The activities and programs of Countryside Church UU (CCUU) are organized into five Ministries.  Each Ministry encompasses events, committees, groups, councils, and is supported by staff and lay leadership. Ministries help people become involved in activities of interest and create connections among our many programs. Ministries support the work of CCUU and ensure that all our work is aligned with the mission, covenant, and principles & sources of Unitarian Universalism. Our Ministries are named to represent our congregational covenant, “we unite to strengthen the bonds of Kinship” and to promote our vision through Worship, Study, and Service. The Ministries exist to make that covenant live.

Each ministry has a staff lead and lay leader(s)/coordinator(s) to help represent and support the committees within that ministry. The current committee chairs are shown in parentheses next to each committee.

Spirit,Mind

The mission of the worship ministry is to provide a worshipful environment that provides opportunities to deepen the spiritual lives of all individuals and that strengthens the religious community at CCUU.  The worship experience is enhanced by providing sermons, music, performance arts, and visual images throughout our worship services and in other settings within the church, such as meetings and events.  The Sunday service is the weekly touchstone of our spiritual life. This ministry works with the direction of our called minister and professional music director and encourages all CCUU members to share their gifts and talents to expand and enrich the worship life for all.

Staff Lead: Rev. Hilary Krivchenia (Worship[at]ccuu[dot]org)

  • Sunday Services (worship council)
  • Choir/Music (Music Director Alison Vernon)
  • Worship Council (Lois Phillips and the minister)
  • Sound Meditation (Rev. Hilary & Elizabeth Vesto)
  • Vespers (worship council)
  • Drum Circle (Erv Toth)
  • Affirmations/Spiritual Journeys (Christine Organ)

Spirit, Mind, Body

The mission of Study Ministry is to create opportunities for the congregation and community to engage in meaningful lifespan learning experiences and to nurture, challenge and inspire people on their journey of personal development and spiritual growth.

Staff Lead: Jules Jaramillo (Study[at]ccuu[dot]org)

  • Children’s RE
  • Coming of Age (Jules Jaramillo)
  • Sr High Youth Group (Kim Tilford)
  • 20-30 Somethings (Jessica Gardner and Ryan Schaefges), 2030s[at]ccuu[dot]org
  • Adult Faith Development (DLRE)
  • Open Forum Discussion (Vid Axel)
  • AHA: Atheist, Humanist, Agnostic Discussion Group (Andrew Cranberg)
  • Buddhist Study Group (Melanie Terbovic)
  • Journey Inward (Erv and Bridget Toth)
  • Movies with Meaning (Alan Greenland, Hal Snyder)
  • QiGong (Emmett Sylvester)
  • Book Discussion groups

Countryside’s covenant includes our aspiration as a congregation to “unite… to promote human dignity… through service.” The Service Ministry is the home for committees and groups who are dedicated to living our UU values, through support of our members and through action beyond our four walls. There are opportunities to engage in congregational projects, programs and events that support the life of our congregation. We also actively seek to reach beyond the walls of Countryside through work in the areas of human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.

It is the vision of the Service Ministry that every member of Countryside Church will engage in meaningful service projects or activities, both within the church and reaching outside our four walls.

Coordinators: Tom Curtis and Maryanne O’Dowd; Staff Lead: Rev. Hilary Krivchenia (Service[at]ccuu[dot]org)

Community and Congregation

The mission of the kinship ministry is to ensure Countryside Church grows and has increasing impact on religious and social life in the Northwest suburbs by developing an atmosphere that is inclusive, welcoming, connecting, compassionate and respectful.

Coordinators: Tom MacTavish and Peggy Simonsen; Staff Lead: Rev. Hilary Krivchenia

(Kinship[at]ccuu[dot]org)

  • Membership (Tom MacTavish)
  • Intro to CCUU & Path to Membership Classes
  • Chalice Circles (Lisa Bohne)
  • Sunday Hospitality Teams (Kinship coordinators or Church Office)
  • Social & Special Events/Celebrations (recruited as needed)
  • Circle Suppers (Marty Farrington)

The mission of Foundations is to cultivate a vital future for the congregation and community through thoughtful stewardship of our financial resources, our personnel, and our environment.

Staff Lead: Laurie Lantz (Foundations[at]ccuu[dot]org)

Operations Committees/Programs:

  • Building Facilities (Steve Black, Mark Huston)
  • Grounds/Landscaping (Judy Miller)
  • Memorials & Weddings Coordinator (Jessica Gardner)
  • Calendar, Bldg Use (church office)
  • Aesthetics (Lois Phillips)
  • Audio-Visual (Jeff Phillips)
  • IT/Tech Committee (Mike Gilley)
  • Historian (Kay Gredell)
  • Communications (church office)

Board Committees/Programs:

  • Finance & Budget (Board Treasurer)
  • Endowment Committee (Karen Greenland)
  • Nominating Committee (Laura Mandell)
  • Personnel (Cathy Maraist)
  • Stewardship (Gary LaBedz)