Countryside Church
Unitarian Universalist

Weekly Update
for Oct 26, 2022
This Week:
  • From Our Interim Minister: Mourning All Souls
  • Focus newsletter deadline: Oct 26
  • Worship Recordings Now Available
  • Revised Office Hours: Oct 28-Nov 4
  • Celebration of the Life of Austin Chang
  • Oct 30: Remembering Our Ancestors ~ plan to bring photos and mementoes for our shared altar; also high-protein non-perishable food offerings
  • Nov 6: Covenant is the Cornerstone
  • Accessing the Service Online
  • RE Classes for Children & Youth
  • Mask Policy
  • Helping Hands & Open Hearts Needed
  • Join the Choir: Thurs rehearsals
  • Children's Choir on Sundays after RE
  • Fellowship follows Sunday worship
  • Intro to CCUU on Nov 6
Study/Lifespan Religious Education (LRE)
  • Reading Roundtable
  • Transitions
  • Open Forum Discussion
  • White Lies Discussion Series - register now
  • Last Mondays Book Discussion ~ ONLINE
  • Journaling Circle
  • AHA Discussion
  • Book Circle

Monthly Newsletter Deadline
TODAY ~ Weds, Oct 26

Email your submissions to This is a hard & fast deadline; items received after Oct 26 will not be included. The Focus will be published on Nov 1; there will not be an e-update on Nov 2.

From Our Interim Minister

Dear ones, 
The last few years have brought so much change and challenge for us all. We have lost loved ones to Covid and other miserable diseases. People we care about have left the earth too soon. Socializing, travel, and just existing has become more complicated. I offer that this weekend’s services, both the memorial on Saturday and the All Souls service on Sunday, will be places to mourn together in a healthy space created to hold all your feelings. Even if you are not grieving a person, you might be lamenting the loss of a way of life. I know my son doesn’t have tons of kids over anymore like he did before Covid. We were the hang out house. Now he interacts with his friends mostly online. I don’t throw random dinner parties like I used to. People don’t just stop by. Life is just…different. Of course, there are joys amongst it all, but this weekend, we are offering some respite and a container for you to put into it what you need to set down. 

If you are attending the memorial, I encourage you to arrive early. There will be a lot of new people here and more people than we usually see in the building. Keep in mind, that some will wonder what Unitarian Universalism is about or who we are? In talking to many of the friends of the Scoggin-Chang family, I have answered a lot of questions about our faith and activities here at Countryside. I find myself sharing bits of why ‘Naming and Feeling Your Feelings’ is important or why we all need ‘Pathetic Spiritual Practices’ to make it through hard times. May our spiritual home offer some respite and peace to you and those who join us this weekend. 

If you are joining us in person on Sunday for our All Souls ritual, know that you can honor anyone you miss. It can be a pet or a celebrity whose work you admired. It can be someone from history too. Just bring your hearts. If you are attending online, you can submit the name here and we will read it if we get it by end of day Friday.

I send you love. Love in all the ways that opens us up to the great mystery.
In kindness, Rev. Denise

Worship Service Recordings
Now Available

Our new tech coordinator, Luis, has been editing and uploading the zoom recordings of our worship services to YouTube. We don't yet have copyright licenses for the music (we'll be working on it), hence the need for editing.
If you missed services the last few weeks, you can view them here. (on our website, under Worship).
You can also view them on our YouTube channel and while you're there, please subscribe!

Revised Office Hours Oct 28-Nov 4

Laurie will be away Oct 28-Nov 3 and out of the office on Nov 4 for a staff retreat. In her absence, the office will be staffed on Tues, Weds, Thurs from 10 am - 2 pm, by the ever-capable Karen Epps and Debbie Lee.

Celebration of the
Life of Austin Chang

Sat, Oct 29 at 1 pm

The Scoggin-Chang Family invites you to celebrate the life of Austin (10). We will also pray for continued healing for the family. Austin’s celebration will include a healing story for children, a ritual for the family, and eulogy. There will be a reception to follow. Trauma care service dogs as well as extra chaplains will be on hand. 

Help Needed

Mari Van Meter, our new memorials and weddings coordinator, is looking for some CCUU folks to help with set-up and clean-up for the memorial reception. You can sign up here. Thank you!

Oct 30 at 10 am
Remembering Our Ancestors: Halloween and All Souls
Rev. Denise Cawley & Dr. Mary Shelden

This will be an All-Church Service; young people attend worship with their families and do not have religious exploration classes. 
Plan to bring small photos and other mementos to contribute to a shared altar. If you typically attend worship online or are unable to attend this Sunday and you have a name or two which you would like spoken at the service, please add it to this form by end of Friday, Oct 28.
Faith in Action Offering: Please plan to bring high protein non-perishable food offerings -- resources like peanut butter, beans, and canned chicken or tuna or peanut butter -- to be taken up as a special offering during worship to help stock the POC (Partners for Our Communities) Mobile Food Pantry.

Nov 6 at 10 am
Covenant is the Cornerstone
Rev. Denise Cawley

Young people begin in worship with their family and will be sung out to their religious exploration classes.
Unitarian Universalism is built on the concept that we are a community that makes promises to one another about how we will be in community with one another. Covenant in religion is thousands of years old, and in Unitarian and Universalist faiths, covenant dates back far before we identified the Principles. Being a member of a Unitarian Universalist Church means we try to actively create space where others can thrive in community. We covenant to continually learn to do better and work together to gain new skills. We call one another back into covenant to support the collective creation of the world our Principles challenge us to build. Covenant is the beauty of our UU faith.
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 Low, so masks are optional at indoor church events. When the risk level is Medium, masks are optional except when singing; 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!
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.

Intro to CCUU

1st Sundays ~ Nov 6, 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. 
To avoid duplication and to keep our e-updates a little shorter in length, details about Study Ministry, aka Lifespan Religious Education (LRE), events are included in the Friday LRE Update.
Focus newsletter also includes LRE information.

Oct 26-Nov 2

  • Reading Roundtable: Oct 26, 10 am ~ more info & reading schedule here
  • Transitions: Oct 27, 10 am ~ Lights Out: The Man (Jack Welch) Who Broke Capitalism; join us in Atherton Hall for this presentation by CCUU member Jim Simmons. Potluck lunch to follow.
  • Open Forum Discussion: Oct 30 9 am ~ How Society's Best Intentions Could Be Betraying Black America
  • White Lies Discussion Series: Oct 31, 7 pm ~ it's not too late to join us! Be sure to listen to episodes 1 & 2 of the podcast and register here to receive the zoom info & other info needed for the discussion
  • Last Mondays Book Discussion: Oct 31, 7:30 pm ~ Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki; we will meet online - check Friday's LRE Update for the link

Mark Your Calendar

  • Journaling Circle: Nov 3, 10 am
  • Reading Roundtable: Nov 9, 10 am
  • Atheist, Humanist, Agnostic (AHA) Discussion: Nov 15, 7 pm ~ Please note: due to the election, we will meet the 3rd Tues in Nov; we will discuss human development after fertilization - what defines personhood and when? 
  • Book Circle: Nov 20, 6:15 pm ~ The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

Faith in Action Offering

Oct 30 during worship

In addition to bringing small photos & mementoes for the altar on Oct 30, please plan to bring high protein non-perishable food offerings -- resources like peanut butter, beans, and canned chicken or tuna or peanut butter -- to be taken up as a special offering during worship to help stock the POC (Partners for Our Communities) Mobile Food Pantry.


Sat, Nov 12; 7 - 10 pm, doors open at 6:30
in Atherton Hall at CCUU

Please support our three community partners while enjoying a lively evening of music featuring:
🎶 Basement Rock Stars 🎶
🎶 AJ Rosales 🎶
🎶 The Spleens 🎶    
🎶 Vince Foss 🎶
🎶 Liverpool Acoustics 🎶    
🎶 The Amazing Howe Brothers 🎶
🎶 CCUU Choir 🎶
🎶 Nothing Personal 🎶

BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY! All proceeds go to support our local service partners:  Partners for our Community (POC), Faith in Place, and Chalice House. Suggested donation is $10 - $30. Beer, wine, and snacks will be available. Proceeds from a 50/50 raffle will be used to pay for critical needs of asylum seekers temporarily housed in the area. For those unable to attend on November 12, raffle tickets will be sold after Sunday services for the next two weeks.  
Please contact us at if you can contribute an hors d’oeuvre or dessert.
News from Our Service Partners

Chalice House News

Who’s Moving In?

We don’t know yet! But we will very soon. It is possible that it will be a family from Central or South America. Now, we have a question for you: Do you speak Spanish or another foreign language? If so, and you might be willing to serve as a mentor or a translation resource, please send a no-obligation email to letting us know your abilities, and we will get back to you with more information. Thank you! 
~ Christine Organ and Laura Mandell, co-chairs, Countryside and Debbie Cline, co-chair, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church

Help Out at Partners for Our Communities (POC)

  • POC is asking Countryside volunteers to be welcomers, comforters, and helpers to support Venezuelan immigrants who recently arrived from Texas. If you would be interested in volunteering in this capacity, please complete this form.
  • For the recently arrived immigrants, POC needs new tagged clothing (issues with scabies at the border and at the Elk Grove hotel), as well as bikes, helmets, and bike locks since transportation in the suburbs is an issue. 
  • POC’s Learning Lab is looking for tutors/mentors. Please complete a volunteer form here:
  • POC’s Community Closet is looking for folks to help sort donations, replenish rooms, and other tasks as needed by the Community Closet Coordinator. Two-hour time slots are available during the morning, afternoon, and evening. Teens and adults are welcome! complete the online volunteer application,, and sign up here: 
If you have any questions, please contact church member Janet McDonnell, our liaison to POC.

Join UUANI & the People's Lobby in Springfield

Pretrial Fairness Lobby Day: Weds, Nov 16
Transportation, training, and lunch will be provided. 

The Pretrial Fairness Act is on the ropes -- detractors are LOUDLY saying no money bond will make our streets unsafe! Legislators are trying to stall or reverse the Pretrial Fairness Act! We know that the Pretrial Fairness Act will set right what our system intentionally gets wrong. It will keep people in our communities, particularly Black and brown folks who are most targeted. It will make our state SAFER by contributing to the stability of families and neighborhoods. As you may have seen in your mailbox, inbox, and on the news, right-wing conservatives are spreading misinformation about the end of money bond. They are trying to get legislators to repeal it or water it down during the legislative session in November.  

We need you to join us for Lobby Day at the capitol in Springfield on Weds, Nov 16, to make sure that doesn’t happen! We’ll meet with our legislators and participate in a rally. Full details are on this documentClick here to register! 
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