Windows Weekly January 24, 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
January 27, “How Can Albany UU Be a Good Neighbor?” Albany UU Board of Trustees
Central to Unitarian Universalism is striving to make our world more livable for people, plants and animals so we all might fulfill our greatest potential. As finite beings with limited resources, what is that potential for our congregation right now for this place and this time? Who are the neighbors we wish to serve?

Music: Albany UU choir directed by Richard Porterfield

HYMN 347 “Gather the Spirit”
HYMN 188 “Come, Come, Whoever You Are”
HYMN 123 “Spirit of Life”
HYMN 317 “We Are Not Our Own”
HYMN 131 “Love Will Guide Us”
HYMN 318 “We Would Be One”

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

February's theme: Trust

February 3, “Intersectionality, Trust, Community,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

Intersectionality is defined as the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender that share overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. Recognizing a shared sense of oppression can build community. For that community to become a powerful force for change requires trust. This isn’t easy … but it is possible … or so we hope!

Music: Alyssa Yeager leads hymns and songs on guitar, including favorites by Joni Mitchell and Pete Seeger
February 10, “A Visit to Montgomery,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

A celebration of Black History Month takes us down to Montgomery Alabama, where the Montgomery Bus Boycott energized the Civil Rights movement. Montgomery is also the home of The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Rev. Trumbore and his wife Philomena visited there in October and will bringing back their experiences discoveries and pictures

Music: Albany UU Choir sings “Love is the Spirit of this Church” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”
February 17, “Love the Hell out of this World,” Matt Meyer

When the culture around us doesn’t encourage us to our best selves, how do we model the kind of world we want to live in? Matt will reflect on the good and bad of middle school, the time he picked the very best costume for a high-stakes 5th grade costume party, & how we find the skills for beloved community.

Matt is a musician and community organizer who has led hundreds of services for UU congregations across the country. He has a degree in hand drumming and has studied abroad in Cuba, Ghana and Central America. Matt serves as Director of Community Life for Sanctuary Boston and is a founding resident of the Lucy Stone Cooperative in Roxbury.

Music: Matt Meyer’s “Rhythm Revelations” with an assist from Richard Porterfield

February 24, “Earning Trust,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

What does it take to earn someone’s trust? What kind of confidence is needed to build that trust? What kind of trust is required to invest your time, talent and treasure in a congregation like ours? Come hear how we are striving to earn yours.

Music: Albany UU Choir sings “May Peace Dwell within our Hearts” and “Keep Your Hand on that Plow”


No more donations needed for UU Jams, thank you, Leah has plenty!

Focus Food Pantry 
Please consider a contribution to the Focus Food Pantry this Sunday. There will be envelope in the order of service for your check or cash. Thank you for helping!
High School Youth Group Soliciting Donations for “Neighborly Bags”
In the past children packed bags for people on the street asking for help. These were gallon Ziploc bags known as “Homeless Kits” or “Blessing Bags” with items such as granola bars, toiletries, and socks. This year the youth group asked to take this on. They have renamed the bags “Neighborly Bags” and are soliciting donations. Look for the donation bin in the coat room. Suggested items: granola bars, lip balm, socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and feminine hygiene products.

Call to Action!
The Inclusivity Team is asking for donations and contributions of needed items to support Ellazar Williams, the young man who was paralyzed by an Albany police officer’s bullet in an incident in which it appears he was running away from the officer, who was cleared of wrongdoing based on his perceived threat. 

Ellazar recently moved into new accessible housing, but his girlfriend had to quit both her jobs to care for him and their expenses are huge. 

There is a collection box in the coatroom for needed items the couple has requested: full size bed sheets, full size blankets/comforter, towels, washcloths, lotion, paper towels, toilet paper, household cleaning products including Clorox bleach, Lemon Scented ammonia, Pine sol, Ajax/comet, Bathtub cleaner, scouring pads, Gain laundry detergent (has eczema), Dove body wash, Dove bar soap, and shampoos and conditioner (any kind). Also grocery store gift cards. 

Items will be delivered to the Center for Law and Justice which has assigned a staff person to work with the couple.

Direct monetary donations may be made at:

Thanks as always for your generosity!

Sending out HUUGS … H uge UU G reetings
We're gathering donations for packages for our fledgling young adults. Whether they are now working or volunteering, serving in the military or in college, those who have recently left senior high group so appreciate a package around Valentine’s Day with notes and goodies from us at Albany UU! Please bring donations to the bin in the Work Room (where the photocopier is) by Sunday, Feb 3 .

Attention Thespians
Rehearsals will start soon for the Annual Dinner Skit. For those not familiar, each year at our Annual Fellowship dinner in April at the Franklin Terrace, we put on a musical skit.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Rev. Trumbore’s hiring at Alban yUU. To celebrate, we are dusting off the 1999 skit we performed about his hiring process. It is a parody of “The Music Man” and all the songs are based on that show.
We perform from scripts, so no memorization is required. If you would like to join the fun, please contact Bob Franklin at . Great singing talent is a sufficient condition, but not a necessary one.

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, FB and a notice posted on our website.

Join the Flower Committee
Help brighten our Sunday services! No special talent needed--all instructions and vases provided. Contact Sandy Stone: (518) 489.8293 or

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, Sanctuary
- Programs for Children and Youth

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

11:30 AM
- Green Sanctuary, Room B-7

11:45 AM
- Congregational Conversation on Open Question, Room B-8

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

Envelopes for your cash donations
A reminder that envelopes are available on the table in the Community Hall Lobby each Sunday for cash contributions that you want to earmark toward a specific fund or pledge. You must use an envelope with your name and pledge year on it, if you wish to have your cash attributed toward your pledge. If you have any questions, an usher will be happy to assist you. 
Sam's Outlook
Developing Institutional Trust

Jeremiah 11:19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; And I did not know that they had devised plots against me.

Unitarian Universalists have mistrust built into our institutional DNA. Many congregations’ bylaws are far more explicit about how to terminate their relationship with their ministers than how to call them. Those bylaws almost always keep the minister away from budgeting and any check writing authority. Rarely, if ever, are ministers voting members of congregational governing bodies. Almost all ministers have freedom to say what they are inspired to say in the pulpit. If they want to stay in relationship with their congregation they are very careful about what they preach. In our tradition, ministers speak, advise, persuade, counsel, support, and encourage but don’t direct congregational action or allocate congregational resources.

Our congregation comes by this distrust through our Protestant institutional heritage. The abuses of authority and power outlined in the 95 theses Martin Luther nailed to the Wittenberg Church door point at a very long history of institutional abuse by the Roman Catholic Church. The recent controversies in the church around sexual misconduct by priests are just the latest round in that betrayal of the trust of the laity. From the pulpit on January 13 th, Philomena Moriarty pointed to the abuses of the Irish Catholic Church against unwed pregnant women and their babies you’d need a heart of stone not to be outraged about.

The specific line of Protestant mistrust we inherit came through the Pilgrims and Puritans who came to Massachusetts after rejecting and being persecuted by the Church of England. That system gave priests a great deal of power to run the church. The Puritans thought the power of God was in the people themselves, the Elect or the visible saints they called themselves. To correct the human tendency to want to accumulate power, they thought it better for the people to lead a church rather than the priest. Power should be shared and distributed rather than concentrated in one person. In 1648 they created a document called the Cambridge Platform to run their churches. The template Unitarian Universalist congregations use today has its roots in the Cambridge Platform though we are long separated from Puritan theology and doctrine.

This is all well and good. We are still using it almost 400 years later because it works well enough. But there are disadvantages too. It actually can embed distrust in a congregation that can prevent it from acting and being effective. It also can lock a congregation into a status quo that it can be very hard to get out of. If the status quo is healthy and dynamic, that would be a good thing to protect. But institutions must change and adapt with the people and the times. If the governance model prevents that change, it can set up an inward focus that can eventually weaken and destroy a congregation. When congregations are not about serving the new people coming to our doors excited by Unitarian Universalism but with newer, more contemporary ways to do it, trouble is brewing. Striving to address white supremacy culture, for example, is stretching us beyond our status quo in challenging ways.

For these reasons and others, our congregation is considering a new approach to governance. In the new design, the Board will be creating a subsidiary body called the “Program Team.” It will be composed of three paid staff members and four lay leaders. Its job will be to take the vision of ministry of the Board, the future direction for congregational growth, development and action, and turn it into concrete plans for action. The Program Team will also support and interconnect the ongoing work of the congregation.
The minister will be the convener of the Program Team.

Some may have read about a congregation in Athens, Georgia in the last UU World who also has done governance change. Much of what they have done is parallel to our congregation’s design. Their minister, the Rev. Alison Wilbur Eskildsen, said something very interesting for that article that got the Governance Working Group’s attention:

 “It takes a fair amount of trust for both the board and the minister to let go of some of the responsibilities they had,” Eskildsen cautioned. “And you can’t have a board that is antiauthoritarian. If people have those kinds of issues, it’s not going to fit.”

Historically, trust has been a big issue for our congregation in their relationship with ministers. There was a major breach of trust with my predecessor. For the last twenty years, front and center in my work with our congregation has been to build trust and offer respect to the Board and its leaders. My hope is that I have demonstrated that ministers can be trusted, through shared ministry, to put the interests of the congregation first in their work, leadership and their service.

I support these governance changes because I believe they will allow our congregation to focus its energies and enable more effective outreach and action. These changes will help us break free of aspects of our status quo that make us less attractive to a younger generation of potential UU’s. And more important than anything else, I anticipate this new governance model will create a virtuous upward spiral of energy and enthusiasm. When we are effective in the use of our limited energy and resources, more is generated than is consumed.

And that is the kind of exciting congregation almost all of us want to be part of.
                                                                                                                              Rev. Sam

Upcoming Learning Opportunity with the Minister!
Mindfulness Meditation Workshop
Feb. 8 and 9
Led by Rev. Sam Trumbore, these meditation training and practice workshops will be on Friday 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Saturday 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. 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. (A voluntary donation can be offered at the end.) Learn more here .
Potluck and Game Night!
Back by popular demand - Pot Luck and Game Night, Friday, Feb. 1!

Bring your favorite dish, game and a friend! If you can, sign up ahead in Channing Hall, by sending an email to or just come - "walk-ins" are welcome.

Dinner starts at 6:00 PM ; games will be played after dinner until about 8:00 PM; toddler-friendly activities too! Sponsored by the Religious Education Council
Open Question Congregational Conversation
This Sunday, Jan. 27 11:45 in Room B-8 , there is a Conversation on the “Open Question” posed by the Board of Trustees: “What would it look like for Albany UU to be a good neighbor?” Find more info here .

East of Hudson Potluck
Let's gather tomorrow, January 25 at 6:00 pm at the home of Sharon and Mike Babala for our next potluck. If there is snow adventurous spirits are invited to come early and snowshoe or cross country ski! Learn more here .

Artist Reception in Channing Hall
Reception January 27, 11:00 am during Coffee Hour - Show features portraits; people and some furry friends! Find more information here .

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. We will discuss Less, by Andrew Sean Greer. Learn more here.

Circle Dinner
The next Circle Dinner will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23 . Sign up online by Sunday, Feb. 10 to join the fun! For more information about Circle Dinners, click   here.

Getting to Know UU: orientation to UUism
Saturday, Feb. 2, 8:45 AM-noon - We invite you to join us for “Getting to Know UU”. We’ll start with coffee and snacks. You’ll learn about Unitarian Universalism and about our congregation! Learn more here .

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. We will discuss Less, by Andrew Sean Greer. Learn more here.

“In Rhythm and Song” -- Workshop with Matt Meyer
Matt Meyer of Rhythm Revelations will present our Sunday service on February 17th and will stay to lead a drumming workshop starting at 1 PM. Learn more here.

UUA Common Read - Justice on Earth - Discussion Group
Three Sessions - February 6, 13, and 20, 7:00pm, Room B-7

Please join us for this Inclusivity Team sponsored discussion group for the 2018 UUA Common Read book: Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom (Skinner House Books, 2018). Copies of the book are available to check out from the Albany UU library, for purchase at the Albany UU office, or from inSpirit: UUA Book and Gift Shop ($18 paperback, $9.99 ebook). 
Cure Cabin Fever Auction

Save March 16th to attend Albany UU's biggest, FUN, Fundraiser of the year!
Click on both links to find out how you can donate YOUR special item for the auction as
well as details for attending the event itself. We appreciate your support!

Sheridan Prep Tutoring Opportunity
The Albany School District is offering the Oasis Tutoring Training Program. This is an excellent chance to "dip your toes" into the fun of working with students from Sheridan Prep. The Oasis training teaches volunteers how to read interactively with children in the early elementary grades. After taking the training the volunteer is assigned to a student and meets with them for one hour per week. (Assignments to additional students is possible.) If you have questions about the program, talk to Chuck Manning. The program will be offered on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 9:30 am-3 pm at Harriet Gibbons Student Services Center, 75 Watervliet Ave. To register for the training email or call Fiona Thompson:

Sunday Volunteers - Make it a New Year's Resolution!
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!
-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education (RE) and Family Ministry,

Keep up with what's happening for children and youth , including 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

Faith formation of children and youth this Sunday, Jan. 27:          

The Exploring Chickens, Compassionate Hawks, and Kick-Butt Unicorns will attend Family Chapel in the Sanctuary starting at 10:00 and then go to their groups upstairs.

The Crossing Paths group (6th/7th) will meet in their room starting at 10:00 to make up for last week

8th/9th grade (YSOP) will meet as a group at 10:00 in their room  

High School Youth Group will meet in their room (23) starting at 10:00 

Youth Group Meeting For parents and caretakers of this year’s 8th graders and youth group
What is youth group all about? Come for a mock youth group meeting run by Tracey Hickey, our lead youth advisor, and an orientation from Leah Purcell. This is not to be specific about the discussions that are happening in youth group; it’s about youth group in general. 7:00 – 8:30 Fill out this doodle poll now so we can find a date within the next few weeks:

RE Volunteer Brunch
Saturday, Feb. 16, 9:30 - Noon in Channing Hall
Our Sunday morning programming runs on our volunteers – like you! This brunch is an appreciation for current volunteers with an open invitation to those who want to learn more about volunteering. Everyone will have an opportunity to learn something new about how to run an effective RE group. And we’ll have lots of time for good food and fellowship. 
Please RSVP by Feb 10 so we can plan food and childcare.
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email

SRC Recommends the following:

Raise Your Voice for End of Life Choice
Prospects for passing the Medical Aid in Dying Act in New York have never been better, thanks to the Senate Health Committee’s incoming chairperson, Democrat Gustavo Rivera, a co-sponsor of the bill. This would be a good time to contact your own lawmakers about the bill, even if you have done so before. You are invited to be at the Capitol on January 28 at noon for a campaign kick-off event and press conference, with details to follow when you RSVP to

Presentation: “Racism and the Law: Confronting the Realities by Stephan Haimowitz. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 7 PM , Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Ave. A range of racial controversies, from mass incarceration, voting rights, and affirmative action, will be discussed. Mr. Haimowitz will apply three divergent legal concepts: colorblindness, diversity, and reparations.

Neighborhood dinner and a performance of “To Catch a Muslim
At Albany UU, Saturday Feb. 2, 6 PM - free dinner, 7 PM - play . The play dramatizes the sting operation that put a local imam from Central Avenue in federal prison. A discussion will follow. These are our neighbors, and all are encouraged to attend. Sponsored by the Capital District Coalition Against Islamophobia. Find m ore info here .

Spokane in 2019, Providence in 2020
Looking for a meaningful experience in an interesting location with programs that will challenge and uplift you – all in the company of thousands of other Unitarian Universalists? Consider General Assembly, the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association!
In 2019, GA will be held in Spokane, Washington from June 19-23. Closer to home, in 2020, GA will take place in Providence, Rhode Island from June 24-28. Learn more here .
Green Sanctuary's Tip of the Week!
Practicing Our Seventh Principle:
Wash your clothes at low temperatures: Much of the energy used in washing laundry is expended on heating the water, so always opt for a lower temperature when possible.

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.

Celebrating member Nancy Wagner's recent retirement!

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 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) - 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)
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 ).
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | |