Kairos July 6, 2021

Kairos                                                      07/06/2021

July 11, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and In-Person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

I have completed three pilgrimages so far, and these experiences have deeply informed my life.  Many folks who do a pilgrimage find it to be one of the most powerful experiences in their life.  But a pilgrimage doesn’t have to be physically arduous to be spiritually meaningful.  We’ll explore the idea of pilgrimage and how you can do one – and why you might.

Happy Birthday to: Linda Kimel (07/07), Gina Pulciani (07/08), Alan Griffith (07/09), Matt Menze (07/09), Myrna Rowe (07/10), David Weissbard (07/10), Jerri Jones (07/10), Barb Joyner (07/11), & Nicole Taylor (07/12)!

We will Share the Plate with our Partner Church
Our Partner Church is one congregation in two buildings in Nadas and Pipe, two miles apart.  Located in the Transylvanian part of Romania, the country is in the worst economic slump in three decades.  In their economy, your $20 donation is like a needed $80.  Thanks for your continued support for over the last 30 years.
The Partner Church team

Click Here to Donate
Matthew’s Memo July 6, 2021
Have you been watching the TV series “Loki” on Disney+? 
If not, here’s a quick explanation.  Loki is a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and, of course, the Norse God of mischief – we’ll get back to that).  In the movies, Loki is sometimes malevolent, sometimes helpful, and often unpredictable.  In “Avengers: Endgame”, Loki unexpectedly gets the chance to escape by entering another time.  This, however, is not allowed by a group called the “Time Variance Authority.”  The TV series explores Loki’s relationship with the Time Variance Authority, and his discovery of who he is. 
A theological theme has really come forward for me in this series.  Loki (both the fictional movie character and the Norse God), like Coyote and other trickster Gods around the world, doesn’t play by the rules.  His chaos and “variance” from what’s expected upsets the order.  What the series makes clear (especially episode four) is that chaos and mischief are necessary for our humanity.  In a world of algorithms, we need to resist the systems that tell us what to do, buy, and think.  As the poet Wendell Berry put it,
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it . . .
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.
Another powerful example of this in the series is when the main agent of the TVA, Mobius M. Mobius (played with deadpan earnestness by Owen Wilson) tells Loki, “You could be whoever, whatever you wanna be, even someone good. I mean, just in case anyone ever told you different.”
This struck a chord with many people, I included.  We are so often told who we can be.  That we are unworthy, unable, or ineligible.  Or that we must be this way or that way to be loved.  But Mobius is right – in case anyone told you differently, let me say: you can be who you want to be. 
In these ways, this show about superheroes and time travel is deeply humanist.  It affirms the value of freedom, choice, and self-determination.  Neither the stars nor the algorithm decide who you are.  You do.
In faith,

For the next two Sundays, members of the Partner Church Team would like to take your picture as you exit the church.  We will email the pictures along with greetings to our Partner Churches in Transylvania, Romania.  Last year, they celebrated 450 years of Unitarianism in Romania and Hungary
Attention Ramblers!!

Please note this is a change from our previous schedule!!
We will be Rambling NEXT Tuesday, July 14th, at Klehm Arboretum, NOT Ferguson Forest Preserve!! We are also switching to morning Rambles (should be cooler!). Meet in the far parking lot at 10:30 AM, NOT 2:00 PM! 

Please note there is a fee for the arboretum – $5.00 for seniors (62+)

For more information about Klehm Arboretum click here.
Questions?? Call or text Neita at 815-541-3508
Eliminate Racism 815 2021 Book and Film Series

Film Discussion
Friday July 9, 2021  6 p.m.

 The Uncomfortable Truth: This History of Racism in America: When the son of a white Civil Rights Hero dives into the 400 year history of racism in America, he was surprised to find his family was involved in slavery, Jim Crow, lynching & protests. You  may see this film on Kanopy; it is 86 minutes.
Join Zoom Meeting here: 

The film discussions are presented in partnership with Tony Turner of Conscious Coaching, The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area, and Rockford Public Library.

Book Discussion  
Thursday July 29, 2021  6:00 p.m.
Join us by zoom for a discussion of Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad:  A Resource for white people who want to change but don’t know where to begin.  It shows how to move from your head to your heart while doing this important work.
Please read the book on your own and we will discuss it. 

Join the Zoom Meeting here:

Book discussions are presented in partnership with Rockford Public Library.
Literature Link for July 4, 2021- The American Journey
“Let America Be America Again” is a poem written by Langston Hughes in 1935 and published the following year. Hughes wrote the poem while riding a train from New York City to Ohio and reflecting on his life as a struggling writer during the Great Depression. In the poem, Hughes describes his own disillusionment with the American Dream and suggests that the United States has failed to fulfill its promise of freedom and equality for all people.  Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—” A personal favorite from a powerful voice!
 https://poets.org/poem/let-america-be-america-again   For commentary by a black female author and an audio reading, go to
”The Idea of America” by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones was a 2019 essay introducing the 1619 Project.  Here is the original issue of The New York times Magazine. So much to glean from browsing through this well written issue with many contributing authors.
Here is a link to excerpts from Jones’ original essay.

Here is the original of the whole NYT article [in pdf] but you need to scroll down to page 11.  Many historical photos.  The NYT Magazine issue included many authors as part of the commentary on the 1619 Project.
I was particularly struck by the article about the treatment by the police of a decorated black WWII vet, Isaac Woodard. Scroll to page 21-22.
Late 1773: A publishing house in London releases ‘‘Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral,’’ by Phillis Wheatley, a 20-year-old enslaved woman in Boston, making her the first African-American to publish a book of poetry. The poem included here by Eve L. Ewing is an ode to this remarkable young poet.  Go here:
https://pulitzercenter.org/sites/default/files/full_issue_of_the_1619_project.pdf  and scroll down to page 42.  I couldn’t find it elsewhere.
• “Over the course of 350 years, 36,000 slave ships crossed the Atlantic Ocean” a poem  by Clint Smith.  This was included in the NYTimes Magazine as part of the 1619 Project
.https://m.facebook.com/yahosh/photos/a.1064208946943000/3035588663138342/?type=3&locale2=mk_MK   Or here if you don’t do Facebook, scroll down to page 28:  https://pulitzercenter.org/sites/default/files/full_issue_of_the_1619_project.pdf
In faith,

Dale Dunnigan
*Church Calendar*

-Justice for All Meeting will meet on July 11 at 11:10 a.m. in the Conference Room

-Social Justice Committee will meet on July 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Library 

Coffee Hour on Sunday. 337-267-3668. 11:10 am.

Touchstones: contact your touchstones group facilitator for the time
and meeting ID, if you don’t already have it.

– Caring Team Meeting – The first Tuesday of each month at 6 pm
The Caring Team will meet in the church library Today, July 6 at 6:00 pm., the group’s first in-person meeting in many months.

-Membership Team Meetings are on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7 pm. Meeting ID: 980 2780 4780

Want to have a meeting?
– just email Autumn at
 office@uurockford.org and she can give you the login
and password. Please make sure to tell Autumn if you are having a meeting so we can put it on the calendar. 
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |   uurockford.org  |
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