ISSUE 41                                                                                                                                                                                    NOVEMBER 2019
Transitions
Marlene Williamson died in early October. A memorial service will be held Sunday, November 3 at 7 p.m. at JUC. 

Bob Wilson died in mid October. A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 2 at 11 a.m. at JUC. 

Charlie O'Leary died last week. A memorial service will be announced once it has been planned.
Fall Congregational Meeting
Sunday, November 3 at 3 p.m.
Lakewood Church of the Nazarene
1755 Dover Street, Lakewood

Tour the campus of our potential new church home. Representatives from our architecture firm will be there with drawings and digital explorations of their interpretation of your vision for a new campus.
Board of Trustees News
In October the board started our discussion of the book "White Fragility." We also discussed the upcoming Fall Congregational Meeting, scheduled our Ask Me Anything sessions, continued work on changes to the Standing Rules and discussed preparations for a first Capital Campaign.
Belonging and Planned Giving
I belong to JUC and JUC belongs to me. With the good fortune of belonging comes responsibility, I must care for that which belongs to me.
 
Fortunately, I am able to help care for JUC monthly through my annual pledge. Just as importantly, I can help care for the future JUC generations by including a gift to JUC in my estate plan. I have chosen to list JUC as a beneficiary of my Individual retirement plan (IRA).

I invite you to make similar arrangements and make yourself known as a JUC supporter beyond your lifetime.

Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators: Bud & B.J. Meadows , Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey
Clear the Mechanism
I grew up in Chicago, and when summer came around, I spent as much time as I could at Wrigley Field watching Cubs baseball games. You must be resilient to be a Cubs fan and adapt the optimistic mantra of, "Next year, we'll make it!" To this day, I am a huge baseball fan and still love watching baseball movies. It brings me back to a special time of my childhood; baseball, Harry Caray, and summers in Chicago. One of my favorite baseball movie lines is from "For the Love of the Game." Kevin Costner plays a soon to be retired pitcher that finds himself in the midst of a perfect game. He stands on the mound, and the crowd is going wild. He stares down to the batter and catcher, but all he can hear is noise. The pitcher takes his throwing position, yet he is overwhelmed with the energy and the distraction around him. He says to himself, "Clear the mechanism." The distractions continue to grow, so he says once again, "Clear the mechanism." Of course - the pitcher wins his perfect game. This kind of attention technique is often referred to as bringing oneself into "the zone." The zone is a state of being that you can create within yourself to achieve a connection to skills or potential. A place where even with the distraction around you, you are present with your mission, your truth of who you are, what you can do, and the direction you are going.
 
Sometimes, our lives overwhelm us with distractions. It seems that every moment we look up, we are bombarded with distractions that necessitate a reaction. We are being told to look over here to distract us from what is going on over there. We often race around, trying to keep up with what needs our immediate attention, and it may be causing us to lose sight of what truly needs to be tended. How do we stay on top of our lives, while remaining attentive to what is truly important?

This month as we enter JUC's theme of attention, I invite families to join us by finding your form of " Clear the Mechanism."  Our children and youth programs will be focusing on our 1st, 6th, and 7th Unitarian Universalist principles . They will be learning about attention through the natural world, their identity and knowing themselves better, what does fairness or justice look like, and forms of gratitude. You can follow along each week in our November's Taking it Home Attention pamphlet or look for it each week on the   JUC Families Facebook page
 
JUC's Family Ministry brings a different form of attention in opportunities where not only can children learn together, but families can support one another. We begin by paying attention to the entire family as being engaged in their own faith journey, and where interactions between JUC and families reflect the care and tending of one another's souls.  
 
This month, let us care for one another by taking the time to share your attention experience with other families after service by discussing: 
  • How do you filter distractions around you, become present with your mission, discover the truth of who you are, and the direction you are going? 
  • How do you stay on top of your lives, while remaining attentive to what is truly important? 
  • How does your Unitarian Universalist faith and community support you?
Opportunities in Religious Education

We are looking for volunteers for our K-2nd and 3rd- 5th  Grade Teaching Teams at 11 a.m.  Lessons are provided to you in advance, your teaching team offers support, monthly teacher meetings guide you, you teach an average of twice a month, you will grow in your own faith and spiritual development, you are a part of an amazing community AND you will inspire young hearts and minds! PLUS it is loads of FUN!  Please contact Jules Jaramillo , Director of Religious Education for more information.

Jefferson Unitarian Church's Senior High Youth Group (YRUU) is taking applications for youth advisors. Last month our youth group had 22 youth in attendance and we are excited to interview adults interested in applying to support our expanding and energetic youth group. If you are interested in being involved with JUC's youth group, have experience working or volunteering with youth, have energy and excitement around Unitarian Universalism and youth activities, please fill out this application and Jules Jaramillo our Director of Religious Education will contact you for an interview.
 
SEE Making Room for Yourself, and IMAGINE!  
You might notice that there are TWO action verbs in the above headline.

JUC will hold its annual fall Congregational Meeting on Sunday, November 3 , at 3 p.m. at the property proposed for a church swap, Lakewood Church of the Nazarene (LCN). At this meeting, you can SEE the campus. You can SEE it's in a diverse neighborhood in north Lakewood.  You'll definitely SEE that it's more than twice the size of our current campus. You will SEE our architects describe some preliminary ideas to transform the property, which is a bit dark and dated, into a new version more suited to our vibrant, multigenerational, active, sustainability-conscious, justice-centered congregation. And we will ask you to engage your Xray vision to SEE through a few walls here and there, and envision a few new windows and fresh paint, and our JUC stuff, and IMAGINE what the campus could become.  

Please come! We'll all get to tour the place, and the kids will get a look at everything, too. If you haven't already driven by, the property is at 1755 Dover, east of Kipling and easily accessible from Colfax or 20 th Ave. And there's lots of parking -- what a concept!!

To be clear, this is not the meeting to vote on the possible move - it's strictly to SEE and IMAGINE. A vote wouldn't happen until next spring after thorough analysis and a capital campaign.

Other Making Room news : a Financial Feasibility Study to estimate our fundraising potential is in progress. Thanks to members of 75 JUC households who are meeting with our stewardship consultants.
 
November Remembrances and Tributes
You are invited to remember a loved one in our services on  Sunday, November 17 . Part of the service will be dedicated to singing the names of those in the JUC community who have passed away in the last year, as well as those who our community wishes to remember. If you would like someone's name sung in these services, whether or not they were a JUC member, please send that name to me by  November 14  at  keitharnold@jeffersonunitarian.org .

The following week, on Sunday, November 24, the JUC Choir plus a chamber orchestra will present a music service entitled "Street Requiem: For those Who Died in the Streets." This deeply moving and reflective work aims to bring a sense of peace, remembrance and hope to communities struggling with homelessness, poverty, war, hate crime, and street violence. Written by Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne, and Jonathan Welch, the work combines the Latin Requiem Mass for the Dead with English, African and Persian lyrics.

"I hope that people will begin to consider the people that they walk past in the streets," says Andy Payne. "The idea of actually acknowledging people with a smile or a hello, how is it going, as opposed to what most of us would do ... which is eyes fixed and walk as fast as you can ... Yes, we need to address the fundamental problems of why things are like that; in the meantime, we need to acknowledge people as individuals."

In the Street Requiem service, we will be participating in a Sock Drive for the Action Center, which Rev. Eric writes about in this issue of IGNITE.

For a preview of the Street Requiem, click here Your presence is most welcome for this special service on Sunday, November 24.
 
Attention - The Practice of Making Things Conscious
Pam Bond, Trustee

As we practice paying attention, we see. We understand. We love. As phenomenologist of religion Gerardus van der Leeuw wrote: "To him who does not love, nothing appears."
 
Your Board of Trustees has started paying attention by holding conversations about the book "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo.  We will be interacting with this book most of the year in part to help us get ready to be good neighbors in a location with more racial, ethnic, class and other forms of diversity. 
 
We Are Making Room!

To live fuller into our mission to
  • Nurture our spiritual community,
  • Grow Universal Unitarianism and
  • Transform the world outside our walls
I hope you've attended in informational session by now and have had all your questions asked - if not yet answered. Our next step will be our Capital Campaign. Our stewardship consultants are conducting interviews and will submit a Financial Feasibility study by the end of November. 
 
I'm excited that we're holding our Fall Congregational Meeting at our possible new church home at 3 p.m. in the afternoon on Sunday, November 3. We should all have adjusted our clocks to daylight savings time by then! In addition to a presentation by our architects; we'll have tours of the campus. Kids are being planned for so please bring 'em. And as you're touring, remember, we told you the buildings would need some work. See you there!
 
Our Light
In his "Our Calling" column in UU World magazine, Rev. William G. Sinkford wrote, "I always encourage people to work on their elevator speech, what you'd say when you're going from the sixth floor to the lobby and somebody asks you, "What's a Unitarian Universalist?"

This month I will be hosting a second "Elevator Speech" workshop here at JUC. As members of a non-traditional faith community, it's no small task to succinctly wrap over six hundred years of history and a modern covenantal faith into a few sentences ... and you only have a couple of minutes, so those sentences better be good! 

As passionate as we may be about finding our spiritual home, many of us are reluctant to "evangelize." For me personally, coming from a family who embraces generations of a well known traditional faith, when I try to explain my non-creedal faith to my family members, I am met with blank stares. 

After 16 years as a Unitarian Universalist, and having completed my first year of UU seminary, I still struggle to distill our faith down into a few sentences. It is some comfort to realize that if I had to explain Christianity or Judaism to someone who'd never heard of those religions in an elevator ride, that would be a challenge too. But, the big, long words, "Unitarian Universalism" can sound to the uninitiated like something made up or a flash in the pan. When someone asked me, "Is that a New Age thing?" I realize just how unfamiliar it sounds.

When my friend's parents came to visit my home congregation, they were perplexed by our lack of shared dogma and referred to UU's as a "liberal social club." While I enjoy the friendships and progressive ideas shared in our UU communities, it's important to communicate that we are so much more. 

I've been studying UU History this semester and I am appreciating the legacy of free thinkers that helped to shape the faith we have today. Do you know that as early as 300 CE theologians  were sharing their beliefs in universal salvation? By 1600, the name "Unitarian" was first used to refer to those who believed in religious toleration and the unity of God as one. The word "Universalist" was first used in 1722 to describe Christians who did not believe that a loving God would predestine some souls to eternal damnation.

As Europeans came to this continent seeking religious freedom, some of them developed systems of congregational polity, or self-governance. Liberal religious congregations in Pennsylvania and New England continued to question traditional beliefs and some became involved in social justice work, such as women's suffrage and the abolition of slavery. By 1961, when the Unitarians and Universalists decided to join forces, each had associations of independent congregations and their own flavor of liberal theology. Each had evolved from a long tradition of scholars and believers who emphasized free thought, reason, conscience, and tolerance. 

Since that time we have continued to develop and grow our faith. We use our Seven Principles to guide our "free and responsible search for truth and meaning" while respecting the "worth and dignity of each person." But who are we? How do we communicate the big ideas and the saving message of Unitarian Universalism in a world of people overwhelmed with information and prejudiced against "crazy new ideas?" How do we evangelize without putting people off who have been hurt by or are suspicious of evangelization?

I'm still wondering that myself. If you are interested in exploring further how to spread the good news of Unitarian Universalism in a short soundbite, then please join me on Thursday, November 21 from 7-9 pm for the "Elevator Speech" workshop to see what we can come up with!
 
Our Part in the Climate Crisis
Martin Voelker, Green Task Force

During the JUC retreat I held a well-attended workshop "Our Part In The Climate Crisis" exploring what individuals can do to act with care in their own lives. In our short time together we didn't get to a key exercise to map out our own climate action steps so let me describe it here. To start, think about something you love that will be in jeopardy in a hotter, more chaotic climate, something worth protecting. Next list several areas where your behavior and choices have a climate impact. Examples are: Transportation - Heating - Food - Electricity - Recycling - Online - Clothing - Leisure - Work.

On a large paper, put an image of why or for whom you're doing this in the center and draw radial lines for each of the areas towards the center. On the outer edge of each line note your current situation which you want to improve. Let's take transportation as an example. Perhaps you have a long commute in a gas guzzler. Now list any steps you can take. Perhaps carpooling or public transportation is an option, or working from home on some days. An electric car may work for you, especially since Colorado has the best tax incentives nationwide. Further down the list you could move closer to work and commute by bicycle.

This process visualizes your options and maps where you started out and what is still ahead of you all on one sheet of paper. Want to try it and get a head start on your New Year's resolutions? Click here

All that said we need to remain clear that planetary problems require planetary solutions - or at least big ones led by government and society. What individuals can do remains limited but the small steps we deliberately take will add up and serve as examples to others. 

The Green Task Force's next project is to help make the new Lakewood campus (in case we decide to move) as Green and energy efficient as possible. And for Thursday, November 21 we moved our monthly speaker event to the School of Mines because we're celebrating with their winning team for the Solar Decathlon. Become engaged with the Green Task Force to find ways to live our values.