2011-12-07 OurChurchCircular

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					Our Church Circular
First Unitarian Church of San José * December 7, 2011 * 7 de diciembre 2011
160 N. Third Street, San José, CA 95112 * (408) 292-3858 * sanjoseuu.org




  The discipline of hope
  by the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones




T       he most powerful video
        from the Occupy movement
that I have seen shows hundreds of
students at the University of California
Davis, sitting in silence in the dark,
watching UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi
walk to her car. The day before, campus police had
pepper-sprayed students engaged in nonviolent protest.
Since videos of that attack went viral, students, professors,
and others have cried out for the chancellor’s resignation.
   But on this evening the silence is broken only by the tap of      we refuse to see as enemies and in turn leads to the change that
the chancellor’s shoes on the pavement. Camera strobes light         we all seek.”
the path that students have cleared. Campus minister Rev.               Hope springs from such compassion. But hope takes the
Kristin Stoneking performs the most profound of all ministerial      kind of discipline the students demonstrated with their silent,
functions: that of “walking with” the chancellor. Chancellor         steady, peaceful witness.
Katehi walks slowly, taking in the faces of the students. They          Unitarian Universalism is a religion of hope. Hope in this
meet her gaze steadily. It seems to take forever, that walk, those   world and of this world. But it is not a glib or easy hope; it
two and a half minutes of mutual witness. Each time I watch it,      must be earned through practice and experience.
I hold my breath.                                                       My clergy study group, the Sparks for Growth, spent two
   Some commentators have called this event Chancellor               days last week talking about the “core truths of Unitarian
Katehi’s “walk of shame.” I think they are missing its true          Universalism.” My friend the Rev. Chris Bell said, “We UUs
meaning. The students wanted face-to-face contact; they              have a positive view of evolution. We believe that things can,
wanted “to see and be seen by the chancellor,” as Rev. Stoneking     and should, and will get better.”
describes                                                               “Really?” I said. “Isn’t that just too optimistic? Look at the


                “
later. The                                                           persistence of violence, war, oppression, poverty, hunger, and


                                                           ”
                     We believe that things can, and                 plain old meanness.”
chancellor
agreed. The               should, and will, get better.                 Ah, that’s where choice comes in, Chris and other
moment is                                                            colleagues reminded me. Unitarian Universalism is also a
profoundly                                                           religion of choice. We humans are free, as individuals and
humanizing on all sides. It embodies the power of hope—hope          as communities, to choose how we live. We can choose to
for understanding, for change, for reconciliation.                   meet ourselves and each other face to face, with honesty,
   “Why did I walk the Chancellor to her car?” Rev. Stoneking        compassion, and a commitment to nonviolence. We can
writes: “Because I believe in the humanity of all persons.           choose to walk this strobe-lit path through the evening’s dark.
Because I believe that people should be assisted when they              This month we explore our own pathways to hope.
are afraid. Because I believe that in showing compassion we          Watch the video of Chancellor Katehi walking to her
embrace a nonviolent way of life that emanates to those whom                                                      continued on page 2


          December: hope / joy                        F    diciembre: esperanza / alegria
 La diciplina de la esperanza
                   para la rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
                   para la rev. Nancy Palmer Jones




E     l más poderoso video
      del Movimiento de
Ocupación que he visto,
                                              Katehi camina lentamente, frente a los      del “núcleo de las verdades del Unitario
                                              rostros de los estudiantes. Ellos sostienen Universalismo”. Mi amigo el reverendo
                                              constantemente su mirada. Parece
                                              detenerse el tiempo, esa caminata, esos
                                                                                          Chris Bell dijo, “Nosotros los UUs
                                                                                          tenemos una visión positiva de la
                                              dos minutos y medio de testimonio           evolución. Creemos que las cosas pueden
muestra a cientos de estudiantes              mutuo. Cada vez que lo veo, mantengo        y deben ser mejor.”
en la Universidad de la UC Davis              mi reparación.                                  ¿”Realmente”? dije. “¿No es eso
sentados en silencio en la oscuridad,             Algunos comentaristas han llamado       demasiado optimista? Mira la persistencia
viendo a la Rectora Linda Katehi de           a este evento de la Rectora Katehi “el      de la violencia, la guerra, la opresión, la
la UC Davis caminar a su coche. El            paseo de la vergüenza.” Creo que ellos      pobreza, el hambre y la acostumbrada
día antes, la policía del campus había        están perdiendo su verdadero significado. mezquindad.”
rociado gas pimienta a los estudiantes que    Los estudiantes querían el contacto             Ah, es donde la elección viene, Chris y
participaron en la protesta no violenta.      cara a cara; querían “ver y ser vistos por  otros colegas me recordaron. El Unitario
Desde videos de ese ataque se dispersaron     la Rectora,”                                                     Universalismo es

                                                                “
viralmente, los estudiantes, profesores       como la Rev.                                                     también una religión

                                                                                                       ”
                                                                     Creemos que las cosas
y otros han pedido la dimisión de la          Stoneking                                                        de elección. Los seres
                                              describe más                pueden y deben ser mejor.            humanos somos libres,
Rectora.
   Pero en esta noche, el silencio fue roto   adelante. La                                                     como individuos y
sólo por el repiqueteo de los zapatos de      Rectora estuvo de acuerdo. El momento       como comunidades, para elegir cómo
la Rectora sobre el pavimento. El camino      es profundamente humanizante                vivir. Podemos optar por conocernos a
de luz estroboscópica de las cámaras          por todos lados. Plasmar el poder           nosotros mismos y a otros cara a cara, con
que los estudiantes han despejado. El         de la esperanza, esperanza para el          honestidad, compasión y un compromiso
Ministro del campus, la Rev. Kristin          entendimiento, para el cambio, para la      a la no violencia. Podemos optar por
Stoneking realiza la más profunda de          reconciliación.                             andar este camino de luz estroboscópica a
todas las funciones ministeriales: la de          “¿Por qué encamine a la Rectora a su    través de la oscuridad de la noche.
“caminar con” la Rectora. La Rectora          automóvil?” La Rev. Stoneking escribe.          Este mes exploramos nuestros propios
                                              “Porque creo en la humanidad de todas       caminos hacia la esperanza. Veremos el
                                              las personas. Porque creo que la gente      video de la Rectora Katehi caminando
                                              debería ser asistida cuando tienen miedo. a su coche en http://www.youtube.
The discipline of hope                        Porque creo que mostrando compasión,        com/watch?v=8775ZmNGFY8.
                    continued from page 1     abrazamos una forma no violenta de la       Leeremos todo el blog de la Reverenda
                                              vida que emana de quienes nos negamos a Kristin Stoneking, “Por qué encamine
car at http://www.youtube.com/                ver como enemigos, y a su vez, conduce al a la Rectora Katehi fuera del Surge II”
watch?v=8775ZmNGFY8. Read the                 cambio que todos buscamos.”                 (Surge II es un edificio administrativo de
whole of Rev. Kristin Stoneking’s blog,           Esperanza surge de tal compasión.       la UC Davis), en http://cahouse.org/
“Why I walked Chancellor Katehi out           Pero la esperanza toma el tipo              Weblog/?p=160. ¿Y preguntaremos,
of Surge II” (Surge II is a UC Davis          de disciplina que los estudiantes           este evento que le dice a usted acerca de
administrative building), at http://          demostraron con su silencio, estable,       la disciplina de la esperanza, acerca de la
cahouse.org/Weblog/?p=160. And ask,           testimonio pacífico.                        posibilidad de reconciliación y curación?
what does this event say to you about the         El Unitario universalismo es una        ¿Dónde en su propia vida podría la
discipline of hope, about the possibility     religión de esperanza. Esperanza en         disciplina de la esperanza abrir la puerta
for reconciliation and healing? Where         este mundo y de este mundo. Pero no         a opciones de dar vida y segundas
in your own life might the discipline of      es una esperanza simplista o fácil; debe    oportunidades?
hope open the door to life-giving choices     ser ganada a través de la práctica y la         Con gratitud de que caminemos este
and second chances?                           experiencia.                                sendero juntos,
   With gratitude that we walk this path          Mi grupo de estudio clerical, las
together,                                     Chispas para el Crecimiento, ocupamos
                                                                                                            Rev. Nancy                l
                Rev. Nancy l                  dos días de la semana pasada hablando

Page 2                                                                    Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011
 Gratitude for Life                                              By the Rev. Geoff Rimositis

“
What are the hopes                               Our best hope for the future is in how
                                              we invest our time and resources to help
that bring meaning and                        our children and youth come of age in
happiness into your life?                     this complex multicultural world. I had
                                              the great pleasure of going on a field
T     his morning a church member came
      into my office saying that he was
looking for a place to hold a day long
                                              trip this fall to observe and participate
                                              with the Mosaic Project http://www.
                                              mosaicproject.org/ as they worked with
Non-Violent Communication Training            4th-6th grade students from Berkeley,
for the leaders of the San José Occupy        San Carlos and Oakland at a Napa camp.
Movement. New movements are messy             They “provide [children] with essential
and chaotic. It is easy to lose patience      skills to thrive in an increasingly diverse
and hope that the message of economic         society, and empower them to strive
justice of the occupiers will material-       for peace.” The theme for the day was
ize into a concrete plan of action. How       assertiveness and I had the opportunity
can the center hold when a diversity of       to participate with children in a practice            day of games and activities at our church.
people express a diversity of needs? It is    circle. In the circle they learned the                   What are the hopes that bring
when we as allies decide to give hope legs    difference between aggression, passivity              meaning and happiness into your life?
and help it move towards positive societal    and assertiveness. They practiced being               Who are the allies you can call upon
change that it will become a reality.         assertive and role played being allies for            to teach you how to communicate that
    Hope is often lumped together with        other children being bullied. The beauty              hope, make its music come alive and
wishful and magical, pie-in-the-sky           of Mosaic is that at the end of camp                  empower you to be a peacemaker?
thinking. Give us a strategic plan, a         children now have skills they can bring                  Be a friend, a tutor, teacher, mentor,
logical, practical, step-by-step process      back to use in their lives and schools.               believer in hope. It can make all the
to achieve our goals. Who needs hope          Next year there will be an opportunity                difference in the world when someone
if we can reach our benchmarks and hit        for our children, youth and adults to                 points us towards the light.
our milestones? I do! It is a long way to     experience the work of the Mosaic
dreams fulfilled without the shining star                                                                                Blessed Be,
of hope to point us on our way.
                                              Project when they lead a demonstration
                                                                                                                                           Geoff
    In January it will be two years since
I first picked up the Andean flute, the
Quena, and tried unsuccessfully to make
a sound with it. I hoped that one day I
                                              In Our Own Voices...
would be able to hit my notes without my      Hope and joy
dog howling in protest. Luckily, I had an        “Come, sing a song with me; come, dream a dream with me; come, walk in rain with me, that
ally in Nayo Ulloa, http://www.nayoulloa.     I might know your mind,” go the verses to our beloved hymn “Come, Sing a Song with Me,” by
com/ who became my teacher. He taught         Carolyn McDade (#346 in Singing the Living Tradition). The chorus resounds, “And I’ll bring you
me how to communicate with my flute,          hope when hope is hard to find, and I’ll bring a song of love and a rose in the wintertime.”
praised me when I made progress, and             To all of us come those wintry days when hope is hard to find. This month we invite you to
exercised great patience in my struggle       pause and ponder:
to understand how to translate his words      F What practices awaken hope in you? .
into my playing. My hope to be able to        F What sources of hope guide your feet, teach you to trust, help you to open your heart to love?
play seemed like a faraway distant star.
                                              F When you choose to build your hope this season, how does it infuse the holidays with peace, joy, and
It has been my daily practice that has         love?
brought that star into view and hope into         May your own spiritual practice be the remarkable openheartedness of the members and
reality. And now I am excited that I am       friends of this congregation. Listen as they share here their cries of despair, their hunger for
finally able to fulfill my dream of playing   hope, and their hints about where to find hope day by day:
the great Peruvian classic, El Condor Pasa,
                                              F What is the difference between hope and optimism, between hope and wishful thinking?
that Simon and Garfunkel brought to a
worldwide audience.                                                                                                           contiinued on page 5

Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011                                        Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 3
Creyente con esperanza                                          por el rev. Geoff Rimisitis
                                                                                              UU Hikers and
                                                                                              Friends
E    sta mañana un miembro de la Iglesia
     entró en mi Oficina diciendo que
                                              sueño de tocar el gran clásico peruano,
estaba buscando un lugar para celebrar
un largo día de entrenamiento de comu-
                                              El Cóndor Pasa que Simon y Garfunkel
                                              trajeron a la audiencia mundial.
                                                  Nuestra mejor esperanza para el
                                                                                              H      ere’s the hiking schedule for
                                                                                                     December. As always, we hike rain
                                                                                              or shine, unless there is a huge windy
nicación no violenta para los líderes del
                                              futuro es el cómo invertimos nuestro            storm in which case I will cancel. I may
Movimiento de Ocupación de San José.
                                              tiempo y recursos para ayudar a nuestros        change the venue to the Stanford Dish
Los nuevos movimientos son desordena-
                                              niños y jóvenes en este complejo mundo          to avoid muddy trails. I will send out an
dos y caóticos. Es fácil perder la paciencia
                                              multicultural. Tuve el gran placer de ir en     email if I change the venue or cancel the
y la esperanza de que el mensaje de jus-
                                              un viaje al campo este otoño a observar         hike. If you have not heard from me and
ticia económica de los ocupantes se ma-
                                              y participar con el proyecto Mosaico            wonder what the decision is, feel free
terialice en un plan de acción concreto.
                                                                        http://www.           to call me on my home phone any time
¿Cómo puede
                                                                        mosaicproject.        after 6:30 am at (408) 730 1052.
mantenerse el         ¿Cuáles son las esperanzas que traen
                                                                        org/ mientras             Call me if you plan to hike unless
centro cuando significado y felicidad a su vida?
                                                                        ellos trabajaron      you are a regular and you know who you
una diversidad
                                                                        con los               are. It is important to call me because
de personas ex-
                                              estudiantes de grado 4-6 grado de               if I have not heard from anyone for a
presa una diversidad de necesidades? Es
                                              Berkeley, San Carlos y Oakland en               given hike, I may go somewhere closer
cuando nosotros como aliados decidimos
                                              un campamento en Napa. Ellos                    to my home. You may notice that I have
dar esperanza de avanzar y ayudar hacia
                                              “Proporcionan [niños] con habilidades           scheduled more hikes in south county
un cambio social positivo que se conver-
                                              esenciales para prosperar en una sociedad       to give the south county folks a break
tirá en una realidad.
                                              cada vez más diversa y capacitarlos para        from traffic jams on 280 heading north.
    La Esperanza es a menudo agrupada
                                              luchar por la paz.” El tema del día fue         Happy Trails!
junto con el idealismo y el mágico
                                              acertividad y tuve la oportunidad de            Wednesday, December 7
pensamiento de castillos en el aire. Nos                                                      Santa Teresa County Park, 6 miles, moderate. Meet
                                              participar con los niños en un círculo
da un plan estratégico, un proceso lógico,                                                    at Bed, Bath & Beyond at Almaden Plaza at 8:30 am.
                                              de práctica. En el círculo aprendieron
práctico, paso a paso para alcanzar                                                           Saturday, December 10
                                              la diferencia entre agresión, pasividad         Sierra Azule, 6-8 miles, moderate. Meet at Bed, Bath
nuestros objetivos. ¿Quién necesita
                                              y acertividad. Ellos practicaron ser            & Beyond at Almaden Plaza at 8:00 am.
esperanza si podemos alcanzar nuestros                                                        Wednesday, December 14
                                              asertivos y jugaron el papel de ser aliados
criterios y nuestros hitos? ¡Yo! Es un                                                        Skyline Ridge loop trail, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at
                                              para otros niños siendo intimidados.
largo camino de sueños cumplidos sin la                                                       Page Mill/280 Park & Ride at 8:30 am.
                                              La belleza del mosaico es que al final          Saturday, December 17
brillante estrella de la esperanza para que
                                              del campamento los niños ahora tienen           Joseph Grant County Park, 6 miles, moderate.
nos apunte en nuestro camino.                                                                 Meet at VTA Park & Ride on Capitol at Alum Rock
                                              habilidades que traen para utilizar en sus
    En enero de hace dos años cuando                                                          at 8:00 am.
                                              vidas y escuelas. El año que viene habrá
empecé tomando la flauta Andina, la                                                           Wednesday, December 21
                                              una oportunidad para nuestros niños,            Wunderlich County Park, 5 miles, easy. Meet at Page
Quena, y trate sin éxito de hacer un
                                              jóvenes y adultos para experimentar el          Mill/280 Park & ride at 8:30 am. We can do the
sonido con ella. Esperaba que un día                                                          longer hike up to Skyline if folks want to.
                                              trabajo del proyecto mosaico cuando ellos
fuera capaz de alcanzar mis notas sin                                                         Saturday, December 24
                                              dirijan un día de demostración de juegos        Stevens Creek/Fremont/Older, 5 miles, moderate.
que mi perro aullara en protesta. Por
                                              y actividades en nuestra iglesia.               Meet at parking lot at Stevens Creek County Park
suerte, tenía un aliado en Nayo Ulloa,                                                        at 8:30 am. Take Foothill Expressway as though you
                                                  ¿Cuáles son las esperanzas que
http://www.nayoulloa.com/ quien se                                                            were going to Ranch San Antonio. Don’t turn off
                                              traen significado y felicidad a su vida?
convirtió en mi maestro. El me enseñó                                                         Foothill. Go about 1.5 miles to entrance to Stevens
                                              ¿Quiénes son los aliados a los que puedan       Creek Park on the left. You can see the parking lot
cómo comunicar con mi flauta, me elogió
                                              recurrir para enseñarles a comunicar esa        below you as you go around a curve. Turn left and
cuando yo tuve progreso y ejercitar gran                                                      go straight ahead to the parking lot. There is $6
                                              esperanza, hacer que su música cobre vida
paciencia en mi lucha para comprender                                                         parking fee.
                                              y permitirle ser un pacificador?                Wednesday, December 28
cómo traducir sus palabras en mí forma
                                                  Ser un amigo, un tutor, profesor,           Calero County Park, 6 miles, moderate. Meet at
de tocar. Mi esperanza de ser capaz de                                                        Bed, Bath, & Beyond at Almaden Plaza at 8:30 am.
                                              mentor, creyente en la esperanza. Puede
tocar, parecía una lejana estrella distante.                                                  Saturday, December 31.
                                              hacer la diferencia en el mundo cuando
Ha sido mi práctica diaria que ha traído                                                      Almaden Quicksilver, 6 miles, moderate, Hacienda
                                              alguien nos apunte hacia la luz.                entrance. Meet at Bed, Bath & Beyond at Almaden
esa estrella a la vista y la esperanza dentro
                                                                         Bendecidos sean,     Plaza at 8:00 am.
de la realidad. Y ahora estoy emocionado
que finalmente soy capaz de cumplir mi                                          Geoff          l


Page 4                                                                     Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011
                                                         I speak from two particular situations                  down. So, I have chosen not to scour the
Cultivating Hope                                      in my own life:                                            Internet and read everything I can about
                                                                                                                 my husband’s illness because knowing all
                                 By Mary Martin          The first was when my soldier son was
                                                                                                                 the dire possibilities makes me feel worse

H     ope — is it the same thing as                   deployed to a Forward Operating Base                       and does nothing to help. I don’t see this as
      optimism? Or as wishing? I don’t                south of Baghdad. The Internet has made                    denial, but rather as a conscious choice to
think so.                                             war much more present to those on the                      minimize worry.
   To me, optimism is a generalized belief            home front, so we heard, pretty much                 2. Live in the moment. Truly, all any of us
in good outcomes when you are pretty                  in real time, about his friends and fellow                 has is this present minute. Worrying about
                                                      soldiers who died or were wounded in                       the future or fretting about the past doesn’t
sure things will turn out OK. Hope is                                                                            change anything, just ruins what’s happening
when you’re not at all sure that that is              IED explosions and mortar attacks.
                                                                                                                 right now.
the case. When somebody asked Nelson                     The second situation involves my
                                                                                                           3. Accentuate the positive. Focus on whatever
Mandela whether in prison he had been                 husband, Gene, who was diagnosed                           is encouraging about the situation. When
optimistic that his day would ever come,              almost a year ago with a particularly                      Gene had a CT-scan following surgery and
he replied “I never was optimistic, but I             pernicious form of cancer, mesothelioma,                   radiation, the scan showed a nodule which
never lost hope.” Hope is also more than              which, statistically speaking, generally has               the doctors couldn’t explain. Rather than
                                                      a poor prognosis.                                          dwelling on the possible negatives, I chose
idle wishing that something good will                                                                            instead to focus on the fact that this visible
happen.                                                  Each of these two circumstances has
                                                                                                                 nodule could be a good indicator as to
   Maintaining hope in the face of                    been a learning experience about how to                    how well his chemotherapy was working.
reality, such as Mandela did during his               maintain hope when, as one of our hymns                    In a recent Sunday service, a Buddhist
imprisonment, without succumbing to                   puts it, “hope is hard to find.”                           lama talked about deleting negative people
                                                         I’d like to share what has helped me                    from one’s life. I try to delete negative
wishing can be a pretty tricky balance.                                                                          thoughts and refuse to think that this is
In a way it’s maintaining two opposite                stay on the side of hope. Because I believe
                                                                                                                 being Pollyanna-ish. I also make an effort to
views at the same time, which can be                  that hope is something that can be                         associate with positive people.
very difficult when you’re in an uncertain            cultivated, this is the advice I give myself
                                                                                                           4. Do things that genuinely refresh you. I’m
situation with a really bad outcome                   every day:                                                 not talking about activities like eating a quart
hanging over your head as an imminent                 1. Don’t use yourself up with worry.                       of ice cream or playing hours of computer
possibility.                                               Wallowing in anxiety and fear wears you               games which in the end leave you feeling
                                                                                                                 depleted. Rather, I try to focus on the things

In our own voices continued from page 3                                                                          that are recharging, such as maintaining my
                                                                                                                 spiritual practices, taking care of my physical
                                                                                                                 health, getting outdoors as much as possible,
F When things feel hopeless, how do you find hope?                                                               reading, looking at beautiful things and trying
F Sometimes it seems like “hope” exists only in contrast to “reality.”                                           to do things that make a positive difference
F How do I instill hope in my children when hope seems so far away in my own life?                               in the world.
                                                                                                           5. Cultivate gratitude. Make a point of noticing
F This community gives birth to hope by our caring for each other.
                                                                                                                 things for which you’re thankful.
F Hope springs from a belief in humankind and our potential for good.                                      6. If you do lose hope, find someone who can
F Unitarian Universalism is built on the hope that we can make ourselves and the world better.                   hold it for you. Getting professional help can
F Only with hope can we find courage. Practicing hope leads us both inward to our own spiritual growth           be valuable.
 and outward to our work for good in the world!                                                            7. Stay grounded in a mindset of being held by
F When we accept that things must change and that life will bring both ups and downs, then we have               something larger than yourself. In 12-step
 hope, because we know that even in the depths, the good will indeed come again.                                 circles, this is called a Higher Power. Some
                                                                                                                 people call their Higher Power “God” and
F Hope for the future is the faith that something will come forth. Hope is about the emergence of new            others think of it as something else, such as
 life.                                                                                                           nature or a supportive group.
F There’s a spiritual practice here: to live with gratitude for what is and with hope for what could be.      Using these seven bits of advice I’m
F There’s an element of trust in hope.                                                                     able to keep myself on the side of hope
F Hope is a choice.                                                                                        much of the time. But when hope seems
                                                                                                           to be ebbing, I find that the 12-step
F Now that I’m sober, I have lots of hope, and the ability to pass on hope to others, with love and
 gratitude!                                                                                                Serenity Prayer is an excellent, short-
                                                                                                           hand reminder of all of the above: God
F Without hope, I would not be able to teach our youth to seek a better tomorrow.
                                                                                                           grant me the serenity to accept the things
F I find hope in our youth!
                                                                                                           I cannot change, courage to change the
F Did you know that the beautiful Pacific Crest Trail begins in a place called Hope (British Columbia,     things I can, and wisdom to know the
 Canada)? What is the relationship between hope and beauty, between hope and nature?
                                                                                                           difference. l
F Let’s face it: hope is a basic part of our psyche—and it’s essential for our survival. l

Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011                                               Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 5
                                                                       you decide to give money to Heifer International, which gives
                                                                       farm animals to needy families, for example, paste a picture of a
                                                                       chicken or pig on the jar and try to raise enough money to buy
                                                                       one.
                                                                           Another idea is to make a family vow to serve your
                                                                       community in the year ahead. Light a chalice or a candle and
                                                                       promise to participate weekly or monthly in a local community
                                                                       service project. As you light the chalice, talk about why this is a
                                                                       season of light and how one of the ways Unitarian Universalists
Here are some ideas for family activities that you all can             shine their light in the world is by helping others. Talk about
enjoy.                                                                 how Unitarian Universalist principles say that each person
With younger children:                                                 is precious and deserving and that we need to care for the
                                                                       earth. Then brainstorm some projects that help you live these
‘Tis the season for your own family rituals                            principles. Your family could help
Many of us still struggle to find the right mix of family              feed and care for cats and dogs in a
traditions for this time of year.                                      local shelter. Or pick up debris in
                 By Meg Cox, Unitarian Universalist World Magazine     local parks. Or read to the elderly in
                                                                       a senior center.
L    et’s start by going back to basics: No matter how historically
     suspect the date may be, Christmas is fundamentally the
celebration of the birth of Jesus. In Unitarian Universalist class-
                                                                        St. Nicholas Day,
                                                                       December 6, is another holiday
                                                                       that has Unitarian Universalist
rooms and homes, Jesus is lauded as a wise man whose devotion          compatibility. The loose model for
to peace and justice are worthy of praise and emulation. All           Santa Claus, St. Nick was a real
the Unitarian Universalists I know take the birthday of Martin         guy, a bishop who lived in what
Luther King Jr. very seriously as a holiday: Should we celebrate       is now Turkey. He is said to have
the birthday of Jesus with any less intensity?                         been extraordinarily generous to
    So let’s start by embracing the validity of celebrating Jesus’s    the needy, especially children, and
birth and then consider how to observe his values and teachings        preferred to give secretly. Unitarian
in a Unitarian Universalist context. Talk about his messages and       Universalist families can start a
methods to your children, share stories of Jesus helping the poor      tradition similar to Secret Santas, in
and outcast, feeding the hungry, and furthering peace. And             which each family member draws a name from a hat and then
talk about how closely these values align with the Unitarian           does good deeds for that person anonymously. One mother I
Universalist Principles.                                               know gives her children craft kits on St. Nicholas Day so they
    Talking isn’t enough. Rituals require action. Jesus                can make presents for others.
believed we should help those most in need. So one way to                  Winter Solstice. Some Unitarian Universalist families and
                            celebrate his birthday is to create        congregations celebrate the winter solstice, which also makes
                            memorable philanthropic traditions         wonderful sense. The celebration of Jesus’s birth was moved to
                            with your kids, even if you have very      this time to coincide with existing pagan rituals, and celebrating
                            little money to spare. Here’s one simple   the cycles of the earth fits with Unitarian Universalist teachings
                            ritual: I know a family who buys double    to honor the environment. Some families have solstice trees
                            groceries for every major holiday feast,   and give gifts on this holiday. At my house, we turn out all the
                            including Easter and Christmas. If they    lights and talk about the significance of the solstice, then light
                            are having ham and potatoes, say, they     multiple candles and throw open the front door and holler,
                            will buy a second ham, another bag of      “Come back, Sun!” Then we drink Sun Shakes (orange juice and
                            potatoes, and dessert and drop it off at   vanilla ice cream) and listen to the Beatles’ “Here Comes the
a local charity that helps low-income families.                        Sun.”
    Part of your holiday craft traditions could be making and              Celebrating multiple holidays this time of year, honoring
decorating a Unitarian Universalist Helping Others box,                many traditions while emphasizing our own principles is a
to which the family will regularly contribute money for the            very Unitarian Universalist thing to do. But doing it more
coming year. You can cover a coffee can with paper, and cut            consciously with a Unitarian Universalist spin can help us
a slit in the lid. The kids can donate part of each allowance.         deepen the season’s meaning and stop the feeling that we’re just
Christmas is a good time to vote on family charity: You can            nibbling this time of year--while others are sated from a full
research three or four charities and discuss whether to support        meal. l
them all a little or to give everything to one. Make it real: If

Page 6                                                                      Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011
With Older youth:                                     There’s more!                                       People’s stories seem to fit a pattern:
                                                                                                      a strongly held belief about the nature of
                                                                                  by Shirley Worth
Hope as a Spiritual Practice                                                                          the world and life, and an experience that

H     ope is a positive and potent spiritual
      practice with the power to pull us              E    very Sunday, the caretaker of a local
                                                           group home brought three or four
                                                      residents to attend services at a church
                                                                                                      shatters that belief. Anger, sorrow, and
                                                                                                      despair. And in the best cases, rising from
                                                                                                      the ashes like the phoenix, love and hope
through difficult times. It is usually de-
scribed with light metaphors — a ray, a               I belonged to years ago. One delightful         carrying the hero forward into a better
beam, a glimmer of hope; the break in the             lady loved to talk with everyone, and           life.
clouds; the light at the end of the dark              always had stories to tell – even though            The wheel of life has spokes reaching
tunnel. It is often discovered in unexpected          a speech impediment made it almost              in opposite directions holding pairs of
places. Hope can be learned with practice.            impossible to make out what she was             opposites, cold balanced by heat, light by
Certain attitudes support it. One is patience,        saying, her gestures and facial expressions     dark… and joy and happiness by suffering
an ability to tolerate delays, a willingness to       communicated perfectly.                                         and sorrow, despair by
let events unfold in their own time. Another          Another rarely said a                                           hope. Every pleasure
is courage, an attitude of confidence even            word, but occasional vo-                                        carries with it the pain
when facing the unknown. A third is persis-           calizations of excitement                                       of its ending, and every
tence, the determination to keep going no             or dismay would escape                                          painful ending is the birth
matter what happens. We have hope when                her throat. She almost nev-                                     of something new. The
we can say, all will be well, and we mean it.         er spoke, but at the end of                                     Brahmavaivarta Purana
                                                      every sermon, she would                                         suggests that even the
Daily Cue, Reminder, Vow, Blessing                    exclaim happily, “There’s                                       Lord of Heaven Indra,
F Turning on a lamp is a cue for me to practice       more! There’s more!”                                            who pushes up the sky and
 hope.                                                    If each of us has a                                         releases the dawn, will die
F When I plant a seed or a bulb, I am reminded to     theme song, a message                                           and be reborn as an ant.
 plant hope in my heart.                              that is our life-long calling                                   The Buddhist image of
F Whenever I meet people who are thrashing            to convey, that minister’s                                      the Wheel of Life shows
 about in gloom and doom, I vow to hold up the        message was that we are already saved, we       the interconnection of earthly life and
 banner of hope.                                      only need to open our eyes to see it. That      heavens and hells, and even the deepest
F Blessed is the Spirit of Life who has birthed       good works flow easily from a love-filled       hell has a ladder leading out.
 hope in our hearts and a positive attitude in our    heart. That no matter how broken, our               Whatever trouble we are faced with,
 minds.
                                                      lives are already healed. It was a great        whatever pain we must experience, there
Imagery Exercise                                      message for a time in my life that was          is always a way through. No matter how
   Any attitude can be reinforced by                  filled with pain. I went, week after week,      broken, our lives are already healed. And
working with the image that you attach                to hear it. I lingered over coffee with         perhaps the most inspirational sermon I
to it. Recall the image and you resurrect             all the happy, healthy people who were          have ever heard is that weekly happy cry,
the feeling. Do whichever of these                    members of that church… and gradually           “There’s more!”
exercises speaks to you or adapt the                  learned their stories, and discovered that      FUCSJ member Shirley Worth serves as
format to your own images of hope.                    under and behind their happy, healthy           a Pastoral Associate and teaches yoga
F Close your eyes. Breathe out one time. See          faces were histories of loss, illness, abuse,   classes at the church to benefit FUCSJ
 yourself in a long tunnel with nothing but           addiction and more.                             and Third Street Community Center. l
 darkness behind and ahead of you. Moving
 forward, see a dot of light in the distance, which
 is getting larger the closer you move toward it.
 Walk out of the tunnel through the light. Then
                                                      Gifts of service: One-sentence salutes
 open your eyes.
F Close your eyes. Breathe out one time. See a        “Thanks to the Alegria Singers and their instrumental accompanists! WOW! More,
                                                       please--fill ‘er up!!” –Diane Saichek

                                                      “
 plant blooming in the desert. Then open your          Thanks to Genie Bernardini, Karen Conrotto and all the others who pitched in to
 eyes.
                                                       make the Jane Austen Dance well-organized and huge fun.” –Shirley Worth
F Close your eyes. Breathe out one time. Find
 yourself standing outside on a very cloudy day.
 Looking around you, notice how all the plants,
 buildings, and objects are becoming lighter and
                                                      “ Thanks to Billie Wachter for her delightful reading of the children’s story and to
                                                        Billie and Saul for modeling how to be such a sweet, loving and devoted married
                                                      couple for all of us!” –Genie Bernardini
 brighter. Look up and see the sun in a cloudless
 sky. Then open your eyes.
        – www.spiritualityandpractice.com l           “Thanks to Colleen Cabot for devoting a remarkable amount of time and energy to
                                                       making the Day of the Dead altar so spectacular.” –Genie Bernardini l

Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011                                          Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 7
                                SUNDAY SERVICES / SERVICIOS DE DOMINGO
                                                        December: Hope and Joy F Diciembre: Esperanza y Alegría

                               10:15 am
                               Servicios en español
Todos los domingos – Alabanzas en Español                                             Advent IV: Paz
Media Hora de Reunión del Pequeño Grupo del Ministerio Multicultural.                 Servicio de Vacaciones de los Niños: Paz
                                                                                      Únase a nosotros mientras los jóvenes talentosos de nuestra congregación
Venga a unirse a nosotros para este servicio simple de oración-meditación
                                                                                      honran nuestro tema de la paz. Escucharemos participar a los jóvenes
de media hora (sin sermón) a las 10:15 a.m en una mezcla de inglés y                  músicos y lectores, en una danza de Paz Universal, mientras celebramos
español en la sala Fireside Ramsden. Accesible e incluyente para todos,               la paz dentro de nosotros buscando traer la paz en el mundo. Y el antiguo
este servicio ofrece tiempo para cantar, meditar y reflexionar en un pequeño          elfo alegre, Santa, hará un alto en su apretada agenda para estar con
grupo en preparación para el servicio de las 11: 00 am.                               nosotros después del servicio.
Every Sunday – Alabanzas (Spanish Lauds)                                              Dirige: el Rev. Geoff Rimositis

A half-hour multicultural Small Group Ministry gathering. Come join us for            December 24, Saturday, 5:00 and 8:00 pm
this simple prayer-meditation service (without sermon) held in a mixture              Christmas Eve Candlelight Services
of English and Spanish in the Ramsden Fireside Room. Accessible and                   Join us as we sing the old familiar carols and bring forth the light from the
welcoming to all, this service provides time to sing, meditate, and reflect in        heart of our sanctuary right into our lives! We experience the magic of
a small group in preparation for the service at 11:00 am.                             the season with a special Story for All Ages. Soloists lift our spirits with the
                                                                                      singing of angels, and we hear the timeless story of the birth of new hope
                               11:00 am                                               in the baby Jesus and in new lives everywhere. We honor all babies born
                                Services in English                                   this year in a special ritual, for with Unitarian Universalist religious educator
December 11 – 11 de diciembre                                                         Sophia Fahs, we rejoice that “every night a child is born is a holy night.”
                                                                                      Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
Advent III: Joy
                                                                                      Worship Leaders: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and the Rev. Geoff
Called to Share Joy!                                                                    Rimositis
We Unitarian Universalists are called “to redistribute joy,” UU minister Beth
Banks has said. On this third Sunday in Advent, we go seeking the birthplaces         24 de Diciembre, Sábado, 5:00 y 8:00 pm
of joy in us so that we can share it with others. We’ll find again the joyful light
of children’s eyes, which lives in all our hearts, and discover the hope that         Servicios a la Luz de la Vela de Navidad
rises in laughter. “Joy to the World!” Come join the Unitarian Universalist song!     Unámonos mientras cantamos los viejos villancicos familiares y traemos
Worship Leader: the Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones                                           adelante la luz, desde el corazón de nuestro Santuario hasta dentro de
                                                                                      nuestras vidas! Experimentamos la magia de la temporada con una historia
Worship Associate: Alice Lynch
                                                                                      especial para todas las edades. Los solistas levantar nuestros espíritus con
Advent III: Alegría                                                                   el canto de los ángeles, y escuchamos la historia atemporal del nacimiento
¡Llamado a Compartir la Alegría!                                                      de la nueva esperanza en el niño Jesús y en nuevas vidas en todo el mundo.
Nosotros, los Unitarios Universalistas somos llamados “a redistribuir la              Honramos a todos los bebés nacidos este año en un ritual especial con la
alegría”, ha dicho la Ministra UU Beth Banks. En este tercer domingo de               educadora religiosa Unitaria Universalista Sophia Fahs, nos regocijamos
Adviento, seguimos buscando el nacimiento de la alegría en nosotros para              que “cada noche un niño nace es una noche santa.” Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
que podamos compartirlo con otros. Nos encontraremos nuevamente la                    Dirigen: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y el Rev. Geoff Rimositis
alegre luz de los ojos de los niños, los cuales viven en todos nuestros
corazones, y descubrir la esperanza que se eleva en la risa. “¡Alegría al             December 25 – 25 de deciembre
mundo!” ¡Ven a unirte a la canción Unitaria Universalista!                            After the Presents: Presence
Dirige: la Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones                                                    We will gather together for Christmas morning worship to provide our
Asociada de Culto: Alice Lynch                                                        presence to one another, seek the presence of all that is Holy and lift up in
                                                                                      song and reflection how the miracle of a child can inspire us to begin what
December 18 – 18 de diciembre                                                         theologian Howard Thurman calls “the work of Christmas.”
                                                                                      Worship Leader: Christy Baker
Advent IV: Peace
Children’s Holiday Service: Peace                                                     Después de los Regalos: Presencia
Join us as the talented youth of our congregation honors our theme of                 Nos reuniremos para el servicio de la mañana de Navidad para proveer
peace. We will hear from youth musicians and readers, participate in a dance          nuestra presencia del uno con el otro, buscando la presencia de todo lo
of Universal Peace, as we celebrate peace within us reaching out to bring             que es Santo y alzar en la canción y la reflexión, cómo el milagro de un
peace into the world. And the jolly old elf, Santa himself, will make a stop          niño puede inspirarnos para empezar, como el teólogo Howard Thurman
from his busy schedule to be with us after the service.                               llama, “el trabajo de Navidad”.
                                                                                      Dirige: Christy Baker
Worship Leader: The Rev. Geoff Rimositis
Page 8                                                                                      Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011
                                                                                                           Calling Youth
                                                                                                           Musicians
                                                                                                           for Sunday, December 18 Service

Programs for all ages                                    including family/home, school and
                                                         neighborhood. (lower level, room 4)
                                                                                                           T    his year’s Children’s Holiday Service
                                                                                                                (December 18) will be on peace
                                                                                                           within us reaching out to bring peace into

C    hildren and youth attend the first
     part of the service at 11:00 am,
and then are sung out to their morning
                                                         Grades 2-5: Faithful Journeys
                                                           Children explore how Unitarian
                                                                                                           the world. Children and youth singers or
                                                                                                           instrumentalists are invited to participate
                                                         Universalism translates into life choices         in the service. Please contact Rev. Geoff,
program. Classes last until 12:30 pm.                                                                      GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org if a child or
                                                         and everyday actions. (lower level,
Parents, please pick up your children in                                                                   youth in your family might be interested.
                                                         rooms 5-6)
the nursery and in the PreK-1 class. All
other students will be dimissed to rejoin                                                                  For more information about our pro-
their parents in Hattie Porter Hall.                                                                       grams for children and youth please
                                                                                                           contact our family minister, the Rev. Geoff
Nursery: Birth through three years                                                                         Rimositis, GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org
Location: Lower Level Nursery                            Grades 6-8: Heeding the Call
Childcare Staff: Maria Elena Olvera, and Sandra Sotelo      Explores oppression in our society and
PreK-Grade 1: Love Surrounds Us
                                                         promotes the understanding of values              School for Compassion
                                                         that counteract the marginalization of
   This program explores UU principles                                                                     November 2011 through March 2012
                                                         others. (Rooms 2-3, lower level)
in the context of beloved community


Help Lead Worship!
                                                         Grades 9-12: A Chorus of Faiths
                                                             Each Sunday youth address issues of
                                                                                                           W           e will engage in spiritual practice
                                                                                                                       and support for one another in
                                                                                                               living a compassionate life that begins with
                                                         concern to their lives and spirituality               compassion for oneself and then moves that

T    he Worship Associate program                        through discussions facilitated by adult              compassion out into the world. Resources
     provides an exciting and enriching                  advisors.                                             for personal learning and transformation
opportunity for members of the First
Unitarian Church of San José to help
                                                         Our Whole Lives                                       include Karen Armstrong’s book The Twelve
                                                                                                               Steps to a Compassionate Life and Frederic
plan and present the Sunday-morning                      Sexuality Education                                   and Mary Brussat’s Spiritual Literacy.
services that are at the heart of our                                                                              The Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones along with
Beloved Community.                                       OWL: Grades seven-nine
                                                         F Classes run January 8 through May                   Christy Baker (Candidate for the Unitarian
    Worship Associates, who serve for                                                                          Universalist Ministry) will be offering the
                                                            6, 2012
one calendar year, work closely with the                                                                       class on the second Sundays of the month
                                                         Facilitators: Michealle Havenhill, Rev. Jack Michael,
ministers and a multidisciplinary worship
                                                         (First Congregational Church of San José), Rev. from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in the Ramsden
team on five or six services during that                 Geoff Rimositis                                       Fireside Room beginning November 13.
year. They also set up the worship space                                                                       RSVP with the Rev. Geoff at GRimositis@
for another five or six Sundays.                         Children & Youth                                      sanjoseuu.org. l
    Ongoing training is provided in
                                                         Spiritual Growth & Learning Program
periodic gatherings, the next of which is
                                                         Schedule                                           Book Discussion Group:
on Saturday, Dec. 3. Interested folks are
invited to RSVP to the number below.                     F December 11: Pk-5 – Music and Yoga with Sally
                                                          Cooperrider and Shirley Worth
                                                                                                            From Jesus to
                                                                                                            Christianity
    In addition to making a critical
contribution to congregational life,                     F 6-8 – Heeding the Call: Qualities for Justice
                                                          Makers
participation in Worship Associates                                                                         Sunday, December 11, 2:45 - 4:45
is a wonderful way to deepen your                        F 9-12– Senior High Regular Meeting
                                                                                                            pm, Conference Room
understanding of Unitarian Universalism                  F December 18: Children’s Holiday Service (No
and to get to know some super people!
    You’ll find details on the church
                                                          Classes)
                                                         F December 25: Christmas (No Classes)              T    his month we will discuss pages
                                                                                                                 1-66, Chapters 1 to 3. Chapter
                                                                                                            3 is about Religion and Society in
website at http://www.sanjoseuu.org/                     F January 1: New Year’s (No Classes)
OurWorshipLife/WorshipAssociates.                                                                           the Roman World. Contact Bob
                                                         F January 8: Regular Classes Resume
html Questions? Phone Mary Martin at                                                                        Miess, Bob@FloweringEnterprises.
(408) 354-8878. l                                                                                           com, 408-781-7073. l

Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011                                                Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 9
Announcements & Coming Events
                                                                                             Save the Dates
HUUmanist group meeting                       UUthful Spirits
Monday, December 21 at 7 PM in the            Second and fourth Sundays, 12:45 pm,
youth room.                                   Hattie Porter Hall
   “Your HUUmanist Year” – Questions             Join our young-at-heart fellowship         F December 10, Saturday, 7:30 pm, UU
to ask yourself: Have I grown as a            group for Sunday brunch! Meet in                Coffee House, For the Love of Broadway,
humanist? Have I had any struggles            Hattie Porter Hall about 12:45 p.m.             Hattie Porter Hall
with humanism, such as talking with           We also host a happy hour on the first        F December 11, Sunday, 1:00-2:30 pm,
others about it? What writings have           Friday. For information, contact uuthful_       School for Compassion class with Rev. Nancy,
been helpful to me? What other sources        spiritsowner@yahoogroups.com.                   Ramsden Fireside Room
have been helpful, including this group?                                                    F December 11, Sunday, 2:45-4:45 pm, Book
                                              Yoga Classes at our Church                      Discussion Group: “From Jesus to Christianity”
What are my humanist projects for the
new year? All are welcome to join us, as      Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:15 to 10:15 am;         with Bob Miess, Conference Room
                                              Wednesdays, 6:15-7:15 pm                      F December 11, Sunday, Circle Suppers,
we gaze into our navels. Contact Tim
Blackwood at TJb@TimBlackwood.com.               No yoga in December. Classes will            contact Barbara Derbyshire at 370-2219 or
                                              resume January 10, 202. Beginning yoga          CircleSuppers@aol.com
Senior High Camping Trip                      classes benefit Third Street Community        F December 18, Sunday, 7:00 pm, Evening
July 24-August 4, 2012                        Center or FUCSJ music program;                  Winter Solstice Service, Sanctuary
   The Senior High Youth Group Island         Suggested donation: $5-$15 no one will        F December 24, Saturday, 5:00 and 8:00
Trip will start on July 24 with a sleepover   be turned away. l                               pm, Christmas Eve Candlelight Services,
at church, returning August 4, 2012.                                                          Sanctuary
                                                                                            F Thursday, January 5, 7:15 pm, Women’s
                                                                                              Alliance, Ramsden Fireside Room
                                              Light Returning:                              F January 15, Sunday, Stewardship/Canvass
                                                                                              Planning Meeting, 12:45 pm downstairs
                                              Winter Solstice Celebration                     Conference Room. Questions? Contact Jean
                                              December 18, 7:00 pm, Sanctuary                 Embree.
                                                                                            F January 20, Friday, 8:00 pm; Fun-raiser:

                                              S   olstice ceremony and celebration with
                                                  the UU San José Alegría Singers,
                                              church musicians, hosts and readers, and
                                                                                              Lou and Peter Berryman, folksingers, at FUCSJ
                                                                                            F April 27-29, 2012, District Assembly,
Community Dances                              all of you! Come and celebrate a special
                                                                                              Oakland Airport Hilton Hotel
                                                                                            F July 29-August 4, 2012 Senior High Youth
                                              Winter Solstice Holiday worship service.        Group Island Trip
Sunday, Feruary 5, 2:00 - 5:00 pm
                                              Bring your openness to participate in a
Hattie Porter Hall
                                              universally felt experience of turning to

N     o Jane Austen Dances in January,
      but on Sunday, February 5, you can
once again dance like Miss Bennett and
                                              the winter season. Please bring a ‘finger
                                              food’ potluck dish to share. We will move
                                              into the hall after the ceremony and mu-
                                                                                              VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
Mr. Darcy – and perhaps try some fa-          sic, to feast and dance together. Suggested     You make FUCSJ what it is! Whatever
vorites of George Washington, William         Donation $5-15. l                               your talent and availability, there
Shakspeare, and Henry Ford as well!                                                           is an opportunity for you to serve.
Watch for details in January. l               The Alegría Singers                             Contact Volunteer Coordinating
                                                                                              Team member s Liz Owen at
UU Coffee House                               Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00 pm, Sanctuary
                                                                                              lowen@data-time.com or Bob Miess
                                                 Join the FUCSJ choir in singing at
Saturday, December 10, 7:30 pm                regular Sunday services, at special events      at bob@floweringenterprises.com
                                              such as Solstice Celebrations and Coffee
T    his “For the Love of Broadway,” cof-
     fee house performance features great
line-up of experienced performers, the
                                              Houses, and bring music to various
                                              church activities. . l
                                                                                                           Remember to bring
                                                                                                           your recyclable bottles
familiar songs you love, and lots of sing-         Donations or free will offerings to                     and cans to help cover
a-longs. Families and kids welcome. l              support our music program are                           expenses of this
                                                   suggested at all music events.                          newsletter!


Page 10                                                                   Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011
Winter hope                                                                                     Winter
                                                                                                                             – Greta Crosby
    excerpted from an article by Doug Muder    echoing the 1853 sermon “Of Justice
               http://www.uuworld.org/spirit/                                                           (#543 in Singing the Living Tradition)
                       articles/175192.shtml
                                               and Conscience” by Theodore Parker: “I
                                               do not pretend to understand the moral           Let us not wish away the winter.
I t is important to remember the dif-
  ference between hope and optimism.
Optimism is an expectation of the
                                               universe; the arc is a long one, my eye
                                               reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate
                                               the curve and complete the figure by the
                                                                                                It is a season to itself,
                                                                                                Not simply the way to spring.

future, but hope is a way of experiencing      experience of sight; I can divine it by          When trees rest, growing no leaves,
the present. Optimism assures us that          conscience. And from what I see I am               gathering no light,
the oasis we see in the distance is not a      sure it bends towards justice.”                  They let in sky and trace themselves
mirage, but hope                                                            I read that           delicately against dawns and
simply inspires                                                         much more as              sunsets.
us to keep going.        Optimism often lies, but hope never fails.
                                                                        a statement of
Optimism prom-                                                                                  The clarity and brilliance of the winter
                                                                        Parker’s hopeful
ises specific outcomes, but hope just says                                                         sky delight.
                                               faith than his optimistic assurance. Parker      The loom of fog softens edges, lulls
that striving is worthwhile, that whether      was speaking in a time of slavery, in a             the eyes and ears of the quiet,
or not good things will happen, creating       country soon to fight a devastating civil        Awakens by risk the unquiet.
opportunity is a good thing in itself.         war. Optimism would have been foolish;           A low dark sky can snow, emblem
    Optimism often lies, but hope              no one could predict when or how the                of individuality, liberality, and
never fails. Optimism argues with the          crisis would resolve. But even without              aggregate power.
predictions of cynicism and bitterness,        a vision of the goal or the path, it was         Snow invites to contemplation and to
and is often proved wrong. Hope rejects        important to keep going.                            sport.
cynicism and bitterness as unhelpful,              To the extent that we hang our hopes
and is perennially proved right.               on specific future events, we may well be        Winter is a table set with ice and
    Hope cares for the eggs without                                                               starlight.
                                               disappointed. ...And yet, history has a
counting the chickens that might come          way of frustrating the pessimists as well....
from them.... Hope is—right here and                                                            Winter dark tends to warm light: fire
                                               The onward and upward progress of                  and candle;
right now, whatever may happen in the          humanity does not happen by clockwork,           Winter cold to hugs and huddles;
future—a better way to live.                   and yet it happens. Even in the best of            winter want to gifts and sharing;
    Hope is itself a challenging issue         times, the daily headlines do not march          Winter danger to visions, plans, and
for Unitarian Universalists because            steadily and inexorably towards goodness.          common endeavoring --
historically we have been an optimistic        If you pick out a period of history that         And the zest of narrow escapes;
religion. We are a can-do people. We           seems particularly glorious from our               winter tedium to merrymaking.
make plans and project outcomes.... In         perspective—the Golden Age of Greece,
good times, when plans succeed and             the Renaissance, the founding of the             Let us therefore praise winter,
goals are achieved, our way is clearly         American Republic—you will almost                Rich in beauty, challenge, and
better. But in hard times, when the                                                                pregnant negativities.
                                               always find that the local commentary
challenge is to endure rather than thrive,     was pessimistic. Whatever is big enough
our advantages are less obvious.               to be obvious is probably already in             Greta W. Crosby is Minister Emerita of
    Too often the nineteenth-century                                                            the First Unitarian Universalist Church of
                                               decline, and whatever is rising seems
Unitarian faith in “the progress of                                                             Wichita, and author of Tree and Jubilee,
                                               negligible by comparison. In every era,
mankind, onward and upward forever”                                                             a book of meditations.
                                               the doomed dinosaurs are more eye-
has been taken as a guarantee of               catching than the evolving mammals.
improvement day-by-day and year-by-                Consequently, if you ask me about
year, when history instead shows long          some specific issue, on any scale from              “Like”
detours and backtracks. The arc of the         the personal to the global, I may well be           Us On
moral universe may “bend towards               a pessimist. And yet I have hope. I keep
justice” (as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther        striving. I keep planting the seeds of good
                                                                                                 Facebook!
King Jr. said it did), but not smoothly.       things to come. Which ones will sprout             tinyurl.com/
    And yet, if we read our Unitarian          and grow? I have no idea. Will any?                 FUCSJ-FB
prophets more closely, they did not            Maybe not. But I choose to plant. It is a
promise that it would. King was                good way to live. l

Our Church Circular • December 7, 2011 • 7 de diciembre 2011                                   Primera Iglesia Unitaria de San José • Page 11
                       FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH of San José
                       160 North Third Street
                       San José, CA 95112

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Assembly: Tuesday, December 20
Mailing: Wednesday, December 21

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format at: sanjoseuu.org

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donation: $18-$20 per year – please mail to
Office Manager.



For Pastoral Care                                                                       Cuidado Pastoral
Our community strives to offer compassion, companionship, healing, and joy              Nuestra comunidad se esfuerza en ofrecer la compasión, el compañerismo
   to all its members. Our pastoral care coordinators can help you find the listening   curativo, y la alegría a todos sus miembros. Nuestros coordinadores en cuidado
   ear or helping hands that you may need in difficult times. Please contact the Rev.   pastoral pueden ayudarle a encontrar un oído que escucha, o las manos que ayudan
   Geoff Rimositis.                                                                     cuando ustedes lo pudieran necesitar en épocas difíciles. Para el cuidado pastoral, por
                                                                                        favor, comuníquese con el Rev. Geoff Rimositis.
Contacting the Ministers                                                                Contactando a los Ministros
Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones and Rev. Geoff Rimositis feel honored to serve                  La Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones y El Rev. Geoff Rimositis se sienten honrados
   this congregation, and we cherish your trust! Here is how reach us: Nancy (408)         de servir a esta congregación y apreciamos su confianza! Aquí esta como puede
   292-3858, ext. 23 Mon.-Thurs.; cell (408) 952-9418; e-mail: revnpj@yahoo.               contactarnos: Nancy (408) 292-3858, ext. 23 de Lunes a Jueves; cell (408) 952-
   com. Geoff: (408) 292-3858, ext. 25 Mon.-Thurs.; cell (408) 309-7796; e-mail:           9418; e-mail: revnpj@yahoo.com. Geoff: (408) 292-3858, ext. 25 de Lunes a
   grimositis@sanjoseuu.org.                                                               Jueves; cell (408) 309-7796; e-mail: grimositis@sanjoseuu.org.

                                READY TO BECOME A NEW MEMBER OF THE FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF SAN JOSÉ?
                                                 Contact Rev. Geoff, grimositis@sanjoseuu.org
                                       CHURCH OFFICE                                    FINANCIAL OFFICER Dena Dickinson,                  NURSERY Sandra Soleto & Maria
NEWSLETTER STAFF                          HOURS: Monday: closed; Tuesday-                 dickiden@comcast.net                                Elena Olvera
Editorial Team:                           Thursday: 9:00-12:00 am and 1:00-
                                          4:00 pm.; Friday 9:00-12:00 am, staffed by
    Catherine Leeson
                                          a volunteer.
                                                                                        BOARD OF DIRECTORS
    Pelizzari, Rick Merritt,                                                            Cheri Goodman, cheri.goodman@sbcglobal.net
                                       Phone: (408) 292-3858 (plus staff extensions)                                                       PROGRAM AND
    Shirley Worth, Circular.                                                            Nancy Taylor, nancyt54@comcast.net
                                          Fax: (408) 292-4744; fucsj@sanjoseuu.                                                            OPERATIONS COUNCIL
    Editors@gmail.com                                                                   Rodrigo Garcia, rodrigo.garcia@sbcglobal.net
                                          org                                                                                              (POC)
                                          Website: http://www.sanjoseuu.org             Rob Strong, strong00@pacbell.net                   John Burk, Social Justice,
Our Church Circular is published
                                          Rentals: (408) 841-7542 or rentals@                                                                    mus6@aceweb.com
on the first and third Wednesdays         sanjoseuu.org                                 CHURCH STAFF
of each month. Circulation is                                                           SENIOR MINISTER, The Rev. Nancy Palmer             Sherry Howd, Outreach,
about 500.                             OFFICERS                                            Jones, Ext. 23, revnpj@yahoo.com                      outreach@sanjoseuu.org
Translator: Roberto Padilla            PRESIDENT Madeline Morrow,                       ASSOC. MINISTER FOR LIFESPAN FAITH                 Patrick Myers, Building,
                                        madelinemorrow@earthlink.net                       DEVELOPMENT, The Rev. Geoff Rimositis,                JPatrickMyers@yahoo.com
Assembly Coordinators: Andrea          SECRETARY Nancy Coleman,                            Ext. 25, grimositis@sanjoseuu.org
Dinolt, Jasmine Kelly, Rebecca          nbcoleman@gmail.com                                                                                Jean Embree & Diana Wirt,
                                                                                        OFFICE MANAGER, Susan Burke,
Mason, Diana Wirt                                                                                                                              Stewardship and Fundraising,
                                       TREASURER David Proulx, dproulx@gmail.com            Ext. 10, fucsj@sanjoseuu.org
                                                                                                                                                 stewardship@sanjoseuu.org
                                       PERSONNEL OFFICER Liz Shivell,                   BOOKKEEPER Sue Evanicky,
Thanks for all the work you             elizabethshivell@yahoo.com                         bookkeeper@sanjoseuu.org                        (open), Inreach
do and care you put into the                                                            CUSTODIAN Edgar Cruz                               (open), Lifespan Religious Education
                                       PROGRAM OFFICER Tamara Payne-Alex,
newsletter.                             tpaynealex@gmail.com

				
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