ISSUE 50                                                                                                                                                                                          AUGUST 2020
Courtenay White, died on July 2 at the age of 98
Board of Trustees Report
The 2020-21 Board is currently planning its summer retreat, which will be virtual this year.

In light of the success of the Spring 2020 Congregational vote, the Board is considering permanent changes to the voting format in order to facilitate   broader  participation going forward.

The Board discussed the success of other virtual JUC offerings. For example, Sunday Live Stream Viewership for June was:
  • 6/7: 303 total
  • 6/14; 271 total
  • 6/21: 226 total
  • 6/28: 138 total (GA service broadcast)
UU Principles and Sources  and Planned Giving
Life can be a journey of growth that combines a soul with a material body to do good works. It has a known end but the exact path unfolds with experience and time. We are fortunate to have been given UU Principles and Sources as a framework for this journey. We are likewise fortunate to have our JUC community to support us along this path. 

As we live, we need material things to support us that we no longer need when our soul is set free.  We can share our accumulated abundance with those souls who follow in our footsteps to make their path a little easier and ensure that our shared principles and sources live on for future generations.  Please plan to share your material wealth with your loved ones and JUC. 

Contact JUC's planned giving coordinators: Bud & B.J. Meadows , Mike Kramer or Carol Wilsey
A Letter to JUC's Courageous and Brave Hearted Parents
Dearest JUC Parents,

You are amazing! Who could have imagined parenting would include the decisions you are faced with and the depth of conversations you are having with your children? There are no books that have yet to be written or experienced elders sharing their lived experienced for those of you raising small humans right now. These are unprecedented times. COVID-19 has and is changing how families live, the ways you can work and share responsibility, make decisions about education, and, at times, create a heartwrenching focus on your children's and family's safety and well-being. And my goodness, this was not a gradual change, families only had a few days to create a whole new way of being together and separated. You are responsible for your own children's health and safety and have the weight of how those decisions impact loved ones around you. These are big decisions- hard decisions.  

I saw three images that were shared on JUC Families' FB Page recently. The images said: 

Let's begin practicing now. 
When a friend tells you they are sending their kids back to school... 
"Man, I am so proud of you! I know it wasn't easy making that decision." 

When a friend tells you they are virtual learning... 
"Man, I am so proud of you! I know it wasn't easy making that decision."  

When a friend tells you they are homeschooling their kids... 
"Man, I am so proud of you! I know it wasn't easy making that decision."  

Yes, yes, and yes! I am telling you now, "I am so proud of you! I know it wasn't easy making (or trying to make) these decisions."  

There is a love holding us
There is a love holding all that we love
There is a love holding all.
We rest in this love. 

And this is not the whole picture for you, is it- my beautiful families? Parenting young souls when families are witnessing injustices in your community and country, and questions around how to be engaged as a family around racial justice are BIG. It is challenging to know how to respond to our own development and understanding of racism, let alone feel competent to accompany children in their learnings around race and racial justice. These are big conversations- hard conversations. 

And our Beloved Families of Color~ you are experiencing all of these things and your own and/or your children's first-hand experiences of racism. These are bigger decisions- harder decisions, bigger conversations- harder conversations. I want you to know that I see you, the JUC ministry team, staff, and our Family Ministry Team sees you- parents with the brave hearts and courage. You are held in so much love.  JUC is discovering ways to support you.
  • Our Family Ministry Team or representative will be contacting you soon as a reminder that you are not alone.
  • We will be asking families about creative ways we can support you and your children when school starts. 
  • JUC will be offering a workshop for children 5-12 along with parents to support your family's engagement in racial justice work. 
  • We are also creating an online meeting space for Families of Color to share their hearts and find support- a community where your lived experience can be seen and be heard. 
JUC loves and supports the decision you are making or are trying to make for your family. We see you and your courage and brave hearts. We see and are with you when courage and bravery are hard to find.   

There is a love holding us
There is a love holding all that we love
There is a love holding all.
We rest in this love. 

Love, love, and more love,

"There is a Love Holding Us" is written by Rebecca Parker
Sharing your voice
In the past months, you may have experienced the Quarantet making music during worship - the Quarantet, that's Sarah Billerbeck, Laura Lizut, Adam Revell, and me - your music ministry staff. The Quarantet gathers every week online to plan and choose repertoire, to assign musical roles (who is playing the piano? Who is singing the melody or harmony?), and to support one another during this time when we can't see each other in person. The music of the Quarantet has been drawn from many different sources, UU hymns and songs, eight part choral music with piano, Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street," and Jim Scott's "May your life be as a song." 

Once a musical selection is chosen, the Quarantet begins to create videos. Each person rehearses and learns their music on their own, and sets up their phone or computer as a video recording device. It usually takes multiple tries (often 5 for me) of each part before having a recording that the person wants to include in the final version. The video is uploaded and then shared to me, and I use video editing software to weave together the video and music, edit the picture, adjust the audio (volume, EQ, compression, and reverb), maybe add lyrics depending on the piece. The final video is offered as part of JUC's Music Ministry during our Sunday worship.

The JUC Choir underwent this process a couple of months ago when creating the video for "Blue boat home." Over 30 of our choir members learned new technology skills to become part of this virtual choir. Choir members can tell you it's a very strange thing, singing by oneself at home, headphones in ears, listening to a piano recording, singing the song multiple times. Not only does it feels quite removed from other people, but a person has to hear themselves singing solos over and over - see themselves on a video screen... It can be unnerving and frustrating!

And then... it's kind of like magic happens. After the video and audio recording is uploaded and sent for editing, each voice is joined with other voices. Just like when singing in the congregation, no one's voice sticks out, each voice adds to the beauty in the song, and the collective power of communal singing runs through it all. Singing together as a congregation is one of the things that I miss most about this time being away. Hearing each other breathe, feeling the common purpose, seeing each face.

YOU have an invitation to share your voice in a song that will be shared in a service. YOU have the opportunity to participate in this magic. The song that the entire congregation is invited to sing is from our teal hymnal Singing the Journey: "Filled with loving kindness." This setting of the Buddhist Metta prayer invites one to experience loving kindness in themselves, to give it to another person, and to share it for the entire world. This prayer is needed in the world and will be a powerful spiritual and musical expression by our congregation.

I am looking for JUCers of ALL ages to participate in this project! If you ever sing - or even just mouth the words - to songs in our sanctuary, PLEASE consider singing along. Your voice will not be a solo, it will join beautifully with all of the other JUCers to be a part of the entire fabric of the expression. The link below will go LIVE on Monday, August 3, and you'll have until Monday, August 24 to make a submission. The idea is that our congregation - all voices - join and create this tapestry.  Participation - not perfection - will make this project a success.

Check out the link below... there won't be much to see until August 3. We are looking for as many JUCers as possible to be a part of "Filled with loving kindness." Indeed, may all people be whole.

Pam Bond, Trustee

I'm amazed and thankful for what our ministers, staff, and members are able to do for us in the absence of in-person services & meetings. We're so lucky to be members of JUC. I also have appreciated other UU resources available to me, especially during this time.

Did you see the Sunday Worship service streamed from the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly via JUC live-stream? I found the Rev. Joan Javier-Duval's sermon inspirational and of course the music was exceptional. You can see it again, as well as reading about the other speakers and business at GA by clicking here Actually, there're tons of resources and information at the UUA website. Check out the "Ages & Stages" link for religious education ideas for all. And the Worship & Inspiration link is a good one too.

Maybe you're a little tired of searching on the computer for stuff. You might want to check out the Worship Web app on your phone. It includes a chalice lighter - which is fun, and words for affirmations, benedictions, blessings, chalice lightings and closings.

I love the UU World Magazine. Members of JUC receive this magazine as a benefit of membership. Anyone can access it online for free.  In the latest edition I read of another way to look at the wilderness movements. In an article: " The Problem with Wilderness" by Dina Gilio-Whitaker
    "The idea of wilderness, as conceived by preservationists and conservationists, was a 
      white-settler social construct that imagined an unpeopled, wild landscape and helped
      justify the removal of Indigenous people and the denial of their land rights." 

I also really appreciated the article in this issue about the UUA's new hiring practices and their success in diversifying the staff. 

You can also sign up for Braver/Wiser which sends through email a weekly message of courage and compassion for life as it is. Every Wednesday you get an original written reflection by a contemporary religious leader, and brief prayer, grounded in Unitarian Universalism.

It's good to remember we are part of a larger community of congregations. I have used these resources to strengthen my own UU faith.