Building a Presence of Support February 21, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (Online Only at ReStream) Intern Minister Omega Burckhardt According to Ruth Wilson Gilmore, abolition is about building presence and not absence. Join us for a meditation on incarceration, the prison industrial complex, and how our Unitarian Universalist understandings of human dignity and interconnectedness inform us as we work for just systems of accountability and healing.
Happy Birthday to: Ann Haub (02/16), Jeff Earhart (02/16), Kathy Killackey (02/18), Nancy Eliseo (02/19), Kim Winger (02/19), Roland Christen (02/20), Nikki Ticknor (02/21), Tracey Armstrong (02/22), Billie Callahan (02/22), & Leslie Williams (02/22)!
We will Share the Plate with Planned Parenthood Planned Parenthood of Illinois is the leader in providing and promoting compassionate, comprehensive reproductive health care, education, and rights. Click here to donate.
Solidarity Circles and Prison Ministry
Are you interested in learning how to help your community and individuals affected by incarceration? Would you like to help those recently released from prison or jail? The Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois is holding an online training on March 7th to help us get thinking about forming a Solidarity Circle. From UUPMI’s website: “A Solidarity Circle is a group of individuals who come together to journey with someone who has been released from prison or jail. The group consists of a Circle Leader and several Circle Members (ideally 6-8) who meet regularly to listen and to assist the Circle Leader in finding ways to meet both immediate and long term needs, and to achieve independence.”
The Prison Ministry Group of our congregation met in February and was also pleased to converse with Rev. Copeland, Lead Pastor at Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Rockford, during the Wonderful Wednesday event. We are exploring how the larger Rockford faith community may come together to support groups like Solidarity Circles, so please join us if you are interested in learning more! We have people who are just learning about prison ministry, people who are interested in legal training, people who want to be pen pals with incarcerated UUs, and people who are involved in a variety of Rockford organizations. We are a newly-formed group, and our initial focus is on education, relationship-building, and sharing what resources we know about.
Prison Ministry Group Monthly Meetings
First Sunday of the Month, 12:30
Next Meeting: March 7th, 12:30
Zoom ID: 337 267 3668 (Church’s Thomas Kerr account)
Last week I received an email from Maurice West, my representative in the House of the General Assembly of Illinois. He had stumbled upon a video that answered this question very well, and sent the link to his constituents as the reason behind the Police Reform Bill awaiting Governor Pritzker’s signature. This bill isn’t the “end” of reform, but it’s a good start.
While Mr. West may not be your representative, this 12:38 video is still informative: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=232162871921397
This video is just the last half of a 17:52 video, Race in America, by Phil Vischer. For the full video, follow this link:
If there’s anything we learned from ex-president Trump, it’s that if you say something often enough, people will believe it. That goes for the truth, as well.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot
Beloved Conversations- A testimonial and personal invitation to take advantage of this opportunity
I am really glad I signed up for Virtual Beloved Conversations this past fall because the curriculum helped me become more aware of my own identity as a person and a UU. The meaning-making sessions which included wonderful worship and music and reflection were uplifting. And above all my regular meetings with my pod provided me with invaluable support!
Matthew’s memo in last weeks’ Kairos, dated 2/9/2021, has more details on this program, ways it will allow us to move forward as a congregation in our social justice work, and ways to sign up. I hope you will join me on this journey by taking this step of looking within by signing up for the Virtual Beloved Conversations being offered this spring. This step, as you know, is necessary for us to look at how to do this work of looking at racism/oppression and ways of dismantling it in our own congregation. And we are hopeful that many of us can participate in that process together!
• The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart and Your World by Tara Cousineaunon-fiction. [public library or Thriftbooks.com] The Kindness Cure draws on the latest social and scientific research to reveal how the seemingly “soft skills” of kindness, cooperation, and generosity are fundamental to our survival as a species. It’s time for a kindness revolution. Psychologist Tara Cousineau draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to show how simple practices of kindness–for ourselves, for others, and for our world–can dissolve our feelings of fear and indifference
• Listening With My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion – Gabi Garcia (ages 4 to 8 Written by a mom and experienced school counselor, this book tells the story of a young girl who finds a heart-shaped rock that she perceives as a reminder to spread kindness. The book teaches young readers the importance of self-compassion and being kind and loving to oneself and to others through its meaningful story and mindfulness activities. It is also available in Spanish. [public library or Amazon]
*ZOOM Church Calendar*
Most “all church” events will be 337-267-3668. This is the Personal Meeting
ID for “Thomas Kerr,” our online identity (and the minister from 1870-1900,
who used all the new technology of his time to reach those he
served). Generally, there will be a waiting room and the host will need to
– Coffee Hour on Sunday. 337-267-3668. 11:10 am. Chris will
– Touchstones: contact your touchstones group facilitator for the time
and meeting ID, if you don’t already have it.
– Caring Team Meeting – The first Tuesday of each month at 6 pm. ID 337-267-3668
-Membership Team Meetingsare on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7 pm. Meeting ID: 980 2780 4780
Want to have a group – a book group, a parent group, a “circle supper”, or
whatever you like? You can create a free Zoom account (40-minute limit,
though often waived by zoom at minute 35). Or, you can use “Thomas Kerr’s”
– just email Autumn firstname.lastname@example.org she can give you the login
and password. Please make sure to tell Autumn if you are having a meeting so we can put it on the calendar.
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL | 4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107 | 815-398-6322 | uurockford.org |