Windows Weekly October 31, 2019
Albany UU Windows Weekly
Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. Have a happy, safe and hopefully dry Halloween. 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
November 3,“Having The Conversation,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

For many people, a conversation with an older relative about end of life choices can be awkward and very hard to initiate. It can be just as hard to start that conversation with a child or even grandchild when one is feeling fine. Yet people’s health status can change quickly in ways that make that conversation very difficult if not impossible. Just how do we get ready to have “ The  Conversation?”

Music: Ann Brandon,  piano;  Guest violists- Chris Bystroff and Jora Cohen 

NOTE: Our service will be in the Sanctuary this Sunday and Mindfulness Meditation will be in Room B-8.

10:00 am

November 10 “The Cost of Homelessness” Rev. Sam Trumbore

Housing insecurity has many costs. All of us as a society may be paying a much higher cost than we realize. The highest costs though can’t be measured in dollars. They are measured in costs to our moral and ethical principles, to the Beloved Community we seek to create here and now, and to the next generation of children mired in poverty.

Music: Choir, Ann Brandon, piano
November 17, “Transgender Day of Remembrance,” Dan Miyake

This service is in recognition of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, or TDOR, which was first held in 1999. That initial observance was a vigil held in response to the tragic 1998 murder of Rita Hester, an outspoken transgender woman from Boston. It also commemorated all those who were killed due to anti-transgender violence and those transgender individuals who committed suicide that year. Now an annual observance, TDOR has become an international event, with services of remembrance happening around the globe.

Music: Choir, Ann Brandon, piano

November 24, “Thanksgiving And the Platinum Rule,” Dan Miyake, Rev. Sam Trumbore
What would have happened if the Pilgrims had been able to learn enough about the Wampanoag to treat them as they wished to be treated? The Pilgrims got a powerful lesson in hospitality and generosity from these indigenous folks as they celebrated that first harvest together. This is the special Sunday when Rev. Sam makes mini-corn muffins to share Sunday morning during the service.

Music: Helderberg Madrigals with Randy Rosette, piano



Trick or Treating for UNICEF
The Children are invited to come on Sunday in their Halloween costumes and Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF at Coffee Hour. Adults, b ring change from home! 

The Holiday Bazaar Needs You!!!
Are you an artist, crafter, knitter or avid Pinterest fan? Do you love making things? The annual Holiday Bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 8th needs your creative talent. We are looking for items that would make great small gifts or stocking stuffers for adults, children or pets, holiday craft items and gifts for the home. Please contact Sigrin Newell with your ideas or questions at 518-439-6705 or

Vote early in NYS!
We have arrived! In NYS, we can now vote early through November 3. Learn more here and here. Let's get out the vote!

Poinsettia Sale Starts in November
A benefit for the Rite of Passage Trip to Boston next spring. Brighten your home for the holidays and help send our youth and mentors on their UU heritage trip!

$14 for one/$26 for two/6” gold foil wrapped pots/red or white blooms

Place your order and pay at Coffee Hour, Nov. 10, 17, or 24; or email Leah Purcell at
Pick up date is Sunday, Dec 8.

Understudy Needed
If you like to observe and record during a fast-paced event, we have just the one night volunteer job for you! The Auction Committee needs a person willing to learn the task of recording bids during the live auction on next March 21st. You would learn the ropes from our expert recorder, Kathy Harris.
Please contact Chair Randy Rosette at  or 518-783-2637 for more details.

Our Music Program
A quick update on our process for re-staffing our Music Program. We have an ad hoc Board of Trustees Music Program Assessment Team that is currently looking at programs and pay scales at other congregations in the Capital Region. That work will conclude by Thanksgiving, at which point our Ministries and Operations Team will put together a search committee. If anyone would like to provide feedback to the Music Program Assessment Team, they can contact David MacLeod, Lois Bailey or Zach Cunningham by sending an email to: .

Warmth for the Homeless
It is time again to gather blankets, sleeping bags, warm coats, etc. for those experiencing homelessness. Please put them in the bin in the coatroom. Thanks you!
Sunday Schedule

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

9:45 AM
- Nursery/Toddler Rooms open

10:00 AM
- Service, Sanctuary
- Family Chapel, Community Hall
- Religious Exploration for Children and Youth

11:00 AM
- Coffee Hour, Channing Hall

11:30 AM
- End of Life Task Form Forum, Community Hall

11:45 AM
- Caring Network Annual Meeting, Room B-7
- Rite of Passage Group Meeting, Room B-8

Quick Links

Denominational Affairs Links

Helpful Local Links

Sign up for a class or event

- Send and email to:
- Sign up at the Sign Up Site in Channing Hall
- Call the church office, 518.463.7135
If childcare is offered for the event, please let us know you need it when you register, including names and ages of children.

Offering envelopes

We appreciate donations of cash during the offering that occurs as part of our Sunday service. If you would like to have cash contributions recorded and acknowledged in writing for tax purposes at the end of the calendar year, please use and write your name on one of the envelopes that are available on the table in the Community Hall lobby. Thank you very much for your generosity.
Sponsored by Leah Purcell,
Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry

THIS Friday, November 1 ,   starting at 6:00 PM in Channing Hall

Enjoy a good meal and great company. It will be our first multigenerational potluck of the church year. All are welcome!

And for those interested, after the dinner (at about 7:00) we’ll have a Q and A with Leah Purcell.
If you have heard about Family Ministry, the “2-hour model”, or Rite of Passage, and want to learn more, here’s your chance to ask Leah. The children can play while the adults chat. We’ll have some activities, but you’re encouraged to bring a game from home. 

This is a potluck, meaning you bring a dish to share . Please bring a card with the ingredients for the serving table. Beverages will be provided. 
Transforming Hearts: Transgender Inclusion in Congregations
Led by Rev. Sam Trumbore and Dan Miyake
Continues Tuesdays, 11/5 & 19, 12/3 & 17, 1/14 - If you missed the first session, no worries, join with us on Nov. 5 or see below for other options to participate!
This course is for those who want to increase their knowledge and skills to help our congregation become fully inclusive and affirming of the full breadth of gender diversity. Over six sessions we will deeply explore the intersection of trans identity, spirituality, and faith community to gain the grounding, context, and skills for this transformative work. This course is for everyone  from novices on trans identity to those with decades of life experience. Rather than simply offering a “trans 101,” this class pushes participants to the next level of congregational welcome, relationship-building, and skills-building. It counters mainstream narratives about who trans people are; supports understanding of non-binary identities (such as genderqueer, agender, and two spirit); and employs a deeply intersectional approach.

Other options for participating in the Transforming Hearts class
The authors of the Transforming Hearts class invite everyone in our congregation to participate! All the materials and lectures are online. Though the class that Rev. Sam and Dan are leading will have the opportunity for rich discussion and exchange that will be very valuable, we recognize that not everyone is able to attend when the class is being offered. If you can’t attend the class in person and would like to take it on your own, please call the church office for information on how to do that.
Mindfulness Meditation Workshop Schedule
November 8-9, 2019

This meditation training and practice workshop will be led by Rev. Trumbore, on Friday 6:00pm to 9:00pm, and Saturday 8:00am to 3:00pm. It gives the participants an opportunity to learn Buddhist mindfulness meditation techniques and/or refresh and deepen their meditation practice. All are welcome from first timers to experts. There will be a vegan potluck lunch on Saturday and all are encouraged to bring something to share. Please register with the office (call 463-7135) if you would like to participate. (A voluntary donation can be offered at the end) Mark your calendars NOW!

Rev. Trumbore has practiced Buddhist Vipassana or insight meditation for over 35 years and is Past President of the Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship. This meditation technique is one of the best for Unitarian Universalists. It helps people train their minds to strengthen concentration and intensify moment-to-moment awareness. Regular practice of this technique quiets and sharpens the mind, opens the heart and can improve one's physical and mental health.
“Please read me. Super important. Don’t miss this one!”

Did the title grab your attention? From the time I get up, till the moment I put my phone on its wireless charger, there is somebody who wants my attention. The phone is beeping and buzzing regularly to tell me the latest news flash or somebody tweeted about something or “you have an appointment,” or a “I need to tell you this RIGHT NOW!” text message just arrived. At times, I’m overwhelmed with electronic communication coming at me in so many different ways.

Email is the bane of my existence. I get a lot of it. I choose to get as much as I do, because I’m monitoring many different relationships and connections. I want to know what is going on across many different groups in which I participate. Hard as I try to keep up with it, it isn’t possible for me to read every email I get. There are just not enough hours in the day to read through each one and follow the links to relevant material – nor would it be a good use of my time.

This means I need to filter and make choices. And sometimes I’ll be “off-line” for a few hours or a day and fall hopelessly behind. I feel awful when members of our congregation ask why I haven’t responded to an important email they sent me and somehow it slipped through my virtual fingers. (if you don’t get a response in 24 hours – send it again till I do!)

Many people sending me emails know I’m filtering and may not read it. They craft subject lines, short lead-ins and top-of-the-email graphics that will hook me to open the message up. I’ll do the same when I’m letting people know about my upcoming events I don’t want them to miss. My email box is a loud cacophony of grabs for my attention pleading, “Read me, read me, please, please read me!” or “If you don’t read this message you might be in danger!” or “Don’t miss this opportunity or you’ll be sorry.”
And it isn’t just our email inbox or phone. Newspapers, magazines, outdoor advertising, web sites, shelves in stores (for those who are still willing to be physically present in one), radio, television, online streaming services, just about anyplace we point our attention, someone wants to sell us something. I can’t even fill up my gas tank these days (which thankfully doesn’t happen too often with my battery chargeable hybrid) without hearing or seeing a pitch.

Our attention is a valuable commodity. Social media moguls know this because that is how they run their businesses – they are selling opportunities to grab our attention as we sit in front our devices, watch cat videos and check on what our friends and family are up to. If you want to do an interesting exercise, notice the kinds of advertisements that Google, Amazon, and Facebook present to you. You can reverse engineer who they think you are by what they think you might be interested in buying or who you might want to vote for. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Trump Facebook ad for example, but Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren definitely know who I am … virtually.

The effect of having one’s attention being yanked around constantly may be eroding our ability to focus and sustain attention on anything. I wonder what effect it is having on young minds and on the number of children who can’t focus. All the stimulation supports the advertiser’s desire to get us to buy more and more to keep us hyper-stimulated all the time.

What is so sad about all this attention grabbing is the path to inner peace isn’t found in knowing more and more or consuming more and more. We need enough nutrition, shelter and clothing; enough friendships and intimate relationships; enough safety and security. Happiness and contentment isn’t found in significantly exceeding the enough threshold. And enough is probably way less than we might imagine.
Mindfulness meditation has been the way I’ve discovered how little “enough” can be to meet my needs yet not interfere with my happiness and contentment. Discovering my happiness doesn’t depend on consumables, or status, or reputation, or achievement, has helped me not follow life’s click-bait into wanting this or that. The peace and ease I seek isn’t connected to possessing people or things.

It is extremely radical to discover the unconditioned nature of inner peace. There are no material barriers to be overcome that stand in the way. The path to that experience is learning to point your attention to the wholesome and away from the unwholesome. And if the attention does chase after the unwholesome and unsatisfying, as it inevitably does, the key attention redirecting skill is becoming well practiced in letting go.

An important step on the path to freedom and liberation from the stresses and distresses of human existence is learning the skill of working with the attention … and practicing it.

--Rev. Sam

Note: One way to do that is to come to my meditation workshop November 8 & 9!

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 celebrating these events in our members' lives.

Member Phil Rich's Alfred University trip this past week was magnificent. During the panel as part of the common Ground Course, someone called out: "Dr. Phil."

Charles Semowich has been appointed the 5th carillonneur at Riverside Church in NYC. Considered the largest carillon in the world.

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 Erick F. vonHausen.

Albany UU Caring Network
The Caring Network (CN) reflects the words of the Albany UU chalice lighting - “to sustain a vital and nurturing religious community.” The CN provide encouragement and short term support to Albany UU members who, due to hospitalization, sickness, loss, or isolation, need assistance. Services typically include transportation to medical appointments, meals and shopping during recovery, and friendly visits and “check in’s” from Caring Network members. Please reach out to the Caring Network if you need.
It’s Time to Make the Pies! 
Election Day apple peeling and pie assembly takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 9:00 to noon in Channing Hall. Bring your favorite peeling knife and help peel and cut apples for our annual Thanksgiving Pie Sale to be held on Sunday, November 24.  Learn more here .

Walker Book Group 
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion this Sunday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. We will discuss A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum. Learn more here .

Call to Action
Albany UU will again be collecting for Day of Simple Giving sponsored by Grassroot Givers. This year, we're being asked to provide dish washing detergent . Learn more here .
-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry (DREFM),

For the Faith Development of children and youth this Sunday

The nursery/toddler  room opens at 9:45

Children in pre-k through 6th grade  start the morning with Family Chapel, in COMMUNITY HALL THIS TIME starting at 10:00 with their families. Older children might enjoy attending without their parents or caretakers. Family Chapel runs until about 10:25; then the RE guides take the children to their Sunday school groups. Please note that the regular service will meet in the Sanctuary this week because the back of Community Hall will be set up for a workshop after the service. There will be plenty of seats for us at the front of Community to have Family Chapel. After Family Chapel parents/caretakers may join the regular service in the Sanctuary at that time (the ushers will have reserved seats for you) or you can join Leah for Parent/Caretaker Support Group.

7th/8th Grade OWL  starts at 10:00 in their room (B-3/4)

High School YoUUth Group  starts at 10:00 in  room B-8  

Children are invited to wear their costumes this week and to trick-or-treat for UNICEF at Coffee Hour
Children will have one more opportunity to wear their Halloween Costumes this Sunday. We’ll start the monthly theme of Attention by paying attention to our inside selves as well as our outward appearances. And at coffee hour, the children may trick or treat for UNICEF. The RE guides will distribute the boxes in Sunday school. Adults, bring change from home to fill up those boxes!

Parent/Caretaker support group meets this week
Each month after Family Chapel, Leah Purcell facilitates a discussion group for parents and caretakers to explore the theme of the month and ways of parenting as a Unitarian Universalist. This is a drop-in group, open to all parents with children at home. We'll meet from 10:30 – 11:15 in Room 23, upstairs. PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF MEETING ROOM.

First Rite of Passage Meeting is this Sunday
We meet in Room B-8. This Sunday, we’ll start at noon and end at 2:00. We’ll serve snacks, but folks are welcome to bring a bag lunch. The assignment is to read and discuss pages 38 – 57 in their “To This I Give My Heart” Journal. Everyone is to bring their journals to each meeting.
You can also keep track of plans for the children and youth on our website
Updated info for the coming weeks and for the year are at the   Our Learning Community for Children and Youth  page, which is under Religious Exploration and Family Ministry at .  

-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email

SRC Recommends:

Raise Your Voice for End of Life Choice - This Sunday: Conversation Sabbath.  On November 3, Albany UU will join hundreds of congregations taking part in Conversation Sabbath, sponsored by The Conversation Project, an organization founded by former Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman. Our Sunday service will reflect UU thinking about end of life issues and inspire you to have “the conversation” with your loved ones and your doctor(s) about your wishes for living well until the end, to make sure they are known and honored. Rev. Sam says, “We think that if we don’t talk about it, it won’t happen. The reality is that it always feels too soon to have the conversation--until it is too late.”    After the service, from 11:30-2:00, Bonnie Edelstein, founding director of Death with Dignity – Albany, will lead a free Conversation Workshop in Community Hall. The workshop will be open to the public and begin with a light lunch. As a workshop participant, you will prepare for having “the conversation” about what matters most to you, and leave with your notes in a workbook.  REGISTRATION: To ensure adequate space, materials and child care, register by November 1 here or at 518-463-7135.  

Also, see "Unlikely Partners for Peace," on Nov. 4 below. This is an important event that Albany UU's Nigel Wright Fund is helping to sponsor.

Engineering the Anthropocene 
Please join us for a community-centered discussion about how our society interacts with food systems and about reimagining those systems in the face of a changing climate. The discussion will feature a panel of experts on food and environmental justice, food-human systems, urban farming, and the science of agricultural systems and climate change mitigation. Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 6-7:30pm in Community Hall. Sponsored by the Green Sanctuary Committee. Learn more here .

Ushers needed
Are you looking for a way to be more involved in what happens on Sunday mornings? Now is your chance! We are looking to deepen our Usher pool and would love for YOU to join. It’s a very simple but very necessary volunteer opportunity. If you’re interested in learning more about being an Usher on Sunday mornings, please contact Dawn Dana: . Thank you!

Sunday Volunteers
Would you like to be involved in the Sunday service in a more meaningful way?
Visit Sunday Hospitality Sign Up to find out about the ways you can volunteer on Sunday morning. We thank you and could not do what we do without YOU!

YOU can make a difference!
We at Albany UU are making an effort to increase our visibility and connectivity online. YOU can help, and it's quick and easy! Simply like, follow and share pages and posts on any of our social media platforms, or leave a positive Facebook or Google review. Google Albany UU or find us here:
Monday, November 4
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Congregation Ohav Shalom
113 New Krumkill Road, Albany 12208

In the West Bank, Palestinians and Israelis live in separate universes without real human contact. Roots/Shorashim/Judur is changing that reality, fostering a grassroots movement of understanding, nonviolence and transformation.

Come hear firsthand the personal stories of Shadi Abu Awwad, a Palestinian activist, and Hanan Schlesinger, an Orthodox rabbi and passionate Zionist settler, who came together – with painful hope – to build dialogue and cooperation.

Info and reservations appreciated for planning at

Our speakers do not come with blueprinted peace plans in hand, but with the deep conviction that human understanding and trust are the prerequisites for lasting justice, freedom, and peace in the land they both call home. Come to learn and be inspired! In these times of increased polarization – nationally and internationally – we have much to learn about how to listen, to open our hearts and minds and support peace.

For more information about Roots visit

This presentation is sponsored by the:
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany Nigel Wright Fund
and Congregation Ohav Shalom.
Supporters: Capital District Board of Rabbis
Regular events and meetings
Many of these events and meetings take a hiatus in the summer, check with the church office before coming in.

11:45 AM      Inclusivity Team (2nd)
5:30 PM       Walker Book Group (2nd)
11:45 AM      Social Responsibilities Council (3rd)
11:45 AM      Green Sanctuary Committee (4th)
6:15 PM        Religious Education Council
                               (1st, Nov., Feb., May)
10:00 AM      Philosophy Discussion (weekly)
1:00 PM        Bridge (weekly)
7:00 PM        UU Humanists (3rd)
10:00 AM      Projects & Quilts (weekly)
7:00 PM        Choir Rehearsal (almost weekly)
1:00 PM       All Sides Considered (1st & 3rd)
6:30 PM       Board of Trustees (4th)
Going to miss a Sunday?

You can listen to the entire Albany UU Sunday service at home or on your mobile device. The two most recent services are available as MP3 files on the Albany UU member resource website. Here is how to access:

username: AlbanyUU
password: EEthelredBrown405

Our sermon archive (select Ministry/Sermon Archive on the left website menu) has pdf files of sermons texts (when available) and audio files of sermons. You can also request the office put a service on a CD.
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
Parking: Parking is available on the street. On Sundays (and for some special events) Albany UU has permission to use the University at Albany’s Hawley Parking Lot on Robin Street at Washington Avenue.

Office hours (unless otherwise posted)
September-June: Monday-Friday, 9:00-3:00
July-August: Monday–Thursday 9:00-1:00


Building use
To reserve a room for an Albany UU activity or to rent a hall or classroom space , for a personal or non-Albany UU activity, contact Administrative Assistant Sapphire Correa (518.463.7135 or ).

Photo credit: Kathy Hodges
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | |