Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / October 3, 2007 / 3 de Octubre 2007

Inside This Issue:

1003-1 Sunday Services
1003-2 Save the Dates, Social Justice Calendar
1003-3 Religious Education
1003-4 As We Build the Beloved Community... Sharing Ourselves, Sharing Our Faith
1003-5 Sign Up or Renew for eScrip -- Effortless Fundraising

Choir Notes: Shock and Awe


Ordination of Jennifer DeBusk!
(Congregational Meeting, Sunday, October 28, approximately 12:45 PM)


Deficit Budget? YIKES!

1003-9 Volunteer Classified Ads for Our Spiritual Cooperative -- Live Your Values!
1003-10 Spotlight on Social Justice: California, Here I Come, Part II
1003-11 Recycling Marches On! in support of the newsletter
1003-12 Third Street Community Center Needs Volunteers!
1003-14 UU Hikers and Friends
1003-15 Upcoming Events -- Cakes is Back!, Bill Sinkford Wants to Talk
1003-16 Circling Around -- Bum Knee
1003-17 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
1003-1 Servicios de Domingo
1003-4 Medida que Construimos Nuestra Comunidad de Amor...
Compartiendo de Nosotros, Compartiendo Nuestra Fe
1003-8 Déficit del Prosupuesto? YIKES!


Aquí estan los Ministros!

23 SEPT.


SEPT. 23

En nuestra comunidad Unitaria Universalista, nos juntamos las mañanas de domingo para la música, la reflexión, la comodidad, el desafío, y el compañerismo; nos unimos para buscar la verdad y el significado, para compartir nuestras vidas, y animarnos los unos a los otros para crecer. Cada servicio religioso es único, preparado por los líderes y los asociados de culto para conectarnos con las principales preguntas de nuestras vidas. Tu puedes leer los sermones pasados en www.sanjoseuu.org ... ¡esperamos verte ahí! In our Unitarian Universalist community, we gather on Sunday mornings for music, reflection, comfort, challenge, and companionship; we gather to seek truth and meaning, to share our lives, and to encourage each other to grow. Each worship service is unique, prepared by worship leaders and associates to engage with the major questions of our lives. Read past sermons on-line at www.sanjoseuu.org... We hope to see you there!
9:30 a.m.
Servicios en español/Translation into English

7 de Octubre -- 9:30 y 11 a.m.

Portada y los Valores Unitarios Universalistas
Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

October 7 -- 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Front-Page News and Unitarian Universalist Values
Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

14 de Octubre — 9:30 a.m.

Entre el Infierno y la Gloria
Dirige: Roberto Padilla; Asociados de Servicio: Miembros de SSM.

Between Hell and Glory
Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla; Worship Associates: SSM Members.

October 14 — 11 a.m.

Celebrating Our Unitarian Universalist Pilgrimage to South Africa

Worship Leaders: Last Summer’s Pilgrims to South Africa; Worship Associate: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones.

Celebrando Nuestro Peregrinaje a Sud-Africa
Dirigen: Los Peregrinos a Sud-Africa el Verano Pasado; Asociada de Servicio: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones.

21 de Octubre— 9:30 y 11 a.m.

¿Como Estamos?, ¿Rotos o Enteros?
Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Servicio: Miembros de SSM.

October 21 — 9:30 and 11 a.m.

How Are We—Broken or Whole?Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associates: Members of SSM.


Save the Dates

  • October 4, Thursday, Women’s Alliance meeting: Cakes for the Queen of Heaven; 7:15 to 9:15 pm; Fireside Room
  • October 7, Sunday, 12:20, UU Band of Writers meets in Youth Room
  • October 17, Wednesday, 7-9 pm, come celebrate the 5th Annual Take Back your Time Day, John 23 Community Center, 5th & San Fernando, Near City Hall & SJSU
  • October 19-21,PCD Men’s Retreat, Westminster Retreat Center, Alamo. Contact Ed Massey (408-297-9478) or visit www.pcd-uua.org for details.
  • November 17, Saturday, all-church work party called "Service is our Prayer" Day, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the church
  • November 18, 2007, PCD-UUA Leadership School Grad Meeting presents: “Singing as a Spiritual Practice” by Pat Rodgers; 2:15 pm in the Ramsden Fireside Room
  • December 9, Sunday, Fireside Gift Faire (formerly Holiday Wanderers) after the church service in Hattie Porter Hall.

Social Justice Calendar

  • October 14, Sunday, Julian St. Inn, prepare and serve evening meal
  • Monday, October 15, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Social Justice Council Meeting, Conference Room
  • Wednesday, October 31-Sunday, November 4, Día de los Muertos Cultural and Social Awareness Exhibition, Hattie Porter Hall
  • Friday, November 2, 6:30-8:30 pm, Día de los Muertos Community Celebration, Hattie Porter Hall

Religious Education

Religious Growth and Learning Program Starts Sunday, September 23

Sunday Morning Class Calendar

Nusery -- Birth through 4 Years [Nursery, Lower Level]

We provide a safe, clean environment in which to support each child in initiating play activities at the developmental level they manifest. Structured activities, games, stories and crafts are a part of the nursery experience.

Child Care Workers:  Stacey Vinyard & Mary Qúeñones

K-2nd Grades: Treasure Hunting [Lower Level, Rooms 2-3]

Oct. 7       The Power of Our Hearts and Minds
Theme: Unitarian Universalists treasure the power of our hearts and minds.

Oct. 14 Our Problem Solving Ability
Theme: Unitarian Universalists treasure each person’s sense of fairness and ability to be a problem solver.

Oct. 21 The Importance of Feelings
Theme: Unitarian Universalists treasure feelings because they help us know ourselves and others.

3rd-4th Grades: Spirit of Adventure [Lower Level, Room 4-5]

Oct. 7 Sports—in the Congregation

Oct. 14 Sports--in the Congregation

Oct. 21 Sports--The Good and The Bad

5th Grade: Neighboring Faiths [Lower Level, Room 6]

Oct. 7 Judaism: Introduction and a Guest

Oct. 14 Judaism: Wrap-up

Oct. 21 Catholicism

6th-7th-8th Grades: Traditions with a Wink [Office Conference Room]

Oct. 7 Heresy Sunday

Oct. 14 This Little Light of Mine

Oct. 21 Memorial Services

9th-12th Grades, Upper Level, Youth Room

Film as Theology: Media That Matters Film Festival
Civic engagement, justice, sustainability —jury-selected and produced by independent and youth filmmakers from around the country, the short films we will watch bring important social, political, and environmental topics to the forefront as a springboard for discussion and, more importantly, for action.

Youth Group Activities

Junior High (6th-7th-8th Grades)

  • Junior high overnight at the church -- planned for October 5-6 will be rescheduled
  • Staff: Rev. Geoff Rimositis

Senior High (9th-12 Grades)

  • Senior high overnight at the church -- 7 pm Friday, October 26 through 10 am Saturday, October 27
  • Advisors: Diana Chung, Mike Williamson, Pamela Gehrke, Cordelia Willis, Richard Gould

Note: The Chalice Club is not functioning at this time.

If you are interested in participating in junior or senior high youth group activities, please contact the Rev. Geoff Rimositis, 292-3858, ext.25 or GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org

Religious Education Registration On Line
To register for children and youth programs at http://sanjoseuu.org/RE/br.html, just click the button that says registration. All information is sent only to the Rev. Geoff Rimositis .

As We Build the Beloved Community...

by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Sharing Ourselves, Sharing Our Faith

A couple of Sundays ago, during Social Hour following our 11:00 am worship service, a visitor asked me about the sources of Unitarian Universalism. “Where did you come from?” he said, or some delicious question like that.

How could he know that he had touched on one of my favorite topics, made all the more real to me by our recent pilgrimage to Hungary and Transylvania? So I launched into an impassioned retelling of our faith’s story, from sixteenth-century Europe to nineteenth-century United States … Oh, it went on and on in a never-ending stream of enthusiastic detail. (To my conversational partner: Thank you for that wonderful question; I look forward to continuing our conversation!)

Meanwhile, though, some other visitors were standing nearby, and a congregant was striving in vain to find a break in my historical monologue so that I could meet them, too. Finally, with one last over-the-shoulder burst of “and in 1819, he claimed the name Unitarian for us,”* I turned to these visitors, and then we too had a wonderful conversation. (To these visitors: Thank you for waiting and for sharing your stories with me. May this sharing continue!)

Later still, the congregant offered me the nicest possible reminder about good ways to connect with a wide number of folks at Social Hour. Maybe monologues are not quite the thing, you know? I recognized the patterns of my own shyness in what he said. (To this congregant: Thank you for your gentle, compassionate communication!)

These experiences reminded me, deep in my own skin, that this fall’s Visibility Campaign for Unitarian Universalism in the Bay Area asks us all to take some risks, to step out of our comfort zones, to be more of the best of who we already are. Visitors and long-time members, ministers and lay folks alike—we are all learning, growing, stretching … figuring out new ways to share ourselves, our stories, and our faith with others.

The Rev. Bill Sinkford, the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, recently spoke of visitors who “screw up the courage to walk into a church where they know no one.” A little over ten years ago, I was one of those first-time visitors to a Unitarian Universalist congregation where I knew no one, and it amazed me how much courage it took.

So why do we do it? Why do we human beings go seeking a spiritual home?

Each of us knows the answer to this question by heart, and our answers are as unique as our own life stories. For me, I screwed up the courage to walk into that Unitarian Universalist church ten years ago because I had a broken heart, and I wanted to make sense of life’s sadnesses in a deeper way. Unitarian Universalism gave me the freedom and the resources to search for meaning in all the wisdom that the world has ever produced and that it produces still. I also wanted to make a difference in this world, which often seems as broken-hearted as I was then—and Unitarian Universalism gave me a community with which to work for the good, without striving at the same time to convert anyone to a particular way of believing. Unitarian Universalism has led me to a wholeness that I could not find anywhere else.

Why, then, are we Unitarian Universalists advertising our faith? Why are we broadcasting our name from BART billboards and local radio stations, on Comedy Central, and through ads in Time magazine?

There are lots of answers to these questions, too. I’d answer it this way: Because there are curious, hungry folks out there—some of them broken-hearted, some of them eager to work for the good, many of them both of these things and much more—who want the kind of wholeness and meaning in their lives that Unitarian Universalism offers. There’s a big difference between “proselytizing”—striving to convert—and “evangelizing”—making available our good news. We Unitarian Universalists are claiming our own way of evangelizing.

How do we sum up our good news? As I said over and over to a San José Mercury News reporter during a recent interview (look for the article around the second week of October): We Unitarian Universalists believe that “we do not have to think alike to love alike.”

And that’s a quote from Francis Dávid,* * which reminds me of another story … J

May our sharing continue!



* “He” was William Ellery Channing, Unitarian minister and theologian, one of the founders of Unitarianism in the United States.

** Dávid Ferencz, or Francis Dávid, was a Unitarian minister and theologian who converted the king of Transylvania to Unitarianism and helped to make that country a Unitarian state, based on religious tolerance and freedom, during the sixteenth century.

A Medida que Construimos Nuestra Comunidad de Amor...

por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Compartiendo de Nosotros, Compartiendo Nuestra Fe

Hace un par de domingos, durante la hora social después del servicio de las 11 a.m. un visitante me preguntó sobre las fuentes del Unitario Universalismo. “¿De dónde surgieron ustedes?” dijo él, o alguna deliciosa pregunta como ésa.

¿Cómo iba él a saber que acababa de tocar uno de mis temas favoritos, hecho aún más palpable por nuestro reciente peregrinaje a Hungría y a Transilvania? Entonces me lancé a un recuento apasionado de la historia de nuestra fe, desde la Europa del siglo dieciséis hasta los Estados Unidos del siglo diecinueve … Oh, me seguí contando entusiasmada sin parar en una corriente interminable de detalles. (A mi compañero de conversación: ¡Gracias por esa fabulosa pregunta; espero que continuemos nuestra conversación!)

Pero, mientras tanto, otros visitantes estaban parados cerca, y un congregante estaba intentando en vano hallar un silencio en mi monólogo histórico para que me los presentara. Finalmente, diciendo una última frase por encima del hombro “y en 1810, él adoptó el nombre Unitario, para nosotros,”* me volteé para hablar con esos visitantes, y luego con ellos también tuvimos una maravillosa conversación. (A estos visitantes: Gracias por esperar y compartir sus historias conmigo. ¡Espero que este compartir continúe!)

Aún después, el congregante me ofreció el recordatorio más amable sobre buenas formas de conectar con un número más amplio de personas en la hora social. ¿Sabe, quizá los monólogos no sean lo mejor? Yo reconocí los patrones de mi propia timidez en lo que él dijo. (A este congregante: ¡Gracias por su gentil y compasiva comunicación!)

Estas experiencias me recordaron, en lo profundo de la piel, que este otoño, la Campaña de Visibilidad para el Unitario Universalismo en el Área de la Bahía nos pide tomar ciertos riesgos, salirnos de nuestra zona de confort, ser aún mejor de lo que ya somos. Los visitantes y los miembros de mucho tiempo, ministros y laicos por igual—estamos todos aprendiendo, creciendo, estirándonos… figurando nuevas formas de compartir de nosotros, de nuestras historias, y de nuestra fe con los demás.

El Rev. Bill Sinkford, presidente de la Asociación Unitaria Universalista, habló recientemente de los visitantes “que se arman de valor para entrar a una iglesia donde no conocen a nadie.” Hace poco más de diez años, yo era una de esas visitantes que llegaba por primera vez a una congregación Unitaria Universalista donde no conocía yo a nadie, y me impresionó cuanto valor me tomó.

Entonces, ¿Porqué lo hacemos? ¿Porqué los seremos humanos vamos en búsqueda de un hogar espiritual?

Cada uno de nosotros conoce de corazón la respuesta a esta pregunta, y nuestras respuestas son tan únicas como las historias de nuestras vidas. En mi caso, yo me armé de valor para entrar a esa iglesia unitaria universalista hace diez años porque tenía el corazón roto, y quería entender las tristezas de la vida en una manera más profunda. El unitario universalismo me dio la libertad y los recursos para buscar el significado en toda la sabiduría que el mundo ha producido y que sigue produciendo. Yo también quería hacer una diferencia en este mundo, el cual a menudo parece quebrantado como me sentía yo—y el unitario universalismo me dio una comunidad con la cual puedo trabajar para lo bueno, sin buscar al mismo tiempo convertir a nadie a una creencia en particular. El unitario universalismo me ha llevado a una integridad que no pude encontrar en ningún otro lado.

¿Porqué entonces, estamos los unitarios universalistas haciendo publicidad de nuestra fe? ¿Porqué estamos anunciando nuestro nombre desde las carteleras del BART y desde las estaciones de la radio local, en Comedy Central y a través de anuncios en la revista Time?

Hay muchas respuestas para estas preguntas, también. Yo respondería así: Porque existe gente curiosa y hambrienta allá afuera—algunos de ellos con el corazón destrozado, algunos de ellos ansiosos de trabajar por lo bueno, muchos de ellos están en ambos casos y mucho más—quienes quieren en sus vidas el tipo de integridad y el sentido que ofrece el unitario universalismo.

Hay una gran diferencia entre “hacer proselitismo”—buscando convertir—y “evangelizar”—hacer disponibles nuestras buenas noticias. Los unitarios universalistas estamos reclamando nuestra propia manera de evangelizar.

¿Cómo podemos resumir nuestras buenas noticias? Cómo le dije una y otra vez a un reportero del San José Mercury News durante una entrevista reciente (busquen el artículo por ahí de la segunda semana de Octubre): Nosotros los unitarios universalistas creemos que “no tenemos que pensar igual para amar igual”.

Y esa cita es de Francis Dávid,* * lo cual me recuerda otra historia … J

!Ojalá que nuestro compartir continúe!



* “Él” era William Ellery Channing, ministro y teólogo unitario, uno de los fundadores del unitarismo en los Estados Unidos.

** Dávid Ferencz, o Francis Dávid, fue un ministro y teólogo unitario quien convirtió al rey de Transilvania al unitarismo y ayudó a hacer de ese país un estado unitario, basado en la tolerancia y libertad religiosas, durante el siglo dieciséis.

This ad will appear on BART trains in October.


Sign Up or Renew for eScrip -- Effortless Fundraising

Time to renew your eScrip Safeway card. Safeway requires that participants "renew" their cards with the eScrip program every Sept-Oct, or they drop your card on Nov 1. It is very easy to renew. Just go to www.escrip.com before Nov 1, and click on the "renew now" button under the Safeway logo. That's it. Last year all but 2 of our participants renewed before the deadline.

Thank you to all who have been participating! We made $1500 for the church in 2006, effortlessly via eScrip. If you are not already participating in eScrip, you can register your credit cards and Safeway card at www.escrip.com, and with no further effort start making money for the church off your purchases. If you were participating through your kid's school, but your kid is gone to college, you can change your receiving organization to the church. See Diana Wirt (408) 993-1003 if you want more info.


Choir Notes

The choir produced shock and awe (in a good way) among the assembled multitudes with its flawless performance of The Twenty-third Psalm (to my Mother) by Bobby McFerrin at the Interfaith Reunion October 2 in front of the San Jose Muesum of Art. Look for pictures in an upcoming edition.

Sadly, our choir director, Dan Zulevic (chs@netmagic.net), has been forced to miss the last three regular practices due to a personal emergency. By the way, the choir did practice on Wednesday, October 3 (a few members seemed to have assumed it was a night off), so attendance was sparse). Among other things, the choir is working on a very pretty piece based a theme from the second movement of Brahms' Third Symphony with very UU words by Henry Ruddle.


Ordination of Jennifer DeBusk!
(Congregational Meeting, Sunday, October 28, approximately 12:45 PM)

Jennifer DeBusk, once a member of our congregation, has graduated from Seminary and has begun her very creative Community Ministry, combining UU ministry and her love of architecture! Some may remember her from her work on the task force that created our Small Group Ministry. Jennifer has requested that she be ordained by our congregation! Ordination is a momentous and meaningful occasion, and requires that the congregation officially vote to ordain Jennifer. Therefore, we will hold a special congregational meeting on Sunday, October 28, following the 11:00 am service, to hear about Jennifer’s ministry, discuss her request, and make our decision.

Three other items will also be on our agenda:

1. The following bylaws changes were proposed by the Board in the July 4, 2007 newsletter, and will be voted on at this meeting:

During our recent review of the bylaws, some members identified some additional changes that seem advisable. Therefore the Board has decided to propose two minor, but significant, changes. These changes are being announced now so that they can be voted on at a special congregational meeting that we contemplate holding in the fall. Both changes are in ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION.

(a) The first change corrects an error in the current bylaws. Currently the bylaws reference the 75th edition of Roberts Rules of Order, which does not exist. The board recommends that we change the wording to be both more accurate and more flexible, so that when Robert’s Rules of Order changes in the future, our bylaws do not need to be changed to keep pace. The wording below is proposed. The strikeouts indicate deletions, and the bold words indicate insertions.

Sec. 6: Rules - Roberts Rules of Order, Revised 75th Edition, The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern proceedings at congregational meetings, except as otherwise specified herein, unless a more recent edition is designated in the notice of the meeting by the President.

(b) The second change follows through on our commitment to the democratic process. At every congregational meeting we are required to have a Parliamentarian. Often our Parliamentarian is a member of the congregation, who would normally be allowed to make motions, speak, and vote at a congregational meeting. But Robert’s Rules of Order and our current bylaws prohibit the Parliamentarian from participating in these ways. The change ensures that our Parliamentarian is not disenfranchised. The wording is also changed to correctly refer to “Robert’s Rules” rather than “Roberts Rules.” The wording below is proposed. The strikeouts indicate deletions, and the bold words indicate insertions.

Sec. 8: Parliamentarian - The President shall select a member or friend of the church to serve as Parliamentarian for each congregational meeting to interpret the rules. The Parliamentarian shall not vote on any matter, or discuss any matter on the floor. The Parliamentarian should be familiar with the church bylaws and with Roberts Robert’s Rules, and should advise the meeting and the President of the correct procedures to follow if the need arises. Contrary to Robert’s Rules of Order (10th ed.), p.451, l. 4-15, or the corresponding paragraph of any subsequent edition of the Robert’s Rules of Order, no member shall be denied the right to propose, speak to, or vote on any motion before the assembly solely on the basis of serving as Parliamentarian.

2. The Board is preparing and will propose the Investment Policy for the newly established Endowment Fund. In general, Board policies do not require approval by congregational vote, but because the Endowment Fund Investment Policy has important financial and ethical implications, our bylaws require that the congregation approve this policy.

3. Our PACT (People Acting In Community Together) Local Organizing Committee is planning an action around Greening the City of San José, and will present the details of the planned action at this meeting.

Hope to see you at the meeting!

Deficit Budget?
Déficit del Prosupuesto?
This year’s Annual Giving Campaign came up $21,000 short. Can you help?

If 100 members contribute $200 to the “YIKES Fund,” or 200 members contribute $100, or—well, you get the idea—then we won’t have to make budget cuts.

Can you help? Please make out your check, in any amount you can afford, to FUCSJ, with “YIKES Fund” in the memo line and send or deliver to the office: 160 N. 3rd St., San Jose, CA 95112.

Thanks in advance!

Este año la Campaña Annual de Contribucíones tuvo una falta de $21,000 para completer nuestra meta. Nos puedes ayudar?

Si 100 miembros contribuyes con $200 a la fundación “Fondó Yikes” ó si 200 miembros contribuyen con $100 ó –bueno, tu tienes ya una idea- entonces nosotros no tendremos que hacer recortes en el prosupuesto.

Nos puedes ayudar? Por favor as tu cheque por cualquier cantidad que tu puedas proporcionar a FUCSJ con “YIKES Fund” escrito en la linea de memorandum y mandalo ó entregalo a la oficina: 160 N. 3rd St., San Jose, CA 95112.

Gracias por adelantado!


Classified Ads for Our Spiritual Cooperative

Which Would You Like to Try?

These are the volunteer positions most urgently in need of filling. Please take a moment to see if any of these service opportunities are right for you.

  • CHOIR MEMBER: no exp. nec., practice Wed. 7-9 p.m., perform Sun. lowen@data-time.com
  • TAPE DUPLICATOR: make & provide tapes of services 1 Sun. a mo. in HPH after the service for 1½ hrs.; 1 yr. term
  • COFFEE HOUR HOST: set out snacks, drinks before service; clean up after; 1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
  • LABYRINTH HOST: set up table & music and be present, 11:30-1:00; serve according to availability; 1 yr. term
  • NEWSLETTER ASSEMBLER: fold, staple and stamp newsletters with amiable team; 1st or 3rd Tues. afternoon; 1 yr. term
  • WORSHIP HOST: greet & welcome people coming to Sun. service, collect offering; 1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
  • SOUND SYSTEM OPERATOR: operate sound system during 9:30 & 11:00 services ;
    1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
  • CHANCEL DECORATOR: use creative talents to decorate chancel, using flowers, fabric, etc.; serve when available; 1 yr. term
  • ORDER OF SERVICE ASSEMBLER: fold and assemble Order of Service Fri. morn.; much appreciated by Office Manager; I yr. term
  • NEWCOMER TABLE HOST: welcome newcomers, ask to fill out card, give info.; 1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
  • NEWSLETTER COPIER: copy newsletter on risograph machine for assemblers; 1st or 3rd Tues. of mon.; 1 yr. term
  • R.E. TEACHER or ASSISTANT: lead Sun. morn. sessions, using prepared curriculum; 2 hr. a mon.; I yr. term


Call Genie at (408)997-6292 or Lloyd at (408)289-1217.

Spotlight on Social Justice

By Carol Stephenson, Social Justice Coordinator, socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org (408) 292-3858 x27

California, Here I Come, Part II

hat wasn’t the whole story, the one about the Irish immigrants. In the last newsletter, I recounted the family version of the early Irish pioneers to Mexican California. But I didn’t just come from those people, although I feel that way sometimes since that’s the story retold at family gatherings, the one in the more detailed California history books.

The California family narrative that wasn’t written and retold goes back even farther. Now, I had heard a few scattered stories that my family was part of the Californio culture, but I was most curious about my mother’s description of her grandmother, who was primarily Spanish speaking. My Mom would say that her Grandma insisted that she was Spanish, fully European. To my mother, this was an anecdote about her grandmother, not about our ancestry, that described how the elder lady held onto a belief that couldn’t be true.

What my great grandmother didn’t say was that the family came to California in 1777 when my multi-great grandfamily traveled with De Anza to be soldiers stationed in the San Francisco presidio. After years of service, they were given land grants in the pueblo of San José, as sort of the 18th Century version of the 401(k), and settled there (or, rather, here). These De Anza recruits were low caste and willing to leave behind their Sinaloa, Mexico community for the uninviting and unknown lands of Alta California. At about the same time, a different line of my people escorted the governor of Alta California to this northern territory. Members of these two families married and have lived in this valley under Spanish then Mexican then U.S. rule.

Census records of the time used a multilayered system of racial classification closely tied to caste and very specific about one’s native, African and Spanish heritage. That first Spanish census counted my family as morizco (mixed black) and coyote (mixed native). In these new lands with few people the caste system relaxed and in each successive census, individuals, including my family, redesignated themselves into a lighter caste. The community became a population of multiethnic people that, because they devalued African and Indian heritage, considered themselves European. Up until my great grandmother, who married into an Irish family believing she was Spanish.

That the Irish story is well documented and that European ancestry was preferred is really no surprise. But here I sit in the very same town, 200 years and three countries later, as much Mexican as Irish, but really neither. I am the product of what I love about immigration and what I see as the very soul of this valley. We are a community of great diversity that continually mixes and redefines itself. Immigration brings culture, tradition, and ideas to a different setting. Once moved, the same ideas and customs are reworked to the new situation and incorporate people from outside the tradition.

We did that here this week at the Interfaith Reunion, bringing dozens of faiths together to break the Ramadan fast. We will do it again on Friday, November 2, when we showcase altars in Hattie Porter Hall in honor of Day of the Dead. The Third Street Community Center, Spanish Speaking Ministries and Social Justice Ministry worked together to put a twist on this Mexican tradition: the altars will be built by community agencies and each will have a social justice theme. Our Día de los Muertos Exhibition will be open to the community that evening from 6:30-8:30 pm, a celebration of the day itself and of the ways we create new traditions in this valley every day.

Social Justice Calendar

  • October 14, Sunday, Julian St. Inn, prepare and serve evening meal
  • Monday, October 15, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, Social Justice Council Meeting, Conference Room
  • Wednesday, October 31-Sunday, November 4, Día de los Muertos Cultural and Social Awareness Exhibition, Hattie Porter Hall
  • Friday, November 2, 6:30-8:30 pm, Día de los Muertos Community Celebration, Hattie Porter Hall

Recycling Marches On!

Our church did so well with the recycling project to help the South Africa and Transylvania pilgrims while helping the environment that we decided to keep it going! Your continued contribution of cans and bottles and other recyclables will contribute to continuing to have our newsletter printed professionally. This great-looking newsletter will be especially important in the fall as we greet the visitors who will hear about us through the Media Publicity Project.

To support our newsletter and other welcoming projects, please continue to bring in aluminum, glass, and plastic containers that have Cash Redemption Value (CRV) printed on the label or on the container. They shouldn’t be crushed. You can bring them to church, bagged or boxed, and put them on the right side of the door of the Third Street Community Center (not the church office). This door is in the lower fenced area on the right side of the church. Please do not block the doorway. Someone will pick them up every Sunday and take them to the recycling center. Thanks for your help!


Third Street Community Center Needs Volunteers!

The Third Street Community Center needs you and you to help teach beginning ESL or computer classes to adults.

Some of you may have caught the TSCC story on Univision on September 6th. As a result, we have received over 100 calls and walk-ins for services and have people on waiting lists. We have space to add a beginning English class but need a volunteer instructor. The commitment is for 6 weeks, 2 evenings per week (6:30-8:30 pm). If you are interested, please contact Nalleli Sandoval at Nalleli@3street.org or at 408-295-8722, ext. 303.


UU Hikers and Friends

by Joyce Miller

Here is the October hiking schedule. If you have any question about whether a hike is on or off, just give me a call. I rarely cancel but sometimes I change the venue if muddy trails seem likely. The backup hike is the Stanford Dish.

And, as usual, be sure to let me know if you are planning to hike so that I know to look for you. You can call me at home at (408) 730-1052 any time after 6:30 am or email me the day before. I turn on my cell phone when I leave the house the day of the hike so you can contact me if you get delayed or your plans change. My cell phone is (408) 507-7052.

See you on the trails!

Wednesday, October 3
Foothill Park, 7 miles, moderate. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.

Saturday, October 6
Henry Coe State Park, 6-8 miles, moderate. Meet at Bed, Bath, and Beyond at Almaden Plaza at 8:00 am. This will be a bit longer day due to travel time. We will get back to the carpool spot around 2:30 pm.

Wednesday, October 10
Purissima Redwoods, 6 miles, moderate. We will do the car shuttle hike. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am. We will take two cars from there.

Saturday, October 13
No hike planned. I will be at Tahoe.

Wednesday, October 17
Montebello/Grizzly Flat, 6 miles, moderate. This is a car shuttle hike that we have done before. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am. We will take two cars from there.

Saturday, October 20
Wunderlich County Park, 5 miles, easy. This will be a shorter hike. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.

Wednesday, October 24
Joseph Grant County Park, 6-7 miles, moderate. Meet at my house at 7:40 am or at the VTA lot on Capitol Ave and Alum Rock at 8:00 am. Take the Alum Rock exit and turn left on Capitol. The parking lot is in the middle of the block on the right.

Saturday, October 27
Butano State Park, 7 miles, moderate. This is a long day due to travel time and pie eating time! Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride. Plan to get home around 4:30 pm.

Wednesday, October 31
Windy Hill, 7 miles, moderate. We will do the longer hike. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.


Upcoming Events

Women’s Alliance

It's not too late to get your "Cakes"!

Many Unitarian Universalists were introduced to the ancient religions of the goddess through the Cakes from the Queen of Heaven curriculum since its introduction twenty years ago.

Now a newly revised edition is out, and you can find out what you missed or revisit this fascinating look at women's spirituality through the ages.

Join the Women's Alliance meeting in the Fireside Room on the first Thursday of each month from 7:15 to 9:15 pm. Contact Nancy Coleman at nancybcoleman@mac.com or (408) 985-5778 for more information. Next meeting is October 4

Can We Talk? By the Rev. Bill Sinkford and Gini Courter

On October 5th the first national Unitarian Universalist media campaign in over 50 years will begin. Look in TIME magazine for a full-page ad that asks the question, “Is God Keeping You Out of Church?” Over 20,000,000 Americans read TIME each week. Some of them will be coming to your congregation to find out if Unitarian Universalism can become their religious home. How will they be welcomed?

Gini Courter and I want to invite you to a conversation about how we prepare our congregations to welcome these guests. We’ll be using a technology that allows hundreds of UU leaders to be on a single call, ask questions and have those questions answered. We would love for you to join us next Thursday, October 4th, at 12:00 Eastern Standard Time to reflect together on what we are called to do to welcome those new seekers who will come. Just dial this toll-free number (877-844-6052), and join the call.

Gini and I will say a few words at the beginning, but the conversation will be shaped by the questions that you will ask. Needless to say this is new technology for us, another experiment, if you will.

Between now and next Thursday, check out the new resources on welcoming guests at www.uua.org. Just click on the announcement of the marketing campaign on the Home Page. Scroll down to find the “Related Content” box: “Belonging and Welcoming Resources.”

This is a very exciting and important time for our faith. We’d love to have you in the conversation about how we can make the most of it.

Can we talk?


Circling Around

by Kelly Burnett

Editor’s Note: Kelly has had surgery on her leg and is recovering nicely, and was able to lead a beautiful service on Sunday, September 29, at the All Church Retreat, but as you might imagine, she has been a bit too busy to be Circling Around as well. However, for the next issue, please do share with her what you’ve been up to.

Please send Kelly Burnett your honors, joys, plans, and any other news that needs to be shared with our community so that she can keep us all informed. Her email address is kelly@kellybur.com. Her telephone number is 408-810-3182, but she’d prefer to receive your news by email, if possible.


For Pastoral Care

Our community strives to offer compassion, companionship, healing, and joy to all its members. Our pastoral care coordinators can help you find the listening ear or helping hands that you may need in difficult times.

  • For pastoral care in English, please contact our lay Pastoral Associate Coordinator, Rev. Donna Lenahan: (home) 408-354-9024; (cell) 408-204-6565; e-mail: djlenahan@aol.com.
  • For pastoral care in Spanish, please contact our Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator, Roberto Padilla: (cell) 408-841-1011; e-mail: paor69@yahoo.com.

Contacting the Ministers

Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and Rev. Geoff Rimositis feel honored to serve this congregation, and we cherish your trust! Here is how reach us:

Cuidado Pastoral

Nuestra comunidad se esfuerza en ofrecer la compasión,el compañerismo curativo, y la alegría a todos susmiembros. Nuestros coordinadores en cuidado pastoral pueden ayudarle a encontrar un oído que escucha, o lasmanos que ayudan cuando ustedes lo pudieran necesitaren épocas difíciles. Para el cuidado pastoral en inglés, por favor, comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador Asociado Laico en Cuidado Pastoral, la Rev. Donna Lenahan: (casa) 408-354-9024; (celular) 408-204-6565; e-mail: djlenahan@aol.com. Para el cuidado pastoral en español, por favor comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador de los Ministeriosen Español, Roberto Padilla: (cell) 408-841-1011; e-mail: paor69@yahoo.com.

Contactando a los Ministros

La Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y El Rev. Geoff Rimositis se sienten honrados por servir a esta congregación, y nosotros apreciamos su confianza! Aquí nosotros estamos a su alcance:


Bob Miess, bob@creating-context.com

Vice President (Planning/Personnel)
Joyce Miller,

Vice President (Programs)
Julia Rodriguez, quixoposto@ix.netcom.com

Bob Redfern, rredfern@bandwave.net

David Tucker, cheverly@earthlink.net

Financial Officer
Christopher Frey, cjfrey@alum.berkeley.edu


Debra Fenzel-Alexander, sdsalex@comcast.net

Mary Mary Feldman, mm@feldmo.com

Marla Scharf, marla.scharf@gmail.com

Diana Wirt, diwirt@sbcglobal.net  

Church Staff

Senior Minister .............................................. Ext. 23
 The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, revnpj@yahoo.com

Assoc. Minister For Religious Education................. Ext. 25
 The Rev. Geoff Rimositis , Grimositis@Sanjoseuu.org

Office Administrator ..............................................  Ext. 10
 Iris Gonzalez, fucsj@sanjoseuu.org

Coordinator of Spanish Speaking Ministries................. Ext. 24
 Roberto Padilla

Social Justice Coordinator .....................................  Ext. 27
 Carol Stephenson, socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org

Bookkeeper..................................................... Pam Garcia

Sexton.......................................................... Edgar Cruz

Acting R.E. Assistant  ………………………………Elena Clifford

Nursery Teacher......................................... Stacey Vinyard

Church Office
: (408) 292-3858           Fax: (408) 292-4744
E-mail             fucsj@sanjoseuu.org
URL                http://www.sanjoseuu.org

Sherry Howd
, 257-6844, s_howd@msn.com
Sherry will edit the Oct. 17 and Dec. 5 issues.

Catherine Leeson Pelizzari, 945-9848, caleeson@aol.com
Catherine will edit the Nov. 7 and Nov. 21 issues.

Thank you to our volunteers!
Our Church Circular is published on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Circulation is about 500.

Translator: Roberto Padilla

Layout: Henry Ruddle 408-234-3670 henry_L@ruddle.com (www.ruddle.com)

Duplicating, Stapling and Addressing: Genie Bernardini, Gretchen Leavitt and Lloyd Eater.

 Thanks for all the work you do and care you put into the newsletter.

**Assembly starts at 4:30 pm - your help is very much welcome!**

Mailing: Libby Codd

Help Us Clean Up Our Mailing List!
If you don’t want to continue receiving this newsletter, please let us know at: steve.carr@earthlink.net or by calling (408) 292-3858, ext. 31 or by writing to the above address. If you’d rather get your newsletter via email, emessage steve.carr@earthlink.net

Next issue deadline: 3:00 pm, Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Next issue assembly: Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Next issue mailing: Wednesday, October 17, 2007