Deepening Faith. Living Well. Enacting Justice.

Monthly Archives: December 3506

On the Path: Intern’s Insights by Diana McLean

Diana MBeing an intern instead of a student in a classroom is big change, and like any big change, it has its ups and downs. On one hand, I love being able to put my learning into practice in this congregation, and to continue learning here in a more experiential way than classroom settings provide. On the other hand, it is sometimes a bit daunting to let go of a familiar role or routine and step into another–to be ministering instead of learning to minister, for example. Change is like that, and we all deal with it at varying levels throughout our lives. Even the exciting ones bring with them a bit of tension.

Organizations actually experience many of the same feelings about change that individuals do: a blend of excitement and fear, of anticipation and resistance. The difference is that in an organization, not everyone is having the same feelings at the same time. In one way this is good–it allows the enthusiasm of those who are looking forward to the change to carry the organization forward to the next step. On the other hand, it can lead to tension when individuals or groups feel invisible or unheard, or believe that they are the only one feeling stress about something that everyone else is excited about. I’ve seen this happen many times, in corporate, academic, and religious settings.

This year, of course, is one full of change for UUCB. The Search Committee is working very hard to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be heard in the process of choosing this congregation’s next called minister. (If you haven’t attended a Searchlight Gathering yet, I urge you to do so this month!) It is also true that even with a perfect process, there would be those who are worried or hesitant about change. It’s human nature–we like what’s comfortable and familiar, so inviting change into our lives when things are going well (instead of only changing things when something is not working) can feel like a big stretch.

Whether any one of us defines this year as “exciting” or “stressful” (or both) is our individual interpretation. It’s important to recognize that in community, however we define a change, there will be someone who is experiencing it differently.

This is where the covenantal nature of this community comes into the equation. Because we have pledged ourselves to be in covenant with each other, we are committed to listening deeply, to speaking the truth in love, and to putting the needs of the congregation ahead of our own personal desires or fears. That is explicitly the job of the Search Team, but it is also the work of each member of the congregation. May we do that work with love and respect.  

October Worship Schedule

bq1409/28         “Sacred Co-Creation and Reproductive Justice

  Ruth Rinehart, Unitarian Universalist Ministerial Candidate

10/05         “Talking with Loved Ones About End-of-Life Decisions (Have you?)”        

                  Rev. Catharine Harris, BVUUF Minister Emerita

 10/12         “Fears and Desires” – Full Church Worship

Janen Wright, Lifespan Faith Development Director

Diana McLean, Ministerial Intern

 10/19         “On Handing Snakes . . . and Other Acts of Faith”

Rev. Howell K. Lind, Developmental Minister

 10/26         ? (Check with Tom Denkenberger)

UUCB’s Climate Change Ministry


Changes in Sunday Morning Kids Program

This year the kids will go to Children’s Chapel following their classes then out to  their own “Munch and Mix” on the playground (when the weather permits) or in the preschool room at the end of the hall.  We will dismiss the kids around 11:40 so parents can enjoy a cup of coffee and some social time following the Worship Service before they are back on duty. Thanks for your patience as we make this adjustment.retr9

Path to Membership Class Date Set For October 2014

path3Interested in learning more about Unitarian Universalism or about the process of becoming a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder? There will be a two session Path to Membership class, from 12:00 pm until 1:30 pm, on Sunday, October 26th and Sunday, November 2nd.

For those who, after participating in this Path to Membership class and wish to formally join our religious community, there will be a Welcoming of New Members at the 10:30 am Worship Service on November 9th.

Attending this class does not commit one to joining the church, but it is an opportunity for those who want to know about UUCB and Unitarian Universalism to then make the decision of whether or not to formally affiliate with UUCB.  A sign up sheet for those interested in attending will be at the church office in the weeks preceding the first class.  If childcare is needed so that you might attend these Path to Membership sessions, please let the church office know so that child care can be provided.


The Path to Membership sessions are a great way to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and to better understand what our church in Boulder is working to accomplish in the lives of our members and in the larger community.

Strategic Planning This Fall

dilbert comic Save the Date, Strategic Planning Sessions, 10/25 and 11/15

The Board has approved a Strategic Planning Task Force to develop a three-year strategic plan for the congregation based on our broad church goals. The Task Force will be chaired by Whitney Wheeless, Past President.


As part of decision to renew our Development Ministry Contract with Rev. Howell Lind in February 2013, the Board decided to revise the goals to build upon the original consulting ministry goals, our expanded vision for UUCB, and our desire for shared goals with the ministry team and our congregation. In the spring of 2013, a task force was formed to draft the new goals. The Goals Task Force consulted with various members of the congregation and major church committees to draft goals that fell into five general areas: Church Community, Worship, Lifespan Faith Development, Social Justice, and Strategic Planning. This Strategic Planning Task Force is an outgrowth of the Strategic Planning goal.

The timing of this work is critical. As we have started the process of searching for our next settled minister, we believe that it is imperative that we have a strategic plan drafted by January 2015, so that the Search Committee can have that plan available when they are evaluating candidates. The candidates should also be able to review the strategic plan, so that they can determine whether they are willing to work with the congregation to achieve those goals.

 Approach to Plan Development

The Board has begun work on the strategic plan over the last several months as part of our retreats and board meetings, based on our goals and visioning work. Now, we hope to engage the congregation to provide input on the important work we need to do in the next 3-5 years to move forward in realizing our goals and live the mission of our church. We will organize the plan into four areas:

  • Property – building, grounds, rentals
  • Outreach – social justice, in the community, liberal beacon
  • Spiritual Life – worship, faith development, small groups
  • Community – small groups, affinity groups, full church, hospitality, faith development

From the ideas generated, the Task Force will work with related committees and the Finance Council to develop plans for 3 years, including financial implications. The plan will include suggested timeframes and who will be responsible for the activity. The activities will be prioritized based on congregational input, committee review, board priorities, ability to implement, and importance for achieving our goals.

Ways to Engage

The strategic planning sessions are planned for two upcoming Saturdays—10/25 and 11/15. We will cover two topics each of those days. Specific topics and times will be announced via the Midweek Messenger and at Sunday Services. We will also provide additional ways to give input.




PRISM Dinners

PRISMWe provide dinner for the students of PRISM on Tuesday, October 7. We’ll be setting up a taco bar for them to make their own tacos. Sign up to provide a part of the meal at UUCB on Sunday, October 5 or contact Dianne Ewing (303-776-0227). The PRISMers send us thanks for the goody bags we gave them with their September barbecue to welcome them to the new school year.

All Church Auction: Fabulous Feasts & More

All Church Auction “Fabulous Feasts & More” — join fellow church members and friends on Sundays November 9 and 16 for our annual auction of events, outings, opportunities and more.  Donations are available on-line:  http://togetherauction/uuchurchofboulder or can be made using the donation forms available at the church.  Bidding and donations are available NOW!  Donation deadline:  October 31st to be included in catalog listings distributed ahead of time.


Reflections on the Journey by Rev. Howell Lind

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEver since the fall issue of the UU World arrived in the mail with an article on the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder being a UUA Breakthrough Congregation, there have been quite a few emails and phone calls from all over the country with individuals and other Unitarian Universalist churches excited about the changes UUCB has undergone in the past few years,  Folks from a variety of Unitarian Universalist congregations write and call wanting to know more about our All Church Social Change focus, our Social Justice Small Group Ministry, Mindful Meeting practice, and on the steps the church leadership took in setting congregational goals for the shared developmental ministry.


Our church’s story is not that unique, as other churches have also “come back from the ashes to rise like a Phoenix” (not my original phrase, but as a number of folks who visited Boulder in the 90’s and early 2000’s have commented), but what makes our church unique is that the congregation set its own goals to accomplish, and together we have made great strides to achieve those goals in the past few years.


This has been such a different approach than churches and ministers have ever taken prior to UUCB being a “pilot project” for this new kind of ministry.  This new approach where congregations can self-determine what and who they wish to become, rather than “calling” a minister and then he or she doing the type of ministry that he or she wishes.  We have pioneered a new model where a minister is chosen who will work with the church leaders to do what the congregation says it would like to achieve.


We are not the only congregation where such shared leadership is producing desired results, but we are at the forefront of what might easily become a new way for churches and professional religious leaders to have shared goals to benefit all concerned.


UUCB has undergone rapid changes in organizational structure, accountability and by-laws and program development in these past few years.  Change always brings about, well – change!  Little cliques or areas of perceived congregational power by individuals gets placed into a larger context of a total congregational effort to grow and prosper, and that can be disconcerting to some folks.  This process of change that UUCB has undergone in this shared developmental ministry’s work to achieve the goals the congregation set for itself has helped more of us to better comprehend just what it means to be a covenantal faith community.


As we deepen our covenantal relationships with one another and towards shared goals, the majority of us have come to see all that we can accomplish together when we are working together.


As UUCB begins this next phase of working on and achieving its revised developmental shared ministry goals, commitment to our covenantal faith will continue to be the fundamental core value for becoming all that we say that we want to become as a church.  Being a UUA “Breakthrough Congregation” brings with it the responsibility to face and to handle any current and future changes with an abiding faithful commitment to being the covenantal religious community that is foundational to what it means to be Unitarian Universalist.










Faith Formation Focus by Janen Wright

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMark your Calendars for a Full Church activity on Wednesday, October 29th (starting at 6:30) and bring your pumpkins with you to carve.  After we have a bunch of jack-o-lanterns we will light them up and watch them glow in the dark.  It would be great if people, young and old, showed up in costume!  How long has it been since you’ve visited the attic to try on great grandma’s wedding dress or donned that rock star wig?  Here is your chance to be a kid again.  Let’s say adults MUST come in costume.  You are also welcome to bring pumpkin bread or a pumpkin dessert (or any fall snack) for our munch table.  (UUCB will provide the hot drinks.)  We will  have fun singing Halloween carols and have a Carnival game or two to reminded us of the good ol’days.  Feel free to invite your friends and join R.E. and Family Matters for a night of community.

Halloween.  Although I love any excuse to celebrate, this holiday has always struck me as a strange one; dressing our children up to go door to door begging the neighbors for candy– especially when children are dressed up as wicked or even gruesome spooks.  This column gave me the opportunity to look farther into the history of Halloween so let me share with you my findings.

The United States adopted this holiday in the early 1900s. The holiday comes down to us from the pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhaim, (pronounced  “sah-win”) held October 31st, the last autumn night before the cold and bleakness of winter.  Halloween is considered the Celtic New Year.  It was believed that on this night the supernatural world drew closer to the physical world allowing humans to be more susceptible to the power and influence of the unseen.  On All Hallows’ Eve magic spells could be cast more easily, divination would be more revealing, and dreams that you have more significant.

Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or to appease them on this night when the dead could arise and maybe wreak havoc.  People left candy on the doorstep to pacify any spooks that might otherwise come inside for refreshment.  When we say “trick or treat” the trick part is a threat to the homeowner or his property if no treat is given.  Who knew?  The festival frequently involved bonfires which was believed to attract insects which in turn attracted the bats, a popular Halloween icon.

I like that Halloween is one of the few non-Christian holidays that we celebrate since Unitarian Universalists respect many different cultures and traditions.  I like that it gives us an excuse to cross onto our neighbors’ porches and at least say “hello”.  When I had young kids some of the older folks in the neighborhood looked forward to their visit and went out of their way to give them special treats.  It gave my kids a bond with those neighbors.  When I was a child there was an old lady on the corner that dressed as a witch and served root beer on dried ice from a black colander.  She was our favorite and I was sure that she was the real thing, albeit a good witch since she was giving out soda instead of worms and frog eyes.  That is a good memory.

If there is a spiritual message to be taken from this holiday maybe it is that we should make room for mystery and awaken to magic more often.  Mystery  and magic is, after all, all around us.  Starhawk (American writer and feminist) explained, “To work magic is to weave the unseen forces into form; to sour beyond sight; to explore the uncharted dream realm of the hidden reality.”  Our powers are always much greater than we realize.  Let’s join together this holiday season to build beloved church community and enjoy the power of fun and unity.

Janen Wright, Lifespan Faith Development Director


Membership Matters

barbOur thoughts and good wishes continue to be with: Hayden called from Maine before church last month to report that Jonathan was in rehab at their complex (Quarry Hill) after his surgery.  He had color again, was feeling great, and was eating everything allowed.  Francesca Howell said blessings for moms, here & passed on; Francesca’s mom who had visited here various times at UUCB, would have celebrated her 100th birthday on September 7;  Peter’s mom of 93, who also has visited UUCB various times, has moved back to Denver CO.  Rosemary Dineen has moved back to Boulder from Ajiuc, Mexico and is settling in at Golden West.  She was at church with her family last month.  Laurie Mazzola and family on the sudden death of her dad last month.  Ginny Wright joined the “socket sisters and brothers” last month with a knee replacement on September 16.

Congratulations, Good Luck, Blessings, and Thanks to: Robley Williams noted with joy the visit of his daughter Ruth and her daughter Ella to Colorado, and with him in church.  Ruth attended UUCB years ago.  A huge thank you to all those men who helped out on the Homecoming BBQ, September 7th. Everything was perfect, even the weather held out.  Clint Brown and Patricia Kay Youngson came this year as roving troubadours.  Special recognition and thanks to Jon Bond, Bob Ford, George Brandon, David & Evan Harrington, Norm Taylor, George Wolf, Tim Bailey, Don Lilley, Ron Cotts, Jack Grundmann, Tom Denkenberger, Jim Hester, Philip Wittmeyer, Bill Belew, Reed Bailey, Alan Davis, Fred Cole, Henry Kroll, and Hugh Matheson.  These are the ones who contributed food and helped prepare/cook/serve the food.

Special Welcome to New Members:  Laura Maguire, Mary Pierce, Kendall Richards, Joan Scott, Saphia Yonkers and her sons.  We are pleased you have joined with us.


Random Thoughts:  Want to be involved?  In early November we will be offering usher training. Next month there will be a sign-up sheet on the office counter.  You will be appreciated, and it is a great way to “get your feet wet”!


With Love & Care, Barb

Parts and Wholes Workshop October 19


Sunday, Oct 19th, 12:45 – 3:15

(Lunch will be provided from 12:00 – 12:30)

Please RSVP to Toni Piwonka-Corle

Parts and Wholes:  Exploring how we co-create the systems we live within. Presented by Rev. Nancy Bowen

Let’s explore the interpersonal dynamics that shape the habits and patterns of all organizations.   Some of this is about each of us uniquely. Some of it is about how we bring it all together in community, family, work team, etc.  Have you ever walked into a new environment and “felt”  the energy of the group?   Have you ever had your “buttons pushed”  in situations that surprised you?  In our time together we will explore deeper levels of self-awareness that can help to shape healthy and vibrant group cultures in families, work environments and congregations.   This will be an interactive time with applicability across your many relationships.

Rev. Nancy Bowen is a birthright Unitarian Universalist, raised in All Souls Church in Tulsa, OK.  A graduate of Smith College and Yale Divinity School she holds fellowship as a community minister. She has worked with Mountain Desert District congregations for 9 years.  With the regional collaboration of the  four western districts creating the Pacific Western Region she is the Regional Lead for the nine staff members serving the 199 congregations in PWR.

October Circle Supper

circle supperDiana and Michael King are hosting our circle supper on Saturday, October 4, at 6 p.m. at their home in the Gunbarrel area of Boulder. Bring a favorite dish to share; this strictly pot luck! Diana and Michael are avid birders and world travelers. If you have not signed up already, please contact Diana to reserve your place and get directions to their home. The address is 7232 Old Post Road. Circle suppers are cooperative meals usually in a UUCB home just for fun. They are open to all UUCBers and their friends. If you’d like to host sometime, contact Dianne Ewing

October Tea House

Judith King (no relation to Diana and Michael!) invites us all for tea and conversation on Sunday afternoon, October 19. Exact hours to be announced. Judith is off on a cruise right now. Maybe she’ll have some photos to show us at her tea house. Judith’s address is 1900 Butte, #199. Directions will be available at UUCB that morning. All are welcome! Bring finger food to share. No sign up required. Let Dianne Ewing know if you’d like to host sometime. It couldn’t be easier!

Wise Elder Luncheon/Potluck

The next Wise Elder luncheon/Potluck will be Thursday, Oct 16, 2014, from 11:30 to 1:00 pm at the church. After lunch we will have a short talk by the Ministerial Search Committee. They want your ideas and feedback as they seek to understand what skills and gifts to look for in ministerial candidates.

Sign up after Sunday services. Anyone needing transportation can call Carol Saunders

October Talk About

Talk About –Please join Diana King and others for camaraderie and the post-service “Talk About” discussion on the Sunday, October 19 from 11:30 to 12:00 pm.  In nice weather discussions will take place outside on the benches in the front of the Church.  During inclement weather they will be at the back of the Earth Room (near the hearth).


UUCB End of Life Seminar Series


October 5, 2014




The first of our three fall seminars will take place after the service on October 5th, when Rev. Catharine Harris will be speaking about how important it is for all of us –young, middle-aged and old — to have conversations with our loved ones about our wishes for our end-of-life care.  These conversations can take place between spouses/partners, parents, children, grandchildren, close friends — anybody who should know about our end-of-life wishes and who might be involved in making decisions for us when we can’t speak for ourselves.   Have YOU had the conversation?


During the seminar, Jean Abbott, a co-founder of Boulder’s Conversation  Project, will lead us in an interactive workshop that will introduce the project and the Starter Kit.  We will spend time clarifying our own end-of-life wishes and, even more importantly, learning how to have these difficult conversations with our loved ones.


A light lunch will be provided for those who signed up in September.


  $1 donation requested for your copy of the Starter Kit.

Future seminars are:   November 2:  Ending Well Medically and Spiritually

December 7:   After Death Decisions

50 Years Goin’ Down the Road Event for Betty Pingel

PringleParents do YOU know where your former Ninth Grade Tripper is?  Trippers, do you know where YOUR parents, (your RA’s) and other Trippers are??  We are having a Reunion to honor the Rev. Betty Pingel and the creation of the UU 9th Grade Trip, and its 50 Years of Goin’ Down the Road!, and we would love to have YOU join us.

Saturday evening, October 11, 2014 we will have a social event (Dutch treat), at Govrnr’s Park restaurant in Denver, 672 Logan St, 80203, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm – and then on Sunday, 10/12, there will be Reception/Service beginning at 2:00 pm, at First Unitarian Church of Denver, 1400 Lafayette St.  The requested donation is $20 per person – attend either event, or both. Any surplus will go to the NGT Scholarship reserve.  Please help us share this information with former Trippers (and former RA’s) everywhere!


To RSVP, and/or donate, go to There you will be able to share additional information about YOUR trip, get payment details, and let us know how we can count on YOU as being a part of these festivities.

Rise Up And Call Her Name, Part 1

GoddessesRise Up And Call Her Name, Part 1

A Woman-honoring Journey into 

Global Earth-based Spiritualities

An Invitation to all women and girls 13 years of age and older

6 Tuesdays:   October 14- November 18th

6:30-9:00 pm at UUCB, 5001 Pennsylvania, Boulder

$20 for materials (sliding scale)

Offered for women, age 13 and up

Sign up by October 7th by contacting Debbie Davies,

Rise Up and Call Her Name is a course that weaves together spiritual stories worldwide that honor female divinities.  Rise Up presents a textured spiritual inquiry missing from exclusively male imaged, monotheistic belief systems.  By focusing on artistic and intellectual tools which facilitate self-development and personal integration, these stories become relevant and inspiring to the individuals participating. 

Circles of participants undertake personally relevant activities that may include: experiencing visual images, chants, creative rituals, movement, storytelling, and hands-on art projects.  Participants have the opportunity to develop fresh perspectives on qualities such as fearlessness, compassion, nurturing, and the unfolding of personal spirituality. 

Ecological awareness is prominent on this journey. Cycles, interconnection and biodiversity are given form and substance through stories that portray both the power and process of Nature, advocating reverence for Her.  Group sharing is especially rich, often supporting community building that continues even after the course is completed.  Please join women from both UUCB and BVUUF to take part in this exciting journey.

A Thank You from BCAP

Gay PrideIn August, the Boulder County AIDS Project sent us a lovely note thanking us for the food and the household and personal supplies that we sent them in July. We had a carload of items to deliver to them. Thank you so much for your donations! Judy Hunter and Dianne Ewing are our UUCB reps on the Interfaith AIDS Coalition which sponsors food and supplies drives. Each member congregation has one or two drives during the year, which helps keep the BCAP Pantry shelves well stocked for needy clients. BCAP provides counseling, referrals, educational program, and community outreach. The majority of the 200 local BCAP clients are low income. Free items from the pantry is much appreciated to help them stretch their budgets. Clients include men, women, and children of all ages.

Climate Change All-Church Focus is Launched!

   Earth from space      The urgency to act on climate change is everywhere in the news these days, and at UUCB, climate change is now our social justice focus.  Over the next two years, the Climate Change Ministry will provide many opportunities for education and engagement – on a local, state, national and even international level.  September brought several kick-off events.

  • We want to thank Sharon Belew and her team for hosting the John Fielder Event that included Mr. Fielder’s gorgeous photos and his discussion about the success of the Wilderness Act as well as current environmental challenges, including the severe impacts of climate change.   
  • A few days later, the Climate Change Ministry sponsored the viewing of the very powerful film “Groundswell Rising.” Produced by fellow UU Mark Lichty, the film featured the impacts of fracking on climate change as well as on our air, food, water and health. Mark Lichty was present to discuss the making of his movie, and Mary Smith spoke about the status of the Boulder County Home Rule, one local initiative that could give our county commissioners the power to limit or ban fracking. 
  • This month the Climate Change Ministry also sponsored a wonderful multi-generational seed/plant gathering event with Ed Self’s Wildlands Restoration Project.  Several UUCB families and individuals turned out on a gorgeous Saturday to gather cornflower seeds as well as baby peach leaf willows and plains cottonwoods.  The seeds and plants will be used to restore lands that were impacted by last year’s floods.   
  • In September we also kicked off our Carbon Cutting Commute Sundays, which will be held on the second Sunday of each month.  To help us all change our commuting habits and save on carbon pollution, we’re encouraging everyone to find some way of cutting their carbon emissions when they come to church.  Many already do so, but these Carbon Cutting Sundays will ask all of us to stretch a bit more – and have some fun.  Walking or riding a bike or scooter to church are the lowest carbon commutes.  But we can also reduce our carbon emissions by driving a more fuel-efficient car, taking the bus or by carpooling.   And if you live far away, think about parking your car a half mile from church and walking that last bit with a friend! 
  • On September 23, the world’s leaders gathered in New York at the UN Climate Summit to discuss climate change.  On September 21 over 310,000 people from over 1200 organizations flooded the streets of New York to urge these leaders to take action before it’s too late.   Five UUCB members were part of that enormous gathering: Tom Denkenberger, Susan Riederer, Susan Secord, and Steve and Heidi Todd.   Susan Riederer even rode the Peoples’ Climate Train all the way from Denver to NYC!  Several UUCB members turned out to participate in a Whistle Stop Rally – to send Susan and other Coloradans off on the train!  Other members joined local rallies in Denver and Boulder on September 21, in support of the NYC march.  
  • Finally, our Letter Brigade continues!  Once a month UUCB members are invited to the Emerson Room after church to write to your Members of Congress about your concerns about climate change and the urgent need to act. We provide the paper, pens, and even some ideas.  Watch for notices in the MidWeek Messenger!  

UUCBers send Susan Riederer off on the Peoples’ Climate Train









cctrain2 cctrain3 cctrain5











UUCB Climate Change Ministry members In NYC with 310,000 Peoples’ Climate Marchers




Tom with Dr. James Hansen, former NASA Goddard Institute Director – the person who first told Congress about the urgency to act on climate change – back in 1988.  Dr. Hansen was marching with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, as were we!






















Seed/Plant Gathering


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