Connections Newsletter
All the news you need to know to connect, grow, and serve.
Sunday, September 30, 2018 - 9:15 and 11:15 a.m.
"A Pledge to End Racism"
By Annette Marquis, Guest Speaker
A pledge is a sacred vow, a promise to stay true to a commitment we’ve made. The Pledge to End Racism holds each of us accountable to engage every day in the work of addressing racism wherever we find it, from interpersonal interactions to the institutions we support and the systems we participate in. It’s more than saying, “I’m not a racist.” Instead, it is a solemn promise to study, learn, interact, and join with others to take action to ensure that all people truly experience justice, equity, and compassion. In this service, we’ll explore what it means for an individual
and a congregation to pledge to end racism.

Singer-songwriter and UUCA's Artist in Residence Maya Rogers will lend her soulful sound in music and Zoe Lachow will serve as Worship Associate.
Annette Marquis photo
Annette Marquis is a member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, Va. Until recently, she served the Unitarian Universalist Association as the LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director and before that, as District executive for the Southeast District and the first Regional Lead of the Southern Region of the UUA. In 2015, Annette and Anita Lee developed The Pledge to End Racism Program, which, in addition to Richmond, is now active in over fifteen cities around the country. She is also a founding member of Allies for Racial Equity, a national UU white allies’ organizations, and the Living Legacy Project, which conducts regular pilgrimages to key civil rights sites in Mississippi and Alabama. Annette lives in Richmond with her poet-librarian wife, Wendy DeGroat.

Upcoming Services here
Registration for Live the Pledge to End Racism Workshop
Whether you have had previous anti-racism training, or have never taken a workshop about racism, this two-day workshop will challenge you to deepen your commitment to work toward dismantling white supremacy. Participants explore the history of racism, the concept of implicit bias, the effects of micro-aggressions, the results of structural and institutional racism, and the contemporary Movement for Black Lives. Methods include readings, personal reflection, small group discussion, role plays, and videos. This workshop is specifically designed for people who participate in a faith community. It is in that context that we deepen our understanding, our relationships, and our connection with the wider community. The workshop is a two-day commitment. Questions? Contact Ann Ulmschneider,

Registration has been extended to by October 5. Register today!

Dates: Saturdays, October 13 AND November 10, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Activity Room
STP for September 30: Partners for Arlington and Guatemala
This Sunday’s offering is dedicated to the long-standing partnership between UUCA (through PAG – Partners for Arlington and Guatemala) and our Guatemalan human rights partner NISGUA (Network In Solidarity with the people of GUAtemala). Through NISGUA, UUCA has sponsored 18 human rights Accompaniers since 2007. As international monitors, they become part of a network of monitors who provide a presence to Guatemalan organizations and communities threatened for their defense of land, communal values and their members’ very lives. Accompaniers have been instrumental in creating safe spaces for survivors of past genocide to press their cases in the Guatemalan courts, including the trial that resulted in a ‘Guilty’ verdict against former dictator Efrain Rios Montt. Currently, they are often asked to stand with communities resisting the efforts of multi-national corporations who want to establish destructive mining and hydroelectric projects against the wishes of the communities affected.

In October, UUCA’s total number of Accompaniers will rise to 20 when our two newest begin their six-month assignments in Guatemala. Watch for more information about/from ROSEMARY GIRON and MEREDITH WILKINSON. The monthly stipends for these Accompaniers and partnership support of NISGUA are entirely supported by your quarterly contributions to the Share-the-Plate offerings. Please give generously to Sunday’s offering or online between September 30 – October 5. Visit the PAG tables in Fellowship Hall after each service on September 30 to learn more.

Donations are accepted for each week's STP recipient through the following Saturday at midnight. Make online donations here. 
Tamara photo
Share-the-Plate Update
From Tamara Srader, Chief Administrative Officer

Just a quick update on Share-the-Plate so far this fiscal year.

As of the end of August, we had collected $19,194.82 with $9,698.39 going to our community partners and $4,156.46 being used to support the ministries of UUCA. All partners with Share-the-Plate collections through the month of August had been issued their payments. For the month of September we have received $6,914. This is not the final number and will be updated once all donations have been received. As you know, once the Sunday plate has been collected we continue accepting donations for Share-the-Plate through the following Saturday at midnight. Overall this puts us at 17% of our goal for the fiscal year. The average Sunday collection is currently $1,597.60. 

Weekly there are total sheets placed in the hallway by the staff office and in Fellowship Hall on the Social Justice bulletin board along with any thank you letters we receive by partner organizations. This is being done in an effort to keep everyone updated on the progress we are making in supporting our very important partners. I also want to mention that our support to the greater community is not only financial. There are so many other ongoing efforts for things non-financial that it would be difficult to name them all here. This is the one piece that I can keep you updated on each month.

Thanks to everyone for your generous support.
Ministry Matters
In the Meantime
With Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, Interim Senior Minister

It seems an hour does not go by without some new revelation or allegation of sexual abuse. The Kavanaugh allegations have us all riveted because of the potential long term consequences to our society, no matter which way the confirmation goes. But hearing the details told over and over again, reading the horrific reports of abuse by Catholic clergy, and so many other stories, can be extremely triggering to those who have suffered from sexual abuse. It’s very gratifying to see that the #MeToo movement is bringing about new awareness and consequences for many who believed themselves to be above accountability. But that doesn’t take away from the hurts of the past, nor does it mean it doesn’t continue to happen with great frequency. 

If it would be helpful for any of you to talk, please reach out. I or one of our Pastoral Care Associates would be happy to listen. Knowing that your spiritual community can be supportive can make a difference. Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement recently said “There is a spirit of collaboration that is happening amongst people who are doing this work, or amongst people who this work impacts, that I don’t think I’ve seen in my career.” I believe that talking with those who listen and believe makes such a huge difference. 
Wheel of Life
Our condolences to Gay Gibson Cima and family on the death of her husband Ron Cima. Ron died September 25 from complications of a heart attack. A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held Saturday, September 29, 10 a.m. in our Sanctuary. The service will be led by Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley and a reception will follow. Parking note: For those who are able, please consider street parking or park at the Arlington Hall Park off of 4th Street ( map). No parking at the Mason's lot on Saturday.
Lifespan Religious Education
Adult Education @ UUCA
Registration for the UUCA Adult RE program is now open. Workshops and classes this include:
  • Conflict Transformation
  • Adult OWL (Our Whole Lives sexuality program)
  • Legacy Giving
  • Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  • Gardening for Pollinators
  • Coping with Pet Loss
  • Geography of Grace
  • And more to be added . . .

Classes begin in October. For more information visit the registration page here.
Conflict Transformation Workshop, Sat, Oct 20, 1-4pm
Workshop with Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley
“Conflict Transformation”
Please join us for an afternoon of exploring conflict! While conflict can be scary and divisive, it is also possible for conflict, when approached in a healthy manner, to be an opportunity for growth and learning. Rev. Terasa is trained in the approach of “Conflict Transformation” that assumes that conflict is not something that can be “managed” so much as processed in a way that can be transformative. This method has been used in contexts such as the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation process, and in peace negotiations in Ireland. We will explore our own personal responses to conflict, look at what brain science has to teach us, examine system theories, and practice ways in which groups can create opportunities for healthy conversations.  Register here.

Time: Saturday, October 20, 1-4 p.m.
Location: Activity Room
Let’s Talk About Sex (and Our Faith)
You may know that there are OWL programs for children; there are also OWL curricula specifically for adults. Sign up to join our monthly discussion group where we will talk about topics related to our sexuality and our faith such as: Sex and values, exploring gender, sex and communication, boundaries, sexuality and aging, sexual diversity and sexual health - just to name a few. 2nd Sundays of the month, 4-6 pm. Register here.

First meeting: Sunday, October 21, 4-6 p.m. (Yes, we know the first meeting is on the third Sunday.)
Location: Room 19
Faith in Action
Sign Letters to Support Human Rights in Guatemala on Sunday
Come to the PAG tables to sign letters to members of Congress and leaders at the State Department regarding the continuation of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). This independent investigative Commission, sponsored by the United Nations, has been a key force in holding accountable those accused of serious crimes in Guatemala. With the support of current leaders in the State Department, Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales (himself a person under investigation by CICIG) has said he will let the Commission expire when its current UN authorization ends in September 2019.
PAG Human Rights Accompaniers to Visit UUCA
Save the date of October 28. UUCA’s most recent Accompaniers – CLARA LINCOLN and CHRIS SHORNE - will be at church to meet everyone and share reflections of their experiences as Accompaniers. At a luncheon in the Center after second service, they will be joined by BRIDGET BREHEN, Director of NISGUA, and AMANDA KISTLER, NISGUA Board Chair, both of whom are former Accompaniers themselves. Don’t miss this important celebration of this vibrant UUCA human rights partnership.
Buckingham Cooks this Sunday
Cooks from the Buckingham community will be selling savory Latino fare after services on Sunday. No time to eat? They’ll provide carry out. Income from sales go to a charity benifitting immigrants.
DIG Workday this Saturday 
Come DIG (Do it Green) and help us improve habitat on the grounds at UUCA. Families are welcome. Children can gather acorns for our “Adopt an Acorn” project and learn why white oaks are so important to birds. Everyone can learn to identify the acorns of white oaks. Now is a good time to continue removing invasives especially in our remnant forest. You can also help maintain the pollinator garden. Come for a few minutes or a few hours. Whatever your schedule permits.

Date: Saturday, September 29, 9 - 11 a.m.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming DIG events:
  • Oct. 11 & 27, 10 a.m. - noon. Help with plantings.
  • Wed., Oct. 24, 7 - 8:30 p.m. Alonso Abugattas presents “Gardening for Pollinators”
Better Angels Skills Workshop: How to Talk Across the Political Divide
There's a lot of stress these days among family members and friends who are divided politically, and the run-up to the November midterm elections can make these relationships even more challenging. Please join fellow UUCAers for a Better Angels Skills Workshop to learn strategies for having respectful conversations that clarify motivations, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship even while acknowledging differences. Questions? Contact Sarah Yue, Registration here.

Date: Saturday, September 29, 2-4:30 p.m.
Location: Activity Room
8th Principle Information Meeting
The Unitarian Universalist Association ( UUA) is considering the addition of an 8th principle to the 7 principles of the UUA Covenant. UUCA members will vote on whether to adopt the principle at a congregational meeting later this church year. The text of the proposed principle says:

We the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by building a diverse, multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.

To learn more, click here.

Time: Sunday, September 30, following 9:15 & 11:15 services
Location: Board Room
VOICE's Oct 21 Assembly: What are we demanding on immigration?

One of the four key messages that we--all 50 of our VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) congregations--will be putting in front of Governor Ralph Northam (confirmed to attend) and Attorney General Mark Herring (schedule permitting), at our General Assembly 
on October 21 is this:
Keep families together.
Here's why: 
  • We have 79,000 immigrant children in Virginia who are US citizens but have an undocumented parent. These families are at risk of being torn apart by new federal practices.
  • The President's de facto Muslim Travel Ban is hurting people in our communities, many of whom cannot now return home to visit ailing relatives or are suffering long delays in getting work permits.
  • Our Muslim VOICE leaders are also hearing from local residents that a variety of essentials, from asylum applications to college tuition fees, have become newly delayed and punitive. 

At our October 21 assembly, more than 1,200 of us will be present and accounted for, and we will ask the governor and attorney general to lead with us--to set an example for the rest of the country with us--to protect our immigrant brothers and sisters from unjust and inhumane practices that are being institutionalized. We need you to join us to add your voice! 

To find out more about this, and to sign up for our October 21 assembly (we will have a bus and carpool, too), please stop by the VOICE table at coffee hour or contact David McTaggart at 703-835-6944 or email at .

Date: Sunday, October 21, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. (Buses and carpools leave UUCA at 3:00)
Location: Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax
Center Gallery Show
Arte en Estambre
September 24 - November 18
Artist's Talk and Demonstration - Saturday, October 13, 10 a.m. - Noon
Francisco LOZA has 20 years of experience creating Arte en Estambre or Pressed Yarn technique. He works on wood surfaces covered in wax into which he presses threads to create intricate designs of various themes. LOZA's artwork reflects his on-going collaborations with Huichol Shamans in Mexico and themes of environment, immigration and cultural traditions. He has led workshops at universities and schools. LOZA's work is currently on exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum. His studio/gallery is located in Baltimore, Maryland. 
Music Ministry
Children's Choir Rehearsal Begins this Sunday
Chalice Choir (K-4th) 10:30-11 a.m.
TrUUbadours (5-8th) 12:30-1 p.m.

Come sing with us!
Now is the perfect time to sign up for one of our many choirs. We have choirs for all ages!

Come ring with us too!
We have three bell choirs, grade 3 thru adults.

Music Ministry brochure with details on all choirs here .

Flyer with details specific to Children and Youth choirs here
Congregational Life
First UUCA Casino Night+
Bet on UUCA! Support our liberal religious community at our Casino night on November 3. Each ticket gets you $10,000 of funny money. You can win and purchase additional money throughout the night which you can apply to raffles and our mini silent and live auction of dinners and vacations. It's all about gambling for good! Tickets will be on sale in person in October and are available now online here.
Circle Dinners
Circle Dinners are coming back! Watch this space for sign up information!

Mistletoe Mall Craft Fair
The Mistletoe Mall Craft Fair is back at UUCA on Dec. 1-2. Please plan to do your holiday shopping at the Fair. We’ll have jewelry, pottery, glass work, fabric, bags, international gift items, books, wreaths, knits for babies, and much more. Artists pay to have space as well as paying a percentage of sales to UUCA, so when you shop at the Fair, you support UUCA! We still have a few spaces available for artisans. If you are interested, or you know an artist or original works, please contact Mary Pike,
Sunday Connect and Serve Opportunities for UUCA Groups
UUCA Social Justice, Covenant, Music and Arts, and Affinity Groups are invited to participate in a new initiative to connect with and serve the UUCA community via providing Sunday morning after-service snacks. Benefit to the serving groups is publicity for the group’s mission and programming while providing finger-food snacks for congregants during coffee hour after each service. Donations collected will reimburse a group’s expenses, with any additional collected benefitting the church. For detailed information, including available dates, contact Mollie Jewell or Sarah Munson,
Young Adult Podcast Chat
Join Young Adults (18-40) as we discuss our podcast of the week! We use podcasts as a jumping off point to discuss issues of the day, as well as questions of science, morality, and spirituality. Past discussions have included evolution, masculinity, and how to engage with people with whom we disagree. This week we will discuss the podcast "Other People's Problems." Specifically, episode 4. The show's website is here. You can download the podcast here.
Keep an eye on the UUCA Young Adult Facebook group page for updates!

Date: September 29, 7:30-9 p.m.
Location: Chapel
Last Chance to Register for a Covenant Group!
Registration for Covenant Groups will close soon. So if you’ve been putting off selecting a group, please do it now!  Register HERE today. Do remember that signing up involves a commitment to regular attendance throughout the year. Please note a few groups were added after the first week’s registration, so check them out. If none of the groups meet your needs, we urge you to put your name on the wait-list. 

This year we have a number of non-Soul Matters groups as well as some Soul Matters groups with a special emphasis.  Take a look here to see this great selection.     

Covenant groups allow us to share what touches our hearts and souls with others in a safe setting. In our groups, we explore our spirituality, build relationships, and provide service to UUCA and the wider community. Groups of 8 to 12 people meet monthly from October to June at church or in homes to explore and grow together. A trained facilitator leads each group using written and online resources to enhance communication. Signing up indicates an intention to attend all nine meetings. For questions, email or call Hank Dahlstrom, 703-573-3538.
Day Alliance Speaker Series
Debates on a U.S. Space Force
Speaker: Shaida Johnston
Is the idea of a Space Force just the latest proposal to claim space as the high ground or does the U.S. need a Space Force to focus its activities? Come hear the latest about the new players in the space domain, including the National Space Council, commercial space companies, and various national space agencies, along with their perspectives on how to operate in space. Dr. Shaida Johnston will present the nuanced debates about whether space is still a benign environment or whether new threats require additional attention and capabilities to protect the space assets on which we have become dependent as a society. Dr. Johnston is a long time UUCA member and holds degrees in physics and aerospace engineering, from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Space Policy from the George Washington University. A senior engineer at The Aerospace Corporation, she provides space engineering and policy expertise to civil space customers. 

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 10:30 a.m. Coffee & Fellowship; 11 a.m. Speaker; 12 p.m. Catered Luncheon.
Location: Center Gallery
10-Part Experiential Retreat Program
The Soul of Aging
What does it mean to be growing older? What image comes to your mind when you think of aging? Most of us tend to think of aging as dealing with health issues and letting go of life. In fact, growing older can and ought to be quite the opposite experience. As we grow older, we begin to look at life differently. We come to learn from our shared experience, to mature in spiritual presence. Indeed, as we age, we are called “to sage,” to grow in maturity and wisdom, to become wise elders radiating spiritual vitality, love and peace. One is never too young to begin Saging! Read further details here. Register with David McTaggart at, 703-835-6944.

The Soul of Aging is a licensed curriculum of Parker J. Palmer’s Center for Courage and Renewal , and is based upon the Center’s “Circle of Trust” approach to small group ministry. Twenty-six UUCAers have already participated in The Soul of Aging program. An additional 25 have experienced the Circles of Trust approach to spiritual awakening in a year-long “Leading From Within” weekend retreat series. 
Men's Book Group
The October read for the Men's Book Group is a non-fiction selection,  Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-year Friendship On and Off the Court , by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Former NBA star and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores his 50-year friendship with Coach John Wooden. It is available in paperback and in local libraries. If there are any questions about the group, please email Jere Cummins, or call him at 703-892-5269. 
Date: Sunday, October 14, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Chapel
Flower Ministry Secret: Grocery Store Flowers Transformed
UUCA's Flower Ministry Team is hosting a Hillwood Museum arranger who will conduct a class on how to transform simple grocery store flowers into beautiful arrangements. This is a free class and open to all. Parent/child (at least 10 years old) groups are welcome. Participants must bring their own grocery store or garden flowers and shears. Registration is limited to 12 people and required. For more details and to register, email Jennifer Wright at

Date: Saturday, October 6, 10 a.m. - Noon
Location: Room 13/15

AND, please consider volunteering with the Flower Ministry Team. No experience needed; mentoring is provided. Whether you’d like to prepare arrangements for the Welcome Desk, the Candle Tables, or help with special services or both, let Jennifer Wright know about your interest. We’d love to expand our team. 
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia
Call: (703) 892-2565