Sunday's Worship Service
Told and Untold - The Places That Make Us
Rev. Amanda Weatherspoon, Associate Minister
Register now for two services:
Sun., Nov. 21, 10am: Hybrid Service, also on YouTube 11am: Zoom Coffee Hour and Breakout Rooms
12pm: In-Person Service

Watch for two links in the Saturday email: a YouTube link for the first service and a Zoom link for the breakout rooms after the service. Recording will be posted on YouTube. Our second service will be only in-person. You 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 register in advance for worship IN PERSON at 10am or 12pm! We can now seat 100 people in our sanctuary. Please note that outdoor seating may have obstructed views. By attending an in-person service, you are giving RRUUC permission to use your likeness in videos and photographs. If you are not viewing our livestream in real time, the Order of Service may not be available.

As we continue to hold our history, we move into our personal histories. The stories of the places we have lived, learned, and loved, are foundational to who we are and who we are becoming, still. During this service we’ll dig into the roots of Rev. Amanda’s hometown, which also happens to be the birthplace of the atomic bomb and home to the National Security Complex. How do we hold the complex histories of which we are a part? How can we shape the present and affect the future? Sign up here to attend in person. Online attendance needs no registration. Sunday services are broadcast live, and may include wide shots of the crowd in the sanctuary. If you wish to avoid appearing on camera, please plan to attend online for now, as our services will not include overflow seating.
Next Sun., Nov. 28, there will be only ONE service, at 10am. There will be no RE classes; childcare for children under 4 will be available in the Fireside Room.
Extend the Offering Sunday: Shepherd's Table
Shepherd’s Table is a soup kitchen, operated since 1983 as a cooperative interdenominational effort by 30 religious institutions. In addition to providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner to hungry persons and families in need, Shepherd’s Table, in cooperation with Interfaith Works, provides social services, training, counseling, medical, ophthalmological, and dental care to its clients. The facility that houses Shepherd’s Table also has several shelters and free studio apartments for homeless persons. For the last 33 years on the second Tuesday of each month a team from RRUUC has served dinner at Shepherd’s Table. Shepherd’s Table is the designated recipient of the offering in our services on Sun., Nov. 21. This is a way for our congregation to continue its long-standing commitment to Shepherd’s Table, to helping those less fortunate than we are. You can contribute financially at the service by texting 73256 then message: RRUUC + amount; or online at the RRUUC website under “Give."
Notices & Online Ministry Offerings
"Who Do You Say that I Am?" A Lenten Spiritual exploration with Rev. Nancy 
In the Christian gospel tradition, Jesus famously asks his disciples "Who do you say that I am?" As we approach the Christmas season, we know that many of us treasure the old, old story of the miraculous birth of this baby who would grow up to impact the world. But who, to you, is this baby, or this man - whom history calls Jesus? This exploration on Thursday evenings will start with some background on different historical and contemporary understandings of who Jesus was or is, but the bulk of our time will be in your own spiritual exploration. Who is Jesus, to you? Who isn't he? Which aspects of the Jesus story are not at all useful to you and which ones might you carry with you into this new year?
This course will be held on Thurs., Dec. 2, 9, 16, and 23, via Zoom, 7-8:30pm.
LAST CHANCE for Adult Small Group enrollment
Are you interested in a Spiritual Deepening of your everyday life? In these tumultuous times, we need community more than ever. We need the spaces in which we can show up with our imperfect offerings to gather in common purpose. Small Groups provide that space. A space to connect, a space to engage, and a space to deepen. If you're interested in forming or joining a Small Group, fill out our Small Group Interest Form or contact Rev. Amanda Weatherspoon.
Cultivating Climate Resistance: A Walking Pilgrimage at Walden, April 25-29, 2022
In the face of climate crisis, many of us struggle with feelings of grief, anxiety, guilt, despair and powerlessness… to name a few. Walden Pond and its environs have deeply shaped our Unitarian Universalist tradition. On this five-day pilgrimage to Walden Pond, we will share wisdom and practices that connect us to our love for the Earth, help us process our grief, cultivate hope and resilience, and empower us to take action to address the climate crisis. This retreat is open to members of the Potomac Partnership congregations. Our pilgrimage guides will be the Rev. Dr. Robert Hardies and the ministers of the Potomac Partnership congregations. To get the registration link for the pilgrimage, send an email ASAP to Rev. Rob Hardies at To learn more, attend the Thurs., Jan. 20 info session and visit
We Need Your Help!
How do we create a safe and welcoming community for all of us? With your help! As we move forward into both in-person and online worship, we need all the support we can get, especially in providing a welcoming presence on Sunday mornings and supporting our tech for hybrid worship.
Here are some opportunities to give and serve safely in the coming weeks and months:
  • Greeters: One Sunday a month, you can be the smiling face welcoming people to our outdoor check-in desk. You can also work our RE sign-in table before the 10am service.
  • Ushers and Social Distance Supporters: Folks may need a little bit of help getting chairs situated and comfortable at the start of the service. One Sunday a month, consider helping to make it a little easier.
  • Tech Deck Help: This is where the magic gets made. Since we'll be on YouTube each Sunday, we'll need some help with sound and video.  
If you're open to considering any of these options, drop Rev. Nancy a line at
Family Ministry
Please be aware that RE classes will not be held on Sun., Nov. 28. Childcare will be available during the 10am service for children under 4.

We are excited for some changes coming in the new year! With the availability of vaccinations for children 5–11 years old plus the soon-to-come higher quality air filters and air purifiers throughout the building, beginning on Sun., Jan. 9 we will:

  • once again welcome children and youth (excluding Spirit Play and OWL) into the sanctuary for the start of the 10am service each Sunday; 
  • and we will move RE classes back into the building, including Spirit Play and childcare. The middle school will meet in Fiatfalva; elementary school will meet in one or two rooms of the 20s series classrooms; Spirit Play and childcare will meet in the Fireside room.

On Sun., Feb. 6 we will launch Spirit Sundays, welcoming multigenerational services that will occur on the first Sunday of each month.
Upcoming Happenings
Contemporary Issues Forum: The Tragedy of Gun Violence: A Trauma Surgeon's Perspective; via Zoom, Sun., Nov. 21, 12-1pm
There are few topics in the US today that incite more concern than the scourge of premature deaths in our nation due to gun violence. This multifaceted topic touches on our glamorization of violence through graphic images, the criminal justice system, race, family and positive male role models, and the controversy over guns. Dr. Cornwell will discuss the epidemic of gun violence, the statistics over the last 30 years, and strategies to address the problem. The Zoom link will be included in the Sunday worship links email.
Dr. Edward Cornwell has worked as a trauma surgeon for over 30 years in this nation’s busiest trauma centers in East Los Angeles, East Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. He is the LaSalle D. Leffall Professor and past Chair of Surgery at Howard University Hospital.
Field Trip to the Josiah Henson Museum & Park
On Sat., Dec. 11, join Educating4Change Pathway to Racial Justice in touring the site where Josiah Henson lived as an enslaved man. His life inspired Harriett Beecher Stowe in her writing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. We will meet at the RRUUC parking lot at 1:15pm and drive down to the site (11410 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda). Parking is at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center at 5900 Executive Blvd. There is limited handicapped parking at the site. Admission is $5. We will watch a short introductory film and then walk to the house where the interpreter will answer questions. Tours are self-guided. Join us after the tour at RRUUC for a short conversation to help process what we saw.
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:
Nov. 19Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell 
Dec. 17 - Visionary Women by Andrea Barnet
Contact the River Road office to be put on the email list for the Zoom link.
Welcome to New Members!
If you feel yourself at home here at River Road and would like to become a member, we welcome you to join us for our quarterly Membership Ceremonies. Every new member changes the community in an important way and all are welcome. Drop a line to to RSVP for the next ceremony - held on Nov. 21 - and get the Zoom link!
Social Justice
RRUUC's Earth Ministry urges members to learn more about Thrive Montgomery 2050
Thrive 2050 is Montgomery County’s general plan update. It's a high-level blueprint for how and where the county will grow over the next 30+ years, touching on issues of housing, land use, transportation, and parks. On its own, it doesn’t change current zoning laws, but Thrive 2050 will guide the County's development decisions, influence the Planning Department’s program, and be a framework for future master plans.

How will Thrive 2050 combat climate change?
  1. Lower greenhouse gas emissions through neighborhoods designed to make it easier to bike, walk, and use transit, and to take shorter trips when driving.
  2. Incorporate climate resilience into infrastructure with improved stormwater management, increased urban tree canopy, and habitat restoration.
  3. Support more efficient land use to preserve and increase our remaining forests, greenspaces, and farms.

How will Thrive further racial equity and social justice?
  1. Allow a greater range of housing types to meet a diversity of housing needs and price points, giving people more choices in where to live.
  2. Designate growth centers and corridors in historically disinvested communities to bring public infrastructure and increase private business investment.
  3. Support affordable housing programs so that families of all incomes can access the county’s high-quality transit, jobs, and amenities.

Thrive 2050 is now being debated before the Montgomery County Council. Many County environmental groups are in favor; much of the opposition to Thrive comes from single family homeowners opposing multifamily homes in their neighborhoods. This is an important moment for EM and social justice groups at RRUUC to support equity and climate-friendly change in Montgomery County.

Join us at the next Earth Ministry meeting THIS Sun., Nov. 21, at 11am on Zoom, when EM will consider making a public statement in support of Thrive. The link will be included in the Sunday worship links email.
Join the Rally to Save Moses Cemetery, Wed., Dec. 15 at noon at Macedonia Baptist Church, 5119 River Road, across from McDonald’s. Many thanks to the very many of you who contacted Rev. Amanda last week about how you can support Macedonia Baptist in saving their cemetery, reclaiming the land, and building a memorial and museum to honor the historic Bethesda African community.
That community was destroyed by developers who removed black families so that wealthier whites could live there. We know our land was once part of a death camp, and that slaves who escaped joined the Underground Railroad at Macedonia. You can be a part of how we all learn to say, “Never again,” and help the Beloved Community at Macedonia honor their beloved ancestors.
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 week. These lives continue to matter: Baltimore: Anthony Rollins, Carlos Smith, Devin Benton, Dontay Hill, Javier Cotto, Jihad Y Brown, Rafael Jeffers, and five victims whose names were not released. District of Columbia: Kenneth Harris, Stacey Jahmal Selby, Kenneth Omar Santiago, and one victim whose name was not released. Gaithersburg: Terrace Donte Dimes. Upper Marlboro: Quincy Emmanuel Barnes Dyson. 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.
Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Click here to subscribe and receive River Road's eWeekly in your inbox.
We'd hate to see you go, but if you wish to unsubscribe from the eWeekly, please click here.
River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation
6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 | 301-229-0400 |