Anvil header

Newsletter of 2nd Unitarian Church of Chicago
November 15, 2015
In This Issue...
Worship at 2U

Sunday, November 15
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Myra Epping
Music: 2U Choir

Sunday, November 22
Ingathering Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher
Music: Audrey Shadle and Marianne Parker

Sunday, November 29
Intergenerational Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher
Music: Reece Johns

Sunday, December 6
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher
Music: Jim Simonis

Sunday, December 13
Music Sunday
Intergenerational Service at 10:30
Worship Leaders: Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher and Marianne Parker
Children & Youth Faith Development Schedule
Child care for infants and toddlers is available every Sunday in the Green Caterpillar room.

Sunday, November 15
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

Sunday, November 22
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

Sunday, November 29
Intergenerational service: no classes
Sunday, December 6
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

Sunday, December 13
Music Sunday
Intergenerational service:
no classes
Church Office Information & Staff

 Sabbatical Minister
773-549-0260, ext. 15
Office Hours:
Wednesday afternoons and evenings; Sunday afternoons
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
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

Nominating Committee

Pastoral Care

Safe Congregations 

Senior Potluck Lunch

Small Group Ministry

Social Justice

Sunday Services

Transylvania Church


Young Adult Group
David Dyer
Stephanie Bens
Board of Trustees 


From the Board Chair, Susan Zeigler
As I write this article I am sitting outside enjoying a lovely crisp, fall day, and reflecting on all the ways I have been blessed to get to know this community better since my term as board chair began in July. Someone said to me recently, "You go to a lot of meetings, don't you?" Well, yes, that is true - some of them are required for what I do, but I attend others because it is an extremely useful window into the inner-workings of the church. This is how I discover how all the pieces fit together, and when there are some pieces missing.
I want to take this time to appeal to the congregation to reach out in support of the Building and Grounds (BIG) committee. The BIG committee is responsible for ensuring that we have a comfortable and safe space to worship, provide religious education, conduct small groups, have fellowship (don't forget the Evergreen Festival on Saturday, December 5th from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm - for tickets click here), and a myriad of other things that we do that define us as the vibrant 2U community.
What, do you ask, does the BIG committee need? BIG needs a new chair - thank you so much to Tyler Duston for his service in this role, but he has recently stepped down from this role. The chair of the committee is responsible for coordinating the work of the committee and conducting activities like walk-throughs of the building and grounds to assess maintenance needs and managing the BIG budget to ensure that the funds are being utilized in the most cost-effective and prudent ways. In addition, the BIG committee is in need of individuals who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do light maintenance and grounds keeping - the same types of things that you do at your house if you are a homeowner - this is OUR house - let's work together to maintain it!
If you are interested in either chairing or otherwise participating in the work of the BIG committee, please contact Monica Drane at 312-550-3412.
See you in church!
Susan Zeigler
2U's Evergreen Festival
2U's Evergreen Festival
Saturday, December 5, 2015
6:00 PM

Please plan to join the 2U community for its premiere Evergreen Festival on Saturday, December 5th from 6pm to 9:30pm. Bring your family! Bring your friends! All are welcome at this one-of-a-kind event.

The Evergreen Festival will be the talk of the town, and you'll want to say that you were there.

Walk through a winter wonderland where you can mingle, nosh, dance, and bid on fabulous silent auction items including:
  • A Kentucky Derby party with mint juleps and big hats at Laura McKee and Tom Denio's Place
  • Pizza and a trip for five 2U kids to the infamous "Nickel City" arcade with Board Chair Susan Zeigler (and her son Joey)
  • Tickets for Blue Man Group
  • Restaurant Gift Certificates
  • And much more!!
You won't want to miss this - see you on December 5th! To order tickets, please click here!
Contribute to the Evergreen Fest Auction!
We are still looking for contributions for the Evergreen Fest Auction! At the Evergreen Fest we'll auction off not only items (art, gift certificates, tickets, etc.) but also events (parties, outings, dinners, etc.). Members and friends offer to host events and others bid on the chance to attend with the money going to the church's operating budget. Hosting an event is great way to support Second Unitarian and to get more involved in the community. You can submit your items here [] and your events here []. The auction will take place on December 5.

If you need ideas for events here are some suggestions:
- Host a dinner party
- Help with light cleaning or organizing
- Host a Super Bowl party
- Host a movie night

If you have questions please contact Laura McKee or Molly Rossow.
Welcome Our New Sexton, Roger Esparza

We're proud to announce our new Sexton, Roger Esparza. Roger is very excited to join the team at 2U!

Roger grew up in East Lakeview and is very friendly and loves to meet new people! With over 20 years in general cleaning and maintenance, Roger is looking forward to lending his expertise to help make 2U a more clean, safe and friendly place!

Please help welcome Roger to 2U!
2015 Holiday Service Call for Performers
Greetings all!

I hope you're each enjoying your September...nay,, it's already NOVEMBER! How did that happen? 

In respect for the ephemeral nature of time, it's time to start planning for 2U's annual holiday all-music service! We need performers! 

This year's service will take place on December 13th. In addition to choir performances, the service will feature a number of small group performances, open to any member of the congregation. This service is in celebration of a variety of holidays being celebrated during the month of December: Hanukkah, Christmas, Yuletide, Kwanzaa - or even Diwali (since it technically occurs within a month of the service). 

If you have performance ideas, now is the time to get in touch with the music committee and me! I would like to have the program planned two weeks in advance, so that gives you a few weeks to brainstorm. Please send your performance ideas to me by the first of December. Looking forward to a vibrant and diverse service this year!

Small Group Ministry News
Dear congregants,

2U is running one Small Group Ministry this fall. It meets the 3rd Sunday of each month, 12-2 pm at 2U. That's right after worship.The group started in October, but is accepting members in time for this Sunday's (11/15) meeting.

The group meets for fellowship, chalice lighting, check in, a brief reading, discussion about the reading, more fellowship, selection of next month's topic, and check out. There is no homework. Hugh Visor is the facilitator, and we are looking for a second facilitator to help share the responsibility. The group will rotate discussion leadership among the members, starting in a month or two. By then, everyone will be familiar with the group process. The group will run until May, but can choose to continue through the summer.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet each other and delve more deeply into Unitarian Universalist faith issues.

I hope you will be able to join the group. If you can join, please e-mail me and Hugh.

In faith and fellowship,
Rev. Rudra Dundzila
Annual Decorating Party!
Sunday, November 22, 2015
12:00 PM - ? did the upcoming holiday season sneak up on us!? You know what that means... it's time for 2U's annual holiday decorating party!

Come join us next Sunday, November 22 after coffee hour as we need all hands on deck to help prepare the sanctuary and Palmer Room for the upcoming holiday season (and not to mention our upcoming Evergreen Festival on Saturday, December 5! - order tickets here)! So please come join the fun with the staff after you grab a snack from coffee hour and let us all deck out the halls in style this year!
Thanksgiving Pot-Luck Dinner
Thanksgiving Pot-Luck Dinner
Thursday, November 26, 2015
12:30 PM

2U will be hosting a Thanksgiving pot-luck dinner on Thursday, November 26, 12:30 p.m. The bird will be provided; those who wish to attend should plan to bring their favorite dish to share.

Sign up on the Welcome Table to let us know you're coming, what dish you'll bring, and to volunteer to help out.

Please email  Jim Redlich and Myra Epping at with any questions or call them at (773) 338-4086.
BIG News
Thanks go to outgoing BIG Committee chair Tyler Duston for his leadership and the countless hours he spent tending to the building! The board of trustees is looking for someone to assume the role of BIG chair--and for any others interested in joining the committee. The BIG Committee performs a critical role in maintaining the health of the congregation, managing repairs and maintenance projects both inside and out, large and small. Members of the committee work to provide a welcoming and functional space that reflects our values and serves the needs of members, staff, visitors, guests, and renters alike. Please consider joining the committee or renewing your engagement with the group if it's been awhile since you participated. If interested, please contact Susan Zeigler or Monica Drane.
Those at the November 1 BIG Committee meeting discussed the work needing to be done and associated costs. Annual expenses will likely surpass the budgeted amount for the year due to: the underfunding of some critical services in other budget lines, such as pest control and snow removal; recently identified repairs to the heating, electrical, and plumbing systems; and the need to address pressing problems related to the grounds. Large-scale projects will require additional funds not provided in the annual budget nor available through the Building Reserve Fund. The table below lists those larger projects that we have managed to complete in the past four years at a cost of about $75,000 and anticipated projects that will likely cost at least $125,000 over 6 years.
To do (proposed)
Women's bathroom renovation, spring 2015 ($4,500)
Tree care ($2,000) - December 2015 
Refinish front doors, spring 2015 ($2,000)
Landscape redesign + planting/hardscaping ($12,000?) - 2016
Back porch/stairs rebuilt, summer 2014 ($3,200)
Paint exterior trim and fences ($11,000?) - 2017
Lighting retrofit, 2014 ($1,700)
Sanctuary floor replacement and chancel redesign ($40,000?) - 2017... plus repainting, new sound system, a/c?
Painting of stairwell to the loft + new carpeting on the stairwell
to the loft, fall 2013 ($3,000)
Loft repairs, floors + windows ($16,000?) - 2018
Repair of sanctuary stained-glass windows, 2013 ($17,000)
"Old basement" repairs ($15,000?) - 2019
Complete kitchen renovation, 2012 ($43,500)
System repairs/replacement: furnaces, a/c, plumbing ($30,000?) - 2020 + 2021
Total: $74,900 in 4 years
$126,000? in 6 years
The members of the committee are making good progress in developing a plan for the redesign of the grounds at church, thanks in particular to one member's efforts. This follows a recent push to clean up the grounds: many thanks to those who came out over the course of several days to weed, prune, climb ladders, and haul. The grounds, especially the front and side yards, look much better! Thanks, too, to those members who have helped with a few building matters in recent weeks, including the replacement of a door on the storage room for 2U's Night Ministry outreach and the discovery of a cracked water pipe.
There is one discrete BIG job that needs immediate attention: to conduct a walk-through of the building to identify and put in priority order those small projects that should be tackled. Please contact Andrew in the office if you'd like to help with this.
Please join us for our next BIG meeting on January 24, 2016 after the service!
Thank You Spot!
One 2U member writes:

"Thank you to Emmy Lou who agreed to come to our church as Sabbatical Minister and brings such warmth and inspiration. She inspired me today to pick up the Guest At Your Table box this year, which I neglected last year. She also inspired me to wear my nametag--others have tried. Now I just have to remember to take it off before leaving. Today I wandered around my rummage store announcing my name via the tag to one and all."

Other thank you's that have arrived at the Spot:
  • Thank you to that mighty band of Unitarians who, a hundred years ago, had the courage and foresight and hope to erect our building, so that 2U has a home today.
  • Thank you to the person who changes the light bulbs, bringing light to dark corners. (There are many paths to enlightenment but it's a treat to have one that is well-lit.)
This space is for the many many things around 2U that we'd like to thank someone for, but we don't know who. Or we know who to thank and this spot is a good place to do it. Have an anonymous thank you you'd like to share? Please email it to
From Social Justice
Please click here to view the latest report from Social Justice!
Legislative Initiative
Dear congregants,

You might have noticed that the Chicago Public Schools and the City Colleges of Chicago have been in the news of late. The stories have not been complementary, dealing with fiscal mismanagement and problems of graduation rates, among other problems. The Better Government Association has  called into question the oversight of these city agencies. Chicago is the only municipality in Illinois that does not have elected CPS and CCC boards: the mayor personally appoints all members of each board. His appointments do not require City Council approval. Given American democracy and the Unitarian Universalist covenant for a free and democratic process, such unregulated appointments are a problem.

During the last general election, a non-binding referendum was held to replace the appointed boards in Chicago with elected ones. Chicago residents overwhelmingly supported electing CPS and CCC boards. Two house bills, HB 4312 and HB 5727, are currently working their way through the legislature to reform the composition of the boards. November has been designated as lobbying month to contact your legislators about these bills.

For more information, please see the following two web sites:

We have a number of educators who work for either CPS or CCC. Please talk to your fellow congregants to find out what is going on. Please contact your state representative, state senator, and governor to support the legislation. Write them, call them, or visit them.

In faith and fellowship,
Rev. Rudra Dundzila
Community Minister
Update on Plate-Sharing Application Deadline
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/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 January-March, 2016 will be DUE ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd! SJC's December 6th 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 at Groetzinger.N@Comcast.Net
or 773-525-4262.
Choir Corner
The 2U choir rehearses in the sanctuary on Tuesday evenings from 7:15 to 8:30.
All voices are welcome! Tenors and sopranos are especially welcome!
For more information, contact Music Director Marianne Parker at
Money Matters
The weekly cost of running 2U is $6,321!

2U's annual budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 is $328,672.

For the Year to Date period July 1 to October 31, 2015:
Actual Pledges + Collection Plate =
Budgeted Pledges + Collection Plate =
     Surplus or (Deficit)

Total Revenues Year-to-Date =$129,381*
Total Expenses Year-to-Date =$107,108*
     Total Surplus or (Deficit)$22,273

In October, we raised $477.18 towards the collection plate sharing recipient, Latino Union.

*Includes $20,000 transfer from Fleishman Fund to Operating Account and $3,000 transfer back to Fleishman Fund. $17,000 of the $20,000 was reserved to compensate our Sabbatical Minster, Rev. Emmy Lou.

Thank you so much for helping to make 2U possible!
Stay Connected
Did you know that the UUA and MidAmerica Region UUA have their own respective newsletters?

Click here for more information about the UUA and click here to sign up for their newsletter, UU World.

Click here for more information about the MidAmerica Region UUA and click here to sign up for their newsletter.
Submission Deadlines
Have a message to put in the next Anvil or Orders of Service? Plan ahead! 

Please have all submissions for the next newsletter submitted by noon on Wednesday, November 25.

Please have all submissions for the Orders of Service submitted by noon on Wednesday prior to the Sunday you'd like the announcement to appear.

Second Unitarian Church of Chicago
656 West Barry Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657

Phone: (773) 549-0260