ISSUE 18                                                                                                                                                                                     DECEMBER 2017
December Theme: Hope
Months ago, hope seemed like a wonderful theme. Oh sure, there are the longer nights and the colder weather, but still . . . there is hope. And then, November ends with an ever-growing stream of accusations of sexual harassment against politicians and celebrities, as well as further efforts to undermine health care, increasing tensions across the globe, proposed tax reform detested by 52% of the population (surely, a supermajority in this environment), and the violent last gasps of a culture that was built upon the unexamined and imagined superiority of white people.

Suddenly, hope seems far away even for an optimist like me.

So, what do we do when hope seems far away, if not imprudent?

For me, taking some time to be quiet, allowing myself to breathe into the sadness, walking with the despair, helped me recalibrate. I remembered that I think of hope as a choice, not a feeling. David Brower, one time president of the Sierra Club described optimism and pessimism as being on "opposite sides of the same coin, the same irresponsible surrender to fatalism, in which you treat the future as fate and not choice, and not taking responsibility for creating the future you want."

This has always resonated with me, as I imagine it does with you. It is foundational to Unitarian Universalism. As a faith tradition, we continually grew away from speculating on what happens after death. Instead, we are guided to concern ourselves with the here and now and to work to shape the world into the image held in our dreams.

Hope is not blind optimism. It is not meeting reality with a blithe smile or ignoring the news while chanting some Disney-inspired mantra like "Don't Worry; Be Happy."

Instead, it is closer to Barbara Kingsolver's guidance: "The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof."

Our Board has held before us its hope. "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." The Board has described it as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Yet, truthfully, I think the Board, holding our history, current members, partners, and those yet to come through our doors and boldly cast a vision to remain a dynamic church, relevant in its message, and relentless in its desire to grow its capacity to shape the community in which it sits. In other words, as Peter Morales put it, to be "the religion for our time."

Hope is not theoretical. It is about making choices informed by a commitment to building something worthy of our hope and energy.  As it turns out, it really is a great theme for this month and every month.
December Services and Special Events
The month of December is a time of rich opportunities to connect with the JUC community.  All services and events are open to the public and are good opportunities to welcome newcomers and guests.

Tuesday, December 5, 7-9:30 p.m.
UU Liberal Christians: Advent Service
Waiting for the Light
Advent observances take place at the darkest time of the year, ushering in a period of reflection and anticipation. Its roots are in folk traditions and pagan rituals celebrating the miracle of light as a sign of rebirth and source of hope. Christians observe it as time of preparation during the four weeks before Christmas. All are welcome to this candlelight service in the Chapel, hosted by the UU Liberal Christians. Fellowship with refreshments will follow.

Saturday, December 9, 4:30 p.m. 
Sunday, December 10, 9 & 11 a.m.
Holiday Music Service "Navidad Nuestra"
A musical recasting of the traditional Christmas story to the pampas of Argentina. In this version, the Three Magi ride llamas and bring syrup, honey, and alpaca sweaters to the newborn child. The music and service explore what it is like to be searching for sanctuary in time of need. The JUC Choir is joined by a guitarist, percussion, and a native Spanish speaking tenor with music by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez. A special offering will be taken to support sanctuary at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder.

Sunday, December 10, 6:30 p.m.
I Heart Christmas Concert and Singalong
We have a a great set of talent to sing to you and with you: the EverHopefuls (your hosts), the Resonance Choir, the Skeleton Dolls, the LeBlanc family, Sophia's Journey, the JUC Ringers and our favorite actress, Marion Rex. It's a great way for the whole family to get in the spirit of the holidays by singing AND by donating to the Guatemalan Scholarship Fund. Let's pack the house again this year!

Wednesday, December 13, 6:30 p.m.
Holiday Healing Evensong
A meditative and quiet service for those who have a difficult time in December. Led by Keith Arnold and Wendy Williams, with music from Sophia's Journey and Melissa Monforti, and the opportunity to light a candle for a loss.

Thursday, December 21, 7 p.m.
Winter Solstice Celebration
A contemplative and participatory service, appropriate for all ages. A service that gratefully acknowledges the darkness and invites the return of the light, that concludes with a traditional burning of a Yule wreath, with our intentions for the year.

Sunday, December 24
9 & 11 a.m. Child Friendly Christmas Eve Services with Children's Choir
4 p.m. Christmas Eve service with Band
6 & 8 p.m. Christmas Eve services with Choir
10 p.m. Contemplative service in Chapel
Please sign up for Shared Ministry and bring cookies to share. JUC will proved allergen free treats as well.

Monday, December 25
11 a.m.  Potluck Brunch
12:30 p.m. Holiday Movie
Welcome Our New Members!
Brenton Burnett and Heidi Wicks  enjoy hiking, reading, movies, and spending time with their daughter, Romy.
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. 

December is comfort food month.

Wednesday, December 6:
Beef Stew
Friday, December 15:
Chicken Pot Pie
Planned Giving and Change
A good way to deal with change is to plan for it. We had little choice when our parents prepared for our arrival. How we changed their lives! Throughout our lives we've learned to deal with change or at least tolerate it. We do have a choice to prepare for the ultimate change that we may not want but cannot avoid.

An estate plan allows us to have some influence over how our life ends and what our legacy will be. We have an opportunity to leave our resources in ways that will support our loved ones and the institutions we love as they undergo the changes they must face. Help JUC undergo changes in its future by including it in your estate plan. Visit the planned giving display in the north commons for relevant information.

Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators:  Bud Meadows , Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey .
UUSC Task Force News
Your support of the Guatemalan Scholarship Program is making a real difference in the live of students and their families.

Join the UUSC Task Force on Sunday, December 3 at 9 a.m. as we Skype with our Guatemalan students who are graduating and hear about their successes and future plans. This is a special time for the students and their families as we celebrate with them, and the students have amazing stories to share. Please join us for an uplifting hour!

Also, come to I Heart Christmas on Sunday, December 10 at 6 p.m. This is a fun evening of holiday music, cider and cookies. Your donation at the event supports our Guatemalan Scholarship students. Come and bring friends for a delightful evening.

2017 Donations to JUC
As the end of the year approaches, we are very grateful when you keep JUC in mind for donations and pledge payments. Please plan to make any amounts you want included for your 2017 tax deductions in a timely manner. Checks must be dated in 2017 AND received or postmarked in 2017 to be included.  December 31  is a  Sunday , so drop off any last-minute pledge payments or donations during church. Anything mailed must be at the post office by  Saturday, December 30  to be postmarked in time.

Statements of 2017 donations for your tax filing purposes will be sent in late January. Please note: these will be sent by email unless you request a hard copy from Carol Wilsey.
Do You Shop with Amazon?
If you don't and won't, then skip this article. But if you do, you could be earning 2.5% of your purchases for JUC - and this is on top of the 0.5% they offer as part of their AmazonSmile program. You can do so by purchasing scrip from JUC's Scrip Program, either at church on Sunday mornings, or on-line at the website. You can pay either by check, or with debit on-line through their Presto Pay option, which gets you the scrip in just a minute or two.

If you already shop on, please consider using shopwithscrip gift cards as your payment method. Contact:  Pat Emery
Scrip Program Earns Free Money for JUC During Holidays!
Giving gift cards as gifts this season can earn up to 16% for JUC. You can also use gift cards to purchase gifts you wrap yourself. Scrip for clothing, specialty stores, and online shopping are available.

JUC's scrip program will be placing a Purchase Order on Monday, December 11. It will include the gift cards for the families of the Family Tree gifting programs. Place an order with Pat Emery by email, phone ( 303 748-1215) or by visiting her at the scrip table on Sunday mornings.  
Ethics, Principles, and Practice of Personal Sustainability...
Beyond Net Zero
Join the Green Task Force this  Thursday, November 30 at 7 p.m.
This is the first of two presentations in the Bringing It Home series, w hich will cover the personal side of energy/climate actions . The second will be Friday, January 26 when John Avenson will discuss the  10 most effective energy transformations on his 1981 home.

14350 W 32nd Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
Auction Thanks
Carolyn Thomas & Darcy Stanton

Sincere thanks to the hundreds of JUCers who made Under the Big Top a roaring success!   

Ladies, gentlemen, boys & girls--indeed, children of all ages--attended our annual auction clad in costumes galore: lions & lion tamers, acrobats, clowns, ring leaders, fortune tellers, a roller-skating intern, even a prize-winning 'sanitation engineer!' In addition to a fun-filled evening of midway games, traditional circus fare, and roving entertainers, we drove up the bids (both silent and live) to raise nearly $50,000 for our beloved community.

A good time was indeed had by all, thanks to the many volunteers who donated their time as greeters, carnival game hosts, bid helpers, cotton candy spinners, bartenders, clean-up committee, and much, much more. JUCer Heather Robinson generously provided her photo booth so we can remember the fun we had at JUC Under the Big Top. View your photos online (password: 2017).

So to everyone who donated an item or an experience, to everyone who bid or drove up a bid, to everyone who attended the auction or bid remotely--we couldn't have done this without you!  Thank you.
Shared Ministry Hospitality Teams
We are making changes to Sunday Shared Ministry! I am hopeful (see what I did there?) that this will create a better system that will be more self-sustainable than the current one. I am asking that all JUC members join one of our new Hospitality Teams, so that the responsibilities are indeed shared.   

If you are unable to serve or have any questions or concerns please be in touch. Please keep in mind that with big enough teams, each team member should only have to serve once every two to three months. Also, please note that I am happy to modify the jobs as needed in order to accommodate those with disabilities.

When I took this job almost two years ago there was a very small team of Commons Coordinators who were taking on the responsibility of monitoring the commons on Sundays during both services and serving at least once per month and sometimes twice. I recruited quite a few more people, split the job into 1 st and 2 nd service shifts, and began scheduling out about two to three months in advance based on the availability they all gave me. This has worked extremely well, so we are going to do the same for each of the other positions.

I want to send out a huge thank you to those Commons Coordinators for keeping everything running smoothly, and for helping me come up with this new plan. They are: Linda Horn, Mary Anne Schiff, Judy Gangloff, Lynne Haigh, Jill Surber Blackwell, Chris Bartling, Don Bishop, Karen Oxman, and Jim Norland. Thank you to former team members Lisa Rountree and Cheryl Ames as well.

They are also helping by overseeing a table in the south commons on December 3, 10, and 17 to get people signed up for the Hospitality Teams! You can sign up ONLINE , at the Sign Up Site bulletin board outside the sanctuary, at the table on one of those dates, or by shooting me an email or giving me a call!

If you don't know what a certain position entails, please check out the online sign up, where all the job descriptions are attached. The positions are: Greeter, Family Greeter, Usher, Coffee Attendant, and Laundry Helper. Greeters and Family Greeters will all be on one Greeter Team.

A few things to note:
  • You will be scheduled based on the availability that you provide. I won't be insisting that anyone work during their travel dates!
  • If your schedule changes or you are unable to serve due to illness or injury simply let me know and I will find someone to fill the spot.
  • This is not a lifelong commitment. I'm planning to reassess teams on a yearly basis, and add new people to teams when they join JUC.
  • I will be continuing to reach out to our youth teams and Going Deeper Groups to have them take on an entire Sunday, which will lessen the load for the Hospitality Teams.
  • An in-depth hospitality training will be offered in early 2018 for all teams. Details to be announced.
Finally, many thanks to the following individuals for going above and beyond by helping out very frequently: Jim Bickford, Jeff Pederson, Pam Bond, Andy Melick, Brian Gregg, Barb Bailey, Art Aspinall, Barry Davis, Judy Miller, Brennen Flood, John Bunting, Clare Dibble, Derrith Bartling, Darcy Stanton, Barb & Dave Beato, Diana Bright, Richard & Denise Burrows, Dennis & Gail Lovaas, Archturiat Baumann, David Fleck, Sharon Groten, Barb Scherer, Jane Keen, Julie Andrus, Rob & Janice Schultze, Susan Edwards, Linda Bradford, Katie & Len Wheeler, Leo Wertin, Marilyn Sauriol, Ken May, Marilyn Scherer, Nadine Swahnberg, John & Nita Bradford, Steve Stevens, Linda Hartman, Patti Coe-Withington, Pam Moser, Rosie Lewis, Stacie Amaya, Steve Sargent, Stephanie Wells, Terre Deegan-Young, Nancy von Burske, Barbara & Ernie Werren.

And I couldn't possibly thank Linda Boettcher enough for faithfully doing the church laundry virtually every week!! The report I just generated in Sign Up Genius tells me that she is at 216 volunteer hours served!

This new system will take effect in January, so please take a moment to sign up for an available slot through the end of the year. We need a whole bunch of people for our six Christmas Eve services. The two morning services are included on our usual Sign Up , and the four evening services can be found HERE . Thanks so much! I will be communicating any special instructions to all volunteers in the preceding week.

Many thanks to our high school YRUU for filling all spots on December 3, and to our 4 th & 5th grade Nature's Keepers for doing so on December 17!
Saying Goodbye

With the board's Big Hairy Audacious Goal stating that 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 it's an exciting time to be on the board. I can already feel the energy of the congregation rising.

At the same time, for those of us who have been a part of JUC for many years, the idea of saying goodbye to this building, one that has sheltered us in good times and hard, can be a little sad. As a child, I attended Sunday school in the Mills Building. Here, my faith was planted and nurtured. When I was 10, my best friend's memorial service was held in our sanctuary. Here, I learned about death. Much later, I brought my own children to JUC for these lessons. Here, they were dedicated, and here we all said goodbye to their grandfather when my father died. His ashes rest in our memorial garden.

Leaving this building is a hard goodbye, but I also dream of all the hellos to come: I dream of members I can't yet image speaking of us, the ones who made a home big enough to invite them in. I dream of a Jefferson County that can't even remember when JUC wasn't the spot for community organizing, candidate forums, and offering service to those in need. Someone will say, "We need a place for a large group to meet about..." and someone else will say, "Well, just call Jefferson Unitarian Church, of course." Oh, this is an exciting time, indeed!

JUC Holiday Craft Faire - Special Gifts for the Holiday Season

What are the best gifts to give and receive? Those that come from the heart that are made with loving hands, right? The JUC Holiday Craft Faire is THE place to find those special gifts while supporting our local artisans and benefiting our JUC mission.  Celebrating our 22 nd year, we continue our tradition of providing you the best place to gather, enjoy the holiday spirit, and find those special quality pieces for your friends and family. And maybe something special for yourself too!

Every year we grow bigger and better and this year is no exception. We have more than forty artisans offering a wide variety of quality merchandise ranging from jewelry of all types, beautiful ceramics, innovative holiday decorations and so much more. Look for free-trade items, fused glassware, pottery, felt and fiber work, handmade shawls and scarves, unique candles, fragrant soaps and lotions, distinctive cards, one-of-a-kind graphic arts, flowers, food and gift baskets.  

Oh! There is stuff for the kids too! Children are invited to participate in the Children's Market on Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m. - noon . The Children's Market will to promote a family discussions of the the value of giving over receiving and allow the children to select gifts themselves to enhance the gift-giving experience. Everything in the children's market is under $10 to allow the children to manage a small amount of money. With guidance from our volunteers, the children will select and wrap the presents themselves to surprise and delight the recipients.  AND, while the kiddos shop, parents have up to two hours to shop on their own.  We will also have lunch fare for purchase to sustain you while you shop and delicious baked goods provided by JUC volunteers!  

Shop with us Friday, December 1, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Saturday, December 2, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.  Friday evening we will have a free reception of appetizers and beverages at 6 p.m. followed by First Friday Open Mic. 
Habitat for Humanity Update
Turning pumpkins into houses...
The West Metro Partners Coalition 2017 pumpkin patches were a great, record-breaking success! Total sales were $114,486. Along with donations at the patches of $2,534, the Coalition earned $48,328 for the building of the Coalition's 17 th home shown below. A huge thank you to everyone who helped unload pumpkins, staff the sales tables, clean-up. And thank you for buying these beautiful pumpkins this year!
As you may know, Special Plate collections at JUC target specific causes, and are made once a month. JUC members have been very generous to Habitat for Humanity in the past, designating one Special Plate a year for Habitat for Humanity for many years. This year's October 15 collection raised $3,375 for Habitat. We are grateful for such generosity.
...and houses into homes
Construction is proceeding on schedule on the Habitat home JUC is helping build at 3910 S. Knox Court. June 10 and July 7 were build days set aside for JUC (as part of the West Metro Partners Habitat Interfaith Coalition), and a full complement of JUC volunteers worked each day. The home will be dedicated to Sonia and Ali Ahmadi and their two sons, ages 6 and 2.  By partnering with H4H, Ali and Sonia will be able to pay an affordable mortgage for a three bedroom home.  Affordability means more than financial stability; it means empowerment to build a brighter future for families.

New JUC Leader on the West Metro Partners Coalition
Andy Melick is taking the baton as the JUC leader for our Habitat for Humanity efforts beginning in January. Andy is a recent transplant to Colorado from Florida, and he has already participated in our Habitat builds and Pumpkin Patch efforts.  Andy and his wife Inge were active members of Unity on the Bay, a large, trans-denominational church in downtown Miami. They are pleased to have found a new church home at JUC.

Last Chance to Join This Year's Build
Habitat Metro Denver has just released dates for putting the finishing touches on this year's house: November 30, December 2, December 8, December 16, and December 21. Sign up today . No experience necessary! Not only will you help create a home for a deserving family, you will also learn construction skills you can use on your own home!