Windows Weekly December 5, 2019
Albany UU Windows Weekly
Greetings,
Welcome to Windows Weekly, Albany UU's central source for news and updates. Enjoy!

-Blessings
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
December 8, “Graceful Delight,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

Many of us begin the December holidays feeling harried and rushed. This year is especially difficult with Thanksgiving so late. Yet when we least expect it, the delight of the season can be upon us. We can’t plan for those moments, but we can pause to receive them when they happen.

Music: Albany UU Choir, Ann Brandon, piano

Hymn 223:  Rock of Ages
Hymn 226:  People Look East
Hymn 55:  Dark of Winter
Hymn 248:  We Believe in Christmas

Here is a place you might find the words to our hymns.










SUNDAY SERVICES
10:00 am



December 15, “Blue Christmas,” Rev. Sam Trumbore

This time of year is a very hard time to be feeling sad. With shopping, putting up a tree, decorating one’s home and holiday events and parties, everyone is expected to be of good cheer. Sometimes that just isn’t possible if we’ve experienced a major loss, have health problems, or just aren’t “feeling it.” Maybe “The Blues” can help.

Music: Ann Brandon

December 22, “An Awesome Story,” Leah Purcell, Dan Miyake, Rev. Sam Trumbore
Multigenerational Service and Pageant, Community Hall

Each year we have a pageant for our children to reenact the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth. This year we’ve got a new version Rev. Sam, Leah and Dan hope you enjoy. We’ll sing familiar Christmas Carols during the service and enjoy Albany UU musicians holiday jam during coffee hour. This is a great service to charge up your Christmas Spirit.

Music: Albany UU Choir, Ann Brandon, piano
 
( Tuesday ) December 24, “An Awesome Night,” Rev. Sam Trumbore, Dan Miyake
Candlelight Christmas Eve Services (6:00 and 8:00 PM, in the Sanctuary)

This is the night the Christian world pauses in anticipation of a holy birth. Somehow the story told two thousand times doesn’t get old or lose its power. The magic of candlelight and the sound of the beautiful song, Silent Night, can still bring tears to the eyes. Hope for new light and love arises eternally in the human heart. When it does, awe will not be far away.

Music: Albany UU Choir, Ann Brandon, piano
 
December 29, TBA

Music: Ann Brandon

 


ANNOUNCEMENTS



Crafters - Help needed!
We will be setting up the crafting table on Saturday, Dec. 7, 10-12 AM. Please come and help us. Also this will be your last chance to bring in something to sell.

Growth Through Service Update
The seven Growth Through Service conversation Leaders –Lois Bailey, Laura Churchill, Dick Dana, Jaye Holly, Linda Hunt, Amie Jamieson, and Maria Phillips – have reached a milestone: we have had conversations with 200 members of Albany UU. Our goal is to complete another 100 conversation by the end of June.

In order to meet that goal we need your help. We need a few more conversation leaders to join our ranks over the next few months. We are looking for people who would enjoy sitting down with a fellow Albany UU member for a conversation, lasting an hour or less, and then based on that conversation, to write a few paragraphs that capture that person’s hopes and dreams for their time at Albany UU – what attracted them to Albany UU in the first place, what they get out of their experiences here, and what they would like for their relationship with Albany UU in the future.

Interested? Do you want to know a bit more about this opportunity to spend time connecting with fellow Albany UU members on a deeper level? Talk to Jaye Holly or Dick Dana.

Terry Way Memorial Service
A memorial service will be held for Terry Way on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4:00 pm in Community Hall, followed by a reception in Channing Hall. Contributions of finger foods for the reception are welcomed. We do have permission to park in the UAlbany Hawley Lot for this event. 

As we prepare to honor the life of Terry Way, we think about the many ways in which Terry touched our lives. Many of us have physical mementos of Terry — sketches, paintings, doodles, etc. We would like to assemble a table of such mementos for the post-service reception in Channing Hall. Please bring your “Terry items” to the memorial service and drop them off in Channing before the service. Then you can take your items home after the reception. (Please put your name on the back so that we can be sure everything gets back to the owner.) Please see Dawn Dana with any questions. Thank you.

Acolytes for Christmas Eve Services
It has been our tradition to sing Silent Night with everyone holding a lit candle at the Christmas Eve services. And young people – middle schoolers and high school youth carry the tapers that the people at the end of the pews use to light their candles and pass the flame to the next person. If your child would like to be an acolyte at either the 6:00 or 8:00 Christmas Eve service, please contact Leah Purcell at dre@albanyuu.org or call the office at 487-1536

Community Breakfast
Saturday, Dec. 21, 9-11AM . Volunteers are always needed to make this a good experience for our neighbors and community members. Sign up in Channing Hall or contact Carol Butt for more details: 518-439-6629 or catzen1944@gmail.com . There is now a contribution box is in the coat room for gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and socks to share with our Community Breakfast guests. Some folks come in with minimal outerwear and would be grateful for some additional items to keep warm.

January Jams Are Coming!
In January we like to shake things up a bit. Each year Leah Purcell plans special activities around the theme of the month and ask volunteers in the congregation to share their talents by leading 30-minute workshops while the regular RE volunteers help their groups each week. 

This year the theme is Integrity. Let’s help the children connect with their own inner voice and to put their ideas into action. It’s a chance for you to volunteer with support for just a few weeks.

Potential skills or areas for workshops : Yoga, Science, Storytelling, Music making, Drama, Special crafts, Maker Space –giving children an opportunity to use materials and real tools (from staplers to hammers to 3-D pens) to solve problems.

Do you have a skill or talent to share with children? I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Leah Purcell -  dre@albanyuu.org 463-7135

Endowment Trust Grants
The Endowment Trust has about $8,000 available for special project grants in 2019. Submit grant requests online by December 8 for projects that complement or enhance Albany UU programs and initiatives. It is also the time of year to think about making commemorative contributions to the Endowment. And you can now choose to support either special projects or future congregational operating expenses with your gift.. 

Warmth for the Homeless
Please gather blankets, sleeping bags, warm coats, etc. for those experiencing homelessness and put them in the bin in the coatroom. Thanks you!
Sunday Schedule

9:00 AM
- Mindfulness Meditation, Sanctuary

9:45 AM
- Nursery/Toddler Rooms open

10:00 AM
- Service, Community Hall
- Family Chapel for all grades, Sanctuary

11:00 AM
- Coffee Hour, Channing Hall
- Holiday Bazaar/Soup & Pie Sale
- Poinsettia Distribution

11:30 AM
- Pageant Part Selection, Room 26

11:45 AM
- Inclusivity Team, Room B-7

5:30 PM
- Walker Book Group, Channing Hall






Quick Links



Denominational Affairs Links



Helpful Local Links



Sign up for a class or event

- Send and email to: registration@albanyuu.org
- Sign up at the Sign Up Site in Channing Hall
OR
- 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 recorded and acknowledged in writing for tax purposes at the end of the calendar year, please use and write your name on one of the envelopes that are available on the table in the Community Hall lobby. Thank you very much for your generosity.


Albany UU Safety
A reminder that the West St. door will remain locked on Sunday mornings. Though it will be locked from the outside, the West St. door may still be used to exit the building at any time. The Washington Ave. lobby doors will be locked 15 minutes after service begins and reopened again from 11-noon. A Welcome Table or Greeter volunteer will remain in the Lobby for the duration of the morning to monitor doors. We continue to appreciate your patience as we make this transition. If you have questions, please call the church office .

Planning for weather emergencies
In the event of severe weather, a decision to cancel Sunday morning RE classes will be publicized by 9:00 PM Saturday.

A decision to cancel Sunday meditation and the service will be publicized by 8:00 AM Sunday.

The cancellation of all other classes, programs and meetings depends on a decision by the chairperson. We hope to receive information enabling a cancellation announcement two hours before the event start time.

Notice of all cancellations will be posted on our website and Facebook and by email sent through Constant Contact. Sunday service and programs will also be announced on local TV and radio stations through the “School Closing Network”.
 
ALBANY UU PILLAR CHALLENGE


After only one week, we are 1/3 of the way to our goal of matching the $25,000 Challenge to pay for the new pillars on the front of our building! Thank you! We're getting there! Our goal is to finish by the end of the year. 

What is the Pillar Challenge, you ask? If you would like more information or make a pledge to the campaign, please check out this form. You can email the completed form to Tammy, drop it in the Pillar's Campaign Box on Sunday or drop it in the office.
SEXTON POSITION STILL OPEN!
We are sorry to lose Justin Wright! He has taken another job that is more closely aligned with his education and passion. He will miss us and we will miss him, but we also wish him success on him journey.

Cindee Herrick has agreed to fill in for us to get us through the holidays if needed. If you are someone you know is interested in the Sexton position, please reach out!

The Sexton works on Sunday (4-6 hours) and Monday (4-6 hours, flexible days possible) and is responsible for Sunday morning operations and taking care of the church property.

Sunday tasks include preparation and clean up for the service, coffee hour, and other scheduled activities, and for taking care of the church property.

Maintenance entails responsibility for performing tasks on the monthly maintenance schedule, minor repairs and replacements, reporting larger repair and replacement needs, keeping the building tidy by returning items to storage locations, and yard work. 
Read full job description  here .
Pay: $15/hr.
Contact Church Administrator, Tammy Hathaway for more information or to express interest: 518.463.7135 or admin@albanyuu.org
CALENDAR OF HOLIDAY EVENTS
Sunday, Dec. 8
11:00 am  Holiday Bazaar/Soup & Pie Sale , Channing Hall
11:30 am  Pageant Part Selection ,
Community Hall

Sunday, Dec. 15
11:00 am  Holiday Bazaar , Channing Hall
  Tree Decorating , Channing Hall
11:30 am  Pageant Rehearsal ,
Community Hall

Saturday, Dec. 21
4:00 pm  Winter Solstice Celebration , Channing Hall

Sunday, Dec. 22
10:00 am  Christmas Service w/Pageant , Community Hall
11:00 am  Music Jam at Coffee Hour
*1:00 pm  Caroling (*time may change)

Tuesday, Dec. 24
6:00 pm  Candlelight Christmas Eve service , Sanctuary
7:00 pm  Cookie Reception Hosted by Amie Jamieson & Rick Piet , Channing Hall
8:00 pm  Candlelight Christmas Eve service, Sanctuary


ALL CAN PARTICIPATE - DON'T MISS OUT!
Transforming Hearts: Transgender Inclusion in Congregations
 
Options for participating in the Transforming Hearts class.

The authors of the Transforming Hearts class invite everyone in our congregation to participate! Albany UU purchased the full congregation package and all the materials and lectures are available online to members and friends.

This course is for those who want to increase their knowledge and skills to help our congregation become fully inclusive and affirming of the full breadth of gender diversity Though the class that Rev. Sam and Dan are leading will have the opportunity for rich discussion and exchange that will be very valuable, we recognized that not everyone is able to attend when the class is being offered.

If you can’t attend the class in person on Tuesdays: 12/17, 1/14 at 7:00 pm (another session will be added to make up for the cancellation on 12/3) and would like to take it on your own, please call the church office for information on how to do that.
LEAH'S BLOG ON THE THEME OF AWE
From our Soul Matters partners:

“This at least seems to me the main problem… How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it? …How can this world give us at once the fascination of a strange town and the comfort and honor of being our own town?”
        - G.K. Chesterton

As physicists tell us, contemplation of the vast universe doesn’t make them feel smaller, it makes them realize the larger story of which they are a part. We are stardust, as they say. From the vastness we came and to it we will return again. In other words, to be a people of awe is not so much about feeling small; it’s about feeling connected.

And not just connected to the stars, but also to each other. Awe reduces our size in order to make room for something more than our personal needs, wants and worries. With our narcissism shrunk down to a reasonable proportion, it becomes possible to notice that we are not the only ones up there on the stage. It’s in this way that looking up into the cosmos allows us to look across at each other. And it’s a huge gift, because while being center stage and center of the universe can feel powerful, it’s also a very lonely place to stand.

New research is clear: Awe heals us! It’s like taking all of our pharmaceutical supplements, diets, daily gym visits, spiritual practices and life coaches and packaging them up in a single, perfect, cure-all pill. That’s right, a daily dose of awe increases health, happiness, humility, creativity and a sense of connection!

So we need to find other ways to get our daily dose of awe.
Here are some suggestions I found. You can also find these and more ways to connect with the theme of the month with my little one-sheet Monthly Messenger .

-Take an “awe excursion” in nature. See if you can find a place with a big skyscape or view of the landscape. Try to connect with the vastness of the place. (from mindful.org)
-Spend some time outside after dark or at a window or be mindful of the sky as you drive at night. Lean into the thought that you could find a calm and peace in the dark night sky. 
-Whether you have children at home or not, if you have a Christmas tree at home, here is a blessing for the tree

Shine out ye lights of Christmas,
From hearth and tree and star!
And let the warmth of Christmas
Shed kindness near and far
And clang, ye bells of Christmas
Upon the frosty air!
And may the joy of Christmas spread gladness everywhere!
                                                              -Percival Chubb

Finally, I hope you find a way to find awe in the traditions we have here at Albany UU, whether it’s our Blue Christmas service Dec. 15; the Solstice service Saturday, Dec. 21; all the festivities on Dec. 22 - the service with the pageant, enjoying the holiday music jam and caroling; or one of the Christmas Eve services. Whatever the holidays mean to you, I hope you find ways to connect with our UU community.

In joyful service,
Leah

More from our Blogs:



JOYS and CARING CORNER
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.

Member and Church Administrator Tammy Hathaway's son Quinn, had surgery on Wednesday, Dec. 4 to repair his torn ACL. The surgery was successful and he is beginning his long recovery. Thank you for the love!

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: listeners@albanyuu.org , contact Rev. Sam Trumbore , the Albany UU office at 518.463.7135, or one of them personally. They are: Sharon Babala, Chuck Manning, Donna Meixner, Dan Miyake, Phil Rich, Randy Rosette, Dee VanRiper and Erik F. vonHausen.

Albany UU Caring Network
The Caring Network (CN) reflects the words of the Albany UU chalice lighting - “to sustain a vital and nurturing religious community.” The CN 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.
UPCOMING EVENTS
East of Hudson Potluck
If you live east of the Hudson River, join us Friday, Dec. 6 at 6pm at Sharon and Mike Babala's. Let's gather to keep each other in warm friendship as we enter the cold together. Learn more here .

Getting to Know UU
Join us on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8:45 am if you're thinking of membership, or wondering just what Unitarian Universalism can bring to your life. Learn more here.

Holiday Bazaar and Soup and Pie Sale—December 8!
Come to Channing Hall during Coffee Hour to shop for one of kind hand crafted items, perfect for holiday giving! This will also be your last chance to stock up on your favorite homemade soups and pies for those cold winter nights or holiday entertaining. See you then! Lear more here .

Walker Book Group 
Join the Walker Book Group for a potluck and discussion on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 pm in Channing Hall. We will discuss The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez . Learn more here .

Holiday Tree decorating
Join us Sunday, Dec. 15 during Coffee Hour to make simple ornaments and decorations to decorate the tree in Channing Hall. You can also bring an ornament to donate to the tree.

Solstice Celebration
Saturday, Dec. 21, 4:00 pm, Channing Hall
All are welcome on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 4:00 pm in Channing Hall - this is an event that children can join in. Bring drums and noisemakers if you have them. Bring finger food, if you're able, for our gathering afterwards.

Join us for the Holiday Music Jam!
The annual Albany UU Holiday Music Jam will take place on  Sunday, Dec. 22  during coffee hour. Learn more here .
RELIGIOUS EXPLORATION
-Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry (DREFM), lpurcell@albanyuu.org



For the Faith Development of children and youth this Sunday

The Nursery/Toddler  Room opens at 9:45

Children in pre-k through 6th grade  start the morning in Community Hall at 10:00 with their families. The story this week is Home By Another Way by Barbara Brown Taylor. After the story (at about 10:20) the children leave for their Sunday school groups. Parents/caretakers are welcome to escort them to their rooms and also to visit the groups.

7th/8th Grade OWL  starts at 10:00 in their Room (B-3/4).

High School YoUUth Group  starts at 10:00 in room B-8.

Children and youth are welcome to attend the service with their families instead of RE groups.

Holiday Pageant
Our pageant is in the service Dec. 22. Children and youth of all ages are welcome to participate. We have some speaking parts with just a few lines; and we have lots of parts with no lines (animals, shepherds, angels, royalty)
-Dec 8, 11:30 – 12: 00 in room 26: Selection of parts and distributing costumes
-Dec 15, 11;30 – 12:30 in Community Hall: Rehearsal (no costumes for the rehearsal)
-Dec 22, 9:40 sharp: arrive in Community Hall to find your seat, receive any last-minute directions and prepare to have fun!
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES COUNCIL (SRC)
-Matt Lesniak, SRC Chair, email


SRC Recommends:

Potluck and Forum  
The Green Sanctuary Committee will sponsor a multigenerational potluck dinner and forum, Friday, Dec. 6 , with dinner starting at 6:00pm and the presentation at 7:00pm. Bring a dish to share, or contribute at the door (suggested contribution $5/person). The topic will be "Our Election Systems". Chris Bystroff will present with special guest John Oliver via YouTube (Parental discretion advised!) You’re welcome to come to just the potluck, just the presentation or both!


A reminder of SRC's focus on Social Justice:
 

Making a difference in the lives of children and families in the city of Albany
 
Becoming a leader in sustainable environmental practices
 
Advocating for public policies that are in line with our UU values and principles. These include but are not limited to:
· Economic and Racial Justice
· Environmental Justice
· Gender and Sexual Justice
· International Justice and Peacemaking
· Civil Rights and Religious Liberty
· Health and Family Justice
 
Direct aid and volunteer activities (Sheridan Prep, homeless shelter, food pantries, Give Away the Plate collections)
 
SRC informs the congregation on social issues through:
· Informational forums at Albany UU
· Information in Windows Weekly and Order of Service and on the Albany UU website and Facebook page
· Distribution of materials at the SRC table in Channing Hall
 
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Ushers needed
Are you looking for a way to be more involved in what happens on Sunday mornings? Now is your chance! We are looking to deepen our Usher pool and would love for YOU to join. It’s a very simple but very necessary volunteer opportunity. If you’re interested in learning more about being an Usher on Sunday mornings, please contact Dawn Dana: ddana1@nycap.rr.com . Thank you!

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!

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:
EVENT SPONSORED BY ALBANY UU

Dances of Universal Peace
Join us on Saturday, Dec. 14 to celebrate the season of returning light by combining sacred phrases and chants from many different spiritual traditions with live music, simple melodies, and guided movement. Learn more here .
Regular events and meetings
Many of these events and meetings take a hiatus in the summer, check with the church office before coming in.

Sundays        
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)
Mondays        
6:15 PM        Religious Education Council
                               (1st, Nov., Feb., May)
Tuesdays       
10:00 AM      Philosophy Discussion (weekly)
1:00 PM        Bridge (weekly)
Wednesdays
10:00 AM      Projects & Quilts (weekly)
7:00 PM        Choir Rehearsal (almost weekly)
Thursdays     
1:00 PM       All Sides Considered (1st & 3rd)
6:30 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

Websites
General: www.AlbanyUU.org

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 office@albanyuu.org ).

Photo credit: Kathy Hodges
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany | 518.463.7135| 518.463.1429 | Admin@AlbanyUU.org | AlbanyUU.org