Monthly Archives: March 2023
Thoughts from the President
Did you know that in Japan, the fiscal year begins on April 1st? My colleagues in Japan explained to us that they choose to begin the fiscal year with the blooming of the cherry trees– the season of new life and hope for good things to come. There’s something lovely about matching the cycles of government and business with the rhythms of the natural world. I admit, it’s something I never thought of before.
At the same time, I do often think about Spring as a new beginning, even though it isn’t at the beginning of the calendar year. And this year at UUCB, Spring is certainly going to present us with some new possibilities! As you may have read in the Search Committee’s article, the name of the ministerial candidate will be announced on April 5th. How’s that for a new beginning and hope for good things to come?
I don’t know about you, but just knowing that the announcement will come that day makes both excited and nervous. Excited, because I keep hearing that all of the candidates are so qualified and such good people. Nervous, because that highly qualified, truly good person is going to bring change– and change is never easy. So, I will probably battle those emotions for the next couple of weeks… And then will continue to do so until Candidating Week.
During Candidating Week, I hope that every one of us will have a chance to meet the minister candidate and develop a sense about who ze or she or he is. Then, I hope every member will attend the special congregational meeting, where we will vote on whether we should call that candidate to be our next minister.
I cannot express strongly enough how essential your participation in that meeting is. This meeting represents a significant milestone for us. We will be voting for a ministerial candidate for the first time in nearly 15 years. It is our opportunity to choose our future. Everyone’s vote is essential– and there is no absentee ballot! The first step in shaping our church’s future is to be present at the meeting and to cast your vote yourself. Let’s show our candidate how excited we are for this new chapter by turning out in droves for them!
April 2015 Worship Schedule
04/05 “We, Too, Rise Again”, Diana McLean, Ministerial Intern, Howell Lind, Worship Leader
04/12 “Climate Justice –– Do It Now!”, UUCB’s Climate Action Ministry
04/19 “Earth Sunday – Prayers Of The Earth”, Janen Wright, Faith Development Director,Diana McLean, Worship Leader
04/26 “UUCB’s Ministerial Candidating Service”, Diana Maiden, Worship Leader
Reflections on the Journey
Anticipation is in the air! With the recent spate of warm weather days and the
beginning hints of a beautiful Colorado springtime before all of us, I am eagerly
hoping that we will get to enjoy a glorious spring this year.
When I lived in Maine so many years ago, I remember feeling like winter would
never end and that springtime was way too short. Moving to live in Colorado
has never generated such feelings. (Yes, I know that I have been known to
complain about having to shovel snow . . . on occasion!) Even in the wintertime
in Colorado, there have been more sunny days than one might expect. In many
respects, Colorado has a most pleasing climate and springtime here in the
foothills of the Rockies is a most rewarding experience!
Along with the anticipation of the turning of the seasons, the anticipation and
excitement is also running high as this Boulder Church congregation patiently
waits for the Ministerial Search Committee to make their announcement to the
congregation on the candidate they have selected to present to the congregation.
Your Ministerial Search Committee, from all that I have gathered, has been
dedicated and diligently working in their efforts to find the best match of religious
professional for the congregation so that this next stage or phase of growth and
success can be realized in the days and years ahead.
Moving from the UUA’s Developmental Ministry program into the ability to call a
settled minister who will bring his/her skills and talents to the shared work with the
leadership in helping the congregation achieve all that it has said that it wants to
become can be very exciting and engaging.
The church’s 2015-2016 Annual Every Member Pledge Canvass was initiated in
the last several weeks of March. This opportunity for everyone to step up and
make a positive difference in the efforts of continued success and health of UUCB
is before all of us. It is with anticipation and excitement that this congregation
moves into what can be a very rewarding next step in the church’s growth and
history. It is with just such a continued commitment and dedication that this
Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder, in the form of each individual member
and friend, can help make the 2015-2016 Pledge Canvass a successful effort!
I personally am excited about the potential and the opportunities that lie ahead of
this Boulder Church. I cannot wait to hear the name of and to meet the minister
that your Search Committee has chosen among the potential candidates that they
Anticipation is in the air for this month of April . . . should prove to be exciting and
invigorating days ahead.
Faith Formation Focus
Looking forward to holidays is in my blood. Years of being a stay- at- home mom helped me appreciate the happy focus that an up- coming holiday could provide our family as they came to define the seasons of the year. I have heard some UUs admit that Easter is a hard event to celebrate with any kind of integrity– given their theology. This makes total sense but spring, with its miraculous renewal of life, calls for a celebration in my book, more than any other time of year.
Learning the origins of Easter helped me to reclaim this holiday for myself and my family. My parents always thought the Easter Bunny and egg hunts detracted from the “true meaning” of the holiday but I have found the opposite to be true. Easter gets its name from the Goddess of Spring and Dawn (O-star-a). Ostara is sometimes depicted with the head of a hare or as a goddess surrounded by rabbits and birds. The story goes that children presented eggs to the Goddess as a gift to thank her for bringing spring. Ostara was so touched she recruited her minions (the rabbits) to return the eggs to the children only now they were brightly colored by her magic.
The Celts dyed eggs red to symbolize the menstrual cycle that gives life. While they were dying the eggs women and children would think about their hopes for the coming year. They would then bury the red egg alongside a plant to help it grow. They believed that if the plant grew strong and healthy their hopes and dreams would also take root and come to fruition by the end of the year.
When Christians entered the picture they did not approve of this pagan practice so they encouraged
kids to seek out and dig up these eggs from out of the ground. When they brought them back to the
church the kids would get a small token for each egg. This is how the Easter Hunt was born.
Easter is around the Equinox when there is 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. The mark on the hot cross buns didn’t start out being a cross. Rather the two intersecting lines most likely meant the four seasons of the year, the four phases of the moon or the equality between night and day.
On the Path: Interns Insights
Every spring, my heart rejoices as new leaves appear on the trees outside my windows,
birds start coming back to the feeder on my balcony and singing me awake in the
morning, and I start seeing baby bunnies outside my home and calves in the fields I
pass on my way to UUCB.
As the natural world experiences a rejuvenation in the spring, so does my spirit.
Back in early November, shortly after my father’s death, I talked about how both his spirituality and mine have always been grounded in our connection to the web of life through nature.
As an “unchurched” child, before my family found Unitarian Universalism, I would tell people that my church was the outdoors. Even now that I have actual churches to which I am deeply connected and committed, the natural world is still where I am most likely to experience a profound sense of connectedness. It’s where I have the deepest awareness of being part of—and upheld by—the interdependent web of life.
If nature is my church, then mountains and oceans are my cathedrals with soaring arches and beautiful stained glass windows. They are where my breath is taken away by the sheer power and beauty and grace of the natural world.
I consider it a blessing that I live here, where I get to see mountains every day. I compensate for living so far inland by making pilgrimages to the ocean when I get the chance.
In late April, I’ll be traveling with my mother to California. One of the things we’ll do is visit some places Dad wanted to go, including Muir Woods, a national monument with giant redwoods located right on the California coast. I think the woods were Dad’s cathedral.
We’ll scatter some of his ashes somewhere in the woods and some in the ocean. This is not an act of closure for us, but an act of connection—connection between us and Dad, between us and the larger natural world—and an honoring of his connection to that world and how he shared that with us.
Whether I’m collecting shells on a beach, or photographing seagull footprints in the sand or lichen on trees, being attentive to the small details of the natural world is one of my spiritual practices. I learned that from Dad. (Stop by my office sometime to see one of his nature photographs hanging above my desk!)
From that spiritual practice, from that connection to all of life, comes my deep commitment to care for this Earth we share.
Speaking of that commitment, please consider joining me on the afternoon of April 19th (the Sunday of our Earth Day full-church worship service) for a multi-generational workshop on water stewardship.
In the meantime, I hope spring is bringing you a feeling of renewal and rejuvenation, too.
We honor members, friends, visitors
Our thoughts and good wishes continue to be with: On Sunday March 8th Rev. Howell Lind lit three candles…the first for Pete Palmer and his family on the death of Pat on Sunday, March 1st. The second candle was on behalf of our entire congregation — for Deborah Berioli — our Church’s incredible Music Director. She became quite ill and was admitted to the hospital. It was quickly determined that her liver was shutting down. It was also discovered that her condition was hereditary and a compatible organ was rushed to the hospital (in Denver) where Deborah underwent a liver transplant. Her new liver is functioning well, as I write these words — we are all happy to know that she is now home with the prognosis for a strong recovery!! If you wish to make a donation to the ICU, or to the Transplant Unit you can make a check out to UUCB with the notation on the memo line that it is for Deborah. Martha Kappel, Jenny Fitt-Peaster’s mother and Becky Martin’s grandmother, died December 13, 2014 at her home near Longmont. She was 90 years old with a mind sharp as a tack. A memorial service to celebrate Martha’s full, feisty and exciting life will be held April 17, 2015, 7 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder.
Congratulations, Good Luck, Blessings, and Thanks to: The third candle was lit for Amanda Riggers, our lovely pianist, and “sexy” (my nickname for him because of what he can do on his saxophone, and he is handsome!) Sam Williams are engaged to be married! Ask to see her beautiful engagement ring.
On March 11th I received the last UUCB Young Adult mass-produced Email …saying that their focus will now be on their YA Facebook page for communication. I want to give thanks for this incredible YA Newsletter, and to Kelsie Kline, and Suzy Belmont who have continued to keep the YA group on track, and a force in our congregation. All of YOU have made us proud. The YAs have become a bit spread thin, as members have become more involved in the important work of our Congregation serving on the Board, Worship Council, Search Committee, other Committees, providing music — and Yes, they do coffee once a month. They are a blessing and deserve our thanks. Unfortunately, as we celebrate the arrival of summer in Boulder we will be losing several of these fine Young Adults to their future opportunities. They will make a difference in the next UU congregation they enter — wherever they go.
It has also been my pleasure to work with David & Lisa Hughes who have produced this Clear Light Messenger for more years than I can remember. Judith King is now assuming this editorial role, as part of her Office Administrator responsibility. Also to Karen Morgan who produces the Midweek Messenger.
Lastly, a special thank you to all the “bakers and buyers” who participated in this year’s Ninth Grade Trip Cake Auction. The creative cake-making talents which appear are always amazing! Kudos too — to our intrepid auctioneer, Bill Belew, and to Lisa Hughes (with help) who organized the activity. In total we raised $2400 for this very important program, benefiting our youth.
Why You Will Meet One (And Only One) Ministerial Candidate
By the time you read this, the Ministerial Search Committee will have met with and interviewed our precandidates – the “short list” of incredibly qualified ministers we’ve chosen for thorough review. We are now in the most critical phase of our discernment: deciding which one of these wonderful ministers would be the best match with UUCB as our next settled minister.
Last month we reflected on the need for confidentiality in the Search process, both to protect our precandidates’ relationships with their current congregations and to avoid a situation where UUCB members might start to form premature attachments. We thank you for respecting that need. This month, we’ll explain the next steps beginning with why the Search Committee will present one (and only one) Ministerial Candidate.
Calling a minister is not like electing a politician.
Even though we refer to potential ministers as “candidates” and the congregation chooses a minister by voting, extending a call to ministry is a more sacred and communal process than secular elections.
In politics (for better or for worse), differences of opinion are resolved through majority vote and as you well know, the results often cause deep divisions and even resentment. The fact that members of both parties have what they believe to be the community’s best interests at heart is usually lost in an “UsversusThem” mentality that’s all about “winning”.
In Unitarian Universalist congregations, we devote ourselves both to the democratic process and to the inherent worth, dignity, wellbeing, and spiritual growth of our fellow members. We begin by saying “We are all in this together”, and we resolve our differences through the mutual promises of covenant and the invitation to remain in beloved community with one another.
Asking a congregation to choose between two candidates would be guaranteed to create division. Even if both choices were equally capable and equally well-matched with the congregation, some members would be left feeling like “our” candidate had “lost”, while “their” candidate had “won”.
Presenting one (and only one) Ministerial Candidate, chosen as the best match for UUCB through a process of deep discernment by an elected committee, allows this congregation to act in unity. Differences of opinion about our final candidate will naturally arise, and will be discussed in beloved and covenantal community recognizing that a minister serves the entire congregation. And when we vote, we will do so not along party lines, but as individuals each guided by our own conscience to do what we believe is best for all.
Whether we then vote to extend the call to ministry or not, there will be no “them”, no “losers”. There will be only “us”, moving forward together in partnership with a new minister, or moving forward together to find a different path for ministry at UUCB.
Ministers look for unanimity.
Ministers are advised to decline a call to ministry if less than 95 percent of the congregation votes in favor. That’s a high bar! And for good reason: Experience has shown that it is not enough to find a good or even very good fit between a minister and a congregation. Finding the best fit, while difficult, is a prerequisite for a successful ministry.
Luckily, your Search Committee has taken on the tricky task of deciding which of our wonderful precandidates is the best fit for ministry at UUCB and the truth is, there may be two or more who are equal as best matches in different ways. The hardest part of our discernment may be deciding which of two equally attractive candidates to prioritize.
At the same time, our precandidates are looking for their own “best fit” congregation, because a minister may only accept final candidacy with one church. When we present a final Ministerial Candidate, you will know that person has this committee’s unanimous and unambiguous endorsement, and that the candidate has made an unambiguous commitment to seek ministry at UUCB.
Then you, the congregation, will have a relatively easy choice: Whether to call one amazing minister to serve our church. And when you meet our final candidate, you should be so impressed so totally blown away that there’s hardly any need for debate! If we do our job well, it should be obvious to everyone that the Ministerial Candidate is the best possible fit for UUCB.
We expect to announce our final Ministerial Candidate on Sunday, April 5.
Once the Search Committee decides on our “best fit” precandidate, we will make an official Offer of Candidacy which, per UUA guidelines, we cannot do until April 2. If the candidate accepts our offer, the Search Committee should be able to bring you the good news on April 5. At that time we will also start finalizing the details of Candidating Week, which will take place from Saturday, April 25 through Sunday, May 3. The week will include services led by the Ministerial Candidate on two consecutive Sundays, many opportunities for UUCB members and the candidate to meet and get to know one another during the week between, and a special Congregational Meeting after the second Sunday service to vote on whether we will extend a call to ministry. Our bylaws do not allow proxy or absentee votes, so please plan to attend in person on May 3! s you can see, these final days of the Search Committee’s discernment are like a calm pause before the whirlwind finale! As always, we thank you for your continued patience and trust in this process.
Yours in faith,
The UUCB 20142015 Ministerial Search Committee
Jim Rowe (chair), Sharon Belew, Ted Burnham, Jason English, Jenny FittPeaster, Diana Maiden, Barb Richards
Our Initial Strategic Plan for UUCB is complete!
By Whitney Wheeless
Why did we prepare a strategic plan?
As part of the renewal of our Developmental Minister’s contract in the spring of 2013, the Board worked
with church committees and the congregation to update our five- to ten-year goals. The revised church
goals serve as the shared goals of our professional ministry team and our congregation. The goals are
reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees. One of our goals was to develop a strategic plan for the
church. The strategic plan provides a guidepost for the most important things that we are working on or
doing to support our goals and achieve the mission of our church.
How was the strategic plan created?
In the fall of 2014, the Board established the Strategic Planning Task Force to pull together our initial
strategic plan for the church. The Task Force consisted of Whitney Wheeless (Chair), Andy Burgess, Deb
Hoff, Will Kropp, Don Lilley, and Kitty Turner. The Task Force held two forums to gather input from the
congregation and worked with various committees and groups to define the key activities in the plan.
The draft strategic plan was presented to the Board at the January Board Meeting, and the initial plan
was finalized in February. It was rolled out through the Congregational Life Council and the
What is a strategic plan?
The strategic plan defines the important ongoing, current, and future activities that will help us to
achieve our broader church goals. The strategic plan helps guide current efforts in the church year, sets
a plan for the next one to two years, and identifies potential activities three to five years out. As a living
document, current and future activities will change each year and even within a church year. The Board
will formally update the plan annually at their annual planning meeting.
What is covered in the strategic plan?
The strategic plan is organized into five categories: spiritual life, community, outreach, property, and
general. Spiritual life, community, and outreach follow our simple church focus of Deepening Faith,
Living Well, and Enacting Justice. The plan presents the activities; description of tasks; responsible
committee, group, or staff member; and the fiscal implications.
The strategic plan also includes a staffing plan, which presents the projected changes and growth in our
church staff to accommodate growth in members and expanded programs for the church over the next
five years. The capital plan summarizes the projected expenses that are outside the current operating
budget. These projections are for planning purposes and will depend on how well we achieve our goals,
changing priorities, and our ability to increase our operating budget.
Where can I find the strategic plan?
You can find the current version of the strategic plan in the Member’s Area on UUCB’s website (UUCB
Strategic Plan Final date.pdf in category Church Goals). The plan is updated as needed.
Earth Room Hearing Assistance
UUCB has acquired four new and improved hearing assist devices. If you have been having trouble hearing Sunday service, stop by the Sound booth before service and check one out to try. It has a receiver which can clip to your belt or go in a pocket, and an earpiece that goes over the ear with a speaker that sits outside the ear. You can also plug in your favorite ear bud instead. Let us know how it works!
9th Grade Trip Cake Auction
PRISM GOODY BAGS AND DINNER
Bring nonperishable snacks and small school supplies for end-of-the-shcool-year goody bags for the student members of the Progressive Really Inclusive Student Ministry (PRISM) on Sundays, April 5, 12, and 19. Granola bars, small packs of nuts, candy bars, dried fruit, cracker packs with cheese spread or peanut butter, popcorn packs, and soup mixes or Ramen noodles are great, and pencils, pens, sticky notes, hi-lighters, and so on are welcome items! Look for the PRISM goody bag collection basket in the front hall. On April 19, we’d love to have a batch of home-made cookies that we can be place in sandwich bags and some fresh apples or clementines. If you can provide home-made cookies or fresh fruit, please let Dianne Ewing know (303-776-0227). On April 19, we’ll fill the bags during coffee hour to be delivered that week.
We will prepare dinner for PRISM on Tuesday, April 7. Sign up to provide a dish for 8 on Sunday, April 5. This will probably be our last dinner for PRISM until September!
ITALIAN CIRCLE SUPPER
Carrol and Bill Kalafus invite you an Italian feast on Saturday, April 4, 6 p.m., at their home near UUCB, 832 Sycamore (right off of Pennsylvania, east of UUCB). It’s a themed pot luck! Bring a favorite Italian dish. Call them at 303 499-0268 by Thursday, April 2, if you have not signed up at UUCB. It would be fun to see your hard copies of photos from Italy or souvenirs, if you have some.
APRIL 19 TEA HOUSE
Shirley Bulla is hosting our April tea and conversation gathering from 3 to 5 that afternoon (not to be confused with the auction English Tea she is hosting with Daphne Lewin the following Sunday). Shirley also lives near UUCB at 1402 55th Street, the red ranch-style house on the east side of 55th, just to the left of the fire station. Park in the field behind her house. Bring finger food to share and memories of earlier days at UUCB and of some of our members no longer with us. Or plan to hear about UUCBers who built the Earth Room and helped UUCB grow into a warm community of caring people.
Wise Elders Pot Luck Lunch
WELCOMING CONGREGATION NEWS!
Have you noticed that some UUCBers have a rainbow sticker on their name tag? You can have one too! They are to emphasize to newcomers and guests that we welcome GLBTAIQ people. We are officially designated as a Welcoming Congregation by the UUA, and we are actively working to renew that status. We’ll have stickers available at the name tag table or by our name tags board every week from now on. Stick one on your name tag! Our new rainbow flag should be flying by our front doors this month. We plan to keep it up 24-7 to let passers-by as well as those who use our building know that we are welcoming!
Members of the WC Committee and all of you who are interested in furthering UUCB’s work to become more welcoming, especially to members of the GLBTAIQ community, are invited to meet with us after you get your coffee on Sunday, April 12. Bring a snack for the meeting that day, if you can, so we can munch and talk! Meeting location to be announced.
Sign up for an introduction to the Welcoming Congregation and the Bisexuality Curriculum on Tuesday, April 14 at UUCB. Bring your dinner and we’ll meet at 6:30or come at 7 when we begin the workshop. If all can come early, we will start and end early. The second WC workshop will also be scheduled on Tuesday during the week when our ministerial candidate is visiting with us. The committee is also planning a panel discussion about living with WC topics for our August retreat. We will begin the new WC curriculum in the fall.
Now you wonder what all the letters stand for in GLBTAIQ. The order of the letters sometimes varies, but they still mean the same things. You probably can figure out Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and perhaps Transgendered too. Here’s what the AIQ letters stand for. A = asexual, I = intersexed, Q = queer. We will be defining terms for you in coming newsletters. Because the letters are a mouthful, we are calling our committee the Welcoming Congregation Committee. If you have questions about the group, ask Judy Hunter or Dianne Ewing.
WE ARE STANDING ON THE SIDE OF LOVE!
DIVESTMENT FROM FOSSIL FUEL
Come get all your questions answered about this movement and what it means to our church.
Presentation: Fossil fuel divestment movement and UUCB
Date: April 12th at 12:30 – approximately one hour
Food: Lunch provided for registrants at
Who: Divestment team, Endowment committee, church president
What: Background of divestment, UUA’s involvement, and our church process
Our UUCB Household Carbon Footprints: How did we do?
As promised, here’s the Climate Action Ministry’s Report on how we did
in our last measurement of UUCB household carbon footprints. This
year, 17 households participated, and the results showed annual carbon
emissions ranging from 12.9 tons of CO2 emissions per year to 107 tons.
The overall average was 41 tons of CO2/household. (This was actually
an increase from when 31 households took the same survey in 2012.
The results that year were 35 tons CO2 emissions/ household/year.
It’s hard to compare the two years, however, because our participation
rates were so different.)
To get a sense of what our average means, the world average (per
capita) is about 6 tons/year and the U.S. average (per capita) is about
20 tons/year. Because our survey measured by household (rather than
per person), you’ll need to do your math to see how you compare!
What does this mean? In the big picture, if we are to prevent possibly
catastrophic climate change, scientists estimate that global emissions
per person must reach approximately 2 metric tons per year by 2050.
To reach that goal, national and international policies are urgently
needed to speed up our transition from a fossil fuel based world
economy to one based primarily on the use of renewable energy.
Putting a price on carbon is a critical next step in this process. That’s
why many of us in the Climate Action Ministry are working to make this
happen through Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
In the meantime, there are steps we can each take to reduce our
personal carbon footprints — and some may be surprisingly easy.
Please visit us at the Climate Action Ministry table where we have a
handout with ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint.
Also, if you didn’t get a chance to calculate your carbon footprint, it’s not
too late. Go to http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/carboncalculator. The
calculator breaks your energy usage down into travel, housing, food and
shopping — so that you know where to focus your efforts. The web site
also gives lots of ideas on how to improve.
Thanks to all who participated!
WUULF – Western Unitarian Universalist Life Festival
On June 22-June 28, UU families will gather at picturesque Ghost Ranch, near Abiquiu, New Mexico to
create a community called WUULF. Our theme this year is Enchantments, Secrets, and Sacred
Places, illuminating the magnificence of northern New Mexico. The week includes activities for all ages,
sometimes separate, often together – the riotous fun of multi-age square dancing has to be experienced
to be believed. Visit WUULF.org to learn more about WUULF and to register. Questions? Contact Jane
Everham -firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-222-9709.