ISSUE 48                                                                                                                                                                                                JUNE 2020
Board of Trustees Report
This month, t he Board firmed up the process for the upcoming congregational vote.  The Board  is also in the process of finalizing the annual ministerial review.

The Board wanted to express their sincere appreciation to the ministers and staff for their hard work and guidance during the pandemic
Thresholds  and Planned Giving
Many of us are in the threshold of "retirement," that time between regular work and the final threshold of living on this precious planet. It is a time to remember, reflect, tie up loose ends, give of ourselves and yes, play .  

Lois Abbott, a long-time JUC member who died recently, exemplified aging well. She and her late husband Frank contributed so much in time, talent and resources to the UU movement and JUC. She was a proud member of the Legacy Circle. We sincerely celebrate all Lois has given in many ways to benefit the future of JUC.

We invite you to join us as a Legacy Circle member by including a bequest to JUC in your estate planning.

Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators: Bud & B.J. Meadows , Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey
Living, Loving, and Learning: The Heart of Faith Formation 
I have been a religious educator for nearly 15 years, and in that time, I have experienced numerous obstacles and challenges. But I never imagined I would be serving a church that didn't meet in person (temporarily). Wow! What a time to be in ministry, and what an honor to be exploring all the ways we are learning to be in ministry together!

Dr. Barry Andrews, a UU Minister, offers us that if religion is about anything, it is about "being alive and is about enchantment, compassion, transformation, and self-renewal." William Ellery Channing reminds us that, "the great end in religious instruction is to awaken the soul, to excite, and cherish spiritual life." Faith formation's task in Channing's words "is not to stamp our minds on a child [or adult- I say!], but to stir up their own; not to give them a definite amount of knowledge, but to inspire a fervent love of truth; . . . not to form an outward regularity, but to touch inward springs." I do not believe anyone has spoken wiser words about faith formation and not only for our children but also for every adult. Faith formation is not merely about the accumulation of information, but living, loving, and a depth of learning that changes and transforms us.  

And how do we, as a faith community, move deeper into meaningful faith formation that is living, loving, and a depth of learning that changes and transforms us in a time of physical separation? Well, we do not know for sure because we have never been here before, BUT we can be curious and open to discovering ways to make it happen!

To parents: as much as religious educators would love to take credit for your child's faith formation, the credit does not belong to us. You, my dear hearts, are your child(ren)'s, primary religious educator. What? It's true! Your children spend less than an hour a week in RE classes. Home is where your children receive nurturing, acceptance, and love, which is the foundation of faith formation. Children are given explanations of the world, values, and advice about important life events and topics at home. It is with you that children experience attitudes toward faith, meaning, and purpose that they will notice and model. It is with you that they have the opportunity and safety to develop, practice, and flourish in their faith.

To adults: worship service is an excellent tool for growth and learning. Going Deeper groups, meditation or yoga class, or study groups do this as well. But just like with families, home is where you do most of your living, and it is where your faith formation occurs. It is where you discover the meaning behind your experiences, a chance to practice what you have learned, to try out, or on, these learnings to determine whether you will hold them or release them.

JUC is here to support children, families, and adults on your faith formation journey. The only requirement is that you approach it with curiosity and with an understanding we are "experi-learning" together. (Karen Bellavance-Grace, creator of Full Week Faith) We are learning together, as we go, in a time that is new to all of us.

JUC's ministry's team is so excited to be introducing weekly Living, Loving, and Learning Faith Formation Guides for children, youth, families, and adults. These guides will expand your Sunday morning worship experience and offer you and your family opportunities to keep the message, music, and stories alive all week long in your home and in your lives. Our first guides will arrive in your email on Monday, June 8.

Remember JUC; you are not alone. We are here to tend to and care for one another's hearts and souls and we are here to support you. As we remain at our social distances, may faith formation renew our connections to living, loving, and learning that changes and transforms us.
Ken Andrus, Trustee

As many of us probably know by heart, the 2nd UU Principle is  "Justice, Compassion and Equity in Human Relations."

Compassion  is part of who we are.  We strive to convey our  feelings of caring and love for all people.  Doing so makes us feel more connected with ourselves and our community.

This quality of ours also makes enduring this pandemic difficult for us as a church community.  We are about hugs, group gatherings, elbow-to-elbow conversations in the commons area, leaning into each other - both literally and figuratively. 

Social distancing is about as non-UU as it gets.

But in spite of this inconvenience, we do get it. For the greater good, we have adopted a new normalcy, and new ways to show our compassion. With the help of technology, and with a bit of resourcefulness, we stay in touch with friends, loved ones and fellow members. We take pictures to share and keep us visually connected. We meet virtually to share our thoughts and beliefs in our Going Deeper groups. We schedule calls and post reminders to reach out to each other on a regular basis. We sing and play music together. We show our compassion by donating to good causes online. 

And we will continue to be resilient, to adapt, to find new ways to share our compassion, in big ways and small, to keep the spirit of our church thriving and active.
Andy Melick

COVID-19 Impact

Construction of the home JUC starting building in March - in conjunction with Jeffco Interfaith Partners - has been suspended until July at the earliest. JUC's next scheduled build day was June 12, but that's been cancelled. Habitat Metro Denver is evaluating how to resume operations when public health concerns allow, including what safety precautions will be necessary and how many volunteers to have on site.  It's possible the entire construction schedule will shift to the fall. Please keep in mind that when things do "normalize," H4H will need more help than ever.

One bright spot in all the uncertainty is that Habitat ReStores have reopened on a restricted basis.  Over the years, Habitat Restores have diverted 9.6 million tons of waste from landfills and served 210,000 families.

The vetting of prospective owners for the home we worked on last year in the Swansea neighborhood has been delayed as well due to the pandemic. Check out this video of the home.  The JUCers who volunteered in 2019 can say, "I built that!"

In 2019, Habitat Metro Denver served 220 families by building or preserving homes, and sponsored 67 homes in other countries. 20,000 volunteers donated 150,000 hours. During this time of pandemic, safe, stable, affordable housing has never been more important. Thank you!