Countryside Church 
Unitarian Universalist

Weekly Update
for Nov 23, 2022
This Week:
  • Thanksgiving Day Tromp at Deer Grove
  • Focus monthly newsletter deadline
  • Gifts for Palatine Township Families are due Sunday
  • From Our Interim Minister: Help Us Build an Advent Scene
  • Listen to last Sunday's worship service
  • Nov 27: All-Church Service: Dedication and Thanksgiving
  • Dec 4: Seasons of Light
  • Accessing the Service Online
  • Mask Policy
  • Helping Hands & Open Hearts Needed
  • Fellowship follows Sunday worship
  • Young Adult Homecoming & Tree Trimming
  • Intro to CCUU on Dec 4
  • 40plus Game Night on Dec 10
Study/Lifespan Religious Education (LRE)

This week:
  • Open Forum Discussion
  • Last Mondays Book Discussion
  • White Lies Discussion
Mark your calendar:
  • Journaling Circle
  • Reading Roundtable
  • AHA Discussion
  • Transitions
  • Book Circle
  • Spirit of Life Adult Faith Development Series
Service Other UU News:
  • Melanie DeMore concert at Unitarian Church of Evanston
  • Raffle to win a luxury vacation & to help a small UU congregation
  • What is General Assembly?

Gifts for Palatine Township Families due Sunday, Nov 27

For those who signed up to sponsor member(s) of the families, please turn your gifts into the office on Sunday. If you have questions, contact Ellen Vinzani or Judy Ball.

Monthly Newsletter Deadline 

Send your articles for publication on Nov 30/Dec 1 to Laurie,, by the end of the day Nov 25.

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! 

From Our Interim Minister

Help Us Build an Advent Scene

This year, we will build an Advent Scene together, creating an altar to honor both Christian and Pagan roots of this festival of light. This table covered with lovely fabric has been arranged in an altar by Lois Phillips, this week’s Worship Associate; Mary Shelden, our Lifespan Religious Education Director; and Alison Vernon, our Music Director.  

Each week, we will add little elements, and you are invited to bring something small to add if you like. The goal is not more in excess but a little element you may add if you like each week. We will also have some for a few folks (mostly our kids) to add each week. There will be a moment in the service to add them. You may take personal items back after the Christmas Eve service.

This Sunday, Nov 27, is the first week of advent. Our advent scene starts with the mineral kingdom, the foundation upon which we stand; upon the fabric, we will place beautiful crystals and a few seashells. Do you have elements representing the earth you would like to add? Feel free to bring them this Sunday – real pebbles or a pretty stone, bones perhaps from an animal you found in the woods or a small antler.

To plan for future weeks:
  • 2nd light of advent, Dec 4: Plants - we will add greenery
  • 3rd Light of Advent, Dec 11: Animals - little statues or wood carvings of animals, even animals from a nativity set or lego or playmobil.
  • 4th Week, Dec 18 - figures of the SUN or son child and such, human representatives, shepherds and sheep

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!

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

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 Dedications, one of the life transitions which we celebrate as a religious community. The Children's Choir will be singing. We will begin building our advent scene.


Dec 4 at 10 am
Seasons of Light
Rev. Denise Cawley

Young people begin in the Sanctuary with their family and will be sung out to their religious exploration classes.
Advent, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Solstice all celebrate lights in this season. We have candles, wreaths, menorahs, and calendars, as rich symbols to help remind us of all the ways we count time in vibrant rituals. Our worship team will help us explore: how do our Unitarian Universalist principles show up in these festive holidays? Let’s enjoy storytelling and reminders from our religious and cultural heritage.  
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!


Sundays following Worship

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

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)!

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 23-30

  • Open Forum Discussion: Nov 27, 9 am ~ Lessons from the American Civil War
  • 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
  • White Lies Discussion Series: Nov 28, 7 pm ~ it's not too late to join us! We will discuss episode 7 of the podcast; 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

  • Journaling Circle: Dec 1, 10 am
  • Reading Roundtable: Dec 14, 10 am ~ more info here
  • Atheist, Humanist, Agnostic Discussion: Dec 13, 7 pm ~ viewing & discussion of a video of Drew McCoy (better known as Genetically Modified Skeptic) as he critiques Ben Shapiro's video "The Atheist Delusion." 
  • Transitions: Dec 15, 10 am ~ a Potluck Christmas Brunch, sharing Christmas memories & current plans and enjoying holiday camaraderie
  • Book Circle: Jan 15, 6:15 pm ~  1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
  • Spirit of Life series: This Adult Faith Development series will offer opportunities for aspiring, new, and experienced members to reflect together on aspects of their life journeys and to explore their Unitarian Universalist theology. It begins January 15, sign up by Jan 1 ~ more info here


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

We are again partnering with other local churches to provide gift cards for food, clothing, and other necessaries for 179 high school students in District 211 who are in housing crisis situations as defined within the McKinney-Vento Law. Please help out by purchasing 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.

Green News

Watch Party on Dec 4 at 11:30 in Atherton Hall

Join us for Dr. Katharine Hayhoe’s keynote address and Q&A watch party from Faith in Place’s Green Team Summit exploring her most recent book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World. This free event is easy for you to attend and includes a light lunch. No registration required and open to everyone in CCUU and friends outside of CCUU – what a great time to invite a friend to CCUU for Sunday service, coffee hour, and an awesome event so they can see what we’re all about! This is truly uplifting, a great soul-refresher, and you will be healthier and happier for attending! This is the last event for our mini-grant fundraiser with Faith in Place, and we only need 30 more petitions filled out by y’all to reach our goal so that we can receive and then donate a $1,000 grant to CCUU.

Scan this QR code to see Katharine Hayhoe’s TED talk! She is an accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and why it matters to us here and now. She is also a remarkable communicator.

Fair Trade Sales Return!  

Dec 11 and 18 after worship in Atherton Hall

For many years, monthly after-service sales of fair trade items from Equal Exchange were a tradition at CCUU. The pandemic stopped most everything, including this popular opportunity to act upon our social justice and climate-changing ideals. Equal Exchange, founded in 1986, is a foremost worker-owned cooperative, headquartered in MA. In addition to its ground-breaking work with the development of cooperatives in various Third World countries, EE more recently includes for sale the products of U.S. cooperative companies. It sells to congregations interested in supplying their congregants with products, like coffee, tea, chocolates, cocoa, and olive oil that represent the highest principles of fair trade.
~ Other Denominational News ~

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

Enter a Raffle to win a Luxury Resort Vacation and Help a small UU Congregation

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cookeville is a forty member congregation located in rural Tennessee. They were recently gifted a luxury resort vacation in San Antonio TX and are holding  an online raffle of the vacation to help fund their modest, less than $28,000 per year, budget. The raffle for this January 27-February 3, 2023 vacation in San Antonio is open to all. Raffle tickets can be purchased by clicking on this link. You can also check it out on Facebook here. Entry deadline is Dec 3, 2022, 11:59 pm central time. Winner will be selected on Dec 4, 11 am central time.

Concert at Unitarian Church of Evanston

Dec 3 at 7 pm

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