Kairos February 13, 2024


Kairos                                                       02/13/2024

Notes from the Inward Sea: Howard Thurman’s Invitation to Depth
February 18, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person
Rev. Kelli Clement

Must we choose between deepening our spirituality or expanding social justice? How do we determine our next steps in a broken world? A mystic and moral anchor to the Civil Rights Movement, Howard Thurman, offers a practice of discernment and comfort. 

The Rev. Kelli Clement comes to Unitarian Universalism from an evangelical upbringing in Texas, by way of the theatre, work in non-profits, and a lifelong quest for meaning making. She serves both the St. Croix Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Wisconsin, and the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis. She led the efforts of First Unitarian as a plaintiff in the lawsuit Doe v. Minnesota, which successfully overturned abortion restrictions in Minnesota law. Combining an art and spirituality practice, Kelli is a fellow of the Jewish Studio Project and is currently working on her doctorate in Social Transformation. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband Mike, daughter Sofia, and mini-poodle Memphis.

We will Share the Plate with Children’s Home & Aid (now Brightpoint)

We started our journey as Children’s Home & Aid and have been serving Illinois since 1883. Children’s Home & Aid was founded on the belief that we had a responsibility to make brave choices to find homes for children. We evolved and now recognize that bravery comes from the daily choices our families make and serves as the spark that ignites the opportunities for children and youth to thrive. Brightpoint promises to be brave with our families and support their brave choices because we know strong families create thriving children.

We understand that navigating obstacles such as poverty, trauma, and systemic barriers to equity can make this journey challenging, and we offer support through the highs and lows. Our work seeks to dismantle system inequities and create a more even playing field for everyone.

At Brightpoint, we put families and children at the forefront of every decision we make. We know prevention works, and we are committed to working with families before small problems become life-altering crises. That’s why we take a data-driven approach to implement research-based solutions that have proven long-term positive outcomes and create brighter futures
Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, February 18
Ushers: Dick Lake & Myrna Lake
Coffee Hosts: Lia Gima
Thank you Caring Team for volunteering for hospitality this Sunday!

Happy Birthday to: Jesse Hodierne (02/14), Jeff Earhart (02/16), Kathy Killackey (02/18), Nancy Eliseo (02/19), Kim Winger (02/19), Austin D. (02/19), Lee Johnson-Doyle (02/20), & Roland Christen (02/20)!

Kay Hotchkiss is in rehab at Wesley Willows and would love visitors.

Matthew’s Memo
Feb 12, 2024
A few of you have been asking me already about this fall’s election.  Some of these questions have been curious, but mostly they have been terrified.  Some of you have had tears in your eyes, or shakes in your body, as you’ve sought out a remedy for your anxiety about the election. 
Here is what I can tell you. 
First, as has been true for years, despite all the talk of other things, it will be Biden v. Trump again.  Let us not waste time imagining something else. 
A corollary is this: Trump will not be removed from the ballot.  The Supreme Court will override Colorado and other statutes’ attempts to remove him on “insurrection” grounds.  Regardless of how you feel about the merits of that argument, that’s what will happen.  If he is convicted in federal court (on either the insurrection or classified documents case) or in Georgia (on the election interference case), those convictions will be appealed and the case will still be ongoing at the time of the election.  Convictions will not disqualify him from the ballot.  We speak here not of should and should not, but of reality. 
Second, it will be a vicious and deceptive campaign.  There will be lies, the use of AI/deepfake images, memes, and voices (this has already happened).  Your most critical faculties, fact-checking, and media literacy will be required.  Be very suspicious of claims, and encourage others to do the same. 
Third, it will be close. This is hard for folks to understand, because most of the time we spend time with folks like us, and we don’t know that many who vote the other way, in general.  But it will be very close, mostly likely. 
Forth, politics is harm-reduction.  There are some policies where I think Biden has done very well.  There are other areas where I think he has been far too accommodating or slow to act.  But we do not vote for our dreams.  We vote to lessen harm.  To build the world we dream of, we engage in local organizing, relationship building, prophetic preaching and speaking, and acts of service and love.  Voting is harm-reduction.  Let’s not get confused. 

Fifth, the best remedy for anxiety or worry is to turn off the TV, close the feed, and go knock on doors.  Both in the competitive IL-17 and the Presidential Election in WI will be close, and the best thing to do is to encourage folks to vote.  You can volunteer directly for candidates you agree with, or work through our UU the Vote program.  I’m thrilled that Gaen and Wanda have agreed to co-lead this; the UUA Side with Love team will be sharing the next steps soon.  Wisconsin will be a big focus for them this year.  Stay tuned, and let Gaen and Wanda know if you are interested in this work.
And, keep breathing.  We will do what we can to reduce harm and protect democracy – before the election, and whatever happens, after as well. 
In faith,


Hello Everyone,
We have two exciting speakers lined up for our next meeting, Tuesday, February 13th.
This has been a very exciting time for WCCC, as we have changed our structure, created a PAC (political action committee), and hired Litesa Wallace as a consultant to help us increase attendance, media,
fundraising and more. Litesa will be speaking at our February 13th meeting.
        Also, as you may know, we’ve been anticipating a new women’s center to open with full services in Rockford. Our other speaker will be a board member from this facility who will let us know when to expect it to open and what we can do to help its success.
         So please join us at the Unitarian Church, 4848 Turner St. at 6:30 pm, on Tuesday, 2/13/24. We need you!

Barb Giolitto, WCCC President

Parents’ Night Out
Thursday, February 15th
5:30 – 8:00 pm

Enjoy your evening out while we watch the kids. We will have dinner, games, and fun.

Register using the link below by February 12th.

Getting to Know UU Sessions

We have revised our newcomer and welcome program 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 to 11:45. You can complete the sessions at any time. Sessions will repeat monthly.

February 18 Living Our Faith with Lindsay Trank and Allyson Rosemore

February 25 Getting Connected with Rev. Joyce

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

Gently Used Shoes Collection

Hi, UUs! This is Kathy Spataro McGinty, Jon’s wife. My church, 1st Congregational UCC in Pecatonica is collecting gently-used shoes—all sizes & styles—to send to developing nations to start their own micro-businesses—that’s right! Selling used shoes! Recycle and Empower! A collection bin will be in the narthex until the deadline, March 10. Please help! Thank you!

Wonderful Wednesday Conversation and Practice

February 21, 6 pm
Church Library

Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Compassion

The founder of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Marshall Rosenberg, believed that it is our nature to enjoy giving & receiving in a compassionate manner.  He developed a way of speaking that leads us to give from the heart – to balance our logic & feelings in a way that leads to genuine connection with other people.


NVC teaches how to

  • Transform potential conflicts into peace dialogues

  • Break patterns of thinking that lead to anger & depression

  • Speak your mind without creating hostility

  • Communicate compassionately using the healing power of empathy

  • Hear whatever is said to you as a “please” or “thank you”

  • Make life more wonderful for yourself & others

If you have any questions, please contact Ellyn Ahmer at 520.456.4366.

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 Experiencing the Sexual Other, focusing on sex beyond vaginal/penile intercourse, and examining the lovemaking continuum. Folks are welcome to join for a single session or sign up for all of them. 



Click Link to sign up

Wednesday Feb 21 6:30pm

Experiencing the Sexual Other

Sign up!

Wednesday March 20 6:30pm

Sexuality & Relationships

Sign up!

Wednesday April 17 6:30pm

Sexuality & Spirituality

Sign up!

Wednesday May 15 6:30pm

Sexual Pleasure

Sign up!

Eliminate Racism 815

Book Discussion
Thursday February 29, 2024  6:00-7:30 p.m.
Join us by zoom for a discussion of The LightMakers Manifesto: How to Work for Change Without Losing your Joy by Karen Walrond who asks us to name the skills, values, and actions that bring us joy, identify the causes that spark our empathy and concern and then put it all together to change the world.
Please read the book on your own and we will discuss it. 

Join the Zoom Meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81211275487

Book discussions are presented in partnership with Rockford Public Library. 

Looking for a copy of one of the books? The Rockford Public Library is pleased to offer the books for our discussion series in multiple formats. In addition to in print, RPL has many in the Cloud Library which may be accessed with your RPL card.  Titles are available in audio and e-book formats.

Register Here!

Please Note the Date Change

Liberation and the UU Church: Saturday, March 9th, 9:30 am-12:30 pm at the Church.
All members and friends are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Faith communities have been grappling for many years with the ways that cultural and congregational practices in church settings still reflect historical and institutional patterns of racism and white supremacy culture. This interactive workshop will provide an opportunity to feel and think together about opportunities and challenges for liberation and transformation in Unitarian Universalist congregations.  Together, we will look at the frameworks that we are currently engaging in Unitarian Universalism to close the gap between the values we espouse and the values we practice with regard to anti-racism.  We will consider some anti-racism tools, and how they can help us in this journey.  Join us for an authentic exploration of the work we need to do to continue to bend the arc toward justice in our congregations and in our communities.

Julica Hermann de la Fuente is a coach, trainer and facilitator for liberation, transformation and justice, and is currently completing her path toward ordination in Unitarian Universalism. In addition to this freelance work, she also serves as the Special Advisor on Justice and Equity at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.  Born and raised in Mexico City, she first became committed to social justice when she came to the United States for college. Since then, Julica has been an anti-racism/anti-oppression educator and trainer in a variety of capacities over the past three decades. In addition to a Lay Community Ministry degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School, she also holds an MSW from the University of Michigan and is certified as a master life coach.  Julica stubbornly believes that liberation is found at the intersection of joy and justice. When not on shift for the resistance, you will find her playing with fabric, planning her week-long costume extravaganza for Halloween, looking for more excuses to frost fancy cakes, and reading optimistic sci-fi and fantasy possibilities of a just and equitable universe.

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 February 20, 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 “Ho-Chunk Environmental Culture”
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan “Love in the New Year” 1/7/24
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Click Here to View UUA GA 2024

Community Events

SPRING Into Action Education Volunteer Event

Severson Dells Nature Center
Wednesday, March 13, 5:30-7:00 pm
8786 Montague Road
Rockford, IL, 61102

Seasoned Severson steward or an eager beaver ready to serve? Join us for a fun evening of community, snacks, and learning! We are looking to grow and strengthen our team of education volunteers! For the returning volunteers, we want to hear your voice and vision as we plan for an exciting season of programs. If you are new, learn all about the opportunities you have to help children connect with nature! Join us from 5:30-7:00 pm at Severson Dells on March 13; hors d’oeuvres provided.

RSVP by calling 815-335-2915 or emailing andrea@seversondells.org

We hope to see you there!

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

Civil Rights Trip
Atlanta, Georgia
June 20-25, 2024
Zion Lutheran Church is sponsoring its third Civil Rights Trip this June.  I traveled with this group two years ago on their grip to Alabama.  This is more than a sight-seeing tour.  The trip is by bus, and the traveling itself is part of the education.  Travelers are:
Instead of sitting with people I knew, I sat with people I didn’t know–until we traveled many miles sitting next to each other.  When the bus stopped, we changed seats—to meet another person, who might be a teenager or a different race.   We watched movies about civil rights during part of the trip.
The itinerary includes MLK National Historical Park, the King Center, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, the National Center for Civil & Human Rights, HBCU’s, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spellman College, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and the National Museum of African American Music.
The cost is very reasonable and includes the bus trip, lodging, entry fees, and at least one meal per day.
For more information, contact Pastor Michael Thomas,
zionrockford@gmail.com, 815-964-4609.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot

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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