Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
November issue of On the Journey: Compassion -- Click HERE
This week's post from the Sabbatical Minister HERE 
Practice of the Week: Cultivate Mindfulness Mindful awareness is paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is. It is an excellent antidote to the stresses of modern times. It invites us to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with inner experience. Significant research has shown mindfulness to address a variety of health issues. READ MORE
This week we sing the children out to "Special Sunday" activities.  PreK-7th grade children will explore how music makes us feel, with Lyra Harada. Youth will tend the triangle gardens, with Steve Miller and Tim Lynch. Youth should wear outdoor work clothes - tools not needed (though garden snippers handy). Have you received your individualized RE e-newsletters? You can also read them in the RE News at READ MORE
Outward projections of compassionate love are embodied in this Sunday's musical selections. Whether in the form of an African-American Spiritual or a Lutheran hymn, music holds forth the potential for spiritual healing and inner strengthening on every level, from the most intimate to the universal... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services  
Sun Nov 10, 10:00am
" The Compassionate Life"
Rev. Kimberley Debus, sabbatical minister
What do the world's religions say about compassion? How do we apply these lessons today?
Sun Nov 17, 10:00am
"Transgender Day of Remembrance"
LGBTQIA Social Justice Team 
We bear witness as we memorialize Trans lives we've lost to violence in the past year.

Our CUUC YouTube Channel has videos of many past services. Check it out HERE!
Cooperative Coffee Hour  
Cooperative Coffee Hour, Sun Nov 10, 11:15am, Fireside
We invite everyone to bring along a treat to help fill our table for this Sunday's Cooperative Coffee Hour. Then pitch in to help us set up, serve, and clean up together. Many hands make light work!
"Woodstock: 50" Auction     
Final reminders: (1) This Sun Nov 10 is the LAST day to buy tickets at $45. Tickets will be $50 at the door. Purchase during coffee hour or email Chris Kortlandt (; (2) Sun Nov 10 is also the FINAL day to submit a donation form. If you have something to donate, fill your form out now! Click HERE for the printable form; (3) Drop your donated items in the lobby or office NOW. (4) Let us know this Sun Nov 10 if you need childcare or email Chris Kortlandt. Get ready for fun! Auction 2019, Sat Nov 16, Doors open 5:30pm, advance tickets $45 until Nov 10, or $50 at the door. 
Team Meetings - Sun Nov 10     
Environmental Practices Group, 9:00am, 13 
Contact: Charlie McNally (, Janet Bear (
Auction Committee, 11:30am, 13
Contact: Anne Majsak (  
Racial Justice/In the Spirit of Truth, 11:40am, 31
Contact: Jeff Tomlinson (, or Imelda Cruz Avellán (
LGBTQIA Social Justice, 7:30pm, Zoom teleconference 
Contact: Tony Arrien ( 
Science & Spirituality
Science & Spirituality, Thu Nov 14, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
We meet the second and fourth Thursday and discuss books and articles on the intersection of spirituality and science. We are reading The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins. Join us! Contact: Barbara Mair ( ). 
Economic Justice     
Economic Social Justice Team, Sun Nov 17, 8:45am, Room 12
Join us to explore how we can address the vital issue of economic inequality. All are welcome! Contact: Jim Walkup ( or Janice Silverberg (
RE Assistants Needed    
Assistant Needed, 6th-7th Neighboring Faiths class, Sun Nov 17
All adults may serve as assistants in Religious Education classes - no preparation required! Just spend an hour with our children and youth to fulfill our Safe Congregation practice of having two adults with our kids at all times. Click HERE to sign up.   
Helping Hands for Nursery    
Our Sunday nursery staff is looking for extra adult hands to assist with our youngest. Can you help? Contact Tracy Breneman ( or Diane Keller (
Greeters Wanted    
Join our mission of hospitality! Make our Sunday visitors feel welcome - come a little early to share your smile and a warm greeting. You can sign up for one or more Sundays HERE. Contact: Jane Dixon ( 
Environmental News 
Funded partly from a lawsuit settlement over industrial pollution, Brooklyn's Kingsland Wildflowers roof meadow provides habitat for endangered pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and birds. The 22,000 sq ft rooftop garden also cools surrounding areas, helps prevent rainwater, stormwater and CSOs (combined sewage overflows) runoff into Newtown Creek and the East River, and improves air quality.
Opportunities for Giving
Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry: Cash donations are especially needed this time of year. Bring checks on Sunday or mail to Ecumenical Food Pantry, PO Box 2037, White Plains, NY 10602. Contact: Vicky Van Wert (
Hour Children's Parenting Center at Bedford Hills Correctional: We are collecting NEW UNWRAPPED toys on Nov 10. See the center's wish list HERE. Contact: Ray Messing (
Gently Used Toy Collection for clients of the Ecumenical Food Pantry: Bring gently used toys, and new or like-new stuffed animals, for collection until Sun Dec 1. See flyer HERE. Contact: Mary Cavallero (  
From our Director of Religious Education  
LREDA Fall Conference, Nov 6-10, Baltimore, MD   
This week I am at the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) Fall Conference. I serve as a " Good Officer" and will be attending annual training. I will also be a small group facilitator for white caucus work as we continue work to dismantle white supremacy culture and systems. I look forward to sharing resources and learning with you when I return. ~ Tracy Breneman
Mission in Action

Norm Handelman
, Jacy Good, and others were among the volunteers sorting warm outerwear collected for refugees, and delivering the bags to places like IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) in New Haven, CT. Our thanks to them, and to Karen Leahy for spearheading CUUC's clothing drive.
Our Faith Family  
We bid a fond farewell to longtime members Lori Saccardi, who moved away last month and Yvonne Lynne, who is planning to leave in January. We will miss your presence in our community, and wish you all the best at your new homes. Our love goes with you. 
Call for Vendors 
Holiday Arts & Crafts Fundraiser, Sun Dec 8, 11:30am, Fireside 
If you are interested in selling your crafts at our annual fair, contact Barbara Youngman ( Proceeds support the Minister's Discretionary Fund.
Worship Associate Training
Worship Associate Training, Saturday, Nov 23, 10:00am - 3:00pm, UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester, Mt. Kisco 
Join Rev. Kimberley Debus to explore how we create open-hearted and expansive worship, choose service elements, refine skills, and work as part of a team. Register HERE. 
Room for One More?    
Make a place at your Thanksgiving table for an international student. We partner with One to World to find host families who will welcome students into their holiday celebrations. A memorable experience for both students and hosts! Contact: Jane Dixon ( 
Share the Plate for November: Ecumenical Food Pantry 
This month half our non-pledge collection goes to the Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry of White Plains. The pantry operates 51 weeks a year supplying nutritious food to over 250 families a month with support from several congregations across faith traditions. CUUC has continuously contributed with both funds and volunteers, including Vicky Van Wert and the late Lucille Ross who both worked at the pantry for many years .  
Caring & Sharing Circle
If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Catherine Kortlandt (914-834-7112, or Julie Gans (914-937-7899 or Or you may 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,
Fri Nov 8 - 11:00am Journey Group - Rev. Debus (Parsonage); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP Film Night (Fellowship Hall)
Sat Nov 9 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Zen (43); 1:00pm Rental: WCBNY (41)
Sun Nov 10 - 9:00am Environmental Practices (13); 9:30am Nursery Care (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:30am Auction Committee (13); 11:40am Racial Justice/ITSOT (31); 7:30pm LGBTQIA Team (Zoom Teleconference)

Mon Nov 11 -  OFFICE CLOSED; 5:00pm Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 6:30pm  T'ai-ch'i (Fireside)

Tue Nov 12 - CUUC Auction set up (Sanctuary); 10:00am Exercise (Fireside); 1:00pm Rental: Watercolor (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Classes); 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)

Wed Nov 13 - CUUC Auction set up (Sanctuary); 8:30am Dance Movement Group (Fellowship Hall); 9:00am Rev. Kimberley Debus Open Office Hours (Study); 7:30pm Board of Trustees (41)

Thu Nov 14 - CUUC Auction set up (Sanctuary); 11:30am Science & Spirituality (Fellowship Hall); 3:00pm Rev. Kimberley Debus Open Office Hours (Study); 7:30pm Journey Group - D. Manetta, K. McGahren-Clemens (Parsonage)

Fri Nov 15 - CUUC Auction set up (Sanctuary); 12:00pm Auction Food Prep (Kitchen)

Sat Nov 16 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Auction set up (Sanctuary); 10:00am Zen (43); 5:30pm Auction Preview (Sanctuary); 6:00pm Auction (Sanctuary)

Sun Nov 17 - 8:15am RE Council (41); 8:45am Economic Social Justice (12); 9:30am Nursery Care (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am  Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:40am Sunday Journey Groups (13, 31, 43); 4:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Fellowship Hall); 5:00pm Journey Group - K. Leahy (Off-Site)  

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
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

I first learned the word "transmogrified" from Calvin and Hobbes, a comic strip by Bill Waterston that ran from 1985-1995.

One day, seven-year old Calvin built a transmogrifier. To us, it was just an upside-down cardboard box with a dial drawn on the side. But to Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes, it was a machine that could turn them into whatever they wished to become-eel, baboon, bug, dinosaur, tiger, toad. While everyone else still saw a little boy and his stuffed tiger, Calvin and Hobbes saw themselves transmogrified-transformed in a surprising manner

I think sometimes we forget that we can transmogrify things-especially in religious communities. Which is why I was struck when my colleague Ian Riddell wrote, "I'm in a bad mood that our principles are in a list. So I transmogrified them."

Huh. It's true that our UU principles appear in a numbered list. We even tend to quote them by number: Our fifth principle calls me to fight for responsible gun control legislation. I'm doing third principle work in learning about Hinduism. I'm a seventh principle guy so I invest in renewable energy.

A handy, step-by-step list. Nice. Neat. Ordered. Isolated. Each principle an individual.

But that was bugging Ian, so he devised something new. Instead of an ordered list, a wheel. No numbered principles, but rather a different pattern of organization. A surprising way to approach them.

The center - the axle - is the inherent worth and dignity of every person. It's where we start, where everything else moves from. Then, encompassing it all, is the interdependent web of which we are all a part. The spokes are the other principles, the ways we understand ourselves in the world, the ways we act in the world because of who we are and where we are.

What does this mean? How would we approach our faith, our work, our connection to other human beings, our sense of the divine, if we were willing to transmogrify how we think of them?

Let's start with the spoke calling for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. Alone, it sounds pretty good; it's the cornerstone of every social justice action we take, both within and outside Unitarian Universalism.

There's something missing, however.

Unitarian Universalists are good at questioning things, but we can forget to examine what's underneath our own principles. Often we might ask What?-What do they mean? or How?-How do we affirm and promote them? But rarely do we ask Why?-Why are they important for us to affirm and promote?

But when we change how we see them, we suddenly have a way to question the why of our principles, to interrogate the deeper meanings, to see the connection between the individual and the world.

Why is justice, equity, and compassion so important? Because if I as an individual am inherently worthy of dignity, then every other individual must be as well. And if we are all connected, how can I be like the pigs in Orwell's Animal Farm and say some animals are more equal than others? How can I fail to notice that the compassion I hope you'll show me might be worth showing to everyone else?

This principle calls us to be in that state of becoming just, equitable, and compassionate. We are never JUST just. But if we remember who we are and where we come from, we are becoming just. The justice, equity, and compassion we see in the world helps us become more just-to others, yes, but also to ourselves.

It reminds me of what my colleague David Bumbaugh wrote: "In this interconnected existence the well-being of one cannot be separated from the well-being of the whole.... We all spring from the same source and all journey to the same ultimate destiny." In other words, y'all can't grow into harmony with the Divine without me, nor I without you, nor all of us without each other.

It is this connection-from the individual to the collective and back again-that helps answer questions of why. Why do we affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations? Because it's about me and it's about you, neither of which can stand alone, so it becomes about us. As theologian Frederick Buechner famously said, "It's the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you, too."

The question of why can apply to any of our principles. Why do we affirm and promote this? Why, of course, being the question this wheel seems to ask of us over and over. And over and over we see the need both for affirmation of the individual and for commitment to all of our complicated relationships-including those that reach beyond the human realm.

Each principle connects the self to the interdependent web and back again, in areas of truth, justice, community, connection, process, growth, and compassion-leading us from the familiar form that asks what, to the transmogrified form, which inquires why.

Once you see it, it can't be unseen. Now we can't think of the principles without thinking about the wheel and the spokes and the interconnectedness. We have transformed our way of thinking about it. We've transmogrified our principles, our ethics, and our faith.

And maybe that's the real message. Not that we become something new overnight, but that we-and our world and how we act in it-are always in process, always rolling forward on this wheel which carries us to new lands, but always brings the essentials with us as we go: You matter. You are not alone.

~ Rev. Kimberley Debus
Your Moment of Zen: Faith

One morning after a round of zazen, Raven asked Brown Bear, "Does faith have a role in practice?" Brown Bear said, "Great faith." Raven asked, "How should I direct it?" Brown Bear said, "One, two, three." READ MORE
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