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,
The word "evangelism" comes from a Greek word meaning "good news."  Evangelism is the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ.  We often think of evangelism in negative ways because we associate it with going door to door distributing tracts, street corner preachers, and snake oil selling TV evangelists.
But evangelism is a good word.  It defines one of our primary responsibilities as Christians: proclaiming the love of God found in Jesus Christ.
There are many ways for us to be faithful evangelists.  We can witness to our faith, invite someone to attend church with us, and lead a loving and Christ-like life.
Beyond the Bricks exists to help us discover how we can serve others.  Perhaps you'll find something in this email that peaks your interest and you'll want to learn more.  Or perhaps this email will spur you to do something that you've been thinking about for a long time, but you haven't gotten around to it.  Regardless of how this works, my prayer is that you'll become more involved in the lives of others and be to them an evangelist bringing the life-giving, healing presence of Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace,
Jim Warren
Attend "Family Caregiving:
Communicating with Aging Loved Ones"

Thursday, March 28
1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
Illinois State University Alumni Center, Room 118
1101 N. Main Street
Normal, IL  61761
 Given advances in medicine, the need to care for our aging loved ones is an increasing priority. Our presenter, Dr. Barry Jacobs, will speak to the challenges of family caregiving, as well as emotional support strategies for the caregiver. Communication approaches within the family will be highlighted, including the role of advance directives in clarifying the wishes of aging loved ones and sensitive information about the appropriate use of hospice.

Light refreshments will be served.
No cost to attend; please RSVP by March 18 to
Support the Annual Garage Sale Benefiting  
Recycling Furniture for Families

Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6
8:00 a.m. to noon
College Park Christian Church
116 North Cottage Ave.
Normal, IL  61761
Recycling Furniture for Families is a Christ-Centered Ministry connecting local agencies and churches to McLean County families in need.
Decorative Items
Hobby/Sport Equipment
Household Items
Electrical Goods

Recycling Furniture for Families is in great need of dishes, bowls, and silverware. We are always in need of clean, gently used furniture and household items.
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 an Author Presentation:  Nafissa Thompson-Spires 
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Bloomington Public Library 
 205 E. Olive St.  
Bloomington, IL  61701
Sponsored by the Bloomington Public Library, at this event writer Nafissa Thompson-Spires will talk about her 2018 short story collection Heads of Colored People. This presentation is part of the 2019 Bloomington Reads Programming Series.  Find out more on the Facebook events page.
The collection of stories in Nafissa Thompson-Spires' Heads of the Colored People range from darkly humorous to devastatingly poignant and cover a wide variety of life events. Each tale centers on black characters and their experiences.
Thompson-Spires, Ph.D., will share these stories and tell attendees how she created them as the final program in the 2019 Bloomington Reads programming series. A Q & A session and book signing will follow this program. Books will be available for purchase at the program.

In addition to this collection, Thompson-Spires has written many other short stories and articles. A professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign, she teaches in the English, African American Studies, and Jewish Culture and Society departments.

Help Serve a Meal at Abundant Life in Christ Church
First Christian Church is Serving April 21 (Easter Sunday), 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.

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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