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Upcoming Sunday Services
Sunday, December 31, 2017
"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.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
“The Great Turning: Transformation and Renewal” Rev. Florence Caplow
This first service of the turning of the year will be an invitation to explore the path of personal and global transformation. The Buddhist eco-philosopher and activist Joanna Macy believes we are in a challenging time of what she calls "The Great Turning - the essential adventure..of the shift from the Industrial Growth Society to a life-sustaining civilization.” What do you think? Can we do it? If you are curious about The Great Turning and its possibilities, click here. Come be inspired and emboldened for the New Year!

Sunday, January 14, 2018
“Black Lives of UU” Rev. Florence Caplow
Our January Shared Offering is for “Black Lives of UU”, a relatively new but essential organization within our faith. In this service we will explore the Black history of Unitarian Universalism and how it is informing the long-overdue, life-affirming, and healing shifts we are seeing today in our congregations and our national Unitarian Universalist Association.

Sunday, January 21, 2018
“The Edict of Torda: 450 Years!” Rev. Florence Caplow
Four hundred and fifty years ago, the first document of religious tolerance in the world was signed by a Unitarian king (the only Unitarian king in history) in Transylvania. This anniversary is being celebrated by Unitarians everywhere, and we are part of it. To learn more about the Edict of Torda and the anniversary, click here. The UUCUC Adult and Children’s Choirs will be singing.

Sunday, January 28, 2018
“Adulting Is Hard, Y’All.” UUCUC Young Adult Group
This is the first Sunday service offered by our active Young Adult Group. You’ll hear from us about what we experience as young adults (20’s and 30’s) in this congregation, and the struggles we currently face. We hope you’ll come and enjoy the service!
Message from the Minister
Reverend Florence Caplow, Minister
Happy New Year! As we turn toward this next year, I feel the uncertainty and the questions in the air and in my own heart: What is happening to our country? What will the new tax law mean for us personally and for so many others? Why is everything feeling so much more tenuous? What should I do in this time? How should I respond?

These are difficult and powerful questions. I invite us, as a religious and spiritual community, to turn toward them, rather than away from them, with courage and the power of our convictions, what Gandhi called satyagraha. I hope that we can explore these questions together, and find how we want to be in a rapidly changing and uncertain world, with joy and love and determination.

I ended both our Christmas Eve services with these words from the great African-American theologian, educator, and civil rights leader, the Rev. Howard Thurman. I think they are good words to lead us in the New Year.

Now the Work of Christmas Begins
When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.

Join Rev. Florence for Meditation at Channing Murray.
Rev. Florence continues to lead a weekly meditation at Channing Murray on campus, 4:30-5:30 pm every Thursday, except January 25 th . 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.
Next RJI Meeting - Please join us for the next RJI meeting Thursday, January 11th from 7 - 8:30pm in the UUCUC Children's Chapel. All are welcome to attend.
Join us for our next Pathway to Membership Class on Sunday, January 28, 2018 from Noon - 3 pm in UUCUC Children's Chapel

This fast-paced and interactive class for those considering membership with UUCUC, you'll learn about the principles and foundation of the Unitarian Universalist Church. You'll also learn about the governance of UUCUC, activities and opportunities available to our church community, our social action mission, religious education offerings, and the role you can play as a supporter. A light lunch will be provided and child care is available.

At the completion of this class, you'll have an opportunity to "sign the book" and become a member of UUCUC. These classes tend to fill up, so please sign up early (we will offer a second class, if needed). For questions and to sign up, email   Sherry Bohlen  or (217) 417-1148. There will be a signup sheet on the HUB table in Fellowship Hall throughout the month.
Thanks to all who are recycling their foam.  Please remember that not all foam is recyclable. Look for the triangle with a 6 inside to make sure that your foam can be recycled. The foam recycling area is by the YRUU room in the basement.
The church office will be closed New Years Day (Monday, January 1st) and Martin Luther King, Jr., Day (Monday, January 15th).
Julie Laut, Chair, Board of Trustees
Sharing our Board Goals for 2017-2018

The work of your 2017-2018 Board of Trustees (BOT) began last June, immediately after the congregation elected the new board members and voted unanimously to call Florence Caplow as our new settled minister. Now, I write to share the goals we have set for the remainder of the 2017-2018 board year. What an exciting time this has been!
To prepare for the year, we met for a half-day board retreat where we learned about each other, examined our spiritual reasons for serving, and began orienting new board members. During our bi-monthly meetings, we took up agenda items from committees and started the process of goal setting for the year with a focus on leadership development. All the while, we knew things would shift with Florence’s arrival in August. With barely contained anticipation, we continued our work and looked forward to the date when our new minister would join us.

Click to continue reading about our boards goals.
Emily Laugesen, Stewardship Committee Chair
So often we begin a new year by looking forward and making plans for things to come, but this year as part of our call to stewardship we're going to do a little looking back as well. As our stewardship team sat down to begin planning for this spring, we looked back over the past year and were struck by how many new things have come about due to the energy, commitment, and growth of our congregation. 

We begin this new year by celebrating some key new people who add so much to the vitality of our church: our new minister, Florence Caplow, our new custodian, Shornor Vineyard, and the many new members who have joined our church (over 40 in the past year!). We also celebrate the commitment to the care of our planet that is represented by our new solar panels and roof. And we celebrate the support of the role of music in our worship services and congregational life, embodied in our new baby grand piano. 

We also celebrate the continuation of programs and initiatives: our congregation's deepened engagement with the complexities of dismantling racism and white supremacy through the Racial Justice Initiative, the nurturing of our youth through Religious Education, serving those in need through Care Core, and so many other core programs.

In a year that has been politically and socially volatile (to say the least), we take a moment to celebrate the good things made possible by the stewardship of this vibrant congregation.
Peggy Patten, Membership Chair
Join the Membership Committee
Are you interested in helping our members & our newcomers strengthen their connections to one another & to the UUCUC? If so, join the Membership Committee. We meet every other month for 2 hours in the late afternoon. Contact Peggy Patten for more information:

Thanks to those who are currently active on the Membership Committee: Marcy Joncich, Jenny Hunt, Herb Heistand, Debbie Rugg, Scott Godlew, Cindy Loui & Karen Retzer. 

Welcome to our newest members joining the Membership Committee: Anne Newman & Penne Beckett!
Thanks Hospitality Team C! Thanks to Sandy Hannum and Cindy Ingold, Hospitality Team Leaders for the month of December. Thanks to all the Hospitality Team C volunteers who assisted Sandy and Cindy 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.
Donations for the Women’s Shelter (Austin’s Place)

Now through March 1, we will be collecting items for the Women’s Shelter, Austin’s Place which is located at the First United Methodist Church in Champaign. The shelter welcomes up to 8 women a night December 11 through March 15. You can find a donation box by the SAC table in Fellowship Hall. If you have any questions contact Cindy Loui ( )

Donations of the following would be welcome:
  • Cases of water -- mini bottles are best
  • Juice boxes
  • Individually wrapped crackers -- cheese/peanut butter
  • Soft granola bars or cereal bars
  • Underwear -- we usually do a size large/stretchy -- They usually get worn once and tossed
  • Deodorant -- mini travel sizes best
  • Lysol spray -- for disinfecting the mats each morning
  • Socks -- Any kind are good, but the ladies do usually throw them away, so don't spend a lot!
Start Thinking About the Next Two-Year Initiative

It is time to start thinking about what you would like the church to take on as a two-year social justice initiative for 2018-2020. In January and February, the Social Action Committee will start to gather proposals, to be taken to the board for consideration, and ultimately voted on by the congregation in May. Our previous church-wide initiatives have focused on hunger, immigration, and racial justice. It is perfectly fine to repeat topics!

This year, at our minister’s suggestion, we will add open discussions of the proposed ideas. This will give the congregation a chance to get a feel for what might be involved with each of the potential initiatives. Thus, when the vote is taken at the annual meeting, everyone will be well-informed and ready to make a decision.

Early in January we will publish a simple form that you can use as a guideline for your proposal.
Get Connected! Join a C-U Legislative Panel. Improve State Law. Click here to read more and get connected.
Shared Offering for January: Black Lives of UU (BLUU)

With our Racial Justice Initiative (RJI), we have been working within our church and community to dismantle white privilege and white supremacy, and to promote racial justice. In a similar effort, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of UUA, has challenged us to join UU congregations across the country in raising money to support the “Black Lives of UU” (BLUU) program. The UUA has committed $1M from its endowment for this goal and an anonymous family has provided a $1M gift to the UUA to match congregational contributions. 

RJI strongly backs this challenge and hopes each of you will contribute extra money during January to help us reach our church’s minimum contribution of $2900 ($10/member). What is BLUU? From the BLUU website: “Black Lives of UU provides information, resources and support for Black Unitarian Universalists and works to expand the role and visibility of Black UUs within our faith.”  This Black-led organization is actively working to support people of color in more leadership positions through Unitarian Universalism and promote more welcoming spaces in which people of color can come together to heal and organize. This effort also helps us decenter whiteness within UU by promoting broader multicultural, multiracial communities. 

To read Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray’s challenge, go to this URL:

Our Board of Trustees is adopting a letter of support for this unique and timely program, which will be publically released during January. Please help us succeed in funding our share of this important effort.
Dr. MLK Commemoration Events at the U of I. For full list, click here .

Annual Countywide Dr. MLK, Jr. Celebration - Fri Jan 12th, 4 - 6pm , Vineyard Church 1500 North Lincoln, Urbana; The event brings together community members from Champaign County to celebrate the mission, teachings, and legacy of Dr. King. This year the committee will honor the leadership of local youth who are serving the Champaign-Urbana communities. With the theme of Fifty Years Past, Fifty Years Forward…Our Future Dreamers, Sally Carter, CEO of Tap In Academy, will provide the keynote address."

33rd Annual Dr. MLK, Jr. Service of Celebration - Sun Jan 14th, 5pm , Krannert Center, Free; Reverend Dr. Charlie Dates will be the keynote speaker.

Poverty Simulation - Fri Jan 19th, 1-3pm at the School of Social Work, 1010 West Nevada Street, Urbana in Room 2027. The School of Social Work at Illinois will host a poverty simulation to help Urbana-Champaign better understand the issues, hurdles, and roadblocks that individuals living in poverty face. Participants should arrive at 12:30PM to check-in. Register for the event at

Community MLK Celebration - Sat Jan 20th , 10am-12pm , Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Stage 5. Associate Chancellor Assata Zerai will provide opening remarks. Champaign resident Dawn Blackman, Sr. will provide an engaging historical story about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program will include a performance by students from International Prep Academy and a lecture demonstration dance performance with Dr. Kemal Nance. The event will have entertainment for all ages and is free of charge.
Religious Education (RE)
Cindy Wakeland, Director of Religious Education
New Year Resolutions for 2018

Resolution number one: Meet and greet people more. Try and talk to more people, maybe entertain more.

In my younger years, I used to be an extrovert. I am moving more towards the introvert with age. I want to try and defy this. I feel the need to communicate more with people. Expanding our relationships can be an exciting new experience for anyone. It can expand our horizons and teach us new things.

Resolution number two: Find balance in life to keep us all healthy.

My friend Anne, who is a writer, ends a spiritual message each month. The most recent message was about finding balance in your life. Finding time to do all you want to do and all you need to do can sometimes be difficult. My husband and I would enjoy some fellowship time with our church members, our friends. We seem to work all the time. We need to work it out, so we can do some fun things together, fellowship activities with our congregations and to take the greatest puppy for more walks.

Resolution number three: Work with friends and family to be more sensitive to those who feel acts of racism due to my spoken words, my writings, my teachings, and my body language.

Growing up, my family was quite liberal. This influenced my beliefs, my religion, and how I raised my daughter. My dad walked in the in Selma, we housed refugees in the 60’s, we walked out of restaurants because they would not serve people of color, and I attended school with friends of color and thought that was the norm. As the years passed, I witnessed many acts of racism. However, I never really did anything about it. This past year hearing from the RJI and attending the LREDA Fall CON, my eyes have opened. It is time to do more. Time for all of us to do more.
Sign up today for the 2018 UUCUC Secret Pen Pal. Curious about what this program is about, email Cindy Wakeland for more details!

Happiest of Birthdays to those who celebrate in January!

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.
January 2018 Dates - Check the church calendar and click the event for more details.

January 1: New Years Day - Church office is closed.
January 15: Martin Luther King Day - Church office is closed.
January 28: Pathway to Membership Class
Upcoming Publications - Mark Your Calendars!
Note: there is a new email address to send your publication annoucements!
Please use - Read more under UUCUC Publication Guidelines.
Next eNews: Thursday, January 4
Deadline for content: Wednesday, January 3 by Noon
February Uniter:
Thursday, January 25
Content Deadline for the February Uniter: Wednesday, January 17 by Noon
UUCUC Contact Information
Church Office
(217) 384-8862
Rev. Florence Caplow
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
Stephanie Cobb
Sunday Kitchen Helper
Mary Foltz
Childcare Coordinator