Sunday, November 20, 2015, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at Lincoln Park Barn
UUCGV has participated in this great event for many years. This year we are looking for someone to coordinate UUCGV's involvement, which includes finding/coordinating volunteers to set up, clean up and table at the event on Sunday, November 20.
This is a monthly column helping us to get to know our friends and members in a deeper way. We thank Monte High for taking the time to do these in-depth interviews for us every month.
Joanie Leinbach loves her life. She has a wonderful family – a loving, sweet tempered husband and two delightful children. She has a rewarding job. She has good friends by the bucketful. She does not expect her life to be perfect: in thanksgiving, life is a walk in beauty.
Joanie does not think of her life as one fell swoop.
She is not merely
an accumulation of moments.
Essence of Joanie is
not a perfume for the faint of heart.
Joanie did not come into her own until she went away to college. When she arrived at Colorado State University she began to leave behind the shy girl with the low self-esteem. She began gaining confidence, gaining glimpses of her true self. She became more outgoing. She became a person to whom people came to tell their stories.
Joanie met Kent Leinbach in 1986, early in her freshman year: they were in the same dorm. Yet, it wasn’t until they bumped into one another in 1989 that everything clicked into place. It was love at second sight.
Kent introduced Joanie to fire. So during the summer of 1990 she set off to Oregon for a grand adventure, keen and feral, engaging in break-back work with a crew of wildland firefighters.
Kent is the rock to Joanie’s drum roll; he brings a blessed sweetness to her life. They were married in 1993. Abby came along in 1997 and Ben in 2000. Amenity dwells within her family, and for this Joanie is most glad, because she feels a cycle has been profoundly broken.
Though she grew up in an upper-middle-class family, Joanie was well aware, from an early age, of suffering and the existence of another not so idyllic world. Her mother was a Lt. Col. in the National Guard. (Joanie often liked to quip – “my mama wears combat boots”.) Her father was a district attorney. Tragedy was spread out in front of her as crime scene photos on the dining room table.
Joanie’s childhood experience helped prepare her for employment. Circumstance fed her bleeding heart and developed her propensity to care for people. She works for Hilltop, splitting her time between the Workforce Center and Latimer House.
Joanie cherishes her jobs. She meets people from all walks of life. She is an adult basic education teacher at the Workforce Center, often trying to help individuals break from the cycle of poverty. At Latimer House she works with domestic violence victims, and is often on-call and responding to emotionally charged situations.
The Leinbach’s discovered the Grand Valley Unitarians in 1998, mostly for Abby (and Ben to come). They were seeking a religious community where children gain a healthy, life-affirming sense of self and of the world. And, UUism was also a good match for a Catholic (Joanie) and an atheist (Kent).
As a volunteer, Joanie has been around the block many times. She currently serves on the TLC (Leadership Circle) and helps teach OWL (Our Whole Lives) while sitting on a gazillion committees/teams. It’s the kids that tug her heartstrings. In the past Joanie was more involved with religious education, and when some of her current responsibilities end she is hoping to again spend more time in that arena.
Joanie recently returned from her 12th Youth Con. She enjoys being a sponsor for Youth Cons, which are conventions where hundreds of UU teenagers gather for the weekend. They are theme based, with a keynote speaker and workshops. The workshops get them thinking deeply, and they form deep connections with one another. The adults try to blend into the woodwork and let the kids take over. UUCGV hosted a Youth Con last year, but it usually calls for a long road trip, which Joanie appreciates because she is able to connect and get to better know the teens.
Singing fills Joanie with joy. Singing in the choir fills Joanie with glee.
Anyone who knows Joanie knows her glorious sense of humor. Some UUCGV’ers will remember her for her role as one of the hilarious Sweeney Sisters at past auction dinners.
Joanie is rocking the Big 50 this month!
And life goes on… in endless song…
Join Black Lives Matter Grand Junction on Thursday, November 17th at 6:15pm – 7:30pm at the Mesa County Public Library central branch for a non-political discussions about race.
This community event will talk about some of the big events happening in the world in regards to race. This will be setup in a forum style that will introduce you to your local Black Lives Matter community organization. This will give participants the ability to ask charged questions in a safe environment.
This event is being co-thrown by the Black Student Alliance of Colorado Mesa University.
All participants will be asked to treat each other with respect, to listen and be polite.
There will be an anonymous card box at the beginning of the session where people will ask questions without fear or anxiety.
Even though this forum will start out with talking about world issues, it more specifically will examine local racial hardships while at the same time, addressing stereotypes.
Black Lives Matter Grand Junction's mission is to hear and protect black voices, empower people of color, and educate the community on racial hardships through empathy, a sharing of stories, and an expression of love
This year’s GVIN (Grand Valley Interfaith Network) Interfaith Thanksgiving service will be 7:00 PM November 22, 2016 at First Congregational Church UCC located at 1425 N. 5th Street Grand Junction, CO. The theme for the service will be “Blessings in America” and it is an opportunity to gather together and share the rich ways in which the various faith traditions celebrate and say thank you. The offering to be taken this year will go to the relief work being done in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew devastated much of this country. Refreshments will follow.