Kairos November 7, 2023


Kairos                                                       11/07/2023

On Being Generous
November 12, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and in-person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
In a world that’s made to be broken, how can we learn to be gracious to each other and ourselves?  How can we name, resist, and transform self-critique and judgment into love and grace? 

We will Share the Plate with Eliminate Racism Health Action Team
The Eliminate Racism 815 Health Action Team is an advocacy and research group of diverse health professionals and community members working to ensure that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities can attain their highest potential for health and well-being. 

Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, November 12
Greeters: We Need 2 Volunteers
Guest Table: We Need 2 Volunteers
Ushers: Pam Wilson & Barb Wilson
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: Luke Welch (11/07), Will Boelcke (11/07), Cynthia Simmons (11/08), Cindy Stear (11/10), Kien Oehlke (11/10), Omega Burckhardt (11/10), Kien Oehlke (11/10), Tristan Van Acker (11/11), Ivy Gunnell (11/11), Fred Stellema (11/11), Kelsey Oehlke (11/12), Matthew Fields Huckstep (11/12), Denise Cole (11/13)!

Please keep Louise Mayhall’s family in your thoughts and prayers. Louise M. Mayhall, 92, died on October 27, 2023. She had been a member here since March 12, 1968. A Celebration of Life service for Louise Mayhall will be held at Wesley Willows Town Center on Saturday, November 11 at 2:00 p.m.

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.

Please Keep Tracey Armstrong in your thoughts and prayers. Her sister Teri Sue Vincent died on November 3, 2023.

Matthew’s Memo November 7, 2023

Joy and sorrow are woven fine. 
I’m celebrating the beauty around us of these fall days, with the changing leaves and glorious sky.  We’ve have many new visitors to church, and some programs are really thriving.  Good conversations are happening in the community about critical needs and exciting possibilities.  I leave Monday for my annual study group, and I’m thrilled to engage in deep conversations with my friends and colleagues.  (I’ll be guest preaching in Kansas City and then away for Thanksgiving after that, so functionally off for two weeks, and back on the 27th). 

And the world suffers.  Mass shootings, war with the death of innocents, terror, acts of hatred.  In such a world of beauty, how can it be?  Sometimes we simply need to sit with our grief first, and then dust ourselves off for the work. 
And there are more intimate sorrows, closer to home.  We live not forever.  We’ve had three deaths in the last two weeks in the church – Jan Scott on Oct 27th, Louise Mayhall on Oct. 27th, and Marge Elliot on Nov. 4th.  They were each remarkable women in their own ways, who were devoted to their community, their children, and their own creative spirit.  We’ll celebrate Louise’s life at Wesley Willows (in the Town Center Building, Club Room on the 1st floor) on Saturday, November 11 at 2 p.m.  We’ll celebrate Marge on Nov. 27th at Fitzgerald Funeral Home on Mulford Rd. at 12 p.m. visitation at 10:30 a.m.  We’ll celebrate Jan on Dec. 2nd at 1 pm here at the church. 

This community can hold joy and sorrow, and we honor each other through the milestones of life and acts of memory and love.  I hope that you will come to these services if you knew these remarkable women, and honor them with your presence.
In faith

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. In that 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.

Join us for a Neighborhood Pantry conversation!

Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 5-6PM 

The permanent pantry is up and running and we are looking for feedback! Gather at the pantry and we’ll head inside together for a conversation. We will chat about how we can maintain and continue to improve the pantry based on community ideas. All are welcome!

What’s Really in the Bible?

Sunday, 11:45-12:45, Nov 12
No advance sign up required.  Do bring a bible if you have one, but not required.  Any translation is fine. (we will compare).  

You do not need to attend all sessions, but it will be helpful, as they build on each other.  
In the sanctuary.  

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.

This month for our theme Gratitude, I want to highlight a brochure we have with a collection of 16 well written short prayers, graces, and chalice lightings for children and families to use in the home. Prayers represent a variety of cultures and faith traditions. 

The brochures are on the Guest Table and on the brochure rack next to the Library.

In faith,
Rev. Joyce

Soul Matters Groups are small groups that meet for deep listening and support. We have group openings for new people to join existing Soul Matters Groups.
Groups meet at the following times:
Judy Johnson 2nd and 4th Mondays in the evening 6pm (Church Library)
Neita Webster 2nd and 4th Tuesdays 9:30 – 11:30 (Church Library)
Jami Edmonds 3rd Tuesdays 6pm (Church Library)
Roger Benedict 2nd and 4th Thursday 9:30 – 11:00 (Church Library)
Gloria Perez 2nd and 4th Thursdays 11am – 12:30pm (Online)
Teresa Wilmot & Matt Menze 2nd and 4th Thursdays 4pm (Online and In Person)
If you are interested in a group, please email


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!

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 7, 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 “The Power of Reciprocity”
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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