Windows Weekly December 3, 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.

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.

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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

Dec 6, “Remember to Be Still and Know,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
Stillness, the theme for this month, is a core spiritual practice. Whether through meditation, prayer, or yoga, outer stillness opens the mind to knowing its inner activity. That inner life might be much quieter and more subtle in comparison with the drama of daily living and holiday preparations. It is easily overlooked and ignored and requires the effort of remembrance.

Music provided by special guests Barb and Dave Metz; and Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and
Randy Rosette

Use this link to join Sunday 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
Stories of Hope
Have you wondered what the Guest at Your Table program is all about? We’ll learn all about it. The story will be “Meet This Year’s Guests”. Focusing on our 7th Principle. 

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
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service - 7:30 PM, rebroadcast at 10:00 PM

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
Dec 13, “Nature’s Stillness,” Rev Sam Trumbore
The trees stand naked without their covering of greenery. Snowbirds have taken flight. The crickets chirp no more. The land feels lifeless as the frost comes, the water freezes and the snowflakes fly. Yet under the soil, resting under rocks and hidden in caves, life still persists.

Music provided by special guest Mark Abendroth; and Elena Karpoff

11:30 Worship Service for Children and Youth - Family Chapel: Winter Solstice - The story will be “The Rebirth of the Sun” Focusing on our 3rd and 7th Principles

Dec 20, Our Multigenerational Christmas Service with the Pageant: Love Always Comes
In a year like no other, we have adapted our Christmas pageant to use the resources available to us to enact the traditional story of love being born into the world. The congregations of Albany UU and the UU Congregation of Saratoga springs will join together for this service. Your presence will make it come to life. 

Music provided by Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and Randy Rosette

THURSDAY, Dec 24Christmas Eve Service
(7:30pm with repeat broadcast at 10:00pm)
Join us to hear your favorite Christmas carols, enjoy some heartwarming stories, light candles and sing Silent Night together. Though we will not be able to be in the Sanctuary, we’ll have some video from it and enjoy two moving virtual choir pieces. It will not be the same as being physically present together but the spirit of Christmas will not be stopped on this holy evening. (Use the service link.)

Music provided by special guests AUU Virtual Choir, Chris Bystroff; and Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and
Randy Rosette

Dec 27, "Stillness - and the Opportunity to Build Love and Community," Guest Speaker, Janice Gallagher
In a year when so many of us have had more time to be alone, seeing stillness as an opportunity - to love ourselves and those we are closest to; to intentionally build loving connections and community - can be challenging. What are the opportunities hidden within (sometimes involuntary imposed) stillness for ourselves and our world?

Janice Gallagher is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University-Newark. She conducted more than two years of fieldwork in Mexico and Colombia, and previously worked as a human rights accompanier in Colombia. Janice holds a PhD in Government from Cornell University and an MA in teaching from Brown University. She is the daughter of long-time Albany UU members Emily and Jay Gallagher.

Music provided by special guest Tanya Hotalen; and Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and Randy Rosette

Sunday Service information

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. Not familiar with Zoom? Our minister, Rev. Sam Trumbore will give you a brief tutorial.

Use this link to join the Sunday service:

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

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.

For more information about Sunday service, Zoom, Adult RE for ALL, Sunday Offering, and other important Sunday morning details, check out our Sunday at a Glance page here.
Social Responsibilities Sponsored Forum: Sunday, December 6

In June 2020, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 203 requiring each local government in N.Y. State to adopt a policing reform plan that will maintain public safety while building mutual trust and respect between police and the communities they serve. Per the Governor's Executive Order, every locality must adopt a plan for reform by April 1, 2021 to be eligible for future state funding. We are fortunate to have two members of our congregation who have been involved in Reform and Reinvention Collaboratives: Jill Peckenpaugh for the City of Albany and Jaye Holly for the town of Bethlehem. On Sunday, December 6, they will discuss their experiences in an SRC-sponsored Forum in RE for All, beginning at 11:30 AM. SRC sees this as further education on the AIW#1 Amen to Uprising.  

Use this link to join adult RE offerings, Sundays at 11:30 AM (we use breakout rooms):
Congregational Response and SRC Forum

Meeting ID: 518-366-4532
Password: 4051842

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

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. The purpose isn’t to debate the rightness or wrongness of the service, though references, anecdotes, and stories might be further explored, and fact checked. The goal is for people to go deeper with the service through the process of mutual reflection and response.

SRC Sponsored Forum on Police Reform and Reinvention (see above description)

Use this link to join all 11:30 AM adult RE offerings (we use breakout rooms):
Meeting ID: 518-366-4532
Password: 4051842

Soups, masks, coffee and other Fundraisers pick up day!
If you ordered soups, masks, Fair Trade items or still need to pick up your crafts, remember that this Sunday, Dec 6 from 1-4 PM is the last time to pick everything up. Pull up to the church loading zone in front of the lobby doors on Washington Ave with your checkbook (or cash) and we'll take care of the rest. No need to leave your vehicle. See you then!

Philosophy Group
At 10:15 AM every Tuesday, the Albany UU Philosophy Group will meet via zoom and discuss their topic of the day. This Tuesday's topic: How does human nature process the balance between individual action and collective action with regard to risk? Surely we will bring in our COVID challenges. All are welcome.

Use this link to join:

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

Connect with Three
The best way to feel connected in our congregation is to meet people and get to know them. Connect With Three randomly matches you with another person for a 15 minute conversation three times. The conversation can be free form or guided by questions centered on our theme of the month, “stillness” for December, depending on each pairing’s desires.  At the end of an hour, you’ll have had three interesting conversations and met or renewed connections with three people.

Wednesdays, Dec 9 and 23, 4:30-5:30pm

No reservations required, just show up! 

Use this link to join:

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

Walker Book Group 
Join the Walker Book Group for a Zoom discussion on Sunday, Dec 13 at 6:30 pm. We will discuss Akin by Emma Donoghue. 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: 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:
Dec 16
January 6, 20
February 3, 17
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

Albany UU Holiday Concert!
Save the date - Monday, Dec 21 at 7:00 PM - for a virtual holiday concert featuring some of your favorite musicians. Free will donations will go to FOCUS Food Pantry. Stay tuned for more details!

Use this link to join:

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

What is Guest at Your Table?
Guest at Your Table (GAYT) is Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about key human rights issues. Since UUSC works in more than 20 countries, with over 60 grassroots partners, there are thousands of individuals involved in and who benefit from the work that our members make possible. The program is an opportunity to celebrate grassroots partnership, support human rights, and learn about just four of these individuals – the “guests” in Guest at Your Table.

We learn about these guests through written descriptions called “Stories of Hope”. This year the UUSC has created a video about each leader as well as a written description. You can download the videos and descriptions here.

How can I send in my donation?
You can download this template to make your own Guest at Your Table box to put on your meal table at home. Many families and households like to include a time before dinner to remember their guests. Often children and household members put coins in the box. This year we’ll ask you to count up the money you collect and send it directly to the UUSC. Please send in your donation by January 25th.

There are two ways to send your donation to the UUSC this year.

1.   This year the UUSC has set up a donation page for us. [link coming soon!] The donation page is a bit like a GoFundMe in that we can can see the donation totals in real time. Be sure to click the “Make donation anonymous” button under your name if you want your name and amount to be anonymous.

2.   If you prefer, you can mail in a check to UUSC, PO Box 808, Newark, NJ 07101-0808. Make it out to UUSC and write “First UU Society of Albany GAYT” in the memo line. That way your donation by check will be tallied in our overall total.

How can I learn more?

You can check out the Guest at Your Table page at the UUSC website.

Guest at Your Table will be the focus of Brunch Church on Dec 6th at 11:30. All are welcome. Contact Leah Purcell at for the link to join or if you have questions.

From Soul Matter’s partner, Teresa Honey Youngblood

In 2006, the Unitarian Universalist Beacon Press published Thirst, a volume of Mary Oliver’s poetry in which the poem, “The Place I Want to Get Back To,” appeared. The poem tells the story of the day that Oliver sat in perfect stillness in the pine woods, and two deer approached her. Silently sizing her up, one of the deer, in an almost impossibly compelling moment, nuzzles her hand.

While the magic of the wild deer’s soft, warm muzzle is the big surprise, it was made possible because Oliver was practiced--even very skilled--at being still. In the poem, the place Oliver wants to get back to is that perfect oneness found through stillness; stillness is both the path and the destination.
And this is a good way for us UUs to think about stillness, too.

When we light a chalice at the beginning of our services or Sunday school sessions or meetings, we invite stillness. We pause to think of what we are about to do. We carefully articulate what is important. We speak as a community.

When we were together in person, we would often have a child light the chalice at the beginning of the main worship service. We paused to hear something about the child, and then there was that moment when the child ignited the flame of the chalice and the RE lantern. Often this was literally with bated breath. Would the wick catch? Yes! And only then would we take a breath together to say our unison chalice lighting words.

Meeting on Zoom during the pandemic offers us challenges and opportunities. We’re not together on Sunday morning so we don’t experience that collective breath as the chalice is being lit, but we can get to know each other on Zoom in different ways. You may have seen a service in November, in which the chalice lighting was a recording of the Miller-Solot family at home. They shared a bit about what they like to do individually and as a family; the children lit the chalice and then said the chalice lighting words. It was so lovely to see them. It was like an invitation to their home.

Rev. Sam and I invite other households to record themselves lighting the chalice for one of our upcoming Sunday services. You can be any type of household: families with or without children, single people, households with roommates, households with pets, people living locally or out of town – all the beautiful configurations of households in our congregation are welcome to give this a try. Perhaps instead of sharing your hobbies and interests, you would rather share what it is that brings you to our Unitarian Universalist services. Or you could share both! And you don’t go out an buy a chalice if you don’t have one. There are lots of ways to create a chalice with objects from your home that have meaning for you. Rev Sam and I can help you to create a chalice and to make a recording. Email me at if you’re interested or have questions.

In this unique time of the pandemic you may be experiencing the bustle of the holidays. Or you may be experiencing loneliness and loss. You may be experiencing many things all at once. I hope you consider trying to create a home chalice, reflecting on what has meaning for you, and thinking of welcoming the congregation to your home, whether you chose to create a video of it or not. May this process be a path for you to create a pause, a stillness, and perhaps a momentary sense of perfect oneness.

Yours in faith,

More from our Blogs:

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man - Emmanual Acho and Matthew McConaughey 

Matthew McConaughey sits down with Emmanuel Acho to talk about white allergies, whether Black or African American is the appropriate reference, diving deeper, what are white people responsible for, and more.....

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 these titles by authors of color to help you become familiar with a diversity of human experiences.

For adults and youth (with guidance as needed):
March Trilogy, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. (2016). Winner of the National Book Award, March goes far and deep into the story of the civil rights movement in the United States. With a treasure trove of dates, real-life heroes and villains, and places, this book juxtaposes John Lewis' experiences in the civil rights movement with his experience of the Obama inauguration. Available in hard copy and digital download from the Upper Hudson Library System. Copies also available at The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza and Market Block Books in Troy. Not currently available in audiobook. Take note: Albany UU 8th-graders are currently involved in a guided discussion of this trilogy.

Thank you!
Remember that great set of photos of the Nov 21 fundraiser pickup day in last week's Windows publication? All those were taken by Linda English and we are very grateful to have a way to remember that day! Thank you!

Something New!
Free Monday Morning concerts with Alyssa Yeager to connect and refresh. Featuring originals and your favorite 50s-60s folk rock. Mondays at 10:45 AM on and 
All are welcome, you WON'T be on camera, and engaging in the chat is encouraged.

Anyone interested in setting up a Slack channel for chatting on Sunday mornings?
The staff has been hearing different needs from congregants about using the chat box during the Sunday morning service. We use it to share info for Joys and Sorrows. And some people also chat about the various elements of the service at other times. But some people find the chats to be distracting – even the pop ups when the chat is minimized. And the chat is often disabled during the sermon. Other people might want to chat about the sermon in real time. An alternative might be to use a Slack channel. If you’re savvy about Slack and would like to set up a channel for Albany UU, contact Leah Purcell at

The Albany UU Social Responsibilities Council (SRC) and Inclusivity Team recommend a Black Lives Matter vigil in Troy:
When: Saturday, 12/3/20, 10:30-11:00 am
Where: Troy, corner of River Street at the intersection of Fulton and Third Streets
  • physical distance, masks
  • signs only, no chanting
  • all weather

The purpose is two-fold:
  1. to express that Black Lives Matter
  2. to embolden white people to act against racism

To ensure safety as much as we can, we are working under these agreements as a provisionary covenant:
  • We carry signs with the same message: "Black Lives Matter," or "Stand Against Racism."
  • We limit our positive responses to a thumbs-up or a wave.
  • We do not respond to any negative reactions, such as heckling.
  • The police officers at the farmers market (across the street) will be notified that there is a gathering.
  • One person, not holding a sign, will be designated to take photos of license plates of anyone who is inappropriate.
  • We all leave at the end of the vigil, and people leave together.
  • If friends join us, we advise them of the measures above.

If you can’t or don’t want to join standing, you are invited to drive by and wave or honk encouragement.

-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry (DREFM),

-Elizabeth Baldes, Religious Education Coordinator,

Brunch Church this Sunday at 11:30
This is a time for the Religious Ed community - parents/caretakers, children, youth, RE guides and the RE Council to gather over Zoom for a short service that Leah leads. If you're enjoying a slower morning or you want a “second breakfast” bring some grub and we can brunch together. This week we’ll be talking about the “Guest at Your Table” program. The 8th Grade Book Club and Crossing Paths group will be dismissed early to meet for their sessions.
Meeting ID: 843 1034 5197

Coming of Age
Youth and mentors meet with Leah this Sunday at 12:30
Meeting ID: 843 1034 5197

Pageant Rehearsal and Recording this Sat
We have 2;00 – 4:00 blocked off, but it will probably take well under an hour. Little ones can play near the computer until Leah lets their grownup know it's time to record. Come in costume.
We’ll be using zoom link we use for Sunday morning
Meeting ID: 869 4561 6397

Families, Please Join The Treehouse; it’s our own multigenerational community
You’ll see suggestions for meditations, local events, movies and books. Everyone - parents/caretakers, children and youth can share their written thoughts, pictures, videos they make. And this is where the guides keep resources for the Crossing Paths group and 8th Grade Book Club. Click here to join

Parents/caretakers can find resources in the RE Roundup this week.
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, 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.

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, guidelines and information can be found on the Resource Page of our website, here.

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, Nov 29 watch it here.

Sunday, Nov 22 watch it here.

Sunday, Nov 15 watch it here.

Sunday, Nov 8 watch it here.

For previous services, pre-pandemic:
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 | |