Kairos November 21, 2023


Kairos                                                       11/21/2023

Getting Beyond “How Are You?”
November 26, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and in-person
Rev. Joyce Palmer
“How are you?” Nice day, isn’t it?

Why do so many of us have difficulty getting past surface talk, especially when deep inside we long for more meaningful relationships?

Join us as we look at how we can begin to make real connections with others. What can move us beyond facts to feelings and beyond feelings to a person’s heart? How can being generous enable us to touch lives at church, at home, with close friends, or casual contacts? If you are desiring closer connections to others, let’s learn together how to move from small talk to healing conversations.

We will Share the Plate with Owl’s Roost Farm
Our core value at Owl’s Roost is that food is only sustainable if all of our neighbors can afford it. If our farming practices take good care of our soil and water, but leave some of our community members hungry, then we’ve still got work to do.

Luckily, it often works out that what is best for the earth can also make food more affordable. That’s why you’ll find us reducing the amount of packaging we use, making compost, and collaborating with community partners.
Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, November 26
Greeters: We Need 2 Volunteers
Guest Table: We Need 2 Volunteers
Ushers: We Need 2 Volunteers
Coffee Hosts: We Need 2 Volunteers

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: Barb Basaj (11/22), Jim Parrish (11/24), Linda Sandquist (11/25), Rebecca Cole (11/25), Ryan Vyborny (11/25), Teresa Wilmot (11/27), Pam Arnold (11/27), & Tom Little (11/28)!

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.

We will be holding our annual holiday collection to support Rockford MELD again this year.  Look for the small MELD tree near the stairs in the narthex.  You are invited to choose an ornament from the tree with an item requested by a family listed on the back of it.  You may choose more than one ornament.  Once you have purchased the items listed on the ornament, place them in the bin in the narthex designated for MELD donations.  Please do not wrap the items that you donate.
Thank you for supporting Rockford MELD, a non-profit social service agency started in 1981.  The organization provides programs and services for young parents and their children in the Rockford community.  MELD offers emergency shelter and housing, parenting information, life and job skills training, support, resources, and prevention education.
 Donations will be collected through Sunday, December 10. 

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 vacation from November 20th to 27th. In that time please contact Office Manager Autumn Powell at office@uurockford.org if you need anything.

The office will be closed from November 22 to 24.

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

We came together to honor lives lost due to anti-Transgender violence at UU Church Rockford with the Liam Foundation on Monday, November 20th. We read 392 names of those we lost in the year since the last vigil. Our transgender, genderqueer, and nonbinary friends, siblings, and loved ones deserve better.

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.


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 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 28, 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!

Rockford UU Lunch Group

After coffee hour/meetings on Sundays, a group gathers for lunch at various locations. It’s usually Bob Babcock and Doug Rix, often with Sue and Scott Garwick. It’s a time to get to know each other deeper and form a better community. Tap any of us any Sunday and see what we’re doing if you’d like to join us. PLAN ON IT!!! Or Call Bob at 630.417.0042


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

Click Here to View UUA GA 2024

Community Events

Do support local businesses on Small Business Saturday which is this week and through the holiday season! If you come to Midtown on 12/2, you can stop by Katie’s Cup Holiday Open House that morning and 3 Raven’s Pottery Open House that afternoon as well! Thanks!!

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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