Until Love Wins
The ministers and staff of First Universalist Church, Minneapolis. We will join thousands upon thousands of other Unitarian Universalists around the world for the Sunday Morning General Assembly Worship service. You can come in person to church at 10 am and watch the service on the large screen with us in the room, or you can watch on our Facebook page at 10 am, or athttps://www.uua.org/ga/off-site/2021 at 11 am central time. However you join us, you will be inspired and encouraged by this service.
Happy Birthday to: Debbie Johnson (06/23), Sarah Greer (06/23), Lindsay Trank (06/26), Rachel Keyes (06/26), Marilyn Paladino (06/27/), Troy Brown (06/28), Rob Pennington (06/28), Geri Carter (06/29), Jamie Johannsen (06/29), Daphne Cooper (06/30), & Pamela Moore (06/30)!
This Sunday all Share the Plate donations are going to MICAH Please click hereto give directly to this organization
Matthew’s Memo June 22, 2021
This week I would normally be at Ministry Days and General Assembly – the annual meetings of the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association and then the Unitarian Universalist Association. The meetings are virtual this year, and so I’ll attend many of the sessions online, from my desk at work or my kitchen counter at home. I will learn some things and participate in the business of both organizations, but it is not the same.
The best part of these meetings, for me, is the chance to talk with colleagues about our lives, congregations, ideas, and plans at lunch, dinner, and late into the evening. This social time with folks who do this strange and beautiful work as well is precious. But at the time that a decision had to be made, there was no way that we could plan on an in-person meeting.
Thankfully, my regional UU cluster meeting, in Racine in October, will be in person. So too will be my study group in November near Grafton, Illinois. These gatherings are so precious to me. And we have a lot to talk about – what we’ve learned the last year: emotionally, logistically, technologically, and spiritually. How has the pandemic, the movement for black lives, the threats to democracy, and all the rest influenced what we do and who we are?
We’ve begun to think about these things, but there is a lot more work to do. Now that we have begun in-person worship again, we will first focus on getting that going well. There are a few technical challenges we’re still working through, and we’ll be adding back some volunteer roles and other things soon. But as we get that sorted, it will be time for us as a congregation to think about “what’s next?” We’re a year overdue to examine our strategic plan, but of course we could not do it last year. We can this year – based on what we’ve learned, who do we need and want to be? What should we be doing – and what should we stop doing?
It will take time. We will need to surface ideas, feelings, hopes and fears. We’ll need to consider those with care. We’ll do it together. But after what has been, and in the midst of what is, now is the time for turning. Now is the time to say, “the world has changed. How do we minister in and to this new world?”
They will be rich conversations. And isn’t that part of what we are for?
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:
But mostly, we really appreciate the 96.3% of members who have already pledged, and very generously pledged for this coming year.
Defend Ending Money Bail in Illinois
While Public Act 101-0652 passed on 2/22/21, some Illinois legislators want to amend it to weaken or repeal the money bail section, among other sections. Law enforcement is worried by this act; officials see their power being undermined. Some police officers are afraid of losing their jobs. This backlash is putting pressure on legislators to change their decisions.
My senator, Steve Stadelman, was a no-vote on HB3653, while my representative, Maurice West, voted “yes.” I will write a letter to Steve, explaining why I support this legislation as it stands. I can’t allow him to stand aside if this backlash leads to another vote in the General Assembly. And I will write to Maurice, thanking him for his support of justice in Illinois.
If you agree that the Pretrial Fairness Act is important in reforming policing in Illinois, please check the votes cast (or not cast) by your representatives, and communicate your opinion to them. Our democracy only works if we all participate.
Literature Link For June 20, 2021 about Caring for the soul of others
• Here’s a story told by the poet Naomi Shihab Nye, whose work I love. It’s a very different story than those we read daily in the media. But it’s a true story of the real world, more true and more real than many media reports. It will take a couple of minutes to read it. But I think you will find, to quote the poet, that “this is the world I want to live in”— and that all of us can do something every day to help make it so. https://onbeing.org/blog/five-simple-things-to-reweave-our-civic-community/ • “The Bridge Builder” by Will Allen Dromgoole [poem] “The old man crossed in the twilight dim, / The sullen stream had no fear for him; / But he turned when safe on the other side / And built a bridge to span the tide.” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52702/the-bridge-builder
• “Blackbirds” by Julie Cadwallader-Staub [poem] “the sound was simply all those wings / just feathers against air, against gravity / and such a beautiful winning” http://www.juliecspoetry.com/poems/blackbirds/
• I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak [public library] By the author of The Book Thief comes this novel about helping others. “Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.
That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.
That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.
-Justice for All Meeting will meet on July 11 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.
– 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 |