Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / January 2, 2008 / 2 de Enero 2008

Inside This Issue:

0102-1 Sunday Services
0102-2 Save the Dates
0102-3 Religious Education
0102-4 As We Build the Beloved Community... This Life, This Wonderful Life

Sensing the Spirit with Sonya


Our Whole Lives Class (Grades 7-9) Begins in January 2008


Our Whole Lives (Grades 7-9) Required Parent Orientation


Is January the Time for You to Join a Small Group?

0102-9 Service is Our Prayer; What's Your Prayer for 2008?
0102-10 Board Meetings of October 24 and November 28

Thanks for Your Gifts of Participation!


Want to Meet and Eat? Check Out Our New Circle Suppers Program!

0102-13 Upcoming Events -- Cakes, Multiculturalism Conference, Junior High Backpacking Trip

Circling Around -- Meet Little Hessong, Marge Wins Poetry Prize

0102-15 Choir Notes
0102-16 Meet Our New Members - Braeden Sullivan, Liza-Jane Capatos
0102-17 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
0102-1 Servicios de Domingo
0102-4 Mientras Construimos Nuestra Querida Comunidad… Esta Vida, Esta Vida Maravillosa
0102-5 Percibiendo el Espiritu con Sonya
0102-13 Conduciendo a nuestras congregaciones hacia un futuro multirracial y Multicultural: ¡Ahora es el Tiempo!
0102-16 Conozca a Nuestros Nuevos Miembros - Braeden Sullivan, Liza-Jane Capatos


Aquí estan los Ministros!



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

6 de Enero — 9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

Después de la Clamor… un silencio
Después de que todos los que merodean de las vacaciones y de la bulliciosa celebración de la noche de Año Nuevo, lo que significa que para comenzar el año nuevo con anticipación tranquilo? ¿Cómo podemos hacer espacio para el silencio, dentro y fuera, en nuestra vida cotidiana? Vamos a explorar las promesas y los peligros de silencio sobre este enero mor.

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

January 6 — 9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

After the Clamor … a Silence
After all the scurrying of the holidays and the boisterous celebrations of New Year’s Eve, what would it mean to begin the New Year with quiet anticipation? How can we make space for silence, within and without, in our everyday lives? We’ll explore the promises and the perils of silence on this January morn.

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate (11 a.m.): Donna Lenahan

13 de Enero — 9:30 y 11:00 am

Un Profundo Deseo de Tener Espacio
¿Nos estamos sintiendo “rellenos” con propiedades, actividades, información y obligaciones? ¿Cómo nos sentiríamos si viviéramos dentro de la escala correcta? Utilizando los dones del Ministerio de Grupos Pequeños, haremos espacio para nosotros y para los demás esta mañana de domingo–espacio para nuestras decisiones sobre lo que necesitamos tener y hacer, y espacio para la experiencia de simplemente ser.

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociada de Servicio: Mary Martin (11:00 am).

January 13 — 9:30 and 11:00 am

Longing for Spaciousness
Are we feeling “stuffed”—with belongings, activities, information, obligations? How might it feel to live “right-sized”? Using the gifts of Small-Group Ministry, we will make a space for ourselves and each other on this Sunday morning—for our choices about what we need to have and to do, and space for the experience of simply being.

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: Mary Martin (11:00 am).

20 de Enero — 9:30 am

Buscando la Felicidad
Todos queremos ser felices, pero ¿donde la encontramos?, ¿Es posible ser eternamente felices? Acompáñenme y busquemos juntos la clave para la felicidad .

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

Searching For Happiness
We all want to be happy, but where do we find it? It is possible to be eternally happy? Come join us as we search together for the key to happiness.  

Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla
Worship Associates: Members of SSM

January 20 — 11 am

Touching the Void
In the winter we try to appreciate the fallow time that the earth reminds us is a beneficial season to be attuned with. But sometimes when we slow down, we can find ourselves in a struggle with a void in our lives that we don’t know how to address or fill.

Worship Leader: the Rev. Sonya Sukalski;
Worship Associate: Kelly Burnett.

Tocando el Vacío
En el invierno intentamos apreciar el seguimiento del tiempo y la tierra nos recuerda que es una estación beneficiosa y que esta en armonía. Pero a veces, cuando nos desplomamos, podemos encontrarnos en una lucha de un vacío en nuestras vidas que no sabemos como tratar o llenar.

Dirige: la Rev. Sonya Sukalski; Asociada de Servicio: Kelly Burnett.


Save the Dates

  • January 3, Thursday, Women’s Alliance Meeting, Hattie Porter Hall, 7:15-9:15pm
  • January 3, Thursday (and every Thursday) UU Knitters, 6:30-9pm in the youth room. Bring a small craft. Call Madeline Morrow, (408) 741-1150.
  • January 4, Friday, Dances of Universal Peace, 8:00 pm in the Sanctuary
  • January 5, Saturday, Going Away party for Claire Wagner, Greg Ashley, and Lauren and Lucie, 6:30-10 pm in Hattie Porter Hall. $10. RSVP to Joyce Miller at 730-1052.
  • January 6, Sunday, UU Band of Writers, 12:20 pm, Youth Room
  • January 12, Saturday: PCD Growth Day at UUCB: “Taking It Up a Notch: Staying Blessed and Not Stressed as Congregations.” To carpool, contact Kelly Burnett, kelly@kellybur.com.
  • January 14, Monday, Registration Deadline for NCUUCC Spring thing at Asilomar, April 18-20; augobets@pacbell.net to register
  • January 30, Thursday, Church Board Meeting, 7:00 pm, conference room.
  • February 22-24 (Fri-Sun): Leading Our Congregations into a Multiracial, Multicultural Future, Doubletree Hotel, San Jose (see article in 12/19 newsletter)
  • 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.

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]

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

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

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

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

Film as Theology: Media That Matters Film Festival
This year we will look at short films--many made by youth--on social and ethical issues, and discuss 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: Diana Chung, Mike Williamson, Pamela Gehrke, 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 .

As We Build the Beloved Community...

by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Mientras Construimos Nuestra Querida Comunidad…..

por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

This Life, This Wonderful Life

Do you remember the old Frank Capra–Jimmy Stewart movie, shown over and over every year at Christmas time, called It’s a Wonderful Life? This December, Kevin and I went to see the San Jose Repertory Theatre’s production of This Wonderful Life, a tour-de-force one-person retelling of this classic movie. And this year, the story’s themes hit home even more powerfully than they have in years past.

Here’s what happens: George Bailey is a young man with big dreams. He wants to get out of his little hometown of Bedford Falls and travel everywhere; he wants to become an architect and build great towering structures that will leave his imprint on the world.

But each time he’s on the brink of leaving the little town, something happens that asks him to take care of others instead of following his own dreams. George, acting always on instinct, doesn’t see how his own generosity and kindness are what really keep him tied to Bedford Falls. So he marries spunky Mary Hatch, and they bring up a passel of kids in a tumble-down but cozy house that they’ve made into a home. And he ends up running his dad’s business, the Bailey Building and Loan, from which he had longed to be free but which he now keeps going in order to serve the less-advantaged folks of the town. For without this small seat-of-the-pants company, greedy old Mr. Potter would control everyone and everything for his own profit.

And then sweet, forgetful Uncle Billy loses a hefty bank deposit, and all of the small good things that George has built threaten to come tumbling down. He is so discouraged that he is ready to throw himself off a bridge, but he is distracted at the last moment by a man struggling in the water, and George, acting on instinct again, jumps in to save him. The man turns out to be a not-very-successful angel, Clarence, who shows George what the little world of Bedford Falls would look like if George had never been born.

For one thing, it wouldn’t be Bedford Falls. It would, of course, be Pottersville, with no affordable housing for the poor and no low-interest loans for those who were struggling to make their dreams come true.

You see, every small, instinctive, generous gesture that George has made throughout his life to help others turns out to have had an enormous impact. As Clarence works his magic, we see how much worse the world would be if George had not been there. George at last begins to long for his life, which no longer seems small or meaningless but big and rich with relationship and love. And that’s the first part of what “saves” George: he is ready to be in his own true life now, to be awake to its fullness and purpose.

The second part of what saves George is the interconnected web of community into which he and Mary have woven their lives. Everyone—every one—whose lives have been touched by George or Mary shows up to contribute whatever they can to make up for the lost money. It is a rowdy, joyful scene of redemption, in every sense of the word. Even Clarence gets his wings.

So here, my dear friends, is my two-part wish for you, and for all of us, in this New Year, 2008:

n May we know that every kind and generous gesture we make matters—a lot. Every small step we take for justice and peace matters—a lot. Our world would quite literally not be the same without them.

n And may we intentionally weave our lives into this community so that together we can express, in bold and loving ways, our Unitarian Universalist faith. In other words, may we take some risks, may we “leap in,” as George did and as Sonya Sukalski’s column in this newsletter urges us to do—and may we rest easy, too, knowing that we are, and we have, enough of what we need to make a life rich with meaning and purpose, a life big in relationship and love.

I’ll see you in the New Year! With warmth and gratitude,


Esta Vida, Esta Vida Maravillosa

¿Se acuerdan de aquella vieja película de Frank Capra-Jimmy Stewart, que presentan tanto cada año en la época navideña, titulada, “Es una vida maravillosa”? Este diciembre, Kevin y yo fuimos a ver la producción del Teatro San José Repertory, de “Esta Maravillosa Vida,” una proeza de actuación de una sola persona, que es un recuento de esta película clásica. Y este año, los temas de la historia nos llegaron al alma de manera más profunda que en años pasados.

Esta es la trama: George Bailey es un joven con grandes sueños. Quiere salir de su pueblito de Bedford Falls y viajar a todos lados; quiere convertirse en arquitecto y construir grandes estructuras de torres que dejen su huella en el mundo.

Pero cada vez que está a punto de salir de su pueblo, sucede algo que le exige ayudar a los demás en vez de seguir sus propios sueños. George, siguiendo siempre su instinto, no ve que su generosidad y su bondad son las cosas que lo tienen atado a Bedford Falls. Luego se casa con la valiente Mary Hatch, y tienen una familia con muchos niños en una casa media arruinada pero acogedora que ellos han convertido en su hogar. Y él termina administrando el negocio de su padre, Construcción y Préstamos Bailey, del que había deseado liberarse, pero que ahora lo mantiene vivo, para dar servicio a los menos afortunados del pueblo. Porque sin esta pequeña compañía, el ambicioso viejo Sr. Potter controlaría a todos y todo para su propia ganancia.

Y luego el dulce y olvidadizo tío Billy pierde un depósito bancario bastante grande, y todas las pequeñas cosas que George había construido amenazan con desplomarse. …y se encuentra tan desanimado que está listo para tirarse desde un puente, pero lo distrae en el último instante, un hombre que está ahogándose en el agua, y George, siguiendo una vez más su instinto, salta al agua para salvarlo. El hombre resulta ser un ángel no muy exitoso, Clarence, quien le muestra a George como se vería el pequeño mundo de Bedford Falls si George nunca hubiera nacido.

Primero que nada, ya no sería Bedford Falls. Sería por supuesto Pottersville, sin vivienda barata para los pobres, sin préstamos a bajo interés para aquellos que luchan por hacer su sueño realidad.

Es decir que cada pequeño gesto generoso, instintivo, que ha tenido George, a través de su vida para ayudar a los demás, resulta que ha tenido un enorme impacto. Cuando Clarence hace funcionar su magia, vemos cuánto peor hubiera sido el mundo si George no hubiera estado allí. Finalmente George comienza a anhelar su propia vida, la cual ya no parece pequeña o sin sentido, sino grande y rica con relaciones y amor. Y esa es la primera parte de lo que salva a George: él está listo para estar en su propia vida verdadera ahora, y estar despierto a su plenitud y su propósito.

La segunda parte de lo que salva a George es la red interconectada de la comunidad en la que él y Mary han tejido sus vidas. Todos y cada uno, de aquellos cuyas vidas han sido tocadas por George o Mary se presentan para contribuir con lo que pueden para recuperar el dinero perdido. Es una escena ruidosa y gozosa de redención, en todo el sentido de la palabra. Incluso Clarence obtiene sus alas.

Entonces, mis queridos amigos, aquí está mi deseo en dos partes, para todos ustedes y para todos nosotros, en este Año Nuevo 2008:

Que sepamos que cada gesto amable y generoso que hacemos es importante—muy importante. Cada pequeño paso que damos hacia la justicia y la paz es importante—muy importante. Nuestro mundo no sería, literalmente, lo que es, sin ellos.

Y que podamos de manera intencional tejer nuestras vidas en esta comunidad, para que juntos podamos expresar, de manera audaz y amorosa, nuestra fe unitaria universalista. En otras palabras, que tomemos riesgos, que podamos “brincar al ruedo”, tal como lo hizo George y como nos insta a hacer la columna de Sonya Sukalski en este boletín—y que también descansemos sin ansias, sabiendo que somos, y que tenemos, suficiente de lo que necesitamos para hacer una vida rica con sentido y propósito, una vida grande en relaciones y amor.

Los veré en el Año Nuevo!
Con calidez y gratitud,



Sensing the Spirit with Sonya

by the Rev. Sonya Sukalski

by James Ortiz

Percibiendo el Espiritu con Sonya

Por la
Rev. Sonya Sukalski

Dibujo de James Ortiz

As we contemplate silence this month as a community and look forward to the new year, my wish for each of you is that you encounter some unexpected pleasures born of taking risks. Last year at this time, I couldn’t have known what a delight it would be to get periodic letters from a man in prison. I was struggling along with a prison letter writing project that was awkward which ended after a month or two. When I asked to be reassigned because the letters had stopped, I was wondering what this new relationship would bring.

The correspondence wasn’t always easy, negotiating comfortable boundaries with someone I will likely never meet takes time, patience, and fortitude. For the vast majority of time though, I would rather read James Ortiz’s letters than pick up a book or magazine. We talk about all kinds of things — he gets the UU World as well as the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s (CLF) newsletter Quest, so sometimes we discuss those publications. Sometimes he tells me of his cell mates, or things that happen on the prison yard. We discuss our lives, especially his life before prison, his kids, and what he has lost with a 17-year sentence. And we both have an interest in earth based spirituality and traditions, so there has been a lot of learning on both ends — I learn about his Wiccan practice, and I tell him about the renewal I find in nature.

CLF has a letter writing ministry run by Patti Franz (Pfranz@uua.org) who gives guidance on these relationships, has an on-line discussion group for free world letter writers, and, most importantly, forwards letters to free world pen pals. Most people in prison who write know just the first name of the person they are writing, and can see from the postmark that the person is writing from, say, Oakland, or San Jose. They send all their letters to CLF who forwards them on to our addresses, so that contact information is given out in an appropriate way, at the right time in the relationship. We use CLF’s return address for all correspondence.

I am hoping that Henry Ruddle, who makes the newsletter look so great, will have found a way to use an image of a tree that James drew. I often wear a necklace with a tree on it that my family gave me for my birthday a few years back, and I described it to him. He often draws pictures on the envelopes, and is quite a good artist, so I asked him if I could use his art. James said, “great, please also give me credit for it.” In 2007, this letter writing relationship was an unexpected pleasure. It makes me wonder what 2008 will hold for each of us. I hope you find some risks worth taking, encounter unexpected pleasures, and bring the stories back to this community to share!


Mientras contemplamos el silencio este mes como comunidad y esperamos ansiosos el nuevo año, mi deseo para cada uno de ustedes es que encuentren algunos inesperados placeres como consecuencia de ser arriesgados. El año pasado en esta época, no podía predecir que delicia sería el recibir cartas frecuentes de un hombre que está en la prisión. Yo estaba todavía debatiendo con un proyecto de escribir cartas a prisioneros que era un poco incómodo y que terminó después de uno o dos meses. Cuando pedí ser reasignada porque las cartas habían dejado de llegar, yo me preguntaba que cosa me traería esta nueva relación.

La correspondencia no fue siempre fácil, el negociar límites cómodos con alguien que probablemente nunca conoceré en persona toma tiempo, paciencia y fortaleza. Sin embargo, la mayoría de las veces, prefiero leer las cartas de James Ortiz que leer un libro o una revista. Hablamos de todo tipo de cosas—él recibe la revista UU World y también el boletín Quest, de la Congregación Universal UU, y a veces discutimos esas publicaciones. A veces él me cuenta sobre sus compañeros de celda, o cosas que pasan en el patio de la prisión. Discutimos nuestras vidas, especialmente su vida antes de la prisión, sus hijos, y lo que ha perdido con una sentencia de 17 años en prisión. Y ambos tenemos interés en la espiritualidad basada en la tierra y sus tradiciones, por eso ha habido mucho aprendizaje de ambos lados—yo aprendo de su práctica wicana, y yo le cuento sobre la renovación que encuentro en la naturaleza.

CLF tiene un ministerio de escritura de cartas dirigido por Patti Franz (Pfranz@uua.org) quien da consejos sobre este tipo de relaciones, tiene un grupo de discusión en el internet para los escritores de cartas del mundo libre, y lo más importante es que redirige las cartas a los amigos por correo en el mundo libre. La mayoría de las personas en la prisión que escriben cartas solamente saben el primer nombre de la persona a quien le escriben, y pueden ver por el sello de correos que esa persona escribe desde Oakland por ejemplo, o desde San José. Envían todas las cartas a CLF para que ellos las redirijan a nuestra dirección, para que la información de contacto se revele de forma apropiada, en el momento adecuado para la relación. Utilizamos la dirección de CLF para toda la correspondencia.

Espero que Henry Ruddle, quien hace que el boletín se vea tan bien, haya encontrado una manera de utilizar una imagen de un árbol que dibujó James. Frecuentemente uso un collar que tiene un árbol que me regaló mi familia para mi cumpleaños, hace años, y yo se lo describí. El hace dibujos en los sobres a veces, y es un buen artista, entonces le pregunté si podría usar su arte. James dijo, “muy bien, también dame los créditos por favor.” En el 2007, esta relación por carta fue un placer inesperado. Me hace preguntarme que nos traerá el 2008 a cada uno de nosotros. Espero que ustedes encuentren algunos riesgos dignos de tomar, que encuentren placeres inesperados, y que traigan las historias para compartir con esta comunidad.



Our Whole Lives Class (Grades 7-9)
Begins in January 2008

Curriculum: Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education by Pamela Wilson, M.S.W.

Our Whole Lives is based on the philosophy of comprehensive sexuality education, which helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, comprehensive sexuality education provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, social, and political aspects of sexuality as well.

Comprehensive sexuality education has been shown to be effective. A review commissioned by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, released on October 22, 1997, concluded that quality education about sexuality and/or HIV helps to delay first intercourse and protect sexually active youth from STDs, including HIV, and from pregnancy. The review also concluded that responsible and safe behavior can be learned, that sexuality education is best started before the onset of sexual activity, and that sexuality education does not encourage increased sexual activity.

Our Whole Lives offers:

  • up-to-date information and candid answers to all participants’ questions
  • activities to help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
  • effective group building to create a safe and supportive peer group
  • education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
  • opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
  • acceptance of diversity
  • encouragement to act for justice
  • trained leaders
  • required parent orientation programs that engage parents in the sexuality education of their children
  • UU materials that incorporate worship and religious values

Youth who sign-up for this program must agree to attend all sessions. Our Whole Lives depends on the consistency of youth attendance because so much of the program is based on the trust that grows with improved communication skills. Irregular attendance erodes trust and the formation of community that enables youth to get the most out of the program.

The class meets in the Ramsden Fireside Room.


Our Whole Lives (Grades 7-9)
Required Parent Orientation

There will be a required parent orientation on Sunday, January 13 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Ramsden Fireside Room for families who are considering having their son or daughter participate in the Unitarian Universalist Sexuality Program, Our Whole Lives (OWL). This program is for youth in 7th-9th grades. The course begins January 27 and finishes on May 25. The class schedule is going through its final revision and will be published soon.

The volunteer teachers for the class will be Elisabeth McKenna, Rick Morris, Liz Shivell and Steven Wallcave.

We will also be offering a parent support group that will be held at the same time as the youth class. Liz Shivell and Steven Wallcave will be leading the adult class. Adults will follow the curriculum and learn what the youth are learning.

Elisabeth McKenna is serving as the OWL Class Coordinator. You can reach her directly at EBMcKenna@aol.com. She encourages you to contact her with any questions, and if your teen is reluctant to participate. l


Is January the Time for You to Join a Small Group?

The New Year has begun! If your life could use a little more connection with other people who are on a spiritual journey, perhaps it’s time to check out what our Small Group Ministry (SGM) offers.

Curious? You can check out the SGM portion of our website for more information: www.sanjoseuu.org/FUCSJ_SGM/index.html. Also, you can come to the 11:00 am service on Sunday, January 13, for more news of Small Group Ministry!

And do stop by the SGM table in Hattie Porter Hall after the 11 a.m. service any Sunday in January, our SGM Open Enrollment Month. You can talk with one of our group leaders, read some introductory material, and sign up if you’re interested. You’ll be welcome whether you are a member, a friend, or a newcomer! We hope to see you there!

Current Group Openings

Time Place Leadership
1st & 3rd Sun Eve Downtown San Jose Dana Grover, Carol Greene
2nd & 4th Mon Eve Almaden Valley Rick Morris, Robin Beresford
1st & 3rd Mon Eve Near 880 & Hamilton Catherine Pelizzari
1st & 3rd Mon Eve Downtown San Jose Alice Lynch, Matt Trask
1st & 3rd Mon Eve Saratoga Madeline Morrow, Cindy Robinson
2nd 4th Tues Aft Los Gatos Diana Wirt
1st & 3rd Tues Eve Los Gatos, off Lark Frank Bosche
1st & 3rd Tues Eve Downtown San Jose Rob Strong, Frank Farris
1st Thurs Eve (1/month) East Foothills Mary Jeffries, Ellen Robinson
1st & 3rd Sat Morn Japantown Bob Miess, K’Ailsa Rowan
Various Sat Morns Morgan Hill Beth McGhee, Jenny Redfern

Service is Our Prayer

What Will Be Your Prayer in 2008?

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.

  • 0102-10
    Board Meetings of October 24 and November 28

    By Bob Redfern, Secretary, Board of Directors

    First off, let me apologize for not submitting a news summary from the September and October board meetings and a Congregational meeting on October 28th. I was at my parents’ in September and at a Birthday Party on October 28th in Colorado, so I got pressed for time and writing contributions.

    November 28th Meeting
    Several dates were discussed and/or firmed up for the next 2 months:

    • December Board Meeting — Thursday December 20th
    • December 9th service — Joint with SSM and English at 10:00 AM, followed by the Holiday Gift Faire Boutique.
    • December 24 — Christmas Eve — Services at 5:00 and 8:00 PM
    • January Board Meeting re-scheduled for Wednesday the 30th.

    Rev. Nancy discussed her participation in the “Sparks for Growth” retreat for ministers and leaders. One of the key words she brought away was “Embrace.” She will be expanding on this in these pages as well as her sermons.

    We received a Spanish Language outreach grant and have begun new initiatives to reach out to the Spanish-Speaking community.

    Please look at our new banner across the front of the church. It is very impressive. A new message box is in the plans.

    Sherry Howd was appointed to the Program Operations Council as Communications Officer. Two chairs on the POC remain vacant — Building and Facilities and Social Justice. Volunteers will receive great honor and respect from all their fellow members and friends.

    The policy for the Endowment Fund was adopted. The Board discussed the financial shortfall, with very graphic charts prepared by David Tucker detailing our cash flow shortfall. You all should have received a personal appeal letter mailed December 7th. It was endorsed by the Board and Program Operations Council for the purpose of discussing the problems, the reasons for our shortfall and some solutions. The list of “Good Things Happening” included was collected by Jan Theiss-Guffey.

    Program Council (l-r): Liz Owen, Sherry Howd, Christopher Frey, Joyce Miller, Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, Dena Dickenson, and Julia Rodriguez.

    Finally, we discussed the need to have a Canvass Coordinator NOW and how important it is to communicate the financial needs in a manner that will encourage everyone to help the church to the best of your ability.

    October 24 Board Meeting
    This was a very challenging meeting because the majority of the meeting was taken up with a detailed discussion and analysis of our budget, led by Christopher Frey.

    Numerous proposals for budget cutting were discussed and have been detailed in this newsletter and in the December 7th appeal letter. The YIKES fund (You Interested In Keeping Everything Solvent?) was discussed, as well as a year-round Canvass effort, rather than a frenzied 2 months that tends to burn out those organizing it.

    Endowment Policy was reviewed and updated to reflect input and guidance related to the work of our Planned Giving Committee (Bob Howd, Christopher Frey, Jean VonKaenel, Bob Owen and Gordon Smith).

    Thank you for your words of support on these contributions to the newsletter, and loving appreciation of your thoughts and prayers as I recovered remarkably from a September heart scare.

    Let’s rally for volunteers to work on the Canvass and to help the Program Operations Council Building and Facilities and Social Justice representatives. Please pay your UUA/PCD dues if you have not done so yet and do your best to bring your pledge up-to-date, if circumstances allow. Thank you, Thank you.

    Wishing you all the best of the Holiday Season,

    Bob Redfern, Secretary


    Thanks for Your Gifts of Participation!

    By Cecelia Deck

    Church members and friends at the Fireside Gift Faire helped raise $1,100 that will help to fund the missions of our church. In addition, the Spanish Speaking Ministries and Third Street Community Center raised funds through their own sales. A big “thank you” to all who gave of their time and talents to make it a fun and festive event.


    Want to Meet and Eat? Check Out Our New Circle Suppers Program!

    By Barbara Derbyshire

    This Circle Supper program started last February. Each month everyone on the roster is notified of the dates and they decide if they will join a group. The suppers are potluck in members’ homes. The mix of people is different each time.

    So far 39 people (12 couples and 15 singles) have participated. Lucy and Dave Proulx hold the record; they have attended 7 suppers! There have been 16 groups, ranging from 5 to 11 at the table. People who attend have found this to be a good way to get to know others in the church community in a casual setting.

    If you would like to join this program or if you have questions, please contact me at CircleSuppers@aol.com.


    Upcoming Events

    Cakes Continues

    Please join us in the Fireside Room on Thursday, January 3, from 7:15 - 9:15 pm for the next Women’s Alliance meeting. This session includes two interesting films, Signs Out of Time: the Story of Archeologist Marija Gimbutas, and The Human Race: The Gods of Our Fathers, as part of our ongoing look at female-centered spirituality. We welcome everyone to join us. Contact Nancy Coleman at (408)985-5778 or nancybcoleman@mac.com for further information.

    Conduciendo a nuestras congregaciones hacia un futuro multirracial y Multicultural: ¡Ahora es el Tiempo!
    Desde el viernes 22 de febrero, hasta el medio día del domingo, 24 de febrero, en el Hotel Doubletree de San José.

    Llevemos a un equipo de la FUCSJ a esta atractiva y transformadora conferencia de fin de semana! Pase el viernes con la inspirada Rev. Jacqui Lewis; el sábado, comparta los talleres prácticos con los UUs de alrededor del país; y en la mañana de domingo, tendremos el honor de recibir la conferencia entera en nuestro servicio de las 9:30 en español (con la traducción inglés), de modo que todos puedan experimentar una probada de el multiculturalismo Unitario Universalismo en la acción.

    Si usted no estuvo disponible para tomar nuestra clase de “Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos”, esta conferencia ofrece una gran oportunidad, en un tiempo más corto, de participar. Si usted está tomando nuestra clase, la conferencia proporciona un excelente realce al trabajo que estamos haciendo. La conferencia cuesta $280, con algunas comidas incluidas-y vale cada centavo, para los que puedan hacerlo.

    Regístrese ahora a través del e-mail en:
    http://www.uua.org/events/ multiracialmulticultural/index.shtml.

    Entonces déjele saber a la Rev. Nancy que usted se unirá a nuestro equipo de líderes y de ministros de la FUCSJ enviándole un mensaje electrónico a: revnpj@yahoo.com.

    Leading Our Congregations into a Multiracial, Multicultural Future: Now Is the Time!
    All day Friday, February 22, through midday Sunday, February 24; Doubletree Hotel, San José

    Let’s take an FUCSJ team to this engaging and transformative weekend conference! Spend Friday with the inspiring Rev. Jacqui Lewis; on Saturday, share practical workshops with UUs from around the country; and on Sunday morning, we have the honor of hosting the whole conference at our 9:30 worship service in Spanish (with English translation), so that all can experience a taste of multicultural Unitarian Universalism in action.

    If you weren’t able to join our Building the World We Dream About class, this conference offers a great opportunity, in a shorter span of time, to participate. If you are taking our class, the conference provides an excellent enhancement to the work we are doing. For commuters, the conference costs $280, with some meals included—and it is worth every penny for those who can make it.

    Register on-line now at www.uua.org/events/ multiracialmulticultural/index.shtml.

    Then let Rev. Nancy know that you will be joining our team of FUCSJ leaders and ministers by e-mailing her at revnpj@yahoo.com.

    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.


    Circling Around

    by Kelly Burnett

    Let’s have a big welcome for one of the newest members of our congregation, Hessong Williamson, born December 12, 2007. His proud parents are Mike Williamson, Diana Chung and big brother Sejong. Mother and baby are doing wonderfully. Mike adds: “For those whom we haven’t told, “Hessong” means shooting star, a sort of namesake after Diana (her Korean name is “Milky Way”). It’s pronounced “Hess” with an “e” mostly like “bed”, and “song”, just like singing a song. The shortcut or easier name is gonna just be Hess.”

    Marjorie Schneider received the Editors’ Choice Award for two poems, “Swinging in the Sunlight” and “Thanksgiving” in the International Library of Poetry. They can be found under www.poetry.com. Way to go, Marge!

    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.

    Choir Notes

    After intense practice leading up to the Christmas Eve performances (phew!), the choir will take this evening (January 2) off, and begin practices again next Wednesday, January 9, 2008 starting at 7 p.m. for those who enjoy singing about bumble bees and "me may mah mo moo" (whatever that means), and starting at 7:30 p.m. for slackers (wink).

    Conozca a Nuestros Nuevos Miembros

    Braeden Sullivan
    Braeden Sullivan es originario de Arizona, de buen carácter, un ex católico que se sintió atraído a esta iglesia por la franqueza y la pasión por la justicia social de sus miembros. Braeden es un abogado recién graduado, que busca activamente un trabajo donde pueda poner en acción su pasión por la defensa en un tribunal. Una de las cosas más importantes en la vida de Braeden es su enorme familia, que pronto incluirá a Liza-Jane, el amor de su vida y su futura esposa. A Braeden también le gusta pintar, hacer tarjetas, leer, y unirse a los miembros de la comunidad en la lucha por la justicia social y ayudar a hacer de este mundo un lugar mejor.

    Liza-Jane Capatos
    ¡Habiendo crecido en una familia atea, Liza-Jane Capatos esta sorprendida y emocionada de haber encontrado una iglesia donde ella siente que pertenece! Desde que encontró la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José, ella ha descubierto que disfruta la paz que obtiene asistiendo al servicio cada semana y la oportunidad que le proporciona para la reflexión. Encontrar tiempo para la reflexión y la calma ha sido una verdadera bendición para Liza-Jane, particularmente porque tiene en su futuro cercano un número de emocionantes acontecimientos y retos en su vida. En el 2008, Liza-Jane espera graduarse de la escuela de leyes, pasar el examen del colegio de abogados, y lo más importante, casarse. Aunque ella anticipa un año entrante muy ocupado, también le emociona la posibilidad de involucrarse más con esta iglesia y de conocer a otros UUs un poco mejor.

    Meet Our New Members

    Braeden Sullivan
    Braeden Sullivan is an easy-going native Arizonan and former Catholic who was drawn to this church by the openness and passion for social justice of the members. Braeden is a brand-new attorney, actively looking for a job where he can put his passion for courtroom advocacy into action. One of the most important things in Braeden’s life is his huge extended family, which will soon include Liza-Jane, Braeden’s love of his life and future wife. Braeden also likes to paint, make cards, read, and join with members of the community to fight for social justice and help make this world a better place.

    Liza-Jane Capatos
    Having been raised in a God-less family, Liza-Jane Capatos is amazed and excited to have found a church where she feels she belongs! Since discovering the First Unitarian Church of San Jose, she has found that she enjoys the peace that comes with attending service each week and the opportunity for reflection it provides. Finding time for reflection and calm has been a real blessing for Liza-Jane, particularly because she has a number of exciting and life-changing events ahead of her. In 2008, Liza-Jane is looking forward to graduating from law school, taking the bar exam, and most importantly, getting married. Although she anticipates a very busy new year, she is also excited about the chance to become more involved in this church and to get to know other UUs a little better.


    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,

    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

    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

    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 Jan. 16 and Feb. 20 issues.

    Catherine Leeson Pelizzari, 945-9848, caleeson@aol.com
    Catherine will edit the Feb. 6 and March 5 issues.

    Translator: Roberto Padilla and Ervin Barrios

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

    Assembly Coordinators: Gretchen Leavitt and Genie Bernardini
    Assembly Crew: Marge Schneider, Lloyd Eater, Bob and Carole Roszkowski, Nancy Sutton, and Deanna la Torre.

     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, January 9, 2008

    Next issue assembly: Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    Next issue mailing: Wednesday, January 16, 2008