View this email in your browser
November 2022

Our mission is to support one another on our spiritual journeys, work for justice, care for the earth, and build the common good. 

In This Issue

Welcome to Windmill Spaces!

Windmill Spaces, one of 3 MVUC newsletters, arrives early in the month and focuses on spiritual life and worship, MVUC ministries, and faith formation.

Past Issues: 
October 2022 Windmill Spaces
September 2022 Windmill Spaces

Past Windmill Times
October 2022 Windmill Times
September 2022 Windmill Times
August 2022 Windmill Times

Latest This Week at MVUC
November 2

MVUC Online

MVUC Website MVUC Website
Friends of MVUC on FB Friends of MVUC on FB
MVUC on Youtube MVUC on Youtube
MVUC on Twitter MVUC on Twitter
Rentals: Hollin Hall Events Rentals: Hollin Hall Events
Directory, Calendar, and Financials - on Realm Directory, Calendar, and Financials - on Realm
Donate to MVUC Donate to MVUC
Update your Stewardship Pledge Update your Stewardship Pledge

Worship Theme of the Month - Change

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."  -Barack Obama
A Welcoming Congregation and Accredited Green Sanctuary
MVUC is a 10+ year Honors Congregation member of 
the Unitarian Universalist Association, Central East Region

In the Interim

November’s theme of the month is Change, and we will be engaging that theme in worship and religious education. Change is sort of what we do in this interim time, but is also simply a fact of life, of course. 
This poem, suggested by the Soul Matters group from whom we subscribe to resources and pull our monthly themes, spoke to me deeply: 
John O’Donohue

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
We will change whether we wish to or not. Our only choice is in how we face that change: embracing it or resisting it. Friends, thanks for being on this adventure of change with me.

In faith,
Rev. Christian

News From Our Music Director, Mark Zimmerman

Hello MVUC Family! 

November has arrived - the official start of holiday celebrations for so many faiths - including here at Mount Vernon Unitarian.

The 13th we will celebrate Veteran's Day.  One of our choir anthems that day will be "I Lift My Lamp," a piece that sets Emma Lazarus's famous poem about the Statue of Liberty to music.  This anthem was written by our own Steve Bogart and premiered at MVUC on November 12, 2017. See below for comments from Steve on what inspired him to compose this piece.    

Our multi-generational worship for Thanksgiving will be November 20th at 10:00am.  There are no RE classes that day, so we'll all be together.   Our Handbell Choir will be ringing for ingathering that day, so be early to enjoy them.  The service will be arranged slightly differently and will feature a table down front. There will be special music from the choir that day as well.  

Holidays are interesting creatures:  some like travel, some like big groups, some prefer just a quiet day at home.  And some like reservations at a restaurant!  However you like, i hope this month starts your season out well.  Do plan to celebrate with your church family as well.

With love,

Composer Moment with Steve Bogart

Click on the image of the choir above to hear a 2017 recording of "I Lift My Lamp." Words by Emma Lazarus; Music by Steve Bogart

Q&A with MVUC member Steve Bogart on the background of "I Lift My Lamp."

Spaces: What motivated the composition of this piece? 

SB: It's always been easier for me to come up with new music than new words, so when composing pieces, I've focused on setting the wonderful words of others to music.

When the ban on travel from Muslim countries was introduced in early 2017, I kept thinking about Emma Lazarus's poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty and especially how its point of view seems to be drowned out in the modern discourse.

Her poem, "The New Colossus" has been set to music many times. The most famous version, Irving Berlin's, is beautiful and transcendent, but it has always felt contemplative to me. My goal was to make a different kind of song: determined, energetic, with a rousing chorus. A song that might even inspire new action (and hopefully be something you could find yourself humming the next day).

Spaces: Thank you, Steve. You have also set MVUC's Covenant, that we say each Sunday, to music in a piece you called "Love is the Teaching." What's next? 

SB: Between parenting a teenager and a full-time job, time at the piano is scarce these days, but I have been working in fits and starts on a new piece. I'm writing the lyrics for this one in addition to the music, but the words are coming slowly, so it'll be a while longer before it's ready.  I intend for it to be a modern UU hymn that everyone can sing together.

The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name: 
Mother of Exiles.

From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips.

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Guest at Your Table at MVUC This Year

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization advancing human rights together with an international community of grassroots partners and advocates.  It is a central part of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s international social justice efforts. 

UUSC's work began in 1939 when Rev. Waitstill and Martha Sharp took an extraordinary risk, helping refugees escape Nazi persecution in Europe.  We can be proud to say that the UUSC continues this work in Migrant Justice, Climate Justice and Crisis Response.  Through UUSC, UUs are at the forefront of the most important social justice projects around the world. To learn more about some of the specific programs they are working on now, you can go to

The longest running fundraising program for UUSC is Guest at Your Table.  Each year, UUs are invited to imagine they are sitting down at their table with some of the people UUSC supports as they work to make a difference.  Four representatives are chosen so we can learn more about their personal stories and how they are making the world better.  These four people are pictured on a cardboard box that you may place at your dinner table.  Each time you pass the table, sit down for a meal, or think about what you are doing to live out your UU principles, you can drop some money in the box.  At the end of the holiday season, you can turn your box in and the money will go to support truly amazing UUSC projects.

This year, MVUC will be handing out the Guest at Your Table boxes during our Thanksgiving worship service on November 20.  Take your box home, talk with your family about the program, learn more about UUSC, fill the box with donations, and bring it back to church on December 18 (Pageant Sunday) or on Christmas Eve, December 24.  Don’t forget to donate to both MVUC and UUSC as you make your end-of-year contributions.  For more information about MVUC’s involvement with UUSC, contact Director of Lifespan Spiritual Growth, Ann Richards at

MVUC and Our Partner Churches -
Part 2 - Szentharomsag Unitarian in Transylvania

See last month's introduction to our Partner Churches in Part 1 of this series.

We have a special connection to our religion in Transylvania because, broadly speaking, Unitarianism started there the 16th century, when King John Sigismund adopted the religion from his advisor, Ferenc David. In those days, the king’s religion was also the faith of the kingdom. Ferenc David debated other religious leaders regarding freedom of religion and impressed the King to create the Edict of Torda in 1568 which stated that everyone was free to attend the church of their own choosing. Ferenc David is most known for his statement, “We need not think alike to love alike.” Ferenc David was eventually killed and martyred for his religious beliefs when a Catholic King came back into power. If we have a Unitarian saint, it is Ferenc David, and we look to Transylvania for the roots of our religious faith.
Our partnership in Transylvania began more than 25 years ago, when MVUC members Janice and Gary Fitzpatrick visited Szentharomsag with their daughter Angela in 1996. Szentharomsag is a small, ethnically Hungarian village of about 1000 people nestled in a beautiful valley. The village’s name in Romanian is Troita. Ironically, Szentharomsag/Troita means three-saints village or Holy Trinity. (Photo credit: Lisa Blair - Levente Lazar, our first partner minister and his wife Erika.)
Janice and Angela met Rev. Levente Lazar, the Unitarian minister. They met many people from the congregation and the village and felt a strong tie to this community and a desire to begin a partnership with them. They talked with people who lived very simply, as subsistence farmers, but with hopes and dreams for their families. Rev. Lazar also had many hopes for the church and congregation and a desire to develop a relationship with an American Unitarian congregation. About one-third of the villagers are Unitarians, although in many ways our partnership extends to everyone there. 
In 1997, our congregation voted at its annual meeting to formally partner with the congregation of Szentharomsag. Over the years, our partnership has strengthened with time and through changes in ministry in both churches. Our current partner minister is Rev. Tivadar Hegedus, who has served there for 15 years. Our partner church service two years ago shared a video message from both Rev. Lazar and Tiva, which was a wonderful way to bring our partnership full circle.

How do we perpetuate and grow our partnership with so many miles between us? In addition to celebrating our shared religion and our trips there, we have helped fund many building projects, offered staff and minister stipends, and given winter gifts to the elderly villagers. We also have a person-to-person scholarship program for the youth, so they can continue their education in trade school, high school and, university. More than 100 people from our congregation have visited Szentharomsag over the years, and we have hosted our partner ministers. I’ve traveled there more than 10 times and consider it my second home and have several second families—there is so much love between us. If you would like to learn more about our partner church in Transylvania or help with student scholarships, please let me know. (Photo credit: Lisa Blair - Rev. Kate and Rev. Tivador Hegedus.)

In faith, 
Lisa Blair
MVUC Board of Trustees
Chair, Partner Church Committee

Upcoming Worship Services

** November 6 - Rev. Christian Schmidt - "The Transient and the Permanent"

** November 13 - Rev. Christian Schmidt - "What We Owe - A Service on Veterans Day" 

** November 20 - Rev. Christian Schmidt & Ann Richards - "Thankful" - multi-generational service

** November 27 - Lay-led service.

Share-the-Plate contributions in November are for Neighborhood Health.
Be sure to get the complete Windmill Spaces! Many email providers truncate this email due to the length. If you use gmail, AOL, etc, please look for a link to the rest of the newsletter at about this point in the newsletter.
Red and blue text over a faded image of a cloth American flag that says "Veterans Day - Honoring All Who Served."

Sampling of Calendar Connections & Links from Soul Matters - November

From the UUA: General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. Please join us Wednesday, June 21 through Sunday, June 25, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and/or online for this 5-day immersive experience where we participate in inspirational worship services and informative workshops, reconvene with friends and colleagues, and explore our bustling exhibit hall. GA is an unforgettable experience for the thousands of UUs who attend. Meet us online or in Pittsburgh and you’ll leave with renewed energy and innovative ideas to share with your congregation and community-at-large!

If you are thinking you might attend and are interested in learning what it means to be a delegate from MVUC to General Assembly, please contact Communications or Rev. Schmidt - we plan to hold information sessions in early 2023. 

Registration is available at Register before March 1 for the lowest rate. Rates will increase on March 1 and again on May 1.
Windmill Spaces

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

As of August 2022, we reach more than 790 subscribers with news of our congregation and community. Let's keep growing!  For more information about our newsletters and to subscribe, see our website.

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 Windmill Spaces (ideas, articles, photos, art, links, video, poems, or editing), please contact
Copyright © 2022 Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp