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This Week
  • Journaling Circle
  • Choir Practice
This Sunday
  • Worship: Covenant is the Cornerstone
  • Religious Exploration for Children & Youth
  • Open Forum Discussion
  • Evacuation Drill
  • Children's Choir
  • Intro to CCUU
Coming Soon
  • Lay Ministry Calls
  • Music with a Mission
  • Gift Card Collection for Local High School Students in Need
  • Thanksgiving Day Tromp
This Just In
  • Path to Membership Class
  • Holiday Gifts for Palatine Township Families
Upcoming Study, Service, & Kinship Events:
  • White Lies Discussion Series
  • Reading Roundtable
  • Green Sanctuary Meeting
  • Buddhist Study Group
  • AHA Discussion
  • Transitions
  • Haiku Garden Workshop
  • Book Circle
  • Feminine Divine Women's Group
  • Last Mondays Book Discussion
Also in this Focus:
  • Who's Moving into Chalice House?
  • Video recordings of previous worship services
  • UUA Article 2 Study Commission Feedback Sessions
  • 2022-23 All Ages Events
  • UU Ministry for the Earth
  • Board of Trustees meeting schedule
  • Check your giving & contact info in Breeze
  • Upcoming Worship Services
  • Seeking Nursery Volunteers
  • UU Retreat for Males
  • Climate Justice Webinar
  • Church Calendar
  • Focus deadlines
  • CCUU Mission & Vision

November's Monthly Theme

The Path of Change

I wonder, particularly in a time where everything seems urgent, what the role of pause and breath is, in this season, to help us gear up for whatever this transformational moment we find ourselves in is.  
~ Rev. Jen Bailey
[We need] space to imagine a new way, and new self. Not moving or pushing but sitting and cultivating… [the goal] is to allow you space and time to reflect on your past, present, and future. To imagine a new beginning.
~ Rev. Sara LaWall
What if pushing is only half of it?
What if there is time to waste?
What if rushing is what got us into this mess?
What if catching our breath shrinks the clouds 
and expands our view? read full text here...

From Our Interim Minister

What if we counted on Change?

Our UU faith calls us to be curious. The search for truth and meaning is not a place we arrive at, but an endless practice of curiosity. Change is the one thing we can count on. Change often brings discomfort but what if instead of fighting it, we expected it. What if we counted on change and were curious about it?

I have read Widening the Circle of Concern a few times. I expect I will keep studying the great learnings and changes in our faith and what is called for if we want to grow and not shrink Unitarian Universalism. Have you read it? 
If you want to, you can read or listen to it for free or you can order a printed copy and there are copies in our library. 
Some of the learnings I have had from it about change:  
Read full column on the website or in the Focus

From Our DLRE

In this season of All Souls, my parents have been on my heart. It’s been 57 years now since they signed the membership book for this congregation. They started coming in the wake of the events of Selma, which we’ve been discussing in worship and in our White Lies discussion series. They tried some things at that point in their lives to fight racism, under the auspices of our congregation, partnering with Jesse Jackson’s Operation Breadbasket, and with the Community Renewal Society (CRS). They connected through a CRS program with a black family and began to bring their son, John, out to spend time with us on holidays and weekends. 
Read Mary's full column on the website or in the Focus

From Our Board President

Appreciation and Gratitude

Saying “goodbye” to Kathi Hillyer this past week was difficult. Kathi has been a member here for eleven years.  During that time, she was active in many functions, a harmonious voice in the choir, the music librarian, and a valuable church leader. She was an important presence during her six years on the Board, first as a member, then as Secretary and finally as Vice President. She chaired the Worship Council and the Program Committee. When COVID struck, Kathi was one of the first Zoom worship assistants and quickly became skilled at all things technical. We were able to conduct virtual congregational meetings primarily because of Kathi’s  organization and expertise.  We would not have been able to get through the years of remote attendance without her determination. Kathi is moving to Milwaukee but has promised to stay in touch and visit every few months.  I cannot overstate how much we benefitted from having her here and how much we’ll miss her talents and presence.

While I’m expressing gratitude,....  

Read the full column on the website or in the Focus
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This Week

Journaling Circle

Thurs, Nov 3 at 10 am

Each gathering opens with a short meditation. We then free write and write from prompts related to our monthly themes. Have your notebook/journal and a pen ready & join us online for personal exploration and growth. Meeting ID 950 6607 5339 and passcode 937911. Contact Peggy Graves for more information.

Thursdays at 7 pm

Come sing! No audition needed. Contact Alison Vernon for more info,
This Sunday

Daylight Saving Time begins Nov 6 at 2 am

It's the month of change, so don't forget to CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS on Saturday night when you go to bed.

Worship Service at 10 am

Nov 6: Covenant is the Cornerstone

Young people begin in the Sanctuary with their families and will be sung out to their Religious Exploration (RE) 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.

Join us in the Sanctuary for this service, or to join the live-stream: go to OR to listen via phone, call 1-312-626-6799 and use meeting id 412 124 873, passcode 1025.

View upcoming services...

Religious Exploration (RE) for Children & Youth on Sundays

Preschool through Grade 8 classes are offered on Sunday Morning and our Senior High Youth Group meets on Sunday evenings. We offer grade cohorts identical to those offered last year, led by our experienced, caring, and capable coordinators and teachers:
  • Preschool (Chalice Children)
  • Kindergarten-Grade 2 (Spirit Play)
  • Grades 3-5 (Nature & Spirit)
  • Junior High/Grades 6-8 (In the Middle)
  • Senior High Youth Group meets Sunday evenings at 7 pm
If your child or youth would like to participate, please complete an RE registration form.

Open Forum Discussion ~ Sundays at 9 am

Please join us to discuss “the issues of the day” while respectfully welcoming different perspectives. Our discussion topic on October 9 will be Afghanistan after the withdrawal: what lessons have we learned?
Meeting info can be found in the Focus or in the reminder that will go out on Saturday evening.

Evacuation Drill ~ Sunday, Nov 6, at end of Worship/RE

This Sunday, at the end of worship, we will hold a building evacuation drill (aka fire drill), to ensure we know what to do in case of an emergency. While every precaution has been taken to make our facility safe, there is always the possibility that something could happen and we might need to evacuate our building in an orderly and safe way. Instructions will be provided verbally and in writing this Sunday (and were in last Sunday's announcement insert). Following the drill, return to the building for fellowship, children's choir, and Intro to CCUU.

Children's Choir: Sundays following 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.

Intro to CCUU: 1st Sundays ~ Nov 6 at 11 am

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. 
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Coming Soon

Lay Ministry Calls

Each year, the Lay Ministry attempts to contact all members of Countryside Church in an effort to "stay in touch" with as many people as possible. Over the next couple of months, we look forward to having a conversation with you. We want to check in with you and hope you will take this opportunity to speak with a lay minister. Of course, as you probably already know, we are available at any time if you need to get in touch with us.
Your Countryside Lay Minister Team is Ken Bobbe, Lisa Gilley, Barbara Griggs, Helen Moore, Joy Simon, Chris Smith and Ellen Vinzani.

Gift Card Collection for Local High School Students in Need

Now through November 28

Through CCUU’s participation in “Palatine Faith in Action,” we are again partnering with other local churches to provide gift cards for food, clothing, and other necessaries for District 211 students in need. The combined total of giving last year allowed District 211 to provide supplies 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. Between now and Nov 28, please 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. 
Drop the gift cards off at the church office. More details are in the Focus.

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. All are invited – large and small, young and old, and especially our 4-legged friends!
This Just In (an addition to printed Focus)

Path to Belonging

Sundays, Nov 13 & 20; 11:30 am - 1 pm

This two-session series is an opportunity to learn more about Countryside Church UU and more about the meaning of membership. It is also an opportunity to get to know others, and for those who are ready, it is a path to membership. Our minister, staff, and lay leaders provide exercises and opportunities to explore what you are seeking at CCUU and to discover the freedom and diversity of our faith. 
Sign up online here  or email

Holiday Giving for Palatine Families in Need

We will again participate in this program which makes such a huge difference in these families’ lives over the holidays. Stay tuned for further details...
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Study, Service, & Kinship Offerings
See the Focus for Online Meeting info
Adult Faith Development Offering descriptions on the website
Upcoming Events listed on the website

White Lies Discussion Series

Continues on Mondays through Dec 5;
7 to 8:30 pm ~ Online Only

The White Lies podcast is a feat of investigative journalism in which two reporters, who were once UU Youth and are the hosts of the podcast, spent years interviewing people and searching out obscure and buried records in an attempt to tell the real story of what happened when the Rev. James Reeb was attacked and killed in Selma in 1965.
Get full details and sign up to attend. Participants need not attend all sessions, however, if you drop in, please listen to the episode for that day AS WELL AS all previous episodes. Obviously, the more you participate, the more you get out of this great course.  Course is on ZOOM only. You do not need to be a church member to attend this covenantal series; guests are welcome. This Lifespan Religious Exploration course is available for Senior High and Adults. 

Reading Roundtable ~ Nov 9 at 10 am

Each meeting, we read a selection from The Civically Engaged Reader. Our schedule for November:
  • Nov 9: from Democracy in America (pp. 54–57) 
  • Nov 23: No meeting
For more info, email Pat Wydell,

Green Sanctuary Meeting ~ Nov 13 at 11:30 am

The Green Sanctuary group 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. 
We meet on the 2nd Sunday of the month following the worship service. All are welcome to join us! For more info, email

Buddhist Study Group: 2nd Sundays, Nov 13 at 11:30 am

We read & discuss selected Buddhist texts and try to apply the principles & techniques to our every day lives. 

Atheist, Humanist, Agnostic Discussion: Nov 15, 7 pm

Please note: due to the election on Nov 8, we will meet Nov 15 (the 3rd tues in Nov). This month, we will discuss human development after fertilization - what defines personhood and when?  Meeting info in the Focus.

Transitions ~ Nov 17 at 10 am

This month's program will be on the 3rd Weds in Nov to avoid meeting on T’giving. Peggy Simonsen will present UU Service Committee: Social Justice and Climate Justice Around the World; she will introduce you to some of the valuable work this UU organization is doing and how you can help. We will have a pre-program coffee time and a post-program potluck lunch. 

Haiku Garden Workshop: Nov 20, 11:30 am

We will hold a monthly Haiku Garden Workshop in preparation for a spring opening of our Haiku Garden. If you would like to learn how to write haiku or get suggestions about a haiku you have already written for the garden please join Susan Auld on November 20 from 11:30-1 in Classroom 1. 

Book Circle ~ November 20, 6:15 pm

Join us to discuss The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson.  We will gather at 6:15 pm; discussion begins at 6:30 pm. All are warmly welcome to join us!

Feminine Divine Women's Group ~ Nov 26, 9:30 am

Join us in classroom 6 as we continue our discussion of Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman. New women are always welcome! For more info, contact Barbara Griggs.

Last Mondays Book Discussion ~ Nov 28, 7:30 pm

All are welcome to join us in person at church for a discussion of West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge. 
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Also in this month's Focus
Download the current issue for full details.
Newsletters & weekly e-updates are archived on the church website.

Additional Articles ~ Full Focus issue can be viewed here

  • Who's Moving into Chalice House?
  • Video recordings of previous worship services now available
  • From the UUA: Article 2 Study Commission Feedback Sessions
  • 2022-23 All Ages Events Schedule
  • UU Ministry for the Earth: Spirituality and the Climate Crisis
  • Board of Trustees meeting schedule
  • Check your giving & update contact info in Breeze
  • Upcoming Worship Services
  • Seeking Nursery Volunteers
  • UU Retreat for Males
  • Climate Justice Webinar Series
  • Calendar of church meetings & events for November
  • Upcoming Focus deadlines
  • CCUU Mission & Vision
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