Kairos May 7, 2024


Kairos                                                       05/07/2024

Pick Your Battles

May 12, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. Online and in-person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

What does the wise mother, and wise parent, have in common with the Philosopher Karl Popper?  And what does that wisdom tell us about how to approach this fraught moment in time?  Come find out!

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

Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, May 12
Thank you to the Racial & Economic Justice Team for volunteering this Sunday!
Contact Rev. Joyce to sign up at assistminister@uurockford.org

Happy Birthday to: Carol Fox (May 09), Christe Lunsford (May 09), Erika Villalobos-Miller (May 11), Marigold Smith (May 11), Colleen Smitherman (May 12), Janet Wasson (May 12), Molly Soper (May 12), & Sandra Locke (May 13)!
As many of you know, Randy Locke is in the hospital at UW Madison to learn the source of symptoms of serious concern. His Caring Bridge site from 2011 has been reactivated so that family and friends can know new developments as our son Randall posts them. You can learn more, and send us a note if you wish,  by creating your own password at caringbridge.org/visit/randylocke

Matthew’s Memo
We slip closer and closer to Summer.  It is a gorgeous day today as I write on Monday, as it was yesterday.  After hearing Jim Winkler’s call to action, and meeting with some folks about stewardship, I took myself on a 10-mile hike at Rock Cut State Park. It is my hope to do the Camino de Santiago, 33 days or so of walking 15 miles each day through Spain, this fall.  Training is underway!  Close readers have enquired about these sabbatical dates and plans.  Plans are still being finalized, but I intend to be on Sabbatical from Sept 9th through Oct 24th, and again from Jan 23rd to April 7th.  Our agreement together provides 1 month for each year of service; this will be my fourth sabbatical with you.  These times to restore, reflect, learn, and reset have been very useful for me.  We’ve also learned to make them useful for you – a chance to grow your leadership muscles, and to remember that the church belongs to you. 

More details are to come, so stay tuned.
I hope you are finding ways to get outside or enjoy this spring.  The world can be hard, and news from nearby and far away can be tragic. Feeling the beauty of the earth doesn’t make that go away but can help us ground and center our being. The wider view and a reminder of our interwoven existence. 
In faith,

Caring Connections Table This Sunday!

We will have cards available for you to write a note to members and friends to offer encouragement and support. Cards will be available and we’ll mail it for you. Stop by the Caring Connection Table in Deale Hall.

Stewardship Update: As of Monday at 2pm, 65 households have told us their pledge for next year.  Those 65 households have increased their gifts by an average of $22/month.  This is fantastic, and if we can keep up that average we’ll reach our goals.  Our goals, remember, are to pay our staff well and be good partners to the work of the UUA nationally.

Please, if you haven’t already filled out your form for the coming year, do so today.  Go to www.uurockford.org and click on the bright yellow banner on the top.  Or click here to open the form directly: https://uurockford.churchcenter.com/people/forms/706108

Please do so today!

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!

Wonderful Wednesday Worship In Person and Online Choosing Joy! Annual DRUUMM Public Worship
Wednesday, May 8th at 7pm

Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) is the oldest and largest Unitarian Universalist People of Color ministry and anti-racist community organization based in North America. Each year they hold a public worship that is open to both members and to white anti-racist allies and members of multiracial families. Join this virtual worship at 7pm on May 8th – register here to view from home online: https://www.druumm.org/events/ or come to UU Church Rockford to worship together.

Questions to Rev. Joyce Palmer at revjoycepalmer@yahoo.com

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.

Connect Rockford Neighborhood Project Support
Sunday, May 12th After service

We are getting to know our neighbors better. Whether you have experience with connecting with your neighbors or you’re feeling a little shy about reaching out, we can take steps together to make these relationships stronger.

Let’s meet to discuss our ideas and support one another in reaching out to our neighbors.

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 in our final session, we will discuss Sexual Pleasure. Folks are welcome to join for just this single session even if you missed the others.



Click Link to sign up

Wednesday May 15 6:30pm

Sexual Pleasure

Sign up!

On Sunday afternoon May 19, 3pm, there will be an informal afternoon coffee to meet candidate for 17th Circuit Judge, Nick Meyers.  Wendy Bennett is hosting the event.  This will be an opportunity to talk to the candidate and learn about his background and approach to the law.  Circuit Judge is a crucial position in our local court system.  I hope you will attend.  Everyone is welcome.  An RSVP would be appreciated.

Wonderful Wednesday
Reproductive Justice

May 22nd at 6pm

Let’s meet at the new Family Planning Center to hear about their progress and plans for opening. We’ll ask how we can support their work.

We will discuss our Unitarian Universalist faith and reproductive justice.

Our Sex and Gender Justice Team is helping organize this event.

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

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

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*
May 12 Our Story with Rev Matthew
May 19 Living Our Faith with Lindsay and Faith in Action 

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

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 May 14th, 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 4/23/24 “Karen Van Fossan, Water Protector”
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Click Here to View UUA GA 2024

Community Events

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

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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