Kairos March 26, 2024


Kairos                                                       03/26/2024

Easter: Turn the World Around
March 31, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person

Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

We will Share the Plate with UUMFE
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth is a seedbed for spiritual grounding and education that inspires deep practices of Earth care, justice, and flourishing for all. We are a continental ministry, offering worship and small group ministry resources anchored in Earth care and climate justice, curriculum, chaplaincy for activists and advocates, and gatherings.
Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, March 31
Greeters: 2 Volunteers Needed
Guest Table: 2 Volunteers Needed
Ushers: Gaen McClendon & Wanda Hoover
Coffee Hosts: 2 Volunteers Needed

Sign Up Here

Happy Birthday to: Allen Penticoff (03/26), Dan Hatfield (03/29), & Dianne Stenerson (03/31)!

Here is a little video I shot (Ruth videographer) Sunday before the weather turned really foul, of me celebrating my upcoming 70th birthday on Tuesday.
Actually, this is my second skateboard. On my 62nd birthday I bought a “regular” skateboard, but with no intent to use it in skateparks or do tricks ( I gave it to a grand-nephew ), I switched to this longboard with big wheels. It is very fast and stable. It will roll over some pretty rough stuff – like snow. (In the video I start at the edge of the suspension bridge*, but in summer I’ll start well onto it and roll on the planks that were snow covered on Sunday). It really needs brakes. So, mostly I roll around the big gentle slopes of church parking lots. It is sort of like snowboarding on land. I always walk back uphill and usually stop after three runs. That’s enough. But, in warm weather this happens about once a week. And the eating the cupcake (bring yours tomorrow) was “icing on the cake.” A two-fer pleasure!
* The suspension bridge spans the Kishwaukee River in Atwood Park, just south of Rockford IL. A favorite natural spot near our home.
Since most of you don’t know my story…
I was born in Freeport IL on 03/26/54 during a snowstorm. So I feel it is an honor if it snows on or near my birthday. We got that on Friday (3/22) with 6 inches of snow! —- I soloed an airplane and got my driver’s license on my 16th birthday (airplane first) in SNOW then a year later, got my Private Pilot’s License on my 17th birthday – flying out of MUD. So, to this day, I try to go flying on or as near my birthday as I can. This year, probably I will fly on Wednesday, as Tuesday’s weather is awful. Comes with our latitude/local.
See you tomorrow. Bring your cupcake!

Submitted by Allen Penticoff

This week is spring break! Please call ahead of time before going to the church to make sure someone will be there.

We wanted to extend these invitations from Matt Meyer, who led our worship service this past Sunday.

  • You can stay in touch with Matt by signing up for his ‘worship & music’ email list here

  • You can get a copy of his award-winning children’s book “Desmond Gets Free” here.

  • You can read more about the possible changes to the UU Association’s Article II here.

  • Matt’s just finished a series of articles on the history of congregational singing in UUism, check them out here

Easter Egg Hunt Sunday, March 31

We hope that you will join us for our annual Easter Egg Hunt that is lovingly planned and implemented for the children and youth of the congregation.  This is a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy each other and the beautiful church grounds.  We look forward to having you share the joy of this event!
You can do the following things to help ensure the success of the event:

  • Remember to bring a basket or bag to collect Easter Eggs.
  • Be sure that at least one adult supervises each child during the event.
  • Dress appropriately for having fun outside.

Please contact Lindsay Trank at (815)398-6322 ext. 5 or
reuurockford@gmail.com with any questions.

Nonviolent Communication Practice Group
Wednesday, March 27 at 6pm

We are getting together to learn how to apply the principles of Nonviolent Communication in our personal, professional, and congregational lives. If you are interested in learning and practicing the nonviolent communication, we are meeting once or twice a month as our schedule allows.

Our first meeting is Wednesday, March 27 at 6pm. We will meet in the Sanctuary. 

Board Update
The board discussed the new database plans and completed their stewardship gifts for the coming fiscal year. 

Thursday, April 4th 5:30 – 8:00pm

Kids are welcome to come play at church. We’ll have dinner ready. Maybe we’ll go outside!

Register using this link by April 1st

Passover Seder, UU Style

This year our congregation will celebrate its Seder on Wednesday, April 24th at 6 pm, on the third night of Passover.  This is a Jewish celebration of the perilous exodus of the Jews from Egypt in 1313 BCE.  Our celebration reflects that of our Jewish neighbors in that it is a family ritual; children are integral part to the ceremony, however we celebrate as a community, as well.
Included in the celebration is a 5-course dinner which includes several Jewish specialties including matzoh balls, Passover macaroons, gefilte fish, and matzah.  Vegan food will also be available.  Food is one way we share our unique cultures. 
This year’s celebration is different from prior years’.  Several of our Jewish members have input their ideas.  This year you will hear a cantor sing a few parts in Hebrew before our English translation.
To make the celebration more accessible to families, this year children 12 and under will be free. 
You may copy and paste this form into an email to send to
­­­_____ ­­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________________________________________________
                 2024 UU Passover Seder
Family Name:­­­­­­. _______________________________
          Number of adults (@ $12.00):                           _____
          Number of children 12 or over (@$6.00):           _____
          Number of children 5 to 11 (FREE)                    _____
          Number of vegetarian/vegan meals:                  _____
_____ ­­­­­­­­­________________________________________________________________
Please note this special celebration on your calendar now.

Do you like sitting outside in the summer chatting with friends?
The Pantry team is starting to plan our summer pop-ups and we’d love to have you get involved! We will use the pantry pop-ups to get feedback on the pantry and continue to connect with our neighbors. This is low effort volunteering – it will be 1-2 times a month for a few hours, most of which will be spent chatting, eating snacks and enjoying the sunshine. You can do it just one time during the summer or come to every pop-up, whatever works for you. If you’re interested, please get in touch with Dawn Nimmo or email 
uurockford.ecojustice@gmail.com. Thank you!

Spiritual Direction at UU Church

Join Gloria Perez, trained Spiritual Director, and a small group of seekers for a spiritual direction group. The group meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 6pm on Zoom.

Spiritual Direction explores a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human. Simply put, spiritual direction is helping people tell their sacred stories everyday.

If you are interested in joining the group, contact Gloria at gjp68@me.com for more information.

Calling all Small Group Leaders!

We are updating our database and entering small group leaders and participants. If you are a small group leader, please email me with your contact information, brief description, and the names of people who participate in your group.

Small Groups gather to connect and pursue shared interests. I have Soul Matters, Spiritual Direction and New Moon group leaders. 

Other group leaders, please get in touch with Rev Joyce at revjoycepalmer@yahoo.com

For Adults

Do you people do anything but talk about sex? No. Not really. The Unitarian Universalist Association has developed a stellar comprehensive sex education curriculum known as Our Whole Lives. As the title suggests, it is not a one and done, but rather a topic to be revisited as we grow and mature. Join us as Wendy Bennett and Leah Krippner facilitate an adult exploration of sexuality in the 21st century. Anyone 18 and up is welcome to join. 


This month we will discuss Sexuality & Spirituality, focusing on defining spirituality and examining how sexuality works in this context. Folks are welcome to join for a single session or sign up for all of them. 




Click Link to sign up

Wednesday April 17 6:30pm

Sexuality & Spirituality

Sign up!

Wednesday May 15 6:30pm

Sexual Pleasure

Sign up!

Getting to Know UU Sessions

Join us for our welcome program designed to provide newcomers with the opportunity to learn about the congregation and how to get connected. We hope you will find this community to be a religious home.
There are 4 sessions, the first is a series of videos and the other three are in person on Sundays in the Sanctuary from 11:15 – 11:45. You can complete the sessions at any time. Sessions will repeat monthly.
*Watch 4 Introduction Videos Prior to In-Person Sessions*
April 14 Getting Connected with Rev. Joyce
April 21 Living Our Faith with Lindsay and Allyson
April 28 Our Story with Rev. Matthew
Hope to see you!

Video session takes about 30 minutes to complete.
Video session takes about 30 minutes to complete
1. A History of Unitarianism: BaseCamp: 5 Minute History of Unitarianism


BaseCamp: 5 Minute History of Unitarianism

2. A History of Universalism: BaseCamp: A History of Universalism in 5 Minutes


BaseCamp: A History of Universalism in …

3.   UU theology video by Rev. Matthew Johnson: (12 minutes): UU theology by Matthew Johnson


UU theology by Matthew Johnson

4. After you’ve watched Matthew’s Theology video, watch this video of “Holy Now” by Peter Mayer: Peter Mayer “Holy Now” (with lyrics in captions)


Peter Mayer “Holy Now” (with lyrics in…

Questions, email Rev Joyce at revjoycepalmer@yahoo.com

Our Faith in Action Team leaders encourage you to fill out this Community Health Assessment for Winnebago County. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete and is a way to have our UU Principles and values represented in local policy making on social justice issues such as housing and food access. Click here or scan the QR code to get started!

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.

Rare Earth Food Collective
is an online farmers’ market featuring local food and products. We help producers work together to meet the growing demand for local, sustainable food in Winnebago, Boone, and McHenry Counties. Instead of you driving all over the countryside to buy from different farms, we collaborate to bring the food to you. You can choose home delivery or a nearby pickup location. We deliver orders every Tuesday, year-round. There is no minimum order, and no requirement to order every week. Ordering from REFC helps to build and support our local food community, preserve our agricultural land for future use, and reduce our carbon footprint. It also provides you with fresh food that tastes delicious and is good for you. 

For members who already attend UU regularly, we will be there on Tuesdays in Deale Hall to pack our orders for distribution – meaning you could place an order for Tuesday pick up right at the Church! 

To register as a customer visit: https://refc.localfoodmarketplace.com/

The next pick-up will be on April 2, 2:30 – 3:00. This time period may be adjusted.

The buying window on the website will go live with products (for shopping) from Saturday at Noon, until Monday at Noon, but you can sign up as a customer at any time!

We look forward to serving you!

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 “Flexing my Activist Muscles”
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan “One,” 3/17/24″
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Click Here to View UUA GA 2024

Community Events

On Wednesday, April 10, distinguished authors Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law; Just Action) and daughter Leah Rothstein (Just Action) will present a 45-minute lecture followed by Q&A focused on addressing residential segregation in our community. The Rothsteins’ lecture will be centered around their latest co-authored book, Just Action, which describes how we can begin to address segregation in our community, providing dozens of strategies local groups can pursue for racial housing justice.

This event is being co-hosted by Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity and Rock Valley College’s PAIC office as well as a collective of planning partners. It is made possible thanks to a generous Healing Illinois Grant through the Field Foundation and Illinois Department of Human Services.  There is no cost to attend.

I hope to see you there, and I hope you’ll join us in committing to action around this issue! Please help spread the word to others in our community.

What: Housing Justice Symposium with Richard Rothstein and Leah Rothstein

When: Wednesday, April 10

                        5:00 – Doors Open

                        5:30 – Event Start

                        7:30 – Book Signing (ends at 8:00) A limited number of books will be sold on site

Where: Rock Valley College Physical Education Center (3301 North Mulford Road, Rockford IL, 61114)

Register: While not required, we would appreciate registrations at:


Rockford’s First Official Pride Parade will be held downtown on June 1st, 2024! We need lots of volunteers to make this a success. Please sign up to help out at https://www.rockfordareapride.org/contact-8

Want to march in the Parade? Sign up here asap – https://www.rockfordareapride.org/online-store/2024-Parade-Entry-p620970387

The MidAmerica Region is coming together – both online and at the First Unitarian Society of Madison, WI on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 of 2024 for a multiplatform Regional Assembly! 

Our Keynote address will be given by the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. 

There will be workshops, the Annual Business Meeting of the MidAmerica Region, and opportunities to meet many UU Leaders from across our faith tradition. 

For those who are in person, there will even be opportunities to tour this historic church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. 

But most importantly, it is a time for us to come together as Unitarian Universalists from across the MidAmerica Region.

Please join us, online and in-person for our first-ever multi-platform MidAmerica Regional Assembly!  

Register Now

Bayside UU Family Camp 
Looking for a great summer experience? Join us at Bayside UU Family Camp held at Lutherdale Camp on the shores of Lauderdale Lakes in Elkhorn, WI. This year, camp will take place June 30th – July 6th. This special week includes adult workshops, activities for children, free time for family fun and relaxation, and intergenerational activities. For more information visit our website at 
baysideuu.wixsite.com/baysideuu or contact baysideuu@gmail.com.

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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