ISSUE 38                                                                                                                                                                                          AUGUST 2019
Our congregation lost four members in July.

The lives of Margie Pierson, Sue Gunn, and   Carol Steers  were celebrated with memorial services.

A memorial for Jo Seasholes is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 11 at JUC.
The RE Theme Team Needs YOU!
JUC's  Religious Education (RE) program is looking for additional members on our Theme Team.

Every month the Theme Team gathers to explore the monthly RE themes and discuss what we think is important for our children to explore within each theme for the month in our classes. We use Soul Matters monthly packets as resources and as a jumping off place and modify, add, or change as we see beneficial for our children's faith development. During the meeting, we come up with a rough plan, decide on good books to read and activities to do on Sundays, and divide the lesson plans. The Team also designs the Full Week Faith guide for families. 

Please contact Jules Jaramillo, Director of Religious Education for more information and meeting times.
Summer of UU Heroes
This summer, in our Religious Education program, we are telling the stories of inspiring Unitarian and Universalist real-life heroes. Did you know that Charles Darwin is among them? Or Henry Bergh, who founded the ASPCA? Or Clara Barton, Founder of the American Red Cross, and "The Angel of the Battlefield"? Or Antoinette Brown, the first woman to be ordained as a minister in this country? And there are many more.

As UU's, we have a proud heritage of UU Heroes. Each Sunday, we will focus on a new UU hero, tell their story and discuss it, focusing on the virtue this person embodied. Then, using our Exploration carts (Drama cart, Artist/Maker cart, and Builder cart) our rising kindergarten through 5 th graders will use the inspiration from the stories to guide them in creating works of art. Near the end, we will think about how each of us can become a UU hero, using our own strengths and virtues to make a positive difference in the world!

Member volunteers (and youth assistants) are needed to make this program happen.   Please sign up to teach today!
The Art of Teaching
I love art - mainly painting. When I create a painting, I begin by taking a raw piece of canvas and carefully coat it with layers of gesso. When it is dry, I sand down all the bumps and ridges; angling and turning the canvas in all directions examining it carefully to be sure I have a smooth foundation to paint on. I usually paint with oil, and it is impossible to be in a hurry with oil. I must start by laying down a thin, loose base coat. Then layer by layer, I build. Oil is my favorite medium because of its fluidity and how slowly it dries. I rarely feel like I have made a mistake that cannot be corrected. If something is off, I still have time to wipe away or move the paint around the canvas until I have everything where I want it to be. Many oil paintings are created in layers; each layer building on the one before until depth and vibrancy are created. Then, just when you think you are done, for me, the most difficult part begins - the waiting. Oil paint dries to the touch in about 1-2 weeks. That's just to the touch. It can take months for all the layers to settle and dry. 

Every week our Religious Education (RE) children's and youth teaching and advisor teams generously share their knowledge, passions, creativity, and inspiration with our children and youth. Yes, we are fortunate that our RE program has a wing/basement to meet in, lessons to teach from and materials to create the lessons with - but these alone do not form a foundation of faith. It is our teachers' loving and generous hearts that make our rooms temples for the soul, their insight that brings words alive on a page, their unique vision to craft meaning from supplies. This is what creates the lasting connection to our Unitarian Universalist faith. 

I believe teaching is an art form and teachers are the artists. Much like my description of the creation of an oil painting; teaching follows a similar process. The first layer they put down is love. Along the way, they may run into a few bumps in the canvas as they build layers upon layers of faith formation. Teachers move with fluidity, flowing back and forth with the rhythm of each beating heart in our classrooms. Sometimes they need to step back and wait for things to settle in, and when it is time, begin creating the next layer.  John Steinbeck wrote, "I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist... Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit." To him and to our teachers I say, "AMEN!" 

This is the time of year we are building our Religious Education teaching teams and we are looking for people to help lead our children and youth RE journey. Please look at our RE program and find a class that speaks to you. Basic requirements are 1) you are a member or on a path to membership at JUC, 2) you can pass a criminal background check, and 3) you have a RE staff interview. The first step is signing up below.  I can't wait to hear from you.

Check out JUC's Teaching Team opportunities on Signup Genius:
You Buy Groceries, JUC Gets Money
We just got our quarterly report about funds raised through our King Soopers Community Rewards program. We have 74 families enrolled, and for April through June, our portion of the Reward donations is $1,285.47.

If you are not signed up, please consider enrolling in the charitable program that gives JUC (and other charities) money just because you shop at King Soopers! You need to link your Sooper Card to the charity of your choice - and we would love for you to choose JUC. Instructions to enroll are here.

If you have any trouble at all, call Carol Wilsey at 303-279-5282 x 11, or stop by to see her to get help signing up.

Remember, we also sell cards to use at Vitamin Cottage ($100 cards are available) and reloadable Safeway cards (cards are $10 and JUC gets 5% of any reloads).

Thank you for supporting JUC when you do your normal grocery shopping!
Exciting Opportunities for Children's and Youth Music

Choir for JUC children and youth will begin on Tuesday, September 10. Our choir program for children and youth is divided into four distinct projects per year. Parents and kids commit to a limited number of rehearsals that culminate in performances at JUC and elsewhere. Projects are reflective of UU principles and sources, and provide an opportunity for children to explore UU values and beliefs through music. Rehearsals are joyful and fun and often include movement, games and instruments in addition to singing.  Rehearsals will be held: 

5:30 - 6 p.m. Family Music Time (2 years and up with parent/guardian)
6:30 - 7:10 p.m. Children's Choir (K-4th)
7:15 - 8 p.m. Radiance choir (5th-8th)/Resonance (9th-12th) (fall only)

12:15 - 1 p.m. Resonance (9th-12th) start date TBA

Two new opportunities this year

Beaming With Pride Concert with Vocal Coalition (5th-12th graders)
This year for our fall project, our older youth and teen choirs have the unique opportunity to participate in a festival choir hosted by the organization Vocal Coalition. Students will learn music during our normal choir time and will perform with students from all over the metro area in a concert on Wednesday, November 13. The concert, Beaming with Pride, is a celebration designed to display love and acceptance of the LGBTQIA community. Vocal Coalition works with local performing artists to create music for choirs that unites diverse groups. We are excited about this opportunity for our kids to live their values in the wider community! 

Family Music Time (For our youngest musicians - 2 years and up with caregiver)
This will be an opportunity for our families with young children to connect with our UU values through singing, instruments, movement and games. All are welcome, but this time will particularly be appealing to Pre-K children and their caregivers. We will meet Tuesday evenings from 5:30 - 6 p.m.

For more information or to sign up your child please contact Sarah Billerbeck, Director of Music for Children and Youth. I h ope to make music with you this year!!!

Life is so confusing! Heroes are hard to find. We identify one and then find out that while their public persona was amazing and forward thinking and humane, in private he was a jerk to his family, or she was against gender differences, or....

In today's world where it's so hard to have a private life, no one is safe from having their worst behavior exposed, and we all have our worst behavior - words we've said, actions taken, when tired, hurt, worn-down. While these don't have to rise to the level of criminal behavior, who hasn't known the thrill of a petty meanness done simply because we could. Maybe when we were five, or when we were fifty-five. There can be a bone-deep satisfaction in being self-righteous, in being right.  We are human, and so are our heroes.  

Through our summer sermon series, may we all find ways to emulate the best parts of our very human heroes, be they famous or our closest family. 
Embodied Healing

Friday-Sunday, August 16-18, my spiritual teacher beyond the walls of JUC will be coming to visit our spiritual home. I remember my first encounter with his teachings. I had shown up at a trusted Lakewood acupuncturist's office for a class on knee and low back pain. Movements and visualization techniques seemed different than the PT I had tried in the past. I felt vulnerable with something new, something different; however, there were others in the room with me, whom I respected and trusted. They shared what a difference this practice had made for them - for healing their stroke symptoms, their bladder cancer traumas. I leaned in. We learned a practice and added some sounds with it. The sounds helped me not focus on the more difficult movements. It was foreign but even with an awkward start, there was a calming sense of being held, of new possibilities, of healing potential. When the instructors encouraged us to dedicate ourselves to a 100 day commitment repeating what we learned at home for full benefit, I thought what do I have to lose?
My practice started to deepen that summer. What seemed so difficult at first, began to ease. My physical symptoms improved better than they had after a year of PT. I signed up for another class on Sound Healing and realized there were many more layers inside, that I wanted to heal. Sound Healing focuses on emotionally stuck places in the body. The vibrations in the body awaken transformation of numbness, fear, worry, anger and sadness to joy, creativity, purpose, courage and compassion. I added the new practice to my first one and signed up for a retreat with my now teacher.
My willingness to learn the basics before attending wasn't required but it opened me up to an experience I had never had before. I am a seeker. I have been to many spiritual workshops, but never before had I sat expectantly in the audience while the teacher looked everyone in the eye and drank in our essence with a loving smile of gratitude before he uttered his first word. It was awkward and new, and refreshingly needed. I felt honored and seen, just by showing up. Later I learned that's what happens in practice - we journey deeper and deeper into presence with ourselves and the world around us. In this place, we are held, we are seen. And, because of that transformation, we transform the world.
It would be difficult to share my eight year continual journey studying Wisdom Healing Qigong with Master Mingtong Gu. It has helped me clear stuck patterns in my marriage, parenting, friendships, work, family of origin, and relationship to community and myself. I know that anyone who risks a glimpse for themselves, even for a brief encounter, will leave with an embodied experience of new opening, new possibilities.  
If this upcoming event piques your interest, you can find more information here . There is a coupon for $40 off, code DENVER40. If it's not right timing for you, please join me in a class the first Tuesday of the month from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the chapel. The practice is both simple and profound.
Looking forward, I hope to continue to share my love of this practice and its benefits for the human journey. I am teaching it in my western medical practice and am starting a research project for medical providers to see if joy and wellness as cultivated by the practice can help providers be embodied healers with less burnout and a deeper connection to their work. When I think about my love for the JUC community, and how this home helped me heal my resistance to community and all that comes with that, I think what greater joy than to share my other love, the spiritual work of Wisdom Healing Qigong which helped me clear up my path so I can do greater work in the world. Blessings all around! Thanks for being my spiritual home and for welcoming my teacher this next month.