Our Church Circular / Nuestro Periódico de la Iglesia / September 5, 2007 / 5 de Septiembre 2007

Inside This Issue:

905-1 Sunday Services
905-2 Save the Dates, Social Justice Calendar
905-3 Religious Education - Sunday Programs Begin Sept. 23, Youth Activities, Teacher's Meeting, Teaching as a Spiritual Practice
905-4 New Adult Religious Education Class! Building the World We Dream About
905-5 As We Build the Beloved Community...by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Choir Notes: Call for Singers

905-7 Magnifying Our Ministries

Deficit Budget? YIKES!

905-9 Volunteer Classified Ads for Our Spiritual Cooperative -- Live Your Values!
905-10 Spotlight on Social Justice: San Jose is Growing Up!
905-11 Recycling Marches On! in support of the newsletter
905-12 Joy Through Service: Joyce Miller
905-13 Everything Has a Place, and Everything in Its Place
905-14 UU Hikers and Friends
905-15 Upcoming Events -- Cakes is Back!, All Church Work Party, Homecoming Dance, Game Day in St. James Park, Fall Church Retreat, Keep the Diversity
905-16 Circling Around -- We Write Letters!, Kelly Celebrates a Birthday
905-17 The Ministers Are In! / Board and Staff Contact Information
En Español
905-1 Servicios de Domingo
905-4 Nueva Clase de Educación Religiosa para Adultos! Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos
905-5 A Medida que Construimos Nuestra Comunidad de Amor... por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
905-7 Engrandeciendo Nuestros Ministerios
905-8 Déficit del Prosupuesto? YIKES!


Aquí estan los Ministros!




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

9 de Septiembre — 9:30 a.m.

¡Domingo de Regreso al Hogar!
¡Héroes, Cada Uno!
Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociada de Servicio: Kelly Burnett.

Por favor, traiga una pequeña cantidad de agua de sus viajes interiores y exteriores de este verano para la Ceremonia de la Reunión de las Aguas.

Homecoming Sunday!
Heroes, Every One!
Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: Kelly Burnett.

Please bring a small amount of water from your inner and outer travels this summer for the Gathering of the Waters Ceremony.

11:00 a.m.
Services in English

September 9 — 11 a.m.

Homecoming Sunday!
Heroes, Every One!
Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associate: Kelly Burnett.

Please bring a small amount of water from your inner and outer travels this summer for the Gathering of the Waters Ceremony.

¡Domingo de Regreso al Hogar!
¡Héroes, Cada Uno!
Dirige: La Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociada de Servicio: Kelly Burnett.

Por favor, traiga una pequeña cantidad de agua de sus viajes interiores y exteriores de este verano para la Ceremonia de la Reunión de las Aguas.

16 de Septiembre — 9:30 a.m.

Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos
Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados/as de Servicio: Marla Scharf y Roberto Padilla.

Building the World We Dream About
Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associates: Marla Scharf and Roberto Padilla.

September 16 — 11 a.m.

Building the World We Dream About
Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Worship Associates: Marla Scharf and Roberto Padilla.

Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos
Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones; Asociados/as de Servicio: Marla Scharf y Roberto Padilla.

23 de Septiembre— 9:30 a.m.

El Poder del Hambre
Dirige: Saúl Verduzco; Asociados de Culto: Miembros de SSM.

The Power of Hunger
Worship Leader: Saúl Verduzco; Worship Associates: Members of SSM.

September 23 — 11 a.m.

Lessons on Faith & Unitarian-Universalism: The Romanian and South Aftrica Pilgrimages
Worship Leader: the Rev. Geoff Rimositis.

Lecciones de fe Unitario Universalista en los peregrinajes a Transilvania y Sudáfrica
Dirige: el Rev. Geoff Rimositis.


Save the Dates

  • September 6, Thursday, Women’s Alliance meeting: Cakes for the Queen of Heaven; 7:15 to 9:15 pm; Fireside Room.
  • September 8, Saturday, 6-11 pm, All Church Homecoming Party, “Let It Be A Dance” in Hattie Porter Hall
  • September 8, Saturday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, “Service is our Prayer” Day (All-Church Work Party).
  • September 15, Saturday, 9-Noon, Religious Education Volunteer Meeting
  • September 15, Saturday, Bay Area Marketing Campaign Kick off with the Rev. Bill Sinkford, 11 am to 1 pm, Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
  • September 16, Sunday, 11:30 to 1:00 pm, fun game day at St. James Park.
  • September 28-30, All-Church Retreat at Monte Toyon; registration starts September 2. Contact Carol Low (408) 246-2859 or email fucsjretreat@comcast.net.
  • October 7, Sunday, 12:20, UU Band of Writers meets in Youth Room.
  • December 9, Sunday, Fireside Gift Faire (formerly Holiday Wanderers) after the church service in Hattie Porter Hall.

Social Justice Calendar

  • September 17, Monday, 7:00 pm, Social Justice Council, Conference Room
  • October 2, Tuesday, 6:00 pm, Interfaith Reunion, Circle of Palms

Religious Education

Religious Growth and Learning Program Starts Sunday, September 23

Nursery (birth-4 years) - Church’s Lower Level
We provide a safe, clean environment in which to support all children 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 Vineyard and Mary Qúeñones

K-2nd Grades, Rooms 2- 3, Church’s Lower Level
Treasure Hunting
This curriculum uses the theme of treasure hunting as a concrete way of involving children in the excitement of the search for the meaning of life. It addresses issues that children face daily, explores the meaning of Unitarian Universalist principles and values, and emphasizes an accepting and caring community.

Goals for participants:

  • To understand and celebrate each person’s uniqueness and feelings
  • To learn about their congregation
  • To learn about Unitarian Universalism as a living religion
  • To gain awareness and appreciation of the community and the world around them

3rd-4th Grades, Rooms 5-6, Church’s Lower Level
Free To Believe
Free to Believe explores Unitarian Universalist (UU) principles through hands-on activities, stories, games, songs, and discussion. It explores answers by Unitarian Universalist sources to big questions about life and death, spirit and God, and the beginnings of world and life. Along the way the children enjoy such things as star tag, animal masks, acts-of-kindness coupon books, rice pictures, ribbon walks, trash sculpture, cooperative musical rugs, scratch-art creation drawings, animal charades, the WEBGO game, and UU clay tiles.

5th Grade, Room 4, Church’s Lower Level
Neighboring Faiths
Inspired by the UU classic, Church Across the Street, this yearlong curriculum helps youth in Grade 5 learn about their own faith and other faith traditions through interactive experiences such as field trips and interviews. These encounters with other religions are given meaning through periods of reflection and discussion about Unitarian Universalist and personal beliefs and values.

Goals for participants:

  • To learn about other faith traditions
  • To consider the universals of religious experience
  • To deepen one’s own faith
  • To strengthen one’s understanding of and respect for cultural diversity

6th-8th Grades, Church Conference Room, Lower Level
Traditions with a Wink!
“Traditions with a Wink!” teaches an understanding of Unitarian Universalist faith that can replace the vague “anything we want to” statement with: “We come from a long tradition of questioning and searching. We come from a long tradition of loving kindness and good works.” We have powerful stories and visions of hope. It is time to share them with our young teens as they begin the process of shaping their own faith.

Goals for participants:

  • To teach our UU traditions, to both middle schoolers and their teachers, while adding the fun that helps middle schoolers connect to issues and stay enthusiastic about their church experience.
  • The UU traditions taught in this curriculum include:
    • The way we create services of celebration and memory
    • The place of science and reason
    • The different ways UU’s create community
    • Our traditions of good works
    • Our music and hymns
    • Our Purposes and Principles
    • Our roots in Jewish-Christian culture
    • Marking the passage from childhood to teen

9th-12th Grades, Upper Level, Youth Room
Film as Theology: Media That Matters Film Festival
Civic engagement, justice, sustainability —jury-selected and produced by independent and youth filmmakers from around the country, the short films we will watch bring important social, political, and environmental topics to the forefront as a springboard for discussion and more importantly, for action.

Special Program for7th-9th Grades:

Our Whole Lives—Sexuality Education
A parent meeting will be held at the same time as the youth class. The meeting gives an opportunity for parents to participate in some of the curriculum exercises, hear the same information that their children will be receiving and participate in providing valuable support to each other in parenting.

Classes Take Place January 2008-May 2008

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.

Religious Education Volunteer Meeting
September 15, 9-Noon

All adults (experienced or new) who will be teaching or assisting in our Sunday morning Religious Growth and Learning Program for children and youth this year are requested to attend our volunteer meeting on Saturday, September 15, 9:00 am to noon at the church.

Class groups will meet to discuss curriculum and teaching schedules. The agenda for the morning:

  • 8:45 - Coffee and bagels.
  • 9:00 - Opening worship
  • 9:10 - Check-in
  • 9:20 - Issues in Religious Education and Children/Youth Ministries
  • 10:30 - Break Out Groups: Teacher Teams Scheduling and Curriculum Overview
  • 11:45 - Large Group Touch Back And Closing Circle
  • Noon - Leave-Taking

RSVP to Rev. Geoff Rimositis, 292-3858, x25 or GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org l

Teaching as a Spiritual Practice

Many of us come to church on Sunday mornings because we are looking for spiritual renewal, to make connections with others, and to be involved in a religious community that lives out our values in the world through service and advocacy.

One of the spiritual practices we can engage in for our own personal growth and for the growth of future generations is by being a teacher on Sunday mornings. We might feel intimidated by the idea of ourselves as a teacher, feeling that we do not know enough or have the skills to be with children.

If we approach teaching as an opportunity to think more deeply about our own beliefs in the context of a prepared curriculum (listed in this newsletter) and an opportunity to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and World Religions, then teaching can help us to meet our own personal goals.

The nuts and bolts of teaching on Sunday mornings involves teaching teams of four or more people who work out their own schedule. On average, a teacher prepares one lesson a month and assists on another. The remaining Sunday’s teachers can attend services or take a Sunday off.

There will be a Teachers Meeting on Saturday, September 15, 9:00 am to noon at the church. Participants will learn how best to relate and work with youth as they discover Unitarian Universalism’s approach to religious growth and learning. Interested older teens and adults are invited to attend the meeting along with those who have committed to lead Sunday morning classes for the 2007-2008 church year.

Please call Associate Minister Geoff Rimositis, 292-3858, ext. 25, if you are interested in being a part of a teaching team this year or wish to attend the training.

Youth Group Activities

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

These youth organizations specific to our church are also available

  • Chalice Club (Elementary Age Youth Group, Grades K-5)
  • Junior High (Grades 6-8)
  • Senior High (Grades 9-12)

Advisors: Diana Chung, Mike Williamson, and Cordelia Willis
Staff: the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

If you are interested in participating in YRUU, Chalice Club or 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 .

Nueva Clase de Educación Religiosa para Adultos!
Construyendo el Mundo que Soñamos

Esta clase nuevecita de un año de duración, utiliza video, cine, proyectos de arte, diálogos y lecturas, junto con el trabajo de nuestro corazón, nuestra mente y nuestras manos, para adentrarnos mucho más en conocer cómo queremos estar juntos como una Comunidad de Amor de muchos colores, muchas lenguas, muchas culturas.

Este programa de estudios ayudará a nuestra congregación a hacer “el trabajo más profundo del alma” de entender la opresión del sistema, especialmente en el racismo y el etnocentrismo; veremos cómo estos sistemas nos afectan a todos, persona por persona, ya sea que seamos parte de la cultura dominante o no, y aprenderemos como podemos deshacer sus efectos en nuestra vidas en el hogar, en el trabajo y en la iglesia.

El curso toma en consideración todas nuestras identidades —porque ninguno de nosotros es solamente una cosa (latina o anglo, coreano, afroamericano, o indígina americano, gay o hetero, casado o soltero, joven o viejo). Las olas de esta labor se extenderán más allá cuando compartamos lo que aprendamos con toda nuestra congregación.

La Primera Iglesia Unitaria tiene el honor de hacer la prueba piloto de este programa junto con un grupo de otras congregaciones comprometidas por todo el país. ¡Vengan y participen en esta aventura!

Será dirigido por un equipo multicultural de presentadores, incluyendo a la Rev. Nancy y a Marla Scharf.

  • Jóvenes y adultos son bienvenidos! Tamaño del grupo: 24 personas.

  • La clasa será el primero y tercer domingo del mes, de 1:30 a 3:30 pm, comenzando el 7 de octubre y continuando por 24 sesiones (sin incluir Julio y Agosto del 2008).

¡Entérese mucho más en los servicios del domingo 16 de Septiembre!

New Adult Religious Education Class!
Building the World We Dream About

This brand-new yearlong class uses film, video, arts projects, dialogue, and readings, along with the work of our own hearts, heads, and hands, to take us much deeper into how we want to be together as one Beloved Community of many colors, many languages, many cultures.

This curriculum will help our congregation to do the deeper “soul work” of understanding systemic oppression, especially racism and ethnocentrism; we will come to see how these systems affect us all, person to person, whether we are part of the dominant culture or not, and we will learn how we can undo their effects in our lives at home, at work, and at church.

The course takes into consideration all our identities—because no one of us is just one thing (Latina or Angla, Korean or Black, First Peoples or Asian, gay or straight, married or single, young or old). The ripples of this work will spread outward as we share our learning with the whole congregation.

First Unitarian has the honor of pilot-testing this curriculum with a group of other committed congregations across the country. Come join in this adventure, led by a multicultural team of facilitators, including Rev. Nancy and Marla Scharf.

  • Senior youth and adults welcome! Class size: 24 people.

  • Classes will be held the first and third Sundays of the month, 1:30 to 3:30 pm, beginning October 7 and continuing for 24 sessions (skipping July and August 2008).

Learn much more during our worship services on September 16!

As We Build the Beloved Community...

by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

To Begin Again in Love

On a bright cool day in early July, my spouse Kevin and I were sitting in a café along the California coast, reading, writing, and relishing the luxury of having time just to think and to be, when suddenly it happened, as it always does when my mind and heart feel that surge of freedom: for approximately the 9,761st time in my life, I knew exactly what I needed to do to become a Better Person.

Surely you have had these epiphanies, too—those sudden flashes of insight when you understand yourself (or some other equally confusing equation) with a great relaxing sense of “Ahhh, so that’s how it is...”

(Side note: How many times can we have basically the same epiphany and still call it an “epiphany”? I’d be interested to know, since this one occurs so frequently...)

Now, I’m not talking about a major overhaul of my personality. I really do believe that we are all inherently worthy just as we are. No, I’m talking about those small but momentous adjustments in my living that might lead to a calmer, deeper presence in each day just as it is. I’m talking about a way of realizing a bit more of that Buddha-nature that resides in all of us—that’s all I’m after.

The list of practices to help me get there, which materialized in that summer epiphany, will surely sound familiar: go out for more walks, breathing deeply, really taking in the world around me; visit the ocean more often; reconnect with old friends; when I’m away from work, be away from work; walk the labyrinth; accept that even the most important tasks will not all get done, nor will much of anything be done perfectly, and let this acceptance “clear the decks” of my mind and heart so that there need be nothing between thee and me when we meet; see the “bucket” of goodness that is in the world, and not just the “drops in the bucket”; do the work I love most, those practices of community building and of justice making, the transformative work of worship creation and multiculturalism; sing as much and as often as I can; use less nonrenewable energy... You know the kind of thing. Of course, as my list grows longer, there’s always just the teensiest possibility that I’m edging farther away from, instead of closer to, a “calmer, deeper presence in each day just as it is.” And that’s part of our struggle.

We Unitarian Universalists have a long and honorable history of believing that we can and must improve ourselves and the world around us. Back in the fourth century, the British monk Pelagius believed that we human beings could perfect ourselves all under our own steam, that if we applied ourselves, we could live “without sin” as Jesus did. Pelagius was named a heretic for these beliefs, while the more powerful Augustine (later St. Augustine), who felt that we human beings were sorry creatures who could only improve through the intervention of God’s grace, won the day. When Unitarians appeared in Europe centuries later, one of the great epithets thrown at our forebears was that they were “Pelagians,” believing in the strength of human reason and will.

Here in the United States, the nineteenth-century Unitarian leader James Freeman Clarke famously proclaimed that one of the “five points of Unitarian faith” was a belief in the “Progress of Mankind, onward and upward forever.” Some would say that history hasn’t borne out Clarke’s faith. Some feel that all this emphasis on self-improvement leads to arrogance about our possibilities or to denial about our limitations.

So we 21st-century Unitarian Universalists inherit a great wrestling match. As individuals, we desperately need to realize that we are “enough” and that we are lovable just as we are, but we also urgently need to recognize that we aren’t living up to our true potential and that we are capable of great transformation. Just so, we need to acknowledge the deep brokenness in our world, yet we must ask how we can make a difference and help to heal it.

These are the questions we come together in community to explore. This year we will be taking a close and thoughtful look at what it takes to create a Beloved Community. We will be “practicing” building the world we dream about. We will be strengthening in ourselves and each other those small but transformative practices that just might lead to a calmer, deeper presence in each day just as it is. I hope we can share in every moment of it

With warmth and gratitude for who you are,


A Medida que Construimos Nuestra Comunidad de Amor...

por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

Comenzando de Nuevo con Amor

En día brillante y fresco al principio de Julio, mi esposo Kevin y yo estábamos sentados en un café en la Costa de California, leyendo, escribiendo y disfrutando el lujo de tener tiempo para pensar y ser, cuando de repente, como siempre sucede cuando mi mente y corazón sienten la oleada de liberación: por aproximadamente la 9,761 vez en mi vida, supe exactamente qué era lo que yo necesitaba para llegar a ser una Persona Mejor.

Seguramente ustedes han tenido estas epifanías también—esos destellos repentinos de intuición cuando uno se entiende a sí mismo (o alguna otra ecuación igualmente confusa) con una gran sentido de “Ajá, así es como va la cosa…”

(Nota al margen: ¿Cuántas veces puede uno tener básicamente la misma epifanía y seguir llamándole “epifanía”? estaría interesada en saber eso, puesto que esto me ocurre tan frecuentemente… )

Ahora, no estoy hablando de un cambio drástico de mi personalidad. Yo realmente cero que todos somos valiosos inherentemente tal como somos. No, yo estoy hablando sobre esos pequeños pero trascendentales ajustes en mi vida que puedan llevarme a una presencia más calmada y más profunda cada día, tal como es. Estoy hablando de una manera de realizar un poquito, más de esa naturaleza-Buda que reside en todos nosotros—eso es todo lo que busco.

La lista de prácticas que me ayuden para llegar allí, la cual se materializó en esa epifanía de verano, seguro que les sonará muy conocida; salir a caminar más a menudo, respirar profundo, realmente absorbiendo el mundo que me rodea; visitar el mar con más frecuencia; reconectarme con viejos amigos; cuando esté lejos del trabajo, estar lejos del trabajo: caminar el laberinto; aceptar que aún las tareas más importantes no todas se van a lograr hacer, y que mucho de lo que se haga no se hará de manera perfecta, y permitir que esta aceptación “aclare los tableros” de mi mente y mi corazón para que no necesite haber nada entre usted y yo cuando nos encontremos; ver “la cubeta” de bondades que existe en el mundo, y no solo “las gotas en la cubeta”; hacer el trabajo que más amo, esas prácticas de construcción de comunidad y de justicia, la labor transformadora de la creación de cultos y multiculturalismo; cantar cuanto pueda y tan seguido como pueda; usar menos energía no renovable… Es decir, ese tipo de cosas. Por supuesto, al crecer mi lista, siempre existe la pequeña posibilidad de que me aleje más de, en lugar de acercarme más a, “una presencia, más calmada y más profunda en cada día, tal como es”. Y esa es parte de nuestra lucha.

Nosotros los Unitarios Universalistas tenemos una larga y honrosa historia de creer que podemos y debemos mejorarnos a nosotros mismos y al mundo que nos rodea. En el siglo cuarto, el monje inglés Pelagio, creía que nosotros los seres humanos podríamos perfeccionarnos con nuestros propios recursos, que si nos aplicábamos, podríamos vivir “sin pecado” como lo hizo Jesús. Pelagio fue considerado hereje por esas creencias, mientras que el más poderoso Agustín (después conocido como San Agustín), quien sentía que nosotros los seres humanos éramos criaturas tristes que solamente podríamos mejorar a través de la intervención de la gracia de Dios, ganó el debate. Cuando los unitarios aparecieron en Europa siglos después, uno de los grandes epítetos lanzados a nuestros antecesores era que ellos eran “Pelagianos”, por creer en la fuerza de la razón y la voluntad humanas.

Aquí en los Estados Unidos, el líder unitario del siglo diecinueve, James Freeman Clarke, proclamó en una forma notable que uno de los “cinco puntos de la fe unitaria” era una creencia en “el progreso de la humanidad, arriba y adelante, para siempre”. Algunos dirían que la historia no ha confirmado la fe de Clarke. Algunos creen que todo este énfasis en la superación personal nos lleva hacia la arrogancia sobre nuestras posibilidades o a la negación de nuestras limitaciones.

Así que, nosotros los unitarios universalistas del siglo 21 heredamos un gran duelo de lucha libre. Como individuos, necesitamos desesperadamente darnos cuenta que somos “lo suficiente” y que somos adorables como somos, pero también necesitamos de manera urgente reconocer que no estamos viviendo de acuerdo a nuestro verdadero potencial y que somos capaces de una gran transformación. Justo por eso, necesitamos reconocer la profunda fractura de nuestro mundo, y a la vez, debemos preguntarnos, ¿cómo puedo yo marcar una diferencia y ayudar a sanar el mundo?

Estas son los asuntos que como comunidad nos reunimos a explorar. Este año miraremos de cerca y detenidamente a lo que se necesita para crear una Comunidad de Amor. Estaremos “practicando” construir el mundo que soñamos. Reforzaremos dentro de nosotros y de los demás esas prácticas pequeñas pero transformadoras que nos puedan guiar justamente a una presencia más calmada, más profunda en cada día tal como es. Espero que podamos compartir cada momento de esta jornada.

Con cordialidad y agradecimiento por lo que ustedes son,



Choir Notes

Do You Love to Sing?

If so, come and join a friendly group of folks who make up our First Unitarian Church Choir. We have a wonderful selection of pieces coming up for our fall performances that you’re sure to enjoy. We meet for practice in the Sanctuary every Wednesday night for practice; just show up and we’ll welcome you aboard. Prior experience is valued but not necessary. If you want more information, call coordinator Liz Owen at (408) 257-2237 or email lowen@data-time.com.

by The Committee on Ministries (COM)

The purpose of the Committee on Ministries shall be to use the congregation’s Mission Statement as a standard by which to gauge the effectiveness of the church’s ministry and to make recommendations to enhance the quality of this ministry.”

We at the First Unitarian Church of San José have often called ourselves a “spiritual cooperative.” This phrase seems increasingly appropriate as we move deeper into our development as a “program church”—a church in which all members and friends share the tasks and responsibilities that are usually the responsibility of a professional minister in what is called the small-church or “parish” model. In December 2004, the Ministerial Search Committee reminded the congregation that, several years before, we had begun the “transformation to a congregation-led church from a minister-centered one. Ours is now a shared ministry in which each of us—newcomers and old-timers alike—must take responsibility for our own future.” The Committee on Ministries asks that we now reflect a little more deeply on what that means for each of us.

Lately, the COM has been examining questions about the various ministries of the church and about the equitable and effective distribution of the tasks and responsibilities that are required to keep our cooperative healthy. We are looking, too, at concerns about overtaxing the talents and energies of those who take on leadership roles in the church. The Program and Operations Council and the Volunteer and Leadership Development Team are doing an admirable job of assessing members’ skills and passions and of then matching those with opportunities for service in our cooperative. Service has become a deep and abiding part of the culture of our church. And yet, we see and hear signs that key leaders are called upon and expected to give ever more of themselves, perhaps more than is healthy. We look at Revs. Nancy and Geoff, for example, and ask how we’re doing in our efforts to give the professional ministers the support they need so that they, too, can feed their spirits and maintain their passion. When we ask such questions we find, perhaps not surprisingly, that there is room for our cooperative to grow in its efficiency and effectiveness.

As we think about our mission and about our progress toward the effective program-church model, it seems worthwhile to examine the nature of service itself. What do we mean by the affirmation, “Service is our prayer”? Is the time we spend in service to this cooperative an expression of gratitude to something larger than ourselves, the humble recognition that our worth is magnified by and in community? Do we see our service as a way of guiding each other along the paths of shared ministry? Is service, along with worship, a place and time where we renew our sense of shared values in the midst of a chaotic world? Are we doing as much as we can to share our gifts, to share ourselves, in ways that support and nurture us individually and collectively? To what extent do we identify as parts of the church, members of a body, inseparable from the whole? Is there more we can do to help each other?

The Committee on Ministry asks you to join us in considering these questions. We call each other to bring out each other’s best, to do as much as we can in service of our spiritual home, and to help each other stay healthy in the process. We suggest that instead of a few people taking on multiple service jobs, we could have the goal of every person doing one thing: “each one do one.” In that context, we invite you to contact the Volunteer and Leadership Development Team, which has the mission and the information to help volunteers connect with each other and plug into the activities that interest them. Please get in touch with one of these team members: Genie Benardini, 997-6292; Ed Gardner, 712-4157; or Lloyd Eater, 289-1217.

In gratitude and fellowship,

Your Committee on Ministries

por el Comité de los Ministerios (COM)

El propósito del Comité de los Ministerios será el de utilizar la Declaración de la Misión de la Iglesia como una norma con la cual podamos medir la efectividad del ministerio de la iglesia y hacer recomendaciones para mejorar la calidad de este ministerio”.

Nosotros, en la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José, nos hemos llamado frecuentemente una “cooperativa espiritual”. Esta frase parece cada vez más apropiada mientras nos adentramos hacia nuestro desarrollo como una “iglesia con estructura de programas”—una iglesia en la cual todos los miembros y amigos compartimos las tareas y responsabilidades que son por lo regular la responsabilidad de un ministro profesional en lo que sería la iglesia pequeña o el modelo “parroquia”. En diciembre del 2004, el Comité de Búsqueda Ministerial recordó a la congregación que, en varios años anteriores, habíamos empezado la “transformación de una iglesia centrada en sus ministros, hacia una iglesia dirigida por la congregación. El nuestro es ahora un ministerio compartido en el cual cada uno de nosotros—nuevos y viejos miembros por igual—debemos tomar la responsabilidad por nuestro propio futuro”. El Comité de los Ministerios pide ahora que reflexionemos de manera más profunda en lo que eso significa para cada uno de nosotros.

Últimamente, el COM ha estado examinando los asuntos relacionados con los diferentes ministerios de la iglesia y con la distribución efectiva y equitativa de las tareas y responsabilidades que se requieren para conservar sana a nuestra cooperativa. También estamos considerando las preocupaciones de no sobrecargar los talentos y energías de los que toman los papeles de liderazgo en la iglesia. El Consejo de Programas y Operaciones y el Equipo de Desarrollo de Voluntarios y Liderazgo están haciendo un trabajo admirable de evaluar las habilidades y las pasiones de los miembros y luego de empalmarlos con oportunidades de servicio en nuestra cooperativa. El servir se ha convertido en una parte profunda y permanente de la cultura de nuestra iglesia. Sin embargo, vemos y escuchamos señales de que a los líderes principales se les pide y se espera de ellos que den aún más de sí mismos, quizá más allá de lo que es sano. Consideramos a los Revs. Nancy y Geoff, por ejemplo, y preguntamos como vamos en nuestros esfuerzos por darles a los ministros profesionales el apoyo que necesitan para que ellos, a su vez puedan alimentar su espíritu y puedan mantener su pasión por el ministerio. Cuando hacemos tales preguntas encontramos, quizá no con sorpresa, que hay mucho campo para que nuestra cooperativa crezca en su eficiencia y efectividad.

Al pensar sobre nuestra misión y sobre nuestro progreso hacia el modelo efectivo de la iglesia con estructura de programas, parece importante examinar la naturaleza misma del servicio. ¿Qué queremos decir con la afirmación, “el servicio es nuestra oración”? ¿Es acaso el tiempo que pasamos en servir a esta cooperativa una expresión de gratitud a algo mayor que nosotros, es el reconocimiento humilde de que nuestro valor aumenta por y en comunidad? ¿Vemos nuestro servicio como una forma de guiarnos unos a otros por las veredas del ministerio compartido? ¿Es el servir, junto con el culto, un lugar y tiempo donde renovamos nuestro sentido de valores compartidos en medio de un mundo caótico? ¿Estamos haciendo cuanto podemos por compartir nuestros dones, compartir lo nuestro, en formas que nos apoyen y nos nutran de manera individual y colectiva? ¿Hasta que punto nos identificamos como partes de esta iglesia, miembros de un cuerpo, inseparable del todo? ¿Hay algo más que podamos hacer para ayudarnos mutuamente?

El Comité de los Ministerios les pide que nos ayuden a considerar estas preguntas. Nos convocamos unos a otros para lograr lo mejor de cada uno, para hacer todo lo que podamos en el servicio a nuestro hogar espiritual, y para ayudarnos mutuamente a permanecer sanos durante el proceso. Sugerimos que en vez de tener unas cuántas personas haciendo múltiples tareas de servicio, que tengamos la meta de que cada persona haga una cosa: “una cosa cada uno”. En ese contexto, le invitamos a comunicarse con el Equipo de desarrollo de Voluntarios y Liderazgo, el cual tiene la misión y la información para ayudar a los voluntarios a conectarse con los demás y a participar en las actividades que les interesen. Por favor comuníquese con uno de los miembros de ese equipo: Genie Benardini, 997-6292; Ed Gardner, 712-4157; o Lloyd Eater, 289-1217.

En gratitud y compañerismo,

Su Comité de los Ministerios

Deficit Budget?
Déficit del Prosupuesto?
This year’s Annual Giving Campaign came up $21,000 short. Can you help?

If 100 members contribute $200 to the “YIKES Fund,” or 200 members contribute $100, or—well, you get the idea—then we won’t have to make budget cuts.

Can you help? Please make out your check, in any amount you can afford, to FUCSJ, with “YIKES Fund” in the memo line and send or deliver to the office: 160 N. 3rd St., San Jose, CA 95112.

Thanks in advance!

Este año la Campaña Annual de Contribucíones tuvo una falta de $21,000 para completer nuestra meta. Nos puedes ayudar?

Si 100 miembros contribuyes con $200 a la fundación “Fondó Yikes” ó si 200 miembros contribuyen con $100 ó –bueno, tu tienes ya una idea- entonces nosotros no tendremos que hacer recortes en el prosupuesto.

Nos puedes ayudar? Por favor as tu cheque por cualquier cantidad que tu puedas proporcionar a FUCSJ con “YIKES Fund” escrito en la linea de memorandum y mandalo ó entregalo a la oficina: 160 N. 3rd St., San Jose, CA 95112.

Gracias por adelantado!


Classified Ads for Our Spiritual Cooperative

Let’s Get Ready for the Newcomers Who Will Be Responding to Our Marketing Campaign!

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.

  • CHOIR MEMBER: no exp. nec., practice Wed. 7-9 p.m., perform Sun. lowen@data-time.com
  • COFFEE HOUR HOST: set out snacks, drinks before service; clean up after; 1 Sun. a month.; 1 yr. term
  • LABYRINTH HOST: set up table & music and be present, 11:30-1:00; serve according to availability; 1 yr. term
  • WORSHIP HOST: greet & welcome people coming to Sun. service, collect offering; 1 Sun. a month.; 1 yr. term
  • SOUND SYSTEM OPERATOR: operate sound system during 9:30 & 11:00 services; 1 Sun. a month.; 1 yr. term
  • CHANCEL DECORATOR: use creative talents to decorate chancel, using flowers, fabric, etc.; serve when available; 1 yr. term
  • TAPE DUPLICATOR: make & provide tapes of services 1 Sun. a mo. in HPH after the service for 1-1/2 hrs.; 1 yr. term
  • ORDER OF SERVICE ASSEMBLER: fold 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 month.; 1 yr. term
  • NEWSLETTER COPIER: copy newsletter on risograph machine for assemblers; 1st or 3rd Tues. of month.; 1 yr. term
  • NEWSLETTER ASSEMBLER: fold, staple and stamp newsletters with amiable team; 1st or 3rd Tues. afternoon; 1 yr. term
  • R.E. TEACHER or ASSISTANT: lead Sun. morning. sessions, using prepared curriculum; 2 hr. a month.; I yr. term


Call Genie at (408)997-6292 or Lloyd at (408)289-1217.

Spotlight on Social Justice

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

San Jose is Growing Up!

Oh, the greater San Jose area! I have lived in such wide ranging cities as Santa Clara, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and the often-disparaged Saratoga. I remember when signs all over down town read vertically “San Jose is Growing Up!” as they boarded up small retailers that were pushed out by redevelopment. I have been eating at Falafel Drive In and getting bake-at-home pans of lasagna from La Villa as long as I can remember, while thinking of those restaurants as my adventures in ethnic eating. Since those days of growing up in Santa Clara Valley, I have wanted to see what lay beyond my corner of the world edged in by the Blue Hills along Highway Nine and the winding Santa Cruz Mountains. I always imagined that I would travel great distances, live in far flung places, explore the globe.

Well, you know how this story ends. Here I am, living and raising a family in the wilds of San Jose. Disappointing? Not so much, because the incredible fortune I have had is that, even though I have not exactly circumnavigated the world, the entire world has come to me. Here, in San Jose! I used to think falafel was exotic; well, my children have preferences among egg rolls from Vietnam, Cambodia, and different parts of China. This valley is a different place; the schools, the languages, the businesses. What if I was still here with the orchards and feed mills of my childhood? Then I would really be aching to go. But instead, Silicon Valley means innovation, new ideas, and fulfilling dreams. It is the influx of people from around the world, always looking to learn, create, and grow has made this valley what it is.

Working with immigrants and for immigrants rights, I am always thrilled to meet people from somewhere else, the farther, the better, to give me a glimpse of another landscape or dialect. How do they approach slicing a chicken? What do they say to their family members first thing in the morning? It is fascinating, every detail of every life that seems different than what I know. So, I have come to love living in San Jose for what it has been able to attract, and for the growing up it has indeed done.

This entire church year, we will be thinking, talking and learning about immigration. To start, consider your own immigration history. Whether it is your personal story of how you come to be in San Jose, the family history passed down, or perhaps your parents’ or grandparents’ trek. We will begin these conversations, learning where lay our commonalities, and what are our differences. Check back in here and I will be writing about my own family history (which, if I may tantalize you, includes a few familiar street names around town).

A beautiful example of our amazing valley is presented to us on Tuesday, October 2 at 6:00 pm at the Interfaith Reunion, this year entitled “Keep the Diversity; Seek the Harmony” Find out more about it in this newsletter or at:


Witness how dozens of different faith traditions have committed to supporting each other in our community. The Interfaith Reunion offers us the best of the San Jose that I love.

Social Justice Calendar

  • September 17, Monday, 7:00 pm, Social Justice Council, Conference Room
  • October 2, Tuesday, 6:00 pm, Interfaith Reunion, Circle of Palms

Recycling Marches On!

Our church did so well with the recycling project to help the South Africa and Transylvania pilgrims while helping the environment that we decided to keep it going! Your continued contribution of cans and bottles and other recyclables will contribute to continuing to have our newsletter printed professionally. This great-looking newsletter will be especially important in the fall as we greet the visitors who will hear about us through the Media Publicity Project.

To support our newsletter and other welcoming projects, please continue to bring in aluminum, glass, and plastic containers that have Cash Redemption Value (CRV) printed on the label or on the container. They shouldn’t be crushed. You can bring them to church, bagged or boxed, and put them on the right side of the door of the Third Street Community Center (not the church office). This door is in the lower fenced area on the right side of the church. Please do not block the doorway. Someone will pick them up every Sunday and take them to the recycling center. Thanks for your help!


by Ellie White and You UUs
Joyce Miller: A Fun-Faceted Church Pillar

We rejoice in gratitude for Joyce! Here are several testimonials from those who have worked with her.

Genie Bernardini, a member of the Volunteer Coordinating Team, contributed her view that “Joyce gets the job done, and always done well. In addition, she is a delight to be around--full of good humor and interesting insights, upbeat, adventurous and eager to accept new challenges.”

Bob Howd emailed, “Joyce Miller’s service to the church has been fantastic in so many ways! In her current position as Personnel Officer, one of two elected officers on the Program and Operations Council, she has taken on critical interview and hiring tasks as well as oversight of basic church operations. Her long-term leadership of painting and other maintenance tasks at the quarterly work parties has been remarkable! But I must also mention hiking. I don’t think we’ve thanked her enough getting us outdoors and loving the experience.”

Alice Lynch said in thankfulness, ”I credit Joyce’s UU Hikers group for my becoming a member of our church. It was through hiking that I got to know many wonderful church members and to realize that this was a community that I wanted to be a part of! Joyce brings passion, excellence and incredible energy to all of the many volunteer activities she participates in. She continually inspires me.”

Lloyd Eater and then Steve Madden bring praise to Joyce. Lloyd wrote, “I’ve always enjoyed hiking and working with Joyce. She has a can-do spirit and an ever-present sense of optimism. She regularly works hard, and embodies resourcefulness, perseverance and fun.” Steve, who coordinates the upkeep of the church, emailed, “Joyce is dedicated to us having a beautiful building. She is always on the lookout for what can be improved, and is enthusiastic about applying a coat of paint here or a touch-up there.”

Jo Balzer commented, “Joyce has made and sold some lovely quilted pillows and table runners for our fund-raiser art and craft show; moreover, I’m thankful for Joyce’s help over the past 6 years in serving on the committee with all its decisions and also for her help in setting up the tables on the day before each show. Above all, I appreciate Joyce’s kind and gentle advice.”

Claire Wagner sent in, “Joyce graciously hosted the weekly Search Committee meetings, including many potluck dinners, for nearly two years. She allowed us to leave our messy planning charts on her dining room wall and opened nearly her entire downstairs for us to create a long assembly line for the search packets. We also met there with our candidates and held small worship services in her living room. When the search was over, what some of us missed the most was Joyce’s warm hospitality and comfortable space.”

Debra Fenzel-Alexander, another admirer of Joyce, remembers when she and Joyce represented our San Jose UU Church in Leadership Training School, where there were a lot of rules and a lot of structure. Debra relates, “Joyce put out a notice to all for a meeting to plan some skits and jokes for the last night, but everyone was still too busy. So Joyce “just” delivered a half-hour monologue that she wrote herself for the show. With a straight face, Joyce lampooned the rules and roasted the instructors, leaving her audience roaring with laughter.”

On behalf of the Whole UU Congregation, we thank you, Joyce, for all the above endeavors, your past service on the Church Board, and other extensive volunteer work not included here. You feed our church community with your spirit and service so “joyceous.”

Whose service seems to emanate from joy and/or who feeds our spirit through his/her volunteer spirit? You just need to start the ball rolling and let others carry the ball from there. Email Ellie White at elejeff@finestplanet.com or phone (408) 729-0420.

A Place for Everything, and Everything in Its Place!

Cooking and cleanup in our downstairs kitchen now should be easier than ever before! The Small Group Ministry group that calls itself the Monday-morning Chalice Circle, led by super-organized member Joyce Miller, took on the service project of labeling every drawer and cupboard with a list of its contents. So, if you need, say, an ice-cream scoop, you can find it without having to rummage around in three or four (or more) places.

The easiest way to find what you need is to consult the binder on the counter to the left of the microwave. Every item in the kitchen is listed alphabetically with the number of its “home.” (Each cupboard or drawer has its own number, which is posted near its handle.) There is also a second index, divided by number, that is an inventory of what should be where in the kitchen.

Please help keep the kitchen organized by returning items to their designated spots after you’ve used them and by taking home any utensils or dishes you bring to church for an event. And please, please, don’t abandon your unwanted kitchen items in the church kitchen! Unless it’s a particular item that’s needed—there’s a list on the first-aid cupboard—take your castoffs to Goodwill or another charity instead.


UU Hikers and Friends

by Joyce Miller

Here is the September hiking schedule. I will be in Chicago until September 12. After that, If you have any question about whether a hike is on of 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!

Saturday, September, 15
Mission Peak, 6 miles moderate to strenuous. Meet at Ohlone College parking lot at the top of the hill at 8:00 am. Turn at the first entrance to Ohlone and drive up the hill. You will see the swim center on the left. The last time we were there, there was some construction at the usual parking lot, so we parked in the lot just below it. The parking meters were not being used.

Wednesday, September 19
Sanborn County Park, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at 8:00 am at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga (14411 Big Baisin Way, corner of Sunnyvale-Saratoga and Highway 9).

Saturday, September 22
No hike planned. My sister will be visiting.

Wednesday, September 26
Huddart County Park. 7-8 miles. We will do the longer hike up to Skyline. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.

Saturday, September 29
This is our All-Church Retreat. Some of us will be hiking there.


Upcoming Events

Thursday, September 6

Women’s Alliance
“Cakes” is Coming Back!

Many Unitarian Universalists were introduced to the ancient religions of the goddess through the Cakes from the Queen of Heaven curriculum since its introduction twenty years ago.

Now a newly revised edition is out, and you can find out what you missed or revisit this fascinating look at women’s spirituality through the ages.

Join the Women’s Alliance meeting in the Fireside Room on the first Thursday of each month beginning September 6 from 7:15 to 9:15 pm. Contact Nancy Coleman at nancybcoleman@mac.com or 408 985 5778 for more information.

Saturday, September 8
Join the All-Church Work Party
Let’s Get our Church Building Ready for Company!

by Steve Madden

Saturday, September 8 is our quarterly all-church work party—a “Service is our Prayer” day. We will be working from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please put it on your calendar now. Everyone is invited as we need volunteers of all skill levels. A simple vegetarian lunch is served. Come any time during those hours that you can make it!

Saturday, September 8
Come Celebrate: U Are Invited to Attend!

Our second annual Homecoming celebration, Let It Be A Dance, is being held Saturday, September 8, in Hattie Porter Hall, 6:00 to 11:00 pm. So why don’t U (and U and U and/or your friend//date/partner/self, etc.) come on down and raise your spirits, connect with your FUCSJ community, dance, munch, and have fun!

Finger food to share is welcome. A donation of $5 is requested. Any proceeds will go to FUCSJ. If you’d like to help with this event, please email kathleensoboleska@yahoo.com for details. See you there!

Sunday, September 16
Game Day in St. James Park

Children and youth from kindergarten through high school are invited to a fun game day at St. James Park on Sunday, September 16 from 11:30 to 1:00 pm. After attending the first part of the service we will go over to the park and play parachute and other games. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. Come and see your old friends and make new ones as we begin the new church year having a good time and building community together.

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 28-30
Fall Church Retreat: The Stranger

This year’s Fall Church Retreat promises to be a really good one, so save the dates and make your reservations early! Fitting with the upcoming Bay Area Marketing Campaign, an upcoming anti-racism/anti-oppression series called “Building the World We Dream About,” and the work we are doing to understand immigration issues more deeply, we will focus on our relationship with “the stranger” — the person we may not yet know. This person, who might even seem “strange” to us, is part of the interdependent web of which we all are a part and is a person whose inherent worth and dignity we affirm.

Rev. Cathleen Cox-Burneo
The keynote workshop will be offered by Rev. Cathleen Cox-Burneo. Also, we’ll have a reprise of the “Coffee, Tea and Small Talk: The Art of Mingling (and Meaningful Conversation)” workshop recently presented by Bob Miess and much more! Of course, there will be plenty of opportunity to sing, play, hike, and relax.

Make your reservation in Hattie Porter Hall starting Sept. 2. Contact Carol Low 408-246-2859 or email fucsjretreat@comcast.net.

Tuesday, October 2
Keep the Diversity; Seek the Harmony

On Tuesday, October 2, 2007, 6:00-7:00 pm, in San Jose, the third Annual South Bay Interfaith gathering will feature prayers and music from the diverse religious communities of the South Bay, as well as time to meet your neighbors and share in breaking bread together.

The First Unitarian Church of San José is a sponsoring organization and its choir will perform and represent Unitarian Universalism. Join us for this FREE event at the Circle of Palms (between the Fairmont Hotel and the Art Museum) in downtown San José . This event is sponsored by South Bay Interfaith Steering Committee www.southbayinterfaith.org


Circling Around

by Kelly Burnett

Letters! We write letters! FUCSJ members in the (San Jose Mercury) news:

On Sunday, August 12, in a review of the restaurant Eulipia, there was a letter from Bob Howd: “Eulipia has been my favorite downtown restaurant for more than 10 years. The eclectic and tasty food has always been satisfying. Although we have had disappointing dishes, we’ve never been disappointed by the meal as a whole, and the service has always been impeccable.”

On Thursday, August 9, there was an item in Sal Pizarro’s column that mentioned Gene Martin. It was a blurb about a man at History San Jose who was being recognized for his 15,000+ hours of service. Gene and a friend of his made a plaque for him out of the front grille of an automobile. That was appropriate, given that as part of his volunteer work, Sohn (the man getting the award) has restored a vintage Cadillac and a 1927 Kleiber.

Wednesday, Aug. 22, featured letters from both Bruce Halen and Henry Ruddle:

Cell phone use ban is a good start

With SB 33, State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, is proposing to make it illegal for drivers under 18 to talk on a cell phone or send text messages while driving. Your editorial board (Editorial, Aug. 21) believes this is a good idea. The editorial briefly acknowledges at the end of the opinion that it is not smart for any driver to use a phone while driving. A letter on the adjacent Opinion page from Stephen Wolgast talks about how dangerous it is to cross Central Expressway on a bicycle. Operating a motor vehicle and a cellular phone at the same time is dangerous for motorists and bicyclists alike.

My 11-mile bicycle commute from the Union Avenue/Blossom Hill area to work at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara is generally a very pleasant and safe one. I urge you to support SB 33. Save yourself, save a bicyclist.

Bruce Halen, San Jose

“Faith healing” easily explained

The “placebo effect” has been demonstrated in hundreds of scientific studies. Many patients will lower their subjective ratings of pain dramatically because something - a pill, an incantation, a faith healer’s touch - has triggered a belief in pain relief. Placebos can even create measurable change 25 percent to 40 percent of the time in other symptoms such as tumor growth - at least temporarily. The mind’s influence on the body’s health is profound, with no divine intervention required. If faith healers (Page 1A, Aug. 21) really had access to a “higher power,” their healings would go beyond what is easily explainable by medical science and psychology. Let them regrow a patient’s amputated limb or completely cure someone of genetic defect or disease before we accept their cries: “It’s a miracle.” Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Henry Ruddle, San Jose

Dianne Saichek has also been writing letters to the editor and getting them published. The first was in response to Jeremy Scahill’s article on mercenaries in Iraq (which now outnumber our actual troops!!) and the substance of the letter was a criticism of this policy. (May 12th), And then the following:

Sue e-vote firms, not state’s Bowen

Santa Clara County Executive Pete Kutras expresses frustration over Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s decertification of touch-screen voting machines for Santa Clara County. Just a minute: We elected Bowen to restore integrity to elections. Instead of suing the secretary of state, the legal team should be seeking remedies from the companies that sold us machines that could be hacked. After Florida in 2000, and Ohio, New Mexico and Florida (again) in 2004, red flags were flying over the voting process and electronic touch-screen machines. Bowen campaigned on the platform of cleaning up this mess for California. Let’s not make the mistake of killing the messenger.

Dianne Saichek

Kelly Burnett was feted by her best buddies on her birthday: Diana Wirt, Mary McGuinness, Kelly, and Janet DeBartolo. Editor’s Note: Their Happy Birthday wishes are echoed by all who know and work with Kelly. Hope it was a terrific day!

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@sbcglobal.net

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 Manager ..............................................  Ext. 21
 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

Sherry Howd
, 257-6844, s_howd@msn.com
Sherry will be editor for the September 19 and October 17 issues.

Catherine Leeson Pelizzari, 945-9848, caleeson@aol.com
Catherine will be editor for the October 3 and November 7 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)

Copying: Genie Bernardini; Stapling and Addressing: Carole Roszkowski, Deanna LaTorre, Genie Bernardini, Gretchen Leavitt 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 pm, Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Next issue assembly: Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Next issue mailing: Wednesday, September 19, 2007