Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
January issue of On the Journey: Authority - Click HERE
This week's post from the Sabbatical Minister - Click HERE 
Practice of the Week: Examine the Nature of Awareness
Let me suggest an experiment in awareness. Turn away from reading this and find yourself, the me. Find a definite, concrete, identifiable somebody there within your awareness. I think you will find this is not so easy to do. You can find plenty of thoughts and emotions, sensations, opinions, sense experiences, but I think it's very difficult to find an I. READ MORE
This Sunday we all begin in worship at 10:00am then leave for RE classes and youth group. Following worship and RE, join us for a community chili lunch. The Religious Education Council would like to hear from families in a mid-year check in. How is RE going so far this year for your family? What would you like us to know? Look for tables with "RE Check In" cards... READ MORE    
Sunday's musical selections include works by composers who faced adversity. Some of that adversity was external, like homophobia or racism; some of it derived from internal challenges, like physical disability or illness. The creation and durability of their art speaks to the inner strength and abiding truth of their legacies... two short works by Valerie Capers comprise the Musical Interlude. Dr. Capers, an African-American jazz legend who will return to grace CUUC later this year, was the first blind graduate of The Juilliard School... READ MORE 
Upcoming Worship Services
Sun Jan 26
"I Know This Much Is True"
Rev. Kimberley Debus
We know the value of knowing the truth of our own stories, so how do we accept the truths of other people's stories, especially when they tell a different truth than the one we know? How do we make space for the authority of another's experience and open ourselves to other ways of knowing?
Sun Feb 2 
"A Mighty Fortress" 
Rev. Kimberley Debus 
In the first of a three part series, we will examine what the hymns we sing have to say about the theologies that Unitarian Universalism embraces, and how we can understand them both for our own spiritual growth but in conversation with those from other faiths. We begin by looking at the God above and beyond us. 
Our YouTube Channel has videos of many past services. Check it out HERE!
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Chili Lunch
Chili Community Meal Fundraiser, Sun Jan 26, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
The heat of chili and the warmth of community. Hosted by the 6th-7th graders to support Religious Education social justice projects. Suggested donation: $5/adult, $3/child, $15/family max. No one turned away. NEW: Take-home option, in case you'd like to enjoy chili later or share it (add $2).
Newcomers' Conversations
Newcomers' Conversations, Jan 26, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
New to CUUC? Join us at this Sunday's community meal and have a seat at the "Welcome Table," where Jane Dixon and members of the Welcome Committee can greet you and answer any questions.
Check In with RE
We have experimented in Religious Education (RE) this year and the RE Council would like to hear what you think. We welcome feedback from RE families and the whole congregation. Please join us at chili lunch this Sunday - look for RE Council members at tables with an "RE Check In" sign. You may also send feedback to RE co-chairs, Christine Haran ( ) and Laura Goodspeed ( ), or RE Director, Tracy Breneman ( 
Backpack Drive - Last Sunday    
The Hunger & Homelessness team's Backpack Drive supports the Brighter Futures After-School Mentoring Program. "Sponsor" a backpack and we will shop for you! $30 buys a backpack; smaller amounts buy supplies. Or you may purchase 3- or 5-subject spiral notebooks, multi-packs of pens/pencils, or looseleaf paper to donate. Flyer HERE. Contact: Amy Swiss (
From the Treasurer  
Tax statements for 2019 are ready and may be picked up in the CUUC office this Sun Jan 26. Any statements not picked up will be mailed out before the end of the month. Contact: Diane Pearson, bookkeeper (, 914-946-1660 x5) or Chris Kortlandt, treasurer (, 917-821-4289) . 
Support our Arriving Family 
A new refugee family will be resettling in our area next week! Help us prepare their apartment by donating furnishings and household goods. Check the list of items HERE to see what we still need. Contact: Paula Meighan ( or Amy Robertson ( 
Day in Place   
Day in Place, Sat Feb 1, Sunrise to Sunset
Join the PlaceKeepers to appreciate, improve, and maintain the building and grounds of CUUC, our physical and spiritual home. Contact: Terri Kung ( Bice Wilson ( ). 
Accessibility Forum
CUUC Accessibility Upgrades Forum, Sun Feb 2, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
The Building Committee will walk through their plans to make the building accessible to persons with disabilities. See details HERE. Childcare available if requested by Wed Jan 29. Contact: Creighton Cray (  
Cooking for HOPE
Meal for HOPE, Sun Feb 2, 12:00pm, CUUC Kitchen
Join volunteers from the Hunger & Homelessness Social Justice Team in the kitchen to prepare a meal for HOPE Community Services soup kitchen. Help us feed our neighbors facing food insecurity. Contact: Nicole Turygin (  
Wise Aging
Wise Aging Group, Mon Feb 3, 2:00 - 3:30pm, Fireside
A series of monthly conversations to help us grow wiser in good company. We will use the book On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old by Parker Palmer to spur on conversation and reflection. Contact: Rev. LoraKim Joyner ( 
2019-2020 Congregation Survey
Help the Committee on Ministry evaluate how well we support our spiritual development by answering our survey. It takes 10-15 minutes and responses are confidential. Pick up a copy on Sunday, or download HERE and print. Return completed surveys to any COM member or drop off at the CUUC office. Or take the survey online HERE. The survey is open until Mon Feb 3. Contact: Tom Wacht ( 
Environmental Practices Presentation 
Presentation: "From Finance to Farming," Sun Feb 9, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
The CUUC Environmental Practices Group presents "From Finance to Farming - a Journey to Reconnect with Food and Land" with Jason Grauer, Senior Crops Manager at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown. A selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes will be available for tasting. Childcare available if requested by Wed Feb 5. Contact: Janet Bear ( 
Environmental News 
The CUUC Environmental Practices Group pitched the Community Solar renewable energy program to the CUUC Board of Trustees at their January meeting, and the BOT approved. When CUUC enrolls, CUUC will get renewable energy for a 10% discount. Community Solar is available to residents as well and is organized by Sustainable Westchester and Solarize Westchester
Connect with Our Children & Youth
There are openings coming up for you to get to know our children and youth by serving as an assistant in a Religious Education class. No preparation required! Just spend an hour with our amazing children and youth while you fulfill our Safe Congregation practice of having two adults with our young people at all times. Click HERE to view available dates - then volunteer!  
From the Nominating Committee  
Board of Trustees Nominations, Deadline Sun Feb 23
Do you know someone who would make a great addition to the CUUC Board of Trustees? The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee is charged with identifying nominees for election to our Board of Trustees at the Annual Meeting in June. We invite you to participate in the process! Instructions are HERE, and application forms are available in the lobby, or download from our website HERE. Self-nominations encouraged! Application deadline is Sun Feb 23. Contact: Julie Gans (  
Serving Indigenous and Families of Color
Tracy Breneman would like to be in conversation with Indigenous and Families of Color (you or someone in your family is Indigenous or a Person of Color) who attend CUUC. She is wondering if our RE ministry is meeting your needs and would be grateful for a conversation around what that means for you, what it means for you and your family to feel supported and served in this community. Please feel welcome to speak with Tracy any Sunday after worship or to reach out via email ( or by phone/text (914-434-7539).  
Interfaith Discussion   
Interfaith Friends for Peace, Sat Jan 25, 12:00 - 4:00pm, Rm 41
A multifaith discussion group for sharing and learning, designed to enhance our appreciation of the religious heritage of humankind. We begin with a potluck lunch. Contact: Deb Margoluis ( 
Stormy Weather
CUUC does not cancel Sunday worship for inclement weather. Weather might, however, affect Religious Education classes, if leaders cannot make it in. If we are canceling RE classes and youth group, Tracy Breneman will email all RE families and volunteers by 7:30am Sunday morning. If you do not hear from Tracy, RE is continuing as planned. If some teachers can't make it in, classes may combine. Organizers of other CUUC meetings and events will communicate with their members if their activities are affected.
General Assembly 2020   
UUA General Assembly, Jun 24-28, Providence, Rhode Island
Registration is open for General Assembly 2020 in Providence, RI. Rates are lower now and there is a payment plan. Join us for 5 days of learning, community, worship, and doing the work of the association. Rooted, Inspired, & Ready! 
2019-20 UUA Common Read 
Our UUA "Common Read" this year is An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States and An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People . Spanning more than 400 years, this bottom-up history examines the legacy of indigenous peoples' steadfast fight against imperialism. Available at coffee hour. Contact: Jeff Tomlinson (
Share the Plate for January: Interfaith Council for New Americans of Westchester    
We donate half our non-pledge collection this month to the Interfaith Council for New Americans of Westchester (ICNAW), a coalition of local congregations that provides welcome and support to refugees being resettled in our area. ICNAW has welcomed two families from Afghanistan (in November 2017 and May 2019) and will receive a third family imminently. To learn more or to join the CUUC Refugee Resettlement team, contact Robin Rocchi ( or Jane Dixon ( 
Caring & Sharing Circle
If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Joan Traber (914-617-9622, or Robin Rocchi (917-656- 6830, 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,
Saturday, January 25 - 9:00am Rental: Rug Hookers (Fireside); 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fellowship Hall); 10:00am Zen (Rm 43); 10:15am Overeaters Anonymous (Rm 21); 12:00pm Interfaith Friends for Peace (Rm 41); 1:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Rm 21)

Sunday, January 26 - 9:30am  Nursery Care (Rm 32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:30am Community Chili Meal (Fellowship Hall); 11:30am Newcomers' Conversations (Fellowship Hall)
Monday, January 27 - 5:00pm Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i (Fireside)

Tuesday, January 28 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 1:00pm Rental: Watercolor Class (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Classes); 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)

Wednesday, January 29 - 8:30am Dance Movement Group (Fireside)

Thursday, January 30 - 6:00pm Rental: HIAS Training (Fellowship Hall)

Saturday, February 1 - 6:00am Day in Place (Building & Grounds); 9:00am  Rental: WCSPP (Fellowship Hall); 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Zen (Rm 43); 10:15am  Overeaters Anonymous (Rm 21); 1:00pm Journey Group Facilitators (Rm 14)

Sunday, February 2 - 9:30am Nursery Care (Rm 32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:30am Accessibility Upgrades Forum (Fellowship Hall); 11:45am Musicians' Rehearsal (Sanctuary); 11:45am Environmental Practices (Rm 41); 12:00pm Cooking for HOPE (Kitchen)

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
Mary Cavallero,
Emily Economou,
Jeff Tomlinson,
Rev. Meredith Garmon,
Quick Links

On The Journey (current and past issues)
Social Justice Teams
Practice of the Week (current and all past)
The Communitarian Magazine
CUUC Main Web Site
Liberal Pulpit Index
The Liberal Pulpit Video
Boundless Way Zen of Westchester

The Sound of the Life of the Mind

As a child, I was a voracious reader. I spent more of my time reading than just about anything - when I got too old for picture books, I absorbed Nancy Drew mysteries. By the time I finished those, I was reading well enough that Mom introduced me to Agatha Christie. Even 'going outside to play' often meant reading while laying on a patch of grass or on top of a boulder or leaning against a tree or while dangling my feet in the creek. I continued my reading habits into my adult life - mysteries, classics, a little bit of fantasy, an occasional romance, always contributing somehow to my active imagination, characters and ideas living on in my mind.

When I attended Meredith College to finish my bachelor's degree, I found I was only reading for school, so I delighted in the summer breaks and the post-BA time to dive back into reading for pleasure. Novels crept back in, but also a lot more non-fiction.

And then I went to graduate school. I don't care what you're studying in graduate school, there is a pile of reading so many miles high you skip half of it and still spend all your time reading. Some of the reading is life-changing, and some, well, you read because you just know that's what your professor is going to fixate on, and you better have some familiarity with the material.

Even after graduation, I still had a required reading list - 84 books and articles to read in preparation for the Ministerial Fellowship Committee. The readings cover a variety of topics - theology, Unitarian Universalist history, ethics, sexuality, anti-racism, leadership, congregational polity, management, spiritual growth, professional standards, pastoral care.

And despite having received fellowship several years ago, the habit of reading for pleasure hasn't come back. Despite having more time, I find I don't naturally turn to reading as an act of relaxation and self care. I didn't notice that it was missing too much, until recently, when I realized how much I wanted to cling to my identity as A Reader and how little I was doing of it.

But I don't know what to read. What's new? What's hot? Should I go back and recapture classics? Should I turn to an unfamiliar genre? Return to old favorites to get a running start?  So much of our experience as Unitarian Universalists is exploring the life of the mind - what we're thinking, how we see the world, what we're listening to, watching, reading. Often I get to share what's going on in the life of my mind, but now - with this new drive to reclaim reading, and the opportunity to read things I've not been assigned - I want to know: What are you reading? What's captured your attention? What are you exploring? What books help you escape? What is intriguing and enriching you?

Of course, feel free to shoot me an email or hand me a list - but more than that, I hope you'll take this opportunity to think about what is capturing your attention right now, what is energizing and comforting the life of your mind.

~ Rev. Kimberley Debus
Your Moment of Zen: A Key Issue
Woodpecker appeared in the circle one warm summer evening with a guest. "This is mole," she said. "He has life questions but is very timid about coming to meetings. He wants assurances that he is safe," and she cast a look at Badger and Owl. Raven said, "Well, I'm a predator myself. It's good that we face this issue early." Addressing mole, she said, "This is the Buddha... READ MORE
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