Anvil header

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

Sunday, March 1st
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Paper Crane Rain

Sunday, March 8th
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by Jonathan Dunmore

Sunday, March 15th
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music by 2U Choir

Sunday, March  22nd
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Darrick Jackson
Music by Lauren Nelson
Children & Youth Faith Development Schedule
Child care for infants and toddlers is available every Sunday in the Green Caterpillar room.

Sunday, March 1st
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

Sunday, March 8th
Spirit Play
UU Explorers
Youth Group

Sunday, March 15th
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

Sunday, March 22nd
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

Each year around this time I start to feel a growing sense of excitement and hope, with just a little nervousness mixed in -- not because Spring will be coming to us, though I am certain it will -- but because we're entering our Canvass! Canvass, also known as the Stewardship Campaign, is the time each year when we decide how we will support the congregation in the coming year. We ask our members to make financial pledges of support for the next year so that we know what sort of budget we can build and what we can plan to do to strengthen our building, our programs, our staff, and the experience of being a member of this congregation. Over the coming months, you'll see information from the Canvass Team, the Finance Committee, and the Board about our hopes, our needs, and the budget we're building together. The first message is below in this Anvil!


I'm also looking forward to teaching a two-day class here at 2U from 12-5pm on Saturdays April 25 and May 2 entitled "Who Are Our Neighbors?" If you have an interest in how to grow more comfortable being in relationships with people who are different from you...or you'd like to explore why our nation and communities struggle with racism, classism, homophobia, sexism, and ableism...or you'd like to learn how to be a better friend, ally, and neighbor, please join me for this class! We'll examine how we grow in our ability to speak to one another across our differences and think about how we can each develop greater skills. I have found this work transformative and enlightening, and I hope you will, too. You can sign up for the class by emailing me or using the sign-up sheet on the Welcome Table. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask!



Rev. Adam

Why Pledge?
A call faces each of us this time of year: it's 2U Canvass time.  Incidentally it is also tax preparation time, and matters financial are a common consideration, both for ourselves and for our community. The Board of Trustees maps out where our financial situation governs what we can do as a community, and where we might stretch to make it better. For now, though, we're speaking on the more basic decision level of "Do I, or don't I?" - pledge support to 2U that is.  If you're reading this, I'd suggest to you that you are at least interested in what happens at Second Unitarian, and maybe you are fully engaged to the limits of your time and skills or somewhere in between.

If you are like most of us, there are natural cycles that govern your involvement with this church - times that you may be less visible, and maybe even remote in some sense, balanced by times that you engage more fully when your heart resonates more strongly with an action or event, or you simply see a need. One of the most magnificent aspects of our community is how there is room within the collective efforts that absorbs our physical ebbs and flows.

When I am less physically engaged, I feel safe feeling that when I am ready there will be ample opportunity for me to jump back in and contribute in those present ways - that the flow of our efforts to make this world a bit less hellish and a little more heavenly continues without me. What if I couldn't feel safe in that knowledge? If I came back and, for example, learned that someone new took over coordinating cooking for the Night Ministry, but that the money to purchase food had to be cut, and all the volunteers dissipated so that ministry was lost to all of us.

The point is, whatever enjoyment or enrichment you draw from 2U, the only way for you to know that it will be here for you when you are ready for it is by keeping your individual financial lifeline intact to keep the church moving. So I hope that it is plain to see that as we grow more talents, we live better by bringing those to our communal efforts. Likewise as we have more or less time to exercise those talents we must support the momentum by pledging our financial support - to keep the "there there"  for when we can best add our shoulders, hands and ideas, so there is a source that calls for our action. That source is like life: simultaneously balanced between amazingly robust and surprisingly fragile.  Choosing to pledge, and pledging with generosity puts your thumb on the robust side of the scales and helps make the room for each of our ebbs and flows.


~The Canvass Team

The Heroine's Journey
A Women's Book Discussion Group is a place for women to connect, ponder and share about life's great questions. What does it mean to be a heroine? And what does it mean to be a modern-day heroine in 2015? As a woman, I feel that these questions are especially important. Many examples of what it means to be a hero, to set foot on a journey, are given from a masculine point of view. But there are infinite possibilities for what may constitute the quest for a soulful, meaningful life.

I have been excited to be a member of Second Unitarian Church for the past six months. I am a writer, poet, songwriter and musician. I have studied myths, stories, fables and legends from a Jungian perspective and participated as member of a Jungian discussion group for the past five years. I love to read and share about great books and stories with others. I find great books to be inspiring and empowering as they take the reader on an adventure.  


The Heroine's Journey will meet every other Sunday at 12:00 pm. for three months as we read through Carol S. Pearson's The Hero Within. If you are interested in joining me in this adventure, come to an informational meeting TODAY, Sunday, March 1st at 12:00 pm in the youth group room to see if this group is a fit for you! RSVP to

Lauren Nelson

2U Social Justice Praxis Group
The New Jim Crow & Queer Injustice
Thursdays, 6:15 - 8:45p
Mar. 19, Apr. 2, Apr. 16, Apr. 30, May 14, May 28, June 11

2U's Prison and Restorative Justice Action Team invites you to participate in a 7-session Book Club & Praxis Group. Praxis is the cycle of study, action, and reflection. Participants will focus on one of two books: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States. Each session, we'll meet with others reading our book to discuss lessons from a particular section, then meet as a big group to take action in support of local organizing against the criminal punishment system and towards alternatives.


We know not everyone is able to make a regular bi-weekly commitment. It is NOT necessary to attend every session, though it is recommended. There will be several actions that occur outside of our regular Thursday sessions. We encourage people to attend when they are able.


We'll meet in the Palmer Room every two Thursdays, 6:15p starting March 19th. We ask you RSVP to or sign up in the Palmer Room after service. Since we'll meet during "dinner time" we hope to have food available. When you sign-up please indicate if you are able to bring a dish to share for one of the sessions.

Ostara/Spring Equinox
Saturday, March 21st at 7:00 PM
All are welcome to join Covenant of Earth and Sky, 2U's CUUPS Chapter, for Ostara/Spring Equinox. Saturday, March 21st at 7pm.

At this time of year, Light and Dark are of equal length. The Goddess Eoster is honored with her sacred animal the Hare. The Green Man is also celebrated at this cross-quarter. Eggs are a sacred symbol at this time of year indicating growth and renewal. We will be decorating naturally dyed eggs with ancient pagan symbols. Please bring a sweet or savory dish to share with all. Blessed Be!

If you have any questions or comments,
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. Thank you to those of you who have attended some of our session so far this year! Mark your calendars for these upcoming session dates:

  • 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, 10:00am-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.

Grief Support Groups for Members and Friends of 2U
Rev. Elizabeth Harding, a member of 2U who works as a Grief Support Counselor with Midwest Hospice and Palliative Care facilitates grief support groups for those who have recently experienced the loss of family members or close friends.  

Elizabeth is willing to do a grief 
support group at 2U but would like at least 8 participants to do the group. Please contact Nanna Cross ( if you are interested in participating in a grief support group at 2U. This group wouldn't meet until late spring/early summer. 
Elizabeth will be facilitating a group at the Bodhi Center in April, which is on Diversey and Magnolia Wednesday evenings, 7 to 8:30 PM. There is no set date for that group yet. Members and friends of 2U are welcome to join, but Elizabeth requests contacting her at work to register (847-730-1209;
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. We and The Night Ministry organization, and especially the hungry and homeless youth who gather south of Halsted and Belmont to receive the food we prepare on the first Tuesdays of the month, are all extremely grateful to him for his leadership. If you are interested in being a candidate for one of the coordinator positions, please contact Katie Wolf, 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.

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

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.

The BYC Garners Unanimous Support from Lakeview Community Group
On Monday, February 9, the South East Lake View Neighbors (SELVN) voted 19-0 in favor of supporting the Broadway Youth Center (BYC) in an upcoming Special Use Permit renewal hearing with the Zoning Board of Appeal.

This zoning hearing, which happens next month, will help the BYC continue serving youth at Wellington United Church of Christ at 615 W. Wellington Ave. And having the community support the health and lives of our youth is incredibly important to Health Brown Health Center.

Both Imani Rupert, the Director of the BYC, and Michelle Wetzel, HBHC's Senior VP of Policy, Strategy, & Business Development, attended the vote to voice once again the importance of maintaining BYC's current location. And both were ecstatic when the vote was handed down.

"Having this support has been the highlight of my week. Nearly 600 youth access drop-in services each year, and it's really important that we are able to deliver these life saving services without interruption," said Rupert.

While this vote is an exciting step forward, it's also symbolic given that last year SELVN voted against the BYC, voicing concerns about safety issues that housing a program like ours could bring to the neighborhood.

"This vote really came out of a culmination of a year's worth of a hard work of building relationships and open communication with the community. But also showing them that the BYC has a highly trained and highly responsive staff who can handle certain incidents appropriately and immediately so that they didn't become a problem for the community," Wetzel said.

She added, "Now that we have support from SELVN and Alderman Tom Tunney, we feel really good about the upcoming hearing and the future of the BYC."

Interested in showing your support for BYC at the Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing? Please join them on Friday, March 20, 2015 at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., in City Council chambers, time TBD. 

Choir Corner

Join the choir!

The 2U choir rehearses in the sanctuary on Tuesday evenings from 7:15 to 8:30. All voices are welcome! Sopranos and Tenors 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, 2014 to January 31, 2015:
Actual Pledges + Collection Plate =
Budgeted Pledges + Collection Plate =
     Surplus or (Deficit)

Total Revenues Year-to-Date =$205,281$191,873
Total Expenses Year-to-Date =$179,958$180,813
     Total Surplus or (Deficit)$25,323$11,060

In January, we raised $701.25 for the collection plate sharing recipient, the Unitarian Universalist Military Ministry Great Lakes.

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, March 11th.