Vote Your Values, Love Your Neighbors

by Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig. You’re voting tomorrow, right? If you’re an eligible voter, I hope you’ll make it to the polls tomorrow for Virginia’s presidential primary. I don’t have to tell you there’s a lot at stake this year. I hope we all get out and vote according to our values. For some, it’s been a tough choice to figure out where to cast our votes this time around. And for some, personal relationships have been tested, even strained. One of my dearest friends has been very active in supporting a different candidate from the one I prefer. And it’s been a little challenging. We both feel passionate about our […]

Music Is an Integral Part of Our Life Together

by Karen Wolf. When I was searching for a congregation, I was looking for a musical experience as much as a spiritual one. Growing up, I participated in a variety of musical activities – choir and band, voice and piano lessons, noodling on my guitar in my bedroom and singing with the All-State Choir in Delaware (much less impressive than the All-State Choir in Virginia!). After I graduated college, that all seemed to go away. My tiny apartment had no room for a piano and I didn’t know how to find a community choir, so I went from making music regularly to just singing in the car. When I was […]

Remembering Pawel Jura

by Rev. David A. Miller. This week we commemorate the passing of Pawel Jura who served UUCF as the Director of Music and Arts and died suddenly on Feb. 24, 2015. I read and heard about Pawel during the ministerial search process and was excited to meet him and get to know him. The day before I left California to come to Virginia to pre-candidate, I received a call and heard the tragic news. Since that day, I have been struck by the grace, caring and love this congregation has displayed for the memory of Pawel and to each other. We all have different ways to grieve. Grieving takes time […]

Neither the beginning nor the end

by Rev. David A. Miller. Thirty days isn’t a long time in the course of human history. Although a wonderful place, UUCF probably isn’t going to be able to change centuries of racial justice issues built into the culture and the systems of this country and the world. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Remember, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens …” I wish there were a clear road map for how to take what we have experienced and learned together during these past 30 days and move forward as a congregation to continue the work of racial justice. Unfortunately, there is not. Just like everything […]

Dream big! Imagine boldly!

“Life is a celebration of awakenings, of new beginning and wonderful surprises that enlighten the soul.”  – Cielo When longtime member Stan Richards passed away last year, he left a bequest to this community that included $250,000 to “provide seed financing for innovative efforts to expand UUCF’s outreach to persons not now engaged.” Following Stan’s guidance, these Innovation Projects will explore new ways to spread UU values and principles to ever-larger communities. This is an extraordinary opportunity. We are looking for big ideas … dramatic new thoughts … high-risk, high-payoff experiments … things people have not tried before … approaches that might open up new ways of thinking about outreach […]

DMA search team off to a great start

posted Feb. 9, 2016. The Director of Music and Arts Search Team has met several times and begun mapping out a course of action. We have developed a position description that reflects the congregation’s goals and needs for the position. The description includes the duties of the job and core competencies expected of applicants. In addition to posting the description on uucf.org/jobs, we have submitted the job posting to numerous publications and media commonly viewed by prospective candidates. Because of UUCF’s size and reputation for music programming, we expect to receive many qualified responses. After the team reviews applications and interviews candidates, we hope to reach a decision in time for the new director to start work […]

Let’s Not Be Quiet Anymore

by Linnea Nelson. Almost 50 people from UUCF and the greater community gathered on Saturday afternoon to learn how to talk to kids about race, and everybody was eager to learn. Moderator Cayce Utley, local director of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), acknowledged that many of us may have come hoping for a guidebook to keep us from making mistakes or saying the wrong thing. In return, we shared our uncertainty about whether we should talk with our young children about race at all. The panelists began by sharing their own stories of microaggressions. One shared about curious grocery store customers asking her as a child where her family […]

Jewel of India Pratibha Samman Award

Posted Feb. 8, 2016. After receiving the Global Teacher Role Model Award last October in Mumbai, Principal Ditol Myliemngap of Puriang Unitarian Higher Secondary School, has now received the Jewel of India Pratibha Samman Award. The award was bestowed upon him in New Delhi on Jan. 29 by the MVLA Trust.