Windows Weekly May 16, 2019
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
May 19, “This I Believe”

As Unitarian Universalists, we honor the voices of members of our congregation in their individual search for truth and meaning. This service provides an opportunity to hear the thoughts and reflections on life from three Albany UUs: Geoff Abbas, Jora Cohen, and Erik VonHausen. Excellent service to bring a friend.
Music: Albany UU Choir

HYMN 119: “Once to Every Soul and Nation”
HYMN 131: “Love Will Guide Us”
HYMN 347: “Gather the Spirit
HYMN 6: “Just as Long as I have Breath”
HYMN 90: “For All the Fret and Fever of the Day"
HYMN 323: “Break Not the Circle"

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

May's theme: Curiosity

May 26, “We Remember Them,” Rev. Dr. Lynn Ashley

We observe Memorial Day in a service of song and story.

Music: TBD

Note: This topic has changed from previous publications.


Albany High challenges us
The Albany High Theatre Ensemble challenges gender conformity and misogyny in its upcoming production of a student-written played called “HERS: An Explanation of Our Expectations.”

The play’s four-performance run opens at 7 pm on Thursday, May 16 with shows at 7 pm Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. The play contains strong language and may not be appropriate for very young audiences. Link to article    Link to video look at the play

Community Breakfast
As a result of the Albany UU Board asking the congregation the open question, “What would it look like for Albany UU to be a good neighbor?” a proposal from Carol Butt was approved to provide a free community breakfast once a month in Channing Hall.

Our first Community Breakfast will be on this Saturday, May 18. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Carol Butt, to express interest: 518-439-6629 or .

Thank you!
Thank you for your donations to the International Rescue Committee during the youth service last Sunday, May 12. YOU donated a total of $856.00! From Leah Youth Adviser, Tracey Hickey:
In terms of the IRC's projects and what they list as the cost of some of their "rescue gifts," that could be:
-- more than a dozen mother and baby kits!
-- seven clean water supply kits for refugee camps!
-- a mobile medical clinic AND a community health worker training...
...or many other projects, including tons of emergency supplies and skilled services for refugee families.
Thank you so much for your generosity!

Volunteers Wanted for Young Peacemaker Week August 19 - 23  
YPW is an urban day camp that creatively cultivates peacemaking with young people. Would you like to volunteer the week of August 19 - 23? We have reached our maximum camper registration and are looking for a few more volunteers to round out our community of Peacemakers. There are a variety of jobs, big or small. long or short! Visit the Volunteer Page and/or contact Jan McCracken about your interest or for more information

Do you have a child graduating from high school?
If you answered yes to that question, check out this valuable resource!

Remember to be respectful of our renters!
Our rentals feed a high dollar line item in our annual budget and it's important that we are respectful of their space at Albany UU. When folks rent our halls, that's THEIR space for the time they are in there. We cannot interrupt the event or activities that are happening during those times. PLEASE respect that. Whatever it is you need or want, it can wait until the hall is unoccupied. If you have questions or problems, please contact Tammy in the office. Thank you so much for your attention to this.
Sunday Schedule

9:00 AM
- Mindfulness Meditation, Sanctuary

9:45 AM
- Nursery/Toddler Rooms open

10:00 AM
- Service, Community Hall
- Programs for children

11:00 AM
- Coffee Hour and Artist Reception, Channing Hall

11:45 AM
- Albany UU Annual Meeting, Community Hall

12:30 PM
- Social Responsibilities Council, Room B-8

Quick Links

Denominational Affairs 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 acknowledged and recorded, please use one of the envelopes that are available on the table in the Community Hall lobby. Thank you very much for your generosity.

Albany UU Annual Meeting

THIS Sunday, May 19, 2019

10:00-11:00 - Service
11:00-11:45 - Coffee Hour and Artist Reception
11:30-11:45 - Parents take children to assigned rooms for childcare and sign them in with caregivers - must reserve childcare by tomorrow - see below!
11:45 - Annual Meeting starts in Community Hall
Families needing child care should reserve space by calling the office at 518-463-7135 BY TOMORROW, Friday, May 17, 9:00 AM , so that we will be prepared with sufficient caregivers and snacks.
Light snacks (for the adults) will be served during the meeting.
Copies of the proposed budget to be presented at the meeting, may be picked up in the lobby starting Sunday, May 5. It is also available online here or at
Absentee ballots are available for those who cannot attend the Annual Meeting.

Albany UU's bylaws provide for the use of absentee ballots for elections. They are to be used by members who are unable to attend the annual meeting on May 19, 2019. Request a ballot from the church office. Ballots will be available from Sunday, May 5 to Friday, May 17 .
Completed ballots, sealed in an envelope, must be received in the church office on or before 11:00 AM on Friday, May 17 - that's tomorrow!  
Read about the candidates here or pick up a paper copy in the lobby beginning Sunday, May 5.  
You're Invited...
... to Brunch & Conversation with the Growth Through Service Leaders on Sunday, June 2 at 11:30 am in Room B-8

Our Growth Through Service Team invites Albany UU members who have not yet had a Growth Through Service conversation to a Brunch & Conversation on Sunday, June 2 after service. Lois Bailey, Dick Dana, Laura Churchill, Linda Hunt, Maria Phillips and Peggy Sherman will be there to lead the conversations. Child care will be available with advanced notice. Contact Dick Dana if you are interested or have any questions: , 518.813.1992
Growth Through Service is about tapping into what connects you to Albany UU. We want to learn about you so that we can help you connect and collaborate in ways that mean the most to you. Our Conversation Team is committed to holding a 1-hour conversation with every member of our congregation, to be scheduled at your convenience. If June 2 is not convenient, contact Dick Dana to set up a better time that works you.
Collecting Albany UU Member & Friend Employee Feedback
In the late spring every year, the Albany UU staff is reviewed and evaluated.

You can help!

The primary goal of this evaluation is to offer support and appreciation for the good work our staff does. Employees here work very hard and deserve to know how they have made a positive difference in accomplishing the mission and vision of our congregation. Concrete, specific examples of what you have observed are very valuable feed back to them in the evaluation process. And you’ll feel good knowing that your appreciation will be integrated into their evaluation!

Of course there will be some dissatisfaction as well. This survey is not primarily for collecting that information. Anyone having a problem with an employee should talk to them directly or if that doesn’t work, talk to them along with their supervisor. If that process has failed to address your concerns, this form can be used to report chronic issues that you have not been able to resolve.

This form requires your name. Giving feedback carries with it responsibility for what is said since it can have both very positive and very negative effects on employees. We are not interested in anonymous input for the purpose of employee evaluation. AND you can ask that your input on this form be kept confidential and your name will not be shared with the employee.

Thank you in advance for your help in appreciating our great staff!

Leah's Blog - More Than Half Way
More Than Half Way – Sabbatical Update

I start my daily journal entry with simply the date, not day x of y of my sabbatical. I have plans for the day and for my travels, but I don’t keep lists of things to do. That is perhaps the reason I missed the deadline I gave myself at the end of March to give you a mid-sabbatical update. I did send a report at the beginning of May to Rev. Sam and to the REC in time for their May meeting. And some of you have been following my posts in the Albany UU News and Updates Face Book Page. In the spirit of beginning again, however, here’s a brief update for everyone.

I do have a daily routine. I get up in the morning about the time I normally do, but I’ve expanded my morning routine. Now, after breakfast and 20 min of You Tube yoga, I also have about 20 min of meditation, 20 minutes of journaling, and finally, a few minutes of cat petting. My cat, Baby, will have his 21 st birthday soon, and he is more sedentary, but as affectionate as ever. I also practice my new banjo ukulele most days and I’m taking online voice lessons (just for fun, don’t expect any performances when I return).

This is different from my work routine where each Sunday night, I create a list of tasks, which is created from a list of monthly tasks, for the coming week. And each day, I work to tick off items so that by the next Sunday morning, (with help from Elizabeth), everything gets done. This routine has been efficient in getting immediate tasks done, but hasn’t helped me carve out time for reflection. This sabbatical has given me the opportunity to spend lots of time in reflection and relaxing. And I’m so grateful for it. I feel calmer. I’m sleeping better. I feel curious and relaxed at the same time.

I have not worried about how RE is going because we put plans in place before I left and we have awesome and adept staff and volunteers who can cover things that pop up.

To date, I’ve participated in three weekend workshops at Kripalu (I have one more to go). Those have been wonderful opportunities for me to relax and to learn ways of looking at the world and develop my spirituality.

I’ve been reading a lot: 7 books so far, (three were fiction, all those by women of color); I’m in the middle of 2 books (one nonfiction and one fiction); and I have 2 more books on my list, both nonfiction. I’m learning about different people’s life experiences, about spiritual matters, and about group dynamics.

I’ve visited 3 other congregations – one more to go. I can tell you some similarities and differences I’m seeing about congregations. One thing in common is that congregants speak very highly of their religious educators (DRE’s). Everyone talks about how well the children and youth are being served. Sometimes congregants include support of the families in their praise. Many long-timers appreciate the program now more than the way it used to be, when they taught RE – not that the old way was bad; it’s more they see how times have changed. The differences I’m seeing between congregations, (and yes, it’s a small sampling) seem to grow out of the story of each congregation.

  • At Rochester Unitarian (one of our largest UU congregations), they have a large population of middle schoolers. So, their DRE has created a 3-year program for them that includes different curricula, including Our Whole Lives (OWL), each spread out over the 3 years. Rochester Unitarian uses themes in the services and in RE. And they have lots of resources and a strong independent spirit. They create their own themes and the religious educator writes all the sessions for the children in grades K – 4 on the theme.

  • At Jefferson UU in Golden, Colorado, which is also a large congregation, they have a big population of families with little children (under age 6). Many of these children do not want to be separated from their parents, and the parents enjoy being at church with their children. So, the DRE there has a Wednesday night Family Worship that includes a catered dinner beforehand. The simple dinner is catered and the parents are fine with paying $5 per person in their family so that everyone can relax. The 25-minute worship includes ritual, singing, a story and invitations for family members to interact with each other. They also use themes so that even if these families do not come on Sunday morning, since the Family Worship is based on the theme, all the families are connected with the rest of the congregation.

  • The congregation at Emerson UU in Marietta, Georgia, has almost 100 children and youth enrolled in RE, and 175 adult members. This congregation is very focused on families as well as their social justice projects. To meet everyone’s needs they have a different structure on Sunday mornings. Each week, they start with the religious service at 9:45, which is for adults and children. The service includes a 20-minute sermon; after which, there is childcare for children under 7 years old after the Wisdom Tale, though many young children stay with their families for the whole service. Then there is a 30-minute coffee hour for everyone with snacks for all. And from 11:15 to 12:15 they have RE for all. Children and youth have their RE sessions and adults choose from a selection of offerings for them - like Small Group Ministry; a presentation on a specific topic of the day; and a discussion of the sermon with the minister.

When I get back, I’ll have a mini-retreat with the REC to share more about what I’m experiencing and learning. The RE has a mission and vision, and the congregation has a mission statement, but I think it might be valuable for us to look deeply at what our passions, needs and resources are. I’d like us to think about what the story of our congregation is.

In joyful service,

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.

Member, Kathy Hodges reports that her dad in Florida is still hanging in there.He sleeps a lot but is ready to go on short rides through the countryside with daughter, Margie. Thank you for your 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: Chuck Manning, Phil Rich, Randy Rosette, Sandy Stone, Lisa Barron, Donna Meixner, Dee VanRiper and Sharon Babala.

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.
Artist Reception, Sunday, May 19
There is new art on our walls! Come to Channing Hall during Coffee Hour today to enjoy the art by members Terry Way and Sherry Roberts. Learn more here .

Getting to Know UU
We invite you to join us Saturday, June 1 at 8:45 AM for “Getting to Know UU,” an orientation for newcomers. Learn more here .

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion on Sunday, June 9 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. We will discuss three short stories: “The Trojan Sofa” by Bernard MacLaverty, “A Silver Dish” by Saul Bellow, and “The Way We Live Now” by Susan Sontag. Learn more here .

UU Weekend: Put it on your calendar now!
Have you registered for UU Weekend at Silver Bay? This eagerly awaited highlight of the fall season, held October 18-20 , features stimulating workshops, family togetherness, and so much more! Learn more here .
Sunday Volunteers
Would you like to be involved in the Sunday service in a more meaningful way?
Visit Sunday Hospitality Sign Up to find out about the ways you can volunteer on Sunday morning. We thank you and could not do what we do without YOU!

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.
-Elizabeth Baldes, RE Assistant,

Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education (RE) and Family Ministry, (on sabbatical)

Find information on Leah's Sabbatical here .

Faith formation of children and youth this Sunday, May 19:    

Nursery/Toddler Rooms open at 9:45 AM.
Children start out in service, Pre-K through grade 3 leaving after the Wisdom Tale for regular RE

Children and Youth in grade 4 and up remaining in service with their families.

Liz Halvorsen is both Religious Education Office Assistant and Sunday Superintendent . Elizabeth is off on Sunday and Leah Purcell is on sabbatical until June, please see Liz if you need anything.

Next week : Nursery/toddler room will open at 9:45. P l a y D a y for all ages upstairs in Rooms 24/25 & 26 starting at 10! Games, puzzles, card-decorating and free play.
River Rising, Central East Reg ion’s  new  leadership school is happening  July 28-August 3  at State College, PA and  August 18-24  in Schenectady, NY. It’s for youth who will be in 9th-12th grades in the 2019/2020 school year. During this week our community youth will be challenged, learn together, create sacred space, deepen their UU values and build friendships that will last beyond the week. Among other highlights they’re planning a river trip! Registration is $525  before June 15  and matching congregation scholarships are available through CER for up to half. For more information and registration links:  To read how River Rising differs from Goldmine (the previous CER leadership school) see this blog post:
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email

SRC recommends the following:

Tubman-Seward Statue Dedication and Unveiling. Friday, May 17, 11 AM Program, noon Ceremony - Commemorating friendship and activism that changed history. 99 Clinton Street (Hon. Karen B Johnson/Schenectady County Public Library), Schenectady. More info: , Seward House Museum , Harriet Tubman Historical Societ y

Albany Advocacy Workshop, Friday, May 17 , Albany Friends Meetinghouse, 727 Madison Ave. Finger food supper begins at 5:30, workshop at 6 PM. Implement strategic and effective advocacy tools to promote peace and justice and so much more. Learn more and register here or contact David Easter,, 518-475-9532.

 OFF ACT / Climate Action Lobby Day, Tuesday, May 21, 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM , at the State Capitol, Albany - Send a message to state lawmakers: Move New York off fossil fuels by 2030! We need to pass the strongest climate change possible 

Raise Your Voice for End of Life Choice:  Thanks to everyone who made Lobby Day at the Capitol such a success. You are making a difference!
Putting “Heart” into End-of-Life Care
On May 21, 12:15-2:00 , at the Colonie Town Library , Death with Dignity Albany presents Jennifer Hoit, a registered nurse and a certified Death Doula. She will discuss how Palliative Care, Hospice, and Death Doulas can care for the dying with management of symptoms and with heart. The program is free and open to the public. No advance registration required.

Green Sanctuary's Tip of the Week
Living our 7th principle

A few tips as it starts to maybe, hopefully, finally look like spring...

1) Buy “select-a-size” paper towels. You will already be using half the amount of a regular towel each time you tear one off. PS: They also make great napkins.

2) Reuse those gently used paper towels or napkins as handy wipes for removing food from dirty dishes or greasy pans or for quick clean ups. This is the only time that double dipping is encouraged.

3) Use the backs of previously printed papers as draft copies in your home printer. Mom was right! Most of what we print at home isn’t that important, so save the new paper only for special things.

4) Use reusable shopping bags. Most stores offer them for a very low price (or free). Besides, NYS has banned single use plastic bags which will go into effect in the coming months. Why not get a head start?
Regular events and meetings
Check Windows Weekly for changes to date, time and location. 

11:45 AM      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)
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)
6:15 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 | |