Religious Education: November 25, 2020 Indigenous Solidarity


Unitarian Universalism is a living faith, calling us to live into our values and Principles, calling us to shape the world in an image of love and justice, calling us to undo systems and a culture of racial oppression and violence, calling us into right relations and accountability. This week especially, we deepen our faith and our commitment to fully living into that faith by listening to and centering the voices of Indigenous Peoples.

In a 2018 presentation to UU Religious Educators, Julica Hermann de la Fuente reminded us that we each need to start where we are and take the next step that is ours to take. She drew a circle, then delineated a small area that looked like cutting a single slice of cake. That small area represented what we know we know. The remainder of the circle outside that slice represented what we don't know we don't know. This week, I invite you to take a step across into the area of what you don't know you don't know. Seek out indigenous perspectives and sit with what they need us to know about the holiday we call Thanksgiving. Learn about your local indigenous history and whose land we occupy. Allow this to expand what you now know. Then, around the meal table with family and friends, remember that we need to make room for each person to take their next step. As Julica taught, if we push them to the far side of their circle of understanding, we shut down communication and learning. Educate yourself. Encourage others to step across their line of understanding. Offer resources so yours is not the only voice. Advance the work of justice while remembering we are all on a journey. Below are some resources shared by the Center for Racial Justice in Education.

Native American Perspectives, Contributions and Celebrations
Historical Resources
  Resources for Families
Book Lists

As the holidays approach, some will find themselves at dinner tables and family gatherings where discussions can be challenging, reflecting a range of positions and understanding about history and its legacy. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) offers this Holiday Placemat for Indigenous Justice with suggestions for navigating the season.

Additional resources:
- Teaching Tolerance, Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way
- PBS, A Fresh Look at Thanksgiving
- Zinn Education Project, Native American
- Westchester Magazine, Hudson Valley's Tribal History
National Museum of the American Indian in NYC
Native Lands Map

Religious Education & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
November 25, 2020
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.
Rethinking Thanksgiving

The United States has over four hundred years of ongoing violence against indigenous lives and culture. Some refer to ‘Thanksgiving’ as the ‘National Day of Mourning.’  
Below are resources to help us center indigenous experiences and voices during this season and as we re-learn history:  Resources from Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ):

First People of the Lower Hudson Valley

The first inhabitants of this area are the Lenape, which means "the people," and are also known as the Lenni Lenape, meaning "true people."  Colonial settlers named them the Delaware Indians, after the Delaware River that runs through their territory.  Unami is the Munsee dialect of the Lenape of this area. It is a dialect of the larger Algonquian language group that covers much of northeast North America. Algonquian tribes consist of peoples that speak Algonquian languages and historically shared cultural similarities. There are hundreds of original tribes that spoke several dialects of this language group.  Sometimes you may read about the people of this area as the Munsee Lenape.  These names reflect subsets, movement, and language of the Nation, as well as colonial naming. 

Significant Community Needs
~ You Can Help ~ 
Decorated Envelopes Needed
Gift Cards for Coachman

Our K-4th grade class that has been learning about hunger and homelessness, and everyone who would like to participate, is invited to decorate envelopes for our annual gift cards for Coachman.
We need approximately 150 envelopes so decorate as many as you can. The envelopes can be any size and we suggest using the standard 3 x 6 inch. Only decorate the front of the envelope so that the back can be used to write room numbers or names.

Drop envelopes off at CUUC in the container outside the building that is labelled "New toiletries & decorated envelopes." or mail them to CUUC 468 Rosedale Ave., White Plains, NY 10605. We need the envelopes by December 19th.

Watch for an announcement next week about donating money for the Coachman gift cards. We hope families will consider donating $25 per child in your household. Any amount will be gratefully received. 
Ecumenical Food Pantry
In November we make our once-a-year appeal for direct donations to the Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry of White Plains. Since March, the number of people served has soared and it is now estimated that one in five in our county are nutrition insecure. Learn more here. Mail checks to CUUC with the memo “Food Pantry.” Or to pay online at cucwp.org, click the yellow Donate button, then "Use this donation for," select "Other," and type in the Note "Food Pantry." A small percentage of online donations go to PayPal fees; you may choose to increase your donation by a few dollars to compensate. Contact: John Cavallero (jcwpny@gmail.com)

Donate New & Used Items
NEW items for Samaritan House 
USED items for Grace Church 
Drop off at CUUC now through January 10th
NEW items to be donated: We won't have a mitten tree this year but you can still donate mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, socks and underwear for both men and women.  Large and X-large items for men are especially needed.  Also donate new toiletries for shelter residents, including shampoo, lotion, razors and deodorant. 
USED items to be donated: There is need for winter clothing such as warm sweaters, coats, hoodies, pants, boots, etc. for men, women, and children. 
Donations can be dropped off now in front of CUUC’s doors, in the Rubbermaid containers.  Please use large white plastic bags and clearly mark "Used" or "New."  New and used items must be kept separate. 
For further information call Samaritan House (914-948-3075) or 
Ray Messing (914-592-4497).  Your support is deeply appreciated!

CUUC Community
Holiday Wreath Sale - Going Fast!

We won't be holding our after-worship wreath sale outside CUUC this year, but you can still support Callie and Doyle Zisson's Scout troop - and beautify your space for the holidays - by emailing in your order. Their 12-inch decorated wreaths from Maine are $25 each, available while supplies last (HALF ALREADY SOLD!). To place an order and arrange either a pick-up at CUUC or hand delivery to your door, contact Alex Zisson (azisson@hotmail.com).
Light or Extinguish the Worship Chalice

We would love to see your family!  Record a chalice lighting or extinguishing video for Sunday worship. We will provide the script. You'll record the week prior on your own device or meet Tracy in Zoom to record you. Email Tracy to participate (cuucwptracy@gmail.com). 
K-12th Grade RE Classes
Sunday, December 6th

The K-4th grade class will have a visit from Lyra Harada who will lead a music activity related to the class theme of homelessness.

The 5th-7th grade class will join the 8th-12th grade class to continue learning about the proposed 8th Principle. Our guest speaker, a UU young adult of color, will share what the 8th Principle means to them. 
Classes do not meet this Sunday, November 29th. 
Stay In the Know
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains  
468 Rosedale Ave · White Plains, NY 10605-5419

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