Communications On the Move
As you may know, how we communicate at First U is changing. Our beloved newsletter designer and editor, Joann Ball, will be leaving her post as of June 2016. We thank her for her many years of wonderful service! Anticipating this change, Rev. David has put in place a Communications Committee to help the church through this period of adjustment. We are excited to innovate how we communicate with our church community, Chicago and beyond. We seek to provide accessible, sustainable and achievable means of communication. In the weeks to come, we will be discussing our plans and gathering insights from the congregation through First Forums on July 17th and July 31st. We encourage you to attend one of these meetings or if you are unable to attend, reach out to Mary Clare Bietila with any questions or concerns at email@example.com.
People interested in seeing the rescheduled showing of the science fiction masterpiece Prometheus need to sign up at the Social Justice Council table during the Social Hour. We will look at how multiracial unity is used in this film as a major subtext, especially in the demonstration of the Christian theme of “giving one’s life as a ransom for many.” A discussion of multi-raciality in science fiction films will follow the screening.
We will need five to proceed. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See "GET INVOLVED" above for additional opportunities.
Generosity is one of our principle practices as religious people—particularly as Unitarian Universalists. This one way that we live our principles: valuing the inherent worth and dignity of all people and honoring our interconnected web of existence.
We practice that generosity through giving our time, talent, and treasure to the church. But we are also called to give beyond the walls of our church home. When we have eyes to see all that we have—as people and as a congregation—we can’t help but be generous. It’s also simply the right thing to do.
Our church gives away two of its offering baskets per month in the Give Away the Basket program. We select the recipients quarterly—an organization working for good in the world. They receive about six Sunday offerings; last year we gave away $10,000 over the course of the year. We are on course to give away even more this year.
You might wonder: “if we really want to grow income, why are we giving away the basket two out of every four Sundays?” First, it’s a tiny slice of our income: about 1%, but can make a very significant difference in our community—it’s a public expression of our values. Second, just like other churches who have moved in this direction, we found that giving away the plate paradoxically increases total giving.
This year, we collected more in two Sundays than we did in three Sundays last year. Nine months into the fiscal year, we have given away $12,632. We have also raised $5,026 in church offerings—which is almost $1700 more than we expected to raise by this point in the year. When we live our values and generously share as a community, we also thrive. It’s somewhat paradoxical, but the more we give away, the more we have.
You’ve given to the basket—now I’m asking you to get involved. This year will be the first year that the entire congregation can vote on our basket recipients. All completed applications will be eligible for selection by congregational vote during our Annual Meeting on May 22. You—as the congregation—will get to vote on four recipient organizations. This lets everyone get involved in the process. The additional lead time will let us partner with our recipient organizations in new and deeper ways in the coming year.Please find the nomination form in this newsletter and in your weekly Church enewsletter, as well as hard-copies with your Order of Service on Sundays. As of yet, we have only received one nomination form, so get moving! Let’s see what we can do together.
On a personal note, Teri will have a complete right knee replacement surgery at the end of June, revising the partial replacement done last August. The previous surgery did not successfully resolve pain and mobility issues. This should have limited impact to our summer schedules, as we were planning to be out of the pulpit in mid-summer for study and vacation. Teri should be substantially recovered as the new church year begins in September—hopefully strong and kickin.
Rev. Teri and Rev. David
We gather to sing together a few minutes before the service starts. Classes for school-age kids are available, and childcare for children 0-4 is available each week (though of course you're welcome to keep your little one with you!). After the service, you are warmly invited to gather for food, coffee, and conversation.
Most Sundays a program is offered after the service at 11:30 -- everything from updates on church life, to coffee with the ministers or Director of Religious Education, to Social Justice speakers and other presentations.