Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains, NY
Spirituality   ·   Compassion   ·   Service
September issue of On the Journey: Covenant -- Click HERE
This Week's Post from the Minister: HERE
Practice of the Week: Relax  When you get stressed or upset, your body tenses up to fight, flee, or freeze. That's Mother Nature's way, and its short-term benefits kept our ancestors alive to pass on their genes. But today - when people can live seventy or eighty years or more, and when quality of life (not mere survival) is a priority - we pay a high, long-term price for daily tension. READ MORE.
Faith Development Fridays begin this week at 6:15pm with community dinner. RSVP to so we know how much pizza and salad to order. Groups meet 7:00-8:30pm, including 8th-12th grade Youth Group, PreK-5th grade Children's Journey Group, and Adult Journey Group. We are looking for leaders for the 6th-8th grade group; e-mail to join the team... READ MORE.
I n recognition of this week's Climate Strike, Sunday morning's music will be provided by CUUC parishioners and Choir Pianist Georgianna Pappas, who is subbing for Music Director Adam Kent. Selections include works by Bach, Bobby McFerrin's "Psalm 23," and "Where Do I Go" from the musical Hair... READ MORE .
Upcoming Worship Services
Sun Sep 22, 10:00am 
"Where Are We Now?
Rev. Meredith Garmon  
It's been seven or eight years since our congregation examined where it was on our theological, religious, and spiritual stances and needs. It's time to begin to explore where we might be now.
Sun Sep 29, 10:00am
"The Blanket Thing
Rev. Meredith Garmon  
In "I Heart Huckabees" (2004), Bernard Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman) says : "Our everyday mind forgets this. We think everything is separate, limited -- I'm over here, you're over there. Which is true. But it's not the whole truth. Because we're all connected. We need to learn how to see the blanket truth all the time -- right in the everyday stuff. You wouldn't want to miss out on the big picture, would you? It'll take a while for you to get it, but it'll help you. When you get the blanket thing, you can relax because everything you could ever want or be you already have and are."
Our CUUC YouTube Channel has videos of many past services. Check it out HERE!
Join CUUC at the NYC Climate Strike
Climate Strike, Fri Sep 20, 12:00pm, New York City   
Young people and adults across the globe will strike to demand governments take action to address the climate crisis. Rev. Garmon and CUUC members invite you to meet them at Grand Central Station at 11:30am, or at the Starbucks by Foley Square before 1:00pm, to join the march to the Battery Park rally. Learn more HERE. RSVP: Charlie McNally. And remember to register. Find other UU Climate Strike action locations HERE. Local UUs can learn more HERE.  
Office Closed Fri Sep 20    
In support of the Climate Strike, as recommended by local UU organizers, the CUUC office will be closed Fri Sep 20. We will use slides for Sunday service instead of a paper order of service. Join Rev. Meredith and CUUC members at the NYC march (see above). Faith Friday will take place as scheduled. 
Faith Development Friday
Faith Development Friday, Fri Sep 20, CUUC
Our evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community. 6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community Dinner; 7:00pm Programs. Programs include Youth Group and Journey Groups for adults and children. RSVP to by Fri Sep 20, 12 noon so we know how much pizza to order.    
Religious Exploration
Helping Hands Needed  
All adults can serve as assistants in RE classes this year. No preparation required, just spend an hour with our amazing children and youth while you fulfill our Safe Congregation practice of having two adults with our young people at all times. This Sun Sep 22 we need a second adult in the 2nd-3rd Grade "Passport to Spirituality" class in room 24. Contact Tracy Breneman to volunteer.  
Supporting Sanctuary 
Supporting Sanctuary Presentation, Sun Sep 29, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
Have you wondered what we, as individuals or as a congregation, can do to help people facing deportation? Come to the forum next Sunday to learn ways to get involved, hear about one person's experience with this threat, and see how South Presbyterian Church in Dobbs Ferry is responding to the need. See flyer HERE. Childcare available if requested by noon Wed Sep 25. Contact: Mary Cavallero (
Woodstock: 50!
The auction team wants your most PSYCHEDELIC and GROOVY ideas for donations! We are particularly seeking unique and fun EXPERIENCES, not just physical items. (Maybe an afternoon TRIP in your VW bus?) Put on your thinking cap and let us know now! Check the lobby for a new list of truly far-out ideas, and add your own. Just fill out a donation form (online HERE or on paper in the lobby) and drop off at the auction table. Check out our donation flyer HERE for more ideas and details. Auction 2019, Sat Nov 16, Doors open 5:30pm, advance tickets $45 until Nov 10, or $50 at the door. 
Adult/Youth RE Class - Last Week to Vote!   
Rev. Kimberley Debus, our sabbatical minister, is offering to lead an RE class for adults and youth. Let her know which topics interest you by visiting a short survey HERE to read and rank your choices. Or post your preference on the poster available after worship. (Please participate only once, online or on the poster.)
Wild Parrot Wild Walk    
Wild Walk at Green-Wood Cemetery, Sat, Sep 28, 10:00am - 12:00pm, 500 25th St, Brooklyn
Embrace your wild side at our Green-Wood Cemetery walk, where we can see the wild parrots who live there. Part of the Nurture Nature program of Rev. LoraKim Joyner ( Register HERE.  
Sunday Morning Projection Help  
Please sign up for occasional slots to plug in the projector and advance the slides during Sunday worship service. Interested in helping? It's easy and we will provide simple training and instructions. Contact: Kim & Christian Force (  
Journey Groups

Our monthly CUUC Journey Groups help us deepen our understanding and strengthen our connections by exploring common themes together. Find this month's reading packet HERE. Click HERE to select the group that works best for you. New groups for Youth and Children.  
UUSC Call to Action 
Tell Congress: Hurricane Dorian Survivors Deserve Protected Status
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) urges us to demand our legislators support Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for displaced hurricane survivors, which the administration is refusing to grant. Take action  HERE . 
UU Needs a Room  
A friend from the UU: East in Manchester, CT, is looking to rent a room near Mamaroneck from Sep 16 to Dec 13. Learn more HERE. Contact: Deen O'Connell (860-989-0879,
Volunteer Drivers Wanted 
WestFair Rides provides free transportation for older adults, and adults with vision impairment, who live in and travel to medical appointments in Westchester and Fairfield counties. Several CUUC members are already volunteer drivers. Join them! Contact Arlene Penn ( , 914-752-2631). 
Nurturing Discussions

Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner is co-author of Nurturing Discussions and Practices , a workbook with discussion guides designed to support the health of individuals, relationships, and communities of all species. Learn more HERE. Order HERE, or purchase copies after worship. 
Starting Together   
Reminder: to promote safety and multigenerational community, we will all enter through the main doors by the sanctuary. The doors to the Religious Education wing will stay locked. All ages start together in the sanctuary this Sunday, and children, youth, and teaching team volunteers leave during the first hymn. 
Share the Plate for September: PrideWorks  
PrideWorks® was first organized to produce an annual conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth, their allies, and the adults in their lives. PrideWorks' mission is to inform communities about the realities of growing up gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and to inspire them to respect and support LGBTQ people, and to advocate for positive change. . 
Caring & Sharing Circle
If anyone knows of another among us who is in need of a caregiver, please contact Paula Meighan (914-834-6454,, or Liz Laite (914-366-4211, 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 Sep 20 - Office Closed; 6:15pm Faith Development Friday 
Sat Sep 21 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Zen (24)
Sun Sep 22 - 9:30am Nursery (32); 10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:40am Sunday Journey Groups (13, 31, 43); 12:30pm Rental: St Gregory Church (Parking Lot)
Mon Sep 23 - 5:00pm Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 6:30pm T'ai-ch'i (Fireside)
Tue Sep 24 - 10:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 1:00pm Rental: Watercolor Class (Fireside); 7:00pm Rental: WCSPP (Classrooms); 7:30pm Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary)
Wed Sep 25 - 8:30am Dance Movement Group (Fellowship Hall); 7:00pm  Rental: WCSPP (Fellowship Hall); 7:30pm Journey Group - J. Majsak (Off-Site); 7:30pm Worship Committee (Parsonage)
Thu Sep 26 - 10:00-11:30am Journey Group - T. Kung (Off-Site); 11:30am Science & Spirituality (Fireside)
Sat Sep 28 - 9:00am Rental: Exercise (Fireside); 10:00am Zen (24)
Sun Sep 29 - 9:00am Economic Social Justice (43); 9:30am Nursery (32); 
10:00am Worship (Sanctuary); 11:15am Coffee Hour (Fireside); 11:30am  Forum: Supporting Sanctuary (Fellowship Hall); 2:30pm Choir Rehearsal (Sanctuary); 4:00pm Cindy Davidson Ordination (Sanctuary); 5:30pm  Ordination Reception (Fellowship Hall); 6:00pm Rental: WCHJ (Sanctuary) 

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
Dear Ones,

In 2011-12, our congregation -- then CUC (Community Unitarian Church) -- began a search for a next minister. A search committee was selected, and one of its early orders of business was guiding a process of drafting a "Congregational Record" that would tell prospective ministers what sort of congregation CUC was. The final document is about 20 pages long.

By late 2012, our CUC Congregational Record was complete. I read it, expressed my interest in serving the congregation thus described, . . . and the rest is history.

In 2012, asked, "To what degree does the congregation possess a dominant theology?" here's what we said:
The congregation can best be described as non-theistic. Humanism and Buddhism are as important as Christianity and Judaism in shaping our religious/spiritual beliefs and practices, which also honor family and community rituals and traditions. Most of us believe in the interdependence and interconnectedness of all things and that people live on only in memory and accomplishments. Very few of us were raised as UUs; our most common prior religious affiliations include Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish.
Our Congregational Record noted that New York life can be fast-faced, that our members' lives were "very active with extensive obligations and opportunities," and added:
This is all the more reason we come to CUC, for a time of pause, reflection and friendship.
The Record stresses community:
This sense of community - cohesive, sustaining, and enduring - is one of our primary strengths and values, and as important to any description of our congregation as demographics and statistics. CUC is "our" congregation. We take pride in our century long history, and we even take pride in the fact that the community has successfully navigated periods of strife and disruption.
We described the role of Sunday morning worship this way:
The most important reason most congregants cite for attending CUC is Sunday "worship services." We value Sunday services because they provide intellectually stimulating and challenging sermons, celebrate our common values, and offer an opportunity for an uplifting emotional experience that includes personal reflection and meditation. The sermon is the most significant element of the worship service for us. Music, including our regular pianist, our choir and guest performers, is also an essential and integral part of our worship experience.
The Record describes many, many other aspects of our congregation. But these are the parts that the Committee on Ministry and I -- and Sabbatical Minister Rev. Kimberly Debus -- would like to update and substantially flesh out. Who are we now? Why do we come to CUUC? As we head into the 2020s, what are the major and the minor theological and spiritual orientations in our congregation today? About which religious questions do we want to know, experience, and explore more -- and to which questions are we pretty satisfied with the answers we've got?

Many of us were drawn to the "pause, reflection, and friendship" -- and to community as "our primary strength and value." We like worship to "provide intellectually stimulating and challenging sermons, celebrate our common values, and offer an opportunity for an uplifting emotional experience." I expect that that's still true, but can we dig a bit deeper? Can we look hard at such questions as:
  • What do you imagine spiritual growth and faith development might look like for you?
  • What kind of healing might congregational life afford you?
  • As a spiritual seeker, what can you say about what you are seeking?
  • What are you yearning to do more of to develop peace and wisdom?
With questions like these, answers must necessarily be fuzzy and bit vague. We cannot provide much detail about where we're headed until we get there. Still, let us turn these questions over and see what we might learn about ourselves and one other.

Yours in faith,
Your Moment of Zen: Liberation Helping Raven arrange the flowers before a meeting, Woodpecker asked, "What's liberation?" Raven said, "Another couple of daffodils on this side, I think." Woodpecker said "You're not answering my question." Raven said, "Daffodils. READ MORE
Zen at CUUC News
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