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,
I'm starting a new sermon series this Sunday titled Did You Hear the One About....  The series will look at Jesus' parables, and the first one is the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
The setting of the parable is an encounter between Jesus and a lawyer.  The pretentious lawyer first tests Jesus by asking what he must do to inherit eternal life.  The answer is to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  The lawyer then asks, "And who is my neighbor?"
The Parable of the Good Samaritan follows.  A man is robbed, beaten, and left for dead.  The first two passersby, a priest and a Levite, cross the road and ignore the badly beaten man.  The third, a foreigner from Samaria, cares for the man and puts him up in an inn to recover.
Jesus doesn't answer the lawyer's question about who is a neighbor.  Instead, Jesus turns the question around and asks which of the passersby was a neighbor to the injured man.  The Samaritan, of course, was the neighbor.
The point Jesus makes is that rather than try to define who's a neighbor - and who's not, we should act like a neighbor to anyone in need.  The question is not who deserves our help, but who needs our help.
Who needs your help today?  To whom can you be a neighbor?
Your servant in Christ,
Jim Warren
Participate in the Wear Orange Walk of Remembrance

Saturday, June 2, 2018
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
10:00-11:00- crafts, refreshments, speakers, information tables 11:00-11:30 Walk/stroll/bike ride along the Lake 
White Oak Park
1514 Cottage Avenue
Bloomington, IL 61701

Will you be one of the thousands of Americans joining together to recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Day this June? Orange has long been the color of gun violence prevention and on June 2nd, residents, survivors, business owners, students, elected leaders, teachers, community leaders, parents and kids in Bloomington/Normal will join together to #WearOrange and show indisputably that there is a movement of Americans committed to stop gun violence.      
 The Walk of Remembrance:  A community gathering to honor victims and survivors of gun violence, and to work together to end gun violence.
Participate in the NAMI Annual Walk

Saturday, June 2, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Tipton Park
2201 Stone Mountain Blvd, North Pavilion
Bloomington, IL 61704

The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Livingston and McLean Counties will hold their annual walk fundraiser.  We are raising funds for our community-based mental health education and support programs.
NAMI runs programs such as Ending the Silence, which educates High School and Middle School students on mental health warning signs, suicide, and what they can do to help. We operate Recovery and Family Support groups. NAMI's support and educational programs are part of the National Registry of Evidence Based Practice.
There is no cost to attend the walk, though donations are encouraged. Teams or individuals may share the donation link below with friends and family. Current members of NAMI may renew their membership by donating at the link as well.
We are also running a raffle. Tickets are available online, and the drawing will take place the day of the Walk. Please consider buying some tickets for a chance to win some of the offered prizes. New items will be added as they come in, and tickets bought are good for a chance at any one of them.
donate, or renew your membership at the link below.  
Or, buy raffle tickets!
Golf with Mid Central Community Action

Monday, June 4, 2018 
7:00 p.m. 
Crestwicke Country Club
Bloomington, IL

Join Mid Central Community Action for the 5th Annual "Drive Out Domestic Violence and Homelessness" Golf Outing benefiting Neville House and Mayors Manor at Mid Central Community Action.
A Public Discussion of Americanah
with the BLM in B-N Book Club

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
7:00 p.m.
Bloomington Public Library
205 E. Olive St.
Bloomington, IL  61701
Join us to discuss Americanah (2014) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and bring a friend... to our intersectional book club.
Attention Cancer Survivors

Submit Your Name (Soon) and Participate 
Relay for Life
June 22-23, 2018
Normal, Illinois 
The Relay for Life Survivors Committee, part of Relay for Life of McLean County, which is part of the American Cancer Society's Fight against Cancer,
is asking for your help.

We have for many years had a Survivors' Walk as part of the Opening Ceremonies at The Relay event each June. To start this process we invite ALL Cancer Survivors to contact us and give us a few facts about their cancer, and PERMISSION TO USE THEIR NAME in our listing of Cancer Survivors.  That is all that the survivors need to do.  We will invite them to the Survivors' Free Dinner and entertainment that evening.  Attendance is not required and if they come but can't walk around the track we will provide them a ride around the track for the Survivors' Lap.

Please call Jan or Dennis Fries at 309-829-2589 or 309-825-2589, or email us at The purpose in doing this is to provide encouragement and hope by showing new cancer victims that many do survive and for many, many years.
Attend the Senior Care Network Carnival

Friday, June 22, 2018
1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
ARC - Activities and Recreation Center
600 E. Willow Street
Normal, IL  61761
Free for Seniors

This resource fair will include vendors and should be a fun afternoon for seniors, featuring refreshments, carnival games, bingo, and raffle prizes. 
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.
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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