Kairos September 7, 2021

Kairos                                                      09/07/2021

September 12, 2021, at 10:00 a.m.
 Online and In-Person
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

We celebrate the beginning of the new church and school year, and reflect on the power of community.  We’ll consider what it means to be about repairing our lives and our shared world, and how we can be reasonable agents of love and healing in these days we are given.  Join Rev. Matthew, Rev. Joyce, and Tim in-person or online for this special service. 
Volunteer for Sunday Morning
Oh no we have no volunteers for this Sunday. Please sign up so we can make worship happen!
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: Ann Pellman (09/11), Gary Soper (09/12), Glen Pietrzyk (09/12), & Gene Gustafson (09/13)!

Please keep Vernon and Geri Carter in your thoughts and prayers. Vernon’s sister died recently and the sister’s daughter and son-in-law are in the hospital due to Covid. 

Mardie Blomgren Memorial Service
Saturday, September 18th, 1:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, 4848 Turner St., Rockford IL 61107
With the current surge of delta variant COVID cases, we are being extra cautious with this event. We invite those who are vaccinated to join us in person if you are comfortable doing so. We will gather outside behind the church with a canopy available for shade/ rain protection. Bathrooms will be accessible inside. Unfortunately, the canopy will be somewhat challenging to access for people with mobility issues; the Livestream may be a better option if mobility is a concern.

We request that attendees also wear a mask during the service. Following the service, we will offer light refreshments and guests can choose to wear a mask or not at that point, once it is easier to socially distance.

We encourage anyone else who is unable to join, who has not yet been vaccinated, or who would be more comfortable, to view the service through a 
 live feed on Facebook which will be shared here.

We will Share the Plate with NIJFON

Northern Illinois Justice For Our Neighbors (NIJFON) provides free high-quality legal services to low-income immigrants, engages in education and advocacy efforts, and builds cross-cultural relationships.

In addition to legal services provided by skilled attorneys at clinics across Northern Illinois, staff and volunteers provide hospitality and needed childcare, assist with requisite paperwork and offer a free legal consultation for every immigrant who comes to the clinic.

Rooted in the United Methodist Church and moved by our faith to welcome immigrants, we are a non-profit organization that welcomes people of all backgrounds and faiths

Click Here to Donate
Matthew’s Memo September 7, 2021
Back in August, you approved a potential expansion of the Woodsong Nature School program we have been running for the last three years.  If we got eight children signed up for the new two-day program, we could offer that in addition to our existing three-day program. 
I’m pleased to say that Lindsay Trank and Lauren Smith, the Woodsong Co-directors, were successful in getting families signed up for this program.  They have eight now, with more signed up to start in both October and November.  The 2-day program begins this week, as does the existing three-day program. 
This is great news.  The Woodsong program serves an important ministry need in our community.  There are very few non-Christian programs for 2-year old children that are more than childcare.  Cultivating a love of nature, building social skills, and having rich play helps grow brains and makes a life-long difference in outcomes. 
This expansion also allows us to increase the work hours for Lauren Smith from 16 to 32 hours each week.  Our nursery families know “Ms. Lauren” well – she has been working in our nursery room, as well as teaching Our Whole Lives, our sexuality education program, for years.  Lauren will be doing more with Religious Education programs and family ministry now, as Lindsay will devote some more of her regular full-time work to the Woodsong program.  Lindsay and Lauren make a great team – they compliment each other’s skills and work very well together. 
Lauren has worked in education and child development for many years, including working at a Montessori school and for the Boys and Girls Club.  She’s calm, thoughtful, and caring — a great skill set for babies and toddlers.  
Expect to see Lauren more often at church programs and events.  Though she is by no means “new” with us, her expanded role is new, so please do make a point to welcome and thank her for all the ministry work she is doing.  And if you’d like to volunteer with our younger children on Sunday, please chat with her. 
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.  
Board Update
The Board appointed Jami Edmonds to fill an unexpired term on the Board, approved the Housing Allowance for Rev. Joyce Palmer, reviewed current COVID-19 safety measures, talked about our upcoming retreat and looked at Board member job descriptions. 
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

I really enjoyed the testimonial of Gary Lawrence on September 5. It is a simplification, but it may be fair to say that he spoke about the challenges, joys, benefits, and satisfactions of writing.

Gary, myself, and fellow-member Becky Wyant all belong to the Rockford Writers’ Guild. The Guild is a nonprofit formed in 1947 to promote the literary arts. We publish a journal semiannually. If you might be interested in learning more or joining, please flag me down some Sunday, email me at
 crater.rim@gmail.comor else visit rockfordwritersguild.org.

Thanks for reading my message – Tom Walsh
When Martha Daniels left a substantial bequest to the church, we set some of those funds aside for a scholarship, which we run through Rockford Promise.  Each year, the scholarship committee selects a scholar for us.  Given Martha’s passion for languages and her work as a teacher and therapist, we ask they select bilingual students who want to be in the helping professions.  This year, the committee let me know they selected Lah Paw for the 2021-2022 Martha Daniels/ Unitarian Universalist Church Scholarship.  Lah Paw is a bilingual, low-income, SouthEast Asian/Thai refugee student who plays three sports.  Lah Paw is attending RVC to study Nursing in order to help children one day.  

We try to provide a mentor to our scholar as well.  Mentors get training from Rockford Promise and meet regularly with the student to provide support and connection.  If you are intersted in being Lah Paw’s mentor, please let me know as soon as possible.

Path to Membership Class!

Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford is pleased to announce the 2021 PATH to Membership Class will take place on Saturday, September 11 from 9:30 – 2:00 at UU Church, Rockford. Library. Rev. Matthew, Rev. Joyce, and members of the Membership Team will provide an overview of the church and ways to connect. Come out and meet other newcomers and get your questions answered.

When: September 11, 9:30 – 2:00
Where: UU Church Rockford Library
Who: Anyone interested in learning more about Unitarian Universalism, membership, and meeting other exciting newcomers

Questions? Email Rev. Joyce Palmer assistminister@uurockford.org
Literature Link for Sept.5, 2021: Letters, Words & the Book of Life
“A Poem for S” by Jessica Greenbaum.  Here is the poem Matthew read in case you’d like to see the text.

“On the Way to Windsor” by Mark Nepo.  “what does it mean
to dream on this side of suffering?/ That we can rest more?/ That we can hear small birds unlace the dawn? [if the link takes you to the beginning of the six poems, this is 5th

 • Welcome to Zen of Seeing, “a collection of fine-art photographs by Braulio Montesino inspired by the ancient philosophies of Zen and Taoism. We invite you to explore the photographs at your leisure . . .”  Here are inspiring, be in the moment photos.  The link to the blog is also interesting.   https://www.zenofseeing.com  

 • The Only Thing to Worry About on Rosh Hashanah” by Rabbi Efrem Goldberg.  Here is a short, interesting essay about “if it weren’t for…”
 • “A New Refutation of Time,” by Jorge Luis Borges. In this issue of Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings, she discusses Borges on the most paradoxical dimension of existence —time.  In her inimitable style, she offers links to other authors within her discussion, and as always, it’s so well written. “Wedged between Bachelard and Arendt was Jorge Luis Borges (August 24, 1899–June 14, 1986), that muscular wrangler of paradox and grand poet-laureate of time, who addressed this perplexity in his 1946 essay “A New Refutation of Time,” which remains the most elegant, erudite, and pleasurable meditation on the subject yet.” 

In faith,
Dale Dunnigan

Social Justice Updates
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 September 12th at 11:10 a.m. in the Conference Room

-Social Justice Committee will meet on September 8th 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, September 7th 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
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL  |   4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107   |   815-398-6322    |   uurockford.org  |
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