Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / March 19, 2008 /19 de Marco 2008

Inside This Issue:

0319-1 Sunday Services
0319-2 Save the Dates
0319-3 Religious Education, Coming of Age 2008-2009 Program Kicks Off

Youth for Understanding Is Looking for Host Families!


Sensing the Spirit with Sonya


Upcoming Election of POC Officers and Board of Directors ... Meet the Candidates!


Standing on the Side of Love: Help Stop an Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment


Ready to Become a New Member of the First Unitarian Church of San José?

0319-9 Volunteer Opportunities: Work Isn't Work With Friends!

Join the Worship Host Crew!


Board Meetings of January 30 and February 27


Spotlight on Social Justice: You Tell Us

0319-13 Upcoming Events
0319-14 Hearts and Hands: Meet Ellen Robinson

Circling Around

0319-17 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
0319-1 Servicios de Domingo

Sintiendo el espíritu con Sonya


Parados en el lado del amor: ¡Ayude a parar una Enmienda Constitucional Anti-Gay yendo a Sacramento compartiendo

0319-8 ¿Listo para ser un Nuevo Miembro de la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José?


Aquí estan los Ministros!


23 de Marzo -- 10:30 a.m.

Una Pascua Temprana
Que sucede en la Pascua…¿ese sentimiento de renacimiento, de esperanza y de renovación, de una revocación de fortunas y de buenas noticias compartidas… viene "temprano" - en nuestras vidas al igual que en nuestros calendarios? ¡Ven a experimentar la promesa Unitaria Universalista! ¡Unamos nuestra comunidad multicultural, en un servicio juntos en este especial día! Sin importar cual sea su tradición o teología, por favor, unámonos  para este festival de primavera. Por favor traiga una flor para compartir en nuestra Comunión de las Flores.Y espere una caza de huevos de Pascua y un huésped especial con largas orejas peludas para el placer de nuestros jóvenes.

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Servicio: Frank Bosche y Roberto Padilla; Traducción en español: Ervin Barrios.

March 23 -- 10:30 a.m.

An Early Easter
What happens when Easter … that sense of rebirth, of hope and renewal, of a reversal of fortunes and of shared good news … comes “early”—in our lives as well as in our calendars? Come experience the Unitarian Universalist promise!  Let’s unite our multicultural community by worshiping together on this special day! No matter what your tradition or theology, please join us for this spring festival. Please bring a flower to share in our Flower Communion. And expect an Easter egg hunt and a Special Guest with long fuzzy ears to delight our youngsters.

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associates: Frank Bosche and Roberto Padilla; Translation into Spanish: Ervin Barrios.


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

30 de Marzo — 9:30 a.m.

La Jornada de la Compasión
¿Se han preguntado ustedes como es que algunos de los más grandes líderes espirituales y comunitarios del mundo han adquirido su fortaleza? Muchos de ellos comenzaron siendo inseguros, inadecuados e inhábiles hasta llegar a ser fuertes, audaces y valientes. Su jornada podría ser una inspiración para todos nosotros si la seguimos de cerca.

Dirige: Ervin Barrios; Asociada de Culto: María Pereira

The Journey of Compassion
Have you ever wondered how some of the greatest spiritual, and community leaders of the world have achieved their strength? Many of them have gone from being insecure, inadequate and unskilled to strong, bold and courageous. Their journey could be an inspiration for all of us if we look at it closely.

Leader: Ervin Barrios; Worship Associate: María Pereira

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

March 30 — 11:00 a.m.

Unitarian Universalism in the Making—or, Why We Are Here!
With Our New-Member In-Gathering Ceremony
What is the recipe for Unitarian Universalism? What makes our faith a hearty meal? We’ll dip into “cookbooks” both new and old to taste again the delicious brew of our religion, and to discover how its spirit-fueling nutrition lets us Walk Our Talk (the theme for this year’s Annual Giving Campaign). What’s more, we’ll welcome some of the newest members to our congregational family!

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: Kelly Burnett

¡Unitario Universalismo en el Hacero, Por qué estamos aquí!
Con Nuestra Ceremonia de Nuevos Miembros
¿Cuál es la receta para el Unitario Universalismo? ¿Qué hace a nuestra fe una cordial comida? Nos sumergiremos en los “libros de cocina” nuevos y viejos para probar otra vez el delicioso brebaje de nuestra religión y descubrir cómo su nutriente espíritu que aprovisiona de combustible nos deja caminar en nuestra charla (el tema para este año de la Campaña Anual de Donación). ¡Además, daremos la bienvenida a algunos de los nuevos miembros a nuestra congregacional familia!

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociada de Culto: Kelly Burnett

6 de Abril — 9:30 y 11:00 a.m.

¡Música, Música, Música!
¿Qué hace a la música un poderoso y universal lenguaje? ¿Cuál es la diferencia-en nuestros cerebros y en nuestros corazones-entre escuchar la música y realmente hacer música? ¿Podemos todos nosotros, sin importar nuestros talentos, realmente “hacer música”? En este domingo feliz y lleno de música, descubriremos algunas respuestas a estas preguntas y profundizaremos nuestra experiencia del lenguaje de la música.

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociado de Culto a las 11 a.m.: Bruce Halen

April 6 — 9:30 & 11:00 a.m.

Music, Music, Music!
What makes music such a powerful and universal language? What is the difference—in our brains and in our hearts—between listening to music and actually making music? Can all of us, no matter what our talents, really “make music”? On this joyous and music-filled Sunday, we’ll discover some answers to these questions and deepen our experience of the language of music.

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate at 11 a.m.: Bruce Halen


Save the Dates

  • March 30, Sunday, Congregational meeting to elect new directors and officers, approximately 12:45 pm, sanctuary
  • April 3, Thursday, Women’s Alliance, “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” series continues, 7:15 - 9:15 pm, Hattie Porter Hall
  • April 4, Friday, Dances of Universal Peace, 8:00 pm, under the dome in the sanctuary
  • April 6, Sunday, UU Band of Writers, 12:20 pm, Youth Room
  • May 26, Monday, Memorial Day Picnic, 11 am - 3 pm, Central Park, Santa Clara. Watch for more details.
  • April 25-27, PCD-UUA District Assembly, Fremont Marriot, Fremont. See http://www.pcd-uua.org
  • July 9-13, All-Church Campout, McConnell State Recreation Area. Watch for more details.
  • October 3-5, All-Church Retreat at Monte Toyon, Aptos

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]

March 23 Easter, Flower Communion, Inter­generational Service and Easter Egg Hunt
March 30 Creation
April 6 Trees, The Givers of Life

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

March 23 Easter, Flower Communion, Inter­generational Service and Easter Egg Hunt
March 30 Henry David Thoreau
April 6 P.T. Barnum

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

March 23 Easter, Flower Communion, Inter­generational Service and Easter Egg Hunt
March 30 Introduction to Quakerism
April 6 Visit to a Quaker Meeting House

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

March 23 Easter, Flower Communion, Intergenerational Service
March 30 Hymn: Dona Nobis Pacem
April 6 The Golden Rule

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

April 6 4:30-7:30

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 .

Coming of Age Program 2008-2009 Kicks Off

Do you have a youth in grades 7-9 who could benefit from experiences like ropes courses, a Faithful Fools mini-street retreat, or a nature vigil? The Pacific Central District’s Coming of Age Program could be just the kind of adventure and bonding with other Unitarian Universalist youth that can make a big difference at this age. Come find out more about the program April 13 from 3:30-5:30 pm in the downstairs classrooms, with district leader Riley McLaughlin. This orientation is for families with youth who will be 8-10th graders in the 2008-2009 school year and for people in the congregation interested in a deeper connection with a youth of this age as a mentor.

The program is designed to help our young people:

  • Explore their own spirituality;
  • Develop a deeper understanding of Unitarian Universalism;
  • Continue the lifelong process of values clarification;
  • Recognize and accept responsibility for the consequences of their decisions;
  • Explore their options for service, both to the church and to the community;
  • Deepen their relationships with each other and with adults in the church
  • Come to a positive understanding of their capabilities and;
  • Test themselves against their own preconceived limits.

For any questions, call Sonya Sukalski at 408-292-3858, ext. 25.

Important Change:
New Date For The Junior High Backpack Trip
July 24-27, 2008

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” John Muir

Lace up those boots, strap on your backpack, and hit the trail to explore the High Sierras! Youth from our church entering grades 6, 7, and 8 in the fall 2008 are invited to join us on this summer adventure. We’ll be camping at the trailhead on our first night and will venture out into the Sierra wilderness for the next two nights before returning home.

For more information contact Pam Pell: 408-287-4453 or email: 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

Youth for Understanding Is Looking for Host Families!

Youth for Understanding USA is a non-profit organization that partners with over 50 countries around the world. YFU USA is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected student exchange programs. We provide orientations and ongoing support to host families, volunteers and exchange students so as to ensure student success while on program. We have volunteers who plan orientations and provide support and information in local communities throughout Northern California.

The warmth, welcome, and openness to learning about different cultures that characterize Unitarian Universalists make them some of our favorite host families, so we are especially reaching out to members of this congregation. To learn more about the host-family experience, and to read about students who are looking for host families on the West Coast beginning in September 2008, please contact Iris Gonzalez at fucsj@sanjoseuu.org, for more information on hosting this year. General information about YFU is available at http://www.yfu-usa.org.


Sensing the Spirit with Sonya

by Sonya Sukalski

Sintiendo el espíritu con Sonya

por Sonya Sukalski

This year, Spring is coming in more powerfully than I have noticed in the past. There is change in the air, new beginnings stirring deep within my soul. Maybe it is because I have officially finished with my chaplaincy training in hospice, and can now devote more mental space to ministry in San Jose. Maybe it is because my daughters just celebrated their 16th birthday, and that feels like a paradigm shift as a parent. Maybe it is because blowing in with the buds on the trees, and the blossoms that drift around our environs like snow is a playful, adventurous, tricksterish energy that calls me to enjoy life more, take things less seriously sometimes, and just laugh when life doesn’t happen the way I think it should.

Spring is a youthful time, when so much is in bud. We have a bunch of talented, thoughtful, engaging Seniors in the youth group who will be graduating and deciding next steps large and small. And the Seniors are not the only ones with mega talent to share. If you had a chance to come to the youth-led worship this past Sunday, you know what I mean. We were blessed to have so many youthful perspectives on music, which I hope you will also read in the newsletter.

I am really enjoying getting to know the Sr. High Youth Group – what an amazing group of welcoming, interesting, playful people! The insight into life I have learned in their presence is a treasure. This is why it makes me so sad when I see young people treated as if their perspective is unwelcome or doesn’t matter. It isn’t only young people, it is our elderly as well who are often left to live out their days in isolation. When as Unitarian Universalists, we respect and want to uphold the worth and dignity of every person, this is no small feat. How many times in your daily life do you get an opportunity to speak up when you see violence done to someone’s spirit simply because they are younger or older than someone else’s idea of what they “should” be? I know that I can always use more practice confronting ageism, and many times I fail to address it in my own thinking and actions. That is why it is helpful to live in community – especially community of many generations, many races, many social classes, many genders, many sexual orientations, many perspectives on life. So that we can exercise our eyes, ears, hearts, hands, and mouths to really uphold the worth and dignity of all. It is the kind of growth I pray to embody more and more. It is our calling as Unitarian Universalists, and it is something our world can always use more of!


Este año, el espíritu está viniendo más potente de lo que he visto en el pasado. Hay cambios en el aire, nuevos principios que me conmueven profundamente dentro de mi alma. Quizá esto es porque he acabado oficialmente con el entrenamiento de mi capellanía en el hospicio y puedo ahora dedicar un espacio más intelectual al ministerio en San José. Quizá esto es porque mis hijas acaban de celebrar su decimosexto cumpleaños y esto se siente como un cambio del paradigma como padre. Quizá esto es porque sopla con retoños en los árboles y el florecer que vaga alrededor de nuestro entorno como si la nieve es una broma, aventurera, la energía del embustero que me llama para gozar más de la vida, tomar con menos seriedad las cosas algunas veces y solo reír cuando la vida no sucede en la manera en que yo pienso que debe ser.

Este es un tiempo joven - primavera. Cuando tanto está brotando. Tenemos un montón de talentosos y considerados jóvenes de último grado en el grupo de jóvenes quienes se estarán graduando y decidiendo los siguientes pequeños y grandes pasos. Y estos jóvenes no son los únicos con gran talento para compartir. Si usted tuvo la oportunidad de venir al servicio que los jóvenes dirigieron este domingo pasado, usted sabrá a lo que me refiero. Nosotros fuimos bendecidos por tener tantas perspectivas jóvenes en la música, que espero que usted también lo lea en el nuestro boletín.

Realmente estoy gozando en saber que el grupo de jóvenes de último grado – un asombroso grupo de bienvenida, interesando, de gente juguetona! La característica de la vida que he aprendido con su presencia es un tesoro. Esta es la razón por la cual me siento tan triste cuando veo a gente joven tratada como si su perspectiva fuera incómoda o no importara. Y no sólo con gente joven, también es con nuestros ancianos quiénes a menudo son dejados fuera de la vida para vivir sus días en el aislamiento. Como Unitarios Universalistas, respetamos y deseamos mantener el valor y la dignidad de cada persona, ésta no es ninguna hazaña pequeña. ¿Cuántas veces en su vida diaria usted tiene la oportunidad de levantar la voz cuando ve la violencia hecha al espíritu de alguien simplemente porque son más jóvenes o más viejos que las ideas de algún otro de lo que ellos “deberían” ser? Sé que puedo utilizar siempre más la practica de confrontar la agresión por causa de la edad del y muchas veces, yo fallo dirigiéndolo en mi propio pensamiento y mis acciones. Eso es porqué es útil vivir en comunidad - especialmente una comunidad con muchas generaciones, con muchas razas, con muchas clases sociales, con muchos géneros, con muchas orientaciones sexuales, con muchas perspectivas en la vida. Así pues, podemos ejercitar nuestros ojos, oídos, corazones, manos, y bocas para realmente mantener el valor y la dignidad de todos. Es la clase de crecimiento que ruego para incorporarme cada vez más y más. ¡Es el nuestro llamado como Unitarios Universalistas y es algo que nuestro mundo puede siempre utilizar más!



Upcoming Election of POC Officers and Board of Directors ... Meet the Candidates!

The Nominating Committee is proposing the following slate of candidates to fill the positions of Board officers and directors and members of the Nominating Committee. Those who are seeking election will be voted upon at our upcoming Congregational Meeting on Sunday, March 30th. These positions are two-year terms. Some current Board and Committee members are continuing in a two-year term and will not be on the ballot. You will find the candidate statements in a handout at the Congregational Meeting.

This year's Nominating Committee members are Barbara Derbyshire, Steve Madden, Bob Owen, Stephanie Rynas, and Gordon Smith. They extend their thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and shared the work and to those who agreed to be candidates.

You can nominate other candidates or you can nominate yourself for any of these positions prior to or at the Congregational Meeting. Any additional nominees are welcome to run their statements of candidacy in the newsletter. Candidates must be members of the church and willing to serve.

For the sake of giving you a complete picture, the list below includes candidates for election, as well as those who are simply continuing their current terms.

Proposed Board Officers:

  • President: TBD
  • VP Planning/Personnel: Joyce Miller (for re-election to a new 2-year term)
  • Treasurer: Bob Howd (for election to a 2-year term)
  • VP Programs: Julia Rodriguez (continuing a 2-year term)
  • Secretary: Bob Redfern (continuing a 2-year term)
  • Financial Officer: Christopher Fry (continuing a 2-year term)

Proposed Directors:

  • Rick Merritt (for election to a 2-year term)
  • Michael Payne-Alex (for election to a 2-year term)
  • Cheri Goodman (for election to a 2-year term)
  • Marla Scharf (continuing a 2-year term)

Elected Officers of the Program and Operations Council (POC):

  • Personnel Officer: Joyce Miller (for re-election to a new 2-year term)
  • Program Officer: Julia Rodriguez (continuing a 2-year term)
  • Financial Officer: Christopher Frey (continuing a 2-year term)

Proposed Members of Nominating Committee:

  • Steve Madden (for re-election to a new 2-year term)
  • Barbara Derbyshire (continuing a 2-year term)
  • Stephanie Rynas (continuing a 2-year term)
  • Gordon Smith (continuing a 2-year term)
  • Bob Miess (for election to a 2-year term)

In addition to the above, the Nominating Committee made recommendations to the Board regarding several NON-ELECTIVE positions on the Program and Operations Council (POC), which is the administrative body of our church. The recommendations were accepted by the Board. All positions are for two years. These positions include:

  • Debra Fenzel-Alexander (InReach)
  • Patrick O’Connell (Social Justice)
  • Sundar Mudupalli (Facilities)
  • Sherry Howd (Communications)
  • TBD (Religious Education)

Dena Dickenson is continuing in her 2-year term in the Worship role on the POC.


Standing on the Side of Love: Help Stop an Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment with weekend carpools to Sacramento, March 1 through April 19!

With Marriage Equality potentially around the corner in California (the California Supreme Court takes it up on March 4), social conservatives are trying to place on November’s ballot an anti-marriage-equality constitutional amendment. We can help stop this amendment by carpooling to Sacramento on any weekend between March 1 and April 19 to urge folks not to sign the petitions for the ballot initiative. From Rev. Nancy’s own experience, showing up for such actions is a sure path to hope!

To participate, contact Equality for All’s Sacramento regional coordinators, Kathleen Campisano, 202-577-3139, kcampisano@thetaskforce.org; or Jean Adams, 530-210-6688, poetjeanadams@yahoo.com.

Can’t go to Sacramento? You can help financially by sending contributions in any amount to the UULM. E-mail our own Marla Scharf at marla.scharf@gmail.com for more information!

Parados en el lado del amor: ¡Ayude a parar una Enmienda Constitucional Anti-Gay yendo a Sacramento compartiendo su vehiculo algún fin de semana, 1 de marzo al 19 de abril!

Con la potencialmente Igualdad en el Matrimonio prácticamente a la vuelta de la esquina en California (el Tribunal Supremo de California iniciara el 4 de marzo), la sociedad conservadora está intentando poner en la balota de noviembre una enmienda constitucional en contra de la igualdad de unión. Podemos ayudar a parar esta enmienda compartiendo el carro por varios para ir a Sacramento cualquier fin de semana entre el 1 de marzo y 19 de abril para impulsar a la gente a no firmar las peticiones para la iniciativa de la balota. ¡De acuerdo a la experiencia de la Rev. Nancy, mostrar este tipo de acciones es un camino seguro a la esperanza!

Para participar, contacta a los coordinadores regionales en Sacramente de Igualdad para Todos: Kathleen Campisano, 202-577-3139, kcampisano@thetaskforce.org; o Jean Adams, 530-210-6688, poetjeanadams@yahoo.com.

¿No puede ir a Sacramento? Usted puede ayudar financieramente enviando sus contribuciones de cualquier cantidad a UULM. Envíele un mensaje electrónico a Marla Scharf en marla.scharf@gmail.com para más información.


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, revnpj@yahoo.com, and then plan to participate in the next New-Member In-gathering on Sunday, March 30!

¿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 revnpj@yahoo.com y entonces planee participar en el siguiente Reunión de Nuevos Miembros el domingo 30 de marzo.


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.

  • Is This Your Cup of Tea?
  • Offering Counter
  • Do you like:

    • work that is simple & routine
    • work that is short and sweet
    • work that provides an important service to our church
  • When: 1 Sunday a month, after the service

  • Length of Commitment: 1 year

  • Training: provided with pleasure

  • Reward: the satisfaction that comes with knowing you are doing your part to contribute to our Spiritual Cooperative

  • Contact: Genie Bernardini at 997-6292 or geniebee@hotmail.com

  • Volunteer Recognition

  • Volunteer: Henry Ruddle

  • Service: Newsletter Layout Editor

  • Special Contribution: Though a professional consultant for marketing & communications, Henry volunteers many, many hours of his time to create a newsletter that could match any in the country. With an artist’s eye and a myriad of colors, fonts and graphics, he gives us a newsletter that is truly a work of art and a delight to read.


  • 0319-10

    Join the Worship Host Crew!

    Join us in creating a comfortable and welcoming community. Be one of the first to greet visitors that the UUA Marketing effort has encouraged to seek us out. We have current openings for any Sunday  at the 11:00 am service.  A detailed Host checklist is provided to ensure that the team each Sunday can be successful in creating a meaningful experience for our visitors and members alike. A full job description and one-on-one training available for all interested. Please contact Ellen Robinson, Worship Host Coordinator, at 408-859-4419 or cindyellen@yahoo.com if you are interested in this enjoyable and important job.


    Board Meetings of
    January 30 and February 27

    by Bob Redfern, Secretary

    A Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Conference called “Now is the Time” was scheduled for February 22-24. Their attending our SSM service on the 24th was our congregation’s main contribution to this meeting.

    PACT met in our sanctuary on Monday, February 25 about Greening San Jose. Mayor Chuck Reed participated and many issues were discussed, including those of particular interest to various members and groups in our community. Additional PACT meetings are planned at other churches on the topics of Marriage Equality and Immigration.

    Rev. Nancy stated a basic building usage principle: “Never Assume a Room is Available.” Schedule your meeting in advance, regardless of the size of your group.

    Sundar Mudupalli was endorsed as the Facilities person on the Program and Operations Council. Thank you for your commitment, Sundar.

    The YIKES fund has raised $8500.00 to bridge the budget gap resulting from various factors, but largest being a reduced number of pledging units that committed last year during our Annual Giving Campaign.

    Our Kick-off for this year’s Annual Giving Campaign is scheduled for the church on Sunday, March 30.

    At the February 27 Board meeting, another member was confirmed for membership on the Program operations Committee – Patrick O’Connell will participate representing Social Justice. Speaking of the “POC,” members are calling people in charge of a host of church groups and activities for information to prepare an All-Congregation Annual Report. Please reply promptly to the call or email about this topic. They are also reviewing budgetary needs these groups may have.

    Finally, over the course of several months, your board has been drafting an Ends policy specific to our church community’s goals, needs and purpose. We have tapped ideas in statements that other congregations have prepared, as well as our own ideas and input from you. On February 27, we adopted the following Draft Ends Policy document. This will not be “Up for a Vote” at the Congregational meeting on March 30 -- that meeting is solely for the purpose of nominating and voting on new board members. Policies and procedures are the sole responsibility of the board to consider and adopt, but this particular document is so important that we want to share it with everybody. It is meant to express our purpose as a church community, our principles and how we reach our goals, now and for the future. Feedback Welcome.

    Draft Ends Policy

    Adopted as a draft by the Board of Directors on February 27, 2008

    1.0 Global Ends

    Through our worship, education, service, fellowship, work for social justice, and stewardship, we build a loving compassionate multigenerational community that embodies our Unitarian Universalist values and that is multilingual, multicultural, multiracial, and anti-oppressive. We are willing to extend ourselves by giving our time, talent, and treasure to meet these expansive ends. 

    1.1. Worship 

    We gather for meaningful worship to connect with our deepest selves, with each other, with what we hold of highest worth, with transcending mystery and wonder, and with both timeless questions and the questions of our time.

    1.2. Education

    Our lifespan religious education programs provide opportunities for us and our neighbors to expand and enhance our knowledge, skills, and values.

    1.3. Service

    Our congregation embodies an ethic of service through our shared ministries. We nourish and use our unique gifts to serve our wider community, and to serve one another through pastoral care, congregational leadership, building maintenance, and a host of other volunteer tasks.

    1.4. Fellowship

    Our members, friends, and guests experience warmth, hospitality, and welcome. We support a variety of gatherings and groups that nurture relationships among people of all ages, fostering fun and spiritual growth, and overcoming the barriers that sometimes divide the human family.

    1.5. Social Justice

    We join with others in the wider community to work for justice, equity, and compassion for all, thereby transforming ourselves, our neighborhood, city, and world.

    1.6. Stewardship

    Our growing generosity in contributing our time, talent, and treasure provides the essential foundation that supports our staff, building, and programs. All of these elements make it possible for us to meet our ends.

    I hope you found the statement to be thoughtful and inspiring. See you in Church.

    Bob Redfern
    Secretary of the Board

    Spotlight on Social Justice

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

    You Tell Us

    Remember a couple of months ago when you came to worship and you got a social justice survey in your Order of Service? The Social Justice Council actually did read those, and we’ve been mulling over the results. Here’s some of what we learned: you (by which I mean we, given that “you” gave “us” your opinion, as a part of we that includes us) said that you are most interested in the congregation focusing its social justice energies on Peace. A very close second was Environment, and we wasted no time calling all who marked that box to invite you (just those of you that marked that box, of course) to the Green All Ways PACT meeting with the Mayor that rocked the Sanctuary just a few weeks ago.

    We also asked about what types of social justice activities do you (just you) participate in at FUCSJ. Not surprisingly, nearly all of you attend worship services that address social justice issues, I mean, it is a church, right? And quite honestly, everyone there that day was attending the Peace Service so, duh. The majority also give donations to the many organizations we support like Third Street Community Center, Heifer International, UU Legislative Ministry and Julian Street Inn. We have dedicated volunteers that make and serve meals at Julian Street Inn, many who teach ESL or mentor students at Third Street, teachers in RE that lead Social Justice Sundays and a thriving PACT Local Organizing Committee. Did I mention the whopping success with the Mayor’s Green Vision last month?

    The Social Justice Council wants to bring you (by which I mean each and every one of you) meaningful opportunities to learn, reflect, grow and have fun with social justice. Help us know how to do that. We’ll be following up on these responses and find out what those meaningful opportunities are for you. Don’t be shy, feel free to contact me or other members of the Social Justice Council -- John Burk, Diana Wirt, Melanie Lanstrom, Saul Wachter, Jeff Norment and Suzanne Marsh -- to let us know what you (yes, you!) would like to do, see changed, make better, gotten rid of!

    Oh yeah, and even though we learned that you would like us to focus on Peace, we really don’t know in what way: Interfaith work? Public demonstrations? Anti-oppression? Legislative action? Peace within ourselves? Are you starting to see how the survey is just the beginning? Feel great about what you already do and know that we can’t do it alone. We want to carve out something here that works for us, by which I mean all of us, this Beloved Community.

    Social Justice Calendar

    • March 25 & April 1, Tuesdays, Winter Series on Nonviolence, 7:00 pm, Sanctuary
    • March 29, Saturday, 9:30 am -3:30 pm, UU Voices for Health Care, UU Congregation of Marin
    • April 4, Friday, Film: Asphalt Gospel, 6:00 pm, Sanctuary
    • April 12, Saturday, UU Voices for Health Care, 9:30 am -3:30 pm, First Unitarian Church of Oakland
    • Friday, April 18, Environmental Science Bowl – see how much Third Street kids know! 5:30 pm, Sanctuary
    • Sunday, April 20, Earth Day Services and Coffee Hours – help us plan! 9:30 and 11:00 am, church

    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

    Fund-raiser Tea, Lunch and Entertainment on March 29th

    We're making it a tradition! We're hosting at our Church the 2nd Annual Partner Church fund-raiser later this month, Saturday, March 29th from 1-4 pm. In case you folks missed the Tea last year, it's a wonderful afternoon with a string quartet and other musical entertainment. We pour from 6 pots of tea and have enough food, sandwiches, strudel and other goodies to call it more of a brunch than a Tea.

    The fund-raiser supports the activities with our Partner Church in Romania. Our goal is to bring the minister and half a dozen adults and youth here to visit in the Summer of 2009.

    More than that, the Tea is a relaxing afternoon where we have more time to visit with others while being served by our youth, many of whom journeyed to Transylvania this summer. If you have wanted to bring a friend or neighbor to our church, this would be an ideal time for them to see our historic building and enjoy conversations.

    Suggested donation is $20 for adults and $10 for students. Please contact Connie_Bloch@yahoo.com for ticket information, or to purchase tickets after church. 

    Winter Series on Non-Violence

    In honor of the Season for Nonviolence, Patrick O'Connell is offering a fascinating series of free weekly classes at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary that explore how the world has used nonviolent conflict to achieve democracy and human rights. Covering a wide range of topics, Pat will offer film, documentaries, and special guests and lead discussions about how we apply these lessons learned.

    The next class, Tuesday, March 25, covers the Seattle/WTO protests, and the final class, on April first, is on Martin Luther King. For more information Patrick at (408) 460-2935 or Carol at (408) 292-3858 x27 or socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org.

    Don't miss PCD-UUA District Assembly 2008!
    April 25 - 27, 2008 at the Fremont Marriott

    Come join 400 vibrant and vital UU's from across the Pacific Central District for a weekend of laughing, learning, worship, meeting old friends, and making new ones!

    This year's DA features:

    • Rev. Robert Latham, Saturday Keynote Speaker!
    • Rev. Victoria Safford, Saturday Banquet Speaker!
    • Roy Zimmerman, Satirist (Saturday night)!

    With over 20 different workshops, 5 levels of child/youth programming, Friday night Opening Worship, the PCD Annual Meeting, and Sunday Closing Worship, there is something for everybody at DA2008!

    We will meet at the Fremont Marriott. We have received a Special Rate of only $89/night for this event! Hotel room reservations may be made online starting Monday, March 3. For more information, please see: www.pcd-uua.org and click on the DA2008 link. We hope to see you there!

    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.


    Hearts and Hands

    by Kathy Cordova

    Hello all. I am pleased to be given the opportunity to write the Hearts and Hands column!

    As a member of this congregation for some fourteen years, I still am in awe of the mighty power of the volunteers who keep this spiritual cooperative running, from those who maintain our beautiful historic building, to Board members, to R.E. Teachers, coffee makers, and the dozens of other roles that you all embrace with commitment and spirit. This column will be an opportunity to recognize some of you and the wonderful work that you do, as well as highlight volunteer opportunities.

    I have the pleasure this time to introduce you to Ellen Robinson, the coordinator of the Worship Hosts.

    Ellen Robinson

    First, a personal glimpse into the life of this dynamic woman:

    After 7 years of retirement, this former high tech gal began a whole new career as a classroom aide. When asked how she brings her UU values to the twenty 4 to 5-year olds she is with daily, she talked of how she teaches about the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and justice, equity, compassion in human relations, every day, on the playground. While she is adjusting to being back at work, the academic schedule will allow her to still have summers for long family car trips and camping -- 7-year old Molly and 5-year old Grant have been in 16 of 50 states. She and her partner, Cindy Robinson, have been partnered for 17 years. A music enthusiast, Ellen now has over 6,000 songs on her I-pod. She also is a sports fan, closely following the San Francisco Giants (though she occasionally is seen in an Oakland A’s cap) and fervently supports Stanford Women’s Basketball…Go Cardinal! Currently, she is reading One Hundred Malicious Mysteries and always reads Sports Illustrated cover to cover!

    Ellen and Cindy started coming to FUCSJ in the summer of 1998, almost ten years ago; they came because of their need to find a spiritual community. While they came a while after the first wave of attendees who had found the Church through the now famous Mercury News article, they were nonetheless drawn by the article and the fact that then Senior Minister Lindi Ramsden was a lesbian, and the congregation was open and accepting. When they first began attending, the church had been relocated to the St. James Center, due to the 1995 fire. They signed the book in fall of 1998. By the following spring (1999), when Ellen and Cindy celebrated a commitment ceremony, we were back in the restored sanctuary.

    When I asked Ellen what keeps her committed to the church, she cited “the push to become a welcoming congregation, and to create a spiritual environment as we raise our children … and the music!” Some of the other jobs around the church Ellen has held include maintaining the membership database, helping with the directory, folding newsletters for years, and working on the canvass. She has been with her small group ministry group since September 2001. She and her family have also participated in the Westenders neighborhood network group.

    Ellen is in her second year of coordinating the worship hosts program, shortly after the previous usher and greeter roles were merged. She took on this responsibility when Genie Bernardini asked her. Ellen wanted to find a role where she could be successful and to help the congregation. She had never been an usher or worship host -- she frankly stated that the desire to meet people was not her motivation. Her organizational skills have been very helpful in setting up a system that really works.

    The Worship Host program is currently in need of eight new hosts. The commitment is one Sunday a month for the 11:00 am service. The role of worship hosts has been streamlined, each service has defined 5 roles, and a documented check list card, patterned after a coop preschool. Ellen is looking for people who are comfortable in engaging new visitors in a way that is welcoming, but not off-putting. Because of the UUA marketing campaign, many people are trying us out. Worship hosts serve as the first point of contact. The role is much more than just standing at the door, handing out programs. It means going out, engaging and outreach, providing hospitality and welcome.

    Thank you, Ellen, for all you have done in organizing the Worship Hosts!!

    Kudos also to her incredible team of Hosts: Connie Bloch, Christie Welter Frank Bosche, Catherine Leeson-Pelizzari, Pat Prickett, Gary McCumber, Michael Payne-Alex, Jean Rivers, Steve Stein, Jeff Norment, Bob Owen, Liz Owen, Colleen Cabot, Bill Bowman, Carol Greene and Steve Saunders -- you do a wonderful job of welcoming newcomers and old-timers alike!

    If being a Worship Host is the job for you, or if you’d like more information, contact Ellen.


    Circling Around

    by Kelly Burnett

    Did you know that Joyce Miller, Alice Lynch, Gary McCumber, Sandra Iwamoto, and Dena Dickenson of our congregation are training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro this Summer? Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the highest ‘walkable’ mountain in the world, a magnificent and spectacular undertaking. Ask them about it!

    Mary McGuinness is hosting a book club in which participants are reading “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life. “

    Luther Jackson’s picture was in Metro (February 27-March 4 issue). The article, “Panic Room,” was about the latest round of layoffs in the MediaNews Group of which the Mercury News is a part, along with 25 other Northern California newspapers. Luther was quoted in the story in his role as the executive officer of the San Jose Newspaper Guild.

    Did you know that if you are elderly or on a fixed income of less than $20,000.00, PG&E has a CARE/Fera Program that will reduce your gas and electric bill? Go to the PG&E payment center for a form, or get it online at http://www,pge.com/care.

    Kelly Burnett is heading up the end of Canvass party and needs help with shopping, cooking, set up, take down, and clean up. If you are willing to participate, please contact her by email at kelly@kellybur.com.

    The annual All-Church Retreat will be the weekend of October 3-5, 2008 at Monte Toyon in Aptos. Please put it in your calendar and make it a priority for you and your family to attend. ●

    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 April 19 and June issues.

    Catherine Leeson Pelizzari, 945-9848, caleeson@aol.com
    Catherine will edit the April 5, May 7, and May 21 issues.

    Translator: Roberto Padilla and Ervin Barrios

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

    Assembly Coordinators: Gretchen Leavitt, Genie Bernardini, Marge Schneider, Deanna la Torre and Lloyd Eater.

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

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

    Mailing: Libby Codd

    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, March 26, 2008

    Next issue assembly: Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    Next issue mailing: Wednesday, April 2, 2008