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: Begin the Ecospiritual Path Awakening is a challenging path. We who live in the industrialized West may find it uncomfortable to face the painful reality of the damage our culture has inflicted upon other people and the Earth itself, as well as dysfunctional aspects of our culture such as consumerism. We may even feel guilty and ashamed. Nevertheless, it is critical that we walk this path... READ MORE
This Sunday wear your costumes! Youth Group's Halloween party is in the red hallway: pumpkin decorating, musical chairs, mystery slime, and more! After worship, children and youth pick up lunch in Fellowship Hall then head to the party. Children and youth can also fill their goodie bags - just look for adults wearing colorful hats and give them your best "Trick-or-Treat" shout!... READ MORE
This Sunday's musical selections celebrate the legacy of great Unitarian composers. Among them is the Norwegian Edvard Grieg, several of whose Lyric Pieces are featured in the Centering Music, Prelude, and Interlude. "Remembrances," the last of the composer's essays in this form, is actually a transformation of "Arietta," performed last week, which was the first... READ MORE
Upcoming Worship Services  
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?  
Sun Nov 3, 10:00am
"These Three"
Rev. Kimberley Debus, sabbatical minister
How do we understand compassion as a spiritual gift? How do we understand the call to love our neighbor and all of humankind in these challenging times? Together we'll explore the power of love and compassion. We will also recognize our newest members.
Our CUUC YouTube Channel has videos of many past services. Check it out HERE!
"Bash Halloween" Bash 
Center Lane Halloween Party, Fri Oct 25, 7:30 - 10:00pm, Fellowship Hall
The LGBTQ+ youth and allies from the Center Lane program will be holding their annual Halloween party here at CUUC. Want to join them? Contact: David Diamond (   
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 Warmth 
Winter Clothing Drive, this Sun Oct 27
Hearts & Homes for Refugees is collecting outerwear for its winter clothing drive (new or gently used): 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); throws and small blankets (new only). Bring items to CUUC this Sun Oct 27. Contact: Karen Leahy (
Harvest Meal 
Harvest Community Meal, Sun Oct 27, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall 
We celebrate fall with Moroccan Chicken, Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, Ratatouille with Chickpeas, even Fruited Jello. Adults $5, kids/seniors $3, max per family $15. To join our volunteer chefs, 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 guest appearances by Kim and Christian Force. Suggested Donation: $20 Adults; $10 Students/Seniors; $5 Children 13 & Under; $45 Max per Family. Contact: Janet Bear (
Newcomers' Conversation
Newcomers' Conversation, Sun Oct 27, 11:20am, 13
Learn more about Unitarian Universalism, and help us learn more about you. Visitors are invited to pick up a plate of food from our harvest meal and then meet in the lobby with Jane Dixon, who will lead the conversation this month. 
"Got Bread"?   
How much bread will you spend at the auction? it's totally up to you, man! If you're low on dough, that's cool. A ticket alone will get you a fab dinner, themed cocktail, wine and drinks, childcare, and a groovin' good time. Sign up this Sun to get your advance ticket and to reserve childcare. And bring us your donations! Click HERE for a printable donation form, and HERE for a flyer. Auction 2019, Sat Nov 16, Doors open 5:30pm, advance tickets $45 until Nov 10, or $50 at the door. 
Day in Place 
Day in Place, Sat Nov 2, Sunrise to Sunset
Join the PlaceKeepers to appreciate, improve, and maintain the building and grounds of CUUC, our spiritual home. Contact: Terri Kung (
NAACP Jazz Concert 
NAACP Jazz Cabaret Evening, Sat Nov 2, 6:00pm, CUUC Sanctuary  
A special evening with jazz pianist Julius Rodriguez, four-time NAACP ACT-SO National Medalist. Special guest performance by Samara Joy McLendon. Tickets HERE. Contact:
LGBTQIA Presentation 
"The Incomplete Guide to Trans & Non-Binary Identities," Sun Nov 3, 11:40am, Fellowship Hall  
Join us for an overview of types of transition, a recognition of non-binary identity, and an emphasis on proper gender etiquette in light of statistics on dysphoria and suicidal risk based on gender identity, ethnicity, and social stresses. Questions welcome! Hosted by the LGBTQIA Social Justice Team and led by Tony Arrien. Contact: Tony Arrien ( 
Youth Relationships Retreat  
Healthy Youth Relationships Retreat, Sun Nov 3, 1:00 Lunch, 2:00 Workshops
CUUC and Center Lane are hosting a Healthy Youth Relationships Retreat for 6th-8th grade youth, 9th-12th grade youth, and parents/supportive adults. This is a wonderful opportunity for local UU families and for Westchester LGBTQ families. The event runs the risk of being canceled for low enrollment, so please sign up now! See flyer HERE. Register HERE
Religious Education News 
Read all about it! Each religious education class now receives its own individualized e-newsletter with all the info families need to know. If you are an RE family or volunteer and did not receive your newsletter, first check your email spam folder, then contract Tracy Breneman ( to get signed up.  
Environmental News 
Community solar projects provide you with solar electricity at a savings, typically 10%, without you having to install the solar panels. When you join, you pay the solar provider for the electricity and receive a credit from your electric utility. Solarize Westchester and NYSERDA have more info, FAQs, and tools for finding projects to join in your area. Visit to sign up.  
Interfaith Opportunity 
We need a volunteer to represent CUUC at meetings of the Interfaith Council of White Plains. The mission of the council is to "unite various religions through an interchange of information and to promote understanding and cooperation." Board meetings are 10:00am the first Mon in Mar, Jun, Sep, and Dec, plus two luncheon meetings. Member congregations take turns hosting. Volunteers will have a unique opportunity to meet and share ideas with dedicated people from other faiths. CUUC has supported the council for years - help us continue! Call Vicky Van Wert (914-363-9108).
Our Faith Family 
Officials of the Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation, announced their nominees for the 2020 award and among them was our own Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner, recognized for her work protecting and rescuing wild parrots in Latin America. Congratulations LoraKim! Learn more HERE.  
Make Room At Your Thanksgiving Table   
Westchester families can partner with One To World to offer international students an American Thanksgiving. Can you make a place for a foreign student at your family meal? In today's world it is more important than ever that we "welcome the stranger"! Contact: Jane Dixon ( 
Election Day is Tue Nov 5 
What's on your ballot? Go to  to find out! Simply enter your address and you'll see a personalized ballot with the races and issues on your ballot. Compare candidates side-by-side and read their views on the important issues in their own words.

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.
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.  
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 25 - 7:00pm Rental: Center Lane Halloween Party (Fellowship Hall)  
Sat Oct 26 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Food Prep for Community Meal (Kitchen); 10:00am Zen (24); 11:00am Complimentary Exercise Class (Fireside); 12:30pm Rental: Memorial Service (Sanctuary); 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); 11:30am Halloween Party for RE (Red Hall); 11:30am OWL Parent Orientation (41); 12:30pm Music at CUUC (Sanctuary); 6:00pm Rental: Private Party (Fellowship Hall)
Mon Oct 28 - 5:00pm Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i (Fireside)
Tue Oct 29 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 1:00pm Rental: The Joy of Watercolor (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Classrooms); 7:30pm  Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)
Wed Oct 30 - 8:30am Dance Movement Group (Fireside); 9:00am  Rev. Kimberley Open Office Hours (Study); 7:30pm Worship Committee (Parsonage)
Thu Oct 31 - 3:00pm Rev. Kimberley Open Office Hours (Study)
Fri Nov 1 - 7:00pm Youth Group (Fellowship Hall)
Sat Nov 2 - 6:00am Day in Place (CUUC Grounds); 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Zen; 1:00pm Journey Group Facilitators (Parsonage); 5:00pm Rental: NAACP Setup (Sanctuary); 6:00pm Rental: NAACP Jazz Cabaret Fundraiser (Sanctuary)
Sun Nov 3 - 8:45am Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary); 9:30am Nursery Care (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:30am Auction Committee (13); 11:40am Presentation: LGBTQIA Team (Fellowship Hall); 11:40am Committee on Ministry (41); 1:00am Healthy Youth Relationships Retreat (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
In Memory

One of the English language's most famous poems about loss is "Remember" by Christina Rosetti; the sonnet's final couplet reads

"Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad."

I for one would rather forget that my father died suddenly at age 60 and remember that try as he might, he could not stifle the explosive guffaws when watching the movie Airplane! I would rather forget that my mother's last hours were spent suffering in a hospital and remember that she would sometimes pick me up from school and stop by the video store so we could indulge ourselves in a classic movie before Dad got home from work.

Many of us have losses that are hard to bear - parents, children, partners, beloved friends and family - people who meant so much to us. On Sunday, we will share some of those memories as we create our ribbons of remembrance -- a ritual borne of our need to memorialize.

It seems to be a human trait, to memorialize. We go to gravesites, we build makeshift altars, and on a larger scale, we build memorials -- often of granite and marble -- to mark the moments of loss. Are we obsessed with loss?  I don't think so... I think exactly the opposite is true. We remember loss because we are obsessed with life.

Of course we mourn loss. When it's the loss of a closed loved one, it cuts us in intimate ways -- the death of my partner in 1998 was like losing a limb. When it's a little more distant, like the constant barrage of mass shootings and senseless murders -- it cuts into our understanding of thriving in global community and leaves an existential feeling of loss.

It's all so difficult -- these memories tied to life and death. We grapple internally with loss, with pain, with the deep well of sorrow that drowns us in cold unsettling grief; yet while much of our personal mourning is private, we publicly memorialize.

Why do we take time to ritualize it? We do, after all -- we hold funerals and memorial services, and we come back time and time again to gravesides, to pray, remember, and leave mementos.

Memorializing formally, as ritualist Brigitte Sion says, creates a space where we can claim our right to grief and mourning; we can't just "get over it" -- we need to make space for our memory. And when that space isn't provided, we find ways to make it.

One of the most powerful memorials I have ever experienced is the NAMES Project. Unlike a large, permanent memorial, like the Wall or the Holocaust Museum or the striking Korean war memorial, that is planned and sanctioned and funded -- this quilt, created to remember those lost to HIV/AIDS, it is organic, and surprising, and moveable. Adding to the quilt is a given, for it is also ever-changing. It begins with friends, sitting together, sewing and painting and gluing -- and talking. Sharing memories, tears, and Kleenex. And then it's added to a larger quilt, where more memories are shared as it's attached to quilt pieces from others; there, our memories become attached to other memories. And then, it is displayed... and others have a chance to remember, to see these lives. And when it is displayed, the names are read. We hear those names -- those lost to this horrible disease, those who initially were marginalized even as illness decimated an already marginalized community. I'm sorry to say I have worked on more than one quilt piece -- but I am glad that I can remember, and that others can share those memories.

In memorial, the act of remembering is a physical act, that connects us with the past, that connects us with life, that alters time so that past and present can meet, even for a short while. And we find strength in the remembering. Director Anne Bogart says "As a result of a partnership with memory and the consequent journeys through the past, I feel nourished, encouraged, and energized. I feel more profoundly connected to and inspired by those who came before."

That connection, that inspiration, helps us overcome the sharpness of loss. Right after my father died, the fact of his death was the overriding thought in my head; I thought first of my father and his death, which led me to think about what losing him meant -- no more felling trees with him, no more watching him mow the lawn with his bright orange Astros cap, no more affectionate "Hey, Gracie" when I walked into a room.

But eventually, the loss wasn't at the forefront of my mind. Eventually, it was hearing an Astros game on TV that reminded me of his cap; or watching Airplane! and recalling his all too rare laughter; or seeing a stacked cord of wood and remembering the time we took down a tree that barely made a sound as it fell, calling into question the Zen koan and eliciting my father's patented wry smile.

And yes, we still have a habit of cooking his favorite dinner, beef roulades, on Christmas eve. We often forget why we do it now - until we sit down to dinner and remember. We connect over our memories, and reconnect as a family.

Loss is never easy, and this is why we will make space on Sunday, as we approach All Souls Day, to memorialize and remember, to honor loved ones, to honor life.

~ Rev. Kimberley Debus
Your Moment of Zen: Something Still Missing  Raven went to see Brown Bear Roshi. Announcing herself, she stood and waited outside the den. Brown Bear eventually emerged and squatted silently on her haunches. 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 from... READ MORE
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