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Newsletter of 2nd Unitarian Church of Chicago
February 1, 2015
In This Issue...
Worship at 2U

Sunday, February 1
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Lauren Nelson and Gail Gallagher

Sunday, February 8
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Michael Barrette

Sunday, February 15
Service at 10:30
Preachers: Erin Rusmi, Hugh Visor and Megan Selby
Music by 2U Choir

Sunday, February 22
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Jonathan Dunmore

Children & Youth Faith Development Schedule
Child care for infants and toddlers is available every Sunday in the Green Caterpillar room.

Sunday, February 1
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

Sunday, February 8
Spirit Play
UU Explorers
Youth Group

Sunday, February 15
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

Sunday, February 22
Spirit Play
UU Explorers
Youth Group
Church Office Information & Staff

773-549-0260, ext. 13
Office Hours:
Wed-Thurs evenings, other days & times by appointment
Dir. of Faith Development
773-549-0260, ext. 12
Office Hours:
Sun 9:00-3:00
Other days & times by appointment

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

Board of Trustees

Adult Faith Dev.


Buddhist Fellowship

Building & Grounds

Committee on Ministry

Covenant of Earth & Sky

Fellowship Committee

Finance Committee

Green Sanctuary



Lifespan Faith Dev.




Night Ministry Outreach

Pastoral Care

Safe Congregations 

Senior Luncheon

Small Group Ministry

Social Justice

Sunday Services

Transylvania Church


Young Adult Group
David Dyer
Stephanie Bens
Board of Trustees 

From the Minister

Blessed Imbolc! It used to be that my favorite of the Celtic holidays was Samhain--a time for remembering the dead and celebrating the unseen. For a number of years now, I have come to cherish Imbolc, the celebration of new life and the perceptible return of longer daylight hours. That sense of renewal and promise speaks to my soul and gives me the energy to meet the future with a grin and high spirits.


One of the other ways in which UU ministers find opportunities for renewal and growth is through our practice of sabbatical. In our congregations, ministers receive a month of sabbatical for every year of service as part of their letter of call, usually with the stipulation that the sabbatical time is to be taken no sooner than after 4 years of service and with no more than 6 months of sabbatical time accrued.


I've now been with you all for over 5 years -- I know! It hardly seems possible, but it's true -- and so it is time for me to take those months. I will be on sabbatical this coming autumn from Sept 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. During that time, I will be writing my doctoral thesis, taking some art classes, travelling, and getting some rest. The sabbatical is designed as a time away, so that I can return with my spirit rested and renewed for our continued ministry together.


Since I will be away, the Board and I are looking to hire a half-time sabbatical minister for the congregation during those months. That person will preach, do pastoral care, and support the leadership of the church to keep things on an even keel until I return. Between now and September, we have some preparation to do, but I am excited -- that five months can be a wonderful time of growth all around! We'll keep you informed about what's coming next as time goes on.


And then, when I return from my sabbatical time, it will be Imbolc of 2016: a time of renewal and celebration of a new beginning for us all!


With excitement about this spring, this summer, and the coming fall as well,

Rev. Adam
Our Condolences

It is with great sadness that we annouce the passing of Erin Rusmi's grandmother. Erin thanks everyone for all the kind words and wishes. There was a mistake in the announcement made last week, and it was her grandma who passed away and not her mom. Erin really appreciates knowing she is loved during this time.

Special Gifts Campaign Exceeds Expectations!

Congratulations to all of you! The recently completed Special Gifts campaign surpassed our goal of $9,000.00. As of today, contributions total $9,911.05. Special thanks to the organizers and volunteers, and a big thanks to our generous congregation.

Imbolc Celebration

Cancelled for tonight due to inclement weather! Stay tuned for new date to be announced!

Covenant of Earth and Sky, 2U's CUUPs Chapter, welcomes all to join us for the celebration of Imbolc. In the Wheel of the Year, we are turning towards early Spring. It is the time we honor Brigid, keeper of the sacred flame and healing waters. She is the goddess of poetry, youth, inspiration and transformation. We will celebrate her in ritual with chants, narrative, blessings and our altar where we welcome in the four directions. We welcome all to bring a dish to share (savory or sweet) at our reception afterwards.

Blessed Be!

For any questions or comments, please email Shauna.
Second Sunday Social: Hugs and Quiches

Sunday, February 8, 2015 



We're planning an early Valentine-themed Sunday Social called "Hugs and Quiches." As always, we need your help to make this a success! We request A-F to bring desserts with a Valentine theme, G-L quiches, M-R drinks and S-Z condiments, salads, etc. 


You are also welcome to bring any items to pass along for everyone!


We also need volunteers for set up and clean up. If we have some aspiring artists who would like to dress the tables and hall appropriately for the holiday, that would be greatly appreciated also. A $5 donation for the Night Ministry is requested if you don't bring food, and all the more appreciated if you bring food AND donate.


Sign up at the Welcome Table, or email Nancy with questions!

Green Sanctuary Book Club Planning Meeting
Persons interested in participating in the Green Sanctuary book club are invited to gather on Thursday, February 12 at 7pm in the 2U library for a planning meeting. If interested but unable to attend, please contact Norm Groetzinger.
Update on Plate-Sharing Applications

Organizations to receive plate-sharing dollars, 50% of the plate of a designated month, are selected by the Social Justice Council (SJC). Members of 2U who are active with an organization involved in social justice or social service work may secure an application form and submit it through the church office. Applicants are provided an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the SJC, which meets after services the first Sunday of each month, for approximately 20 minutes. Applications for April-June 2015 will be due on Sunday, February 15th. SJC's March 1st meeting will provide an opportunity for face-to-face meetings with the applicants. If you are considering applying, please feel free to approach Norm Groetzinger, who is coordinating the plate-sharing program on behalf of SJC. Electronic submissions are preferred, so that we can distribute them to the entire SJC in advance of the meeting. Norm can be reached via email or by phone at 773-525-4262.

Classes From the Pastoral Care Team in 2015

The Pastoral Care Team at 2U is hosting a series of classes to provide information about approaches to planning for many aspects of the end of life. They hosted three sessions during fall 2014, and will hold several more in winter and spring 2015. Mark your calendars for these upcoming session dates:

  • Financial planning considerations: Sunday, February 22, 12:00-1:30pm in the Sanctuary. Joan Ente, geriatric care manager for CJE SeniorLife, will join us as a guest presenter. She will discuss important financial obligations to keep in mind as age and you approach end of life, in relation to health/long term care expenses, housing, funeral and burial, etc. She will help people get a sense of what it costs to "get old".
  • Legal aspects of planning for end of life: Sunday, March 22, 12:00-1:30pm in the Sanctuary. August Staas, 2U member and attorney at law, will cover considerations related to the law that you may have questions about as you age. Topics include wills, trusts, power of attorney, bequests to the church, and tissue/organ donations.
  • Death with Dignity: While not legal in Illinois, physician-aid-in-dying is an important movement in relation to end-of-life care options, so we will host two events this spring in relation to it. on Saturday, April 25, 10:00-12:00pm, we will screen the documentary How to Die in Oregon, which tells the stories of terminally ill Oregonians, their family and friends, and their doctors, as they consider utilizing physician aid in dying. The following weekend, on Sunday, May 3, 12:00-1:30pm, we will be joined for a panel discussion by two individuals who are leading the movement to legalize physician aid in dying in Illinois: Bess Schenkier of Compassion & Choices, and Ed Gogol of Hemlock of Illinois.

Please RSVP here to help us plan for each session, and a reminder email will be sent to you the week before. The series is open to everyone, regardless of age, spot in the "planning" process, or being a 2U member or not. To help cover costs of guest speakers, we request each attendee to donate a one-time amount of $10, no matter if you attend one class or all of them. You can bring cash or check (made out to Bonnie Ewald) on the day of the event.

Please contact Nanna Cross or Bonnie Ewald with any questions.

2U Night Ministry Coordinator Needed!

After serving as 2U Night Ministry Coordinator for the past three years, David Gutowsky, will now be passing the torch down to others. If you have interest in learning more about this position or are interested in being a candidate to take over, please contact David.

Lay Leaders Needed!

2U has had a long tradition of lay-led services, where we lend the pulpit to a member of our congregation for them to share something meaningful with the rest of the congregation.  Recent topics have included the poetry of Rumi, the meaning of the Green Sanctuary Committee and a patchwork service on the topic of "This I Believe..."


If you feel you have something to share with the congregation and would like to lead services one Sunday, please contact the Sunday Service Committee at

Looking for Volunteers for the Pastoral Care Team
practical care
The Pastoral Care Team at 2U provides two separate ministries: a Listening Ministry and a Practical Care Ministry. Volunteers for the Listening Ministry are partnered with a church member who is experiencing a stressful life transition.


The Practical Care Ministry provides hands-on assistance; for example: rides, meals, emergency babysitting or light housekeeping. 2U has a tradition of providing meals for new parents after the birth of a child and for members recently discharged from the hospital. Other members request rides for a doctor's appointment or clinic visit, or rides to church.


The Pastoral Care Team currently has requests for rides to and from church because of the severe weather. Contact Nanna Cross if you are able to provide rides to members, either only occasionally or on a regular basis.


If you are interested in the Listening Ministry, contact Rev. Adam Robersmith for more information.

Old Narthex Gallery

Susie Inverso's photographs will be on display through Sunday, March 29th in the Old Narthex Gallery at Second Unitarian. Gallery hours are Sundays 10am-12:30pm and by appointment.

CAIR-Chicago Fundraiser
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) is holding our annual fundraiser banquet February 7th. Anyone interested in supporting our mission to defend civil rights, fight bigotry, and promote tolerance is invited to attend, become a sponsor, or volunteer. More information can be found at or by talking to Renner Larson after the service.
UUJEC Conference

The UUJEC (UUs for a Just Economic Community) is hosting a conference February 20-22, 2015 at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, so participants can share ideas on implementing the Escalating Inequality Congregational Study/Action Issue passed at the last General Assembly, and walk the talk of creating a society with more equality of wealth and opportunity.

The conference, titled Escalating Inequality or Opportunity for All, will be held from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. Topics to be covered at the conference include wage issues, money in politics, and racial justice. The Rev. David Breeden from the Commission on Social Witness and Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies will be keynote speakers. Bertha Lewis, President of the Black Institute and co-founder of ACORN, will speak on racial justice issues.

The conference will help equip activists to return to their congregations ready to guide their members in action and reflection on the problems of income inequality. Those attending will also have the opportunity to learn what other congregations are doing to implement the CSAI, find out what UU legislative networks are doing nationwide, and provide feedback on the UUA's Escalating Inequality study guide. Attendees can also preview UUA curricula on economic justice and classism and screen films on these topics.
To register for the conference or to find out more, visit the UUJEC website.
Seth Fisher Ordination

Sunday, February 22, 2015 



Seth Fisher invites everyone to his ordination on Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 4:00pm at Peoples Church of Chicago.


Peoples Church of Chicago

941 W Lawrence Ave

Chicago, IL 60640-8319


Seth hopes to see you there!

Organizing for Change: Addressing Classism in Your Faith Community

Saturday, February 28, 2015

9:00am to 4:00pm


First Unitarian Church of Hobart

497 Main Street

Hobart, Indiana 46342

(50 minutes Southeast of Downtown Chicago)

Join First Unitarian Church of Hobart and UU Class Conversations for a workshop exploring class and classism and the role of classism in escalating inequality. Class Conversations helps UUs get real about privilege and access by building on our faith community's ongoing diversity and anti-oppression work - from race to gender to sexual orientation - and by exploring the little considered, almost taboo, subject of class.  We infuse this exploration with our history, principles, and spiritual traditions.


This interactive, full-day workshop provides an opportunity for participants to identify their own class backgrounds and then develop language, concepts, and strategies to bridge class differences. Participants examine the practices of their groups and organize toward eliminating classism and becoming more class-inclusive. The goal of the workshop is to strengthen commitment to social justice and effectiveness in making change both within UU groups and beyond.


To register or obtain additional information, contact Carl Wolf at or call 219-942-1611. Workshop fee includes lunch: $50, more if you can, less if you can't.  Please note, the registration deadline is Feb. 23.  For rides from Chicago, contact Kellie Kelly at


To learn more about UU Class Conversations, explore their web resources at or contact Rev. Dorothy Emerson at 781-483-3133 (Boston area).

Choir Corner

The 2U choir rehearses in the sanctuary on Tuesday evenings from 7:15 to 8:30.  Fend off the winter blues with the warmth of musical community and join the choir!  All voices are welcome!  Tenors and sopranos are especially welcome!  For more information, please contact our music director, Marianne Parker.

Money Matters
The weekly cost of running 2U is $5,890!

2U's annual budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 is $306,403.

For the Year to Date period July 1 to December 31, 2014:
Actual Pledges + Collection Plate =
Budgeted Pledges + Collection Plate =
     Surplus or (Deficit)
$        72

Total Revenues Year-to-Date =$169,380$162,761
Total Expenses Year-to-Date =$153,109$152,713
     Total Surplus or (Deficit)$ 16,271$ 10,048

In December, we raised $1,112.81 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 next Anvil? Plan ahead! Please have all submissions for the next newsletter submitted to Andrew Zallar, Congregational Administrator, at by noon on Wednesday, February 11th.