Connections Newsletter
All the news you need to know to connect, grow, and serve.
The Sacrament of Education sermon by Rev. Walter
Religious Education Sunday, March 1, 2020 | 9:15 & 11:15 a.m.
"The Sacrament of Education"
Service led by Rev. Walter Clark, Assistant Minister, and LeeAnn Williams, Directer of Lifespan Faith Development
A sacrament is defined as a divine ritual. An action that connects you to something larger than yourself. Religious education is an important part of Unitarian Universalism and many people become UU’s because of RE programs such as OWL (Our Whole Lives sexuality program) and Coming of Age. But is it a sacrament?
Maya Rogers photo
David McTaggart is our Worship Associate and Linda Lutes Corsoro is the Board Representative. Our former Artist in Residence, Maya Rogers, returns for a visit with her soulful and joyful music.
Be part of something great!
Ready to feel courageous? 
Ready to embrace an exciting future for UUCA? 

Then join our beloved community for a special event to celebrate our congregation and our church as we kick off our 2020 Capital Campaign!

UUCA 2020 CAPITAL CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF CHURCH CELEBRATION
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Service starting at 10:15 a.m.
Luncheon to Follow

Location: Washington-Liberty High School

The service features uplifting music, child dedications, and inspiring perspectives from our fellow congregants. Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith joins us with his prayer for our congregation as well as special guest speaker, Carey McDonald, Executive Vice-President of the Unitarian Universalist Association.  

For children and youth (and those young at heart), Baroody Camps coordinates activities, such as a Lego building table, science experiments, arts & crafts, and robotics.

Following the service, stay to learn more about the Capital Campaign and enjoy food and fellowship at a free, catered luncheon. No pledges will be solicited. So please join us as we come together for community, inspiration, and the shared purpose of embracing our future. We can't wait to see you there! Note: No services or religious education classes will take place at the UUCA building on March 15. 

If you need childcare during the event or are interested in carpooling, please click HERE.  
Ministry Matters
Faith In Action

Way back on January 25 of this year, the Social Justice Ministries Team invited congregants into a dialogue about UUCA social justice priorities. The workshop generated dozens of ideas and we asked six members of the congregation in attendance to pair those ideas down to at least three and no more than five. They returned with the following four issues (not in order of importance):
  1. Participating in the UUA “UU the Vote 2020” initiative, to integrate non-partisan electoral engagement strategies for change with a focus on racial justice, environment, and LGBTQI issues, working with groups doing electoral organizing for 2020 elections, particularly groups led by people of color. 
  2. Encourage congregants to join UUCA's Climate Action Coalition to measure and reduce our CO2 footprint as individuals and as a community and create activities for congregants of all ages, such as park clean-ups and recycling education.
  3. Participate in UUA's Welcoming Congregation Renewal Program by creating a Welcome Renewal Task Force, and that youth activities be included. 
  4. A monthly call to action by leadership to everyone in the congregation to engage in a racial justice activity. Focus should be on activities requested or led by people of color. 
You may notice that these issues reflect the top social justice issues from the congregational survey. While there are many different social justice concerns within the congregation, these were the issues that have garnered the most interest.

In 2020, the Social Justice Ministries Team will be highlighting the congregation’s involvement with these four issues. Each week in Connections, we will feature an article about one of these issues letting people know what events are coming up, as well as why working on that specific issue is putting our faith in action. 
In the Meantime
By Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley , Interim Senior Minister

As an interim, part of my responsibility is asking questions about various people’s experience of the congregation and how some things may be strengthened. I have had several conversations with LGBTQI folks about how welcoming this congregation has been / is currently / and how that affects their place in the community. 

Rather than having just individual conversations I thought it would be helpful to invite any self-identified LGBTQI person to a dialogue on March 8, at 12:30, following the second service. This would be a conversation facilitated by Diane Ullius, and strictly among LGBTQI folk. Walter and I would like to observe the conversation just from a perspective of learning more, but not as a participant. If anyone has concerns about our presence please let us know and we can wait until some agreed upon report of what was said is offered to us. 

Unitarian Universalists are justly proud of our work in trying to advance equal rights and acceptance of difference beyond the stereotypical norm. And, there is always more work to do and it is perhaps easier in this context to miss the ways in which we are not living up to our aspirations because of an assumption that we have already arrived. We always have more to learn and I know it is an important value that this community aspires to. 

If you are unable to join the conversation and still wish to share some thoughts please feel free to reach out to me, Walter, or Diane. 

I look forward to learning from you. 

Walter Clark Ordination
Saturday, April 18, 3 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond

UUCA members and friends are invited to join in the celebration of the ordination of Walter Clark on Saturday, April 18, 3:00 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, 1000 Blanton Avenue. Please RSVP to WClark@uucava.org. If you wish to
Opportunities to Connect and Grow
This Sunday is RE Sunday and the beginning of March Madness!
RE kid
RE kid
RE-fair
This Sunday's worship service (March 1) highlights UUCA's incredible Religious Education program and kick's off teacher recruitment--affectionately called with tongue in cheek--March Madness! You'll want to plan on staying for the RE Fair in Fellowship Hall after the service. Teachers and young congregants are showcasing some of the projects and activities from this year. Our beloved Peace Camp is hosting the elementary grade programming during the worship hour/RE. And, everyone is invited to come for the snacks--a cookie bar--hosted by RE!
New UU Series
Sunday, March 1, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

The New UU Series is our introductory orientation to UUCA. Offered in six stand-alone sessions, held on the first and third Sundays each month. The next one is this Sunday March 1, after the second service in the Welcome Room.  The topic is Campus Tour & Partners with Paul Kearney, Facilities Manager. No registration is needed unless you need free childcare, sarah.masters@uucava.org.

Here's the schedule going forward:
  • March 1: Campus Tour & Partners with Paul Kearney
  • March 29: Faith Development, Covenant Groups & Pastoral Care with LeeAnn Williams
  • April 19: Worship with Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley
  • May 10: Social Justice with Walter Clark
  • May 17: UU History with Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley
  • June 7: Campus Tour & Partners with Paul Kearney
  • June 14: Membership & Stewardship with Sarah Masters
  • June 21: Faith Development, Covenant Groups & Pastoral Care with LeeAnn Williams
BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY!
Alix in Wonderland
Weekends thru March 7

A celebration of personal discovery, Alix in Wonderland is a wholly original take on social norms, self-perception, and what it really means to grow up in today's world. A tumble down that world-famous rabbit hole brings teenage Alix face-to-face with the wild, wacky, and annoying denizens of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, but none of them are quite as anyone remembers them. Alix's journey becomes one of profound questioning and exploration on the way to becoming fully and joyfully oneself.
SPECIAL NOTICE:   Rev. Paul Allen and Buzz Mauro , the authors of the Chalice production Alix in Wonderland , will be available for a talkback after the matinee this Saturday, February 29, 3:00 p.m. Come and see the show, then learn how and why they developed it in conjunction with a group of trans teens. 
Talk to Nom Com!
Sunday, March 1

The Nominating Committee (Nom Com) is the body that interviews prospective board members and nominates attendees to General Assembly. Nom Com is also looking for candidates to join Nominating Committee next year, so stop by if that might be you or someone you know. Learn more about leadership and other volunteer opportunities by stopping by the Nom Com's "Talk to Us!" table on Sunday.
Baby and Child Dedication
Sunday, March 15, 10:15 a.m. 

We will celebrate a Child Dedication ceremony at the March 15 Capital Campaign Kickoff. This is a very special ritual where we as a community pledge our support and care to our families as they raise their children in our Unitarian Universalist faith. The dedication on March 15 is for children and youth of all ages—not just babies. If you have not had an opportunity to participate in a dedication this would be a very exciting and festive time to do so. For more information or to sign up to participate, contact LeeAnn at Lwilliams@uucava.org
Proposed Guidelines for Share the Plate – Additional Listening Session!
Sunday, March 1, 12:30 p.m.

Giving and sharing our offering with social justice partners is a fundamental expression of our UU faith, both as individuals and as a congregation. There have been many questions about how Share the Plate is implemented, and a desire to have a clearly outlined and transparent process. The Social Justice Ministries Team (SJMT) has been working for many weeks to develop such a process.  

The SJMT invites you to attend any or all of the following listening sessions to consider its recommendations for Share the Plate guidelines for the coming year. The last two sessions will be on February 23, 10:30 a.m. and March 1, 12:30 p.m.

Please read the proposed draft of guidelines ( here) and a document of Frequently Asked Questions ( here) to become familiar with what is under consideration. We look forward to your questions and suggestions!

SJMT Members: Walter Clark, Kristin Keller, Allan Kellum, Laurel MacLaren, Wendy Jessup, Jacomina de Regt, MJ Schmelzer, Chris Sutton and McGennis Williams.
Living the 8th Principle
Our journey towards spiritual wholeness by dismantling racism & other oppressions

Deepen your understanding of systemic oppression 
  • Interested in the racial history of Unitarian Universalism? Check out our series for Black History month, posted on UUCA’s 8th Principle Facebook page here.

Further the anti-racist transformation of Unitarian Universalism 
UUCA’s Spring Anti-Racism workshop series starting soon! Each session 7:00-9:00 at UUCA. Contact Ann Ulmschneider to register.
  • Implicit Bias (led by Warren Wright) on Wed., Mar. 25
  • Speaking Out (led by Diane Dorius) on Tues., Mar. 31

Show up, speak out and challenge oppression and racism in our community
  • OAR will screen Not in My Neighborhood, followed by a panel with OAR’s Director of Racial Equity and Arlington County's Office of Human Rights. Thursday, March 19, 7:00 p.m., Arlington Central Library. Sign up here.

Follow Facing Race in Arlington’s new Facebook page for more updates from Emily Vincent’s fantastic blog! @FacingRaceInArlington.
Where Did the Church Library Go?

Our library is moving downstairs to Room 13/15 and is now called the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA) Parlor Library. It's a work in progress. Watch for the Big Reveal on March 29.

Building on the rich collection of children’s and adult volumes already on hand, a team of congregants updated the existing collection. Specific criteria were used to ensure a Core Collection (collection) related to the faith, mission, and priorities of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and UUCA. Books that did not meet the criteria were recycled either at UUCA or other appropriate places.  
   
The library team is finishing the online catalog and color-coding the shelves and volumes according to topic and recruiting volunteers to manage this updated UUCA resource. UUCA ministers and staff have advised and will provide leadership and guidance, while volunteer congregants serving on the Library Resource Team (team) will manage operations. For example, the team is assembling a corps of Curriculum Enrichment Volunteers (CEV) who have specific expertise or interest in specific subject areas, such as racial justice.

Watch for more details. For more information, please contact Linda Lutes Corsoro, lindahlutes@gmail.com, or Paul Blackburn, pekheng@msn.com, or Susan Young, susany4u@gmail.com.
Carbon Footprint Challenge Workshop
Friday, March 6, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Room 13/15

Do you want to be part of the solution to the climate crisis? Did you know that 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from five basic household activities we do every day--electricity use, home heating, transportation, food choices, and waste? Come to the next "Carbon Footprint Challenge" workshop on March 6 and learn what steps you can take to reduce your own carbon footprint. Together we can make a difference. Join the Carbon Footprint Challenge! Sign-up here.  
Qigong
Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. - Noon

Did you know we offer Qigong here at UUCA each Thursday? Qigong is an ancient approach for achieving balance and vitality. The movements are gentle and can be done sitting, standing, or lying down. Qigong meets in the Center from 10:30-Noon on Thursdays. Wear comfortable clothing. $10 suggested donation. Instructor: Carol Baker, Registered Nurse. No registration required, but appreciated.
Sacred Circle Dance
March 5 & 19, April 9 & 23, May 14 & 28

Why not introduce movement into your spiritual practice in 2020? Sacred Circle Dance draws on centuries-old traditions of dances for ritual and for celebration. In an environment of music and meditative motion and reflection, dancers create community as they are guided toward respect for nature, for one another, and for Spirit. Each dance is taught or reviewed. No partner or dance experience required.
Righteous Minds
 S essions: Fridays, Feb. 28, March , 13

This course examines the psychology of political polarization in the United States, with the goal of better understanding values and beliefs across current political and cultural boundaries. The four-session course uses interactive exercises, case studies, lectures, and group discussions to explore how we become attached to the values and assumptions that separate us into Blue and Red America. Participation in all four sessions is strongly encouraged, as is a willingness to listen to and understand different points of view.  Please click here to learn more about the course. Led by Bill Roos.
Spirituality Book Group
Falling Upward
Tuesday, March 3, 7:00 p.m.

In Falling Upward, author Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or "gone down" are the only ones who understand "up."
Opportunities to Serve
Collection for gently-used formal dresses benefits W/L Best Buddies
Sunday, March 22

UUCA's Religious Education Ministry is collecting gently-used formal dresses for the Formals for Five initiative on Sunday, March 22, after both services. Formals for Five provides affordable formal outfits for prom and graduation to local students. Dresses are collected from around the Arlington community and then sold for $5 each at Washington-Liberty High School. All proceeds are donated to the W-L Best Buddies Club.  
New to UUCA? A long time member looking for a new volunteer activity? Consider Meals on Wheels!
 
UUCA delivers meals on six South Arlington routes on the fourth Thursday and Friday of each month. We have a wonderful crew of dedicated volunteers, some of whom do both days. However, we sometimes don't have enough people for each of our days. Many UUCA families find volunteering with their school-age children is a great holiday or vacation activity! We go out in teams of two, one drives, the other runs the meals in to the clients. The time commitment is from 11 a.m. to 1 or 1:30 p.m. Volunteers pick up the meals at First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, 601 N. Vermont St., just west of Ballston. To volunteer, please contact Sara Anderson, rayandsara@aol.com.
Are you looking for a way to Connect, Grow, and Serve?  
 
UUCA's Meals on Wheels program is looking for a (sort of) tech-savvy volunteer to help coordinate UUCA's Meals on Wheels volunteer program. This is an opportunity to serve both the UUCA community and home-bound Arlington residents. This volunteer position does not require much time or travel. Tasks include managing and updating the online sign-up form (remotely) and being on call during the actual meal delivery times in case of no-shows. If you are interested in volunteering or have questions, please contact Sara Anderson, rayandsara@aol.com or 703-532-3830.
ESOL Teachers Needed

UUCA's ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program needs a few more volunteers to join our team. Knowing a foreign language is not required. Students come from all parts of the world and already know how to speak and write English. Volunteers help students improve their English and knowledge of the U.S. Classes are held Tue.-Wed.-Thur., 7:30-9:00 p.m. and Sat., 10:30 a.m.-Noon. On a single team you might teach or assist every other week or we'll tailor to your availability. We also like to have "floaters" or substitutes available as needed. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Ric Blacksten, hricblacksten@gmail.com, 703-980-5899, (M/Text).
NEW 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 Monday.
  • 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 pubasst@uucava.org.
  • Questions about Connections? Contact MaryAnn@uucava.org.
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia
Call: (703) 892-2565