Kairos May 2, 2023


Kairos                                                       05/02/2023

10 Big Ideas: The Tarot
May 7, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Online and in-person 
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

We continue our year-long series on 10 big ideas that have shaped my ministry in these 15 years with a service on Tarot cards in particular and “Western Esoteric Spiritual Practices” in general.  Studying Tarot has given me insights into daily life and the big themes at play.  It is a provocative tool of self-discovery.  This will be a playful and, I hope, insightful time together.

We will share the plate with WCCC Scotti’s Fund
Scotti’s Fund gives financial assistance for reproductive care.

Click Here to Donate

Happy Birthday to: Robert Vogl (05/02), Roger Benedict (05/02), Randy Pellman (05/02), Clark Logemann (05/02), Leigh Kuyper (05/03), Ed Foster (05/04), Mary Ann Brown (05/05), Carol Fox (05/09), & Christe Lunsford (05/09)!

Shari Smallwood had surgery and is recovering at Wesley Willows Rehab Center and would love visits and calls from all of you.

Volunteers for Sunday, May 7
Caring Team will be doing hospitality this Sunday!
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

Thank you to all of you who have already turned in your commitments to support the church in the coming fiscal year. If you haven’t done so yet, please fill it out today:  https://uurockford.breezechms.com/form/20b2b47025.  

Matthew’s Memo May 2, 2023

What a day it was Sunday as we celebrated together our shared ministry.  I’m glad so many of you were present.  Whether online or in person, I hope you heard what I heard: that in our shared ministry, we have been making a difference in the world.  Your clarity of purpose and expectations of my work has made my work stronger, and that we come together to bring love and justice in the world – it matters.  I hope you feel very proud of your congregation. 
Big thanks to Mayor McNamara, Dave Black, Wendy Bennett, Rev. Sharon Dittmar, and my interfaith colleagues – who surprised me by making that video.  And a heartfelt gratitude to Rev. Joyce, Lindsay, Tim, Autumn, and Lauren who it appears conspired to get me the crystal Yoda figurine which has joined my collection of saints, troublemakers, icons, and teachers on my coffee table altar.  It’s wonderful. 
As I said, year 16 begins in August.  I’m looking forward to it!
In other news, now is the time to let me know if you are willing to be a delegate to General Assembly.  It is June 21st through 25th – Wednesday evening through Sunday afternoon.  You can attend online or in person in Pittsburg.  There are worship services, workshops, and “general sessions” where the Article 2 revisions will be debated and other business will be conducted.  It is a wonderful way to experience our faith, and the quality of the online workshops and services is excellent.  If you are willing, please let me know asap and we’ll set you up as a delegate.  If the registration fee for online attendance is prohibitive, the church will cover it. 
In faith

Board Update
The Board approved the revised Letter of Agreement with the Senior Minister, updating our agreement so it matches both the UUA recommendation and our current practice.  We discussed an emergency plan policy, and Matthew will bring it to the staff for feedback before the Board approves it. We discussed our budget priorities and the stewardship campaign, and assigned follow-ups to Board members.

Professionals Attending From:
Members Alliance Credit Union
Midland Bank
Seyller Financial Group
Edward Jones
Keller Williams
Women and Wealth


RSVP Here!

Woodsong is looking to hire a substitute teacher who loves working with young children and being outdoors! Anyone experienced in working with 2-3 year olds will be considered (regardless of education/certification). Candidates must have consistent availability at least some weekday mornings from 8 to noon. Competitive pay offered. If interested, send your resume to director@woodsongschool.com. If you know of someone who would be a good fit for this position, please pass this information along to them!


The Auction is back and scheduled for September 23, 2023. Katie Kerr and Alexis Simmons are looking for help.

Anyone that is interested in (1) Helping plan/set up for the auction or (2) Donating items should reach out to Katie or Alexis.

We will need help with Setting up/Tearing down, Decorating, Working the Event, and Help with Food prep. We are also looking for any Oktoberfest themed decorations people might have stored away and are willing to loan us.

This tapestry was inspired by Dean Tollesrud’s poem.
Prairie Hues
Brown is the color of a season’s growth.
Orange are the flames rising from a prairie fire.
Black are the ashes that remain.
Gray are the spring rains soaking the ashes.
Yellow is the sun arming the darkened soil
Green will be the renewed growth.
Purple come later with new Coneflowers.
It was designed by Robin Gausebeck and stitched by Sandi Campbell, Robin Gausebeck, Susan Halvorsen & Leigh Lakey.  Elizabeth Williams, professional long-arm quilter, executed the quilting designs that enhanced the themes of each section.  This project was made possible by the Floyd Palm Memorial Fund.  Every spring the prairie is burned and that is usually when this tapestry is hung in the sanctuary.  The two panel dynamic, colorful and symbolic quilt hanging was completed in 2006.

Our Caring Team is
a support network within UU Church Rockford that seeks to provide compassionate and caring assistance to members on an as-needed basis. Here are just a couple of the many ways we can connect volunteers to members who have a specific need:

  • We organize the preparation and delivery of meals and the completion of errands for members following surgery or during an illness.
  • We set up rides for members of our community to attend worship services and go to medical appointments.

You can contact Rev. Joyce f you need assistance or know someone who needs support in one of these or other ways.
We would love for you to join our Caring Team. If you are able to help by preparing a meal, dropping off carry-out, running an errand, providing a ride, or something else along these lines for one of our members, feel free to reach out to Rev. Joyce at
The strength of our community is reflected in the ways we support each other and our aim is to continue to grow this important ministry!


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 “Trans Rights, it Matters to All of Us'”
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan 4/18/23
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Community Events

Exploring the Labyrinth
– May 6, 2023; 9:30 am – 12:00 pm – Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Dr., Janesville, WI 53545
Led by the Rev. Suzelle Lynch – $10 – $15:  Register here: 
The labyrinth is a symbol both ancient and modern that anyone can use for meditation, problem-solving, or relaxation. Unlike mazes, labyrinths have no wrong turns. In a labyrinth, a single path leads us through a series of turns until we arrive in a centering place.

Life-size, walkable labyrinths have been present in different cultures around the world for thousands of years, and are available today in public parks, gardens, schools and community centers.

In this workshop, we will learn the benefits of using a labyrinth, explore labyrinth history, learn to draw a simple labyrinth and, in honor of World Labyrinth Day, we’ll walk the lovely labyrinth located at Rotary Gardens. We’ll also learn how to find more local labyrinths for future exploration.

Our workshop leader, Suzelle Lynch, is a UU minister and Janesville resident. She was trained in labyrinth facilitation by Veriditas, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring transformation and renewal through the labyrinth experience. Suzelle is also a member of the world-wide Labyrinth Society, and has 20 years of experience leading labyrinth workshops and walks.

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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