The American Journey

Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson
Senior Minister of The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL 
Presents a virtual sermon for BBUUC, entitled
“The American Journey” 
Linda Mowers, Worship Leader
Dr. Gary Smart, Accompanist
Special Music by Dr. John Daugherty, Baritone

We’re in the midst of a public debate in this country about the American Story—what it is, who gets to tell it, and what direction is it headed. Is it a story of greatness from beginning to end? Or is it a story of unfulfilled promises and the work to fulfill them? We’ll talk Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and what independence and freedom really mean.

Don’t forget to bring your pennies from heavenloose change (paper bills also accepted) for our first-Sunday Pennies from Heaven collection benefitting The Clothes Closet & Food Pantry serving the people of Clay County.

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, served as 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 Guest Musician:

Dr. John Daugherty is Assistant Professor, Baritone, & Opera Program Director at the University of North Florida, where he joined the voice faculty in the Fall of 2020. He continues to enjoy an active performance and recording career which includes opera, song recitals, and oratorio, performing repertoire drawn from a wide array of genres and styles. Dr. Daugherty previously served on the faculty of Furman University and acted as a vocal instructor for the University of Michigan freshman musical theater class. He holds his doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, and his bachelors from Texas Tech University. He was also a graduate of the Santa Fe Opera’s inaugural class of the Young Voices Program. When he is not instructing or performing, he can be found reading the classics, strength training, or searching for the next cup of coffee. You can find out more about him at