Connections Newsletter
All the news you need to know to connect, grow, and serve.
Connections will take a two-week vacation the first part of August. The only deadlines in August are August 20 & 27. See bottom of this email for details on submitting an announcement.
Being Only Human Isn't - Sermon by Rev. Robert Blinn
Sunday Service, July 22, 10:15 a.m.
"Being Only Human Isn't: An Invitation to Fully Appreciate Being Human"
Sermon by Rev. Robert Blinn
We too often sell ourselves short, discounting our instincts, underestimating our potential. We have values, but too often they are habitual or simply popular. The ability to re-evaluate our values makes us human. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the great thinkers that makes this clear. Nietzsche was greatly influenced by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. They both invite us to value a lifelong search for truth, without over-sentimentalizing. As humans, we can become "super-naturals," efficiently building on every scientific advance, earth science, life science, and social science.

Joining Rev. Blinn on the chancel is Worship Associate Frank Corsoro. Soloist and song leader is David Shilton, with Lisa Harper Chang, accompanist.
July 22 STP: Little Friends for Peace
Little Friends for Peace ( LFFP) imagines a beloved community, a world where relationships are based on respect and acceptance, conflicts end in reconciliation, and everyone is safe, cared for, and able to realize their unique potential. LFFP team works towards this community everyday, starting with children.
LFFP programs include Community and Restorative Peace Circles, nonviolence and active bystander intervention trainings for adults and Peace Clubs, in-school programs, and,of course, Peace Camp for kids. Each summer, UUCA partners with LFFP to present two weeks of Peace Camp right here, serving UUCA families and UUCA’s community partners. Your sharing of the plate helps meet the goal of providing scholarships for 30 children each week of camp.

LFFP is sharing peace tools and techniques with UUCA children as part of Religious Education this Sunday. To learn more about LFFP and Peace practices, visit the LFFP table in Fellowship Hall after the service on Sunday where you can chat with LFFP staff and supporters. And, please view the slide show of this year's Peace Camp here.
Share-the-Plate End-of-Year Report and 2019 Goals
By Tamara Srader, Acting Executive Director
We have some great news to share with you. This week we sent checks to finish our FY2018 Share-the-Plate donations to our partner organizations. In total we had $76,459.35 in monetary donations that went outside the walls of UUCA to further our mission to connect, grow and serve.

The annual totals for contributions are as follows: Click here>

Water Communion & Ingathering - Sept 9
Wherever your summer may take you, please remember to collect a small sample of water to share at our Ingathering and Water Communion Service on September 9, when we return to two services at 9:15 and 11:15 a.m.

And, when you're not able to join us in-person on Sunday morning, please be sure to join us for the streaming of the service at Recordings of the service are also available to watch 24/7 under the "Archive" tab at
Transmissions on Hiatus July and August
Our monthly Transmissions Service brought to UUCA by Woven Green is cancelled on July 24 and August 8. These services will resume on September 25 in the Center. Look for details in the September 19 edition of Connections.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington Day-long Retreat with Jonathan Foust @ UUCA
No “I and Mine": An Experiential Inquiry into the Teachings of No Self

The Buddha said,
“Nothing whatsoever is be clung to as 'I or Mine'."

In this retreat you’ll explore the teachings of "anatta" not just through the classic teachings, but through practices and inquiries that can help you experience what it means to move beyond the mind and into presence. The practices will include both times of silence and contemplation as well as times of structured inquiry and sharing. No prior experience required, but do come with an open mind and heart. More information and registration here >
Church Matters
An Expression of Gratitude for Rev. Beth

The Board of Trustees wants to express its thanks and appreciation for Rev. Beth Miller for coming to our community when we needed her and quickly finding a place in our hearts.

Rev. Beth stepped up when our congregation was going through a difficult and painful time with Rev. Aaron's ministry. Her compassion for the thoughts and feelings of all our members helped our community heal in ways that cannot be described.

Her focus on pastoral care, the service she planned in appreciation for Aaron and her healing circles gave our congregation the safe place it needed to process what it was going through.

We also benefited from her thoughtful and incisive sermons delivered in a gentle style that allowed us to absorb their wisdom like a healing balm. And her children's stories taught us all lessons about our history and the people who have shaped our culture. 

But what we noticed the most is how quickly she became a part of our UUCA family--being there for the staff and the board with her invaluable compassion and advice, supporting the Pastoral Care Team and the Worship Associates, and giving her energy and blessing to so much of the great work our members do. 

We also appreciate her enthusiasm for a second minister for UUCA--even going as far as pledging her own funds as a match to stewardship efforts.

But simply, she was there for us when we needed her the most and we will feel her loving impact on our community for years to come.

Rev. Beth’s last service is Sunday, July 29. 
UUCA's Summer Challenge
Through this past weekend, our Summer Challenge has collected gifts and pledges to UUCA totaling $58,441 from 140 congregants to be used toward hiring a second minister and providing ministerial services during the current fiscal year. This is enough to potentially begin a second minister in March. The Challenge continues throughout July as we hope to potentially hire a second minister as early as October to assist Rev. Cooley in supporting our community.

You can fill out a purple card, found in all the pews, and turn it in on Sunday; you can make a new or increased pledge online HERE ; you can make a one-time donation HERE . Whichever way you choose to participate, your generosity is a joy to this congregation.
Town Hall Meeting – Senior Minister Search Process
Please join the Board of Trustees and the Senior Minister Search Committee to discuss the pros and cons of a one-year versus a two-year search process for our next called Senior Minister. The Search Committee has had a few meetings and discussions with UUA representatives to learn more about the search process for our next called Senior Minister. Come hear what was learned and offer your thoughts. The Board of Trustees will make a final decision on the search timeline at their August 21 meeting in order to allow the Search Committee the time needed to prepare their process accordingly.

Dates: Sunday, August 5, 11:30 a.m.
Location: Center Gallery
Lifespan Religious Education
Only Two Teachers Needed! Wow! 
We are getting there! Can you believe it? We only need two teacher-both at 5th grade 9:15 and we will be FULLY staffed for the upcoming church year!

The commitment is to teach once a month and assist another teacher on the team once a month. So, plenty of time left for attending service. 
Count me in! How do I sign-up?
Faith in Action
VOICE Action Update
VOICE will be meeting this Sunday, June 22, to strategize around urgent issues affecting Virginians and to vote on an agenda to present at our Statewide Action this fall. Candidates for state and local offices will be invited to attend and will be asked to pledge support for the agenda. Items discussed will be the “Keep Families Together” movement (there are 79,000 children of undocumented immigrants in Virginia), the recent travel ban that affects our Muslim brothers and sisters, “poverty taxes” such as court fees and low felony thresholds that contribute to mass incarceration, expanding school programs to help at-risk students, holding WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) accountable to its riders and employees, and pushing for WMATA to set aside land for affordable housing. Our Statewide Action is scheduled for Sunday, September 23, 2018.

Help VOICE Register Our Neighbors to Vote
VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) will be building on the success of the Get Out the Vote campaign we conducted last fall, by co-hosting a Voter Registration Training, with the League of Women Voters. Although VOICE is strictly nonpartisan, we advocate for voter participation, particularly among disadvantaged groups. This year we hope to increase turnout for the midterm elections and urgently need your help. Trainer Gary Ellis, from the Richmond commission will be conducting training, including details on voter eligibility and ground rules for voter registration. Participants will receive a certificate of completion that will be valid for six months. The training will be held at UUCA on Thursday, July 26, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. You must be over the age of 16 to sign up. Please click this link and join our cause to bring democracy to all!

Date: Thursday, July 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: UUCA - Room TBA
Envisioning Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians 
Please join with other UUs as well as Jews, Muslims, Christians and others on July 22, at 7 p.m., in the Activity Room, as we all imagine and speak about our visions of what peace between Israelis and Palestinians might look like. Come prepared to listen and to share. We each may have different visions and dreams that we’ll each have a chance to describe to each other. The Northern Virginia Chapter of Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East (NOVA-UUJME) and seven other groups will be participating, including the Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society of Washington(JIDS), Kol Ami, the Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Jewish Community, and Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP).   See the flyer for a full list of event sponsors.

Date: Sunday, July 22, 7 p.m.
Location: Activity Room  
2019 Chalice Theatre
The Addams Family
Chalice Theatre has chosen our 2019 production! We'll be bringing Lurch, Gomez, Wednesday, Morticia and their many oddball ancestors to the stage in The Addams Family Musical. It's a story of accepting--even celebrating--our families and communities, no matter what. Look for more information about auditions in October or November, and get ready to bring-on your best weird! Chalice Theatre welcomes any and all church members and friends who want to join in creating this production: folks with stage management, lighting, design, tech, box office and any other theatre experience--as well as anyone who may be new to theatre, but want to volunteer just for the fun of it. For more information on how you can become involved, contact the Addams Family Musical producer, Tom O'Reilly , at .
Not familiar with how the Addams Family Musical? Take a look at the trailer from the Broadway show here .
Backpack Drive for Buckingham
Back-to-school is almost here which means it's time for our backpack drive for our community partners in the Buckingham neighborhood. Please help send the Buckingham children back to school with a smile
and a backpack. Donation bins will be in the upper and lower lobbies on August 19 and 26. We are also collecting miscellaneous school supplies.

Dates: August 19 and 26
Donation drop-off: UUCA upper & lower lobbies
Music Ministry
The Power of Voices
Voices United Community Chorus created a powerful and uplifting evening in its inaugural concert at Howard University on June 30. Under the direction of co-directors Mimi Bornstein and Charles Brown , this 60+ interfaith, multiracial chorus shared an evening of powerful music and community connection as a benefit concert for Service Never Sleeps . With over 500 in attendance this concert not only demonstrated the power and magic that music creates, but also brought in over $5,000 for Service Never Sleeps! Many thanks to all who helped make this event such a huge success! 
CenterStage UUCA
We are thrilled to announce a series of new opportunities as part of UUCA’s music and performing arts ministry!  CenterStage UUCA will feature events geared towards bringing together congregants, members of the larger northern Virginia community, and families around music, spoken word, and other performing arts. 

CenterStage Live! will feature established local, national, and international talent, as well as larger existing dance groups and events.  CenterStage Coffeehouse will feature developing acts, open mic opportunities, open jams, and spoken word nights in a more intimate setting. Both programs honor UUCA’s rich history of using music and performing arts as pathways to deepening our faith, strengthening our communities, and exploring new horizons together. 

CenterStage Live! kicks off at 7 PM on Saturday, August 18, when we welcome the nine member traditional and contemporary folk group Shenandoah Run. Tickets are $25 and will be available online and at the door. 

CenterStage Coffeehouse will take place on the first Fridays of the month in the Center Gallery at UUCA and will begin on Friday, October 5, at 7 p.m. 

Stay tuned to Connections and  UUCA’s Facebook and Twitter pages for more information and please come join us in the coming church year as we celebrate the talents of our congregation and the larger community while building our faith through music and dance!
Congregational Life
Rev. Cooley headshot
Meet and Get a Chance to Win Dinner with Rev. Cooley
You don't want to miss July's Happy Hour! It's a very special happy hour where you will have a chance to meet our new interim minister, Rev. Terasa Cooley, and as part of the "Summer Challenge", be eligible for the door prize to have dinner with her. The door prize is a gift certificate to Cote D’Or in Arlington for the winner to use to take him or herself and Rev. Cooley out to dinner at a mutually agreeable time. Come and help celebrate our beloved community--a community stepping up to meet the challenge to raise funds to hire a second minister to assist Rev. Cooley in supporting our community. Bring a dish and/or beverage (wine, beer, soft drinks) to share--and bring your filled out purple pledge card for a chance at a door prize. Those who have previously contributed to the Summer Challenge will also be eligible to win (must be present).

Date: Friday, July 20, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Center Gallery
Men's Book Group
The August read for the Men's Book Group is a non-fiction selection, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. It won the Pulitzer Prize, and copies are available in local libraries, and it's available new and used in paperback. The September 9 selection is All the Light You Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. A possible book for October is Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-year Friendship On and Off the Court, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It and the September book are available in paperback and in local libraries. If there are any questions about the group, please email Ken Marshall, or call him at 703-533-8004.
Date: Sunday, August 12, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Chapel
Young Adult Laser Tag + Tacos 
Back by popular demand, the UUCA Young Adult Group returns for round three of taco-fueled laser tag! 
Dinner at 6 p.m. at District Taco, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church (5-10 minute walk to Ultrazone). 
Meet at 7:40 p.m. at Ultrazone Bailey's Crossroads to buy tickets, and games start at 8 pm. COST: $19 for unlimited games beginning at 8 pm. (Individual games are usually $9 each.)
For more information, visit the Facebook events page here.
Questions? Contact Elisabeth Geschiere,

Date: Saturday, July 21 (Note: Podcast Chat is therefore canceled 7/21 but resumes August 4!)
2018 Young Adult Camping Trip
Join UUCA and other area Young Adults for the Annual YA Camping Trip on August 17-19, 2018. This year we're headed to Westmoreland State Park, located about two hours south of Arlington and situated on the beautiful Potomac River's Northern Neck. The park has an Olympic-sized pool, six miles of hiking trails, boat rentals, and more. Click here for more information and to register by Friday, July 28. Contact: Elisabeth Geschiere,, 703-892-2565.

Dates: August 17-19
Location: Westmoreland State Park
Young Adult Divine Reading Group
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. This group is ideal for those who love reading and discussion. It is also a place where deep and meaningful introspection occurs, friendships are made, and the very nature of religion is explored. We will be reading chapter two "The Fire” of the novel Kindred by Octavia Butler so it is not too late to jump in with us for this new book! Questions? Contact Elisabeth Geschiere,
Next Date: Thursday, July 26, 7-9 p.m.
Location: Youth Room
Building Host and Safety Trainings
This fall, UUCA will begin asking all groups that meet in any of the large spaces at UUCA (the Activity Room, Fellowship Hall, Center Gallery, or Sanctuary) to have someone that has been trained to serve in the role of event host/coordinator on-site during the entire event. Additionally, all outside groups that meet here are asked to have someone who has been trained on-site whenever they use ANY space in the building. 

Our goal is to have as many people as possible in the building who know what to do if there is an emergency—to ensure the health and safety of those who walk through our doors. We also need help in ensuring that we comply with the law and that we properly care for the facility and minimize damage. Toward that end, we are asking groups to try to have as many of their members attend one of these trainings as they possibly can. (You’ll get a nifty sticker!)

Three Building Host and Safety Training sessions are scheduled:
  • July 29, 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. in the Boardroom
  • August 26, 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. in the Center Gallery
  • September 30, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. in the Center Gallery

Facilitated by Paul Kearney, UUCA’s Facility Manager, and Annie Parker, Administrative & Event Coordinator, each session will cover safety and security protocols, emergency procedures in the case of evacuation, medical emergency, power outage, or inclement weather. Attendees will also have the opportunity to walk through the building for an orientation to fire suppressions systems, defibrillators, environmental controls, and other building features, and to talk about the expectations and responsibilities associated with hosting meetings and coordinating events. 

“I’m in, take me to the SignUpGenius,” you say? Click here. 
Thank you Amazon Prime Shoppers!
Thank you to everyone who used UUCA's AmazonSmile link when shopping during Amazon Prime day. Just a gentle reminder to use this link whenever you are shopping on Amazon. (School shopping is just around the corner!) The AmazonSmile Foundation donates .5% to UUCA on all eligible purchases.
Connections will take a two-week vacation in August. There will be no newsletter the weeks of August 6 and August 13. August deadlines are at noon on Monday, August 20 & 27.
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
  • Questions about Connections? Contact
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia
Call: (703) 892-2565