Committee Spotlight articles (2022)

May Committee Spotlight: Social Justice Committee (SJC)
Chair: Jan Kirch
Co-Chairs: John Young and Tamara Wanshek


The Social Justice Committee is committed to addressing a variety of In-Justices such as poverty, racism, prejudices, voting rights, immigration and citizenship.

Among the many things we focus on are:

  • HACES - Fran and Dave Bates train immigrants to pass the citizenship test.

  • Welcoming Congregation Committee - Chuck Teeter educates membership on LGBTQ issues.

  • Green Team - John Young schedules Styrofoam collections, highway clean-up and connects with Faith In Place on other environmental issues.

  • Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG) - members are examining what the 8th Principle includes and scheduling workshops.

  • Veterans - Jim Whitton schedules collections for the Midwest Veterans Closet.

  • Immigrants - Gloria Walsh helps to settle immigrant families.

  • Getting out the Vote - Peg Teeter and other SJC members make phone calls, write postcards, etc to encourage neighboring communities to vote.

  • Connecting with other UU congregations - Rev. Scott Aaseng shared ideas on having a greater impact on issues by joining forces and working together. We currently connect with NSUC.

  • School Supply collections - Judi Young establishes a collection site for under-privileged schools in our area.

  • Partnering with CLC Sustainability - Jan Kirch

  • Supporting abused women and children at Home of the Sparrow.

  • Supporting the less fortunate with housing, food, etc. through PADS.
     

SJC meets after church, usually on the first Sunday of the month. If you're interested in joining, please contact Jan Kirch, John Young, or Tamara Wanshek.

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June Committee Spotlight: A Look at the Caring Committee

 

It is the responsibility of the Caring Committee at PCUUC to focus on the joys and sorrows of the congregation. Members send cards when it is appropriate and make follow-up phone calls. They also visit members of the congregation at their homes, in the hospital, or in nursing homes. They refer to this as pastoral care.
 

Additionally, members provide meals and rides when needed. They provide flowers and food for funerals and for baby dedications as well as for the major holidays of Christmas and Easter. They also provide gifts for new babies. When appropriate, they offer grief support and meet with families to plan funeral services when they request it. For more information, please contact the Caring Committee at: Caring@PrairieCircleUUC.org

July Committee Spotlight: Membership Committee


Goals of the Membership Committee: 

  1. To welcome all to our congregation

  2. To assist newcomers in becoming acquainted with the Congregation, and exploring the possibility of membership in the congregation

  3. To maintain contact with current members of our congregation


How do we do this? 

  1. Greeters at the door on Sunday morning

  2. Contacting interested newcomers by e-mail or phone regarding their interest in our Congregation

  3. Sending postcards to newcomers and current members alike to maintain contact

  4. Courses for newcomers: UU101, Pathways to Membership

  5. Updating pamphlets

 

For more information, please contact the Membership Committee at Membership@PrairieCircleUUC.org.

August Committee Spotlight:

Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG)
 

Vision/Mission

  • Our vision is to be a leader in Lake County in collaborative, intentional creation of a racially just and equitable community that is sustainable and intersectional. 

  • The mission of ARWG is to work within our congregation and community to build awareness about racism, intersectionality, and to help dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves, our community and our institutions. Education, conversation and self-reflection are integral to our mission.

 

Activities
In line with our UU principles, specifically the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion; a world community with peace, liberty and justice; and respect for the interdependent web of all existence, the ARWG has focused on:

  • Exploration and possible adoption of the 8th principle for PCUUC (https://www.8thprincipleuu.org/) and UUA (2023)

  • Inclusion of a land acknowledgement at PCUUC worship services (2022)

  • Congregational lecture series exploring bias and racism (fall/spring)

  • County-level lecture/workshop on Intersectional Justice with ARWG, Social Justice Committee, Welcoming Congregation Committee, and community partners (2023)


The ARWG generally meets on the first Thursday at 7pm on Zoom. All are welcome. Jan Marsh is the facilitator. 

September Committee Spotlight: Music Team

 

In general the Music Team keeps busy coordinating music for each worship service. Christine Tyll and Bill Chapin are our pianists, Joyce DeWitt is the adult choir director, Tamara recently joined the team and will help with the youth choir, and Scott Helmke and Mary Honegger coordinate and contribute much of the service music.

Through COVID we shifted to prerecorded music for zoom services, and have heard from several speakers how much more music we provide in our virtual services compared to other congregations. In 2020 the full choir recorded music collaboratively (layering each voice on to complete the full recording). The Music Team, including Jim Cubit before he moved in 2021, recorded more pieces together. Scott recorded and produced several solo pieces. And a handbell choir has recorded both collaboratively and played live indoors and outdoors.

This fall, not only are we hoping to bring the adult choir back but thanks to being awarded a committee grant, we are excited about starting the youth choir!

To learn more or get involved in the Music Team or Choir, email PCUUC Choir Director Joyce DeWitt at joycedewittchurch@gmail.com

October Committee Spotlight: Nominating Committee

 

The Nominating Committee is responsible for brainstorming and inviting members to take on the important role of serving on the church board. While the Nominating Committee doesn't meet consistently throughout the year, it does gear up in the late winter and spring to create a plan of action, ensuring the board is filled with diverse ideas that represent the values and personalities of the congregation. As members of the committee, we are responsible for personally reaching out to congregants to help fill the year's vacancies.

As we consider the future of PCUUC, the Nominating Committee hopes that congregants will consider the importance of service in a variety of ways, including serving on the board, if approached.

If you are interested in joining the Nominating Committee and helping to shape the make-up of the board, we would love to have you! Get in touch with us by emailing Nominating@prairiecircleuuc.org.

November Committee Spotlight: Worship Committee

 

The Worship Committee works to foster Unitarian Universalist principles and our congregation's sense of community by delivering services that are inspirational and intellectually challenging. We recruit external speakers and encourage congregants and friends to speak at our services. As we consistently work to enhance the weekly service format to best serve the congregation, we also enjoy exploring new formats to stimulate our congregation's spiritual growth.

We encourage you to help us make our worship experience even more meaningful. Please consider joining the Worship Committee, providing feedback on the services, recruiting or referring potential speakers, or volunteering to speak at an upcoming service. Please contact our Worship Coordinator at WorshipCoordinator@prairiecircleuuc.org or the entire committee at Worship@prairiecircleuuc.org. We look forward to hearing from you.