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Compassion and Loving Kindness
December 22, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

As we reflect on the theme of compassion, we’ll draw on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn to consider the place of compassion in managing anger, making justice, and achieving peace. What is The Great Compassion, and how might we cultivate it?  How can we learn to love from a place of authenticity and care for self and others? 

Weaving and Quilting Love and Justice
December 1, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
Since 1988, December 1st of each year has been marked as World AIDS Day.  When it began, in the midst of a deadly and stigmatized pandemic, it sought to move people from judgement to compassion, and from compassion to justice.  As we begin our month on the theme of Compassion, we’ll reflect why World AIDS Day continues to matter, the work we are all called to now, and why compassion is the foundation of faithful justice-making.  (If someone you know has died of AIDS, and you have a photo of a quilt in their honor, or of the person, I invite you to bring it before the service and place it on the altar.) 

Thanks-vision
November 24, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Michelle Lattanzio
Spiritual practices of gratitude can help us discern and keep to our mission and vision.  How do we cultivate the spirit of thanks-vision?  

Michelle is currently serving as a Hospice Chaplain in Skokie, IL. Michelle is in Preliminary Fellowship with the UUA and a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School, and will be ordained here in Rockford next April. She holds a PhD in English from the University of South Florida and taught undergraduate classes at USF. She likes spending time with her dog Axel, creating art, reading, writing, dancing and rooting for her favorite roller derby teams.

A Fool's Errand
November 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
What is the role of the holy fool, the trickster god, the jester and the clown, in the mission of building a better world? How can comics and troublemakers help us get past our ideologies and illusions, and be agents for justice and truth? 

One Wild and Precious Life
November 3, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
What is the purpose and meaning of your life? What’s your personal mission and vision? And how do you know if that purpose if faithful, worthy, and just? Reflections on deciding, and living, the meaning of your life.

Engaging Our Neighbors: Building Democracy in Practice
October 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Scott Aaseng
Crises like the ones we’re facing call for radical action. Not necessarily more extreme action, but radical in the sense of addressing the roots of these crises. One of the most radical actions we can take is to talk – and listen – to our neighbors.

394 Days To Go
October 6, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

On Nov. 2nd, 2020 – in 394 days – many Americans will vote for a new President, as well as for other federal and local offices.  (Some, because of disenfranchisement, can not.) How might we navigate the time between now and then? How do we hold to our values – and not get lost in the fight of the day? As we begin our month on the theme of “democracy,” thoughts about the 394 days to come.

Maw-waidge. (Marriage).  
September 22, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

One of the archetypal examples of covenant is the covenant of marriage.  Marriage – whether we’re in one or not at the moment – shapes all of our lives and our society.  What is this covenant about?  When is it worthy of tending and when not, and how do you know? What can all of us learn about healthy marriages that might make our lives, regardless of our status, richer and more full? 

To Meet and Enrich Each Other
September 1, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Rev. Linda Lawrence

Rev. Linda is a longtime member of this congregation who has returned as a "snowbird" after retiring from ministries in Arizona.  She will be introducing our September worship theme: Covenant.  What is a covenant, why are covenants important, and how are they related to Unitarian Universalist theology?

Sunday, August 25 at 10 a.m.
Healing Harm through Bylaws. No, really.
Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson

The second in a two-sermon series about my “extra-curricular” work as your minister.  My other major project has been re-writing the accountability procedures of the professional minister’s body.  This seems like technical work, but it’s actually profoundly spiritual work about how we heal harm, promote accountability, and serve justice.  I’ll share what I’ve been doing, the controversy it has engendered, and draw some lessons for our life together as a congregation as well as for society at large.  


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