Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. You may notice that some of the formatting is different than you're used to seeing in the Weekly. Trying some new things to optimize readability on different devices. Please stay safe and stay connected to your Albany UU Community in the many ways provided online - all described below.
e welcome everyone. Our Unitarian Universalist community seeks truth and deeper meaning, pursues justice through inspired action, and cultivates compassion and love for all connected by the web of life
Sunday Service 10:00 AM -
March 29, “Scriptural Wisdom,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
In an age of quantum physics and gene splicing, ancient holy books can still guide our hearts. As Easter approaches on April 12, come hear inspiring Biblical stories that can transmit wisdom across thousands of years. We need not believe them literally to get great metaphorical meaning from them.
Elena Karpoff and Tanya Hotalen
Send Rev. Sam your photos!
Please send Rev. Sam a photo of you, you and your family, you and your pet - a photo of you doing what you're doing during these interesting times. To be used during the virtual service.
Focus Food Pantry
Please consider a contribution to the Focus Food Pantry on Sunday.
Click here to donate
. Or send your check to the church: 405 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12206. Mail is being forwarded.
Pass the virtual "plate." If you'd like to make a contribution to the Sunday Collection "Plate," click
or send your check to the church, see above.
By phone: 1-646-876-9923 Meeting ID: 2990187785
10:00 am -
April 5 -
AT 10:30 AM
- Hudson-Mohawk UU Cluster Worship Service with Paula Cole Jones
All are invited
AT 10:30 AM (note different time
) to a joyous online joint service. Join us in reflection and song as we are inspired by UUA congregational Life staff member Paula Cole Jones. Discover a new language of community that results in greater well-being and builds Beloved Community. Help bring our UU faith to life as together we explore a counter-cultural approach to supporting inclusion and pluralism
The service will be followed by a workshop
at 12:30 PM
presented by Paula Cole Jones on Sociocracy and “community of communities”.
Music Provided by Various Local/Regional UU Societies
April 12, “Easter: The Spirit of the Deathless,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
Easter celebrates death is limited. Winter cannot stop the spring from coming. The cycle of death and birth isn’t limited by individual deaths. The death of the great Rabbi Jesus cannot stop the transmission of this transforming and healing message to us today. Let us celebrate life’s spiritual continuity in the face of death with our fellow Christians.
Music Provided by Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen and Randy Rosette
April 19, “Earth Day at 50,” Rev. Sam Trumbore with the Green Sanctuary Committee
Much has happened in the last fifty years to give us hope yet much remains to be done to prevent so much environmental harm that comes from human activity. Even though the fate of humanity is beyond our individual control, we can play a role in efforts that can make a positive difference. The Green Sanctuary Committee will lead this service with Rev. Sam.
Music Provided by Elena Karpoff, Chris Bystroff, Chris Jensen, Randy Rosette
April 26, “Roots and Wings,” Dan Miyake, Intern Minister
These times, they are a’ changing … Unitarian Universalism is a Living Tradition – one whose faith is not dead and stagnant, or chained to concrete slabs of dogma or creed. Our denomination lives and breathes by its ability, its necessity, to change while holding onto its roots for stability. In our roots we find our strength and foundation, but change is the vehicle by which we move forward to new ideas, new visions, and new actions. Now, more than ever, we must hold onto our roots very tight as we prepare to fly full force into an unknown future.
Music Provided by Elena Karpoff, Randy Rosette
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 email@example.com 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.
Here is the information and helpful hints to access the service online via Zoom each Sunday:
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.
Our Zoom link for the service is here:
Or perhaps this one will be easier to remember:
You do not need a camera or a microphone on your computer to join.
Another option to access Zoom is by phone. The phone number to dial in is: 1-646-876-9923. You will be asked for a meeting ID. Enter: 2990187785
A couple of helpful hints:
-When you're coming into the meeting and a window comes up with a few options, select "computer audio on".
-If you come into the meeting and see a lot of little squares with people or names in them; look in the upper right hand corner of your screen; you'll see the words "speaker view" - select that. You want to be in "speaker view" and not "gallery view".
-The "Alt H" key stroke will open chat.
Beautiful words from member Jeannie Konlande:
UU has had such GRACE and flexibility and focus for the good of all in mindful response to this current situation. All that is being done
Both to release pressure and avoid contamination
And KEEP connectedness, community, love
What you all are doing is of LOVE. I am grateful. Thank you.
Peace, protection, sound health surround each of you and all of your loved ones.
Used with the author's permission
Let's Have a Virtual Party!
Bring your own...whatever and join Rev. Sam on zoom this
Friday, March 27 from 7:00-8:30. This will be a fun Congregation Check In and a test. While we are very confident that we've fixed our zoom capacity issue and now can accommodate over 100 people on a zoom call, testing is always a good idea - let's let's make it a party and all join in on Friday - over 100 people - we can do it! See you then!
Use this link to join:
By phone: 1-646-876-9923 Meeting ID: 2990187785
Congregation Zoom Check Ins
Let's meet together electronically to see how we're doing in these challenging times and offer mutual support.
March 27 from 7-8:30PM (Zoom Party - see above!), Tuesday, March 31 from 4-5PM, Wednesday, April 1 from 2-3PM, Thursday, April 2 from 11-12PM and Friday, April 3 from 7-8:30PM.
Use this link to join:
By phone: 1-646-876-9923 Meeting ID: 2990187785
Albany UU Sings
Do You Like to Sing? All you need is a computer or phone to log in, and a love of music. Join your friends and sing your heart out
every Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM
! We will supply the music and the lyrics. Sing along in Virtual Community. Hope to see you there. Contact Randy
with any questions.
Use this link to join:
By phone: 1-929-436-2866 Meeting ID: 935725639
Spirit for Life
Sam’s daily un-programmed Zoom check-ins have been well-received. They have offered members and friends much needed opportunities for connection during this time of physical distancing and isolation. Folks have been able to pop in and out as needed to chat and share how they and their families are doing.
Starting in April, intern minister Dan Miyake will host an ongoing programmed Zoom group that will have a more spiritual and reflective tone. This group will operate as a “shared ministry” in that participants will be invited to share offerings of poetry, readings, prayers, meditations, or spiritual practices with the group as we help one another stay grounded, hopeful, inspired, and connected.
An online organizational meeting will be held via Zoom on
Thursday, April 2 at 3:00.
The Zoom link is:
To call in: 1-646-876-9923 Meeting ID: 625944589
At this meeting, we will discuss what format we want to use, when to meet and how often, and what a meeting will look like. If you are longing for a deeper sense of connection and spiritual uplifting, this group is for you! Everyone is welcome. If you are unable to attend the organizational meeting but still want to participate, please contact Dan directly at
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
After much careful deliberation, the Auction Committee has decided to cancel the live, onsite auction for this year. Our next comprehensive Auction will be held in March of 2021. Donors and paid attendees for this year’s auction will receive more details soon by email.
In the meantime, the Auction Committee will work towards co-sponsoring a “Welcome Home Gathering” to be held when the pandemic resolves. While celebrating our community and togetherness, we hope to offer silent and fixed auction items as an additional activity during the event.
Our Annual Dinner has been postponed
until a time when we can all safely gather to break bread together.
Our Breakfast Program continues on the third Saturday of the month
We now provide “grab and go” meals just outside the building.
April is...Annual Reports writing month!
To prepare for our virtual annual congregational meeting on Sunday, May 17, we gather reports from all our active groups at Albany UU to document what we have done (and are doing!) this year.
The deadline for submitting reports is
Monday, April 27
. A reminder email will be sent in the coming days to committee chairs, team leaders, trustees and staff with more information. If you have any questions about the annual report process, contact Church Administrator Tammy Hathaway: email@example.com.
Harvest the wisdom of your life experience!
Last chance! Join us for the AGE-ING to SAGE-ING® Workshop series led by Audrey Seidman with Rev. Sam Trumbore,
Wednesdays, 2:00pm - 4:30pm, April 22, May 6, 20, June 3 and 17.
If we have enough interest, this workshop will be moved online.
Learn powerful tools for gathering and giving expression to the wisdom of your own ripening life and find inspiration through the gift of mortality. Based on the teachings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and other spiritual wisdom leaders.
Albany UU Members: $120
BUILDING BELOVED COMMUNITY
Our stewardship campaign continues and we need you now more than ever! Many thanks to all those who have already pledged. We are now at 60% of our goal.
We need to get all pledges returned by April 1 so don’t delay. Remember to include your UU Bucks raffle ticket when you return your pledge.
To Return Your Pledge by April 1, you can:
Pledge online using
. (A raffle ticket will be filled out for you.)
Mail your pledge to the Albany UU office.
LET'S GET GROWING!
Bringing awareness to the history, perspectives and concerns of people who are not in the majority, to “de-center” the views of those who are white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, etc., and make room for others’ experiences, talents and voices….
DID YOU KNOW?
Zora Neale Hurston
was an anthropologist, in addition to being a noted African American author. She began researching and interviewing for this book in 1927, but it was not published until 2018...
"Barracoon The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”
by Zora Neale Hurston
Hurston went to Alabama "to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis…then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation's history. Hurston was there to record…memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage… aboard the
, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War (after which he founded the freedman community of Africatown)." "Brimming with observational detail from a man whose life spanned continents and eras, the story is at times devastating, but Hurston's success in bringing it to light is a marvel."
“The danger of a single story”
“Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories… Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.“
TED Talk - 20 minutes
Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History -
writer Kate Schatz and artist Miriam Klein Stahl “tell fresh, engaging, and inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. Featuring an array of diverse figures from Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica).
! by Edwidge Danticat is a “collection of nine short stories tied together by similar plots of struggle and survival within the Haitian community…evokes the wonder, terror, and heartache of her native Haiti--and the enduring strength of Haiti's women--with a vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bear witness to her people's suffering and courage…a collection that outrages, saddens, and transports the reader with its sheer beauty.”
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
NY Times best selling novel-in-verse, by an award winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth. The heroine, Xiomara, “feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood… She has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers…”
2018 National Book Award
Ages teen to adult
Ruby Finds A Worry by Tom Percival
"Ruby barely sees the Worry — depicted as a blob of yellow with a frowny unibrow — at first, but as it hovers, the more she notices it and the larger it grows. The longer Ruby is affected by this Worry, the fewer colors appear on the page. Though she tries not to pay attention to the Worry, which no one else can see, ignoring it prevents her from enjoying the things that she once loved.... By the book’s conclusion, Ruby learns to control her Worry by talking about what worries her, a priceless lesson for any child — or adult — conveyed in a beautifully child-friendly manner." From
This Land Is My Land
, by George Littlechild. Acclaimed Native American artist George Littlechild “takes young readers back in time to the first meeting between his Plains Cree ancestors and the first European settlers in North America. Through inspiring autobiographical stories accompanied by vivid, dramatic paintings, he recounts the history of his people and their relationship to the land, relating their struggles and triumphs with sensitivity, irony, and humor.” Winner of the Jane Addams Picture Book Award and the National Parenting Publications Gold Medal. Grades 3 – 5.
Booking Jourdan – 20 Favorite Books by Black Authors
Minority Leader: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change
by Stacey Abrahms
A personal and empowering blueprint - from one of America’s rising Democratic stars - for outsiders who seek to become the ones in charge
Leadership is hard. Convincing others - and often yourself - that you possess the answers and are capable of world-affecting change requires confidence, insight, and sheer bravado. Minority Leader is the handbook for outsiders, written with the awareness of the experiences and challenges that hinder anyone who exists beyond the structure of traditional white male power - women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials ready to make a difference.
Finding Inner Freedom While Outwardly Confined
Being confined to home and work at home may seem attractive at first – a chance to decompress from a stressful existence and have more family time together – but after a week or two of it, stress can build. The habits of our housemates that normally don’t bother us can cause aggravation when we are in close contact. The noise level with restless children complaining about nothing to do or boredom with what they have to do, worry about another housemate bringing the virus into the house, increased cooking, cleaning, and laundry, and not having enough physical separation space from each other can fray our nerves. It isn’t warm enough yet so we can get outside for longer periods and keep apart. Until the warmer days of spring arrive (and they are coming!) we’ll be dealing with the unhappiness of confinement.
This being closely confined with other people for longer than a week reminds me of being at a silent meditation retreat. At an insight-oriented retreat, as taught by the Insight Meditation Society, the participants sit close together in the meditation hall for an hour at a time. We are strongly urged not to move during that time. We do very slow walking meditation in confined spaces near each other, especially in cold or rainy weather. We wait in line to get our food from a buffet and eat together in a common dining hall. We keep silence and do not communicate in any way with the other participants. Our attention must always be watching what is happening in our own minds and attending to the present moment guided by our attention to the breath.
This can feel very confining and bring up awareness of a lot of stress. From the outside this may seem like a lot of self-punishment. In the first several days of the retreat as our bodies and minds slow down there can be a lot of unpleasantness. Yet by the fourth or fifth day, I’m feeling much better as my body relaxes and lets go of layer upon layer of muscle tension. Repeatedly coming back to the breath meditation gradually quiets the mind and the thinking process begins to get much slower and quieter. Towards the end of the retreat, my body is deeply rested and energized while my mind is peaceful, sharp and attentive to each moment.
Insight meditation teacher S.N. Goenka’s students have taken these methods of Buddhist meditation into prisons to teach these methods to inmates. They are even more restricted in their confinement, but they find they get great benefit like what I experience at a retreat too.
The diminishment of outer stimulation in these settings, especially by limiting speech and hearing of language, has the effect of amplifying inner awareness of our mental processes. Patterns of emotional reactivity to physical sensations, sights, sounds, and smells and the thoughts that appear in relation to them are much more noticeable. The process of reactivity becomes much more apparent. The sequence of sensation to feeling to thought becomes clearer. I notice the end process of being annoyed about something like Andrew leaving a dirty pan in the middle of the sink. My reactivity starts at the end of the chain of associations not the beginning. Becoming aware of the beginning of the chain and the patterns of emotional reactivity creates the freedom to choose a different response than yelling and screaming at him to clean up after himself for the 100th time.
The awakening process the Buddha advocated that reduces our stress and leads to greater wisdom, compassion and happiness, revolves around noticing the processes of the mind in response to the content of our senses and thoughts. Evolution has given us a good toolkit to survive through developing habitual responses to what our senses tell is us happening and our mind interprets. Evolution has also given us a super-power of being able to be aware of that process. Developing that awareness gives us conscious control of changing those habits.
But developing our awareness of mental processes is not enough. We also need to be wise in responding to what enters that field of awareness. That wisdom comes from our own experiences and from those who have traveled the paths of life ahead of us and left a record of what they discovered. There are some very wise souls who have left excellent guidance for us. Yet no one teaching or scripture is complete. And even if one was, the ability of people and text to transmit it is imperfect. And the flaws in the transmission of wisdom can be the difference between life and death.
We are extremely fortunate to live in a time when so much of that wisdom can be accessed online, in books, in music and the arts, and in person. We are also fortunate as Unitarian Universalists that we are open to a wide range of sources to guide our own development of wisdom. And we have each other as sources and guides in this process as well.
Each of us is responsible to find our own way. And we have each other for support as we find that way. As we do, as we learn to make wise choices and offer each other support, we walk the path of liberation for ourselves and for all beings. That is an enlightening path to happiness in this life … and what is beyond it.
More from our Blogs
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
Join us in keeping our members and friends in your thoughts as they share their joys and concerns.
Member, Jeannie Konlande' s brother phoned. He hasn't replied to texts, emails, letters, calls, for 4 years. It was bittersweet to get the phone call
Member, Jeffery Sedam expresses a joy that the Community Breakfast was in full swing last Saturday. Instead of eating in, the breakfast crew made to-go bags for our neighborhood friends.
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:
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 friendsly “check in’s” from Caring Network members. Please reach out to the
if you need.
Volunteer Tutoring Among Our Albany UU Community
Would your child benefit from someone else helping them with their homework? Or do you have the ability to tutor a child or high school youth? The Caring Network is partnering with RE staff to find volunteer adult and teen tutors to work with children on line and to pair them with interested families. Email Elizabeth at
if you’re interested in this for your child or if your teen is interested in tutoring. We’ll start with tutors in 7th grade and up and see how that works out.
Story Times with Leah and Tracey Hickey
6:30 pm on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
, for about a half hour, Leah reads picture books from our RE library.
7:00 pm every evening
- for about half hour, Leah or Tracey reads from a chapter book. The first one is
The One and Only Ivan
. Tracey will be reading the second book; that’s due to start next week. We’re considering
The Wild Robot
All children, teens and adults are welcome. It's recommended that parents/caretakers keep an eye on their children while they are on zoom meetings, much like they do for coffee hour at Albany UU.
Use this Zoom link for both. If you come to a 6:30 picture book reading on a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday, you can stay for the chapter book reading that night or hop off. Use this every evening for the chapter book reading.
On your phone: 1 929 436 2866 Meeting ID: 801 480 30
Tracey Hickey and Leah Purcell will host: ALBANY YOUUTH GROUP VIDEO CHATS
. We will be live around 8pm or 8:30pm each Thursday and 11:30am each Sunday, EXCEPT THIS SUNDAY the group will meet later in the afternoon. If you have a Youth, please ask them to check their GMail and tune in!
Our 7th and 8th graders
enjoyed checking in with each other last week. They said they’d like to do it again. Is there another time besides Sunday after the service that works for your family? Let Leah know.
Not everyone came last Sunday though. Perhaps some of these youth would like a meeting with the opportunity for a check in and also a facilitated discussion on a topic of their choosing (not OWL related), with hand raising. Let Leah know if your child is interested in that.
Parent/Caretaker Support Group
Leah is trying out Wednesday evening. Come next Wed, April 1 at 8:30. Open to everyone with children under 18.
By phone: 1 929 436 2866 Meeting ID: 590 920 009
Rite of Passage meets this Sunday at noon.
Join Zoom Meeting
by phone +1 929 436 2866
Meeting ID: 620 078 281
Regular events and meetings
Many of these events and meetings will 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)
10:00 AM Philosophy Discussion (weekly)
1:00 PM Bridge (weekly)
1:00 PM All Sides Considered (1st & 3rd)
6:30 PM Board of Trustees (4th)
9:00 AM Community Breakfast (3rd) - this is now "grab and go"
Going to miss a Sunday?
Online service will be recorded.
For previous services:
You can listen to the entire Albany UU Sunday service at home or on your mobile device. The two most recent services are available as MP3 files on the Albany UU member resource website. Here is how to access:
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.
While the building is closed, office hours will be very irregular. Regular staff have their messages forwarded to their personal cell phones.
for an Albany UU online meetings, 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 | Admin@AlbanyUU.org | AlbanyUU.org