Kairos March 1, 2022

Kairos                                                       03/01/2022

The Tao
March 6, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Online and in-person 
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
We begin a three sermon series on key concepts in Taoism.  I believe that philosophical Taoism offers a way to think about life, community, the holy, and the universe that opens up possibilities of joy, peace, and presence.  We’ll begin with the idea of the Tao itself.  What is “the way?”  
Happy Birthday to: Lynn Salley (03/02), Keith Kruchten (03/03), Art Beneditz (03/03), Lawrence Hughes (03/07), Marge Elliot (03/08), Shoko Chien (03/08), Joe Morton (03/08), & Wild Darke (03/08)!

Volunteers for Sunday, March 6

Ushers: We Need 2
Greeters: Scott & Sue Garwick
Guest Table: We Need 2

Email office@uurockford.org or assistminister@uurockford.org and let us know what you would like to volunteer for!

Thank you!

Info for Ushers
Ushers are responsible for handing out the orders of service and passing the baskets during the offering. Both ushers will need to count how many people were in service and the money collected and put it in the bag that is provided. Once you are done counting, give the bag to Autumn at the tech desk in the Sanctuary. If Autumn is not working that Sunday please drop it in the locked box under the mailboxes by the offices.

Matthew’s Memo March 1, 2022
Like many of you, I have been following the events in Ukraine with great worry and sorrow.  The decision of Russian President Putin to invade a sovereign and independent country, who had not attacked or threatened their neighbors in any way, is a terrifying call-back to ages of territorial conquest and naked aggression.  

The aggressive sanctions regime and financial costs imposed on Russia are designed to encourage the elites in Russia, or the Russian people, to intervene and stop this.  It’s not clear that a political space exists for them to do so, but I am reminded of the Roman phrase “sic semper tyrannis” – “thus always to tyrants.”  That tyrants cannot last, and their regimes will fall apart.  We hope for as little additional bloodshed as possible, and that it be soon.  

The people of Ukraine are fighting for their lives, their freedom, and their families.  They have chosen to become part of Europe, and are on what will be a difficult journey to improve their democracy, economy, and society.  Russia is attempted to stop this progress, and to send a message of terror to other nearby states and people.  

Of course, we are nervous about Russia’s nuclear capacity.  I don’t know what to do with that fear.  Some of you lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, while others of us have never really confronted this ourselves.  We are mostly spectators to this – though strong public support for freedom and against tyranny is important to speak out loud.  It seems that the current leadership of the United States is handling things well as they can – consequences without provocation – and pray that will be enough.  

Praying for peace can seen like too little, but this poem, by Ellen Bass, makes the idea of praying for peace something we do with our very lives.  If we all prayed for peace like this, what a better world it would be.  

~~Pray to whomever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the bo tree in scorching heat,
Adonai, Allah. Raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekhina, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.

Then pray to the bus driver who takes you to work.
On the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus,
for everyone riding buses all over the world.
Drop some silver and pray.

Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latte and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.

To Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, pray.
Bow down to terriers and shepherds and Siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.
Make the brushing of your hair
a prayer, every strand its own voice,
singing in the choir on your head.
As you wash your face, the water slipping
through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
softest thing on earth, gentleness
that wears away rock.

Making love, of course, is already prayer.
Skin, and open mouths worshipping that skin,
the fragile cases we are poured into.

If you’re hungry, pray. If you’re tired.
Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.

When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
to the video store, let each step
be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
that we do not blow off anyone else’s legs.
Or crush their skulls.
And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheelchair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer as the earth revolves:
less harm, less harm, less harm.

And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail,
or delivering soda or drawing good blood
into rubber-capped vials, twirling pizzas–

With each breath in, take in the faith of those
who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.

Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
feed the birds, each shiny seed
that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.

Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
around your Visa card. Scoop your holy water
from the gutter. Gnaw your crust.
Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
your prayer through the streets.
~~~Ellen Bass

In faith,
Calling all parents/caregivers!
If you have a child at home, please take two minutes to fill out this quick survey for our Religious Education program.  It will help us know how and when to return to RE.
  https://forms.gle/uSxZP2XtUYgrPCJk6Thank you!

In faith,
Board Update
The Board discussed our covid policies and re-opening, the renewal of our lease with Spectrum School, the “Living Our Values” section of the Widening the Circle report, and reviewed, at length, the proposed tactics for our strategic plan.  

Kitchen Clean-Up day
We hope you’ll consider helping! Come help clean up on March 12 at 11 a.m. so we are ready to do coffee hour the next day. Please email Autumn at office@uurockford.org to sign up/lead this clean-up day.
Click Here for Literature Link from Dale
Click Here for Teresa’s Tablet
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact
Social Justice Updates
Eliminate Racism 815

Film Discussion
Friday March 11, 2022 
6-8:30 p.m.

Freedom Summer: Over 10 memorable weeks, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in an historic effort to shatter foundations of white supremacy in Mississippi.
Join Zoom Meeting here: 

The film discussions are presented in partnership with The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area and Rockford Public Library.
Community Events
We will be Livestreaming this service to our YouTube and Facebook account
Special invite from Shiraz to visit Inscape Collective this Friday evening! Check http://www.tirandora.com to see if there are some tickets remaining for their Love Songs & Poetry concert at 7 that evening in the Community Room too!
The Board of Trustees: 
President: Amanda Tapfield          
Clerk: Bob Spelman
Vice-President: Judy Gustafson     
Treasurer: Teresa Wilmot 
Trustees: Khanh Oehlke, Sarah Greer, Jami Edmonds
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |   uurockford.org  |
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