Connections Newsletter
All the news you need to know to connect, grow, and serve.
Joy to the World? - Sermon by Walter
Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 9:15 & 11:15 a.m.
"Joy to the World?"
Sermon by Walter Clark, Ministerial Assistant
There are only nine more shopping days until Christmas! Did I get to everyone on my list? Do I have another holiday party to attend? Are all my Christmas cards out? Do people still do Christmas cards?! This time of year is so crammed with activity and obligation that we often tell ourselves that it be better to ignore it all together. How do we find joy in a time of year filled with “have-to-do’s”?

Josh Mohr is the Worship Associate and Kate Gallup is the Board Representative. Music is provided by the adult choir, Sanctuary Singers, under the direction of Sophia Morreale. And, John Tynan sings, Never Break, accompanied by Topher Dunne on guitar and Sophia on piano.
Upcoming Services

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.
Church Matters

Congregation Votes to Support Capital Campaign
From Linda Battaglini, Board of Trustees Chair

Thank you to all who attended and helped to feed us and to run the Congregational Meeting last Sunday. The meeting was a good opportunity to hear from members about their questions regarding the goals of the campaign which are to:

  1. Pay off the Mortgage and build the Endowment
  2. Re-energize Annual Giving
  3. Strengthen the bonds of our Community with each other
Liz and Denise
We are excited to begin our Capital Campaign with the overwhelming support of the congregation and with our co-chairs Liz Fuchs and Denise Kappler! We begin with a “Quiet Phase” of the campaign, talking to leadership donors. If you would like to be visited before year end, please let me know at

Our Ministerial Search Committee Chair Kelly Kohl reported on all the work they have completed to assemble our Congregational Record, which was posted on the UUA secure website on December 2. They have created a picture of our congregation that presents where we came from and who we are today and our aspirations for the future--a picture that achieves the delicate task of putting our best face forward while also showing our true authentic selves to potential candidates.  

Our endorsement of the Capital Campaign is a solid demonstration to ministerial candidates of the courage of this congregation. What stronger message can we send about who we are than to undertake this capital campaign and clear the decks for their arrival. When we say “We are the Church” it is no longer just a slogan for us. We are not waiting to be “saved” by a new minister, but we are preparing the way for their ministry and will be ready to embrace the opportunity to co-create our future with them. 

In Faith and Courage,
Holiday Happenings
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. 
Secret Santa Reminder
A huge thank you to all of this year's Secret Santas for helping spread the joy of the season! All gifts need to be brought to the church no later than this Sunday, December 15, 11:15 a.m. Please have all gifts wrapped and the gift tags attached.
MoonFire Child-friendly Yule Ritual
Sunday, December 15, 1:30 p.m.

You are invited to join MoonFire for a traditional Yule celebration of the vanquishing of the Holly King by the birth of the Oak King. Yule is the time of year when we celebrate the return of light to our world and our lives. It's a celebration of the inevitable return of hope, after the darkness of adversity. We will acknowledge the return of the light by reflecting on our own inner lights and how they manifest in the world. (Note: this is an expanded version of our Winter Solstice ritual to be done December 21). Pagan carols will be sung, theologically incorrect battles will be fought, and fun will be had by all. As always, a potluck and time for fellowship follow the ritual, so bring a dish or drink to share, along with your own plates/utensils, if possible. For further information on MoonFire, please visit or email
YULE 2019 - A Winter Solstice Celebration
Celebrating the Light
Saturday, December 21, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Please join UUCA's Religious Education Ministry 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,
intergen pop up choir
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.
New Years Eve Sound Blessing Ceremony
Tuesday, December 31, 7-9 p.m.

Commence and consecrate the turning of the New Year in sacred space, reflection, and activation for 2020! This soulful New Year’s Eve Sound Blessing Ceremony features an extended sound bath experience led by award-winning artists, Woven Green, and includes a water ceremony for cleansing and renewal. Participants are invited to journey within the unified source of pure heart consciousness to initiate our collective and personal intentions for the highest good of our planet. Pillow and blanket optional. Chair seating provided. Ticket information here. Advance registration is appreciated. Advance tickets on sale until 2 p.m., Dec. 31 or or until they sell out.
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.
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.
Just in time for the holiday! Fair-trade Chocolates, Coffee and Tea
Sunday, December 15, after services

Get your holiday chocolate, tea and coffee during fellowship hour on Sunday morning. The chocolate bars, baking chocolate, cocoa mix, coffee and tea are great for gift-giving. Sales benefit the UU Service Committee, a nonprofit that works to advance international human rights. For more information, contact Sara Anderson,
Baroody Camps, Inc.
Winter Break Day Camp
Dec. 23 thru Jan. 3

Baroody Camps, a child enrichment program, offers day camps throughout Northern Virginia and will offer a camp here at UUCA during the school winter break. General camp options include art, science, STEM, cooking, and sports. For more information, see their informational flyer here. For registration, please click here.
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, 9 a.m. - 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,
New UU Series

The New UU Series is our introductory orientation to UUCA. Offered in six stand-alone sessions, it's held on the first and third Sunday each month. On Sunday, December 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Welcome Room, the topic is Faith Development, Covenant Groups and Pastoral Care with LeeAnn Williams, Director of Lifespan Faith Development. This includes children's religious education. No registration is needed. Childcare is provided.

  • Dec. 15 - Faith Development, Covenant Groups & Pastoral Care with LeeAnn Williams
  • Jan. 5 - Worship with Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley
  • Jan. 19 - Social Justice with Walter Clark
  • Feb. 2 - Membership, Stewardship and Belonging with Sarah Masters
  • Feb. 16 - UU History & Theology with Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley
  • Mar. 1 - Campus Tour & Partners with Paul Kearney
  • Mar. 15 - Faith Development, Covenant Groups & Pastoral Care with LeeAnn Williams
Men's Book Group
Sunday, January 12, 7:30 p.m. Chapel

The fiction selection for the January 12 meeting is The Troubled Man, by Henning Mankell, the final novel in the Wallander series. The group meets the second Sunday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel. Newcomers are always welcome. Questions? Contact Ken Marshall,


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.
  • Join the Arlington Challenging Racism book group – they will be reading James Baldwin, and discussing at the Langston-Brown Community Center on Thurs, Jan 23, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Sign up here.

Further the anti-racist transformation of Unitarian Universalism 
  • Save the date for our next UUCA Allyship Training! Service Never Sleeps will offer training on Sat., Jan. 18, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Details to follow.
  • Read the Black Lives of UU Leadership update; it includes information on #New2BLUU sessions, a schedule for online worship for Black UUs, and an update on BLUU Financial Transparency.
Show up, speak out and challenge oppression and racism in our community
UUCA Peace Camp
June 22-July 2

Registration is open for this summer’s UUCA Peace Camp “My Two Hands Hold the Earth, Practicing care for ourselves, each other, and our earth.” 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. Campers (ages 5-14) can attend both weeks or just one. Questions? Visit the Peace Camp table in Fellowship Hall between services on December 22. Online registration here.  
Week 1: Mon 6/22 to Fri. 6/26 -  $325
Week 2: Mon. 6/29 to Thurs. 7/2, $275

Scholarships are available. Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with before and after-care available at additional cost. Peace Camp is a partnership between UUCA Peace Ministry and Little Friends for Peace.  
Santa and visitors
Talking w/ Santa
Kid getting crafty
Santa and Mrs. Clause crafted a great party

Last Saturday's Craft Party for Kids was great fun for kids of all ages thanks to our ever-jolly and gentle Santa (aka Steve Zahniser) and craft-hostess extraordinaire Mrs. Clause (aka Rose Ann Renteria). And kudos to all of Santa's helpers--a team of volunteers who guided all the little ones with the glitter and glue and made sure everyone was welcomed and well fed. Thank you volunteers!
Mary Lynn E and Linda Kelleher holding large check
Linda Battaglini, Virginia Karl, Chris Gregory, Rev Terasa holding large-format check
photo of Day Alliance gathering
Day Alliance: Generosity to the very end

On Tuesday, UUCA's Day Alliance came to a tender and sweet close after a 71 year run of philanthropy and community building. To its very end, Day Alliance stood for its values through its generosity. They closed their books by giving their assets to others-- Culpepper Garden (the affordable retirement community founded by UUCA) received $5,000 (a surprise addition to the amount of $6,200 from the recent dance fundraiser). And $20,000 was given to UUCA's Endowment Fund. The final farewell program included a music quartet from the DC Flute Society and an elegant and delicious lunch prepared by UUCAer Katie Musser of Green Sage Kitchen & Catering.
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.

Coffee Servers Needed
Especially for first service shift
Early birds needed to help with the coffee set-up on Sunday mornings. No experience necessary. Volunteers set-up coffee service beginning at 8:30 a.m. The commitment is for just one service (1 1/2 hrs) once a month through May. The job description is pretty simple: Make coffee and setup the milk/sweeteners, refresh after the service and cleanup. Volunteers serve on teams. Our biggest need is for the first service on the third and fourth Sundays of the month. Contact Mollie Jewell,
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,
Last-minute holiday shoppers . . .
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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How to submit an announcement to UUCA's Connections newsletter:  
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  • 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
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia
Call: (703) 892-2565