Kairos April 16, 2024


Kairos                                                       04/16/2024

Water Protectors
April 21, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person
Rev. Karen Van Fossan

Rev. Karen Van Fossan is an abolitionist minister, licensed professional counselor, and author of Fire at the Center: Solidarity, Whiteness, and Becoming a Water Protector (Skinner House Books, 2023). As director of Authentic Ministry, she is devoted to collective liberation and spiritual renewal. Beloved matriarch to a rambunctious chosen family, she lives in Fargo, North Dakota, on the traditional lands of Anishinaabe, Dakota, and many Indigenous peoples.

We will Share the Plate with NAAC
The ​Native American Awareness Council group provides education and
events locally and protects and cares for the sacred mounds along the Rock River.

Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, April 21
Thank you Caring Team for volunteering for hospitality this Sunday!
Ushers: Dick Lake & Myrna Lake 
Coffee Hour: Lia Gima

Happy Birthday to: Lilianna Rowe (04/16), Cynthia Swacina (04/17), Wanda Hoover (04/18), Lenin Dorner (04/19), & Scott Garwick (04/22)!

Matthew’s Memo
April 16, 2024
Years ago, I was able to attend the festival of homiletics when it was in Minneapolis.  The Festival of Homiletics is a preaching conference; rock-star Christian preachers both preach and talk about the art of preaching.  I’ve long had a deep interest in the craft of preaching, and that is the subject of my Doctoral degree.  So the conference was wonderful, but I kept having to translate into Unitarian Universalism.  We have different methods and questions.  I entertained the thought that it would be fun if someone organized a Unitarian Universalist preaching conference.  Where we could hear some preaching but also really think together about our craft. 
Well, someone went and decided to do this.  It is this coming weekend, in New Jersey.  Since General Assembly this year is online, I have the professional expenses to go, and I’m very excited about it.  I reached out to the organizer to offer to help – and since he had read my doctoral project (which I self-published) in his seminary class, he was enthusiastic about having me lead one of the workshops.  I’m looking forward to that, but I’m particularly looking forward to nerding out on the work of preaching.   I leave Thursday morning and will be back in the office Tuesday. 
You are in for a treat while I am away.  About 12 years ago, I was the theology and history presenter at the Midwest UU Leadership School; three of the lay leaders in that group have now become ministers.  I was a mentor to two of them in their early ministry.  The third, Karen Von Fossen, began to serve a congregation in North Dakota after seminary.  A few years later, when Water Protectors at Standing Rock fought to protect their sacred land and water, I saw pictures of Karen working in solidarity.  The experience was powerful and transformative.  She’s written a book about her experience, and I was thrilled when she accepted my invitation to come preach to us on the Sunday closest to Earth Day, and during our month on Interdependence.  This is not to be missed. 
See you soon!
In faith,

New Database Update

We are moving to a new database at church, and need your help.  Please go to uurockford.churchcenter.com and sign in.  (It’s easy!)  Update your information and look out for emails to fill in info and add yourself to the directory.  You can also scan this QR code: 

Do it today!

Photo of the Week
Kay Hotchkiss 100th birthday!

Passover Seder, UU Style

Reservations are required, and due by Sunday, April 21.  All payments will be made at the door, either by cash or check.

This year our congregation will celebrate its Seder on Wednesday, April 24th at 6 pm, on the third night of Passover.  This is a Jewish celebration of the perilous exodus of the Jews from Egypt in 1313 BCE.  Our celebration reflects that of our Jewish neighbors in that it is a family ritual; children are an integral part of the ceremony, however, we celebrate as a community, as well.
Included in the celebration is a 5-course dinner that includes several Jewish specialties including matzoh balls, Passover macaroons, gefilte fish, and matzah.  Vegan food will also be available.  Food is one way we share our unique cultures. 
This year’s celebration is different from prior years.  Several of our Jewish members have input their ideas.  This year you will hear a cantor sing a few parts in Hebrew before our English translation.
To make the celebration more accessible to families, this year children 12 and under will be free. 
You may copy and paste this form into an email to send to
­­­_____ ­­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________________________________________________
                 2024 UU Passover Seder
Family Name:­­­­­­. _______________________________
          Number of adults (@ $12.00):                           _____
          Number of children 12 or over (@$6.00):           _____
          Number of children 5 to 11 (FREE)                    _____
          Number of vegetarian/vegan meals:                  _____
_____ ­­­­­­­­­________________________________________________________________
Please note this special celebration on your calendar now.

Spiritual Direction at UU Church

Join Gloria Perez, trained Spiritual Director, and a small group of seekers for a spiritual direction group. The group meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 6pm on Zoom.

Spiritual Direction explores a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human. Simply put, spiritual direction is helping people tell their sacred stories everyday.

If you are interested in joining the group, contact Gloria at gjp68@me.com for more information.

Calling all Small Group Leaders!

We are updating our database and entering small group leaders and participants. If you are a small group leader, please email me with your contact information, brief description, and the names of people who participate in your group.

Small Groups gather to connect and pursue shared interests. I have Soul Matters, Spiritual Direction and New Moon group leaders. 

Other group leaders, please get in touch with Rev Joyce at revjoycepalmer@yahoo.com

For Adults

Do you people do anything but talk about sex? No. Not really. The Unitarian Universalist Association has developed a stellar comprehensive sex education curriculum known as Our Whole Lives. As the title suggests, it is not a one and done, but rather a topic to be revisited as we grow and mature. Join us as Wendy Bennett and Leah Krippner facilitate an adult exploration of sexuality in the 21st century. Anyone 18 and up is welcome to join. 


This month we will discuss Sexuality & Spirituality, focusing on defining spirituality and examining how sexuality works in this context. Folks are welcome to join for a single session or sign up for all of them. 




Click Link to sign up

Wednesday April 17 6:30pm

Sexuality & Spirituality

Sign up!

Wednesday May 15 6:30pm

Sexual Pleasure

Sign up!

Supporting WNIJ-FM
I admit, I’m an NPR junkie.  If you have your preset on 89.5 and listen to “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” you’re probably already donating to this station.  But your dollars can go even farther if you donate to  them through this church.  One hundred percent of the dollars donated specifically to WNIJ on our website will go to WNIJ over time as we fund spot announcements of our Rockford congregation.  It’s still a donation for IRS purposes, but to the church, and it supports our “addiction,” as well.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot

Getting to Know UU Sessions

Join us for our welcome program designed to provide newcomers with the opportunity to learn about the congregation and how to get connected. We hope you will find this community to be a religious home.
There are 4 sessions, the first is a series of videos and the other three are in person on Sundays in the Sanctuary from 11:15 – 11:45. You can complete the sessions at any time. Sessions will repeat monthly.
*Watch 4 Introduction Videos Prior to In-Person Sessions*
April 21 Living Our Faith with Lindsay and Allyson
April 28 Our Story with Rev. Matthew
Hope to see you!

Video session takes about 30 minutes to complete.
Video session takes about 30 minutes to complete
1. A History of Unitarianism: BaseCamp: 5 Minute History of Unitarianism


BaseCamp: 5 Minute History of Unitarianism

2. A History of Universalism: BaseCamp: A History of Universalism in 5 Minutes


BaseCamp: A History of Universalism in …

3.   UU theology video by Rev. Matthew Johnson: (12 minutes): UU theology by Matthew Johnson


UU theology by Matthew Johnson

4. After you’ve watched Matthew’s Theology video, watch this video of “Holy Now” by Peter Mayer: Peter Mayer “Holy Now” (with lyrics in captions)


Peter Mayer “Holy Now” (with lyrics in…

Questions, email Rev Joyce at revjoycepalmer@yahoo.com

The Zanzen Meditation group is meeting in the church library every Saturday from 8:00 am to about 10:00 am for silent meditation and friendly discussion. We would like to invite all who are interested to check us out. There is no need to sign up or commit to anything. If you show up and behave we will probably be delighted to have you join us.

Rare Earth Food Collective
is an online farmers’ market featuring local food and products. We help producers work together to meet the growing demand for local, sustainable food in Winnebago, Boone, and McHenry Counties. Instead of you driving all over the countryside to buy from different farms, we collaborate to bring the food to you. You can choose home delivery or a nearby pickup location. We deliver orders every Tuesday, year-round. There is no minimum order, and no requirement to order every week. Ordering from REFC helps to build and support our local food community, preserve our agricultural land for future use, and reduce our carbon footprint. It also provides you with fresh food that tastes delicious and is good for you. 

For members who already attend UU regularly, we will be there on Tuesdays in Deale Hall to pack our orders for distribution – meaning you could place an order for Tuesday pick up right at the Church! 

To register as a customer visit: https://refc.localfoodmarketplace.com/

The next pick-up will be on April 23, 2:30 – 3:00. This time period may be adjusted.

The buying window on the website will go live with products (for shopping) from Saturday at Noon, until Monday at Noon, but you can sign up as a customer at any time!

We look forward to serving you!

Click here to view the new library catalogue


List of resources that may be helpful to you or someone you know.

Family Peace Center – 1-779-348-7600 
Remedies Renewing Lives – 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-815-962-6102

Catholic Charities Long Term Care Ombudsman Program – 1-815-316-0040 or 1-800-369-0895
Mercyhealth at Home/Older Adult Services – 1-815-971-3502
Lifescape Community Services – 1-815-963-1609 or 1-800-779-1189 

Center for Sight and Hearing – 1-815-332-6800 P
RAMP – 1-815-968-7467 
The ARC – 1-815-965-3455 

Click Here for More Resources

Click Here for Teresa’s Tablet “Flexing my Activist Muscles”
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan 4/16/24 “Monarch Butterflies”
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Click Here to View UUA GA 2024

Community Events

If you have questions please contact Katy Conrad conradkathren@gmail.com

The MidAmerica Region is coming together – both online and at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 of 2024 for a multiplatform Regional Assembly! 

Our Keynote address will be given by the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. 

There will be workshops, the Annual Business Meeting of the MidAmerica Region, and opportunities to meet many UU Leaders from across our faith tradition. 

For those who are in person, there will even be opportunities to tour this historic church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. 

But most importantly, it is a time for us to come together as Unitarian Universalists from across the MidAmerica Region.

Please join us, online and in-person for our first-ever multi-platform MidAmerica Regional Assembly!  

Register Now

Our Vision: A loving congregation that connects with ourselves, one another, and the larger community.  

Our Mission: We care for ourselves, each other, and our neighbors while taking risks acting for justice. We are continuously building an inclusive, empowered, anti-oppressive, anti-racist, multicultural congregation. Our connections foster radical love for ourselves and others.

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    |   uurockford.org  |





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