Connections Newsletter
All the news you need to know to connect, grow, and serve.
Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 9:15 and 11:15 a.m.
"In Service of the Greater Good"
Sermon by Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley
As Unitarian Universalists we commit ourselves to address injustice in the world. That’s a pretty tall order and we have many different ways of doing that. And, unsurprisingly, conflicting understands of what is most important. Rather than talk about what we do, Rev. Terasa wants to talk about how we do it. What are the spiritual practices we bring to the goal of serving others?

Music is by our adult choir, Sanctuary Singers , along with our jazz ensemble Free Spirits . Robert Blinn is Worship Associate.
Annette Marquis photo
Next Sunday
September 30, 9:15 and 11:15 a.m.
“A Pledge to End Racism" - A message from Annette Marquis, former UUA LGBTQ and Multicultural Programs Director. 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. In this service, we’ll explore what it means for an individual and a congregation to pledge to end racism.
stacked parking lot photo
Sunday Parking Note
To relieve traffic congestion and to provide spaces for visitors and those with mobility issues, we ask all able-bodied drivers to park in one of our two auxiliary lots (Mason lot on George Mason Drive and Arlington Hall Park on 4th Street - map here). Sunday parking is also available along George Mason Drive and neighborhood side streets behind the church. Drivers can still do drop-offs at the lower level lobby and the end of the ramp. When crossing George Mason on foot, PLEASE cross at the light--SAFETY FIRST.
STP September 23: Service Never Sleeps
As part of UUCA's commitment to work to end racism, we have partnered with Service Never Sleeps, a nonprofit in Arlington dedicated to their signature workshop called “Allyship.” Allyship is about moving people to a new paradigm of thinking about privilege and marginalized communities. Allyship promotes the idea that we can be bridge-builders who work together, and support each other toward the common purpose of ensuring equality, equity, and inclusion for everyone. These workshops teach about the causes of social injustice, how to be an effective ally for marginalized communities, and how to actively influence and educate others. Your generous donations helps SNS continue its work toward a world where equal rights, justice, and opportunity are available to all.

Donations are accepted for each week's STP recipient through the following Saturday at midnight. Make online donations here. 
Jazz Vespers
With Free Spirits Jazz Ensemble

Music Meditations
Creative Experiences
Audience Participation

Date: Sunday, September 23, 4 p.m.
Location: Sanctuary
Labyrinth photo
Transmissions Equinox Meditation with Labyrinth Walk

Come for this special evening of contemplative meditation with music and soundscapes provided by Woven Green. In honor of the Autumn Equinox, the Labyrinth will be open for walking meditation. Optional: Bring a yoga mat, pillow, blanket, hand drum or rattle. $20 suggested donation.

Date: Tuesday, September 25, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Center Gallery
Buddhist guest speaker collage
Monday Night Meditation with Ruth King
Guest speaker of Monday night's Buddhist meditation class, Ruth King, explored a topic seldom addressed in meditation instruction--racism. King, an author, life coach and international teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition, shared how she sees racism as a heart disease and the fact that it's curable. Curable by growing our inner capacity to face racial ignorance and suffering with a wise and caring heart. Her latest book is Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out. (photo: UU Buddhist Bob Gayer w/ Ruth; Ruth signs her book; some of UUCA's racial justice advocates with their latest read)
Ministry Matters
Closing the Doors for Safety's Sake
By Tamara Srader, Chief Administrative Officer

Hello everyone! Welcome to the new church year. Things have been really buzzing around UUCA for the past several weeks and it has been great to see everyone now that we are back to two services each Sunday.

I have a few things to write about this week that concern safety and security of our building. As many of you know, we have a very busy building. This means our building is open during times when staff are not around. Annie Parker, administrative event and facilities coordinator, and Paul Kearney, facilities manager, have been holding safety training sessions for those who coordinate church activities. Have you ever asked yourself “What would I do if I am in the building when there is an emergency?” -- “Where are the fire extinguishers located?” We have been working to make sure people have the answers. Given that our building has a sizeable footprint, one could be in the Activity Room and not know that there are people in the Welcome Room. We have numerous entrances and exits that are not monitored.

Part of our responsibility to this community is to monitor risk. Most of you know that Monday through Friday we have a preschool downstairs (AUCP-Arlington Unitarian Preschool). AUCP is licensed by the State of Virginia and has rules and regulations it must follow. Some of those regulations require our doors to be secured during certain hours. Unfortunately times have changed and the practice of leaving the building open with most of the doors unlocked must come to an end. 

Lower Level Doors. The lower entrance doors will be open only when the preschool arrives and on Sunday mornings. The lower level doors will be locked at all other times.

Upper Level Doors. At all times, gaining entrance to the building will be through the upper level door near the staff offices and the main entrance doors near Fellowship Hall. During weekdays, these doors will be unlocked only after the preschool dismisses for the day. The single door entrance to the staff office will remain unlocked unless there is a concern for safety. If the door does happen to be locked there is a doorbell that will alert anyone in the office. If someone needs to obtain access to the building who utilizes a wheelchair, we will be able to allow entrance through one of the accessible entrances.

Providing safety for our children and everyone else who walks through our doors is of the utmost importance to us. These changes are being done in the spirit of collaboration and safety and not to exclude anyone.

I understand that change is hard. I am asking for your patience as we look for ways to provide safety for us all--and this is a step in making it happen.

We are also in the process of reviewing the need for video cameras on our entrances and in common areas.

Please reach out to me with any questions and I will be happy to have a direct conversation about this change.  
Ministry Matters
In the Meantime
With Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley

Facebook has changed the way we think about friendship in many ways. Given the profile of my positions at the UUA and at the Center for Courage and Renewal, I have almost 3,000 “friends.” Frequently at General Assembly I would have someone I didn’t really know come up to me and ask me how my grandmother was doing! 

It’s been interesting to see how helpful it has been as a tool to get to know the congregation through the FB page and some of you as individuals, even before I really get to know you personally. It’s given me insight into your cares and concerns and commitments. I consider my FB page to be completely public and so invite you to “friend” me so we can get to know each other. 

Our notions of what makes community have changed over the years as well. While there can be some challenges with this online version of community, I welcome the ways in which it helps us build networks of common concern. In such a large congregation it can be challenging to find ways to connect. I hope you’ll feel free to reach out to me in those old fashioned ways as well: phone calls, emails and even in person! 

It’s been a pleasure to get to know so many committed and faithful people and I look forward to more!
Lifespan Religious Education
Youth Group Overnight this Saturday-Sunday
Grades 9-12 are invited to an overnight this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. to Sunday at 7 a.m. in the Activity Room. Come for games, food, and a chance to hang out with other high schoolers! Please sign up here. Contact Julia Peterson at for more info.

Date: September 22, 5:30 p.m. to September 23, 7 a.m.
Location: Activity Room
Youth Music Group and Choir Starts this Sunday
Come to the Chapel from 12:45-2:00 p.m. to begin writing and performing songs with Maya Rogers, UUCA’s artist in residence. Singers, poets, instrumentalists--all youth in grades 9-12 are welcome! No experience required. Come for lunch at 12-12:40 p.m. in Room 13/15 across from the Chapel!

Date: Sunday, September 23, 12 p.m. Lunch; 12:45 p.m. Choir
Location: Room 13/15 & Chapel
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.
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
DIG Workday
UUCA's DIG Team (Do It Green) invites you to join them for one or all of upcoming all-church groundskeeping days. Folks young and not-so-young will roll up their sleeves to do a bit of fall sprucing up of our grounds. If you have gardening tools, please bring them. A few extra tools will be available. For more information, please contact Bob Blinn , .

  • Saturday, September 29, 9-11 a.m.
  • Thursday, October 11, 10 a.m.- 12 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 27, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
African American Book Sharing Circle
UUCA's African American Book Sharing Circle will discuss Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston, on September 21. The book is based on a series of conversations Hurston had with Cudjo Lewis, a slave who was brought to this country aboard the last slave ship. All are welcome to participate. For more details, click here, or contact Linda Lutes Corsoro at or Pat Findikoglu at for details.

Date: Friday, September 21, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Welcome Room
Center Gallery Show
Arte en Estambre
A new show opens in our Center Gallery on September 24--Arte en Estambre (pressed yarn artwork) by Francisco Loza. Originally from Mexico, Loza creates his original artwork by working on wood surfaces covered in special waxes used as an adhesive base onto which he intricately presses together thread-by-thread of brilliant colored yarn. He learned his technique from working closely with Huichol artisans and Shamans in the Sierra Madre Mountains of central Mexico. The show runs September 24 thru November 16.
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,

Register here by October 1.

Dates: Saturdays, October 13 AND November 10, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Activity Room
Get Ready for October 21
Would you like to be an eye-witness to Governor Ralph Northam's and Attorney General Mark Herring's public commitment to VOICE's 4-point agenda for social justice for 2018-19? On Sunday, October 21, just as we did one year ago, we will bring together more than a thousand members of VOICE churches, mosques, and synagogues to launch our year of action and hold our elected officials to account. At the event, to be held at Fairfax High School, we will lay out the case for our four demands:
  1. To make our commonwealth's schools places of upliftment, not lockdowns;
  2. To stand up for human rights by keeping immigrant families together;
  3. To dismantle mechanisms of mass incarceration within our justice system; and
  4. To promote and support affordable housing and reliable public transportation.

We will be detailing each of these four demands in upcoming weekly Connections. Stay tuned, and stop by the VOICE table in Fellowship Hall to sign up for the October 21 action. 

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
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 UUCA-ers 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
Joint Kol Ami and UUCA Book Study Group
Congregants from UUCA and Kol Ami Jewish community will be meeting regularly on the last Sunday of each month at 7 pm in the Chapel to study and discuss books related to Israel and Palestine. The initial book selection is Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation. The book is edited by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman and contains a collection of true stories by them and 24 other international writers who experienced the occupation first-hand.  Herb Levy of Kol Ami and Allan Kellum of UUCA’s UUJME Chapter are convening the study group. At the first gathering, the first four stories in the book will be discussed. This book study group is open to all from UUCA and Kol Ami who are interested. Questions? Contacts Herb at 703-380-3151 or Allan at 703-599-2560.
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: Center Gallery
Allyship Workshop
As part of UUCA's Live the Pledge campaign to end racism, the church partnered with Service Never Sleeps and offered 12 racial justice Allyship workshops this past year, training over 200 UUCAers. If you missed the previous workshops, here's another chance to become a better ally. 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. It's organized by Kerry Spinks , a UUCA member and co-founder of Arlington Action Group, a neighborhood based group of activists in South Arlington energized around a mantra of "HEAR Arlington: Huddle, Educate, Advocate, Resist!" For more information and to sign up, please click here . Note that this training is offsite. For questions, contact Kerry Spinks , or 703-597-2416. 

Date: Saturday, September 29, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Location: Offsite (address given upon registration)
Music Ministry
Come sing with us!
Now is the perfect time to sign up for one of our many choirs. We have choirs for all ages!

Sanctuary Singers - Adult Choir
Inter-Generational - All ages
Chalice Singers - K thru 4th
TrUUbadours - 5th thru 8th
Youth Choir & Songwriting - 9th thru 12th
SHINE - Healing Choir

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

Bellissimo - 3rd grade thru adult
Crescendo - Intermediate
Polymnia - Advanced

Music Ministry brochure with details on all choirs here .

Flyer with details specific to Children and Youth choirs here
Congregational Life
Coffee and Welcome Go Hand-in-Hand
Last Sunday (September 16) we started trying something new. We have noticed on Sunday mornings Fellowship Hall can be so loud and congested that people cannot have real conversations. We also have not been leveraging our beautiful Center Gallery space. For the next several weeks we will have our regular coffee service in the Center Gallery. The tables with various groups such as our community partners, etc. will still be located in Fellowship Hall. We ask for you to be open to something different for just a few weeks while we try this new setup and work out some of the traffic flow challenges. This is all in the spirit of being a warm and welcoming place for everyone.
Young Adult Sunday Brunch
Come join other young adults (18-40) for food and conversation after second service downstairs in the Youth Room. For newcomers, it is a great opportunity to learn about what the Young Adult program has to offer! Sign up here to help. Contact Julia Peterson at for more info.

Date: September 23, 12:45-3 p.m.
Location: Youth Room
Young Adult Podcast Chat, Saturday
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. Check the UUCA Young Adult Facebook Group and this space for the chosen podcast of the week. 

Date: September 29, 7:30-9 p.m.
Location: Chapel
UUCA's Small Group Ministry
Last Chance to Register for a Covenant Group!
We will close registration for this year’s Covenant Groups soon. So if you’ve been putting off selecting a group, please do it now!  Click here to register 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 strongly urge you to put your name on the waiting 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.

Note: This year all registration will be done online. There will be laptops and Covenant Group Strategy Team members available after services this Sunday, September 23, for those who need help registering. 

For questions, email or call Hank Dahlstrom, 703-573-3538.
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. 
New UU Class
Unitarian Universalism is a way of thinking and being in the world. It is a faith discipline, enriched by faith traditions, that forms the foundation for a way to live this life. It matters how we conduct our lives and work to make the world a better place. Unitarian Universalism wants each of us to know why. It challenges us to deepen our own faith principles and practices in response to our own experience and, whenever possible, to stand on the side of love. There will be plenty of chances to ask questions and to get to know others in the class. It's also part of the path to membership at UUCA.  Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley and Sarah Masters will be leading the class.

The class is free, but registration is required.  Register here. Select the date of the class you'd like to attend in the New UU box, then enter the names of attendees at the bottom of the form. Free childcare is available upon request. This is a one-time class. It will be offered again on Tuesday, November 13, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Questions? Contact Sarah Masters, Director of Congregational Life,

Time: Sunday, September 23, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
Location: Activity Room
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
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
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. 
Wheel of Life
Ann Ulmschneider, Fred Hufford, and Ellen Hufford welcome new family member Levi Tuan Tran, born September 14 in Fairfax. Levi is the son of daughter Amy Hufford and Khanh Tran.

Condolences to Stefanie Schmidt and Irv Lachow on the death of Stefanie’s sister.
NEW newsletter deadline: Connections deadline for submissions is EACH Monday at noon with publication on Wednesday. See below on how to submit an announcement.
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia
Call: (703) 892-2565