in a tax efficient manner if you have unrealized capital gains. Please allow up to two weeks for processing.
Anvil Deadlines
Have a message to put in the Anvil? Plan ahead!  Please have all submissions for the next newsletter in to Jen Duston at by noon on Wednesday, December 11.