Summer 2020 Religious Education Newsletter

Religious Education & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
July 2, 2020

Summer 2020 Edition
Our Religious Educator, Tracy Breneman,
will be on vacation July 5th-27th.

She will be back at her desk Tuesday, July 28th.
During this time, please contact RE Council Co-Chairs:
Laura Goodspeed, lkgoodspeed@gmail.com and
Christine Haran, christineharan@yahoo.com.


Friday, July 3rd
Peekskill Waterfront

YOUTH LED Rally Against Racial Injustice
Westchester Interfaith Youth Alliance 

JR (Tracy's partner) will be sharing original
spoken-word poetry early in the program

Friday, July 10th
Westchester County Courthouse

Honoring Black lives lost
and supporting families

The CUUC Hunger and Homelessness team and the Brunch Committee continue partnering with HOPE Kitchen to provide support for local families experiencing food insecurity. Contact Nicole Turygin (nturygin@gmail.com) and Steve Miller (obitsman@gmail.com) to find out how you can participate in this important work over the summer! 

The 1619 Project at CUUC
To understand current demands for racial justice, we need to truly understand our country's history. CUUC discussions about The 1619 Project will resume in the fall. Read about CUUC's approach HERE.  Summer is a great time to read the materials! Links to the individual essays on The New York Times website can be found at the bottom of their article "Why We Published the 1619 Project." Find a link to The New York Times Magazine: The 1619 Project HERE


UU Kids Connect
Welcome! UU Kids Connect is an 8 week summer program initiated by The Community Church of New York and developed in collaboration with six other UU congregations to offer a new experience in faith community for incoming grades K - 8. Using stories, games and activity-based learning, children in incoming grades K-5 will explore the eight principles of our UU faith in new and different ways. Middle schoolers, incoming grades 6-8 will enjoy theme-based socials that allow them to forge new friendships, share their voices on matters that matter to them, and have fun growing their identities in a supportive and grounded space! 
UU Kids Connect is about building new UU community, and lifting up and celebrating all of the awesome ways there are of being and believing in the world. 
Rising K-5th Graders 
  • Summer Power Hour Mondays - incoming grades K-2 (Mondays, July 6 – Aug.24, 11:00am-12:00pm ET)
  • Summer Power Hour Wednesdays - incoming grades 3-5 (Wednesdays, July 8 – Aug.26, 11:-00am – 12:00pm ET)
Each week we’ll explore one of the 8 Unitarian Universalist Principles. On Monday July 6th, we’ll begin by lifting up the belief that each and every person is important. Any child through 5th grade is welcome to attend on any Mondays and/or Wednesdays. Wednesday hours will be more of an enhanced deeper dive into the principle that is explored on the previous Monday.

REGISTER NOW FOR K-5 (registration is free and does not bind you to attend). Click HERE to register for the 8/week 8/Principle program. 
Rising 6th-8th Graders
  • Summer Socials for incoming grades 6-8 (every other Friday, July 10, July 24, Aug.7 & Aug.21, 3:00pm – 4:00pm ET)
REGISTER NOW FOR 6-8 (registration is free and does not bind you to attend).  Click HERE to register for Summer Socials 6-8. 
Contact: Jil Novenski, Director of Religious Education for Children & Youth
jnovenski@ccny.org - The Community Church of New York, NY
Youth Treehouse
Your UU Central East Region (CER) staff and youth are working on a private social media space where CER youth can connect with each other this summer. 

There will be break out spaces by CON community, spaces for POC and LGBTQ youth, chances to plan drop in programs like worship, and more—whatever the community needs and can create together! This will provide opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills. 

The Treehouse will be completely free and open to rising 9th graders through 2020 HS graduates. Youth must be approved by their Religious Educator. Registration is OPEN! The week of July 6th we’ll have a meet and greet over Zoom and an online youth worship.

Faith Lab

Faith Lab is an engaging online summer program for high school aged Unitarian Universalists who’ve completed grads 9-12 (or homeschool equivalent) that happens July 10th through 31st. Faith Lab is a chance to explore spiritual leadership, learn alongside UU spiritual teachers, and experiment with mystery, faith and wonder. In Faith Lab, you will discern your unique gifts, explore spiritual practices and build community together. Cost is a sliding scale: $0, $75, $150, $255 to $300 + donation. Click HERE for more information. 

Youth can do both the CER Treehouse and the UU Faith Lab!

The CER Treehouse will be more drop in events, some planned by youth, some planned by adults. It’s a great place for lots of youth from youth who don’t know how much of a commitment they want to make to youth who want to practice leadership by making things happen. 

UU Faith Lab will focus on connection between youth and building the skill sets we all need to have more virtual youth events instead of leading a regional specific youth leadership school.

Center Lane LGBTQ+
Online Pride Camps 
Center Lane is celebrating its 25th birthday with LGBTQ+ Pride Camps! Pride Camps are FREE 5-day leadership conferences where teens in Westchester County can earn 20 hours of community service learning how to create community, connect with LGBTQ+ culture and history and contribute to the world! Westchester UU youth have attended these camps in the past and loved them - ask Tracy!

Pride Camp: Friendship & Dating & Sex, Oh My!
Monday-Friday, July 13-17, 11am-3pm
Finding and building relationships is unique for LGBTQ+ youth. Coming out, rejection, and (sometimes) unexpected crushes can be part of it. The straight world gives us much of the script for dating, so it’s hard to know how it all works - or where even to find someone! In most sex ed lessons, we’re either terrified or invisible. Here we’ll talk about all kinds of healthy, safe relationships.

Pride Camp: Isms & Intersections
Monday-Friday, August 10-14, 11am-3pm
The LGBTQ+ community is made up of people of all genders, races, religions, abilities, ages, income levels - we're everyone! This week, we'll talk 'ism' - how oppression of groups affects us personally, others in our community, and how we talk about being Queer. We'll explore how we navigate intersecting identities, deal with oppression, and show resilience.

Click HERE for links to other UU camps and activities.
Check for updates about in-person or virtual participation. 


The RE Council affirms that work to promote equity, inclusion, and diversity is not optional for our faith but a form of spiritual practice and necessary to fully live into the values of our faith. Core in Unitarian Universalism is a call to action that carries with it a responsibility to support our young people as they learn to carry our UU values into the world. The values of our faith are desperately needed, visibly and solidly. Our young people need to know our history, how to navigate their own socialization, and how to center the voices and experiences of people with historically marginalized and targeted identities.

For the 2020-2021 year in Religious Education, we are embracing the theme of Justice and Equity. We will deepen our partnership with the CUUC Social Justice teams, supporting existing initiatives and affording our young people opportunities to find their voice. 

While we do not yet know when we will return to our building, it’s exciting to imagine that when we do return some of the new practices we developed in recent months might continue in some form, opening new opportunities for faith development and community.

By mid-August, the RE Council will write to CUUC families with an initial plan for the year. Conditions permitting, we might have a carefully planned, physically distanced Fun Day the last weekend in August. We'll see how conditions evolve in the coming weeks and check with the Board before confirming any plans. 

We hope you have a wonderful, safe, and healthy summer!


  • For information about Summer 2020 UU camps, click HERE
  • Click HERE for activity resources.
  • Click HERE for our growing list of anti-racism resources for families.
  • Weekly Community Pandemic Check-In, Thursdays, 7:00pm, Room ending 8944. CUUC Community Minister Rev. Deb Morra invites CUUCers who want to connect and share during the pandemic to drop in to this weekly online check-in. All are welcome.
  • Many Journey Groups continue checking in over the summer. Visit cucwp.org/calendar for information about these and other gatherings; click on an event for login information.
  • Check the Online Programming Schedule for Zoom room information
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains  
468 Rosedale Ave · White Plains, NY 10605-5419

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