Kairos June 4, 2024


Kairos                                                       06/04/2024

Let Your Freak Flag Fly
June 9, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

Being religious and liberal in this modern world is an increasingly counter-cultural way to be.  Reflections on how taking pride in our freakiness can help us renew our lives and our church. 

We will share the plate with Severson Dells
Our mission is to link people to nature through education and research in the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin area. We promote awareness of the natural world, fostering respect, enjoyment and preservation now and in the future.

Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, June 9
Thank you to the Racial & Economic Justice team for volunteering this Sunday!
Contact Rev. Joyce to sign up at assistminister@uurockford.org

Happy Birthday to: Joey Stoyas (Jun 05), Marjorie Christen (Jun 05), Julie Parks (Jun 06), Amy Brandon (Jun 08), Li M Blacker (Jun 08), Roger Poznan (Jun 08), & Evelyn Bumber (Jun 09)!

Matthew’s Memo
Our annual meeting is Sunday after worship and I hope you will plan to attend.  In Unitarian Universalism, the ultimate governors of the congregation is the congregation itself.  The members of the church hold responsibility for the institution.  You elect leaders to manage the affairs of the church between annual meetings, but it is you who own this place.
I’m very grateful to Gary Lawrence, who worked hard to recruit folks for leadership for the coming year as a member of the nominating panel.  We have an excellent slate of leaders for you to approve.  Some of them have done these roles before, or similar ones, and were happy to come back and do it again.  Others are new to leadership and getting to know the congregation and how it works.  Thank you, Gary, for getting folks to say yes!
The budget of the church, which you can see a top level summary of by reading the agenda (a link is in this Kairos), reflects the priorities of the board and the church.  We have made significant increases in compensation for those employees who have taken on more and more responsibility, and who were underpaid according to the UUA’s fair compensation recommendations.  The advantage of long-term staff is immense – the built networks or relationships, understanding how things work, the wider perspective.  These things are worth paying for, and this budget does this.  It takes care of our administrative and building costs, and it increases our contribution to the UUA. 
All this is possible because of your generous giving.  If you haven’t made your pledge for the coming year, it’s not too late!  Go to uurockford.org and click on the Pledge Form link at the very top of the page in yellow.  Or pick up and fill out a form on Sunday.  If you haven’t pledged for next year, and usually give, we will carry forward your pledge at the same amount – so let us know if you want to change it!
We’ll also approve the allocation from the legacy funds, which is a good reason to offer thanks to all those who have given to the church in their will, bequest, or insurance.  These contributions carry forward the legacy of these givers, and we are grateful. 
A balanced budget, with raises and funded programs, and most of our UUA contribution – this is something to celebrate.  The hard work of staff, including Autumn Powell (office manager) and Lindsay Trank and Lauren Smith (Woodsong Co-Directors), is essential.  And I want to offer a special gratitude to Steve Lewis, the chair of the finance committee, whose dedicated and thoughtful management of the congregation’s resources is a gift to our mission and ministry. 
See you Sunday!
In faith,

Annual Meeting Agenda
Annual Report 2023 – 2024

Photo of the Week
On Sunday we celebrated our Music Director, Dr. Tim Anderson’s 20 years of ongoing service!

It’s not too late!  

Thank you to all who have already made their pledge for the coming year.  We have had a wonderful campaign, with so much support for our shared ministry.  If you haven’t told us about your gift yet, you can do that now by clicking on this link: https://uurockford.churchcenter.com/people/forms/706108

We want everyone to participate, so if you are a member or active friend of the church, please do so today!

Thank you.

New Database Update

We are moving to a new database at church, and need your help.  Please go to uurockford.churchcenter.com and sign in.  (It’s easy!)  Update your information and look out for emails to fill in info and add yourself to the directory.  You can also scan this QR code: 

Do it today!

The Eco Justice Team invites you to our Wonderful Wednesday on the church grounds on June 5 at 6pm! We will introduce the new trail map that the Eco Justice team has put together and then walk the main church trail discussing native and invasive plants and getting a renewed appreciation for the natural world around us. We will also share information about restoration and nature access work being done by our community partners. Our walk will end at the bonfire circle for conversation, s’mores, and hot dogs for all – vegan options will be provided. All ages are welcome!

Parents’ Night Out Thursday, June 6 5:30 – 8:00
Kids are invited to spend some time at church while you take some time to yourself. We will have a dinner/snack available and time to play.

Please sign up here.

This will be our last Parents Night Out until September.

We are pleased to announce that the Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford will hold a Child Dedication during worship on Sunday, June 9, 2024.  The dedication will be a simple ritual in which the congregation commits to the spiritual welfare and development of the child and their family.  Though the ritual is not a baptism, some similar symbolism will be incorporated into the ceremony.  Children of any age who have not previously been dedicated are welcome to participate in the ritual.  Children who participate are welcome to have their parents and siblings as well as one or two sponsors join them at the front of the sanctuary during the dedication.  If you would like to participate in the Child Dedication, please e-mail Lindsay Trank at reuurockford@gmail.com by Wednesday, June 5.  We hope you will join us for this special occasion!

Supporting WNIJ-FM
I admit, I’m an NPR junkie.  If you have your preset on 89.5 and listen to “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” you’re probably already donating to this station.  But your dollars can go even farther if you donate to  them through this church.  One hundred percent of the dollars donated specifically to WNIJ on our website will go to WNIJ over time as we fund spot announcements of our Rockford congregation.  It’s still a donation for IRS purposes, but to the church, and it supports our “addiction,” as well.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot

Sunday Morning Meditation

Led by Mario Caputo

Meets 1st and 3rd Sundays starting June 2

Enjoy group meditation from 9:15 to 9:45, before the Sunday Service! Yogic meditation helps to strengthen and integrate body, mind and soul while bringing a sense of calmness, well-being, and ever deepening self-realization to the devoted practitioner.

Explore a low-impact energizing yoga, scientific healing affirmations and guided breathwork meditation in a small group setting led by Mario Caputo. Mario began studying meditation 28 years ago and has practiced twice a day for the past decade.” We will meet in the Library, possibly outside when the weather is nice.

The Nominating Panel is pleased to announce the slate of candidates to be approved at the Annual Meeting on June 9th, 2024.  

For the Board:
For President: Matt Menze (1-year term)
For Vice-President: Wendy Bennett (1-year term)
For Treasurer: Bob Spleman (1-year term)
For Clerk: Kim Lowman Volmer (1-year term)
For At-Large: Neita Webster (3-year term)
Note: Rebecca Beneditz and Clark Logemann continue as at-large Trustees.

For Covenant and Safety Team:
Alexis Simmons (3-year term)
Note: Matt Menze and Amy Brandon continue as members of the Covenant and Safety Team

For the Nominating Panel:
Spitty Tata (2-year term)
Katy Conrad (2-year term)
Reene Mealey (2-year term)
Larry Hughes (1-year term)
Note: Gary Lawrence continues as a member of the Nominating Panel.

We thank all those who have agreed to serve!

ER815 Film Discussion

Friday June 14, 2024 
6:00-9:00 p.m.
We will watch Native American Religion in Prison: Great Spirit within the Hole: Native American spirituality was once against the law in the US. Some have reconnected with their religion and spirituality.

 Join us at the Baha’i Center 1650 N Alpine: Lower level in Highcrest Shopping Center. 
We will show the film at The Baha’i Center in person with a facilitated discussion after the showing of the film.

The film discussions are presented in partnership with The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area and Rockford Public Library.

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.

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 Perspective: My Epiphany at the Stoplight
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan 5/26/28 Poem by Richard Gregg
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Community Events

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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