Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
"From the Minister," Fri Nov 9: HERE
On the Journey, 2018 Nov: "Hospitality" HERE
Religious Education
Service, Welcome, and Care - Our Veterans' Day Weekend RE program will focus on service, especially how we welcome people into our congregation and care for them. Children and youth will engage with the Welcome Committee to learn about their service and give input into what else we might do to be a welcoming place for everyone. Help us reimagine the RE foyer and also send cards to those we haven't seen in a while... READ MORE.
From the Music Director
"Hospitality and the Stranger" seem to be embodied in the life and music of Franz Schubert (1797-1828). Alienated from his family over his choice of career, and estranged from much of society because of his sexuality, Schubert nevertheless found a close circle of admirers in the artistic community of Vienna in the artistic community of Vienna.  The CUUC Choir is also on hand... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services
Sun Nov 11, 10:00 AM   
"Stranger and Stranger"
Rev. Meredith Garmon
On being hospitable to strangers.  

Sun Nov 18, 10:00 AM   
Thanksgiving (Multigenerational)
Rev. Meredith Garmon 
We have much to be thankful for. We'll tell the (amended, corrected) story of the origin of American Thanksgiving. And let the ground of our gratitude be the soil from which grows the might oak of our hope! 
Faith Development Friday  
Faith Development Friday, Fri Nov 9, CUUC
An evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community. 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community Dinner; 7:00pm Programs; 8:30pm Coffee. Programs include Adult RE and Family Journey Group. Stay after to share coffee and a chat. RSVP by Friday to
Music at CUUC
All-Schumann Piano Recital with Adam Kent, "Robert and Clara: A Domestic Drama," Sun Nov 11, 12:00 pm
CUUC Music Director Adam Kent presents a solo piano recital of works by Robert Schumann that includes appearances by our own Kim Force and Craig Hunt. Love, jealousy, and secrets abound in the piano music of Schumann! The concert will be preceded by a light brunch. Free childcare available with advance reservation to Suggested Donation $20; Students/Seniors $10; Children 13 & Under $5; Max per Family $45,  
LGBTQIA Team Meeting   
LGBTQIA Team Zoom Meeting, Sun Nov 11, 7:30pm
We will again meet remotely via Zoom teleconferencing, and discuss plans for the Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony on Sun Nov 18 at 1:00 pm at CUUC. Contact chair Tony Arrien ( ) if you would like to be on the call.  
From the Treasurer
  • Pledge Reminders will go out next week. If you have not paid, please do so to keep our CUUC operations running smoothly.
  • Our Auction fundraiser was a smashing success, bringing in more than what we had budgeted.
  • Planning Ahead: For people with mandatory IRA distributions, and others, prepaying pledge amounts may have tax advantages. To learn more, contact Chris Kortlandt (
Read the full Treasurer's message HERE.
Transgender Day of Remembrance    
Transgender Day of Remembrance Service, Sun Nov 18, 1:00am, CUUC Sanctuary
Please join us as the transgender community and allies memorialize Trans lives we've lost to violence in the past year. Presented by the LGBTQIA Social Justice Team. Snacks and light refreshments provided. Event lasts about an hour. Contact: Tony Arrien (
Room for One More This Thanksgiving?

Make a place for an international student! Our congregation is again partnering with One to World to find host families to welcome students to their Thanksgiving dinners. A wonderful experience for both students and hosts! Contact: Jane Dixon (
Opportunities for Giving     
Gently Used Children's Books and Toys Drive for the Ecumenical Food Pantry, Nov 18 to Sun Dec 9
Pl ease help the Ecumenical Food Pantry distribute gently used books and toys to their clients and bring joy to parents who could not otherwise afford holiday gifts for their children. We will also collect stuffed animals (must be new or like new) for the senior clients who enjoy one for themselves! Contact: Mary Cavallero ( for information or to volunteer.  
Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry
Cash donations are especially needed at this time of year. Send checks to Ecumenical Food Pantry, PO Box 2037, White Plains, NY 10602. Questions? Contact: Vicky Van Wert ( 
Did You Know...
Wind energy could produce 40 times as much electricity as the world uses. For this and more, view this five minute Q&A on the earth's climate with former Vice President Al Gore HERE. 
Thanksgiving Day Plant-Based Potluck  
"Giving Thanks for All Life" Thanksgiving Plant-Based Potluck, Thu Nov 22, 1:00-4:00pm, Fellowship Hall/Fireside Area
We show gratitude for all earth's beings by sharing a plant-based potluck meal followed by discussion and fireside storytelling. Spread the word! RSVP HERE.   
Social Justice Opportunities  
Hearts & Homes for Refugees Winter Clothing Drive, Sat Nov 10, 9:00am-4:00pm, St. John's Episcopal Church, Larchmont
Help support refugees rebuilding their lives in the US. Click HERE to
sign up for NEW or LIGHTLY USED items you will contribute. See flyer HERE. Sign up to volunteer HERE. Contact:  
Justice Petition: The administration is pursuing felony criminal charges against a volunteer with a UU church group that provides water, food, blankets, and emergency first-aid to migrants along the US-Mexico border. To sign a petition telling the Department of Justice to drop the charges, go HERE
Find more local social justice opportunities HERE.
Hearthkeepers Sunday   
Hearthkeepers, Sun Nov 25 11:45am
The Hearthkeepers prepare and tend the roaring blazes in the sanctuary fireplace. Help us prepare for the season with log splitting, kindling gathering, and wood stacking. Kids 8 and up welcome! Followed by hot cider and s'mores. Contact: John Schwam ( 
Encore Presentation 
"Doctrine of Discovery: Next Steps," Sun Nov 25, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
For those who missed the Oct 7 presentation, or would like to engage a second time, Petra Thombs will again screen the documentary "The Doctrine of Discovery" and lead a discussion afterward. (Learn more HERE.) Presented by Racial Justice/In the Spirit of Truth Team.  
Save the Date: Gun Safety Forum

Gun Safety Forum: What's Next?, Sun Dec 2, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
Mid-term elections are over. Now what? Learn about local work happening around gun safety and reducing violence. A representative from Moms Demand Action-Westchester will discuss pending gun legislation, strategies for change, and trends on gun safety issues. Q&A follows. Light lunch provided. Childcare available with advance registration by Wed Nov 28, 12:00 noon. RSVP Emily Economou (
Call for Vendors     
Holiday Arts & Crafts Fundraiser, Sun Dec 3 & 10, Sanctuary, following Worship
If you are interested in selling your crafts at our annual fair, contact Barbara Youngman ( ). Proceeds support the Minister's Discretionary Fund. 
Save the Date   
Parrot Holiday Party Fundraiser, Mon Dec 10, 6:30-8:30pm, 87 Lafayette St, NYC
Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner, CUUC community minister, invites you to a Parrot Holiday Party to raise fun and funds for One Earth Conservation, her community ministry organization. Join her by registering HERE, and if you can't attend, please consider donating, or advertising for the event with this flyer. Thank you!   
Share the Plate for November: Ecumenical Food Pantry  
The recipient of half our non-pledge collection is the Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry of White Plains. The pantry was founded in 1979 by CUUC and four other local congregations as a temporary response to individuals with food insecurity, but found that the need never vanished - it just increased. Today the pantry operates 51 weeks a year supplying nutritious food to about 400 families a month with support from several congregations across faith traditions.
Caring & Sharing Ci rcle

If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Barbara Mair (914-769-7186, or Joan Traber (914-617-4929, 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,
Fri Nov 9 - 11:00am Journey Group - Rev. Garmon; Faith Development Friday - 6:15 Pizza, 7:00 Programs, 8:30 Coffee; 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP Film Night

Sat Nov 10 - 10:00am Zen; 10:00am Caring & Sharing; 1:00pm Rental: WCBNY

Sun Nov 11 - 8:15 RE Council; 8:45am Choir; 9:00am Environmental Practices; 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Worship; 11:15am Enhanced Coffee Hour/Light Brunch; 11:45 Building Committee; 12:00pm Concert; 5:00pm Journey Group - Leahy; 7:30pm  LGBTQIA Zoom Mtng

Mon Nov 12 - NO T'ai-ch'i this week

Tue Nov 13 - 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP; 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal

Wed Nov 14 - 7:30pm Board of Trustees

Thu Nov 15 - Communitarian Magazine Deadline; 5:00pm ICNA Reception; 7:00pm Journey Group - Van Hoomissen; 7:30pm Worship Committee

Fri Nov 16 - 6:00pm 5th/6th Grade OWL - Meal; 7:30pm 5th/6th Grade OWL - Class

Sat Nov 17 - 10:00am Zen; 2:30pm Rental: WCHJ

Sun Nov 18 - 9:30am Nursery Care; 10:00am Multigenerational Worship; 11:40am Sunday Journey Groups; 1:00pm Transgender Day of Remembrance
C ontacts

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,, 212-351-4642
Vice Chair: Al Rocchi,, 914-777-3216
Treasurer: Chris Kortlandt,, 914-834-7112
Social Justice Coordinators
Jeff Tomlinson,
Mary Cavallero,
Pamela Cucinell,
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
Sabbatical? Sabbatical! Yes! I will be on a six-month sabbatical from 2019 Oct 1 until 2020 Apr 1.

That's still almost 11 months away, but I just want everyone to be aware that it's coming. Herewith a bit of a FAQ:

Q: Is this normal?

Very. I wish it were more normal in other lines of work -- I think lawyers and doctors and bankers -- and their clients and patients -- would also benefit if they had sabbaticals. As it is, professors and ministers commonly have sabbaticals to go do something different. For professors, it's typically travel and study. Ministers might do that, too.

Among full-time UU ministers sabbaticals are very common. Here's the language in the Letter of Agreement that CUUC and I have -- it's very typical of what is in most such Letters of Agreement between UU ministers and the congregations they serve:
"Sabbatical Leave: The Minister will use sabbatical leave for study, education, writing, meditation and other forms of professional and religious growth. Sabbatical leave accrues at the rate of four weeks per year of service, with the first leave to be taken no sooner than five years from the date of first employment with the Church. Successive leaves may be taken after three years of service. Not more than six months of sabbatical leave may be used in any twelve-month period."
Q: You've been here that long already?

I know! The time does fly. Yes, in summer 2019, I will have finished six years. I'll be in need of stepping back and rejuvenating and reflecting on ideas for the next six years.

Q: Has CUUC ever had a minister go on Sabbatical?

Rev. Carol Huston (served CUC 2001-2011) had a sabbatical, I understand. Jef Gamblee, who had just finished his ministerial internship as the sabbatical began stayed on to serve as the Sabbatical Minister. I don't know if Rev. Shannon Bernard (served CUC 1985-1998) ever took sabbatical. I hope so!

Q: Who will be our Sabbatical Minister?

The Board and I are working on that question. We do not, as yet, have anyone lined up. But we do expect to bring in a Sabbatical Minister for those six months.

Q: What will you be doing?

I have long yearned for the experience of an extended period of uninterrupted Zen practice. In fact, the six-month monastic training period is a requirement in many Zen schools for becoming a Zen teacher. I'm not seeking any Zen credentialing, but I figure there's a good reason for the requirement. I have chosen a Zen monastery in Oregon where I will be in residence -- living like a monk for six months.

Q: Will the experience change you?

No doubt!

Q: Will you come back?

Yes. I promise.

Q: What if we really like the Sabbatical Minister and don't want you to come back?

Then we will have some talking to do! I'll be very happy for you that you had such a good experience while I was away. In the end, of course, you, the members of the Congregation, as always, have the power to call and dismiss ministers as you see fit.

Q: Are you worried about that scenario?


Q: Why is it called "sabbatical"?

The root is the same as in Sabbath. Literally, it means "ceasing." Traditionally, farmers would let any given field lie fallow every seventh year as a way to avoid depleting the soil, and allow it to absorb new nutrients. So the tradition developed of people taking every seventh year to "lie fallow."

Q: Do you need to lie fallow?

Now that you ask, I find that, yes, a feeling of need for fallow time does seem to be calling my name with increasing insistence. I sure will miss all of you, though!

Yours in faith,
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