As we navigate this pandemic together, we are in a unique position as people of a Faith Community. We have the opportunity to use what power we have to put into action our principles, practice and model social distancing and do our part to flatten the curve – that is, to slow the spread of COVID-19 as much as we can to avoid having our healthcare system inundated. This is our responsibility to our community and our obligation to each other.
We're following guidelines from the UUA and other sources not to gather in groups until further notice. That means moving from Sunday services and Religious Education in our brick and mortar building to interactive services online; offering ways to foster faith development at home and finding creative ways of connecting with each other. We do not know how long we'll need to avoid gathering in person, but for now, our motto is "Stay away AND Stay connected."
We are living into our UU Principles:
-Our 1st Principle reminds us that each individual is important. And here we are paying attention to those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
-We honor our 2nd principle by committing to pay our hourly employees and those on contract through this time even though most of what we will be doing will be online.
-And we lift up our 7th Principle: We are all part of the interconnected web of life. While we are certainly seeing that through the spread of the virus, we also honor that our personal connections to each other are important.
On Sundays, we won't be doing the usual kind of service with group singing, moving stones for joys and sorrows or having a 20 minute sermon. Instead we'll use Zoom to gather virtually: Leah will still tell a story; we will still have the opportunity to share joys and sorrows; Sam and Dan are working on their message and Randy Rosette is working on ways to share music. The service this Sunday, March 15, will be multigenerational with Religious Education programming resuming online next Sunday.
Preparing for use and testing of Zoom software:
To download Zoom on your device:
and from the Download Center,
button under “Zoom Client For Meetings”.
-This application will automatically download when you start your first Zoom Meeting.
Once the download is complete,
the Zoom application onto your computer, tablet or phone.
For those of you unfamiliar with Zoom, we will be offering two practice sessions tomorrow, Saturday, March 14 from 10AM-Noon and from 2PM-4PM.
To participate in a test or to join the Sunday service at 10:00 AM, open your internet browser and enter this address (or simply click on the link):
You do not need a camera or a microphone on your computer to join.
If you do have a camera and audio want to test both, check to see that they are both on.
Another option to access Zoom is by phone. The phone number to dial in is: 1-646-876-9923. You will be asked for a meeting ID. Enter: 2990187785
After entering that number, you will join the test or the service.
This won't be perfect and it might not even be pretty, but we are going to do the best we can to get everyone connected on Sunday. For sure, it will be interesting, new and hopefully fun!
With all of this in mind, we also announce
that ALL meetings, clubs, gatherings, events and most rentals will not be meeting in our building until further notice.
We encourage you to consider using Zoom to connect with each other for meetings and other social purposes.
Office Hours will be limited with staff doing much of what they can from home. Rest assured, though, email and phone messages will continue to be answered promptly, mail will be processed, bills will be paid, the building will be cleaned, etc.
Key fobs will be turned off temporarily for most people. This is not punishment, this is precaution and safety. They will be turned on again when this is over.
As UUA Congregational Life staff Sunshine Wolfe says: This is not the first crisis we have met and it will not be the last. Yet we have survived and will continue to survive together. You may be feeling a lot of intense emotions right now. This is normal and understandable. You are not alone. Those feelings can be overwhelming and we may even want to shut down or deny that anything is wrong. All of this is normal. Please be kind and patient with yourself and others.
There is good news. The steps we can take to protect one another are simple. When thinking about these steps, ask yourself, “what is possible for me right now? What can I do in this moment that is simple and possible?” Do what you can and add on more as you are able.
In this challenging time, we encourage you to Stay away AND Stay connected.
1) Stay away from the infection AND stay connected to yourself - Wash your hands with care - in body and spirit. When washing your hands recite a poem, dance a dance, or do a breathing meditation.
2) Stay away from people AND stay connected in creative and fun ways.
At this time, cancelling events and gatherings helps reduce the chance of spread. That does not mean we cannot connect at all. Social distancing protects all of us - especially those high at risk. We also need one another. Call a friend, chat with someone online, chat with a neighbor from one another’s doors or porches. Tell jokes. Sing songs. According to your own ability, find the creative connection unique to you. Distance and connect! Distance. AND. Connect!
3) Stay away from information overwhelm AND stay connected to a few reliable resources.
There are MANY sources of information. Pick two or three sources that you routinely check for information that have reliable and factual information. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the information- you can choose between your sources. Plus, it is better to pick what is manageable than it is to ignore this all completely.
Stay away AND connect. Stay away from what is potentially harmful and embrace creatively how we can connect in spite of it all.
This will be a disruption for sure, but we have ways to stay connected. We are all in this together, and together, in Community, we will get through this. "Stay Away AND Stay Connected!"
You are not alone!
For more information, visit:
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 -
March 15, "From You I Receive," Dan Miyake, Intern Minister
Graceful receiving is hard. How can we receive from others without feeling guilty, embarrassed, or obligated? What can we receive from each other and this congregation?
Elena Karpoff and Randy Rosette
10:00 am -
March 22, “Helping the Ones Who Don't Get Recognized - Celebrating the UUSC at 80,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee acts on our behalf in the service of those in need and in crisis situations at home and around the world. The specialize in helping those who get left out and behind by other aid organization. Come hear about their good work on our behalf and ways we can be part of that work.
Elena Karpoff with Guest Musicians: Chris Bystroff,
and Randy Rosette,
flute and voice
March 29, “Scriptural Wisdom,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
In an age of quantum physics and gene splicing, ancient holy books can still guide our hearts. As Easter approaches on April 12, come hear inspiring Biblical stories that can transmit wisdom across thousands of years. We need not believe them literally to get great metaphorical meaning from them.
Albany UU Choir; Elena Karpoff,
; Guest Musicians: Ann Brandon,
and Tanya Hotalen,
Whitewashed, scheduled for tonight has been postponed
Peggy Slocum Memorial Service - Postponed
Peggy’s memorial service scheduled for Sunday, March 29, has been postponed. When it is rescheduled, an announcement will be made.
Congregation Zoom Check Ins
Let's meet together electronically to see how we're doing in these challenging times and offer mutual support.
Tuesday, March 17 at 2:00 PM, Wednesday, March 18 at 11:00 AM, Thursday, March 19 at 2:00 & 8:00 PM.
Use this link to join:
Story time with Leah
Join us via Zoom as Leah reads a story on the theme of the month - Wisdom at
7:00 PM Sunday, March 15, Tuesday, March 17 and Thursday, March 19.
Use this link to join:
NOTE: We will keep events scheduled later in April and beyond for now and reassess as we move through this together.
Harvest the wisdom of your life experience!
Join us for the AGE-ING to SAGE-ING® Workshop series led by Audrey Seidman with Rev. Sam Trumbore,
Wednesdays, 2:00pm - 4:30pm, April 22, May 6, 20, June 3 and 17.
In five Wednesday afternoon sessions, learn powerful tools for gathering and giving expression to the wisdom of your own ripening life and find inspiration through the gift of mortality. Based on the teachings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and other spiritual wisdom leaders.
All who seek to find meaning in the aging process are welcome.
Albany UU Members: $120
If space remains after April 1, Non-Members, $150
Seats are limited. RSVP to the church office. Learn more
Annual Fellowship Dinner
The Annual Fellowship Dinner is
Friday, April 24, 6:00 pm
at the Franklin Terrace in Troy. Join us for an evening of fun, food, fellowship, and frivolity. There will be a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres, dinner, short speeches, a fun parody skit, followed by dancing.
RSVP with your payment by, April 20.
Free Childcare provided!
Ruth Salter Memorial Service
A memorial service will be held for Ruth Salter on
Saturday, April 25 at 11:00 am
in the Sanctuary, followed by a reception in Channing Hall. Contributions of finger foods for the reception are welcomed and encouraged.
We do have permission to park in the UAlbany Hawley Lot for this event.
Financial Aid for GA 2020 in Providence
General Assembly is an immersive, inspirational experience that is open to everyone, whether you are a lifelong UU or just getting to know our congregation. GA will take place in
Providence, RI from June 24-28
. Apply now for Albany UU travel stipends using
. Additionally, the UUA offers financial aid; information and applications are at
and due by March 31.
Scholarship funds available
A $2000 fund is available to assist those wanting to be campers this summer at Unirondack, a Unitarian Universalist camp in the Adirondacks. Unirondack offers weeklong camps for youth ages 9-18, a weeklong camp for families, and a variety of weekend camps. If you are involved in the RE program or are a pledging family and want more information, please contact
, Carol Butt, or Ed Hancock
by March 29th.
Complete descriptions of all Unirondack programs may be found at
BUILDING BELOVED COMMUNITY
Our stewardship campaign continues and we need you now more than ever! Many thanks to all those who have already pledged. We are now at 43% of our goal.
For those who have not picked up pledge packets at a Sunday service, they have all been mailed today.
We need to get all pledges returned by April 1 so don’t delay. Remember to include your UU Bucks raffle ticket when you return your pledge.
To Return Your Pledge by April 1, you can:
Pledge online using
. (A raffle ticket will be filled out for you.)
Mail your pledge to the Albany UU office.
LET'S GET GROWING!
Celebrating Women’s History Month with two “badass” women….
“Maya Angelou Live and Unplugged” – powerful, inspirational performance with conversation and poetry on love, being a woman, surviving racism, and more. Includes Angelou’s famous poem, “Still I Rise.” 37 minutes
Judy Heumann speaks with Trevor Noah about her memoir
Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist
, co-written with
. “My story isn’t my story. It’s really the story of many other people. Kristen Joiner and friends of mine with disabilities living in different parts of the world are also talking about how this is their story—the issue of discrimination and oppression, how our lives have been limited, how people are really gaining back our voice.” 10 minutes
“Life is So Good” - one man's extraordinary journey through the twentieth century and how he learned to read at age 98. (2013). George Dawson & Richard Glaubman.
"In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a slave’s grandson who learned to read at age 98 and lived to the age of 103, reflects on his life and shares valuable lessons in living, as well as a fresh, firsthand view of America during the entire sweep of the twentieth century." Also available on Audible.
For adults and youth…
“Modern HERstory: Stories of women and nonbinary people rewriting history.” (2018) By Blair Imani, illustrated by Monique Le.
"With a radical and inclusive approach to history, Modern HERstory profiles and celebrates seventy women and nonbinary champions of progressive social change..." Dr. Roxane Gay, Ava Duvernay, Sylvia Rivera & Marsha P. Johnson are among the subjects. Also available on Audible.
“Thank You, Omu!” (2018). Oge Mora.
In this Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King New Talent Illustrator award-winning book, Omu is generous with her delicious food. What happens when she gives it all away? Also available on Audible.
The Live Annual Auction scheduled for later in March has been postponed.
The Auction Committee is hard at work developing an innovative plan that will allow everyone to continue participation in this significant community building, fundraising event.
Please watch your email
for exciting, upcoming updates! We appreciate your support!
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
Join us in keeping our members and friends in your thoughts as they share their joys and concerns.
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:
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
if you need.
Creating community while we’re physically away from each other
UUA Congregational Life consultant, Rev. Evin Carvil-Ziemer asks—how can the generations in our congregations help each other, connect, play, and feel less isolated? Even if our schools aren't cancelled or workplaces closed, many of us be spending a lot more time at home. And no doubt the children understand being bored—and would want to help other people we know and love not be bored. They love doing drawings or recording videos for people. So, if our kids will probably spend more time than we want in front of a screen, what if that was a way they were connecting with the adults they know from our congregation? And a way for those adults to spend a little time playing instead of engrossed in adult worries?
Below is a list of ideas Evin brainstormed with colleagues on line. The suggestion is to create a Facebook group specifically for multigenerational connection so this isn’t a new volunteer or staff job, but something the community can self-organize. And then share this post there!
Internet safety for minors is a real concern. Here are some guidelines to following Safe Congregations policies in this setting: unrelated adults and minors should never message one on one without a parent or religious professional copied on the message. Having communication in a Facebook group makes this much easier and the parents can help organize their children’s activities and will be aware of what their children are doing. Video calls and online are similar--parents are responsible for supervising their children just like at coffee hour. Video calls and games should happen at a place like the kitchen table rather than alone in a room. Finally, let's create a covenant that material shared in the online group won’t be shared. Especially pictures and videos of minors.
Brainstorm dump! Let Leah Purcell know what you’d like to see happen in our Albany UU community: firstname.lastname@example.org They are numbered so that you can refer to them easily.
1. Not-so-secret Friends: I could pair families with folks stuck at home and encourage them to find ways to interact, play, and stay in touch.
2. Story time. Maybe a chapter a day during “rest” if children are home from school? Or bedtime with the me reading a story? Maybe there are other adults stuck at home who love to read! They can even find books through their local library on Overdrive. We could do this as Facebook live on our Facebook page or through zoom or just recording a video and uploading it to our private group.
3. Play some games! Who would like to organize an all ages online Dungeon and Dragons game? Or you could invite each other to your favorite games you already play. (Parents can share information on which are safer). Invite each other to play board games:
4. Get together on zoom video chat to play. Have a pajama party or costume show. Play a game like Pictionary that can be played without pieces.
5. Pick a theme for the day and share art and pictures taken on that theme.
6. Have older kids call younger ones on video chat
7. Start a homework tutor thread. Surely there’s a grown up at Albany UU who understands your child’s homework! Maybe even one who is bored. This could be especially helpful if schools are closed and middle and high school students are expected to do school work.
8. Pair new readers with a reading buddy! First the new reader reads and then their buddy takes a turn.
9. Many children love to perform. So do adults! So--All ages talent/no talent show! Take videos and share in a thread.
10. Have members listen to children do their instrument practicing. Many children love an audience.
12. What about our have folks who know books? Maybe they could help people of all ages pick books available online through their local library?
13. We could do some science! Especially if a member of the congregation can explain the science to the kids or do the experiment together over video.
14. Real world pen pals. Pair shut-ins who enjoy real mail with children who like to draw or write. They can exchange drawings, notes, even a collaborative story one sentence at a time.
15. Phone calls! Create a list of people who would enjoy phone calls from younger members of the congregation.
16. Many children love to sing (or sing along to) their favorite song. Or recite a poem. Or just ask “how are you doing?”
17. Want a big challenge? We could try a virtual choir! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9xhTkG6v6Y
As Evin says, we need to take care of each other and our communities physically. Let’s stay in touch even from a distance. Let’s stay sane and break up the monotony of being isolated for everyone. And not just connect about serious things, but also just to have fun. Connection, fun, community—things all ages love about their congregations. Let me know which things you might be interested in doing!
Pot Luck and Family Circle Training scheduled for March 13 is cancelled
High school youth group parents - watch for emails from Tracey Hickey on ways for youth to connect online.
No in-person RE until further notice.
Leah is working on having the March 29 Rite of Passage meeting online via Zoom.
Central East Region has announced that they are cancelling in person events through the end of April. This means no last youth con of the year in Buffalo.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES COUNCIL (SRC)
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair,
Special note: The following are events that are not at Albany UU or sponsored by Albany UU; but they are events SRC would normally recommend and support if there were not a pandemic. At the time of this publication, this editor does not know if these events are still happening. Please check first and if they are moving forward, you will need to make your own choice regarding your attendance.
Raise Your Voice for End of Life Choice
GET INVOLVED. Compassion and Choices staff are urging supporters of the Medical Aid in Dying Act to join them at the Capitol. They attribute enactment of New Jersey’s end of life choice legislation to the constant presence of volunteer advocates in Trenton and want to replicate that presence in Albany. Try it; you’ll like it! Session days include March 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 26 27, 30 and 31. Get details from Amanda at
SAVE THE DATE. On Thursday, March 19, from 12:15-2:00 at the Colonie Library,
Death with Dignity - Albany
presents "An Insider’s View of the Medical Aid in Dying Legislation - What You Need to Know,” featuring Amanda Cavanaugh, Campaign Organizer for Compassion & Choices NY, and David Pratt, MD. They will review key elements of NY’s bill, the bill’s status, and how similar laws have been implemented in other states.
“Climates of Inequality – Stories of Environmental Injustice”
Albany's Sheridan Hollow
, a predominantly black, low-income neighborhood exposed to pollution from the steam plant below Empire State Plaza, is one of the communities highlighted in this exhibit on climate injustice. The installation, including a short documentary, was put together by a coalition of universities (including Skidmore College) and showcases 22 cities in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico that suffer health consequences from environmental racism.
Albany Barn until March 21, 46-48 N. Swan St, Albany.
Hours and more information:
Would you like to be involved in the Sunday service in a more meaningful way?
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:
Regular events and meetings
Many of these events and meetings will continue online, please contact your groups' leader if you haven't been contacted.
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)
9:00 AM Community Breakfast (3rd)
Going to miss a Sunday?
Online service will be recorded. Stay tuned for more information.
For previous services:
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:
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 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)
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: Jeannie Thompson
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | Admin@AlbanyUU.org | AlbanyUU.org