Kairos September 27, 2022

Kairos                                                       09/27/2022

October 2, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. 
Online and in-person 
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

The second in our year-long series on 10 big ideas that have changed or expanded my thinking in the last 15 years as your minister.  Non-binary gender identity is far more public and known today than it was a generation ago – even though people who are not only “man” or “woman” have existed throughout human history.  What is gender, anyway?  How can reconsidering the gender binary be a courageous act of freedom – for everyone? 

We will Share the Plate with The Liam Foundation

The Liam Foundation provides services for all persons within our LGBTQIA+ community by offering safe and welcoming facilities for our community; providing support, services and resources that take special consideration to the needs of our community; mentoring our community in life skills to persons with special needs, and or at-risk behaviors and or circumstances in our community; promoting the overall health and well-being of our community; continually educating ourselves and the community at large on issues that pertain to our community; and sponsoring, hosting and or participating in events and activities that promote our community.

Click Here to Donate
Happy Birthday to: John Armstrong (09/27), Thomas Hunter (09/28), Jesse Dorner (09/29), Allyson Rosemore (09/29), Stanley Campbell (09/30), & Brent Cummings (09/30)!

Please keep Vernon Carter in your thoughts and prayers as he recovers at Alden Debes from a hip operation.

Please keep the family of former church member Daphne Cooper in your thoughts and prayers. Daphne died on September 20, 2022.
Obituary for Daphne Cooper.
Join Us in Saying Goodbye
Long-time Rockford UU members Sue and Duane Wilke are about to move to their new home in Boston. The Unicantors and the Caring Team invite everyone to give the Wilkes a warm send-off at an informal reception in Deale Hall after the Sunday morning service on October 2.    

Matthew’s Memo Sept 27, 2022
As we conclude our month on the theme of Belonging and prepare for our month on the theme of Courage, I am thinking, naturally, of the “Courage to Belonging.”  Sunday, I preached about the cost of belonging – that belonging takes effort and participation.  That cost should be fair, and just – but participation is required for belonging to be real. 
And participation takes courage.  There is always the risk of rejection or failure when we reach out.  Our offering may not be welcome, or may be taken advantage of.  This is real, and it is why being part of something does take courage.  One way that I manage these fears is to find out more about what is likely to happen when I join something. Who else might I know?  What’s the agenda?  If I can read about it ahead of time, that is always helpful for me. 
Others just plunge away, and some are very selective in what they participate in. 
But whatever your strategy, I think we should honor the courage to participate.  When we show up at a thing for the first time, we open new possibilities of becoming.  When we say yes to an invitation for leadership or activity, we can give our lives more meaning and purpose.  When we bring our heart and mind to the work, we make the work better. 
Democracy, community, friendship – all these depend on people having the courage to participate and join in. 
What is calling to you today?  What feels courageous to be part of?  This is your invitation to say yes.
In faith,

Defund Fear Book discussion via Zoom on Wednesday, September 28 at 7pm

We will discuss Part 1 and our discussion will center on acknowledging and moving past fear.

Questions to discuss:
  • Have you had a personal experience of crime or a threat to your safety? 
  • Do you find yourself afraid of crime although you have not been a victim yourself? Why? 
  • Where do our fears really come from? Can you articulate ways your fear/our fear is manipulated to support a fear-based public safety system? [Mention the preponderance of crime-related stories in the media, including mainstream news, social media, and television drama.]

Drag Queen Story Time
Wednesday, Oct 5th, 6pm

Join local performer Anchantris Diamond for Drag Queen Story Time.  This program, for all ages, celebrates freedom, creativity, and fun.  There will be stories and songs about how great it is to be fully yourself. In the sanctuary.  

Finding Your Way with Starting Point

Starting Point is small group ministry especially designed for newcomers and those looking to discover Unitarian Universalism and their church all over again. This program will help participants live Unitarian Universalism more fully, bring our history and theology to life, and leave everyone feeling grounded, connected and renewed.

Join Rev. Joyce, newcomers, friends and members looking to make connections and “dig deeper” into Unitarian Universalism.

Starting Point is a 4 week program, we will meet Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Upcoming Session dates are September 27, and October 4.

Register by completing the form at this link:


Common Read 2022: Defund Fear: Safety without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment by Zach Norris 

Community Conversations       Open to All
Hosted by the Racial and Economic Justice Team

All Sessions Online at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, September 28 Part 1: The Unsafe World
Wednesday, October 26 Part 2: A Vision of Safety
Wednesday, November 30: Reimagined Realities

The UUA Common Read offers us an opportunity to learn about an important topic and discuss how it relates to our Unitarian Universalist values. Zach Norris is a lawyer and the executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. His book offers a new blueprint for public safety that holds people accountable while still holding them in community.

You can purchase books at church with Li M Blacker. The books have been pre-purchased to receive the bulk discount. Please submit payment to Connection Victory for $15.

Register for the event to receive Zoom link for discussion:


Make your NPR Donation thru the Church

It’s that time of the year. Every 20 minutes, WNIJ has 10 minutes of fundraising announcements. Drives me crazy.

If you are reminded to donate to WNIJ, and plan to mail them a check, STOP.

Instead, write a check to the church. In the check memo line, note WNIJ – NPR. Here’s why you might consider making your donation this way. The church will gather up your individual donation checks, and write a larger check in the church’s name to WNIJ. In return for the church donation, WNIJ will air some of those public service announcements publicizing our church.

Did you ever wonder how our church gets those PSA announcements onto the air?

To those who like to sew and would like to make a 12 1/2 inch quilt block for comfort quilts for church members who are being treated for cancer. Sometimes they spend long periods undergoing medical treatment. The comfort quilt reminds them of the love and care coming from their quilt. Contact Sandi Campbell if you are willing to help make comfort quilts. Let’s spread more comfort and love. Sandi 815-997-6891.
Memorial Patio Update
As part of the work to rebuild the Memorial Patio we would like to encourage members who want to order a memorial brick for a loved one who has died to submit a form with the information needed for inscription. We realize that there have been a number of deaths since bricks were last ordered and we would like to catch up as much as we can during this rebuilding phase. Please note that there is no need to do new forms for anyone who already has a brick in the current patio.

Forms are available from the church office or you may click the button below to print out the form at home. They should be submitted to the office. Our current policy is that bricks are engraved at no cost for members of the church. The engraving fee is $50/brick for non-member children, parents, spouses and life partners of members and $130 for former members and friends of the church. Payment should be made to the office.

If you have any questions about the orders or the patio please contact Pat Lewis at 
Memorial Brick Form
Click Here for Literature Link from Dale
Click Here for Teresa’s Tablet
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact
Social Justice Updates
Eliminate Racism 815

Book Discussion  
Thursday September 29, 2022  6:00 p.m.

Join us by zoom for a discussion of Semitism: Being Jewish American in Age of Trump by Jonathan Weisman. Weisman shows how hatred can slowly chew away at the moral fabric of society. Weisman has written a manifesto that outlines the dangers of marginalizing all minority groups This is more than a personal response to bigotry he experienced because of his Jewishness. It is a book for all of us.

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.

Film Discussion
Friday October 14, 2022 
6:30 p.m. 

Starting next month, we will no longer show films on zoom! We will show the film at The Baha’i Center in person with a facilitated discussion after the showing of the film.
October 14 we will show the film Antisemitism in Four Mutations: Antisemitism in the US & Europe is worsening in ways not seen since the 30s, mutating across cultures, borders and ideologies .
Join us at the Baha’i Center 1650 N Alpine: Lower level in Highcrest Shopping Center. 
Please note that the meeting time will be 6:30, not 6:00 p.m. the way the zoom viewings were.
 Popcorn will be provided!
 The film discussions are presented in partnership with The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area and Rockford Public Library.
The Board of Trustees: 
President: Judy Gustafson   
Clerk: Bob Spelman
Vice-President: Spitty Tata
Treasurer: Steve Blomgren
Trustees: Shoko Chien, 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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