The Courage to Be
May 22, 2022, at 10:00 a.m.Online and in-person Paul Tillich, the great existential theologian of the 20th century, believed that human beings faced a set of anxieties which could only be met with deep, profound courage. These anxieties included our knowledge of our own death, worry about our moral failings, and fear of meaninglessness. To have courage in the face of these worries means not denial, but facing them and transforming them. When we do this, our life has more meaning and joy. We’ll explore what it means for us today to be courageous in anxious times. This is a bring-a-friend Sunday, so please do!
Happy Birthday to: Cynthia Swacina (04/17), Wanda Hoover (04/18), Hollis Hanson (04/21), Sandy Perpignani (04/21), & Scott Garwick (04/22)!
Volunteers for Sunday, May 22
Ushers: We Need 2 Volunteers
Greeters: We Need 2 Volunteers
Guest Table: We Need 2 Volunteers
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.
Professor Belew describes the similarities between the manifestos issued by the shooter in Buffalo to those from Christchurch, New Zealand (where the target was a Mosque) and Charleston, South Carolina (a Black Church) and El Paso (A Walmart in a Latino neighborhood). She connects these to the rhetoric of Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump, and others, and this long-standing anti-Semitic and racist conspiracy theories of the far-right.
It’s an illuminating explanation of the ideology that runs through cable news, chat rooms, and social networks to justify the murder of Black and brown people, immigrants, and Jews.
I’m struck, of course, by the theological piece. There has always been, in various religious movements, a strand of violent xenophobia and Othering. “Those who do not agree with us are to be killed.” “We are the faithful remnant and must be protected.” This is, however, contrary to the actual message of most religious prophets, who speak of including, expanding, and loving.
In the end, it is a question of recognizing the humanity of others, including those who are different from us in some way deemed to matter. Are those whose ancestral homeland, skin tone, and religious practice is different from ours fully human? We say, without equivocation, “yes.” But these manifestos, and the popular right-wing commentators who fan these flames, say “no.” (Am I saying that Tucker Carlson has blood on his hands? Yes I am.).
What can we do? Interrupt these ideologies. When you hear demeaning rhetoric, condemn it. Speak your own truth: that we are all human and that dehumanizing jokes and language leads to bloodshed, and you will not accept it around you. Make connections with folks across these boundaries in ways that are supportive and mutual, not patronizing. Vote for folks who take the threat of white supremacist terrorism seriously, and want to do something to interrupt these networks and ideologies.
The story about the frog in hot water isn’t true. The frog will jump out when it is too hot. But the point, that we can get used to things that are evil, is true. We need to say it’s not okay. And get out of the water and turn off the heat.
From the Nominating Committee:
We have the following nominees for your consideration the Annual Meeting on June 12th, 2022
Pres: Judy Gustafson (one-year term)
VP: Spitty Tata (one-year term)
Clerk: Bob Spelman (one-year term)
Treasurer: Steve Blomgren (one-year term)
At large: Jami Edmonds (to fill unexpired one-year term)
Shoko Chien (three year-term)
Nominating: Judy Johnson (two-year term)
Dan Fellars (two-year term)
Amanda Tapfield (two-year term)
Conflict Resolution: Jessica Hodierne (three-year term)
The Library Team is pleased to announce the addition of “Prophetic Sisterhood” by Cynthia Grant Tucker to our collection.
Submitted by Mike Ullrich
Let’s Get Together Again!!
The UU Church Auction website – Auctria – is now open for donations. Richness is found in relationships. It’s powerful to join with people to play games…enjoy a wine tasting…go paddling!!
We hope that you have been thinking about a social gathering to donate and host sometime this year. Let your creativity kick in, the possibilities are endless!! This is our goal for this year’s auction.
Below you will find the link to our auction website. You may now self-post your donations starting Monday, May 16. Donations will be accepted through Tuesday, May 31. Bidding on items will begin on Wednesday, June 1 and continue until the night of the Annual Meeting – Sunday, June 12 at 9 p.m.
If you have any questions or need assistance in entering your donation, you can reach out to Wendy Bennett – 815-218-0082 or Peggy Menze – 360-485-8324. If you prefer, manual donation forms will be available in the Narthex the next 2 Sundays. They can be turned in to Autumn at the office or given to Wendy or Peggy.
Bring a Friend Sundays
Do you have a friend or neighbor who might be interested in learning more about our spiritual community?
Sunday, May 22 is Rev. Matthew preaching on the Courage to Be which promises not only to inspire and challenge us, but also provide encouragement to practice our faith in meaningful ways.
Our Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Team is hosting a training on Microaggressions and Disability on Monday, May 23 at 11am. The Oops/Ouch presentation will be presented by RAMP. Our congregation is engaging in the certification program with the Unitarian Universalist Association to improve our welcome and support of people with disabilities and their families.
We need at least 7 people to register to proceed with the training. Please email Rev. Joyce Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and to register.
Downton Abbey at the Movies! Friday, May 20 at 4pm
Downton Abbey is back and the Crawley family goes on a grand journey to the South of France. If you are interested in attending the movie as a group and going out for a meal at Thunder Bay Grille, please email Rev. Joyce Palmer. We will purchase tickets on May 18th and meet at AMC 16 Rockford, 8301 East State Street, Rockford.
Wonderful Wednesday at the Family Peace Center 315 N Main Street, Rockford May 25th 5:15pm.
Join us for a tour and brief presentation regarding the work of the Family Peace Center as we learn about the Center’s mission to contribute to a thriving community by caring for domestic violence survivors and their work to prevent violence.
Path to Membership
Membership is an important step in building a relationship with UU Church Rockford community. If you have been attending services and feel like this church might be a good fit for you, we invite you to come to our next Path to Membership class on Saturday, June 4 from 9:30 – 2:00 at the church. Rev. Matthew, Rev. Joyce and members of the congregation will provide an overview of the church and ways to connect. Come and Meet other newcomers and get your questions answered.
When: Saturday, June 4 9:30 – 2:00
Where: UU Church Rockford Library
Who: Anyone interested in learning more about Unitarian Universalism, membership and meeting other newcomers
**Childcare provided upon request
Who Makes a Difference in Our Community?
The Social Justice Team is seeking nominees for the Connolly Community Service Awards for 2022. A bit of history of the awards and the nomination procedures follow. If you know someone – or a group of people — you think should receive one of these awards, please turn in nominations to the church office.
History: In 1993 the church initiated a community service award to recognize a member of the congregation for significant contributions to the community. The award was named for Dr. Charles Parker Connolly, minister of our congregation from 1913 to 1942, and a recognized community leader.
To date the award has been presented to the following individuals: Walt Lewis, Marky Caskey, Martha Logemann, Pat Tollefsrud, Sandra Locke, David Weissbard, Lynn Liston, Pat Lewis, Jon McGinty, JoAnn Shaheen, Leigh Lakey, Roger Oehlke, Lola Gustafson, Allen Penticoff, Colleen McDonald, Jackie Dehler, Bob Arevalo, Dave Black, Myrna Lake, Dave Lantz, Barb Giolitto, Duane Wilke, Ellyn Ahmer, Dale Dunnigan, Nikki Ticknor, and Bob Babcock.
More recently an award was established to recognize a young person, 8th grade through high school, for service to the church and community. Recipients to date are Emma Stocker, Katie Whitworth, Sandra Hill, Jackie Whitworth, Emily Pfleiderer, Max Freund, and Ari Almonaci.
For the second year, the Social Justice Council has decided to have a “group” award. This award will be for a group of people, formally or informally organized, who has done the work of justice in our community. Last year the award went to the Cornucopia Group.
The awards are presented at the annual meeting of the congregation.
The nominations should include:
A detailed description of volunteer and/or professional involvement and accomplishments, tasks, performed and issues addressed impact on others, and other relevant information.
A signed statement that the nominee is willing to be nominated.
A nomination should include the name of the nominator and is due in the office (Send to Autumn email@example.com) by June 7th. The nominations will be reviewed and a selection made by the Social Justice Team before the annual meeting.
Thursday May 26, 2022 6:00 p.m.
Join us by zoom for a discussion of Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America by John Lewis. The book draws from his experience as a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement to offer timeless wisdom for anyone interested in inspiring real change toward a freer more peaceful society.
Please read the book on your own and we will discuss it.