The Scoop
Online Worship, Sunday, February 21
Faith and Patriotism: A Unitarian Universalist Perspective
Rev. Emily DeTar Birt
Gathering Music 10:25am - Service 10:30am

Faith has been used across our nation’s politics and debates for centuries. Religion and faith have been used as tools for citizenship, civil disobedience, in political policy making, and in insurrection. And in all these different forms, faith is explained as part and parcel for what it means to be an American patriot. What does Unitarian Universalism have to say about what it means to be a citizen? Join the conversation and come reflect together.

Click here to join our February 21 worship service
or call 646-558-8656, Meeting ID 600 398 863
Passcode: 230809
Click here to find the February 21 Order of Service

Gathering music starts at 10:25am. You are invited to log in early to greet one another.
We are holding gatherings and Sunday services online. Check our website and Facebook page to find information and updates.
Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, March 7, 3:30pm, Celebration of the Life of Emma Lou Sailors Louis. Details below.

  • Saturday, March 13, 7:30pm, Game Night ~ What games would you like most to play? Send us your suggestions! Contact Betsy Kates ( Click here to log in to game night, or call 646-558-8656 (audio only), Meeting ID: 983 1162 3325, Passcode: 569479

Upcoming Worship

  • Sunday, February 28, 10:30am - The Joy of the Renewable Self ~ De Lise/Reynolds Program Group

  • Sunday, March 7, 10:30am - Anger: That Loving Feeling~ Rev. Arlin Roy
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Sunday Guest Speaker

Rev. Emily DeTar Birt currently serves at the Unitarian Church of Staten Island as a consulting minister. Emily also works as the Community Coordinator for a worshiping community called Not So Churchy under Rev. Mieke Vandersall. Emily was both the intern and the sabbatical minister for the First Unitarian Society of Westchester from 2015-2017. She is grateful to be back and preaching for FUSW.
Our Faith Family

With deep sadness we share that Emma Lou Sailors Louis passed away on January 28. She was 97 years old. To celebrate her life, we will hold a memorial service on Sunday, March 7, at 3:30pm. Click here to join the service (or phone 646-558-8656; Meeting: 931 6784 3639; Passcode: 952933). If you have photos you would like to contribute to our video montage, please forward to Rina ( by Sunday, Feb 28.
Vaccine Support Needed

We're looking for people willing and able to help others in our congregation secure Covid vaccination appointments. Please contact Rina ( or Rev. Kristina ( and we'll connect you with the folks who need a hand getting that shot in the arm!

And here are some helpful links with current vaccine information:
Worth Watching

FUSW members Leslie and Joe Burby have created a YouTube web series Robin Hood for the Pied Piper Children's Theatre of NYC. The first episode debuts Saturday, February 20, 7:00pm, and can be watched all the next week. Working creatively to make theater happen safely for the young actors, the team rehearsed on Zoom, then (Covid safely) filmed in the parks of northern Manhattan last fall. Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.
From the Minister

Greetings, FUSW folks! I'm so grateful for the positive responses to our service on February 14th, entitled “365 Days of Love.” We were blessed with some stunning and inspiring music from our own Alan Murray and the wonderful Kate Ashby. We also shared a video of the song, Seasons of Love, from the musical Rent. Thanks to Craig Butler for finding this gem, which coordinated so perfectly with the service themes. Here's a link to the video, if you'd like to watch it again!

In the service, I mentioned a number of resources that are available to us for conditioning the heart, and increasing our capacity for love.

The service was inspired by a program our own non-profit activist organization, Side with Love, whose annual Thirty Days of Love campaign was the spark that got me thinking about this topic. You can access the many videos, readings, and other materials from this year's 30 Days of Love (which culminated on Valentines Day) here.

I also shared the practice of Metta meditation, a Buddhist-based method of expanding the heart and growing one's own compassion for self and others. There are many variations, and mine was a spontaneous version of the practice I use. Here is another short and simple script for engaging in a metta practice of your own.

I also mentioned the book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by religion scholar and former Catholic nun, Karen Armstrong. The book includes an easy-to-follow program for living more compassionately.

Finally, I've been engaging deeply with the teachings of Valarie Kaur, a Sikh-American writer and activist. Her recent online training program kicked off January 21st with The People's Inauguration, continuing for the next ten days with stories, teachings, meditations, and home exercises to increase the capacity of a justice-based love that encompasses all of humanity. It was Valarie's quote about love that served as our Call to Worship: “The opposite of love is not rage. The opposite of love is indifference. Love engages all our emotions: Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is the force that protects that which is loved. We cannot access the depth of loving ourselves or others without our rage.” Her book See No Stranger builds on many of these ideas, based in the tenets of her Sikh faith and her experience as a national organizer. For more about Kaur, her book, and her ideas, see the Revolutionary Love Project website.

I'm so glad to engage with you on this topic. We'll be continuing to wrestle with ideas and concepts of love and justice as we go forward into the spring. Feel free to share your own favorite resources as well. This is a learning community and I'm lucky to get to learn and grow alongside you!

 Many blessings, and I'll see you soon! ~ Kristina
Share the Plate for February: Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic

For 87 years, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic has provided exceptional health services, accurate information and education, and fearless advocacy for reproductive rights and justice. We collect for our Share the Plate partner throughout the month. Visit, click Donate, and select Share the Plate.
FUSW Contacts & Information

Questions, Concerns, or Compliments for FUSW?
Reach out to any member of our Board of Trustees, (place cursor over picture, then right-mouse click to copy email).

Scheduling Online Meetings
To schedule a Zoom online meeting for your committee or program group, contact Rina Schunk ( with the purpose, date, and time you need, as well as information you want included in the Scoop. Rina will check availability, schedule the calendar, and send you the invitation link.
The Scoop e-newsletter is sent out each week. Have news to share? Submit articles to our administrator, Rina Schunk, at by Wednesday at 10:00am. To schedule events on the FUSW Calendar, contact Rina Schunk at
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