Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / September 16, 2009 / 16 de Septiembre 2009

Inside This Issue:

0916-0 Photo Essay: The Partner Church Visit
0916-1 Sunday Services / September Theme: Draw the Circle Wide
0916-2 Save the Dates
0916-3 Lifespan Faith Development
0916-4 Articulating Our Unitarian Universalist Faith

Lost and Found

0916-6 Fireside Gift Faire Vendors Wanted

Thinking Ahead to Halloween...

0916-8 Ready to Become a New Member of the First Unitarian Church of San José?

Why Walk the Labyrinth?

0916-10 Circling Around - Sure an’ begorrah, whose Mum is a ‘comin for a visit? Who has seen small children playing with dinosaurs? While sober? Who has finally found out where her husband is all day? More family visits. Betcha can’t guess who.
0916-11 Spotlight on Social Justice
0916-12 News from Third Street Community Center
0916-13 Upcoming Events -- Children's Music Program, Congregational Meeting, HUUmanist Group, Oct. 4 Street Closings, Around the District, Men's Retreat, Parliament of World Religions, UU Hikers, UUthful Spirits
0916-14 Volunteer Opportunities
0916-15 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
0916-1 Servicios de Domingo
0916-8 ¿Listo para ser un Nuevo Miembro de la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José?


Aquí estan los Ministros!

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 or church-related events, 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 Visit Memories

Partner church members visiting London (l-r): Katalin Jakab, Gyula Timar, Timea Kovacs, Sandor Antonya, Erika Szombatfalvi, Rev. Jozsef Szombatfalvi

Partner church members visiting San Francisco (l-r): Ben Bloch, Istvan Bancsi-Rigo, Sandor Antonya, Katalin Jakab, Gyula Timar, Timea Kovacs

Dance Performance at First Unitarian Church of San Jose (l-r): Sandor Antonya, Timea Kovacs, Rev. Jozsef Szombatfalvi, Katalin Jakab

At Stueve Organic Farm, Oakdale (l-r): Gyula Timar, Gage Stueve, various Holstine's

Visiting Yosemite (l-r): Katalin Jakab, Gyula Timar, Timea Kovacs, Istvan Bancsi-Rigo, Sandor Antonya

Visiting Yosemite (l-r): Gyula Timar, Timea Kovacs, Istvan Bancsi-Rigo, Sandor Antonya, Katalin Jakab, Monty Low, Pam Price

Visiting Yosemite (l-r): Sandor Antonya, Timea Kovacs, Katalin Jakab, Monty Low

Visiting Channel Island National Park, Sea Cave (l-r): Diana Zambran, Katalin Jakab, Branduin Stroud, Sandor Antonya, Istvan Bancsi-Rigo, Timea Kovacs, Ivan Alvarez

Visiting Channel Island National Park, crafts, various youth from FUCSJ & HZM

At Monterey Bay Aquarium: Gyula Timar, Erika Szombatfalvi

In Monterey (l-r): Gyula Timar, Connie Bloch, Rev. Jozsef Szombatfalvi, Erika Szombatfalvi

Dinner Party (l-r): Sherry Howd, Erika Szombatfalvi, Gyula Timar, Madeline Morrow

Big Basin Redwood Park, inside the hollow base of one living tree (l-r): Sandor Antonya, Gyula Timar, Katalin Jakab, Carol Low, Rev. Jozsef Szombatfalvi, Madeline Morrow, Timea Kovacs, Elizabeth Low, Monty Low

Visting the Pixar corporate campus.

Photos courtesy of Monty Low.

September's Worship Theme: Draw the Circle Wide/Inclusiveness & Growth
9:30 a.m.
Servicios en español/Translation into English

20 de Septiembre —9:30 am

JUUNTOS/Together: Ven, Ven, Qual Eres, Ven

En Asamblea General en Salt Lake City este verano pasado, la Rev. Nancy y Roberto Padilla el coordinador de los ministerios en español reflexionaron ante cientos de UUs de todo el país, lo que es vivir, trabajar, jugar y adorar juntos, together, en una comunidad multicultural. Este domingo, traemos esta experiencia a casa, compartiendo nuestras reflexiones teológicas en formas nuevas y con música para levantar el gran domo de nuestro Santuario. Ven, ven, cual eres ven!

Dirigen: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y Roberto Padilla.

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

September 20—11:00 am

JUUNTOS/Together: Come, Come, Whoever You Are! 

At General Assembly in Salt Lake City this past summer, Rev. Nancy and Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator Roberto Padilla reflected before hundreds of UUs from across the country on what it is like to live, work, play, and worship together, juntos, in multicultural community. This Sunday, we bring this experience home, sharing our theological reflections in new ways and with music to lift the great dome of our sanctuary. Come, come, whoever you are!

Worship Leaders: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and Roberto Padilla.

27 de Septiembre – 9:30 a.m.

Entre amigos y enemigos
Todos los días nos enfrentamos a muchos enemigos, empezando con nosotros mismos, Pero el saber perdonarnos a nosotros mismos y a nuestros enemigos es parte de nuestra tarea de todos los días. “Perdona nuestros pecados como nosotros perdonamos a quienes nos ofenden” es parte de la oración que Jesús nos enseño.

Dirige: Roberto Padilla

Between friends and enemies
Every day we are facing many enemies, starting with ourselves, but knowing how to forgive ourselves and our enemies is part of our daily task. “Forgive our sins as we forgive those who offend us” is part of the prayer that Jesus taught us.

Worship Leader:  Roberto Padilla

September 27 – 11:00 a.m.

Wisdom’s Cry 
Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? Prov 8:1

Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement) begins at sundown on Sunday September 27 and ends at nightfall on Monday September 28.  This is a time when repentance is made and forgiveness is sought with the people we have wronged in the previous year.  Let us take this time to examine our lives, vow to do restitution and seek reconciliation, if at all possible, as we mend our broken relationships.  This is deep spiritual work that can lead us to healing and wholeness.

Worship Leader:   Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Worship Associate:  Bruce Halen

El grito de la sabiduría
¿Quién llama? La sabiduría. ¿Quien levanta la voz? La inteligencia Prov 8: 1

Yom Kippur (Día del perdón Judía) comienza al caer el sol el domingo 27 de septiembre y termina al anochecer el lunes 28 de septiembre. Este es un momento en que se realiza el arrepentimiento y perdón se busca con la gente que nos hemos ofendido en el año anterior. Tomemos este tiempo para examinar nuestras vidas, comprometiéndonos a hacer la restitución y buscar la reconciliación, si es posible, mientras enmendamos nuestras relaciones rotas. Se trata de un trabajo espiritual profundo que nos puede llevar a la curación y la plenitud.

Dirige: Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Sociados de Culto: Bruce Halen

October's Worship Theme: The Power of Love

4 de Octubre – 9:30

El poder del amor
En nuestras relaciones y en nuestro mundo, ¿qué significa por amor tener poder? ¿Es el amor lo suficientemente poderoso para conquistar las divisiones persistentes en nuestra sociedad y en nuestras vidas? Una historia antigua habla del amor entre dos insólitas hermanas y nos pone a pensar acerca de amor en toda su diversidad y acerca del amor como una práctica de nuestra fe. En este segundo domingo anual de la asociación, tendremos una donación especial para apoyar proyectos de nuestra denominación, encaminadas al “Crecimiento de nuestra diversidad.”

Dirige: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
9:30 a.m. Asociado de Culto: SSM
11 a.m. Asociado de Culto: Dena Dickinson

October 4 – 11:00 a.m.

The Power of Love
In our relationships, and in our world, what does it mean for love to have power? Is love powerful enough to conquer the persistent divisions in our society and in our lives? An ancient story speaks to the love between two unlikely sisters, and opens us to think about love in all its diversity and about love as a practice of our faith. On this second annual Association Sunday, we will take up a special collection to support our denomination’s projects aimed at “Growing Our Diversity.”

Worship Leader: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
9:30 a.m. Worship Associates: Members of the Spanish-Speaking Ministries
11:00 a.m. Worship Associate: Dena Dickinson

27 de Septiembre – 9:30 a.m.

Será anunciado

To Be Announced

September 27 – 11:00 a.m.

Lifespan Faith Development

To Be Announced

Worship Leader: Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Worship Associate: Bruce Halen

Permanente desarrollo de la fe

Será anunciado

Dirige: Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Asociado de Culto: Bruce Halen


Save the Dates

  • September 17, Thursday, 6:30-8:00 pm, special Candlelight Labyrinth Walk
  • September 20, Sunday, 12:30 pm, Congregational Meeting to vote on the ordination of Suzanne Marsh
  • October 16-18, Friday-Sunday, 13th Annual PCD Men’s Retreat, Westminster Center, Alamo, CA
  • November 21, Saturday, 2-5 pm, Labyrinth Guild presentation about labyrinths and walking meditation
  • January 9, Saturday, Silent Auction

Lifespan Faith Development

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.

Lifespan Faith Development
Begins September 20

The Arts & Spiritual Practice
Kindergarten-Grade 5 (Lower Level, Classrooms 2-6)

We want our children to embrace the fullness of their developing spirituality, feel the awe and wonder of human existence, ponder the great questions of life and meaning faced in every religious tradition, and tap into their own expressions of joy, love and compassion. We want them to be fully engaged in life and be creators of beauty and celebrants of wonder. We want them to be at the heart of our community life—and that is when we come together for worship. It is in worship that we sing our heart’s song, raise up our cherished values and principles, mourn and celebrate, and energize our spirits to be our best selves as we work for the common good.

Unitarian Universalism calls us to study our lives and in a creative interchange with life come to know who we are, what we believe, and how best to put those beliefs into action.

Each Sunday children in Kindergarten through fifth grade will have the opportunity to choose a path in music, drama, art, or games. They will stay with their path (track) for the day but can choose a different path the following Sunday.

Each month we will have a Celebration Sunday when the whole community will worship together at 11 a.m. The children in the weeks leading up to Celebration Sunday will have been preparing the gifts they will offer the community at the 11 a.m. service. They will create the chancel decorations, perform the special music and tell the story for all ages with skits, chancel dramas and embodied experiences for the whole congregation.

Our children will get the opportunity to feel the power of worship at the heart of community life. It is from here that they will learn what is the essence of Unitarian Universalism as spirits are affirmed and relationships are deepened.

Make A World of Difference-Asset Building Activities to Help Teens Explore Diversity
Grades 6-8 (Lower Level, Conference & Meditation Rooms)

Activities in this class will help youth develop their skills as competent global citizens, able to understand many of the issues surrounding diversity and culture. The goal is to raise the level of awareness about several diversity issues, while also giving youth an opportunity to pause and reflect on their thoughts, feelings and experiences. The purpose of these activities is not to promote any particular idea, value, or point of view, but to give youth the opportunity to develop greater understanding about the variety of issues surrounding diversity. The will learn about the broad definition of diversity that includes gender, age, religion, race, physical abilities, appearance, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

Senior High Youth Group
Grades 9-12 (Youth Group Room)

The senior high youth group meets weekly from 11:30-12:30. The group offers its members a safe place to share their lives and find support and friendship among open minded and loving peers. The group engages in discussions about issues relevant to youth’s lives and communities. They plan social and service projects throughout the year. And they participate in youth conferences in area Unitarian Universalist churches under the auspices of the Pacific Central District of Unitarian Universalist Congregations and Y.R.U.U. (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists). The youth group’s empowering philosophy educates youth to be leaders within the group, church community and denomination.

GRADES 7-9 (Ramsden Fireside Room)

Class begins September 13

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

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

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

Our Whole Lives offers:

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

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

Lifespan Faith Development Schedule

The Arts & Spiritual Practice
Kindergarten-Grade 5 (Lower Level, Classrooms 2-6)

Sept. 20 Program Begins
Sept. 27 Music, Art, & Games
Oct. 4 Celebration Sunday (No Classes)

Make A World Of Difference— Asset Building Activities To Help Teens Explore Diversity
Grades 6-8 (Lower Level, Conference & Meditation Rooms)

Sept. 20 Program Begins
Sept. 27 Class Continues
Oct. 4 Celebration Sunday (No Classes)

Senior High Youth Group
Grades 9-12 (Youth Group Room)

Sept. 20 Program Begins
Sept. 27 Youth Group Continues
Oct. 4 Celebration Sunday (No Classes)

Our Whole Lives
Grades 7-9 (Fireside Room)

6:30 Saturday, September 19-3:30 Sunday, September 20 – Overnight Retreat at the Isola Studio in Mountain View

Topics: Sexual Language, Anatomy& Physiology, Personal Concerns About Puberty, Understanding Gender Roles, Disability and Other Diversity Issues.

Sunday, September 27 – NO CLASS
Sunday, October 4, Fireside Room, 2:30-5:30 – Topics: STD Facts & Prevention

Children’s Music Program Begins Sunday, Sept. 20

Nayo Ulloa, http://www.nayoulloa.com/ church member and renowned Peruvian musician, along with Sally Cooperrider and other church members will be helping to establish a children’s music program at the church this year. The children’s program (K-5th) will begin each Sunday with music. We will learn songs in English and Spanish. We will play instruments that even the younger children can join in with. And beginning at the Day of the Dead Service on November 1 children will offer a musical piece for the all-ages Celebration Sunday, which will happen approximately once a month until June 2010. Come on Sunday September 20 and join us in our exciting musical beginnings.

Children & Youth Ministries

Adult Spiritual Growth & Enrichment Activities

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

Articulating Our
Universalist Faith

By the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

The Inner Work That Enriches Life

Lifespan Faith Development—rolls off the tongue like castor oil. You know it’s good for you but you can’t help but pucker up and wonder if there is something else you can take that goes down easier.

We often hear the quip, “If you stop learning, you start dying.” The brain scientists say that the fountain of youth is in our minds—if we but turn on the faucet and learn something new. They say it probably doesn’t matter what new thing you learn e.g. language, music, dancing, painting… They each create new pathways that stimulate the brain, which in turn rejuvenates the body.

Lifespan Faith Development— say it fast three times and it will improve your lung capacity as you breathe deeply to get all those words out in one breath! It is 24 letters that you assemble and reassemble over a lifetime. Those letters spell out, depending where you are on your life journey: child, student, parent, teacher, spouse, worker, person in recovery, pilgrim in search of truth, lover of beauty and baseball!

We are called as a religious community to help one another with the inner work that enriches life. This is not blind faith—but a wide-eyed open faith that understands that we are all “works in progress.” We will never be able to say that we have seen it all, known it all, done it all. Tomorrow will always bring a new revelation. It is the nature of being human and it the nature of faith, as we Unitarian Universalists understand it.

The principles of Lifespan Faith Development closely follow Creation Spirituality as articulated by the Reverend Doctor Matthew Fox.

1. Our relationship with the universe fills us with awe.

2. We experience the Divine in all things and all things are in the Divine.

3. We are liberated from the need to cling to a God in one form or one literal name.

4. It is through the work of spiritual practice that we find our deep and true selves.

5. Our inner work can be understood as a four-fold journey involving:

• awe, delight, amazement, (known as the Via Positiva)

• uncertainty, suffering, letting go (Via Negativa)

• birthing, creativity, passion (Via Creativa)

• justice, healing, celebration (Via Transformativa)

6. We weave through these paths like a spiral danced, not a ladder climbed.

7. We are born full of wonder and can recover it at any age.

8. Whatever the expression of our creativity, it is our prayer and praise.

9. Our prophetic work is to interfere with all forms of injustice and that which interrupts authentic life (Via Transformativa).

10. We rejoice in and courageously honor the rich diversity within the Cosmos and expressed among individuals and across multiple cultures, religions, and ancestral traditions.

11. We acknowledge our shared interdependence; we rejoice at one another’s joys and grieve at one another’s sorrows and labor to heal the causes of those sorrows.

12. We respect and embrace the wisdom and oneness that arise from the diverse wells of all the sacred traditions of the world.

13. Ecology is the local expression of cosmology and so we commit to live in light of this value: to pass on the beauty and health of Creation to future generations.

Lifespan Faith Development—it is a mouthful and it is spirit filled. It is our lives-and we give our thanks and praise for all life is a gift, which we are called to use.

Blessed Be.


Lost and Found

If you are the owner of any of the following items, please claim them as soon as possible at the front office desk. Unclaimed items will be soon given away.

  • a brown hardcover journal, written in
  • a spiral notebook
  • 2 pairs of glasses, one with a case
  • an orange child’s bathing suit top
  • a navy cardigan sweater
  • a black umbrella
  • a black collapsible walking stick
  • a straw hat
  • a blue zippered vest
  • a child’s black leggings
  • a pink protractor
  • a well-worn beige hoodie
Fireside Gift Faire Vendors Wanted

The Fireside Gift Faire, our church’s annual fund-raiser and celebration of holiday warmth, is seeking artsy and craftsy people to be vendors. The fair, on Sunday December 13 from 11 am to 3 pm, features original, handmade items, no imports or mass-produced items. Tables start at $30 and can be shared. Vendors need a California Sellers’ Permit, which is free and easy to obtain. For information, please e-mail Cecilia Deck ceciliadeck@sbcglobal.net.


Thinking Ahead to Halloween...

A pleasant surprise will greet nearly a quarter million people distributing candy at their door, when youth reverse the Halloween tradition to hand adults a sample of vegan-friendly, Fair Trade dark chocolate. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is participating in this effort to help end poverty among cocoa farmers, end abusive child labor in the cocoa industry, promote Fair Trade and protect the environment. Free kits include chocolate and information cards; participants are asked to pay shipping costs For more information, see http://tinyurl.com/ReverseTrickOrTreating. If you are looking for Fair Trade certified chocolate to give away from your own doorstep as trick-or-treating chocolate, please visit www.globalexchangestore.org.


New Members

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.


Why Walk the Labyrinth?

Some comments in the Guest Book from walkers: “I’m grateful for this beautiful and sacred space of healing and well- being.” “soothing, mystical” “I love this place.” “I have received answers to prayers here.” “My first time here. This is amazingly beautiful. Thank you.”

Labyrinth Hours: Wed.-Fri., 11:30-1:00; Sun. after service; every 3rd Th., 6:30pm-8:00pm

  • 0916-10

    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 torchy.hunter@gmail.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:

    Sure an’ begorrah, whose Mum is a ‘comin for a visit?
    Who has seen small children playing with dinosaurs? While sober? Who has finally found out where her husband is all day?
    More family visits. Betcha can’t guess who.

    Ah, September--fall--smell of the forests burning. I’ve never liked fall because right after it comes the long slide into darkness - winter. I’ve been trying to do the good UU thing of calling it rest and renewal. Doesn’t work.

    It’s still time for back to school. How many of you have never gotten away from the nightmare of feeling that something is wrong about September ? It’s you haven’t enrolled for school. Still.

    From Mary MacGuinness: Please read this with the best Irish brogue you can manage:

    There are a number of things going on in September and .October. My Mum, Sally, is coming out again for four weeks this time to visit. We have a few trips planned, some are one day, others up to ten days. We are going whale watching to the Farallon Islands, wine tasting, to see King Tut, and a vacation to New Mexico. My childhood friend from Ireland, Anne, is coming out to the East Coast for a conference. She is going to come and stay with me for a long weekend. I am going to have surgery on September 15th. I found a mole on the back of my leg in August, it turned out to be a Malignant Melanoma. It has been caught VERY early, and I just need to go through the removal of some more skin from the back of my knee and a lymph node in my groin. This should cure me. Please know that I am OK, and that I am not worried about this.

    From our peripatetic travelers and well-known interpreters of the world generally, Tim and Madeline Blackwood:

    Creation Museum Visit
    Madeline and I arrived, about midday on a June 17, 2009 at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. [When they told your intrepid editor, she schreeched: “You gave THOSE people money???” Rev Nancy said, “Bless your heart.” which ought to show you who is in line for their eternal reward and who is not. – Editor] It’s located a half an hour from downtown Cincinnati. We stepped out of our rental car into a bright, very warm and humid day. We noted that there were two armed security guards with Smokey hats watching over the parking lot. Two large dinosaur replicas were near the entrance.

    Even with our senior discounts, we paid over $50 for our entrance fees, which included a half-hour planetarium show. We were hungry and so we immediately repaired to Noah’s Café. Once refreshed, we went into the hallway to have our picture taken while looking at an image of a dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex.

    We were instructed to try to look scared. Did we succeed?

    In the Stargazer’s Planetarium we saw a show called The Created Cosmos: Experience a Biblically Based Exploration of the Universe. It started out reasonably enough, but after a while the “facts” seemed to be contrary to those that I knew prior to the show. As the presentation continued, it became obviously unscientific as it gained more religious content. I just wanted to block the whole thing out after a while.

    Later, we went to hear a presentation by Tommy Mitchell, M.D. on “Is Genesis Relevant in Today’s World? Why can’t A Day Mean a Day?” He is a good “preacher”, an apt descriptor because his presentation was more passionate than scientific and rational. From signs in the Museum we knew that his answer would be that the biblical six days of creation were 24-hour days. This means, of course, that the whole universe is only about 6000 years old; metaphorical interpretations were unacceptable. His style was very argumentative and attack oriented towards those who might disagree with him and carried a strong sarcastic tone. He tried to get the audience involved through various promptings, but was only moderately successful. I couldn’t take any more than 15 minutes of this and, with Madeline’s agreement, we departed the auditorium. [The guards tried to prevent their leaving, but Madeline used Tim as an excuse. Editor]

    We noted that throughout the Museum there were many dinosaurs shown, and except for the ones for the photo I just mentioned, they were all friendly appearing. None of them looked like they would attack you. We learned that the dinosaurs, referred to as “dragons” in the Bible, were vegetarians in the days before the Fall, the Fall being the point where Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden. So the paradise of Eden meant no meat, sex, or work. The Ark contained some 55 dinosaurs, but there was no account of what happened to them after the floods subsided.

    Between exhibits, we went to see the Dragon Hall Bookstore. I only bought a few postcards depicting some museum scenes, and then mailed them off to our Circle of 8 group. I certainly didn’t want to give the institution any more money than I already had. Apparently they have a good source of funds from a foundation called Answers in Genesis, which spent $27 million to build the Museum (65,000 sq ft of exhibit space) on spacious grounds that have a botanical garden and a petting zoo.

    Throughout the Museum, which opened in May 2007, there appears, after “Creation Museum”, the phrase “Prepare to Believe.” Well, I guess, we were not so prepared, because we are still the heathens we had long been. But we are glad we made the trek for it opened our eyes to this literalist view of the Bible in ways we had not previously discovered. The museum was a real challenge because we did not have ready answers to all the misleading and incorrect statements that were made about the world of science. We could see how many people, especially the less scientifically literate, would more readily accept the pseudo scientific positions that were presented with the usual indicia of modern scientific presentations. And that is scary.

    Tim Blackwood, July 27, 2009

    For those of you still reading the Murky News, over your coffee a couple of weeks ago, you would have seen a mention of Gene Martin and his lust for railroads on the third page, not the “Local Arrests” section. A couple of weeks ago, Gene got an award at the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation’s annual recognition barbecue for putting in a total of 5,000 hours. As the emcee (and president of the group) Rod Diridon put it, that’s about three year’s worth of full-time work. Gene has worked on restoring the 2479, a retired Southern Pacific locomotive that used to be at the county fairgrounds, but what he mostly does now is volunteer four mornings a week at History San Jose, where he works on the trolley cars. His latest project was extending the line from the history park over to Happy Hollow. He is also a VP of the CTRC, responsible for grant writing.

    From long-time member Jerry Cluny comes the following:,

    My mother’s, (Phyllis Cluney’s) 90th birthday party was August Her sister Marion who is 89 was going to fly in from San Diego and wuld have needed a wheelchair. Unfortunately my aunt fell and broke her hip. I would like to thank those who responded to our need for a wheelchair. It is unfortunate that I had to give them a negative response. Hopefully my aunt will be able to visit after she recovers. They are the two youngest of 10 siblings and the only ones left in their family. Neither of them is in good health. My mother is afraid that is the last chance they have to see each other. This is a legitimate concern. My father and only sibling died. When my mother dies I will be an “”adult orphan,” the only one left of my nuclear family. Her concerns are very real and personal to me. Fortunately I have my wife, children, and some of my brother’s children to support me along with our congregation. Laura and I have been members for a long time. While I was in graduate school, we attended infrequently.

    My mother was 18 in the attached portrait.

    The lady in pink is my mother in 2006.

    My Family: Ewen “Aaron,” Rachel, Stacey, Jerry, Laura, and Deborah. Ewen, Rachel, and Deborah grew up at First Unitarian.

    ******OK, it’s time to be serious about things generally. The new semester is beginning, and this time, do your homework on time and do not write papers the night before they are due. The wrinkles this sort of thing will cause are very expensive to remove. And come to church!

    White Light Corner: dear dear Lucy Proulx, and Dave.

    Spotlight on Social Justice
    Social Justice Council Communications Coodinator

    The Social Justice Council generally meets the second Friday of each month. See Online Calendar for all FUCSJ listings at:


    Social Justice BLOG on Church Webpage at: http://www.sanjoseuu.org/socialjusticeblog/.

    YahooGroup For Social Justice News & Events at: sjsjuu-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

  • 0916-12

    Third Street Community Center Seeks Volunteers

    We have two specific service needs. The first is for a bilingual (Spanish speaking) instructor who could teach an evening computer class for adults. This requires a 2 hour per week commitment for 13 weeks. Please contact Nalleli Sandoval at nalleli@3street.org for details.

    The second need is for a bilingual (Cantonese/Mandarin) volunteer who can help us communicate with an elderly Chinese population interested in our fitness activities. Please contact Vanessa Alcantar at vanessa@3street.org for details.


    Upcoming Events

    Children’s Music Program Begins Sunday, Sept. 20

    Nayo Ulloa, http://www.nayoulloa.com/ church member and renowned Peruvian musician, along with Sally Cooperrider and other church members will be helping to establish a children’s music program at the church this year. The children’s program (K-5th) will begin each Sunday with music. We will learn songs in English and Spanish. We will play instruments that even the younger children can join in with. And beginning at the Day of the Dead Service on November 1 children will offer a musical piece for the all-ages Celebration Sunday, which will happen approximately once a month until June 2010. Come on Sunday September 20 and join us in our exciting musical beginnings. 

    Sunday, September 20
    Congregational Meeting Sunday, September 20

    There will be a congregational meeting right after church on Sunday, September 20 for the sole purpose of voting on whether or not to ordain our own Suzanne Marsh as a Unitarian Universalist Minister. Suzanne was a committed member of our church when she received the call to become a UU minister. She has completed all the requirements that have been established by the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee and has accepted settlement as an Associate Minister for the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Committee on Ministries and the Board of Directors urge you to come and add your voice to this wonderful opportunity for our church and for Suzanne.

    Sunday, September 20
    Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker at UUSM

    9:00 am and 11:15 am, Book Sale and Signing at 10:15-11:00 am

    Come join us for a special service and book signing with the Rev. Parker, President of Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley and one of our foremost theologians. She recently published an amazing book (with co-author Rita Nakashima Brock) entitled Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire that profoundly challenges all that we know about Christianity. For more info: office@uusanmateo.org or 650-342-5946 x 11. The Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo address is 300 E. Santa Inez Ave., San Mateo, CA 94401.

    September 21
    HUUmanist Group Changes Meeting Day

    by Tim Blackwood

    Effective September 2009 the HUUmanist Group will meet on the THIRD MONDAY of each month. Our September meeting will thus be on the day preceeding the autumnal equinox. OK, the meeting will be held two nights after Rosh Hashanah. OK, OK it will be September 21st at 7 PM in the Fireside Room.

    At long last we will finish the de Botton videos by watching the segment on Nietzsche. I will have questions and suggested resources for your review in a couple of weeks. One thing we may wish to consider is a review of the entire series to see how it stands collectively as a guide to the happy life.

    I apologize to those who may not be able to come on the new meeting
    day. No objection was made to the proposed change.

    Street closings for Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, October 4

    You may want to consider an alternate route to church on Sunday, October 4, as streets will be closed for this marathon from early morning until 10:00 a.m. in the area bordered by Hedding to the north, 11th to the east, 1st and San Pedro to the west, and Santa Clara to the south.

    During the race, residents can leave/enter this portion of the course via Market/Coleman Avenue. Use St. James and Julian Streets to access the inner portion of the course. On the south, Santa Clara will open at 8:45 am. To the east, 11th Street will open by 9:15 am. Northbound Hwy. 87 off-ramp to Santa Clara St. as well as the North- and Southbound Hwy. 87 off-ramp to Santa Clara St. will be closed from 4:00 am to 1:00 pm.

    The entire area encompassed by the first four miles of the course will reopen at approximately 10:00 am. If your route to church takes you through the Rose Garden, Rosicrucian and Cory neighborhoods you may want to check road closings in those areas as well. More information at competitor.com/community

    Around Our District

    Thursday, September 17, 7:00 p.m. - Our Palo Alto congregation will host Stanford University’s Dr. Pavel Podvig speaking on A Russian Perspective on Nuclear Disarmament.  Topics include the current status and prospects of the Russian nuclear forces, attitudes toward nuclear disarmament, and the issues on the agenda of the US-Russian disarmament dialog: the new arms control treat, missile defense, and nuclear nonproliferation.  http://tinyurl.com/PodvigInPaloAlto

    Sunday, Septemer 20, noon - Our UU Fellowship of Redwood City invites you to join Louise Nayer, co-author of  How to Bury a Goldfish: Celebrations and Ceremonies for Everyday Life, who will discuss unique rituals for life transitions, holidays, and the everyday events that can deepen our bonds with our families, friends, and communities. http://www.uufrc.org/calendar.html

    Sunday, September 20, Services at 9:00 am and 11:15 am, Book Sale and Signing at 10:15-11:00 am. Come join us for a special service and book signing with the Rev. Parker, President of Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley and one of our foremost theologians. She recently published an amazing book (with co-author Rita Nakashima Brock) entitled Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire that profoundly challenges all that we know about Christianity. For more info: office@uusanmateo.org or 650-342-5946 x 11. The Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo address is 300 E. Santa Inez Ave., San Mateo, CA 94401.

    Thursday, September 24, 7:00 p.m. - Our Berkeley Fellowship will present the film, Caring for the Dying: the Art of Being Present, followed by a discussion.  http://tinyurl.com/ArtOfBeingPresent

    Our Standing on the Side of Love campaign has just launched their new website.  Check it out – http://www.standingonthesideoflove.org

    Friday-Sunday, October 16 -18, 2009

    What will it take for you to be happy?
    13th Annual PCD Men’s Retreat

    Come join men from all around the Pacific Central District for a weekend of fun, community-building, kinship, singing, workshops and more! We will be gathering once again at the Westminster Center in Alamo (10 miles south of Walnut Creek).

    Our theme this year is Happiness. Through experiential workshops and kinship groups, we will explore what happiness means to each of us, what prevents us from reaching it, and how to get there from here.  There will also be free time for hiking and other pursuits on Saturday afternoon – plus the always-popular No Talent Show on Saturday night.

    The cost for the weekend is $225, with a deposit of $100 at time of registration and the remainder due at or before the Retreat check-in. Scholarships are available.

    For more information and to register

    Go to http://pcd-uua.org/men/frames.htm and see the link for Register for Upcoming Retreat in the left-hand navigation bar, or contact us: Harry J. Mersmann at 209-955-0291 or pcdmensretreat@gmail.com, Gordon Smith at 408 393 6182 or gordonsmith100@gmail.com

    December 3-9, 2009

    Making a World of Difference

    Did you know that every five years, there is a global, interfaith gathering called the Parliament of the World’s Religions (PWR)? This December 3-9, 2009, the PWR is being held in Melbourne, Australia, and they are expecting 10,000 people from around the world from all the world’s religions and faith communities.

    The major theme for 2009 is Making a World of Difference: Hearing Each Other, Healing the Earth. Subthemes of PWR include

    • Healing the Earth with Care and Concern
    • Reconciling with the Indigenous Peoples
    • Overcoming Poverty in a Patriarchal World
    • Securing Food and Water for All People
    • Building Peace in the Pursuit of Justice
    • Creating Social Cohesion in Village and City
    • Sharing Wisdom in the Search for Inner Peace

    Information about the PWR can be found at http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/. Joy-Ellen Lipsky from the San Jose congregation is an Ambassador to the 2009 Parliament and is a core team member to make Silicon Valley a PWR Partner City. If you have questions about the Parliament, come visit the Parliament table in Hattie Porter Hall after the 11am service on July 26th.

    P.S. We’ve been working to get Peter Morales, the new UUA President, a role in the PWR!

    UU Hikers&Friends

    Hello Hikers, here is the September hiking schedule. Be sure to call if you want to hike unless you are a regular, then let me know if you are not coming. Only big rain storms cancel hikes. In case of rain, call the morning of the hike to find out if we are changing the venue to the Stanford dish or if the hike is cancelled. My home phone is 408 730-1052 and cell is 570-7052. Use my cell phone after 7:30 am. All other times use my home phone. See you on the trails!

    Wed., September 16
    Portola Redwoods State Park, 7 miles, moderate. This is a longer day due to travel time. We will get back around 2:30 pm. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.

    Sat., September 19
    Sunol Regional Park. We will do McGuire peaks trail, 6 miles moderate. Meet at VTA Park and Ride at Capitol and Alum Rock at 8:00 am.

    Wed., September 23
    Saratoga Gap to Grizzly Flat, 6 miles, moderate. This is a shuttle hike. Meet at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga at 8:30 am.

    Sat., September 26
    Calero County Park, 6-7 miles, moderate. Meet at Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot at Almaden Plaza Shopping center at 8:00 am.

    Wed., September 30
    Purisima State Park, 10.4 miles, moderate. This is new hike and longer than usual. Plan to finish around 3:00 pm. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.

    Sat., October 3
    Alum Rock, 6 miles, moderate to strenuous. Meet at VTA Park and Ride on Capitol at Alum Rock at 8:00 am.

    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.


    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

  • 0916-15

    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: 408-991-3212; 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: 408-991-3212; 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. 21
    Susan Burke-Diquisto, (temporary), fucsj@sanjoseuu.org

    Coordinator of Spanish Speaking Ministries, 991-3212
    Roberto Padilla

    Social Justice Coordinator
    Lucy Proulx, socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org

    Bookkeeper / Sue Evanicky

    Custodian / Edgar Cruz

    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
    Catherine will be editor for the October 7 and November 4 issues. Shirley will be editor for the October 21 and November 25 issue.

    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: Marge Schneider and Lloyd Eater.

    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 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Next issue assembly: Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Next issue mailing: Wednesday, October 7, 2009