Kairos September 5, 2023


Kairos                                                       09/05/2023

Homecoming!  (You’ll Be Back). 
September 10, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Online and in-person 
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
As we celebrate the beginning of the 183rd year of this church, we’ll reflect on what it means to make community together, and to return again and again to a place and a people.  What makes this return “good and pleasant” and freely chosen?  We will observe the “water celebration” ritual so feel free to bring water from a place special to you, though we’ll also have symbolic water you can use. There will be a backpack blessing, so have children and youth bring their backpacks or cases. 

The potluck will be after the service in Deale Hall! Bring a dish to pass.

We will Share the Plate with Afghan Refugee Family
Our member Scott Garwick has been working with a family who are refugees from Afghanistan who are connected to the family that our Sauk Valley folks have been formally supporting. This new family did not come as part of a program, and they need basic supplies for their home, including everything from clothing to toiletries and other things as they work to get settled. The funds you give today will be earmarked for this purpose through the Minister’s Discretionary Fund. 
Click Here to Donate

Volunteers for Sunday, September 10
Greeters: We Need 2 Volunteers
Guest Table: We Need 2 Volunteers
Ushers: Pam Wilson & Barb Wilson
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: Carly Vollmer Asadi (09/05), Jerry Brickey (09/06), Don Northrop (09/06), Rylen Asbury (09/06), Ann Pellman (09/11), Gary Soper (09/12), & Glen Pietrzyk (09/12)! 

Jon McGinty’s son-in-law, Marty Skelcy died Thursday in his home where he was recuperating from a heart attack he suffered last month. He was 55 years old. Please keep his wife, Joanna, in your thoughts and prayers.

Matthew’s Memo

Sept 5, 2023
Here we go!  Labor Day is past, school has started, the evenings are sooner, and we’re ready to celebrate Homecoming at church. 
Now is the time.  If you got out of the habit during COVID, or before, of coming to worship, now is the time to start again.  You won’t be the only one. 

Now is the time.  If you’ve been thinking about joining the choir, volunteering for RE, joining a Faith in Action team, and/or joining a Soul Matters Group, now is a great time to start.  We’d love to have you.  And you’ll enjoy it! 
Now is the time.  If you’ve been thinking of letting go of what doesn’t serve and building a life that you want, now is the time.  Make choices that work for you. 

Now is the time. 
* * *

We had our Q and A service on Sunday, and there were many good questions.  Thank you!  Read on in this Kairos for more about being a court-watcher, as we discussed. 
I got one question after the service that’ll answer here.  That was: Are you a Swiftie?  Why or Why not?  

My eldest child is absolutely a Swiftie (a big fan of Taylor Swift) and so, by proxy, some of that has rubbed off.  I enjoy quite a few of the songs.  I’ve also heard some great contemplative covers that reveal her real talent as a writer.  I’m not going to shell out the money to go to a show, but I do appreciate and enjoy her music.  Even more so, I appreciate her values.  She’s widely known for her generosity with her staff – including the dancers, roadies, truck drivers, and everyone who depends on her for their income.  And she’s made large donations to food pantries throughout her tour.  Do I wish all the rich would avoid private planes, which are a carbon disaster?  Sure.  But as singers and performers go, Taylor’s good people.  I have already planned to use some of her music this coming year, so keep your ears open. 
In faith,

Join us for the church auction on Saturday, September 23 at 5:00 p.m. in Deale Hall
Drinks and appetizers will be served!

We still need volunteers, email office manager Autumn Powell at office@uurockford.org to sign up to help out with set up and clean up.

A Rockford Welcome — How is it?
Wonderful Wednesday, Sept 6 at 6 pm

A Rockford Welcome — How is it?
Join a distinguished panel of experts and policymakers to discuss how Rockford and Illinois are doing to welcome people — newcomers, immigrants, refugees, and others — to our community and state.  What are we doing well?  What can we do better?  How can you get involved and how can we join together to make us a place of profound welcome and belonging?  

Panelists include IL State Representative Dave Vella (D-68), Community Leader Mustafa Abdul, City of Rockford Human Services Director Anqunette Parham, Dr. Keith Barnes, Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at Rock Valley College, and Dr. Misael Nascimento, Executive Director of Bilingual and Multicultural Services at Rockford Public Schools.

Photo of the Week

If you haven’t already, check out Ms. Lindsay’s Literary and Resource Center in Deale Hall!  It’s nestled between the seating areas and the children’s table, and it offers children’s book suggestions on various topics including LQBTQIA+ inclusion, antiracism and multiculturalism, emotions, and grief.  Books that have recently been shared during service are also on display.  Additionally, there are brochures, handouts, and local contacts for resources in the Rockford area.  You might also notice that The Basics, a resource developed by Alignment Rockford, is available for parents and caregivers of children age 5 and under.  Several of the staff members of the church were involved in developing the publication.  And, of course, there are lots of items on the lower shelves for the children and youth of the church to explore while they enjoy some fellowship with their peers.  We hope you find this helpful!  If you have suggestions for other items or topics to include, reach out to Lindsay Trank, Director of Religious Education, at

The Racial and Economic Team will not have our monthly meeting September 10, 2023, due to the church potluck. .Our next meeting will be the second Sunday in October, 10/8/23.
Enjoy the Homecoming Potluck!
Gloria and Kathie

Choir Start-up

The Unicantors will have their first rehearsal of the new program year at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 7. We’ll meet in the sanctuary. Newcomers are most welcome! Questions? Contact Music Director Tim Anderson (music@uurockford.org). We hope to see you there!

Multicultural Ministries
Anti-Racist Cookbook Workshop
Saturdays, September 9 and 30 at 9am – 11:00am

Register using this link https://uurockford.breezechms.com/form/5a3bb3

Join members of the Multicultural Ministries group to learn about steps everyone can take to become more aware of the definitions and tools to use in everyday life to increase awareness and develop tools to have cross-racial discussions. The resource and conversations will help to address the question, “What can we do and how can we do it?”

Reading the book is helpful, though not required. We have a few copies in the office you can borrow, or buy one for $5.00. 

Avoiding Scams
Wonderful Wednesday, September 13 6 pm

We strive to be open and loving people. There are times when we need to be more aware of people and situations that are dishonest and harmful. Join a representative from Midland Bank to learn about the most common scams and how to avoid them. For yourself and your loved ones.

Court Watching for the end of Cash Bail
Rev. Matthew’s sermon on Sunday mentioned the approaching end of cash bail on 9/18/23.  One way we can support this new law is to attend court, watch that the procedure is fair, and submit notes of our observations for analysis.  If you are one of the members of our church who would love to make a difference in Rockford’s anti-racist efforts, consider joining this program,
Rev. Violet Johnaker of RUM, Rockford Urban Ministries, is supporting this activity locally as part of a state-wide program to oversee the implementation of this law to increase fairness.  Sign up for the ZOOM training on Wednesday, 9/13 at 6:00 pm. 

RUM will provide a note-taking form for court watching, which starts on Monday, 9/18 and will run for just one month, Monday thru Saturday, for about 2 hours each day starting at 1:15 pm.  You can commit to as few as 2 sessions during the month.
RUM participated in an earlier program through Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts.  Their statewide analysis of court watching concluded:
findings make clear that criminal courts are intimidating environments where efficiency and procedure are prioritized over wellbeing and that people in bond court fight desperately for their freedom while struggling to convey their humanity to a system that is often indifferent to their suffering.
Join the program to hold our courts accountable to the law and respect for the all persons.

Grief Support Group
Monday, September 18, 6 pm

Join Rev. Joyce and Rich McKnight for a 7-session Grief Support Group. The group will meet every other week beginning on Monday, September 18 at 6 p.m. through December 11. The group is for anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one. The group will provide a safe place to share, grow, and learn while coping with the pain of your loss.

Come Play with Flowers
Wonderful Wednesday September 20th at 6pm

Register using this link https://uurockford.breezechms.com/form/449f42

Beginners Guide to the Prison Industrial Complex
Saturday, October 14 10 – 2pm
In person and Online

Feeling helpless in the face of the racial and economic injustice in our society?

Join the UU Prison Ministry of IL to explore injustices of the prison system and learn what we can do to change it. This workshop is intended to challenge participants towards growth & inspire ongoing work and action. Workshop held at UU Church Rockford.

Please register athttp://www.uupmi.org/pic-registration.html

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 September 12, 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

Book Discussion
Wednesday August 31, 2023  6:00 p.m.
c387031b-1e60-1776-b9c9-00a5d8fcbd7f.jpgJoin us by zoom for a discussion of We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez: Poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the US-Mexico border, inspired by current events. Chicago Public Library Best of test of 2020.
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.

Eliminate Racism 815 –  Film Discussion
Friday September 8, 2023 
6:00 p.m.

We will watch Young Lakota: 1st female president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe defies a proposed South Dakota law criminalizing all abortions by threatening to build a women’s clinic on sovereign territory on the reservation.
Join us at the Baha’i Center 1650 N Alpine: Lower level in Highcrest Shopping Center. 

We will show the film at The Baha’i Center in person with a facilitated discussion after the showing of the film.

The film discussions are presented in partnership with The Baha’i Community of the Rockford Area and Rockford Public Library.


We are excited to announce that we are bringing Susana Mendoza to Rockford to speak at our annual WCCC Fundraiser.   The fundraiser will be at our church.  Please join us for an evening of inspiration as we raise funds to support Women’s Reproductive Health Care Access and elect Pro-choice candidates.

To get tickets, if you don’t have Facebook and/or don’t want to go through Eventbrite for the tickets and pay the additional $5, you can send a check directly to
WCCC at PO Box 4443, Rockford 61110.

Barb Giolitto
WCCC President


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 “Action: Declare Climate Emergency”
Literature Link in Memory of Dale Dunnigan 07/11/23
Click Here to view Ministers and Staff: Duties, Hours, Contact

Hymn of the Month
“We Welcome You” Hal Walker

Whoever you are, we welcome you.
Wherever you come from, we welcome you.
Whomever you love, we welcome you. 

Repeat 3 times.
On last time, repeat last line 3x. 

Community Events

Shiraz Tata invites you to this fun collaborative event in Midtown! All are welcome!!

Celebrate International Day of Peace on Thursday, September 21st at Rockford University. At 4 pm Reverend Naomi Tutu, daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, delivers a Peace Day lecture in RU’s Maddox Theater. At 5 pm join Rev. Tutu for a tour and celebration of Roland Poska’s “Declarations of Interdependence – Rockford series” in RU’s Regents Hall.

Learn more about the event: Facebook Event Page

See Declaration of Interdependence photos across Rockford: Rockford Photo Album

Questions, sponsorship: BobSchlehuber@gmail.com; 815-519-1900


I am nearing the end of my second terms as a Habitat for Humanity board member. I consider myself as holding down the “Unitarian Board Seat” as the late Roger Oehlke preceded me as a long term board member.

I am inviting you to join me for a truly spectacular evening that will leave you feeling inspired and ready to make a difference, Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity is celebrating its 35th anniversary, and we want you to join us for a gala event. On October 14th, 2023, at the Radisson Hotel in Rockford, we will be hosting our Hard Hats and High Heels Gala to commemorate our 35 years of dedicated service by providing affordable housing and building strong comities.

By attending this event, you will be directly supporting Habitat’s mission of creating safe and affordable homes. So mark your calendars and save the date and sign up as soon as possible Together, let’s celebrate our achievements, create lasting connections, and raise vital funds to continue building homes, communities, and hope.

Tickets are limited, so get your ticket at rockfordhabitat.org/35years.

Submitted by David Black

The Board of Trustees: 
President: Spitty Tata
Clerk: Kim 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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