Kairos March 21, 2023


Kairos                                                       03/21/2023

 Living a Life of Surrender
March 26, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Online and in-person 
Rev. Joyce Palmer

The idea of living a life of surrender is complicated by our identities and society. What would it take to create communities where everyone gets to be vulnerable and is supported to embrace their full selves? 

We will share the plate with Habitat for Humanity
Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization. Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes; advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

Click Here to Donate

Happy Birthday to: Katie Kerr (03/21), Warren Urbik (03/22), Barbara Oehlke (03/23), Angelique Bodine (03/23), Mary Diamond (03/23), Jessica Hodierne (03/25), & Allen Penticoff (03/26)!

Volunteers for Sunday, March 26
Ushers: We Need 2 Volunteers
Greeters: We Need 2 Volunteers
Guest Table: Ann Caskey & We Need 1 More Volunteer
Coffee Hosts: We Need 2 Volunteers

Please note that if you volunteer for coffee host you will need to clean up afterward and run the cups through the sanitizer. Spitty and others are happy to help you become familiar with how to handle this easy job.
Sign Up Here


Rev. Matthew is on vacation this week. If you missed it, here is last week’s Memo!

Matthew’s Memo March 14, 2023
On April 1st, we will hold our stewardship celebration.  With the theme of “Come and Be Fed!” we are celebrating how we feed each other and how the church feeds us.  You are invited to bring a dish you love to share. 
You may wonder about the financial state of the church and what our goals for the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1st, are. 
The church is in good shape, thanks to your generosity and support.  Between pledge income, legacy funds, rentals, and the Woodsong Nature School, we have a variety of income sources, which has helped us.  We are fair-share to the Unitarian Universalist Association, we carry no debt, and we have strong legacy funds and decent reserves.
Yet we know that we need to increase our pay for the staff.  Inflation over the last year has been high, as you know. Social Security calculated its cost-of-living-adjustment at 8.7%.  Maybe people have seen wage increases at 4% or more, which doesn’t even really keep pace with inflation in the cost of goods.  We need to keep up. 
The Unitarian Universalist Association did an analysis of staff salaries across the country, and released new recommendations.  These recommendations are adjusted for the typical rates for each community – Rockford falls in “Geo-Index 3” out of 7.  There are recommended ranges for each type of position, based on the persons authority and responsibility and special skills; you place each person in the range based on their experience and effort.  We did an analysis of our folks using this new system.  We found that while we “only” need to do normal cost-of-living increases for most of our folks, some of our people are substantially underpaid.  We need to get them to the right level – it’s the right thing to do, and we don’t want someone else to poach them!
So that’s our stewardship goal – keep funding the rest of our operations, and pay our people correctly.  That’s going to require a 5% or more increase in our budget, so we hope that you can think about at least a 5% increase in your giving – and more, if you can, to balance those who cannot.  Thank you in advance!
In faith

NOTICE of Special Congregational Meeting
April 2nd, 11am

The Board has called a Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, April 2nd, immediately following worship.  One item is on the agenda: to approve a contract with M. Spinello and Son Locksmith to change our office doors from a keyed system to a keycard system.  This bid, for $11,186.50, is very close to the 2% threshold of our operating budget that requires a special meeting, so the Board would like your approval.  The funds come from our Capital Maintenance Reserve fund, so no special fundraising is required.
More than 100 physical keys are currently out to church members, renters, and others – an unacceptable situation.  A modern keycard system allows us to turn off a keycard after authorized use and keep our building secure.  The bid also includes a switch for Autumn, our office manager, to unlock the Office doors from her desk instead of coming all the way around to let in a member, visitor, or delivery person.  The bid includes door hardware, electronics, wiring, and labor to install this cloud-based system. 
If you have detailed questions about this project, please ask Dave Schubert, building and grounds chair.  Please plan to stay after worship on the 2nd for a few minutes for us to call the meeting to order and then to vote.  We do not anticipate a long conversation about the project at the meeting, so please get your questions, if any, answered in advance. 

UU Seder:  Good Friday, April 7th, 6 pm

While we are comfortable celebrating our own cultural customs like Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s really interesting to celebrate the customs of other cultures.  The Passover Seder is a Jewish celebration of freedom.  If you’ve never celebrated a Seder, consider joining us for a UU celebration, which includes the traditional Jewish story and many traditional foods.
Children are not only welcome; they are integral to the celebration.  No babysitters required!
Join us for the story followed by a five-course meal featuring broasted chicken or a vegan entrée.  I need to buy many special kosher foods in Buffalo Grove; I need an accurate count by Sunday, April 2nd.  Please make your reservations in person after the service on Sunday or by email to Autumn in the office at 
office@uurockford.org.  Copy and paste this into your email:
          Family Name:
          Number of adults (@ $12.00):
          Number of children 10 or over (@$6.00):
          Number of children 5 to 9 (@$3.00):
          Number of vegetarian/vegan meals:
          Volunteer task; each family checks one option
          _____ Set-up, arrive at 5:15 pm
          _____ Serve Food during meal
          _____ Clean-up after meal
The cost can be paid at the Seder by check or cash.

Board Update

The board approved a social media and IT security policy.  We called a special congregational meeting for April 2nd after church to approve an upgrade to our office door key system (details elsewhere in this Kairos).  We discussed an Emergency Plan Policy. 

We will be hosting our traditional Easter Egg Hunt for families on Sunday, April 9.  Please email Lindsay Trank, Director of Religious Education, at reuurockford@gmail.com if you are able to volunteer to help make the event possible.  We need help assembling gift bags prior to that Sunday as well as help with setting up before and cleaning up after the event.  Set up begins around 8:30 am – donuts provided!

UU Church Rockford Adult Program

$AVVY, Saturday, May 6, 3 – 5pm
RPL Nordlof Center 

One or our Adult Programs in May is showing the documentary $AVVY, an award-winning film aimed at empowering women to take control of their financial lives. My hope in sharing this film with the Rockford community is to start conversations and connect people with resources to support action. Financial knowledge can increase our emotional and spiritual peace as we become able to meet ours and our families’ needs. Financial freedom is important for women to have independence and choices about their future and to live with dignity and safety.

Although the focus is on women, director of the film Robin Hauser states, “$avvy is a film for women, by women, but by no means does the film exclude men or non-binary individuals in the audience.”

How can you help? We are looking for sponsors and financial experts to support the film and serve as a local resource for those ready to get their financial lives in order. We are planning to have bank representatives, financial investment companies, and community financial educators at the event. If you know someone who may have an interest in sharing their knowledge, let us know.

You can also help fill the auditorium at RPL Nordlof Center. Invite your mothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors to attend. 

Please contact Rev. Joyce or a member of the Racial and Economic Justice Team for more information. revjoycepalmer@yahoo.com

Link to the trailer for $AVVY
$avvy Documentary Trailer

Thinking of spring cleaning?  Think of Woodsong!  We are on the lookout for some items to add to our playground materials.  If you are in a position to donate any gently used items on the following list, please mark them WOODSONG and leave them near the mailboxes across from the elevators.  Thank you so much for thinking of us!
-small wooden bowls (up to 6 inch diameter)
-metal muffin tins/small cake pans/cake pans in interesting shapes (star, heart, flower, etc.)
-melamine dishes (cups, saucers, small plates, bowls)
-measuring cups (metal or plastic), scoops, small sand shovels
-plastic farm animals
-toy trucks/cars (bigger than a Hot Wheel/Matchbox vehicle – no ride-on toys, please)
-small playground balls (no basketballs, footballs, baseballs, please)
-Duplo building blocks (the larger type of Lego) 

And, of course, we are always in need of birdseed.

Photo of the Week!
Activity Fair a Success!
We had several teams and groups represented. Lots of good conversation and information shared.
Thank you to all who participated!


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

Social Justice

Eliminate Racism 815
Book Discussion  
Thursday March 30, 2023  6:00 p.m.

Join us by zoom for a discussion of Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown. The book redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection and introduces 4 practices of true belonging that challenges everything we believe about ourselves and each other. NY Times Bestseller.
Please read the book on your own and we will discuss it. 

Join the Zoom Meeting here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81211275487

Book discussions are presented in partnership with Rockford Public Library.

UUANI Environmental Advocacy Teach-In

Our new statewide Environmental Action Team is planning a UU Environmental Advocacy Teach-In on issues we’ll be advocating for at the April 19 IL Environmental Advocacy Day (see below). Presenters will include UUs who are co-leading the campaign to stop CO2 pipelines for carbon capture and storage in IL.

7pm Thursday April 6

Contact Us to Attend

Click Here for Teresa’s Tablet “Female Journalist”
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan 3/14/23
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Community Events

The Board of Trustees: 
President: Judy Gustafson   
Clerk: Bob Spelman
Vice-President: Spitty Tata
Treasurer: Steve Blomgren
Trustees: Sarah Greer, Jami Edmonds, & Rebecca Beneditz

The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |   uurockford.org  |





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