Religious Exploration: February 5, 2023

Religious Exploration & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
February 5, 2023

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

View past newsletters at bit.ly/CUUCRENews
Tomorrow: Saturday, February 4

Families for HOPE

Sat 4 Feb, 10:30-11:15am at CUUC
RE families will gather tomorrow to to prepare 70 to-go breakfasts and lunches for HOPE Community Services in New Rochelle. This is a great way for youth to join in and fulfill community service hours commitments. Those participating can bring individual-sized food items such as shelf-stable milk, juice, water, fruit cups, and soft granola bars, as well as loaves of bread. We also need frozen items such as French toast, pancakes, waffles, frozen sausages or patties (no pork). This is a monthly activity. Please email Christine Haran to coordinate groceries, christineharan@yahoo.com.

Words Have Power
Youth-Led Event: Movie & Discussion

Sat 4 Feb, 11:00am-3:00pm 
at the Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville

WYA members & members of local youth group Keepers of the Dream invite you to our community movie screening of the movie “Till,” about Emmett Till (PG-13). It will be followed by a panel discussion led by the teens. Families are welcome! (Families welcome!). Register here.

1st Saturday PlaceKeeping

Due to the frigid weather forecast for Saturday, the 1st Saturday PlaceKeeping practice is canceled. Contact: Bice Wilson, bicewilson@gmail.com.


Gender Identity Support & Resources for Parents/Caregivers 

This Sunday, Feb 5, 11:20am, Room 41 (green hallway)
Sunday after worship and RE, we invite parents and caregivers of young people who are exploring their gender identity (e.g., nonbinary, gender nonconforming, transgender) to meet for discussion and support resources.

The leaders of Center Lane's TransParentcy group will guide our discussion. If you have a young person at any point of this journey, please feel welcome to join us. This gathering is for parents and caregivers. We will explore support for youth separately. Please make yourselves a quick brunch plate and head to classroom 41. We will start as soon as possible after worship and RE. Contact Tracy, cuucwptracy@gmail.com. 

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. To volunteer, contact Tracy, cuucwptracy@gmail.com

1st-3rd Grade OWL

After each class, teachers send children home with a Homelinks sheet that offers information and suggestions for conversations at home. This is an important part of establishing early communication between parent/caregiver and child about health, safety, and relationships. We also share them here:
Sunday, January 29

Religious Exploration
1st-12th Grade Activities

1st-7th Grade Activity 
Room 41, Green Hallway 
Leaders: Kathleen K, Anne Marie D, and Tracy B
1st-7th graders will fill backpacks with supplies donated from the congregation then load them for delivery. Thanks to you, our sponsors, the Hunger & Homelessness team now has plenty of backpacks to donate to Next Generation Youth Services, Lifting Up Westchester! 

Children in 3rd grade and younger must be picked up in their classrooms. Please do so right after worship so RE leaders can go to other activities. 

8th-12th Grade Youth Group
Room 14, Red Hallway
Leaders: Daniel and Cyndi T
Youth will begin by helping assemble backpacks in room 41, then meet for Youth Group to build community and discuss future programming. 

10:00am Worship
In Person and Online

"Cultivating Ourselves" ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon

Exploring our theme for February: Self-Cultivation. What is it we are doing when we cultivate a Self?

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.

RE Mid-Year Check-In

After Worship and RE, Fellowship Hall During Brunch
RE Council members invite you to sit at the “RE Mid-Year Check-In” table during brunch in Fellowship Hall to ask questions, share feedback about how RE is going this year, or explore ways to get involved. We look forward to hearing from you!

Gender Identity Support & Resources for Parents/Caregivers 

After Worship and RE (11:20am), Room 41 
Sunday after worship and RE, we invite parents and caregivers of young people who are exploring their gender identity (e.g., nonbinary, gender nonconforming, transgender) to meet for discussion and support resources. Make a bunch plate and join us in classroom 41. Additional information above.

Upcoming Schedule
Religious Exploration

Sat Feb 4, 10:30am: 10:30am RE/Meals for HOPE.
Sun Feb 5: K class with Tracy, 1st-12th grade Social Justice program. After worship: Mid-year RE check-in with families during the CUUC Brunch + Discussion with parents/caregivers of young people who are exploring gender identity. 
Fri Feb 10: 4tn-5th & 6th-7th Our Whole Lives classes begin at CUUC, as well as the parent OWL class.
Sun Feb 12: 1st-7th grade Chapel with Tracy and 8th-12th grade Youth Group. OWL youth attend Youth Group. After worship: CUUC Self-Assessment Report Forum.
Tue Feb 14, 7pm (will reschedule): Parents & Caregivers of MS & HS Youth Covenant Group.
Sun Feb 19: Whole Congregation Worship. RE does not meet. (School holiday)
Sun Feb 26: Whole Congregation Worship. RE does not meet. (School holiday)
4th-5th & 6th-7th OWL 
Begins Next Friday!

Fri 10 Feb, 6:00-9:00pm at CUUC
OWL classes for 4th-7th graders begin next week. This is a wonderful curriculum, 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. 
After each class, teachers send children home with a Homelinks sheet that offers information and suggestions for conversations at home. This is an important part of establishing early communication between parent/caregiver and child about health, safety, and relationships. We will also share them here.
OWL for Parents & Cargivers
Begins Next Friday!

Fri 10 Feb, 6:00-9:00pm at CUUC
We are offering parents the opportunity to reflect on how you would like to support your young people in healthy decision making and nurturing open communication. Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators is an important companion to our OWL classes for children and youth. Parents may participate even if you do not have a child currently in OWL. Contact Tracy, cuucwptracy@gmail.com.

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.

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)

Self-Assessment Forum

Self-Assessment Report, Follow-up Q&A Forum
Sun Feb 12, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall
The CUUC Congregational Self-Assessment Committee has completed their report, from the thoughts, opinions, and ideas you have shared with us over the past 6 months. We encourage everyone to read the 14-page Summary Report and consider ways we can implement its recommendations. Please plan to join us at the follow-up forum on Feb 12, to discuss your ideas and share your questions.

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 7, 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 B, 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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