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110 S. 2nd Street
Geneva, IL, 60134




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Pioneer Newsletter

October - November 2017

From the Pulpit
the Rev. Dr. Lindsay Bates
November   by Katie Phillips
I wrote October and I meant it. Something would not say 
Hello November, beautiful word, gateway to winter, 
where weather in the air
is mood on the ground. 
Leaves are rotting.
What was gold is brown. 
What was yellow is buried.
What was red chases itself 
down the street. Please don't
say it was force of habit. 
Let's have October for one
more day, in the midst 
of this unwritable word,
which falters under the weight 
of all Novembers before it.
Even February gets a break. 
Say it's only a name,
a symbol with no intrinsic value, 
sound without meaning,
but the V cinches it 
for me. Hourglass of time, 
color, and rain. I fall
into it, towards inevitable 
December, my fingers
slipping along the sides.

Katie Phillips, our Congregational Administrator for 10 years (2006-2016), had her first chapbook poetry collection, Driving Montana, Alone, published in November 2010. This poem appeared there in a slightly different form under the title “V.” Thank you, Katie, for giving us permission to reprint it here!

I love the poem. I love the idea of NOvember. A part of the spirit does cry out NO as October gives way to inevitable winter, the bright colors fading now to browns and grays, the stark contrasts of bare branches and cold, snow-bearing skies. Still, sliding down this hourglass, may we remember that the month has its own beauty. It does indeed open up again, leading us into the warmth of the annual seasons of gratitude, anticipation, joy, love, lived again and again into the world. We need November, for it will guide us as surely as the calendar’s changing pages, through the autumn’s shivering shadows and back into the light.

Peace ~


Celebration of the 39th Anniversary of Rev. Lindsay's Ordination

Sunday, October 29, will be the 39th anniversary of Rev. Lindsay's ordination at UUSG!  All members and friends of the congregation are cordially invited to celebrate this amazing milestone during Social Hour in the Common Room after the early service. The Heritage Team and the 175th Anniversary Committee are planning a party with delightful surprises and we hope you and your family will join us! The services will be very special too - we hope you will be with us for this wonderful morning celebrating Rev. Lindsay's outstanding service to our beloved community. And since it is a party during our 175th Anniversary year, you can be sure -- there will be cake!

Circles of Life
It was a great sadness to learn of the death of former UUSG friend Mary Higgins. We send our loving sympathy to her daughter, UUSG member Elizabeth “Buffy” Higgins-Beard, to Buffy’s husband, Greg Beard, and to Buffy’s daughters, Marcelite and Lucinda Bucheit. 

We wish all joy and best wishes to UUSG members Kelly Herz and Seth Prisco, married here on Saturday, October 15, by Rev. Lindsay and Thom Thomas, former UUSG member and now a seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School, doing his internship at First Unitarian Church in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. (Since spouses are not encouraged to hang around the internship site, Julie Riffle will be returning home to UUSG while Thom works and studies in Chicago. So there’s a second occasion for joy!)

We send our loving condolences to the Schulman family - Hal, Chris, Rob, Betsy, Heidi, and Lincoln - on the passing of Heidi’s husband & Lincoln’s dad, Jasson Erickson. There will be a local service this Saturday, October 28 at 4pm at St. Matthew United Church of Christ, 1420 S Gables Blvd., Wheaton, IL for those unable to travel to St. Louis. To all of Jasson’s family and friends, may the future days be gentle and surrounded in love. 

Music at UUSG

October’s rich musical harvest has featured the joyful UUSG Choir led by Cynthia Spiegel, with beautiful accompaniment by Elena Spiegel on violin and Sandra Anderson-Cordogan at the piano. They were followed by the uplifting and intricate harmonies of the FUUsion ensemble, featuring Trish Beckjord, Pam Birch, Lynn Fisher McCanne, Kelly Herz, Sara Hoerdeman, Rhonda Robinson, Shawna Tiffin, Meredith Vandre, and Pat Vary.

Looking ahead, we’ll be treated to the effervescent UUSG House Band; the sweet sounds of RE Music Students; the return of the UUSG Choir; and a rousing UUSG Jazz Combo featuring Michael Townley, Tracy Rosenkrans, Geoff Pynn, and Liam Johnson. Talented pianists in Oct./Nov also include John Rosenkrans and Dean Malambri.

There is a place for you in our Music Ministry. Please contact Music Director Tracy Rosenkrans at today!

Women's Circle
The goal of the UUSG Women’s Circle is to extend learning and communication, and enhance the opportunities for women to come together around our individual spiritual growth. Guided by our UU Seven Principles, we help each other explore our spiritual direction using presentations, discussions, activities, and community building in thoughtful and energizing sessions. Please come join us each month! Fall sessions started in September with a lovely Taize service lead by Cynthia Spiegel. 2017-18 Schedule

Our October session is Saturday, October 28: Want to learn more about Islam and the lives of Muslim women here and abroad? Have questions about their role in family life, or the limitations and opportunities afforded them? Come share a presentation and discussion with our special guest speaker, Huda Husseini, a chemistry educator and mother originally from Jordan. Her goal is to raise awareness, help combat stereotypes, and bring people together in peace. Sign up here.
And coming November 18: Trish Beckjord facilitates a session designed to get us thinking and sharing. "What Does Being Spiritual or Having a Spiritual Practice Really Mean? Practical Ways to Integrate the Sacred Into Busy Days."

Green Sanctuary: The Snowflake Project

The Snowflake Project - (new name for the Green Sanctuary's postcard campaign) per special request, will have a second soft start this weekend. All material, postage and samples are supplied. The project itself will be rolled out over the next few weeks. Just a few lines of copy and a signature is all that is required. We are using blank cards, not pre-printed mass produced cards. We have rubber stamps and felt tip pens, so each card will be unique, like a snowflake. Join us in the Common Room this Saturday, October 28, from 10am-noon. Please check the bulletin board for more details. 

New UUSG Members!

We welcome our newest members who signed The Book on October 15: Kathleen Dameron, Colleen A. Cushing, Katie Yurkewicz, M. Clair Ryan, Judy Medina, Winelle Glaser, Faith M. McWilliams, and Robert E. McWilliams. Welcome Home!

Our House
Ron Craig and Kevin O’Neill conducted an inspection of our buildings’ exteriors. We have some issues to address: 1) the bell tower is showing signs of wear and tear, and will soon require repairs and painting; 2) paint is peeling in a few areas on the Pioneer House siding and Sanctuary windows, 3) the porches on the Pioneer House need repairs, and 4) a window in the Pioneer House basement needs to be shored up.  

Big thanks to Christine and Lisa for moving the pews around and getting them into the proper configuration. Also, the Facilities Team is collaborating with the Green Sanctuary Team to potentially install some interior storm windows, big thanks to Bill Koehl and Dave Tomell.  

The Facilities Team has many handyman projects to complete, so if you or someone you know is able to replace a door, paint a wall, or apply WD40 on an old hinge, then please contact the Facilities Team at It takes many hands to maintain our house.

Adopt-a-Plot Thanks!
UUSG Adopt-a-Plot Weeding Ministry 2017 would like to thank the numerous volunteers who kept our beautiful church grounds weed free this year. . . 

Thank you to: Bill Scown, Trish Beckjord, Kathy Meier, Shawn Thornton, Jan Miller, Mary Swanson, Velma Powers, Melissa Auer, Clair Ryan, Carol Myers, Becky and Sean Hruby, Nate Thomas, Laura Bartoszek, Renee Tomell, Marilyn Hebda, Diane Gallentine, Meredith Vandre, Cynthia Spiegel, Llona Steele, Ann Drover, Colleen Cushing, Bill Koehl, Mylane Bryant, Glenda Peck, Nancy Steinke, Kelly Herz, Elke Chateau, and Rose Maziarz.

New2U: Mountain Bike
Check out this great mountain bike; monies support UUSG programs.

Women's Retreat Registration Now Open
Registration is now open until December 1, for the 5th Annual UUSG Women’s Retreat, “Discover Your Flow…Pause and Bond with the Women of UUSG.” The retreat will be held January 19-21, 2018. Space is limited, so sign up early. If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Harbold at

Green Sanctuary News

Green Sanctuary Team would like you to know about upcoming events: More information is available on the Green Sanctuary bulletin board. 
Collaboration with St. Charles Episcopal
UUSG is now collaborating with St. Charles Episcopal on our joint mission to feed the needy in Kane County. They have stepped up to help us with monthly Lazarus House dinners and we are helping them with their monthly Soup Kitchen lunches. St. Charles Episcopal does a monthly Soup Kitchen buffet lunch every 4th Thursday & Friday for 100+ people and they need help for preparation and serving.

They need three volunteers to help with preparation work Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9:00pm at St. Charles Episcopal, and four volunteers Thursday mornings at 9:30am to load up at St. Charles Episcopal and transport the meal to Trinity Episcopal in Aurora and then set up, 10am-2pm. Sign up here to be a part of this great collaboration!

Annual UUSG Thanksgiving Dinner 
No plans for Thanksgiving? Family lives too far away? Then join fellow UUs for the Annual T-day Dinner. Family and Friends are welcome. We usually have about 25 attendees. Turkey and ham will be provided; please bring a dish to share. Doors open at 1:15pm with snacks and beverages available. Dinner will be served at 2:00pm. We enjoy a bountiful dinner with fellowship before and after the meal. This year's Annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner will be held at 205 Fellows St in St. Charles. White ranch house at the corner of Fellows and 2nd St. Sign up here.

Get Involved With Interweave

Interweave is a local group of LGBTQ members, friends and allies who meet once a month to have time together for discussions and special events. We will meet Sunday November 29, after second service about 12:30pm to discuss current events. We will also start planning for our February and March LGBTQ church activities leading up to the annual LGBTQ service scheduled for March 4, 2018. For information please contact Lynn Steele at

Veterans Day Service at UUSG

As in years past, the Veterans Day service on November 12, will include a rolling display of pictures of veterans and UUSG family members who served in the military. If you are interested in having you or your family members so honored, please submit your photographs to Jeff Stibal no later than November 7. Also, if you already have pictures from previous years and no longer wish them to be displayed, please let Jeff know by that date. Thank you. 

Friday Flicks

November Friday Flick: The Pilgrims
Friday, November 24, at 7:00pm in the Common Room

Keeping perspective in today’s world is a challenge, to say the least! Occasionally, it is good to look back and revisit our history to reground ourselves. What better way to do that around Thanksgiving, the quintessential American Holiday, than to reconsider the Pilgrims; what they were looking for and how they influenced American myth.

They were the least likely of task forces for establishing a permanent English presence in the New World. 102 men, women and children in all – led by a band of radical Protestant extremists – woefully under-supplied and unprepared, but spurred on by the dream of establishing a new heaven on Earth on the shores of the New World.

Commemorated each year at Thanksgiving, no chapter in American history has been more clouded in myth, legend and venerable cliché than the story of the Pilgrims. And yet, the real story behind their historic voyage – who they were and where they came from; their harrowing first years in America and crucial interactions with Native Americans; and how and why we have come to remember them as we do – is a tale far more haunting and poignant than the one we think we know.

The Pilgrims explores the riveting true story of a small group of English Separatists whose determination to worship God as they saw fit planted the seeds of the American dream.

Our Whole Lives

OWL is a comprehensive curriculum exploring relationships, sexuality and decision making; this curriculum also provides an opportunity for students to build strong friendships and a sense of community within UUSG. Our youth often identify their OWL experience as the first time when they really felt like a part of a religious community and understood why we gather together. Participants are asked to make a commitment to each other and the group by attending all four of the OWL overnights (one per month from January through April). If you're interested in your child attending, please contact Jenny Montgomery at and mark your calendars for the upcoming dates: 
  • December 17, 12:30pm: Parent Meeting (mandatory for first time participants)
  • OWL Overnight Dates: (Friday & Saturday): January 26-27, February 23-24, March 16-17, April 20-21 

Bible Study for UUs
For UUs who simply want to learn more about the Bible as literature, "Bible Study for UUs" is on the third Monday of each month,7-8:30pm. Our next meeting will be on November 20. We'll be reading Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Don't worry if you can't complete the reading - it's a big assignment. And the conversation frequently wanders from the book. 

For more info, please contact Jim Frazier

Steeple Walk 2017

Once again UUSG is hosting a musical performance during the Steeple Walk program. This year the Batavia High School Madrigal Singers will entertain us. Three other local churches will host Scott Stevenson (organ), the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale, and Ruth Cavanaugh and EnsAmble Ad Hoc. Sunday, December 3, $12 per ticket. For information and tickets contact Gail Tattersfield 630.587.8567.

Empowering Immigrants
If you are looking for a way to use Practical Goodness to help immigrants, consider volunteering with the Literacy Volunteers of the Fox Valley to help an immigrant learn English. Without language skills, immigrants are more isolated and vulnerable, leaving them fearful of encounters with anybody who doesn't speak their language.  

In the current environment, not even American citizens who speak with an accent are totally comfortable. Imagine if you were not a citizen and couldn't speak the language at all. If you've traveled abroad, you can start to imagine their plight. Add to that the rampant anti-immigrant sentiment and you get an idea of the good you can do by helping one person even a little bit. LVFC offers a short class to prepare you before they pair you with a student. In the words of Arlo Guthrie "You can't help no one with money if you can't with your hands".

There are many ways to help:
  • They need tutors that commit just 1-2 hours a week to help a student learn English. 
  • They need visionary board members that can commit 1-5 hours a month to help with organizational oversight, support, and innovation.
  • They need people with connections to help get business sponsorships.
  • They need people that just like to lend a hand and help prepare for the 1-3 events they have each year.
  • They need ambassadors to table volunteer fairs 1-4 times per year and spread the word on the good work LVFV does for the community.
To learn more on how Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley can utilize your talents, please contact Peg Coker, executive director, at

We Need Greeters
Signing up in advance to be a Sunday greeter is important because:
  • it's a vital part of the Worship Ministry and the Hospitality Ministry, to welcome people into the Sanctuary, count attendance, and answer questions about the locations of washrooms and the Nursery;
  • it lets us put your names in the Mini-Pioneer so that people might remember you;
  • it gives you a chance to start recognizing names and faces;
  • it takes no preparation, just a slightly early arrival (9:15 for 9:30; 11 for 11:15); and
  • it lowers staff anxiety – especially the Senior Minister's, who would take it as a personal favor if you would sign up to greet!

WomanSpirit 2018

On Nov 27, 1978 Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone of San Francisco were killed. Holly Near received a phone call; she was asked to come to a candlelight vigil at City Hall that night and sing. On her way to the vigil she wrote a song. In the darkness, with thousands of candles held aloft, Holly stepped to the mike and began to sing...

"We are a gentle, angry people and we are singing, singing for our lives." 

Holly Near has been the singing voice of justice on issues of feminism to climate change, from worker's rights to peace, from immigration to equality for all. Her music lifts us up. Her life serves as an inspiration. She is a witness to social change. 

We are incredibly fortunate that she has accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker for WomanSpirit 2018, in Evanston. The conference - "I Am Willing" - will open on Friday February 2, at 4pm and continues through Saturday, February 3, and our closing ceremony. During this time we hold the space for women and those who identify as women.

Click here to register.

The concert - "Singing For Our Lives" - on Saturday evening February 3, and both worship services on Sunday morning February 4, are open to everyone.

Bus Trip to See Dickens

DuPage UU Church is taking a bus trip to Navy Pier on Sunday, November 26, for an afternoon with our dude Dickens (Charles, that is, a Unitarian!), to see "A Q Brothers Christmas Carol," for a 3pm matinee. We arranged with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater to get a discount promo code so that we could invite our UU friends from Chicago-area churches and UUs in town for the holiday to join us! The discount promo code, exclusive for UUs for the November 26, 3pm matinee is CHARLES. Simply go to the Chicago Shakespeare website and enter the promo code to get discounted seats for that performance.

This is an awesome show - A Christmas Carol like you've never seen before. And it's in the new space, "the Yard," opened just last month. If we have spots left, we could open our trip to folks who want to join our bus (we have room for 45). Contact DuPage UU Church at (630) 505-9408.
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