Kairos May 28, 2024


Kairos                                                       05/28/2024

Renewal Through Music
June 2, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

Music lifts our soul, speaks to our sorrow, and renews our lives. We’ll begin our month on “renewal” by celebrating music and the 20 years of ongoing leadership by our Music Director, Dr. Tim Anderson. Be ready to laugh, learn, sing, and give thanks.

We will share the plate with Nature at the Confluence

Mission Statement:
Nature At The Confluence creates community connections by providing inviting spaces and engaging programs.
Strategic Goals 2023-2025:
Enhance facilities to provide more self-guided educational opportunities and accessible recreational spaces.
Engage a more diverse spectrum of our community through partnerships and programs.
Build a sustainable organizational structure and funding strategy.

Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, June 2
Thank you to the Board for volunteering for hospitality this Sunday!
Contact Rev. Joyce to sign up at assistminister@uurockford.org

Happy Birthday to: Kegan Oehlke (May 28), Emerson Veile (May 29), Jennifer Lavasseur (May 31), Kathleen Welch (Jun 02), & Trevor Booth (Jun 02)!

Matthew’s Memo

This Sunday, we’ll celebrate Tim Anderson’s 20 years of ongoing service as Music Director at our church.  It’s important to say ongoing – he’s not going anywhere!  When we celebrated my 15th year with you last year, folks wondered the same.  And part of what we are about here is to celebrate more. 
I recently had a conversation with one of my many coaches where we talked about how we need to celebrate more.  We are doing great work here. And I recalled a consulant visit we had years ago here where his main advice was “shine brightly.”  We were keeping our light under a bushel.  We should strut more, and shine more. 
This goes against my inclination. I love that line in the Tao Te Ching that the sage “does their work and then steps back.”  As a middle-class white man who does not want to center myself, I’m careful about bragging. And as one who is deeply aware of the harm that ministers can do when they forget their role, I like to keep the focus on your spiritual development and growth.
And the predominant culture of this church – Nordic Midwestern-ness – is also much more humble.  We don’t do showy.  Even when we do things like volunteer recognition or donor celebration events folks say “aw, it’s no big deal. Don’t make a fuss.” 
But I think we should make fuss a little more. 
For our size, we have a remarkable choral music program, and we should be proud of that. Long stable ministries like mine with you are rare, and we should be proud of that. The vitality of our religious education program post-covid is amazing, and the envy of many other congregations in Rockford, and we should be proud of that. We have an active and engaged Faith in Action ministry, and should be proud of that. We are about to have a bunch of new members, and attendance and participation is strong, and we should be proud of that. We had a very successful stewardship campaign, our legacy funds have increased six-fold in 15 years, and we have good reserves – and we should be proud of all that, as well as that 100% of our legacy funds are invested in Socially Responsible Investing portfolios.  We have a hard-working, always-learning, long-term staff – and we should be both proud of that, and tell them how much you appreciate their work. 
So get ready to be proud, to strut, and to celebrate.  We’re going to be doing more of it. 
In faith,

The Board
Meeting Recap: The board approved hiring Rev. Allison Farnum for sabbatical coverage. The board selected the General Assembly delegates and instructed them to vote YES on the new Article 2. We reviewed the nominating committee’s work and thanked Gary Lawrence for his work on this.  We approved the budget for the congregational meeting on June 9th. 

It’s not too late!  

Thank you to all who have already made their pledge for the coming year.  We have had a wonderful campaign, with so much support for our shared ministry.  If you haven’t told us about your gift yet, you can do that now by clicking on this link: https://uurockford.churchcenter.com/people/forms/706108

We want everyone to participate, so if you are a member or active friend of the church, please do so today!

Thank you.

New Database Update

We are moving to a new database at church, and need your help.  Please go to uurockford.churchcenter.com and sign in.  (It’s easy!)  Update your information and look out for emails to fill in info and add yourself to the directory.  You can also scan this QR code: 

Do it today!

Who Makes a Difference in Our Community?

The Social Justice Team is seeking nominees for the Connolly Community Service Awards for 2023. 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, Mary 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, Bob Babcock, Shiraz Tata, Allyson Rosemore & Rebecca Beneditz. 

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.

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 have done the work of justice in our community. Two years ago 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 uurockford@gmail.com) by June 3rd. The nominations will be reviewed and a selection made by the Social Justice Team before the annual meeting.

We are marching in the Rockford Area Pride Parade this Saturday, June 1. Here are the directions:

We will meet in Staging Area #2, which is on 5th Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets.  It is near Colorlab Cosmetics, kitty corner from Ernie’s Midtown Pub.  The route is about 17 blocks, traveling west and ending at Beattie Park. Be there by 10:30, or at least check in with Lia Gima at 414-915-3426 (call or text). Wear your yellow Side with Love Shirt if you have it, and bring flags, beads, whatever – make it fun!  We have extra flags too.  We are not allowed to throw anything, but we will have some church information to hand out.

We recommend parking near the end (near the Library, perhaps) and then walking to the start; or parking midway.  You can also pair up with someone to put a car on both ends.  So far two people have volunteered to leave their cars at the end of the parade and shuttle folks back to their cars when it’s over.

Link to parade map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=12toWcUms1SrE_MlcqfnZA8HmfgVAYxs&femb=1&ll=42.267991296493335%2C-89.09010416172302&z=15

A few more things
– Wear good walking shoes–the parade route is about 17 blocks long.

– Yellow “Side With Love” t-shirts are encouraged, but not required.

– Bring water, sunscreen, whatever you need for the weather and to take care of your health.

– Be mindful of personal belongings. Keep valuables in a zippered pocket fanny pack or cross-body bag, and don’t bring unnecessary items.

– Ignore any protesters. Smile and wave to your fans, which will be pretty much all the spectators–they love you!

Nonviolent Communication Practice Group
Wednesday, May 29 at 6pm in the Sanctuary

NVC Practice Group is open to anyone with an interest in learning about practicing the Nonviolent Communication process.

The intention of this group is to deepen our NVC consciousness, develop our awareness and practice our skills. We have a set of GROK cards to help us process our feelings and needs together. The process helps us improve the quality of our relationships.

All are Welcome!

Rockford University’s Friends of the Performing Arts is hosting a fundraising event Sunday afternoon, June 2, to help send students to the international theatre festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Enjoy bagpipers (including church member Ken Ring!), strings players from The Music Academy, and more.

Contact Kathy Scarpaci for tickets.

The Eco Justice Team invites you to our Wonderful Wednesday on the church grounds on June 5 at 6pm! We will introduce the new trail map that the Eco Justice team has put together and then walk the main church trail discussing native and invasive plants and getting a renewed appreciation for the natural world around us. We will also share information about restoration and nature access work being done by our community partners. Our walk will end at the bonfire circle for conversation, s’mores, and hot dogs for all – vegan options will be provided. All ages are welcome!

Parents’ Night Out Thursday, June 6 5:30 – 8:00
Kids are invited to spend some time at church while you take some time to yourself. We will have a dinner/snack available and time to play.

Please sign up here.

This will be our last Parents Night Out until September.

We are pleased to announce that the Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford will hold a Child Dedication during worship on Sunday, June 9, 2024.  The dedication will be a simple ritual in which the congregation commits to the spiritual welfare and development of the child and their family.  Though the ritual is not a baptism, some similar symbolism will be incorporated into the ceremony.  Children of any age who have not previously been dedicated are welcome to participate in the ritual.  Children who participate are welcome to have their parents and siblings as well as one or two sponsors join them at the front of the sanctuary during the dedication.  If you would like to participate in the Child Dedication, please e-mail Lindsay Trank at reuurockford@gmail.com by Wednesday, June 5.  We hope you will join us for this special occasion!

Supporting WNIJ-FM
I admit, I’m an NPR junkie.  If you have your preset on 89.5 and listen to “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” you’re probably already donating to this station.  But your dollars can go even farther if you donate to  them through this church.  One hundred percent of the dollars donated specifically to WNIJ on our website will go to WNIJ over time as we fund spot announcements of our Rockford congregation.  It’s still a donation for IRS purposes, but to the church, and it supports our “addiction,” as well.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot

Sunday Morning Meditation

Led by Mario Caputo

Meets 1st and 3rd Sundays starting June 2

Enjoy group meditation from 9:15 to 9:45, before the Sunday Service! Yogic meditation helps to strengthen and integrate body, mind and soul while bringing a sense of calmness, well-being, and ever deepening self-realization to the devoted practitioner.

Explore a low-impact energizing yoga, scientific healing affirmations and guided breathwork meditation in a small group setting led by Mario Caputo. Mario began studying meditation 28 years ago and has practiced twice a day for the past decade.” We will meet in the Library, possibly outside when the weather is nice.

The Nominating Panel is pleased to announce the slate of candidates to be approved at the Annual Meeting on June 9th, 2024.  

For the Board:
For President: Matt Menze (1-year term)
For Vice-President: Wendy Bennett (1-year term)
For Treasurer: Bob Spleman (1-year term)
For Clerk: Kim Lowman Volmer (1-year term)
For At-Large: Neita Webster (3-year term)
Note: Rebecca Beneditz and Clark Logemann continue as at-large Trustees.

For Covenant and Safety Team:
Alexis Simmons (3-year term)
Note: Matt Menze and Amy Brandon continue as members of the Covenant and Safety Team

For the Nominating Panel:
Spitty Tata (2-year term)
Katy Conrad (2-year term)
Reene Mealey (2-year term)
Larry Hughes (1-year term)
Note: Gary Lawrence continues as a member of the Nominating Panel.

We thank all those who have agreed to serve!

ER815 Book Discussion
Thursday May 30, 2024  6:00-7:30 p.m.
Join us by zoom for a discussion of How to Fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss. Anti-Semitism now finds a home in identity politics. A hatred that was, until recently, reliably taboo has migrated toward the mainstream, amplified by social media and a culture of conspiracy that threatens us all.
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. 

Looking for a copy of one of the books? The Rockford Public Library is pleased to offer the books for our discussion series in multiple formats. In addition to in print, RPL has many in the Cloud Library which may be accessed with your RPL card.  Titles are available in audio and e-book formats.


ER815 Film Discussion

Friday June 14, 2024 
6:00-9:00 p.m.
We will watch Native American Religion in Prison: Great Spirit within the Hole: Native American spirituality was once against the law in the US. Some have reconnected with their religion and spirituality.

 Join us at the Baha’i Center 1650 N Alpine: Lower level in Highcrest Shopping Center. 
We will show the film at The Baha’i Center in person with a facilitated discussion after the showing of the film.

The film discussions are presented in partnership with The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area and Rockford Public Library.

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 June 4, 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 Perspective: My Epiphany at the Stoplight
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan 5/26/28 Poem by Richard Gregg
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Community Events

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  |





Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.