The 2018 Touchstone
by Rev Pam Rumancik
The colors – yeah – where are they? As I write this in late October, I am surprised by the very few spots of color dressing up trees outside. Green and dying brown are the dominant schema. Some trees are even bare already, with nary an orange or fiery leaf to be seen. I’m sure there’s a meteorological explanation and worried that it is one more sign of the changing climate on our earth.
Isn’t it odd? Things that we would have just shrugged off in the past as being an innocuous anomaly caused by rainfall or drought now seem more ominous. But that’s life all around in some ways. Pundits, and talking TV heads warn of authoritarianism and even former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, has written a book titled Fascism: A Warning.
How do we settle ourselves in a constantly shifting and worrisome world? Where can we find some light? Some folks bury their heads and keep busy. Others become news junkies, thinking if they just watch everything they will retain some control. But we share a spiritual community, so what response can we bring as faithful people to this conundrum of a world?
Unitarian Universalism invites us to remember that we are all connected – that our connection to the world and to one another can never be broken, no matter what is going on around us. Each of us belongs, is inextricably connected to an interactive universe, and exists within mystery beyond comprehension. In this space, love is the only guide that we have. We can live within it, we can rest upon it, we can make space in each moment to remember that connection.
In real life that looks like showing up for one another: calling folks we haven’t heard from; offering to walk through hardships; and remembering to invite those who seem to be disconnected.
Is there someone from church you haven’t seen in a while? Reach out and say hello. Ask how they are holding up. Send some love – and in doing so – be surprised by the love that comes flowing back your way. Your call may be the spot of color that’s been missing – the fiery love that reminds someone of their inherent worth and dignity in a struggling time.
This faith we share challenges us to live in real, visible, and engaged ways – and reminds us that none of us is alone. Together we can brighten this season with the reds, yellows, and oranges of caring and community and offer cheer and warmth to a world that desperately needs us.
Happy fall – enjoy the colors you bring!
A Year of Principled Living
As Unitarian Universalists, we do not share a creedal statement. We do embrace seven sacred principles as guides for wholistic, life-affirming, and meaningful lives. They seem simple on the surface (although somewhat wordy as they were written by committee) but can be challenging – even perplexing -within the demands of everyday living.
This year we are offering a deep dive into our principles – including the newly proposed Eighth principle.
Each month, one Sunday sermon will focus on an individual principle. The following Saturday, a conversation will be opened up to share individual understandings, struggles, and insights into that principle. It will follow a drop-in format so no need to register; times may be adjusted as we go along to accommodate schedule changes.
We hope you will join us for one or all of these rich and deep conversations exploring the complexities of being human in a postmodern world. What’s on your heart and mind these days?
Saturdays from 10:30 to 12:00pm
|Nov 17th||6th Principle||Improve Global Community|
|Dec 15th||3rd Principle||Accept one another & encourage spiritual growth|
|Jan 19th||1st Principle||Worth & Dignity of Every Person|
|Feb 16th||8th Principle||Build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by working to dismantle racism|
|March 16th||2nd Principle||Justice, Equity, & Compassion in human relations|
|April 20th||7th Principle||Respect interconnected web of Life|
Have you been looking for a way to deepen your connection to peace and presence? To find some space of grounding in a world which feels chaotic much of the time? Join Rev Pam for a series of explorations of different kinds of spiritual practices available to be present to life.
This past October featured a look at the practice of Yoga nidra and twelve people spent an interesting and calming hour and a half together with a few folks taking up a more extended practice with leader, Deepti Suri.
November will have us exploring direct sensory experience as it relates to the creation of art. Come Sunday, Nov 4, at 3pm in Joshi Chapel as we use different pathways to find unique connections to that which is deep and sustaining in this universe through the media of art and placement. Bring 3 small-ish objects (no bigger than a breadbox) and we’ll practice listening and exploring this rich medium together.
Coming December 2 @ 2:00 pm– we’ll practice Spiritual chanting from Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Sufi traditions along with a period of drumming. Bring a percussion instrument with you that day.
The following dates can be added to your calendar for future explorations:
Sunday, Jan 13th at 2:00 pm, February 17th @ 2:00 pm, March 24th @ 2:00pm, and April 14th @ 2:00pm. Watch News & Notes for descriptions of upcoming practices. In our over-busy lives, find space to breathe and be present for an hour or two – and maybe find a new practice that can sustain you at home for a long, long time.
These events are open to the whole family so all are welcome.
Blessing of the Animals
Join Rev. Pam with your leashed or otherwise contained companion animals for a special blessing ceremony at 1 p.m. on November 11. Those wishing to honor companions who are no longer with us may email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring in a stuffed animal.
Post Holiday Dinner
Please join Animal Ministry for our annual post holiday party at Shree restaurant in Westmont on Friday, January 11, 2019 for delicious vegetarian Indian cuisine. All are welcome. Please RSVP to email@example.com
Connect and live your values with the UCH Social Justice Circle
The UCH Social Justice Circle brings together ten teams including Animal Ministry, Black Lives Matter, Green Sanctuary, PADS Homeless Shelter, Prison Ministry, Reproductive Choice, and Welcoming Congregation. These teams work together with the UUANI, DuPage United, and, very soon, YaYA Justice teams, to connect with other faith communities and partners and to advance our values. At UCH, the teams fall under one circle, the Social Justice Circle, to ensure that we are coordinated and develop opportunities for deepening connections.
There are many opportunities available to do good work through UCH. So much of this work is interrelated – animal ministry relates to environmental work, environmental work to racial justice, racial justice to economic justice – and we can create a stronger impact when we recognize these intersections.
At the root of our UU faith is that we are all connected; we are more ourselves, the more we connect with others. I invite you to join the work of the Social Justice Circle and see what we can accomplish together! For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tracey Olson, Social Justice Circle Coordinator
The last piece of the Green Home building improvement project is the heating and air conditioning system. We will be installing Mitsubishi “mini-split” units in the church and in the Religious Education building, which will provide both heating and cooling. The project is funded and construction has begun–check out the pipes and cables on the outside of the RE building. We were hoping to have the project completed this summer; what’s the holdup?
The delay is being caused by the Village of Hinsdale. We were told by a village official, months ago, that we wouldn’t need to get zoning approval, because the outdoor units (think of the compressors for a conventional air conditioning system) would be located behind the church and the RE building, and not visible from the street. Now the Village’s concern is about noise, because they have asked for a site plan with details on the decibel levels of the units. We know that the Mitsubishi units are incredibly quiet, both inside and out, which is one of the reasons we chose this way to go.
The Village has previously approved at least one project in the village with similar units at a commercial building, but they are now concerned because we will have as many as 13 separate units (9 for the RE building and 4 for the church) and are saying that we will have to go through the zoning process after all–which can take several months and cost $850 in application fees.
We are currently (early October) trying to get the Village to recognize that the units are quiet and unobtrusive, and a permit is not necessary. We may be able to get a permit quickly for the church (only 4 units) and then have village officials check out how quiet the units are–and avoid having to get a permit for the RE building. We may also be able to avoid getting a permit for the RE building because we are replacing an existing a/c system (an ancient gas-powered system that hasn’t functioned in years). If we can’t get a permit for the church, we will have to go through the lengthy zoning process.
We are doing everything we can to get this project completed. Watch this space for further updates.
Our First Fundraising Event for the year will take place
Tickets are on sale this Sunday!! We will have appetizers, pizza, entertainment, a wine pick and dessert. Entertainment provided by Jamie Pastman and his Harvest Home Trio. This will be a family event!
Please Click Here to purchase you tickets online!
2018-19 Church Year Curricula
Caring Circle Reminder:
The Caring Circle continues in our efforts to provide support to our church community in times of need, transition and celebration. Our ability to provide support is made possible not only by the many volunteers who offer their time, but also by the information that is provided to us by our members so that we may reach out to those in need.
The Caring Circle provides support and coordinates assistance such as phone calls, cards, visits, and email. We are able to provide assistance that may include simple errands, rides, meals, and small chores.
CARING CIRCLE COORDINATORS
AREA 1 (Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Burr Ridge)
Deborah Stillman (630) 908-7508
Pam Fodor — (630) 795-0295
AREA 2 (Willowbrook, Darian, Westmont)
Jen Hopkins — (630) 488-9889
Sandy Buboltz — (530) 6137099
AREA 3 (Indian Head Park, Western Springs, Willow Springs)
Susan Hebble — (708) 784-1688
Char Cepek — (708-334-9361
AREA 4 (Elmhurst, Villa Park, Bensenville, Des Plaines, Roselle)
Lynn Brackett — (630) 279-5851
Karen Hays — (630) 209-9340
Kathie & Gary Noll (630) 217-2250
AREA 5 (Westchester, Brookfield, River Forest, Riverside, Chicago, Berwyn)
Nancy Kranz — (708) 387-1247
Nancy Keane — (708) 352-0454
AREA 6 (LaGrange Park, LaGrange, Countryside, Hodgkins)
Nancy Weill — (708) 352-9128
AREA 7 (Downers Grove, Lombard, Oakbrook)
Jill Jackson — (312) 231-9870
KC Edgin — (773) 294-7773
AREA 8 (Woodridge, Plainfield, Romeoville, Shorewood, St Charles, Glen Ellyn)
Paula Sejut-Dvorak –(815) 210-1909
Janice Sejut — (630) 207-2856