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.

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?

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