News & Views for UU's
January 2017 eUniter
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January 1 The Poetry of Winter
Led by the Worship Committee and you

January 8 We are always in ritual and ritual is revolution
Visiting Balázs Scholar, the Rev.Tet Gallardo, Minster, Bicutan Congregation Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines preaching, with Rev. Joanne
New Member class, 12-2 (More information elsewhere in the eUniter)

January 15 Martin Luther King Day Celebration
Rev. Joanne preaching,  Adult choir singing

January 22 Where do our values lead us?
Rev. Joanne preaching
Children will begin in sanctuary, Children's choir singing

January 29 The minister you seek
Rev. Joanne preaching
Adult choir singing
Interim gathering on worship, 12-2 (More information elsewhere in the eUniter)
Rev. Joanne Giannino, Interim Minister

Each January I recommend a great book or two via my minster’s newsletter column. This practice started as a way to encourage folks – including myself – to curl up in a comfy chair, with a warm beverage and a good book – during the long dark nights of winter – to learn, to laugh, and to consider the ways of the world and our part in its unfolding. The recommendation also started as an alternative to the practice of making New Year resolutions.

So, as we begin a new (calendar) year of ministry together at UUCUC, I make three suggestions below. In return I invite you to share your recommendations – with me and for one another via a later eUniter or eNews and/or through the UUCUC members and friends Facebook page. 

The year ahead will have challenges and opportunities, sorrows and joys, frustrations and delights. For some, there is a deep knowing that the arc of the moral universe is really going to need all of us tugging on it to keep it bending toward justice. UUA President Peter Morales, writing recently to his ministerial colleagues said, “it would be folly to act as though we are in a normal transition between administrations. We must prepare to provide sanctuary and resist.” (To read his complete text, click here:

What we offer – as individuals and as a people of faith – is always needed. We share a particular set of values that we have inherited and that we are called to carry forward: reason, freedom, and tolerance. We grow and change along the way. Our understandings deepen especially as we encounter other beloveds with whom we share this precious planet, this gift of Life. And so may our commitment toward peace, through justice and love, and not waver. 

Here are three titles on my winter bookshelf:

  • For the soul that is called to justice: "The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement" by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (UUA study guide at:
  • For the heart that is called to listen and craves tools to understand others: "That's Not What I Meant!: how congregational style makes or breaks relationships" by Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don’t Understand.
  • For the young at heart, the lover of story, and for just plain fun: "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (Hogwarts Library Book) by J. K. Rowling, Newt Scamander

I hope that if you pick up one of these your imagination is stirred, your values affirmed, your courage broadened and your love expanded in ways that lead you, and me, together, to love one another into our fullest selves.

In faith,
Rev. Joanne

Are you feeling blah because of winter is here - for real?
Want to meet with others to kvetch and discover ways to cope with the long winter?
Let Rev. Joanne know.
If there is enough interest, we will announce a group name and start date. 
Cindy Wakeland, Director of Religious Education

Happy New Year! My mom was right as she wrote in my 5th grade autograph book.  “Live life to it’s fullest my dear, the older you get the faster times goes by.”  I am finding that more true each year.  I need to bring in some of the "fullest" instead of watching time go by.  How about you?

So to start this new year, I thought of the idea of getting together on January 20th for a UU Ball, I just want to have fun. SOOO…….

Everyone Young and Old, is invited to

A Snow Ball for All at the UUCUC Church

January 20th, 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Join us for a time to Celebrate 2017, to just have FUN!

Dance the night of the Presidential Inauguration, whatever we think, have a glass of cheer, share snacks of sweetness and saltiness, visit with friends, dress fancy or causal.

Music for all ages will be playing throughout the evening.

(Would someone like to run Pandora for us? Does anyone have a Karaoke machine we can borrow? Tanja Hodges has already agreed to teach us some dance moves.)

Mark your Calendar


This past fall when I attended a workshop on Family Ministry I began to see working with families a little differently.  This Ball will hopefully have many different families come together and have a good time.  Here is one quote from the class; “Ministry within families is about the interactions between family members that reflect the care and tending of one another’s souls.”  The Snow Ball for all is for fun and to tend to souls of the family, more details coming soon.

Sherry Bohlen, Membership Coordinator
During this time of political turmoil and tension, people are looking for connections and for anchors to help them make sense of it all. While we UU’s pride ourselves on not “proselytizing”, consider at least being open to inviting people to ask you about your UU experience and what it means to you.

Here are some things that you can do to invite queries and ways that you can practice an outward orientation:
  1. Tell return visitors that you’re glad that they came back.
  2. Intentionally sit beside and talk with a visitor at Sunday service.
  3. Put a UU decal on your car or home window.
  4. Wear UU jewelry and clothing.
  5. Use a UU coffee mug at work.
  6. Practice your response to the question, “What is Unitarian Universalism?”
  7. Write an article for a local newspaper about a church project in which you’re involved.  Be sure to mention UUCUC and how to get involved!
  8. Host a party to which you invite both members and nonmembers.
  9. Participate in a community event that reflects UU principles and wear clothing or jewelry that identifies you as a UU.
  10. Invite a nonmember to a service, small group, or adult program within your congregation.
  11. Carry a "7 Principles” card, and give it to people when they ask about Unitarian Universalism.  
  12. Pick up a few of the generic UUCUC “business cards” from the Hub table to share them with those who might have interest.
  13. Promote your congregation’s rental space to individuals and groups you know.
This holiday season may we all be living invitations to those seeking connection and anchor.  Holiday blessings to all!

  (This list was adapted from work by Art Brewer, First Unitarian Congregation, Toronto, Canada.)
Are you newly retired, long time retired, dreaming / scheming / planning to be retired?
Want to meet with others to share the joys and challenges, and discover ways to create this new stage in your life? 
Let Rev. Joanne know. 
If there is enough interest, we will announce a group name and start date.
Beth A. Cobb, Assistant for Services

Thank you to all of the generous donors of poinsettias who made it possible to have enough plants to fill all twenty-four windows in our Sanctuary and five more plants to add beauty elsewhere.  The red blossoms are truly beautiful and add to the warmth of the room during our winter celebrations.  This year’s donors are: Sally Babbitt, Sam Beshers, Christine Cahill, Barb and Bill Childers, the Cobb Family, Chuck Cooper, Roch Ducey, Joe and Sandy Finnerty, Leon and Kathy Frizzell, Jerry Frye and Priscilla Kron, Jennifer Greene, Sandy Hannum, AJ Herzog, Jennifer Hunt and Kristi Mercer, the Loui family, Marie McEnroe, Karla Peterson, and Cindy Wakeland.


January Shared Offering: Men's Winter Shelter

Total Project Cost: $35,000. Raised $22,000. Still Needed: $13,000

UUCUC is joining with the community to provide a temporary Men’s Winter Shelter.  Checks can be written to UUCUC, with Men’s Winter Shelter on the memo line.

Problem: Currently Champaign-Urbana does not have an operating, nightly, overnight shelter for homeless men.  Although there is a plan in place for a rotating warming location for the homeless when the temperature drops below 10 degrees this does not solve the ongoing, nightly problem for the homeless during the cold, wet and snowy nights that occur above that temperature. 

As we move into the winter months, the need for a men’s overnight shelter during the coldest of the winter months is critical.  A steering group was formed to identify space and funding for a 3-month emergency cold weather shelter --- for the months January, February and March 2017.  This is to be a damp temporary, emergency shelter and is not intended to be a long-term solution.  A long-term solution is being dealt with by a separate organization that has no hope of having anything open for the upcoming 2017 winter. 

The Emergency Shelter will be operated by paid administrative and overnight staff and supplemented with volunteers. The plan will only provide a nightly overnight shelter and is not intended to provide social services.  If an individual asks for assistance they will be referred to existing social service programs insofar as they may be available.  A cold breakfast may be provided and a sack lunch provided on weekend days when the soup kitchen is not open.  Potential locations have been identified and discussions are underway.

UPCOMING EVENTS         CLICK HERE to see full Upcoming Events' Calendar
Sunday, January 8, 2017
12 Noon - 2 pm in Children's Chapel

Please join us to learn more about the history and philosophy of the Unitarian Universalist Church.  You'll also learn about the governance of UUCUC, activities and opportunities available to our church community, religious education offerings for adults and for children, and about the role you'll be asked to play as a steward of our church. 

At the completion of this class, you'll be invited to become a member.

This class will be led by Interim Minister, Rev Joanne Giannino and Membership Coordinator, Sherry Bohlen, with sharing from representatives from Religious Education, Membership Committee, Stewardship Committee, and the Board of Trustees.

Light lunch (including pizza from Pizza M!) will be provided.  Child care is available.

To sign up for the class, email Sherry Bohlen or call 217.417.1148.


Film Viewing Followed by Discussion
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Doors open at 2 pm
Film starts at 2:30 pm

Powerful, infuriating and at times overwhelming, Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13TH” will get your blood boiling and tear ducts leaking. It shakes you up, but it also challenges your ideas about the intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States, subject matter that could not sound less cinematic. Yet Ms. DuVernay — best known for “Selma,” and a filmmaker whose art has become increasingly inseparable from her activism — has made a movie that’s as timely as the latest Black Lives Matter protest and the approaching presidential election. (Selection taken from NY Times review by Manohla Dargis) 


An Interim Gathering on Worship
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Noon to 2 p.m.

Join Rev. Joanne, staff and other lay leaders who offer worship at UUCUC to consider ways to approach, lead and understand worship for the rest of the 2016-2017 church year.
Ask some perennial questions: Why and how do we gather on Sunday mornings? What do we think we are we doing when we do this thing, called Worship? What has worship been like at UUCUC? What kinds of new tools are emerging in the practice of this ancient art? How can UUCUC members and friends be open to what a new settled minister might bring when they arrive in late summer? How might staff and lay leaders plan the arc of a worship year, together?
Please come whether you’ve ever imagined leading worship or just enjoy participating in what is offered. Rev. Joanne is hoping to see as many of you as can possibly attend. A light lunch and childcare will be provided. Please RSVP via
February 12th marks the beginning of our annual stewardship celebration. Join us for this special service and fellowship as we begin our year of Putting Love Into Action.
Being White in the Black Lives Matter Movement class

As another step in our efforts to promote racial awareness and justice, we are offering a 4 session class starting in mid-February. The title of this class is "Being White in the Black Lives Matter Movement" and it will be co-led by Jim Hannum and Andrea (AJ)  Herzog , with assistance from Kathleen Robbins and Dave Sutton.

This class is patterned after a class developed by Rev. Kate Lore, a UU Minister in Portland, OR.  We will focus on a variety of educational and personal exploration activities related to whiteness and the institutional systems that (intentionally or unintentionally) favor whites. Opportunities to take action related to broad racial justice topics will be offered.  

The class will meet from  7-9:30pm on Thursdays starting on  Thursday, February 16.  Group size will be limited to 20, and we encourage people to commit to all 4 meetings if you want to join us.  Please call or email Jim Hannum (email:; telephone:   217-621-8332) if you would like to participate.

Jim Hannum is a retired clinical psychologist and retired clinical faculty member from the University of Illinois. Andrea (AJ) Herzog is a clinical social worker in private practice in Champaign, IL.

Click on HERE for a full listing of January birthdays!       

Please send your news submissions via email.  All submissions should include your name and phone number.  All submissions may be edited for clarity or shortened. 
e-News Deadline – Wednesday Noon
e-News is the church's weekly electronic update. If you would like to remind others about the next weeks and/or weekend event, briefly update the congregation on a committee’s new project, or remind people to save a date, then use e-News. Topics may include: events, religious education, schedules, and matters of congregation-wide concern and interest.  e-News does not replace the e-Uniter, but allows the congregation a way to keep each other posted on emerging and last-minute news.
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Uniter Deadline -  Third Thursday of each month
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana Champaign | 309 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801 |
| (217) 384-8862 | |