Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
October issue of On the Journey: Awe -- Click HERE
This week's post from the Sabbatical Minister HERE 
Practice of the Week: See the Good in Yourself. Each of us is like a mosaic, with lots of lovely tiles, some that are basically neutral, and a few that could use a little work. It's important to see the whole mosaic. The brains negativity bias, we tends to fixate on what's wrong with us instead of what's right. If you do 20 things in a day and nineteen go fine, what's the one you think about? Probably the one that didn't go well... READ MORE
Did you notice anything new in the sanctuary last Sunday? We are experimenting with new approaches to help our children feel welcome and connect with worship. Read more HERE, along with information about classes and youth group this weekend.  Note: This Sun Oct 20 will be my first Sunday off. I will be unavailable after Friday evening's programming through Tuesday morning.
This Sunday's musical selections are all taken from the Lyric Pieces of Unitarian composer Edvard Grieg. These charming miniatures are frequently reflective of the composer's Norwegian heritage and his immersion in the country's folklore... READ MORE.
Upcoming Worship Services

Sun Oct 20, 10:00am
"The World of Truth
Rev. Catherine Torpey, guest speaker 
Rev. Torpey served the South Nassau UU Congregation for nine years and is now the Exec Dir of the International Focusing Institute in Nyack. She was the ministerial intern at CUUC from 2003-2005.  
Sun Oct 27, 10:00am
"Sages, Saints, and Scoundrels"
Rev. Kimberley Debus, sabbatical minister 
It's easy to put our Unitarian and Universalist forebears on pedestals, but how noble were they really? How do we simultaneously celebrate their wisdom, good works, and faults... and our own?  
Our CUUC YouTube Channel has videos of many past services. Check it out HERE!
Explore Faith 
Faith Development Friday, Fri Oct 18, CUUC
Our monthly evening of learning, community, and spiritual growth - 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community Dinner; 7:00pm Programs, including "Habits of the Heart" Adult RE; Adult and Children's Journey Groups; and Youth Group. RSVP to by Fri Oct 18, 12:00 noon, so we know how much food to order. 
Find Meaning 
"Habits of the Heart" Adult RE Class, Fri Oct 18, 7:00pm, Fireside (Dinner 6:15pm)
Rev. Kimberley offers an adult religious education class where we explore methods for spiritual deepening, and experience a variety of practices to achieve a sense of wholeness and meaning in uncertain times. Contact Tracy Breneman to be added to the list.
Racism and Faith 
"Faith and Racial Justice: Addressing Racism," Sat Oct 19, 9:30am - 12:30pm, UUCHV, Croton
Please support this event at a neighboring UU congregation. Need a ride? Contact Jeff Tomlinson ( We look at racial justice work as a source of spiritual healing and ask "How is the faith community accountable for working to end racism?" Free workshop. Register HERE. Contact:  
Groovy Coffee  
The Auction Committee is hosting coffee hour this week, so stop by and let us spread some good vibes your way! Brownies will be on the menu... so come with any questions you might have and leave with a little enlightenment. You can't miss us - we'll be wearing the red festival t-shirts. Reserve tickets now. And remember donations are needed! Click HERE for a printable donation form. Catch you later, man!. Auction 2019, Sat Nov 16, Doors open 5:30pm, advance tickets $45 until Nov 10, or $50 at the door. 
Arturo Cruz Avellán's 18th birthday, Sun Oct 20, 12:30 - 3:30pm, Fellowship Hall
Join Arturo's family as we celebrate his big day. Our hall will be transformed with Alice in Wonderland decorations and the Mad Hatter or Alice may appear! RSVP: Mary Kingsley ( ).
Students Address Climate  
United Nations Day 2019: "Our Planet, Our Future," Sun Oct 20, 3:00pm, Sanctuary
CUUC is a co-sponsor of UNA-Westchester's celebration of United Nations Day, featuring a county-wide showcase of student projects responding to the climate crisis. All are invited. Zero-Waste reception to follow. Register HERE . 
Share Warmth 
Winter Clothing Drive, Sun Oct 20, Sun Oct 27
Help support refugees rebuilding their lives in the U.S. Hearts & Homes for Refugees is collecting outerwear for its winter clothing drive (new or gently used unless otherwise specified): adult and children's winter coats; Waterproof boots (especially boys'); boys' and men's hats, gloves, scarves; warm outerwear for babies; men's and children's socks (new only); fleece throws and small blankets (new only). Bring items to CUUC on Sun Oct 20 and/or Sun Oct 27. See flyer HERE. Contact: Karen Leahy (
Paths to Reconciliation  

"Memorials to Slavery and the Holocaust: Paths to Reconciliation," Tuesday, Oct 22, 7:00 pm, Irvington Library, Irvington
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, seek to address the past truthfully and our future constructively. A panel of presenters, including CUUC member Adine Usher, examines the significance of these memorials. Learn more HERE .
Inclusivity Project   

At its annual retreat, the Board of Trustees chose to focus on Inclusion as the "challenge goal" for the 2019-20 year. The Board has drafted an Inclusion Statement, and we will be inviting the entire congregation to engage with us as we act on the challenges it contains. Learn more HERE.
Room for One More this Thanksgiving?  
Westchester County families are now in their 5th year of partnering with One To World to offer international students an American Thanksgiving. Can you make a place for a foreign student at your family meal? Today it is more important than ever that we "Welcome The Stranger." Contact: Jane Dixon ( 
Science & Spirituality   

Science & Spirituality, Thu Oct 24, 11:30am, Fireside Area
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 (  ). 
Harvest Meal 
Harvest Community Meal, Sun Oct 27, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall 
We celebrate the bounty of the year with dishes like Moroccan Chicken, Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, Ratatouille with Chickpeas, even classic Fruited Jello.
Adults $5, kids and seniors $3, maximum per family $15. Join the brunch committee to prep on Sat or serve on Sun. Contact: Steve Miller (, 347-260-0284).    
Music at CUUC   
Adam Kent in Concert, Sun Oct 27, 12:30pm, Sanctuary
Our family-friendly concert features Adam Kent in a solo piano recital of works by Chopin and Liszt, with cameo appearances by Kim Force, Christian Force, and Elias Van Dette. Suggested Donation: $20 Adults; $10 Students/Seniors; $5 Children 13 & Under; $45 Max per Family. Discount tickets available during coffee hour. Free childcare available with advance reservations. See flyer HERE. Contact: Janet Bear (
Sponsor a Child's Education 
Lisa Cavallero, daughter of CUUC members John and Mary Cavallero, is volunteering as a 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.  
Environmental News 
The Tesla solar shingle looks similar to a traditional roof shingle - it does not require the traditional photovoltaic solar panel array. At around $25 per foot installed (after rebates) and lasting 30+ years, the new Tesla shingles may be a good option for committed building owners who need a new roof. Read HERE about one homeowner experience with Tesla shingles, and how she saved on her electric bills and reduced her carbon footprint. 
Interfaith Learning Opportunity
Simkhat Torah, Sun Oct 20, Woodlands Temple, 50 Worthington Rd, White Plains.6:40pm - Interfaith Learning; 7:00-8:30pm - Celebration
Woodlands Temple invites us, as a member congregation of the Faith & Justice Learning Lab, to join them for Simkhat Torah, the Jewish celebration of the end of the annual cycle. RSVP: Sarah Brockus ( 
Be Strong 
Demonstration/Trial Exercise Class, Sat Oct 26, 11:00 - 11:30am, Fireside
Come try out ST. PYS: Strength Training, Pilates, Yoga, and Stretch. Free class led by CUUC member Diane Terezakis ( ). RSVP to reserve a space and equipment. 
Share the Plate for October: WCC Student Aid Programs
We donate half our non-pledge collection this month to programs that support local low-income college students at Westchester Community College. WCC 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 Liz Laite (914-366-4211, or Catherine Kortlandt (914-834-7112, 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 Oct 18 - Faith Development Friday: 6:15pm Community Meal (Fellowship Hall); 7:00pm Adult RE "Habits of the Heart" (Fireside); 7:00pm Journey Group - A. Sehdeva (24); 7:00pm Children's Journey Group (32); 7:00pm Youth Group (Fellowship Hall); 
Sat Oct 19 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Rental: Private Event (Fellowship Hall); 10:00am Zen (24); 2:00pm Rental: WCHJ (Fireside, Patio)
Sun Oct 20 - 9:00am Refugee Resettlement (43); 9:30am Nursery Care (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:40am Sunday Journey Groups (13, 31, 43); 12:30pm Party for Arturo Cruz Avellán (Fellowship Hall); 3:00pm Rental: UNA-USA United Nations Day (Sanctuary); 5:00pm Journey Group - K. Leahy (Off-Site)
Mon Oct 21 - 5:00pm Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i (Fireside); 8:00pm Finance Committee (Remote)
Tue Oct 22 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 1:00pm Rental: Watercolor Class (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Classrooms); 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)
Wed Oct 23 - 8:30am CUUC Dance Movement Group (Fireside); 9:00am  Rev. Kimberley Debus Open Office Hours (Study); 7:30pm Journey Group - J. Majsak (Off-Site); 7:30pm Worship Committee (Off-Site)
Thu Oct 24 - 10:00am Journey Group - T. Kung (Off-Site); 11:30am Science & Spirituality (Fireside); 3:00pm Rev. Kimberley Debus Open Office Hours (Study)
Fri Oct 25 - 7:00pm Rental: Center Lane Halloween Party (Fellowship Hall); 
Sat Oct 26 - 9:00am Congregation Workshop (tentative); 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Food Prep for Community Meal (Kitchen); 10:00am Zen (24); 11:00am Complimentary Exercise Class (Fireside); 5:00pm Journey Group - K. Leahy (Off-Site)
Sun Oct 27 - 9:30am Nursery Care (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:20am Newcomers' Conversations (13); 11:30am Auction Committee (43); 11:30am Community Meal (Fellowship Hall); 12:30pm Music at CUUC (Sanctuary); 6:00pm Rental: Private Party (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
O What a Piece of Work Are We!

How wondrous is the human mind and its infinite capacity, that we are able to learn and explore and think new things, that we are adaptive and adaptable, and that we can imagine not only all manner of things beyond ourselves - that is wondrous indeed.

I identify as a Universalist theist, finding myself fascinated by and informed by what I perceive as God's love and our capacity for goodness. And part of that fascination draws me to a sense of awe about how our minds work - these minds can both ponder Mystery and build our human future.

I have these moments every now and then when I am taken completely aback by something a human has created or thought. Sometimes it's amazement at the spectacle of skyscrapers on Fifth Avenue. Sometimes it's awe as I video chat real-time with a colleague in England. Sometimes it's realizing that an operation that once caused 8-inch scars and weeks in the hospital is now an outpatient procedure with a one-inch incision.

I was listening to a podcast about Charles Darwin recently and it was noted that Darwin was definitely a man of his age - like many upper class Victorians of the time, he was interested in art, nature, and science. But in 1859, Darwin made a rather simple observation that has absolutely changed how we perceive the world. That observation, of course, is evolution by natural selection. What struck me, however, was not the awesomeness of the theory that has since been proved as fact by biology, anthropology, paleontology, and other sciences. No, it was the fact that the human brain is so amazing that it can incorporate positively new ideas and actually adapt to new technologies.

In fact, our minds are so adaptive that how we learn, how we use new tools, how we process even more and more information is evidence of a mind that is constantly seeking to extend itself, to grab on to new tools it has never experienced before and merge with them. We wonder with horror at how easily people become glued to their smart phones, but it would be surprising to biologists if we didn't - as we are, in some ways, natural-born cyborgs.

It is stunning when you think that we constantly incorporate life-shaping ideas such as evolution and heliocentrism... we take space travel as fact, not fantasy... we have spent centuries developing cars and combines and phones and lasers... we construct buildings that scrape the sky... we come up with ingenious ways to adapt to our changing climate... we know thousands more words and absorb more information in a year than we did in a lifetime just 100 years ago... and yet we are still human, in human communities, in human relationships, propagating the species and adapting to the world.

We humans, in human communities, also have room in our fabulous brains to create art and worship together, to be social and committed together. We naturally form in groups of like-minded people so that we can not only learn from one another but also strengthen our empathy and compassion, which helps us survive and helps us do the work of justice.

These brains and bodies are marvels - we celebrate them every time we say 'hello' or offer a seat or ask 'how are you' and care to know the answer. We celebrate them when we show care and kindness. We celebrate them when we share our joys and sorrows, when we share meals and hearts.

Oh what a piece of work are we, so marvelously wrought.

~ Rev. Kimberley Debus
Your Moment of Zen: Delicious
Raven went to see Moose Roshi. She found him feeding on waterweed in the creek at Cedarford. Perching herself on a rock, she croaked for the Roshi's attention. When Moose looked up, Raven said, "I hear that Buddha Macaw looked up from the branch of her Jobo tree and saw the morning star and announced her realization. I get the feeling that something is missing... READ MORE
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