Windows Weekly December 6, 2018
Albany UU Windows Weekly
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 9, “Mystery: Of the Conception,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
Christians believe that Jesus was conceived through a divine interaction that happened between Mary and God. This was an acceptable idea at the time, less true today because of what we now know about how reproduction works. Can the story still be true even though the science says it can’t? Can UU’s hail Mary as full of Grace?

Music: Guest artist, soprano, Savannah Gordon
The hymns we will be singing are:

HYMN 126 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
HYMN 226 “People Look East”
HYMN 256 “Winter Night”
HYMN 130 “O Liberating Rose”

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

December's theme: Mystery

December 16, “Mystery: Of the Skit”
Our multigenerational Christmas pageant!
Just about every Christmas pageant has a few mistakes and miscues. The costumes are non-optimal. The animal hats look a little funny. Yet, in some mysterious way, it still almost unfailingly moves people deeply as they gather together with their children to reenact Jesus’ birth.

Music: Albany UU Choir and String Quartet led by Richard Porterfield

December 23, “Mystery: Lessons and Carols,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
Join us on an interpretive journey through lessons, readings and carols about Christmas. This approach was inspired by the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, celebrated for the past 100 years in the Chapel of King’s College in Cambridge.

Music: Seasonal Carols 

(Monday) December 24, “Mystery: Of the Song,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
Candlelight Christmas Eve Services (6:00 and 8:00 PM, in the Sanctuary)
This is the 200th Anniversary of the song Silent Night.  The song powerfully engages the mystery of why God would choose this time, this place, and this child to be God’s agent in the world to bring a message to us. Our response will not be analysis, not be skepticism but rather wonder, awe and gratitude.

Music: Albany UU Choir led by Richard Porterfield with Chris Jensen, associate conductor; music of Daquin, Victoria, and Vader & Rouse

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.

Music: Guest artist, Virginia Reed


Give Away the Plate
All contributions in the plate this Sunday, Dec. 9 will be given to SHARE (Sheridan Hollow Alliance for Renewable Energy), a 501©(3) organization, unless otherwise marked. If you write a check, make it payable to NY Climate Advocacy Project. Checks for your pledge should be made payable to Albany UU, and have "pledge" written on the memo line. As always, envelopes will be available for cash contributions that you want to earmark toward a specific fund or pledge.

SHARE’s mission is to stop the State’s proposed fracked gas power plant in the nearby Sheridan Hollow neighborhood, and to compel a renewable energy alternative. Funds are needed so that SHARE can continue to conduct forums at neighborhood churches to garner community support. SHARE co-chairs, Merton D. Simpson, Jr., Albany County Legislator (District 2) and Ruth Foster, Board member of Stop New York Fracked Gas Pipeline (SNYFGP) will be available on Sunday to tell us more.

New art on our wall!
Visit Channing Hall to view art by the Albany Artists Group (AAG). AAG was formed in 1945 in the Capitol region to help advance the graphic and plastic arts of the community. Enjoy!

Mystery donor
A lion embroidery and a needlepoint picture of a clown and children's toys were donated to the craft fair. We don't know who made them. Please send a message to  and identify yourself so we can thank you.

Holiday Bazaar
Visit the Holiday Bazaar table in Channing Hall after the service this Sunday, Dec. 9. There are many beautiful handmade gifts and ornaments remaining and new items have been added. We earned over $600 last week. Come shop and help us reach our $1000 goal!

There are still a few apple and pumpkin pies available for your eating pleasure! Please see Sandy Stone after the service to purchase one or two. They are frozen so you can keep one for future enjoyment.

UU Humanists 
Albany UU Humanists usually meet on the third Tuesday of the month however there will be no meeting in December . The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 at 7 PM in Room B-8 at Albany UU. Find additional information here .

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, Sanctuary

9:45 AM
- Nursery/Toddler Rooms open

10:00 AM
- Sunday Service, Community Hall
- Family Chapel
- Programs for Youth

11:00 AM
- Coffee Hour, Channing Hall
- Holiday Bazaar/Soup and Pie Sale

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
Religious Exploration - What Does It Mean To Be A People of Mystery?
Our Soul Matters partners are helping us to explore the theme of Mystery in the month of December.

Unitarian Universalists love puzzles. When explaining our faith tradition to others, we often lift up our 4 th Principle - A free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Or to put it another way, we love figuring out life’s mysteries.

But what if mystery isn’t just something to figure out? The first of our six sources we affirm for our personal and spiritual growth is direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.

What if it’s also something to be listened to? Being a people of mystery is also about allowing yourself to be spoken to by life’s wonder. Perhaps the best way for mystery to speak is to allow ourselves to be caught off guard. UU humanist minister and poet, David Breeden, captures this beautifully when he writes,

I dug and dug

Deeper into the earth

Looking for blue heaven

Choking always

On piles of dust rising

Then once

At midnight

I slipped

And fell into the sky

Slipping, and then falling into the sky. Is there a better way to describe our dance with mystery? That sitting at the heart of mystery is not the unknown, but unity. Its voice is one that whispers, “I am you and you are me.” Mystery doesn’t put up barriers; it dissolves them. Haven’t all of us faced the wonder and mystery of a sunset, the stars, a baby’s cry or a lover’s wet kiss and thought to ourselves, “Who I am does not end at the barrier of my skin”?

So many opportunities to slip into the sky and let it slip into us. Let’s put down all the puzzling and the figuring out. With the love and support of our community, let’s put aside our puzzling just long enough to notice that life isn’t simply trying to challenge us. It’s also trying to connect with us.

 In December, we’ll offer many opportunities for you to join in community as we celebrate and experience the holidays. The holiday tree decorating is at coffee hour this Sunday, Dec. 9; our service with the pageant on the 16 th will invite everyone into the mystery of love and the birth of a baby; the Solstice Celebration on the afternoon of Dec. 22 will honor the return of the sun with noise and energy; we’ll join together for the Sunday service on Dec. 23 to sing songs and listen to stories; the candlelight services on Christmas eve invites us to engage in mystery and peace; we’ll have an all ages play day in Sunday school on Dec. 30 to help the children and youth engage in fun, gratitude and friendship.

In this season of the light of hope and the peace of darkness, I hope you’ll join us. May both big celebrations and small ordinary moments invite you to “fall into the sky” and may those experiences of mystery offer deep meaning in your life.

Yours in faith,


More from our blogs:

Calendar of Holiday Events

Sunday, Dec. 9
11:00 am  Holiday Bazaar , Channing
                Tree Decorating , Channing
11:30 am  Pageant Rehearsal , Community Hall

Sunday, Dec. 16
10:00 am  Multigen service with the Pageant , Community Hall
1:00 pm  Caroling

Saturday, Dec. 22
4:00 pm  Multigen Winter Solstice Celebration , Channing

Sunday, Dec. 23
10:00 am  Multigen Christmas service , Community Hall
11:00 am Holiday Music Jam! Channing

Monday, Dec. 24
6:00 pm  Candlelight Christmas Eve service , Sanctuary
7:00 pm  Cookie Reception , Channing
8:00 pm  Candlelight Christmas Eve service , Sanctuary

Welcome New Members!
On Sunday, Nov. 6 we welcomed six new members to Albany UU!!
Mark Schiesser lives in Poestenkill. He was educated at Averill Park High School and Hudson Valley Community College.

Mark served 10 years in the Air National Guard, doing logistics work. He was deployed to Afghanistan. He also deployed to Antarctica and Greenland to support the National Science Foundation in Operation Deep Freeze.

Over the years, Mark has also been a film processor, a forklift driver, a purchasing agent, a delivery driver, a photographer, a magazine editor and a newspaper reporter.

He is currently an accountant for the Albany Treasury.

Jeffrey Sedam first visited Albany UU in the summer of 2017. As he got acquainted with the church he found the opportunity to meet other people by joining the skit group for the annual dinner.
Jeffrey said:

"I just found so many small gifts of kindness, and compassion from folks I just met, so I knew I wanted to join.

Jeffrey is an artist by training and works for the University Art Museum, a contemporary art gallery on the SUNY campus. He has two sons, both in college, is an avid cat person and enjoys riding his motorcycle.
Jeannie Thompson is extremely relieved to be at Albany UU. After a long long time in fundamentalist Christianity, born to parents attending a Baptist seminary in Texas, ending with fleeing an abusive missionary husband, in 2009 Jeannie started detoxing from the mess.

Jeannie was happy to attend Silver Bay and has met a great group of people here at Albany UU.

Both Jeannie and her trans daughter Thalia are huggers, while both Jeannie and her son Caleb feel safer with a dictionary close at hand.

Her fulltime job of managing multiple medical conditions gets in the way of kayaking, hiking and finally finishing her BA at Empire State College. She'll do it, as well as writing the many books she's hoped and planned on for years.

Jeannie lives in Poestenkill with her adult kids, and her housemate Linda. They all insist that the goats stay outside.
Saurabh Tendulkar is originally from Mumbai, India, and has called the Albany area his home for 21 years. He is a mechanical engineer who develops engineering software for a living.

He has two children, a 10 year old boy and a 7 year old girl, whom he shares custody with their mother. He enjoys gardening, fishing, running and reading.

After his separation, a friend told Saurabh how Albany UU may meet his needs for community. He then started attending Sam's Sunday morning meditation sessions and staying for services. From day one he felt extremely warm and welcome and the church's beliefs match his own. He decided to become a member earlier this year so he could be part of and grow with this wonderful community.
Todd vonHausen comes to Albany UU as a UU from the Saratoga congregation. A former teacher of French, Latin and Spanish at various schools in the Capital Region, Todd now works at a premier men's clothing store. An avid learner, he has once again found himself in the classroom, this time as a student of Russian at the University of Albany. Todd loves dogs and cites as one of the greatest joys in his life having raised twenty-one Newfoundland puppies.

Erik vonHausen comes from a family with deep spiritual roots. His great uncle was the Episcopal Bishop of Delaware in the 1970's. Erik has a theological education from Gordon College and he is happy to have found his way to Albany UU where none of that is particularly important. Erik is presently employed as a cook and he is relearning the process of deep listening as co-facilitator of a Wellspring group.
Budget Requests due Sunday, January 6, 2019
Yes, it’s time once again 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.
Invitation to a conversation
The Albany UU Board of Trustees has announced its intention to involve the congregation in a discussion of "What would it look like for Albany UU to be a good neighbor?" Its announcement stated that the Board believes that a sharper focus and greater intentionality will allow our congregation to make a more significant positive impact "on our community, our neighbors, and the world." 

Over the past year, the Governance Work Group has been talking with the Board about a new vision of how our congregation will govern itself, one that will enable the Board to focus on such important questions about our future.

The Governance Working Group has also been meeting with several committees and individuals as it works on this new governance structure. We now invite everyone to a presentation about what we have done so far. This Sunday, Dec. 9 at 11:30 AM following the Service, we will meet in Room B-8 with everyone interested. We also want to hear comments and questions from everyone.  Please come to hear a brief presentation, followed by a Q & A with the Governance Working Group.
Game Night and Potluck
The Religious Education Council will host a Game Night and Potluck on Friday, Dec. 7 . Potluck dinner starts at 6 PM. Games start at around 6:30 PM. Find more information here .

Holiday Tree decorating
Sunday, Dec. 9, during Coffee Hour
Join in the making of simple ornaments and decorations to decorate the tree in Channing Hall. You can also bring an ornament to donate to the tree.

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. Bring your favorite dish to share and a small contribution to cover beverages. We will discuss Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the F.B.I. , By David Grann. Find more information here .

Solstice Celebration
Saturday, Dec. 22, 4:00 pm, Channing Hall
All are welcome - this is an event that children can join in. Bring drums and noisemakers if you have them. Bring finger food, if you're able, for our gathering afterwards.

 Holiday Music Jam!
The annual Albany UU Holiday Music Jam will take place on Dec. 23 during coffee hour.  The event is multi-generational, multi-level, and multi-instrumental. Learn more here .
Goodie Bags!
Check out members of our Caring Network putting together Holiday Goodie Bags for members of our congregation who might need a treat!

Thank you to all involved and to Todd Thomas, the Caring Network Chair, who organized it all!
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!

We also need volunteers for our Christmas Eve Candlelight services! We will need a lead usher, 2 support ushers, and a greeter for both the 6:00 PM and the 8:00 PM service. You can sign up at Sunday Hospitality Sign Up t o sign up or let Sapphire in the office know of your interest: Thank you!
-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education (RE) and Family Ministry,

Keep up with what's happening for children and youth Includes resources to support parents and caretakers at home by checking out Leah's RE Newsletter!

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

This is a regular session of Sunday school groups this week

Children in grades Pre-k through grade 7  will start in the service in Community Hall with their families and go to their regular groups

Youth in Grade 8 and up meet for their groups starting at 10:00

Note that the groups for children in grade 5 and younge r will go to Channing Hall at 11:00 for tree decorating.

Parents/caretakers of children in grade 3 and younge r , please let your child’s group leader know when you arrive in the hall, so they know you have supervision of your children.

Our group leaders need help making your child feel welcome. Please have your child stop by the cart in the hallway for their name button. If you're new or visiting and haven't registered your child yet, please go to the Welcome Table in the lobby to make a paper name tag. 

P ageant Rehearsal this Sunday, 12/9
Each year we enact the story of Christmas with children and youth taking the roles of Mary and Joseph, royalty, barn animals, sheep, shepherds, and angels. Some are speaking parts; some are not. We also need 1 or 2 narrators.
There are still lots of parts, so even if you were not able to come to part selection last week, if your child/youth is interested in participating in the pageant as part of the service on Dec 16 – please plan to come to the rehearsal from 11:45 to about 12:45 in Community Hall.

Multigen Pot Luck and Game Night Friday, Dec 7 starting at 5:30.  Sign up if you can – “walk ins” are most welcome too.

Last Sunday in Family Chapel we talked about the   Guest at Your Table   program.  Every year our Unitarian Universalist Service Committee works to help people in and working on difficult situations. This year they are working with groups supporting organizations that are helping asylum seekers, those people traveling to the US for safety. In Sunday school last week, the children who are the youngest in their family received a Guest at Your Table Box. Many people in our congregation and  all over the country put a Guest at Your Table boxes on their dining table at home. Every time you have some money you’d like to donate money to our Unitarian Universalist Service Committee you can put it in this box. In January, you’ll bring the box back to Albany UU and I’ll send all the money to the UU Service Committee. 
If your family did not attend last week - no worries! I put a box in the classrooms with the name of the youngest child on it. So if your youngest child didn't pick it up last week, it's waiting for them there this week. 
Or you can print out   this template  to make your own Guest at Your Table box.  
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email

SRC Recommends the following:

GSC Forum
Thursday, Dec. 6 (that's tonight!) talk on Solar by Dr. Perez in the Community room at 7PM There will be refreshments and other solar representatives to discuss how to generate your own solar energy for homes, apartments, any living place and save money on your electric bill.

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.
Troy City Council Meeting with Sanctuary City status on the agenda, Thursday, Dec. 6, 7PM (that's tonight!), City Hall at 433 River Street, Troy. ICE-Free Capital District and other supporters of sanctuary will gather at 6:15 in the parking area behind 431 River Street (Education Opportunity Center), which is next door to City Hall. The council meeting will be in City Hall at 433 River Street, Troy, at 7PM.

Sin Embargo/ Never The Less , a powerful, Multi-Award winning film of how Cuban inventiveness has defied the 58-year-old USA-imposed embargo, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7PM, 160 Central Ave. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Albany Cuba Solidarity. View the flyer here.

Inclusivity Recommends
Soweto Gospel Choir
Songs of the Free - in honor of Nelson Mandela's 100th Birthday
South Africa's Most Heavenly Voices
Presented by The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
December 6, 2018 at 7:30pm (that's tonight!)

The Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in Soweto, South Africa, in 2002. The more than 30-member ensemble blends elements of African gospel, Negro spirituals, reggae, and American popular music. The group sings in English and eight South African languages, including Xhosa, famous for its clicking sounds, and they are dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences around the world.
Green Sanctuary's Tip of the Week!
Practicing Our Seventh Principle:
This time of year we all get way to many catalogs. To cancel them you can go to and set up an account. Then you can easily cancel catalogs. The site is run by the organization "the Story of Stuff". They work to reduce over-consumption.
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.

Jacqui Williams has had her knee successfully replaced and continues to recover at home. Cards and phone calls would be appreciated: 8 Grandview Terrace, Albany, NY 12202; 518-764-1130

Judy Gallagher , who was active at Albany UU during John Corrado's ministry, has returned to Albany. Judy had surgery for lung cancer on Nov. 30 and she is recovering well. We wish her the best!

Peter and Thelma Gerdine would like to share that their grandson, Cameron, was named an All-American high school soccer player and is headed to Clarkson in the fall.

The Hathaway Family would like to express their deep gratitude for the outpouring of love and support after their chimney fire. A special thank you to the Caring Network for washing five trash bags of laundry!! Says Tammy, "We truly have so much to be grateful for and Albany UU is right at the top of that list!"

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.
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 (3rd)
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
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 | |