As we build the beloved community…
by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Mientras construimos nuestra querida comunidad…
por la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
FUCSJ Participates in Silicon Valley Reads
Near the beginning of Brian Copeland’s Not a Genuine Black Manthis year’s selection for Silicon Valley Readsthere’s a story that packs a punch. Young Brian, who is black, sets out to explore his new neighborhood in 1970s 99.9 percent white San Leandro. He’s got his baseball bat with him in case he finds a pickup game in the park nearby. But a car full of teenagers squeals to a stop beside him, taunting him and threatening to “kick his …” Brian doesn’t hear the rest of that sentence, because he has “taken off running somewhere between the words ‘kick’ and ‘his.’” He hurtles toward a police car, thinking he’ll find protection, but instead the cop, with a hand on his gun, interrogates him: “Do you have any identification?” “I’m eight!!” Copeland writes. The policeman locks Brian in the back of the police car, drives him back to his apartment, and tells Brian’s mother that “he was running around the neighborhood causing trouble, using this [bat] as a weapon.”
When I first read the policeman’s lie, I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach with the bat. Copeland writes, “I know that you’ve heard stories like this a … hundred thousand times. The problem is that, no matter how many times you hear these stories, you can’t understand them if you haven’t lived through them.”
There are so many good reasons for us here at First Unitarian to participate in Silicon Valley Reads. When we share a story like this one, it touches our common humanity; it helps us discover relationships and truths about each other and ourselves that we might not have found without this “prompt.”
And there’s another gift this project offers: It gives us a chance to learn about our differences. Opening ourselves up to a specific story like Copeland’s can release us from the cage of our own limited range of experiences. It can help us to fall in love with the full array of human life: with its hardness and its beauty, its injustice and its redemption, with the humor and love and hope that arise, amazingly, in all manner of circumstances.
I hope you will find a copy of Brian Copeland’s Not a Genuine Black Man and read it. Then join with us on Sunday, February 22, at 1 p.m., for a community discussion of what we’ve read. For children in grades 4 to 7 and families, Silicon Valley Reads suggests the chapter book, The Liberation of Gabriel King, by K. L. Going, and we will offer an intergenerational discussion on that book, too.
As we set off on this adventure together, let us look for our common humanity and find it joyfully, and let us also say, Wow. We can’t know another’s experience completely, but in listening deeply, we can be forever changed: less likely to make assumptions, more open to new visions of what life is and can be, more connected by both our similarities and our differences. What would it be like if everyone in this valley took part in that?!
With great affection,
La FUCSJ Participa en Silicon Valley Reads
Al inicio de Un Hombre Negro no Genuino de Brian Copeland de la selección de lecturas para el Silicon Valley este año Hay una historia que empaqueta un puñetazo. El joven Brian, que es negro, salio para explorar su nuevo vecindario en los años 70s, el 99.9 por ciento de San Leandro era blanco. Él lleva su bat de béisbol con él en caso de que pudiera participar en un juego en el parque cercano. Pero un coche lleno de adolescentes rechinando las llantas se detuvo junto a él, burlándose y amenazando “con patear su…” Brian no escucho el resto de esa oración, porque él “salió corriendo en alguna parte entre las palabras ‘patear’ y ‘su’’’ Él paso volando hacia un coche de policía, pensando que encontraría protección, pero al contrario, el policía con la mano en su arma lo interroga: “¿Tienes alguna identificación?” “Tengo ocho!!” Copeland escribe. El policía encierra a Brian en la parte posterior de la patrulla, lo conduce de nuevo a su apartamento y le dice a la madre de Brian que “él estaba corriendo alrededor del vecindario causando problemas,… usando este [el bat] como una arma.”
Cuando inicialmente leí la mentira del policía, sentí como sí me hubieran golpeado en el estómago con el bat. Copeland escribe, “yo se que usted ha oído historias como esta… cientos de miles de veces. El problema es que, no importa cuantas veces usted oiga estas historias, usted no puede entenderlas si usted no las ha vivido.”
Hay muchas buenas razones para nosotros aquí en la Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José de participar en las lecturas del Silicon Valley. Cuando compartimos una historia como esta, toca nuestra humanidad común; nos ayuda a descubrir las relaciones y las verdades acerca de otros y de nosotros mismos que no hubiéramos logrado encontrar sin este “mensaje”
Y hay otro regalo que este proyecto ofrece: Nos da la oportunidad de aprender sobre nuestras diferencias. Abriéndonos nosotros mismos a una historia específica como la de Copeland puede liberarnos de la jaula de nuestro propio rango limitado de experiencias. Puede ayudarnos a enamorarnos de la gran variedad de vida humana: con su dureza y su belleza, su injusticia y su salvación, con el humor y el amor y la esperanza que surgen, asombrosamente, en toda forma de circunstancias.
Espero que usted encuentre una copia de Un Hombre Negro no Genuino de Brian Copeland y lo lea. Para después, unirnos el domingo 22 de febrero a la 1pm. para una discusión en comunidad acerca de lo que hemos leído. Para niños del 4º al 7º grado y familias, Silicon Valley Reads sugiere el capítulo del libro La liberación de Gabriel King de K. L. Going y ofreceremos una discusión inter generacional de este libro también.
Así como nos hemos embarcado en esta aventura juntos, permitámonos buscar nuestra humanidad común y encontrarla alegremente y permitirnos también decir, Wow. No podemos saber de otras experiencias completamente, sino que escuchando atentamente, podemos ser cambiados por siempre: es probable que hagamos menos suposiciones, más abiertos a nuevas visiones de lo que la vida es y puede ser, más conectados por ambos, nuestras semejanzas y nuestras diferencias. ¡¿Qué pasaría si todos en este valle tomamos parte en esto?!
Con gran cariño,
Spotlight on Social Justice
by Lucy Proulx, Social Justice Council Communications Volunteer
Cheapskates Unite! “Frugal Environmentalism”
Talk about making a virtue of necessity: just in time for the recession comes “Frugal Environmentalism.” Lots of folks are pinching pennies these days, and that turns out to be a good thing for the planet. Using fewer natural resources in your home can also save you a lot of money. For starters, you might want to visit Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s exhaustive Home Energy Saver, (http://hes.lbl.gov/ ). And don’t miss Sierra magazine senior editor Paul Rauber’s “Frugal Environmentalism: Saving the earth on the cheap.” (http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200901/frugal.aspx) where you can learn that instead of acquiring new stuff, you can acquire a different standard of living--not necessarily a worse standard of living, but a different one.
“Things you can do in your home to save lighting energy”
As we all work to “Green” our homes, workplaces, and church, I’ve found this helpful site at the UC Davis’ California Lighting Technology Center Top 10 list: http://cltc.ucdavis.edu/images/images/ Downloads/michael_topten.pdf. It is a good resource for questions about CFL safety and health-related concerns.
A significant amount of energy can be saved in our homes today with the use of energy-efficient lighting technologies; many of these approaches also improve lighting quality and comfort. The site lists of some of the best technologies you can use today. Some of these retrofits involve electrical work and may require a qualified electrician. However, many involve simple replacements and can be done by the homeowner.
City of San Jose Plastic & Paper Bags Ban how will it affect low-income people?
The City of San José is considering adopting an ordinance that would require all retail establishments to charge consumers 25 cents for each disposable plastic and paper shopping bag they use. Attend a public meeting to provide input and learn how the fee will help reduce and clean up litter. One of the arguments against it is that is hits low-income people harder.
The City is interested in us (meaning PACT LOC) helping get the word out that that isn’t necessarily so, and getting input from our low-income constituents as to how true that is and how they can mitigate the effect to get wider support. To get involved, come to our PACT LOC meetings in the Fireside Room on the 2nd Thursday of each month, at 7 pm. Call Diana Wirt at (408) 993-1003 for more information, just show up, or see our church’s PACT LOC information at http://www.sanjoseuu.org/Ministries/SocialJustice/pact.html.
UUSC to Celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Join UUSC as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Friday, February 6, 7:30 pm, in the Social Hall at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Rd., Kensington, CA 94707-1015. William F. Schulz, UUSC Board of Trustees chair and former executive director of Amnesty International and former president of the UUA, will give an address on “The Legacy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Where Do We Go from Here?” Free! All are welcome, wheel chair accessible, child care provided. Donations are welcome. Space is limited. RSVP to email@example.com.
||UU musician in concert at Los Gatos February 6th
Popular UU musician Jim Scott will appear in concert at our Los Gatos congregation, 7:30 pm, on Friday, February 6. Tickets for this rare opportunity to share an evening with Jim and his music are $10, and may be reserved by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. See the LG website for more information.
Step Up Silicon Valley Campaign to Cut Poverty
You are invited to a rescheduled brainstorming meeting of Catholic Charities End Poverty Campaign on Wednesday February 18th at 3 pm at San Jose First Presbyterian Church, 49 N. Fourth St., San Jose. Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County has initiated a Campaign to Cut Poverty in Santa Clara County. By bringing together faith community leaders, nonprofits, government, research, legal experts, and business, they hope all will “Step UP” to do their parts to meet the goal of cutting the poverty rate in half by the 2020.
Local statistics show the reality of poverty in Santa Clara County: 120,000 households (1 in 4) have to choose between paying the rent, buying food, or paying for health care. The income gap continues to widen, with 39% of local jobs paying less than $30K/yr., while the income needed by a family of four just to survive in this area of high rents is over $70K/yr. The definition of the poverty line is “what it takes to live here.”
If you are interested in sharing your knowledge or concern, please RSVP to the February 18th meeting by emailing Pat Plant at email@example.com, or contact Terrie Iacino at 408-325-5132 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cutting poverty will take the gifts of each one of us!
Marriage Lobby Day February 17th
Join activists from across the state “Standing on the Side of Love” for Marriage Lobby Day at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 9:30 am-5 pm. (Training locations TBD). UULM and UULM Action Network are collaborating with Equality California and CA Faith for Equality to bring clergy and people of faith to this lobby day.
At a moment when the CA Supreme Court is weighing the future of marriage equality in California, and as people absorb the impact of Proposition 8, this is an important time for a strong showing from people of faith. Be there to urge your Assembly members and Senators to support legislative resolutions calling for the repeal of Proposition 8. Join us and tell your stories about the importance of marriage equality in your lives. For more information and registration details see http://uulmca.org/programs/events.html#lobby.
On the previous day, February 16th, there will be a Love and Marriage Rally for Equality. 12-3pm at the steps of the capitol. Wear WHITE. And from 5:00 to 6:00 pm, there will be a Partners in Faith Marriage Equality Meet & Greet, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, CA and California Faith for Equality at the home of Rev. Lindi Ramsden and Mary Helen Doherty (3058 17th Street, 95818). Call 916-708-3390 for directions or other information.
Silicon Valley Health Equity Summit & Theatre Performance
If you missed the Silicon Valley Health Equity Summit and associated theater performance of “The Woman Who Fell from the Sky,” on February 3, the good news is that additional performances of this play are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, February 5, 6, and 7 at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm.
The play is based on the true story of an indigenous Tarahumara woman who was institutionalized for 12 years because doctors did not understand her language or culture and assumed she was insane. The cast includes FUCSJ’s Rodrigo Garcia. Teatro Vision is located at The Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose. More details and tickets on-line are at: https://secure2.cconvio.net/tht/site/Ticketing/ 2131047262?view=Tickets&id=100162&JServSessionIdr006=94mcxnt995.aapp8b.
“La mujer que cayo del cielo”
Teatro Visión se encuentra en The Mexican Heritage Plaza, en el 1700 de la Ave. Alum Rock en San José.. Para más detalles y boletos en línea en: https://secure2.cconvio.net/tht/site/Ticketing/ 2131047262?view=Tickets&id=100162&JServSessionIdr006=94mcxnt995.aapp8b.
Fair Pay Act Passes Senate/House, Obama Signs!
Ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work, the U.S. Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by a vote of 61 to 36 on January 22; the House of Representatives took a final vote January 27 and passed it 250-177, largely along party lines, drawing support from three Republicans. It was sent to President Obama for his signature and he signed the bill into law on Thursday, January 29th!
The “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act” means that women’s ability to challenge unequal pay will be restored. We celebrate with women and their families who can once again stand up and fight for the pay they need and deserve.
“This bill will strengthen the Civil Rights Act, and ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work,” noted our local Rep. Zoe Lofgren on her website. “American women have the right to receive the same pay for the same job as their male counterparts, and this legislation will help make that a reality.” Its legal basis is Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which makes it illegal to discriminate in paying wages based on race, gender, national origin and religion.
An Interfaith Declaration for Peace in Israel and Gaza
Many of us have watched with dismay the unfolding events in the conflict between Israel and Gaza. In response, members and leaders of the Silicon Valley interfaith community have issued a joint “Declaration for Peace,” which was read by Rev. Nancy Palmer-Jones during her sermon on Sunday, Jan. 25th. It begins with these words:
“We, members and leaders of the Silicon Valley interfaith community, are anguished by the events that have unfolded in Israel and Gaza. While some of usguided by faith and consciencemay in other venues express stronger statements of sympathy either for Israel or Gaza, we share a commitment to engage with one another, even, and especially, during times of great stress. We also affirm our common humanity and our common belief that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must cease, that there is no violent solution to that conflict, that all human life is valued, and that all parties must cooperate to achieve a just and lasting peace on behalf of God’s children who reside in the land we call holy.” The full statement can be found on the South Bay Interfaith website at www.southbayinterfaith.org.
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, email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Liz Owen at 408-257-2237or
Bob Miess at (408) 781-7073.
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 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:
Who did cool things and didn’t invite us? Who got misled by the cops but it all turned out ok? Find out why we can’t have an ADD support group! We have new kids on the block. Betcha didn’t know them.
And service is our prayer: Joyce Miller, Sandra Iwamoto, Sally Cooperrider, and Alice Lynch spent MLK Day picking up, for LULAC, a Latino youth organization. You guys, you could tell people about such cool things ahead of time and lots of us could do it. OK, a rule: if you, any of you in the great readership, are going to do something cool like this, please let me know waaaaay ahead of time so we can all do it.
||Inauguration Eve, lots of us showed up at Santa Clara University for the interfaith celebration and to hear LaDoris Cordell speak. SOME of the people Mary Martin and I saw: Liz Owen, Nancy Sutton, Bruce and Meredy Halen, Pam Price, Carrie Doolittle and Stephanie Rynas, Gene Martin, Carolyn Bowman, Jen Castro, Gertrud Cory, Joy-Ellen Lipsky, Alice Lynch, Moria Merryweather.
I know there were more of us, but with ADD like mine, I show up to such things without a pen, never mind paper. I was thinking of starting an ADD support group for us, but this would be worse than a procrastinator’s group (everybody comes late), because all of us ADD folks would forget the date entirely.
||Report from the front: Ed and Patti Massey did, in fact go to the Inauguration without tickets, and found police and volunteers giving conflicting directions on how to get to the Mall. I, personally, just head for the Washington Monument. But Patti says all kinds of roads were blocked and they were freezing so they decided just to watch the parade at 13th & Pennsylvania, and so saw everything. They ended up at the Irish Times Bar, where even the Irish were all in a good mood, before going back to Baltimore to spend the night with Claire Wagner and Greg Ashley. So a piece of us was there.
If you were in church last Sunday, you might have heard some “Amens”, “you go, girl”, and “that’s right!” being said by a very happy person in the front row. Made me think of how sober-sided we seem. Turns out this is Chris Long, a friend of Rev. Nancy, who is in the very last semester at Star King. Born in Memphis in ‘68, ended up here as a result of a dream: dreamed of 3 names (MLK, Viola Leu and Mary Ann Macklin) and learned “you will study in a place you’ve never been.” Geez. I only dream about total strangers, or whether the stop light will ever change. Chris came with Sean Potts, who’s holding a workshop on the Christian hegemony in Berkeley (where else). Now you see the benefit of me going up to total strangers every week. That is not to say if I come up to you, it’s because you’re strange.... You know what I mean.
How about Carolyn Bowman’s reading of the 3 Little Wolves and The Big Bad Pig! She was sooo good. Her voice would even crack when she was reading as the BB Pig. Everybody was ROFL. Ask your kid.
Vera Sloan is in a production of the “Vagina Monologues” to be presented Feb 13 and 14 at the Center for Spiritual Living on Clark Street, a benefit for something good... I also met Doug Zody, who’s been coming to us for about a year, and said I could publish his email: firstname.lastname@example.org. He has a couple of teenage daughters, so if any of you have been through that exercise, please go sympathize with him.
White Light Corner: this is a new feature in which I’ll name anybody who needs to have white light put around them until they get better from whatever it is. Lucy Proulx, you’re in. And Patrick Smiley. All the rest of you, think of them surrounded by the light.
And did you miss that touching article about Obama’s grandmother’s funeral in the Unitarian Church in Hawaii (where he went to Sunday School when he was a little kid)?
You did? Well, it’s in the .html version of our January 7 newsletter. Log in with the user name and password you get with each online newsletter and check it out! Look in the Inside This Issue section at the beginning (like a table of contents) for the Spotlight on Social Justice section, and under Bonus Articles, it’s the third Bonus Article. Enjoy!
On the Affordable Housing Front…
Following a lot of community support, the City Council of San Jose, in December, approved the creation of an inclusionary zoning ordinance. This law will require housing developers to set aside 15% of their units to be affordable to moderate and low income households. Although the ordinance will not include extremely low income people, housing advocates believe it will result in the construction of more affordable housing in San Jose.
FUCSJ member Saul Wachter spoke to the City Council on behalf of the proposed ordinance as an authorized representative of the Social Justice Council of the First Unitarian Church of San Jose, as well as of the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County.
UU Hikers & Friends
By Joyce Miller
Here is the February 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, February 4
Sanborn County Park. This can be a long hike up to Summit Rock (about 9 miles) or we can stop at Indian Rock (7 miles) . We can decide at the trail head. Meet at Downey Bank parking lot in Saratoga at 8:30 am.
Saturday, February 7
Joseph Grant County Park, 6.6 miles, moderate. (We could make it 9.8 miles if we want to by doing an additional loop.) We will do a short car shuttle. This should be a beautiful winter hike with unrestricted views of the hills. Meet at VTA Park and Ride at Capital and Alum Rock at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, February 11
Windy Hill, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.
Saturday, February 14
Almaden Quicksilver, Hacienda entrance, 7 miles, moderate. Meet at Bed, Bath & Beyond at Almaden Plaza at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, February 18
Stevens Creek/Fremont Older, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at trailhead at 8:30 am. Directions to trail head: Take Foothill Expressway as though you were going to Rancho San Antonio. Don’t turn off Foothill. Go about 1.5 miles to entrance to Stevens Creek Park on the left. You can see the parking lot below you as you go around a curve. Turn left and go straight ahead to the parking lot. There is $6 parking fee.
Saturday, February 21
Portola Redwoods State Park, 6 miles, moderate. I want to do a different hike called the Tarwater Loop, which is in Pescadero Creek County Park, adjacent to Portola Redwoods. This will be a longer day due to travel time. Count on getting back around 3:30 pm. Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, February 25
Huddart County Park, 7 miles, moderate. We will do the longer hike up to Skyline. Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.
Saturday, February 28
Mission Peak, 5 miles, moderate to strenuous. Meet at VTA Park and Ride on Capital at Alum Rock at 8:00 am or at the trail head at Ohlone College. Call for details.
Thursday, February 12
Open House to Show Church at Its Best
Tell everyone you know who might be interested in a wedding or special event at the church about our Open House on Thursday, February 12, from 4:00-8:00 pm. Better yet, invite them.
The Open House features gourmet teas, pastries, and finger sandwiches. The sanctuary, Hattie Porter Hall, and the Ramsden Fireside Room will be decorated. There will be tours of the kitchens, nursery, and all the rooms typically used for a wedding and reception.
The church is available for all the following special events: weddings, parties, commitment ceremonies, memorial services, quinceañeras, lectures, and concerts.
Thursday, February 5
Please join us on Thursday, February 5, for the next session in our series from the updated Cakes for the Queen of Heaven curriculum. This time we’ll be looking at Mary Magdalene’s story as well as at our own religious journeys. We are meeting from 7:15 to 9:15 pm at the home of Nancy Coleman. Please contact Nancy for directions or details at email@example.com or 408 985 5778.
Tuesday, February 10
Humanist Group to Discuss Epicurus
On February 10 at 7:00 pm, the HUUmanist Group will meet in the Fireside Room. We will consider the ideas of Epicurus, 341-270 BCE, a hedonistic philosopher. But don’t get your hopes up, it is not quite what you may think. We will begin by viewing the 30-minute segment of Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness on Epicurus. For those who wish to prepare, please read pp 50-72 of Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy.
First, February 12th is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. Second, the humanist service is set for Sunday the 15th of February. Please come and support our participants. Third, consider what the group should do while I am absent (physically) in March.
Two Interesting Talks in Palo Alto
The Gospel OF Jesus and the Gospel ABOUT Jesus: From Galilee to Proto-Christianity
A talk by Prof. Tom Sheehan, Sunday, February 22 at 7:00 pm, at the Main Hall, UU Church of Palo Alto
Prof. Tom Sheehan of Stanford’s Dept. of Religious Studies (and a fellow of the Jesus Seminar) is back to give another fascinating talk on early Christianity. Christianity preaches the gospel about Jesus: his divinity, his miraculous birth and supernatural miracles, his death as atonement for sin, his resurrection and ascension into heaven and his future return to earth. However, biblical scholarship over the last half-century has demonstrated that Christianity and its main doctrines are not at all what Jesus preached. The gospel proclaimed by Jesus was Jewish not Christian, was focused on God’s kingdom on earth rather than the afterlife, and was not about his divinity, substitutionary atonement, or personal resurrection. The lecture will show how Jesus’ preaching got transformed into first-century Christianities.
Please pre-register (firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office, 650-494-0541). Childcare can usually be provided with two weeks notice (email@example.com or call the church office).
Common Ground: Zoroaster and the Persian Religion
A talk by Courtney Roberts, M.A., Sunday, March 29 at 7:00 pm, in the Fireside Room, UU Church of Palo Alto
The three great monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have a lot more in common than we realize, for many of their core beliefs originally derive from the Persian religion and the prophet Zoroaster. We know how religion divides people, but can it also bring them together?
Courtney Roberts is a writer, teacher, and consultant whose work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the ‘big picture,’ combining cosmology, religious studies, and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos. Courtney is a graduate of the Masters program in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University in England, where she developed her specialization in the role of astrology in religion, particularly Persian Zoroastrianism and western monotheism. Her most recent book, The Star of the Magi (NewPage 2007) presents the most comprehensive, up-to-date research on the Star of Bethlehem and the messianic astrology practiced by the Persian Magi. Visions of the Virgin Mary (Llewellyn 2004) is the first of its kind to introduce the astrological dimension into comparative religious studies. Her web site is www.theStaroftheMagi.com
Please pre-register (firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office, 650-494-0541). Childcare can usually be provided with two weeks notice (email@example.com or call the church office).
Other Upcoming Events and Activities
June 17-20, 2009
Junior High Backpacking Trip for 2009
“The mountains are calling and I must go!” (John Muir).
Although it may seem early, plans are being made now for our church’s Junior High Backpack Trip scheduled for June 17-20, 2009. This 4-day, 3-night trip is open to youth from our church entering the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in the fall of 2009. Our group will be hiking between 15-24 miles (maybe a bit more) on our annual High Sierra backpack trip. Please email or call Pam Pell no later than January 24 to let her know if you are interested in going on the trip. Registration will occur in February/March. Call or email Pam if you have any questions at 408-287-4453 firstname.lastname@example.org
by Barbara Derbyshire
Have you been hearing about Circle Suppers? Do you wonder what they’re about? Why not give it a try?
Circle Suppers offer an opportunity for church members to get to know one another in a casual, comfortable setting. This model has been used in UU churches across the country. Groups of 6-10 people share a potluck dinner in a member’s home. Some people participate regularly and others attend just occasionally.
Suppers are typically on a Friday evening or Sunday afternoon. Participants are asked to bring an entrée, salad, or dessert. If you would like to attend one of these, or if you have questions about the program, please send an email to CircleSuppers@aol.com.
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 email@example.com or group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women & Religion PCD Weekend Retreat
This year’s Women & Religion Retreat will be held March 6-8, 2009 at Enchanted Hills (near Napa) and will feature workshops such as “Visualizing a World Religion Meaningful to Women (with the Rev. Shirley Ranck), “Introduction to Energy Medicine,” “The Divine Feminine: Embracing Creative Energy to Heal our Planet,” and “You, Too, Can Haiku,” with our own Jean Embree.
Early Bird registration cost is $230; registration after February 2 is $250. Registration includes delicious meals, linens, programs, a “No-Talent Talent Show,” mini-boutique, book swap, Yoga, Tai Chi, and a silent auction. You will love it!
To register, send a $50 deposit to Women & Religion, c/o Jeanne Orjas, 1408 California St. #408, San Francisco, CA 94109. For information, email Jeanne at email@example.com.
To apply for a partial scholarship, contact Clair Trujillo, 3006 Bonnie Lane, Stockton, CA 95204; (209) 943-6428.
To ride-share, contact Barbara Schonborn at (650) 967-6756 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Meg Bowman at (408) 292-1172.