April 30, 2017 – Flower Communion, Rev. Amy Russell

During our traditional UU flower communion, we celebrate unity in diversity.  We each bring flowers from our gardens (or from Kroger’s) to add to a bouquet of beauty from which we all choose a flower to take home.  This represents how we bring to the altar of our community our best, most beautiful selves and take away a gift of equal beauty that adds color and diversity to our lives.

April 23, 2017 – Earth Day, Multi-generational, Adena Dannouf, Rev. Amy Russell, others

Make sure to join us for a celebration of Earth Day that will be joyful, uplifting, and participatory.  Multiple generations will be gathered to ponder the great mystery of life on our earth – as together we experience “A Playful Mystery” by Thomas Rhodes. We hope that each person’s experience will have them leave feeling connected to our 7th principle, and ready to care for the earth. It is only right for this service to be Multi-generational, as it has been said that “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors— we borrow it from our children.”

April 16,  2017 – “Easter: We Rise Again”, with Rev. Amy Russell

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”  Luke 24:5

In Luke’s description of Easter morning, the women come to the tomb of Jesus looking to anoint the body with spices.  The body is gone and the men who are there tell the women to go look for Jesus elsewhere for he has risen.  While as Unitarian Universalists we may not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, we do celebrate resurrection in the least likely places in our lives.

April 9, 2017 – “Visions from the Desert” with Rev. Amy Russell

In celebrating Passover, Jews are remembering how during their time of slavery in Egypt, the Lord brought them safely out of bondage and moving toward their Promised Land. What can we learn about vision from these persevering people?

April 2, 2017 – Won’t Get Fooled Again, guest speaker Walter Clark

It seems we are hearing the call for social justice and action non-stop lately. What are we to do when the need is greater than ourselves and what can we do to avoid such a crisis from happening again? Student Intern minister at Unitarian Universalist of the Peninsula at Newport News reflects on how our theological history can give us insight on how to deal with the polarization of today. Walter is an intern student minister of UUFP who commutes down from Richmond at least three times a week. He is scheduled to meet with the Ministerial Fellowshipping Committee in September and hopes to eventually settle down in northwestern Pennsylvania with his wife, Wendy and their two children, Willow &William. Walter graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School in May of 2016 and has preached in Norfolk, Richmond, and Fredericksburg.

March 26, 2017 – Order vs. Chaos, Andrea Goulet

For many of us, orderly lives where we can be in control gives us comfort. But recent research shows that chaos and mess can be a surprising source of creativity, inspiration, and change. In this service, we’ll explore themes of order and chaos from a variety of global perspectives and religions, and maybe help you feel a little more at ease (and even optimistic) about living in a time where nothing seems easy to predict or control.

March 19, 2017 – Jung’s Shadow Side, Rev. Amy Russell & Dorothy Fillmore

Jung describes our unconscious self as containing a wealth of hidden treasures some of which we don’t wish to recognize as part of our self.  This “shadow side” of ourselves may be so horrifying that we hide this part of ourselves so that we don’t recognize when these traits might benefit us.  Many of our ancient myths contain figures cloaked with these traits that we regard with antipathy.  Remember Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde?

March 12, 2017 – Now More Than Ever, Stewardship Sunday, Rev. Amy Russell

Each year during our stewardship campaign, we re-assess our commitment to our church community.  We find ourselves with deep gratitude for what we love about this community and our faith tradition.  The underlying foundation of love, support, and acceptance that we celebrate in our congregation is also writ large in our faith tradition.  Now more than ever, we find we rely on being able to share our ideas freely within an open, accepting community.  But now more than ever, we must invest ourselves in ensuring our vision of our future

March 5, 2017 – Comfort Me, Rev. Amy Russell

Getting through difficult times in our lives often evokes a longing in us.  A longing for a nurturing, loving mother.  Some of us had that kind of mother; some of us didn’t.  How do we find this comfort in our lives as adults when our mothers are aging or gone?  When we find ourselves in that role of the caregiver, not the person receiving care, how do we offer ourselves comfort?

February 26, 2017 – What if God is All of Us?, Guest Speaker

Religious humanism teaches us that the Holy is found within human relationships and our spiritual quest must be to seek to live in right relationship with one another. Our Unitarian Universalist affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person says that the Divine lives inside us all. What if when we look into the eyes of our neighbors we are seeing the “face of God”? Might this help us be kinder and more compassionate?

February 19, 2017 – What Does Activism Look Like Today?, Rev. Amy Russell

As our world changes, so do the many ways of influencing and interacting with our government, our community, and our friends/neighbors.  What represents your way of making your views known?  What is activism and what is just sharing?  We will hear from a few members their preferred method of activism.

February 12, 2017 – Is Atheism a Faith?, Rev. Amy Russell

Many Unitarian Universalists consider themselves atheists, agnostics, or humanists.  What is the difference between these?  If you call yourself an atheist, do you consider that a faith?  What about if you call yourself a humanist?  Meredith Winn will briefly share his perspective.

February 5, 2017 – Home by Another Way: UUs Regarding Jesus, Mary Shelton & Rev. Amy Russell

Many UUs come to our denomination after leaving other religions, most commonly some stripe of Christianity. Sometimes, then, they enter the UU community in struggle with the idea of Christianity – sometimes simply in doubt or disagreement with some tenet or practice, and sometimes with past trauma and real wounding from past spiritual abuse. A lifelong UU, Mary Shelden will offer up some insights from a different Christian path – one where the litmus tests for faith membership that we may have experienced elsewhere have no power or function, and where the teachings of Jesus occupy a right-size place among other wisdom drawn from all the world’s religions and our ethical humanist tradition.

January 29, Laughter, Health and Joy, Sandra Morton

We are certainly in need of a good laugh. This will be an inter-generational service like no other. You’ll laugh and gain information about the innately human gift of laughter that bursts forth with joy, the real health benefits of a good belly laugh and the studies that reveal how the contagious nature of laughter unites us.

January 22 – Transforming Fear into Love with Action, Rev. Amy Russell

Fear about ourselves and our situations often becomes transformed into hate and anger.  In our current national situation, we cannot afford to let hate motivate our action.  Transforming fear into love and allowing that strong motivator to move us into action must be our spiritual force moving forward.

January 15, What is Your Freedom Ride?, Rev. Amy Russell & Worship Weavers

In the spring of 1961, a group of African American and white civil rights activists participated in a series of bus trips through the South testing the 1960 Supreme Court decision that segregation in interstate transportation facilities was illegal. They sat at lunch counters in bus terminals throughout the south using non-violent resistance. These brave citizens brought about social change in a way that has transformed our country. With song and story, we’ll tell their stories and consider how they inspire us to become committed in our own way.

January 8, Letting Go, Rev. Amy Russell

Our new year’s resolutions often are about what we are going to do in the coming year.  Sometimes, we also need to examine if there are things in our lives that need to be jettisoned.  During this service, we’ll participate in a ritual in which we can create intentions for letting go.

January 1 – Power of Silence, Rev. Amy Russell

In the midst of the busy, holiday season, sometimes we lost the peaceful, calm spirit of silence.  Silence can offer us a powerful tool of calming our stress and awakening our inner voice.  This New Year’s Day service will be a calm and meditative moment in the midst of merriment.

Christmas Day – Sunday Service, 11 am (please note the time change)

This will be a Service of reflection on what does Christmas mean to you? Having grown up with Santa and sleigh bells – all merriment and getting presents, we wonder what does Christmas mean to you today? We’ll snuggle down for a late Christmas morning get together, informal and inter-generational.  Wear your ‘jammies and bring your best caroling voice. Everyone is welcome in the service. There is no childcare or programming for children available for this service.

Christmas Eve & Hanakkah Service, Saturday, 6 pm

Please join us for our traditional family Christmas Eve and Hanakkah Service. Stories for all ages and songs we’ve sung throughout our lives. Luminaires and candle lighting all help create a magical Christmas Eve.

December 18 – Celebration of Solstice: the Light in the Darkness, Rev. Amy Russell

At this time of year when we celebrate the darkest night of the year, many of the religious traditions center around the light that we find in darkness.  We will celebrate the solstice traditions and the inner light we find within.

December 11 – Preparing our Way: What does Advent Mean for Us?, Rev. Amy Russell

In Isaiah 40, we are told, “A voice cries out: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD.” What does preparing the way mean for people who are not awaiting the Messiah? Is there a spiritual practice in clearing space in our lives for something new to be born?

December 4 – The Same Old Story… Sort Of

Please join us for our annual “Children & Youth Holiday Program”. The kids of UUCC always look forward to participating in this, one of the most exciting Sundays of the year. This new take on an age-old story will have you laughing, crying, thinking & more! Join us in support of the hard work that the Children & Youth have put in.

November 27 – Families: A Blessing and a Curse, Rev. Amy Russell

As we move into the holiday season, we find ourselves interacting with our families of origin, or sometimes we create new families with people of our choosing. Nevertheless, we are reminded of the great blessing it is to be a part of a family, and how difficult it is. Once again, we are asked to find graceful ways to maintain our balance in this season of supposed joy and peacefulness.

November 20 – With Gratitude, We Welcome Others, Rev. Amy Russell

While there is some contention over which of the early English settlements, Plymouth, MA or Jamestown, VA is the origin of the first Thanksgiving, it’s clear that our forebears founded this country with a feeling of gratitude.  With this gratitude in mind, we offer welcome to those newcomers entering our country from their own countries torn apart by conflict and poverty.

November 13 – UU Family Values, Rev. Amy Russell

On this Sunday, we’ll dedicate some children into our congregation’s midst. And we’ll talk about how Unitarian Universalists have family values that emphasize love, tolerance, and acceptance. Our children’s choir will also have its premiere.

November 6 – Mindful Self-Compassion, Susan Wilkes, Amy Russell

Susan Wilkes, a former member, and a noted teacher at Chrysalis Institute, as well as a psychotherapist, will be speaking to us about how to use the technique of mindfulness in caring for ourselves.  This contemplative service will feature meditation and peaceful music.

October 30 – “Day of the Dead”, Dr. Rev. Cathie Stivers

Dia de los Muertos is a holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to remember, pray for, and support the spiritual journeys of friends and family members who have died.  You are invited to bring a photo of a loved one who has died, as we gather to celebrate and honor our dead.

October 23 – Celebration of the Jewish Holidays, Cantor Fran Goldman

We’ll explore the meaning of the Jewish holiday Sukkot which centers on themes of harvest and God providing for us in times of need. Cantor Fran Goldman will both sing for us and help us understand the deeper significance of these holidays.

October 16 – With Those Who Came Before Us – Rev. Doug McCusker

Rev. McCusker, minister at our neighbor church, UU Fellowship of Fredericksburg, will talk about imperialism, liberation theology and what we can do as inheritors of the current social order.

October 9 – The Happy Wanderer – Deb Downing, Rev. Amy Russell

“I love to go a wanderin’, my knapsack on my back,” begins the camp song, The Happy Wanderer. As a person who finds her spirituality in nature, Deb Downing will share her journey along trails that have offered her and others healing and peace.

October 2 – Being a Healthy Congregation – Rev. Amy Russell, Shared Ministry Committee

What is healthy behavior in a congregation?  What are the characteristics of a healthy congregation? The Shared Ministry Committee will explore these topics with Rev. Amy Russell in this service about healthy congregations.

September 25 – Retreat on the Land

Our Retreat on the Land service is always held outdoors after the congregational retreat which begins on Saturday. Here are the details about the Retreat on the Land.

September 18 – Beginnings and Endings – Rev. Amy Russell

Fall is a time of beginnings which always means something has ended in our lives.  How do we open ourselves to new adventures, new relationships, and new connections while still honoring that which we’ve left behind but is a part of us on-going?

September 11 – In-Gathering and Water Communion

We come together in community, bringing back what we gained from our summer apart.  We’ll share in our Water Communion ritual, everyone bringing a bit of water from your travels. We’ll celebrate water, the source of life, that poured together represents what we all share in community.

September 4 – “The Guesthouse” – Catherine Boyle, Guest Speaker

Mindfulness in the unexpected will be explored this Sunday in a sermon from Catherine Boyle, based on Rumi’s poem by the same title. Catherine is currently attending seminary and serves as the Intern Minister at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond.