This Week at MVUC

Mount Vernon Unitarian Church
1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria, VA, 22307; 703-765-5950

September 28, 2022

Unitarian Universalist
For Calendars:
  • October 2 - CAT Fall Festival & Vegetarian Potluck
  • October 2 - RE Middle Grades Family Meeting
  • October 9 - Barbershop Concert
  • October 8 - Zoom Cottage Meeting re Search
  • October 9 - Cottage Meeting re Search
  • October 15 - Zoom Cottage Meeting re Search
  • October 16 - Intro to UU & MVUC Class
  • October 16 - Workenanny
  • October 16 - Cottage Meeting re Search
  • October 23 - Cottage Meeting re Search
  • October 30 - UNICEF Halloween Party [?]
  • November 12 - Adopt-A-Highway
  • November 19 - Holiday Shop!
  • December 24 - Christmas Eve Service
This week:
  • Complete the congregational survey for the settled minister search
  • Register to attend a cottage meeting for the search
  • Worship with us on Sunday
  • Volunteer to help or provide a dish for Oct 2 vegetarian potluck
  • Sign up to provide meals for VIC HOP
  • Donate jars to Holiday Shop
  • Create with the Flower Card Artisans
  • Volunteer to plan UNICEF Halloween Party
  • Sign up to facilitate a future TEDTalk
  • Sign-up on Realm!
  • Share job posting with your networks
  • Sign-up to bring flowers for services
  • Borrow or loan rehab equipment

This Sunday's Service
10:00 am Onsite and Online

The Bravest Person I Know

Rev. Christian Schmidt

Often courage isn't about facing down death or fighting a battle: courage is often found in living one's life with authenticity despite considerable pressure to be otherwise.

Two Important Chances This Week
to be Heard in the Ministerial Search!

Complete the Survey by this Sunday

Thanks to those who already completed the survey! If you haven’t gotten to it yet, now’s the time! Please contribute your input no later than October 2, 2022. If you encounter any difficulties with the link, contact Tony Barkume by email at or 571-236-6129.

You are Cordially Invited to upcoming Cottage Meetings

All MVUC members and friends are invited to come to one of 5 cottage meetings hosted by the Ministerial Search Committee that are being held in October.  A cottage meeting is an opportunity to converse with one another, sharing our hopes and dreams for our church and the type of minister we believe will work with us to help us achieve those hopes and dreams.  Large and small group conversation creates a synergy that enables us to build off of each other’s ideas and create a picture of what the Search committee should share with prospective ministers about us, as well as a sketch of what the best candidate for our congregation might look like.

In person cottage meetings will be held in the Fireplace Room in Hollin Hall and are planned for:
  • Sunday, October 9, 11:30am - 1pm
  • Sunday, October 16, 3pm - 4:30pm
  • Sunday, October 23, 11:30am - 1pm
Light refreshments to be served, weather permitting. 
To reduce waste, please bring your name tag if you have one.

On-line (Zoom) cottage meetings will be held at
this Zoom link and are planned for:
  • Saturday, October 8, 10am - 11:30am
  • Saturday, October 15, 10am - 11:30am
Advance registration is encouraged.   You can register for one of the meetings here.   

Childcare will be available upon request to at least one week in advance of the meeting.  
Volunteer to Provide Flowers for an Upcoming Sunday Service
Wih the resumption of in-person Sunday services, comes the opportunity to provide flowers to decorate the Chapel!

Check out the
Flower Signup Genius to pick a Sunday you'd like to bring your choice of a bouquet, a potted plant, or silk flowers; vases are available in the cabinet above the fridge in the kitchen off the Commons.

If you have any questions or may need help to get your flowers to the Chapel, please contact
Annie Montanari at 703-402-3297.
Food and Fellowship - Vegetarian Potluck!
Sunday October 2; after worship in the Commons and on the Terrace

Food and Fellowship! Bring a dish to share and enjoy a vegetarian potluck on Sunday at noon. Join us under sunny skies on the terrace as we explore new tasty dishes from plant based recipes. Click to sign up!

For more about the festival, keep reading!

Climate Action Team Fall Festival
Sunday October 2; after worship in the Commons and on the Terrace

You won’t want to miss out! Tables in the Commons will be filled with information and activities for the whole family! 

Zero Waste Circle will have products for sale, handouts on where to get repurposed items (for free), reducing food waste, and how our new composting system at MVUC works! 

Building and Grounds will have posters on ways that MVUC can reduce its carbon footprint through solar and updating our HVAC system

Plant Rich Diet will offer challenges you can take to lower the amount of meat you eat, quizzes about the impact of diet on climate change, and recipes, restaurant reviews.

Education Circle will offer games for children around recycling and a book raffle!

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions and CAT will offer information on advocacy and on a potential new group focused on localization of food supply and other ways to develop climate resiliency

Of course, we will have a vegetarian potluck at noon, featuring your favorite meatless meals. We will eat on the terrace, weather permitting. Sign up here to bring a dish. We need helpers, too; please contact Martha Dyckes to volunteer.

Hope to see you there!

Join the Flower Card Artisans
Thursdays at 10:30am; Breakfast Room in Hollin Hall

The Flower Card Artisans (previously called Flower Girls) invites you to try out your artistic skills and make some cards with us every Thursday at 10.30am in the Breakfast Room in Hollin Hall. Our dried flower cards have been a staple at Holiday Shop for many years!

Please contact Penny Morgan Stebbins if you are interested - it'll be fun!

Pitch In at MVUC's Fall Workenanny!
Sunday October 16; 9:30am to 3:00pm; MVUC Grounds

It’s our Fall Workenanny, and we’re looking forward to seeing all of you there as we work together to make our Holy Hill safe and attractive.

Please wear work clothes and bring gardening gloves & hand tools if you have them.

Anybody (school kids?) that has paperwork for community service hours, please bring it with you and Derick Spencer, Mike Arnold, or Leah Choudhury will sign it. No experience necessary! 

Lunch will be available for workers at 1:15 pm (as Covid restrictions permit.)

Sign Up and Join the MVUC Team to Serve the VIC HOP Shelter

Time to reach out to our neighbors who need services along the Route 1 corridor. Ventures in Community Hypothermia Program (VIC HOP) provide hot dinners, shelter and nutritious breakfast bags daily for 24 guests during the months of December, January, February, and March.

MVUC is responsible for Thursday nights in December, January, and March.

Annual Training: Fairfax County will schedule the day in November at Rising Hope. All are welcome.

Sign Up: Please use Signup Genius (CLICK HERE). It's easy to use and there's a lot of information there. Or use the signup sheets on the foyer table at the church.

Contacts: 703-346-4401; 703 346 6372

Where: Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church; 8220 Russell Rd. Alexandria, VA 22309 (off
Route 1, opposite ALDI)

Thanks and gratitude in advance for all to join again this excellent long running program at MVUC.

MVUC is Hiring!

MVUC is seeking a new church administrator. The Personnel Committee, made up of Julie Dressing, David Breen and Linda Bohannon, has posted a job description. Please share with your networks!

We have selected a team of church members (Lisa Blair, Linda Burke,  and Carolyn Slenska) to interview the applicants and make a recommendation to the Board.

It may be a few months before we can hire a permanent administrator.  In the interim, Joan Darrah and Lyn Millett have offered to help ensure that all of the tasks normally performed by the Church administrator are distributed to a group of church volunteers with expertise in numerous areas who have offered to help during this time of transition.

We ask for everyone’s understanding and patience during this transition.

"Songs that Never Grow Old"
Concert By Men's Barbershop Chorus

Sunday, October 9, 3:00pm

The Harmony Heritage Singers present a program of patriotic and popular songs from years gone by. The chorus preserves the great American tradition of Barbershop: four-part harmony sung from memory, without accompaniment, in the deep, rich sound of men’s voices. All are welcome; offering taken for Alice’s Kids. For more information, contact: Ron Brandt, 703-765-4779,

Clergy Impersonator Email Scam

Please be vigilant about any email that appears to be from Rev. Schmidt or other MVUC staff, asking you to take some kind of urgent action (purchasing gift cards and replying with the serial numbers, clicking a link or downloading an attachment you didn’t request, wiring money to a specified account, or simply replying quickly).  Impersonating local clergy is a common email scam attempt. In some instances, the sender's name may be correct but misspelled, or it may come from an email that is similar to a staff member's email address. If you receive an email you suspect may be spam, please verify it with staff in person or by phone. 

Introduction to Unitarian Universalism and MVUC Class
Sunday, October 16, 2022; 11:30am to 2:00pm

Coming in Person: Introduction to Unitarian Universalism and MVUC class

Have you been looking to learn more about Unitarian Universalism or about our church? Maybe
you are new, or you would like to learn more. On Sunday October 16 after the worship service, ,
Interim Minister Christian Schmidt and church leaders will present the free Introduction to
MVUC and Unitarian Universalism class.

Learn about our faith and how to become involved at MVUC. The class will be a 2 hour interactive experience, with lots of opportunities to ask questions. A light lunch will be served outside starting at 11:30 am weather permitting. While the class is designed for newer visitors, all are welcome to join.

Please e-mail or if you would like to attend or have questions by October 9. We would be delighted to have 5 or 6 people attend.

Save the Date for Holiday Shop!
Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 9:30am-4pm

SAVE THE DATE: Holiday Shop 2022 on November 19, 2022 from 9:30am-4pm
Holiday Shop is back live and in person! Quilt raffle! Please join us in celebrating the return of our annual Holiday Shop. Tell your friends and family!

We are also looking for volunteers including for set up, check out, and more!

Please contact for questions and interest: Carolyn Evangelista and Jan Speakman (

Jars! Jars! Jars!

Jars! Jars! Jars!

We need to fill your empty jars with chutney.  Please bring empty jars to the kitchen at Hollin Hall and tag them for Holiday Shop. 

Many thanks!

Lifespan Spiritual Growth at MVUC
Adult Religious Education - Children and Youth Religious Education

Lifespan Spiritual Growth continues to make adjustments to our programming in order to serve our whole community in the best way possible under the circumstances.

You Are Welcome Here!

  • All Adult Religious Education classes are open to anyone aged 16 and up unless otherwise designated.
  • Lifespan Spiritual Growth programs are committed to using inclusive language. To find out more about this, or if you have a suggestion, contact the Director of Lifespan Spiritual Growth Ann Richards.
  • If you need help with either Realm or Zoom the two electronic services we use most frequently, please contact Jim Kerr

To discuss any of our welcoming policies, please contact the Director of Lifespan Spiritual Growth, Ann Richards. We look forward to seeing you on the hill!
For a full list of Lifespan Spiritual Growth Programs, including Religious Education for Children, Adult Religious Education, Multigenerational Events, and the LSG Family Calendar, please visit our website.

Religious Education for Children and Youth
Classes for those aged 6 months to 18 years are held on Sunday mornings, beginning in the Chapel with the rest of the congregation at 10 a.m.  After the story for all ages, children will go to their classrooms:

YRUU 10th-12th Grades: Second floor of the Carriage House
Coming of Age 7th-9th Grades: Dining room, first floor of Hollin Hall
Soul Matters Upper Elementary: Morning room on the second floor of Hollin Hall
Soul Matters Lower Elementary: Blue and Green rooms on the second floor of Hollin Hall
Nursery: “Office side” of the Meeting House

Note: Students 2nd grade and younger must be picked up after class by a parent or guardian at 11:15 a.m. and signed out of their classrooms.

For more information contact Director of Lifespan Spiritual Growth Ann Richards at

Should MVUC Hold Our Traditional UNICEF Halloween Party?  We Need a Volunteer!
For the last several years, we have held a Halloween Party that benefits UNICEF.  The Middle Schoolers plan a haunted house tour, and other games and activities are staged for an hour after service on the Sunday before Halloween (this year, October 30).  In order to make this happen, we need someone who is able to help plan a few outdoor games and help coordinate the event.  Plenty of help from staff will be provided, and we have support materials to help with the organization.  Co-planners are welcome!  Please contact Ann Richards if you are able to help at  

TEDTalks are Back!
Rev. Schmidt is continuing his series of TEDTalks on the last Tuesday of each month on the theme of Interim Congregational Work, but we’re saving several months for other MVUC groups to host TEDTalks too.  Those who would like to host a talk in this series may refer to the sign up sheet at TEDTalks Facilitator Sign-up to let us know you’re interested.  In advance of the event, Lifespan Spiritual Growth staff will be in touch with you to make sure all the elements are in place.  Should you have questions, contact Ann Richards at

Register Your Children for Fall RE
Register for RE! To learn more about the programs we’ll be offering this fall, you can check here. Registration does not mean a commitment to attend but does give you information about what’s going on. You can register here.

The Nursery is Open!
Nursery care is available on Sundays during the Worship Service. Nursery care is available for children aged six months through three years. Attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have had a negative COVID-19 antigen test result within 72 hours of attending the nursery. Care will be provided by our professional caregiver, Farhi Choudhury, and an assistant. Children under six months of age may attend the service or remain in the Commons with a parent.

Religious Education Calendar

Date Time Event
Sun. Oct. 2 10:00 a.m. Worship Service in Chapel
Sun. Oct. 2
Sun. Oct. 2
10:00 a.m.
11:15 a.m.
RE classes grades K-12th. Nursery care for ages 6 months- 4 years
Middle Grade Family Meeting in the Hollin Hall Morning Room
Sun. Oct. 9 10:00 a.m. Worship Service in Chapel
Sun. Oct. 9 10:00 a.m. RE classes grades K-12th. Nursery care for ages 6 months- 4 years
Sun. Oct. 16 10:00 a.m. Worship Service in Chapel
Sun. Oct. 16 10:00 a.m. RE classes grades K-12th. Nursery care for ages 6 months- 4 years
Sun. Oct. 23 10:00 a.m. Worship Service in Chapel
Sun. Oct. 23 10:00 a.m. RE classes grades K-12th. Nursery care for ages 6 months- 4 years
Sun. Oct. 30 10:00 a.m. Worship Service in Chapel
Sun. Oct. 30 10:00 a.m. RE classes grades K-12th. Nursery care for ages 6 months- 4 years
Encouraging Signs of Climate Action

Climate work is growing! Here's one example: You have probably heard that the Climate Action Team's Zero Waste Circle has contracted with an organization called Compost Crew to pick up compost from the church on a weekly basis. We have recently learned that Compost Crew's business has grown at a rapid pace. Last year they gained over 2,000 more customers and picked up more than 8 million pounds of compost! We have seen first hand a few of their growing pains when their pickups have not always gone smoothly, but they have been responsive to our issues and have sorted things out to our satisfaction. More people composting food waste in our local area is a win/win and a reason to celebrate!

For more information about composting at MVUC and our zero waste efforts, please contact Christian Reynolds.
Refugee Response Committee (RRC) Fundraiser is a HUGE SUCCESS
Fundraiser continues through September 30, 2022

Thanks to your amazing generosity, the RRC Fundraiser has been a great success! We have raised over $45,000 and will likely get to $50,000. About 80% of the contributions came from MVUC and the additional 20% came from Faithify and other non-MVUC donations.

Because of you, Liza and her two young daughters have moved into a small (912 sqft) house. In addition, thanks to your donations of all kinds of household goods and furniture, this small house has been turned into a wonderful temporary home for Liza and her daughters.   

“… words are not enough to express the extent of my gratitude. I was very pleased to meet all the people. I have tears in my eyes and there are no words for such kindness 
and support from everyone…” Liza from Ukraine

Thank you, Refugee Response Committee
Joan Darrah, Chair, Martha Dyckes, Laura Greer, Lynne Kennedy, Tony Morris

MVUC Care Team
The MVUC CareTeam is a group of community members who volunteer to support MVUC members who are ill, in crisis, or experiencing life transitions.
The support offered goes well beyond casseroles and cards. Over the years, the MVUC Care Team has provided support to meet these important needs:
  • Rides to medical appointments
  • Home and hospital visits
  • Friendly check-ins by phone
  • Orthopedic equipment (call Sandy Peterson, 703-965-2565)
If you know of a community member who needs support or a helping hand yourself, please get in touch with the MVUC Care Team coordinator Pam Unger at 703-965-5111.
Care Team Members: Mary Barnett, Linda Gentile, Helen Haltzel, Barb Jacobs, Sam Longstreet, Jan Macpherson, Susan Mader, Annie Montanari, Sandy Peterson, Brendan Powers.
Care Team's REhab Equipment Loan Closet

Care Team Equipment Loan Program The REhab Equipment Loan program, which is part of the Care Team, receives donated used rehab equipment which is stored in the Hollin Hall basement and is checked out to friends and members of MVUC that may need it. We have wheelchairs, commodes, shower chairs, and many kinds of walkers including rollators and knee walkers, crutches, canes, reachers, etc. After you are done using a piece of equipment, you can return it so others can borrow it. There is no limit to how long you can borrow the piece or pieces of equipment. Recycling equipment is part of our climate action initiative and service to our congregation. Presently all our travel wheelchairs are out being used so if you have one you no longer need and would like to donate, please give Sandy Peterson an email or a call at 703-768-2565.
                     AmazonSmile: Support MVUC while you Shop at Amazon.                         

By taking a few simple steps prior to your next Amazon purchase, you can arrange for 0.5% of your purchase to be remitted from Amazon to MVUC. Log on to, or click on the logo above, and follow the instructions on how to designate your charity. In the blank provided for that purpose, enter “Mount Vernon Unitarian Church” (exactly as shown here, so that your designation matches our registered name in Amazon’s system). Thereafter, always login to rather than when making your purchases.   
Keep In Touch

Moving? Have a new mailing address? New Email? New Phone? Please let us know. Send updates to
This Week at MVUC

MVUC is experimenting with three email newsletters this year:

This Week at MVUC, arriving each Wednesday - focuses on announcementsreminders, and near-term events.  

Windmill Spaces, arriving early in the month - focuses on spiritual life and worship, MVUC ministries, and faith formation.

Windmill Times, arriving mid-month - focuses on church life, MVUC programs, and community happenings.

These newsletters are overseen and edited by the Program Council, church staff, and Communications Council. As of August 2022, we reach more than 790 subscribers with news of our congregation and community. Let's keep growing! 

If you have announcements for This Week at MVUC, please fill out the announcement request form on MVUC's website by noon on Monday of each week. 

If you'd like to contribute to Windmill Times or Spaces (ideas, articles, photos, art, links, video, poems, or editing), please contact
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