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 Christian Friends,
We are now a week into Lent, which is the season of the church year leading up to Easter. One common practice during Lent is finding ways to reach out and serve others. That's what Beyond the Bricks is all about. Beyond the Bricks exists to connect you with our community and help you find ways to live out your faith beyond the church.
Take a look at this issue of Beyond the Bricks and maybe you'll find something that appeals to you. Perhaps it will be a way that you can help others, or a way that you can be more involved in our community. Take a look and connect with what's happening around you.
Have a blessed and holy Lent,
Jim Warren
Attend a Greenville University Choir Concert
Thursday, March 12
7:00 p.m.
First Baptist Church
2502 East College Ave.
Bloomington, IL  61704
The Greenville University Choir (Greenville, Illinois) will sing a concert at First Baptist Church at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. Founded in 1927 by Dr. Robert W. Woods, the Greenville Choir has attained a widespread reputation for performing sacred choral music of the highest quality.
During the spring of this current 93rd Anniversary year, the Greenville University Choir will take a concert tour in the Midwestern United States.  The Choir's tour program-"Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder"-includes selections from Europe, Africa and North America.
The Greenville Choir consists of 24 students from various fields of liberal arts study. As the flagship choral ensemble of Greenville University, the Choir presents as many as twenty off-campus performances each year as part of its annual tour. Students' dedication to the program is consistently made evident by the professional quality of their performances.
For further details about the concert, call First Baptist Church at (309) 662-4253 or visit  
  Help Project Love the Ladies Provide Feminine Hygiene Items  
  Now through April 5
Donation Boxes at:
Merry Maids 1702 West College Ave. Normal
    St. Patrick Church of Merna 1001 North Towanda Barnes Dr. Bloomington
Holy Trinity Parish Center 711 North Main St. Bloomington
From the GoFundMe Page:  In 2015 we started Project Love the Ladies as a yearly service project to collect feminine hygiene products for those that cannot afford them. We place donation drop off boxes throughout Bloomington/Normal but wanted to make sure that anyone who wanted to donate, whether near or far, could! Click on the button below to donate funds.

Most people don't think to donate sanitary pads or tampons when they make food pantry donations so they usually don't have enough to give out.  Food stamps cannot be used to purchase them. 100% of the funds collected here will be used to buy supplies for the Neville House Domestic Violence Shelter, Home Sweet Home Mission, and St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry. *We are not tax exempt. We are not a 501C charity. We are just a group of women trying to help others. 100% of monetary donations are used to purchase feminine hygiene products for our beneficiaries. Donations are not tax deductible.*

Sanitary pads are needed the most, and all items donated go to the Neville House, St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, and Home Sweet Home Mission.
  Attend a Program at the Chiara Center 
4875 LaVerna Road
Springfield, IL  62707
Chiara Center has a new website! If you haven't yet heard of us, we are a place of Franciscan spirituality on the beautiful grounds of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis convent in Springfield. We welcome individuals and groups for reflection, retreat and conferences. Here are just a few of our sponsored programs coming up:
March 10 - Ah Day of Quiet, a day for your own spirit to savor quiet and peace. Optional are a tour, afternoon wisdom circle (group sharing) massage or spiritual direction. $20.00 includes lunch.
March 12 - Conscious Aging, a unique opportunity for spiritual, emotional and psychological growth in support of the final third of life. Eight week sessions @ 9:30 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. $160.00 includes materials.
March 20-22 - Building A Monastery of the Heart retreat, featuring national speaker & author Judith Valente sharing the fruits of the Benedictine tradition of prayer and silence. $265 or $175 Commuters.
March 26 - Food & Faith, "Climate Science & Climate Spirituality: A Rapprochement with Sister Earth" @ 6:00 p.m.  Sr. Sharon Zayac, OP and Climate Scientist Katherine Hayhoe (TED Talks). $20 includes dinner.

See more details at "EVENTS" tab, or RSVP by calling (217) 523-0901.
Attend a Coalescence Theatre Project Play      
Saturday, March 14 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 15 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Normal Theatre
209 W. North Street
Normal, IL  61761
Coalescence Theatre Project proudly presents our production of THE EXONERATED by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. Directed by George Jackson III.

THE EXONERATED is a powerful docudrama that centers on six people who were wrongly convicted of and sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit. The six interwoven stories paint a picture of an American criminal justice system gone horribly wrong -- and of six brave souls who persevered to survive it.

John Bowen,  Austin Colbert, Milagro Cortez,  Jennifer Cirillo,  Elaine Hill, Wes Melton, Chuck Pettigrew.  Anthony Overton,  Claron Sharrieff, and Kim Wernecke.  Tabitha Miller, Production Manager for Coalescence, serves as stage manager and THE EXONERATED is produced by Don Shandrow, Executive Artistic Director of Coalescence Theatre Project

"Riveting, Simple, honest storytelling that demands reflection" - Associated Press

"Artful and moving... pays tribute to the resilience of human hearts and minds."

Tickets are $7 General Admission/$5 Student and are available in advance at or at the door prior to each performance.
The Coalescence Theatre Project is a nationally recognized and award-winning theatre that exists to incite our community to thoughtful action. We focus on unheard stories and offer a place where the silent and the underrepresented have a voice. Coalescence Theatre Project aspires to be a home where play, discovery, and learning are celebrated and our audience reflects the diversity of the community we serve. Our mission is equity and inclusion in the exploration of identity and our place in a global community.
Attend, "A Community in Conversation," Sponsored by Not in Our Town, Bloomington, and the McLean County Museum of History   
Various Locations, Dates, and Times (see below)    
 Inspired by the Museum's newest exhibit, Challenges, Choices, and Change: A Community in Conflict, this four-part program will provide opportunities for community conversation, highlighting the historic and modern significance of four  questions featured in the exhibit -- asking always,  "Who has the power?"

The remaining programs:

  Who Has the Power to be Heard?
Saturday, March 21 at 12:00 p.m. at the YWCA,  1201 N. Hershey Rd., Bloomington
  Who Has the Power to Define Morality?
Tuesday, April 28 at 6:45 p.m at the  McLean County Museum of History Governor Fifer Courtroom
Attend Black Lives Matter in B/N Book Club
Tuesday, April 14
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Community Room
Bloomington Public Library
Bloomington, IL 61701
Our next book is White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.   New and occasional members are more than welcome. Bring a friend! 

Contact:  Marie-Susanne Langille 309-310-2701
Support INtegRIty Counseling and Enjoy Dinner  
Tuesday, April 14
4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
3002 Gill Street 
Bloomington, IL  61704
Gill Street Sports Bar will be hosting a fundraiser for INtegRIty Counseling! If you can come, please RSVP by following the link below. Please also find below a flyer that you can share with others. Twenty people must commit through the link by early April. When you RSVP, you will also receive an email from Group Raise the day before the event. 

You may also just come to the event on the day and let your server know you are supporting INtegRIty. We will receive 20% of every food purchase that evening! 

Thanks so much for your support of INtegRIty, our clients, and the community!
Participate in or Volunteer for Tee It Up! for GFPD 2020
Reception & Silent Auction - Thursday, May 14
ISU Alumni Center

Golf Scramble - Friday, May 15
Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State University

When Max Chapman was 14 months old, he received the devastating diagnosis of Peroxisomal Biogenesis Disorder (PBD), a very rare disorder that will cause him to lose his sight and hearing and eventually cause life threatening damage to his kidneys, liver, and bones.  Treatments for PBD are very limited and most affected children do not live past the age of 10. 
The Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders (GFPD) was created to fund much needed research around PBD and to support those families facing this horrible disorder.  Recently, they have made some major strides in their understanding of this disease, but additional funding is needed! 

In our first four years of Tee It Up, we have raised over $500,000 for the GFPD to help support cutting-edge medical research!  Please join us as we raise money to support this amazing organization! 
Join with Welcoming America to Support New Neighbors 
Bloomington-Normal, IL, Area and Beyond
Welcoming America provides direction and support to communities to become more inclusive toward immigrants and all residents. Launched in 2009, Welcoming America is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that fosters a culture and policy environment to make it possible for newcomers of all backgrounds to feel valued and to fully participate alongside their neighbors in the social, civic, and economic fabric of their adopted hometowns. Its approach goes beyond a single program or service to work with institutions across the community to reduce the barriers that immigrants face to fully participate and build bridges between newcomers and long-time residents.

To get involved, contact Kris Williams at 
Volunteer as a Reader as Part of the Grandparents are Gifts Program at the Boys & Girls Club 
Now through May 15, 2020
4:00 p.m through 5:00 p.m.
Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal
Bloomington and Normal, IL
We are looking for volunteers for our Grandparents are Gifts program, a small group reading program at the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal.  Come as often as you like.  To get involved, contact Jenny Hall at or by calling 309-829-3034 x109.
Volunteer at or Donate to the WBRP  
(West Bloomington Revitalization Project)
724 W. Washington Street
Bloomington, IL  61701
Whether it's repairing tools, painting, assisting with the Bike Co-op or riding the Book Bike to community events, we have something for every volunteer. Stop by during our hours (below) to get more information or to sign up. You can also email for more info.

Monday: 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.; 5:00-7:00 p.m.
              (Bike Co-op open 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.)
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.; 5:00-7:00 p.m.
*Thursday: 2:00-7:00 p.m.
*Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
               (Bike Co-op open 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)

                              *need extra help these days
We would like to increase our open hours and offer more to the community!  
Now with nine programs under one roof, and the busy time of year upon us, we are looking for consistent help. 
These are just some of the projects the WBRP offers. Help us to continue providing these services to our community. Please consider donating any amount.
Make a one-time or monthly donation that will help keep the WBRP programs thriving.  Donate Online
Around the Community
First Christian Church || 309 829-9327  |
401 West Jefferson St.  Bloomington, IL  61701
Bloomington's Oldest Continuing Congregation
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