Windows Weekly December 27, 2018
Albany UU Windows Weekly
Happy New Year! 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 30, "Gentle Giants on the Interdependent Web," David Weissbard
A couple of years ago I read "The Elephant Whisperer" and said to myself, "Self, there's a sermon here." That sermon had a gestation period worthy of an elephant. I look forward to sharing it with you on the 30th.

Note: This service will be in our Sanctuary.

Music: Richard Porterfield with guest artist Virginia Reed,  mezzo-soprano

HYMN 360: “Here We Have Gathered”
HYMN 194: “Faith is a Forest”
HYMN 175: “We Celebrate the Web of Life”

Here is a place you might find the words to our hymns.
Sunday Services
10:00 am

January's theme: Possibility

January 6, “The Evidence of Things Unseen,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

The Biblical verse “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) can give us a way to examine what is and isn’t possible. Sometimes what is true cannot be seen. Sometimes our hopes and dreams become visible through our faith, our confidence. Our imagination and will can create a way to connect the possible to the actual.

Music: Richard Porterfield plays music of Scarlatti

January 13, “#metoo: Stand Up, Fight Back,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

“Stand up, fight back” is a familiar chant to anyone who spends much time marching and protesting. The election of a President with a history of sexual harassment and the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice who denied multiple acts of sexual abuse have women fired up and poised to march again January 19 th . Let’s demand a change in our culture to protect women from sexual violence.

January 20, “Love and Power,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

Brittany Packnett used this expression “the divine union of love and power” in her Ware Lecture last summer at General Assembly. The reference came from the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Many of us know about Dr. King’s commitment to non-violence. What we may be less familiar with is his understanding of the holy power of love to change hearts and minds.           

January 27, Board’s Open Question: TBA



Albany UU Holiday Office Hours
Regular office hours will apply on Monday, Dec. 31. The office will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Regular hours will apply Wednesday thru Friday, Jan. 2-4. Thank you!

How to donate flowers for the service
You have the opportunity to celebrate, commemorate, thank, etc. with flowers on Sunday morning. In Channing Hall at the Sign Up Site you will find a sign-up sheet: select the date you want, and note if you would like to prepare your own flowers or have a member of the committee arrange them for you. Don’t forget to fill out a card with your dedication (to be put in the order of service) and put it in the Sunday Drop Box in the front office. If the committee is to do the flowers, a member will be in touch with you to find out what you would like and how much you wish to donate.

Join the Flower Committee!
Help brighten our Sunday services! No special talent needed--all instructions and vases provided. Contact Sandy Stone: (518) 489.8293 or

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 cancellations will be by email sent through Constant Contact.

Warmth for the Homeless
Please gather blankets, sleeping bags, and warm coats, etc. and put them in the bin in the coatroom to be given to those who are homeless. Thank you for your help! The homeless shelter is so grateful for the donations to the blanket bin!
Sunday Schedule

9:00 AM
- Mindfulness Meditation, Room B-8

9:45 AM
- Nursery/Toddler Rooms open

10:00 AM
- Sunday Service, Sanctuary
- Fun Sunday School, upstairs classrooms

11:00 AM
- Coffee Hour, Channing Hall

Quick 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.

Board of Trustees 2018-2019



Ex-officio Members
Sam Trumbore, Minister
Jim Hutchins, Chair, Religious
Education Council
Matt Lesniak, Chair, Social Responsibilities Council

Elected Officer (not on Board of Trustees)
Seth Edelman, Assistant Treasurer

Rev. Sam Trumbore,  

Church Administrator
Tammy Hathaway,

Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry
Leah Purcell,

Music Director
Dr. Richard Porterfield,

Music Associates (volunteer)
Randy Rosette, Chris Jensen

Administrative Assistant
Sapphire Correa,

Religious Education Assistant
Elizabeth Baldes,

Lead Youth Adviser
Tracey Hickey

Izzy Wright

Snow Removal Tech
Quintain Murray
Sam's Outlook
The Potency of Possibility

A blank page
Sprinkled with ashes.
What phoenix might be ready to rise up?

Sitting in a circle with highly creative people fills me with delight. Folks who are willing to let their minds roam widely and collectively free associate. When a phrase or image catches the imagination of the group, all of a sudden a spigot opens as words, sounds and images pour forth, each stimulating an association with the next one. The splashes and splatters generate new artistic expressions following each other down the figurative rabbit hole that opens up deeper creative layers.

What joy to dive into a pool of possibility! An imaginary realm where there’s room for orange grass growing up out of cookie trays overflowing with confetti. Why can’t seals wear aprons while they prepare pancakes smothered with anchovy jelly or covered with green clam sauce? How about a mycelium mat that operates sort of like the Internet to allow mushrooms to “facetime” their neighbors to plan new expansions and conquests or organize dinner parties based on a web menu of what the tree roots have been oozing into the soil. Maybe the starlings are organizing a fighter squadron to dive bomb the squirrels and chipmunks as they fight for the raspberries.

Yet, those whose livelihood depends on creativity have dry spells when their creative juices seem to dry out and what’s possible shrinks. The question quickly arises, is there any method of rainmaking to moisten my imagination and get the ideas flowing again?

A foundation for creativity is present moment awareness. When an idea arises, recognize it, connect and run with it! Carefully observing one’s inner experience that happens moment by moment can support this recognition process.

Those of you who have meditated with me have heard me extolling the virtues of a particular kind of self-consciousness called mindfulness. It is utterly simple: it is to know that you know as you know what arises in the present moment. It can be immediately sensed using the breath. When I breathe in, I know that I am breathing in. When I breathe out, I know that I am breathing out. The goal of this simple exercise is to begin to recognize when we are aware of what is happening in the present moment (breath coming in then changing to going out) and when we aren’t aware of what is happening in the present moment – which is most of the time when we are preoccupied with thoughts, emotions, plans, reactions, regrets, guilt, shame, fantasies, desires, aversions, and delusions unrelated to what is happening now.

I mention mindfulness because I notice that my decades of practicing this form of meditation have heightened my creative sense of what is possible. I remember a time in my youth when I was very cautious. Some moment would arise bubbling with possibility and I’d miss it. Later I’d look back with regret wondering, “What was I thinking when that moment arose that I didn’t immediately take advantage of that opportunity that had now has passed by.” This was especially true when I missed an opportunity to say something clever or something kind or caring. I also remember just not noticing another person was hurting or in pain because I wasn’t paying attention to my emotions. My senses were just not open wide enough to connect with them.

The practice of mindfulness decreased my internal self-talk and increased my presence in the moment. I was much more awake and aware so when the opportunity arose, I noticed and responded. The time delay between opportunities and my responses got shorter and shorter until I stopped experiencing moments of regret as often. I felt more satisfaction that I was there and I was ready to take advantage of the possibilities that arose in the moment.

And all that was before the explosion of connectivity on the web. This associational process happens today as millions of packets of information fly around the Internet in milliseconds. The possibility space today is enormous. The potency is many orders of magnitude larger, a world of interconnectedness beyond my wildest imagination when I worked for NorthStar Computers in the 1980’s testing our proprietary networking hardware and software called “NorthNet.”

More than ever, the possible expands as far and as fast as our imaginations will allow it. My brain keeps stretching beyond its previous limits, biases, opinions, and beliefs as it meets what is real and ponders the flood of ideas I encounter on screens, in books, on podcasts, and in conversation with the immense network of social media platforms. I’ve never been so connected to so many people all around the world before! The potency of these connections sometimes overwhelms me.

Yet the flood of the possible pouring through my brain doesn’t disorient me from core principles of consciousness and core values that guide my life. These deepen in refinement and clarity in the clattering noise of data demanding to enter my mind, some of it hostile and harmful.

To live peacefully in today’s intense world of possibility, we need a strong, secure sense of inner guidance to keep us on track. This is one of the critical reasons I cherish our religious community as a place to keep me moving toward the life affirming principles that can keep us whole. 

- Rev. Sam

More from our blogs:

Upcoming Learning Opportunity with the Minister!
Mindfulness Meditation Workshop
Feb. 8 and 9
Led by Rev. Sam Trumbore, these meditation training and practice workshops will be on Friday 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Saturday 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. 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. (A voluntary donation can be offered at the end.) Learn more here .
Budget Requests due Sunday, January 6, 2019
It’s time to determine how much money your program, committee or group will need in the next fiscal year starting July 1, 2019 and ending on June 30, 2020. While it may seem far away now, planning with a group will take more time than you might think. Especially since a new form, approved by the Board, must provide a more detailed explanation and justification of amounts requested.
The budget form for submission is at:

It can also be found on the Albany UU web site under Church Office, File Cabinet. If necessary, the office can supply you with a printed form.
The Finance Committee and the Board will use the fully completed form to help determine how much money will be needed to support your group’s planned activities for next year. Combining all the submissions allows us to set a realistic annual stewardship goal. If no form is submitted, it will be assumed that your group does not need any funds from the operating budget. If available, needed funds may be taken from your designated fund.
The form is self-guiding, however, if you have questions or need an alternate method of communication, please contact Steve Moskowitz at 518-439-6347 or . Regular mail and email submissions are welcomed.
Submit your electronic budget request to or on paper to the office at Albany UU.
Benefit Concert January 11

Please join Alyssa Yeager at 7 pm January 11, for a concert to benefit the local US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Popular music from the fifties and sixties and originals will be featured. Monetary and toiletry/school supply donations will be gratefully accepted (suggested value $10-$15). Desserts and beverages will also be available for purchase. This is an Albany UU Choir sponsored event. Contact Randy if you have any questions, 518-783-2637.  
Circle Dinner
Saturday, Jan 12, 6:00 pm
Circle Dinners are "coordinated potluck" dinners shared by 6 - 9 Albany UU newcomers and old timers, friends and acquaintances of all ages, single or with partners. Our objective is to strengthen our Albany UU family by getting to know each other better while sharing conversation and food in a relaxed atmosphere. Find more info here .

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. Bring your favorite dish to share and a small contribution to cover beverages. We will discuss Less, by Andrew Sean Greer. Learn more here.

Governance Meetings
The Governance Working Group will hold two more meetings in January to introduce changes in Albany UU’s governance that are under consideration: Sunday, Jan. 13, 11:30 to 12:30 and Wednesday, Jan. 16, 5:45 to 6:45 PM , both in B-8. Learn more here .

UU Humanists
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 7 PM, Room B-8
All interested in learning more about humanism in Unitarian Universalism are welcome to join us.
Find additional information here .

East of Hudson Potluck
Let's gather on January 25 at 6:00 pm at the home of Sharon and Mike Babala for our next potluck. If there is snow adventurous spirits are invited to come early and snowshoe or cross country ski! Learn more here .
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 need volunteers for our Christmas Eve Candlelight services at 6:00 and 8:00, too! We thank you and could not do what we do without YOU!
-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education (RE) and Family Ministry,

Nursery/Toddler Room opens at 9:45 for children and infants under 2 years old

Faith formation of children and youth this Sunday, Dec. 30:          

This Sunday is Fun Sunday School for children and youth. All children and youth will start their morning in the upstairs classrooms at 10:00 AM instead of joining their families for the first part of the service. If you have questions, ask Paula Brewer at the window in the lobby. Older children and youth are invited to help.

Youth group and 8th and 9th grade will not meet today but can help with the games in the upstairs classrooms.

Guest at Your Table boxes should be in by Sunday, Jan. 20.
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email

SRC Recommends the following:

Please bring personal care items including empty toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes, water filters, tyvek envelopes, hearing aid batteries, corks, paper egg cartons, cell phones, winter garments including coats, hats, scarves, gloves and usable blankets to the recycle center in the Albany UU cloak room. Recycling like this is an easy way to reduce, reuse, and re-purpose. Right now, the company that we send water filters and personal care items is offering a bonus. Albany UU's points and last bonus was used to have 10 trees planted in an American forest.
Raise Your Voice for End of Life Choice
Prospects for passing the Medical Aid in Dying Act in New York have never been better, thanks to the Senate Health Committee’s incoming chairperson, Democrat Gustavo Rivera, a co-sponsor of the bill. This would be a good time to contact your own lawmakers about the bill, even if you have done so before. Advocacy opportunities at the Capitol starting in mid-January will be announced soon. In the meantime, join us on January 15 at the Colonie Town Library from 12:15-2:00 when Death with Dignity Albany will present “Funeral Arrangements – What to Know and How to Plan” featuring John Cannon and Glenn Ward, co-owners of Cannon Funeral Home.

The Justice Singers of the Capital Region will lead singing and chanting during the Women's Empowerment March on Saturday, Jan. 19 , and we welcome your participation. If you have any questions, contact Mark Abendroth at . Paula Brewer and Liliana Abendroth are also members of the Justice Singers.
Spokane in 2019, Providence in 2020
Looking for a meaningful experience in an interesting location with programs that will challenge and uplift you – all in the company of thousands of other Unitarian Universalists? Consider General Assembly, the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association!
In 2019, GA will be held in Spokane, Washington from June 19-23. Closer to home, in 2020, GA will take place in Providence, Rhode Island from June 24-28. Learn more here .
Inclusivity Recommends
Capital Region Kwanzaa Celebrations:
 December 26, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Candle Lighting Ceremony • Performances • Vendors • Workshops • Refreshments

View the flyer here .
Green Sanctuary's Tip of the Week!
Practicing Our Seventh Principle:
Paper products account for about a 1/3 of the waste commonly found in landfills. Sponges, washcloths, and towels are cheaper, reusable, and take up less space than paper towels. And when they get dirty, they’re easily disinfected by boiling them in hot water. No waste necessary!
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.

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: Chuck Manning, Phil Rich, Randy Rosette, Sandy Stone, Lisa Barron, Donna Meixner, Dee VanRiper and Sharon Babala.
New books in the Joy Library 
Added December 2018 - check them out!

The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age, by Marc Bekoff & Jessica Pierce (2018)  call#179.3

Class Action: The Struggle with Class in Unitarian Universalism / A Report by the Commission On Appraisal (2017) call# 289.132 UNI

A Documentary History of Unitarian Universalism : / edited by Dan McKanan (2017) (two volumes) call# 289.1 MCK

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, by Angela Saini (2018)  call# 305.4 SAI        

Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti & Jennifer Nordstrom (2018) call# 261.8 MIS (Note: This is the 2018-19 UUA Common Read.)

Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy , by Sheryll Cashin (2018) call# 306.84 CAS

Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing, by The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber (2018)   call# 201.7 BAR

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism / Robin DiAngelo (2018)  call# 305.8 DIA        
Twenty-First Century Jim Crow Schools: The Impact of Charters and Vouchers on Public Education , by Raynard Sanders, David Stovall, & Terrenda C. White (2018) call# 371.01 SAN
Regular events and meetings
Check Windows Weekly for changes to date, time and location. 

11:45 PM Inclusivity Team (1st)
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)
10:00 AM      Philosophy Discussion (weekly)
1:00 PM        Bridge (weekly)
7:00 PM        UU Humanists (3rd) - Nov. only
10:00 AM      Projects & Quilts (weekly)
7:00 PM        Choir Rehearsal (almost weekly)
1:00 PM       All Sides Considered (1st & 3rd)
7:00 PM       Program Coordinating Council (2nd)
7:00 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 ).
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | |