Kairos January 30, 2023


Kairos                                                       01/30/2024

“Seeds Are Stirring – Imbolc in the Style of Taizé”
February 4, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person
Rev. Suzelle Lynch
By the time January turns to February, many of us are tired of winter’s dark and cold.  The ancient Celtic celebration of Imbolc marks the “first stirring of seeds” in the cold, dark earth – a harbinger of hope for Spring!  Today we honor this earth-centered holiday with reflective readings, songs and silence in the style of the humble, peace-loving French monastic Taizé community. Come enjoy this music-filled, earth-embracing gathering – a perfect antidote to the winter blahs.

The Rev. Suzelle Lynch (she/her) has served UU congregations in Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and California since 1994. Prior to ministry, she worked in public relations for a robot company, an artificial language laboratory, and a big insurance company. Now semi-retired, Rev. Suzelle writes songs, hikes, leads labyrinth workshops and does upcycle sewing. She lives in Janesville, WI with her husband Tom Ness.

We will Share the Plate with Remedies
Remedies provides critical and often times lifesaving services to adults struggling with substance abuse and to victims of domestic violence and their children or vulnerable family members. Remedies works to end the cycle of abuse and addiction through education, support, and community involvement.

Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, February 4
Thank you to our Board for volunteering this Sunday!

Happy Birthday to: Sue Garwick (01/31), Martha Zinn (02/02), Andrew Larson (02/03), Ruth Little (02/04), Robert Francis (02/05), Susan Barnes (02/06), & Autumn Powell (02/06)!

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

Matthew’s Memo
January 30, 2023
I’m thrilled that Rev. Suzelle Lynch will be leading worship with you all this coming Sunday.  Suzelle has been with us a few times in recent years, since her retirement as the minister at UU Church West in Brookfield, Wisconsin.  Be sure to come – it’ll be delightful.
I will be preaching that afternoon at the Installation of Rev. Omega Burckhardt as the minister at Neighborhood UU Church in Pasadena, California. (Before you get too jealous, the forecast is for rain while I’m there).  Omega did part of her internship here in 2020-2021, and we ordained her as a UU Minister in 2021.  She served a few years as the Assistant Minister at our large church in San Diego before being called to Pasadena, our largest L.A. area congregation, last year.  We can all be so proud of the role we played in her ministry journey!
We have had many interns over the years, but Omega was the last one who worked with us.  The ministerial education process has changed dramatically, and it is now customary for students to do a part-time internship near where they live and attend seminary remotely.  Getting an intern is thus a chance thing; if a student in Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicagoland needs a spot we are available.  But people do not move for seminary education very much now and do not do so for an internship, in general. 
Yet, without knowing it, you continue to support ministerial development.  I have served as a mentor to new ministers over the years; I have two “mentees” at the moment, and have done this for three others before this.  I also am asked to meet with students and new ministers to share insights about ministry and some of the areas of my expertise regularly.  I also serve as a Good Officer for Call and Contract – advising ministers who are beginning or ending a ministry on negotiations.  This “institutional ministry” is much approached by other ministers, but not as visible to you as lay folks. I do it because you value the wider faith, and I hope you know that these students and other ministers appreciate you for it. 
In faith,

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 event cohosted by REJ Team, UU-C, Rockford & Inscape Collective volunteers
Join us to hear the history of justice work at 201 7th Street involving UU-Church members & friends, 
the mission & work of Inscape Collective, who is honored to be in that space now, and 
have a voice in the future of community engagement in Midtown Rockford.
January 31st 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Doors open with soup & bread to welcome you there: 5:00 PM
Presentation & discussion: 5:30 -6:30 PM
Tour of space: 6:30-7 PM

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.

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.

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!

Register Here!

Liberation and the UU Church: Saturday, March 2nd, 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 6, 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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