Windows Weekly December 12, 2019
Albany UU Windows Weekly
Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. Enjoy!

W e welcome everyone. Our Unitarian Universalist community seeks truth and deeper meaning, pursues justice through inspired action, and cultivates compassion and love for all connected by the web of life .
Sunday Service 10:00 AM
December 15, “Blue Christmas,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

This time of year is a very hard time to be feeling sad. With shopping, putting up a tree, decorating one’s home and holiday events and parties, everyone is expected to be of good cheer. Sometimes that just isn’t possible if we’ve experienced a major loss, have health problems, or just aren’t “feeling it.” Maybe “The Blues” can help.

Music: Ann Brandon

Hymn 228:  Once in Royal David's City
Hymn 241:  In the Bleak Midwinter
Hymn 242:  In the Lonely Midnight
Hymn 256:  Winter Night

Here is a place you might find the words to our hymns.

10:00 am

December 22, “An Awesome Story,” Leah Purcell, Dan Miyake, Rev. Sam Trumbore
Multigenerational Service and Pageant, Community Hall

Each year we have a pageant for our children to reenact the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth. This year we’ve got a new version Rev. Sam, Leah and Dan hope you enjoy. We’ll sing familiar Christmas Carols during the service and enjoy Albany UU musicians holiday jam during coffee hour. This is a great service to charge up your Christmas Spirit.

Music: Albany UU Choir, Ann Brandon, piano
( Tuesday ) December 24, “An Awesome Night,” Rev. Sam Trumbore, Dan Miyake
Candlelight Christmas Eve Services (6:00 and 8:00 PM, in the Sanctuary)

This is the night the Christian world pauses in anticipation of a holy birth. Somehow the story told two thousand times doesn’t get old or lose its power. The magic of candlelight and the sound of the beautiful song, Silent Night, can still bring tears to the eyes. Hope for new light and love arises eternally in the human heart. When it does, awe will not be far away.

Music: Albany UU Choir, Ann Brandon, piano
December 29, “Doing the Hokey Pokey,” Dan Miyake

With all of the troubles in the world today, the stress, the uncertainties about what the future holds, we can forget to laugh or even smile when we feel as if we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. Humor is the great antidote (or anecdote?). Join us as we explore the role of humor in our lives, poke some gentle fun at our UU quirks, and try to answer the question, “Is the Hokey Pokey really what it’s all about?”.

Music: Ann Brandon


Terry Way Memorial Service
A memorial service will be held for Terry Way on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4:00 pm in Community Hall, followed by a reception in Channing Hall. Contributions of finger foods for the reception are welcomed. We do have permission to park in the UAlbany Hawley Lot for this event. 

As we prepare to honor the life of Terry Way, we think about the many ways in which Terry touched our lives. Many of us have physical mementos of Terry — sketches, paintings, doodles, etc. We would like to assemble a table of such mementos for the post-service reception in Channing Hall. Please bring your “Terry items” to the memorial service and drop them off in Channing before the service. Then you can take your items home after the reception. (Please put your name on the back so that we can be sure everything gets back to the owner.) Please see Dawn Dana with any questions. Thank you.

Acolytes for Christmas Eve Services
It has been our tradition to sing Silent Night with everyone holding a lit candle at the Christmas Eve services. And young people – middle schoolers and high school youth carry the tapers that the people at the end of the pews use to light their candles and pass the flame to the next person. If your child would like to be an acolyte at either the 6:00 or 8:00 Christmas Eve service, please contact Leah Purcell at or call the office at 487-1536

Community Breakfast
Saturday, Dec. 21, 9-11AM . Volunteers are always needed to make this a good experience for our neighbors and community members. Sign up in Channing Hall or contact Carol Butt for more details: 518-439-6629 or . There is now a contribution box is in the coat room for gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and socks to share with our Community Breakfast guests. Some folks come in with minimal outerwear and would be grateful for some additional items to keep warm.

Bring on the cookies!
Join us for a Cookie Reception, hosted by Amie Jamieson and Rick Piet, at 7:00 pm between the Candlelight services on Christmas Eve. Please bring cookies to share! (Please note: the church office will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 24).

Save the Date
We will be celebrating Rev. Sam Trumbore’s 20 years of service to Albany UU at a festive luncheon on Sunday, Jan. 5 from 11:45 to 1:30 in Community Hall . Details will follow soon in an email to collect RSVPs and donations for a gift for Sam. 

Attention Committee Chairs
If your team, program or group needs funds in the next fiscal year, your request must be filed by Sunday, Jan. 12. Budget requests forms can be found here in Word and here in PDF . Word is preferred. For those who don't have Word on their computer, the free LibreOffice suite ( ) provides a compatible substitute; it's available for both Windows and MacOS. Contact Steve Moskowitz with questions: 518.439.6347 or

January Jams Are Coming
In January we like to shake things up a bit. Each year Leah Purcell plans special activities around the theme of the month and ask volunteers in the congregation to share their talents by leading 30-minute workshops while the regular RE volunteers help their groups each week. 

This year the theme is Integrity. Let’s help the children connect with their own inner voice and to put their ideas into action. It’s a chance for you to volunteer with support for just a few weeks.

Potential skills or areas for workshops : Yoga, Science, Storytelling, Music making, Drama, Special crafts, Maker Space –giving children an opportunity to use materials and real tools (from staplers to hammers to 3-D pens) to solve problems.

Do you have a skill or talent to share with children? I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Leah Purcell - 463-7135
Sunday Schedule

9:00 AM
- Mindfulness Meditation, Sanctuary

9:45 AM
- Nursery/Toddler Rooms open

10:00 AM
- Service, Community Hall
- Programs for Children and Youth

11:00 AM
- Coffee Hour, Channing Hall
- Holiday Bazaar/Soup & Pie Sale
- Tree Decorating

11:30 AM
- Pageant Rehearsal, Community Hall

11:45 AM
- Social Responsibilities Council, Room B-8

Quick Links

Denominational Affairs Links

Helpful Local Links

Sign up for a class or event

- Send and email to:
- Sign up at the Sign Up Site in Channing Hall
- Call the church office, 518.463.7135
If childcare is offered for the event, please let us know you need it when you register, including names and ages of children.

Offering envelopes
We appreciate donations of cash during the offering that occurs as part of our Sunday service. If you would like to have cash contributions recorded and acknowledged in writing for tax purposes at the end of the calendar year, please use and write your name on one of the envelopes that are available on the table in the Community Hall lobby. Thank you very much for your generosity.

Albany UU Safety
A reminder that the West St. door will remain locked on Sunday mornings. Though it will be locked from the outside, the West St. door may still be used to exit the building at any time. The Washington Ave. lobby doors will be locked 15 minutes after service begins and reopened again from 11-noon. A Welcome Table or Greeter volunteer will remain in the Lobby for the duration of the morning to monitor doors. We continue to appreciate your patience as we make this transition. If you have questions, please call the church office .

Warmth for the Homeless
Please gather blankets, sleeping bags, warm coats, etc. for those experiencing homelessness and put them in the bin in the coatroom. Thanks you!

Planning for weather emergencies
In the event of severe weather, a decision to cancel Sunday morning RE classes will be publicized by 9:00 PM Saturday.

A decision to cancel Sunday meditation and the service will be publicized by 8:00 AM Sunday.

The cancellation of all other classes, programs and meetings depends on a decision by the chairperson. We hope to receive information enabling a cancellation announcement two hours before the event start time.

Notice of all cancellations will be posted on our website and Facebook and by email sent through Constant Contact. Sunday service and programs will also be announced on local TV and radio stations through the “School Closing Network”.

Pillar Challenge Update
Thank you to the 30 members and friends who have contributed to the Pillar Fund so far. We are over half way to our goal of matching the $25,000 challenge. 

Please bring in your contributions soon so that we can finish before the end of the year. Here's a link to the pledge form .

If you have any questions about the Fund, contact Chuck Manning at .

Thank you for your support!

The Sexton works on Sunday (4-6 hours) and Monday (4-6 hours, flexible days possible) and is responsible for Sunday morning operations and taking care of the church property.

Sunday tasks include preparation and clean up for the service, coffee hour, and other scheduled activities, and for taking care of the church property.

Maintenance entails responsibility for performing tasks on the monthly maintenance schedule, minor repairs and replacements, reporting larger repair and replacement needs, keeping the building tidy by returning items to storage locations, and yard work. 
Read full job description  here .
Pay: $15/hr.
Contact Church Administrator, Tammy Hathaway for more information or to express interest: 518.463.7135 or
Sunday, Dec. 15
11:00 am  Holiday Bazaar , Channing Hall
  Tree Decorating , Channing Hall
11:30 am  Pageant Rehearsal ,
Community Hall

Saturday, Dec. 21
4:00 pm  Winter Solstice Celebration , Channing Hall

Sunday, Dec. 22
10:00 am  Christmas Service w/Pageant , Community Hall
11:00 am  Music Jam at Coffee Hour
*1:00 pm  Caroling (*time may change)

Tuesday, Dec. 24
6:00 pm  Candlelight Christmas Eve service , Sanctuary
7:00 pm  Cookie Reception Hosted by Amie Jamieson & Rick Piet , Channing Hall
8:00 pm  Candlelight Christmas Eve service, Sanctuary

“A light shone down from Heaven and the Lord spoke unto the people: “I am the Lord your God. It is time that you start using my correct pronouns. Which are They/Them. Capitalized.” The people were distraught and cried out, “My Lord, My God! … What?” And God frowned, for They knew this was going to be a whole thing. “They/Them. Those are my pronouns. I am non-binary” (excerpt from “God Updates Mankind on Their Pronouns” by Kathleen O’Mara and Jay Malsky).

You have probably observed that there is a lot of talk these days about pronouns for transgender and non-binary people, and I imagine that this pronoun thing might be challenging for some. If you are cisgender (your biological sex matches your gender identity), you may not realize the full implications and impacts of using someone’s correct pronouns has on someone who is transgender or non-binary. For many transgender people, the desire to be seen as their authentic selves runs deep. To have one’s identity acknowledged is life-giving and validating. When a trans or non-binary person is misgendered (referred to by pronouns that do not match their gender identity), it can be devastating, especially if that person is in the early stages of transitioning.

Here at Albany UU, we do not have a culture of sharing the pronouns we use when we introduce ourselves. Many of you may not see the need to do so since the congregation is almost totally cisgender. But I want to invite you to consider a different view. Imagine you are a visitor, perhaps a young transgender woman, who is struggling to find a place to belong. Perhaps you have recently “come out”, and are just starting to transition, and you read somewhere that UUs are welcoming and affirming. You decide to take a risk, and come to a Sunday service. You enjoy the service, but you feel awkward during coffee hour, not knowing if this is a safe place. A couple of friendly people come up to you and engage you in conversation. So far, so good. Then it happens. One of those nice people refers to you as “he”. A part of you inside dies. You begin to wonder why you are even bothering to transition because you will never be seen as a woman, and these people just confirmed that. All kinds of negative self-talk kicks in, and all you want to do is to run home as fast as you can and hide in your bedroom – afraid to be seen.

Does this seem far-fetched to you? I hope not. Scenarios like this happen frequently in the trans community. And I’m fairly sure it has happened here. How can we help to ensure it doesn’t happen again? I want to share some thoughts about that with you.

The first, best thing to do, especially if you have any question about someone’s gender identity, is to simply ask them what pronouns they use. It’s OK to ask at any time during the conversation. Please do not use the word “preferred”, as in, “What are your preferred pronouns?”. “Preferred” implies other options are available – that you can use different pronouns if you want, but these others are more desirable. For most trans and non-binary folks, there are no other options. We don’t prefer one over another. It simply is who we are. And if you ever do make a mistake and use incorrect pronouns, don’t go on and on about it in a long apology. Just a quick, “Oh, I’m sorry” will do.

The second best thing you can do is to introduce yourself with your pronouns. You can say something like,” Hi. I’m Dan, and I use he/him/his pronouns”. This does a couple of things. First of all it tells the trans or non-binary person that you know at least a little bit about gender identity. This can help them feel more comfortable around you, and it can signal to them that it is OK to share their pronouns with you. If a trans or non-binary person goes to a group or meeting for the first time, for example, and no one introduces themselves with their pronouns, that person will likely not share theirs. The space may be uncomfortable for them, and there is a good chance they won’t come back.

The third best thing you can do is to request a new name tag from Sapphire or Tammy in the office that has your pronouns on it. This also can communicate that you are a safe person to talk to, and invites the other person to share pronouns. When cisgender people model appropriate pronoun use, it increases the chances of a trans or non-binary person feeling welcomed and safe. You may say, “But I am cisgender. I don’t need to have pronouns on my nametag”! But it does help to normalize the pronouns conversation, and it keeps trans and non-binary people from being singled out as the only ones sharing pronouns. As a Welcoming Congregation, we have a moral and ethical obligation to create a culture of safety and affirmation.

And finally, the use of “they/them” pronouns is perfectly acceptable. Some people argue that it is grammatically incorrect to use plural pronouns for a single person, but that is no longer true. They/them as pronouns are now recognized by Mirriam Webster Dictionary, and have widespread cultural integration. Language is ever evolving.

Over the next few weeks, there will be an insert in the Order of Service where you can request a new, updated name tag that includes your pronouns. I encourage you to fill one out and give it to an usher or to the office. It takes time to change church culture, but hopefully, we will be able to slowly live into our vision of welcoming everyone.

-Dan Miyake (he/him/his)


Transforming Hearts: Transgender Inclusion in Congregations
A reminder of the options for participating in the Transforming Hearts class.

The authors of the Transforming Hearts class invite everyone in our congregation to participate! Albany UU purchased the full congregation package and all the materials and lectures are available online to members and friends.

If you can’t attend the class in person on Tuesdays: 12/17, 1/14 at 7:00 pm (another session will be added to make up for the cancellation on 12/3) and would like to take it on your own, please call the church office for information on how to do that.

Patti Jo Newell

World Café: Visioning for our Future
Sunday, January 12
11:45 – 1:45

The Board of Trustees is hosting a World Café to facilitate a dialogue among the congregation on creating a vision for our future, and you’re invited and encouraged to attend. As we’ve highlighted at different junctures, the Board’s foundational role under the new governance model is to discern the congregation’s mission and vision. Also as previously highlighted, your participation in that discernment is essential, and the Board is committed to exploring ways to get feedback and input from the congregation on an ongoing basis. The first of these is the World Café we’re hosting in January.

The World Café methodology is a simple and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue, based on seven design principles:

1.      Set the Context
2.      Create Hospitable Space
3.      Explore Questions that Matter
4.      Encourage Everyone’s Contribution
5.      Connect Diverse Perspective
6.      Listen Together for Patterns and Insights
7.      Share Collective Discoveries

Small groups of participants will engage in rounds of conversations centered on specific questions. At the end of the first round, each participant moves to a different table to engage in another question. After a couple more repetitions, we will participate in a full group session to share insights and synthesize results.

Please join us for this exciting opportunity to engage in an energetic and focused dialogue with the congregation. The fuller the participation, the better. We look forward to seeing you there!

More from our Blogs:

To share your Joy or Sorrow with our Albany UU community, you may submit it on a yellow card during the service or by using our online form.  

Join us in keeping our members and friends in your thoughts as they share their joys and concerns.

We are sad to announce that long-time member, John Walko died on December 7. A memorial service will be held for John on Saturday, Dec. 21 at noon in Community Hall followed by a reception in the Community Hall Alcove. Contributions of finger foods for the reception are welcomed. 

Member, Tom Mercer has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a degenerate lung disease. Tom's case is in an early stage. Although there is no cure, he has begun a course of medication which has been shown to slow the progression of the disease. At present Tom is able to carry on with normal activities.

Member Jacqui Williams had her left knew replaced on Friday, Dec. 6.

Member, Arlene Gilbert has a new address: Avila, 100 White Pine Dr, Albany, 12203

Need to Talk? Albany UU Pastoral Care Associates are here to listen!
Our Pastoral Care Associates have been trained in compassionate listening skills and are available to all members and friends of our congregation. To contact a Pastoral Care Associate, email: , contact Rev. Sam Trumbore , the Albany UU office at 518.463.7135, or one of them personally. They are: Sharon Babala, Chuck Manning, Donna Meixner, Dan Miyake, Phil Rich, Randy Rosette, Dee VanRiper and Erik F. vonHausen.

Albany UU Caring Network
The Caring Network (CN) reflects the words of the Albany UU chalice lighting - “to sustain a vital and nurturing religious community.” The CN provide encouragement and short term support to Albany UU members who, due to hospitalization, sickness, loss, or isolation, need assistance. Services typically include transportation to medical appointments, meals and shopping during recovery, and friendly visits and “check in’s” from Caring Network members. Please reach out to the Caring Network if you need.
Holiday Bazaar
Stop by the Holiday Bazaar table this Sunday, Dec. 15 There are many beautiful handmade gifts and ornaments remaining and new items have been added! Plus, there a still a few a few pies and soups.

Holiday Tree decorating
Join us Sunday, Dec. 15 during Coffee Hour to make simple ornaments and decorations to decorate the tree in Channing Hall. You can also bring an ornament to donate to the tree.

Solstice Celebration
Saturday, Dec. 21, 4:00 pm, Channing Hall
All are welcome on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 4:00 pm in Channing Hall - this is an event that children can join in. Bring drums and noisemakers if you have them. Bring finger food, if you're able, for our gathering afterwards.

Join us for the Holiday Music Jam!
The annual Albany UU Holiday Music Jam will take place on  Sunday, Dec. 22  during coffee hour. Learn more here .
-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry (DREFM),

For the Faith Development of children and youth this Sunday

The Nursery/Toddler  Room opens at 9:45

Children in pre-k through 6th grade  start the morning in Community Hall at 10:00 with their families. The story this week is Home By Another Way by Barbara Brown Taylor. After the story (at about 10:20) the children leave for their Sunday school groups. Parents/caretakers are welcome to escort them to their rooms and also to visit the groups.

7th/8th Grade OWL  starts at 10:00 in Room B-3/4.

High School YoUUth Group  starts at 10:00 in room B-8.

Children and youth are welcome to attend the service with their families instead of RE groups.

Holiday Pageant
Our pageant is in the service Dec. 22. Children and youth of all ages are welcome to participate. The speaking parts have been assigned, but we have lots of parts with no lines (animals, shepherds, angels, royalty). If your child would like a non-speaking part, you can
-come to the rehearsal today from 11:30 – 12:30 in Community Hall for the rehearsal and get a simple costume
-simply come on Dec. 22. We’ll be inviting people in the congregation to get a simple headdress for a costume and join in as we tell the story.
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email

A reminder of SRC's focus on Social Justice:

Making a difference in the lives of children and families in the city of Albany
Becoming a leader in sustainable environmental practices
Advocating for public policies that are in line with our UU values and principles. These include but are not limited to:
· Economic and Racial Justice
· Environmental Justice
· Gender and Sexual Justice
· International Justice and Peacemaking
· Civil Rights and Religious Liberty
· Health and Family Justice
Direct aid and volunteer activities (Sheridan Prep, homeless shelter, food pantries, Give Away the Plate collections)
SRC informs the congregation on social issues through:
· Informational forums at Albany UU
· Information in Windows Weekly and Order of Service and on the Albany UU website and Facebook page
· Distribution of materials at the SRC table in Channing Hall
Volunteers needed for Christmas Eve Candlelight service
Volunteer opportunity! For our Christmas Eve Candlelight services, we will need a lead usher, 2 support ushers, and a greeter at 6pm and 8pm. Please sign up at or contact Sapphire at  to express your interest. Thank you so much!

Understudy Needed
If you like to observe and record during a past-paced event, we have just the one night volunteer job for you! The Auction Committee needs a person willing to learn the task of recording bids during the live auction next March 21st. You would learn the ropes from our expert, Kathy Harris. Please contact Chair, Randy Rosette at or 518-783-2637 for more details.

Sunday Volunteers
Would you like to be involved in the Sunday service in a more meaningful way?
Visit Sunday Hospitality Sign Up to find out about the ways you can volunteer on Sunday morning. We thank you and could not do what we do without YOU!

YOU can make a difference!
We at Albany UU are making an effort to increase our visibility and connectivity online. YOU can help, and it's quick and easy! Simply like, follow and share pages and posts on any of our social media platforms, or leave a positive Facebook or Google review. Google Albany UU or find us here:

Dances of Universal Peace
Join us on Saturday, Dec. 14 to celebrate the season of returning light by combining sacred phrases and chants from many different spiritual traditions with live music, simple melodies, and guided movement. Learn more here .
Regular events and meetings
Many of these events and meetings take a hiatus in the summer, check with the church office before coming in.

11:45 AM      Inclusivity Team (2nd)
5:30 PM       Walker Book Group (2nd)
11:45 AM      Social Responsibilities Council (3rd)
11:45 AM      Green Sanctuary Committee (4th)
6:15 PM        Religious Education Council
                               (1st, Nov., Feb., May)
10:00 AM      Philosophy Discussion (weekly)
1:00 PM        Bridge (weekly)
10:00 AM      Projects & Quilts (weekly)
7:00 PM        Choir Rehearsal (almost weekly)
1:00 PM       All Sides Considered (1st & 3rd)
6:30 PM       Board of Trustees (4th)
Going to miss a Sunday?

You can listen to the entire Albany UU Sunday service at home or on your mobile device. The two most recent services are available as MP3 files on the Albany UU member resource website. Here is how to access:

username: AlbanyUU
password: EEthelredBrown405

Our sermon archive (select Ministry/Sermon Archive on the left website menu) has pdf files of sermons texts (when available) and audio files of sermons. You can also request the office put a service on a CD.
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
Parking: Parking is available on the street. On Sundays (and for some special events) Albany UU has permission to use the University at Albany’s Hawley Parking Lot on Robin Street at Washington Avenue.

Office hours (unless otherwise posted)
September-June: Monday-Friday, 9:00-3:00
July-August: Monday–Thursday 9:00-1:00


Building use
To reserve a room for an Albany UU activity or to rent a hall or classroom space , for a personal or non-Albany UU activity, contact Administrative Assistant Sapphire Correa (518.463.7135 or ).

Photo credit: Kathy Hodges
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | |