Kairos November 2, 2021

Kairos                                                       11/02/2021

The Family Peace Center Tour scheduled for tomorrow night has been canceled due to staffing issues at The Family Peace Center. We hope to reschedule in the future.


November 7, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. Online and In-Person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
Ahimsa, a Sanskrit word meaning “non-injury”, is a central tenant in Jainism, Buddhism, and many strands of Hinduism.  Often reduced to vegetarianism or pacifism, or both, the doctrine of Ahimsa is wider and deeper than these most obvious examples.  It is a way of living to reduce the amount of violence in your heart and actions.  We’ll explore what a life devoted to non-injury might mean in our time, when “injury” is so common. 

Daylight Savings Time Ends!
Don’t forget to set your clocks an hour back Saturday, November 7 night!

Volunteers for Sunday Morning November 7

R.E. K and Under: Shiraz Tata & Lauren Smith
R.E. Grade 1 and Over:  Rachel Keyes & Lindsay Trank
Ushers: We Need 2
Greeters: We Need 2
Guest Table: We Need 2

Thank you to those of you who have volunteered already!  Here is the google doc where you can sign up: 

Or just email me at office@uurockford.org and let me know and I’ll put you in the system for that day.  

Thank you!
Happy Birthday to: Ellyn Ahmer (11/01), Beverly Olpaka (11/03), Valerie Stenerson (11/03), Mary Anderson (11/04), Yvonne Beach (11/05), Crista Swanlund (11/05), Elly Ressue (11/06), Will Boelcke (11/07), & Cynthia Simmons (11/08)!

We will Share the Plate with The Family Peace Center
The Family Peace Center is a 501c3, multi-agency, multi-disciplinary co-located service center that provides services to victims of inter-personal violence. Both public and private partner agencies assign staff on a full-time or part-time basis to provide services from one location. The facility focuses on reducing the number of times survivors tell their story and the number of places survivors must go for help, as well as increases access to services and support for survivors and their children. The center is located at 315 N. Main Street in Rockford, Illinois. Click Here to Donate

Matthew’s Memo Nov 2, 2021
What a great day it was on Sunday!  We had a lovely morning worship with a pretty full house of members, friends, and visitors.  11 Kindergarten and 1st-grade students had their first session of Our Whole Lives after the service.  Then we proudly Ordained Omega Burckhardt to the Unitarian Universalist ministry.  It was a beautiful service.  I echo the charge to the congregation issued by Rev. Kimberlee Carlson for us to continue to support all those who come to learn and grow, and that true growth requires vulnerability, trust, and openness.  Good spiritual lessons!
When you read this on Tuesday, the C.D.C. will be meeting to accept the F.D.A.’s recommendation that the Pfizer vaccine be approved for children aged 5-11.  Everyone expects them to accept that recommendation, and that vaccinations for these aged children can begin to be vaccinated on Wednesday.  At the same time, the C.D.C. has approved and recommended Booster shots for those who have gotten either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the J&J vaccine.  Some of you have already gotten your booster (me included). 
I urge everyone who is eligible and able to get a vaccine and/or a booster to do so. Vaccines are safe and effective.  Though there are a small number of “breakthrough cases,” for people who are not immunocompromised, these cases are generally very mild.  The more of us who get vaccinated, the more protected immunocompromised people, and children under five, will be.  If you have any questions about accessing vaccination, please let me know – I can help you navigate the system, though vaccines are widely available at pharmacies and doctor’s offices. 
What does this mean for us at church?  We are anticipating that the vast majority, if not all, of our children who are five and up, will be fully vaccinated about 6 weeks from now.  This is great news!  This makes it easier for us to both move our religious education classes back inside for the winter and to return to having children (masked, just like adults) back at the beginning of worship.  Many of us are missing having them with us!  We anticipate that we’ll begin having children in worship again on Dec. 19th, with our annual pageant.  Our nursery group (infants through Kindergarten) will continue to begin downstairs. 
We also continue to monitor the advice of the UUA and choral professionals about singing.  I hope that we can return to singing with masks on as a congregation soon, but it is clear that Winnebago County will need to have a lower case number for us to do that any time soon. 
We will continue to follow both the UUA advice and Illinois Law to wear masks indoors.  When Illinois relaxes its mandate, we can return to the practice last summer – of strong consent and covenant for a small group to decide; with universal agreement required.  But we’re not there yet. 
Of course, we all wish that this was “completely over” – but it’s not, and it isn’t going to be right away.  We will continue to follow science, value community, provide options, and care for one another.
In faith,
Rev. Matthew
Board Update
The Board approved Ed Kuehl as a new member of the Investment Panel, and reviewed the annual evaluations of the Senior Minister.  We discussed our COVID safety process and the Widening the Circle of Concern chapter 2 on governance.  We had a rich and generative conversation about our mission, vision, and end #1.  

Our Whole Lives for the 2021-2022 School Year

We will be offering Our Whole Lives (the UU sexuality education program) this school year for grades K-1st, 4th-6th, and 7th-9th. Families with eligible children were sent details via email. Anyone who is interested that did not receive an email should contact Lindsay at 
reuurockford@gmail.com for more information.

Grades K-1: Sessions will be 11:30-12:30 on Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, Dec. 5, 12, and 19. 

Grades 4-6: Will be offered later in the school year, exact dates TBD.

Grades 7-9: Sessions will be 3:00-4:30 on Nov. 7, 14, 21, and Dec. 5, 12, and 19. Students in 10th-12th grade who have not previously attended 7-9 OWL are welcome to attend as well.

The fall scene currently hanging in the front of the Sanctuary is the work of a local artist:  Margo Shryack-Pagh.  The medium is batik.  The artist characterizes the creation as a “Trickster Triptych.”  Triptych refers to the three panels.  The “trickster” is a coyote that is not depicted but is the cause of the one panel being fertile and the other barren.

The artwork is a gift from the Eliseo family in memory of Delores Eliseo.

Submitted by David Black  815-871-8991
Click Here for Literature Link from Dale
Click Here for Teresa’s Tablet
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Wonderful Wednesday Offerings!

November 3rd at the Family Peace Center has been canceled
November 17th at 7pm. Join Ashraf Amaya, former professional basketball player, trainer, and youth mentor for a conversation about reducing youth violence through mentorship. Mr. Amaya will speak about the ways he has worked with youth from a faith and sports perspective and invite dialogue about the ways our theological perspective can inform justice work. The plan is to meet at the church.
Social Justice Updates
Eliminate Racism 815
Film Discussion
Friday, November 12, 2021, 6 p.m.

Constructing the Terrorist Threat-Islamophobia: The Media & War on Terror: Argues US media have turned Arabs/Muslims into the face of terror, while terror attacks by homegrown violent extremist groups have far outnumbered Muslim/Arab attacks. Join Zoom Meeting here: 
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81211275487 The film discussions are presented in partnership with Tony Turner of Conscious Coaching, The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area, and the Rockford Public Library.
The Board of Trustees: 
President: Amanda Tapfield          
Clerk: Bob Spelman
Vice-President: Judy Gustafson     
Treasurer: Teresa Wilmot 
Trustees: Khanh Oehlke, Sarah Greer, Jami Edmonds
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |   uurockford.org  |
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