Becoming Human, Again
November 22, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (Online Only at facebook.com/uurockford)
Rev. Mitra Rahnema
Today, it is easy to become so overwhelmed we no longer feel human. If do we find time to decompress we can forget how to nurture our minds and bodies toward the gentle human experience. Today we explore the spiritual journey toward our human-ness.
Happy Birthday to: Bob Babcock (11/17), Cheryl Stockwell (11/18), Steve Gausebeck (11/18), Paul Goddard (11/18), Joyce Palmer (11/18), Sandi Campbell (11/19), Teresa Palmeno (11/19), Ivonne Spelman (11/20), Katie Baskey (11/22), & Jim Parrish (11/24)!
Request from a church family
Looking for a Covid-prevention-guidelines-compliant person to oversee a capable elementary student’s remote learning program two to three mornings a week (9am-noon) in the family’s home. Salary: $10/hour, negotiable depending on experience.
If you or someone you know might be able to help this family, please contact Kathy Scarpaci of the church’s Caring Team: firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-391-4401. Thank you.
We are holding much love for Linda Johnson, who just lost her mother and stepfather. Please keep Linda and her family in your thoughts.
Share the Plate with Liam Foundation
The Liam foundation was created from his mother’s efforts to ensure that the LGBTQIA+ youth in our community have resources to support them. They have held Queer proms and assisted various projects such as Diversity Youth Group and PFLAG Rockford chapter. They also have worked to provide support for essential needs, transportation copays, and mental health services for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Click here to donate.
Join us at 7pm, Wednesday, November 18th, as we host Phyllis Gallisath, founder of the Liam Foundation and president of the local PFLAG chapter, tell her story in efforts to spread awareness on Transgender inclusion and how to be a better ally. Zoom ID: 337-267-3668
On-Line Auction – Nov 28 – Dec 9
The Auction Catalog will open up in the Auction Website on November 21
Bidding will open up November 28 on the website and close down December 9
This Auction will be similar, but different from past years because of the pandemic. There are fewer social dinners, but more food delivery dinners. There will be fruitcakes and candies and breads and pies. There will be Tarot Card readings, Mindfulness sessions, yoga classes. All on Zoom. How about gift wrapping and shopping services. On-Line Art Fair – Nov 28 – Jan 5
In the Auction Catalog, you will see artwork from 12 different artists. Paintings, jewelry, scarves, woodwork. Have you noticed that art fairs could not happen this year? We are bringing them to you. Artists, whose income has been curtailed are displaying in our catalog. Your purchase will support both the artist and the church. Save your Christmas list until you see this. Awesome. Concert Series – ??? ????
We have two streaming concerts lined up so far. Maybe more. Buy a ticket from the Auction website. Pour some wine, turn on your computer, or stream to TV. The tickets will pay for professional musicians, plus help the church. Donations
There is still limited time to get your donations into the catalog.
We liberals often think the “racism” is a word that describes “the other.” However, there are no “others.” We all live in this society that was founded on racism and has fueled it continuously, no less today in Illinois than yesterday in the South.
Last month’s newsletter of Eliminate Racism 815, a Rockford, grass-roots anti-racism organization, included the following essay written by Dick Rundall, one of the founders of the organization. I see in his writing much of what I learned reading White Fragility this summer. Stay tuned; I plan to offer a discussion group around this book when the snow flies. I received Dick’s permission to re-publish his article in our newsletter.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot
Reflections on Racism
Racism is a complex, many faceted, evasive, intricate, perplexing challenge. It has existed in the United States for hundreds of years and survived a civil war, reconstruction, the civil rights, era, new laws, and many people trying to eliminate it. It, like a virus, seems to be gone, but reappears elsewhere in a bit different form, adapting itself to a new environment, but as malignant as before.
It is formal and informal, intentional and unconscious, individual and collective, personal and institutional. We learn it from the time we are born by hearing, seeing, and experiencing manifestations of it in our world of being. No one escapes being infected by it. It is a social pandemic which we carry with us through our life’s journey.
It is also one of humanity’s best-kept secrets. Few people talk about it. Doing so causes fear and anxiety. Better to avoid conversations about this. It is talked about so infrequently by White people that few of us are even aware of the infection we carry with us wherever we go and whatever we do. Indeed, it takes a good deal of energy and effort, and a mindful vigilance to notice and control the symptomatic thoughts and feelings of the disease when it begins to influence our conversations and interactions with others. And, like a virus, it can often lie in wait within us, dormant, inactive, quiet, waiting to attack at the most inappropriate and unexpected times.
Racism is so hard to define because most of us want to determine whether we said or did a racist thing by what our intentions were rather than by how these were interpreted by people of color. The true judge of a racist act or remark is not what we meant it to be, but what it was to the recipients and witnesses. Racism is defined by the response to our words and actions, by how they are perceived and received, not by our intentions.
An additional characteristic of racism that White people do not like to acknowledge, is the inherent sense of superiority that accompanies racism wherever it goes. True, it is often hidden in the shadow of our unconsciousness of racism, but, let me assure you, it is there, lurking, allowing us to feel we are better than “them” and people of color are less than. And this sneaky sense of superiority sometimes appears as indifference, arrogance, or righteousness.
By not talking about racism, especially with people of color, we can pretend that racism does not exist. After all, we have laws against it. Of course, we might know some people of color, but by not having any friends, real friends who we do things with regularly, have over to our house, go to their house, we can avoid knowing that racism is alive and well and doing its harm on a daily basis. And as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. What we don’t know, we don’t have to do anything about. The reality is, we ALL must do something about racism.
Chase the Chill
New knitted, crocheted, or sewn scarves, hats, gloves, blankets, to be distributed downtown Rockford and Freeport. For anyone who wants to make and donate your creations, the deadline is November 20th. Call me if you would like me to pick them up or to drop off at my house. Sandee Poznan 815-871-8857
*ZOOM Church Calendar*
Most “all church” events will be 337-267-3668. This is the Personal Meeting
ID for “Thomas Kerr,” our online identity (and the minister from 1870-1900,
who used all the new technology of his time to reach those he
served). Generally, there will be a waiting room and the host will need to
– Coffee Hour on Sunday. 337-267-3668. 11:10 am. Chris will
– Touchstones: contact your touchstones group facilitator for the time
and meeting ID, if you don’t already have it.
– Caring Team Meeting – The first Tuesday of each month at 6 pm. ID 337-267-3668
Want to have a group – a book group, a parent group, a “circle supper”, or
whatever you like? You can create a free Zoom account (40-minute limit,
though often waived by zoom at minute 35). Or, you can use “Thomas Kerr’s”
– just email Autumn email@example.com she can give you the login
• “Afternoon with Irish Cows” by Billy Collins
An apologia (Latin for apology, fromGreekἀπολογία, “speaking in defense”) is a formal defense. Here, it is used as A Defense of One’s Own Life or existence. In the final stanza, “this “bellowing” emerges from the “dark” depths of a female cow who, the speaker realizes, is declaring her “cowness.” He sees the sound as being the embodied essence of what it means to be a cow and is moved by the humanness of the moment. https://smashey.wordpress.com/2009/06/12/afternoon-with-irish-cows-by-billy-collins/
• “Family” by Brandon Webb. “…our words are frozen in our throats.
They would be pierced through by flying words/and noodles/and laughs/and forks.” https://hellopoetry.com/poem/407457/family/