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Minister's Post, Fri Jan 22

Dear Ones, Fellow Unitarian Universalists,

Total deaths in the US from Covid surpassed 100,000 on May 22.
Surpassed 200,000 on Sep 15.
Surpassed 300,000 on Dec 11.
Surpassed 400,000 on Jan 15.

That is, it took 16.5 weeks to add the second 100,000 deaths, 12.5 weeks to add the third 100,000, and only 5 weeks to add the fourth 100,000.

But relief appears to be coming. We're seeing a decline in new cases of Covid-19. Ten days ago (as I write this on Thu Jan 21), on Jan 11, the 7-day average for new cases stood at over 743,000 per day (world). As of yesterday (Jan 20) the 7-day average of new cases per day was down to just over 643,000 -- which is still more than we had at any time before Dec 17, but that's 100,000 people a day who aren't coming down with COVID.

In the US, the shape of the graph is similar. Ten days ago, on Jan 11, the 7-day average of new cases per day was almost 255,000. Now it's down to 197,000 -- i.e., back down to what we were seeing on Dec 5.

So: we've passed the peak. Though another surge is possible, we're likely to continue to see the numbers of new cases dropping.

Yours in the faith we share,

Practice of the Week

SLOGANS THAT HELP. Advertisers know that slogans work! So let's put them to a positive use. Adopting these slogans as your personal guides and reminders will help bring more peace and more joy into your life. Maybe you could use a little more peace and joy.

Journaling about how you're implementing a given slogan will help internalize it.

This winter’s series has included, “Stay Close to your Resentment,” and “Get Excited.” This week’s slogan is “Find Strength.”

trength comes in many forms: endurance, losing on the little things in order to win on the big ones. Restraint is a strength. Start by making a list of your strengths. Maybe intelligence, honesty, bearing pain, a knack for recognizing good in others, or just surviving. This’ll help you feel stronger.

Then think about good things you use your strengths for. Notice that it’s good to be strong. Recall times you felt strong – and what your body felt like then. Tell yourself that you are strong. That you can endure, persist, cope, and prevail, and can hold your experience in awareness without being overwhelmed.

For the rest of Rick Hanson’s pointers for how to live this slogan, “Find strength,” SEE HERE.


Music: Sun Jan 24


This morning’s solo piano selections call attention to the work of composers who reached out beyond their inherent cultural and aesthetic worlds, overcoming biases to find their true artistic voices. The CUUC Choir is also on hand to reprise an expression of determination and resolve originally aired late last year. Read on for programming details and stay tuned for live introductory comments by Adam.


Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Sonata in G Major, K. 547

                        Domenico Scarlatti

Anthem: CUUC Choir directed by Lisa N. Meyer and accompanied by Georgianna Pappas

“Nothin’ Gonna Stumble My Feet”

                                    Greg Gilpin and John Parker


Musical Meditation:


Golliwogg’s Cakewalk

                                                Claude Debussy

Parting Music:
Rondo alla Turca

                                                Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart



Find Strength

Practice of the Week
Find Strength

CATEGORY: SLOGANS THAT HELP. Advertisers know that slogans work! So let's put them to a positive use. Adopting these slogans as your personal guides and reminders will help bring more peace and more joy into your life. Journaling about how you're trying to implement a given slogan will help integrate it into your life.

To make your way in life -- to enjoy the beautiful things it offers, to steer clear of hazards and protect yourself and others, and find friendship and love -- you need strength. Not chest-thumping pushiness, but determination and grit.

Strength comes in many forms, including endurance, losing on the little things in order to win on the big ones, and restraint. For example, if you want to move a boat at the edge of a dock, don't run into it with a big smash; you'll just hurt yourself. Instead, stand on the edge of the dock, put your hand on the boat, and lean into it. Strength keeps leaning.

Inner strength is not all or nothing. You can build it, just like a muscle.


Mental strength draws on physical health, which is fueled by:
  • eating protein at every meal;
  • taking vitamin and mineral supplements daily;
  • exercising several times a week;
  • setting aside seven to nine hours a day for sleep;
  • using intoxicants in moderation or not at all; and
  • addressing and resolving chronic health problems, even seemingly mild ones.
If you are not doing these, how about starting today?

Make a list of your strengths, such as intelligence, honesty, bearing pain, natural talents, recognizing good in others, or just surviving. Be accurate -- not unfairly self-critical. Recognizing your strengths will help you feel stronger. If it's appropriate, ask someone what he or she thinks some of your strengths are.

Think about some of the good things you use your strengths for, such as earning a living, raising a family, growing as a person, or making our world better. Tell yourself, It is good for me to be strong. My strength helps good things happen. Good people want me to be strong; anyone who wants me to be weak is not on my side. Notice any beliefs that it is bad to be strong . . . and then turn your attention back to the good reasons for being strong.

To increase your sense of strength, recall times you felt strong. (For me, many of these have involved standing up for others, or physical activities like hiking in wilderness.) What did your body feel like then? What was your posture, point of view, or intention? Explore embodying strength right now: maybe lifting your chin, widening your stance, or breathing deeply. Take in these physical sensations and attitudes of strength so you can tap into them again.

Notice how good it feels to be strong. Feel the pleasure in your body, perhaps a quiet fierceness and resolve. Enjoy the confidence that strength brings, the sense of possibility. Appreciate how your strength empowers your caring, protectiveness, and love.

Tell yourself that you are strong. That you can endure, persist, cope, and prevail. That you are strong enough to hold your experience in awareness without being over¬whelmed. That the winds of life can blow, and blow hard, but you are a deeply rooted tree, and winds just make you even stronger.

And when they are done blowing, there you still stand. Offering shade and shelter, flowers and fruit. Strong and lasting.

* * *
Also of interest: Tony Robbins on "Finding Inner Strength".
* * *


Religious Education: January 15, 2021

Religious Education & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
January 15, 2021
2020-2021 Religious Education (RE) theme: JUSTICE & EQUITY
Supporting our young people in understanding justice issues, articulating their values, and engaging in faith in action with CUUC Social Justice teams.
Sunday, January 17th

Worship 10:00am  
Click here to join our Sunday Worship
or phone in (audio only): 646-876-9923 · Webinar: 761 321 991 · Passcode: 468468
After worship, join our Virtual Coffee Hour
or phone in (audio only): 929-436-2866 · Meeting: 336 956 2210 · Passcode: 468468
Rev. Meredith Garmon ~ “Does Social Change Happen Intentionally?”

As we celebrate the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., some thoughts on how social change happens both accidentally and on purpose -- and how this connects to our spiritual lives.
K-12 & Adult Classes

January 17th: K-12th grade and Parent/Caregiver classes do not meet this Sunday. Classes meet next on January 24th and January 31st. Click here for the full schedule and list of topics (pp. 3-4).

Adult ResourceWe offer this resource document with materials from the Parent/Caregiver curriculum and additional resources for adults who are supporting youth in developing healthy self-esteem and relationships. We will update the document after each class.  Click here for the full schedule and list of topics (pp. 3-4).
MLK Day Events for All Ages
We are called this weekend and always to continue the work of making Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of a beloved community a reality.  Now through January 26th, there are opportunities for learning and service online and in person. Some require preregistration, as noted below. 
Habitat for Humanity
Friday, January 15 - Tuesday, January 26, Throughout Westchester
Westchester's Martin Luther King J. Build-A-Thon: Get your hands dirty and join Habitat for Humanity of Westchester’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Build-A-Thon. No prior volunteer experience or skills are required to participate and builds will take place throughout the county. Click here for more information
Volunteer NY
Saturday, Jan 16, 3pm-4:30pm, Online Webinar
The global pandemic has shined a light on the glaring inequalities between those that have and those that have not. Join our MLK Day 2021 Webinar "Volunteering with Equity in Mind" where we will share volunteer tips on how best to advocate for those in our community and bridge the gap between those we serve and those who serve.  Click here to register

White Plains Public Library
Sunday, January 17, 1-4:30pm, Showings at the Library

The Library is celebrating MLK with award winning picture books on film in the Cave and Galaxy Hall. The lineup includes: Martin Luther King Day, March On, Henry’s Freedom Box, Martin’s Big Words, Rosa, and Martin Luther King Jr. Admission is free and the short films will be shown multiple times throughout the afternoon. Click here for additional information

Screening of True Justice, Bryan Stevenson
Sunday, January 17, 2pm, Online Viewing and Discussion

Creative Response to Conflict and Rockland partners are hosting an online screening and discussion of True Justice, a film that focuses on Bryan Stevenson's & the Equal Justice Initiative’s work on behalf of the poor, incarcerated, and condemned. Stevenson indicts the U.S. criminal justice system for its role in codifying modern systemic racism and tracks the intertwined histories of slavery, lynching, segregation, and mass incarceration. Register to receive the Zoom link.

Westchester MLK Institute for Nonviolence
Monday, Jan 18, Online Events
11am-12pm Children's Story Hour For Ages 4 and Up
: Children will be able to listen to stories read aloud by our very own directors and volunteers.  12pm-1pm Listening Circles For Ages 10-17: Facilitated by our directors, youth will reflect, talk and honor the legacy of Dr. King's vision.  1pm-2pm Special Presentation For ages 18 and over: *Remembering the Mindset. This year’s MLK presentation will be focused on the fated connection between civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the leader of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, after whom Dr. King was named.  Click here to register 

Congregation Survey

This year, the CUUC Committee on Ministry is exploring racial bias, with a focus on how we, as individuals and as a congregation, have experienced it; can recognize it; have participated in it; and can address this important concern. The survey has 32 questions, takes 10–15 minutes to complete, and will be open until Wed Jan 27. Take the online survey here. If you prefer a paper copy, you can download the survey here, print at home, and mail to CUUC. Or you can email the office ( to have a copy mailed to you. Thank you!

30 Days of Love

Our annual opportunity to lift up the ways Unitarian Universalists and many of our partner organizations are building and organizing by taking bold, courageous action for intersectional racial justice. 

In 2021, 30 Days of Love will focus on four themes from a recently published report called Widening the Circle of Concern, Each week, we will share a ‘playlist’ or ‘menu’ of activities for individuals to interact with, connected with our weekly theme. Each week, there will be a theme with do-it-yourself activities for children, youth, and multigenerational/family audiences in the categories of Read, Watch, Participate, Listen, and Worship. .

Week One: Living Our Values in the World (January 17 – 23)
Week Two: Hospitality and Inclusion (January 24 – 30)
Week Three: Educating for Liberation (January 31 – February 6)
Week Four: Restoration and Reparations (February 7 – 13)

Click here for more information.


Those who identify as Black, Indigenous or a person of color (BIPOC) are invited to join the Central East Region's BIPOC gathering. This is an opportunity for lay members and leaders of color, and religious professionals of color to be in community. Our conversations focus on topics like wellness and resilience and our goal is to center BIPOC experiences and create space to explore our UU experiences. Dates for Spring Gatherings, Mondays at 6:30pm: Jan 11 & 25, Feb 8 & 22, Mar 8 & 22, Apr 12 & 26, May 10 & 24, and June 14 & 28. Email Sana Saeed ( or Paula Cole Jones ( for zoom information.  

Pride Academy

Center Lane's Pride Academy is a special program just for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 13-21). Together, we will learn about the unique challenges and opportunities being LGBTQ+ brings. and celebrate our community, history, and culture! Pride Academy is FREE and meets Thursdays, 1/14/21 - 3/18/21 from 6:00 - 7:30pm using our Confidential Zoom. Click here for more information and to register

Rainbow Squad

Center Lane's FIRST pre-teen group! Rainbow Squad is a special group for kids in 5-8th grade to explore LGBTQ+ concepts and make friends! We'll have fun while building confidence, self esteem, and community! Rainbow Squad’s parents will meet at the same time to talk about parenting, share ideas, and swap resources. Free on our Confidential Zoom! Mondays 1/25 - 4./12 (6-7:30pm). Click here for more information and to register
Center Lane's phone, 914-423-0610 & website,
Stay In the Know
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains  
468 Rosedale Ave · White Plains, NY 10605-5419