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People come to our church for reasons that range from seeking out like-minded people, exploring spirituality, or furthering personal growth. In addition to the Sunday morning service, members and friends can also gather to study religion and religious history, morality and ethics. They might work to further a cleaner environment or provide help to one another, enjoy one another’s company and just have fun. Like in any organization, church life is enriched the more one participates. The following are some of the committees, events, workshops and programs that help shape this congregation. They are open to anyone interested. Visitors are especially welcome.
ACOUSTIC RENAISSANCE CONCERTS
Folk music reached its height in the 60s and 70s when baby boomers were united by the voices of Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Judy Collins. Today, folk, Americana, and roots music continue to have a dedicated following among those who treasure this gentle form. In our sanctuary with its wonderful acoustics and a professional sound system, this series presents performers of considerable renown at a modest price, and is now going into its 15th season. Visit the web site at www.acousticren.com to see the latest offerings, or contact: Dan Bennecke at dtbenn001@gmail.com

11219232_10156157949455457_3678503225852111465_nANIMAL MINISTRY
UCH Animal Ministry is a chapter of the UUA Animal Ministry. The chapter seeks to expand the congregation’s awareness of issues involving cruelty to animals, compassionate consumerism, ethical eating, wildlife conservation and companion animals. We are the first congregation in the world to be certified under the UU Animal Ministry’s Reverence for Life program.

Animal Ministry normally meets on Second Sundays at noon in RE Building Room 5.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Elected trustees meet on the second Tuesday of each month to conduct the business of the church. Members and friends are welcome to attend board meetings. If you are interested in serving as a trustee contact Julia Beckman at beckman110@comcast.net.

 

11150698_10155558993285457_3014222858652908168_nBELTANE SERVICE
Join us in May for our annual Beltane celebration on the church lawn. Traditional cultures marked the beginning of at the beginning of May, and hoped and prayed for bountiful crops and healthy flocks. Our ancestors celebrated Beltane, around the first of May, with fires, festivals, and dancing around the Maypole. Our own Beltane celebration features music, food, drink, a pageant on the turning of the seasons complete with the Green Man and the Snow Queen, and of course our own Maypole. All ages are welcome.

 

CARING COMMITTEE
Because we are a loving community, there is no better way to show it than to reach out in times of illness, crisis, or celebration. These might be a kind word, a meal, or a gentle touch. Acting as a clearinghouse about our congregation members and appeals for help, they can respond by providing announcements during a church service, hosting events to help members in need or creating care shawls for members and friends that bespeak our concern. One need not be a long-time member to participate. If you have time to send a friendly note, make a phone call or drive someone to a dental appointment, your thoughtfulness will be rewarded with new friendships and abundant smiles. Contact person: Deborah Stillman stilld99@yahoo.com

CARE SHAWL
Do you knit or crochet? Then this is the place for you. Join fellow knitters four times a year to share patterns and fellowship. Learn how to knit a Care Shawl which is crafted with intention, and positive, caring, healing and happy thoughts. They are then blessed in a special, simple ceremony and given to members and friends of the congregation in need of caring. For more information and the date and time of our next gathering please contact Pam Fodor re@hinsdaleunitarian.org

CELEBRATION SINGERS
The Celebration Singers are a friendly group of adults who enjoy the musical challenges offered them by Director Julia Beckman, who founded the choir in 1974. She continues to consider it a privilege to lead them. One of the many 1557658_10155149051335457_813256945350464764_nbenefits of singing for Unitarian services is the freedom to choose a wonderful variety of music, both secular and religious – folk songs, spirituals, great classical and contemporary works, with an occasional trip into the world of jazz. This variety is challenging, rewarding, and fun. Julia believes that humor and laughter improve vocal quality — and keep volunteers showing up early on Sunday mornings! If you can carry a tune and enjoy singing, give the group a try! Voices needed in every section. Rehearsals are on Sundays at 9:15am in Room 4 of the RE building, and performances are approximately once a month.

Call Julia Beckman, 630-985-4688, or email her at beckman110@comcast.net for details.

CHALICE CIRCLES
Echoing the Unitarian symbol of inclusiveness, groups of ten or twelve come together to explore common concerns. Are you a cancer survivor or are close to someone that has cancer? There’s a chalice group where you can talk about it, no holds barred. Are you new to our church, wanting to understand more about it? How about trying to lose weight? Here is an opportunity for friendship with someone who really understands. A Chalice Group can have duration of a few weeks, months or go on for years. It’s up to the group. Don’t see one that fulfills your needs? You’re welcome to form your own with lots of help from the Unitarian Association, our parent denomination. Or if you’re not sure, contact the church office at office@hinsdaleunitarian.org or 630-323-2885.

COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
Having an exciting website and a presence on Facebook and Twitter is of paramount importance in today’s world. If you are a “techy” this would be a wonderful committee to share your talents. Contact Paula Sejut-Dvorak @ psejut-dvorak@sbcglobal.net for more information.

ENDOWMENT FUND COMMITTEE
Endowment Fund investments are selected and managed by a committee of five church members, elected by the congregation at the annual meeting. The Endowment Fund committee is responsible directly to the congregation. The terms of the committee members are five years in length, to ensure that the committee has continuity and that elected members are in place for sufficient time to learn how to manage the fund. One member is elected to the committee each year. Nominations for the Endowment Committee are made by the church nominating committee. For more information contact Jay Van Cura jvancura@sbcglobal.net

FINANCE COMMITTEE
Are you blessed with the skill of managing funds? Consider joining the finance committee. This committee oversees the church’s financial needs by helping to create the yearly budget and meets each month to keep the church fiscally sound. Contact Steve Trout steven_trout@sbcglobal.net.

11219631_10155559373125457_74989456281026245_nGARDEN COMMITTEE
This committee’s purpose is to help shape the ever-evolving vision of the church’s out-of-doors. It vets new ideas and introductions, helping to ensure that the landscape garden and garden architecture interests of the church are met. It invites the thoughts, concerns, opinions, ideas, etc. of all UCH members and friends. Contact: Charlie Fischer cfis@sbcglobal.net
GREEN SANCTUARY
Working to implement an environmental action program at UCH to save, protect and restore the planet, this group has collected discarded electronic equipment, transporting it to an ecologically safe recycling facility in West Chicago. It also demonstrates ways to conserve with light bulbs and insulate to use energy wisely. Please see the Green Sanctuary page here. Contact: Dave Lloyd @ davelloyd@mindspring.com

HOLIDAY HARVEST
Yes, it’s a fundraiser but oh, what fun! There’s delectable gourmet food that delights the most discriminating palate along with toe tapping music. In addition, you can bid on all kinds of goods and services for an incredible bargain price. Everyone is invited to party and celebrate with our church friends and neighbors. Contact Kate Tannyhill, kmtannyhilldraper@gmail.com

LANDSCAPE & GARDEN VOLUNTEERS
Do you love to dig in dirt? Love the satisfaction of seeing a weedless garden and enjoy being outside? Join this team of volunteers that helps to keep our gardens beautiful.
For more information contact Charlie Fischer cfis@sbcglobal.net

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
The membership committee serves as outreach to visitors as well as ministering to members and friends of our church family. This group of dedicated people recruits ushers and greeters help organize adult programs, contact visitors, organize neighborhood parties and more! If you are looking to become more involved in our church community this is a wonderful place to start! For more information contact Pam Fodor re@hinsdaleunitarian.org

MOM’S GROUP
Join fellow UU moms for support, networking, idea sharing and camaraderieFor more information contact Pam Fodor re@hinsdaleunitarian.org.

NEW UU
Our denomination was well represented among the signers or the American Declaration of Independence and was on the forefront of women’s suffrage and the Civil Rights movement. To celebrate our history and inform visitors and friends of who we are, The Unitarian Church of Hinsdale conducts a series of meetings several times a year each session led by long-time members and staff. There are no lessons or books to buy! If you are interested contact Jane Foulser jfoulser@mindspring.com or (630) 833-3028

NON-FICTION BOOK GROUP
Beginning as an animated discussion during coffee hour, the topic was archeology and who wrote the Bible. But the conversation soon expanded to include others and finally, into a monthly meeting that welcomed all comers. It is now entering its third year, noted for its lively conversation. Starting with books related to Judaism and Christianity, the group has since moved on to Islam and this year looks into the relationship of religion to science. Visitors are always welcome even when not having read the book. Contact person: Joe Pakovits jrpcdb@yahoo.com

P-FLAG
The rainbow has come to symbolize inclusiveness and that can serve the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays as well. P-Flag serves those who love and embrace their sons and daughters, their sisters and brothers who have come out, sharing their pride with and love of those who are an important part of our community. For further information, check with Jackie Frett at (630) 920-1444 or jackieKF@aol.com or www.pflag.com.

PLAY READING GROUP
Play reading is a group of like-minded UUs who enjoy watching plays. Each month a member of the group hosts a play reading either at their home or at UCH. Plays range from tragedies to comedies, classics to recently debuted plays. The play readers are cast from other other members of the group. If you enjoy watching plays or would like to try acting without having to memorize lines, give the Play Reading group a try. For more details, contact Jean Noble at jeannoble03@hotmail.com

BEACON
Join and participate in fun events out in the community, promoting aspects of UCH, by joining our promotions club! Anyone who has a love of advertising, social media, or outreach would be a wonderful addition to this committee! Please contact Dave Lloyd, at davelloyd@mindspring.com for more information

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SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE
“Reflecting Our Social Justice Values”

Social justice work at UCH carries on a long UCH tradition, engaging people of all ages in many ways:

It shapes and encourages programming that reveals the realities behind the challenges facing our world. It promotes interest in UU denominational initiatives, as well as other social justice concerns and identifies ways to complement the wide variety of UCH social action endeavors. For more information contact Kim Johnson kimjnsn@clear.net.

SPIRITUALITY ON TAP
Informal discussions of spirituality and religion held monthly on the 3rd Monday at 7:00 pm at Magic Wok, 23 W. Harris Ave., La Grange. We meet in their private room and enjoy the food, conversation and excellent service. Sally Burke continues as facilitator with Beth Staas as secretary and chief nudge. As always, visitors are welcome to any or all of the meetings. Bring a friend and enjoy the discussion.

WOMEN’S ALLIANCE
Beyond the days when churches relegated women to child care, quilting and preparing pot luck suppers, Hinsdale’s Women’s Alliance disseminates information on the status of women, ecology, local history and subjects of current interest in the arts, medicine and world affairs. Together they might visit local museums and areas of interest and support the social services in the denomination and the community. As part of the regional and national Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation (UUWF), they address concerns of the broad community. Meeting during the day enables members and visitors enough flexibility to pursue a wide set of interests. For more information, contact Betty Mathias at bettyloumathias@yahoo.com or (708) 482-0892

WOMEN’S HEALTH CLINIC ESCORTS
Are you passionate about woman’s right to choose appropriate health care? You may want to consider being a health clinic escort!
Call Velaine Carnall for more information 708-354-2477.

WORSHIP COMMITTEE
Beginning next fall our worship program will have a new structure. 6-8 permanent Worship Team Members will be chosen to serve the church for a specific term.

Team members will be responsible for working closely with Rev Pam to create vibrant, excellent worship experiences for the congregation and will be expected to participate in an annual retreat and regular training and planning events. Click here for an application.

If you have a deep love of liturgy, a passion for creating stimulating and trans-formative services, a desire to lead worship, and a willingness to open yourself to new experiences, please apply by May 31, 2015.

The applications will be evaluated by our Worship Committee in conjunction with Rev Pam. Many factors will go into the final selection, including depth of experience, special skills or talents, and enthusiasm. Diversity of membership will be a priority in the final selection and those not chosen the first year will be invited to apply again.

Please consider applying to be part of this inaugural Worship Team Program!