Windows Weekly December 10, 2020

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.

Please note, the Daily Reminder was not sent out this morning since there were no events to remind folks about today. Everything you need to know is right here in the Weekly. Daily Reminders will continue tomorrow morning. Thank you!

Also, you may see announcements in this publication more than once. That is with intent and to ensure that items don't get missed as folks scroll through. Thank you for your understanding.

If this email was forwarded to you, and you would like to receive it directly, please sign up here.

Learn more about what's happening with UU Kids and Families by reading the Religious Education publication, RE Roundup.

-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.

Albany UU will be an inclusive, welcoming congregation. Our sacred work is to lift hearts, broaden minds and do justice in the world, in service of building beloved community.

As a congregation with respect for our past and commitment to the future, we draw from the depth and power of our hearts and minds, guided by our Unitarian Universalist principles, to serve our mission and vision. We celebrate the diversity of our identities and experiences, and foster a culture of appreciation, inspiration, and kindness. We honor both the strength of the collective and uniqueness of the individual, willing to support and challenge each other with love and compassion. We entrust ourselves to each other in beloved community, to embolden personal and congregational growth and transformation.
10:00 am

Dec 13, “Nature’s Stillness,” Rev Sam Trumbore
The trees stand naked without their covering of greenery. Snowbirds have taken flight. The crickets chirp no more. The land feels lifeless as the frost comes, the water freezes and the snowflakes fly. Yet under the soil, resting under rocks and hidden in caves, life still persists.

Music provided by special guest Mark Abendroth; and Elena Karpoff

Use this link to join Sunday service:

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

Join us for Family Chapel for Children and Families at 11:30 AM
Winter Solstice - The story will be “The Rebirth of the Sun” Focusing on our 3rd and 7th Principles

Use this link to join:

To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID 843 1034 5197
Password: 4051842

Albany UU Virtual Services - Live via Zoom
Main Service at 10:00 AM, Children's Service at 11:30 AM
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - 7:30 PM, rebroadcast at 10:00 PM

Begin your Sunday morning with Rev. Sam guiding an 8:30 Virtual Meditation session until 9:15 (see below under Upcoming Ways to Connect for more info). We then have Virtual Service beginning at 10:00 each Sunday and a chance to stay online for virtual "Coffee Hour" followed by RE for ALL, at 11:30.

Use this link to join Sunday service:

To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866:
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000
Dec 20, Our Multigenerational Christmas Service with the Pageant: Love Always Comes
In a year like no other, we have adapted our Christmas pageant to use the resources available to us to enact the traditional story of love being born into the world. The congregations of Albany UU and the UU Congregation of Saratoga springs will join together for this service. Your presence will make it come to life. 

Music provided by Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and Randy Rosette

THURSDAY, Dec 24Christmas Eve Service
(7:30pm with repeat broadcast at 10:00pm)
Join us to hear your favorite Christmas carols, enjoy some heartwarming stories, light candles and sing Silent Night together. Though we will not be able to be in the Sanctuary, we’ll have some video from it and enjoy two moving virtual choir pieces. It will not be the same as being physically present together but the spirit of Christmas will not be stopped on this holy evening. (Use the service link.)

Music provided by special guests AUU Virtual Choir, Chris Bystroff; and Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and
Randy Rosette

Dec 27, "Stillness - and the Opportunity to Build Love and Community," Guest Speaker, Janice Gallagher
In a year when so many of us have had more time to be alone, seeing stillness as an opportunity - to love ourselves and those we are closest to; to intentionally build loving connections and community - can be challenging. What are the opportunities hidden within (sometimes involuntary imposed) stillness for ourselves and our world?

Janice Gallagher is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University-Newark. She conducted more than two years of fieldwork in Mexico and Colombia, and previously worked as a human rights accompanier in Colombia. Janice holds a PhD in Government from Cornell University and an MA in teaching from Brown University. She is the daughter of long-time Albany UU members Emily and Jay Gallagher.

Music provided by special guest Tanya Hotalen; and Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and Randy Rosette

Sunday Service Information

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. Not familiar with Zoom? Our minister, Rev. Sam Trumbore will give you a brief tutorial.

Use this link to join the Sunday service:

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

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.

Adult RE for ALL, Sunday Offering and other Information

For more information about Sunday service, Zoom, Adult RE for ALL, Sunday Offering, and other important Sunday morning details, check out our Sunday at a Glance page here.
You're Invited to Albany UU's
Holiday Events!

**Here's a link to a downloadable and printable PDF with live links to all of the holiday events listed below**

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:

By phone: 1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000

Adult RE 11:30 AM on Sundays
Conversational Response: This is your opportunity to reflect with the Sunday service presenter on what the service has elicited from you and listen to the responses of others. Learn more here.

Use this link to join all 11:30 AM adult RE offerings (we use breakout rooms):
Meeting ID: 518-366-4532
Password: 4051842

Inclusivity Team Meeting
Sunday, Dec 13, 11:45 AM
All are welcome to attend

Use the service link to join:

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

Walker Book Group 
Join the Walker Book Group for a Zoom discussion on Sunday, Dec 13 at 6:30 pm. We will discuss Akin by Emma Donoghue. Directions for joining the meeting will be placed in the Daily Reminders. Learn more here.

Use this link to join:
To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866:
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000

Something New!
Free Monday Morning concerts with Alyssa Yeager to connect and refresh. Featuring originals and your favorite 50s-60s folk rock. Mondays at 10:45 AM on and 
All are welcome, you WON'T be on camera, and engaging in the chat is encouraged.

Philosophy Group
At 10:15 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:

By phone: 1-929-436-2866 
Meeting ID: 987 7102 4708
Password: 0000

The 2020 Election: What Happened? Where do we go from here?
Tuesday, Dec 15, 7:00 PM
Featuring Dr. Bruce Miroff, Professor and Collins Fellow Political Science, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. Sponsored by the Albany UU Green Sanctuary Committee.

Use this link to join

By phone: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Passcode: 0000

Ps and Qs
Projects and Quilts (Ps and Qs) will zoom next on Wednesday, Dec 16 at 10:00 AM.

Use this link to join:

By phone: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000

Connect with Three
The best way to feel connected in our congregation is to meet people and get to know them. Connect With Three randomly matches you with another person for a 15 minute conversation three times. The conversation can be free form or guided by questions centered on our theme of the month, “Stillness” for December, depending on each pairing’s desires. At the end of an hour, you’ll have had three interesting conversations and met or renewed connections with three people.

Wednesdays, Dec 16 and 23, 4:30-5:30pm

No reservations required, just show up! 

Use this link to join:

By phone: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000

Albany UU Sings
Join your friends and sing your heart out in Virtual Community! We will supply the music and the lyrics.
Save these Wednesday dates at 7:00 PM for the rest of the the service year:
Dec 16; January 6, 20; February 3, 17; March 3, 24; April 7, 21; May 12, 26; June 9
Hope to see you there.

Use this link to join:

By phone: 1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 979 5961 1765
Passcode: 0000

Virtual Circle Dinner
Stay connected with your longtime friends and make new ones at the next Albany UU Virtual Circle Dinner, Friday December 18 from 6 to 8:30 PM. You will join a group of 5-7 for conversation -- over dinner, as you choose! Sign up by emailing by Thursday December 17 to receive a zoom link to the event.  Please include “Virtual Circle Dinner” in the subject line of your email. 

Virtual Solstice Service: The Longest Night
Sunday, Dec 20, 4:30 PM
With shared song and story and silence, we will join together online to open ourselves to the blessings of the longest night and the return of the light. This online service will be centered in a religious naturalist

Use this link to join:

Albany UU "Singing for THEIR Supper" Holiday Concert 
Monday, Dec 21, 7:00-8:30 PM 
Enjoy an evening of varied seasonal music from many of your favorite Albany UU musicians and friends. Over a dozen featured vocalists and/or instrumentalists! Free will donation during the event will benefit the FOCUS Food Pantry and the many people they serve. Learn more here.

Use this link to join:

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

Multigenerational Game Night
Monday, Dec 28, 6:30 PM
Join us for some time together for fun and games on Zoom. We’ll start with some “getting to know you” activities and then have two or three breakout rooms with different games. Email Mike Myers at with questions and to let him know by Dec 27 if you’re coming. Learn more here.

Use this link to join:

New Year’s Day Labyrinth Walk
Friday, Jan 1, 2020 - 10:00 AM
Join your Albany UU friends and families to start 2021 with movement and meditation in the fresh air. We’ll create a simple labyrinth in Lincoln Park using natural materials. Bring sticks or small branches, pebbles, vines, and perhaps a bough from your tree. Everyone is welcome! (Eagle St entrance to Lincoln Park; park by the pool house; use the steps or ramp across from the pool house entrance to enter the Park “Bowl” and find the labyrinth.) Masks required. Learn more here.


What is Guest at Your Table?
Guest at Your Table (GAYT) is Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about key human rights issues. Since UUSC works in more than 20 countries, with over 60 grassroots partners, there are thousands of individuals involved in and who benefit from the work that our members make possible. The program is an opportunity to celebrate grassroots partnership, support human rights, and learn about just four of these individuals – the “guests” in Guest at Your Table.

We learn about these guests through written descriptions called “Stories of Hope”. This year the UUSC has created a video about each leader as well as a written description. You can download the videos and descriptions here.

How can I send in my donation?
You can download this template to make your own Guest at Your Table box to put on your meal table at home. Many families and households like to include a time before dinner to remember their guests. Often children and household members put coins in the box. This year we’ll ask you to count up the money you collect and send it directly to the UUSC. Please send in your donation by January 25th.

There are two ways to send your donation to the UUSC this year.

1.   This year the UUSC has set up a donation page for us. The donation page is a bit like a GoFundMe in that we can can see the donation totals in real time. Be sure to click the “Make donation anonymous” button under your name if you want your name and amount to be anonymous. Find our unique donation page on our website here.

2.   If you prefer, you can mail in a check to UUSC, PO Box 808, Newark, NJ 07101-0808. Make it out to UUSC and write “First UU Society of Albany GAYT” in the memo line. That way your donation by check will be tallied in our overall total.

How can I learn more?

You can check out the Guest at Your Table page at the UUSC website.

Guest at Your Table will be the focus of Brunch Church on Dec 6th at 11:30. All are welcome. Contact Leah Purcell at for the link to join or if you have questions.

Board Notes for December

At its November meeting, your Board approved a modified budget to guide us through the rest of this fiscal year which ends in June.

Why we needed a modified budget.
The budget approved last Spring assumed we would be able to open our building in January and secure half a year of rentals and hold our major fund-raiser — the auction. As with many of our personal plans, the virus felt no need to accommodate us. Once it was clear that we could not safely open in January, the Finance Committee (FC) and the Ministries and Operations Team (MOT) set to work to see how we could address a shortfall of about $40,000 less revenue than originally expected.

Where does one find $40,000?
After first looking at how our expenses changed as a result of having a closed building, we incorporated substantial savings from such items as utilities and maintenance into the new budget. Expenses were also trimmed to reflect programmatic changes resulting from a closed building. Specifically, the decision to forgo the hiring of a music director at this time, the reduction in Sexton and Childcare time and the resulting decrease in payroll taxes. Similarly, savings were possible in administrative expenses. A silver lining of the need for electronic services is that guest speakers and musicians no longer need travel expenses. A thorough review of these, not always obvious, savings allowed the FC & MOT to accommodate the loss of income without affecting the viability of our core programming. Yes, things are not the same during an epidemic, but we can still continue to function at a very high level. The Board approved the recommended budget and we are able to continue building the world we would all like to live in.

If you have any questions or would like a copy of the new budget, please contact Reese Satin, Treasurer at 518.380.0251.

More from our Blogs:

Interview with Viola Davis
Davis shares her perspective on growing up in poverty, the challenges of being real and a black woman in the arts, surviving the white-centrist culture of the movie industry and its stereotypes, and creating new opportunities in the industry.

Our Inclusivity Team is offering resources for our ongoing education and reflection to address white supremacy culture at Albany UU. Are you finding that you have some time for reading and watching videos these days? Consider settling in with these titles by authors of color to help you become familiar with a diversity of human experiences.

For adults and older youth:
The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo. (2018). Do you wonder what 15-year-olds have on their minds these days? The National Book Award, Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpre Award all grace this written-in-verse-novel about Xiomara Batista, a teenage girl living in Harlem. Xiomara secretly expresses her thoughts on friendship, sexual orientation, her changing feelings, her immigrant parents, her twin brother, her teachers, and her family's religion, all in her poetry notebook. Available in hard copy, CD audiobook, and downloadable digital and audiobook formats in the Upper Hudson Library System.

Plan Ahead for Virtual GA
General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists. In 2021, GA will again be all-virtual, held June 23-27.  Consider participating in this inspiring, educational, challenging and joyful gathering! Mark your calendar now and check for more information.

“Circle 'Round for Justice, Healing, Courage” is the theme for GA 2021. Interested individuals are invited to submit a Program Proposal. Proposals are due in two phases. Phase 1: Due January 15. Phase 2: Due January 29.
You can register for GA and also find out how to volunteer on the UUA website.

Anyone interested in setting up a Slack channel for chatting on Sunday mornings?
The staff has been hearing different needs from congregants about using the chat box during the Sunday morning service. We use it to share info for Joys and Sorrows. And some people also chat about the various elements of the service at other times. But some people find the chats to be distracting – even the pop ups when the chat is minimized. And the chat is often disabled during the sermon. Other people might want to chat about the sermon in real time. An alternative might be to use a Slack channel. If you’re savvy about Slack and would like to set up a channel for Albany UU, contact Leah Purcell at

The Albany UU Social Responsibilities Council (SRC) and Inclusivity Team recommend a Black Lives Matter vigil in Troy:
When: Saturday, 12/12/20, 10:30-11:00 am
Where: Troy, corner of River Street at the intersection of Fulton and Third Streets
  • physical distance, masks
  • signs only, no chanting (except for meditative religious practice)
  • all weather

The purpose is two-fold:
  1. to express that Black Lives Matter
  2. to embolden white people to act against racism

To ensure safety as much as we can, we are working under these agreements as a provisionary covenant:
  • We carry signs with the same message: "Black Lives Matter," or "Stand Against Racism."
  • We limit our positive responses to a thumbs-up or a wave.
  • We do not respond to any negative reactions, such as heckling.
  • The police officers at the farmers market (across the street) will be notified that there is a gathering.
  • One person, not holding a sign, will be designated to take photos of license plates of anyone who is inappropriate.
  • We all leave at the end of the vigil, and people leave together.
  • If friends join us, we advise them of the measures above.

If you can’t or don’t want to join standing, you are invited to drive by and wave or honk encouragement.

Another Way to Help Sheridan Prep
Do you have an old laptop computer that's just sitting in a drawer? If so, it may be possible to give it new life as a "Chromebook," to be used by a student for virtual learning. Sheridan Preparatory Academy is seeking such laptops to supplement their limited supply of Chromebooks. As you know, many of the students in this school are from families without the resources to buy a computer. Many are having to compete with their siblings for time on a single district-supplied Chromebook. A donated laptop will allow students to learn more effectively from home.

While an old laptop may be too slow to run the latest Windows or Mac software, Chromebooks need less internal computing power because they move most of the computation to the "cloud" (i.e., web-based programs). By replacing the old operating system with the Chromebook system, one can often obtain adequate performance for video conferencing and virtual learning.

David Musser has recently done such conversions of a few laptops, using software called CloudReady. Not all of the conversions have been successful, but here's what I've learned about what makes a good candidate laptop:

- is no more than about 10 years old and runs some version of Windows or MacOS;

- is a full laptop, as opposed to a netbook (which usually doesn't have enough memory or is too slow for video conferencing);

- has no obvious physical defects such as a dead screen or inoperable keys on the keyboard;

- has a camera, although we may be able to supply a USB webcam to go with it if necessary.

So if you have such a laptop, or an actual Chromebook, and would be willing to donate it to the school, please email David Musser ( to make arrangements for the donation. If it turns out not to be suitable, he can either return it to you or take it to Staples for recycling, whichever you prefer.

One other thing: you don't have to worry about your personal data, since the conversion process first wipes the hard drive. Or, if it's taken to Staples, they promise to wipe or destroy the drive.

-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry (DREFM),

-Elizabeth Baldes, Religious Education Coordinator,

Family Chapel this Sunday at 11:30
This is a time for all the children, youth, their parents/caregivers and their guides in grades 8 and younger. This week we’ll hear a Solstice Story – The Rebirth of the Sun. RE Groups will meet separately in break out rooms after Family Chapel.

Join us Sunday at 11:30 am
Meeting ID 843 10

Coming of Age
Youth and mentors meet with Leah this Sunday at 12:30
Meeting ID: 843 1034 5197
Your assignment and other info is at our Padlet

Thank you for supporting our Coming of Age Program through your poinsettia purchase!
We raised $342 towards the cost of our virtual trip this year – attending General Assembly. Thank you!

The Pageant Will Be Part of the Dec 20 Service
Many thanks to the children who took roles for the Christmas pageant and braved recording it on Zoom this year. Many thanks also go to their parents/caretakers who supported them on the Zoom meeting, to Rev Sam for his technical work and for editing to put it all together, and to Elizabeth Baldes for rewriting the script for a zoom format. 

I hope you’ll come to the multigenerational service on Dec 20 when we’ll “air” the pageant. We’re having a joint service with the UU Congregation of Saratoga Springs because this year Albany UU welcomed the Saratoga families to join our online RE program. The cast of the pageant has children from both congregations in it.

Families, Please Join The Treehouse; it’s our own multigenerational community
Celebrating the theme for December of Stillness, you’ll find a video about how to meditate as well as a link to our Soulful Home packet on the theme of Stillness, and posts about local events, movies, and books. Everyone - parents/caretakers, children and youth can share their written thoughts, pictures, videos they make. And this is where the guides keep resources for the Crossing Paths group; the 8th Grade Book Club and Coming of Age. Click here to join

Parents/caretakers can find resources in the RE Roundup this week.
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.

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, Phil Rich, Randy Rosette, Sandy Stone, 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 friendly “check in’s” from Caring Network members. Please reach out to the Caring Network.

Essential Building Use Guidelines:
Find more information about our Building Use Guidelines during COVID HERE.

Learn about submitting announcements to for our virtual Sunday service and how to reserve a Zoom room for meetings and events here.

Other important resources, guidelines and information can be found on the Resource Page of our website, here.

Virtual Service Ushers - It's never too late to volunteer!
This is a great opportunity to volunteer on a Sunday morning! Ushers are needed on Sunday mornings to help provide a welcoming, safe and enjoyable virtual experience. We need folks who would be willing to volunteer to help. Tammy will provide a quick and simple training. PLEASE contact her if you'd like to learn more:

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

Most of these events and meetings 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)

10:15 AM      Philosophy Discussion (weekly)

10:00 AM     Ps and Qs (alternating)
7:00 PM     Albany UU Sings (alternating)

6:30 PM       Board of Trustees (4th)
Going to miss a Sunday?

Online service is generally recorded

Sunday, Dec 6 watch it here.

Sunday, Nov 29 watch it here.

Sunday, Nov 22 watch it here.

Sunday, Nov 15 watch it here.

Sunday, Nov 8 watch it here.

For previous services, pre-pandemic:
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 | |