Connections Newsletter
All the news you need to know to connect, grow, and serve.
The Requirements of Love
Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 9:15 & 11:15 a.m.
The Requirements of Love
Sermon by Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, Interim Senior Minister
Tough love is an expression that I resist, but I know where people are coming from when they say it. Sometimes, and perhaps often, love isn’t easy. In the midst of the holiday season there’s almost a demand for love. But love can’t be demanded. How do we create a space for and a willingness to love without it needing to be transactional or weighted with expectation?
Irv Lachow is our Worship Associate. Hieu Nguyen is our Board of Trustees representative. We welcome Leonid Sushansky, director of the National Chamber Ensemble for his offering of special music--He performs Ave Maria on violin.  
Upcoming Services

Sunday, December 15, 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. “Joy to the World?” – Sermon by Walter Clark, Ministerial Assistant.

Wednesday, December 18, 7:00 p.m. Blue Christmas Service. A special healing service for those who find the holidays a difficult time. 

Sunday, December 22, 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. “Celebrating Hanukkah!” (Christmas & Kwanzaa, too!) UUCA's beloved Intergenerational Holiday Pageant.
Blue Christmas
A Healing Service
Wednesday, December 18, 7 p.m. - Center Gallery

This special service is designed for anyone who struggles with the holidays. If you are mourning a loss, dealing with loneliness or painful memories, or simply feeling blue during the holidays, please join us for this gentle and contemplative service. Led by Walter Clark, Ministerial Assistant.
Walter w/ kids
A special joy for our ministry

We are very pleased and proud to announce that Walter Clark has been given Fellowship in the Unitarian Universalist Ministry. This means he is fully recognized as a minister. He’ll be at his home congregation this Sunday in Richmond but we look forward to celebrating with him when he takes the pulpit on the 15th!
Wheel of Life

Wendy Jessup and Tom O'Reilly welcome their first grandchild, Rosa Allegra Crawford-O'Reilly, born Dec. 7, to their son Shay and his husband Morgan.

Church Matters
Congregational Called-Meeting

Sunday, December 8, 12:45 p.m. Sanctuary

Meeting Purpose
  • To secure the congregation’s endorsement of a recommendation about proceeding with a capital campaign
  • To provide an update on the ministerial search process and timeline

A pizza lunch is available and childcare provided in room 5, lower level.
Become a Member of UUCA

Is UUCA your spiritual home? Are you ready to make it official?

Membership requires your commitment to the church, which includes participating in the life of the church as you are able and pledging your financial support as you are able. More information on pledging and giving is here,

If you'd like to sign the Membership Book, please contact Note: to be eligible to vote to call a new senior minister, you must sign the Membership Book by the end of January.
Upcoming Holiday Events
Holiday Craft Party for Kids
Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

This family-friendly party welcomes UUCA members, friends, and community partners for a morning of holiday crafting and visits with Santa! The kids are treated to a pizza lunch and pictures with Santa. Suggested donation: $5 per child/$10 per family. Questions? Contact Mollie Jewell, or 703-941-5643.
MY WHY behind coordinating the Annual Holiday Craft Party from Rose Ann Renteria

Coming from a family of nine children, I learned the value of making my own gifts (clothes, etc), and I like sharing that idea with others. I believe that youth and adults can benefit by making their own crafts and items for others. This helps us to understand the value of making and sharing with others. We use the craft party as a chance to teach others about making and coming together as one community interesting in spending time together. We aim for a craft space that is safe, stable, and nurturing for youth and their families to build the possibilities for connections.

Craft Party Volunteers Still Needed
Our Holiday Craft Party for Kids is a low-tech, family-oriented party that welcomes UUCA members, friends and community partners. The kids enjoy a morning of creativity with a variety of holiday crafts. And they can get their pictures with Santa; Moms and Dads, you can also join in the picture or take some snapshots of your own. It's all capped off by a pizza lunch. Parents are welcome to stay downstairs with your kids or shop upstairs at the Holiday Craft Fair (formerly Mistletoe Mall). 
UUCA has hosted the party for more than a decade for our own kids and the wider UUCA community from Beacon House, Buckingham, and residents of the Arlington Housing Corporation. It's a multi-generational, low stress activity. The kids let loose with their creativity at the crafts table, and even shy children appreciate our gentle Santa. Not to mention the pizza, cookies, and oranges for lunch.  The volunteers are energized by the enthusiasm of the children. Everyone has a great time! So, bring your children, volunteer to help, or drop-off cookies/oranges. To volunteer or for more information, contact Mollie Jewell,, 703-941-5643.
photo collage of craft items
UUCAVA Holiday Craft Fair
Sat., Sun., December 7-8, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The UUCA Holiday Craft Fair, formerly Mistletoe Mall, is back at UUCA on December 7-8. We’ll have jewelry, stained-glass, cards, pottery, bags, international gift items, books, wreaths, soap and candles, and much more. Artists pay to have space as well as pay a percentage of sales to UUCA, so when you shop at the Fair, you support UUCA. We need assistance in putting up signs for the show, starting the Sunday after Thanksgiving as well as assistance in setting up the show on Friday afternoon, November 30. If you are available, please contact Mary Pike , to help make this UUCA fundraiser a success.
Be a Secret Santa
Gifts need to be brought to church no later than December 15, 11:15 a.m.

We have several more gift tags that need a Secret Santa. This Sunday is the last Sunday you can pick up a tag. Each year, UUCA members and friends provide gifts to more than 120 children and adults from the Buckingham neighborhood, Beacon House and UUCA, through our Secret Santa program. Stop by one of the trees in the upstairs or downstairs lobbies and choose a gift tag and follow posted instructions. All gifts need to be brought to the church by December 15. Questions? Contact Jim Tersptra,
Holiday Concert
Christmas with the Camerata
w/ Washington Men's Camerata
Friday, December 6, 8 p.m.
UUCA Sanctuary 

Enjoy perennial holiday classics, along with new and inventive arrangements of some of your favorite songs of the season. The Washington Men’s Camerata was founded in 1984 to perform, promote and preserve the rich legacy of men’s choral music. They've performed at the White House and the Kennedy Center and performed with the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Gallery Orchestra. They've been featured on National Public Radio's  All Things Considered and American Public Media’s Performance Today. This concert is for the whole family. Tickets $15-$25 here.
National Chamber Ensemble Concert
Holiday Cheer
Saturday, December 14, 7:30 p.m.
UUCA Sanctuary

NCE's Holiday Concert brings classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The Outstanding Young Artist Achievement Award--piano competition winners perform. The Concert concludes with a Carols Sing-Along to get everyone in the holiday spirit! Tickets here.
YULE 2019 - A Winter Solstice Celebration
Celebrating the Light
Saturday, December 21, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Please join UUCA and Moonfire in celebrating the Winter Solstice--the shortest day and longest night of the year--a powerful transition point between seasons. A time to honor the darkness and celebrate the return of the light. We'll gather outside around a fire pit for a light ritual and there will be “cakes & ale”, music, and other ways of honoring our pagan traditions of yule. Refreshments provided. All activities are scheduled to take place outside, so please bundle up. In event of inclement weather, we will gather indoors. 
Be a part of this year's Holiday Pageant
Sunday, December 22, 9:15 & 11:15 a.m.

This year's Holiday Pageant incorporates Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, as well as the Nativity stories. There are a wide variety of roles available--speaking and non-speaking, dancing and non-dancing, and roles appropriate for younger children and older youth. And, adult volunteers are needed for production assistance. Rehearsals take place the morning of Saturday, December 21. Sign up here. Questions? Contact LeeAnn Williams,, or Lisa Harper Chang,
Children & Youth Music Ministry
Holiday Pageant Pop-Up and Christmas Eve All Welcome
A Special Pageant and Christmas Eve All Welcome Invitation
All are welcome to the Intergenerational Pop-Up Ensemble on December 22 at 10:45 a.m. in between the pageants for sharing at the start of the second service. Also, everyone is welcome to join in music at either of the Family Christmas Eve Services--simply arrive just prior to either service and meet Jennifer on the chancel steps in the Sanctuary (2:50 p.m. & 4:50 p.m.). For further information, contact Jennifer S.E. Haywood, Ph.D., Children and Youth Music and Intergenerational Pop-Up Ensembles Conductor,
As always, we continue to welcome all in Chalice Musicians and Troubadours music each Sunday. Please note ages are flexible and all families are welcome to participate in either of the music classes: Sundays 10:30-11 a.m. and/or 12:30-1 p.m., in the Chapel. Please note; however, all are welcome to join in on December 22 and/or December 24 even if not currently participating in music classes.
More Holiday Happenings

Dream Project Holiday Dinner*
Fri., Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m.

National Chamber Orchestra Holiday Concert*
Sat., Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.

 Blue Christmas Service
Wed., Dec. 18, 7 p.m.

Winter Solstice Celebration w/ Bonfire
Sat., Dec. 21, 5:30 p.m.

Celebrating Hanukkah! Pageant
(Christmas & Kwanzaa, too!)
Sun., Dec. 22, 9:15 & 11:15 a.m.

Christmas Eve Services - Tuesday, December 24
Every service is OPEN TO ALL
Family Service  3 & 5 p.m. (sans candles) w/ Mitten Tree ritual
Traditional Lessons & Carols w/ Candle-lighting  7 p.m.
Jazz Holiday Vespers  w/ Candle-lighting 9 p.m.

After-Christmas Sunday Service
December 29, 11:15 a.m. One service only

New Year's Eve Sound Blessing w/ Woven Green*
Tue., Dec. 31, 7 p.m.

Events are open to all.
* Event is not a UUCA-sponsored event and/or may request a donation or require a ticket. See for more information.
Opportunities to Connect and Grow
What is Faith 360?
Faith 360 is the Adult Faith Development program we offer here at UUCA. The Unitarian Universalist faith assumes that we are always learning and growing. Personal insight, disciplined reflection, group faith exploration—all are pieces of how we support one another in bringing more depth and value to our lives. Through classes, workshops and practice groups we can help support those who are new to Unitarian Universalism while also providing seasoned UUs opportunities for spiritual growth—truly there is something for everyone. 

New classes and workshops are starting in January. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s on tap:
  • Articulating Your UU Faith (online session available)
  • Coming of Age for Adults
  • Neighboring Faiths
  • Healing Chantt
  • Spiritual Practice group
  • Lenten Book Study series

Watch Connections and Facebook for registration opening in January.

Basilica - DC
Neighboring Faiths for Adults and Teens
Sunday, December 15, 8:45 a.m. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Our next field trip in this series is to The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (campus of Catholic University), 400 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC. Please meet just outside the west entrance @ 8:45 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. service. 
Spirituality Book Group in January
Tuesday, January 7, 7-9 p.m.

Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott.
Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by "facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves." It's up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere. Discussion led by Betsy Rosso. No registration required.
Write Here! Write Now!
Tell Your U.S. Representative to Renew and Expand Clean Energy Tax Incentives
Sunday, December 8, following each service

Momentum is building to address the climate crisis, sparked by wide interest in a Green New Deal and the bold actions of young climate activists around the world. Congress must seize every opportunity to address the climate crisis. Allowing tax incentives for solar, wind, energy efficiency and electric vehicles to expire or phase out would be moving backwards. Tell your U.S. Representative to urge Congressional leadership to support the renewal and expansion of tax incentives to help businesses and consumers “go green” and reduce carbon emissions.
This Sunday, Dec. 8, come by our UUs for Social Justice "Write Here! Write Now!" table to write your U.S. Representatives. Letters will be hand-delivered by UUSJ's Capitol Hill Advocacy Corps on Dec. 10. Questions? Contact
Living the 8th Principle
Our journey towards spiritual wholeness and a diverse, multicultural, beloved community

Deepen your understanding of systemic oppression 
Read Unconscious Bias: How It Affects Us More Than We Know - then join the Racial Equity and Inclusion Action Network’s monthly discussion at the Arlington Center Library on Thursday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m.  Register here.
Show up, speak out and challenge oppression and racism in our community
  • Talking to Friends and Family About Racism. In time for the holidays: Join SURJ NOVA for a facilitated discussion and practice initiating and sustaining conversations about systemic racism. Sunday, Dec. 8, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the UU Church of Fairfax. Details here.
Men's Book Group
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
Sunday, December 8, 7:30 p.m. Chapel

The non-fiction choice for December is Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer and social justice activist (and a MacArthur Fellowship recipient) who is the founder and executive director of The Equal Justice Initiative, based in Montgomery, Alabama. The fiction selection for the January 12, meeting is The Troubled Man, by Henning Mankell, the final novel in the Wallander series. Questions? Please contact Ken Marshall,  
Day Alliance Celebration! 
Tuesday, December 10, 10:30 a.m.

This will be the final gathering of Day Alliance. Come and join us as we celebrate and remember some of the many wonderful things it has accomplished over its 70+ years. If you have been a part of this history at any time, please join us on this festive occasion. There will be remembrances of Day Alliance, tributes to staff and volunteers, and thanks from special guests Rev. Teresa and Linda Kelleher, director of Culpepper Garden. The event will feature special party food along with a classical music concert by the DC Flute Society. Reservations have closed for the luncheon.
Happy Hour
Wednesday, December 11, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

The Spanish Covenant Group invites you to enjoy traditional Latin American dishes and celebrate our diverse and multicultural community at the UUCA Monthly Happy Hour. Please bring a drink to share (wine, beer, or non-alcoholic). All are welcome.
African American Writers Book Sharing
Friday, December 13, 7:30 p.m. Parlor (Rm 13/15)

The African American Writers Book Sharing Circle invites you to join them in a study of March at its December meeting. Parents and youth are encouraged to attend together as we explore how graphic novels can communicate with many audiences.
Civil Rights Leader and Congressman John Lewis wrote the award-winning graphic novel trilogy March to tell his stories about his life, the important events in the civil rights movement, the power of nonviolent protest, and the importance of voting. Lewis, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell, intentionally uses the graphic novel format to tell these stories to a younger generation in frank and visual detail.  Read more here. Questions? Contact Linda Lutes Corsoro,
Depolarizing Within: Better Angels Workshop
Saturday, January 4, 12:30 p.m. Activity Room

In these charged political times, it can be hard to have productive conversations with people who hold different views or support different elected officials. But while conversations with people who agree with us
are much more comfortable, they can actually be just as challenging. When talking with like-minded peers, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of stereotyping, ridiculing, or dismissing the "other" - people 
whose ideas don't match our own. Yet our UU Principles challenge us to find the common humanity beneath ideological differences, even when those differences are hard to understand. On Saturday, January 4, UUCA will host a Depolarizing Within workshop to help participants navigate this difficult terrain. How can we express disagreement while maintaining respect for people with whom we disagree? How do we intervene constructively in social conversations with peers when those conversations veer into contempt or ridicule of people whose beliefs are different than ours?  This interactive, thought-provoking workshop will attempt to answer those questions. Registration here. Questions? Contact Sarah Yue,
UUCA Peace Camp 2020
Save the dates:
Week 1: June 22 - 26
Week 2: June 29 - July 3

Peace Camp's 2020 theme is “Two Hands Hold the Earth” -- Care for the Earth, Care for Self, Care for Others. Campers (ages 5-14) can attend both weeks or just one. UUCA Peace Camp offers campers the opportunity to explore cooperation and conflict resolution in a safe and supportive environment. At Peace Camp, campers discover that peace begins with them. Registration opens soon. Peace Camp at UUCA is a partnership between UUCA Peace Ministry and Little Friends for Peace
Opportunities to Serve
Spread Joy
Sunday, December 22, 10:15 a.m. - 2:15 a.m.

Give the gift of life this holiday and spread joy one pint at a time. In honor of fellow UUCAer Bruce Rieder , who is undergoing treatment for lymphoma, UUCAVA is sponsoring a blood drive on Sunday, December 22, after both services. It's important to sign up for a particular time to ensure the process is quick and easy. Please sign up here. You're not able to give blood? You can still support the effort by volunteering. We need help with staffing tables. To volunteer, please contact Lisa Harper Chang , .

If you have questions about your eligibility to donate, please contact Patricia Freeman, or 571-434-3628. 

Fun facts about donating blood here.

Bagged-Meals for A-SPAN
Last Sunday of each month

November and December are a traditional time to pause and give thanks for food, family, and abundance. But the change of seasons brings new hardships for many of our Arlington neighbors, especially those who are struggling to find a secure roof over their heads and enough food to sustain their families. On the last Sunday of every month, in partnership with A-SPAN (Arlington Street People's Assistance Network), UUCAers of all ages gather to prepare and deliver bagged meals and hot soup to homeless individuals in our community. We need your help! Please consider signing up to volunteer, either as an individual or as a family group (kids elementary age and up are welcome). The time commitment is approximately 1-2 hours, and you can sign up for as many or as few volunteer slots as you like.  Sign-ups here. Questions? Please reach out to Sarah Yue,
If you are a Amazon shopper . . .
Just a friendly reminder that when doing your holiday shopping, please use UUCA's AmazonSmile link. For each eligible purchase, Amazon gives a donation to UUCA. Bookmark this link:
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia
Call: (703) 892-2565