Archive for the 'All-Church and Community News' Category

Sep 21 2007

Class Registration,Caring News,and Sweet Breads

Dear Friends,

I have much to offer you today, but I know how busy your lives are and how full your inboxes quickly become, so I am combing messages on several topics here. Let me give you a “table of contents” so that you can skim and scroll down quickly:

1. Registration for Building the World We Dream About Seminar–deadline to enroll is next Wednesday, September 26; info and registration form attached

2. This Sunday, September 23–worship news … and the Religious Education year begins for our children and youth

3. Pastoral Care News

4. Interfaith Reunion, October 2, 6 p.m., Circle of Palms, downtown San Jose

5. Today’s International Day of Peace Worship Service

1. Registration for Building the World We Dream About Seminar
This past Sunday we spoke in worship about this exciting new adult (and senior youth) religious education course, which Marla and I will be co-facilitating (with help from special guests) throughout the coming year. Last Sunday’s worship reflections and sermon are attached, in case you couldn’t be with us, since they set the context for the class. The enrollment form is attached, too. The class meets on first and third Sundays from 1:30 to 3:30, starting on October 7, and it offers a beautiful opportunity for personal healing and transformation, along with social and cultural change, around the issues of racism and ethnocentrism. The deeper that Marla and I dive into our preparations, the more joyful and hopeful we become–it’s a beautiful new curriculum which we are pilot-testing alongside numerous UU congregations across the country. We here at San Jose have a special contribution to make–to ourselves and to our wider movement–by participating.

To ensure the building of a strong community among participants, class size is limited to 30, and we hope for your commitment to the whole journey. If the yearlong commitment seems too daunting, though, Marla and I offer you the possibility of coming to the first four sessions, in October and November, and then reconsidering your commitment. So do give it a try! But we must have an enrollment form for everyone who is interested! A wonderful group of folks have already enrolled, and there are still some spaces left. Please download and return the attached enrollment form to Iris at by next Wednesday, September 26. Put “Building the World enrollment” in the subject line or on your envelope. Thanks!

For more information, please do read the attached worship service, check out the description on our website (under “What’s Happening”), and/or find me at church this coming Sunday!

2. This Sunday, September 23:
Religious Education for children and youth begins at the 11:00 a.m. service!
Worship at 9:30 a.m. in Spanish, with English translation:
El Poder del Hambre, The Power of Hunger; Saul Verduzco, worship leader
Worship at 11:00 a.m. in English:
Lessons on Faith and Unitarian Universalism: The Romanian and South African
Pilgrimages; Rev. Geoff Rimositis, worship leader.

3. Pastoral Care News
My friends, Lucy and Dave Proulx have given me permission to let you know how they are doing; we want to be sure that all who would like to know can join in our gathered love for them and their family. In recent weeks, the Proulx’s received the terrible news that Lucy’s cancer has metastasized throughout her body. Treatment will hopefully slow the cancer’s progress; meanwhile, they are ALIVE, and their spirits are strong, present, and living life to the full. They hope to take their cross-country train trip as planned in about a week, and our Pastoral Care team, their Small Group Ministry group, and a host of friends stand at the ready for however they’d like us to walk with them as the story unfolds. You can find their address in our church directory, if you’d like to send an encouraging note.

Whenever you need Pastoral Care, please don’t hesitate to contact our lead Pastoral Associate, Rev. Donna Lenahan at, or call Iris in the office to reach Donna or the ministers by phone:: 408-292-3858, ext. 10. Rev. Geoff, Donna, and I work closely, together with our new Pastoral Associates team and a wider circle of Caring Community folks, to care for members of our community. If you’d like to be an “official” part of that Caring Community, please do contact Donna!

4. Interfaith Reunion, October 2, 6 p.m., Circle of Palms, downtown San Jose
Just a quick note to add to Carol Stephenson’s good words on this event: With our choir singing alongside choral groups from the wide interfaith world of our valley, this is a beautiful one-hour event held on “sacred ground” near our church. We most need folks who can cook some banana or zucchini or other sweet bread as First Unitarian’s contribution to the boxed dinners; please contact Carol at, if you can drop off a loaf before you leave for our fall church retreat, or after
church on Sunday, September 30. Do come, and bring your family and friends–it’s lovely.

5. Today’s International Day of Peace Worship Service
Finally, and speaking of interfaith events, I’m just back from the interfaith service honoring tomorrow’s International Day of Peace, held at the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Clergy and congregants from a multitude of local faith communities participated–Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Jain, Hindu, and Native American communities, the Martin Luther King Association of the Silicon Valley, and yours truly, the Unitarian Universalists. I’m beginning to know these colleagues and form new friendships through events like these–I love it here!

Each of the processing clergy was asked to offer a “30-second prayer from our faith tradition.” It’s always a challenge for me to write succinctly (could you tell?), much less on something as key and complex as our faith, but today’s prayer came straight from my heart. You’ll be able to find it on my blog on our new website, just as soon as Iris is able to get my entries posted.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace (September 21, coinciding with Yom Kippur) is a 24-hour worldwide ceasefire. No, we won’t “achieve” that tomorrow-but, as today’s worship leaders suggested, let us see if we can mindfully cease all “hostilities” in our own minds, words, and deeds for a day. How difficult will this be? Perhaps the mindfulness itself is the biggest challenge.

May you find clarity and peace, even for a few moments or hours, in the days to come.

I’ll see you in church!



685 responses so far