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110 S. 2nd Street
Geneva, IL, 60134
USA

630-232-2350

Newsletter

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Pioneer Newsletter

August - September 2018
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Upcoming Services
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Board Minutes
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On the Journey

Greetings from your interim ministers! 

What a joy to get to know the congregation in August! Thank you for the warm welcome and for your support of our move from Texas to Geneva. Congratulations to the Worship Team for putting together a rich summer worship experience. Congratulations to the Lifespan Religious Education Team and the volunteers who created and staffed the Summer Hang Time for children during worship. Worship and the children’s program brought a lot of life and energy to the congregation over the past few months. 

Unfortunately, last month also had a great sadness. Elder member George Tattersfield died on August 13 after a brief illness. This Head Bell Ringer no longer will welcome people to worship or find children to assist with sounding the bell on Sunday morning. Thank you for your attention to his wife Gail and for sharing your stories of George’s generous presence. We look forward to hearing more during George’s Celebration of Life at the Society on October 6. 
    
It is fitting to lead the first interim ministry column with a few notes about the life of this society. We are charged with encouraging the overall ministry of the congregation as we help you prepare for your next settled professional minister(s). In these early months, our primary job is to get to know you by being part of congregational life and meeting with the staff and volunteer leaders. 
    
You also need to get to know us and how we expect to conduct our ministry with you. We will be your guides through the developmental tasks of a congregation in transition. The developmental tasks include:

 
  1. claiming and honoring its past and engaging and acknowledging its griefs and conflicts, 
  2. recognizing its unique identity and its strengths, needs, and challenges, 
  3. understanding the appropriate leadership roles of minister(s), church staff, and lay leaders and navigating the shifts in leadership that may accompany times of transition, 
  4. making appropriate use of denominational and other resources
  5. renewing its vision, strengthening its stewardship, preparing for new growth and new professional leadership, ready to embrace the future with anticipation and zest, and 
  6. supporting the ongoing life of the congregation.
We look forward to serving with the Transition Team as part of encouraging the congregation’s work on these tasks. (Please be sure to send in three names of who you think would do a good job on the Transition Team. Names are received through September 9.)

As co-ministers who share one full-time position, we organized the areas of responsibility into three categories: Faith Development, Public Ministry, and Operations. The division of responsibilities looks like this:

Rev. Jennifer Innis: Faith Development
Ministry teams include: 
     • Lifespan Religious Education and adult programs
     • Membership – Recruitment, Integration, Development and Retention 
        (RIDR)     
         - Pastoral Care
         - WOW (Within Our Walls)
         - Welcoming
         - Hospitality and Fellowship
         - Nominating, including leadership development
         - Make a Difference fund
     • Stewardship, including planned giving

Rev. Jennifer supervises all paid or volunteer staff related to these ministries.

Rev. Patrick Price: Public Ministry and Operations
Ministry Teams include: 
     • Worship
     • Social Action/Social Justice
     • Personnel Committee - Staff Supervision and Review  
     • Communications – Internal, External, and Technology
     • Administration and Finance – Bookkeeping, Budgeting, etc. 
     • Facilities and Property – includes Capital Development, Long Range 
       Planning   
     • Governance (by-laws, policies, rules and guidelines)

Rev. Patrick supervises all paid or volunteer staff related to these ministries, including Christine Imielski, Congregational Administrator, and Lisa Rittenberry, Administrative Assistant.

We will alternate leading worship separately and together. We will take the same Sunday off. Our typical weekly schedule will look like this: 

Sunday: At church for worship, fellowship, and meetings
Monday: Our Day Off
Tuesday: Both ministers available for staff and leadership meetings
Wednesday: One minister available for UUSG
Thursday: One minister available for UUSG
Friday: Writing Day
Saturday: Off, except for church events

The best ways to reach us are by phone and email. Our shared email address is: interim.coministers@uusg.org. To reach Rev. Jennifer: 972-639-7900, revjinnis@gmail.com. To reach Rev. Patrick: 972-639-7901, rev.patrickd.price@gmail.com

Bowing to the Light Within,
Patrick and Jennifer

Circles of Life

We are deeply saddened to share with you that our beloved member, George Tattersfield, passed away on August 13, 2018. George was a tremendous presence at UUSG and in the community, and his loss will be felt by all that knew him. Our resident "Head Bell-Ringer" George could be seen at the Sanctuary entrance every Sunday morning welcoming the congregation and visitors into our church home. He was a vital part of the WOW Team, both as a leader and a volunteer, as he took care of many requests before they were even passed along to the Team. He could be seen in the community volunteering with his trusty side-kick, Dickens, whom he had trained as a therapy dog. He visited countless members and friends with Dickens by his side, bringing joy, relaxation, and conversation to those who needed it most. Our thoughts, prayers, and love go out to Gail and George's family and friends. He will be dearly missed. 

The Celebration of Life Service will be held in the Sanctuary on Saturday, October 6, 2018. A memorial visitation will be from 11am to 12pm in the Common Room, with the Celebration of Life Service beginning at 12pm. There will be fellowship and refreshments after the service. View George's obituary here.

                             

Seeking Member Names for Transition Team

The Board requests your input as they appoint the new Transition Team. The Transition Team consists of five members of the congregation who are active at church, are good listeners, and are willing to be engaged with this time of reflection as we prepare for new professional ministry. The Transition Team works with the congregation and the interim ministers as a “think tank” and as a body for information and conversation about the interim experience. The Transition Team also assists with events such as the interim minister startup retreat and a day to review church history.

The Board asks each person at UUSG to send them 3 names of members between now and September 9. Email, notes, even phone texts are great ways to send in names. Small slips of paper will be available at church for the next 3 Sundays. There will be a final collection during the Homecoming worship and the picnic on September 9. The Board will put together a preliminary team on September 11. They expect to announce the final team on September 16.

See UUSG Board President David de Coriolis, other members of the Board, and Revs. Patrick and Jennifer for questions. Send email notes to board@uusg.org. Thank you!

UUSG Music

Music has enhanced summer’s wonderfully eclectic services, showing off the improvisational prowess of Angela Salvaggione at the keyboard; the soaring vocals of Cynthia Spiegel plus her four-hand piano playing with Tom Zimmerman in terrific Gershwin pieces; and the interactive, all-music Taize service in which Cynthia deftly led the congregation in song, accompanied beautifully by Ruth Cavanaugh on flute, Mary Christensen Phillips on violin, Tracy Dullea on double bass, Tom at the piano, and Dave Hanchette on drums, with help from vocalist Kelly Herz.

Calvin Hruby was wonderful at the piano, and also sharing their lovely gifts at the keyboard were Lynn Fisher McCanne and Sandra Anderson-Cordogan.

Looking ahead, we’ll be treated to the UUSG House Band with Geoff Pynn, Tracey McFadden, Tracy Dullea, and Andy Montgomery kicking off the new church year in rousing musical style, as well as the keyboard talents of Geoff, Tom, and Sandra. Don't forget to sign up for Open Mic at the Annual Picnic on 9/9. We'd love to have you read a poem, tell a joke, sing a song, or play for our loving, accepting community!

Be a part of the joy of music – there is a place for you in our Music Ministry! Students, amateurs, professionals, adults, and youth. Please contact Music Director Tracy Dullea at music@uusg.org today!

Our House
 
Sometimes the little things are the big things. Thanks to Patrick McGleam for creating and hanging Lindsay’s portrait in the Heritage Room alongside Dr. Little’s and Augustus Conant’s portraits. Additional thanks to Dave Hansen for repairing the two fluorescent lights in the Common Room, to Jeff Stibal for coordinating the installation of WiFi routers, to Dave Tomell for cleaning the gutters, to Tom Lichtenheld for organizing our paint inventory, and to Jan Miller and Christine for cleaning and organizing the storage room in the basement.

The Facilities Team has big plans for September. The replacement of the Common Room roof is scheduled to begin on September 19, weather permitting. Klemm Roofing will do the work and it will take a few days. Don’t be surprised if you see a big dumpster behind the Common Room during the project. Also, the Facilities Team is planning to replace the floorboards on the Pioneer House porches on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23. Another dumpster will be needed, and it will be placed along 2nd Street.


The Facilities Team is looking for members and volunteers. If you’re interested in helping us preserve our historic site, improve our meeting space, or enhance our classrooms, please contact Kevin O’Neill at facilities@uusg.org.

Environmental Justice - A Great Disruption
Project SnowFall's Letter to Our Congregation #4
August 30, 2018

 
July 2018 marks 403rd consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average - NOAA (1)

The forces that urge caution in response to concerns about the effects of climate change site the cost of making the adjustment as creating a disruption. This cost does not include the effects of not making an adjustment.

What do we make of stories with titles like these?

“Thirty American Cities That Will Soon Be Underwater” from the Wall Street Journal (2). And they are not talking financially.
 
Or that “Rising sea levels could cost the world $14 trillion a year by 2100” from Phy.org (3).

And “The military paid for a study on sea level rise. The results were scary." The Washington Post (4).The report shows more than a thousand low-lying islands becoming uninhabitable by mid century.

Add to that, the cost of floods and drought.

The dollar amounts are only approximate, but they do not show the loss of life, the loss of community, and tear in the fabric of society that this much disruption will cause.

Disruptions in the future at distant shores are not the only problem. 

“Pollution kills more people than any thing else” Forbes (5).

“Air Pollution Increases Diabetes Risk at Levels the EPA Calls ’Safe” EcoWatch/Lancet (6).

“Cost of New EPA Coal Rules: Up to 1,400 More Deaths a Year New York Times (7).

All of this will make a bad situation worse, much worse. Neither floods nor air pollution or disease or death are factored into the cost of transition.

Today’s letter will be short and to the point. The poor get hit first, the poor get hit the hardest, the poor had the least to do with this and they have the least ability to respond. 100’s of millions already live on the land no one else would want because it is too dangerous. 

We need more environmental justice, not less. Once again, we are moving in the wrong direction. At least temporarily advantageous for a few. But in the long term, we are heading for a catastrophe. This must be considered when we are counseled to heed the call for “caution in response”.

William Koehl, Green Sanctuary
Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva

1. ncei.noaa.gov/news/global-climate-201807
2. 247wallst.com/special-report/2018/06/19/american-cities-that-will-soon-be-under-water/2/
3. phys.org/news/2018-07-sea-world-trillion-year.html
4. washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/25/climate-change-could-make-thousands-of-tropical-islands-uninhabitable-in-coming-decades-new-study-says/?utm_term=.d0c014a8db27
5. forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/11/07/pollution-kills-more-people-than-anything-else/#200912ef1a35
6. ecowatch.com/air-pollution-diabetes-epa-2583155988.html
7. nytimes.com/2018/08/21/climate/epa-coal-pollution-deaths.html

LRE Registration Now Open!

Your Lifespan Religious Education Steering Team is pleased to announce that registration for our 2018-2019 LRE programs for children and youth is now open. Homecoming Sunday is approaching quickly (September 9), which is the first day of LRE classes - please try to have your children and youth registered by no later than September 6!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

We have a terrific year in store. Last year, our program focused on faiths followed by our neighbors and around the world. This year, we turn our attention to our covenant to “Promote Practical Goodness in the World” through social justice activities. More information on our program is available here

Questions? If you would like to volunteer as a teacher or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact LRE Team Leaders Jennifer Klein and Jeff Stanley by e-mailing LRE@uusg.org

Women's Circle Event: "Happiness?"
 
Is this “happiness” thing all it’s cracked up to be? With all the books, articles, and YouTube videos showing us how to achieve happiness, shouldn’t we all be living in a perpetual state of euphoric joy? If you’re not, and if you suspect there’s a bit more to what you’re looking for, we hope you'll join us for the year’s first Women’s Circle on Saturday, September 22, at 1pm for “Happiness?”. We’ll examine this state of well being and whether there may be a better alternative. Please register at uusg.org/womens-circle. Thanks to those who have already volunteered to help with set up, clean up, and food. We could use a few more helpers! 

Green Sanctuary News
 
Green Sanctuary's Harvest Dinner will be taking place Saturday, November 10. Watch for details in the Mini-Pioneer and Weekly Emails.

Big oil asks government to protect it from climate change. Learn more here.

UUSG Auction 2018: "Auctions Speak Louder than Tweets!"
 
Save the date: Saturday, November 3, from 5-8:30pm for the 2018 UUSG Auctions Speak Louder than Tweets. Remember, this is an All-Church Auction, with special food and events planned for children.

We are looking for volunteers to assist with: Catalog, Merchant Donations, Children’s rooms, Entertainment, Technology, Silent Auction displays, and Live Auction Bid Recording. Please contact Jean Pierce at auctionleader@uusg.org.

WOW Team
 
The WOW Team is going to miss our beloved co-leader, George Tattersfield immensely, however, we will “carry on” with love in memory of our dear friend. In that vein, please remember that when you have a concern or request, email wow@uusg.org. That request will be read and then sent out to the WOW Team membership (wowteam@uusg.org). A member of the team, or several members will step forward to help with the concern. This has been our procedure from the beginning of this ministry and it allows leadership, along with Rev Patrick and Rev Jennifer to be consulted or advised before the request goes to the team at large. 

Friday Flicks: Understanding the Opioid Epidemic
 
Please join us in the Common Room on Friday, September 28, at 7pm for this month's Friday Flicks Presentation: Understanding the Opiod Epidemic

Driven by escalating opioid addiction, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the opioid epidemic is fueled by prescription pain medications. Despite the concerns, opioids remain one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States.

Experts believe that the first step to minimizing this epidemic is prevention. Prevention involves awareness and education. 

Understanding the Opioid Epidemic is a one-hour PBS documentary that traces the causes behind the unprecedented growth in the use of prescription opioids and the devastating impact these drugs are having in every part of America. The impact on young people, families, and communities is devastating. Awareness and education can hopefully begin to slow the epidemic.

The UUSG Printed Directory Returns!

 
If you and/or your family would like to be included in our upcoming printed directory, please visit uusg.org/directory or the bulletin board in the Common Room for instructions. Deadline to update your information is September 30. Questions? Contact Christine at office@uusg.org.

UUSG Homecoming Picnic!
 
Join us for the 12th Annual UUSG Picnic! Sunday, September 9, 1pm-4pm, The Pavilion at Wheeler Park, Geneva. There will be food, games, music, and fun for all ages. Fried chicken will be provided. 

Please sign up and let us know what you will bring to share: dessert, salad, a hot dish, or drinks. The deadline to RSVP is September 6, please sign up today!

Questions about the event? Contact Jamie Carroll at picnic@uusg.org.

Save the Date!
 
The 6th Annual UUSG Women’s Retreat will be February 1-3, 2019. This year’s theme is “Awakening Joy by Embracing Change.”

Get Involved With Interweave

 
Interweave is a local group of LGBTQ members, friends and allies who meet once a month for discussions and special events. Due to a busy church schedule in September, we will delay the start of our monthly meetings until October. We will begin with our fall social after second service Sunday October 21. We will gather at the church at 12:30 and walk to a nearby restaurant to eat lunch together. For information please contact Lynn Steele at interweave@uusg.org.

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 from 7 to 8:30pm. 

Our next meeting will be on September 17. We'll be finishing our discussion of "The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World" by Bart Ehrman.

For more info, please contact Jim Frazier at biblestudy@uusg.org.

2017-2018 Annual Report
 
The 2017-2018 UUSG Annual Report is now available at uusg.org/annual-report. This report includes information about previous year's activities from our Ministry Teams, Board Committees, and staff; an End-of-Year 2017-2018 Financial Summary; the FY 2018-2019 Budget; and more. Questions? Contact office@uusg.org.

Pulpit and Pew Tales - Back by Popular Demand!
 
Don’t Know Much about UUSG History?

Here’s your chance to learn more!

The Heritage Team has reprinted “Pulpit and Pew Tales” (1842-1992). This book was first published to celebrate our Sesquicentennial and includes information about early and recent ministers as well as anecdotes about church life. It’s a wonderful look at our church history for only $10.

In addition, the recently published “Lighting the Chalice” is still available. Inside you’ll find a comprehensive history of our church written by Pat Ward as well as information about church events spanning the years 1992-2017.

SPECIAL OFFER! Add the set of both books to your library and SAVE $5! 2 Books only $15

See Christine in the office to purchase your copies now!
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