Deepening Faith. Living Well. Enacting Justice.

Author Archives: Emily Snyder

Sunday Services November 2015

Don Lilley

Don Lilley at All Church Work Day Oct 17

This Month’s Theme is “Ancestry”

November 1    “What They Dreamed Be Ours To Do: Our UU Legacy”   
Rev. Kelly Dignan; Fred Cole, Worship Leader

November 8    “All of Our Relations”   
Rev. Kelly Dignan; Sue Masterson, Worship Leader

November 15    “Common Ground” 
Climate Action Ministry & Rev Kelly Dignan; Tom Denkenberger, Worship Leader

November 22    “Favorite UUs”    
Full Church Service; Rev. Kelly Dignan, Worship Leader
Rev. Kelly Dignan; Briana Robustelli, Worship Leader

November 29 – “The Power of Genealogy”
Rev. Kelly Dignan

Love Notes: Reflections by Rev. Kelly Dignan

Kelly April 2015smallAncestry is our theme this month, and together we will explore what it means to be a people of ancestry. American writer, Ralph Ellison, says, “Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.”

You may have some relatives whose legacy (and dysfunction) you are choosing to end. I know that’s true for me. But which of your relatives have you chosen as ancestors? They are the ones that had values you choose to carry on. They are the ones who blessed you.

People of ancestry look at their blessings and choose to see not only a gift, but also a responsibility. Simply put, ancestors pass on obligations. To be a people of ancestry means recognizing that something of value has been entrusted to you and that there is a long line of people behind you counting on you to pass it on.

And whether that expectation feels to you like a blessing or a burden, it most surely also reminds you that you are part of something larger. Ancestors don’t simply tell you that you are obligated; they tell you that you are obligated to something larger. And not just that you are obligated to it, but that it is dependent on you. Whether the story continues to be told is up to you! Whether the family tradition continues to be done is up to you!

Whether the native language continues to be taught to the children is up to you! Whether the family cycles of health are strengthened or the family cycles of dysfunction are stopped is up to you! Whether Unitarian Universalism lives on is up to you!

Ancestors plop these incomplete and intimidating endeavors in our laps and say, “We’ve done our part and taken it as far as we can. The next step of the journey is in your hands.” That, of course, means that our hands are connected. They handed the precious gift to us. We are asked to hand it on to those who follow. And they will hopefully continue the sacred chain.

And in the end, maybe it all boils down to that: seeing ourselves as part of a sacred chain. We are not small. Our lives are not insignificant or independent. Our choices are not without consequence to others. We are part of a story, not just a set of random happenings. Our choices connect the next link. Our choices pass on that which is precious and remind us we are preciously connected. This is what choosing to be a people of ancestry means. Let’s explore it this month!

Rev. Kelly

Here are some things to ponder:

  • Have you found your favorite UU ancestor? Do you know whose shoulders you stand on? How have you decided whose legacy you want to help live on? For help see:
  • What happened to that tradition you so loved as a kid? Why did you let it go? Is there a creative way to bring it back?  How does Thanksgiving need to change this year? What ritual or tradition needs brought back? What needs to go?


  • Seeds of Our Ancestors, Seeds of Life by Winona LaDuke – TED talk about  ancestor relationships, sustainable development, renewable energy and food systems:


  • The Descendants – Native islander Matt King (George Clooney) lives with his family in Hawaii. Their world shatters when a tragic accident leaves his wife in a coma. Not only must Matt struggle with the stipulation in his wife’s will that she be allowed to die with dignity, but he also faces pressure from relatives to sell their family’s enormous land trust.
  • Finding Your Roots – PBS Series – Each episode of this series “journeys deep into the ancestry of a group of remarkable individuals … bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link.” The show “treks through layers of ancestral history, uncovers secrets and surprises … and shares life-altering discoveries.”


  • Deep Ancestry: Inside The Genographic Project by Spencer Wells
  • The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey by Spencer Wells

Faith Formation Focus by Janen Wright


I am very much looking forward to a month of appreciating our UU Ancestors (our church theme for November) because we have some outstanding men and women in our faith whose life stories inspire both young and old. On November 22nd in our Full church service, we are going to invite the spirits of some of these ancestors (via some volunteer impersonators) to come share their story with us, so that will be fun.

This month in our “Parent’s as Spiritual Guides” class we read an article called Generation to Generation that asks the question: What are we handing down to our kids? In the article Bobbie Nelson (the author) lists some things that he hopes we are passing down to the next generation. Namely – heritage and roots, belonging to a family, stories, celebrations for creating rituals, risk, challenge, courage, compassion, honesty and justice. Now there is a list for you. Which of these things are we handing down to our posterity, through our example?

I want to focus for a moment on the importance of stories in our lives. Bobbie describes the importance of “family stories, bedtime stories, stories from great writers, stories from other cultures and traditions. Stories connect us; they bind us together with people everywhere. They rekindle memories. They weave the fabric of our lives together.”

In my communications class in college we learned that there is no better way to give a person a sense of belonging than by sharing family stories. Children always want to know the particulars of the day or night that they came into the world, how their parents met, maybe the history of colorful characters that live on your family tree. If you are sketchy on some of these stories this would be a great month to contact that great aunt that lives back East and ask her to share the family stories that she knows before they are lost.

Last Christmas my dad gave each of his kids a wonderful compilation of his life story as well as the stories that he knows of his parents and grandparents. I will treasure it always. In reading it, I learned a lot of things about him that I hadn’t known before. These memoirs also served to make me feel closer to my grandmother Lena, who died before I was born. I have always been told that we are so much alike both in personality and appearance. Reading the details of her life really gave her to me.

Here is a tradition that has evolved in our family. (I enjoy it so much that the kids humor me – even my college boys.) Whenever the kids have a birthday I look for a quiet time of day to get out the photo album. The birthday person and I then sit down and look at all the pictures that they are in and recount all the good times that we have had. The kids like seeing pictures of themselves growing up, old classmates, remembering vacations and stories of the past. However you choose to pass on family stories to the meaningful people in your life, the reward is great.

Janen Wright, Director of Faith Formation

President’s Report by Caitlin Moore

Caitlin MooreWow!  The month of October has been filled with great activities, opportunities to covenant with one another, and moving thoughts about this month’s theme “Letting Go.”  I thought I would write briefly to send out some thank you notes.

Our Opportunity Fair on October 3rd was a great success.  Thank you to all the Council and Committee representatives and those who attended!  I think we all learned about new and exiting ministries around UUCB, all of which are good ways to Live Well, Deepen Faith, and Enact Justice.

If you happened to miss the Opportunity Fair, fear not.   You can get an online view of the tables that were there.  Just click  Insert your name and email under the committees/ministry teams that interest you or contact the person listed to get more information.

We know that when we engage in the church, we grow in all kinds of ways!

Another huge thank you needs to go out to the fifty-plus volunteers and team leads who made the All Church Work Day on October 17th amazing.  As Rev. Kelly recently said, “The teamwork and overall spirit made the place sparkle.”  Enjoy the pictures!

And the month is not yet over!  Please consider attending our Annual Pumpkin Glow on October 28th!  Fun for all ages.  See you there, Caitlin

Membership Matters by Barbara Richards

Richards BarbWe honor members, friends, visitors

Our thoughts and good wishes continue to be with:  Jim & Adrienne Hester as they deal with his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.  He now has home Hospice, but is committed to finishing a book he is currently writing!  Theresa Koenke Diaz was dealt a full plate last month with three family deaths, and her mother’s cancer diagnosis.  Mary Dineen’s mother, Rosemary Dineen whose birthday was October 23th. She would have been 83 on that day last month.  New regular attendee, Kyle Ciesla, was hospitalized last month. I understand that Tessa Davis has a great name for the chemo-therapy she is receiving — staying positive, she calls it “Hope-Therapy”.  I love it.  Fred and I had the pleasure of spending time with Ken Ogren, former member, over lunch at his former digs, The Academy, where he lived until he moved to California.  We last saw him with his daughter Jan & husband Dean in Providence RI where he attended his first GA.  a few months ago Ken had a stroke, and now at age 96 you would never know it except he can no longer see you on his left side.  He is still hiking daily and is truly an energizer bunny.  He could not join the tour to see what’s new at UUCB because he had a bridge date at 2:00.  Jan and Dean were impressed with how we look.  She was in our pulpit a couple of times over eight years ago.

Congratulations, Good Luck, Blessings, and Thanks to:  Debbie Davis attended her nieces wedding last month in South Carolina.  She was so excited as it was their first trip there, and she was going for two weeks — I only hope she was not stranded on some church roof top — as it was the same weeks the weather and water descended.  Alex Mazzola who headed up the Young Adults Sunday morning coffee set up/clean up several months ago, and has done a splendid job — sometimes singlehandedly.  We thank you for your service, but sadly for us, happy for him as last month he moved to Seattle WA with his current company.  With Kyle gone and unable to do coffee hour clean-up twoSunday’s in October thanks to Kendall Richards, Fred Cole, Alex Mazzola, Caitlin Moore & Ellen Lilley.  The secondSunday thanks go to Diane Gollnick, Kendall Richards, Heather Ogren, George Wolf  & Neal DiMuccio.  Seriously if we ALL pitch in it would NOT be a big job for anyone!  To Bud and Nancy Spear who received an offer on their home in Green Valley, AZ, closing Dec. 1st.

Special Welcome to New Members:  We are so pleased you have joined us on your own spiritual UU path. Katrina Bossert, Susan Conceicao, Philip Ogren & Akane Orlandella, and their beautiful blended family, Connie & Jerry Pearson, returning Nina Peterson, and Bud & Nancy Spear.

Random Thoughts:  Hippa/Smippa read what you want or not.  It is a good thing to wake up, and not find your name in the obits.  Last month I went to the ER at BCH, our first at the new hospital, with what were the shakes, and a temp of 102. at first they thought I had pneumonia, but later after every test available it was a UTI, and early sepsis.  In 2003 I was comatose, and in Septic shock for five days because of Sepsis. The kidney doctor told Fred people die from this, but it was not to be.  Fred says it is my hearty peasant stock. Spent two nights and three days as they monitored me and they filled me with strong antibiotics.  Came home with a prescription of even stronger antibiotics, so much so that after reading the do’s & don’t I called our doctor to make sure it was OK to take.  The eight day regime almost has taken me out – whew. I’m convinced without the work I have down with my trainer, George, there would have been no strength! Important as we age.  I appreciate all the good wishes, energy and love that has come fromYOU, and look forward to being back as soon as possible.  I miss you too.

Ah the smell of pumpkin is everywhere with the holiday season kicking into full gear — Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours.  Be safe and stay well.  

With Love & Care, Barb


Fabulous Feasts and More!

FF Auction 2014Fall is close and so is Fabulous Feasts and More!  Our annual auction on Sunday, November 8th and 15th after service is an important fundraising event for UUCB.  It is also a great, fun way to bring people together.  

Do you have a special talent, skill or unique item to donate?  Can you host a dinner?  Now is the time to donate an item.  Do it!

Get ahead of the game, browse the live, auction catalog online, and make bids right now.  We already have many fabulous donations, including a week stay on Whidbey Island in Washington State, classes to get in touch with your dancing inner goddess, a professional, outdoor photo shoot, private massage, labyrinth tours, and, of course, fabulous feasts, where you can break bread with new and old friends.


Whitby Island

To donate an item, peruse the catalog, or make an advanced bid, talk to Will Kropp on Sunday, call him at 303-859-9049, or go online at:

Share-Our-Plate Organization for November is Colie’s Closet

Share Our PlateColie’s Closet wants to thank UUCB for choosing us as the recipient of your Share-our-Plate Ministry in November.  Colie’s Closet is a high school peer education program in its 10th year. Our trained high school students from BVSD  make presentations in BVSD middle and high school classrooms on the topic of depression and suicide awareness. They also cover what to do for a friend or oneself and offer resources to the students. These mentor students presented to over 2600 students in BVSD in the last school year alone.

Because suicide is the second leading cause of death for our youth and because untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide (for any age group), Colie’s Closet strives to diminish the stigma of depression by talking about depression and urging students to get help from a trusted adult when dealing with deep emotions. 

Come listen to our Colie’s Closet story and meet one of our amazing teen members at  November services. 

Opportunity Fair Continued

Help wantedIf you didn’t get a chance to attend the Opportunity Fair on October 4, never fear!  You can get an online view of the tables that were there. Just click here.

Insert your name and email under the committees/ministry teams that interest you or contact the person listed to get more information.

We know that when we engage in the church, we grow in all kinds of ways!

Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

UUSCThe Social Justice Committee at UUCB is reestablishing a relationship with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.  UUSC is a human rights organization powered by grassroots collaboration. In more than a dozen countries throughout the world, UUSC fosters social justice and works toward a world free from oppression. UUSC’s innovative approaches and measurable impact are grounded in the moral belief that all people have inherent power, dignity, and rights.

One way of supporting this organization which is grounded in UU values and the UN Declaration of Human Rights, is a program called “Guest At Your Table.”  Many of you will remember this from years past.  We will have more explanation in the weeks to come.  Collection boxes will be available in mid-November.

– Learn more at:

Divestment Movement Update – New Web Tool for Individual Funds

Earth from spaceLast spring UUCB decided to commit to divest our church endowment funds from fossil fuels over the next four years.  During this process, some people wanted to know how to assess the fossil fuel exposure of their personal holdings, but without advanced financial analysis tools, this information was difficult to obtain.  There now is a new free website where you can find this information easily – go to

In addition to joining many other UU churches, other faith institutions like the World Council of Churches, and cities including our very own Boulder, we have been part of explosive growth in this movement over the last year.  During Climate Week in September 2014, divestment advocates pledged to triple the value of funds already committed to divestment, from $50 billion to $150 billion by the December 2015 Paris UN climate negations.  With three more months to go, a recent Arabella Advisors report found an astonishing fifty-fold increase, to $2.6 trillion in assets under management by institutions, governments, and individuals committed to divestment!  There are now 430 institutions and 2,040 individuals across 43 countries who have committed to divest from fossil fuel companies.  We at UUCB are on the list of commitments to date kept here: .

Recent notable commitments include the Norway Pension Fund, the Canadian Medical Association, the University of California pension system, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.  Wall Street is becoming interested in sustainable investing, as shown by Goldman Sach’s global head of environmental, social, and governance investing who recently stated a fund can divest from all fossil fuels without hurting returns.  This shatters the fiduciary argument used by many fund managers.  Edelman PR, world’s largest public relations firm, announced they will no longer work with coal producers and climate change deniers.  The landscape for both divestment, and reinvestment in renewable energy, is rapidly changing, affected in part by increasing awareness of the advancing crises we are living through with the need for climate change action.  Our church can be proud we are part of these timely changes.


UUCB’s Triumphant Summer Garden by Sharon Belew

unnamedMay Sarton said ~ “A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.”

This year’s UUCB garden committee is putting the garden to bed for the winter of 2015 with a lot of triumphs from the past season.

In May, Ed Self, with the help of John Taylor, Sharon Belew and others,  successfully installed a drip system for watering our vegetables. Thanks to UUCB’s endowment committee we received a $500 grant to buy the materials for our system. This way of watering is an investment in the future because it dramatically reduces water consumption while lowering  the chances of plant disease. Our more efficient use of water contributes to UUCB’s Green Sanctuary philosophy.

The purpose of our church garden is to bring people together to learn and practice sustainability while growing local produce.

In June, we began harvesting lettuce, kale, and  other cool weather crops.

By the middle of July we were producing the sweetest cucumbers as well as these zucchinis that inspired squash lovers Deborah and Janen at one Sunday morning market!

In August we were able to share our bounty with church members at our Sunday morning Coffee hour which was served outside.

In September we began harvesting tomatoes and peppers for all the garden workers to enjoy, while we continued to offer a farmer’s market outside on Sunday mornings.

October’s mild weather allowed us to harvest a newly planted crop of beans and nasturtiums and continue to ripen our tomatoes and peppers.

We have Nature to thank for a successful summer garden as well as the many hard working garden committee regulars who will gather in November to celebrate the bounty with our annual Harvest dinner at Mary Jean and Peter Ewing’s house.

Foreground: Ed Self, Beckett Coppola

You may want to join the fun of gardening at UUCB in 2016.


Google Docs Training coming to UUCB! November 1

Sunday, November 1 (choose one of two sessions) 9:15-10:15 am or 11:45 -12:45 pm

  • Google Docs is a tool to create, edit and share documents online.
  • Bring Your Own Device (laptop, chromebook, ipad etc.) so you will be learning in familiar territory.
  • This is especially recommended for chairs and members of our church committees and task forces!

PRISM – November 3

PRISMSign up at UUCB if you can provide a dinner dish for the students in the PRISM group at CU for Tuesday, November 3. They are our future (and many are in our YA group). Food may be brought to UUCB on Sunday, November 1, or delivery/pick up may be arranged for Tuesday. Questions? Call Dianne Ewing, 303-776-0227.

Living the Welcoming Congregation Workshops – Next November 4

UUA_WC_logoWednesdays, Nov 4, 18, and Dec 2, 7-9 p.m.

It is time for UUCB to renew its commitment to being a place of radical welcome and affirmation for people across the spectrum of gender identity and sexual orientation! Join us for a workshop series about LGBTQIA — from what the letters mean, to understanding the experience of trans and queer people, to thinking about how we can each take responsibility for extending radical hospitality to everyone in our church community. Sessions ongoing on Wednesdays: Nov 4 & 18, and Dec 2. Come to one, some or all! Child care provided on request. To RSVP or learn more, contact Dianne Ewing at 303-776-0227.

Climate Commitment Public Meeting – November 16

Sponsored by UUCB Climate Action Ministry

Green SanctuaryUnitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, Monday November 16, 6:30 – 8 pm

Climate Change:  Challenge and Opportunity

Once considered a possibility to be avoided, climate change is now a reality to be reckoned with.  Clear indications of changes taking place in our climate are evident all around us—growing seasons are now over a month longer, fire seasons are more than four months longer, average temperatures have increased by almost 2degF, unusual and often extreme weather events are now increasingly commonplace.

Yet, even as the consequences of climate change become clearer and more daunting, we are now beginning to see this challenge as the opportunity to create new pathways that can stabilize the climate and create a healthier, safer and more broadly prosperous community—both local and global.  Addressing climate change can be more than simply avoiding  feared perils—it can be the call to action that helps us create an even better future.

It all starts here.

Boulder is recognized as a leader in climate action and clean energy development. From the first-ever local carbon tax to Boulder’s recent work to create a low-carbon local energy utility, Boulder residents have consistently invested in a sustainable future. Now it’s time for us to take the next step!

Our first step

Success rests on beginning our climate journey from a shared place of understanding. To this effect, the city and community partners will be reaching out for your help in shaping and refining our community’s climate action strategy, called the Climate Commitment. The city’s draft Climate Commitment proposes short-term and long-term climate and energy goals, and identifies potential roles and responsibilities for the city, community partners and citizens.   Community discussions have begun, and will culminate in a weeklong community-wide working session in mid-April, 2016.

Let’s go!

Lend your voice to this important community process by joining us to discuss how our community can step up to meet this challenge and create the future we want for ourselves and future generations.  Please join us……..

We look forward to hearing from you!

LGBTQ+ Speaker Panel and Q&A – December 6

Sunday, December 6, 12:30-1:30 pmUUA_WC_logo

One of the ways we can live out our commitment to being a Welcoming Congregation is by making space to hear the stories of people with LGBTQ+ identities. Join us for a panel and Q&A session with speakers from OutBoulder and PFLAG. We’ll hear the life stories and experiences of panelists from middle-school age to late adulthood, who represent a variety of sexual orientations, gender identities, and family structures. Bring your questions!
Children are welcome at the event; childcare available upon request. Lunch will be provided at 11:45. If you can help with cooking, set up, or clean up, contact Dianne Ewing: 303-776-0227, Or RSVP on Facebook!

UUCB Men’s Group – November 19

Special “CO-ED” meeting of the UUCB Men’s Group JUne 2015 2– for all UUCB men and their “better halves/partners”.  This meeting is an occasion to meet our new Minister, the Reverend Kelly Dignan and her husband, Pete.  The meeting will be at Norm Taylor’s home located at 2690 Stanford Avenue on Thursday, November 19.  We’ll begin meeting around 6 p.m. with a “Getting to Know You” hour with both non-alcoholic and traditional social drinks, followed by a “potluck” at 7 p.m. and sharing couple/family stories/issues, etc. at 8 p.m. with adjournment around 9:30 p.m.

Thanksgiving Potluck at  UUCB  – November 26

TurkeyFor decades a large group of UUs in Boulder County has celebrated Thanksgiving together with a dinner on that day. For many years now, it has been hosted by us at UUCB. We are looking for people to open the church, oversee setting up tables and chairs, and to oversee the clean up for this year. On Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Day, dinner will be served at 2:00 p.m. We also need two people to cook turkeys. You could cook one at UUCB, if you like. We ask all people, who are able, to help with the set up or help with the clean up, as well as bring a dish to share. A sign-up sheet will be on the counter from this Sunday on. Please sign up as early as you can. Questions, call Dianne Ewing, 303-776-0227.

HANUKKAH, December 4-11

Anyone interested in eating lattkes, other yummy food, spinning a dreidel, hearing stories, lighting candles together during Hanukkah? It could be an early evening meal or lunch time on Saturday or Sunday. It would be a party for the entire family and your friends. It would be a chance to learn about Jewish traditions and enjoy traditional Jewish cuisine—no need to have Jewish family ties. If you are interested in helping with the party or just attending, please let Dianne Ewing know (303-776-0227). We need to know if there are enough people interested before we plan a party.

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