Countryside Church UU is proud to support

Our Service Partners

poc_logo_new-300The mission of Partners for Our Community (POC) — formerly known as Palatine Opportunity Center — is to connect underserved residents in the Palatine area to services and resources to build a community of empowered people, healthy families and vibrant neighbors.
POC works collectively with providers housed in the center along with outside agencies to provide programs ranging from a Family Learning Lab (Parenting classes, computer and financial literacy, leadership development, employment assistance and childcare) to the ICompete Youth Program (Summer camp, mentoring, sport and art clinics) as well as Community Health and Wellness and the Edgebrook Community Center, which offers after school homework assistance, youth clubs, and children’s activities. See more at and follow POC on Facebook and Twitter.

Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI) is a non-profit, faith-based organization of staff and volunteers called to respond to the suffering of adults and children affected by our broken and inhumane immigration system and advocate for change. ICDI provides advocacy, working as part of a national coalition to end immigrant detention and for-profit incarceration and create funding for community- and faith-based support; service & monitoring through jail visitation, unaccompanied children’s interfaith ministry, deportation ministry & vigil, court watch, and post detention accompaniment; and community-based support initiatives through their Houses of Hospitality, residences for people who are released from detention and don not have family or friend in the U.S.


Faith in Place empowers Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the Earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities. Since 1999, Faith in Place has worked with more than 1,000 houses of worship throughout Illinois to protect our common land, water, and air. With outreach staff working across the state and office located in Chicago, the North & West Suburbs, Lake County, and Central Illinois, Faith in Place inspires faithful people to care for the Earth through four program areas: Energy & Climate Change, Sustainable Food & Land Use, Water Preservation, and Advocacy. Faith in Place is the Illinois Affiliate of Interfaith Power and Light.

More detailed descriptions of all three partners and their activities can be found here.

What is the OSC?

Countryside has a long heritage of generosity. In 2013, the Board of Countryside Church UU (CCUU) established the Outreach Steering Committee (OSC) to help guide CCUU in reaching out to make a difference: in our community, in our country, and in our own hearts.

The Outreach Steering Committee was formed by the CCUU board with the following mission:

• Provide leadership, planning and oversight for CCUU congregation-wide service projects and fundraising events.

• Solicit input as to what outreach issues may be inspiring the congregation or may reflect the needs of the larger community for service and justice; and

• Select specific organizations or service projects that will benefit from annual congregation-wide funding, from a pool of nominations by the congregation.

The Vision Statement of the OSC:

The OSC is a catalyst for channeling the talents and passion of the CCUU community to the human needs of the larger community. We will do this through understanding the needs of organizations that address issues important to the CCUU membership and providing resources of both time and money to make a transformational difference to these organizations and CCUU members. We will collectively learn as we develop innovative solutions and processes that enable broad member participation in these activities and manage relationships such that success is sustained. The pride and joy of this effort will be felt by every CCUU member and their children and becomes an inspiring example to others.


The OSC members are: Mike Graves, Susan Auld, Peyton Bendix, Lisa Christensen, Janet McDonnell, Maria Martinez. Partner liaisons are: Matt Myren (Partners for Our Communities), Dan Huntsha (Faith in Place), and Melanie Schikore (Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants). Reverend Hilary is a non-voting member of OSC.


How do I get involved?

First, please help us complete our mission by sharing with us your desires and dreams for outreach at Countryside. Please share with us particular causes you want to support with your volunteer time and donations, particular agencies, world issues, whatever motivates you and makes you excited about driving positive change.

We will be talking with members of the congregation as well as gathering outside data on what opportunities exist in the Chicago area, with a focus on the Northwest suburbs. We expect to talk with other churches, Township offices and not for profits to gauge and evaluate needs.

While we are maintaining the same four organizations as beneficiaries of our giving this year (July 2013 – June 2014), we will begin planning how we might revise our giving for the next fiscal year starting in July of 2014. We will work with the Service Committee and listen to you as the congregation to discuss whether we should focus on giving funds to groups we are also helping directly with our time and talents through service projects.

In the late spring of 2014, we will again communicate with the congregation to share our findings and engage you in the process of selecting our beneficiary agencies and activities for the following fiscal year.

We are excited about the opportunity to align our giving programs and service projects and ignite the passion inside of all of you to get involved in driving positive change.

Upcoming and Past Activities

March 17, 2018 – Music with a Mission

November 18, 2017 – Time and Talent Auction

March 11, 2017 – Music With a Mission

November 19, 2016 – Time, Talent, and Trivia

October 28, 2016 – Trunk or Treat with POC

October 9-23, 2016 – Costume collection @CCUU

March 5, 2016 – Music With a Mission

November 21, 2015 – Time, Talent, and Trivia

March 14, 2015 – Music With a Mission

November 22, 2014 – Time and Talent (Love Is All You Need)

July 1 2014 – Two or three new members join the OSC

May 2014 – Service partners confirmed by congregation

Late April 2014 – Service partners suggested

Late March 2014 – Community needs assessment completed

Late March 2014 – Church service profile completed

March 8th – Music With a Mission Fundraising Event

February 16, 2014 @ 12:30pm – 2nd service focus group

January/February 2014 – Service survey launched

November 2013 – First service focus group

November 2013: North by Northwest Time & Talent Auction – More than $21,000.00 raised for our outreach partners!


OSC Informational Documents


Drafted April 2014; to be updated regularly

Partner Considerations

1 1. Aligned with UU values

2. 2. Aligned with CCUU member priorities and input, specifically:

a. Concentrate on a few partners and retain flexibility rather than creating black and white guidelines (re: global/local; focus of the organizations; etc.)

i.Local offers service opportunities, but global offers opportunities to broaden our world view

b. Be sure at least some of the partners provide opportunities for service projects

i. Provide various levels of engagement

ii. Local, easily accessed

iii. Mission trips

c. Organization mission, top priorities:

i. Economic inequities (homelessness, hunger)

ii. Human rights (immigrant, LGBT, racial, gender)

iii. Health care and mental health

iv. Environment

3. 3.  Alignment with Ministries

a. Provides opportunities for service projects

b. Supports their priorities

4 4. Does the organization address root cause or symptoms

a. Solving an underlying problem (e.g., influence policy)

b. Delivering immediate and direct relief (e.g., food bank, shelter, disaster relief)

5. Opportunity for greater influence/combining efforts

a. Partner with other churches

b. Support an organization like UUSC

6. Organization status:

a. Non profit 501c3

b. Financially solvent

c. No legal issues/litigation

d. Independent viability

i. Fund project or operating budget

ii. Number of sources of income

iii. Appropriate level of dependency on us


a. Ability to assess and communicate the impact our money and time has had

b. Attend our events

c. Help promote our events

d. Trust, openness, transparency

e. Opportunities for Board membership or other types of CCUU member engagement