Kairos July 20, 2021

Kairos                                                      07/20/2021

Goodness and Mercy
July 25, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and In-Person
Rev. Allison Farnum 

In a dominant culture that fetishizes crime and punishment while remaining apathetic to the failures of the penal system, our Unitarian Universalist theologies remind us that we can rely on deeper truths of goodness and mercy that still hold each of us accountable in and to the interdependent web of life.

Rev. Allison Farnum is the Minister and Director at the Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois, a statewide ministry that focuses on equipping UU’s to in Illinois to transform institutions and support people harmed by the prison industrial complex. For more information, please visit

Rev. Farnum will be available to speak with folks interested in Prison Ministry and those interested in being part of a Prison Ministry team at UU-C, Rockford in the Library after the service this Sunday. 
Volunteer for Sunday Morning
We still need one more usher and two more greeters for this Sunday.
Thank you to those of you who have volunteered already!  Here is the google doc where you can sign up: 

Or just email me at uurockrev@gmail.com and let me know and I’ll put you in the system for that day.  

Thank you!
Happy Birthday to: Ed Miller (07/20), Alex van Est (07/20), Diane Meltmar (07/22), DeLon Fox (07/24), David Lawson (07/26), Susan Tyler (07/26), Rhonda McAllister (07/26), & Scott Aaseng (07/27)!

From the Caring Team
Shari Smallwood welcomes calls and notes from UU friends. Her partner, Clay Johnson, was diagnosed with brain cancer in March and is now in care at St. Anne Center. Shari can be reached at (815) 977-5895. Her address is 2140 Wedgewood Way, Rockford 61107.

A celebration of life service will be held for Vid Pandya on July 31st at 2:00 p.m. at church. Masks are required.
Please keep in your prayers the family of Jackie Sundby, sister of Jon McGinty, who died on July 12th, 2021.  Jackie and her husband Karl were regular visitors to the church and we wish their whole family love and compassion. A memorial service will be held at Olson Funeral Home (downtown Rockford) at 2pm on July 24th, with Rev. Matthew officiating. 

We will Share the Plate with UUPMI

We equip UU’s in Illinois to
transform institutions and support people
harmed by the prison industrial complex.

For more information
click here.
Click Here to Donate
Matthew’s Memo
July 20, 2021

Since I arrived here as your minister, we have occasionally gotten a little bit involved in prison ministry of one kind or another.  Sometimes, that has been through our partners at Rockford Urban Ministries, which has tried to work with the Sherrif to provide better interfaith pastoral options at the jail – with very little success.  More often, we have challenged the policies around mass incarceration.  That has included playing a key but supporting role to Latino/a and immigrant communities in opposing a contract with ICE some years ago, and some advocacy against unlimited increases in the Sherri’s budget. 
But we have had a growing sense that we want to do more. Both on the policy side, where I and many of you are more comfortable, but also on the side of compassion, mercy, and connection.  People who are incarcerated also have dignity and worth.  My own conversations with formerly incarcerated people have educated me about what it feels like on the front end of our ridiculous war on drugs and criminalization of poverty.  You have expressed a sense of wanting to be more involved in this ministry area, as well.
So last year, Omega’s internship project was beginning a Prison Ministry team here at the church.  A few of you did training with the UU Prison Ministry of Illinois and learned more about getting involved in this area.  There was a hunger to make a difference here.
The Rev. Allison Farnum, executive director of that UU Prison Ministry of Illinois, will be our pulpit guest Sunday.  She’ll tell some stories and share how our theology connects to this work.  After the service, folks are invited to join her to discuss the next steps for our nascent effort here.  Please do join her and the team for this work.  
In faith,
Special MONDAY Night “Spiritual Journey” Class

Intro to the Enneagram — Monday, July 26, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm.
Masks are optional for fully vaccinated persons.  A zoom option may be offered later this year.  

The Enneagram is a system of understanding one’s core motivations, fears, and gifts.  More spiritual and inward-focused than the MBTI or other systems, it is a fruitful way to understand oneself.  We’ll give a basic overview of the system and how to use it.  

In faith,
Call to Action:
Side with Love & the Pretrial Fairness Act!

Community members, advocates, and organizers across Illinois have fought for years to end money bond and dramatically reduce the number of people incarcerated pretrial in Illinois. Those efforts led to the passage of the transformative 
Pretrial Fairness Act earlier this year, but our work is not yet done!

Law enforcement and conservative legislators are busy working to repeal the Pretrial Fairness Act—we cannot let that happen! 
Contact Your Legislators Now!
Please fill out the quick form above to send messages of thanks to legislators who voted yes on the Pretrial Fairness Act. They took a risk for justice and we want to let them know we have their backs as they uphold this law despite opposition. The form will also allow you to hold your legislator accountable if they voted no on the Pretrial Fairness Act, letting them know they were on the wrong side of history and will face resistance from constituents if they seek to further interfere with this monumental progress. 

This continued outreach is necessary to further advance the movement for pretrial justice in our state. Thank you for raising your voice for pretrial fairness in Illinois—this victory was won because of you, and will be maintained because of you as well!
Eliminate Racism 815 2021 Book and Film Series

Book Discussion  
Thursday July 29, 2021  6:00 p.m.
Join us by zoom for a discussion of Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad:  A Resource for white people who want to change but don’t know where to begin.  It shows how to move from your head to your heart while doing this important work.
Please read the book on your own and we will discuss it. 

Join the Zoom Meeting here:

Book discussions are presented in partnership with Rockford Public Library.

Film Discussion
Friday, August 13, 2021, 6 p.m.

Ida B Wells: A Passion for Justice: Documents the dramatic life of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist, and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period.
Join Zoom Meeting here: 
The film discussions are presented in partnership with Tony Turner of Conscious Coaching, The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area, and the Rockford Public Library.
Social Justice Updates
Rockford Urban Ministries Update
Meet Rev. Violet Johnicker, the New Associate Director for RUM
You are welcome to meet and greet RUM’s new Associate Director 
WHEN: Thursday, July 22, 6 pm
WHERE: 2nd Congregational/First Presbyterian Church, 318 North Church, Rockford
Free will offering.
You are invited to meet and greet the Rev. Violet Johnicker, who is the new Associate Director of Rockford Urban Ministries. 
The program, which will feature her introduction and ideas for urban ministry, will be Thursday, July 22, 6 pm, hosted at 2nd Congregational/First Presbyterian Church, 318 North Church, Rockford, one of the 24 member congregations of RUM.
Rev. Johnicker’s work will focus on organizational development and broadening RUM’s impact in the community. 
 “Thanks to the support of generous donors, we will ensure that Rockford Urban Ministries can continue to reach new generations and new regions with our longtime commitment to social justice work,” says RUM’s Executive Director Stanley Campbell.
  Pastor Violet Johnicker has a Master of Divinity from McCormick Seminary as well as a Master of Public Policy from Adler and a BA in nonprofit management and is trained in community organizing. Before serving Brooke Road UMC she was at St. Pauls UCC in Chicago and has experience as an executive director of community and economic development nonprofits in Kenosha, Wisconsin and her hometown of Waukegan, Illinois. She is presently a member of RUM’s Executive Committee as well as a board member of the Rockford Arts Council, Bridge Ministries, Remedies, and the United Methodist Foundation of the Northern Illinois Conference.  Rev. Johnicker is the 3/4 time Pastor at Brooke Road United Methodist Church.
“People of faith have a strong tradition of world-changing justice work, and it’s a joy and an honor to be part of Rockford Urban Ministries who has been a leader in this movement since 1962.  My calling is to work with those most impacted by injustice as we embody the good news that a better world is not only possible but promised to us as we work alongside God to build love for neighbor into our public policies”  says Rev. Johnicker.
For more information Call RUM at 815-964-7111
Literature Link for July 18, 2021- the Journey Home
• “There’s a Specific Kind of Joy We’ve Been Missing” by Adam Grant. Here is the full essay from which Matthew read an excerpt.  [About a page and a half] “In late June, over 15,000 vaccinated people packed in to watch the Foo Fighters reopen Madison Square Garden. When the band brought the comedian Dave Chappelle onstage to sing the Radiohead song “Creep,” the audience erupted in the closest thing I’ve seen to rapture in a solid year and a half.”

Ithaka” by C.P. Cavafy is based on Homer’s The Odyssey , notably Odysseus’ 10-year journey home to Ithaka after the Trojan war. But it is also advice about life’s journey. “Keep Ithaka always in your mind/ Arriving there is what you’re destined for./ But don’t hurry the journey at all./ Better if it lasts for years”  A personal favorite I used many times with my sophomores.
If You Don’t Keep Your Feet: How the Journey Changes You by Emmet Asher-Perrin. [short essay] This resonates quite well with Matthew’s sermon about the journey home. At journey’s end, “you are the one who is different. You have transformed into someone who no longer quite fits your home. You’re a warped puzzle piece left out in the rain too long, and now you can’t snap into place.”   https://www.tor.com/2015/12/28/if-you-dont-keep-your-feet-how-the-journey-changes-you-2/
Up, an animated Pixar movie.
 “Carl Fredrickson, a gruffy old widower (voiced with gruffy old charm by Ed Asner), miraculously inflates enough balloons to use his house as an aircraft. Soon, he finds himself reluctantly sharing his ride with a short-attention-spanned kid named Russell.” This involves an adventurous journey which changes its characters. Really a fun movie to watch if you haven’t seen it, or again if you have. My computer says it is on Amazon Prime. [or public library] For a review:

In faith,
Dale Dunnigan
*Church Calendar*

-Justice for All Meeting will meet on August 8th at 11:10 a.m. in the Conference Room

-Social Justice Committee will meet on September 8th at 7:00 p.m. in the Library 

Coffee Hour on Sunday Zoom 337-267-3668. 11:10 am.

Touchstones: contact your touchstones group facilitator for the time, if you don’t already have it.

– Caring Team Meeting – The first Tuesday of each month
The next one is Tuesday, August 3 at 6 pm in the Library

-Membership Team Meetings are on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7 pm. Meeting ID: 980 2780 4780
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |   uurockford.org  |
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.