CUUC

CUUC

2018-06-21

RE News: Sun Jun 24

Lifespan Religious Education
I look forward to seeing those of you who will be attending the Juneteenth service this Sunday. There will be supervised games for children of all ages. It is a great opportunity for bonding over the summer. Children are welcome to invite a friend to join in the fun. Families can also attend the service together.

Please see the following three (3) announcements:

1) Summer Sunday Games During the Service
Children of all ages are invited for:
  • outdoor games
  • basketball
  • playground play
  • water balloons
  • board games
You are also welcome to attend services as a family in air-conditioned Fellowship Hall. The childcare room is also air-conditioned.

Nursery care is available.

2) All You Need to Bring Is Your Presence
Each CUUCer has an opportunity to connect with our children, youth, and adults in Religious Education.

There are many ways to be a part of it...
  • Teach once a month on a six-person team
  • Help in an interest area
  • Adult RE, welcoming newcomers, social events, social justice, spiritual practices, music, or your special interest.
Contact Perry at dlre@cucwp.org or 914-946-1660 x4 to find your place in RE.

3) UU Summer Camps & Retreat Centers for Children, Youth, and Families
Unitarian Universalist retreat centers offer the opportunity to connect with UUs from around the country in fun and fellowship. Whether you are looking for a place to go as a family or somewhere for your kids to experience a fun camp, there are many amazing Unitarian Universalist summer destinations:

Ferry Beach is oceanfront in ME.
ferrybeach.org
The Mountain is atop the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC.
mountaincenters.org
The Rowe Center is in the Berkshire Mountains in MA.
rowecenter.org
Sophia Fahs RE Camp is one week in August on Shelter Island.
www.liacuu.org/Fahs
Star Island is a 46-acre island off the NH coast.
starisland.org
Unirondack is in the NY Adirondacks.
unirondack.org
Murray Grove is a Universalist retreat center nearby in NJ.
http://www.murraygrove.org/#!camping-in-the-grove/c15no
UUMAC Retreat is one week in July at DeSales University in PA.
uumac.org
The Central East Region offers a Summer Institute focused on climate change.
http://omdsi.org/
SUUSI is a weeklong multignerational event in North Carolina.
https://www.suusi.org/

Sincerely,
Perry
Director of Lifespan Religious Education and Faith Development

2018-06-15

From the Minister, Fri Jun 15

Dr. Seuss's "Oh, The Places You'll Go" is especially popular during this time of graduations and send-offs. To the jaunty journey that he describes, I add these lines:
Doctor Seuss laid it out – the good doc got it right.
You will soar through bright days – and you’ll struggle dark nights.
What he failed to mention, no, he said not a word,
is you’re NOT on your own. That would be too absurd.
Life is for friendship, community, love:
The people, the beings, that you most think of.
He said you’d be lonely – that’s probably true.
You’ll feel heartsick, despairing, and anxious, and blue.
These feelings you’ll have tell you something that matters:
That friends make you whole when your heart is in tatters.
Oh, the places you’ll go, you won’t go alone.
(I’m not talking ‘bout Facebook, or swiping right on your phone)
The companions you’ll find, and the love that awaits you --
That's the besty-best part of where this life takes you.
Success feels nice, and failure feels sad –
Of both, you’ll have plenty, the good and the bad.
There’s Community, too – the folks who don’t see you
For mountains you moved, but for just how you be you.
Who you will be is such fun to be scheming.
WHOSE you will be is what gives it all meaning.

(See the full post HERE). Yours in the faith we share,
Meredith

The Liberal Pulpit. New this week:
Index of past sermons: HERE.
Index of other reflections: HERE.
Videos of sermons are on the Liberal Pulpit Youtube Channel: HERE.

Practice of the Week. Stay on Your Path and Explore New Paths. From Jun 15 through Jul 31, we won't be highlighting any particular Practices. We'll return in August to highlighting one each week -- sometimes introducing a new one and sometimes drawing your attention to a previously mentioned practice. In the meantime, stay on your path! And explore new paths! There are 165 "Practices of the Week" listed and indexed HERE. Look over this list and choose your own Practices to highlight until August.

Your Moment of Zen. Later in the same meeting, Owl then asked another question: "Right Thinking comes immediately after Right Views. I have problems with my thinking. What is Right Thinking?" Brown Bear said, "The point." Owl said, "My thoughts go on and on." Brown Bear asked, "Is that your focus?" Owl blinked and said nothing. READ MORE
Zen at CUUC: Sat Jun 16
Let's Talk
Office hours, and the Weekly Coffee Chat will resume in August.

I'm off to General Assembly -- leaving early on Tue Jun 19 and getting back late on Mon Jun 25.

From Tue Jun 26 through the end of Jun, I'm available by appointment.

The two Common Reads for 2017-18: HERE. Of particular note, regarding Centering: See recommended reading HERE

On the Journey, Jun: Justice. HERE

2018-06-14

Parting Words

Cindy Davidson, Ministerial Intern

The time to close the ministerial internship chapter of my life is fast approaching! And, while I am happy to be moving on in my journey, I confess saying “Good-bye” isn’t something I’ve been looking forward to. I’d much prefer a “So long for now! See you out there in the big wide UU world!”

I’ve had plenty of time to think about and anticipate the good-byes that come with the ministerial life. Before even arriving here, I had written and preached in our preaching class the “Sermon for the Sunday after the Minister announces their resignation.” Coincidentally, my own home minister had just announced his resignation the week before that class met and I had ALL the feelings – as a congregant and as someone envisioning being in his shoes someday. My situation now, and yours, is a bit different since I’ve had a well-defined term of service here -- there’s no surprise for us in my leave-taking! But, the challenges of disconnecting in a healthy and life-affirming way remain.

While I leave with such a sense of gratification from our time spent together as well as joy and excitement about the road ahead, I feel some sadness now and expect there’s sorrow ahead knowing you will no longer be a regular presence in my life. I’ll miss you just as some of you have told me you’ll miss me. Sometimes a leave-taking can trigger feelings we may have about earlier losses in our lives, and we may not even realize this is going on. “Breaking up is hard to do,” as the song says…. even in the context of our relationship of only two years. I know I’ll be wrestling with some of those feelings and thoughts, and perhaps you will have those moments, too. After all, we’ve become accustomed to each other’s ways, worked through any difficulties or annoyances, rallied around shared passions and visions, and supported each other in times of difficulties and joys. Let us each be gentle with ourselves and cherish the memories.

Best practices and guidelines for UU interns serving congregations is to make a “clean break" at the internship's end. The UUA's Internship Manual has this to say:
"In part because interns and members of the congregation need to encounter the emotions associated with saying good-bye, it is customary for the intern not to maintain any contact with members of the teaching site for at least a year.

Ministry is fundamentally about service to a congregation or a community-based entity. When an intern has the opportunity to cope successfully with the grief that is a part of leaving, it enables them to gain that understanding of ministry as service. The other reason for making a clean break is that any incoming intern deserves to be welcomed by a congregation or constituency that is not still engaged in a relationship with a former intern, along with all the feelings and loyalties that might accompany that relationship."
Soon after my last service with you, this Sunday, I will be closing down my CUUC email account, “unfriending” Facebook contacts, and exiting the CUUC Forum Facebook group. Of course, should we have a chance encounter in our daily walks of life, greetings and light conversation are quite appropriate!

I want to thank you wholeheartedly for being such a welcoming and supportive teaching congregation. This has been an invaluable opportunity for me to wrestle with big and formative questions: Who am I as a minister? What are my strengths, weaknesses, and growing edges? What truly feeds me? How might I best minister to the needs of this community and the world? Working with you – staff, leadership, and congregants – and observing all aspects of congregational life, including the close-up and behind the scenes life of the parish minister, has been such a rich and rewarding experience. I am better for having spent this time with you.

With gratitude and love for the many ways you continue to be a blessing in this world,
Cindy

RE News: Sun Jun 17

Lifespan Religious Education
To those of you who were present at the RE Sunday Service, I am so glad that we were able to highlight the year in RE together and send off the bridgers with great support from the community. I am deeply sorry that I was not able to celebrate at the barbecue with you due to my worsening respiratory virus after the service. I needed to rest, even though I wanted to be at the barbecue with you all. I was looking forward to the individual conversations we would be able to have in that setting. I realize that you wanted to be able to express your appreciation and send off our family, so I apologize for missing that opportunity.

I will be at CUUC the next two Sundays and look forward to seeing those of you who will be attending those services. I appreciate each of you as remarkable unique individuals and the vibrant community you make together.

Barbara, Nora, and I are grateful for the gift of your presence in our lives. Thank you for embracing us within the CUUC community and collaborating with me to create the best possible RE ministry to support each person's faith development. It will be great to see where your commitment, energy, and care take RE next. It is the community of people that makes CUUC what it is.

With appreciation and love,
Perry

Please see the following seven (7) announcements:

1) This Sun - RE Fun Sunday
All ages play games together, like Frisbee golf and water balloon toss. Join us for the community fun.

To view the Religious Education Google calendar, CLICK HERE.
To view a spreadsheet version of the RE Calendar, CLICK HERE.

2) Faith Development Friday - Tonight, Jun 15
An evening of learning, spiritual growth, and community
RSVP by 4pm to cuucevents@gmail.com

6:15pm Pizza & Salad Community Dinner
7:00pm Programs Begin...

Faith Like a River
The Wisdom RE Ministry Team invites you to an Adult RE experience facilitated by Rev. Meredith. This class explores the people, ideas, and movements that have shaped our faith heritage. What lessons do the stories of our history teach that can help us live more faithfully in the present? What lessons do they offer to be lived into the future? You may also join this program online via Zoom videoconferencing by going to https://zoom.us/j/2898507899.

Family Journey Group
Parents gather to discuss the theme of faith (facilitated by Barbara Montrose), while children have their own group with activities and discussion based on the theme (facilitated by Perry Montrose, DLRE). Adults without children are invited to participate in the parents’ group.

Youth Group Game Night
Join us for a night of fun with fellow high schoolers. Bring a game and a friend!

Social Time for Adults
Those who would like more time to chat and just be together are welcome to continue hanging out in Fellowship Hall after the meal. Come to simply get to know your fellow CUUCers better, without specific programming.

Also stay for coffee and conversation after the programs.

3) Pet Rescue Collection
This Sun Jun 17
The Animal Advocacy team and the Grade 2-3 RE students invite you to donate items to their collection for the Harrison Pet Rescue 

You'll find a list of items HERE.

Look for their collection bin in the lobby. For questions, contact Norm Handelman at yakman42@gmail.com.

4) Thank You to the Craftsmen
A special thank you to...

Ted Kuczinski for building the ark that the 4th-5th grade class carried in the RE Sunday parade.

Craig Hunt for creating the amazing Slombo the Gross mask that he wore for the RE Sunday story.

5) Photos and Videos From RE Sunday
If you took photos or video at the RE Sunday Service and are willing to share them, please contact Perry at dlre@cucwp.org or perrydlre@gmail.com.

6) All You Need to Bring Is Your Presence
Each CUUCer has an opportunity to connect with our children, youth, and adults in Religious Education.

There are many ways to be a part of it...
  • Teach once a month on a six-person team
  • Help in an interest area
    • Adult RE, welcoming newcomers, social events, social justice, spiritual practices, music, or your special interest.
Contact Perry at dlre@cucwp.org or 914-946-1660 x4 to find your place in RE.

7) UU Summer Camps & Retreat Centers for Children, Youth, and Families
Unitarian Universalist retreat centers offer the opportunity to connect with UUs from around the country in fun and fellowship. Whether you are looking for a place to go as a family or somewhere for your kids to experience a fun camp, there are many amazing Unitarian Universalist summer destinations:

Ferry Beach is oceanfront in ME.
ferrybeach.org
The Mountain is atop the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC.
mountaincenters.org
The Rowe Center is in the Berkshire Mountains in MA.
rowecenter.org
Sophia Fahs RE Camp is one week in August on Shelter Island.
www.liacuu.org/Fahs
Star Island is a 46-acre island off the NH coast.
starisland.org
Unirondack is in the NY Adirondacks.
unirondack.org
Murray Grove is a Universalist retreat center nearby in NJ.
http://www.murraygrove.org/#!camping-in-the-grove/c15no
UUMAC Retreat is one week in July at DeSales University in PA.
uumac.org
The Central East Region offers a Summer Institute focused on climate change.
http://omdsi.org/
SUUSI is a weeklong multignerational event in North Carolina.
https://www.suusi.org/

Sincerely,
Perry
Director of Lifespan Religious Education and Faith Development

2018-06-12

Music: Sun Jun 17



Pianist Barbara Orwick treats us to arrangements of popular seasonal favorites as well as a moving setting of the 23rd Psalm. The CUUC Choir is also on hand with a valedictory message on this final Sunday of the church year as well as a medley of traditional American songs filtered through the modernist perspective of Aaron Copland. Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Barbara Orwick, piano

Sunshine On My Shoulders
J. Denver, M. Taylor, D. Kniss
Summertime
D. Heyward, G. Gershwin
Summer Breeze
 Seals, D. Crofts
Theme from Summer of '42
                                     M. Legrand
Offertory:
Psalm 23
                                   Gerald Cohen

Anthem: CUUC Choir directed by Lisa N. Meyer
And Wherever You Go   

           Douglas E. Wagner


Anthem:
Old American Songs (Choral Suite):
The Boatman’s Dance Simple Gifts Ching-A-Ring Chaw        
                        Aaron Copland, adapted by Janet Klevberg Day

2018-06-08

From the Minister, Fri Jun 8

“Long-term immigrants with strong US ties are aggressively and systematically being scooped up and deported,” says Clara Long, senior US researcher at Human Rights Watch. “These are not outliers or a smattering of cases; instead, this is the brutal, destructive face of" our current immigration policy.

The number of immigrants seized in the interior of the country rather than at the border – many of them wrenched from their families and communities – was more than 13,000 a month in 2017, up 42 percent compared to 2016. In 2017, immigration arrests of people with no criminal convictions were nearly triple what they were the year before – growing to almost a third of all arrests.

Welcoming the immigrant brings a productive vibrancy among us, and being hospitable also keeps us – people like me who were born in the US, both of whose parents and all four of whose grandparents were born in the US – more vibrantly engaged with our world than insular retreat into despising foreigners allows. Immigration is usually good for the come-heres, and usually good for the been-heres, yet we are ceding ground to fear, to hate, and to plain cruelty.

It may be the case, as Gandhi said (quoted in the June issue of On the Journey), that "What you can do is very little." He added: "But it is very important that you do it."

Yours in the faith we share,
Meredith

The Liberal Pulpit. New this week:


Index of past sermons: HERE
Index of other reflections: HERE.

In case you missed it: Video of the Jun 3 sermon on immigration is HERE -- with Yency's wonderbox story HERE.

Practice of the Week. The Problems of Progress. The path of un-learning is a path of letting go. We must let go of those thigs that no longer serve our highest good or that of the Earth (which are one and the same). One of the most critical concepts to abandon is the notion of unproblematic progress. We must ask some hard questions, and not turn away from unpleasant answers. We must approach new...READ MORE
Your Moment of Zen. Owl then spoke up and asked, "What is the essential point of the Eightfold Path?" Brown Bear said, "It goes around and around." Owl drew back her head and exclaimed, "Really? I thought it was a linear path. And I've always thought there should be a ninth step -- that Right Realization should come after Right Zazen." Brown Bear said, "Right Views come after Right Zazen." Owl said, "Then where does...READ MORE
Zen at CUUC: Sat Jun 9
Let's Talk
One option: I'm at a coffee shop from 3-5pm (almost) every Tuesday until Father's Day. I invite you to drop by and visit with me. Jun 5 & 12: Starbucks, 2 South Greeley Ave, Chappaqua
Another option: Drop by the Minister's Study at CUUC.
Office Hours (during which I try to avoid scheduling meetings)
Wed & Thu: 10-12 & 3-6 (through Jun 10)
Or: The Parsonage is open for drop-in visits on Fridays, 12:30-5.
Or: Call Pam (946-1660, x2) or me (352-682-8492) to make an appointment!

The two Common Reads for 2017-18: HERE. Of particular note, regarding Centering: See recommended reading HERE

On the Journey, Jun: Justice. HERE

RE News: Sun Jun 10

Lifespan Religious Education
This Sunday, it will be wonderful to reflect with you about the year in Religious Education and the past four years together. The RE Sunday Service is always fun for all ages and poignantly highlights the most meaningful aspects of what we do in RE. We gather as a community to celebrate the best of who we are across the lifespan. See you then!

Please see the following six (6) announcements:

1) This Sun - RE Sunday Service
A multigen worship celebration of the year in Religious Education that includes:
  • Banner parade for all classes to start the service
  • Participation by all ages
  • Special music from the children and youth
  • Reflection from Perry
  • Bridging ceremony for graduating seniors
  • Barbecue after the service

All children and youth please arrive at 9:15am for music, dance, Neighboring Faiths, and Bridging rehearsals.

To view the Religious Education Google calendar, CLICK HERE.
To view a spreadsheet version of the RE Calendar, CLICK HERE.

2) Barbecue After the Service This Sun
Stay for the celebration afterward with BBQ chicken, kicked-up vegan beans, hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob, and more!

Suggested donation only $5 per person, kids under 12 and seniors $4, maximum $21 per family. Don't miss it!

3) Pet Rescue Collection
This Sun Jun 10 - Sun Jun 17
The Animal Advocacy team and the Grade 2-3 RE students invite you to donate items to their collection for the Harrison Pet Rescue 

You'll find a list of items HERE.

Look for their collection bin in the lobby. For questions, contact Norm Handelman at yakman42@gmail.com.

4) Photos and Videos Wanted
Please send any photos or videos you have from RE related events, classes, and other happenings to Perry at dlre@cucwp.org or perrydlre@gmail.com.

We would like to create a slide show for RE Sunday and have the pictures for the archives. Thank you.

5) All You Need to Bring Is Your Presence
Each CUUCer has an opportunity to connect with our children, youth, and adults in Religious Education.

There are many ways to be a part of it...
  • Teach once a month on a six-person team
  • Help in an interest area
    • Adult RE, welcoming newcomers, social events, social justice, spiritual practices, music, or your special interest.
Contact Perry at dlre@cucwp.org or 914-946-1660 x4 to find your place in RE.

6) UU Summer Camps & Retreat Centers for Children, Youth, and Families
Unitarian Universalist retreat centers offer the opportunity to connect with UUs from around the country in fun and fellowship. Whether you are looking for a place to go as a family or somewhere for your kids to experience a fun camp, there are many amazing Unitarian Universalist summer destinations:

Ferry Beach is oceanfront in ME.
ferrybeach.org
The Mountain is atop the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC.
mountaincenters.org
The Rowe Center is in the Berkshire Mountains in MA.
rowecenter.org
Sophia Fahs RE Camp is one week in August on Shelter Island.
www.liacuu.org/Fahs
Star Island is a 46-acre island off the NH coast.
starisland.org
Unirondack is in the NY Adirondacks.
unirondack.org
Murray Grove is a Universalist retreat center nearby in NJ.
http://www.murraygrove.org/#!camping-in-the-grove/c15no
UUMAC Retreat is one week in July at DeSales University in PA.
uumac.org
The Central East Region offers a Summer Institute focused on climate change.
http://omdsi.org/
SUUSI is a weeklong multignerational event in North Carolina.
https://www.suusi.org/

Sincerely,
Perry
Director of Lifespan Religious Education and Faith Development

2018-06-07

The Problems of Progress

Practice of the Week
The Problems of Progress

Category: Ecospiritual. These practices are oriented toward developing our spirituality through our connection with our planet home and our responsibility to care for it.


To one degree or another, we are all enamored with the technological accomplishments of the modern world. Centenarians living today grew up in a world where children routinely died of diseases, electricity and indoor plumbing were rare, and newspapers were the only news media. Progress has been amazing. Who knows what marvels the future will bring?

Yet there have been unintended consequences of all this progress. Bill McKibben writes in Eaarth that we are living on a new planet (which McKibben spells with two A’s). The new planet, Eaarth, is very different from the old Earth on which we were born and on which civilization emerged. Industrial civilization has unwittingly altered the very support systems upon which we all depend: the stable, predictable, self-regulating biosphere. The task before us is to learn how to live on this new, less friendly planet. So much for progress!

For most of human history, the Earth has been viewed by many people, but not all, as an inanimate resource without end, for us to exploit as we saw fit. According to Genesis, humans were placed on Earth to subdue it. And subdue it we have. The legacy of progress is not only moon landings, heart transplants, and the Internet but also mountaintop removal mining, oceanic dead zones, unpredictable climate, and depleted uranium. As Thomas Berry put it:
“We have created a technosphere incompatible with the biosphere.”
The path of un-learning is a path of letting go. We must let go of those thigs that no longer serve our highest good or that of the Earth (which are one and the same). One of the most critical concepts to abandon is the notion of unproblematic progress. We must ask some hard questions, and not turn away from unpleasant answers. We must approach new technologies with a “do no harm” ethic and consciously examine the role of technology in our own lives. In this respect, I love the Amish. They are one group that never quite bought into the propaganda of industrialized progress. Ironically, many of them have integrated some modern products into their lives. They have cell phones, solar panels, and battery-powered devises. Contrary to popular belief, not all Amish eschew technology completely. Rather, they are very selective. They choose only technologies that fit with their ethic of simplicity and their religious faith and use their chosen items very carefully. An Amish friend of mine keeps his cell phone out in his shed and uses it only as necessary to run his farm. No family meals are interrupted by its annoying intrusion. The Amish are very conscious of technology and its impact – for good and ill – on their lives. We all must adopt a similar kind of consciousness, for from it flows a more balanced view of the fruits of industrialization. We also need to realize how technology is a part of our lives regardless of whether we can afford, or even want, the latest gadgets. We swim in a sea of microchips, from those that store our bank account and tax records to those that run the digital x-ray machine used to diagnose our child’s broken arm. From 3-D movies to those automated phone calls that interrupt our dinner, technology is everywhere.

Progress comes with a price. Perhaps it is worth the cost, perhaps not. But here and now on our spiritual journey, we must embrace the questions about it – even if we don’t have the answers worked out completely. This is the essence of living an awakening, examined life.

Practices

1. Give and Take. Cultivating the mindset that taking requires giving. Choose one aspect of your life where you take from the Earth’s bounty. Your food, perhaps. Or your electricity, which might come from coal. Or maybe you simply collect pretty rocks from the beach. Big or small, make a pact with yourself. Write it down and post it somewhere prominent to serve as a reminder. For your chosen area, each take with require a give. If you are a beach pebble collector, you could also spend some time picking up liter on that same beach. If you choose food, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or organize some friends to purchase fair trade coffee as a group.

2. Technology Fast. Choose one device your grandma didn’t grow up with and turn it off for a week. This could be your TV, radio, computer, GPS system, or any other piece of technology that occupies a significant place in your life. On Sunday, ceremonially turn it off. Throughout the week, journal about the experience.

3. Journaling: Exploring Feelings about Modern Life. Choose one of the starter phrases below and begin writing. Write continuously for at least ten minutes, allowing your thoughts to flow where they will. Start in on another starter phrase whenever you need to in order to keep the pen moving for ten minutes.
  • If I had been alive three hundred years ago, my life . . .
  • I like modern life, but . . .
  • The Earth provides . . .
  • If I had a time machine, and could go anywhere with it, I would . . .

Group Activities

Elder Wisdom. Invite several people who are more than eighty years old to share their life experiences with the group. Ask them: What has changed since you were children? What things are better now? What was better then? What do you see as the most significant area of human progress? What problems do you see for the future? What sort of world would you wish for future generations?

Questions for Group Conversation:
  • What are some of the negative aspects of technology? Can their effects be mitigated?
  • Identify one or two examples superfluous or wasteful technology. What can be done about this waste?
  • What criteria should we use to decide how much technology to allow into our lives? How can we approach technological progress in a mindful way?
  • What must you personally unlearn to approach technology sustainably?
* * *

Previous Ecospiritual Practice: Industrial Civilization and Everyone Else

2018-06-06

Music: Sun Jun 10


R.E. Sunday is celebrated in a wide range of musical selections. The Centering Music starts with works by J.S. Bach composed as teaching pieces for his own family. Brazilian composer Octavio Pinto’s charming Scenas Infantis (Scenes of Children) is an adult’s reminiscence of a child’s musical impressions.

Elsewhere, hits from last month’s Variety Show are featured, along with a newly composed song by our own Ashley Smith.

Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Musette in D from Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach
Two-Part Invention No. 1 in C Major
                                    J. S. Bach
Scenas Infantis
            Run, run!
            Ring Around the Rosy
            March, Little Soldier
            Sleeping Time
            The Hobby-Horse
                                                Octavio Pinto

Processional: Rev. Meredith, recorder; Christian Force, trombone; Spencer Mann, percussion; Kim Force, vocals
When the Kids Go Marching In
                                                                        Traditional


Yesterday
                                                 Written and performed by Ashley Smith


The Children’s Choir prepared by Irene Cox
Rise and Shine (Arky, Arky)
                                                            Traditional
It’s a Small World
                                                             Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman

2018-06-01

RE News: Sun Jun 3

Lifespan Religious Education
As Dean Silverberg informed you through his special announcement, I have accepted a position at the New London UU congregation and will be leaving CUUC this summer. Although I look forward to my new position, it is difficult to leave CUUC where I feel connected to you all and proud of the work we have done together. As I explain in my resignation letter to the Board and REC, affordability of housing in Westchester is the reason for our family's move. I will make sure everything is in place for the next RE leader and support the transition. On Jun 10, we have our always great RE Sunday Service and it will be good to be together to celebrate the year in RE and all we have accomplished.

Please see the following five (5) announcements:

1) This Sun Jun 3
K-7th grade start in the sanctuary for a Wonder Box Story about immigration with special guest Yency Contreras.

Classes end at 11:15 so teachers and parents can attend the Annual Meeting. Children will be supervised on the playground or in Fellowship Hall.

Classes
Pre-K-1 - Creating Home: Review and RE Sunday banner making.
2nd-3rd - Passport to Spirituality: Review (with World Religions Tic-tac-toe) and RE Sunday banner making.
4th-5th - Bibleodeon: The Bible Today and making animals for the ark, as well as the RE Sunday banner.
6th-7th – Neighboring Faiths: Review and Prep for RE Sunday
8th-12th – Youth Group: Place Keeping and Bridging Prep

To view the Religious Education Google calendar, CLICK HERE.
To view a spreadsheet version of the RE Calendar, CLICK HERE.

2) RE Sunday Service - June 10
A worship celebration of the year in Religious Education that includes:
  • Banner parade for all classes to start the service
  • Participation by all ages
  • Special music
  • Bridging ceremony for graduating seniors
  • Barbecue after the service

3) Photos and Videos Wanted
Please send any photos or videos you have from RE related events, classes, and other happenings to Perry at dlre@cucwp.org or perrydlre@gmail.com.

We would like to create a slide show for RE Sunday and have the pictures for the archives. Thank you.

4) All You Need to Bring Is Your Presence
Each CUUCer has an opportunity to connect with our children, youth, and adults in Religious Education.

There are many ways to be a part of it...
  • Teach once a month on a six-person team
  • Help in an interest area
    • Adult RE, welcoming newcomers, social events, social justice, spiritual practices, music, or your special interest.
Contact Perry at dlre@cucwp.org or 914-946-1660 x4 to find your place in RE.

5) UU Summer Camps & Retreat Centers for Children, Youth, and Families
Unitarian Universalist retreat centers offer the opportunity to connect with UUs from around the country in fun and fellowship. Whether you are looking for a place to go as a family or somewhere for your kids to experience a fun camp, there are many amazing Unitarian Universalist summer destinations:

Ferry Beach is oceanfront in ME.
ferrybeach.org
The Mountain is atop the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC.
mountaincenters.org
The Rowe Center is in the Berkshire Mountains in MA.
rowecenter.org
Sophia Fahs RE Camp is one week in August on Shelter Island.
www.liacuu.org/Fahs
Star Island is a 46-acre island off the NH coast.
starisland.org
Unirondack is in the NY Adirondacks.
unirondack.org
Murray Grove is a Universalist retreat center nearby in NJ.
http://www.murraygrove.org/#!camping-in-the-grove/c15no
UUMAC Retreat is one week in July at DeSales University in PA.
uumac.org
The Central East Region offers a Summer Institute focused on climate change.
http://omdsi.org/
SUUSI is a weeklong multignerational event in North Carolina.
https://www.suusi.org/

Sincerely,
Perry
Director of Lifespan Religious Education and Faith Development

From the Minister, Fri Jun 1

Yency Contreras will be visiting with us at the service on Sun Jun 3. Let me tell you about him. Born in Natapa, Honduras, a hamlet without electricity or running water, in Feb 1987, the eldest of 6 children, Yency slipped out of his family's dwellings in the predawn darkness one morning a couple months after his 17th birthday. He couldn't bear the good-byes with his mother, so he left before she awoke. He made his way up through Guatemala and Mexico on the "train of death" -- clinging to the outside for hour after long hour, struggling to stay awake. Many others have lost legs -- or life -- when sleepiness loosened their grip and they fell from the train. Along the way he was robbed of the small nest-egg of cash he'd brought. Yet he made it to the US border.The 2009 Documentary film, "Which Way Home" chronicles the trip of young people from Honduras coming north on the top and sides of trains through Guatemala and Mexico. That's just what Yency experienced. See: http://whichwayhome.net/ and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489342/.

Cousins in North Carolina wired him some money, and he got across to Tucson with the help of a coyote (not a "wolflike wild dog native to North America," but rather "A person who smuggles Latin Americans across the US border, typically for a high fee") who had also promised to transport him to North Carolina. Just outside Lubbock, TX, the car broke down. The coyote told his passengers to wait while he went to get mechanical help. He didn't return.

Three days later, Border Patrol picked up Yency, wandering in the desert a few miles from the car, very hungry and severely dehydrated. He was shipped back to a detention facility in El Paso. That was in April 2004. (The detention facility was one owned and operated by an organization called "Southwest Key." In the documentary, "Which Way Home," the main character is also captured after getting to the US and held in a Southwest Key facility. The one in the film "Which Way Home", in Houston, looks just like the one in El Paso that Yency was held in. While Southwest Key is a nonprofit, Yency experienced it as prison.)

In El Paso, the Mexican kids are just sent back over the bridge to Juarez. Hondurans take a bit longer to process. And Yency had a legitimate claim to assylum: he was a minor who suffered domestic abuse at home.

In July 2004, the detention facility put out word they were looking for local clergy to come in and lead Spanish-speaking worship with the detainees during the week. LoraKim, fluent in Spanish, volunteered, and for four Thursdays that July, took her guitar and bass and led music and worship there. My Spanish is feeble, but I went along with her to two or three of those services to participate by miming what she'd told me to mime. That's where Yency met LoraKim and me.

He asked if we could "sponsor" him. We didn't know what this meant, but we made a few calls to find out. When the detention facility got wind of our inquiries, they called us to say we couldn't come back to lead anymore worship services.

But the wheels had begun to turn, and, in October 2004 -- the day after my ordination as a UU minister -- Yency was released into our custody. We half-thought that, once out, he'd make a bolt for it. He didn't. The three of us made our court date in December 2004, where LoraKim and I were made Yency's "managing conservators" -- a status with all the rights of parenthood for as long as Yency is a minor, and in the US, and his natural parents aren't.

We wouldn't have had a clue how to negotiate the bewildering array of required forms to fill out and documents to submit, or how to find a helpful and competent pro bono attorney for an undocumented minor, without the help of a wonderful organization called "Las Americas" in El Pasos. (They could use your support, if you're looking for a good organization that helps immigrants. See: http://www.las-americas.org/.)

Yency turned 18 a couple months later, and has stayed with us. He took seriously his intensive-ESL classes at El Paso Community College, and quickly his English was quite good. Yency is devoutly pentecostal Christian, which certainly lent to our home life together a certain je ne sais quoi. The El Paso Times ran a story about us in 2005: HERE.

In summer 2006, Yency moved with us to Gainesville, Florida. Along the way, he got all his papers through the process, became a legal permanent resident, and got a passport. He worked for four years at the Publix grocery store. He tried six times to pass the math part of the GED -- and finally did in 2010 February. He immediately enrolled in Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville. On 2011 Sep 13, Yency was sworn in as a US citizen. After Community College, Yency enrolled in the University of Central Florida in Orlando -- from which he received a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice in 2013.

He moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, went to Police Academy there, and has been on the Charlotte police force ever since. We're very proud!

On Sunday, Yency will be sharing some of his story as we reflect together on the immigration issue.

Yours in the faith we share,
Meredith

Practice of the Week. Love Your Inner Child. If you are embarrassed, ashamed, critical, controlling, squelching, pushy, or angry about this child, that will affect how you feel and how you act. Therefore, accepting the child parts within you, guiding them gently, and soaking your inner kid in cherishing nurturance will heal and feed the deepest layers of your psyche. READ MORE
Your Moment of Zen. Spring finally came, and Raven entertained her old teacher, Brown Bear Roshi, and invited her to speak. After the talk, Badger came forward and asked, "How can I get rid of my passions?" Brown Bear said, "What would you be without passions?" Badger said, "Maybe I should reword that. How can I get rid of my attachments?" Brown Bear said, "What would you be without attachments?" Badger said, "Isn't nonattachment one of our ideals?" Brown Bear asked, "Where do you find it taught?" Badger said, "Isn't it implicit in the Eightfold Path...READ MORE
Zen at CUUC: Sat Jun 2
Let's Talk
One option: I'm at a coffee shop from 3-5pm (almost) every Tuesday until Father's Day. I invite you to drop by and visit with me. Jun 5 & 12: Starbucks, 2 South Greeley Ave, Chappaqua
Another option: Drop by the Minister's Study at CUUC. I'm in and available: Wed & Thu: 10-12 & 3-6 (through Jun 10)
Or: The Parsonage is open for drop-in visits on Fridays, 12:30-5.
Or: Call Pam (946-1660, x2) or me (352-682-8492) to make an appointment!

The two Common Reads for 2017-18: HERE. Of particular note, regarding Centering: See recommended reading HERE

On the Journey, Jun: Justice. HERE