Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
This week's From the Minister - HERE
On the Journey: Desire (2019 Feb) - HERE
Practice of the Week: Cultivate Self-Acceptance With practice, there's no reason you can't break the cycle of self-rejection. Agree to be willing to try another way. Once the willingness is established, identify ways in which your old responses are attempts to reduce suffering by avoiding certain internal experiences. Then, identify ways in which these entrenched and automatic...READ MORE
Religious Education  At last week's  Fun Sunday our kids enjoyed games related to Black History Month and a celebration of music from our children's music director, Lyra Harada. Some showed off their singing abilities (one sang all the words to a Hamilton song!) This Sun Feb 24 is our annual Alvin Ailey Dance Sunday in Fellowship Hall. Don't miss it!... READ MORE
From the Music Director  Anger -- righteous, explosive -- finds expression in the solo piano music performed this Sunday. Sometimes characterized as a Titan shaking his fists at the Heavens, Beethoven seems to unleash a natural fury in the final movement of his "Moonlight Sonata." Our CUUC Choir will have less irritable creations, including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"... READ MORE.
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun Feb 24, 10:00 AM
"What Anger Does" 
Rev. Meredith Garmon
It's a helpful, powerful -- if also sometimes destructive or embarrassing -- emotion.   
Sun Mar 3, 10:00 AM
Rev. Meredith Garmon
I'm not saying put yourself down. Just that maybe we're all sometimes a little more arrogant than we need to be.  
Newcomers' Conversation     

Newcomers' Conversation, Sun Feb 24, 11:20am, Room 13
Learn more about Unitarian Universalism, and help us learn more about you! Visitors are invited to pick up a cup of coffee and then meet in the lobby with Paula Meighan, who will lead the discussion this month.  
Economic Justice    

Economic Social Justice Team, Sun Feb 24, 11:30, Room 41
Please join our team meeting this Sunday to explore how CUUC and its members can address the vital issue of economic inequality. All are welcome! Contact: Jim Walkup ( 
Science & Spirituality 

Science & Spirituality, Thu Feb 28, 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 ( ). 
Faith Development Friday  

Faith Development Friday, Fri Mar 8, CUUC
Our monthly evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community. 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community Dinner; 7:00pm Programs; 8:30pm Coffee. Programs include a special Adult RE book discussion (see below) and Family Journey Group. Adults may also just come for a slice and unstructured social time together. All are welcome to stay after the programs to share coffee and a chat. RSVP to .  
Book Discussion 

UUA Common Read Book Discussion, Fri Mar 8, 7:00pm, Fireside
Join us for a discussion of Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment . To see Rev. Meredith's weekly reflections on chapters, visit "From the Minister" posts HERE.  
Volunteers Wanted   

Westchester UU Combined Worship, Sun Mar 17, 10:30am, CUUC  
We are preparing to host our neighboring UU congregations for a shared worship next month. You can help our welcome by signing up for a task - many hands make light work! To volunteer, contact Adine Usher ( Or look for our signup sheet after Sunday worship. 
Sign Up Now to Support PrideWorks 

PrideWorks Conference, Wed Mar 20, 7:30am-3:00pm, Pace University, Pleasantville   
Participate in our longest-running Westchester UU collaboration: support of the annual PrideWorks conference for LGBTQ youth and allies. Greet arriving buses with our UU welcoming banner; tend our UU info table; volunteer for one of the many tasks that make the event run. An opportunity to put your UU faith into action! See flyer HERE. We need to know NOW if we have enough signups to continue!! Contact: John Cavallero ( 
Save the Date

Book Discussion: White Fragility, Sun Apr 14, 11:30, Fellowship Hall
"Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism," will be the topic of a conversation about the book White Fragility by Robin Diangelo, hosted by the CUUC Racial Justice/In the Spirit of Truth Committee. The book will be available to purchase after worship in March and April. Quotes from the book are on the Racial Justice bulletin board. For historical perspective on this issue, each week we will post a link in the e-Communitarian to an episode of the podcast Seeing White. The first link is HERE.  
Do you know... 
How to recycle a pizza box at the congregation? Should it be recycled with paper or other boxes? It's a judgement call usually yielding the answer "No." Pizza boxes are made from corrugated cardboard and most corrugated boxes can be recycled, but once the pizza has been placed in the box, the cardboard becomes soiled with grease, cheese, and other foods. Once soiled, the box (or paper) cannot be recycled because the paper fibers cannot be separated from the oils during the "pulping process." So take a look inside the pizza box. If you see even a slight stain, that box goes in the trash. To avoid attracting pests here at CUUC there cannot be even a crumb in any box set aside for recycling! 
Are You Connected?     

The CUUC online directory is a great way to stay in touch with other members and friends, but less than half of us have "opted in." Don't be left out! Contact Pam at the office (, 914-946-1660) to be sent your invitation email so you too can register for our online community!  
In the Community 

A uthor Talk: Parkland: Birth of a Movement , Mon Feb 25, 7:00pm, Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, 480 Bedford Rd, Chappaqua
A year after the shooting at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, author Dave Cullen offers an intimate, moving account of the students who became activists and pushed back against Congressional leaders and the NRA. Learn more HERE.  
25 Prospect Street: The Documentary , Wed Feb 27, 7:00pm, Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Rd, Pleasantville
The Prospector Theater is a non-profit dedicated to providing meaningful employment to adults with disabilities. Prospector was the recipient of CUUC's Variety Show fundraising in 2017. Hosted by Pleasantville SEPTA. Free admission, but must reserve by Fri Feb 22 at  
Find more local social justice events HERE.
Share the Plate for February: MLK Institute for Nonviolence
We share half our non-pledge collection this month with Westchester Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence, which has promoted nonviolent activism for social justice since 1987. Their mission is to advance racial equity for all our communities by: educating and empowering youth and adults; supporting inclusiveness, courage, and peace; and collaborating to advocate for justice, equity, and shared power for all.
Caring & Sharing Circle

If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Ingrid Hartmann (914-946-2026, or Johanna Bauer (914-636-1047, 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 Feb 23 - 9:00am CPR Training; 10:00am Zen, 3:00pm Building Committee 

Sun Feb 24 - 8:45am Choir Rehearsal; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Religious Ed: Alvin Ailey Dance Sunday; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Coffee Hour; 11:20am Newcomers' Conversation; 11:30am Economic Social Justice 

Mon Feb 25 - 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i

Tue Feb 26 - 6:00pm Animal Advocacy; 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP; 7:30pm  Choir Rehearsal

Thu Feb 28 - 10:00am Journey Group - Kung; 11:30am Science & Spirituality Group

Fri Mar 1 - 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP Film Night

Sat Mar 2 - 10:00am Food Prep for Community Meal; 10:00am Zen; 10:30am Auction Event: Myers-Briggs Personality Types; 12:30pm Journey Group Facilitators

Sun Mar 3 - 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Coffee Hour; 11:30am Pancake Community Meal  

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,
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
The Liberal Pulpit New: Index of past sermons: HERE. Index of other reflections: HERE. Videos of sermons are on the Liberal Pulpit Youtube Channel: HERE
The 2018-19 UUA Common Read is:
Come discuss the book! Fri Mar 8, 7:00 at CUUC.

This week, I'm looking at Chapter 10:
Peggy Clarke, "Eating the Earth."

Rev. Clarke begins what rewarding fun she found when she joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) - the party with friends who came over to celebrate and partake of the bounty; and learning to can with her neighbors.

Then she got involved with a project to bring people together across generational lines. A community garden seemed just the ticket. "In light of consistent reports of isolation from every corner of American culture, participating in life-sustaining, communal, multigenerational activities that deepen our connection to Earth could become a healing balm" (110).

She co-founded InterGenerate, "a small food-justice organization" for establishing community gardens for which participant neighbors pay $50 a year and commit to "shared work and communal engagement." A couple years in they were up to four gardens and an "experiment of communal caretaking for about 45 chickens with 25 households."

Bananas, for instance, from a New York grocery store come to us from Latin American plantations created from deforestation and habitat destruction. They come to us from farm workers who pick them, earning less than a living wage; women who drop them into vats of a carcinogenic solution that slows ripening, at risk of illness and early death from exposure to those chemicals; workers who box them and others who truck them, driving diesel trucks that burn fossil fuels and produce pollutants.

"I am accountable," says Clarke, "for how food gets to my plate" (112). I'd say, rather, that we are responsible, but not accountable, and we'd like to accountable. We yearn for relationships of accountability; the meaning of our lives flows from embeddedness in relationships that compel us to account for ourselves. That we aren't accountable to the food supply-chain contributes to deracinated (literally, "uprooted," appropriately enough), alienated lives. What we desperately need is to become accountable - to form relationships that hold us accountable. In the cooperative labor and the sharing of neighborhood gardens, along with the sustaining food, participants are fed by robust, hearty accountings they give and receive, in word and in body -- rather than the wan, abstracted, depersonalized accounting offered by the credit card swipe with which we buy bananas.

Neighborhood gardens build relationships and build community. They reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to saving the planet. They offer an alternative to the food system in which labor is exploited and polluting effects are felt mostly by the poor and communities of color.

These gardens transform participants from isolated and disconnected lonely individuals into people connected to their neighbors and to the good earth. It's about the food, "but it's also about harvesting a deeper way of living. It's about planting and watering and weeding and harvesting community. It's about deeper life, better life, shared life. It's about being transformed" (116)

1. "Food deserts" are places where affordable access to fresh produce and other healthy food options is limited. What food deserts are in and around Westchester?
2. How much do you know about the food supply-chain that brings food to your table? How might knowing more change what you do, and change you?

For my reflection/summary on previous chapters, click the title:
  1. Jennifer Nordstrom, "Intersectionality, Faith, and Environmental Justice"
  2. Paula Cole Jones, "The Formation of the Environmental Justice Movement"
  3. Sheri Prud'homme, "Ecotheology"
  4. Sofia Betancourt, "Ethical Implications of Environmental Justice"
  5. Adam Robersmith, "Cherishing Our World: Avoiding Despair in Environmental Justice Work"
  6. Peggy Clarke, Matthew McHale, "Becoming Resilient: Community Life for a New Age"
  7. Kathleen McTigue, "Drawing on the Deep Waters: Contemplative Practice in Justice-Making"
  8. Pamela Sparr, "Transforming Unitarian Universalist Culture: Stepping Out of Our Silos and Selves"
  9. Kathleen McTigue, "Learning to Change: Immersion Learning and Climate Justice"
Yours in faith,
Your Moment of Zen: Attainment That same evening Owl said, "I've heard that you should not try to attain anything. What do you think?" Raven said, "Not attain anything? Then what are you doing here?" Owl said, "I think the idea is that we're Buddhas already, so there's nothing to attain." Raven said, "An attained being said that." READ MORE
Zen at CUUC, Sat Feb 23: SEE HERE
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