ISSUE 43                                                                                                                                                                                        JANUARY 2020
The Auction is Coming!
As we near the end of the holidays, we start to anticipate what's coming in the New Year.  

You guessed it: the Annual JUC Auction! This year's theme centers around our hopes for our new church space. Get ready for the unveiling coming to your inbox in January. Want to help with the planning? Please contact Sarah Babcock.  
Awe and Planned Giving
Estate planning can be awesome. It is an awesome gift to our loved ones, personal representative, friends and causes we support. When we make our desires and plans known, it is easier to communicate them and define clear steps to be carried out when we pass on.

The details can be awesome to us when we begin the plan.  Fortunately, we can educate ourselves and enlist any needed expertise when we begin this task well before we need it. Doing a new one or reviewing an existing one may be a good New Year's resolution.

An estate plan helps contribute to the integrity in our lives. It allows us to be good stewards of our possessions and pass our legacy on to future generations.

It would be awesome if you included JUC as a beneficiary in your estate plan. 

Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators: Bud & B.J. Meadows , Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey
Capital Campaign Milestones in 2020!!
JUC's Board of Trustees has set a goal to raise $4 million for the swap/purchase of Lakewood Church of the Nazarene. 

The Capital Campaign co-chairs, Dea Brayden and Carol Wilsey, are gathering a team to begin a two-phase campaign after the holidays.  

Phase one begins in early January with the Foundation Level, members and friends who plan to give $10K or more over three years. The Foundation Level phase will last from January through February.

On Saturday, February 29 , we'll LEAP into phase two, the larger campaign for the full congregation. Not wanting to let an extra day go to waste, we're planning a fun kickoff event for everyone on Leap Day! This phase of stewardship visits and pledges will last from March through April.  

After we add up all our generous pledges, the Board will schedule a congregational vote sometime between mid-May and mid-June so we can decide if we're moving ahead with the church swap/purchase.   

It is no exaggeration to say this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Moving to this larger space will allow us to be more and do more, both for ourselves, and for those we haven't even met who are hungry for a community like ours. Start thinking of what you can give over the next three years, and then think about stretching a little more. And know that whoever you are, whatever your circumstances and what you decide to give, we are grateful for your contribution.
 
Safety while here at church is a priority for us. We have a Safety Team (Rev. Eric, Carol Wilsey, Jules Jaramillo and Nick Rogall meet regularly and we call in volunteer help/expertise as-needed). Each of us has attended at least one training offered by the Jeffco Sheriff's office or other community groups.
 
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. First Aid kits are located throughout the campus in each classroom and in common areas.
  4. If you light a chalice for a gathering, please remember to extinguish it, and don't leave matches within reach of children. 
  5. 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.
  6. Watch for icy spots when we have precipitation and cold weather. We do the best we can to clear sidewalks and entrances, but mother nature sometimes has the upper hand.
  7. Be cautious of uneven walking surfaces.
  8. 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.
  9. Use caution when entering or leaving the parking lot. Traffic sometimes is moving very fast on 32nd Ave.
  10. Avoid bringing food with peanuts to campus. This is dangerous for people with severe allergies.
What about violence? That is the most frightening and unpredictable situation to imagine here in our beloved and sacred space. Here is advice gleaned from some of the training sessions we have attended:
  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 encourages us to have an ongoing relationship with their office and deputies. We do call them occasionally, and they know our facility.
 
There's an old song with the lyrics:

May the life I've lived speak for me.
When I get to the end of my road
And I lay down my heavy load
May the life I've lived speak for me.

At this time of the changing of the year, a season of reflection both for the past and future, it can be helpful to connect with deepest values and aspirations. The month of integrity at Jefferson Unitarian Church invites a making whole, a bringing of one's actions and hopes together as one. 

In the Harry Potter series, "he who shall not be named" chose to separate parts of his soul through acts of violence. In the story Lord Voldemort splits his very being, attempting to become immortal and sequestering bits of himself in horcruxes. The process of choosing dis-integration leaves Voldemort as a bringer of terror in magical and muggle worlds.

Unitarian Universalist Minister Rebecca Parker enjoins us to make a different choice:

Your gifts-whatever you discover them to be-
can be used to bless or curse the world.
The mind's power,
the strength of the hands,
the reaches of the heart,
the gift of speaking, listening, imagining, seeing, waiting
Any of these can serve to feed the hungry,
bind up wounds,
welcome the stranger,
praise what is sacred,
do the work of justice
or offer love.
Any of these can draw down the prison door,
hoard bread,
abandon the poor,
obscure what is holy,
comply with injustice
or withhold love.
You must answer this question:
What will you do with your gifts?
Choose to bless the world.
...the choice will draw you into community,
the endeavor shared,
the heritage passed on,
the companionship of struggle,
the importance of keeping faith,
the life of ritual and praise,
the comfort of human friendship,
the company of earth
the chorus of life welcoming you.
None of us alone can save the world.
Together-that is another possibility, waiting

May this be a month - and a year - and a lifetime - of bringing all of the parts of you together, of becoming who you want to be in the world, and living a life that speaks and sings and echoes with who your very soul is.
 

While labeling our days "January 2020" is a purely human construction (my dog Scooter certainly doesn't understand how these days are different from the past days), it does remind us to pause and take stock of who we are and where we are going. 

We know that this year is an election year and that we have an opportunity to come together to vote our UU values and encourage others to do the same. We know that many crucial issues are being decided locally and nationally. We are called to speak up for people who are unable to speak for themselves and people of marginalized identities. As UU's, we are seekers of integrity. 

I would imagine most of us believe we have integrity, but every once in a while, we might catch ourselves acting out of line with our values. Just this morning I realized that I was telling someone else how something "should" be done at the same time as I was doing exactly what I was advising them not to do!

Parker Palmer said "I now know myself to be a person of weakness and strength, liability and giftedness, darkness and light. I now know that to be whole means to reject none of it but to embrace all of it."

This quote reminds us that the pursuit of integrity is not always straightforward. While we are called to forgive and love ourselves, we also must remember to forgive and love those around us, even when they are acting out of integrity. This is the practice of being undivided.

How does that look in real life? 

It looks like people speaking up against injustice and oppression without malice or hate. It looks like taking a breath and making sure our responses are not just emotional reactions. It looks like setting healthy boundaries with our children or other family members without being hurtful or harmful. 

We might not always get it right, both individually and collectively, but we keep showing up and calling ourselves back into covenant.

While the world is brimming with suffering and injustice, it also needs our joy and hope. This is where our church community comes in. Not only do we come together to roll up our sleeves and get the work done, but we also come together as a community to celebrate our lives and our values as a people of integrity. 

While I will be in seminary in Chicago for most of January, I look forward to seeing how our exploration of integrity shapes conversations around the church and our ministries going into this new year.
 
Pastoral Care Team:  We Are Here for You
In our Pastoral Care Ministry we create a caring, equipping, and supportive ministry to give and receive care, and to grow our capacity to face life's challenges together.

Since September, we have supported 17 JUC families in a variety of ways. Volunteers from our JUCeHelpers list brought meals, and provided rides for many who otherwise would have struggled to even go home from rehab after being released from the hospital. Our memorial receptions team was with three families in November alone as they mourned the loss of a loved one, and will be with more as we companion members of our church who are grieving. Our card writers have sent about 40 notes of cheer, condolence, and encouragement. We've been busy indeed, and we love what we do.  

In addition to support for individual members facing challenges, we offer informative workshops, presentations, and support groups. These have included such topics as mental health, life decisions and planning, and understanding medicare. We hosted the first grief support group in many years, which filled up almost immediately, supporting people who had lost spouses, children, and parents with six weeks of space to mourn and process together.  Also, our Care Givers Support group organized after a workshop presented by a member of our Pastoral Care Team. They continue to provide each other support as they meet monthly.   

We believe that anyone can be a caring presence and help to someone in need. There are tools to help do that, even if it is parallel to our church structures. We host workshops and groups that help build skills for the things that make helping one another even more possible in these days. This February we're hosting a workshop on how to use the key online tools that can allow you to help coordinate care. We're also launching the second iteration of a short-term small group focused on questions of meaning and purpose in our older years, AgeSong.  On Friday, January 24 we are hosting an exploratory meeting for people 55 and up who experience loneliness, especially at dinner time, often after the loss of a loved one, to be with kindred spirits during that lonely hour of the day.

We have new events planned for this winter and spring that you may interest you. Look to your weekly JUC Connection for details.

As you can see, there are many ways the Pastoral Care Team supports our members.  If you would like to join our efforts, send an email to Deda Nelson, and someone from our team will get back to you.  If you or someone you know could use support provided by our Pastoral Care Team,  email:  cares@jeffersonunitarian.org  or phone the on-call minister at 720-CHURCH9 or 720-248-7249.