ISSUE 11                                                                                                                                                                                               MAY 2017
May's Theme: Embodiment
How good it is to be back among you! In my January column, the last before my sabbatical, I wrote that I had become a bit of a human doing and I was looking forward to an investment in being. That is a good example of the dualistic thinking so prevalent in our world and one this month's embodiment theme takes on directly.

Most religions of the west, if not western civilization itself, were founded upon the notion that humanity needs something outside itself to rescue it from its innate sinfulness because the body is weak. Pie-in-the-sky-when-we-die theology is popular in this country and others which disparages the body as it elevates the soul. Theologies that start with the Fall instead of the reality that we inhabit human form needing to be in relationships with other humans, teach us that our bodies are not to be trusted. Moreover, it suggests that the ills of this world shouldn't surprise us, and since they will be cured in some perfect world yet to come, we need not concern ourselves with them.

Sadly, such dualism is not restricted to evangelical-type faiths. Progressive dualists also want to escape. It's just that they do so through meditating, unplugging, and letting-go of any obligation to help build a better world. Their peace lies not in any would be world-to-come, but instead is found within focusing on the 'rightness' with their own soul.

Our religion rejects that dualism. Just as I could not spend two months in state of being apart from doing, we are not souls (i.e., essence, spirits, highest self) apart from bodies. It may well be easier to opt out of caring about the interconnected web of existence and affirming the inherent worth and dignity of each person when one's theology is built around such a hierarchical view that privileges the ethereal over the flesh. Indeed, we are witness to how such views held by those in power, continue to oppress the bodies of the marginalized (women, the poor, the racially other, the queer, the old, the disabled).

Rejecting dualism calls us to embodiment which is commitment to this life and this world, a place of wholeness, with wide spaces for all people to live into their fullest expression and life for our common good. I hope that reminds you of our church where our ministries seek to equip us to Deepen to Our Truest Selves, Connect Authentically with Others, and Engage with Needs Beyond our Own.

Speaking of our ministry, we are embarking on a new way of assessing it this spring. Our Board of Trustees has worked hard to listen to you, collect data, and craft what it sees as the Strategic Objectives of our church. The staff has worked to establish ministries and programs which achieve those ends. Now, we want to check with you, at this early juncture, on the effectiveness of our efforts. And, because we are not in the business of dualism, the survey asks that people assess themselves as well. Please take time to complete the Spirit Map Survey soon.

Don't worry. This will not be an annual ask. However, we are hopeful that many of us will participate. The data gleaned is essential to helping us develop ministries to make JUC the most welcoming congregation where all who enter have opportunity to grow and where we have the most positive impact in our world.
Music and Embodiment
I recently traveled to be with my parents in my hometown of Mobile, AL. Earlier this year, my father was admitted to a nursing home, and my spouse David Burrows and I visited Dad each day that we were in town. We took books of songs from the 30's and 40's, and sang and played these for Dad in his room. 

Although Dad was not a formal musician, he sang in high school and college, and was a member of a men's quintet, the "KuQuens," an ingenious name deriving from the fact that they were students at University of Kansas and hailing from the town of Quenemo, KS.  Dad doesn't have many words these days, but he expressed how much he enjoyed the singing and music and even joined in a bit during some songs, like "Peggy O'Neil":

If her eyes are blue as skies,
That's Peggy O'Neil.
If she's smiling all the while,
That's Peggy O'Neil.
If she walks like a sly little rogue,
If she talks with a cute little brogue,
Sweet personality,
Full of rascality,
That's Peggy O'Neil.

When I was growing up at home, one of the favorite songs that the family sang was the spiritual "Climbing up the mountain, Children."

Climbing up the mountain, children, 
(Oh Lord I) Didn't come here for to stay. 
(Oh brother) If I never more see you again
Goin' to meet you at the judgement day.

When David and I began to sing this in the nursing home, Dad's eyes lit up and he actually sang the low bass line. I was grateful for these moments - at a time when words fail - to make music with my father, as I was aware that each visit to my father may be the last.

At Jefferson Unitarian Church, May is the month of embodiment, a time for bringing into being through one's own existence. May you have moments of realization and fulfillment in the world, whether you, like me, are singing with a loved one, using your body for social justice or witnessing, offering caring to your body through exercise or relaxation, or joining with a community to create the world we wish to live in.
Spirit Map Survey

JUC is currently asking that its
members and regular visitors participate in the Spirit Map survey. Some common questions  regarding the survey are addressed as follows.
  1. What is the "Spirt Map" survey? The survey was designed by a group from Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul. It is called "Spirit Map" and gives a congregation and its leaders insights into its culture of spirituality, including its self-identified strengths and opportunities for development.
  2. What kinds of questions will be asked? Survey participants will be given a list of attributes and asked to rate, on a scale of one to ten, how well the attributes apply to the survey taker. In addition, there will be questions about the impact of church programs and how they may relate to the survey taker's religious growth.
  3. What is the purpose of the "Spirit Map" survey? On an individual level, the survey results may assist its takers in finding inherent religious strengths and in discovering opportunities to develop enhanced senses of peace, compassion, and joy. At a congregational level, the survey results may help JUC to celebrate its collective spiritual strengths and to identify methods of enhancing the church's overall religious growth.
  4. When and how exactly will the survey be offered? The survey will most easily be completed online. Participants can take the survey anytime at home between April 23 and May 8. There will be computers set up at JUC in order to allow individuals to take the survey between services on Sundays, April 30, and May 7. Paper copies are also available. A reasonable estimate of time to complete the survey is 30 minutes.
  5. Where can one obtain more information about the survey? For additional information, please visit or ask one of JUC's Board members, or both!

Spring Congregational Meeting
Sunday, May 21 - 12:30 p.m. 
Golden Campus Sanctuary

Please plan to attend! Light lunch will be available for a donation and child care is provided.

Agenda items will include:
  • 2016-17 Annual Report;
  • Introduction of 2017-18 lay leaders;
  • Elect three (3) Board Trustees (nominees for 3-year terms: Pam Bond, Tom Goodreid, Paula Reed);
  • Elect two (2) Leadership Nominating Committee members (nominees for 3-year terms: Jane Keen, Mary Anne Schiff);
  • Elect two (2) Endowment and Memorial Gift Trust Directors (nominees for 3-year terms: Pat Emery, Mike Kramer);
  • Approve 2017-18 annual operating budget
More information can be found on our website

Friends and newcomers are welcome to attend and will be given the courtesy of the floor, but only members who have signed the Membership Book no later than  April 21 may vote.

Absentee Ballots will be available from the church office by Friday, May 5 and are due back no later than 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 18. A 15% quorum is necessary to conduct the business of this meeting; absentee ballots will not count toward this quorum.
2017-18 Budget Process
The Congregational Meeting scheduled for  May 21  includes a vote on the JUC 2017-2018 Budget. The budget process includes these steps:
  1. Staff members coordinate with group lay leaders to create budget requests for program areas.
  2. The Administrator creates a Compensation Review document including data from various UUA and non-profit/church resources for each job position.
  3. The Senior Minister, in consultation with other supervisors recommends position and salary changes.
  4. The Administrator completes budgeting for building and grounds, and other operational expenses.
  5. The Administrator and Senior Minister recommend a budget to the Board of Trustees which is then brought to the Congregation for a vote.
Please review the proposed budget and contact the Administrator, Carol Wilsey 303-279-5282  with any questions you have. Budget Forum meetings have had very low turnout the last few years, so this year Carol will address individual questions.
Planned Giving and Transformation
Estate planning is a part of preparing for the ultimate life transformation. The extremes of this transformation can come quickly and unexpectedly or they can come slowly with suffering and/or joy. There are many variations between the extremes. We usually do not know exactly when or how the ultimate transformation will come.  

Life is a regenerative process. Our lives are renewed through our deeds and support to others, now and for future generations.

We invite you to join us and over 50 other members by including JUC in your estate plans. Your gift can be large or small, just one drop in the legacy bucket can make all the difference for future JUC members and friends to Deepen, Connect and Engage.

Contact JUC's Planned Giving Coordinators: Bud Meadows, Mike Kramer, or Carol Wilsey .
Farewell Emily!
JUC is a teaching congregation.  We will always be on the pendulum between the excitement of welcoming a new intern and the bittersweet feelings of saying goodbye as new ministers complete their time with us.

We were fortunate to have Emily Conger as our Intern Minister for the last two years as an integral part of the ministerial team. Many of us have experienced her services, learned from one of her classes, or were attended by her pastoral care. This spring she is completing her seminary at Meadville Lombard and will be starting her greater ministry along the Front Range.

Please join the Intern Ministerial Committee on Sunday, May 28 between services to celebrate Emily and wish her well on the next stages of her path as she leaves JUC. We will be serving punch on the patio.
Special Plate Application
Once a month, Jefferson Unitarian Church donates its entire plate collection to an organization outside our walls. Although the amount varies depending on the organization and the month, this has totaled over $30,000 annually to support organizations and causes that our members feel are important.
For the 2017-2018 church year, we are asking that JUC members submit all special plate applications by May 31. That way we can evaluate all the proposals together to come up with those that best support our mission and goals..
The guidelines and application information may be found on the  JUC website. Proposals are to be submitted via email. The deadline for submission of proposals is Wednesday, May 31 at 5 p.m. A schedule of all special plate collections for 2017-2018 will be available online in late June.
NAMIWalks 2017
Join the JUC NAMIWalks Team on Saturday, May 20 at Centennial Center Park to walk to raise awareness and help overcome the stigma of mental illness.  

NAMI Colorado, the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Colorado, provides education, support and advocacy for persons who have a mental illness and their families, through its many programs offered free throughout Colorado.  NAMI Colorado   is dedicated to building better lives for the  over  one million   Coloradans and their families who are affected by mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD,   obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder and others.  Many JUC members have benefited from NAMI Colorado programs.
Register online for the JUC NAMIWalks Team   or at the  Mental Wellness Advocates table on April 30May 7 or May 14.

UUSC Task Force/Guatemala Partners Ongoing Exhibit
Please take time to look at the posters hanging in the sanctuary this month. They were produced by our Guatemalan partner, ADIVIMA, to illustrate all of the different ways in which they provide support for the Mayan survivors of the 1980's massacres. Their efforts have helped the Mayan community of Rabinal achieve a more secure future, preserve their culture and promote peace and reconciliation within their communities. Your time will be rewarded with a greater understanding of our partner organization.
Gathered Here Menu
Every Wednesday a fellowship dinner is served from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. for $5 per person, with food for omnivores and vegetarians. Folks are also welcome to bring their own dinners if they wish. After a shared meal, there will be 6:30 p.m. chapel service that will re-energize, relax, and refresh us as we take a mid-week opportunity to deepen to our true selves and connect with one another.

This month's menu:
May 3 : Pizza
May 10: Chinese chicken salad
May 17: Italian Pasta
May 24: Tacos
May 31: Pulled Pork

14350 W 32nd Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
Grocery Cards are Free Money for JUC!
Grocery Cards are available on Sundays for purchase in the commons. We have King Soopers, Safeway and Natural Grocers (Vitamin Cottage) cards. We receive 5% of all sales on these cards, which can really add up. Use them for groceries and gas. And, the Kings and Safeway cards are reloadable. That means you can keep filling them up (using a credit card at the store for mileage or cash back points) and JUC keeps getting the money! This year we have made over $7,000 so far and are headed to $10,000. That makes a difference and it's costs you nothing. You were going to buy gas and groceries, right?

Waste Streams - Check Before you Toss!
In our efforts to be as green as possible, we continue to have three waste streams here at JUC: recycling, compost and landfill. Please check that you are disposing of items in the proper location. Bins in the commons, kitchens and in the gathering area of the Mills bldg. have three choices and a poster above them describing what goes where. Take that extra 10 seconds to check and dispose of items properly please!
Coming of Age (COA) Celebration Service
Sue Parilla & Debbie Klisis, Advisors

On Saturday, May 20 at 10 a.m., our congregation will recognize 17 JUC eighth graders who have  completed the Coming of Age (COA) program at a special celebration service. All are welcome to attend. The service will take place in the sanctuary followed by a potluck reception in the south commons.

Participants have engaged in a year long process of examining their  beliefs, values and spirituality, learning about Unitarian Universalism from a more mature perspective, and creating community with peers and adult mentors. We will celebrate as they make their transition from child to youth and are  presented to the congregation by their mentors ready to begin a new role within our community. The adult mentors are JUC members who have been active and are known within the church community for at least two years, pass a background check, commit to meet with teens for several months and act as a representative of the church community. We appreciate their contributions to our young people and to the strength these relationships bring to our church. We also acknowledge the parents who commit to having their sons and daughters attend on most Sunday mornings, additional mentor and group outings and a weekend long retreat. 
Teens Mentors Parents
Hayden Beargeon Rob Sontag Rosa Beargeon
Jordyn Beargeon Barb Ludwig Rosa Beargeon
Dario Esquibel-Melanson Fred Wilson Jacqueline Esquibel & Mike Melanson
Mollie Gates Emily Johns O'Leary Kristi Reeves & Rudd Gates
Meg Kowalski Lynnae Flora Sarah & Dave Kowalski
Julian Martinez Kandler Smith Stacie Amaya & John Martinez
Jade Pickard Jo Grady Jessica & Aaron Pickard
Alli Rainer Morgan Davies Julia Rainer
Meredith Reeves Ally Malhiot Sarah & Bill Reeves
Nicole Samuelson Laurie Entwistle Janice Sakata-Schultze & Rob Schultze and Greg Samuelson
Takoda Sellers Chase Malhiot Karen Ksiazek-Wilson & Gregor Wilson and Kevin Sellers
Clay Stoltenberg Todd LeBlanc Leslie Light
Jackson Stone Jay Wilsey Laura Stone-Majetic & Ivo Majetic and Joe & Tricia Stone
Mara Stone Derrith Bartling Laura Stone-Majetic & Ivo Majetic and Joe & Tricia Stone
Kira Voelker Clare Dibble Tina & Martin Voelker
Alex Von Kaenel Mike Tamburro Brenda & Mike Von Kaenel
Sarah Yoder Rachelle Trujillo Tina & Scott Yoder
Colorado Unitarian Universalist Faith Leaders  Council for Racial Justice
As a body of Unitarian Universalist ministers and religious professionals, we celebrate the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We believe in the power of community, and we believe that it is the diversity of our communities which makes America great.

We, the Colorado Unitarian Universalist Faith Leaders Council for Racial Justice, are united in resistance to any attempt by this administration to discriminate against anyone based on their ethnicity, nationality, place of birth, immigration status, religious belief, disabilities, sexual orientation or gender identity.

We remain united in solidarity with faith groups, including Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities, both nationally and locally, against the harassment, vandalism, and violence which they have faced in recent months.

We oppose the current travel ban, and we will continue to oppose any attempt to bar entry to the United States based upon religious beliefs or nation of origin. Furthermore, we believe that the very idea of a Muslim registry is not only morally reprehensible, but unconstitutional and beneath the dignity of our nation.

We denounce any attempt by the administration to deport undocumented members of our communities, many of whom have been here for years as productive members of society supporting their families. We are appalled by the willingness of this administration to rip families apart, and we will support all efforts to provide sanctuary to those in need. We call upon this administration to choose compassion, to establish a path to citizenship, and to put an end to mass deportations.

We therefore declare our prayerful and active resistance against any encroachments upon the life, liberty, and dignity of all. It matters not where we are born, what we believe, or who and how we choose to love.

All souls are sacred; there are no exceptions.

Keith Arnold, minister of music, Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden
Rev. Kierstin Homblette Allen, Denver
Rev. Eric Banner, associate minister, Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden
Eric Bliss, Unitarian Universalist Association Regional Youth Ministry Specialist
Rev. Beckett Coppola, Boulder
Emily Conger, intern minister, Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden
Rev. Kelly Dignan, minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder
Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry, minister, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Lafayette
Rev. Gretchen Haley, senior minister, Foothills Unitarian Church, Fort Collins
Rev. Jann Halloran, minister, Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church, Parker
John Hubert, music director, First Universalist Church, Denver
Rev. Laurel Liefert, minister, Namaqua Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Loveland
Rev. Dana Lightsey, minister, High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist, Colorado Springs
Rev. Julia McKay, minister, Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church, Littleton
Rev. Mike Morran, senior minister, First Unitarian Society of Denver
Elizabeth Mount, intern minister, First Universalist Church, Denver
Scott Mulder, seminarian, Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church, Parker
Rev. Ruth Rinehart, assistant minister, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Lafayette
Rev. Nori Rost, All Souls Unitarian Church, Colorado Springs
Rev. Jeannie Shero, senior minister, First Universalist Church, Denver
Rev. Nadine Swahnberg, community minister, Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden
Rev. Wendy Williams, senior minister, Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden
Rev. Nathan Woodliff-Stanley, community minister, First Unitarian Society of Denver

Contact:  Rev. Jann Halloran
Citizen Input on Housing Needed
Affordable Housing Subgroup, Just Neighboring with Together Colorado

An upcoming Jefferson County Commissioner decision could put affordable housing funding in jeopardy. The Affordable Housing subcommittee of Just Neighboring/Together Colorado is asking for all concerned JUCers to help with a letter/email/phone campaign to contact the commissioners and express support for accepting HOME funds to help build more affordable housing in Colorado. Here is an overview and a complete fact sheet is available on the Social Justice bulletin board along with contact information.

HOME and CDBG funds allocated to the County are granted or loaned to non-profit, for-profit and faith-based organizations to serve vulnerable County residents earning less than 80% of the area median income. Jefferson County Community Development has been a funding source instrumental in creating over 300 new affordable housing units in the past two years, with another 300+ currently in construction and a plan to support the development of over 900 units in the next 2-3 years. Developers use these funds as a local match to acquire State funding, and as the local support required to receive tax credit allocations.
A group, charged by a Douglas County resident named Smith Young, is gaining momentum and urging the County Commissioners to oppose the continuation of these funds in Jefferson County. Although much of their premise is false, these fear tactics worked in Douglas County and last year the Commissioners voted to discontinue the funding.
If you agree that federal funds are necessary to continue building affordable housing, please communicate with the three County Commissioners about the facts in order to challenge the false statements being made by the opposition.

Keeping the Promise
I'm Craig Williamson, I have a message about pledging. As many of you know, JUC uses a year-round pledge system in which each household is asked annually during their pledging month to renew. If I based our pledge on the value of what my family has received from JUC, which is sometimes suggested, the church would be in great shape, but I would be broke. Since we joined in 2000, we have benefited immeasurably from being a part of JUC. On top of the individual benefits of great sermons, wonderful friendships, meaningful worship, personal growth through committee work, and social action opportunities, all of which have been valuable, we have received so much more. This church helped us raise amazing children. Many of you heard Phillip as a high-schooler stand in our pulpit during a service and deliver a homily, where he not only felt safe talking about his sexuality but could also share a message to other youth and adults about the importance of other people to that process. Charlotte spends Sundays at JUC teaching some of your pre-schoolers. All three of my kids went through many years of Sunday School, our amazing Coming of Age program, YRUU, and the Ninth Grade Trip more than 30 years after I did that same trip as a ninth grader. Our kids are comfortable with who they are, socially responsible, sensitive and caring to others, and ready to pursue their dreams thanks in part to JUC.

As if that were not enough, more recently we've had to deal with some difficult times. In the last 6 years, I've lost both my parents, Marlene's mother passed away, and my nephew unexpectedly died last summer at age 28. JUC was here for us in our time of loss, with pastoral care and ministerial support for memorial services. The thing we are the most grateful for, though, is the amazing outpouring of emotional and logistical support we received when Marlene was diagnosed with brain cancer. Hospital visits, rides to 6 weeks of daily radiation treatment, phone calls, home visits, meals, and frequent check-ins provided exactly what we needed. I can't imagine what that experience would have been without JUC, and I am certain that two and a half years later, Marlene is healthy and we are all better off, in part because of the support we received from JUC.  

So we pledge as much as we can, even though it is not enough, finding a way (in spite of college tuition payments) to increase our pledge every year, in gratitude, because we can, and to make sure that JUC is there for others as it has been for us. I hope you will also give generously and increase your pledge.