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Upcoming Sunday Services
Sunday, December 3: “The Power of Pilgrimage”, Rev. Roger Bertschausen                 
Each December we celebrate and support our Unitarian partner churches in India and Transylvania. This year Rev. Bertschausen, Executive Director of the UU Partner Church Council, will be visiting UUCUC and telling stories about UU pilgrimages to India and Transylvania. We are considering the possibility of a UUCUC pilgrimage next year! The Children’s Choir and Youth Choir will be singing.
 
Sunday, December 10: "Buddha’s Enlightenment and The Hidden Lamp ", Rev. Florence Caplow
Buddha’s Enlightenment is celebrated on December 8 th each year in Japan, Korea, and China. We will celebrate the possibility of enlightenment in each one of us, and Rev. Caplow will share stories of women’s enlightenment from her book, The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women. Rev. Caplow will have some copies available for purchase and signing after the service.  The UUCUC Adult Choir will be singing.

Sunday, December 17: "Children’s Pageant: ‘The Yule Spirits’”
The children of UUCUC will enact their annual holiday pageant in this service. This year the pageant is based on a pagan story adapted by Rev. Caplow, about the journey of the Flower Spirits to find out what has happened to the old Sun King. The Children’s Choir will be singing.

Thursday, December 21, 6:30 pm: “Winter Solstice/Yule Ritual”
The UUCUC pagan group will be sharing a winter solstice/yule ritual and ceremony for the whole congregation. All ages are welcome to join in this celebration of the birth of the sun. The ceremony will be held in the Fellowship Hall.

Sunday, December 24, 5:00 and 7:00 PM: "Christmas Eve Readings and Carols", Rev. Florence Caplow
THERE WILL BE NO SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE ON CHRISTMAS EVE.
Our 5:00 service will include the traditional reading of the Christmas story from Luke, interspersed with Christmas carols. Our 7:00 service will be readings of Christmas poetry, interspersed with Christmas carols. Both services will end with a candle lighting. UUCUC choirs will be singing.

Sunday, December 31: "The Poetry of Winter", Worship Committee
Please bring a friend or your entire family, children too, to the multigenerational Poetry of Winter service. Please bring a poem to share with the congregation that is related to the winter season. The poem could be a favorite of yours, one you have written, or perhaps a new one that you find just for this service. We will enjoy music, a story, and poetry for the winter season. This service is a tradition that the Worship Committee finds worthy of continuing. We encourage you to find a few quiet moments in the hustle and bustle at the end of the calendar year to find or create your poem. 
Message from the Minister
Reverend Florence Caplow, Minister
The winter holidays are upon us once again, filled with their powerful mixture of food, tradition, cold, lights, family, grief, love, sweetness, bitterness, and a thousand other flavors. If you are struggling this year, know that you are not alone. I taught a workshop in November called, "Spiritual Practices for Surviving the Holidays". For those of you who weren't able to make it, here are the three spiritual practices I offered. And whatever other spiritual practices are important to you, this is a good time to dust them off and return to them!

Gratitude. This was also the subject of my November 19th sermon (listen here to the podcast). Even the simplest gratitude practice, like writing down a few things you are grateful for every day, can make a big difference in your state of mind. Or watch this beautiful video from Brother David: " A Good Day," which I've probably watched a hundred times over the years. It's easy to be caught by the stress of the holidays. Gratitude is a way of remembering and reconnecting with the bigger picture.

Compassion. Feeling compassion for yourself and those around you is a spiritual practice particularly suited to time with family during the holidays. There's a saying in Buddhist circles: "If you think you're enlightened, spend a weekend with your family." Family dynamics have a way of pushing buttons we have long thought inactive. If that happens to you, remember that all of us are wounded and in need of love and compassion. Don't forget to include yourself in that circle of compassion.

Intention. Consider what matters to you during these holidays. What brings you joy? How are you going to take care of yourself? How are you going to find some ease amidst the busyness? Perhaps there is a new way you want to celebrate, or a new way you want to be this year. Get in touch with these intentions, write them down, and explore them. Intention is like setting your GPS for a destination: you may not get there right away, but you are pointing yourself in the direction you'd like to go.

We will be celebrating one of the winter holidays in a new way at UUCUC this year, with a Winter Solstice/Yule ritual on the 21st at 6:30 pm, led by our UUCUC pagan group. This will be a time to honor the dark and celebrate the light.
ANNOUCEMENTS
Baskets for Hymnals Free Up Pew Space
Worship attendance has been growing, which is a good thing! To free up additional seat space in the front of the sanctuary, the oversized hymnals that sat on the pews have been placed in rattan baskets located on the floor in front of each pew. The pews are designed to seat 6-8 individuals. If you can do so, please remember to move away from the aisles to make room for others. Thanks for your help.
UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS
13TH Movie Showing - Sunday, December 3rd, 2-5pm, UUCUC Fellowship Hall
“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." ( See NY Times)

Meditation at Channing Murray continues in December.

Rev. Florence is leading a weekly meditation at Channing Murray on campus, 4:30-5:30 pm every Thursday except December 28th. All are welcome, no meditation experience necessary
Moving Forward: Supporting Each Other Through Divorce and Separation. 

For those who are going through, or have gone through, divorce and separation. On Fridays, 3:30-4:30 in the YRUU room (downstairs beneath the sanctuary). All are welcome. Questions? Contact Snaps Ginger for more information.
Come to our special celebration and dedication recital for our new baby grand piano on  Sunday, December 10, at 7 PM in the Sanctuary of the UU Church.

The program features four of our very own staff musicians: Matthew Gladden (piano), Matt Sheppard (violin), Pierre Tang (piano), and Simon Tiffin (piano). They will be performing music by Chopin, Liszt, Scriabin, Ginastera, Debussy, and more.

Join us for desserts and refreshments afterwards.

This event is sponsored by the Music Committee and the adult choir of the UU Church.

The baby grand piano was purchased with funds from the Kent Conrad Music Fund and the annual budget of the UU Church. Thank you to all who contributed to make this wonderful instrument a reality.
MEMBERSHIP MATTERS
Peggy Patten, Membership Chair
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Christmas Eve Hospitality & Assistance Needed
All are invited to bring a plate of holiday treats for our collective hospitality after each Christmas Eve service, 5:00 or 7:00 pm. Bring your plate of goodies to the kitchen and remember to bring your plate home at the end of the evening. Volunteers are also needed to help clean up after each service’s hospitality hour. If you can assist with the clean-up, sign up at the Hub table on Sunday or let Peggy Patten know directly. 
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Survey Thanks!
Thanks to those who responded to the Membership Committee’s (MC) Communication Survey last month. 55 of you did so in all. The MC will discuss the survey results at our Dec. 6 meeting. You are invited to join us. We meet in Fellowship Hall from 4:30 – 6 PM. Questions? Contact Peggy Patten.

Thanks Hospitality Team B
Thanks to Libby Tyler and AJ Herzog, Hospitality Team Leaders for the month of November. Thanks to all the Hospitality Team B volunteers who assisted Libby and AJ each Sunday during the month.
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.
SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE NEWS
December Shared Offering is for Our Partner Churches "Keeping the Partnership Strong".

The mission and objectives of the Partner Church Committee are to develop long term, mutually supportive relationships with our fellow UUs in Transylvania, Romania, and in the Khasi Hills in North East India.

To this end, we promote an exchange of people and ideas, and we provide funds and other forms of assistance to help our partner churches in Szekelykal in Transylvania and in Nongtalang, India. We also help their communities to improve the quality of life for all inhabitants and foster economic development through improvement of educational opportunities. 

If you wish to help support this ongoing effort, please note that half of all plate cash collections and all designated checks received this month do just that. 

If you would like to join our congregation’s Partner Church Committee, please contact the chair, Brigitte Pieke

The Partnership Committee: Christine Cahill, Libby Tyler, Kathy Robinson, Tamara Ducey and Brigitte Pieke
A Tradition of Generosity
Our church has enjoyed giving to the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen backpack project since it began several years ago. The soup kitchen celebrates the holidays by giving filled backpacks to the men and women who are guests there. These packs are often the only gifts they receive during the holidays, and are much appreciated. We will not be giving backpacks to children since there are many other holiday gift programs in the community for them.

Some suggested items to include are gloves, hats, scarves, socks, sweatshirts, tee shirts, long underwear, deodorant, hand lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, shaving cream, hand warmers, cough drops, candy, gum, wrapped snack items, books, decks of cards, and small fleece blankets. All items should be new. Please do not include money or lottery cards. All backpacks should be labelled with the gender and size of recipient from small to 3X.

We will collect backpacks at the church on December 3 and 10. Tax forms will be available for those who would like to have them. If you have questions about this project contact Sandy Hannum.
C-U Men's Shelter is under way and will run until March 31, 2018 at Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign. Stats from the first week: the first 7 days 145 beds were used for 41 different men with an average of 21 per night. 

Volunteers are needed, click to read more if you can help.
RACIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE NEWS
Racial Justice Task Force Report Release - Tonight, November 30th, 6:30 - 8 pm, Champaign Public Library. Task Force members will give a brief outline of the findings and recommendations. There will also be a Q&A session and open discussion time to encourage the community to consider next steps for carrying out the recommendations.
Racial Taboo Continuing Conversations - Due to popular demand, additional Racial Taboo discussion meetings are being scheduled in Mahomet. The next meeting is Sunday, December 3rd from 2-4:00pm at the Mahomet Public Library. Whether or not you've watched the movie or attended prior discussions, all are welcome.
Next RJI Meeting - Please join us for the next RJI meeting Thursday, December 7th from 7-8:30pm in the UUCUC Library. It's a great way to get more involved.
Religious Education (RE)
Cindy Wakeland, Director of Religious Education
I attended the fall CON of LREDA (Liberal Religious Educators Association) the first week of November. The theme this year was “Brave Spaces: Learning about Non-violent Communication.” I missed the opening session due to flight delays. The second session began with the two white male leaders chosen by the LREDA board to lead us in Non-violent Communication exercises. Twenty minutes into the session a question was raised by a participant and questioned by the leader. This began a short conversation that led to the leader asking, “Do you want me to leave?” Participants responded, “YES!”  

Continue here to read more about Cindy's experience at LREDA.
Don’t forget to bring mittens, gloves, scarves, and hats for the mitten tree on December 3 rd .

Donations will be given to the Refugee center and the Backpack project!
WHEEL OF LIFE
In memory of Dr. Bernhard "Bernie" Works, written by Sally Babbitt. 

On November 15 th, the News Gazette listed the obituary for Bernie Works. This news saddened me. Memories came flooding back and I'll share some of them. He died 10/28/17 in Middletown, WI. having moved to be near their daughter.

He and his wife, Nancy attended our church for many years, serving in many capacities and were enthusiastic donors and pledgers. They even contributed to the fund to replace the playground equipment in recent years. Bernie was a skilled set designer for the Department of Theater at the University. He lent his skills to many projects in our church. There is a spotlight high up in the sanctuary that he rigged to shine on the Rose Window so it would be visible at night. Unfortunately, it is not used now, as it's too hard to access. He chaired the personnel committee for several years even though he never joined the church. He was a Lutheran and feared his Mother would never forgive him if he became a UU.

Continue here to read more about how Bernie has contributed to UUCUC.
Joys and Sorrows

Matt & Gail Tittle - Joy that we got remarried on Friday. Concern that Matt will have second craniotomy this Friday.

Virginia Brubaker & Gail Schiesser - Virigina has been diagnosed with angosarcoma, a rare cancer that is a result of radiation treatments for breast cancer 5 years ago. They are headed to see specialist at Ohio State this week.

Happiest of Birthdays to those who celebrate in December!

Check out our website for a complete list of celebrated birthdays.
Church Calendar
Dates are subject to change. For the most up-to-date calendar, please visit our website.
December 2017 Dates - Check the church calendar and click the event for more details.

December 3: Film Screening: 13th
December 21: All Congregation Winter Solistice/ Yule Ceremony
December 24 : 5:00 PM Christmas Eve Worship Service
December 24: 7:00 PM Christmas Eve Worship Service
December 25: Christmas Day - Church Office is Closed
Upcoming Publications - Mark Your Calendars!
Note: there is a new email address to send your publication annoucements!
Please use pubs@uucuc.org - Read more under UUCUC Publication Guidelines.
Next eNews: Thursday, December 7
Deadline for content: Wednesday, December 6 by Noon
January Uniter:
Thursday, December 28
Content Deadline for the January Uniter: Wednesday, December 20 by Noon
(Remember, there will be no eNews on 12/28 due to the Uniter)
UUCUC Contact Information
Church Office
(217) 384-8862
Publications
Rev. Florence Caplow
Minister
Cindy Wakeland
Director of Religious Education
Matt Sheppard
Music Director
Sherry Bohlen
Membership Coordinator
Rosalyn Maziarka
Office Administrator
Shornor Vineyard
Custodian and Building Caretaker
Beth Cobb
Assistant for Services
Matthew Gladden
Accompanist
Stephanie Cobb
Sunday Kitchen Helper
Mary Foltz
Childcare Coordinator