News & Views for UU's
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Sunday, April 2
Working to care for the Earth: a celebration of the sun and water
Led by members of the congregation and Rev. Joanne. Adult choir will sing. Regular RE classes resume. Pathway to Membership class after worship. 

Sunday, April 9
Prison Abolition: Justice without cages
Worship Committee leading service. Taste of RE after worship.

Sunday, April 16
Children will begin the sanctuary. Egg hunt after worship. 

Sunday, April 23
Youth Sunday

Sunday, April 30

Rev. Joanne Giannino
Interim Minister

Learning Your Way

This week I received a gift from Soul Matters – a resource for congregations that monthly delivers materials for worship, small group and personal reflection, and religious education on a particular theme. April’s theme is Transformation! The question posed for April is: What does it mean to be a community of transformation? One of the first tasks toward finding out what it means to be a community of transformation is to “learn your way.” Here is an exercise to try on your own and then share with others if you wish:

   The connection between transformation and learning is deep. To talk of transformation as learning is to remember that newness is not just about effort but also about insight. It’s also a reminder that transformation is an on-going process not a one-and-done     kind of thing. As Emily Lillian urges us, “Always be a work in progress!”

  To engage us in this connection between transformation and learning, this exercise asks us to notice the ways in which we are already deep into the work of transformative learning. Here are your instructions:

Make time to meditate on the below poem
then write a version of your own.

  You don’t have to be a poet. All you have to do is complete the sentence “I am learning…” 5-10 times.

  After you’ve written your own version, put it up somewhere where you will easily see it every day for a week or two. If you feel so moved, please share your poem with a friend or in a small group to which you belong, or the minister. :-) What was it like to identify the learning you are in the midst of and what it was like to be more aware of it each day. Did identifying your learnings leave you proud? Surprised? Aware of something new? Did daily awareness advance your transformation? Change it?

I am Learning... by Amy Lloyd

i am learning to be brave
i am learning to speak my own language
i am learning what i want to become
i am learning what kind of life i want to live
i am learning to stand in my place without flinching
i am learning to go my own way
i am learning not to help people who don’t want help
i am learning to embrace my powerful spirit
i am learning how to build my own bridges
complete with lions to guard against the foot-traffic
i am learning i have value to bring to those waiting to hear my voice
i am learning the intensity of my own burning passions
i am learning to keep digging in the murkiest of my own brokenness
i am learning to accept my imperfections as beautiful
i am learning to think in terms of unlimited possibilities
i am learning i will not always be understood in the way I intended
i am learning to apologize and then move freely forward
i am learning
and learning
and learning
new things
every minute
every day
i am a learning to be a part of the healing of the world
because i am willing to learn to be me

In faith,
Rev. Joanne
Cindy Wakeland
Director of Religious Education

The last few weeks have brought some beautiful weather. Some cold days have managed to squeeze back in making a time of confusion for the flowers and me. Dare I ask, do I need sweater? The flowers ask, is it time to bloom or not? I worry about the geese in my backyard swimming on a pond that is almost iced. Yet, somehow, we all have the instincts to live on, to know what to do, whatever happens. It is suppose to be spring, I was wondering about some of spring traditions. Do we really know what they mean? Each year we have an Easter Egg Hunt but what is the deal with eggs anyway? Why does Easter fall on a different Sunday each year?

The colored eggs are often given to celebrate springtime. So it is obvious that colored eggs are common around Eastertide or springtime. The oldest tradition is to give colored chicken eggs or you can add a modern twist and give colored foil chocolate eggs instead. Eggs in general have long symbolized rebirth and fertility (hence the rabbit and eggs), in Christianity the Easter egg symbolizes an empty tomb of the risen Jesus.  The first Easter eggs were painted red to symbolize Jesus’ bloodshed during the crucifixion, and can be traced to the early Christians of Mesopotamia. The traditions then spread throughout Russia and Siberia and later into Europe. Thousands upon thousands of rabbits and hares are born each year all over the world. Perhaps this is why they are a symbol of abundant life and long been a symbol of Easter.

Calculating the date of Easter has long been a controversy. Look it up, the research is rather fascinating. From my reading here is the easiest definition. Easter occurs the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the March equinox. This is sometime between March 22 and April 25. The World Council of Churches has tried to set a fixed date for Easter but so far it has never come to a final vote.

This year, Easter falls on April 16, we will celebrate the wonders of spring, and yes, we will have an egg hunt for all children pre-school-5th grade (maybe a few for the nursery). They will hunt for 460 fill eggs around our lovely church grounds.

P.S. if you use Styrofoam meat trays, paper towel holders, and plastic berry cartons please save them for Summer Camp there will be a box by the RE Table. Thank You!

A BIG thank you to Hospitality Team A

Thanks to Jennifer Greene and Jenna Zeidler, Hospitality Team Leaders for the month of March. Thanks to all the Hospitality Team A volunteers who assisted Jennifer and Jenna each Sunday during the month. March Hospitality Team volunteers will be acknowledged in the E news in early April. 
Spread the UU Good News!

UU jewelry, decals, bumper stickers, mugs, tote bags and other items make excellent gifts for family and friends. Purchase items for yourself to help spread the UU good news!  A variety of UU gift items can be found at the Unitarian Universalist Association Bookstore  HERE or HERE or through Café Press. Stop by the Hub table in Fellowship Hall for additional information. 
Be the Face of Sunday Morning: Join a Hospitality Team

Hospitality Teams are in charge of Sunday morning hospitality (e.g. bell ringing, welcoming, ushering, providing decorations and refreshments) for two months during the year. Hospitality Teams are a great way to meet people and serve our congregation in a fun and important way. All members and friends are encouraged to join a Hospitality Team.  Each Team has 30-35 members so you do not need to help on every Sunday assigned to your Team. 

Stop by the Hub table on Sunday mornings to sign up for a Hospitality Team (or to find out if you are already assigned to a Team.) Questions? Contact Peggy Patten of the Membership Committee.

Our Caring Congregation

Do you or someone you know have Pastoral Care needs?  Help is just a phone call or email away!  Our Caring Congregation is a network of caring volunteers among our church family who are ready to assist you.  Our Caring Congregation is the vehicle by which we share our concerns as well as invite you to deepen your connection to our church family through reaching out, pitching in and stepping up to be there for each other. 

Care Core is the coordinating committee which meets monthly to consider pastoral care needs, share concerns, and develop ways for our volunteer network to help our church community.  Our volunteers have made and delivered meals, provided rides, company, child care, and moving muscle among other services.  We have sent cards, made home visits, and hosted memorial services.  If there is some way we can assist you please email:, or call the church office (217) 384-8862 and our church administrator will forward your concern to us, or you can call any member of our committee (we are all listed in the church directory).  If you would like to join our network of Caring Congregation volunteers, please also email:

Care Core Committee: Sally Babbitt, Kathy Frizzell, Maryly Crutcher, Sandy Hannum, Anne Sharpe, Mona Shannon, Deedy Marble, Phil Abruzzi, Joanne Giannino and Cindy Loui (chair)  
Conscious Foodies: Not just for “Green UUs”

Whether you "identify" as an herbivore, omnivore or somewhere in between, this group welcomes "Conscious Foodies": those who are interested in examining the effects of our food choices on the environment, our bodies, our world.

Occasional “meet-ups” at the Red Herring or other local restaurants will give opportunity to eat and talk about what it means to be a locavore, a pesca-vegetarian, an ovo-lacto-vegetarian (or, as one friend describes himself, an “eat-a-lot-avore”!); where to find organics; where to source locally-produced foods.

We may view films, share book recommendations, share recipes... always in a spirit of gratitude for and appreciation of the abundance of resources available to us. Join the “Conscious Foodie” Facebook group HERE  or contact Jean Peters at

Our April Shared Offering is the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is the first point of contact for children and youth who have been sexually abused. We help the child, and their non-offending parent, begin to heal while working to hold offenders accountable. We do this by providing a comfortable setting for the initial law enforcement interview, by providing counseling and case management services to the family for as long as they need us, and by coordinating the multidisciplinary investigation.

Each year over 200 child victims are interviewed at the CAC regarding allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse. For the child, on what is often one of the worst dasy of their young lives, the CAC provides understanding, a promise to listen and believe, and help as they take the first steps towards healing.

Make a Difference. Get Involved in Social Action - A Cornerstone of UUCUC 
by Pam Richart, Social Action Committee Co-Chair

To "Promote Justice" is part of our church’s mission, and social activism is part of our legacy. We invite YOU to get involved in social action, whether it's participating in a one-time event, being part of a small group, sitting on the Social Action Committee (SAC), or contributing to our congregation's Racial Justice Initiative. 

Current initiatives include participating in ongoing projects such as Books for Prisoners; Habitat for Humanity, Crop Walk, the Daily Soup Kitchen’s Backpack Project, and the annual C-U Pride Festival Parade.  We are also working to put into action our congregation’s values to resist hate, fear, and bigotry by:

  • Promoting the UUA’s Declaration of Conscience.
  • Exploring ways in which we might protect and stand with immigrants facing deportation through the UUSC Welcoming Actions Program.  
  • Connecting with UUA initiatives to support indigenous rights by supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who continues the fight to protect their water. 

Our commitment to Standing on the Side of Love includes becoming involved with the Unitarian Universalist Church Advocacy Network of Illinois, whose work includes economic justice; racial justice; health care for all; and welcoming immigrants and refugees.  And we support and provide pathways for involvement in groups that are selected each year to receive our shared offering, such as the Men’s Emergency Homeless Shelter. Visit our SAC Table for a list of those organizations as well community “happenings”, including the events we’re co-sponsoring.

But there is more. Did you know we have a SAC Book Club, or that the Green UUs are hosting a Conscious Foodie Group to help us better understand the impact of our food choices?  And the Partner Church Committee, newly-formed Physician-Aid In Dying Group, and current Racial Justice Initiative are active, providing opportunities for involvement or making change.

The Social Action Committee meets in the Fellowship Hall from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm on the third Tuesday of the month. That means our next meeting is Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

We invite you to show up! Bring your passion and ideas. Come as you are, check us out, and decide whether this group is right for you. For more information, contact SAC co-chairs Pam Richart at or Dave Sutton, at

Tasty Indian Brunch Preview

The Partner Church Committee is looking forward to hosting a scrumptious Indian brunch on Sunday, April 23rd after worship service. We have an array of traditional recipes and already are shopping for spices and flavorings. We also will have non-Indian breakfast casseroles for less inquisitive or adventurous palates. Among the Indian dishes we plan to serve are Egg Curry, Channa, Dhal, and Raita, and for desserts, a sweet carrot dish, rice pudding, and Barfi (come and find out!). All this will be served with, of course, the original Indian tea, “Chai.” During the brunch we will conduct a fun trivia game about the culture, geography, and history of India and our partner church in Nongtalong. Watch your e-news for previews of a few quiz questions and answers. 

Please plan to come! No tickets are required. There will be a free-will offering jar to support our two partner churches. Many thanks, and see you there! 

Partner Church Committee (in alphabetical order): Christine Cahill, Tamara Ducey, Gail Hueting, Mary Jo Licht, Brigitte Pieke, Kathy Robinson, and Libby Tyler.
CLICK HERE to see full Upcoming Events' Calendar
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  • Utilize this format for the email subject line: Publication (eNews, OOS, eUniter), date of publication (1/26/2017), from (committee name)
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Please send your news submissions via email.  All submissions should include your name and phone number within your email.  All submissions may be edited for clarity or shortened. 
eNews Deadline – Wednesday Noon
eNews 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 eNews.
Order of Service Deadline – Wednesday Noon  
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eUniter Deadline -  Third Thursday of each month
eUniter is used to communicate church-related activities, classes, and news about members and friends. 
Our Staff 
Joanne Giannino – Interim Minister,
Mona Shannon - Board of Trustees, Chair
Cindy Wakeland - Director of Religious Education,
Sherry Bohlen - Membership Coordinator,
Matt Sheppard - Music Director
Matthew Gladden - Accompanist
Rosalyn Maziarka - Office Administrator,
Beth Cobb - Assistant for Services
Myron Winkler - Sexton 
Cody Foster - Sunday Sexton
Mary Foltz - Childcare Coordinator
Stepanie Cobb - Kitchen Helper