Articulating Our Unitarian Universalist Faith
By the Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Articulando Nuestra Fe Unitario-Universalista…
Por el Rev. Geoff Rimositis
On October 17-19, thirty youth from seven congregations (San Mateo, San Francisco, San José, Fremont, Palo Alto, Redwood City and Los Gatos) came together for the first of three Coming of Age Retreats. The theme of this first retreat was Crossing the Threshold. For many of the youth, it was their first experience with other Unitarian Universalists outside of their congregations.
The centerpiece activity of the weekend was Saturday’s Challenge Learning Center ropes course in Sunnyvale. Adults and youth worked together to solve problems and supported each other in attempting difficult challenges. It was all about creating community together and passing through the threshold of our fears to reach out across the void and get to know one another.
We did it at our opening worship on Friday evening when we lit candles for the trust, fun, honesty, openness that we hoped we would embody in our time together. We did it making jewelry with V Kingsley. We did it decorating t-shirts with Brian Lanier. We did it when we united with the San José congregation in Sunday worship honoring the ways we all mentor to each other.
One of the peak experiences of the weekend was seeing Jessica Taylor and Haven Latimore, who grew up in the church, standing before us on Sunday morning wearing the yellow jackets of City Year-Americorp and talking about why they are giving a year of service to their community. They encouraged our coming of age youth to consider doing likewise when the time comes for them to decide.
We are rightly focused on the election and the propositions and measures we will vote on. We can feel good about the effort we have given in the struggle for human rights. And in the midst of such timely and important issues we as a faith community continue to fulfill our core mission to help our youth come of age as Unitarian Universalists.
I’d like to thank those who made the retreat a success:
Retreat Leaders: Bruce Halen, V Kingsley, Rick Morris, Brian Lanier, Meg Trask (Riley McLaughlin, San Francisco, Tracey Fetcher, Redwood City)
Food Purchasers: Barbara Derbyshire, Julie Doyle, Rick Merritt, Nancy Johnson
Cooks: Bill and Cathy Thiemann, Mark Magner, Jo Balzer
Banner Maker: Joyce Miller
San José’s Coming of Age Task Force: Carrie Doolittle, Nancy Johnson, Rick Merritt
Our Coming of Age youth and mentors who are the heart and soul of the program:
Thanks and blessings to you all!
Del 17 al 19 de octubre, treinta jóvenes de siete congregaciones (San Mateo, San Francisco, San José, Fremont, Palo Alto, Redwood City y Los Gatos) se juntaron para el primero de tres de los retiros de la mayoría de edad. El tema de este primer retiro fue Cruzando el Umbral. Para muchos de los jóvenes este fue su primera experiencia con otros Unitarios Universalistas fuera de sus congregaciones.
La actividad central del fin de semana fue el Sábado de Retos del Learning Center ropes course en Sunnyvale. Los adultos y los jóvenes trabajaron juntos para solucionar problemas y se apoyaron los unos a los otros intentando desafíos difíciles. Todo fue acerca de crear una comunidad juntos y pasar a través del umbral de nuestros miedos para alcanzar a través del vacío y conocerse los unos a los otros.
Lo hicimos en nuestro servicio de apertura la tarde del viernes cuando encendimos las velas para la confianza, la diversión, la honradez y la apertura… esperábamos que nos incorporáramos a nuestro tiempo juntos. Lo hicimos haciendo joyería con V Kingsley. Lo hicimos decorando camisetas con Brian Lanier. Lo hicimos cuando unidos con la congregación de San José en el servicio del domingo honraba las maneras en que todos nos aconsejamos los unos a los otros.
Una de las máximas experiencias del fin de semana fue viendo a Jessica Taylor y Haven Latimore, quienes crecieron en la iglesia, estando parada ante nosotros en la mañana del domingo vistiendo las chaquetas amarillas de City Year-Americorp y hablando acerca del por que ellos están dando un año de servicio a su comunidad. Animaron a nuestros jóvenes de la mayoría de edad a considerar el hacerlo igualmente cuando el tiempo llegue para que ellos lo decidan.
Nos enfocamos directamente en la elección, en las proposiciones y las medidas que nosotros votaremos. Podemos sentirnos bien sobre el esfuerzo que hemos hecho en la lucha por los derechos humanos. Y en el medio de tal oportunidad e importantes asuntos, nosotros como una comunidad de fe continuamos cumpliendo nuestra misión de ayudar a los jóvenes que se estan acercando a la mayoría de edad como Unitarios Universalistas. Quisiera agradecer a los que hicieron el del retiro un éxito:
Lideres del Retiro: Bruce Halen, V Kingsley, Rick Morris, Brian Lanier, Meg Trask (Riley McLaughlin, San Francisco, Tracey Fetcher, Redwood City)
Compradores de comida: Barbara Derbyshire, Julie Doyle, Rick Merritt, Nancy Johnson
Cocineros: Bill y Cathy Thiemann, Mark Magner, Jo Balzer
Realizarora de Pancartas: Joyce Miller
Fuerza de trabajo de Coming of Age de San José: Carrie Doolittle, Nancy Johnson, Rick Merritt
Y nuestra juventud de la mayoría de edad y a los mentores quienes son el corazón y el alma del programa:
Gracias y bendiciones para todos!
Saying Thank You and Farewell to Carol Stephenson:
An Open Letter from the Board of Directors
With Carol Stephenson’s resignation (effective December 5), we on the Board of Directors of FUCSJ find ourselves in a place where “thank you” is a pale reflection of what is in our hearts. Still, we want to share what we are thinking and feeling with Carol and with the congregation.
First, to Carol, we say:
THANK YOU for the leadership, passion, creativity, and expertise you have brought to our Social Justice Ministries during the past four years.
THANK YOU for building bridges into our neighborhood and larger community through cross-cultural celebrations such as La Posada, the Day of the Dead, and more.
THANK YOU for the interfaith connections you have helped us forge through PACT and through such events as the “Celebrating Our Diversity” gatherings under the Circle of Palms and the Interfaith Peace Service in our own sanctuary.
THANK YOU for your leadership in helping us stand proudly on the side of love by bringing the No on Proposition 8 phone bank to our church.
THANK YOU for your inventiveness and creativity through your work with our children and youth to your initiative and skills in helping us to win special grants.
THANK YOU for reviving and supporting our Social Justice Council and for working with them to bring a range of events and issues into our congregational life together.
And THANK YOU for your friendship, your compassion, and your easy presence in our midst. We will miss you, and wish you well!
And now, to the congregation, we ask:
Will you please join us as we wish Carol farewell and celebrate her contribution to our beloved community during the worship services on Sunday, December 7? This will be your chance to say thank you.
Carol’s departure will leave a big hole in our church’s Social Justice and Outreach Ministries. Please begin to turn your hearts and minds toward what’s next in our Social Justice Ministry. We will gather in January to re-vision and refine our social justice strategy in a post-Carol era. What will be our focus? How will we choose our priorities? What will be our leadership model?
We will continue to be a strong voice for justice in the South Bay.... What role will you play? Blessings,
The Board of Directors: Tracy Avent, Cheri Goodman, Bob Howd, Rick Merritt, Michael Payne-Alex, Bob Redfern, Marla Scharf
Welcome New Members
The Nohavitza family, (l-r) Raun, Isobel, Michelle and Ivan joined during the October 19 ingathering.
Ways to share your time and talent
Ready to Become a New Member of the First Unitarian Church of San José?
Membership means you have found your spiritual home in Unitarian Universalism and here at FUCSJ; it means you feel called to offer your time, talent, and treasure to help build this Beloved Community. We welcome you!
Please set up a meeting with Rev. Nancy, firstname.lastname@example.org, and then plan to participate in the next New-Member In-gathering!
¿Listo para ser un Nuevo Miembro de la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José?
Membresía significa que tú has encontrado tu hogar espiritual en el Unitario Universalismo y aquí en la FUCSJ; significa que tú has sentido el llamado de ofrecer tu tiempo, talento y tesoro para ayudar a construir a esta amada comunidad. ¡Le damos la bienvenida!
Por favor, tenga una reunión con la Rev. Nancy email@example.com y entonces planee participar en el siguiente Reunión de Nuevos Miembros.
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.
- 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
- 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
- NEWCOMER TABLE HOST: welcome newcomers, ask to fill out card, give info.;1 Sun. a mo.; 1 yr. term
LIVE YOUR VALUESSHARE YOUR TALENTSFORM WARM FRIENDSHIPS
Call Ed at (408) 712-4157.
The all-new all-different Circling Around by Torchy Hunter
As the new editor for Circling Around, I will be accosting people in Hattie Porter Hall wearing my “Tell Me Everything” sign, or, if you’d rather actually think about what you want in here, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to be up to date with you, so here’s what we need: birthdays (especially those with zeros), parties of any kind, promotions, college destinations, anything that you diverse groups are doing is interesting to everyone else. For example, in this issue:
Who has left the country and isn’t coming back for 2 years???? Or for 2 and a half weeks???? Who did the Mercury News tell not to smile? And why? How many guys have secret obsessions? That they take their wives to?...Who are you going to have to re-introduce yourself to?...Who is the Master of the Internet (it isn’t me or MM). Read on. Thanks for all the cards and letters, but in spite of your advice, I’m staying.
Now to the tabloid news of the day: Everybody’s favorite marine biologist, Gary MacCumber, has figured out how to keep me from printing what he says: he tells me outrageously unprintable things. But you can decide ask him about the recent wedding of his friend, Jim, and why they call him “Tina.”… Now waiting through the Chinese custom lines are Jenny and Bob Redfern who are staying 2.5 weeks and not even seeing the terracotta warriors.... Rick Merritt has an astonishing, ok, amazing, ok, hardly believable, surprise. He is going to show up at church with a woman from Portland he claims he met on (wait for it) UUSingles.com He swears he is not making this up, so if he shows up with someone, behave yourselves and do not point and stare…. Some of you reeeeal old timers might remember Greg Ashley, seen at church recently. He came from Baltimore to see his first grandchild, Miss Zoe Carpenter, thanks to daughter Lauren.... I think you must all have seen the picture of Barbara Grover in the Murky News lately, discussing the effects on her clients of the stresses of current society (the Pre-Obama Era).... Diana Wirt’s picture was in the society pages, at what my informant (Ary-may Artin-may) said was a very tony society event.... OK, I’m spilling the beans. Gene Martin belongs to a secret society. He and Mary went to a secret location in one of the square states. They went to the top of Pike’s Peak, but the view was fogged out…. And the secret name is The Association of Rail Museums Convention. Obviously right wing... Wonder if they know Tim Blackwood’s secret obsession? It’s lighthouses, and they’ve gone all over the world to (wait for it) look at them. Do not even think of giving Madeline anything with a lighthouse on it.... Lisa Hettler-Smith visited Claire Wagner (see Greg Ashley, above) in her “intensely urban” neighborhood in Baltimore, and they both sang in the choir at First Unitarian of Baltimore, the site of “the famous Baltimore Sermon.” (I dunno. Ask Lisa.)...And Monty Low says that Sundar Mudupalli and family are going to England for TWO Years! Don’t they have to ask us before they go? We’ll miss them. Can’t wait to hear the kids with British accents. The Old Raj and all that.... Crystal Lanier, of the beautiful voice, has an article published in the November issue of The Veriditas Journal, about the labyrinth they-all built in Romania. Have a look: http://veriditas.org/newsletters/archive/LJ-Winter2009.pdf. My question is how does Monty know these things? Do I need to deputize him? And Lisa, too? Nah. They’d just want bylines…. Rick Morris has noted a strange effect of spending two nights in the church with our yoot. It erases his memory! He could not think of a single thing to tell me that was new or interesting, but just kept frowning and saying, “two nights in the church....two nights in the church.” Bob Owen likewise could not think of anything, anything new or interesting in his life. We always knew Liz is the brains of that organization....
V Kingsley is home and recuperating after surgery on Friday, October 24. Confession time; if I talked to you last week at church and you don’t see your name here, well, uh, the truth is I was writing it all down on the Order of Service, and I left part of it up in the mountains at our cabin, where I’ve spent the last 4 blissful days. I am resolved to bring a real notebook from now on, and your whole entry will be in bold next time.
Watch for me. I’ll be “Circling Around” you. Torchy Hunter
Partner Church News
Unitarian Church Buildings Returned after 60 years! Villagers to visit San Jose in August 2009!
by Connie Bloch and Monty Low, Partner Church Committee Co-chairs
This year, after over a decade of negotiation, two buildings were finally returned to our Partner Church in Homorodszentmarton. The buildings, originally used as the church school, were confiscated by the Communist Romanian government in 1948. The roofs of these buildings and a third church building are in very bad shape. Originally the Partner Church Committee budgeted $5,000 for airplane tickets to bring villagers to San Jose in 2009. Working with the Homorodszentmarton church board, we have decided to divert the money to the repair of these buildings. Through our partnership, FUCSJ is now a part of this chapter in the history of Unitarianism in Romania.
Despite giving up funds for airline tickets, we were able to secure donations of frequent flier mile tickets to bring villagers here in August 2009. We will be bringing Reverend Jozsef and his wife Erika, 2 adults, 1 college age youth, and 3 high school youth. The high school youth will arrive early to accompany our high school youth on their summer campout in the last week of July. After the camp out, they will join the rest of the villagers for about 10 days in the beginning of August. I hope everyone will have an opportunity to participate in the activities we plan for our guests. If you have not visited our home village, we will bring a bit of the village to San Jose. If you would like to participate, contact Monty Low or Connie Bloch.
Keep your calendars open on January 31 when the Partner Church Committee will host the annual fund-raiser Tea. We hope to see you there.
FUCSJ Members Eligible for Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods Corporate Discount
This is a reminder that we are part of the corporate discount program at Mel Cotton’s Sporting Goods Store. Please consider shopping at this non-chain local store (http://www.melcottons.com/). If you have questions, contact Monty Low, email@example.com.
- All members and friends of FUCSJ will receive 10% (year-round) discount off Mel’s regular priced and red-tagged items (10% discount does not apply to all sale items, only those marked with a red price tag). I have also found the discount is applied to the rental department.
- Discounts may not be applied to car top boxes, firearms, ammunition, gift certificates, licenses, and boats.
- The individual requesting the discount must mention his/her membership in the discount program to the cashier and present an order of service or church newsletter before items are rung up.
| PACT Needs Your Input
by Diana Wirt
Our PACT group, Green City, is following up on how the City is meeting its environmental goals. If you are a consumer of any of PG&E’s programs to make saving energy affordable, such the Energy Partners Program (EPP) or other program, please contact David Lambert DavidLambert1@Gmail.com or Diana Wirt firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workshop on Age Discrimination and Employment
First Unitarian Church of San Jose
Classrooms 1 and 2, Friday 11/14/08, 6:00 9:00 pm
Everyone is invited to a workshop on age discrimination at work or in seeking a job. The first half will help you understand more about ageism in its different forms and in the second half we will use an action technique to explore situations and how to deal with them.
There is no charge but we will take breaks to discuss your impressions of the workshop and look for improvements. For those who run workshops it is an opportunity to get new ideas.
If you are interested and would like to attend, or would just like more information, please call or send an e-mail. Jerry Cluney, 408 292-1781, email@example.com
Woman’s Alliance Location Change
Join us the first Thursday of each month for Rise Up and Call Her Name, an exploration of female spirituality through the centuries! Next meeting is Thursday, November 6 from 7:15 to 9:15 pm. Please note the monthly meetings of the Women’s Alliance have moved to the home of Jean von Kaenel in Los Gatos. Please contact Nancy Coleman for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408 985 5778.
Attention U.U. Crafters and Artists!
The Fireside Gift Faire, our church’s annual arts and crafts fair fund-raiser, is a great place to display and sell your wares. This year’s fair will take place Sunday Dec. 14. If you would like to participate, please e-mail Cecilia Deck, email@example.com.
The booth fee is $30-$35 and vendors agree to donate 10 percent of sales over $100 to the church. Vendors are required to have a California Resale Permit. We will also collect donated hand-crafted or arty items for the Treasures Table.
Are You Looking for UUthful Spirits?
UUthful Spirits is an inclusive group for fun and fellowship for young adults and the young at heart. Our activities include:
- Game night, every 3rd Friday, monthly.
- Sunday brunches, bimonthly on 2nd and 4th Sunday. Meet in Hattie Porter Hall about 12:45 p.m.
- Happy hour, every 1st Friday of the month at Tied House at 5:30 p.m.
Come join the fun. For more information, contact John Burk at firstname.lastname@example.org or group at email@example.com.
UU Hikers & Friends
by Joyce Miller
Here is the November hiking schedule. As usual, please call if you want to hike, so I will know to look for you at the car pool spot. If you are a regular (and you know who you are) you don’t need to call unless you are not coming, so we won’t wait for you if you are late. You can call me on my home phone from 6:30 until 7:30 am when I leave. After 7:30, call my cell phone. If you want to email me that you are coming, that is fine. I try to remember to check my email the morning of the hike.
My phone numbers are: 408 730-1052 (home) and 408 507-7052 (cell). In case of rain I frequently change the venue to the Stanford Dish, which is paved and solves the mud problem. I will cancel if we have a big wind and rain storm. If you wonder what decision has been made, give me a call the morning of the hike. See you on the trails!
Wednesday, November 5
Long Ridge 6, miles, moderate. Meet at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga at 8:30 am.
Saturday, November 8
No hike planned. We have a work day at the church.
Wednesday, November 12
Almaden Quicksilver, 6 miles, moderate. Hacienda Entrance. Meet at Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot at Almaden Plaza Shopping Center at 8:30 am or come to my house at 8:15 am to carpool from here.
Saturday, November 15
Mission Peak, 6 miles, moderate to strenuous. Meet at VTA Park and Ride on Capitol at Alum Rock at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, November 19
Montebello Open Space Preserve, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.
Saturday, November 22
Sanborn County Park, 6-7 miles, moderate. Meet at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, November 26
Wunderlich County Park, 5 miles, easy. Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For pastoral care in Spanish, please contact our Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator, Roberto Padilla: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; e-mail: email@example.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:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Para el cuidado pastoral en español, por favor comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador de los Ministeriosen Español, Roberto Padilla: 408-292-3858 ext. 24; e-mail: email@example.com.
Contactando a los Ministros
La Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y El Rev. Geoff Rimositis se sienten honrados por servir a esta congregación, y nosotros apreciamos su confianza! Aquí nosotros estamos a su alcance:
Tracy Avent, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Redfern, email@example.com
Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com
POC PERSONNEL OFFICER
Joyce Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org
POC PROGRAM OFFICER
Julia Rodriguez, email@example.com
POC FINANCIAL OFFICER
Christopher Frey, cjfrey@firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheri Goodman, email@example.com
Rick Merritt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Payne-Alex, email@example.com
Marla Scharf, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Minister, Ext. 23
The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, email@example.com
Assoc. Minister For Religious Education, Ext. 25
Office Administrator, Ext. 10
Iris Gonzalez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinator of Spanish Speaking Ministries, Ext. 24
Social Justice Coordinator, Ext. 27
Carol Stephenson, email@example.com
Bookkeeper / Pam Garcia
Sexton / Edgar Cruz
R.E. Assistant / Alecia Baker
Nursery Teacher / Stacey Vinyard
Thank you to our volunteers!
Our Church Circular is published on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Circulation is about 500.
Editors: Catherine Leeson Pelizzari; Sherry Howd, and Shirley Worth; Circular.Editors@gmail.com
Sherry and/or Shirley will be editors for the November 19 and December 17 issues. Catherine will be editor for the December 3 and January 7 issues.
Translator: Roberto Padilla
Layout: Henry Ruddle 408-234-3670 henry_L@ruddle.com (www.ruddle.com)
Assembly Coordinator: Gretchen Leavitt
Assembly Crew: Ellie & Geoff White, Lloyd Eater and Marge Schneider
Thanks for all the work you do and care you put into the newsletter.
Want to Receive the Newsletter?
To receive the newsletter on paper, fill out the form at this link:
or call (408) 292-3858, ext. 31.
To receive the newsletter via email, emessage firstname.lastname@example.org
Next issue deadline: 3:00 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Next issue assembly: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Next issue mailing: Wednesday, November 19, 2008