Juneteenth and the Meaning of Freedom

Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
Senior Minister of The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL 
Presents a virtual sermon for BBUUC:
“Juneteenth and the Meaning of Freedom” 
Claudia Marshall, Worship Leader
Eileen Morrison, Accompanist
Mary Avery, Voice, Special Music

The Holiday of Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, honors the end of slavery and the announcement of freedom. But what is freedom, and how do we protect it? Learning more about the true story of this holiday will help us understand that freedom is more complicated than we sometimes pretend and give us some ideas about how to nurture it in our times.

About our Speaker:

The Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson is the Senior Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL. He has served there since 2008, after a five-year ministry in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago in 2003 and from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, in 1999. Matthew completed his Doctor of Ministry from Iliff School of Theology in Denver in 2010. He is the author of Newborn Bards: A Theology of Preaching for Unitarian Universalists. He was co-chair of the UUA Presidential Search Committee and has been an active leader in regional and national UU organizations for decades. Rev. Johnson is a third-generation Unitarian Universalist who loves rivers, puzzles, running, craft beer, pilgrimage, his two kids, and a good book.

About our Musician:

Mary Avery has been singing since children’s choir at First Baptist Church fifty years ago. She has sung in numerous church choirs, large and small, and in audition-only concert and a cappella choirs at university in Washington DC and Tokyo, Japan, as well as during overseas Foreign Service postings in Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Mexico City and Singapore. She enjoys being one of BBUUC’s song leaders. This is her first time singing solo in front of an audience in 20 years.