Windows Weekly February 25, 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, 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

Feb 28, “The Price of Community,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
Every community makes claims upon its members. It may ask for shared values and commitments. It may ask for shared behavioral norms. All communities ask for loyalty in some form. And all of them depend on mutual financial support.

Music provided by our Albany UU Virtual Choir, Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen, Randy Rosette, Parody by Bob Franklin

Focus Food Pantry
Please consider a contribution to the Focus Food Pantry this Sunday. Online donations can be made here or directly to Focus Churches, here. or you may send your check to the church with FOCUS on the memo line. Thank you for your help.

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 Family Chapel for Children and Families at 11:30 AM
We’ll wrap up the theme of the month - Beloved Community – with the Aesop story “The Tortoise and the Hare.” After the story, the children in Preschool through 8th grade will go to their separate sessions.

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


Board of Trustees Meeting
Tonight, Thursday, Feb 25 at 6:30 PM the Board of Trustees holds their monthly meeting. Board meetings are open to all Albany UU members.

Use this link to join:

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

Movie Discussion: Just Mercy
The Inclusivity Teams invites you to join our discussion of Just Mercy on Friday, Feb 26, 7-8:30 pm. You watch the movie at your convenience, then join the conversation on the 26th. Check out the discussion questions here. Learn more here.

Use this link to join
By phone: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Passcode: 0000

UU Trivia Night!
UUs from Schenectady, Albany, Saratoga, Kingston and Glens Falls! Gather together on Friday, Feb 26, 7 - 8:30 pm for an inter-congregational online trivia night! Learn more here.
Use this link to join:
By phone:1 646 876 9923 US
Meeting ID: 912 0415 6937
Passcode: 146088

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

Focus Food Pantry
Please consider a contribution to the Focus Food Pantry this Sunday. Online donations can be made here or directly to Focus Churches, here. or you may send your check to the church with FOCUS on the memo line. Thank you for your help.

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

Special Congregational Meeting on Proposed Bylaws
Sunday, Feb 28 following service. Learn more here.

Stay on the service link to join:
By phone: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000

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

Ministries and Operations Team (MOT) Meeting
Wednesday, Mar 3 at 12 N the MOT holds their monthly meeting. These meetings are open to all Albany UU members.

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 3, 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

Free Concerts
Every Thursday morning at 10:45, Alyssa Yeager will be offering free live concerts on and Alyssa performs a mix of her originals and your favorite 50s-60s folk rock, including requests. All are welcome!

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
Your packets are in the mail!

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 UU Intercongregational Trivia Night is this Friday, February 26th from 7-8:30pm Come to play on a team or just to cheer folks on and join in the fun. We’ll have the Zoom room open by 6:45, so feel free to hop on early to say hello and get settled before the competition begins!
Questions will include both general knowledge and UU specific topics, and in order to be inclusive of multiples ages, will range from easy to moderate, with a few extra challenging ones tossed in at the end. Trivia specialist Andre Nacmanie will also include a photo round, and our musical ministers will challenge us with some “Name that Tune” offerings.
There's no need to arrange teams ahead of time - we'll assign them randomly with the breakout room function and then teams will meet briefly before the trivia begins to create their team name. If you do want to assemble a particular team, sign on early to let us know so that the Zoom host can put your team together.
We'll aim for teams of 6-8 people. Individuals using the same device to participate in the Zoom will be on the same team, so if you'd like to be on a different team than others in your household, log in with a different device.
Zoom link and other information is below. Questions? Email Kristin at

Join Zoom Meeting

Or Dial:  +1 646 876 9923 US
Meeting ID: 912 0415 6937
Meeting ID: 912 0415 6937
Passcode: 146088

Making a Commitment

The first time Darryl and Cynthia met and got to know each other in an online meeting room, they made a positive connection. After a couple of Facetime chats, things were going well enough that they decided to meet in person on a group hike in the Adirondacks. Then they took the step of doing a traditional date night with a dinner. The conversation was enjoyable and Cynthia found Darryl funny. Then they went to a movie where they held hands. The evening ended with a long kiss and a hug. Cynthia was excited the two of them were getting closer and looked forward to their next meeting. She texted him about an upcoming musical event with a group they both liked. No response. She tried Facebook Messenger, Skype, Facetime, Google, even email. She finally called his cell number. Nothing. Darryl had ghosted her. No explanation. No response. It was as if he had never existed. Cynthia was quite disappointed but not surprised. It had happened before. She had done it to a guy whose nose hairs irritated her. “There are more fish in the sea,” she thought and moved on.

There are lots of Darryls and Cynthias today. There is the appearance of growing commitment until it suddenly evaporates. They disappear, ghosting the other person. 

Singles are careful today about making a commitment to a relationship. Many children were traumatized watching their parents fight, get divorced, then engage in protracted custody battles where they were the pawns. They witnessed the suffering a relationship can cause and remember their feelings of being vulnerable and hurt. They don’t want to be in that kind of relationship. Better to run if they see any signs of trouble.

This fear of commitment has wider sources than relationship struggles. It can be stressful to have too many choices and not know which one is the best. Which kind of apple, or lettuce or cheese or bread or toothpaste or soap should I buy? With technology, which hardware and software platforms should I commit to? Apple? Microsoft? Android? Linux? Ubuntu? Once one technology is learned and adjusted to, it is challenging to change to another one. My experience with one video editor made me reluctant to try another. That would require me learn how to use the new one to find out if it would be any better or not. Because of the learning curve, I had gotten locked into a commitment without deciding to make a commitment which disturbed me.

Another factor that interferes with commitment is FOMO, fear of missing out. What if a better relationship partner comes along who is more charming, more affectionate, has better teeth, a healthier physique, more money, nicer clothes, a warmer smile, a better education, wider taste in music, more, better, best?

These are just a few of the barriers to commitment of which there are many more to list. There are so many motivations to shy away from making commitments. What is more useful to contemplate is what are the benefits of making a commitment? There are many, some of which are not obvious.

The decision to make a commitment itself, in a sense, is its own reward. The decision reduces the anxiety that comes with not being sure which one to make. In the best case, certainty comes with the decision and a sense of confidence in the choice. Making a commitment clarifies the mind and gathers energy to move in one direction rather than another. A publicly proclaimed commitment can be attractive and draw like-committed people to be allies. One’s sense of identity is solidified by making commitments and staying with them.

I remember well the decision to go to seminary. I had been offered a test engineering position in Santa Rosa, California to work at Hewlett Packard. It was my dream job I had desired and strived toward since working as an electronic technician for HP six years before. Yet something held me back that I didn’t understand until, in a powerful moment of insight, I recognized ministry was calling me. Now it was time to leave my former life as an engineer behind. That clear as a bell commitment hasn’t had the financial rewards of staying in Silicon Valley but the spiritual rewards have been far greater.

Other commitments I’ve made have grown more slowly like a commitment to eat a diet that increases the health of my digestive system. The healthier my gut has become, the stronger the commitment has grown.

Another kind of commitment is commitment to a community. Commitment to a community has many benefits too. Such a commitment facilitates the development of a sense of trust with others in the community. It helps develop the sense that we are in this together. “I’ve got your back.” “If you’re in trouble, I’ll be there for you.” This spirit develops a strong sense of loyalty to your people in the community and fosters a sense of responsibility to the community and identification with it.

One of the great struggles of being human is being in a body that is separate from other bodies. There is an aloneness that our society amplifies through our development of individualism. Just sitting with other people in Community Hall can foster a little of the feeling of connection. Unfortunately, that often dissipates after walking out the door. A sense of enduring connection starts to develop when we make a commitment to the congregation.

There are many ways to make a commitment to our congregation. Coming regularly on Sunday morning and meeting people after the service is one way. Another is getting involved in one of our many small group experiences. Another important way to deepen commitment is through a generous promise of financial support of the congregation during our stewardship drive in March. Becoming a member is a big step in commitment. It is the commitment that assists in helping the congregation become a place where you feel you belong, and it belongs to you. Through commitment, membership grows a deepening sense of meaning and purpose.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity this congregation has given to me to make an intense commitment to serving its growth and development. I’ve made that commitment into this congregation to be an example of what commitment can do. It is a joy and a privilege to work in partnership with it to help it find its way and bring it new life. As we all deepen our commitment together, so much becomes possible that can transform us and transform those around us.

Commitment is the key that opens the way.

-Rev. Sam

From our blogs:

Social Responsibilities Council Recommends

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.

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 

Raise Your Voice for End of Life Choice
CALL TO ACTION: Be a virtual volunteer to change the world from the comfort of your home.
Many thanks to all who attended the inspiring virtual rally to launch the 2021 campaign to pass New York’s Medical Aid in Dying Act. More than 125 people attended! If you missed it, you can view it here. We invite everyone to join the campaign to stop the suffering.
  • Zoom with us on Sunday, February 28, 3:00-4:30, when New York UU Justice will feature presentations on three legislative advocacy issues for 2021, including medical aid in dying, for UUs from congregations across the state. Register here.
  • Volunteer to be a virtual advocate to meet with lawmakers on Zoom. No experience needed. Contact Amanda Cavanaugh at
  • Contact your Assembly Member and Senator to express your support for medical aid in dying. Even if you have contacted them before, please do it again.  Contact information is here.
  • Invite others to join your efforts.  Many voices will send a message to lawmakers: the terminally ill cannot wait. 

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  

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 keeping our members and friends in your thoughts as they share their joys and concerns.

If you would like to watch the memorial service for
Harry Taber, find that here.

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, Phil Rich, Randy Rosette, Sandy Stone, Dee VanRiper and Erik 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 provides 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 “check in’s” from Caring Network members. Please reach out to the Caring Network.

Don’t Miss UU Weekend at Silver Bay! (10/15-10/17/21)

Comradery, colorful fall scenery, campfires, canoeing, and culinary pleasures await you at a coveted setting on Lake George.

Attending UU Weekend as a newer member of the Albany congregation has been a great way to get to know people on a deeper level.
-Debbie Reep MacLeod

Registration is now 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.

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’re about to start 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)
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 21 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 14 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 7 watch it here.

Sunday, Jan 31 watch it here.

Sunday, Jan 24 watch it here.

Sunday, Jan 17 watch it here.

Sunday, Jan 3 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 | |