ISSUE 5                                                                                                                                                                               NOVEMBER 2016
Our lives are full of stories. We tell them and we learn from them. Stories make us laugh and cry. They connect us to each other in the present and to those who have gone before us.
 
As we experienced in October, some of our stories tell how we were injured, how we were done wrong, or battered by life circumstances. If we are fortunate, stay present and do our work with the support of community, some of our stories share our scars in the context of healing.
 
In November, we will explore what it means to be a community of stories. We will look at that in the context in which we find ourselves - a fraught election season. We will also ask what sort of stories we tell about ourselves and what are some of our religious stories.
 
One of our stories has been made into a movie called "Two Who Dared" which has aired recently on PBS. We will have a showing on Saturday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m. Come join us for the movie, popcorn, and discussion. If ever you wanted a concrete story to lift in pride about why you are a Unitarian Universalist, this is it.
 
Later in the month, our music service will explore for young and old the story of our flaming chalice. This is a story that helped establish our identity and breathed life into our covenant. Remember the covenant song that Keith Arnold and I put together: Shaped by long ago vision, we did not make ourselves. Together in love, together in love, transformed and transforming. Indeed, that is the nature of our faith and the reality of our flaming chalice. Our forebears made and kept promises for the benefit of the common good in support of an aspirational vision.
 
At month's end, we have the opportunity to gather again on Sunday, November 27 at 6:30 p.m. for a movie, "From This Day Forward," a moving portrayal of true family values--unconditional love and life-long commitment for a parent who comes out as transgender. Director Sharon Shattuck was in the awkward throes of middle school at the start of her father's transition decades ago and while it was difficult for her straight-identified mother to accept, her parents stayed together. As the Shattucks reunite to plan Sharon's wedding, she seeks a deeper understanding of how her parents' marriage survived the radical changes that threatened to tear them apart.
 
Together in love, together in love. Transformed and transforming. Indeed. The best of stories offer us that opportunity - to see ourselves as the changer and the changed - in service of the values and vision we hold.
 
It should be a great month.
 
See you in church.
Flaming Chalice: A Story about Unitarian Universalism
When the community gathers on Sundays, those present participate in a particular tradition and lineage that is created and re-created anew each moment. In this month of Story, the story of Unitarian Universalism will be a part of the multigenerational music Sunday on November 20 entitled Flaming Chalice.

Through story and song by David Burrows, Flaming Chalice draws upon theology and traditions of the Unitarian and Universalist forebearers of our current day Unitarian Universalism, including the Unitarian assertion that God is one, not three (Trinitarian), the Universalist belief that salvation is for everyone and not for just a select few, and the practice of Unitarians and Universalists to be on the forefront of social justice. The song "Somebody Treated Unfairly" speaks particularly to the social activist tradition:

I see over there somebody treated unfairly,
and I'm a Unitarian Universalist and I'm gonna reach out to them.
I'm gonna work to change their lot, I'm gonna love 'em like God loves 'em.

This practice of speaking and acting out against social injustices was followed by such Unitarians as the mental health advocate Dorothea Dix, who spoke out saying, "I come to present the strong claims of suffering humanity. I come to place before the Legislature of Massachusetts the condition of the miserable, the desolate, the outcast. I come as the advocate of helpless, forgotten, insane men and women; of beings sunk to a condition from which the unconcerned world would start with real horror."  

Flaming Chalice acknowledges that today's Unitarian Universalism draws upon the wisdom of the world's religions as it reflects on the words of the Dalai Lama. Jamila, a young woman in Flaming Chalice says: "The Dalai Lama said to be warm hearted and kind is enough to lead a spiritual life..."

November 20 will be a not-to-be-missed Sunday at Jefferson Unitarian Church as the story of Unitarian Universalism will be shared by Children's, Radiance, and JUC Choirs, with readers' theater style presentation of the musical Flaming Chalice.

Covenant. Healing. Story.
These themes have been at the forefront of my life these last few months. As most of you know, Jim Norland and I were married here at JUC on October 1. Entering into the covenant of marriage is part of our healing story.
 
Many of you know that Jim's son, Joshua, died in August of 2014 in a car accident. We had just moved in together when it happened, and we were thrust into a world of trauma and grief. That very morning, I had been fantasizing about our wedding day, thinking that I only wanted our children to stand up with us. And then hours later we received that horrible call.
 
We have learned well in the last two years what "in sorrow" means, yet our wedding gave us the opportunity to proclaim, in front of our family and friends that we are in this together--no matter what else this life may bring. Of course we hope that we have seen the worst of it, but we also know firsthand that you simply never know.
 
Our special day was more beautiful and sacred than we ever could have hoped or planned for, and much of that has to do with the specialness that is this church. Reverend Wendy officiated so perfectly, bringing her wonderful sense of humor and personal touches that inspired both laughter and tears. I love that our memories will forever include this building and the people within it.
 
Josh was there in spirit, with a photo and candle that his beloved grandmother lit in his honor. It was difficult yet important to us to include and honor him. If there is one thing grief has taught me, it is that if I close myself off to pain and suffering, I also close myself off to joy and beauty. It has been in the darkest moments that I have experienced the brightest light; the presence of a friend sitting silently with me in sorrow, a hawk soaring overhead on the brutal day that we buried Josh, our community holding us up in our time of need, and so many more moments of searing beauty.
 
Included on that list now is our wedding day, for it was indeed beautiful. We experienced all the feels, as the kids these days say. Thank you for being a part of our beloved community, and therefore a part of our story. It is an honor to be a work in progress with you all, through all the love, joy, grief, and struggle that is this life.
 
Let's continue to contribute to each other's stories, and therefore each other's healing.

 
Chalice Lighting Book
In years past, JUC has published a booklet of the year's chalice lighting spoken by members during Sunday services. We would like to determine interest in publishing an updated version.

Please take a moment to let us know your thoughts by taking this survey. 

The results of the survey will be announced in the November 9 Weekly Connection. 

November Special Plate
Family Promise of Greater Denver

The mission of Family Promise is to provide homeless families with emergency shelter, meals and supportive services on their path to self-sufficiency.

Family Promise shelters families through a network of faith communities that provide meals, sleeping rooms, and friendly hospitality. 

JUC has a long history of providing meals, shelter and friendship to the families of Family Promise. This program is one way we reach out to the larger community and live our principles of affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person; and justice, equity and compassion in human relations.

Welcome Our New Members
Ken and Julie Andrus  both enjoy music and spending time outdoors. Their two children, Jake and Sydney, are in high school.

Bill and Tolani Finley are both interested in housing, homelessness, and social justice. Their daughter, Aissa, is in 5th grade.

Kit Brown-Hoekstra and David Hoekstra love to hike, ski, and read. Kit works in global communications and training while David is a civil engineer.

Matthew Coffer and Elizabeth Stamberger: Matthew is a food brand developer while Elizabeth is self-employed as an education management consultant. Matthew enjoys food and travel while Elizabeth enjoys hiking and gardening as well as music.

Jim and Jeanine Petterson enjoy trail running, yoga, and hiking. Their two children, Caroline and Jack, are in high school. 

Dale Mast is enjoying retirement with activities such as gardening, bicycling, and skiing. 

Chris and Linda Sorauf: Chris enjoys woodworking and outdoor activities while Linda pursues yoga, hiking, and playing with her grandchildren. 

Suzanne Sullivan is an internship coordinator at Metro State University. She enjoys exercise, current events, and the arts.

Loralee Walsh is self-employed. She enjoys singing, dancing, and hiking. Her son, Liam, is in third grade.

Dennis and Gail Lovaas are both enjoying retirement. Dennis is involved with the Lakewood Rotary.

Leigh Walzer Preuss is a full time mom. She is the SOUPS coordinator at JUC. She enjoys nature, parenting, cooking, and outdoor activities.

Scrip at JUC
Support JUC by shopping with scrip (gift cards) for many of your regular purchases. Many retailers including Amazon, Starbucks, restaurants, home improvement, theaters, department stores and many more participate in the program. A percentage of scrip sales is returned to JUC.  

Visit the table in the commons on most Sunday mornings to purchase popular cards or order from a list of  hundreds of others. You can also visit shopwithscrip.com   to peruse the retailers available in gift card form or in e-cards. All proceeds support projects at JUC to improve the accessibility of our facilities.

Annual Gifting Program
Our long tradition of partnering with Family Tree for the holiday season begins this month. Please look for the Holiday Gifting Program table in the commons after services on November 27, December 4, and December 11. We hope to brighten the holidays for more than 20 families!
 
There are two ways to participate in the Holiday Gifting Program:
  • Make a cash donation at the Holiday Gifting Program table (all donations will be used to purchase gift cards for the families), or
  • Buy presents for one family and deliver those presents.
Family Tree is a local charitable organization that provides services designed to end child abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness. Contact Heather Hagemann

Planned Giving and Healing
At the Golden Circle luncheon this month Revs. Wendy and Keith incorporated this song into the worship service: "I am a circle, I am healing you. You are a circle, you are healing me. Unite us, make us one. Unite us, be as one.

We are all a link in the infinite circle of life. Estate planning can be a way to heal. Each generation passes on what we were fortunate to receive from those who came before us to those who will follow us. We receive life's love, use and grow it, then pass it on. What we pass on is a way to be remembered and bring light forth form the successes and injuries in the life we have lived. Giving creates spiritual satisfaction.

When we commit financial resources to our spiritual values, great things radiate, inwardly and outwardly, strengthening our connections to the community we cherish. Please include JUC as a beneficiary of your estate. If you have already done so but have not notified us we would love to hear from you.  

We invite you to attend an Estate Planning Workshop on Sunday, November 6 at 9:15 a.m. Mike, an attorney, will cover the basics and answer your questions. 

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

A Message from Kate Kyanne
Hola!  Many of you know that May 1, 2015 was my last day with AT&T after 43 years. I really did not adjust to retirement as I had wanted. I felt lost and with out purpose and it took me a year to find my landing place. I have moved to La Paz, Mexico. Could not have done it without Steve Sargent. He helped me to drive 2,000 miles and six days to get here.  
 
I am now working as one of five people that run a "street dog" adoption service. Mexicans contact us when they have found strays that seem to be adoptable. We teach them to walk on a leash, introduce them to other dogs, cats and kids. We find a new family in the U.S. or Canada, get them spayed or neutered, medically cleared, transportation to the city where the new family is waiting. My specific job is to work with the Mexicans. Many of them don't speak English My Spanish is getting so much better!
 
In addition, my days are full of beaches, snorkeling, walking the Malecon, yoga, swimming, rescuing turtles, Mexican bus rides and food to amaze. 
 
There is one UU church in Mexico, but it is not here on the Baja. JUC friends, you have an invitation to La Paz, Mexico. I have a spare room and would love to have visitors. The b est way to contact me is via katharine80033@gmail.com .

Safety at JUC
Annie Scott and I recently attended a Safety in Faith Summit held by the Jefferson County Sheriff. It was filled to the gills with church people and law enforcement of every variety. There were also a couple of JUC lay-people there.
 
Here are some important things to remember about safety here at JUC:
 
  1. Wash your hands frequently, especially as we move into cold and flu season. Don't come to church if you or your children are ill.
  2. If someone is experiencing a heart incident, we have a defibrillator in the north commons (in a white cabinet on the wall just next to the welcome table). While it is nice to have training, the unit has very simple instructions and provides audio commands so it can be used without prior practice. Never hesitate to call 911. The firefighters do not mind coming to check on someone.
  3. If you light a chalice for a gathering, please remember to extinguish it, and don't leave matches within reach of children. 
  4. In the case of a fire, alarms will sound throughout the campus. If this happens, exit and move away from the building. The children will also be exiting under the capable leadership of their teachers. In the event of an evacuation, look for your child(ren) outside. Please do this even if you know it is a drill or the alarm has been set accidentally. Fire extinguishers are located in several areas of the church. Take a look around so you know where they are.
  5. Watch for icy spots when we start to get precipitation and cold weather. We do the best we can to clear sidewalks and entrances, but mother nature sometimes has the upper hand.
  6. Be cautious of uneven walking surfaces.
  7. Drive slowly and carefully in the parking lot - especially when it is full. If you are walking, make sure the driver of any moving vehicle can see you. It's better to be a little late for the service than to have an accident.
  8. Use caution when entering or leaving the parking lot. Traffic sometimes is moving very fast on 32nd Ave.
What about violence? That is the most frightening and unpredictable situation to imagine here in our beloved and sacred space. The advice at the Safety in Faith Summit included the following:
 
  1. See Something - Say Something, Hear Something - Do Something. This is not about how someone looks, it's about behavior. If a person is nervous, angry, sneaky, sweating, or evasive, it is okay to tell someone. Note that this might not be a stranger. If someone you know shows a change in behavior let someone know. If you see a suspicious object, tell someone. Go to the Commons Coordinator or any staff member. Ushers, greeters and others can keep an eye on someone and/or escort them out if necessary. It is okay to call 911.
  2. Run, Hide, Fight - If violence is occurring, the Sheriff's office says these are your choices. There is no way to say which response is the correct one, you would have to decide depending on the situation. If you can escape and/or help others to escape, do so. Hiding until the situation is resolved is also valid. A bystander charging and overcoming a violent person can be a successful strategy, but this should be a last resort, and only if your life is in imminent danger. We can't tell you exactly what to do if something happens, but maybe thinking about it in advance may make you feel more secure. The sheriff provided a handout that you can download.
The Sheriff encourages us to have an ongoing relationship with their office and deputies. We do call them occasionally, and they know our facility. In fact, the day after the Summit I had a deputy over here because someone left something suspicious in the mail box. Of course it turned out to be nothing, but the officer was happy to come over, and it gave us a chance to have a face-to-face conversation as they recommended during the workshop. He recommended calling no matter how small our concern.
 
College Care Packages
Jacqui & Lee Ainlay Conley/Conley
 
"Thank you for touching my life today." -  Student at the University of Denver
 
"The note from the ministers extending a helping hand and a listening ear meant the world to our daughter---she was very touched." -  Parent of out-of-state college student
 
Every fall and spring we have a chance to reach out to college-age young adults, one of the age groups least involved in our church and denomination. Sending care packages with notes and goodies reminds these young people that we are here, we care, and we think about them. We include an invitation to our annual Young Adult holiday party held at JUC in December. It is amazing how such a simple act can mean so much. Last spring we mailed 35 packages to students and provided 12 to the Spiritual Freethinkers at the Colorado School of Mines, a group advised by Dr. Tina Voelker, YAM committee co-chair.
 
The Young Adult Ministry Committee will have a table in the commons area after both services each Sunday in November. 
 
How do I get a student on the list?  Stop by the table with the school addresses of your children and grandchildren. Whether your student lives at home or is studying out of the state we want to send them a package. New JUC members are also encouraged to give us information on their college-age students.
 
What about young people serving in the military or service organizations?  Please share their names with us and we will happily include them. 
 
How can I help?  Drop off care-package goodies at the table. Check in with us. We can offer suggestions (individual packets of hot chocolate, granola bars, and sticky notes) and coordinate so we have a variety of items.
 
Sign up at the table to stuff on Tuesday, November 29, at 7 p.m. in the commons.
 
For more information contact Lee Conley.

UUSC Task Force Events

Thanks to all of you who attended the Guatemalan Fiesta on October 2. Everyone had a good time celebrating the contributions that JUC makes to our scholarship program in Guatemala. We currently sponsor 49 students who are working hard to improve their lives and the lives of their families. A special thanks goes out to everyone who helped with the event by providing food, setting up, and cleaning up.  

The UUSC Task Force has a couple of events coming up in December. Sunday, December 4, there will be an Explorations! at 9:15 a.m. when we will be participating in a video chat with our students in Guatemala. We welcome everyone, including our mid-high and senior high students, to join us. Last but not least, I Heart Christmas will be Sunday, December 11. This is a fun evening, with music and other performances. There will be cookies and cider, and the opportunity to donate to our Guatemalan partners. Join us!




14350 W 32nd Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
303-279-5282
www.jeffersonunitarian.org