ISSUE 7                                                                                                                                                                                          JANUARY 2017
No matter how long we have claimed or been claimed by Unitarian Universalism, one of the ways we help others understand our religion is by talking about our seven principles. While helpful, we miss an opportunity when we omit naming our sources as they point to the cornerstone of our living tradition - revelation is not sealed. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote so long ago: "God speaketh, not spake." That is, all truth is not contained in a single book, any more than it was delivered to one group of people in one particular time. Truth or God or the holy or love, however any of us may reference the ultimate, is revealed to us in myriad ways.
These range from humanist teachings that remind us to pay attention to both science and reason, wisdom from world religions, Jewish and Christian teachings, nature and earth-centered spiritual guidance, our own experience, and the words and deeds of prophetic women and men. As the Rev. Kathleen Rolenz said, "Throughout history, we have moved to the rhythms of mystery and wonder, prophecy, wisdom, teachings from ancient and modern sources, and nature herself." 
What does it mean to be part of a tradition that has been moved by prophecy? What is prophecy? This is our ministry theme in January and it will require a deep dive.
A prophet's role is certainly to speak truth to power. And yet, how do we tell a false prophet from a true prophet? Who gets to be a prophet? Are individuals and communities capable of being prophets?
In this month when we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., arguably our country's greatest prophet, there is wisdom in unpacking our attitudes about prophets and our willingness to be moved by prophecy.
In this month in which a new President is sworn in to office, elected by a movement and determined to undo the policies of the soon-to-be-past President who some proclaimed to be prophet....
In this month when we often get some uptick in energy for some change we think we should make or want to make....
In this month when many of us make our predications or stake our hopes on what this new year may bring....
We take a closer look at what prophecy means to us noting that: prophets aren't always recognized in their time; can be difficult to be around; have a long vision; generally walk estranged from compromise; demand that we wake up. Not the cutesy, wake up and smell the coffee. But the wake up, stop what you are doing, you are missing a greater truth.

Parker Palmer offered a poignant observation and challenge to all of us: "Avoid the bad habit of domesticating the prophet of your choice, turning him into a cheerleader for your way of thinking and way of life. Remember that all the great prophets were courageous and outrageous folks who railed against the powers-that-be, challenged self-satisfied posit, threatened the prevailing social order, and would find you falling short in some significant ways."
It should be a fascinating month.
Black Lives Matter Statement of the Jefferson Unitarian Church Board of Trustees
The JUC Board would like to address concerns raised both by members and by our Golden neighbors regarding the Church's support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.  Our electronic sign has recently been damaged with what appears to be a bullet hole. It is entirely possible this is a reaction to our message of support for BLM.

Many have struggled to grasp the meaning of the movement, as shouts in response have echoed "All lives matter" or "Blue lives matter," expressions that have perverted the meaning of the movement and hijacked the conversation. Of course, every soul is of value, but not all people are marginalized. From the shackles of slavery to segregation reinforced by federal housing policy and generational poverty, the work of lifting up African-Americans is not finished. 

As Unitarian Universalists, we cannot stay silent when our siblings face inequality in our justice system.  There is no correlation of race to violence, theft or drug abuse, and yet, the color of one's skin has a substantial correlation to the likelihood of arrest and incarceration. An attack on some is an attack on all, and we will not be silent and accepting in the face of injustice. It is not unusual to find discomfort in this type of dialog, but we ask that you open your hearts and feed your mind on the topic. Now more than ever, minorities in our country need our voices to sing out that they are loved, and need our assurances that we will not tolerate their marginalization. The world we envision will not happen without our diligence and effort. We affirm and promote that Black Lives Matter.
Beth Kramer  died Friday, December 16. A memorial service will be held at JUC on 
Friday, January 6 at 11 a.m.

Marci Mustoe died Friday, December  16. A memorial service will be held at JUC on Sunday, January 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Welcome Our New Members
Claire Garland works as a psychotherapist and is interested in gardening, meditation, and dancing.

Patty Lawless is a community organizer with Together Colorado and is interested in snowshoeing, snorkeling, and biking. 

Denise Gillette is a special education teacher who enjoys reading, baking, and biking. 

Emily Ragan is an MSU Denver professor who enjoys being a parent to three children.

Sharon Baldwin is retired and enjoys reading, attending movies, and spending time with family.

Treasure Tannery is a grad student at Regis University, and she enjoys yoga, meditation, and music and dance.

Stefanie Tannery is an emergency department nurse who enjoys gardening, yoga, travel, and knitting.

Zack Schreiner and Melissa Colegrove live in Arvada and enjoy gardening, reading, hiking, and community service. 

Kami Hinger and Jim Maxwell live in Lakewood and are interested in snowboarding, hiking, and music.

Kathleen Taylor is a retired attorney whose hobbies include reading, hiking, knitting, and exercise.

Laura Marciano works as an assistant to a financial planner, and she enjoys science, nature, and photography.

Theron and Karey Sutton live in Golden and their hobbies include skiing, hiking, running and yoga.

Susan McMillin lives in Wheat Ridge and is interested in social justice, music, and helping people who are homeless.

Planned Giving and Presence
Estate planning requires being present with ourselves. Reviewing our possessions and responsibilities, our accomplishments, hopes and expectations will shine light on who we are and how we want to be remembered. Being present with the realization that our lives are finite will help us define what we have control over and what we don't and what is most important to us.

One of the valuable things about an estate plan is that it helps clarify our wants and needs now. (You can hold this understanding to reflect on and have the opportunity to make any changes you may decide in the future.) It is a dynamic plan that can change as our lives change. It benefits us and our loved ones. It provides an opportunity for us to support the causes we believe in. We invite you to consider JUC and Unitarian Universalism as one of those causes.  

If you have questions or need more information, contact JUC's Planned Giving Coordinators:  Bud Meadows, Mike Kramer, or Carol Wilsey.

Bowling Party!
Spend a delightful afternoon bowling with the JUC staff on Sunday, January 22 from 3 to 5 p.m. Shoes, bowling, snacks and soft drinks are included.

The party is at Paramount Bowl: 2625 Kipling St. $15 per person for laughs, camaraderie and maybe even some friendly competition. Fun for the non-bowler as well with lots of socializing opportunities. The alley is family-friendly and low-key. Call the office to let us know you are coming or just show up!

Why Should I Come to Open Mic?
For about 10 years, there has been an open mic event every First Friday at JUC. But many folks don't know about it or haven't made time to come. Here are three reasons why we think you should give it a try:
  1. Open Mic is fun! There are jokes, prizes, refreshments and general tomfoolery combined with lots of great talent to make it an all-around great community event.
  2. Open Mic is free! No admission, no donation requests and fabulous free prizes. How often do you get a Friday night out for that price?
  3. Open Mic is open to all! This is an all-ages, family-friendly event. You don't have to perform, you can just sit, sip and enjoy. But if you'd like to get a slot onstage, all types of talent are encouraged to take part. 
So come on down and join the fun! The next JUC open mic is Friday, January 6 from 7-9 p.m. in the sanctuary. Those wishing to perform should show up by 6:45. See you there!

It's Musical Time!
Rehearsals for the JUC Children's  and Youth musical will begin Tuesday, January 10.

All JUC kindergarten through 8th graders are welcome to participate . Fun, low-pressure  auditions for speaking and singing  parts will be held at the first  rehearsal.

Rehearsals will be held Tuesdays  from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and Sundays from 10:20-10:55 a.m. starting Tuesday, January 10.

The musical will be shared in two services on Sunday, March 19.

For more information please
contact Sarah Billerbeck,
Director of music for Children
and Youth

UUSC Guatemala Partners Family Trip to Guatemala July 2017
Would you like to meet our scholarship students, visit their schools and spend the day with the women seamstresses and weavers of Pacux? We are looking for parents and teens to make connections with the Mayan community we support. 

Please visit our website  for details and plan to attend one of the upcoming information sessions this month. Light lunch will be provided.
  • Sunday, January 8 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 22 at 12:30 p.m.
Contact: Lisa Bickford, trip leader

Meet Kathleen
You will see a new face in the commons on Wednesday evenings. Kathleen Habliston is providing our Gathered Here dinners. She is a wonderful hostess, so please try out dinner between 5:30 and 6:30 and attend a service sometime soon.

The January menu includes:
  • January 4: pizza night
  • January 11: chicken & cheese and green chile tamales
  • January 18: pulled pork sandwiches
  • January 25: turkey Swedish meatballs

14350 W 32nd Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
Early Childhood Update
As the early childhood supervisor, I have been working with Beth Fleming, a parent volunteer, to make positive changes to our environments that serve our youngest children here at JUC. Our overall goal is to provide high quality care that meets the needs of all our families. As we seek to make these spaces more welcoming and engaging, we are inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. This approach was created in Reggio Emilia, Italy after World War II, and has an emphasis on open-ended learning and the special rights of children. Within this approach, the spaces for children should be natural, beautiful and inspire curiosity and creativity. Beth and I feel that the Reggio philosophy fits well with our Unitarian Universalist beliefs. 
Here are some of the changes that you may have noticed:
  • We have fewer toys so that the space is not cluttered and children are not overwhelmed by items to choose from.
  • Furniture has been moved to create specific areas for construction, reading and special place for infants.
  • Baskets have replaced most of our plastic tubs, creating a calming effect within the room.
  • The sign-in sheet for the nursery has been moved outside of the R2 door, to change the traffic flow and reduce the crowds that were collecting by the other nursery door. 
  • The preschool is utilizing the Chalice Children Curriculum that introduces three and four-year-old children to our Unitarian Universalist faith.
  • We are now asking for cell phone numbers on the sign-in sheet, so that we can text parents in the event that the child is upset. 
  • Photographs of our nursery and preschool staff are posted on the bulletin boards outside of the rooms so that children and parents can know more about the people working with their children.
As we move forward, our next steps are to:
  • Continue to replace the bright plastic toys with more natural items, including toys made out of wood, more open-ended materials and items that have neutral colors.  
  • Decorate the nursery and preschool with pictures of JUC children and their families.
  • Engage families in the changes we are making and provide opportunities for families and children to create beautiful artwork to decorate the spaces.
We are hopeful that this will be a smooth transition that will help the children to be more engaged and look forward to their time at church.  While we are purchasing some new materials as needed, donations of gently used baskets, wooden toys and neutral colored rugs would be welcome. If you would like to make a donation or share feedback, please e-mail me
JUC in Wonderland Update

Now that the auction dust has settled, it's time for the team to evaluate the numbers and start planning for next year. With so much change, we've got our work cut out for us. 

We do know that socially, the event was a success. We sold 228 adult tickets and 55 Children & Youth tickets. The Children's Auction team worked hard planning a fun event for the kids and mobile bidding allowed the adults to have more freedom to socialize with friends and participate in the fun activities. The decorations crew knocked it out of the park this year and the costumes couldn't have been better. JUCers embraced the new technology and found it easy to use overall. There were some technical glitches on auction night but we're working to get them resolved before next year. Expect an even better experience in 2017 as we grow into this new and exciting way of doing things.

Financially the event was a success as well. The gross revenue total is currently $49,649 including $11,600 for the special appeal. Many of our members were able to bid during their travels and nearly $1,000 came in during the post-event final sale. Unfortunately, after final expenses, the net revenue is under budget. The auction team is evaluating expenses, pricing, timing, and technology to get us back on track for next year. 

The biggest success of the mobile platform came from the administrative side. The ability for most bidders to pay their invoices directly on their devices made the long check-out line of the past nonexistent. We were able to let people take items with them as soon as they paid instead of waiting for runners and data entry. Administering the post-auction sale was easy on me and the bidders. Most of all, there were fewer errors which made the post-auction wrap-up much simpler.

Our success didn't come without a few bumps and bruises. In addition to the normal pains that come with any major change, our auction is very unique and doesn't fit perfectly into the mobile software. We are working with Handbid to refine our experience and appreciate your patience as we work through it. 

It's been an honor to serve on this committee for the past four years. The team working to raise funds for our beloved church are as dedicated and warm-hearted as they come and I look forward to seeing what they come up with for next year.

Keeping the Promise

JUC uses a year round pledge system in which each household is asked annually during their pledging month to renew.
Pledging is a part of our regular work all year rather than just one big push, and so you will be seeing some messages like mine over the course of the year.
I have been a JUC member for over 20 years. My husband, Jay, has only been a member for 17 years, but once he caught on he was - as his dad used to say - like gangbusters. Our daughter, Brett, just turned 19. She has been here her whole life.
Because I am the Church Administrator I have a very unique perspective on pledging. I am heavily involved in all aspects of JUC's finances from the starting point of budgeting to the nitty gritty of inputting each pledge into our database. Look out! I'm coming at you with some numbers!
Right now, I have to admit some sadness around pledging. During this fiscal year so far - July through November, five months - we have recorded pledges from 200 households. Out of those 200, 136 left their pledge flat or decreased. Decreases are generally for financial reasons, and that was 23 households. That leaves 113 out of 200 pledges with no increase. If each of those households had increased just $1 per month the total would be almost $1,400. Do the math, that means $10 per month more would be nearly $14,000. Small increases make a big difference.
I am very grateful to the 64 households that did make an increase. Our pledge month is July, and we are one of the 64 pledge increases. Our increase this year was $33 per month. Not a year of pledging has gone by for us without an increase.
Jay and I are happy and privileged to make this generous pledge commitment.
And why? In short, I live a better life because of my association with this institution. I joke sometimes that I do everything but preach around here - and sometimes that "everything" is not too pretty. But I know that the work this church is doing is so important. Our shared values magnify together and radiate out into the world. So, when I feel discouraged by the most recent facility mishap - use your imagination - I remember the bigger picture of why I work here and why I am a member.
Right now, when our country is so divided, we are needed. The Sunday after the election we had 545 people attend our two services. Including kids and teacher we had over 700 in the building that day. If you were here, you know that creates a standing-room-only situation! I need this place, you are here, so do you. And so do people who haven't yet walked through our doors. We can only do it by paying for it.
My family gives generously. I hope you will too. 

Habitat for Humanity Update

Turning pumpkins into houses...
The West Metro Partners Habitat Coalition pumpkin patches were a great success!  Total sales were $105,916. Along with donations at the patches of $2,962, this means the Coalition earned $45,328 for Habitat for Humanity. A huge thank you to everyone who helped unload pumpkins, staff the sales tables, clean-up. And thank you for buying these beautiful pumpkins this year!
As you may know, Special Plate collections at JUC target specific causes, and are made once a month. JUC members have been very generous to Habitat for Humanity in the past, designating one Special Plate a year for Habitat for Humanity for many years. This year's collection on October 16th raised $2,627 for Habitat. We are grateful for such generosity.
...and houses into homes
Construction is proceeding on schedule on the Habitat home JUC is helping build at 2680 S. Decatur Street in Denver. October 8, November 11 and December 3 were build days set aside for JUC (as part of the West Metro Partners Habitat Interfaith Coalition), and a full complement of eight volunteers worked each day.
In late January, at the completion of construction of the house , we will celebrate the moment of handing over the keys of  the new home to the Alsharqi Hamad family at a Dedication Ceremony. These ceremonies are very moving events as we come together to celebrate the hard work and determination of a deserving family who is realizing the dream of homeownership.

The Dedication Ceremony also gives us a chance to thank the many people from our community who came together to help make the construction of each new home a success. Donors, volunteers, board members, committee members, staff and our local community are all invited to help celebrate this milestone and the mission of Habitat for Humanity.
Ahmed and his wife Rusul moved to the Denver metro area four years ago; since then their family has grown to include a 5-year-old daughter and almost 3-year-old son. Ahmed works as a driver and Rusul works as a student peer mentor to provide for their family. Even with both incomes, the rent on their current apartment - though it is too small and in disrepair - takes up more than half of their income.  A zero-interest home mortgage from Habitat gives this hard-working family a hand-up in building their home and securing financial stability. You can meet Rusul and Ahmed here.
Packs of Hope for Foster Children

Each year, JUC offers the opportunity to fill a very special backpack for a child in need. Packs of Hope, a local non-profit, provides backpacks containing clothes and other basic items to children who are transitioning into foster care. Many of these children are quickly removed from their homes by police or social workers and are unable to take any personal items. The backpacks we give them contain the only possessions these children may have for a period of time. 
Packs of Hope serves seven  local counties (Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, and Weld) Since 2008 the organization has served more than 7,000 foster children. Last year they delivered more than 1,400 packs.
There are five different ways you can help: 

1. Fill a Pack

  • Go to the table in the South Commons on February 26 or March 5
  • Choose a backpack and shopping list. You pick the gender/age you shop for.
  • Fill the pack with as many of the items from the shopping list that you can. Any missing items will be provided for you.
  • Return the backpack to the JUC Commons on March 5, 12 or 19 (or to the office anytime during office hours).
Help Organize Packs
This year we have a special opportunity to help Packs of Hope take the packs we fill through the next step toward the children they will benefit. Join us at the Packs of Hope warehouse on Saturday, March 18 at 3 p.m. to help sort and organize packs. We need between 5 and 12 adults (children are welcome too!). Please sign up at the JUC sign up site. If there is sufficient interest, we will set another date for the following week or weekend.
3. Purchase Toiletries
There is always a need for extra toiletries. A box will be provided at the table in the Commons. Most needed items:
  • baby wipes
  • baby wash
  • 2-in-1 shampoo
  • deodorant
  • soap
4. Volunteer at the distribution / collection table after a service
We need volunteers to distribute and collect packs at the table in the Commons after services on February 26, March 5, and March 12. Sign up at the sign up site board or online. Don't worry, we will show you what to do!
5. Help throughout the year
This year, Packs of Hope has made a special request for longer term volunteers. Help is needed to:
  • deliver packs to a county office once a month during business hours
  • spend a couple of hours per week to help recruit/coordinate groups and companies to do Packs of Hope Drives (just like the one we do at JUC)
Stories from Packs of Hope caseworkers:
"When the children come into the office they get so excited to have a new backpack full of clean clothes. One 11 year old girl that came into the office opened her backpack and said 'Oh pajamas, I have always wanted a pair of pajamas!' The children always want to change into their new clothes immediately."
"In early Spring 2014 we received a call of a little girl five days old who was turned over to a local Fire Department and subsequently to EPCDHS. She had no clothes, no shoes and did not even have a name. We picked out a special Pack of Hope for her with a small stuffed animal. Although she has long since grown out of her clothes she still has the stuffed animal and sleeps with it daily. She has a name, she has a home and she has something that is just hers from the time she came to us. Thank you for all you do."
JUC's Green Task Force Has Big Plans for 2017
Martin Voelker  &  Bettina Schaden , Co-Chairs

Looking back at a year filled with events and workshops, covering everything from climate change policy to how close we are to powering the world with wind and solar, the Green Task Force brought several hundred people in the door, both from our congregation and outside. Our monthly speaker series with the Colorado Renewable Energy Society has become well established and we're able to attract high profile speakers from research institutions like NREL, NOAA, universities, policy organizations and industry. Attendees appreciate the reception where people can eat, drink, and bug our presenters with more questions. For a taste check out our YouTube channel.

For 2017 we're starting out with a presentation on battery technology which help the electrical grid to  integrate more wind and solar power. In February we will hear from former Governor Bill Ritter on "Powering Forward", his recent book. He's a brilliant speaker, not to be missed.  How the advent of autonomous and electric vehicles will reshape our society is our subject in March, and in April Prof. KK DuVivier from the DU Law School explains what it will take to decarbonize our economy. In May, Max Boykoff from CU's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research will speak about why it's so hard to engage people on the issue of climate change.  In the fall, the president of the International Solar Society, David RennĂ©, will get us ready for the Golden Solar Home tour and the Solar Decathlon, a competition of student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses which comes to Denver in October.

But that only covers our speaker series (every 4th Thursday of the month). 
We've also worked with Carol Wilsey and caretaker Eric Pieratt to get an efficiency expert from XCEL to reduce JUC's energy use. In addition to saving money this helps us maintain JUC's accreditation as a Green Sanctuary church.

Here are some other things in the pipeline: 
  • Engaging kids and youth, e.g., by building "insect hotels" for pollinators
  • Workshop series exploring the Low Carbon Diet Curriculum
  • Field trips to NCAR's new climate change exhibit and the National Ice Core Labs in Lakewood.
  • Environmental movie series, e.g., screening "Years of Living Dangerously"
  • Explorations! sessions on special topics
  • Planning a Climate Action Month for March 2017
  • Inviting environmental organizations to present, such as 350 Colorado
  • Becoming a host for "Sierran Gatherings", a new concept developed by JUC's Bryce Carter who works with for the Sierra Club
  • Volunteering with the Colorado Environmental Film Festival
  • Coordinating Green events with other (UU) churches
  • Workshops for activists
And finally an idea from our last meeting: People could develop a pressing issue into a punchy TED-style talk. In addition to becoming really firm on the matter it would develop their public speaking skills. If other social justice groups pulled along we could present an entire evening covering topics JUCers care about in a fun, engaging fashion.

A long list of possibilities, waiting for people to take them on. Any takers? Other ideas? Let's talk!
You are invited to join us on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 4 p.m. when the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder and Jefferson Unitarian Church will co-ordain Rebecca Chase "Beckett" Coppola (to be held at UUCB). Beckett is a member of UUCB, and served as the Intern Minister of JUC 2014-2015. The two churches will jointly execute the act of ordination at this mid-winter celebration of our faith, faith leaders, and congregations. The service and reception will be hosted at UUCB. All are welcome. 
This is a fabulous opportunity for all of us to celebrate Unitarian Universalism, to be reminded of our work in the world, and to be reconnected with the incredible community of which we are a part. The interconnected network of our congregations is powerful, and holding these relationships as a sacred responsibility is one of the core teachings of our religion's North American founders. When life is difficult, we can find strength in relationships with the churches in our area, nationally, and internationally. 
This event, like so many ordinations, is also a powerful symbol of the commitment of these two congregations to our professional ministry. Both UUCB and JUC have become teaching congregations committed to fostering and nurturing the growth of new ministers to step into religious leadership.
On a personal note, Beckett is honored to have two churches vote to ordain her. She will spend her career striving to live up to all of our collective dreams and aspirations for ourselves, our communities, and the world. We are a growing faith, and this is sacred work. 
There will be an electronic invitation sent in the weeks leading up to the event, and please contact Will Kropp, Ordination Committee Chair, with your questions and any offers to volunteer.