Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
On the Journey: Humility (2019 Mar) - HERE
Religious Education  Many, many thanks to our youth-- including Evan Cacchione, Joshua Prince, Zach Breault and sister Abbie, and Alex Zisson and sister Callie--and adult volunteers for our Pancake Brunch fundraiser last Sunday. The money raised will go to PrideWorks, supporting LGBTQ youth and their allies. RE This Sunday: Grades K-5 start in Fellowship Hall. Grades 6-12 start in classrooms... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun Mar 10, 10:00 AM
"Hope Amid Despair"
Rev. Meredith Garmon
The thrilling conclusion to the three-part series that began with "Reality Amid Ideology," and continued with "Grief Amid Denial."
Sun Mar 17, 10:30 AM  
"Shared Planet, Shared Faith"
Westchester UU Congregations
The five congregations come together for a combined multigeneration worship and reflection on environmental justice. Please bring finger food for our community coffee hour afterward. Carpooling recommended. (See details  below)  
Spring Forward      

Daylight Savings Time, Mar 10, 2:00am
Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour on Sat night, so you'll be at worship right on time Sun morning!   
Welcome our New DLRE!

It is our great joy to announce that Tracy Breneman has agreed to become our new Director of Lifespan Religious Education and Faith Development. Tracy has been a UU Religious Educator for over 10 years, serving the other four Westchester UU congregations - sometimes two at once! Tracy will join us in July. You can read her letter to our congregation HERE (also below). Many thanks to our DRE search committee: David Bowen, John Cavallero, Christine Haran, Al Rocchi, and Liz Suvanto for their work these past months. Please join us in welcoming Tracy to our ministry team! 
Restorative Practices Training 

Restorative Practices for Faith Communities Training, Sat Mar 16, 10:00am - 4:00pm, First Unitarian Society of Westchester (FUSW), Hastings  
This UUA training is for lay leaders, youth, and religious professionals and introduces restorative practices to improve our communities' abilities to respond to tension, conflict, hurt, and disagreement. Childcare available. Register by March 11 HERE. 
Wise Aging Group  

Wise Aging Group, Tue Mar 12, 3:00pm, Fireside
Join our discussion group where we explore aging as a personal and spiritual practice, and support one another in our journeys. We follow the book, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit . Contact: Rev. LoraKim Joyner (    
Combined Westchester UU Worship

"Shared Planet, Shared Faith" Westchester UU Combined Congregations Worship, Sunday Mar 17, 10:30am, CUUC - Please note start time
Ministers, musicians, and religious educators from the five UU congregations will participate in this special multi-generational service. Our theme is caring for the environment, and after service we will have information tables in Fellowship Hall displaying projects to help us learn to live more sustainably. Families will worship together, with an area in the sanctuary for quiet play. Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to a Youth Breakfast to socialize and plan. Everyone is encouraged to bring a ready-to-serve treat for our shared coffee hour table. Carpooling recommended. Learn more HERE
Community Coffee

Combined Worship Community Coffee Hour, Sun Mar 17, Fellowship Hall
Socialize with our neighbors following our combined worship service. Please bring a sweet or savory treat to share, on a platter that you can recycle or bring home with you. All items should be ready-to-serve finger food .
Shuttle Drivers Wanted   

We are preparing for our shared worship on Sun Mar 17, and are looking for folks to shuttle visitors between CUUC and overflow parking areas in the neighborhood, as we did last year. Can you help? Contact Adine Usher (  
CUUC Social Event   

What the Constitution Means to Me, Helen Hayes Theater, NYC. RSVP by Sun Mar 17
We are putting together a CUUC group to see this much talked about, one-woman play, and to share a meal and discussion at a restaurant afterward. Tickets are expected to be $80-$100. Anyone interested please contact Jane Dixon ( by Sun Mar 17. See flyer HERE to help us select a date.
From Animal Advocacy

"Owning Our Actions," Sun Mar 24, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall 
Join us for an engaging conversation with Vegan environmental activist Ray Ippolito, who will educate, inspire, and empower us to own our actions individually and as a community to save animals, ourselves, our future generations, and our planet. See flyer HERE. Presented by the Animal Advocacy Social Justice Team. Childcare available with advance reservation by Wed Mar 20 to
From Refugee Resettlement

Westchester Social Justice Forum, Sun Mar 24, SUNY Purchase, 12:00pm
This forum brings together community organizations to exchange ideas and information, foster solidarity, and celebrate work toward a more just and equal society. Hearts & Homes for Refugees/Westchester Refugee Initiative is organizing an information table. Can you can help us staff the table for an hour or two that afternoon? Contact Jane Dixon ( 
From the Racial Social Justice Team

Historical Perspective for White Fragility Book Discussion
When did "white-ness" become a requirement for U.S. citizenship? When was the first enslaved woman given her freedom by a U.S. court due to a loophole that was soon closed? Answers to these and other questions on the origins of whiteness as a tool of power in the U.S. are in this week's episode the podcast Seeing White, offering historical perspective for our April 14 conversation on White Fragility (available for purchase after service). To hear the podcast or read a transcript, click 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, with the answer usually being "no." Pizza boxes are made of corrugated cardboard, which is usually recyclable, but once the cardboard becomes soiled with grease, cheese, or other foods, it can no longer be recycled because the paper fibers cannot be separated from the oils during the "pulping process." So look inside the pizza box; if you see even a slight stain, put the box in the trash. To avoid attracting pests here at CUUC we cannot leave even a crumb in any box set aside for recycling.  
Social Justice Opportunities  
Film Screening: Colossus,Thu Mar 14, 7:00pm, Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville  
Told through the eyes of 15-year-old Jamil Sunsin, Colossus offers a rare and timely look into the aftermath of deportation and family separation amid the current backlash against America's immigrants. Q&A and
reception follow. Tickets: $10 (members), $15 (nonmembers). Learn more HERE.  
Find more local social justice events HERE.
Share the Plate for March: Lifting Up Westchester
We share half our non-pledge collection this month with Lifting Up Westchester, an organization that for almost four decades has worked to permanently change the lives of our neighbors in crisis. Our collection will support services at the Open Arms shelter, which offers temporary housing for up to 38 homeless single adult men. Open Arms provides much more than a bed, shower, and meal; their guests receive support and encouragement to engage in substance abuse and mental health recovery programs, or employment services, as each man follows his own, unique path to a better life. Learn more at . 
In the Region   
CERSI Central East Region Summer Institute, Sun Jul 7 - Sat Jul 13, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
Join us for a week of multigenerational fun and inspiration. Keynote speaker is Dr. Ysaÿe Barnwell, former member of the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock. Details at  

Are you excited about Building a Vocal Community this July?
Registration for CERSI opens Fri Mar 15. To avoid the $75 late fee, complete the registration process by Wed May 15. Registration closes June 15. .

UUMAC : one-week, residential family camp for UUs, including YOU!
Located at DeSales University near Allentown, PA. This year's theme talks are on Non-Violent Communication, and led by Rev. Lora Kim Joyner. Visit 
Caring & Sharing Circle

If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Johanna Bauer (914-636-1047, or Carole Mehta (914-234-6294, 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 Mar 9 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise; 10:00am Zen; 12:30pm Journey Group Facilitators; 2:00pm Rental: Hoff Barthelson

Sun Mar 10 - 8:15am RE Council; 8:45am Choir Rehearsal; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 10:00am Religious Ed: Children's Worship; 11:15am Coffee Hour; 11:30am Environmental Practices; 11:40am Sunday Journey Groups; 11:45am Teacher Enrichment Luncheon; 2:00pm Rental: Hoff Barthelson; 2:30pm Journey Group - Rev. Joyner; 7:30pm LGBTQIA Zoom meeting

Mon Mar 11 - 5:00pm Rental: Exercise; 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i

Tue Mar 12 - 3:00pm Wise Aging Group; 6:00pm Animal Advocacy; 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP; 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal

Wed Mar 13 - 7:30pm Board of Trustees

Thu Mar 14 - 11:30am Science & Spirituality Group; 7:30pm Journey Group - D. Manetta, K. McGahren-Clemens

Fri Mar 15 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise

Sat Mar 16 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise; 10:00am Zen; 11:00am Social Justice Teams Core Leaders Meeting; 1:00pm Rental: WCBNY

Sun Mar 17 - 8:30am Choir Rehearsal; 10:00am Nursery Care; 10:30am Westchester UU Congregations Combined Worship; 11:45am Coffee Hour; 5:00pm Journey Group - K. Leahy     

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
From the Incoming DRE

Greetings, members and friends of the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, and a special "Hello!" to the children and youth.

I am delighted to be joining the CUUC staff in July! Faith community has held a central place in my life. As the daughter of a United Methodist Minister, I grew up witnessing the work of nurturing intentional community and appreciating the richness of relationships that bloom as a result. I honor my UMC roots and am grateful for Unitarian Universalism where I have been able to deepen my spiritual practice. For over ten years, I have been a UU Religious Educator and have served the other four UU congregations in Westchester County, twice serving two congregations simultaneously.

Last year, I had the pleasure of working with your Coming of Age youth and leaders when they attended the COA Credo Writing Retreat at Murray Grove, where we followed a curriculum I coauthored. COA and other aspects of youth ministry are important in a congregation's Religious Education program. With two high school youth of my own, I see firsthand the intensity of teenager's lives and their need for activities that support and engage them without overloading their already demanding schedules. On Sunday, March 17, we invite 6th-12th grade youth from all five congregations to connect with each other and explore ways in which you might like to build community. I look forward to spending the morning with CUUC youth!

Ongoing professional development and service to our denomination has kept me up to date with evolving approaches and resources for RE. I have held a number of leadership roles through the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) Metro NY Chapter as well as Continental LREDA, the Fahs Collaborative Laboratory for Innovations in Faith Formation, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and among Westchester UUs.

I embrace the call to live into the shared values of our faith and lean into ongoing learning. My spiritual practice is grounded in justice making, especially related to racial equity and TLGBPQ+ rights.

My education and experience include a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Northern Illinois University, a Master's degree in Political Science from the Universidade de Brasília, Brasil, and a Master's degree (Ph.D. candidate) in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from George Mason University. I have over twenty-five years of experience as an educator that includes teaching undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in conflict transformation at George Mason University, Columbia University, and in the Dispute Resolution Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. I bring these tools and skills into the service of my colleagues as a Good Officer for the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA), and they are occasionally useful in congregational life.

The greatest source of joy in my life are my teenage sons, Aiden and Logan, and my partner, JR.

I look forward to learning more about the CUUC community and RE program, and exploring how we can work together toward your vision for RE. My gratitude to Christine Haran, Al Rocchi, Rev. Meredith, and the search committee for their service in this process and for their warm welcome.

In faith,
Tracy Breneman
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