The Flower Ceremony (Online only)

Date and Time: 05/10/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Tyler Coles
The Flower Ceremony Created in the spring of 1924 in Czechoslovakia, The Flower Ceremony is now an annual celebration of beauty, diversity, and community in Unitarian Universalist communities around the globe. Come and take part in this moment of holy togetherness as we cultivate beauty in our day to day lives.

Lifespan Spiritual Growth: Six Ways to Learn Your Whole Life Long (Online only)

Date and Time: 05/03/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Lifespan Spiritual Growth Council

Online only – 10:00am

Celebrate all the ways a Unitarian Universalist can learn and grow at Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church. Includes a recognition of our wonderful teachers and a peek into the Religious Education Classrooms.

Audio only:

Homily by Ann Richards, Director of Lifespan Spiritual Growth

Imagination as the New Normal (Online only)

Date and Time: 04/26/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker

Online only – 10:00am

We are being pushed hard to reimagine our lives. In the midst of fear, it is crucial to find the quiet and reflective moments so our imagination can see the horizon of hope.

Deconstructed Beef Wellington (Online only)

Date and Time: 04/19/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate Walker

Online only – 10:00am

We’re in the midst of unlearning as our lives are turned upside down. How do we cope with the stress, and how do we envision our collective future.

Many appreciated Adrie Kusserow’s poem, which was Tyler Coles’s reading for this service, and which Rev. Walker’s homily revisits.

Mary Oliver for Corona Times (After Wild Geese) by Adrie Kusserow


The Topsy Turvy Lessons of the Easter Story (Online only)

Date and Time: 04/12/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Megan Foley

Online only – 10:00am

One of the wonders of Easter is how the story shows us life in a new way, one that is contrary to typical human expectations. In fact, the story of Easter turns the world’s values completely upside down, underscoring miraculous workings that often go overlooked by human beings. How can those of us a little outside the traditional Christian tradition still learn these lessons? What does Easter have to teach Unitarian Universalists today?

Audio of the homily is available:

To obtain a link to the online service, please contact

Along Came a Donkey (online only)

Date and Time: 04/05/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Tyler Coles

Palm Sunday commemorates the victorious journey of Jesus into the city of Jerusalme. Yet unlike what we might imagine as the scene for such an occassion; an ornate chariot, stern horses, the glitz and glamour. Along came a donkey and the unexpcted story of liberation.

Forswear Thy Foolish Ways (online only)

Date and Time: 03/29/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Rev Kären Rasmussen, MVUC Affiliate Minister

Who was this woman known as Mary Magdalene? Sinner and saint, wise and oh so imperfect. But aren’t we all imperfect as we work our ways towards A Beautiful City? Join Rev. Kären and the choir today as explore this topic of imperfection and enjoy some music from the play Godspell.
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Audio is available:

Where Does It Hurt? (New title; online only)

Date and Time: 03/22/2020 11:15am

Presenter: MVUC Members

Ruby Sales, a prominent activist and thought leader for racial equity once asked, “Where does it hurt?” Though seemingly simple at first glance, Sales’ question calls to mind how our past experiences shape our current responses to this moment of uncertainty.

Join MVUC this Sunday as we learn from the collective wisdom of elders within our community regarding how we might tend to our emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing.

Live music will be led by our Music Director Mark Zimmerman and pianist Dr. Yee Von Ng.  The watercolor painting is by Jeanne McIntyre.

Plans are underway to make this service available online.
(Please note: in-person gatherings for Sunday services are not being held at this time.)

An audio version of the panel discussion is available as well:

Sabbath as Resistance: Virtual Service (one service) 11:15

Date and Time: 03/15/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Tyler Coles and volunteers online

We are holding a virtual worship service this Sunday, March 15 at 11:15 am. We invite you to join us for a live service online.

You can view the video of this service here:

Our Intern Minister, Tyler Coles, leads us in worship from the chapel. We are grateful to guest minister, Rev. Anastassia Zinke, who is traveling from Indianapolis, Indiana to give her sermon.

Music and singing are led by Mark Zimmerman, Dr. Yee Von Ng, Angel Collins, and Eric Pourchot.

A small team of staff, sound crew and communications volunteers are on hand to support this service in every way we can. We look forward to welcoming you online.

If you have technical questions please email (in advance as possible) to

In his book by the same title, Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann writes that the Sabbath is not primarily about keeping rules but rather about becoming a whole person and restoring a whole society.

Brueggemann calls out our 24/7 society of consumption, a society in which we live to achieve, accomplish, perform, and possess. How can we recognize these patterns within our own lives and within American culture today? How might the ancient practice of sabbath-keeping serve both as a practice of resistance and as a pathway to honoring our humanity and the sacredness of the earth?

For the protection and care of our community, we are suspending in-person gatherings for Sunday Services, Religious Education (RE), and meetings of ten or more people at MVUC for the foreseeable future.

Your Board, staff and volunteers are working to create ways to offer worship and community experiences online.

More information will be published here and in the following channels as they become available:

We are thankful for your patience and look forward to offering new ways to be together community.



The Day We Have Been Given (DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME)

Date and Time: 03/08/2020 9:15am and 03/08/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Rev. Lauren Smith, UUA, Dir. Stewardship and Development

In today’s service, we reflect on our complicated lives, our moment in history, and the joy that comes with meeting our days with gratitude, generosity, resourcefulness and care.

Our guest speaker is Rev. Lauren Smith, the UUA’s Director of Stewardship and Development.

The Life and Teachings of St. Harriet Tubman

Date and Time: 03/01/2020 9:15am and 03/01/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Tyler Coles

Born in March of 1822, Harriet Tubman, commonly named “Moses” lived an extraordinary life of service and commitment to the vision of freedom. In the the almost 200 years since her birth, what wisdom might we gain from her brilliance, dedication, and fortitude of this legendary leader.


Living my Truth: A Transgender Virginian’s Story

Date and Time: 02/23/2020 9:15am and 02/23/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Bianca Rey

Join Bianca, a member of Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau, for a morning of fellowship and learning as she shares her story as a transgender woman, followed by plenty of time for dialogue and questions.

Finding Courage and Creativity in Being Wrong

Date and Time: 02/16/2020 9:15am and 02/16/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Lisa Romantum Schwartz

Being right is so gratifying, and being wrong is uncomfortable, even frightening. Truth be told, our mistakes may change us more than our successes. With enough self-reflection (and a dash of self-forgiveness) being wrong can offer more opportunity for transformation than being right.

What Now?

Date and Time: 02/09/2020 9:15am and 02/09/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Adam Dyer

There is great insecurity in the world today, and we are asked to be prepared for the unexpected in extreme ways. How do we remain resilient over and over again?

A Resilient Faith

Date and Time: 02/02/2020 9:15am and 02/02/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Tyler Coles

Our lives are unbelievably busy. We are pulled in multiple directions and are weighted down by the bleakness of the world. Yet what role does spirituality play in grounding our spirits towards being a more resilient people?

When to Hold and When to Fold

Date and Time: 01/26/2020 9:15am and 01/26/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Crystal Mann

As we close out the month, let us think deliberately about when we should push and when we should pull.

Bayard, Fannie Lou, and Martin

Date and Time: 01/19/2020 9:15am and 01/19/2020 11:15am

Presenter: Tyler Coles

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most noted leaders of the Civil Right Movement. And yet, without contemporaries like Fannie Lou Hamer and Bayard Ruston, King and the Civil Rights Movement would not be what we know it is today. Collectively these prophets teach us that it takes a village to make change and leaders of intersectional vision to make movements have traction.

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.

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