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Newsletter of 2nd Unitarian Church of Chicago
January 15, 2014
In This Issue
Worship at 2U
 
Wednesday, January 15
Vespers Service at 6:30pm

Sunday, January 19
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Michael McElvain, Rosalind Hurwitz & Katie Johnson

Wednesday, January 22
Vespers Service at 6:30pm

Sunday, January 26
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Marianne Parker

Wednesday, January 29
Vespers Service at 6:30pm

Sunday, February 2
Service at 10:30
Guest Preacher: Rev. Jim Hobart
Music by the 2U Choir

Wednesday, February 5
Vespers Service at 6:30

Sunday, February 9
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Darrick Jackson & Michael McElvain
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Children & Youth Faith Development Schedule
 
Child care for infants and toddlers is available every Sunday in the Green Caterpillar room.

Sunday, January 19
Spirit Play
Roots & Shoots

Sunday, January 26
Spirit Play
UU Explorers
Youth Group

Sunday, February 2
Spirit Play
UU Explorers
Coming of Age at First Unitarian at 1pm

Sunday, February 9
Spirit Play
UU Explorers
Youth Group
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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 
 









                                  
From the Minister

I have returned from vacation to discover that, although you experienced the coldest weather Chicago has seen for many years, it hasn't stopped things from happening at 2U! I'm thrilled to see the new website up and running. I hope you will all find it increasingly helpful and informative. We look forward to hearing your feedback, both compliments and suggestions.

 

As you read our Board Chair's note, you'll see that the board has committed to beginning a process of discussion about how we will accommodate the growth in numbers that we have been so fortunate to have over the past few years. I have heard directly from some of you about your ideas, including buy a new building, build a balcony, go to two Sunday services, try to fit more chairs into the sanctuary. Some of you hold very strong opinions about what possibilities must or must not happen. Others are wanting to wait to form a clear opinion until there's been further discussion.

 

What I have been wanting for this congregation since I arrived is for it to be a congregation that can collaboratively -- in conversation with one another, the leadership, and the minister -- create healthy and faithful paths forward, whether we all agree or not at the start of the discussion. My vision for this congregation is one of deep participation and ongoing growth in our covenant. It is a vision of a way of being a covenanted religious community, rather than a vision of numbers or buildings or becoming something other than what 2U is at its best. Reaching this goal doesn't demand any particular end result, but instead requires us to be willing to explore, learn, and decide together.

 

So, for right now, I would ask that as we talk about how we will manage the blessing of our ongoing growth, we focus not on our fears, but on our hopes and aspirations. I also ask that we focus not on logistics, but on our principles and dreams. What does our covenant ask of us? What does our community call us to become? The logistics and practicalities are questions of management -- and there will be plenty of time to consider those important questions. Let us start, instead, with the questions about what we have to share with those who come through our doors, how best we can share what we cherish about our faith, and what that requires of us.

 

May this be a truly happy and enlightening new year for us all!

 

Faithfully,

Rev. Adam

From the Board Chair

A month ago, Adam delivered another sermon in his series on 2U's covenant. The members of the board of trustees have made it a practice this year to speak the words of our covenant at the beginning of each board meeting as a reminder of the work that we do together on behalf of the congregation. Adam preached most recently about the phrase, "We will be generous with our gifts and honest in our communication." It was a timely phrase to explore during the holiday season and an equally timely phrase given this month's news from the board.

  

"Generous with our gifts..." We are fortunate to have a congregation filled with talented and resourceful people who are willing and able to share their gifts with 2U. Most notably, we have members Tom K. and Christy G. to thank for their redesign of the 2U website. Jen and Adam were also instrumental in making it happen. If you haven't visited the "new" site, please do so: it's much easier to navigate than the old version and has a clean and open look.

 

I would also like to thank the many of you who contributed to this year's Special Gifts Campaign. We raised $6,325 from the donations of 46 members and friends. The money raised by this campaign enables us to continue the vital work of the church. Thanks to Karen F. and Courtney A. for their help with the campaign, and to Jen for her capable support of the effort.

 

Finally, I'd like to extend a thank-you to Tom D. and the other members of the 2U Finance Committee for their recent analysis of our budget at the halfway mark of the year. Full speed ahead, 2U!

 

"Honest in our communication..." The 2U board of trustees made an important decision at its January 8 meeting: to begin, in earnest, the congregational conversation about what we would like to do about having a very full sanctuary on Sunday morning. This conversation about congregational growth, which will be structured in a formal way by members of a working group (the details of which will be forthcoming), will require honesty. Our decisions will be made with the greatest care, in a transparent process, after plenty of deliberation, and to the best of our ability.

 

In other news from the board: The board's Executive Committee will meet in closed session on January 26 to discuss routine personnel matters. There may be some action related to these at the board's February 12 meeting. The Committee on Ministries' ministerial review should be completed by the end of the month and the board looks forward to taking any necessary action, beginning in February. The board thanked Jen for taking extra care to manage the building and grounds during the recent period of bad weather.

Please feel free to join us at the next meeting of the 2U board of trustees on Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. The agenda should be available on the 2U website a few days before the meeting. Also, there will be a board chat immediately following the service on Sunday, February 15. Contact board chair Monica Drane if you have any questions or ideas.

 

Sincerely,

Monica Drane
Sandwich Me In Gives Back to 2U on January 19

 

 

Located right around the corner from 2U at 3037 N. Clark Street, Sandwich Me In provides delicious, simple, locally-sourced and expertly prepared meals. Owner Justin Vrany makes sustainability a priority; from using renewable electrical energy to recycling or composting all the restaurant's waste, Sandwich Me In is a business model that is right in line with our Seventh Principle.

 

Once a month, Sandwich Me In reaches out to the community and dedicates 10% of one day's sales to a local school, charity, or non-for profit program; on Sunday, January 19th, Second Unitarian will be the lucky recipient of this generosity. Support this great local business, enjoy some truly delicious food, and give back to 2U, all at once!

Winter Orientation

Calling all visitors-- who want to become members!

 

The 2U winter orientation will be held Sunday, January 19; Sunday, January 26; and Sunday, February 2, following services. Sessions are scheduled to begin at noon in Fleishman Hall and will end at 2pm or before.

 

If you are interested in attending, please contact church office administrator Jen DustonChild care will be available for those who request it in advance.

 

While attending any one of these three orientations will meet the by-law requirements for membership, attending all three will provide a greater breadth and depth of understanding for the theological roots of our community, ways to engage with the 2U community, how 2U is organized, and what membership really means.

 

Please contact Judy Corbeille, chair of the Membership Committee, with any questions.

Choir Corner

sheet music Start the new year with singing! Join the choir! The 2U choir rehearses in the sanctuary on Tuesday evenings from 7:15 to 8:30. All voices are welcome! For more information, talk to music director Marianne Parker, or just come to a rehearsal, and get a warm greeting on a cold night.

Guest Preacher in February: Rev. James A. Hobart

Sunday, February 2, 2014

10:30am

"The Religious Imagination"

 

The religious imagination is not about the imaginary. It is not "let's pretend." The religious imagination concerns our values and our vision for our individual lives and our shared life. What is central and crucial for living well?

 

James A. Hobart and his wife, Nan Hobart, live in Hyde Park. Since 2001, he has served interim ministry positions in and near Chicago. From 1983 until 2001, Mr. Hobart was minister of Denver's First Unitarian Society, the final ten as co-minister with Nan.

 

A graduate of Antioch College and Meadville Lombard Theological School, in 1964 Jim was both accepted into Ministerial Fellowship with the UUA and ordained to the ministry by the Birmingham UU Church. Now in his 50th year of ministry, James Hobart has served congregations and ministries in Massachusetts, Cleveland, the Chicago area, Pittsburgh, and Denver. He has served in numerous UUA positions, and in community service and social change organizations. He is a Civil Rights veteran.

 

The Hobarts have a blended family of five children, and are grandparents to Ezequiel, 9, and Lucille, 4. In May 2014, they anticipate the arrival of two more granddaughters. 

COVES Book Group
The Covenant of Earth and Sky (COVES) invites all to join us in a book group in the new year, starting in February, 2014. We will be reading Paganism, by Joyce and River Higginbotham. 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. Shauna Womeldorff and Janice Stashwick will lead the group discussion.
 
A sign up sheet is 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, from February 6 through May 1, 2014. You will need to bring a copy of the book with you, as well as a journal to write in. Please contact Shauna 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 December 31, 2013:
Actual Pledges + Collection Plate =
$106,363
Budgeted Pledges + Collection Plate =
$105,966
     Surplus or (Deficit)
$      397

ActualBudgeted
Total Revenues Year-to-Date =$154,145$134,637
Total Expenses Year-to-Date =$139,102$137,705
     Total Surplus or (Deficit)$  15,043$ (3,068)

In December, we raised $1,197.51 for the collection plate sharing recipient, the Minister's Discretionary Fund.

Thank you so much for helping to make 2U possible!
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 Wednesday, January 29.