Connections Newsletter
All the news you need to know to connect, grow, and serve.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Sunday, November 24, 2019 | 9:15 & 11:15 a.m.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Sermon by Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, Interim Senior Minister, and Walter Clark, Ministerial Assistant
Giving thanks is certainly the theme of Thanksgiving, but what does it mean to approach life in general with a sense of gratitude, even when we are unhappy with the world around us?

This is an multi-generational service--all children and youth will stay for the whole service. Nursery care is available.

David McTaggart is our Worship Associate. Santuary Singers, under the direction of Sophia Morreale, Interim Director of Music Ministries, and our jazz ensemble Free Spirits provide the music. Al Himes is the Board representative. 
Upcoming Services

Sunday, December 1, 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. “In Fulfillment of Dreams” – Sermon by Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, Interim Senior Minister. The first Sunday of Advent.

Sunday, December 8, 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. “The Requirements of Love” – Sermon by Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, Interim Senior Minister. The second Sunday of Advent.
Wheel of Life
Our condolences to the family of Paul Scott, a former member and Board chair in 1960s, who died November 21. Paul was a resident at The Jefferson retirement community.
Opportunities to Connect and Grow
Imagine If session image
Sunday, November 24 and December 1, 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Please join us in the Board Room on Sunday to give us your input as we establish our goals for our upcoming Capital Campaign that addresses our mortgage debt. This campaign is a chance for us all to transform the energy and resources that have come into our lives into spiritual practice through our capital and annual campaigns. Please come and share your ideas; we need your input. 

Refreshments are provided and pizza is available for the 12:30 p.m. sessions. Childcare is provided for the 12:30 p.m. sessions on November 24 and takes place in the nursery. Please make sure your child is fed before you drop them off.  

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, December 8
Special Called Congregational Meeting following the second service. Details to follow.
2020 Ministerial Search Committee Update

As a step in our search for a new Senior Minister, the 2020 Ministerial Search Committee in September and October conducted 15 Cottage Meetings to discuss the congregational survey and to solicit questions the MSC might ask ministerial candidates. Below is the MSC's report.
Report on Cottage Meetings
2020 Ministerial Search Committee
November, 2019

The UUCA Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) hosted 15 small group discussions called “ Cottage Meetings” from September 7 to October 20, 2019. They included nine sessions with open participation, and six targeted sessions for the Board, Staff, Persons of Color, Youth, Music Program participants, and senior congregants who reside in Goodwin House. Approximately 200 persons attended--a strong indication of the broad level of congregational interest in the success of our search. Cottage Meeting attendees constitute about a third of the number of participants in the Congregational Survey.

Each meeting opened with a MSC member’s powerpoint presentation of the results of the MSC congregational survey [ see Appendix A], followed by (1) a general discussion of the survey results (which invariably led into a more expansive discussion of the church), (2) the request that each participant write one or more questions they would like the MSC to ask senior minister candidates, and (3) a request to summarize their reaction to the session in a word or phrase. The questions were collected and the comments were captured in brief written reports by a volunteer, MSC member or congregational leader. MSC members also answered questions about the search process. Read more >>
Check out the Faith 360 classes and workshops/registration here . Registration can also be done on Sunday at the Faith 360 table. Questions? Contact LeeAnn Williams , , 703-892-2565, ext. 1203. 
December Spiritual Book Group
Tuesday, December 3, 7-9 p.m.

Next month’s Spiritual Book Group will meet on Tuesday, December 3, 7-9 p.m. , to discuss Holy Envy by Barbara Brown Taylor. In Holy Envy, Barbara Brown Taylor contemplates the myriad ways other people and traditions encounter the Transcendent, both by digging deeper into those traditions herself and by seeing them through her students' eyes as she sets off with them on field trips to monasteries, temples, and mosques.
Praying in Color
Tuesday, November 26, 7-8:30 p.m. Board Room

Want to pray but words escape you? Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge? Your body wants to be part of your prayer. You want a visual, concrete way to pray? Try Praying in Color—a visual way to connect with the Divine. No artistic abilities needed. This workshop will introduce you to the basics of this practice. Supplies provided or bring your favorites art supplies. Led by LeeAnn Williams
Death Cafe: Tea, Cake, and Conversation 
Sunday, November 24, 2 - 3 p.m. Activity Room

Join us for a gently facilitated, intimate conversation about death this Sunday, November 24, 2:00-3:30 in the Activity Room. Musings typically range from logistics to memories, from fears to fascination. It's all up to you, and it's all confidential. And yes, we do have cake and tea. Facilitated by Colleen Duewell, with the endorsement of UUCA's Pastoral Care team. This cafe is part of an international movement,  
Y9/Youth Group Holiday Dessert Sale
Sunday, November 24

Come hungry and ready to buy whole and sliced desserts to support the Youth Group and Y9 service trips in the spring. If you’re feeling extra generous, please consider donating a whole dessert of your own to the sale and let us know what you plan on donating. Sign up here
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.
And, Santa needs help to put on the party! To volunteer, or for more information, contact Mollie Jewell, or 703-941-5643.
UUCA 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. Please plan to do your holiday shopping at the Fair. 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.
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. Come join in the fun! Please make reservations at
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,
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.
Alianzas Welcomes
Michelle Suarez, working with Maya Ixil in Guatemala

Alianzas welcomes Michelle Suarez (she/her) a new Accompanier. Michelle is a Spanish native speaker, born and raised in Colombia. She has considerable experience as a student and civic organizer, working to advance climate justice, criminal justice, reproductive justice, the Puerto Rican Diaspora and Latinx Engagement in Florida.
Guatemala map
In Guatemala she is accompanying members of the Maya Ixil community in a genocide hearing in Guatemala City and accompanying these survivors back to their home in Nebaj. (Note map) Military operations were conducted against villagers in the Ixil homeland in the 1980s as they were considered “enemies of the state.” As such they were victims of racism and regarded as an “inferior race.” A 1999 United Nations truth commission estimated that between 70% and 90% of Ixil villages were razed and 60% of the population were forced to flee to the mountains, while some 7,000 Maya Ixil, it is estimated, were killed. 

Michelle writes: "As a part of the NISGUA community, I have the chance to be part of crucial moments, both big and small, which form part of long histories and continuing futures of resistance. My commitment to this work will not end when I finish my nine months of accompaniment. After leaving Guatemala, as an organizer and a social worker, I will hold the importance of connecting struggles across borders – facilitating dialogue between communities in Chicago organizing to end mass incarceration, and resistances in Jalapa, Guatemala standing against a life-destroying mining project and being criminalized for that resistance. My experience here has filled me with an ever-deepening commitment to grounding my life’s work in cross-border struggles for a more just world."
Y9ers w/ wall of cereal
Cheerio! UUCA's Y9ers and Youth Group

The Y9/Youth collected 187 boxes, 244 pounds of cereal for AFAC. Then 14 youth and five chaperones went to AFAC (Arlington Food Assistance Center) and sorted food donations from the recent Scout food drive. Particular shout out to the Y9ers who came out in force and did a terrific job with both the cereal wall and the sorting. And, a huge thank you to everyone who donated!
Living the 8th Principle
Our journey towards spiritual wholeness and a diverse, multicultural, beloved community

Deepen your understanding of systemic oppression 
  • A Racial Justice Guide to Thanksgiving for Educators and Families. Access great resources for the holiday here.
  • Indigenous Peoples Blanket Exercise. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, deepen your understanding of the rights of Indigenous peoples, in a session led by Vance Blackfox, member of the Cherokee Nation, youth advocate and theologian. Sunday, Nov. 24, at the Washington National Cathedral, 1-3 p.m. Details here.

Further the anti-racist transformation of Unitarian Universalism 
  • Watch a recent interview with the UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change about their efforts to address institutional racism within our faith. For two years, the COIC has collected stories from people harmed by institutional racism in Unitarian Universalism, and they are identifying resources and strategies for ending the cycle of white supremacy.
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, 7-9 p.m., at the UU Church of Fairfax. Details here.
VOICE Appreciates You 

On behalf of VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) and the thousands of families in Arlington struggling with rapidly rising rents, we want to thank all of you who came out on Saturday, November 16, to urge the county board to be committed to affordable housing. Together with our allies from around the county, we filled more than half the county board hearing room and applauded when Rev. Ashley Goff of Arlington Presbyterian addressed the board, thanking them for supporting the newly opened Gilliam Place affordable complex on Columbia Pike--built on property her church made available--and asked the board to commit the majority of this year's carry-over budget surplus to addressing ongoing affordable housing needs. Our collective voice was unmistakably clear. Stay tuned for updates.
Depolarizing Within: Better Angels Workshop
Saturday, January 4, 12:30 p.m. Activity Room

Much of America’s current political polarization is driven by how we talk with like-minded people about those on the other side. Too often we stereotype, dismiss, or ridicule our fellow citizens who support the other political party, its leaders, or its policies. On Saturday, January 4, UUCA will host a Depolarizing Within workshop to help us all become more aware of our own "inner polarizer." This interactive, thought-provoking workshop will teach how to be critical without demonizing, dismissing, or stereotyping large swaths of the population. And it offers strategies for intervening constructively in social conversations with like-minded peers when these conversations veer into contempt and ridicule for people whose views are different from our own. Registration here.
Opportunities to Serve
Bagged-Meals for A-SPAN
Sunday, November 24 (last Sunday 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,
Secret Santa Trees Are Up this Sunday
Santa Needs Helper Elves

Each year, UUCA members and friends provide gifts to more than 120 needy children and adults from the Buckingham neighborhood, Beacon House and UUCA, through our Secret Santa program.  Many Helper Elves are needed to staff the Secret Santa trees--before and after Sunday services (and Monday Meditation) November 24 to December 9. Please sign up to be an elf here.

Be sure to stop by one of the trees displayed in the upper and lower lobbies to choose a tag and buy a gift that will make the holiday brighter for someone in need. Questions? See one of the elves staffing the trees or contact the Head Elf, AKA Little Jimmy Terpstra at 703-908-9231 or
Kids doing crafts
Craft Volunteers Needed for Holiday Craft Party for Kids
Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Help UUCA members, friends and community partners enjoy a morning of crafts, pictures with Santa, and a pizza lunch.  We need help supervising the children as they make the crafts. Both teens and adults are welcome to help with this family-oriented party. In addition to crafts, we need help with welcoming families, lunch, and clean-up. Can't volunteer? We also need donations of cookies or mini-oranges for dessert. To volunteer or for more information, contact Mollie Jewell,, 703-941-5643, or Rose Ann Rentaria,, 703 431-5279.  
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.
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,
New Years Eve Sound Blessing Ceremony & Labyrinth Walk
Tuesday, December 31

Commence and consecrate the turning of the New Year in sacred space, reflection, and activation for 2020 vision! This soulful New Year’s Eve Sound Blessing Ceremony features an extended sound bath experience led by award-winning artists, Woven Green, and includes an indoor labyrinth walk and a water ceremony for centering, 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. Flyer here.
UUCA rocked the night away!

Rock around the Block: A 60's Dance Party to Benefit Culpepper Garden raised in excess of $6,300, more than fulfilling UUCA's pledge of $5,000 to honor of the 50th anniversary of the highly successful housing center founded by UUCA in 1969 for low-income seniors. The dance benefit also exceeded its goal of providing energetic intergenerational fun to attendees ranging in age from 3 to 103. A huge thank you to Diane Dorius and her team of volunteers for making it all possible. And, thanks to John St. Hilaire for capturing the moment through his great photos.
Returning UNICEF Boxes

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's UNICEF Halloween collection. If you have not returned your box, it’s not too late to return it or make a donation. UNICEF provides humanitarian and developmental aid to children around the world. Our church has made record donations of $1200; we can do it again with your generous donations. All boxes should be returned to the UUUNO table in Fellowship Hall on Sunday. If you have any questions or concerns, please refer them to Marietta Tanner, Envoy, at Thank you so much.
UUCA Holiday Calendar

Christmas with the Camerata - Washington Men’s Camerata*
Fri., Dec. 6, 8 p.m.

Holiday Craft Party for Kids
Sat., Dec. 7, 10 a.m.—1 p.m.

Holiday Craft Fair
Dec. 7 & 8, 10 a.m.— 4 p.m.

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

National Chamber 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)
Traditional Lessons & Carols w/ Candle-lighting  7 p.m.
Jazz Holiday Vespers  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.

All 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.
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Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA
4444 Arlington Blvd
Arlington, Virginia
Call: (703) 892-2565