Kairos November 14, 2023


Kairos                                                       11/14/2023

On Being Human
November 19, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and in-person
Rev. Leslie Mills
It can be argued that religious community is where we come together to figure out what it means to be human. What does it mean to be in relationship with the world around us? How do we know who we are as individuals? Drawing on both Eastern and Western philosophy, we will explore a few options to bring depth and meaning to our understanding of our essential nature, perhaps even elevating our experience of our daily life from mundane to mythic.

Raised a third generation Unitarian Universalist, she grew up playing outdoors, reading lots of novels, singing, and making art, before becoming a science educator at a children’s hands-on museum – that being the Discovery Center right here in Rockford, IL, when she was part of this church. Her years in seminary sparked her passion for social justice and for travel, while also encouraging her exploration of indigenous shamanism and Japanese martial arts. She holds rank in Ki-Aikido, the Japanese martial art of peace, and has traveled around the country and even to Japan to attend seminars. She has served congregations in Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Welcome back, Leslie!

We will Share the Plate with Angelic Organics Learning Center
Angelic Organics Learning Center builds sustainable local food and farm systems through experiential education and training programs in partnership with rural and urban people.

Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, November 19
Greeters: We Need 2 Volunteers
Guest Table: We Need 2 Volunteers
Ushers: Dick Lake & Myrna Lake
Coffee Hosts: Lia Gima & We Need 1 More Volunteer

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

Happy Birthday to: Sharon Hartung (11/15), Susan Caravello (11/15), Mary Newport (11/16), Barbara Chidley (11/16), Bob Babcock (11/17), Steve Gausebeck (11/18), Cheryl Stockwell (11/18), Paul Goddard (11/18), Joyce Palmer (11/18), Sandi Campbell (11/19), Teresa Palmeno (11/19), Max Rossiter (11/20), & Ivonne Spelman (11/20)!

Please keep Jan Scott’s family in your thoughts and prayers. Jan Scott who has been a member of this church since 1984 died on Friday, October 27, 2023. A Celebration of Life service will be held on December 2nd at 1:00 p.m. here at the church.

Former member Elaine (Mohney) Hartman, 86, formerly of Bath, Maine, died on October 10, 2023, in Wilmington, MA.  Born March 4, 1937, she was a daughter of Ruth F. and Daniel Lee Mohney and grew up in Stoneboro, Pennsylvania.  Elaine was a graduate of Penn State University.  She was active in the Unitarian Church in Brunswick, ME, and earlier in Rockford, IL, and enjoyed singing alto in choirs, traveling in England, antiquing, and reading book after book.  She is survived by her children Karen (Hartman) Gwatkin of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Cynde Hartman of Reading, MA, and Chris Hartman of San Antonio, TX; and her sister Sherry Reynolds of Sandy Lake, PA and brothers Duane Mohney of Ebensburg, PA and Larry Mohney of Stoneboro, PA.   Gifts may be made in Elaine’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, or the Patten Free Library, 33 Summer St., Bath ME 04530.

Marjorie “Marge” G. Elliot, 86, Rockford, passed away on Sunday, November 5, 2023

Church is More than The Big Picture
There are also small things.

  • Who answers the phone with a smile when you don’t know how to get into the church database?
  • Who takes a bunch of 2-year-olds outside Monday – Friday at Woodsong Nature School rain or shine? Not me.
  • Who finds musicians to spice up our choir’s special music?
  • Who cleans up after Sunday service? Even if there is no coffee hour.

During this holiday season, would you like to remember the staff for the small details that make this church run? Add to the “Holiday Gift Fund”  before December 14. Two ways:

  1. Drop off a check to the office, or the Sunday offering, labeled “Holiday Gift Fund”.
  2. On-Line. Go to Donate and make sure to select “Holiday Gift” as the fund.

Out of the Office

Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson will be on study leave starting November 13th – November 19th and on vacation from November 20th – 27th. During this time please contact Office Manager Autumn Powell at office@uurockford.org if you need anything.

The office will be closed November 22 – 24.

Office Manager Autumn Powell will be on vacation from November 27th – December 3rd. 

Kairos articles for the November 21 and 28 Kairos are due November 20 by 8:00 p.m.

Prison life, particularly during the holidays, is isolating, acutely lonely,
and deeply depressing. Many incarcerated persons have lost touch
with family or loved ones while they exist in an abusive, neglectful, and
punitive system. You can make a significant difference in someone’s
life by becoming a Prison Pen Pal—sending letters, cards, and e-
messages to someone in prison.
Studies show that an incarcerated person with connections to the outside
world (such as a Pen Pal), will be 6 times less likely to reoffend within their first year of release.
The gift of your correspondence will also provide you an education in the
realities of our “criminal injustice” system, beginning with the fact that
the USA has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world.

Please contact Rev. Allison Farnum, Director of the UUPMI, at
uupmi.info@gmail.com to learn more about the CLF (Church of the Larger Fellowship)
Ambassador Program of Illinois pen pal program. Grateful for your
contributions, we provide our “free world” pen pals education,
camaraderie, and ongoing support.
Also, many thanks to those in your congregation are sending holiday cards to our inside members this year! Just so you know, your generosity and trusty volunteers ensure that each of our 121 members will receive $20 in their commissary account for the winter holiday time.


Wonderful Wednesday
November 15, 6pm
Ellyn Ahmer

With 40-50% of Rockford children at the poverty level, Family to Family saw a transformative opportunity to significantly affect the kids living at The Grove.

Last year, a tutoring program was tested & very well received by the parents & students. This is a major focus of the efforts now.
On the Wonderful Wednesday of November 15, a founder & current team members will share their experience & answer questions.  You’ll hear more ways you can contribute to have an impact including how to be involved in bringing Rockford Promise to The Grove.

Taste of Soul
Sunday, December 3
11:45 – 1:00

Are you curious about our Soul Matters Groups?
Experience a Taste of Soul Matters to learn about the process 
and reflect together on December’s theme “Mystery”.

We will have soup and bread and a brief session.

No sign-up necessary. 

 Tuesday, December 5th at 6:00 PM

Join us for music and reflections on the season for those who
have feelings of loss or sadness during the holidays. Or for those 
who would appreciate a quiet start to the holiday season. 
Bring a friend with you.

Nanette Felix will share her beautiful harp music with us.

We will have a reception with hot chocolate and treats in the Library after the service.

All Are Welcome to Attend

Parents’ Night Out
Thursday, December 14th

5:30 – 8:00pm
Drop the children off at church and enjoy some 
time to yourselves.

Meal provided

Register using this link by December 12th.



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 Explore Gender focusing on gender roles and stereotypes, sex vs. gender, transgender, and the queer umbrella. Folks are welcome to join for a single session or sign up for all six. 




Click Link to sign up

Wednesday Nov 15 6:30pm

Exploring Gender

Sign up!

Wednesday Jan 17 6:30pm

Sexuality & Aging

Sign up!

Wednesday Feb 21 6:30pm

Experiencing the Sexual Other

Sign up!

Wednesday March 20 6:30pm

Sexuality & Relationships

Sign up!

Wednesday April 17 6:30pm

Sexuality & Spirituality

Sign up!

Wednesday May 15 6:30pm

Sexual Pleasure

Sign up!


Eliminate Racism 813

Book Discussion
Thursday, November 30, 2023,  6:00 p.m.
Join us by Zoom for a discussion of Critical Race Theory: Why It Matters and Why You Should Care by Victor Ray: This concise and accessible exploration demystifies a crucial framework for understanding and fighting racial injustice in the US. It explains the centrality of race in American history & politics.
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 all but 2 (Intended: A Marriage in Black and White and Restoring the Soul to Education) in the Cloud Library which may be accessed with your RPL card.  Titles are available in audio and e-book formats.

Film Discussion
Friday December 8, 2023 
6:00 p.m.

We will watch Meeting the Enemy: Acclaimed Muslim filmmaker Deeyah Khan, speaking with fascists, racists and proponents of alt-right ideologies, attempts to discover new possibilities for solutions. Her own prejudices are challenged & her tolerance tested. 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 November 21, 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!


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 “Implicit Bias”
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan 10/17/23 “Indigenous People”
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

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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