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!

Merry Christmas!
Christmas is often associated with gift giving.  We give gifts to our family and friends.  We give gifts to charitable and community organizations.  We are filled with so much joy at Christmas time that we want to share that joy with others.
We can also give our time and energy to others, and there are several opportunities do so in this issue of Beyond the Bricks.  From attending a family event to support local veterans, to volunteering with Faith and Action to help seniors, to participating in a book discussion, to reading at the Boys and Girls Club, there are many ways you can become involved in our community.
In this season of giving, spread some of the joy that is ours because of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Jim Warren
Support Local Veterans and Enjoy Family Activities at the Holiday Boot Stuffer    
Sunday, December 15, 2019
2:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Parke Regency Hotel and Conference Center
1413 Leslie Drive
Bloomington, IL  61704
To celebrate the opening of Bloomington's new VA Clinic, Let's Party Rental will be throwing a fundraiser for our local Veterans at the Parke Regency Hotel and Conference Center.   
A visit with Santa, variety of raffle prizes, as well as many holiday themed activities, will be on hand for families to take part in.  
Join us in making a truly special day for our heroes in uniform. See the flyer for more information.  
Participate in the ISU Messiah Sing-A-Long 
Sunday, December 15, 2019 
3:00 p.m. 
Illinois State University Center for Performing Arts 
Normal, IL  61761
 ISU cordially invites you to the Messiah Sing-A-Long, a fundraiser for grants and scholarships for students, coordinated by Friends of the Arts in conjunction with the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts. Please see the flyer for more information, and contact with any questions about the event.
Note many members of the Chancel Choir from FCC plan to participate!
Attend a "Longest Night" Service     
Thursday, December 19, 2019
First UMC (Normal) at 12:00 p.m.
Wesley UMC at 6:00 p.m.
The holidays may not be merry or bright for those feeling loss, depression, illness, worry, and struggle.  Join us in acknowledging our hurting places before God at one of these two special services.   
Volunteer to Help Seniors through Faith in Action   
Orientation Dates Below
Faith in Action
600 E. Willow Street, Suite 201
Normal, IL  61761
Looking for a way to help local seniors?
Can you provide occasional rides to appointments?
Fill out a brief Volunteer Interest Form here or give us a call at the office (309-827-7780) to begin the process of volunteering. 

Upcoming Orientation Dates:
Tuesday, January 14 2:30 PM - 4 PM
Wednesday, February 20, 10:30 AM - 12 PM

Round Up at the Register to Support Recycling Furniture for Families    
Month of December, 2019
Green Top Grocery
921 E. Washington Street
Bloomington, IL  61701
The Round up at the Register Program allows shoppers to round up their change to the next dollar for a local charity each month. In December, Recycling Furniture for Families is the recipient.   

Example of how it works:  Your total is $24.59; if you were to round up your total would now be $25.00 and the remaining 41 cents will go the charity of the month.
Black Lives Matter in Bloomington-Normal Book Club Meeting  
Monday, January 20, 2020
7:00 p.m.
Bloomington Public Library Community Room
205 E. Olive Street
Bloomington, IL  61701
Join in a public discussion of  
Kiese Laymon's Heavy: An American Memoir (2018)  

Contact:  Marie-Susanne Langille
Join the The Second BloNo Interfaith Green Team Gathering   
Thursday, January 23, 2020
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
2000 E. College Avenue
Normal, IL  61761
Welcome members of Faith Communities in the Bloomington/Normal area. Feel free to invite others you know who might be interested.  No meal will be provided this time. Refreshments provided but we will get right down to business.
We will continue to explore common goals and collaboration for Creation Care or better Stewardship of Creation.
Join with Welcoming America to Support New Neighbors 
Bloomington-Normal, IL, Area and Beyond
Welcoming America provides direction and support to communities to become more inclusive toward immigrants and all residents. Launched in 2009, Welcoming America is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that fosters a culture and policy environment to make it possible for newcomers of all backgrounds to feel valued and to fully participate alongside their neighbors in the social, civic, and economic fabric of their adopted hometowns. Its approach goes beyond a single program or service to work with institutions across the community to reduce the barriers that immigrants face to fully participate and build bridges between newcomers and long-time residents.

To get involved, contact Kris Williams at 
Visit Broadview Mansion, Decorated for Christmas 
Tuesdays and Thursdays by Appointment
1301 S. Fell Avenue
Bloomington, IL  61701
(309) 452-6710
Come visit the beautifully decorated, historic Broadview Mansion,
outfitted with 10 Christmas trees.
Call to schedule a daytime tour

Broadview Mansion is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Please note that the mansion is not wheelchair accessible.
Volunteer as a Reader as Part of the Grandparents are Gifts Program at the Boys & Girls Club 
Now through May 15, 2020
4:00 p.m through 5:00 p.m.
Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal
Bloomington and Normal, IL
We are looking for volunteers for our Grandparents are Gifts program, a small group reading program at the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal.  Come as often as you like.  To get involved, contact Jenny Hall at or by calling 309-829-3034 x109.
Volunteer at or Donate to the WBRP  
(West Bloomington Revitalization Project)
724 W. Washington Street
Bloomington, IL  61701
Whether it's repairing tools, painting, assisting with the Bike Co-op or riding the Book Bike to community events, we have something for every volunteer. Stop by during our hours (below) to get more information or to sign up. You can also email for more info.

Monday: 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.; 5:00-7:00 p.m.
              (Bike Co-op open 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.)
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.; 5:00-7:00 p.m.
*Thursday: 2:00-7:00 p.m.
*Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
               (Bike Co-op open 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)

                              *need extra help these days
Make a one-time or monthly donation that will help keep the WBRP programs thriving.  Donate 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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