Our Church Circular Our Church Circular

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Our Church Circular Our Church Circular
Our Church Circular
First Unitarian Church of San Jose * Septemger 7, 2011 * 7 setiembre 2011
160 N. First Street, San José, CA 95112 * (408) 292-3858 * sanjoseuu.com
September theme: Unity F Tema de septiembre: la unidad
A New Look
for Us!
Starting today...
Needing all
the pieces
by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, Senior
Minister
Necesitando todos
los pedazos
para la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones, Senior Minister
E
n la pared del edificio de Educación Religiosa
en la Iglesia Unitaria Universalista de
Berkeley (UUCB), un árbol crece, hoja por hoja.
Hecha de fragmentos de tazas de café, aretes
huérfanos, baldosas rotas, relojes que dejaron
de funcionar hace mucho tiempo, incluso unos
anillos de boda desechados, este mosaico del
Árbol de la Vida evoluciona como las familias,
los socios, los amigos y los extraños trabajando
juntos para hacer una cosa llena de belleza de los
pedazos rotos de vidas individuales.
“Podemos llevar nuestras piezas rotas a la
Iglesia”, el Rev. Bill Hamilton-Holway dice a los
congregantes en la UUCB. El Árbol de la Vida
representa la unidad crecida de diferencia y de
quebrantamiento.
“¿Cómo puede la unidad
existir sin diversidad?”
un congregante aquí en la
Primera Iglesia Unitaria
de San José pregunta.
¡Qué maravillosa pregunta
teológica! ¿No tiene que
haber diferencias a fin
de tener algo para unir?
Entonces, ¿hay alguna
unidad elemental que yace
por debajo, más allá, o en
lo profundo de nuestras
diferencias?
Los seres humanos han
formulado estas preguntas
desde que una cultura entró
en contacto con otra. ¿Por
Photo courtesy of Kim Larsen, mosaic artist who led the
qué hay diferentes idiomas,
UUCB congregation in creating the leaves of the tree, and
costumbres y capacidades
designed and assembled the eight-foot high Tree of Life. See
O
n the wall of the Religious Education
building at the Unitarian Universalist
Church of Berkeley (UUCB), a tree grows,
leaf by leaf. Made of fragments of coffee cups, orphaned earrings, broken tiles,
watches that stopped ticking long ago, even
a few discarded wedding rings, this mosaic
Tree of Life evolves as families, partners,
friends, and strangers work together to make
one whole thing of beauty from the broken
bits of individual lives.
“We can bring our broken pieces to
church,” the Rev. Bill Hamilton-Holway
tells congregants at UUCB. The Tree of
Life represents unity grown from difference
continued on page 3 / Continúa en la página 3
We are changing the look
of Our Church Circular.
Using the labyrinth in the
logo, we hope, will draw
attention to the symbolism
of the name: connecting
a common, old-fashioned
newsletter name with
the circlular shape of our
sanctuary and dome, and
referring to the welcoming
circle of our beloved
community.
Even more than the
look, we are changing the
intent. The first issue each
month will be a journal
packed with reflections and
resources on a monthly
theme. September’s theme
is Unity. We hope you find it
engaging and worth passing
on.
The journal-style issue will
appear the first Wednesday
of each month and follow
our calendar of themes
shown on page 7.
The second issue of each
month, published on the
third Wednesday of each
month, will continue to be in
the format you are used to
seeing, focusing on church
news, upcoming events,
announcements and the like.
Please send your
feedback on this issue,
and suggestions for future
editions, to [email protected]
gmail.com. l
From cows to
compassion...
by the Rev. Geoff Rimositis
This summer I went to
Romania to watch the cows
come home. Every evening
the cows return around 8:00
pm from their grazing fields
in the hills above the village
of Homoródszentmárton,
head down the village streets,
and when they come to their
family’s residence, turn into
the driveway and into the barn
ready to be milked. Each cow
knows exactly where she lives.
The villagers have observed
this scene being replayed
their whole lives, as have their
ancestors before them and
their ancestors before them
since time immemorial. So
to see a bunch of tourists
with cameras in hand stake
themselves out at the end of
the village to watch this daily
rhythm of life must have
been quite amusing. Yes, I
was one of those tourists this
summer, who with members
of our congregation, was on
a pilgrimage to our partner
church, The Unitarian Church
of Homoródszentmárton.
The villagers live in harmony
with the cycles of nature,
the seasons of planting and
harvest. Though modernity
has brought the automobile
and cell phone with
commuters heading each
“We, the peoples and nations of the Earth,
considering that we are all a part of Mother
Earth, an indivisible, living community of
interrelated and interdependent beings with
a common destiny; gratefully acknowledge
that Mother Earth is the source of life,
nourishment and learning and provides
everything we need to live well.”
pwccc.wordpress.com/program.
Each of us is called to embrace
an eco-spirituality that sees
our planet as a living system
that must be respected,
protected and conserved.
First Unitarian’s School of
Compassion launches its first
class in October using Karen
Armstrong’s book, Twelve
— Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth Steps to A Compassionate
http://pwccc.wordpress.com/program Life. When we cultivate a
practice of compassion for
ourselves, others and the
daily life here.
planet that gives us life,
morning into their own fields
we are doing the work of
We might not live in such
of work in the larger towns,
transformation. This is where
a beautiful pastoral setting,
creation’s cycles still permeate
it all begins and ends.
but whether we are urban,
the comings and goings of
suburban or rural, we are
I’ll see you when the cows
members of an ecosystem. It
come home, when the
matters how we live, for life
chickens roost and when our
is a unity, an interdependent
hearts and minds open to the
living community that
sacred work that is before us.
indigenous cultures call
Blessed Be,
Mother. And our Mother the
Rev. Geoff Rimositis l
Earth has rights too, along
with its human inhabitants,
that need to be codified
and realized so we all might
survive. I refer you to the
in Spanish on page 5
Universal Declaration of
en español en la página 5
the Rights of Mother Earth,
Page 2 Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
Tree of Life: differences united
and from brokenness. See tinyurl.com/
uucbtree.
“How can unity exist without
diversity?” a congregant here at the First
Unitarian Church of San José asks. What
a wonderful theological question! Don’t
there have to be differences in order to
have something to unite? Then, is there
some elemental Oneness that lies below,
beyond, or deep within our differences?
Humans have asked these questions
ever since one culture came into contact
with another. Why are there different
languages, customs, and capacities
among us human beings? Why are
we so fragmented? Why does our
communication break down?
Stories from the world’s religions —
like that of the Tower of Babel in the
Hebrew Bible — try to make meaning of
these differences. They often say that our
differences result from something that we
humans did wrong, like being too proud
or ambitious.
The Unitarian Universalist take on
why we have differences is, well, different.
continued from page 1
We believe that everyone holds a piece of
the truth. We get at what’s undivided in
human nature – and in the universe – by
bringing all our pieces together. We need
them all for our mosaic. Taken together,
our differences can create an even more
beautiful whole.
In her sermon, “The Sum of Our
Parts,” Rev. Gretchen Haley puts it this
way: “In a time when the whole country
is retreating to gated communities to
be with people who just confirm their
own beliefs, and watch television news
programs that only confirm everything
they already believe …we have the
audacity to imagine, to go so far as to live
out the proposition that our diversity
makes us more unified, rather than
less; that being with others who are not
like us can make us more connected to
something grander, and more a part of
something mysterious, and transcendent.”
[www.uua.org/documents/
haleygretchen/100926_sermon.pdf ]
My teacher tells me that in Tai
Chi, the human body forms the
Árbol de la vida: diferencias unidos
entre nosotros los seres humanos?
¿Por qué nosotros estamos tan
fragmentados? ¿Por qué nuestra
comunicación esta rota? Las historias
de las religiones del mundo — como la
de la Torre de Babel en la Biblia Hebrea
— tratan de hacer el significado de estas
diferencias. A menudo dicen que nuestras
diferencias son el resultado de algo que
nosotros los humanos hicimos mal, como
ser demasiado orgullosos o ambiciosos.
Los Unitarios Universalistas
aceptamos qué tenemos diferencias,
bueno, diferentes. Creemos que todo
el mundo tiene un pedazo de la verdad.
Tomamos lo que esta integro en la
naturaleza humana — y en el universo, al
reunir todas las piezas. Los necesitamos
para nuestro mosaico. Tomadas en
conjunto, nuestras diferencias pueden
crear un conjunto aún más hermoso.
—Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
continued from page 1
En “La Suma de Nuestras Piezas,” la
Rev. Gretchen Haley lo pone de esta
manera: “En un momento cuando el país
entero está retrocediendo a comunidades
cercadas para estar con la gente que
simplemente confirma sus propias
creencias y ve programas de noticias de
televisión que sólo confirman todo lo
que ellos ya creen …nosotros tenemos la
audacia para imaginar, para ir hasta ahora
a vivir afuera la afirmación de que nuestra
diversidad nos unifica más, en lugar de
menos; que estando con otras personas
que no son como nosotros puede
hacernos más conectados a algo más
grande y más parte de algo misterioso y
trascendente”. [www.uua.org/documents/
haleygretchen/100926_sermon.pdf ]
Mi maestro me dice que en el Tai Chi,
el cuerpo humano constituye la línea de
conexión entre el cielo y la tierra — el
Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
connecting line between heaven and
earth — the place where these energies,
or opposites, meet. In the “Five
Elements,” we reach our hands toward
the earth, draw its energies up through
the torso, then fling our hands up toward
the sky. We circle them round again until
they pause before our eyes, like a mirror.
Now that I think of it, the shape we
draw resembles a Tree of Life: differences
united into something whole. Just as we
bring water from our individual journeys
to pour into one bowl on Homecoming
Sunday, let’s bring our sparkling pieces of
the truth, our fragments of beauty, our
unique life experiences, and our broken
bits to this mosaic we are making — this
one Beloved Community.
lugar donde estas energías o las opuestas,
se encuentran. En los “Cinco Elementos”,
nosotros extendemos nuestras manos
hacia la tierra, trazamos sus energías
atreves del torso, entonces lanzar nuestras
manos hacia el cielo. Entonces nosotros
las rodeamos en círculo otra vez hasta que
ellas hacen una pausa ante nuestros ojos,
como un espejo.
Ahora que lo pienso, la forma de
alinearnos se asemeja a un Árbol de
la Vida: las diferencias unidas en algo
completo. Igual que el traer agua de
nuestros viajes individuales para verterla
en un tazón el domingo del Regreso al
Hogar, traigamos nuestras chispeantes
piezas de la verdad, nuestros fragmentos
de belleza, nuestras experiencias únicas
de vida y nuestros pedazos rotos para este
mosaico que estamos haciendo—esta
Comunidad Amada.
—Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 3
Into
the
Water
by Magnolia Morris
Young adult member Magnolia Morris
participated in the Unitarian Universalist
Legislative Ministry–California’s Water
Justice Tour this summer. She offers
this reflection about how working
for justice, and being present in this
moment, can suddenly create an
experience of unity.
I take a deep breath as we come around
that last bend on the Trinity River. I
become aware of my surroundings--the
bright morning sun warming the day, a
light steady breeze refreshing us as we
float in our rafts. Conversation flows
between the passengers and Shandy, our
guide down the river. She is friendly and
engaging as we paddle the waters around
Weaverville.
I know this river is downstream of a dam
that is causing problems in the area. It
also provides water for recreational water
sports, and is home for at least some
salmon. At first all I can think about are
the problems, the numbers, the facts,
the notion (however vague) that I am
contributing to something unjust.
our wide world faces and this singular
moment in time that lives like a drop in
the river.
I plunge into the freezing icy depths,
taking a break from paddling to embrace
the river. I come up gasping for breath
Slowly the conversation starts stirring
as my chest constricts with the cold,
with words like
shocking my
water justice,
system with the
human-right-toinvigorating
water bill, dams,
sensation of being
Prior to changes in
policy and just
alive, suspended
the river channel
how beautiful
in water. My mind
downstream
of
the world is that
clears.
morning. We ask
Lewiston Dam, the
I can see both
Shandy what she
sides. I see the
Trinity River teemed
thinks, trying
logical, articulate,
with bountiful runs
to gain another
thoughtful
of salmon and
perspective in our
and thoughtfive-day journey.
steelhead.
provoking
She says that it’s
calculations of
depressing to talk
how to enact
about this stuff on
justice and
such a beautiful
decipher water
day. My mind becomes cluttered,
needs and rights for all. These concepts
wondering if there is ever a balance
intermingle and swirl with the ancient
between the realities of all the problems
eternity that has been forever cycling
through the earth, through me. I am
filled and overflowing with why, with
purpose, with the fuel for my fire, for my
fight, for my love and passion that guide
my ever-thinking, ever-working mind
and hands. I’ve found the link for the
compassion that makes this connection
real, makes it human, and leaves me so
grounded to the earth.
This water, flowing around me as I gently
drift in bliss, is no longer just a name,
or a squiggly blue line on a map; it is a
connection to life. It is life, and leaves no
doubt that this action, this cause, this life
is just the thing I need.
Trinity River from the East Weaver
trailhead
Page 4 Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
From our President:
Building A Shared Vision
L
ast year the Board of Directors
worked to develop the concise mission statement at right. Then looking
forward to our 150th anniversary in
2015, we developed a four-part vision
statement, expressing what we are called
to do based on our mission. This year
we are working with our ministers and
the Program and Operations Council to
develop a strategic plan as called for in
our policy.
At a board retreat on August 20, we
studied how other congregations carry
out their visions and explored what
leadership looks like in a multicultural
context. We also studied a draft strategic
plan from the Program and Operations
Council.
We decided two areas are critical
for Board focus: becoming a truly
multicultural/multigenerational
congregation; and creating a caring,
connected community for every
FUCSJ member, friend and visitor. We
brainstormed ways in which we can move
forward in these areas.
Stay tuned for publication of our
Strategic Plan as well as Board-sponsored
forums, workshops and training. We
“Bound together by our
commitment to making
Love visible, we gather
to deepen our spirits,
to work for justice, and
to create one sacred
family.”
need your input and participation. Email
us suggestions or questions at [email protected]
Board meetings are held the first
Wednesday of the month at 7 pm in the
downstairs conference room. Check the
on-line church calendar for possible date
changes.
--Madeline Morrow, FUCSJ President l
De las vacas a la compasión ...
para el Rev. Geoff Rimositis
“Nosotros, los pueblos y las naciones
de la Tierra, considerando que todos
somos una parte de la madre tierra,
una comunidad viviente, indivisible
de los seres interrelacionados e
interdependientes con un destino
común; con gratitud reconocemos que
la madre tierra es la fuente de vida,
alimentación y aprendizaje y que nos
proporciona todo lo que necesitamos
para vivir bien.”
— Declaración Universal de los Derechos
de la Madre Tierra http://pwccc.wordpress.
com/programa/
E
ste verano fui a Rumania a ver las vacas regresar a casa. Todas las tardes, las
vacas retornaban alrededor de las 8pm de
sus campos de pastoreo en las colinas sobre la aldea de Homoródszentmárton con
la cabeza abaja por las calles del pueblo,
y cuando ellas llegan a la residencia de su
familia, giran en la calzada y dentro del
granero están listas para ser ordeñadas.
Cada vaca sabe exactamente donde vive.
Los aldeanos han observado
reproducidasta esta escena por toda
su vida, al igual que sus ancestros y
los ancestros de sus ancestros, hasta
tiempos inmemoriales. Así que ver un
montón de turistas con cámaras en mano
acampando al final de la aldea para ver
este diario ritmo de vida, debe haber
sido bastante divertido. Sí, yo era uno
de esos turistas este verano, que con los
miembros de nuestra Congregación,
estabamos en una peregrinación a nuestra
iglesia hermana, la Iglesia Unitaria de
Homoródszentmárton.
Los pobladores viven en armonía con
los ciclos de la naturaleza, las temporadas
de cosecha y planificación. Aunque la
modernidad ha traído el automóvil y
teléfono celular con los viajeros cada
mañana hacia sus propios campos de
trabajo en las grandes ciudades, ciclos de
creación aún impregnan las idas y venidas
de la vida diaria aquí.
Nosotros no podríamos vivir en
un hermoso escenario pastoral, pero
independientemente de si somos urbanos
o suburbanos, somos miembros de un
ecosistema. Lo importante es cómo
vivimos, porque la vida es una unidad,
una comunidad de vida interdependiente
que las culturas indígenas llaman Madre.
Y nuestra Madre la Tierra tiene derechos
Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
también junto con sus habitantes
humanos que necesitan ser codificados
y darse cuenta que todos podríamos
sobrevivir. Los remito a la Declaración
Universal de los Derechos de la Madre
Tierra, pwccc.wordpress.com/program.
Cada uno de nosotros está llamado
a abrazar una espiritualidad ecológica
que ve a nuestro planeta como un
sistema de vida que debe ser respetado,
protegido y conservado. La Primera
Escuela Unitaria de Compasión lanza su
primera clase en octubre con el libro de
Karen Armstrong, Doce Pasos para Una
Vida Compasiva. Cuando cultivamos
una práctica de compasión por nosotros
mismos, por otros y por el planeta que
nos da vida, estamos haciendo el trabajo
de transformación. Esto es donde todo
comienza y termina.
Nos vemos cuando las vacas regresen
a casa, cuando el gallo cante y cuando
nuestros corazones y nuestras mentes se
abran para el sagrado trabajo que esta
ante nosotros.
Bendecidos sean,
Rev. Geoff Rimositis l
Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 5
In Our Own Voices...
H
ere are some ideas for family activities that you all can
enjoy.
With younger children:
P
lace a plate of different-colored apples on the dinner table
for dessert. Leave the apples whole. Ask: What is different
about them? What is the same?
Now cut the apples so that the seeds show in the middle. Are
the apples different or the same on the inside?
Take a taste of each one. Can we tell how each one will taste
just by looking at the outside of it? Slice, eat and enjoy!
And offer a word of thanks to our friends at All Souls
Church, Unitarian Universalist, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for this bit
of tasty fun!
With Older youth:
“What Do UUs Share?”
U
nitarian Universalists don’t have to agree about exactly
what we believe. But does that mean we don’t share
anything?
Here are three statements from Unitarian Universalists.
Which ones do you like best? Which ones do you think sum up
best what we UUs have in common?
1. From Dávid Ferenc (in English, we can say “Francis
David”), Unitarian minister in Transylvania in the
1500’s: "We don’t have to think alike to love alike."
2. From Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian
Universalist Association, 2011: "Religion isn’t really
about what we believe. True religion is about what we
love."
3. From Laila Ibrahim and Rev. Sheri Prud’homme,
creators of Chalice Camp in California:
"It’s a blessing each one of us was born.
It matters what we do with our lives.
What each of us knows about god is a piece of the truth.
We don’t have to do it alone."
How would you describe what Unitarian Universalists all
have in common? Working alone or together, come up with
a line or two that describes what UUs share. Send in your
thoughts to Rev. Geoff Rimositis at [email protected]
You just might see your words in print! l
Page 6 Take a moment and jot down your answers to these
questions about the theme of unity:
1. What questions do you have about this theme?
2. How have you experienced or wrestled with this
theme in your life?
3. How does this theme relate to what is going on in
the world around us?
4. Do you have a story that illustrates this theme?
Below, we list a sampling of responses gathered from
members and friends of the First Unitarian Church of
San José in May-June 2011. How are your answers
different or similar? What unity do you find in our
diversity of responses?
On Unity:
F Being different makes “unity” challenging.
F How can unity exist without diversity?
F Important to see unity as consisting of all our beloved
individual differences, not homogenization.
F This feels like a time for reflecting on that
interdependent web. How are we connected
with those we disagree with, with street people,
and leaders, and criminals, and those who seem
worthless?
F In the light of our racist society, what can help us
connect better with one another? How do we get to
know each other, hear each other’s stories?
F Multiculturalism ... antiracism ... antioppression ...
F What work do we still have to do? I don’t feel like
we’re on the journey to a multicultural fellowship—
only set the course—where’s the map?
F I believe that even though we are different we are
united by our similarities the world over.
F Do we mean labor unity?
F “We Are One” message for California during time of
budget dysfunction.
F There seem to be forces at work in our society trying
to divide us all—we need to unite as human beings
to achieve peace and justice.
F In unity I find strength, relationship, sense of
community—that I am not alone.
F What does unity mean if it doesn’t require thinking
alike or agreement?
F Social action.
F Mutuality. Membership.
F Singing and dancing together.
F Unity through interfaith work. l
Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
Save the Dates
Resources: Unity
Books:
F Karen Armstrong, Twelve
Steps to a Compassionate Life
(New York: Alfred Knopf, 2010).
Also available in a shorter digital
form as Compassionate Life in
12 Steps at http://vook.com/acompassionate-life-in-12-steps.
html or through iTunes.
Drawing on the world’s religions,
Armstrong suggests ways
we can embody the Golden
Rule and bring empathy and
compassion—for our self,
for others, and for the wider
world—to our everyday
experience. Rev. Nancy and
Rev. Geoff will use this resource
as they launch FUCSJ’s School
for Compassion in October.
F Eric H. F. Law, The Wolf
Shall Dwell with the Lamb: A
Spirituality for Leadership in
a Multicultural Community
(Atlanta: Chalice Press, 1993)
A readable introduction to
cultural differences and the
hidden cultural assumptions
that can derail multicultural
communities. FUCSJ’s board
It sees the book as a vehicle
of directors and ministers are
preparing us for the Justice
studying this book together.
General Assembly in Phoenix,
With other FUCSJ leaders, they
Arizona, June 2012 and for
will work with Eric Law and
deepening our relationships
the First Unitarian Church of
with immigrants in our own
Oakland at a retreat in early
community.
November. Interested in joining
Links:
us? Contact FUCSJ president
Madeline Morrow.
F Margaret Regan, The Death
of Josseline: Immigration
Stories from the Arizona-Mexico
Borderlands (Boston: Beacon
Press, 2010).
The book presents a series of
intimate stories from immigrants,
activists, human rights workers
and border patrol officers.
F Martin Luther King, Jr., “I
Have a Dream,” August 28,
1963, Washington, DC.
Read and listen to this
famous speech at http://
www.americanrhetoric.com/
speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm.
What does Dr. King have to say
about unity and diversity? How
is his dream reflected, or not, in
Through their stories, it explores
our world today?
the ethical, moral, and spiritual
F Chungliang Al Huang,
challenges presented by the
“Five Moving Forces”,
complex immigration issues on
http://www.youtube.com/
the border, evoking our human
watch?v=fnZ7H1sO-Z0
response rather than a political
This video shows the Tai Chi
or policy debate.
form that Rev. Nancy mentions
The Unitarian Universalist
in her essay. Come to the all-
Association has called for a
church retreat on October 14-15
“Common Read” of this book.
(at the church), and she will
F September 18, Sunday,
Religious Education classes
resume
F September 18, Sunday,
2:00-4:00 pm, Senior High OWL
program begins
F September 21, Wednesday,
6:00 pm, Third Street Ay Caray
Fundraiser, Mezcal Restaurant
F September 25, Sunday,
2:00-3:00 pm, OWL general info
for grades seven-nine class,
Ramsden Fireside Room
F October 2, Sunday, 2:00-4:30
pm, Jane Austen Dance, Hattie
Porter Hall
F October 2, Sunday, 2:004:00 pm, OWL required Sr. High
parents’ meeting, Ramsden
Fireside Room
F October 14-16, FridaySunday, All-Church Retreat at
the church
F October 14-16, FridaySunday, PCD Men’s Retreat,
Alamo
F October 29, 9:30 am - 4:00
pm, Immigration as a Moral
Issue, Mt. Diablo UU Church
F November 19, 4:30 pm, New
and improved Service Auction
and Gift Faire ●
teach it to you! l
Theme-of-the-month: What is that all about?
W
e organize our year around nine theological themes that
raise timeless and timely questions for a well-grounded
spiritual life. The themes aim to spark community-wide conversations across all our gatherings.
In this way, we equip ourselves for dialogue about
values, ethics, faith, and religion with peoples from many
backgrounds—not to limit our focus, but to add depth to the
life we build together. As our Unitarian Universalist friends at
our sister church, All Souls Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, say:
“Seriously engaging these themes could transform your life!”
Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
F September: Unity
F October: Death
F November: Gratitude / Wonder
F December: Hope
F January: Creation
F February: Love
F March: Brokenness
F April: Transformation / Resurrection
F May: Transcendence / Awe
F Summer: Themes to come!
Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 7
understanding and planning a service action with diverse community partners.
Senior High Advisors: Rick Morris, Rev. Geoff
Rimositis, Cordelia Willis, Terra Wood-Taylor.
Programs for all ages
C
lasses resume September 18.
Children and youth will attend
the first part of the service at 11:00
am, and then be sung out to their
morning program at approximately
11:30 am. Classes last until 12:30 pm.
Nursery
Birth through three years
W
e provide a safe, clean environment where the children initiate
play activities at their developmental
level. Each week our paid staff members
provide a loving presence and engage
children in games, stories and crafts with
seasonal and holiday themes throughout
the year. (nursery, lower level)
Childcare Staff: Maria Elena Olvera, and Sandra Sotelo
Kindergarten-first grade
Love Surrounds Us
U
nitarian Universalist principles
encompass the elements of a good
and faith-filled life based on equality,
freedom, peace, acceptance, truth, caring
and love. This program explores the principles in the context of beloved community including family/home, school and
neighborhood. (lower level, room 4)
Lead Teacher: Gautam Biswas
Grades two-four
Faithful Journeys
C
hildren explore how Unitarian
Universalism translates into life
choices and everyday actions. In each
session, they see examples of Unitarian
Universalist faith in action, including
Universalist minister Hosea Ballou,
children’s author Beatrix Potter and
religious education pioneer Sophia
Lyon Fahs. In addition, children hear
stories about ordinary people making
Page 8 an extraordinary difference in people’s
lives. (lower level, rooms 5-6)
Teachers: Mike Birenbach, Jen Birenbach, Sally
Cooperrider, Melinda Hoppe, Rodrigo Machuca, Rev.
Geoff Rimositis, Shirley Worth, Doug Young
Grade five
Neighboring Faiths
I
n keeping with all of the Unitarian
Universalist principles, especially the
free and responsible search for truth and
meaning, this program actively engages
youth in exploring religious traditions by
visiting our neighboring houses of worship in the larger community. (Church
office conference room)
Lead Teacher: Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Grades seven-nine
Heeding the Call: Qualities of
a Justice Maker
H
eeding the Call explores oppression
in our society and promotes the
understanding of values that counteract
the marginalization of others. A series of
workshops encourage youth to reflect on
their own and others’ lives and demonstrate how empathy, courage, abundance
and joy can be tools for justice. (Rooms
2-3, lower level)
Teachers: Bill Bowman, Carolyn Bowman, Jenn Castro,
Crystal Isola, Mary Jeffries, Mina Kelly, Cheri Machuca,
Susan Miller, Sundar Mudapalli, Ines Zapiola
Grades nine-twelve
A Chorus of Faiths: UUs as
Interfaith Leaders
E
ach Sunday youth address issues
of concern to their lives and spirituality through discussions facilitated
by adult advisors. In addition to our
regular Sunday morning gatherings the
youth group members will undertake
an interfaith project and learn practical
leadership and organizing skills such as
dialogue facilitation, storytelling to build
Our Whole Lives
Sexuality Education
O
ur Whole Lives (OWL) helps
participants make informed and
responsible decisions about their sexual
health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate
information in six subject areas: human
development, relationships, personal
skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and
society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives
not only provides facts about anatomy
and human development, but also helps
participants clarify their values, build
interpersonal skills, and understand the
spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of
sexuality.
OWL: Grades ten-twelve
FOctober 9 through December 18,
2:00-4:00 pm, Youth Room
FRequired parent meeting, Sunday,
October 2, 2:00-4:00 pm, Fireside
Room
Facilitators: Michealle Havenhill, Rev. Jack Michael,
(First Congregational Church of San Jose), Rev.
Geoff Rimositis
OWL: Grades seven-nine
FJanuary through April, 2102
FGeneral information meeting, Sunday,
September 25, 2:00-3:00 pm,
Fireside Room.
FRequired parent meeting will be
scheduled before the end of the year.
New Adult Program:
School for Compassion
October 2011 through March 2012
U
sing Karen Armstrong’s book The
Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life
and other resources for personal learning
and transformation, we will engage in
spiritual practice and support for one
another in living a compassionate life
that begins with compassion for oneself
and then moves that compassion out into
continued on next page
Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
SUNDAY SERVICES / SERVICIOS DE DOMINGO
September theme: unity F Tema de septiembre: la unidad
10:15 a.m.
11:00 a.m.
Servicios en español
Todos los domingos –
Alabanzas en Español
Media Hora de Reunión del Pequeño
Grupo del Ministerio Multicultural.
Venga a unirse a nosotros para
este servicio simple de oraciónmeditación de media hora (sin
sermón) a las 10:15 a.m en una
mezcla de inglés y español en la
sala Fireside Ramsden. Accesible e
incluyente para todos, este servicio
ofrece tiempo para cantar, meditar
y reflexionar en un pequeño grupo
en preparación para el servicio de
las 11: 00 am.
Every Sunday – Alabanzas
(Spanish Lauds)
A half-hour multicultural Small Group
Ministry gathering. Come join us
for this simple prayer-meditation
service (without sermon) held in
a mixture of English and Spanish
in the Ramsden Fireside Room.
Accessible and welcoming to all,
this service provides time to sing,
meditate, and reflect in a small
group in preparation for the service
at 11:00 am.
Services in English
September 11 F 11 de septiembre
Homecoming Sunday
Bring water from your inner and outer journeys (even
if it comes from your kitchen tap) to share in our annual Water Ceremony. We honor the tenth anniversary
of September 11, 2001. We celebrate a Mayan myth.
And we bring our gifts for InnVision, too!
Worship Leaders: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
and Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Worship Associate: Bill Bowman
Domingo del Regreso al Hogar
Traiga agua de sus viajes interiores y exteriores
(incluso si se trata del grifo de su cocina) para
compartir en nuestra Ceremonia Anual de Agua.
Honramos el décimo aniversario del 11 de septiembre de 2001. Celebramos un mito Maya. Y traemos
El misterio de la unidad
nuestros regalos para InnVision, también!
Dirigen: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y Rev. Geoff ¿Desde una cárcel en Arizona a los escalones del Capitolio,
desde las calles de San José a los caminos enlodados de
Rimositis
Transilvania, ¿donde encontramos la “unidad” en “Unitaria”?
Asociado de Culto: Bill Bowman
September 18 F 18 de septiembre
The Mystery of Unity
Dirige: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Asociado de Culto: Rowan K’Ailsa
September 25 F 25 de septiembre
From a prison in Arizona to the steps of the Capitol,
from the streets of San José to the muddy paths Association Sunday – Crossing Borders /
of Transylvania, where do we find the “unity” in Cruzando Fronteras
“Unitarian”?
Spiritual development has always been a matter of crossing
borders, of opening ourselves to new experience. This is
Worship Leader: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
true both of individuals and of faith communities. What borWorship Associate: K’Ailsa Rowan
ders must we cross today? How can we make this journey
together?
School for Compassion continued from previous page
the world. The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and the Rev. Geoff Rimositis will be
offering the same class at two different time slots once a month.
Rev. Geoff ’s class will be on the first Sundays of the month from 9:00 to
10:30 am in the lower level classrooms beginning October 2, and Rev. Nancy
will be offering the class on the second Sundays of the month from 1:00 to
2:30 pm in the Fireside Room beginning October 9.
If you can’t make one of the times offered, you can join the other class for
that session.
Between classes there will be an online community practice for sharing and
support that will be moderated by Rev. Nancy and Rev. Geoff. RSVP with Rev.
Geoff for both time slots at [email protected] ●
Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
Worship Leader: Rev. Peter Morales, president of the
Unitarian Universalist Association
Worship Associate: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Domingo de la Asociación – Crossing Borders /
Cruzando Fronteras
El desarrollo espiritual siempre ha sido un asunto de cruce
de fronteras, de abrirnos a nuevas experiencias. Esto es
cierto tanto de los individuos y de las comunidades de fe.
¿Qué fronteras debemos cruzar hoy? ¿Cómo podemos hacer
este viaje juntos?
Dirige: Reverendo Peter Morales, Presidente de la
Asociación Unitaria Universalista
Asociada de Culto: Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 9
Gifts of Service
Donate to InnVision Retreat at home
e’d like to say thank you in a big
way to all the folks who showed
up for Service is Our Prayer cleanup day
on August 6 to clean rooms and surfaces,
repair broken items, replace light bulbs,
clean carpets and otherwise spruce up
our spiritual home. Participants included
Steve Saunders, Julia Rodriguez, Bob
Howd, Patrick Meyer, Gene and Mary
Martin, Alex McLean, Bob and Liz
Owen, Jan Thiess-Guffey, Jim Guffy,
Catherine Pelizzari, Shirley Worth,
Melanie Landstrom, and Isaiah Sage.
Sunday, September 11
W
Special Collection
nominees sought
Y
ou can recommend a non-profit organization to receive one of our regular worship service collections for outside
groups. Just fill out a card available at
church and place it in the Social Justice
Council mailbox in the church office by
September 18.
To be eligible, non-profits must be a
recognized 501(c)3, share our church’s
UU values and be able to use the funds
to make a meaningful difference in their
efforts. We also need a church member to
take responsibility for following Special
Collection procedures available in the
office. Send questions or feedback to
John Burk at [email protected]
General Assembly
deadline looms
C
ongregations wishing to submit a
social justice action item for consideration at the next General Assembly
must file a proposal by October 1. The
UUA’s Commission on Social Witness
will select no more than ten of the
Congregational Study Action Items by
mid-November. UU congregations will
have until February to vote on which
action items they want to see discussed
at GA. For more details on the process
contact [email protected]
Page 10 A
t this service, we will collect items
needed by InnVision, the non-profit
that serves homeless and mentally ill in
our area. Look
for a collection
table in the
front vestibule.
We need people
to help collect
the items and drive them to the Julian
Street Inn after the service. If you can
help, contact Rev. Geoff. InnVision’s wish
list includes:
F plastic or real utensils
F laundry soap
F napkins
F coffee mugs
F large plastic cups
F arts and craft supplies
F black pens
F cleaning supplies (e.g. Comet, Windex,
bleach)
F brooms
F heavy duty mops
F dust pans
F towels
F twin sheets
F new pillows (we cannot take used)
F ear plugs
F batteries of all sizes
F flash lights
F emergency and first aid kits (no
medicine)
F large black garbage bags
F gloves
F air freshener
F light bulbs
F permanent black markers
F daily bus tokens
F socks
F gallon size Zip-lock bags
F razors
F tampons
F spray bottles
F shaving cream
F deodorant
F Q-tips
F body wash
F combs
F moth balls.
A
ll South Bay UUs are welcome to
our October 14-16 Retreat at Home
held at the church. We start at 4:00 pm
Friday with check-in, potluck, games,
arts, music and more.
We will hold workshops on Saturday
from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm (details to
come). Suggested weekend donation
is $50 for adults, $10 for children. It
includes breakfast and a catered dinner
on Saturday ($20 when purchased
separately).
We are seeking people who would
like to lead or help with a workshop, an
expert in Tai Chi or massage, and people
who can provide an overnight stay for a
UU from out of town.
Please RSVP by September 20 to
volunteer or by October 4 for tickets.
Call Jean Embree at (408) 984-5838,
e-mail [email protected]
Walk to the future
Saturday, September 17, 7:00-10:30
am, Alviso Marina area
T
hird Street Community Center is
participating in the Walk to the
Future fundraiser for youth programs.
Participate as a walker, or make a pledge
at www.regathon.com/walkforyouth.
For more information contact Rudy
Suarez, TSCC Fitness Instructor, at
[email protected]eet.org.
Ay Caray! Finale
Wednesday, September 21, 6:00 pm,
Mezcal Restaurant
T
he last in a series of fundraisers to
benefit The Third Street Community
Center, the evening will include a wine
or tequila tasting, a short program, appetizers, raffle and a $5 discount on a
future meal at Mezcal. Third Street needs
your support to meet a $5,000 challenge
grant from the Frieda C. Fox Family
Foundation that will bring much needed
support for our after school academic
Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
program. Tickets are $30 per person. You
can RSVP at facebook.com/3rd.Street.
Community.Center and pay in advance
at www.3street.org.
Yoga
HUUG reflects on
B
mortality
Monday, September 19, 7:00-8:45
pm, Youth Room
T
he topic for the next HUUmanist
Group meeting will be Facing our
Mortality, an invitation to develop a
multi-part program. Some example
topics we may cover: Fears about death;
Drafting your obituary; Coping with
problems at the end stages of life; Living
wills; Humor about death.
UUthful Spirits
Second and fourth Sundays, 12:45
pm, Hattie Porter Hall
J
oin our young adults fellowship group
for Sunday brunch! Meet in Hattie
Porter Hall about 12:45 p.m. We also
host a happy hour on the first Friday. For
information, contact [email protected]
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:15 to
10:15 am; Wednesdays, 6:15-7:15 pm
eginning yoga classes that have a lot
to offer experienced yogis as well.
Help increase balance, strength and
stamina, and help relieve many chronic
pain issues. Suggested donation: $5-$15,
but no one will be turned away. Morning
classes benefit Third Street Community
Center; Wednesday evening class benefits
the FUCSJ music program.
PCD Men’s
Retreat
Friday-Sunday, October 14-16,
Westminster Retreat Center, Alamo, CA
Talk, explore, meditate, sing, make
new friends and learn from one another.
This year’s theme is “Men at Play,”
with games, creativity, and (if you’re so
inclined) even art to get to know each
other and ourselves in ways that help
us make the changes we want in our
lives. And of course, just have some fun.
Contact Gordon Smith at (408) 3936182 or [email protected]
Jane Austen Dances
Sundays, October 2 & ovember 6,
2:00 til 4:30 pm
Hattie Porter Hall
D
ance like Miss Bennett and Mr. Darcy! Dancing Master Bob Fraley will teach
you everything you need to know, and live music by William Allen and friends
will lift your feet. Casual dress and comfortable shoes are encouraged. Suggested donation: $10 to $25; no one will be turned away. Proceeds to benefit the co-sponsors: The
Music Program of the First Unitarian Church of San Jose (sanjoseuu.org) and The Bay
Area Country Dance Society (bacds.org)
Our Church Circular • September 7, 2011 – 7 de septiembre, 2011
UU Hikers and
Friends
H
ere is the August 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.. My home
phone is 408-730-1052 and cell is 408570-7052. Use my cell phone after 7:30
am. All other times use my home phone.
See you on the trails!
Saturday, September 3
No hike planned. I have a geocaching event.
Wednesday, September 7
Sanborn County Park car shuttle hike, 6 miles,
moderate. Meet at US Bank Parking lot in Saratoga
at 8:30 am.
Saturday, September 10
Calero County Park, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at
Almaden Plaza Shopping Center across from Bed,
Bath & Beyond at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, September 14
Montebello Open Space Preserve. 6 miles, moderate.
Meet at PageMill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.
Saturday, September 17
Sunol Regional Park. We can decide if we want to do
McGuire Peaks or another trail at Sunol. Meet at VTA
Park and Ride at Capitol and Alum Rock at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, September 21
Saratoga Gap to Grizzly Flat, 6 miles, moderate.
This is a shuttle hike. Meet at US Bank parking lot
in Saratoga at 8:30 am.
Saturday, September 24
Santa Teresa County Park, 6-7 miles, moderate. I
will be on vacation. Let Alice Lynch know if you are
planning to hike. Her email is [email protected]
com. Meet at Bed, Bath & Beyond parking lot at
Almaden Plaza Shopping Center at 8:00 am.
Wednesday, September 28
Russian Ridge, 6 miles, moderate. I am on vacation.
So you are on your own. Meet at PageMill/280 Park
and Ride at 8:30 am.
Saturday, October 1
Alum Rock, 6 miles, moderate/strenuous. Meet at
VTA Park and Ride on Capital at Alum Rock at 8:00
am. I am still on vacation. Check with Alice Lynch
as above.
Wednesday, October 5
Huddart County Park, 6 miles, moderate. I am still
on vacation so you are on your own. Meet at Page
Mill/280 Park and Ride at 8:30 am.
Easier Hiking
F
or those of us who aren’t quite up to
the level of the hikes described above,
a new “Easier Hiking” group is forming.
Contact Shirley Worth for more
information. Our first outing:
Saturday, September 24
Vasona Lake Park, 2 miles, easy. Meet near Rite-Aid
in Blossom Hill Shopping Center, Los Gatos Bvd/
Blossom Hill at 9:00 am. We’ll stop for coffee after
and discuss future plans. l
Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 11
FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH of San José
160 North Third Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Want to Receive the Newsletter?
To receive the newsletter on paper,
fill out the form at this link:
http://sanjoseuu.org/form/index.
php?sid=2 or call (408) 292-3858
To receive the newsletter via email:
[email protected]
or join the church’s Yahoo Group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uusj
Next issue copy deadline:
3:00 pm Wednesday, September 14
Assembly: Tuesday, September 20
Mailing: Wednesday, September 21
View this newsletter online in PDF
format at:
http://www.tinyurl.com/OurChurchCircular
Cuidado Pastoral
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. Please contact the Rev. Geoff Rimositis.
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: Nancy
(408) 292-3858, ext. 23 Mon.-Thurs.; cell (408) 952-9418; e-mail: [email protected]
com. Geoff: (408) 292-3858, ext. 25 Mon.-Thurs.; cell (408) 309-7796; e-mail:
[email protected]
Nuestra comunidad se esfuerza en ofrecer la compasión, el compañerismo
curativo, y la alegría a todos sus miembros. Nuestros coordinadores en cuidado
pastoral pueden ayudarle a encontrar un oído que escucha, o las manos que ayudan
cuando ustedes lo pudieran necesitar en épocas difíciles. Para el cuidado pastoral, por
favor, comuníquese con el Rev. Geoff Rimositis.
Contactando a los Ministros
La Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y El Rev. Geoff Rimositis se sienten honrados de servir
a esta congregación y apreciamos su confianza! Aquí esta como puede contactarnos:
Nancy (408) 292-3858, ext. 23 de Lunes a Jueves; cell (408) 952-9418; e-mail:
[email protected] Geoff: (408) 292-3858, ext. 25 de Lunes a Jueves; cell (408)
309-7796; e-mail: [email protected]
READY TO BECOME A NEW MEMBER OF THE FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSÉ?
Contact Rev. Geoff, [email protected]
NEWSLETTER STAFF
Editorial Team:
Catherine Leeson Pelizzari,
Rick Merritt, Shirley Worth,
[email protected]
Our Church Circular is published
on the first and third Wednesdays
of each month. Circulation is
about 500.
Translator: Roberto Padilla
Assembly Coordinators: Andrea
Dinolt, Jasmine Kelly, Rebecca
Mason, Diana Wirt
Thanks for all the work you
do and care you put into the
newsletter.
CHURCH OFFICE
HOURS: Monday: closed; Tuesday-Thursday:
9:00-12:00 am and 1:00-4:00 pm.; Friday
9:00-12:00 am, staffed by a volunteer.
Phone: (408) 292-3858 (plus staff extensions)
Fax: (408) 292-4744; [email protected]
Website: http://www.sanjoseuu.org
Rentals: (408) 841-7542 or [email protected]
OFFICERS
PRESIDENT Madeline Morrow,
[email protected]
SECRETARY Nancy Coleman,
[email protected]
TREASURER David Proulx, [email protected]
PERSONNEL OFFICER Liz Shivell,
eliz[email protected]
PROGRAM OFFICER Tamara Payne-Alex,
[email protected]
FINANCIAL OFFICER Dena Dickinson,
[email protected]
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cheri Goodman, [email protected]
Nancy Taylor, [email protected]
Rodrigo Garcia, [email protected]
Rob Strong, [email protected]
CHURCH STAFF
SENIOR MINISTER, The Rev. Nancy Palmer
Jones, Ext. 23, [email protected]
ASSOC. MINISTER FOR LIFESPAN FAITH
DEVELOPMENT, The Rev. Geoff Rimositis,
Ext. 25, [email protected]
OFFICE MANAGER, Susan Burke,
Ext. 10, [email protected]
BOOKKEEPER Sue Evanicky,
[email protected]
CUSTODIAN Edgar Cruz
NURSERY Sandra Soleto & Maria Elena Olvera
PROGRAM AND
OPERATIONS COUNCIL
(POC)
John Burk, Social Justice,
[email protected]
Sherry Howd, Outreach,
[email protected]
Patrick Myers, Building,
[email protected]
Jean Embree & Diana Wirt,
Stewardship and Fundraising,
[email protected]
(open), Inreach
(open), Lifespan Religious Education

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