A Time and a Place

Feb. 11, 2019. By Intern Minister Pippin Whitaker. “I want to just cry, but they’re waiting. There’ll be a time and a place for that,” I recall a bereaved spouse in the hospital telling me she couldn’t cry – she needed to put on a strong face for the grandchildren. Grief unfolds in so many different ways, and numbness is certainly one of them. Yet I wondered, with this expansive family and all the arrangements she would need to make, when would she find her space to cry, or yell or sit with sadness? When do any of us find the time and space to grieve our losses, our hurts? […]

Our Faith Can Be a Treatment for White Supremacy

Feb. 4, 2019. By Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller. A week ago, we held a conference at UUCF that was motivated in part by the struggle Unitarian Universalist congregations have been having with the use of the words “white supremacy” in relation to the cultural systems in which we in the U.S. swim. It has been a difficult subject in our congregations and in the country, but it reflects the inherent privilege built into the culture of this country before and since the U.S. Constitution codified it in Article 1, Section 2: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States, which may be included within this […]

Offering Others a Place of Spiritual Refuge

Jan. 28, 2019. By Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller. I went to work out on Friday and the gym was full of furloughed workers. People were talking about the ridiculousness of the whole situation and then a discussion about the logistics of insurance broke out among the five workers waiting for class to begin. As I listened to these furloughed workers, I guess because of my calling in life, I wanted to ask them much more than how they are going to figure out the logistics of their insurance. I wanted to ask them how they were doing spiritually, what might help them through these times, if they needed […]

An Embodied Sense of Freedom

Jan. 21, 2019. By Young Adult Community Leader Tyler Coles. I will never forget the moment I was first asked, “What does liberation feel like?” It was a soggy, humid morning following a long night of dancing and laughing around a bonfire at the Highlander Center with other black and brown organizers from across the South. As many of us awoke late, missing breakfast, we slowly shuffled our way into the main hall with mugs of coffee and tea in hand to join others already assembled for the opening session. Like previous mornings we began with singing “I woke up this morning with my mind/Stayed on freedom,” followed by a […]

Acting in Solidarity with Cedar Lane UU and Rosa Gutierrez Lopez

Jan. 14, 2019. By Mary Lareau*. Many of you have seen the news accounts of the young Salvadoran mother who went into sanctuary at Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda. Rosa’s story, and that of the congregation that has become her home, are inspirational and awe-inspiring. Rosa’s story is like thousands of others who fled rampant corruption and gang and domestic violence in the Northern Triangle – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Thirteen years ago, men in Rosa’s town harassed her daily, stalking her at home and threatening her with knives. With no protection from family or friends, she bravely set off on foot and by bus across Guatemala and […]

Spiritual Total Immersion

Jan. 7, 2019. By Senior Minister Rev. David A. Miller. It’s nice to have a little time off for reflection and this holiday season provided a little time. I often reflect about the role of UUCF in these times. What is our role? What is the best way for us to be an engaged community of faith? How can we provide spiritual and actual support for those in need? What is business as usual in these turbulent times? What shouldn’t be business as usual anymore? How do we use the resources of the congregation to meet the many competing needs, wants, preferences and desires? All of these questions are considered […]

Opening the Way to Connection

Dec. 31, 2018. By Lay Minister for Membership & Outreach Shannon Williams. “Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.” – Vera Nazarian A random bounce through UUCF’s website encounters no fewer than a dozen versions of the word “connection.” Interconnectedness. Building connections. Grow, Connect, Serve. This word in its many forms weaves itself around all the ways we work for love and justice in our congregation. Its meanings are even more varied outside of congregational life. From electrical engineering to neural networks to ecological systems, connection suggests relationship, coherence, continuity or a sequence of […]

Don’t Rush to Unity

Dec. 17, 2018. By Intern Minister Pippin Whitaker. I recently sat on a beach contemplating the sand. So many varied forms of life and earth – spectacular shells, sturdy bones, even mighty boulders transformed into fragments of sand. The sand is a unified form of these varied creatures and stones. It has beauty, yet each of its elements has a story, a unique and vital history that brought it there. The sand is symbolic of our shared fate. We all eventually return to the earth and the stars. If our fates are ultimately tied to unity, what’s the rush? For me, the mystery, the wonder and the beauty of existence […]

Advent: Finding a Stillness

Dec. 3, 2018. By Assistant Minister Rev. Sarah Caine. Yesterday marked the first day of Hanukkah as well as the first day of Advent this year. One, the celebration of a miracle and a way to visually say “still here, still worshipping.” The other, anticipating a miracle amid the feeling that the world is ending. I have celebrated both of these holidays at different points in my life. Recently, Advent has been important to me – even as someone who doesn’t identify with Jesus as the sole source of salvation. Advent was introduced to me in seminary, by a Catholic woman priest. Now, I make a point of having candles […]

The Sound of Moral Outcry

Nov. 12, 2018. By Intern Minister Pippin Whitaker. I write this blog in the wake of yet another mass shooting. I fear this will not be the last time I write such words. A colleague recently asked on a Facebook group, “When is it appropriate to gather in community and scream?” I’m thinking … “Now!” But how do we do this? What is the communal scream that I hope to express? It is not the angry cry for battle, nor the desperate cry for help. I cannot help but think of the sounds of labor. Before having my first child, I sat in a childbirth class and saw videos of […]