Windows Weekly May 28, 2020
Albany UU Windows Weekly

Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. Please stay safe and stay connected to your Albany UU Community during this uncertain time in the many ways provided online - all described below.

-Blessings and Be Well
We 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 .

May 31, “High School Youth Service: Imagine”

In this time of isolation due to the Corona pandemic, what things do we wish we could forget? What do we not want to forget when the time comes when we can start to get together? What might the world look like then? What would we long for it to be? Come join with our high school YoUUth Group to imagine a post-lock down world. 

Music Provided by Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and Randy Rosette

Use this link and password to join the service:

To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866:
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000
 June 7, Our Community Holds Us Together; celebrating our spring traditions
in nontraditional ways

This year we are combining our RE Celebration service (Sundae Sunday) and Flower Ceremony. And everyone is invited to do some preparations to bring the spirit of our Albany UU community to our virtual celebrations.

We’re asking the children and youth to make thank you signs for their RE teachers, guides and advisors . Parents and caretakers, please take a picture of your kid(s) holding their sign(s) and send your pictures to Liz Halvorsen by Wednesday, June 3rd (note corrected date)
We’re asking everyone to bring a flower when you join our online service – you can draw one, print one from the internet or hold a real one. Children in grades pre-k through 6 will receive a booklet in the mail with a drawing they can color and show at the service, plus information about our UU Flower Communion.

We’ll have a virtual Sundae Sunday at noon. Get your treats ready and we’ll eat together. We’ll have break out for the different aged RE groups and their families. It will be a chance for children and parents to see each other! RE volunteers for each team are invited too.

Music Provided by Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and Randy Rosette

June 14, "Roots and Wings," Dan Miyake, Intern Minister
These times, they are a’ changing … Unitarian Universalism is a Living Tradition – one whose faith is not dead and stagnant, or chained to concrete slabs of dogma or creed. Our denomination lives and breathes by its ability, its necessity, to change while holding onto its roots for stability. In our roots we find our strength and foundation, but change is the vehicle by which we move forward to new ideas, new visions, and new actions. Now, more than ever, we must hold onto our roots very tight as we prepare to fly full force into an unknown future.

Music Provided b y Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and Randy Rosette

The summer schedule begins with Sunday, June 21

Albany UU Virtual Summer Services
The last Sunday of the regular service year is June 14; our summer services start June 21 and continue through September 6.

8:30 a.m. Virtual Sunday Meditation continues through the summer and we will have Virtual Service at 10:00 AM each Sunday. Summer services are coordinated by Randy Rosette, with a delightful list of guests in the pulpit, including Rev. Sam and an opportunity to virtually attend the General Assembly service!

Find more information about our summer services here .

Joys and Concerns for Online Services
We have three ways that you can share your joys and concerns.
  • One: Use the online form. If you use this form, you can indicate if you would like to have your joys and concerns shared at the Sunday service, and you can leave contact info if you would like a Pastoral Care Associate to follow up with you.
  • Two: Email your joy or sorrow to before Sunday morning to have them read aloud during the service
  • Three: We will be giving you instructions during the Sunday service about how to share your joys and concerns then.

Sunday Collection
If you would like to make a contribution to the Sunday Offering "Plate", click or send your check, with Sunday Offering on the memo line, to the church: 405 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12206. Mail is still being processed while the building is closed.

Text to Give
Try our text to give option! Simply text the amount and fund (for example: 20 offering; or 20 focus; or 20 pledge) to  844-976-2618 . There's a  helpful video  to watch with step by step instructions and a informative  written guide  with visuals.

Sunday services will be online via Zoom at 10:00 AM EST. There will be no service, religious education or other activities in the church building until further notice.

Helpful Hints:

-PLEASE , as a matter of security, change your name when you enter the zoom service. To do this, bring our cursor to your picture window, you will see "mute" and three dots in the upper right corner. Click the three dots and a dropdown box will appear. Select "Change Name". A window will pop up to allow you to type your first and last name.

-From your phone, *9 will allow you to raise your hand.
Start your Sunday Morning with Meditation - 8:30 - 9:15 AM
Sunday morning meditation, led by Rev. Sam, begins with a ten-minute talk by Sharon Salzberg or Joseph Goldstein from their course on Insight Meditation. We will sit together for twenty minutes then have some conversation about the talk, meditation methods or experiences followed by a live loving kindness meditation. 
Use this link to join:

To dial in by phone call: 1-929-436-2866 and enter
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000

Adult RE UU History Class - Continuing into June!
Dan Miyake is leading an Adult RE class on UU History on Mondays , June 1 and 8 from 3:00 to 4:30 . This is a great opportunity to learn more about our denomination and our spiritual ancestors. Everyone is welcome to attend via Zoom.

Require meeting password: 295114

Philosophy Group
At 10:00 AM every Tuesday , the Albany UU Philosophy Group will meet via zoom and discuss their topic of the day. All are welcome.

Use this link to join: NOTE CHANGE IN LINK

To dial in by phone, call: 1-929-436-2866 
Meeting ID: 987 7102 4708
Password: 0000

Congregation Zoom Check In
Get connected during the week with other Albany UU members and friends by coming to the Zoom checkin on Tuesday, June 2, 4-5pm , led by Rev. Sam .

Use this link to join:

Meeting ID: 518-366-4532
Password: 4051842

Albany UU Sings
Do You Like to Sing? Join your friends and sing your heart out every Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM ! We will supply the music and the lyrics. Sing along in Virtual Community. Contact Randy with any questions:

Use this link to join:
By phone: 1-929-436-2866 Meeting ID: 935725639

Ps and Qs
Projects and Quilts (Ps and Qs) will zoom on Wednesday, June 10 and June 24 at 10:00 AM.

Use this link to join:

To dial by phone: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 970 3238 2631
Password: 0000

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group, Sunday, June 14 at 6:00 pm . We will discuss  Olive, Again  by Elizabeth Strout. Learn more here .

Use this link to join:
To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866:
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000
Religion, Sex and Politics: A Conversation for Polite Company
Rabbi Dennis Ross, director of Concerned Clergy for Choice at Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, and author of  All Politics Is Religious , will discuss "Religion, Sex, and Politics: A Conversation for Polite Company," THIS Sunday, May 31, at 3 PM . Rabbi Ross will provide a faith perspective on recent developments and opportunities in access to reproductive health care and the so-called "religious liberty" arguments in Washington and New York State during this time of national challenge.
Meeting ID: 518 366 4532
Password: 4051842
Telephone access number:   +1 929 205 6099
Focus Food Pantry
Please consider a contribution to the Focus Food Pantry this Sunday. You can now do this one of three ways: electronically using this link: text using this number: 844-976-2618 or by sending a check to the church with Focus on the memo line.  Thank you for your help.

Rev. Sam Requests Important Feedback
Every year, staff members are evaluated. Part of that evaluation process is collecting feedback from members of the congregation on their employee satisfaction along with comments about the work of employees. This is a great opportunity to show appreciation of them by giving specific feedback about what they have done well. It is VERY MEANINGFUL for the staff to receive this feedback. Your praise matters! And there may be a problem that you’d like to alert us about too. That may also be done on the feedback form.
PLEASE, PLEASE  take a moment to use this form to leave feedback for individual employees. Use the form multiple times, once for each employee for whom you’d like to leave feedback.
Thanks in advance for your participation in this yearly cycle of appreciation and support for the good work our staff does.
Here is the link:

Fair Trade Coffee for Sale!
Remember all that wonderful Fair Trade coffee you love? The kind we would serve during Coffee Hour? Now is your chance to purchase it - at cost! We have ground organic decaf, breakfast blend and French roast. Place your order with Kathy Harris: 

Pick up day will be handled with appropriate physical distancing and masks are required. You slip your check or cash through the mail slot in the Sanctuary vestibule door on Washington Ave. (Make sure cash is in an envelope with your name clearly written on it.)  Wait a minute, then walk over to the lobby steps. Your order will be waiting for you on the outside of the lobby door. If a line forms by the mails slot or lobby door, please space appropriately. Sound simple.

Price: $7.00/bag
Deadline for orders Monday, June 8, 5:00 pm
Pick-up Thursday, June 11, 10:00 am - 12:00 noon

Gould Lecture now online
Here’s the link to the Gould Lecture which Leah presented on Friday, May 15 and some resources from it. This lecture has been part of a spring gathering of Upstate NY UU ministers, DREs and other leaders in congregations for decades. Usually a minister is selected to present; Leah was the second DRE to be selected. Her title was “Growing Souls in Congregations – Lessons from Nature and the Pandemic”

Pledge year alert!
As our church fiscal year (2019-20) winds to a close (June 30, to be exact) this is a good time to remind everyone to write on your checks which pledge year you are contributing to. Some folks have already started paying on their 2020-21 pledge, some still are on 2019-20. Please, please write ‘Pledge’ and the fiscal year you’re paying toward on the memo line.

Log into Church DB ( Getting Started with Church DB ) to find out your balance or email Assistant Treasurer, Kathy Harris: 

Survey Time
Looking for something to do?  Fill out the AUU Green Sanctuary renewable energy survey at: 

Scheduling Zoom Meetings
We currently have two zoom accounts that we can use for meetings. To request a Zoom meeting, please do so just as you would when requesting a room to use in our building - using Church Database. When you choose your resources, or "room", choose between Zoom 1 and Zoom 3. There are links to instructions below. This is the preferred method but requests can also be sent via email to Sapphire:

When you send an email, please have a few dates and times that will work for your meeting to minimize a lot of time consuming negotiating. Thank you!
When Do We Open Up Again?
The President recently demanded the states immediately open religious houses of worship calling them essential services. Let me assure you that isn’t going to happen here. We’ve gotten a recommendation from the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, that we be extremely cautious about opening, waiting until May of 2021!

Much as I worry about getting infected with the Covid-19 virus, what concerns me even more is someone in our congregation getting infected – especially someone who might get infected through use of our building. Many of us are over 60 or have health conditions that put us a much greater risk of harm to our health or even death from the virus.

I hadn’t realized how easily this virus can spread indoors until I read some research. When we are in a confined space for over an hour, we create the conditions for a greatly increased probability of infection. This is especially true when we are sitting close together then sing a song together. Infection rates in choirs have shown how quickly the Coronavirus can spread and cause harm and death.
The recommendation from the CDC and our insurance company is to give each person wearing a mask 113 square feet around them to create some degree of safety. In a 40x40 foot room, close to the size of Community Hall, that is seating for 14 people. Would it be possible to have Coffee Hour while maintaining 6 feet or more of distance? We certainly wouldn’t enjoy a potluck with people sitting at their own table all alone.

And would we take people’s temperature before we admitted them? Have a restroom attendant to sanitize it after every use? Would we be using the restroom one at a time? How many people could be in the kitchen? Would we be able to have any classes in the building? Religious education for children?
At this moment, even with some positive results with one vaccine candidate, it is still going to be a long time before enough people have had this disease or enough people have been vaccinated to make it safe enough to gather in the density we have in the past. And what about those who will not use vaccines? How will we negotiate that? This virus has spread far and wide enough, we may not be able eliminate the risk of it showing up in our congregation for the foreseeable future.

This could be at the leading edge of a sea change in the way religious organizations meet. Already some Asian restaurants have installed plexiglass dividers for restaurant tables. Texas saloons are putting up these dividers in hair salons. Maybe soon we’ll be seeing them in waiting rooms for doctor offices. I’m not sure what it is going to take to get my eyes checked or my teeth cleaned in the future. Adaptation is happening to reduce risk while permitting business to be conducted as we have in the past.

While we’ve lost a lot not being able to meet in the same room, sing together, and enjoy live music together, there have been unexpected benefits. We’ve made it much easier for those who are mobility impaired or far away from Albany to participate in our Sunday service. We’ve made it easier to attend meetings. We’ve lowered the barrier for visitors to come by and check us out. Thank goodness hearing the service in Community Hall hasn’t been an issue for a while now. We have lowered the carbon footprint for our congregation and kept a lot of carbon dioxide out of the air not driving back and forth.

What I hope we are discovering or connecting with more deeply is our identity as a congregation. Without our building, we are experiencing our community in our relationships and our shared values. Our congregation is so much more than the place we gather, the architectural features, and the furniture. Beautiful as our Sanctuary, Channing and Community Hall are, we together are so much more. I felt that remembering a member who died 10 years ago, May 25, Jay Gallagher … or Fred Schroeder, or Al and Ramona Weissbard, Charles and Ruth Estey or Sue Berzinis or Mildred Guffin or so many others who are part of the living memory of this congregation.

Since we’re stuck with physical distance requirements, infection precautions and the use of electronic communication for the near term, my question is how can we serve our congregational mission in this new environment? How will we satisfy our needs for community, spiritual growth and development, social activism, community service, and mutual support? What changes can we make that will keep our members and friends meaningfully engaged as we learn new ways to be together. What kind of meet ups might we organize? How could we create parties and social gatherings? Congregational Zoom Check-ins still a good idea? Maybe more opportunities for music?

Leah Purcell and Elizabeth Baldes are asking this question in a survey of parents and caregivers of children and youth. I’m working up a survey that will go out to our congregation. Leah and I are questioning all our old habits of how we do things. I’ll be offering three services this summer. Leah is considering what kind of programming might be offered. I’ll continue leading meditation on Sunday mornings all summer.

Please let us know your thoughts about other ways we can build community this summer and fall as we continue to protect each other and bend the infection curve down. The goal is to create a valuable and meaningful experience of religious community now, not deferring our satisfaction until we can resume what we did before.

-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 and staff member, Leah Purcell shares a sorrow: " My mom passed peacefully in her sleep last Thursday morning. She was 85 years old and had been in decline this past year; then she contracted COVID and went into hospice. Friends and family have been a great support to me. The family will gather in Indianapolis when we can."

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 provides 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 friendsly “check in’s” from Caring Network members. Please reach out to the Caring Network if you need.
-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry (DREFM),

Survey for Parents and Caretakers About Summer RE Offerings
Leah Elizabeth and, the RE Council would like to hear from you and use your input for planning offerings for children, youth and families this summer. There are lots of possibilities, so we'll need your guidance. Even if your answer is “no thanks,” please fill out this survey  by Monday, June 1. 

RE Volunteer Appreciation :
Since we won't be able to thank our RE volunteers in person this year, we're inviting children and youth to contribute to a Thank You slide show in the service June 7 (NOTE CORRECTED DATE) We’re asking the children and youth to make a thank you sign. Then we’ll need your help – please take a picture of your kid(s) holding their sign(s) and send your picture to Liz Halvorsen by Wednesday, June 3 Liz will compile a slide show to go in the 6/7 service. This will be our Flower Communion and RE Celebration service. We won’t put the slide show in the recording of the service. 

Short Family Chapel Zoom
This is a time for children, youth, parents/caretakers and RE volunteers to gather for 10 -15 minutes while the first part of the Sunday service is happening. It will be a chance for us to see each other and check in. We’ll also have a chalice lighting and a meditation. The Zoom Family Chapel will be a separate Zoom meeting from the regular service. We’ll start at 10:05 and finish around 10:20. At that time you can join the Zoom meeting for the service or just move on with your day. If you join the service, you’ll be in time for joys and sorrows and the meditation, the story and the sermon. You might want to settle your children in with some quiet activity nearby if you want to hear the sermon.

Zoom Meeting for Family Chapel
Password: 4051842 (our address and the year the congregation was founded)
Dial in: 1 929 436 2866 Meeting ID: 931 0179 4118

Story Time - note changes
Tracey Hickey and Leah Purcell are taking turns readings chapter book. It's a great time for your child to jump on line with other children from Albany UU and start listening. We start with an opportunity for the children to check-in with how things are going for them; that has been really nice for the children.
  • Chapter books 7:00-7:30 pm Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays - geared for children in 2nd-6th grade. Tracey is reading The One and Only Bob
  • Short stories and Fairy Tales 7:00-7:30 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays

Open to people of all ages. Supervise your kids as you would at Coffee Hours; keep an eye on them, but you don't have to be right there all the time.

Zoom link to join:
Dial in: 1 929 436 2866 Meeting ID: 801 480 305
Password: 4051842 (our address and the year the congregation was founded)

7th and 8th Grade Check In - Sunday at Noon
This will be an informal time for the youth with 2 OWL facilitators (or 1 facilitator and me). No OWL content is being offered on line.

Zoom link to join:
Password: 4051842
Dial by phone: 1 929 436 2866 Meeting ID: 183 771 517

YoUUth Group Check Ins
Tracey Hickey and Leah host: ALBANY YOUUTH GROUP VIDEO CHATS. We are live at 8:00pm each Thursday and Sunday. If you have a Youth, please ask them to check their Gmail and tune in! The group is finalizing their plans for this week’s service tonight and celebrating on Sunday evening!
Inclusivity Team Recommends Authors of Color:

For adults:
I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A letter to my daughter. (2019). By David Chariandy.
Available in Audible, Kindle, and hardcover.

For children:
Thank You, Omu! (2018). By Oge Mora.
Available in Audible, Kindle, and hardcover.

For Everyone:
Hair Love (2019). An Oscar-winning short film by Matthew A. Cherry, based on the book Hair Love, by Matthew A. Cherry.
This movie is 7 minutes long, and is provided free to watch by Sony Pictures Animation:
Hair Love, the book, by Matthew A. Cherry (2019), is available free to borrow on Libby. It's also available in Audible and paperback.
UU Weekend at Silver Bay
October 16-18

The Silver Bay Conference and Family Retreat Center, which will host the UU Weekend has received multiple accolades:

Best Resort in the Adirondacks by Adirondack Life Readers’ Poll
Best Venue for a Reunion by Unique Venues Magazine
Best Lodging on Lake George in a poll conducted by 

Registration is now open. Register by June 7, 2020 to receive the lowest rates! Children under 6 are free with substantial discounts for older children and youth. Access the registration form here.

Note: We are currently experiencing a time of physical distancing and cancellations of group gatherings due to Covid-19. If the UU Weekend at Silver Bay is cancelled because of continued or reinstated restrictions, registered participants will receive a full refund. Learn more here .
Virtual Service Security
There's a new opportunity to volunteer! We've add a Zoom Waiting Room feature to our Sunday services as an extra layer of protection from the dreaded "zoombomber." W e need folks who would be willing to volunteer to help us provide virtual security on Sunday mornings. Tammy will provide a quick and simple training. Contact her if you'd like to learn more:

Gardening Volunteers
Do you have two hours to contribute to maintaining the gardens surrounding Albany UU? The Gardening Committee welcomes you to  sign up here , where you can select which week(s) you'd like to help. Volunteers often work in pairs. No experience necessary. For more information or to receive e-mail updates, please contact  Donna Meixne r or 518/439-5947.

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:

Publication deadlines
This is an important reminder that the news and article deadline for Windows Weekly is 9:00 AM on Monday. Thank you for your cooperation.

Sign up for an online class

- Send an email to:
Regular events and meetings

Many of these events and meetings will continue online, however dates and times may vary. Please contact the Team or Group Leader or email if you have questions.

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 Ps and Qs (June 10, 24)

10:00 AM      Philosophy Discussion (weekly)

1:00 PM       All Sides Considered (1st & 3rd)
6:30 PM       Board of Trustees (4th)
Going to miss a Sunday?

Online service are generally recorded

Sunday, May 24, watch it here

Sunday, May 17, watch it here

Building Justice, Equity and Compassion in Human Relations: A Trauma-Informed Perspective with Jaye Holly and Danisha Burnett-Bonner, May 17, watch it here

Sunday, May 10, watch it here

Sunday, May 3, watch it here

Partner Church slide show, watch it here

HMUU Join Service with Paula Cole Jones, Sunday, April 5, watch it here

Community of Communities workshop with Paula Cole Jones, watch it here

For previous services, before quarantine:
You can listen to the entire Albany UU Sunday service at home or on your mobile device. March 1 and 8 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 - when the building reopens: 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:
The Albany UU Office is closed during this time of physical distancing. Sam, Leah, Tammy and Sapphire have their messages forwarded to their personal cell phones and are available by email.


Zoom use
To reserve Zoom for an Albany UU online meeting, 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 | |