Religious Exploration: October 16, 2022

Religious Exploration & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
October 16, 2022

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


Notes from Alabama
(content warning: racial violence)
I am writing to you from the annual conference of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA), the continental professional association for UU religious educators, which is meeting in Birmingham, AL with a focus on living into the 8th Principle. We are taking a deep dive into racial justice work, sharing resources, and visiting sites that memorialize Civil Rights history. I will share more notes and materials after I have a chance to process the week. For now, a few highlights:
  • I shared materials from the preconference workshop about supporting volunteers with the Board, RE Council, and Nominating Committee. I am bringing home many ideas. 
  • I am serving as Co-lead of the Community Relations Team for the conference, which holds the process for calling each other back into covenant when harm is done. We also lift up gratitudes. We are putting into practice our aspiration to do this work together in love and relationship.
  • On Thursday, we traveled to Montgomery for a day at The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, which includes The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, also known as the lynching memorial. It was devastating to come face-to-face with this part of our history, and so important that we do. We took with us these tools for the journey. 
  • LREDA hasn't adopted the 7 Principles so we will not adopt the 8th but we did rewrite our Mission and Vision Statement to reflect our intentions of living into the 8th Principle, which passed with overwhelming support. I will share the full text later. 
  • We have been compiling lists and lists of resources for the work ahead. I look forward to sharing them with you! I shared two resources from CUUC with colleagues here: Rev. Lane Cobb's weekly Race Talk Revolution series; and the Bank Street Children's Book Committee booklist from Jina Accardo with books for and about people of Asian/Pacific Island descent for ages Pre-K to young adult
  • Paula Cole Jones and Sheila Schuh are leading conference programming and ended the general session this morning by showing our 2021 CUUC videos to conference attendees as an example of doing the work in RE: CUUC Children's Wording of the 8th Principle and new versions of songs to help us remember the 8 Principles
  • Paula also previewed Article II Study Commission work, which will be shared later this month. I got a sneak peek at the full document as we shared an Uber from the airport to the hotel earliler this week. It will be very exciting for us to explore this!
More to come...   warmly, Tracy
Sunday, October 16th


Sundays, 9:45am-11:45am, Room 32, Yellow Hallway
Diane, Hans, and Max 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. 

1st-5th and 6th-12th Grade
Social Justice & Democracy Program

Sunday, Oct 16, 10:00-11:15am
Go directly to activities, not the sanctuary


1st-5th Grade: Democracy & UU the Vote
Room 41, Green Hallway
Leaders: Norm H with Daniel T and teachers from the 1st-5th grade classes
Goals for the morning include understanding why we talk about the importance of voting in faith community and exploring how children can raise awareness about the October election. Activities include brainstorming wording for posters and postcards, which will be shared with the congregation. Children in 3rd grade and younger must be picked up in the childcare room or room 41 after worship.

6th-12th Grade: Reproductive Justice, Faith Communities & Democracy
Room 14, Red Hallway
Leaders: Mary C with Irene J and Cyndi T
Goals for the morning include understanding why we talk about the importance of voting in faith community, learning about issues surrounding reproductive choice and justice, and exploring a case study grounded in values. What does it look like to live into our values related to reproductive justice?

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

“Desert Theory” ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon

We all have a desert theory (spelled like the name for an arid region, pronounced like the word for an after-meal sweet), i.e., a theory of deservingness, a story about what ourselves or others deserve and what our “just deserts” consist in. What’s your desert theory? More to the point, how can we be free from the notion of deservingness?

Visit our website for the Sunday order of service.

Covid safety policy update: We are no longer requiring proof of vaccination. You are welcome to remove the blue dot from your name tag. 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.

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:

  • At CUUC, Room 11 (red hallway) this Sunday October 16 11:45am-1:00pm. For those who missed our workshop
  •  Zoom 6161, Wednesday October 19  7:00-8:00 PM: For those who missed our workshop
  •  Zoom 6161, Wednesday October 26 7:00-8:00 PM:  Supporting and welcoming families
  •  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)

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.

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. We especially love unique or fun experiences, to complement the many physical items we receive. Or ask your favorite vendor to donate a gift certificate. Look for the Auction Table in the lobby for a blank form, or to drop off your completed form. Or 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)

Families Supporting
HOPE's Soup Kitchen

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.

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).


Have you heard of YUUP yet? The Young UU Project began in 2020 as a way for young UUs to keep in touch with each other and their faith during the pandemic, and is held by Lifespan Faith Engagement.

The purpose of YUUP is to be a national community care network and multi-directional communication channel that centers BIPOC, trans/non-binary and neurodivergent youth and offers a transition zone for young people moving into emerging adulthood. Anyone (youth, caregivers, religious professionals, lay leaders, everyone!) can tap into the social ministry of YUUP by following them on Instagram @yuup.uua and signing up for the YUUP newsletter. YUUP also has a community sphere just for youth, those who bridged in 2022 and support adults. These "Third Monday Meetups" are where youth swap ideas they can take home to their local communities. In August they swapped Favorite Check In Questions. In September they swapped favorite youth group games, which will soon be released on Instagram and in the newsletter. Find out more at UUA.ORG/YUUP.

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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