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Sun May 12 News:  e-Communitarian   ☙   Minister   ☙   RE   ☙   Music   ☙   Practice: Rare, Precious Fluke (Ecospiritual)

2019-05-18

From the Minister, Fri May 17

Our theme for May is beauty. We speak of beauty in many ways, primarily in three categories: beautiful people, beauty in nature, and beautiful art. Putting one’s finger on what makes a person, a scene, or an artwork beautiful is not easy. When it comes to art, philosopher Denis Dutton has an evolutionary explanation for attraction to art. The primary mechanism, he says, works through mate selection.

We are attracted to art – that is, find art beautiful – because we recognize that making it is difficult. No one would buy tickets to the ballet or a concert if just about everybody could dance or play music as well as the performers we go to see and hear. The paintings hanging in art museums are the ones that the curators – whose tastes are shaped culture generally – recognize as rare products of talent and refinement. Those paintings are significantly different from what “just anybody” could paint.

It isn't that they are rare because they’re so beautiful. Rather, it's the other way around. We find them beautiful because the skill that could produce them is rare.

Dutton’s argument is that the ability to do something difficult and exceptional is a signal of mate suitability. Art, like the peacock’s tail, is uselessly extravagant – but such extravagance is a sign of good health and nutrition -- of not having to struggle just to survive. Ability to make something particularly well – by any standard recognizable as requiring a learned skill carried to an exceptional level – is an indicator of health, intelligence, fine motor skills, and enough status and wealth to have the leisure to make something “for its own sake,” not directly useful. Thus mate selection rewarded and reinforced human propensity to display artistic skill. And, just as the peacocks with the biggest tails really were, often enough, good mates, so were the humans with the highest level of artistic skills. Thus the genes of both artist and art lover had improved chances of being passed on.

Words attributed to Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) are worth remembering: "All things beautiful are difficult.”

Yours in faith,
Meredith

Practice of the Week: Study Spiritual Texts You can learn a lot by reading. Certain texts are helpful guides for developing spiritual wisdom. Aside from the canonical scriptures of established traditions, there are many works of wisdom and insight. Here is an essentially random sampling of just a few of the sort of books I have in mind, in no particular order. READ MORE

Your Moment of Zen: Rectification Zen emerged when Buddhism from India spread to China and took on influences from Daoism. (There was no formal merger of institutions of Buddhism and Daoism, thus it is said that Buddhism and Daoism "shacked up," and Zen is their illegitimate love child.) Less recognized is the influence of Chinese Confucianism on the emergence of Zen.

"The rectification of names" is a Confucian idea that stresses that a stable social order depends on ensuring that words correspond to reality -- or at least to consensually shared understanding. In the Analects, Confucius writes:
"A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot. Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect." (Book XIII, Chapter 3, verses 4–7, trans James Legge)
Raven here invokes the Confucian idea -- though more for "getting one's own house in order" than for social order.

On the one hand, words are but fingers pointing to the moon. Don't mistake the finger for the moon.

On the other hand, the finger is our "pointer." It matters that we're pointed in the right direction.

Even so, back on the first hand, when it comes to enlightenment, "realization is not like your conception of it; what you think one way or another before realization is not a help for realization" (Dogen).

On the other hand again, Dogen also spoke of the need to arouse the aspiration for enlightenment -- which necessarily involves some conception, howsoever vague, tentative, and inevitably ultimately wrong.

Case
During snacktime one afternoon, Black Bear asked, "How can I realize enlightenment?"
Raven asked, "What do you mean by 'enlightenment'?"
Black Bear said, "You know what I mean."
Raven said, "Fix up your terms and your path is fixed up."
Black Bear asked, "How can I fix up my terms?"
Raven said, "Your own intimate terms."
Verse
Knife scrapes butter over toast
Morning sun slants across the table.
Through the window: spring leaves, a few flowers.
Beside the coffee: a folded paper telling
Today's effects and causes of
Unhappiness, of names sliding apart.

This is a knife.
It, and my hand, spread that butter.
There is the light, the sun.
The leaves are green, flowers yellow, white, purple.
These names are right.
What is there to get wrong?

In a minute I'll unfold the paper,
Let in the day's chapter,
Slanted as the light,
Looking for clues to what is asked of me.
One must be careful
When there is this much to love.
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
Raven Index   ☙   Zen Practice at CUUC

2019-05-17

Religious Education: Sun May 19

Well, as shocking as this might sound, last week was another busy, informative, and fun RE children’s service in Fellowship Hall. Grades K-7 started out with Jane Dixon, who explained that two new refugee families had arrived in our country and asked if the students would like to make welcome cards. They absolutely did, and worked intently on designing beautiful and colorful “welcome to America” cards, which Jane promised to deliver. Next on the agenda was children’s music director Lyra Harada working with the students on “It’s A Small World,” to be sung at RE Sunday, June 16. Lyra led the rehearsal with a great deal of energy and the students responded with a lot of laughter and bantering back and forth. The audience of adults even “egged” the kids on by saying, “we can’t hear you” and the children stood up like a chorus and increased the volume, as asked. They were great, as was Lyra – our very own junior choir! At this point, grades K-3 left to their classrooms and 4-5 and 6-7 students were invited to hear special guest Ivan Smith from the Coachman Family Center talk about the plight of people who are homeless and about the resources that Coachman provides for them. The youngsters quickly got a sense of how limited the space was for these families at the center and how few personal belongings they could have. This served as a perfect segue for the question posed to the students: what items would they bring if they were homeless and there was a limit? They also were asked to think about what they would miss the most. The answers that several children had were not surprising, as we have very focused, introspective, and deep young people in CUUC RE. They felt that the lack of privacy, or as they aptly termed it “personal space,” was the biggest loss. This session with Ivan and Ray Messing truly added another level of understanding and compassion to the UU principles taught every Sunday. Looking ahead, we have another Social Justice Program on May 19 by the LBQTIA team, we have Memorial Day around the corner on May 26 with no RE classes, the Special Friends breakfast and Annual Meeting on Jun 2; barbeque and Affirmation Sunday on Jun 9; and of course RE Sunday on Jun 16. Whew! I don’t know about you but I’m amazed at the whole lot of fun, food, camaraderie, and well-deserved honoring and recognition of the RE students that is coming up. The culmination of a wonderfully facilitated RE year… until next time!

Michele Rinaldi
RE Coordinator

Looking ahead...

RE This Sunday, May 5
Grades K-7 start in Fellowship Hall for Children's Worship. Lyra will be here with music activities. Grades 4-7 will move to 41 for the LGBTQIA Social Justice Sunday program. Grades 8-9 start in classes. Youth grades 10-12 will stay with their families in the sanctuary.

College Scholarship Awards
Each year CUUC offers two scholarships in the amount of $250 for our graduating seniors. Qualifying youth are encouraged to send a short essay on their contributions and leadership at CUUC, with a brief explanation of how the scholarship will be used, and the names of two CUUC references to re@cucwp.org by Fri May 31.

Special Friends Meet-Up Breakfast, Sun Jun 2, 9:00am, Fellowship Hall
The secret pen pals in our Special Friends program will be revealed at a celebration breakfast. We will provide masquerade costumes to help with the excitement of meeting our mysterious writing partners. Thanks to all participants for helping our kids and adults get to know one another better and for creating greater community at CUUC!

Summer programs for youth and young adults are an important way to support young Unitarian Universalists in their faith development and help them discern their life’s calling. Learn more about summer programs offered by the UUA office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at uua.org/young-adults/events.

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. 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. murraygrove.org
  • UUMAC Retreat is one week in July at DeSales University in PA. uumac.org
  • CERSI is one week in July in Oberlin, OH. cersiuu.or
  • SUUSI is a weeklong multignerational event in North Carolina. suusi.org

2019-05-14

Music: Sun May 19


Hard to believe she’s a grandma, but Janet Bear, our intrepid Music Committee co-chair, is the guiding force behind this morning’s musical selections. At last fall’s Goods and Service Auction, Janet won the chance to plan music for a Sunday morning worship service. Mindful of her interest in music inspired by women as well as by her joyously burgeoning family, I have programmed works connected to childhood, women, and female offspring. The Catalan composer Xavier Montsalvatge alludes to his daughter Yvette in his charming Sonatine pour Yvette from 1962. Robert Schumann’s Kinderszenen was inspired by his love of Clara Wieck, who would eventually become his wife. These “Scenes of Childhood” remind listeners that Clara was a girl of 11 when Schumann met her. Debussy had his beloved daughter “Chouchou” in mind, when he wrote his Children’s Corner, which furnishes his memorable tribute to African-American musical culture in “Golliwogg’s Cakewalk.” Jacques Ibert’s lilting “A Giddy Girl” rounds out the gallery of portraits of young women. Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Sonatine pour Yvette
            I. Vivo e spiritoso
            II. Moderato molto
            III. Allegretto
                                                            Xavier Montsalvatge

Opening Music:
From Scenes of Childhood, Op. 15
                                    Träumerei
                                    Robert Schumann

Offertory:
From Children’s Corner
                        Golliwogg’s Cake Walk
                                                Claude Debussy

Interlude:
From Histoires
             A Giddy Girl  
                                                Jacques Ibert

2019-05-10

Rare, Precious Fluke

Practice of the Week
Rare, Precious Fluke

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


We’ve learned that we humans are quite small in relation to the big world. We are unimaginably tiny compared to the universe, and are but new arrivals in the history of life on Earth. Still, all Earth’s creatures are precious.

Of all the species that have ever lived, 99.9 percent are extinct. They evolved into being, lived for a time, and are now gone. Recent extinctions have often been caused by human activity, and this is a tragedy that deserves our attention to prevent more losses. But there have been extinctions – even mass extinctions – before there were any primates, let alone humans.

There have been five mass extinctions:
  • 444 million years ago (mya),
  • 375 mya,
  • 251 mya,
  • 200 mya, and, most recently,
  • 66 mya, when the dinosaurs were wiped out.
In each of these, the Earth lost at least 75% of her species. The most devastating, the Permian extinction 251 mya, claimed 96% of all species. The survivors repopulated the Earth, their descendants branching into new and different lifeforms.

That evolution produced primates is a huge fluke. It’s even more improbable that one of them would be an ape about five or six feet tall with armpits, musical instruments, bad jokes, and all the rest that makes us the species we are. We’ve produced written language, painted masterpieces, solved quadratic equations, and built skyscrapers, Kew gardens, and the internet. We ask ourselves the deep questions of philosophy and religion and wrestle with alternative answers. We’ve ventured into space and looked back at our home in awe.

Tiny newcomers on the cosmic stage though we be, we are rare and precious—a gem indeed. We are offspring, parents, siblings, lovers and friends. We have the capacity to feel compassion for each other, and the creatures who share our planet. We are capable of acts of tremendous kindness and deep abiding love.

Yet every species is unique. All species emerged from the tangled thicket of evolutionary history going back to the beginnings of life. They too are rare and precious gems.

Practices

1. Honoring Your Uniqueness. Clear your altar of any previously used items. You are a singular being, unlike anyone else on Earth, now or in the past. Your experiences, perceptions, life story, and genetics are unique. (Even if you have an identical twin, your life experiences are yours alone.) Express this uniqueness on your altar. Put up some photos of your ancestors to represent your genetic legacy, and some items that symbolize your life story and experiences. This is a creative snapshot of the person you are right now. How might your altar have been different had you created it five years ago? Ten years ago?

2. Observe Endangered Species Day. Sadly, many animals are on the path to extinction due to human activity. Since 2006, environmental groups around the world have commemorated endangered species with a special day, to bring attention to the issue. In the United States, the third Friday of May is Endangered Species Day. Think about ways to mark the day in a meaningful way. Consider participating in a local event, or writing a letter to the editor of your local paper to raise awareness. Learn about some endangered species in your bioregion. Discover how you might help them survive and adapt to a changing world.

3. Many Paths and Possibilities. Just as evolution could have taken many other paths than the one it did, our lives also could have turned out very differently. In your journal, reflect on the roads not taken in your life. Don’t dwell on what might have been “better.” Simply acknowledge the many possibilities. Next, consider the many paths open to you at this stage of your life. Of the infinite possibilities, only one path has unfolded and only one will unfold. So it is with the evolving Earth.

Group Activities

Memorial for an Extinct Species. Gather your group, and plan a memorial to extinct species. It can be dedicated to one specific species, or all animals made extinct by human actions. It can be as simple or elaborate, temporary or permanent as your group wishes it to be. Outdoor memorials, or those associated with a park or nature preserve, are particularly appropriate. One example includes a gift of several birdhouses made by group members for endangered birds on a nature trail. Or the group might plant some native wildflowers. You may choose to mark the gift with an explanatory plaque, or leave it unadorned. If you prefer not to create a permanent memorial, consider hosting an event for Endangered Species Day and incorporating a tribute to extinct species as part of the event.

Questions for Group Conversation:

  • Not only are we rare and precious, but so are the other creatures that share the Earth with us. What obligation, if any, do we have to the other living beings on our planet?
  • How can we balance human needs with the needs of other species who also call the Earth home?
  • Imagine a world where more than one hominid species survived to the present day. What might that world be like? What challenges would people face while sharing the world with our very close cousins? How would we define human? (Is it important to define humanity?)
  • What are some positive traits of the human species? Negative ones? How can we balance the two?

* * *

From the Minister, Fri May 10

There are many noncongregational ways to pursue spiritual development – books, classes, regular sessions with a spiritual counselor. Congregational life brings some unique features to the spiritual path. For better and for worse, congregational life includes these five features you won't find on other paths of spiritual development.

1. Self-governance: involvement with committees; democratic participation in, and approval of, the budget process; deliberating about policies, procedures, bylaws; creating and leading programs. Congregations give you a role in running the place. Yoga classes or sessions with a spiritual therapist don't. I know that the prospect of being on a committee may not be very appealing. Spiritual community that is run by the seekers themselves offers a unique level of richness, meaning, and connection.

2. Group Identity and Belonging. There is deep satisfaction in being a member of the Unitarian Universalist “tribe.” Belongingness in a community of care and concern is a deep human need. Many such communities, including Unitarian Universalist ones, work at mitigating the insular aspects that some communities develop. We want to ensure that our identity as “UUs” doesn’t exclude other identities. UU Christians, UU atheists, UU Buddhists, UU pagans, UU Jews, UU Humanists, and others, all find belonging as Unitarian Universalists.

3. Family membership. Family belongingness -- both parents and children in a context of multiple generations -- is an integral feature of congregational life. You don't get that with a spiritual counselor or a meditation class.

4. Caring for each other. Congregation members show love and care to other members – building friendships at congregation gatherings, visiting each other for social occasions and when one of us is sick. These things will naturally happen among a circle of friends, but congregational life affords the chance to have a bigger circle. It’s nice to care and be cared about by people that know you well. Caring and being cared about by group members that may not (yet) know you all that well adds a rewarding layer of meaning to life.

5. Social justice action as a faith community. You don’t have to be in a congregation to work for social justice, but in congregations, justice and spirituality are integrated. This may not be so true in some denominations, but it tends to be the Unitarian Universalist way. Working with fellow congregants on justice projects is an essential part of our spiritual path.

Yours in faith,
Meredith

Practice of the Week: Rare, Precious Fluke Of all the species that have ever lived, 99.9 percent are extinct. They evolved into being, lived for a time, and are now gone. We humans, tiny newcomers on the cosmic stage, are rare and precious—a gem indeed. Yet every species is unique. All species emerged from the tangled thicket of evolutionary history going back to the beginnings of life. They too are rare and precious gems. READ MORE

Your Moment of Zen: The Best Turning Points Jackrabbit Roshi was there at the beginning of our adventures with Raven -- in #1, where he put the teaching of mutually dependent arising at the center. Since then, Jackrabbit has only been referred to: in #38, where Raven invites her students to speak up about "anything in our program that troubles you"; -- #70, where Woodpecker asks about reports that Jackrabbit is now putting "just this!" at the center; -- and #86, where Owl asks about Jackrabbit supposedly having said, "the mind has no qualities and its essence is compassion."

Turning points unavoidably arise, if they arise at all, within and out of your own situation. But, as Owl learns, it's no easy thing to be grounded in, and clear about just what your situation is

Case
Owl came forward one evening and called up to Raven on his perch, saying, "Jackrabbit Roshi was the first teacher you met."
Raven said, "That's right."
Owl said, "I've heard he said the best turning points come out of your own situation. Did you ever hear him say such a thing?"
Raven said, "What's your situation?"
Owl swung his head from side to side.
Raven asked, "What turning points come from that?".
Owl hooted.
Raven said, "I'm not convinced."
Verse
"During revolutions, scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before." --Thomas Kuhn

When did it happen? You
Becoming you, I becoming
This.
Is not change, though continuous,
Punctuated?
Were there not moments --
   a day, a year, or two --
Of seeing through a new glass,
Just as dark,
   maybe,
But that seemed less so?
Were we not given
Glimpses because of which we took
A yellow-woods road that
Made all the difference?
Did we not,
At some identifiable-afterwards time
Turn aside from the task of shoring up the imperium,
And set ourselves instead to construct new forms?
When?
When did it happen?
Might it be happening again?
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
Raven Index   ☙   Zen Practice at CUUC

2019-05-09

Religious Education Sun May 12

Spring is still teasing us, but it is May and with that comes the assurance that warmer weather will soon be here to stay. Our RE classes K-7 started in the sanctuary last Sunday and were the chosen audience for Perry Montrose’s Wonder Box story. There were dinosaurs, fossils, turtles, and the like, which were humorously described in the whimsical and silly poems of Ogden Nash while Adam played accompanying music for each animal. What an innovative, entertaining story for the day! This worship was also our annual Flower Service, where congregants both brought and took home a flower in a gesture of community, friendship, faith, and affirmation of the theme of beauty.

While grades K–3 went to classes, the 4–5 and 6–7 students came to Fellowship Hall for a Social Justice program on recycling. They learned about the Greenhouse effect and different types of recycling. All the students made name tags as the newly dubbed “Eco Experts.” They will be the ambassadors, instructors, and educators for the congregation, especially during brunches and meals. No one will be confused any longer as to what recycle bin to use, with our Eco-Expert team on hand! Go Team Eco and many thanks to Janet Bear and the SJT for putting together a great program!

Perry and I had the opportunity to spend some time in the 2–3 class and talk about the upcoming Affirmation Service on June 9. The students explained in their own words what affirmation meant and they discussed what they wanted as their special treat. When an ice cream station was mentioned, screeches of joy went up, probably heard all the way down to Fellowship Hall. Rosie Rugg said it all with “Oh, my Gaawwwd!” She also made it clear she was partial to Starbucks. My, how times have changed…

We are absolutely delighted to say that the Variety Show was beyond a huge success and transformed CUUC into an electric, exciting forum for all our performers and possible future contestants of America’s Got Talent, or our preference, Unitarians Have Talent. Either way, the bake sale and silent auction certainly pushed us over the top and PrideWorks will be the recipient of approximately $4,000 collected! Even with all that being said, believe it or not there’s more! We are building up to the Special Friends breakfast on June 2, then Affirmation Ceremony, Father’s Day, and our annual barbecue on June 9. And last but not least we will celebrate RE Sunday with its Bridging Ceremony on June 16, the last day of RE before our program goes on summer break. So much to do and so little time, but so much joy, anticipation, and fulfillment is and will be experienced by our students and congregation in large part due to the abiding, consistent, dedication of staff and teachers.

Michele Rinaldi
RE Coordinator

Looking ahead...

RE This Sunday, May 5
Grades K-3 start in Fellowship Hall for Children's Worship, Grades 4-7 start in classes where they will meet Ivan Smith of Coachman Family Centers as part of Social Justice Sunday. Grades 8-12 start in classes. Lyra will be here with music activities.

Faith Development Friday, Fri May 10, 6:15 Pizza & Salad, 7:00 Programs, CUUC
Come for our monthly evening of community and spiritual growth. Programs include Faith Like a River Adult RE, and Family Journey Group for parents and kids. RSVP to cuucevents@gmail.com by 12 noon Fri May 10, so we know how much pizza to order.

College Scholarship Awards
Each year CUUC offers two scholarships in the amount of $250 for our graduating seniors. One scholarship is given in honor of Sylvia Schnall-Pierorazio and the other Rev. Betty Baker, both former CUUC Directors of Religious Education. Please send a short essay on your contributions and leadership at CUUC, with a brief explanation of how the scholarship will be used and the names of two CUUC references to re@cucwp.org by Fri May 31.

Kids and Adults - Remember Your Special Friends Letters!
We have less than month to go in our pen pal program. Our Special Friends reveal breakfast will be in June, and we will provide masquerade costumes to help with the excitement of meeting our secret writing partners. Thanks to all participants for helping our kids and adults get to know one another better and for creating greater community at CUUC!

Healthy Youth Relationships Retreat POSTPONED
The healthy relationships retreat for youth and parents that Westchester UU congregations were planning with Center Lane on May 11, will be rescheduled to a date in fall 2019. Stay tuned!

More Activities for Westchester UU Youth and Families
The Westchester UU congregations have planned activities to strengthening community among Westchester UU youth. Save the dates and register to make the events will happen! Click HERE for more info.
  • Sunday, June 30: NYC Pride March, 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising (multigenerational event)
  • Saturday, July 6: Bowling - By Popular Youth Request! (6th-12th grade youth)
  • Saturday, August 3: Social Youth Gathering (6th-12th grade youth)

Summer programs for youth and young adults are an important way to support young Unitarian Universalists in their faith development and help them discern their life’s calling. Learn more about Thrive Youth, Summer Seminary, Meaning Makers, and other summer programs offered by the UUA office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Visit uua.org/young-adults/events.

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. 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. murraygrove.org
  • UUMAC Retreat is one week in July at DeSales University in PA. uumac.org
  • CERSI is one week in July in Oberlin, OH. cersiuu.or
  • SUUSI is a weeklong multignerational event in North Carolina. suusi.org

2019-05-07

Music: Sun May 12


Unlikely beauty is embodied in much of Beethoven’s music, which sometimes baffled his contemporaries with its sudden juxtapositions of diverse moods and affects; his work often seemed oblivious to the categories most other composers treated as inviolable. In the first movement of his Piano Sonata No. 28, heard in this morning’s Offertory, for example, Beethoven seems to mix pastoral traits with sudden tragic outbursts. In the Centering Music, female composers of Ragtime are featured, in recognition of Mothers’ Day and in order to call attention to the contributions of overlooked demographics. Elsewhere, the CUUC Choir is on hand, with a touching lullaby from the Sephardic tradition and a timeless expression of beauty by John Rutter. Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Phoebe Thomson’s Cake Walk
                                                            Sadie Koninsky
Hoosier Rag
                                                Julia Niebergall
Dusty, a Rag
                                                May Aufderheide

Anthem: CUUC Choir, directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas
Durmé, Durmé*    
                        Sephardic Folk Song, arr. by Audrey Snyder
*Translation: Sleep, Sleep mother’s little child. Sleep without worries or pain.  Sleep.     
          
Offertory:
Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101
            Etwas lebhaft, und mit der innigsten Empfindung
                                                 Ludwig van Beethoven

Anthem:
For the Beauty of the Earth  
                                                John Rutter

2019-05-03

From the Minister, Fri May 3

The 2018-19 UUA Common Read is:

If you haven't read it, I do hope you'll get a copy and give it a look. The more UUs learn about what UUs are doing and how they're doing it, the more engaged and meaningful we can become -- enriching our world and our own lives.

Take Chapter 12, for example.
Deborah Cruz, with Alex Kapitan, "The Journey of Partnering for Justice," pp. 131-148.

This chapter tells how Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (BUF), a couple hours north of Seattle, Washington, partnered with indigenous groups in area of the Salish Sea (a.k.a. Puget Sound), to fight for protections of territory and fishing-rights against threatened development. Together, they won a significant victory in blocking construction on Lummi land of what would have been the largest coal export facility in North America.

The chapter outlines BUF's extensive planning, program organizing, moblizing of other UU congregations, and development of a service learning program through the UU College of Social Justice. The authors note:
"BUF members have learned that to effectively engage in intersectional justice work with frontline people directly affected by environmental injustice, we have to embrace six key practices: humility, authenticity, listening, cultivating trust, doing our homework, and being in it for the long haul" (p. 138)
The chapter then unpacks how BUF followed these six practices and how important it was that they did.

Give it a look. Let me know what ideas for CUUC come to your mind as you read about this inspiring example.

And check out this resource for developing multicultural collaboration: HERE

For my reflection/summary on previous chapters, click the title:
  1. Jennifer Nordstrom, "Intersectionality, Faith, and Environmental Justice"
  2. Paula Cole Jones, "The Formation of the Environmental Justice Movement"
  3. Sheri Prud'homme, "Ecotheology"
  4. Sofia Betancourt, "Ethical Implications of Environmental Justice"
  5. Adam Robersmith, "Cherishing Our World: Avoiding Despair in Environmental Justice Work"
  6. Peggy Clarke, Matthew McHale, "Becoming Resilient: Community Life for a New Age
  7. Kathleen McTigue, "Drawing on the Deep Waters: Contemplative Practice in Justice-Making
  8. Pamela Sparr, "Transforming Unitarian Universalist Culture: Stepping Out of Our Silos and Selves
  9. Kathleen McTigue, “Learning to Change: Immersion Learning and Climate Justice
  10. Peggy Clarke, "Eating the Earth"
  11. Mel Hoover and Rosed Edington, "Water Unites Us
Yours in faith,
Meredith

Practice of the Week: Find Beauty In keeping with our theme for May, Beauty, consider these thoughts for finding more beauty in your life and developing a beauty habit! "There's so much beauty all around us. But I think that for many people, there is little sense of this. That was certainly true for me before I started deliberately looking for beauty. And then we wonder why life doesn't seem very delightful!"
READ MORE

Your Moment of Zen: Doubt Three essential conditions for Zen practice are: Great Faith, Great Doubt, and Great Determination. This Great Doubt is not intellectual doubt. It is:
"utterly becoming one with our practice to the point that our entire body and mind are like a single mass of inquiry. As long as we think that there is something called 'ourselves' that is practicing, we have not quite achieved great doubt. When we become truly absorbed in our practice, then the practice itself is practicing -- our spiritual energy solidified into an immovable mass of questioning." (Koun Yamada).
What is it? Open your mouth to proffer an answer, and you've lost it.

Case
One evening Woodpecker asked, "The term doubt seems to be used in an unusual way in our practice. How do you understand it?"
Raven said, "What's this?"
Woodpecker asked, "Well, what is it?"
Raven asked, "What is it?"
Verse
Who hears? What is mu?
How is it I speak
Without moving my tongue?
What is the sound of a hand?
What is here?
I ask, not wanting to know,
but to remember I don't.
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
Raven Index   ☙   Zen Practice at CUUC

Religious Education: Sun May 5

Spring may be taking a very long time to arrive, nonetheless Easter was celebrated with the usual joy and feeling of rejuvenation and rebirth identified with this holiday. This past Sunday, the coinciding holiday of Passover was beautifully illustrated and facilitated with the Passover seder service. Congregants had the opportunity to hear the words of the Jewish faith celebrating the triumph of spirit and body over oppression. The angel of death did indeed “pass over” with the faithful standing fast in their covenant with God, just as we honored our covenant with each other and the world as Unitarian Universalists. Traditional symbolic foods and prayers were offered during the service as a spiritual and communal exchange amongst children and families. At the conclusion of the service, there was an enhanced coffee hour and the children had the fun tradition of going to Fellowship Hall to find the hidden afikomen (piece of matzoh). Needless to say they found it in short order. The finale of this exceptional day was the spring concert, which provided not only exquisite but uplifting and reaffirming music from Adam Kent, our guest clarinetist Pascal Archer, and the CUUC Choir whose songs included a medley from West Side Story.

Well, we continue with a nonstop array of events – there is no shortage to the dedication, hard work, fun, and camaraderie at CUUC. Saturday, May 4, is the Variety Show extravaganza! The air is simply energized with the prospect of all our “undiscovered” talent waiting to perform. There is something for everybody: entertainment, socializing, music, food, and who knows... the next American Idol? On Sunday, May 5, the Environmental Practices Group will be leading our special Social Justice Sunday program for the 4–5 and 6–7 grade RE classes. The objective is to train the students to be “Recycle Rangers” by helping them acquire knowledge about recycling. The students will decide on a name for themselves, and collectively discuss what important messages they want to convey on posters for the congregation.

This Sunday is our Flower Celebration. This is a lovely, life-affirming demonstration of the friendship and caring of the congregation to themselves, their faith community, and their families and friends. Be here at the start of service to hear our Music for All Ages led by choir director Lisa N. Meyer, who will discuss "When did people begin to sing together?" Our director of faith development Perry Montrose will be here to offer a special Wonder Box Story with the help of music director Adam Kent. Remember to bring a flower!

Michele Rinaldi
RE Coordinator

Looking ahead...

RE This Sunday, May 5
Grade 8-9 OWL and Youth start in class. Other grades start in the sanctuary for Music for All Ages and Wonder Box. Bring a flower!

2019 Variety Show, Sat May 4, 5:00pm (pizza for performers at 4:30pm)
The 7th Annual Variety Show is here! This event is for EVERYONE, not just kids, so come have fun! Enjoy performance, bake sale, raffle prizes, and silent auction (see info HERE). Proceeds go to PrideWorks, supporting Westchester LGBTQ youth and their allies.

College Scholarship Awards
Each year CUUC offers two scholarships in the amount of $250 for our graduating seniors. One scholarship is given in honor of Sylvia Schnall-Pierorazio and the other Rev. Betty Baker, both former CUUC Directors of Religious Education. Please send a short essay on your contributions and leadership at CUUC, with a brief explanation of how the scholarship will be used and the names of two CUUC references to re@cucwp.org by Fri May 31.

Kids and Adults - Remember Your Special Friends Letters!
We have a month to go in our pen pal program. Our Special Friends masquerade reveal party is scheduled for 9:00am on Sun Jun 9. We will provide masquerade costumes to help with the excitement of meeting our special friends. Thanks to all participants for helping our kids and adults get to know one another better and for creating greater community at CUUC!

Faith Development Friday, Fri May 10, 6:15 Pizza & Salad, 7:00 Programs, CUUC
Come for our monthly evening of community and spiritual growth. Programs include Faith Like a River Adult RE, and Family Journey Group for parents and kids. RSVP to cuucevents@gmail.com by 12 noon Fri May 10, so we know how much pizza to order.

Healthy Youth Relationships Retreat, Sat May 11, 9:30am - 8:00pm, CUUC
The Westchester UU congregations are partnering with Center Lane to support 6th-12th grade youth in developing healthy relationships and to support parents in their role as primary educators. Discussion topics include communication, decision-making, sexual orientation, gender identity, social media, justice, responsibility, consent, and safety. The PrideWorks store will be available for fun swag! Register at tinyurl.com/CLUU2019. Each group will be capped at 20 so register now! Contact: Tracy Breneman, Mt. Kisco & Hastings DRE, at DRETracyB@gmail.com. See the flyer HERE.

More Activities for UU Youth and Families
We are planning activities to strengthening community among Westchester UU youth. Save the dates and register as indicated to ensure the events will happen! Click HERE for more information.
  • Sunday, June 30: NYC Pride March, 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising (multigenerational event)
  • Saturday, July 6: Bowling - By Popular Youth Request! (6th-12th grade youth)
  • Saturday, August 3: Social Youth Gathering (6th-12th grade youth)

Summer programs for youth and young adults are an important way to support young Unitarian Universalists in their faith development and help them discern their life’s calling. Learn more about Thrive Youth, Summer Seminary, Meaning Makers, and other summer programs offered by the UUA office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Visit uua.org/young-adults/events.

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. 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. murraygrove.org
  • UUMAC Retreat is one week in July at DeSales University in PA. uumac.org
  • CERSI is one week in July in Oberlin, OH. cersiuu.or
  • SUUSI is a weeklong multignerational event in North Carolina. suusi.org

On the Journey, May: Beauty

The May issue of "On the Journey" has arrived! HERE

We'll be exploring BEAUTY. Don't miss it, and don't miss your Journey Group meeting to get together to work with this issue!

Here's your preparation:

Check In, p. 1. Where/how do you most often experience beauty?

"Poems," pp. 2-3. Issa, "virtue beyond virtue." Foster, "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair." Millay, "Still will I harvest beauty where it grows." Hopkins, "Pied Beauty." Gwynn, "Fried Beauty." Burroughs, "The Beauty of Black." Wilbur, "The Beautiful Changes." Byron, "She Walks in Beauty." Song of Songs Canticles.
Do any of these speak to you? Reveal a new perspective?

"Beauty Quotations," p. 4. Which quote is your favorite? Why?

"Beauty in People 1: A Twilight Zone episode synopsis," pp. 5-6. Is "lookism" a serious issue? Are standards of beauty/ugliness arbitrary?

"Beauty in People 2: The Gender Issue," pp. 6-7. (1) In what Alkon says, what is true? Of the parts that seem true, what is unchangeable reality and what could be changed?
(2) Rather than redefine personal beauty, why not instead, drop the idea that personal beauty matters? If how one feels inside is what matters, why call that “beauty”? (We tend not to call it beauty when it’s related to how men feel inside.)
(3) Which message is more important for a girl to hear: “You are smart and kind – beauty is for nature and art, not people” or “You are beautiful”?
(4) Is it possible and desirable that X minutes a day spent on dress and grooming (for any given value of X) will make the same social difference for a man as for a woman?

"Beauty in Nature," pp. 7-9. How does the Wilson/Dutton thesis change how you view nature?

"Beauty in Art," pp. 9-10. Is Dutton's argument convincing? Is Dutton’s account implicitly sex-specific? That is, given that the male peacock, not the peahen, evolved a large showy tail, does Dutton’s account explain artistic skill in men while failing to explain why it has evolved just as strongly in women?

TED Talks about Beauty. Which one is your favorite?
  • Denis Dutton (philosopher), “A Darwinian Theory of Beauty” (2010). This talk, quoted extensively in the issue, is worth watching for its delightful illustration. HERE.
  • Richard Seymour (designer), “How Beauty Feels” (2011). Our response to beauty and the surprising power of objects that exhibit it. HERE.
  • Eva Zeisel (ceramics designer), “The Playful Search for Beauty” (2001). Reflections on what has kept her work fresh through a 75-year career. HERE
Questions, p. 11.
  1. What’s unique (or nearly so) about your personal sense of beauty? What do you find beautiful that most other people seem not to?
  2. Confucius claimed, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Is this true? If everything is beautiful, then what is the point of beauty?
  3. If our society were to reduce gender inequalities (to the greatest extent you can imagine), what effects might this have on standards of personal beauty (for women or men)?
  4. We rarely hear the phrase, “a little bit beautiful.” Do most people – and do you -- tend to think of things as either beautiful or not – without much thought given to comparative degree of beauty? If so, is that a mistake?
  5. With the notable except of music, beauty tends to be a visual perception. For those of us who are sighted, most of the arts and all of natural and personal beauty seem to rely first and foremost on our vision. So how would becoming blind – as best as you can imagine – shift your relationship to beauty? Would the concept come to mind much less? Or would you reconceive its nature?
  6. Is there such a thing as too much beauty? In what ways do you withdraw from experiences of beauty, and why?
Our Spiritual Exercise: Find Beauty: HERE

The link to the current and all past issues of On the Journey can always be found at cucmatters.org/p/journey-groups.htm

2019-04-26

From the Minister, Fri Apr 26

We made a promise. To mystery. And that promise calls us to neighborliness. I think that is the call that we – we who constitute Community Unitarian Universalist – answer and aspire to answer. It’s what we do in our being here, in our participation in congregational life: we answer the call to neighborliness and live into the promise we have made to mystery.

We Unitarians Universalists are a part of a covenantal tradition – a tradition of covenant with something that is more powerful than you or I, something mysterious that calls us to our better selves, something that we all sometimes stray from, but that ever-beckons us back to a truer path -- something that defines us as a people.

We covenant to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person – every being, I’d say. That’s the first of our seven principles. We covenant to respect the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part. That’s the seventh principle. The interdependence of existence, and inherent worth and dignity, are powerful. There is a quality of mystery and awe there. How could this be, this total interdependence, this inalienability from concern and respect? That’s why I say we’ve made a promise to mystery: because our covenant commits us to principles ultimately inexplicable.

Care, kindness, and compassion are, for us, rooted, after all, in our promise to uphold everyone’s worth and dignity because, mysteriously, it’s inherent – and our promise to respect the web of existence because, mysteriously, we’re an interdependent part of it.

Today, the notion that there are common goods that we can collectively realize, and that the form of our collective action is called government grows increasingly quaint. The trend to privatize everything from schools to prisons to health care means the wealthy get health care and education but no one gets the benefits we would all receive when more of our neighbors are educated and healthy.

We are not ready for details, for we have not yet coalesced around a vision, a dream. Recall that Martin Luther King’s dream was articulated in several of his addresses leading up its most famous expression in Washington DC in August 1963. Only after that dream exercised the imaginations of a significant number of people could we then follow with policy: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the fair housing act of 1968.

For us today, says theologian Walter Brueggemann, “the prophetic task is not blueprint or program or even advocacy. It is the elusiveness of possibility out beyond evidence, an act of imagination.”

The name for imagining beyond evidence is: faith. Your presence here to be with each other, to make the unmarketable abundance of community, is the embodiment of our faith and hope.

With the wider culture around us sliding toward despair and desperation, all we need to see hope right now is to look around at CUUC on a Sunday morning.

Yours in faith,
Meredith

Practice of the Week: Sacred Reading With sacred reading, the mindfulness given to the text is a reminder of the power and holistic character of the life within and beyond me. Something hitherto silent has been given voice within me.
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Your Moment of Zen: Everyday Life It's not complicated. Practice includes everything, and zazen is central. De-centering the ego in zazen requires help from everyday life. De-centering the ego in everyday life requires help from zazen. One hand washes the other.

Case
Raccoon visited again from Cedarford and said, "My problem is how to use my practice in everyday life."
Raven asked, "What is your practice?"
Raccoon said, "Lots of zazen."
Raven said, "You probably can't use it."
Raccoon said, "Then what's the good of it?"
Raven said, "Zazen arises from vows; vows arise from an aspiration for realization; aspiration for realization arises from a profound sense of unsatisfactoriness; the profound sense of unsatisfactoriness arises from self-centered views. When you realize that right views are right for toads and centipedes, then your practice includes washing your meat."
Raccoon asked, "Then zazen's not central?"
Raven said, "The core."
Verse
Venturing forth, coming home.
Spring moon, autumn moon.
I long ago lost track of
Which was supposed to be which.
Case by Robert Aitken, adapted; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon
RAVEN INDEX

Sacred Reading

Practice of the Week
Sacred Reading

Category: Worth a Try, Occasional, or Might Be Your Thing. Give it a try. Maybe this will become an occasional practice for you. Or it might become your central daily spiritual practice. Or maybe it won't. Try it once and see.

from Susan Ritchie, "Sacred Reading," in Everyday Spiritual Practice, abridged and adapted.

For a somewhat different approach, see "Spiritual Reading"

In my mid-twenties, I completed a doctorate in English. I could plow my way through an impressive amount of material in a relatively short time. I prided myself on being able to move through texts of all sorts, quickly identifying the valuable nuggets and throwing all else to the side.

Eventually, I realized that I was not reading as much as strip mining. It took me a long time to recover a way of reading that enhanced rather than impoverished my sense of the wholeness and beauty not only of the text but also of everything within and beyond my own self.

The spiritual practice of sacred reading has been empowering. I have not become, I should say from the start, any less of a critical reader. Sacred reading is not anti-intellectual reading. And yet my approach is different than it was in my days of high-yield mining.

With sacred reading, the mindfulness given to the text is a reminder of the power and holistic character of the life within and beyond me. Something hitherto silent has been given voice within me.

Sacred reading – also called lectio divina -- has been an important mainstay of the Christian monastic tradition since the middle ages. The stages of the discipline have not changed.

1. Select a text. Scripture from one of the world's great religious traditions is one possibility. However you choose your passage—whether it be from scripture or from the bestseller list, whether it be by lectionary, inclination, or random chance—the only requirement is that you be prepared to be surprised.

2. Read it aloud. Over and over again. This might seem bizarre at first. But as one of the goals of sacred reading is precisely to restore a sense of bodied-ness to the reader, it is important to read the words out loud. This is to return to the medieval practice, where reading was done not with the eyes, but with the lips. Reading aloud allows the sounds to pull you from the safe confines of your head, back into your body, back into a fuller and fully sensual experience of the world and the text.

The mouth is the most important organ for this process, for what, finally, is sacred reading but a form of eating, an ingestion of other-than-earthly food? The spiritual literature of the middle ages referred often to reading as a form of ruminatio, or rumination -- a chewing of the cud. The words must be felt in the mouth. They must be masticated before they are thoroughly and wholly taken in.

The text is there to be taken apart and put back together a thousand times over. The holy lies in the activity and experience of the reader.

So speak the text out loud. Hear the sensuous combination of sounds: Hear them first not as mere vehicles of meaning, but as sounds. Feel how good it is to say them. Feel the mouth work its way around the vowels, feel the force of the consonants. Enjoy the very materiality of language. And repeat your passage over and over again. See if you cannot learn your text by heart.

3. Memorizing texts, unfortunately, has associations with a stale classroom. But to learn a text by heart, to know it, as we say, backwards and forwards—this is an important element of the spiritual discipline of reading. In learning a text by heart we truly remember it, and truly begin the work of taking those well chewed syllables and integrating them anew with each other and with our own selves. I have a friend, raised in no particular religious tradition, who when in a difficult or distressing situation finds himself mouthing under his breath a confused combination of the Twenty-Third Psalm and the Pledge of Allegiance. The result is both ludicrous and oddly comforting.

Perhaps it is not so strange that we should find such comfort from words repeated and remembered, for in the process words allow us to live for a while within their own music and their own rhythm. For a while we are embodied not only within our physical selves but also within time. Reading can extend the present moment and make it habitable. Those moments when we allow the text to animate us are a blissful relief from our usual sort of existence.

For a while I served as a chaplain on a hospital ward of Alzheimer patients, most of them quite advanced in their illness. Little would restore these patients to anything that we fully remembering adults charged with their care recognized as presence -- little, that is, but the Lord's Prayer, memorized by those folks as many as ninety years ago. Something sacred indeed was present when a roomful of desperate human beings, each lost in his or her own universe, would nonetheless come together, every last one of them, on "thy kingdom come, thy will be done, ..." only to have the brief light of presence flicker away at the end of the recitation.

4. Meditate on the remembered text. In the original understanding of meditation, in both rabbinic and monastic contexts, meditation on remembered texts was the only possible form of meditation. For them, meditation was a grappling with, a working of, the text by one's understanding and will.

Some practitioners of sacred reading recommend spending time imagining it. Recreate it, as well as you can, with sights, sounds, and smells, within your mind. Others suggest free associating on the text, bringing to mind events in your life that seem similar to the passage, and imagining the scene from the vantage point of different characters. Or you can try to feel the passage, deliberately using it to evoke and explore particular emotions. In time, you will find your own way of engaging the text.

The joy of sacred reading is that it is, finally, a way of giving voice within to something that was originally without.

* * *

2019-04-25

Religious Education: Sun Apr 28

Last Sunday, Easter, signified a highly religious time for Christians, and coincided with the uplifting Passover holiday for Jews. It should not be lost on anyone that both holidays celebrate victory over evil and life transcending death. In more of a figurative context, these holidays occur during spring and thus signify revitalization, rebirth, and resurrection of hopes, dreams, faith, and our communal connection to each other and the world. What better day to have the RE children celebrate life, exhibiting their childlike innocence in laughter, fun, and camaraderie. There were approximately 12 to 15 children who participated in Easter activities. Lyra Harada, our children’s music director, provided a backdrop with festive music as the students rotated amongst activities of dying eggs, decorating cookies, and decorating bags in which to carry their eggs. What next of course to round out the day but an egg hunt! This was a great time for all the children and adults as well. So now we look forward to this Sunday, April 28, which affords the congregation an opportunity to share in elements of a communal traditional Passover seder meal with each other. At the end of the service, all the RE students are invited to Fellowship Hall where - in Passover tradition – they will look for the afikoman, the hidden piece of matzo. Who will find it, I wonder?

Let us all revel in the arrival of spring and the re-affirmation or rebirth of our UU values. May the promise of tomorrow and our hopes and dreams dispel our transgressions and provide us with an abundance of compassion, respect, and spiritual growth.

Michele Rinaldi
RE Coordinator

Looking ahead...

RE This Sunday, April 28
Grades 8-9 will start in class. All other grades will be in the sanctuary for our Passover service.

2019 Variety Show, Sat May 4, 5:00pm (pizza for performers at 4:30pm),
Variety Show Rehearsal, Fri May 3, 4:30-7:00pm (NOTE CORRECT DATE)
The 7th Annual Variety Show is one week away! How will YOU participate?
• Perform - contact Kate Breault (ksnowbro@gmail.com) or sign up in the RE lobby
• Bake - contact Benetta Barnett (benettabarnett@hotmail.com)
• Donate Raffle Prizes - contact Kate (for example: restaurant gift certificates, bouquets of flowers, wine, movie gift cards, new games for kids, chocolates, etc.)
Remember the Variety Show is for EVERYONE, not just kids. Come have fun! Invite your friends! Proceeds from this year's show go to PrideWorks, supporting Westchester LGBTQ youth and their allies.

Faith Development Friday, Fri May 10, 6:15 Pizza & Salad, 7:00 Programs
Save the date for our next evening of community and spiritual growth. Programs include Faith Like a River Adult RE, and Family Journey Group for parents and kids. RSVP to cuucevents@gmail.com by 12 noon Fri May 10, so we know how much pizza to order.

Remember your Special Friends letters!

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. 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. murraygrove.org

UUMAC Retreat is one week in July at DeSales University in PA. uumac.org

CERSI is one week in July in Oberlin, OH. cersiuu.org

SUUSI is a weeklong multignerational event in North Carolina. suusi.org

2019-04-24

Music: Sun Apr 28


Instrumental music in the form of Joseph Achron’s “Hebrew Melody” and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s arrangement of the Spiritual “Wade in the Water” are included as part of our Sunday morning Passover celebration. The former needs no explanation; the latter alludes to the Exodus from Egypt, and the parting of the Red Sea, as the Israelites fled their former captors. Elsewhere, a wealth of Jewish and Passover-themed congregational singing comprises a large part of worship, and CUUC’s Choir is on hand with a Psalm setting from Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and an arrangement of the traditional Hine Matov as a round. Read on for programming details.

Centering Music: Lyra Harada, violin; Adam Kent, piano
“Hebrew Melody”
                                    Joseph Achron

Anthem: CUUC Choir directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas
Chichester Psalms, Movement III*
                                                 Leaonard Bernstein.

*Ps. 131:  Lord, Lord
               My heart is not haughty,
             Nor my eyes lofty,
                Neither do I exercise myself
                In great matter or in things
                Too wonderful for me.
                Surely, I have calmed
                And quieted myself,
                As a child that is weaned of his mother,
                My soul is even as a weaned child.
             Let Israel hope in the Lord,
                From henceforth and forever.

Ps. 133, vs. 1:  Behold, how good,
                          And how pleasant it is,
                          For brethren to dwell
                          Together in unity.

Offertory:
“Wade in the Water”
                                    Traditional Spiritual arr. by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Anthem:
Hine matov uma nayim         
                                    Traditional Hebrew Round