ISSUE 24                                                                                                                                                                                               JUNE 2018
June Theme: Blessing
Entering summer and the theme of blessing after a month on creativity reminds me of John O'Donohue's lovely book on blessing, "To Bless the Space Between Us," in which he guides us to recall our capacity to bless one another. Once we accept that the world did not begin with each of us, nor will it end with anyone of us, we can perhaps appreciate that there is something greater than any of our individual lives to which we also belong. People who orient themselves to that fundamental connectedness then see living as an act of creative service as they hear the world's call to participate fully in this life.

This is Unitarian Universalism. Our religion is not about helping us recover from our inherently sinful state. Rather our faith asks us to remember the wholeness of life. We need one another. It is too easy to slip into a myopic preoccupation with one's own life. It is too easy to accept a narrative of powerlessness. It is too easy to settle for surface conversations.  

Blessing asks us to make space for the possibility that we can and do make a difference in each other's lives. It asks us broaden our perspective. Blessing is being fully present to the wholeness of what is present. Words of blessing are not flowery and doctrinal. They are robust and come from a depth of knowing that sometimes we can see or hold for another what they cannot. In blessing another, we offer the gift of a possibility beyond what the blessed dare to imagine.

To be sure, blessing isn't just what we can offer each other. It is that which comes to us not as something we earn or deserve, but that we could never repay. Things like vision or hearing or physical abilities or musical talent or the capacity to understand or learn. In this way, blessing asks us to pay attention. By doing so, we may begin to see life itself as generous. When we feel blessed and present to a life of generosity, it is difficult to indulge tendencies toward cynicism and stinginess. We want to share our blessings.

What a great way to kick off the summer. Let us recognize our blessings and bless one another.
Special Congregational Meeting Sunday, June 3

At the regularly scheduled congregational meeting on May 20, unfortunately, we did not have a quorum present. Those members present agreed to proceed with the business on the agenda which was the elections and adoption of the budget. Nominees proposed by the LNC were elected to the Board of Trustees, the Leadership Nominating Committee, and the Endowment & Memorial Gift Trust and the proposed budget was adopted as presented. These votes are provisional until ratified at a specially called meeting at which a quorum is present. The budget and list of leadership nominees are available on the  meeting webpage .   

A Special Congregational Meeting of Jefferson Unitarian Church will be held on  Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 10:40 a.m. This meeting will be brief. The  11 a.m. service will begin on time. The business to be conducted will be ratification of the votes taken at the May 20th Congregational Meeting. 
Being involved in the business of our church is vitality important to the success of our Church. We need a minimum of  121 members to be present to comply to the requirement in the bylaws. We need your presence, input and vote on  June 3rd at 10:40 a.m. 
As Tom Reiley pointed out, just before the meeting was called to order we likely had a quorum, but it seems a few members may have left the sanctuary. 

Here is something I learned in my Robert's Rules of Order (for dummies) FAQ:
Q. Is it true that, once a quorum has been established, it continues to exist no matter how many members leave during the course of the meeting?
A. No. (the complete answer continues for a paragraph, but no).
All Things Picnic!
I am really excited for what I think is going to be a fabulous end-of-church-year celebration for JUC! Please read through all of the information below and be sure to sign up to bring supplies volunteer.

  • There are wheelchair accessible entry points adjacent to both the Maple Grove Park EAST and WEST lots. Please note that the worship service will be taking place in the grassy area on the west side of the park. The route from the EAST lot is flatter but longer. There is a steep hill at the drop-off location in the WEST lot.
  • There will be a shaded seating area not far from the stage for elders and people with disabilities.
  • Assistive listening devices will not be available. Sound will be amplified via a sound system.
  • This event is outdoors. Please bring whatever is necessary for you to be comfortable. This may include sunscreen and/or a hat, umbrella or other shade making devices, a blanket and/or lawn chairs.
  • Drop-off location will be available at the WEST PARKING LOT of Maple Grove Park from 9:30-10:15 a.m. to unload people and/or stuff and get it to the event area. Volunteers will assist as needed. After 10:30 a.m. the west lot will be closed to through traffic.
  • Port-a-potties will be available adjacent to the Maple Grove Park EAST lot.
  • If you are in need of an accommodation not listed, please contact Beth Leyba and we will do our best to help with accessibility.
  • Service dogs welcome.
  • Parking areas for the able-bodied include:
    • JUC parking lot
    • Applewood Golf Course
    • Maple Grove Park field lot, accessible from the west parking lot
  • Maple Grove Park EAST Lot - reserved for elders and people with disabilities including invisible disabilities/chronic illness. (Please only use handicap spots if your vehicle has a corresponding tag.)
  • Maple Grove Park WEST Lot - NO PARKING - DROP OFF AREA ONLY from 9:30-10:15 a.m.
  • In case of rain, the event will be held at the church.
  • If you are able, please consider purchasing your lunch and supporting the fantastic food trucks  (Infinitus PieThe Bamboo SkewerLos Dos Brosthat will be available. 
  • Beverages are provided by JUC and CO Local Foods Market  and will be available on the north side of the Arbor House on the west side of the park.
  • This is an alcohol-free event.
Annual Auction Update

Auction lovers - take note! The auction committee has a couple of announcements.

First, we have a new chairperson, Sarah Babcock. You may know me as one of the Worship Associates or as a JUC mom - however you know me, please get in touch with auction ideas, comments, and encouragement for taking on this endeavor!

Second, you know how the fall is jam-packed with personal and church events? We're always making the slide into Christmas, am I right? The auction committee discussed the full calendar at JUC from fall into winter and decided to move the auction to March. The next auction will be March 9, 2019, so mark your calendars now! Our beloved auctioneer John Clatworthy has been booked and the committee is ready to start planning!

Anyone interested in helping with planning or volunteering, please reach out! 
Making Room Update

Today, I'm pleased to share an update of where the Making Room property considerations stand. In a nutshell, we're smack in the midst of the Discovery Phase, which currently features a slow onward march. While it is possible that a flurry of activity could burst forth in short order, the current reality is in keeping with early insights from our Stewardship Consultants and others: the process of finding and coordinating a new church home could be a multi-year endeavor.

Here's where we stand:
The Property Evaluation Task Force continues to consider all properties in the search area - both vacant land and existing buildings. Realistically, the option of moving into an existing building is the most ideal scenario. Building from the ground up is very expensive. There is also a distinct shortage of vacant ground in our search area that is near public transportation.

There continues to be a property of interest, the "leading contender" that was first mentioned last month at our congregational meeting. It's an existing, larger property that is a potential fit for our consideration. The owner  appears interested, but movement is slow and the basic information that will help the Task Force to evaluate whether the property is worthy of serious consideration is being assembled. All details of this property are currently confidential. Meanwhile, the Task Force is keeping its eyes open for any and all other possible candidates.

So, what happens next?
If in the future this property, or any other, passes the basic muster of having an appropriate scope of financial magnitude and viable physical condition, the Task Force may recommend it for consideration to the Board.  

If a property is recommended to the Board, they will evaluate it and possibly recommend it to the congregation. At such a time, you can be assured that a full strategy for the three strands of Making Room realities will be rolled out in detail for our inquiring UU minds! These include:
  • Property issues, including how it might be "made to feel like JUC"
  • Financial issues, starting with a Financial Feasibility Study
  • Congregational Involvement opportunities to ensure transparency and dialogue
As we've emphasized in recent months, this is a two-vote process. The congregation gave overwhelming direction for the Board to seek options for a larger property in April with Vote #1. Vote #2 will be scheduled for a future time to entertain the specifics of any future property that is recommended along with all related financial elements.  

In this interim, quieter time before a specific property is recommended, we continue our commitment to excellent communication about the Making Room initiative. This includes our interactive  Making Room website hub, updates through Weekly Connections and the monthly Ignite newsletter, and occasional tables after services in the commons.  And, as always, feel free to contact any member of the ministerial team, Board, Shared Mission Team,  or project management posse should you desire a specific conversation.

The year to date has been a meaningful time of building trust and enthusiasm to grow into our best selves as a faith community with a mission to deepen, connect, and engage.  Thanks for your continued interest and commitment to Making Room at JUC.
Welcome Our New Members
Kelly Marshall  enjoys singing and music as well as serving her community. She has two young daughters, Lily and Autumn. 

Chris and Jennifer McNeal
enjoy hiking and biking as well as music and family time. They have two children, Grayson and Veda. 
Summer Office Hours
As we head toward summer, remember that our office hours have changed. Weekday hours are  Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  There are no evening hours. 

Many groups take a break from meeting during the summer. Please take a moment to check the  calendar and let Carol Wilsey know if there are any changes. Also, please begin planning for fall and  submit calendar requests as soon as you can.
Book Sale
JUC will be hosting a book sale fundraiser the last weekend of September! Please save any books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs that you are ready to pass on to donate to the sale. (No VHS or cassette tapes, please!) More details and a volunteer sign up will be available in August. 
Summer Shared Ministry
ALL JUC Members:

Please  sign up  at least once this summer when you are available to greet, usher, make coffee, or help with laundry. If you would like to sign up for a date that is not yet showing, please contact Beth Leyba.
PrideFest 2018
Sunday, June 17

Parade starts at  9:30 a.m. at Cheesman Park and arrives at Civic Center Park around  noon.
Arrive on foot, ready to march.  

Come march PrideFest with us! 
Whether you're a member of the LGBTQA community or a straight ally,  PrideFest  is a great time to share the open, welcoming nature of Unitarian Universalism and celebrate with Denver's 365,000+ participants!   Sign up today! 
We march with 100+ UUs of all ages from the 7 Denver-Boulder congregations. It is a beautiful, fun demonstration of love, welcome, and acceptance of all.    A float for mobility-challenged marchers is possible but not yet confirmed.

Be sure to wear ORANGE as a JUC marcher in our UU rainbow, bring your family, friends, and celebrate love and being fully who we are! Contact: Debby Bower
Creativity and Planned Giving
Living a life of creativity involves rearranging the stuff of ones' life so that it matters. Just doing an estate plan is a creative act and it will even give you an accounting of your treasures. You can be creative in how your assets "pay" your life forward. Supporting your benefactors in a tangible way is to enhance their future creativity.

Though not a legal document, you may wish to add a creative "ethical will" to your estate plan. This might be an expression of your gratitude to your loved ones and friends for what they have meant in your life and what you wish for them.

We invite you to include JUC in your estate plan so that it can be a creative blessing to future generations. 
Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators:
Meet 25th and Irving - our picnic band entertainment!
Brought together by a love of guitar-centric music,  25 th and Irving have been a Northwest Denver fixture since 2016. With JUC member Dave Wells on bass and sometimes JUC drummer Norton Ewart rounding out the rhythm section, the band is anchored by Patrick Jeffers and Dave Goodman on guitar and vocals with Sarah Zeren on vocals and percussion. 

25 th and Irving has a special playlist planned which will get the dancers movin' and the rest humming on the drive home.

Horse Protection League Visits JUC
As a gesture of our thanks for the special plate collection on Sunday, June 17, the Horse Protection League is excited to visit JUC so that you can learn more about us and meet some of our humans and horses.

So, families and friends, grab your cameras and come on out, by the playground. Say hello and take some pictures with a couple of our friends, great and small: Wallace (big, but practically a baby) and Princess (little, but full-grown). Look for us between services and after the second service. 

We will be waiting and whinnying, looking forward to meeting you.

Intercultural Exchange Trip 
to Rabinal, Guatemala
September 28 -
October 7, 201 8
Join us on a cultural exchange to Rabinal, Guatemala to meet our scholarship students and learn how you can be part of a wonderful experience

Fly to Guatemala City September 28 and stay overnight at a hotel. The next day the ADIVIMA van will take us to Rabinal, a 4-hour drive north over three mountain passes. Return to Guatemala City October 6, stay overnight at a hotel and fly home on October 7th. Lisa Bickford will fly from Costa Rica the evening of the 28th to meet the group and travel with you to Rabinal.

The cost is approximately $500 plus airfare.   The trip will include both history and intercultural exchange activities between participants and our Mayan hosts. Contacts: Gretchen May, June LeCrone, Nancy White
UU Youth Camps
Mountain Desert District youth camp registration is open (but not for long)! 

Join other MDD UU Youth for an immersive faith-building experience, which is always a ton of fun! Spirit QUUest is for rising 6-8 graders, QUUest is for rising 9-12 graders and spring 2018 high school graduates. 

Both camps run July 1-7, at La Foret outside of Colorado Springs. Officially registration closes 5/31, but late registration may be available.

$625, scholarships available

$650, scholarships available

Contact:  Jessy Hennesy 
Call for General Assembly Delegates
General Assembly is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association. Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates.

The 2018 General Assembly will be June 20-24 in Kansas City, Missouri. Most General Assembly events will be held in the Kansas City Convention Center.

If you would like to serve as a delegate for JUC, apply using this form.
2018-19 Operating Budget
Andrea Aikin, Trustee

At the May 20, 2018 congregational meeting, I had the opportunity to speak on the 2018-2019 operating budget. As part of that presentation I spoke on why we attend JUC - what brings us to this church  on Sunday  mornings. I believe that being connected, being engaged, are what bring us to attend, whether that connection is with one other person or with all of Jefferson County. 

A lot of different numbers go into creating the operational budget each year and those numbers are all very important. However, the real power of those numbers is in the stories they allow us to tell both as individuals and as a congregation. Those numbers allow us to deepen, connect, and engage both inside the walls of JUC and well beyond them. Those numbers allow us to impact our world, whether it's the three feet around us, or the entire county and country. And that's really the power behind those numbers - they allow us to teach our children, support making and sharing music, feed and house the homeless, support suicide prevention efforts in our schools, and all the other things we do at JUC. These numbers are what give us the power to make a collective difference in our world. That's why the operating budget matters!

Hope to see you on Sunday,  June 3  to ratify the election of JUC leadership and to adopt the 2018-2019 operating budget.
Our UU Composers Are a Blessing

In our music traditions as UUs, singing together is core to our experience of community. Our songs encapsulate our values, our philosophy, our theology, our principles. Singing our songs together is truly a blessing. It is one of the ways we collectively embody the spirit of this church.

Although music has presumably always been part of UU worship, many of the songs in our hymnals do not originate from UU composers or songwriters. Some do, and if you peruse the gray and teal hymnals some time, you'll notice a little chalice symbol indicating a UU author or arranger.

Often, the selections we choose for services - for preludes, offertory songs, choir pieces, etc - are also not written by UUs. We do our best to bring forward music from composers and songwriters within our denomination. It's just there haven't been enough of us.

Each year, the UU Musician's Network reviews submissions from UU composers in preparation for their annual conference. Although participation is not limited to only UUs, one goal is to encourage more music from our own talented writers.

This year, a piece, written by JUC's Minister of Music, Rev. Keith Arnold, who is currently on sabbatical until August, was chosen from the entries to be included in the conference packet. His piece, "Carry Me," will be sung by hundreds of UU music leaders and taken home to their congregations for future use. A few years ago, the song I wrote for JUC, "Hand in Hand" was included.

As a UU music leader, and serving here now as Music Ministry Intern, I feel a strong commitment to holding up music written by UUs. UU composers and songwriters are a blessing to our denomination, providing a voice to the ideas and values we hold as a community. The double blessing is that we get to sing those songs together.
Habitat for Humanity Update

First JUC Build Date - Saturday, June 16

The West Metro Habitat Interfaith Coalition, of which JUC is a member, has assigned build dates for this year's home. JUC is scheduled to provide volunteers on Saturday, June 16 and Saturday, September 15. West Metro has plenty of other dates available if you can't make it either of JUC's days, and depending on turnout on June 16, JUC may pick up some of the additional dates. Our home this year is identified as Unit 19 at Sheridan Square, which is a block of 63 energy efficient town homes H4H is building out over several years. Sheridan Square is located near the intersection of Highway 285 and Federal Boulevard in southwest Denver.

H4H homeowners are required to put in hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" during construction, and they will assume a mortgage through H4H.  Selection of a family for Unit 19 has not been finalized, but please know that whoever is chosen, it will make a huge difference in their lives. Safe, affordable housing in greater Denver is a tremendous challenge, and Habitat for Humanity is doing great work to make it possible. Your participation in this cause is invaluable. Thank you! Additional info is available online.
JUC CAN (Community Action Network)

Our community organizing efforts in partnership with Together Colorado and Just Neighboring, our direct service activities in Edgewater, are now together under a new name -- JUC CAN (Community Action Network).

For several years, we have partnered with Together Colorado, a statewide community organizing group with years of experience. Within JUC, we have focused on mental health and affordable housing issues. In addition, we also support some of Together Colorado's statewide efforts. For example, in June we will be collecting signatures to get pay day loan restrictions on the ballot in the fall. Recently, many of you also signed a school funding petition.

There are many opportunities to support mental health and affordable housing within your local community, including attending school board meetings, city council meetings, writing e-mails and making phone calls in support of issues. We plan to create an email network within JUC to keep you updated on what is happening in your community. You are also welcome to attend any of the JUC CAN meetings held twice monthly on Sunday (check the calendar for time and location).

We continue to provide direct service in Edgewater in partnership with the Edgewater Collective and Senior Connections. In the Reading Club at Lumberg Elementary, volunteers read with first-through-third graders after school two days a week. This year's program has ended, but we're hoping to get additional volunteers for next school year. We also support a food bank every other Friday at the Edgewater Plaza.

We've always known that JUC can make a difference in our world and JUC CAN, with your support, is working to make that happen.
Keeping the Promise
Martha Eastman

JUC uses a year-round pledge system, in which each household is asked annually during their pledging month to renew. Pledging is a part of our regular work all year rather than just one big push, and so you will be hearing some messages like mine over the course of the year.
When I sat down to write out the reasons why I pledge and why I increase my pledge every year, I actually got stuck at first. It felt like I was describing why I breathe. Pledging is something that's ingrained in me - something I feel I must do.
When I was growing up, my parents got two daily newspapers, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. At some point, they decided that they weren't reading the afternoon paper enough to make it worth the expense. They decided to cancel their subscription and add that money to their pledge at their church. That must have really made an impact on the teenage me, because it is always present for me when I'm making a decision about my pledge.
Another story that I think of when deciding to increase my pledge every year is a motivational speech I once heard on the importance of investing for retirement. It was called "The Latté Factor" and its basic premise was that if you give up a couple of lattés every month and put that money in your 401(k) it would help get you started on the habit of investing. There have certainly been years when Mark and I thought about NOT increasing our pledge. But I am always reminded of "The Latté Factor" and I try to find creative ways to eke out a few extra bucks for our pledge.
I hope that when it is your turn to pledge that you will think about what JUC means in your life  and consider making an increase.