Religious Exploration: September 18, 2022

Religious Exploration & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
September 18, 2022

2022-2023 RE Theme: Unitarian Universalist Identity
Overview of the Year & Upcoming Schedule
Help Shape Our Future 
The Self-Assessment Survey and Path to the Future workshop outlined below are part of a series of information gatherings that will be done in the coming year, as we prepare to transition to an interim minister in September 2023 and a new minister in September 2024. Your participation is important!
CUUC Congregational
Self-Assessment Survey

The Congregational Self-Assessment Committee has created a questionnaire to help us gauge the general health and well-being of CUUC, and to discover where we see ourselves going in the future.

The questions should take about 20-30 minutes. Every CUUC congregant is encouraged to participate. If you have more than one congregant in your household, each individual should complete their own survey, youth ages 13-18 included. Your responses are anonymous. 
Survey Deadline: Sunday Sept 18
Click Here for the Survey

Path to the Future

Saturday, Sept 24, 8:30am-4:00pm
The CUUC Self-Assessment Committee is hosting a "Path to the Future" gathering where we will reflect on where we've been as a congregation, discuss how we’d like to go forward, and offer ideas and thoughts on how to create an even more dynamic and thriving community for CUUC. Breakfast, lunch, and childcare will be provided. Breakfast and coffee available at 8:30am. Workshop begins at 9:00am. 

Sunday, September 18
A New Year Begins!

Sunday, Sept 18, 10:00am in the Sanctuary
Religious Exploration classes and Youth Group begin this Sunday! We all start in the sanctuary at 10:00am, then leave midway for classes and Youth Group.

When everyone gets to their classes and Youth Group, they discuss what they'll be doing this year, and make their identity hexagons to add to our Identity Mosaic. 
~ Young children are in childcare, room 32 (yellow hallway)
    with Diane K and Hans E.
~ 1st-3rd graders meet in room 33 (yellow hallway)
    with leaders Norm H, Christine H, and Laura S.
~ 4th-5th graders meet in room 41 (green hallway)
    with leaders Lane C, Laura G, and Nicholas A. 
~ 6th-7th graders meet in room 13 (red hallway)
    with leaders Gail J, Gus C, Mohammed L, and Nicole T. 
~ 8th-9th OWL youth meet in room 11 (red hallway)
    with leaders Kate C, Irene J, Daniel T, Cyndi T, and Alex S. 
~ All other youth meet in room 14 (red hallway)
    with leaders Max Templer, Cyndi T, Daniel T.

10:00am Worship
In Person & Livestream

“The Improvisational Self” ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon

On the stage of the world, we are improvisational actors playing ourselves -- not artificially but authentically, by doing what would make sense coming from us as we really are. Insights from NYU Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Bioethics, David Velleman. 

Click here for the Sun Sep 18 Order of Service.
Childcare begins at 9:45am in room 32. 

Covid safety policy update: We are no longer requiring proof of vaccination. Masks continue to be required for those in the building.

Click here to join the live-stream of our Sunday Worship or phone in (audio only): 646-876-9923 · Webinar: 761 321 991 · Passcode: 468468. Everyone live-streaming the service is invited to stay online afterward to socialize on Zoom. Log in to bit.ly/CUUC-CoffeeHour or phone: 929-436-2866. Meeting: 336 956 2210, Passcode: 468468.

CUUC Mosaic of Identities

Remember to bring back the hexagon pieces you designed to reflect the identities you carry with you into community. If you did not get one last Sunday, blank hexagons and supplies will be available for you to make them at CUUC.

Children and youth will make theirs in RE Sunday morning. If you are attending by Zoom, Tracy (cuucwptracy@gmail.com) would be happy to mail mosaic pieces to you and then place them with the others after you mail them back. We will leave the table out through the end of September to give time for everyone to participate, then we will hang them for display. We look forward to celebrating the many and multilayered identities in our CUUC community.

Quiet Activity Area

We offer an area in the sanctuary where families can sit and young people can have quiet activities. We know that even when their hands are busy, our young people are connecting with the rituals, words, and music of our faith. Doing a quiet activity or sitting on the floor can help them manage the time more comfortably. We reserve chairs in that area for parents/caregivers to sit near your children so you can monitor activity and help them tidy up after worship.

More About Religious Exploration 
Welcome to a new year in Religious Exploration! We look forward to growing together as we explore ways in which we see ourselves (identify) as Unitarian Universalist individually and as a community, and what those mean for the ways in which we nurture our UU community, welcome new people, and carry our values into the world.

Some general notes:
A quiet activity area is available for young people when attending worship in the sanctuary. We ask parents/guardians to sit near your children and help tidy up after worship.

Signs will be posted every Sunday indicating what we are doing in RE, where to go at 10:00am, and who is leading the activities for each group. Check the bulletin board in the lobby, the table with nametags for children and youth, the RE lobby bulletin board, or the REsource room window. 

Children in 3rd grade and younger must be picked up in their rooms (yellow hallway). Please pick up children before heading to coffee hour so RE leaders can go to their next activities.

We will wear masks during Sunday morning RE classes and Youth Group, and will refrain from offering snacks for now. 

Upcoming Dates: 
  • Sun, Sep 18, Last Day to Submit the CUUC Self-Assessment Survey - Click Here for the Survey
  • Sun, Sep 18, 10:00am, Bag Blessing & First day of Classes & Youth Group 
  • Sat, Sep 24, 8:30am-4:00pm, CUUC Path to the Future Workshop - Register Here
  • Sun, Sep 25, 11:30-12:00pm, RE Information Session 
  • Wed, Sep 28, 7:30-9:00pm, Online UU Parents/Caregivers of Tweens/Teens Covenant Group 
The COA Chalice is Home
Last year's Coming of Age class was invited by Dinsa Mehta to design a chalice and then go to his studio to make it. The COA class of Tycho F, Una G, Finn S, Neel M, Tyler P, Claire and Keira S all contributed and presented it to the congregation on COA Sunday. The flames represent the 8 Principles. Joe Majsak and Tim Lynch spent weeks cleaning out and sprucing up the garden area next to the RE lobby, where the COA chalice now resides. We are deeply grateful to the COA youth for their vision, and to Dinsa Mehta, Joe Majsak, and Tim Lynch for helping bring it to life. Take a moment to visit the chalice and be inspired by this beautiful symbol of our faith and community.
Photos courtesy of Joe Majsak and Mary Kingsley.
Enchanted Afternoon
What a fun afternoon wishing Giselle from Enchanted a happy 15th birthday, watching the movie with Kim and Christian dancing the ballroom scene, and Arturo getting us excited for the sequel, Disenchanted, coming in November! Arturo is a great party planner, picking out all the decorations, making goodie bags to take home, and serving as MC for the afternoon. Thank you, Arturo!
Families for HOPE
HOPE Community Services in New Rochelle is busier than ever. A dedicated team at CUUC has been preparing weekly meals for the Soup Kitchen for many years. Now families are getting involved, providing to-go breakfasts and lunches. The first group made dozens of bags. Thank you, Christine Haran for organizing this activity!

Parents/Caregivers of Tweens/Teens
Covenant Group

Wednesday, Sept 28th, 7:30-9:00pm, Zoom 8428
This UU covenant group is for parents and caregivers of middle school and high school youth to meet and be present to each other.

From Chaos, Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting: “In the context of parenting, the spiritual [...] becomes tangible. It is felt, touched, and communicated daily as the tone and color of family life. We hear, taste, breathe, and touch the spiritual through the ways we attend, together, to countless sunrises, meals at the family table, celebrations, frustrations, griefs, joys, laughter, and responsibilities. We feel its press in the disparity between the path we hope to walk - full of kindness, love, forgiveness - and the path we actually walk.” As a covenant group, we will share and support the fullness of each other’s experiences of parenting. 

The first gathering is Wednesday, September 28th, 7:30-9:00pm and we will set an ongoing meeting schedule together. Gatherings will be on Zoom: bit.ly/CUUC-RE or meeting ID 817 388 428 and passcode 468468.  For phone audio dial 646-558-8656. Contact Tracy B (cuucwptracy@gmail.com) and Nicole T (nturygin@gmail.com). 
Youth Pride & TransParentcy+

Center Lane has two exciting events coming up! The first is their second Youth Pride, an in-person event which will be on Saturday, October 1, from 2:00-5:00 in Ardsley. The second is TransFabulous, a short-term TransParentcy+ that will meet virtually on Mondays. See the flyers below for more details. If you have any questions email them at centerlane@wjcs.com, or call (914) 423-0610.

LOFT Families

Sun Sept 25, Scarsdale Congregational Church
LGBTQ+ parents & guardians are invited to join LOFT Families, a program for LGBTQ+ parents and their kids, for our "Back to School Social." Join us for an afternoon of kid-friendly activities, and plenty of opportunities to meet & mingle with other local LGBTQ+ families. Visit the LOFT website for more information. 

UU Identity
With our focus on UU identity this year, you might like to learn more about Unitarian, Universalist, and UU history. The Unitarian Universalist Association website offers links to resources. Leaders in Religious Exploration receive this overview. You can also see a list of well known Unitarians here, and here
Tracy Breneman, Director of Religious Exploration and Faith Development, cuucwptracy@gmail.com
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains  
468 Rosedale Ave · White Plains, NY 10605-5419

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