Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
"From the Minister," Thu Dec 13 - HERE
On the Journey: Curiosity (2018 Dec) - HERE
Practice of the Week: Get a Teacher /Key Supporting Practice. A critical reason to seek out a teacher is to make your practice accountable. We live busy, complex, and changeable lives. There are dozens of reasons why it is difficult to sustain daily practice over time. We are masters at rationalizing why we can't meditate. Being accountable to a teacher, a community, and a tradition outside yourself can help. READ MORE.
Religious Education   This Sunday all ages are in the sanctuary for our No-Rehearsal Christmas Pageant. As the story unfolds, you become Mary, Joseph, goats, sheep, cows, horses, angels, shepherds, and wise folk. Costumes provided! And as we reflect on peace and joy, let us not overlook the tremendous gift we are given year 'round, which is our children and volunteer teachers!.. READ MORE.
From the Music Director  Christmas-themed music from many lands! Catalan composer Federico Mompou provides a jazz-inflected treatment of a popular regional carol, "El noi de la mare" (The Mother's Son). He couples the tender melody to a lively sardana, or traditional circle dance. His Pessebres (Crèches) are similarly delicate and folkloric....READ MORE 
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun Dec 16, 10:00 AM
" Christmas Pageant" Multigenerational Worship"
Rev. Meredith Garmon 
Our much beloved traditional Christmas pageant. Which part will you play this year?.  
Sun Dec 23, 10:00 AM
"Reality Amid Ideology"  
Rev. Meredith Garmon
Faith communities, says Walter Brueggemann, have important work to do, "indispensible for the future viability of our society." Prophetic job #1 is to identify and call out misconstruals of reality that serve particular insterests.
Holiday Community Meal    
Holiday Community Meal, Sun Dec 16, Fellowship Hall, after worship service
This year's holiday meal is a Pan Asian feast featuring Thai, Korean, and Chinese selections including curries, crispy vegan tofu, Szechuan vegetables, zippy Korean pork, garlic bok choy, and more! Suggested donation - Adults: $4; Seniors and Under 12: $3; Family max: $12. Contact: John Schwam (
Winter Choral Concert   
Winter Choral Concert: Britten's A Ceremony of Carols & Songs of the Season, Sun Dec 16, 12:30pm
Our concert follows the Holiday Community Meal, and features the CUUC Choir, with director Lisa N. Meyer, harpist Kristi Shade, and pianist Georgianna Pappas. Childcare available with advance reservation to Tickets available online at  
2018-19 UUA Common Read 
Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) selects a meaningful book and invites congregations to read and discuss together to build community by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations. Our "Common Read" this year is Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment . This anthology presents a powerful and penetrating look at environmental justice by key UU thinkers and activists, and explores how racial justice, environmental justice, and economic justice are intertwined. Discount copies are available to purchase for $15 after worship. 
As part of the Board of Trustees' look at congregational safety, we would like to know how many congregants are CPR/First Aid Certified (with a Certification that is up to date). We may be able to offer this training at CUUC in the future, so we'd also like to know who would be interested in taking the class (it is 6 hours on one day). Please contact Aimee Katz ( or Paula Meighan ( 
UUs in the News  
CUUC member Joann Prinzivalli was inducted into the Westchester Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and was also keynote speaker at the awards luncheon on Fri Dec 7, 2018. The award is a tribute to older adults who have generously given their time and energy to improve the quality of life in our communities or the county at large. The annual event was sponsored by the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services, and others. Seventy-one Westchester County residents ages 60 and older were inducted, including Susan McAnanama, member of the First Unitarian Society of Westchester in Hastings, who is pictured here along with 2017 recipient Pedro Maymi, also of FUSW. Congratulations and thank you for embodying our faith in action!   
From Environmental Practices   

Confused about which trash bin at CUUC an item belongs in? Don't want to make a mistake? Check the colored graphics attached to each of the new bins in Fellowship Hall, the kitchen, and some of the classrooms (more to come for classrooms). You may be surprised to see what can and also what can't be placed in a bin. If your item isn't pictured it should be placed in the bin labeled TRASH. Following the guidelines indicated by the graphics is an important contribution to the purity of the recycled streams. Why is this important? Learn more HERE.  
Deck Our Halls!     
Donate to Our Poinsettia Display
We invite you to contribute to our display in honor of a person, event, or group. Send donations of $15 per plant to the office (checks to CUUC with the memo "poinsettia") along with the names you would like included in the Xmas Eve order of service. Contact: Pam Parker (, 914-946-1660, x 2). 
Can You Help?    
The refugee resettlement agency HIAS has a female client looking for work. She is a chemical engineer from Afghanistan, fluent in English, with some experience in Human Resources. She is looking for a job close to home in White Plains because she has young children. She is open to taking an entry-level position. Contact: Jane Dixon (
In the Community
Kwanzaa Celebration, Thu Dec 27, 2:00 pm, Thomas H. Slater Center, 2 Fisher Court, White Plains
The annual celebration, sponsored by CUUC and others, includes traditional drumming by Kofi and Sankofa Dance & Drum Ensemble, and a free cultural Karamu feast provided by ShopRite following the program. Come support this important community outreach event! Contact: Barbara Mair ( 
Save the Date      
Wise Aging Group, first meeting Tue Jan 22, 2019, 3:00pm, Parsonage
We invite you to join a new discussion group where we explore aging as a personal and spiritual practice, and support one another in our journeys. We will follow the book, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit. Please RSVP by Mon Jan 14 to help us plan. Contact: Rev. LoraKim Joyner (, 914-948-1696). 
Opportunities for Giving     
Gift Cards for Coachman Family Center, Bring in Wrapped & Tagged Gift Cards THIS SUN Dec 16
Help a family at Coachman! Bring in your wrapped gift cards this Sunday. Please tag with child's name and room. Contact: Ray Messing (
Personal Items for Shelter Residents, through Sun Dec 30  New socks, men's underwear (L & XL), women's underwear, and toiletries will be collected throughout December for residents of local shelters. Contact: Ray Messing (  
The Mitten Tree is Here!  Help us decorate with your donations of mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves for all ages and sizes. Share the gift of warmth! We will be collecting throughout December. Contact: Ray Messing (
Social Justice Opportunities
Holiday Party Fundraiser for HVCC, Fri Dec 14, 6:30pm, South Presbyterian Church, Dobbs Ferry
See the News12 story HERE. Four Westchester children from two families have fathers who were taken away to ICE detention facilities in Alabama. Help send these kids to visit their dads for Christmas, including 8-year-old Jozelyn Zhinin, who has not seen her father in a year. Please consider attending the party this Friday and/or making a donation to reunite these families, even briefly. We are a quarter of the way there - help us reach our fundraising goal! Learn more HERE. Donate HERE. To volunteer (food, set up, etc.) contact:
Find more local social justice opportunities HERE.
Opportunities for Connection

CUUC is part of the Central East Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The December CER "Opportunities for Connection" newsletter includes information on upcoming events, trainings, and conferences, plus an article on Faithify, the new UU crowdfunding platform. Read more HERE.  
UU Fundraiser: WhaleCoast Alaska 2019

Have you have ever dreamed of visiting Alaska? Two eco-cultural and spiritual programs offered this summer by WhaleCoast Alaska 2019 allow you to see Alaska through the eyes of local UUs, with friendly homestays and unique tour activities.Contact Dave Frey of the Fairbanks UU congregation ( or 907-322-4966).  
Share the Plate for December: Coachman Family Center
The recipient of half our non-pledge collection this month is the Coachman Family Center. The Coachman is a 100-room shelter that provides housing, healthcare, and services to local families in need. The center is affiliated with Westhab, a nonprofit organization serving Westchester County. The Coachman offers support and activities for children, including after-school homework help, arts and crafts, music, and recreation.
Caring & Sharing Ci rcle

If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Joan Traber (914-617-4929, or Anita Mann (914-819-7751, Or contact the CUUC office (914-946-1660 x2,
This Week at CUUC

The full calendar can be found HERE. Room numbers subject to change; please check the board on Sunday morning. To reserve a room or Zoom online meeting, contact the CUUC office (914-946-1660 x2,
Fri Dec 14 - 11:00am Journey Group - Rev. Garmon; 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP Film Night

Sat Dec 15 - 9:00am UUA Metro Dist YAC Meeting; 10:00am Food Prep for Community Meal; 10:00am Zen; 11:00am Choir Dress Rehearsal

Sun Dec 16 - 9:15am Caring & Sharing; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Multigeneration Worship: Christmas Pageant; 11:00am Choir Rehearsal; 11:30am Community Holiday Meal; 11:40am Journey Group - Leahy; 12:30pm Winter Choral Concert

Mon Dec 17 - 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i; 8:00pm Finance Committee

Tue Dec 18 - 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP; 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal

Thu Dec 20 - 7:00pm Journey Group - Van Hoomissen; 7:30pm Worship Committee

Sat Dec 22 - 10:00am Zen

Sun Dec 23 - 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Religious Ed: Fun Sunday; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Coffee Hour; 2:30pm Journey Group - Rev. Joyner 

Minister: Rev. Meredith Garmon,, 914-946-1660 x3
Director of Faith Development: Perry Montrose,, 914-946-1660 x4
Coordinator of Religious Education: Michele Rinaldi,, 914-946-1660 x4
Community Minister: Rev. Deb Morra,, 914-830-1509
Community Minister: Rev. LoraKim Joyner,
Youth Program Coordinator: Chandeerah Davis,  
Music Director: Adam Kent,, 212-595-7280
Choir Director: Lisa Meyer,
Congregational & Communications Administrator: Pamela Parker,, 914-946-1660 x2
Bookkeeper: Diane Pearson,, 914-946-1660 x5
Board of Trustees
Board Chair: Dean Silverberg,
Vice Chair: Al Rocchi,
Treasurer: Chris Kortlandt,
Social Justice Coordinators
Jeff Tomlinson,
Mary Cavallero,
Pamela Cucinell,
Rev. Meredith Garmon,
Quick Links

On The Journey (current and past issues)
Social Justice Teams
Practice of the Week (current and all past)
The Quarterly Communitarian
CUUC Main Web Site
Liberal Pulpit Index
The Liberal Pulpit Video
Boundless Way Zen of Westchester
Let's talk about the Common Read! This week, chapter 1: Jennifer Nordstrom, "Intersectionality, Faith, and Environmental Justice," in Mishra-Marzetti and Nordstrom, eds., Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class and the Environment.

The word "intersectional" is big these days among people thinking about social justice. The word calls attention to how interrelated the varioius justice issues are. Nordstrom opens with mention of a 10-day "direct action and permaculture training camp" she attended in New Mexico to simultaneously learn sustainability and "build resistance to white supremacy and militarism." Growing food and growing cross-cultural relationships of equality and respect at the same time is one manifestation of "intersectionality."

The overlap of issues calls attention to the commonalities, but also the differences: "For example, women will experience sexism differently depending on their race, class, gender identity, and sexuality. People of color will experience racism differently based on their class, gender, gender identity, and sexuality."

In particular, Justice on Earth looks at Environmental Justice through the lens of intersectionality -- this is, in light of interconnecting systems. Nordstrom shares her experience learning that "communities of color were exploited and poisoned through the entire nuclear fuel cycle: from uranium mining on Indigenous lands to nuclear weapons production on Indigenous land and the contamination of surrounding Indigenous, Chicano, and Latinx communities to nuclear waste storage in communities of color" (4). Thus, militarism, colonialism, racism, and the environment interrelate.

We are thus lead to see that "the environment" "is not simply natural wilderness in need of saving" -- as UUs are prone to view it. It is also roads, industries, urban trees, other people -- everything around us, and all of it shaped by patterns of power. "There is not a single experience of the environment divorced from other relationships, or a single experience of humanity divorced from the environment" (5).

For too long UUs have done "justice work in silos" -- an approach that "is not true to our whole lives, or to the wholeness of other people." When we ignore intersectionality, our work "usually caters to the dominant identities within the issue" (6).

Yet, Nordstrom argues, as important as intersectionality is, equally powerful for us is faith. Our faith as UUs "can ground and nurture our work for environmental justice." Our situatedness in the interdependent web is our "call of the deep to the well of" our souls.

Related and Recommended: Kimberle Crenshaw's Keynote address to the Women of the World Festival 2016.(30 mins) HERE.

Questions: What overlapping patterns of power and oppression have you experienced in your own life? How have they manifested in the institutions in which you live and work? How have they affected your experience of you own identity?

What do you know of environmental justice organizations active in Westchester?

This week, read chapter 1. Consider and talk about the questions, and any other questions that come up for you. Feel free to click "Comment" (on the post HERE) and share your thoughts here. Thank you!

Yours in faith,
The Liberal Pulpit /New this week: Index of past sermons: HERE.
Index of other reflections: HERE.
Videos of sermons are on the Liberal Pulpit Youtube Channel: HERE
Your Moment of Zen: Still Lonesome /Mole spoke up after Raven had his exchange with Owl and said, "I have a different kind of question. Is there a way to practice in ordinary times?" Raven said, "The robin! The dove! The linnet!" "Is it just a matter of being open to the other?" asked Mole. "Still lonesome," said Raven.
Zen at CUUC, Sat Dec 15: HERE
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