Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / March 4, 2009 / 4 de Marzo 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:


Sunday Services


Save the Dates


Religious Education / Elections Con 2009: LepreCON


Candidates for Church Office This Year


As we build the beloved community…


Spotlight on Social Justice


Spirit in Practice: Monthly Adult Program Begins in March


Welcome New Members


Volunteer Opportunities


Circling Around


Operation Traveling Shoes


Partner Church Committee Roundup


Third Street Community Center Thank You’s & Updates


Care for Your Church

0304-15 Upcoming Events

The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information

En Español

Servicios de Domingo


¿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

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.

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

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.

15 de Marzo – 9:30 am

To be announced /
Por anunsiarse

March 15 – 11:00 am

Acknowledging Our Fears and Finding Our Faith
With thousands of workers losing their jobs and not being able to reenter the workforce to find meaningful employment we as a society are running smack up against one of our most insidious discriminations: ageism. The boomers are going bust and there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel except the oncoming train carrying our most prevalent fears: betrayal, poverty, abandonment, isolation and loss of power and control.

What do we behold when we look fear full into the face? asks David Appelbaum. To find our faith we must face our fear and in the naming remember our essential humanness. Young or old we have an integrity that has value and wisdom that this religious community calls inherent worth and dignity.

After the service there will be a networking opportunity for workers of any age to share their struggles and find support in the pursuit of meaningful work.

Worship Leader: Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Worship Associate: Bob Miess with help from Jerry Cluney and Jean Embree

Reconociendo nuestros miedos y encontrando nuestra fe

Con millares de trabajadores perdiendo sus trabajos y no logrando entrar a la fuerza laboral de nuevo para encontrar un buen empleo, como sociedad estamos corriendo golpeándonos contra una de nuestras discriminaciones más insidiosas: la discriminación por razones de edad. Los boomers se están quebrando y no parece haber una luz al extremo del túnel, excepto el tren que viene en sentido contrario trayendo nuestros miedos más frecuentes: traición, pobreza, abandono, aislamiento y pérdida de energía y de control. ¿Qué contemplamos cuando miramos cuando vemos nuestra cara llena de miedo? pregunta David Appelbaum. Para encontrar nuestra fe debemos hacer frente a nuestro miedo y en el llamado recuerde nuestra esencial humanidad. Joven o viejo tenemos una integridad que tiene el valor y la sabiduría que esta comunidad religiosa llama valor inherente y dignidad.

Dirige: Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Asociados de Culto: Bob Miess con la ayuda de Jerry Cluney y Jean Embree

22 de Marzo – 9:30 am

La energía de la suficiencia: ¡Somos suficientes!
Esta mañana lanzamos nuestra Campaña Anual de Recolección de Fondos con reflexiones en el “alma del dinero.” ¿Cómo el dinero y el espíritu están conectados? ¿En épocas económicamente difíciles, cómo descubrimos la verdad de que tenemos y somos suficientes? ¿Cómo Jesús alimentó a toda esa gente con tan poca comida? Ven: ¡permitámonos crear nuestros propios “milagros,” basados en tierra sólida!

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

March 22 – 11:00 am

The Power of Sufficiency: We Are Enough!
This morning we launch our Annual Giving Campaign with reflections on the “soul of money.” How are money and the spirit connected? In tough economic times, how do we discover the truth that we have and we are enough? How did Jesus feed all those people with so little food? Come: let us create our own “miracles,” based on solid ground!

Worship Leader: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Worship Associate: Kelly Burnett and Colleen Cabot


Save the Dates

  • March 6-8, PCD Women & Religion retreat at Whispering Hills (near Napa); for information, contact Jean Embree at jaembree@aol.com
  • March 7, Saturday, 8 am-1 pm, Whole Church: Service Is Our Prayer Day
  • March 7, Saturday, 3 pm, Sanctuary: Celebration of Life for Marilynn Sarasvati Carstens with Potluck Reception to follow in Hattie Porter Hall
  • March 12, Thursday, 6-8 pm, PACT LOC Regular Meeting, Fireside Room
  • March 23, Monday, 6:30-8:30 pm, Social Justice Council Meeting, Board Conference Room
  • April 26, Sunday, 1-5 pm, The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, 13th Annual Rivers of Chocolate Festival--fundraising event for the Youth Division of EHC LifeBuilders

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

March 8
A Time To Be Free From Slavery-Pesah  

March 15
The Gift of Friends

March 22
The Gift of Family

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

A stepping stone year

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

March 15
The Mustard Seed Medicine

March 22
The Road to Olelpanti

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

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

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

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

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

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

Candidates for Church Office This Year

by Steve Madden, Nominating Committee Chair

This year we have the following positions to fill in the church leadership:

  • One Board Director position (to replace Marla Scharf, who is completing her term)
  • The Program Officer, to head the Program and Operations Council (to replace Julia Rodriguez, who is completing her term)
  • The Financial Officer on the Program and Operations Council (to replace Christopher Frey, who is completing his term)
  • Three members of the Nominating Committee (to replace Gordon Smith, Barbara Derbyshire, and Stephanie Rynas).

We are actively seeking nominations for the Program Officer and Financial Officer. If you would like to learn more about these positions or would like to nominate someone, please contact me at stevem@ucdavis-alumni.com.

Biographies of two nominees:

Madeline Althof has accepted a nomination for the Nominating Committee:

I first joined a UU church in Davis in around 2000. I joined FUCSJ in 2002. I am in the choir again now after a long absence. I have been an active member of UUthful Spirits (which began as TNT) since first attending, not long after the inception of the group. I’ve gone off and on to the Dances of Universal Peace. I coordinated CUUPS for a while. I’ve taught RE. I’ve been involved somewhat with some social justice activities. I was also involved with some attempts at creating a campus ministry. I look forward to getting to know more people (and remembering their names!).

Dena Dickenson has agreed to be reappointed to the Worship position on the Program and Operations Council:

I have been attending FUCSJ since January 1991 and have found my spiritual home. I greatly appreciate the spiritual breadth of UUism and the opportunity to learn and grow, as well as the commitment to social action. I have held many positions and jobs with the Church including the following: Vice President of Board of Directors (when the fire happened), President of Board (when we were having endless fundraising), Worship Associates Coordinator (during Interim Ministers time) and continuing Worship Associate (current), Pastoral Associate (current), Visitor Table (current), Children’s RE teacher for 9:30 service, Adult RE teacher. I have been on the Program and Operations Council for 2+ years representing the Worship cluster. I recognize how important it is to take an active role in keeping our community thriving -- so I will continue to do my part.


As we build the beloved community…

by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

A Spiritual Stimulus Plan for Tough Economic Times

How are you faring in these tough economic times? What is the state of your mind and heart under the barrage of bad news about money and jobs? Most of all, how are you caring for yourself? You are valued, you are precious to this community! Because this is so, I am hereby proposing FUCSJ’s Spiritual Stimulus Plan for Tough Economic Times.

Although our financial resources may be meager, we are rich in spiritual resources. We offer priceless opportunities for the mind, heart, and spirit to heal and grow. Let me list just a few of them:

  • In this issue of the newsletter, look for announcements of two classes that deal with spiritual stimulus and recovery. Rev. Geoff Rimositis is offering “Spirit in Practice,” beginning Sunday, March 15. You can attend one or all of this series of classes on building a spiritual practice that will sustain you in good times and in tough times. Please let him know you plan to be there: grimositis@sanjoseuu.org.
  • On four Saturdays starting in April, Rev. Donna Lenahan is offering “How to Be a Healing Presence: Training to Be a Pastoral Associate.” Our Pastoral Associates team partners with the ministers to broaden and deepen the care we offer this community. They are shining examples of this congregation’s shared ministry. Class size is limited, so please contact Donna if you would like to participate: djlenahan@aol.com.
  • Join us as we explore the practices of “sufficiency”! How can we affirm that we have and are “enough”? This theme runs through our worship services and our Annual Giving Campaign this spring.
  • What can we do for others? In our midst, people are experiencing stress and loss. Are there services that we can and should provide to the wider community in these tough times? If you have the heart and energy to help create these responses, please get in touch with me: revnpj@yahoo.com. If you are in trouble or despairing, please contact Rev. Geoff or me; you need not walk alone.
  • Finally, come to worship, attend the JUUNTOS/Together gatherings later this spring, speak with someone new in Social Hour, and look up and out to see that the world still offers its beauty and calls us to be grateful that we are alive!

With great hope and affection,



Spotlight on Social Justice

by Lucy Proulx, Social Justice Council Communications Volunteer

What’s YOUR “Passion?”

Is your head spinning from all the volunteer opportunities there are? Want another way, a more “personal” way to connect? You got it! Right here, as often as I can, I’ll be posting one of YOUR “passions.” Here’s what we need YOU to do! Bring us what it is you do as a volunteer—your “passion.” Bring in some pamphlets about it if you can, tell us how you got involved and why you stay, what fuels your passion about it, and we’ll share that in the newsletter. If someone else want to participate too, they’ll either contact you or us, and then you’ll have someone from church to share your passion with!

No matter what your passion is—sorting food donations at Second Harvest Food Bank, teaching kids to love the Earth and all it’s creatures as a Docent for the Open Space District, handing out the cookies at blood drives—we want to know about it. Send an email to Lucy Proulx at socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org, or find and talk to Madeline Althoff in Hattie Porter Hall during coffee hour, or, contact her at (408) 834-6262 (cell) or moonlet@garlic.com.

Update on SJ Crossing Guards vs. TSCC

The programs at TSCC are safe, for now! Rosemary Baez, Executive Director of Third Street Community Center (TSCC), wants to thank all the church members who followed this issue and supported Third Street by contacting their representatives on behalf of TSCC. The latest update indicates that the SJ City Council’s Rules Committee decided that it would not move this forward but it will likely surface again at city budget meetings in March. One of the three City Council Members who originally made the request, has dropped her name from the list leaving two Council Members who still want to shift the funds away from TSCC. The next step is to continue monitoring the situation and to continue stating that “taking HNVF funds away from nonprofits to pay for cross guards is not acceptable.”

Baez states that the writer at the San Jose Mercury News who keeps bringing this up has a biased perspective that pits nonprofits and anti-tobacco work against school crossing guards. She requests that church members who have contacts at the Mercury News ask for a more balanced perspective and believes having other writers do a counter piece would be really helpful to make sure that the public, many of whom are not informed/aware of valuable work that nonprofits provide to needy families or the need to continue anti-tobacco work, are not misled to believe nonprofits and the city are wasting tax payer dollars.

“Who’s on First” at Cecil B. White Center/Montgomery Street Inn?

Sometimes we’re so good at providing outreach services in our community that the group that does it so seamlessly falls off the church’s radar, operating independently of the church. This seems to have happened with the group of people who had been providing meals at the Cecil White Center/Montgomery Street Inn. The Social Justice Council is trying to identify the contact person(s) for that group if there is one. Do you know if we are even still providing meals there? Are you part of that Team? Who is in charge? Has it become an Inter-Faith project? Please email Lucy Proulx at socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org with your answer.

Cancer Support Available Here at First Unitarian

Has your life or someone you know been touched by cancer? Did you know we have a Cancer Support Group here at church that can help? An informal group of cancer survivors in our congregation offers support through companionship, listening, and resources as other members encounter cancer in their lives or in the lives of their loved ones. Please contact one of the Ministers at the church office for more information, or contact Jenny Redfern at 408-782-0833 or jredfern1@charter.net.

Emergency Housing Consortium (EHC) “Rivers of Chocolate Festival” April 26

The 13th annual Rivers of Chocolate Festival, a fundraising event for the Youth Division of EHC LifeBuilders, will be held on Sunday, April 26, 2009, from 1-5 pm at the Mountain Winery, Saratoga. EHC LifeBuilders has been helping children, teens, families and homeless persons for nearly 30 years. The Festival is an opportunity for some of the best Bay Area restaurateurs, Chocolatiers, Wineries and other participants to show off their talent, and enables you to taste some amazing chocolate, pastries, hors d’oeuvres, ice cream, gelato, wine, beer, and spirits--all in support of at-risk and/or homeless youth. There will also be live music, and a live and silent auction. General admission tickets may be purchased at the special “Chocolate Lover’s Discount” of $75 at http://www.ehclifebuilders.org/roc/. The estimated received value (in the form of food and entertainment) is $50. Any additional payment is tax deductible. If you have any other questions, please email jvanevery@ehclifebuilders.org.

PS: did you know 55 homeless people died on the streets of Santa Clara County in 2008?

Scholarships Available; Apply by March 31

The William and Alice Hinckley Fund, a charitable foundation associated with our San Francisco congregation, awards grants to nonprofit organizations and scholarships for graduate studies in the helping professions. Scholarship applicants must be full time graduate students and permanent Bay Area residents. Applications and a written essay (specifying the financial need and the social/humanitarian impact of your planned career) are due no later than 5 pm on March 31. Further details are on the application form at http://www.uusf.org/Flame/docs/HinckleyScholarshipApplication2009.pdf.

Marriage Equality: March Forth on March 4 & Equality Train on March 5

Marriage Equality Silicon Valley is sponsoring a vigil on Wed., March 4 on the eve of the California Supreme Court’s oral arguments on Proposition 8. Bring friends and some candles for a silent vigil for full rights for everyone and equality for all. Join them from 6:30-8 pm at the intersection of Winchester Blvd. and Stevens Creek Blvd. in San Jose. Then, take the Equality Train to San Francisco to watch the California Supreme Court as it hears arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 on Thurs., March 5th. For more information on both events see http://www.marriageequalitysiliconvalley.org/.

Immigration and BGLT Equality, Together At Last

On Thursday, Feb. 12, Rep. Nadler and Sen. Leahy reintroduced House and Senate versions of the Uniting American Families Act, a bill championed by the organization Immigration Equality. The Uniting American Families Act, of UAFA for short, would address the plight of same-sex binational couples who are unable to be together legally in the U.S. by allowing U.S. citizens to sponsor a same-sex partner for immigration, as married heterosexual couples are able to do. In the House, the bill already has 74 original co-sponsors, five more than it had last Congress. Stay tuned for action alerts to support the bill.

Former Gang Members Go “Green”

Former felons and gang members in LA are getting solar panel installation training and it’s turning their lives around. ABC News’ ”Good Morning America” has a short segment called “From Gangs to Green Collar” (February 22) that shows this amazing transition from jail cells to green jobs. In it, Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries, a California nonprofit that has been finding jobs for ex-cons for over 20 years, relates how they are installing solar panels all over the state using this unique workforce. He says there is a waiting list of over 300 more former felons waiting to take the training classes to become solar technicians. View this segment at http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6932000.

Stimulus Package’s Effect on Affordable Housing

Saul Wacher informs us that the recently passed Stimulus Package that President Obama has signed into law provides $1.5 billion for homeless prevention and rapid rehousing through HUD’s Emergency Shelter Grant Program, $4 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund for renovations, energy conservation and rehabilitation IOF projects, $2 billion to fund the Neighborhood Stabilization Program for Redevelopment of Foreclosed and Abandoned Homes, $2.2 billion for capital investments in low income housing tax credits, and $11.4 billion for rural home ownership loans and guarantees. It does not include funding for the recently passed National Affordable Housing Trust Fund, nor any of the needed increase in Section 8 housing vouchers.

The newly enacted Economic Recovery Act does provide resources for homeless prevention and and the redevelopment of foreclosed and abandoned homes. A broad housing bill is expected soon from the White House that will include the Trust Fund. For more information on “The Housing Change We Need,” see http://shelterforce.org/article/1239/the_housing_change_we_need/.

New Inter-Faith Project--Downtown Refugee & Homeless Program to connect with!!

Pat Plant of the “Step Up Silicon Valley Campaign” announced that she and her husband, Presbyterians by faith and long-time affordable housing advocates, are moving downtown from Sunnyvale after 30 years to start a “worker house” and refugee and homeless transitional housing apartment building. It will be part of Catholic Charities’ Refugee and Homeless Programs. They are looking for volunteers to become part of an inter-faith team to minister to the homeless. For more information contact her at pat@sanjosepby.org

Social Justice Calendar

  • Saturday, March 7, 8 am-1 pm, Whole Church: Service Is Our Prayer Day
  • Saturday,March 7, 3 pm, Sanctuary: Celebration of Life for Marilynn Sarasvati Carstens with Potluck Reception to follow in Hattie Porter Hall
  • Thursday, March 12, 6-8 pm, PACT LOC Regular Meeting, Fireside Room
  • Monday, March 23, 6:30-8:30 pm, Social Justice Council Meeting, Board Conference Room
  • Sunday, April 26, 1-5 pm, The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, 13th Annual Rivers of Chocolate Festival--fundraising event for the Youth Division of EHC LifeBuilders


2009 Lobby Day a Huge Success

Equality California hosted the largest BGLT lobby day in California’s history Feb. 18. Activists traveled from every part of the state to Sacramento and then trudged through the rain to ensure that their voices were heard. It was truly inspirational. They lobbied to show the broad support for passage of HR5 and SR7 the two resolutions before the legislature authored by Senator Mark Leno and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and sponsored by Equality California. These resolutions will make it the policy of the California Legislature that Prop 8—and any future measure that seeks to eliminate a fundamental right from a protected group of Californians—is an invalid revision of the Constitution and must be passed by a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and Assembly prior to being sent to the voters. The resolution passed by a 7 to 3 vote and now will move to the Assembly floor for a vote by the entire body.

TSCC Parents Join PACT LOC

Several Third Street Community Center parents have joined PACT LOC and come to a couple of meetings according to Karen Belote. Based on this, PACT LOC now offers Spanish translation and childcare for our all their meetings. Their next regular meeting is on March 12, from 6-8 pm. Attend and learn about what the City of San Jose is doing about weatherization and green collar jobs.

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. 


Welcome New Member Jeff Norment

I was born and raised and lived all my life in San Jose. But more than 22 years ago I discovered another place where I feel equally at home, the tierra de mi corazon (land of my heart), my wife Martita’s home town of Uruapan, Michocan in Mexico.

I have been coming to the First Unitarian Church off and on since 2001, but I have known about the Unitarian Church and considered myself Unitarian since the mid 1970s. I was a volunteer doing church services at Agnews Developmental Center for about 12 years working with and being mentored by the Unitarian Minister Rev. Charles R “Rick” Carney.

I have also had experience attending and doing liturgical work and singing in many different religious traditions, especially Methodist and Franciscan/Catholic. From each tradition I have learned a loving humanity. But I have never felt as comfortable participating in worship as I have here at First Unitarian and that is why I wish to finally become an official member.

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 had sextuplets! And you don’t have to pay for them! Or get plastic surgery! Whose mom are we all going to adopt? Who is actually paying to endanger wildlife? Who finished a PhD pregnant? Openly? Read on!

The Smith/Hettler-Smith household has welcomed 6 new lives into the world. Ditto’s puppies were born early Monday morning, 1/19/09. One boy and the rest are girls. Lisa is thrilled because for the first time, their house has more girls in it than boys! It is just a treat to see normally calm, serious people absolutely lose it over puppies. Not that I know anybody besides Lisa like that. See pic.

Vinny Isola’s mom has a fridge with “Real Food” in it. Real food is one-step food - see it, eat it. She keeps things like already cooked steak, meatballs, and lasagna all the time. Just in case anybody dropped in and god forbid she wouldn’t have any food for them. In high school, Vinny asked if he could invite a couple guys from his lacrosse team home for dinner the next night after the game. They and all the rest of both teams plus both coaches and their wives arrived, and they never ran out of food! Ah, Italians!

Lloyd Eater’s response to “What’s new?” is “a dead horse in the bathtub.” Apparently memories of college days. He’s going to SoCal to swim in the ocean (they do that down there) in a 1993 wet suit. My son, Greg Hunter, reminds me “Mom, when you go in the ocean, you are entering the food chain and you are not at the top.”....Tim Blackwood’s new scooter is candy apple red. ... Katy Dawson is a right thinking Cinequest freak and we’ll not see her this Sunday because she’s going to 5 or 6 movies the same day. Dan Zulevic and I and the Grovers will see her there.

Bob Meiss is on the staff of Leadership School. Claims to be elated because 17 folks showed up. .....I’m so envious of Renee Jones I could bite stuff. She’s off to Cabo, and yes, going out in one of the tiny boats to see the whale moms and newborn calves. Jealous, jealous, jealous. The moms used to get between the boats and the babies, but a couple years ago somebody petted a baby jealousjealousjealous, and now all the moms bring the babies over. jealousjealousjealous. I hope she gets seasick. And another cool trip: she has a friend working for NASA and she’s going to Florida to the actual Cape to watch a rocket launch - with a NASA pass just like a big shot. She was her usual calm-seeming self even though as she said, she was leaving in 36 hours. Calm, yes, I’m very calm, very calm, very calm why? I’m a nurse; we’re always calm, always calm why? Frantic, no not frantic, I’ll just clean up these coffee cups and no I’m not frantic; I’m calm, very calm, why? I promised not to tell anyone.

The Tea we held for our Transylvanian friends raised $1900. 35 people worked on it, and if you were there, you saw the dancing, service, food. What you might not have seen is sticky-fingered Vicky Merryman, a vision in pink and red, trying to snatch my even more amazing pink and red purse. You have to watch her.

Jenny Redfern’s daughter Joanna will present a grandchild in 5 weeks. She almost blushed when I asked how much stuff she had bought already. Joanna finished her doctorate while pregnant and nauseated. Jenny says she comes from a long line of tough broads. Ain’t we all.

White Light Corner:
Lucy Proulx, Patrick Smiley, Carolyn Bowman
(broken foot), Juliana Richmond, and Lily Ruddle (broken arm) this week


Operation Traveling Shoes

Mary Ellen Rico is still collecting shoes for people being released from Valley Medical Center’s acute psychiatric unit (Barbara Aarons Pavilion or “BAP”), who often come in without shoes on their feet. On their release, these patients need shoes to ride public transportation to get home. Mary Ellen’s community project as an Masters of Social Work student is to create a reserve of donated shoes so that discharged patients have an opportunity to start out again from a place of empowerment and self-sufficiency. She’ll be picking up your generous donation on March 15 and 22. You can also arrange to drop them off with Ellen. Just email her at maryerico@aol.com or call 408-279-6944.

Partner Church Committee Roundup

Our Tea was a great success. We wish to thank the performers who gave of their talent. We wish to thank the cooks who shared their food to provide delicious treats. We wish to thank the people who gave of their labor to prepare the space and serve the food. We give a special thanks to Jean von Kanel and Vicki Merryman who really mentored us in the process of how to put on a Tea. These people and many more helped to make the event a joyful celebration of our community. In the process, we raised $1900 to support our village visitors from Homoródszentmárton this summer.

The villagers applied for their visas at the US consulate in Bucharest. All were granted except for Zita Szasz. We made an appeal but were denied again. She is on the board for the church and the reasons for denial are generally unclear. We are sorry that the visa was not granted. We will hope there will be a chance for her to travel to visit us in the future.

There will be a total of seven people coming to visit us this summer. Istvan Bancsi-Rigo is 3rd year college student majoring in landscape design. Istvan, hosted by Lisa Hettler-Smith & Gordon Smith, will be with us from June 19 to August 19. The rest of the villagers will be here from August 5 through August 19. Traveling will be: Rev. Jozsef Sombatfalvi and his wife Erika, the lay president Gyula Timar, and three youth: Timea Kovacs (F. Age 17), Sandor Antonya (M. Age 16), and Katalin Jakab (F. Age 17). We hope we can give our visitors the same hospitality that we were shown on our visit to their home.

In other Partner Church news, we are continuing our village high school student support. Individuals and groups are sponsoring a total of eight students this year. Each student will receive $300 to help with part of the cost of attending high school.

Finally, Booth Creek® Resorts donated two ski lift tickets in support of our Partner Church. The tickets are good mid week at either Northstar-at-Tahoe™ Resort and Sierra-at-Tahoe® Resort ski resorts. We have one left ($30). Also Monty Low (snowboard instructor at Sierra-at-Tahoe) is offering private snowboard lessons. Proceeds will go to the villager visit. If you are interested in the ticket or lessons, contact Monty Low (408 348 2778).

Reverend Jozsef informs me that snow has fallen in the village but it has been less than normal. We hope that the congregations in San Jose and Homoródszentmárton will be warm and safe this winter.


Third Street Community Center
Thank You’s & Updates

by Rosemary Baez

As usual, I have to start with thanking all the UU’s who continue to show a tremendous amount of support for our kids and families! I especially want to thank Henry Ruddle for his wonderful design work in our annual report for FY2007-08. There is a team of SJSU student volunteering working on updating our website and the report should be up shortly.

If you’ve stopped by on a recent Saturday, you may have noticed that our Robotics Program started. This year, we have 8 teams ranging from fifth to twelfth grade preparing for the Tech Challenge this year. Kids & youth from San Jose, Cupertino, Campbell, and even Union City are enrolled. In addition, we have many returning Tech Challenge Mentors from MAES, SJSU and Stanford University. Our Robotics Program Closing Ceremony will be on Saturday, May 9 (location TBD). Please let me know if you are interested in attending this so I can place you on a distribution list.

The children from the After School Academic Program will be celebrating Earth Day on Thursday, April 23 with a Science Fair. Please feel free to stop by and see their exhibits.

Thank you to everyone who contacted your councilmember to urge them to not divert funding from the City’s Healthy Neighborhood Venture Funds away from many nonprofit organizations, including Third Street. For now, it appears these calls, emails, and letters were successful. However, we don’t know what the future holds. Please stay tuned because we may need your voice at a future public meeting to make sure our City Council knows that the community does not support eliminating much needed community based programs.

I know this is a tough time for all and your encouragement, service and contributions continue to be very inspirational.


Care for Your Church

Times are tough for everyone, even FUCSJ! Donations are running about 6% behind scheduled pledges, which means we may soon start running behind on paying our bills. If you can, please catch up on your pledged donations. If the fates have smiled on your household and you can consider an additional contribution to FUCSJ, this is the time to make a generous one. Please mark the check as an extra contribution.


Upcoming Events

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

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

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

  • Sacred Dying; Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life by Megory Anderson,
  • The Art of Being a Healing Presence by James E. Miller
  • The Art of Listening in a Healing Way by James E. Miller

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

The fee for the course is $45 and includes the three books. You may register or pick up a brochure at the Pastoral Care Table in Hattie Porter Hall after the 11:00 service on Sundays. This training will be limited to 8 participants, and attendance is required at each of the four sessions.

If you have questions, please send Donna an e-mail at djlenahan@aol.com or phone her at 408-354-9024. The books will be available March 29 to get started with the reading.

Let Justice Flow:
California Water Justice and Climate Change Workshop

Join the UU Legislative Ministry of California and UUSC for a day of learning and action on the water crisis in California. Learn from experts and activists in water planning and governance, conservation and the environment, social justice and human rights in a day of sharing and mobilizing for California water justice.

  • Date: Saturday, April 18, 2009
  • Time: 9:15 am to 4:00 pm
  • Place: Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, Calif.

For questions and to RSVP, contact Kara Smith ksmith@uusc.org or call 617-301-4392.

Cost: $15, $5 for students. Lunch provided.

Learn more at http://www.uusc.org/content/environmental_justice.

UU Hikers&Friends

By Joyce Miller

Here is the March hiking schedule. As in the past, if there is a heavy rain and wind storm I may cancel. If it is only raining I usually don’t cancel but frequently will change the venue to the Stanford dish, which is paved and solves the mud problem. Call me in the morning to find out what decision has been made any time after 6:30 am (on my home phone: 408 730 1052). I will turn on my cell phone (408 507 7052) after 7:30 am in case you need to get in touch with me after I leave for the hike

Remember to let me know if you are planning to hike (except the regulars and you know who you are) so I will look for you at the car pool lot. We have been having 8-11 people on Wednesdays, a lot of fun and good conversation. So come and join us. See you on the trails.

Wednesday, March 4
Stevens Creek/Fremont Older, 6 miles, moderate Meet at trailhead at 8:30 am. Directions to trailhead: Take Footlhill Exp exit off of 280 and go as though you were going to Rancho San Antonio but go straight on Foothill. Continue on Foothill,which becomes Stevens Canyon Road at McClellan. Continue for about a mile to the park entrance on the left. Parking fee is $6.00.

Saturday, March 7
No hike planned. There is a work day at the Church.

Wednesday, March 11
Sierra Azule Open Space Preserve, 6-7 miles, moderate. This is new hike for the Wednesday group. It is a beautiful area just below Mt Umunum. Meet at Bed, Bath, & Beyond at the Almaden Plaza Shopping center at 8:30 am. Palo Alto folks can meet at my house at 8:00 am to car pool.

Saturday, March 14
Santa Teresa County Park, 6-7 miles, moderate Meet at Bed, Bath & Beyond at Almaden Plaza Shopping Center at 8:00 am.

Wednesday, March 18
Castle Rock State Park, 6 miles, moderate Meet at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga at 8:30 am.

Saturday, March 21
Sanborn County Park, 8 miles, moderate to strenuous. We will go to Indian Rock, which is about 8 miles. Meet at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga at 8:00 am.

Wednesday, March 25
Skyline Loop, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.

Saturday, March 28
MeGuire Peaks at Sunol Regional Park, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at VTA Park and Ride on Capitol Ave and Alum Rock across the street from the Catholic Cemetery 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.


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
 Lucy Proulx, socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org

Bookkeeper / Sue Evanicky

Custodian / Edgar Cruz

R.E. Assistant / TBD

Nursery Staff / Jusica Nunez & Maria Elena Olvera

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

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 March 18 and April 15, 2009 issues. Catherine will be editor for the April 1 and May 6, 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 Marge Schneider

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

Want to Receive the Newsletter?

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

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

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

Next issue deadline: 3:00 pm, Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Next issue assembly: Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Next issue mailing: Wednesday, March 18, 2009