Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / April 15, 2009 / 15 de Abril 2009

Send us your photos!
The Circular is always on the lookout for your photos of church-related events. If you have taken photos during any recent services, please e-mail them to uusanjose@gmail.com. We maintain an archive of church member and event photos, so please send us what you’ve got, especially if you have a favorite photo of yourself that you would like us to use next time you appear in Circling Around or another newsletter feature.

Partner Church Tea Memories

Inside This Issue:


Sunday Services


Save the Dates


Religious Education


As we build the beloved community …


JUUNTOS/Together Project


Meeting Recaps: 1) Board Meeting March 25, 2009; 2) Report on our March 29, 2009 Congregational Meeting


Volunteer Opportunities


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


Spirit in Practice – Monthly Adult Program


Circling Around


How To Be A Healing Presence – Training to be a Pastoral Associate


Spotlight on Social Justice + BONUS ARTICLES


Upcoming Events -- Memorial Day Picnic, Campout, General Assembly


The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information

En Español

Servicios de Domingo


Mientras construimos nuestra querida comunidad …


Proyecto JUUNTOS/Together


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


Aquí estan los Ministros!

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

19 de Abril —9:30 am

Cuando se terminen nuestras bendiciones
¿Como seres humanos estamos capacitados para evitar enfrentarnos a muchos problemas realmente importantes en nuestras vidas o nuestra naturaleza humana nos dice que cuando estos problemas lleguen más allá del límite, entonces es cuando deberíamos actuar para solucionarlos? Unámonos para reflexionar sobre nuestro futuro en nuestro hogar llamado tierra.

Dirige: Roberto Padilla; Asociados de Culto: Miembros de nuestros Ministerios en Español.

When our blessings have finished
As human beings, we can avoid confrontation with many important really problems in our lives or, does our human nature say to us that when these kinds of problems are beyond the limit, then is when we must act to solve them? Join us to reflect on our future in our home called earth.

Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla; Worship Associates: Members of the Spanish-Speaking Ministry.

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

April 19—11:00 am

Earth Day
We are interdependent in every sense, finely woven into a web of relationships that honors the existence of all that exists on this planet we call home. How shall we live in right relationship with the others in this web? On Earth Day, we ground ourselves in our love of nature and our recognition of its beauty and its limits. Can we discover the “sufficiency”—the sense that we have and we are enough—in our finite world?

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Wor-ship Associates: Luther Jackson and Jeff Norment.

Día de la Tierra
Somos interdependientes en todo sentido, finamente tejidos en una tela de relaciones que honra la existencia de todo lo que existe en este planeta que llamamos hogar. ¿Cómo vivir en correcta relación con los otros en esta tela? En el Día de la Tierra, reforzamos nuestro amor por la naturaleza y nuestro reconocimiento de su belleza y de sus límites. ¿Podemos descubrir la “suficiencia” —el sentido que tenemos y somos suficientes—en nuestro mundo finito?

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Culto: Luther Jackson y Jeff Norment.

26 de abril – 9:30 a.m.

Afirmación VII: Con el Fin de que Todas la Almas Puedan Crecer en Armonía con lo Divino
En este domingo, cerraremos nuestra serie de los servicios en nuestra afirmación a través del año. Hemos visto qué demandamos ser como una congregación (líneas 1-3) y en las promesas que nos hacemos el uno al otro cada semana (líneas 4-6). Ahora miramos el propósito para el cual estamos y hacemos todas estas cosas. ¿Cómo traducimos estas palabras, escritas por un ministro Universalista a principios de los 30s, en un lenguaje que signifique algo para todos nosotros hoy? ¡Unámonos para la emocionante conclusión de esta serie servicios religiosos! También en este domingo, recolectaremos los temas de los servicios para el año que viene, entonces, por favor traigan sus anhelos, su curiosidad, su hambre, sus preguntas y su pasión para comenzar a crear un arco para los servicios religiosos del año próximo.

Dirige: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Culto: Miembros de SSM

April 26 – 11:00 a.m.

Affirmation VII: To the End That All Souls May Grow into Harmony with the Divine
On this Sunday, we bring to a close our yearlong worship series on our Affirmation. We have looked at what we claim to be as a congregation (lines 1-3) and at the promises we make to each other each week (lines 4-6). Now we look at the purpose for which we are and do all these things. How do we translate these words, written by a Universalist minister in the early 1930s, into language that is meaningful for all of us today? Join us for the rousing conclusion of this worship series!

We’ll also gather worship themes for the coming year on this Sunday, so please bring your longings, your curiosity, your hunger, your questions, and your passions as we begin to create an arc for next year’s worship.

Worship Leader: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Worship Associate: Bob Miess

3 de mayo – 9:30 a.m.

“No queremos a la Virgen”
Este domingo tendremos el honor de volver a tener entre nosotros a Annette Falcón, quien nos trae un mensaje inspirado en un ensayo de la Puertorriqueña Magali García Ramis. La iglesia Católica dice que el modelo a seguir para todas las mujeres debe ser el modelo de la Virgen María. Vengan, traigan sus corazones y mentes abiertos para reflexionar sobre esta idea que muchas de las mujeres católicas tienen.

Dirige: Annette Falcón
Asociado de Culto. Roberto Padilla

“We don’t want the Virgin”
This Sunday we will have the honor to have Annette Falcón with us again, bringing to us a message inspired by an essay by Puerto Rican writer Magali Garcia Ramis. The Catholic Church says that the model for all women to follow must be the Virgin Maria. Come and bring hearts and minds opened to reflect on this idea that many Catholic women have.

Worship Leader: Annette Falcón
Worship Associate: Roberto Padilla

May 3 – 11:00 a.m.

Parenting: The ultimate responsibility and the greatest joy
What could be a greater responsibility that to be charged with the growth and learning of children? And what could be a greater joy than to see them succeed in small and big ways and to be a witness to their unique unfolding lives? What does it mean to be a parent in these times? What support do they need to help raise the next generation? And what is our responsibility as a spiritual community to make sure our children and youth grow into the fullness of their being?

Worship Leader: Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Worship Associate: Jennifer Castro

Paternidad: La maxima responsabilidad y la alegría más grande
¿Que podría ser de mayor responsabilidad que ser el encargado del crecimiento y aprendizaje de los niños? ¿Y que podría ser de mayor alegría que verlos a ellos tener en pequeños y grandes éxitos y para ser un testigo a sus individuales vidas desarrolladas? ¿Qué significa ser un padre en estos tiempos? ¿Qué apoyo necesitan para ayudar a crecer la siguiente generación? ¿Y cuál es nuestra responsabilidad como una comunidad espiritual para cerciorarnos que nuestros niños y jóvenes crezcan en la plenitud de su ser?

Dirige: Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Asociado de Culto: Jennifer Castro


Save the Dates

  • April 16-17, Thursday-Friday, “Queer On Their Feet,” performing at Don Quixote’s Music Hall, Felton, April 16, 7:30 pm; and at the UU Church of Palo Alto, April 17; 8 pm.
  • April 18, Saturday, Let Justice Flow Water Justice & Climate Change Workshop, Mount Diablo UU Church, Walnut Creek, 9:15 am-4 pm
  • April 19, Sunday, Earth Friendly Cleaner Workshop, Hattie Porter Hall, 1:30-3 pm
  • April 20, Monday, Poverty Simulation, Rotunda, San Jose City Hall, 2-5 pm
  • April 22, Wednesday, Nuclear Weapons-Disarmament & Deterrence: The Moral Issues, Palo Alto UU Church, Main Hall, 7 pm
  • April 24, Friday, "Making the River” movie and Q&A Panel, Sanctuary, 7-10 pm
  • April 25, JUUNTOS/Together Conociendonos/Getting to know each other, Sanctuary and Ramsden Fireside Room, 1:30-5 pm
  • April 26, Sunday, 13th Annual Rivers of Chocolate Festival--fundraising event for the Youth Division of EHC LifeBuilders, The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, 1-5 pm.
  • April 27, Monday, Social Justice Council Meeting, Conference room (board room), 6:30-7:30 pm
  • April 27, Monday, “Moving Forward Together,” Berkeley
  • April 30, Thursday, UUSC Human Rights Youth photography contest Deadline
  • May 1-2, District Assembly, Fremont. See www.pcd-uua.org/events/DA-2009/index.htm
  • May 3, Sunday, Spirit in Practice Workshop: Communal Worship Practices (Ramsden Fireside Room) Note New Time! 2-3:30 p.m.

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. Child Care Workers: Marta Jo Forse and Maria Elena Olvera.

K-Second Grades
Church's lower level, Rooms 2-3

April 19
A Time to be free from slavery—Pesah

April 26
The Gift Of Ourselves

May 3
A Time to Return Home-Yom ha-Atzmaut

Third-Fifth Grades
Church's lower level, Rooms 4-6

A stepping stone year

April 19
The Very Short Rule

April 26
The Good Samaritan

May 3
Deciding and Acting

Sixth-Eighth Grades;
Church's lower level, Conference Room

Building Assets Together
Each week teachers bring alive The Search Institute’s 40 developmental assets with exercises and discussion.  http://www2.search-institute.org/assets/

Eighth-tenth grades
lower level, room 4-6

Coming of age

April 17-19
Coming of Age Retreat-Mt. Madonna County Park, Gilroy

April 25
Mentor-Youth Meeting, 12:45-2 p.m. –Final Credo Preparation

9th-12th Grades; Youth Room
(Balcony level above Hattie Porter Hall)

Senior High Youth Group
The youth group meets every Sunday after the first part of the service. The youth group provides a safe place for personal sharing and discussion of diverse issues effecting society and youth today. The group will be using the curriculum Real Stories by teens making choices and keeping it real.

Youth Group Activities

JUNIOR HIGH (6th-7th-8th Grades)
Advisor: Pam Pell

Advisors: Mike Williamson, Cordelia Willis, V Kingsley, Dani Hope

To participate in junior or senior high youth group activities, contact the Rev. Geoff Rimositis, GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org, 292-3858, 25.

Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU)
The youth groups are designed to empower youth in leadership positions within the group to plan and lead activities that include: conducting service projects in the church and community, participating in Young Religious Unitarian Universalists' Youth Conferences in the San Francisco Bay Area, and organizing social events such as wilderness experiences, overnights, ski weekends, and movie outings.

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

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


As we build the beloved community...

by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Mientras construimos nuestra querida comunidad …

Para la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones.

Rev. Nancy’s Top Ten Reasons to Join Us This Year at District Assembly (May 1-3, Fremont) and at General Assembly (June 24-28, Salt Lake City):

Reason # 10: There is no better cure for spring fever than to take a jaunt up to the Marriott in Fremont for District Assembly and spend the weekend with hundreds of Unitarian Universalists, celebrating, learning, laughing, singing, worshiping, and shopping together.

Reason # 9: And if you think Fremont is “cool” (you do, don’t you?), just imagine Salt Lake City, Utah, filled for General Assembly with thousands of UUs from all over the country and the world, celebrating, learning, laughing, and so on together! What a chance to “turn the world around”!

Reason # 8: The cost can be reasonable! For District Assembly, you can pay your registration fees on a sliding scale, and then join with new and old friends in carpools up the road to Fremont, extending the FUCSJ fun. Visit www.pcd-uua.org for a registration form and all the information. For General Assembly, Southwest Airlines flights to Salt Lake City are cheap right now, and once there, you can room with FUCSJ pals. Choose to attend just part of GA or all of it. Do register soon; fees for General Assembly will go up after May 1. Go to www.uua.org to register and book a hotel room.

Reason # 7: At District Assembly, we’ll get to meet the two candidates for president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Rev. Laurel Hallman and Rev. Peter Morales—and at General Assembly, we’ll get to vote for our next president!

Reason # 6: The Banner Parade, at both DA and GA! Need I say more?

Reason # 5: Worship is amazing at District and General Assembly—a transformative experience!

Reason # 4: Oh, and did I mention the shopping (UU jewelry, clothing, books, chalices, books, stained-glass windows, books, …)?

Reason # 3: Even if this year’s budget doesn’t encourage shopping, the workshops are all free with your registration fee! Feast on the offerings—and make lasting friends as you do.

Reason # 2: District Assembly will be relaxing and fun, as we let others lead us. General Assembly will be energizing and exciting, as we play a major role in leading UUs from all over the country, offering worship for the Multicultural Track of UU University on Thursday and a JUUNTOS/Together Project workshop on Saturday. Joy-Ellen Lipsky and Rev. Lilia Cuervo are offering a workshop on spiritual practices, too. And at the Service of the Living Tradition, you’ll get to hear your minister’s name called out, as I receive my Final Fellowship (~ “tenure”) as a UU minister. We need your help and your support—do come!

And Rev. Nancy’s # 1 reason to join us at District Assembly and General Assembly this year: We will all have so much more fun if you are there!

In hope and anticipation, and with lots of exclamation marks,


Las diez mejores razones de la Rev. Nancy para unirnos este año en la Asamblea del Distrito (del 1 al 3 de mayo, Fremont) y en la Asamblea General (del 24 al 28 de junio, Salt Lake City):

Razón # 10: No hay mejor cura para la primavera que tomar un paseo hasta el Marriott en Fremont para la asamblea del Distrito y pasar el fin de semana con centenares de Unitarios Universalistas, celebrando, aprendiendo, riendo, cantando, venerando y comprando juntos.

Razón # 9: Y si usted piensa que Fremont está “cool” (si esta. ¿No?)¡, entonces imagine a Salt Lake City, Utah, llena, para la Asamblea General, de millares de UUs de todos lados del país y del mundo, celebrando, aprendiendo, riendo, y así sucesivamente juntos! ¡Como una oportunidad de “dar la vuelta alrededor del mundo”!

Razón # 8: ¡El costo puede ser razonable! Para la Asamblea del Distrito, usted puede pagar la tarifa de su inscripción en una escala descendente y entonces, unirse con nuevos y viejos amigos compartiendo el automóvil para ir a Fremont, extendiendo la diversión de FUCSJ. Visite www.pcd-uua.org para conseguir una forma de inscripción y todo el resto de la información. Para la Asamblea General, los vuelos de la aerolínea Southwest a Salt Lake City están baratos ahora, y una vez ahí, usted puede hospedarse con los compañeros de FUCSJ. Elija asistir a solo una parte de la GA o a toda ella. Inscríbase pronto; ya que las tarifas para la Asamblea General irán en aumento después del 1 de mayo. Vaya a www.uua.org para registrarse y reserve su cuarto de hotel.

Razón # 7: En la Asamblea del Distrito, lograremos conocer a los dos candidatos a la presidencia de la Asociación de Unitarios Universalistas, la Rev. Laurel Hallman y al Rev. Peter Morales—y en la Asamblea General, ¡votaremos por nuestro próximo presidente!

Razón # 6: ¡El desfile de las banderas, en DA y GA! ¿Necesito decir algo más?

Razón # 5: ¡Los servicios religiosos será asombrosos en la Asamblea de Distrito y en la Asamblea General—una experiencia transformadora!

Razón # 4: ¿Oh, y mencioné las compras (joyería UU, ropa, libros, cálices, libros, ventanales, libros,…)?

Razón # 3: ¡Aunque el presupuesto para este año no anima para hacer compras, todos los talleres son totalmente gratis con su tarifa de inscripción! Todo un banquete de ofrecimientos-y haga amigos duraderos como usted lo es.

Razón # 2: La Asamblea del Distrito será relajante y divertida, como dejamos a otros guiarnos. La Asamblea General será energizadora y emocionante, como nosotros desempeñamos un papel importante conduciendo a los UUs de todas partes del país, ofreciendo el servicio para el camino Multicultural de la universidad UU el jueves y de un taller del proyecto JUUNTOS/Together el sábado. Joy-Ellen Lipsky y la Rev. Lilia Cuervo están ofreciendo un taller sobre prácticas espirituales, también. Y en el servicio de la Tradición Viva, usted escuchará el nombre de su ministro dicho en voz alta, como recibo mi beca final (~ “ocupación”) como un ministro UU. ¡Necesitamos su ayuda y su apoyo—venga!

Y la razón # 1 de la Rev. Nancy de unirnos en la Asamblea del Distrito y la Asamblea General este año: ¡Todos nos divertiremos mucho más si usted está allí!

Con esperanza y anticipación y con muchos signos de exclamación,



JUUNTOS/Together Project:
Successes, Invitations, and
Ways You Can Help

By Madeline Morrow

On March 28, 14 members of the congregation attended the pilot Conociéndonos/Getting to Know Each Other retreat, offered by the JUUNTOS/Together Project Multicultural Leadership Team and Rodrigo García. Rodrigo—who creates such retreats as part of his work with Teatro Visión—guided a mix of Spanish and English speakers through a series of fun and thought-provoking activities that sparked communication and deepened connections.

Afterward, praise for the event was universal: Javier Chávez loved “getting together to share different ideas, not taking life so seriously, getting to know people more deeply, and finding out we have many things in common.” Madeline Morrow reported, “I was skeptical that fun activities would be meaningful and I thought I would feel stupid, but I loved getting to know people I had never talked to before. I am recommending it to everyone!” Rev. Nancy loved Rodrigo’s leadership and was thrilled to see new friendships blossoming right there in the sanctuary. Marla Scharf said, “The retreat showed how building our inclusive multicultural community can be pure fun. Now, how can we expand this retreat to reach more members of our congregation, across more cultures and ethnicities and colors and languages?” So that’s what we’re doing next:

You’re Invited: The next Conociéndonos/Getting to Know Each Other retreat will take place Saturday, April 25, from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. and is open to 30 participants. If you would like to participate in this fun and transformative time together, RSVP ASAP to Roberto Padilla, paor69@yahoo.com, or Rev. Nancy, revnpj@yahoo.com.

The JUUNTOS/Together Project Multicultural Leadership Team is working on other activities to strengthen connections between Spanish-Speaking Ministries members and the rest of FUCSJ, as well as to make connections and spread the word in the wider Unitarian Universalist community. The project is being funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism. A brief survey about our Spanish-Speaking Ministries and our multicultural congregation is coming out soon. Please offer us your input!

You Can Help: The JUUNTOS/Together team is developing a workshop to be presented at General Assembly in June. We need a larger group to plan and present this project! We especially need help with a multimedia presentation.

At home here in our church, we need a volunteer to help coordinate music volunteers for the 9:30 service. If you are interested in helping, please contact Rev. Nancy or Roberto Padilla, Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator.

Proyecto JUUNTOS/Together:
Éxitos, invitaciones y maneras en
que usted puede ayudar

por Madeline Morrow

El pasado 28 de marzo, 14 miembros de la congregación asistimos al retiro piloto Conociéndonos/ Getting to Know Each Other, ofrecido por el equipo del proyecto Multicultural JUUNTOS/Together y Rodrigo García. Rodrigo-quien crea tales retiros como parte de su trabajo con Teatro Visión-dirigió a un grupo mixto de personas de habla hispana e inglesa a través de una serie de actividades divertidas y que estimulan el pensamiento que motivaron la comunicación y que profundizó las conexiones ente ambos grupos.

Luego, el elogio para el acontecimiento fue unánime: a Javier Chávez le gusto el “reunirse para compartir diversas ideas, no tomándose la vida tan seriamente, reuniéndose con la gente para conocerla más profundamente y descubrir que tenemos muchas cosas en común.” Madeline Morrow comentó, “Yo estaba escéptica acerca de que las actividades divertidas pudieran ser significativas y pensé que me sentiría estúpida, pero me gusto el familiarizarme con la gente con quienes nunca había hablado antes. Yo lo estoy recomendando para todos!” A la Rev. Nancy le gusto la dirección de Rodrigo y estuvo emocionada por ver florecer nuevas amistades justo ahí en el santuario. Marla Scharf dijo, “el retiro demostró cómo la construcción de nuestra comunidad multicultural e inclusiva puede ser diversión pura. Ahora, cómo podemos ampliar este retiro para alcanzar a más miembros de nuestra congregación a través de más culturas y etnias, colores e idiomas?” Entonces, esto es lo que próximamente estaremos haciendo:

Usted esta invitado: Al próximo retiro Conociéndonos/Getting to Know Each Other que se llevara a cabo el 25 de abril de la 1:30 a las 5 p.m. y estará abierto para 30 participantes. Si a usted le gustaría participar en este divertido y transformador tiempo juntos, reserve su lugar lo más pronto posible con Roberto Padilla paor69@yahoo.com, o con al Rev. Nancy revnpj@yahoo.com.

La dirección del equipo Multicultural del proyecto JUUNTOS/Together está trabajando en otras actividades para consolidar las conexiones entre los miembros de los Ministerios de Habla Hispana y el resto de FUCSJ, tan bien como hacer conexiones y esparcir el mensaje con el resto de la comunidad Unitaria Universalista. El proyecto está siendo financiado en parte por el fondo para el Unitario Universalismo. Una breve encuesta sobre nuestros Ministerios de Habla Hispana y nuestra congregación multicultural estará saliendo pronto. ¡Por favor ofrézcanos su aportación!

Usted puede ayudar: El equipo de JUUNTOS/Together está desarrollando un taller que se presentará en la Asamblea General en junio. ¡Necesitamos a un grupo más grande para planear y presentar este proyecto! Especialmente necesitamos ayuda con la presentación en multimedia.

Y en casa, aquí en nuestra iglesia, necesitamos un voluntario para ayudar a coordinar a los voluntarios de la música para el servicio de las 9:30. Si usted está interesado en ayudar, por favor póngase en contacto con la Rev. Nancy o con Roberto Padilla, Coordinador de los Ministerios de Habla Hispana.


Meeting Recap

Board Meeting March 25, 2009

by Bob Redfern, Secretary

A considerable amount of time at our last board meeting was devoted to preparation for the Congregational Meeting March 29th, for the election of officers. One of the items we discussed was Absentee ballots. We probably should have had ballots available for those who could not attend this meeting, but the task of filling the openings on the Board, Program Operations Council and Nominating Committee ran up until the last minute. The Election of Officers is typically the last Sunday in March, as the officers’ terms run from April 1- March 31. We spent a considerable amount of time planning the meeting and working out the details, but conscientious members should watch Our Church Circular and announcements of the results of the election.

Rev. Nancy discussed JUUNTOS. This is NOT an acronym. The Spanish word juntos is a perfectly wonderful word for “Join Together” and the extra U has Unitarian-Universalist joining together in this effort. Saturday April 25th from 1:30 – 5:00 will be an “All-Welcome” meeting of this program. Mother’s Day, May 10, will also be a special day, with a video by Olga Flores about U-U activities in Latin America.

Treasurer Bob Howd discussed the budget and the Finance report Christopher Frey, Finance Officer, submitted as he steps out of that position after 4 years of outstanding service. The overall picture of the budget was presented on March 29th by Bob to those present for the election of officers. Also discussed at that time was our church’s annual report, prepared by Henry Ruddle and Sherry Howd, and the “99 Person survey” supervised and summarized by Dena Dickenson. How did she come up with 99? That was the number of us who responded to this outreach effort.

The Annual Giving Campaign is off and running. Rev. Nancy spoke of hard times and keeping our community of faith running on March 22nd, and individual and group meetings are underway. If you have not heard from a fellow member or attended a group session by the time you read this, do not fret — just call Bob Miess (AGC Chair), a friendly Board Member, or anyone you know who is in the church who has already pledged. As Bob Howd said on Sunday, we want everybody to give as much as you can, but we need to adjust if the economic gloom settled on the country hits someone in our community.

Rev. Geoff spoke of a new emphasis for RE called “Lifespan Faith Development”. He will be presenting more details about this in these pages and in church. Stay tuned!

Report on our March 29, 2009 Congregational Meeting

Notes by Rick Merritt standing in for Church Secretary—and new grandfather—Bob Redfern who was in New Mexico meeting his new granddaughter. Congrats, Bob and Jenny Redfern.

The meeting was called to vote on seven positions up for election or re-election. All seven of the candidates put forward by our Nominating Committee were accepted by a ballot vote. In total, eighty-five members voted including at least 23 who voted by absentee ballot.

The newly elected officials are:

  • Bob Redfern, Board Secretary
  • Cheri Goodman, Board Director
  • Madeline Morrow, Board Director
  • Tamara Payne-Alex, Program Officer of the Program and Operations Council

And three new members of the Nominating Committee:

  • Madeline Althof
  • Jan Theis-Guffey
  • Nancy Coleman

Board President Tracy Avent thanked the following outgoing members for their service:

  • Marla Scharf, Board Director
  • Julia Rodriguez, Program Officer of the Program and Operations Council

And three outgoing members of the Nominating Committee:

  • Gordon Smith, former chairman
  • Barbara Derbyshire
  • Stephanie Rynas

Tracy also thanked Patrick Myers, a relatively new member, who has volunteered to take on the non-elected position of facilities coordinator on the POC.

Steve Madden, the new chair of the Nominating Committee, said the group is still working to identify a suitable candidate for the position of Finance Officer and hopes to have a candidate named soon.

The meeting included brief presentations on the state of the church. They coincided with the formal release of our latest annual report, a 45-page booklet put together by a number of volunteers including Sherry Howd (editor) and Henry Ruddle (layout).

Dena Dickinson of the Program and Operations Council gave us a first look at results from a recent survey of attendees about what we consider our top priorities.

Ninety-nine people filled out the survey. The results showed worship services ranking by far as a top priority. Other priorities high on the list included children’s religious education, small group ministry, pastoral care, social justice, Spanish-speaking ministries and Third Street Community Center. Dena said the POC will make more detailed information available about the survey soon.

Bob Howd, church Treasurer, presented information about church finances that is also included in the annual church report (page 40). For the calendar year 2008 our revenues were $446, 677 and expenses were $469,420, a net loss of $22,743 that caused us to dip into our reserves. For our fiscal year to date (June 2008-February 2009) we are running a slight deficit of $6,042. Rising costs of health care are one of the factors impacting our budget.

Bob noted the church may need to decrease expenses in the coming fiscal year, depending on the results of the current 2009-2010 pledge drive. He called for members to step up their pledges when possible. He also reminded members that they should notify the church if they need to make changes to their 2008-2009 pledge.

In a closing presentation, Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones noted a “spirit of re-engagement” she has witnessed in the church in the past year. She cited broad participation in the fight against Proposition 8, our March 7 Service is Our Prayer day, the recent memorial for Marilyn Carstens and work on a renewed vision for our religious education work under the new banner of Lifespan Faith Development.


Volunteer Opportunities

You make FUSJ what it is! Whatever your talent and availability, there is an opportunity for you to serve. Contact Volunteer Coordinating Team members Liz Owen at lowen@data-time.com or Bob Miess at bob@floweringenterprises.com


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!

¿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.


Spirit in Practice – Monthly Adult Program

Leader: Rev. Geoff Rimositis

“The idea of spiritual practices encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own spiritual development by spending time working on it, deliberating on its meaning and how best to pursue it, seeking to understand the sacred through reading and the counsel of others, and seeking to have contact with the sacred through personal reflection and prayer.”

Robert Wuthnow, scholar of American religious history

The Spirit in Practice workshops helps Unitarian Universalists develop regular disciplines, or practices, of the spirit—practices that help them connect with the sacred ground of their being, however they understand it. Spirit in Practice affirms religious diversity while seeking unity in our communal quest for meaning and wholeness. Whether participants follow a path they identify as Humanist, Jewish, Christian, Pagan, Theist, Atheist, Agnostic, Mystic, and/or any of the other paths we follow in our diverse congregation, the Spirit in Practice workshops offer a forum for learning, sharing, and growth that can enrich your faith journeys.

Workshops are suitable for a first-time visitor or a longtime member. You can attend one or more of the workshops. Please RSVP with Rev. Geoff Rimositis, GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org, 292-3858, 25

  • Workshop 3: Communal Worship Practices
    Sunday, May 3, 2-3:30 p.m., Ramsden Fireside Room

  • Workshop 4: Spiritual Partnerships
    Sunday, June 7, 2-3:30 p.m., Ramsden Fireside Room

  • Workshop 5: Mind Practices
    Sunday, July 12, 2-3:30 p.m., Ramsden Fireside Room

  • Workshop 6: Body Practices
    Sunday, August 12, 2-3:30 p.m., Ramsden Fireside Room

Fall workshops yet to be scheduled will include: Soul Practices, Life Practices, Justice Practices and Looking Back and Moving Forward

  • 0415-10

    Circling Around by Torchy Hunter

    As the editor for Circling Around, I accost people in Hattie Porter Hall wearing my “Tell Me Everything” sign, or, if you’d rather actually think about what you want in here, e-mail me at dzu@aol.com. I want to be up to date with you, so here’s what we need: birthdays (especially those with zeros), parties of any kind, promotions, college destinations, anything that you diverse groups are doing is interesting to everyone else. For example, in this issue:

    What three ladies are going to expose themselves? And where?
    Whose return is making Dan Zulevic salivate?
    Who is using her very own daughter as an excuse for traveling?
    Who wants us all to do it in the dirt? With lots of onlookers?

    Rebecca Mason is obsessed. And maybe “Crazy”. Highly recommends seeing “Patsy Cline. Discount tix through Artsopolis.

    Stephanie Rhynas and Carrie Doolittle became page 1 news with their picture in the Merc about the toxic waste site they live near/on that the city is dragging its feet on. From the March 31, 2009 edition, page B1:

    Stephanie Rynas, left, and Carrie Doolittle — shown with their 16-year-old daughter Aralyn Tucker in the backyard of their San Jose home — are fighting the city over cleanup of toxic soil. Below, a sign at Watson Park warns of contamination.

    Super correspondent Claire Wagner tells of a visit to “North Carolina visiting Marie and Lonnie Houck (former members here). I missed Julia and Audrey (Rodriguez) by a week. (Audrey was looking at UNC at Chapel Hill for graduate school.) It was so nice to see the Houcks in their new element. (New by like 4 years, right?? I lost track.) Their house has an attached mother-in-law unit that Shasta lives in, and Lauren lives nearby. Shasta actually works for Lonnie’s company, too. The back yard of their house is woods with a trail that leads to a big, lovely park. I went to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro with them on Sunday and sang in the choir. It was a great worship service. Lonnie is on the Finance Committee and will be the Board Treasurer next year. Marie is on the Music Committee. They both sing in the choir and sometimes Lonnie is the only bass, so he is very much appreciated. Marie works as a part-time DRE at another UU church about 100 miles away and likes her job a lot. We are moving to San Jose on April 14. See you soon!”

    Three of us are going to be all together for Silicon Valley Open Studios, coming up Mother’s Day weekend. That would be Carol Greene, Barbara Tonneson, and Torchy Hunter. What better way to satisfy all your gift giving commitments than by buying our stuff. More warnings to come

    How do you deal with crisis? This is not my usual content, but like a lot of us, I have been under a monster amount of stress in the last few months, and while looking for ways to handle it, I was curious about how all of you handle stress. Do you curl up in a fetal position ball and cry (like me?), or remain relatively impassive (like Dan?))

    Do you take a series of lung-filling deep breaths. Go for a walk? (how intense, how far, and how does it work?)

    Have a shot of brandy (like me?) Call a friend (like me?). Think about elephants? Take a bunch of different kind of prescription drugs (like me). I have a mind that goes immediately to worst-cast, frightening me completely. If you get these dark thoughts, what do you do? Yell? Hit stuff? Wonder what in the world evolutionary role this could play? Please write/call (929-0259) and tell me what exactly you do.

    Down south of here, a new baby has turned two of our otherwise scholarly minds to pudding. See Jenny Redfern hold Rosi Marie. “It has been reported here and there that I am now a Grandpa and Jenny is a Grandma,” says Bob “Gramps” Redfern. “Jenny prefers Oma, I’ll respond to Gramps. Our daughter Joanna and son-in-law Tom had a baby girl on March 26, Rosi Marie. What a little sweetie. She even lets me hold her and doesn’t yell.”

    We have a double mini trampoline champ in our midst! Parker Langston, member of our Junior High Youth Group, recently won a gold medal and will go on to the National Competition at the end of June in San Jose. V and Dani hope Parker can meet or exceed his own qualifying score of 58.00 (out of 60) in Level 7 Age Division 11-12.

    White light corner: Barbara Tonneson, who will shortly become an entirely new person: has new hips, now anticipating shoulder surgery. Juliana Richardson, Lucy & Dave Proulx.


    How To Be A Healing Presence – Training to be a Pastoral Associate

    One Saturday morning a month for four months Rev. Donna Lenahan, our Pastoral Care Coordinator, will you help learn how to compassionately companion those who are experiencing health challenges at home, in the hospital or at a care facility.

    We will be reading and discussing these three books that are included in the fee:

    Sacred Dying; Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life by Megory Anderson,

    The Art of Being a Healing Presence by James E. Miller

    The Art of Listening in a Healing Way by James E. Miller

    This course will provide practical tools and rituals to help you learn to be a healing presence. Please speak with a current Pastoral Associate to get an idea of whether or not serving our beloved community in this way is for you.

    Class will be held on the following five Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: April 25, May 2, May 16, and May 23. Payment is due by April 11.

    The fee for the course is $45 and includes the three books. You may register or pick up a brochure at the Pastoral Care Table in Hattie Porter Hall after the 11:00 service on Sundays.

    If you have questions, please send Donna an e-mail at djlenahan@aol.com or phone her at (cell) 408-204-6565. The books will be available March 29 to get started with the reading.

    Spotlight on Social Justice
    By Lucy Proulx,
    Social Justice Council Communications Coodinator

    Social Justice blog on web page!
    The New York Times famous slogan, “All the news that’s fit to print” has to be modified for Our Church Circular. We have a much smaller budget, and would have to say, “All the news that fits, we print”! Fortunately, there is the Internet! You will find more Social Justice news at http://www.sanjoseuu.org/socialjusticeblog, and you can subscribe to a Yahoo! group for social justice news and events at sjsjuu-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Additional articles can also be found in the HTML version of the newsletter.

    Earth Friendly Cleaners Workshop & Fundraiser
    Learn to make environmentally-friendly household cleaners from non-toxic substances, do good for the earth and your health, and save money in this workshop.

    Sunday, April 19, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. in Hattie Porter Hall
    Cost: $12
    Registration due by 3 pm April 12
    Contact: Erwin at (408) 807-3059, or John at mus6@aceweb.net
    Sponsored by the Social Justice Council http://sanjoseuu.org/socialjusticeblog/?p=74

    “Making the River” Movie & Q&A Panel

    * Raised by the state * institutionalized as a youth * imprisoned as an adult * tragedy transformed *

    A dramatic documentary about the transformation of Jimi Simmons’ life and his search for justice, this is a powerful film about human rights. Jimi will be here on the Q&A Panel. Shown in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the movie is an official selection of the United Nations Association Film Festival and touches on child welfare issues, racism, prison reform, civil and religious rights, justice and freedom, 20th-century American Indian history and politics, and more. Presented by the church’s Social Justice Council in cooperation with San Jose State University, local Peace, Inter-Faith, and Social Justice Groups.

    Friday, Apr 24. 6:45 to 10:00 pm-- Doors open at 6:45 pm in the Sanctuary

    Free • http://sanjoseuu.org/socialjusticeblog/?p=73

    April’s Action of the Month: Environmental Justice
    Unitarian Universalists are invited to study and reflect on how both environmental problems and many of their proposed “solutions” have had a disproportionate impact on women, low-income families, and communities of color both in the U.S. and around the world. More at: http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/actioncenter/128311.shtml.

    Jubilee Act in 2009
    Did you know we are/were a Jubilee congregation? Jubilee is gearing up for the reintroduction of Jubilee Act in 2009 which would cancel impoverished country debt, prohibit harmful economic and policy conditions, mandate transparency and responsibility in lending, call for a new legal framework to restrict predatory “vulture funds,” and call for a U.S. audit of odious and illegitimate debts. More at www.jubileeusa.org.

    Nuclear Weapons-Disarmament & Deterrence: The Moral Issues
    After a decade of very serious decline, there has been a resurgence of hope for progress in controlling or even completely eliminating nuclear weapons. These and other moral dilemmas will be the subject of a panel discussion on Wednesday, April 22, 7 pm, at the Palo Alto UU Church, Main Hall. Printable flyer/full article at: http://www.uucpa.org/events_news/faithEvents.html.

    “Queer on Their Feet” at Palo Alto UU Church
    Friday, April 17, 8 pm-Queer on Their Feet will be performing at our Palo Alto congregation. This is an evening of stand-up comedy and improv, bridging the gap between straight and gay worlds, letting us all laugh at the craziness of the world. Tickets are $15 in advance, through brownpapertickets.com, or $20 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Palo Alto Church and to the Billy DeFrank Centerin San José. More information at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/59231.

    700+ Gather to Urge Officials to End Chronic School Failure & Dropout Crisis in East SJ
    Alum Rock School Board President Gustavo Gonzalez and Trustee Esau Herrera committed to leading a new partnership between the District, PACT, and high-performing charter schools. Full article at: http://sanjoseuu.org/socialjusticeblog/.

    Akeena Solar Makes Deal to Install Panels on Low-Income Homes
    Los Gatos-based Akeena Solar has signed a contract with a Morgan Stanley subsidiary to supply solar panels for low-income homes for at least 200 installations. It will be the exclusive solar-panel supplier for two years to MS Solar Solutions, part of the global financial services company. More at: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12039381.


    HIV/AIDS Program at Risk
    Positive Healthcare, an HIV/AIDS medical program that serves impoverished Californians, is in danger of shutting down. This lifesaving program has been serving low-income Californians living with HIV/AIDS for fifteen years, has saved countless lives and saved the state millions of dollars. More at http://ga1.org/campaign/ahf_gov_haveaheart?tr=y&auid=4677710.

    Marriage Equality in Iowa & Vermont!
    The movement for equal civil marriage rights for all citizens is no longer just a “liberal bi-coastal” issue, but an issue of all parts of U.S. society, including the Midwest heartland. Both Iowa and Vermont have legalized same-sex marriages. More at: http://www.clgs.org/memoriam-michael-mendiola.

    Gore to Pen “Inconvenient Truth” Sequel
    The former Vice-President and environmental activist is set to release “Our Choice,” a follow-up to his bestselling book and movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” which will describe how the world can fight climate change by cutting down on energy and water use and decreasing waste output into the environment, More at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/green/Gore-to-Pen-Inconvenient-Truth-Sequel.html.

    Hate Crimes Bill Includes Gender Identity Protections
    Rep. John Conyers of Michigan re-introduced The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, H.R. 1913. This would be the first-ever federal law to provide protections for transgender people. More at: http://www.nctequality.org/


    Upcoming Events

    Annual Campout 2009
    by MM “Waiting for July” Feldman

    Great news, UU campers! We managed to book the large group campsite again at the same wonderful location as last year’s campout. The dates are Wednesday, July 15 through Sunday, July 19, 2009, just when you feel like getting out of town and soaking in a river.

    The location is McConnell State Recreation Area, near Turlock, about 2 hours from San Jose. The drive is worth it, because this campground has it all: easy access to the Merced River with sandy beaches for the kids, a bath house 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. All you need to bring is your tent and sleeping bag! We do communal cooking, and all the food and cooking equipment is provided.

    This campout is appropriate for pretty much anyone of any age. It’s easy camping. And you can bring your dogs!

    Email me at mm@feldmo.com if you want to be added to an church-campout email list. Or just watch your newsletter and email for announcements.

    Memorial Day Picnic

    Monday May 25 – 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Central Park, Santa Clara (Kiely Blvd. at Homestead)

    POTLUCK -- Please bring food to share and your own plastic ware (plates, cups, forks, etc). Suggested items:

    • A thru D -- Desserts
    • E thru H -- Burgers, Hot Dogs, Veggie Burger
    • I thru L -- Drinks, Buns
    • M thru R -- Chips, Dips, Munchies
    • S thru Z -- Salads

    Also bring games - for kids and big kids (adults) - Like ring toss, jump ropes, volleyball, flying saucers....... Activities will be organized through your efforts. Anyone wanting to help, please call Dena Dickinson (265-5919) or email at dickiden@comcast.net

    June 24-28
    General Assembly, 2009

    The UUA General Assembly will occur in Salt Lake City from June 24-28. This year, General Assembly will be highlighted by the addition of UU University, a superb lay leadership training opportunity, as part of GA programming - at no additional cost. A new UUA President will be elected at General Assembly, and Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University and a frequent media commentator, will deliver this year’s Ware Lecture. The Assembly will also vote on whether to adopt a new Statement of Conscience, on Peacemaking.

    Registration and Housing Reservations for General Assembly are now open
    Go to http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/index.shtml for links to information on all parts of the upcoming General Assembly program.

    Are You Looking for UUthful Spirits?

    UUthful Spirits is an inclusive group for fun and fellowship for young adults and the young at heart. Our activities include:

    • Game night, every 3rd Friday, monthly.
    • Sunday brunches, bimonthly on 2nd and 4th Sunday. Meet in Hattie Porter Hall about 12:45 p.m.
    • Happy hour, every 1st Friday of the month at Tied House at 5:30 p.m.

    Come join the fun. For more information, contact John Burk at mus6@aceweb.com or group at uuthful_spirits-owner@yahoogroups.com.

  • 0415-14

    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: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; 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: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; 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:


    Tracy Avent, darkmuzik@yahoo.com

    Bob Redfern, rredfern@charter.net

    Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com

    Joyce Miller, j408miller@sbcglobal.net

    Tamara Payne-Alex

    Dena Dickinson, dickiden@comcast.net

    Cheri Goodman, cheri.goodman@sbcglobal.net
    Rick Merritt, rbmerrit@cmp.com
    Michael Payne-Alex, michaelpaynealex@yahoo.com
    Madeline Morrow

    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
     Lucy Proulx, socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org

    Bookkeeper / Sue Evanicky

    Custodian / Edgar Cruz

    R.E. Assistant / TBD

    Nursery Staff / Jusica Nunez & Maria Elena Olvera

    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.

    Editors: Catherine Leeson Pelizzari and Shirley Worth; Circular.Editors@gmail.com

    Shirley will be editor for April 15 and May 20, 2009 issues. Catherine will be editor for the May 6 and June 3, 2009 issues.

    Photographer: Dani Hope

    Translator: Roberto Padilla

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

    Assembly Coordinator: Gretchen Leavitt

    Assembly Crew: Lloyd Eater and Marjorie Schneider.

    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 steve.carr@earthlink.net

    Next issue deadline: 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Next issue assembly: Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    Next issue mailing: Wednesday, May 6, 2009