Every Valley Exalted January 17, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (Online Only at facebook.com/uurockford)
Rev. Matthew Johnson
On this Dr. King weekend, when our democracy and the idea of justice is under threat, we turn to one of his favorite passages, Isaiah 40, to explore what it means to believe in holy justice and to give our spirit, our time, and our faith to that work. A call to action for our time.
Happy Birthday to: Chris Ainsworth (01/14), Erin Leisure (01/15), Diane Schultz (01/16), Carole Hunter (01/17), Vernon Carter (01/18), Evelyn Johnson (01/18), & Roberta Pietrzyk (01/18)!
Last week’s insurrection at the Capitol building was an assault on our democracy, free elections, and the right of people to govern themselves by majority vote. It was the culimation of a long series of attacks on our democracy. That includes voter suppression tactics, far-right violence, gerrymandering, the filibuster, the electoral college, and the way we fund campaigns. It includes the tactics of this President and his accomplices – those who subvert democracy, who lie without hesitation, and who stoke violence to reach their ends. I condemn their actions with all my heart.
Our faith has long supported democracy as a moral issue. Because we believe that each person is sacred and has worth, we also affirm that each person should have a say – a fair and equal say – about how our society works and who makes decisions. So as a matter of faith, we must work to defend, strengthen, and enliven our democracy.
The best way I know how to do that is by behaving in a civic manner yourself, and often at the local level. Engage in elections and meetings, pay attention to what’s happening, speak up. But we also must work at the national level – which is why I’m so proud of the participation of the UUA in calling for the expulsion of those who would overturn the results, and the removal and impeachment of the President. I support his impeachment, even after he leaves office, to bar him from ever holding elected federal office again. There must be consequences.
I think it is also important to pray for and witness on behalf of our democracy. I think it matters, when we center our hearts and show to the world that democracy and the rule of law are not just secular values but religious ones. That democracy is a matter of human dignity.
That’s why I invite you to join me for a prayer vigil and witness event for our democracy on JANUARY 19TH AT NOON, central time. This, one day before the inauguration, will be a time for us to express our commitment to democracy, our outrage at those who would subvert it, and our faith that justice will prevail. You can participate in this event in one of three ways:
At church. We will be outside in the atrium area and nearby parking loop. Wear masks and winter clothes.
At church, in your car. I have purchased an FM transmitter that will allow you to hear the words over your radio. Come, park, stay warm, and see other folks – even if through the glass.
You cannot believe how much fun this concert will be. Trinadora. Ron and Jannie might play Elvis, or Roy Acuff, or straight out of the Celtic highlands, or blues. Whatever they play, they are terrific.
Sunday at 5:00. A concert streamed to your living room via You Tube.
Each Sunday at 5:00. A concert streamed to your living room via You Tube.
January 10 – Nanette Felix, harpist
January 17 – Trinadora – jazz, rock, cajun
January 24 – Fireside Hygge – poet laureate readings
January 31 – Beertz and Handlin – symphony soloists
Buy a ticket, make a drink, relax before Sunday dinner, enjoy a concert. There is still time to get tickets at our new web-site.
News – the Web-site name changes.
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Please join us this Wednesday at 7 pm, as we launch a Listening & Belonging outreach initiative for UU Rockford. It is a collaboration with folks from various groups and teams who have expressed interest in making phone calls to check-in and chat with each other and inviting others to do so as well, using valuable insights from Beloved Conversations and the Listening Campaign. Zoom ID: 337-267-3668
It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of the racial and economic injustice in our society. This is an opportunity to learn and reflect on what we can do to change it. This workshop is intended to challenge participants towards growth and inspire ongoing work and action. During workshop participants will have the opportunity to:
Examine the prison industrial complex root: its reach, impact and our ability to transform it.
Connect Unitarian Universalist (UU) values to the work to divest from prisons and police and invest in building new systems of safety, healing, and accountability.
Build connections with organizations engaged in prisoner solidarity and restorative justice.
Learn about the UU Prison Ministry and how your congregation or community can support our work.
If you’ve ever hosted a dinner party, company meeting or life celebration, then you know how beneficial the guest count is to ensuring a successful experience.General Assembly is the same. The sooner we know how many UUs will attend, the sooner we can finalize decisions about what and how much to invest in production technology, speakers, programming, accessibility services, music, worship services, and financial support for attendees and volunteers. Moreover, the benefit of time means we can be more thorough in recruiting, onboarding, and training our volunteer teams. Help us serve our community by registering early. If need be, make a deposit using our payment plan. It’s one way to let us know you plan to attend even as you take more time to prepare due to the pandemic, political climate, and/or personal concerns. Let’s top the attendance charts this year!
Registered attendees are among the first to hear program announcements, including featured speakers and the Ware Lecturer and only registered attendees will have access to the new GA app (coming soon!) So, register early to join online discussions, familiarize yourself with the GA schedule, and find your tribe in our community of communities.
*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
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
Literature Link for Jan 10 sermon about the courage to “Send Me”
• Answering the Call-An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America-Nathaniel R. Jones [public library]–Non-fiction book is “an extraordinary eyewitness account from an unsung hero of the battle for racial equality in America—a battle that, far from ending with the great victories of the civil rights era, saw some of its signal achievements in the desegregation fights of the 1970s and its most notable setbacks in the affirmative action debates that continue into the present in Ferguson, Baltimore, and beyond.”
• Malala”s Magic Pencil by Malala [Gr 3 Up] “Yousafzai, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and campaigner for the rights of all children to attend school, has written her first picture book. It is an autobiographical account of her life designed for younger readers. She gently introduces her childhood in Pakistan and recounts a favorite TV show where a young boy has a magic pencil that he uses to help people. The magic pencil becomes a reoccurring motif throughout the work on how to make the world a better place. The beautifully written book goes on to describe Yousafzai’s quest for justice and the importance of finding one’s voice.“
For reviews, go here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316319570?tag=groboobyboo-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1