Connections Newsletter
All the news you need to know to connect, grow, and serve.
Join Us this Sunday
April 8, 9:15 and 11:15 a.m.
You Just Gotta Laugh!
Sermon by Rev. Beth Miller

Did you know that celebrating Holy Humor Sunday on the Sunday after Easter used to be a widespread practice in many Christian churches? What a great idea! Come see what the worship team has in store this week.

Our music always lifts the spirit and this week is sure to bring a smile with our Children and Youth, and SHINE Choirs singing in the first service, and the Pop Up Choir in second service. Gay Gibson Cima is the Worship Associate.
Share the Plate - Dream Project - Sunday, April 8

" I learned so much, I had no idea how tough it is and they have so much grit."
-- Anne Blacksten , Dreamers Mentor

"It is mind-blowing, how in the face of so many life and academic challenges, the high schoolers approach this challenge with confidence and optimism."
-- Sarah Priestman , Dreamers Mentor

Both Anne and Sarah assist high schoolers with their college application process. 
Photo of Dreamers
Starting this Sunday, April 7 through Saturday, April 13, midnight, all funds donated to Share the Plate will go to UUCA's social justice partner The Dream Project

Since 2011, the Dream Project, a non-profit organization, has supported promising young immigrant students in their pursuit of higher education. Through mentoring, scholarships, advocacy, and community outreach, the Dream Project empowers students and their families to succeed against all odds. Over the past few months, the Dream Project's Mentoring Program helped 40 students, through the volunteer hours of 30 mentors who helped the students navigate the college application process. In addition, this spring the Dream Project plans on awarding $135,000 in Dream Project scholarships. 

And in the face of great uncertainty and threatening news headlines, the Dream Project is planning to do more. They received a record number of scholarship applications this year and as a result have decided to award 90--also a record number--and to increase the amount to $1,500 (renewable annually). In addition, they developed new initiatives to provide social and emotional support for the students and their families, who live with high anxiety.

UUCA has always been a trusted partner; let's maintain that relationship. As Pat Findikoglu, another mentor, says: "This is putting faith and allyship in action."

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR MAY 4: Dreamers Voices for Solidarity Benefit Concert - Hosted @UUCA.
Church Matters
A Message from Bea Ann

My Dear UUCA Family and Friends,

I am writing to announce my resignation as Director of Children, Youth and SHINE Choirs at UUCA. I will finish out the church year and my final day in service will be June 3.

For close to 15 years, I have had the privilege of working with our children and youth; getting to know them; helping them find their voices, building confidence, creating community and instilling our UU values through music and social outreach opportunities. It has been a role I’ve been honored to hold and one that has brought constant joy to me over the years. I have been deeply moved by the musical, emotional and spiritual growth I have witnessed with these kids and youth, during our rehearsals, our musical sharing in services and most especially during all of our many and varied service trips and outreach activities that have been a big part of the children and youth music programs at UUCA.
Likewise, I have been incredibly moved by the joyful singing of those in the SHINE choir, their compassion for others and the community we have created together at Goodwin House. What a magical experience to see residents from the memory unit, with otherwise non-expressive faces, light up when we sing familiar songs together! How rewarding it is to watch our youngest members—as young as two—actively engage with our oldest members—as old as 100!

I have witnessed first-hand the transformational power of music and hope that—as UUCA transitions and grows-- these programs will continue on, with adequate funding, and be viewed as critical to the church’s mission. I leave knowing the Music Ministry is in excellent hands under Mimi’s leadership.

Per UUA protocol, and in conversation with colleagues at the UUA, I will be leaving UUCA for at least a year. My husband and I have been members of UUCA for over 25 years, having fulfilled a variety of leadership roles before I was a member of the staff. We will miss our involvement and all the many committed and dedicated individuals who have helped make this congregation so wonderful.

We have no doubt UUCA will navigate this transition with grace and love and emerge stronger than ever. We wish you all well on that journey in the coming year.

With deep gratitude and love,
Bea Ann
Budget Meetings for FY2018-19
This Sunday Tamara Srader, Acting Executive and Chief Administrative Officer, will hold the fourth of six open budget meetings for the fiscal year 2018-19. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Below is the list of scheduled meetings and topics:

Sunday April 8, 1-2:15 p.m.-- Share the Plate
Wednesday April 11, 6-7:15 p.m.--Draft Budget
Saturday April 14, 1-2:15 p.m.--Draft Budget
Share the Plate Distribution Goals and Schedule
By Tamara Srader, Acting Executive and Chief Administrative Officer

After many long discussions about Share the Plate, we have come to a decision to make a change for the remainder of the fiscal year. As most of you know, the church fiscal year runs July 1st through June 30th. We just finished the third quarter and are in the home stretch. The Connections article in March referenced the eleven partners that we will be partnering with financially which is only one part of how this church community works with nonprofit organizations.

The FY18 budget passed by the members last June included a 30 percent share for UUCA to support partners in all the ways that we do: financially, providing space at little or no cost and encouraging members and friends to participate in the many social justice opportunities offered. In FY17 this generous community gave away over $150,000. The budget this fiscal year, given the change, was adjusted to an expectation of $120,000 and a 70/30 split.

8th Principle logo
Town Hall Meeting on 8th Principle
A call to adopt an 8th Principle within the UUA, which would focus on anti-racism work as part of journeying toward spiritual wholeness, was proposed at General Assembly last summer. To date, three UU churches in the United States have adopted the 8th Principle, and UUCA is on a mission to do the same. 

Join us for a Town Hall Meeting in Fellowship Hall on Thursday, April 5, 7:30 p.m., to learn more about adopting the 8th Principle. Paula Cole Jones from All Souls Unitarian - D.C. will lead the discussion, facilitated by Tracey L. Rogers. 

Please RSVP with this link if you will attend. Please also use the RSVP to indicate whether you need childcare.

Learn more at here. Can’t make it on April 5 but want to stay in the loop? Email

Date: Thursday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Fellowship Hall
Final Report of the Annual Giving Campaign
The annual giving campaign concluded last week with a final report to the Board of Trustees on the status of pledges received. As of March 29, we had achieved 606 pledges for a total pledged amount of $1,121,982. This compares to last year’s closing totals of 709 pledges for $1,291,426. The result is that there will likely be approximately $170,000 less pledge income available for projected income in the 2018-19 budget currently being developed for review at scheduled congregational meetings and placed before the congregation for vote at the June 3 congregational meeting.

The decreased income derives from three primarily identifiable sources. First, and most obviously, the number of pledges is significantly fewer by about 15%. Notably, pledge participation was significantly greater than prior years until the third Sunday of the campaign (413 pledges this year verses 334 and 303 in the two prior years at that point).  Read complete report here >
Ministry Matters
A Transformative Week for Our Youth
By Elisabeth Geschiere, Coordinator Youth, Young Adult, and Social Justice Programs

Last week our Youth Group spent a week living, serving, and learning in Pipestem, West Virginia at the Appalachian South Folklife Center (ASFC). This was UUCA’s third time partnering with ASFC. It's an organization whose history and mission to serve and empower their community to live more dignified lives, to teach compassion for all, and to keep their cultural heritage alive and thriving aligns beautifully with our UU principles. Throughout the week, a third of our group worked on home repairs for an elderly woman named Ms. Linda. It turns out that Ms. Linda lived and worked in D.C. for thirty years but grew up in Princeton, W.V. Five years ago, she returned to the home that has been in her family for three generations to take care of her sick mother. The other two thirds of our group spent half the week deep-cleaning a United Methodist church in Bluewell, W.V., whose pastor, Rev. Melissa, shattered all of our stereotypes by being a charismatic, politically progressive, female pastor doing impactful radical hospitality and justice work in her community. She inspired all who met her with her strength, faith, and stories and she graciously sent us all home with a jar of homemade apple butter which her eighty and ninety year-old congregants make annually. The other half of our week was spent serving ASFC by repainting bunks and repairing flooring in one of the dorms, as well as clearing a steep hillside of brambles, leaves, and litter. Other highlights of the trip included attending an evening concert and open mic night at the Riff Raff Arts Collective, where some of our youth chose to perform, and a history lesson and hike with Ranger Richard at the New River Gorge National Park, where we learned about mountain top removal, the coal mine wars, and local ecology. Each night during Sharing Circle we lit our chalice and reflected and worshiped through singing, reading poetry written by ASFC’s co-founder Don West, and creating space to be real about our struggles and to appreciate and affirm each other’s achievements. It was a truly transformative week for all. 
Lifespan Religious Education
Thank You printed image
A big thank you to everyone who supported the Youth Group Social Justice Fund (primarily used for Service Trips) by donating at our Bake Sale last Sunday! We raised about $800 thanks to your generosity. 
Get excited for UUCA Maker Night!
Children (K-6th) accompanied by a parent or guardian are invited to explore hands-on maker activities that bring together the arts and crafts, technology, electronics, and multimedia! Pizza will be served, too. Check out the Maker Night flyer here.

All adults and older youth who enjoy making things are encouraged to volunteer for the event. See roles and descriptions here. For more information about Maker Night, contact RE Coordinator Lisa Harper Chang,

Date: Saturday, April 14, 5-8 p.m.
Location: RE Class Rooms
Wellspring Wednesday Classes Begin April 18
Come join your UUCA family and friends for fun and informative evenings that fosters lifelong learning and spiritual growth in beloved community. Childcare provided with RSVP. Dates are April 18-May 23.

A few of the classes to be offered:
  • UU Music Workshop w/ Mimi Bornstein and Christin Green
  • Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age / A Film Screening
  • Prayerful Doodling and Art
  • The U in UUism

Complete Wellspring class list with descriptions here.
Register here.
Faith in Action
rainbow flag
Equality UUCA Monthly Gathering This Sunday
Join Equality UUCA in the Center after second service this Sunday as we meet to socialize and organize. OWL (Our Whole Lives) Committee Member Dr. Amy Dryer will give an overview about how sexual orientation and gender identity are included in the Our Whole Lives sexuality education curriculum at UUCA. Sign up to help with the April 21 potluck dinner for LGBTQ asylum seekers in DC. Plan for "wrap UUCA in a rainbow" for Pride Week in June, and help plan the June 6 UUCA Happy Hour and legislative program. All are welcome! Contact: 

Date: Sunday, April 8, 12:30 p.m.
Location: Center Gallery
Asylum Seeker's Dinner
The Alylum Seeker's Dinner is being hosted by UUCA on April 21. This is an annual event that UUCA has hosted to provide a nice dinner to asylum seekers who have left their home country and seeking refuge in the U.S. If you would like to contribute a dinner item, dessert or drinks please drop your food off at UUCA on April 21 by 3:00 p.m. and the hosting team will get it to the venue. Please email Rhonda Buckner,, to let us know what you will contribute to the potluck. Questions? Contact Janice Stallard,
Mark your calendar: May 6
Screening of Film on Solitary Confinement
UUCA will host a screening of the 2016 HBO Documentary, “Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison,” followed by a panel discussion with Johnny Perez, Director of US Prison Program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, who is a returning citizen from solitary confinement, and Kimberly Jenkins-Snodgrass, Vice-Chair of Interfaith Action for Human Rights and the mother of Kevin Snodgrass Jr., who was in solitary confinement at Red Onion State Prison. A light lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. RSVP here.
Informational flyer here.

Date: Sunday, May 6, 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Location: Center and Activity Room
Families Building Peace
Children of all ages are welcome to attend the Families Building Peace Together workshop at UUCA on Wednesday evening, April 18, 7-8:15 p.m. For more information on this donation-based workshop for parents and children, contact MJ Park at 240-838-4549, .

Date: Wednesday, April 18, 7-8:15 p.m.
Location: TBA

Peace Camp Golf Fundraiser
UUCA's Peace Ministry Team is happy to announce a Golf Charity Fundraiser for our Peace Camp partner, Little Friends for Peace. Proceeds will benefit scholarship campers of community partners, including the two weeks of Peace Camp at UUCA. Golf registration here. 

Date: Monday, April 30, Noon
Voices From The Holy Land Film Series
The annual Voices from the Holy Land film series features the latest documentaries about the Israel-Palestine conflict. UUCA will be one of five venues throughout the DMV to host the series on three consecutive Sundays, beginning this Sunday, April 8, 2:30 p.m. with the viewing of Disturbing The Peace: a story of Combatants for Peace, an organization of former Israeli and Palestinian fighters who work together for peace.

Each film will be followed by a moderated discussion with the audience. Additional details on the film series can be found below. Please email Tracey L. Rogers , , for questions or inquiries.
Spring Allyship Workshop Registration Open
As part of our congregation's Live the Pledge campaign to end racism, UUCA has partnered with Service Never Sleeps to offer a racial justice Allyship training. Over 100 UUCAers have already taken this training. Now it’s your turn. This workshop will teach you about the causes of racial injustice, how to be an effective ally for marginalized communities of color, and how to actively influence and educate others. This is a natural follow-up to the two-day Live the Pledge to End Racism workshop but is also appropriate for first-timers. More information and sign up here . UUCA contact Alex Ziehm ,
Ida - book jacket image
African American Book Sharing Circle
Ida: A Sword Among Lions
Ida B. Wells crusaded against lynching in the 1890s while she also was a journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, teacher, sociologist, feminist, and one of the founders of the NAACP in the early 20th century. Have you ever heard of her? Probably not, so our Sharing Circle is exploring Ida Wells' contributions and life during Reconstruction and Jim Crow America. Paula Giddings' biography Ida: A Sword Among Lions chronicles Ida B. Wells’ life as well as the culture and history of the times she lived.  Read more >

Date: Friday, April 20, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Welcome Room
creeping phlox photo
Done by DIG
Last Friday and Saturday, the DIG Team (Do It Green) along with David McTaggart's Falling Upward Covenant Group and Bob Blinn's Soul Matters Group, repaired a couple of wheel barrows, weeded, spread mulch, planted bee balm and removed invasive ivy on the church grounds.

Mark your calendars for an All-Church workday on the grounds on Saturday, April 21. Also, May 9, when a presentation by Audubon at Home will be part of the Wellspring Wednesday program.  

And, come to the next DIG planning meeting on Wednesday, April 18, 3 p.m., Volunteer Room.

Photo: Look for the creeping phlox now in the Peace Pole garden.
Music Ministry
Here's to Life!
A Coffee House Concert
Spend an evening with Ron Cima as he entertains us with some of his favorite songs to live, laugh, and love by. This coffee house concert will include wine and munchies. Freewill donation. All proceeds go to UUCA.

Date: Friday, April 6, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Center Gallery
Pop Up Choir This Sunday! Feel the Joy!
Everyone is welcome to pop in on our POP UP Choir this Sunday and experience the joy of singing in community. No music experience required, no audition, no long-term commitment. Just come on Sunday morning and meet in the Sanctuary at 10:15 to learn a simple song that you will sing in the 11:15 service.

Did you know that singing with others is a health benefit? Recent research has proven that it benefits us physically and mentally. It calms the heart and boosts our endorphin levels. And, who doesn't need that!? Read more here on the research and then come join us on Sunday--You'll feel good about it!
Voices United Community Chorus Rehearsal Change
In an attempt to be more inclusive of all faiths, we want to inform you that we have changed the time of the Voices United Community Chorus rehearsals to Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m. Due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts, the first three Saturday rehearsals (April 7 & 14 & 21) will be held from 9 to 11 a.m., but all others will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. All rehearsals will be at UUCA. Registration will remain open through April 21. We hope you will be able to join us! Please signup using this form
Exciting New Exhibition Opening in Center Gallery
Baked Clay/Endless Sky: Celebrating 5 years of Studio Pause . Artists and writers from Arlington’s Studio Pause use their craft to express the power of PAUSING to share stories and how this practice can ground and expand their lives and communities.

RECEPTION DATE: Please join the artists from Studio Pause on Sunday, April 15, 4 to 6 p.m., for a reception and reading.
Mark your calendar: April 29
UUCA hosts The Arlington Chorale Summer Daze Concert
Congregational Life
Laser Tag image
Young Adult Laser Tag (+ District Taco) This Saturday
The UUCA Young Adult Group is going on a laser tagging adventure! Meet at Ultrazone-- Bailey's Crossroads at 7:40 p.m. to buy tickets and be all set by 8 p.m. COST: $19 for unlimited games beginning at 8 p.m. Join us at 6 p.m for dinner beforehand at District Taco. Feel free to come to dinner even if you can't join for laser tag. This is a half mile, 5-10 minute walk to Ultrazone. The District Taco address is 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church. See the UUCA Young Adult Group Facebook group or contact Julia Peterson,, for more info. 

Date: Saturday, April 7, 7:40 p.m.
Sunday Brunch image
Young Adult Sunday Brunch
The Young Adults meet for brunch every other Sunday after the second service! Ages 18-35 and their families are welcome to come get to know other young adults over a good meal. 
Next Date: Sunday, April 8, 12:30 p.m.
Location: Activity Room
Young Adult Divine Reading Group
POSTPONED UNTIL NEXT WEEK 4/12 IN ORDER FOR EVERYONE TO BE ABLE TO ATTEND THE TOWN HALL ABOUT THE PROPOSED 8th PRINCIPLE. The Divine Reading Group is a Young Adults Group which treats secular short stories as though they were sacred texts. The belief behind the strategies is that personal truth and meaning can come from a wide variety of sources. It is a place where deep and meaningful introspection occurs, friendships are made, and the very nature of religion is explored. The reading is chapters 3-4 of A Wrinkle in Time. Questions? Contact Elisabeth Geschiere,
Next Date: Thursday, April 12, 7-9 p.m. (Resumes typical schedule on April 19)
Location: Youth Room
pizza, planets image
Beer, Pizza, and Questions About the Universe
Folks between the ages of 21 and 35 are welcome to join the Young Adults for beer, pizza, and questions about the universe every other Tuesday. The event is BYOB--bring your own beer, but the pizza will be provided. We discuss topics ranging from politics, to science, to philosophy. Every time the topic is different but the discussion is always interesting. 
Next Date: Tuesday, April 10, 7-9 p.m.
Location: Fellowship Hall
Day Alliance presents
Minding the Moon
w/ David de Vorkin, Ph.D.
All are welcome to join astronomy historian David de Vorkin for an amusing and down to earth talk about mankind’s long fascination with the moon. What is it made of? Where did it come from? Dr. David DeVorkin is senior curator of history of astronomy and the space sciences at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. RSVP for lunch to Coffee and conversation begins at 10:30 a.m., talk at 11 a.m., with optional lunch at noon. 

Date: Tuesday, April 10, 11 a.m. Guest Speaker
Location: Center
Enlightenment Now:
The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker, noted humanist (and listed by Time, Foreign Policy, and other magazines as one of the world’s most influential thinkers) says in his new best-selling book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, that Trump's bleak assessment of the state of things in our country “is wrong. And not just a little wrong—wrong wrong, flat-earth wrong, couldn’t-be-more-wrong.” Everyone is welcome to join in watching a video of Pinker discussing his book before the British Royal Society of Art. More details here. For further information contact Jere Cummins

Date: Tuesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m. 
Location: Board Room
Who Does Those Flowers?
UUCA's flowers, displays, candle tables . . No, not a professional decorator. Yes, it's UUCA members and friends who make up the Flower Ministry Team. We’d love to have new team members, and no experience is needed. Time commitment is minimal, and creativity is encouraged. Or, maybe you’d like to help with projects like the upcoming Flower Communion. The goals are fun and beauty. For more information, contact Linda Lutes Corsoro,
Save Your Books!
If you’re starting to spring clean by cleaning out your bookshelves, please save your unwanted tomes for UUCA’s upcoming book sale. We won’t be collecting books until May (watch Connections for more details as that time approaches) but we wanted you to keep UUCA in mind. Please email Emily Goodin, with any questions and/or offers to lend a hand with the sale. 
Newsletter deadline: Connections deadline for submissions is EACH Monday at noon with publication on Wednesday. See below on how to submit an announcement.
How to submit an announcement to UUCA's Connections newsletter:  
  • Deadline is noon each Wednesday.
  • Please put "Connections" or "newsletter" in the subject box.
  • Send announcement (150 words or fewer) in body of email or Word doc attachment.
  • Images and attachments accepted, though no guarantee of publishing
  • Send announcements to
  • Questions about Connections? Contact
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia
Call: (703) 892-2565