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: Morning Pages
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages - they are not high art. They are not even "writing." They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. READ MORE
Join us for whole congregation worship this Sunday. RE classes and youth group will not meet. Orders of service with images and activities will be on hand for all ages. A quiet activity area and materials will be available for those of us who appreciate having something to occupy our hands while experiencing the words, music and rituals of our faith... READ MORE 
This Sunday's Centering Music includes two early compositions by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, as a nod to the nation's Singing Revolution explored in our worship service. The Offertory is one of Tchaikovsky's charming seasonal evocations, written for the St. Petersburg musical journal Nouveliste... READ MORE 
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun Jan 5, 10:00am
"A Singing Revolution"
Rev. Kimberley Debus
The tools of resistance are many and varied, but none is so beautiful as many voices raised in song. We will hear stories of musical resistance and learn some new songs to inspire our work to love the hell out of this world. Rev. Kimberley Debus is the CUUC sabbatical minister.  
Sun Jan 12, 10:00am
"This Will Be On the Test"
Rev. Kimberley Debus
We know things - but how do we know? How do we know what we know? Who knows? Where does our knowing come from? How do we experience knowing? What gives the things we know authority? And how is our knowing tested?
Our 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.
Backpack Drive   
The Hunger & Homelessness team is sponsoring a Backpack Drive to support 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. We collect every Sunday in January. Flyer HERE. Contact: Amy Swiss (
Holiday Plant Update  
The twelve days of Christmas will end Sunday, and our festive holiday plants will be removed for composting after worship. You are welcome to take a plant home if you like. (Note: like poinsettias, dieffenbachia plants should be kept away from pets, and people with sensitive skin should use gloves when handling leaves.)
Science & Spirituality
Science & Spirituality, Thu Jan 9, 11:30am, Fireside We meet the second and fourth Thursday to discuss books and articles on the intersection of spirituality and science. Join us! Contact: Barbara Mair (
Wise Aging Group  
Wise Aging Group, Fri Jan 10, 2:00 - 4:00pm, Fireside  
We reunite the group that met in 2019, and invite new people to join who'd like to share the process of aging with one another. We come together to support and be supported, share our stories, listen, and in the growing winter's light, celebrate just a bit. Contact: Rev. LoraKim Joyner ( 
Faith Development Friday 
Faith Development Friday, Fri Jan 17, 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community Dinner; 7:00pm Programs  
Our evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community. Programs include "Habits of the Heart" Adult RE, separate Adult and Children's Journey Groups, and Youth Group. RSVP to by noon Fri Jan 17 so we can have enough pizza for all.
Save the Date  
Interfaith Friends for Peace, Sat Jan 25, 1:00 - 4:00pm, Rm 41
CUUC will host a multifaith discussion group for sharing and learning, designed to enhance our appreciation of the religious heritage of humankind. Contact: Deb Margoluis ( 
Doctor Who?   
Our holiday pageant on Dec 22 featured references to the long-running British TV program Doctor Who. If you are unfamiliar, the show follows the adventures of a rogue Time Lord from another planet who is known as The Doctor and who explores the universe in the TARDIS ("Time and Relative Dimension in Space"), a time-travelling spaceship that disguises itself as a blue British police box (which was recreated for us by the multi-talented Rev. Kimberley). To learn more, visit
In the Community  
Annual Interfaith Community Concert in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Sun Jan 12, 4:00pm, Congregation Kol Ami, 252 Soundview Ave, White Plains
Featuring singers and musicians from many faiths and communities, including the Calvary Baptist Church Youth Choir, the LOFT Pride Chorus, and the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Temple Taiko Drums. No charge - free will offering. Refreshments. Contact: , 914-949-6555.
Bookfair to Benefit MLK Library, Mon Jan 20, 11:00-4:00pm, Barnes & Noble City Center, City Center, White Plains
Come to Barnes & Noble for a day of activities - OR - order items online from Jan 20 to Jan 24 at and enter ID #12583688 at checkout. Purchases benefit the MLK Freedom Library. 
Environmental News 
While The Ocean Cleanup Project makes progress out at sea, they are also proactively collecting plastics via "interceptor" barges at select rivers. Rivers are the largest sources of ocean plastic debris. The Ocean Cleanup Project plans to deploy the interceptor barges by 2025 to the 1,000 rivers that are responsible for 80% of ocean plastic. View a 2-minute video that explains the river interceptor barges HERE
District Happenings - January 2020 
To see this month's Opportunities for Connection newsletter for our region, with articles and the calendar of Central East Region events and webinars, click HERE.

Email Scams 
CUUC members, like those in other congregations, have been the target of scammers who send emails posing as the minister, often asking for help with a task. Always pause before responding to any unsolicited email, and  contact the CUUC office if in doubt. Learn more HERE
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 anticipates receiving 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 4 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am  Zen (Rm 43); 10:15am Overeaters Anonymous (Rm 21); 1:00pm Journey Group Facilitators (Rm 14)

Sunday, January 5 - 9:00am Environmental Practices (Rm 41); 9:30am  Nursery Care (Rm 32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:30am Nominating Committee (Rm 11); 12:00pm  1619 Project Planning (Rm 41)

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

Tuesday, January 7 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Classrooms); 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary; 7:30pm  Committee On Ministry (Off-Site)

Wednesday, January 8 - 8:30am CUUC Dance Movement Group (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Fireside); 7:30pm Program Council (Rm 41)
Thursday, January 9 - 9:30am Rental: League of Women Voters (Rm 41); 
11:30am Science & Spirituality (Fireside); 7:30pm Journey Group - D. Manetta, K. McGahren-Clemens (Parsonage)

Friday, January 10 - 11:00am Journey Group - Rev. Debus (Parsonage); 
2:00pm Wise Aging Group (Fireside)

Saturday, January 11 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Zen (Rm 43); 10:15am Overeaters Anonymous (Rm 21); 2:30pm Rental: Private Party (Fellowship Hall)

Sunday, January 12 - 8:15am RE Council (Rm 41); 8:45am Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary); 9:00am Welcome Committee (Rm 13); 9:30am Nursery Care (Rm 32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:30am Music Committee (Rm 43); 1:00pm WRI Refugee Leadership Meeting (Fellowship Hall)

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

A New Year, A New Leaf

As we head into a new year, we often talk about making resolutions and starting new habits. We look at the new calendar as our golden opportunity to make a new start - and if we miss this one, we can take advantage of other chances the calendar provides: the Chinese new year, and the first day of spring, then the first day of school, then the holidays, and suddenly we're back to the new year and we might not have actually made that new thing a habit.

Maybe the change shouldn't be about something that will likely be discarded by Valentine's Day.

What if instead, on New Year's Day, we just decided to look at things differently?

We often use the phrase "turning over a new leaf" to describe doing something new. When I hear it, I think about flipping the page of a book - turning a new leaf to a blank page where we can write our new story, and we think we can be something or someone new. What we forget is that we're still writing in the same book; it's the same story that we're continuing. Maybe we take it in a new direction, but it's still the same story.

Turning over a new leaf might actually be about looking at things differently.

I also think about tree leaves - especially in the summer, when the leaves turn to face the storm that's coming. It's still a leaf, no matter what direction it's facing, but now we see it differently, and we learn something from seeing this different perspective - whether it be that rain is coming or something deeper.

Imagine if we did this with other people too - learning from their stories, their experiences, their reactions. What are they teaching us from their perspective? Can we learn something about the world and ourselves when we look at it from the other side? What new story might we write?

In the coming year, I invite you to not make resolutions, or make promises to yourself that you may not be able or inclined to keep. Instead, I invite you to turn over a new leaf, listen to different perspectives, hear the stories of others - and yourself - in different ways. When we do this, we connect with more compassion, grace, and inclusiveness.

Let this be our year to turn over a new leaf.

~ Rev. Kimberley Debus
Your Moment of Zen: The Pivot
After zazen one evening Porcupine asked, "We examine turning points as our practice. What is the pivot on which this study turns?" Raven said, "The large intestine." Porcupine asked, "So, it's all physical?" Raven said, "All physical, all mental, all moral, all spiritual, all void, all material." Porcupine thought about this and finally asked, "What's the upshot?" Raven said, "Trout in the pool..." READ MORE
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