Don Follis | During Advent, God's word calls for changes

My imagination was greatly expanded one Advent season when I heard a recorded sermon from the late 1950s given by the Rev. Gardner Calvin Taylor (1918-2015), a noted African-American Baptist preacher and civil-rights activist.

C-U haiku, Dec. 16, 2018

bobwhite in a tree

near an open window

repeating its name

— James Babbs, Stanford, Ill.

Submissions may be made to with C-U haiku in the subject line. Include name and place of residence, along with your haiku. Submissions may be edited.

Library events, Dec. 16-23, 2018

Champaign Public Library
Main library, 200 W. Green St.
Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

From 2 to 4 p.m. today at the main library, take part in Hygge at the Library, featuring crafts, snacks, cozy reads and meditation classes. Hygge is Danish for a moment of coziness and comfort.

Susan McKinney | 'Mycroft and Sherlock' full of fantastic characters

"Mycroft and Sherlock" is the second book in a series written by former basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

It's 1872, and London is dealing with a series of gruesome murders.

Men are found quartered in various places around the lower sections of town. Mycroft is dealing with his younger brother, Sherlock, who at 18 is starting to be too interested in solving mysteries.

Patricia Hruby Powell | Youths will love book written for adults

Sy Montgomery, author of "How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2018), shows that humans who love other species learn love, forgiveness and grief, among other necessary human traits.

The award-winning author writes for both children and adults and is a naturalist and adventurer. This is an adult book that young adults will love.

For the retirees, Dec. 16-23, 2018

For information about services available to older adults, contact Karen Graves, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 15 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820, call 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Senior Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

Significant Structures | Tolono's First Presbyterian a study in sturdiness

The world all around it has changed, but not the church on Vine Street.

The First Presbyterian Church got its start in 1857, when the denomination was split by pro- and anti-slavery arguments.

But about 30 years after the Civil War, that argument had long been resolved, and a new church would replace the old wooden one.

Significant Structures: First Presbyterian Church of Tolono

The stone building of First Presbyterian Church of Tolono, which opened in 1893, is seen Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, in Tolono.

Getting Personal: Denise R. Poindexter

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, DENISE R. POINDEXTER, a University of Illinois director of strategic operations, chats with staff writer Paul Wood. The woman of strong faith is set to become the next president of the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana.

Where are you from originally?

Environmental Almanac | Include wildlife in your holiday conversations

'Tis the season to find yourself standing awkwardly among people you may not see often, balancing food and drink in your hands, maintaining a smile and racking your brain for agreeable things to talk about.