Welcome to Countryside Church, Unitarian Universalist. In Genesis the ruach — the breath of Creation — moves over the deep and life emerges. I feel the breath of life everywhere in this congregation. This is a time of great creativity at Countryside Church and to be a part of that is tremendously satisfying. I am grateful that my life journey has brought me here — to this place, at this time. I feel a strong connection to the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago — the warmth of the people here, the diversity hidden in the private dwellings, and the all too frequent isolation that people experience here. I think that congregational life has something very real, proactive, and healing to bring to this area.

I came here in 2008 with my spouse, Mark Krivchenia and my daughter, Chava. We have two children from Mark’s previous marriage — James, a musician, and Lea, who has been working with non-governmental organizations abroad since graduating college. She will spend the next year working in Sudan.

I received my Masters of Divinity at Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Born in Morristown, New Jersey, I have moved around quite a bit and lived many places, including Rochester, New York and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I spent fourteen years in Atlanta, Georgia. I feel very much at home in the Midwest and find that Palatine is a community that allows for the greater quiet and space of the suburbs while allowing good access to the blessings and challenges of the City of Big Shoulders. There is significant ethnic diversity in the suburbs, although the single home separation of family units often prevents the sorts of the bridges and connections that would enrich life.

In 1977, I earned my B.A. in Philosophy from Beloit College in Wisconsin, worked on the 1979 March on Washington for the Extension of the Equal Rights Amendment, and the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. I also spent a year in VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) monitoring community development block grant funds. In 1984 I was certified as a massage therapist and studied related holistic health techniques and worked in massage therapy for 14 years.

This is a congregation with tremendous talent and vision. Over the last few years we have evolved to become even stronger and to increase the breadth of our service the larger community,” declares Rev. Krivchenia. I believe people are hungry for more meaning in their lives, and I want us, together, to cook more spiritual nourishment. I want our liberal religious voices raised so more people with critical minds and seeking hearts can find us. I want us to be more visible in the community for those who are tired of superficialities and dogma.

I came to ministry later in life — and with life experience to inform my calling — I believe that our next frontiers are those of the spirit. Religion is the place where our daily lives and our moral choices meet, the place where myth and media wrestle, the place where we are, as human beings, most deeply challenged and nourished. The social issues that we face, from civil rights, human rights, environmental degradation and non-human rights, the reconciliation of science and faith, to wealth and poverty are all issues that require deep moral response. That is the work of religion — to call us to (as President Lincoln put it) our better angels. I have a whole hearted faith that Unitarian Universalism has timely, realistic, and powerful responses to these issues. Even more, I believe that in our unique embrace of diversity we can practice the dialogue that is so critically needed by our world today.

In the last years I have retreated twice with Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh, travelled to Israel and Palestine as part of Joint Interfaith Peace-Builders and the American Friends Service Committee, written a Passover Haggadah for Unitarian Universalists, and taught Adult Faith Development classes on subjects ranging from scripture study and prayer to training for Pastoral Care Associates.

I love the talent, energy, and growth that I see all around at Countryside Church — it calls out my best. I hope that you will come and explore Countryside Church, Unitarian Universalist and discover what it has to offer to you as well as what it can call forth from you.

Countryside Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 1025 North Smith Road in Palatine and can be reached at 847-359-8440 or via email ccuu@ccuu.org.