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The PIONEER Powered By Docstoc
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                        The PIONEER
  The Newsletter of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva,

                               September/October 2006

                                   If you would like the newsletter as it appears in our hard-copy
                                   “snail mail” format, go back to the download area and choose the
                                   PDF format. This version isn’t as artistic as the PDF, but all the
                                   text information is here.

                                   For our Calendar, for both this version and the PDF newsletter,
                                   please go back to our website and follow the Calendar links to
                                   our interactive on-line calendar.

                                   Please note that all personal phone numbers and email addresses
                                   are removed from our on-line publications.
                                   You can get in touch with us by calling our office –
                                   630-232-2350 – or emailing us at
                                   with the name of the person you’re trying to reach in the subject
                                   line. We’ll gladly pass along all messages.

                                   Thank you!

The Paper Pulpit
The Rev. Dr. Lindsay Bates, Senior Minister
Happy New Year! For many of us, whether our homes are governed by the academic calendar or
not, September really does feel like the start of the new year. Even those of us who worked
through all or part of the summer notice a change in pace in our own lives and all around us after
Labor Day has passed. There are, of course (as Adam pointed out last month), any number of
opportunities for new year beginnings. In the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah is right around the
corner – the year 5767 begins at sundown on Sept. 22. Samhain (Oct. 31), eve of the Celtic
Pagan New Year, is a bit farther off. And of course there’s our December 31/January 1 transition
– which, frankly, seems to me to be looming up far more quickly than I’m going to be ready for!
Homecoming Weekend was a new beginning; Adam’s Installation Weekend will be a new
beginning; every new opportunity, every new dream, every new day – cliché though it may be – is
one more new beginning, holding out to us the possibilities of blessings, adventures and joys.
My colleague Dorothy Boroush wrote a “September Psalm” some years ago for Homecoming
congregations. I would like to share this adaptation of her words with you:
                                            page 2

      Make a joyful noise together,
      All who now enter here!
      Bring hearts filled with gladness,
      Come into this community with thanksgiving!
      For we who have been apart
      Are come back together again.

      Greet with joy all whose faces
      Have been gone from sight.
      Greet and make welcome those who are new.
      Sing heartily of the coming year,
      Of the New Year of meeting together.

      Celebrate our re-entry
      Into this house of our common good,
      For we are a people of love,
      And the covenant of our community
      Endures within our hearts

Yes, Happy New Year, everyone – and welcome back to our UUSG home!

Peace!      LB
                                                  page 3

From the Associate Minister,
The Rev. Adam Robersmith

It seems that the seasons are changing again – and just as the seasons change, so does
everything else. A number of things have changed already this fall, not including the leaves; please
note the following changes in your calendars and your thoughts for the coming months:
        1) “Still Living in the Present Moment” and the Theological Study Group have traded places in
            our calendar! “Still Living” now meets at 7:00pm on Monday evenings in the Common
            Room. The Theological Study Group now meets at 7:00pm on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays in
            the Common Room. The Theological Study Group will be viewing the series “The Question
            of God” and
            discussing the theological issues it raises.
        2) This year’s Samhain/All Souls’/Day of the Dead/Hallowe’en service will be an
            intergenerational service with a different format than in years past. We ask that children
            (and the rest of us)
            do not come in costume, but rather that children, youth, and adults alike bring something
            small to the service that holds a memory of someone that has died, whether that someone
            a person, a pet, a beloved tree, or a special place. We will be exploring what this holiday
            before it became about candy and costumes!
            In addition, the YRUU Haunted House will run between the services, not during them.
            If you and your family wish to take part in the fun downstairs, please be at UUSG by
        3) We’re adding a series of programs that will take place at 6:30 Saturday evenings, after
            worship and the Social Hour:
                 1st Saturdays – Intergenerational RE, where people of all ages can come together to
                                  learn together. (On Sat. Nov. 4 we will not have Intergenerational RE
                                  due to the UUSG Auction that night!)
                 2nd Saturdays – Jr. High Youth Group, a time to get together, hang out and have some
                 3rd Saturdays -- Game Night! This tradition will continue for friends and families.

Finally, we are still in need of teachers to join the rotations for weekend children’s LRE classes. It is
one of the most meaningful and important ministries that we do with and for our children – and
something that provides them real connections to the members of our congregation. Come join us in
the ministry
of teaching!
                                                   page 4

             Religious Education Announcements
                    And Upcoming Events
October 6-8: Associate Minister’s Installation Weekend
                 This weekend’s “Beyond Our Walls” Collection will benefit the Heifer Project.
                      To learn more about this organization, please visit
                 Central Mid-West District Youth Convention in Springfield, IL

"Parents’ Time"
Wednesday, October 4 at 7 pm and Saturday October 14 at 6:30
(during the middle school social time)
         Eleanor Hamilton & Anne Veague will meet with parents who want to share
in educ ational and/or supportive sessions. We will assess interest, time slots and formats atthese two
meetings and decide on the schedule and content from there. We envision meeting once or twice a
month, alternating general parenting sessions with others on specific topics like ADD/ADHD, Your
Child's Spiritual Growth, Surviving Puberty--Again, Your Spiritual Growth through Parenting, and The
UU Child in Religious Right America. We hope to facilitate small special-interest groups to research
ADD/ADHD and other topics to provide resources to our UUSG community. Rev. Adam Robersmith
will join us for some sessions as well!

"If Everyone's A Minister, What's The Big Deal With This Weekend?"
Intergenerational RE with the Rev. Dr. Lindsay Bates
Saturday, October 7, 6:30 pm
        We are installing Rev. Adam Robersmith this weekend, so let's have a conversation about the
meaning of call, ordination, installation, and "priesthood of all believers" within the free church
tradition as a way of explaining to children and adults the historical and theological meanings of what
the weekend's all about!

“Making Peace with Your Religious Past”
Fridays, October 13, 20, 27, November 3 & 17 at 2:00pm or
Saturdays, October 14, 21, 28, November 4 & 18 at 2:00pm
       “Making Peace with Your Religious Past” is a five-session class that will be offered twice in
October/November. Rev. Adam Robersmith will lead classes of no more than 7 participants to
explore our religious histories and how they are still with us today. Call Katie to sign up for either the
Friday series or the Saturday series – the classes are limited in size, so sign up early!

“New UU’s” Sessions
Sundays October 15, 22, 29, and November 5 at 5:30pm
       These classes provide an orientation to Unitarian Universalism and UUSG for newcomers.
Turn to page 5 for more details!
                                                 page 5

“Framing The Discussion: Responding to the Religious Right”
Saturday, September 30 (7:00-8:30) and Sunday, October 1 (6:30-8:00)
(same program both nights)
        How should liberal religious groups, including ours, respond to the radical religious right? Can
we even have a useful discussion with people whose views of God, morality, politics, even science,
seem so far removed from our own? What attracts people to those views - and what pushes them
away from ours? We will review how conceptual "frames" underlie views of religion and its place in
the world, using a short segment from the PBS series "The Question of God" as a starting point. We
plan to meet (approximately) monthly, depending on the level of interest. Questions? Contact Amy
Brink or Bill Pokorny through the church office at 630-232-2350 or

                      Calling All Junior High/Middle School Kids!
             Want a place to hang out and do some social activities with your friends?
                           Want somewhere to go on a Saturday night?
          Want some events at church where the food and activities are especially for you?
                Well, come sign up for the NEW Junior Youth Group!
                        We will be meeting on 2nd Saturdays from 6:30-9.
                   Activities will be chaperoned, but planned primarily by you
                      (think movies, food, games, fun projects, music, etc.).
                 Parents and other members of UUSG will rotate as chaperones.
             Sign-up sheets for youth and chaperones are on the LRE bulletin board.

                           "Still Living In the Present Moment"
     All are welcome to join as we attempt to appreciate the deep mystery of being alive and to
   acknowledge being vitally connected to all that exists. Join us as we learn together to live each
    day with acceptance, compassion and awareness. This group meets in the Common Room
                                     on Mondays 7:00-8:30 pm.

                      UUSG is Building a New Web Site!
      We need web-savvy people to help in the process of redesigning the UUSG web site.
 The current site ( was originally built many years ago, and is ready for a fresh design
     and restructuring. We are forming a project team to plan the new version of the site and need
knowledgeable volunteers to participate. In particular, we welcome the participation of those skilled in
web site design, information architecture, web programming, copywriting, and/or project management.
   The project team will be assessing the web-related communication needs of our community and
               determining the best way to develop a new site that meets those needs.
  If you are interested in being part of the web site development project team, please contact
              Brian Joosse (Technology Committee Chair) through the church office at
                             630-232-2350 or
                                                 page 6

             Bid by Bid, See the UUSG Treasury Grow!
Mark your calendar – the UUSG Goods and Services Auction will be held on Saturday, November
4th! All adults and teens are encouraged to attend this combination social activity and FUNdraiser.
The evening will begin at 6:30 with an array of delicious finger foods. Palm trees and pineapples will
make the Uncommon Room take on the atmosphere of a Hawaiian Lu-auction. While you eat, you
can talk with friends (and make new ones) and browse a range of goods and services in a silent
auction, deciding which ones merit making a bid. The live auction will begin around 8:00. Al Drover
and Tracy McFadden will be our auctioneers extraordinaire.

Now is the time to be thinking about what you can contribute to this fun social event.
To offer your help in organizing the auction, please contact Jean Pierce by leaving
a message at the church office (send Katie Phillips a message at
uusg_office@, or call her at 630-232-2350).

In addition, please contribute an item or service for our auction. Examples of items to be contributed
might be baked goods, a quality antique, a gift basket, or the use of a cottage for a weekend. Already
this year some original artwork and 2 tickets to a Bears game on Dec. 3 are slated to be auctioned. In
the past, services such as a genealogical search, painting a room, a picnic at Ravinia, carpentry,
baby-sitting and computer support have been donated. Twenty years ago, the services of Jordan
Pierce were auctioned to a responsible adult who wanted to take a 4-year-old to the zoo! It is
rumored that a “mystery trip” will be offered this year. Complete the form below and mail it to:
Jean Pierce, UUSG, Box 107, Geneva, IL 60134-0107,
or leave it in the designated box in the Common Room by 12:30, October 15. Thank you!

2006 UUSG Goods and Services Auction Donation – Form due by 12:30 pm, October 15

Donor Name(s):_____________________________________________
Telephone:______________________________ email:___________________________

Description of Good or Service (be sure to mention limits such as number, size, or time):





        Value:_______________________    Minimum bid accepted:____________________
                                  (A minimum bid may be set, but it is not encouraged!)
               two-year terms as Trustees.
                                                page 7

                                Social Justice News

                              Annual Walk for Hunger Relief
      You are invited to walk along the Fox River to participate in the Tri-Cities CROP Walk on the
  afternoon of October 15 (registration 1:15 - 1:45 PM, walk begins 2:00 PM). CROP walk is a great
   opportunity for us to reach out both locally and internationally to those who cannot afford to feed
themselves or their families at this time. When one encounters someone who is apparently homeless
 or underprivileged, it is somewhat comforting to know that there is a time-honored program available
  to help those in need. As a walker, you collect donations from friends, co-workers and family. Any
amount raised will be accepted on the day of the walk. Each walker who raises $200 or more receives
    a decorative ceramic bowl. The envelope that you use to collect the donations is available from
  Shawn Thornton through the office at 630-232-2350 or Eight walkers
from our church raised $601 last year! This year our goal is to have 20 walkers. If you do not wish to
                    walk, but would like to sponsor a walker, please contact Shawn.

              Social Justice Action Alert—The Declaration of Peace
 The declaration of Peace is a nationwide campaign to establish a concrete and rapid
  plan for peace in Iraq. For details on this campaign and how you can participate,
                      please go to:
                Tracey McFadden, for the Social Justice Committee.

                  Friday Flick on October 20: Voting Rights
 On Friday, October 20, Lou Pierce will lead a discussion about an ACLU video
              regarding Voting Rights, focusing on people who get
disenfranchised in one way or another. Please join us for this timely program at
                        7:30pm in the Common Room.
                                                 page 8

                 New UUs—Orientation Sessions for Newcomers!
Twice a year, the Membership Committee presents a Four-Part Orientation Program designed to
introduce newcomers to us, to the UUSG and to Unitarian-Universalism in general. This fall’s
programs will be held 4 consecutive Sundays, beginning on October 15th. The sessions begin with a
light supper at 5:30 pm, followed by the program from 6 to 8 pm. When possible, the sessions will be
held in the Common Room. These programs are much more than lectures! Each session will be
facilitated by members of the Membership Committee. You will get a chance to meet and interact with
some of the great folks that make our church a welcoming place!

If you are new to the UUSG or have missed individual sessions in the past and want to catch up, or if
you’re a long-time member or friend and are curious about the content of this program, please attend.
If you know you will be attending, please sign the clipboard, or talk to the Membership Committee
member who is welcoming newcomers at every social hour. This helps the Committee to plan for the
right number of attendees. Prior sign-up is not required, however. Childcare is provided so that
parents of young children are able to attend. If you need transportation or other assistance, please let
the church office know, so that help can be arranged. Need more information, contact either Bev Coe
or Jill Brown through the church office at 630-232-2350 or

Session 1 – October 15 – “Our Spiritual Journeys -- How did we, you and I, get here?”
Also, a few exercises designed to encourage awareness of our diversity will complete the evening.
Session 2 – October 22 – “The Story of the UUSG and our Historic Building”
(Presented by several of our longest tenured members.)
Session 3 – October 29 – “The History of Unitarian-Universalism” and “Faith Traditions
Within UUism” (Presented by Lindsay and Adam.)
Session 4 – November 5 – “The Church Institutional (or ‘How Does Anything Get Done Around
Here?’)” (Presented by Board officers and members and other lay leaders.)

                                  HYPNOTISM AT UUSG
Thank you to everyone who said you’d be interested in our hypnotism programs! To recap from last
month, if you are a member of UUSG, or if you’ve been an active friend for at least one full church
year (which is a change from Lindsay’s old policy) and you’d like to experience hypnosis, you’re
invited to a “HypnoInfoIntake” on Tuesday, October 17, from 7 to 9 PM in the Common Room.
You can sign up (and pre-registration is required, so we’ll know how many to plan for) by emailing her
( – and yep, this is yet another new email address) or calling her (630-232-2350
ext. 222) or speaking to her at church if you make sure you see her write down your name!

There are three other requirements: You must be at least 18 years old or have written permission
from a parent or guardian. You must leave the younger children at home – this isn’t something for
which on-site child care is appropriate, because we can’t have the session interrupted. And third, you
must not have any sort of seizure disorder or dissociative personality disorder or uncontrolled mental
health issues (those she can work with safely on an individual basis with OKs from licensed health
care providers, but not in a group setting).

Lindsay has been using hypnotism as part of her pastoral ministry here since 1995 and last year she
passed the exam for Board Certification from the National Guild of Hypnotists. The hypnotism she
teaches and shares is about using your own natural self-hypnotic abilities for relaxation, self-discovery
and self-improvement. It’s amazingly effective – and it’s also a lot of fun! Those who attend the
October 17 session will then be eligible to participate in our monthly “Last Thursday” Group Induction
and the special “Relaxing Through the Holidays” session on November 12.
If you have any questions, send her a note or give her a call! (And do let yourself enjoy how very
relaxed you are even now allowing yourself to begin to feel….)
                                                 page 9

                                      YRUU NEWS
                          Attention all youth in high school and their parents!
                 YRUU and Habitat for Humanity are now meeting at 11am!

All sessions will begin in the sanctuary at 11:00 Sunday mornings, and we'll go to our classroom in the
    lower level at about 11:20. Class will end at 12:15pm (12:45 for Habitat weeks), and at that time
                     parents will be responsible for the whereabouts of their youth.

SEPTEMBER 17th is our first YRUU meeting, and we're going to have our traditional welcome-back
  brunch! We are glad to welcome back all our old friends and look forward to making new ones.
Our advisors this year are: Buffy Higgins, Zia Karim, Bill Pokorny, Hal Schulman, and Kate Sheehan.

SEPTEMBER 24th is the Habitat for Humanity Reunion & Potluck at 5:00 pm. Be ready to hear about
 this summer--the most successful year of Habitat yet! You’re also invited to join our efforts for 06-07.

   YRUU has an exciting new curriculum this year, ”Building Your Own Theology,” as well as social
  events, Haunted House, Christmas Reunion, and don't forget our own YRUU service in February!
  Habitat has big goals in the year ahead, new training sessions, a fall social event already planned,
                               and will be running a service in October.

                        Fall Con is coming up fast, October 6-8 in Springfield.
                         ANOTHER FEMALE ADVISOR FOR THE YEAR!
    "Cons" are a great way to get to know our youth and other adults involved with youth in our
   district (Central Midwest) over a weekend and to have a blast at workshops and hanging out.

    Advising is a shared responsibility by a rotating team of 4 advisors with backup that allows for
extensive interaction with our talented teens. YRUU Advising offers many opportunities for exploring
  issues of UUism and spirituality. Come find out why there are stars on the YRUU room ceiling.

          youth Habitat Update!
 It is with great excitement that I announce the completion of another historic year for our program!
      We built the largest house ever in the shortest amount of work days with the highest quality.
This is just one of many wonderful and interesting stories we would like to share with everyone at our
   annual potluck/slideshow event. Please mark your calendars for Sunday, Sept. 24th, at 5 PM at
 UUSG. This event is also the kickoff/introductory session for the 2006-2007 program. All teens and
 parents (whether a new or returning trip member) wanting to be, or thinking about being, part of our
 trip in July, 2007 should attend this event. If you have questions or ideas, please let Hal Schulman
                                      know via

                        *****      Junior Choir Fall Schedule             *****
                 Kids 1st grade (if they can read) through 8th grade are invited to join!
               We rehearse two Sundays, then sing at both services the next Sunday.
The first rehearsal is Sept. 17th, 10:15 am-l0:55 am, in the basement music room (lower level south).
Next rehearsal will be Oct. 1st and we will sing at both services Oct. 8th for Rev. Adam's installation.
      We will also sing at the Thanksgiving service on Nov. 19 and Holiday celebration Dec 17.
                          Come join your friends and have some fun singing!
     Contact Pat Vary through the church office at 630-232-2350 or
                                                    page 10

                                          Circles of Life
We send our condolences to four households in our UUSG community this month. Walter Cordin’s death in
August was a shock, although we had known of his ongoing battle with lung cancer, and to Evelyn and
their children, our deepest sympathy. Walter had a ready smile and a great spirit and a fierce determination
to make the best of what life threw at him. We will miss him here at church. We were sorry to hear, too, of
the death of Claudine Myers’s uncle in late August, and also of the death after a long illness of Katie
Phillips’ father-in-law-to-be. And finally, we’ve learned of the death of Corinna Sullivan’s dad – Corinna is a
member of our Simple Living Circle. Evelyn, Claudine and Brian, Katie and Kevin, Corinna – we hold you
all in our hearts.

The wheel turns to happier news – Geneva’s first Bat Mitzvah was celebrated in our Sanctuary at the end
of August by members of Fox Valley Jewish Neighbors. Happy Bat Mitzvah to Becca Yackley! We’re glad
we could share our sacred space with you!

Governor’s Award! If you watch our bulletin boards, you've seen the pictures of UUSG's Monica Jenkins in
her role as Executive Director of the Mid-Valley Neighborhood Improvement Association. Her special
project, the ReUseIt Center, has received the Governor's PATH (People are Today's Heroes)
Award! Douglas Scott, the Illinois Director of the EPA presented the award to the Center on behalf of
Governor Blagojevich. The Governor's PATH Award recognizes groups or individuals who, through their
hard work and commitment improve the lives of those in their community. ReUseIt Center in Batavia has
been open one year and has already sold 100 tons of building materials to the public. More information at

Upcoming needs: our Lay Ministers are going to be looking for folks to help out with casseroles,
emergency child care, transportation, and other practical needs within our UUSG community – we have an
old list, but it’s badly outdated. If you have spare time and you’re looking for ways to help others, please let
us know. Contact Mark Alleman or Lindsay Bates through the church office, and they’ll get back to you.
                                                  page 11

                                  Board Corner
Despite being just past Homecoming weekend, it’s been a busy time for your Board of Directors!
Some points of interest: As part of our annual planning process, we agreed to revitalize our Councils,
as a way of bringing together representation from all our Committees and programs. Councils are
intended to foster communication and cooperation between the different groups that make up our
community. It’s a place where the “left hand learns what the right is doing”, ideas can be shared, and
we can learn from one another. So far, the results are very encouraging! Thanks to Lou Pierce and
Neill Shanahan for organizing and making the Councils work.

In May, the Board convened a task force on assessment, led by Kathy Schwedler. Our goal is to
implement an ongoing, permanent assessment program that looks at all aspects of our Ministry,
including people (Ministers, lay leaders, the congregation) and programs. The intent is to recognize
and encourage what works well, as well as to recognize and foster communication when something
isn’t. At our September meeting, the Board instituted a new Committee on Ministries, which will be
charged with implementing an assessment program. We are conducting a workshop on Sept 22 with
Terry Foland, a UUA consultant, to help us structure our committee and learn what has worked well at
other congregations of our size. While we will get the COM up and running quickly, I expect it will
take some time before an ongoing assessment program is fully in place. A special thank you to Kathy
for driving this effort!

Also at the Sept. Board meeting, we directed the Finance committee to act as interim trustee and
administer the Ollsson Trust. With the passing of trustee Walter Cordin, and the resignation of one of
the remaining trustees, having the Finance committee step in on a interim basis makes great sense,
and gives the Board time to evaluate future alternatives.
Please feel free to contact Rick Veague with any suggestions, questions or concerns you may have
regarding your lay leadership!

                    An Update on the Kris Kringle Haus Property
           Call to Special Congregational Meeting Sunday, Oct 22, 12:30
   The property immediately west of the Church, including the “Kris Kringle Haus”, is on the market.
In August I sent our membership a note indicating our desire to acquire a portion of the property. The
  entire property is now under contract by a prospective buyer, and they have indicated an interest in
 subdividing the property and moving forward with us. The exact property dimensions and acquisition
terms are still under discussion, and it’s entirely possible the deal will fall through. But I am optimistic
   enough that we can strike a reasonable deal that I am calling a special congregational meeting.
 (Our bylaws require 4 weeks notice prior to holding a congregational meeting). Within the next week
             or so, our members will receive a separate mailing with the details of our offer.
                      Voting members, please mark your calendars!
                                        page 12

           This is where our Calendar is printed in the snail-mailed version.
 For the most up-to-date calendar information, please visit our Website Calendar —
     go to and follow the links to the Interactive Online Calendar.
You can download a printable version if you like; the Calendar site has the instructions.

                              NEXT PIONEER DEADLINE
     Generally, the deadline for submission to this monthly newsletter, the PIONEER,
             is 9:00 a.m. on the Friday before the third Sunday of the month.
           The next deadline for articles is Friday, October 20, at 9:00 a.m.

                         Materials should be emailed to
            BOTH AND to
                          to be sure they get included!
                                                              page 13

                                   The Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva
                                     110 South Second St.       P.O. Box 107
                                             Geneva, IL 60134-0107

                                Church Office: 630-232-2350
        Church Email:      Church Website:

                                      Rev. Dr. Lindsay Bates — Senior Minister

                                   Rev. Adam Robersmith – Associate Minister

                                                         Rick Veague
                                                       Board President
                        David deCoriolis                                Shawn Thornton
                        Treasurer                                       Board Secretary
                        Katie Phillips                                  Cathy Baunach
                        Office Administrator                            Religious Education Assistant

                                            Our Covenant (written in 1842)

Being desirous of promoting practical goodness in the world, and of aiding each other in our moral and religious improvement, we
have associated ourselves together — not as agreeing in opinion, not as having attained universal truth in belief or perfection in
character, but as seekers after truth and goodness.

                                                  Our Mission Statement

The Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva is a diverse, welcoming community which endeavors to make its Covenant a living
reality. We provide religious education and opportunities for spiritual growth. We encourage individual and mutual responsibility as
together we work to be a liberal religious voice in the community and a force for compassionate social justice.

                                                                                   — adopted by the congregation May 19, 1996

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