Countryside Church 
Unitarian Universalist

Weekly Update
for Nov 16, 2022
This Week: Worship
  • Nov 20: Welcome Table, Pulpit Guest Rev. Allison Farnum
  • Nov 27: All-Church Service of Thanksgiving
  • Accessing the Service Online
  • RE Classes for Children & Youth
  • Child & Baby Dedications Offered
  • Mask Policy
  • Helping Hands & Open Hearts Needed
  • Join the Choir: Thurs rehearsals
  • Children's Choir on Sundays after RE
  • Fellowship follows Sunday worship
  • Thanksgiving Day Tromp
  • Intro to CCUU on Dec 4
  • 40plus Game Night on Dec 10
Study/Lifespan Religious Education (LRE)

This week:
  • Transitions
  • Feminine Divine Women's Group
  • Open Forum Discussion
  • Haiku Workshop
  • Book Circle
  • White Lies Discussion
Mark your calendar:
  • Young Adult Homecoming & Tree Trimming
  • Last Mondays Book Discussion
  • Journaling Circle
  • Reading Roundtable
Service Local UU News: Melanie DeMore concert at Unitarian Church of Evanston on Dec 3

Board of Trustees Meeting

3rd Weds ~ Nov 16 at 7 pm

Board of Trustees meetings are open to the congregation for people who want to observe. Agendas and minutes from previous meetings are made available on the website (under 'About CCUU' menu).
If you would like to be on the agenda, contact the Board President at least one week in advance. If you plan to attend, contact the Board President,, for the meeting information.  

UUA Transgender Day of Remembrance Service

Fri, Nov 18 @ 3pm Central time via Zoom

2022 has been another deadly year for transgender and non-binary people. The barrage of anti-trans legislation that has been levied against the trans/non-binary community along with a culture of hate that is harming our children is directly responsible for these senseless killings and the dangers the transgender community faces on a daily basis.
As Unitarian Universalists, we share the collective responsibility to build a world that affirms the inherent worth and dignity of all. Our transgender siblings are sacred and divine. Let us honor the inherit worth and dignity of trans people by remembering those we’ve lost and honoring those living among us.
Please join us as we honor the lives lost in 2022 and celebrate the resilience of the transgender community as we grieve together, worship together, and recommit to a moving together in solidarity.

From Our Interim Minister

Holiday Plans Afoot

We are all working on holiday and end of the year plans at CCUU. This year, both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are Sundays. Historically, few UU congregations hold services on Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve, we will hold our traditional service at 4:30 pm. We assume few of you will head to church the next morning, and both Christmas and New Year’s Day are days our staff are to have off. To celebrate and create something new and special, we are putting together a Holiday Story service with music and stories delivered by our congregants and staff. We will debut the Countryside Christmas Story Hour on December 25. This will be something we can work on ahead of the holiday but enjoy with our cup of cocoa and in our jammies via YouTube.

Rev. Denise is looking for story readers who will record themselves on video reading a story she has for you to share. You can do it alone, with your family or CCUU friends – whatever you like. Readers of all ages are requested to ask RevD for a story and then to video record it. We have directions on how to do it. You can record it at home or on location or at church. We are going to edit these together and unveil the story video on Christmas Day at 10am. You can watch as it is debuted or later. We will send a link out for you to watch. More on that later. For now, we need folks willing to read a story. RevD has dozens of stories collected.

Videos will be due by December 12 to give us enough time to edit them together and upload the Countryside Christmas Stories. Again- request your story today and you will be given text and directions.

Listen to Last Sunday's Worship Service

Did you miss last Sunday's worship service? Luis, our tech coordinator, has posted it to YouTube. You can view it on the church website. (under Worship menu), or you can also view them on our YouTube channel and while you're there, please subscribe!

Dear CCUU Congregants and Staff,

I have felt so much love and support throughout this most difficult chapter in my journey. Jeslyn and I are so incredibly blessed to be part of this community. Let's keep it real (as I do), joining CCUU back in 2014 was one of the smartest and best decisions I ever made for my children and myself. Thanks a million trillion for all the love, generosity, caring, and ongoing support you have shared with us.
RevD, I am so inspired by you and have felt safe with you from the very beginning. From one warrior to another, you kick ass, and I so appreciate you!
Love, Chelsie & Jeslyn

What is General Assembly?

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has put together a short video explaining what General Assembly is; you can view it here.
General Assembly 2023 will be held June 21-25 in Pittsburgh. Read more about plans for General Assembly 2023 here

Nov 20 at 10 am
Welcome Table
Rev. Allison Farnum

Young people begin in worship with their family and will be sung out to their religious exploration classes.
As many prepare to welcome friends and family to their home tables, we are invited to take in the challenges and callings of that larger Welcome Table that invites us into radical hospitality and inclusion. This historic imagery of resistance from enslaved Africans through the civil rights movement continues to be a powerful and humbling metaphor for our own inner journeys and outward work in the world.
Rev. Allison Farnum lives in Evanston, IL, with her two young children, husband, cat and guinea pigs. She is affiliated with Second Unitarian Church in Chicago and serves as Director and minister of the UU Prison Ministry of Illinois.

Nov 27 at 10 am
All-Church Thanksgiving Service
Rev. Denise Cawley & Dr. Mary Shelden

This is an All-Church Service; young people attend worship with their family and do not have religious exploration classes.
Our annual service of Thanksgiving will include Child Dedication, one of the life transitions which we celebrate as a religious community.
Accessing the Service Online
To join the service online, go to or to join by phone, call 1-312-626-6799 and use meeting id 412 124 873, passcode 1025.

Religious Exploration (RE) Classes for Children & Youth
Most Sundays, young people in Kdgtn and above begin in service and are sung out to their classes. Once/month, we have an all-church service, when everyone worships together. Senior High youth meet on Sunday evenings at 7 pm. Watch Friday's LRE Update for any special LRE News; register here.

Mask Policy

Cook County's current COVID transmission risk level is Medium, so masks are optional at indoor church events EXCEPT when singing, when masks are required. When the risk level is Low, masks are optional; when the risk level is High, masks are required. Risk level is updated on Thursdays; you can check it here

Helping Hands & Open Hearts Needed!
Please consider offering your time on a Sunday morning. Greeters meet people as they walk through our doors, offer a friendly hello, and welcome visitors. Families are encouraged to greet together! Ushers help people find seating and assist as needed; ushers are also responsible for collecting the offering. We pair new volunteers with experienced ones while you learn the routine. Sign up here. Thank you!

Child & Baby Dedications on Nov 27

One of the most important things we do as a religious community is to celebrate life transitions. During our Thanksgiving service on Nov. 27, we will offer child dedications for any child (infant -- age 12) who has recently joined our congregation or who hasn't had the opportunity to be dedicated.
If you are interested in being a part of this dedication, please contact Dr. Mary ( or Rev. Denise ( by Nov 20. We look forward to celebrating this special day with you!

Contact Alison Vernon,
with questions.

Children & Youth Choir

Sundays, following worship/RE classes

All young people in grades 1 - 8 are invited to sing! Meet in the choir room following RE. Contact Alison Vernon,, with questions or for more information.


Sundays following Worship

Join us in Atherton Hall after worship each Sunday for coffee, tea, and fellowship.

Thanksgiving Day Tromp

Nov 24 at 10 am

Each year on Thanksgiving Day, Countrysiders gather for a walk in the woods—to celebrate the blessings of another year, commune with nature, and connect with old & new friends. This is a church tradition going back many years and which many would not miss (including the cooks). You’ll be done in plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your holiday festivities. The Trek will begin at 10 am at Deer Grove Forest Preserve, parking lot # 5. Enter Deer Grove off Quentin Rd, 1/2 mile north of Dundee Rd; turn right at the first stop sign, continue past the 2nd stop sign, and find us on the right before the road ends in a big loop. All are invited – large and small, young and old, and especially our 4-legged friends! 

Intro to CCUU

1st Sundays ~ Dec 4, following worship

Newcomers are invited to attend a brief orientation to Countryside Church and Unitarian Universalism once/month following worship and is hosted by a longtime CCUU member and lifelong UU. 

40plus Kinship Group

Game Night: Dec 10, 7:30 pm

Please join us in Atherton Hall. No RSVP needed. Please bring your favorite game, an appetizer to share, and your own non-alcoholic beverage. New-comers, late-comers, non-members, and significant others are always welcome!  Questions can be sent to Mary Beth Van Wijk at If you want to subscribe to our email list to receive news of upcoming events, you can subscribe here:
Further details about Study Ministry, aka Lifespan Religious Education (LRE), events are included in the Friday LRE Update.
Focus newsletter also includes LRE information.

This Week: Nov 16-22

  • Transitions: Nov 17, 10 am ~ Please join us in Atherton Hall for this month's program, presented by CCUU member Peggy Simonsen: UU Service Committee-Social Justice and Climate Justice Around the World. Come join us for coffee, an informative presentation, a lively discussion, and a social potluck lunch.
  • Feminine Divine Women's Group: Nov 19, 9:30 am ~ discussion of chapter 2 of Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman
  • Open Forum Discussion: Nov 20, 9 am ~ Reflections on the Collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • Haiku Workshop: Nov 20, 11:30 am ~ Join Susan Auld in classroom 1 if you would like to learn how to write modern haiku or to get suggestions about a haiku you have already written for the spring opening of our Haiku Garden.
  • Book Circle: Nov 20, 6:15 pm ~ The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson
  • White Lies Discussion Series: Nov 21, 7 pm ~ it's not too late to join us! We will discuss episode 6 of the podcast. The X on the Map episode; be sure to have listened to that & the previous episodes and register here to receive the zoom info & other info needed for the discussion

Mark Your Calendar

  • Young Adult Homecoming & Tree Trimming: Nov 27, following worship. Come back to Countryside, see old friends and mentors, and let your home church treat you to holiday goodies! Join us for worship and then be part of the Young Adult tree trimming, with cake and treats to follow. This is a stepping stone to the next opportunity to gather -- for the annual CCUU YA ReUUnion in December. Parents, please help spread the word with your YAs (age 18-35)!
  • Last Mondays Book Discussion: Nov 28, 7 pm ~ West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge
  • Journaling Circle: Dec 1, 10 am
  • Reading Roundtable: Dec 14, 10 am ~ more info here

Green News

Our Green News columns can be found on the church website: (under the Service menu). 

Solar & Energy Action

Information and Links provided by Faith in Place
Why it matters:
  • Link between pollution, environmental justice communities, and the increase of COVID cases and deaths:
  • One out of Six deaths worldwide are caused from pollution – World Health Organization
  • Climate change is real, here now and getting worse, caused by humans, we have the solutions we need right now, and hope is abundant as solutions are being implemented across the globe.
How will you take action to fight pollution? ...  read the full post here


Holiday Gifts for Palatine Families in Need; Sign up by Thurs, Nov 17

This program makes a huge difference to these families over the holidays. As of Nov 8, we still have 10 people, mostly kids, who need sponsorship. To be consistent, gifts should cost $60-75. Adult gifts are gift cards to a store of their choice. If you would like to participate in this great program, please sign up on Sunday or contact Judy Ball by Nov 17 to request either an adult or a child. Gifts need to be delivered to church or to Ellen Vinzani in Arl Hts, by Sun Nov 27. Thank you!

Boots Needed by Nov 21

Partners for Our Communities is helping dozens of families recently bussed to Chicago from the Mexico border. These families are seeking asylum in the U.S. and are currently being housed at a hotel in Wheeling, IL.  POC is helping them gain independence and stability – the kids started school within days of arrival; many of the parents are working cash jobs; and they are learning how to get around via bicycle and public transportation. Walking, too, is key, and as we near winter POC would like to equip them with winter boots. IF YOU HAVE ANY GENTLY USED, CLEAN BOOTS, PLEASE DROP THEM IN THE BIN OUTSIDE THE NORTH ENTRANCE OF THE CHURCH (the RE wing) or contact Janet McDonnell or Laura Mandell for an alternative delivery site.  All sizes needed, from toddler through adult. Deadline for drop off is Monday, November 21.

Gift Card Collection for Local High School Students in Need through Mon, Nov 28

We are again partnering with other local churches to provide gift cards for food, clothing, and other necessaries for District 211 students in need. Combined giving last year provided for 135 Palatine High School and Fremd High School students in housing crisis situations as defined within the McKinney-Vento Law. In addition, we helped 25 students in need at District 211’s North Academy, an alternative learning high school in Palatine. Purchase gift cards to area stores and restaurants:
  • $25 cards to Walmart or Target (*please note that the students prefer Walmart to Target)
  • $10-$25 cards to Walgreens, Aldi, Subway, McDonalds, Culvers, or other fast-food chain restaurants
Gift cards are easily purchased online; no need to shop in-person. Each student will receive donated gift cards in gift bags put together by the volunteers at PATH (Palatine Assisting Through Hope.) Please write the $ amount on the card or its envelope. Gift cards must be received in the church office by Mon, Nov 28. Please don’t delay.

Change for Change

In honor of our monthly theme for November - CHANGE, please help us change lives by donating your pocket change to Guest at Your Table, the UU Service Committee's annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about key human rights issues. There are boxes on the table in the narthex ready to receive your spare change throughout November.
~ Local UU News ~
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