Windows Weekly March 25, 2021
Greetings Friends,

Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. Please stay safe and stay connected to your Albany UU Community during this uncertain time in the many ways provided online - all described below.

Please note, you may see announcements in this publication more than once. That is with intent and to ensure that items don't get missed as folks scroll through. Thank you for your understanding.

If this email was forwarded to you, and you would like to receive it directly, please

Learn more about what's happening with UU Kids and Families by reading the Religious Education publication, RE Roundup.

-Blessings and Be Well
We welcome everyone. Our Unitarian Universalist community seeks truth and deeper meaning, pursues justice through inspired action, and cultivates compassion and love for all connected by the web of life.

Albany UU will be an inclusive, welcoming congregation. Our sacred work is to lift hearts, broaden minds and do justice in the world, in service of building beloved community.

As a congregation with respect for our past and commitment to the future, we draw from the depth and power of our hearts and minds, guided by our Unitarian Universalist principles, to serve our mission and vision. We celebrate the diversity of our identities and experiences, and foster a culture of appreciation, inspiration, and kindness. We honor both the strength of the collective and uniqueness of the individual, willing to support and challenge each other with love and compassion. We entrust ourselves to each other in beloved community, to embolden personal and congregational growth and transformation.
10:00 am

March 28, “Commitment to Action,” Rev. Sam Trumbore
Our values and ideals matter far more when we translate them into action. This Palm Sunday service will reflect on how Jesus put them into action in the Temple and paid the ultimate price for doing so.

Music provided by Elena Karpoff, Chris Jensen, Randy Rosette

Use this link to join the service:

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

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

Join us for Family Chapel for Children and Families at 11:30 AM
We’ll continue the theme of the month – Commitment– with the story “Gordon Parks, How the Photographer Captured Black and White America”. Family Chapel is a short worship for children, youth, their parents/caretakers and the RE guides. It includes the story for the week. Then we have break out rooms for each group in 8th grade and younger for their group sessions.

Use this link to join:

To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID 843 1034 5197
Password: 4051842

Albany UU Virtual Services - Live via Zoom
Main Service at 10:00 AM, Children's Service at 11:30 AM

Begin your Sunday morning with Rev. Sam guiding an 8:30 Virtual Meditation session until 9:15 (see below, under Upcoming Ways to Connect for more info). We then have Virtual Service beginning at 10:00 each Sunday and a chance to stay online for virtual "Coffee Hour" followed by RE for ALL, at 11:30.

Use this link to join Sunday service:

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


Join Us for a Virtual Circle Dinner!
The pandemic continues to keep us physically distancing, but many of us enjoy keeping in touch by Zoom. Sign up for warm conversation with a small group on a chilly Spring night! All are welcome at the next Albany UU Virtual Circle Dinner, Saturday, Mar 27 from 6 to 7:30 PM. We'll send you a zoom link and assign you to a virtual "table" of 6 to 8 UUs. Get to know longtime and new friends while you enjoy your dinner or favorite beverage. 
Sign up by emailing at by Thursday March 25 - THAT'S TODAY!
The next Virtual Circle Dinner will be Saturday April 17.

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

Use this link to join:

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

Start your Sunday Morning with Meditation - 8:30 - 9:15 AM
Sunday morning meditation, led by Rev. Sam, begins with a ten-minute talk by Sharon Salzberg or Joseph Goldstein from their course on Insight Meditation. We will sit together for twenty minutes then have some conversation about the talk, meditation methods or experiences followed by a live loving kindness meditation. 

Use this link to join:

By phone: 1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000

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

RE for Children and Youth on Sundays at 11:30 AM
We’ll have our 15-minute worship for children, youth, and their parents/caretakers and guides. Then we’ll have breakout groups for: preschool-first grade; 2nd-5th grade; 6th/7th grade and 8th grade.

Use this link to join:

To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID 843 1034 5197
Password: 4051842

Registration for Summer Programming is open at Unirondack!
Former Unirondack counselor and current board member David Pynchon will be available after Family Chapel at about 11:45 AM on March 28 to answer questions from parents and caretakers

Use this link to join:

Adult RE 11:30 AM on Sundays
Conversational Response: This is your opportunity to reflect with the Sunday service presenter on what the service has elicited from you and listen to the responses of others. Learn more here.

Use the Service Link to join:
To dial in by phone: 1-929-436-2866:
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000

Green Sanctuary Team Meeting
Sunday, March 28, 11:45 AM 
All are welcome to attend.

Use this link to join:

Meeting ID: 518-366-4532
Password: 4051842
Philosophy Group
At 10:15 AM every Tuesday, the Albany UU Philosophy Group will meet via zoom and discuss their topic of the day.
All are welcome.

Use this link to join:

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

A Virtual Orientation for Newcomers on Zoom
Getting to Know UU
Saturday, Apr 3, is a great chance for some of us at Albany UU to get to know YOU -- but it's also a perfect opportunity for you to learn about this Unitarian Universalist congregation, explore the roots of "UUism," and begin to figure out how participating in congregational life can enhance your personal journey.

Please join us:
10:00 AM to noon
Saturday, Apr 3

Use this link to join:

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

Signing up is preferred, but logins the day of are welcome, come as you are!
To sign up: Send an email to

Ps and Qs
Projects and Quilts (Ps and Qs) will zoom next on Wednesday, April 7 at 10:00 AM.

Use this link to join:

By phone: 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:
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

Mindfulness Meditation Workshop on Zoom
April 9 & 10
This meditation training and practice workshop will be led by Rev. Trumbore, on Friday 6:00pm to 9:00pm, and Saturday 8:00am to 3:00pm. It gives participants an opportunity to learn Buddhist mindfulness meditation techniques and/or refresh and deepen their meditation practice. All are welcome from first timers to experts. Please register with Rev. Sam by email ( if you would like to participate. Learn more here.

Walker Book Group
Join the Walker Book Group for a Zoom discussion on Sunday, April 11 at 6:30 pm. Join at 6:15 for additional time to socialize. We will discuss The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Directions for joining the meeting will be placed in the Daily Reminders. Learn more here.

Use this link to join:
By phone: 929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 299 018 7785
Password: 0000
One week to go!

Only a week left in our stewardship campaign! We’ve reached 81% of our goal, and staying steady with an average increase of 6%. Many thanks to all those who have already pledged. And thank you for your generosity! If you haven’t yet returned your pledge, we encourage you to do so.
Remember, we’re all in this together! Our congregational life is defined by the pooling of our collective resources: time, talent and treasure. We care for each other, together. We nurture our children and youth, together. We make a difference in the lives of those in need, together. We take a side against injustice, together. And, together, we must ensure our dynamic congregation continues to flourish and emerges strong from the constraints of the pandemic. 

We need to get all pledges returned by April 1st so please don’t delay. Remember to include your UU Bucks raffle ticket when you return your pledge.
To Return Your Pledge by April 1st, you can:
  • Pledge online using this link
  • Mail your pledge to the Albany UU office (405 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12206)

Thanks for all you do to support Albany Unitarian Universalist!

Geoff Abbas                                                 Patti Jo Newell
Stewardship Co-chair                                  Stewardship Co-chair


Restore, Be, Become

Some of us are born with an activated nostalgia gene. That has been true for me from a young age. I was nostalgic about West Park Elementary School I attended … when I was in middle school. I reminisced about the good old days when I was young … in high school. I love learning about my ancestors and visiting the places they lived. Two summers ago I visited Princess Anne, Maryland where my Pusey family relatives have lived for over 200 years. At every phase of my life, the good times and especially the bad times, I deeply enjoy the wistful emotion of remembering how things used to be.

Recently, I was digitizing old videotape recordings to better preserve them and came across the startup workshop we had when I first arrived in Albany in the fall of 1999. We used a classic organizational development tool that asks participants to offer their sense of what needs to be stopped, started and continued in our congregational life. On an October Saturday, members and friends met in small groups then came back together with their poster paper to do their presentations that were videotaped. I enjoyed seeing again where we were when I started my ministry in Albany, what has stayed the same, what we stopped doing and what we started and have accomplished since then. And I found it heart warming to see people animated again who walk with us no more.

This may sound a little odd coming from someone so devoted to Buddhist mindfulness meditation. This practice intensively focuses on the present moment. Watching the breath come in and knowing the breath is coming in then noticing the change and knowing the breath is going out as it goes out isn’t past or future oriented. I’m intently focused on what is arising in this present moment and noticing it. The benefit of this kind attention is the stimulation of insight. Insight is witnessed as causes interact to activate the effects. In insight-oriented meditation, these activated connections happen spontaneously and are available to be noticed as they arise in the present moment.

That enjoyment of memory and focus on the present hasn’t interfered with my having a future orientation too. Unitarian Universalism is very future oriented. We do not look back to some idealized time in the past we’d like to recreate. Many Christians see an idealized past in scripture and strive to recreate the early Christian communities. They believe those early Christians had the best access to what Jesus taught and transmitted through his presence. Those early communities are the superior versions of Christianity that has been corrupted through institutionalization in the church. 

Similarly, the followers of Mohammad (peace be upon him) would have dearly loved to be present as he came forward with his revelations and heard it from his lips. During the time of the Buddha, people got enlightened just by being in his presence, accepting and practicing his teachings. His force of presence was that strong. 

We Unitarian Universalists are not immune to this backward looking to a better time. As we face massive species extinction and life-threatening climate change, many experience the yearning to go back to a simpler time. A time in North America before European colonization when Indigenous People lived in harmony with the earth. Just about anywhere on this planet before industrial development, maybe even agriculture, when humans had much less capacity to threaten ecosystems. A time when life flourished and biodiversity thrived before traveling humans brought invasive species with them.

When UUs look backward, we do it because of a love of this planet and love of humanity. We are different from apocalyptically focused Christians. These folks aren’t concerned about the past or the present because they are using their time on earth as preparation for the end-times. After the rapture, we will be left behind. For them, the earth has no value because it is only instrumental as their launching pad for salvation.

Unitarianism, Universalism and Unitarian Universalism are religious traditions that draw our strength from confidence in both divine love and human capacity to respond. Rather than depraved, fallen sinners, we’ve always focused on the best of who and what humanity can be and removing the barriers to realizing our potential. At least the last several thousand years of European civilization have been fraught with barriers and limitations. Many of us would say there is no better time to go back to, even if we could. Better to move forward into creating a more just, equitable, healthy world than we have known before. We’d like to evolve beyond who have been and become a world society with peace and liberty for all.

There are huge losses to mourn today and many will continue to suffer without necessity tomorrow. And great potential awaits us as we reshape the world to eliminate diseases, reverse climate change, restore ecosystems to support biodiversity, create a balance between human and non-human occupation of the planet, and share the resources the planet offers in a sustainable way. Technology will continue to provide ways where there were no ways before and keep us busy mitigating the unintended consequences of their discovery and use.

Humanity is the result of a long, restless process of becoming. That process will not stop or even slow down because we have concerns about the mess humanity has made or the scary trends ahead of us. We aren’t even in charge of this becoming process. We came into consciousness only very recently on the grand geological time scale of evolution.

May we do our best to use our wisdom and intelligence to point that becoming process in healthy, wholesome directions, as we have the opportunity, for the benefit of all beings.            

-Rev. Sam

More from our blogs:


Social Responsibilities Council Recommends

The Albany UU Social Responsibilities Council (SRC) and Inclusivity Team recommend a Black Lives Matter vigil in Troy:
When: Saturdays,10:30-11:00 am
Where: Troy, the sidewalk at the former Price Chopper: 865 2nd Avenue, 12182
  • physical distance, masks
  • signs only, no chanting (except for meditative religious practice)
  • the vigil will automatically be canceled if the temperature is 20 or below OR if the wind chill is below 10 degrees Fahrenheit 

SRC recommends that for those who can, and wish to do so, stimulus check(s) can be sent to Albany UU with UU Unified Community Designated Fund in the memo line, which will at a future time be distributed to these three organizations: Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NYUnited Tenants of Albany, and Joseph House in Troy as a gift from Albany UU. Thank you for your consideration.



Rave Reviews for UU Weekend at Silver Bay October 15-17

The reviews are in! Silver Bay is a smash hit!
  • Wonderful time; can’t wait until next year!
  • We keep coming back – and for good reason!
  • Great facility and location on Lake George!
  • Wonderful people and activities!

Friends, fun, fellowship and fall foliage await you at a fantastic setting on Lake George.

Registration is open! Register by June 7, 2021 to receive the lowest rates! Children under 6 are free, with substantial discounts for older children and youth. Access additional information about Silver Bay and the UU weekend, including a preliminary schedule of events and a registration form here. Rooms will be assigned on a first come, first served basis based on receipt of the completed registration form and accompanying deposit.

Remember – the cost is all-inclusive for room and board, activities and entertainment - including all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.

Note: Curranty, we are experiencing a time of social distancing and modifications of group gatherings due to Covid-19. Any restrictions in place at the time of the UU Weekend at Silver Bay will be communicated to registrants.

Essential Building Use Guidelines:
Find more information about our Building Use Guidelines during COVID HERE.

Learn about submitting announcements to for our virtual Sunday service and how to reserve a Zoom room for meetings and events here.

Other important resources, our file cabinet, guidelines and information can be found on the Resource Page of our website, here.

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)
12:00 PM Ministry and Operations Team (1st)
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, Mar 21 watch it here.

Martha Schroeder's Memorial Service

Sunday, Mar 14 watch it here.

Sunday, Mar 7 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 28 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 21 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 14 watch it here.

Sunday, Feb 7 watch it here.

For archives

This has pdf files of sermons texts (when available) and audio files of sermons.

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 and Tammy have their messages forwarded to their personal cell phones and are available by email.

Our Website:

Zoom use
To reserve Zoom for an Albany UU online meeting, contact the virtual church office (518.463.7135 or

Photo credit: Jeannie Thompson
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | |