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 Fellow Pilgrims,
We begin the season of Lent this week with Ash Wednesday March 6th.  Lent is the approximately six weeks leading up to Easter and is a time for us to focus on our relationship with God.  Two traditional Lenten practices are giving something up and taking something on.  We give up something to remind us of Christ's sacrifice for us and to prepare ourselves for Easter, and we take on something to make us more forgiving and merciful.  These two complementary movements of the spiritual life will be the focus of our Lenten sermon series: Giving It Up and Taking It On.
This issue of Beyond the Bricks gives you several ideas for taking something on.  You probably have other ideas about acts of mercy and compassion you can engage in this Lent.  I encourage you to find ways to reach out to and serve others.
Come to the Ash Wednesday dinner at 6:00 and service at 6:30 this Wednesday evening.  And let's make this a holy Lent by giving it up and taking it on.
Blessings and peace, 
Jim Warren
Donate to Project Love the Ladies

March 6 through April 14, 2019
Various Locations: Merry Maids in Normal, St. Patrick Church of Merna, Holy Trinity Parish Center, St. Mary's Church (Bloomington), Coffeehouse and Deli in Uptown Normal
Project Love the Ladies is a group focused on providing pads and tampons to those in poverty in Bloomington/Normal Illinois.    
A message from the founders:   
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.

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.  A gofundme link is also available at the Facebook page.

Attend the Common Ground Interfaith Summit

Friday, March 29 7:00 p.m. through Saturday, March 30 5:30 p.m.
Illinois Wesleyan University Hansen Student Center
300 Beecher Street
Bloomington, IL  61701
Join Evelyn Chapel and the Multifaith Ambassador Program, IWU Interfaith, Pride, and the Secular Student Association for IWU's second annual IWU Interfaith Summit!

Register at the button link below.  This year, we are excited to welcome Chris Stedman as our keynote speaker and workshop leader. Stedman is author of Faithiest: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious and is currently a fellow at Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship and at the Christensen Center for Vocation, both at Augsburg University.

In addition to these two events, the Summit will feature interactive workshops led by students, staff, and alums on a variety of interfaith engagement topics, lunch, a service project, and a Multifaith Sending Service.

Attend the Jewish Film Festival

Saturday, March 30  7:00 p.m.: The Cakemaker
Sunday, March 31  4:00 p.m.: The Invisibles
Sunday, April 7   4:00 p.m.: Heading Home
Sunday, April 14  4:00 p.m.: Shalom Bollywood 
Normal Theatre
209 W. North Street
Normal, IL  61761
Free for the Entire Community -- All Are Welcome!
The Moses Montefiore Congregation in Bloomington is very excited to be bringing this film festival to Central Illinois

This event is made possible through a Shulman Jewish Education and Life Grant from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. These grants focus on Jewish educational programs and materials; Jewish themed arts, music, and theater programs; and Jewish cultural enrichment programs in McLean County.

Eat at Portillo's to Help INtegRIty Counseling and to  
Celebrate INtegRIty's Fifth Anniversary

April 1, 2019
4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
202 Landmark Drive
Normal, IL  61761
Come celebrate with us at Portillo's Hot Dogs in Normal on Monday, April 1st from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. We opened our doors on April 1st, 2014, and we offer "pay as you can" mental health counseling for all who need more affordable options.

Show the Portillo's For Good Flier from our Facebook page, or pick up a copy at the Info Desk at First Christian Church, and Portillo's will donate 20% of your sale to INtegRIty! We hope to see you there!
Attend "Companions on the Journey" at the Chiara Center

Lunches are the First Monday of Each Month
11:30 a.m.
Chiara Center
4875 LaVerna Road
Springfield, IL  62707
$20 per person
Companions on the Journey is the name of a new lunch-time gathering for seniors held monthly to promote positive social connections, to offer an array of speakers on relevant spiritual topics, and to encourage people to enjoy the beautiful spaces at the Chiara Center.  Following a delicious lunch, speakers will offer a 15-20 minute presentation and discussion period. Participants are then welcome to stay for the duration of the afternoon to walk the grounds or to visit any of the spaces, such as the magnificent Church of St. Francis, that characterize this as a place of peace and quiet reflection.  
Reservations are required. Call 217-523-0901 or email  
To learn more about the Chiara Center, visit
Help Serve a Meal at Abundant Life in Christ Church
First Christian Church is Serving March 17, 2019
Abundant Life in Christ Church
108 E. Market St.  
Bloomington, IL  61701
Abundant Life's mission is "to lead people to saving faith in Jesus Christ by sharing the Gospel, as defined in the Holy Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).  
We exist to help people get from where they are to where God wants them to be (Philippians 3:13-14)."
Continued contributions are needed along with helpers to serve or make desserts for the meals FCC serves.  Sign up at the FCC Information Center or contact Julie Robinson ( if you would like to help on the above date and for details.  Or contact Abundant Life (309) 232-8702 to help in any other way.

Become a Volunteer at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center    
1304 Franklin Ave. 
Normal, IL  61761
Volunteers play a very special role in the exceptional health care provided by Advocate Health Care -- they reach out with their individual talents, skills, and interests to help us meet the many needs within the system, help to solve problems, and assist patients, their families, and visitors. Our philosophy is to take the skills and knowledge that people bring from their own life experience and transfer them into useful volunteer work.
We take the care placing our volunteers that an employer takes in selecting the right employee for a job. That is part of the benefits a volunteer receives from our program -- knowing that they have been carefully matched with a department's needs. Volunteers can also expect to be trained in order to carry out their responsibilities.
Listed below is a sampling of volunteer opportunities at  
Advocate BroMenn Medical Center:
      • Atrium Cafe and Boutique volunteers
      • Assemble mailings
      • Children's Health Introduction Program (CHIP)
      • Clerical assistance
      • Flower delivery
      • Playing soothing music for patients/families 
      • Hospice support
      • Waiting room host/hostess
      • Information desk assistance 
      • Mini-tour guides
      • Medical library assistance
      • Medical records courier
      • Patient/visitor escorts
      • Patient mail delivery
      • Pharmacy couriers
      • Quilting and crafts
      • Special projects
      • Adult Day Services assistance 
      • Thrift shop worker
Participate in or Get Involved with  
Tee It UP! For The GFPD 2019 
May 16 and 17, 2019
Weibring Golf Club 
Normal, IL  61761
We are excited to announce that registration for Tee It Up! For The GFPD 2019 is now open!! You can register online with a credit card at the link below or use a printable registration form.
This year our Reception and Silent Auction will be Thursday, May 16th from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and our Golf Scramble will be Friday, May 17th, with tee times at 8:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Weibring Golf Club will once again be hosting our event, and lunch will be included for all golfers. Golf spots have filled up quickly in the past, so don't wait and sign up today!

We're using a new website platform for registration this year that will provide us some additional capabilities, so please let us know if you have any questions as you register.  If you're signing up for both the Reception and the Golf Scramble, you'll just need to do two separate transactions. You can also donate to our event or buy sponsorships directly through the website.  
Our volunteers are amazing and truly make our event what it is and we couldn't make it happen without you! Please sign up today to volunteer. If you signed up in prior years, please fill out the form again at the link below so we have an updated list.  
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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