Kairos April 2, 2024


Kairos                                                       04/02/2024

April 7, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person

Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

We will Share the Plate with NAACP

We envision an inclusive community rooted in liberation where all persons can exercise their civil and human rights without discrimination. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.
Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, April 7
Thank you to the Board for volunteering for hospitality this Sunday!

Happy Birthday to: Ayo Carter (4/01), Dan Wilkins (4/02), Juliette Kula (4/04), & Lisa Schultz Volkman (4/07)!

Matthew’s Memo
April 2 2024


We have been using Breeze as our database and giving platform for a few years at the church.  When we first signed up, we were impressed by the customer service and the ease of use for the staff.  It was not as easy for members to use, but it was a big improvement for the staff’s ability to keep track of folks.  But after a while, Breeze was bought by a company called Tithly.  We noticed that the customer service declined right away.  Eventually, less features were been introduced and the website speed slowed.  And a few months ago, Unitarian Universalists and other liberal congregations who used Breeze noticed that Breeze and Tithly were sponsoring a church leadership conference that included far-right, transphobic, anti-woman, and Christian nationalist speakers.  We raised this concern with Breeze and found their response lacking.  We decided it was time to move.  We could not in good conscience send this company our money anymore, nor trust them with our data. 
We are moving to a new system called Planning Center Online (or PCO).  Their values are firmly interfaith and inclusive, and they’ve said they will not sell.  Other Unitarian Universalist congregations that use them love it. And the features are more robust.  In particular, it is much easier for members to use! 
As part of this, we will have an app that you should install on your phone.  There is also a web version you can use on a computer.  The app/website will include:
               A directory.  You do need to opt-in to this directory so you can use it. There are strong privacy and anti-spam provisions.
               A way to see all your giving, pledge progress, and make online gifts.  It will take a few weeks for historic data to move over, so be patient there.  But if you are currently giving through Breeze, you should switch over to PCO. 
               A way to see all the groups, communicate with your group members, and request to join groups.  You can sign up for Soul Matters or other groups, get materials, and more.
               A check-in process for Sunday School.
               A “Services” module for volunteers – so you can see your schedule and know when you are serving, and sign up for opportunities where we need volunteers. 
To get the app, go to uurockford.churchcenter.com.  You will be asked for your mobile number (there’s a way to use email instead) and be sent a code.  Then you are in and can follow the link or scan the QR code to download the app.  Once you are in, update your information – especially your picture and birthday. 

There’s going to be a lot of emails over the next few weeks inviting you to sign up for parts of this, fill out more information, and so forth.  Please take the time to do this – it is all so we can connect you with each other and do good ministry together. 

As soon as we can, we’ll be shutting down our Breeze account and be fully in the new system.  Thank you for your patience, participation, and help with this. 

In faith,
P.S. I spent some time at East High School on Monday chatting with students grieving the murder of their classmate.  I ask you to hold them in your prayers. They are sad – thankfully, they seem to be supporting each other.  But they are very sad. 

Prairie Burn Saturday April 6 @ 5:00 p.m.
Our church acre of prairie is long overdue for burning. Despite wet weather this week, I am hopeful our grasses will dry out in time for a burn on Saturday April 6 @ 5:00 p.m.

Volunteers are sought to help with fire monitoring and suppression. If all goes well, this typically takes about an hour. Volunteers should wear hiking boots and “work clothes.” 

Once the burn is complete in the next couple weeks we need volunteers for brush removal too. This work can be done on your own schedule once you know what we need done. Contact me for info.

Allen Penticoff
Prairie Chair

Passover Seder, UU Style

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 integral part to the ceremony, however we celebrate as a community, as well.
Included in the celebration is a 5-course dinner which 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.

Caring Connections Card Table
April 14th After service

Please stop by the table in Deale Hall after the service. We will have cards available for you to write to members and friends who need some encouragement.

Do you like sitting outside in the summer chatting with friends?
The Pantry team is starting to plan our summer pop-ups and we’d love to have you get involved! We will use the pantry pop-ups to get feedback on the pantry and continue to connect with our neighbors. This is low effort volunteering – it will be 1-2 times a month for a few hours, most of which will be spent chatting, eating snacks and enjoying the sunshine. You can do it just one time during the summer or come to every pop-up, whatever works for you. If you’re interested, please get in touch with Dawn Nimmo or email 
uurockford.ecojustice@gmail.com. Thank you!

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!

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 14 Getting Connected with Rev. Joyce
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

Our Faith in Action Team leaders encourage you to fill out this Community Health Assessment for Winnebago County. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete and is a way to have our UU Principles and values represented in local policy making on social justice issues such as housing and food access. Click here or scan the QR code to get started!

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 9, 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 “One,” 3/17/24″
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Click Here to View UUA GA 2024

Community Events

Let’s come together for this drum circle, led by Emily Fell who has wonderful energy and loves to build community. NO drumming experience required! Also you will not be asked to drum to a particular tune/tunes! Just join as we