Windows Weekly July 23, 2020
Albany UU Windows Weekly

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.

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-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 .
July 26 "A Kaleidoscope of Time and Space,” Sigrin Newell
We Americans tend to think of time as something fixed, something from which we cannot escape, an ever-present part of our daily lives. As the pandemic shut-downs have demonstrated, we have equally strong opinions about personal spaces and public spaces. That time and space might be experienced in any other way seems unnatural and strange. Yet other cultures envision both time and space in radically different ways. In a global world, these unconscious expectations frequently clash, causing problems for tourists, business people, and politicians. Exploring differing views of time and space adds depth to our practice of UU principles: accepting one another and believing in the dignity of every person. 

Dr. Sigrin Newell has been active with Albany UU for more than 30 years. She has given many sermons, sings in the choir and is the music librarian. She retired from Walden University, a distance-learning graduate school where she taught students earning their PhDs in education.

Music: Alyssa Yeager


Use this link to join:
Hope you are enjoying summer session!

Albany UU Virtual Summer Services
Summer services continue through September 6.

8:30 a.m. Virtual Sunday Meditation continues through the summer and we will have Virtual Service at 10:00 AM each Sunday. Summer services are coordinated by Randy Rosette, with a delightful list of guests in the pulpit, including Rev. Sam.

Find more information about our summer services here .
August 2  “Threatened with Transformation,” Rev. Dr. Tom Chulak
Life is filled with threat. It is all around us. There are threats of all kinds, including the coronavirus. The way we deal with threat impacts the way we deal with life. At the heart of Unitarian Universalism are principles but maybe even deeper is a belief in transformation in a time of threat. This service will affirm our way of being religious.

Tom is retired Unitarian Universalist minister and member of our congregation. He lives is Ghent with his wife Nicole. Together, they own the Chatham bookstore.

Music: Elena Karpoff

August 9 “Socially Engaged Buddhism,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
One common critique of Buddhism is that it doesn’t promote social change. The practice of meditation is focused on individual liberation rather than collective salvation. The interaction of Christianity and Buddhism has given rise to socially engaged Buddhism that is taking root in both the West and the East.

Rev. Sam Trumbore has served as minister of Albany UU since the fall of 1999. He is married to Philomena Moriarty and they have an adult son Andrew.

Music: Elena Karpoff

August 16 “The Gospel According to ??? Pew, Pulpit and Politics 2020” Rev. Richard S. Gilbert
Election 2020 promises to be one of the most significant in recent history. What is the role of religion in this 244-year experiment in democracy? What about the separation of church and state? Faith and politics? Do UU congregations have a place in the dialogue, or are we “up to our steeples in politics?

Rev. Dick Gilbert, retired UU minister, has published books on faith development, social justice and meditations. He is currently working on a book entitled: No Consorting with Angels: the Spiritual Life of Susan B. Anthony. He lives in Rochester with his wife Joyce.

Music: Randy Rosette

August 23 “Our Adaptive Challenge,” Rev. Chris Antal
What kind of a world is emerging from this pandemic, and what might we do to make it a better one? Learning to distinguish technical problems from adaptive challenges is an important step.

Rev. Antal was an Albany UU intern from 2009-2010 and ordained in 2011. Since then he worked as an Army chaplain, a congregational minister, and a hospital chaplain in the Department of Veterans Affairs, adapting to many challenges along the way.

Music: Elena Karpoff

August 30 “ Is Doing Your Best … Good Enough?" Rev. Sam Trumbore
Dr. Conrad Trumbore (Rev. Sam’s father) has a favorite expression: “Do your best and to hell with the rest.” Doing “your best” is a common admonition today that is remarkably free of context. Do what best? How do we define what one’s best is? And is one’s best … good enough … as compared to what?

Rev. Sam Trumbore has served as minister of Albany UU since the fall of 1999. He is married to Philomena Moriarty and they have an adult son Andrew.

Music: Elena Karpoff

Joys and Concerns for Online Services
We have three ways that you can share your joys and concerns.
  • One: Use the online form. If you use this form, you can indicate if you would like to have your joys and concerns shared at the Sunday service, and you can leave contact info if you would like a Pastoral Care Associate to follow up with you.
  • Two: Email your joy or sorrow to before Sunday morning to have them read aloud during the service
  • Three: We will be giving you instructions during the Sunday service about how to share your joys and concerns then.

Sunday Offering
If you would like to make a contribution to the Sunday Offering "Plate", click or send your check, with Sunday Offering on the memo line, to the church: 405 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12206. Mail is being processed while the building is closed.

Try our text to give option! Simply text the amount and fund (for example: 20 offering or 20 pledge) to  844-976-2618 . There's a  helpful video  to watch with step by step instructions and a informative  written guide  with visuals.

Sunday services will be online via Zoom at 10:00 AM EST. There will be no service, religious education or other activities in the church building until further notice.


Use this link to join:

Wearing your Zoom “Name Tag”
When signing into a Zoom worship service on a Sunday morning, you can't put on your traditional name tag to be welcoming to others, but you CAN rename your screen so that it displays your full name. This is the new way to practice hospitality with everyone who is part of the online worship service.

To change your screen name, look for three white dots, usually appearing in the upper right corner of your zoom window when you hover over it with your cursor. Click the dots, and a dropdown menu will appear. One of the options in the dropdown menu is "Rename." Click that option, and a box will pop up that displays the name currently showing in your Zoom window. If it's not your full name or names, change it to your name(s) and click the "Save" button.
If you have any questions, feel free to send an Usher a message in the Chat on a Sunday or email Tammy Hathaway - anytime. Thanks for taking this extra step to be welcoming!
Wellspring Sip n Chat
Bring your questions and learn more about Wellspring!
Two opportunities:
Tonight (Thursday, July 23) at 6:30 PM
Tomorrow (Friday, July 24) at 10:00 AM

Use this link to join:

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:

To dial in by phone call: 1-929-436-2866 and enter
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:

To dial in by phone, call: 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, July 29 at 10:00 AM.
(Apologies for having the next date incorrect in the last round of publications!)

Use this link to join:

To dial by phone: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 970 3238 2631
Password: 0000

Albany UU Sings -- Dates for Summertime!
Sing along in Virtual Community on the following Wednesdays for the Summertime:
   August 5 and August 19

At 7:00 PM,  join your friends and sing your heart out! We will supply the music and the lyrics. Hope to see you there.

Use this link to join:

By phone: 1-929-436-2866 Meeting ID: 935725639

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a Zoom discussion on Sunday, August 9 at 6:00 pm . We will discuss  Gods of the Upper Air  by Charles King. Directions for joining the meeting will be placed in the Daily Reminders.  Learn more here.

Use this link to join:
To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866:
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 000
How White People Can Help 
by Fred Walls

Ibram X. Kendi asks us to further our understanding of how white people can respond in this TED Talk "The difference between not being racist and being 'anti-racist'"

Our Inclusivity Team is offering resources for our ongoing education and reflection to address white supremacy culture at Albany UU. Are you finding that you have some time for reading and watching videos these days? Consider settling in with this book.

For adults and youth (with guidance as needed):
Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015). Winner of the National Book Award and multiple other awards, Coates explores the idea of "race" being an artificial, social construct. The book, in the form of a letter to his son, gives a perspective of being in a Black body and feeling the burden of our history. Toni Morrison charged us, stating, "This is required reading." Available in digital download and audio book from the Upper Hudson Library System.

For children and others:
Honey, I Love, and other love poems, by Eloise Greenfield (1986). This is a classic. It was featured by Reading Rainbow on PBS. The poetry is a child's voice: "When I'm by myself and I close my eyes..."

...about 405 Washington Avenue
Patti Jo Newell, President of the First UU Society of Albany
Recent news items concerning houses of worship may make it seem like Albany UU will soon reopen for limited use. And we’ve been getting inquiries about rentals. But, at this point in time, our physical plant remains closed for use outside of maintenance. The Board of Trustees has begun discernment over factors that need to be considered and requirements that must be met in determining a timetable and procedures for reopening. While we will not be opening the building in the near future, we are heartened by the strength of our congregation and the community we’ve maintained outside of our building. Many thanks to each of you for the life you breathe into our congregation.

Though we know we will not be opening our building in the near future, the Board has appointed a Task Force to begin discernment and communications regarding the reopening process. The first meeting was July 22. We're working on it.

Photo credit: Jeannie Thompson
Scheduling Zoom Meetings
We currently have two zoom accounts that we can use for meetings. To request a Zoom meeting, please do so just as you would when requesting a room to use in our building - using Church Database. When you choose your resources, or "room", choose between Zoom 1 and Zoom 3. There are links to instructions below. This is the preferred method but requests can also be sent via email to Sapphire:

When you send an email, please have a few dates and times that will work for your meeting to minimize a lot of time consuming negotiating. Thank you!
-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry (DREFM),

Albany UU Chill Summer Camp!
We still can’t be together in person, but Leah’s creating some fun ways for families and guides to stay connected this summer. The first session of Chill Summer Camp is four evenings a week and runs through Thursday, July 30. We’ll have evening gatherings Monday – Thursday starting at 7:00 pm for about 45 minutes.

  • Mondays and Wednesdays we meet via zoom for a check in and story time. Leah is reading One Crazy Summer.

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have a Chalice Check In - using the same zoom link. This is a chance for families to gather on line and have a little check in on how things are going. Leah will have a prompt for discussion about the theme of the month.

Password 4051842

AND families and guides can connect anytime on a new Chill Summer Camp platform.  Leah has created an online space using a new platform called Mighty Networks. It’s like our own private Facebook with no ads and no algorithms. You can participate on this platform whether you come to the evening sessions or not. So little kids can contribute too! Sign up now and check out topic prompts.

Two Virtual Middle School Summer Camps
  • The Central East Region is creating a Middle School Virtual Summer Camp Experience August 3 - 7, for rising 7th thru 9th graders. Here’s the registration.

  • Murray Grove UU Conference Center and staff have developed a virtual Camping in the Grove program, August 2 – 6, for rising 4th through 8th graders. Find out more here.

Save the Date: Brunch Church Aug 2 at 11:30
This will be a time for the Religious Ed community - parents/caretakers, children, youth, their guides and the RE Council to gather over Zoom with some food, hang out and talk a little about the theme of the month which is Belonging -  here's the packet of reflections, discussion topics and activities for families on Belongin g, which Elizabeth created. 

Join us Sunday Aug 2 at 11:30 am
Password: 4051842
By phone +1 929 436 2866
Meeting ID: 867 9876 7127
Password: 4051842
We're all wondering.... What will Religious Education for children and youth look like this fall?
We know that meeting only online is not optimal for any of our education and ministry; still, we won’t be meeting in person until the Board has decided it is safe. Elizabeth and I are making plans for online Religious Education, which will start in mid-Sept. The theme for Sept is Renewal. Elizabeth and I invite you to start the year by participating in online RE events with your children to help keep/make connections within our RE community. These RE events will be after the 10:00 service - at 11:30, for about 30 minutes - up to 45 minutes. There is talk of having some Adult Religious Ed opportunities also at 11:30. We are joyfully calling this time “RE for All.” More about the groups and curriculum and other information.  
More information for families , including material recommendations from the Inclusivity Team, a social justice project for families is in this week’s Summer Sizzler  .
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.

Need to Talk? Albany UU Pastoral Care Associates are here to listen!
Our Pastoral Care Associates have been trained in compassionate listening skills and are available to all members and friends of our congregation. To contact a Pastoral Care Associate, email: , contact Rev. Sam Trumbore , the Albany UU office at 518.463.7135, or one of them personally. They are: Sharon Babala, Chuck Manning, Donna Meixner, Dan Miyake, Phil Rich, Randy Rosette, Dee VanRiper and 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 .
Honoring Two Heroes of Racial Justice

I’ve been finding inspiration and courage reading about the lives of John Lewis and C. T. Vivian who both died last Friday. They were giants of the Civil Rights era whose work continued up until the weeks before they died. Lewis was heartened by the multiracial response to George Floyd’s murder and the change it initiated. He recognized qualities in it that were different from his many years fighting white supremacy that gave him hope. A great capstone to a heroic life committed to racial justice.

There have been many tributes written in the last several days to their self-sacrificing, risk-taking dedication to the methods of non-violent activism during the fight against Jim Crow. From being Freedom Riders challenging segregation on interstate buses, to sit-ins at lunch counters, to voter registration drives, to marches including the 1965 march over the Edmund Pettus bridge, they combined confrontational tactics with dignity, suits and ties, and respect. That included being beaten and arrested numerous times.

John Lewis came to Gandhian non-violence by listening to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preach on it. He was aware of Gandhi, had read about him and his methods, but hearing how King integrated it with the non-violent suffering of Jesus, he was converted. King’s genius was that synthesis of Gandhi with Black theology to find an effective path to liberation.

Lewis’ courage to accept suffering without being bowed and coming back for more, staying clear about the demands of the movement speaks to me today. This wasn’t just the idealistic enthusiasm of youth that fades over the years. He kept his eyes focused on the prize that he kept fighting for through good times and bad.

As our congregation and Unitarian Universalism respond to the demands of Black Lives Matter and Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism, I have heard expressions from White folks that they don’t like feeling uncomfortable. “Can’t we just all get along, experience a sense of community, and see we share the same values and ends?” “I have my own problems – I don’t come on Sunday to feel shame and guilt.” “I need inspiration and uplift so I can cope with the challenges I’m living with right now.”

This was what Dr. King heard constantly from White people. Yes, your right but these things take time. We’re just not ready yet to make the needed changes. We’ll get there, just be patient. Can’t we all just do this in a way that no one gets upset and we can be agreeable?

Some provocative resolutions were passed at our UUA General Assembly in June. The delegates received a report by the Commission on Institutional Change that had some strong critiques of our institutional habits, patterns, and structures. Those extend beyond just the Unitarian Universalist Association to our member congregations. If we seriously consider these resolutions and reports, I expect some of us will get very uncomfortable. Especially when looking at defunding police departments and looking at our congregation’s interactions with police, especially our alarm system.

Lewis challenges me personally too. The election of our current President in Washington DC had a chilling effect on my speech. I didn’t want to give him power by constantly being reactive to his barrage of tweets. How should one respond to a constant stream, a river, an ocean of lies? I felt trapped not wanting to feed the red-blue division with my outrage. Thankfully, the example of Lewis and Vivian along with the uprising in response to Black death has animated my voice. Our Unitarian Universalist voice is needed in the public square, especially to support and amplify Black and Black UU voices that may not be heard. I have, White folks in our congregation have, power to lend whether or not I have something original to say.

This is an unusual moment right now. White folks are more open than they have been to Black voices and experience than we’ve seen in many years. There is a generational change happening as the result of integrated schools, higher education, and the resurgence and affirmation of racism fostered by our current President. Over 60% of the public is fed up and rejects this vision of what makes America great. We need to make as much progress and change as possible in this moment because we don’t know how long it will last.

So much depends on what happens in November. (UU the Vote!)

                                                                                               -Rev. Sam

More from our Blogs:


Fun With the Finance Committee

Chuck Manning started this with an email about his attendance at the Finance Committee Meeting:

Chuck: I may be late because I am going on a hike with my grandkids in a search for gnomes.

Then the replies started:

Jon Newell: Chuck, they’re already in your back yard, in disguises.

Toni Daniel: Chuck, you'll find them eating gnocchi with the gnus.

Jon: Wow, that’s gnus to me.

Toni: Well, they could be gnawing away at gnats, but that would be gnarly....

Jon: If you listen carefully, you may hear them gnashing their teeth over the national news, which gets them tied up in knots.

Reese: I hate hearing knotty gnomes gnawing, even if they are ingnito [sic].

Tammy: You all are gnostically gnarly! Gnomes or knot! ;-)

Steve Moskowitz: Isn't Gnome in Alaska. The heat is making me giddy.  

 Renew, Refresh and Relax at Silver Bay
D o you feel as though the summer is moving too fast?  Keep the good times rolling!  Come to the UU Weekend at Silver Bay from October 16-18, 2020 to build and strengthen relationships and nurture spirit, mind and body. Learn, play and hang out with your fellow UU’s before winter sets in.
Join us for this annual celebration!  First-timers will receive an additional 10% discount! Children under 6 are free and there are substantial discounts for older children and youth.
If you find yourself cleaning out your house, don’t forget to save gently used items for young and old alike for the annual auction.
Fill out a registration form here and follow the mailing instructions.
We are currently experiencing a time of social distancing and cancellations of group gatherings due to Covid-19.

Silver Bay staff has assured us that the facility is and will continue to follow all appropriate local, state and federal guidelines and protocols related to COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all staff and guests. Updates on those guidelines and protocols will be provided in our publicity. The most current guidance in effect will be shared with attendees just prior to the weekend.

Registered particpants who decide not to attend will be able to request a full refund up to two weeks prior to the start date of the UU Weekend.  If the Weekend is cancelled altogether abecause of continued or reinstated social restrictions, all registered participants will receive a full refund. 

Learn more  here .
Virtual Service Ushers
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. W e 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:

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.

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

Some of these events and meetings continue online, however dates and times may vary, especially during the summer months. 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 (July 15, 29)

1:00 PM       All Sides Considered
(1st & 3rd - except during the summer months)
6:30 PM       Board of Trustees (4th)
Going to miss a Sunday?

Online service is generally recorded

Sunday, July 12 watch it here.

Sunday, July 5 watch it here.

Sunday morning General Assembly Worship, June 28, watch it here.

Sunday, June 21 watch it here.

Sunday, June 14 watch it here.

Sunday, June 7 watch it here.

"Religion, Sex and Politics: A Conversation for Polite Company" with Rabbi Dennis Ross watch it here.

Building Justice, Equity and Compassion in Human Relations: A Trauma-Informed Perspective with Jaye Holly and Danisha Burnett-Bonner, May 17, watch it here

HMUU Join Service with Paula Cole Jones, Sunday, April 5, watch it here

Community of Communities workshop with Paula Cole Jones, watch it here

For previous services, before quarantine:
You can listen to the entire Albany UU Sunday service at home or on your mobile device. March 1 and 8 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 - 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 | |