Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
On the Journey: Beauty (2019 May) - HERE
From the Minister: Fri May 17 - HERE
Practice of the Week: Study Spiritual Texts You can learn a lot by reading. Certain texts are helpful guides for developing spiritual wisdom. Aside from the canonical scriptures of established traditions, there are many works of wisdom and insight. Here is an essentially random sampling of just a few of the sort of books I have in mind, in no particular order. READ MORE
List of all Practices of the Week - HERE
From the Music Director  Janet Bear, our intrepid Music Committee co-chair, is the guiding force behind this Sunday's musical selections. At last fall's Goods and Service Auction, Janet won the chance to plan music for a Sunday morning worship service. Mindful of her interest in music inspired by women as well as by her joyously burgeoning family, I have programmed works connected to childhood, women, and female offspring... READ MORE
Religious Education  Last Sunday, RE students made "welcome to America" cards that Jane Dixon will deliver to our newly arrived refugee families. Grades 4-7 were asked by Ray Messing and special guest Ivan Smith of the Coachman Center to consider what it would be like to be homeless... This Sunday, grades K-7 start in Fellowship Hall, 8-9 start in class, and high school youth remain in the sanctuary with their families... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun May 19, 10:00 AM     
" Beauty of Differences"
Rev. Kimberley Debus, Rev. Meredith Garmon
Rev. Kimberley Debus shares the pulpit with Rev. Garmon as they talk about different approaches to ministry. Kimberley will be our minister while Meredith is on sabbatical from October 2019 to April 2020.    
   
Sun May 26, 10:00 AM  
"War, Huh! What is it Good For?"
Rev. Meredith Garmon
For most of human history having good warriors was essential to the tribe's survival. And today?  
 
In Memorium
 
With saddened hearts, we share that Roberta "Bobbi" Collins died on Tue May 14. Bobbi was a longtime and energetic presence at CUUC for over 25 years. She is and will be much missed. A Celebration of Life service at CUUC has been scheduled for Sat Jun 8 at 2:00pm. 
Music at CUUC presents
 
Jazz Fest! Sat May 18, 8:00pm, Sanctuary  
Jazz legend Valerie Capers & her trio return to CUUC for an evening of jazz standards all transformed by Ms. Caper's inimitable touch and style. An evening not to be missed! Order tickets online HERE . 
Newcomers Conversation
 
Newcomers Conversation, Sun May 19, 11:20am, room 22
Stay after Sunday worship for a brief meeting to learn about Unitarian Universalism, and help us learn more about you. Contact: Jane Dixon (lilrhodie@gmail.com).  
The Ocean Cleanup   
 
The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization  developing technologies to rid the world's oceans of plastic. Their "System 001" launched on September 8, 2018, to collect the plastic of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest of 5 ocean patches. After 4 months of testing, developers learned the system was unable to retain the plastic so System 001 was demobilized from Hilo Bay, Hawaii, on March 23, 2019. But developers plan to redesign, repair, and relaunch it within a matter of months. Follow the progress at theoceancleanup.com. 
Science and Spirituality
 
Science & Spirituality, Thu May 23, 11:00am, room 11
Note special time and room for our next meeting, when we will screen the classic 1968 movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey . Join us! Contact: Barbara Mair ( barbara.k.mair@icloud.com ).
Midnight Run
 
Midnight Run, Fri May 24, 7:00pm, First Unitarian Society, Hastings
Make a difference in the lives of our homeless neighbors in NYC. Come prepare food, pack clothes, and help distribute. You can also donate clothing and food beforehand. Contact: Art Lowenstein ( arthur.lowenstein@gmail.com , 914-844-4189).
Cooperative Coffee Hour
 
Cooperative Coffee Hour, Sun May 26, 11:15am, Fireside
On Memorial Day Weekend, please bring in a treat to help fill our Cooperative Coffee Hour table. Then plan to pitch in as we set up, serve, and clean up together. Many hands make light work!
College Scholarship Awards
 
Each year CUUC offers two scholarships in the amount of $250 for ourgraduating seniors. Please send a short essay on your contributions and leadership at CUUC, with a brief explanation of how the scholarship will be used and the names of two CUUC references to re@cucwp.org by Fri May 31. 
Special Friends 
 
Special Friends Meet-Up Breakfast Sun Jun 2, 9:00am, Fellowship Hall  
Our secret Special Friends pen pals will be revealed at a breakfast celebration. We will provide masquerade costumes to help with the excitement of meeting our writing partners. Thanks to all participants for helping our kids and adults get to know one another better and for creating greater community at CUUC! 
Annual Meeting 2019
 
Annual Meeting, Sun Jun 2, following Worship
The Board of Trustees will call the Annual Meeting of the Congregation on Sunday, June 2, 2019, for the purpose of:
  • receiving annual reports;
  • voting on the Board of Trustees slate presented by the Nominating Committee;
  • electing members to the Nominating Committee; and
  • voting on CUUC's operating budget for July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.
Please plan to attend this important meeting. Committee Chairs, please submit your reports to the administrator by May 15.

Voting on the Annual Budget for Longtime Friends
The Board shall allow nonmembers sixteen years of age or older who have been more than occasional attendants at the worship services and who have made annual recorded contributions to the financial support of the Congregation during each of the preceding 10 years, who so request it in writing, to be permitted to vote on approval of annual Congregation operating and capital budgets. If you would like to make a request, please contact the congregation office (admin@cucwp.org, 914-946-1660 x2). 
From the Auction Committee
 
We Need Sheets!
Please donate your gently used sheets so the Auction decorating committee can work their magic! Light colored, flat sheets, any size. Drop off in lobby. Contact: Claire Flower ( allegoryflowers@aol.com).
CUUC on Facebook
 
Check the latest on congregation events at our public CUUC page, facebook.com/cucwp . And join CUUC Forum , the private Facebook group for Members and Friends. Go to facebook.com/groups/cucforum and click "Join." Not a Member yet and want to be? Contact admin@cucwp.org to set up an appointment with Rev. Garmon.
The Pulpit Editorial
 
Members have the privilege to speak from the pulpit during worship services on matters of conscience. To reserve pulpit editorial spots, speakers will first contact Rev. Garmon to inform him of the topic and obtain his consent. Speakers should then contact the office to confirm a date on the worship schedule. Editorials will be no more four minutes long, and printed copies will be made available after the service to anyone interested. The opinions expressed will be clearly announced as those of the speakers. At the beginning of their editorials, speakers will say they are willing to participate in further discussion after the worship service.  
Neighboring Faiths

Interfaith Iftar/Dinner, Wed May 22, County Center, White Plains, 6:30pm
Hosted by the Masajid Collaborative of Westchester and sponsored by the American Muslim Women's Association (AMWA). Register HERE   
GA 2019

UUA General Assembly (GA), June 19-23, Spokane, WA
The annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association. Learn more at uua.org/ga . If you would like to be a delegate to GA from CUUC, contact board chair Dean Silverberg (dsilverberg@ebglaw.com).
UUA Monthly Tidings - May

"What You Need To Know About Membership in UU Congregations" is the second email in a new series of UUA leadership messages sent to all UU congregations to strengthen our connections and support shared learning. Enjoy!

UUA Central East Region

Calling All Youth Leaders
At River Rising Leadership School, youth spend a week creating community and learning to care for that community spiritually, pastorally, and physically. And they have a lot fun just hanging out together! Two different weeks, two different locations. Visit HERE. 
Share the Plate for May: WCC Student Aid Programs
 
We donate half our non-pledge collection this month to programs that support local low-income college students. Westchester Community College (WCC) has established an Emergency Transportation Fund to offer metro/bus passes to eligible students, and a Food Pantry to support students with food insecurity.
Caring & Sharing Circle
 
If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Carole Mehta (914-234-6294, carole.mehta@gmail.com) or Lois Holt (914-329-0603, mediamomforlife@gmail.com). Or contact the CUUC office (914-946-1660 x2, admin@cucwp.org).
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, admin@cucwp.org).
Sat May 18 - 9:00am Meetings with Sabbatical Minister; 9:00am Rental: Exercise; 10:00am Zen; 11:00am Welcome Committee; 11:00am Committee on Ministry; 2:30pm Rental: WCHJ; 8:00pm Jazz Fest Concert: Valerie Capers & Trio
Sun May 19 - 9:00am Hunger & Homelessness; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Coffee Hour; 11:20am Newcomers' Conversation; 11:40am Sunday Journey Groups; 2:00pm Rental: Hoff Barthelson; 5:00pm Journey Group-Leahy
Mon May 20 - 5:00pm Rental: Exercise; 6:30pmn T'ai-ch'i; 8:00pm Finance Committee
Tue May 21 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise; 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP; 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal
Wed May 22 - 7:30pm Worship Committee
Thu May 23 - 10:00am Journey Group-Kung; 11:00am Science & Spirituality; 7:30pm Building Committee
Fri May 24 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise;
Sat May 25 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise; 10:00am Zen
Sun May 26 - 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Coffee Hour
Contacts

Minister: Rev. Meredith Garmon, minister@cucwp.org, 914-946-1660 x3
Director of Faith Development: Perry Montrose, RE@cucwp.org, 914-946-1660 x4
Coordinator of Religious Education: Michele Rinaldi, RE@cucwp.org, 914-946-1660 x4
Community Minister: Rev. Deb Morra, getreal714@gmail.com, 914-830-1509
Community Minister: Rev. LoraKim Joyner, amoloros@gmail.com
Music Director: Adam Kent, music@cucwp.org, 212-595-7280
Choir Director: Lisa Meyer, choir@cucwp.org
Congregational & Communications Administrator: Pamela Parker, admin@cucwp.org, 914-946-1660 x2
Bookkeeper: Diane Pearson, cuucwpbookkeeper@gmail.com, 914-946-1660 x5
Board of Trustees
Board Chair: Dean Silverberg, dsilverberg@ebglaw.com
Vice Chair: Al Rocchi, alrocchi@verizon.net
Treasurer: Chris Kortlandt, kortlandtbunch@gmail.com
Social Justice Coordinators
Jeff Tomlinson, jefftomlinson8@gmail.com
Mary Cavallero, marycava4@gmail.com
Rev. Meredith Garmon, minister@cucwp.org
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
Our theme for May is beauty. We speak of beauty in many ways, primarily in three categories: beautiful people, beauty in nature, and beautiful art. Putting one's finger on what makes a person, a scene, or an artwork beautiful is not easy. When it comes to art, philosopher Denis Dutton has an evolutionary explanation for attraction to art. The primary mechanism, he says, works through mate selection.

We are attracted to art - that is, find art beautiful - because we recognize that making it is difficult. No one would buy tickets to the ballet or a concert if just about everybody could dance or play music as well as the performers we go to see and hear. The paintings hanging in art museums are the ones that the curators - whose tastes are shaped culture generally - recognize as rare products of talent and refinement. Those paintings are significantly different from what "just anybody" could paint.

It isn't that they are rare because they're so beautiful. Rather, it's the other way around. We find them beautiful because the skill that could produce them is rare.

Dutton's argument is that the ability to do something difficult and exceptional is a signal of mate suitability. Art, like the peacock's tail, is uselessly extravagant - but such extravagance is a sign of good health and nutrition -- of not having to struggle just to survive. Ability to make something particularly well - by any standard recognizable as requiring a learned skill carried to an exceptional level - is an indicator of health, intelligence, fine motor skills, and enough status and wealth to have the leisure to make something "for its own sake," not directly useful. Thus mate selection rewarded and reinforced human propensity to display artistic skill. And, just as the peacocks with the biggest tails really were, often enough, good mates, so were the humans with the highest level of artistic skills. Thus the genes of both artist and art lover had improved chances of being passed on.

Words attributed to Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) are worth remembering: "All things beautiful are as difficult."

Yours in faith,
Meredith
Your Moment of Zen: Rectification During snacktime one afternoon, Black Bear asked, "How can I realize enlightenment?" Raven asked, "What do you mean by 'enlightenment'?" Black Bear said, "You know what I mean." Raven said, "Fix up your terms and your path is fixed up." Black Bear asked, "How can I fix up
Zen Practice at CUUC
The e -Communitarian newsletter is e-mailed each week. 
Please send submissions to admin@cucwp.org by noon on Tuesday.
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