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: Be For Yourself Think about what it's like to be a good friend to someone. Then ask: Am I that kind of friend to myself? If not, you could be too hard on yourself, too quick to feel you're falling short, too dismissive of what you get done each day. Or too half-hearted telling others what you really need. Or too resigned to your own pain, or too... READ MORE
Religious Education  We look forward to spring, and already witnessed a "spring" in the step of our RE students last week at our annual Alvin Ailey Dance Sunday, led by the wonderful LaToya Wigfall. RE This Sun Mar 3: Grades K-5 start in the sanctuary for the Wonder Box Story. Grades 6th-12th start in classrooms... READ MORE
From the Music Director  Join us this Sunday when CUUC Choir Pianist Georgianna Pappas treats us to a program of keyboard classics by Johann Sebastian Bach and Frederic Chopin... READ MORE.
Upcoming Worship Services

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.
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."
And the Winner Is...     

The votes have been counted! This Sun Mar 3 during worship we will announce the organization we've picked to receive our Variety Show funds. Now help us get ready for the fun! PERFORMERS sign up in the RE lobby; BAKE SALE CONTRIBUTIONS sign up with Benetta Barnett (, RAFFLE PRIZE DONATIONS contact Liz Suvanto ( 
Pancake Fundraiser  

Pancake Community Meal, Sun Mar 3, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
You'll flip for our flapjacks! Fundraiser sponsored by our Youth Group to support their social justice outreach. $5/adult, $3/child, $15/family. 
Wise Aging Group  

Wise Aging Group, Tue Mar 5, 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 will follow the book, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit . Contact: Rev. LoraKim Joyner (    
Save Your 2019-20 Dates   

Program Council: Calendar 2019-20 Planning, Wed Mar 6, 7:30pm, Room 41
This month's Program Council meeting will be devoted to setting up next year's congregation calendar. If your team/committee needs to reserve dates, please plan to attend or contact chair Al Rocchi (
Faith Development Friday

Faith Development Friday, Fri Mar 8, CUUC
An evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community. 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community Dinner; 7:00pm Programs; 8:30pm Coffee. Adult RE will be a book discussion of this year's UUA "common read" Justice on Earth, led by Rev. Garmon. Family Journey Group will discuss this month's topic "Desire." 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.  
Combined Westchester UU Worship

"Shared Planet, Shared Faith" Multi-Congregation Worship, Sunday Mar 17, 10:30am, CUUC
Ministers, musicians, and religious educators from our five congregations will participate in this special multi-generational service. Our theme is caring for the environment, and after service we will have information tables displaying UU congregation projects to help us all learn to live 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 at 10:30am to socialize and plan. Want to sing with the combined choir? Contact Lisa Meyer. Everyone is encouraged to bring a ready-to-serve treat for our shared coffee hour table. Carpooling recommended. Learn more HERE
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 (  
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 hosted by CUUC's Racial Justice/In the Spirit of Truth Committee about Robin Diangelo's book White Fragility (available for purchase after worship this month). Quotes from the book are posted on the Racial Justice bulletin board. For historical perspective on these issues, each week this month a link will be posted to an episode of the podcast Seeing White. The second link - "How Race Was Made" - 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, 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  
Poor People's Campaign NYS, Westchester Organizing Meeting , Sun Mar 3, 2:00pm, CUUC 
Continue Martin Luther King's work confronting the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation. Join us to learn updates from the campaign and continue building the movement in Westchester County. RSVP 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 by helping them find stable, long-term housing, and providing them with the support they need to rebuild their lives. 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 . 
District and Association News - March 2019
Stay informed on what's happening in our wider faith community! See this month's Opportunities for Connection newsletter from the Central East Region HERE. To see the monthly newsletter from the Unitarian Universalist Association, click HERE.
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,
Letter to the Congregation

From The Visual Display Committee - Update
For two years the Black Lives Matter banner has graced the front of our building and has more recently been joined by the Welcoming Congregations banner.
The Visual Display Committee formed by the Board of Trustees feels that a total of four banners can be displayed at the entrance to the building; banners that reflect the most deeply held convictions of our UU faith.
Our committee recommends relocating the current and future banners to a new and more appropriate home, affixed to the concrete block wall directly to the left of the front windows.
This move would clear the windows in the front of our building, would allow more light into the hallway and would improve the aesthetics of the entrance.
The large rhododendron bush that currently occupies the space immediately in front of the concrete block wall is diseased and has a life expectancy of only 1 to 3 years, per the assessment of two independent contractors engaged by Visual Display Committee. However, based on feedback received from members of the congregation, the rhododendron will remain undisturbed by the project and be allowed to expire naturally. The original recommendation was to remove the rhododendron due to the unfavorable life expectancy diagnosis, and to improve the effectiveness of the signage.
Respectfully submitted, CUUC Visual Display Committee, Jan 23, 2019
Adine Usher, Joann Prinzivalli, Lori Saccardi & Joe Majsak
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 Mar 1 - 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP Film Night
Sat Mar 2 - 10:00am Zen; POSTPONED - 10:30am Auction Event: Myers-Briggs Personality Types 

Sun Mar 3 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 11:30am Pancake Community Meal; 3:00pm Rental: Poor People's Campaign NYS 
Mon Mar 4 - 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i; 7:00pm Rental: Straight Spouse Network; 8:00pm Rental: Amnesty International

Tue Mar 5 - 3:00pm Wise Aging Group; 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP; 7:30pm  Choir Rehearsal

Wed Mar 6 - 7:30pm Program Council

Thu Mar 7 - 9:30am Rental: League of Women Voters; 7:30pm Journey Group Facilitators

Fri Mar 8 - 11:00am Journey Group - Rev. Garmon; 6:15pm Faith Development Friday - 6:15 Pizza, 7:00 Programs

Sat Mar 9 - 10:00am Zen; 10:00am Exercise; 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   

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 11:
Mel Hoover and Rosed Edington, "Water Unites Us."

Hoover and Edington were co-ministers serving the UU Congregation (UUC) in Charleston, West Virginia in 2014 when a water contamination disaster struck the area.
"Freedom Industries and the West Virginia Water Company (WVAC) allowed 4-methylcyclohexanemethano (MCHM - used for removing clay and shale from coal) to poison a water system serving 300,000 people in nine counties." (120)
Advisories told people not to use the water for anything other than flushing the toilet and putting out fires. Schools were closed. Restaurants were ordered
"closed until the tap water was declared safe or owners could demonstrate they had enough bottled water on hand to operate. . . . Some went out of business." (121)
WVAW's response was slow. Though a two-day supply of water in backup tanks was legally required, there was none.

What did UUC do?

They got to work
"helping low-income families who otherwise would have to choose between purchasing bottled water and paying their rent, delivering water to those who could not get to distribution sites, and organizing and advocating for legislation to ensure safe water." (122)
In the ensuing, and ultimately successful, drive for new state legislation requiring chemical storage tanks to be registered and monitored, "rallies, demonstrations, and press conferences were often planned at UUC and attended by UUC member" (124).

To help UUC deal with the crisis, more than $24,000 was donated to UUC from individuals and UU congregations in the region and nationally. UUC "established a Clean Water Fund and a Clean Water Task Force to administer the financial donations" (126).

Hoover and Edington remind us
"that water everywhere is at risk, that everyone is downstream from something, and nearly everyone is at potential risk from flooding . . . increases in extreme water events are projected for all US regions" (128).
You'll want to read the chapter to get the inspiring details of UUC's work in Charleston. Questions
How well do you understand the system that delivers water into your home? Where does the water come from? What potentially polluting industries might be a source of toxic contamination?

What do you know about lead poison risk in your area? A map of lead-poisoning risk is HERE. The map shows that a large part of the Bronx is at the highest risk of lead exposure - Risk Level 10. There's also a Level 10 risk in much of Yonkers and parts of Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, and Ossining. Other parts of Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, and Ossining are at Level 9 risk, as are parts of White Plains, Mamaroneck, Hastings-on-Hudson, Greenburgh, Mount Pleasant, Peekskill, and most of Pelham and of Portchester. About 90% of the area of the Bronx is at Risk Level 8 or higher. More than half the area of southern Westchester (that is, south of a line from Armonk to Sleepy Hollow), is at Risk Level 7 or higher. In all of Westchester, nowhere is the risk Level as low as 1 or 2, and there are a only few scattered census tracts at Risk Level 3. All the rest of the county is at Risk Level 4 or higher for lead. CUUC is in a tract assessed at Lead Risk Level 4. To our southeast, the tract on the other side of the Hutchinson is at Lead Risk Level 6. Just north of us, the tract through the middle of which Bryant Ave runs, is at Lead Risk Level 7. What should you know about the factors for lead-exposure risk? What actions are called for?

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"
  10. Peggy Clarke, "Eating the Earth"
Yours in faith, Meredith
Your Moment of Zen: The Perfection of Character Raccoon was a student of Moose Roshi at Cedarford, but he visited the Tallspruce community occasionally. One day Raven invited him to have a snack and asked, "What does Moose Roshi teach?" Raccoon said, "The practice of Zen is the perfection of character." Raven said, "Transformation. Raccoon said.... READ MORE
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