Kairos September 21, 2021

Kairos                                                      09/21/2021

Reason vs reason.
September 26, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and In-Person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

As we close our month on reason, I’ll reflect on “reason” and “Reason.”  The enlightenment philosophers articulated a vision of reason as a way to make the world make sense, but in some hands, the cult of “Reason” became a deadly totalitarian project. How do we, who aim to follow reason, keep ourselves away from “Reason”? 
Volunteer for Sunday Morning
We still need Ushers and Guest table volunteers this Sunday!
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: Sally Trefz (09/23), Bill Stanton (09/24), Jan Scott (09/25), Bob Bowling (09/25), Leah Krippner (09/25), Kathryn Heyer (09/26), Katy Haun (09/26), & Jack Armstrong (09/27)!

The memorial reception committee would like to thank the special people who helped us take down tables and chairs after Mardi Blomgren’s memorial service. These people stepped forward, unsolicited, to get the job done: Clark Logemenn, Rayo Tata, Spitty Tata, Duane Wilke, and Leslie Mahan. Thank you, we are grateful for your help.

We will Share the Plate with Al Otro Lado

Al Otro Lado provides holistic legal and humanitarian support to indigent refugees, deportees, and other migrants in the US and Tijuana through a multidisciplinary, client-centered, harm reduction-based practice.

We provide direct, free, legal services on both sides of the US-Mexico border and beyond. We engage in zealous individual representation,  medical-legal partnerships, and impact litigation to protect the rights of immigrants and asylum-seekers.
Click Here to Donate

Matthew’s Memo September 21, 2021
Wednesday, tomorrow, is the Fall Equinox. The beginning of Autumn, and a time to pause for a moment in the turning world.  The first tree to change every year has already begun – others will not turn until late October.  Sunday was warm, but the fall is coming.
For some, this is rejoicing – the cooler nights, the pumpkin spice, the sweaters, and the beautiful trees.  Others are sad to see the warmth dissipate. Like the trees, we each have our ways. 
This fall is a time of worry, possibility, and taking stock.  We worry about the coming winter and this virus, what will happen in our school and in our communities, and what will happen in our world.  Yet we note that school is happening, that eligibility for vaccination for children over 5 may come next month, and that good things are happening here and there.  And in the midst of this worry and hope, it is time to take stock.
As a family or community approaches fall, it’s time to think about what we need to get through the winter. What do we need?
What is essential for you for what is coming?  I suggest that some essential things might be community, spaciousness, and joy. 
We will need each other.  Do you have your list of go-to people to ask for help from?  Are you on other people’s lists?  Are you making time for the essential connections? 
We will need spaciousness.  So many of us are seeing that we don’t want to be overscheduled.  We need room to breathe and rest.  Make sure you are making that time for yourself if you need it.
And we will need joy.  We need things that give us pleasure.  Life can’t just be about getting through.  There must be laughter and happiness.  What makes you happy?  Are you making that a priority? 
Now is the time to plan for the time to come.  Get ready.  And then enjoy the moments, the beauty, the love, and the turning.
In faith,

Faith and the Climate Crisis

Confronting the climate crisis will require our faithfulness and our religious values, and to form interfaith coalitions.  How does our UU Faith inform our approach to both reducing climate change and building resilient just responses? How can we make cross-religious coalitions for this vital work?  This is a two-session Wonderful Wednesday program on Sept. 29th and Oct. 13th at 7pm.  Mark your calendars for both.  Both sessions will be exclusively on zoom.  The first session will focus on UU approaches to the climate crisis. Professor Brian Wagner from Rock Valley College, an expert in this field, will join Rev. Matthew for the second class, to explore interfaith responses.  
What Does It Mean to Facilitate a Discussion?
The City of Rockford has scheduled discussions about race with 125 of the staff of the city’s Police and Fire departments.  Each discussion includes about 5 city staff and 2 trained facilitators.  The facilitators introduce the discussion, pose questions, encourage participation by all city staff, monitor adherence to a behavior covenant, and offer personal responses to at least the first question to model openness and vulnerability. 
The facilitators are members of Eliminate Racism 815, a grass roots organization here in Rockford.  They volunteer their time, a couple of hours at a time, to encourage equitable change in our city.

Eliminate Racism 815 is offering free facilitator training, including lunch, on Saturday, October 2nd.  The location is Good Shepherd Lutheran Church across from West Middle School on N. Rockton.  The time is 9 am to 3 pm.  Participants need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and wear a mask inside the building.

If this method of fostering communication interests you, call Jim Roberts at 815-398-1634 by Friday, September 24th to register.  Many of our church members are facilitators.  Besides me, Neita Webster, Shiraz Tata, and Linda Johnson have led discussions.  This effort is supported by our first two principles:

We affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
We affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.

Submitted by Teresa Wilmot
We are excited to share that Spectrum Progressive School in collaboration with The Unitarian Universalist Church will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccine pop-up clinic for our community on Thursday September 30 between 12:00-3:00 pm in the upper level parking lot at 4848 Turner Street.  This clinic is open to anyone ages 12 and over. Important to Know
  • This clinic will provide the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which has been authorized by the FDA for emergency use for individuals ages 12 and older.
  • Students MUST BE 12 years old on the day of their vaccination.
  • COVID-19 vaccination is free and does not require insurance.
Register for an appointment: https://events.juvare.com/IL-IDPH/w77s9/1064543/ or feel free to walk on in and get your shot when you have some free time.
  • You will be required to check in.
  • You will review and sign a consent form.
  • Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
Find more information on the vaccine:
Thank you!

Dr. Mary Beth Cunat, Spectrum Progressive school principal
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson, The Unitarian Universalist Church Rockford Il, Minister

P.S. SPREAD THE WORD! Know someone who needs a vaccine? Don’t be shy. Forward this notice to them!
COVID Vaccination Flyer
The Gift of Eating
Wonderful Wednesday, October 20 at 7pm. Session on Zoom

Food is the gift of life and so much more. This engaging book is for those seeking a deeper and more authentic approach to eating and food, In today’s culture, we are frequently bombarded by negative food messages and rules. Our workbook will guide you on your personal journey of discovering the positive aspects of food and appreciation for the gifts of eating.  During the presentation we will explore highlights of the journey, including the spiritual gifts.


Eating Experts was founded in 1993 by Barb Kaney Ferry, RD and Kathie Buchmann Mattison, MS, RD. We shared a passion for food, eating, family meals, and dietetics. Both of us grew up in culturally rich food traditions, Barb was immersed in rural farm traditions and Kathie experienced the food of her Italian, Polish, and German ancestors. We each valued delicious family meals, produce from home gardens, and cooking experiences with our mothers and grandmothers. As Registered Dietitians, our foundations of meaningful food histories and love of cooking paired beautifully with a desire to help others find health, enjoyment, meaning and peace of mind through satisfying eating.

The book may be purchased from Kathie or Barb for $27.19,  Please contact Kathie if you wish to buy one before October 20.  (kathiemattison@gmail.com)

You may also purchase the book at:

Amazon – $34.50,  Barnes & Noble  $39.95,   Kindle version – $9.99

Literature Link for Sept. 19, Climate Crisis and Faith
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer  [a mixture of prose, myth, and more] In this excerpt from the new introduction to her acclaimed book Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer draws upon the creation story Skywoman Falling and the wisdom of plants to guide us through our present moment of deep uncertainty. I included a copy of the painting she mentions in that chapter of the book, below, where she says, as a professor of botany and ecology, that she has a copy of the painting hanging in her lab.

This book on Amazon has a “look inside” where, if you click on it, allows you to see the first 10 pages which explains the creation story of Sky Woman.
Sky Woman: Moment in Flight This painting by Bruce King is a beautiful depiction of Skywoman 

from “Apocalipsixtlán” [5. Signs of the End of the World] by Rigoberto Gonalez. [poem] “Oh teachers of nonsense, we erased/ you. The future is ours, you all said, and the future/  arrived, bleak and black, but with much less room/ to move around.”

•  “Time capsule found on the dead planet” by Margaret Atwood. Atwood’s two-page “Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet” in I’m with the Bears is climate change flash fiction. Found in a cylinder of brass on a dry lake shore by travelers from a distant world, the time capsule tells of a civilization that worshiped money and created feasts and famine, towers of glass, and “ate whole forests, croplands, and the lives of children.”

In faith,
Dale Dunnigan
Social Justice Updates
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois

This from our partners, the UU Prison Ministry of Illinois

You can literally save lives by these actions!  One of our UUPMI inside pen pals Lonnie Smith will have his spirits lifted by your taking the brief time to call, write or tweet on behalf of him and so many others hoping for release from prison. Sample letter, phone call, and Tweet are 
here.  Email uupmi.info@gmail.com to let us know how you took action. If you know any other people waiting for the Governor to sign their clemency petitions, please do include them!

For a quick and easy message to Governor Pritzker, TAKE ACTION!

Comments, questions, suggestions?  CONTACT US

Eliminate Racism 815
Book Discussion  
Thursday September 30, 2021  6:00 p.m.

Join us by zoom for a discussion of  An Indigenous People’s History of United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. The book challenges the myth of the US and shows how policy against indigenous peoples was colonialist designed.
Please read the book on your own and we will discuss it. 
Join the Zoom Meeting here: 

Book discussions are presented in partnership with Rockford Public Library.
Green Sanctuary will meet on the 4th Sunday of each month at Mary’s Market at 11:45 a.m.
*Church Calendar*

-Justice for All Meeting will meet on October 10th at 11:10 a.m. in the Conference Room

-Social Justice Committee will meet on November 17th at 7:00 p.m. in the Library 

Coffee Hour on Sunday Zoom 337-267-3668. 11:10 am.

Touchstones: contact your touchstones group facilitator for the time, if you don’t already have it.

– Caring Team Meeting – The first Tuesday of each month
The next one is Tuesday, October 5th at 6 pm in the Library

– Membership Team Meetings are on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7 pm. Meeting ID: 980 2780 4780

– Green Sanctuary will meet on the 4th Sunday of each month at 11:45 a.m. at Mary’s Market
Community Events
The League of Women Voters Of Greater Rockford is participating in National Voter Registration Day on September 28, 2021. National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy.  To mark this holiday, Deputy Registrars from the LWVGR will hold an area-wide voter registration drive.
Eligibility and requirements
  • Any US citizen who was born on or before November 8, 2004 is eligible to register. 
  • A person who has had a name or address change must register again.
  • To register to vote, an individual needs two forms of identification. One form must show the person’s current address and current name. The other just the current name. The individual also needs the last four numbers of their Social Security.
  • Naturalized citizens must provide both the court and date of naturalization. 
Locations for in-person voter registration on September 28th
  • Cherry Valley Library, 755 E State St, Cherry Valley – 10am-2pm
  • Crimson Ridge, 735 N Perryville Rd, Rockford – 1-4pm
  • Crusader Community Health West State, 1200 W. State St, Rockford -2:30-5:00pm
  • Crusader Community Health Alpine, 1215 N Alpine Rd, Rockford – 12-4 pm
  • Hart Interim Library, 214 N Church St., Rockford – 9am-2 pm
  • Ida Library, 320 N State St, Belvidere – 12-4:00pm
  • Loves Park Library NSLD, 6340 N 2nd St, Loves Park -3-7 pm
  • Montague Branch Library, 1238 S. Winnebago St, Rockford – 10am-2:00 pm
  • Northeast Family YMCA,  8451 Orth Rd, Loves Park – 8:30-10:30am & 5-7:00pm
  • Puri Family YMCA,   1475 S Perryville Rd, Rockford,  8:30-10:30am & 5-7:00pm
  • Roscoe Library NSLD, 5562 Clayton Cir, Roscoe – 3-5 pm
  • Swedish American Riverfront YMCA, 200 Y Blvd. Rockford – 8:30-Noon
  • Talcott Library, 101 E Main St, Rockton – 12-4pm
  • YWCA Northwestern Illinois, 4990 East State, Rockford – 9am -Noon
  • Food Truck Tuesday, Nicholas Conservatory, 1354 N 2nd St, Rockford – 4-8pm
For more information including addresses of locations and times of registration go to  www.lwvgr.org 
Anyone unable to register at one of our in-person locations on September 28 can register on -line at these websites:  City of Rockford,
www.voterockford.com Winnebago County, www.elections.winnebagocountyclerk.com  and Boone County, www.boonecountyil.org

The climate crisis is upon us. GreenTown Rockford will address how climate solutions and equity go hand-in-hand to create a healthy, sustainable Rockford Region for all. On Thursday, September 30 at 10 am, GreenTown will be hosting a pre-event webinar.

To attend the free webinar, register below.

The GreenTown Rockford “main event” will take place Friday, November 12 at the Embassy Suites in Downtown Rockford. 



Topics Include:

  • Building locally equitable and sustainable food systems
  • Affordable housing and net-zero developments
  • Energy assistance programs


  • Lindy Wordlaw, Elevate, Chicago, IL 
  • David Pope, Oak Park Residence Corporation, Oak Park, IL 
  • Reverend Marvin Hightower, Mount Zion Baptist Church, Rockford, IL 
  • Bryant Jones, Twin Cities Relief Initiative, Minneapolis, MN

Thursday, September 30

Zoom Webinar

For free registration and to receive Zoom information, please click the link below: 


               UU   RETREAT   EVENT

We are excited to announce a Virtual Retreat Event for Sat. Sept. 25th at 1 pm.

Trans and Non-Binary Inclusion with featured speaker  Alex Kapitan.
What does it mean to be a men’s group, woman’s group, community or congregation that affirms and embraces gender diversity? As Unitarians honor their commitment to practice “welcoming all,” it’s important to engage in what this practice calls on us to do. Alex Kapitan, a trans and non-binary UU leader, who has served as a consultant for Unity Temple on this topic, will lead us in learning and conversation about understanding gender expansively and what trans and non-binary inclusion would look like for our groups. As always there will be interactive discussions. 

Approximate length of this event = 120 min. 
TO REGISTER- GET LINK:  Send name & e-mail address to markeric-j@hotmail.com

Sponsored by the Men’s Retreat committee: Mark Johansen, Rich Pokorny, Gerry Messler, Bob Innocenzi, Alan Johnson, Doug Erickson & Ron Dubreuil.

The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |   uurockford.org  |
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