ISSUE 15                                                                                                                                                                                   SEPTEMBER 2017
September Theme: Welcome
Fittingly, our worship theme this month is welcome. Despite our year-round worship services, summer has a different rhythm in our church. The annual convening of our congregations and ministers in late June (General Assembly), often pulls our professional ministry team and others away. The choir is on hiatus. Our teams and committees often take a month or two respite. Religious Education for children moves to a different track to accommodate the many families who travel during the summer. And so it is that September marks both a return to familiar routine and new beginnings in our church.
This September is no exception. As we return to our regular church routine, we explore new beginnings. This year we do so in the context of our annual theme of hospitality and our monthly theme of welcome. While those two words are often conflated, we will explore how they are different in the coming weeks. However, for now, it is important to note that both hospitality and welcome are about enhancing a sense of belonging to a wider circle. 
That notion strikes at the core of a couple of our new beginnings. First, we are changing the time of our first service to  9 a.m. Our robust attendance on Sunday mornings places a strain on our parking lot. We are hopeful that the additional fifteen minutes will allow first service attendees to have some time to socialize before the second service folks start rolling in.
Second, we begin livestreaming our services on  September 10. Our staff and our board are so excited. In livestreaming, we have the opportunity to serve our own members and friends who may be traveling or ill, invite in those who watch our worship services in small groups through standing orders for DVDs, as well as live into our mission of growing Unitarian Universalism.
As I mentioned last month, our services will mostly be the same for those attending in person. Yet, there will be one significant change. We will no longer invite visitors to introduce themselves. In a year of hospitality and a month of welcome, that is a hard decision. Still, we note that it is difficult to hear many visitors who speak and without a microphone it is impossible for those attending our services online to hear. Thus, it is essential this year, that we all make a point of looking around us to notice who is wearing a paper sticker name tag, as well as those who we don't know.
Last, but not least, we have three new interns. Melissa Monforti, familiar to many of us, began her service on  August 15 as our Music Ministry Intern. On  September 5, our full-time Intern Minister, Kristen Psaki begins, followed by our part-time Intern Minister, Kim Mason on  September 18. While we will be shaped by the contributions of each of these interns this year, they will be shaped by all of us. Being a teaching congregation is an honor and an essential part of being a large church and a resource congregation.
Welcome to an exciting year at JUC!
Music Ministry Personnel for Fall 2017
JUC is fortunate to enjoy numerous talented and loving Music Ministry Staff who help to make music possible each  Sunday  and through the week. Here's our starting lineup for this fall!

Sarah Billerbeck is returning for her eleventh year as JUC's Director of Music for Children and Youth. In this capacity, Sarah leads music  on Sunday mornings in the Religious Education program, directs our Children's and Radiance Choirs, our teen Resonance Choir, and the annual Children's Music Service. Sarah's 10 year tenure with JUC was recently featured in the July 2017 issue of IGNITE.

Adam Revell has been at JUC as a pianist since 2014, and he leads JUiCe: JUC's Worship Band. Choir members have loved and appreciated his skillful accompanying of the JUC Choir. As we move into this fall, Adam will be focusing on leading the band and will be stepping back from choir accompanying. On Sundays, the good news is that the congregation will still be able to experience Adam's exquisite musicianship once or twice a month. Did you know that Adam was listed in Westword as " One of Colorado's Best Keyboard Players."

Melissa Monforti is joining the JUC Staff as Music Ministry Intern from August 15, 2017 -  August 14, 2018. Thanks to a generous grant from JUC's Endowment and Memorial Gift Trust, JUC is able to fulfill part of its mission as a teaching institution. Like Ministerial Interns, Melissa will be both learning from and serving the congregation, discovering how the music ministry programming is imagined and planned at JUC and offering new initiatives, songs, and leadership. During my sabbatical from February 1 - July 31, Melissa will also be serving as the point person for all things musical at JUC. 

While we search for a new Pianist/Choir Accompanist to play for Wednesday night choir rehearsals and to play twice a month in  Sunday services, I'm delighted to announce that our Interim Pianist/Choir Accompanist will be the accomplished concert pianist and JUC Choir second soprano  Peggy Lyon. Peggy will serve in this role until we hire an ongoing Pianist/Choir Accompanist, a position that is anticipated to be filled by mid-October. 

In addition to the fabulous music staff listed above, two exceptional volunteers are part of the music leadership team: JUC Ringers Co-Directors  Lisa Bickford and Bev Curtiss. Fall 2017 marks the second year of their direction for our handbell program. They bring enthusiasm for the art of handbell ringing and much training and experience in handbell technique and repertoire.

As noted above, during the period from February 1 through July 31, I will be completely away from Jefferson Unitarian Church on sabbatical. This is the second sabbatical that I will have taken during my twenty years in the church, the first one in 2011. I have been working with Wendy in detail to prepare how music will be realized during this time, and the next few months will see the team members listed above work with me to leverage this sabbatical to benefit the congregation. In the meantime, I look forward to our fall music making at JUC!
Church Activities
The new church year is almost here! I am very busy updating the church calendar with all of the activities that are going on here. Some reminders for building users:
  1. Don't forget to request a room for your church activity (and to cancel if you decide not to meet). The calendar request form is on the website just below the calendar.
  2. Please leave the space the way you found it. Put chairs and tables back if you move them. Clean up any messes. Blow out chalice candles. Close the windows. Turn out lights.
  3. If you use any dishes or the kitchen, please leave it clean. Dishes should all go in the dishwasher, unless they are too big to fit. If it's full, run it. If it has clean dishes in it, empty it. If you think you don't know where something goes, that's ok. Just put things away as best you can.
  4. Office hours include evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On those days someone is here to lock up. Otherwise you need to lock up before you leave. If you unlock a door it's your job to lock it back up.
Please bring any questions or concerns to me. I'm happy to try to help.
We are saddened to share the news that Bob Stelzer died Monday, August 21. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his children Ann, Kelly & Eric, who hope that you will join them for a memorial service celebrating his life on Sunday, September 17 at 3 p.m. at JUC
Annual Auction
Saturday, November 11

Don't miss JUC's hottest night of the year! This all-church auction is not only our biggest fundraiser of the year--it is our most fun! 
  • Join in the festivities with old JUC friends and make new ones
  • Bid on unique experiences, local art, lessons & services, delicious meals, and much more
  • Get crafty with a costume (and you may win a prize!)
  • Sign your children up for the kids' auction, and they'll have as much fun as you will!
Details, donation information, & volunteer opportunities coming next month.

2017 Auction theme?  Stay tuned....

Contact: Carolyn Thomas
Humanism and Planned Giving
JUC and other UU churches are unique in that we use as our religious sources the teachings and example of many prophetic men and women over the ages and modern time. These people exemplify the inherent worth and dignity of all humans. To see and empower the truth and good in others takes specialized skills and training. 
Our legacy gifts can make it possible for JUC to train ministerial interns and further develop our ministers and religious education leaders so that UU values become more understood by our members and promoted in the community beyond our walls. Please consider a legacy gift in your estate plan that will help JUC to continue and grow as a positive force in our world.  

Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators:  Bud Meadows, Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey.
Seasoned Souls
For the third chapter. . .

Join Rev. Wendy for a four part conversation on finding and making meaning in the third phase of adulthood. Open to those of retirement age, however you understand that.

King Soopers, Safeway and Vitamin Cottage Cards - Free Money!
If you aren't already using grocery cards purchased here at JUC, please give it a try. King Soopers and Safeway cards are reloadable at the store using your credit card. JUC gets 5% of all card sales and reloads. 

Last year this raised $10,000 for JUC's operations. Watch for a table on Sundays where you can buy cards, or stop by the office during the week. It's free money! 
2017-2018 Mountain Desert District High School Youth Events
Each year, the Mountain Desert District hosts three conferences, a chaplain training or leadership training, and a camp for high school youth. These are opportunities for youth to explore values, build Beloved Community, develop leadership skills, and make connections beyond our congregation. 

This year, the dates and locations are as follows:

Fall Con: Friday,  October 13 - Sunday, October 15 at JUC

MLK Con: Saturday,  January 13 - Monday, January 15 at First Universalist of Denver

Chaplain Training (limited spots): Friday, March 9 - Sunday, March 11 at Columbine UU in Littleton

Spring/Bridging Con: Friday,  April 6 - Sunday, April 8 at Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, NM

QUUest Camp: Sunday,  July 1 - Saturday, July 7 at La Foret Conference Center. For youth entering 9th grade through leaving 12th grade. Hosted in conjunction with Spirit QUUest camp for middle school youth (Entering 6th-8th grades)

Registration is now open for Fall Con.  Please contact Jessy Hennesy (Mountain Desert District Con Coordinator, JUC member and youth advisor) with questions
2017 Mountain Desert District Annual Meeting
The 2017 MDD Gathering and Annual Meeting will be held October 13-14 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder. Advance registration is open through October 3, with an early registration discounted fee available through September 10. 

Keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons, and three workshops will be presented. As meeting materials become available, they will be posted on the Annual Meeting website.

JUCers who would like to serve as delegates can nominate themselves online.
Children and Youth Choir Starts September 12
Our choir program for Children and Youth is divided into four, distinct projects each year.

Parents and kids commit to a limited number of rehearsals that culminate in performances at JUC and elsewhere. Projects are reflective of the UU principles and sources, and provide an opportunity for children to explore UU values and beliefs through music.

Rehearsals for our fall children and youth choir project begin Tuesday, September 12.  Rehearsals are held Tuesday evenings, with Children's Choir (K-3rd grade) 6:30-7:10 and Radiance choir (4th-8th grade) 7:15-8 p.m. Our teen choir, Resonance, meets on Sunday mornings. 

For more information, or to register, contact Sarah Billerbeck, Director of Music for Children and Youth.
Open Mic Returns September 8!
Mark your calendars for the return of JUC's First Friday Open Mic! 

Come and play that song you've been practicing all summer or share your poetry, comedy, magic, film, or stories. Better yet, come as an audience member to support the fabulous performers and for a chance to win prizes and hang out with great people. 

Bring the kids and enjoy a fun, family-friendly, free Friday evening!  The show starts at  7 p.m . Performers please arrive at  6:45 p.m.  to secure a spot. Contact: Rick Fisher

14350 W 32nd Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
Sunday Shared Ministry Updates
We are adding two new positions to Sunday Shared Ministry:

Family Greeter
Parking Attendant

This brings us up to a team of 19 to cover all jobs on any given Sunday! This means we need all JUC members to do their part. Per service we will need:
  • 1 Parking Attendant
  • 2 Greeters
  • 1 Family Greeter
  • 2 Ushers
  • 2 Coffee Attendants
  • 1 Commons Coordinator
  • and 1 Laundry Helper each week!
Our annual theme is HOSPITALITY, and I am looking forward to building an environment where it is a joyfully shared responsibility within our congregation.

I'm taking a two-pronged approach this year -
  1. Asking people who enjoy the various jobs to join the JUC Hospitality Team , which will entail scheduling out roughly two months in advance. You will be welcome to do the job you like best, or to try them all! I will ask for everyone's availability and desired job, then create a schedule. I will continue to recruit people on a weekly basis as needed for open spots.
  2. Asking our Going Deeper Groups, various youth classes, and church groups/teams to schedule a Sunday once per quarter where their group or team is covering as many of the positions as possible, and I will recruit as needed for any open spots.
I will be hosting a training that Hospitality Team members or anyone interested will be welcome to attend. We will practice skills such as welcoming vs. othering, energetically holding space, the ins and outs of ushering, and more! Keep an eye on the Weekly Connection for an announcement on day and time, and in the meantime, sign up for the JUC Hospitality Team  and I'll be in touch!

(Job perk - new RAINBOW lanyards!!)
Welcome Our New Interns
Kristen Psaki, Full- Time Intern Minister


I am filled with joy to be joining you all this year. A long and beautiful journey brings me to the JUC community as your full-time Intern Minister and I look forward to connecting with many of you over these next nine months and sharing some of these stories.

In the meantime, I hope to offer a brief introduction in these few words.

I've been a seeker of Wisdom and Justice my whole life and finding a vocational home within Unitarian Universalism sits on the shoulders of a formative Christian childhood and an earnest adult search for the transcendent. Currently, I find great spiritual nourishment in a frequent yoga and meditation practice as well as long luscious hikes.

Serenaded by the mountains, I moved to Colorado one week after graduating from Union Theological Seminary in NYC in May of 2014. I joined First Unitarian Society of Denver (FUSD) and after a seasonal stint with a farm-to-table mobile restaurant in Boulder County I dove into a year-long chaplaincy residency at St. Anthony North Health Campus paired with a part-time position at FUSD as the Co-Youth Coordinator. My identity as a Unitarian Universalist continues to unfold and blossom. In my daily life, I lean most heavily on the Seventh Principle - respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part - by rooting my relationships with humans and the earth in a growing awareness of this ever-present interdependence.

Throughout my ordination process I've consistently worked in the food industry in one form or another and the sharing of meals and gathering around food continue to be sacred spaces and moments I work to create and preserve. I love thinking about the way food is woven into the fabric of religious traditions and church life. I also love chocolate and coffee, separately or together.

Whether it's Sunday services or an adult education class, I hope to meet you soon. I enter into this year open-hearted, eager to share and eager to learn.

Kim Mason, Part-Time Intern Minister

As I write this, I am sitting in a tent with two cats in Wakeeney, Kansas. Yes, I said cats. Don't you take your cats camping? In all honesty, I've never taken my cats camping before, but I thought I'd try it. You see, I'm driving a moving van from Knoxville, Tennessee to Golden, CO to begin my Ministerial Internship at JUC. This multi-day trip with all my belongings and two feline companions is teaching me all sorts of things - the least of which is that after 12 hours together in a cat carrier, even cats enjoy camping.

Now, I don't expect that all the things I try in the next two years as an intern will be quite so successful - or so physically demanding as a cross-country move. However, what I hope is we can enter this relationship with a spirit of curiosity, adventure and openness to learning together. Having been a religious educator for the past 15 years, I am learning what it means to be a minister. Having lived up and down the east coast, I chose an internship site in a part of the country I have never lived in order to better understand Unitarian Universalism nationwide. Having served in small and m id-size congregations, I chose JUC to learn more about large congregations. I am looking forward to the next two years and hope that I have some gifts and experiences that you might learn from, just as I will learn from you.

I also want to express my gratitude to you for this opportunity. Being a teaching congregation is not an easy thing and our relationship will be a critical one in my ministerial formation. As you give me opportunities to learn, to succeed and even to fail, my job will be to try my best, to grow from my successes and to repair my mistakes. Throughout this process we'll be trusting each other, and holding each other in the love of shared community. I am excited to begin this work with you.
Finding Space

The Board of Trustees, ministers and senior staff met in an all-day retreat on Saturday, August 12. By the end of the day we had committed to this "big hairy audacious goal":

By May 1, 2018 we will have a viable plan to free JUC from the limits of our campus in order to live more fully into our mission.

We've made many creative adaptations over the years to fit our growing congregation and programs into our campus: building a new chapel, holding two services each Sunday morning, and parking at nearby Maple Grove Park. Two more adaptations begin in September. On Sunday, September 3, the  first service time moves to 9 a.m. and on Sunday, September 10  we begin livestreaming our services online. But to fully live into our mission--Guided by Unitarian Universalist principles and powered by the energy and resources of its members, Jefferson Unitarian Church acts to nurture our spiritual community, grow Unitarian Universalism, and transform the world outside our church walls-we need more space!

We invite you to attend the October 15 congregational meeting where we will gather ideas. Your ideas do matter; what you think can add value to this project. You are as important as any other member of this church. If we knew we were vital to the physical and spiritual wellbeing of hundreds of people yet to cross our threshold, how would we approach this goal?
Path to Membership
JUC offers four Path to Membership classes each year and we encourage all those interested in membership to attend, whether longtime UUs or those completely unfamiliar with our faith.

Some folks wonder why they can't just join without the class. One answer is that we offer the class in the spirit of hospitality so that new members begin on a solid footing: understand something of our faith and our particular church; get to know our campus; meet our ministers, some church staff and leaders, and a group of others joining at the same time who may become their first good friends at church. Highlights include a personal sharing by one of our ministers about the depth and breadth of our faith, a game that makes us think and share with one another, and a joyful brunch presented by the Membership Team. The class runs less than three hours but packs a real punch and at its end, participants have the opportunity to join. Even if you've only attended JUC a couple of times, we invite you to join us and get an inside view of who we UUs are, our values and our dreams. Our next class is Saturday, September 16 . You can sign up online or at the Sign-Up Site at church. We look forward to welcoming you!
Family Ministry Team - Embrace!
We're so very blessed at JUC. Word of our loving and open community continues to spread and draw families to our door. With new members, however, comes the age old question; how can we best expand the reach of our love and compassion? It's so easy for people new to such a large church to feel lost, disconnected, and unsure about how to build relationships.

To answer this call, the FMT has created Embrace! This program  matches newer families (welcomed families) with folks who are more familiar with JUC (the welcomers). We will run 2 cohorts this year (fall and spring) and each Embrace! cohort will kick off with a social event. The commitment is typically between 2 and 6 hours over the course of the season.

This fall, FMT will be seeking both those who want to be welcomed and those who want to welcome. To volunteer, stop by our table in the RE hallway on Sundays through September 17 or signup online .

The Embrace Family Mixer, our signature kickoff event, will take place Sunday, September 24.

Contact  for more information.

Guatemala Fiesta Supports the Scholarship Program
This year 60 Mayan students in Rabinal, Guatemala, have been pursuing their education thanks to the generous support of the JUC community and our partners, the UU church of Arlington, VA and local program administrator, ADIVIMA. Our Scholarship program has been supporting students from this impoverished community and expanding their opportunities for ten years. During that time several groups of JUC'ers have traveled to Rabinal on cultural exchange trips, expanding our relationship with the community and our understanding of their world. This year we offered a family trip. This July, five JUC teens and their parents traveled to Rabinal to spend time with the students and their community.

For several years the Guatemala Fiesta has celebrated the scholarship students, our relationship with the community and the generous donors who make the program possible. This year the Fiesta will feature our JUC family travelers. Their stories are not to be missed.

Join us for the Guatemala Fiesta  Sunday, September 24  at 12:30 p.m. on the patio.
There will be food and music, singing and adventures shared.
All ages are welcome.

Gather with 5 JUC teens and their families to hear their stories of their transformational trip to Guatemala. They met students that we support and their families, visited resettlement villages, played soccer and more. Come hear their most moving moments and learn more about the Guatemala Scholarship program.

Upcoming Local Elections in Jefferson County - Why It Matters to You!
Affordable Housing Advocacy Subgroup, Together Colorado Group

This year we can take a short break from the national and statewide elections (whew) -- but did you realize that local (city, county, school board) elections actually have a bigger impact on our lives?

All of the things day-to-day things that affect us most directly come from local politics.

People chosen in local elections (for our cities that is usually a mayor and city council) decide on what to do with our tax money and on issues such as:
  • Public safety - police, fire, and sometimes ambulance service.
  • Utilities - water and wastewater, and sometimes trash collection, electric power, and natural gas.
  • Land use - planning, zoning, code enforcement, and other regulatory activities -what kind of remodel you can do to your house or what your neighborhood is going to look like in terms of redevelopment; i.e. attainable/affordable housing or high-end housing.
  • Transportation - street construction and maintenance, traffic safety, and sometimes public transit.
  • Recreation/cultural - parks, recreation, libraries, and sometimes cultural facilities.
  • Legal - ordinances protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of the community.
  • Board Appointments - appointments to local boards, commissions and authorities are decided by the members of the city council. These boards have a significant impact on each citizen's neighborhood and community
From now until the November 7 election, the JUC Together Colorado committee will be providing our congregation with information on upcoming city candidate forums, and Jefferson County School Board candidate forums.  We hope to provide you with enough information so that you can made make educated votes in November - BECAUSE YOUR VOTE DOES COUNT!