Ways to share your time and talent
Ready to Become a New Member of the First Unitarian Church of San José?
Membership means you have found your spiritual home in Unitarian Universalism and here at FUCSJ; it means you feel called to offer your time, talent, and treasure to help build this Beloved Community. We welcome you!
Please set up a meeting with Rev. Nancy, firstname.lastname@example.org, and then plan to participate in the next New-Member In-gathering!
¿Listo para ser un Nuevo Miembro de la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José?
Membresía significa que tú has encontrado tu hogar espiritual en el Unitario Universalismo y aquí en la FUCSJ; significa que tú has sentido el llamado de ofrecer tu tiempo, talento y tesoro para ayudar a construir a esta amada comunidad. ¡Le damos la bienvenida!
Por favor, tenga una reunión con la Rev. Nancy email@example.com y entonces planee participar en el siguiente Reunión de Nuevos Miembros.
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.
- 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
- 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
- NEWCOMER TABLE HOST: welcome newcomers, ask to fill out card, give info.;1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
LIVE YOUR VALUESSHARE YOUR TALENTSFORM WARM FRIENDSHIPS
Call Genie at (408) 997-6292 or Ed at (408) 712-4157.
Expanding the circle
Meet our new members
Four new members were welcomed into the congregation on Sunday, June 15.
Jamie Bleyer was born in Smithtown, New York. She grew up in a small family, with her mom, dad, and younger brother Keith. Jamie studied speech and special education in school. For many years, Jamie worked as a speech therapist in New York.
She and her partner Kate moved to the beautiful Bay Area in July 2003 as a result of Kate’s job transfer. They were only supposed to stay in California for 18 months but fell in love with the area and the people.
Jamie is now living her dream of working with animals and is the owner of a pet-sitting business “Spoil ’em Rotten Pet Sitting Services.” Hobbies include spending time with her family (animals and human), going to the movies, yoga, going to the beach, and traveling. She is looking forward to getting to know everyone in the FUCSJ community.
Kate McMahon was born in Deer Park, New York. Her father was a lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department for over 30 years, and her mother was a housewife with the task of raising 6 children. A nice big New York Catholic family. The family stayed in Deer Park until one of the kids flew the coop.
Her interests are many; some call her a “gadget girl,” always reviewing the latest and greatest technology. She loves sports and wished she had the energy to play tennis, golf, and basketball all in one day (like the good old days). The weekends are open for running. Kate has run the Nike Marathon and the Maui Half-Marathon. She is training this summer for the Nike Half-Marathon (she loves the Tiffany necklace at the end). The crazy thing is, running a marathon was never on her list of things to do.
Although focused on technology and running, Kate fills her day with number-crunching activities. She is the Manager of Financial Planning, Reporting, and Analysis at a tech firm in the valleya position she loves, and she feels that her contributions to the company have a great impact.
With each passing year and a little more maturity Kate has realized it is not the destination, it is the journey. Now she is trying to rest, enjoy the quiet time, and work on balancing work and family life while living each day to the fullest.
Kate and Jamie reside in Campbell with their loving dog Jackson and adoring cats Mocha and Alex. They are thrilled to become members of such a loving and warm community!
Michelle Lewis has lived in Northern California basically her entire life. “I remember when this was called the suburbs, we had orchards, and the 280 freeway only had about 5 people on it at one time. I was raised being told ‘what to believe’ and ‘how to worship,’ which never felt right to me.
“After years of learning many other cultures, attending different worship services, and talking to many people about their belief systems, I finally feel like I ‘fit’ here. I can’t express my joy and appreciation for a place that fills my soul. My lifelong passion is the emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children, and I feel honored to help make a difference in their lives. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful community.”
Pam Oliver-Lyons describes herself as:
My life is the gypsy life of a hi-tech nomadic camp follower/observer, following my husband’s career, which in itself has followed a computer trail of sorts since 1970 to today. It started for us in Massachusetts and leads now, in our relative maturity, to the Silicon Valley. I am very happy to be here, to be alive, and to find myself still trying to answer the poet Mary Oliver’s question, “What will you do with your one wild and crazy life?” And to do so as an active member of the First Unitarian Church of San José.
Here at the First Unitarian Church, I find I can laugh, cry, and join in meaningful purpose with others of both diverse and like minds in order to participate in the life of this religious/philosophical beloved community. I am joining this particular church becausebeyond my general obligation as a UU to support a Unitarian Universalist church wherever I movethere is another deeper reality: a personal commitment I have with myself to find that community where I find my bliss, a reality of the soul’s journey.
So it is with a pure joy that I join this particular church. I have found joy here in the warm welcome of the Rev. Nancy and of the early Spanish-speakers’ worship service as well as the later English-speakers’ service, in the labyrinth planted at the center of this holy sanctuary, in this community’s story of a church which built itself up from the ashes, in the prophetic work this church is doing, which I have seen in the Building the World We Dream About class, in the work on opposing the anti-equal-marriage amendment, in the lifelong nurturance of the youth ... I could go on and on. I know that there is so much I have not yet seen but will see by the grace of this membership and the wisdom of our ministers. I have a sure faith that there will be many future reasons for me to celebrate being here.
I hope to become a better person because of my acceptance of the invitation extended to me to join this congregation. I hope that I will be able to bring the love I find here to others outside this community so that those I meet will know, not through words but by my actions nurtured by the life of this church, that they have met a Unitarian Universalist.
Service is our prayer
The last Service is Our Prayer Day was on Saturday, June 7. We had a number of volunteers who helped to spruce up the church, including cleaning and pruning. A clothes hanger rack was installed in the bathroom to help with dressing before weddings and other events. Lunch was served.
Volunteers who attended include (a partial list from memory) Rosemary Baez, Bob Howd, Pam Price, Gene Martin, Mary Martin, Bob Owen, Catherine Pellizari, Mike Pellizari, Liz Owen, Lloyd Eater, Melanie Lanstrom, Jayme Lanstrom, Steve Saunders and Sundar Mudupalli.
Our next Service is Our Prayer Day is on Saturday, September 6. Hope to see you there.
-- Sundar Mudupalli
Spotlight on Social Justice
By Carol Stephenson, Social Justice Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org (408) 292-3858 x27
Grant awarded to continue The Beloved Community Project
Good news came in the mail in the form of a $3,000 check! The Unitarian Universalist Funding Program awarded First Unitarian a grant for the second year of the Beloved Community Project. Last church year, the same funder provided $4,000 toward our collaborative work with Third Street Community Center.
The Social Justice Coordinator, Spanish Speaking Ministries Coordinator and Third Street staff worked closely together to put on the 2007 Dia de los Muertos Social and Cultural Exhibition in Hattie Porter Hall with altars depicting over a dozen different social justice issues. In December, we organized La Posada procession and party, and Third Street students participated in the PACT Action in February. All year long, collaborative work and connections were improved with the help of these funds.
In the coming year, we will again hold a Dia de los Muertos exhibition and La Posada. This year, the extra funds will support “community dialogues” for the families of Third Street. Speakers on issues of concern to our downtown community will meet with Third Street families to provide information on, say, health, housing or immigration, and also hear their questions and concerns. Those speakers can use the information that has been offered by participants, and so can we, as a congregation that is working on these issues.
Anyone interested in working on any of these projects; Dia de los Muertos, La Posada, or the community dialogues is invited to contact Carol Stephenson at email@example.com.
San Jose Giants tickets
Offered like a service auction item with proceeds going to the church: Baseball tickets (General Admission) for the San Jose Giants, for a minimum donation of $9.00 a ticket (same as you would pay out at the ball park). Tickets are available for any game except July 4 and 5.
Contact Patricia Ohanian-Coffey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make a donation to the church (put SERVICE AUCTION on the check line to help with bookkeeping). It is as simple as that!
Tight budget spurs fundraising efforts
As we begin this fiscal year with our newly balanced, lean budget, several fund-raising meetings have been held to find ways to increase our sources of funding. We generated many ideas and are currently working on a few of the most promising of them. The Wedding Task Force has held several meetings to find ways to raise our visibility and our wedding income. In addition, we’ve held very preliminary conversations about the possibility of renting space to another church. Come and help us move forward on fund-raising, Monday, July 7, 7:00 p.m., location to be determined.
UUthful Spirits is an inclusive group for fun and fellowship for young adults and the young at heart. These group events enable us to feel part of the church and empower us to take a greater role in the church.
Our activities include:
- Game night, monthly every third Friday, coming next on July 18 at 7pm. Meet at church at 6:45pm and then go to Kathleen's.
- Sunday brunches, bimonthly on second and fourth Sunday, coming next on July 13 and 27. Meet in Hattie Porter Hall about 12:45 p.m.
- Happy hour, monthly on the first Friday, coming next on July 7 at Discovery Meadow and all other first Fridays at The Tied House.
Come join the fun. For more information, contact John Burk at email@example.com or the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FUCSJ Senior High Camping Trip
The Senior Youth Group will be repeating its favorite trip to the Channel Islands August 5-10. Be sure to sign up for this fabulous trip.
Traveling down to Ventura Harbor, we will board a ferry to cross the Santa Barbara Channel to dock in a small bay on Santa Cruz Island, with porpoises surfing our bow waves and maybe seeing whales.
Once we carry all our gear into the campground, we’ll spend most of the six days snorkeling in the wonderful clear waters and kelp forest in the bay; kayaking around the island and into sea caves; hiking across the island; hanging out in camp (literally, in our nest of hammocks); and getting to know each other. This is an especially good chance for teens who will join the Senior Youth Group in the fall to meet their peers.
This trip allows the youth a fair amount of independence. While water activities will be supervised, youth will be allowed to hike and explore on their own, in groups of two or more; and will be individually deciding their own level of participation in all the activities.
- For youth who have or will attend high school in 2008
- Dates: August 5 to August 10
- Information: Contact Matt Trask, 408-655-1991, email@example.com
- Cost: $200 (Scholarships are available)
- Embarkation: Ventura Harbor
- Destination: Scorpion Valley Campground
- Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park
- Applications are available on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=26291835944 (this site is also known as FUCSJ Senior High)
- Payment deadline is June 15.
- FUCSJ youth have first priority until June 1.
- Non-FUCSJ youth will need leader approval.
- Maximum group size will be 23 youth.
- Checks/applications: give or mail to Matt Trask, 1725 Seville Way, San Jose CA 95131.
- Activities: Crafts, hiking, swimming, First Aid workshop, orienteering, kayaking, snorkeling, youth-led classes, music…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, watch for information about signups a little later in the spring.
by Kelly Burnett
Billie Wachter celebrated her 90th birthday recently. Happy happy birthday, Billie. Thank you for the light you bring to us all.
I know Julia Richmond would appreciate your get-well cards as she recovers.
The All-Church Retreat is being planned for the first weekend in October. Please let Diana Wirt (email@example.com) know if you plan to join us.
Diana Wirt is having a momentous birthday on the 4th of July! Happy birthday, Diana!
I know you have all heard how rewarding it was to have all those wonderful weddings at our beloved church but I just want to say Yeah, FUCSJ!! I am grateful to you all for having such big hearts.
Shaking loose our preconceptions
We give up our preconceptions reluctantly. Until now, most of us preconceived that presidents of the United States are white men. Until now, most of us preconceived that good gas mileage was a nice, but nonessential, car feature. Until now, most of us preconceived ‘‘marriage’’ in Ozzie and Harriet terms as a mom, a dad, 2.3 kids and a dog. Difficult as it has been, we have all had to exercise our minds to grow bigger, better ideas about presidents, cars and marriage. Exercise is good for you.
-- Henry Ruddle, published in “Letters to the Editor”, San Jose Mercury News
Thanks to each and every one who wrote to the Metro to set them straight about our religion. (See the offensive cartoon on page 21 at http://www.metropdf.com/0825_MT.pdf, and the letter by Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and Carol Stephenson on page 8, http://www.metropdf.com/0826_MT_1_front.pdf.)
Sal and Bill Summit Africa’s Highest Peak
Just wanted to let you all know that we made it to the top! The route, the weather, the group, the crew made this a trip of a lifetime (which is not something that we say casually...).
More later and much love,
Sal and Bill Souders
Next to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro (or Uhuru) in July: Joyce Miller, Gary McCumber, Alice Lynch, Sandra Iwamoto and Dena Dickensen. Good luck!
submitted by Colleen Cabot
This announcement is from the Pacific Central District (PCD) Currents communication produced by Cilla Raughly at PCD Headquarters twice a month. Cilla writes (some of which Nancy told us last Sunday):
The excitement about the change in California law hit an even higher peak this week, and we continue to get lots of reports, photos, and very moving stories. The first photo here shows the Reverend Lindi Ramsden, the Executive Director of the UU Legislative Ministry of CA, and Mary Helen Doherty, who serves on our PCD Growth Committee. Signing their marriage license is Secretary of State and Unitarian Universalist Debra Bowen. Supporters held signs saying, “May this marriage, these vows, this love be blessed”, and “Gay Agenda: spend time with my family; be treated equally; buy milk”.
||This photo at left shows the Reverend Deane Oliva, who has been the consulting minister for our Santa Cruz congregation this past year, officiating at the wedding ceremony for Julie Gill and Margaret Curry (photo by Erica Crawford). Deane herself also tied that legal knot that very same day, at a ceremony officiated by San José’s minister, the Reverend Nancy Palmer Jones. In addition, San José hosted the ceremonies for seven couples that day, along with over 100 guests! The Mercury News has a very nice slide show about one of these ceremonies on their website.
Last May, some music died
||Ric Masten, ordained in 1971 as a specialized Unitarian Universalist minister, though he never graduated from college or seminary, died last May. He shared his poems and songs (including Let it Be a Dance) with UU congregations, schools, and others all over the US, Canada and England since he launched his career in 1968, and has 23 books and more than a dozen CDs to his name. He shared his final journey with prostate cancer on his web site, http://ric-matsen.net. The Monterey County Herald ran an article [http://tinyurl.com/4lkwvg] on the memorial service led by the Reverend Greg Ward of the Monterey congregation for Ric on June 20, which would have been his 79th birthday.
|UU folksinger and social activist Bruce “U Utah” Phillips died at 73 on May 23 in Nevada City, CA. The official obituary as written by his family can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/4d4yfn, while the New York Times version is at http://tinyurl.com/4r6599.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com.
- For pastoral care in Spanish, please contact our Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator, Roberto Padilla: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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: email@example.com. Para el cuidado pastoral en español, por favor comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador de los Ministeriosen Español, Roberto Padilla: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
Tracy Avent, email@example.com
Bob Redfern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com
POC PERSONNEL OFFICER
Joyce Miller, email@example.com
POC PROGRAM OFFICER
Julia Rodriguez, firstname.lastname@example.org
POC FINANCIAL OFFICER
Christopher Frey, cjfrey@email@example.com
Cheri Goodman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Merritt, email@example.com
Michael Payne-Alex, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marla Scharf, email@example.com
Senior Minister, Ext. 23
The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assoc. Minister For Religious Education, Ext. 25
Office Administrator, Ext. 10
Iris Gonzalez, email@example.com
Coordinator of Spanish Speaking Ministries, Ext. 24
Social Justice Coordinator, Ext. 27
Carol Stephenson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookkeeper / Pam Garcia
Sexton / Edgar Cruz
R.E. Assistant / Alecia Baker
Nursery Teacher / Stacey Vinyard
Thank you to our volunteers!
Our Church Circular is published on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Circulation is about 500.
Catherine Pelizzari and Carey Cress will edit the August 6 issue. There will be no mid-month Circular in August. Normal schedule resumes in September.
Sherry Howd, 257-6844, email@example.com
Catherine Leeson Pelizzari, 945-9848, firstname.lastname@example.org
Translator: Roberto Padilla
Layout: Henry Ruddle 408-234-3670 henry_L@ruddle.com (www.ruddle.com)
Stapling, Addressing, and Mailing: Deanna LaTorre and Genie Bernardini.
Print Coordinator: Gretchen Leavitt
Thanks for all the work you do and care you put into the newsletter.
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 email@example.com
Summer Publishing Schedule
For July and August only, no mid-month issue will be published. The next issue will be August 6. Bimonthly publication returns in September.
Next issue deadline: 3:00 pm, Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Next issue assembly: Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Next issue mailing: Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The editors are planning an extra special edition of the Circular for Homecoming. Send your article suggestions to Sherry Howd at firstname.lastname@example.org