Religious Exploration: March 19, 2023

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

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

View past newsletters at bit.ly/CUUCRENews
RE PlaceKeeping Photos

Last Sunday, children and adults met for a PlaceKeeping program during RE. Click here to see photos and read Cynthia's summary of the program. 
Celebrating and Supporting LGBTPQIA++ Youth

Last Wednesday, Westchester UUs supported the PrideWorks Conference for LGBTQ Youth and their Allies. Our Social Justice Team came out in force for the first conference post Covid. Jennifer S led the intrepid early morning greeters (Jane D, Anne M, and Terri K). At the table sponsored by Westchester UUs, we had Janet P, Bob I, Tony A (also a workshop leader), Tracy B (member of the PrideWorks Board) and family. PrideWorks is the longest collaborative social justice project supported by the five UU congregations in Westchester. This is one important way we show up for youth! The keynote speaker was Nyle DiMarco (pictured below).
pictures and text from John C & Tracy B

Masking Policy Update

Based on the current COVID risk level in Westchester, masking is now optional during worship services and RE. Individuals are welcome to continue wearing a mask. 
Coffee social hour after worship and RE has moved back to the fireside area of the sanctuary. Click here to read the update from the Safety Committee. Contact: Safety Committee Chair Christian Force (force2k1@gmail.com) and Board Chair Creighton Cray (creighton.cray@gmail.com).
Sunday, March 19

Sundays, 9:45am-11:45am, Room 32, Yellow Hallway
Diane, Hans, and Willow welcome young children in childcare. We offer a safe, loving environment where our youngest build community and play outside when weather permits. 

Religious Exploration
1st-7th Grade Classes
8th-12th Grade Youth Group

1st-3rd Grade Class,  Our Whole Lives
Room 33, Yellow Hallway 
Irene C and Laura S are leading Session 3, Body Boundaries. Children will learn the importance of boundaries for physical touch. They will learn that no type of touch should be a secret and will practice asking permission to touch other people and saying no to unwanted touch. These are important components of preventing child abuse. 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. 
1/29 Homelink: Each week, teachers will give parents/caretakers a Homelinks sheet with information and suggestions for conversations to have at home. All of Homelinks are online here. The January 29 class focused on Workshop 2, Bodies and Gender. The Parent Guide for the K-1 curriculum is found online here

4th-5th Grade Class, Toolbox of Faith
Room 41, Green Hallway
Laura G and Nicholas A are leading session 4, Flexibility (Duct Tape). The duct tape symbolizes flexibility. This session provides opportunities for the children to reflect on the value and qualities of developing an open mind and a flexible faith. A theme of discussion is the Unitarian Universalist expectation of change and flexibility in one's understandings and beliefs. 

6th-7th Grade Class, Riddle & Mystery
Room 13, Red Hallway
Mohammed L and Nicole T are leading session 12, The Future and Me. Many at this age wonder about their future. This session frames their wonderings as a Big Question which seeks a deeper answer. Youth learn how Unitarian Universalism can guide them toward intentional decision making based on their developing values. This session assures youth that they will find direction from a variety of sources. 

8th-12th Grade, Youth Group
Room 14, Red Hallway
Youth meet with Cyndi & Daniel T and Stevie C to work on one of the projects they discussed last time they met: Youth Group Room Makeover! They will also continue discussing an Easter activity and a coffeehouse.


"Musical Awe" ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon
We'll continue our look at awe and its importance, with particular attention this time on the ways music awakens awe -- whether you're playing your piano or playing your stereo.

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.

UUA Article II Info Sessions

CUUC Article II Learning Community, Listening Session, Sun Mar 19, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall & Zoom 3131 
The sessions are designed to provide information on, and share our thoughts about, the Unitarian Universalist Association's current reassessment of Article II of the UUA Bylaws, which includes our Seven UU Principles. Click here to learn more about Article II Learning Community.

Contact: Joe Majsak (jmajsak@verizon.net), Audra Russell (audrar631@gmail.com)
Sharing Session #1, Sun Apr 9, 11:30am, Fellowship Hall & Zoom 3131
Sharing Session #2, Thu Apr 20, 7:30pm, Zoom 7899
Upcoming Schedule

Sun Mar 19: 1st-7th grade classes and 8th-12th grade Youth Group. After worship: Congregational forum on Article II 
Sun Mar 26: 1st-7th grade classes and 8th-12th grade Youth Group. After worship: Parents of young people exploring gender identity
Fri Mar 24: OWL Classes for 4th-5th & 6th-7th grades, and Parents/Caregivers
Sun Apr 2: Whole congregation worship
Sun Apr 9: Whole congregation worship & Easter treats
Fri Apr 14: OWL Classes for 4th-5th & 6th-7th grades, and Parents/Caregivers
Sun Apr 16: 1st-7th grade classes and 8th-12th grade Youth Group. After worship: Parents of young people exploring gender identity
Sun Apr 23: 1st-12th grade RE PlaceKeeping, installing leaf packs

Online Ministerial Search Forum

Ministerial Search Process: Online Congregation Forum, Mon Mar 13, 7:30, Zoom 7899

For those who couldn't attend the Sun Mar 5 forum held in the sanctuary, Rev. Evin Carvill Ziemer will lead a second, online forum to explain the ministerial search process, and prepare us to nominate our Ministerial Search Committee members in April. Remember to submit your nominee suggestions by Mar 15 using our online ministerial search committee nominees questionnaire or the paper forms available in the lobby. Self-nominations are welcome! Contact: Creighton Cray (creighton.cray@gmail.com)

Board Open House

Sun Mar 26, after worship & RE, Fellowship Hall & Zoom 6161
The Board of Trustees will host a hybrid open house to update the congregation on key steps of the ministerial transition, as well as to answer questions from congregants. The Board will also provide an update on key strategic goals for 2022-2023. Contact: Creighton Cray (creighton.cray@gmail.com)

Sing-Along/Play-Along Night
for All Ages

Fri Mar 31, 6:00-10:00pm, Fellowship Hall
Christian and Kim Force are organizing an informal, all-ages, Sing-Along/Play-Along night, to share our spiritual practice of making music together. We'll gather to enjoy some songs, sing-along style - or, if you're a musician, come and play along with us, too! If you have a special song request or want to bring an instrument, contact Kim (kimforce@gmail.com) or Christian (force2k1@gmail.com).

Resources for OWL Classes 
1st-3rd, 4th-5th and 6th-7th grades
& Parents/Caregivers

One of the core priorities of the OWL curriculum is to encourage communication between children/youth and their parent(s)/caregiver(s). The Homelink resources support that by providing material to continue discussion about class topics at home. 
1st-3rd Grade
We are using the K-1 curriculum with our 1st-3rd grade class. This class meets Sunday mornings. The next class is March 19th.
4th-5th and 6th-7th Grade
We are using the 4th-6th curriculum with our 4th-5th and 6th-7th grade classes. This class meets over four Friday evenings. The next class is March 10th. Click here for class dates and topics as well as materials for parents and children to discuss before and after class. The next class is Friday, March 24. 

(Note: The 4th-5th grade Toolbox of Faith class and 6th-7th grade Riddle and Mystery class continue meeting Sunday mornings.)

Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators
This is the corresponding small group ministry for adults, offering opportunity for adults to recall your own 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. Click here for class dates and topics as well as questions to reflect on after class and resources. The next class is Friday, March 24. 

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. These dates are open: April 23 & 30; and May 14. To volunteer, contact Tracy, cuucwptracy@gmail.com

The new season of the ALL 8 Youth Photography Workshop starts on March 20th. Registration is open and free! This time we’re exploring the 8 principles within the context of the shared values model proposed by the Article II Commission. Youth ages 14-17 are welcome to join! Watch the All 8 Youth Photography Fall 2021 Exhibition. This is a fantastic project and opportunity! Register here. Contact Jil Novenski, DRE at The Community Church of New York, jnovenski@ccny.org

Appeal for Minister's
Discretionary Fund

The Minister’s Discretionary Fund allows Rev. Garmon to provide confidential assistance to members, congregants, and neighbors experiencing financial hardship.

Our fund balance is dipping low. Please consider a contribution to help replenish the fund and allow our minister to continue being able to help others. Make checks out to CUUC with the memo “MDF” or “Discretionary Fund” or visit our website, https://cucwp.org, and use the yellow Donate button (and consider checking to box to cover fees). Contributions are tax deductible.

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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