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Newsletter of 2nd Unitarian Church of Chicago
August 15, 2017
In This Issue...
Worship at 2U

Sunday, August 20
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Jennie Barrington
Sermon: Reflections on Neighborhood
Music: Reece Johns

Sunday, August 27
Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Jennie Barrington
Sermon: Engaging with the Wider Community
Music: Kimberly Bares and MarySue Barrett
Accompanist: Carl Kennedy

Sunday, September 3
Intergenerational Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Jennie Barrington
Sermon: The Dignity of Work
Music: Jim Simonis
Accompanist: Carl Kennedy

Sunday, September 10
Homecoming Service at 10:30
Preacher: Rev. Jennie Barrington
Sermon: Water as a Source of Healing and Community
Music: 2U Choir
Director of Music: Amanda Thomas
Accompanist: Carl Kennedy
__________________ ___
Children & Youth Faith Development Schedule
Child care for infants and toddlers is available every Sunday in the Green Caterpillar room.

Sunday, August 20
Summer Classes

Sunday, August 27
Summer Classes

Sunday, September 3
Intergenerational Service

Sunday, September 10
Intergenerational Homecoming Service

Fall Classes will begin Sunday, September 17
Recent 2U Plate-Sharing Recipients

Church Office Information & Staff

Interim Minister
773-549-0260, ext. 13
Office Hours: 
B y 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


Buddhist Fellowship

Building & Grounds

Covenant of Earth & Sky

Fellowship Committee

Finance Committee

Green Sanctuary


Leadership Development and Nominating Committee


Lifespan Faith Dev.




Night Ministry Outreach

Safe Congregations 

Senior Potluck Lunch

Social Justice

Sunday Services

Transylvania Church


Young Adult Group
Board of Trustees 

From the Board Chair, Dan Lewis
Transitions: Saying Hello

One of my favorite movies is "Arrival", a science fiction tale featuring linguist Louise Banks who is enlisted by the U.S. Army to help translate communications from one of several extraterrestrial spacecraft that have appeared across the world. The task is impossible. The aliens are fifteen feet tall, have seven legs or tentacles, and no discernable faces or language. They float behind a glass divider in a cloudy atmosphere poisonous to humans. Meeting after meeting passes without comprehension, without progress, with diminishing hope. There is simply no shared frame of reference.

In one of my favorite scenes Louise disobeys all protocols. She sheds the protection of her all-enveloping environmental suit, walks up to the transparent divider, and lays her hand on the glass. After a moment one of the aliens floats forward, slaps an enormous tentacle on the glass opposite Louise's hand, and lets it rest there.

"Now that's a proper hello," whispers Louise.

The journey of understanding has begun.

What does it mean to say hello?  It's such a familiar word, we take it for granted. It's a social tick mark and hardly registers in our consciousness. Yet, in English, the word hello is not simply an interjection used to express a greeting. It can also be an exclamation of surprise, wonder, elation. "Hello! What's this?!"  In other words, a genuine hello can be an undefended opening to the unknown and unexpected. An encounter based not in wariness but in welcome.

Have you made your "proper hello" to Reverend Jennie yet?

I guarantee she is no space alien! But she is different from what we've come to expect in our minister. She is unfamiliar. With her own ways of being with a congregation. New ideas. Different perspectives. Foreign ways of speaking. Let's welcome Rev. Jennie by making room for her newness and unfamiliarity. Surprise, wonder, and elation await us.

The next two years of Jennie's interim ministry with us will be an exciting time. A time of self-examination. A time of trying new things. A time of rediscovering who we most truly are -- and who we desire to be. Seeing with new eyes. Exploring new ways of being ourselves as 2U. In a conversation this evening, Rev. Jennie assured me this is a time for experimenting. I for one am looking forward to these two years as a transformational time of deeper relationships within and wider impact throughout.

Hello, Jennie. Hello. Welcome. There is room for you here -- in our city, in our congregation, in our hearts.

Let our journey together begin.
"Welcome, Rev. Jennie!" Celebration
Join us on Sunday, August 27 after the service to come and say "Hello" to Rev. Jennie for a welcome celebration to help celebrate her arrival at 2U! Cake and other treats will be provided!
From the Interim Minister, Rev. Jennie Barrington
"Yes, a deep lesson from the postage stamp. It attaches itself to a moveable material, the envelope, and gets going. A good relationship keeps you going forward; a bad one keeps you static. Attach yourself to someone who is also going forward, and you will also get there." [Israelmore Ayivor]
Dear Members and Friends,
A few weeks ago, I was walking on the treadmill at the fitness center. I aim for at least three times a week, of one hour, which is three miles. But sometimes I only do forty minutes at a time, which is only two miles. After half an hour I'd concluded I'd only walk for forty minutes, and then go back to my apartment to eat snacks. But then another woman came in, who was highly motivated. She stepped right up to the treadmill beside me, put in her earphones, and started walking. She was more prepared, and had clearer goals and plans. In short, she was more intentional about the work she was undertaking. Soon after she started walking, I said to myself, "Well, now I will do the whole three miles, now that I have someone beside me, motivating me."
We have begun undertaking what is called, "Intentional Interim Ministry." There are clear goals and plans that I have been trained in, and that I have helped several congregations achieve, successfully and enjoyably. So you can think of me as that woman who was beside me on the treadmill--motivated, determined, experienced, and clear in her goals--who will be working supportively alongside you for the coming two years. I view your congregation as a vehicle for the many ways you want to flourish into your fullest best selves, and work alongside others to bring more justice and beauty into the world. That's my vision of Leadership Development AND my vision of what we call "UU Lifespan Faith Development." To me, those two areas of church life are the same thing. I believe UU congregations are here to notice, highlight, and nurture human potential. Everyone has gifts, graces, and passions that can enhance a church and its wider community. And your congregation needs all kinds of people, and so does the whole world.
I have been getting settled in to my apartment and the minister's study. As your Interim Minister, my highest priority will be to listen to you. I have already had lovely conversations with several members and staff. And I very much look forward to hearing what is important to those of you I have not yet met.
I'm sure you are wondering what our time together will be like. I want you to know both that there is a plan, and that there is a lot of flexibility in that plan. This is true for both the worship services and the Intentional Interim Ministry ahead of us. I will aim for worship services that are relevant, engaging and inspiring to you. Each one will have at least one really good story that is heartening and helpful. Variety is one of the most important things in the planning of UU worship services over the course of the year [that's why we tell visitors to please come on several Sundays before they draw conclusions about UUism]. So in addition to Unitarian Universalism, services will incorporate Humanism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Science, classical philosophy, and earth-centered spirituality. [I've also taken workshops in using humor well on Sunday mornings.]

For an "Intentional Interim Ministry," your board and I will work together on five specific tasks. They are written into my contract as assisting the congregation with:
a)  Claiming and honoring its past and engaging and acknowledging its griefs and conflicts;

b)  Recognizing its unique identity and its strengths, needs, and challenges;

c)  Understanding the appropriate leadership roles of minister(s), church staff, and lay leaders and navigating the shifts in leadership that may accompany times of transition;

d)  Making appropriate use of District, UUA, and other resources, and;

e)  Renewing its vision, strengthening its stewardship, preparing for new growth and new professional leadership, ready to embrace the future with anticipation and zest.
At three points over these two years, the board and I will each write an appraisal of the progress in light of these five tasks. Our highest goal and dearest hope will be a successful Search Process culminating with a vote-to-call a new settled minister in the spring of 2019.
As such, we'll need to look at 2U's history in general, and specifically at its relationships with ministers. My role is to do what is normative for UU ministry for a congregation like yours today. The way I was taught to be an interim minister is to keep "holding up a mirror," as it were-- to keep reflecting back to you what you are expressing are 2U's griefs and joys; challenges and strengths; values, purpose, and dreams. Whenever possible, I'm supposed to help you name things for yourselves, in your own words and your own time, rather than name things for you.

Together we will clarify just who 2U is, and what it is here for, so it can then flourish into its fullest best self--because Chicago, and Illinois, and our nation, and the world need your congregation to be as strong, motivated, lively, and empowered as it can possibly be.--because Unitarian Universalism changes people's lives for the better. We will notice and encourage all the good things you are already doing. And we'll try a bunch of new things, too. I am delighted to be starting up as your new Interim Minister! And it will be my joy and honor to keep moving forward with all of you.
With care and cheer,
Rev. Jennie
"It's a privilege to be here."
2U Choir Rehearsals Resume Thursday
I nterested in singing and joining the 2U Choir? After a long summer break, rehearsals will resume this week on Thursday, August 17. Join the 2U Choir  on Thu rsday 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
Sunday, August 20 noon to 3 pm--2U YARD DAY: All Hands On Deck!
yard work
Please join us for another installment of the 2U Yard Day on Sunday, August 20  after the service. Big news: the 2U garden has advanced to the next round in the Chicago Excellence In Gardening competition and a judge will soon visit 2U to assess our space. We'd like for it to be looking its best. If you're able, then please plan to join us as we weed, sweep, water, and tidy the garden. There's lots to do! Bring your gardening gloves and any small tools (weed diggers) if you have them. Dress for mess. All ages are welcome. Mark your calendar for future yard days: September 23 (morning) and 24 (afternoon), and October 14 (morning) and 15 (afternoon). Please contact Monica Drane at 312.550.3412 with questions.
Webmaster Wanted!
2U is looking for a skilled webmaster to help maintain 2U's website! Experience with WordPress preferred! Interested? Please contact Andrew Zallar in the 2U office at
Social Justice Conversations
Thursday, August 24
6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Palmer Room at 2U

With some community input, we have chosen two more evenings to meet up this summer to share food and conversations about current issues, what calls us to acts of social justice, and ideas about social justice in the coming months at Second Unitarian.

Want to lend a hand? Topics of conversation to share? Dates don't work? Out of town?  Contact us with questions or suggestions. Future Thursdays conflict with 2U Choir!

Photography Help Wanted!
2U is looking for a photographer to help take pictures after service on Sundays for the coming weeks to help  launch of 2U's online photo directory campaign coming this fall!  Interested? Please contact Andrew Zallar in the 2U office at .
Homecoming Worship and Gathering of the Waters
Sunday, September 10
10:30 am

Please join us for our homecoming intergenerational celebration worship service at the start of the church year on Sunday, September 10 at 10:30 am! We will celebrate our community through our annual ritual of water communion. Please bring water to the church from places sacred and meaningful to you, from near or far-- your home tap, a beach, winter's snows, or another beloved body of water. We look forward to beginning this new year together.
Beloved Conversations
September 22 to 23 , our congregation will kick off our inaugural offering of Dr. Mark Hick's Beloved Conversations. The program consists of a 1.5 day retreat that launches the curriculum, followed by 8 non-consecutive sessions of guided dialogue and experiential exercises, each two hours long.

The retreat will be held in community with other congregations and not at 2U, but the follow-up sessions will be at 2U.

Beloved Conversations is an experiential curriculum that provides a space to re-form/fuse the brokenness of racism into new patterns of thought and behavior ushering in social and spiritual healing. This is a small-group experience for approximately 10 to 12 people.

The curriculum differs from many approaches to anti-racism/multicultural work in that it frames the discussion not only in terms of demographic urgency or cultural critiques (both of which are useful to understand!), but how developing skills and the habits of an anti-racist mind helps everyone -- those in dominant groups as well as those who are targets of oppression -- heal from the wounds of racism. 

Interested? Have logistical questions?  Contact Tom Denio at  773.458.3674  or

For more information:

Webpage  at Meadville Lombard.

Discussion about the development of Beloved Conversationsvideo from Meadville Lombard.

Church of the Larger Fellowship Google hangout on Beloved Conversations at the VUU, in both podcast and video.
Plate Sharing Applications
Applications for plate sharing are due by Wednesday, October 25 for the January-March 2018 quarter. The application form may be secured through the 2U office, or from Norm Groetzinger at . Electronic submission is encouraged. The organization for which you are submitting must be one in which you are involved, preferably as a volunteer. Applications are to be submitted to both Norm Groetzinger and to Susan Richter, who chairs the board's plate-sharing committee at . Feel free to approach either of us with any questions about plate sharing.
Money Matters
What is our current financial condition? 
Our budget for the 2017-18 year is $336,687 or $6,474.75 per week!

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

Actual Budgeted Over/Under Budget
Pledges $31,395
- $1,402
New Pledges $0 $0
Collection Plate $1,618 $1,200
+ $418
Special Gifts $0 $0
Fundraising $0 $0
Space Sharing $5,298 $2,334
+ $2,964

If you have any questions about the budget or would like more information, please contact Andrew Zallar in the 2U office.

Collection Plate Sharing
In July, we raised $809.09 towards our collection plate sharing recipient, our Transylvania Partner Church.

Thank you all so much for helping to make 2U possible!
Interested in Social Justice?
Interested in social justice? If you haven't already, sign up for 2U's monthly social justice newsletter, The Hammer. You can "opt in" by clicking here  and entering your email. Both members and non-members are welcome to subscribe.
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, August 30 .

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