Care for the Soul of Others
June 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Online and In-Person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson What does it mean to offer care, do justice, and live in a relationship with others in a way that cares for their soul? When we recognize the humanity and divinity of other people, how should we respond?
MASKS REQUIRED IN-PERSON.
Happy Birthday to: Mary Runestad (06/15), Jim Maier (06/15), Merrick Johnson (06/15), Deb Bridges (06/15), Carolyn Bailey (06/17), Ranay Ivan (06/17), Paul Jordan (06/17), & Joanne Johnson (06/22)!
Long-time Rockford UU members Diana and Jack Berti are moving from their apartment in Rockford to Winning Wheels, a facility in Prophetstown, IL. Unfortunately, they are not able to take their cat. Autumn is a five-year-old spayed female tabby, light orange in color, who is up-to-date on her shots and still has claws. The cat is described as being sweet and gentle but not used to young children. If you know of a possible home for Autumn, please call the Bertis at 815-398-9515. Their move is taking place this month. Thank you
To make them feel connected at their new home, you can send them a card or picture. Send it to Jack and Diana Berti, c/o Winning Wheels, 701 E 3rd St, Prophetstown, IL 61277.
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. Click Here to Donate
Matthew’s Memo June 15, 2021
Thanks to all of you who attended – both in-person and online – the annual meeting on Sunday. We laughed, celebrated, and approved important business. Some highlights and comments:
We did vote to ordain Omega Burckhardt. That ceremony will take place in the fall sometime, with the date TBD, probably on a Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned.
We approved a wonderful slate of officers, including Judy Gustafson, Bob Spelman, and Sarah Greer to join Amanda Tapfield, Khanh Oehlke, Gary Huckstep, and Teresa Wilmot on the board. I love that we’ll have folks who grew up in this church – Khanh and Sarah – on the board.
We approved the budget. As was noted in the questions, although all the rest of the staff is getting a 3% raise for the coming year, I am not. That was my recommendation to the finance committee based on what we could afford as a congregation. I hope neither you nor I want this to be a pattern, and hopefully, we’ll be in a position that I can have one next year.
We recognized Kathy Scarpaci as UU of the year and Shiraz Tata as the winner of the Connolly Award. Such wonderful people. And we thanked those completing their service, including Board members Neita Webster, Peggy Menze, and outgoing president Carolyn Arevalo. Such good leaders!
We approved a resolution supporting the 8th principal – which calls us to build the multi-racial beloved community by working to dismantle racism and other oppressions. We are doing this work as a congregation, and I hope that you will be part of it. There will be lots happening on this front in the next year and more. Be involved!
It is a privilege to be with you as your minister. The close of this fiscal year means that I will pass Rev. Alan Deale as the 4th longest-serving minister of this church, at 13 years.
I will be attending the virtual General Assembly June 21-25th, and the virtual church camp July 11-17. I won’t be answering non-urgent emails during those times. I’ll be on vacation, and fully out-of-touch, August 19-27. Otherwise, I’ll be around this Summer and will see you at church!
All Together Now!
Okay. We’ve heard from all but a handful of people. (Well, maybe more than a handful). Please let us know what you plan to donate to the church this year. Maybe you assume that your pledge will roll over from last year. But we would still appreciate an update.
If you have not told us yet, please do it this week:
As the treasurer, I’m on UU-Money list-serve of the UUA. (Steve Lewis, Finance Chair, is also on this list-serve.) I get periodic emails with questions and responses from financial members of UU churches across the country. This morning I read this interesting invitation from Chris Cardenas, the Executive Director of the First Universalist Church of Denver, Colorado:
I invite any and all churches to a virtual and in-person workshop hosted by First Universalist Church of Denver on Thursday, August 26th at 7 pm MST (6 pm CST) entitled: BEYOND WALL STREET: COMMUNITY INVESTING (INVESTING WITH COURAGE AND LOVE FOR JUSTICE, EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION).
The purpose of Beyond Wall Street will be to educate attendees that our current financial markets are actually exacerbating oppression, inequality, poverty, and environmental degradation. Lack of access to reasonable and affordable capital and business mentoring for women, underserved, and BIPOC communities and businesses, perpetuates oppression, prevents economic equity, and forms a significant barrier to strengthening these communities and to creating financial health, access, and generational wealth creation for everyone. It is up to our churches, organizations, businesses, and citizens to support financial markets that serve all people and our planet equitably.
Our targeted audience for Beyond Wall Street will be First U, other UU churches, other denominations, faith-based organizations both in and outside Colorado, as well as individuals. We want to educate all attendees on the moral and economic necessity of Community Investing–what it is; its impacts, opportunities, and risks. We will provide examples of opportunities for Community Investing here in Colorado, nationally and
globally, including a comprehensive list of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in the US. We will showcase some organizations specifically during the presentation, including CNote, Oweesta, Calvert, Impact Capital and its connection with the Colorado Enterprise Fund and Urban Land Conservancy, Self Help Credit Union, RSF Social Finance, Cooperative Fund of New England, Steward, and Root Capital.
In addition, based on availability, we will have representatives from some of the above
organizations in attendance to provide more information about their organizations, investment opportunities, and impact.
We look forward to hearing from you and working together on this presentation.”
I’m encouraged by this action for social justice in the world of finance. One side-effect of the COVID pandemic is that we now take for granted the opportunity of joining a meeting with a congregation in Colorado.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot
Our Rockford UU family needs YOU!
Join the Caring Team and be part of the wonderful fabric of our congregation. We have members who, at times, need to rely on our community for things like rides to the store or to a medical appointment, meals to be cooked and delivered, a friendly visit to relieve the isolation, etc. Can you rise to the occasion? Join the Caring Team the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm to learn how to offer support.
Speaking from personal experience as not only a member of the Caring Team but at one time a recipient, it is truly a wonderful experience. Caring about others is also caring for yourself. In the spirit of this month’s Sunday messages, it’s good for the soul as we dwell in love for each other!
For more information, you are welcome to contact Kathy Scarpaci, Caring Team chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office.
Do you have a need or know someone who does? Let us know.
Submitted by Caring Team member Bob Babcock
Social Justice Committee Updates
Several of our congregation’s members are or have been volunteers with Winnebago Co. CASA advocating for abused and neglected kids. This virtual event helps those kids.
This is a reminder that the book drive is coming to a close this week. This Thursday, June 17th is the last day to make your monetary donation through PayPal, buy books from Usborne Books and More or bring book donations to the CASA office. You can find the links to PayPal and the Usborne Books and More shopping link at the bottom of this email.
I also wanted to let you all know that I am hosting a special “party with a purpose” with Usborne Books and more on June 17th at 6pm. The special thing about the event is it coincides with my book drive to get books into the hands of foster care kiddos served by Winnebago County CASA. Our book bash will showcase this month’s brand new titles plus summer reading tips and free resources! These books also make great gifts. The best part: When you shop for your family and friends at our event, our CASA kids will earn free books. Let me know if you are interested in attending and thank you in advance for your contributions.
Juneteenth has been celebrated for many years in Rockford. You are welcome to join the celebration this Saturday starting at 3:00 in the Sinnissippi Bandshell. The holiday commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people. Juneteenth was first celebrated in Texas, where it took three years (1862~1865) for the news of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach all people.
-Justice for All Meeting will meet on June 20 at 11:10 a.m. in the Conference Room
-Social Justice Committee will meet on July 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Library
– 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 meeting?
– just email Autumn email@example.com 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 |