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Newsletter of 2nd Unitarian Church of Chicago
November 15, 2016
In This Issue...
Worship at 2U

Sunday, November 20
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music: Reece Johns

Sunday, November 27
Intergenerational Service at 10:30
Worship Leaders: Rev. Adam Robersmith and Director of Faith Development, Alicia Obando

Sunday, December 4
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Adam Robersmith
Music: Rosalind Hurwitz

Sunday, December 11
Music Sunday Service at 10:30
Worship Leaders: Rev. Adam Robersmith and Director of Music, Amanda Thomas
Children & Youth Faith Development Schedule
Child care for infants and toddlers is available every Sunday in the Green Caterpillar room.

November 20, 2016
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

November 27, 2016
Intergenerational Service

December 4, 2016
Spirit Play
UU Explorers

December 11, 2016
Intergenerational Service
Church Office Information & Staff

773-549-0260, ext. 13
Office Hours:
Wed-Thurs afternoons and evenings; Sunday afternoons
Other days & times by appointment

Director of Faith Development
773-549-0260, ext. 12

Director of Music
773-549-0260, ext. 14

Congregational Administrator
773-549-0260, ext. 10
Office Hours: 
Mon-Thurs 10:00-4:00
Other days & times by appointment
Community Minister
Community Minister
2U Ministry Leaders

Board of Trustees
Tom Denio

Adult Faith Dev.


Buddhist Fellowship

Building & Grounds

Committee on Ministries

Covenant of Earth & Sky

Fellowship Committee

Finance Committee

Green Sanctuary


Leadership Development and Nominating Committee


Lifespan Faith Dev.




Night Ministry Outreach

Pastoral Care

Safe Congregations 

Senior Potluck Lunch

Small Group Ministry

Sunday Services

Transylvania Church


Young Adult Group
David Dyer
Stephanie Bens
Board of Trustees 


From the Board Chair, Tom Denio
As disheartening as recent events have been, it is good to understand: "Sometimes the holy comes to us only in our darkest hours." (Participant at the workshop "Sustenance: the Work of Our Hands" on the spiritual foundation for us to do social justice work held Nov. 12, 2016 and sponsored by Chicago Area UU Council or "CAUUC").

Rev. Alan Taylor was one of the speakers at the workshop and one of his comments seems especially appropriate and ties in with Rev. Aaseng's recent workshop at 2U: "My power as a minister is NOT WHAT I DO. It is from the CONNECTIONS I make with other people." He went on to highlight the value in social justice work to Unity Temple of the "One-on-One" conversations program being used at a number of UU churches. 2U had a workshop attended by 25+ members on October 30 to help us re-envision our social justice work and help us identify key themes to focus on.

Volunteers Jill Althage, Kim Warman, David St. John and Erin Rusmi have agreed to lead 2U's efforts here. These conversations around who we are individually and as a congregation lead to the question: "Where are we being called at this time?" One of the points of this process is to build our social justice work around values, not the sticky details of various issues. Feel free to reach out to one of our leaders if they don't get to you first to initiate a one-on-one! What better time for us to share what values we hold deepest with our fellow members, family, friends and neighbors. Your voice matters and 2U and the wider community need to hear it. Many hands make great work!

The holidays are just around the corner and you can get in the spirit at 2U. Join in decorating the Sanctuary and Palmer Room after service on November 20, join us for Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 24th, and keep Music Sunday and our Christmas Cookie sale on December 11 in mind.

See you in Church!

Candlelight Vigil to Support National Runaway Prevention Month
Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year. During National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM), the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) joins other social service agencies around the nation on Nov. 16 to host a candlelight vigil to show solidarity with these youth in crisis and reflect on the issues faced by runaway and homeless youth. 

Where: Millennium Park at "the Bean" near Randolph and Michigan, Chicago, IL 60602

When: Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 6:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

About NRPM:

During NRPM in November, NRS and its partners raise awareness of the runaway and homeless youth crisis and the issues that these young people face, as well as educate Americans about solutions and the role they can play in preventing and ending youth homelessness. This year's theme 'Friends Helping Friends' recognizes that while family members, educators and peers can all have different 'titles,' when a young person is in a tough situation thesis people also fit the role of a 'friend.' In times good and bad, all youth need a friend who they can talk to for support, a listening ear and caring advice.

For more information, please click here.
Race: The Power of an Illusion
Please join us as we share this 3-part PBS video series that was developed with the intention to "help us all navigate through our myths and misconceptions, and scrutinize some of the assumptions we take for granted."

Episodes are stand alone, and yet build on each other, exploring biological myths about race,  the history of the development of the concept of race in the United States, and finally, the impact that the concept of race has had on the lives of Americans, particularly concerning citizenship, education, housing and the accumulation of wealth.
Providing a complex historical view of race in the United States, this series allows a fuller insight into what has brought us to the present, so that our current and future actions take the past into account.

Join us the following dates as we plan to watch and discuss the last part of this 3-part series:

Episode 3: The House We Live In
Tuesday, November 15 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
County Board Testimony by Jim Simonis
The following is testimony that I gave before the County Board on Tuesday, Oct. 25th as well as at the Oct 27th signing ceremony where President Toni Preckwinkle signed the ordinance into law:
Good afternoon. My name is Jim Simonis. I am a member of the Workers' Rights Team at ONE Northside where I represent the Second Unitarian Church. I am here to comment today on the proposed minimum wage ordinance.
I had a successful twenty-three-year career as a software developer, but then the great recession came along. I quickly found out that I was not immune to a lay off and spending over a year and a half without work. I was approaching sixty years of age and my skill set was out of date. I found that employers were not interested in me or my skill set so I ended up as a low wage worker in order to survive till retirement.
As a low wage worker, I worked two jobs-one for a large pharmacy chain and one at a large home repair chain. I was surprised to find out that many of my co-workers including my superiors needed a "link" card in order to buy groceriesand other necessities. I wasn't far from it either as my wages just about covered the cost of my health care insurance.
I remembered that when I was growing up in the sixties, food stamps were considered a temporary, emergency necessity for the unemployed and that once they returned to the work force they would no longer need them. But times have changed as many large, profitable companies no longer deem it necessary to pay their employees a living wage. They see an employee's survival as nothing for them to be concerned about. They see low wage workers as expendable, but the contribution of the low wage workers at the store level is how these large companies maintain their profit margins.
This cannot be allowed to continue. Governments at all levels must address the issue of income inequality. It is a matter of basic social justice. I want to thank my Commissioner, Bridget Gainer for signing on as a co-sponsor of the minimum wage ordinance and urge all of the Cook County Board to take a stand with workers and pass the minimum wage increase! Thank you.

Annual Decorating Party!
Sunday, November 20
12:00 PM to ?

Join us for 2U's Annual Decorating Party this Sunday, Nov. 20th after the service at noon! We'll need all hands on deck to help prepare the Sanctuary and Palmer Room for the upcoming holiday season!
2U Holiday Music Sunday
Our 2U Holiday Music Sunday is on Sunday, December 11! If you are interested in lending your musical talents to this worship service, please contact 2U Director of Music, Amanda Thomas, at
BIG News!
The BIG (Building, Infrastructure, and Grounds) Committee held its quarterly meeting on November 6. Members and guests discussed various building projects, as well as budget proposals for the church's next fiscal year (starting July 1, 2017) per the request of the 2U Finance Committee. 

Roof repairs will begin on November 9; we won't know the extent of the damage until the roofers take a closer look. At the conclusion of the roofing job, we expect to proceed with the cooling of the sanctuary, which will require the purchase of two new furnaces and compressors, along with electrical work. The next large project to which we'll attend is the repairs to, and repainting of, the building's exterior trim. We may have to do this repairing/repainting work in stages, depending on the cost. A few smaller projects on the horizon include the installation of cabinets and shelving in the narthex, repairs to the floor of the Palmer Room from damage caused by the primary election day voting machines, and the installation of sensors to detect the risk of pipes freezing. We'll have our multiple furnaces serviced soon, explore some possibilities for the redesign of the backyard landscaping, and investigate the cost of an automatic door-opener for the door that we use as our main entrance.

We also discussed the ways that we fund the substantial annual building maintenance and repair costs; ours is an old and large structure that requires regular attention. Spending on the building has averaged about $15,000 for the last four years, although we generally allocate only about half this amount, relying instead on our diminishing building fund, additional giving from members, and, increasingly, on one-time gifts and additional revenue generated by the rental of our space. The three large projects we hope to complete in the next 12 months--the roof repairs, the cooling of the sanctuary, and the repainting of the exterior trim (at least that on the front of the building)--are not inexpensive. We are fortunate that our rental income is substantial, thanks to the tireless efforts of our Congregational Administrator, Andrew Zallar, and that members have made additional donations to be applied toward building projects. We're also fortunate to have several members who care for the building through their volunteer efforts. 

If you have questions about the building or grounds work, then please contact 2U member Monica Drane. The next BIG Committee meeting will be held on Sunday, February 5 at 11:45 am. Please join us! All are welcome.

Money Matters
What is our current financial condition? 
Dana Hill, our treasurer, reports that we are continuing to have a steady stream of pledge money coming in. We are now past the first third of the church year and we are above 40% of pledge income. Our budget for this year is $303,451 or $5,836 per week!

Pledge income to date is $91,964 out of $223,320 total pledged. However, roughly 20% of our total pledging units have yet to make their 1st payment. We need everyone to keep up with their pledges!

Fundraising results from the Spooktacular event were $10,104.07 out of the goal of $10,000.00. The event was well attended and members had a fine time.

The fund-a-need raised $3,310.00 toward the air conditioning in the sanctuary.

The TV fundraiser made $975.00 out of $999.99 and the church got to keep the beautiful TV.

Space sharing remains a highlight. We are ahead of our budget to date at $13,407.50 for the year so far. 67% of our budgeted $20,000 has been met. This is due to Andrew's hard work and marketing efforts.

While income remains steady, we also had a few unexpected expenses recently including the purchase of a new office computer and an unexpected plumbing repair earlier this month.

Pledges make up over 70% of the income that allow us to operate the church. While we exceeded our fundraising goal and space sharing revenue is remaining steady, we rely on all of our members to keep up with their pledges! Thank you for your support.

Here is a summary of our current finances starting July 1 through October 31:

ActualBudgetedOver/Under Budget
+ $18,939
Collection Plate$3,935$4,900
- $965
Space Sharing$13,407.50$6,100
+ $7,307.50
Total Revenue$201,725$105,860
+ $95,865
Total Expenses$125,656$98,067
+ $27,589
Total Net Income
+ $68,276

Collection Plate Sharing
In October, we raised $563.94 towards the collection plate sharing recipient, ONE Northside.

Thank you all so much for helping to make 2U possible!
Update on Plate-Sharing Application Deadline for January-March 2017
Organizations that receive plate-sharing dollars, 50% of the plate of a designated month, are selected by a new board committee chaired by Susan Richter. 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 committee, which will be scheduling its first meeting in the near future. Applications for January-March 2017 will be DUE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND. There will be an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the committee. If you are considering applying, please feel free to approach Norm Groetzinger, who is coordinating the plate-sharing program on behalf of committee, or Susan Richter. Electronic submissions are preferred so that we can distribute them to the entire committee in advance of the meeting. Norm can be reached at  or 773-525-4262.
Questions about Medicare?
Questions about Medicare? 2U pastoral care team member Bonnie Ewald is a Senior Health Insurance Program counselor through the state of Illinois, and has offered to provide support to 2U members who may have questions about their Medicare coverage. Open enrollment for Part D (Medicare prescription drug plans) goes until December 7. Please contact Bonnie directly at or 312-533-8026 with any questions you may have.
2U Member Survey
In an effort to get to know our congregants better, and to learn what motivates you to be a part of the 2U community, the Fundraising and Marketing committee is launching a survey. This survey asks basic demographic information about you and your household members (this information will be kept private), as well as questions regarding your training, work and volunteer involvement, and the activities that are of interest to you at Second Unitarian Church.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey - it will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
If you have any questions about the content of the survey, you may reach out to Susan Zeigler at
Inner Engineering at 2U

Introducing Breeze!
Have you heard about Breeze, 2U's new online church management software for members?

This new software enables 2U members to have access to our online member directory (with pictures!), update their contact information, check their contributions online and much more!

Have you had a chance to update your profile and add your photo yet?

By now, you should have received an email inviting you to create your account login. If not, please let me know!

You can access the database here

As always, please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions about this or anything else!

Thank you!

Andrew Zallar
Congregational Administrator
Choir Corner
Interested in singing and joining the 2U Choir? The 2U Choir meets on Thursday evenings from 7:15 to 8:45 in the sanctuary under the direction of our Director of Music, Amanda Thomas! All are welcome!

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Amanda at
From Jill, the Librarian
The Library is up and running.

We have some interesting materials for your viewing pleasure. You are welcome to come in and browse when you have a meeting and when the library is open officially (without other meetings). Here is the schedule for this month: 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Sunday, November 13 and Sunday, November 27.

Attached is a list of recent books/materials and a list of titles on order. I have added a new books shelf. Come in and enjoy. Checking items out is easy and you can do it without a librarian. Find the card in the back of the book, write your name and the current date, place card in file next to the computer. 
Here's where you get to talk/email/phone me about library wishes:
1. How would you like the library to improve? What would that look like?
2. Name some books you hope that we have, but if we don't will order. 
3. Would you like to help with the library? How?
a. Cataloging new books/materials        
b. Being a member of the Library Committee
c. Helping with policies.
d. New ideas.
e. Checking materials out and telling the world you love libraries.
Do you love to shop? Do you love to support 2U? Well, now you can do both through AmazonSmile! 2U is now a supported charity on AmazonSmile. Click here to sign up and to learn more!
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 23.

Please have all submissions for the Orders of Service submitted by noon on the Wednesday prior to the Sunday you'd like the announcement to appear. All announcements are subject to change at the discretion of the Congregational Administrator. Space is limited!

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

Phone: (773) 549-0260
Office Hours: Monday through Thursday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM