ISSUE 13                                                                                                                                                                                             JULY 2017
The Freedom Fund:
Our Beginnings, Roots, and Our Exciting Future
In 1963 the Unitarian Universalist Association passed a resolution at our annual gathering calling for "enactment of a uniform statute making abortion legal." It went on to list the circumstances that might justify safe and legal abortions, including "some other compelling reason - physical, psychological, mental, spiritual, or economic." It would be a decade before safe and legal abortion received federal protection and recognition, but it's fair to say that Unitarian Universalists were working for women's right to control their reproductive lives long before the law caught up.

Unfortunately, in 1976 the federal government passed the Hyde Amendment, banning the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services. Then, a few years later, in 1984 the citizens of Colorado voted to end state funding of abortions through Medicaid. In response to this injustice, Rev. Stephan Papa and Dorotha Howe, an abortion counselor, created The Freedom Fund under the social justice umbrella of First Universalist Church of Denver.  For what good is the right to do something if you can't afford to make it real?

In 2010 we moved under the umbrella of the Mountain Desert District of the UUA. Since that time UU churches have continued to provide substantial support for the women we serve. We have greatly appreciated the many special offerings and other donations that the UU churches across Colorado have given over the years.

Through the years we have helped thousands of women - over 500 women per year in each of the last 7 years. And many thousands more in the first 26 years of our existence.  

After 33 years it seemed like a good time to consider again, as we have from time to time, how we might best organize ourselves to serve the cause and the women who depend on our help. We reached out to community partners to see how we might best expand our reach, bringing in new donors and new leaders. In December we received an offer from NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado to merge with them under their 501(c)(3) foundation.

We have spent the past months mulling over the decision, asking questions and searching our hearts. As the only religiously affiliated abortion fund in the country, we spoke at length about how this move would carry forward the commitment Unitarian Universalists have held for generations to be a public voice for women's rights. In April we voted to merge with NARAL.  

The Freedom Fund will continue functioning with the current board and institutional framework through October. A new board is being formed with leaders from The Freedom Fund and NARAL. This new board will spend the coming months working to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible, for donors, for the clinics that provide the services and for the women we help.

In the course of our conversation we discovered that since our founding another organization trademarked the name "Freedom Fund," and rather than spend donor funds on legal fees, we've also  voted to change our name to Women's Freedom Fund. On October 26 we will hold our final Dorotha Howe gala event where we will honor or religious roots and beginning and embrace the exciting new future.
Merging with NARAL will provide the Fund with staff, offices, and a much larger donor base. This change will allow us to better carry out the call to Unitarian Universalists to support reproductive rights and justice. We hope that you will continue to support Women's Freedom Fund, with special plates and other financial support in the years ahead.

With thanks for your support in the past and hope for a bright future,

Rev. Eric Banner
Trudy B. Brown
Margaret Griffes
Sally Isaacson
Andrea Jazbec-Lake
Pam Kastler
Rhoda Whitney
Celebrating 10 years with Sarah Billerbeck
July 2017 marks 10 years that Sarah Billerbeck has lifted the power of music and song at Jefferson Unitarian Church, with one year as a Music Ministry Intern and the remaining nine as Director of Music for Children and Youth. During Sarah's decade at JUC, she has led music in our Leon Hopper Sanctuary and Joseph Willis Chapel, in the basement Priestley Room and each of the Religious Education classrooms, acting as a bridge-builder between  Sunday  worship and Religious Education.

Sarah's tenure has focused first on developing a canon of Unitarian Universalist songs that JUC's children will have at their calling. Music and song can be a balm for difficult times, a way to connect with a larger faith identity, and a spiritual practice and shelter in a time of storm. Following the goal of cultivating a repertoire of familiar songs for children, Sarah has led Children's Chapel services by herself and in collaboration with JUC's Religious Education Directors, has traveled to the nursery and kindergarten classes to sing for and with the youngest JUCers, has led music at Intergenerational gatherings and the JUC picnic, among other events. This very summer of 2017, she is leading the  9:15 a.m. summer RE programs in a lively exploration of UU music for children in kindergarten on up. 

At the same time, Sarah has fostered a young musical community through her direction of the Children's and Radiance Choirs, and recently she founded the Resonance Teen Choir for high school singers. These ensembles rehearse every week from September to May, and offer music to worship services quarterly. Over the years, through Sarah's musical network in the Front Range, the choirs have sung in the community, for example at St. John's Episcopal Cathedral and even at the opening of Denver International Airport. From time to time, she has even led a pre-kindergarten singing and music experience, designed to engage young children in a JUC-based communal musical experience.

Perhaps the most visible demonstration of Sarah's work has been in the musical direction and production of an Annual Children's Musical. These services lift up the worship theme of the month, with songs and skits that promote UU values and develop a strong sense of community and connection to Jefferson Unitarian Church. There are many collaborators and partners that have been important to the Musical's realization, yet it is Sarah's vision that has provided the ongoing direction.

Sarah has served Unitarian Universalism as a go-to resource for Children's Music, having offered numerous workshops and children's music repertoire sessions at Unitarian Universalist Musicians' Network conferences. In 2019, Sarah will serve as Program Director for the national Unitarian Universalist Children's Choir that will gather in Denver in collaboration with the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network conference.

In addition to the above, Sarah has led congregational singing, directed the JUC Choir, utilized her training as a Certified Orff Schulwerk leader, sung with the JUiCe Worship Band, sung in the JUC Choir, and even sung as a member of the "Love Notes" women's trio. If you or your children have walked in the doors of Jefferson Unitarian Church, you have been touched by Sarah's care, music, and ministry, perhaps in ways that you don't even know.

Sarah: for your presence at Jefferson Unitarian Church, and for all of the ways you build Unitarian Universalism through music, Jefferson Unitarian Church says thank you for ten years in this community!
Board Elections

"It's only after you've stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform."  This quote is by author Roy T. Bennett.  It resonated with me in regard to how much I have learned about JUC and myself as a member of the Board of Trustees (BOT). I joined the board two years ago after being a member for ten years. I wanted to be able to give back to JUC after everything JUC and the Religious Education program gave my son and daughter. They are who they are today because of their experiences in the regular Sunday classes as well as OWL, Neighboring Faiths and the Coming of Age classes. What I had not fully realized was the benefits of learning about JUC from the perspective of being on the Board of Trustees. I joined as we were writing policies and voting as a congregation to change to policy governance. I have learned so much about policy governance and how JUC has been able to continue on the journey of helping all of us Deepen, Connect and Engage.

The Leadership Nominating Committee (LNC) has always vetted and nominated all of the board members. With the transition to policy governance came the change for the Board of Trustees to elect the officers of the board from within. This change means the Board now has the responsibility of electing the Board President and Board Secretary. 

This is what we did at the Board meeting on June 8. We engaged in a very thoughtful and deliberate process and elected Kathy Covert as the President of the BOT and David Fleck as the Secretary. Kathy and David are very excited to serve JUC in these roles. We, the Board of Trustees, are so very thankful for both Kathy and David for stepping up to take on these important roles and their willingness to serve. 

Please join me and the entire Board of Trustees in congratulating Kathy Covert and David Fleck as they assume their roles on  July 1. We are excited about the opportunities ahead for our congregation, JUC, the staff, the BOT, and our faith. 
2017-18 Worship Themes
Themes are based on  Soul Matters Sharing Circle , a group of over 200 UU congregations who follow the same monthly worship themes so we can more easily share small group material, as well as worship, sermon, music and children's religious education resources.
Themes have helped us explore ideas more deeply than a single sermon or class. Further our approach to each theme is broadened by sharing resources. 

Our themes for the year begin in September and run through June. This list for this year is:

September - Welcome
October - Courage
November - Change
December - Hope
January - Invention
February - Perseverance
March - Balance
April - Emergence
May - Creativity
June - Blessing
If any of these themes is particularly inspiring to you, please consider offering a chalice lighting. Some of our most cherished chalice lightings have come from people who have volunteered and shared a story we never would have known about.
Joy and Planned Giving
In The Art of Loving , Erich Fromm wrote: "Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness."

Louai Rahal adds: "The more we give, the more we experience the world as the creation of our efforts and as a reflection of our aliveness. In the well-being of individuals that we support, we experience our aliveness. In the growth of communities to which we are genuinely dedicated, we experience our aliveness. The entity that we care for, whether it is a community, a fellow human being, or any living or nonliving form, is the source of our empowerment. In it we see our power; through it we feel alive."

Including JUC in our estate plan becomes a source of our empowerment and adds to our aliveness. We receive the benefits while living with assurance that our gift is given when we no longer need it. Our gift will support JUC in bringing aliveness to those who follow us.

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 .
Annual Rummage Sale
Sunday, July 30 - Saturday, August 5

Please save the dates and your stuff! The  sale  will be the first weekend in August, with donation collection, sorting, and pricing happening the entire week. Please note that we will NOT be accepting adult clothing this year, but this will be a great opportunity to get kids outfitted for the school year! We need a LOT of volunteers to make this happen. Sign up to volunteer!

We do not have space to store donations, so if you have some storage space to donate between now and the week of the Rummage Sale for those who won't be in town the week of the sale, please contact Beth Leyba
Summer Hiking Series
Let's have some fun together in nature! ALL are welcome - locations chosen have a variety of trails for all ages and abilities. Be sure to bring water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, hats, a picnic lunch if desired, and anything else you may need. We'll meet around 9/9:15 a.m. and plan to start hiking at  9:30 a.m.  to beat the noontime heat. SIGN UP today!

July 22: Alderfer Three Sisters Park
August 26: Lookout Mountain Nature Center
Continued Success of the Guatemalan Scholarship Program
The generosity of donors to the Guatemala Scholarship Program has exceeded our expectations over the last 10 years. This has left us with a surplus that we intend to use to further support the Scholarship program. ADIVIMA has asked us to support building a central computer and study center. The committee has decided to approve this request. More details can be found online.
PrideFest Parade 2017 - A Beautiful UU Rainbow of Love
JUC marchers created a vibrant orange stripe in our 7-church UU cluster of marchers for this year's PrideFest Parade in Denver on Sunday, June 18. We were represented by seven families with over 25 people, eight of them kids, from ages 2 to 52+. The crowds were much larger than recent years' well attended events, and it was a joyous morning of standing on the side of love and celebrating everybody's worth and dignity.
Summer RE Options-and Opportunities!
Summer is an exciting and innovative time in our Religious Education program at JUC. This summer we're offering two options for families.

At 9:15 a.m., we are offering a Music & Arts program for our K-6 th  grade students. This will include songs, games, and different arts and craft activities. Are you a musician, artist, or crafter? We'd love to have you share your interests with our kids.  

At 11 a.m., our own Gillie Bishop has created a SUUperheroes program which asks our K-6th graders to think about what change they might want to make in the world, and what "superpowers" they possess to help make it happen. We look at the origin stories and missions of various superheroes for inspiration. Themes include "With great power comes great responsibility" and "Have mentors-but be yourself" among many others. Do you have a favorite superhero, and could you help our children explore what their missions might be?

We need teachers to sign up to teach for both of these programs!   Sign up online or contact  Julie Excell.
19th Annual Small Unitarian Beerfest 
This popular beer tasting auction event is back for the 19th time, and we have room for you! This year's event will be held Saturday,  August 5  at  2 p.m. in  Art & Sara Aspinall's back yard. The event is co-sponsored by Melissa and John Kaltenbach. Once again we'll feature several brews by Art (a homebrewer for 27 years). Each attendee will bring 3 bottles of their favorite craft beer (no macrobeers, but feel free to bring homebrew!). Or two people can get together and bring a growler. As always, substantial munchies will be provided.
The contribution to JUC is $25 each person. Non-drinking companions are welcome to come with a $5 contribution to cover food. We have lots of room - anyone who wants to attend is welcome, but please send an RSVP to Sara Mellen.

14350 W 32nd Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
Habitat for Humanity and JUC
  Jeff and Paula Menten

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is working on Sheridan Square this year, the largest development in its 36-year history. Located on a 4.35-acre former elementary school site, the project will build 63 energy-efficient homes over the course of three to four years. The rolling development will allow dedication and closing of the first units the middle of June, while our sponsored home is still in the early rough-in stages.
JUC's first build day was Saturday, June 10 , and we had a great time! The hottest day of the year didn't wilt spirits or energies. We raised walls, installed firewalls, 
and  sweated! More help is needed Friday, July 7 , and a couple of days in the Fall
(to be announced). Sign up today!

The 2017 house is in Sheridan, CO near Lowell and Hampden Ave., south of Bear Creek Village. It is one unit in a triplex building. The homeowners will be Ali and his wife Sonia, a 2-year-old son and 6-year-old son. 
We need your help now to build this Habitat house!!
UUA Racial Justice Common Read