Inside October’s ‘Share The Plate’

by Jane Everham

I am elated to report that we raised $5,000 for La Cocina, a non-profit mental health service for Latinx in Fort Collins during the month of October through our Share the Plate offering!

In January 2017, caring and concerned CSU faculty and students in the Marriage and Family Therapy program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies created La Cocina. They launched the program in direct response to the many challenges facing immigrant families. Today, La Cocina has grown to a program of The Family Center/La Familia and provides a safe space for Latinxs to come together for a variety of support programs. These include open community dialogues, structured therapy groups for adults and adolescents, clinical behavioral and mental health services (including therapy through play to promote safe and healthy childhood development) and community Charlas (chat, talk) to understand what resources are available in times of need.

La Cocina’s services are provided to families at absolutely no cost. Additionally, La Cocina’s unique model of “kitchen table” support and care destigmatizes mental health services and delivers a welcoming, bilingual and bicultural environment where Latinx families may process current challenges and heal from past adversity.

“We are SO grateful and happy to be in partnership with you.” said Janina Fariñas, Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist at La Cocina. This money will certainly help La Cocina further their mission of helping Fort Collins Latinx in need of mental health services.

The generosity of Foothills members is extraordinary. As we forge relationships with other organizations committed to benevolence in the Fort Collins community, our mission of unleashing courageous love reaches far and touches many. The Foothills Unitarian Church congregation has a huge heart and our community feels its beat. Thank you for your generosity. 


Breaking Bread Together

by Anne Hall

Last summer several of us on our Sanctuary team heard a wonderful speaker, Rev. Alexandria Salvatierra, speak to the community-based Sanctuary Coalition. She spoke about the importance of broadly defining how we provide sanctuary to those in need within our community. While she recognized the importance of the traditional, physical sanctuary in our churches, she also spoke about the other needs of many members in our Hispanic community and how we might accompany them during this time. This message sparked our program “Breaking Bread Together”, where members of our church are now getting to know more closely families of The Family Center/La Familia.

Patricia Olson and I are members of our Sanctuary team, and we met with Lorena Mendoza from La Familia to find out how we could begin to get to know the families she works with. We all agreed that it was best to start small–with ten members of Foothills to meet and share food and stories with ten La Familia families.  On Saturday afternoon, November 18th, ten people from Foothills, including Rev. Sean, went to The Family Center/La Familia where we met ten families and their children.  After a brief welcome from Lorena and Sean, we broke into small, very informal conversation groups.

In her opening remarks, Lorena mentioned the work we were doing with Sanctuary in our church. Later, there were many questions about our program in the small groups.  The three women in my group really wanted to share how difficult their life as women had been in Guatemala and how much they appreciated their life in Fort Collins.

At the end of our time together, both the people from Foothills and from La Familia said how much they wanted these conversations to continue. Our plan is to schedule our next get together in mid-January at The Family Center/La Familia in the hope that our work of accompaniment will grow and flourish.  

If you would like to know more about this partnership and perhaps join us on this journey, feel free to contact me at  or call 970-282-3829. 

New System For Reserving Rooms at Church

building useFoothills has a new system for reserving rooms for both church events and outside events. This system will enable us to be more efficient and keep track of requests better. If you would like to reserve a room for a group, team, committee, or a private event, please go to to place your request.

This new page includes also includes an event calendar which shows when and where events are taking place.

We are always trying to make our website and digital content more easily accessible. Try out the new “Member Toolbox” tab on the homepage of our website to gain quick access to handy links.


Auction Items Still Available

Let the SUUn Shine In!

The auction was a great success!  Thanks to all – donors, attendees, and over 50 volunteers – who helped make it happen. Donors, you’ll be receiving an email soon – it will come from Community Auction Services, so make sure it doesn’t end up in your spam.  The auction made a profit of just over $20,000!  Amazing! The Special Appeal fund is up to $14,925!  Awesome! And we can make even more money – here are some spots left in fun events!  To sign up, email by next Wednesday, November 29th, at 11:59pm.  First emails get the spots. We’ll email you the details on how to collect.  Also, if you’d like to add to the Special Appeal, email us, too.

Thank You,

Your Outta Sight Auction Team

#110 Filipino Dinner for 10 – 12/02/2017(that’s soon!) Learn to cook Filipino food and enjoy the fruits of your labor! Marilou Smith, a native of the Philippines, will show you how to make LUMPIA (spring rolls), world-famous CHICKEN-PORK ADOBO, PANCIT BIHON (sauteed rice noodles with vegetables), LECHON PORK BELLY and LECHE FLAN for dessert!  Only 1 spot left!  $20. Marilyn Pierson and Mike Melville.

#101 Enjoy an evening at the Gessler’s (1/26/2018) as Historian Ken Rock talks about Germans from Russia: from the Volga to the Poudre! An abundance of desserts will be served.  5 spots available; $15 each.

#105 Charades! 4/07/2018.  Keeping the Foothills UU tradition, passing the torch.  An evening of astonishing creativity, (sometimes embarrassing) innovation, and just plain hilarity…Libations and outta sight appetizers served. At Polly Walters’ house. Only 1 spot left!  $25.

#108 Dr. Who Christmas Special Gathering – 12/27/2017.  Join with other UU Whovians (not to be confused with Whos from Whoville) for dinner and the theatrical showing of the Christmas Special at Cinemark on Timberline. Diane Barrett and Margaret Cottam will provide dinner, movie tickets and popcorn.  4 spots available; $20 each.

#111 First Annual White Elephant Party! 1/27/2018. Bring your favorite unwanted item to exchange at the Rhodes’ First Annual White Elephant Party! Hors d’oeuvres and beverages, then a hot chili dinner (veggie and carnie options available). Afterward, we’ll gather ’round for an old-fashioned “Thieves’ Exchange”. EACH participant should bring one WRAPPED item of their choice – this is your opportunity to re-gift that sweater or tacky wall hanging someone gave you over the holidays! 3 spots available; $20 each. Tom and Ticie Rhodes.

#112 Foothills’ Fabulous Afternoon Tea Party – (date TBD – probably Jan or Feb).  Join with other UUers for a special tea party, multiple courses of savories and sweets, and a variety of teas – catered by Pemberley Woods, Jenn Powell’s new business!  Only 1 spot left!  $20.

#116 New Orleans Feast – (this sold out on Auction Night, but 2 spots have become available since then) – 3/3/2018 – Join Mary Louise and Jim Gerek as they prepare and serve gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya, and other favorites – for an evening of good food, appropriate libations, and good conversation. 2 spots available; $35 each.

#120 House Concert by Vicki Pompea, at Cathy and Larry Watson’s home, featuring FABULOUS original music and some familiar tunes in a beautiful and relaxing venue. 3/24/2018.  Listen with your heart and soul while sipping wines and savoring delicious hors d’oeuvres. Vicki is a folksinger, songwriter, and guitarist (called a “female John Denver”).  10 spots available; $20 each.

#204 History Colorado Center Family Visit – Take the family out for a fun and educational visit to the History Colorado Center in Denver.  Item is a letter redeemable for a Family Visit (2 adults and 2 children).  You will also receive a copy of Colorado History Magazine.  Letters expire on October 31, 2018.  $30 (or make an offer).

#407 Miramont One-Month Family Membership – 1 One-month Premier Family Membership at Miramont. Valid for new members only. Get fit as a family!
Expires 11-1-18. $125 (or make an offer).

#702 A private Beauty Class offered at Sephora, 90 minutes.  In a quiet group setting during closed store hours, learn how to apply everyday makeup with our class facilitator, beauty coaches, and have private shopping time!  Date to be determined, likely a Sunday evening a 6:30 in late January, 2018.  8 spots available; $25 each.

#703 Belly Dancing Class 1/13/2018 – Hannah Mahoney’s Belly Dancing Class is back! Have fun learning some new moves and shaking what your mama gave you! Saturday, January 13, 2018, from 10:00 to 11:30 am – will be held at a dance studio in Fort Collins. 4 spots available; $15 each.

#713 Introduction to Tai Chi Chih in Your Home – Instructor Doriane Tippet will come to your home and teach slow, simple movements that open one’s meridians and lets the Chi (energy) flow. One-hour introductory session, to be scheduled at your convenience. Can be done standing, or in a straight-backed chair. 3 spots available – $20 each.

#718 Salsa Dance Lesson – 2/23/2018 Our own Kathryn Boyle and Darrick Hildman are offering a Salsa dance class. Singles and couples are welcome. In the church social hall. Put on your dancing shoes and join the fun! 12 spots available; $20 each.

#809 The Process Painting Experience – 2/08/2018. Interesting and exciting, the Process Painting Experience is an art form that requires no previous art experience, just a willingness to play with color and form and a commitment to the free flow of your own creativity. All materials will be supplied. We will paint for 3 hours, then discuss what happened, how we liked it, and so forth. Lola Sorensen. 4 spots available; $40 each.

Becoming a Sanctuary Congregation – Vote on August 27th

Dear Foothills friends and members,

While the blatant hatred and racism displayed in Charlottesville on Saturday left me feeling helpless and despairing, our time together yesterday morning engaging the questions of becoming a sanctuary congregation brought me to gratitude, and resolve.  It is a privilege to serve a community that is engaging in such important and compassionate work.  

If you missed the service yesterday, you can catch the sermon from the Rev. Mike Morran on this video.  It was a powerful exploration and charge for us to get real and serious about this very real opportunity before us.  As I shared on Sunday, our partners at the American Friends Service Committee have already approached us about a potential guest for our congregation, a woman seeking sanctuary with us.

She has six children, age 3 to 17, all US citizens, and she also cares for her niece. She has been in the US for over 20 years after immigrating from Guatemala, and other than minor traffic violation in 2005 that brought her into deportation hearings, she has never committed a crime.  Without sanctuary from a faith community, her deportation will occur within the next month.

This process reminds me so much of my process of adopting my children – who were adopted through foster care.  As with then, there’s the timeline you have in mind, and then there’s the reality of receiving a call.  We did not anticipate having this possibility looming as we were reaching these two weeks of discernment, but also, this is how it sometimes works when you begin to be in relationship with those doing the on-the-ground-work of immigration justice.  

Our work now is to decide if a) we feel it is our congregation’s mission to be a sanctuary congregation and accept someone into sanctuary; and if yes b) to get the space, people, systems and finances ready to go to be able to do this.  

A lot of the initial groundwork was laid in yesterday’s service and workshop after the service.  If you missed the workshop, please plan to attend the workshop on August 23rd at 6:00.  You can sign up here.  If you can’t make that but want more information, or if you want to start reading up on our process and plans, check out this Q&A, this summary of our application process, and this resource describing our partners in this work.  

Most of all, we hope you will join us on the 27th for the vote at 11:30.  Please see this letter from the Board describing the details of our vote, the percentage required for a “yes,” and other information on the meeting.

Thank you for taking up this important conversation, and for continuing to travel this path of justice and compassion together.


In partnership,

Rev. Gretchen

Congregational Meeting on Becoming a Sanctuary Church

August 14, 2017

Dear Members and Friends,

There will be an important Congregational Meeting on Sunday August 27 at 11:30 AM to consider a resolution to designate Foothills Unitarian Church as a Sanctuary Congregation. The meeting will include a lot of very valuable information about what this means, how it works, and the conditions and limitations we’ve proposed.

According to our Bylaws, those who have been members for 30 days or more can vote, meaning you would need to have “signed the book” by July 29, 2017. A three-fourths majority of those present is required for us to proceed.

The text of the resolution on which we’ll vote is as follows:

With our policies and procedures in place, as well as the established Guidelines and Limitations set by the Board of Trustees, the Foothills Unitarian Church affirms the following statement:

As people of faith and conscience, we pledge to resist any policies that target and/or deport millions of undocumented immigrants and discriminate against marginalized communities. We will open up our congregation and community as a sanctuary space and accompany our immigrant neighbors in their journey for justice and safety.  We will work alongside our friends, families, and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people.  We hereby designate ourselves as a Sanctuary Congregation, aligning ourselves with the traditions and practices of the New Sanctuary Movement and affirming our willingness to receive a guest seeking sanctuary into our congregation and to provide hospitality support for them during their stay.

Before the vote, there will be a series of presentations and opportunities for discussion and questions, as well as some very informative handouts.

Please come to this important meeting and urge your friends and family to attend as well.



Your Board of Trustees


New Database Part Two: Groups

Last week I wrote about the ways our new database Planning Center Online (PCO) will impact the ways we do Giving at Foothills. This week my focus is on Groups!

TL/DR: New online group directory for all church groups. Information on group activities now can be found on their individual group pages.


At last count, Foothills has over 60 official groups, ministries, and teams. Before now, keeping track of them all, let alone making it easy to learn about and connect with them, was a challenge. One of the key features of our new database is an online infrastructure to support our church’s groups. Here is what I am most excited about:

  • Our new online group directory showcases all the groups in one place. It also allows you all to request to be added to groups that are open to new members.
  • Group pages contain essential information including: descriptions, meeting times and dates, and contact information.
  • Group leaders can now easily see who is in their group, communicate with them all by email, and create events for all group members to see.
  • Private Groups allow only group members to see the information about group activities and members.
  • Public groups allow the whole church to get excited and involved in your events.

Many of you are involved in many different groups – by logging into your account via the group directory, you can see and access all the groups you are part of, include some private groups that only members of those groups can access.

As the year rolls on we will no doubt be learning more about our new system and be sharing with you more information. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. For questions regarding Giving please contact Carolyn Myers, our church administrator (; questions about Groups can be directed to me, Sean Neil-Barron (