River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation

To grow and deepen in Community, Spirit, and Service


May 25-June 1, 2023

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Upcoming Worship Services

How Shall We Break the Silence

Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd

One service, in-person and virtual:

Sun., May 28, 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. Sunday service is broadcast live, and may include wide shots of the crowd in the sanctuary.

Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor once wrote, “How shall I break the silence? What word is more eloquent than the silence itself? In the moments before a word is spoken, anything is possible.” This Sunday, we’ll reflect on the moment when anything is possible, and the strategic choices we make to speak into that rich possibility. Plus, Shuai Wang and Anto Malkastian will provide the music - the team that brought us last fall's Partnerfest!

Notices & Online Ministry Offerings

Auction News

Growing Our Connections: the Spring Services Auction won't open for bidding until the end of the Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 4th, but it's a good idea to plan ahead by browsing early, in case you want to bid on something coming up soon, like a week in Chincoteague, July 1-8, or you want to plan a party around Fancy Appetizers Made for You or you're dreaming of being one of the winners of Magnificent Muffins a Month. There are well over 100 listings already, and thanks to your generous outpouring of donations, we are still adding them! The catalogue will be available soon.

(pssst -- we're still able to accept late donations) Any questions, email auction@rruuc.org or visit our webpage.

Fine Arts Members and Friends Art Show June 18 - September 10

Get your entries ready!

As we are now using the Fellowship Hall for coffee hour we can also now hold the RRUUC Members and Friends Art Show! This show is open to all members and friends of RRUUC and will be held from Sun., June 18 through Sun., Sept. 10. Each artist can submit up to 2 pieces of art and every effort will be made to accept both pieces - at least one will definitely be put in the show. 

All wall art must be ready to hang on the hanging system in the Fellowship Hall - please stop by and check that out. We have very limited shelf space in the glass cabinet for three dimensional art as well.

All entries will need to be dropped off in the Fellowship Hall by 10am on Sat., June 17, 2023. No late entries will be accepted. Forms will be available to check in your pieces. All items should be for sale, and RRUUC will take a 20% commission - the artist will receive 80%. All wall pieces should remain until the end of the show. Smaller three dimensional pieces can be taken if arrangements can be made and the artist has a replacement piece.

Earth Ministry has recently welcomed several new members, and we'd love to welcome you too! It's an exciting time: we are planning for a June 18 Lay-Led Service, a reflection on possibility and abundance following our Year of Climate Reset. If you participated in a Climate Reset Workshop, you are especially invited to consider telling your story! Email RRUUCEarthMinistry@gmail.com if interested.

We are also joining with members of 12+ other congregations in the newly-created UU Mid-Atlantic Network for the Environment, or UU MANE, in Working Groups that will lead action on six priority Action Strategies. All are welcome to pitch in for this exciting collaborative work with UUs across the region! The Working Groups will meet for the first time June 12-14 on Zoom. Details to come; join a group by adding your name here.

Green Grow the Rashes Oh

There's a new Grounding Blog! In this month's update, we take a tour of the many greens on our grounds. It's a jungle paradise!

News from Fiatfalva – our partner church in Transylvania

The Partner Church Committee had a Zoom call with our partner church members in Fiatfalva recently. Jozsef, the pastor, asked about our Green Sanctuary certification. After discussing what advances RRUUC has made, we learned that traditionally they heated and cooked with wood from the nearby forest. Then there was a push to use natural gas (which Romania has) but now there is encouragement to use wood again (since the price of both keeps fluctuating). There are some government grants for solar but they cannot be on monuments, churches, or historic buildings. Fiatfalva has natural gas, but some area villages do not. We learned there are still concerns about the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the cold weather, even though the fields have been planted. Bears are becoming a real problem since they are reproducing (almost like rabbits) but are under special protection. Brown bears have been eliminated in much of Europe but still thrive in Romania. Bears are thus a pest due to attacking fields of grain and corn and farm animals. Another issue is that 4 million Romanians work outside of the country for long periods of time. Sometimes the entire family goes (with children who also work) or just one or both parents go. While the money is needed, there are consequences like children being left with grandmothers to be raised, poor school attendance, or behavior problems. Also family breakups can be a result. Some things are so much better with Romania joining the EU and there can be other outcomes as well. Generally life is good with more education, but not all families (and some politicians) make education a priority. Village life continues with a lovely mothers’ day celebration last week and folk dancing by the school children on May 13, including Jozsef’s daughter (pictured here). Confirmation will be in a few weeks for the Unitarian children.

Please feel free to contact the Partner Church Committee if you want to join our quarterly discussions with Jozsef and members of the Fiatfalva church.

Family Ministry

This Sunday

Due to the long holiday weekend, we will not hold formal RE classes this Sunday. Instead, all children over age 3 are invited at 10am to spend some fun creative time with Beth and Laura, outside if the weather allows. Families may also choose to have their children join the worship service.

Childcare for children under age 4 will be available in room 20.

Religious Education is recruiting teachers and helpers for next year. Come work with our awesome children and youth. We need people in all class levels. Talk to Beth or Laura at coffee hour on Sunday or send them an email.

Upcoming Happenings

The Laramie Project

Montgomery Playhouse, one of the oldest Community Theatres in Maryland, is producing The Laramie Project. This emotional and vital piece of theatre resonates as much in today's socio-political climate as it did when it was originally produced just over twenty years ago. The play examines the last moments of the life of Matthew Sheppard and how his murder impacted the residents of Laramie, Wyoming, where his horrific murder took place. This barebones production features a number of talented local actors including RRUUC's very own Ron Ward, partner to Mariel Penberthy, and co-parent to Tamsyn and Tal!

Here is the link for purchasing tickets to the show: 


Here is the link to the Laramie Project event Facebook page. 


COTSA: You're Invited!

RRUUC Community - all are invited to the COTSA event on Sat. June 10, held at RRUUC. COTSA is an organization of 17 Salvadoran hometown associations. RRUUC’s Latin American Team Network (LATN) has supported COTSA for many years in their efforts to bring educational, health, and economic development to their several communities. Admission is $30 and that covers a sumptuous meal and special entertainment. For RRUUCers, it is recommended that you come at 7:00pm or later. The event is family friendly, and all ages will be there. If you have the stamina, the event goes to midnight, but there is no obligation to stay.

Friday Morning Book Group

The book group meets on the third Friday of the month beginning at 10am to discuss a book selected by the group. Participants are invited to sign in as early as 9:45am to chat before the discussion begins at 10am. In the coming months we will be discussing the following books:

June 16: This is the first of two summer "change of pace" meetings. Participants share their recommendations for books they have read outside the River Road Book Group. This meeting is on Zoom.

July 21: Any book by Barbara Kingsolver. We each select a book by Barbara Kingsolver to read and then share about that book at our meeting. NOTE: we will meet in-person at River Road, and we will have a potluck lunch immediately following our discussion. 

Contact the River Road office to be put on the email list for the Zoom link.

Social Justice

Extend the Offering: Trans Maryland

Trans Maryland is a multi-racial, multi-gender, trans-led community power building organization dedicated to Maryland’s trans community. By trans folks, for trans folks.

You may donate to Trans Maryland all month long by making online contributions (select "Extend the Offering") or by making check donations to RRUUC (designate Trans MD).

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 recently. These lives continue to matter: Baltimore: Kenneth Lyde, Dabrae Edwards, Delvonta Grimes, Teon Wright, Jamal Martin. College Park: Tiffany Ward. District of Columbia: Little Price, Jr., Leonard Carter, Jefferson Perez, Tierra Corbett, Christopher Callahan, Marquis Johnson, Arianna Davis. Hyattsville: Antonio Crump, Jr. Severn: David Joseph Bond. Silver Spring: Tenneson Vaughn Leslie, Jr., Jedidiah Kehiku Ogboi-Gibson. 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 news@rruuc.org | www.rruuc.org

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