Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
This week's post from the Sabbatical Minister HERE 
Practice of the Week: Rest in the Openness of Mind
There's no need to figure everything out. We can just be alive. We can breathe in and breathe out and let go and just trust our life, trust our body. Our body and our life know what to do. The problem is to let them do it, to relax and let them guide us. Resting in the openness of mind at any time can be quite powerful. READ MORE
Unitarian Universalism is a living faith, calling us to live into our values and Principles, calling us to shape the world in an image of love and justice, calling us to undo systems and a culture of racial oppression and violence, calling us into right relations and accountability. This week especially, we deepen our faith and our commitment to fully living into that faith by listening to and centering the voices of Indigenous Peoples... READ MORE 
I went to the hillside, I went to pray; I know the angels done changed my name. So begins the traditional African-American Spiritual "The Angels Changed My Name," in an arrangement by the British-born composer of African descent Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Franz Liszt's setting of the legend of St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds follows. The CUUC Choir is also on hand with another Spiritual and a piece from Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun Dec 1, 10:00am
"Simply Pray"
Rev. Kimberley Debus 
Why do we pray? And how do we pray? And more, why does prayer seem to be so central to so many religions? We'll ask and answer these questions and more.     
Sun Dec 8, 10:00am
"What to Expect When You're Expecting"
Rev. Kimberley Debus  
December is a time of waiting, with the holidays we celebrate - Winter Solstice, Christmas, and Hanukkah - all connected to anticipation, hope, and expectation. Sometimes the waiting is good - but sometimes it's difficult. Together we'll explore what it means to wait and dwell in possibility.  
Our CUUC YouTube Channel has videos of many past services. Check it out HERE!
Opening in Gmail? Be sure to click "View entire message" at the bottom.
Cooperative Coffee Hour     
Cooperative Coffee Hour, Sun Dec 1, 11:15am
We invite everyone to bring along a treat to help fill our table at this Sunday's Cooperative Coffee Hour. Then pitch in to help us set up, serve, and clean up together. Many hands make light work! 
Team Meetings - Sun Dec 1       
Racial Justice/In the Spirit of Truth, 11:40am, Fellowship Hall 
Contact: Jeff Tomlinson (, Imelda Cruz Avellán (  
Committee on Ministry, 11:40am, 41
Contact: Tom Wacht (
Volunteer Opportunity     
Arlene Penn from WestFair Rides will be available during coffee hour Sun Dec 1 with information about this ride service for older folks and those with visual impairments. Learn more HERE or talk to CUUC's Joe Majsak, Norm Handleman, and Jane Dixon, who have all been volunteer drivers for WestFair. 
From the Treasurer  
It is important that every Friend and Member contribute, so our day-to-day operations and vibrant programming at CUUC can be funded. There are still some Members who have not pledged. If you haven't already, please complete and mail in or drop off your pledge form. Forms are available outside the office. You may also pledge online at Read the Treasurer's letter HERE.
Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair      
Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair Fundraiser, Sun Dec 8, Sanctuary, following Worship 
Unique gifts from local craftspeople for your family, friends, teachers, and everyone on your list! Contact Barbara Youngman ( Proceeds help support the Minister's Discretionary Fund.
1619 Project       
1619 Project Planning Meeting, Sun Dec 8, 11:40am, Fellowship Hall
In August, the NY Times launched The 1619 Project, publishing a collection of articles on slavery in the U.S. and its impact on our society. Join us to plan how we can bring these resources to our congregation. Contact: Jeff Tomlinson ( ) 
Winter Choral Concert    

Winter Choral Concert: Schubert's Mass in G Major & Songs of the Season, Sun Dec 15, 12:30pm, Sanctuary
Our afternoon of music features the CUUC Choir, under the direction of Lisa N. Meyer, with pianist Georgianna Pappas accompanying. Free childcare available with advance reservation to Discount tickets available during coffee hour, or buy online at
Deck Our Halls!       
Donate to Our Holiday Display
Rev. Kimberley is allergic to poinsettias, so we will be decorating our sanctuary with other living plants for the holidays. You may contribute to our display as a way to honor, give thanks, or remember a person, event, or group. Please send donations of $15 per plant to the church office (checks to "CUUC" with memo "display") and include the message you would like written in the Christmas Eve order of service. Contact: Pam Parker (, 914-946-1660, x2).
Environmental News 
With the holidays coming, may we suggest a tree card? For each card you purchase at the Arbor Foundation (tree card prices range from $4 - $6 each), a tree will be planted in a National Forest. They will send you the cards (or e-cards if you choose) so that you can personalize them and mail them in honor of family, friends, colleagues, etc. Other gifts are available on the Arbor Foundation website and each purchase will plant a tree in a National Forest. 
From Economic Social Justice       

Want to be a more conscious consumer as you shop for the holidays, making purchases that help save the planet, support companies that are fair to their employees, and make a difference? Learn more at these sites:
Wreaths for Sale        

Wreath Sale Fundraiser, Sun Dec 8, After Worship 
As a scouting fundraiser, Doyle & Callie Zisson will be selling wreaths outside the main doors at CUUC after the service Sun Dec 8. Let them help you beautify your door or mantle!

Social Justice Opportunity  
Amnesty International Write-a-Thon , Sat Dec 7, 1:00-5:00pm, CUUC Fellowship Hall
We will send personal messages to support the work of human rights defenders under threat around the world. Write with us! Materials provided. Refreshments. Contact: Ruth Gyure (
Opportunities for Giving
Last day! Gently Used Toy Collection for clients of the Ecumenical Food P antry: Bring gently used toys, and new or like-new stuffed animals, until Sun Dec 1. Contact: Mary Cavallero (   
Personal Items for Shelter Residents: We collect new men's and women's socks, underwear, and toiletries throughout December for residents of local shelters. Posters by our RE kids help spread the word. Contact: Ray Messing (
Gift Cards for Coachman Family Center: Help a family at the Coachman by signing up to purchase a $25 gift card for their school-age children. Beginning Sun Dec 8, we will have a list of the children and the card they prefer. Please box and wrap the gift cards, tag with the child's name and room number, and bring in by Sun Dec 22. Contact: Ray Messing (
The Mitten Tree is Coming! Help us decorate it by donating mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves for all ages and sizes. Share the gift of warmth! We will be collecting until Sun Dec 29. 
District Happenings - December
The UUA Central East Region reminds us that Tuesday, Dec 3, is Giving Tuesday, and encourages us to give generously to those charities and organizations that are meaningful to us. To see the monthly Opportunities for Connection newsletter for our region, click HERE.  
Having technical difficulties with our newsletter or links? Please contact Pam Parker in the CUUC office (914-946-1660, ).
Share the Plate for December: Coachman Family Center   
The recipient of half our non-pledge collection this month is the Coachman Family Center. Located in downtown White Plains, 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 childcare, a youth center, after-school homework help, arts and crafts, music, and recreation.
Caring & Sharing Circle
If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Julie Gans (914-937-7899, or Joan Traber (914-617-9622, Or you may 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,
Thursday, November 28 - Office Closed

Friday, November 29 - Office Closed

Saturday, November 30 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Zen (43); Overeaters Anonymous (21)

Sunday, December 1 - 9:30am Nursery Care (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Community Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:40am Committee on Ministry (41); 11:40am Racial Justice/In the Spirit of Truth (Fellowship Hall)

Monday, December 2 - 5:00pm Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: Straight Spouse Network (14); 8:00pm Rental: Amnesty International (41)

Tuesday, December 3 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 1:00pm Rental: The Joy of Watercolor (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Classrooms); 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)

Wednesday, December 4 - 8:30am CUUC Dance Movement Group (Fireside); 7:30pm Program Council (41)

Thursday, December 5 - 9:30am Rental: League of Women Voters (41); 7:30pm Journey Group Facilitators (Fireside)

Friday, December 6 - 7:00pm Youth Group (14)

Saturday, December 7 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 9:30am Rental: WCSPP Community Forum (Fellowship Hall); 10:00am Zen (43); 10:30am Overeater's Anonymous (21); 1:00pm Rental: Amnesty International Write-A-Thon (Fellowship Hall); 1:00pm Journey Group Facilitators (Parsonage); 2:00pm Crafts Fair Setup (Sanctuary)

Sunday, December 8 - 8:45am Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary); 9:30am Nursery Care (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:30am Craft Fair (Sanctuary); 11:40am 1619 Project Planning (Fellowship Hall); 11:40am Environmental Practices (41)  

Minister: Rev. Meredith Garmon,, 914-946-1660 x3
Sabbatical Minister: Rev. Kimberley Debus,
Dir of Lifespan Religious Education and Faith Development: Tracy Breneman,, 914-946-1660 x4
Community Minister: Rev. Deb Morra,, 914-830-1509
Community Minister: Rev. LoraKim Joyner,
Music Director: Adam Kent,, 212-595-7280
Choir Director: Lisa Meyer,
Choir Pianist: Georgianna Pappas,
Children's Music Director: Lyra Harada,
Congregation & Communications Administrator: Pamela Parker,, 914-946-1660 x2
Bookkeeper: Diane Pearson,, 946-1660 x5
Board of Trustees
Board Chair: Al Rocchi,
Vice Chair: Joann Prinzivalli,
Treasurer: Chris Kortlandt,
Social Justice Coordinators
Jeff Tomlinson,
Mary Cavallero,
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

Thanksgiving mornings in my house always began the same way: a slice of Mom's coffee cake, warm from the oven, a big glass of orange juice, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on the television, and newspaper spread out on the dining room table so we could polish the silver. The scents of cinnamon and tarnish remover blended into an oddly comforting mélange of warm tininess, made more complex by the sautéing onions that would go into the stuffing, which would go into the bird. Even now, just thinking about it, I can smell that odd combination of scents and I am transported to a different time and place.

My memories of childhood Thanksgivings are positive - and I am grateful for them, because they remind me of my family and of experiences that shape who I am today. Yet not all of us are grateful for our memories of this time of year. We are entering a complex season, where messages of family and connection and tradition may bristle against memories of anger or scarcity or frustration. Some of us may struggle with loneliness or depression because of loss or simply distance. Others may overload their Thanksgiving tables to make up for all the years when there wasn't enough. Others still may have to work and may have always had to work, and so the day isn't a holiday at all.

But no matter how we view the day - with all its complexities - I want to remind us to find the space to be grateful.

Gratitude isn't an easy thing some days, I know. In our darkest times there seems to be nothing to be grateful for. But I want to challenge you to look around you right now and express gratitude for what is nearby. Perhaps it is the computer or mobile device you're reading this on; you can be grateful for the technology, for eyes that work well enough to see it, for the electricity to power it. Perhaps it's the table and chair where you're sitting; you can be grateful for the hands that crafted them and their sturdiness. See? Things to be grateful for already! There's no limit to what you can be grateful for. It doesn't have to be big things; it can be the little things - the smile from someone across the pew on Sunday, the smell of the crisp fall day, the cup of coffee that fuels your morning tasks.

The key is not to stay stuck at the chair or the coffee - it is to then to be grateful for bigger things: the breaths we take, the thoughts we have, the tenderness and generosity we feel, the ability we have to help and serve others, the inspiration we get from truth and beauty, the comfort we draw from others, and the memories of places, people, and moments that make us who we are. The CUUC community, who holds us in covenant, and who always makes room for one more.

Let us be grateful for the abundance of gratitude, remembering what Meister Eckhart taught us: if the only prayer we say is "thank you" it is enough.

Let us give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving.

~ Rev. Kimberley Debus
Your Moment of Zen: Character
One evening, in a discussion of her personal problems, Raven asked Brown Bear, "What is the role of character in the practice?" Brown Bear said, "I try to keep my promises." Raven said, "I try to keep my promises, too, but I'm easily distracted." Brown Bear said, "The cold wind reminds me." READ MORE
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