Minister's Post, Fri Oct 28

Dear Ones:

As an early riser, I'm aware of how dark it is in the mornings these days. In fact, areas of the Northern Hemisphere that are now on Daylight-Savings Time and will switch to Standard Time on Nov 6 are now in the midst of the darkest mornings of the whole year -- i.e., the latest sunrises. The shortest day of the year, Dec 21, will have sunrise at 7:15 in White Plains. But sunrise has actually been later than that at our latitude since Mon Oct 24. The sunrise will get as late as 7:29 on Sat Nov 5 before the time change will push it back to 6:30 on Sun Nov 6. Sunrise will keep getting later until the winter solstice, but it won't get as late as it is right now.

And, of course, the increased light we get in the morning is "paid for" with early sunsets in the evening. By late November, the sunset will be earlier than 4:30.

The shortness of the days, and the increased part of our day that we spend in the dark has an effect on our mood. For sufferers of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), that can be a problem that calls for taking steps to address. For the rest of us, the mood shift may be simply one of feeling more contemplative and reflective. It's good to have a more pensive time of year -- to have a season of "feeling our way" in the dark.

After this time of dark come longer days again. While we have that to which to look forward, let us in the meantime not neglect to be acquainted with the dark.
"Acquainted with the Night" by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
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 Oct 23 Service, "Hope for the Future," with George Latimer

The Oct 16 Service, "Desert Theory":


From the Tibetan teachings called “Lojong,” our 25th training in compassion is: Come back to basics.

This one is about our relationships – and turning relationships from a distraction into the discipline, the spiritual practice, of relationship. For that, there are three basics to which to keep coming back.
  1. Renew and keep your commitments.
  2. Don’t act outrageously.
  3. Reduce be one-sidedness.
First: Renew and keep to your commitments. Conflicts are going to happen. When they do, your commitment is to keep in mind that your human life and the lives of others are rare and precious, that you and everyone else has to die someday, that no one escapes suffering, and that all of your words, deeds, thoughts, and feelings, affect the world. When that is part of what you are aware of when you are aware of conflict with others, you take the edge off your hurt or aggression.

Second: Don't act outrageously. That is, refrain from dangerous, anti-social, or attention-grabbing activities. Simple. You’re trying to train your mind but don’t be outrageous about it. Don't appear to be different from anyone else. One way or another, we're all in this game together.

Third: Reduce one-sidedness. Your perspective is, necessarily, your perspective. If you change it, the new perspective is now yours. So you can’t not be one-sided. What you can do is notice how your one-sidedness is at work as you uphold yourself and those you like -- and dismiss those you don't like. You can take your one-sidedness into account and do what you can to deemphasize it, actively imagining what having alternative perspectives would be like. Renew and keep your commitments. Don’t act outrageously. Reduce one-sidedness.

Please see the full post: Come Back to Basics.

Here it is, your...
#133: Rebirth

Who or what is it that could be reincarnated? Your body? What else? Perhaps just some part of you? That's not you.

Owl asked, "What do you think of the doctrine of reincarnation?"
Raven said, "Not my body."
Owl said, "Maybe my terminology is mistaken. What do you think of the doctrine of rebirth?"
Raven said, "Not my beak."

I am this body and this body,
And you are this body.
This body -- this skinbag with names and habits,
This body -- earth and stars; vast, void, unnameable:
How is this body also this body?
(How much stranger if it weren't.)

It's like children, how they belong to all of us
By established convention, there's special responsibility for my own.
The general, easy to forget;
The special, impossible to.
It's like that.

As a toddler demands my attention,
And when she doesn't, compels it nonetheless,
This bag of water and of karma --
Of eros and of dust, Auden said --
Requires attention
Attending, I notice
The little one's riveting eyes declare:
This body is this body.

Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

Religious Exploration: October 30, 2022

Religious Exploration & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
October 30, 2022

2022-2023 RE Theme: Unitarian Universalist Identity
Overview of the Year & Upcoming Schedule

Families Supporting
HOPE's Soup Kitchen

TOMORROW Sat Oct 29, 10:30am-12:00pm, at CUUC
Family & Youth Activity: To-Go Bag Lunch Prep for HOPE

We will be making bag lunches and breakfasts Saturday, October 29th, 10:30am-12:00pm. Join us and feel welcome to bring friends. RSVP with Christine Haran (christineharan@yahoo.com) to coordinate what food is needed. The congregation has been generously donating items. Thank you!

Halloween Party & Costume Parade!

A beloved annual CUUC tradition continues this Sunday with the parade of Halloween costumes during the worship service. Bring out your ghouls, goblins, superheros and princesses! We can't wait to see your costumes! After RE and worship, the Youth Group is hosting a Halloween party in the red hallway classrooms. There will be treats, games, and glow sticks for making headbands, glasses, and other things you can wear to be more visible as you Trick-or-Treat on Monday. And there will be brains, creepy crawlies, and other spooky things! Mwahaha...   🕸 🦇 

Fall Activities

There are so many fun things to during the fall in the Hudson Valley. Pick apples and pumpkins, go through a corn maze, haunted tours, take a drive to enjoy the fall colors, and get fresh apple cider doughnuts. Yum!

Here are a few ideas: Apple Cider Doughnuts  |  Mommy Poppins, Best Apple Cider Doughnuts in Westchester  |  Haunted Houses  |  Enjoy Fall Foliage  |  Farms with Fun Activities  |  Pick Apples  |  Corn Mazes  |  Pumpkin Patches  |  Fall Festivals  |  Hudson Valley Magazine, Insider's Guide to October Events (including grape stomping!)  |  Mommy Poppins, Best Fall Festivals Near Westchester for Families
Sunday, October 30th


Sundays, 9:45am-11:45am, Room 32, Yellow Hallway
Diane and Hans welcome young children in childcare. We offer a safe, loving environment where our youngest build community. We wear masks and play outside when weather permits. Childcare will be extended this Sunday for the Odyssey presentation. 

1st-5th Grade Poster
Presentation Huddle

Sunday, Oct 30, 9:45am, RE Lobby
1st-5th grade children who made posters during Norm and Mary's October 16th program about democracy and UU the Vote are invited to share your posters this Sunday in worship and tell adults why it is important to you that they vote. Meet Norm at 9:45am in the RE lobby to coordinate. 

1st-3rd, 4th-5th & 6th-7th Grade Classes
8th-12th Grade Halloween Party Setup

Sunday, 10:00-11:15am
Go directly to the classrooms, not the sanctuary

At 11:00, children and youth will line up for the costume parade then go to the Halloween party. Pick up will be in the red hallway.

1st-3rd Grade Class,  Signs of Our Faith
Room 33, Yellow Hallway 
Laura S and Christine H are leading session 3, Our Faith is a Journey
This session invites children into a lifelong process of building a Unitarian Universalist faith. Children learn that a covenant for being together is a sign of our faith. They make a covenant together, look for signs of covenanting in congregational life, and discover additional ways UUs support one another to build a faith that will give their lives meaning and purpose. 

4th-5th Grade Class, Toolbox of Faith
Room 41, Green Hallway

Laura G and Lane C are leading session 2, Questioning (Magnifying Glass)

The magnifying glass symbolizes questioning and looking deeper. This session focuses on the value of questioning assumptions and wondering, "Why?" The children hear about astronomer and Unitarian Maria Mitchell, who embodied the truth-seeking quality of Unitarian faith in both her spiritual and scientific life. Maria Mitchell's story also illuminates the value of questioning gender stereotypes. The class will also examine assumptions that are being questioned in current events. 

6th-7th Grade Class, Riddle & Mystery
Room 21, Blue Hallway
(this Sunday only so the Youth Group can set up the Halloween party in the red hallway classrooms)
Gus C is leading session 4, Thinking of God
This session's Big Question is probably one of the first that pops into our minds when speaking of big questions. Is there a God? The ideas and religious backgrounds of friends, family events like birth, death, divorce, and exposure to religious institutions may all intensify the youth's search for answers. Youth whose families never discuss God may pray in time of need. Youth whose families teach and expect belief in God may yearn for concrete proof. The God question may seem more perplexing for Unitarian Universalist youth than for some of their friends, because UUs do not share and preach a common belief. We leave the question of God to individual consideration. Yet our faith offers much guidance to support youth and adults as they seek their own understandings. 

8th-12th Grade Youth Group
Red Hallway Classrooms

Youth have been planning a fun Halloween party and will set it up during RE this Sunday. *The 8th-9th grade Our Whole Lives class does not meet this week. 

Check out the updated 8th-12th grade schedule, here. 
The schedule posted here is updated regularly. 
Read more about the morning activities here.
We look forward to seeing you!

10:00am Worship
In Person & Livestream

“A Day for Remembering” ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon

Halloween is, originally and traditionally, a time for remembering our hallowed ones. They live on in and through us -- whether we consciously recall them or not. Remembering them is a key part of knowing ourselves.

Toward the end of the service, we will have our costume parade. 

Visit our website for the Sunday order of service.

Covid safety policy update: We are no longer requiring proof of vaccination. We continue to require masks 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.

Halloween Party!

After RE, Red Hallway
Following the Halloween costume parade in worship, children and youth will go to the red hallway for the Youth Group's Halloween party. They are welcome to enjoy the party while their adults attend coffee hour and the Odyssey presentation. 


Following Worship, Sanctuary

We are excited to again be hosting our CUUC Odyssey Program, where longtime members share stories of their lives and faith with the congregation. This is one of the ways we realize our mission to "nurture each other in our spiritual journeys." Please join us after worship this Sun Oct 30 for our second Odyssey program, with guest, Karen Schatzel. Livestream on Zoom, https://bit.ly/CUUC-Worship, or phone 646-876-9923. Webinar ID: 761 321 991, Passcode: 468468.

Plastic Salad Containers & Bags Needed

We have a great way for you to REuse plastic salad containers (as shown in the image and larger) and plastic bags. Mary Cavallero needs them for a children’s activity she is leading November 6th. If you have any to spare, please bring them in. Contact Mary Cavallero, marycava4@gmail.com. Thank you! 

Covenant Group for
Parents/Caregivers of MS & HS Youth

This covenant group will meet monthly on 2nd Tuesdays to provide space where we can share and support the fullness of each other’s experiences parenting youth. 
Nicole T and I will set a theme/topic for each month's discussion (suggestions welcome!) and share an optional short reading ahead of each session that can act as a springboard into discussion. Our next group is November 8th, 7:00-8:30pm on Zoom: bit.ly/CUUC-RE; meeting ID 817 388 428 and passcode 468468; phone audio 646-558-8656. Then again December 13th, January 10th, February 14 (group will discuss an alternate date), March 14th, April 11th, and May 9th.

Self-Assessment Workshop Follow Up
Path to the Future Focus Groups

Conversations continue about how we see ourselves and where the future leads. Your participation is important! Please join an upcoming opportunity:

  • Zoom 6161, Wednesday November 2 7:00-8:00 PM: Increasing accessibility: physically, technically and otherwise
  • At CUUC, Sunday November 6 11:45-1:00: Nurturing our spiritualities
  • At CUUC, Sunday November 13 11:45-1:00: Expanding diverse voices in our congregation
  • At CUUC, Sunday November 20 11:45-1:00: Topic TBD
Contact: Terri Kung (madterri@gmail.com)

Youth Donations Needed
for Our State Fair 

Youth, have you thought about donating something for this years Auction? The possibilities are endless and it would be great to include you!
Do you bake? Or babysit? Can you offer tutoring in a school subject? How about 2 hours of yard work? Would you like to host a children's tea party or LEGO competition? We are actively collecting donation forms now, and would very much appreciate your support - your donations are the key to the success of the auction! Please let us know as soon as possible what you might like to contribute. Click here to access a digital Auction Donation Form that you can Fill in, Save, and Print out. Click here our Auction donation flyer with more general information. Thank you! Contact: Janet Bear (jsbear1@gmail.com)

Donations for HOPE's Soup Kitchen

Inviting Donations of Food Items from the Congregation
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. Families are now getting involved by providing 70 to-go breakfasts and lunches. We invite the congregation to donate individual-sized food items such as shelf-stable milk, juice, water, fruit cups, and soft granola bars, as well as napkins, loaves of bread, and peanut butter. Leave them in the labeled bins located in the foyer. Frozen items such as French toast, pancakes, waffles, frozen sausages or patties (no pork) can be brought in Saturday morning, October 29th or as coordinated with Christine Haran (christineharan@yahoo.com).

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