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 in Christ,
The recent shootings in Bloomington and Normal have left all of us shocked.  How can such things happen here in our community?  Our hearts go out to the families of those who've been killed.
I keep asking myself, "What can we do about it?  How can you and I work to improve Bloomington/Normal?"
One answer is that we can be more involved in our community.  I believe that as more of us become aware of and engaged with the issues facing us, we'll strengthen our community and make this a better place for everyone.
As you look over this issue of Beyond the Bricks, perhaps you'll find a way to connect more deeply with our neighbors in Bloomington/Normal.  Together we can make a difference.
Jim Warren
West Bloomington Revitalization Project
Grand Opening and Block Party

June 30, 2018
5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
724 W. Washington St.   
Bloomington, IL  61701
We're closing off Allin St. to party it up for the first ever West Bloomington Fest! Live music featuring Sgt. Eggman's Lonely Nowhere Man Band performed outside on Allin St., free food, ice-cream, bike giveaway, dunk tank, and kids activities. It all started as our small grand opening event and has grown into a full blown street party! So we gave it a name. West Bloomington Fest celebrates all that is beautiful about West Bloomington. From the people, to the food, to the buildings and streets, and of course the connections through out the community. Everyone is invited to help us celebrate!
Adam Larson Concerts

Saturday, July 7, 2018
517 N. Main St.
Bloomington, IL  61701 
9:00 to 11:00 p.m.
$10.00 cover charge
Tuesday, July 10

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Normal Theater
209 W. North Street
Normal, IL  61761

Don't miss an opportunity to listen to our own musically-gifted Adam Larson, saxophonist, at one of these events.  Adam is the son of John and Peg Larson, First Christian Church members. 

An excerpt from Adam's bio:  Larson has released four albums; two under the Inner Circle Music label and two produced independently. Larson's most recent recording "Second City" received a four-star rating from Downbeat magazine, was listed as one of the best releases of 2017 in both Downbeat and Jazziz Magazine, and was prominently featured in several publications.
Become a Mentor for Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP)  

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) is seeking adult mentors with a passion for youth and philanthropy. Youth Engaged in Philanthropy, a youth-led initiative with Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, is a group of 25-30 high school students from Dewitt, Livingston, Logan and McLean counties with a $10,000 philanthropic budget to allocate grant funds to local youth-focused initiatives.
Mentor responsibilities include:
  • Membership recruitment, planning and establishing a schedule of activities
  • Oversight of organizational logistics
  • Oversight of logistics for the annual grant cycle
  • Oversight of YEP committees
  • Promoting YEP in the community and
  • Enabling the youth to build their presence in their four county service area.
Mentor time commitments range from 5-10 hours weekly including attending IPCF Board bi-monthly meetings, YEP monthly meetings, YEP committee meetings, and community commitments (e.g. volunteering).
To learn more about becoming a YEP mentor, please email us at or call Illinois Prairie Community Foundation at 309-662-4477.

A Conversation with
Sandhya Jha: Building the Beloved Community  

Saturday July 14, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
Centennial Christian Church
1219 East Grove Street, Bloomington, IL
Sunday July 15, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. 
United Christian Church
4351 W. 180th St., Country Club Hills, IL

Rev. Jha will also be preaching at United at 10: 15 AM on the 15th

Event is $5.  Dr. Jha's book will be available for purchase. 

Sandhya Jha  serves as founder and director of the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of 40 organizations creating access, equity and dignity for all in Oakland and the Bay Area. 

Raised in an interracial and multi-faith family and witness to the ways that racism and xenophobia show up in our society, Sandhya's career has been marked by work to effect public policy change and to build what Dr. Martin Luther King called Beloved Community (at the Oakland Peace Center).

Read more about Dr. Jha and the event on the flyer (button below).  Register at www.
Help Serve a Meal at Abundant Life in Christ Church
First Christian Church is Serving July 15, 2018
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.  Contact Julie Robinson ( if you would like to help on the above dates and for details.  Or contact Abundant Life (309) 232-8702 to help in any other way.

Emergency Blood Drive at First Christian Church

Friday, July 20, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
First Christian Church
401 West Jefferson St.
Bloomington, IL  61701
 Signups will begin soon at First Christian and 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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