Religious Exploration: February 19, 2023

Religious Exploration & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
February 19, 2023

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

View past newsletters at bit.ly/CUUCRENews
Celebrating and Supporting LGBTPQIA++ Youth
Wed Mar 15, 8:00am-3:00pm
PrideWorks at Pace University, Pleasantville

We are delighted that the PrideWorks Conference for LGBTQ Youth and their Allies returns in person this year! Westchester UUs are the largest collective sponsor of the conference. Thank you for your ongoing support through the yearly plate share and private donations! UUs also volunteer, present workshops, and serve on the Planning Committee and Board. Our presence is affirming for UU youth who attend with their school GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) and on their own, and it is an important youth ministry outreach that lets Westchester youth know we are a faith community that welcomes them. If you would like to help with UU activities such as greeting youth with the Side with Love banner as school buses drop off students at 7:15am or staffing the UU table in the main hall, contact Tracy (cuucwptracy@gmail.com). If you would like to volunteer at the conference in any other way (registration, supporting workshop presenters, set-up, clean-up, etc.) contact Kerry King (kerrytk15@gmail.com).

We hope to see CUUC youth at the conference, with your school or on your own. Stop by our UU table for fun giveaways and identify yourself as UU for a special gift! 

Friday OWL Classes for
4th-5th and 6th-7th grades
& Parents/Carevigers

We had a wonderful start to Friday evening OWL classes last week!
The 4th-5th grade class leaders are John C, Denice T, and Irene C. The 6th-7th grade class leaders are David B, Carolyn H, and Janet W. We are using the 4th-6th curriculum with our 4th-7th grade classes. These are resources for families to use at home:  We also launched the corresponding small group ministry for adults: Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators. This is an opportunity for adults to recall your own questions, feelings, and experiences at the age your children are now, and to be intentional about how you would like to support your child as they have questions and strive to make decisions that are healthy for them. Parents and caregivers may participate in this class even if you do not have a young person attending an OWL classes. Tracy B and John C are leading these sessions. Throughout, we will add to our shared resource doc. Click here for class topics and resources corresponding to February 10th session 1, Hopes and Concerns for Kids' Sexual Health and session 5, Relationships: Guiding with Wisdom. 
The next classes are 6:15pm on Friday,
March 10th and 24th, and April 14th.
Note: 1st-3rd and 8th-9th grade Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes
continue meeting Sunday mornings, as do the 4th-5th grade 
Toolbox of Faith classes and 6th-7th grade Riddle and Mystery classes. 
Quiet Sanctuary Area
Seeking Family Feedback

Like other UU congregations, we offer a quiet activity area to support families in worship. We know that even when their hands are busy, our young people are connecting with the rituals, words, and music of our faith.
Having a quiet activity or sitting on the floor can help them manage the time more comfortably. If your family has used (or avoided) that area, the RE Council is interested in your feedback. Do you find it helpful? Do you find it challenging? Are there other ways we could support your young people when they attend worship in the sanctuary? Please send your feedback to Tracy (cuucwptracy@gmail.com) and/or Karen D (KMDreher55@gmail.com).
Sunday, February 19

10:00am Worship
Whole Congregation - All Ages

In Person and Online
"Free to Be... You and Me" ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon, Tracy Breneman

The album "Free to Be... You and Me" by Marlo Thomas and Friends came out in 1972 and recently celebrated its 50th birthday. Meredith and Tracy will celebrate and reflect on the lessons of this cultural landmark indelibly imprinted on the brains of many of us.

All ages are in the sanctuary this Sunday to hear stories and songs from the Free to Be You and Me album. This will be a fun service for young people to attend! Last Sunday in Chapel, we learned the theme song so children will be able to sing along. If your young person is in the sanctuary quiet activity area, please sit in the chairs nearby to help them learn to navigate worship space.

Visit our website for the Sunday order of service. We continue to wear masks for Sunday morning worship and RE in the building. Revisit past services anytime at youtube.com/TheLiberalPulpit and subscribe!

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.

Childcare & Religious Exploration

Childcare begins at 9:45am in room 32 in the yellow hallway. RE classes and Youth Group do not meet today. We will all worship together.
Upcoming Schedule
Religious Exploration
Sun Feb 19: Whole Congregation Worship. RE does not meet. (start of the school holiday week)
Sun Feb 26: Whole Congregation Worship. RE does not meet. (end of the school holiday week)
Sat Mar 4: Community dance party - fun for all ages!
Sun Mar 5: K-7th grade Chapel and 8th-9th grade OWL class. Youth Group does not meet; After worship: Ministerial Search Forum
Fri Mar 10: OWL Classes for 4th-5th & 6th-7th grades, and Parents/Caregivers
Sat Mar 11: Families make meal bags for HOPE Kitchen; OWL orientation & identity panel to be confirmed
Sun Mar 12: Set your clocks ahead an hour then join us for 1st-12th grade RE/PlaceKeeping; After worship: Congregational forum on Article II 
Sun Mar 19: 1st-7th grade classes. 8th-9th OWL and Youth Group do not meet
8th-12th Grade Youth Group
Schedule Temporarily Paused

Providing supportive, engaging, fun, and affirming space for youth is essential. And finding the sweet spot of youth ministry can be challenging given varied interests and competing schedules. We will pause our Youth Group schedule to invite parents and youth into conversation about where Youth Group can go from here. Please watch for an e-mail from Cyndi and Daniel with an invitation to gather and share ideas. 

Young Voices in Worship

In an initial review of the report from the Self-Assessment Committee, the RE Council noted congregants' interest in having young voices in worship. We think that's a great idea and Rev. Meredith agrees! We are starting by inviting young people to read the chalice lighting and extinguishing words Sunday, February 19 and 26. These are whole congregation worship  Sundays so young people are in the sanctuary for the whole service. We still need a young voice/voices for February 26th. To volunteer, contact Tracy, cuucwptracy@gmail.com

It's Cookie Time!

From Refugee Resettlement: Muqadas Ghafoor, the ten-year-old daughter of the Afghan family our congregation has been helping, is selling Girl Scout cookies. After worship, look for Jane Dixon (lilrhodie@gmail.com).

A New Refugee Family is Coming

As a member congregation of the Interfaith Council for New Americans Westchester (ICNAW), CUUC is excited to once again announce that we have been asked to help resettle a new refugee family in the coming months. Click here to read a letter from the ICNAW team, with a link to donate. Contributions to ICNAW may also be made by sending a check to CUUC with "ICNAW" in the memo line. Contact: Jane Dixon (lilrhodie@gmail.com) and Robin Rocchi (robinandal@verizon.net)

Backpacks Delivered!

Last Sunday, 1st-7th graders and adults filled backpacks with supplies donated from the congregation then loaded them into cars for delivery. We sent 70 backpacks filled with school supplies to Next Generation Youth Services, Lifting Up Westchester! Our thanks to all who sponsored a backpack, and assembled and delivered them!

Update on Ministerial Transition

After ten years, Rev. Meredith Garmon will be retiring from CUUC at the end of July. The ministerial search process to find our next settled minister is well underway. A lot is happening, including plans for a celebration honoring Rev. Meredith, an upcoming self-assessment report forum, a website upgrade, the creation of our new Search Formation Team, and more. Click here for an Update on Ministerial Transition letter from Board Chair Creighton Cray, detailing all that we are doing.

Congregation Forum
Ministerial Search Process

Sun Mar 5 in Fellowship Hall at 11:30am
Mon Mar 13 online in Zoom 7899

The CUUC Minister Search Formation team, which creates the search committee for our new minister, has been formed. They will update the congregation on their progress each month during the Our Congregation part of the worship service. The team will also host both an in-person and an online Congregation Forum to discuss the ministerial search process and to answer your questions. Save the date! Contact: Creighton Cray (creighton.cray@gmail.com)

Community Conversation
Exploring the Future of RE at CUUC


Sun, May 21, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall and Zoom 8428
Times are changing, as are family needs and schedules. Join members of the RE Council and Tracy for a visioning discussion about the future of RE at CUUC. We will discuss feedback shared by the Self-Assessment Committee from the congregational survey, then explore what Religious Exploration and faith development might look like here in the coming years. It is exciting to think about what we can build together! Contact Tracy (cuucwptracy@gmail.com).

Weekly Newsletters
Stay up to date by receiving the weekly RE newsletter (sign up here; read past Issues here) and weekly CUUC e-Communitarian (sign up here; read past issues 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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