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 Christians,
I'm excited about Monday. That's the day the Boys and Girls Club begins using our building for part of its after school program. Each afternoon about 40 teens will take up residence in our church, primarily on the third floor and in Major Hall. They'll do things like finish their homework, play games, and enjoy a snack. 

This is a great use of our building, and one of our priorities right now is to better utilize our facilities. This also allows us to practice genuine hospitality and reach out to the youth who will spend their afternoons here. 

I applaud our church for taking this opportunity to make a difference in our community, and I thank each of you in advance for your prayers and patience as we come alongside the Boys and Girls Club in this important undertaking.  

May this partnership be a gift to both the Boys and Girls Club and our church. 

In Christian love,
Jim Warren
Mental Health & The Church:  A Panel Discussion
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
6:15 p.m.
City of Refuge Ministries
401 E. Jefferson St.
Bloomington, IL  61701
Join us to learn more about mental health and substance use disorders, and have an open discussion on the churches' response.
Work Your Faith is partnering with City of Refuge to host a panel discussion on mental health and the churches' response. You will have the opportunity to hear a dynamic group of professionals give guidance and answers to your questions concerning mental health.  Come on out and ask questions, get educated, and gain resources.   - Tamara Childress, LCSW

Our own Luella Mahannah is one of the panelists.
#WorkYourFaith #reducethestigma #seekhelp #therapyisOK   
Children at the Border  
October 15, 2019
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Heartland Community College
1500 West Raab Rd.
Normal, IL  61761
A report from Illinois Wesleyan University Professor Dr. Kathleen O'Gorman on her direct experience interviewing children at U.S. Border detention camps, with local students reading the testimony of detained children
Youth Build & Heartland Foundation Book Drive  
Through October 16, 2019
Various Locations
Bloomington-Normal, IL
YouthBuild McLean County is sponsoring a fall book drive (CDs & DVDs too) for Books to Benefit now until October 16! Books to Benefit has been helping the community since 2011 by assisting programs like STAR literacy, YouthBuild and Heartland Foundation.  
Books to Benefit is in need of your gently used books of any category, with exception of encyclopedias, cookbooks, and textbooks before 2015. Our goal is to reach 2,000 books to benefit our community. If you would like to donate, here are the current drop box locations:
Youth Build McLean County at 360 Wylie Dr., in Normal  
Books to benefit (Wednesday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. only) at 360 Wylie Dr., Suite 700, in Normal 
YWCA at 1201 North Hershey Rd., in Bloomington 
If you would like to be a drop box sponsor please contact
Stevie Anthony at YouthBuild McLean County
Grief Support Group 
INtegRIty Counseling
502 South Morris Ave., Suite D
Bloomington, IL. 61701
INtegRIty Counseling will be running an eight-week grief support group on Tuesdays from 6:00-7:30 p.m. starting October 22 and running through December 10.  The group is limited to eight participants and will be a closed group after the second session.  Call 309-827-9100 or email for informationor to sign up. 
INtegRIty Counseling Fundraiser 
Friday, October 25
4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Panera Bread North
Greenbriar Drive
Normal, IL. 61761
Please support INtegRIty Counseling by dining at Panera North on Greenbriar Drive from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on October 25!  When you show the cashier the paper or digital flyer on your mobile device, Panera will donate 20% of your purchase price to INtegRIty!  Plan to come and bring a friend! 
Thanks as always for your support!
Attend the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Class Offered by INtegRIty Counseling 
Saturday, October 26
8:15 a.m. breakfast; session 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The HUB next door to INtegRIty Counseling
502 South Morris Ave.
Bloomington, IL. 61701
$10 due by October 17
INtegRIty Counseling is offering a one-day class on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on Saturday, October 26, at the HUB next door to INtegRIty Counseling.   A meet and greet continental breakfast begins at 8:15 a.m. The session runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  
A $10 fee, to be paid by October 17, covers the workbook and a light lunch!  
You may pay by cash, check, on our Facebook, or on our website! Registration is limited to 20 participants. If you have questions or would like to register, call 309-827-9100 or email
Learn about Mental Health First Aid
November 4, 2019
OSF St. Joseph Medical Center
2200 East Washington St.
Bloomington, IL  61704
The Mental Health First Aid class teaches a five-step action plan to offer initial help to people with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in a crisis, and to connect them with the appropriate care.  Mental Health First Aid is for anyone:  parents, neighbors, college students, teachers, members of faith communities, first-responders, and caring citizens.
Eight-hour course.  Call 309-661-5151 to register


For more information or to ask questions, contact:  Morgan Rondinelli at or 309-888-5443.
Black Lives Matter in Bloomington-Normal Book Club Meeting  
Wednesday, November 13
7:00 p.m.
Normal Public Library
206 West College Ave.
Normal, IL  61761
Next book:  Stamped from The Beginning, The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (2016) by Ibram X. Kendi. New and occasional members are always welcome at our intersectional book club. 
Contact:  Marie-Susanne Langille

Attend the Immanuel Bible Foundation Women's Christmas Celebration  
Saturday, Deecember 7
8:30 a.m. 
DoubleTree by Hilton
10 Brickyard Dr.
Bloomington, IL  61704 
$25 per ticket (10 seats per table)
Women's Christmas Celebration event on December 7 at 8:30 am. Over 700 women will be coming together to usher in the Christmas season with a morning of praise, inspiration, and a delicious breakfast. We would love to invite the women in your congregation to join us!
Tickets go on sale on October 7 at the Broadview Mansion (1301 S. Fell Ave, Normal, IL), and online ( beginning October 8th. Tickets are $25 each and tables seat 10.
I've attached the flyer for your convenience. Feel free to use it for your bulletin to be sure that the women in your congregation hear about this special event!
For more information about the event or to learn more about our featured guest, go to:
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
Make a one-time or monthly donation that will help keep the WBRP programs thriving.  Donate Online
Help with the Sunnyside Community Garden and Food Forest 
Location:  West End of Illinois Street
Bloomington, IL  61701
The garden began as a high school project with eight beds for the Boys & Girls Club. It grew into an eight-week summer educational program, where children observe insects, plant seeds, and snack on fresh strawberries or carrots.
Today, Sunnyside has 12 beds that produce tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, collards, spinach, squash, herbs, onions, potatoes, berries and more. Neighbors share the freshly harvested produce at the seasonal Free Market Stand on Wednesday nights. And several thousand pounds of produce are donated to the Boys & Girls Club, Home Sweet Home, and Veggie Oasis, helping food insecure families. In addition, two pollinator gardens have been established and are thriving.
Future visions for the garden:
  • Semi-permanent greenhouse for growing vegetable starts for garden and winter salad greens to be sold for income to sustain and grow Sunnyside
  • Low-cost CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions for West Bloomington residents
  • Full-time farmer 
  • Summer teacher for Boys & Girls Program
  • Student interns
  • More volunteers
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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