Sunday's Worship Service
Radical Gratitude
Kirsten Lodal, Intern Minister
Register now for our return to two services:
Sun., Oct. 10, 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! 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 video and photographs. If you are not viewing our livestream in real time, the Order of Service may not be available.

Drawing from the insights of botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Kirsten will explore the concept of “radical gratitude” as it relates to RRUUC’s efforts to engage with the history of our land in order to build an ever more expansive definition of Beloved Community going forward. 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 film, please plan to attend online for now, as our services will not include overflow seating.
Notices & Online Ministry Offerings
Stewardship Moment
Stewardship is much more than an annual fund-raising campaign. In this new video, Kirsten Lodal, our intern minister, shares her thoughts about giving as a spiritual practice. She invites us to think about the many ways giving can be at the center of our spirituality, including to deepen our social justice commitments as part of a beloved community. Click here to watch the video. We thank you for the many ways you give to RRUUC and our associated programs and projects!

Save the Dates! 2021 Fall Auction
Our Fall Auction will take place Nov. 1-13 - right in time for holiday shopping! Watch this space for more details to come.
Staff News
Our bookkeeper Jackson Njoroge is leaving at the end of October. We are so grateful for the work we've done together, the solid ground of community we've built as a team.  

In Jackson's own words: It has been an honor and privilege to know and to work alongside you during the last 15 months. I have decided to stand down from my position as the bookkeeper for RRUUC and take a break for personal reasons. However, the mission and the good work that RRUUC does in social justice: immigrants and refugee settlement, college access for needy students, and fighting for justice and equity for all and many more continues. This mission is of paramount importance to the community and it's been truly a privilege to work with such a talented team to advance great causes for the greater good. 

Although he was here for only a little over a year, he will be sorely missed. But we wish him only the very best, and send him off with our love and support as he pursues new dreams and passions.
Retreat Feedback and Visioning – You’re Invited!
Please join the Retreat Committee for a review of our recent all-congregation retreat and some brainstorming about the next retreat, scheduled for April 22-24, 2022. We’d like to hear your ideas about what would make the most fun and satisfying retreat experience. We will also be talking about some concrete ways that you can help plan for a great retreat next year. 
We’ve scheduled two gatherings – please join us if you can!
  • Sunday, October 10, 1:00 p.m. at RRUUC
We’ll gather on the patio outside the fireside room. Feel free to bring a lunch or snack.
  • Monday, October 11, 7:30 pm on Zoom
If you’d like to attend this virtual session, please email and we’ll send you the link. 
We look forward to hearing your ideas!
Adult Small Group open enrollment period: Mon., Oct. 11 - Mon., Nov. 15
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.
Contemporary Issues Forum: UN Day Forum: Taking Action on Climate Change, Sun., Oct. 24, 4-5:30pm
The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area and regional Unitarian Universalist congregations are co-sponsoring webinar to share insights from a range of leading experts on what we can do as individuals and faith-based organizations locally and nationally to meet the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement. Speakers include Tim Lattimer, Nate Hultman, William Barber III, Aly Tharp, Salote Soqo, and Doris Marlin. Recognizing the inequitable impact of climate change on poor and minority communities, the program will explore ways in which faith-based organizations and individuals can work together to meet the ambitious climate goals equitably and promote environmental justice. Learn more and register here - registration is required.
Roof Work Begins
The much anticipated work on the roof has begun. Here's what you can expect:
  • All the work involved will happen outside of the building. There will be no disruption to the use of our outdoor activity spaces like the RE tent, or the Fireside patio.  
  • We will lose some parking spots in the lower lot which will be taken up by material and equipment storage.
  • During daytime weekday hours, people in the building may hear a little banging, and on some days there may be heavy equipment on the upper part of the driveway. But everything will be cleared away for evenings and weekends.
We will continue to share updates on this project as they become available.
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
Upcoming Happenings
29th Annual PartnerFest, livestreamed on Sat., Oct. 16, 7:30pm - let us know you're coming by Oct. 15!
Join our Partner Church Committee for an unforgettable evening of entertainment featuring dancer from the Natananjali School of Dance, livestreamed from the RRUUC sanctuary! The program is FREE with suggested donations to benefit our decades-long partnerships with Unitarian congregations in Fiatfalva, Transylvania & Mawblang, N.E. India, where RRUUC supports educational programs benefiting communities in need. We also support an afternoon school program for the village Roma children in Transylvania.
Save the Date of Oct.16! Please join the preshow at 7:15pm for videos of our partners in Fiatfalva and Mawblang. Joining early makes sure you are all set to experience the dancing which begins at 7:30pm. Please REGISTER BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15 to let us know you are coming. We will send you the link the day before. We so hope you join us. This program promises to be extra special.
The RRUUC Earth Ministry will hold its next monthly meeting on Sun., Oct. 17 at 11:15am on Zoom. Watch this space for a link! Click here to access our newsletter, with information about opportunities to make change through the MoCo Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, Interfaith Power & Light of DC/MD/VA, and the national UU Ministry for Earth.
BAZAAR 2021 postponed until spring, 2022, date TBD
Please hang onto your "good goods" to donate for just a few more months. We are planning for the Bazaar to return in the spring, with a date still to be determined. Email with any questions.
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 and get the dates and zoom link!
Family Ministry Happenings
Family Fun for October! Save the dates!

Sat., Oct. 9, 6:45–9pm: Movie Night on the Plaza - all ages welcome! We'll watch Home, a 2015 animated comedy from DreamWorks featuring Jim Parsons as the loveable alien Oh. Please bring masks and your own chairs.
Fri., Oct. 29, 6-7:30pm: BYO Picnic on the Plaza with Halloween crafts.
Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators class
Beginning Thurs., Oct. 21, Beth Irikura will offer the Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators series for parents of 6th-9th graders. Sessions will be the first and third Thursdays from 7:30-9pm, via Zoom, from Oct. 21 to March 3. We'll explore different topics related to talking to our kids about their sexuality, relationships, gender, communication, and more. It's a great way to learn about these topics and to build relationships with other parents. Please register if you are interested.
Religious Education classes have begun but it's never too late to register!
Enroll at any time here.

  • Masks will be worn by children and adults at all times, indoors and outdoors.
  • There will be a symptom checklist at the RE check in table on Sunday morning. (Located on the plaza in front of the building.) You'll be asked to review this list and verify with your initials that none of the symptoms are present in your child. Children should not attend RE if they have any cold or flu symptoms.
  • Any child who is under 12 years old and/or unvaccinated and has been quarantined by their school, cannot come to RE until the quarantine period is over. If your child is quarantining please inform Beth or Laura. We'll send them a care package and look forward to when they can join us again.
Social Justice
Join Action in Montgomery (AIM) Oct. 7 for our Listening Campaign Kick-Off!
With nearly every elected position on the ballot in 2022, AIM and our sister organizations across Maryland are committed to listening to over 10,000 state residents to identify the issues and solutions this election should be about, such as affordable housing, equity in education, health care, jobs, police reform, and more.
Join AIM and candidates for county and state office seats on Thurs., Oct. 7 at 7:00pm (by Zoom) to kick off the Listening Campaign and start building a powerful People's Agenda for 2022.
To register, go to
Immigration Film Fest Oct. 14-21 - Last chance to register!
Don’t miss this year’s immigration film fest with over 20 films, mostly streamed, with one in-person gathering, on the night of Sat., Oct. 16 for awards gala. Virtual screenings are free but donations are welcome via their website. Patrons at $50 have access to everything, including the live event and earlier reception on Oct 16.
See for more info and to register.
October's Extend the Offering (ETO): Partner Church
River Road’s Partner Church Committee supports RRUUC’s two partner churches, which are located in Fiatfalva, Transylvania and Mawblang, N.E. India. Resources from abroad, including from RRUUC, have been essential in keeping the Unitarian movement alive in Transylvania, where it originated.
Additionally, RRUUC helps fund an after-school program to expand educational opportunity in Fiatfalva. In India, RRUUC helps support the salary of three teachers at the Unitarian School that the Mawblang church operates to benefit the entire community.
Please support our Partner Church Program on Sunday, October 24 during the Extend-the-Offering service and throughout the month by contributing online, through check donations to RRUUC (designate Partner Church in the memo line), or by texting 73-256 with the message “RRUUC + $amount” (select Partner Church from the dropdown menu). And please join us at the 29th annual Partnerfest, a virtual fundraising event, on Oct. 16 at 7:30pm. Register online here. Thank you for your support!
(Questions? Email
Application for Extend the Offering
If your official RRUUC social justice group would like to apply for an available ETO month, please complete and submit this form to Rev. Amanda Weatherspoon.
We will be accepting applications for Extend the Offering recipient organizations from
Oct. 11 - Nov. 15. Selections will be made in January. 
Did you miss L&N's Leadership Retreat?
You can still watch the 8th Principle Online Dialogue. Click here to see the video.
Hosted by Leadership & Nominations, the dialogue was facilitated by Julica Hermann de la Fuente, a UU minister with special training in anti-racism and the 8th Principle, along with Revs. Amanda and Nancy and L&N.

Our focus as we dialogue about implementing the 8th Principle:
  • Taking stock of our resources, skills, and what we already have going on.
  • Organizing ourselves in ways that promote sustainability and relationship.
  • Connecting and reconnecting with joy, spiritual deepening, and the heart of the 8th Principle.
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: Corey Harris and five names not released. Clinton: James Kirkland. District of Columbia: Ronald Bailey, Temika Johnson, Garry Stanley, Sr., and one name not released. Elkton: Ronald Eugene Brown, Jr., Brian Robinette, and Kelly Sue Robinette. Parkville: Mark Russel. Temple Hills: Davon Graves. 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.
Shared Programming
Voices From the Holy Land: Online Film Salon, Sun., Oct. 10, 3pm
Voices from the Holy Land, in conjunction with the Bethlehem Cultural Festival, invites you to our eighteenth monthly Online Film Salon. Participants will focus on Bethlehem and the occupation in “Bethlehem Today: Two Short Films”. Please watch these films at your convenience and then join us for the online Q&A discussion. Click here to register and learn more. After registering, you will receive the film link and a Zoom invitation for the online discussion.
Virtual Alliance Program, Thurs., Oct. 14, 12:30pm
The Alliance of Cedar Lane is a primarily senior daytime group that has been meeting virtually during the pandemic. 
On Thurs., Oct. 14, the Alliance is hosting a virtual luncheon program featuring a presentation titled "Aging in Place: Difficult Conversations," given by Marilyn Emery, a real estate agent in MD and DC who specializes in helping folks determine whether they want to and can stay in their home or whether it is better to make a move. After a brief chat, the presentation will begin at 1pm.

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River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation
6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 | 301-229-0400 |