Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / February 18, 2009 / 18 de Febrero 2009

Our Church Circular

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.

Inside This Issue:

0218-1

Sunday Services

0218-2

Save the Dates

0218-3

Religious Education / Elections Con 2009: LepreCON

0218-4

Anything Buggin’ You?

0218-5

Articulating Our Unitarian Universalist Faith

0218-6

Spotlight on Social Justice

  • Honda wants to know what you think
  • Jeremy Taylor—Dreams and the Transformative Power of Chaos March 20-21
  • Organizing for America—President Obama’s Movement for Change”
  • Free Workers Compensation and Citizenship Workshops
  • Workers Compensation Information (In Spanish)
  • Citizenship Mock Interview
  • PICO and President Obama’s Signing of SCHIP bill extending Children’s Health
  • UU Principles Reflected in President’s Prayer Breakfast Remarks
0218-7

Spirit in Practice: Monthly Adult Program Begins in March

0218-8

Welcome New Members

0218-9

Volunteer Opportunities

0218-10

Circling Around

0218-11

The Gift of Service: Volunteer Recognition and Volunteer Opportunities

0218-12

Congregational Meeting Sunday, March 8

0218-13

Service is Our Prayer

0218-14 Board Meeting of January 28, 2009
0218-15 Other Upcoming Events
0218-16

The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information

En Español
0218-1

Servicios de Domingo

0218-8

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

0218-16

Aquí estan los Ministros!

0218-1
SUNDAY SERVICES / SERVICIOS DE DOMINGO

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

22 de Febrero — 9:30 am

Un hombre bueno: La persona de tras del icono de Abraham Lincoln
Acabamos de celebrar el 200 aniversario del nacimiento de Abraham Lincoln. Desde las campañas presidenciales, hasta la inauguración de nuestro presidente número 44 hemos oído hablar mucho de “Abe el honesto” en el último año. ¿Pero más allá de la fama del gran hombre, hay una historia humana que Lincoln personifica y que puede enseñarnos algo sobre nuestras propias vidas ahora, como nos esforzamos a crecer en bondad? ¡Descubrámoslo juntos! 

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Culto: Miembros de nuestros Ministerios en Español.

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

February 22 — 11:00 am

A Good Man: The person behind the icon of Abraham Lincoln 
We have just celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. From the presidential campaigns through the inauguration of our 44th president, we have heard a lot of talk about “Honest Abe” in the past year. But beyond the great man’s fame, is there a human story that Lincoln embodies and that can teach us something about our lives now, as we strive to grow into goodness? Let’s find out together! 

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: Alice Lynch.

1 de Marzo — 9:30 am

¿Debería Don Quijote de la Mancha cabalgar nuevamente?
Estamos viviendo en una época decisiva para el mundo entero, en la que debemos definir cada uno de nosotros de que lado estamos. Del lado de los que queremos la paz, la armonía con la naturaleza y la justicia social para todos, o del lado de los obstinados en acabar con nuestro mundo; o tal vez, estemos del lado de los apáticos, egoístas y miedosos. Unámonos en cuerpo, alma y acción, en esta búsqueda de los más altos ideales que nos hacen ser seres humanos, que nos hacen ser hijos de Dios.

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

Should Don Quixote de la Mancha ride again?
We are living in a decisive time for whole world, in that we must define which side we are on. The side of us that wants peace, harmony with nature and social justice for all, or the side of the obstinate ones in ending our world, or perhaps, we are on the side of apathetic, selfish and fearful ones. Join us in body, soul and action, in this search for the highest ideals that make us human beings, that make us children of God.

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

March 1 — 11:00 am

Youth Sunday
We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of service. Members of our Senior High Youth Group will reflect on our chalice-lighting ritual with words and music of their own.

Worship Leader: Senior High Youth; Worship Associates: Meg Trask, the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, and the Rev. Geoff Rimositis.

Domingo de la juventud
Encendemos este cáliz para el calor del amor, la luz de la verdad, y la energía del servicio. Los miembros del grupo de jóvenes de preparatoria reflexionaran en nuestro ritual del encendido del cáliz con sus propias palabras y música.

Dirigen: Jóvenes de preparatoria; Asociados de Culto: Meg Trask, la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y el Rev. Geoff Rimositis.

8 de Marzo — 9:30 am

Affirmacion V: Buscar la verdad en libertad
En la afirmación que recitamos cada domingo, prometemos “buscar la verdad con libertad.” ¿Por qué esta “libre y responsable búsqueda por la verdad y el sentido?” ¿Merece dos menciones en nuestra afirmación? ¿Es esto tan fundamental en nuestra fe Unitario Universalista? ¿Qué clase de verdad estamos buscando?, bueno, ¿y cómo vamos a encontrarla? Y, ¿hay libertades que debemos tener antes de poder incluso a empezar a buscar la verdad? En la historia de Joseph Priestley, un ministro Unitario y científico que ayudo a formar este país y en las historias de nuestras propias vidas, descubriremos una riqueza de recursos para ayudarnos en nuestra búsqueda.

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Culto: Miembros de nuestros Ministerios en Español.

March 8— 11:00 am

New-Member Ingathering 
Affirmation V: To Seek the Truth in Freedom 
In the Affirmation we recite every Sunday, we promise “to seek the truth in freedom.” Why does this “free and responsible search for truth and meaning” rate two mentions in our Affirmation? Is it that central to our Unitarian Universalist faith? What kinds of truth are we seeking, anyway, and how do we go about finding it? And are there freedoms we must have before we can even begin to seek the truth? In the story of Joseph Priestley, a Unitarian minister and scientist who helped to shape this country, and in the stories of our own lives, we’ll discover rich resources to help us on our quest. 

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones: Worship Associate: Henry Ruddle.

0218-2

Save the Dates

  • February. 18, Wednesday, 3 pm, Step Up Silicon Valley Campaign to Cut Poverty, San Jose First Presbyterian Church, 49 N. Fourth St.
  • February 22, Sunday, 1 pm, community discussion of Brian Copeland’s Not a Genuine Black Man at the church.
  • February 23, Monday, 6:30-8:30 pm, Social Justice Council Meeting, church Conference Room.
  • March 1, Sunday, 12:30, UU Band of Writers, Youth Room
  • March 6-8, PCD Women & Religion retreat at Whispering Hills (near Napa); for information, contact Jean Embree at jaembree@aol.com
  • March 7, Saturday, Service is our Prayer Work Day at the church, 8 am-2 pm.
  • March 7, Saturday, Celebration of Life for Marilynn Carstens, 3-5 pm, with pot-luck reception.
  • March 8, Sunday, Congregational Meeting after the 11:00 am service
  • March 12, Thursday, PACT LOC meets in the Fireside Room, 7:00 pm
0218-3

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

Special Times
February 22
A Time to Help Others--Lent  

March 1
A Time To Celebrate Victory Over Discrimination-Purim

March 8
A Time To Be Free From Slavery-Pesah  

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

A stepping stone year
February 22
Lewis Latimer, the Man Who Lit Up Cities 

March 1
SENIOR HIGH SERVICE-NO CLASS

March 8
Clara Barton, the Shy Girl Who Learned To Be Brave  

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/

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.


8th-10th Grades
Church’s lower level, Room 4-6

Coming of age
March 15
Mentor-Youth Meeting (12:45-2:00 pm)


Youth Group Activities

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

SENIOR HIGH (9TH-12 GRADES)
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.


February 28th, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Seeking teachers and educators to consult at a Re-imagining Religious Education Retreat

Qualifications: Background in education, child development, adult learning theory, ministry or the equivalent, and spiritual grounding in Unitarian Universalism

Experience: One or more years of classroom teaching children or adults, educational research, and/or curriculum development

Job Description: To participate in a creative re-imagining process that will create a new and groundbreaking religious education structure committed to a bold vision of the beloved community for The First Unitarian Church of San José.

Location and Time: First Unitarian Church of San Jose on February 28th, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Please send your name, contact information to grimositis@sanjoseuu.org.


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.

0218-4
Anything Buggin’ You?
Your Committee On Ministries wants to know!

by Frank Bosche 

Once a month, on a Sunday after church, the Committee On Ministries meets to take a crow’s nest view of all the ministries of our church and see how we, as a community, are measuring up to our mission, goals, and aspirations. We also serve to provide support and counsel to our ordained ministers. Here is some explanatory boilerplate:  

“The purpose of this committee shall be to use the congregation’s Mission Statement as a standard by which to gauge the effectiveness of this church’s ministry and to make recommendations to enhance the quality of this ministry. The committee embraces the value and vitality of ministry which is shared and mutual, and will work to articulate, reflect, and empower this ministry of the whole church.”

The above is the soul of what we do and you may skip the following, more detailed, explanation of our purposes and move on to specifics and contact information below if you like.

“The Committee’s actions will be directed toward the following:

A. Be a reflective body, looking at the overall ministry and needs of the church.

B. Provide a visible model of shared ministry to the congregation.

C. Consultation with, and advocacy and support for the professional ministers.

D. Provide assessment of ministries of the church and summary statement of effectiveness to the Board of directors.

E. Provide a resource for conflict resolution”

Clearly, the most important agenda item for our meetings must be our check-in on the pulse of the church as we feel it. In order to do our jobs we need to hear from you. So, how are you feeling about worship quality these days? What are your thoughts on growing our congregation?    Was the meeting room you reserved ready and open?  How is our RE program working for your children? How can we make our community more diverse? Are our restrooms clean and well supplied?  What kind of music would you like to hear more of? Are you in conflict with another parishioner? Are we making ourselves well enough known in the larger community? Do you feel your needs being met and your voice being heard?  

Connecting face-to-face with any of us is joyfully welcomed, however; it really helps us in documenting and acting upon comments and concerns if we have them in writing, and email is the ideal form.  The members of the Committee on Ministries are: 

*In order to foster the atmosphere of open and honest communication necessary to a healthy community, Rev. Nancy and Rev. Geoff warmly invite you to share with them directly any comments or concerns related to their particular ministries. 

0218-5

Articulating Our
Unitarian Universalist Faith

By the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

On January 23-25, sixty-three youth and adults from seven congregations came together at the Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco for the Pacific Central District’s Coming of Age Social Justice Retreat.

On Friday evening, John Chung led us in an experience of Theatre of the Oppressed that was both fun— engaging with theatre games—and deep as we explored together the causes and our experiences of homelessness. The heart of the weekend was working with the Faithful Fools Street Ministry, who prepared us for a Saturday retreat walking the streets of the Tenderloin and witnessing first hand life on the streets and what it is like to be on the receiving end of care as we waited for an hour in lines at Glide Memorial or St. Anthony’s for lunch.

I shadowed two youth for the day and they decided to eat at Glide. We were sitting at a table when a hard-living man asked one of the youth if he was going to eat his lunch since he wasn’t eating with the same vigor that the man was. The youth gave over his entire lunch to the man who gave a wide tooth-gaped smile that he was going to have enough food to satisfy him. The youth, who was still hungry and had not eaten, was given a tray by a girl who didn’t want her food. The cycle of care and compassion was moving right before my eyes. What comes around surely goes around and it is extra special when it comes from the heart.

We also had evening worship circles on Friday and Saturday night. We pressed our painted hands onto a banner—symbolizing how we reach out our hands in friendship to each other and to those we were going to meet on the streets the next day. On Saturday evening our own Meg Trask led the group in an affirmation circle where we went around and placed our hands on the shoulders of closed-eye participants as we responded to prompts such as: affirm someone who made the retreat fun or affirm someone who you learned something from. I have to admit it felt really good when those hands were laid on my shoulders.

We also attended the Sunday service in the sanctuary with members of the church. With Obama’s inauguration less that a week ago, the service was about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. realized in the election of our first African-American president. One of the staff of the church sang MLK Jr’s favorite hymn, My Precious Lord, from up in the balcony and it sent goose bumps running up and down my spine. It was the prefect Sunday service for our social justice retreat.

And of course, youth being youth, there were the Saturday night games of tag and sleeping bag bumper cars, mask making, clay work, and just hanging out getting to know each other more fully and deeply.

Many thanks go to Deanna LaTorre and Genie Bernardini, who drove up from San Jose not once but twice, as they had to have their own street retreat in the Tenderloin before they could shadow youth on their own at our retreat.

Staff from our church included: Bruce Halen, V Kingsley and Rick Morris. Meg Trask served as a graduate assistant. She had completed the program two years ago.

The Coming of Age experience is of course different for each person but we can say with some degree of certainty that we created community together. We were real with each other—sharing from the heart about the difficult reality of poverty and homelessness. We experienced Unitarian Universalism as a lived faith—living out our covenant to promote peace, liberty and justice for all and to honor the inherent worth and dignity of every person. And most importantly we formed friendships—many of which continue to grow stronger with time (and text messaging). Blessed Be. Amen. Shalom. Salaam.

0218-6

Spotlight on Social Justice

by Lucy Proulx, Social Justice Council Communications Volunteer

Honda wants to know what you think

Congressman Mike Honda wants to know which green technologies you think hold the greatest promise and he wants your thoughts on his blog or on Facebook.

“Green Caucus” was created to push for sustainable energy and environmental agenda. “We’ve waited too long to address the looming threats of climate change,” says Honda. “If we wait any longer, in just 25 years, climate change will claim up to 300,000 deaths per year, doubling the current rate, the sea levels will rise by more than 20 feet, devastating coastal areas worldwide, we will lose more than a million species worldwide by 2050, and the Arctic Ocean will be ice free. I have joined the Sustainability Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) because we cannot wait any longer.”

The SEEC’s purpose is “to advance policies that promote clean energy technology innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, create green collar jobs throughout the product supply-chain, help arrest global warming and protect our nation’s clean air, water and natural environment.” Which green technologies do you think hold the greatest promise? Contact Congressman Honda and tell him your thoughts on his blog or Facebook, or leave a message at his Washington office (202) 225-2631, or his Campbell office (408) 558-8085.


Jeremy Taylor—Dreams and the Transformative Power of Chaos March 20-21
A special weekend dream workshop with Dr. Jeremy Taylor will be held Friday, March 20, from 7–9:30 pm and Saturday, March 21, from 9 am–5 pm, at the O’Connor Hospital Medical Office Bldg., 2101 Forest Ave., San Jose. Taylor, a UU Minister, has worked with dreams for over 30 years and is co-founder and past president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. He is the author of three books, Dream Work, Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, and The Living Labyrinth.

This workshop is based on the principle that all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness. We are in a period of immense disturbance and change in the external world and these external crises and upheavals influence our personal lives and are reflected in our night-time dreams. Together we will explore how the dream themes of change and transformation serve us in our journey toward greater health and wholeness.

This workshop includes an introduction to the main principles of working with dreams in a group setting. There will be opportunities for participants to share their dreams and explore multiple layers of meaning, respecting the fact that only the dreamer can say with any certainty what meanings his or her dreams may have. There is a $50 fee which includes breakfast and lunch. To register, send $50 (check or money order) payable to “Chaplain Services” to: Chaplain Services Dreamwork, O’Connor Hospital, 2105 Forest Ave., San Jose, CA 95128. Please include your name, address and phone number. Questions: Call O’Connor Hospital Chaplain Services (408) 947-2500, ext. 4440.


Organizing for America—President Obama’s Movement for Change”

President Obama announced the next step for the unprecedented grassroots movement that grew out of this campaign: “Organizing for America” on the web at http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/stateupdates/gGxFj8.

Their on-line tools make it easy to do local organizing and to get access to the tools you need to effectively organize for and build this movement for change. At “My.BarackObama,” an online community with over a million members, you can find local events and groups, and share your story on your blog.


Free Workers Compensation and Citizenship Workshops:
Thursday, March 12, 6:00 - 7:00 pm, in the Community Room, Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Branch Library, 3090 Alum Rock Ave., (408) 808-3090.

Workers Compensation Information (In Spanish)
Se ha lesionado en el trabajo? Necesita saber sus derechos? Venga una presentacion gratuita sobre el programa de trabajadores.


Citizenship Mock Interview
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to practice for the citizenship interview! If you think you are ready for the interview, come and let our staff put you through the test. Trained staff will simulate the interview process and help prepare you for the actual test.

  • Saturday, March 7, and Saturday, March 21, 1:30 - 2:30 pm
  • Educational Park Branch Library, 1770 Educational Park Dr., (408) 272-3664

PICO and President Obama’s Signing of SCHIP bill extending Children’s Health
On the Healthcare Front, President Barack Obama signed a bill February 4 extending health coverage to 4 million uninsured children, a move he called a first step toward fulfilling a campaign pledge to provide insurance for all Americans. “As I think everybody here will agree, this is only the first step,” Obama said of the bill, “Because the way I see it, providing coverage to 11 million children through SCHIP is a down payment on my commitment to cover every single American.”

Our friends at PICO National Network (People Improving Communities through Organizing) wanted all of us to know that they were in the White House with the President and Congressional leaders for the signing ceremony. This included PICO clergy and families who persisted over the last two years through obstacles and setbacks in pursuing their vision of a country where all children can receive the medical care they deserve. They, and the thousands of volunteer community leaders in PICO congregations around the country who fought for children’s health, are the true heroes behind Wednesday’s victory.

Several first-hand stories were provided including one from nearby Oakland. The PICO leaders and their stories illustrate how everyday people of faith can “move mountains” by bringing the stories and pain of real people to Washington and awakening their elected officials to the dignity that exists in each and every human being, especially our children. For more information on PICO, visit www.piconetwork.org.


UU Principles Reflected in President’s Prayer Breakfast Remarks
On the InterFaith Front, by his remarks—which reflect our UU Principles— it’s becoming more obvious that President Barack Obama paid attention when he went to Sunday School at the Unitarian Church in Hawaii when he was a little kid. Several thousand people gathered in Washington February 5th for the annual National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama addressed the group with a reminder of the diversity of American religion: “The particular faith that motivates each of us can promote a greater good for all of us,” he said. “Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times.”

Here are more excerpts from his remarks: “. . . no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. . . that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Torah commands, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” In Islam, there is a hadith that reads “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule – the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth. . .”

Joy-Ellen Lipsky says, “President Obama’s words most eloquently state what is in my heart and why I believe the Interfaith movement is extremely important to bringing peace to the world.” Rowan Fairgrow says, “I wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to read President Obama’s stirring words at the National Prayer Breakfast. I am very heartened by the tone.” Read the full text of President Obama’s remarks entitled “This is my hope. This is my prayer” at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog_post/this_is_my_prayer/. Religion and Ethics on PBS has a brief video piece on Obama’s remarks at the Prayer Breakfast and some discussion of his Faith-Based and Community Partnership program:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/february-6-2009/obama-faith-council/2179/. More information about the InterFaith Movement is available at http://www.interfaithspace.org.

0218-7
Spirit in Practice: Monthly Adult Program Begins in March

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 to Rev. Geoff Rimositis at GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org, 292-3858, ext. 25. All workshops will be held in the Fireside Room from 2:30 to 4:00 pm on the dates shown.

  • Sun., March 15: Workshop 1:  Toward a Rich and Meaningful UU Spirituality,
  • Sun., April 5 Workshop 2: Personal Spiritual Practices,
  • Sun., May 3 Workshop 3:  Communal Worship Practices,
  • Sun., June 7 Workshop 4:  Spiritual Partnerships
  • Sun., July 12 Workshop 5: Mind Practices
  • Sun., August 9 Workshop 6:  Body Practices

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

0218-8

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.

0218-9
Ways to share your time and talent

These are the volunteer positions most urgently in need of filling. Please take a moment to see if any of these service opportunities are right for you.

  • COFFEE HOUR HOST: set out snacks, drinks before service; clean up after; 1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
  • LABYRINTH HOST: set up table & music and be present, 11:30-1:00; serve according to availability; 1 yr. term
  • WORSHIP HOST: greet & welcome people coming to Sun. service, collect offering; 1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
  • SOUND SYSTEM OPERATOR: operate sound system during 9:30 & 11:00 services;1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
  • TAPE DUPLICATOR: make & provide tapes of services in HPH after church for 1 ½ hrs.; 1 yr. term
  • NEWCOMER TABLE HOST: welcome newcomers, ask to fill out card, give info.;1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term

LIVE YOUR VALUES—SHARE YOUR TALENTS—FORM WARM FRIENDSHIPS

Call Liz Owen at 408-257-2237or
Bob Miess
at (408) 781-7073.


0218-10

Circling Around
The all-new all-different Circling Around by Torchy Hunter

As the new editor for Circling Around, I will be accosting 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:

Big Reunion last week. Too bad for you if you missed it. Need a slave? Robotics is the answer and one of us knows that. Was Kennedy right? Read on!


I met our newest members, Dan Mayfield and Rita Awencionis-Mayfield and daughter, Michelle, last week. They’ve been coming for at least a year and decided to make it real. He’s a criminal defense lawyer, and Rita used to be a legal organizer (all your organizing is illegal?), organizing legal types for pro bono work and social justice events. Does this sound like one of us or not? She teaches 6th grade now. We have several members like this and maybe if they all went to their clan meetings they could find even more. They could all wear special shirts or something to recruit. Michelle is at DeAnza looking toward a nursing career.

But They Are Just Little Kids Department: Audrey Rodriguez got accepted to grad school at Davis without even an interview, but is probably looking East.

Surprised and delighted to see the Rev. Lilia Cuervo in church. After I fought through the mob who wanted to say hello to this beloved ex-member, she told me she is getting a doctorate at Wisdom University. (That’s what she said, and no, it isn’t the graduate school for the School of Hard Knocks.) I couldn’t tell if it was a virtual or real thing, but she said the courses are real and the teachers are real. Her doctoral topic is “The Paradigm Shift from Social Justice to Spiritual Justice.” Wow.

When she pointed out her fiancé, she blew a kiss and said “mmmmmm,” which attracted him right away. He’s Sam Berliner and explained to me that Kennedy really did say it right when he said he was one, but berliner also means doughnut.

Elise Engelhardt, of the Silicon Valley Engineering Council, is coordinating engineering societies to work at events in the community: judging a robotics competition, going into classrooms (300 volunteers so far). All this while parenting eight-month-old Thomas, who is always so energized that he takes only 15 minute naps. Babies teach us how to run our worlds. Elise came to us after writing a Comparative Religion paper about UUs and others. There followed a very long gap before she came to us.

White Light Corner: Please think of these folks as surrounded by a white light for healing and health and safety: Lucy Proulx & Dave; Carolyn Bowman with a broken foot. When I broke mine several years ago and got scooters in grocery stores, I experienced how people treat those who are “other”: quick glance for obvious defect, then never look again. And Patrick Smiley. It was very hard to watch him walk out of church alone last week.

Please let me know of anyone who needs to be here.

0218-11

The Gift of Service: Volunteer Recognition and Volunteer Opportunities

By Genie Bernardini

For Recognition: Christopher Frey

An IT Manager by day, Christopher has very ably served our church as Finance Officer, an important and responsible position, for the last 2 years. Extremely ethical, thorough and forward-thinking, he has been responsible for the following: reviewing financial statements for accuracy, sending out quarterly pledge and tax statements, providing the first draft of the budget and guiding its passage, signing checks weekly and leading and/or attending many, many meetings—all in an effort to ensure the smooth operation of the accounting and finance systems of our church.

Christopher says that by accepting this job he has learned a great deal about finance and accounting and “how important it is that we all do our part to support the church financially because money is a basic resource for all we do, either directly or indirectly.”

Another basic resource of our church is the voluntary service of dedicated people like Christopher, and we are very, very grateful for all you have done for our Beloved Community, Christopher.

Volunteer Opportunities: If you enjoy working in the areas of accounting or finance or would like to learn more about them, you are welcome to join the Finance Committee. Contact: Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com.

Have You Decided What Your Gift of Service will be this year? Here are some possibilities:

  • Sound System Operator
  • Worship Host
  • Coffee Host
  • Newcomer Table Host
  • Labyrinth Host
  • Building Committee Member
  • Chancel Decorator
  • Sunday School Teacher
  • Church Archives Committee Member

Contact: Liz Owen, lowen@data-time.com

0218-12
Congregational Meeting Sunday, March 8

A Congregational Meeting is scheduled for March 8th following the 11:00 service.

We have two important items upon that we must discuss and make motions upon:

1) The routine renewal of the Policy Based Governance model, adopted in 2006, which is required by the congregation bylaws. If not renewed, the Program and Operations Committee will cease to function and all routine operations of the church will revert to the Board of Directors.

2) Officially approve the legal amicus joinder brief advocating the repeal of Proposition 8. Rev. Nancy has already signed it herself as an individual, and upon advice of the Board also signed it in the name of FUCSJ but to be in compliance with the bylaws the congregation should actually vote on it.

We will also consider:

3) Motions, if any from the floor, possibly relating to agenda items for the General Assembly in Salt Lake City (mentioned on the UUA website, requesting advisory votes by March 1st), and possible modifications to the Bylaws permitting some kind of time-sensitive items to be approved without express vote of the congregation, rather permitting an advisory approval later.

4) Optional commentary by the Program and Operations Council regarding the Budget and the 2009 Pledge Drive.

In faith,

Tracy Avent, Board President

0218-13

Service is Our Prayer
Please join us on Saturday, March 7, for our quarterly church work party.  This time we need to start a bit earlier because of the memorial service in the afternoon, so let’s gather for the usual cleanup and fixup starting at 8 am.  We’ll end with a simple shared lunch (provided) about noon.  Everybody is welcome - there will be lots to do!  Please put this on your calendar!  For more information, contact Bob Howd at 408-257-6844 or bhowd@aol.com.

0218-14
Board Meeting of January 28, 2009

by Bob Redfern, Secretary

This was the first board meeting I was able to attend since August, and it was very good to get back into the groove again. I would like to thank Bob Howd, Rick Merritt, Tracy Avent, Michael Payne-Alex and the rest of my colleagues for their patience, and also for taking notes and minutes in my absence. I promise to get all these materials organized and filed.

The most important item your board took care of was final approval of the “Final Fellowship” evaluation of Nancy Palmer Jones, our Senior Minister. We voted in favor of the draft report prepared by Rick Merritt and Marla Scharf, then shared it with Nancy before sending it off to the UUA in Boston. This is a very big deal for our minister, as well as for all ministers in the UUA.

Bob Howd reported at some length about the selection process for our new bookkeeper, Sue Evanicky, and the efforts Bob and Christopher Frey and Joyce Miller have put in to making the transition to a new person in this job. A great vote of thinks goes to Pam Garcia for her 12 years of doing a great job in this position.

We received a grant from the UUA to support our Spanish Speaking Ministries. $2,000 of the grant is a matching fund for JUUNTOS- so that is why you are seeing various fundraising activities to benefit JUUNTOS (including the book “Not a Genuine Black Man” by Brian Copeland, which I purchased and am reading).

Tracy Avent and Rick Merritt endorsed a “loan” from Tracy of a phone conferencing unit that Tracy obtained at work when it was replaced by a newer model. It will enable absent board members to participate in meetings, provided there are no kinks in its use with our phone system.

Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find details about a Congregational Meeting scheduled for March 8th. The Board is organizing a discussion that is required by our Policy-Based governance charter to discuss with the congregation the past two years with this organizational plan. This was built into the mandate passed by the Congregation two years ago.

See you in Church, and see you at the Congregational Meeting (March 8th).

0218-15

Two Interesting Talks in Palo Alto

The Gospel OF Jesus and the Gospel ABOUT Jesus: From Galilee to Proto-Christianity

A talk by Prof. Tom Sheehan, Sunday, February 22 at 7:00 pm, at the Main Hall, UU Church of Palo Alto

Prof. Tom Sheehan of Stanford’s Dept. of Religious Studies (and a fellow of the Jesus Seminar) is back to give another fascinating talk on early Christianity. Christianity preaches the gospel about Jesus: his divinity, his miraculous birth and supernatural miracles, his death as atonement for sin, his resurrection and ascension into heaven and his future return to earth. However, biblical scholarship over the last half-century has demonstrated that Christianity and its main doctrines are not at all what Jesus preached. The gospel proclaimed by Jesus was Jewish not Christian, was focused on God’s kingdom on earth rather than the afterlife, and was not about his divinity, substitutionary atonement, or personal resurrection. The lecture will show how Jesus’ preaching got transformed into first-century Christianities.

Please pre-register (eventsignup@uucpa.org or call the church office, 650-494-0541).  Childcare can usually be provided with two weeks notice (childcare@uucpa.org or call the church office).

Common Ground: Zoroaster and the Persian Religion

A talk by Courtney Roberts, M.A., Sunday, March 29 at 7:00 pm, in the Fireside Room, UU Church of Palo Alto

The three great monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have a lot more in common than we realize, for many of their core beliefs originally derive from the Persian religion and the prophet Zoroaster. We know how religion divides people, but can it also bring them together?

Courtney Roberts is a writer, teacher, and consultant whose work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the ‘big picture,’ combining cosmology, religious studies, and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos. Courtney is a graduate of the Masters program in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University in England, where she developed her specialization in the role of astrology in religion, particularly Persian Zoroastrianism and western monotheism. Her most recent book, The Star of the Magi (NewPage 2007) presents the most comprehensive, up-to-date research on the Star of Bethlehem and the messianic astrology practiced by the Persian Magi. Visions of the Virgin Mary (Llewellyn 2004) is the first of its kind to introduce the astrological dimension into comparative religious studies. Her web site is www.theStaroftheMagi.com

Please pre-register (eventsignup@uucpa.org or call the church office, 650-494-0541).  Childcare can usually be provided with two weeks notice (childcare@uucpa.org or call the church office).


Other Upcoming Events and Activities

June 17-20, 2009
Junior High Backpacking Trip for 2009

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

Although it may seem early, plans are being made now for our church’s Junior High Backpack Trip scheduled for June 17-20, 2009. This 4-day, 3-night trip is open to youth from our church entering the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in the fall of 2009. Our group will be hiking between 15-24 miles (maybe a bit more) on our annual High Sierra backpack trip. Please email or call Pam Pell no later than January 24 to let her know if you are interested in going on the trip. Registration will occur in February/March. Call or email Pam if you have any questions at 408-287-4453 johnpell@aol.com


Circle Suppers

by Barbara Derbyshire

Have you been hearing about Circle Suppers? Do you wonder what they’re about? Why not give it a try?

Circle Suppers offer an opportunity for church members to get to know one another in a casual, comfortable setting. This model has been used in UU churches across the country. Groups of 6-10 people share a potluck dinner in a member’s home. Some people participate regularly and others attend just occasionally.

Suppers are typically on a Friday evening or Sunday afternoon. Participants are asked to bring an entrée, salad, or dessert. If you would like to attend one of these, or if you have questions about the program, please send an email to CircleSuppers@aol.com.


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.


Women & Religion PCD Weekend Retreat

This year’s Women & Religion Retreat will be held March 6-8, 2009 at Enchanted Hills (near Napa) and will feature workshops such as “Visualizing a World Religion Meaningful to Women (with the Rev. Shirley Ranck), “Introduction to Energy Medicine,” “The Divine Feminine: Embracing Creative Energy to Heal our Planet,” and “You, Too, Can Haiku,” with our own Jean Embree.

Early Bird registration cost is $230; registration after February 2 is $250. Registration includes delicious meals, linens, programs, a “No-Talent Talent Show,” mini-boutique, book swap, Yoga, Tai Chi, and a silent auction. You will love it!

To register, send a $50 deposit to Women & Religion, c/o Jeanne Orjas, 1408 California St. #408, San Francisco, CA 94109. For information, email Jeanne at nejaros@sbcglobal.net.

To apply for a partial scholarship, contact Clair Trujillo, 3006 Bonnie Lane, Stockton, CA 95204; (209) 943-6428.

To ride-share, contact Barbara Schonborn at (650) 967-6756 / bschonborn@sbcglobal.net or Meg Bowman at (408) 292-1172.

0218-16

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:

Officers

PRESIDENT
Tracy Avent, darkmuzik@yahoo.com

SECRETARY
Bob Redfern, rredfern@charter.net

TREASURER
Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com

POC PERSONNEL OFFICER
Joyce Miller, j408miller@sbcglobal.net

POC PROGRAM OFFICER
Julia Rodriguez, quixoposto@ix.netcom.com

POC FINANCIAL OFFICER
Christopher Frey, cjfrey@cjfrey@alum.berkeley.edu

Directors
Cheri Goodman, cheri.goodman@sbcglobal.net
Rick Merritt, rbmerrit@cmp.com
Michael Payne-Alex, michaelpaynealex@yahoo.com
Marla Scharf, marla.scharf@gmail.com

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

Sexton / Edgar Cruz

R.E. Assistant / TBD

Nursery Staff / Jusica Nunez & Maria Elena Olvera

Church Office
Phone
: (408) 292-3858
Fax: (408) 292-4744
E-mail             fucsj@sanjoseuu.org
URL                http://www.sanjoseuu.org

Facilities Rental (408) 841-7542

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 February 18 and March 18, 2009 issues. Catherine will be editor for the March 4 and April 1, 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 Genie Bernardini

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:

http://sanjoseuu.org/form/index.php?sid=2
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, February 25, 2009

Next issue assembly: Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Next issue mailing: Wednesday, March 4, 2009