Update on Assistant Minister Search

by Board of Directors President Karen Wolf and Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller. We wanted to give you an update on the next steps in the assistant minister search process. As we noted in an earlier communication, we have entered the search process fairly late, so we are trying to spread the word through the Unitarian Universalist Association as quickly as possible. We have received some interest in the last few days, less than a week after the announcement, and continue to spread the word. Based on the process in the UUCF Governance Manual, the Board of Directors and the senior minister consulted and have invited the following folks […]

The Pieces Come Together

by Director of Religious Exploration Linnea Nelson. It all began with looking for volunteer opportunities for our youth. Ann Wood and Kerry Fraser had deep connections with Beacon House, a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides tutoring, mentoring, cultural, athletic, recreation and nutrition programs to at-risk, low-income children, ages 5-18, who reside in and around the Edgewood Commons community in Ward 5 of Washington, DC. So we asked if we could send some youth to help Beacon House out. But they didn’t want our “help.” Instead, they wanted partnership. Beacon House Director of Engagement and Development Lisa Taber and Athletic and Mentoring Programs Director Rodney Cephas met with Kerry, Ann and […]

Gratitude for a Beautiful Ministry and What’s Next

by Rev. David A. Miller, Senior Minister, and Karen Wolf, President, Board of Directors. First, let us start by expressing our gratitude on behalf of the entire congregation for Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig’s service to UUCF. She has seen UUCF through transitions both expected and tragic. Her steady and compassionate presence has provided an important and meaningful ministry to this community and she departs with our deep gratitude. We wish her blessings in her new ministry opportunities, and may her ministry continue to contribute to love and justice in this faith tradition and the world. With Rev. Laura’s departure, we will be shifting the second ministry position in response to the […]

Letter to the Congregation from Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig

Dear UUCF Community, With a heart full of love and appreciation for you all, I write to share some important news. After 6 wonderful years with UUCF, I have decided to accept the invitation of the Williamsburg (VA) Unitarian Universalists to become their ministerial candidate. This means that, if things go as we expect, I will become the settled minister with the Williamsburg UUs in August. And, sadly, this also means I will be leaving UUCF. This is not a decision I have made lightly. I will miss you all more than words can express. And yet, I know it is the right time for me to spread my wings […]

Art’s Place in the Discussion of Who We Are

by Deborah Kennedy. What do you believe? At our UU congregation, it should be a common enough question. We throw big questions at our kids in Religious Exploration all the time: challenge the slogans, mess with the easy perceptions. But as adults, I think we tend to self-select our “big questions” in the same way we choose our news or tend toward a musical status quo: Let’s talk about the beliefs we know. When we opened ARTspeaks in January, I thought we had pretty substantial goals – to increase the number of artistic voices on campus, support local artists and art organizations, and use the space as outreach – a […]

Strengthening Our Children’s Foundation

by Laurie Cunningham, Religious Exploration Committee co-chair. I’ve always felt the best way to change the world is from the ground up. So often in life, we deal with people who have been constructed and shaped by others, without solid foundations. But as Religious Exploration teachers at UUCF, we have an amazing opportunity to effect change by strengthening the foundation of our children. In return, our own lives are fortified and remodeled. By teaching RE, I have a chance to offer ideas, create space for serious and fun discussions, assist in relationship-building, and play! Each age classroom has a curriculum to follow, so I’ve got a road map I can […]

Sanctuary – What Does It Mean?

by Wini Atlas, Lay Minister for Social Justice. To most of us at UUCF, the Sanctuary is where we hold worship services and other events. We also understand sanctuary as a place of refuge for humans and wildlife. Sanctuary is an old concept going back to a Saxon king in the 4th and 5th centuries BCE who promulgated laws of the right of asylum. Sanctuary had legal standing in England until the 17th Century, during which authorities were prevented from taking even criminals from churches. The process, though still recognized in modern times, no longer has the force of law. Yet, we are familiar with political asylum, which must be […]

Re-emerging Into the Sunlight of Transformation

by Intern Minister McKinley Sims. So … Easter. The most important holiday in the Christian church year, usually corresponding to the Jewish festival week of Pesach/Passover, celebrates the story of Jesus of Nazareth’s miraculous resurrection three days after a horrific public execution. The words of the Christian Scriptures illustrate how a group of women went to the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea to care for the body of their dead rabbi, only to find that the tomb was empty and the body was gone. Later, Jesus’ disciples claimed to have seen a resurrected Jesus, walking and talking, even eating food! If that’s not transformation, I don’t know what is. So […]

Coming Together in Response to Hate and Fear

Apr. 12, 2017. Dear UUCF, By now you may have heard about the ugly events of this past Tuesday: the Jewish Community Center and the Little River United Church of Christ, both in Annandale, were defaced with incredibly disturbing hate speech. This is part of an alarming increase in vandalism toward Jewish and other communities. We have been trying to understand if there are any lessons in this. What we have come to is that people are being targeted just for who they are and believing in a more loving, equal and just world. The Jewish community has been a specific target of hate groups for a very long time. […]

Words of Transformation for Our Faith

by Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller. When I was young, I remember going to the synagogue with my dad in Skokie, IL, where after services sometimes we would have lox and bagels and chocolate milk. It was a wonderful ritual. Skokie was a white Jewish enclave where my temple was located but I lived in the Evanston school district and grew up and went to high school with people from many faiths, many cultures and many racial and ethnic backgrounds. We didn’t use words like “white privilege” or “white supremacy” but we did work on concepts like race relations, diversity and equality. After the end of the baby boom […]