News (Page 21)

Executive Team Update

The ET plans to begin sharing key topics and decisions from our monthly meetings. To learn more about the Executive Team and what we do, visit our Church Leadership page. Current Members The current members of The Executive Team (ET) are; Steve Askins, Mila Brinker, Mary Harlos, Mike Moutrie, Martha Pignataro, and Reverend Leland Bond-Upson. Our two most recent members; Steve and Mary, have only been on the team for a few months, but they bring fresh energy to the…

UUCE Book Group Update

For their March 29 meeting the Book Group is reading “The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead, winner of two consecutive Pulitzer Prizes. On April 26 they’ll discuss Pulitzer winner “The Overstory” by Richard Powers, and on May 31 they’ll travel back to 1918 for Willa Cather’s “My Antonia”. The UUCE Book Group has been meeting once a month continuously since 1993 to discuss a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction. For the duration of the pandemic, meetings are…

Is Dr. Seuss is a Victim of ‘Cancel Culture’?

Dr. Seuss is a victim of ‘cancel culture,’ say a lot of people in the past three days since the announcement that after a year of study, six of Seuss’ books will not be reprinted due to portrayals that are ‘hurtful and wrong.’ The six books are And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, On Beyond Zebra, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer. I happen to own the first three,…
Copper collection plate on a wooden table

FINCA

This month’s Share the Plate recipient is: Foundation for International Community Assistance FINCA is a trusted partner in catalyzing economic growth and alleviating poverty. UUCE has been a steadfast supporter of FINCA since 2007, supporting six Village Banks on three continents. By enabling access to microloans, UUCE has empowered thousands of low-income clients to build more resilient lives. Poverty’s many challenges are interconnected, and so are the solutions. FINCA International, a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit organization, is working to advance market-based…

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

About the BLM accomplishments. Last week the sermon spoke to the BLM (Black Lives Matter) record of non-violence, and its self-discipline. We spoke of BLM-led demonstration following the George Floyd murder ranged somewhere from 15 million participants, to 26 million. That’s a big range, produced by large polling differences: The Pew poll reported an estimated 16 million NORC reported an estimated 18 million Civis Analytics reported an estimated 23 million Kaiser Family Foundation reported an estimated 26 million Even if…

Warmup for the Next Round of a 21-day Challenge for Racial Justice

Our Service this coming Sunday will address the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement, and BLUU (Black Lives UU), and Antifa (the loosely organized anti-fascist assemblage).  This is the first of 3 or 4 services that will address racial justice, and U.S. history.  February is Black History Month, and I hope many of you are taking advantage of it. I personally have fallen behind in this area.  I have only watched the first segment of the excellent The Black Church, hosted by Harvard professor…

Saturday’s Council of Chairs Meeting Update

The monthly Worship Theme service we use here at UUCE has the theme of POWER for February. For comparison, the UUA reports that the monthly theme from Soul Matters, Touchstones, All Souls (Tulsa), and Faith Rocket/Church of the Larger Fellowship) are: Belovéd Community, Mercy, Love, and Risk, respectively. I am glad to be reminded of this, because sometimes I cannot fold in a Theme, and am grateful for alternatives. Not that I rely on any of them for subject matter, nor do…

Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois

Cheryl Niemo, member of the Tree of Life UU Congregation would like to share with UUCE the word about a special training from Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois. Cheryl writes the training is geared toward creating Solidarity Circles for people who are newly released. We welcome anyone who would like to learn more. We would like to see an increase in support towards a more positive reentry process. You are welcomed to participate on Tree of Life Church’s team and/or develop your own. Hope…

Did You Know?

To vote at our annual meeting in May, our bi-laws state you must be “an active voting member”. An active voting member of the church is any member who has reached the age of sixteen years and has made an unrestricted contribution of not less than $100.00 to the general operating fund, for which no goods or services were provided (hereafter “unrestricted contribution”), during the first eleven months of the twelve months preceding the annual meeting, except that the minimum…

Worship Team Update

The Worship Team met Wednesday, and the news from that meeting is that we are scheduling two mini-series of Services between now and June. One series will be dedicated to racial justice and injustice, and not only for Black Folk. We will have one a month for at least 3 months. Likewise, we will have a series on the cluster of subjects that deal with gender and sexuality. We will likewise have one a month on these subjects and other related ones, including abortion,…
Copper collection plate on a wooden table

MLK College Scholarship & Annual MLK Food Drive

This month’s Share the Plate recipient is: The MLK college scholarship fund & the annual MLK food drive.  Each year, the City of Elgin Human Relations Commission takes great pride in presenting a weekend of activities celebrating the life of one of our country’s greatest civil rights leaders, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year in lieu of the Prayer Breakfast, Dr. King’s birthday was celebrated virtually, but lost none of its power. Learn more by visiting the…

Woman of Power and Standing

Maya Soetoro-Ng, Barack Obama’s half-sister, works with my wife Deborah on education and justice projects in Hawaii, and sent her this video today: “The Women Are Coming“ The first part of this video is a sequence of the images of the world’s current female heads of state, followed by 28 images of U.S. women of power and standing, ending with the young poet Amanda Gorman.   You may have some names you would like to add. Mila suggested Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,…