Kairos October 24, 2023


Kairos                                                       10/24/2023

October 29, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Online and in-person
According to Celtic teaching, on the night halfway between the fall equinox and the winter solstice, the veil between the world of the dead and the world of the living lifts, and spirits wander among us.   Separate from but similar to the traditions of Día de las Muertos and All Souls / All Saints, this tradition (All Hallows Eve / Samhain) points us to the mysterious connection that binds us through time and love.  This will be a Unitarian Universalist apologia for the mystic heart. 

We will Share the Plate with LIAM Foundation

To encourage, assist, heal and empower our LGBTQIA+ community through respect, advocacy, and passionate hearts to promote thriving in society.
Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, October 29
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: Francie Barnes (10/24), Cooper Kruchten (10/25), Wendy Bennett (10/26), Diana Creer Berti (10/26), Linda Lawrence (10/28), Tom Hauser (10/28) Rosalind Smith (10/28), & Mason Hodierne (10/30)!

Matthew’s Memo October 24, 2023

I’m back at my desk today, Tuesday, after a week away.  I spent the first part of last week at the Central Midwest Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association Chapter retreat.  This chapter, which includes UU ministers in IL, WI, and parts of IN and WI, holds its annual retreat in October each year.  This is a great time to get away from the day-to-day and reflect on how things are going.  This retreat was in Oregon, IL, so it was very convenient for me! 
Our presenter this year was Dr. Marcia McFee.  I took a week-long class from her years ago, so it was wonderful to be renewed and reminded of those lessons.  She focuses on multi-sensory, embodied worship and ritual.  She brings techniques and theory about how to make sure that worship and ritual are reaching the whole person – all our senses, body, mind, and spirit.  Some of the things we do are inspired by her instruction – including the way I use visuals, the common invocation throughout the month, and some other pieces.  Being with her again reminded me of other things I really want to add – including more rhythm, accessible movement, and ritual. 

We are not a lecture club for the mind.  Worship engages all of who we are to help us shape who we are becoming.  And we need multiple connection points and on-ramps for folks who experience the sacred in different ways.  I hope you will join me in taking risks and trying things to help our worship be all it can be. 

In faith,

What’s Really in the Bible?

Sunday, 11:45-12:45, Oct. 29, and Nov 5 and 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.  

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

UUANI 10th Anniversary Celebration:
Building Community, Bending the Arc Toward Justice!

Join UUs from across Illinois as we celebrate 10 years of spiritually grounded, relationally accountable, strategically effective work for justice, beloved community and a healthy planet. Nicole Pressley from Side With Love/UU the Vote will be our keynote speaker.
We’ll share ideas and plans for the year ahead, showcasing social justice work around the state as well as upcoming campaigns with our statewide partners. This event will be both in-person at Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation in Springfield and online via Zoom. Please register by October 30 to get the Zoom link and in-person details.

10 am to 3 pm Saturday November 4

Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation (Springfield)

and Online
Watch parties at Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, Unitarian Church of Evanston, UU Church Rockford, and Unity Temple (Oak Park)

10:00  Opening with Music & Review of UUANI’s First Ten Years
           with UUANI Founders and Board Presidents from:

Abraham Lincoln UU Congregation
Hinsdale Unitarian Church
UU Church Rockford
Unitarian Church of Evanston
Unity Temple UU Congregation

10:30  Keynote & Panel Discussion
Nicole Pressley, Side With Love/UU the Vote
Rev. Gianni Fogliano, Office of the UUA President
Curtis Smith, Second Unitarian Church
Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Second Unitarian Church
11:30  Lunch with cake! (in-person and watch parties)

12:30  Breakouts showcasing congregational social justice work:

Engaging Your Congregation with GRACE
Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship

Metro East UU Congregation (formerly Alton)
Unity Temple UU Congregation
Organizing Teams for Legislative Advocacy
Unitarian Church of Evanston
North Shore Unitarian Church

Mutual Aid: Meeting Our Neighbors Where They Are
UU Church Rockford: Free Pantry
Second Unitarian Church: Jail Support

Migrant Support: Welcoming New Arrivals to Illinois
Countryside UU: Chalice House
*Note: We have had to cancel our planned session on Multicultural Organizing in UU Congregations. We plan to continue working with DRUUMM to organize BIPOC UUs in the year ahead.

1:40    Breakouts spotlighting upcoming partner campaigns:

Climate Justice
Tyshianna Bankhead, Faith Coalition for the Common Good/
Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition

Gender Justice
Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Equality Illinois/Second Unitarian
Dezi Primous-Gillon, Midwest Access Coalition

Restorative Justice
Rev. Allison Farnum, UU Prison Ministry of Illinois
Quonie Barney, Faith Coalition for the Common Good

Voter Engagement/VoteLove
Nicole Pressley, Side With Love/UU the Vote

2:45 Closing with Music

Be inspired! Get connected! Empower your congregation for action!

White Oak Grove CUUPs Annual Samhain Party and Potluck
Sunday November 5th at 12:15pm in Deale Hall

Please join us for our annual event! Fun for the whole family! All the things we love about the Samhain parties in the past! Potluck and maybe a game or two. Wear a costume – or not! Please bring a potluck dish to share (a list of ingredients is never a bad idea!), your own non-disposable feast gear (you might want to bring bowls as well as plates and silverware) and beverages for all family members. Mark your potluck dishes and serve ware. Don’t forget to bring a plastic bag to take your dirty dishes home in. RSVP and more info HERE.

WNIJ Fundraiser

Many of our members are loyal listeners and even supporters of WNIJ, our local public radio station.  But did you know that you can both support WNIJ and support our church congregation at the same time?
Many years ago, Rev. Weissbard encouraged donations from our members, earmarked for WNIU (back before WNIJ) that were donated to the station to provide spots during the broadcast day announcing the UU Church of Rockford.  These spots might provide the first notice of our liberal congregation to prospective members.  Several of our neighboring congregations followed suit.  Now you hear announcements from the Rockton, Elgin, DeKalb and even Stockton congregations.
Any money you earmark to WNIJ, either on-line or by the note line on your check, will all go to the station—not just 80% as with share-the-plate donations.  And the donation is still fully tax deductible.   The church doesn’t fund these WNIJ donations—only the money donated specifically for this purpose by our members.
Why not get 2 donations for the price of one:  one to the church and one to WNIJ?
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot

for Adults

Let’s talk about sex!!! (It’s not just for teenagers.) 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 this fall as Wendy Bennett and Leah Krippner facilitate an adult exploration of sexuality in the 21st century. Anyone 18 and up is welcome to join. 

Wendy and Leah are trained OWL facilitators and have been teaching OWL for nearly 20 years.

Sessions will be held once a month. Come and join us on Wednesday, October 25 at 6:00 p.m. (Bring a dinner!) Please contact the church office to sign up. Let them know if you will need assistance with childcare. Questions? Email Wendy or Leah.

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

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 October 31, 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 “How to be a Social Creative” with Baratunde Thurston
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan 10/17/23 “Indigenous People”
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Community Events

Eliminate Racism 815 Book and Film Discussions

Book Discussion
Wednesday October 26, 2023  6:00 p.m.

Join us by zoom for a discussion of All the Real Indians Died Off, and 20 other myths about Native Americans by Roxanne Dunbar Ortez. The book tackles a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations.
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.

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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