Memory page for Pawel Jura

Our beloved Director of Music & Arts Pawel Jura, passed away on February 24. As our community mourns this great loss, we encourage those with memories of Pawel to share them in the comments area at the bottom of the page. To add photos to this page, please send them to mlareau@uucf.org. For resources on grief, depression and suicide prevention, click here.  

A community in mourning

We mourn the loss of our beloved Pawel Jura, Director of Music and Arts, who died unexpectedly on Tuesday night. In the short time since Pawel arrived at UUCF in August 2014, he wove loving bonds of collaboration, compelling music and love for the arts. In the days to come, may we keep before us his warm smile and beautiful spirit. I offer you this prayer in gratitude and sorrow. Jennifer “Prayer for the UUCF Community” Life passes so quickly, and loss can be so unexpected. As we gather in community at this moment of sorrow, may we support and comfort one another. May we cherish the beautiful moments we […]

“Traffic and transcendence”

by Rev. Julie Price. On Saturday afternoon, in the middle of that heavy snowfall, I found myself unexpectedly stopped in a line of cars at the bottom of a steep hill on Lawyer’s Road on my way to Reston from Oakton. Cars were backed up the hill behind and ahead of me, both coming and going, as wheels spun on the slippery slope. Thankfully there were no accidents and no one seemed to be in real danger. Though I felt a little frustrated, I had a sense that time, and a little neighborly car-pushing, would get this bottleneck cleared out eventually. I’m guessing that my four-wheel-drive button shielded me from […]

In the Shelter of Each Other

by Rev. Jennifer Brooks. We’ll be warm. Despite our best-laid human plans, Nature doesn’t always cooperate. Today is one of those days. The secondary roads are in poor condition and the parking lot is a sheet of ice. Even with diligence from road crews and our salt-scattering snowplow contractor, conditions remain unsafe this morning. Stay home and stay safe. We’re canceling all programs today except the Hypothermia Prevention program that begins at 5 p.m. today. Folks who planned to come in early to work on that, please do come in but be careful. To all the hypothermia volunteers, warm thoughts and much love. You prove we really are the shelter […]

“The burning rhythm in our hearts”

by Rev. Jennifer Brooks. Yesterday and at Saturday’s Worship Café I described my first experience at a Unitarian Universalist Sunday service, and said it felt like coming home. I asked whether anyone else had felt that way. About three-quarters of the people raised their hands. It felt like coming home to a place we thought did not exist. A place where people with different beliefs worship together as one faith. A place where living our values is more important than the words we use to describe our beliefs. Think of all the people out there who feel a deep longing to be part of a faith community that accepts people […]

Climate action training

Sat., Mar. 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Springfield United Methodist Church. (RESCHEDULED FROM FEB. 21.). Register here. Are you interested in renewable energy in Northern Virginia? Are you concerned about the effects of climate change on our future? Do you want to do something about it? The purpose of this event is threefold: 1. To identify and connect Northern Virginians interested in climate change 2. To give an overview of the basic science of climate change and what is happening in Northern Virginia to address it 3. To help community members be more effective activists in their communities Training topics include: –Climate change 101: The Basics –EPA’s Clean Power Plan –Engaging […]

Sue Berman

Congregational Treasure. Feb. 9, 2015. Sue Berman is the ultimate model of involvement in fellowship at UUCF. Her friends and acquaintances recall that for more than four decades Sue has stepped forward to lead or quietly work to support innumerable activities that have brought together members of UUCF in thoughtful, supportive and often joyful association with each other. In recent years, Sue has been a mainstay in organizing and facilitating the annual fall Adult Retreat. At the same time she has reached out to others as a Pastoral Care Associate, raised scholarship funds for the Partner Church program, facilitated a women’s support group, was a Sunday coffee monitor and remained […]

“Chrysalis conversations”

by Rev. Jennifer Brooks. When we recall the people who have been most influential in our lives, we often remember the mentors who helped us become who we are. It may have been a teacher or a coach or a camp counselor. Sometimes we emerge from our chrysalis because of someone who knows that we can. In congregational life, a minister may inspire, comfort, encourage, support or empower. Yet a congregation is more than the minister. A congregation is more than the sum of its individual members. A congregation is the beloved community that helps us become who we are. This beloved community empowers us to live our values, to […]

“Reaching beyond our walls”

by Rev. Jennifer Brooks. UUCF’s lively new Worship Café, launched two weeks ago, is soon to go viral in the real world. At 4:30 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 21, UUs from all over our district* will experience the Café as the closing worship of the Worship Arts Festival. Seeding the idea of worship in a café setting empowers Unitarian Universalism to reach beyond brick-and-mortar walls to the many people seeking a safe, authentic spiritual home – people who would never think to visit on a Sunday morning. This year’s festival theme is “overcoming barriers to spiritual community.” The festival’s obvious focus (reflecting the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) concern) is outreach to […]