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Newsletter of 2nd Unitarian Church of Chicago
December 15, 2013
In This Issue
Worship at 2U
 
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
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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 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
______________________
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Church Office Information & Staff

Minister
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
773-593-7500
 
Music Director
                                  
2U Ministry Leaders

Board of Trustees

Bookstore

Building & Grounds

Committee on Ministry

Finance Committee

Green Sanctuary

Hospitality 

Lifespan Faith Dev.

Membership

Music

Newsletter

Night Ministry Outreach

Pastoral Care

Safe Congregations 

Small Group Ministry

Social Justice

Sunday Services

Sun/Moon Group

Transylvania Church

Webmaster

Young Adult Group
Erin Rusmi
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Board of Trustees 
 









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

Please take some time to reflect on the meaning of the season and the role that 2U plays in your life and in the world around us--and donate as generously as you are able to this year's Special Gifts Campaign. We have reached the one-quarter mark of our fundraising dollar goal for this year's campaign, but have a long way to go to meet our participation goal. The board would like for every member of the congregation to make some identifiable financial contribution to the campaign either through the offering plate or online (in either case, please indicate that your gift is for the Special Gifts Campaign). This church is the community of ourselves--and we would like for each one of us to participate! The congregation voted as part of this year's budget to raise $10,000 through the campaign; these funds support the basic work of the church and we rely on them to pay our staff, heat the sanctuary, and shovel the sidewalk. If we reach the $10,000 goal, then half of the proceeds beyond this level will go to support the Broadway Youth Center. Please take the time to donate now; the campaign ends on January 5, 2014.

 

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

News From the Board Chair

The holiday season is in full swing at 2U, and we should recognize the efforts of those who have worked to make it festive. Thanks to those who decorated the Palmer Room and sanctuary. And, thanks to those who provided songs and sweets on Sunday, December 8: the 2U musicians, led by Marianne Parker and our choir, shared beautiful holiday music, and the 2U bakers, led by Barb H. and Kate F. (with help from Mary O.), shared delicious holiday treats.

 

The seasonal Special Gifts Campaign is underway (see above for more information), thanks to the efforts of Karen F. and Courtney A. and several other members of the congregation who have helped promote the campaign during Sunday services. We would like to raise money beyond the $10,000 that we budgeted for the campaign in order to support the Broadway Youth Center, a service organization for LGBTQA teens and young adults a few blocks from 2U.

 

None of this can happen without the tremendous efforts of our minister and staff. Thanks to Adam, Jen, Raquel, and Marianne for helping 2U find the most meaningful ways to celebrate this time of year. Please also note efforts to improve communication in the form of the redesigned bulletin boards in the Palmer Room.

 

The 2U board of trustees held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 11. Jackie D., on behalf of the Finance Committee, presented the proposal for a Planned Giving Campaign to facilitate gifts, including bequests, to the church. The board approved the proposal unanimously and hopes to launch the campaign soon after the start of the new year. Our church has benefited from the generosity of those who included 2U in their wills and we hope to make it easier for members to continue this tradition. Please contact Tom D. with questions or to volunteer to help with the effort. The board also approved, with the endorsement of the Finance Committee, to recommend an amendment to the bylaws related to the 2U Endowment Fund at the church's annual meeting in May. Please contact Gregory R. with questions about the proposed bylaws amendment. The board extends a special thanks to Jackie for researching, organizing, writing, and presenting the Planned Giving Campaign proposal.

 

The board also discussed a plan offered by Tom D. and Steve H. to promote the use of 2U as an event space and, in particular, as a wedding venue. We would like to promote 2U as a welcoming (and affordable!) space for weddings and receptions, especially in light of the state's recent decision to recognize gay marriage. While the board did not vote to approve funds for the purpose of promoting or improving the space, there is consensus that 2U would do well to capitalize on the possible increase in interest as a result of the change in the law, which takes effect on June 1, 2014. There are plans to promote 2U on free websites, to further explore the possible benefits of paid advertising, and to continue to look at what building improvements we might make given the church's limited funds. Thanks to Tom and Steve for their focus on and attention to this matter.

 

The Executive Committee of the board plans to meet on January 26 and on February 2 to discuss compensation for our minister and one staff member as part of the regular review process. Trustees were directed to visit the UUA's salary guidelines to see that 2U is currently below or at the bottom end of the scale. Meanwhile, the COMs ministerial review process is underway and will be finished by January 31.

  

The board voted to send a letter of support for the Broadway Youth Center's request for a special-use permit that will allow the center to remain at the Wellington UCC church a few blocks from 2U. 2U recently joined the local neighbors' association, SELVN, which is discussing whether to support the center at its current site.

  

The board reviewed the Treasurer's Report and other budget documents. At nearly the midway mark, the church seems on track to meet its obligations for the year. A strong Special Gifts Campaign will help the church continue to stabilize its finances. Gregory R. reminded the members of the board that the church will renegotiate its mortgage next fall and that our new interest rate might cost us more in monthly payments.

  

Finally, we discussed a new membership software package that the staff will be testing this month and the status of the church website redesign/launch. And, a small group began on December 12 to explore ways to manage the growth of our church, especially as it affects attendance at Sunday services.

  

For the most recent approved 2U board meeting minutes, see the link in the sidebar of this newsletter. Contact board chair Monica Drane if you have questions or comments.

  

Best,

Monica (Drane)

Chair, 2U Board of Trustees

2U's Holiday Schedule
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!
Thanksgiving Potluck
A big thanks to everyone who made the 2U Thanksgiving potluck such a success! Extra kudos to Judy Corbeille and Ian McPhaden for once again offering their amazing generosity in organizing, cooking, and clean-up.
Thanksgiving choir
An Impromptu Thanksgiving Choir
Blessing
Timmy Reads the Blessing
unexpected guests
We Welcome Some Unexpected Guests
 
Celebrate by Serving on Christmas Eve
You are invited to celebrate the holidays by helping to serve dinner for the homeless on Tuesday, December 24th from noon to 2:30pm at San Lucas Church, 2914 West North Avenue in Humboldt Park.
 
Then, move on to celebrate the season with the Smith family at their home at Wrightwood and Clark. For details or to RSVP, please contact Curtis, Nikki, or Esmerelda Smith.
It's Time to Sign Up For Coffee Hour 2014!
Ring in the New Year by providing the much-appreciated service to your congregation of assuring that we are welcoming, and provide for a pleasant coffee hour following the service.
 
Signing up 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
7:00pm

Come celebrate Winter Solstice with the Covenant of Earth and Sky 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!
Lay Services Training Opportunity

Thursday, January 16, 2014

7:00-9:00pm

 

The Sunday Services Committee, (SSC) invites you to a training on worship to help you participate in providing lay-led services.

 

Have you wondered how you could participate in lay-led services? Maybe you have been inspired by the patchwork services, led by a group, and would like to be a part of one. Perhaps you had fun at the lay-led hymn sing, and would like to coordinate this type of alternative service (a service with no homily).

 

If you would like to share service ideas, learn more about worship at 2U, or even start developing your homily, this training is for you. In order to help you be successful, SSC guidelines require that solo preachers, patchwork leaders, and alternative service coordinators attend such a training.

 

For those of you who are joining Dan Lewis in his writing workshop beginning on January 6th, this will complement your writing start-up, and Dan's group will continue to provide you support after you attend this training.

 

For more information, please email Rev. Robersmith or Linda Marquis, or give Linda a call at (773) 857-3035. Please sign up at the Welcome Table in the Palmer Room.

New Articulating Faith Writing Workshop

Beginning Thursday, January 9, 2014

7:00-9:00pm

 

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?
 
Whether you're an experienced writer or never written a word, the 2U Articulating Faith Writing Workshop will support you in reflecting on and expressing your faith through writing. In this monthly 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 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 Sunday Services Committee 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 meet the first Thursday of each month, beginning Thursday, January 9. To sign up, email Dan Lewisor call him at (708) 209-5670.
Covenant of Earth and Sky Book Group
The CUUPS Covenant of Earth and Sky 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.
Understanding the Bible:
An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers & Religious Liberals

Understanding the Bible Wednesdays, January 8-March 5, 2014

7:00-8:30pm

Facilitated by Rev. Rudra Dundzila

 

A thoughtful, warm, and witty introduction, Understanding the Bible is designed to help empower skeptics, seekers, nonbelievers, and those of a liberal and progressive outlook to reclaim the Bible from literalists. In making accessible some of the best contemporary historical, literary, political, and feminist readings of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, it encourages all who would find in the biblical heritage an ally and not an enemy in the quest for a more just and humane world.

 

There will be nine sessions: five discussing the Hebrew Bible (January 8th through February 5th) and four discussing the Christian Bible (February 12th through March 5th). Each session will cover two chapters of the book, plus highly select readings from the Bible. You are welcome to take either the first five or last four classes, or all nine as a series.

 

Buy the book here, and use the pre-holiday sale code GIFT20 for 20% off.

 

Sign up on the Welcome Table in the Palmer room, or contact Rev. Rudra Dundzila with any questions.

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 November 30, 2013:
Actual Pledges + Collection Plate =
$79,290
Budgeted Pledges + Collection Plate =
$88,026
     Surplus or (Deficit)
$(8,736)

ActualBudgeted
Total Revenues Year-to-Date =$117,427$111,561
Total Expenses Year-to-Date =$115,331$115,862
     Total Surplus or (Deficit)$   2,096$(4,301)

In November, we raised $639.66 for the collection plate sharing recipient, Pets Are Like Family.

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 office@secondunitarian.org by noon on Thursday, December 26.