What to Expect When Visiting
Come as You Are
Please feel free to come as you are most comfortable. Some people come each week dressed up while others are quite casual. This “come as you are” atmosphere extends beyond mere clothing and other adornments – we welcome all seekers.
Our church is handicapped accessible, with several handicapped parking spaces near the main entrance. There are no curbs or steps in the parking lot or within the church building. Double doors and a wide hallway allows easy access to the sanctuary, social areas,
Parking is directly in front of the Church at 1025 N. Smith Road (see ‘Map to Church’) or in the adjacent Palatine Park District (Hamilton Reservoir) parking lot just to the south. Parking is also available in the school lot across the street. There are a few spots reserved for visitors just across from and north of the main entrance. Feel free to use them.
Prior to the Service
Usually people begin arriving about 15 minutes before the beginning of each service. The main entrance is the south entrance with the narthex just inside. People gather in the narthex prior to the service as a greeting and socializing area. There you will find someone who will greet you, and a visitor’s center (window ledge to the church office) with a name tag to fill out along with a visitor’s form if you want to be placed on our mailing list. To the left as you enter is a hallway leading north to classrooms. There are a number of bulletin boards of information and literature on your right. Further down the hall on the left are restrooms, then our nursery, and through a set of double doors and you will be in the class room end of the building.
Duirng the academic year (beginning the Sunday after Labor Day), our worship services are held at 9:00am and 11:00am, and some arrive early for the Open Forum Discussion that takes place during the first service. Forum begins with socializing at 8:45am and continues with discussion of a current event topic from 9:00am -10:00am. If you would like to attend the Forum, go to classroom #5 at the north end of the building (you can also use the north entrance which will take you directly into the classroom area of the church).
Our summer services (from the 3rd Sunday in May through Labor Day) are held at 10:00 am, with Open Forum Discussion being held from 8:30 to 9:45 am.
People begin in the sanctuary about 10 minutes before the start of worship, and our announcements begin about 5 minutes before the start of worship. Listening aid units are available from the ushers. Large print order of worship are also available. You may be seated wherever you feel most comfortable.
The service begins with a Call to Worship and by the lighting of our chalice, the primary symbol of Unitarian Universalism, and the recitation of our Covenant. The service is usually led by our minister, the Rev. Hilary Landau Krivchenia. When she is not in the pulpit, the service may be led by a lay member of the congregation or by a guest (please see the Worship Schedule page for who will be leading the service).
Our liturgy includes: singing of hymns, special music by the choir, readings, receiving of an offering, a sermon, a message for all ages, and often a meditation time. Occasionally, services include an affirmation by a member, a joining ceremony for new members, or a dedication ceremony of babies or young children.
Welcome, Families with Children
Our classes are designed to enrich the spiritual lives of children, youth and families. We strive to help one another grow in spiritual practice, deepen understanding and respect of our religiously diverse world, and live UU principles in daily life. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early so one of our greeters may welcome you and show you the classrooms. Several classes for children age 2-5th grade are offered at both services. All classes for youth in Grades 6-12 are offered at 11:00 only. We require that all children in grade 3 and younger be picked-up by a parent at their classroom; dismissal times are 10:10 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. Each week we welcome new families who are looking for a spiritual home. We encourage you to contact our Religious Education Coordinator, Lisa Vanderbleek, who is available to talk with you: firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-359-8440 ext.6
Worship with Children
Worship is an integral part of what we do as a spiritual community. Most Sundays, children in Grades 2-7 attend the first 20 min. of worship with their parents. We also offer several inter-generational services throughout the year, when young people in 2nd grade and older attend the full service with their families.
Childcare for infants – age 2 is provided at every service, except Christmas Eve. We have three professional childcare providers who work with a team of dedicated volunteers to provide a safe and nurturing experience for our youngest members.
Family Room Available
Children are welcome in the Sanctuary at all services. If your child needs space for movement and talking, you are welcome to sit in the Narthex outside the Sanctuary, where you can see and hear the service. We also offer a comfortable Family Room with books, toys, and audio to hear the service. The family room is located at the end of the main hallway, room # 3, or ask any usher to guide you.
After the Service
We encourage visitors to meet with the morning’s greeters at the Newcomer’s Corner just inside Atherton Hall (our social hall – straight across the Narthex as you leave the Sanctuary) following the service for coffee or tea and conversation. Congregation members are happy to meet and talk with you, to share impressions and experiences, and to welcome you to a church that encourages each person’s unique spiritual journey.
Social coffee hours are held after each service – from 10:00am to 11:00am and from 12:00am to approximately 1:00pm.
“We have found Countryside to be a place where our children can seek their own spirituality, to become part of a greater effort of humanity, no matter what age level.” ~Linda Berry, member since 2007