As We Build the Beloved Community...
by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
The Complex Task of Living a Balanced Life
Mientras Construimos Nuestra Querida Comunidad…
por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Simplicidad: La Compleja Tarea de Vivir una Vida Balanceada
“You know how some people say that it takes only three weeks to form a new habit?” I recently launched a conversation with Rev. Geoff using this rhetorical question, which I meant to be merely a prelude to sharing My Latest Plans to Totally Transform My Life (and, by the way, to transform our life here at FUCSJ) over the course of the month of November alone! All of this would be accomplished as part of our theme for the month: “Simplicity.”
“Ummmm,” Geoff interrupted me gently, “I think I’ve heard people say it takes three months. I mean, to really get a new habit into our bones.”
There was a long pause. “Oh,” I replied. Three months does make more sense, doesn’t it, especially for a project as grand as a Life Transformation. Still, I had to admit to being just the teensiest bit discouraged. I was counting on quick results!
Our hearts and bodies, our community and our country, the very earth, sea, and sky are crying out for us to form new habits of sustainability. Yet we are often so daunted by the size of the taskor so overwhelmed by the present demands on our time, attention, and resourcesthat we put off making any changes at all.
In truth, we don’t have time for such discouragement anymore. We cannot wait until we have the perfect answers before we take the next brave small steps toward transforming our lives and the world around us into sustainable systems. A “sustainable system,” remember, is one in which our resourceswhether personal or globalare used in a way that ensures that they are not depleted or damaged. We need new habits for how we spend our resourcesall of themif we hope to save ourselves and our planet.
But these urgent thoughts and words are old and familiarthey are almost a “habit” themselves. Here is what is new: I believe that the current financial recession that has so many of us feeling anxious and helpless is actually a call for a whole new way of being. If we “come out” of this recession merely with a return to our old ways of livingour habits of spending, consuming, ignoring, wastingthen we will have failed to answer that call.
In our FUCSJ worship services throughout the month of November, we will be seeking to build new habits that can lead to a more sustainable way of being. We are calling our theme “simplicity” but it is really about “balance,” which is not so simple, after all. Together we will explore how to get therehow to get there for real and for good, in every sense of those words.
The self-help gurus may differ on how long it takes to form a new habit; a quick internet search reveals predictions of three weeks, nine and a half weeks, three months, and more. But what is certain is that it is easier to create new and healthier habits than it is to break old ones, as Janet Rae-Dupree wrote in “Can You Become a Creature of New Habits?” (New York Times, 4 May 2008, accessible on-line). Such new habits, Rae-Dupree reports, create “parallel synaptic paths”new neural pathways right alongside those old ones that have not served us so well. And these new pathsthese new habits of beingcan actually “jump our trains of thought onto new, innovative tracks.”
So what will we discover together as we begin to establish new habits of being, new sustainable ways of living for ourselves and our world? I can’t wait to find outeven if it does take longer than three weeks!
With love and hope,
"Como ustedes saben, ¿alguna gente dice que se tardan sólo tres semanas para formar un nuevo hábito?" Recientemente tuve una conversación con el Rev. Geoff utilizando esta pregunta retórica, lo que quería ser simplemente un preludio para compartir mis Últimos Planes para Transformar Totalmente Mi Vida (y, por cierto, para transformar nuestra vida aquí en la FUCSJ) en el transcurso solo del mes de noviembre! Todo esto podría se logrado como parte de nuestro tema para el mes: "Simplicidad".
"Ummmm", Geoff me interrumpió suavemente, "Creo que he escuchado a la gente decir que esto toma tres meses. Es decir, para tener realmente un hábito nuevo dentro de nuestros huesos."
Hubo una larga pausa. "Oh," respondí. Tres meses tiene más sentido, no es así, especialmente para un proyecto tan grande como una transformación de la vida. Aún así, he tenido que admitir el estar un poquito desanimada. Yo estaba contando con resultados rápidos.
Nuestros corazones y cuerpos, nuestra comunidad y nuestro país, la misma tierra, mar y cielo nos exigen hacer nuevos hábitos de sustentabilidad. Pero nosotros estamos tan a menudo intimidados por el tamaño de la tarea o tan abrumados por las actuales exigencias de nuestro tiempo, atención y recursos que posponemos el realizar cambios en absoluto.
En realidad, ya no tenemos tiempo para tal desaliento. No podemos esperar hasta que tengamos las respuestas perfectas antes de tomar los pequeños pasos valientes hacia la transformación de nuestras vidas y el mundo en sistemas sostenibles. Un "sistema sostenible", recuerden, es uno en el que nuestros recursos ya sea personal o global, son utilizados de manera que garantice que no se agotaran o dañaran. Necesitamos nuevos hábitos de como gastamos nuestros recursos, todos ellos: si queremos salvarnos a nosotros mismos y a nuestro planeta.
Pero estos pensamientos y palabras urgentes son antiguos y familiares son casi un "hábito" en sí mismos. Aquí hay algo nuevo: creo que la actual recesión financiera que tiene a muchos de nosotros sintiéndonos ansiosos e indefensos es realmente la llamada de una nueva forma de ser. Si nosotros "salimos" de esta recesión simplemente con un regreso a nuestras antiguas formas de vida: nuestros hábitos de gastar, consumir, ignorar, desperdiciar entonces, habremos fracasado en responder a esa llamada.
En nuestros servicios religiosos en la FUCSJ durante el mes de noviembre, procuraremos construir nuevos hábitos que puedan conducir a una forma más sostenible de ser. Estamos llamando a nuestro tema "simplicidad", pero realmente trata de "equilibrio", lo cual no es tan simple, después de todo. Juntos exploraremos cómo llegar ahí: cómo llegar de adeveras y para siempre, en todo el sentido de esas palabras.
Los gurús de autoayuda pueden diferir sobre cuánto tarda para formar un nuevo hábito; una búsqueda rápida en el Internet revela las predicciones de tres semanas, nueve y media semanas, tres meses y mucho más. Pero lo cierto es que es más fácil crear nuevos y más sanos hábitos que romper los antiguos, como Janet Rae-Dupree escribió en convertirse "¿Puedes llegar a ser una Creatura de nuevos hábitos?" (New York Times, 4 mayo de 2008, accesible en línea). Estos nuevos hábitos, Rae-Dupree dice, crean "caminos de sinapsis paralelos" nuevos senderos neuronales justo junto a los antiguos que no nos han servido tan bien. Y estos nuevos caminos: estos nuevos hábitos de ser puede realmente "saltar de nuestros trenes de pensamiento a nuevas e innovadoras pistas."
¿Entonces que descubriremos juntos mientras comenzamos a establecer nuevos hábitos de ser, nuevas formas sostenibles de vida para nosotros mismos y nuestro mundo? No puedo esperar para averiguarlo incluso si hace falta más de tres semanas!
Con amor y esperanza,
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.
Should Children Walk the Labyrinth?
by Genie Bernardini
Here are some comments from those who have: “It was very, very, very, very, very FUN!” “It takes my mind away.” “I like it super much.” “Peace, joy and freedom to fly!” “It was interesting, relaxing, fun and really neet.”
To learn more about this community treasure, come to the Labyrinth Retreat on Saturday, Nov. 21 from 2:00-5:00 pm. For further information, contact Karen Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Labyrinth Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 11:30-1:00; Sundays after the service; every third Thursday, 6:30 p.m.-8:00
Circling Around by Torchy Hunter
As the editor for Circling Around, I accost 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 email@example.com. 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:
Somebody looks like a dog and is proud of it. Whose work is showing in New York City? Somebody has a really rotten kid. I mean punks and thieves. Which issue of Circling Around mentions the most church members?
It’s Dana Grover’s work. One of his photos was in a show at the SJ Museum of Art, and it is now in New Yawk. This is hot stuff, people. Most photographers bask in the glory of all their relatives, but in New York!!!! Here’s a link to the picture that made it: The assignment was to make a picture inspired by Ansel Adams’ “Moon over Half Dome.” Dana’s is titled “Half Moon over Dome.” Check it out at http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_grover/3821058346/
From Rebecca Mason:
jacob and jessy won the BARK IN THE PARK lookalike contest at the annual downtown bark event. steve stein and his dog cosmo had won a few years ago, and steve and gary mccumber arrived just in time to see jake win. it was very fun. i think i mentioned that 2nd place went to a woman who owned a butt ugly bulldog. she had a great sense of humor about it, they had identical round faces with no neck. her tongue did not stick out however. (Rebecca used up all her capital letters in one night in New Orleans.)
Ruby Delgros (age 12) is proud to be performing in the musical “Oliver!” with the Children’s Musical Theater San Jose. She plays “Sammy,” one of the Orphan Thieves (you know, those punk kids who hang around with old man Fagin, and that degenerate “Artful Dodger”). To purchase tickets for one of the December performances, you can go to http://www.cmtsj.org/tickets/ (IMPORTANT: remember that Ruby’s in the DICKENS cast) or you can just ask Ruby herself at church!
Last Sunday I asked members of our very own congregation the following question: If you had a long weekend to yourself, where would you go and what would you do?
Seemed pretty easy to me, but then the Silicon Valley and the times checked in. I got lots of answers asking for more definition: How many days? Am I paying? Alone? How far can I go? All you analytics. I’m pleased to say that Michael Payne-Alex spontaneously said “one of those hotel rooms in Fiji that are on stilts in the water. I would meditate, read, write, and one further thing I can’t mention here.” Yeah! Not a single hesitation. And he could SEE it!
Anne Gunn thought for a long time and finally said a campground at Crater Lake. “I went there once and will never forget how blue that lake is. Blue blue blue.” Pam Price would go to the ocean - Monterey.
OK, I’m really not going to judge people’s dreams, but I think these answers could be easily sorted. Poor Nancy PJ - has to reach all her constituencies. Sue Patrick would go to the beach and watch Robbie run around in the surf. Frank Bosche would go to Death Valley for the silence and the peace, the simplicity of the landscape, and will never forget a trip there staying in a crummy motel in Beatty, Nevada (which I couldn’t even find on a map). Julia Rodriguez would take her knitting and go to her cabin. Claims she can walk and knit at the same time. Bob Howd would go to Zion to walk through the canyons. Because I’ve never been there, but want to, I found out if you want to drive straight through it’s only 8-10 hours. It could happen.
Gene Martin would go to London - no hesitation- and spend as much time as he could cram in one day at the Science Museum! Bob Redfern would do silly little things at home. Oh, and then go to church. Barbara Derbyshire would stay home, garden, and read. Bev Clifford would have a Girls Party with singing and poetry recitals, and music by Elton John, Creedence, and Dr. Demento.
Jan Theiss-Guffy would go to Santa Cruz for surf lessons and then get a massage from “a great big hunk.”
Billie Wachter would go to Pacific Grove to look at the water. She has a couple of very good memories from there. Frank Farris would go to his office to catch up. Yawn. Liz Owen would go to a garden, of course, but England’s Blenheim Garden. And finally, Dena Dickinson would go to Paris. To just selected museums and neighborhoods. As I left her, she was thinking of a tea place that gave you the history of tea, and had 60 different kinds of Darjeeling…. I think you could set up a pretty interesting dinner party guest list just from these answers.
And look what our former Social Justice Coordinator Patrick O’Connell is up to now! (Seems he hasn’t really abandoned social justice work at all): “I now work from home with Pre-Paid Legal Services. PPL was founded in 1972 to make “equal justice under law” a reality in the US and Canada by making attorneys affordable for middle class people. Our month-to-month membership covers the entire family. Our members can call their law firm with any legal question, large or small, and have an attorney on call 24-hours-a-day for legal emergencies. Our attorneys also write letters or make phone calls, review contracts, and prepare wills, all for one low monthly membership fee. We also have a companion identity theft service as well.” For more information, contact Pat O’Connell at 408-460-2935.
White Light Corner: Mary McGuiness has a lymph node affected by melanoma. She’s back in the Bay Area and probably looking at chemo. Please surround her with a healing intense white light.
Ministers’ Discretionary Fund
by the Committee on Ministries
Christmas Eve at First Unitarian is always one of the most magical and memorable evenings of the church year: Familiar carols joyously sung by all, special music by the choir, the ethereal solo of “O Holy Night” as the lights go down, the passing of the light from candle to candle, soul to soul, the evergreen decorations, the Offering (collection)..... Well, maybe the Offering at both evening services isn’t quite as memorable as some of our other traditions but it can do magical things! The contributions made that evening go to the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund.
This fund gives our ministers a way to help those of us who may find themselves in a financial emergency where a small amount of money can bridge what seems to us an impossible gap. Especially in hard times when more of us are living on less and can be very vulnerable to unexpected expenses, we all need to remember that this resource exists as a ministry of our church community.
If you are in need, or to get more information, please contact Rev. Nancy or Rev. Geoff directly.
Fondo Discrecional de los Ministros
La víspera de la Nochebuena en la Primera Iglesia Unitaria siempre es una de las noches más mágicas y memorables del año en la Iglesia: villancicos familiares alegremente cantados por todos, música especial por el coro, el solo etéreo de “Noche de Paz” mientras las luces van bajando, el paso de la flama de vela a vela, de alma a alma, las decoraciones perennes, la ofrenda (colección)..... Bueno, tal vez la ofrenda en ambos servicios por la noche no es tan memorable como algunas de nuestras otras tradiciones, pero pueden hacer cosas mágicas! Las contribuciones realizadas esa noche irán al fondo discrecional de los Ministros.
Este fondo proporciona a nuestros ministros una manera de ayudar a aquellos de nosotros que podemos encontrarnos en una emergencia financiera donde una pequeña cantidad de dinero puede salvar lo que nos parece una brecha imposible. Especialmente en tiempos difíciles cuando muchos de nosotros estamos viviendo con menos y podemos ser muy vulnerables a los gastos inesperados, todos debemos recordar que este recurso existe como un Ministerio de nuestra comunidad de la Iglesia.
Si tiene alguna necesidad, o para obtener más información, por favor póngase en contacto directamente con la Rev. Nancy o el Rev. Geoff.
Postponed until Next Year:Conociéndonos/Getting to Know Each Other Retreat
Originally Scheduled for Saturday, November 7
In the interests of our theme for November“Simplicity”and because enrollment was a little low for this early Saturday morning time, we will postpone the Conociéndonos/Getting to Know Each Other Retreat until a suitable time in spring 2010! Stay tuned for more news of this fun retreatwhich offers a chance for “holy play”after the New Year.
Aplazado Hasta el Próximo Año: Retiro Conociéndonos/Getting to Know Each Other
Originalmente programado para el sábado, 7 de noviembre
En el interes de nuestro tema para noviembre: “Simplicidad” y porque la inscripción era un poco baja para este momento de la mañana del sábado, se aplaza el retiro Conociéndonos/Getting to Know Each Other hasta un tiempo adecuado en la primavera del 2010. Esté atento para más noticias de este divertido retiro el cual ofrece una oportunidad para “Santo juego”: después de año nuevo.
Saturday, November 14
Service is our prayer
Please join us for the quarterly church work party on Saturday, November 14, from 9 am until about 2 pm. We’ll honor our “Service is Our Prayer” tradition with a variety of tasks to be accomplished, such as cleaning the kitchens, sterilizing toys in the nursery, shampooing carpets, changing light bulbs, and probably some significant repairs. This is our chance to “shine”! Lunch will be provided. We hope to see you there! If you have questions, please contact Bob Howd (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Patrick Myers (email@example.com).
December 6, 2009
Come Celebrate the Ordination of Suzanne Marsh!
by Michael Payne-Alex
On September 20, we voted to ordain Suzanne Marsh as a Unitarian Universalist minister. That means that we invited ourselves to the ceremony and to the reception after!
So, save the date December 6 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm for this wonderful event. Please RSVP for the reception (firstname.lastname@example.org, 408-363-1875) and contact Kelly Burnett (email@example.com or (408) 723-7237) to find out what food to bring and/or to volunteer to help set up and clean up afterwards. See you there!
¡Ven Celebrar la Ordenación de Suzanne Marsh!
Por Michael Payne-Alex
El 20 Septiembre, la congregación voto por la ordenación de Suzanne Marsh como una ministra Unitaria Universalista. Esto significa que estamos invitándonos a nosotros mismos a la ceremonia y a la posterior recepción.
Entonces, aparte la fecha del 6 de diciembre de las 4 a las 7 pm. para este maravilloso evento. Por favor reserve a la mayor brevedad posible para la recepción (firstname.lastname@example.org, 408-363-1875) y contacte a Kelly Burnett (email@example.com, (408) 723-7237) para averiguar que alimentos traer y/o ser voluntarios para ayudar a poner y posteriormente recoger. ¡Los veré ahí!
More About Ordination Help and Other Ways to Serve Our Congregation
By Kelly Burnett
For the ordination of Suzanne Marsh, to be held in our sanctuary on Sunday. December 6th, the committee planning finger food for the ministers before the ordination and the dinner after the ordination needs your help. We still need finger foods, 10-20 lasagnas to feed at least ten people each, and green salads.
Please let Kelly Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org know or Kim Aldridge at email@example.com know what you will bring for this event as absolutely soon possible, preferably the day this you receive this newsletter.
We also need people who will help clean up after the ordination and ask you to contact Brian Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael Payne-Alex at email@example.com if you can help with that.
Help is also needed for the PACT Tea in late January 2010 so please contact Diana Wirt at firstname.lastname@example.org or Connie Bloch at email@example.com if you can help there.
We are grateful for your generosity and participation so please don’t make us come to your house! :-)
Spotlight on Social Justice
The Social Justice Council generally meets the second Friday of each month. See Online Calendar for all FUCSJ listings at: http://my.serviceu.com/public/frame.asp?OrgID=3442&bShowCalendar=True
Contagious Love Experiment - Iraq Vets Biking for Peace
Saturday, November 7 at 6:00 p.m.
San Jose Peace & Justice Center, 48 S. 7th Street, San Jose
Veterans for Peace Chapter 101 will host Josh Steiber and John Curran, two Iraq war veterans traveling across the country on foot and on bicycle, talking about their experiences in the military and Iraq while promoting peaceful problem solving.
A woman among warlords - Story of an Afghan woman who raised her voice
Saturday, November 7 at 3:45 p.m.
San Jose State University, Engineering Auditorium, San Jose
Malalai Joya has been called the bravest woman in Afghanistan. Elected to the Afghan parliament in 2003 and 2005, she was suspended in 2007 for challenging the presence of warlords in the Afghan parliament. She has been compared to the symbol of Burma’s democracy movement, Aung San Suu Kyi. Malalai Joya will release and sign her memoir: “A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.” This event is sponsored by South Bay Mobilization.
November 14, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This is a free full-day conference for families and friends caring for an aging loved one. Seminars include Self Care, Dementia Communication, Relaxation Techniques, Medicare/MediCal, and Caregiver Stories of Healing and Hope. Registration is closed, but you can still sign up for the webcast.
For information, visit www.healthtrust.org/caregiverscount or call 559-5589.
Here is the November hiking schedule. Be sure to call if you want to hike unless you are a regular, then let me know if you are not coming. Only big rain storms cancel hikes. In case of rain, call the morning of the hike to find out if we are changing the venue to the Stanford dish or if the hike is cancelled. My home phone is 408 730-1052 and cell is 570-7052. Use my cell phone after 7:30 am. All other times use my home phone. See you on the trails!
Wednesday, November 4
Long Ridge, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga at 8:30 am.
Saturday, November 7
Butano State Park, 6 miles, moderate. This is long day due to travel time and pie eating in Pescadero. Plan to get back around 4:30 pm. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, November 11
Almaden Quicksilver (Hacienda Entrance), 6 miles, moderate. Meet at Bed, Bath and 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 14
Mission Peak, 6 miles, moderate to strenuous. Meet at VTA Park and Ride on Capitol at Alum Rock at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, November 18
Montebello Open Space Preserve, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.
Saturday, November 21
Sanborn County Park, 6-7 miles. Meet at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, November 25
Wunderlich County Park. 5 miles, easy. Meet at Page Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.
Saturday, November 29
Almaden Quicksilver, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at Bed, Bath and Beyond in Almaden Plaza shopping center at 8:00 am. Or at the trail head at the Hacienda entrance at 8:15 am.
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.
You make FUSJ what it is! Whatever your talent and availability, there is an opportunity for you to serve. Contact Volunteer Coordinating Team members Liz Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bob Miess at email@example.com
Rear (l-r): step-daughters Mariah, Mercediez, Kristina; Middle (l-r): nephew Michael, wife Michelle, Henry; Front (l-r): Lily, Jefferson, Zach (photo courtesy of Henry's beautiful wife)
Volunteer Recognition: Henry Ruddle--Talented, Thoughtful and Fun!
The professional-looking layout of the newsletter we are fortunate enough to enjoy each month is the work of this amazing man, Henry Ruddle. Not only does Henry very generously contribute his considerable skills as a marketing communications consultant to our publication, but he does so in addition to his full-time job and raising 7 children, from ages 2 to 17, with his wife Michelle!
Working on our newsletter, he says, “was a natural fit for me” since he has written, edited and designed thousands of them. And since he has experience in many areas of communication, he has shared his talents through the Website Committee and in making fliers, banners, signs, “whatever was needed,” for numerous church activities.
But this is not all. Henry also was on the Weddings and Events Committee and is now on the Membership Committee, singing in the choir and serving as a Worship Associate. He finds being a W.A. especially rewarding. “Working out themes and writing reflections has been a great stimulus to my search for truth in freedom, and it’s fun to make people laugh,” he says.
This man’s sense of humor and intellectual depth have been obvious in his reflections from the pulpit. And his explorations into our faith have led him to an appreciation of Unitarianism as he sees it: “our church has 300 members with 500 theologies. There’s no one who thinks like me or like anyone else. People are allowed to try new things, say what they feel and change things up. No two services are the same, and you have to be ready for anything. If we have any ‘true believers’ at our church, I don’t think I’ve met them (well, maybe on global warming or vegetarianism). Most of us seem to hold our beliefs somewhat provisionally. We are comfortable with them and believe they are correct, but keep an open mind to allow our ideas to change and grow. We seek for truth in peace.”
We are clearly very fortunate to have such a man as part of our Beloved Community, and we thank you, Henry, for all you have given us.
Our Church’s Endowment Fund:
Your Questions Answered
By Gordon Smith
In October 2007, the First Unitarian Church of San Jose set up an Endowment Fund, along with a Planned Giving Committee to raise money for it. This article deals with some of the most common issues and questions that we’ve heard about what the Endowment Fund is about and how it works.
How is the Endowment Fund different than the contributions I make every year during the pledge drive?
The annual pledge drive is all about raising money to meet the church’s needs for operating funds for the short term typically the coming year. These operating funds are used for everything from salaries to paying the PG&E bill. In contrast, the Endowment Fund is focused on creating a source of funds to meet the church’s long-term needs. A long-term need might be anything from a capital project (such as a building renovation) to a new church social action project.
I’m not in a financial position to make a contribution to the Endowment Fund right now.
For most members of the church who take part in the Planned Giving program, this program is about a bequest in your will it’s not about making a contribution right now. You could of course decide to make a Fund gift contribution today, but that’s less common than the bequest approach.
I’m not sure that there will be enough money in my estate to cover the needs of my own children, let alone make a bequest to the church.
You should of course make sure that you take care of the needs of your family first. One suggestion is this: Since it’s not possible for most people to know exactly how much money there will be in their estate when they pass away, it may be best to specify a minimum threshold amount that must be paid to family heirs first before any other beneficiaries receive anything. In that case, if and only if that threshold is exceeded would any bequest to the church take effect. You should talk to your own family and your lawyer before making any decisions on this matter.
What will prevent the Endowment Fund from being quickly depleted?
No money will be paid out from the Fund until it has reached $1 million or until five years have passed, whichever comes first. From that point, money will be disbursed at a sustainable level, so that the Fund does not get depleted and in fact continues to grow.
How do I go about making a bequest in my will?
Name the “First Unitarian Church of San Jose Endowment Fund” as a beneficiary in your will. Changes to your will require that you consult your lawyer and/or use the services of a notary.
Can I specify how the money in my bequest will be spent by the Church?
Yes. The Endowment Fund has been set up with money in two funds: an Unrestricted Reserve Fund and a Building Reserve Fund. The Unrestricted Reserve Fund can be used for any approved purpose (but NOT for the church’s operating expenses except with the approval by a three-fourths majority vote at a congregational meeting). The Building Reserve Fund is to be used only for support of the church property. You choose which of these funds you want to contribute to.
If you want to specify in more detail how your bequest will be used, you can instead make it in the form of a Restricted Gift. You can indicate how you want the money to be spent, as long as it is for purposes in line with the church’s mission and policies such as support of Religious Education, Music Programs, Community Outreach, and so on.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact any of the members of the Planned Giving Committee: Bob Owens, Jean vonKaenel, Gordon Smith or Claire Wagner.
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: email@example.com.
- For pastoral care in Spanish, please contact our Spanish-Speaking Ministries Coordinator, Roberto Padilla: 408-991-3212; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com. Para el cuidado pastoral en español, por favor comuníquese con nuestro Coordinador de los Ministeriosen Español, Roberto Padilla: 408-991-3212; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com
Bob Redfern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Howd, BHowd@aol.com
POC PERSONNEL OFFICER
Joyce Miller, email@example.com
POC PROGRAM OFFICER
POC FINANCIAL OFFICER
Dena Dickinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheri Goodman, email@example.com
Rick Merritt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Payne-Alex, email@example.com
Senior Minister, Ext. 23
The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assoc. Minister For Religious Education, Ext. 25
Office Manager, Ext. 21
Susan Burke-Diquisto, email@example.com
Coordinator of Spanish Speaking Ministries, 991-3212
Roberto Padilla, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookkeeper / Sue Evanicky
Custodian / Edgar Cruz
Nursery Staff / Jusica Nunez & Maria Elena Olvera
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 and Shirley Worth; Circular.Editors@gmail.com
Shirley will be editor for the November 18 and December 16 issues. Catherine will be editor for the December 2 and January 6, 2010 issues.
Translator: Roberto Padilla
Layout: Henry Ruddle 408-234-3670 henry_L@ruddle.com (www.ruddle.com)
Assembly Coordinator: Gretchen Leavitt
Assembly Crew: Ellie White and Gretchen Leavitt
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 email@example.com
Next issue deadline: 3:00 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Next issue assembly: Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Next issue mailing: Wednesday, November 18, 2009