ISSUE 3                                                                                                                                                                              SEPTEMBER 2016
Last year's annual theme, Sankofa, was chosen as a lens through which to reflect on the events of the year. In looking back, we decided to bring forward the gifts of Rev. Robert Latham's ministry and thus, we honored him as our Minister Emeritus in January. A civil rights pilgrimage and the study groups formed in preparation, as well as a society riddled with racial unrest, reminded us that we had not learned the lessons of a country that claimed to be of and by the people, while some people only counted 3/5's of a person. So, we continue to wrestle with the reality that while there are no easy answers, we are called to grow into better selves. We need to be ready to do the work of owning our own identity so that we can be open to the identity and experiences of others.

Looking back last year allowed us to reclaim these things and bring them forward informing our present and our future.  In so doing, it pointed to another bit of wisdom from our history that warrants our attention:  Covenant.

This summer, we experimented with a few different things, including our "Works in Progress" sermon series complete with homework and shared learning through in service texting. We also highlighted a couple of covenants used by some of our other UU congregations. Far from expressing a creed, those covenants have their roots in our history where covenant was about living into the free church and the 'liberty of the gospel.'

This was critical for our religious forebears, resistant as they were to the Church of England and the strict Calvinism of their day. Indeed, as far back as the 1630's, some of the people who left England gathered in Dedham, Massachusetts to form a new sort of church. As Rev. Alice Blair Wesley encapsulated: "Members of their new free church should be joined in a covenant of religious loyalty to the spirit of love." So most essentially, covenant is about relationship. It is about naming the values we share as a framework for who we want to be in the world and how we will be together. It recognizes that we need one another. We are more together than we are apart. It is by and through relationship that we are changed.

To a large extent, covenant is aspirational. We are promise-making and promise-breaking creatures. Although both contract and covenant recognize that, only covenant reminds us that we also ought to renew our promises.

So many of us cite community as the reason we love this church. Covenant invites us to unpack that. Not only is our annual theme covenant, but each of our monthly themes will be considered in the context of what would it mean for us to be "A community of..."

UU religious community is a precious gift. Within it, we find values and questions that are rarely encountered elsewhere in our lives. Values and questions that push us, ground us and remind us who we most deeply are. So this year our themes honor this gift of community and its role as caretaker of values. Together we will ask: What is it we find when we gather? And what is it we are asked to share with the world?

Our themes related to this concept:

A community of...
September: Covenant
October: Healing
November: Story
December: Presence
January: Prophecy
February: Identity
March: Risk
April: Transformation
May: Embodiment
June: Zest
As our Board has completed the work of policy-writing, it is stretching into the gifts of forward thinking that policy governance encourages. It is important that such work be done in the context of covenant. As we kick off the new church year at the Annual Potluck Picnic, on Saturday, September 10 we will celebrate our beloved community. When we come together this October to vote on calling Rev. Eric Banner, we will covenant with others. This winter, as I take a couple of months of sabbatical, I will return, refreshed and renewed to live into covenant with you again.

I look forward to our year and growing with you. Together, I know we increase the sum of love and justice in the world. 

See you on Sunday.

Why Does JUC Exist?
Andrea Aikin, Trustee

The JUC Board of Trustees just held their annual retreat to build a sense of team and plan for the coming church year. One of the things we learned is that JUC has the highest number of members ever at 787 as of June 30, 2016. We are the 15th largest congregation in the UUA! Having joined JUC years ago when the church had fewer members, it is a challenge for me to realize the prominence of our position nationally and the board is grappling with what that means for our mission.  

One of the things about UUs is that we don't all believe the same things, but we do share common values, things like family, friends, and faith all matter to most of us. Clearly, we have a good thing going at JUC and we are continuing to build on that. Now, we need to also look toward extending this good thing we have found outwards. We need to share the relevancy of our faith in our world. When our kids see politicians (on both sides!) and public figures behaving badly, we want them to know that is not an admirable way to act in this world. Why does JUC exist? The board brainstormed on this topic at our retreat and will be working to expand our strategic outcomes to answer this question. For me, part of the answer to that question is to support all of us as we work to improve ourselves and our world. 

A Singing Congregation
At the heart of the music ministry at Jefferson Unitarian Church is the simple practice, each time the congregation gathers, of the people singing with one another. "Gather the Spirit," "Spirit of Life," "Wake, Now, my Senses," and so many more hymns and tunes comprise the body of shared song that helps those who gather know that they have stepped into Jefferson Unitarian Church, a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Singing common song is an almost universal part of every religious tradition, and spans the history of millennia. Jewish liturgical prayers led by a cantor, Hindu practices of singing bhajans (devotional songs), Sufi chanting, Christian hymns, and songs sung in gatherings of indigenous peoples across the world are a few of the ways that music unites those who seek community and meaning.  
Services at Jefferson Unitarian Church begin with the singing of Morningsong (in Golden) and Gathering Music (in Evergreen), which signal the beginning of the time together in worship and draw the community into the theme of the day. Songs after the Chalice Lighting are often more reflective, inviting the congregation to go deeper. The Closing Hymn following the sermon underscores the message, or issues a call of how to be in the world.
In recent years, one of my main focuses as your Minister of Music has been to further enliven and deepen congregational singing. Changes in that time period include the installation of a screen to project lyrics, after which I immediately observed stronger and more engaged congregational singing; the offering of a Worship Band once a month, led by Adam Revell; occasional songleading by our Children's and Radiance Choirs, led by Sarah Billerbeck; and the introduction of periodic chant-like songs, such as "Meditation on Breathing," in which there is an invitation to let go, hum, repeat certain phrases, and enter a more meditative state. All of these initiatives are intended to promote the experience of congregational singing as a vehicle to deepen, to connect, and to engage.
Singing is a way for Unitarian Universalists to connect with one another at the denominational level as well.  Check out the congregational singing at the beginning of Sunday morning worship at the 2016 General Assembly in Columbus, complete with band, choir, songleader, and a few thousand Unitarian Universalists.
So when you gather with the congregation, the invitation is there for you to connect with the history, traditions, theology of the community through the singing of song together. Thank you for joining your voice with others!

My youngest daughter has been my greatest teacher when it comes to active, empathetic listening, as she doesn't request it from me. She demands it. As in, "Mama, I have to tell you something. No questions. Only listen." Then if I react at all while she's talking, with even the slightest raise of an eyebrow or twitch of my nose, she will stop and say, "Are you mad? Are you upset? You're thinking something."
I will reassure her that I am only listening, and I truly am. It's been a great exercise for me in being present, and in listening to fully hear and understand, not to immediately react or respond. These moments with her, where she shares a piece of her reality and soul with me, have been transformative for both of us, and led to a deeper understanding of and appreciation for each other.
Deep, reflective listening is an integral piece of the Small Group Ministry that JUC offers, and I am really excited to dive into this experience with all of you this year. In fact, I will be facilitating a group for parents of tweens and teens, as I have one of each!
I totally get being busy and not having a lot of time to commit to outside things, but I want to gently encourage everyone that if you are only able to get involved in one way besides showing up on some or most Sundays, let that one extra thing be a Small Group.
I am saying this as the person who is responsible for getting 15 volunteers every week to greet, usher, make coffee, etc. as well as fill many other volunteer positions. That stuff is important and definitely needs to be done, but Small Groups offer the possibility of a transformative experience that will help us all build the community we want to see, as we engage in active listening and authentic sharing to deepen to our truest selves, connect authentically with others, and from there, engage with needs beyond our own.
Look for me in the commons on Celebration Sunday, September 11, to sign up.
I am here to help you get connected at JUC, so if you would like to delve into the possibilities and find your perfect fit, feel free to contact me at any time. 

Feel free to peruse some of the various possibilities via our website: Social Justice, Being UU: Adult Faith Development, Music, Religious Education, Mid-Week Worship, Young Adults, Affinity Groups, and more. Also, be sure to visit the information tables in the commons on any given Sunday for even more opportunities to get connected. 

Up the Hill
Kim Hassinger, Evergreen Campus Lay Leader

When we first moved to Evergreen 20 plus years ago our neighbors taught us the term "going down the hill" when they headed down to Denver or anywhere below. It had the connotation of leaving our cozy home and venturing to the big city, or at least a place with more traffic and people.

Going down the hill is very much a mixed blessing with lots of great cultural and shopping opportunities and all the accompanying stress and bustle. We often feel a deep sense of gratitude when the errands are done as we return up the hill to elevation.

Our second campus in Evergreen would like to deepen our connection to the Golden campus. We would like to invite our Golden friends do the reverse and come "up the hill" for a visit.

We meet the first, third and fifth Sunday's at Congregation Beth Evergreen.  But  our next service is unique to Evergreen, our annual outdoor Grove Service.

On Sunday September 4, 4 p.m. we will meet in the grove of the Hiwan Homestead Museum (4208 Timbervale Drive, Evergreen). Rev. Wendy will preach the sermon "Increasing the Sum of Love and Justice." Following the service we share a pot luck meal under the trees.                 

It is a great setting to kick off the church year and we would love to have you join us. 

Yes on T
During the election this November you will notice a ballot measure called No Exception to Involuntary Servitude Prohibition Amendment. It will appear as Amendment T. 
As the Unitarian Universalist ministers in Colorado, we urge you to vote YES on this measure.
We know that slavery is not a Colorado value. But for more than a century our state constitution has preserved the right of the state to enslave people as punishment for a crime. This archaic and hurtful language must be removed.
You may be asking yourself, what impact might this have on people who are currently incarcerated? The measure will not end prison terms as punishment for crimes committed in our state, but it will help us move forward the conversation about what justice truly looks like in our communities. There are many conversations to be had about what justice looks like, but we believe that we can all agree, that no matter what conclusion we come to about the appropriate measures to address crimes, our response should never include slavery.
As Unitarian Universalists we hold dear our heritage of abolitionists who fought to end slavery in the 19th century. Ministers like Theodore Parker is reputed to have kept a pistol in his desk to protect runaway slaves. We are called to continue his heroic work by standing against slavery today.
We believe that by changing the way we talk about what prison is, and why people are there, we can begin to change the conversations and outcomes and move toward right relationship in our communities.
The measure would amend Section 26 of Article II of the Colorado Constitution. The following text would be deleted:
Amending Section 26 of Article II
Section 26. Slavery prohibited.
There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
For more information, visit  Amendment Overview and  Amendment T.

Yours in faith,
Rev. Wendy Williams, Jefferson Unitarian Church
Rev. Keith Arnold, Jefferson Unitarian Church
Rev. Eric Banner, Jefferson Unitarian Church
Rev. Barry Bloom, Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley
Rev. Kelly Dignan, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder
Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry, Boulder Valley UU Fellowship
Rev. Shawna Foster, Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Gretchen Haley, Foothills Unitarian Church
Rev. Jann Halloran, Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Wendy Jones, UU Congregation of the Grand Valley
Rev. Katie Kandarian, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango
Rev. Laurel Liefert, Namaqua Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Rev. Dana Lightsey, High Plains Church, Unitarian Universalist
Rev Julia McKay, Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Mike Morran, First Unitarian Society of Denver
Sean Neil-Barron, Assistant Minister, Foothills Unitarian Church
Aaron Norris, Ministerial Resident, First Universalist Church of Denver
Rev. Nori Rost, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. Jeannie Shero, First Universalist Church of Denver

We Want to Talk About Race at Church
For three Sundays in July and August, a group of JUCers gathered after second service to talk about race in the United States. We used Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, as a jumping off point. The book is a meditation on life as a black man in America, written as a letter to Coates' son. 

There is a specific violence against black bodies in the America we know. Coates has experienced that, and knows his son is coming of age in an America where that violence is still omnipresent. As a young black man, his son will be assumed to be a threat by white society. His mistakes won't be forgiven as those of a young person. He has too high a chance of being forcibly removed from this world as were Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and too many others to name. 

Coates also explores the notion of "The Dream," in the white, suburban, picket fence version of the phrase. This dream was created as only accessible to white Americans. Redlining and discrimination by Federal housing insurance prevented people of color from living in desirable neighborhoods or buying homes without predatory lending. While the GI Bill was helping to create a thriving white middle class, people of color were excluded from accessing its benefits. This dream still remains less accessible to people of color. 

Many of us who gathered together would like to extend an explicit invitation to talk about race with others at JUC. Find us on Sundays to talk or ask to borrow our copies of Between the World and Me

Rev. Wendy Williams
Betsy Brown
Annie Scott
Jessy Hennesy
Beth Leyba
Jim Norland
Marge Peterson
Kerry Fordyce
Carol Wilsey

Just Neighboring Recap
Jill Armstrong, Just Neighboring Coordinator

Three years ago, Jefferson Unitarian Church chose the community of Edgewater for an All-Church Project.  As we enter a new church year, here's a recap of our efforts from last year.

Homeless Breakfast
Almost every Sunday this past church year, members of JUC help Sloan's Lake Community Church serve a breakfast to the homeless. We also contributed warm clothing to their clothing bank and half of the funds from the Abundant Harvest Table go to support the cost of the breakfast.

Lumberg Reading Club
Last year, 20 members of JUC, along with 10 members of Mile Hi Church, worked with 50 students at Lumberg Elementary in Edgewater. Tutors read with students two hours each week after school. At the end of the school year, 82% of those students made at least one year's growth in their reading skills. 13 of those students made 1.5 or more year's growth. Most of the students who did not make a year's growth were in the dual language program and learning to read in a second language. Those students made huge gains on their annual English test. Studies have shown that students who are at grade level in reading at the end of 3rd grade have a much higher chance of graduating high school. This year's Reading Club will begin in late September, and tutors and substitutes are needed.

Senior Connections/ Day of Service
Last Fall and Spring, almost 20 JUC members helped with a Day of Service in Edgewater. We spent a morning helping seniors who are trying to stay in their homes with weeding, spring planting, gutter cleaning, raking and other basic yard work. The next Day of Service will be Saturday, October 1.

Senior Connections/Food Bank
Every other Friday, at least 4 JUC members helped with a food bank at the Edgewater Plaza. Members helped with unloading boxes, setting up tables, distributing food and clean up.

Edgewater Collective/Jefferson Success Pathway
We support the ongoing efforts of the Edgewater Collective through the Jefferson Success Pathway. This group of organizations and individuals is committed to working together to see that each child in the Jefferson Area succeeds from cradle to career. The Jefferson Area consists of the schools in the 80214 zip code (Molholm Elementary, Edgewater Elementary, Lumberg Elementary and Jefferson Jr/Sr High). Their goals include Family Health, Kindergarten Readiness, K-12 reading literacy by 3rd grade, math grade levels skills at 5th &  8th grade, and college and career readiness. We attend their monthly meetings and so a special plate collection each year.

Volunteers are always needed. If you would like to work in any of these areas, or have questions, please contact me.

UUSC Coffee and Chocolate Sales
Kim Stevens, Coordinator

You've heard of a "win-win" situation. But did you know that our twice monthly sale of Equal Exchange coffee and chocolate is actually a ''win-win-win-win?" That's because there are at least four good reasons to pick some up between services on the second and fourth Sundays of every month from September through May.

First, our products are organic and fairly traded, which means farmers get a fair price and can use safe and sustainable agriculture practices. Win!  Second, the company we use, Equal Exchange, donates a portion of our cost to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, or UUSC. The UUSC is a nonsectarian human rights organization powered by grassroots collaboration. They work anywhere rights are threatened - by natural disasters, armed conflicts, genocide, forced migration, and systematic injustice. Win! Third, all of our local profits go to support the JUC Guatemala Scholarship and the young people from Rabinal who have been able to obtain their education through the ongoing funding and personal relationships with JUC members. Win! And finally, if you've ever purchased our coffee or chocolate, you know that it just happens to be really good. Win!

So please continue to enjoy the delicious products, knowing that your purchase is having so many positive impacts.

Welcome Our New Member
Lorraine Burgin  is a retired U.S. Bureau of Mines geologist. Her hobbies include geology and photography.

Jan Groeneboer, husband of Lorraine Burgin, died August 16. 

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. in the chapel.

Works in Progress
Rev. Wendy Williams

Through July and August, in a sermon series called "Works in Progress," we explored what it might mean to admit that all of us are a work in progress. In other words, none of us have arrived. We reiterated our hope that church ought to help us live our lives and help us grow into best selves. 

In that regard, we leaned into the work of our colleague, the Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons, who observed that there are twelve common qualities among people who live lives of depth and meaning which she characterized as spiritual maturity. Of those, we explored nine as pathways to grow into such people. 

Many of you blessed us with stories of how important these messages have been to you this summer. We are so grateful. 
Still, we realize, of course, that not everyone was here each week. So, here is the list of qualities we saw as paths forward, as well as the name of the sermon in which it was unpacked. These sermons, as always, are recorded and available online.
The perception of Universal Connectedness: "Interdependence" - July 3

Tolerance for Intensity and Ambiguity:
"Peace without Clarity" - July 10

Surrender to Reality:
"Surrender Without Loss" - July 17

The capacity to acknowledge error and change:
"My Bad" - July 24

The Ability to be in the Presence of Pain Without Panic:
"Presence Without Fixing" -    July 31

A Perspective of Gratitude, Wonder, Blessing and Generosity:
"Awesome" - August 7

An Attraction to Beauty, Mercy and Justice:
"The Good Life" - August 14

The Consistent Acceptance of Mortality:
"It's to Die For" - August 21

Fluency in the use of Metaphor: It's Like...."- August 28

Vote to Call
2016 gives us an opportunity to reflect upon interdependence and covenant as we approach Eric Banner's call to be an Associate Minister on staff at Jefferson Unitarian Church. Two years ago, a recruitment committee found a full-time assistant minister for our community. When we hired Rev. Eric , we agreed that if he was a dynamic and cohesive addition to JUC, we would vote to call him as a long-term leader. 

As you know, Eric's ministry has been strong and has touched many areas. For that reason, Rev. Wendy has recommended to the Board and the Board has agreed to hold a vote to make Eric a called minister of our congregation.

When we call a second minister, we send a message that the relationship between a minister and congregation is healthy.  What is healthy? Overall in that relationship, there is mutual growing, learning, and becoming our best selves. For an Associate Minister, this means that Rev. Banner is a com plement to our senior minister's skills, our shared vision as a community, and that he is a vital member of our leadership team.

For Eric Banner's call on Sunday, October 2, we will need a quorum of 240 or more of our congregants to meet between services to cast the vote. The call acknowledges that he is a good fit. A series of sharing/Q&A  session  have been scheduled with Rev. Eric prior to the vote. 

Please join the Committee on Ministry, the Board, and the Jefferson Unitarian Church congregation this fall in honoring Eric Banner's time with us these past two years and committing to our future together.  We look forward to your support, presence, and vote October 2! 

If you cannot attend, Absentee Ballots are available from the JUC office beginning Sunday September 4. They will also be available in Evergreen on Sunday, September 18.

Small Groups Start in October
Rev. Wendy Williams

Previously known as "covenant groups" and "chalice circles," Small Group Ministry is a vital part of our congregation because it is a thorough embrace of our mission to Deepen, Connect and Engage. By joining a small group, you will have an opportunity in a group of 10-12 to meet twice monthly, reflect on and discuss our monthly themes and significant life topics.

Small Groups are great places to get to know other people and to get to know yourself because the format invites reflection and deep listening.  

This year, some of our groups will meet through May, while other groups will meet only until January in recognition that some of us just want to dip our toe in these new waters. In January, we will offer the chance to sign up for groups which begin in February and meet through May. 

Whether the topic is "covenant," "healing," "story," or something else, the conversation is respectful and caring and leads to greater understanding within each participant and each other. In each session, facilitated by a member of the congregation, all participants have opportunity to share their perspectives, tell their stories, and listen so that others can be fully heard. The time together is structured: groups begin and end with centering readings and often include a time of silence before the sharing begins. 

If you are looking to Deepen to your truest self and Connect authentically with others at JUC, Small Groups are for you. Sign up begins September 11. Should you have questions, contact Beth Leyba, Congregational Connection Coordinator.

Just Mercy
You are invited to read
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, then attend a learning and engagement event at Jefferson Unitarian Church, joining with other Front Range UUs and clergy for a rich exploration and discussion.
Bryan Stevenson, the author and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, has dedicated his legal career to defending those who are trapped by an often capricious, political, and willfully unjust criminal justice system - poor people, people of color, children, and others over whom the system has run roughshod. Just Mercy speaks to justice, mercy, and compassion, themes of concern to us as Unitarian Universalists and as human beings.
On Saturday, October 8, the UU Religious Professional Council on Racial Justice (of which your ministers and Director of Religious Education are a part) are sponsoring a morning devoted to this book, at Jefferson Unitarian Church, inviting all Front Range UU Congregations to be a part of this discussion. The morning begins with coffee and gathering at 8:30 a.m., worship at 9 a.m., with the event concluding by noon. Copies of Just Mercy can be purchased in the JUC Office for $16. Please register online for the free event.
With the conversations and struggles in the larger culture around issues of race and justice, this book and event are timely and needed. Please consider joining other UUs for this important morning.

September Special Plate
Serving Kids

Staffed by volunteers, the Serving Kids program provides a week's worth of new or near-new clothing, including jeans, coats, shoes and more, to any student in Jeffco Public Schools who needs it.

In 2014-2015, the program provided over 25,829 articles of clothing to almost 1,400 students, including 452 homeless students. 

The program differs from other clothing projects in Jeffco, because orders for clothing are placed by Jeffco schools staff and delivered to students in the privacy of their school.

The program is supported with monetary and clothing donations. In addition to the special plate collection on September 18 we will be collecting new and gently used jeans, hoodies, and coats in October in preparation for the cold Colorado winter. Please set aside any of these items in sizes 3T to Adult 3X as you're cleaning out your closets this fall.
Planned Giving - It's to Die For
Rev. Wendy in a recent sermon eloquently invoked some beliefs of Rev. Forrest Church: That the goal of life is to live a life worth dying for. The one thing that can't be taken from us, even by death, is the love we give away before we go. To this end it is important that we leave no unfinished business which contributes to our dread of death. "We can make peace with ourselves, reconcile, where possible, with our loved ones, and free ourselves to say yes to the cosmos, to embrace our lives and deaths, to make peace with God. To be free to accept death is to be free, period."

Estate planning is one way to aid in leaving no unfinished business. During this process, you can gain a better perspective of your health concerns and financial life and what is important to you and your loved ones. If you consider JUC as "one of your loved ones" please include us in your estate plans.

Contact the JUC Planned Giving Team; Bud Meadows, Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey.

The Wonder and Awe of a Photo Directory
Marlene Williamson
My family's first photo directory portrait has two adorable little boys and a lovely baby girl in a white lace dress from Murano, Italy. I don't have glasses on, we don't have a dog yet and Craig has a slight double chin because he is tilting his head down so his glasses don't reflect the flash. It's so crazy to think we had joined a church and were posing for a photo that I hoped would last a lifetime or two. 

As the years have gone by, the photos change as we all have grown and aged. This year, it will just be Craig, me, and a beautiful young lady who is a senior in High School. I am really excited about the outdoor option down at Bettinger's studio. These portraits are so meaningful to our family.

My wish is that as you make your appointments for this directory, you see the love and growth in yourself and those around you. Yes, time has passed and we are wiser for it.  We have lost friends and family members but have seen new ones emerge. This is a wonderful way to capture the moment of our world at Jefferson Unitarian Church as well as your families' lives.

A photo directory is such an amazing tool for our community to have. Please make it a priority and find time to be photographed. It has no cost but your time. There is a free 5x7 and a free directory when we are all done. 

I look forward seeing you all, in a new Photo Directory!

Evergreen Volunteers Rock!
A big "yippee" to the JUC Evergreen team that painted and refurbished the second floor of the Mountain Peace Shelter in Bailey, CO!

We got 2 bedrooms, their closets, the hallway and bathroom completely repainted; new window blinds, towel racks and toilet paper holders hung. A "new" toilet was also purchased from The Re-Store, creating a much nicer atmosphere for the women and children finding safe-haven from domestic violence. 

Thank you to Carl Stock, Jeff Stone, Kris Lewis, Jean Whitley, the whole Howell family-Theresa, Brian, Ella and Sylvia and Charlotte Wytias. The two families in residence were so deeply thankful!

Sunday Morning on the Capitol Steps
Rev. Wendy Williams

Sunday, September 25 at 9:30 a.m., the Unitarian Universalist congregations of the front range will be publicly worship together on the steps of the Capitol. This is the 11th consecutive year our congregations have claimed that important piece of real estate upon which to proclaim our gospel of inclusion and the centrality of love.
In the beginning, the service was created to combat the bigotry of Colorado's ballot measure to "protect" marriage. Since then we have expanded the embrace of Standing on the Side of Love to include standing with our transgender siblings and Black Lives Matter. This year, we knew we needed to address the angry, divisive, and uncivil that is our larger culture in an election year. 
Beyond party affiliation or label, our faith insists that we work toward a world where all can live peacefully since we are all connected and each of us is worthy. We are dedicated to "that high cause of greater understanding of who we are, and what in us is true. We would be one in living for each other to show to all a new community" as we sing our old hymn "We Would Be One" (Singing the Journey #318). In that, we recognize that in order to stand on the side of love, we are accountable to justice, compassion, mercy, and morality because the love to which we are called is fierce, ennobled, and rigorous.
Let's fill the steps on the west side of the capitol! Make sure you bring water, wear sunscreen, and leave time to find parking. There is power in gathering and raising our voices together. Imagine all of us standing on the steps to read in unison our congregational declaration. It is an expression of unity and covenant and it is a powerful public affirmation of who we are and what we bring to the table.

Why Have Another Guatemalan Fiesta?
Because JUC's ever-strengthening partnership with ADIVIMA and the Mayan community in Rabinal is worth celebrating!
The JUC community began partnering nine years ago with ADIVIMA, the local human rights organization in the area of Rabinal, Guatemala, to provide funding for a scholarship program that continues to support impoverished students who would otherwise be unable to attend middle school or high school and to transform their lives. In partnership with the UU church of Arlington, Virginia, we now support 49 students each year and a full-time tutor. Several scholarship students have graduated from High School each of the past four years. 
About three years ago our partnership began to expand the opportunities for the Mayan community in Rabinal beyond the Scholarship Program with the Books for the Library program, the Guatemala Sewing Project, and more recently the Computers for Scholars project. Annual cultural exchange trips to Rabinal have strengthened the relationships between the JUC community and the local Mayan community.  These trips may soon expand to include families.

The Guatemalan Fiestas have been a fun way to thank the JUC community for their generous support of the Scholarships and commitment to the Partnership and to engage with the students' community in Rabinal as we bring a taste of Guatemala to Golden.  There's always free food and music!

This year's Fiesta on Sunday, October 2 will include Marimba music straight from Rabinal as well as the ever-popular tamales and introductions to a few of the scholarship students. Please plan to join us. All ages are welcome. Look for opportunities to sign up to help as well as to let us know you are coming.
JUC's UUSC Task Force.
Note: ADVIMA translates in English to: The Association for the Integral Development of the Victims of the Violence of the Verapaces, Maya Achi.

14350 W 32nd Avenue
Golden, CO 80401