Minister's Post, Fri Jan 28

Dear Ones,

Here's a "thought for the week," from Francis Cook:
"To help others is to help oneself. It may also be said that to help oneself is to help others, since real, effective help is not possible as long as we ourselves are deluded and filled with greed and hatred."
Yours in the faith we share,

Join a Journey Group: http://cucwp.org/journey-groups

I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It)

The Jan 23 worship service, "Do You Talk to Your Car?":


Training in Compassion #9: Turn All Mishaps in the Path.

From Norman Fischer’s Training in Compassion, training #9 is: Turn all mishaps into the path. The spiritual path -- the path toward wholeness, deepening wisdom and expansive equanimity, peace, and joy; that is, the path of life, insofar as we tread it with the intention of becoming more fully alive – is not all sunshine and sweetness. Mishaps mishappen. If we treat them as part of the path, then they are.

When something difficult or terrible happens to us -- a loss, a setback, a frustration, an insult -- naturally we immediately feel dismay, anger, disappointment, or resentment, just as everyone does and just as we always have. But now we have a slogan to train with until, in the midst of bad circumstances, it pops into mind: Turn all of this into the path! We can turn toward our afflictive emotions, understanding that they are natural, under the circumstances. Dismay, annoyance, anger, anxiety, resentment arise sometimes for all of us. Instead of denying, repressing, or trying to ignore these emotions, we can allow them to be present with dignity.

Repeat this slogan, “turn all mishaps into the path,” to yourself at various points during your day. Write it in your journal every day for a while – a week, or a month -- until it is thoroughly internalized. Then, when something bad happens, instead of saying: "Dang! Why did this have to happen!" You can, instead, say, "Yes, of course, this is how it is. Let me turn toward it. Let me practice with it. Let me go beyond entanglement to gratitude."

For more on this training in compassion, see the full post: "Turn All Mishaps into the Path."


Here it is, your MOMENT OF ZEN #105: Are You Ready?

In #87, Raven said, "Things just come in. Do you listen, or do you hear? When you listen, you are paying attention to something out there, but when you hear, the sounds just come in. You are sitting there with your ears open, and the dove calls out. That sound defines you. Once you are defined like that, the cedars can define you, the faraway skunk can define you."

The whole universe continually defines you.

After Raven's response to Mole [see PREVIOUS], the community fell silent.
Finally, Woodpecker spoke up: "A while back you said that the call of the dove defines us, and now you say that when Owl hoots, the whole forest hoots. I'm confused. Do the two sounds have different functions?"
Raven said, "When Owl hoots, the whole forest hoots. Are you ready to be defined?
"Ready or not, here I come," says Definition,
And I, having not found a satisfactory hiding place,
Dive behind a near and inadequate concealment.

Pretending otherwise, I have long since been found.
Pretending otherwise, I relish re-discovery.
Pretending otherwise, Definition is neither ready
Nor not.
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon


Religious Education: January 30, 2022

Religious Education & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
January 30, 2022

2021-2022 RE Theme: Community, Wholeness, Discovering Our New Normal
Nurturing Resilience  

Here you will find resources focused on cultivating resilience and practicing self-care, especially for young people and the adults who support them.  Each week, I will add one or two new resources.  You may not have time to explore them each week, but know they are all available in this document for you.  

Week 2: January 30, 2022
5-6 Minute Video & Family Discussion About Feelings

The COVID-19 pandemic and other mounting pressures have left many young people struggling emotionally. In response, the Child Mind Institute has developed The California Healthy Minds, Thriving Kids Project, supported by the State of California. This series of free videos and print resources for parents, educators, and young people, available in English and Spanish, is designed to promote young people’s emotional health and help them thrive. The five video topics for children, middle school youth, and high school youth are: understanding feelings, relaxation skills, understanding thoughts, managing intense emotions, and mindfulness. 

Family Discussion:  I invite you to watch and discuss one short video each week, during dinner or another family time. You might like to use the corresponding skill sheets, which offer key takeaways and skills to practice. This week, I encourage you to watch the first short video, Understanding Feelings, and discuss it together. Follow the links here for the short Understanding Feelings video and skill sheets organized by age group: elementary children [6:29] | middle school youth [5:03] | high school youth [4:54].

Going Deeper: Last week I reintroduced the concept of RAIN (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture), a multigenerational tool to manage stress and develop a compassionate heart. Tara Brach’s short guided meditation using RAIN [9:21] to navigate difficult feelings might be a nice compliment to the discussion suggested above about understanding feelings.  And for a deeper dive into RAIN, you can click here.  

Awe & Wonder  

The James Webb Space Telescope has traveled nearly one million miles and reached its destination this week! “We’re one step closer to uncovering the mysteries of the universe,” Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA, said in a statement. “And I can’t wait to see Webb’s first new views of the universe this summer!” 
We look forward to Norm H talking about this as he shares a Science & Spirituality perspective in the children's class next month!  In the meantime, click here for a short video explaining how the telescope will work.  And click here for a collection of videos about the Webb Telescope. You can also view images and video galleries. Find additional information on NASA's site
Update from the CUUC
COVID Safety Committee

The COVID Safety Committee (formerly the Reopening Committee) is continuing to monitor the COVID-related metrics in Westchester. The most important metrics we're keeping an eye on are cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

While cases reached all-time highs, thankfully it seems a larger percentage of these cases were milder than in previous waves. Even so, due to the overall volume of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are still up to levels they hadn't reached since vaccination became available. An important takeaway from all of this is that, while omicron may be milder on average, it is still dangerous to many. The committee will discuss returning to in-person services as soon as the case rate drops back below covidactnow.org's "Critical" risk threshold of 25 cases per day per 100k residents, or if we receive updated study data that gives a better assessment of whether vaccination + masking is sufficient to prevent omicron spread indoors. Thanks to everyone for supporting our online-only worship - please stay safe and healthy!

This Sunday 
January 30th
PreK/K Play Time
*Online Only*
9:45am  Diane invites young children to gather for check-in, a seasonal story, and rhythm/movement activities. Come have some fun together! Log in to Zoom 8428 then Tracy will move you to your breakout room.
1st-9th Grade Classes
*Online Only*
9:50am  1st-5th Grade Class Begins
10:00am  6th-7th Grade Class Begins
10:10am  8th-9th Grade Class Begins
All classes log in to Zoom 8428 then move into class breakout rooms.
Zoom 8428 password embedded login:  https://bit.ly/CUUC-RE  
Phone (audio only): 646-558-8656 · Meeting ID: 817 388 428 · Passcode: 468468 

Classes will include check-in, approx. 30 minutes of lesson,
then playing games to have some fun together. 
We look forward to seeing you!

9:50am 1st-5th Grade Class, Love Connects Us: Gus C and Ted K are leading session 8, The Power of Peace"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice." — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This session begins the program's exploration of the Blake covenant phrase "to dwell together in peace". The story spotlights Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., two prophetic leaders who worked tirelessly for justice and change through nonviolence, and traces their inspiration back to Henry David Thoreau, a prophetic voice from our own Unitarian Universalist heritage. A Unitarian and a Transcendentalist, Thoreau demonstrated and wrote about the power of civil disobedience. His example has led generations to seek change through peaceful means. Participants will explore ways they might act on the examples of Thoreau, Gandhi, and King.

10:00am 6th-7th Grade Class, Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong: Alex Z and Gail J are leading session 8, UUs in Action.  "The making of justice does not define our faith. Rather, our faith calls us to work for justice." — Rev. William G. Sinkford.  This is the last of four Amazing Grace sessions that focuses on Unitarian Universalism. The session speaks of the denomination's many continuing efforts to achieve social justice at all levels of society. The central story is taken from the Christian scripture accounts of Jesus as shepherd and the parable of the lost sheep. A brief introduction to UU social activism follows. Faith in Action offers a chance for further exploration of UU social justice activities.

10:10am 8th-9th Grade Class, Coming of Age Handbook: & Compass PointsTim L and Nicholas A are leading session 15 from the Compass Points curriculum, Wise Guys.  Youth will discover that many of the great sages of history had some things in common, and they'll explore the Second and Third Sources of our Living Tradition, words and deeds of prophetic people and wisdom from the world's religions.  They will also consider the teachers in their own lives and the role they have played in shaping who they are today.
10:00am Worship
*Online Only*

“Being Safe” ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon

Do we pay for systems that function to generate fear? Are the fears unreasonable and ungrounded? Is there a way not to? Good questions. Let's reflect on them.

To join the worship livestream, click https://bit.ly/CUUC-Worship, or phone in (audio only): 646-876-9923. Webinar: 761 321 991, Passcode: 468468

Orders of service are e-mailed and uploaded to our website prior to each Sunday.  Revisit past services anytime at our YouTube Channel.

After worship, join our Virtual Coffee Hour or phone in (audio only): 929-436-2866 · Meeting: 336 956 2210 · Passcode: 468468
Coming Up!
8th-12th Grade Youth Group
Self Care Boxes

Friday, Feb 4, 5:30-7:00pm, Zoom 8428
In these times, it is important for us to remember to take care of ourselves. In order to assist with this, CUUC S.H.E.I.L.D. sent care package materials to our youth.  Join us Friday, February 4th to assemble the boxes, discuss self care, and then have some fun.
Adult RE Class
Coming of (a little more) Age

Friday, Feb 4, 7:30-8:45pm, Zoom 7899
For Unitarian Universalists, coming of age is not a once-and-done proposition. Arriving at a stage of greater maturity — including spiritual maturity — is an ongoing life project. We especially encourage parents and mentors of this year’s Coming of Age youth to participate. The class is led by Rev. Meredith. Please email admin@cucwp.org to RSVP.
PlaceKeeping Practice
First Saturdays

Saturday, Feb 5, *In Person* at CUUC
Join the PlaceKeepers each month to appreciate, improve, and maintain the building and grounds of CUUC, our spiritual home. Join us by 10:00am for our Gratitude Practice, based on the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. Then socialize by the Spirit Fire, help tend our springs and paths, or take a walk and watch for wildlife. You are welcome to join us throughout the day. Contact: Bice Wilson (bicewilson@gmail.com), Terri Kung (terrikung@yahoo.com).
Congregation Forum
Board Reduction & Bylaw Amendment

Sunday, Feb 6, 11:30am, Zoom 6161 
Over the last 12 months CUUC’s Board of Trustees has been on a path to reduce the size of the Board of Trustees from 11 to 7 members.
We plan to conduct a Special Meeting of the Congregation on Sun Feb 27 to vote on this matter. The vote will be preceded by two “congregational forum” gatherings designed to foster the engagement of the congregation in this transition. The first was held on Sun Dec 12. If you missed it or want to attend again, we invite you to the second on Sun Feb 6 at 11:30am. Click here to join virtually on Zoom or call 929-436-2866 (audio only). Meeting ID: 616 163 6161, Passcode: 468468. Contact: Joe Majsak (jmajsak@verizon.net).
Lunar New Year
Celebrate with the Kungs

Saturday, Feb 12, 5:00pm, Zoom 7899 
Come celebrate the Year of the Tiger with the Darwei and Terri Kung! The couple will share some typical Chinese New Year traditions while we make dumplings together.

Terri will show you up close and personal on Zoom how to make the filling, fold, and cook the dumplings. Click here for a detailed recipe including pictures of the ingredients. If we have enough young folks at the event, maybe we can even hear/see a Chinese New Year's tale while eating our dumplings. This event is for ages 4 through adults. RSVP Terri Kung (madterri@gmail.com). Terri will also be offering to go shopping with or collect some of the ingredients for folks, as well as sending a recipe for a celebratory adult beverage.

For up-to-date information, schedules, and Zoom links, visit the RE overview and schedule. You may also consult our CUUC website calendarFamilies participating in childcare through 12th grade RE, please submit 2021 registration (click here for the form). Read All CUUC Announcements in the Weekly e-Communitarian Newsletter
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains  
468 Rosedale Ave · White Plains, NY 10605-5419