Friday Update September 8, 2023


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Friday Update

Homecoming!  (You’ll Be Back). 
September 10, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Online and in-person 
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
As we celebrate the beginning of the 183rd year of this church, we’ll reflect on what it means to make community together, and to return again and again to a place and a people.  What makes this return “good and pleasant” and freely chosen?  We will observe the “water celebration” ritual so feel free to bring water from a place special to you, though we’ll also have symbolic water you can use. There will be a backpack blessing, so have children and youth bring their backpacks or cases. 

The potluck will be after the service in Deale Hall! Bring a dish to pass.

Order of Service

We will Share the Plate with Afghan Refugee Family
Our member Scott Garwick has been working with a family who are refugees from Afghanistan who are connected to the family that our Sauk Valley folks have been formally supporting. This new family did not come as part of a program, and they need basic supplies for their home, including everything from clothing to toiletries and other things as they work to get settled. The funds you give today will be earmarked for this purpose through the Minister’s Discretionary Fund. 
Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, September 10
Greeters: Scott Garwick & We Need 1 More Volunteer
Guest Table: Rev. Joyce Palmer & We Need 1 More Volunteer
Ushers: Pam Wilson & Barb Wilson
Coffee Hosts: We Need 2 Volunteers
Please note that if you volunteer for coffee host you will need to clean up afterward and run the cups through the sanitizer. Spitty and others are happy to help you become familiar with how to handle this easy job.
Sign Up Here

Come one, come all to the Oktoberfest Auction, on Saturday, September 23, 2023. Silent Auction begins at 5:00 p.m., Live Auction begins at 6:00 p.m., and the event will be over at 7:00 p.m., in time for dinner on the town, because we are serving appetizers only. Beer and wine are available, and childcare too. If you are late to donate, no worries, we are still accepting donations!
 Click Here to Donate

If you have any questions or need assistance in entering your donation, you can reach out to Katie Kerr at

We appreciate your support. Your generosity in the auction helps support the continued work of the church. Thank you!

Photo of the Week
Our panelists from our Wonderful Wednesday “A Rockford Welcome — How is it?” we had on September 6! 

Multicultural Ministries
Anti-Racist Cookbook Workshop
Saturdays, September 9 and 30 at 9am – 11:00am

Register using this link

Join members of the Multicultural Ministries group to learn about steps everyone can take to become more aware of the definitions and tools to use in everyday life to increase awareness and develop tools to have cross-racial discussions. The resource and conversations will help to address the question, “What can we do and how can we do it?”

Reading the book is helpful, though not required. We have a few copies in the office you can borrow, or buy one for $5.00. 

Hello Everyone!

We are looking forward to kicking off another wonderful church year with all of you!  I’d like to give you a quick overview of the Religious Education programs that we will offer this year, help you get to know our Religious Education staff, and invite you to join us for a Backpack Blessing at the Homecoming service this Sunday, September 10.


  • Building Community
  • Faith Formation
  • Caring for Others
  • Equity and Diversity


Kindergarten & Under

Using stories, conversation and activities,
children learn the seven core values of Love,
Pluralism, Transformation, Equity, Justice,
Interdependence, and Generosity. Themes
such as how we are connected to the earth,
how to be kind and fair, how everyone is
different, and how change is part of life are
explored, creating a values-based
foundation for future learning.

1st-3rd Grade

The 1st-3rd grade group focuses on stories
and biographies. The children learn about
Unitarian Universalists and other notable
figures who inspire them and exemplify our
values and tradition. This age group learns
through stories, activities, and outdoor
exploration about people who exemplify each
monthly theme.

4th-6th Grade

The 4th-6th grade group focuses on the
religions of the world. They might look at
the monthly theme and learn about how
different faith traditions (including ours)
approach that theme. For example, they
might compare how Buddhists, Taoists,
and Christians think about a theme like
Resistance or Peace.

7th-12th Grade

The 7th-12th grade group (Youth Group)
rotates between our three core programs:
Coming of Age, Neighboring Faiths, and Our
Whole Lives (OWL). These programs help the
youth understand themselves, the religious
world we live in, and their relationships with
others. These programs build on the faith
formation and values the youth have learned
in previous years.


Lindsay Trank

Lindsay (she/her) is a certified K-9 teacher with
over 15 years of teaching experience.
She is the Director of Religious
Education at the UU Church and Co-
Director of Woodsong Nature School.
Lindsay loves spending time
outdoors and is excited to share her
love of learning and nature with

Lauren Smith

Lauren (she/her) is a certified Montessori early
childhood teacher with several years
of teaching experience. She is the
Nursery Director at the UU Church
and Co-Director of Woodsong Nature
School. Lauren grew up in a rural
area and has fond memories of her
childhood spent outdoors.

Aubrey Baker-Clark

Aubrey (she/her) is a religious educator at the
UU church and primarily works with
the children in 4th-6th grade. She
has had such a great time getting to
know each of the kids! Aubrey works
full time at Raynor Door Authority
and enjoys the change of pace on
Sundays when she helps create a
safe and engaging environment for
the kids to explore the UU faith.

Allyson Rosemore

Allyson (they/them) is an urban
farmer as well as a food and
ecological justice educator and
advocate. As a devout believer in the
healing powers of time spent in
nature, it will come as no surprise that
Allyson considers themself the world’s
queerest Wendell Berry Enthusiast.
When weather and teen shoe choices
allow, you’ll find the youth group in
our woodland.

As always, if you have any questions, reach out to Lindsay Trank, Director of Religious Education, at

Hope to see you at the Homecoming Service this Sunday!

We are excited to announce that we are bringing Susana Mendoza to Rockford to speak at our annual WCCC Fundraiser.   After two venue cancellations, the fundraiser will be here at the Unitarian Church, on Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 5:30-7:30 PM.  Please join us for an evening of inspiration as we raise funds to support Women’s Reproductive Health Care Access and elect Pro-choice candidates.

To get tickets, if you don’t have Facebook and/or don’t want to go through Eventbrite for the tickets and pay the additional $5, you can send a check directly to
WCCC at PO Box 4443, Rockford 61110.


Avoiding Scams
Wonderful Wednesday, September 13 6 pm

We strive to be open and loving people. There are times when we need to be more aware of people and situations that are dishonest and harmful. Join a representative from Midland Bank to learn about the most common scams and how to avoid them. For yourself and your loved ones.

Past Sunday Services

Did you know you can watch past Sunday services anytime? We have them on our website under past worship services so you never have to miss a Sunday! Click here to find a service that you haven’t seen yet! You can also always go to our Facebook and YouTube pages.

The Board of Trustees: 
President: Spitty Tata 
Clerk: Kim Lowman Vollmer
Vice-President: Matt Menze
Treasurer: Steve Blomgren
Trustees: Clark Logemann, Sarah Greer, & Rebecca Beneditz

The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |  |

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