Ingathering-Register Now; Summer of Action Boot Camp;
Cinema CAT Aug 26; RE News

This Week at MVUC

August 10, 2022

1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria, VA, 22307; 703-765-5950

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

Plastic on the Furniture


Rev. Kimberley Debus
How do we preserve the past and still lean into the future? What do we do with our traditions and histories as we turn toward what lies ahead?

Mark Your Calendar! Register Now!

Ingathering 2022

A Celebration of Community 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

5pm - 8pm

Our annual picnic will be held outdoors in MVUC’s Walled Garden 

Cookout - Potluck Buffet - Fun for All

Please register here if you plan to come!    

Update on Church Administrator Position

Carolyn White, our Church Administrator, will be retiring on August 12th. She has done a fabulous job during her 5 years here at MVUC and will be sincerely missed. We are planning a goodbye celebration for Carolyn immediately after Church on Sunday, August 14th, so everyone will have a chance to express their appreciation and wish her well.

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.

Summer of Action Boot Camp with Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions

Summer of Action Bootcamp: Build your power!

Session 2 - Power Communicating
Monday, August 15, 4-6 pm
We'll do a deeper dive on writing opinion pieces and building access with decision makers and influencers through social media. Register here.

Session 3 - En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator
September 12, 4 - 6 pm
Learn to use MIT and Climate Interactive's Climate Solutions Simulator. We'll also cover the current status of federal climate policies. Register here.
Hum & Strum
Friday, August 19, 6:30 pm, Meadow or Fireplace Nook

Before Summer slips away, let's get together to sing and play some campfire songs and other favorites. Weather permitting, we will be out at the fire pit, and if otherwise, we will be around the fireplace in the Commons. Songbooks with lyrics provided: just bring your voice and any instrument you want.

Compost Collection at MVUC

Compost Crew begins collecting at MVUC! A new compost collection bin has been placed near the big dumpster by the parking lot, just south of the greenhouse. Compost Crew will empty the bin weekly, usually on Fridays.

Before adding materials to the bin, please review the list of acceptable/unacceptable items here: Climate Action Team Drive - Google Drive Look for "The List."

If unsuitable items are found in the bin, the contents will not be collected, and we may have to pay a hefty fine. If you find that you have items that are not suitable for the bin, you can deposit them in the trash dumpster or in the nearby recycling bins.

We are paying for this service, and donations are appreciated. An option to pay via Realm has been established; check the list for CAT Composting. Checks (made out to MVUC) may be left in the CAT mail slot; please note "CAT compost" in the memo line. A donation jar for cash will be added to the CAT tables by the windows in the Commons. Thank you!

Questions and concerns can be sent to Barb Bacon
Cinema CAT (Climate Action Team) Join us to watch Troubled Tributary
Friday, August 26, Film at 7 pm, Discussion at 7:30 pm, Via Zoom

Troubled Tributary explores the beauty and ongoing challenges of Maryland’s longest watershed, from pollution run-off affecting the most vulnerable communities, particularly historically Black communities, to rising water levels and other climate-crisis issues. It features Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman, the only African-American Riverkeeper in the United States whose ancestors date back to Maryland’s first freed slaves.

Join Zoom Meeting 

If you wish to watch it in advance and join us for the discussion only, you can watch it here. Hope to have you join us!
New Visitors, Welcome to Visit with Reverend Schmidt! 
Sunday, August 28, 11:15 am - 11:45 am, Terrace area if weather permits, Nursery in Meeting House

Are you a recent visitor to MVUC?
Please join Reverend Schmidt and a few friendly Membership folks for light refreshments after the Sunday service on August 28. Do you want to know more about us? We would love to get to know you! We will meet, weather permitting, on the Terrace behind the Commons. Please respond to if you plan to join us or sign up at the Welcome Table on Sundays!
Witnessing Worship: A Photographic Study of Faith in Alexandria at Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum

In 1985, MVUC member Nina Tisara documented fifty worship groups throughout the City of Alexandria. The 106 images, now in the Alexandria History Museum collection, provide a portrait of Alexandria’s worship community at that time. The exhibit is on view through September 5, 2022.

Nina photographed worship in many different churches, as well as synagogues and a home where Buddhist monks lived and worshiped. There were no mosques within the city, so none were included. She sought to document “the breadth, variety, and vitality of worship in the city.”  The experience led her to believe that despite the many different paths worship takes, we are all kin.

The museum is open Thursday - Friday, 11 a.m –4 p.m., Saturday – 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

The public is invited to a closing reception at the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, August 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m.   The reception is free, but please RSVP by August 23 at
Easy Green Tip

Easy Green Tips in MVUC’s weekly emails give people ideas on how to reduce their waste. Starting this month, the Zero Waste Circle is taking it a step further by giving members and friends a concrete way to reduce their waste! We now have a clearly labeled compost bin located by the parking lot; an organization called Compost Crew has been contracted to pick up the contents of the bin weekly. They will compost our food waste instead of adding it to a landfill or burning it, as Fairfax County does with our solid waste. If you don’t yet compost your food scraps, once you start, you will be amazed at how significantly it reduces the volume (and smell) of trash that you put out for trash pickup. Best of all, composting enriches the soil and reduces the emission of methane into the atmosphere. Because it is a contract with monthly costs, the church has added a line item for donations to keep this service going. Many thanks to Barbara Bacon for putting this all together!
Summer Music Note: Come Join Us!
Do you enjoy singing, but can’t make a year-long commitment to sing in the MVUC Choir? Come join us in the Summer Pop-up Choir! We’ll be singing on two Sundays - August 14 and August 21. On both Sundays, we'll sing easy music that can be learned quickly - nothing challenging by any means. We do plan to rehearse the Wednesday evenings prior (Wednesday, 8/10 for the 8/14 service and Wednesday, 8/17 for the 8/21 service). Think you might be able to join us for either or both Sundays? Not sure yet, but would like to know more? Contact Linda Davidson.

MVUC Search Committee News

The MVUC Ministerial Search Committee is at work. Members attended a UUA Transitions Office zoom workshop on June 18, 2022, for North American congregations conducting ministerial searches.

The committee met via zoom on June 28, 2022 (despite summer scheduling challenges) and began assigning areas of responsibility ahead of consulting the congregation regarding attributes the congregation will seek in its next minister.

The committee selected Donna Gold to serve as chair and Tony Barkume, vice-chair, two of who had already begun coordinating committee work and drawing on UUA Transitions Program resources.

MVUC Ministerial Search Committee

News from the Zero Waste Group

Vegetable Scraps Stock
Consider making vegetable stock from your vegetable scraps. (Vegetable scraps can be kept in your freezer until you want to use them.) To make a gallon of vegetable stock, soften 5 lbs of vegetable scraps with 2 T. vegetable oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add one bay leaf, 12 whole peppercorns, 2 tsp. dried thyme, 1 T. sea salt, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 2 cloves, and parsley to taste. Cover with water and simmer for 2 hours. Strain and cool. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. 
From "Cooking Scrappy - 100 Recipes To Help You Stop Wasting Food, Save Money and Love What You Eat" by Joel Gamoran

Looking for Restaurants with Plant Forward Options?

Summertime is great for enjoying eating outdoors, whether it’s on a restaurant patio or takeout on your own outdoor space. If you need options, the Plant Rich Diet Team has put together a list of restaurants with vegetarian choices. And we would love to add to our list your favorite places. Go to our Plant Rich Diet Hub for reviews, and send your reviews to Marc Tkach. Bon appetit!

Flower Signup Genius

With the start 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. Any questions, help to get it there, contact Annie Montanari at 703-402-3297.
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.

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.

Register Your Children for Summer and Fall RE
Will your children be in summer or fall RE?  Do you think they might drop into either? Do you just want to know about activities and events that are appropriate for your child? Register for RE! To learn more about the programs we’ll be offering this summer, 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.

RE Teachers Needed for Fall 2022
Teacher volunteers are needed for each of the Fall Children’s RE classes.  Each class has four teacher slots with the intent that each teacher teaches twice per month.  Fall classes are scheduled for 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. each Sunday from September 18 to December 11, excluding the two Sundays in Thanksgiving week.  Training and staff support provided.  Questions?  Contact Ann Richards, Director of Lifespan Spiritual Growth. Please sign up here.

Musical Theater Summer Camp – Live Performance
Sunday, August 14, 5:00 pm, Chapel
Join us for MVUC’s Summer RE program’s presentation of The Bear Went Over the Mountain, a story which helps teach the importance of the journey and self-reflection. Our Summer RE class has spent five weeks learning music, theatre, and choreography for this story which helps teach the importance of the journey and self-reflection.

Religious Education - This Sunday
For details on summer RE, you can refer to the chart found here  

Musical Theater Summer Camp
10:00 until 12:00 Noon (begins following For All Ages in the service)
Ages 4 – 11 will participate in a Musical Theater Summer Camp during the RE class time slot. Camp runs five Sundays through August 14, with a special performance on the 14th.  Our music art professional, Avé Clyburn, will share her love of theater and provide instruction in music, theatre, and choreography. The show? - The Bear Went Over the Mountain is a story that helps teach the importance of the journey and self-reflection.

Summer RE
August 21 and 28

The Dr. Seuss Changed My Life curriculum returns to Children’s RE during the Sunday worship service for the final two weeks of Summer. The King’s Stilts will help us explore the balance between work and play. And, through The Lorax, we’ll be encouraged to remember that we are part of the interconnected web of life.

Children’s RE Classes Begin Sunday, September 18
RE Open House on Sunday, September 11

Mark your calendars for the start of Fall classes. Elementary age classes will use the UUA’s “Soul Matters,” the Middle School class will undertake the Coming of Age program, and High Schoolers will develop and implement socially conscious projects. Families are invited to explore the Fall RE program, meet the teachers, and explore their curricula at the RE Open House on September 11.

The Nursery is Open!
Nursery care is once again 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. Aug. 7 10 a.m. RE class for ages 4 - 11, Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
Sun. Aug. 14 10 a.m. RE class for ages 4 - 11, Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
Sun. Aug. 14 5 p.m. Musical Theater Camp Performance
Sun. Aug. 21 10 a.m. RE class for ages 4 - 11, Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
Sun. Aug. 28 10 a.m. RE class for ages 4 - 11, Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
Sun. Sept. 4 10 a.m. Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
Sun. Sept. 11 10 a.m. Ages 4-11 attend Multigenerational Service. Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months. No RE.
Sun. Sept. 11 11:30 a.m. RE Open House for all children and families
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,
                     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 Carolyn White.
This Week at MVUC

This Week at MVUC is edited by the Church Administrator, Carolyn White. As of July 2022, we now reach more than 799 subscribers with news of our congregation and community. Let's keep growing! Send any information to be published for announcements by Monday of every week. Send e-mail address changes to Carolyn White.
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