Countryside Church 
Unitarian Universalist

Weekly Update
for Nov 9, 2022
This Week: Worship
  • Nov 13: Widening Our Covenants
  • Nov 20: Welcome Table, Pulpit Guest Rev. Allison Farnum
  • 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
  • Save the Date: Chalice & Ornament Glazing
  • Thanksgiving Day Tromp
  • Intro to CCUU on Dec 4
  • Green Sanctuary Meeting this Sunday
  • Join UUANI in Springfield on Nov 16 for Pretrial Fairness Lobby Day
  • Holiday Giving Opportunities:
    • Holiday Gifts for Palatine Families in Need
    • Boots Needed for families newly arrived from Mexico border
    • Gift Card Collection for Local High School Students in Need
    • Change for Change
Study/Lifespan Religious Education (LRE)
  • Open Forum Discussion
  • Buddhist Study Group
  • White Lies Discussion
  • AHA Discussion
  • Transitions
  • Feminine Divine Women's Group
  • Haiku Workshop
  • Book Circle
  • Last Mondays Book Discussion
  • Journaling Circle
  • Reading Roundtable

From Our Interim Minister

Sharing Our Love With the World

Have you ever wished more folks knew about Countryside? Our faith and our congregation offer a lot that people find solace in, and there are ways we could make it easier for others to find us. While we will never need people to be saved or some of the language used by churches that we may have come from, we do have a community many find life-saving and affirming. Making it easier for people to find our messages is a kindness we can offer. A few simple things you could do to share our message so that people who need it can find us include interacting with us on social media - on Facebook and on Instagram. Please share our social media posts. Comment on them - that helps the algorithms. Share them to your friends. You also could go to our YouTube channel and select “Subscribe.” We are trying to get at least 100 subscribers (we have 50), which will help us to be searchable and to have our sermons and videos easier for others to find. If social media isn’t your thing, maybe it is for someone you love and care about. 

Recently, one member told us that the little cards with the Principles and our contact info on them saved her. It was something she carried in her pocket and put in her wallet and would read at tough times. She knew she wasn’t alone. You never know what small gesture or act might let someone else know about a place that could be essential to their healing.

Join Us This Saturday!

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

We are so excited to present this fun-filled night of music that benefits our community service partners. Bring your children, friends, and family!
Jeff Phillips has his finger on the pulse of our local music scene and has lined up ten talented music acts - soloists, small groups, and bands - for the evening's entertainment. Beer, wine, and snacks will be available.  
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.  Proceeds from a 50/50 raffle will be used to pay for critical needs of asylum seekers temporarily housed in the area.  

Needed: Strong Arms & Back

Northwest Suburban Music Teachers Assn is holding their Gold Medal Recital in our Sanctuary on Sunday afternoon and would like to pay one or two people to help them with setting and resetting the chancel (moving chairs & heavy platforms). You would be needed from about Noon until 1 pm and again from about 4:30 - 5:30 pm. If you are willing and able, please contact Laurie in the church office immediately. Thank you!

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!

Our Struggle and Our Power

by Erika A. Hewitt

Reprinted from Braver/Wiser: A Weekly Message of Courage and Compassion

Content warning: racism

“So much has been destroyed I have to cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.”
—Adrienne Rich, “Natural Resources”

“I don’t know who to vote for,” the woman said over the phone. “My daughter told me not to vote for what’s his name, who wants to let the Mexicans into Maine.”

Thanks to the hours I’d spent phone banking and doorknocking, I was prepared for anything, including my neighbor’s racism. As I pitched my candidate again, she interrupted: “Honey, it’s all too confusing for me. I’m just going to pray. I trust God to elect the right man.”

This happened a couple of election cycles ago, but it saddens me every time people use God as an out: a denial of our human agency. If you tell me that God exerts sovereign power over our free will and even our democratic elections, it sounds a lot like absolving yourself of our shared responsibility to shape the world we live in.

How grateful I am for a faith, rooted in our connective power, that draws urgent human connections between what we do in church, what we do in the voting booth, and all other ways we claim our life-giving capacities.

Unitarian Universalists have taught me about naming our human role in systemic failures; how—through both action and silence—we participate in oppression, in harm, in evil. (Legislation, banking practices, and media campaigns targeting the marginalized, for example, are all written and endorsed by our neighbors, our communities, and sometimes ourselves.) Holding each other accountable for that harm is one way we fulfill our sacred responsibility.

In our most glorious capacity, I believe, we're vessels for each other’s healing and liberation. We're here to empower one another, even as those of us with greater privilege are called to show up, as adrienne maree brown puts it, for those furthest from power.

That's why, of all the things "faith" can mean, to me it means believing in us—to repair, to connect, to hold one another up as we carry The Whole forward. There’s no God that will rescue us; no magical thinking that will restore the world or “manifest” it in the universe. I cast my lot with you; with us; with all that’s possible through no extraordinary power but our own.

May we never give up on one another. May we rise to what we're capable of, and all that we're called to be. May we rise, together.

Nov 13 at 10 am
Widening Our Covenant
Rev. Denise Cawley

Young people begin in worship with their family and will be sung out to their religious exploration classes.
As we explore what it means to be Unitarian Universalist, we are also learning how to be more inclusive. Our covenant is not sealed. We are opening our arms wider to let more love shine.

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.
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!

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.

Save the Date

Glaze Your Own Chalice

Sun Nov 20, 11:30 am

Once again, we will partner with Thrown Elements Pottery of Arlington Heights to hold an event at church where you can glaze your own chalice and/or holiday ornaments! Save the date and watch this week's LRE Update for details for purchasing your unglazed items for glazing at this event -- and we'll have them back to you in time for the holidays! Come be part of this cherished event for all ages and get your holiday spirit on!

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. 

Green Sanctuary Meeting

2nd Sundays ~ Nov 13 at 11:30 am

All are welcome to join us in classroom 6. The Green Sanctuary Committee promotes awareness, appreciation, and action in support of the environment on which we all depend. We promote worship that deepens our connection to the natural world, educational programs for all ages, service projects, and non-partisan political actions that address the climate crisis. 

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! 
~ Holiday Giving Opportunities ~

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

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.
Further details about Study Ministry, aka Lifespan Religious Education (LRE), events are included in the Friday LRE Update.
Focus newsletter also includes LRE information.

Nov 9-16

  • Open Forum Discussion: Nov 13, 9 am ~ Engineering for Change (about how cycling could be part of the solution for making cities less congested and greener) 
  • Buddhist Study Group: Nov 13, 11:30 am
  • White Lies Discussion Series: Nov 14, 7 pm ~ it's not too late to join us! We will discuss the Sphinx of Washington Street 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
  • Atheist, Humanist, Agnostic Discussion: Nov 15, 7 pm ~ we will discuss human development after fertilization - what defines personhood and when? We will also touch an example of one who supports a woman’s right to choose yet simultaneously concurs with the overturning of Roe. Women are welcome and encouraged to tune in.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Transitions: Nov 17, 10 am ~ Peggy Simonsen will present the good work being done by the UU Service Committee (UUSC). Potluck lunch to follow.
  • Feminine Divine Women's Group: Nov 19, 9:30 am ~ continuing our discussion of Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman. 
  • Haiku Workshop: Nov 20, 11:30 am
  • Book Circle: Nov 20, 6:15 pm ~ The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson
  • 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
Newsletter & Weekly Update Archive
LRE Update Archive
Facebook Facebook
Website Website
view this email in your browser
Copyright © 2022 Countryside Church UU, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp