Staying involved in the Bloomington/Normal area, and beyond. 
Where do you fit... Beyond the Bricks?
Welcome... to the latest issue of
Beyond the Bricks!
Dear friends,

As I write this article, I have just returned from having lunch with several clergy from various downtown churches. It was a very nice group, and it was great to meet and get to know them. Interestingly, of all the people who gathered, the one who had been at her/his current position the longest was four years! So, we are all relatively new.

We spent a lot of time just visiting with one another and enjoying lunch. But we also discussed how our churches might work together. We discussed that we would like to continue to meet as clergy to develop relationships with one another. We also discussed the possibility of the churches sponsoring joint worship services. For example, for several years, the group has sponsored a Good Friday service. But we also discussed ways that we might come together to address some of the issues that face our community in general and the downtown community in particular.

The discussion reminded me that FCC doesn't sit by itself in this community. Or, as one pastor put it, our churches are not islands. We can come together as Christians to make a positive difference in this community. Another congregation I used to serve was fond of saying, "we are stronger together than we are apart." That is true for us as a congregation, but it is also true for the churches around us.

It is my prayer that we as a congregation as well as a community of churches will work to make a positive difference for Jesus.

God bless,
Focus on Your Well-Being with the Assistance of Carle BroMenn

Tune in Thursday, August 12, on Zoom
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
No registration required

If more than a year of “pandemic living” has you stressed out, the Carle BroMenn Delegate Church Association is here for you. DCA leaders have been focusing efforts this summer on the well-being of delegates, faith leaders, and their communities. In response to requests, the DCA will offer one final opportunity to learn about how to boost our well-being and care for ourselves in times of stress.
How to Incorporate Discussion about Emotion into Everyday Life and Emotional Regulation of Kids (Thursday, August 12)
Individuals will be able to:
  • Identify principles of social and emotional learning
  • Learn how to incorporate social and emotional learning into daily life
  • Understand what emotional regulation is and the role of self-regulation in children
  • Understand why emotional regulation can be hard for some children (and adults)
  • Learn strategies and techniques for helping teach and promote emotional regulation

To join via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 917 4851 3595
If you prefer to call-in to the meeting with your phone, please dial 312-626-6799.
Help the Western Avenue Community Center Celebrate Their 95th Birthday with a Bike Clinic and Community Center Block Party
Saturday, August 14
 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Western Avenue Community Center
600 N. Western Avenue
Bloomington, IL 61701
BIKE CLINIC 10:00 a.m. to noon
Bike supplies and information about repairing and riding your bike will be provided. There will even be a BIKE GIVE AWAY!

Come and celebrate WACC turning 95 with food, fun, and fellowship. Special introduction of WACC's new EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Mary Tackett, and presentation of WACC's new landscaping provided by the Tinervin Family Foundation.
Help the WBRP (West Bloomington Revitalization Project)
to Be Able to Help Neighbors Again
724 W. Washington Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
Update from the WBRP: We had an overwhelming response after we sent out our last request for donations, and we are so grateful to everyone who contributed to our flood repair fund! Unfortunately, our insurance coverage, and generous donations from the community only covers about 50% of the total costs for building repair and materials replacement.

Your financial contributions of any amount will help us cover the full costs of professional mold/sewage remediation, flooring removal and replacement, inventory replacement, electrical work, plumbing work, and the more long-term structural upgrades we need to make to prevent future flood damage to our space.

In the near future, when we have a better idea of what inventory we lost, we will also create a wish list to see if our community is able to donate any tools or bicycles / bike parts to help us replace what we lost.
Support Faith in Action of Bloomington-Normal in One or More of These Ways
The upcoming FIA Bus Trip has a need for at least four more travelers. 
Please tell your friends.
Virginia Beach, Colonial Williamsburg, and Historic Norfolk   September 12-18, 2021
Cost: $ 895 per person for a double room    $1,244 for a single room
Support Faith in Action by ordering some beautiful Fall Mums!
ORDER NOW through September 9 (all orders pre-paid)

8” Mum Colors: Purple, Red, Yellow, White and Orange/Bronze
Cash/Check Price $9.50 - Credit Card Price: $10
Call the office to order at (309) 827-7780.
Pick up Date: September 23 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 
St. John’s Lutheran Church
Faith in Action of Bloomington Normal is seeking Volunteers to assist seniors who may need a ride, or help shopping, or even a friendly call. Experience the benefits of Volunteering and join Faith in Action.

Group Orientations are held at the ARC 2nd Floor Conference Room. Email Stacey at or call the FIA Office (309) 827-7780 to register for the orientation on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Attend the Free Ice Breaker Festival at the Arena
Saturday, August 21
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Grossinger Motors Arena
101 S. Madison Street
Bloomington, IL 61701

The Grossinger Motors Arena will be the site of an all-new free family friendly festival experience, the Ice Breaker Open Skate Festival. The event will be free to all, with skates included. Concessions will be available for purchase, games will be happening throughout the day, movies will be playing on the Jumbotron screens, and the annual used equipment sale will be going on during the event. Staff will also be hosting Hockey and Learn to Skate mini lessons so the community can sample those programs.

“We are really excited to showcase the Arena to the community,” said Lindsay Danner Bloomington Ice Center Assistant Manager and Skating Director at the City of Bloomington’s Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts department’s Bloomington Ice Center facility, adding “there will be so much more than just the free open skate.”
“The Ice Breaker event is the perfect way to not only invite the community back to the arena, but also present the groups that use the Arena and the Bloomington Ice Center,” said Michael Hernbrott Bloomington Ice Center Manager in the City of Bloomington’s Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department, adding “We have partnered with the Bloomington Youth Hockey Association, Central Illinois Figure Skating Club, Central Illinois Girls Hockey Association, Illinois State University Hockey and the McLean County Youth Hockey Association and they will be on site that day to discuss their individual skating clubs.”

“The entire Bloomington parks team is really excited to host this brand-new event at the Arena,” said Thom Rakestraw Marketing Manager for the City of Bloomington’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department, adding “The event will be free to all, with skates included, concessions will be available for purchase, games will be happening throughout the day, movies will be playing on the Jumbotron screens and we’ll have the annual used equipment sale going on during the event. Staff will also be hosting Hockey and Learn to Skate mini lessons so the community can sample those programs.”
For more information, contact the City of Bloomington’s Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department at (309) 434-2260.
Go to or Support the Mayors Manor Carnival of Care
Saturday, August 21
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Mid Central Community Action's Back Parking Lot
1301 W. Washington St.
Bloomington, IL 61701

Join us for a fun and family friendly day of carnival games, food, and prizes all benefiting Mid Central Community Action's Mayors Manor.

Mayors Manor provides permanent supportive housing for individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness and who have a documented disability. Staff work on-site and case management is provided for all tenants. Mayors Manor is a unique program because it provides permanent housing, meaning that it actually ends homelessness for the clients that it serves.
Attend the Pregnancy Resource Center Annual Fundraising Life Banquet
Thursday, September 30
6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:00 p.m.)
Doubletree Hotel
10 Brickyard Drive
Bloomington, IL 61701

A note from the Pregnancy Resource Center:
We are so grateful for all your previous support of the Pregnancy Resource Center. Your faithfulness and generosity has had a tremendous impact on the lives of our clients. You enable us to continue our mission! 

We are excited about our upcoming Annual Fundraising Life Banquet. We know that there are many health concerns. We will be doing all we can to keep everyone safe.

This year our guest speaker will be Michael Jr. He tours the country using comedy to inspire audiences to activate their purpose and live a life fulfilled. His impactful delivery and versatility has landed him on many high profile venues including Tedx Talks. He has also been the keynote speaker for Fortune 500 companies. He challenges people to know their "WHY?"
You won’t want to miss this inspirational evening! 

This event is vital to the success of our ministry. There is no cost to attend this banquet fundraiser but advanced reservations are required. Space is limited and is filling quickly. The general admissions deadline is Monday, September 27. 
Recycle with the Sugar Grove Nature Center
First Tuesday and First Saturday through December
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Various Locations

We are excited to announce our recycling initiative! There are so many ways that you can decrease the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. If your community offers recycling, we sure hope that you take advantage of curbside pickup or drop-off bin locations. Here are some great ways to recycle even more!

Start saving items detailed on the Facebook page.
2021 collection drives will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 1st Tuesday and 1st Saturday of every month through December 2021. We will also have collection drives during each of our special events throughout the year.

Items can ONLY be accepted during our scheduled collection dates and times and should be pre-sorted for a smooth experience. For a full packet of information regarding which recyclables we will accept, please email
Learn CPR

The Illinois Red Cross is offering free virtual classes to learn about Hands-Only CPR so that you and the members of your organization are prepared to increase the chances of someone surviving a cardiac emergency. David Lee, an Illinois Disaster AmeriCorps member, would like to offer this free program to the members and friends of First Christian Church.
More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital each year. Learn how to deliver lifesaving CPR care without rescue breaths and be prepared. When you immediately provide Hands-Only CPR, you can increase the chance of survival. 
To learn more or sign-up for a free 30-minute class, please contact David Lee at
You can get started today, by watching a free video tutorial at
Contact: David Lee
AmeriCorps | Illinois Disaster Corps Member
American Red Cross of Illinois
Cell: (309) 202-5725
Tell Friends about Local Full-Service Affordable Medical Care
Third Monday Each Month
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Woodhill Towers

The Mobile Health Clinic will be available 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. the third Monday of each month at Woodhill Towers, on the corner of Wood and Main Streets in Bloomington. The clinic provides:

  • Chronic condition management and education
  • Treatment of acute illness
  • Physicals, wellness care, and assessments
  • School and sports physicals and immunizations
  • Lab testing
  • Referrals and applications for social services
United Way, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, McLean County Health Department, and Chestnut Health Systems will also be available to provide nutrition and health information, diabetes prevention, FQHC information, and assistance signing up for Medicaid. Visit for more information.
Please share this information with others who need affordable medical care.
Learn More about Being an Anti-Racist
Subscribe to a daily blog that gives guidance on how to be an anti-racist:
First Christian Church || 309 829-9327 |
401 West Jefferson St. Bloomington, IL 61701
Bloomington's Oldest Continuing Congregation