ISSUE 19                                                                                                                                                                                        JANUARY 2018
January Theme: Intention
"I need a silent night. I need a holy night," sang the fabulous Sophia's Journey in my first or second December here and it echoes still in my mind. It speaks to a common yearning among us in this dark season. Amid the flurry of gatherings, the music and treats, the decorating and the goal of making 'it' special, there is a part in many of us that longs for some quiet moments made sacred by our willingness to pay attention to our breath, our life, and our intentions.

January's theme is intention, but let's not confuse this with the annual goal-setting ritual so many us go through. That culturally-backed notion of working your way into a brand-new self. While there is certainly nothing wrong with efforts to improve one's self, the resolutions made at this time of year are often about pushing ourselves to meet the expectations of others or the multitude of cultural 'shoulds.'

Intention is focused more on the who and how we want to be than the things we want to achieve. In other words, it is about listening to the still small voice urging us to grow into our true selves rather than "getting better and doing more."

As a congregation, we are setting time apart to listen within and among ourselves to ask who are we yearning to be? In this dynamic time, with surging membership and strong staff, how do we want to transform our world? What does that mission ask of us? How might we grow into our shared longing to be difference-makers? These are the sort of questions we will be wrestling with in forums early in the new year, so that together, our Board and Staff Leadership can formulate a viable plan to submit to the Congregation by May 1 outlining how to free JUC from the limits of our campus in order to live more fully into our mission. Keep on the lookout for times and ways in which to share your dreams and vision.

Of course, JUC has had a rich history of making a difference. I think of that every year at this time as we prepare for Christmas Eve when our entire offertory is given to the Action Center. The day in which we have the most people through our doors, we give to our long-time partner
in solidarity with the good work it does in our county.

Earlier in December, JUC made a difference in the lives of students in Guatemala. The I Heart Xmas event raised $5,000 again this year! And the same weekend, during the Music Services held Saturday and Sunday, our offering went to support the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder (UUCB) in continuing to become a Sanctuary Church despite the loss of its tenant (and 10% of its annual revenue). As I wrote in support of UUCB's Faithify Campaign:

Our covenantal faith invites all of us to add to the sum of love and justice in this world. Jefferson Unitarian Church is honored to support UUCB as it offers sanctuary to one left out by policies that ignore our shared responsibility to care for our human family. Courageous love transcends borders.

I am so grateful to serve this church which adds to the sum of love and justice in the world. May we continue to live into that longing in the year ahead.

Happy New Year!
What's going on with the "BHAG thing"?

A number of teams are working diligently toward fulfilling our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal!) of having a viable plan submitted to the Congregation by  May 1 to free JUC from the limits of our campus in order to live more fully into our mission. 

The Board recently entered into a contract with a commercial real estate agency to begin the process of analyzing potential properties and facilities. A team consisting of Rev. Wendy, Kathy Covert, David Fleck, Tom Goodreid, Jim Matera, Mark Baker, Carol Wilsey, and Dave DiGiacomo has been formed to evaluate various options. Rev. Wendy, in consultation with the Board, is interviewing fundraising consultants that would help us eventually run a capital campaign.

Also, the Shared Mission Team (formerly the Committee on Ministry) chaired by Paige LeBlanc with team members Jim Matera, Sarah Reeves, and Mary Ann Blumenthal has been working hard on planning a series of forums that will be open to the Congregation to attend in January through March. These forums are designed to provide an opportunity for participants to talk about their dreams that make the JUC vision come alive for them and how a new facility could make those dreams a reality.  

Finally, look for a new part of our JUC website that will be a central place to get information about the BHAG and provide real time feedback to a blog that will be started.  It is an exciting time of growth for JUC and an opportunity for us to fully lean into our mission... "to nurture our spiritual community, grow Unitarian Universalism, and transform the world outside our church walls."
Lorraine Burgin died December 6 at the age of 97.

Ron Dries died December 30.
Welcome Our New Members!
Angus and Elaine Rockett  live in Golden and their interests include hiking, biking, square dancing, and traveling.

Brooke Martin lives in Arvada with her young daughter Layla. Her interests include meditation.

Mark Gray has two school-aged kids named Tyler and Hana, and his interests include hiking, camping, and snowboarding.

Jessica Pickard has four young children, and her interests include hiking, knitting, cooking, and gardening.

Ryann Hardman and Justin Wauthier have two young children, Daphne and Desmond, and their interests include hiking, movies, and reading.

Jason and Torey Ivanic have two young children, Otis and Emily, and their interests include skiing and rock climbing.

Mercedes Anderson has one young child, Jeren,  and her interests include hiking, skiing, and cooking.

Matt and Ulrika Britton have one young daughter, Annika, and their interests include board games, snow boarding, and social justice.

Eric Brettillo and Valerie Langston-Brettillo have two daughters, Isabella and Juliana, and their interests include hiking, cooking, and singing.

Derek and Marla Bassett have two daughters, Erica and Lucy, and their interests include reading and Dungeons and Dragons.

Ellen Vinzani lives in Golden, and her interests include spending time with her grandsons and exploring Colorado.

Laura Lundin lives in Denver, and her interests include gardening, hiking, and home improvements.

Mary LeBoeuf lives in Denver where she studies Spanish and likes to read.

Vicki Collins and Jeremy Smith live in Denver and enjoy hiking, bird watching, and mountain biking.

We also have four members of the YRUU Group who joined the Congregation in October as Youth Members:

Allison Clark sings in the Resonance Choir, runs cross country and likes science.

Emma Weston likes poetry and nature and also sings in the Resonance Choir.

Jade Pickard likes singing and horseback riding.

Lindsey Young enjoys music, reading and babies.
We Are Family
1st Wednesdays
3rd Fridays
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Worship

Join us twice per month for a fellowship dinner ($5 per person) followed by a lively and brief family-centered worship. We use ritual, song and story for a multi-age worship that fills the heart and grows the spirit. All ages are encouraged to attend. 

January Menu:
Wednesday, January 3:
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Friday, January 15:
Vegetable asian noodles
Planned Giving and Hope
Each new life begins in hope. Each new day begins with hope. Every accomplishment began with hope. Every challenge invokes hope. Every new relationship calls forth hope. Every plan summons hope. Each adventure rouses hope. Each life models and inspires hope. May each life end with hope! Hope is a  choice.

We hope you choose to include JUC in your estate plan so that this church and UU values continue to ignite hope in this community and for the world.

Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators:  Bud Meadows , Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey .
2018 Pacific Western Regional Assembly
April 27-29, 2018
Portland, OR

Speakers include civil rights activist, the Rev. Dr. William Barber; Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, advocate for women's, immigrant, civil, and human rights; and the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, newly elected UUA president. 

Programming includes workshops, worship, district meetings, and an optional social justice activity. 

A day-long Professional Day designed for religious professionals is planned for  Friday, April 27, before the start of Regional Assembly. 

Discount lodging is available at the Portland DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, site of the Regional Assembly. Childcare and youth programming will be available. 

Registration will open by January 4. Watch the PWR website for full details to be posted soon.
Experienced Handbell Ringers Wanted
Join the JUC Ringers handbell choir! Rehearsals are held Wednesday evenings from  6:15 to 7:20 p.m.  We perform in 4 to 5 worship services per year and at a few other events. Come join this fun group of Ringers.

Contact: Bev Curtiss, JUC Ringers Handbell Director
Intention and Sabbatical
As  February 5   draws near, and the beginning of a six-month sabbatical in which I will be away from JUC, the Music Ministry Leadership Group and I are delighted to share some of the ways in which music will be upheld, supported, and created at Jefferson Unitarian Church in my absence. A great deal of intention and planning has gone in to developing the leadership for music during this time. Here are some of the people whose responsibilities will be increasing  February 5 - July 31 .

Music Ministry Intern, Melissa Monforti. Melissa will be the nexus of information for all things musical. She will be coordinating weekly music at services through  May 31, and working with our community of musicians to schedule music from  June 1 - August 30. Melissa will be in the church office regularly and will be the right person to contact regarding musical questions and opportunities.

Director of Music for Children and Youth, AND Director of the Treble Chamber Choir, Sarah Billerbeck. Not only will Sarah continue to direct the outstanding program of music for Children and Youth at JUC, she will add to her duties the directorship of the recently formed Treble Chamber Choir that sings at  9 a.m. services twice a month. 

Sabbatical JUC Choir Director, Michael Bizzaro. Leading the JUC Choir on Wednesday nights and twice a month at the  11 a.m. services will be Michael Bizzaro. Michael comes to JUC with a Masters' degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is the Director of Choirs at Broomfield High School and a singer with the excellent choir Kantorei. 

Continuing their excellent music ministry to JUC are our staff members: Worship Band Leader,  Adam Revell; and Pianist/Accompanist  Laura LizutGreg Rendon is the JUC staff person at the sound board and running the church's livestream most weeks. Volunteers also serve in leadership positions, including JUC Ringers Director  Bev Curtiss and JUC Choir Manager  Phyllis Bunting. A special farewell and thanks to recent Ringers Co-Director,  Lisa Bickford, who will be moving to Costa Rica in January.

All of those named so far are part of the Music Ministry Leadership Group, which will gather regularly while I am away to coordinate, plan, troubleshoot, and communicate.

The JUC Ministers and other staff will take an increased role as well, communicating more directly with the music staff and volunteers listed above, and in particular with Rev. Wendy Williams taking over some of the staff supervisory duties that I typically have.

All of this is to share some of the intention of the plans that have been made for music at JUC. 

Over the last few weeks a number of JUCers have begun to ask me about my intentions for myself during the sabbatical time. To frame this time arising from JUC personnel documents: "The Sabbatical Leave is for study, education, writing, reflection, and meditation, and other forms of professional and religious growth." And so my plans at this time include the following, most of which also include my husband David Burrows:
  • Leading music in worship services at a conference of International Council of Unitarians and Universalists in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • On-the-ground teaching and learning at schools in India, and Nepal.
  • Yoga, meditation, hearing live Indian music, and visiting sacred sites in India.
  • Back in the US, visiting worship services of communities that I normally do not come in contact with.
  • Leading an Evensong (meditative music) service & workshop at General Assembly in Kansas City and the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network conference in Portland, OR.
  • Going on an Evensong Tour of West Coast Churches, taking this service to some of our UU churches in California and Oregon.
  • Visiting my parents in Mobile, AL.
Underscoring all of these are my intentions to move outside my normal circles, to interact with those who may or may not share my values or cultural assumptions, to invite me to expand beyond my typical habits and patterns... and to bring those understandings back to our beloved community.

In the days leading up to  February 5, please feel free to reach out to me. From  February 5 onward, I leave you in loving and strong hands until we meet again.
Intentional Belonging

I love this month's theme of Intention! Intention is defined as "a thing intended, an aim or plan."

My act of rising each morning and meditating for 30 minutes is very intentional. After all, it would be much easier to enjoy an extra half hour under the covers! However, meditation reminds me of my intention for each new day: to love and serve others to the best of my ability.

The decision to become part of the JUC community is also an intentional act. We may attend church for years as a visitor but it is when we decide to join, to invest ourselves, our hearts and our resources to this precious place, that we experience that sense of belonging for which we all yearn.

Admittedly, these are unusually difficult times for progressive, compassionate, justice-seeking people. But we have a clear choice. We can either give in to discouragement over all that is wrong with the world and give up. Or we can join hands and hearts with our JUC family as committed people of faith, together live into our covenantal aspirations, and help "the moral arc of the universe bend toward justice" and love for all people and creatures everywhere as well as our wounded planet.

There is no time like the present to be intentional. If you've been thinking about joining, we have a Path to Membership Class Saturday, February 17 and again on Saturday April 21. If you're already a member and our want to become more involved, contact Beth Leyba, our Congregational Connections Coordinator, and have a chat. She'll help bring your intention to fruition! And if you feel inspired and able to increase your financial support, contact Carol Wilsey, our Business Administrator.

A new year is soon upon us. Perhaps this is your year to realize your best intentions. We hope they include deepening, connecting and engaging with this beloved community.
Keeping the Promise

Mike: JUC uses a year round pledge system in which each household is asked annually during their pledge month to renew. Pledging is a part of our regular work all year rather than just one big push, and so you will be reading some messages like ours over the course of the year.

DeDe: After Mike and I were married for a year, I was feeling the need to belong to something greater than ourselves. I had been raised in a big family that went to church and I felt the desire to connect with a church community.

Mike: I on the other hand had never really attended church and had little desire to do so. I liked the idea of community, but the word church was difficult for me. I told her if she could find a place where I was permitted to have my own beliefs and not be ostracized for not bowing to someone else's dogma, I would consider it - but that we'd likely have to start our own.

DeDe: Little did we know, that place already existed. Having been married by a UU, we decided to check out JUC. Once we came, we were hooked. Peter Morales was the senior minister at the time and we were amazed by the tone, clarity, and quality of his sermons. And of course, the choir and music services were amazing, led, then and now, by the wonderful and talented Keith Arnold.

Mike: We decided to take the Path to Membership class and were impressed by the overall mission of the church, especially the RE programs - we knew we wanted to become members, we knew this was where we eventually wanted to raise our family, and we made the decision to support this church with both our time and our money.

DeDe: The Religious Education curriculum alone sounded awesome, but we were completely amazed by the democratic process we constantly witnessed in action - from drafting of budgets to the selection of ministerial staff. And over these many years, through numerous ministerial changes, many good friends come and gone, various committee activities, and our involvement with the RE program - we have witnessed and been blessed to share in the love, the strength, and growth of this church.

Mike: Although the RE program has been a huge motivator for us to spend our time, it's not the only thing that influences us to give financially. We come for the life affirming sermons, the music, and the community. We have been so blessed to have the support of this church during good times and challenging ones, to help raise our three beautiful children, to help inspire us and aid us in living into our best selves. We 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.
JUC's Holiday Craft Faire Enjoys Bell Ringing Success

With 43 talented vendors and almost 800 customers buying over 2500 individual items, JUC's 22nd Holiday Craft Faire resulted in over $29,000 in sales. Twenty percent of this plus the vendor fees flowed into JUC's general fund.

It was our most successful Faire ever and we have lots of people to thank:

Thanks to our vendors whose creativity sparked the sales. It took over 85 volunteers to bring the Craft Faire to you - greeters, cashiers and packers, bakers, set-up and clean-up crew, and food helpers. The Children's Faire assistants helped young children pick and wrap just the right gift for their friends and family.  

Special thanks to the JUC staff for their knowledge and support throughout the process. And thanks to our Craft Faire team for taking this effort on: Chris Sealy, Betsy Brown, Jeff Fox, Sandy Sugerman, Jean Decker, Nancy Curren, Bob Hofmann, Mike and Cher Czyzewski, Martha Eastman, and Nancy Bolt.  

And finally, thanks to our buyers. You got great gifts to give, knowing that your purchases also went to a very good cause.