Windows Weekly December 26, 2019
Albany UU Windows Weekly


Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. Stay tuned for next Thursday's Weekly when we will share some photos of our holiday festivities. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. 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 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

10:00 am

January 5, “Reflecting Backward, Planning Forward,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

As Albany UU starts a new decade, this is an important moment in our congregation’s and our planet’s future. A critical Presidential election happens this year that will affect the future of American democracy. Critical steps are needed now to mitigate the impact of climate change for the future of humanity. What congregational planning will serve the wellbeing of our members, our congregation, our country and our planet? Your participation is required to organize, shape and work for that future.

Music: Elena Karpoff with Guest musician Joseph Benevento, upright bass
January 12, “Beloved Community,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a very big vision for a just, equitable and compassionate community that he called “Beloved Community.” This term is reverently used in Unitarian Universalist circles at our yearly General Assemblies. A deep understanding of and commitment to his vision in our congregations is less common today. It is worthy of both and may be very important to our visioning process.

Music: Ann Brandon
January 19, "Listen to the Earth: Perspectives on the Planetary Crisis," Green Sanctuary Committee

In the year 2020, we are finding our species, and all species, far and deep in a planetary health crisis that has resulted from our bifurcation from the earth. Scientists like Eunice Newton Foote, who grew up in Troy, have known since the nineteenth century that there was a connection between carbon dioxide and global surface temperature. So how, in the face of loss, should we be? Join us as we listen to local environmentalists and we meditate on new ways to be in an age of loss.

Music: Elena Karpoff
January 26, "Driven by Fear," Rev. David Weissbard
Like most things in this world, "Fear" is not something that we could do well without, but an excess is a problem. There are serious issues when our lives are "Driven by Fear," and there are forces we encounter that promote that. We'll be looking at where an appropriate balance lies.
Music: Elena Karpoff


Artist Reception
Come to the Channing Hall Gallery to view enchanting, seasonal, watercolors by Sheryl Galinski and amazing, dazzling holiday art by Marjorie Ward (all very affordable for giving or keeping). Also, continue enjoying the art of our cherished Terry Way. There will be an Artist Reception this Sunday, Dec. 29 during Coffee Hour.

Albany UU holiday office hours
A reminder that that office will be minimally staffed but open during regular office hours for the remainder of this week.

Next week, the office will be open and fully staffed beginning Dec. 30, except for Wednesday, Jan. 1, when the office will be closed. Happy New Year!

All Sides Considered - Cancelled on
Thursday, Jan. 2
The next session will be Thursday, Jan. 16. This group seeks to explore liberal and conservative viewpoints in considering current social and political issues. All are welcome to join the conversation on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month at 1:00 pm in Room B-7. For more information, contact Jim Schlembach at

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.

Sexton Position STILL open!
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 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

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”.
Mindfulness Meditation Workshop
led by Rev. Sam Trumbore
January 3-4, 2020
This meditation training and practice workshop will be led by Rev. Trumbore, on Friday 6:00pm to 9:00pm, and Saturday 8:00am to 3:00pm. It gives the participants an opportunity to learn Buddhist mindfulness meditation techniques and/or refresh and deepen their meditation practice. All are welcome from first timers to experts. There will be a vegan potluck lunch on Saturday and all are encouraged to bring something to share. Please register with the office (call 463-7135) if you would like to participate. (A voluntary donation can be offered at the end to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund for charitable purposes)

Rev. Trumbore has practiced Buddhist Vipassana or insight meditation for over 35 years and is Past President of the Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship. This meditation technique is one of the best for Unitarian Universalists. It helps people train their minds to strengthen concentration and intensify moment-to-moment awareness. Regular practice of this technique quiets and sharpens the mind, opens the heart and can improve one's physical and mental health.
Rev. Trumbore Away January 15 through February 19
Philomena Moriarty has planned a dream trip to celebrate reaching her full retirement age as defined by the Social Security Administration. She will be traveling with Rev. Sam to Australia for a week and three weeks in New Zealand. While he is away, our Intern Dan Miyake will be covering necessary pastoral services and filling in as necessary for him. We have a great series of services planned in Rev. Sam's absence. He will also be checking in with Dan regularly and available by cell phone and text (note that the time zones are very different +18 hours to New Zealand and +16 hours in Australia!). (Rev. Sam plans to make up this time in July and August when he is normally on vacation & study leave.)
Pillar Fund Update - We Can Do This!

Thank you to the many members and friends who have contributed to the Pillar Fund so far. We have raised about $22,000 and only need about $3,000 more to reach our goal of matching the $25,000 challenge. Hopefully, we will exceed our goal. 

Please bring in your contributions very soon or mail them to the office so that we can finish before the end of the year.  Here's the link to the form.

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

Thank you for your support.

Join us in a joyful celebration of Rev. Sam's 20 years of ministry at Albany UU with a catered luncheon and other festivities after Sunday service from  11:45 to 1:30 on January 5, 2020  in Community Hall.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend by emailing so we'll be sure to have enough food.

Plan Now for GA in Providence in June 2020

Are you interested in serving as one of Albany UU’s 8 delegates to this annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association? Or attending GA. for the first time, to see what it’s all about? 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. The theme for GA in June 2020 is Rooted, Inspired, & Ready! -- we are in touch with our theological roots, we are engaged in transforming our faith, and we are fired up to take action in the wider world.

GA will take place in Providence, RI from June 24-28. Check out to learn about this fast-paced event featuring workshops, worship, music, speakers, networking and social witness. Apply to be a delegate by February 9 using this form , which also serves as the application for Albany UU travel stipends. Additionally, the UUA offers financial aid; applications are on the GA website and due by March 31. Questions? Contact Peggy Sherman,
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!
Integrity, Truth, and Freedom

One of the hardest transitions in childhood is feeling compelled to change one’s attitudes and behaviors to fit in with one’s friends. Before this point younger children are more self-centered and oblivious to the need to deal with differences. Then comes the day when the group of friends develops an identity and begins to expect everyone in the group to conform. The group develops a sense of “we” and “they.” The group rejects them and protects us. The group members must conform to the group norms or be teased, bullied, or finally rejected by the group.

Of course, society does this too. Gender roles have made gender non-conforming folks feel threatened. Attitudes about loyalty to the state, respect for authority, the duty to perform military service, participation in voting, paying taxes, and other behaviors support the social system. The society has norms and expectations that can be oppressive. White supremacy culture is an intricately woven system of norms and expectations that oppress people of color and resist its patterns being exposed.

The pressure for people to conform to an external social system creates an inner conflict for people who do not fit or conform to the social expectations. If my gender deviates from the appearance of my body, my skin color deviates from the social norm, my speech patterns deviate from the normative dialect, my sensory-motor response deviates from the neural-typical, there is inner tension and inner struggle. If I am who I know myself to be and behave that way in public without adapting who or what I am to the social expectation, I may be harmed in some way.

I recently read an article in the New York Times about a disturbing American political trend driven by the White House. The President demands absolute loyalty. What he says is what he expects Republican Senators and Representatives to say and do. There is no room for the Republican congressional members to express publicly, even privately, their own ideas that may differ from the President. Any breaking ranks is severely punished with angry tweets, threats, and agitation from the loyal base that will translate into a primary challenge. The President has been amazingly effective in limiting Republican criticism except in rare moments when he steps outside what even Republican leadership will allow.

Many Unitarian Universalists know this pressure to conform theologically. They grow up in a church saying creeds they initially don’t think much about. They are belief statements they may not understand. Then they take a biology class and learn how babies are made or a science class and learn about the dinosaurs or the Big Bang. A 6,000 year old earth or the immaculate conception as an article of faith to be believed without question can create some cognitive dissonance. The early Unitarians had that experience as they considered the belief in the Trinity that has weak evidence in the Bible and even weaker evidence applying scientific rational thought of the Enlightenment era. God men are wonderful stories and mythology but to claim it as fact can create an inner conflict of beliefs and values.

When people are forced by social pressure to conform their insides to outer expectations something very important is lost. As the story, “The Emperor Has No Clothes,” puts it in the mouth of the child, what is lost in the process is the truth. What is at stake is personal integrity.

We have seen a systematic attack on truth over the years that has come to a head with its denial as “fake news.” The denial is grounded in a subjective approach to truth that has roots in the post-modernism. The deconstruction of truth claims to reveal their subjective nature unfortunately has the side effect of undermining a common basis of shared social reality. If we can’t agree about the facts, what is real, and what is true and false, it undermines the basis of even discussing our differences.

I hadn’t realized how critical it is for our society to have a shared sense of what is true so we can hold our leaders to account. The rule of law depends on us living and dying by a common set of rules based it fact-based truth. If the President violates the law he should be held accountable. And it is true that society can be biased in harmful ways that need to be confronted and changed. The more we can agree on a common reality the better.

To address abuse of power and social harm, we need integrity, truth and freedom. One of the great freedoms we enjoy in this country is the freedom to believe and to speak truth. Whether that is our gender or sexual identity or our personal faith or lack of faith or witnessing to the truth society wishes to overlook and suppress, our integrity requires such freedom.

As we begin a New Year, let us make a commitment to integrity, truth and freedom. Integrity requires freedom if we want to protect one of the most important cornerstones of democracy.

Rev. Sam

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.

Member, Jeannie Thompson shares that an important person in her life is going through a difficult period with medical issues and Jeannie is very worried for her.

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.
Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. We will discuss  The Awakening  by Kate Chopin. Learn more here .

Circle Dinners
Join the first Circle Dinner of the New Year on Saturday, January 18 at 6 PM ! Circle Dinners are opportunities to share good food and conversation with a small group in a relaxed setting. Sign up online by Sunday, Jan. 8 . Learn more here .

Get Connected Activity Fair
Attend the Albany UU Get Connected Activity Fair on Sunday, January 26 and find out about new opportunities to both get involved and meet more fabulous Albany UU members and friends! 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

It’s one of our semi-annual RE For All Ages Game Days. Children and youth are invited to come play board games (for all ages) and play with toys in our upstairs classrooms. We start at at 10:00 and end directly after the service ends. (No story in the service this week) 

Save these dates:

Fri, Feb 7 – Multigenerational Pot Luck and Game Night, sponsored by the RE Council

Sat, Feb 8 – Elegant Pasta Dinner to support the Rite of Passage spring trip

Fri, Feb 28- Sun, March 1 Youth Con . Our youth group is hosting up to 60 UU Youth from Upstate New York to stay in our building for a weekend of UU Youth workshop, workshops and fun. We’ll need adult volunteers from Albany UU to work together to prepare meals and run the dishwasher and to serve in pairs for 3-4-hour shifts as awake chaperons Fri and Night from 11:00 pm to 8:00 am
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email

Raise Your Voice for End of Life Choice
Send a note to Governor Cuomo before 12/31/19  to thank him for his support and ask him to make passing the Medical Aid in Dying Act a priority in 2020. You can do this by clicking the link  here . The goal is to send 1,000 messages by the end of this year, so send the link to family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues and ask them to reach out to the Governor too.

Come to the Capitol on January 8 and 9 to mix and mingle  with lawmakers in a series of welcome receptions as they return for the 2020 legislative session. Contact Amanda Cavanaugh at  for details.
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:
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 (promise of spring!)
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | |