Door of No Return August 22, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.Onlineand In-Person Rev. Joyce Palmer Join me for a reflection on the question of what it means to understand home as a part of our identity. Travel has a way of reinforcing the meaning of home in new and not always comfortable ways. How do we define and find home?
Or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know and I’ll put you in the system for that day.
Happy Birthday to: Reggie Brenmark-French (08/17), Rob Tapfield (08/18), Mychalena Magoon (08/18), Kevin Cole (08/20), Bev Baxter (08/22), Marcy Davis (08/22), Bob Spelman (08/23)!
We will Share the Plate with Beautiful Beginnings
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Matthew’s Memo Aug 17, 2021
My heart hurts for the Afghan people and the members of the Coalition forces and their families who gave so much blood and time to that land. The rapid fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban was entirely predictable. The failure of our occupation there was entirely predictable. The rise of fundamentalism as a response that occupation was totally predictable.
Just because all these things were easily knowable – from before we went in, 20 years ago – does not mean that the outcome is not tragic. A limited objective, to destroy Al Queda as much as possible and leave would have gotten us out 19 years ago. How many lives were saved? A decision, made Jan 20th, to evacuate as many people as possible before we left, including all the Afghans who assisted our efforts and as many women and girls as who wanted to go, would have been just and humane.
But we didn’t do those things. The blame is widespread, bipartisan, and deep. Think tanks, arm-chair warriors, pollsters, and short-sighted politicians are all to blame. As is anyone who didn’t study history – we are at least the fourth empire to grind out failure in that land: including the Soviets, the British, and no less than Alexander the Great – who could not conquer the place.
Humility, sorrow, and restraint are dictated by all who study history or human nature.
Will we learn? The lesson of Vietnam was not remembered past a generation. Will this one be? I hope that we will not look away so that we learn.
P.S. I will be on vacation from Thursday, Aug 19th through Saturday, Aug 28th, and back in the pulpit on the 29th. Rev. Joyce is preaching on the 22nd. I will not be checking email or voicemail while I am away, so please contact Rev. Joyce or Autumn if you need anything.
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
One of the greatest gifts we can give a friend is the opportunity to join us on a journey to search for deeper truth and a life of love, kindness, and service.
Please invite a friend or two to attend service on August 29th. Rev. Matthew’s topic is “What is UUism anyway?” Make sure to introduce yourself and your friend to me. Questions, Rev. Joyce Palmer email@example.com
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
I Can Invest in Communities!
While listening to a podcast from Krista Tippett’s On Being, I heard the mantra, “Don’t let the idea that you can’t fix everything keep you from doing what you can.” While some people give millions of dollars to help communities, others give $5 a month to join others in helping people.
Our presentation of Beyond Wall Street doesn’t apply just to our congregation’s Investment Panel. The First Universalist Church of Denver will introduce us to organizations with no minimum investment limits that earn interest. Those dollars will fund low-income neighborhoods, women-owned and minority-owned businesses, affordable housing, and health clinics in low-income areas. I love the option of earning money while doing good!
Join me on Thursday, August 26th at 8 pm in the library to watch our sister congregation’s Zoom presentation from Denver, Colorado. If this is too late for you, watch for a second presentation, using their recording, immediately after a Sunday worship service. All of us can help raise the wealth of our marginalized citizens.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot
Literature Link for Aug 15, 2021—Courageous Love
• Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World (2003) is a non-fiction, biographical work by American writer Tracy Kidder. The book traces the life of physician and anthropologist Paul Farmer with particular focus on his work fighting tuberculosis in Haiti, Peru and Russia. [public library] Here is a biography about the courageous love this doctor lives by. Beautiful writing. A review from Amazon: “[A] masterpiece . . . an astonishing book that will leave you questioning your own life and political views . . . Kidder opens a window into Farmer’s soul, letting the reader peek in and see what truly makes the good doctor tick.”—Nicholas Thomas, USA Today. “In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Tracy Kidder’s magnificent account shows how one person can make a difference in solving global health problems through a clear-eyed understanding of the interaction of politics, wealth, social systems, and disease. Profound and powerful, Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes people’s minds through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” Amazon reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Mountains-Beyond-Tracy-Kidder/dp/0812973011
• “The Responsibility Poem” by Charles Osgood. A witty poem that points out how we easily shift the ‘who’s accountable’ to someone else. “Anybody could have told you that Everybody knew/ That this was something Somebody would surely have to do. / Nobody was unwilling; Anybody had the ability.” http://www.greatexpectations.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/lp/responsibility/Responsibility%20poems.pdf • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Short by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai. “In 2009, at the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai started a blog for BBC Urdu about life under Taliban rule in Pakistan under the pen name, Gul Makai. But her defiant response to the Taliban’s version of Sharia law led to her being targeted: in 2012, a gunman climbed onto her school bus and shot her in the head. Rather than being terrified by the attack, Malala vowed to fight even harder to make her voice heard – and, nowadays, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate travels the globe campaigning on behalf of every girl and boy in the world: she wants to win each of them the right to education and she won’t stop until she gets it. As a result, Malala’s real name has become synonymous with freedom, gender equality and bravery.” From C-Span, here is a video interview with her and her father: https://www.c-span.org/video/?315557-1/i-malala For commentary about: https://www.stylist.co.uk/books/books-reading-bravery-courage-kindness-life-lessons-humanity-little-women-matilda/129954
Social Justice Updates
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:https://angelicorganics.com/pack-volunteer/
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.
Eliminate Racism 815 Book Discussion
Thursday, August 26, 2021, 6:00 p.m.
Join us by zoom for a discussion of Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty by Paul Gorski: Describes the knowledge and skills teachers and school administrators need to recognize and combat bias and inequity that undermine educational engagement for students experiencing poverty.
Please read the book on your own and we will discuss it.
Book discussions are presented in partnership with Rockford Public Library.
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.
-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 Meetingsare 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
Not Quite Glitzy Books & More Sale
Saturday, Aug. 28, 8am-5pm
Pre-Sale Night Friday, Aug 27, 5:30-7:30pm
3333 Maria Linden Drive, Rockford, 61107
Who doesn’t love books, games, puzzles, toys? Come explore and purchase a variety of items at this fundraiser for Womanspace. You will find gently-used books, DVDs, CDs, video games, other games, puzzles, and nice toys for all ages – all under the Womanspace outdoor pavilion. Rain or shine.
Pre-Sale Night – For a $5 fee, shop early on Friday night (5:30-7:30) for the best choice. Come Friday and also visit the “Anything Goes” art opening as well as a special pottery sale to help fund a new chairlift in the Womanspace art studio.
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL | 4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107 | 815-398-6322 | uurockford.org |