Sunday's Worship Service
We Who Believe in Freedom
Rev. Amanda Weatherspoon, Associate Minister
One service, in-person and virtual:
Sun., June 19, 10am: Hybrid Service, also on YouTube
11am: Coffee Hour, both over Zoom and in-person

Watch for two links in the Saturday email: a YouTube link for the service and a Zoom link for the virtual Coffee Hour after the service. Recording will be posted on our YouTube channelYou can find our Order of Service online; if you are not watching in real time the Order of Service may not be available.

Sanctuary Hybrid, Online and In-Person: Service will be available via YouTube
Join us online or in person for worship at 10am. By attending an in-person service, you are giving RRUUC permission to use your likeness in videos and photographs.

Each of us has to a role to play in the work of Justice & Liberation, and often those roles change over time. From Juneteenth to Pride to the Poor People’s Campaign, this June holds many promises of equity, justice, and liberation, and gives us opportunity to take stock of who we are and who we are becoming. Sunday service is broadcast live, and may include wide shots of the crowd in the sanctuary.

This week is intern minister Kirsten Lodal's last service! We are sad to see her go but excited to watch her career advance. Come say goodbye to Kirsten at Coffee Hour on the plaza after the service.
Our Summer Worship Series is almost here!
This July, we will be "Preaching Along the Potomac" with our Potomac Partnership Congregations (Cedar Lane and Fairfax) as well as All Souls DC and Arlington. All July services will start at 10:30am and we will host weekly watch parties right here at River Road. Sleep an extra half hour and then join us to stream our friends' services! Rev. Nancy will preach live from our sanctuary on July 17.

First up:
Join River Road friends for a watch party of the July 3 service at 10:30am, hosted by Bailey Whiteman and streaming live from the sanctuary at All Souls church. July 3 is the only Sunday in July when we will not have childcare available during the watch party.

Join our hosts:
All Souls will be welcoming all who are masked and vaccinated to join in the music making on Sun., July 3. A super pickup choir will rehearse that morning starting at 9am and will be accompanied by an amazing band and soloists. Please join in, even if you are not a regular part of the music ministry at your home congregation!

RE children K and up are invited to The Spiritual Practice of Juggling. Join local juggler, Daniel Riker, as we experience the world of juggling. Juggling scarves provided but bring your own juggling supplies and passions if you have them.  
RRUUC Annual Meeting
RRUUC Annual Meeting News
The Annual Meeting of Members was held on Sun., June 12, starting at 12:30pm via Zoom. One hundred and fifteen voting-eligible members, two religious leaders, and six staff attended the meeting. The annual meeting team, led by Board of Trustees member Tom Purcell, included 21 lay members, Revs. Nancy and Amanda, and five staff members. Brief reports were made by Rev. Nancy, Rev. Amanda, Loretta Garcia (Chair of the Board of Trustees) and Tim Daniel (Treasurer).   

BoT and L&N Election Results:
The full slate of candidates nominated by the L&N Committee for the Board of Trustees was elected by the members. Congratulations to Maurine Beasley, Diana Ducey Ludwick, and Bailey Whiteman elected to three-year terms, Lisa Rubenstein elected to a two-year term and Crescent Martin elected to a one-year term. Tom Purcell expressed appreciation for the service of departing Board members Loretta Garcia, Vonna Heaton, Glen Peppel, and Tim Schick. The full slate of candidates for the L&N committee were elected to two-year terms. Congratulations to Greg Grisa, Joel Schrag, Ursula Scott, and Ailea Sneller. Talley Lach expressed appreciation for the service of departing L&N members Ann Thompson Cook, Tania Nayak Kamphaus, Alison Serino, and Joan Zenzen.

Motion to Revise the Bylaws:
Steven Hartman (member of the BoT) and Ken Button (Parliamentarian) made and seconded the motion to adopt the first phase of bylaws revisions. They presented the rationale for the proposed revisions, specifying the three categories of revisions and what the impact of the changes would be on meeting and election procedures, how we vote, and other miscellaneous bylaw elements. It was also noted that a second phase of revisions were planned in the 2022-23 congregational year focused on social justice and financial bylaw provisions. Several questions from the congregation were asked and answered and the motion was adopted by the congregation. The updated bylaws may be found on the RRUUC website.

Visioning/Strategic Planning Presentation:
Glen Peppel (member of the BoT), representing the visioning team of seven lay leaders and three staff, presented the results of the first phase of visioning input provided by approximately 100 members of the congregation. The cross-cutting themes independently identified by members of the visioning team were shared. The second phase of the visioning effort will be conducted next year leading to the development of a Board of Trustees five-year strategic plan. The draft plan will be shared with the congregation in town halls in May 2023 and the final plan presented at the June 2023 annual meeting. Input from the congregation throughout this process may be submitted to

Rev. Amanda presented the Social Justice Award honoring the longstanding and beautiful partnership RRUUC has had with Shepherd's Table and the important work they've been doing for so many years. Alison Serino presented the L&N Leadership Fellow awards to Susan Burnett (Stewardship), the Kiyvrya Family (Feeding DC children), Susan Messina (Bazaar), and Leigh Scott (Animal Ministry). Loretta Garcia presented the Dan Lewis Distinguished Service awards to Tom Helde, Hugh Abrams-Helde, and the COVID team. Laura Piervincenzi and Beth Irikura presented the Muriel Davies awards to Carolyn Anifalaje, Cait Heston, Carrie Hutchinson, Gorden Kenny, and Megan Mullan.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:15 pm. 
Notices & Online Ministry Offerings
Support our monthly Extend the Offering partner!
This month, we are partnering for the first time with Peace of Mind, Inc. Peace of Mind is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It is passionate about supporting educators who are teaching mindfulness-based social and emotional learning to elementary and middle school students.

Please support Peace of Mind throughout the month of June by making online contributions (select "Extend the Offering") or by making check donations to RRUUC (designate Peace of Mind).
Rally for Poor People THIS Sat., June 18 at 9:30am on the Mall
Each of us again has the opportunity to join our racial justice teams in joining the Poor People’s Campaign.

UUs from across the country will be meeting at 4th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW on the southeast corner, nearest the National Gallery of Art East Building. UUs for Social Justice and Side with Love are supporting this action. UUSJ and SWL have also requested that we wear yellow "Side with Love" t-shirts, which you can purchase here.

Those of us from River Road had expected to gather at the Bethesda Metro for the ride downtown, but have decided instead to go directly to the gathering on the Mall.

You can learn more here about this rally of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival in support of poor people and low-wage workers. And if you are attending the March, UUSJ has asked us to officially register here.
UU Wellspring 2022-23 Registration Open
UU Wellspring registration for the fall is open! UU Wellspring is a 10-month, spiritual deepening, small group style program. It includes two sessions per month from September to May and a commitment to working on a daily spiritual practice.

  • The Sources curriculum that meets Sundays at 1pm explores our UU Sources and is for those who haven't taken Wellspring in the past. It will be in person at RRUUC as COVID rates allow.
  • UU Wellspring Sources registration
  • Sacred Arts, that meets Wednesday evenings, explores the spirituality of many art forms. This group will be virtual only.
  • UU Wellspring Sacred Arts registration
  • Spiritual Ancestors is Wellspring's newest curriculum. It explores our spiritual histories and those who've inspired it. This group will meet in person (as COVID allows) on Wednesday afternoons.
  • UU Wellspring Spiritual Ancestors registration

Spiritual Ancestors and Sacred Arts are for those who've already taken Sources. Questions? Email Beth Irikura.
Action in Montgomery (AIM) State Candidate Actions
With the 2022 mid-term elections less than six months away, AIM and its’ sister organizations around Maryland have been holding Candidate Actions. All of the events are available in person and via Zoom.
AIM’s issue agenda going into the elections was developed by listening to more than 2,000 people over the past six months. The overwhelming needs identified are affordable housing, equity in education, equity in healthcare, and climate change. Questions focusing on this agenda will be asked of all the candidates taking part in the Actions. Not only does AIM want specific commitments from the candidates on these issues, but AIM and her sister organizations in neighboring counties will hold the candidates accountable for promises made during their campaigns if they are elected.
Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller Candidates Actions:
Thurs., June 23, 7:00-8:30pm, Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church, Odenton
Click below to register for either in-person or Zoom, and be sure to check off AIM.
Remember, AIM achieves power through its people.
Liz Purcell, Chair, RRUUC AIM Core Team
Together, we did it!!
The Financial Stewardship Committee could not be happier to announce that we have reached our 2022-2023 campaign target of $970,000!! To be specific, we have raised a grand total of $970,036, which includes a $10,000 New Pledge Challenge. This achievement is truly a testament to this congregation’s commitment to honoring our roots. We wish to thank each and every contributor, including our new pledgers; the lead stewards who inspired this campaign; and the dedicated RRUUC staff members who supported the committee.

As always, if you would still like to contribute, you can click here to pledge, here for more information on pledging, or send an email with your pledge or any questions to
Family Ministry
Teach Religious Education Classes in 2022-23
Join us in spreading the joy of being a UU to our youngest generation! Helping children grow in their faith impacts your own faith journey, too. There are many opportunities beginning next fall, with differing levels of commitment and many different ages to inspire. Spending time with kids and youth keeps you young! Contact Beth Irikura or Laura Piervincenzi to talk about options.
Upcoming Happenings
Social Justice Gathering THIS Sun., June 19 at 12pm 
Join us for our River Road Social Justice Gathering Sunday after the service THIS Sun., June 19! This will be a time to connect, reflect, and vision with Social Justice leaders and friends. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic and adjust to our new normal, we have a tremendous opportunity to imagine, celebrate, and recommit to our core Social Justice values - and to have some fun with it! 

All are welcome to attend! 
Unexpected Stage is happy to be returning to RRUUC for their summer production, a new play from Keith Powell called "Sophisticated New Ones," and as in the past, they are extending a special discount to the RRUUC community.

Regularly priced tickets run from $12.50-$37.50, depending upon the date of the performance, and RRUUC members will receive an extra $5 off per ticket with the code "RRUUC."

"Sophisticated New Ones" will be running June 15-July 3, in-person and virtually. Tickets and info at or 301-337-8290.

Proof of vaccination will be required for admission to the theater.
Friday Morning Book Group
The book group meets on the third Friday of the month beginning at 10am (via Zoom) to discuss a book selected by the group. Participants are invited to sign in as early as 9:45am to chat and socialize before the discussion begins at 10am. In the coming months we will be discussing the following books:
June 17The Authenticity Project by Claire Pooley
July 15: Share comments about books you've read outside the River Road Book Group
August 19: Read any book by Louise Erdrich and share your comments about it
Contact the River Road office to be put on the email list for the Zoom link.
News from Fiatfalva, RRUUC's Partner Church in Transylvania
Join RRUUC's Partner Church Committee in congratulating our partner church in Fiatfalva on a beautiful confirmation ceremony for six young members of their congregation, which took place in May. This is an important rite of passage for youth in their congregation that takes place every May, when the congregation also celebrates Pentecost.

If you are interested in meeting Rev. József Szombatfalvi, the minister in the Fiatfalva church, the Partner Church Committee is planning a video call with him on Sat., July 9 at 10:00am, via Zoom. In addition to sharing news with each other, we will be discussing the impact of the war in Ukraine on conditions in Transylvania, and how the Fiatfalva church has helped the RRUUC community direct funds to support relief for Ukrainian refugees. Email for more details and a Zoom link!
Social Justice
Celebrate Juneteenth on Sunday at 2pm at Macedonia Baptist, 5111 River Road
Join the millions of Black and white Americans – and members of the Engaging Communities Pathway – who are celebrating Juneteenth National Independence Day this Sunday, and call for memorialization of the lost Bethesda Black Community and its cemetery: Sun., June 19 at 2pm.

Recently made a national holiday, this Emancipation Day has been celebrated annually around the country since 1865, when a Union General arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed the enslaved African Americans that the Confederacy had lost the war and that they were free as per the Emancipation Proclamation, which was inked in 1863. In the past, in many parts of the country, the proclamation was not implemented until the army enforced it.
Voices from the Holy Land Online Film Salon
On Sun., June 26, join “The Palestinian Experience: Five Short Films & Discussion,” held on Zoom, Sun., June 26, starting at 10:45am. Two Palestinian panelists will take your Chat Box questions. Register at Hosted by UUs for Justice in the Middle East and Voices from the Holy Land.
Zainab Ramahi - Palestinian Kashmiri writer, human rights activist, and attorney working in San Francisco.
Jehad Abusalim - Education and Policy Associate, Palestine Activism Program, American Friends Service Committee Chicago
“I Want the World to Know” 2:18 min. (We Are Not Numbers). Upbeat, youthful, celebration about all that is good in Gaza today.
“The Cost of Just Trying to Fish,” 3:34 min. (We Are Not Numbers). A fisherman and his family suffer from Israeli state violence.
“Black Lives Matter,” 2:00 min. (We Are Not Numbers). Gazan art as nonviolent resistance, connecting the U.S. BLM Movement with the struggle for human rights and liberation in Palestine.
“Settlers Wrecking a Picnic” 1:06 min. (TRT World). Cell phone video of a Palestinian family’s picnic interrupted by Zionist settlers who force them to leave Palestinian land. The Palestinians in this video are, themselves, citizens of Israel.
“Linda Sarsour at UMass,” 15:32 min. (NotBackingDown). Sarsour is a Palestinian-American political activist; co-founder of MPower Change, the largest Muslim-led social and racial justice organization in the nation; and co-chaired the first Women’s March in 2017. UU Service Committee presented Linda Sarsour with the 2017 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 2017.
Lost to Gun Violence
As part of our ongoing commitment to the activists who are interrupting gun violence on the streets of our cities, we are saddened yet honored to memorialize the names of those in our area lost to gun violence over the last two weeks. These lives continue to matter:
Baltimore: Denard Hunt, Tyrone Walker, Justin Stewart, Darren Barnes, Craig Phillips, Jr., and Donald Demetrius White. District of Columbia: One victim not identified. Smithburg: Mark Alan Frey, Charles Edward Minnick, Jr., and Joshua Robert Wallace. Temple Hills: Bernard Lewis, Jr., one victim not identified. Every life lost to gun violence shatters the world for each of us, and every life saved by those who interrupt the violence helps knit us back together.
RRUUC Land Acknowledgement
Acknowledging and remembering that we are situated on the traditional land of the Nacotchtank and Piscataway people, and on the land on which enslaved African people and their descendants labored and lived, we gather together in worship. May the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts and the actions of our hands point the way toward a more just future. May the memory of those whose love and labor went before inspire us to create a path of greater joy and justice for all who will follow.  

If you would like to learn more about our land's history, please watch the service from June 13, 2021.
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River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation
6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 | 301-229-0400 |