Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / December 19, 2007 / 19 de Diciembre 2007

Inside This Issue:

1219-1 Sunday Services
1219-2 Save the Dates
1219-3 Religious Education ... class on a break until January 6
1219-4 As We Build the Beloved Community... Welcoming a New Partnership —Welcome to Sonya Sukalski!

Articulating Our UU Faith


Our Whole Lives Class (Grades 7-9) Begins in January 2008


Our Whole Lives (Grades 7-9) Required Parent Orientation


Claire Wagner, Greg Ashley, Lauren & Lucie - Enriching Our Lives

1219-9 Volunteer Classified Ads for Our Spiritual Cooperative -- Live Your Values!
1219-10 Spotlight on Social Justice: The Twelve Months of Social Justice

UU Knitting Circle: New Opportunity for Fun With Friends


Notes From the Office

1219-13 Upcoming Events -- New Year's Dinner Dance, Cakes, Multiculturalism Conference

Circling Around

1219-15 January Is Open Enrollment Month for Small Group Ministry!
1219-16 Meet Our New Members - Caitlynn Waddick, Henry Ruddle
1219-17 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
1219-1 Servicios de Domingo
1219-4 Mientras Construimos Nuestra Querida Comunidad… Dando la bienvenida a una nueva compañera- Bienvenida Sonya Sukalski!
1219-13 Conduciendo a nuestras congregaciones hacia un futuro multirracial y Multicultural: ¡Ahora es el Tiempo!
1219-16 Conozca a Nuestros Nuevos Miembros - Caitlynn Waddick, Henry Ruddle


Aquí estan los Ministros!



Christmas Services/Servicio Navidad

Domingo, 23 de Diciembre
— 9:30 a.m.

Deja Que Haya Luz y Amor:
Un Servicio Temprano de Navidad
¿Cuál es el significado de esta época para los Unitarios Universalistas? Vengan, descubran y celebren los nuevos significados con música tradicional, enciendo velas y hagamos nuevas reflexiones al final del año, con posibilidades de esperanza.

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

Let There Be Light and Love:
An Early Christmas Service
What is the meaning of this season for Unitarian Universalists? Come discover and celebrate new meanings with traditional music, candle-lighting, and brand-new reflections on the turning of the year and the possibilities for hope.

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Sunday, December 23
— 11:00 a.m.

Embodied Joy!
Marilynn Carstens and Patrick Smiley will lead us in the contemplative movement and sacred phrases of the world’s religious traditions in the Dances of Universal Peace. We light our last Advent candle for joy as we embody it in bold and loving ways. With each step that we take we bring ourselves out of the darkness and into the light.

Worship Leader: the Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Worship Associate: Frank Bosche

Expresando Alegría
Marilynn Carstens y Patrick Smiley nos dirigirán en el movimiento contemplativo y las frases sagradas de las religiones del mundo en las Danzas de la Paz Universal. Encendemos nuestra última vela de advenimiento con alegría para que lo incorporemos de manera en valiente y cariñosa. Con cada paso que tomemos nos iremos de la oscuridad hacia la luz.

Dirige: el Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Asociado de Servicio; Frank Bocshe

Bring Finger Food for the Christmas Eve Services
Share your holiday table with your friends at First Unitarian at the 5 and 8 p.m. candlelight services.

Lunes, 24 de Diciembre
— 5 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Deja Que Haya Luz y Amor: Un Servicio a la Luz de las Velas en Vísperas de Navidad
Traigan algún bocadillo navideño al los servicios de la víspera de Navidad, compartan su mesa de celebración con sus amigos de la Primera Iglesia Unitaria en los servicios de las 5 y las 8 pm a la luz de las velas. Vengan, descubran y celebren los nuevos significados con música tradicional, encendiendo velas y con nuevas reflexiones al final del año, con posibilidades de esperanza. ¡Con gloriosos solos y con la música de coro, a la luz de las velas, una historia multimedia, y más, nos traerán juntos al espíritu de la celebración!

Dirigen: el Rev. Geoff Rimositis y la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Culto: Kelly Burnett y Marla Sharf

Monday, December 24
— 5 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Let There Be Light and Love: A Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Bring finger food for the Christmas Eve services; share your holiday table with your friends at First Unitarian at the 5 and 8 p.m. Candlelight Services. Come discover and celebrate new meanings of this season for Unitarian Universalists with traditional music and brand-new reflections on the turning of the year and the possibilities for hope. Glorious solos and choir music, candle-lighting, a multimedia story, and more will bind us together in the holiday spirit!

Worship Leaders: the Rev. Geoff Rimositis and the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associates: Kelly Burnett and Marla Scharf


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

30 de Diciembre — 9:30 a.m.

Haciendo Ruido
De todas las festividades que la humanidad tiene a través del año, el Año Nuevo es la más ruidosa de todas. Y en medio de todo ese ruido también encontramos tiempo para reflexionar.

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

Making Noise
Of all the festivities that humanity has through out the year, the New Year is noisiest of all. And in the middle of all that noise, we also find time to reflect.

Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla; Worship Associates: SSM members

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

December 30 — 11:00 a.m.

I am Open, I am Willing.
Working for social justice is hard. At times, we find ourselves disheartened and discouraged, wondering if the seemingly small things that we have the time and resources to do are accomplishing anything. On this eve of the New Year, we explore how to build social justice advocacy into our day-to-day lives and learn how we can make a difference, whatever we are able to do.

Worship leader: Suzanne Marsh; Worship Associate: Luther Jackson

Estoy Abierto, Estoy Dispuesto.
Trabajar para la justicia social es duro. Ocasionalmente, nos encontramos descorazonados y desanimados, preguntándonos si tenemos el tiempo para las cosas aparentemente pequeñas y los recursos han logrando algo. En esta víspera del Año Nuevo, exploramos cómo construir la justicia social apoyándonos en nuestras vidas cotidianas y aprender cómo podemos una diferencia, cualquier cosa que seamos capaces de hacer.

Dirige: Suzanne Marsh; Asociado de Culto: Luther Jackson

6 de Enero — 9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

Después de la Clamor… un silencio
Después de que todos los que merodean de las vacaciones y de la bulliciosa celebración de la noche de Año Nuevo, lo que significa que para comenzar el año nuevo con anticipación tranquilo? ¿Cómo podemos hacer espacio para el silencio, dentro y fuera, en nuestra vida cotidiana? Vamos a explorar las promesas y los peligros de silencio sobre este enero mor.

Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

January 6 — 9:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

After the Clamor … a Silence
After all the scurrying of the holidays and the boisterous celebrations of New Year’s Eve, what would it mean to begin the New Year with quiet anticipation? How can we make space for silence, within and without, in our everyday lives? We’ll explore the promises and the perils of silence on this January morn.

Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate (11 a.m.): Donna Lenahan


Save the Dates

  • December 20, Thursday, Church Board meeting, 7:00 pm, conference room
  • December 24, Christmas Eve services, 5:00 and 8:00 pm, sanctuary
  • December 31, Monday, A New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dance benefit (details under “Ring in the New Year ...”), 8:00 pm - 2:00 am, Hattie Porter Hall. Tickets needed.
  • January 3, Thursday, Women’s Alliance Meeting (details under “Cakes continues in 2008”), 7:15 - 9:15 pm, Hattie Porter Hall.
  • January 4, Friday, Dances of Universal Peace, 7:00 pm, under the dome in the sanctuary
  • January 5, Saturday, Going Away party for Claire Wagner, Greg Ashley, Lauren, and Lucie, 6:30-10 pm, in Hattie Porter Hall. A donation is requested.
  • January 6, Sunday, UU Band of Writers, 12:20 pm, Youth room
  • January 14, Registration Deadline for NCUUCC Spring Thing at Asilomar, April 18-20, 2008, e-mail: augobets@pacbell.net
  • January 30, Thursday, Church Board meeting, 7:00 pm, conference room

Religious Education

Please Note: Religious Growth and Learning classes are on holiday from December 16-30, though childcare in the Nursery for children through 5 years of age will continue at Sunday services.

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. Structured activities, games, stories and crafts are a part of the nursery experience.

Child Care Workers:  Stacey Vinyard & Mary Qúeñones

K-2nd Grades: Treasure Hunting [Lower Level, Rooms 2-3]

Jan. 6 Children and Youth Classes Are on Holiday Until January 6

3rd-4th Grades: Spirit of Adventure [Lower Level, Room 4-5]

Jan. 6 Children and Youth Classes Are on Holiday Until January 6

5th Grade: Neighboring Faiths [Lower Level, Room 6]

Jan. 6 Children and Youth Classes Are on Holiday Until January 6

6th-7th-8th Grades: Traditions with a Wink [Office Conference Room]

Jan. 6 Children and Youth Classes Are on Holiday Until January 6

9th-12th Grades, Upper Level, Youth Room

Film as Theology: Media That Matters Film Festival
This year we will look at short films--many made by youth--on social and ethical issues, and discuss how those films reflect and inform our beliefs as Unitarian Universalists.

Youth Group Activities

Junior High (6th-7th-8th Grades)

  • Staff: Rev. Geoff Rimositis

Senior High (9th-12 Grades)

  • Advisors: Diana Chung, Mike Williamson, Pamela Gehrke, Cordelia Willis, Richard Gould

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

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

As We Build the Beloved Community...

by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Mientras Construimos Nuestra Querida Comunidad…..

por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Welcoming a New Partnership —Welcome to Sonya Sukalski!

How many times have I told you and others how fortunate I feel to be serving this congregation? I hope it is more times than you can count, because I surely have this grateful thought almost daily—and if I could finally achieve that enlightened state of being truly “awake,” it would undoubtedly be with me every moment!

One of the ways in which I am uniquely blessed here at First Unitarian is through our staff. Each member of the team brings her or his unique gifts to the work they are doing, and each of them works with a good-humored dedication to this beloved community we are building. Even when we make mistakes—and we all do—each staff member has a grace and openness to learning and making things right that are inspiring.

I’m particularly blessed in my partnership with Rev. Geoff. From our colleagues, I hear how rare it is for two ministers and two ministerial styles to complement each other as well as ours do. I will miss Geoff, with his wisdom, big heart, and depth of understanding of congregational life, while he is on sabbatical from January through June, 2008, but I am inspired by the energy and commitment with which he is planning these months of growth and renewal.

One of the ways Geoff has shown his care for us is in finding a wonderful person to work with us while he is away. I had met Sonya Sukalski at ministers’ gatherings in previous years, and had always wanted to work closely with her. Her warmth, intelligence, humor, energy, and care are evident from a first meeting. Now, she and I are planning some exciting possibilities for this spring—from a chance to get together with parents and caregivers to do some “deep listening” about our hopes and dreams for our Religious Education program (dreams we will share with Geoff, so that he can engage in further research and preparation during his sabbatical), to ways to include all ages in worship more often, to much, much more.

Please enjoy Sonya’s own letter, which shares some of her enthusiasm for this congregation. And please join me in welcoming her into this community!




With the new Bay Area marketing campaign, you have been seeing and surely will continue to see many new faces this year at the First Unitarian Church of San José. Now one of them will be mine. While Rev. Geoff is on sabbatical, I will be filling in for him starting in January. I hope to learn from and explore with you your ministry with youth and families. It is very exciting to have a chance to learn about the practical aspects of ministry with the interesting and diverse team of staff you have in place.

Having grown up in New Mexico, with a mother who loved Mexico, I am fascinated to see Unitarian Universalism working in the lives of both Spanish and English speakers in San José. One of the most influential books I read way back in the 1980s as an undergraduate at Rice University in Houston was Language, Thought, and Reality, by Benjamin Lee Whorf. He postulated that our language structures the thoughts we are able to have. I have a lifelong fascination with linguistics, and look forward to seeing how language shapes your UU ministries.

I am also excited that you have a partnership with Homorodszentmarton in Transylvania. I have traveled there twice, and worked with your former minister, Rev. Gretchen Thomas, for a few years with the UU Partner Church Council.

You are doing some really powerful ministries at this church, and it is a thrill to set out on a mutual journey this year as Rev. Geoff gets a chance to reflect and renew. I hope I will get to reflect with you on your Religious Education ministry, and contribute to the vitality of your ministry to families that is already so strong and thriving. I look forward to learning with and from all of you.


Sonya Sukalski

Dando la bienvenida a una nueva compañera- Bienvenida Sonya Sukalski!

Quántas veces les he dicho cuán afortunada me siento de servir a esta congregación? ¡Espero que sean más de lo que ustedes puedan contar, porque sin duda tengo este pensamiento de agradecimiento casi diariamente—y sí pudiera finalmente alcanzar el estado de iluminación de estar realmente “despierta,” este pensamiento estaría indudablemente conmigo a cada momento!

Una de las formas en las cuales soy excepcionalmente bendecida aquí en la Primera Iglesia Unitaria es a través de nuestro personal. Cada miembro del equipo trae sus particulares dones al trabajo que están haciendo y cada uno de ellos trabajan con buen humor y esmero en esta querida comunidad que estamos construyendo. Aún cuando cometemos errores—y todos los cometemos—cada miembro del personal tiene una gracia y una disposición para aprender y hacer las cosas bien, que resulta inspirador.

Yo he sido particularmente bendecida por mi compañerismo con el Rev. Geoff. De nuestros colegas escucho que es raro que dos ministros con dos estilos ministeriales diferentes se complementen tan bien como lo hacemos nosotros. Extrañaré a Geoff, con su sabiduría, su gran corazón y su profunda comprensión de la vida congregacional, mientras que él esté en su período sabático a partir de enero hasta junio de 2008, pero me inspiran la energía y el compromiso con que él esta planeando esos meses de crecimiento y renovación.

Una de las maneras en que Geoff ha demostrado su cariño para nosotros, es encontrando una maravillosa persona que trabaje con nosotros mientras que él esté ausente. Yo había conocido a Sonya Sukalski en las reuniones de ministros en años anteriores y había querido siempre trabajar de cerca con ella. Su calor, su inteligencia, su humor, su energía, y su cariño son evidentes desde la primera reunión. Ahora, ella y yo estamos planeando algunas emocionantes posibilidades para esta primavera—desde una oportunidad de reunirse con los padres y los cuidadores para hacer alguna “audiencia profunda” sobre nuestras esperanzas y sueños de nuestro programa de Educación Religiosa (sueños que compartiremos con Geoff, de modo que él pueda hacer más investigación y preparación durante su tiempo sabático), hasta maneras de incluir personas de todas las edades en los servicios más a menudo, y mucho, mucho más.

Por favor, disfruten de la carta de Sonya, que comparte algo de su entusiasmo por esta congregación. ¡Y por favor, únanse a mi para darle la bienvenida en esta comunidad!




Con la nueva campaña de publicidad del Área de la Bahía, ustedes han estado viendo y seguramente continuarán viendo muchas caras nuevas este año en la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José.

Ahora una de ellas será la mía. Mientras que el Rev. Geoff esté en su período sabático, yo estaré cubriéndolo a partir de enero. Espero aprender y explorar con ustedes su ministerio con la juventud y las familias. Es muy emocionante tener una oportunidad de aprender sobre los aspectos prácticos del ministerio con el interesante y diverso equipo de personal que ustedes tienen.

Habiendo crecido en Nuevo México, con una madre que amó a México, estoy fascinada de ver el Unitario Universalismo trabajar en las vidas de personas de habla inglesa e hispana en San José. Uno de los libros más influyentes que leí en los años 80s cuando era estudiante en la Universidad Rice, en Houston, fue Lenguaje, Pensamiento, y Realidad, por Benjamin Lee Whorf. Él postuló que hay una relación entre nuestras estructuras del lenguaje y nuestros pensamientos. He tenido una fascinación de toda la vida por la lingüística, y espero ver de qué manera el lenguaje da forma a sus ministerios UU.

También me emociona saber que ustedes tienen una relación de hermandad con Homorodszentmarton en Transilvania. He viajado allá dos veces, y he trabajado con su ministra anterior, la Rev. Gretchen Thomas por algunos años, a través del Consejo de Hermandad de Iglesias UU

Ustedes están desarrollando algunos ministerios realmente poderosos en esta iglesia y es emocionante comenzar una jornada juntos este año mientras que el Rev. Geoff tiene la oportunidad de reflexionar y renovarse. Yo espero reflexionar con ustedes sobre su ministerio de Educación Religiosa y contribuir a la vitalidad de su ministerio de familias que es ya tan fuerte y próspero. Espero con ansias aprender con todos y de todos ustedes.


Sonya Sukalski


Articulating Our UU Faith

by the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

Peace to you. Peace to all. Peace on Earth. Every year I drive down San José’s city streets and gawk at the twinkling lights, icicles that do not melt hanging from gutters and inflatable Santas and Snowmen waiting for a good wind to blow them down the street to see what holiday treats neighbors are serving at their homes.

Every year I am surprised when Penny and David put their Christmas tree in the front window and deck out their porch with big-bulb red, yellow, blue and green lights that radiate the joy I remember from my childhood.

Every year I hear Bing Crosby singing, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” and I wax nostalgic for icy New Jersey winters, shoveling walks for $5, and caroling door to door for hot chocolate and a smile from Mrs. Grogan who lost her husband a few years back.

Every year my heart breaks open to wonder walking through Christmas in the Park and watching excited children bringing Santa their hopes and dreams.

Every year I get goose bumps when Crystal sings “Oh, Holy Night.” I want to tell each and every face illuminated by candlelight that I love them.

Every year I count my blessings and believe that the next year will be better than the last and

  • that we will all wake up and realize that the Earth is our home and we must take good care of her.
  • that peace will become reality because one more person and one more person… now works to make it so.
  • that we will turn to each other and see before us magnificent acts of creation that makes us want to celebrate the gift of life.

May we all celebrate the gifts of life that are ours in friends and family and the community of kindred souls we call The First Unitarian Church of San José.

Happy New Year! May love grow strong in our hearts.


P.S. See you all next summer. You can follow my sabbatical journey and my evolving thoughts and musings on my blog at the church’s web site, www.sanjoseuu.org


Our Whole Lives Class (Grades 7-9)
Begins in January 2008

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

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

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

Our Whole Lives offers:

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

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

The class meets in the Ramsden Fireside Room.


Our Whole Lives (Grades 7-9)
Required Parent Orientation

There will be a required parent orientation on Sunday, January 13 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Ramsden Fireside Room for families who are considering having their son or daughter participate in the Unitarian Universalist Sexuality Program, Our Whole Lives (OWL). This program is for youth in 7th-9th grades. The course begins January 27 and finishes on May 25. The class schedule is going through its final revision and will be published soon.

The volunteer teachers for the class will be Elisabeth McKenna, Rick Morris, Liz Shivell and Steven Wallcave.

We will also be offering a parent support group that will be held at the same time as the youth class. Liz Shivell and Steven Wallcave will be leading the adult class. Adults will follow the curriculum and learn what the youth are learning.

Elisabeth McKenna is serving as the OWL Class Coordinator. You can reach her directly at EBMcKenna@aol.com. She encourages you to contact her with any questions, and if your teen is reluctant to participate. l


Claire Wagner, Greg Ashley, Lauren & Lucie - Enriching Our Lives

Claire Wagner and Greg Ashley, beloved members of our Beloved Community since first attending in 1995, are leaving for Baltimore, Maryland on January 7. Although they hope to return to San Jose in a couple of years, they will be greatly missed while they are gone. As Rev. Nancy says, “They are both—with Lauren and Lucie, too—so much a part of the fabric of our interconnected web. Greg’s warmth and good humor, Claire’s vision and writing and energy, and Lauren and Lucie’s wisdom and honesty—I mean, wow, what a beautiful family!” I have always been delighted to see Claire’s beaming smile and exuberant gestures in leading us through often unfamiliar hymns, prodding us to sing out with the joy and spirit that filled her to overflowing. And no one can give warm, welcoming hugs like Greg!

They both have served our church in many other ways as well. Both Greg and Claire taught Sunday School, and for 4 summers Greg helped chaperone the high school trips to the Channel Islands, when he was impressed by how “the kids reached out to take care of each other.”

Claire has been a Worship Associate, Small Group Ministry leader and Content Team member, has chaired the Fund Development Task Force, and served on the Partner Church Committee and the Search Committee that found Rev. Nancy. She has also sung in the choir and in Ad Hoc, led the fund raising drive to purchase new hymnals, helped plan and then MCed the famous Fire Follies and for 2 years was a Canvass speaker. Whew!

In addition to their gifts of service, they have provided models of the Unitarian values we cherish. Long-time friend, Lisa Hettler-Smith, says, “Claire is one of the most thoughtful, insightful people I know. When I ask her opinion about something, she always considers her answer carefully. She never takes the easy road, or the one that will make her opinion popular. She is unfailingly honest while still being completely kind. On top of all that, she is a whole lot of fun!” And Monte Low says, “Greg is a person of quiet strength and not so quiet humor. He was a delight as an adult leader on the last 3 FUCSJ trips to Santa Cruz Island. He easily earned the respect and friendship from our youth and adult leaders.”

Because we expect them to visit often, Rev. Nancy says, “They will always be enriching our lives, and they will always be part of our family.” Whatever new adventures await them, we want them to know our best wishes and love go with them, “until we meet again.”

Celebrate Good Friends: A Going Away Party

Come to the Going Away party for Claire, Greg, Lauren, and Lucie. Entertaining skits will depict events in their lives with our church. The party is Saturday, January 5, 6:30-10 pm, in Hattie Porter Hall. A donation for food and a gift is requested.


Classified Ads for Our Spiritual Cooperative

Which Would You Like to Try?

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.

  • CHANCEL DECORATOR: use creative talents to decorate chancel, using flowers, fabric, etc. ; serve when available; 1 yr. term
  • 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
  • NEWSLETTER ASSEMBLER fold, staple and stamp newsletters with amiable team; 1st or 3rd Tues. afternoon; 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
  • ORDER OF SERVICE ASSEMBLER: fol d and assemble Order of Service Fri. morn.; much appreciated by Office Manager; I yr. term
  • NEWCOMER TABLE HOST: welcome newcomers, ask to fill out card, give info.;1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
  • NEWSLETTER COPIER: copy newsletter on risograph machine for assemblers; 1st or 3rd Tues. of mon.; 1 yr. term
  • CHOIR MEMBER: no exp. nec., practice Wed. 7-9 p.m., perform Sun. lowen@data-time.com
  • R.E. TEACHER or ASSISTANT: lead Sun. morn. sessions, using prepared curriculum; 2 hr. a mon.; I yr. term

    Call Genie at (408) 997-6292 or Ed at (408) 712-4157.

  • 1219-10
    Spotlight on Social Justice

    By Carol Stephenson, Social Justice Coordinator, socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org (408) 292-3858 x27

    The Twelve Months of Social Justice

    At this time of year we find so many ways to celebrate the season. As we look forward with anticipation to longer days and a fresh start in the New Year, let’s remember all that we’ve accomplished in 2007. It’s this cumulative work, day by day and year by year that brings us closer all the time to the “world we dream about.” This is a brief look, by no means exhaustive, at what we have done as a community over this past year.

    In January we hosted a dialogue between Middle Eastern Christians, Muslims and Jews to learn how relationship building is breaking down barriers. Then, in February, we commemorated the Season for Nonviolence by considering ways that we practice nonviolence in our daily lives. When March came, FUCSJ held the annual Interfaith Peace Service that brought prayers, songs and dance from over a dozen different faiths together in one service.

    Earth Day was celebrated in April with an inspiring service and Coffee Hour packed with information and ideas about being more environmental. In May, the Social Justice Ministry was awarded a grant for the “Beloved Community Project” that would promote collaborative work between Social Justice, the Spanish Speaking Ministries and the Third Street Community Center. We spoke with our feet and raised our voices with our annual participation in the San Jose Pride Parade in June. In July, we were hard at work building a new web site that includes a social justice blog where you can get, and give, ideas about how to live our values.

    When August came around, we kicked off the new church year with an Art and Social Change Party, to remind us that we need to feed our creative selves as we do this work. September marked a new beginning for the Social Justice Council, now revamped and meeting monthly. Our choir joined in the interfaith event “Keep the Diversity, Seek the Harmony” in October where we broke the fast at sundown with a variety of faith communities. In November, the spectacular Dia de los Muertos exhibition brought tears to my eyes with social justice altars that expressed beautifully our concern for a wide range of issues.

    Depending on when you receive this newsletter, you are either invited to, or had a wonderful time at, our collaborative Posada with the Third Street families on Wednesday, December 19. If it’s the former, come join us at 6:00 pm in Hattie Porter Hall to learn the traditional Posada songs before we leave at 6:30 pm to walk and sing in the neighborhood. If you can’t make it then, come at 7:00 pm to celebrate with food, crafts and piñatas.

    Here’s to a wonderful year full of activity, growth and joy! I look forward to a New Year that builds on all we have done in the past.


    UU Knitting Circle:
    New Opportunity for Fun With Friends

    UU Knitting Circle meets every Thursday, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm in Youth Room (except Jan 31).

    Julia Rodriguez put out a call that Jo Balzer, MM Feldman, Barbara Grover, Patti Massey and her friend Kathy; Madeline Morrow and Kristin Rivers joyfully answered. The participants had a great time knitting, sharing their projects, fixing each other’s mistakes, and sharing stories of their lives with one another. Everyone had such a fun time that the decision was made to meet regularly each Thursday in the comfortable, warm and well-lighted Youth Room.

    Please feel free to come on by! Bring your knitting, crochet or other small craft!

    Questions? Contact Madeline Morrow (madelinemorrow@earthlink.net) or Kristin Rivers (kskorner@hotmail.com).


    Notes From the Office

    by Iris Gonzalez, Office Administrator

    The FUCSJ Office will be closed from December 21 — January 1 for the Holidays. Any and all church matters pertaining to the office will be resumed on Wednesday, January 2, 2008. May you have a wonderful Holiday Season. See you all in the New Year!




    Upcoming Events

    Ring in the New Year with Friends, Supporting Children of El Salvador

    A New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dance to benefit the Monsignor Romero Organization (which helps the under-privileged children of El Salvador) will be held on December 31 from 8:00 pm -2:00 am in Hattie Porter Hall. Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for children ages 7-15 and free for kids under 7. Childcare will be provided. For more information and tickets, contact Maria at sanjomaria @yahoo.com or (408)802-3200.

    Cakes Continues

    Please join us in the Fireside Room on Thursday, January 3, from 7:15 - 9:15 pm for the next Women’s Alliance meeting. This session includes two interesting films, Signs Out of Time: the Story of Archeologist Marija Gimbutas, and The Human Race: The Gods of Our Fathers, as part of our ongoing look at female-centered spirituality. We welcome everyone to join us. Contact Nancy Coleman at (408)985-5778 or nancybcoleman@mac.com for further information.

    Conduciendo a nuestras congregaciones hacia un futuro multirracial y Multicultural: ¡Ahora es el Tiempo!
    Desde el viernes 22 de febrero, hasta el medio día del domingo, 24 de febrero, en el Hotel Doubletree de San José.

    Llevemos a un equipo de la FUCSJ a esta atractiva y transformadora conferencia de fin de semana! Pase el viernes con la inspirada Rev. Jacqui Lewis; el sábado, comparta los talleres prácticos con los UUs de alrededor del país; y en la mañana de domingo, tendremos el honor de recibir la conferencia entera en nuestro servicio de las 9:30 en español (con la traducción inglés), de modo que todos puedan experimentar una probada de el multiculturalismo Unitario Universalismo en la acción.

    Si usted no estuvo disponible para tomar nuestra clase de “Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos”, esta conferencia ofrece una gran oportunidad, en un tiempo más corto, de participar. Si usted está tomando nuestra clase, la conferencia proporciona un excelente realce al trabajo que estamos haciendo. La conferencia cuesta $280, con algunas comidas incluidas-y vale cada centavo, para los que puedan hacerlo.

    Regístrese ahora a través del e-mail en:
    http://www.uua.org/events/ multiracialmulticultural/index.shtml.

    Entonces déjele saber a la Rev. Nancy que usted se unirá a nuestro equipo de líderes y de ministros de la FUCSJ enviándole un mensaje electrónico a: revnpj@yahoo.com.

    Leading Our Congregations into a Multiracial, Multicultural Future: Now Is the Time!
    All day Friday, February 22, through midday Sunday, February 24; Doubletree Hotel, San José

    Let’s take an FUCSJ team to this engaging and transformative weekend conference! Spend Friday with the inspiring Rev. Jacqui Lewis; on Saturday, share practical workshops with UUs from around the country; and on Sunday morning, we have the honor of hosting the whole conference at our 9:30 worship service in Spanish (with English translation), so that all can experience a taste of multicultural Unitarian Universalism in action.

    If you weren’t able to join our Building the World We Dream About class, this conference offers a great opportunity, in a shorter span of time, to participate. If you are taking our class, the conference provides an excellent enhancement to the work we are doing. For commuters, the conference costs $280, with some meals included—and it is worth every penny for those who can make it.

    Register on-line now at www.uua.org/events/ multiracialmulticultural/index.shtml.

    Then let Rev. Nancy know that you will be joining our team of FUCSJ leaders and ministers by e-mailing her at revnpj@yahoo.com.


    Circling Around

    by Kelly Burnett

    Steve Stein and Gary McCumber report that Gary is traveling for Christmas to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. He’s traveling with his friend, Janis Levine, the same travel companion he was with when they survived the tsunami in Thailand in 2004. We’re hoping for no more such memorable winter holidays. He is due back in San Jose at noon on Christmas Eve. Keep fingers crossed he’ll be able to come to church that evening. Cheers!

    Happy Holidays to all in this beloved community! Kelly

    Please send Kelly Burnett your honors, joys, plans, and any other news that needs to be shared with our community so that she can keep us all informed. Her email address is kelly@kellybur.com. Her telephone number is 408-810-3182, but she’d prefer to receive your news by email, if possible.


    January Is Open Enrollment Month
    for Small Group Ministry!

    Our Small Group Ministries (SGM) program is an exciting opportunity to meet other people who are interested in Unitarian Universalism, to get to know people in this congregation in a deep and meaningful way, and to discuss and learn more about our own and one another’s personal spiritual paths. “Intimacy and ultimacy,” some folks say when they try to sum up what participation in Small Group Ministry offers.

    During the month of January, we are welcoming everyone who would like to enroll in our small groups. If you are not currently active in a small group, you can sign up at the SGM table during Social Hour following the 11 a.m. service any Sunday in January. Please see the listing below for the number of openings in each of our current small groups. And stay tuned for more news of Small Group Ministry in worship as the New Year begins!

    Generally, Small Groups meet twice a month for a two-hour time slot, usually during the first and third weeks of the month, although some of our small groups follow a slightly different schedule. “Small” means a membership of six to ten people, generally of diverse backgrounds. We ask for a commitment to good attendance to your group for a year. Each session is devoted to a theme that holds some significance in our lives. Participation in Small Group Ministry encourages skills of “deep listening” to each other and is a significant way we build the interdependent web of our community. Through Small Group Ministry, we create a deeper connection to our own best self as well as to others in our congregation. Check out the SGM portion of our website for more information: www.sanjoseuu.org/FUCSJ_SGM/index.html.

    So, please stop by the SGM table in Hattie Porter Hall any Sunday in January. There will be a sign-up sheet for each group that has openings. Just sign up, and the group leaders will follow up and integrate you into your chosen group.

    Current openings are shown in the chart below. If these times do not work for you, or if all the slots in your chosen time are filled when you go to sign up, there will be an additional sign-up form on which you can tell us when you would like to have a group. Fill that out, and we will do our very best to accommodate you. We hope to see you there! l

    Current Group Openings

    Time Place Leadership
    1st & 3rd Sun Eve Downtown San Jose Dana Grover, Carol Greene
    2nd & 4th Mon Eve Almaden Valley Rick Morris, Robin Beresford
    1st & 3rd Mon Eve Near 880 & Hamilton Catherine Pelizzari
    1st & 3rd Mon Eve Downtown San Jose Alice Lynch, Matt Trask
    1st & 3rd Mon Eve Saratoga Madeline Morrow, Cindy Robinson
    2nd 4th Tues Aft Los Gatos Diana Wirt
    1st & 3rd Tues Eve Los Gatos, off Lark Frank Bosche
    1st & 3rd Tues Eve Downtown San Jose Rob Strong, Frank Farris
    1st Thurs Eve (1/month) East Foothills Mary Jeffries, Ellen Robinson
    1st & 3rd Sat Morn Japantown Bob Miess, K’Ailsa Rowan
    Various Sat Morns Morgan Hill Beth McGhee, Jenny Redfern
    Conozca a Nuestros Nuevos Miembros

    Caitlin Waddick
    Caitlin Waddick es tercera-generación de Unitarios Universalistas. En el 2006, ella se trasladó a San José desde Atlanta (pasando dos años en Boulder, Colorado) con su guapo esposo, Asim Zia, y tres asombrosos niños: Ursula (5 de edad), Anika (3), y Ruzty Zia (2). Asim es profesor de estudios ambientales en la universidad SJSU. Sus dos hijas fueron dedicadas en la congregación Unitaria Universalista de Atlanta, en donde Caitlin creció. Mientras estuvo allí, ella participó en las actividades de YRUU (juventud) en el distrito UU de MidSouth, y luego en UUYAN y en el grupo de la Congregación Aceptante. Mientras ejerce sus labores maternas, Caitlin está terminando un doctorado en planeación ambiental. Su investigación explora nuevos métodos para reducir nuestra exposición cotidiana a los químicos tóxicos. La familia de Caitlin incluye un gato, cuatro gallinas, una paloma y peces. Caitlin cree firmemente en el llamado UU a transformar la fe en acción y le gusta cantar durante el servicio.

    Henry Ruddle
    Como ateo dedicado, Henry Ruddle no tendría porqué andar asistiendo a ninguna clase de servicio religioso, sin embargo está aquí. Figúrense. Creció con un padre que era un libre pensador adventista del séptimo día y una madre católica insuficientemente motivada por la culpabilidad, por lo cual, el aspecto espiritual de Henry permaneció en su empaque original (a pesar de los esfuerzos de dos tíos que eran reverendos y de sus amigos cristianos) incluso después de haber leído demasiada filosofía y teología en la universidad SCU y a nivel privado. A esto añádanle algunos estudios de biología evolucionaria y de psicología, además de tener una esposa evangélica, y de allí resultó una incongruencia total que juega con palabras, escribe himnos, formatea el boletín de noticias – es decir, un no-creyente espiritual.

    Meet Our New Members

    Caitlin Waddick
    Caitlin Waddick is a third-generation Unitarian Universalist. In 2006, she moved to San José from Atlanta (via two years in Boulder, Colorado) with her handsome husband, Asim Zia, and three amazing children: Ursula (age 5), Anika (3), and Rusty Zia (2). Asim is a Professor of Environmental Studies at San Jose State University. Their two daughters were dedicated at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, where Caitlin grew up. While there, she was active in YRUU (youth) activities across the UU Mid South District, and later in UUYAN and the Welcoming Congregation. While mothering, Caitlin is finishing a doctoral degree in environmental planning. Her research explores new methods for reducing our everyday exposures to toxic chemicals. Caitlin’s extended family includes a cat, four chickens, a dove, and fish. Caitlin believes strongly in the UU call to turn faith into action, and she likes to sing during the service.

    Henry Ruddle
    As a dedicated atheist, Henry Ruddle has no business attending any sort of church service, and yet here he is. Go figure. Raised by a Seventh Day Adventist free thinker and an insufficiently guilt-ridden Catholic, Henry’s spiritual side remained in its original packaging (despite the efforts of two reverend uncles and Christian friends) until after reading way too much philosophy and theology at SCU and privately. Mix in some evolutionary biology and psychology study along with an Evangelical wife, and out popped a full-grown, pun-spouting, hymn-writing, newsletter-formatting oxymoron – namely a spiritual non-believer.


    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: (cell) 408-841-1011; 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: (cell) 408-841-1011; 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:


    Bob Miess, bob@creating-context.com

    Vice President (Planning/Personnel)
    Joyce Miller,

    Vice President (Programs)
    Julia Rodriguez, quixoposto@ix.netcom.com

    Bob Redfern, rredfern@charter.net

    David Tucker, cheverly@earthlink.net

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


    Debra Fenzel-Alexander, sdsalex@comcast.net

    Mary Mary Feldman, mm@feldmo.com

    Marla Scharf, marla.scharf@gmail.com

    Diana Wirt, diwirt@sbcglobal.net  

    Church Staff

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

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

    Office Administrator ..............................................  Ext. 10
     Iris Gonzalez, fucsj@sanjoseuu.org

    Coordinator of Spanish Speaking Ministries................. Ext. 24
     Roberto Padilla

    Social Justice Coordinator .....................................  Ext. 27
     Carol Stephenson, socialjustice@sanjoseuu.org

    Bookkeeper..................................................... Pam Garcia

    Sexton.......................................................... Edgar Cruz

    Acting R.E. Assistant  ………………………………Elena Clifford

    Nursery Teacher......................................... Stacey Vinyard

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

    NEWSLETTER Editors
    Sherry Howd
    , 257-6844, s_howd@msn.com
    Sherry will edit the Dec. 19 and Jan. 16 issues.

    Catherine Leeson Pelizzari, 945-9848, caleeson@aol.com
    Catherine will edit the Jan. 2 and Feb. 6 issues.

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

    Translator: Roberto Padilla

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

    Stapling and Addressing: Deanna LaTorre, Genie Bernardini, Gretchen Leavitt, Madeline Morrow, and Lloyd Eater.

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

    **Assembly starts at 4:30 pm - your help is very much welcome!**

    Mailing: Libby Codd

    Help Us Clean Up Our Mailing List!
    If you don’t want to continue receiving this newsletter, please let us know at: steve.carr@earthlink.net or by calling (408) 292-3858, ext. 31 or by writing to the above address. If you’d rather get your newsletter via email, emessage steve.carr@earthlink.net

    Next issue deadline: 3:00 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Next issue assembly: Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Next issue mailing: Wednesday, December 19, 2007