Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / January 20, 2010 / 20 de Enero 2010

Inside This Issue:

0106-0 Send us Your Photos - Holiday Craft Faire and Bake Sale - December 2009
0106-1 Sunday Services
0106-2 Save the Dates
0106-3 Lifespan Faith Development, Sexual Spectrum, Common Security Club, Help Bring The Spirit Alive With Our Children, Christmas Eve Collection Report
Articulating Our Unitarian Universalist Faith - Poem for the Haitian People
Did You Like What You Read?
0106-6 Gift of Service: Do You Want to Express Your Appreciation?
0106-7 Are You Interested in Fundraising?
0106-8 Ready to Become a New Member of the First Unitarian Church of San José?
  • New Member Ingathering, Valentine’s Day Sunday, February 14
Safeguarding the Future of Liberal Religion in San Jose
0106-10 Circling Around - Whose dog is smarter than yours? Or mine? Who makes jokes about terminal diseases? Do you know where the ultimate palace of kitsch is? A Christmas connection must be clarified. An update about ‘better living through chemistry” – Who’s going to be a recluse?
0106-11 Service Auction Reflections
0106-12 Spotlight on Social Justice
0106-13 Upcoming Events
  • Saturday, January 30 - You Are Invited to the Social Justice Tea
  • Sunday, February 14 - “Reading the Five Gospels along with Bob”
  • June 27-30, 2010 - Junior High Backpack Trip 2009
  • July 14-18 - Church Campout 2010
  • March 5-7, 2010 - Women and Religion UUA Retreat

Past Events

  • Parliament of the World’s Religions
  • Trek to View Trek Exhibit

Classifieds: Safe, reliable car for sale


Around Our District

  • PCD Seeks Nominations for Honors Awards 2010
  • Nina Kalmoutis to be installed as minister at the UU Fellowship of Sunnyvale
  • FUC-Oakland completes Hamilton Hall renovation
  • Workshops: chanting from various faith traditions
  • New Simmons College scholarship available
0106-16 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
0106-1 Servicios de Domingo

La articulación de Nuestra Unitaria Universalista Fe - Poema para el Pueblo Haitiano

0106-8 ¿Listo para ser un Nuevo Miembro de la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José?
0106-15 Aquí estan los Ministros!

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

Holiday Craft Faire and Bake Sale - December 2009

Photos courtesy of Dani Hope

January Theme: The Hopeful Heresies of Our Heritage:
Unitarian Universalist History and Theology
9:30 a.m.
Servicios en español/Translation into English

Domingo de compañerismo

24 de Enero – 9:30 a.m.

Miguel Servet: Una vida con dudas

Todo el que busca, encuentra, dice un refrán mexicano. ¿Porque buscamos, y que es lo que deseamos encontrar? Acampánenos a explorar la faceta latina de la esperanzadora herejía de nuestra herencia. 

Dirige: Roberto Padilla
Asociado de Culto: Norma Alicia O’Connell 

Michael Servetus: A life with doubts
Everything which seeks, finds, says a Mexican proverb. Why Do we seek, and what is what we want to find? Come with us to explore the Latin facet of hopeful heresy of our heritage. 

Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla
Worship Associate: Norma Alicia O’Connell 

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

Fellowship Sunday

January 24 – 11:00 a.m.

Integrity in the Face of Opposition 

19th-century Unitarian minister Theodore Parker inspired the phrase we most commonly attribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The Arc of the Universe is long but it bends towards justice.” In his 1853 sermon on “Justice and the Conscience,” Parker declared: “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.” Theodore Parker’s most famous sermon, “The Transient and Permanent in Christianity,” http://www.americanunitarian.org/classicwritings.htm caused an uproar among his conservative Unitarian ministerial colleagues. They banned him from their pulpits because of his heretical view that what was transient were the doctrines and credos about Jesus but what was permanent was his teachings. We will explore Theodore Parker and how he kept his integrity in the face of hostile opposition; and how his influence is still felt in the way we organize ourselves as a worshipping community.  

Worship Leader: the Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Worship Associate: Jeff Norment

Integridad ante la oposición 
Theodore Parker, ministro unitario del siglo XIX inspiró la frase que más comúnmente se le atribuye a Martin Luther King, Jr.: “El arca del universo es larga pero se dobla hacia la justicia”. En su sermón de 1853 “La Justicia y la conciencia”, Parker declaró: “No pretendo entender la moral del universo; el arca es larga, mi vista abarca pocas formas; yo no puedo calcular la curva y completar la figura por la experiencia de la vista; puedo adivinarlo por conciencia. Y de lo que veo estoy seguro que se dobla hacia la justicia.” El más famoso sermón de Theodore Parker, “La Trascendencia y Permanencia en el Cristianismo,” http://www.americanunitarian.org/classicwritings.htm causó un alboroto entre sus colegas ministros unitarios conservadores. Ellos lo vetaron desde sus púlpitos, debido a su mirada herética de que las doctrinas y los credos acerca de Jesús fueron transitorios, pero lo que fue permanente fueron sus enseñanzas. Exploraremos a Theodore Parker y cómo él mantuvo su integridad ante la oposición hostil; y cómo su influencia aún se siente en la forma de organizarnos como una comunidad de culto 

Dirige: el Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Asociado de Culto: Jeff Norment

Domingo de Servicio

31 de enero – 9:30 a.m.

La Virgen de Guadalupe como símbolo de nuestra diversidad multicultural. 
Desde el punto de vista Unitario Universalista, exploremos que tan alejados estamos de nuestras raíces católicas. 

Dirige: Roberto Padilla; Asociado de Culto: Miembros de SSM

The Virgin of Guadalupe as a symbol of our multicultural diversity 
From the Unitarian Universalist perspective, let’s explore how far away we are from our Catholic roots. 

Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla; Worship Associates: Members of SSM

Service Sunday

January 31 – 11:00 a.m.

Speaking Truth to Power! A Cloud of Witnesses 
What “hopeful heresies” have made Unitarians and Universalists advocates for justice throughout our history? When have we been effective agents for change, and when have we fallen short of our aspirations? How has this community, the First Unitarian Church of San José, made a difference? And what might all this tell us about how we want to live and let our light shine now? 

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Worship Associates: Carolyn Bowman and Jeff Norment

Hablando la verdad al poder! Una nube de testigos
¿Qué “ esperanzadoras herejías “ han hecho los Unitarios y los Universalistas abogando por la justicia a lo largo de nuestra historia? ¿Cuando hemos sido agentes efectivos para el cambio, y cuando hemos caído debajo de nuestras aspiraciones? ¿Cómo ha ésta comunidad, la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José, hecho una diferencia? ¿Y que podría todo esto decirnos acerca de cómo queremos vivir y dejar que nuestra luz brille ahora? 

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Asociados de Culto: Carolyn Bowman y Jeff Norment


Save the Dates

  • January 24, Sunday, Welcoming Congregation Sexual Orientation Class, 2-4:30 pm, Hattie Porter Hall, continuing next 3 Sundays.
  • January 30, Saturday, 1-4 pm, Hattie Porter Hall, Annual Fundraiser Tea to benefit PACT
  • February 7, Sunday, 12:30 pm, UU Band of Writers, Youth Room
  • February 14, Sunday, 6:00-8:00 pm, Reading the Five Gospels with Bob
  • March 5-7, UUA Women & Religion retreat, Enchanted Hills near Napa
  • April 30-May 2, UUA District Assembly 2010, Newark, CA
  • July 14-18, Wednesday-Sunday, Church Campout 2010, McConnell State Recreation Area, Turlock, mm@feldmo.com

Lifespan Faith Development

Nursery -- Birth through 5 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. Structured activities, games, stories and crafts are a part of the nursery experience. Child Care Workers: Maria Elena Olvera & Glynda Cotten

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

Each Sunday after the children are sung out of the service our children come together to make music with Nayo Ulloa http://www.nayoulloa.com, Sally Cooperrider and other volunteers for the first half hour. We sing, play with rhythm instruments and have fun doing musical games. The children will be presenting a musical offering for the Day of the Dead service on November 1. After we all do music, children choose to participate in community building games or an art activity that will become part of the Day of the Dead altar in the sanctuary.

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

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

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

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

Youth Group Activities
Staff: the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

Junior High (6th-8th Grades)
Advisor: Pam Pell
The Junior High Youth Group meets the first Friday of the month for social and fun activities. 

Senior High (9th-12th grades)
Advisors: V Kingsley, Dani Hope, Mike Williamson, Cordelia Willis

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

Sunday afternoons, January 24 to February 14

Workshop on the Spectrum of Sexual Orientation in January

Are there really more nuances to sexual orientation than being straight or gay? What is life like for people who realize they don’t fit comfortably in either of these two categories? You can discover more about where you fall with the Klein Grid, a more detailed system than the familiar Kinsey Scale (don’t worry, you won’t need to reveal your results).

Our church’s Lifespan Faith Development and Welcoming Congregation programs are offering a four-session class using Interweave Continental’s Bisexuality Curriculum. Workshops are two and one-half hours each and meet on four consecutive Sunday afternoons, January 24 to February 14, in the Ramsden Fireside Room. Adults and senior high youth are invited to participate in these interactive, facilitated workshops, in a safe and welcoming environment. Please register in advance as space is limited.

Contacts: Rev. Geoff Rimositis 292-3858x25 grimositis@sanjoseuu.org, or Frey Leigh 283-9383 fleigh@att.net.

Help Bring The Spirit Alive With Our Children

Join the Music, Arts, Games or Drama teams that are working with our children in Kindergarten through fifth grade this year in our Sunday morning art and spirituality program. If you are a musician and / or singer, join us for 30 minutes each Sunday to help make the Spirit of Music come alive with our children—and still make it upstairs for the sermon!

Or join our children for a month and bring your special art activity that will be part of the Sunday worship experience. Or come down once a month and have fun playing games with the children as we bring the spirit alive with our holy laughter and in the midst of the fun talk about what’s going on in our lives and how one lives a joyful and meaningful life. E-mail me at GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org and let’s talk about how you would like to help bring the spirit alive in your life and in our children’s lives.

Children & Youth Ministries

Adult Spiritual Growth & Enrichment Activities

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

Common Security Club

Five Session Curriculum: Thursdays, January 14, 28, Feb. 11, 24, March 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. in classrooms 2-3, lower level

A Common Security Club (www.commonsecurityclub.org) is a place to come together to grapple with our personal security in a rapidly changing world. We will learn about the root causes of our economic and ecological challenges—explore ways to increase our personal/economic security through mutual aid and shared action—build on what we have together — and strengthen the institutions that we all depend on. In the process we will make friends, find inspiration, have fun, and strengthen community. After the five sessions are completed club members will determine how they would like to organize themselves for mutual aid, education and direct action. For more information contact the Rev. Geoff Rimositis, GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org, 408-292-3858, 25

Christmas Eve Collection Report

Thanks to your generosity the offering collected at this year’s two Christmas Eve services was $3096.02. Half of it will go to the Ministerial Discretionary Fund that assist church members in need and half will go to the Bill Wilson Center that provides an array of services for the community especially for youth.


Articulating Our Unitarian Universalist

By the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

Poem for the Haitian People 

La articulación de Nuestra Unitaria Universalista Fe

para el Rev. Geoff Rimositis

Poema para el Pueblo Haitiano

Oh, cries of lamentations and bone chilling wails of despair
that fill the air with the dust of tragedy and the acrid aroma of death.
Though Gaia may wish humanity to heal itself
before it destroys everything that is beautiful and fruitful—
nature holds no grudges
seeks no revenge—
though flash floods wash away villages and towns
and severe storms blow off rooftops
and earthquakes send the world crashing down on the heads
of unsuspecting Haitians in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
Oh, indiscriminate shifting of tectonic plates
that move the earth like rolling sheets in the hands of children
popping balls high into the air.
Why, oh why, do those that suffer must suffer more?
At any time through no fault of our own
San Andreas, Hayward and Calaveras whose lines run beneath our feet
may one day buckle and bend the ground into rubble
and there will be nothing we can do to stop its release.
We know what dangers lurk below the surface
and at any time we too may be the object of the world’s compassion.
Dear Haitian people we are not so far removed from you.
We are all children of the earth and subject to her forces.
We will not forget you.
We will assist you.
We will give what we can to help you.
Because one day we may need your prayers too. 

– the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

The Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee has launched a Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. You can make an on-line donation here.

Ah, gritos de lamentaciones y gemidos escalofriantes de desesperación
Que llenan el aire con el polvo de la tragedia y el aroma acre de muerte.
Aunque Gaia tal vez desee que la humanidad se cure a sí misma antes que destruya todo lo que es hermoso y fructífero—
La naturaleza no es rencorosa
no busca venganza—
aunque de repente las inundaciones limpien aldeas y ciudades
y fuertes tormentas vuelen los tejados
y los terremotos envíen al mundo a estrellarse en las cabezas de los incautos haitianos en el país más pobre del hemisferio occidental.
Ah, indiscriminado movimiento de placas tectónicas
que mueven la tierra como hojas rodantes en las manos de los niños
tirando en lo alto pelotas en el aire.
¿Por qué, oh por qué, aquellos que sufren deben sufrir más?
En cualquier momento sin ser nuestra culpa
San Andres, Hayward y Calaveras cuyas líneas corren bajo nuestros pies pueden un día torcer y doblar el terreno en escombros
y no habrá nada que podamos hacer para detener su liberación.
Sabemos qué peligros acechan por debajo de la superficie
y en cualquier momento nosotros también podemos ser objeto de compasión del mundo.
Querido pueblo haitiano, nosotros no estamos alejados de ustedes.
Somos todos los niños de la tierra y estamossujetos a sus fuerzas.
No los olvidaremos.
Los ayudaremos.
Haremos todo lo que podamos para ayudarles.
Porque un día nosotros podemos necesitar sus oraciones también. 

– el Rev. Geoff Rimositis

La Asociación Unitaria Universalista y el Comité Unitario Universalista de Servicio ha puesto en marcha un fondo de ayuda del terremoto de Haití. Se puede hacer una donación en línea aqui


Did You Like What You Read?

If you read the collection of writings by the UU Band of Writers and liked what you saw, we would like to hear from you. Did a particular poem or story stand out for you? The writers would very much enjoy knowing what you thought. If you would like to tell them, please send your response to the writers directly or to me, and I will pass it on. Send to geniebee@hotmail.com


Gift of Service
by Genie Bernardini
Do You Want to Express Your Appreciation?

Please send your one-sentence salute to me at geniebee@hotmail.com

Volunteer Recognition:

“I thank Pam Price for leading the team for several years that has brought beauty to the front of the church each week.”

—Dena Dickinson

“I’d like to thank Jim Rumbaugh for being such a thoughtful and skilled editor and observer of church life.”

—Claire Wagner

“Thank you, Gertrud Cory and all the folks who staff the Visitors’ Table every week, for giving newcomers a welcoming place to get information and UUism and our church.”

—Mary Martin

Sunday morning early risers...
We want to thank with all our hearts the volunteers who arrive early on Sunday mornings and provide translation into English of our 9:30 service, making our community truly inclusive: Susan Butler-Graham, Jan Theiss-Guffey, Katy Dawson, Ben Cadena, Saúl Verduzco, Karla Barahona, Laura Díaz Shadeed and Rodrigo García

We also thank the volunteer musicians who are bringing music back to our 9:30 service! You fill our hearts and voices with joyful sounds! Thanks, Frank Farris, Chris Lanier, Nancy Hada Sutton, Cordelia Willis, Rick Merritt, Henry Ruddle, Bob Miess, Sally Cooperrider, K’Ailsa Rowan, and Dianne Saichek

Queremos agradecer con todos nuestros corazones a los voluntarios quienes llegan temprano los domingos por la mañana y nos ofrecen la traducción en inglés de nuestro servicio de las 9:30, haciendo nuestra comunidad verdaderamente incluyente: Susan Butler-Graham, Jan Theiss-Guffey, Katy Dawson, Ben Cadena, Saúl Verduzco, Karla Barahona, Laura Díaz Shadeed y Rodrigo García

¡También agradecemos a los músicos voluntarios que están trayendo la música de regreso a nuestro servicio de las 9: 30! ¡Ustedes llenan nuestros corazones y voces con alegres sonidos! Gracias a Frank Farris, Chris Lanier, Nancy Hada Sutton, Cordelia Willis, Rick Merritt, Henry Ruddle, Bob Miess, Sally Cooperrider, K’Ailsa Rowan, y Dianne Saichek

—Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and Roberto Padilla

We are so lucky to have us!
Sometimes I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I take the time to notice some of the dear souls in this church of ours. This happened to me just this past weekend when I was helping around the edges to prepare the splendid Service Auction dinner. Kathy Cordova was on her feet for over 6 hours, most of them in front of a hot stove, her cute little cheeks red from the heat, but she was ever calm, gracious and sweet. Sally Souders pored over recipes and then was buried in flour as she dusted the endless supply of chicken fillets for the mouthwatering Chicken Marsala. Sally Cooperrider was elbow deep in rice and responsibilities but a smile never left her cherubic face. Overseeing it all with splendid competence and good cheer was Jan Theiss-Guffey, who had organized the entire dinner weeks in advance. All of these folks spent hours and hours working very hard to serve our Beloved Community, and most admirable of all to me was the fact that they did it with such a wonderful loving spirit. How proud we can be to have them among us! 

—Genie Bernardini

Volunteer Opportunities:

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


You can make all the difference. Henry Ruddle, the Stewardship and Fundraising member of the Program and Operations Council (POC) is looking for ideas and for volunteers to join the new Fundraising Council and the 2010-2011 Canvass Committee. If you have a fundraising idea or are planning a fundraiser, let Henry know so it can be evaluted and perhaps calendared.

(Big idea for 2010: Advanced Planning.) If you are willing to help out either by serving on a committee or less formally, Henry promises a minimum of meetings and a maximum of action. Contact Henry at 408-234-3670 or stewardship@sanjoseuu.org.


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.

New Member Ingathering, Valentine’s Day Sunday, February 14

Youth (14 years of age and older) and adults who have decided that this church community and faith deserves their commitment because it affirms the values that they hold most dear are invited to join The First Unitarian Church community as an official member. There will be a new member ingathering on Sunday, February 14. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of this congregation please contact the Rev. Geoff Rimositis, 408-292-3858, ext. 25, GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org Show your love for this faith and make it known to the world


Safeguarding the Future of Liberal Religion in San Jose

Where does the FUCSJ Endowment Fund fit in with the canvass and other fundraising activities of the church?

By Henry Ruddle, POC member for Stewardship and Fundraising
UU minister the Reverend Dan Schatz has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Folk Album category for his double CD set Singing Through the Hard Times--a Tribute to Utah Phillips. The album includes performances by several other artists, including Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, and Emmylou Harris. The Grammy Awards will be presented on January 31

Now that I have volunteered to handle Stewardship for First Unitarian, it is my job to oversee and advocate for the revenue producing activities of the church, such as the annual canvass and most fundraising, as well as the financial relationship of church members with FUCSJ. I have been delighted to find a strong team leading the Planned Giving Committee, which manages donations to the church’s Endowment Fund, and I’d like to give my personal take on the difference I see between their efforts and the other activities I oversee.

First, the Endowment Fund works completely differently. With the annual canvass and most fundraisers, members and friends of the church donate money from their current funds to pay for the churches current expenses (and their own entertainment, in the case of many fundraisers). The income and outgo are carefully budgeted and monitored by the Board and the Program and Operations Council (POC). Generally, if donations don’t cover expenses, expenses get cut. Every year, the congregation approves the next year’s budget by majority vote.

In contrast, the Endowment Fund exists to safeguard the church financially over the long haul. It is funded primarily with bequests, and sometimes with other donations, especially appreciated assets such as stocks and portions of the proceeds of an unusual financial events such as sales of property subject to capital gains tax, inheritances, and prize winnings.

Second, and most importantly, the fund must be managed for long-term growth, and it requires a three-quarters majority vote to spend any of the money. So the intention is that the money that goes into the fund will stay in the fund. Only the fund proceeds should be spent. Right now, the money in the fund is locked up tight until its five-year anniversary in 2012 or when the funds reach a million dollars, whichever comes first.

What Does the Endowment Fund Means to FUCSJ?
Tragic circumstances arise. Sometimes suddenly, such as the fire in 1995. Sometimes gradually, such as the drop in membership during the 1970s. Although the light of liberal religion in San Jose has been nearly snuffed out many times, it has survived … with great effort. Often heroic, back-breaking effort. It doesn’t have to be so hard.

Consider your own legacy. If you have children, certainly they will carry on in your place. If you have done great deeds or achieved great fame, your name will continue to be spoken for some time after you are gone. However, if you are reading this, then it is a pretty safe bet that you believe in something greater than yourself. In your own way, you believe that the message of Unitarian Universalism is vital for the world, for America and for San Jose. It is a saving message that heals wounds and nourishes both minds and spirits.

That’s where the Endowment Fund fits into the First Unitarian picture. It represents your commitment to the future of liberal religion in San Jose.

For more information or to make a bequest or other one-time donation to the Endowment Fund, contact a member of the Planning Giving Committee – Gordon Smith <gordonsmith100@gmail.com>, Bob Owen <bowen@data-time.com>, Claire Wagner <cwagner21@gmail.com>, Jean vonKaenel <tigrjean@hotmail.com> -- or me, Henry Ruddle <stewardship@sanjoseuu.org>.

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    Circling Around by Torchy Hunter

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

    Whose dog is smarter than yours? Or mine? Who makes jokes about terminal diseases? Do you know where the ultimate palace of kitsch is? A Christmas connection must be clarified. An update about ‘better living through chemistry” – Who’s going to be a recluse?

    But They Are Only Babies Department: Rachel Cluny just graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in Art History, and is thinking of grad school. One year I went to so many graduations that I added words to “Pomp & Circumstance”: Now you’re getting a bach-lors; Now you’re out on your own......

    At left, Rachel and Jerry Cluny visiting the snow.

    Above, Rachel and Laura Cluny at Rachel's graduation from the University of New Mexico.

    Dave (Moneybags) Proulx was the heavy hitter at the Auction: Tahoe cabin, yoga classes, creative writing classes, house re-design. We might not see him til summer.

    My jaw hit the floor when I saw Doug Young in a T-shirt advertising a hardware store in Abiqui. The last time I was in there, they had a 6 by 3 foot plastic “Last Supper” done in violent primary colors, and crowned by the addition,  right in the middle of the bottom, of a fireplace with flickering plastic ‘flames’ inside it. Have always regretted not buying it. But, alas, Doug didn’t see it there. He was at Ghost Ranch, up the road at a family reunion. This is New Mexico, by the way, where the state tourist office often gets asked if a passport is needed to visit there. 

    Many from FUCSJ attended Sonya Greiner Sulaski’s January 10 sunset ordination at the UU Church in Kensington. Gorgeous church, gorgeous ceremony, gorgeous music and dancers, and gorgeous attendess included Rick Morris, Monti Low, Tony Aversa, Cheri Goodman, Liz Shivell, Josie Shivell, Gary McCumber, Patty Segerini, Rev. Lindi Ramsden, Mary Helen Doherty, and Pam Pell. A warm and heartfelt launching of one of our best intern ministers. 

    The smart dog: Bev Clifford’s new black Labrador guide dog, Bella. This dog is being taught to take Bev to a particular chair in her living room. This is done by Bev holding treats in a hand that’s resting on the chair. They are actually expecting to have the dog make the transfer in her mind from the treat hand to just the chair. I don’t think my kids could have done that. Bev is also undergoing heavy training. They have changed the training methods since her last dog. Now they do treats and clicker training and make Bev go to lectures and take tests.

    When a friend who was having trouble in her relationship asked Dani Hope and V Kingsley how they got through hard times, they both broke out laughing and Dani said, “No problem. My partner has a terminal disease.” My jaw dropped again. I’m going to break it if this keeps up.

    Long time member of FUCSJ Meg Bowman will be honored as “Humanist Heroine” at the AHA (American Humanist Association) national conference to be held at the Doubletree Inn in San Jose (near the airport) June 4-6, 2010. Meg’s new book (her 12th!) “Courageous Women” featuring dramatic readings on UU historical women (e.g., Margaret Sanger, Olympia Brown, Susan B. Anthony, etc.) and humorous skits, UU song parodies and more, is now in print ($20 ppd). You can call Meg at (408) 292-1172 to order. (and what are the rest of you doing with your spare time?)

    Moira Merryweather wants me to clarify that she did not say “bicycle” in response to my Christmas memories question. She was describing the new bicycle she got for her birthday which is just before Christmas. And it was parked outside.

    A Mary McGuinness update: “please excuse if this e-mail is not 100% coherent, I currently have a temp of 39C/102F. It’s the evening of the second day following my high dose Interferon. I come home, and the fevers, headache, muscle and joint pain starts about three hours later. I am still working on a regime of meds to get these symptoms under control. I have a real cocktail of meds I can take. Thank God I have no nausea or vomiting. I have been blessed with wonderful friends and family (both my Irish and American), sooooooooooooo many people are helping me out. I have to go to Stanford Monday thru Friday for four weeks. I was advised not to drive, so friends have arranged to bring me back and forth every day. It just blows my mind away. Friends have also lined up meals, walking the hounds, and coming to visit. My cup runith over. I will be off work for about 5-6 weeks. Mum arrives out on Thursday, to help take care of me. There is nothing better then having your Mum here if one feels unwell. My best friend from Dublin -Anne Tobin- is also coming out on 1/22, so I’ll have two wonderful women here to whip me into shape. Because I have about a three hour period before I start to feel like crap, I come home, take the hounds out for a walk, have something to eat, and do a few things about the house. By 4pm’ish I’m beginning to fade. So there you have it. I don’t do much else. Since I’m not getting the drug on Saturday or Sunday, I hope I’ll feel a little more energetic.” 

    I don’t know about you guys, but coming home and doing housework would not be real high on my list after coming home from that.

    White Light Corner: Dani, V and Mary.

    Service Auction Reflections

    by Jan Theiss-Guffey

    Wow, the big event has come and gone, and what fun it was! The sanctuary was festive in yellow tones, and Hattie Porter Hall looked beautiful in silver and blue. We had a great dinner - with lots of rice - and then Dan Zulevic kept everyone laughing and bidding for another hour or so. Thank you, Dan! Kudos also go to Henry Ruddle for the power point presentation of the auction items. So many people helped and are continuing to help make this auction a success!

    First and foremost are Bev Harrison and Barbara Derbyshire, who were and are my mentors through this process. Bev ran the data team, and is continuing to be extremely helpful with that, and Barbara ran the silent auction itself. Tamara Payne-Alex, shared the information from the last auction and gave me a valuable timeline to follow. Callers who contacted people who had donated items last time around were Austa Falconer, Mary Martin, Barbara Grover, Pam Pell, and Alec MacLean and Charlene Dugan. Susan Burke-DiQuisto, was very helpful with mysterious things like Adobe and pdfs.

    Thank you to the set-up crew, Moria Merriweather, Pam Stellmacher, Liz Owen, and Rick and Ro Morris. Our great decorators for the dinner were Colleen Cabot and Dayna Hurst. Sally Souders spent an afternoon helping me shop for food.

    Thank you to our cooks!! Jim Guffey and Karen Conrotto helped me make the desserts. Kathy Cordoba was the chef in charge of the kitchen crew on Saturday. Sally Souders, Sally Cooperrider, Genie Bernardini, Karen Conrotto, Jim Guffey, Pam Stellmacher, and Moria Merriweather cooked, too. Tim and Madeline Blackwood collected the money for the dinner. Thank you to the data team, Bev Harrison, Christopher Frey, Jim Guffey, Barbara Derbyshire, and Karen Conrotto.

    Five people initially volunteered for the clean-up team: Catherine Pelizzari, John Harris, Rick Morris, Joyce Miller, MM Feldman and Rick Morris, but so many more people helped put away tables and chairs. A special shout-out to Michael Payne-Alex and Rick Morris, who washed a mountain of dishes in the kitchen. And thank you to Madeline Morrow, who was very helpful with advice all along, and will be helping with clean-up operations. Just so you know, the extra rice and rolls were donated to the Julian Street Inn. A special thank you goes to my dear Jim Guffey, who helped with whatever I needed during this process. 

    Thank you to everyone who donated services, and everyone who bought them. Get in touch with each other soon!

    It was a very special night, our auction, and I’m grateful to have been there.

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    Spotlight on Social Justice

    The Social Justice Council blog appears on the Church Webpage at: http://www.sanjoseuu.org/socialjusticeblog/. You can subscribe to the YahooGroup For Social Justice News & Events at: sjsjuu-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.


    Upcoming Events

    Saturday, January 30

    You Are Invited to the Social Justice Tea
    The Benefit Tea and lunch on January 30 from 1-4 pm supports our church’s ongoing PACT dues.

    Through our PACT LOC (Local Organizing Committee), we have promoted the “greening” of San Jose, increases in after school programs for students, and much much more.

    The event features great food and deserts, as well as musical entertainment and time to relax with our fellow church members and guests. It is a chance to show the church off to that friend or neighbor that you weren’t quite ready to ask to attend a Sunday service.

    If you buy tickets in advance, you will be sure to get your share of the ever-popular apple strudel! Please see us at the Social Justice table after church to purchase tickets or to volunteer! Contact Connie at Connie_Bloch@yahoo.com for more information.

    Sunday, February 14, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

    “Reading the Five Gospels along with Bob”

    Bob Miess will guide this monthly discussion of The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus by Robert W. Funk. The group will meet the second Sunday of each month, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. New readers will always be welcome.

    Reading for the first session: (Please read and note any insights, questions, etc. that arise for you) Preface (Pages ix – xxii) and Introduction (Pages 1-38)

    This book includes five Gospels:Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, and Thomas, with sayings of Jesus color-coded to show the conclusion of the Jesus Seminar on the likelihood that Jesus said something like this. It also includes an introduction to the principles used to draw these conclusions, and explanations of the scholars’ reasoning about key sayings.

    Questions? Information on how to get the book? Contact Bob Miess at Bob@FloweringEnterprises.com or 408-781-7073

    June 27-30, 2010

    Junior High Backpack Trip 2009
    Last June, 15 Junior High youth and 5 adult chaperones from our church ventured on a 4-day, 3-night backpack trip into the Grouse Ridge area of the Tahoe National Forest. We camped near the shores of two different lakes and slept out under the stars on two of the three nights. Only a few were brave enough to swim in the cold mountain lakes. We lost the trail to Glacier Lake and our youth put the democratic process to work as they decided what our next steps would be. Some trip highlights: taking off our backpacks when we reached each destination, experiencing the beauty of the High Sierra, finding great campsites, climbing on the boulders out in Island Lake, learning to be together, not seeing any bears, supporting each other, playing in the snow, feeling the warmth of the campfire and the sting of smoke in our eyes, stopping for lunch on the way home, and experiencing a sense of accomplishment.

    Our church’s next Junior High Backpack Trip will be June 27-30, 2010. Incoming 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who attend our church are invited to come along. More information will be available in late winter. If you have questions, please contact Pam Pell: johnpell@aol.com.

    July 14-18

    Church Campout 2010

    by MM “Waiting for July” Feldman

    Great news, UU campers! The early bird gets the best group campsite. We managed to book the large group campsite again at the same wonderful location as last year’s campout. The dates are Wednesday, July 14 through Sunday, July 18, 2010, just when you feel like getting out of town and soaking in a river. The location is McConnell State Recreation Area, near Turlock, about 2 hours from San Jose. The drive is worth it, because this campground has it all: easy access to the Merced River with sandy beaches for the kids, a bath house with showers and flush toilets, lots of picnic tables, and running water right in the campsite. It has everything we need for another fantastic campout. All you need to bring is your tent and sleeping bag! We do communal cooking, and all the food and cooking equipment is provided. This campout is appropriate for pretty much anyone of any age. It’s easy camping. And you can bring your dogs! Email me at mm@feldmo.com if you want to be added to an church-campout email list. Or just watch your newsletter and email for announcements.

    March 5-7, 2010

    Women and Religion UUA Retreat

    The UUA Women & Religion group will hold its annual retreat the weekend of March 5-7, 2010 at Enchanted Hills near Napa. The entire retreat costs only $125, and is half price for newcomers. This fee includes all programs, six delicious meals, and private cabins with linens and bathrooms. Come and meet women from throughout our Pacific Central District. You can ride-share to Napa. For more information or to register, contact Registrar: Jewel Whitaker, 1512 San Carlos Lane, Modesto, CA 95355, (209) 578-5475. Or call Jean Embree at (408) 984-5838, Meg Bowman at (408) 292-1172 or Barbara Schonborn at (650) 967-6756.

    Past Events

    Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia

    by Joy Ellen Lipsky, CCP

    Imagine a General Assembly with people from all over the world, in native dress, giving presentations, answering questions about their religion, interacting to foster peace in the worldand pulsing with the overwhelming energy of thousands of people with the single purpose of fostering understanding, interfaith action and peace in the world. The December 3 opening plenary of the Parliament of World’s Religions brought a panoply of prayers from many faith traditions and a celebration of indigenous peoples from around the world. 

    Each day began with a choice of any number of observances (a combination of instruction and worship) from the world’s religions. There were four additional sessions each day with workshops to attend, and an exhibit hall with information booths about the particular faiths, including one from the ICUU – the International UU organization, which also offered a workshop. You can see the Parliament program at http://www.parliamentofreligions.org.

    The patheos.com folks (a web site dedicated to global dialogue about religion and spirituality) had a booth there and I arranged for Pauline Rooney of the ICUU to be videotaped answering four questions about UU for them. Jian Hu from the Zen Center of Sunnyvale arranged a special lunch for the SV Partner City Group at the restaurant that is run by one of their nuns. What a treat! 

    In the evenings we had plenaries, except for Community Night, December 4, when the faith communities created their own celebrations, including our own UU dinner. The plenaries included International Plenary (where the Silicon Valley Partner City Group was honored on stage), Youth Plenary, Sacred Music, Melbourne Plenary, and Closing Plenary (where the Dalai Lama was the honored guest). 

    The SV Partner City Group had an opportunity to attend a special closed session with staffers from the Obama White House. The audience was asked to give their thoughts on three questions around interfaith action and government: What should they do more of, what should they not do, and what should be done immediately and then long term. It was amazing to hear the pleas from not only Americans, but those from other countries. I left my card to request a copy of their report. 

    The next Parliament of the World’s Religions will be in 2014, in a site to be announced in 2011. If you begin a savings account now just for attending the next Parliament, with a little each month you will be ready to join the thousands of other seekers. We definitely need more UUs in attendance and we need to have the presence of our UUA President there with morning observance and workshops. That is my personal wish.

    Trek to View Trek Exhibit a Fantastic Success

    by Henry Ruddle

    Ok, maybe “a fantastic success” is a bit exaggerated, but nine Star Trek fans from FUCSJ did eventually make it to the Tech Museum to visit the Star Trek exhibit on Sunday, January 10. With more planning and promotion ... who knows? .... maybe next time. We raised $47 for the church by taking advantage of various savings, and then rebating them to the church. Did you know that at no point during the original series of Star Trek did anyone say, ‘Beam me up, Scotty”? In addition to fun trivia, serious trivia, background, costumes, props and more, the exhibit offered just about everything you could hope for (prop-wise) just short of a selection of William Shatner’s hair pieces.

    Have any ideas for similar fun outings with a fundraising angle? E-mail Henry at stewardship@sanjoseuu.org.

  • 0106-14


    Safe, reliable car for sale:

    1997 silver Volvo 850 sedan, good condition, automatic transmission, power steering, air bags, ABS, cruise control, radio, CD player, just smogged. $2800. Call Catherine Pelizzari at (408) 945-9848 or email to caleeson@aol.com


    Around Our District

    PCD Seeks Nominations for Honors Awards 2010

    Each year our PCD Board of Directors honors the work and contributions of a number of congregations and individual members at our District Assembly. In making these selections they welcome your nominations. This year’s awards will be given in the following categories:

    • Congregational Networking Award
    • Culture of Generosity Award
    • Distinguished Service to PCD Award
    • Junella Hanson Memorial Award for Excellence in Religious Education
    • Moral Beacon Award
    • Racial Justice and Multicultural Ministry Award
    • Unsung Congregational Hero Award
    • Youth Programming Award

    Nominating an individual or congregation is easy. Just send a note to Cilla Raughley <cilla@pcd-uua.org> that (1) presents the name of the person (and his/her congregation), group, or congregation to receive the award, (2) identifies the specific award you have in mind for them, and (3) explains the reason behind your nomination: what was done, what was accomplished, what was learned. All nominations must be received on or before February 28, and must be sent in an electronic format, as in the body of an email or as an attachment. We cannot accept nominations by mail. For more information, see http://www.pcd-uua.org/currents/20100111.htm

    Nina Kalmoutis to be installed as minister at the UU Fellowship of Sunnyvale by Nina Kalmoutis

    Dear Friends and Members of the FUCSJ Community

    On Sunday, February 28 at 4:00 pm I will be installed as the settled minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sunnyvale. I want to take this opportunity to invite all of you to share in this wonderful occasion with me.

    My installation will be held at the Congregational Church adjacent to the Chapel where the Sunnyvale Fellowship meets on Sunday mornings. The church is located at 1112 South Bernardo Avenue, on the corner of Bernardo and Remington Avenue.

    Following the installation there will be a reception on site.

    Please RSVP your acceptance or your regrets by February 12 to uufs@sbcglobal.net or call 408-739-0549, and let us know if you will need childcare during the service.  

    I am looking forward to celebrating with you!

    FUC-Oakland completes Hamilton Hall renovation

    After repairing severe damage from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Hamilton Hall (a city, state and national historic landmark) will be rededicated Sunday, January 24 beginning at 3:00 p.m. Oakland’s Senior Minister, the Reverend Kathy Huff, will be joined by former ministers Janne and Rob Eller Isaacs in a ceremony of reflection, ritual and recognitions. The service will be followed by a gala reception. Childcare available. For more information, contact legacy@uuoakland.org, and take a look at an example of the press coverage they’ve already received (http://www.insidebayarea.com/columns/ci_14155057)

    Workshops: chanting from various faith traditions

    Our Palo Alto congregation is offering a series of four workshops, beginning with Gregorian chants on Sunday, January 31, 7:00- 9:00 p.m. This first workshop will be led by Marsha Genensky, of the group Anonymous 4. Subsequent workshops will focus on Buddhist chants, Tantric Hindu chants, and Neo-Pagan, New-Age, and UU chants. More information, http://uucpa.org/are/winter2010.html#chant

    New Simmons College scholarship available

    A new scholarship has been created for UU women attending Simmons College in Boston, thanks to the generosity of Simmons College alumna, Mrs. Alice S. Schulman. Interested applicants must apply through the Office of Student Financial Services at Simmons College in Boston. For more information, contact Catherine Lynch, development@uua.org


    For Pastoral Care

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

    • For pastoral care in English, please contact our lay Pastoral Associate Coordinator, Rev. Donna Lenahan: (home) 408-354-9024; (cell) 408-204-6565; e-mail: djlenahan@aol.com.
    • For pastoral care in Spanish, please contact our Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator, Roberto Padilla: 408-991-3212; e-mail: paor69@yahoo.com.

    Contacting the Ministers

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

    Cuidado Pastoral

    Nuestra comunidad se esfuerza en ofrecer la compasión,el compañerismo curativo, y la alegría a todos susmiembros. Nuestros coordinadores en cuidado pastoral pueden ayudarle a encontrar un oído que escucha, o lasmanos que ayudan cuando ustedes lo pudieran necesitaren épocas difíciles. Para el cuidado pastoral en inglés, por favor, comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador Asociado Laico en Cuidado Pastoral, la Rev. Donna Lenahan: (casa) 408-354-9024; (celular) 408-204-6565; e-mail: djlenahan@aol.com. Para el cuidado pastoral en español, por favor comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador de los Ministeriosen Español, Roberto Padilla: 408-991-3212; e-mail: paor69@yahoo.com.

    Contactando a los Ministros

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


    Tracy Avent, darkmuzik@yahoo.com

    Bob Redfern, rredfern@charter.net

    Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com

    Joyce Miller, j408miller@sbcglobal.net

    Tamara Payne-Alex

    Dena Dickinson, dickiden@comcast.net

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

    Church Staff

    Senior Minister, Ext. 23
    The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, revnpj@yahoo.com

    Assoc. Minister For Religious Education, Ext. 25
    The Rev. Geoff Rimositis , Grimositis@Sanjoseuu.org

    Office Manager, Ext. 21
    Susan Burke-Diquisto, fucsj@sanjoseuu.org

    Coordinator of Spanish Speaking Ministries, 991-3212
    Roberto Padilla, paor69@yahoo.com

    Bookkeeper / Sue Evanicky

    Custodian / Edgar Cruz

    Nursery Staff / Jusica Nunez & Maria Elena Olvera

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

    Thank you to our volunteers!
    Our Church Circular is published on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Circulation is about 500.

    Editors: Catherine Leeson Pelizzari and Shirley Worth; Circular.Editors@gmail.com
    Catherine will be editor for the February 3 and March 3 issues. Shirley will be editor for the February 17 and March 17 issues.

    Translator: Roberto Padilla

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

    Assembly Coordinator: Gretchen Leavitt

    Assembly Crew: 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:

    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 27, 2010

    Next issue assembly: Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    Next issue mailing: Wednesday, February 3, 2010