Kairos March 23, 2021

Kairos                                                      03/23/2021

Holy Disrespect
March 28, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (Online Only at ReStream)
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
Happy Birthday to: Angelique Bodine (03/23), Mary Diamond (03/23), Barb Oehlke (03/23), Jessica Hodierne (03/25), Pat Wengrow (03/25), & Allen Penticoff (03/26)!
We will Share the Plate with 815 Alive
Mission Statement: 815 Alive mission is to inspire the youth of Rockford to love, respect and cherish life by promoting self-love, a love for others, and a love for their community.
 Click here to donate.
Clean Air at Church!  We need your help!
We are planning to install 16 “Ion Generators” for our 16 HVAC units, which will keep the air in our building clean.  These devices reduce the amount of dust, allergens, VOCs, and pathogens – including COVID – in the air. They are part of our way to keep us safe.  Each until is $800.  So, if you don’t need all of the $1400 American Rescue Plan payment many of you will soon get, and want to donate that to the church, we would be grateful.  Send a check and mark it in the memo line, or give online and email us to let us know. 
Coffee Hour with Ministerial Intern–New Hours!
Join Omega for an informal chat on Zoom Fridays between 10 and 11am. Can’t make that time? Feel free to contact Omega to set up a private meeting! 

Zoom information:
Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 566 236 4814
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Please join us as we host RAMP, next Wednesday, March 24th at 7 pm

RAMP responds to inquiries from people with disabilities, family members,
other service providers, the business community, and the general public on programs, resources, and other issues related to disabilities. Questions span a broad range of disabilities-related topics including, but not limited to: Accessible housing, transportation, employment services, personal assistants, assistive technology, and accessibility requirements.
Zoom ID: 337-267-3668

Upcoming Wonderful Wednesdays: 
Two-session class on “How to Have Hard Conversations.”  April 14, 21 at 7 pm

This two week adult program will discuss how to have hard conversations with folks we disagree with — and when not to.  We’ll discuss political, theological, and social differences.  When do you engage?  When do you walk away?  We’ll talk about how to respond to conspiracy theories as well.  Most importantly, we’ll look at how to uphold our 1st principle, that everyone has worth — in a way that also respects our integrity and the truth.  

On zoom, led by Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson.  There will be time to practice what we learn in class and work through example situations. 

Zoom ID: 337-267-3668

Lunch with Matthew
Each Wednesday, starting on March 31st, you are invited to join Matthew and other church members at noon, at the church, to chat, catch up, and reconnect.  We’ll talk about whatever is on our mind.  Bring your own lunch if you like — and bring a lawn or folding chair, because we’ll be outside for this.  (Vaccination encouraged but not required).  If the weather is bad, we’ll skip that week, so check in with the church’s facebook page if you’re unsure. 
Around 12:45, those who are interested are invited to join Matthew on a walk through our neighborhood, as part of the “Faith Leaders ‘Walk the Neighborhood'” challenge.  We’ll see what’s going on in our neighborhood — to celebrate and connect folks.  
Book Discussion
The discussion of the book, So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo will be at 10:30 am on Wednesday, March 31st.  To join us, go to 337-267-3668, the church’s Zoom room.
Passover Seder in a Pandemic 

Passover has been celebrated since 70 CE as a celebration of freedom.  While this is a Jewish celebration, we UU’s have joined our “cousins” to commemorate the freedom of the Israelites from Egypt as well as people everywhere.  

When we celebrated a Zoom Seder on April 14, 2020, we never expected to be repeating it in 2021, but here we are!   With Rev. Matthew on vacation, the final date will be announced in next week’s Kairos, but it will be between March 27th and April 3rd, the dates of Passover this year.  Traditionally, this has been on Good Friday, April 2nd this year, at about 6 pm. 

However, there are preparations that we need to make in advance, and some special items you may need to buy.

There are times in the ceremony when particular foods are used by each person.  If you choose to celebrate with us, please procure these foods in advance, and have on the table ready to use.

One candle:   with matches

Ceremonial wine: traditionally, this is Passover kosher wine, available in the US as Manischewitz and Mogan David.  However, in this emergency, any wine will do, as well as grape juice.

Unleavened bread:  Matzo is the Jewish bread for Passover. This is the one special food that I recommend you buy.  It comes in boxes of about 10 large, flat crackers.  While I buy matzo special for Passover, any matzo will do.  Look for it in the ethnic section of the grocery store.  Soda crackers, while leavened, will do in a pinch.

Bitter herbs:  Parsley is the official “bitter herb,” but cilantro, endive, or even freshly picked dandelion leaves would fit that description.

Salt water:  This is easy to prepare.  Just add a half teaspoon of salt to a cup of water and place it on the table.

Haroses:  This is a salad with many different recipes.  Most recipes use apples, honey, and nuts.  My recipe is:
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped
½ C. finely chopped walnuts
½ t. cinnamon
1 T. honey
1 T sweet red wine  
This makes about 1 cup; make multiples for a larger quantity.

Horseradish:  This is usually found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

Chocolate Coins:  If you have children at your dinner, these coins will be used at the end of the dinner.

In the middle of the ceremony is the dinner.  Our Seder is usually gefeltefish (appetizer), chicken soup with matzo balls, tossed salad, baked chicken with a potato dish, and fruit salad with Passover macaroons for dessert.  Your dinner can be whatever you want to eat.  

However, I always end dinner with Passover macaroons.  These are hard to find in Rockford, but they are available from Amazon.com.  Search for “Passover Food.”  

You can also buy Matzo from Amazon.com, but be careful you don’t buy the big box with 5 small boxes.  Those are for the people who eat no bread, but only matzo for all 8 days of Passover.  We need just one, 1 pound box.  You’ll get a better selection by searching for “Matzo.” 

I look forward to celebrating with you virtually this year, as we look forward to more in-person events later. 

Do You Have Church Keys?

We want to make sure our records are correct and do a bit of “spring cleaning” on our security system. Please email Autumn at uurockford@gmail.com with which keys you have, if you have a front door key we will need the number stamped on it and your security code. If you have lost any keys, it is ok! Just please let us know. If you do not need your church keys anymore you can drop them off in an envelope with your name written on it in our mailbox located outside the office doors.
Thank you!
Justice for All Meeting
This Sunday, March 28th, is our monthly meeting.  We will watch and discuss a video by Dr. David Campt, also known as “The White People Whisperer.”  He is an expert communicator who is sharing his insights with liberals who don’t know how to talk to racists.
For a preview of his ideas, view this video from Comedy Central and have a few laughs in the process.

 Join us by Zoom at 12:30 on Sunday at:
Zoom ID: 337-267-3668
Looking for something joyful to do?!! I wanted to personally invite you to check this event out on
www.jhoole.org where there is a vast variety of videos of performances and presentations for all ages that give you a glimpse of Indian culture and people, that you can access for free through March 31st. If you want to buy a ticket to access the premium programs, please do so by March 19 as two of the three premium programs are on March 20 & March 27, both at 10 AM, with us actually zooming into India on 3/27! There are other ways to shop and support these two organizations that are collaborating in many ways! But most of all, I wanted to make sure you knew about this opportunity- to experience some aspects of India and hear some of my story growing up there & that of others! Feel free to share this & to call me at 815-519-2949 if you have any questions.
-Shiraz Tata
Eliminate Racism 815
Please include Book Discussion for March 25
Film Discussion: Power of Illusion-The Difference Between UsSo why doesn’t it make sense to sort people into biological races? This film examines
contemporary science, including genetics, and challenges our
assumptions about race.  (film online)Friday, April 9, 2021 at 6 PM CDT – 8 PM Online:
Price: Free · Duration: 2 hr

April Book Discussion is:  I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made For Whiteness,
By Austin Channing Brown.
April 29, 2021,  6:00-7:45pm

An In-Person and Online Future

The staff and board have created a draft plan of how we welcome in-person participation in church programs, including worship.  This plan is for your feedback, questions, concerns, and suggestions.  This is a community process, and we want everyone to have lots of time to consider these matters.  We are planning for a future where we have both online and in-person programs, including worship.  We are planning for a future when we can hug – if both people want.  Where we can see each other’s faces, hear each other’s voices, and be in each other’s presence – and where robust online options, safety measures, and other steps keep everyone connected and safe.


Our general principles remain:

  • Inclusivity and justice: We will not exclude people and will take special care that equity and anti-oppression are centered in our decision-making.

  • Safety: We will do our utmost to keep our people and the community safe.  We will not contribute to community spread.

  • Community matters: We value our community and being together.  As soon as it is safe to gather in an inclusive way, we will. 

  • Pro-science: We support vaccination for those who are able to as scientific, reasonable, and loving decisions.  You protect yourself and others. We believe that vaccines are effective and trust the scientists who have worked on them. 


Here is our plan: 

We are in Phase 4.  Matthew will be 10 days past his second dose on Feb 22nd, and at that point in person pastoral care with other vaccinated people will begin in earnest.  Beginning in March, small groups can choose to meet in person or stay online.  We will always continue to have some online-only small groups.  However, worship will remain an online only experience.


When three criteria are met, we will plan to begin hybrid worship – online and in-person – for six weeks following the ascertainment that the criteria are met.  Those criteria are:

1. Illinois has entered or is clearly on track to enter, Phase 5 of the recovery plan.

2. On CovidActNow, Winnebago County’s Infection Rate and Test Positivity is “green.”

3. The vaccine is widely available to adults.  Widely available means free to patients, at multiple accessible locations in the County, with a same-day appointment.    


Once these criteria are met, we will select a Sunday, at least six weeks out from that date, to welcome in-person worshipers.  The first Sunday may be an outside service, before moving inside the next week. 

Assuming this date is in the summer, we will have outdoor-only children’s programs through at least Sept 5th.  If the weather cooperates, children’s programs will be outside as long as possible.  It is important to note that we cannot begin hybrid worship until we have enough RE volunteers to staff the program, including when Lauren and Lindsay are off.  These volunteers cannot be anyone – they need to be able and willing to be out in the woods, on the grounds, being active with children during Summer Sundays.  Vaccines are required for volunteers who work with children, for so long as children cannot be vaccinated.  If you know you will be vaccinated by mid-summer and are ready and able to be a regular RE volunteer, please contact Lindsay. 

Only people who have been vaccinated should volunteer as greeters, ushers, and hospitality hosts.  Contact Chris if you are interested in these roles when we return. 

We pledge that we will be transparent, responsive, and deliberate about how we go about this.  Below is our beginning list of questions and answers.  If you have a question, please ask – it will help us think through all the aspects of this process.  You can email or call Matthew at minister@uurockford.org or 815-398-6322. 



What about masks?

We will require all people to wear masks until Winnebago County reaches a “herd immunity” threshold of at least 70% of the total population vaccinated.  (Staff may remove their masks when working in their own office, and Matthew and Tim will remove their masks when speaking or singing, with adequate distance.) 

After we reach the 70% vaccination threshold, people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, or because they are children for whom the vaccine is not yet approved, should continue to wear masks.  Other people are more than welcome, though not required, to wear masks, whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.  People with any COVID or flu-like symptoms should worship online, and not in person. We may adjust these requirements based on CDC and IDPH guidance.


Will we require proof of vaccination?

We will only require proof of vaccination for RE volunteers.  Hospitality volunteers should be vaccinated, but that, and our encouragement for everyone who is able to be vaccinated, is on the honor system.  We did not feel it was appropriate for the church to ask or keep track of this information.  However, if we find that we have a large number of unvaccinated people whose choice to not get a vaccine puts those who cannot get one for medical reasons at risk, we will reevaluate this.  The Board and staff agree that you can be trusted to get your vaccine – please do so.


Why don’t we worship outside all summer?

Outside worship, though lovely on a mildly warm day, is not accessible.  It is hard to make audio work well outside, it can be too hot for many people, and, if we are on the lawn, folks with mobility challenges cannot access it.


What happens if new variants or slow vaccine uptake changes things?

In all cases, we’ll follow the most conservative advice of the WCHD.  That includes how we might respond to a new strain, to rising case numbers, or other measures.


What happens if we have an outbreak in the church?

If an outbreak occurs among our people (5 or more cases that may be linked), we will pivot immediately to online-only worship while we assess what happened and what steps we should take.


What happens if we can’t get enough RE volunteers?

If we cannot secure sufficient RE volunteers, we will have on-line worship only that week.  Under no circumstances will we have in-person worship without an RE option.


What about singing?

When and how we begin to sing at worship is an open question.  We await the science on this.  It may be that we can begin to sing when we return, or it may be that we wait for a herd immunity threshold. 


What if lots of non-vaccinated people are coming and putting folks at risk?

If we become concerned that a large number of unvaccinated persons is putting the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons at risk, we may require vaccination (or proof of ineligibility) to attend.  The Board will make this decision. Please, plan to get vaccinated if you can.


I know this is driven by metrics, not dates, but what’s your best guess for when we will start in-person worship again?

The key measure is when vaccine supply outstrips vaccine demand. Folks have been guessing that this happens in May, which means it is possible – but by no means for sure – that we will have an outdoor informal worship on July 4th and begin in person worship on July 11th.  That’s a reasonable guess, but it could be a few weeks later or earlier, since some are now estimating that supply could outstrip demand as earlier, as production increases.  


What about Staff who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons?

Staff who are contraindicated for a vaccine because of a history of medication-related anaphylaxis or another similar reason will be offered a reasonable accommodation when possible, and in accord with our staff policies.   That might mean limiting their exposure to crowds though shifts in duties (but not a reduction in hours), providing social distance space around their work area, or other measures.  We will not generally disclose which staff are contraindicated for vaccination, and we strongly encourage congregation members not to pry into the medical status of employees.  Staff who are not medically contraindicated may receive some accommodations, but there are no guarantees.  They have chosen to take that risk.  

How do I submit a question?

Email Matthew at minister@uurockford.org or call at 815-398-6322. 

Literature Link for Mar 21 about Disability
• READING UNIQUELY ME BY TRACE WILSON | Kelsey.  In this video she reads the story Uniquely Me by Trace Wilson in hopes of spreading the message of accepting others for who they are!  The child in the story and the person reading the story were both born with one hand. The youtube video here has a nice presentation, and is about 5:15 minutes. Age 31/2 and up. 
• From the Institute on Disability Culture are 4 poems by Steven E. Brown who is a co-founder of the Institute and who writes about the disability rights movement. “Have you heard  
’bout the man/ in the motorized chair?/ Found no ramp at the/ movie theater/
did he despair? No.”

• THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME [PDF] [EPUB] [FB2] FREEby Mark Haddon. I read this book about 5 years ago.  It is told through the point of view of a young child who is autistic. This is a mystery story and we get inside the head of the narrator-protagonist.  This link is a free pdf. [or public library]
• Disability VisibilityFirst-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century by Alice Wong
One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people. [public library]
[On audible: narrated by Alejandra Ospina, Alice Wong. Free trial] An interview with the author on her podcast-  
https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/podcast-2/  and her conversation with a disabled woman at –  https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Fashion.pdf
In faith,
Dale Dunnigan

Use this simple application to sign up to receive a Covid-19 vaccination through Winnebago County Public Health Department. 
*ZOOM Church Calendar*
Most “all church” events will be 337-267-3668. This is the Personal Meeting
ID for “Thomas Kerr,” our online identity (and the minister from 1870-1900,
who used all the new technology of his time to reach those he
served). Generally, there will be a waiting room and the host will need to
admit you. 

Coffee Hour on Sunday. 337-267-3668. 11:10 am. Chris will
be host.

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 group – a book group, a parent group, a “circle supper”, or
whatever you like? You can create a free Zoom account (40-minute limit,
though often waived by zoom at minute 35). Or, you can use “Thomas Kerr’s”
– 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  |
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