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,

All the election news over the last week and a half has captured our attention, but there are many other news stories happening that involve people in need. One of the purposes of Beyond the Bricks is to remind us that we need to take care of other people.

Please read over this issue of Beyond the Bricks to remind yourself of some of the other major issues confronting our country, such as racial justice and mental health care. Be involved and make a difference in the lives of those around you.

Your brother in Christ,
Jim Warren
Attend Black Lives Matter in B/N Book Club's Public Discussion of the Book The Men We Reaped
Thursday, December 17, 2020 
7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
This is public Zoom discussion of Mississippi writer Jesmyn Ward's 2013 256-page memoir about the deaths of five Black men in her life, including her own brother. Our intersectional book club welcomes everybody. Feel free to invite a friend.

Support INtegRIty Counseling by Filling a Pig (Bank) 

November 16 - December 7, 2020
First Christian Church and Other Local Places

Bloomington-Normal organizations BCAI Cultural Arts and Humanities, INtegRIty Counseling, and Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity are working together to fund raise and raise awareness for cultural change here in our community, and we need YOU to join us! 
These groups have hand-decorated 25 piggy banks that will live in local businesses to raise funds for INtegRIty Counseling, supporting their mission to provide mental health resources, social education, and cultural awareness for our community in the accessible and inclusive manner in which they have already begun transforming our Twin Cities. Pigs will also be auctioned off later to raise more proceeds for BCAI. 
Pigs will be distributed the week of November 16 and picked up during the week of December 7. Look for a pig near the offering basket outside the sanctuary at FCC, and please feed it often.
Help with the Baby Fold's Christmas Wish List  
Many children who receive services through The Baby Fold would not otherwise receive Christmas gifts if it weren’t for the generous hearts of friends like YOU. Our children are eagerly writing their wish lists and YOU can help turn them into Christmas morning magic! There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Adopt a Wish List for one or more children. Lists consist of 2-3 items with a requested spending limit of $50-$60 per list.
  • Make a monetary gift so we can fill the wish lists that don’t get ‘adopted’ by the community.
  • Donate gift cards for older children and teenagers to pick out their perfect gift.
  • Visit to adopt a list and learn more, or contact Sam Guillory at or (309) 451-7202.

Thank you for helping to create a magical and joyous Christmas experience for the children of The Baby Fold!
Support Toys for Tots 
Various Locations
US Marine Corps Reserves are collecting and distributing new toys to needy
McLean County children through community holiday assistance programs.
Monetary donations are very much appreciated, as well. Donated toys can be dropped off mid-November through the first part of December at varying locations throughout the Bloomington/Normal area.
Support the Sunnyside Community Garden and Food Forest
West Bloomington is known as a food desert because many people in the community lack access to affordable fresh vegetables. Sunnyside Community Garden and Food Forest, located at the west end of Illinois Street in Bloomington, was established May of 2016 by Col Connelly and Jan Turner to help combat this lack of access.

The mission of Sunnyside Community Garden and Food Forest is to provide fresh, organic produce to low-income families in West Bloomington and to facilitate learning opportunities for children and adults through gardening, harvesting, and marketing food grown on site, using sustainable practices.

If you would like to make an online donation to the Sunnyside Community Garden and Food Forest Fund, or to learn more about the garden and its efforts, please click on the button below.
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! 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. 

First Christian Church || 309 829-9327 |
401 West Jefferson St. Bloomington, IL 61701
Bloomington's Oldest Continuing Congregation