Religious Exploration: December 11, 2022

Religious Exploration & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
December 11, 2022

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

Full K-7th Grade Schedule (.pdf) & Full 8th-12th Grade Schedule (.pdf)
View past newsletters at bit.ly/CUUCRENews

Spring OWL Classes
Invite Friends!

This year, we are offering the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum for 1st-9th graders and parents/caregivers. Our classes are open to the community and this curriculum is indispensable, supporting healthy decision making and self-esteem, understanding dynamics in relationships, affirming all sexual orientations and gender identities, and encouraging communication between parents and their children. We encourage you to spread the word. 
The 8th-9th grade class is already underway. Coming up, the 1st-3rd grade class starts in January during Sunday morning RE. The 4th-5th, 6th-7th grade and parent/caregiver classes will be offered at CUUC over three Friday evenings, February 10, March 10, and April 14. The parent and caregiver class will include additional online dates to complete all twelve sessions. Classes are open to all who share the values of self-worth, health, responsibility and justice.

This is a great opportunity to invite friends and community members who are new to Unitarian Universalism and CUUC. Please help us advertise by sharing two pamphlets with friends, in your online groups, and elsewhere: Spring 2023 Sunday morning 1st-3rd grade class and family resources; and Friday evening 4th-5th, 6th-7th & Parent/Caregiver classes

Honoring Consent

A core tenet of Our Whole Lives (OWL) is affirmative consent in all encounters. Sex Positive Families reminds us that maintaining consent and healthy boundaries during the holidays can present challenges in families.

Sex Positive Families offers the resources below for supporting young people related to affection with relatives, selective eating, and pictures, as well as supporting people of all ages in being respected as whole beings.
Chapel: God

Last Sunday in K-7th grade Chapel, the children, David B, and I shared our ideas about God/the Divine/Spirit of Life/Creator and Sustainer of many names, and read What is God? by Etan Boritzer. We spread out Jenga pieces with words written on them and chose some that resonated with our idea of the spiritual within and beyond, stacking them as we shared. In Chapel, we use an order of service similar to those used in the sanctuary to help the children connect with worship. You can view last Sunday's Chapel order of service here.
Sunday, December 11


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, wear masks, and play outside when weather permits. 

1st-12th Grade

2022-2023 Class & Youth Group Schedules
K-7th Grade (.pdf) |  8th-12th Grade (.pdf)

10:00am, Meet Outside in the Upper Parking Lot
Joe G, Bice W, Cyndi and Daniel T are leading activities. Dress to spend the entire RE session outside. Coats, slacks, sturdy shoes, hats, and gloves should be worn as appropriate. The group will begin by observing changes in nature since early fall when RE was last outside. They will review latitude and longitude concepts using the globe, identify where each person’s home is in relation to CUUC, and draw chalk lines that will show where we all live in relation to CUUC and to each other. They will then review photos from our two trail cameras and discuss what types of animals/wildlife are present in the images, which are absent that one might have expected to see, and why that might be, noting factors about the immediate environment.  Participants will record their hypotheses and observations, then decide whether to leave the cameras in place or move them to a new location.  

Children in 3rd grade and younger can be picked up in Fellowship Hall during coffee hour. An adult will stay with them until parents/guardians arrive. 

10:00am Worship
In Person & Livestream

“Where Words Leave Off” ~ Adam Kent
German poet Heinrich Heine once opined, “Where words leave off, music begins.” Led by CUUC’s Music Director, Adam Kent, our tune-full worship will feature musical contributions from congregation members as well as the CUUC Choir.

Visit our website for the Sunday order of service. 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.

Social Justice Book Fair

Fireside Area
Spread the word! Find the perfect holiday gift for family and friends, young and old, that also expresses and supports your values and commitment to social justice.
Browse our selection of close to 100 titles (plus books for children and young readers), talk with a local author (and CUUC member), and learn more about the activities of CUUC's social justice teams. Note: we are requiring masks for this event. Contact: Alex Sehdeva (alex.sehdeva@gmail.com)

CUUC Holiday Cookie Exchange
Bring Some, Take Some

Bake your favorite holiday treats, put them on small wrapped plates or in small bags for the exchange, and please add a tag listing the ingredients.  

Wreath Sale Fundraiser

As a scouting fundraiser, Doyle and Callie Zisson will be selling wreaths outside the main doors at CUUC after the service. Let them help you beautify your door or mantle!
RE Information Session for
Visitors and New Families

11:30am, Room 43 in the Green Hallway
Welcome! We invite you to join our Director of Religious Exploration, Tracy Breneman, for a short information session about our Religious Exploration programs, with Q&A. Children are welcome to attend. Contact: Tracy Breneman, cuucwptracy@gmail.com.

Covenant Group for Parents & Caregivers of MS & HS Youth

Tuesday, December 13, 7:00-8:30pm, Zoom 8428
Our discussion topic this month is managing the chaos of the world with hope instead of succumbing to fear and discussing difficult topics when we don't have answers.

If you would like material to stir thoughts for our discussion, here are a few you can listen to in the car or any time: Shame Proof Parenting's Episode 41, "Raising Healthy Children in a Chaotic World" explores conversations that develop compassion, for ourselves and each other. The blog post, "How Do We Parent in a Chaotic World?" offers some strategies. In a short reflection, "Birthing a New World," UU minister, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt notes that parenthood breaks our hearts wide open and she finds support in community and meaning in service. 

This Covenant Group meets monthly on 2nd Tuesdays (we will reschedule Feb 14) with Tracy B and Nicole T to provide space where we can share and support the fullness of each other’s experiences parenting youth. Join any time. Zoom login: bit.ly/CUUC-RE; meeting ID 817 388 428 and passcode 468468; phone audio 646-558-8656. If others will be around you when you are on Zoom, please wear headphones. Contact Tracy (cuucwptracy@gmail.com) and Nicole (nturygin@gmail.com).

Mitten Tree

Share the gift of warmth! Decorate our mitten tree with your donations of mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves for all ages and sizes. Under the boughs, we'll collect new women’s and men’s socks and underwear (men’s XL especially needed). All items will be donated to three local shelters for our neighbors experiencing homelessness. If you're curious, click here to see the story that lent inspiration to the Mitten Tree tradition.

Canned Goods Collection
for the Ecumenical Food Pantry

Sundays through December 11
Donate supplies to the food Pantry for distribution to our neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity.

Here's a change to help in a concrete way, and to encourage our younger memebers toward compassion and the joy of helping. Especially welcome are canned yams and jelly, but any shelf-stable items will be most appreciated. Contact John Cavallero, jcwpny@gmail.com

Racial Justice/ITSOT Team
Article Discussion

December 12, 7:30pm, Zoom 7899
The Racial Justice/In the Spirit of Truth team invites the congregation to read the article, "How a Still Segregated Country Holds Us All Back" by New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie. and join us for an online discussion. Login: https://bit.ly/CUUC-Zoom-7899 | Phone (audio only): 646-876-9923 | Meeting: 289 850 7899, Passcode: 468468. Contact Jeff T, jefftomlinson8@gmail.com.

Gift Cards
for Coachman Family Center

Sundays through December 18

Make sure to visit the Coachman Gift Cards table in the Fireside Area this holiday season! Sign up and donate what you can so we meet our goal of presenting a $25 gift card to each school-aged child at the Coachman Family Center, a local shelter for families experiencing homelessness. You can bring cash or check, and the Hunger and Homelessness committee will purchase the gift cards to be delivered to the approximately 200 children currently living at Coachman. You can also mail checks to CUUC with the memo "Coachman Gift Cards." Or you can donate online at cucwp.org by clicking the yellow Donate button and selecting "Coachman Gift Cards" from the dropdown list. Thank you in advance for helping us improve the season for those in our local community! Contact Jacy Good (goodjacy@gmail.com).

Volunteer New York!
Local Holiday Volunteering

Volunteer New York! offers a list of meaningful ways for individuals and families to volunteer and support local needs. The opportunities listed here are updated regularly throughout December with donation drives, DIY projects, and seasonal nonprofit support. 

Jubilee 3 Anti-Racism Workshop

Fri Jan 13, 6:00–9:00pm; Sat Jan 14, 9:00am–8:00pm; Sun Jan 15, 12:00–6:30pm, on Zoom 

This is important. Our congregation is in the midst of deep conversations about our future. If we are to live into our intention to build a more diverse congregation, to be more inclusive for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) members, and nurture a more diverse future for our UU faith, we need adults who continue learning so we are well equipped to do the work and include our young people. The Jubilee Three training is an opportunity to model the importance of doing this work in faith community and to support our community in developing a common language and lens to help us move forward together. I hope you will participate with us. Register at https://tinyurl.com/CUUC2023JubileeThree. RE teachers, advisors, and REC leadership, send your registration confirmation to Tracy for reimbursement (cuucwptracy@gmail.com). Parents interested in participating, contact Tracy to discuss financial support. 

Quiet Activity Area in the Sanctuary

We offer an activity area in the sanctuary for anyone who would like a quiet activity during worship. 

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 ask parents/caregivers to sit near your children so you can help minimize distractions as our young UUs learn to navigate the worship space, then encourage them to tidy up the area after worship.
For Your Calendars
2022-2023 Class & Youth Group Schedules
K-7th Grade 
(.pdf) |  8th-12th Grade (.pdf)
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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