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,
Last Sunday's sermon focused on the visit of the wise men to the baby Jesus.  You'll remember that they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  One of the reasons we give gifts at Christmas is  because of the example they set.
But Christmas isn't the only time of year we can give gifts; gift giving is appropriate all year round.   Where could you keep on giving?
There's an individual or organization who needs the gifts of your time, talents, and treasure.  Christmas is over for another year, but the need remains.  Give generously of yourself and keep on spreading the love of God.
Blessings in the New Year,
Jim Warren
View the Heritage Edition of the St. John's Bible
Monday, January 14, through Friday, January 18, 2019
  Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Advocate BroMenn Atrium Lobby
1304 Franklin, Ave.
Normal, IL  61761
Advocate BroMenn's Department of Mission and Spiritual Care is partnering with Illinois Wesleyan University to host a display of the heritage edition of the St. John's Bible from noon to 1 p.m. each day Monday, January 14 through Friday, January 18 in the Atrium lobby.

As part of this ministry partnership the Rev. Elyse Nelson Winger, IWU chaplain, will lead a short service at 8 a.m. Wednesday, January 16 in our BroMenn chapel. She will do a brief service focused on visio divina with one of the illuminations.

If you haven't read about the heritage edition of the St. John's Bible at IWU, it's a high resolution fine arts copy of a portion of the Bible.  The St. John's Bible was the first completely handwritten and illuminated Bible since the invention of the printing press more than 500 years ago. The pages are gorgeous.
Eastview Christian Church Food Pantry
Open House
Monday, January 14, 2019
  3:00 to 6:00 p.m.
401 W. Union St.
Bloomington, IL  61701
Please join us for an open house at our new pantry location!
Cookies and coffee will be served
A few details about our pantry:
  • We will be open Wednesdays 10:00-11:30 & 6:00-7:30 at this location.
  • Due to the size constraints of this location, we will limit the number of guests to 30 households per shift. If we find we are able serve more people, we may increase the number we can serve each day.
  • We believe change happens best through relationships. We visit with each guest personally.
  • We will continue to have our currently scheduled hours at our Normal Campus on Tuesdays from 1:00-2:30 & 6:00-7:30 and Thursdays 10:00-11:30 & 1:00-2:30.
  • Guests must bring a photo ID and current piece of mail (within the last 60 days) to be served.
  • We serve residents of McLean County.
  • We do not have child care available. Guests should bring someone to watch their children or find alternative childcare.
  • Only one member of a household may shop per month. Guests may shop once every 30 days.
  • Only one member of a household is allowed inside the pantry. Each guest will have a personal shopper to assist them.
  • We offer a wide selection of paper and plastic household items.
  • We offer a large selection of personal hygiene products.
  • We offer allergy friendly foods for those with food allergies. Please ask a shift leader for details.
  • We have very limited parking, but the streets around our building have lots of parking available.
  • If we have reason to believe anyone is profiting from the sale, barter, or trade of items we provide, we reserve the right to suspend or revoke privileges.
  • We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
  • Guests should be prepared to transport at least 4 bags of groceries. We will gladly load cars in the alley but regret shopping carts are not permitted past the sidewalk.
Informational Program on Suicide Prevention
  Wednesday, January 16, 2019
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Mackinaw Christian Church
101 S. Orchard St.
Mackinaw, IL  61755
You are invited to our first Community Conversation in 2019. This conversation will be around Suicide Prevention. Attendees will be trained in QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer. Led by Hult Center for Healthy Living.  To RSVP please call Mackinaw Christian Church at (309)359-4921.
Nominate a School Employee Who Makes a Difference in the Community... to be Recognized by NIOS
  Nominations Due by January 22, 2019
Bloomington-Normal (BN) Not In Our School (NIOS) is hosting a community event to recognize and thank BN school employees, such as teachers, administrators, bus drivers, custodians, and food service workers, who embody, embrace, and promote the mission of NIOS.

The NIOS mission is to create safe and inclusive environments that are free of bullying, bigotry, racism, anti-gay harassment, and all forms of intolerance.

Our community is extremely fortunate to have great schools. They are filled with employees who use their efforts to not only provide a quality education but a "safe environment" that is conducive to learning and thriving. School employees understand the importance of inclusivity, equality, and respect for each student. They know that these things contribute to students reaching their full potential.

NIOS is excited to host this event, which will be held at Illinois Wesleyan University's Hansen Student Center on Monday, March 4, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

We encourage the community to get involved by nominating a school employee and joining the celebration of those making a real difference in creating a safe school environment.
  • Nominate and encourage others to nominate someone: The nomination form is available online, though, and on FaceBook: NIOTBN.  Nominations are due January 22, 2019.
  • Distribute flyers, attached, in your school and community
7 Habits of Highly Effective People  
Personal Development Course
Tuesdays 6:30 to 8:00 PM
  January 22 through February 26, 2019
The HUB at 502 S. Morris Ave.
Bloomington, IL  61701
INtegRIty Counseling invites you to attend a Personal Development Course based on Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This course will help you apply principles of effective living to help your life become more self-fulfilling. The course will be taught by INtegRIty's Dennis Goodwin whose experiences span more than 20 years of counseling and 17 years in the corporate business environment working as a corporate trainer and certified leadership coach.  
Dennis has been certified by the Franklin-Covey organization to teach the "7 Habits" courses. He brings a wealth of information, personal stories and hands-on experience and has consistently received positive feedback for his course delivery.
Thanks to Thrivent Financial, all participants will receive their own 7 Habits workbook and will get to enjoy hot chocolate, coffee and treats!  Registration is limited to 20 participants based on a first come, first serve basis so call 309-827-9100 to register yourself and a friend.  
As always, financial contributions are appreciated to help offset the costs of our services.
Become a Faith in Action Volunteer

Faith in Action
600 E. Willow St.  Ste. 201
Normal, IL  61761
Encourage someone you know to become a Volunteer, or do so yourself!   Help seniors remain independent and in their home by giving rides to and from medical appointments.  Or, assist seniors with their grocery or other shopping-related tasks once or twice a month. There are many other ways you can help seniors in our community.  See the website for more details. 

You choose how much, how little and how often you wish to volunteer!
You should never feel any pressure.
Upcoming Volunteer Orientations:

Tuesday Feb 5, 2019... 2:00-3:30pm
Thursday March 21, 2019... 10:00-11:30am
Click below to sign up to attend a volunteer orientation !

call 309-827-7780 and ask for Robin

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 at Heartland Head Start by Providing Child Care

Meetings are the First Wednesday of Each Month
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Heartland Head Start
206 Stillwell St.
Bloomington, IL  61701
A message from Heartland Head Start:  We are looking for people ages 15 and up to help with child care once a month for our Policy Council meeting we have with the parents.  We provide child care from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The meetings are on the first Wednesday of the month. We are looking for 4-5 people every month. I was wondering if you would have any members of the church who would like to come do some volunteer child care for us. Thank you. 
Please contact Erica Tisdale at
Help Serve a Meal at Abundant Life in Christ Church
First Christian Church is Serving January 20, 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.  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.

"SHARE THE WARMTH" Winter Outerwear Drive for Men

Bloomington-Normal, IL
First Christian Church and Area Churches/Organizations
What Winter outerwear drive for men
How:   Donate gently used or new winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves in all sizes.
When:  Ongoing until February 1 
Where:   Drop donations in the "Start Fresh" bins at the Information Center 
Why?   Jesus commands us to love and clothe those in need and many of our neighbors are cold in the winter
Contacts:   If you have any questions, please contact:
Julie Robinson at
Sarah Trefzger at
Thank you in advance for your help!
Together as The Body of Christ we will serve those in need and share God's love.
-- Mathew 25:36
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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