Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / February 20, 2008 / 20 de Febrero 2008

Inside This Issue:

0220-1 Sunday Services
0220-2 Save the Dates
0220-3 Religious Education
0220-4 Mayor Reed Highlights Green City Plan Feb. 25 at FUCSJ

As We Build the Beloved Community...


Choir Notes


Sensing the Spirit with Sonya


Questions about Circle Suppers?

0220-9 What an Opportunity — for Friendship, Growth and Service!

Milestone Reached to Get the Furnace Repaired

Congregational Meeting, Sunday, March 30


Banner to Have a Reprise


Spotlight on Social Justice: Let California Ring

0220-13 Upcoming Events

Circling Around

0220-17 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
0220-1 Servicios de Domingo

Mientras Construimos Nuestra Querida Comunidad…


Sintiendo el Espíritu con Sonya


Aquí estan los Ministros!



9:30 a.m.
Servicios en español/Translation into English

24 de Febrero — 9:30 am

La Premisa y la Promesa, Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos.
Cada uno de los seres humanos hemos soñado vivir en un mundo ideal. ¿Pero que estamos haciendo realmente por hacer de este mundo, el mundo que hemos soñado?

Dirigen: Roberto Padilla y la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociado de Culto: Rodrigo Garcia.

The Premise and the Promise, Building the World We Dream About
Every human being has dreamed of living in an ideal world. But what are we really doing to make this world into the world that we dream about?

Worship Leaders: Roberto Padilla and the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: Rodrigo Garcia

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

February 24 — 11:00 am

The Way of Radical Hospitality
Can we listen and be a true companion to another? Can we truly welcome another? Our pulpit guest, the Rev. Dr. Steve J. Crump, minister of the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has a unique perspective on this topic because his congregation welcomed evacuees from the hurricanes two years ago. Be prepared for a pop-quiz!

Worship Leader: the Rev. Dr. Steve J. Crump; Worship Associate: Mary Martin

El Camino de una Hospitalidad Radical
¿Podemos escuchar y ser un verdadero compañero para otros? ¿Podemos dar una verdadera bienvenida a otros? Nuestro invitado en el pulpito, el Rev. Steve J. Crump, ministro de la Iglesia Unitaria de Barton Rouge, Luisiana, tiene una perspectiva única en este asunto porque su congregación dio la bienvenida a evacuados de los huracanes hace dos años. ¡Esté preparado para un examen sorpresa!.

Dirige: el Rev. Dr Steve J. Crump; Asociada de Culto: Mary Martin.

2 de Marzo -- 9:30 a.m.

La Verdad nos Hará Libres
Siguiendo las palabras de Jesús acerca de la verdad, busquemos en nuestras vidas diarias que tan libres somos, o que tan esclavos somos de las mentiras

Dirige: Roberto Padilla; Asociados de Culto: Miembros de SSM

March 2 -- 9:30 a.m.

The Truth Will Make Us Free
Following the words of Jesus about the truth, we look in our daily lives for those truths that can set us free, or those lies that can enslave us.

Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla; Worship Associate: Members of SSM

March 2 -- 11:00 a.m.

A Passion for Freedom
American Unitarian Universalists and Transylvanian Unitarians live in different societies, but we share a common passion for justice, human dignity, true fellowship, real peace, and love—and we all feel responsible for these values. Come hear the perspectives of a progressive liberal Unitarian from Transylvania, as he shares celebrations and skepticism about his home tradition, along with fresh reflections on ours.

We will take up a special collection to help bring Unitarians from our Partner Church to visit us in 2009!

Guest Preacher: Béla Jakabházi, 2008 Balazs Scholar from Transylvania; Worship Associates: Marla Scharf and the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

2 de Marzo -- 11:00 a.m.

Una Pasión por la Libertad
Los Unitarios Universalistas americanos y los Unitarios de Transilvania  vivimos en diferentes sociedades, pero nosotros compartimos una pasión común por la justicia, la dignidad humana, verdadera camaradería, la paz verdadera, y el amor-y todos nos sentimos responsables de estos valores. Ven a escuchar las perspectivas de un progresivo y liberal Unitario de Transilvania, como él comparte las celebraciones y el escepticismo sobre su tradición, junto con reflexiones frescas en las nuestras.

¡Tomaremos una colecta especial para ayudar a traer a unos Unitarios de nuestra iglesia hermana que nos visitaran en el 2009!

Orador Invitado: Béla Jakabházi, 2008 Balazs Scholar de Transilvania; Asociados de Culto: Marla Scharf y la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

9 de Marzo  -- 9:30 a.m.

Regresando a nuestros Principios UU
Una visión rápida de nuestros principios UUs para recordar porque estamos aquí.

Dirige: Roberto Padilla; Asociados de Culto: Miembros de SSM

Returning to Our UU Principles
A quick review of our UU principles that remind us why we are here.

Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla; Worship Associates: Members of SSM

March 9 -- 11:00 a.m.

Our senior high youth engage the mind, body and spirit while sharing what is on their minds in 2008.

Worship Leaders: Senior High Youth.

Nuestra juventud ensambla mente, cuerpo y espíritu mientras que comparten que hay en sus mentes en el 2008.

Dirigen: Juventud


Save the Dates

  • February 22- 24 (Fri-Sun): UUA Conference: Leading Our Congregations into a Multiracial, Multicultural Future, Doubletree Hotel, San Jose
  • February 25, Monday, PACT Action, Sanctuary; Greening from the Grassroots: Join the Mayor of San Jose and our PACT Local Organizing Committee in this discussion of how we can "green" our city and create economic justice, too.
  • March 6, Thursday, Women’s Alliance, “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” series continues, 7:15 - 9:15 pm, Hattie Porter Hall.
  • March 7, Friday, Dances of Universal Peace, 7:00 pm, under the dome in the sanctuary.
  • March 14, Friday, "Thank God for Evolution!" a free, and open to the public special presentation by Rev. Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow. 7-9:00 .pm, sanctuary.
  • March 30, Sunday, Congregational meeting to elect new directors and officers, approximately 12:45 pm, sanctuary.
  • July 9-13, All-Church Campout, McConnell State Recreation Area. Watch for complete information in future newsletters.
  • July 20-23, Junior High Backpacking Trip. Contact Pam Pell at johnpell@aol.com for further information.

Religious Education

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]

Feb. 24   The Importance of the Arts
March 2 Our Unitarian Universalist Principles
March 9 Points of View

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

Feb. 24   Frank Lloyd Wright, Harmony with Nature
March 2 Daniel Chester, French
March 9 Try Something New

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

Feb. 24   Hinduism Wrap-up
March 2 Buddhism Introduction
March 9 Visit to Buddhist Temple

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

Feb. 24   Congregation Survey Distribution
March 2 Abstract Sculpture
March 9 UU Rosaries

7th - 9th Grades (Parents Group meets concurrently)
Our Whole Lives (OWL)

Feb. 24   2:30-5:30 pm
March 2 4:30-7:30 pm
March 9 3:30-5:30 pm

9th-12th Grades, Upper Level, Youth Room
Film as Theology: Media That Matters Film Festival

This year we will be looking at short films, many made by youth, on social and ethical issues. We will engage in conversations about how those films reflect and inform our beliefs as Unitarian Universalists.

Youth Group Activities

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

  • Staff: Rev. Sonya Sukalski

Senior High (9th-12 Grades)

  • Advisors: Mike Williamson, Cordelia Willis, Richard Gould

If you are interested in participating in junior or senior high youth group activities, please contact the Rev. Sonya Sukalski, 292-3858, ext.25 or Sonya.sukalski@comcast.net

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. Sonya Sukalski .

Date Set for Next Junior High Backpacking Trip: July 20-23, 2008

Mark your calendars now to save the date for this amazing outdoor experience up in the High Sierra. This 4-day, 3-night backpack trip will be open to youth from our church who will be going into 6th, 7th, and 8th grades in the fall of 2008. More information about the trip will be coming your way in the late winter/early spring. If you have questions, contact Pam Pell at johnpell@aol.com.

Rev. Geoff Rimositis is on sabbatical through June 2008.
You can read his prayers, poetry and other musings on his blog at http://sanjoseuu.org/revgrblog/index.php


Feb. 25: Add Your Presence and Voice to Help San Jose Go GREEN!

Don't miss one of the most important meetings of the year!
Monday, February 25 , 7:00 – 8:15 pm, at the church

San Jose is the third largest city in California, and it’s the heart of Silicon Valley; where we lead, the nation will follow. Come to show your support for San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s “Green Vision,” and to make sure he supports our goal: a San José that makes going green accessible and achievable, for all residents, regardless of income.

How we can do it:

  • Through the creation of “Green Collar” Job training for youth,
  • Through programs that will help people of all income levels improve the energy efficiency of their homes,
  • Through regular, constructive input from all residents on the planning and implementation of San José’s Green Vision

Presented by: PACT (People Acting in Community Together)

Spanish translation available; parking free on street

FREE compact florescent light bulb or other eco-friendly gift for the first 170 attendees!


As We Build the Beloved Community...

by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Being the Change We Want to See—Part II

Mientras Construimos Nuestra Querida Comunidad…

por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Iniciando el Cambio que Queremos Ver-Parte II

In our most recent newsletter (and my most recent blog entry), I mapped out an approach to transformational change that Rev. Dr. Larry Peers introduced to Unitarian Universalist clergy in January. We begin by imagining ourway of being” once the change has been made: What kind of language will we be using with each other? What is our posture, how do our bodies feel? And what is our mood? Then, we picture the results of this change, describing them in as much detail as we can. And finally, we tell a story about the obstacles we faced and the joys we celebrated as we made our journey through this “sacred shift.”

When we begin the process of transformational change with this view “from the mountaintop,” we discover all sorts of gifts: Just by imagining it, we are already beginning to get the new way of being into our heart and body. When we see obstacles from the point of view of having already overcome them, we can imagine solutions to them that might not be so clear if we’re only looking at them from the “valley,” where those same obstacles may appear overwhelming. When we recognize that we will always have much to celebrate even in the midst of change, we can enter into the process with energy and joy, as well as with love and appreciation for our companions along the way.

When we clergy had the chance to apply this approach to an area of transformational change that we would love to see in our communities, I chose to focus on “The Sacred Shift to an Intentionally Multiracial, Multicultural Beloved Community of Faith.” Surprised? Probably not! Still, before I began, I thought, “I don’t know what this kind of congregation looks like. Most people say it’s not possible. How in the world do we get there?” But then, I set my imagination free, I gave myself permission to play, I allowed some Spirit to enter in … and here is what showed up:

What does our new way of being look like, now that we are a multiracial, multicultural Beloved Community of faith? Time and again, we hear each other saying: “I love how we’re the same and how we’re different! Our lives are so much richer because we are all here together! I love you!” The mood of the whole congregation is joyful, passionate, full of wonder and enthusiasm, and loving, in the bell hooks/Scott Peck definition of love as the “will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own and another’s spiritual growth.” We can see the change in our own body and in the posture of the congregation as a whole: our bodies are open, flexible, fluid; we make expansive, embracing gestures, and we’re all “mixed up” together.

What are the results of this sacred shift? Families from all cultures have a variety of activities to choose from in order to nurture their spiritual growth. For instance, we have a two-hour religious education program on Sunday mornings, with lots of options for people of all ages. People come for an hour of religious education and an hour of worship; some come to both worship services. People show up for Social Hour between the two services so that they can see new and old friends. All our social justice activities and social events embrace folks from a variety of cultures, “races,” and backgrounds. The church is thriving so we are able to grow our staff to include more “races” and ethnicities. Other churches want to learn from us how we became this Beloved Community—so we publish a book about our story! Besides the increasing joy and compassion that are palpable within the congregation—besides the difference we know we are making in each other’s lives—the whole community of San José listens when the First Unitarian Church of San José speaks.

What were some of the obstacles along the way, and how did we overcome them? People really hated the idea of spending two to three hours at church every Sunday. Folks who grew up with the Catholic model of the “drive-by” mass were particularly shocked. But gradually, as folks of all ages tried it and as our religious education offerings became more responsive to the needs of our diverse people, folks started to form friendships and to love what they were learning, and then they couldn’t wait for Sundays to come. At first, some congregants were terrified of inviting people from a different culture or “race” over to their homes for social events. How would they understand each other? What would they talk about? Wouldn’t it be a lot of work? But some Circles of Eight dinner groups began issuing intentionally cross-cultural invitations, their participants all took some risks to find common ground, and eventually, rumors of the richness that resulted spread, inspiring others to do the same. At first some folks got bogged down in guilt—guilt about the privileges they had inherited, about feelings of discomfort or fear, about whether they could participate enough—but through shared spiritual practices and a culture of patience and care, we learned to let these fears go and to focus instead on loving and reaching out. People also struggled to understand how our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to do this work … until enough of us had thought about it and studied it, and had gone to Now Is the Time conferences and attended Building the World We Dream About classes. Then we could see that Unitarian Universalism’s most complete expression lies in exactly the kind of Beloved Community we are building.

What were some of the celebrations we shared along the way? Participants in our first Building the World We Dream About class started a series of culturally and “racially” mixed social events that were a blast. The Beloved Community Project—a collaboration among our Social Justice Ministries, Spanish-Speaking Ministries, and the Third Street Community Center—offered more and more opportunities for us to come together, and these became much-anticipated events every year. Our Small Group Ministry team helped start small groups in Spanish, and then birthed some mixed groups too; these groups deepened the spiritual life of all involved and sent ripples into the wider community. Plus, each time we overcame an obstacle, we celebrated that accomplishment; the preceding paragraph lists at least ten other celebrations we shared!

That was what I wrote in January. As I share these imaginings with you today, I can hear my inner cynic begin to protest: “Hmpf,” she says. “People are too busy for all this hard work! This vision of the Beloved Community isn’t their top priority, anyway. Why can’t we just be comfortable?” Perhaps you are thinking some of the same things.

Or perhaps you are thinking, “Hey, we can do that! We’re already partway there. I love this vision—in fact, here’s what I would add: ________”—and you fill in the blank! Perhaps you are hearing some part of John Lennon’s great song “Imagine” beginning to play in your head, as it is in mine.

Wherever you are in the midst of your own “sacred shifts,” whatever your vision of Beloved Community, you have gifts to offer. I hope you will join us, as we nurture new ways of being right here at FUCSJ.

With much warmth,


En nuestro más reciente boletín de noticias (y en mi entrada más reciente al blog),  planee un acercamiento al cambio transformacional que el Rev. Dr. Larry Peers  introdujo al clero Unitario Universalista en enero. Comenzamos imaginando nuestra “manera de ser” una vez que se haya realizado el cambio: ¿Qué clase de lenguaje utilizaremos con otros? ¿Cuál es nuestra postura?, ¿cómo se sentirán nuestros cuerpos? ¿Y como esta nuestro humor? Entonces, representamos los resultados de este cambio describiéndolos con tanto detalle como podamos. Y finalmente, contemos una historia sobre los obstáculos que hicimos frente y las alegrías que celebramos mientras que hicimos nuestro viaje a través de este “sagrado cambio.”

Cuando comenzamos el proceso del cambio transformacional con esta visión “desde lo alto de la montaña,” descubrimos todas las clases de regalos: Solo imaginándolos, estamos comenzando a obtener una nueva manera de ser en nuestro corazón y nuestro cuerpo. Cuando vemos los obstáculos desde el punto de vista ya superados, podemos imaginar las soluciones que no pudieran estar tan claras si los estamos mirando solamente desde el “valle,” donde esos mismos obstáculos pueden parecer abrumadores. Cuando reconocemos que tendremos siempre mucho que celebrar incluso en medio del cambio, podemos entrar dentro del proceso con energía y alegría, así como con amor y aprecio por nuestros compañeros a lo largo del camino.

Cuando el clero tuvimos la ocasión de aplicar este acercamiento a un área de cambio transformacional que nos gustaría ver en nuestras comunidades, elegí enfocarme en “El sagrado cambio a una Querida Comunidad de Fe, intencionalmente Multirracial y Multicultural” ¿Sorprendidos? ¡Probablemente no! Hasta antes de comenzar, pensé, “yo no sé que clase de congregación me gustaría ver. La mayoría de la gente dice que no es posible. ¿Cómo en el mundo conseguimos eso?” Pero entonces, deje libre mi imaginación, me di el permiso de jugar, permití que un cierto espíritu entrara en…y aquí esta lo que me mostró:

¿Cómo se mira nuestra nueva manera de ser, ahora que somos una querida comunidad de fe multirracial, multicultural? Repetidamente, hemos escuchado a otros decir: ¡“Amo como somos iguales y como somos diferentes! ¡Nuestras vidas son más ricas porque todos estamos aquí juntos! Te amo!” El humor de la congregación entera es alegre, apasionada, llena de asombro y de entusiasmo y cariñosa, en la definición de bell hooks/Scott Peck del amor como la “ampliación  de uno mismo con el fin de nutrirse uno mismo con el propósito de abrigar  nuestro propio crecimiento espiritual así como el de otros.” Podemos ver el cambio en nuestro propio cuerpo y en la postura de la congregación en su totalidad: nuestros cuerpos están abiertos, flexibles, fluidos; nos hacemos expansivos, abrazando gestos y todos estamos “mezclados.”

¿Cuáles son los resultados de este sagrado cambio? Las familias de todas las culturas tienen una variedad de actividades a elegir de para consolidar su crecimiento espiritual. Por ejemplo, tenemos un programa de dos horas de educación religiosa en las mañanas de domingo, con muchas opciones para la gente de todas las edades. La gente viene una hora para la educación religiosa y una hora de servicio religioso; algunos vienen a ambos servicios. Hay personas que se aparecen para la hora social entre los dos servicios de modo que puedan ver a nuevos y viejos amigos. Todas nuestras actividades de justicia social y los eventos sociales abrazan a gente de una variedad de culturas, “razas,” y procedencias. La iglesia está prosperando tanto que podemos aumentar a nuestro personal para incluir más “razas” y etnias. ¡Otras iglesias desean aprender de nosotros cómo hicimos esta querida Comunidad----tanto que publicaremos un libro acerca de nuestra historia! Además de incrementar la alegría y la compasión que son palpables entre la congregación---junto a la diferencia que sabemos que estamos haciendo en de cada una de las vidas--- toda la comunidad de San José escucha cuando La Primera Iglesia de Unitaria de San José habla.

¿Cuáles fueron algunos de los obstáculos a lo largo de camino, y cómo nosotros los superamos? La gente realmente odia la idea de gastar de dos a tres horas en la iglesia cada domingo. La gente que creció con el modelo Católico de “conducir-para” una misa estaban particularmente escandalizados. Pero gradualmente, como personas de todas las edades probaron y como nuestros ofrecimientos de educación religiosa llegaron a responder más a las necesidades de nuestra gente diversa, la gente comienza por formar amistades y amar lo que ellos están aprendiendo, y entonces no pueden esperar a los domingos. Al principio, algunos congregantes estaban aterrorizados de invitar a la gente de diferente cultura o “raza” a sus hogares en los acontecimientos sociales. ¿Cómo se entenderían entre ellos? ¿Qué podrían decirse? ¿No sería eso mucho trabajo? Pero algunos grupos del Círculo de Ocho cenas comenzaron a publicar intencionalmente invitaciones a las otras culturas, todos sus participantes tomaron algunos riesgos para encontrar una tierra en común, y eventualmente, los rumores de la riqueza de los resultados se han propagado, inspirando a otros que hagan lo mismo. Algunas personas al principio se sintieron atascadas en la culpabilidad-culpabilidad sobre los privilegios que ellos había heredado, con sensaciones de malestar o de miedo, dudando si ellos podrían participar -pero a través de prácticas espirituales compartidas y de una cultura de paciencia y de cuidado, nosotros aprendimos a dejar esos miedos y enfocarnos en amar y acercarnos. La gente también luchó para entender cómo nuestra fe Unitaria Universalista nos llama a hacer este trabajo…hasta que bastantes de nosotros tuvimos el pensamiento acerca de eso y lo estudiamos, y hemos ido a las conferencias de Ahora es el Tiempo y asistimos a las clases de Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos. Entonces pudimos ver que la expresión más completa del Unitario Universalismo cae exactamente dentro de la clase de la querida comunidad que estamos construyendo.

¿Cuáles son algunas de las celebraciones que compartimos a lo largo del camino? Los participantes en nuestra primer clase de Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos comenzaron una serie de eventos sociales cultural y “racialmente” mezclados que fueron una explosión. La Querida Comunidad proyecta-una colaboración entre nuestros ministerios de Justicia Social, los Ministerios de Habla Hispana y el Centro Comunitario de la Calle Tercera-ofreciendo cada vez más y más oportunidades para que vengamos juntos, y éstos se convirtieron en acontecimientos muy esperados cada año. Nuestro equipo del Ministerio de Pequeños Grupos comenzó a ayudar a iniciar un pequeño grupo en español y entonces nacieron a algunos grupos mezclados también; estos grupos profundizaron en la vida espiritual de todos  involucrando y enviando ondas al resto de la comunidad. Además, cada vez que superamos un obstáculo, celebramos esa realización; ¡el párrafo precedente enumera por lo menos diez otras celebraciones que compartimos!

Eso fue lo que escribí en enero. Como comparto estas imaginaciones con ustedes hoy, puedo oír a mi cínico interno comenzar a protestar: “Hmpf,” ella dice. ¡La “gente está demasiado ocupada para todo este duro trabajo! Esta visión de la querida comunidad no es su prioridad superior, de cualquier manera. Porqué no podemos solo estar cómodos?” Quizás ustedes están pensando algo de esas mismas cosas.

¡O quizás ustedes está pensando, “Hey, nosotros podemos hacer eso! Estamos ya, hasta cierto punto allí. Amo esta visión-de hecho, aquí yo agregaría: ¡________” - y ustedes llenan el espacio en blanco! Quizás ustedes están escuchando cierta parte de la gran canción de John Lennon “Imagina” comenzando a tocar en sus cabezas, como lo esta en la mía.

Dondequiera que ustedes estén en medio sus propios “cambios sagrados,” lo que sea su visión de querida comunidad, ustedes tienen regalos que ofrecer. Espero que ustedes se unan a nosotros, para cultivar nuevas maneras de estar aquí en la FUCSJ.

Con mucho afecto,



Choir Notes

by Henry Ruddle

The FUCSJ choir’s next performance is planned for the February 24 service. We’re doing one or two Spanish language songs, with one definitely being Cuando El Pobre. The Beatle’s Blackbird is still under construction for a later service. The sopranos (singers, not gangsters) will really shine in this arrangement, so if that’s your range, you might consider joining us.


Sensing the Spirit with Sonya

by Sonya Sukalski

What Is a Reverend?

Sintiendo el Espíritu con Sonya

por Sonya Sukalski

¿Que Es un(a) Reverendo(a)? 

In our tradition, it is a person of any gender whose call to ministry has been publicly acknowledged by a Unitarian Universalist (UU) group of people, usually a congregation who ordains this person. This person  usually has  a college degree, and most often has a Master's of Divinity degree from a seminary. Getting the degree, though, does not automatically confer the title of Reverend. Congregations work alongside seminaries and the Ministerial Credentialing Department of the Unitarian Universalist Association to identify people with leadership qualities to work in both congregations and ministries to the world at large. Some of these ministries beyond our association of congregations are hospital chaplaincies, prison ministries, ministry with people utilizing Planned Parenthood, ministry with the homeless (Faithful Fools in San Francisco), and ministry with the mentally ill (Rev. Barbara Meyer in Fremont) to name just a few that one can find among UUs in the Bay Area.

The preparation for ministry is rigorous. The Unitarian Universalist Association's Ministerial Credentialing Department vets aspirants to the ministry from the earliest stages. My journey toward ministry is not unlike many. A friend, Rev. Kent Matthies, encouraged me to consider going to seminary. I was lukewarm on the idea for a couple of years since living in New Mexico didn't afford many opportunities to get that kind of education. I had an experience at the General Assembly (GA) in Quebec that felt like a call, and decided to knock on some doors to see if they would open. I applied to UU seminaries in Chicago (Meadville Lombard) and Berkeley (Starr King), and got accepted. Then the big leap of faith came – whether to move my family to attend?  My husband quickly found a job, and we were able to find a house we liked and could afford, so we made the leap. Getting to seminary is just the first step, however.

There are parallel and interwoven tracks while one is in seminary to pay attention to. There are the requirements of the seminary to graduate – a certain number of credit hours in certain subject areas. At the same time, the Office of Ministerial Credentialing asks that an “aspirant” submit essays, do a three-day evaluation at the Center for Ministry of one's personality and suitability for ministry, and interview with the District Executive in the seminarian's area. When these steps are complete, then one can ask for an interview with a Regional Sub-Committee of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee on Candidacy (RSCC). Pending that committee's assessment, one can be granted Candidate status for ministry with the UUA, or be asked to explore certain aspects of oneself that are needed for ministry and return to the RSCC. When one becomes a Candidate, one can join the UU Minister's Association, needs to be sponsored by a congregation (I am sponsored by my congregation in Los Alamos, New Mexico), and then starts to work on their “packet.”  This packet includes essays about one's vision of ministry, explanation of competency in 18 areas relevant to ministry, and biographical information such as places of employment. Once the Candidate has completed either an internship (usually in a congregation), or Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE – which I am finishing as a hospice chaplain right now), the person can ask for an interview with the Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC). The MFC rates a Candidate based on an in-depth exploration of their training for ministry and disposition in general. If given the go-ahead, the person will be admitted to Fellowship. Only after being admitted to Fellowship is it recommended that a congregation undertake to ordain a minister, and thus bestow the title, “Reverend.”

I am not a Reverend, but that is my goal. Currently, I am a Candidate for ministry. I graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry last May, finished my internship with the UU Church in Livermore last June, and have an appointment with the MFC at the end of March.


En nuestra tradición, es una persona de cualquier género que llamada al ministerio haya sido públicamente reconocida por un grupo de Unitarios Universalistas (UU), generalmente una congregación es la que ordena a esta persona. Esta persona tiene generalmente un grado Universitario, y a menudo tiene un grado de Maestría en Divinidad de un seminario. Conseguir el grado, no confiere sin embargo automáticamente el título de Reverendo(a). Las congregaciones trabajan  junto a los Seminarios y al Departamento Ministerial de Credencialización de la Asociación Unitaria Universalista para identificar a personas con cualidades de liderazgo para trabajar en congregaciones y los ministerios del mundo. Algunos de los estos ministerios van más allá de nuestra Asociación de Congregaciones y están en: capillas de hospitales, en  los ministerios de la prisión, el ministerio con la gente que utiliza la planificación de paternidad, el ministerio con los desamparados (Fieles Tontos en San Francisco), y el ministerio con enfermedades mentales (Rev. Barbara Meyer en Fremont) estos son apenas algunos de los que uno puede encontrar entre los UUs en el área de la Bahía.

La preparación para el ministerio es rigurosa. El departamento ministerial de Credencialización de la Asociación Unitaria Universalista examina a los aspirantes al ministerio desde diferentes escenarios. Mi viaje hacia el ministerio no es diferente al de muchos. Un amigo, el Rev. Kent Matthies, me alienta en considerar el ir al seminario. Yo estuve indiferente a la idea por un par de años desde que estaba viviendo en Nuevo México y no tuve muchas oportunidades de conseguir esa clase de educación. Yo tuve una experiencia en la Asamblea General (GA) en Québec donde sentí como una llamada, y decidí tocar  algunas puertas para ver si se abrirían. Apliqué en los seminarios UU en Chicago (Meadville Lombard) y Berkeley (Starr KIng), y conseguí ser aceptada. ¿Entonces el gran salto de fe llego - ¿mover a mi familia que cuido?  Mi marido encontró rápidamente un trabajo, y pudimos encontrar una casa que nos gusto y que pudimos  pagar, así que hicimos el salto. Estar en el seminario es, sin embargo, solo el primer paso.

Hay pistas paralelas y entretejidas mientras que una está en el seminario para ponerles atención. Están los requisitos del seminario para graduarse – Un cierto número de horas en créditos en ciertos temas. Al mismo tiempo que la oficina de Credencilaización Ministerial hace que un “aspirante” presente ensayos, hace una evaluación de tres días en el Centro para el Ministerio de su personalidad y la conveniencia para el ministerio, y la entrevista con el Ejecutivo del Distrito en el área de los seminaristas. Cuando estos pasos están completos, entonces uno puede pedir una entrevista con un Subcomité Regional del Comité Ministerial para la fraternidad de los Candidatos (RSCC). Hasta que finalice la valoración de ese comité, uno puede obtener el estado de candidato para ministro con la UUA, o se le pide explorar ciertos aspectos para si mismo que son necesarios para el ministerio y volver al RSCC. Cuando uno llega a ser un candidato, uno puede unirse a la asociación de ministros UU, y necesita ser patrocinado por una congregación (yo estoy patrocinada por  mi congregación en Los Álamos, NM), y entonces comenzar a trabajar en su “paquete.”  Este paquete incluye ensayos sobre su visión del ministerio, la explicación en la competencia en 18 áreas relevantes del ministerio y la información biográfica, así como los lugares de empleo. Una vez que el candidato haya terminado el internado (generalmente en una congregación), o la Clínica de Educación Pastoral (CPE – el cual estoy acabando ahora como capellán de un hospicio), la persona puede pedir una entrevista con el Comité Ministerial de fraternidad (MFC). El MFC clasifica al candidato basado en una profunda exploración de su entrenamiento para el ministerio y su disposición en general y, si le dan a esa persona la vía libre, ellos estarán admitiéndolo(a) en la fraternidad. Solamente después que es admitido a la fraternidad se recomienda que una congregación se comprometa a ordenar a un ministro y así concedérsele el título de “Reverendo(a).”

Yo no soy una Reverenda, pero ésa es mi meta. Soy un candidato al ministerio, Me gradué de la escuela de Starr King para el ministerio el pasado mes de mayo, termine mi internado con la iglesia UU en Livermore el pasado mes de junio, y tengo una cita con el MFC a finales de marzo.



Questions about Circle Suppers?

Answers by Barbara Derbyshire

  • Have you been hearing about Circle Suppers?
  • Do you wonder what they’re about?
  • Why not give it a try next month?

Circle Suppers offer an opportunity for church members to get to know one another in a casual, comfortable setting. This model is used in UU churches across the country. Groups of 6 to 8 people share a potluck dinner in a member’s home.

Everyone on the Circle Supper list receives an email each month with the dates of the coming suppers. Some people participate regularly, and others attend just occasionally.

If you would like to be added to the list for March, please send an email to CircleSuppers@aol.com or call 370-2219. Suppers are scheduled for Friday, March 21, and Sunday, March 23. If you would like to attend one of these suppers, let me know by Saturday, March 8. You will be assigned to a home and asked to bring an entrée, salad, or dessert.

Connie Bloch is organizing a separate group for families that wish to bring their children to the dinners. You can contact her @266-6584 or connie_bloch@yahoo.com


Work Isn't Work With Friends!

What rings your bell?

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.

  • CHANCEL DECORATOR: use creative talents to decorate chancel, using flowers, fabric, etc. ; serve when available; 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
  • TAPE DUPLICATOR: make & provide tapes of services in HPH after church for 1 ½ hrs.; 1 yr. term
  • ORDER OF SERVICE ASSEMBLER: fol d 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
  • CHOIR MEMBER: no exp. nec., practice Wed. 7-9 p.m., perform Sun. lowen@data-time.com
  • 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 Ed at (408) 712-4157.

  • 0220-10

    Milestone Reached to Get the Furnace Repaired

    On the road to get the furnace repaired, we reached a major milestone. The Building Committee received three competing bids, which were needed for this big job before the church could choose the contractor. The committee is evaluating the bids. The furnace repairs should begin soon.

    Congregational Meeting, Sunday, March 30

    Please mark your calendar – Sunday, March 30, approximately 12:45 pm. We will hold our annual congregational meeting to elect new directors and officers.


    Banner to Have a Reprise

    Been missing our new banner? Even notice it was no longer hanging on the belltower? It blew down several times during the windy days of December and January, and the Building Committee finally decided it (and they) needed a break. Although a permanent solution has not yet been created, the plan is to hang the banner at least temporarily for the February 24 service.

    Spotlight on Social Justice

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

    Let California Ring

    If you missed Liam Cooper from the Let California Ring Freedom to Marry campaign (www.letcaliforniaring.org ), that is too bad for you. You missed him talk about his experience of being raised by his Mom and her partner in a family environment that allowed him to witness their relationship as everything he would want for himself as a straight man. He shared how hurtful it was to never be recognized as a “real” family and how he is committed to organizing for that to change.

    We heard, too, from members of our congregation who attended, all differently situated as lesbian, transgender, gay, straight, questioning, bisexual people sharing why each of us cares so much about this issue.

    “It is the most important civil rights issue of our time!” said one of us, “I just want to get married!” said another.

    “What’s so scary about . . about . . “our friend searched for the word, “about LOVE!?” and we answered enthusiastically “Amen!”

    We watched a video that gave us chills with stories like that of a beautiful newborn boy with his two Dads and the wonderful weeks in San Francisco when the city issued marriage licenses to /all people/ that wanted to commit their lives to each other.

    We learned what we can do. Liam explained that about 45% of California’s population supports same sex marriage. Many who don’t support marriage equality simply haven’t heard about how much the inequality hurts us all. So this is your task: Talk! What could be easier? If we keep talking about our own stories of love and families, others will begin to understand that everyone deserves the freedom to marry. We will change the minds of people all over California together, we will make sure that families are recognized and protected. We will Let California Ring!


    Upcoming Events

    Coping With Loss: A Grief Support Group for Adults

    When: Fridays, 7-9 pm; 8 meetings, March 21 through May 9, 2008

    Where: First Unitarian Church of San Jose 160 North Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112, Ramsden Fireside Room

    Fee: No fee, but donations are welcome

    The group will explore our feelings together by getting acquainted, telling our stories, remembering, sharing pictures, mementos, and other special treasures; sharing food; dealing with anger, guilt, fear, loneliness, unfinished business, our personal goals, and closure.

    The group will be facilitated by Dolores Gonzalez and Joanna Keates, who are FUCSJ Pastoral Associates and experienced volunteers in grief support, trained at the Center for Living with Dying. The sign-up sheet will be on the Pastoral Care table for the next few Sundays. For more information please contact either Dolores at (408) 272-5465; email: dolores@ihot.com or Joanna at (408) 399-9235; email: Joanna@Keates.com

    “Thank God for Evolution!”

    Friday, March 14, 7 to 9 pm, FUCSJ Sanctuary
    Special Presentation—Free and Open to the Public!

    Rev. Michael Dowd and his science-writer spouse, Connie Barlow, are America’s Unitarian Universalist evolutionary evangelists, traveling the country for the past six years and speaking to a variety of denominations and communities, including 250 UU churches and fellowships. Their work was featured on the cover of UU World magazine; you can read the article at http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/2679.shtml.

    Now Michael and Connie bring their inspiring presentation to our sanctuary on Friday, March 14, 7 to 9 p.m. in a free event based on Michael’s new book, “Thank God for Evolution!” The book has been endorsed by five Nobel Prize-winning scientists (see http://thankgodforevolution.com/nobel for more); and Buddhist writer and teacher Joanna Macy says that it “moves us at last beyond false separations of science and religion.”

    Save the date, and bring your friends and family to this lively, boundary-busting event! View the book’s trailer at http://ThankGodforEvolution.com/book-trailer.html

    We’d like to provide Michael and Connie with a home stay while they are in our area for 2 to 3 days. They have a van to be parked on the street or driveway and mostly need a room where they can plug into the internet and work through the day. Can you help? Please contact Rev. Nancy at revnpj@yahoo.com.

    Balazs Transylvanian Tea on April 5

    Starr King School for the Ministry, our UU theological school in Berkeley, cordially invites you and your friends to the Balázs Scholars Program Spring fundraiser. This event is a Transylvanian Tea featuring Balázs Scholar, Rev. Béla-Botond (Bélu) Jakabház, a Transylvanian Unitarian minister studying at Starr King School; and Starr King President and Professor of Theology, Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker. Their topic is "Change in the Church: Transylvania and the USA." The tea will be held Saturday, April 5 at 3:30 pm at Starr King School for the Ministry, 2441 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley. $25 donation. For information or reservations contact, Arliss Ungar, arliss@ungar.us; 925-283-3288.

    Women's Alliance

    Please join us for the Thursday, March 6 meeting in the Fireside Room. Session 5 in our Cakes for the Queen of Heaven curriculum is entitled "Reclaiming Women's Heritage of Peace." We will meet from 7:15 to 9:15 pm. All are welcome. Contact Nancy Coleman at nancybcoleman@mac.com for more information.

    Annual Church Campout 2008

    Great news, UU campers! We have found a wonderful location for the campout this July, and just secured the reservation. The dates are Wednesday, July 9 through Sunday, July 13, 2008. (That’s a week earlier than usual, but this way it won’t conflict with the junior high backpacking trip.)

    The location is McConnell State Recreation Area, near Turlock, about 2 hours from San Jose. Alec MacLean drove out there to reconnoiter the site and brought back pictures and glowing reviews. The group campsite has easy access to the Merced River with sandy beaches for the kids, a bathhouse with showers and flush toilets, lots of picnic tables, and running water right in the campsite. It has everything we need for another fantastic campout.

    If you’d like to be added to a “church-campout” email list, please email MM Feldman at mm@feldmo.com. Otherwise, watch for information about signups a little later in the spring.

    Embracing Queer Spirit -- A Book Club for Spiritual Growth

    Led by Hayden Reynolds (see Bio)

    • Have you ever felt that being homosexual, bisexual, or transsexual is a good thing rather than an abomination?
    • Have you ever thought that you exist the way you are for a reason rather than as an abnormality?
    • Have you ever considered that being gay, bi, lesbian, or trans might be a gift rather than a burden?
    • Chances are you haven't because these ideas aren't modeled for us. What if you could explore these ideas for yourself in a safe and supportive environment?

    This book club is a gateway to embracing yourself as a queer being. We do this by exploring the writings of those who've journeyed ahead of us. Our vision is that each of us in the group moves toward a greater understanding and acceptance of ourselves as queer beings. We hold a sacred space where personal sharing and deep listening are practiced. The goal for each of us is to move closer to being able to say YES to the questions above.

    This book club is just like every other book club in that we read books. We differ in the way that we work with the material. Each week we bring more than our thoughts, we bring our experience of how the books are affecting us, changing us, and challenging us. We are asked to go deeper into the material. What made our hearts joyful and what made our hearts ache?

    We will meet twice a month at the church on the first and third Monday evenings. We begin on March 3

    Space is limited in this small group. To reserve your space or if you have questions, contact Hayden at haydenspiritguide@earthlink.net.

    Bio: Hayden Reynolds, M.A.

    Hayden has completed his training for the doctoral certificate in Spiritual Guidance from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and is completing his dissertation on gay spirituality. He is skilled in many processes and techniques for working with spiritual material, including: hypnosis, dream work, ritual use, and journey work. Hayden has practiced and studied many faith and spiritual traditions, and honors the truth in all systems.


    Circling Around

    by Kelly Burnett

    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 Sonya Sukalski (for Rev. Geoff Rimositis, on sabbatical) 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 Sonya Sulkalski (para El Rev. Geoff Rimositis, sabático) 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,

    Bob Redfern, rredfern@charter.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

    R.E. Assistant / Alecia Baker

    Nursery Teacher / Stacey Vinyard

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

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

    NEWSLETTER Editors
    Sherry Howd
    , 257-6844, s_howd@msn.com
    Sherry will edit the Feb. 20 and March 19 issues.

    Catherine Leeson Pelizzari, 945-9848, caleeson@aol.com
    Catherine will edit the March 5 and April 2 issues.

    Translator: Roberto Padilla

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

    Stapling and Addressing: Genie Bernardini, Carole and Bob Roszkowski, and Gretchen Leavitt.

     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

    Want to Receive the Newsletter?

    To receive the newsletter on paper, fill out the form at this link:

    or call (408) 292-3858, ext. 31.

    To receive the newsletter via email, emessage steve.carr@earthlink.net

    Next issue deadline: 3:00 pm, Wednesday, February 27, 2008

    Next issue assembly: Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    Next issue mailing: Wednesday, March 5, 2008