What I’ve Learned as a Hospice Chaplain

Date and Time: 07/12/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Eleanor Piez
Grief and loss are hard, and everyone experiences them differently. Moreover, today, the end-of-life journey can be further complicated by Covid 19 and other disruptions in our environment. Chaplain Eleanor Piez explores how we can experience realities filled with anger and despair as well as grief, and yet find a way forward in health and hope. Homily by Eleanor Piez, Affiliate Minister at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church

Creating Sacred Spaces (Online only)

Date and Time: 07/05/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Rebekah Savage

With so many of us spending almost every day, all day in our homes, how do we embrace and cultivate a connection with the sacred? When we are observing the world around us, where do we create space in our homes for grief and mourning, beauty and joy? Rev. Rebekah Savage will explore these questions and more with us for this service.

Transcendentalism and Unitarianism – Kaleidoscopic Perspectives (Online only)

Date and Time: 06/28/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Daniel Cohen

Transcendentalism, a seminal 19th century theological philosophy, has contributed much to the faith system now embodied in Unitarian Universalism, but just what that faith system includes, what we as Unitarians have faith in today, and how this affects our hopes, our aspirations and most importantly, our lives, is a work in progress and may differ for each of us.

Strengthened by Uncertainty (Online only)

Date and Time: 06/21/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker

We are faced with uncertain times as past choices propel us into a frightening future. Yet, facing our fear and befriending uncertainty can be a powerful source of strength and reclaiming of a different future. On this Father’s Day, we shift the traditional masculine lens, inviting all of humanity to see the world with a fresh view.

Coming of Age (Online only)

Date and Time: 06/14/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker and Ann Richards

Losing Ones Self In Order to be Found

Date and Time: 06/07/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker (Online only)

The culture of education is grounded in learning; new facts, data and stories. But what if what we learn is wrong? How do we unlearn? Sometimes unlearning is the best path forward – Losing yourself in order to be found.


The Day the Church Came Out (Online only)

Date and Time: 05/31/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Tyler Coles

In the story of Pentecost, we are reminded that there is brilliance and fabulousness in the abundance of our being, and that the difference amongst us is the place where blessings flow from.



Here I Am. Send Me. (Online only)

Date and Time: 05/24/2020 10:00am

Presenter: Bill Clontz

Memorial Day is about the recognition of sacrifice. Our service this Sunday joins in that tradition, but also in celebration of courage, commitment, and community. In the pandemic that now stalks our world, we find many heroes in many professions who now join those who served in uniform, in service dedicated to larger causes and to each other.

Bill Clontz is a longtime member and church leader now living in Asheville, NC with his wife Meg. A retired Army officer, Bill has also served government, in the private sector, and in leadership roles at MVUC.

A Flyover and a Low Blow – Music Sunday – 9:50am (online only)

Date and Time: 05/17/2020 9:50am

Presenter: Mark Zimmerman and Musicians

Just because we’re not in our beloved Chapel don’t think we’re not doing Music Sunday this year! It’s Music Sunday 2020!

Tune in starting at 9:50 for great music from MVUC choir, guest artists, and related hymns and songs on the theme “A Flyover and a Low Blow: How to Honor our Heroes and Heroines” – noting thoughts for the front lines and the fallen during this terrible pandemic.

Music can be both a motivational feeling and reverential experience to help sort our emotions during this difficult time.

Come and be lifted up!

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 webmaster@mvuc.org.

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 webmaster@MVUC.org

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.

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