Kairos June 29, 2021

Kairos                                                      06/29/2021

The American Journey
July 4, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and In-Person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

We’re in the midst of a public debate in this country about the American Story — what it is, who gets to tell it, and what direction is it headed.  Is it a story of greatness from beginning to end?  Or is it a story of unfulfilled promises and the work to fulfill them?  We’ll talk Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and what independence and freedom really mean.  Don’t miss it.

Happy Birthday to: Ted Zobal (07/01), Duane Wilke (07/02) Pamela Wilson (07/02), Steve Lewis (07/03), Jim Spelman (07/04), Tim Rowley (07/05), Amber Bruns (07/05), & Bob King (07/06)!
We will Share the Plate with Minister’s Discretionary Fund
The Minister’s Discretionary Fund is to help members in times of need and to help with leadership development. 

Click Here to Donate

Matthew’s Memo June 29, 2021

If you didn’t get a chance yet, do watch the Sunday Morning UUA General Assembly worship.  Wow!  It’s here.  The service talked about how we face hard things, honestly and with compassion and dignity, and when we do that then love can win.  Rev. Hutt’s sermon on “fugitivity” has me thinking a lot about the Black experience in the United States and in Unitarian Universalism, and what it means more generally to say “no, I’m out” to systems of dehumanization and despair. 

Love wins when we say “I’m out” to hatred.  When we move off the assembly line of assumptions and patterns and build a new way.  That’s a powerful insight and one that will be making me think in new ways. 

I played a minor role in some debates about bylaws amendments around elections, and on the elections process, this year – this has become one of my areas of expertise in Unitarian Universalism, and I was happy to help. 

I didn’t go to a ton of workshops, but one I did go to was on “Centering: Revisited.”  The book “Centering” (edited by Rev. Mitra Rahnema, who was one of our sabbatical preachers) was discussed, four years later, by some of the essay authors.  I was struck by the insight that Religious Professionals of Color often felt “invisible and too visible at once.”  Some congregants would say things like “you’re just like us” (as if acting white is a compliment), while others would make the Religious Professional of Color the spokesperson for all people of that race or ethnicity.  Either way, the rich humanity of the person was denied. 

This dynamic is particularly true when it comes to race, but it can be true to a lesser extent with anything.  My friends with disabilities note that they don’t want their disability ignored (or told they are “just as good as” someone without that disability (ouch!), but they don’t want to be seen ONLY as their disability either.  Or, another example: being a dad or being a minister is an important part of who I am — but neither of those things is all of whom I am. 

We are asked to see nuance and authenticity.  The identities that people carry matter — but they are not all that matters.  Don’t treat Religious Professional of Color, or anyone, as if their identity is irrelevant, nor as if their identity is all that they are.  See it as one pattern in the quilt of their lives, as one movement in their symphony.  That’s how we respect each other’s fullness and humanity. 

In faith,

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.
Eliminate Racism 815 2021 Book and Film Series

Film Discussion
Friday July 9, 2021  6 p.m.

 The Uncomfortable Truth: This History of Racism in America: When the son of a white Civil Rights Hero dives into the 400 year history of racism in America, he was surprised to find his family was involved in slavery, Jim Crow, lynching & protests. You  may see this film on Kanopy; it is 86 minutes.
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 Rockford Public Library.

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.
Literature Link for UUA Sunday, June 27, 2021
• Speaking of the “it’s only those ignorant poor white people” myth, Tim Wise’s
 White Like Me is more-or-less a letter to the “good liberal,” middle class white folk that asserts the need for some serious personal interrogation of white privilege and the more invisible particular ways that a self-denial of racism actually perpetuates it. Tim Wise has dedicated much of his life to anti-racism activism and to interrogating what it means to be white in a racist society. Honestly, his bibliography might just be a TBR list for the budding white ally.
For a good review, go here:
• Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing, and Light by Nikita Gill. “Instagram superstar and UK poet Nikita Gill returns to her roots with her most personal collection yet, including more than twenty poems exclusive to the US edition.
I took my worries out / and laid them carefully on the kitchen table. / Then began the slow but rewarding task / of fixing everything that needed more love.“
For a review, go here:

• The Tired Bee: A Story about Connection.  Here is a one page story thathelps us see our inrconnectedness.  “In the ensuing years, I thought long and hard about that tired little bee. I realized that for the first time in my life I felt connected to something larger than myself, and he was part of the reason.”
. https://www.askalana.com/the-tired-bee-a-story-about-connection/

• Telephone Man by Chris Crutcher. [short story] “It is a story about how racism and bigotry are passed down through innocence. Telephone Man’s father is a racist at home, but quite civil in public. Telephone Man (so named because of his single-minded fascination with telephones) is an adolescent borderline autistic boy with no internal editing function. If he thinks it, he says it. His father’s racial slurs come out of his mouth fast and furious when he is angry, or sometimes when he is simply talking about any people of color. By the end of the story, with the help of a black classmate, he comes to some small recognition of his father’s errant thinking. Because of the incendiary nature of the language, I wrote a preface to the story stating among other things that ‘racial slurs mean nothing about the people at whom they are directed, everything about the person using them.’” – Chris Crutcher.  Although I read this story more than a decade ago, it still reverberates when I think about systemic racism. 
In faith,
Dale Dunnigan
*Church Calendar*

-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 Meetings
are on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7 pm. Meeting ID: 980 2780 4780

Want to have a meeting?
– just email Autumn at
 office@uurockford.org and 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  |
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.