Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
"From the Minister," Thu Dec 6 - HERE
On the Journey: Curiosity (2018 Dec) - HERE
Practice of the Week: Have a Better Holiday  Here are four steps to a better Christmas or Hanukkah: 1. Visualize the holiday you want. 2. Seek creative ways to avoid what you don't like about the Holidays. 3. Give a present to your self. 4. Plan ahead for something that you'd truly like to do. How? READ MORE.
Religious Education  Curiosity was the theme last Sunday: it can help us or get us in trouble. Cats have a penchant for searching out new territories, investigating unknown objects and people, and looking for fun -- very like students, who are always learning, exploring, and having a good time in RE. Curiosity at CUUC has promoted growth and kindness in our RE "cool cats"!... READ MORE.
From the Music Director  Jazz artist Vince Guaraldi, of Peanuts fame, is featured in original compositions as well as arrangements of beloved holiday favorites. The CUUC Choir previews Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, a work included in the ensemble's upcoming Holiday Concert on Sun Dec 16, and a popular Spiritual completes this Sunday's musical selections... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun Dec 9, 10:00 AM
" Justice on Earth: People and Environments"
Rev. Meredith Garmon
Drawing on a few of the ideas from this year's UUA Common Read, Justice on Earth.  
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?
Our Faith Family       
In love and sadness, we offer our condolences to Pamela Cucinell on the passing of her mother. We also send our sympathies to Peter Schubert on the loss of his sister.
Faith Development Friday   
Faith Development Friday, Fri Dec 7, Fireside Area & Classrooms
Our evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community. 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Dinner; 7:00pm Programs; 8:30pm Coffee. Programs include Adult RE and Family Journey Group. Adults may also just come for a slice and unstructured social time together. All may stay after to share coffee and a chat. RSVP to
Adult Religious Exploration
"Faith Like a River" Adult RE, Fri Dec 7, 7:00pm,
Fireside Area
Join us as we trace the unique history of theological and institutional Unitarianism, highlighting important people and turning points. RSVP You may also join online via Zoom videoconferencing.
You can see this month's discussion handout HERE.
Arts & Crafts Fair      
Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair Fundraiser, Sun Dec 9, Sanctuary, following Worship
Unique gifts from local craftspeople for your family, friends, teachers, and everyone on your list! Contact Barbara Youngman ( ). Proceeds support the Minister's Discretionary Fund. 
LGBTQIA Team Meeting     
LGBTQIA Team, Zoom Meeting, Sun Dec 9, 7:30pm 
Our monthly social justice team meeting will again be via Zoom teleconferencing. We have invited our UU neighbors at FUSW in Hastings. Contact chair Tony Arrien ( ) if you would like to be on the call. And have you seen our Sun Nov 18 Transgendor Day of Remembrance ceremony has been uploaded to YouTube? Click HERE. 
Science & Spirituality 
Science & Spirituality, Thu Dec 13, 11:30am, Fireside
We meet the second and fourth Thursday and discuss books and articles on the intersection of spirituality and science. Join us! Contact: Barbara Mair ( ).
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 Discount tickets sold at coffee hour.  
Can You Help?    
HIAS, the refugee resettlement agency we work with, has a female client looking for a job. She is a chemical engineer from Afghanistan, fluent in English, with a few years experience in Human Resource work. She is looking for something in White Plains because she has young children, and she is willing to work in an entry-level position. Contact: Jane Dixon (
Deck Our Halls!     
Donate to Our Poinsettia Display
You may contribute to our seasonal display as a way to honor a person, event, or group. Please send donations of $15 per plant to the office (make checks to CUUC with the memo "poinsettia") with the names you would like included in the Xmas Eve order of service. Contact: Pam Parker (, 914-946-1660, x 2). 
Did You Know...  

Do you know what a Lime Bike is? In light of climate change, any day is a good day to take a ride on one of the lime-green bikes or electronic lime bikes you might have noticed around town. They only cost $1.00 plus a small fee per minute. Lime bikes are "dock-less" rental bikes. Download the Lime app to locate a lime bike. You can park it anywhere that does not impede traffic when you are done. (We do suggest you wear a helmet, though.)
Save the Date    
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 our community outreach! Contact: Barbara Mair ( 
New Discussion Group Forming     
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. Meetings planned on Tuesdays Jan 22, Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 19, Mar 5, and Mar 19. 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, Sign Up Sun Dec 9; Bring in Wrapped & Tagged Gift Cards Sun Dec 16   Help a family at Coachman! Sign up to purchase a $25 gift card for their school-age children. We have the sign-up lists this Sunday. Then buy, box, and wrap the cards, tag with child's name and room, and bring in by Sun Dec 16. Or donate money and we will do it for you! 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. Posters from our Religious Education students help spread the word! Contact: Ray Messing (  
Last Sunday! Gently Used Children's Books and Toys Drive for the Ecumenical Food Pantry, through Sun Dec 9  H elp us supply the Ecumenical Food Pantry with gently used books and toys for their clients to give as gifts. We also accept stuffed animals (new or like new). Want to volunteer? Contact: Mary Cavallero ( 
The Mitten Tree is Here!  Help us decorate the tree 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 (
Parrot Holiday Party 
Parrot Holiday Party Fundraiser, Mon Dec 10, 6:30-8:30pm, 87 Lafayette St, NYC
Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner invites you to a Parrot Holiday Party to raise fun and funds for One Earth Conservation, her community ministry organization. Register HERE , and if you can't attend, please consider donating , or sharing the event with this flyer . Thank you! 
Social Justice Opportunities
Midnight Run, Fri Dec 7, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Society, Hastings
Make a difference in the lives of the homeless living in NYC. We are in need of volunteer drivers tonight. Can you help? Contact: Art Lowenstein (
Holiday Party Fundraiser for HVCC, Fri Dec 14, 6:30pm, South Presbyterian Church, Dobbs Ferry
The Hudson Valley Community Coalition is raising funds to send four local children from immigrant families to visit their fathers being held in detention in Alabama. Learn more
HERE . Donate HERE . Fundraiser party sponsored by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Westchester. Food and volunteers wanted! Contact: SURJ Westchester ( by Mon Dec 10.
Find more local social justice opportunities HERE.
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 7 - 6:00pm OWL 5th/6th Grade-Meal; 6:15pm Faith Development Friday - 6:15 Pizza, 7:00 Programs, 8:30 Coffee; 7:00pm OWL 5th/6th Grade-Class; 8:00pm Rental: WCSPP
Sat Dec 8 - 10:00am Zen; 12:30pm Journey Group Facilitators; 1:00pm Rental: Hoff Barthelson
Sun Dec 9 - 8:00am Crafts Fair Setup; 8:15am RE Council; 8:45am Choir Rehearsal; 9:00am Environmental Practices; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Coffee Hour; 11:30am Craft Fair; 11:40am Sunday Journey Groups; 11:40am 8/9 OWL Parent Orientation; 12:00pm Knife Skills (Auction Event); 3:00pm ICNA Reception    
Mon Dec 10 - 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i
Tue Dec 11 - 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP; 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal
Wed Dec 12 - 7:30pm Board of Trustees
Thu Dec 13 - 11:30am Science & Spirituality Group; 7:30pm Journey Group-Montrose, Manetta, McGahren-Clemens
Fri Dec 14 - 11:00am Journey Group-Garmon; 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP
Sat Dec 15 - 10:00am Food Prep for Community Meal; 10:00am Zen; 11:00am Choir Dress Rehearsal
Sun Dec 16 - 8:45am Choir Rehearsal; 9:15am Caring & Sharing; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship: Christmas Pageant; 11:00am Choir Concert Rehearsal; 11:30am Community Meal: Holiday; 11:40am Journey Group-Leahy; 12:30pm Winter Choral Concert

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
"Peace on Earth," as I wrote last week, is a key phrase of the Christmas season. I urged that we also think about Justice on Earth. The second phrase of what the heavenly host proclaimed to the shepherds is, as you may recall: "...good will to all."

(Note: That's not the more authoritative version of what they said. The NRSV gives: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" That is, the peace is limited to only those toward whom God has good will. The NRSV, however, has a footnote: "Other ancient authorities read peace, goodwill among people." So, the oldest sources we have for the Gospel of Luke include two strikingly different versions of what the heavenly host said to the shepherds. Still, it's the "other ancient authorities" that are better known in popular culture, so in this case, let's go with the footnote rather than the main text: "On earth peace, goodwill among people.")

Does goodwill provide justice? Nope. Good will is better than ill will -- usually -- but good will is not enough. You can have the best intent in the world, but if you're negligent, you're still at fault.

Citing good intentions doesn't get us off the hook for harm we've done, howsoever inadvertently. I was reminded of this when I heard Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi apologize recently. She had praised a supporter by saying, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row." The words evoked her state's sordid history with lynching -- and did so in the context of a campaign in which her opponent was a black man. Her apology: "For anyone who was offended by my comments, I certainly apologize. There was no ill will, no intent whatsoever in my statements."

If you have no fence around your backyard swimming pool, you're negligent. If the neighbor's child drowns in it, you're liable. It doesn't matter how good your intent was. That you didn't mean to cause harm is beside the point. Either Sen. Hyde-Smith wasn't paying attention enough to know what words cause harm in the context of America's past and present, or she knew but didn't care. Either way, she was negligent. Good intentions are no defense against negligence.

Over and over, we see white people excusing themselves by citing their intentions. It's infuriating how often this tactic is used, and how it's almost always white people expecting absolution on the basis of their intentions. (The dominant US culture rarely wonders what a black person's intent might be.) I used to be such a white person myself until I read Brit Bennett's heart-breaking essay from four years ago: HERE.

"Goodwill among people" achieves no justice when the people are negligent.

Yours in faith,
Your Moment of Zen: Essential One evening during the question period, Owl asked Raven, "How important are the words of the Buddha Macaw and her successors to our practice?" Raven said, "Essential." "Is there anything more essential?" asked Owl. Raven said, "The bullfrog calls his mate." Owl was silent but...READ MORE
Saturday Zen at CUUC, Sat Dec 8: HERE
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