Love in the Time of Climate Crisis

Date and Time: 01/12/2020 9:15am and 01/12/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Eleanor Piez
How do we love in times of fear and desperation? How do we engage with planetary risk that’s far beyond the control of any one person or community?

What are the Elves to Do Now?

Date and Time: 01/05/2020 9:15am and 01/05/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Tyler Coles

Now that the stockings have been removed from the chimney, St. Nicholas has returned home, and visions of sugar plums have faded. Whare are the elves left to do now that hustle and bustle of the holiday season has passed?

The Power of Music – 10am Service Only

Date and Time: 12/29/2019 10:00am

Presenter: Phyllis Gilmore

There is only one service at 10:00am on the Sunday after Christmas.

Many of us have lugged heavy instruments to school or classes, spent hours practicing under a parent’s watchful eye, or marched in bands. Some of us have performed on stage, and some have done no more than sing lullabies to babies or hymns in church. We have danced with a sweetheart or a child, or simply swayed with the beat. We are increasingly surrounded by music—at the movies or on television, in our cars and homes, in elevators and offices, and even just in our ears as we run or walk. What is it about music—and making it—that so affects us?

Oh Christmas Tree! — Christmas Eve Services: Music at 4 and 6:30

Date and Time: 12/24/2019 4:30pm and 12/24/2019 7:00pm

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker

We have two Christmas Eve services: 4:30 p.m. family service, and 7 p.m.  But come early! Enjoy very special music starting a half hour before the service — you won’t want to miss it!

Plan to come at 4pm and 6:30pm.

Checking it Twice

Date and Time: 12/22/2019 9:15am and 12/22/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker

Santa Clause is coming to town, so we had better be ready. Let’s sing and hear stories of joy and peace in this multigenerational worship.

A House of Faith: 2019 Holiday Pageant

Date and Time: 12/15/2019 9:15am and 12/15/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker, Ann Richards, & Mark Zimmerman

Rev. Kate has had a bad dream, and she isn’t at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church! Fortunately, she’s no Scrooge, so the Realtor of Christmas Present is here to take her on a tour of UU homes to see how they celebrate the various holidays in search of a new House of Faith. Join us for our annual multigenerational pageant full of fun, spiritual reflection and festive rituals. Children are invited to come dressed as a shepherd, barn animal, angel or Wise Men and Royal Retinue and join in the nativity scene.

No audio is available from this service.

Christmas Spirit is for Sale

Date and Time: 12/15/2019 9:15am and 12/15/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker

There it was, a “For Sale” sign on the front of the Christmas Spirit store. It may have been July, but I stood there and knew this country is living out of sync with something that Christmas is supposed to represent. How do we cope with the blitz of symbols and the commercialization of joy and generosity?

Butter the Size of an Egg

Date and Time: 12/01/2019 10:00am

Presenter: Linda Jemison, Betsy Yarrison, Laura MacCleery

There is only one service at 10:0am on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

The holidays are a time of tradition and food, a time that stretches back to bind us spiritually to ancestors and family. Sometimes the food and tradition are fondly remembered and sometimes…not. But regardless, we find ourselves drawn to memories centered around a time when we were comforted by the rituals of casseroles, turkey, and pie. Through readings and stories we will remember the best of traditions and think about how to adapt and make new ones.

A Complicated Gratitude

Date and Time: 11/24/2019 9:15am and 11/24/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker, Ann Richards, & Mark Zimmerman

Join us for a multigenerational worship exploring gratitude with stories and readings from the perspective of Indigenous and First Nations Peoples. We will also hand out Guest at Your Table Boxes from Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Healthy Skepticism and Other Acts of Faith

Date and Time: 11/17/2019 9:15am and 11/17/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker

Why do we believe what we believe? Can we spot a lie? Who is better off, the faith believer or the atheist? Is it courageous to ask questions?

In Honor of Vulnerability

Date and Time: 11/10/2019 9:15am and 11/10/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Tyler Cole

In a world that upholds the “pick yourself up by the bootstraps” mentality, how might we create other avenues of care for ourselves and each other? Not only is part of this other way imperative for our well being, it also invites us to be courageous in expressing our emotional needs in the wake of deep hurt.

Creating Peace in an Age of Conflict and Meanness

Date and Time: 11/03/2019 9:15am and 11/03/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

The Theme of the Month is Courage. Name calling, personal attacks, screaming, verbal and physical violence! Insurgent racism, immigrant bashing and abuse of women have become embedded in our culture. Have we given in to our worst self, becoming mean and cruel? Do we have the vision and the courage to choose a radical path of embracing the beloved community of all?

In (fill in name) We Trust

Date and Time: 10/27/2019 9:15am and 10/27/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

The measure of any relationship is trust, often before love! Trust makes life more predictable and generally easier and creates more happiness. So why don’t we trust more? Should we trust more?

This service featured the MVUC choir performing “Love is the Teaching” – the Covenant of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church arranged and set to music by member Steve Bogart.

Eating for the Health of the Planet

Date and Time: 10/20/2019 9:15am and 10/20/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Climate Action Team: Plant-Based Diet Group

The Buddha, Confucius, and Pythagoras. Leonardo da Vinci and Leo Tolstoy. Gandhi and Gaudi. Percy Bysshe Shelley and George Bernard Shaw. Plant-based diets have had no shortage of notable champions, long before omnivore Michael Pollan famously simplified the conundrum of eating: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” is the key. (Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming) We will consider how we can all meet this challenge.

Celebration of Life for Ken Bohannon

Date and Time: 10/13/2019 3:00pm

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

Condolence cards can be sent to Linda Bohannon. Donations in Ken’s memory are requested to go to your favorite organization.

How Do White People Talk About Racism Anyway?

Date and Time: 10/13/2019 9:15am and 10/13/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker & Steve Bogart

When it comes to racism, some of us, okay most of us, have some issues. How DO we talk about racism without getting defensive, guilty, angry, fearful and disbelieving? How do we engage more constructively?

Forgiveness and Other Intentional Acts of Grace

Date and Time: 10/06/2019 9:15am and 10/06/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

On Yom Kippur, the Jewish faith offers us all a reminder of the importance of penitence and forgiveness. What do Unitarian Universalists do to bring atonement and grace into this world? The Theme of the Month is Intention.

Called Out and Sent Forth

Date and Time: 09/29/2019 9:15am and 09/29/2019 9:15am

Presenter: Tyler Coles

We all create certain expectations of our lives. Yet how often do we doubt ourselves, and our callings, in the wake of the unexpected? In these moments, when fear becomes the guide, we must find the fortitude to trust our internal wisdom to guide us along our life’s journey.

Happiness and Loneliness in the Age of E-Friendship

Date and Time: 09/22/2019 9:15am and 09/22/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

We are social beings, bonded together in word and indeed throughout history. Can we maintain our mental health using social media, and how do social media impact the 21st century liberal church?

The Human Asteroid

Date and Time: 09/15/2019 9:15am and 09/15/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

Humanity has hit the planet like a slow-moving asteroid. How do we live generously in a life of minimal impact? In this age of climate crisis, how do we offer our children the life they cannot have?

Celebration of Life of Marge Witting

Date and Time: 09/14/2019 2:00pm

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

With deep sorrow, we share the news of the passing of longtime member Marge Witting following a brief illness. Condolence cards can be sent to her son Bill Witting, 200 North Maple Ave., Apt. 101, Falls Church, VA 22046.

A Celebration of Life will be held at MVUC on Saturday, September 14, 2:00 pm in the Chapel. Marge was a major contributor of her time to the church, and we will forever miss her wisdom and humor.

Gathering of the Water, Gathering of the People

Date and Time: 09/08/2019 11:15am

Presenter: Reverend Dr. Kate Walker

In our liturgical calendar, Unitarian Universalists welcome each other back from our summer recess, back to our regular worship using the metaphor of water as the bonding agent reminding us of our spiritual home. Please bring a small amount of water from home or travels, to add to our Water Blessing.

We also welcome our new Intern Minister Tyler Coles.

Do You Whistle While You Work?

Date and Time: 09/01/2019 10:00am

Presenter: Eric Pourchot and Friends

For Labor Day, join us for a mostly-music service celebrating jobs, joy, and justice. Think Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, with some Broadway, Jimmy Buffett, Bruce Springsteen, and Susan Warner thrown in. There are many songs about working on the railroad, whaling, and herding cattle. Are there songs about program management, accounting, and other modern occupations that could inspire us? Songs bring us together, songs provide relief from repetitive tasks, and songs can tell our history.

Presented by Steve Bogart, Linda Doyle, Eric Pourchot and MVUC’s own “Not Our Day Job” Band

(There is no homily associated this service, which was centered on music and readings for Labor Day.)

The Cost of Free Speech

Date and Time: 08/25/2019 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

While the U.S. Supreme Court has established some accepted restrictions on our First Amendment of the Constitution, we find ourselves struggling over deeper layers of impact in the worldwide instant digital age. How do Unitarian Universalists balance free speech with emotional harm, particularly when those harmed are marginalized and oppressed?

Building Hope

Date and Time: 08/18/2019 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

Younger generations are calling for us to look at and abandon the relentless pursuit of an ever-upwards, optimistic expectation of human advancement. Instead, we are called to carve out hope amidst the daily struggles with pain and the discovery of joy. This is not a smooth ride! Life brings us bumps, bruises and crashes, along with breathless beauty and extraordinary acts of love. How we manage this journey matters for the future of all. Unitarian Universalists do not have easy answers, but we do have sustaining hope.

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