ISSUE 20                                                                                                                                                                                     FEBRUARY 2018
February Theme: Perseverance
In the winters of my youth, February was a perfect month to consider what it might mean to be a people of perseverance. Winter in Wisconsin by then felt endless. Dull gray days slowly rippled out after Jimmy, the one true groundhog, saw his shadow in Sun Prairie, a small town just outside Madison. Tradition and Jimmy said six more weeks of winter. Even for those of us who loved being on toboggans and skates, enough was enough already.

Much older now, I see perseverance as something more than enduring the inconvenient or tiresome. Perseverance requires a vision of the not yet and a willingness to work toward it whether or not it is ever achieved.

What a great quality to lift up during Black History month!

This year, I again read MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail. If you have never read it, I highly commend it to you. The Letter itself is King's response to white clergy who urge patience and denounce his organizing and the direct non-violent action of the black community. How long, asks King, is long enough? Shouldn't 340 years be sufficient?

At its core, perseverance is about not giving up. It is the small and large decisions even in the face of great difficulty, made in the service of something better than what is known. What better word is there to capture how civil rights gains were made in the 1960s? Perseverance echoes in the old spiritual "We Shall Overcome" and in the new song "Keep on Moving Forward."

Most of our lives contain chapters of perseverance. Particularly hard times that threatened to run us over or a particular challenge over which we were intent on triumphing.

One thing is certain: perseverance is not a solo sport. We need others to help hold our vision of something better and to urge us on when we are tempted to quit. How fortunate we are to have this church to companion us and equip us to become people who can indeed persevere.
The Journey of a Thousand Miles
On Sunday,  February 4 , the JUC Treble Chamber Choir and JUC Choirs will sing an anthem that features words by three poets and authors:

Rumi (1207 - 1273)
Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you truly love.

Lao-Tzu (6th century BCE)
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
Go with confidence in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

February 4 will mark the final day that I will be at JUC until August, as the church has granted me a six-month sabbatical. As I wrote in the last IGNITE article, JUC personnel documents say that " The Sabbatical Leave is for study, education, writing, reflection, and meditation, and other forms of professional and religious growth. " I also described some of the activities that I will be engaging in, including traveling to India and Nepal and participating in the UUA General Assembly and Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network conference. Here at the cusp of the beginning of this time in reflection and study, I can assure you that I am feeling at the beginning of a "journey of a thousand miles." 

Although I have made concrete plans for some of the time away, I have also taken the opportunity to build in time for quiet and spaciousness. One of the greatest gifts of the 2011 sabbatical time when I was away for six months was the chance to depart from normal patterns and habits that I had built up over the years. In India, I learned that I was not in charge, and experienced time and again the importance of "going with the flow." In the US, I visited churches of various faiths each  Sunday I was on sabbatical and in the country, and I experienced many traditions and practices of music. All of this time away from regular responsibilities meant that I was free to be open to the possibilities of new ways of living into the role of Minister of Music upon my return, especially as a new chapter in Jefferson Unitarian Church was beginning with the arrival of a new Senior Minister, Rev. Wendy Williams.

JUC is now exploring another chapter change: Making Room. As our community wrestles with the the inspiring questions of who we want to be in the world and what kind of physical campus will help us achieve that, my hopes are that I return from my time away with a freshness and renewal to help answer those questions in a newly creative and open way. May we all be guided by the advice given by the sages above: being drawn by the pull of what we truly love, having the courage to take the first step and then persevere, and finally to go in the direction of our dreams.
Please Join the JUC Hospitality Team!
Our new system is off to a great start, but we do need more team members, particularly Coffee Attendants. Please look over the job descriptions if you're not familiar with them and consider signing up for a team. Our Sunday Shared Ministry is truly shared when many hands make light work.

"Practicing hospitality expresses our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of each person. Through our actions of hospitality we move towards creating a world in which we are all treated with justice, equality, and compassion." ~ David Rynick

All are invited to attend our Hospitality Team Training on Sunday, February 25, after second service, even if you're not yet signed up for a team. We will explore hospitality a little more in-depth, including the concept of holding space, welcoming vs. othering, and learn some practices that can help us embrace hospitality from a heart-centered place. Light snacks and childcare provided. Please sign up so I know how many to expect. 
New Calendar/Announcement Screens

You may have noticed some new technology around the church the last few weeks. Thanks to your generous donations of over $10,000 to the Auction Special Appeal in November we were able to install three new announcement screens earlier this month.

The screens are located in the so. commons, Mills building foyer, and the RE hallway. They display up-to-the-minute church and family calendars as well as advertisements for current offerings at JUC. 

Next time you're at church stop by a screen to find the room number for your class or event or pause to see what you might want to engage with next.
Joan Cattanach died January 23 in Northglenn, CO.  She was 91 years old.  A memorial service is planned for spring 2018 at JUC.
Welcome Our New Members
Sara Claus enjoys crafts, holistic wellness, and her dog, Gladys. 
We Are Making  Room
Stay informed as we work together on the goal to  free JUC from the limits of our campus in order to live more fully into our mission. 

The Making Room website is your hub for the latest news on the project. 

Register for a forum.
Track our accomplishments.
Engage with fellow members through the blog.

Check back often for the latest on the project.
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. 

February Menu:
Wednesday, February 7:
Salsa Chicken with Rice
Friday, February 16:
Cheeseburger Macaroni
Intention and Planned Giving
Estate planning can be carried out with intention and attention. How do we want to use our tangible resources to reveal our truest selves to our loved ones and leave a legacy of transformative power? We invite you to include JUC in your estate planning so that this dynamic institution of which you are a working part can continue its vital work. We may not see our deepest longings achieved in our lifetime but we can pass on to future generations the strength to continue our shared vision.

Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators:  Bud Meadows , Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey .
Learn More About Spirit Map
Sunday, February 11, 9 a.m.

Survey expert, Laura Park, Rev. Wendy and Spirit Map Survey team member member Elaine Zerger will explain more about the survey tool and   JUC's results.

Our church programming is being informed by our results - Signature Strengths and Key Opportunities:  Being UU workshops and classes, Fall Retreat planning and an upcoming multicultural development program, Mosaic Makers, will leverage strengths and help us grow in our areas of opportunity. 

From Rev. Wendy: "Our strengths are being leveraged regularly in worship and pointing toward the future. Specifically, I have been reflecting on the bold church we have always been and that we have always made hard choices together. Our collective choices in this church have reflected that we care about the welfare of others, we seek opportunities to grow, and we have a rich understanding that our choices matter. Making Room will lean into these strengths."
Guatemala Family Trip
July 17-26, 2018

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.  Last summer's family cultural exchange with the indigenous Maya Achi people in Rabinal, Guatemala was described by the teens as "life-changing," "transformative," and "extraordinary." The next family trip won't be until 2020 so don't wait!

For question so to recieve an application packet, contact Gretchen May, UUSC  TF/ Guatemala Scholarship Partners
Upcoming District and Cluster Middle and High School Youth Events
There are several upcoming opportunities for youth to connect with peers, deepen their connection to Unitarian Universalism, and live our shared values. Please mark your calendars, and contact Jessy Hennesy, JUC Youth Adviser with questions.
Cluster Middle School Con: UU To the Core
Grades 6-8
February 23 & 24
UU Church of Boulder. Registration is open. 
MDD Bridging Con
Grades 9-12
April 6-8
Unitarian Church of Los Alamos. There will be a bus for transportation.
QUUest (Grades 8-12) and Spirit QUUest (Grades 5-7) Camps
July 1-7
La Foret Conference and Retreat Center.
Pacific Western Region Justice Journey
Roots, Reflections and Relationships -  An Environmental Justice Journey
July 14-22, 2018
Throop Unitarian Universalist Church

A week long immersion experience focusing on Environmental Sustainability through service, learning, and through a meditation practice designed to be reflective and to sustain future justice work. This is a mutilgenerational trip for rising 9th graders and up. More information is available online. Scholarships are available.
Spirit Map Update

You may recall the Spirit Map survey we participated in last Spring. This survey, developed by Unity Consultants in Minneapolis, consisted of 44 qualities which you considered twice; firstly if they reflected who you were (self assessment) and secondly if they were important to you. Qualities which were important to you AND reflected who you were designated as signature strengths. Alternatively, qualities you felt were important but did not reflect who you were are designated as key opportunities. I reported on the initial results from this survey in the August 2017 edition of IGNITE. These results looked at the average responses from 333 congregants and indicated signature strengths being, for example, "I act with integrity" or "I care deeply about the welfare of others" while key opportunities were, for example, "I give to others fully and generously" or "I am able to adapt when things do not turn out the way I want." Generally there was a positive correlation between self assessment and importance. We interpret this correlation as indicative of the fact that in these  ethical and spiritual questions our actions are consistent with our words; i.e. we tend to "practice what we preach."

In addition to this list of 44 qualities, you were given the opportunity to make general comments. Not surprisingly we received quite a broad spectrum of responses.

Three key themes emerging from the comments:

1. Spirituality provokes both interest and discomfort. Although many comments appreciated the survey and its thought- provoking content, and many people made comments about the role of spirituality at JUC and in their personal lives with no discomfort, there were also many comments uncomfortable with spirituality and spiritual maturity. Some of those comments equated spirituality with lack of action, some of those comments felt that spiritual maturity imposed a hierarchy, and some of those comments found no meaning in the concept of spirituality.

2. We live in challenging times and people have a wide range of opinions about how church should respond. There were comments that:
  • Highlighted people's sense of the urgency of the moment.
  • Expressed frustration in hearing so regularly about the issues of the day.
  • Wished for a deeper response from the church.
  • Worried about alienating people with different political views.
  • Appreciated the church's support in navigating this moment.

3. Church matters in people's lives. There were many comments, in all categories, of the deep meaning church brought to people's lives. Despite the few comments about diminished impact and some yearning for the past, the overwhelming majority highlighted programs that had made a deep difference in their lives. People particularly highlighted worship, small groups, Family Promise, and choir as transformative experiences.
Just Neighboring and the Together Colorado Organizing Ministry

On the evening of Thursday, February 22,  Just Neighboring and JUC's Together Colorado Organizing Ministries are celebrating our accomplishments of the past two years and identifying new areas where we can make a difference. Please come to get updated, to share the successes from your attendance at our forums, and from the letters and phone calls you've made, and...if you want to be more involved in social justice work, this is a great opportunity to become engaged!

JUC has always been active in social justice as part of our mission to "transform the world outside our church walls." Several years ago the board challenged our congregation to come up with a new "All-Church" project. Members submitted 19 different ideas. After several large meetings, the consensus was to create a "Just Neighboring" community project. Edgewater was chosen, a low-income city west of Sloan's Lake. Over the past three years, members have been involved in several ways: yard clean-up for seniors twice a year, a weekly breakfast for the homeless, a twice-monthly food bank, and volunteering twice a week as reading tutors for primary students at Lumberg Elementary. All of these direct services are important work and continue to this day.

Two years ago, Just Neighboring decided to expand beyond direct service into community organizing. We asked ourselves how we could challenge the systems that create problems - to move upstream to address causes . We partnered with Together Colorado, a community organizing group with years of experience, to train us. Using their model of one-to-one conversations, we determined that the top concerns for the JUC community are mental health and affordable housing.

Since then JUC's Organizing Ministry has done the research to understand those issues, with Together Colorado providing ongoing training and support. We built relationships with other non-profits, government agencies and local elected officials. Some of the visible work that you've seen includes the Jefferson County Commissioners Candidate Forum and subsequent successful effort to persuade the commissioners to continue accepting HUD grants, the Mental Health Public Meeting ( It's Time to Talk ) and the School Board Candidate Forum.

Now, we're ready to embark on our next challenges with mental health and affordable housing, so we're hoping you can join us on Thursday, February 22. We are ready to widen our commitments and broaden our perspective. If you are unable to attend, we'd love to hear from you from you via phone or email or a chat during coffee hour.
Endowment and Memorial Gift Trust (EMGT) Call for Grant Proposals for 2018-2019
The EMGT Board of Directors are pleased to announce that up to $20,000 will be available for special projects in 2018-2019.

Since its inception in 1996, the EMGT has distributed more than $450,000 to fund capital improvements, scholarships, internships, conferences, and community outreach. We encourage you to submit your ideas to advance the strategic objectives of JUC.

Please remember that all grant proposals must originate from a standing committee or recognized JUC group. Grants will be evaluated under the provisions of the EMGT Charter and policies.

The guidelines and application form are availble online Proposals are to be submitted in electronic format on the application form, sent to .

The deadline for submission of grant proposals is Sunday, April 1, 2018.

Projects approved by the EMGT Board of Directors for funding will be announced in IGNITE  in late April.

For more information, feel free to contact any EMGT director: Mike Kramer, Chair; Pat Emery, Treasurer; Stephanie Briggs, Secretary; and Doug Anderson.