Kairos February 6, 2024


Kairos                                                       02/06/2024

Reparations and Repair
February 11, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

The work of justice and equity includes repair for what has gone wrong.  We’ll explore the concept of reparations on a social, congregational, and personal level, and look at the theology and emotional terrain involved in dealing with shame, accountability, healing, and moving forward together. 

We will Share the Plate with Family Peace Center
The Family Peace Center is a 501c3, multi-agency, multi-disciplinary co-located service center that provides services to victims of inter-personal violence. Both public and private partner agencies assign staff on a full-time or part-time basis to provide services from one location. The facility focuses on reducing the number of times survivors tell their story and the number of places survivors must go for help, as well as increases access to services and support for survivors and their children. 

Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, February 11
Thank you to the Racial & Economic Justice Team for volunteering this Sunday!

Happy Birthday to: Susan Barnes (02/06), Autumn Powell (02/06), Audrey Beneditz (02/06), Kathryn Dunn (02/07), Alexis Simmons (02/08), Everett Oczus (02/09), Peter Giolitto (02/09), Colleen McDonald (02/09), Winnifred Chin (02/09), Todd Elliott (02/09), David Schubert (02/10), Tracey Koppen (02/10), & James Dehler (02/11)!

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

Matthew’s Memo
Over the last few months, and maybe a little longer, I’ve been finding myself fighting cynicism of our society.  It is perhaps the decision of the right-wing party to renominate an insurrectionist and wanna-be tyrant.  It is perhaps the reality of large problems like housing, the climate crisis, and so forth.  It is the natural teen-age attitude rubbing off on their dad, maybe.  Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis.  I’ve often wondered if efforts to make the world better are effective.  Do things have to get worse before people wake up?  Is anyone taking me seriously? 
And though I’m still grabbling with those things (and I think we always do, if we are wise), I’ve had a few lovely hopeful moments recently.  The installation of our former Intern, Rev. Omega Burckhardt, in California over the weekend was a delight.  Conversations with my colleagues and lay leaders there – including their board president, whom I’ve known since we were in our early 20’s as young adult UUs – inspired me about the faithful work of our communities.  Reading and hearing about some of the things we are doing here – conversations happening in small groups, among newcomers and among leaders – reminds me that we are shaping and sourcing lives of meaning.  And just this morning I went to a first meeting of a community project that I’ve wanted to see happen for 8 years, and may finally be happening. 
The good news is slower, and quieter.  It takes time and bears fruit when we’re not always watching.  But when we look for it, we find it too. 
What is giving you joy and hope these days?  What is sourcing your confidence that we can, together, make a better world?  What remedies are you finding for your cynicism?  I’d love to hear about it.
In faith,

Missing Jacket
If you were at church on Sunday and took a black Lands End “outrigger” jacket, gray fleece lining in the body (not sleeves), Size L home from the coat area in the Narthex please return it to the church. We would like to return it to its owner.

Board Update

The board reviewed the Senior Minister’s sabbatical plan for 24-25.  They looked in detail at the new Investment Allocations – we have moved our funds from Wells Fargo into Calvert Funds through Charles Schwab.  We heard an update about the Employee Retention Tax Credit.  We authorized the renewal of Rev. Joyce’s contract for another year.  

Wonderful Wednesday Tour

February 7, 6 pm
Tour the Family Peace Center

On average, 20 people per minute experience domestic violence by an intimate partner in the United States. In a year that adds up to more than 10 million people. Domestic violence comes in many forms and survivors require support, services, and space to heal.

Join our Sex and Gender Justice team at the Family Peace Center for a tour of the facility and an overview of the services provided locally.

There will be Childcare in the Kid Space at the center. 

Following the tour, we will have a debriefing session at the Hart Interim Library.

For questions, see Allyson Rosemore or a member of the Sex and Gender Justice Team.


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 11 Our Story: UU History and Theology with Rev. Matthew

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 12, 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 “Listening to Change Minds”
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

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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