Windows Weekly April 25, 2019
Albany UU Windows Weekly
Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. My deepest apologies! For reasons unknown, the Weekly did not send when programmed. Some of the events and info might be past but some of it will still be useful. Again, my apologies!

W 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
April 28, “The Spiritual Significance of Flowers,” Sigrin Newell

Archeologists have found flowers and seeds in graves as far back as the earliest traces of humanity. From the beginning, people have attributed spiritual significance to flowers. The Iris, the Lily and the Rose in particular have carried great meaning. Exploring this symbolism puts us in touch with the ways in which flowers bring spirit into our lives.

Dr. Sigrin Newell has been active with the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany NY for nearly 30 years. During this time she has given many sermons, most recently on the intelligence of plants. She sings in the choir and is the music librarian.

Music: Helderberg Madrigal Singers with Randy Rosette, piano and flute

HYMN 61 "Lo, the Earth Awakes Again"
HYMN 63: “Spring Has Now Unwrapped the Flowers”
HYMN 64: “Oh, Give Us Pleasure in the Flowers Today”
HYMN 21 "For the Beauty of the Earth"

Here is a place you might find the words to our hymns.
Sunday Services
10:00 am

May's theme: Curiosity

May 5, “From Discomfort to Curiosity,” Rev. Sam Trumbore, Patti Jo Newell, Karen Kaufmann

When racial issues come up and attention is directed to them, people generally get uncomfortable. Often irritation, anger, anxiety, fear, guilt and shame interfere with working through the issue and moving on. What if, instead of getting stuck in those difficult emotions, we learned how to respond with curiosity?

Music: Albany UU Choir

May 12, Youth Service

The youth will be presenting a special service on a topic that has moved them this year.

Music: TBD

May 19, “This I Believe”

As Unitarian Universalists, we honor the voices of members of our congregation in their individual search for truth and meaning. This service provides an opportunity to hear the thoughts and reflections on life from three Albany UUs: Geoff Abbas, Jora Cohen, and Erik VonHausen. Excellent service to bring a friend.
Music: Albany UU Choir
May 26, “H8,” Rev. Dr. Lynn Ashley

The local newspaper deciphered this graffiti text painted on the mosque of a small Texas town as ‘hate.’ We will hear voices of some who have been targets of hate speech and hate crimes and how people in their larger communities have positively responded.

(Please note: If you participate in any local group whose aim is to contribute to the building of beloved community, and are willing to share your experience, please contact Rev. Lynn by May 15 at .) 

Music: TBD


Focus Food Pantry
Please consider a contribution to the Focus Food Pantry this Sunday. There will be an envelope in the order of service for your check or cash. We ask that envelopes remain unsealed for reuse. Thank you for your help.

Ed Ryman Memorial Service 
A Celebration of Ed's Life will be held at Albany UU this Sunday, April 28 at 3:00 pm in the Sanctuary followed by a reception in Channing Hall. Contributions of finger foods for the reception are welcomed and encouraged. Parking in the UAlbany Hawley Lot on the corner of Washington Ave. and Robin St. is allowed for this event.

Spring cleaning the lost and found
It’s time again to check the lost and found boxes in the Coat Room. Anything not claimed by May 13 will be donated. Thank you!

 Free Breakfast!
We have scheduled our first free Neighborhood Breakfast for May 18 . Roles need to be filled to make the breakfast a success. We need volunteers for publicity, shopping, church security and coffee making. Publicity is needed now! There are other roles that also need additional volunteers. Contact Carol Butt for more information and details regarding volunteer roles and responsibilities: or 518-275-7497 . What role would YOU like to help the breakfast successfully serve our neighbors! Sign up on the bulletin board in Channing today! Thanks for offering to be part of the team.

Signs of spring abound
Soon the serviceberry trees will bloom. Feel like a good spring clean up? Don't forget to bring recyclables to the recycle center in the coatroom at Albany UU. Terracycle (where we mail our recyclables) has a new program, so please collect and place discarded razors of any variety in the personal products bin.
Sunday Schedule

9:00 AM
- Mindfulness Meditation, Sanctuary

9:45 AM
- Nursery/Toddler Rooms open

10:00 AM
- Sunday Service, Community Hall
- Programs for Children and Youth

11:00 AM
- Coffee Hour, Channing Hall

11:30 AM
- Growth thru Service Conversation Leaders Meeting, Library

11:45 AM
- Green Sanctuary, Room B-7

3:00 PM
- Ed Ryman Memorial Service and Reception, Sanctuary, Channing Hall

Quick Links

Denominational Affairs Links

Sign up for a class or event

- Send and email to:
- Sign up at the Sign Up Site in Channing Hall
- Call the church office, 518.463.7135
If childcare is offered for the event, please let us know you need it when you register, including names and ages of children.

Offering envelopes

We appreciate donations of cash during the offering that occurs as part of our Sunday service. If you would like to have cash contributions acknowledged and recorded, please use one of the envelopes that are available on the table in the Community Hall lobby. Thank you very much for your generosity.
Save the Dates - Congregational Conversations!
Two Congregational Conversations on the 2018-19 Budget

The Albany UU Finance Committee will be holding two Congregational Conversations on the 2019-20 budget: Sunday, May 5, 11:45 AM, Room B-8 and Tuesday, May 7, 6:30 PM, Room B-8.

Three ways to participate: 1 - In person: At Albany UU in Room B-8; 2 - Online: Via Zoom; 3 - By telephone.

A link to the proposed budget; zoom and telephone information will be sent via email Monday, April 29. It will also be available on our member site:

If you have any questions please contact Dick Brewer at or 518-524-2942.
Albany UU Young Adults Group
We are excited to announce that there is a new group in our congregation for young adults. The Albany UU Young Adults (Albany UUYA) was created to foster new relationships, support its fellow members, serve the community, and have some fun! The group is geared towards those in their 20s and 30s, but other adults who are interested can contact Julie Maresco about joining or participating in the events
The group plans to have lunch at a nearby establishment immediately following the service of the first Sunday each month. The first one will take place Sunday, May 5 at Iron Gate Cafe,182 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210. We will meet in Channing Hall before heading out. Carpooling is available for those interested.

We also plan to have a big recreational event each season. Our spring event will take place following the service on Sunday, May 26, at Thacher State Park, 830 Thacher Park Rd, Voorheesville, NY 12186. We will be going on an easy to moderate hike with beautiful views. Once we get to the end we will have time for reflection, readings, and meditation if desired. We will meet in Channing Hall after the service before heading out. Carpooling is available for those interested. It's about a 30-minute drive from Albany.

If you would like to sign up to become a member of the Albany UUYA, there is a sign-up sheet in Channing Hall or join our Facebook group  Albany UU Young Adults. You can also email Julie Maresco at to sign up or if you have any questions.
Collecting Albany UU Member & Friend Employee Feedback
In the late spring every year, the Albany UU staff is reviewed and evaluated.

You can help!

The primary goal of this evaluation is to offer support and appreciation for the good work our staff does. Employees here work very hard and deserve to know how they have made a positive difference in accomplishing the mission and vision of our congregation. Concrete, specific examples of what you have observed are very valuable feed back to them in the evaluation process. And you’ll feel good knowing that your appreciation will be integrated into their evaluation!

Of course there will be some dissatisfaction as well. This survey is not primarily for collecting that information. Anyone having a problem with an employee should talk to them directly or if that doesn’t work, talk to them along with their supervisor. If that process has failed to address your concerns, this form can be used to report chronic issues that you have not been able to resolve.

This form requires your name. Giving feedback carries with it responsibility for what is said since it can have both very positive and very negative effects on employees. We are not interested in anonymous input for the purpose of employee evaluation. AND you can ask that your input on this form be kept confidential and your name will not be shared with the employee.

Thank you in advance for your help in appreciating our great staff!

Upstate New York Seaway Gathering
Draw the Circle Wide: Learn and Connect at the Upstate New York Seaway Gathering
You are invited to the annual Seaway Spring Gathering of the congregations of the former St. Lawrence District, to be held in Ithaca on May 3 and 4.
On Friday evening, May 3, Rev. Frances May will give the Gould Discourse:  Kids These Days: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Hope Again.
On Saturday, May 4, you ca participate in workshops for varied interests.  CB Beal, the keynote speaker, will discuss Pre-Emptive Radical Inclusion.  More information and registration for one or both days may be found here:  https:// .

Child care is available, and our denominational affairs budget can reimburse your registration fee.
Sam's Outlook
The Urge to Know
I didn’t care what other kids said about Santa Claus, I wanted to find out for myself. If we had had one of those wildlife capturing cameras when I was growing up, I would have hidden one near the Christmas tree to catch Santa in the act (with infrared light of course so Santa wouldn’t know I was watching him). As it was, I fell asleep in my hiding spot and missed Santa putting the presents under the tree. By the time the next Christmas came around, I had extracted a confession from my parents to satisfy my curiosity. I knew our chimney wasn’t wide enough for him to come down! What I hadn’t realized was they had to leave the back door open for him to come in! [Photo credit: Tyson Pough]

One of the qualities that are typical in the Unitarian Universalist temperament is the urge to find out for ourselves. Some of us became UU because they had had enough of being told to believe things that we just couldn’t accept as true and scolded for asking questions. Christian fundamentalist views are built on articles of faith including Immaculate Conception, virgin birth, the Garden of Eden, original sin, and bodily resurrection that many of us don’t believe. As evocative story, we can find meaning and interesting interpretive angles to appreciate … just not as cold hard fact.

The first Unitarians and Universalists and today’s Unitarian Universalists all had and have significant questions about these articles of faith. When they read the Bible for themselves, as Protestants were told to do, they came up with unorthodox interpretations. They also didn’t want to accept the revealed word as an unquestioned source of Truth. They believed that the truth in the Bible should also be consistent with the truth they discovered in the natural world through science. And that caused problems. Having inquiring, curious minds became a religious impediment to staying in the traditional Catholic or Protestant Christian molds.

The Transcendentalists who arose out of Unitarian circles near Concord in the 1830’s and 40’s, also asked questions. They heard about the new ideas coming from the German Transcendentalists. Leading Unitarian clergy gathered to discuss and investigate these new ideas coming from British, Irish and European philosophers, writers and poets. Their curiosity pulled them away from Christianity to wonder if they could experience God directly unmediated by a savior. Their close contact with the bucolic natural world promised a direct experience of transcending mystery and wonder.
Thoreau famously wrote:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...

The Transcendentalists were very optimistic about our human ability to find the answers we are looking for by seeking them. In his essay “Nature,” Emerson writes that the answers are available through our intuition:

We must trust the perfection of the creation so far as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy. Every man's condition is a solution in hieroglyphic to those inquiries he would put. He acts it as life, before he apprehends it as truth. In like manner, nature is already, in its forms and tendencies, describing its own design.

Today we live in a paradise for the curious. The World Wide Web has such amazing width and depth to it. Yes it is full of cat videos and selfies, but it is also a deep well of knowledge and understanding. The number of books that have been digitized is staggering. So much is available just for the asking that I sense it is changing deeply what it means to know something – or even the need to know when you can you can Google it whenever you want. It is easier to be curious than it has ever been before.

And it is becoming more and more apparent that having so much information and knowledge at our fingertips doesn’t make us wise. We still need to process, compare, contrast, check sources, discuss and reflect on what we find before we distill a little wisdom out of it.

That’s one of the great values of religious community. Yes, we can be spiritual and hang with friends and process what we find. And, a UU congregation provides a wonderful blend of intelligent like-minded people who enjoy being curious together and helping each other distill that wisdom that helps each of us grow and develop as human beings.

Yes, let us celebrate curiosity – and use it to change our minds and help them grow in wisdom and understanding … together.
                                                                                                               Rev. Sam

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.

We are sad to share that Albany UU members, Annika Pfluger and Meghan Marohn both lost their mothers this week. Cards are welcome:
Annika: 39 Marlboro Rd., Delmar, NY 12054
Meghan: 2258 Sixth Ave., Troy, NY   12180

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: Chuck Manning, Phil Rich, Randy Rosette, Sandy Stone, Lisa Barron, Donna Meixner, Dee VanRiper and Sharon Babala.

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 provide 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 visits and “check in’s” from Caring Network members. Please reach out to the Caring Network if you need.
Last Chance to help Evaluate our Professional Ministry!
The Board of Trustees and Rev. Sam Trumbore would like to hear from the congregation in order to plan for the future of our shared professional and lay ministry. Here are their key questions:
  • What are the most important things the congregation wants our professional minister to do?
  • How well is Rev. Sam doing at what he does? Where does he excel? Where might improvement be made? Are there other things you would like to see him do?
  • What are the needs, if any, that our shared professional and lay ministry is not meeting?
To answer these questions, we invite everyone at Albany UU to complete a questionnaire which you may get in these ways:  
  • In print in the church office;
  • As an online form, here, which you can submit online;
  • As a PDF document that you can download, print and complete by hand; and
  • As a Word document that you can download and fill out on your computer.

We will need your completed questionnaire by THIS SUNDAY, April 28 in order to include it in our analysis for a report to the Board. If you use a printed questionnaire, you can return it by:
  • Handing it to one of us;
  • Scanning and emailing it to; or
  • Placing it in a sealed envelope addressed to EVALUATION in the box labeled “Treasurer” in the Copy Room.

We hope you will join us in this important effort and look forward to hearing from you!
Meredith Andrews, Bruce Rodgers, Reese Satin, Nancy Willie-Schiff

Parks and Trails Clean-up, Saturday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. - Noon
Parks & Trails Clean Sweep at the Corning Preserve along the Hudson River in Albany on Saturday, April 27 - rain or shine - but hope for shine! Learn more here .

Together Building a World Where There’s Enough for All
Will YOU help build a better world? Join with fellow Albany UUs and our Capital District neighbors in the CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, May 5 . Learn more here .

Volunteers Needed for Our Spring Garden Clean-up!  
Join our team of gardeners! The spring garden clean-up is scheduled for Monday, May 6 from 1 to 3 pm . Lean more here .

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion on Sunday, May 12 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. We will discuss  Ragtime  by E.L. Doctorow. Learn more here .

UU Weekend: Where Memories are Made!
Have you registered for UU Weekend at Silver Bay? This eagerly awaited highlight of the fall season, held October 18-20 , features stimulating workshops, family togetherness, and so much more! Learn more here .
Sunday Volunteers
Would you like to be involved in the Sunday service in a more meaningful way?
Visit Sunday Hospitality Sign Up to find out about the ways you can volunteer on Sunday morning. We thank you and could not do what we do without YOU!

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.
-Elizabeth Baldes, RE Assistant,

Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education (RE) and Family Ministry, (on sabbatical)

Find information on Leah's Sabbatical here .

Faith formation of children and youth this Sunday, April 28:    

Nursery/Toddler Rooms open at 9:45 AM.
The children in grades Pre-K thru 5  will join their families in Community Hall until after the story in the service when they will be sung out to their regular Sunday school groups.

Cr ossing Paths  has their Buddhism visit to  Albany Karma Thegsum Chöling  at Doane Stuart, meet in the lobby by 10:20 AM.

No meeting planned for  Grade 8/9 .

Youth Group  meeting in Room 23 at 10:00 AM.

Religious Education Office Assistant at the window in the lobby is Michele Desrosiers. Volunteer Sunday Superintendent is Liz Halvorsen. Leah Purcell is on sabbatical until June, please see Elizabeth, Michele or Liz if you need anything.

Next week : Nursery/toddler room will open at 9:45, Family Chapel for children through grade 7 in the Sanctuary at 10:00 AM; Parent/Caretaker Support Group after Family Chapel in Room B-8; Grade 8/9 service event at Joseph’s House in Troy.

River Rising, Central East Reg ion’s  new  leadership school is happening  July 28-August 3  at State College, PA and  August 18-24  in Schenectady, NY. It’s for youth who will be in 9th-12th grades in the 2019/2020 school year. During this week our community youth will be challenged, learn together, create sacred space, deepen their UU values and build friendships that will last beyond the week. Among other highlights they’re planning a river trip! Registration is $525  before June 15  and matching congregation scholarships are available through CER for up to half. For more information and registration links:  To read how River Rising differs from Goldmine (the previous CER leadership school) see this blog post:
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email

SRC recommends the following:

Rally Buttons now available!
We now have buttons that will identify the wearer as an Albany Unitarian Universalist. They come in a variety of colors, show the chalice, cost $1.00, and are available for purchase at the SRC Fair Trade Table on Sundays. Get yours before they are gone!

#HALTsolitary advocacy day in Albany, Tuesday, April 30 , during business hours in Albany. Join us to speak to your legislators about the inhumane and counterproductive use of solitary confinement and the need to pass the HALT Solitary Confinement. Sign up on facebook .

Troy Sanctuary - City Council Meeting Thursday, May 2, 6:30 PM , Troy City Hall, 433 River Street, Troy.
Advocates and opponents of a Sanctuary City measure are gathering to keep the pressure on the council, mayor, and candidates.

Interfaith Impact of NYS Advocacy Day in Albany, Monday, May 6, 9-3pm. We need Albany UU's to be there all or part of the day to participate with teams advocating with State legislators and staff. Further information is available at

Raise Your Voice for End of Life Choice: Advocate for Medical Aid in Dying at the Capitol
Join us on April 30 and May 14 for Lobby Day . Please tell Nancy Willie-Schiff ( ) the dates you plan to attend so you can be scheduled for a team visit with lawmakers.

1221 Wendell Ave, Schenectady, NY 12308

Pete Seeger's 100TH Birthday Singalong
Friday, April 26, 7:00 PM
Tickets and songbooks available online at:

Connecting to the Earth and Yourself Through Composting
Monday, April 29 & May 6 or Saturday, May 4 & June 1
Helping organic materials to breakdown through composting can be a meaningful way to connect to the earth.

Find more information and online registration here . Gary Feinland at or 518-242-9801.
Green Sanctuary's Tip of the Week
Living our 7th principle

Lower the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees.  Turn the temperature down during extended vacations, then up when you return.
Regular events and meetings
Check Windows Weekly for changes to date, time and location. 

11:45 AM      Inclusivity Team (1st)
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)
10:00 AM      Philosophy Discussion (weekly)
1:00 PM        Bridge (weekly)
7:00 PM        UU Humanists (3rd)
10:00 AM      Projects & Quilts (weekly)
7:00 PM        Choir Rehearsal (almost weekly)
1:00 PM       All Sides Considered (1st & 3rd)
7:00 PM       Program Coordinating Council (2nd)
6:15 PM       Board of Trustees (4th)
Going to miss a Sunday?

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:

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: 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 (unless otherwise posted)
September-June: Monday-Friday, 9:00-3:00
July-August: Monday–Thursday 9:00-1:00


Building use
To reserve a room for an Albany UU activity or to rent a hall or classroom space , for a personal or non-Albany UU activity, contact Administrative Assistant Sapphire Correa (518.463.7135 or ).

Photo credit: Kathy Hodges
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | |