Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / January 21, 2009 / 21 de Enero 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.

Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones shows off the new wayside pulpit with major donors Madeline and Tim Blackwood. Gene Martin and Steve Saunders of the building committee also just barely made it into the frame at right.

The centerpiece of the chancel decoration during the MLK Jr. weekend services.

Senior highers in their 2nd floor hideout working on March 1 youth service.

Joyce Miller with the latest Caring Hands quilt.

Photos courtesy of Dani Hope.

Inside This Issue:


Sunday Services


Save the Dates


Religious Education


Spotlight on Social Justice


Tech Challenge Mentors Sought for Third Street Community Center Robotics Program


Annual Giving Campaign Task Force Startup


2008 Annual Report Preparation Underway


Welcome New Members


Volunteer Opportunities


Circling Around


CONNECT! Job Seeker Center


Operation Traveling Shoes


Annual Posada ~ Dec. 18, 2008

0121-14 Seeking teachers and educators to consult at a Re-imagining Religious Education Retreat
0121-15 Upcoming Events

The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information

En Español

Servicios de Domingo


Mientras construimos nuestra querida comunidad…


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


Aquí estan los Ministros!


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

Enero 25 — 9:30 am

Afirmación IV:
Habitar Juntos en Paz
Continuando con nuestra serie de servicios a través del año en la afirmación de nuestra congregación, esta semana tomamos la cuarta línea: ¿Qué se necesita para habitar juntos en paz? Vemos a vecinos cerca y lejos en la guerra de los unos con los otros. ¿Dentro de nuestra propia comunidad, que prácticas nos conducen hacia la coexistencia pacífica, y cuales nos conducen hacia la discordia? "¿habitar juntos en paz" significa que nunca experimentamos conflictos? ¿Qué prácticas pacíficas estamos prometiendo a seguir el uno con el otro cuando recitamos nuestra afirmación cada semana?

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

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

January 25 -- 11:00 am

Affirmation IV:
To Dwell Together in Peace
Continuing our yearlong worship series on the Affirmation of our congregation, this week we take up the fourth line: What does it take to “dwell together in peace”? We see neighbors near and far at war with each other. Within our own community, which practices lead us toward peaceful coexistence, and which ones lead us toward disharmony? Does “dwelling together in peace” mean that we never experience conflict? What peaceful practices are we promising to pursue with one another when we recite our Affirmation each week?

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: TBA.

1 de Febrero — 9:30 a.m.

Por anunsiarse

February 1 — 11 a.m.

Not a Genuine Black Man
This Sunday, First Unitarian joins the community-wide project called “Silicon Valley Reads” by taking up this year’s selection: “Not a Genuine Black Man,” by Bay Area author and actor Brian Copeland. A fascinating look at growing up African American in San Leandro, Copeland’s book asks questions that apply to us all: Who and what defines who you are? How does where you grow up make a difference? Let us come together on this timely topic! Some books will be available for purchase during Social Hour so that we can all participate in “Silicon Valley Reads.”

Worship Leader: the Rev Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associates: Carolyn Bowman and Patricia Ohanian-Coffey.

No es un hombre negro genuino

Quien y qué define quien tu eres? Qué tiene que ver el sittio donde creciste? Un analisis interno visto por el autor Brian Copland. Su libro es de la selección actual de “Leturas de Silicon Valley.”

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociadas de Culto: Carolyn Bowman y Patricia Ohanian-Coffey.

8 de Febrero — 9:30 a.m.

Por anunsiarse

February 8 – 11:00 a.m.

Tu Beshvat,
The New Year For Trees
Intergenerational Service

We will all join together as one community as we celebrate Tu Beshvat, The New Year For Trees. Do you have a favorite tree? Is it in your backyard? Is it so tall that you can’t see the top? Does its branches spread far and wide so you can sit under its shade and read a good book? Trees are of course sacred to many people. The Torah is known as The Tree of Life. The Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree and found enlightenment. And we know what happened to Adam and Eve when they ate from the tree of knowledge!?! In mythology trees are the “Axis Mundi,” the axis of the world connecting heaven and earth. Think of your favorite tree and bring that image with you as we sink in our roots and make a deep connection with life.

Worship Leader: The Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Worship Associate: Dena Dickinson


Save the Dates

  • January 22, Thursday, 4:00–6:00 pm, PACT LOC City of SJ’s Green Vision Resource Team, City Hall, Room T-550
  • January 24, Saturday, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm, UU Church of Berkeley, Uprooting Racism Workshop
  • January 24, Saturday, 12:00 – 5:00 pm, PACT All Leaders Retreat at Holiday Inn
  • January 25, Sunday, 1:00 pm, Sanctuary, Re-Visioning Social Justice Ministries at FUCSJ
  • January 26, Monday, 6:30 pm, Social Justice Council meets in the Church Conference Room.
  • January 31, Saturday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Tea for Partner Church, Hattie Porter Hall
  • February 1, Sunday, 12:30 pm, UU Band of Writers, Youth Room
  • February 12, Thursday, 4:00 – 8:00 pm, Open House displaying the church prepared for a wedding and reception, featuring gourmet teas, pastries, and finger sandwiches
  • March 6-8, PCD Women & Religion retreat at Whispering Hills (near Napa); for information, contact Jean Embree at jaembree@aol.com

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: Jessica Nunez and Maria Elena Olvera.

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

Special Times

January 25
A Time for helping others-Lent

February 1
A Time To Plant Trees-Tu Bishvat

February 8
Tu Beshvat, The New Year For Trees, Intergenerational Service-NO CLASSES

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

A stepping stone year

January 25
Beatrix Potter, The Girl Who Used Her Imagination 

February 8
Tu Beshvat, The New Year For Trees, Intergenerational Service-NO CLASSES

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/

February 8
Tu Beshvat, The New Year For Trees, Intergenerational Service-NO CLASSES

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

January 23-25
PCD-COA “Social Justice” Retreat- San Francisco

February 8
Tu Beshvat, The New Year For Trees, Intergenerational Service-NO CLASSES

Youth Group Activities

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

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

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

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

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

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.


Spotlight on Social Justice

by Lucy Proulx, Social Justice Council Communications Volunteer

Pondering Your New Year’s Resolution? Do Great Things as You Make “Service be Your Prayer”!
“We are all very capable of doing great things, and those opportunities are out there waiting for us. And once you get involved, there is a snowball effect—everything gets bigger and better.” That’s how 27-year-old community organizer Juan Reynosa, the field director of New Mexico Youth Organized (NMYO), speaking to the League of United Latin American Citizens, explained what happens when “the environmental movement is strictly about social justice, first and foremost.” In an article published in The Nation entitled “Juan Reynosa’s Environmental Mission,” December 15, 2008, (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081229/rizga) he goes on to say “Young people around the country are retrofitting old, polluting buildings, putting on biodiesel-powered concerts and pushing their cities to support municipal green jobs programs.”

This is the kind of excitement I’d like to see generated here at First Unitarian! Everyone—young and old and in-between—all energized and focused on the positive! We’ve heard about doom and gloom for nearly a decade. Now it’s time to ask, “How can I help?” It’s time to look into the various aspects of our Social Justice Council and see how YOU can make a difference! Why? To make the Unitarian-Universalist Principles real in our daily lives!

Does working with an interfaith, grassroots organization that empowers everyday people to create a more just community get you motivated? Then PACT LOC (People Acting in Community Together Local Organizing Committee) is the spot for you! Our LOC works with a PACT organizer to develop leadership in the church as we make change at a local level: local political action to move the community outside of our church community to be more green. PACT LOC meets at 7:00 pm on the second Thursday of each month in the Fireside Room at the church. Our focus is on increasing San Jose’s participation in social justice environmental issues, including weatherization for low-income folks and Green Collar Jobs

Or, are you more concerned with solving problems on the large scale? Then the Fair Trade/Global Justice Group is your best bet. It was formed by congregants to address global concerns. Their service focuses on Fair Trade. Members sell fair trade coffee at Coffee Hour after 11:00 service on the second Sunday of the month, and work together with other peace groups in the South Bay to promote peace through educational events, influencing legislation and interfaith worship. Contact John Burk at mus6@aceweb.com or 408-947-7834 for Global Justice; and Diana Wirt at diwirt@sbcglobal.net, or Deanna LaTorre at gildeanlat@sbcglobal.net for Fair Trade Coffee and other Fair Trade items (like cocoa and chocolate--yummm).

We have a separate group that focuses on Peace called Juust Peace. If that sounds like where your heart is pulling you, contact John Burk at mus6@aceweb.com or 408-947-7834; or Melanie Lanstrom at melanstro@yahoo.com.

Are you concerned about the threat of global warming and want to promote action that reduces our dependence on non-renewable energy sources? Then The Green Sanctuary Group is for you. Members promote alternative transportation, green investing, and support green businesses, participate in the annual Earth Day Service that takes place in April. They promote greening our church building and help our church members and community to be greener.

Is it vital to you that we, as a church, strive to actively include people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and dedicate ourselves towards ending oppression based on sexual orientation and gender identity? Then the Welcoming Congregation Action Group is for you! Contact Frey Leigh at fleigh@earthlink.net.

Do you picture yourself serving local families through an after-school program for children and by providing support services to other family members? Then the Third Street Community Center (TSCC) is where your calling lies! You’ll make a difference through a variety of volunteer opportunities including tutoring English as a Second Language students, teaching robotics, mentoring youth, and helping after-school students with special projects. TSCC also welcomes guest speakers on science subjects for the after-school program.

Do you want to deepen your understanding of World Religions? Then perhaps participating in the Council of Churches (CCSCC) would be your logical choice. Contact Kathleen Bardin (Soboleska) at kathleenbardin@yahoo.com. When it comes to the Council of Churches, we have participated more in the Interfaith Council on Religion, Race, Economic and Social Justice (aka the Interfaith Council). You can find more information about this at http://www.wpusa.org/Interfaith-Council/index.htm. Also, you could chat with Luther Jackson at Luther@SJGuild.org, who has been a recent chairman of it, and/or Tom Fink at tomasfink@earthlink.net, who has been active in it for years to see if this is your match for “Service as your prayer.”

Do you pass homeless people on the streets only to have your heart sink? Does it leave you feeling helpless wondering how you could possibly help? Then being a member of the Julian Street Inn team or the Cecil B. White Center team that provides meals at homeless shelters is for you. Every month, dedicated volunteers from our Church provide good, wholesome meals to residents at two local shelters. They purchase, prepare, and serve the food for each meal. (At Julian Street, volunteers prepare a meal on the second Sunday of each month. At Cecil B. White Center, our volunteers provide a meal only every other month.)

All of these opportunities to let your heart sing are available through the Social Justice Council. Check out the details of the many ways you can make “Service is our Prayer” real in your life today on the church web page at http://www.sanjoseuu.org/Ministries/SocialJustice/index.html. The Council meets on the Third Monday of each month at 7:00 pm in the conference room on the lower level.

FUCSJ and San Jose’s Green Vision Resource Team
Members of our church and PACT LOC will take part in the City of San Jose’s Green Vision Resource Team at City Hall on Thursday, January 22, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, at the City of San Jose City Hall, 200 East Santa Clara St., Environmental Services Dept., Room T-550 (in the Tower). Call Lisa Hettler-Smith 286-5451 for more info.

The City of San Jose and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District have formed of a “resource team” to help with implementation of the City’s Green Vision on a local level. Business, civic, environmental organizations will join together to select local projects that embrace a green vision and implement them! This is an opportunity to roll up our collective sleeves and work together to make green visions into collaborative realities!

Join the team and green San Jose. For more information about resource teams visit: http://www.sparetheair.org/community/resourceteams.htm. For questions, please call or email Jim Smith at (415) 749-4631 or jsmith@baaqmd.gov.

PACT All Leaders Retreat
Saturday, Jan. 24, 12-5 pm , Holiday Inn, 1740 N. First Street, San Jose
Anyone who is involved in our church’s LOC or would like to be is invited to the retreat to find out how the work we do with PACT can make an even bigger difference and bring hope to thousands of families in Silicon Valley suffering from the economic crisis. Topics include foreclosures, immigration, drop-outs, health care, jobs, environment, housing, youth violence. For more info call Karen Belote 910-7944 or Diana Wirt 993-1003.

Social Justice Visioning
Sponsored by our congregational leadership, this conversation, on Sunday, January 25, at 1:00 pm in the Sanctuary, provides a key opportunity for all congregants to offer input, insights, and direction for our Social Justice Ministries.

Questions include: Should we focus on certain social-justice issues each year, and shall we vote to determine which ones? Should we put our energies into responding ad hoc to urgent or timely matters, as we have done with Proposition 8 and its aftermath? How can we be more fully engaged in our PACT LOC, and are there other community-organizing issues we have the energy to pursue? Since Social Justice relates to our mission to become a multicultural, multigenerational, anti-oppressive congregation, then what does this mission call us to focus on as agents for change? How can our Social Justice Ministries and our Religious Education Ministries for all ages be better woven together?

Bring your own questions, suggestions, and energies, as we celebrate and enliven our Social Justice Ministries!

Saturday, January 24, 9:30 am -3:30 pm
Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
A highly interactive and participatory workshop looking at the intersection of race, gender, and class

Participants focus on the roots of institutional racism and white privilege, and how the work of uprooting racism remains central to eliminating violence and rebuilding our divided communities. Exercises help the group explore interconnections among racial, economic, and gender-based violence and oppression, and provide practical guidelines on how to be an ally in the struggle for racial justice. All are welcome. Saturday, January 24, 9:30 am -3:30 pm, Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd, Kensington. Suggested fee: sliding scale $15-$40. No one turned away for lack of funds

In order to help plan for space, registration is requested, although not required. If childcare is needed, please RSVP by January 20th. Contact Lynn Gardner, (510) 847-1634 or chocolynn@gmail.com

Third Street Students Delighted with Donations
The students have returned from vacation and their reactions to the book donations are delightful! According to Nalleli Sandoval, Program Manager TSCC, “First of all, all the children are very grateful about the books they received. Both FUCSJ (especially Genie Bernardini) and Hickelbees put a lot of effort into choosing valuable books for the students.” A total of 48 books were donated to 46 students from 1st through 6th grades, depending on the student’s reading level and interests.

Here are some reactions from the students: 5th Grader: “The mystery book I read was the first one I received and I liked it.” 5th Grader: “I had started reading the book I got during the summer. I can finally finish reading it now.” 2nd Grader: “The hippopotamus was really funny; I liked it a lot.”

Social Justice Calendar

  • Thursday, January 22, 4:00-6:00 pm, PACT LOC City of SJ’s Green Vision Resource Team, City Hall, Room T-550
  • Saturday, January 24, 12:00-5:00 pm, PACT All Leaders Retreat at Holiday Inn
  • Sunday, January 25, 1:00 pm, Social Justice Visioning
  • Monday, January 26, 6:30 pm, Social Justice Council meets in the Church Conference Room.
  • Saturday, January 24, 9:30 am -3:30 pm, UU Church of Berkeley, Uprooting Racism Workshop


Tech Challenge Mentors Sought for Third Street Community Center Robotics Program 

Professionals in high tech, business and engineering field will mentor a small team of youth to teach skills such as how to work effectively as a team, learning from failure, and meeting deliverables so they are prepare to enter and win the Tech Challenge Competition. New mentors are paired with experienced mentors, and there is staff available and on hand to support each team. We ask for a time commitment of 3 hours each Saturday from January 31 to April 25 (there is one break in the spring). Mentors can work with a partner to alternate dates. However the greatest reward is achieved when you can make a full commitment.

An orientation and planning meeting will be held Saturday, January 24 at noon. Lunch will be provided. If you are interested, please let us know so that we can plan accordingly.

Please pass this information on to any others you know that might be interested! Contact Rosemary Baez, 408.295.8722 ext. 305, http://www.3street.org


Monday, February 2 at 7:00 pm
Annual Giving Campaign Task Force Startup

by Bob Miess, Chair

For many reasons this will be an especially important year for our Annual Giving Campaign, so I’m excited that the Finance Committee has selected me to chair the task force again this year! I want to do my part in giving everyone a chance to commit whatever time, talent, and financial contribution they feel called to make to our church and its mission. If you would like to join me in making this year’s campaign the success we would all like it to be, there are many ways that you can help. Contact me at Bob@FloweringEnterprises.com or 408-781-7073, or come to our startup meeting on Monday evening, February 2 at 7:00 pm in the Board Conference Room.


2008 Annual Report Preparation Underway

by Sherry Howd

The First Unitarian Church of San José Annual Report summarizes all our accomplishments for the past year and goals for the next. It is a marvelous document used by members and newcomers alike.

If you are on a committee that might be missed by the call for reports from the regular standing committees, please prepare a report to include in the 2008 Annual Report. The reports must be submitted to Julia Rodriguez no later than February 22. Earlier is better.

Program and Operations Council members will send the chairs of standing committee instructions about preparing reports by January 27.

For information about preparing a report, contact a member of the Program and Operations Council: John Burk (Social Justice), Dena Dickinson (Worship), Debra Fenzel-Alexander (Inreach), Christopher Frey (Finance), Sherry Howd (Communications), Joyce Miller (Personnel), Tamara Payne-Alex (Lifespan Religious Education), or Julia Rodriguez (Program Officer). Contact information is in the Church Directory.

For an example of reports, you can see Our 2007 Annual Report, which is posted at our website with a link from this page: http://www.sanjoseuu.org/WhatsHappening/index.html. The report is password protected with the same password as used for the newsletter: username: sanjoseuu; password: free2think.


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.

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


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


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:

Who knows no good deed goes unpunished?
Who uses crayons and draws on tables?
Why is someone called Leadbutt?
Getcher medical advice here, from afar!

Sickies: Our Beloved Leader-for-Life Tracy Avent is on crutches because he fell down the hill as he tried to pick up the toys that had fallen from a neighbor’s deck, and been left for months. The neighbor didn’t feel this act was worth thanking him for. No benefit to anybody. Except maybe the universe....Vicky Merryman injured her ankle while being pushed in a wheelchair. She was already in the wheelchair.

The Whole Church Birthday Party was a very nice, old fashioned event. At my November table these unlikely folks, Mike Pelizzari (doodling square root equations on the table, but then you knew that), Jim Guffey, Rev. Geoff, and Robert Roszkowski, a fairly new attendee who used to tend the computer systems for the East Side Union High School District. He attended another fellowship in the valley, but figured if he was going to go to church, he wanted it to be in a church. The evening began with Rev. Geoff singing (he keeps his day job), people telling jokes and playing board games. I was talking to Sias Payne-Alex, who was spending his time drawing really well. This project was created by his mom, Tamara, helped by Jan Theiss-Guffey, who demonstrated agility at getting out of the way of blindfolded kids swinging big sticks. This one should be a keeper.

Lily Ruddle takes a swing at the pinata during the All Church Birthday Party.

I met Lim Woo in church. When I asked him where he lived, there was a long embarrassed pause. It’s bad being 80 he said. Born and raised in San Antonio (a Longhorn), he’s been coming to the Spanish services, and been humbled enough that he’ll ask for the translation things next time...That huge horn Alex Jackson was playing is a baritone sax. Mom Cecilia Deck says he played with a 200 sax group at Christmas in the Park...Very cool that Madeline and Tim (Leadbutt) Blackwood gave the funds to finish the wayside pulpit. Their next trip is to New Zeeland and Australia in March. 5 weeks. Travel complicated by Tim and his scooter, a traveling show...

Leadbutt and wife with Rev. Nancy during the wayside pulpit dedication ceremony Jan. 11.

John Burk has been ducking me for months. He’s a music teacher and didn’t want Dan Zulevic to find out. I didn’t know music teachers have to know all instruments... The astonishingly talented Monty Low designed a logo decal that’s printed on the napkins for the Partner Church Tea.

From the outside world, Rebecca Mason reports that she and Lynn Morison and Jacob were profiled in the Open Adoption Magazine, published by the Independent Adoption Center, which has been providing this service since the ‘70s. Jacob (adoption class of ‘97) is the best decision Rebecca and Lynn ever made. Not just my opinion, theirs, too... Juliana Richmond is grateful to and thankful for and wishes to thank all the folks who have helped her in the last year... Long time member Evelyn Sheridan, who used to be one of us and is now one of us in Oakland (she finally joined up there) advises us from her RN position that the nasty infections we describe can be somewhat avoided by... wait for it... hand washing! But to be effective, you must wash for 15 seconds. How long is that? The time it takes to hum “Happy Birthday”.

There. Having done as much good as necessary for today, I’m going out to the Age of Obama.


CONNECT! Job Seeker Center

Marla Scharf wants to share information about the CONNECT! Job Seeker Center – a one-stop resource center for individuals looking for jobs, hoping to better their skills, or switching career fields.

Center membership is free. Services include:

  • Computer use to check your e-mail or print a resume
  • Drop-in career advising/resume critique
  • Adaptive technology equipment and an advisor on programs and resources to assist disabled job seekers
  • CCTV text magnifier and enhancer table for visually impaired job seekers

Co-located with NOVA, the California Employment Development Department (EDD), the Department of Rehabilitation, Project Hired, and the Social Services Agency.

Located in Sunnyvale, 408-774-2365, http://www.connect.one-stop.org.


Operation Traveling Shoes

by Mary Ellen Rico, SJSU MSW Intern

Do you have any clean, gently-worn “good for walking” adult shoes that you just don’t wear any more and would like to find a good use for them?

People who are hospitalized at Valley Medical Center’s acute psychiatric unit often come in without shoes on their feet, which is a barrier to re-integration into the community upon discharge. As a Masters of Social Work student in my final year at San Jose State University, my community project is to create a reserve of donated shoes. A box will be available for donations at the Pastoral Care table in Hattie Porter Hall Sunday, January 25 and February 8. You can also arrange to drop them off with me. Just email me at maryerico@aol.com or call me at 408-279-6944.

Annual Posada ~ Dec. 18, 2008

Roberto Padilla helping to break the piñata!

Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones reading in a story for all ages - “When Santa Claus Went Green” - during the posada.

Horace Bean with a TSCC family.

TSCC children & families returning from the procession through the downtown neighborhood.

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.


Upcoming Events

Saturday, January 31
Partner Church News: Reverend Jozsef reports that they are still waiting for snow in our partner village of Homoródszentmárton.

Everyone is invited to Tea! The Partner Church Benefit Tea will take place Saturday, January 31, 1:00 to 4:00 pm in Hattie Porter Hall. Suggested donation: adults: $20, youth: $10. This event will raise funds for our villager visitors coming this summer. We will have music and dance performances for your entertainment. A variety of tasty treats will be served and of course...Tea.

This will be a great way to introduce friends to our church. Planning for the villager visit this summer is now in full swing. Reverend Jozsef says the passports should be complete before the new year. We will then submit the paper work for the visas for the villagers. If you would like to help with the Tea or for further information contact:

Monty Low at low.monty@gmail.com / 408-348-2778 or Connie Bloch at connie_bloch@yahoo.com / 408-266-6504

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.

UU Hikers & Friends

By Joyce Miller

Here is the January hiking schedule. As usual, please call if you want to hike, so I will know to look for you at the car pool spot. If you are a regular (and you know who you are) you don’t need to call unless you are not coming, so we won’t wait for you if you are late. You can call me on my home phone from 6:30 until 7:30 am when I leave. After 7:30, call my cell phone. If you want to email me that you are coming, that is fine. I try to remember to check my email the morning of the hike.

My phone numbers are: 408 730-1052 (home) and 408 507-7052 (cell). In case of rain I frequently change the venue to the Stanford Dish, which is paved and solves the mud problem. I will cancel if we have a big wind and rain storm. If you wonder what decision has been made, give me a call the morning of the hike.

See you on the trails!

Wednesday, January 21
Almaden Quicksilver Park, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at Bed, Bath & Beyond at Almaden Plaza at 8:30 am. North county folks can meet at my house at 8:30 am.

Saturday, January 24
Sunol Regional Park, McGuire Peaks trail, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at VTA Park & Ride at Capitol and Alum Rock at 8:00 am.

Wednesday, January 28
Shuttle hike from Grizzly Flat to Montebello, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.

Saturday, January 31
Wunderlich County Park, 5-8 miles. This can be a short hike or a longer one up to Skyline. We can decide at the carpool spot so we know who will finish early. Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.


For Pastoral Care

Our community strives to offer compassion, companionship, healing, and joy to all its members. Our pastoral care coordinators can help you find the listening ear or helping hands that you may need in difficult times.

  • For pastoral care in English, please contact our lay Pastoral Associate Coordinator, Rev. Donna Lenahan: (home) 408-354-9024; (cell) 408-204-6565; e-mail: djlenahan@aol.com.
  • For pastoral care in Spanish, please contact our Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator, Roberto Padilla: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; e-mail: paor69@yahoo.com.

Contacting the Ministers

Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and Rev. Geoff Rimositis feel honored to serve this congregation, and we cherish your trust! Here is how reach us:

Cuidado Pastoral

Nuestra comunidad se esfuerza en ofrecer la compasión,el compañerismo curativo, y la alegría a todos susmiembros. Nuestros coordinadores en cuidado pastoral pueden ayudarle a encontrar un oído que escucha, o lasmanos que ayudan cuando ustedes lo pudieran necesitaren épocas difíciles. Para el cuidado pastoral en inglés, por favor, comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador Asociado Laico en Cuidado Pastoral, la Rev. Donna Lenahan: (casa) 408-354-9024; (celular) 408-204-6565; e-mail: djlenahan@aol.com. Para el cuidado pastoral en español, por favor comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador de los Ministeriosen Español, Roberto Padilla: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; e-mail: paor69@yahoo.com.

Contactando a los Ministros

La Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y El Rev. Geoff Rimositis se sienten honrados por servir a esta congregación, y nosotros apreciamos su confianza! Aquí nosotros estamos a su alcance:


Tracy Avent, darkmuzik@yahoo.com

Bob Redfern, rredfern@charter.net

Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com

Joyce Miller, j408miller@sbcglobal.net

Julia Rodriguez, quixoposto@ix.netcom.com

Christopher Frey, cjfrey@cjfrey@alum.berkeley.edu

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
 Carol Stephenson, socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org

Bookkeeper / TBD

Sexton / Edgar Cruz

R.E. Assistant / TBD

Nursery Staff / Jusica Nunez & Maria Elena Olvera

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

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

Catherine will be editor for the February 4 and March 4, 2009 issues. Shirley will be editor for February 18 and March 18, 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 Ellie & Jeff White

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

Want to Receive the Newsletter?

To receive the newsletter on paper, fill out the form at this link:

or call (408) 292-3858, ext. 31.

To receive the newsletter via email, emessage steve.carr@earthlink.net

Next issue deadline: 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Next issue assembly: Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Next issue mailing: Wednesday, February 4, 2009