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: Prayer with Beads Whatever else it might be - a conversation with the Divine, an internal dialog, a practice of calming and centering -- I think of prayer as a journey into and through the Mystery. The beads are strung in a circle, reminding us that our journey is neither linear nor a one-time-only...READ MORE.
Religious Education  L ast Sunday's CUUC Chili Community Meal was awesome! Special thanks to Kim Force, Steve Miller, RE Council, teachers, and students for this delicious event. This Sun Feb 3 our students will help Amy Swiss load backpacks with supplies and notes to support area teens in need. RE is fully engaged, living winter with spring in our hearts... READ MORE.
From the Music Director  The sermon on creature comforts and the 210th anniversary of the birth of Felix Mendelssohn prompts this morning's musical selections. The Offertory features "The Bees' Wedding." (In reality, many of Mendelssohn's Songs without Words are known by nicknames invented by the publishers, but they are provided here for their evocative power)... READ MORE.
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun Feb 3, 10:00 AM
"Creature Comforts"  
Rev. Meredith Garmon
It turns out "What does it mean to be human?" (i.e., what separates us from other animals?) isn't nearly as important for our self-understanding as "What does it mean to be animal?" (i.e., what is our commonality with other animals?) As we begin to explore the Desire theme, we'll look at the desires animals (including us) share.  
Sun Feb 10, 10:00 AM
"Grief Amid Denial" 
Rev. Meredith Garmon
The Dec 23 sermon was "Reality Amid Ideology." Here we return for the second part in this series inspired by the work of Walter Brueggemann. The full commitment to reality requires that we turn away from denial and take up the work of grieving.
Outside Events at CUUC    
Film Screening: A Better Life, Fri Feb 1, 7:30 pm, Fellowship Hall
The Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (WCSPP), partnering with Neighbors Link, will host a screening of the film A Better Life , about an illegal immigrant trying to protect his teenage son. Join us for the viewing and conversation with Carola Ortero Bracco, executive director of Neighbors Link. RSVP to Irene Studwell ( ).  
Day in Place    
Day in Place, Sat Feb 2, Sunrise to Sunset
Join the PlaceKeepers to appreciate, improve, and maintain the building and grounds of CUUC, our physical and spiritual home. Celebrate the ancient holy day of Imbolc. Come visit the Spirit Fire. Help tend our springs and our paths. Walk the Path That Connects. Come any time between sunrise and sunset. Contact: Bice Wilson ( ). 
From the Ushers
The ushers will conduct the collection as we do during summer services: we will hand a basket to the first person in a section and ask the congregants seated in that section to pass the basket through that section. We will collect the basket at the end of the section. We ask that congregants please not pass the basket across the aisle, to the adjacent section. Thank you.
Sustainable Energy Forum 
Energy Forum: Power of Choice, Sun Feb 3, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
Energy expert Karl Rábago talks about today's energy markets and the electric grid, at our second annual Environmental Practices Forum. An executive at government and academic energy and climate programs, Mr. Rábago will introduce a film set in a critically warmer world and give a presentation about the best sources of renewable electricity. Coffee and light vegetarian lunch served. 
Wise Aging Group 
Wise Aging Group, Tue Feb 5, 3:00pm, Fireside
Join our 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. Contact: Rev. LoraKim Joyner ( 
Faith Development Friday

Faith Development Friday, Fri Feb 8, CUUC
An evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community. 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community 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 are welcome to stay to share coffee and a chat. RSVP . 
Save the Date & Help Wanted
2019 Variety Show, Sat May 4, 5:00pm
SAVE THE DATE: This year will be our 7th Annual Variety Show (WOW!), always one of the most FUN fundraisers at CUUC. It is also an event where everyone, children to adults, can pitch in and create meaningful ties to a social justice cause. So work on your act and kids get ready to vote on Sun Feb 10 for which charity we will support. HELP WANTED : It takes a village to run this event, and like the past 6 years, the 2019 Variety Show requires all hands on deck . PLEASE help by signing up to be our Bake Sale Director, or Head of Donations, or Pizza Dinner Coordinator. Learn more HERE . Contact Liz Suvanto ( ). When the big jobs are filled, the smaller details fall into place and the fun can begin. Thank you! 
Nominations Wanted
Board of Trustees Nominations, Deadline Sun Feb 10
Do you know someone who would make a great addition to the CUUC Board of Trustees? The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee will be identifying nominees for election to the Board at the Annual Meeting in June, and invite you to participate! Instructions HERE, and application forms are in the lobby or HERE. Self-nominations encouraged! Application deadline Sun Feb 10. Contact: David Bowen (
Congregational Survey
The Committee on Ministry invites everyone to take  their survey to evaluate our Social Justice Program. It is important for us to hear from those who do not participate in the Social Justice Program as well as from those who do. The survey should take ten minutes or less. Pick up a copy at CUUC, or download  HERE and print. Return completed surveys to any COM member or the CUUC office. Or you may take the online version of the survey HERE . The deadline for submitting is Fri Feb 15. Contact: Randy Marshall (
Greeters Needed   
Make our Sunday visitors feel welcome - come a little early to share your smile and a warm greeting. You can sign up for one or more Sundays HERE . Contact: Jane Dixon ( 
From Ethical Pest Management Team 
If you ever visit CUUC and notice that the lid to our green dumpster in the parking lot is open, please close it. You will be helping keep away unwanted critters who might otherwise be attracted to our garbage!

Thank you for a successful Chili Community Meal fundraiser last Sunday! Our RE classes raised about $500 (wow!) for their social justice projects - amazing!! Everything I tasted was delicious - what a great variety of yumminess! It was so uplifting to see everyone's participation for a wonderful (and delicious) cause. I am so proud to be a part of this amazing community - you inspire me. ~ Kim Force 
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.
Social Justice Opportunities
"Moments That Survive," Moms Demand Action Westchester Chapter Meeting, Sat Feb 2, 11:15am, Ethical Culture Society, 7 Saxon Woods Rd, White Plains
By the first week of February, more Americans will have been killed by gun violence this year than will die in an entire year in other developed countries. Join us for an important discussion in observance of Gun Violence Survivor Week, with keynote speaker NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. RSVP HERE. Contact: Barry Graubart ( 
Find more local social justice opportunities HERE.
Share the Plate for February: MLK Institute for Nonviolence
We share half our non-pledge collection this month with the 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. Organizations and programs include Westchester Coalition for Police Reform (WCPR), Beloved Community Dinners, Interfaith Connection, the MLK Freedom Library, Ending Violence, Building Hope (EVBH) Youth Conferences, and the annual Celebration of Champions. Learn more at
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,
Fri Feb 1 - 7:30pm Rental: WCSPP Film Night
Sat Feb 2 - 6:00am Day in Place; 9:00am Building Committee; 9:00am Rental: WCSPP; 10:00am Zen; 10:00am Caring & Sharing; 12:30pm Journey Group Facilitators; 2:30pm Rental: WCHJ
Sun Feb 3 - 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Coffee Hour; 11:30am Sustainable Energy Forum
Mon Feb 4 - 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i; 7:00pm Rental: Straight Spouse Network; 8:00pm Rental: Amnesty International
Tue Feb 5 - 3:00pm Wise Aging Group; 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP; 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal
Wed Feb 6 - 7:30pm Program Council
Thu Feb 7 - 9:00am LREDA Cluster Meeting; 9:30am Rental: League of Women Voters; 7:30pm Journey Group Facilitators
Fri Feb 8 - 11:00am Journey Group - Rev. Garmon; Faith Development Friday - 6:15 Pizza, 7:00 Programs, 8:30 Coffee; 8:00pm Rental: WCSPP  
Sat Feb 9 - 9:00am Building Committee; 10:00am Zen; 1:00pm Rental: WCBNY
Sun Feb 10 - 8:15am RE Council; 8:45am Choir Rehearsal; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 10:00am Religious Ed: Variety Show Vote; 11:15am Coffee Hour; 11:30am Environmental Practices; 11:40am Racial Justice / In the Spirit of Truth; 11:45am Teacher Enrichment; 7:30pm  LGBTQIA - Zoom Mtng    

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: See the video HERE

Index of past sermons: HERE. Index of other reflections: HERE. Videos of sermons are on the Liberal Pulpit Youtube Channel: HERE
This week I'm reflecting on Kathleen McTigue's essay, "Drawing on the Deep Waters: Contemplative Practice in Justice-Making" - Chapter 7 of the 2018-19 UUA Common Read, Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class and the Environment.

UUs, notes McTigue, "agree broadly that any religion worth the name should help shift our behaviors and actions toward the greater good." This, she says, "is necessary and laudable, but insufficient." McTigue explains five reasons we need to do the inner as well as the outer work.

1. Spiritual practices ground us in something bigger than ourselves. "We are connected to and are part of a vast unfolding that we cannot entirely grasp." Living is not a private affair of the individual - we belong to each other and the universe. When we waste time, we are squandering the universe's opportunity. This spiritual awareness also helps us attend to care for our fragile planet.

2. Spiritual practices help us stay in the present moment. Incessant stories play out in our heads. If you pay attention to it, you'll be appalled at your "monkey mind" - the repetitive, boring, and judgmental running commentary going through our heads virtually every waking moment. "Spiritual practices help quiet the noise in our own heads." This reduces our reactivity and thus reduces internal conflict within a justice movement that occurs when we trigger each other's unexamined emotional reactions.

3. Spiritual practices cultivate the qualities we most want to bring forward. "Despite what we aim for in our moments of high aspiration, we get caught up in the small stuff. Spiritual practices help tilt us back toward our aspirations."

4. Spiritual practices remind us that the things we most want to change in the world also exist in ourselves. "If deep inside us we are seething with anger, how shall we be peacemakers? If deep inside us there are the seeds of greed, how will we shift the grotesque chasm between the rich and the poor? Spiritual practices keep us hones, mindful of the fact that the change we want to work for in our world need to be undertaken with a willingness to be changed ourselves."

5. Spiritual practices help sustain us through confusion and despair. "Despair, discouragement, helplessness, and confusion may all still go parading through our hearts - but spiritual practices help us hold them within a larger context. . . . In the long arc toward justice, our best efforts are just one small part. This allows us to hold even our despair within the larger frame of this lifetime work. Grounded again in hope, we can then bring that hope back out with us, to all the others who are struggling to find their way in this beautiful, fragile, difficult world."

1. What's your spiritual practice, and how does it integrate with your justice work?
2. Have you had experiences in your justice work where you later wished you'd been more spiritually grounded?

Yours in faith,
Your Moment of Zen: Honesty Black Bear came to a meeting late and said, "I'm feeling frazzled after dealing with my cubs. What if I don't feel compassionate?" Raven said, "Fake it." "That doesn't seem honest," said Black Bear. "It doesn't begin with honesty," said Raven. READ MORE
Zen at CUUC, Sat Feb 2: SEE HERE
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