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: Choose Your Spiritual Practice
Not every activity or pastime is a spiritual practice. It's a spiritual practice if it helps you cultivate spiritual development, and it's more likely to do that if you engage it with mindfulness, with the intention of cultivating spiritual development, and with a group -- and if you establish a foundation of the the three base practices (meditation, journaling, study)... READ MORE
Families and volunteers now receive email newsletters specific to their grades. Anyone curious may read the newsletters on the RE blog at This Sunday, after we sing the children out, our PreK and 2nd-5th graders will attend Children's Worship in Fellowship Hall where Tracy Breneman and Ray Messing will help them make posters advertising our toiletry collection for area shelters. Youth will stay in the sanctuary for the TDOR service... READ MORE
Music by LGBTQ composers is featured this Sunday, although none of the composers enjoyed a sense of belonging to such a defined community. Each of them suffered from some sense of alienation or depression, in spite of their abundant creative gifts. On a more positive note, we are thrilled to welcome back to CUUC the composer Kara Allen, who will offer a special musical interlude as part of our worship service... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services  
Sun Nov 17, 10:00am
" Transgender Day of Remembrance"
LBTQIA Social Justice Team 
We bear witness as we memorialize Trans lives we've lost to violence in the past year.
Sun Nov 24, 10:00am
"Always Room for One More"
Rev. Kimberley Debus 
In this celebration of Thanksgiving, we will consider what it means to be open and welcoming - in our congregation, in our community, in the nation, and the world. We will celebrate with cornbread and cider. Whole Congregation Worship 
Our CUUC YouTube Channel has videos of many past services. Check it out HERE!
"Woodstock: 50" Auction     
The sanctuary is a psychedlelic wonderland and good vibes are flowing free - all we need is you! A few tickets are left so contact Chris Kortlandt ( Flower headbands, fringed vests, and tie dye t-shirts are completely optional and fun is encouraged! PEACE - LOVE- CUUC!! Sat Nov 16, doors open 5:30pm, tickets $50 at the door. 
Team Meetings - Sun Nov 17      
RE Council, 8:45am, room 41
Contact: Christine Haran (, Laura Goodspeed (
Economic Social Justice, 8:45am, room 12
Contact: Jim Walkup (    
Sunday Journey Groups, 11:40am
Rev. Deb Morra - room 43; Gary Freiberger - room 31; Rhonda & Steve Miller - room 13  
Having technical difficulties with our newsletter or links? Please contact Pam Parker in the CUUC office (914-946-1660, ).
Faith Development Friday
Faith Development Friday, Fri Nov 22, CUUC
Our evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community. 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community Dinner; 7:00pm Programs. Programs include "Habits of the Heart" Adult RE, separate Adult and Children's Journey Groups, and Youth Group. All are welcome to stay after the programs to share coffee and a chat. RSVP to by 12 noon on Fri Nov 22 so we know how much pizza to order. 
Stone Soup Sunday     
Stone Soup Community Meal, Sun Nov 24, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
Join us for a delicious meal created from the contributions of all, to raise funds for our RE social justice projects. $5 Adults / $3 Kids / $20 Family Max. Our 8th-9th grade Coming of Age RE class will be setting up, cooking, and serving. Can you help us with contributions to the meal and help prepping and cleaning up? Click HERE to see our wish list and to sign up. Contact Amy Swiss (  
Conversations for Liberation       
Congregation Conversation, Sun Nov 24, During Stone Soup Meal
The theme of this past June's UUA General Assembly was " The Power of We ." Those assembled recognized that in order for our movement to hold together in these times, today's Unitarian Universalists are challenged to find their faith anew in the context of community. During our meal we will consider our personal faith - our individual spiritual needs, understandings, and gifts - and reflect together on how a personal faith is, or can be, honored, expressed, restored, or amplified in UU community. All ages are welcome to participate! 
Sponsor a Child - Deadline Sun Dec 15      
Lisa Cavallero, daughter of CUUC members John and Mary Cavallero, is a volunteer teacher in Zambia this year. You can support Lisa and give more Zambian children access to education by making a donation to CUUC with the memo "Sponsor a Child." Any amount welcome! Read Lisa's letter HERE 
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 (
Senior Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, Fri Dec 6, 11:30am, Westchester Marriott, Tarrytown
L ongtime CUUC member Barbara Mair will be among those honored at this year's event recognizing older adults who have made significant contributions to improve life in Westchester county. Among her many volunteer activities, Barbara has supported events for the MLK Jr. Institute for Nonviolence, and helped organize the annual Kwanzaa celebration in White Plains. You may purchase tickets to attend the luncheon and cheer for her at
Environmental News 
With the holidays coming, may we suggest a tree card? For each card you purchase at the Arbor Foundation (tree card prices $4 - $6 each), a tree will be planted in one of our nation's forests. Arbor Foundation will send you cards (or e-cards if you choose) so you can personalize and mail them in honor of family, friends, colleagues, etc. Other gifts are available on the site, and each purchase will plant a tree. You may prefer to purchase actual small gift trees ($4 each) seven business days or 10 calendar days prior to when you want them to arrive - trees can be refrigerated before planting. 
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 ( or John Cavallero ( 
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 (  
Our Faith Family  
The UU Ministry for Earth announced that Rev. Cindy Davidson has accepted the role of UUMFE Board Chair for a two-year term. Rev. Cindy was the ministerial intern at CUUC from 2016-2018. You can read her UUME message HERE. Find the rest of the UUME news for the month HERE.  
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 ( 
Outside Events at CUUC
Film Screening: Wrestling Jerusalem, Sat Nov 23, 2:30pm, Fellowship Hall
Aaron Davidman embodies seventeen different characters as he takes us on a journey into the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian story. Presented by Westchester Community for Humanistic Judaism (  
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,
Friday, November 15 - CUUC Auction set up (Sanctuary); 12:00pm Auction Food Prep (Kitchen)
Saturday, November 16 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am  Auction set up (Sanctuary); 10:00am Zen (43); 5:30pm Auction Preview; 6:00pm Auction (Sanctuary) 

Sunday, November 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)

Monday, November 18 - 5:00pm Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i (Fireside); 7:30pm Westchester Religious Leaders (Fellowship Hall); 8:00pm Finance Committee (Remote)

Tuesday, November 19 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 1:00pm  Rental: Watercolor Class (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Classes); 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)

Wednesday, November 20 - 8:30am CUUC Dance Movement Group (Fireside); 9:00am Rev. Kimberley Debus Open Office Hours (Study); 7:30pm Journey Group - J. Majsak (Off-Site)

Thursday, November 21 - 3:00pm Rev. Kimberley Debus Open Office Hours (Study)

Friday, November 22 - 6:15pm Faith Development Friday (Fellowship Hall, 22, 32, Fireside); 7:00pm Youth Group (Youth Room)

Saturday, November 23 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Zen (43); 2:30pm Rental: WCHJ (Fellowship Hall)

Sunday, November 24 - 8:45am Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary); 9:30am Nursery Care (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:30am Newcomers' Conversations (Fellowship Hall); 11:30am Community Meal: Stone Soup (Fellowship Hall)   

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
Stories of the Compassionate Life

In her book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, Karen Armstrong writes

" All faiths insist that compassion is the test of true spirituality and that it brings us into relation with the transcendence we call God, Brahman, Nirvana, or Dao. Each has formulated its own version of what is sometimes called the Golden Rule: DO not treat others as you would not like them to treat you, or in its positive form, 'always treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself.' Further, they all insist that you cannot confine your benevolence to your own group; you must have concern for everybody - even your enemies."

As we saw in Sunday's responsive reading, compassion and the Golden Rule shows up across the world in a variety of ways. Armstrong highlights this connection, reminding us that compassion isn't an anomaly, it's a hallmark of being human. Armstrong may start with the world's religions, but she then sets us on a journey that begins - and ultimately ends - with us. You see, this stuff is personal. It's about you, and it's about me. It's about how I see myself and how I can be compassionate to myself, and how my understanding of myself as having inherent worth and dignity helps me see your inherent worth and dignity. It's how my understanding of how little I actually know about other cultures, other situations, other ideas can be an opportunity to create space, connection, and lovingly take on a responsible search for truth and meaning.

And we see it reflected in our own Unitarian Universalist principles, which are a call to live a compassionate life - if we take them seriously. A compassionate life calls us to affirm and promote inherent worth, peace and justice, spiritual exploration, the search for truth and meaning, connection, interconnection, civic responsibility, and a sense of the interconnected world community - that includes the very earth itself.

Over and over again, we are reminded in these twelve steps how central compassion is - not just to us, but to everyone. We see it reflected in stories from around the world - passages from sacred text, from historical, from folktales, tall tales, fables, art, theatre, and literature. Each of them confirming - over and over again, with one clarion voice of humanity - that compassion must be at the center if we are to survive as a person, as group, as a community, as a world.  

Below are three stories I particularly like, and I hope you find meaning in them as well. Please read them one at a time - and let the truths in those stories write compassion on the tablet of your heart.


A pupil asked a great teacher, "How do I find wisdom?" The teacher answered, "By good choices." "And how do I make good choices?" asked the pupil. "From experience," said the teacher. "And how do I get experience?" asked the student, "From bad choices," said the teacher.


Four pilgrims gathered together to peregrinate to India: a Persian, a Turk, a Greek, and an Arab. The four pilgrims were resting by the shore of a river when there passed by a religious man, who, seeing that they were pilgrims, offered them some rupees so that they could get breakfast.

When the man had departed, the Persian said: "With this money I am going to buy angur so that we all can eat." The Turk protested: "No way, we will buy unzum," but the Greek replied bluntly: "Nothing of that; we'll buy stafyllia," while the Arab intervened to affirm: "We're going to buy inab."

At that moment all started to argue and even exasperated they turned to hit each other. But other peaceful pilgrim passed by there and tried to appease and reconcile them. "What is going on among you, good friends?" When they explained to him what's happening, the man said: "Give me your money. I will go to the marketplace and will satisfy all of you." He departed and, a little later, came back bringing a package with great amount of grapes. When the Persian saw them he exclaimed: "My angur!", and the Turk: "My unzum!", and the Greek: "My stafyllia!", and the Arab: "My inab!"


The holy Buddha was sitting on the side of the road when a handsome young soldier walked by and seeing him said "you look like a pig." The Buddha replied "and you look like a god."

The soldier taken aback asked him what he meant by that. The Buddha replied that he sits all day contemplating god and so that is who he sees. "You, my friend, must be contemplating other things."

~ Rev. Kimberley Debus
Your Moment of Zen: The Unborn

Relaxing with Brown Bear under the night sky, Raven asked, "What is the unborn?" Brown Bear said, "Awesome." Raven asked, "Is it the same thing as the void?" Brown Bear asked, "Where does all this come from?" READ MORE
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