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,
If we've learned anything in the last several weeks it is that we need to pay more attention to the experiences of people of color. For too long we've ignored or silenced their voices. We are all beloved children of God who need to listen to each other's stories.
Maybe you'll read a book or watch a movie that's told from a very different point of view than yours. Perhaps you'll join a protest and learn what they're about. Or maybe you'll read the news from a new and different perspective, asking what this means to a black or brown person.
There are many ways we can broaden ourselves and embrace the diversity in which we live. God's love is inclusive of all people. Let's live like it!
Your brother in Christ,
Jim Warren
PS: Don't forget that there's no one you'll meet this week whom God doesn't love.
Attend Black Lives Matter in B/N Book Club
Thursday, July 9, 2020
7:00 p.m. via Zoom
Meeting ID: 988 3976 0022 

We will discuss the late, great Toni Morrison's Tar Baby (1981). Time magazine recently recommended Morrison as an author to immerse yourself in during the pandemic: "All of her novels, written over 45 years, deserve to be read and re-read as testaments to American pain, perseverance and joy."

We'll meet virtually (sigh) Thursday, July 9, at 7:00 p.m. This may not be the political read you are yearning for in this incredibly tragic time in our country's history. Rest assured there is more to come. Dive into that if it is what you need right now. After our July meeting, we'll be reading
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide (2017) by Carol Anderson
  • Men We Reaped  (2013) by Jesmyn Ward, and 
  • we'll be listening to the 1619 podcast by New York Times journalist  
New and occasional members are more than welcome. Invite a friend! 

Due to COVID-19 concerns and the shelter in place order, this Black Lives Matter Book Club in Bloomington-Normal get-together is now a Zoom meeting.

Contact:  Marie-Susanne Langille 309-310-2701
Support Recycling Furniture for Families
At Recycling Furniture for Families, we are an organization that truly supports diversity in our community. This value comes through in the agencies we work with and the families we serve.

We treat each of our families with the respect we would wish to receive ourselves. The homes we furnish become a refuge for individuals escaping violent partners, poverty, and personal tragedies that left them without a home to call their own.

RF4F plays a role in the bigger picture of building a thriving community and relies on a network of social services and donors that reaches all corners of our county.

The need for home furnishings continues to grow as more and more local families face unemployment, reduced income, and other barriers, We need your help to shine light and hope into our community.

Please help local families make their house feel like home by donating at 
RF4F.ORG/DONATE or by mailing a check to 515 N. Center St.,  Bloomington, IL 61701.  
Support Tee It Up! for GFPD 2020
A note from the organizers (Alan, Kathie, Todd, & Corin Chapman):   
Regrettably, Tee It Up! For The GFPD 2020 was not able to be held May 14-15 as scheduled. Illinois State University is requiring that all events and activities scheduled to be held on campus through July 31, 2020 be postponed. Although we are disappointed, we completely support these moves in the interest of everyone's health and safety.  
With the evolving guidance from health officials and the uncertainty ahead, we reluctantly reached the conclusion that our most safe and prudent course of action was to cancel our Reception and Golf Outing for this year.  
We are still planning to hold an online auction of our donated items later this summer to help promote those sponsors who have helped out so far. More details will be coming soon. Click below to see how you can support the efforts.
Get the Whole Family Involved in the Ewing Park Fitness Challenge 

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Ewing Park II in Bloomington, IL
Bloomington Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts (PRCA) in partnership with Dust2Glory Fitness and Certified Spartan SGX Coach Dustin Webb are proud to present Ewing Park Fitness Challenge. This first year event will be held Saturday, September 19, 2020 beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the football field at Ewing Park 2 in Bloomington, Illinois.
The Fitness Challenge event is perfect for families with youths 7+ and adults from recreational level to the competitive level. "This fitness challenge is the perfect fit for those with a competitive spirit or the family wanting to accomplish a fitness goal," said Program Manager Nicole Kohler, adding, "We have designed the course and challenges to be scalable to every participant's fitness level."
Within this event there will be ten fitness zones with exercises scaled to ability level. The zones will have lifting, carrying, crawling, and more. After each zone activity, participants will be asked to do running totaling three miles. This event is great for the whole family ages 7+ and will have both recreational and competitive flights for solos or teams of two. The first wave begins at 9:00 a.m. with waves departing every 15 minutes. Youths ages 7 - 13 must participate with a registered adult.
The City of Bloomington Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts will adhere to the most current CDC guidelines and recommendations. If the event is cancelled due to changes in the recommendations or guidelines regarding COVID-19 that does not allow for the event to be held, full refunds to participants will be issued in a timely fashion.
For an additional cost, Meltdown Creative Works will be on site printing t-shirts for those participants who want a memento of the event. The full map with a list of obstacles will be released closer to the event.
Donate to the Wesley Distribution Ministry Drive-Thru Event  

Event:  Saturday, June 20, 2020
9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Please Donate on:  June 15, 16, 17, 18, & 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Wesley West (next to Wesley United Methodist Church)
502 E. Front Street
Bloomington, IL  61701
Free paper items available will include toilet paper, napkins, facial tissues,
diapers (all sizes), and diaper wipes!  Food boxes will also be distributed. 

You may drop off the items on the dates and at times listed above at Wesley West.

Monetary donations are welcome!
Click here to give online
(be sure to note WDM in the memo)
OR mail to the church at:
502 E. Front Street
Bloomington, IL 61701

For questions and to volunteer please contact Karen Daudelin at or call 309-838-5723
Stay Up to Date on COVID-19 Community Resources   
Assembled by PATH
McLean County, IL
With the "STAY-AT-HOME Order" in full effect, people are in need of help, emotional support, and resources now more than ever. We know how important it is to stay informed and band together in this time of crisis, so thank you to all the community members who have helped us stay up to date with resources!
We have been making daily updates to our Google Document to keep up with changes. Please visit the link in the button below to see the last COVID-19 community resources.
Volunteer at or Donate to the WBRP  
(West Bloomington Revitalization Project)
724 W. Washington Street
Bloomington, IL  61701
Focus on the Tool Library:   The Tool Library is open for walk-in customers starting July 7! Tool Library hours are Tuesday & Thursday 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday & Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Because the library is a small space, and to protect our customers and volunteers, we can only allow one person to browse at a time. Make an appointment with the button below or by calling the WBRP at 309-829-1200. You can also just stop by the building during our open hours. You can check the inventory in advance at
The WBRP has many goals:
Driven by the voice of residents, the WBRP leads impactful, collaborative efforts of neighbors and local stakeholders that honor our historical and cultural roots, build on the pride and strengths of our neighborhoods and empower residents to be leaders and achieve a vision for a better community.
Maybe you can help!  Find out more by clicking the button below.  And the WBRP is hiring, so check out their website for details. 

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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