Search Committee News; Meet & Greet Jul 24; RE News

This Week at MVUC

July 6, 2022

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

This Sunday's Service
10:00 am In-Person and YouTube

This Sunday's Service:  10:00 am

"What is Faith?"

Rev. Rebekah Savage
One of our shared principles as UUs is the ongoing search for truth and meaning. So, we shall explore together by asking the question: What is faith? Is faith, at its core, unfolding truth, and meaning? Is faith the ongoing search? Is faith trust in something Greater Than Ourselves? Each of us has a different understanding of what faith is and how it transforms our lives—or not.
Let's Gather in Community After Friday's Supreme Court Ruling
TONIGHT! Wednesday, July 6, 6:30 pm, Laura MacCleery's house

Anyone interested is invited to gather outside on Laura MacCleery's patio to be in community, discuss the impact of the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, and to think about possible responses in Virginia over the coming months. Please bring a snack or drink. 

Laura MacCleery 202-489-7147 
8122 Stacey Road, Alexandria Va 22308

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

Celebration Of Life for Betsy Kaufman

July 9, 2022, 11:30 am, MVUC Chapel
Betsy J. Kaufman, age 74 of Alexandria, VA, passed away on Monday, March 28, 2022, at Tel Hai Retirement Community. Born in Lancaster, she was the daughter of the late S. Dale and Elizabeth Long Kaufman. She graduated from Lampeter Strasburg High School, Class of 1965, Keystone Junior College, and Millersville University with a degree in Elementary Education. Betsy was an active member of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church in Alexandria, VA participating in fellowship and outreach activities. In her professional life, Betsy was Deputy Director of the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association for many years, and later was Director of Membership Services and Meetings for the Association of Small Business Development Centers. Betsy planned conventions in major cities all over the country. She was a very outgoing, “take charge” person who was the life of the party. Betsy had a big heart, welcomed all with open arms, and made friends wherever she went. She was a loyal and generous friend to many and a loving aunt to her nieces and nephews. In her free time, she loved reading, traveling, golfing, spending time at the family cabin in Centre County, and caring for her beloved cats. Surviving are 2 brothers: John, husband of Cindy Kaufman of Middleburg, PA, H. Dale, husband of Stephanie Kaufman of Strasburg, PA, and 4 nieces, and nephews: Kristie Kaufman (Mark Toci), Jeremy Kaufman (Kelly), Ashley Ulis (Justin), and Zachary Kaufman (Emily Knapp), and 6 great-nieces and nephews. 
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:30 am on Saturday, July 9, 2022, at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Betsy’s honor to the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Lane, Alexandria, VA 22307.
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
MVUC Member Brian McDonald - Book Signing
This Sunday, July 10, 11:30 am (directly after Sunday worship)

Photo of author Brian McDonaldSunday, July 10th at MVUC at 11:30 (after our regular worship service) MVUC member Brian McDonald will be reading from and signing copies of his new book “The Long Surrender: A Memoir about Losing My Religion.” Books will be available to purchase.

Rev. Dr. Kate Walker called this book an "invitation into vulnerability" in
her review on Amazon and also said: “What a lovely read. I couldn’t put it down! It is written with an accessible, inviting and direct style. It was honest and vulnerable, offering struggles that may help others who are on a similar spiritual quest. I’ve always claimed to be a proud heretic (one who questions), yet growing up, I did not understand that my comfort with asking questions and ambiguity is not the norm in our country. I honestly can’t imagine what’s it like to grow up in the culture that Brian did, until now. Thank you for showing me, from the inside, an important and very different worldview. I truly affirm Brian’s courage to shift his lens so dramatically. What an extraordinary journey.”

All are welcome and light snacks will be provided on the patio outside.

Please RSVP on Facebook at Brian’s event page or contact Kathy McDonald.

Introducing the New Refugee Response Committee!

We are pleased to announce the creation of a new standing committee: the Refugee Response Committee. Members of the Afghan Allies task force realized that even as our work with our Afghan family winds down, other circumstances around the world continue to create refugee crisis situations. Climate change, war, political or economic instability. The Refugee Response Committee will now be a permanent member of the Social Justice Council. The new leadership team (Roberta Finkelstein, Laura Greer, Sara Call, Georgia Pourchot, and Barry Finkelstein) have decided that our first action will be to partner with HIAS (Hebrew Immigration Aid Society) to support a family fleeing the war in Ukraine. We are in the early stages of applying to become an official Welcome Circle and sponsor of a family. We will soon begin raising funds; we need to show proof that we can support a family for at least 6 months. If you are interested in being an early donor contact Barry Finkelstein. Once approved, we will be coming back to the congregation for help setting up a place to live and getting the family acclimated to their new home. Stay tuned for ways you can help once we get going.
Be Alert for Scams!

Someone has been sending emails that appear like they could be from Rev. Christian Schmidt but using an email address that has no affiliation with our congregation. Beware any strange email, especially any email that asks you to buy gift cards or anything else. I will never ask you to buy gift cards in this manner.

Also, I will be away on vacation until mid-July. 

Thanks, Rev. Christian
MVUC Memorial Walks Update
The Memorial Walks is an enduring memorial area on the MVUC grounds dedicated to the remembrance of those we love. Memorialization within the Memorial Walks is open to MVUC members, their spouses, life partners, and immediate family members. Because the number of people who have formally committed to being interred at our Memorial Walks continues to grow, we are undertaking another expansion of the Walks. Installation of the new 60-niche Columbarium, which is exactly like the one that was installed in 2011, will begin shortly.

We had hoped that our recent price increase would be sufficient to remain self-sustaining as is mandated in our charter. However, because the value of our invested money has dropped dramatically and the cost of labor and materials has increased significantly, we must increase our rates a bit more to keep up. Therefore, effective August 1, 2022, the cost for interment at the Memorial Walks is $2,400 per person. The cost for a wall plate only which is used primarily in cases where family traditions call for burial elsewhere is $650. This revised fee structure is needed to ensure the operation of the Memorial Walks into perpetuity. Of note, this fee increase is not retroactive. Therefore, anyone who has already paid for interment or a wall plate or who pays for one before August 1, 2022, will not have to pay any additional costs. To learn more about the Memorial Walks or if you are interested in being interred in the Memorial Walks, please talk to any member of our committee or send an e-mail to
Memorial Walks.

Thank you for your support
Joan Darrah (Chair), Becky Brandt, Lynne Kennedy, Tony Morris, and David Napier,
Memorial Walks Committee
New Visitors Welcome to Visit with Rev. Schmidt!
Sunday, July 24, 11:00 am, Nursery in Meeting House

Are you a recent visitor to MVUC? Do you want to know more about us? We would love to get to know you! Meet and Greet is a great opportunity to chat with Interim Minister Christian Schmidt and a few friendly Membership folks right after in-person service. We will meet, inside in the Nursery area, in the Meeting House. Please respond to MVUC Information if you plan to join us or sign up at the Welcome Table on Sundays!

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 relators 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.
July Share the Plate
July 3, 10, and 17 FACS (Faith Alliance for Climate Actions)
Uniting people from 75 faith communities, FACS works primarily on the local level with the main focus on Fairfax County. County decisions in 2019 for which FACS has advocated for years include:
  • Approval and funding of a Community-Wide Energy and Climate Action Plan
  • Creation of an Office of Energy and Environment, which will include a staff of seven and a one-million-dollar budget to achieve cuts in greenhouse gas pollution county-wide.
  • The County is preparing to seek bids to install solar panels on 200 schools and government buildings. 
FACS continues to work on these issues and others and is a consistent presence at County government meetings and offices.
July 24 and 31 Frog Pond
Frog Pond Early Learning Center is a year-round, full-nature-based preschool serving children 18 months to 5 years old. Located on 2 acres of land adjacent to Huntley Meadows Park, Frog Pond children help to care for a mini-farm that is home to goats, chickens, and other creatures. The kids are immersed in natural settings and make up a diverse school family committed to nurturing our natural world, social and emotional awareness, and inclusion of children with varied needs. Frog Pond is “The Natural Choice for Early Childhood Education”.

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.

Religious Education - Sunday, July 10
For details on summer RE, you can refer to the chart found
Ages 4 – 11 will enjoy exploring a story by Dr. Seuss from a UU perspective. Class begins following For All Ages in the 10:00 am worship service. This week: Hunches in Bunches - Have you ever had trouble making up your mind? Do you want to do something fun when you know you should be getting work done? How do you decide what to do? I bet you have a hunch! 
Students in grades 7 -12 are invited to join the 10:00 am worship. Childcare for ages 2-3 is available at 10 a.m.

Musical Theater Summer Camp Begins Sunday, July 17
Beginning Sunday, July 17,  Ages 4 – 11 will participate in a Musical Theater Summer Camp during the RE class time slot following For All Ages in the 10:00 am worship service through noon. 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.

The Nursery Has Re-Opened!
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. July 3 10 a.m. Off-Site Worship
Sun. July 3 10 a.m. Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months. No RE
Sun. July 10 10 a.m. Religious Education ages 4 - 11, Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
Sun. July 17 10 a.m. RE class for ages 4 - 11, Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
Sun. July 24 10 a.m. RE class for ages 4 - 11, Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
Sun. July 31 10 a.m. RE class for ages 4 - 11, Nursery care for ages 6 - 47 months
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 December 2020, we now reach more than 742 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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