Windows Weekly March 4, 2021
Greetings Friends,

Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. Please stay safe and stay connected to your Albany UU Community during this uncertain time in the many ways provided online - all described below.

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

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

If this email was forwarded to you, and you would like to receive it directly, please

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

-Blessings and Be Well
We welcome everyone. Our Unitarian Universalist community seeks truth and deeper meaning, pursues justice through inspired action, and cultivates compassion and love for all connected by the web of life.

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

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

March 7, Commitment to Love,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
Love is a commitment found in many other religious traditions. Is there something different about our approach to love? How does commitment affect our capacity to love?

Music provided by Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen, Randy Rosette

Use this link to join the service:

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

Join us for Brunch Church for Children and Families at 11:30 AM
We’ll kick off the theme of the month - Commitment - with the story “I Wonder” by Annika Harris. This is a time for the children in grade 5 and under to be together with Leah and for a slightly longer children’s worship. Guides and parents/caretakers are invited too! Children in the Crossing Paths group (6th/7th grade) and the 8th grade Book Group will be dismissed early for their groups. NOTE: After the Brunch church, the children in grade 5 and under are invited to stay on the call to record the story for a service later in March.

Use this link to join:

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

Albany UU Virtual Services - Live via Zoom
Main Service at 10:00 AM, Children's Service at 11:30 AM

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

Use this link to join Sunday service:

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


Start your Sunday Morning with Meditation - 8:30 - 9:15 AM
Sunday morning meditation, led by Rev. Sam, begins with a ten-minute talk by Sharon Salzberg or Joseph Goldstein from their course on Insight Meditation. We will sit together for twenty minutes then have some conversation about the talk, meditation methods or experiences followed by a live loving kindness meditation. 

Use this link to join:

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

RE for Children and Youth on Sundays at 11:30 AM
We’ll have our 15-minute worship for children, youth, and their parents/caretakers and guides. Then we’ll have breakout groups for: preschool-first grade; 2nd-5th grade; 6th/7th grade and 8th grade.

Use this link to join:

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

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

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

Green Sanctuary Team Meeting
Sunday, March 7, 11:45 AM - this meeting was rescheduled from Feb 28 due to the Special Meeting on Bylaws. All are welcome to attend.

Use this link to join:

Meeting ID: 518-366-4532
Password: 4051842

Philosophy Group
At 10:15 AM every Tuesday, the Albany UU Philosophy Group will meet via zoom and discuss their topic of the day.
All are welcome.

Use this link to join:

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

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

Use this link to join:

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

Mindfulness Meditation Workshop on Zoom
March 12 & 13
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 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. Please register with Rev. Sam by email ( if you would like to participate. Learn more here.

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a Zoom discussion on Sunday, March 14 at 6:30 pm. We will discuss The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Learn more here.

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

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

Use this link to join:

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

A Virtual Orientation for Newcomers on Zoom
Getting to Know UU
Saturday, Apr 3, is a great chance for some of us at Albany UU to get to know YOU -- but it's also a perfect opportunity for you to learn about this Unitarian Universalist congregation, explore the roots of "UUism," and begin to figure out how participating in congregational life can enhance your personal journey.

Please join us:
10:00 AM to noon
Saturday, Apr 3

Use this link to join:

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

Signing up is preferred, but logins the day of are welcome, come as you are!
To sign up: Send an email to

This has been quite a year. We were in the middle of last year’s stewardship campaign when the pandemic hit. We were in the middle of doing so many things when the pandemic hit…and it has lasted so long. But news from the pandemic is promising. Our congregation is strong. Attendance is up for our virtual service, which bodes well for when we can be together again. And we want to resume our ministry together - to embark on our vision together - from a place of financial strength.
Albany Unitarian Universalist will be an inclusive and welcoming congregation.
Our sacred work is to lift hearts, broaden minds and do justice in the world,
in service of building beloved community.
This poses a challenge because we don’t know when our rental income, a substantial contributor to our budget, will return to pre-pandemic levels. And when we have the joy of returning to our building, we will also assume the increased costs of doing so. In order to meet these challenges, we are asking for a 3% increase in your pledge to strengthen the following areas:
Our Building – We have begun sprucing up our building, making ready for the return of both our Unitarian Universalist community and wider Albany community for services, classes, meetings and more! We anticipate some pent-up demand for the celebration of milestone events that may have been delayed, and we also want to explore ways to meet diverse community needs for a welcoming space.
Hybrid Congregation – While we’ll be delighted to join together again in Community Hall, we plan to conduct services and other events both in-person and virtually. This will enable us to provide connection and meaning to members and friends for whom in-person attendance is a hardship. We’ll need to leverage technology to preserve the best parts of being a virtual community in order to meet the most needs.
Unitarian Universalist Outreach – Many new people have attended our services during the pandemic, curious about us, who have never been in our building. Clearly, an untapped need has been met. We have a unique message for a troubled world, and offer a unique community. We want to explore ways to increase our outreach, burnish our beacon to meet those needs.
Religious Education – We want to explore ways to meet this central part of our ministry in light of longstanding trends of changing demographics and the recent news of the retirement of our director of religious education. While there will be unique challenges in meeting religious education needs in this ever-evolving landscape, we remain committed to providing high quality UU religious education.
Our congregational life is defined by the pooling of our collective resources: time, talent and treasure. We care for each other, together. We nurture our children and youth, together. We make a difference in the lives of those in need, together. We take a side against injustice, together. And, together, we must ensure our dynamic congregation continues to flourish and emerges strong from the constraints of the pandemic.

We ask you to consider a 3% increase this year.
Our campaign goal is $457,000.  
Geoff Abbas                                                                 Patti Jo Newell                               
Stewardship Co-chair                                                 Stewardship Co-chair, President


The 8th Principle and Religious Education

Written by Alison Hart and Michael Hornsby, members of the Religious Education Council, and Leah Purcell

Religious Education communities have often been leaders in our denomination. Did you know that Unitarian youth and Universalist youth met together before the two denominations decided to become one? The same is true of the religious educators. Our religious education program at Albany UU has been using covenants for at least 20 years, long before we adopted our congregational covenant just this year. We started using themes of the month for RE sessions and family ministry before the adults started aligning their programming to thematic ministry. It’s easier to create innovations for programming and ministry for children, youth, and families perhaps because children, youth and families are naturally always in transition and because they are most impacted by change in the world.

Our RE Council has been laser focused on how to address the needs of everyone in the program in these rapidly changing times. And so, this past year, the RE Council decided to use the proposed 8th UU Principle to guide its work.

You may be familiar with this Principle through the work of the Inclusivity Team and the Board of Trustees: We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions. Where did this idea come from? Paula Cole Jones, a longtime leader in our Unitarian Universalist movement, realized “that a person can believe they are being a ‘good UU’ and following the 7 Principles without thinking about or dealing with racism and other oppressions at the systemic level.” Our children and youth are already living in multicultural settings and the REC knew that they too need guidance dealing with racism and other oppressions at the systemic level.

The RE Council reviewed and considered several tools to assess how our Albany UU Religious Education Program is progressing in our work to dismantle racism and build Beloved Community. We chose to devote time and attention to completing the work asked of the Lifespan Assessment Tool, developed by a team led by Jessica York, Co- Director of Ministries and Faith Development of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

The Lifespan Assessment asks participants to grade themselves, their RE Programs, and their Congregations on an expansive series of statements designed to probe our policies, practices, and cultural norms around race and diversity. We’ve chosen to focus our conversation on the RE Program scores. While perceptions are inherently subjective, as we’ve looked at scores in aggregate, we’ve uncovered areas that are ripe for growth.

Each section of the Assessment is weighty, and we are taking our time to discuss each area that our group RE Program score falls at or below a 3.5 out of 5. In particular, so far, we’re identifying the limited racial diversity present in our congregation as a significant impediment to our progress across multiple dimensions. Finding ways—both in our RE Program and our congregation more broadly—to meaningfully increase our interactions with people of color and build authentic, reciprocal relationships will be key to our progress.

We intend to continue working through the Lifespan Assessment until complete, making recommendations along the way, and renew the process regularly.

Using the 8th Principle as a guide, the RE program has made subtle but intentional moves to promote antiracism. For example, RE has been intentional in making sure that the classroom guides and the RE Council itself reflect, as much as possible, diversity in race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. This intentionality is brought about by active recruitment of congregants from minority groups when a volunteer spot needs to be filled. Usually, the active recruitment is simply a phone call or an email asking a specific person if they would like to help. However, even if the possible recruit declines the invitation, the asking itself serves to let the person know that they are considered to be a part of the congregation which, in turn, may lead to increased participation in congregational activities.

The stories that are told during the service are a wonderful example of how multicultural perspectives can be used to teach Unitarian Universalist values. The stories have become a very popular part of each service and help to “normalize” the antiracist message of the 8th principle deliberately and without fanfare. 

The curricula of each of the classes, for the youngest children up to the Coming of Age group, are designed to teach the values of the 1st Principle as well as the 8th Principle. This year, the 8th grade group read the graphic novel trilogy March, an autobiographical story of the late civil rights icon John Lewis. These books tell the story of Congressman Lewis’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement from the earliest efforts to desegregate lunch counters to the March on Washington, from the Selma march across the Edmond Pettus Bridge to the legal triumphs of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Acts of 1965. Interwoven into the story are vignettes of the inauguration of President Obama, as well as personal reflections on well-known leaders like Martin Luther King and, of particular interest, stories of lesser known civil rights heroes like Fannie Lou Hamer. Perhaps the greatest lesson that the book could impart is that a committed group of ordinary citizens, fueled by righteous anger and shielded by the highest spiritual principles, can use love to make positive changes in the world.  

What does all this mean for all of us? Just as some people argued in the 1960s that there was no need for a Civil Rights Act because everyone’s rights were already codified in the Constitution, there may be those Unitarian Universalists who don’t think that we need to adopt an 8th Principle specifically on discrimination. Doesn’t the 1st Principle, which affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person, take care of that? Unfortunately, just as the Bill of Rights didn’t prevent discrimination, we UUs must recognize that our Seven Principles need amending to include specific language against discrimination and encouraging an intentional antiracism. We must acknowledge that the Seven Principles did not prevent racism in our denomination. Of course, adoption of the 8th Principle will not instantly end white supremacy within our denomination. However, words are important, and the 8th principle speaks to our aspirations and clarifies our intentions. And if you want to see the 8th Principle in action, you need look no further than our RE program.  

From our blogs:

Social Responsibilities Council Recommends

The Albany UU Social Responsibilities Council (SRC) and Inclusivity Team recommend a Black Lives Matter vigil in Troy:
When: Saturdays,10:30-11:00 am
Where: Troy, the sidewalk at the former Price Chopper: 865 2nd Avenue, 12182
  • physical distance, masks
  • signs only, no chanting (except for meditative religious practice)
  • the vigil will automatically be canceled if the temperature is 20 or below OR if the wind chill is below 10 degrees Fahrenheit 

Walk for Climate
Join us for an Interfaith prayerful walk for Climate on Thursday, March 11 from 11 AM to 1 PM. We start at First Lutheran Church at 181 Western Ave., Albany (parking available) and proceed to a walk around the NYS Capitol and back. Sponsored by GreenFaith, NY Renews, and Capital Region Interfaith Creation Care Coalition. For more information go to the Events page of  

SRC recommends that for those who can, and wish to do so, stimulus check(s) can be sent to Albany UU with UU Unified Community Designated Fund in the memo line, which will at a future time be distributed to these three organizations: Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NYUnited Tenants of Albany, and Joseph House in Troy as a gift from Albany UU. Thank you for your consideration.



UU Weekend at Silver Bay: Where Memories are Made
Have you registered for this eagerly awaited highlight of the fall season, featuring stimulating workshops, family togetherness, music floating over Lake George, cozy conversations by the fireplace, the sights and smells of fall, and silent auction skirmishes? 

Registration is open. Register by June 7, 2021 to receive the lowest rates! Children under 6 are free, with substantial discounts for older children and youth. Access additional information about Silver Bay and the UU weekend, including a preliminary schedule of events and a registration form here. Rooms will be assigned on a first come, first served basis based on receipt of the completed registration form and accompanying deposit.

Remember – the cost is all-inclusive for room and board, activities and entertainment - including all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.

Note: Curranty, we are experiencing a time of social distancing and modifications of group gatherings due to Covid-19. Any restrictions in place at the time of the UU Weekend at Silver Bay will be communicated to registrants.

Thank you to all who helped make it possible and all who attended!


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

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

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

Call for Stewardship Volunteers - We Need YOU!
Lifting Hearts, Broadening Minds, Doing Justice…Together

It’s that time again! We’ve started our Stewardship Campaign, Lifting Hearts, Broadening Minds, Doing Justice…Together, and we’ll need some volunteers to help make it happen. Each year during Sunday services in the campaign, we feature the testimonials of members and friends who share with us why they are committed to supporting Albany UU with a financial pledge. We need four people to give these three to five minute testimonials. And starting in April, we’ll need volunteers to make follow-up calls to members and friends to encourage them to complete their pledges. You can indicate your interest using this form. Thank you for considering this important contribution to the Stewardship Campaign! Every little bit helps!

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

YOU can make a difference!
We at Albany UU are making an effort to increase our visibility and connectivity online. YOU can help, and it's quick and easy! Simply like, follow and share pages and posts on any of our social media platforms, or leave a positive Facebook or Google review. Google Albany UU or find us here:

Publication deadlines
This is an important reminder that the news and article deadline for Windows Weekly is 9:00 AM on Monday. Thank you for your cooperation.

Sign up for an online class

- Send an email to:
Regular events and meetings

Most of these events and meetings continue online, however dates and times may vary. Please contact the Team or Group Leader or email if you have questions.

11:45 AM     Inclusivity Team (2nd)
5:30 PM       Walker Book Group (2nd)
11:45 AM      Social Responsibilities Council (3rd)
11:45 AM      Green Sanctuary Committee (4th)

6:15 PM        Religious Education Council
                               (1st, Nov., Feb., May)

10:15 AM      Philosophy Discussion (weekly)

10:00 AM     Ps and Qs (alternating)
12:00 PM Ministry and Operations Team (1st)
7:00 PM     Albany UU Sings (alternating)

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

Online service is generally recorded

Sunday, Feb 28 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 21 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 14 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 7 watch it here.

For archives
username: AlbanyUU
password: EEthelredBrown405

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

Office hours:
The Albany UU Office is closed during this time of physical distancing. Sam, Leah, Tammy and Sapphire have their messages forwarded to their personal cell phones and are available by email.


Zoom use
To reserve Zoom for an Albany UU online meeting, contact Administrative Assistant Sapphire Correa (518.463.7135 or

Photo credit: Jeannie Thompson
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | |