This Week at MVUC

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

October 26, 2022

Unitarian Universalist
For Calendars:
Many new adult education classes - see details below
***October 29 - BCT Search Workshop***
October 30 - Celebration of Life - Bart Hewitt
November 2 - VIC Meeting
November 4 - FHP Costume Ball Party
November 5 - FHP Alumni Zoom
November 6 - Fire Drill in Meeting House
November 6 - FHP Open House & Silent Auction
November 6 - New Visitor Meet & Greet
November 12 - Adopt-A-Highway
November 19 - Holiday Shop!
December 24 - Christmas Eve Service
This week:
Register to attend the BCT Workshop for the minister search
Worship with us on Sunday
Offer ride share to visitors to MVUC
Sign up to help get out the vote
Register for an upcoming adult religious education class
Sign up to provide meals for VIC HOP
Sign up to facilitate a future TEDTalk
Set up your account on Realm!
Sign-up to bring flowers for services
Borrow or loan rehab equipment
Buy your quilt raffle tickets!
Invite your friends & family to Holiday Shop!

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


Rev. Christian Schmidt

Monsters have played a prominent role in our stories and literature since the beginning of time. From ancient sagas to modern horror, monsters reflect real fears in society taken to great extremes. We'll explore monsters in our world and how we can put them to flight!

Photo Credit: Software tool Diffusion Bee on text prompt "spooky nighttime tree branches dark creepy purple green." 

Ministerial Search

Have you already decided precisely what the ideal minister looks like?

Holding a fixed idea in our mind of what our next minister should be like could potentially prevent us from seeing which candidate possesses the best set of qualities and attributes—which candidate is the best one for MVUC at this point.

On Saturday, October 29, 9:00am - 12:30pm, Carol Carter Walker will lead a thought-provoking Unitarian Universalist Association sponsored workshop, Beyond Categorical Thinking (BCT). Carol is an experienced speaker and facilitator and brings a wealth of knowledge regarding multi-cultural matters and UU Principles. The workshop is designed to help congregations live our principles and avoid unfair biases in our ministerial search.

Please register to attend here:

A light breakfast will be served at 8:15, as well as snacks during the mid-morning break.

THANK YOU to all the members of the congregation who completed the congregational survey, who participated in cottage meetings, and who participated in the focus groups conducted thus far.
Please Join Fort Hunt Preschool as we Celebrate 60 Years of Learning Through Play! 
Fort Hunt Preschool (our resident preschool) invites the MVUC Community to join us for our 60th Anniversary Celebrations! Whether you are an alumni, friend, or just looking for a fun time, please come!

Friday, November 4th 7-9 pm: Costume Ball Party
Join us for this adult only event. Our Silent Auction will begin (it closes at our Sunday Event). Our Alumni Singers will make an appearance (including former MVUC MRE Rev. Linda Olson Peebles). We will be serving light appetizers and each ticket comes with two drink tickets. $50/ticket or $75 for a pair of tickets.

Saturday, November 5th 5-6pm: Virtual Happy Hour
FHP Alumni are invited to join us online as we celebrate!

Sunday, November 6th 2-4pm: Open House and Festivities
Come to the Carriage House and tour the space. Food, drinks, and activities will be available to purchase. Our Silent Auction will clost bidding at 3:45.

Full details:
Thank You from Buildings and Grounds!
Our Fall Workenanny was Sunday, October 16.  We had volunteers working to clean up our grounds from 9:30am until 3pm.  I wanted to thank all the people who pruned and weeded all around our Holy Hill:  Dick & Sandy Toye, Katherine Fogden, Becky Brandt, Doug MacCleery, Josette Fogden-Hernandez, Brian Lounsbury, Liza, Zlata, & Yeva Pyvovalova, Marty & Anne Bredeck, Steve & Marcus Bogart, Farhat J Chaudhry, Nazia Linters, Nick Marin, Doug Masterson, Margaret Meath. and Shah & Leah Choudhury.  We got a lot done and the grounds look sooooo much better.  (I apologize if I misspelled your name.  And double thanks for anybody I missed.)

For those of you who couldn't make it and would still like to contribute some of  your time to our Holy Hill, there is always pruning and weeding that needs to be done.  You can always pull any vine that is growing up something (wall, fence, tree, bush).  And the beds in front of Hollin Hall and the Meeting House always need weeding.  Even a few minutes of weeding goes a long way toward keeping our grounds looking their best.

Lastly, for those who want to help but just can't -- for whatever reason -- thank you for your love of our Holy Hill.  Maybe next spring.

Leah Choudhury, 
The Buildings & Grounds Committee
Are You a Recent Visitor to MVUC?
Meet and greet - Sunday November 6, after service, Breakfast Porch, Hollin Hall
Please join Reverend Schmidt and a few friendly Membership folks for light refreshments after the Sunday service on November 6. Do you want to know more about us? We would love to get to know you!.

We will meet on the Breakfast Porch in Hollin Hall. Light refreshments will be served. Please respond to if you plan to join us or sign up at the Welcome Table on Sundays!

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.
  • For accessibility/inclusion questions, information and assistance for both adults and children, contact Director of Lifespan Spiritual Growth Ann Richards.

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!

**NEW THIS MONTH** - Adult Religious Education Announcements and Opportunities

MVUC is proud to announce that the Adult Religious Education (ARE) program has been re-configured following the COVID19 shutdowns and re-openings. We’re beginning with some exciting new changes.  First, a number of new offerings are being planned.  You are invited to take your time and peruse these programs in our weekly announcements and newsletters. An initial list of upcoming programs is below. Second, we’re expanding our collaboration with the Davies UU Congregation; we will be opening up more of our Zoom programs to their participation and sharing and participating in more of theirs (Davies UU offerings are marked with a blue heart 💙 below.)  

TED Talks Discussions - Additional Facilitators Are Welcome!
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

Mindfulness in Nature

Thursday October 13, 20, 27, November 3 and 10. 3:00 p.m.; meet outside by the Hollin Hall kitchen door. The class will be outside in its entirety. 
This is a class designed for experiencing nature on our own beautiful grounds. In the course of about one hour, participants are led through an initial exercise in settling and attunement, and then encouraged to take a chair or mat wherever they wish, to look and contemplate (and perhaps write or photograph) as they choose. A notebook will be provided. Then we will reassemble to have a brief discussion of our experiences. Chairs will be provided, but since freedom of exploration is a plus, bringing a folding chair of your own, or a mat, might be good. We will postpone if it is raining. This class is led by Angela Hiebert, an “old lady artist and contemplator” who is a long-time member of MVUC.  
For more information, contact
Register here:

💙ADORE: A Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity -- Offered by Davies UU
Second Fridays, 7-8:30 p.m. On Zoom
ADORE is a signature program of the Davies community and central to our 8th Principle work as we focus on dismantling racism and systems of oppression. Gatherings often include brief readings or videos followed by a facilitated conversation. These sessions are facilitated by DUUC members Sheri Verdonk and Daniel Whalen.
You can access the online gathering HERE.

Contemplative Group
Sundays at 9 a.m. at MVUC Hollin Hall, Sun Porch and on Zoom
Deepen your spiritual life through contemplative practice with a supportive group. We begin with a reading from a spiritual tradition followed by a period of silent meditation, closing with a brief discussion of the reading and contemplative practice. Whatever your background and experience, you are welcome any Sunday and do not need to register in advance. Contact: Jim Kerr,

💙Thoughts about Prayer -- Offered by Davies UU
Fourth Wednesdays at 7 p.m. On Zoom
This monthly gathering invites participants to explore the nature and meaning of prayer in our daily lives and how it strengthens us as Unitarian Universalists. In a faith tradition that has sometimes been dismissive of the practice, we'll uncover the benefits of prayer in our own liberal, open-minded, always-curious congregation. Facilitated by DUUC member Steve Loudermilk.
You can access the online gathering HERE.

Hot Topics in Parenting Teens and Young Adults
Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m.  October 26*, November 2, 10, and *16 - first and last sessions (*) are in person; others on Zoom.
Join other parents of teens and young adults to discuss spiritual growth and daily life even as a family grows and changes.  This group references The Big Life Journal, and is facilitated by MVUC member Cheryl Sabo.
Register here:

💙Readings in Unitarian Universalism -- Offered by Davies UU
Tuesdays at 7p.m., October 11 and 18 and November 8, 15, and 22. Note date change. On Zoom
A five-week series of conversations centered on readings from the Unitarian Universalist tradition, past to present. A great opportunity for those new to the faith, and for those who want to take a deeper dive into our rich heritage. Facilitated by Rev. Norman Allen of Davies UU.
Register here:

💙A Visit With Poetry -- Offered by Davies UU
Saturday, January 14, 4 p.m. On Zoom.
A one-time, online opportunity to enjoy the work of well-known poets, discuss the poetry process, and share some written-on-the-spot poetry by you! Facilitated by DUUC member Hiram Larew.  
Register here:

💙Exploring "The 1619 Project" -- Offered by Davies UU
Wednesdays, January 18, February 1 & 15, at 7p.m. On Zoom.
Living into our commitment to the 8th Principle, we'll explore the riches of "The 1619 Project," which seeks to reframe American history with the institution of slavery at its core. Specific chapters of this expansive work will be selected and discussed within the context of the book's larger themes. Participants can attend all three sessions or choose those that interest them most. Facilitated by DUUC 8th Principle Committee members Linda Gravely, Sandy Greenberg, and Sheri Verdonk.
Register here:


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

Volunteer Individual Assistants Needed
MVUC’s commitment to inclusion is a big part of religious education at all levels.  We are currently looking for 2-4 Individual Assistants who will accompany children on the autism spectrum to class and assist them in participating in however the child is able.  This is a once-a-month commitment, training is provided, no class preparation is necessary. Please contact Ann Richards at to volunteer.

Halloween Events Canceled
The Haunted House and Musical Cakes game planned for October 30 have been canceled due to a lack of volunteers.  We hope to be able to enjoy them next year.  Please consider helping out at the Holiday Craft Workshop, Caroling Sing Along and Pinata on December 3 so we can enjoy these favorite traditions.  To help contact Jim Kerr 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.

Children's Religious Education Calendar 

Date Time Event
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
Sun. Nov. 6 10:00 a.m. Worship Service in Chapel
Sun. Nov. 6 10:00 a.m. RE classes grades K-12th. Nursery care for ages 6 months- 4 years
Sun. Nov. 6 11:00 a.m. Fire Drill in Meeting House (Chapel and Nursery)
Sun. Nov. 13 10:00 a.m. Worship Service in Chapel
Sun. Nov. 13 10:00 a.m. RE classes grades K-12th. Nursery care for ages 6 months- 4 years
Mon. Nov. 14 7:30 p.m. Lifespan Spiritual Growth Monthly Meeting via Zoom
Sun. Nov. 20 10:00 a.m. Multigenerational Worship in Chapel-No RE
Sun. Nov. 27 10:00 a.m. Multigenerational Worship in Chapel-No RE
Welcoming New Visitors to MVUC - Can you Offer a Ride?

The Membership Team and the Care Team occasionally receive requests from new visitors to get a ride to services and events. Unfortunately, there are no good public transportation options to our church.

If you are willing to offer an occasional ride, please contact Linda Burke at Thank you.
Quilt Raffle News

This year’s raffle quilt, “Bears in the Blueberries!”, is up in the sanctuary!  Get your tickets now on Realm for the drawing to be held November 19, 2022 at Holiday Shop.

Tickets are $3.00 each. In addition to Realm, tickets will be sold before and after Sunday services in the next few weeks - or you can talk to a quilter about purchase. 

If you have questions please contact Nancy Barkume - or 703-360-3203
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.
Celebration of Life Service for Bart Hewitt
Sunday October 30, 2022, 4:00pm at MVUC

A Celebration of Life for Bart Hewitt will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2022, at 4:00 pm. A reception will follow. Condolences may be sent to: Evelyn Hewitt,7446 Spring Village Drive, Apt T07, Springfield, VA 22150 and Jim and Chris Hewitt, 7905 Fairfax Road, Alexandria, VA 22308. Please see the obituary below.

Frederick B. Hewitt (Bart)
December 19, 1936-October 2, 2022

Bart Hewitt died peacefully at his home in Greenspring Village, Springfield, Va. on October 2, 2022, from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.    

Bart was born in Newark, NJ to Walter N. Hewitt and Manetta Zimmerman Hewitt and grew up in Maplewood, NJ.  His life as a youth was filled with music; both parents were professional musicians, and he became an accomplished brass player.  His youth was also filled with the love of the outdoors where he enjoyed fishing, hiking, camping; he was very proud of becoming an Eagle Scout.  Summers were spent working in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

After graduating from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Bart entered the US Army Band where he played the euphonium for eight years; after leaving TUSAB, he entered the new field of computer programming and had a long career with Defense Information Systems Agency.  At his retirement from DISA he was awarded the Exceptional Civilian Service Award in recognition of his service.  He continued his musical career by serving as a Minister of Music in several churches in the area over a period of more than 40 years and by singing in The Washington Bach Consort and Choral Arts Society.  In retirement years, Bart continued to enjoy music, all terrain biking, traveling, sailing, and kayaking.  

Bart is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Evelyn Hernandez Hewitt; a son, James Hewitt; a daughter Laura Ackley (Steve); a grandson, Chris Hewitt; a brother-in-law Donald Barnes (Kathy) and nieces Neely Barnes and Jackie Wesley (Frank).   He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Carol Barnes, and his daughter-in-law, Julie Philbrook.  

A celebration of Bart’s life will take place at 4pm on October 30, 2022, at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria, VA 22307.  Contributions in Bart’s memory may be made to Greenspring’s Benevolent Care Fund.  Checks should be made payable to “Greenspring Village Inc. BCF” and mailed to Greenspring Philanthropy, 7430 Spring Village Drive, Springfield, VA, 22150.   Please indicate in the memo section of the check in whose memory the donation is being made.  For credit card donations, please go online at:
Get-Out-The-Vote Opportunities

UU the Vote DC, MD and VA

North Carolina Phone Banking with UU Justice Ministry of NC & Carolina Jews for Justice

Thursdays, October 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th & November 3rd.
UU the Vote DC, MD, VA hosts the phone bank on the 20th! To learn more:

New North Carolina Project Text Banks

Thursdays, October 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th & November 3rd.  To learn more:

For more information, contact Matt Charpentier.
Ventures in Community - Rte. 1 Housing Issues
Meeting hosted at MVUC, Wednesday November 2; 11:30am to 1:00pm

Homeless in a Heat Wave (a new survey) & The Insecurity of Our Mobile Home Communities
Plus: Actions you can take to help


  • MVUC member Mary Paden, Chair South County Task Force and Housing Committee of Fairfax NAACP
  • Leah Tenario, Hispanic Ministry of Good Shepherd Catholic Church
  • Tenants of Engelside & Rays Mobile home park on the impending sale of their park

Wednesday Nov. 2, 2022 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (open to all)
Light lunch provided.

MVUC is a member of Ventures in Community.
For more information, contact

Sign Up to Serve the Hypothermia Outreach (VIC HOP) Shelter

Many have eagerly volunteered to support Ventures in Community Hypothermia Outreach Project (VIC HOP) at the Rising Hope Shelter. Wonderful news!

December ‘slots’ are full on Our MVUC Sign Up Genius Calendar for all breakfast bags and dinners! In
January and March many have signed on too. Big, heartfelt thanks to all.

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. Or call/text us and we will update the signup
genius. Contacts: 703-346-4401; 703-346-6372

Dates still available and needed are:
Breakfast Bags: January 19, March 16, March 23, March 30
Dinners: January 5, January 12, January 19, March 2, March 9, March 30

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

Thanks and gratitude for all volunteers for this excellent long running program at MVUC,
Helen and Brian Lounsbury

Holiday Shop is Back!
Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 9:30am-4pm

We are ramping up our activity to have a fabulous November 19 Holiday Shop day!
The Every Thursday team, under the purview of Martha Dyckes, have begun making their fabulous relish and will be baking on Thursdays for some weeks yet. Barbara Jacobs will be looking for home baked goods - please donate your favorites. Folks come in the hopes they can get a treat and maybe a reprieve from Thanksgiving cooking so let’s give them what they want.
Our delicious lunch will yet again be offered by Mike Walker and his team. They will be in a tent this year which will allow for everyone to spread out. Betty’s Boutique, a collection of household items, will be full as we have been accepting goods for the past two years. Under Ruth Ann McCleery’s keen eye fair prices will be asked for these magnificent items, whether new or previously loved.  Carolyn Slenska will again be offering a sparkling display of antique jewelry.
Returning vendors, along with new additions, will offer a fabulous range of arts and crafts. We have the classics of French Linen, Soy Candles, Soaps, Jewelry, and wooden creations which are joined by new artisans offering unique wreaths and paper goods, and many gift ideas and Christmas decorations. MVUC's own Flower Card Artisans and Book Nook will also have a table. We have space for a few more if you know of anyone interested. 
The Quilters, led by Nancy Barkume, have excelled yet again with their “Bears in the Blueberries” quilt and it is on view in the chapel. You may purchase tickets early through Realm at this link.  Paper tickets will be available at a later date and sold on the day. The drawing will be in the Chapel November 19 at 3.45pm.
For a successful Holiday Shop, we need help before and on the day. Please sign up for whatever time you can spare either in person or contact Jan Speakman
Lastly, advertising is expensive and while we are going to run ads, please promote this event through social media or word of mouth to friends, family and neighbors. I will have 9 lawn signs available, October 31, for those who are in a prime location. Let me know if you are one of those people. Others, please Click and print out the poster to share in your communities and share this event on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you there!
“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” 
Author Unknown

In Community,
Jan Speakman
MVUC Care Team
The MVUC Care Team 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 you need a helping hand yourself, please get in touch with the MVUC Care Team coordinator Pam Unger at 703-965-5111.
Care Team Members:
Becky Brandt, Linda Gentile, Helen Haltzel, Barb Jacobs, Lakech Kebede, Sam Longstreet, Jan Macpherson, Susan Mader, Marianne Martz, Annie Montanari, Sandy Peterson.
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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