ISSUE 2                                                                                                                                                                                     AUGUST 2016
I don't know about you, but I am fascinated by our summer worship series "Works in Progress." For me, there is humility and openness in those words. Accepting that I am a work in progress allows me to say I am here, mostly doing the best that I can (given my limited perspective and frayed humanity) and I can grow from here. By lifting up qualities that mark the emotionally healthy and spiritually connected, I feel the invitation to grow into the possibilities of the generative sort of living for which I have longed; that kind of life that rises above the concerns of the daily grind.

I am reminded of lovely lines from a David Whyte poem, "What to Remember When Waking."
What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly
will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.
To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.
What a beautiful reminder that when we spend our days laboring on the surface, we forget the deeper messages beating within about living a life that is connected and purposeful. Humans are by nature, developmental creatures. Our quest is to grow not into a person who gets what they want, but rather who lives into who they hope to become. For the wisest and happiest among us, that seems to be people who understand that all things are connected, people who are not derailed by uncertainty, people who can let go, people who can admit responsibility and seek forgiveness.

Further in the poem, Whyte captures the questions that await us in liminal moments, those moments when we are not about our plans and achievements.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?
What shape waits in the seed of you? 

It is such a great question. I wonder what it would be for our political leaders to ask that question. What if, rather than emphasizing current success or taking us back to an era of past greatness, what if, as a country we were asking what is the life we can imagine for ourselves? I cannot imagine it would include the violence and vitriol that currently engulfs us.

Yet growing, either as an individual or country, is challenging. It involves change and seeing things anew. It asks us to embrace a sacred flexibility.

I think of that often especially when I get an angry e-mail or phone call from someone outside our church claiming to be offended when our sign reads Black Lives Matter. There is little desire for actual dialogue. I am lectured about not causing trouble. 

It is a message with which I am well familiar. Our current days are troubled. That trouble causes me to think about things in new ways and learn from voices other than those I consistently and comfortably listen to. That trouble causes me to pause when waking and remember that the questions that invite me into an imagination of becoming.

So I live imperfectly into that becoming. I share my thoughts on why I must stand with the Black Lives Matter campaign even though it is not always comfortable. I show up for events supporting racial justice. I keep learning. Indeed, my latest challenge is to serve with colleagues on a committee for our Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association that is devoted to improving our ability to minister in a way that is anti-racist and multicultural. For me, this is the seed that awaits in our country and our religion. It is a better vision of who we might yet become-all of us works in progress.

See you in church.

With Praise and Thanks
Rev. Wendy Williams

Over the past five years, I have made a practice of expressing thanks to a few volunteers when receiving the morning offering on Sunday. It is now a part of our liturgy regardless of who is in our pulpit. For its part, the Board of Trustees also writes thank you notes to people whose volunteer efforts have been in some way exceptional. It has been important to our leadership that we express our appreciation for all that goes into helping our church live into its mission and be the dynamic and welcoming community it is.

That said, I recently had a blinding flash of the obvious that the gratitude expressed might be noticed more broadly and memorably by inclusion in our newsletter. Thus, going forward, you will find this column in which, as our hymn says, "we come with praise and thanks" for all that is our church life.

Thank you, Sue Parilla. As you know, Sue served on our staff for many years. More than five years ago, as JUC explored growth through starting a second campus, Sue was the point person for research and planning. Upon the start of that campus, Sue carried the water and the hymnals and the pulpit and the signs and the orders of service and...... Simply put, there is nothing she didn't do. Sue stepped off the Golden staff this year to concentrate her efforts there. Her contributions not only got the ball rolling in Evergreen, but developed it into a campus which meets first, third, and fifth Sundays, as well as supports four very active small groups. When Sue decided to leave her position last month, we might have feared things would fall apart. Yet, typical of Sue, she had a solid system in place and a campus team capable of taking on more responsibility. We are very grateful that Sue is a part of our church and will continue in her volunteer role with Coming of Age.  

Thank you to the organizers of the Christmas in July Craft Faire, specifically Marlene Williamson, Nancy Bolt, Bob Hofmann and Jean Decker. Our church budget is based on our annual pledges and bolstered by a few fundraisers. To have an additional Craft Faire which brought in vendors, customers, good energy, and some extra money is really terrific. If you shopped, sold, or volunteered, thank you.

Thank you Golden Circle Lunch Bunch. Three or four times each year, we host a luncheon for our members and friends that are 70 or better. Volunteers serve and clean up. Attendees have a chance to sit and visit with people in a more relaxed atmosphere than the hubbub of Sunday mornings. We even hold a small worship service before the lunch begins. A wonderful time is had by all.

Volunteer Spotlight
Beth Leyba
This month I would like to recognize our team of Commons Coordinators, particularly the four members who were holding it all together when I first started six months ago: Linda Horn , Mary Anne Schiff , Cheryl Ames , and Lisa Rountree . They have now been joined by Chris Bartling , Judy Gangloff , Lynne Haigh , Jim Norland , Karen Oxman , and Jill Surber Blackwell , and I have split the position into two Sunday shifts, making it a bit easier and less time consuming for all. Sue Edwards will also soon be joining the team, and I extend sincere gratitude to the whole team for your willingness to be of service to our JUC community.
The Commons Coordinator, well, coordinates the commons-and makes sure that all is running smoothly with our Sunday Shared Ministry and information tables. If this is a volunteer opportunity that piques your interest, please email me. The more, the merrier!

August Special Plate
Computers for ADIVIMA Scholarship Students

The JUC community supports a scholarship program that is the only one of its kind in Guatemala. It was designed by and is administered by the people it serves families of survivors of the massacres and displacements in the 1980's. The program provides scholarships to impoverished Mayan students in the community of Rabinal who would not otherwise be able to attend school. 

Scholarship administrator ADIVIMA has initiated a program to make computers available to each Scholarship student for use at the Community Study Center in Rabinal or to check out for use at home to do their homework, and allow them to become proficient with basic computer skills.  The computers will enhance the value of the education received by the scholarship students.

We will be asking for startup funds for this new program to make computers available to the students through the Special Plate  on August 21. We  are expanding the appeal for donations beyond JUC through a Faithify campaign in order to engage other UU congregations and extended-family and friends. Faithify is a crowdfunding site where passionate people follow, share, and fund Unitarian Universalist ministries.

Planned Giving and Surrender
Surrendering implies that we have been resisting or fighting something. Most of us find it easy to resist making important "Life Decisions" especially estate planning. Who wants to think about the possibility of a disabling disease or accident and certainly not death! 

As Rev. Eric pointed out in his recent sermon, surrender can be a form of wisdom.  It is certainly wise to face "Life Decisions" now and keep them up to date. The JUC website has an excellent set of resources to help guide you in making your life decisions, including estate planning.

Surrender your resistance and begin an estate plan today or review your existing one for needed changes. Please remember JUC when it comes to designating your beneficiaries.  A gift to JUC will strengthen our ability to provide deepening, connecting and engaging experiences for our members and those who follow, a wonderful way to build your legacy.

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

The New Year
Tom Goodreid, Trustee

The Board of Trustees held its first meeting of the 2016-17 church year on Thursday evening, July 14. For the benefit of the three incoming Board members, a portion of the meeting was devoted to outlining Board processes and responsibilities. Lydia Stranglen gave a roughly half hour financial tutorial to the Board, which is striving to become more financially fluent. Additionally, the Board spent time reviewing an outline of planned objectives for the coming year, set forth on a month by month basis. 

Although matters certainly can change with different circumstances, the major topics that the Board presently plans to explore, in order, in the ensuing eleven months are: Covenant, Long Range Planning-Trends, External Environment, Strategic Outcomes - Deepen, Strategic Outcomes - Connnect, Governance, Mid-Year Review, Strategic Outcomes - Engage, Financial Planning FY17 and Review, Co-Creation of Long Range Goals, and Transition. The outline also contained a number of sub-headings under each subject area. 

The Board also established three committees for the new year: a communications working group, a monitoring reports working group, and a policy working group. Various members of the Board staffed themselves to the various committees. Each committee will report back next month regarding proposed tasks. Suffice it to say, by the end of this first meeting, it was apparent that the Board has a full schedule of work for the upcoming year!
New Nametags and Storage
Have you ever been trapped behind the nametag carousel when someone else starts spinning it in search of their nametag? Have you had trouble locating your nametag because it was hidden somewhere behind someone else's or ended up on the wrong panel? Do you struggle to find a pocket in which to put away your nametag because someone else used "yours?" Have you ever ruined your clothing with a pin-on tag? We are about to solve all of those problems!
This week we are installing a new magnetic storage system (framed flat metal sheets that will go on the walls). You can take a look at them on Sunday, July 31. The first week of August we will be making new tags that have magnetic attachments. They will be waiting for you to use on Sunday, August 7.
Are you really attached to the nametag resting in the carousel? You can still use it, but you will need to take it with you because we will not be able to store it. During the transition, the carousel will be moved to the Religious Education hallway and you can retrieve your old nametag from there. But please don't put it back. After Celebration Sunday (Sunday, Sept. 11) we will be removing the carousel.
Note: if you have a pacemaker, you should not use a magnetic nametag. There will be a supply of the pin-on holders at the Welcome Table for your use. Please talk to one of the greeters for assistance.

On the eve of my first day as your Congregational Connection Coordinator, I ran to Target to get a few things and decided that I needed a special something to commemorate this new transition in my life. I wasn't even sure what, but as I wandered the aisles my eyes came upon a white mug emblazoned with gold letters: love today.
My family can attest that I absolutely do not need any more coffee mugs, so I determined that I would use it on my new desk as a pen and pencil holder, for those two little words sum up my whole purpose in life. It was perfect. I was ridiculously excited. (If you haven't learned this about me yet, know that I get ridiculously excited about not very exciting things.)
I went to check out and as the clerk ran that beautiful, life-affirming mug across the scanner a series of very loud noises emitted from the computer and I looked at the screen to see the words: DO NOT SELL ITEM. This missive was so fervent that the noises continued and the entire register went on lockdown, much to the clerk's and my dismay, not to mention the people in line behind me.
It took several minutes for a manager to appear, and he appraised the situation and simply stated, "I'm so sorry. We can't sell you this item." I wondered why aloud and he replied that he didn't know. It may have been recalled, it may not have been inventoried or processed properly...he apologized again and I tried to keep my now ridiculously sad feelings tamped down and resisted the urge to plead that I only wanted it to hold writing utensils and I promised to not ever drink out of it in case it wasn't safe. (The flip side to getting ridiculously excited is occasionally being ridiculously let down.)
I hauled my other items and now glum self to my car, sat down with a long sigh of I-just-wanted-the-mug sadness, and ultimately had a good long laugh at myself and an internal talking to that went something like: You goofball. You don't need a mug to remember to love today. You have writing utensils and paper and can write "love today" anywhere and everywhere if you want to. Or just do it.
Not long after I had a good long internal giggle during Sunday service as I listened to Rev. Wendy ask, "What does love require of me today?" and thought in response, "But I don't have the mug, Wendy."
In love (and silliness), today and every day. 

14350 W 32nd Avenue
Golden, CO 80401