Religious Exploration: March 26, 2023

Religious Exploration & Faith Development
Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
March 26, 2023

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

View past newsletters at bit.ly/CUUCRENews

4th-5th, 6th-7th & Parent/Caregiver OWL

Fri Mar 24, 6:15-9:15pm, Fellowship Hall
4th-5th and 6th-7th Grade
Classes will explore feelings and attractions, reproduction and staying healthy, and decisions and actions. Click here for class dates and topics as well as materials for parents and children to discuss before and after class.

Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators
We will explore communication and talking about sex, being a trusted source for sexual health, and supporting your young person's decision making. 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. 

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).

HS Youth Con!

Sat Apr 1 - Sun Apr 2, UU Shelter Rock Congregation, Long Island

It’s A Con, Fools! From Saturday, April 1, 2023, through Sunday, April 2, 2023, the first Youth Con since 2019 will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock! This is an overnight event for UU youth in 9th-12th grades from all over Metro NY. This April Fools-themed Con will feature many fun events and activities, such as an inflatable obstacle course, a jam session, improv and art workshops, an LGBTQ+ discussion forum, a worship planning group, face painting, a racial justice workshop, a talent show, games, and much more! Make sure to bring your musical instruments for an exciting jam session! Cyndi & Daniel T and Denice T will attend as advisors for our youth. There are 60 spots and they will fill up fast so register asap! This event is being planned, run and managed by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock , following the UUA Youth Safety Guidelines. Find the registration link and more information here: https://www.uua.org/central-east/events/youth/metro-ny-cluster-con

RE PlaceKeeping Photos

March 12th, children and adults met for a PlaceKeeping program during RE. Click here to see photos and read Cynthia's summary of the program. 
Sunday, March 26
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 mas

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
1st-3rd Grade Class,  Our Whole Lives
Room 33, Yellow Hallway 
Christine H and Irene C are leading Session 4, Families. This workshop celebrates family life in all its diversity. Children gain awareness and appreciation of family configurations both similar to and different from their own. They will affirm each family configuration and each child. 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. 
3/19 Homelink: Each week, teachers will give parents/caretakers a Homelinks sheet with information and suggestions for conversations to have at home. March 19 class focused on Body Boundaries; click here for the Homelink. 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 13, Love (Gloves). The gloves symbolize love and in this session, children will reflect on the strength and universality of love. While it may sound simple and desirable to love, or to act from love; it can actually be very hard.  The lesson will emphasize compassion as the goal of every major religion and the concept of universal love is connected to the love we feel for and show to our families and friends.

6th-7th Grade Class, Riddle & Mystery
Room 13, Red Hallway
Gail is leading session 13, Oh My Soul. The word "soul" appears in Unitarian Universalism in the names of some congregations, in hymns and in readings, in articles, sermons and books. Sometimes "souls" is simply used as a synonym for "people." But as a religious term, UU youth have a right to wrestle with its meaning for them, and a right to know that it is a concept UUs can find meaningful. In this session, youth will think about the range of possible meanings for UUs. 

8th-12th Grade, Youth Group
Not meeting this Sunday


"The Importance of Vow" ~ Rev. Meredith Garmon

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.

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)

Upcoming Schedule
Fri Mar 24: OWL Classes for 4th-5th & 6th-7th grades, and Parents/Caregivers
Sun Mar 26: 1st-7th grade classes. After worship: Parents of young people exploring gender identity & Board of Trustees Open House
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. After worship: Parents of young people exploring gender identity
Fri Apr 21: CUUC Game Night for all ages
Sun Apr 23: 1st-12th grade RE PlaceKeeping, installing leaf packs
Fun Game Night
for All Ages

Fri Apr 21, 6:00pm Pizza, 7:00pm Games, Fellowship Hall
Calling CUUCers of all ages! Everyone is invited to bring their favorite game or just join us on Friday, April 21, 2023 to CUUC at 6pm for a pizza dinner and then we'll match players with games starting at 7pm. Whether your favorite game is Scrabble, Uno, Trivial Pursuit, Mah Jongg, Trouble or Hungry Hungry Hippos, bring it along or just come to socialize with other people. Suggested donation for dinner, $5. Contact Audra Russell, audrar631@gmail.com

Westchester Interfaith Youth Alliance

The WYA is a committee of teens from youth groups all over Westchester. We come together to put on effective youth-led peer education and service events. If you are interested in attending upcoming events, click here: Get involved!

Take Action for Earth Day @ Pitch in for Parks 2023
Sat Apr 22, 10:00am-2:00pm

Join in this community effort and help us clean up one of Westchester's most valuable assets! Each year, Westchester Parks Foundation and the Westchester County Parks Department host Pitch in for Parks. It is their largest volunteer event which falls on Earth Day! This year we will be volunteering at the Bronx River Reservation in White Plains. Volunteers will paint, rake, prepare and plant flower beds, clear trails and shorelines, restore wildlife habitats and remove invasive vines from trees. Click here to register a teen

Weekly: WYA hosts weekly teen zoom sessions on Sunday nights at 5:00pm where teens have time to share their ideas, engage in discussion about planning and organizing events, and hang out. To learn more email our Program Director, Chloe Fernandez

Community Tag Sale 

Sat Apr 29, 9:30am-3:00pm, at CUUC
Ways YOU can participate in CUUC’s Tag Sale…
1. Save the date, April 29, on your calendar so you can come!

2. Rent a table so you can make space again in your closets while making a bit of cash. Contact Nora Freeman (norafreeman777@gmail.com) or Alex Sehdeva (alex.sehdeva@gmail.com). We will set up your table for you - you just bring and set up your things to sell (and take home what you don't sell). You can also split a table with a friend!
3. Have breakfast or lunch with us. Meals by Mahnaz is cooking and will have food to purchase all during the event.
4. Come early and help us set up tables (sellers will set up their own sale items).
5. Bring small appliances/small pieces of furniture to donate to Furniture Sharehouse.
6. Come later in the afternoon to help us put away tables.
7. Come any time of the day to chat with your CUUC friends and enjoy our grounds.
8. During April, help promote the event within your social network and communities.
9. Bring your children or grandchildren. Have them hawk your wares, or (gasp) sell their old clothing/toys for a percentage of the profits.

Call for Caring

The Friday Family Journey Group and the Caring and Sharing Circle invite the congregation to help support a member family facing challenging transitions, with either financial contributions or by providing dinners for four adults, now through Fri Mar 31. Find more information and a sign-up list at https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/7edz88. Contact: Irene Cox (irene.cox@gmail.com) or Lois Holt (mediamomforlife@gmail.com)


Next Friday, March 31, is International Transgender Day of Visibility, dedicated to celebrating the contributions that transgender people have made to society, and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. 

In 2018, when such messages were rare, CUUC member Tony Arrien created this wonderful public service video for TDOV featuring fellow CUUC-ers Joann Prinzivalli and Elias VanDette. As Unitarian Universalists, we understand that the full expression of diversity of gender and sexuality is a gift, and recognize the importance of opposing growing legislative attacks against the LGBTQIA+ community. To get involved with the CUUC LGBTQIA+ Social Justice Team, contact: Jennifer Stevens (jennifercstevens@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. These dates are open: April 30 and May 14. To volunteer, contact Tracy, cuucwptracy@gmail.com

Queer Youth Advocacy Retreat
A Space for LGBTQ+ Youth to Find Community

WHO: For all high school-aged youth with an interest in LGBTQ+ justice
WHEN: May 12-14, 2023
WHERE: Camp Unirondack (Free shuttle from Albany, NY is available!)
FEE: Totally free!

WHAT: Our Queer Youth Advocacy Retreat is a weekend designed to bring together young queer and trans leaders, advocates, activists, organizers, school club members, and aspiring allies. The weekend offers a place for young people to connect with one another, exchange ideas, build knowledge and skills, think critically, and work together toward LGBTQIA+ justice. It is also a place to build friendships with likeminded people, and experience a celebration of Queer community, Queer joy, and the magic of being together in the great outdoors. The weekend will include educational workshops & trainings; engaging youth-centered discussion groups; memorable camp experiences including games, campfires, boating, and other outdoor activities; creative activities and art projects; positive and affirming sharing and performance spaces; and opportunities to build close bonds with other youth and mentors.

All LGBTQ+ youth and allies are welcome! More information. Register Here. If you would like to volunteer at the retreat, register here

Help enhance our festivities! If you have a photograph of Rev. Garmon to share, please email to Kim Force (kimforce@gmail.com). You can share your favorite memory at bit.ly/RevGarmonMemories. Contacts: Catherine K (catherinekortlandt@gmail.com), Emily E (emily.economou@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.
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 24th. Click here for class dates and topics as well as materials for parents and children to discuss before and after class. 
(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. 

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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