Minister's Post, Fri May 27

Dear Ones,

"Acceptance" is a key spiritual quality recognized in all the world's faith traditions. But recognizing and resisting what is "unacceptable" is also key. How can this be squared?

First, let's be clear that "acceptance" doesn't mean complacency or quiescence in the face of evil or preventable harm. Second, acceptance doesn't mean collaboration with what is harmful.

So what does it mean? First, it means not being in denial. Accept reality as real rather than being in denial about it.

Second, it means not hating. We can stand up for our principles, for justice and kindness. But it never helps us do this or makes us more effective if we hate other people in the process. For instance, while pacificism is a worthy stance, most spiritual traditions do not require pacificism. In the event of a just war (however that may be determined), one may find oneself called upon to kill enemy combatants. It is not necessary to hate them, however. Many soldiers, in the stresses of war, succumb to hatred, but that is unfortunate.

Third, acceptance means we approach our wants and needs with an attitude of requesting rather than demanding. The difference isn't in how politely you say it. The difference lies entirely in this: are you upset if the answer is 'no'? The extent to which a 'no' answer bothers and rankles is the extent to which there was demand energy there.

Fleet Maull writes that acceptance is an essential aspect of compassion:
"Compassion is the willingness to be with suffering — our own and that of others — without resentment, blame, or other fear-based, reactive-survival mode behaviors that will just make the situation worse. Acceptance is key to embracing suffering, our own and others’, in responsive-relational mode as well as a radical act of self-empowerment. The power of acceptance can’t be overestimated. Accepting the basic fact of the suffering and pain we witness and remaining willing to experience it is what allows us to access our innate capacities for compassion. Our initial impulse may be to turn away from suffering. Our empathic sensitivity may even trigger avoidance mechanisms or fight-flight-freeze responses. However, we can also recognize our empathic distress as the natural response of our tender and vulnerable heart to the pain of others. Doing so will help us shift away from a threat-avoidance response, move into a healthy stress response, and discover the courage to move from empathy to compassion.
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 May 15 Service, "What's Your Class?"

The May 22 Service, "A Path Toward Hope":


From Norman Fischer’s Training in Compassion, training #20 is: Practice for death as well as for life.

The past is a dream, and the future an illusion. Life is always right now. But here’s one reflection about the future that can help us live right now: at the hour of your death, how do you want to be? Some people are able to be in denial that death is close. For others, their last conscious hours are filled with confusion and dread. But for some, there is profound peace and boundless love. To end our days that way requires attention to it today. Practice for death as well as for life.

Actually, it is artificial to separate life from death. In a very concrete sense, there is no such thing as “life” or “death.” “Birth-death” is one phenomenon. Time passing is birth-death. Moments arise and then pass away as one action, and loss is constant.

If you wait till the time when death is close to begin your practice, it may well be too late. It is much better to spend time in your life working on your spiritual practice so at the time of death it will be there for you. With years of practice while you’re still more-or-less healthy, when you’re dying, instead of either denial or confusion and dread, it will be possible be in unlimited love and peace.

Even in the last moments of life, you can breathe in and you can breathe out. You can breathe in the suffering and breathe out healing and relief. Whether you will, depends on whether this is an established practice for you. So practice now – for death as well as for life.

See the full post: "Practice for Death as Well as for Life."

Here it is, your...
#122: The Party

When you're glad, the world is glad. Why is that? Is it because you're projecting? Is it because your joy makes you notice the world's joy? Or maybe it's because the world's joy makes you notice your own. Maybe you are the world?

Members were excited about Raven's announcement.
Woodpecker said, "Let's have a party."
So the next night everybody gathered for grubs and leavings to celebrate.
Mole asked, "How is it to be a new teacher, Porcupine?"
Porcupine said, "Not sure yet."
Owl said, "The Assembly Oak is glad."
Badger asked, "Come on, how can that be?"
Porcupine said, "I'm glad for Owl."
Mountains, prairies, rivers, oceans,
great wide earth, sun, moon, stars --
They do this thing, individually and collectively,
That's like celebrating and like grieving
Simultaneously. Continuously.
They do this thing
That's like love, that's
Never not abundant, never not bereft.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

Religious Education: May 29, 2022

Religious Education & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
May 29, 2022

2021-2022 RE Theme: Community, Wholeness, Discovering Our New Normal
Processing Collective Trauma
with Young People
Dear Ones, horror has come again with another school shooting. Young people likely know about it even if you are not having conversations at home. When you are ready, the resources below may help navigate answering questions and sharing information in age appropriate ways. Full text for limited access resources provided here.  
I wrap my heart around yours as grief sinks in. Again. 
with love, Tracy

Available Online:

Available Online and Full Text Provided in the Doc:

Stories with Barbara
Older Children & Youth - Friends Invited!

NEW Book, Day, and Zoom Room: Thursdays, Zoom 3131
7:15 Check In. 7:30-8:00/8:15pm Story

Homecoming, by Cynthia Voigt, set around the late 1970s, tells the story of four siblings aged between six and thirteen, with themes of belonging, breaking societal conventions, and family as home.

Thirteen-year-old Dicey Tillerman, and her brothers James (10) and Sammy (6), and sister Maybeth (9), lived in a wooden house out in the dunes of Massachusetts. The family is poor, their father walked out just before Sammy was born, and their mother worked herself too hard to take care of her four children and make ends meet. The children find themselves on a journey that is emotional as well as literal; during their weeks on the road, their adventures and the people they meet along the way help them to find out more about who they are and what is important to them, as well as to cope with the loss of their mother and to understand society's reaction to her poverty, isolation, mental illness, and the fact that she was an unmarried mother of four. Login: https://bit.ly/CUUC-Zoom-3131 | Phone (audio only): 646-876-9923; Meeting ID: 313 195 3131, Passcode: 468468.

Leaf Pack Results

RE PlaceKeepers placed leaf packs in our stream on April 24th then collected them on May 15th. The group sorted and identified the organisms found in the packs to understand who is living in our stream and what that might tell us about water quality. This activity was grounded in our 7th Principle - respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part - and offered wonderful multigenerational community building. Click here to read Cynthia's write-up of results

Norah's PlaceKeeping Presentation

Sunday, May 8th Norah shared pictures and a summary of what the RE PlaceKeeping teams have been up to lately. Some of you may not have been able to see the slides. We invite you to watch (or watch again!) the video. Thanks to Kim Force who edited in the slides, you can watch Norah’s full presentation in the worship video. Norah begins at the 29:30 mark

Annual Meeting

Sun Jun 5, After Worship
Members, please mark your calendars and plan to attend! We will distribute the annual report booklet shortly by email and will have paper copies available in the lobby. If you prefer to be mailed a printed copy, please contact the office (admin@cucwp.org).

Annual Giving Campaign 

We've drafted next year's budget. If you haven't pledged yet, your commitment can still make a difference by helping us achieve our goals. Sending your pledge by mail, or online, or by emailing the treasurer at TreasurerCUUCWP@gmail.com.

Proposed Budget Q&A 

2022-2023 Budget Q&A Sessions, 7:30pm, Thu Jun 2, Online on Zoom 2210
Treasurer Chris Kortlandt is hosting online question & answer sessions for CUUC Members and Friends to review the proposed budget for the next program year prior to our annual meeting. You can also request a one-on-one review; email treasurerCUUCWP@gmail.com.

UU Young Adult Gathering
June 10-12 at CUUC
The first in person gathering of UU young adults will be held at CUUC! “Rom-CON” is a weekend-long conference where UU and like-minded young adults participate in activities and discussions, and build community in a safe space.
Hosted by the UUA Central East Region Young Adult Organizing Committee. Young adults (ages 18-35) can sign up at linktr.ee/ceryaoc. If you are available to support this UU young adult community building event by cooking or serving a meal during the weekend, contact Tracy (cuucwptracy@gmail.com).
Lead a Summer Service

Would your family like to lead a summer worship service together? It would be wonderful to have young voices and we have some Sundays still available. Please send an email with your interest, your proposed topic, or the name of a speaker you'd recommend, to Pam Parker (admin@cucwp.org).
Summer Programs & Activities

If you are thinking about summer plans, you might like to attend a UU camp or conference. The Council of Unitarian Universalist Camps and Conferences offers a gateway to many locations across the country that offer activities for children, youth, adults, and whole families - click here. Next week, I will highlight activities around Metro NY. Below are two initial sites. 

Volunteer New York!
Volunteer New York! offers many local volunteer opportunities throughout the summer. Visit their resource page.  And this list of 2022 Summer of Service Opportunities. They also offer a Leadership Westchester program designed to sharpen effective leadership skills and provide participants with the clarity to define and achieve their goals.

YWCA Y Leaders
YWCA summer 2022 bootcamp program will take our participants through 5 days of interactive workshops that teach you how to develop strong communication skills, create daily affirmations for good emotional wellbeing, understand your values, beliefs, priorities and passions and boldly navigate spaces with confidence and ease. With our program partner One Love Foundation, you will also identify the tools and resources needed to build healthy and supportive relationships in life and leadership! Y Leaders is open to those who identify as female, womXn, non-binary and gender-nonconforming, are between the ages of 11 and 21, and Westchester residents. Ages 11-15, August 1-5. Ages 16-21, August 8-12. Space is limited! Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. Camps are held in person at the YWCA (515 North Street, White Plains) and participants are required to wear masks throughout the program. You can read more about our bootcamp here. And youth womxn can apply here. Register here

This Sunday 
May 29

Diane, Hans, and Nicole offer childcare for young children. Everyone wears a mask. No snacks are served. Drop off and pick up in room 32 in the yellow hallway. 
10:00am Worship
In Person & Livestream

“Remembering” ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon

For Memorial Day weekend, we'll reflect on the people we remember, and why.

Quiet activity boxes are available for young people who attend worship. The Order of Service is available on our websiteTo join the worship livestream, click https://bit.ly/CUUC-Worship, or phone in (audio only): 646-876-9923. Webinar: 761 321 991, Passcode: 468468. Revisit past services anytime at youtube.com/TheLiberalPulpit and subscribe!
RE Classes

2021-2022 Religious Education classes have come to a close. Coming of Age youth (and adults!) are finishing their belief statements and planning the June 5th and 12th worship services. Please join us for these two very special Sundays when their efforts invite us all to reflect deeply on our faith. 

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
Tracy Breneman, Director of Faith Development and Religious Education, cuucwptracy@gmail.com
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains  
468 Rosedale Ave · White Plains, NY 10605-5419