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Helpful information if you’re planning a visit. We look forward to meeting you.
Meet our ministers, find out about upcoming services or listen to sermons.
Learn & grow
Our home page for children, teen and adult religious education.
Groups, classes and volunteer opportunities to help you make lasting connections at UUCF.
Act for justice
Helping to transform the world through hands-on service, advocacy, education and funding.
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October Vespers: "The Heart of Forgiveness"
Leaders: Rob Creekmore, John Monroe, Karen Monroe, Dav Nash, Marlo Nash, Eila Nash, Furman Riley and Kim Scudera. Date/Time: Fri., Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. Location: Sanctuary. Description: Join us for an evening of story, meditation, movement and song as we explore Buddhist teachings on forgiveness.
"Animal Activists: Then & Now"
Minister: Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig. Date/time: Sat., Oct. 4, 4:30 p.m., and Sun., Oct. 5, 9:15 & 11:15 a.m. Description: Welcome to animal blessing weekend at UUCF! On Saturday at 4:30 p.m., friendly pets are welcome to join us for a special blessing. Sunday will be a pet-free day for those humans who prefer not to interact with furry or scaly creatures. But stuffed animals and photos are welcome! Mindful of the diversity of views and values in our midst, we’ll explore the history of UU justice work on behalf of animals. For example, did you know the founder of the ASPCA was a Unitarian? Worship theme: Intention. Sunday Religious Exploration: Gr. K-6 begin in the Sanctuary for Together Time. All other ages/grades start in classrooms.
"Faith Matters" blog
Call for climate change is getting louder
by Roger Helm. Climate change, Climate Change, Climate Change, CLIMATE CHANGE! This evolving global holocaust has been weighing on me for several years now. As a Ph.D. ecologist I have looked deeply into the science portending this disaster and it scares the heck out of me, so much so I am getting “religion.” I define religion as having faith in the unverifiable belief that by continuing to do my best to make the world a better place I will somehow connect with an energy force that will also help improve those myriad important things beyond my control. When it comes to climate change, there is no challenge that is more important or further beyond my control (except of course, raising my three girls). So onward I trudge. Last week I had the great good fortune to be joined by several adults and two youth from our congregation, along with several hundred thousand others, as we marched and bore witness to climate change in New York City. What an exhilarating and inspiring day. Did we transform the world? Probably not, but we probably did begin the transformation of many individuals and groups trying to awaken the world to our collective challenge. And hopefully, perhaps consistent with my evolving understanding of faith, our actions helped each of us individually, and all of us collectively, connect to something inside and outside of us that will help civilization address climate change. Make no mistake; climate change will negatively affect every single community, state and nation in our world, and certainly some more than others. Nevertheless, if we can find our connection to each other and to helpful energy forces beyond our understanding, we have better than just a fighting chance to moderate climate change’s most devastating impacts.
Showing up makes a difference
by John Monroe, Acting Minister for Social Justice. Visibility is an important part of social justice work. That’s because we all have a tendency to take our cues from other people. If we see other people getting behind a cause, we are more inclined to get behind it ourselves. It’s just human nature That’s why last week’s Climate March in New York City was so significant. More than 300,000 showed up for the rally, including an impressive number of Unitarian Universalists, many wearing their bright yellow “Standing on the Side of Love” regalia. Will the great media coverage translate immediately into sound climate policy? Perhaps not, but the event made it clear that a growing number of people do care about climate issues and that they want to see some change. The same principle applies to the vigil held each month at the National Rifle Association’s headquarters in Fairfax. The vigil, which always features a strong contingent from UUCF, is held on the 14th day of each month to mark the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, on Dec. 14, 2012. Each month, this group serves as a visible reminder that despite the formidable opposition, people concerned about gun violence are not going away. Visibility is clearly a key goal of the upcoming Complete the Circle, the fourth annual food drive and community event, which will be held on Nov. 9 at Fairfax High School. The highlight of this event each year is when the participants, wearing colored T-shirts, are organized into a living painting, which will be photographed from above by artist Daniel Dancer. It’s a fun, family-friendly event, but its intent is serious: To remind us that there are some people in our community whose basic needs are not being met – and that we should not look the other way. To be part of the team from UUCF, register for the event in the Commons after services on Sun., Oct. 5. For more information, contact Barb Brehm or check out the Our Daily Bread website. Visibility matters. When we gather in the public square to take a stand on an issue, we are sharing our vision for a better world. We are saying, “This is what our faith looks like.” That is good social justice work.
Parish Minister search updates
The PMST needs your input
Sep. 22, 2014. The PMST is still hard at work and our plans are starting to come together. We continue to get positive feedback about the quality of the candidates we might attract. Our excitement has grown as we consider our potential for new levels of Growth, Connection and Service. Please share your perspectives and opinions It is now time for all of you – UUCF members and friends – to share your thoughts and preferences. We are eager to hear what you have to say. For your convenience, we have set up four ways to connect with us. This can be as formal or informal as you would like. You may participate in one or all of the following. Online survey. UUCF will conduct an online survey to solicit opinions and perspectives from each member/friend whose email address is on file with the UUCF office. On Sep. 28 we will send an email to each of you with a custom link allowing access to the survey. The survey will remain open until Oct. 19. If your email is not on file, but you would like to receive a link to the online survey, please email Mary Foster. Small group discussions. Ten open forums (small group sessions), allowing significant interaction and personal engagement, will be held Sep. 28-Nov. 1. These one-hour facilitated sessions will focus on four questions that draw from your personal experiences, highlighting the best of what has come before and your highest longings for what is to come. To see dates and times, please sign up here. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond within one week confirming receipt of your message and thanking you for your thoughts. Speak with us in person. Each member of the PMST now has a UUCF name tag with a dark blue border allowing you to easily identify us at UUCF activities. We welcome your thoughts and perspectives. Please share your photos and anecdotes As we prepare the website that provides a snapshot of our congregation to prospective ministers, we are looking for compelling photos, videos and quotes that concisely convey who we are – the depth and breadth of our congregation. If you have items that really speak to you, please email them to email@example.com or discuss the ideas with us in person. Ideas might include social justice events, RE activities, worship images, engagements with our community, UUCF grounds/facilities, social gatherings, etc. We will not be able to use everything, but we will archive everything we receive in the UUCF office for future use. Our ideal is that everyone associated with UUCF will provide input. The more you are involved in this process, the more likely we are to find a parish minister who fits us and our preferences. We look forward to hearing from you. Best Regards, Debbie Boehm-Davis (chair), Bob Hatfield (co-chair), David Addis, Kathy Birnbaum, Meghan Crowley, Michael Liggett and Kathy Smerke-Hochberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Minister Search Team off to good start
Aug. 20, 2014. The Parish Minister Search Team (PMST) elected by you and appointed by the UUCF Board of Directors is already hard at work. Debbie Boehm-Davis will serve as chair with Bob Hatfield as co-chair. Other members are David Addis, Kathy Birnbaum, Meghan Crowley, Michael Liggett and Kathy Smerke-Hochberg. The team members represent a cross-section of UUCF with experience across the spectrum of congregational life. Collectively we have more than 122 years of combined UUCF experience, yet three of us might still be considered new members – the most recent joining the congregation in 2011. We’d love to meet you and hear your thoughts. We are following the proven approach, recommended by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), for how to find and settle a parish minister. We welcome your engagement and promise to keep you informed The PMST will be sharing news of progress (both successes and challenges) and will provide regular updates. To respect job seekers and congregations alike, the search process requires some degree of privacy. Within those limits, we want the entire congregation actively engaged. During this process, we want you to feel absolutely certain you have been heard. You are an important part of this process. We have planned several opportunities for direct communication, each beginning in mid-September. All congregation online survey. In-person forums (at UUCF, at the All-Congregation Retreat and at the Fall Adult Retreat). Interviews with the Board, CT, staff, lay ministers and affiliated organizations. Direct email to email@example.com. We will use these opportunities to ensure we understand and can represent UUCF desires during the search. Having your involvement and support is critical. If you are unsure of something, please reach out to us. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you reach out to us, we will do everything possible to respond within a week. Expect differences, but rely on excellence Those who have only known UUCF during the last nine years with Mary Katherine Morn may feel apprehensive about losing such an impressive minister. For those who have experienced more of our 60-year history, you know that our community is more than its minister and that each new minister brings unique talents and new gifts. The character of UUCF – each of us and the intentional community we continue to build together – is much bigger than one role within our ranks. But, we understand how important it is to find the right person to lead UUCF at this new moment in our evolving history. We have a lot going for us; our reputation is strong, our programs are vibrant and our community is impressive. UUA has conveyed that ours will be one of the most sought-after ministerial placements. Process and progress Our search process involves the following steps: Allow time for the congregation to gain distance from our last ministry and perspective for the future. Clarify who we are and where we want to go. Determine characteristics we want in a minister to help us get there. Prepare a congregational record and packet of data about our congregation. Work within the UUA system to invite interested ministers to apply. We expect several dozen applicants. Identify and personally engage the most promising candidates. Conduct interviews and reference checks. For a select few, the PMST will conduct a weekend-long interview including attending worship services they conduct. When the team believes we have identified the right candidate for UUCF, we will invite that candidate to UUCF for a “Candidating Week,” where he or she will lead two weekend’s worth of worship services and spend a week engaging with our congregation. Finally, the entire congregation will be asked to democratically vote to call the candidate as our settled minister. A transition team will work with the new minister to ensure a smooth start. If you’d like to read more about the process, click here. So far, the PMST has completed the following tasks: Formed a team. Held four face-to-face meetings; established meeting cadence. Conducted an off-site planning/team-building retreat, facilitated by someone who has been involved in two ministerial search teams and has guided 12 others. Established our schedule and milestones. Collected documentation from former search teams (Mary Katherine Morn in 2005 and Laura Horton-Ludwig in 2011). Met twice with Interim Parish Minister Rev. Jennifer Brooks. Met with UUA and Joseph Priestley District personnel. Drafted plans for the online survey, discussion forums, interviews and the process we will use to select the ministerial candidates. Defined 17 team roles/responsibilities and assigned task coordinators for each (based on interest and ability). We move forward with care, respect and love. We will make every effort to share the enthusiasm and excitement we feel as we move between “trapezes.” We have faith that these next steps will build upon the great history of UUCF and cause us to grow as a congregation. Best Regards, Debbie, Bob, David, Kathy, Kathy, Meghan and Michael email@example.com
Introducing the new PMST
Jun. 20, 2014. Dear UUCF Members, The Board of Directors is pleased to present your new Parish Minister Search Team (PMST). Over the next year, this group will be conducting the search for our next settled Parish Minister. At the Annual Meeting on Jun. 8, you elected David Addis, Kathy Birnbaum, Deborah Boehm-Davis and Kathy Smerke-Hochberg to the team. At the Jun. 17 Board meeting, we deliberated long and hard over the 20 remaining applicants to ensure we could assemble a cohesive team that would be able to look out for the diverse interests of the congregation. At that meeting we appointed Meghan Crowley, Bob Hatfield and Michael Liggett. The Board is grateful to all of the applicants for being willing to serve and for bringing a wide range of talents and backgrounds to this process. We believe our new PMST members have the skills and experience to find a great new Parish Minister for UUCF. The search process is based on guidelines established by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Our PMST will conduct its work according to these guidelines. One of the primary tenets for ministerial search teams is confidentiality. Until the PMST announces our new ministerial candidate next summer, the team’s work will be highly confidential. They will share their process with you as they go forward, but will not be able to share information about ministerial applicants. Please join the Board in congratulating and thanking our new PMST members for their service. Don Reagan, President On behalf of the UUCF Board of Directors