Kairos September 28, 2021

Kairos                                                      09/28/2021

Telling Our Stories
October 3, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and 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.
Volunteer for Sunday Morning
We have no volunteers for this coming 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: 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.
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.  
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
Curing Trash
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.  (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. 26, 2021- Faith and Reason
• “Cherish Your Doubts” by Robert T Weston.  This is a 12 line prose poem found in the UUA.org website. ” Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth.”

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]

“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
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime/ Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,/ And the round ocean and the living air / And the blue sky, and in the mind of man.” I’ve taught the poem many times,
reading it aloud as a “guided imagery.”  This piece offers the core of romanticism
in Wordsworth’s philosophy.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45527/lines-composed-a-few-miles-above-tintern-abbey-on-revisiting-the-banks-of-the-wye-during-a-tour-july-13-1798  For an overview, brief outline of sections, and commentary:
•  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.”
In faith,
Dale Dunnigan
Social Justice Updates
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.

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.
*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 

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: 

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