Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
"From the Minister," Fri Dec 21 - HERE
On the Journey: Curiosity (2018 Dec) - HERE
Practice of the Week: Fill the Hole in Your Heart /Slogan. You've got lacks and wounds; we all do. What can you do about them? It's fundamentally simple: you take in good experiences specifically aimed at your own lacks and wounds. It's like being a sailor with scurvy: you need vitamin C - not vitamin E - for what ails you. READ MORE.
Religious Education   Being part of the whimsy and magic, of our Christmas Pageant last Sunday, I had an epiphany. Christmas is not the gifts, the flurry of activities and parties, but really -- believe it or not! -- simplicity. Jesus was a simple man and brave, who embodied the virtues UUs value 365 days a year. RE This Sunday - all ages in Fellowship Hall for Fun Sunday... READ MORE.
From the Music Director   Christmas music from a variety of traditions and a range of perspectives is featured Sunday morning at CUUC. The French composer Olivier Messiaen composed his Vingt regards sur l'enfant-Jésus for solo piano in 1944. These "Twenty Views of the Child Jesus" are highly evocative, sonorously enchanting meditations on the Christ child. "Regard de l'étoile" or the View of the Star, is the second work... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services

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 interests.    
Mon Dec 24, 5:30 AM
Christmas Eve Service  
Rev. Meredith Garmon
Our annual candlelight service of readings and carols.
Sun Dec 30, 10:00 AM
Rev. Arlin Roy
Forgiveness, the courage to ask for it, the flexibility to respond, and the perspective to offer. (Rev. Arlin Roy is co-director of Northeast Counseling Center and past President of the Foundation for Religion and Mental Health.)  
Cooperative Coffee Hour 
Cooperative Coffee Hour, this Sun Dec 23, 11:15am
When you come to service this Sunday, please bring along a treat for our "cooperative coffee hour" table. Then help us set up, serve, and clean up together. Many hands make light work! 
2018-19 UUA Common Read 
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. Discount copies are available to purchase for $15 after worship. 
The Board of Trustees wants to know how many CUUC congregants are CPR/First Aid Certified (with an up-to-date certification). We may offer CPR training at CUUC in the future, so we also want to know who would be  interested in taking the class (it is 6 hours on one day). Contact Aimee Katz ( or Paula Meighan ( 
Did You Know?
Plastic grocery bags, newspaper bags, and dry cleaning bags may be dropped off at large grocery and retail stores for recycling. This year 5 trillion plastic bags will be consumed but less than 1% are likely to be recycled. Recycling reduces waste and protects wildlife from ingesting plastic litter. For a full list of plastic items that can be recycled, click HERE. And for an amusing video on the "life cycle" of a plastic bag, click HERE. Learn about NY State's own  Bring Your Own Bag bill at Riverkeeper's action page HERE.   
In the Community
Kwanzaa Celebration, Thu Dec 27, 2:00pm, Slater Center, 2 Fisher Court, White Plains
This family-friendly celebration includes dancing, storytelling, traditional drumming, and a "Karamu" feast. Come support CUUC's community outreach and learn about a wonderful holiday tradition the whole family can enjoy (especially kids)! Free and open to to all! Contact: Barbara Mair ( 
Can You Help?    
The refugee agency HIAS has a female client looking for work close to White Plains. She is a chemical engineer from Afghanistan, fluent in English, with some experience in Human Resources. Can you help us? Contact: Jane Dixon (
Opportunities for Giving     
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  Help us decorate our tree with your donations of mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves for all ages and sizes for the men, women, and children at local shelters. Share the gift of warmth! We will be collecting throughout December. Contact: Ray Messing ( 
Social Justice Opportunities
Memorial Service for Dr. Olivia Hooker, Sat Dec 22, 11:00 AM, Memorial United Methodist, 250 Bryant Ave, White Plains
Civil Rights Trailblazer Dr. Olivia Hooker, who survived a race-related attack on a black section of Tulsa, OK, in 1921, and went on to become the first black woman to enlist in the Coast Guard and a distinguished psychology professor at Fordham, died on Nov 21 at her home in White Plains. She was 103. Learn more HERE.  
Find more local social justice opportunities HERE.
Respectful Communication Training  

Restorative Practices for Faith Communities Training, Sat Jan 19, 10:00am - 4:00pm, First Unitarian Society of Westchester, Hastings
This training - for lay leaders, youth, and religious professionals - introduces restorative practices that improve our communities' abilities to respond to tension, conflict, hurt, and disagreement. Restorative Practices are grounded in respectful, direct, honest communication. We especially encourage youth leaders, committees on ministry, and congregation boards to attend. Childcare available. Attendance capped at 40 participants. Contact Amy Kent ( Register by Mon Jan 15 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,
Sat Dec 22 - 10:00am Zen
Sun Dec 23 - 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Religious Ed: Fun Sunday; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Cooperative Coffee Hour; 2:30pm Journey Group - Rev. Joyner
Mon Dec 24 - 4:00pm Choir Rehearsal; 5:30pm Xmas Eve Service
Sat Dec 29 - 10:00am Zen
Sun Dec 30 - 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Community Coffee Hour    

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!
Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom, eds., Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class and the Environment.
Available from UUA Bookstore HERE; from Amazon HERE.

This week, chapter 2: Paula Cole Jones, "The Formation of the Environmental Justice Movement."

In 2014, UUs from around the country assembled in Detroit for a "collaboratory" to learn and reflect on our denomination's environmental work. Detroit was a good example of the intersection of environmental issues and urban issues. As local environmental activists showed the UUs around the city, they saw a city
"dominated by abandoned homes, crumbling industrial plants, and sparsely traveled streets."
They met people
"fighting for access to municipal water services and the enforcement of clean air stands at recycling plants,"
and saw the work to develop "urban agriculture to meet the city's goal of food sovereignty." They witnessed commitment to the principle, "No one is expendable. Everyone matters."

When waste sites and polluting industries are located in poorer and darker communities, this may appear to be following the path of least resistance. But this explanation
"takes the focus off of the systemic nature of oppression; specifically, who gets to make the decisions."
It leaves out the role of
"racial and ethnic segregation, income inequality, and limited access to resources and policy makers."
The environmental justice movement, still relatively young, corrects this lack. How did this movement emerge?

The post-WWII boom substantially increased both prosperity and industrial waste and pollution. These two factors led to the modern environmental movement, landmarked by the first Earth Day in 1970. The movement was slow, however, to attend to ways entrenched racial inequality affected environmental decisions. Research by African American sociologist Robert Bullard, published in 1983, found that
"African Americans making $50,000 to $60,000 per year are much more likely to live in a polluted environment than poor white families making just $10,000 per year."
In 1982, the environmental justice movement broke through to national recognition in a case from Warren County, North Carolina. The sending of PCB-contaminated oil to a landfill in Warren County's poorest and most heavily African American community was resisted by activists seeking to protect their groundwater.
"More than five hundred people were arrested, including Congressman Walter Fauntroy and pastors Benjamin Chavis and Joseph Lowery."
A citizen class action suit was filed.
"They did not win the case or stop the landfill, but they successfully launched the environmental justice movement."
In 1991, three hundred people of color gathered for the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. The Summit adopted seventeen "Principles of Environmental Justice" which continue to frame and guide the movement.

Paula Cole Jones concludes:
"As Unitarian Universalists continue to work on environmentalism and climate change, we must operate with the knowledge of structured racial and economic inequality so that we are truly confronting oppression and doing our part in building the Beloved Community."
Also read:
  • The Seventeen Principles of Environmental Justice adopted at the 1991 Summit: HERE.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency's Eco-Justice 2020 Action Agenda (2016), 66pp.: HERE.
  • How well do you know the history of the environmental justice movement? What will you do to become more familiar with this history?
  • What do you know about federal and state government actions that ameliorate or exacerbate environmental injustices?
  • Are environmental decisions in Westchester County fair and equitable?
  • Which communities are at risk? Where do Westchester community officials stand on local environmental justice issues?
  • What local organizations have been formed by and for people of color and working-class communities to address environmental racism and classism?
  • How can CUUC partner with people of color in our community?
  • Who could be invited to speak here about environmental justice?
  • What can you do to build relationships, trust, and partnerships that make a difference?
This week, read chapter 2. Consider and talk about the questions, and any other questions that come up for you. Feel free to click "Comment" at the CUCMatters post (HERE), share your thoughts here. Thank you!

Yours in faith,
Your Moment of Zen: Too Busy /Owl said, "I notice that some students go from teacher to teacher. What do you think of this?" Raven said, "Busy." "After all," Owl said, "practice is a matter of settling in." Raven said, "Still too busy." Owl said nothing. READ MORE
Zen at CUUC, Sat Dec 22: HERE
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