Telling Our Stories
October 3, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.Onlineand In-Person Rev. Darrick Jackson
We are a people of story. The stories we tell shape how we see ourselves and the world. So what happens if we change our stories?
The Rev. Darrick Jackson (he/him) is the Director of Ministries for Lifelong Learning of UU Ministers Association and an Affiliated Community Minister with Second Unitarian Church of Chicago. He is one of the authors in the book “Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity and Power in Ministry.” Rev. Darrick is active in DRUUMM (the UU ministry for people of color, and is the treasurer for Healing Moments (a ministry for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s). He is also Co-Associate Director of the Chicago Playback Theatre Ensemble and is an avid knitter. Rev. Darrick and his husband, Rev. James Olson, live with their two cats, Merlin and Morgana.
Or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know and I’ll put you in the system for that day.
Happy Birthday to: Tom Hunter (09/28), Jesse Dorner (09/29), Allyson Rosemore (09/29), Stanley Campbell (09/30), Brent Cummings (09/30), Ann Bowling (10/02) Myrna Lake (10/02), Khanh Oehlke (10/04), & Aaron Kerr (10/05)!
Bob King had a severe stroke Saturday, September 18th. He is home, but unable to use his left side. His wife Sheila is asking for thoughts and positive energy to be sent to him.
Please keep Steve and Keiko Hall in your thoughts and prayers, they were on the train headed for Seattle that derailed Saturday. Keiko is ok, Steve suffered a few broken ribs. They are on their way home and thank everyone for their good wishes.
We will Share the Plate with Natural Land Institute
The mission of the Natural Land Institute is to create an enduring legacy of natural land in northern Illinois for people, plants, and animals. For more information click here. Click Here to Donate
Matthew’s Memo Sept 28, 2021
Throughout September and October, we’ve had a justice focus around the Climate Crisis. The organizations we’ve been supporting with our Share the Plate gifts work with refugees, who are often driven by climate-related pressures. We’ll be turning in October to support groups that promote wilderness, natural spaces, and ecological education. I’ve preached on Climate Change, and our Green Sanctuary team is up and running again.
I’m thrilled to share that the Building and Ground Committee and Finance Committee did join a community solar project, which will reduce our electrical bill and use renewable solar energy for our needs at church. We also continue to work on energy efficiency at the church, though the nature of our building and its use makes some of that hard – especially during COVID when we are using our air filtration system and opening doors for fresh air at the same time. But that is safest.
We are also thrilled to offer support to the GreenTown Conference. This conference is a chance to jump-start a sustainability plan for the Rockford area. It will bring policymakers, activists, business leaders, and others together to work on sustainability for people, ecology, and the economy. Thanks to us, it will also bring students. We are using money given in honor of Joanne and Tom Shaheen to offer free registration to RPS High School students, and more than 50 students will attend. They will bring urgency and moral power to these meetings – Joanne would be thrilled, I’m sure. You too can register at https://www.greentownconference.com/. It is on Nov. 12th.
And I’ll be teaching a two-session adult Religious Education class on “Faith and the Climate Crisis.” The first session will be Wednesday, the next will be on Oct. 13th; both at 7 pm. Both classes are on Zoom at
Meeting ID: 861 5318 5836
At the first session, we’ll explore how the UU faith shapes our climate work, and the second session, where I’ll be joined by Prof. Brian Wagner from Rock Valley College, will look at interfaith work on this subject. The classes should give you the values language and tools you need to engage the GreenTown conference and other opportunities with spiritual grounding and moral urgency.
I hope you can join these efforts.
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.
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.
We Americans are used to efforts to reduce trash to extend the life of our growing landfills. But there’s another problem with trash. Before it’s thrown away, it had to be created, using resources mined or farmed from the earth. Of those resources, 2/3 are emitted as pollution, scattered or disposed of as waste—globally, 67.4 billion tons in 2015. Only 23.7 billion tons in 2015 became long-lasting materials like buildings and infrastructure. Only 1.7 billion tons ended up in landfills.
Perhaps our real problem isn’t landfills but rather “stuff.” We replace our cars, telephones, computers, and clothes routinely. What happens to the items we replace?
When I needed to replace my furnace a few years ago, I asked if I should replace my central air conditioning at the same time, since it uses the same ductwork. The salesman told me, confidentially, that my “old” air conditioner was made much better than the “new” one he would use to replace it, even though it would be made by the same manufacturer. He recommended I keep using my existing unit until it died. How’s that for an honest salesman!
Perhaps capitalism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Capitalism assumes an infinite supply of raw materials. It assumes the eternal growth of the economy. But our earth is finite, as is the life of each of us. Perhaps we need to factor that into the equation.
For my part, when I needed to replace my jeans, I bought a pair at the Rescue Mission Store. For $5 I found a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans which actually fit my 4’ 10” body without cutting off! I used my knitting skill to add racing stripes down the side seams.
Soon I will fill the empty wall of my living room—the space that held the hospital bed before Frank died–with a second-hand sofa. I might hire someone to reupholster it. But I don’t need to use more resources by buying a new piece of furniture. And this isn’t because I can’t afford a new sofa. I just want to be part of the answer to the trash mountain–not part of the problem.
Submitted by Teresa Wilmot
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. (email@example.com)
• Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Goethe’s Faust is the perfect work for illustrating the multifaceted, often self-contradictory nature of Romanticism. Reason and passion struggle together, tragedy blends into comedy, and the bounds of literature itself are stretched as a new form struggles to be born. Faust is bored and depressed with his life as a scholar. After an attempt to take his own life, he calls on the Devil for further knowledge and magic powers with which to indulge all the pleasure and knowledge of the world. In response, the Devil’s representative, Mephistopheles, appears. This YouTube is an audio retelling of the Faust story. [37 mins] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ulWiK6g-hk
• “Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” by William Wordsworth.
[poem] It was written by Wordsworth after a walking tour with his sister, Dorothy, in this section of the Welsh Borders. The description of his encounters with the countryside on the banks of the River Wye grows into an outline of his general philosophy. ” And I have felt/ A presence that disturbs me with the joy
• In ‘The Birth-Day’, Mary Robinson (1758-1800) highlighted the enormous discrepancy between life for the rich and the poor. [poem] ” ‘Room, room! stand back!’ they loudly cry, / The wretched poor are driven around; / On every side they scattered fly, / And shrink before the threatening sound.” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/51899/the-birth-day
Social Justice Updates
Eliminate Racism 815
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:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81211275487 Book discussions are presented in partnership with Rockford Public Library.
Film Discussion Friday, October 8. 2021 6pm How Racism Harms White Americans- Lecture by John Bracey: This film focuses on the high price that white people, especially working class whites, have paid for race-based policies. Join Zoom Meeting here:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81211275487 The film discussions are presented in partnership with Tony Turner of Conscious Coaching, The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area, and Rockford Public Library.
-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
– 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 Meetingsare 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
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
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.
BUILDING EQUITABLE AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES (FREE)
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