Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / November 7, 2007 / 7 de Noviembre 2007

Inside This Issue:

1107-1 Sunday Services
1107-2 Save the Dates
1107-3 Religious Education; Children's holiday play; Intensive Adult Class on UU
1107-4 Articulating our UU Faith
1107-5 As We Build the Beloved Community... Visions for the Future of Unitarian Universalism

Joy Through Service -- Monty & Carol Low: Their Smiles and Service Glow


Let’s Create a First Unitarian Team for the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot


I Would Volunteer BUT. . .

1107-9 Volunteer Classified Ads for Our Spiritual Cooperative -- Live Your Values! (BONUS)
1107-10 Spotlight on Social Justice: Writing About Rights

Wanted! Worship Associates!

1107-12 UU Hikers & Friends
1107-13 Upcoming Events -- Transylania Pilgrimage Presenation, Peninsula Interweave, Singing as a Spiritual Practice, Fireside Gift Faire

Circling Around -- Patricia Ohanian-Coffey's father passes away, Rivers' kids rock out

1107-15 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
1107-1 Servicios de Domingo
1107-5 A Medida que Construimos Nuestra Comunidad de Amor...Visión para el futuro del Unitario Universalismo

¿Quién desea unirse a la Rev. Nancy y su esposo el Rev. Kevin en el Trote del Día de Acción de Gracias el jueves 22 de noviembre?


Aquí estan los Ministros!

UU Choir Delivers Knock Out Performance of 23rd Psalm at Circle of Palms for the Interfaith Reunion on October 2

And now we have the sharp photo to prove it courtesy of the Interfaith Reunion.

23 SEPT.


SEPT. 23

En nuestra comunidad Unitaria Universalista, nos juntamos las mañanas de domingo para la música, la reflexión, la comodidad, el desafío, y el compañerismo; nos unimos para buscar la verdad y el significado, para compartir nuestras vidas, y animarnos los unos a los otros para crecer. Cada servicio religioso es único, preparado por los líderes y los asociados de culto para conectarnos con las principales preguntas de nuestras vidas. Tu puedes leer los sermones pasados en www.sanjoseuu.org ... ¡esperamos verte ahí! In our Unitarian Universalist community, we gather on Sunday mornings for music, reflection, comfort, challenge, and companionship; we gather to seek truth and meaning, to share our lives, and to encourage each other to grow. Each worship service is unique, prepared by worship leaders and associates to engage with the major questions of our lives. Read past sermons on-line at www.sanjoseuu.org... We hope to see you there!
9:30 a.m.
Servicios en español/Translation into English

11 de Noviembre — 9:30 y 11 a.m.

Gratitud I: ¿Qué Tan Agradecidos Estamos? Día de los Veteranos y el Unitario Universalismo
Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Servicio: Miembros de SSM.

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

November 11 — 9:30 & 11 a.m.

Gratitude I: How Grateful Are We? Veterans’ Day and Unitarian Universalism
Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: Mary Martin.

18 de Noviembre — 9:30 y 11 a.m.

Gratitud II: Por Todo lo Que Es Nuestra Vida: Edades y Etapas
Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados de Servicio: Miembros de SSM.

November 18 — 9:30 & 11 a.m.

Gratitude II: For All That Is Our Life: Ages and Stages
Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: Bev Harrison.

25 de Noviembre — 9:30 a.m.

Tomando Decisiones
Dirige: Roberto Padilla; Associados de Servicio: Miembros de SSM.

Making Decisions
Worship Leader: Roberto Padilla; Worship Associates: Members of SSM.

November 25 — 11:00 a.m.

Anger and the Spirituality of Imperfection
Worship Leader: the Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Worship Associate: Donna Lenahan.

El Enojo y la Espiritualidad de la Imperfección
Dirige: el Rev. Geoff Rimositis; Asociada de Servicio: Donna Lenahan.


Save the Dates

  • November 10, Saturday, Leadership Development Day – 2007, UU Church of Palo Alto.
    A daylong adventure of learning, networking, worshiping, seeing old friends, and making new ones. Everyone is welcome to attend. You can find more information on Leadership Development Day—the list of workshops, the schedule, registration material, and information on “how to get there” by visiting http://www.pcd-uua.org
  • November 11, Sunday, Slide Show from Transylvania in the Fireside Room at 12:30 pm after the service.
  • November 17, Saturday, all-church work party called “Service is our Prayer” Day, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the church
  • November 18, Sunday, PCD-UUA Leadership School Grad Meeting presents: “Singing as a Spiritual Practice” by Frank Farris; 2:15 pm in the Ramsden Fireside Room
  • December 2, Sunday, UU Band of Writers, 12:20, Youth Room
  • December 7, Friday, Dances of Universal Peace, 8:00 pm in the Sanctuary
  • December 8, Saturday, Intensive on Unitarian Universalism, Youth Room, 9 a.m.-2 p.m
  • December 9, Sunday, Fireside Gift Faire (formerly Holiday Wanderers) after the church service in Hattie Porter Hall

Religious Education

Sunday Morning Class Calendar

Nusery -- Birth through 4 Years [Nursery, Lower Level]

We provide a safe, clean environment in which to support each child in initiating play activities at the developmental level they manifest. 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]

Nov. 11 Making Friends with our Fears

Nov. 18 Social Justice Sunday

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

Nov. 11 Jingle Bells: Unitarian songwriter James Pierpont’s simple gift

Nov. 18 Social Justice Sunday

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

Nov. 11 Pagan Wrap-up

Nov. 18 Social Justice Sunday

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

Nov. 11 Putting Love and Joy into the Season

Nov. 18 Social Justice Sunday

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 .

Children’s Holiday Play
December 16, 11 AM

We are excited to announce that Dianne Saichek, our esteemed Sunday pianist, who has directed children’s plays and musicals in the South Bay, will be directing this year’s children’s holiday play on Sunday, December 16 at the 11:00 am service.

Children and youth in Kindergarten through high school are invited to participate.

We will sing! We will act! We will read!

All skills and abilities are invited to participate! Rehearsals will take place outside of regular class time from 9:30 - 10:45 am in the downstairs classrooms on the following days:

  • Sunday Nov. 18 Sunday Nov. 25
  • Sunday Dec. 2 Sunday Dec. 9
  • Saturday, Dec. 15, 9:00 am–Noon (Dress Rehearsal in Sanctuary)

To RSVP, call the Rev. Geoff Rimositis, 292-3858, x25 or GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org

Intensive on Unitarian Universalism
Saturday, December 8 [note date change], 9 am to 3 pm
Lunch Provided / Child Care Available by Request

All are welcome (newcomers, friends, prospective and seasoned members) to spend a day in retreat at the First Unitarian Church of San José learning about the history, theology, and practices of Unitarian Universalism. Come and become acquainted or reintroduced to the rich historical legacy of our faith. Wrestle together with age-old questions that religions have sought answers to for a millennium. Spend time in meditation, prayer and quiet reflection listening for that “still small voice” within, guiding us to healing and renewal. Join like-minded seekers of truth and spiritual pilgrims as we get to know one another in deeper and more meaningful ways.

Leaders: the Rev. Geoff Rimositis and Bruce Halen

RSVP to Rev. Geoff at grimositis@sanjoseuu.org.

Articulating Our UU Faith

by the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

It’s the Earthquake’s Fault!

Full cup of tea in hand,
cozying up on the couch.
The evening turns the corner
when the Siren’s call of sleep
becomes stronger than the will
to keep the eyes open.

And just like that
the ground liquefies beneath my feet
and I am on a ship sailing on the high seas,
rolling and pitching upon the crest of waves.
There goes my tea.

I cry out with a drunken sailor’s lament
for every drop of spirits spilled.
My world is a fun house.
Floors are no longer plumb and level.
Geometry rewrites its own rules.
Who knows which end is up?!?

The world could have fallen on my head
before I cleared my mind quickly enough to know what to do.
This is something I don’t want to get good at.
I don’t want to practice on 5.6 tremors
that slap me upside the head.

Yes, I do need to have extra water, food and batteries on hand
when the world shuts its doors
and the market place is now a barter between neighbors.

There is smart.
And there is stupid.
There are calculated risks.
And there is foolhardy inaction
when you don’t pay attention
to the danger that lurks beneath the surface.

With a sigh as deep as a whale’s exhale
shooting a plume high in the sky through its blow hole,
my nerves level out.
The immediate threat has passed.
No lives were lost.
Damage was minimal.

Only complacency was shaken up.
Now everybody raises their hands and recites the scout’s oath
to be prepared for the next one.
Life goes on.

It’s the day after and children will be knocking on doors
tonight with bags wide open.
“Trick or treat! Give us something good to eat!”
But please no earthquakes, tremors or aftershocks.
It is a trick no one wants.

As We Build the Beloved Community...

by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Visions for the Future of Unitarian Universalism

On Saturday evening, October 27, Rev. Vail Weller, Rev. Christopher Holton-Jablonski, and I sat down to dinner with the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Rev. Bill Sinkford, and members of the President’s Council. The council consists of some of the most active and generous Unitarian Universalist leaders from around the country. Vail, Chris, and I had been asked to create the keynote program for the evening, so of course, since we are ministers, we had decided to offer worship.

In our order of service, each of us had just a few moments—less than ten minutes apiece—to share a story, a testimonial, or a theological reflection about our life “on the ground,” in our beloved congregations. This was our chance to share our vision for what Unitarian Universalism can be and for what it is becoming, in front of some major movers and shakers in our movement. No pressure or anything!

Christopher, who is Minister of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, told a wild and wonderful fable about giant intergalactic gerbils who came to earth to drain every single person’s mind and heart—to just suck the juice right out of them—so that the gerbils could use all this mental, emotional, and spiritual energy to build up their own planet. Only the “Fire of Commitment” and the strength of love and passion in the Unitarian Universalists could thwart the gerbils from making off with the life force of humanity! Now, before I hear cries of “Gerbils’ Rights,” I’d ask you to consider, instead: What is actually draining our life force these days, and what gifts do we Unitarian Universalists have that deepen, instead of destroy, human capacities for love and thought?

I told two stories: the first is one I shared in this newsletter at the beginning of October—about how visitors, congregants, and ministers alike are creating mini-communities of care, even in our brief conversations during Social Hour, and about how these mini-communities open a space where we can all grow. In my second reflection I lifted up the abrazos, the hugs, with which we start our worship day at the 9:30 service here in San José. I talked about the healing and transformation that our members—English and Spanish speakers alike—have experienced by worshiping in a multicultural community where unity-with-diversity and the power of love are so palpable. I shared, too, how creating a community that really celebrates differences—of many kinds—is hard. But there’s something about what we’re doing here in San José that can help our whole denomination to widen our embrace, our abrazo, and strengthen our relevance.

Then Vail, minister for the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo, capped off these stories with some striking statistics. When a well-designed study in 1985 asked people how many friends they had in their lives in whom they could confide—how many people were they able to trust deeply—most people answered “three.” When the same question was asked in 2004, most people responded “zero”! Most people today feel that they have no one in whom they can confide! This social isolation is surely one of the conditions that drains our life of meaning and hope, of compassion and justice. “Life is about creating connections with others, and growing beyond our separations,” Vail said. “People that I have met are desperate to find a place that allows them to express their gratitude for life, that provides a loving context where sorrows can be shared, and a place that urges them to make a difference in the world.” We Unitarian Universalists can offer that “gift of life, a place to make meaning, create justice, nourish our spirits, and help heal the world.”

Thoughts to ponder, visions to share! And then I got home in time to watch the Red Sox clinch the World Series. It was a good evening all around! And all of it helps me find strength and passion for building our Beloved Community. I hope you think so, too!

Warmly ... Nancy

A Medida que Construimos Nuestra Comunidad de Amor...

por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Visión para el futuro del Unitario Universalismo

El Sábado 27 de Octubre por la tarde, el Reverendo Vail Weller, el Rev.Christopher Holton-Jablonski y yo nos sentamos a cenar con el Presidente de la Asociación Unitaria Universalista, el Rev. Bill Sinkford, y con los miembros del Consejo Presidencial. El Consejo esta formado por algunos de los líderes más activos y generosos de la Asociación Unitaria Universalista de todo el país. A Vail, a Chris y a mi nos habían pedido crear el programa principal para la tarde, por supuesto, ya que somos ministros, habíamos decidido ofrecer el servicio.

En nuestra orden de servicio, cada uno de nosotros tenía un poco de tiempo- menos de 10 minutos- para compartir una historia, un testimonio ó una reflexión sobre nuestra vida en el campo de nuestras amadas congregaciones. Esta era la ocasión de compartir nuestra visión para lo que puede ser el Unitario Universalismo y en lo que se esta convirtiendo, delante de algunos activistas importantes en nuestro movimiento. Sin presión ó cualquier otra cosa.

Christopher, quien es Ministro de Educación Religiosa de la Iglesia Unitaria Universalista en Berkeley, dijo una salvaje y maravillosa fabula sobre los Gerbils, unos gigantes intergalácticos, que vinieron a la tierra para drenar la mente y el corazón de cada persona- para solo succionar el jugo de ellos, así los gerbils podrían usar esta energía mental, emocional y espiritual para construir su propio planeta. Solamente el “Fuego del Compromiso” y la fuerza del amor y la pasión en el Unitario Universalismo podría frustrar a los gerbils de apagar y acabar con la fuerza de la vida de la humanidad! Ahora, antes de que oiga los gritos de los “Derechos de los Gerbils” yo les pediría que pusieran en su lugar: ¿Que esta drenando nuestra fuerza de vida en estos días y qué regalos tenemos nosotros los Unitarios Universalistas que profundicen en vez de destruir las capacidades del ser humano de amor y pensamiento?

Yo conté dos historias: La primera es una que compartí en el periódico a principios de Octubre – sobre cómo los visitantes, los congregantes y los ministros estamos creando mini-comunidades de cuidado, aún en nuestras conversaciones durante la hora Social y acerca de como estas mini-comunidades abren un espacio donde todos podemos crecer. En mi segunda reflexión yo hable de los abrazos, los abrazos con los cuales comenzamos nuestro día en el servicio de las 9:30, aquí en San José. Hablé de la curación y de la transformación que nuestros miembros – en inglés y en español por igual – han experimentado en los servicios religiosos en una comunidad multicultural donde están tan palpables la unidad-con-diversidad y la energía del amor. Yo compartí también cómo crear una comunidad que realmente celebre las diferencias – de muchas clases – es difícil. Pero hay algo sobre lo que estamos haciendo aquí en San José que puede ayudar a toda nuestra denominación para ensanchar nuestro abrazo y que consolide nuestra importancia.

Entonces Vail, Ministro de la Iglesia Unitaria Universalista en San Mateo capturo estas historias con algunas estadísticas llamativas. Cuando un estudio bien diseñado en 1985 pregunto a la gente cuántos amigos tenían en sus vidas en los cuales podrían confiar –cuanta de esa gente serían capaces de confiar profundamente – la mayoría de la gente contesto “tres”. Cuando la misma pregunta fue contestada en el 2004, la mayoría de la gente contesto “cero”! La mayoría de la gente siente que no tienen a una persona en quien ellos puedan confiar! Este aislamiento social es seguramente una de las condiciones que drena el significado de nuestra vida y de la esperanza, de la compasión, y de la justicia. “La vida es sobre crear conexiones con otros e ir creciendo más allá de nuestras separaciones,” dijo Vail. “La gente que yo he conocido esta desesperada en encontrar un lugar que les permita expresar su gratitud por la vida, que proporcione un contexto cariñoso en donde los dolores pueden ser compartidos y un lugar que los impulse a hacer la diferencia en el mundo.” Nosotros los Unitarios Universalistas podemos ofrecer ese “Regalo de vida, un lugar que tenga significado, para crear justicia, alimentar nuestros espíritus, y ayudar a curar el mundo.”

Grandes pensamientos, visiones para compartir! Y después de eso llegue a casa a tiempo para ver el cierre de los Red Sox en la Serie Mundial. Fue una buena y completa tarde! Y que me ayudo a encontrar la fuerza y la pasión para construir nuestra amada comunidad. Yo espero que ustedes piensen así también!

Calurosamente ... Nancy


by Ellie White and You UUs

Monty & Carol Low: Their Smiles and Service Glow

Monty and Carol Low made the experience of the last church retreat so satisfying to me that I was inspired to seek out parishioners who could tell us more about them.

Rev. Geoff tells us, “Monty has helped to lead our all-church retreats. Last summer was his ultimate achievement: managing all the details of getting 14 youth and 14 adults to Hungary and Romania for our partner church visit. We are blessed to have a person like Monty who actively cares about our youth, treats them with respect, and truly enjoys their company as much as they enjoy his. He’s a great dancer too!”

Colleen Cabot adds, “During the Senior Camping Trip to the Santa Cruz Islands in 2006, I chaperoned our teens alongside Monty for the first time and experienced Monty’s easy-going manner which helps keep him in tune with the ebb and flow of teen dynamics. When Monty is out in the bay snorkeling with everyone, something magic happens. His clear leadership keeps the group together for safety, while his wonder at all the underwater denizens sparks the kids’ own explorations.”

“Monty had his hands full with the Transylvania Pilgrimage, yet he was always ready to collaborate with our UU-Afrika effort. He had them join us in a recycling effort and when we were in Transylvania and the other youth group was in Johannesburg, Monty said ‘Let’s get the kids talking across the globe on Skype.’ The world is a big wonderful apple to Monty, and there’s plenty for everyone to have a big bite.”

Lori Anderson says, “When my seventeen-year-old son, Zack Blitz, was in the Coming-of-Age program a few years ago, Monty mentored him—taking Zack snowboarding, to the Chinese New Year’s celebration, and to other special places and events. Monty also taught Zack how to lay out a labyrinth in preparation for the South Africa trip last summer. Zack adds, “Monty is a fun-loving guy always looking at ways for people to have a good time.”

Claire Wagner writes “The thing about Carol and Monty is that I always see them smiling, which seems to show their love for us as they do so much for us as a community. Greg sees Monty as a major ingredient in the ‘glue’ that holds this church together. Monty has been the major visionary AND organizer in chaperoning, along with Greg, four high school trips and he can get people to participate without any pressure or anxiety. Monty sets a terrific example for adults and youth. Personally, both of us would like to BE Monty when we grow up!”

Claire says of Carol: “She is a musician gifted with a singing voice of extraordinary flexibility and range and the ability (rare among women) to sing just about any part except for the lowest bass, having exactly the right voice timbre. Because Carol is modest, many people don’t realize the extent of her special talent, though she has sung in our choir from time to time for many years.”

We congregants have seen a smiling Monty many times at coffee hour, behind a table piled with t-shirts imprinted with the graphic of our church. Sales of these t-shirts help to fund scholarships for the senior high summer campout. Carol has been the registrar for our all-church retreat at Monte Toyon for the last five years and, until recently, has organized ingatherings and made the flowers that were pinned on our new members.”

We thank you, Monty and Carol, for your memorable service to our church community—more than could be mentioned here. Whatever volunteer route you take, we know that you’ll make magic happen.

Who inspires you through church volunteerism? Email Ellie White at elejeff@finestplanet.com or phone (408) 729-0420?


Let’s Create a First Unitarian Team for the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Who wants to join Rev. Nancy and her spouse Rev. Kevin in the Silicon Valley Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, on Thursday, November 22? The event benefits the Silicon Valley Food Bank, the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, and the Housing Trust. It costs $30 if you register between now and November 22, or $35 on the day of the event. City Council member Sam Liccardo tells us that the council wants the race to be open to all; if you or your family needs help with the registration fee, try calling the councilman’s office at 408-535-4903.

You can register on-line now at: http://www.svlg.net/events/turkeytrot2007/

Registration also takes place on the day of the event, November 22, at 7:30 am. Both the 5K Run/Walk and the 10K Run begin at 9:00 am at Guadalupe River Park/Confluence Meadow in downtown San José, between Autumn Street and CA-87.

Nancy and Kevin will participate in the 5K “Walk/Trot” (well, Kevin may call what he does “running,” but Nancy is pretty sure that her pace will be leisurely). Nancy will help to launch the race with other area clergy.

Shall we create a First Unitarian multigenerational team for this fun benefit? E-mail Iris Gonzalez, Office Administrator, at fucsj@sanjoseuu.org and put “Thanksgiving Turkey Trot” in the subject line to add your name to the team. Let’s all meet at the starting line!

¿Quién desea unirse a la Rev. Nancy y su esposo el Rev. Kevin en el Trote del Día de Acción de Gracias el jueves 22 de noviembre?

Este evento es a beneficio del Banco de Alimentos del Silicon Valley, la Fundación de la Salud de la Familia de Santa Clara, y la Housing Trust. El costo es de $30 sí usted se inscribe entre hoy y el 22 de noviembre, o de $35 en el día del evento. Sam Liccardo, miembro de consejo de ciudad nos dice que el consejo quisiera que la carrera estuviera abierta a todos; si usted o su familia necesitan ayuda con la cuota del registro, por favor, intente llamar la oficina del concilio al 408-535-4903. Se puede registrar on-line ahora en http://www.svlg.net/events/turkeytrot2007.

También se puede registrar el día del evento, el 22 de noviembre, a las 7:30 de la mañana. Tanto la carrera/caminata de los 5K y la carrera de los 10K comienzan a las 9:00 mañana en el Guadalupe River Park/en la Confluencia de Meadow en el Centro de San José, entre la calle de Autumn y CA-87. Nancy y Kevin participarán en la “caminata de 5K/trote” (Bien, Kevin puede llamarle que esta “corriendo,” pero Nancy esta bastante segura que su paso será pausado). Nancy ayudará a promover la carrera con otros clérigos del área.

¿Crearemos un equipo multigeneracional de la Primera Iglesia Unitaria para esta diversión con ventaja? Envíele un correo electrónico a Iris González, Administradora del la oficina al fucsj@sanjoseuu.org, y agregue su nombre al equipo del “Trote del Día de Acción de Gracias”. Unámonos todos en la línea de salida!


I Would Volunteer BUT. . .

Myth #3: The church doesn’t need what I am able to offer.

Reality: The Volunteer Coordinating Team offers interviews, centered around a detailed questionnaire, in order to explore ways that people’s interests and talents can be matched with volunteer opportunities.

Myth #4: I don’t know enough people to volunteer.

Reality: New volunteers are warmly welcomed and you will soon get to know many more people in the church.


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.

  • 1107-10
    Spotlight on Social Justice

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

    Writing About Rights

    I have been thinking lately about human rights. What is it that every one of us deserves? In my contemplation of this question, I looked up the 1948 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and I was impressed with the range of rights detailed there. In fact, I began to think of the things I do on any given day without a second thought that the United Nations considers something worth protection.

    Every one of these simple acts is listed in the Declaration as a right, although the fact that I do it does not mean that it is protected as such in the US. What’s more, I exercise some of these rights knowing that not everyone here enjoys them equally.

    • I own real property in my own name.
    • The state recognizes my marriage. I chose the person I married and the number of children that I have.
    • I went to school. I got into higher education programs based on merit and I earned my degrees with the same requirements as other people.
    • I have a job. I am paid the same amount as the man who held this job before me.
    • Some days I don’t work and I do other things.
    • I have called the police and they responded.
    • I mail letters.
    • My children go to a public magnet school that we chose for them.
    • I go to the doctor. My children do, too.
    • I have been on marches that protest activities of my government. I have met with my representative. I often write to and call the president, the governor and other representatives.
    • I voted for some of them.
    • I have joined all kinds of organizations. I have quit lots of them, too.
    • Sometimes I visit museums. I like to go to the cultural festivals that take place in San Jose.
    • I eat.
    • I write this newsletter and no one else claims that it is theirs.

    I often feel privileged because I am able to do everything on this list. But it is not privilege when it is a right. All people deserve all of these things and more that I didn’t include. The fact that most people in the world don’t experience these rights only means we all have work to do.

    The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee is dedicated to advancing human rights. The current programs of the UUSC are to defend worker’s rights, protect access to clean and safe water, defend civil liberties in the War on Terror, and respond to humanitarian crisis. On November 18, we begin our annual UUSC Guest at Your Table fund-raising campaign. Please consider picking up a Guest at Your Table box that you can fill with change to support the UUSC. Participating in Guest at Your Table is your choice, and it is also your right.


    Wanted! Worship Associates!

    The Worship Associate program provides an exciting opportunity for members of the First Unitarian Church of San José to help plan and present the Sunday-morning services that are at the heart of our Beloved Community. Worship Associates, who serve for one calendar year, work closely with the ministers on five or six services during that year. They also set up the worship space for another five or six Sundays. Ongoing training is provided in quarterly workshops.

    In addition to making a vital contribution to congregational life, participation in Worship Associates is a wonderful way to deepen your understanding of Unitarian Universalism. And you get to know some super people!

    This year’s application deadline is December 15. You’ll find details on the church website at http://www.sanjoseuu.org/OurWorshipLife/WorshipAssociates.html

    Questions? Ask Rev. Nancy or Rev. Geoff, or phone Mary Martin at (408) 354-8878.

    UU Hikers & Friends

    by Joyce Miller

    Here is the November hiking schedule. If you have any question about whether a hike is on or off, just give me a call. I rarely cancel but sometimes I change the venue if muddy trails seem likely. The backup hike is the Stanford Dish. And as usual, be sure to let me know if you are planning to hike, so I know to look for you. You can call me at home at (408) 730-1052 any time after 6:30 am or email me the day before. I turn on my cell phone when I leave the house the day of the hike so you can contact me if you get delayed or your plans change. My cell phone is (408) 507-7052. See you on the trails!

    Wednesday, November 7
    Skyline Ridge Loop, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.

    Saturday, November 10
    Almaden Quicksilver County Park, 7 miles, moderate. Meet at Bed, Bath and Beyond at Almaden Plaza at 8:00 am. Or meet at trail head at Mockingbird entrance at 8:20 am.

    Wednesday, November 14
    Fremont/Older/Stevens Creek, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at the parking lot at Stevens Creek Park. Directions: From 280 take Foothill Expressway as though you were going to Rancho San Antonio, but go straight on Foothill, which becomes Stevens Canyon Road at McClellan. Continue about a mile to entrance to park, which is on the left. Parking fee is $5.

    Saturday, November 17
    No hike planned. We have a work day at the church.

    Wednesday, November 21
    Wunderlich County Park. 5 miles, easy. A short hike, so we can all cook for Thanksgiving. Meet at Page/Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.

    Saturday, November 24
    Alum Rock Park, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at VTA Park and Ride on Capital and Alum Rock at 8:00 am. Take Alum Rock exit to the right and go to Capital and turn left. Park and Ride is on the right in the middle of the block.

    Wednesday, November 28
    Russian Ridge, 5 miles, moderate. Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.


    Upcoming Events

    Sunday, November 11
    Transylvania Pilgrimage Presentation

    Are you interested in hearing about our trip to Transylvania this summer? Then come to this presentation on Sunday, November 11, at 12:45 am. in the downstairs classrooms 2 and 3 All who are interested are invited.

    For more information, contact Monty Low, 408-348-2778, low.monty@gmail.com.

    Friday, November 16
    Peninsula Interweave Meets in San Jose This Month

    If you are gay, lesbian. bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, or an ally of someone who is, you are invited to gather together Friday evening November 16 at 7:30-9:30 in the Fireside Room at our San Jose church. Peninsula Interweave, a social and support group for Unitarian Universalist BGLTIQ people and their friends, has been meeting for several years at various UU churches in the Peninsula and South Bay. These gatherings are a private setting to get to know each other, discuss issues, and discover our similarities and differences. You may bring light refreshments to share. For more information contact Frey Leigh, 408-446-1973, fleigh@earthlink.net.

    Sunday, November 18
    PCD UUA Leadership School Grad Meeting: Singing as a Spiritual Practice

    Good congregational singing is good for the body (lots of breathing, relaxing yet invigorating) and the soul (deepening your emotional and spiritual experience). Sharing joy or sorrow, as expressed in the songs we sing, helps build our church community.

    If your congregation thinks it can’t sing, rounds and two-part songs are good ways to ease them into feeling good about the music they make. Come prepared to learn how to guide others to feel comfortable singing. This workshop is led by Frank Farris, a member of the First Unitarian Church of San José, and takes place Sunday, November 18, 2007, 2:15 – 5:15 pm.

    Join your brother/sister graduates for our quarterly get-together to learn, discuss and engage in this small taste of Leadership School. This meeting is for graduates of the Pacific Central District Leadership School and is provided free of charge. The presentation is open to all. If you would like to attend, RSVP to Joy-Ellen Lipsky at jelipsky@successwithjoy.com to allow us to accommodate all who wish to participate.

    Saturday, December 8
    Intensive on Unitarian Universalism

    This course, led by the Rev Geoff Rimositis and Bruce Halen, is offered Saturday, December 8, 9:00 am.-2:00 pm in the Youth Room. Everyone (this includes newcomers, friends, prospective and seasoned members) is invited to spend a day in retreat at the First Unitarian Church of San José learning about the history, theology, and practices of Unitarian Universalism. Come and become acquainted or reintroduced to the rich historical legacy of our faith. Wrestle together with age-old questions that religions have sought answers to for a millennium. Spend time in meditation, prayer and quiet reflection listening for that “still small voice” within, guiding us to healing and renewal. Join like-minded seekers of truth and spiritual pilgrims as we get to know one another in deeper and more meaningful ways. Lunch will be provided; child care available by request. RSVP to Rev. Geoff at grimositis@sanjoseuu.org.

    Sunday, December 9, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    Elves and Other Helpers Needed for Fireside Gift Faire

    Would you like to help with our annual fund-raising sale of handcrafted gifts (formerly Holiday Wanderers)? We’re looking for elves to bake, wrap gifts, and donate new or gently used art pieces and handcrafted items.

    Gift Wrap: We’re looking for donations of wrapping paper, ribbons and bows with an artsy twist, e.g. hand-stamped newsprint, twine, cloth ribbon, raffia, or really weird things to wrap and tie gifts. Bring to the Fireside Gift Faire table in Hattie Porter Hall after services. Or if you would like to help wrap, e-mail Deb Fenzel-Alexander at sdsalex@comcast.net

    Artwork and tchotchkes: We’re looking for donations of arts and crafts AND new or like-new objets d’art such as paintings, ceramics, greeting cards, glass works for the “Orphans Table.” Bring items to the Fireside Gift Faire table in Hattie Porter Hall after services. For more information about contributions, e-mail Catherine Leeson Pelizzari at caleeson@aol.com.

    Bake Sale: Please contact Lori Zink at if you would like to help provide baked goods at lorizink@att.net


    Circling Around

    by Kelly Burnett

    From Patricia Ohanian-Coffey: “It is with a very heavy heart that I share with you the news of my father’s death. Abe Ohanian passed away on Wednesday October 10th surrounded by those he so dearly loved and who truly loved him. Annette and I were both with him. My sister summed it up best when she said, “What will we do without him?” It seems that he touched each and every person he met. He lived by the motto: ‘There are no such things as strangers, only friends that we have not yet met.’”

    “Abe has been affectionately called the Energizer Bunny. He was extremely generous, loyal, devoted and FUN. He would give you the shirt off his back, money to buy a refrigerator, or a plane ticket to California. At 78 years old he was still working as a stockbroker, helping others become financially secure with the same firm he has been with for over 50 years, and he still hung out with the same guys he went to high school with. He devoted much of his adult life to making this world a better place for everyone. He was instrumental in pushing for integration of the Duarte, CA schools and worked to create youth sports leagues in Duarte with the aim of bringing kids from all walks of life together. He raised awareness and countless funds for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. He served on the President’s Council of the UUA and attended over 20 UU General Assemblies. Many people will remember his wonderful parties and his love of collecting (flags, books, magazines, buttons, coins....) He was the supreme organizer (that will not surprise those of you who know me:-), he organized people for elections, church work, parties, high school reunions, and family gatherings. Truly what will we all do without him?

    “This is way more information than you need, but it has brought me comfort in sharing his life with others. Last Friday was his memorial service and I am still basking in the joy of knowing we put on one hell of a memorial service. About 300 people filled Throop Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, CA. He would have loved it.”

    And now, just to cheer you up, here’s a photo of Kristin and Jean Rivers’ children, Julian, Elara, and Miles, making music to beat the band!

    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.


    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. 5 and Dec. 19 issues.

    Catherine Leeson Pelizzari, 945-9848, caleeson@aol.com
    Catherine will edit the Nov. 21 and Jan. 2 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)

    Assembly Coordinators: Gretchen Leavitt and Genie Bernardini; Assembly Crew: Gretchen Leavitt, Marge Schneider, Ellie White, 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, November 14, 2007

    Next issue assembly: Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Next issue mailing: Wednesday, November 21, 2007