Kairos August 10, 2021

Kairos                                                      08/10/2021

The 9th Principle?
August 15, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Online and In-Person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

In last fall’s Auction, Bob Arevalo won the right to choose a sermon topic. He asked, “we know that an 8th principle of Unitarian Universalism is likely to happen. What do you think should be the 9th?” It was a great question, and I have what I think is a pretty good answer. I’ll give an introduction to the principles and suggest what’s still missing and needs to be added in the coming re-write. 
Volunteer for Sunday Morning
We need Ushers and Greeters this Sunday! Please Sign up.
Thank you to those of you who have volunteered already!  Here is the google doc where you can sign up: 

Or just email me at office@uurockford.org and let me know and I’ll put you in the system for that day.  

Thank you!
Happy Birthday to: Cindy Fischer (08/10), Casandra Goldsmith (08/10), Darrell Polfliet (08/10), Sara Dorner (08/10), Sabrina Crook (08/12), Susan Erbe (08/13), Ross Ticknor (08/13/1984), Judy Johnson (08/14), Doris Heibner (08/16), & Reggie Brenmark-French (08/17)!

Please hold Shari Smallwood in your prayers.  Her partner Clay died on Monday, August 2nd.  Arrangements are pending.

Dorothy Hill died on Thursday, August 5th, surrounded by a loving family.  A memorial will be held at their farm on a date to be announced.

Lori Higgins memorial service will be this Saturday, August 14th at 2:00 p.m. 

Congratulations to our Intern Minister Omega Burckhardt who will be the Minister of South Bay Campus First UU Church San Diego!

We will Share the Plate with Northern Illinois Food Bank
Northern Illinois Food Bank’s mission is to provide nutritious food and resources for our neighbors, with dignity, equity and convenience, through partnerships and innovation.

Click Here to Donate

Matthew Memo August 10, 2021

Yesterday, the International Panel on Climate Change released its newest report on the climate crisis.  The news is not good.  Inaction by governments and corporations over the last generation means that the climate crisis, already underway, will get much worse.  Instead of one crisis at a time, we will have many: floods, fires, drought, extreme cold in the winter, heat waves, and more.  It’s real and it’s here and we can’t stop it.  It’s too late.
But it’s not too late to limit the damage.  We’re going to blow past 1.5 degrees celisius in average increase, but there’s a big difference between 2 degrees and 6.  It’s the difference between a five foot rise in sea level and 40 feet (40 feet puts New York City underwater, to say the least).  Hitting carbon net zero by 2050 gives our grandchildren a chance.  Denialism or doomism condemns them to a future they will rightly curse us for. 
It’s also not too late to prepare.  We need to strengthen our systems of support and care.  We need more resilient and local electrical, food, water, housing and health systems.  We need to figure out ways to care for the most vulnerable among us. 
So what can we do? 
I’m disillusioned on individual calls for action.  My friend and colleague the Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long wrote on twitter yesterday: “I’m wondering, re: the IPCC report, when we decide that “millions of individual consumers must independently make ‘the best choices’ from a cafeteria plan and we’ll use weak incentives and shame to convince them to do so” is a failed strategy (and a successful corporate coup).”  I could not agree more.  It’s not that we can’t do things as individuals – it’s that saying it is all on is ignores that most of the responsibility is governmental and corporate. 
As one person, or one family, what can you do?  1.) Eat less beef and pork.  No individual choice you make will make a larger different.  2).  Select a renewable portfolio for your home energy, if you can.  In the City of Rockford, you can call Energy Harbor and ask for the renewable portfolio.  I did, it was easy.  (888) 254-6359.  You’ll want your ComEd billing number when you call.  3) There’s more, like electric cars, better lights, etc – and all that helps too. Easy to look this up. 
But we need collective action.  And right now in Illinois, we have a chance to pass a Clean Energy Bill this summer that would make Illinois one of the most progressive states in the country on these issues.  The big hold up in the municipally-owned coal plant near East St. Louis.  Our local representatives (West, Vella, and Stadleman) all support the Clean Energy Bill (it also keeps the Byron plant open.). But you can call State Senate President Don Harmon and urge him to call the vote — (217) 782-8176.  Phone calls are more important than emails. 
We also need the United States legislature to take more significant action.  A strong set of climate related provisions are included in the reconciliation instructions released this week – but they need to follow through.  Both Durbin and Duckworth support action, but they could use encouragement. 
It’s too late to stop climate change.  But it’s not too late to ease its impact and build a better future.  Please, join the work.
In faith,

Path to Membership Class!

Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford is pleased to announce the 2021 PATH to Membership Class will take place on Saturday, September 11 from 9:30 – 2:00 at UU Church, Rockford. Library. Rev. Matthew, Rev. Joyce, and members of the Membership Team will provide an overview of the church and ways to connect. Come out and meet other newcomers and get your questions answered.

When: September 11, 9:30 – 2:00
Where: UU Church Rockford Library
Who: Anyone interested in learning more about Unitarian Universalism, membership, and meeting other exciting newcomers

Questions? Email Rev. Joyce Palmer assistminister@uurockford.org
Memorials are beginning again and we need volunteers
This is the most rewarding volunteer work I do. An opportunity to be of service and show final respect to our members. We need Greeters and Ushers, Deale Hall set up,food tray set up, Make coffee, Serve coffee -Punch, Clean up, dishwasher, help with flowers, callers for donations of finger food, and people to make/provide food, 
If you are interested please contact Teresa Palmeno,
 teresacecelia52@gmail.com or text to 8159881763 Thank You. Memorial Service co-chairs are Sue Wilke, Linda Spelman, and Teresa Palmeno

Prison Ministry Update and Invitation

Next Meeting September 5, after service in the Library

At our August meeting members of the Prison Ministry Team discussed goals, direction and hopes for our work together. There are members interested in working to reform the prison system, others looking to support returning citizens in their adjustment, and others looking for opportunities to connect through the CLF Prison Pen Pal program. This group continues to welcome new members to join us as we seek to learn more about the ways we can have an impact. Please join us. If you have questions, please contact Rev. Joyce Palmer 


For many years, our church has burned the prairie on our premises to clear dead brush and promote the growth of the new. As Buildings and Grounds chair, Dean Tollefsrud often supervised the activity, wrote a poem one year entitled “Prairie Burn, Prairie Bloom” which served as the inspiration for the two quilts that traditionally hang in the sanctuary each spring. This poem appeared in an issue of Kairos.

The design by Robin Gausebeck was a simple one that could be stitched by quilters in the congregation. Little explanation of the design is required; the colors speak for themselves. Fabrics were culled from what people had on hand and supplemented, where necessary, by purchases at local shops. All the stitchers gathered at the church to collect the patterns and fabrics; the entire effort of putting the banners together took several months. The members who worked on the sewing were Leigh Lakey, Sandi Campbell, Pat Tollefsrud, Robin Gausebeck, and Susan Halvorson. Once all the parts were stitched together Elizabeth Williams, an extremely talented local quilter, did the quilting on her long-arm quilting machine. These were by far the largest pieces she had ever worked on. Funds were provided by the Floyd Palm Memorial.

Besides the literal relationship between the actual prairie burn activity and the design of the quilts, the banners are also meant to symbolize how, through our myriad activities, we feel renewed and ready to bloom by our presence in our loving and caring congregation.
Financial Justice through Community Investing
On Thursday, August 26th, join members of our church in the library from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm to share a Zoom session with the First Universalist Church of Denver.  This sister congregation is presenting detailed information on financing for marginalized citizens who are not well served by conventional banks.  Several organizations serve this market; the Denver congregation has researched them and will share their results.
The Denver church’s four-member Endowment Committee, which compares with our Investment Panel, has been researching its investments.  Currently, the majority is in the UUCEF, the Unitarian Universalist Common Endowment Fund.  Roughly half of our congregation’s investment is also in the UUCEF.  The Denver committee is assessing how well its investments reflect its principles and mission. 
Part of Denver’s research has been Community Investing, the subject of this workshop.  Community Investing, also called impact investing, is supported by the proposed “Eighth Principle,” which our congregation supported at June’s annual meeting, “by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
As Tom Abood wrote, “Our current financial markets are exacerbating oppression, inequality, poverty and environmental degradation. Lack of access to reasonable and
affordable capital and business mentoring for women, underserved and BIPOC
communities and businesses, perpetuates oppression, prevents economic
equity, and forms a significant barrier to strengthening these communities, creating financial health, access and generational wealth for everyone.  It is up to us individually and through our churches, organizations and businesses to support financial markets that serve all people and our planet equitably.”
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot 
Literature Link for Aug 8, 2021, The Welcome Table
Migrating Fictions: Gender, Race, and Citizenship in U.S. Internal Displacements by Abigail Manzella. [non-fiction] Migrating Fictions analyzes the role of race, gender, and citizenship in the major internal displacements of the twentieth century in history and in narrative. Manzella reveals how the country’s past is imbued with governmentally (en)forced movements that diminished access to full citizenship rights for the laboring class, people of color, and women. For an overview
https://www.amazon.com/Migrating-Fictions-Citizenship-Internal-Displacements/dp/0814254608   For brief comments by the author who posits that, “anti-immigrant propaganda has been used throughout the centuries to limit perceptions of who belongs to this nation and to codify laws around who is allowed to stay:” https://lithub.com/a-literature-of-belonging-stories-of-real-america/
• “The Welcome Table” by Alice Walker.  Here is a free pdf of the short story Matthew read on Sunday.  Worth a 2nd look. I especially noted the list of stereotyped perceptions the white congregants thought of.

• “Aid‌ ‌and‌ ‌Development‌” by Allison Rose. [poem] She [author] hopes to be a part of the solution to environmental racism by working with agriculture and agricultural communities.  “What‌ ‌holds‌ ‌them‌ ‌back‌ ‌from‌ ‌prosperity?‌ ‌/ Corrupt‌ ‌politicians,‌ ‌unstable‌ ‌food‌ ‌chains,‌ ‌you,‌ ‌me?‌ ‌/ Who‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌blame‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌hunger‌ ‌epidemic‌?‌“   Includes an audio link.
“Mr. Mendelsohn” by Nicholasa Morh [one from her short story collection El Bronx Remembered] chronicles the “friendship between an elderly Jewish man and the Puerto Rican Suarez family. While his own family does not seem to understand him, Mr. Mendelsohn finds an unexpected sense of belonging and comfort with the Suarezes” Nicholasa Mohr is one of the best known 
Nuyorican writers, born in the United States to Puerto Rican parents. For full text of the story: https://books.google.com/books?id=quPX3vBkk58C&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=mr.+mendelsohn+by+mohr&source=bl&ots=6tF4m2GIM9&sig=ACfU3U1tWVpHj7UDb_bxUMlcWnaI4ZoXdQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiwmP2f0qTyAhUlhOAKHQfkAuQQ6AF6BAgiEAM#v=onepage&q=mr.%20mendelsohn%20by%20mohr&f=false
In faith,
Dale Dunnigan
Social Justice Updates
R.U.M. Update

Interested in helping cultivate the good Earth with an organic farm? Become a volunteer at Angelic Organics and learn how an organic farm CSA works! You will assist in packing boxes for our shareholders and even get to take home a box of your own fresh veggies. Interested? Learn more here:
Green Sanctuary will meet on the 4th Sunday of each month at Mary’s Market. The first meeting is on August 22 at 11:45 a.m.
As UU’s, we exercise our ethics and faith with participation in our community. We “share the plate” weekly. We volunteer as child advocates, advance justice on many levels, support reading with our kids, etc. 

Thursday, August 12th is in opportunity to learn how we can help support out community at the Rockford Art Museum from noon until 6 PM. Who knows who we’ll see there! Here’s a web link: 

Volunteer Fair: A Day Of Sharing Hope | CASA (winnebagocountycasa.org)
Eliminate Racism 815 2021 Book and Film Series
Film Discussion
Friday, August 13, 2021, 6 p.m.

Ida B Wells: A Passion for Justice: Documents the dramatic life of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist, and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period.
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 the Rockford Public Library.
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois

A Pathway to Citizenship: we are ALL in this interdependent web of existence

In mid-July, news broke that a Senate Budget Reconciliation bill proposal includes funding that could provide a pathway to citizenship to up to 11 million undocumented essential workers, farmworkers, and DACA and TPS holders. This is HUGE to add FUNDING — $120 billion! — to our appeals for programs leading to citizenship for undocumented residents of the US.

The vote to decide by reconciliation is THIS WEEK!

Take 30 seconds to email your member of congress and ask them to commit to supporting this citizenship initiative through budget reconciliation now! https://p2a.co/2o3vikz  

NOTE:  In this Action, we are sending you to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to TAKE ACTION because they have kept track of which legislators have expressed support for this initiative – you will be able to send a “thank you!” to your legislators who have supported and a “please support” to those who haven’t.    

Let them know we are watching!

Comments, questions, suggestions?  CONTACT US

Dear Friends,
There has been a real movement in the last 3-4 years to get legislation passed in Illinois that will address the climate crisis and create good green jobs that lead with racial equity.  82% of Illinoisans support this.  So what’s holding us up?
After months of negotiations, Governor Pritzker has introduced a bill that will take us there.  But opponents of the bill have been “louder” than us with our elected officials.  So it’s time we show up in person.
WHAT: Action at the State Fair on Governor’s Day, August 18
Purpose: Support the Governor’s Climate and Equity Bill and put pressure on Dems who are not yet on board.
Theme: Be Champions.  Get the Governor’s Climate and Equity Bill across the finish line.
HERE.  Detailed information available after you register.
Hosts: Illinois People’s Action and other members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition
Please join us.  
You can sign up HERE
·       The entrance fee for the State Fair is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and free for kids. 
·       Parking is $5. 
·       The fun of participating in a long-awaited action is priceless! 
We will send detailed information (time, meet-up location, etc.) after you’ve signed up.
Please call if you have any questions.
Your friend in the struggle to put People and Planet First, 
(Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson 
*Church Calendar*

-Justice for All Meeting will meet on September 12th at 11:10 a.m. in the Conference Room

-Social Justice Committee will meet on September 8th at 7:00 p.m. in the Library 

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

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

– Caring Team Meeting – The first Tuesday of each month
The next one is Tuesday, September 7th at 6 pm in the Library

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

– Green Sanctuary will meet on the 4th Sunday of each month at 11:45 a.m. at Mary’s Market
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |   uurockford.org  |
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