UUFNRV Calendar
Sunday Services: 1999

September 5, Reverend Christine Brownlie: If You're Not a Church, What Are You? When I was in seminary, my classmates were generally baffled by the UU approach. One of the ongoing questions was our understanding of ourselves as a religious body. Are we religious, are we a “body”?

September 12, Reverend Christine Brownlie: The Days of Awe. Our Jewish brothers and sisters are in the midst of their sacred time of reflection and repentance. Today we will touch our religious roots through the writings of Rabbi Abraham Heschel.
The UUFNRV Choir will sing "Simple Gifts" at the 10:30 a.m. service.

September 19, 9:00 a.m., Michele James-Deramo, Director, Service-Learning Center at Tech will define service learning and address the question How do we engage the youth of today so they will become good citizens tomorrow?
10:30 a.m., Reverend Christine Brownlie: Living with Joy and a Broken Heart. She'll be talking about how grief affects us throughout our lives.

September 26, Morton Nadler, Fellowship member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends: The greatest creation story ever told. Nothing can equal the sweep and drama of the still unfolding story that modern cosmology can tell. As a bonus, the 10:30 service children's time will feature a little known creation story from a remote corner of the world.

October 3, Reverend Christine Brownlie: Hands to Work, Hearts to God. The Shakers attempt to live so that every element of their lives is an expression of their connection to the holy. As this unique community comes to an end, how might their values of simplicity and self giving live on in a time of self focus and complexity?
The UUFNRV Choir will sing at the 10:30 a.m. service.

October 3, Reverend Christine Brownlie: Hands to Work, Hearts to God. The Shakers attempt to live so that every element of their lives is an expression of their connection to the holy. As this unique community comes to an end, how might their values of simplicity and self giving live on in a time of self focus and complexity?
The UUFNRV Choir will sing at the 10:30 a.m. service.
Our Teacher Dedication will be held during the children's time at the 10:30 a.m. service. We hope you will attend — you will be showing your support for the generous commitment our teachers are making for our children.

October 10, 9:00 a.m., Christiansburg Institute: An Educational Legacy. Marcy Schnitzer, Virginia Tech's Asst. Director of Tech's Service Learning Center, and Elaine Carter, doctoral student and CI alum. Christiansburg Institute, the first high school for blacks in Southwest Virginia, served the community for 100 years between 1866-1966. History has told the story of slavery, and of civil rights, but it was education that played a key role in blacks becoming citizens in a democratic society. This is the story of the Christiansburg Institute.
10:30 a.m., Rev. Christine Brownlie: Living in Covenant. The word "covenant" is being used more and more as UUs talk about their relationships. Next week, we will be engaged in a process of creating a covenant between the minister and the congregation. What is a covenant, and how might a covenant change our shared life?
You are invited to our first annual RE Open House immediately following the 10:30 a.m. service. This will be a chance not only for parents to be able to meet and talk with their child(ren)'s teachers, but for members of the Fellowship to visit the classrooms and learn more about our RE program.

October 17, 9:00 a.m., The journey of learning through teaching. Halli Bourne, director and founder of Imagine Foundations, a local non-profit theater organization, discusses discovery of herself through her students and the partnerships which make that possible.
10:30 a.m., Rev. Christine Brownlie: Instead of talking about topics reflecting on the fact that today is Reformation Sunday, Chris presented us with a summary of the Start-up Weekend just completed..
The UUFNRV Choir will sing at the 10:30 a.m. service.

October 24, The Quest for Peace. Howard Friedman, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut. He will share his personal experience in working for world peace and speak about challenges to lasting peace in the new millenium. He is currently executive secretary of IPPNO, an organization of philosophers and concerned individuals dedicated to peace and the elimination of nuclear and other threats to global existence. He is visiting the NRV this weekend to participate in a conference of the Concerned Scientists for Peace at Radford University.

Members Liz Austin and Goldie Terrell will do a cello duet during the 10:30 a.m. service.

October 31, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Ghost Stories. In his book Ulysses (which, by the way, I haven't read) James Joyce says, “We walk through ourselves meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brother-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.” We all carry ghosts within us that we'd like to exorcise. Personal storytelling is a way that we can at least meet the ghosts and goblins that haunt us. Several of the middle school students will be participating in the service. Joseph Brozovsky, Michael Holland will light the chalice, Emily Pfeiffer will play Sentimental by David Karp. Byron Smith will assist with hospitality.

November 7, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Zen Sayings of Jesus. Author Kenneth Leong says that Jesus was as much a Zen Master as he was a Jewish Rabbi. Many of his sayings have the same paradoxical qualities as a koan. I find that this approach has given me some new insights into some of Jesus' more impenetrable sayings. Was Jesus another enlightened teacher?
Garrett McAuliffe will sing during the 10:30 a.m. service.
Informational Meeting (on the year 2000 budget) after the second service. Child care provided.

November 14, 9:00 a.m., Discussion of the future focus of this time slot in our Sunday worship. (See Revisiting our Two-Service Format in the November UUFNRV newsletter.)
10:30 a.m., Rev. Christine Brownlie: A House Divided? If you've been reading some of the messages about anti-racism that have been sent out by the various UUA organizations and affiliates, you may be feeling confused. Will anti-racism training work, or is it a mistake? I will try to clarify the positions set out by both sides so that we can have a more informed discussion about our approach to the problem of racism and what we can do about it.
The UUFNRV Choir will sing at the 10:30 a.m. service.
Congregational Meeting (on the year 2000 budget) after the second service. Child care provided.

November 21, Rev. Christine Brownlie will preside at both services,.
9:00 a.m., As She Lives and Breathes. The Gaia Hypothesis says that the earth and it's inhabitants are in a mutual relationship of evolution and accommodation. What might this mean about choices we make and how we understand our relationship to our Mother?
10:30 a.m., How to Make Stone Soup. What!! You've never tasted stone soup? The children invite you to taste this rare and delightful treat this Sunday after they show you how to make it. It's cheap, easy, and it builds community! We will also dedicate Kiera Anne Rosette Eriksen-McAuliffe, daughter of Karen Eriksen and Garrett McAuliffe. This is an Intergenerational Service -- no RE classes.
Member Suzana Muller and her friend Laura Pole will provide Special Music during the 10:30 a.m. service..

November 28 (10:30 service only!) Thanksgiving: The Legacy and the Leftovers A short service which will include seasonal hymns, poetry and readings will be followed by a potluck brunch. Bring a favorite brunch dish to share buffet-style. RE classes will meet during the service.

December 5 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: I'm Not Religious, but I'm Very Spiritual. People often say this to me and I always wonder what they mean. What's the difference between religion and spirituality and where do you fit?
Welcoming New Members:
at the 10:30 a.m. service.

December 12 (both services), Irene Lamb, Fellowship member and NCBI facilitator: Walking the Walk: stories from my work with NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute). Irene Lamb will share stories from her training that will help form an understanding of guilt-free prejudice reduction work and why it's needed everywhere.

December 19 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Why Not a Star? Is the Christmas story true? It all depends on what kind of truth you you're after.

December 26 (10:30 a.m. service only!) Morton Nadler, Fellowship member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends: The Roman God Janus was two-faced. The head on the great seal of Morton's alma mater, CCNY, had three faces, corresponding to the school motto: respice, adspice, prospice. In English, it sounds like re-spice, ad-spice, pro-spice (“spice” as in Texas Pete) and freely translated, we can say: look to the past, look to the present, look to the future. At this end of the year, for all but purists the end of a century, and of a millennium, we have the duty to do just that. (That's a tall order, but Morton does not shrink from tall orders.) There will be no RE classes, but childcare will be available.



UUFNRV Calendar
Sunday Services: 2000

January 2 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Some Human Qualities for a New Millenium . We may be entering a new millennium, but we will certainly meet some of our old ways of thinking, feeling, and being. These old friends and enemies are sure to greet us in familiar and unexpected places. Perhaps as we understand them better, we can use them to enhance our lives. This lighthearted sermon draws from J. Ruth Gendler's The Book of Qualities.

January 9 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: UUFNRV in a New Key. At the Service of Installation, the Rev. Diane Miller gave a sermon titled “Ministry In A New Key.” She spoke about the shift that we are making from a family or pastoral congregation to a program congregation. What does this mean and how will our beloved community change as we continue to grow?

January 16 (both services), Linda Ferguson: The program will examine how we see our work as a spiritual endeavor and how we can work with others to grow spiritually. The basic component for working spiritually is to see your work done in Loving Service. Music and presentation will be done by Linda Ferguson, member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke and professor of business at Hollins University.

January 23 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Martin Luther King Jr., Scholar. We know MLK as a minister, a social activist, and an outstanding orator. He was also trained to be a scholar who used the words of great minds and great literature to give life to his dreams of racial equality.

January 30, Rev. Kirk Ballin: 9:00, Loose Change. That stuff jangling around in your pocket or collecting in the jar on your dresser or hibernating on your car floor may have some spiritually symbolic significance :-)
10:30, Conflict By Design. Communities dread conflict; they see it as a threat to all they stand for. Let's put it in its place, UU style. Rev. Ballin was ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1983. He has served in the Unitarian Church in Meadville, PA and most recently for 12 years at at the UUCR in Roanoke. Presently he is the quarter-time minister for the Lynchburg VA church.


February 6 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Whose Idea Was This? When UUs are asked what we believe, we often turn to our Principles and Purposes to explain our free faith. Today we'll talk about how this statement was developed and who was involved in this work. Over the coming months we'll be looking at this document more closely to discover how it asks us to live as people involved in a free and responsible search for truth.

February 13, Morton Nadler, Fellowship member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends: Giordano Bruno: Humanist and Unitarian. February 17th is the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of Giordano Bruno, Unitarian, humanist, enemy of all the stuffed shirts in early Renaissance Europe. Morton offers us a review of his life and work.

February 20 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Let It Be A Dance! UU poet Ric Masten writes about love in ways that open my eyes and my heart to life, to people, and to the messiness that's at the core of the human condition. Now that the sweet taste of Valentine's Day has washed over us, let's look at love, relationship, and love through the words of this “professional authentic person.”

February 27 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Magic Words. Words are some of the most potent tools we have for changing ourselves and for building relationships despite differences. As I write this, I'm reading a fascinating book by sociologist Daniel Yankelovich that helps me see how to do this and I can't wait to share it with you.
The UUFNRV Choir will sing at the 10:30 a.m. service

March 5 (both services), Christiansburg Institute: Voices from the Community. Marcy Schnitzer, Virginia Tech's Asst. Director of Tech's Service Learning Center, which has a partnership with the CI, and Elaine Carter, doctoral student and Christiansburg Institute alumnus (class of 1948), who talked at a 9:00 a.m. service in October about the history of the Christiansburg Institute, are returning. This program will emphasize “our desire to involve citizens in the redevelopment of the Institute. We will discuss projects and needs in which people can become involved.” They have agreed to stay and continue this discussion over lunch.

March 12 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: UU Women of the Wild, Wild West. When the West was being settled, Unitarian congregations sprung up in wild and wooly towns of Ohio and Wisconsin. It was the women ministers who braved the rigors of western life and carried the message of liberal religion to the frontier. Rev. Brownlie will tell their story.

March 19 (both services), Karen Eriksen, member and a professor of counseling at Radford University, Accountability and Interdependence over Independence in the Church. Karen goes on to say about herself that she is “a recovered fundamentalist, a committed Christian with experiences in a socially active and interpersonally and spiritually accountable church.”
At the 10:30 service, Karen and Garrett Mcauliffe will perform “River” by Bill Staines and one Irish song.

March 26 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Religion in an Age of Disbelief. We live in interesting times. The discoveries of science and the developments of technology are challenging the foundations of traditional religion. Yet all over the world, fundamentalism and new religions are both on the rise. What is the place of religion in our scientific, post-modern time?

April 2 (both services -- Times are Daylight Savings Time!), Rev. Robert Hughes: Meditation and Movement. Drawing on Tai Chi as an “embodiment” of Taoism, this sermon explores intentionality and awareness as essential to ongoing spiritual growth. Rev. Hughes is the minister of the UU Church of the Shenandoah Valley, near Winchester, Virginia. He is a student of Tai Chi and authored a chapter on movement and meditation in Everyday Spiritual Practice, edited by Rev. Scott Alexander.

April 9 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Fools and Money. April 15th is drawing close and money is on our minds. For many of us, the topic of money is painfully difficult. For me, this difficulty keeps me from utilizing this resource as effectively as I might for my own life and to benefit others. I'd like to talk about our challenges and some ways we might get a handle on this topic.
Special Music: Liz Austin (cello) and Goldie Terrell (flute) will play Bach at the 10:30 service.

April 16 (both services), Morton Nadler, member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends, The Evolutionary War. Stephen Gould is almost as well known a science popularizer as was Carl Sagan. His theories of evolution are under attack from the right and from the left. What is the scoop on this? As usual, Morton tells all. Rev. Brownlie will lead us in a Child Dedication during the 10:30 a.m. service.

April 23 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Easter Sunday Being Born Again Jesus often said that to enter the kingdom of God, we must be born again. To me, this is the essence of the Easter story. On this holy day, let's explore what it means.
The UUFNRV Choir will perform during the 10:30 a.m. service.

April 30, 9:00 service: Delegate Benny Keister (Radford, Pulaski County and part of Giles County), will share his impressions of successes and failures in the recently ended session of the General Assembly. Mixing healthy doses of determination, realism and humor, Delegate Keister will share anecdotes which characterized his experience as a freshman in Richmond.
10:30 a.m. service: YRUU Sunday. Diversity: a tapestry of tangents. This presentation will explore their own experiences having a different orientation to life than many of their peers. The service will include music, story, poetry, and the famous rainstorm.
Congregational Meeting will start at 11:45 a.m. (see story below)


May 7 (both services), Rev. Dr. Barry Whittemore : Praises Sung by a Suffering Heart. Turning to his favorite sources: the Wisdom Literature and Psalms of Hebrew Scriptures, Rev. Whittemore tackles the perennial questions of human suffering and divine justice, of ancient authorities and modern UU faith.
Rev. Brownlie will lead us in a Child Dedication during the 10:30 a.m. service.

Rev. Dr. Barry Whittemore is a former member
of the UUFNRV and adjunct instructor at New River Community College. In his earlier life he earned degrees from both Virginia Tech and Radford, and more recently from Carnegie Mellon and M.Div., Duke. Currently, he is the minister of the Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Gray, Tennessee, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Catawba Valley in Hickory, North Carolina.
May 14 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Our Humanist Heritage. In the early 1900's, humanism swept the Unitarian churches. Within a few years, Universalism had also felt the effects of this movement. What is humanism and what place does it have in a “religious” community?
There will be a Welcoming Ceremony for New Members during the 10:30 a.m. service.

May 21 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Our Bishop. Ralph Waldo Emerson referred to William Ellery Channing as our bishop. The Rev. Jack Mendelsohn calls him a “reluctant radical.” In my eyes, he is one of the great heroes of liberal religion in America. Come meet this extraordinary and very human man.
The UUFNRV Choir will perform during the 10:30 a.m. service.

May 28, 9:00 service: Rev. Kirk Ballin 9:00, Loose Change. What does that jar of change on the dresser, that change jangling in our pockets, that change knocking around inside our bags have to tell us about spiritual growth?
10:30, Conflict By Design. Most communities dread conflict. It's considered to be the nemesis of a healthy community. Come listen to another perspective..

Rev. Kirk Ballin (May 28) was ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1983. He has served in the Unitarian Church in Meadville, PA and most recently for 12 years at the UUCR in Roanoke. Presently he is the quarter-time minister for the Lynchburg, VA, church.

Kirk Ballin was unable to speak because of a family emergency. Fellowship member MK Johnson filled in for him giving a talk in the spirit of Memorial Day about vererans, war, peace, etc.

June 4: 10:30 a.m. Service Only! We follow our annual tradition of closing our regular-year programs with a Flower Communion, where everyone brings a flower and takes a different one home. At this intergenerational service, we honor our Sunday School teachers, our Board members, and all who have contributed to the life of our community.

At the service we will also recognize significant transitions in the lives of children and adults. If you have a child entering kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, please contact Kristine Reid. Adults who have marked a significant transition this year should contact Rev. Christine Brownlie.

June 11: Bob Richards: Growing up is hard to do. Is it worth it? A reflection on the value of the child in all of us and the value of regression. Bob is a transition resource specialist with the Department of Rehabilitation Services working with students with disabilities and their preparation for the world of work. In his former life, he was a Lutheran minister for 20 years.

June 18:
Korey Mercier and Jennifer Ramey, Fellowship members: Summer Solstice. Come experience a taste of the past! We will be performing a ritual to celebrate the Summer Solstice, based on the religions found in pre-christian Western Europe. Your participation would be greatly appreciated, but not required. Note: The service will be outside, which is just as well as the Elarth Hall floor will be drying from having been refinished June 12-14.

June 25: Erik Leveille, member of the UUFNRV and a violinist and violin teacher: Where love is deep, much can be accomplished-- the vision of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki.

July 2: Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Right to Hate. Over the last few years our society has become less tolerant of people who hate people of other races, religions, nationalities, ethnic groups, or sexual orientation. Some of these groups complain that they have the right to hate and this claim has been supported in the courts. Like most liberals, I find it very difficult to support this "right." I'll present a few ideas and I hope to have a lively discussion on this prickly topic.

July 9: Rev. David Herndon: To Serve or to Discuss. Uninformed efforts to make things better can sometimes actually make things worse. One the other hand, a person (or a congregation) can exhibit “paralysis by analysis.” Have you ever felt that you had to attend so many meetings that you couldn't get anything done? Some say that any strength overdone becomes a weakness. Can discussion ever become an impediment to a religiously guided life? If adequate discussion left no time or energy left for service, for example, would we say that there might be sometimes be such a thing as too much discussion? Rev. Herndon grew up here at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the New River Valley in the late 1960's and early 1970's. He attended the College of William and Mary, majoring in physics. After attending graduate school in physics, he switched over to preparation for Unitarian Universalist ministry, attending Meadville/Lombard Theological School and the University of Chicago. Since 1990, he has been serving as minister with the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, PA. He is married and has two small daughters. Over the last three years, he has been pursuing a graduate degree in non-profit management at Carnegie-Mellon University.


July 16: Dr. Reginald Fuller, has a long career including appointments at Seabury Western, Union Theological, and Virginia Theological seminaries, and being a member of several commissions for translation of the New Testament, foremost Christologist. His topic will be Current Ethical issues.

July 23: Bo Chagnon, experienced speaker, workshop leader, writer and musician: For Whom the Economy Tolls. To hear the major media tell it, our economy is booming, good jobs are plentiful, and poverty is a personal option willfully chosen by lazy and irresponsible freeloaders. This dominant paradigm is promoted to justify economic trends which in the past few decades have produced obscene wealth for a few and impoverishment for many. Today, over 20% of America children are growing up in poverty - clearly an affront to UU principles of justice, equity, compassion, and inherent worth. In the service, a clarion call for action, Bo exposes the propaganda supporting oppression, challenges us to take an honest look at the deadly consequences of classism, and reminds us that the bell tolls for us all.

July 30:
Patricia Lynn Reilly, a feminist theologian, author, and member of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, California: Love of Self/Love of Other: The Essential Connection. Her Virginia itinerary includes a July 21 appearance at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Roanoke, SUSSI, and our Fellowship.

August 6: What We Learned at GA. The speakers will be our delegates: Cynthia Luke, Rosemary Bazuzi, and Leslie Hager-Smith. They will each talk about what they learned at General Assembly and will share their impressions of this gathering.

August 13: David Mudd, Anticipating the Harvest: the Spirituality of Cooking. David, one of our own, survived a one year professional training program a French culinary school a couple of years ago. He’ll use the experience to talk about the spirituality of cooking on the professional and personal levels, and will demonstrate techniques for preparing some of the foods coming to us in such great profusion as harvest time nears.

August 20: Jim Littlefield, Professor of Marketing and intrepid world traveler. Our Gambling Culture. From an innocent, fun lottery ticket purchase to compulsive gambler in a few easy steps.

WATER CEREMONY SERVICE: 10:30 A.M.

August 27, Water Ceremony: Our traditional first meeting of the “normal” year in which we bring real (or symbolic) water from our summer travels and share brief anecdotes about our summer experiences. This is an intergenerational service. Religious Education “open house” and registration will be the following Sunday, and RE classes will begin Sunday, September 10.

September 3 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Work is Love Made Visible. In The Prophet, author and mystic Kahlil Gibran says that work is love made visible. Is that true and if so, what does our work say about our loves?

September 10 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Our Trinity. Historian Earl Morse Wilbur says that we Unitarian Universalists do indeed have a Trinity that provides a firm foundation for our beliefs, our worship, and our actions. Today I will reveal our UU trinity and examine how our trinity guides us.

September 17 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Will God Make a Difference in the Voting Booth? Religion and Politics have been bedfellows for most of human history. The current race for president is heating up this love-hate relationship. It seems that no matter who is elected, God will be a player in American politics and our common life for the next few years. What might this mean for America and for Unitarian Universalists?

September 24 (both services), Tom Sherman,, Professor and Chair, Teaching and Learning Department, Virginia Tech and member of the Blacksburg Town Council: Why public education in the United States is so terrible and will never get any better.

October 1 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: A religious response to the religious right. Rev. Fred Phelps and his family had said they would come from Kansas to picket the funeral of Danny Overstreet. I want to speak to this abuse of religion.

October 8 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Solidarity Sunday. On Friday, September 22, a man named Ronald Gay went to a Roanoke cafe, known to be a “safe” place for gay and straight people, with murder on his mind. He shot seven people, killing one man (Danny Overstreet). Today I want to examine the issue of hate in our society and invite you to stand in solidarity with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people as we affirm and promote the right of all people to live in peace and security.

October 15 (both services), Andy Morikawa, executive director for the Board of Community Foundation of the New River Valley, will talk about community building and reconciliation, about gardening and grandchildren. It will be about the teachers among us, about listening, and about prophetic voices speaking now in our community.

During the second service, the UUFNRV Choir will perform, and Rev. Brownlie will lead us in Child Dedications for Katherine Anne McGuire, daughter of Molly and Brian McGuire and for Benjamin Jeffery Wynn, son of Tess and Jeff Wynn.

October 22 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Joy of God. Many of us are familiar with the Sufi poet, Rumi, and we love his ecstatic verses. Recently I was introduced to another poet of the same tradition, Hafiz, who is even more popular in Persia. I'd like to share some of his verse with you today.

October 29 (both services), Russell Gregory, Professor of Religious Studies at Radford University and many time visitor to our pulpit: When Scripture Is Taken Seriously: The Dao De Jing's Resurrection. Recently the Dao De Jing was (re-)fitted for parents. Why is this laudable?

November 5 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Spiritual Recovery. Many of us like to describe ourselves as “recovering” Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics, or whatever our faith tradition was earlier in our lives. Even those of us who have never been involved in organized religion seem to operate under certain assumptions about religions based on what we've seen in movies or read in the paper. I hope that this sermon will help you on your path to total recovery.

During the 10:30 service, we will welcome new members into the Fellowship, and the UUFNRV choir will perform ("Blessing" by Katie Moran Bart). Following the 10:30 service there will be a brief Informational Meeting, at which members of the Finance Committee will answer questions about the budget to be voted on at next Sunday’s Congregational Meeting.


November 12 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Over the River and Through the Woods. Soon many of us will be traveling across town or across the country to visit our extended families . For some of us, the visit will be by phone, and others will make this visit in memory alone. Some of us look forward to these holidays at home and others dread them. I'd like to share with you a few things I've learned about making these family encounters more worthwhile, whether you are a parent or a child, or both.

Immediately following the second service, there will be a Congregational Meeting to vote on the six month Bridge Budget, approved at last month’s Congregational Meeting. If you are a member, please come or give your proxy to another member who is attending. (One member can hold only one proxy, but the President or Lisa Evanylo can take multiples in person or by mail at the Fellowship.).


November 19 Rev. Christine Brownlie will preside at both services,.
9:00 a.m., Champion For Children. Marion Wright Edleman has been a champion for the children in our country and around the world. Let me introduce you to this remarkable woman.

10:30 a.m., Leave No Child Behind. On this intergenerational “Children's Sabbath,” we will consider the needs of children and how we might help those with special needs stay on the path to a productive and happy adulthood. Our children will take part in the service and we will hear about three of the many opportunities in our community to provide service and care for children.
The UUFNRV choir will perform during the 10:30 service.

November 26 (10:30 service only!), How music can breathe life and passion into a service. Garrett McAuillife & Karen Eriksen will provide some of the music, but promise to involve the Congregation . The service will be followed by a potluck brunch. Bring a favorite brunch dish to share buffet-style. RE classes will meet during the service.

December 3 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: He Comes to Us As One Unknown. Who was Jesus and what did he teach? This question has been asked by Christian and non-Christians for two thousand years. The most famous effort to search for the historic Jesus in our time is the work of the Jesus Seminar. This morning I'd like to share with you some of their insights about Jesus and his words.
Child Dedication: Halle and Lucas Keighton will be dedicated at the second service.

December 10 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself. While you're wondering what to get for all your friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, the kid's teachers, and even the dog, let me encourage you to give some thought to the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season.

December 17 9:00 Service, Our seafaring lawyer member, Richard Thomas, will speak on the Moral/Ethical problems posed by our archaic law system that is in discord with our evolving society.
10:30 Service, Celebration of Light. Through words and music, the Fellowship Youth Group invites you to join with them in an ecumenical celebration of the season.
During Children’s Time at the 10:30 service, we will have the Mitten Tree celebration.

December 24 (10:30 service only!), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Festivals of Light and Love. This morning we'll share favorite stories, poems, and family traditions from Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule and Christmas. (No RE classes)

December 31 (10:30 service only!): Morton Nadler, member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends, Would you like to stay young forever? The medical prospect for renewing all organs of the body including the brain is no longer solely the subject of science fiction. On this last day of the second millennium (yes) Morton Nadler will review what science fiction has said and biomedical reality promises, together with the ethical and social problems this poses.
Combined RE class during the service.


UUFNRV Calendar
Sunday Services: 2001

January 7 (both services), Jim Bohland, Professor of Urban Planning and Interim Provost at Virginia Tech: Maintaining a Sense of Community in a Time of Change: Town/Gown Relations in the Next Decade. In Blacksburg and the New River Valley we live in a unique environment in which university life is tightly enmeshed with our community life. This uniqueness has been an asset to our quality of life for many years. Universities in general and Virginia Tech in particular are undergoing significant transformations in response to social, technical, and political forces. As universities reinvent themselves, members of the academy have an ethical responsibility to understand the consequences of their actions on the community at large.

January 14 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: How Mighty was His Pen! Martin Luther King Jr. was able to use words to accomplish a significant and profound transformation of American society. Today we will remember some of his words, examine his sources of inspiration, and consider the work that is yet to be accomplished
Guest at Your Table Box collection during 10:30 service

January 21 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: What do You Mean When You Say God? This is the title of the sermon Dick Luke bought at the service auction last spring. After many months of considering his question I have some answers to share with all of you.

January 28 (both services), Mark Benson, member of the UUFNRV and Associate Professor of Human Development at Virginia Tech: Faith Development through the Life span: Growing Nice vs. Growing Up.James Folwer's book, Stages of Faith Development (1981), and his subsequent writings, provide a perspective on personal faith development. Common challenges in adult faith development involve personal reflection and collective caring. Is faith development related at all to faith-full living? Can a child be more faith-full than an adult?

February 4 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie:: Love and Money. Money is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal for expressing our love. Who and what do you love most, and does your money support those loves? The choir will sing one of Mary Grigolia's songs, "Are You Ready To Sing?" to whet your appetite for her upcoming concert!
The UUFNRV Choir will perform during the 10:30 service.

February 11 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Why Do We Gather and What Do We Want? I am pleased to report that an amazing number of you took the time to complete the survey regarding our Sunday Services. Today I’ll share the results with you and we will begin to think about the changes we might like to make.

February 18 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Managing the Time that Manages Me. This Sunday I'm going to talk about taking time seriously. Is time a tool, a gift, or a taskmaster--or all three?

February 25 (both services), Harry Dyer, Native American activist: Maybe many of us are singing ghost dance songs. Many people today feel a vague dissatisfaction -- many people today feel an acute dissatisfaction with their lives, with society, they feel that some things are missing, some things are askew. Harry Dyer will address these feelings.

March 4 9:00 Service, Rev. Christine Brownlie: A Nation Divided. When we use the phrase a nation divided we tend to think in terms of liberals, conservatives, and moderates. But this leaves out another constituency that is growing in numbers and power, the “Cultural Creatives.” Today, I’ll tell you about this interesting segment of the population, and when I do, you may think that I’m talking about YOU.
10:30 Service, Rev. D. Audette Fulbright: Having Life Abundantly. What does it mean to “live abundantly?” Is this an idea, attitude, or fact? How do we know what is enough, and what is the measure of our gratitude? Join us this Sunday as we consider how we experience abundance, and what responsibilities we might have in that process. Rev. Fulbright is a recent graduate of the Unitarian Universalist seminary Starr King School for the Ministry, and is a Minister in Fellowship with the UUA. She currently serves as Executive Director for Stewards of the Earth, an eco/justice working alliance.
The UUFNRV Choir will sing, “Guide My Feet, Lord,” a choral setting by John Carter, during the 10:30 service.

March 11 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Cynic and the Christian. John D. Crossan of the Jesus Seminar, claims that Jesus was influenced by the Greek Cynics. Who were the Cynics what did they teach? Are we freedom loving UUs their heirs?
During the 10:30 service, the 5th-8th grade class will perform a skit based on Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

March 18 (both services), Steve Keighton, Fellowship member, concerned parent, and participant in a ocal citizen's alliance to stop gun violence, will shed some light on the national epidemic of death by guns in America, particularly as it affects children, what is and isn't being done about it at various levels, and most importantly, provide food for thought on what you (and our children) can do about it. There is reason to be hopeful that the many voices of reason and compassion will eventually be louder than the single voice of paranoia and fear.
New members will be welcomed into the Congregation at the 10:30 service.

March 25 10:30 SERVICE ONLY, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Celebration! This year marks the 45th anniversary of our charter as a congregation under the guidelines of the American Unitarian Association. We've come a long way in 45 years! Today we will honor our foremothers and forefathers and hear the story of our past. We'll also look to the future and consider what may lie ahead for UUFNRV.

April 1 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Holy Fools. The tradition of the fool is found in many ways of the spirit. Come prepared for some foolishness this morning as we hear about fools and act like fools ourselves.
Note: First day of Daylight Savings Time! Turn your clock forward one hour.

April 8 (both services), Rev. Dr. Barry Whittemore, is a former member of the UUFNRV and the current minister of the Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Gray, Tennessee. His sermon title is "Reading the Palm Leaves: Pilate, Caiaphas, and Jesus: Jesus's trial as seen through the eyes of governor, priest, and victim.”

April 15 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Easter: So What? Why do we acknowledge this “holy day” when it is based on a story that most of us reject? During the 10:30 service, the choir will sing and we will be treated to a special performance by our children's choir.

April 22 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Go Ahead, Adam, Take a Bite. A Heretical interpretation of the creation story in Genesis.
During the 10:30 a.m. service there will be a special choral piece by members of the Master Chorale.
Special Awards will be presented during the 10:30 service to members of the congregation for outstanding service to the Fellowship.
Informational Meeting to provide background for the following week’s Congregational Meeting will start at 11:45 a.m.

April 29 (both services), Russell Gregory, Professor of Religious Studies at Radford University: Does a Dog Have the Buddha Nature? Dogs Never Lie About Love
Congregational Meeting will start at 11:45 a.m. At this meeting we will elect Fellowship officers for next year and vote on our budget.

May 6 9:00 a.m. Glen Augustine, Fellowship member: “Prayer and Healing.”
10:30 a.m. Rev. Reginald Fuller, Professor Emeritus, Virginia Theological Seminary (and Rosemary Bazuzi's father): "Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty.”
Special Music (at 10:30 service): Garrett McAuliffe.

May 13 (both services) Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Are You My Mother?” It's my observation that all of us need more than one mother or father. Sometimes the person who best served us in that parental role was not our biological parent, but another adult who was able to meet some of the needs our primary parents could not fulfill. Today we will recall these important people and consider how we might support the young people in our lives. Both choirs (children and adult) will sing at the second service.
Special Music: The UUFNRV Choir will perform at the 10:30 service.

May 20 (both services) Edd Sewell, professor of communication studies at Virginia Tech and member of Glade Baptist Church: “Do Unto Others... A Perspective on Homophobia.” Thoughts on the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons by religious communities, from the perspective of a gay Christian.
Special Music (10:30 service): Bob Underhill.

May 27 (both services). Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Hua Hu Ching: The Hidden Teachings of Lao Tzu or The Te of the Cat.“ Most of us have some acquaintance with the Tao te Ching. I'd like to introduce you to another collection of the teachings of Lao Tzu which, in the words of the translator, “offer a literal road map to the divine realm for ordinary human beings.”
Partly in response to Russell Gregory's sermon last month about Dogs and Buddah nature, I'm revising my sermon slightly from my original theme.
Note: In the nnewsletter, the youth group was scheduled for the 10:30 service. Rev. Brownlie is now scheduled to do both services.

June 3 SINGLE SERVICE AT 10:30! “Flower Ceremony.” Today we celebrate our beloved community with our traditional ritual sometimes called "flower communion." We also honor the women and men who have served the congregation as teachers and YRUU advisors. Please remember to bring a flower for each member of your family who will participate in the flower ceremony.
Potluck Picnic follows the service.

June 10: Franklyn Moreno, a private consultant in Christiansburg and longtime friend of the Fellowship: Dedicated to End-of-Life Choice. Franklyn will address us about the memorial society movement, now called the Funeral Consumers Alliance (www.funerals.org). He is on the organizing committee (along with several Fellowship members) setting up the Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Virginia Blue Ridge. [Note: Franklyn’s wife, Bonnie, created the handsome stole our minister wears on ceremonial occasions.]

June 17: Rev. Christine Brownlie: Can UUs Agree to Take a Stand, and Will It Matter If We Do? Our annual General Assembly will convene next week. On the agenda for the first time in our history is a Statement of Conscience. We will also select a new study-action issue (five issues have been chosen, one will be selected). Hours are to be spent debating the merits of these issues, the language of the statements, and the inevitable amendments. This morning we'll look at the statement of conscience and the study-action issues and discuss what they might mean to us as a congregation. (For texts of these documents and more information go to socialwitness@uua.org)

June 24: Basil Gooden, Coordinator of Outreach and Community Relations for Virginia Tech and current President of the local branch of the NAACP: The Impractical Community. Recognizing that practicality is a valued element in any well functioning culture, what is the role of impracticality in our society? Does impracticality present problems to be solved or opportunities for us to develop?

July 1: Doris T. Zallen, Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech and Director, Choices and Challenges forum project: The Human Genome Project: Benefits, Burdens, and Obligations. The Human Genome Project is the international effort to map every human gene to its exact place on a chromosome and to decipher the chemical structure within each gene. She will be discussing the scientific findings of the Human Genome Project and their likely applications to health care as well as the ethical and social concerns that they raise.

July 8: Ruth Smith, Fellowship member: The Role of Possessions in Our Lives: Materialism or Meaning? Ruth will talk about our love-hate relationship with our possessions. On the hate side, we feel guilty that our consumption of material goods is environmentally irresponsible and possibly indicative of a character flaw. On the love side, possessions define who we are and constitute tangible links to our loved ones as well as a connection to our pasts.

July 15: Morton Nadler, Fellowship member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends, will speak about being Born and B(red) in Brooklyn NY in the 20s and 30s. Morton, who has just turned 80, actually remembers that exciting time. (Note: this is a change from the program listed in the newsletter.)

July 22: Rev. Gail Tapscott : Living the Passionate Life. Drawing on the work of philosopher Sam Keen and psychologist Brad Blanton, our speaker will help us examine some of the barriers to living passionately and suggest some ways to overcome these obstacles and live our lives as passionate cosmic lovers. Rev. Gail Tapscott is currently the settled minister in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Previously she was a consulting minister to several churches in Arizona. She has an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and has completed training in spiritual psychology and creative work with the imagination, She spent many years working in the environmental movement as both a writer and fundraiser.

July 29: Dave Nachmanoff: To Make a Thing of Beauty. Combining songs and stories from his own experience, Dr. Dave Nachmanoff will explore the challenges and joys of a creativity-centered life. Whether you are a musician, visual artist, or a creative lawyer, plumber or caregiver, you will probably see a little of yourself in Dave's award-winning songs and interesting stories. “To make a thing of beauty, a single thing of beauty, a human thing of beauty - that would be enough.” Dave Nachmanoff is a nationally-touring singer/songwriter and recording artist based in Davis, CA. Last summer he was featured as one of the concert hour performers at SUUSI. With a Ph.D. in philosophy, Dave always finds interesting topics for his songs, but remains down-to-earth. He's appeared at folk festivals and concert halls, schools, churches and synagogues, and frequently leads workshops on song writing or guitar for people from ages five to ninety-five. His web site can be found at www.davenach.comm

August 5: Rev. Christine Brownlie: Never Call Them Jerks--learning to love difficult people. Can we really love alike when we don't all think alike? This morning we'll consider some ways that we can deepen our relationships without giving up our differences.

August 12: Prayer and Healing, a Scientific Validation of Religion? Fellowship member Glen Augustine will speak on recent scientific studies, and his own clinical experience regarding prayer and healing. Dr. Augustine is a chiropractor practicing in Blacksburg.

August 19: This morning's service is presented by your minister, delegates, and other members of the Fellowship who attended the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly in Cleveland, Ohio at the end of June. More than a report, we hope to impart energy and enthusiasm to the challenge of translating what we learned into action at the local level. Presented by Rev. Chris Brownlie, Larry Landrum, Bob and Ethel Marie Underhill, Marilyn and Frank DuPont.

WATER CEREMONY SERVICE: 11 A.M.

August 26, Ingathering: It has been our tradition to begin each fellowship year with a ritual of bringing water from our summer travels and to give a report of our adventures during the service. This year our ritual will follow the same format, but with a different emphasis. Please come ready to share a brief summary of where you spent you time. More importantly, please tell us (again, briefly) about a change, a revelation, a moment of healing that graced your family or you as an individual this summer.

Sept. 2nd (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Passionate listening.” Listening seems to be a passive activity when in reality it calls for passion! What is passionate listening and what difference would it make in your life and relationships if you became a passionate listener?
Special Music: At the 11 a.m. service, Bob Underhill will sing "Sabbath Prayer" from Fiddler on the Roof.

Sept. 9th (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Eight Themes that Unite Us.” Many UUs are proud to say that we are a free, non-creedal faith. But it can be hard for us to name what it is that holds us together. Over the next few weeks, I'll present a series of sermons based on the themes that have been our foundation from the very beginning of our history as a religious movement.
Special Music: At the 11 a.m. service, Garrett McAullife will perform.

Sept. 16th (both services), Montgomery County Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Fred Morton, will speak on “Spiritual Dimensions of Leadership.” How can one balance ethics, spirituality, and leadership in a diverse community? Who do we support? How can we listen and hear each other effectively? What are the needs of all children? What is the TLC necessary to meet these needs? Mr. Morton will share perspectives of one superintendent as he works daily to respond to these key questions.
Special Music: At the 11 a.m. service, Amy Lythgoe will sing.

Sept. 23rd (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What Do You Say After You Shake Hands With a Terrorist?” NOTE! Topic has been changed from that which is in the newsletter.
Special Music: At the 11 a.m. service, Goldie Terrell will perform.

Sept. 30th 9:30 a.m., David M. Moore will make his presentation rescheduled from July, “Ethical Concerns Associated with the Use of Human Subjects in Research.” Dr. Moore is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia/Maryland Regional School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Chair of the Virginia Tech Institutional Review Board for projects involving human subjects. Our speaker will provide some historical examples of inappropriate uses of human subjects in medical/clinical research and other research areas, and current concerns related to protection of human subjects in research.
11:00 a.m. , “The Baha'i Faith.” Baha'i members Howard and Ruth Leeb, and Dr. Suzanne Ament will present a program describing the Baha'i Faith, the second most widespread of the world's independent religions, established in 235 countries and territories throughout the world. Baha'i come from more than 2100 ethnic, racial, and tribal groups, and number some seven million world wide. At the heart of the Baha'i belief is the conviction that humanity is a single people with a common destiny. Howard Leeb is a retired Foreign Service Officer, and Ruth Fair Leeb is also retired. Dr. Ament is a professor of Russian History at Radford University, and will bring Quinny, her service dog and companion.
Special Music: At the 11 a.m. service, the UUFNRV choir will perform, and the piece is "The Breath of All" words by Mary Grigolia

Oct. 7th (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Pink or Blue or Neither?” Today we will celebrate Solidarity Sunday, an opportunity for us to stand with those whose expression of gender identity is different from our own and possibly disturbing to us. The hope is that there be in all the churches of the land expressions of solidarity with our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters. One form of that expression is the simple wearing of rainbow ribbons. Our children will give you a ribbon during the service. Do wear it with pride!
Our Teacher Dedication: will be held during Children’s Time at both services.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Angela Clevenger, will sing

Oct. 14th (both services), Russell Gregory, Professor of Religion at Radford University: “Life goes on: Stories and Songs.”
RE Open House: immediately after both services

Oct. 21st, (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Divine Seed in Every Person.” When I was in seminary, I was often challenged to explain our UU ideal of "the inherent worth and dignity of every person. For obvious reasons I'm revisiting this idea and I'd like to share my thoughts about this idea which I named in a previous sermon as one of the eight themes of our way of the spirit.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: The UUFNRV Choir will sing.

Oct. 28th (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Belonging.”. Today we’ll look at what it means to be a member of a voluntary organization and how belonging benefits us and the Fellowship
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Laura Hernandez will sing
NOTE: First day of Eastern Standard Time — turn your clocks back one hour.

Nov. 4th (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “All Souls.” It seems fitting and right that we should set aside a time to reflect on the reality of death and to honor those we love who have died this past year. We will also honor those who lost their lives in the violence of September 11 and in the violence that continues. If you have someone you wish to remember, please bring a photo, a memento, or a candle to light in their memory.
New members will be formally welcomed during the 11 a.m. service.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Garrett McAuliffe will sing.
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Nov. 11th (both services), Morton Nadler, Fellowship member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends: “Twenty Years in Twenty Minutes.” My life as a communist, from start to finish.

Nov. 18th (9:30 a.m.), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Who Are You Calling Post Modern?.” In an earlier sermon I used the term "post modern" to describe our religious movement. What in the world was I talking about?
(11:00 a.m.), Intergenerational Service: The children from our Religious Education Program will present a new play written by Doug Pendergrass. It's charming, it's fun, and it has an important message. After the service we will have a meeting with our Long-Range Planning Committee and Bob Rogers of Architectural Alternatives to discuss ideas for expanding our building and other options. Please see the article on page 2 of the November newsletter for details about the meeting and lunch.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: James Miley, piano.

Nov. 25th (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Genuine Joy.” As I write these words nearly a month away from this service, I'm aware that it's been difficult recently for me to find joy in life. Uncertainty and sadness seem to have a grip on me that I can't quite shake off. So as we prepare for the holiday season in an anxious time, how may we find genuine joy again?
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service:
David Klemperer, violin..

Dec. 2nd (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Ah Mystery! ” Mystery is one of the eight themes of our way of the spirit. How does a “rational religion” like ours make a claim for that which is beyond reason?
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: a trio consisting of Mary Houska, Susie Fry and Wayne Neu.  They will sing Deck the Halls.

Dec. 9th (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Light One Candle, Hanukah is here!” We like to honor this festival of lights as a celebration of the right of freedom of religion. But there is much more to the story of the Maccabees and the King who didn't like them.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: a quartet consisting of Nancy Bodenhorn, Irene Lamb, Ethel-Marie Underhill, and Mike Lythgoe. Angels We Have Heard On High.

Dec. 16th (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Using Up the Leftovers.” My colleague, the Rev. Gordon B. McKeeman, says that making a life is akin to cooking with leftovers. Some of us cook with imagination, some with creativity, some merely resent the task. We all need a secret ingredient if the results are to be edible. I won't promise a surefire recipe for a gourmet life, but you might come away with a few ideas that will give your leftovers a new flavor.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: a quartet consisting of Nancy Simmons, Pat Traynor, Ethel-Marie Underhill, and Bob Underhill. My Master
Today, after the second service, we will decorate our tree, first with mittens, and then with ornaments we create. Please bring a dish to share for a potluck lunch.

Dec. 23rd (both services), “Celebrate the Season: Happy Solstice!” Winter is a time of going within; a time to hibernate; a time to nurture ideas, seeds, and spirit. Winter Solstice celebrates the hope of light returning to the earth. Our celebration will be led by Ethel-Marie, Angela, Amy, and Irene.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: a trio consisting of Nancy Simmons, Derry Hutt, and George Terrell. Silent Night

Dec. 30th (both services), Morton Nadler, Fellowship member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends: “God's Fool: Mark Twain's dark side.” “If I'm a fool, I'm God's Fool,” wrote Mark Twain. The author of Tom Sawyer and The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County also wrote The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg. Less well known are The Mysterious Stranger and What is Man? Cynical and pessimistic, Samuel Clemens considered that the only way to be happy was to go mad.
There will be a combined RE class during the 11 a.m. service.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Laura Hernandez will sing.

All Special Music is accompanied by pianist Maria Rott.


UUFNRV Calendar
Sunday Services: 2002

Jan. 6 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What Do You Call Your Monkey?” Many of us have made resolutions for the new year, and some of those resolutions may require us to face our addictions. I hope to take some of the shame out of this word and to encourage some dialogue about the many forms of addiction that we struggle with in a society that encourages addictive behaviors and attitude.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Bob Underhill will sing “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler On the Roof. Maria Rott will accompany him.

Jan. 13 (both services), Committee on Ministry: “Walking Together: The shared journey of congregation and minister.” The development of a formal covenant between a UU congregation and its minister is a critical part of developing a healthy and fruitful relationship. Developing a covenant allows us to acknowledge the shared hopes, needs, and aspirations that bind us together as a people of free faith. We will share some of the work that was done at the Covenanting Workshop in November to help us begin to formulate a covenant. We will review where we are in the process and describe several ways that everyone can get involved in completing this important step.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: A recording of the 170 voice GA Choir in which the Underhills sang, “The Storm Is Passing Over.”

Jan. 20 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Why Unitarian Universalism Must Change or Die.” Several years ago, Bishop John Shelby Spong published a book titled “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” I suggest we liberals are also courting our own demise. What is potentially going to kill us, and what can we do about it?
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Maria Rott will play a selection of her choice.

Jan. 27 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Mutuality and Variety: How UUs walk together on different paths.” This is a continuation of the series Eight Themes That Bind Us. For the previous sermons in this series, see the web site or the rack outside the Minister’s Office.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: A quartet — Mary Houska, Nancy Norton, Nancy Simmons and Goldie Terrell — will sing Tell Me Why. Maria will accompany them.
Feb. 3 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “One Hundred Years of Langston.” This year is the centenary of Langston Hughes’ birth. Poet, short story writer, playwright and courageous voice for the rights of people who had no rights, Hughes speaks to us still.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service:

Feb. 10 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Is Love all It’s Cracked Up to Be?” We live in a society that’s in love with love. Does our infatuation with this emotion help us be more loving? Or does it make true love more illusive?
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: The UUFNRV Choir will sing.

Feb. 17 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Eight Themes that Unite Us: engagement and standing against the negative.” This is another in an ongoing series that answers the question: “What binds us together as Unitarian Universalists?” Today we’ll dip into our history as a religious movement and look at some of our prophets and heroes.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Goldie Terrell and Maria Rott will play a flute/piano duet

Feb. 24 (both services), Larry Landrum: “Is Responsible Consumption Rational Economics?” At the last General Assembly, a “Statement of Conscience on Responsible Consumption” was adopted. Larry will present a modified version of his talk at one of the workshops prior to the vote. We are all for rational consumption, but are commonly advocated approaches really rational ways to fulfill our UU principle of “Respect for the interdependent web of existence.”
Larry Landrum is a long-time member of the Fellowship, and an economist with an almost worshipful attitude toward the power of well-designed market processes to promote human well-being and still protect the environment
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Ethel-Marie and Bob Underhill will sing "Do, Lord." (No accompaniment)

Sunday-Service Cancellation Policy

In case of snow or other inclement weather, listen to WVTF (FM: 89.1) which will air service-cancellation announcements. Also, check your e-mail, as an announcement will be sent if a decision has been made to cancel services or any other event — assuming, of course, that the phone and electric power are workings.

Mar. 3 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “How Poor are You? How Poor Should You Be?” In our society, poverty is shameful, a sign of weakness — even laziness. Is this view helpful, truthful, and does it lead us to good choices?
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Elisabeth Rott will play a piano selection

Mar. 10 (both services), Morton Nadler, Fellowship member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends: “Science and Truth.” When I was an undergraduate, and the post Newtonian revolution was young, my professors used to say: “the photon is a particle on Tuesday-Thursday, a wave on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, and can't make up its mind on weekends.” We now understand these and other such phenomena much better — as long as we don't ask “what is it really?"”  I'll be talking about this and closer-to-home questions such as why eggs and butter are unhealthy one week and recommended the next. Also to be addressed: what is the difference between scientific truth — if there be such — and religious truth?
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Bob Underhill will sing “Climb Any Mountain.”

Mar. 17 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Was St. Patrick an Ophidiophobe?” Did St. Patrick really kill all the snakes in Ireland, or was he after something else?
Child Dedication: We will dedicate Charlie Skutt during the second service.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: The UUFNRV Choir will sing.
Fellowship-wide Town Meeting and potluck lunch will follow the second service.

Mar. 24 (both services), Jo Evans, Fellowship member and a Legislative Aide for the Virginia House of Delegates for a total of 12 years, “In The Company of God and Republicans.” This will be an unabashedly biased account of action from the 2002 Virginia General Assembly session scheduled to adjourn March 9th. This year the legislature considered measures covering the posting of the 10 Commandments in schools and “In God We Trust” in public buildings, the rights of carrying concealed weapons in restaurants, linking draft registration with driving privileges, and a $3.8 billion budget deficit that eliminated raises for faculty, teachers, and state employees. .

Mar. 31 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Truth Shall Set You Free!” My favorite Jewish Rabbi is said to have made this statement. I wonder if that’s really true, since telling the truth led to his demise.

April 7 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Mission Possible?” It's said that every organization needs a mission. If you were asked by someone to explain the mission of our Fellowship, could you do it?
We will welcome new members during the second service
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Chris Brownlie, Nancy Norton, Susie Fry; “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”
FIRST DAY OF DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME

April 14 (both services), Russell Gregory, Professor of Religious Studies at Radford University and many-time visitor to our pulpit: “Jerry Lee Lewis Redux: A whole lotta trumping going on!”

April 21 (both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “When Inner Fires Smolder.” Sometimes the fires and anger can't be put out. What can we do about our personal “hot spots”?
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Wayne Neu will sing.
An informational meeting about the budget and by-laws revision will be held after the second service.

April 28 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “And Service is Our Prayer.” Today we will honor some of our outstanding volunteers for their service to the congregation.
During the second service, we will dedicate Seth Coates Boehringer, son of Louise Coats and Bob Boehringer. Seth's grandfather, the Rev. Walter Coates, will take part in this joyous occasion.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Jim Kern will play the guitar and sing.
The annual Congregational Meeting will follow the second service.

May 5 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What I Want to Know Before I Go.” Death is the greatest mystery of life. Most people hold some fear about death, even if they do not believe in heaven or hell. I don’t have many answers about death, but I do know that there are some things that we can do to prepare ourselves and those we love to face the inevitable.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: The UUFNRV Choir: an arrangement of Kumbaya.

May 12 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What Kind of Mother Is This?” It’s said that the image of the ideal mother in Western society come from the stories and images that surround the Virgin Mary. On this Mother’s Day we’ll look at another divine image of the mother from Hinduism, the dark goddess Kali.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Nancy Simmons, piano.

May 19 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Sacred Here and Now.” This is the last of the series on The Eight Themes that Unite Us. Unlike other religions that teach a dualistic understanding of life, we believe that the holy is found in everyday ordinary events and experiences of life — if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: The children’s choir will sing. “All God’s Critters.” The choir will sing “Lord I Want to Be More Loving.”
Congregational Meeting: 12:15 p.m. to vote on the bylaws revision.

May 26 (Both services), Rev. Kirk Ballin: "Religion: Our Demise or Our Salvation?" As UUs we are probably more concerned about religion than any other religiously based community. But our reasons for this concern grow as much out of our distrust of religion as they do out of our cultivation of being religious. These same reasons for concern may determine the welfare of the unfolding world community. Rev. Ballin is a Unitarian Universalist minister who has served congregations in Meadville, Pennsylvania; Roanoke, Virginia; and Lynchburg, Virginia. Presently Rev. Ballin is the executive director of the Roanoke office of the National Conference for Community and Justice, a New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting understanding , tolerance and respect among communities.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: A quartet (Chris Brownlie, Rosemary Bazuzi, Goldie Terrell, Wayne Neu) will sing “Ave Verum” by W.A. Mozart.

June 2 & 9: Single Services at 9:30 a.m.
Intergenerational, so childcare, but no RE

June 2. Today we will celebrate our beloved community with our traditional ritual sometimes called “Flower Communion.” Please remember to bring a flower for each member of your family who will participate in the flower ceremony.

June 9. Teacher and Youth Advisor Recognition. During this annual tribute to those who have served the congregation during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs, our children and youth will share their thoughts and feelings about their RE teachers and youth advisors

End-of-Year Picnic

The RE Committee is again sponsoring an End-of-Year Picnic.  As in the past this year's  picnic will be on Teacher and Youth Advisor Recognition SundayJune 9th — after the service.  The committee will provide hot dogs, burgers (ham and veggie) and buns plus condiments.   The committee asks that others attending bring beverages (only lemonade will be provided), salads, vegetable dishes, desserts or whatever else they wish to bring

Summer at the UUFNRV

Sunday Programs

Beginning on June 16 and running through August 18, there will be a single Sunday service, beginning at 9:30 a.m. (Why 9:30 and not 11? The building warms up as the day progresses, and experience tells us that members and friends prefer starting other summer projects before noon on Sundays.)

August 25 will be our traditional Ingathering end-of-the-(vacation)-summer service. It will both be at 9:30 both because it is confusing to change our single-service time and also because Virginia Tech will be having a football game later that day.

June 9. Teacher and Youth Advisor Recognition. During this annual tribute to those who have served the congregation during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs, our children and youth will share their thoughts and feelings about their RE teachers and youth advisors.

End-of-Year Picnic

The RE Committee is again sponsoring an End-of-Year Picnic.  As in the past this year's  picnic will be held today (June 9) after the service. The committee will provide hot dogs, burgers (ham and veggie) and buns plus condiments.   The committee asks that others attending bring beverages (only lemonade will be provided), salads, vegetable dishes, desserts or whatever else they wish to bring

June 16, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Are Fathers Necessary?” Now that single mothers are no longer scorned, and biotechnology has made in vitro fertilization available to many more women, are fathers important or even necessary?
Special Music: Ethel-Marie and Bob Underhill, African Drumming
No children program today.

June 23, Mike Lythgoe, Fellowship member and complementary healthcare provider: “The Seven Dimensions of Healing.” Mike will introduce perspectives of healing based on the ideas and work of people like Caroline Myss, Barbara Brennan, and Alice Bailey.  From their viewpoints, healing involves much more than balance and support of the physical body. They encourage all of us to embrace fuller aspects of who we are and what parts of us we might further develop. Mike will offer some basic ideas and examples of what other parts of ourselves might be included in deeper healing.
Special Music: Bob Underhill singing John Denver's "west Virginia."

June 30, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What I Learned at General Assembly.” Just what it says!
Special Music: We will play recorded music by the General Assembly Choir from last year.

July 7, Nancy Simmons, Fellowship member and Emerson scholar: “Emerson's Living Legacy.” In the year 2003, we will be celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Ralph Waldo Emerson. What is Emerson's contribution to our living tradition? Using some short readings by Emerson, we will explore connections between contemporary Unitarian-Universalist thought and Emerson's words and deeds, focusing on the "affirmations" in our covenant and the many different "sources" from which we draw our living tradition.
Special Music: Louise Coates will play the piano.

July 14, Bob Porter, Fellowship member and service coordinator, “Sunday Poetry Slam.” This “open pulpit” service will focus on poetry with a spiritual dimension. Members (and visitors) are invited to bring two selections to share that they find spiritually moving, inspirational, thought provoking or just plain fun. The material can be original or already published; musical accompaniment is welcome, and if you're too shy to read it yourself, we have plenty of "hams" who will perform for you. Coffee house attire is encouraged.
Special Music: Bob Underhill will play his keyboard, "The Rose."

July 21, Rev. William Sinkford , Unitarian Universalist (UUA) President, will take the pulpit in an appearance rare in the life of most UU fellowships and churches. His topic will be similar to his presentation at SUUSI. To learn more about him, see the biographical article elsewhere in the newsletter. A reception will follow the service.
Music: David Klemperer (violin) and Maria Rott (piano) will provide the prelude, offertory music and postlude.

August 4, Victoria Huber, attorney and community leader: “Transforming Community.” Victoria will discuss how and why the Mental Health Association is working with police, mental health care providers and mental health consumers to examine a more effective approach to handling crisis intervention for people with mental illness in the New River Valley.
Special Music: Goldie Terrell will play a self-composed piece on the flute.

August 11, Penny Franklin, past president of N.A.A.C.P. and co-chair of the Montgomery Human Relations Council, will speak on “Does the Mind Match the Heart? (What Do We Really Feel?).”
Special Music: Bob Underhill on the strummed dlucimer.

August 18 Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Who Do You Trust?” In the past year, some of the most important institutions and symbols of our culture have come under attack. We've lost our illusion of national security, we've been appalled by the scandals that have shaken the Catholic church and the corporate world. We're quarreling amongst ourselves over the pledge to the flag and the national motto. Is anything or anyone worthy of our trust anymore?
The service will include a child dedication for Jason Kern.
Special Music: Jim Kern, guitar.

August 25: “Gathering of the Waters”


We continue our tradition to celebrate the end of summer and beginning of the “normal” year with the ritual of bringing water to this service representing the places we've been and sharing (briefly) some most memorable incident of our summer. What moved you or made you look at your life from a new angle?
Special Music: Jeff Wynne, guitar.
This is an intergenerational service, so only nursery care will be provided.

September 1 (Both services), Morton Nadler, Fellowship member and Minister, Humanist Society of Friends: “With Strings Attached.” My mother didn't understand what it meant to give a present. She always tried to dictate how it was to be used, even to the point of sometimes wanting it back. What has this to do with anything?
Special Music during both services: Bob Underhill will sing “Sunrise, Sunset” accompanied by Maria Rott.

September 8 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Building Castles in the Air.” Henry David Thoreau wrote that we shouldn’t be afraid to build castles in the air, as long as we set a firm foundation under them. There are a lot of dreams for new castles in our Fellowship and today we’ll begin laying the foundations to make these dreams come true.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Goldie Terrell, instrumental
Everyone is invited to attend the Volunteer Fair that will be held between the services. First service folks should plan to stay a little late, second service folks should try to arrive by 10:40.

September 15 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “In the Beginning.” This is the first in a series about ways to think about the concept of God. Whether we believe in a supernatural being or not, all of us have thoughts and ideas about God and today we’ll talk about the God of the Judeao-Christian heritage. There will be a discussion group beginning at 12:30 p.m. for those who would like to pursue this topic further. Childcare will be provided.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Maria Rott, piano

September 22 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.” Covenant Groups and other forms of small group ministry are a hot topic in denominations and congregations all over the country. How do small group experiences enrich our lives and strengthen the congregation? Is there a small group in your future?
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: The UUFNRV choir will sing “Celebrate Diversity” by Grace Lewis-McLaren

September 29 (Both services): “From Fundamentalism to Freedom.” Guest speaker Marc Adams will share his journey from being a fundamentalist Baptist preacher's son to his time as a student and employee of Jerry Falwell's university. In his presentation he will share his story of coming out, and of coming out of fundamentalism and how he became a Unitarian Universalist. Marc is from Seattle and the author of several books which will be made available for sale after each service. He and his partner Todd founded the Heartstrong Organization (<www.heartstrong.org>) which is sponsored at General Assembly each year by the UU Office of Gay and Lesbian Concerns.
Special Music during the 11 a.m. service: Small group vocal ensemble
Town Meeting: following the second service led by the Long-Range Planning committee to review the common threads from the summer’s Values meetings.

October 6 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Our Favorite Saint.” Francis of Assisi is probably the number one saint for UUs who tend to see him as a sweet and gentle soul who loved animals and taught the idea of peace to a volatile society. I’d like to expand your ideas of this complex man and take his image beyond the garden statue that most of us know.
Special Music during both services: Emily Pfeiffer (piano).

October 13 (9:30 Service), “Living our UU Values the Rest of the Week.” Those of us who work in an environment where we may find possibilities for acting on our Unitarian Universalist values and principles can count ourselves among the fortunate. Join us to hear from several from among us who find these possibilities in their own workplace. In addition, entertain the likelihood that you do so without even being aware of it, and share your thoughts during the Discussion.
(11:00 Service), “Getting to Know Us.” Ever wonder who the YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) are? Who advice them? What the youth do for the Fellowship and the community? What they do at their Sunday evening meetings? What they wish, hope, and dream? And, what is it like to stand beside them holding all that they are, as advisors? If so, join us and find out. Irene Lamb and John Imbur will introduce you to YRUU, and the youth will share themselves and a story for all ages during the service.
Special Music during both services: Maria Rott (piano).
A special collection will be received during both services to support the UUA initiative “Mind The Gap.” Money from this fund will provide grants for congregations that offer new and innovative programs for youth and young adults

October 20 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Thinking about God: the ‘A’ List.” Many of the traditional ideas about the nature of God come from men who lived during the first millennium after Jesus’s death. This Sunday we’ll take a quick tour of some of the most important theologians of that era with an emphasis on those whose names begin with the letter A: Anselm, Arius, Athanasius, and Augustine — we will get to Aquinas next month. (This is the second sermon in a year long series on ways of thinking about God.)
Special Music during both services: Bob Underhill will sing.

October 27 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “A Wilderness Called Fear. Has Life Become Too Spooky?” Are you feeling haunted by the endless scary news of kidnappings, random violence, and other bad things that go bump in your head? How do we deal with the anxiety we feel after an hour with Dan Rather and still keep in touch with the world?
Special Music during both services: The UUFNRV choir will sing.

November 3 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Precious Memories.” On this Sunday we will honor those beloved family members, friends, colleagues and companions who have died. If you wish, you may bring a photo or a small token to represent your loved one and we will display them at the front of the room.
Special Music during both services: Sextet (vocals): Mary Houska, Christina Mathai, Rosemary Bazuzi, Goldie Terrell, George Terrell, Wayne Neu.

November 10 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “You Know You’re a Unitarian Universalist If ...” We like to say that lots of people are UUs but they just don’t know it. How do you know if you or someone else is a UU?
Welcoming New Members at the 11 a.m. service.
Special Music: Laura Hernandez (vocal).
Fun & Frolic Lunch at the India Garden, following the second service.

November 17 (Both services), Russell Gregory, Professor of Religion at Radford University and many time visitor to our pulpit: “The Open Canon: Finding Truth in Texts and Contexts.”
Special Music during both services: provided by Russell Gregory.

November 24 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Fruits of a Grateful Heart.” Our busy lives and our troubled times can blind us to the bounty that we enjoy. Join us for an intergenerational service that will offer an opportunity to count our blessings. We will also take time to affirm the congregation’s long awaited covenant with our minister and rejoice with her in receiving Final Fellowship this past year.
Special Music during both services: UUFNRV Choir
Lunch with Russell: after the second service.

December 1 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Heart of Islam.” As the Islamic world prepares for the end of Ramadan, we will look as some of the teachings and beliefs of this growing and complex religion.
Special Music during both services: Sextet (Mary Houska, Chris Brownlie, Nancy Norton, Ethel-Marie Underhill, Wayne Neu, Bob Underhill) singing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

December 8 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Can Peace Come to Palestine?” The violence between the Palestinians and the Jews continues despite many efforts to find solutions to the many issues that divide these two peoples. As the attention of the world is focused on Middle East, Georgia Pfieffer and Rev. Brownlie will offer some thoughts about this tragic and complicated problem.
Special Music: Elaine Meyers will play her hammer dulcimer for us.

December 15 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Oh There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays!” It’s been my tradition to offer a look at some of the concepts from family systems theory as we all get ready to spend a few days with the folks we grew up with. This Sunday we’ll look at some of the buttons that get pushed and how to keep from pushing and getting pushed.
Special Music during both services:: UUFNRV Choir.
Please bring mittens and hats for our tree and plan to stay a while after the second service for a sandwich potluck and creating decorations for our holiday tree.

December 22 (Both services), “Sharing Our Holiday Treasures.” Some of the best gifts we receive during the holidays are the stories and memories that are created with the people we grew up with. Happy, bittersweet, or tinged with anger, these gems offer us wisdom and self-understanding. This morning members of our congregation will share some of their treasured stories, memories, and a song or two. If you don’t wish to share a memory, perhaps you’d like to bring some cookies.
Special Music during both services: Johanna Jones will play the piano and sing "Sun Carol."

December 29 (Both services), Morton Nadler, Fellowship member: “Eleven years behind the Iron Curtain.” Morton continues the presentation of his life story. In 1948 he fled the blacklist and went to Prague, where a communist putsch had just taken place. The story of how the United States government, on the one hand, and the Czechoslovak government, on the other, reacted to this would make a great movie.
Special Music during both services: Maria Rott will play the piano.


UUFNRV Calendar
Sunday Services: 2003

January 5 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Like Sunshine!” You may have noticed that one of my favorite selections for closing words says that our religion should be “like sunshine.” Today I'll introduce you to the author of these words: Theodore Parker, one of our most courageous and heretical Unitarian ministers.
Special Music during both services: Dan Spitzner will play classical guitar music.

January 12 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What Do I Mean When I Say ‘Liberal’?” We all know that words have power and the word “liberal” is one of the most powerful words in the American lexicon. Some see this it as a fence, dividing communities into groups that are inherently conflicted. Others see it as descriptive, a proud badge of identity. What does liberal mean to you and are we a “liberal” congregation?
Special Music during both services: Sextet (Mary Houska, Christina Mathai, Nancy Norton, Polly Stimson, Wayne Neu, and George Terrell).
Guest At Your Table contributions will be collected during the services. Please give checks, not cash.

January 19 (Both services), Martha Snidow, Volunteer Coordinator for Court Appointed Special Advocate s of the New River Valley: “Who Will Speak For This Child?” CASA is a non-profit organization that trains volunteers who are committed to advocating for abused and neglected children who are involved in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court proceedings. Martha will share some of their stories and explain the role of this important community organization.
Special Music during both services: UUFNRV Choir.

January 26 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “World Religions Day.” The Bahai’s will celebrate World Religions Day today. Let's join in the fun and learn something about that faith and what we could do to honor the religions of the world more intentionally.
Special Music during both services: Jeff Wynn will play guitar and sing.

February 2 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Is War an Antidote for Evil?” Is there such a thing as a Just War and are these conditions present in the current situation? The discussion at the Humanist Dinner on February 22 will continue on this theme.
Special Music during both services: UUFNRV Choir will sing Dona Nobis Pacem.
Proposed Name-Change Meeting after the second service.

February 9 (Both services), Isabel Berney, Fellowship and Memorial Society Committee member: “Building the Pyramids.” People have long sought ways to remember, honor, and record the events of life. This summer when we gathered in small groups to discuss our values, building community and spiritual growth were important ones for most of the groups. It is time we begin to think of ways to make a visible expression of our values.
Special Music during both services: Goldie Terrell, flute.

February 16 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “God Exists and I can Prove It!” Thomas of Aquinas offered five arguments for the existence of God and others have followed the path of reason and logic to prove the reality of the divine. How successful is this method? (This is the third sermon in a series about ways to think about the concept of God.)
Special Music during both services: Vocal Quartet  (Mary Houska, Christina Mathai, Dan Spitzner, Wayne Neu).
This service was cancelled because of snow. The sermon was given instead on March 9.

February 23 (Both services), Bhante Yogavacara Rahula: “Actualizing Buddhist Scriptures.” With this first Blacksburg visit, Bhante Rahula will discuss how to use the practices of mindfulness and meditation to integrate Buddhist teachings into everyday life. Bhante Rahula, originally from California, was ordained as a monk in 1975, and is a co-founder of the Bhavana Society, a forest monastery and meditation center in High View, WV. He travels extensively world-wide, conducting retreats which integrate Yogic breathing and exercise with meditation. In addition to his autobiography, "One Night's Shelter," he has written a book on the Buddha's teachings entitled “The Way to Peace and Happiness.” Bhante will be visiting Blacksburg February 21st–24th, speaking to various groups and leading a mindfulness retreat on the 22nd.
Special Music during both services: Will Schneider, classical guitar

March 2 (Both services), Rem Stokes: "Spiritual Growth and Generosity." Rem Stokes is a member of the UUA President's Council, a member of the Board of Directors, Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary, and a financial consultant to the Central-Midwest District.
Special Music during both services: Emily Pfeiffer, piano

March 9 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “God Exists and I can Prove It!” Thomas of Aquinas offered five arguments for the existence of God and others have followed the path of reason and logic to prove the reality of the divine. How successful is this method? (This is the third sermon in a series about ways to think about the concept of God.)
Special Music during both services: UUFNRV Choir

March 16 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The ‘F’ Word: Some thoughts on Faith.” For UUs the word faith is often the opposite of reason. Is this an accurate understanding of this word, or does faith have a place in our way of the spirit?
Special Music during both services: Vocal Quartet  (Mary Houska, Ethel-Marie Underhill, Bob Underhill, Wayne Neu)

March 23 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: On Wednesday, March 29, Chris wrote, “Given the impending attack on Iraq, I've decided to change my sermon topic for this coming Sunday to Waging Peace in a Time of War.”
Special Music during both services: Dan Spitzner and Gene Bard, classical guitar duet.

March 30 (Both services), Carter Turner, Fellowship member and a doctoral candidate in Religious and Theological studies in the joint program at the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver: “God the Verb: Creativity and the Source of Human Good.” Creativity is the tendency within the world for separate events to come together in ways that are mutually enhancing and sustaining. This is the process that turns acquaintances into lifelong friends, or newlyweds into soul mates. Theologian and Unitarian Universalist Henry Nelson Wieman (1884-1975) uses the term “God” to refer to this process. Wieman's God is not supernatural — the process occurs within the natural world. But humans can never fully control the creative event nor guarantee its outcome. What drives the creation of value is utterly mysterious.
Special Music during both services: Drumming Circle
Town Meeting: beginning at 12:15 p.m.

April 6 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: "Canvass Celebration: Facing the Future, Growing Our Vision.” Today we will celebrate the end of our canvass and look forward to the future that we have funded for Fellowship.
Special Music during both services: Jim Kern, guitar
Canvass Celebration Lunch: after the second service (See below.)

April 13 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Creation Theology.” This radical (some say heretical) school of theology celebrates creation as the original blessing, refutes the doctrine of original sin, and explores the feminine aspect of God.
Special Music during both services: Elaine Myers, hammered dulcimer
Child dedication: for Isabel Augustine, during the second service
Death and Taxes Ice Cream Social: after the second service

April 20 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “And the Angel Passed Over.” Many of us have a vague idea of the story of Passover and how this holiday is celebrated. On this Sunday we’ll hear the story, about some of the customs of the holiday, and about how this story has influenced radical Christian theology.
Special Music during both services: Goldie Terrell, flute
Informational Meeting about the budget and proposed changes in our name and our mission statement: after the second service.

April 27 (Both services), Jo Evans: " ‘Render unto Caesar. . . the Face on the Coin.” The topics are those of a bad novel — abortion, death taxes, fear, greed, teenage sex, guns and liquor — and with the confounding dialogue and immature cast it imitates a movie sketch, but instead it's a report from the 2003 session of the Virginia legislature. Jo Evans will discuss the actions of the General Assembly against questions about moral leadership, minority responsibility, and our allegiance to government. Jo Evans is a UUFNRV member and a life-long Unitarian. She has worked with the Virginia legislature for 15 years.
Special Music during both services: UUFNRV Choir sings “Let There Be Peace On Earth”
Annual Congregational Meeting: after the second service

May 4 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Who Were the Universalists?” When we began our preliminary discussions about changing our name, someone suggested that we drop “Universalist” since that branch of our history seems to be invisible. This morning I hope to put the contributions of the Universalists in perspective and to celebrate the heritage we have received from them.
Bridging Ceremony: held by the YRUU at the second service to honor our graduating seniors.
Special Music during both services: UU Drumming Circle.
RE Open House: after both services.

May 11 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Divine Feminine.” Most of us were raised with the image of a male god, but there are many who see God as Mother instead of Father. This is another in our series about ways to know and understand God.
Award Sunday: The Trustees will honor some of our hard-working volunteers.
Special Music during both services: Goldie Terrell and her friend Mike Schafale will play Goldie's hammer dulcimer/flute composition and a guitar/flute piece.

May 18 (Both services), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Sing in the Morning, the Mist Will Hide You.” Gerry Anderson gave me a list of sermon titles and some hints about what he thought they meant. This one caught my fancy, because it seems to speak to our fear of allowing others to know us. I don’t know if that’s what Gerry had in mind, but it’s what I’d like to explore this morning.
We will welcome new members during the second service.
Special Music during both services: UUFNRV Choir sings “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

May 25 (Both services), M.K. Johnson: “Meaning and Suffering: making sense, making meaning, making life.” It is rare for us to get through life without experiencing adversity. Our perception of our suffering and its meaning in our life impacts the quality of our life and the lives of those with whom we are in relationships. Let's explore how we can maximize the potential for positive gain when life sometimes presents us with severe challenges. M.K. Johnson, Ph.D., is a UUFNRV member and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.
Special Music during both services: Johanna Jones will play the piano and sing.

June 1 & 8: Single Services at 9:30 a.m.
Intergenerational, so childcare but no RE

June 1. Teacher and Youth-Advisor Recognition. This is our annual tribute to those who have served the congregation during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs.
Special Music during the service: Jim Kern will play the guitar and sing.

The Religious Education Committee with the help of Hospitality is again sponsoring in conjunction with Teacher Recognition Day, the End-of-Year Picnic.

  • When? After the service on June 1.
  • Where? Right outside the front door.
  • What to bring? Any vegetable, fruit, salad or dessert dish you wish. /li>
  • If you have a shade shelter, the committee would appreciate your bringing it.
  • What is provided? Drink, condiments, hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie burgers.

June 8. Today we will celebrate our beloved community with our traditional ritual sometimes called “Flower Communion,” a beloved end of the year ritual in many UU congregations. Everyone is asked to bring a flower for each member of the family. We will use the flowers to create a large and beautiful bouquet symbolizing the beauty of our own congregation. At the end of the service, everyone will take home a flower other than the one they brought as a reminder that even when we are away from one another, the connections remain

June 15, Rev. Paul Boothby, Interim minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of the Shenandoah Valley: “Reason and Emotion in Religion: What is the true touchstone of truth?”

June 22, Russell Gregory, Professor of Religion at Radford University and self-proclaimed ZenBuddhistDaoistJewishBaptistAgnosticStoryteller: “Losing Friends: Jiriki in Relationships.”

June 29, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Joy of Being a Cracked Pot.” There is an old story about a water carrier who owns two pots. One is sturdy and reliable; the other is cracked and leaky. As you might imagine, their lives are very different What kind of pot do you aspire to be?

(Starting July 1, our name will be
Unitarian Universalist Congregation.)

July 6, Bob Underhill, membership of the Congregation: “Our Unitarian Origins: The 200-year European Struggle for Religious Reason, Freedom, and Tolerance.” The presentation will consist of four parts: Calls for Change: 1516–1530 Protestants, Humanists and Anabaptists Revolt: 1531–1565 Unitarian Roots and Socinianism Struggle: the First 100 Years Poland and Transylvania Struggle: the Second 100 Years Prussia.

July 13, Sunday Poetry Slam. This “open pulpit” service will focus on poetry with a spiritual dimension. Members (and visitors) are invited to bring two selections to share that they find spiritually moving, inspirational, thought provoking or just plain fun.  The poems can be original writing or already published; poets and poetry lovers of all ages are welcome.  (Readers will be selected by drawing names out of a hat.)  Bob Porter, Service Coordinator, is a Program Development Manager in the Research Division at Virginia Tech.  Most of the time he writes and speaks prose, but he occasionally enjoys annoying his dog by reading poetry aloud.

July 20, Past UUA President Rev. John A. Buehrens will be our guest preacher in the pulpit. Hiss sermon is entitled: "On Being Otherwise."† It deals with our way of religion as liberals, and its foundations in democratic process, the right of conscience, and its applicability as a, "practical, centered religion with a civic circumference." Rev. Buehrens will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI), which starts today in Blacksburg on the Virginia Tech campus.
On July 20, the Rev. John A. Buehrens will be in our pulpit. Rev. Buehrens served as President, principal spokesman and minister-at-large of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations from 1993 to 2001. He was succeeded by Rev. William Sinkford, who was our pre-SUUSI guest speaker at this time last year.

Born in 1947, Rev. Buehrens was raised largely in the Midwest. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1968, and completed his ministerial studies at Harvard Divinity School. He served as parish minister in Knoxville Tennessee (1973–1987). At the present time he serves First Parish in Needham, Massachusetts.

He is co-author (with F. Forrester Church) of Our Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism (Beacon Press, 1989), and has recently written a book: Understanding the Bible, An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers and Religious Liberals, also available through Beacon Press.

Rev. Buehrens has been married since 1972 to the Rev. Gwen Langdoc Buehrens, who is a parish priest in the Episcopal Church. They have two adult daughters, Erica and Mary.
July 27, Rev. Christine Brownlie: What’s a nice Humanist, Buddhist, Atheist, Christian Jew, Pagan, Muslim, Agnostic Hindu (or “other”) like you doing in a place like this? What is it that brings us together in all our diversity week after week?

Summer Special Music

In the past we have not had a pianist in the summer.  This year we will try something new.  We have several guitar players in our congregation.  Some of them have agreed to play in pairs for some congregational singing.  We will have some occasional special music and some support by one of our members who plays the piano, but, for the most part, we will give our other special music providers the summer off!

A Summer Invitation to all kids!

The Religious Education Committee will again offer a program during the Sunday Service of summer activities and lessons for those children who this past year were preschoolers through fifth graders. Classes will begin June 15 and will continue through August 24. It will be a great way for our children to interact with each other and get to know children of other ages.

We are looking for middle school through high school age kids to be Junior Assistants for the RE Summer Program. Contact Carol Kern if interested. We would like to have one or two Junior Assistants for each Sunday.<./p>

August 3, Ellen Birx, Ph.D., R.N., Radford University Nursing Professor and Zen Teacher: “Zen and the Art of Healing — Yourself and Others.”
Special Music: Bob and Ethel-Marie Underhill, piano and vocal

August 10, "A Message from Home: Report from the UUA General Assembly Session in Boston, historic birthplace of American Unitarianism and Universalism." Nancy Simmons and Bob Underhill, UUC Delegates to the 2003 General Assembly, will provide reflections on their experiences.
Special Music: Elaine Myers, hammered dulcimer

August 17, T’aiya Shiner, Director of the New River Valley Conflict Transformation Center and friend of the Congregation: “Raising Issues and Giving Personal Voice to Things That We Care About.” T’aiya will be the first in a series of guest presenters this year who will speak to the relationship and interaction of the individual with the larger group in our unique faith which not only values diverse voices but claims it as the cornerstone of its identity.
Special Music: Elaine Myers, piano

August 24, Rev. Christine Brownlie: In response to the recent election of an openly gay man as the Episcopal Bishop for New Hampshire and the questions some of you have asked about the Bible, I've decided to change my sermon topic for this Sunday to "What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?"

August 31, Ingathering Service. Please bring water to represent your travels, physical and spiritual this summer and give some thought to sharing an experience that brought you to a new place in your own heart and mind.

The Religious Education programs of summer activities and lessons during the Sunday Service will continue through August 24. These are for children who this past year were preschoolers through fifth graders. If there are any questions, please contact Carol K.

September 7, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Now!” Now, or the present moment, is all that we have, yet it’s the most difficult place to be. What’s the value of now and how can we learn to live in the moment when life is pulling us forwards and backwards all the time?
Special Music: Maria Rott, piano

September 14, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “It Deepens My Life and Restores My Soul.” These are the words that someone used to describe the value of her covenant group. What’s a covenant group and how you can get involved in this program? Come to the service and find out.
Special Music: Goldie Terrell, flute

September 21, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Isn’t It Enough to be Nice?” This morning is the kick-off service for the Welcoming Congregation program. This program asks us to do more than talk about our feelings and attitudes about those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. It opens us to ways that we can become true advocates in the effort to insure that these people are treated as equal citizens with equal rights. Find out how our congregation can become a truly Welcoming Congregation and how you can play a part in this important work
Special Music
: Recording of 2001 GA Choir

September 28, Nancy Simmons, Emerson and Thoreau scholar and member of our UU Congregation: “Emerson Speaks to Theodore Parker's Congregation.”
Special Music: Bob Underhill, vocal
Open Meeting: (sponsored by the Vision Task Force) after second service (see below)

October 5, Rev. Christine Brownlie: 5 “Question Box Sermon.” This morning our minister will answer questions submitted to her by members and friends of the Congregation. The questions range from the personal to queries about spiritual trends within our Congregation and the larger movement to “big” questions about human freedom and God’s agency in our lives
Special Music: UUC Choir
Volunteer Fair: both between services and after the second service October 12, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Most Difficult Person to Forgive.” Many of us struggle to forgive people in our lives who have caused us pain. For some of us though, the most difficult person to forgive is ourselves.

October 19 (9:30 a.m.), Rev. Jeanne Finley, Regional Development Coordinator for the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.  Rev. Finley does not have a specific title for her presentation, but she will speak about the organization and the work of bringing our beliefs into the public policy arena
(11:a.m.)  Congressman Frederick (Rick) Boucher, Representative from the 9th District, “Real Patriots Oppose the Patriot Act.”

October 26, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Becoming an Empowered Congregation.” Today’s service will be a reflection and a wrap-up of the Social Justice workshop sponsored by our own Social Justice Committee. Workshop leaders Rev Cynthia Prescott and Tom Esch will be our speakers.
NOTE: Standard time starts today: Don’t be an hour early.

November 2, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “I Cannot Think of Them as Dead.” Our lives are deeply touched by our loved ones who are no longer alive, but who live in our memories and our hearts. Today we will honor our loved ones and celebrate their memory.
Special Music: UUC Choir, Leon Kok

November 9, Russell Gregory, Professor of Religion at Radford University and self-proclaimed ZenBuddhistDaoistJewishBaptistAgnosticStoryteller: “Beyond the Hero: A Book and Life Review.”
Welcoming Congregation Session: 1–3 p.m. (preceded by a light lunch).

November 16, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “It’s OK to be an ‘Inie.’” No, I’m not going to talk about bellybuttons. Instead, I’ll share the good news about the wonders of being an introvert and how “Inies” can celebrate their unique strengths.
We will be welcoming New Members during both services.

November 23, Intergenerational Service and Guest At Your Table Kick-off. This will be a service for all ages!
Teacher Dedication: During the 11:00 service.

November 30, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Our Pilgrim Heritage,” Most UUs don’t realize that we are heirs to the traditions and practices of the Pilgrims. What do we owe these courageous dissenters and what issues do we still struggle with today?

December 7, Ethel-Marie Underhill, member of the Congregation, will present, "Your Daughter's a WHAT?!", her 1999 General Assembly award winner for the best GLBT issues sermon.  It focuses on what she has learned from her lesbian daughter about this world we all share.
Special Music: UUC Choir 

December 14,. SERVICE SNOWED OUT. Rev. Christine Brownlie: “A Unitarian Christmas.” You might think of Charles Dickens story, A Christmas Carol, as a slightly maudlin tale for the holiday. It can also be read as a Unitarian parable about salvation. During both services we’ll put our mittens and hats on the tree. After the second service we’ll have a potluck and make simple ornaments to decorate the tree in a more traditional fashion.

Bring a Friend Sunday (both services). Almost 800,000 people in the U.S. identify themselves as Unitarian Universalists, but UU congregations claim a membership of only 125,000. Where are the 675,000? They are probably your neighbors and friends. This Sunday is the perfect time to invite them to join you for a Sunday service.. It is also our mitten tree service, so bring a friend and join in the holiday spirit.

Please make all our visitors and guests feel especially welcome on this Sunday.

December 21, “Kwanzaa Celebration.” Tonya Smith-Jackson and Curtis Jackson will lead us through a traditional Kwanzaa ritual. You are asked to bring a small simple home-made gift to share during the service. Here is a list of suggestions:

Bookmarks; note cards; hair ribbons; decorated T-shirts; apples, oranges, or lemons; studded with cloves; potpourri; jelly or jam; candy; cookies,; breads or muffins; pickles; kitchen towels; hot pads; small dolls or stuffed animals, mittens, or other small knitted items; cloth napkins; decorated wood or plastic boxes.

Kwanzaa colors are green, black, and red. Use your imagination and have fun!

December 28, Morton Nadler, Congregation member: “Was I a double agent? They didn't want to let me go, but I escaped." After being blacklisted in his profession as the cold war opened, Morton went to Prague. He soon found himself in as deep water as 007 could ever dream of. But here he is to tell about it.

Christmas Eve Service
December 24, 6:30 p.m.

This is a family service, and it will run about an hour. We will honor the life of Jesus, and other saviors who brought good news of love, peace, and courage to humanity. All ages are welcome, and we will not be offering child care or nursery care. An offering for the Minister’s Discretionary Fund will be received.


UUC Calendar
Sunday Services: 2004

January 4, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Be Ye Renewed.” St. Paul writes that we can only be transformed by a renewal of our minds. Dr. Phil, and others, tell us that sometimes we need an attitude adjustment. How might we renew our minds and what might happen to us if we did? This service will include a couple of experiential activities.
Special Music: Goldie Terrell 

January 11, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Treacherous Triangles.” This year our family systems theory sermon is a post-holiday discussion of triangulation and how it can trip up our work toward healthy relationships.
Special Music: UUC Choir

Guest-At-Your-Table contributions will be collected at both services. Your contributions should be brought to the Fellowship on that day in the form of a check written to the UU Service Committee. Remember that your gift of $25 or more will automatically enroll you as a UUSC member, which will enable you to receive their newsletter for the next year. Gifts of $60 or more are matched by the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock NY.
January 18, Dr. Brian Britt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Tech: “Hate Speech, Curses, and Biblical Traditions.”

January 25, CANCELED BECAUSE OF SNOW. Rev. Christine Brownlie “Singing in the Tavern: Sufi Spirituality.” With the popularity of Rumi and the Enneagram comes a greater interest in Sufiism. This morning we’ll look at the heart of this way of the spirit and discover what it has to offer us.

February 1, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Jubilee!” The idea of a Jubilee year is very old and, to most of us, very odd. It's also an idea that might bring more joy into our lives, and wouldn't that be wonderful?
Special Music: The UUC Choir will be joined by musicians from the Congregation.

February 8, Reverend Dr. Barry Whittemore, former member of the UUC and currently the minister of the Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Gray, Tennessee. The title of his talk is “Cold Mountain: A Novel Approach to Universalism.”

February 15, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What is Marriage For?” Our society is engaged in a debate about the purpose of marriage as we consider the idea of same-gender unions. It might help to look at how ideas about the purpose of marriage have changed over time, and why a new understanding of marriage is evolving.

February 22, “Spirit of the seasons: a paradigm for living.” Victoria Taylor, licensed acupuncturist trained in the five elements of traditional Chinese acupuncture, will explore the benefits of linking nature's cycles to our own.

February 29, Rev. Christine Brownlie “Leapin’ Lizards! It’s leap-year day” (and member Bob Underhill celebrates his 16th birthday). I'd like to celebrate some “great leaps forward” that have happened in our congregation and our world. We will also look at the issues around the “great leap forward” that we are contemplating for our congregation this coming year as we consider our space needs and how to address them.

March 7, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Let’s Talk About Sex, or Politics or Religion—Anything but Money!” Every organization, just like every family, must break the old taboos and talk about money! How can we make this a less painful and more productive conversation?
Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing.

March 14, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Why Would a UU Pray?” The topic of prayer has come up in conversations I’ve had with some of our members and friends. I’d like to spend some time considering what prayer might mean in our tradition and context.

March 21, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Human Condition: Finitude and Sinitude:” How I learned to be grateful for all those imperfect people I have to deal with every day — well, most days anyway.<-p>

March 28, Rev. Frank Benedetti and Gary Trowbridge of the UU Fellowship of Winston-Salem: “The Gospel According to Harry Potter.” The main thrust of this sermon is overcoming the problems with being “different” and how a Welcoming Congregation can empower its members and work for social change.

April 4 (FIRST DAY OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Singing in the Tavern: the path of the Sufi.” Thanks to Coleman Barks and others, Westerners have become intrigued by the mystical Islamic sect known as the Sufis. Today we’ll go beyond Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes and discover what grounds this way of the spirit.
During the 11 a.m. service we will have our Spring book-signing ceremony welcoming new members into the Congregation.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing.
Welcoming Congregation Session 9 will follow a light lunch after the second service.

April 11, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Mr. and Mrs. Jesus?” In his book The DaVinci Code, author Dan Brown postulates that Jesus took Mary Magdalene as his wife and that she bore his child. Could this be true? Is the Holy Grail really a woman’s body? Does the bloodline of the House of David continue to this day?

April 18, Rev. Christine Brownlie: This will be an intergenerational event with singing, poetry, drumming and FUN! Let’s honor our Mother and consider how we can protect her.
Informational Meeting immediately after the second service to review the items that we will be voting on at the Congregational Meeting.

April 25, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Can UUs talk about God?” A few weeks ago at the end of the second service, someone said to me, “I like coming here because you almost never talk about God.” That evening I had a phone conversation with another person who wanted to know why it is that I rarely mention God. Can UUs talk about God? If we can, how might we start the conversation?
Annual Congregational Meeting: after the second service

At this meeting the Congregation will:
  • Vote on our budget for the next fiscal year, July 2004–June 2005;
  • Elect Congregational officers and trustees;
  • Vote on purchasing the Gross Property;
  • Vote on becoming a Welcoming Congregation;
  • Vote on amending our Preamble to include Welcoming-Congregation-specific language (if we vote to become a Welcoming Congregation); and
  • Vote on the Social Action Backback Project allocation of $3,000.

May 2, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Ethics of Choice.” On April 25, thousands gathered in Washington DC to participate in the March for Women’s Lives, supporting reproductive freedom and access to safe abortions. What are the ethics of choice and how can we support those who must make the choice to continue or to terminate a pregnancy?
Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing.

May 9, Russell Gregory, Professor of Religion at Radford University and self-proclaimed ZenBuddhistDaoistJewishBaptistAgnosticStoryteller: “Carol Gilligan Moves On: How To Shift Your Paradigm Into Fifth and Throw Patriarchy Out the Window.”

May 16, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Why?” The news of the terrible treatment of Iraqi prisoners is disturbing and baffling. I find myself wondering what brought the people and the culture to such a point that “good” people would do such awful things. I’ll share my thoughts and I hope to hear yours.

May 23, Carter Turner, adjunct faculty in Religious Studies at Virginia Tech and Radford — as well as a member of the Congregation: “Requiem for a Dream: Remembering the Religious Left.” Who was the Religious Left, and when did she die?  Can UUs help in her resurrection?
Special Music: Goldie Terrell and Leon Kok, Tenor Recorders.

May 30, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Mothers of Our Country.” We hear all about the Founding Fathers, but the women who were their partners and supporters (and sometimes their critics) are seldom mentioned. Today I plan to remedy that omission.

June 6 & 13: Single Services at 9:30 a.m.
Intergenerational, so childcare but no RE

June 6, Teacher and Youth-Advisor Recognition. This is our annual tribute to those who have served the congregation during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing.
End-of-Year Picnic will follow the service. The end of the year potluck picnic, sponsored by the Fun and Frolic committee, will follow the service. Grill items, drinks, and ice cream will be provided; Please bring a side dish to share

June 13, Today we will celebrate our beloved community with our traditional ritual sometimes called “Flower Communion.” The Flower Communion is a beloved end of the year ritual in many UU congregations. Everyone is asked to bring a flower for each member of the family. We will use the flowers to create a large and beautiful bouquet symbolizing the beauty of our own Congregation. At the end of the service, everyone will take home a flower other than the one they brought as a reminder that even when we are away from one another, the connections remain.

Sunday Services: June 20 — July 25 2004
Services begin at 9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Youth Program (ages 4–11) & Child care provided.
Coffee/Conversation after the service

June 20, Cathy Van Noy member of the Congregation: “My Architect.” This year, Nathaniel Kahn directed a compelling and poignant movie about his search for his lost father, internationally renowned architect Louis I. Kahn. I will be borrowing from Kahn's theme to direct an interactive tribute to fathers everywhere, and I will read some anecdotes about my father.

June 27, Susan Kwilecki, a professor of religious studies at Radford University: “What makes people religious?”  How does someone come to have a sense of the divine — forces that cannot be grasped by the senses or reason? I will discuss both some current theories that claim that all humans are born with an innate capacity to develop faith, and then introduce my own very different view.

July 4, “What America Means to Me” — a participatory service to awaken our thoughts about our 225- year-old experiment with a republican form of government. Bring and read a favorite patriot quote/statement that lifts up your ideals, write some personal thoughts about the America you know or the one you wish for, sing a song that invites us to remember why we celebrate this occasion. We will share and reflect on the spirit of a nation — past, present or future — be it the triumphs or its flaws. Glenn Skutt, inaugurating his year as President of the UUC, will facilitate during the service.

July 11, Second Annual Summer Sunday Poetry Slam. This “open pulpit” service will focus on poetry with a spiritual dimension. Members (and visitors) are invited to bring two selections to share that they find spiritually moving, inspirational, thought provoking or just plain fun. The poems can be original writing or already published; poets and poetry lovers of all ages are welcome. If you want further information, contact John Imbur.

A Congregational brunch will follow this service:
food and drink provided.

July 18, The Rev. Susan Karlson, minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wilmington, NC: “Neti, Neti, Neti: You are not This or That.” Discussion of the Hindu and Buddhist concepts of how we get to discover who we truly are, coupled with some reflections from our “Articulating Our UU Faith” curriculum.

July 25, The Rev. Barbara Wells ten Hove, co-minister at Paint Branch UU Church in Adelphi, MD: “Where the Awesome Meets the Familiar.” This service explores what some call the roots of religion: awe and humility. My sermon will portray how our particular faith, Unitarian Universalism, addresses these two foundational concepts. Can we relish the moments we need to say: “I don’t know!”? My husband, also a UU minister, and I will provide some special music.


Dr. Seuss is Coming
to Your RE Class this Summer.

Dr. Seuss would have turned 100 this year; it’s true!
And to honor Ted Geisel’s life, we bring his books to you.
Your child’s summer RE class is when we’ll be startin’.
Oh the things the kids will learn, oh the fun they’ll take part in!
June 20th is the day the celebration begins.
Children preschool through fifth grade please come with your grins!
“Oh The Places You’ll Go” to meet “King Louie Katz”
“The Sneetches,” “Gertrude McFuzz,” and of course, “The Lorax.”
So call Debbie K or Carol K
With questions or perhaps if you have a concern.
And finally, please know, that we are still seeking
Anyone who wants to help out with the teaching.


August 1, Angela Kelso, UUC member who has gone through the TJ District Journey Towards Wholeness program. “Thomas Jefferson: Racist and Race-Activist?” Included in her will be a discussion of our district identity, antiracism and a beloved community, and thoughts on race relations.

August 8, “A Perspective on Modern Iraq.” Our speaker, Dr. William Ochsenwald, professor of history at Virginia Tech, has made the Middle East a primary focus of his academic research. He is the author of the textbook, The Middle East: A History and an earlier book titled Religion, Society and the State in Arabia: The Hijaz under Ottoman Control, 1840–1908.

August 15, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Doubt as a Spiritual Path.” Some of us are convinced believers — or non believers as the case may be. But what about those of us who doubt? Are we just wandering in the wilderness, or are we too on a path?

A Congregational potluck brunch will follow this service.

August 22, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Happy Birthday Lord Krishna!” Hindus are celebrating the birthday of the blue god, Krishna, this week. We will take a brief journey through some of the most important teachings of this ancient religion and consider the gifts it offers to us. /p>

August 29, Ingathering Service. Please bring water to represent your travels, physical and spiritual this summer. Our theme is “connections,” so take time to reflect on the connections you made or renewed in your travels, or just sitting in your yard or living room.


Dr. Seuss is Coming
to Your RE Class this Summer.

Dr. Seuss would have turned 100 this year; it’s true!
And to honor Ted Geisel’s life, we bring his books to you.
Your child’s summer RE class is when we’ll be startin’.
Oh the things the kids will learn, oh the fun they’ll take part in!
June 20th is the day the celebration begins.
Children preschool through fifth grade please come with your grins!
“Oh The Places You’ll Go” to meet “King Louie Katz”
“The Sneetches,” “Gertrude McFuzz,” and of course, “The Lorax.”
So call Debbie K or Carol K
With questions or perhaps if you have a concern.

These programs run through August 23. August 30 is an inergenerational seervice. There will be children's programs at both services on September 5. Regular RE classes will start on September 12.

Sunday Services: September 2004
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

September 5, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “How Work is Changing.” Work is changing in some amazing ways: what have we gained, what might we lost, and what difference does it make?
RE: There will be Progrmams for children during both services. Regular RE classes begin next week.

September 12, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Soul Virtues.” One of the most important and difficult questions we ask ourselves is “how shall I live knowing that I will die?” This sermon will be the first of a series that will examine some of the virtues we can cultivate and rely on to help us live well.
Special Music: The UUC Choir

September 19, “Connections, Caring, and Covenants.” Let’s be honest. It’s hard to get to know people in the Congregation if your only contact happens on Sunday morning. One way to connect with others is through our “covenant” groups. This morning, members of our covenant groups will share what these groups are, how to join a group, and how to start a new one.
Transition ritual: The congregation will recognize those beginning kindergarten, middle school, and high school with a brief transition ritual during the story-for-all-ages (at both services).
Potluck after the second service

September 26, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Asking for Forgiveness.” This is a time of reflection and repentance for Jews as they mark the High Holy Days. We’re told that it’s important to be forgiving of others. It’s also important to be forgiven, but sometimes pride, fear, and shame stand in the way. How can we overcome these obstacles, and ask for forgiveness?
Volunteer Fair: between services and after the second service

Sunday Circle

September 19 (9:30 a.m.): We will be discussing “Why “Unitarian Universalism’ is Dying” — the title of a speech that Davidson Loehr, minister from Austin Texas, presented at SUUSI, this summer. Rev. Loehr suggests that the movement of UUs away from a religious center toward a political center - or away from a focus on God and toward a focus on us has resulted in a decline in membership. What are your thoughts? Anyone is welcome to come to listen or to chime in! (The sermon is on the Web at here.

Sunday Services: October 2004
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

October 3, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Virtue of Discernment.” The virtue of discernment allows us to decide what is important and worthy of our time, energy, and other resources. In this second sermon of the series on Virtues, we’ll begin to explore how we can cultivate the virtues that feed the soul.

October 10 (9:30 service), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Immigration Quandary.” Our country’s policies on immigration are often criticized by Americans, immigrants, those who want to immigrate, and foreign governments. In an era of security worries and tight budgets, can anything be done to improve the situation?
(11:00 a.m. service), Dr. Charles Good, coordinator for the Somali-Bantu Refugee project in the New River Valley and emeritus professor of Geography at Virginia Tech: “Somali-Bantu Refugees Arrive: the New River Valley Communities Respond.” Who are the Somali-Bantu refugees now living in Blacksburg? Why and how are faith communities, social services, private voluntary organizations, and individuals across the NRV helping them enter American society?
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services.
RE Teacher/Advisor Dedication: during both services

October 17, Dr. Celia Hayhoe, member of the Congregation and Cooperative extension specialist, Department of Apparel, Housing and Resource Management (Virginia Tech): “Living with chaos.” Why do some people’s lives seem to go smoothly while others’ lives seem to be chaotic? How do we cope with the unexpected twists and turns of life, while trying to pursue our goals and dreams?
Potluck after the second service

October 24, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “I'm an introvert; I don’t do conflict.” Introverts often shun conflict because it’s so painful — until they just can’t stand it anymore. Is there a better way than becoming a ticking time bomb of rage? Dr. Marty Laney says there is, and today we’ll explore her ideas.
Special Music: Leon Kok & Tim Mauthe, violins; Emily Murer, cello
Prelude:† London Trio No.1 1st movement Allegro (F.J. Haydn)
Offertory:† Largo ma non tanto, 2nd movement from Concerto for 2 violins in D minor (J.S. Bach)
Postlude:† Trio No.1 for 2 violins and cello, 1st movement (W.A. Mozart)

October 31, TURN BACK YOUR CLOCKS! Rev. Christine Brownlie: “We Remember.” On this day of All Hallows Eve, we will honor our loved ones, who have departed this earth, but who live on in our memories.

Sunday Circle

October 3 (9:30 a.m.): UUC member Bobbie Littlefield will lead a discussion of the book, The Soul of Politics: Beyond The Religious Right and The Liberal Left, by Jim Wallis, a political activist and internationally recognized religious leader, who has been working hard to organize people of faith to counter effectively the hold on government of the “Radical Right.”

October 17 (9:30 a.m.): Carter Turner, UUC member and adjunct faculty in Religious Studies at Virginia Tech and Radford, tells us his views of the connections between religion and sports. Join us as we delve into the question: “Is there more to the arena rituals of sports fans than meets the eye?”

Sunday Services: November 2004
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

November 7, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Helping America Heal.” We have endured a vicious political season, and it appeared likely the results of the election would be contested again. Many of us fear we are becoming a nation divided against itself. Is there anything the ordinary citizen can do to help heal the wounds?
Special Music: Prelude — Trio Sonata in A Op. 5 Nr. 1, first movement Andante (Handel) performed by Leon Kok & Tim Mauthe, violins; Maria Rott, piano. Offertory — Aria: “Where'er You Walk” from Semele (Handel) performed by Michael Greening, baritone Maria Rott, piano; Leon Kok & Tim Mauthe, violins.

November 14, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Soul Virtues: Patience.” Robert Sardello, the author of The Power of Soul, describes “patience” as the virtue that deepens our receptive capacities so that we can see what is in front of us now and be in connection with our soul and spirit. (This is the third sermon in a series on Soul Virtues.)
We will welcome New Members during both services.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services.
Informational Meeting
(following the second service) for next week’s Congregational Meeting.

November 21, Our youth group, the YRUU, will lead an intergenerational service. The topic is hunger and some of the things we hunger for as human beings. They’ll be talking about justice, knowledge, freedom, a deeper spirituality.
Beginning of Guest at Your Table collections (continues through January 9)
Congregational Meeting (following the second service)
Potluck after the Congregational Meeting

November 28, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Over the River with Lydia.” Most of us learned the song “Over the River and Through the Woods” in grade school. Sadly, most of us learned nothing about Lydia Marie Child, the Unitarian woman who wrote it. Today we’ll remedy that omission.
We will dedicate Liam Fentress, the son of Nancy and Robert Fentress at the second service.

Sunday Circle

November 7 (9:30 a.m.): “Affirmative Action: Revive it? Throw It Out? Fix It?” Roger Lewis will lead this potentially controversial discussion. Might this possibly open our minds to a later discussion in our Congregation about race and privilege in America? How aware are we of our own complicity in making this culture we live in a racist one?

November 21 (9:30 a.m.): What is this mysterious “flash of intuition” that suddenly reveals to us the solution to that difficult problem that we were wrestling with for ages with no result? Morton Nadler has been studying the psychology of invention for nigh 60 years and will share his insights with us this morning.


Sunday Services: December 2004
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

December 5, “What Did You Learn in School Today?” Children learn so much in school; not all of it comes from books. What lesson is being taught if the teachers and principals of our school system don’t reflect the diversity of the community? Dr. , president of the local chapter of the NAACP, will speak to us about the hiring practices of Montgomery County School System and the effect they see it has on children.
Special Music: Prelude — Violin Sonata III in F, 1st movement Largo (G.F. Handel) Leon Kok, violin; Aliah Rosenthal, cello; Maria Rott, piano; Offertory —  “Ombra Mai Fu,” Largo from Xerxes/Serse (G.F. Handel) Michael Greening, baritone; Maria Rott, piano; Aliah Rosenthal, cello; Leon Kok, violin.

December 12, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Values I Live By.” Many people claim that their values are based on their religious beliefs. I know that this is true for me, and today I will share with you what one Unitarian Universalist believes and tries to live by.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services.
This is Bring a Friend Sunday. (See the front-page letter from the minister in this newsletter.)
Tree trimming and a potluck for the tree trimmers will follow the 11 a.m. service.

December 19, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Gift of Darkness.” This is the darkest time of the year. While we wait for the light to return, let’s contemplate what darkness offers us.
Potluck (sponsored by the Caring Committee) after the 11 a.m. service.

December 26, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What Does Santa Do the Rest of the Year?” If Santa only works one day a year, what does he do the rest of the time?

January 2, Morton Nadler, Congregation member: Last fall Chris told us “atheists deny the existence of God.” How do we do that? Morton will tell us about the life and times of a staunch atheist — and does he really “deny the existence of god”?

Sunday Circle

December 5 (9:30 a.m.): “Growing up with Minister-Parents.” Amy Mauldon and Sue Hankins, both preachers’ kids, will talk about what it’s like to grow up with a minister for a parent. They'll talk about growing up (religious traditions practiced at home, perceptions of school kids, and perceptions/expectations of the congregation), and breaking away from the religious traditions of the parent and how that has influenced their current relationships with the parent.

Christmas Eve Service

“Lessons and Carols.” This is a traditional family service that offers readings from the gospels and other sources — plus carols and poetry. All ages are welcome — no childcare is offered. The offering will be used to fund the Minister’s Discretionary Fund, which provides help to those in the Congregation and in the larger community.


Sunday Services: January 2005
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

January 2, Morton Nadler, Congregation member: Last fall Chris told us “atheists deny the existence of God.” How do we do that? Morton will tell us about the life and times of a staunch atheist — and does he really “deny the existence of god”?

January 9, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “An Evening with Job: Some thoughts on the tsunami and human suffering.” (Note: this is a change from the title announced in the newsletter.)
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services.

January 16, Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that people of all races would learn to live together as brothers and sisters. This Sunday, Dr. Randy Grayson will share his observations about how this dream is faring at Virginia Tech. Dr. Grayson, a retired professor at Virginia Tech, was the founder, and co-director of the university’s Minority Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP).
Potluck (sponsored by the Caring Committee) after the 11 a.m. service.

January 23, CANCELLED BECAUSE OF ICE AND COLD.

January 30, CANCELLED BECAUSE OF UNCERTAIN WEATHER

Sunday Circle

Sunday Circle in January will be a two-part discussion on “Understanding Science and Religion” based on six tapes of an 8 1/2 hour class taught by UU minister Rev. Davidson Loehr; What is science? What kinds of questions can it logically pursue?   What kinds of questions are not within the realm of scientific explanation?  What is religion?; What are the religious questions?  What questions can religion logically pursue, and what questions are out of its realm.  Linda Powers will lead the discussion to understand how science and religion fit together.

January 2 (9:30 a.m.): Understanding Science and Religio: Part 1.  We will look at Dr. Loehr's definitions and historical perspective on science and religion.

January 16 (9:30 a.m.): Understanding Science and Religion: Part 2.  We will look at the consequences when science and religion stray into each other's fields.


Sunday Services: February 2005
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

February 6, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Faith of Charles Darwin.” Since it was first brought to public awareness, Darwin’s theory of evolution has been denounced as godless and heretical. What were Darwin’s beliefs about God and God’s connection with creation? And how did he respond to questions about God and evolution?
Special Music: Tim Mauthe & Leon Kok (violins) and Maria Rott (piano).
Congregational Budget Brainstorming meeting after the second service (rescheduled from the 30th).

February 13, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Give Yourself to Love.” In this intergenerational service we’ll explore the joy of giving ourselves to what we love and how we might come to love more of what we do.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services.

February 20, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Preparing the Feast, Expanding the Table.” Despite the outcome of the last Presidential election and the rising power of the Evangelical Christian movement, I see the coming years as a time of great potential for our way of the spirit — if we are ready and willing to seize the opportunity. What must we do to prepare and to act?
Special Music: Christa Ferst-Honaker (oboe), Leon Kok (violin), and Maria Rott (piano)
Potluck (sponsored by the Caring Committee) after the 11 a.m. service.

February 27, The Rev. Kelly Sisson, Pastor of Glade Church and renowned local potter: “When All That's Left is the Worm.” When the intoxicating elixir of life runs dry and we are left looking at reality, what's our response?

Sunday Circle

February 6 (9:30 a.m.): Genetic Engineering: Moral and Ethical Choices for Developing Countries, led by  Pat Traynor, who travels the world (mostly Africa), working to increase peoples’ understanding about biotechnology.

February 20 (9:30 a.m.): “You Can Fool People Most of the Time.” Bill Clarkson will talk about how Presidents get elected, with a focus on media manipulation.


Sunday Services: March 2005
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

March 6, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Digging Up Our Religious Roots.” This month, Zoroastrians will celebrate Norooz, which marks the beginning of a new year. Today we’ll look at this ancient religion and some of the beliefs and practices that influenced Judaism and Christianity.
After the second service, there will be a light Canvass Stewardship Luncheon

March 13, Rev. Audette Fulbright, minister to the Roanoke UU congregation: “Radical of Spirit and Society: Yeshua bar Joseph.” Some people affect their time and place. A rare few alter the course of history. Join us this morning as we consider how and why the life of Yeshua bar Joseph has radically affected all political and spiritual history for more than 2000 years, and what difference this might make to UUs.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services “O Come, You Longing Thirsty Souls” (Hymnal #209).

March 20, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What To Do When the Dog Won’t Stop Barking.” Poet Billy Collins has a novel solution for an old and annoying problem that just might change your life.
We will welcome new members at both services.
After the second service, there will be a light Canvass Stewardship Luncheon

March 27, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Proverbs of Ashes: Is God a Child Abuser?” Christians claim that God sent his only son to a horrible death so that humankind might be saved. Two feminist theologians find this story a horrifying tale of abuse. This morning we’ll consider their alternative reading of the Easter story and consider its implications for the Christian myth.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services, “Thanks be to Thee” (Handel).

Sunday Circle

March 6 (9:30 a.m.): Comfortably Unitarian Universalist — All Are Welcome, Comfortable or Not. How do we personally identify culturally — class, race, religion? Where are the roots of that identity? What is our congregational and district identity? How is it expressed in our Principles? How do others see us in the world? What's the future of our identity: How is it evolving?" Discussion facilitator will be Andrea Kelso, UUC member and member of the TJ District Antiracism Transformation Team.

March 20 (9:30 a.m.): “The Future of Blacksburg: Believe it or not, it’s almost time to begin work on Blacksburg’s next Comprehensive Plan.” Councilman Lancaster will discuss some of the issues that will be in the forefront as the plan is debated. Among the issues: affordable housing, redevelopment, and “smart growth.”


Back to The UUC Home Page

Sunday Services: April 2005
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

April 3 First day of Daylight Savings Time, Rev. Liza Fields and and Beth Obenshain: “Saving the Heart and Soul of our Valley.” Our community's landscape is being changed forever — too often by poorly planned and costly development. A new community nonprofit, the New River Land Trust, helps landowners save family farms, rivers, productive forests, and wildlife habitat. Hear how our community and others can unite to protect their defining landscapes and natural heritage. Award-winning journalist Beth Obenshain retired from a 30-year career as a newspaper editor so that she could devote herself to working on land issues in the New River Valley. She lives on and manages her family's farms in Blacksburg. Many of us know Liza Field from her columns in the Roanoke times. Raised as an Episcopalian, she has read widely in many spiritual traditions and sacred texts, and these have been the grounding for her sense of a reverence for life.
After the second service, there will be an informal discussion about the UUC budget for next year.

April 10, Professor Bob Benoit: “The Terry Schiavo End Game: Another American Tragedy.” For days we watched the drama unfold as the right to die was debated in the courts, the press, and the family. Bob, who teaches a class on medical ethics to pre-med students at Virginia Tech, will share with us his thoughts and concerns.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services, “Morning, So Fair To See” (Hymnal #42). The choir will be accompanied by a string quartet (Leon Kok & Emily Reisinger, violins; Stefan Kolb, viola; Aliah Rosenthal, cello).
After the second service, there will be an informal discussion about the UUC budget for next year.

April 17, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Soul Virtues: Courage and Faithfulness.” This morning we will again turn to the thoughts of author Robert Sardello and explore two more of his soul virtues: courage and faithfulness..
Potluck (sponsored by the Caring Committee) after the 11 a.m. service.

April 24, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Faith of Thomas Jefferson.” Was Jefferson really a Unitarian? How was he able to proclaim the God-given rights of humanity, and yet hold slaves? Today we will consider Jefferson not as a political figure, but as a deeply complex and very human man.
Special Music: Leon Kok and Maria Rott
Prelude: Prelude from Suite #1 in G for unaccompanied viola (originally cello) by J.S. Bach
Offertory: Largo from Viola Concerto in G by G.Ph. Telemann
Postlude: Bourrees I & II from Suite #3 in C for unaccompanied viola (originally cello) by J.S. Bach

Sunday Circle

April 3 (9:30 a.m.): Affluenza and the Tyranny of Choice or the Good Life vs. the Goods Life. We live in a culture of consumption, but having access to so many choices may not be a good thing. Yet, the simple life may not be the simple answer to saving less and consuming more. Isabel Berney will lead a discussion based on the PBS program, Affluenza, and recent news items.

April 17 (9:30 a.m.): “Culture Shock and Awe.” Three of our members (Akiko Nakata, Mike Greening, and Leonore Nadler) grew up in very different cultures and came to Blacksburg as adults. Hear about the things they found interesting, what they found distressing and puzzling as they adjusted to life in NRV.


Sunday Services: May 2005
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services

Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

May 1, “Global Warming — is it real?” Dr. Richard Rich will share his research and thoughts on the evidence for climate change, possible causes, and what this may mean for our future. Dr. Rich is a professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech and the director of the Center for Environmental and Energy Studies.
Special Music: Goldie Terrell, flute

May 8, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Mothers and Myths.” This morning we'll meet some of the mothers of ancient myths and see what these old stories reveal about mothers and motherhood.
Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services, “No Longer Forward nor Behind.”
After the second service, there will be an Informational Meeting in preparation for next week’s Congregational Meeting.

May 15, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What To Do When Things Fall Apart.” Most of the time we live within an illusion of certainty. Then life happens and we find ourselves shaken and fearful. Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön offers practices and ideas that seem radical yet useful.
Congregational Meeting after the second service.

May 22, Terry Grimes and Marcus Planet: “The Joys, Opportunities, and Challenges of Living with Madness Now and Then.” Advances in human rights for individuals with psychiatric disabilities, available medications, and a greater focus on recovery and empowerment offer hope for well-being as never before. Shrinking resources for treatment services and supports affecting quality of life as well as continued unwarranted forced treatment require our active vigilance and speaking out. Terry and Marcus are residents of Blacksburg and co-founded Empowerment for Healthy Minds, a non-profit consumer advocacy and education organization. Both Terry and Marcus live with serious mental illnesses.

May 29, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Soul Virtues: Selflessness and Devotion.” In a world of extreme individualism and instant gratification, these virtues seem quaint and maybe even irrelevant. Or are they sorely needed?
Special Music: String Quartet: Leon Kok & Tim Mauthe, violins; Theresa Conti & Stefan Kolb, viola.

June 5 & 12: Single Services at 9:30 a.m. and no RE

June 5, Teacher and Youth-Advisor Recognition. This is our annual tribute to those who have served the Congregation during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs. The children and youth will be participating in the service in a variety of ways, including a youth bridging ceremony.
End-of-Year Picnic will follow the service. Grilled hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, drinks, and ice cream will be provided; please bring a side dish to share.

June 12, Today we will celebrate our beloved community with our traditional ritual sometimes called the “Flower Ceremony.” Please remember to bring a flower for each member of your family who will participate. We will use the flowers to create a large and beautiful bouquet symbolizing the beauty of our own Congregation. At the end of the service, everyone will take home a flower other than the one they brought as a reminder that even when we are away from one another, the connections remain.
We will dedicate our new banner today.
Presentation of awards to Volunteer Honorees for 2004–2005 will be given during the service
Special Music: Leon Kok, recorder & Maria Rott, piano AND the UUC Choir will sing, “Flying Free.”

Sunday Circle (in May)

May 1 (9:30) “The Media: What Can We Believe?” Don Langrehr, Blacksburg Town Council member and Radford University Literacy Education professor, will discuss the topic of media literacy. We are confronted daily with a barrage of information that often is filled with a vast assortment of implied opinion rather than asserted facts. A higher level of media literacy can help us to evaluate the chatter and formulate more accurate inferences. (Everyone who attended Bill Clarkson’s presentation in February agreed that this topic deserved a second look.)

May 15 (9:30), “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.” Veteran war correspondent Chris Hedges writes, “War seduces...entire societies, corrupting politics, destroying culture, and perverting human desires.” Linda Powers will lead a discussion on whether war does give people a purpose and a reason for living.


Sunday Services: June and July 2005
9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Youth Program (ages 4íƒÏ11) & Childcare provided
Coffee/Conversation after the service

June 5, Teacher and Youth-Advisor Recognition. This is our annual tribute to those who have served the Congregation during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs. The children and youth will be participating in the service in a variety of ways, including a youth bridging ceremony.
End-of-Year Picnic will follow the service. Grilled hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, drinks, and ice cream will be provided; please bring a side dish to share.

June 12, “The Beauty of Our Garden.” Today we will celebrate our community by honoring those who have served us, dedicating our beautiful new banner, and participating in our own UU ritual called the Flower Ceremony. Please remember to bring a flower for each member of your family who will participate in the flower ceremony.
Presentation of awards to Volunteer Honorees for 2004íƒÏ2005 will be made during the service
Special Music: Leon Kok, recorder, Lesley Howard, flute, & Maria Rott, piano AND the UUC Choir will sing.
After the service, there will be an open meeting of the BET to discuss parking. (See other side of this page for further details.)

June 19, “A Voice from the Virginia General Assembly.” Delegate Jim Shuler will focus on the 2005 legislative session and address implications for the future.

June 26. Third Annual Summer Sunday Poetry Slam. This “open pulpit” service will focus on poetry with a spiritual dimension. Members (and visitors) are invited to bring one or two selections to share that they find spiritually moving, inspirational, thought provoking— or just plain fun. The poems can be original writing or already published; poets and poetry lovers of all ages are welcome. For further information, contact Jenny L.

July 3, “The Soul is Here For Its Own Joy!” Our service will be a time of dancing for joy with Paula Markham who leads the group known as Dances of Universal Peace. This group meets in our building once a month and every once in a while someone will ask Chris about it — now’s your chance to experience what it is.

The dances are circle dances, not terribly complex, and as enjoyable to watch as they are to do. They are based on Sufi teachings and celebrate community and our relationship with the divine.

If the weather permits, we could dance outdoors, so wear comfortable clothing, shoes that allow you to move and that won’t mind a little dew and dirt. Older children are welcome to participate.

July 10, Carter Turner: "The Sacred Nation: why many Americans Believe God Likes Them Best.” The first white Europeans settlers arrived on the shores of New England believing they were on a Divine mission. The link between God’s purposes and the nation is now woven into our national myth. What is the American religious myth and how is it being exploited today? Carter is a member of the UUC and is working on his doctorate in religious studies.

July 17, The Rev. Steve J. Crump: “Speed Demons Are Us.” Jazz singer/songwriter and minister of the UU Congregation in Baton Rouge, Rev. Crump brings to us original music and reflections on the personal challenge of slowing down, doing nothing, and countering a culture that says, “There is never enough time.” Rev. Crump is also the keynote speaker at SUUSI on July 22.

July 24, The Rev. Suzanne Meyer: “Risky Business.” In this age of litigation, should we not warn people that when they join a Unitarian Universalist Congregation, they are in some danger — in danger of deepening their faith, opening their minds, re-examining their ethics, and increasing their awareness of the world around them. And if we are not putting people in this kind of “danger,” are we failing them as a faith community? How can our church move from a low risk, low commitment relationship to a meaningful— even life changing— encounter? Rev. Meyer is the minister of the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, MO, and is the keynote speaker at SUUSI on July 20.

July 31, Dr. John Cairns: “Ecological Overshoot: Our Gift to Posterity.” Since 1980, human demand has exceeded nature’s supply. Data from 2001 put the overshoot at about 20%. How can we leave a habitable planet for posterity? John is a long-time UUC member and Virginia Tech University distinguished professor of Environmental Biology Emeritus.


Sunday Services: August 2005
9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Youth Program (ages 4–11) & Childcare provided
Coffee/Conversation after the service

August 7, Larry Bechtel: “’I Love Life!’ On the Corner with Carmen.” Larry will share his experience of meeting and learning from a mentor/teacher in an unlikely situation. These mentors expand for us the feeling of “the human family,” and often embody “living principles” which cross cultural and social boundaries. Larry is the Recycling Coordinator for VT as well as a sculptor and storyteller.
Special Music: Tony Ringold, Harpsichord; Leon Kok, Viola.

August 14, Dr. Ranes Chakravorty: “Hinduism is nonprophetic and is a way of life rather than a religion.” This talk will summarize the history of Hinduism and VERY briefly touch on the main tenets of a system that goes back at least 3000 years and involves a large proportion of the earth's population. Dr. Chakravorty is a medical graduate of the University of Kolkata, India. He has been involved in teaching Surgery and the history of medicine in 11 Academic institutions in 5 countries and 3 continents, before his retirement as Professor of Surgery, University of Virginia in 1999.

August 21, Robert Fentress: “I Am Not Resigned: A Meditation on the ‘Inevitability’ of Death.” The inevitability of death is an assumed fact of life. What if it was not? Recent advances in biogerontology suggest that life may be extended significantly within the near future, and strategies for extending life still further (perhaps indefinitely) have been proposed. UUC member Rob Fentress will explore these issues and their implications in his sermon. He will also incorporate songs he has written under the pseudonym, Hugh Bristi to accentuate the points he is making. See this URL.

After the service, the Congregational Meeting begun on May 15 will be reconvened. See August newsletter for details.

August 28 Ingathering Service . One element of this ceremony is known in some congregations as “mingling the waters.” Friends and members are invited to bring a small amount of water from their travels or water that represents the places they have visited (aka: tap water) Those of us who have spent the summer at home might bring tap water or rain water or water from a local river or stream. (Please no water from the Tech Duck Pond!)

There will be a large bowl near the pulpit and people are invited to pour their water into the bowl and briefly tell where this water came from. We invite you to also name something that you experienced or learned that awakened a feeling of gratitude in you.

After the ceremony our minister will take this water home and, following the instructions of a hydrologist, she will purify it. She will freeze the water and keep it to use in our child dedication services — or other occasions where “holy” water is required.

Many of us look forward to this celebration of community and the sharing of our experiences and insights. We hope your summer travels have been enriching— even if you go no further than your own backyard.


Sunday Service: September 4 2005
9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Youth Program (ages 4–11) & Childcare provided
Coffee/Conversation after the service

Please be aware that while these are the topics our minister plans to address, she has the prerogative to change a topic as current events or the sermon muse dictate. Sermons are posted on the Web site at the discretion of the minister, and not every sermon will be posted.

September 4, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Balancing Act.” Many of us wish that we could bring more balance to our lives. We feel overwhelmed and overburdened by our jobs ans well as the work of caring for family and home. Is the dream of a balanced life just that? Or could we come to a sense of balance by changing our understanding of what we do and why we do it? This is a continuation of the series on Soul Virtues.

Sunday Services for Remaining Sundays in September 2005
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services
Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

September 11, “Points of Pride.” The Equity Team of the UUC Social Action Committee will offer a service to kick off Gay Pride Week, which culminates in the annual Pride in the Park celebration on September 18 in Elmwood Park.

Special Music: the UUC Choir will sing, accompanied on the hammered dulcimer by Elaine Myer and Chris Brownlie.

September 18, “Youth Empowerment: What Is It? Why should one care?” Glenn Skutt, former advisor, and current YAC and YRUU advisors. (YRUU stands for Young Religious Unitarian Universalists, and YAC stands for Youth Advisory Committee.)

September 25, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Why Are We Here?” Every once in a while on a Sunday morning, I look around the room at all the beautiful faces and I wonder “Why are we here?” I want to share some thoughts about our time together on Sunday morning, and I’d like to hear your thoughts as well.

Pulpit Editorial: On this Call for Justice Weekend, UUs across the nation will be speaking out on the topic, “Stop Torture Now.”† Members of our Social Action Committee will give a pulpit editorial:† Bobbie Littlefield (first service) and Polly Stimson (second service)†.

Now Let Us Sing! Potluck and Hymn Sing: Many of you have said that you’d enjoy singing more during the Sunday Service if you had time and help learning the hymns. After the second service, you’ll have a chance to learn and sing the hymns that will be used in our services during the coming year. Some will be familiar; others might be new to you. We’ll have help from Sandy Toensing a UU with many years of helping congregations enjoy singing! Children are welcome to join us and childcare will be provided if requested by September 18th.

Sunday Circle

Sunday Circle discussions begin again on September 18th. All are welcome to join in one or more discussions with other UUs about a topic that is likely to be of interest to us all. This fluid group meets during the Early Sunday Service, at 9:30 a.m. on the first and the third Sundays of each month. There is usually a 20 to 30 minute presentation by a speaker on the topic for the week. Then anyone who wishes to do so chimes in with his or her ideas about the topic. The session ends at 10:30 so that the attendees can socialize with others during coffee time and can attend Second Sunday Service at 11:00 a.m. No long-term commitment required. Contact Bobbie Littlefield with questions and topic suggestions.

September 18 (9:30 a.m.) The first Sunday Circle meeting will take up the topic of gender specific classes at a university dedicated to principles of diversity and inclusion. Judy Snoke, UUC member and director of the English Language Institute of Virginia Tech, will facilitate the discussion.


Sunday Services for October 2005

October 2, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Quarrelsome Children of Abraham.” This week marks the beginning of the High Holy Days for those of the Jewish faith, and the month-long fast of Ramadan for those who follow the teachings of Islam. Both groups claim a common ancestor — why can’t they get along? Teacher and Youth Advisor dedication at both services.

Special Music: Sandy Toensing (vocalist), Tim Mauthe (violin), Leon Kok (violin), and Maria Rott (Piano)

October 9, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Mommy, Why Did God Make the Hurricane?” A child’s question, a mother’s answer, and what might we as Unitarian Universalists say to the age-old puzzle about suffering and evil?

October 16, “The Deep Roots of Mountain Music.” The folk music of our region has deep roots in the traditions of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Our guest, Katie Doman is a wonderful singer and a serious scholar of that tradition and she will share her talents and research with us.

Special Music: the UUC Choir will sing “My Life Flows On In Endless Song.”

October 23, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Life and Mystery of Dr. Michael Servetus.” Unitarians and other free thinkers hail Servetus as a theologian and a martyr. He made a puzzling decision that led to his execution at the hands of John Calvin, and scholars still wonder why.

October 30, TURN YOUR CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR! Rev. Christine Brownlie: “All Souls Celebration.” Today we will remember those who have died in the last year or so. You are invited to bring photos and other small mementoes of loved ones, two legged and four legged and other).

Special Music: VPI (Vocal Polyphonic Initiative) featuring Pat Casey, Mike Greening, Brian Vorees, & Jim Flowers

Sunday Circle.

October 2 (9:30 a.m.), “Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights,” a book by Thom Hartmann, will be reviewed by Linda Powers and Bobbie Littlefield. Hartman explains how corporations came to rule America, and he proposes specific legal remedies that could save the world from the political, economic, and ecological disasters that are the result.

October 16 (9:30 a.m.), Relying on fossil fuels to power our society is a major contributor to war, pollution, and global climate change. Biodiesel is a fuel made from vegetable sources. It can be used in conventional diesel engines (e.g.: Volkswagen, Mercedes, and many pickups), burns far cleaner than petrol-diesel, and does not contribute to global warming. Moreover, it can be locally produced at costs comparable to petrol-diesel. Richard Rich, Professor of Political Science and Public and International Affairs and Director of the Center for Environmental and Energy Studies at Virginia Tech, will explore the interest of UU members in forming a biodiesel co-op in Blacksburg to allow those who want to escape the oil economy to do so.


Sunday Services November 2005
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services
Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

November 6, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Human Need for Intelligent Design.” The battle over Intelligent Design seems to intensify with every election. What is the appeal and why are some people so determined to make ID part of school curricula?

Special Music: Quintet: Leon Kok & Tim Mauthe, violins; Theresa Conti & Stefan Kolb, violas; Maria Rott, piano

After the second service, there will be an Informational Meeting in preparation for next week’s Special Congregational Meeting

November 13, Question Box Sermon. Reverend Brownlie will answer your questions on our way of the spirit, our history and governance, and all other things UU.

During both services, we will welcome new members.

After the second service, there will be a Special Congregational Meeting on building options

November 20, Intergenerational Service. It’s Flu Season! Watch out for Affluenza! This nasty bug can infect your mind, your spirit and your home, leading you to accumulate stuff that will clog your closets and drain your financial resources. The whole family can be infected, so learn how to fight this dangerous bug together!

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing “As the Rain Is Falling” by Pablo Fernandez-Badillo.

November 27, “Ending American Apartheid: the need for a new political majority,” presented by Edward J. McPherson, Director of the STARS youth development program at Virginia Tech. He will address renewal of the Voting Rights Act as part of an ongoing political effort to make the United States a more perfect union, by redress of flawed constitutional considerations.

Sunday Circle.

November 6 (9:30 a.m.), “Is free trade, fair trade?” Larry Landrum's answer is “Nearly always yes, if you keep government out of it.” The classic argument for free trade is as valid today as it was 200 years ago and in our modern era a unified global marketplace offers the best opportunity we have to end world poverty. Larry believes the various “fair trade” arguments are generally self-serving dodges by special interests or the specious claims of ideological foes of free markets. A lively discussion is expected.

November 20 (9:30 a.m.), “Virginia's Poor Record of Defending the Poor.” Victoria Huber Cochran, Deputy Public Defender, Pulaski, will enlighten us on the criminal justice system in our State. Where would you guess Virginia ranks in the U.S. with regard to funding indigent defendants? This topic for discussion fits in well with the “Statement of Conscience” on Criminal Justice that UUs voted on this year at General Assembly.


Sunday Services Dember 2005
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services
Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

December 4, “Religious Scholarship, Spirituality, and Planetary Maturity” will be presented by Dr. Glen T. Martin, Professor of Religion, Radford University, who says, “This talk will link modern religious scholarship with the possibility of authentic spirituality, something, I believe, fundamental to the Unitarian-Universalist vision. It will then link authentic spirituality with ‘planetary maturity,’ the possibilities for a really new breakthrough for human beings on planet Earth.”

Special Music: Leon Kok & Stefan Kolb, violas.

December 11, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “How the Unitarians Saved Christmas.” In the early days of our nation’s history, Christmas had evolved into a rowdy affair that was so out of hand that the Puritans wanted to ban the holiday. The Unitarians, and their allies rallied to save the day for all. I’ll tell the story of their brave battle and we’ll decorate our tree with mittens during the service. Everyone is invited to the sandwich/finger food potluck after the second service.

Special Music: Sandy Toensing, Mezzo-Soprano; Leon Kok, Viola; Maria Rott, Piano

This is Bring-a Friend Sunday so be sure to invite someone to join in the fun.

Everyone is invited to the sandwich/finger food potluck after the second service. After our simple meal we’ll make simple ornaments for our tree.

December 18, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Ministry and Community.” Today we will honor and reaffirm the bond between our minister and our congregation as we celebrate the sixth anniversary of Chris’s installation as our minister. What is the role of the minister and what is the role of the people in our tradition? In honor of the occasion, we will have refreshments after both services.

December 25, Rev. Christine Brownlie: YES! We are holding two services this Sunday. These will be informal celebrations with stories, music, and time for sharing our own memories of the season. The service is for all ages (no RE classes) and we will not provide nursery care.

Sunday Circle.

December 4 (9:30 a.m.), “God and the Boy Scouts, or, Should we throw the baby out with the bath water?” Some history and context of the conflict between the UUA and the Boy Scouts; some opportunities for maintaining engagement; and why it is important to keep liberal religion at the table. Dan Brown has been a scout and scout leader since 1964 and a Unitarian since 1983.

December 18 (9:30 a.m.), “Being a Christian UU.” A panel including Margaret Bryant, Karen Grey, and Karen Turner will lead us in a discussion of what it means to be a Christian UU. How does the Unitarian fellowship fit better than a mainline Christian church? Must they compartmentalize any of their beliefs? How do Christian holidays figure in their households? Do we serve their children in our children’s groups? How can we make being Christian easier in our congregation?

Christmas Eve Service
Saturday, December 24, 6:30 p.m.

Why Not a Star? The story of Jesus’ birth as told in the Gospel of Matthew says that a star led the Magi to the stable in Bethlehem. Stars and other celestial bodies figure in the myths of other traditions. We will hear some of those myths as well as the traditional nativity story this evening. A special collection for the Minister’s Discretionary Fund will be received. All ages are welcome and nursery care will not be available

If you would like to be a reader for the Christmas Eve service, please contact Chris by phone or email. Children who can read at a third grade level are welcome to participate. We will be reading from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, some modern authors, and traditional poetry. Chris will send you your reading in plenty of time for you to become familiar with the material. Readers are asked to arrive for the service by 6:15 p.m.


Sunday Services January 2006
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Additional Pre-K RE class at 9:30 a.m. service
Childcare during both services
Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m. and at 12:15 p.m.

January 1, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Gazing into the Crystal Ball.” As we face the New Year, let’s look ahead and share our hopes and fears and consider how we can be a part of creating the world we want to see. This is an intergenerational service for all ages.

No RE, and no nursery care will be provided

January 8, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Beginning Again.” Quick! What do you think of when you hear the words “New Year”? I’d be willing to bet that many of you said “resolutions.” How can we make changes in our attitudes and our daily lives that will help us become the people we’d like to be? (This sermon is in fulfillment of Pat Casey’s purchase of a sermon topic at our service auction in 2004.)

Special Music: Emily Reisinger & Leon Kok (violins). Prelude: Dolce from Sonata in D Op.2 No.3 by G.P. Telemann; Offertory: Appalachia Waltz by Mark O'Conner; Postlude: Spiritoso from Canonic Sonata in D No.2

Collection of Guest at your Table donations.

January 15, “Let Justice Roll.” In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, the UUC Social Action Committee will discuss why POVERTY in the U.S. is a religious and ethical issue that threatens the very essence of the way we live. Ways in which our community is promoting a “living wage” for all of its citizens will be addressed.

January 22, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What Is This Thing Called Spirituality?” What do we mean when we say spirituality? How is this different from religion? How can we speak to the hearts and souls of those who want more spirituality in worship services and still honor our humanist roots? These are the questions I'm thinking about as I ponder the topic I’ve chosen for today’s ermon.

January 29, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Beginning Again ... Again.” It isn’t often that we have New Years twice in the same month, but this year the Chinese Lunar New Year (also celebrated in Korea, Vietnam, and Japan) falls on the 29th. This Sunday we’ll revisit the principles of The Art of Possibility and consider how they apply to our individual lives and the life of our beloved community.

Sunday Circle.

January 1 (9:30 a.m.), “Blink.” Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant — in the blink of an eye — that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Great decision makers aren’t those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of “thin-slicing” — filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables. Linda Powers will lead a discussion on the ideas in the book.

January 15 (9:30 a.m.), “An Intellectual Template for Understanding the Disaster in Iraq.” Tom Jannuzi will provide a way of understanding why the war in Iraq is already lost; this is independent of who might be in power in the US. Tom is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Asian Studies at the University of Texas, and is currently an adjunct professor in UVA's South Asian Center.


Sunday Services February 2006
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
(Pre-K RE and Grades 1–2 RE classes at 9:30 a.m. service)
Childcare during both services
Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m.
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

February 5, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Joseph Priestley: A UU Hero.” Priestley is best known as the man who discovered oxygen. He was also a Unitarian minister who was persecuted in his native Britain and forced to flee to America. What did this UU hero contribute to the growth of American Unitarianism and how is his influence still felt today? . (This sermon topic was suggested by Bruce Turner.)

February 12 CANCELED (snow)

February 19, Members of Community Opportunities will present “Support for People with Disabilities — Enriching Lives through Personal Commitment.” This is a local group founded by Dr. Harry McCoy and others, which assists people with disabilities and their families in developing the supports they need to live and work in the community.

February 26, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Eight Fold Path of Buddhism.” This month Buddhists remember the death of the Buddha. We will remember his life by reflecting on his teachings and the spiritual path he walked. (Originally scheduled for February 12.)

Special Music: Tim Mauthe & Leon Kok, violins, and Maria Rott, piano
Prelude: Flower Duet from Lakme (Leo Delibes)
Offering: Mon Coeur S'ouvre A Ta Voix from Samson and Delilah (Camille Saint-Saens)
Postlude: Ich Liebe Dich from The Heart's Melodies, Op.5 (Edvard Grieg)

Sunday Circle

February 5 (9:30 a.m.), “Care of Creation.” Lesley Howard, founder and past president of the New River Valley Land Trust (and a member of the UUC), will lead a discussion on how UU values are reflected in land conservation.

February 19 (9:30 a.m.), Read a book recently that rekindled your spirit, enlightened you about an era gone by which impacts on the present? Well, Cynthia and Dick Luke did!!! Blood Done Sign My Name (2004) by Timothy Tyson, Professor African American Studies at Duke University. “A most important book and one of the most powerful meditations on race in America that I have ever read.” (Cleveland Plain dealer) You need not have read the book to participate in the discussion the Lukes will lead.


Sunday Services March 2006
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
(Pre-K RE and Grades 1–2 RE classes at 9:30 a.m. service)
Childcare during both services
Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m.
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

March 5,So what is the big deal?” Dr. Mazen Arafeh, , a research associate at Virginia Tech and a member of the Muslim community, will speak on the recent cartoon controversy.

March 12, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “One True Faith or Many?” In an era of fundamentalism and fanatics, we hold that what matters most is the commonality between the various religions. Are we right?

Welcoming New Members (during both services)

Meeting on building options after the second service. (See article below.)

March 19, This morning we will be honoring two women whose lives and thoughts changed the role of women in America

9:30, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “A Woman Ahead of Her Time: Margaret Fuller. “ Margaret Fuller was a brilliant thinker, a friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and a woman who struggled to find a place in society. Her life story is inspiring and tragic.

11:00 , “Winter Wheat, the Betrayal of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her Woman’s Bible,” a solo drama, will be presented by actress/author Laurie James.  Greeted by standing ovations at General Assembly 2005, it brings alive a fascinating story of betrayal and controversy surrounding Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and the committee of women scholars who contributed to the book that established these women as major foremothers of feminist theology.

Photo Op for new members/friends after both services The Membership Committee is sponsoring a photo opportunity after both services. This is for anyone who has been attending services or other events in the past year or who missed the photo op last year. You are encouraged to have a picture taken so that we can update our Congregational photo directory.

March 26, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Extending Our Welcome.” What steps might we take in order to become a more diverse congregation?

Special Music: Leon Kok (violin) and Maria Rott (piano). Cavatina from The Deer Hunter by Stanley Myers.

RE Open house after both services. The Open House will take place immediately following the 9:30 a.m. service and close shortly before the 11:00 a.m. service. It will reopen again immediately following the 11:00 a.m. service. This will be an opportunity for parents attending either service to be able to meet and talk with their child (ren)'s teachers, and also for members of the Congregation to visit the classrooms and learn more about our Religious Education program. Refreshments will be served, and the children in the RE program will be entertained by qualified caregivers during the Open House.

Sunday Circle

March 5 (9:30 a.m.), “Talk yourself up; Talk yourself down.” Marcia Bailey will talk about the psychological impact of self-talk on our feelings of anger. Marcia was a professional social worker who headed a domestic violence program in a United Way agency in Buffalo NY. She has retired to Blacksburg where she does art.

March 19 (9:30 a.m.), “Defining Moral Values: Which America Will We Bequeath?” A hot topic internationally, UUs voted at General Assembly that we begin a study of this topic to determine our stance as a denomination. Bob Stuart, a UU with dual membership at Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, has been co-leading a series of Sunday morning discussions there titled, “Religion and Democracy.” He will lead us as we consider our thoughts on the role of moral values in this society

Two upcoming Congregation-wide meetings at the UUC to review our building expansion designs and to solicit input: Sunday, March 12, after the second service, and Monday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. These have been scheduled by the Building Expansion Taskforce (BET). The format and agenda will be the same for each session, so it is not necessary to attend both meetings. The alternative dates have been selected to accommodate differing schedules and commitments. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

In addition, architectural drawings are now available on the uucnrv.org website for viewing. The UUC's architect, Bob Rogers, has provided us with new drawings reflecting the current thinking of the BET.


Sunday Services April 2006
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
(Pre-K RE and Grades 1–2 RE classes at 9:30 a.m. service)
Childcare during both services
Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m.
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

April 2 (DAYLIGHT SAVINGS STARTS), Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Words to Open the Eyes and Ears of the Heart.” April is National Poetry month and we will celebrate by looking at works by some UU poets.

April 9, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Money Talks.” What does your money say about your life?

Annual Stewardship-Campaign questions and answers after the second service about the Fair Share Giving guide

April 16, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Faith Without Certainty.” Today many Christians will stand certain and secure in their faith in the bodily resurrection of Jesus while Jews remember their liberation from bondage in Egypt as Yahweh led them through the Red Sea. UU minister Paul Rasor says that liberal religion offers a different kind of faith -- a faith without certainty.

April 23, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Lo, The Earth Awakes Again.” Today we will celebrate Earth Day with an intergenerational service.

Special Music: Stefan Kolb (viola); Leon Kok & Emily Reisinger (violin). Prelude: Introduzione from Terzetto Op.74 (A. Dvorak); Offertory: Terzetto No.11 in g minor (J.S. Bach); Postlude: Allegro from Concerto Grosso Op.3 No.4 (G.F. Handel)

Photo -Taking for new members/friends between services (see article)

April 30, “Where we've come from and where we are going.” The YRUU (with assistance of YAC) will hold a special recognition service. YRUU invites the Congregation to enjoy great memories and to join in recognizing all the folks who have made this a wonderful YRUU/YAC year. Cake and punch after the second service!

Sunday Circle

April 2 (9:30 a.m.), “A (R) evolutionary proposal to defuse the church/state controversy.” Noel Feldman (Divided by God) has a truly novel approach to getting the “values evangelicals” and the “legal secularists” (his nomenclature) dialoguing. It is based on a penetrating analysis of the origin and subsequent history of the First Amendment’s religion clause and turns the current approach of liberals inside out. Morton Nadler will present

April 16 (9:30 a.m.), “Sustainable Marketing, Quality-Of-Life Marketing, and Well-being Marketing: An Ethical View.” Joe Sirgy, PhD, Consumer/Organizational Psychologist has had a leading role in The International Society for Quality of Life Studies which proposes, among other objectives, “to play a role of social change agent to bring about policies to foster QOL of various segments of society based on solid scientific study of QOL.”


Sunday Services May 2006
9:30 and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall.
Children“s RE classes 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
(Pre-K RE and Grades 1–2 RE classes at 9:30 a.m. service)
Childcare during both services
Coffee/Conversation 10:30 – 10:55 a.m.
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

May 7,Who’s At the Door and Should We Let Them In?” As our nation wrestles with the dilemma of “illegal immigrants” many of us struggle to get a grasp of the issues involved. Barbara Kraft and Chris Brownlie will present arguments from opposing viewpoints.

May 14, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Life in the Slow Lane.” My next-door neighbor is moving to Charlotte NC. He says that after seven years in Blacksburg, he’s ready to move into the fast lane. As the long days of summer beckon, his comment and an essay by poet Ioanna Warwick have led me ponder what life in the slow lane has to offer.

Special Music: Maria Rott (piano); Leon Kok (violin). Prelude: Somewhere in Time (John Barry); Offertory: You Raise Me Up (Rolf Lovland); Postlude: The AshGrove (English Folksong).

The building expansion model will be presented at the second service. The model will then be put on display in the foyer along with the drawings.

Informational Meeting: after the second service (for the following week’s congregational meeting)

May 21, Rev. Christine Brownlie: To Be Announced.” Did you ever do exactly what you were supposed to do and still found yourself in a mess-or worse? What’s up with that? What are some possible responses when Life laughs at us?

Congregational Meeting: after the second service.

May 28, Jim Klagge: “Conflict and Mediation.” Klagge, a Virginia Supreme Court-certified mediator for Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Courts, professor of philosophy at Virginia Tech, and former school board member, will offer his reflections on the (1) need for, (2) process of, and (3) religious significance of mediation.

Special Music: Aliah Rosenthal (cello), Selected movements of works for solo cello by J.S. Bach.

Sunday Circle

May 7 (9:30 a.m.), Ecumenical Environmental Effort (EEE) is an informal network of Blacksburg faith communities that have come together to combine efforts in “greening” our congregations and our community. The hope is that by thinking creatively, combining efforts and supporting each other's projects the EEE can accomplish more than each faith community would be able to do in isolation. Some questions the group is pondering are “What is the best way to educate and motivate our members to be environmentally conscious?” “What projects could we successfully tackle together?” Marquita Hill, a member of Blacksburg Presbyterian Church will lead us in discussion.

May 21 (9:30 a.m.), Bill Clarkson, M.D. and a member of the Congregation, will talk about the need for health care reform in this country. He states he is part of a minority group of physicians, (rapidly growing in numbers), that has decided that the different Band-Aids applied in an effort to cover our medical system's "sores" will never do the job. What is it going to take to fix the system? Come to hear Bill's ideas and to suggest your own remedies.

June 4 & 11: Single Services at 9:30 a.m.

Intergenerational: childcare but no RE

June 4, Teacher and Youth-Advisor Recognition. This is our annual tribute to those who have served the Congregation during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs.

End-of-Year Picnic will follow the service

June 11, Today we will celebrate our beloved community with our traditional ritual sometimes called the “Flower Ceremony.” Everyone is asked to bring a flower for each member of the family. We will use the flowers to create a large and beautiful bouquet symbolizing the beauty of our own Congregation. At the end of the service, everyone will take home a flower other than the one they brought as a reminder that even when we are away from one another, the connections remain.


Sunday Services: June 18 to July 30 2006
Services at 9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Youth Program (ages 4–11) & Childcare provided
Coffee/Conversation after the service


June 18, Stan Mathes, UUC member: “Living our values: Should we talk about it more?” In our sermons and other discussions at the UUC, we often hear discussions about our values and principles — as well as interesting lectures about other religions, the environment, and social issues. Many UUs work hard to live their lives by these values, but we don't hear as much about this kind of life as we might. I believe many would be more inspired to lead a value-oriented life if they learned more about how such people live their values.

June 25. The Rev. Don Johnson: “Poetry As Humanist Scripture” delineates how poetry serves as a common means for inspiration, guidance, and building community for humans today — just as specific religious scriptures served in the past. Rev. Johnson is a former Methodist minister, a former college chaplain, and Leader Emeritus of the Ethical Society of St. Louis.

July 2, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Can a Liberal Love America?” Those on the political right often accuse liberal of hating America. As we get ready for the 4th of July, I’d like to share my thoughts about being liberal and loving my country.

July 9, Fourth Annual Summer Sunday Poetry Slam. This “open pulpit” service will focus on poetry with a spiritual dimension. Members (and visitors) are invited to bring one or two selections to share that they find spiritually moving, inspirational, thought provoking — or just plain fun. The poems can be original writing or already published; poets and poetry lovers of all ages are welcome.

July 16, The Rev. Bill Gupton: “An Elevator Speech.” We've all faced that question from a friend or family member, co-worker or casual acquaintance: “Where do you go to church?” Followed by, “Unitarian Universalism … What's that?” Come hear how one UU minister has decided to respond. And perhaps you can share some thoughts of your own as well. Rev. Gupton is the minister at Heritage UU Church in Cincinnati, Ohio and is leading Thursday’s Evening Worship Service at SUUSI. He also serves as the Vice-President of the SUUSI Board.

July 23, The Rev. Meg Barnhouse: “Say ‘Move Over’: songs and readings about being a UU in the South.” Rev. Barnhouse is the minister at the UU Church of Spartanburg, South Carolina and will be giving Friday's Morning Theme Talk at SUUSI.

July 30,The Rev. Christine Brownlie: Because several members of the Katrina Team will be out of town this Sunday and thus unable to participate in the service they planned to offer, I will be speaking in their place, You'll have a chance to hear about the Katrina experience later in August.

My sermon will attempt to address my concerns about the growing violence in the Middle East and offer, I hope, a bit of hope as I tell you about The Fellowship of Reconciliation, the oldest peace organization in the U.S. and Europe. I find this group and the work they do to be a source of hope — even in these most painful and frightening times.

The Summer RE Program for children ages 4–11 yrs. will begin on Sunday, June 18 at the single (summer schedule) 9:30 a.m. service. The RE committee is currently seeking volunteers to lead these Sunday sessions. Two adults leaders are required by our child protection policy for all summer RE classes. Youth 12 years and older are invited to sign up to assist. All new adult RE volunteers will be asked to complete an application and VA Dept. of Social Services background check form.  Volunteers are urgently needed!  If you are interested in helping you may add your name to the sign-up sheet located in the Clara Barton room or you can contact Patty K., RE committee chair. Lessons plans will be provided for a selection of Dr. Seuss books. Sign up early to reserve your favorite story!


Sunday Services: August 2006
Services at 9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Youth Program (ages 4–11) & Childcare provided
Coffee/Conversation after the service

August 6, The Rev. Karen Day: “River of Creativity.” We’ll explore the creativity that flows through all of the universe. Even if you think you’re not creative, come and maybe you'll be surprised. Rev. Day is a UU minister, formerly with the UU Congregation of Greenville (NC), now living in Floyd.

August 13. “Report from the Katrina team.” Members of our team who traveled to Ocean Springs, Mississippi to help the town rebuild after being devastated by the hurricane will tell us what their week was like, how it affected them, what work they accomplished … and more

August 20, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Imagination and Religious Experience.” A cynic might claim that all “religious” experiences are actually the result of the imagination. Scholars who study religious experience see the role of imagination quite differently. What is the role of imagination in human experience and particularly in religious experiences?

August 27, Ingathering Service . One element of this ceremony is known in some congregations as “mingling the waters.” Friends and members are invited to bring a small amount of water from their travels or water that represents the places they have visited (aka: tap water) Those of us who have spent the summer at home might bring tap water or rain water or water from a local river or stream. (Please no water from the Tech Duck Pond!)

There will be a large bowl near the pulpit and people are invited to pour their water into the bowl and briefly tell where this water came from. We invite you to also name something that you experienced or learned that awakened a feeling of gratitude in you.

After the ceremony our minister will take this water home and, following the instructions of a hydrologist, she will purify it. She will freeze the water and keep it to use in our child dedication services — or other occasions where “holy” water is required.

Many of us look forward to this celebration of community and the sharing of our experiences and insights. We hope your summer travels have been enriching— even if you go no further than your own backyard.


Sunday Service: September 3, 2006
Service at 9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Youth Program (ages 4–11) & Childcare provided
Coffee/Conversation after the service

Rest of September
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

September 3, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Workaholism: The Virtuous Addiction.” Have you noticed the recent articles in the newspaper about people who check their e-mail when they’re on vacation? Some of us don’t take all of our allotted vacation time, while others don’t take vacation at all. Did you blush when you read this — are you a workaholic? How can we escape this addiction?

September 10. The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Our Theological House: A Tour of the House.” The Beetles sang that we all live in a yellow submarine, but the truth is that we all live in a theological house. I’d like to take you on a tour of our historic UU theological home as described by the Rev. Rebecca Parker, President of Starr King School for the Ministry, one of our UU seminaries.

September 17, “What Will the ‘Marriage Amendment’ Mean to Your Family?” This November, voters in Virginia will be asked to consider an amendment to the Commonwealth’s Constitution. Many people think that this amendment will affect only same gender couples. They should think again. Steve Cochran will explain the implications for all of us should this amendment pass. Steve Cochran is a graduate of Virginia Tech and a resident of Blacksburg. Currently he is employed by HH Hunt where he is the Director of Human Resources. He is the the current Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee as well as a member of the Montgomery County Planning Commission and a member of the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Association of the New River Valley.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform at both services, “Love is the Reason I Sing” by Boyd Bacon.

September 24, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What Are You Doing Here?” Now and then I ask myself this question. I’d invite you to do the same, and then consider your answer as we enter into a time of hope and anticipation for our future as a congregation.

Sunday Circle

September 17 (9:30 a.m.), Julia Lewis, member of the Congregation, will lead our discussion of: “Newspapers in a Changing Media World.” She will address the question, “Are newspapers, as we know them becoming extinct?”


Sunday Services: October 2006
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

Please be aware that while these are the topics our minister plans to address; she has the prerogative to change a topic as current events or the sermon muse dictate. Sermons are posted on the Web site at the discretion of the minister, and not every sermon will be posted.

October 1, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Raising the Roof.” Congregations, like people, move from one stage of life to another. Each stage has its own characteristics, needs, and tasks. Today we’ll look at where we are now as a congregation and the changes that are likely to occur as we open our doors and widen our circle.

Recognition of children and youth school transitions.

After the second service, Nancy Gardner, a clinical child psychologist (and a UUC member), will facilitate a meeting for parents and others who are concerned about how children and youth are dealing with the recent revelations of misconduct by John Utin, a former Blacksburg Middle School Teacher.

October 8. The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Celebrating 50 Years of Free and Liberal Faith in the New River Valley.” Today we will hear the story of our early founders and how we came to be to congregation we are today.

A Macaroni and Cheese Social will follow the 11:00 o’clock service.

October 15, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Our Theological House: Human Nature.” Because of other things during the service (a pulpit editorial, a mother-daughter Capital Campaign testimonial, the teadher and youth advisor dedication, and a follow up of the previous week’s “expand the dot” exercise, the sermon was not delivered. However, both it and the first one in this series are on the UUC Web site.

Teacher and Youth Advisor dedication at both services.

Special Music: the UUC Choir will sing “This Delightful Day We Sing” by George F. Handel.

October 22, “Space.” The YRUU, the Congregation’s teen youth group, will be leading both services.

October 29 (FIRST DAY OF STANDARD TIME), The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Service of Love and Remembrance.” On this special day we recall those loved ones who have died in the past few months. A table will be set up and you are invited to bring pictures or other mementos of people and animal companions who touched your life and heart.

Sunday Circle

October 1 (9:30 a.m.), Bruce Hull, Professor of the College of Natural Resources at VT, will speak about the need for reform within the environmental movement to balance sustainable human needs and respect for the natural world, using the framework of his book, Infinite Nature.

October 15 (9:30 a.m.), What are the success factors that make a millionaire? Are they lucky? Were they at the top of their class in school? Did they invest wisely in the stock market? Linda Powers, UUC member, will lead a discussion of the book The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley to answer these questions and find some unexpected characteristics of self-made millionaires.


Sunday Services: November 2006
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

November 5, The Rev. Don Johnson: “On Self-Deception.” What is a problem for each individual is magnified immensely when we examine self-deception by groups and nations.

Rev. Johnson has agreed to serve as the “Resident Minister” during Chris Brownlie’s sabbatical from February 4 to July 4 2007. Don is a former Methodist minister, a former college chaplain, and Leader Emeritus of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. He and Beverly currently live in Patrick County, VA. The Sabbatical Committee and Committee on Ministries are co-hosting a potluck after the second service Sunday November 5 to give everyone a chance to meet and greet the Reverend Don Johnson and his wife Beverly. The two committees will provide the beverages and main course of tasty lasagnas (both vegetarian and meat). Members and friends of the Congregation who plan to attend are asked to bring a salad, bread or dessert. Not only is this a great opportunity to meet Don and his wife, but for them to get to know many of us and begin to learn our various roles in the congregation. We hope to see you there!

November 12. The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Our Theological House: The Divine.” Today we’ll tour three more rooms of our theological house and discuss our historic understanding of God, Jesus and Spirit.

We will welcome new members at both services.

November 19, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Simple Gifts.” As we get ready for the pre-Christmas commercials on TV and the pages of ads in our magazines and newspapers, let’s take some time to celebrate the simple gifts that we so easily overlook.

This will be an intergenerational service: no R.E. classes at either service.

Special Music: the UUC Choir will lead the congregation in singing Siyahamba, a South African folksong

November 26, Homer Wilkens: “What's Behind A.A. Milne's Ivory Door?” Based on Milne's drama, this sermon explores the regrettable cohesive power of superstition, by considering the problems and possibilities faced by a young royal couple who defied superstitions and were then forced to go out into the world and face real life. Homer is a member of the UU church in Knoxville. Once a fundamentalist physics professor, he changed careers to social work and his religion to UU.

Special Music: Tim Mauthe on Violin and Viola.

Social Action Committee Special Offering (both services): for the Mental Health Association of the NRV towards their Holiday Gift Drive. You may bring items or provide cash/check

Sunday Circle

In November we will begin to tackle our new UUA study topic, Peacemaking. At the end of the four-year study, UUA delegates to our General Assembly will vote on our denomination’s position on this complex issue. Our members and friends are likely to want to contribute input to the “statement of conscience” that the study will generate.

November 5 (9:30 a.m.), “Military Force: What circumstances justify it?”  Capt. Thomas G. Ruberstein  (Department Head, Naval Science, Virginia Tech) will address the military’s perspective on some of the questions posed in our UUA’s current study guide on Peacemaking.

November 19 (9:30 a.m.), “Peacemaking.”  Debbie Warren, member of the Blacksburg Friends Meeting, will tell us about the history of the Quaker Peace Testimony and the current efforts of that group’s members. Starflower O’Sullivan, recently appointed leader of the local Justice Committee, will also attend.


Sunday Services: December 2006
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
(No RE or Childcare on December 24)
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

December 3 The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Hooray for UUC!” Today we will celebrate our successful capital campaign with a shorter service and a special social time between the services.

The first service will begin at 9:30 and end at 10:15.
The second service will begin at 11: 30 and end at 12:15.

December 10. The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Our Theological House:” Are You Saved? How did our Unitarian and Universalist forebears respond to this question? What do we say today?

Special Music: Goldie Terrell (recorder), Tim Mauthé (violin), Maria Rott (piano).
Guest At Your Table Boxes will be distributed during both services.

December 17, Rev. Karen Day: “Waiting and Still Waiting.” During this season of darkness, are we waiting for light? We will look at T. S. Elliot’s words, and consider what we are waiting for. Rev. Day is a UU minister, formerly with the UU Congregation of Greenville (NC), now living in Floyd. During Chris’s sabbatical, she will be in our pulpit once a month.

Special Music: the UUC Choir will perform “Carols Around” (arr. Nygard).
Today we will collect mittens for our Mitten Tree project.
A potluck and tree trimming party will follow the second service.

December 24, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Keeping Christmas in the Heart All the Year.” In Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol, the hero of the tale, Ebenezer Scrooge, declares that he will honor Christmas and keep it in his heart all year long. Should we — could we — follow his example?

Both services are Intergenerational Services: No RE classes (or childcare).


6:30 p.m., Christmas Eve Service: “Lessons and Carols.” This year we will focus on Christmas customs from around the world as we hear the old story from Matthew and Luke and sing some favorite carols. All ages are welcome to the service-no nursery care will be provided

December 31, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “A Resolution Worth Practicing.” Do you have a spiritual practice? Have you ever considered developing a practice but unsure of what to do or where to start? Or, do you find that you tend to your practice in fits and starts, and you wish you were more consistent? Or, maybe you wonder what spiritual practice is and why anyone would undertake to develop one. I hope this New Years Eve sermon will provide some answers and encourage you to tend to your spiritual life in the coming year.

Sunday Circle

December 3 (9:30 a.m.), “Can ‘NLP’ Improve Your Communication Skills?” Harriet Cooper has been involved in research on this topic about neurological language. She will lead the discussion on Neural Linguistic Programming, establishing rapport.

December 17 (9:30 a.m.), “Stifled Voices” or “Left Behind at Christmas.” When you are a minority in the UU faith community, (perhaps a Republican, a Christian UU, or a Jewish UU), do you think the second principle is honored by the majority? Are there times when you feel left behind? Karen Turner, Judy Snoke, Holly Lesko, and Pat Traynor will lead the discussion.


Sunday Services: January 2007
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

January 7, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Would You Follow That Star?” In the Christian tradition, January 6th is called Epiphany and is a celebration of the arrival of the three magi at Jesus’ birthplace. These three travelers who followed a star over desert and plain to an unknown destination have always intrigued me. What might these three wise men say to us about faith and following?

January 14. The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Our Theological House: Eschatology? Or The End of Time?” Many religious traditions make predictions about the end of time and the Day of Judgment. How does our tradition address this idea? And how might we respond to those who warn us that we will be “left behind”?

Guest At Your Table Boxes will be collected during both services. Please make out a check to UUSC.

Informational Meeting on Building Expansion will follow the second service. (Bag lunches will be prepared and sold by the YRUU.)

January 21, Cancelled because of weather

January 28, The Rev. Edward Piper, minister for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waynesboro: “Beyond Fear and Loathing.” Is there any hope that we can move beyond the current climate of religiously inspired division and violence? In his book Hope for a Global Ethic, Brian Lepard suggests that a shared set of ethical principles gleaned from the scriptures of the world's great religious traditions can meet the needs of our troubled world community

Fourth Sunday Social Action Committee collection will go to support the upcoming UUC rural Mississippi rebuilding trip. If you pay by check, please put Katrina Rebuilding in the memo line.

Pot Luck after the second service. The Knitters Covenant Group will supply an assortment of substantial soups plus cider. They ask members of the Congregation to provide salad, fruit, bread, crackers, or dessert.

Sunday Circle

January 7 (9:30 a.m.), “My Next Auto Purchase: When? What? Will It Be Practical & Environmentally Responsible?” John Randolph, Director, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech, tells us that the answer to our vehicle energy problem is the flex-fuel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

January 28 RESCHEDULED FROM THE 21st (9:30 a.m.), “The Military's Perspective on ‘Peacemaking’ and ‘Just Wars’." Capt. Thomas G. Ruberstein, Department Head, Naval Science. He will address the first two questions on our Peacemaking Study of the UUA and any other part of the beginning study guide about which he may want to comment.


Sunday Services: February 2007
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

February 4 (9:30 and 11:15), The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Myths of Ministry.” The work of ministry is mysterious to many people. Who has the right to claim this title? And what do ministers do?

Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform “Blessing” (Katie Moran Bart). In addition, Jeff Wynn, Carter Turner, and Jim Kern will be playing “Peace, Love and Understanding” at both services.

This is Rev. Brownlie’s last sermon as she heads off to her five month sabbatical. At 10:30 a.m., right after the first service, there will be a “bon voyage celebration.” Light refreshments and beverages will be served. The second service will start at 11:15.

February 11. The Rev. Don Robert Johnson, The Eternal Dance of Relationships.” The motif of the “Eternal Dance of the Universe” comes out of reading Brahma stories. These Hindu stories portray creation and relationship as integral — the relationships between people are the eternal dance of the universe. They keep it going! Relationships are an art form and a lifelong labor!

Special Music: Goldie Terrell bass flute (prelude) and flute (during the offering accompanied by Maria Rott on the piano).

Don is a former Methodist minister, a former college chaplain, and Leader Emeritus of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. He will be in the pulpit twice a month during Chris’s sabbatical.

February 18, Linda Ferguson, “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand.” Dr. Linda Ferguson is a member of the UU Congregation of Roanoke and the author of the book Path for Greatness: Spirituality at Work. Linda will present ideas on how to integrate ourselves spiritually into our everyday lives.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing a version of “Spirit of Life” (Carolyn McDade).

February 25, The Rev. Don Robert Johnson, “Ethics: Sculpting Our Best Selves.” While ethics are mentioned often today, the discussion is generally limited to quandary ethics (what to do in a specific situation). While important, this approach ignores that classical ethical philosophy was much more concerned with ethics in a broader and deeper form. The real question is an identity question: what does it mean to be a human being and to be good?

Fourth Sunday Social Action Committee collection will support the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program.

Sunday Circle

February 4 (9:30 a.m.), It is said that there are three historic “peace churches” that lead the way in peacemaking efforts: Church of the Brethren, Quaker, and Mennonites. Pastor Marilyn Lerch, of the Blacksburg Good Shepherd Brethren, will lead our discussion of this topic. Peace Studies was her emphasis in seminary, and she has completed additional studies at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

February 18 (9:30 a.m.), “Phantom Acreage and Ghost Slaves.” John Cairns, a long time UUC member and internationally recognized environmentalist, will lead our discussion about his favorite topic — which happens to be the one UUC members ranked highest on their list of concerns on the recent Social Action Committee Survey. Come hear his analysis of our society's serious addiction problem. Postponed for a month because of weather.


Sunday Services: March 2007
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

March 4 The Rev. Karen Day: 'Saving Grace: Universalism's Best Story.” The story of Thomas Potter and John Murray is our closest thing to mythic legend. How can this story help us look at what saves us today? We'll consider the layers of meaning in history and our own responses in the present.

Karen is a UU minister, formerly with the UU Congregation of Greenville (NC), now living in Floyd. During Chris’s sabbatical, she will be in our pulpit once a month (on the average).

March 11 (FIRST DAY OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME). The Rev. Don Robert Johnson, Pluralistic Philosophy.” This address will be drawing our attention to the essence of liberal religion: intellectual curiosity, flexibility and tentativeness in thought and process, respect and openness to other perspectives, and commitment to living based on the knowledge we now have.

Don is a former Methodist minister, a former college chaplain, and Leader Emeritus of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. He will be in the pulpit twice a month during Chris’s sabbatical.

March 18, The Rev. Karen Day: “Spiritual Freedom: Remember Africa.” We look at racial divides in the Unitarian branch of our shared history, and how freedom affects us all.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing “Why We Sing" (music and words by Greg Gilpin).

Make new friends and chat with old ones at the potluck after the 11 o'clock service, sponsored by the Anarchists covenant group. We promise no anarchy, only good food and fellowship. Bring a dish to share. Beverages provided.

March 25, The Rev. Don Robert Johnson, “Foresight, Charity and Justice: Responding to Genocide”. We all know how the advanced nations failed to respond adequately to Rwanda and other cases of genocide. The Unitarian Universalist Association has encouraged congregations to be aware of and to urge adequate response to the Darfur crisis. The address will provide an analysis of aid and a process for a more enlightened and thorough response to avoid such horrific tragedies.?

Fourth Sunday Social Action Committee collection is designated for emergency homeless shelters in the New River Valley.

R.E. Open House after both services.

Sunday Circle

March 4 (9:30 a.m.), “The Left Hand of God,” by Lerner is about conservative religion's progressive alternative.  Bill Clarkson will lead our discussion.

March 11 (9:30 a.m.), “Phantom Acreage and Ghost Slaves.” John Cairns, a long time UUC member and internationally recognized environmentalist, will lead our discussion about his favorite topic — which happens to be the one UUC members ranked highest on their list of concerns on the recent Social Action Committee Survey. Come hear his analysis of our society's serious addiction problem. (Rescheduled from February, when it was canceled because of weather.)

March 18 (9:30 a.m.),  “The God Illusion,” by Richard Dawkins, a book that has stirred some heated debate, will be reviewed by Alan Heath.  Alan reports that Dawkins makes a strong argument against the existence of God. Further, Dawkins asserts that religious groups have done much harm to humanity


Sunday Services: April 2007
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

April 1 The Rev. Don Robert Johnson, Joyful Reality: Life As It Is.” Philosophical and religious speculation develops our reasoning abilities and enables us to dialogue together on important issues like immortality. Yet no one can live with a totally speculative view, since this would keep us from seeing the world as it really is, obsessing only on illusory ideas. Life itself is the only certainty, albeit an often cruel one, and a finite one at that. Knowing this, we may choose to live life most fully and passionately.

Don is a former Methodist minister, a former college chaplain, and Leader Emeritus of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. He will be in the pulpit twice a month during Chris’s sabbatical.

April 8. Margaret Bryant & Karen Gray (members of the UUC), “What is a Christian UU?” We discuss the value in pursuing an open-minded study of Christianity.

April 15, The Rev. Karen Day:Spreading Good News: Hannah Jewett Powell.” This Universalist missionary in North Carolina went beyond the chapel walls to create a new church community. Could she be a model for today? We'll see if we can uncover our own missionary tendencies!

Karen is a UU minister, formerly with the UU Congregation of Greenville (NC), now living in Floyd. During Chris’s sabbatical, she will be in our pulpit once a month.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing Keep the Flame Alive by Carl Strommen.

Make new friends and chat with old ones at the potluck after the 11 o'clock service, sponsored by the Eclectic Covenant Group. Bring a dish to share. Beverages provided.

April 22, The Rev. Don Robert Johnson, “Suffering and Compassion (In Memoriam — Virginia Tech: April 16, 2007).” Rev. Karen Day co-led the service, and Ms. Nancy Combs-Morgan read the Story for All Ages. Assisting with the children in RE were Ms. Coombs-Morgan (Lifespan Religious Education Program Consultant, Thomas Jefferson District and Heartland District of the UUA), Rev. Carol Ann Taylor (MRE (Minister of Religious Education), Director for Lifespan Faith Development, Joseph Priestly District of the UUA), and Ms. Jan Taddeo (Coordinator of Youth Activities, Joseph Priestly District of the UUA).

Special Music: Goldie Terrell (flute) and Maria Rott (piano).

Fourth Sunday Social Action Committee collection is designated for The Free Clinic of the New River Valley. See below for details.

April 29, The Rev. Don Robert Johnson, “Civility and Civil Courage.” We live in a time of much rude behavior. Lives lived in private worlds and with apathy toward the public world is further unraveling our social fabric. Civility is the attitude well-meaning members of a healthy society have for each other, in order to have good social relations and public life. Civil courage and persistent engagement in the public arena is even more necessary for the common good. Democracy cannot survive without a populace dedicated to civility and civil courage.

Sunday Circle

April 1 (9:30 a.m.), Thomas Jefferson’s achievements and writings have inspired generations of freedom-loving Americans. Yet he was a virulent racist and would even deny the right to live in Virginia to free Blacks. The Sally Hemings story is not the worst we know about him! Should we continue to use his name for our UU district? Discussion led by Morton Nadler.

April 15 (9:30 a.m.), “Cool City Blacksburg.” What does this mean? And how can we be a part of this effort? What were the political “ins and outs” of the recent decision by the Blacksburg Town Council to become a Cool City? Susan Anderson, Blacksburg Town Council member, will be one of our discussion leaders. In addition, David Roper, the primary local instigator of this important environmental initiative will also attend. David will talk about the role that faith communities can play in making this a successful venture.


Sunday Services: May 2007
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education and Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55
Conversation at 12:15 p.m.

May 6 The Rev. Karen Day: “The Gift of Nothing." We'll practice giving and receiving... Well, come and see.

Karen is a UU minister, formerly with the UU Congregation of Greenville (NC), now living in Floyd. During Chris’s sabbatical, she will be in our pulpit once a month.

Special Music: Goldie Terrell, on fulte and bass flute.

May 13. Members of Womenspirit of the NRV, “Maid, Mother, Crone: Aspects of the Triple Goddess.” Is Mother's Day just a “Hallmark” moment? Let's reconsider Mother as one aspect of the Triple Goddess. She is part of the continuum of life - first the Maid, then the Mother, then the Crone. She is the Great Mother, Gaia, who encompasses all of life. Join us for an interactive service celebrating the archetypal Triple Goddess, encompassing youth, maturity, and old age.

Spend time with old friends and new at the potluck following the second service, sponsored by the Spiritual Reading covenant group. Main dishes will be provided, but please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Beverages provided.

May 20, The Rev. Don Robert Johnson: “The Company of Suffering: Pity, Sympathy, and Compassion.” When we think of how we receive and give comfort, we think of the use of pity, sympathy, empathy, and compassion. This address will review each of these approaches and urge us to carefully analyze how we care.

Don is a former Methodist minister, a former college chaplain, and Leader Emeritus of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. He will be in the pulpit twice a month during Chris’s sabbatical

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing I Will Not Leave You Comfortless by Everett Titcomb.

May 27, The Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) will lead the service: “Holes and Wholes & Bridging Out.”

Fourth Sunday Social Action Committee collection is designated for the Valley Interfaith Child Care Center, a non-profit 12-hour daycare program.

Sunday Circle

May 6 (9:30 a.m.), It is time to hear from one of our younger members! Claudia Taylor, one of UUC's many illustrious youth, will tell us about her impressions of Chile where she spent 6 months this school year. On her own initiative Claudia became involved with an organization, AFS, (which initially stood for American Field Service). It sends young people all over the world to learn from and contribute to other cultures.

May 20 (9:30 a.m.), “The Tipping Point.” This book, by Malcolm Gladwell, tells us that little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or “tipping point” is reached, changing the world. These "word-of-mouth epidemics" are triggered with the help of three pivotal types. Linda Powers will lead a discussion on these ideas.

June 3 & 10: Single Services at 9:30 a.m.

Intergenerational: childcare but no RE

June 3, The Teacher and Youth-Advisor Recognition. This is our annual tribute to those who have served the Congregation during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs.

Informational meeting after the service

June 10, The Rev. Karen Day: Today we will celebrate our beloved community with our traditional ritual someTimes New Roman called the “Flower Ceremony.” Everyone is asked to bring a flower for each member of the family. We will use the flowers to create a large and beautiful bouquet symbolizing the beauty of our own Congregation. At the end of the service, everyone will take home a flower other than the one they brought as a reminder that even when we are away from one another, the connections remain.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing Go Out With Joy by Hank Beebe

Congregational meeting after the service


Sunday Services: June 17 through July 29, 2007
Service at 9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare during the service
Coffee and conversation after the service

June 17 The Rev. Don Robert Johnson: “An Ethic of Compromise.” Compromise has many different meanings, including the blending of different perspectives or a shameful concession. Yet life itself is a series of compromises. Using several historical and personal examples, this address is intended to give some sense of the range and complexity of an ethic of compromise. Since one of life's goals is to move toward common values rather than winning, some suggestions for principled negotiations will be included.

The RE Committee and the two Parents of Young Children covenant groups are sponsoring a Father's Day potluck brunch immediately following the service. Everyone is invited to bring a dish to share and stay for the food, fun, and fellowship.

June 24 Dr. Linda Ferguson, member of the UU Congregation of Roanoke: “Faith and UUs: Stepping Beyond What We Know.” This sermon will explore how we UUs deal with the topic of faith: “What do we have faith in? How does faith serve our lives?” Linda will draw on personal experiences and the work of Thomas Keating, a leader in contemplative prayer.

During the service, we will take a few minutes to honor members of the Congregation who have done a particularly good job at promoting our goals during the past year.

The Fourth Sunday collection this month will be for The Kids' Friendly Food Program. In the summer months, children of low-income families are not in school, where they can receive free breakfasts. New River Community Action offers them special nutritional foods parents can pick up at the food pantry located at 110 Roanoke Street in Christiansburg. Please make checks out to “New River Community Action” and write “Kids' Friendly Food Program” in the reference line.

July 1, The Rev. Don Robert Johnson: “Exploring Time.” Deeply embedded in all of us is the modern concept and practice of time. But we may not realize the historic process by which time came to have such a powerful and controlling role in our lives. We might be helped by learning to distinguish the variety of times as conveyed by the Greek words “Chronos” (Calendar time), “kairos” (time as life flowing) and “eschaton” (time with a goal or end).

Brunch with Don Johnson and his wife Beverly following the service (not at the Meeting House).

July 8, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “A Snapshot of Oz.” When life gets hectic and we feel stressed, it's easy to imagine that there is a place where we will have control over our lives, where “troubles melt like lemon drops” and life will go smoothly. I had a sense that my five-and-a-half month sabbatical would be a bit like Oz — and it was — but not quite in the way I imagined!

Welcome Back reception for Chris following the service.

July 15 Annette Marquis, the District Executive or the Thomas Jefferson District: “Interconnections.” In our 7th Principle, we covenant to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. What does this principle teach us about how we connect with each other in our congregations, in our communities, and with other UU congregations? How does the independent nature of UUs create a challenge for our call to interdependence? This service will explore the interdependent web of human interaction and how it calls us to be in community with one another.

July 22 “"Seeking an Antidote for Apathy and Dogmatism: A Novelist’s Plea for an Engaged Society.” Author Daniel Spiro will discuss his novel, The Creed Room, and the lessons learned from writing it. Mr. Spiro is a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and the coordinator of the Washington, D.C., Spinoza Society. He will have just finished giving a workshop on Spinoza at SUUSI.

July 29 River of Words.” This is the fifth annual poetry service. Part slam, part reading... part original work from congregants, part work by a diverse array of poets, this service has been a wonderful opportunity to share the words that move and touch us, nurture us, inspire us. Please bring anything that you would like to share... don't worry about the quality of your reading or recital... we will be sharing our words with each other and I encourage everyone to bring something to share, no matter how small. And for those shy ones (or people who forget or just didn't know), there will be a poem in the service that will require some form of audience participation. Feel free to contact John I. if you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to participate beyond just being in the audience.


Sunday Services: August 2007
Service at 9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare during the service
Coffee and conversation after the service

August 5, Russell Gregory, retired Professor of Religious Studies at Radford University and many-time visitor to our pulpit: “The Response is Everything, or, Why Popular Music May Frustrate the Spiritual Quest.” The talk is based mostly on a book I read a couple of summers ago, and this book redefined how I understood Buddhism. Since then, I have garnered a few insights that I'll stir into the soup of my chatter.

August 12, Rob Fentress: “An Atheist Tent Revival.” We UUs pride ourselves on our rationality, but don’t you ever wish you could let yourself go and be filled with the spirit like our friends in the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches? Well, be prepared to let out some hearty “Amens!” and “Hallelujahs!” as Brother Bob leads the congregation in a rip-roarin' summer “tent revival.” This farcical sermon will be based on incendiary selections from the veritable bible of atheism, Good Sense, by Enlightenment polemicist Baron d’Holbach. Reverend Robert Fentress is a member of the Congregation and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church. You can be too! Just visit <http://ulc.net/>.

August 19, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Art and Soul.” One of my sabbatical goals was to explore my attraction/resistance to expression through the visual arts (drawing, painting, etc.) Today I’ll share some thoughts and experiences of my brief but fruitful journey that still continues.

August 26, Ingathering. One element of this ceremony is known in some congregations as “mingling the waters.” Friends and members are invited to bring a small amount of water from their travels or water that represents the places they have visited (aka: tap water) Those of us who have spent the summer at home might bring tap water or rain water or water from a local river or stream. (Please no water from the Tech Duck Pond!)

There will be a large bowl near the pulpit and people are invited to pour their water into the bowl and briefly tell where this water came from. We invite you to also name something that you experienced or learned that awakened a feeling of gratitude in you.

After the ceremony, our minister will take this water home and, following the instructions of a hydrologist, she will purify it. She will freeze the water and keep it to use in our child dedication services — or other occasions that require “holy” water.

Many of us look forward to this celebration of community and the sharing of our experiences and insights. We hope your summer travels have been enriching — even if you go no further than your own backyard.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Women’s Resource Center in Radford, which offers counseling, shelter, care companions, support groups and emergency finances. Checks should be made payable to Women’s Resource Center NRV

Make new friends and chat with old ones at the potluck after the service, sponsored by WomanSpirit. Bring a dish to share. Beverages provided.


Sunday Service: September 2, 2007
Service at 9:30 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare during the service
Coffee and conversation after the service

Sunday Services: Rest of September
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service

September 2, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Labors of Love.” We all have to work for the money we need to live, but some folks also choose to work for love of what they do and nothing more. They’re called volunteers, and they deserve some recognition!

September 9, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: What I Believe But Cannot Prove.” Every one of us holds beliefs that we are sure of but cannot prove. This morning I’ll share some of my unproven beliefs, and I hope that in the months to come you might share some of yours.

Special Music: Goldie Terrell (flute). In addition, the UUC Choir will teach Come and Go With Me to the Congregation.

.September 16, The Rev. Christine Brownlie:How Can We Be a Religious Community When We Hold So Many Different Beliefs?” I’ve heard this question many times and I’ve offered many answers over the years. Here’s my latest version.

September 23, The Rev. Don Robert Johnson: Do We Worship?” Don will discuss the etymology and definitions of the term “worship” and will seek to set the stage for a discussion to follow. As liberal religious adherents, will we not find our common ground in this “Space” and “Place” centered on viewing a Sunday morning congregational meeting to be about introspection, meditation, life’s flow and community, among other purposes?

Following the sermon there will be a facilitated discussion on worship. Congregants will be asked, “What does worship mean to you?” and “What are the reasons you come to the church service?” The purpose will be to learn from the broader UUC about what is important to members regarding worship.

The Fourth Sunday collection will support the Youth Scholarship Fund of the local branch of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The Youth Scholarship fund assists youngsters from the New River Valley, Floyd and Radford with post-high school educational expenses. The proceeds from the collection will result in tickets for the Freedom Quilt drawing issued to the Congregation. The quilt, an Underground Railroad Sampler Quilt, will be displayed on September 23d and 30th in Elarth Hall. Every $10 donated will allow for three tickets; $5 allows one ticket. The entire collection on that Sunday will determine the number of drawing tickets accruing to the Congregation. If the quilt should be won by the Congregation, it will belong to the Congregation.  The drawing will be held on October 27 at the Annual Freedom Fund Banquet at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will perform.

September 30, The Rev. Karen Day: “Living With...Mental Illness.” Breaking through silence by telling our stories is one way to cope with difficult subjects, then finding support and access to care are next hard steps. Yet we know how important it is to speak out and reach out, and so we begin.

Potluck: after the second service, hosted by the Women’s Breakfast Group.. Main dishes and beverages will be provided, but please bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Sunday Circle

September 16 (9:30 a.m.). The Impact of the Virginia Tech Tragedy on Mental Health Care. Bill Clarkson will lead a discussion on this topic.


Sunday Services: October 2007
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service

October 7, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Put a Foundation Under It” Today we will celebrate the next stage of realizing our dream of a new building. We will gather between the first and second service for a ground-breaking ceremony which will take place between 10: 20 and 11:10. To add to the excitement of the day, we’ll also welcome new members into the Congregation (during both services).

October 14, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: Association Sunday: Now is the Time.” How many times has this happened to you? Someone asks you what church you attend and when you tell them, “Unitarian Universalist” they say, “Huh? I never heard of that one before.” Now is the time to let the best-kept secret out of the bag and tell the world about our way of the spirit. The Unitarian Universalist Association will distribute funds raised by this Sunday’s special collection.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing Amani Utupe by Patsy Ford Simms, AND Jared Gibbs and Goldie Terrell will play Gluck’s Minuet and Dance of the Blessed Spirits: piano and flute

.October 21, The Rev. Paul Boothby: “Living Sanely on the Earth.” We used to think that being subversive and counter-cultural was thrilling and cool, but when it comes to our consumerist habits, most of us are anything but unconventional. We must be the change we want to see in the world. Rev. Boothby is a birthright UU and a graduate from the Starr King School for the Ministry. He comes to us from the First Unitarian Church in Lynchburg with his wife, Krista.

Potluck after the second service:: Main dishes and beverages will be provided by members of the Membership Committee. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.

October 28, “YRUU Fall Mystery Service.” Only the shadow knows what the youth will cook up for us this year... don't be scared... come on in for tricks and treats from the teens of the UUC.

The Fourth Sunday collection goes to RAFT, a NRV hotline agency of Community Service Board for those in need of crisis and suicide intervention and mental health referrals. Launched in 1969 by VT students, the service also provides a website www.nrvcs.org/raft, where there is information and donation opportunity. Or reach Raft by calling 961-8400. Please make your Fourth Sunday check out to “RAFT.”

Sunday Circle

October 7 (9:30 a.m.).A funny thing happened on the way to the 20th century.” Morton Nadler will tell how atheist Robert G. Ingersoll was the Billy Graham of the 19th century. This son of a Universalist preacher, friend of Unitarians himself, was confidential advisor to presidents after the Civil War!

October 21 (9:30 a.m.). “After-Effects of the Virginia Tech Tragedy.” Carol Robinson, a counselor at VT assigned to provide supportive services to one or more families of the victims, will talk to us about her impressions about some of the lesser known after-effects. Debra Salbador and Linda Powers will also participate in the presentation.


Sunday Services: November 4 – December 2
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service


November 4 (STANDARD TIME), The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “All My Memories of Love.” Today we will remember and honor the lives of family members and friends (two legged and four legged) who have died in the past year or so. You may bring a photo or some other object of remembrance for our table of memories and add their name to the memory tree.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing Saying Goodbye by Mary Donnelly.

November 11, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Doing the Holiday Cha-Cha.” The holidays are coming and some of us will be spending time with family members, friends, or others who are a bit troublesome. Today I’ll share some helpful ideas from Dr. Harriet Learner, who offers some new steps for the dance of relationship.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing.

Potluck after the second service

November 18, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Intergenerational Sunday.” Today is our kick-off for the Guest at Your Table, a program of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. We’ll learn more about this independent social justice agency and how we can support this alternative “missionary” program. All ages are welcome to attend this service.

November 25, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Paul We Never Knew.” New research and new translations of the writings of the Apostle Paul give us a very different understanding of the man and his theology. Come with an open mind and be prepared to meet this man again for the first time.

Special Music: The UUC Choir will sing.

December 2, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Light One Candle.” The story of Hanukah and the challenge it offers to us as Unitarian Universalists.


Sunday Circle

Beginning on November 4, there will be a three-part series based on the book American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips. This book relates the peril and politics of radical religion, oil, and borrowed money in the 21st century.

November 4: Dick Bauman will lead the discussion on oil.

November 18: Julia Lewis will lead the discussion on radical religion.

December 2: Julia Lewis will lead the discussion on borrowed money.

Sunday Services: December 9 — January 6
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service


December 9, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Without a ‘Why.’” In a world of measurable objectives and outcomes, the purpose-driven church and a focus on time management, living without a why is a very old and very radical idea. Could you live without awhy?

UUC Choir: Carols Around, arranged by Nygard.

Potluck at 12:15 p.m. Hosted by the Sages, Bring a dish to share.

December 16 The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The People Who Ring the Bells.” This is the first in a series on the faith of our neighbors. This morning we’ll hear the story of the Salvation Army and the battle to save the world.

Mitten Tree Sunday. See the newsletter for details.

December 23, Intergenerational Solstice Service led by WomenSpirit.

The UUC Choir: Carriers of the Light by Jerry Estes;
Goldie Terrell & Jared Gibbs will play Sicilienne by Faure (flute & piano).

December 30, “Holiday memories...” a congregation-led service in the spirit of the summer poetry slam. If you want to contribute, please bring a story, memory, poem, or tradition that is related to your own connection to the holiday season. If you feel shy and prefer to sit as an observer, obviously this is fine as well. Due to the desire to accommodate as many of the Congregation as the spirit moves, please keep your sharing to 3 minutes, give or take. If you have any questions, contact John Imbur.

January 6, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Look At That Star!” Today is Epiphany Sunday, honoring the arrival of the three Magi at the birthplace of Jesus. This is day of celebration in many countries and today we’ll learn a little more about those celebrations and reflect on the epiphanies in our own lives.


Sunday Circle<

December 16: A History of God, by: Karen Armstrong, will be discussed with Bobbie Littlefield leading, in this Christmas season when Christians worldwide are focusing on the meaning of Jesus' birth.

In January, Julia Lewis will resume the series on American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips. This book relates the peril and politics of radical religion, oil, and borrowed money in the 21st century.

January 6: The discussion will be on radical religion.

January 20: The discussion will be on borrowed money.

Sunday Services: January 13 — January 27
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service


In case of inclement weather, the decision to cancel services will be made by 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, if not sooner. If we cancel, an announcement will be sent to the listserv. You can also check by tuning to WSLS (channel 9 if you have Comcast cable) and see the list of closings running across the screen.


January 13, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “If A Tree Falls and I Don't Hear It...” If a tree falls and I don't hear it, does it matter to me? If someone suffers an injustice and I don't see it, should I care? If words are said to another and they feel diminished by those words, do I have any reason to respond if those words don't affect me in the same way? If an act of injustice is done and I don't see it or feel the consequences, is it any of my business? Who is my brother/sister and what do I owe them?

The UUC Choir: Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
My Soul Is a River, a tribute to MLK Jr.
Guest at your Table Collection.

Potluck 12:15 p.m. sponsored by the Spiritual Reading
covenant group. Bring a dish to share; chili will
be provided. Stay after the second service to
enjoy lunch with us.

January 20, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Please Have Your ID Ready.” Our 2008 General will be held in Fort Lauderdale FL. Because the convention center is within the designated port area, government-issued photo IDs are required for anyone attending GA events including the worship services. This requirement is raising important issues for everyone attending GA. How should we as a congregation respond?

January 27, Dennis Welch, member of the Congregation and of the English Department at Virginia Tech: “The Human Form Divine” William Blake’s, Theology of the Imagination, will be a slide presentation on this poet-and-artist's amazing vision of the Imagination and its implications for transcendence and a humanistic theology.

The UUC Choir: Simple Gifts


The Sunday Circle discussions are in the Clara Barton Room and run from 9:30 to 10:30.

In January, Julia Lewis will resume the series on American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips. This book relates the peril and politics of radical religion, oil, and borrowed money in the 21st century.

January 6: The discussion will be on radical religion.

January 20: The discussion will be on borrowed money.


Sunday Services: February 2008
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service


In case of inclement weather, the decision to cancel services will be made by 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, if not sooner. If we cancel, an announcement will be sent to the listserv. You can also check by tuning to WSLS (channel 9 if you have Comcast cable) and see the list of closings running across the screen.


February 3, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Three Dangerous Prophets of Peace.” Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Thich Nhat Hahn might have been three of the most dangerous men of recent times because they taught the power of peace to a violent era. What made them so bold? What do they say to us today?

February 10, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Way of the Spiritual Warrior.” To many of us, the words “spiritual” and “warrior” are oxymorons. Yet many faiths speak of the way of the warrior as an essential part of spiritual growth. How do you find your “inner warrior”? What does this aspect of our personality bring to our spiritual journey?

The UUC Choir will sing Be Still, Look Up and Listen;
Goldie & Jared will play some Bach.

Potluck 12:15 p.m. sponsored by the Anarchists covenant group, who, in anarchic fashion, will provide a variety of dishes with no unifying theme. Please bring a dish to share and enjoy lunch with your fellow congregants.

February 17, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Real Language of Love.” After the glow of infatuation and the thrill of discovering your “soul mate,” comes the hard work of living together in the real world with all its stress and demands. This work is part of many relationships that we treasure, whether it is between lovers, friends, or members of a congregation. Let’s learn the real language of love.

Music: Jim Kern and Jeff Wynne will play guitar.

February 24, Laureen Blakemore (UUC Coordinator of Volunteers) & Rev. Christine Brownlie will lead our first-ever INTERACTIVE volunteer survey services. We will learn how we can become more involved in our congregation and our community. We will hear of exhilarating and exciting experiences from past and present volunteers. We will complete and return the all-new survey of interests. We will discover the spirituality, fulfillment and joy involved in volunteering.

The UUC Choir will sing — but at Glade Church.

Fourth Sunday Collection will be for the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program. ebruary often ushers in the coldest weather of the year. Winter chill brings added danger for those who can’t afford to heat their homes. Others barely miss a beat when outdoor temperatures tumble. At the same time, due to economic pressures, fuel assistance funds need our help. Please give generously so that our Montgomery County neighbors can experience warmth and comfort. Make checks out to “Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program.” For more information about this vital program, please contact Melanie Collins at 110 Roanoke Street, Christiansburg, VA 24073, 540–382–6186.


The Sunday Circle discussions are in the Clara Barton Room and run from 9:30 to 10:30.

February 3: Kathryn Welch: “What Liberal Media? How Can We Reform, Reinvigorate or (If Necessary) Reinvent the So-Called Mainstream Media?” Big media achieve further consolidation. Big telcoms and ISPs have begun denying access to alternative news sources. And, at the precise moment in time we thought alternative news sources offered new options, the task of informed citizens becomes more challenging. But there are ways to not just obtain good information, but to engage in its distribution. How can citizens take advantage of the digital age to assure citizens arenrt cut out of the loop?

February 17: Joe Powers will lead a discussion on the book Deep Economy by Bill McKibben. The author looks at today’s consumer economy, and he concludes that for the first time in human history, “more” is no longer synonymous with “better.” He believes we must move beyond “growth” as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment.


Sunday Services: March 2008
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service.


March 2, Carter Turner, former member and Asst. Professor of Religious Studies at Radford University: “God and the Gridiron: Could Sports Really Be a Form of Religion?” There are many similarities between sports and religion. Both have rituals, sacred sites, mythical heroes, and ethical norms. But sports and religion may have more in common than meets the eye. Whether in the stands or on the field, the experience of sports can be nothing short of “religious,” and those experiences may explain why so many believe in God.

March 9 FIRST DAY OF DAYLIGHTS SAVING TIME, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “It Takes More Than Bricks!” It will take more than bricks to create the dreams of our liberal and free faith. There are many who believe that the age of religious liberalism is over. Can we keep the flame alive? To borrow a phrase that’s going around, I say, “We can!”

The UUC Choir will sing Sing Alleluia! (Jay Althouse) Goldie Terrell and Mike Schafale will play some combination of hammer dulcimer, flute, and guitar.

Potluck 12:15 p.m. sponsored by the Eclectics covenant group, who will provide some dishes based on recipes from the new UUC cookbook (and others based on recipes that should have been in the cookbook). Bring a dish to share, and enjoy our community lunch.

March 16, Molly Lazar UUC member and a resident of Shadowlake Village cohousing: “The spirituality of a village.” More than half the residents of Blacksburg's cohousing neighborhood are UU. What is so UU about cohousing? Is there spirituality to be found in communities?

Tyler Flowers (alto sac) and Jared Gibbs (piano): Aria (Eugene Bozza)

March 23, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Giving Up Jesus.” We’ve given up Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and even the God of our youth. Maybe it’s time that we give up the images and stories of the Jesus of our childhood and take a fresh look at this man and His message.

The UUC Choir will sing Love is a Light (Ken Bible and Tom Fettke)

Our UUC Fourth Sunday special collection this month supports Agents of Change (AC), through Vera Pfeiffer, former UUC YRUU member and a young adult daughter of Sally and Doug Pfeiffer. Through AC, Vera’s raising money for micro-loans to the impoverished Mexican border town of Tijuana. Micro-loans are not charity, but rather very small ($25), flexible loans helping an individual or group to start a small business or business venture. AC has an excellent track record. You can check it out at this AC Web site or kiva.org. Vera’s page is at this URL. Here’s a great way to make a big difference in others’ lives. Please help Vera to help them help them by making your Fourth Sunday checks out to “Agents of Change.”

March 30, The Rev. Christine Brownlie:Got that UU Joy Down in My Heart." As we wrap up our Stewardship Campaign, let's celebrate the joy of our free faith and our beloved community.

The UUC Choir will be joined by the Glade Church Choir to sing Old Time Religion Medley (arr. Mark Hayes)


The Sunday Circle discussions are in the Clara Barton Room and run from 9:30 to 10:30.

March 2: Every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., a group of local citizens get together at the Blacksburg Library to debate our nation's foreign policies. We will review one of the recent topics, Russia and ‘Putinism,’ using the materials provided by The Foreign Policy Association’s. One question we will consider: “How important should a country’s internal politics be for U.S. policy toward that country?” Bobbie Littlefield will lead.

March 16: Our own 3 Ds will speak about changes in religious expression. David Warner, Dennis Welch, and Dick Luke have all experienced a change of direction in their religious commitment. They will share their personal experiences of what lead to their original calling and what happened to help them change directions.


Sunday Services: April 2008
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service.


April 6, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Social Justice Sunday: Do We Care Enough to Share?” As the problems and needs of the peoples of Africa are coming into focus, how will we respond to the increased pressure on an already pressured planet?

Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano): Flute and Piano Sonata No. 2, Siciliano (J.S. Bach) for the Prelude, and from Rondo Op. 20, No. 10 (Theobold Boehm) for the Offering/Remembrance and Healing

April 13, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Earth Day Service: Life is Just a Pile of Compost!” This morning we will talk about nurturing the earth and ourselves and the creative use of garbage.

Elaine Myers will play her hammer dulcimer and the UUC Choir will sing “Wheel of the Water" (not together!)

Potluck 12:15 p.m. sponsored by The Parents of Young Children covenant group Families as well as individuals are welcome! Please bring a dish to share; however, if you forget, stay anyway and enjoy the company of your fellow congregants.

April 20, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Wandering in the Wilderness.” After their escape from Egypt, the Hebrew people spent 40 years in the wilderness. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness before he began his ministry. Some of us have been on vision quests in the wilderness. What is the power of wilderness?

April 27: The choir has prepared a special music-filled service to celebrate the sources of inspiration for our religious community. Come hear, at both services, a selection of songs and readings that will fill the air with reverence, joy, and wonder.

Join us for words and music that will encourage us to experience that transcending mystery and wonder which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life; and to embrace wisdom from the world's religions, which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life. Listen to one voice reading and many voices singing of earth-centered traditions that celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature; and on the words and deeds of prophetic women and men, which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and love. Hear songs and readings that teach us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit; and to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Fourth Sunday Collection will be Montgomery County Emergency Shelters (MCES). MCES has three homes providing temporary housing for people getting back on their feet after fire, eviction, etc. In addition to checks, MCES can use household items (dishes, pots, pans, sheets, etc.). A box for collecting these items will be located in the coatroom. Please make checks out to “Montgomery County Emergency Shelters.”


The Sunday Circle discussions are in the Clara Barton Room and run from 9:30 to 10:30.

April 6 Larry Landrum: “How to Lose, How to Win: Lessons from Early American Church History.” In 1776,”rational” religion in the form of Congregational, Episcopal and Presbyterian churches dominated the American religious scene. By 1850 “enthusiastic” Baptists, and especially Methodists dominated the scene and Jefferson's prediction that “every young man now alive will die a Unitarian” was completely quashed. Larry’s talk will focus on why the mainstream churches lost and the evangelicals won America and then present some ideas on how liberal religions and especially Unitarian Universalism can begin to reverse the slide that has been continuing ever since.

Due to there being no meeting area available because of the construction, as of April 20 there will be no more Sunday Circles until further notice.


(UUC Home)

Services: May 2008
Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Children’s Religious Education & Childcare at both services
Coffee and conversation 10:35–10:55 a.m.
Conversation after the second service


May 4, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Who Do We Welcome?” Grammatical concerns aside, this is a question that I’m asked when a newcomer notices our Welcoming Congregation poster. What’s this about? What are we called to do as a “Welcoming Congregation”?

May 11, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Judith Sargent Murray The Mother of American Universalism. If the Rev. John Murray is the father of American Universalism, then his wife is surely the mother of this movement.

We will have a welcome ceremony for new members at both services.

The UUC Choir will sing “Go Out With Joy."

Potluck 12:15 p.m. sponsored by The Knitting covenant group. Bring a dish to share, and enjoy our community lunch.

May 18, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “What We Want: the Ultimate and the Intimate.” The Rev. James Luther Adams, a twentieth century Unitarian theologian, claimed that people came to church because they were seeking a connection with the ultimate and the intimate. Is this your reason for showing up on Sundays?

May 25: Please join the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) as they lead their annual Spring service and bridging ceremony. The two youth being bridged out will be Erika Reid and Alice Cennamo: long-term members of the group.

Fourth-Sunday Collections are one way UUs reach out to those needing our help. Our collection on May 25 will support Community Action’s “Virginia Cares” program. Community Action is an established local human services organization. This new (Virginia CARES) project helps those who have been incarcerated transition into their communities and prevent recidivism.  The program serves anyone who has been incarcerated for any time, long or short, and is totally voluntary. For example, Virginia Cares helps clients secure necessary items (such as a copy of their birth certificate for identification) and other items for a job search. Please make checks out to “Community Action of the New River Valley” and note “Virginia CARES Program” in the memo line. For more information, contact Jill Columbus 382-6186 at Community Action of the NRV.

June 1 & 8: Single Services at 10:00 a.m.

Intergenerational: childcare but no RE

June 1, The Teacher and Youth-Advisor Recognition. This is our annual tribute to the teachers and youth advisors who have served the Congregation so generously during the past year in our children’s RE and youth programs.

Informational meeting after the service

June 8, The Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Inch by Inch, Row by Row, Look How We’ve Grown.” The Flower Service is a beloved end of the year ritual in many UU congregations. Everyone is asked to bring a flower for each member of the family. We will use the flowers to create a large and beautiful bouquet symbolizing the beauty of our own Congregation. At the end of the service, everyone will take home a flower as a reminder that even when we are away from one another, the connections remain. This will be a shortened service due to the Congregational meeting that follows the service.


June 15 David Travis: “Valuing Our Differences.” David, President of our local NAACP chapter, will address how individual differences are valuable in work and business, our social lives and communities, and in religion.

June 22 Rev. Karen Day: "In Deep..." Think the world is in it up to its eyeballs? According to Bill McKibben in his new book, Deep Economy equals deep happiness. With local stories we'll explore what it takes, personally and together to tap the “wealth of communities for a durable future.”

Fourth Sunday collection will support New River Community Action (Children's Summer Food Program).  This program provides nutritious meals once a day for needy children.  During summer months, while school is not in session and subsidized lunches are unavailable, these meals fill the gap.

June 29 Ellen Birx: "Zen in America." Ellen, a Zen teacher and nurse will focus on Zen as it is practiced here in the United States with an emphasis on meditation, lay practice, and gender equality. The mutual influence of Zen and psychology will also be discussed. We will conclude with brief meditation instructions and a few minutes of Zen meditation.

July 6 Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Gifts from General Assembly”. This year’s General Assembly promises to be verrrrry interesting. There are big changes coming in youth programming, the campaign for President kicks off with two wonderful candidates having declared, and there are sure to be surprises to bring home and share. So come and help me unpack what I’ve learned and experienced!

July 13 Sixth Annual Poetry Slam. You are invited to share those words that have touched, moved, nurtured and inspired you. Readings may be original or the work of a favorite poet or writer. If you do not have a reading to share, come and listen to those readings that are so meaningful to others in the congregation. Contact John Imbur at 320–1985 or <john_imbur@hotmail.com> with any questions you may have. There will be a sign-up sheet at the service.

July 20 Rev. Chip Roush, senior minister of the UU Congregation of Grand Traverse (Michigan): “Ripple: the Religious Humanism of the Grateful Dead.”  The lyrics and lifestyle of the Grateful Dead rock band, have inspired three generations (so far).  The religious humanism of the band has a lot in common with Unitarian Universalism.

Jeff Wynn and Jim Kern, guitarists, will provide us with a selection of Grateful Dead songs throughout the service.


Services: July 20 – August 31, 2008
Services at 10 a.m. in Elarth Hall
Nursery care for children ages birth to 3
Religious Education for children ages 4 to 11
Coffee & conversation in the foyer after the service


July 20, Rev. Chip Roush, senior minister of the UU Congregation of Grand Traverse (Michigan): “Ripple: the Religious Humanism of the Grateful Dead.”  The lyrics and lifestyle of the Grateful Dead rock band, have inspired three generations (so far).  The religious humanism of the band has a lot in common with Unitarian Universalism.

Jeff Wynn and Jim Kern, guitarists, will provide us with a selection of Grateful Dead songs throughout the service.

July 27, Rev. Dr. Michael Tino, minister of the UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester, Mt. Kisco, NY: “The Faith of A Scientist.” In a faith that celebrates the use of reason in religion, it is no surprise that we have created a religious home for many scientists. Our understanding of science, though, is potentially incomplete. How can faith and science be seen as complementary? Or even interdependent?

Fourth Sunday collection will support the Children’s Summer Food Program.  See page 9 in the July-August newsletter for details.

August 3, Dave Lievsay, UUC member: “Why Do Many People Seem to Need Religion?” Religion has been a feature of human life since prehistory. Dave will discuss some ideas that have been put forward to explain why this has occurred, as well as ideas for future research.

August 10, Bob Rogers, a member of the Baha'i Faith for eight years: “The Baha’i Faith: All Peoples — One Common Faith.” Founded in 1844 in Iran, this second most wide-spread world religion (after Christianity) embraces the expression - "the earth is but one country and mankind its citizens". Bob and other members of the Blacksburg Baha'i community will discuss key aspects of the Baha'i Faith, such as oneness, Manifestations of God, equality, race unity, the importance of education, the harmony of science and religion, and building a world civilization. Bob’s firm has served as Architect for our building expansion.

August 17, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Making the Dream a Reality.” For years, we have dreamed about our new building and the opportunities that a larger, more beautiful space would offer us. That dream has been realized, and now we begin to turn our attention to becoming the Congregation we want to be. What does that look like? How should we begin this work?

August 24, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Like Sunshine!” You may have noticed that one of my favorite selections for closing words says that our religion should be “like sunshine.” Today I’ll introduce you to the author of these words: Theodore Parker, one of our most courageous and heretical Unitarian ministers.

The 4th Sunday collection for this month will be donated to the Blacksburg Head Start Program. The program just started its fall session this week and is in need of a variety of supplies for its students who are preschoolers from low-income families.

Music was provided uring the service by Jared Gibbs (piano) and recorder musicians (Goldie Terrell, Tony Shields, and Terry Rhodes).

August 31, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Ingathering: Gather the Spirit.” One element of this ceremony is known in some congregations as “mingling the waters.” Friends and members are invited to bring a small amount of water from their travels or water that represents the places they have visited (aka: tap water) Those of us who have spent the summer at home might bring tap water or rain water or water from a local river or stream. (Please no water from the Tech Duck Pond!)

There will be a large bowl near the pulpit and people are invited to pour their water into the bowl and briefly tell where this water came from. We invite you to also name something that you experienced or learned that awakened a feeling of gratitude in you. After the ceremony, our minister will take this water home and, following the instructions of a hydrologist, she will purify it. She will freeze the water and keep it to use in our child dedication services — or other occasions that require “holy” water.

Many of us look forward to this celebration of community and the sharing of our experiences and insights. We hope your summer travels have been enriching — even if you go no further than your own backyard.

The UUC Choir will sing during the service.


Services: September 2008
Services at 10 a.m. in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Coffee & conversation following the service

Mfont size="+2">Sunday Circle (September 14 and 28) following the September Sunday services.


The UUC Choir will sing during the service.

September 7,Enter, Rejoice and Come In!” We will dedicate our wonderful new space this morning with words, music, and memories. Annette Marquis, the District Executive for the Thomas Jefferson District of the UUA, will offer the sermon: “Love is the Spirit. Building or expanding a physical plant is not enough to assure that a congregation will fulfill its mission to open its doors and welcome in all who need liberal religion in its community. Growing our Unitarian Universalist congregations can only happen if we infuse them with love, fill them with spirit, and permeate them with an unconditional welcoming. In this dedication service, we'll explore what comes next now that the building project is completed. What must your Unitarian Universalist Congregation do to assure that the equity in its building is truly equity in its future?”

This is an intergenerational service: no RE classes.

Click here for a link to a Web page about this service.

September 14, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Price of Being Right.” There are times when being right and not backing down is necessary. However, there are also times when being right is really a matter of perception. There are times to let go of what we claim is right so that a relationship can heal. How do we decide when we’re willing to pay the price of being right?

September 21, Dr. Ken Nafziger: “The Spirituality of Singing.” Dr. Nafziger will lead us in a service that will bring us all to a greater understanding of singing as a spiritual discipline and a profound human expression.

September 28, Rev. Christine Brownlie Thoreau’s Favorite Visitor.” Henry David Thoreau spent two years living alone in a cabin he built himself on Walden Pond. He often received visitors, but his favorite was a “guest” that we might be inclined to avoid: solitude. How might we welcome this visitor and be enriched by the experience of the encounter?

The 4th Sunday Collection this month will go to The New River Valley Agency on Aging. This organization provides a variety of advocacy and support services for individuals age 60 and above.  At this time, the agency has the following financial needs:  Meet expenses for a free workshop for caregivers (to be held on November 1, assist in paying for home repairs for disabled seniors, and provide fuel assistance for seniors.  Checks can be made out to NRV Agency on Aging.

Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle will meet on the second and fourth Sunday of the month starting at 8:45.

September 14: How animism and magic influenced the development of religion. Dave Lievsay, member of UUC, will explore the ideas of Edward Tylor and James Frazer concerning the human experience that leads people to want or need religion.

September 28: “Freedom for the Thought We Hate.” Tom Jannuzi, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Asian Studies (University of Texas), will speak on observations derived from Anthony Lewis’s new book, A Biography of the First Amendment. American society is periodically gripped with fear — fear manipulated by politicians. On many occasions, fear has triumphed over reasoned thought, and these are powerful reminders of the manner in which fear can be used to undermine our freedoms.


Services: October 2008
Services at 10 a.m. in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Coffee & conversation following the service

Mfont size="+2">Sunday Circle (October 12 and 26) following the SOctosber Sunday services.


October 5, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Ethical Eating.” Last June the delegates to the 2008 General Assembly of the UUA voted to make ethical eating our study-action issue for the next four years. This is an issue that can be addressed on so many levels of our lives. I’d like to begin a discussion on this topic with the idea that we’ll revisit it frequently.

The UUC Choir will sing The Storm is Passing Over; Goldie Terrell and Jared Gibbs will play Andalouse by Pessard

Our Teacher Dedication will take place during the Story Time. Please consider staying after the service to participate in the “AfterWord” discussion.

October 12, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Feast, Fast and Famine.” What does it mean for us to live in a culture that is so profoundly focused on food? What might we change in our own relationship with food that could truly help those who don’t have enough?

Everyone is invited to stay for the Community Lunch/Potluck following the service. We are trying a new system for potlucks this year. Instead of having the various small groups within the UUC be responsible in turn for hosting the potluck, everyone in the Congregation will be assigned a duty based on the first letter of their last name. The duties of setup, cleanup, main dishes, side dishes and desserts will be rotated through the alphabet from month to month. In October, the second Sunday is October 12. Plan to carry out the duties that day as follows:

  • Last names A through C will be responsible for bringing a beverage and setting up the tables in Elarth Fellowship Hall, beginning by 9:40 AM so as to have setup complete before the service at 10. Members of the Membership Committee will be available to direct.

  • Last names D through H will be responsible for bringing main dishes.

  • Last names I through L will be responsible for bringing side dishes.

  • Last names M through R will be responsible for bringing desserts.

  • Last names S through Z will be responsible for cleanup.

Be sure as you plan your dishes to bring at least enough that, if you and your family ate an entire meal solely of your dish, there would be plenty for each of you. We don’t want anyone to go away hungry!

Some in the Congregation are allergic to various ingredients (some life-threateningly so), and they would appreciate it if you provided a list of the ingredients in your dish. However, we understand that it’s very easy for people to forget, or for newcomers to be unaware of this request. Because we cannot ensure that the foods at our potlucks will not contain nuts, peanuts, or other allergens, we must all assume individual responsibility for what we consume, and parents must assume responsibility for their children’s food choices.

October 19, Andy Sarjahani: “How Tech Supports Sustainable Eating.” Andy, the Sustainability Coordinator for Virginia Tech Student Programs, will bring us news of some exciting initiatives that are underway at Virginia Tech to support sustainable eating and more.

The UUC Choir will sing Sing Ev’ry Morning and Noon and Night

October 26, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “All Our Memories of Love.” This Sunday we will remember and honor our loved ones who have died in recent years. Please bring photos, mementos, and stories of your beloved friends and family (pets included).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to the New River Family Shelter. This agency has temporary shelters in Blacksburg and Christiansburg and provides case management, information and referral services for shelter residents. If there is no space available at any of the three facilities (two homes and an efficiency room), clients receive bus tickets or money for gas to get to the nearest shelter alternative. In these uncertain economic times, any family can experience a crisis resulting in homelessness. Let's be generous in our support of those who may encounter the pain of being displaced. Please make checks out to “New River Family Shelter.”

The UUC Choir will sing Flying Free.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the second and fourth Sunday of the month starting at 8:45. All are welcome to join us for what is always a stimulating conversation.

October 12: Carl Hansen, UUC member, will present the first of two parts on The Politics of Agriculture. The history of civilization is essentially a history of agriculture. Agriculture has played a critical role in the evolution of society. Societies succeeded when food was in surplus and failed when insufficient. The purpose of this presentation is to consider some of the factors which influence the availability of food.

October 26: Carl Hansen will present part two on The Politics of Agriculture. This discussion will focus on a single commodity: Bananas. Bananas are so common that people rarely realize they have a fascinating history involving, politics, science, and business. Originating in New Guinea but now common in most tropical areas of the world, they also have become an important source of food for non-tropical areas as well. Their future has become problematical because of their susceptibility to bacterial infections. These infections have become resistant to the standard chemical treatments but breeding for disease resistance is difficult because of their patterns of reproduction.


Services: November 2008
Services at 10 a.m. in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Coffee & conversation following the service

Mfont size="+2">Sunday Circle (November 16 and 30) following the November Sunday services.


November 2 (turn clocks back!) Youth Service We’ll hear from the members of our youth group, the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) as they offer a service of music, lively thoughts, and the energy to inspire us. This is always an engaging and thought provoking service.

All are invited to stay after the service for our AfterWord discussion.

November 9 Rev. Christine Brownlie: A Faith for Tough Times The true test of our faith is how it helps us face the rough patches in life. What does our Unitarian Universalist faith offer in life’s tough times?

Today we will welcome new members into our Congregation.

Goldie Terrell, Jared Gibbs, Jeff Wynn, and Jim Kern will offer their musical talents.

Everyone is invited to stay for the Community Lunch/Potluck following the service. We have redistributed the duties so that there will be MORE FOOD than last month! If your last name begins with A through Kep, please bring a main dish; Ker through Laz, please arrive by 9:40 to set up before the service and bring a beverage; Leg through Mer, plan to stay for cleanup after the potluck; Mon through Z, bring a side dish or dessert. Please do your best to include a list of ingredients for your dish.

November 16 Rev. Christine Brownlie: Facing Mortality We live in a culture that turns away from the reality of death. The result is that many of us neglect the tasks that would assist our survivors, making a difficult time even more stressful. UUC member, Victor Bongard, an attorney who deals with estate planning, will discuss the legal issues that need to be considered, and Isabel Berney will discuss the plans for a future memorial garden and will present a survey prepared by the memorial garden committee for members and friends to share their thoughts on these topics.

The UUC Choir will sing The River Sleeps Beneath the Sky.

November 23 Rev. Christine Brownlie: Intergenerational Service Everyone Eats Bread! Whether you like corn bread, biscuits, whole wheat or rye, pita bread, monkey bread, or tortillas, almost everyone eats bread! You are invited to bring your favorite bread to share during the service as we celebrate the staff of life.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to Women's Resource Center of the NRV. This organization offers programs and services for adult and child victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as an extensive public education and prevention program. It serves residents of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski counties, as well as those in the City of Radford. Begun in 1977, it is the oldest shelter operation for battered women in Virginia. All services are offered free of charge. These include the 24-Hour Hotline and programs for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Victim/Witness, Education, and Volunteers. Please give as generously as you can.

November 30 Seth Leonard De-Mystifying Energy, Work, Meditation, and “Energy Work” Explore the chakras, our deepest understanding of spirituality. But what is a chakra, how does it feel? We will explore a technique that gives you a visceral understanding of the palm chakra and a consequent language for exploration of “energy work”. This will help you understand your own inner wisdom.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the second and fourth Sunday of the month starting at 8:45. All are welcome to join us for what is always a stimulating conversation.

November 9: Bill Clarkson, UUC member, will lead a discussion on the book "Bridge at the End of the World". Our world is being driven by capitalist multinationals with the mantra "more is better". But this process is rapidly depleting the world's resources and fouling the environment, a prescription for disaster. The author describes a viable way of evolving toward a more sustainable future.

November 23: How animism and magic influenced the development of religion. Dave Lievsay, UUC member, will explore the ideas of Edward Tylor and James Frazer concerning the human experience that leads people to want or need religion.


Services: December 2008
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (December 14 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.

Christmas Eve Service


In case of bad weather ... check News Channel 10 to see if our service has been canceled. If cancelled, a message will be sent to the listserv by 8:30. You can also call Lisa Evanylo at 552–8050 or Chris Brownlie at 552–5286 after 8:30.


December 7,Rev. Christine Brownlie:AIDS-The Forgotten Epidemic: World AIDS Day is commonly marked on December 1st. These days the AIDS epidemic that was such a concern in the 80s and 90s is largely forgotten. Yet this tragic disease still rages in much of the world. How might we respond to this devastating situation?

The UUC Choir: Sing Softly, World (Eugene Butler) accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano) and Goldie Terrell (flute).

Please consider staying after the service to participate in the AfterWord discussion.

December 14, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Myth of the Messiah Judaism and Christianity both proclaim the concept of a messiah, a person who is anointed and sent by God for a specific purpose. For those of the Jewish traditions, this title is complex and is used in many ways. For Christians, Jesus is that anointed person. Does this term have meaning for us? Perhaps.

Dick Kates will deliver a Pulpit Editorial during the service.

Members and friends of the Congregation are invited to bring in pairs of new mittens, hats, and gloves to decorate our Mitten Tree at the service. In addition to learning the Mitten Tree song, each RE class will be purchasing mittens with their offering money and will add them to the tree that Sunday. Afterwards, the mittens, hats, and gloves will be donated to New River Valley Community Services for distribution during the holidays to those in need.

Everyone is invited to stay for the Community Lunch/Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Ker through Z, please bring a main dish; Bro through Kep, please bring a side dish or dessert; A through Ba, plan to arrive by 9:40 to set up for the potluck before the service and bring a beverage; Ben through Bra, plan to stay for cleanup after the potluck. Please include a list of ingredients for your dish for those who have allergies. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up, and volunteers from the Membership Committee will be available to direct set-up. Please be aware that those setting up for the potluck cannot put your dish in the oven or otherwise prepare it in any way — they have their hands full just setting up tables, etc. Fun & Frolics will host holiday cookie decorating in the old foyer during the Community Lunch. Cookies and decorations will be provided on a limited basis. All are welcome to participate! Richard Eisler invites all interested men in the Congregation to discuss the possibility of developing a Men's Forum. The group will meet at a table in Elarth Hall during the community lunch/potluck.

December 21, Come All Ye—- A Winter Solstice Celebration! An Intergenerational Service with no RE classes. The Blacksburg UU WomenSpirit Gathering will lead us in a Winter Solstice Celebration of the longest night of the year, the return of the sun, and longer days. At this time of deep contemplation and review of the past year, we also look with renewed energy and joy toward the coming spring. Our wish for the new year is that it will bring peace to our hearts, our community and to the larger world.

December 28, Holiday Memories (second annual). A participatory service in the spirit of our summer poetry slam. A congregation-led service in the spirit of the summer poetry slam. Please bring a story, memory, poem, or tradition that is related to your own connection to the holiday season. If you prefer to sit as an observer, this is fine as well. But if you'd like to come up in the collaborative holiday spirit and share a little something of yourself, this is the venue to do so. Due to the desire to accommodate as many of the Congregation as the spirit moves, please keep your sharing to 3 minutes, give or take. This was a great moment of sharing last year, and we look forward this year's offerings! Contact John Imbur at 320–1985 if you have any questions.

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will be donated to the Mental Health Association of the New River Valley for its Pro Bono Counseling Program. The holiday season is a difficult and emotional time for many people. Financial support for this agency in its efforts to provide counseling services for those who are unable to afford it is especially important this time of year. Checks can be made out to the Mental Health Association of the NRV.

The UUC Interweave Covenant Group, led by Pippa Chapman, will meet after the service, in the library. The group plans to meet the 4th Sunday of each month.

Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the second and fourth Sunday of the month starting at 8:45. All are welcome to join us for what is always a stimulating conversation.

December 14: Carl Hansen, UUC member, will lead a discussion on the evolution of spirituality. Spirituality in different guises seems to be common to nearly all societies suggesting that spiritual behavior may have an evolutionary component. The purpose of this presentation is to explore some possibilities beginning with early evolution of mankind to the present day which may have a bearing to this conclusion.

December 28: Cancelled.


Services: January 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (January 11 and January 25 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.

Christmas Eve Service


January 4, Rev. Christine Brownlie Food Resolutions. I'd guess that if we took a poll of the top five New Year's Resolutions that food issues would be high on the list. Even though we're past New Year's Eve, I'd like to suggest some ideas for meaningful resolutions about food that you might add to your list.

Please consider staying after the service to participate in the AfterWord discussion.

January 11, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Way of Humanism. One of the sources of our living tradition is Humanism. What is Humanism? How has this source nourished our way of the spirit?

Pulpit Editorial by Morton Nadler

UUC Choir will sing Be Still, Look Up and Listen

Guest at Your Table donations will be collected. Please convert your saved coins into a check made out to “UUSC.” Indicate on the memo line that the donation is for “GAYT” and also if you wish to be a member of UUSC. Levels of membership and their fees are as follows: $10 student/youth; $20 Senior (65+); $40 Regular; $75 Dual (2 adults). Include with your donation the name, email address, and snailmail address for each family member you wish to enroll in UUSC. There is a matching gift program from Shelter Rock Congregation (Long Island) that will match contributions of $100 or more. Please join us in this once-a-year collection for our UUSC’s efforts to advance human rights and social justice around the world. Thank you for your generosity.

Everyone is invited to stay for the Community Lunch/Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Bro - through Cen, plan to arrive by 9:40 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. If your last name begins with Ch- through Cor-, plan to stay for cleanup after the potluck and bring a beverage. If your last name begins with O through Z, or A through Bra-, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with Cou- through N, please bring a main dish. Please do your best to include a list of ingredients for your dish to assist those with food allergies.

January 18, CANCELLED

January 25, Rev. Christine Brownlie Dealing with Betrayal. Betrayal happens. Politician lie and cheat, trusted friends hurt us with words and deeds, our spouse or partner violates our trust, our children break the rules. How should we respond? How can we recover trust?<

Music during the service: Prelude: Bile Them Cabbage Down (trad, arr. Richard W. Mooney), Kelby Benson and Hank Skutt (cellos); and Offering: Hungarian Serenade (Victorin Joncieres), Jared Gibbs (piano) and Goldie Terrell (flute).

Because of the collection on January 11 for Guest at Your Table, there is no separate Fourth-Sunday collection this month.

Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the second and fourth Sunday of the month starting at 8:45. All are welcome to join us for what is always a stimulating conversation.

January 11: CANCELLED.

January 25: John Randolph, former Congregation president and chair of Urban Affairs and Planning at VT, will lead a discussion on what we (VT and Blacksburg) are doing to address climate change, including the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment and Sustainability Plan and the Blacksburg Climate Action Plan


Services: February 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (February 8 and February 22 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


In case of bad weather ... check News Channel 10 to see if our service has been canceled. If cancelled, a message will be sent to the listserv by 8:30. You can also call Lisa Evanylo at 552–8050 or Chris Brownlie at 552–5286 after 8:30.


February 1, Russell Gregory, emeritus professor of Religious Studies at Radford University: We Are What We Fear: Becoming Conscious to Save Our Soul. Russell will explore the Jungian connection to the truth which surrounds us. Note: Here is the poem Russell mentioned during the service.

The UUC Choir will sing You Are the New Day (John David, arr. Peter Knight).

February 8, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Evolution Sunday: Praise the Lord for Evolution? It seems that science and religion have been foes for centuries. How can we bring understanding and respect to this quarrel?

Special Music: Ed Wolfe and Goldie Terrell (recorders): for the prelude, Gigue (Boimortier); for the offering, Sonata IV Allegro (Loeillet) and Minuets I & II (Boismortier)

Everyone is invited to stay for the Community Lunch/Potluck following the service. Here are February's assignments: If your last name begins with Cou- through Fi, bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:40 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware will not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly fashion. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving.

If your last name begins with Fl- through N, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with O through Z or A through Cor-, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with clean-up. Please do your best to include a list of ingredients for your dish to assist those with food allergies; and consider serving as a UUC Host to a newcomer.

February 15, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Intergenerational Service for All Ages: A Valentine’s Day Celebration of Love!

Parents please note that Rev. Brownlie will offer a ceremony of child dedication during the service.

February 22, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Laureen Blakemore: Volunteer Sunday. Our volunteers are our most valuable resource!  Today we'll celebrate all that they do for our Congregation and invite you to join this wonderful group. 

UUC Choir: Jubilee, with Helen Shafran singing descant, Lesley Howard (flute), Korey Mercier (drum), and Jared Gibbs (piano). Jim Kern will sing Supertramp's Give a Little Bit. Goldie Terrell and Mike Schafale will play a hammer-dulcimer and bass-flute duet.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will go to the New River Valley Chapter of the NAACP for its scholarship fund for local African-American students.

Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the second and fourth Sunday of the month starting at 8:45. All are welcome to join us for what is always a stimulating conversation.

February 8: There are deep links between these two liberators, one of the body, the other of the mind, deeper than sharing the same birthday. After describing these links, UUC member, Morton Nadler, will discuss the dilemma of historians trying to decipher Lincoln's basic motivation and deepest convictions with respect to Emancipation and the Constitution. Morton has uncovered the most amazing aspects of Lincoln's life, aspects that have been buried in little known and long forgotten biographies. Here is a link to his presentation.

February 22: Charles Darwin, whose birthday is celebrated along with Lincoln's this month, continued the Copernican Revolution which established that we don't occupy the central position in the universe. UUC member, Alan Heath, will lead a discussion on why he is considered to be one of the greatest thinkers of all time and how his work raises numerous big questions dealing with such issues as race relations, one's purpose in the world, religion, etc.


Services: March 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (February 8 and February 22 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


In case of bad weather ... check News Channel 10 to see if our service has been canceled. If cancelled, a message will be sent to the listserv by 8:30. You can also call Lisa Evanylo at 552–8050 or Chris Brownlie at 552–5286 after 8:30.


March 1, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Pain of Betrayal. Whether we’ve been betrayed by a mortgage bank, a sports hero, a manufacturer of toys or food, or that person way back in high school who violated your trust and broke your heart, betrayal hurts. How do we cope, how can we recover?

The UUC Choir will sing Amani Utupe by Patsy Ford Simms.

March 8, FIRST DAY OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Is UU a Faith or Philosophy? A member of the Congregation recently posed this question to Chris, and this sermon is her response.

We will welcome new members into the Congregation during the service.

Everyone is invited to stay for the Stewardship Potluck following the service.

To keep things running smoothly and ensure enough food for all, please note March's assignments as follows: If your last name begins with Fl- through Ha-, bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to help set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat to ensure that all proceeds in an orderly fashion. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with T through Z, or A through Fi-, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with He- through S, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with clean-up.

Please do your best to include a list of ingredients for your dish, to assist those with food allergies.

March 15, Rev. Christine Brownlie: UUC Justice Sunday: The Right to Safe Water. How many times a day do you turn on the tap in a sink and have instant access to safe clean water? When you flush the commode, do you give any thought to how this water is handled so it doesn’t spread disease? Not everyone enjoys what we take for granted. How can we address the justice issue of safe water and sanitation as a basic human right?

The UUC Choir will sing “There Must Be More Love Somewhere” (arranged by Clif Hardin) featuring Helen Shafran (soprano) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

March 22, Stewardship Sunday! Rev. Christine Brownlie: Stand by Your Faith! The Rev. Olympia Brown charged her congregations to be bold defenders of their faith. How might we be called to defend our free faith in these challenging times?

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit The Valley Interfaith Child Care Center. This center, located in Blacksburg, offers high-quality, affordable, fully state-licensed care for the children of low-income working families in the New River Valley. Its director, Katy Irene St. Marie, will be at our service on the 22nd and will share more information about this unique child care option available in our community.

March 29, Franke J. Neumann: In xochitl, in cuicatl: Aztec Lyrical Poetry. “I weave flowers into you. I put flowers around you. I lift you up to join us together. I awaken you. That is how I please you with whom I do it." (from Aquiauhtzin of Ayapanco) Dr. Neumann, an historian of religions and retired professor at VT will present some background about Aztec poets and their creations, together with a few translations that he has made.

The UUC Choir will sing “All Ye Who Music Love.”

Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the second and fourth Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

March 8: John Cairns, former UUC member, will lead a discussion on the profound biological and ecological changes we may face as our planet warms based on the book Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas. Check out these articles at John's Web site: 1) The Mother of all positive feedback loops, 2) Homage to Garrett Hardin: Nobody ever died of global climate change, and 3) The end of contagious optimism and denial.

March 22: Low Carbon Diet discussion led by Shelley Fortier & the Green Team<. Whether you are an experienced conservationist or only just beginning to explore the impact your lifestyle has on our planet, please come share ideas, successes and failures in reducing the detrimental impact some of our behaviors have on the planet. We will review opportunities provided in the Low Carbon Diet workbook, compelling Web sites for lifestyle changes, and we will discuss future steps the Congregation could take.


Services: April 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (April 2 and April 26 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


April 5, Rev. Christine Brownlie: It Would Have Been Enough. A section of the Passover Haggadah offers a list of what God did to liberate the Hebrew people from bondage in Egypt. As each act is named, the people respond with the word “dayenu” which means “It would have been enough.” When do we say “enough”-whether we are an individual, a corporation, or a nation?

Prelude: The UUC Choir will sing Ose Shalom (The One Who Makes Peace), trad. Hebrew text, music by John Leavitt (accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano) and Chas Hill (tenor sax));
Offering: Jared Gibbs (piano) and Chas Hill (tenor sax): I'll Be Seeing You by Irving Kahal and Sammy Fain;
Postlude: Jared Gibbs (piano) and Chas Hill (tenor sax): Bye Bye Blackbir by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon.

April 12, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Easter Sunday: The Gift of Forgiveness. An Intergenerational Service. For many Christians, the story of Easter is that Jesus’ death provided an acceptable atonement to God for the sins of humankind. For most Unitarian Universalists, atonement and forgiveness are found in human relationships. How do we forgive? What do we do if we cannot reach this ideal in our own hearts?

Prelude: The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns performed by Kellby Benson (cello) and Jared Gibbs (piano)
Offertory: Allegro from Sonata V für Flöte und Basso Continuo by J.S. Bach, performed by Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano)
Postlude: Impromptu in A♭ Major by Frederic Chopin

Everyone is invited to stay for the Potluck/Community Lunch< following the service. To keep things running smoothly and ensure enough food for all, please note April's assignments as follows:

  • If your last name begins with He- through Kep, bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving.

  • If your last name begins with Ker- through S, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with T through Z, or A through Ha-, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Please do your best to include a list of ingredients for your dish to assist those with food allergies.

April 19, Rev. Karen Day: Holding On and Letting Go. Mary Oliver suggests we must do both to be human. We'll consider her poem and what religious traditions teach us about how to manage these challenging tasks of living. Rev. Day is a UU minister living in Floyd and has been a guest speaker at the UUC many times.

The UUC Choir will sing Think on Me by Alicia Ann Scott.

April 26, Tod Whitehurst: Lifting the Spirit Through Laughter. As a congregation we will explore how intentional sustained laughter brings joy to yourself, your family and to the community at large. Tod, a newcomer to the UUC, is a Certified Laughing Yoga Instructor and the founder of the Laughter Club of the New River Valley.

Prelude: The Swan by Blück performed by Goldie Terrell (flute)Minuet of the Blessed Spirit and Jared Gibbs (piano)
Offertory: Sicilienne by Fauré, performed by Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano)
Postlude: Mean to Me by Ahlert/Turk

The Fourth Sunday Collection< will benefit the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry. It is important to continue our support of this local organization as it strives to provide individuals and families with one of the most basic of human needs. Checks can be made out to the “Interfaith Food Pantry.” Your contributions are greatly needed and appreciated

The UUC Executive Board voted to adopt an “Austerity Spending Program” for the remainder of the fiscal year in which there will be no spending on discretionary items. A Congregational Informational Meeting on the budget will follow the service to further discuss the situation.

Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the second and fourth Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

April 12: Newspapers struggle to remain society's watchdog. Christian Trejbal, an editorial writer with The Roanoke Times, will lead the discussion on the role of newspapers today.

April 26: UUC member, Isabel Berney, will lead a discussion on The Origins of Morality based on Frans de Waal’s book, Primates and Philosophers. This is a look at how biology helps us understand the evolution of morality and why humans don’t think it is good to be bad.


Services: May 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (May 10 and May 24 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


May 3, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “The Path of Atheism.” What does it mean to be an Atheist? Why would someone choose this path, especially in a society that is so steeped in religion? Today we’ll explore some of the fundamentals of this path and some of the issues that atheists face.

The UUC Choir will sing Ale Brider, (traditional, arr. Joshua Jacobson). Soloists: Wayne Neu, Polly Stimson, Chris Brownlie.

May 10, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Deepening the UU Spirit Together.” Many UU congregations have a small-group program that helps friends and members widen their circle of friends while exploring together topics of mutual interest. We have such a program, but it seems to me that it’s time for some new groups to be added. What kind of small groups would serve you? Let’s make it happen!

Prelude: Champagne Rag (by Joseph F. Lamb). Finn Roberts (piano).

Everyone is invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service. To keep things running smoothly and ensure enough food for all, please note April's assignments as follows: If your last name begins with KER- through L, bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your name begins with M- through Z-, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with A- through KEP-, please bring a main dish.

A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish, to assist those with food allergies.

May 17: Please join the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) as they lead their annual Spring service and bridging ceremony. Always a treat for those who attend, the youth are excited to share their adventures from their trip to Boston. The four youth being bridged out will be Brianna Wright, Devon Skinner, Alleyne Ross, and Jin Tiloganart — along with Carol Wolfe, as an outgoing advisor.

May 24, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “How Should We Remember Them?” For most of us, Memorial Day is the kick-off to summer. We’re aware that there is another reason for this holiday, but most of us might prefer to ignore it. This year, let’s take time to remember those who have served our nation.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Christiansburg Institute. Founded in 1996, the mission of the Christiansburg Institute is “to promote and preserve its unique place in the history of African American education in ways which will exemplify its legacies of educational achievement and lifelong educational opportunity”. Central to the mission is to restore a portion of the original Christiansburg Institute campus and to continue to plan and develop an archive, museum, and an inter-generational learning center. Your contributions to this organization would be greatly appreciated.

May 31, Dennis Welch, member of the Congregation: “Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man: Secularizing the Fortunate Fall and Apocalypse.”This presentation — not sermon — has one main purpose, the success of which you alone will judge, and that is to encourage (perhaps even inspire) you to read one of America’s greatest novels. Published in 1952, this novel by one of our premiere African-American writers raises complex and significant issues of race through a page-turning narrative that draws from and secularizes deeply religious motifs of Western society — the fortunate fall and apocalypse.

Prelude: UUC Choir will sing Swing Down Low. (arr. Patsy Ford Simms)
Offertory: Andante by Molique, performed by Jared Gibbs (piano) &. Goldie Terrell (flute)

A Congregational Informational Meeting will follow the service. The Annual Congregational Meeting will be held at 11:15 AM on June 7. At that meeting, the Congregation will approve the budget and elect officers for next year. At this Informational Meeting, the Congregants will have an opportunity to discuss the budget and provide feedback.

Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the second and fourth Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

May 10, Mollie McClintock and Irene Peterson will lead a discussion on gay marriage and civil unions. They will discuss partnership laws in the United States and around the world, and they will talk about their marriage in Canada and what it has meant to them.

May 24: Gloria Heath will lead a discussion on the book Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas W. Tallamy. The author talks about the importance of planting natives in one’s personal landscape to create a healthy and interwoven web that supports the plants which feed the insects which feed the birds.

May 31: Extra Sunday Circle Session UU minister, Greta Brown, who is hiking along route 11 to raise awareness of climate change, will be passing through our way this Sunday,, and would be delighted to meet with anyone who is interested in her activities and her vision. She will be available for discussion and questions beginning at 9 AM in the library.


Services: June 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Summer Program and Nursery Care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


June 7, Recognition of Our Religious Education Teachers and Youth Advisors. This is our annual tribute to the teachers and youth advisors who have served the Congregation so generously during the past year in our Religious Education program. This will be an intergenerational service with the Congregation’s children participating in the service. Each class will be responsible for a part of the service including the Chalice Lighting Words, Offering, Reading, or Closing Words. Special music is also planned.

Offertory: Improvizations of Caprice (by Eugene Bozza), Tyler Flowers (sax0phone).
Postlude: Mr. PC (by John Coltrane), Tyler Flowers (saxophone) & Jared Gibbs (piano).

Our Annual Congregational Meeting will be held immediately following the service.

June 14, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Our Community Garden. Today we will celebrate the many ways in which our beloved community nourishes our minds, our spirits, and even our bodies! The service will include the traditional “Flower Ceremony” so please bring a flower for each member of your family attending the service. This is an intergenerational service.

Prelude: Sunflowers (by Linda Pfeiffer and Jared Gibbs). Vocals: Jane Mahone, Linda Pfeiffer, Di Ross, Polly Stimson, Pat Traynor; Piano: Jared Gibbs; Transcription: Goldie Terrell.

Everyone is invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service. This is a wonderful opportunity to share food and fellowship.

To keep things running smoothly and ensure enough food for all, please note June’s assignments as follows:

If your last name begins with M or N, bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your name begins with COU through L, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with O through Z or A through COR, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies

June 21, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Fathering. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what is meant by the work “mothering,” but we seldom hear about “fathering.” What is fathering? How can we encourage more respect for fathers and their important role?

Prelude: D minor (Andersen), Goldie Terrell (flute)
Offering: #3, Zwölf Fantasien für Querflöte ohne Bass (Telemann), Goldie Terrell (flute)

The time capsule ceremony has been postponed until September.

June 28, Marianne Vakiener, a life-long UU and long-time Religious Education teacher: Our Whole Lives: Your Church Teaches What? In the early 1970s, the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) pioneered a controversial comprehensive sexuality curriculum for teens.  The UUA continues to offer sexuality curricula for all ages as well as Our Whole Lives (OWL).  Is sexuality education a religious education?  She believes the answer is yes.

Prelude: Kodachrome (Paul Simon), Jim Kern & Jeff Wynn (guitars)

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program. We have contributed funds to this organization several times in the past, with our donations going to the children's summer food program and emergency needs, such as rent, clothing, furniture, gasoline, etc. This agency is located in Christiansburg and is a primary resource for many individuals who have nowhere else to turn. Please make out checks to the organization


Services: July 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Summer Program and Nursery Care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


July 5, Rev. Christine Brownlie: America’s Religious Roots. You’ve heard the claim that America’s religious roots are in the Christian faith. What does this mean? And is this true?

Annual Volunteer Awards (presented by Pat Trayor)

Special Music: Goldie Terrell (flute); Prelude, Sonatina (Kuhlau) and offering, Summer Frolic (Terrell).

July 12, Rev. Dr. Norman Bakken, author of “A Sense of the Sacred” and a retired minister living in Blacksburg: A New Way to Listen. The language of the past, our ancient traditions, creeds, belief systems might have been applicable for their day and age, but pass us by as remnants of fairy stories and conceptions which, with the advance of culture and science, have no direct application to our situation.  That does not mean that those traditions have no value, but it does mean that adaptation and change are necessary to include present thought and science and to make the direction of past insights applicable to life today.

Special Music: Kellby Benson ad Kaily Schenker will play cello duets.

Everyone is invited to stay for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service. This is a wonderful opportunity to share food and fellowship. Our June potluck was a little slim and there was not enough food for the number of people who attended. Whenever you are bringing a dish for the potluck, please remember that in a sense, we are all each other's hosts, and therefore it is our joint responsibility to see that enough food is present to feed all, including those who are new or who have forgotten to bring a dish. While we are grateful for all contributions, we would encourage you to bring sufficient food for yourself, your family or guests, and two additional adults. We would also encourage everyone to be mindful of the number of people who are following you in line. If you are among the first to fill your plate, it can be tempting to load up with food because the selection is abundant. But those at the end of the line would like to enjoy a reasonable meal as well. We would ask parents to monitor the amount of food that their children take so that there is as little waste as possible.

To keep things running smoothly, please note July’s assignments as follows: If your last name begins with O- through Pou-, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your name begins with Pow- through Z-, or A through Ce-, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with Ch- through N-, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

July 19, Rev. John Crestwell, Minister of the Davies Memorial UU Church in Camp Springs, MD: It Matters What We Believe. These are words Sophia Fahs spoke some years ago, and they are apropos today.  Some beliefs lift us and others up while others depress or diminish us and others. It truly matters what we accept, value and cherish in our lives.

Special Music: Elaine Myers (hammered dulcimer); Prelude, Wishing Well Waltz (Elaine Myers); Offering, The water is wide (traditional)

We will welcome new members into the Congregation during the service.  Please contact Rev. Christine Brownlie if you are interested in joining.

July 26, Rev. Alison Miller, Minister of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship in Morristown, NJ: Ordinary Grace.  Some would say that humans are united by the common experience of suffering. While this is a dimension of life, our common experience is also one of continuous blessing. Let us celebrate the ordinary miracles of our lives.

Special Music: Tyler Flowers (saxophone): Prelude, Etude No. 12 (J.L. Small); Offering, Etude No. 23 (J.L. Small).

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will benefit the Free Clinic of the NRV. The clinic is committed to providing high quality health care and dental services to people who lack insurance and cannot afford healthcare.


Services: August 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Summer Program and Nursery Care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


August 2, Joshua Rich, professional pianist and composer: Do What You Love or Love What You Do. It’s been said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. But in the meantime, loving what you do can bring about the same kind of inner peace and balance that may help you find out what it is you actually love to do. Joshua will provide all the music along with his presentation.

August 9, Carter Turner, UUC member and Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Radford University: What Exactly is Religion? A friend of mine recently asked me, "How many religions are there in the world?"  He seemed a little dismayed that I didn't have an easy answer.  The problem with his question, I explained, is that scholars in my field can't even agree on the definition of "religion," not to mention what actually counts as one.  In my talk, I will explore different approaches to defining the term "religion," and show that no matter how hard we try, the term will always remain elusive.  

Everyone is invited to stay for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service. This is a wonderful opportunity to share food and fellowship. To keep things running smoothly, please note August’s assignments as follows: If your last name begins with Pow- through Sca-, please bring a beverage and arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your name begins with Gla- through Pou-, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with Sch- through Z-, or A- through Giv-, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish, to assist those with food allergies.

August 16, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Loving Difficult People. We all have people in our lives with whom it is difficult for us to get along. How can we deal with painful relationships in a way that helps create positive change? Or at least helps us keep hold of our sanity?

Special Music: Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano) Sonata No. 2 for flute and piano III Allegro (J.S. Bach).

August 23, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Meeting Christianity Again For the First Time. Many UUs are refugees from Christianity. Some of us still hold on to the “best” of Christian teachings, while others cringe at the very mention of this faith because of a painful past. I’d like to explore an understanding of Jesus and his teachings that might give us a new window into this way of the spirit.

Special Music: Kellby Benson and Kaily Schenker will play cello duets.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit Virginia Cares, Inc. This program assists ex-offenders in making a successful transition from prison or jail back into society. It provides these people with emergency resources and referrals to other agencies that can assist them, as well as assisting in restoration of their rights and obtaining identification cards. All of these benefits aid ex-offenders in becoming productive members of their communities. Please give as generously as you can. Checks should be made out to Virginia Cares, Inc.

August 30, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Ingathering. It is our tradition to bring water from our travels or our kitchen tap that symbolizes our summer travels whether they took us to someplace on the planet, or some spiritual destination. We will mingle these waters in a bowl, share our adventures, and rejoice at the gathering of our beloved community.

Prelude: The UUC Choir will sing Here We Have Gathered by Alicia Carpenter.
Offering: Jeff Wynn, Jim Kern, Chris Brownlie River (Eugene McDaniels).†


Services: September 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Summer Program (September 6), Children’s Religious Education (beginning September 13), and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (September 6 and September 20 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


September 6, Annual Poetry Slam: A Congregation-led service centered around the spoken and written word we identify as poetry. Please bring a poem or two of your own or by your favorite poet(s) to share with the Congregation. If you prefer to just listen, please do so. Due to our desire to accommodate all who bring something to read, please keep your sharing to three minutes at most. As you enter the building, there will be a sign-up sheet for those wishing to participate actively. Please contact John Imbur at 540–320–1985 if you have any questions.

September 13, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Enter, Rejoice and Come In! As we begin a new adventure together, I’d like to talk about some dreams and aspirations that I and others have for our Congregation. I’m planning to keep my part fairly short so that you can share your thoughts and hopes too.

Love is the doctrine of our faith, the quest of truth is its sacrament, and service is its prayer. This is our great covenant: to gather in peace and acceptance, to seek knowledge in the light of freedom and reason, to serve the needs of others in community, that we may grow in wisdom and in spirit.

New affirmation

Prelude: Alleluia (by Jay Althouse), The UUC Choir.

Everyone is invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service. To keep things running smoothly, please note September’s assignments as follows: If your last name begins with Sch through Su, bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables at the beginning of the potluck. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with T thru Z, or A thru Ha, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with He thru Sca, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

September 20, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Happy Eid! Today is one of the holiest days in the Islamic Calendar. While Muslims all over the world are marking the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, we will examine this faith that has become associated with terrorism and the mistreatment of women, and we will look for the true heart of Islam.

Offering: Berceuse (J. Andersen), Goldie Terrell, bass flute

September 27, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Standing on the Side of Love.  Our country claims to offer equal rights and protections under the law for all citizens.  But millions of gay, lesbian, and transgender (GLBT) people are unable to marry the person they love, which means that they are denied thousands of “rights” and “privileges” that legal marriage offers to heterosexual couples. We see justice slowly turning this tragic situation around, one state at a time.  Surely there is a better way to correct this injustice!  On October 11 UUs from across the nation will join GLBT people for a National Equality March in Washington DC.  Will you join them?

The UUC Choir will sing during the service. Prelude: Standing on the Side of Love (Jason Shelton). Offering: Surprised by Joy (words: Routley, Goodwin; music: Knapp, Mason, Haydn).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Blacksburg Head Start Program for supplies, equipment and emergency funds for individual-child or family needs. Head Start offers comprehensive developmental services to children 3-5 years of age. Its primary components are education, social services, preventive health and nutrition, all of which focus on the entire family. We have shown our generosity to this organization before, with our funds providing a much-needed supplement to its program as it starts up each new year. Please give as generously as you can. All cash in the basket will go to Head Start. Checks should be made out to Backsburg Head Start.

We will dedicate the Peace Pole and the Time Capsule immediately after the service. Our Peace Pole was purchased from the monetary gifts that we received from other UU congregations after the shootings on April 16, 2007.

A Peace Pole is a monument that displays the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth,” usually in a different language on each side. They serve as a constant reminder for us to visualize and pray for world peace. Over 300,000 peace poles can be found in more than 180 countries.

It’s still not too late to get your special thoughts or pictures into the UUC Time Capsule to commemorate our new building. It will contain writings, photographs, and small, non-bulky memorabilia by and about our Congregation as a gift to those who come after us. The capsule itself is a water-tight container about 9”x12”x6” and is to be buried outside the lower entrance to our meeting house. Half the space is reserved for messages from our Religious Education classes, leaving half for the rest of us. You’ve got just a few more weeks to contribute items for the capsule before it is buried on September 27 following the service.

Check out the beautiful capstone in the spot where the capsule will be buried. It’s inscribed “Time discovers truth” and “UUC 2009.” Bonnie Moreno designed the capstone and arranged for Horne Funeral Services in Christiansburg to make and donate it. George Lally and Sharon Day have also been working hard to make this idea a reality. If you have questions or to donate something for the Capsule, please talk with them.

The Council of Committee Chairs will meet at 12:30 (lunch provided)


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

September 6: Jim Copenheaver, UUC member, will review some of the searches for a historical Jesus of Nazareth. A theory will be presented based on the book The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty.

September 20: B. Lloyd, retired Episcopalian priest, will lead a discussion on “King Coal.” Lloyd has been a passionate advocate for coal miners and an ardent opponent of the damage to the environment from coal mining for over 30 years. He quotes a mine foreman as saying “coal is a curse” and calls coal “the last unchallenged stronghold of colonialism”.


Services: October 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (October 4 and October 18 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


October 4, Rev. Christine Brownlie: I Seek the Spirit of the Child. As we dedicate the adults and youth who have volunteered to teach in our Children’s Religious Education program, let’s also honor the spirit of the child and consider how reawakening the child that still lives within each of us might enrich our lives.

The Religious Education Teacher/Advisor Dedication will take place during the service.

October 11, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Suffering. The reality of human suffering haunts us. Why do we suffer? How does the reality of suffering affect our view of life, of the divine? These are tough questions. We’ll consider some possible answers.

Prelude: UUC Choir will sing Prayer for Comfort (music by Mozart, words by Brownlie and Terrell).

Everyone is invited to stay for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service. To keep things running smoothly, please note October’s assignments as follows: If your last name begins with T thru Z, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service andassist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs.Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with A thru Ha, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with He thru S, please bring a side dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

October 18, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Whatever Happened to Ethics? As we look back on the global economic collapse and other events of the past year, it seems that we also suffered from a collapse of ethics. How can we recover from this moral calamity?

Prelude: Sonata IV Andante (J. S. Bach), Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano)
Offering: Sonata V Adagio ma non tanto (J. S. Bach), Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano)

October 25, Andy Morikawa, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley: Service and Spirit: A Way of Knowing. How do we know who we are, as individuals and as a community? Trust is formed in community “as it knows.” How do we know? How can a community foundation, a church, a family serve its community in knowing itself? Beyond data and facts, who are we? How do we learn? Why is this important? Without trust there is no community.

Prelude: UUC Choir will sing Nigun Biaikt (arr. A.W. Binder).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Women's Resource Center. This organization is located in Radford and provides women and families of the New River Valley assistance in escaping domestic violence. Other services include supporting those involved in sexual assault, as well as providing a 24-hour Crisis Hotline and Victim/Witness and education programs. Our Congregation has supported this facility very generously in the past, and we hope that we can continue to do so. Our August collection for Virginia Cares (a program to assist in transitioning former ex-offenders back into their communities) raised $326.45. Many, many thanks to all!


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

October 4: Dean Mook, UUC member, will present a review of new trends and some recent developments in alternative ways to generate electricity. The talk will cover, but not be restricted to, different strategies based on the use of so-called solar towers.

October 18: Carl Hansen, UUC member, will lead a discussion based on the book: Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality< by John Boswell. The author traces the evolution of intolerance using homosexuality as a model, from the Golden Age of Greece to the 14th century. During the course of his discussion, he challenges some of Western culture's most familiar moral assumptions.


Services: November 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (November 1 and November 15 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


November 1 — STANDARD TIME, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Our Hearts Remember. On this Sunday, we recall those beloved family members, friends, colleagues and our dear four-legged companions who have died in the past year and whose memories still warm our hearts. You are invited to bring a photo or some other memento to place on our Table of Remembrance. There will be a time to share memories as well as a homily on the work of grief.

November 8, Youth Service. We’ll hear from the members of our youth group, the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) as they offer a service of music, lively thoughts, and the energy to inspire us. This is always an engaging and thought-provoking service.

Prelude: I Will Not Leave You Comfortless (Titcomb), sung by the UUC Choir.

Sunday Potluck: Everyone is invited to enjoy lunch with the Congregation following the service. If your last name begins with A through Bra, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Bro through L, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with M through Z, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

November 15, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Question Box Sermon. A question box sermon is based on questions that you might have about Unitarian Universalism, our Congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the Thomas Jefferson District (TJD), general theology, or whatever else might be on your mind that pertains to the general topic. Beginning November 1, there will be a red question box next to the Welcome Table in Elarth Fellowship Hall. One can also e-mail questions to our minister. Rev. Brownlie will do her best to answer as many questions as possible during her sermon today. Those that she does not include in her sermon will be addressed in an e-mail or conversation with the person posing the question. This opportunity is for everyone, so please encourage your children and teens to get their questions to Chris.

November 22, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Children’s Sabbath: An Intergenerational Service. It’s said that the holidays are for children, but for many children there is never a holiday from the problems that no child should face. This service will be family friendly and will include offerings by two of our Religious Education classes.

Prelude: The UUC Choir will lead the Congregation in We Give Thanks.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Fairview Home in Dublin. This facility is sponsored by New River Valley Community Services and is a residential home for adults with mental illness or developmental disabilities and accompanying physical limitations. Checks should be made out to Fairview Home, Inc. If you would like to contribute, but will not be at the service, you can mail your checks to the UUC (Attention: Fourth Sunday Collection).

November 29, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Why Do We Hate the Other? Hating the “other” is a common human trait, whether the “other” comes from a different† tribe, practices a different religion, or is different in some way from what we consider “right” or “normal.”† What is it in our human makeup that causes us to hate and even harm people whom we perceive to be “other”?


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

November 1: Bill Clarkson, UUC member, will discuss the different aspects of the various healthcare proposals before Congress.

November 15: R. M. Eisler, UUC member, will talk on Men's Issues. Richard has used theory and carried out research to better understand the differing thoughts, behaviors, and emotions of men as compared to women. The evidence suggests that biological sex is only a predisposing factor. Most differences appear to result from each boy’s and girl's acquisition of learned sexual identity (masculinity or femininity) and the sex-typed expectations for each male or female. There are severe social sanctions for individuals who do not conform to expected gender rules. Most of the presentation will focus on the difficulty many men have in living up to the proscribed masculine role with consequent stress. This in turn leads to specific psychological and somatic health problems for men as compared with women.


Services: December 2009
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (December 6 and December 20 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


In case of bad weather ... an e-mail message to the announcement listserv will be sent by 8 a.m. on Sunday if services are canceled, and a notice to that effect will be posted on this page.


December 6, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Judge Not! Jesus commanded his followers not to judge others, lest we be judged. Can we really live without making judgments of others? What’s the difference between judgment and being judgmental? This sermon is a response to a question that was submitted for the November Question Box sermon.

Anyone interested in making wreaths and ropes to decorate our building using leftover Advent greens is invited to join Bonnie Moreno and others after the service. Lunch can be ordered out or bring your own as this will take several hours. Instruction will be provided. Please come join the fun!

Service is cancelled on December 13 because of ice on the parking lot.

Service is cancelled on December 20 because of over a foor of snow — not just on our parking lot.

December 20, WomanSpirit: Welcome the Returning Sun. , the Blacksburg UU WomenSpirit Gathering will lead the Sunday service in a Winter Solstice Celebration of the longest night of the year, the return of the sun, and longer days.At this time of deep contemplation and review of the past year, we also look with renewed energy and joy toward the coming Spring. Our wish for the new year is that it will bring peace to our hearts, our community, and to the larger world. This will be an intergenerational service for the whole family. There will be no RE classes.Nursery care will be provided to those aged 3 and younger. Please come and join us after the service for coffee, tea, and community.

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December 27, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Holiday Memories. Today, for the third year in a row, we will share our favorite Holiday Memories. If you would like to contribute, please bring a story, memory, poem, or tradition that has meaning for you during this holiday season. To give everyone who wishes for a chance to speak, please limit your sharing to three minutes.

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will benefit the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry, located on 505 Progress St. in Blacksburg. Our Congregation has provided significant support (bothand monetary donations)this organization for many years, and in these difficult economic times, we need to continue to do so. Checks can be made out to the Interfaith Food Pantry. If you would like to contribute but will not be at the service on the 27th, you can mail your checks to the UUC.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

December 6: Beth Lyman, UUC member, will discuss Diversity In Higher Education. American colleges and universities have had a long history of working to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of their student bodies. In this presentation, the history of some of these initiatives, as well as the institutional logic of adopting them will be discussed.

December 20: Linda Powers, Darla Bray, Sally Mook and Deb Salbador, UUC members, will discuss the reasons why they became and remain vegetarians. Together they have over 90 years of experience eating meatless.


Services: January 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (January 3 and January 17 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


In case of bad weather ... an e-mail message to the announcement listserv will be sent by 8 a.m. on Sunday if services are canceled, and a notice to that effect will be posted on this page.


January 3, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Happiness Puzzle. When we wish someone a “Happy New Year,” what do we mean? What can we do to grow true happiness that will last even when the confetti has been swept away and the champagne is flat? I believe that the concept of "Gross Domestic Happiness” may offer some useful ideas.

Prelude: Giga from Sonata in Re minore (Loeillet de Gand), Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano)
Offering: Valse-Minuet from L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 (Georges Bizet), Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano)

January 10, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Heart of Unitarian Universalism. What is the “heart” of our way of the spirit? Are we simply the religion that allows you to believe whatever you want? Or is there something more compelling and sturdy about our faith that inspires us to grow and comforts us when times are tough? I’ll share my answers, which I hope will lead you to develop your own ideas.

Prelude: My Soul Is A River (Ben Allway), the UUC Choir with pianist Jared Gibbs.

Guest at Your Table donations will be collected. We will be collecting your donations to support the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) on Sunday, January 10 during the offering. The UUSC uses our donations to promote economic rights, advance environmental justice, defend civil liberties, and preserve the rights of people in times of humanitarian crises around the world. Please make your check out to UUSC . For more information on the UUSC, please go to their Web site at www.uusc.org/.

Everyone is invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Cou through Fil, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Flo through Sca, please bring a side dish. If your last name begins with Sch through Z, or A through Cor, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

At the Second Sunday potluck, a table will be reserved for people to stop by and learn about Circle Suppers--evening potlucks for 8-10 people (usually held in people's homes or at the UUC) that enable one to get to know other congregants better. You might want to consider participating in a Circle Supper, as a fun way to become more involved in the Congregation.

Please bring two items of food for the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry collection bin. Food makes our bodies warm by eating and our hearts warm by donating.

January 17, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Eschatology of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King dreamed of a new world order and gave his life to this dream. This vision went beyond integrated schools and neighborhoods. Let’s revisit his dream and imagine how we might help to realize this dream.

Affirmation (Unison Reading): Love is the doctrine of our faith, the quest for truth is its sacrament, and the call to justice is its prayer. This is our great covenant: to gather in peace and acceptance, to seek knowledge in the light of freedom and reason, to serve the needs of others in community, that we may grow in wisdom and in spirit, seeking always to live in harmony with the great web of life.

January 24, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Lessons of Failure. Most of us have heard the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” But what if we try and try and try,
and we still fail? What does failure teach us? You might be surprised by the answer!

Prelude: Old Time Relidion Medley (arr. Mark Hayes), the UUC Choir with pianist Jared Gibbs.

January 31 service is cancelled because of snow.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

January 3: Linda Powers, UUC member, will lead a discussion on why some people succeed far more than others. Malcom Gladwell, in his book, Outliers, argues that successful people are not “self made men,” but have advantages in such things as family, birth place, or even birth date.

January 17: Victoria Cochran works as a mental health and criminal justice advocate and has served as Chair of the State Mental Health Board. She will lead a discussion on The Penal System: Deals vs. Trials.


Services: February 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (February 7 and February 21 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


In case of bad weather ... an e-mail message to the announcement listserv will be sent by 8 a.m. on Sunday if services are canceled, and a notice to that effect will be posted on this page.


February 7, Unitarians Universalists for Justice in the Middle East: Israel-Palestine and the Evolution of Our Unitarian Universalist Consciousness. The Israel-Palestinian conflict is a source of much reporting, but do we really understand it? Do we have a moral duty to inform ourselves? Can UUs do anything constructive? George Lally will present the sermon portion of the service entitled My Journey to J Street.

February 14 (Intergenerational), Rev. Christine Brownlie: Standing on the Side of Love — Love Makes a Family. Today we will celebrate families of all sizes and configurations. We encourage you to bring a picture of your family (photo, drawing, or whatever you like) and for you to feel free to include other-than-human members. (Yes, even your beloved plants can be included.)

Prelude: You Are the New Day (John David, arr. Peter Knight), the UUC Choir with pianist Jared Gibbs.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Fj through Ha, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Hb through To, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Tn through Z or A through Fi, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies. Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Blacksburg Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.Last month we donated 11 bags of food—just think if we can do this every month, that would be 132 bags in a year!

February 21, Ben Dixon Vice President Emeritus for Multicultural Affairs at Virginia Tech: Optimizing Our Joshua Opportunities. As we struggle with society’s problems and challenges today, some of us long for the “good old days.” Others thank God for yet another day and another opportunity for a new and better way. All of us keep looking toward the horizon for the new Joshua to lead us through these “final miles,” across the River Jordan, to the land promised to Moses. Who is today’s Joshua? Where will we be led? When/How will we get there?

February 28, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Spiritual Discipline of Letting Go. Buddhists tell us that attachment is the root cause of human suffering. Some Christians say “Let go and let God.” The Beatles sing “Let it be.” What does it mean to “let go”? How might we release the memories, regrets, and emotions that keep us stuck and cause us pain?

The UUC Choir led the Congregation in a meditation hymn attributed to the Buddha.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the NAACP Scholarship Fund, which provides several scholarships each year to deserving area students. Our Congregation donated to this cause last year, and our support was sincerely appreciated. Checks should be made out to the NAACP Scholarship Fund. If you would like to contribute but will not be at the service, you can mail your checks to the UUC.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

February 7: UUC members, Darla Bray, Sally Mook, and Linda Powers will hold a panel discussion on Vegetarianism. They will discuss the reasons they became and remain vegetarians. Together, they have more than 65 years of experience eating meatless.

February 21, UUC member, Morton Nadler: What Do UUs Understand by “Justice”? Morton will review some or our history and will then lead a discussion on the current process and issues.


Services: March 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (March 7 and March 21 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


March 7, Rev. Christine Brownlie and the Membership Committee: Introductions and Invitations. Do you know someone who is a UU, but they just don’t know it yet? Have you had the urge to explain your “way of the spirit” to a friend, neighbor or co-worker, but you just couldn’t find the words? How do you tell someone about the congregation you love without coming across as pushy or “evangelical”? Rev. Brownlie and the Membership Committee will share some ideas.

We will welcome new members into the Congregation during the service.

March 14, First day of Daylight Savings time, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Letting Go, Part 2: Dealing with Shame and the Inner Critic. After the February 28 sermon on Letting Go, Rev. Brownlie received several comments from people who said that their baggage was of a different type, but just as burdensome. They asked for a follow-up discussion on letting go of shame, negative self-talk, and the “inner critic” that undermines the ability to be creative. Rev. Brownlie offers some thoughts on these topics, including some potential resources. [Note: Rev. Don Johnson, who was originally scheduled to be in our pulpit for this service, had to cancel for health reasons.]

Prelude: Cantabile fr. Op. 55, No. 2 (Kuhlau); Jared Gibbs (piano) and Goldie Terrell (flute).
In support of the Stewardship Campaign: I Am the Very Model of a Modern Unitarian (a parody on Gilbert & Sullivan's I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General: words for verses in part by Elisabeth McGregor); the UUC Choir with soloists Chris Brownlie, Shanna Hollich and Bill Patterson, accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).
Offering: Andalouse (Emile Pessard); Jared Gibbs (piano) and Goldie Terrell (flute).

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Hb through Ke, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Kf through To, please bring a side dish or dessert. If your last name begins with Tp through Z, or A through Ha, please bring a main dish. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Please provide a list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Blacksburg Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

March 21, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Turn On, Tune In to Your Gratitude Channel! In tough and tight times, it can be a challenge to feel grateful. How can we turn on and tune into our personal gratitude channel? How can we grow and care for those things in our lives that bring us the most joy and well-being? Rev. Brownlie will address these issues.

The annual RE Open House will be held on Sunday, March 21, immediately following the service. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk with your children's teachers and to see what projects the children have worked on throughout the year.

March 28, UUSC Justice Sunday: John Seager, President and CEO of Population Connection: Global Population: 6.8 Billion and Growing. Are We There Yet? With the earth's population growing by one billion every dozen years, there is a clear connection between human population growth and virtually every global challenge from poverty to climate change and from species extinction to the political instability of failed nation-states. We know what needs to be done to achieve global population stabilization, namely access to affordable voluntary family planning together with the full empowerment of women. John will present a brief overview of the causes of rapid population growth, its impacts, and how to meet this challenge through voluntary approaches.

The UUC choir will sing the stewardship campaign reminder after the children leave: O for Pledges Richly Paid (words, the Rev. Christopher Raible; music, Thomas Hastings)

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Greater New River Valley Chapter of the Red Cross, located in Radford. Our donation will be used to provide assistance for local individuals in need, especially those who are victims of fires and floods. Checks can be made out to the chapter name, as listed above.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

March 7: UUC member,Richard Eisler: Based on our biological sex, culture outlines a program of acceptable masculine or feminine role expectations for each gender. We are rewarded for behaving in accord with these cultural “imperatives” and punished for ignoring them. However, for many men it is often stressful, and in fact dysfunctional, to “be a man.” We will discuss the health implications of masculine gender roles for men and for society in general. Richard will present his research and opinions about masculine values.

March 21: Educational Facilitators, Patricia Bevan and Starflower O'Sullivan: We can choose to think and speak violently (when we blame, judge ,and demand) or we can choose to think and speak with compassion by open-heartedly hearing, receiving, and reflecting what is beneath harsh language and actions. This mini-workshop will offer a glimpse into a way to communicate with ourselves and others that is compassionate, honest, and powerful and that can transform the relationships in our lives.


Services: April 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (April 4 and April 18 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


April 4, Easter Sunday Intergenerational Service: Let All Creation Sing! This will be a service of music by members of our Congregation, including cellists Hank Skutt & Kelby Benson and “wandering minstrel,” Hans York.

The UUC Choir will sing Gloria by Lotti during the service.

April 11, Rev. Christine Brownlie and UUC Worship Associate David Warner Why Do We Call It “Worship”? Most UUs don’t identify themselves as theists, meaning they do not believe in a divine being that demands our adoration and praise. Given this theological stance, what does the word “worship” mean for us? David and Chris will offer some thoughts on this question.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Kf through Ma, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Mb through Z or A through Bq, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Br through Ke, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Please provide a list of the ingredients in your dish, to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Blacksburg Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

April 18, Neighboring Faiths Our Religious Education students and their teachers in the Grade 6–8 class have spent the year exploring different faith traditions, from their historical origins to their presence in today’s multi-religious world. Through music and their own words, they will share a glimmer of their discoveries.

April 25, Rev. Christine Brownlie and UUC Worship Associate Jim Kern: Earth Day: Another Day in Paradise. Drawing from the writings of Henry David Thoreau and Wendell Berry, we will reflect on our relationship to the Earth and to the interconnected web of which we are a part. We will also recognize the youth who have completed our first Coming of Age program.

Coming of Age Ceremony during the service.

The Prelude: The Earth Is Turning (Sheena Phillips), the UUC Choir with pianist Jared Gibbs.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the New River Valley Habitat for Humanity. Checks can be made out to the chapter name.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

April 4: Bud Brown, VT Alumni Distinguished Professor: Chocolate Key Cryptography — a delicious way to send secret messages. To send someone a secret message, you need two things: (1) a message scrambler, and (2) a setting (the key) for the scrambler. Keeping the key in the right hands and out of the wrong hands is a major problem for cryptographers, and public key cryptography is a solution to this problem that is at work on every computer and in every network in the world. This talk is about a way to describe a certain public key cryptosystem that is easy to learn, fun, interactive, and delicious.

April 18: UUC Member, Roger Lewis will present a taped talk on the threat of International Organized Crime (IOC). It is very current with today's news, e.g. nuclear theft, piracy, fake substitutes of products, slavery including women, weapons sales, etc. One estimate says IOC accounts for 20% of the globe's Domestic National Product. A discussion will take place following the tape.


Services: May 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (May 2 and May 16 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


May 2, Rev. Christine Brownlie and UUC Worship Associate Kathy Welch: From Your Home to the Meeting House: Nurturing the Circle of Connections At every stage of life, we human beings need warm and caring connections to others. In a time when families are often spread far and wide, how can we build strong connections between the generations? How can we help weave such connections within the UUC? We have some ideas!

May 9, Rev. Christine Brownlie and UUC Worship Associate Dick Luke: The Radical Beginnings of Mother’s Day. Before Hallmark, before Whitman's, before FTD, Unitarian, Julia Ward Howe, abolitionist, suffragette, and feminist put down the roots of what has become Mother's Day firmly in our UU tradition of peace and reconciliation. We will offer some ways to respond to the challenge of her Mother's Day proclamation.

The Prelude: Hold Me, Rock Me (Brian Tate), UUC Choir, accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Mb through Nl, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Br through Ma, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Nm through Z, or A through Bq, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.>

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the >Blacksburg Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

May 16, YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists):Please join the members of our high school youth group as they lead their annual Spring service and bridging ceremony.

May 23, Rev. Christine Brownlie and UUC Worship Associate Holly Lesko: We Walk Together on Different Paths. As Unitarian Universalists, we are called to engage in a free and responsible search for truth and to support one another in our spiritual growth. Today we'll explore the challenges and the rewards of this seemingly contradictory work.

During the service, we will welcome new members into the Congregation. If you would like to participate, or would like to become a member but are unable to attend this service, please contact >Rev. Chris Brownlie or Barbara Taylor. All those who join the Congregation at this time will be eligible to vote at our Annual Congregational Meeting on June 6

Prelude: Always Something Sings (text: Ralph Waldo Emerson, music: Linda Spevacek), UUC Choir, accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the New River Family Shelter. This organization is administered from its office in Christiansburg and provides temporary shelter in a two-family or single-family home in Blacksburg, a single-family house or apartment in Christiansburg, or in an efficiency room on an as-needed and when-available basis. Case management services and information and referral to local programs are also provided to participating families. Please give as generously as you can.>

May 30, Rev. Christine Brownlie UUCWorship Associate David Warner: We remember: Reflections on Memorial Day. As UUs, we are committed to a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, which often leads us to quite different conclusions and beliefs. Reflections were shared with the Congregation by veterans Crosby Houston, David Warner, Dick Kates, and Dick Bauman.

Prelude: The Defence of Fort McHenry (tune: Smith, words: Key, arr.: Dressler, Covino, Gibbs), the UUC Choir with Jared Gibbs (pianist) and Amado Ohland (vocal soloist).


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation.

May 2: UUC member, Carl Hansen: Gnosis (Greek for knowledge). Many insist that a chasm separates humanity from its creator. God is wholly other. Some Gnostics contradict this; self knowledge is knowledge of God; the self and the divine are identical. Carl will discuss how these teachings have influenced present — as well as early day — religious thought.

May 16: UUC member, Jim Kern: Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink...??? Jim will discuss the impact of our culture on our potable water supply.


Services: June 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

The Sunday Circle will not meet during the summer..


June 6, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jane Mahone: What Do I Owe? To Whom Do I Owe It? It seems that every time we open the mailbox or answer the phone, we’re asked to give money to a charitable cause. In these tough times, we may struggle to decide how to meet these requests and care for our own needs and desires. How can we respond in a way that is both compassionate and affirming of our own needs? Scriptures and modern writings provide some answers.

Prelude: Vivement (Telemann), Jared Gibbs (piano)and Goldie Terrell (descant recorder);
Offering: Mazurka (Alexandre Dufau), Jared Gibbs (piano) and Goldie Terrell (flute).

Our Annual Congregational Meeting will immediately follow the service. It is necessary that we have a quorum for the meeting. If you are a member and cannot attend the meeting, PLEASE ask a member who is attending the meeting to act as your proxy. (Only a member can be a proxy, and a member can be a proxy for only one other member.) Forms for designating a proxy are included in the mailing announcing the meeting. You may inform your proxy as to how you would like your vote to be cast, but the proxy is free to vote as s/he wishes.

June 13, Rev. Christine Brownlie and UUC Worship Associate Kathy Welch: A Garden of Gratitude. This is an Intergenerational Service. Today we will celebrate one of our cherished rituals, the Flower Ceremony, which recognizes the beauty of each individual and the contributions of many people to our Congregation. Please bring a flower for each member of your family to contribute to our Congregational bouquet.

Prelude: You Shall Go Out With Joy (Hank Beebe), the UUC Choir with Jared Gibbs (pianist).

The Annual Volunteer Awards will be presented during the service.

There will be a special collection for the 2010 Tennessee/Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Nm through Sc, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service, and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Sd through Z, or A through Fi, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Fj through Nl, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the >Blacksburg interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

June 20, Russell Gregory, Professor Emeritus of Religion at Radford University and self-proclaimed ZenBuddhistDaoistJewishBaptistAgnosticStoryteller: The Greatest Koan. Zen masters often use koans, which some describe as riddles, as one of their tools to help monks moved toward enlightenment. Russell will discuss the impact a book on highly sensitive people had on him, and how books like this assist us in solving the koan of our lives. Russell was assisted during the srvice by Worship Associate Jim Kern.

Prelude: Spiritoso from Fantasie #6 für Querflöte ohne Bass (Telemann), Goldie Terrell (flute).

Offertory: Fantasie #3 für Querflöte ohne Bass (Telemann), Goldie Terrell (flute).

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June 27, Rev. Catherine McCollough, Presbyterian Campus Minister at Radford University: Small Things/Great Love. Shane Claiborne, author and Christian activist, writes and talks about the Kingdom of God this way: it “starts small and then permeates and transforms the larger world.” My recent trip to Haiti was interrupted, but not destroyed, by an earthquake. I will share stories from that trip which taught me a great deal about the small things that give life; the small loving acts of community that illustrate the greatness and power of God's love, even in the midst of terrible tragedy and loss. The convener today is Stephanie Gilmore.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program. Located in Christiansburg, this agency assists families and individuals in immediate, temporary, and emergency situations. Working in conjunction with other social service organizations, MCEAP serves those who fail to qualify for public assistance or who have exhausted their benefits. Services provided include financial assistance and access to both food and clothing banks. Please give as generously as you are able. Checks can be made out to MCEAP.


Summer Religious Education

Summer religious education class will be one class for children 4 through 11 years old. Middle schoolers are welcome to come down to the class to help the teachers with the children. The class will start June 20 and will be held every Sunday (excluding August 29) until September 5. The teachers will talk about “peace making” with the children in a little bit more laid-back manor, with maybe a craft and a story and then outdoor play. If you have any questions about summer religious education, please contact Debbie Keighton or Christina Thomas.


Services: July 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

The Sunday Circle will not meet during the summer..


July 4 Rev. Christine Brownlie, assisted by and Worship Associate Dick Luke: Who’s Knocking on the Door? When Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration into law, she pushed our nation into another debate on the difficult issue of immigration. Many of our fellow UUs find this issue especially urgent, since we’re scheduled to hold GA (General Assembly) in Phoenix in 2012.

July 11 Annual Poetry Slam: A Congregation-led service centered around the spoken and written word we identify as poetry. Please bring a poem or two of your own or by your favorite poet(s) to share with the Congregation. If you prefer to just listen, please do so. Due to our desire to accommodate all who bring something to read, please keep your sharing to three minutes at most. As you enter the building, there will be a sign-up sheet for those wishing to participate actively. Please contact John Imbur at 540–320–1985 if you have any questions.

Prelude: Bach Sonata I, Largo e dolce, Goldie Terrell (flute)
Offering: River (Bill Staines), Goldie Terrell (voice and guitar)

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Sd through To, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Hb through Sc, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Tp through Z, or A through Ha, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

July 18 Reverends Scott & Anya Sammler-Michael ministers of the Accotink UU Church in Burke, VA and the Unitarian Universalists in Sterling, VA, respectively and Worship Associate Dick Luke: Re-Inventing the Sacred. Our modern scientific paradigm — reductionism — breaks down once we try to explain biology and human culture. This has left us flailing in a sea of meaninglessness. By embracing the “ceaseless creativity” of nature itself, which in Kauffman's view is the real meaning of God, we reclaim paths to understanding, composing a God without any supernatural tricks. This service is inspired by the 2008 book from famed biologist, Dr. Stuart Kauffman, who seeks to formulate a new scientific worldview and, in the process, reclaim the concept of God from the orthodox.

July 25 Janice Marie Johnson Director for Racial and Ethnic Concerns for the Unitarian Universalist Association: Embracing Multiculturalism. What is multiculturalism? As Unitarian Universalists, what are we called upon to do with multiculturalism? What does it mean to embrace multiculturalism in the 21st century? During today’s worship, I will explore questions such as these, as we look at our power to be transformed and to change hearts and minds within a multicultural landscape. The Rev. Christine Brownlie will be the convener for this service.

Prelude: The inaugural instant choir sang Woyaya by Solomon Amarfio, a drummer in the Carribean-Ghanaian band Osibisa. “Woyaya” is an affirmation. The choir was accompanied by Jared Gibbs, piano.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Free Clinic of the New River Valley. Through this program, individuals who are uninsured and meet certain income guidelines can receive medical care, dental services and prescription medications for a very nominal fee. Patients in Montgomery, Floyd and Giles counties, as well as those in the city of Radford, are eligible.


Services: August 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

The Sunday Circle will not meet during the summer..


August 1, Carter Turner, former UUC member and Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Radford University, and Worship Associate, Kathy Welch: Religious Interpretations of Pain and Suffering. Chronic pain is unfortunately something most of us will experience during our lives. How do some religions explain pain, and how is religion used to mitigate suffering?

August 8, Rev. Karen Day and Worship Associate, Jane Mahone: Radical Nourishment: Food for the Soul. How do our choices of food and companions feed or starve our whole selves?  We'll explore ethical eating through real experiences of neighbors growing and sharing food. Rev. Day is a UU minister living in Floyd and has been a guest speaker at the UUC many times.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Tp through Z, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with A through Ke, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Kf through To, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Blacksburg Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

During the potluck, we will celebrate Kristine Reid’s service to the UUC as our DRE for the past 11 years.

August 15, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Why I Am a Unitarian Universalist. I’ve been a UU for 40-odd years. This way of the spirit has not always provided an easy path, but I am glad that I found and followed it. I hope this sermon will encourage you to think about your journey.

Prelude: Andante grazioso from Sonata in D major (Johann Christian Bach), Goldie Terrell (bass flute).
Offering: Sarabande from Partita in A minor (JS Bach).

August 22, Rev. Christine Brownlie, When Something Bad Just Won’t Go Away. This has been the summer of the great oil spill that just won’t go away, along with the countless terrorist bombings, the shaky economy and assorted other woes. Some of us feel despair, some of us shrug our shoulders and turn off the news because we feel there’s nothing we can do. I will share my thoughts of other, more constructive strategies.

The Fourth Sunday Collection: Our collection (all cash and designated checks) will benefit the Valley Interfaith Child Care Center. This center, located in Blacksburg, offers high-quality, affordable, fully state-licensed care for the children of low-income working families in the New River Valley.

August 29, Rev. Christine Brownlie, Ingathering. An Intergenerational Service. The Water Ceremony is a UU tradition, in which we bring water from our travels or our kitchen tap that symbolizes our summer travels, whether they took us to someplace on the planet or some spiritual destination. We will mingle these waters in a bowl, share our adventures, and rejoice at the gathering of our beloved community.

Prelude: Melody Flow (Jerry Estes, with add. words by Amado Ohland), UUC Choir, accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).


Services: September 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (September 5 and September 19 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


September 5, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Kathy Welch: Celebrate Labor Day by Committing to Build More Humane Workplaces. We try to build our values into our family lives, but we sometimes fail to actively consider how to do that at work. Sometimes we serendipitously stumble into an event or circumstances when we must make a moral decision. Let's look at ways that we can live our values in our workplace — even in tough circumstances.

September 12, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Islamaphobia. As we mark the ninth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the deliberate crashing of United Airlines Flight 93, our country is seeing an increase in public displays against Islam. Today we’ll learn how the interfaith initiative, “Standing on the Side of Love” is finding ways to address this issue, and how we might join this effort.

Prelude: Love Is Little, a traditional Shaker hymn, sung by the UUC Choir.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. To ensure enough food for all, whenever you are bringing a dish for the potluck, please remember that in a sense, we are all each other's hosts, and therefore it is our joint responsibility to see that enough food is present to feed all, including those who are new or who have forgotten to bring a dish. While we are grateful for all contributions, we would encourage you to bring sufficient food for yourself, your family or guests, and two additional adults. We do ask parents to monitor the amount of food that their children take so that there is as little waste as possible. If your last name begins with A through Bq, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Kf through Z, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Br through Ke, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

During the service and potluck, we will have the opportunity to Meet the Board

September 19, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jim Kern: It’s Not Easy Being Green! In the past few years, our Congregation has taken several actions to become more “green.” Can we do better? I’ll bet that we can! Perhaps in ways that we have yet to imagine.

September 26, Rev. Kelly M. Sisson and Worship Associate Amado Ohland: Twelve Steps to Recovery. Rev. Sisson is the Minister for Spiritual Direction and Studio Arts at the Roanoke Rescue Mission. After more than 25 years of local church ministry, she traded in congregational life for prostitutes and addicts. “So far, it is a good deal!” Coordinating the Recovery Arts Program for the RRM, she will discuss lessons all faith communities could learn from Twelve-Step Communities.

Prelude: Jubilate Alleluia (Mary Lynn Lightfoot), sung by the UUC Choir (Jared Gibbs, piano).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to the local, ecumenical Stop Hunger Now event at Virginia Tech, sponsored by the Blacksburg United Methodist Church. Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. This combined university/community project will take place in the Commonwealth Ballroom in Squires Student Center at VT on Saturday, October 2. Volunteers will participate in a meal packaging program for the benefit of Haiti Crisis Relief, serving at either 11 AM or 2 PM for two-hour shifts. A total of 285,000 meal kits, each of which feeds 8 people (over a million meals altogether), will be packed and sent to Haiti. Interested people should sign up in advance at the VT-Engage website in early September. Although the cost of the food for this event ($78,000) has already been raised by the Blacksburg United Methodist Church and the Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, funds collected from other local churches such as ours will be given to provide additional Haiti refugee relief in conjunction with the meal packages. Watch for further information at the UUC about this event and how to participate. We hope you'll be able to support this special event by giving your gifts of time, money, or both.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

September 5: Carl T. Hansen, UUC member, will present a discussion based on the book entitled A Fierce Discontent — The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America 1870–1920. In addition, some time will be used to finalize the schedule for the fall.

September 19: James Copeheaver, UUC member, will discuss The Ten Commandments: Past, Present and Future. Do they have any relevance to the modern world? And, particularly, for UUs?


Services: October 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (Octobber 3 and October 17 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


October 3, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jane Mahone: Catching Our Balance.  These days it seems that many of us have the sense that our lives are out of balance.  We face so many demands and needs that pull us away from what we truly want for our lives.  This tug of war can lead to exhaustion and frustration.  This morning we'll look at some simple changes in our attitudes and actions that can help us bring balance and a sense of connection to what we love most in our days.>/p?

There will be an introduction of the RE teachers during the service.

October 10, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jim Kern: Holding on to Faith Despite the Evidence. Each of us believes in things that our life experience doesn’t support. How do we sort out the ideals, values and hope that we will continue to hold on to, no matter what comes our way? Maybe our own Congregation is the best testing ground we have to prove that our faith is not misplaced.

Prelude: I Dream a World (music by Joan Szymko, text by Langston Hughes), the UUC Choir, accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Br through Co, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Cp through Nl, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Nm through Z or A through Bq, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

October 17, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Dick Luke: Celebrating the Great Mother! Today marks the end of the great Hindu Festival Narvratri, which honors the goddess Durga. We’ll tell her story and learn more about this powerful female who used her eight arms and her two bare feet to save the world from the evil Mahisha — when none of the other gods could.

October 24, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Kathy Welch: Autumn Leaves:
The Beauty That Comes with Age
. We live in a society that worships youth and dreads the process of aging. Let’s celebrate the beauty of growing older as we enjoy the colors and unique flavors of the season.

Prelude: A Psalm of Life (based on the Longfellow poem, words and music by Lynn Shaw Bailey), the UUC Choir, accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley. This organization provides women and families of the New River Valley with assistance in escaping domestic violence. Other services include supporting those who are victims of sexual assault, as well as providing a 24-hour Crisis Hotline, and Victim/Witness and education programs. Our Congregation has supported this facility very generously in the past, and we hope that we can continue to do so. Checks should be made out directly to the Center.

October 31, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Amado Ohland: A Unitarian Universalist's understanding of death. Rev. Brownlie will share some thoughts on how UU’s approach the great mystery of death. In addition, today we will acknowledge and honor those dear ones in our lives who have died in the past year or so. You are invited to bring a photo or other memento of your cherished person or pet to place on the “candle table.”

Prelude: A Blessing (David N. Childs), the UUC Choir, accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano) and Mary Walters (flute).


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

October 3: UUC members Linda Powers, Darla Bray, Sally Mook, and Deb Salbador, will discuss why they became and remain vegetarians.  Together they have over 90 years of experience eating meatless.

October 17: UUC member Rob Fentress: “A Critical Examination of Islam.” What unique challenges, if any, does Islam present for religious liberals? Many Unitarians have legitimate questions and concerns about this faith, from the status of women, to the relationship between religion and the state and the rights of non-believers. Beginning with a brief overview of the history and beliefs of Islam, Rob will facilitate a frank and open discussion of these and other concerns and how they can most productively be addressed.


Services: November 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (Novembber 7 and November 21 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


November 7, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jim Kern: They Won’t Just Fade Away! Thoughts on Veterans Day. As our country engages in two wars, we seem to give little thought to the needs and the problems facing those who return home. While we may not support these wars, we can and must support our servicemen and women who sacrificed their well-being and their very lives. [Note that this is the first Sunday of Standard Time. Don't be an hour early!]

November 14, Youth Service.We’ll hear from the members of our high school youth group, Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) as they offer a service of music, lively thoughts, and the energy to inspire us.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. f your last name begins with Cp through Fi, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Nm through Z or A through Co, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Fi through Nl, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

November 21, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate, Dick Luke: Celebrating Abundance: Thanksgiving Bread Communion. This is an Intergenerational Service (Those children who are taking part in the OWL program will attend their classes as planned. All others will attend the Sunday Service with their parents/guardians.). We’ll explore the idea of abundance, and we'll celebrate the bountiful Earth with a bread communion. You are invited to bring a bread — homemade or store-bought — to share.

Prelude: Give Thanks (arr. Betsy Jo Angebranndt), sung by the UUC Choir.

November 28, Rev. Christine Brownlie: “Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood.” Life hands us unexpected opportunities and surprises. We can receive them with an open heart, or we can receive them with anxiety and fear. Some thoughts on change and looking at our future as a Congregation. Stephanie Gilmore, president of the Congregation, will participate in the service.

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will benefit the Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley. Located in Christiansburg, this organization provides training for volunteers who tutor those in need of English language instruction, as well as remedial reading support for other community members. We currently have several people in our Congregation who volunteer for this agency. Checks should be written directly to LVNRV.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

November 7: Mermaids: Ambassadors from Sea to Sea. UUC friend, Caryn Self-Sullivan, will talk about her passion for the conservation of manatees and dugongs and their coastal habitats around the world.  Visit (virtually) her research sites in Belize and Ghana and learn how Sirenian International is empowering local people to solve conservation problems in their developing countries.  

November 21: UUC member, Darrel Clowes, will lead a discussion on Korea: Then and Now. Darrel was a Peace Corps worker in South Korea about 40 years ago when it was a third-world country. He was the supervisor of Peace Corps volunteers, and lhe ived in the countryside with his wife and children. The South Korean government recently invited him back (expenses paid) to see what is now a modern, technologically advanced society with its own Peace Corps. How does a country make this leap? What does it mean for the people?


Services: December 2010
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (Decembber 5 and December 19 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


In case of bad weather… an e-mail message to the announcement listserv will be sent by 8:30 a.m. on Sunday if services are cancelled, and a notice to that effect will be posted on this page. A cancellation notification will be sent to the TV station WSLS and posted on the UUC facebook page. Also, one can follow the UUC on Twitter.


December 5: Because of ice in the parking lot, the service has been canceled.

December 12, Rev. Christine Brownlie: The Ties that Bind. This Sunday we will welcome new members into our Congregation and hear from Karen Gray, George Lally and Victoria Taylor as they share their experiences that led to their becomng a part of our diverse and eclectic Congregation.

During the service this Sunday, we will be decorating our tree with your donations of new mittens, gloves, scarves and hats. All items will be donated to Community Action and other local agencies for distribution to those in need — before the holidays.

Prelude: The UUC Choir will sing Look-A That Star (Jay Althouse), with soloists Chris Brownlie, Amado Ohland, and Shanna Hollich.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Fj through Ha, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Hb through To, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Tp through Z or A through Fi, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

December 19,the Blacksburg UU WomenSpirit Gathering will lead the Sunday service in a Winter Solstice Celebration of the longest night of the year, the return of the sun, and longer days. At this time of deep contemplation and review of the past year, we also look with renewed energy and joy toward the coming spring. Our wish for the new year is that it will bring peace to our hearts, our community, and to the larger world. An Intergenerational Service for the whole family. There will be no RE classes, but nursery care will be available.

December 26: Because of ice in the parking lot, the service has been canceled.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

December 5: Because of ice in the parking lot, today's Sunday Circle has been canceled.

December 19: Liberty and Justice for All, an unusual take on libertarianism, is the title of a paper we will discuss following a 20 to 40 minute presentation by the author, Nick Tideman, Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech. Beginning with ideas about what is justice, we will consider what resources people may feel entitled to appropriate for themselves.


Services: January 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (January 2 and January 16 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


In case of bad weather… an e-mail message to the announcement listserv will be sent by 8:30 a.m. on Sunday if services are cancelled, and a notice to that effect will be posted on this page. A cancellation notification will be sent to the TV station WSLS and posted on the UUC facebook page. Also, one can follow the UUC on Twitter.


January 2, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jim Kern: Looking Back, Looking Forward. For many of us, the UUC came into existence when we walked through the door for the first time. Today we will review some highlights of our Congregation’s history as we prepare for the future.

January 9, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Amado Ohland: Drawing a Line: The Atheist-Theist Split. Many UU congregations struggle with the distinctively different views/theologies between Humanist Atheists and more traditional Theists. How can we welcome and honor both points of view?

Prelude: For the Beauty of the Earth (Nancy Grundahl), the UUC choir accompanied by Jared Gibbs on electronic keyboard.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Hb through Ke, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Tp through Z or A through Ha, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Kf through To, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

January 16, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jane Mahone: What Would MLK Say Today? If this American Prophet were alive today, what would he say to us about the problems of our time?

Parents of infants and young children are invited to participate in a ceremony of child dedication, which will be held during the service this Sunday. In this ceremony, we dedicate the child to a life of love and service, pledge to support the parents, and welcome the child into the Congregation. If you are interested in participating in this ceremony, please contact Rev. Christine Brownlie by January 9

All are invited to a reception for the latest exhibit put on by the Committee on the Visual Arts (COVA) by papermaker and watermedia artist, Jennifer Spoon, after the coffee hour today.

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January 23, Dr. Wornie Reed, Director of the Center for Race and Social Policy at Virginia Tech: Race and Criminal Justice in the 21st Century. Dr. Reed will provide a brief overview of some of the disparate treatment of African Americans by the criminal justice system and will follow this with a discussion of the negative impact this “criminal injustice” is having on African-American communities, in particular, and all communities in general. Dick Luke will be the Worship Associate for this service.

Prelude: Of Love and Understanding (Betsy Jo Angebranndt), the UUC choir accompanied by Jared Gibbs, piano.

The Board has approved the gift of Martha Olson’s painting “In front of the Cascades” contingent on a favorable vote by the Congregation at today‘s service. Several of her art works were exhibited in the UUC Meeting House during November and December. If approved,the painting will be hung in the Meeting Hall on the wall to the right as one enters through the double doors. [Note added on January 30: The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of accepting and displaying the art work.]

There will be no Fourth Sunday Collection in January. Instead please support our annual Guest at Your Table (GAYT) campaign.

January 30, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Kathy Welch along with other members of the Congregation. Leadership Sunday: Who Gets to Wear the “Leadership Hat” in Our Congregation? Today we celebrate our leaders and demystify the path to leadership in our beloved community.

Prelude: The Fire of Commitment (Shelton and Morn), the UUC choir accompanied by Jared Gibbs, piano.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

January 2: Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money — the carrot-and-stick approach. In Drive, author Daniel Pink makes a strong, science-based case for rethinking motivation. He believes the secret to high performance and satisfaction is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. UUC member, Joe Powers, will moderate a discussion of Pink’s ideas.

January 16: UUC member, Jim Copenheaver, will present a description of and history of the steady-state economic model. Its implementation and possible deployment will be discussed.


Services: February 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (February 6 and February 20 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


In case of bad weather… an e-mail message to the announcement listserv will be sent by 8:30 a.m. on Sunday if services are cancelled, and a notice to that effect will be posted on this page. A cancellation notification will be sent to the TV station WSLS and posted on the UUC facebook page. Also, one can follow the UUC on Twitter.


February 6, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jim Kern: What Makes Life Good? You’ve seen the t-shirt declaring that life is good. But given all the suffering we see in the world, is it really? Or are we just deluding ourselves?

February 13, Rev. Christine Brownlie: Standing on the Side of Love by Creating Peace. This is an intergenerational service (no Religious Education classes) that will explore ways that we can create peace in our community, our homes, and ourselves — and even the world.

Prelude: Love is a Light (words by Ken Bible, music by Tom Fettke), the UUC choir accompanied by Jared Gibbs, piano.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with KH through Ma, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Mc through Z or A through Bo, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Br through Ke, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

February 20, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jane Mahone: Forgiving the Unjust. When we’ve been wronged, we’re told that forgiveness is an important step toward healing. This might work if the wrong were unintended or fairly minor, but how can we forgive random violence or horrific acts like terrorism?

We will be welcoming new members into the Congregation during the service. If you would like to become a member but are unable to attend this service, or if you would like more information about membership, please contact Rev. Christine Brownlie or Barbara Taylor, Membership chair.

Prelude: Dona Nobis Pacem (Mozart), the UUC choir accompanied by Jared Gibbs, piano.

February 27, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Members of the Congregation: The Joy of Connection: Small-Group Ministry. Many of us come into a congregation looking for people who share our values and interests. While our coffee hour might give us a chance to meet people, it’s hard to make a deeper connection. Small groups are one way to deepen relationships. Is a small group in your future?

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will benefit the New River Family Shelter (originally our Fourth-Sunday recipient in December, but services were cancelled that day). This organization is administered from its office in Christiansburg and provides temporary shelter in various apartments and houses in Christiansburg and Blacksburg. Case management services and information and referral to local programs are also provided to participating families. Please make checks out directly to the shelter. All cash in the offering basked will be given to the Shelter.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

February 6: At the dawn of the 21st century, America finds herself facingP unprecedented economic  problems, failing education, a gridlocked political system, and increasingly unsustainable debt.  In her book, The Age of American Unreason, Susan Jacoby implicates the public's ignorance of the underlying issues and inability to think critically. In addition, the majority has a disdain for scientific reasoning, logic, or the need for evidence.  UUC member Richard Eisler will examine the historical basis for an unthinking credulous American public and its implications for our future.

February 20: America's Corporate Media. Despite the oft-heard assertions that U.S. media are “liberal,” our media more often promote a corporate agenda, often at the expense of ordinary Americans.  UUC member Kathy Welch will examine some of the evidence and discuss what we can do to promote skeptical consumption of “news” and increased media literacy.


Services: March 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (March 6 and March 20 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


March 6, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Amado Ohland: The Way of the Old Boy: Taoism.  The origins of Taoism are obscure, and its teachings may puzzle the modern Western mind. Join us as we explore this ancient way of the spirit.

March 13, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jim Kern: Can Art Save Us? The arts have been important to human life since the cave dwellers, yet the arts are often seen as a frill when it comes to public support. Let's consider what the arts offer, and if we truly need music, dance, and visual art to be fully human.

NOTE!! This is the first day of Daylight Savings time.

We will hold a Child Dedication during the service.

Prelude: The River Sleeps Beneath the Sky (Mary Lynn Lightfoot), the UUC choir accompanied by Jared Gibbs, piano.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Me through Ni, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Br through Ma, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with No through Z or A through Bo, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

The Congregational Conversation will follow the potluck.

March 20, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Kathy Welch: A Faith Without A Creed. We call our way of the spirit “religious” and talk about our “faith” or “way of the spirit.” This morning we will take a hard look at these words and see if they really do work for us.

March 27, Rev. Karen Day and Worship Associate Jane Mahone: Upside Down. Ever feel tossed around by life?  We'll look at ancient teachers Rumi and Jesus along with Unitarian Universalist models for guidance on how to roll with the spirit! Karen is a UU community minister in nearby Floyd working with Plenty!, a grassroots group of neighbors growing and sharing food.  She loves tumbling up to the big city to turn over ideas with our Congregation.

Prelude: Ose Shalom (The One Who Makes Peace) (trad. Hebrew text, music by John Leavitt), the UUC choir accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano), Patrick Turner (violin), Courtney Hobson (clarinet), Kellby Benson (cello), and Bob Thomas (bass).

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will benefit the NAACP Scholarship Fund, which provides several educational scholarships each year to deserving area students. Our Congregation has donated to this fund for the last two years, and our support has been sincerely appreciated. Checks should be made out to the NAACP Scholarship Fund.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

March 6: Religious Liberals Are Not Necessarily Political Liberals. UUC members Lynn Ehrke, Carl Hansen, and Dick Kates will share their experiences that may be more common at the UUC than it would appear. As a Welcoming Congregation, how do we embrace the entire political spectrum and have respectful discussions with one another?

March 20: How is the New River Valley doing in advancing community sustainability? John Randolph, VT professor in Urban Affairs and Planning and former president of the UUC, will share the amazing amount of environmental/sustainability actions going on in Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech campus, and environs.


Services: April 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (April 3 and April 17 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


April 3, Stewardship Committee and Worship Associate Dick Luke. Stewardship Brunch and Worship Service.  Come celebrate the UUC and fill out your pledge card as we share food, friendship, fun, music, and our dreams for the future of our Congregation.

Prelude: The Talents We Possess (Ruth Elaine Schram), the UUC choir accompanied by Jared Gibbs, piano.

April 10, Carter Turner, Asst. Professor of Religious Studies at Radford Univ., and Worship Associate Jane Mahone: The Inner Voice. When making the most important decisions in our lives, many of us rely on an internal guidance system; our gut or inner voice. How have different religious traditions understood that voice, and why do so many put such trust in it?

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Mo through Sc, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Se through Z or A through Fi, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Fl through Mi, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

The Congregational Conversation will follow the potluck.

April 17, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jim Kern: Passover: Let My People Go! The Problem of Modern Slavery.  As Jews the world over prepare to celebrate Passover, the liberation of the Hebrew people from bondage, we will consider that even today the practice of slavery continues. How can we help to liberate today’s slaves?

Please join us for the Memorial Garden Dedication after the service (weather permitting). At the conclusion of the worship service, the Congregation will be invited to walk up the hill for a short (10 minute) dedication. You are invited to peruse the pavers donated by our members and friends to honor and remember those dear to us. Pavers may be ordered at any time to honor a person. Wear shoes for walking on the grass.

April 24, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Amado Ohland: Easter: Resurrection and Redemption: What do These Words Mean to Us?  Easter is the time when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the promise of Redemption. How do UUs understand these concepts? What might we want to resurrect and redeem in our own lives?

Prelude: Lo, Easter (words: Longfellow, Hosmer; music: Davidica, Arnold. Williams, Roberts, Gibbs), the UUC choir (unaccompanied).

A Coming of Age ceremony was held during the service.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Humane Society of Montgomery County. The Social Action Committee and the RE program will be combining efforts to support this organization during the entire month of April. As a result, in addition to this monetary collection, there will be a box in the UUC foyer for those who would like to donate food or other items for the Humane Society. Please help make this a successful campaign to benefit our many animal friends and to support this project which was initiated by the children in our Congregation.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

April 3: UUC member, Carl Hansen, will lead a discussion on Trolleyology, a way of studying moral quandaries that has become popular in recent years. Some argue it is a way of providing insights into human nature, while others say it is a waste of time. Basically, it is a way of exploring the doctrine of double effect first articulated by Aquinas in the 13th century. The doctrine in its simplest form allows one to perform an act that has bad consequences, if on balance, the act is good and the bad effects are unintended. In one scenario, a trolley is hurtling uncontrolled down the tracks towards five people who will be killed unless you can turn the switch to redirect it onto a spur track. However, there is one person chained to the spur track who now is at risk. What would you do?

April 17: Mountaintop Removal: UUC members, Darla Bray, Joe Powers and Keith Lester will lead a discussion about the impacts of surface coal mining on the lives of the people who live in the region, as well as strategies and actions being taken by various organizations to end this practice. We will share information gleaned from the Renew Collective’s Alternate Spring Break held the week of March 5–12 at Natural Tunnel State Park in the heart of coal mining country. If your power bill comes from Appalachian Power Company, your energy is generated by coal produced from mountaintop removal. All who have knowledge of surface coal mining and/or the environmental and health impacts are especially encouraged to come and share your perspectives. This discussion is sponsored by the Social Action Committee’s Green Sanctuary Team.


Services: May 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (May 1 and May 15 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


May 1, Rev. Jacqueline Luck, UUA‘s Office of Transitions Ministerial Settlement Representative serving the Southeast District, and Worship Associate Dick Luke: Great Expectations: An Adventure of the Spirit.  Rev. Luck will talk about the great expectations of the ministerial search process that we are now embarking upon. She will share some practices for search that have proven themselves over time. Following the service, there will be time to ask questions about the process of finding a minister to “walk beside us in faith and hope” in fulfilling our mission and vision.

May 8, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jim Kern: Meet God’s Wife! A few weeks ago I received several e-mails proclaiming that God had a "wife." Who is/was this mystery goddess? If she existed at one time, why did she vanish?

Prelude: Let It Be (Lennon/McCartney, arr. Kirby Shaw), the UUC Choir with Wayne Neu, Shanna Hollich, Amado Ohland; Jared Gibbs (piano).

Memorial Garden Dedication: The Memorial Garden dedication was originally scheduled for April 17 but for various reasons had to be rescheduled. Today, at the conclusion of the service, the Congregation will be invited to walk up the hill for a short (10 minute) dedication. The Community Lunch will follow. You are invited to peruse the pavers donated by members to honor and remember those dear to us.

Please join us after the Memorial Garden dedication for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Se through To, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Fi through Sc, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Tp through Z or A through Fi, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don't forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

May 15, YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists): Please join members of our high-school youth group as they lead their annual Spring service and bridging ceremony.

May 22, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Jane Mahone: Look What We Did!  As my ministry with this Congregation comes to a close, let’s look back to see what we’ve accomplished together.

Prelude: Gate Gate (Buddhist mantra, Brian Tate), UUC Choir with David Warner (chant) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

We will also welcome new members into the Congregation. New Member Ceremony We will be welcoming new members into the Congregation at the service on Sunday, May 22. If you would like to participate, or would like to become a member but are unable to attend this service, please contact Rev. Christine Brownlie or Barbara Taylor. All those who join the Congregation at this time will be eligible to vote at our Annual Congregational Meeting on June 5

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Interfaith Food Pantry located on 505 Progress St. in Blacksburg. Our Congregation has been a long-time contributor to this organization, providing financial resources, food and regular volunteers. Let's continue to show our support by giving as generously as we can. Checks should be made out directly to the Food Pantry.

The pre-Annual-Congregational-Meeting Informational Meeting will follow the service.

May 29, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Manna Lundberg: Riding the Waves of Change. What might the future hold for this beloved community as it experiences new ministers and new ministries?

Prelude: Second Suite for Solo Cello, Sarabande (J.S. Bach), Kellby Benson (cello).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Humane Society of Montgomery County. The Social Action Committee and the RE program will be combining efforts to support this organization during the entire month of April. As a result, in addition to this monetary collection, there will be a box in the UUC foyer for those who would like to donate food or other items for the Humane Society. Please help make this a successful campaign to benefit our many animal friends and to support this project which was initiated by the children in our Congregation.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

May 1: Glenn Skutt, UUC member, will talk about PowerHub Systems (PHS), his small business in the VT Corporate Research Park that formed in 2008 to work on electric energy storage and conversion issues. PHS is actively working in the efforts to increase the use of Smart Grid technology to increase the level of functionality and interoperability on the power grid that will allow for more widespread use of distributed and renewable energy resources.  PHS is also working on battery-based energy storage devices and solar photovoltaic inverters for large solar PV installations.

May 15: Carter Turner, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Radford University and a former member of the UUC, will lead a discussion of the several broad conceptualizations of God across religious traditions, as well as the various ways Americans think of the Christian God.


Services: June 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle is not held during the summer months.


June 5, Rev. Christine Brownlie and Worship Associate Dick Luke: Celebrating Our Beloved Community. On this joyous day we will honor our volunteers, dedicate our children, and participate in the beautiful ritual known as the “Flower Communion.” Please bring a bloom from your garden, the roadside, or the florist for yourself and each person in your family who will participate in this ritual. (There will be a few extra flowers at the Meeting House for those who do not bring one.)

Special music by Lisa Liske-Doorandish and several of her advanced cello students.

The Extraordinary and Annual Congregational Meetings will be held immediately following the service. We will begin with an Extraordinary Congregational Meeting for the purpose of determining whether the Congregation shall call a Settled Minister. This is required in our bylaws, and no other business will be conducted.

Our Annual Meeting will follow. We will be asked to approve the budget, to elect officers for fiscal year 2011–2012, and to select the Ministerial Search Committee for the new Settled Minister. Finally, we will be voting to designate Rev. Chris Brownlie as Minister Emerita. Copies of the year-end committee reports will also be available.

Members should have received a letter in the mail with information about the meeting, the recommended budget and information about each of the Search Committee nominees. Copies of the letter and budget are in the Members’ Area of our Web site

Forms for designating a proxy were included in the mailing. If you cannot attend the meeting, please submit a proxy form. Only a member can be a proxy, and a member can be a proxy for only one other member. You may inform your proxy as to how you would like your vote to be cast, but the proxy is free to vote as s/he wishes. If you will not be seeing a member to hold your proxy, you may mail it to the UUC, and it will be given to a member at the meeting.

This is a very important and exciting time for our Congregation. We hope you can attend the meeting and voice your opinions.

June 12, Darla Bray, UUC Past-President: Bidding Our Minister Farewell. Today we’ll share memories and hopes for the future with our minister, Rev. Christine Brownlie, as she says good-bye to the Congregation, and we wish her well.

Prelude: Dansi Na Kuimba the UUC Choir (with drummers)
Offering: Flying Free the UUC Choir (with Mary Walters on flute).

Please join us for a very special Second Sunday Potluck as we continue to celebrate our time with Rev. Christine Brownlie and to wish her a wonderful retirement. If your last name begins with Tr through Z, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way.Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up.People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving.If your last name begins with A through Ke, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Ki though To, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup.Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

June 19: George Terrell, father of an adopted daughter, Amado Ohland, an adopted son, and Worship Associate Jane Mahone, so works for Depaul Community Services wth adoption and foster care: Fostering and Adopting, and the Importance of Being “Dad.” George, Amado, and Jane will share their personal experiences from the world of fostering and adopting.  We hope that you will be inspired by their stories! Informative DVDs and other information will be available in Elarth Hall during coffee hour.

Song: For Heaven’s Sake, written and sung by Leslie Brooks.

June 26, Molly McClintock and Irene Peterson, partners for 26 years, married since 2005: Marriage Equality. Molly and Irene will discuss the various forms of partner recognition (marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships) and the ramifications of denying marriage equality to gay men and lesbians. They’ll also talk about what this means to us and share their experiences of marrying in Canada and patching together legal protections back in the U.S. The Worship Associate is Kathy Welch.

Prelude: Andantino Mosso (Kohler), Goldie Terrell (flute);
Offering: Everything Possible (Fred Small), Amado Ohland(voice) and Goldie Terrell (voice and guitar).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Mid-South District of the Unitarian Universalist Association for its 2011 Severe Storm Fund. This fund has been established to assist UU families and their communities as they repair their lives and properties after the many severely damaging tornadoes they have experienced this spring. Checks can be made out to “Mid-South District” with “2011 Severe Storm Fund” written in the memo section.


Services: July 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle is not held during the summer months.


July 3, Morton Nadler, UUC member: The Free by Themselves Must Be Fashioned. Looking back over his 90 years, Morton sees how step-by-step he made himself into what he is today. Sometimes the materials were furnished by others; sometimes he found them by himself. But this Sunday he stands before you to celebrate 90 years of being his own person.

July 10, Annual Poetry Slam: A Congregation-led service centered around the spoken and written word we identify as poetry. Please bring a poem or two of your own by your favorite poet(s) to share with the Congregation. If you prefer to just listen, please do so. Due to our desire to accommodate all who bring something to read, please keep your sharing to three minutes at most. As you enter the building, there will be a sign-up sheet for those wishing to participate actively. Please contact John Imbur if you have any questions.

Prelude: Subterranian Homesick Blues (Dylan) performed by Jim Kerns (voice and guitar).
Offertory: Six o’ One, (Kerns), performed by Jim Kerns (voice and guitar).

Please join us for our Second-Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with A through Bq, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Kf through Z, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Br though Ke, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

July 17, Rev. David Carl Olson, minister of the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore: Too Many Tulips. When Auntie Margaret and Aunt Peachie bring Ma to visit, the days will be filled with laughter and affection. The Worship Associate is Manna Lundberg

July 24, Rev. Tracy Sprowls-Jenks, minister of the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, NJ: The Daring of Virginia Durr. Virginia Foster Durr was a Southern woman whose husband, Clifford Durr, was one of the lawyers for Rosa Parks. She was there when Rosa Parks was released from jail, giving her a big hug in greeting. Her life as both a White Southerner and a liberal activist during the Civil Rights period sheds light on the complexities of being human and doing social justice. This sermon is written in the form of a letter to Virginia Durr. The Worsip Associat is Kathy Welch.

Prelude: Largo e Vivace from Divertimento da camera no. 2 (Bononcini), Jared Gibbs (piano) and Goldie Terrell (flute);
Offertory: Allegretto Op. 116 (Benjamin Godard), Jared Gibbs (piano) and Goldie Terrell (flute)

The Fourth-Sunday Collection: All cash and designated checks will be donated to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program in Christiansburg. This organization trains volunteers in the New River Valley who are committed to advocating for safe, permanent homes for abused/neglected children who are involved in court proceedings. Please give as generously as you are able. Checks can be written directly to the organization.

July 31, Jim Kern, UUC member: Finding Your Passion, Following Your Bliss. What do you want to be when you grow up? How do you find you passion? Where do you find your bliss? Or is bliss all around us, just waiting to be noticed? Be prepared for discussion. The Worship Associate is Stephanie Gilmore.


Services: August 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle is not held during the summer months.


August 7: Members from the Spiritual Discussion and Reading Covenant Group and Worship Associate Barbara Taylor, Me, Stereotype You?!!! This long-standing UUC covenant group is presenting a dramatization from The Faith Club. Ranya (a Muslim portrayed by Margo Walters), Priscilla (a Jew portrayed by Sharon Day), and Suzanne (a Christian portrayed by Karen Gray), meet to write a children’s book that illustrates what unites their religions. But first, they must learn about their own thoughts on each other’s religions. Linda Powers will serve as Moderator.

Special music by Peter and Mia Lazar.

August 14: Stephanie Gilmore, UUC member, Lammas: Pagan Celebration of the First Harvest. This old pagan celebration of the first harvest, of wheat, comes to our Congregation. We will look at the history of Lammas and some of the associated rituals, and we will hear from members of our Congregation about their use of the fruits of that harvest—in bread baking. Come, bring a loaf of bread — home-made or store-bought — and share with us in the celebration of this staff of life.

Bari Webster will play the piano for our hymns, and John Hassler and Ed Bridge will provide classical guitar interludes.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. If your last name begins with Br through Co, please bring a beverage and plan to arrive by 9:30 to set up for the potluck before the service and to assist with moving items from the kitchen to the tables as the potluck occurs. Plates and silverware should not be set out until all are ready to eat, so as to proceed in an orderly way. Instructions are posted in the kitchen for set-up and clean-up. People from the Membership Committee will be on hand to direct and assist with set-up and serving. If your last name begins with Cp through Nl, please bring a main dish. If your last name begins with Nm though Z or A through Bq, please bring a side dish or dessert. A general announcement will be made asking for people to help with cleanup. Don’t forget your list of the ingredients in your dish to assist those with food allergies.

Don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food donations (canned meats, fruits, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, etc.) for the Interfaith Food Pantry. The donation basket is in the lobby just outside the Meeting Room doors.

August 21: Rev. Alex Richardson and Worship Associate Amado Ohland, Full Circle. Join us in worship as we welcome our new Interim Minister, the Rev. Alex L. Richardson, into the pulpit for the first time. RevAlex, as he likes to be called, will be speaking on how his life comes and goes but ultimately comes full circle again ... and again. We’ll begin the work of speaking what we’re about in an Interim. We’ll also celebrate the wonder of our diversity, our spirit, our gifts, and our challenges. Come, come whoever you are!

August 28: >Members of the Anarchists Covenant Group, Annual Water Service. The Anarchists Covenant Group will conduct our traditional Water Service, which takes a new splash this Sunday. We will celebrate water together, mark a map with our summer travels, and marvel at pictures of water supplied by the Congregation. Rev. Alex Richardson will join the Anarchists for this service. Photos in digital form can be e-mailed to Goldie Terrell at music@uucnrv.org along with the names of the people represented, the location, and other limited information. If your photos are in hardcopy, Goldie or Morton Nadler can scan them into the computer for you. Deadline for submissions is August 21.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), which is affiliated with New River Community Services and provides support for individuals with a long history of serious mental health issues. Checks may be made out directly to PACT.


Services: September 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Sunday Circle (September 4 and September 18 at 8:45 AM) are listed after the Sunday services.


September 4: Rev. Dr. Len De Roche, The Interim Period.  Len will tell the Buddhist story, The Monk and the Bamboo Raft, and use that for reflection on this new era for our Congregation. Len has served four congregations in PA, WV, and MA and is a Certified Pastoral Counselor. He currently serves in Community Ministry and works for a financial corporation. There will be no RE classes today.

September 11: RevAlex, On Commemoration. It is a day of painful memory. It is also a day to celebrate this faith community. We come together on this first Sunday of the New Church Year cognizant of our painful past as well as our promising future. Today is the first day of Fall RE classes. Our RE teachers and Board members will be introduced during the service.

Music during the service includes piano four-hands played by Jared & Natalie Gibbs and the UUC choir, accompanied by Christa Honaker (oboe) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

Please join us for our Second-Sunday Potluck following the service. We will have an opportunity to talk with Board members and RE teachers. We will also welcome RevAlex.

September 18: RevAlex, Who We Be? 1.1. The foundation upon which all successful interim ministry is built is history. Today we begin a multi-part exploration of “who we be.” Come, come, whoever you be to acquaint yourselves with our being!

September 25: RevAlex, Who We Be? 1.2. This service is a continuation of the prior Sunday’s. It is also the prelude to UUC history-oriented services that will be part of our mid-winter programming. Come ready to celebrate some of the wonder of our history. Stephanie Gilmore was the Worship Associate. The UUC Choir will sing during the service.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will benefit the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program (MCEAP). MCEAP is overseen by New River Community Action and assists families and individuals in immediate, temporary, and emergency situations. Its efforts are coordinated with local social service agencies and other civic and religious groups to serve those who do not qualify for other public assistance. Checks may be made out directly to MCEAP.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM.
All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

September 4: UUC member, Marquita Hill, will give a short presentation explaining, with examples, the concept of Nature’s services: Mother Nature as more than a metaphor. She will then participate with those in attendance in selecting natural services that may especially interest them. Questions being addressed are: How are the services we select important to Blacksburg or to the UUC? How do we maintain or enhance these services?

September 18: UUC member, David Warner, will talk on Ethics and the Principle of Double Effect.  Sometimes the good we would do will have ethically bad results. Can we still do that good thing? Applying the Principle of Double Effect can help clarify the decision. We will discuss the Principle as well as its application to specific decisions.


Services: Octobber 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


October 2: RevAlex, Association Sunday. Today we join with thousands and thousands of UUs across the country to celebrate what we are as an association of congregations. We will worship in Blacksburg towards better knowing a much larger communion in which we share. Come of sprit! Come of heart and mind! Come of intent to know the oneness of our being!

October 9: RevAlex, How'd We Get Here? A favorite bit of colloquial wisdom is that no matter where you go, there you are. It's true and especially so in congregation. We worship together on this second Sunday of October questioning where we are and how'd we get here. Kathy Welch is the Worship Associate. was the Worship Associate.

During the service, we will welcome new members and the UUC Choir will sing.
Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

October 16: Rev. Karen Day, Community Ministry: Call, Reluctance and Passion. We'll explore some questions related to the work all of us do in this community: What is our community? In what ways do we each cross the threshold of the Congregation? When is our work ministry? Monna Lundberg is the Worship Associate.

October 23: RevAlex, Who's With Us? Over many centuries Unitarianism and Universalism were both known as faiths of the heretic. No wonder then that so many of us over much history have felt isolated, separated and abandoned. Today we worship together in commitment to better understand the ties that bind us to others rather than what separates. We claim our liberal ecumenism today! Jim Kern is the Worship Associate. The UUC Choir will sing during the service.

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will benefit the Free Clinic of the New River Valley. Through this agency, located in Christiansburg, low-income individuals can receive free medical care and prescription medications. Checks can be made out directly to the clinic.

October 30: RevAlex, Saints One and All! Today we unpack ancient wisdom around sainthood. Our hope is to affirm a liberal understanding of sainthood, to identify those amongst us who are saints, and to recognize the saintly within. “For All the Saints” will be the refrain of the day! Jane Mahone is the Worship Associate. The UUC Choir will sing during the service.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:45 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

October 2: UUC member, George Lally, will tell us about his “UU saint,” Anna Garlin Spencer (1851–1931), an American educator, feminist and Unitarian minister. She was a leader in the women's suffrage and peace movements. In 1891 she became the first woman ordained as a minister in the state of Rhode Island. In 1909, she signed onto the call to found the National Association for the Advancement Colored People.

October 16: UUC members, Dean Mook and Joe Powers will lead a discussion on the evolution of politically-active, ultra-conservative religious groups to their current high level of power and influence. The discussion will be based on the NY Times best-seller, The Family by Jeff Sharlet, which reveals “the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American political power.”


Services: November 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


November 6: Dr. Larry Egbert, The UUA and the Subject of Hastening Death. Dr. Egbert was part of the founding committee for the Final Exit Network. Their Guiding Principles state that “Mentally competent adults have a basic human right to end their lives when they suffer from a fatal or irreversible illness or intractable pain, when their quality of life is personally unacceptable, and the future holds only hopelessness and misery.” Dr. Egbert will also be speaking at the Blacksburg Library on Saturday, November 5 at 4:30 PM.

November 13: Mary Johnson and Amanda Schuber of the UUA, Beyond Categorical Thinking. The Beyond Categorical Thinking program creates opportunities for conversations and reflection for the Congregation to identify issues related to identity. The program will begin during the sermon and continue in the workshop after the potluck. The UUC Choir will sing during the service.

Please join us for our Second-Sunday Potluck following the service and the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop beginning at 12:30. Childcare is provided.

November 20: YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists), Inspiration and Motivation All are encouraged to come to the semi-annual youth service led by our high school youth group. They are excited to share their thoughts and perspectives and look forward to leading the service and discussion. You'll have to attend to find out what their fall theme will be! Several of the members will be sharing their musical and/or perhaps literary talents. We hope you will come and join us!

November 27: RevAlex, Thanksgiving for All Our Days Come to worship on this Sunday after our National Holiday of Thanksgiving to ponder how we might have Thanksgiving with us for all our days. There will be no Religious Education classes today; nursery care will be available for children ages 3 and under. The worship Associate was Jane Mahone.

Tyler Flowers (saxaphone), accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano), provided special music during the service: Nocturne (Frederic Chopin Op. Posth) and Oblivion (Asor Piazzolla arr. Fourman).


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


November 2: UUC member, Morton Nadler, will address Myth or Reality in Israel and Palestine. For example, Israel insists that it will not negotiate with the Palestinians if they do not recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” What is the reality here, what is myth? Bring your own understandings of what is going on there, and Morton will attempt to untangle the reality from the myth.

November 16: UUC member, Jim Copenheaver will talk about Robert Greene Ingersoll, the most well-known American orator of the late nineteenth century but almost unknown today. He will tell how he happened to hear the name Ingersoll when he was a child in the 20th century.


Services: December 2011
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


December 4: RevAlex, Us and the Holy. Holidays are Holy Days, simply put. Today we wrestle with our diverse theologies towards discerning common UU holy ground. Come as a people of liberal questioning faith to share in joyful worship on this first Sunday of the Winter Holiday Season. Leon Kok (violin), Mark O'Connor (violin), Peter Golladay (guitar), and Jared Gibbs (piao) provided special music during the service. Kathy Welch is the Worhip Associate.

December 11: RevAlex, DRE Karen Hager, Our Children and Adults, A Holiday PageUUnt. It’s a favorite of RevAlex’s: an impromptu acting out of the Christian Christmas Story. Come prepared to be the Christ Child, the Mother Mary or maybe even Herod! All of those secret desires to be the “Ham Upon The Stage” have possibility on this Sunday morning. And if you’ve been skeptical in the past about meaningful intergenerational worship, let us encourage you to come, come again towards experiencing the best of what we are, all of us — regardless our age. We will also decorate our Mitten Tree with gloves, hats, and scarves donated by our members and friends. The Choir will sing The Grinch and special music was provied by Community Cello Works.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

December 18: EarthSpirit Sisters, A Winter Solstice Celebration. At the solstice we celebrate the return of the Sun and longer days. We will sing songs about the season, turn the Wheel of the Year, and rejoice in our sense of community during the winter. There will also be a special Solstice story for the children.

December 24: RevAlex with our Choir, Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: In traditional form, we gather on this Christmas Eve to enjoy one another's company, always the best of gifts, as well as Lessons & Carols. The lights will be low, the music beautiful and the words poignant. Come, come whoever you are that we might welcome you and share Christmas Greetings! Nursery care available.

December 25: RevAlex, A Christmas-Day Celebration! It’s Christmas Morning! And Sunday Morning! We gather as celebratory community to ponder the meaning of the holiday as well as to enjoy the great gift of each other. RevAlex will have the kitchen full of well-warmed treats and beverages. There will be no RE classes today.

Fourth Sunday Collection: All cash and designated checks will be donated toward our efforts with the To Our House Program, which provides overnight shelter and meals to the area’s homeless men. All money will be used to supplement supplies, food and activities during UUCs two weeks of participation.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

December 4: UUC member, Carl Hansen will lead a discussion of The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Loss of Reason.

December 18: UUC members, Cynthia Luke and Pauletta Copenheaver: Ethical Eating. Cynthia will discuss the UUA 2011 Statement of Conscious: Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice. She will also discuss plans for the recently formed UUC Task Force on Ethical Eating. Pauletta will mention several individual actions one can follow when making decisions about one's food consumption. A brief report on the book Waste, by Tristram Stuart, will also be presented.


Services: January 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


January 1: John Imbur and Manna Lundberg: Poetry Slam Redux All will be welcome to read a favorite poem and/or share reflections on the winter holidays. There will be no RE classes.

January 8: RevAlex, The Sermon in a Box. We fall back on old Unitarian tradition this Sunday by inviting the entire congregation to place questions on cards towards the start of the service. After they're collected, the cards will then be sorted out by a small group of volunteers who will organize them thematically. In the sermon-making part of the service, these volunteers will pose the questions to the minister, and perhaps a few lay leaders, who will do their best to make a meaningful sermon out of their responses. If you haven't experienced a UU “sermon in a box” before, come to experience this old tradition of ours. And whether you have or haven't, come to pose the questions that are most with you about this interim in which we share, our congregation and our faith. A rousing start to the New Year is promised! The Choir will sing at the service.

Please join us for our Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

January 15: RevAlex, Legacy for UU. On this Sunday of the King Weekend, we gather in worship to contemplate King's legacy for our liberal tradition. It is a legacy full of unmet challenge that a congregation as blessed as UUC will do well to re-examine. Come, come to also celebrate the great potential of what we are as bearers of King’s Good News. Jared Gibbs (piano), Leon Kok (violin) and Peter Golladay (guitar) will provide music by Vivaldi.

January 22: RevAlex, The State of the Congregation. All interims, done well, have ongoing assessment as an essential part of what they are. By this Sunday, multiple parts of UUC leadership will have completed assessments of their work. On this Sunday, a quarter of the way through our interim with one another, we gather as faith community to celebrate the gifts of our being together as well as to acknowledge, and affirm, ongoing challenges. Come happy for all that we are! The Choir will sing at the service.

January 29: RevAlex and Karen Hager, DRE, Rainbow Principles Sunday.. All ages will join together in events around the theme of Rainbow Principles. Here is a chance for the adults to get to know the children better while having a good time and learning something about our Seven UU Principles! This will also be another opportunity for our faith community to grow appreciation for Intergenerational Worship. Come, Come to celebrate All Our Ages! The Choir will sing at the service.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

January 1: UUC member, Carl Hansen, will lead a discussion of The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Loss of Reason.

January 15: Norm Bakkan, retired Lutheran minister, will present An Evolutionary Faith. We all agree that life is an evolving experience. We cannot help but seek an understanding of the origins, the significance, goal and meaning of our existence. Most of us have had some introduction to religious traditions which sought to guide or give answers to our questions. Science has introduced us to a wealth of new perspectives which challenge any literal interpretation of traditional beliefs. Do the traditions of the past have any value? Does science hold the final answers? Does our consciousness of life, of reality, contribute to our growth in understanding and to any means by which faith may evolve?


Services: February 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


February 5: RevAlex, Forgiveness: Part One. Forgiveness and Reconciliation are essential practices in healthy congregations. We begin an ongoing Interim conversation on Forgiveness with today's service. Come with any grudges you might carry in the hope that we, as faith community, can grow in our ability to make blessings of them.

During the service, Goldie Terrell (flute) and Peter Golliday (guitar) will play selections by Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.

February 12: RevAlex's Annual Sermon on Sex. An embodied theology always has facets of sexuality to it. Religious communities that are doing the hard work of deepening their theological understandings, both personally and communally, need to study themselves towards discerning the facets of sexuality that are woven into their beings. On this Sunday before our culture's annual celebration of romantic love, we gather in worship to celebrate embodied UU theologies. The Choir will sing at the service.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

February 19: Rev. Kelly Sisson, Lessons from the Homeless. Rev. Sisson is the head of training in spiritual direction at the Roanoke Rescue Mission.

February 26: RevAlex, Forgiveness: Part Two. On the 5th of this month, the sermon will be a macro-view of the challenges and gifts that come of being a faith community of forgiveness and reconciliation. On this last Sunday of February, we gather in worship to get personal about what being a people of forgiveness and reconciliation may mean for us as individuals of faith striving to be a healthy congregation.

The Choir will sing at the service. Featured solosits are Wayne Neu, Shanna Hollich, and Tiffany Ragland

During the service, new members are welcomed into the Congregation.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

February 5: Carl Hansen, UUC member, will discuss the book, Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding by Sarah Hrdy. The author synthesizes her decades of work on the sociobiology of mothers and infants to track the evolution of our emotional humanity “step by Darwinian step.”

February 19: The Ministerial Search Committee will go over the results of the congregational survey and use the Sunday Circle as one of the announced cottage meetings. This is an opportunity for you to give additional input to the committee, to see if the survey results seem valid and to understand where we are in the search process for a settled minister.


Services: March 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


March 4: RevAlex, Courage, Changem and Consternation. With today's worship, we join in communal contemplation of the wonders of change. All Interim Congregations do well to address change possibilities and challenges. Our perspective this morning will be universal; our humor, however, will be of the most particular. Come, Come, whoever you are and know how glad we are to see you!

During the service, Leon Kok (violin), Goldie Terrell (flute), and Jared Gibbs (piano) played selections by Bizet, Delibes, and Bach.

March 11: RevAlex, On the Pleasures of Moral Righteousness. Most, if not all, of us enjoy moments of moral righteousness. On this Sunday, we gather as faith community to consider the gifts and challenges of righteousness at the same time we celebrate the birthing of an Ethical Eating Initiative from within our congregation. Vegetarians! Vegans! Omnivores! Come, Come that we might worship and eat together! The Choir will sing at the service.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service. Note that we will be holding an all-vegetarian potluck today in solidarity with our Ethical Eating Initiative.

March 18: RevAlex, Giving as Spiritual Practice. Our hope with today's worship is to go deeper in contemplation of giving than to just extol its virtues. Giving never stands alone. It always travels in the company of other virtues — and vices. As liberal religionists, we do well to wrestle with both our personal and communal understandings of best practice in regards to giving. Come, Come, generous people! Monna Lundberg is the Worship Associate.

March 25: RevAlex, On The Pleasures of ScapeGoating!. Chief amongst the primal pleasures of being human is that of scapegoating. It's a pleasure that is most often denied and instead called by other names. Today we talk this primal pleasure and how it might play out in the life of religious community. Come, Come, wonderfully complex human beings that you are! Kathy Welch is the Worship Associate. The Choir will sing at the service.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

March 4: Franklyn Moreno, UUC member, will discuss the book Manufacturing Matters and manufacturing and the American economy.

March 18: Morton Nadler, UUC member, One State or Two? The two-state “solution” appears irrevocably dead. Strangely enough, the Zionists, who killed it, are suddenly in favor. What does “Jewish and Democratic” mean? What could a single state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean look like? How could it be attained? Morton has recently changed his views on these issues. Come and hear why.


Services: April 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


April 1: Stewardship Committee, Stewardship Brunch and Worship Service. Come celebrate our beloved faith community and fill out your pledge card as we share food, friendship, wonderful music (UUC Choir and Jared Gibb's jazz combo), and our dreams for the future of UUC. The children will enjoy their own special celebration with food and fun activities.

April 8: RevAlex and DRE Karen Hager, Intergenerational Easter Sunday Service. We come together on this most important of Christian holidays to hear of how Unitarian Universalists have celebrated it throughout our history. We will also wrestle with the many varied ways in which Easter continues to hold significance for us. It will be a Sunday of Celebration! As part of the service, the children will participate in our annual Easter Egg Hunt—for plastic eggs filled with dog treats! Everyone is encouraged to wear a BIG Easter Bonnet or Hat to the service.

During the service, special music was provided by a string quarter: Linda Plaut (violin), Richard Rothwell (violin), Leon Kok (viola), and Susan Barrett (cello).

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

April 15: Ray Plaza, Seeking Community Amid Challenging Times. The events of April 16th have indeed impacted our community in many ways. We will explore the journey that led to the Community Dialogue as well as looking at where we stand as a community and what is required to help continue the healing and mending process. Ray works in VT's Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program and is active with the local NAACP.

April 22: RevAlex, Earth Day Worship. It's our Annual Earth Day Worship Service at UUC this morning. Come to ponder how we might continue to better honor and serve the needs of our Planet. Come also to affirm your commitment to care. The Choir will sing at the service.

April 29: RevAlex, A Month of Sundays. It's the 5th Sunday of April. It's the end of the 10th month of Interim. What better time for Interim RevAlex to share what he envisions might be coming UUC's way. Join us this Sunday as we celebrate what lies ahead! This will also be our first annual Hymn Sing Sunday.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

April 1: Dale & Nancy Norton (UUC member): The Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. Do you wish you had a clearer perspective on our health care system and on whether and how it can be improved? Would you like to know some facts and think through some principles to balance the demagoguery over the health care reform act demonized as Obamacare? Join us for an exploration and brief discussion of T.R. Reid's The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care (Penguin, 2010). We will watch Reid boil down the alternative models that give every other “rich” country universal coverage and better outcomes for half to two-thirds the cost of ours, several with less “socialized medicine” and “big government” than we already have!

April 15: Jim Copenheaver and Joe Powers (UUC members) will lead a discussion on Varying Perspectives on Immigration.


Services: May 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


May 6: RevAlex, Congregational Polity. Almost all authority on religious community attests to the ever greater challenge of a congregation that governs itself. In a day and age in which the polarities of the culture seem to be ever increasing, we gather for worship in which we'll examine the extent to which those polarities are with our congregation, and the polity by which we govern ourselves.

During the service, Peter Golliday (electric guitar) and Jared Gibbs (piano) played selections by John Coltrane.

May 13: RevAlex, Congregational Polity Redux. It's Mother's Day! It's also our Annual Congregational Meeting Sunday! We're out to worship, to govern ourselves and to get out of the building in a timely fashion so that Mom gets her due. In a bold experimental effort to make it all work, we're going to segway directly from Worship Time into Congregational Meeting Time. Our goal is to be finished with both worship and governance by 11:30 AM. The Choir will sing at the service.

Please join us for our Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

May 20: RevAlex, Anachronism? You're all hearing that church is going the way of other good things past their prime. Today we tackle that possibility head-on. We'll examine some of the commentary from important voices in the culture. The minister will share his own perspective, and you'll be invited into some deep personal reflection of your own. The Choir will sing at the service. Our Fourth-Sunday Collection for Friends of the Farmers Market will be held (a week early).

May 27: YRUU Service and Bridging Ceremony. Our high school youth group, the Young Religious Unitarian Universalists, will lead their annual Spring service and Bridging Ceremony.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

May 6: UUC members, David Burr and Bobbie Littlefield will discuss Chris Hedges' book, Death of the Liberal Class, in which he slams five specific groups and institutions: the Democratic Party, the media, academia, unions. and churches for the systematic problems of our society today because they have become “complacent lackeys to corporate power.”

May 20: Nancy Gardner, UUC member and a licensed professional counselor, will share information about Attachment Disorder in Children:causes, emotional and behavioral symptoms, and diagnosis, and treatment.


Services: June 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


June 3: RevAlex, Annual Flower Communion. Come celebrate with us one of our most cherished of rituals. Please bring a flower for each member of your family to contribute to our congregational bouquet. There will be plenty of extra flowers near the podium in case you do not have one. The Annual Volunteer Awards will be presented during the service. Last day of Spring RE.

Special music was provided during the service by Wayne Neu (voice) accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

All are invited to the RE Ice Cream Social following the service as we give thanks to our RE teachers and advisors.

June 10: Rev. Don Southworth, Conversation with Rev. Don Southworth. Joining us today is the Rev. Don Southworth, Executive Director of the UU Minister's Association. Members of our congregation who heard Don speak last summer at General Assembly in Charlotte requested that Don bring his wisdom to Blacksburg to share with our congregation. Today, we gather in worship to celebrate Don's willingness to fulfill that request.

Special music was provided during the service by Amado Ohland (voice) accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

June 17: RevAlex and Elizabeth Bukey (UUC Summer Minister), WELCOME! We gather in worship today to celebrate the arrival of our first ever Summer Minister, Elizabeth Bukey. We will welcome Elizabeth and make covenant with her around her Summer Ministry with us. Elizabeth will speak to us for the first time. Come on this Sunday of Great Welcoming to also celebrate the wonders of all that we are!

Please stay for the reception following the service to welcome Elizabeth Bukey.

June 24: UUC CUUPS Members, Celebrating the Summer Solstice. The members of our newly emerging UUC CUUPS (Covenant of UU Pagans) Chapter will lead us in celebration of the Summer Solstice and longest day of the year. Join us as we worship in appreciation of all the gifts that come our way with great light and warmth!


Services: July 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


July 1: The service was canceled because there was no power in most of the New River Valley because of the derecho.

July 8: Elizabeth Bukey, Let America Be America Again. As we finish our July Fourth celebrations, Elizabeth will draw on Langston Hughes' poem to reflect on our country's tension between freedom and inequality. Monna Lundberg was the Worship Associate.

Sharon Stacy provided special music during the service (voice accompanied by guitar or piano).

Please join us for our Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

July 15: Elizabeth Bukey, The Struggle and the Power. What's the role of struggle and anger in spiritual life? We'll look at the Biblical story of Jacob wrestling with God as well as the superhero, Incredible Hulk.

July 22: RevAlex, CREATIVITY! Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, renowned psychologist who popularized the idea of “flow,” has been a major contemporary influence on our faith. Today RevAlex preaches on why congregations do well by themselves to stay conscious of Csikzentmihalyi's wisdom.

Goldie Terrell (flute) provided special music during the service.

4th-Sunday collection: Women's Resource Center (New River Valley).

July 29: Elizabeth Bukey, Out of the Depths. Despair and grief are part of our human experience. What do we cling to when life's storms shake our core?

During the service, special music was provided by Sharon Stacy (guitar and voice).


Services: August 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


August 5: Elizabeth Bukey, All Praise to the Great Web. This sermon is a reflection on community and interdependence.

August 12: Elizabeth Bukey, The Borderlands. Elizabeth will share what truth she found in metaphorical and literal borderlands, drawing on her experiences on the U.S./Mexico border.

Sharon Stacy (guitar and voice) provided special music during the service.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

August 19: Elizabeth Bukey, All Creatures of the Earth and Sky. As Unitarian Universalists, we promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence. We are part of that web, and so are the animals with which we share our lives. Come to celebrate and reflect upon the ways we are connected with all creatures. The service will be followed by an intergenerational blessing of the animals (more info to follow).

August 26: Elizabeth Bukey, A Teaching Congregation. As Elizabeth wraps up her time with us, she preaches on what she has learned from UUC about Unitarian Universalist ministry. Come to celebrate the teaching, learning, and growth we have shared together. Dick Luke was the Worship Associate for the service.

Our Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to Literacy Volunteers of the NRV.


Services: September 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


September 2: Elizabeth Bukey, Bread and Roses: As we celebrate Labor Day, we wonder: what happened to the people who brought us the weekend? We will celebrate the contributions and complexity of labor in our society, discuss the state of organized labor in the U.S., and reflect on the spiritual and moral dimensions of work.

Music during the service was provided by Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

September 9: RevAlex, Water Communion Sunday. We kick-off this new 2012-2013 Church Year with our Annual Water Communion Service. As with all communions, this is opportunity for each of us to make commitment to being part of a larger whole. The ritual is of long-standing. Come to celebrate your belonging as well as everyone else's as we mark commitment to be together as one. (Bring water you brought back from summer travels or use water provided in the communion table pitcher.) The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

Please join us for our Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

The Courage to Be sermon series draws its name from one of Paul Tillich's books. In this series of sermons, RevAlex will explore wisdom on the nature of humanity imparted to us by Tillich, Flannery O'Connor, Parker Palmer and a host of others. We'll explore how we UUC-ers share in the characteristics of all humanity as well as how we might differ. We'll review our commitment to the Interim Ministry in which we share. We will also explore what can be done to further the success of our time together before its ending next June. Stories will be told. Poignancy will be with us. Wisdom will be sought. Come of heart and mind to share in the act of communal worship on each of these three Sundays in September.

September 16: RevAlex, Courage to Be: Part One.

Music during the service was provided by Leon Kok (violin) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

September 23: RevAlex, Courage to Be: Part Two. The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

Our Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to the Computer Empowerment Program

September 30: RevAlex, Courage to Be: Part Three.

Music during the service was provided by Leon Kok (violin) and Jared Gibbs (piano).


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A. In September, the Sunday Circle only met on the third Sunday because there was a muffin farewell brucnh for our departing summer preaching minister Elizabeth Bukey.

September 16: UUC member, Carl Hansen, will lead the discussion based on a book entitled The Righteous Mind or Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Johnathan Haidt, Professor of Psychology, UVA. The author explores the origins of our religious and political differences and suggests some ways to mutual understanding. He has established an online questionnaire at www.YourMorals.org designed to identify what he terms moral differences between liberals (progressives) and conservatives. Take this interesting survey and come prepared to discuss your findings.


Services: October 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


October 7: RevAlex, Executive Board, UUC Choir, Strategic Planning Committee, Better & Better Celebration Sunday. We gather today in celebration of our congregational polity. Our Executive Board will roll out the new Governance Model for us. We'll also challenge one another to give more to ensure that we maintain our property in the best possible way. We'll sing. We'll share. We will revel in one another's company and all the promise of what we are as congregation.

Music during the service was provided by the UUC Choir.

October 14: Marquita Hill, David Burr and RevAlex, The Well-Rounded Good Samaritan. Today we explore the possibility of a “dialogical sermon.” Three voices will come to bear on the contemporary learnings and challenges of a parable known to most of us. Come to ponder your own insights and rumblings about what this story may still call us out to be.

Please join us for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

October 21: Dick Kates, In Praise of Doubt. Doubt is a shared UU value. With today's worship, we'll explore and articulate the processes of doubt that inform our liberal faith. We'll celebrate those elements of doubt that bolster our faith understandings at the same time we grow our awareness of how doubt may undermine our faith. We'll sing. We'll laugh. We'll be together, doubtful souls that we are, in celebration of all our being. The Worship Associate was Bill Patterson.

Music during the service was provided by the UUC Choir as well as by Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

October 28: EarthSpirit Sisters, Celebrating Samhain. An Intergenerational Service. The pagan holiday of Samhain (pronounced “sow in” like “cow in”) is an important one in the Wheel of the Year celebrations, one which marks the cooling of the earth, the natural turning inward as grasses and gardens hunker down for the winter, and when we reflect on the many blessings of our lives. One of these blessings is the people in our lives, and in particular, those who have left this plane. We honor them and their influence in our lives on this holiday. We will create a space for photos and mementoes of our beloved family members and friends who have died. All are invited and encouraged to bring photos or special memorabilia reminiscent of people they wish to honor and remember in this service.

There will be no children's RE classes today.

Our Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to the Interfaith Food Pantry.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

October 7: UUC member, Judy Snoke, will lead a discussion on Obama's Race to the Top: Dismantling American Public Education. Judy has headed up a study on education for the League of Women Voters and will share much information that she has gleaned over more than two years of work.

October 21: UUC member, Marquita Hill, will lead a discussion on Malawi — A World Apart. After seven years of experience (trying to be helpful) what has she learned? What does being helpful even mean?


Services: November 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


November 4: RevAlex, Losing. It's the Sunday before Election Day, and someone is sure to lose. Truth be told, all of us are set to lose ... something. Today we explore loss as necessary gateway to deepening of the spirit ... and of the deepening of congregation. This is Part One of a three-part sermon series on Congregational Foundation Strengths.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

November 11: RevAlex, Leadership. The new Spielberg film on Abraham Lincoln opens the Friday after this Sunday. We gather today in the shadow of Lincoln and the example he set for leadership in a democratic society. This is Part Two of a three-part sermon series on Congregational Foundation Strengths.

Today is also New Member Sunday!

Please join us for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

November 18: YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists), Confidence. Come to this semi-annual youth service led by our high school youth group. They will share their thoughts and perspectives along with music, readings, and more.

Grace Ross (voice and ukulele) and Hank Skutt (cello) provided music during the service.

November 25: Lay-led Service on Thankfulness. All are invited on this Sunday after Thanksgiving to bring a poem (original or not) or statement to share that expresses your feelings on what you are thankful for. You are, of course, welcome to simply listen.

Jim Kerns (voice and guitar) povided music during the service.

Our Fourth-Sunday Collection will be donated to the To Our House Program.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


November 4: UUC member Richard Eisler will lead a discussion on the Supreme Court, part of our democracy.

November 18: Now that the election is over, UUC members Dick Kates and Morton Nadler will review and contrast chosen planks of the Democrat, Republican and Green Party platforms. This date was particularly chosen so as to avoid any hint of electioneering. It should be borne in mind that this is a purely hypothetical exercise, since the candidates elected on November 6 will in no way be bound by his (or her) party's platform.


Services: December 2012
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


December 2: RevAlex, Loving...Trusting. With today's sermon, RevAlex closes on a three-part sermon series designed to address his Interim perspective on UUC's foundational strengths and weaknesses. Today, as we begin meaningful celebration of our winter holidays, we ponder our desire for trust, the parameters of trust, and the extent to which we trust.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

December 9: RevAlex, Family — Take One. We live in a culture that throws message after message our way that family should be at the forefront of all we are during the holiday season. We are also part of a church community often described by folk as being their “family.” We gather on this second Sunday of Advent to ponder family. We will also celebrate the gifts of each other, this congregation, our community and world.

Please join us for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

December 16: RevAlex and Karen Hager, DLFD, The Grinch, An Intergenerational Service. Come learn about the true meaning of Christmas based on The Grinch by Dr. Seuss. This is also our Mitten Tree Sunday, so bring hats, scarves, mittens and gloves to the service to decorate our tree. These winter warmers will then be donated to local agencies in the NRV to help warm those in need.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service, and Wayne Neu will sing “You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

December 23: RevAlex, Family — Take Two. Because of the shootings in Newtown nine days ago, what RevAlex actually says is not what he had originally planned when he gave the sermon that title.

December 30: Under the direction of Choir Director, Ella Kromin, the UUC choir will present a concert, Brava Musica! The program consists of about a dozen pieces, including some which have been sung before and some new songs. Poetry readings by members of the choir will be interspersed among the musical numbers. Jared Gibbs will be the accompanist.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


December 2: Religion for Atheists: What aspects of religion should atheists (respectfully) adopt? Alain de Botton suggests a religion for atheists — call it Atheism 2.0 — that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence. UUC member, David Warner, will lead a discussion about whether/how his ideas can be applied in our community.

December 16: UUC member, David Burr, will discuss the origins of anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages.


Services: January 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


January 6: RevAlex and a Cast of Luminaries from Amongst You, A New Years Celebration of Our Congregational Democracy!. It's a Sunday for RevAlex to channel his Oprah-within as he engages a panel of UUC Luminaries on the wonders and great challenges of our Congregation. Questions will be solicited from the Congregation. Contextual teaching about our history of congregational polity will take place. We'll also do a lively update (with prizes!) on who understands what about our new UUC Organizational Chart! Come to learn, to teach, to encourage one another! Happy New Year!

During the service, the UUC Choir will sing, and special music is provided by Tyler Flowers (alto sax) accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

January 13: RevAlex, You Can Get Anything You Want at Alex's Restaurant. Throughout my last twenty years of preaching, people have said repeatedly that I either do or don't &ldq uo;feed them spiritually.” With today's sermon I share of my thoughts and feelings on the minister as short order spiritual cook.

Please join us for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

January 20: Bobbie Littlefield and others, UUSC (UU Service Committee) in Haiti. Today we celebrate the success that has been achieved by UUSC in Haiti and the work that is ongoing. We will view videos and hear from several in our congregation who have hands on experience with the problems there.

During the service, the UUC Choir will sing, and special music will be provided by Goldie Terrell (flute) accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

Janaury 27: RevAlex, The State of the Congregation. We gather as faith community in worship this Sunday to contemplate what we've accomplished and learned in our Interim together. Focus will be on both accomplishments and ongoing challenges.

During the music, music was provided by Tommy Iafrate (clarinet), Leon Kok (viola), and Jared Gibbs (piano).

Today's special collection will benefit UUSC's Guest at Your Table program.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


January 6: January 22 marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark Roe vs. Wade decision making abortion legal in the U.S. The UUA (Unitarian Universalist Assn.) has elected the Congregational Study/Action Issue, Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling, for its 2012–16 Statement of Conscience. UUC member, Cynthia Luke will lead a discussion on reproductive justice from a UU perspective.

January 20: Anita Puckett, Director of the Appalachian Studies Program at Virginia Tech and regular UUC visitor, will lead a discussion on serpent-handling churches in southern Appalachia. Based on her ethnographic fieldwork in southeastern Kentucky, she will discuss how their beliefs and practices present a nature-focused mode of worship and spirituality that strongly critiques a fully rational approach to salvation based on free will and conviction.


Services: February 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


February 3: Sevice cancelled because of weaather.

February 10: RevAlex, Snake Handling and Other Tests of Faith. Today's service (delayed by a week because of weather) is a follow-up to the January 27 State of the Congregation address. RevAlex will go into deeper exploration of challenges before us as we grow and change.

Please join us for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

February 17: UUC member, Amado Ohland, Experiencing the UU First Principle in Song and Dance. The first of the seven UU principles affirms and promotes, “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” To Amado, this is an idea that simply makes logical sense. Have you ever had a direct experience of another's inherent worth and dignity? Amado will share the journey that led him to a powerful epiphany about the awesomeness of everyday people. Sharon Day is the Worship Associate for the service.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

February 24: Rev. Christine Brownlie, What in the World Is a Minister Emerita? One of the greatest moments of my life was when this Congregation honored me with the title “Minister Emerita”. I'd like to explore with you what this title means and how ministers so honored can be an asset to the congregation and a help to the minister.

Music will be provided during the service by Finn Roberts & Jared Gibbs (both on piano).

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit Micah's Backpack.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


February 3: Cancelled because of the weather.

February 17: Jim Copenheaver, UUC member, will lead a discussion on Voltaire's Alphabet of Wit, a series of short sayings.


Services: March 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


March 3: RevAlex, Logos and Mythos: Church done well requires much more of us than just our rational selves. Today we ponder the gifts of bringing our full being into congregation. We may even get up and do something!

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

Please stay for the Congregational Conversation following the service.

March 10: Rev. Karen Day, Being Empty and Being Hungry: Can emptiness and hunger lead us to fullness? We'll look at how emptiness can be a guide and how Plenty! feeds our hungers. Reverend Karen Day is Co-Director of Plenty!, which nourishes community and feeds hungry neighbors by growing and sharing food. She currently lives in Floyd and has been a guest speaker at UUC many times. (Reminder: Daylight Savings Time begins today.)

Please join us for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

March 17: Carter Turner, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Radford University and former UUC member, The Way of Water: What H2O Can Teach Us About Ourselves and the World. Many religious traditions use the metaphor of water to convey their most sacred ideas. Carter will explore those metaphors and the wisdom found in one of nature's basic elements.

Goldie Terrlel (flute) & Jared Gibbs (piano) — as well as the UUC Choir — will perform during the service.

March 24: RevAlex, Pastors One and All. It's a Sunday to celebrate our congregation's Lay-Pastoral-Care Ministry. We will also wrestle with the call for each of us to pastor. Could it be that each of us is a Good Shepherd In-the-Making? Sure hope so! (Due to an unexpected snow that morning, the service was called off. But 70 people — as well as the musicians — showed up so the service was held.)

Music during the service was provided by Tommy Iafrate (clarinet), Leon Kok (viola), and Jared Gibbs (piano).

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit the Humane Society of Montgomery County

March 31: RevAlex, Easter Sunday Celebration. We gather on Easter Sunday to renew commitment to our congregation. We'll share in communion and celebrate the coming of Spring! We'll also begin to ponder the wonder of our congregation becoming.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


March 3: Jim Flowers, UUC president this year, will beta-test a soon-to-be-published booklet titled “How Our Congregation Works”. Jim will also take questions and gratefully receive comments on efforts to encourage and enable members to engage more actively in all aspects of congregational life.

March 17: UUC member Morton Nadler will lead a discussion on “What Is a UU?”. He thought he knew, but the more he looked into it, the more he realized that the only model he had was the few UUs he knew personally &mspace; and especially himself. What conclusions can we draw from such a small sample?


Services: April 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


April 7: RevAlex, Stewarding. It's our Stewardship Sunday Celebration! Festivities will abound even as we delve deeply into how congregation calls each of out to the work of stewarding. Children will have their own special activities.

Music is provided by both the UUC Choir and also Jared Gibbs (piano), John Petrie (bass), & Nathan Alexander (drums)

An informational meeting will be held following the service to answer your questions about our ministerial candidate, candidating week, and the congregational meeting to vote for calling Rev. Dara Olandt as our settled minister following the service. Childcare provided.

April 14: Rev. Dara Olandt, With Bright Visions and Bold Hearts — “For All That Is Our Life.” We come together in congregational life to nourish our spirits, to share, dream and grow together. How does Unitarian Universalism strengthen our hearts for the journey? What shared callings and visions will inspire the next chapters of life at UUC? All are welcome for celebration, reflection and spiritual renewal. Molly Lazar, member of Search Committee, paraticipates in the service.

Music is provided by Amado Ohland (tenor) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

Please join us for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

April 21: Rev. Dara Olandt, Awakening the Promise of Beloved Community. How might we live full-hearted, as Beloved Community within and beyond congregational walls? How do we embrace our own “part” in the world of today? All are welcome for celebration, reflection and spiritual renewal.

The UUC Choir will sing during the service.

A Congregational Meeting will be held following the service to vote on calling Rev. Dara Olandt as our settled minister. Childcare provided.

April 28: RevAlex, Tales to Curl Your Hair — Part One. We're wrapping up our Interim together! We're looking back at what we've done with particular focus on the places of learning and love. Given our collective sense of humor, we'll also want to be sure to retell the stories that brought laughter our way. Come to celebrate all the good work of our faith in which we've shared.

Music is provided during the service by Tommy Iafrate (flute), Leon Kok (violin), & Jared Gibbs (piano).

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will benefit the NAACP Scholarship fund.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


April 7: Dr. Fatemeh Zarghami, a physician from Iran is currently in Blacksburg while her husband completes his doctorate in Public Policy at Virginia Tech. She will talk about her life in Iran and answer questions from the group.

April 21: The Ministerial Search Process: This is what you've all been waiting for! Frank Napolitano and Isabel Berney will relate the two-year search process which culminates in a Congregational vote on this very day. They will talk about the challenges, the fun, the work, and the rewards. Do you wonder why the UUA has guidelines for this process? You can express your opinion. There may even be an appearance by Rev. Dara if she is able to take time before delivering the Sunday sermon.


Services: May 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


May 5: RevAlex, Tales to Curl Your Hair — Part Two. We're wrapping up our Interim together! We're looking back at what we've done with particular focus on the places of learning and love. Given our collective sense of humor, we'll also want to be sure to retell the stories that brought laughter our way. Come to celebrate all the good work of our faith in which we've shared.

The UUC choir will sing at the service. In addition, music will be provided by Tommy Iafrate (piano), Leon Kok (violin), Brooke Mahanes (violin), Susan Kirchhausen (viola), and Susan Barrett (cello).

May 12: Rev. Dr. Paul Rasor, UU Theologian, The Power of Hope. Read the article about Rev. Rasor on page 4 of the May newsletter, and don't miss the opportunity to hear this very special guest.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service. Additional music is provided by Goldie Terrell (flute) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

Please join us for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

May 19: Middle-School Youth Group (MSYG): Members of the group will enlighten us on the many different religions they have studied and/or visited this past year.

Music will be provided during the service by Sharon Stacy (piano, voice, and guitar).

An Informational Meeting will be held following the service.

May 26: Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU), The Journey. Our high school youth group will tell us all about their recent and wonderful trip to Boston and will include a slide show and reflections. The program includes usic by Grace Ross (voice and ukelele).

The Fourth-Sunday collection will benefit RAFT (NRV's Crisis Hotline) and the Mental Health Association of the NRV).


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


May 5: Karen Cairns will talk about how she lives on a spiritual and environmental path. Karen has a doctorate in environmental education, a master's degree in public health, was active with Sustainable Blacksburg, and is an Ashtanga Yoga practitioner who studies in India every year.

May 19: We Lucked Out. Morton Nadler, UUC member, will discuss personal experience that has taught him that leaders of a revolution may not be the ones to build a new government after successfully overthrowing the old. The framers of our Constitution were a rare exception. Yet the Constitution still bears some birthmarks of the struggles that gave birth to our United States of America.


Services: June 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


June 2: RevAlex, Flower Communion. We mark the beginning of summer in this annual coming together of our congregation. We'll celebrate the wonder of our being. We'll take note of our challenges. We'll re-covenant to begin again in love. Please bring a flower for each member of your family to contribute to our community bouquet. There will be extra flowers near the podium in case your don't have one. The Annual Volunteer Awards will be presented at the service. This is the last day of Children's Spring RE classes.

The UUC Choir will sing during the service, and there will be a piano duet by Finn Roberts & Jared Gibbs.

The Annual Meeting will be held immediately following the service.

June 9: Rev. Dale Jenkins, Faith vs. Gay: The Wrestling Match. Dale Jenkins, an advanced instructor in Communications at VT, is an outstanding public speaker who holds a Masters of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Raised in the Baptist tradition, he comes to our pulpit today as a gay man to speak of his own personal struggles within the context of our larger culture challenge. RevAlex lobbied Dale to speak to us and encourages each of you to be here to enjoy his wisdom, wit and great good humor! There will be no Children's RE classes today.

Please join us for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

June 16: RevAlex, Parting Glances: Part One. Our Interim Minister, RevAlex, begins sharing his final thoughts with us in today's sermon.

The UUC Choir will sing for the last time until late August. Music is also provided by Merideth McCree (oboe) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

There will be an Ice Cream Social sponsored by the Children's RE Committee immediately following the service. All are welcome.

June 23: RevAlex, Parting Glances: Part Two. RevAlex concludes the sharing of final thoughts and feelings about our Interim together.

We will celebrate RevAlex's Interim with us on this day. Plan to arrive at 9 AM to begin the celebration. Childcare will be provided for children of all ages.

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program.

June 30: Au Revoir. Interim Transition Team Member George Lally will lead us in closing Interim Worship today. RevAlex joins the Congregation in the “pews.” We will celebrate the complex goodness of parting. Come, Come, Whoever You Are!

Music is provided during the service by Sharon Stacy (piano, voice, and guitar).


Sunday Circle does not meet during the summer


Services: July 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


July 7: Annual Poetry Slam. This Sunday, we kick off a summer of lay-led worship services with our annual Poetry Slam. John Imbur hosts one of our favorite summer Sundays. All are welcome to bring a favorite poem to read aloud.

Music is provided during the service by Sharon Stacy (piano, voice, and guitar).

July 14: UU Hymn Sing. Join host Bill Patterson for a Sunday of singing a selection of UU hymns. UUC members will introduce their favorite hymns, tell a little of the history of each, and then we will sing them together. Have you wondered where some of our beloved songs come from? This Sunday is your chance to find out!

Please join us for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

July 21: The Reverend Bill Gupton, Why I Am a Universalist? Rev. Bill Gupton drops by to offer us the good news of Universalism — and maybe a word or two about SUUSI, the Southeast UU Summer Institute, which begins today in Radford. Though he has served as a UU minister in Ohio now for 17 years, he has Southern roots — as you'll be able to tell when he speaks — and a passion both for the Universalist side of our UU family tree and for SUUSI (which he will be attending for the 32nd consecutive time). Bill has served the Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church in Cincinnati (“where the &lsqup;Universalist’ comes first”) since 2002. Heritage is the former congregation of the Hagers, and Bill looks forward to co-leading worship with Karen today.

Music is provided during the service by Sharon Stacy (piano, voice, and guitar).

July 28: Dr. Russell Gregory, Living Fiction: How's the Plot Working for You? Dr. Gregory, beloved Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Radford University, is our guest speaker today. He will talk about what he learned as he read James Hillman's book, Healing Fictions, and read selections from the book. (Morton Nadler remarks, “Those of you who knew Russell when he was a regular preacher in our pulpit will remember that it didn't matter what he said he'd talk about; it was always fascinating.”) Morton and Stephanie Gilmore will be the co-conveners.

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit our local Planned Parenthood (see page 6 for more info).

Music is provided during the service by Sharon Stacy (piano, voice, and guitar).


Sunday Circle does not meet during the summer


Services: August 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


August 4: Grail Mountain Seekers CUUPs and EarthSpirit Sisters, Celebrating Lammas. You are invited to a celebration of Lammas (also called Lughnasadh), the holiday of the first fruits of the harvest. We acknowledge the turning of the wheel of the year as the days shorten, and we wind our way toward Autumn. You are welcome to bring items representing the harvest in your life to place on the altar. These could be fruits or vegetables ripening in your garden, flowers blooming in your yard, or small items of personal significance which speak to another type of harvest, perhaps a personal goal you have reached or milestone you have passed recently in your life. These items will grace our altar for the duration of the service, at the end of which they will be returned to their owners.

Music is provided during the service by Erica Sipes (piano) and Leon Kok (violin).

August 11: Paula Markham, Dances of Universal Peace. Ever wondered about the Dances of Universal Peace that are listed on our UUC calendar every month? This service will answer your questions and give you a chance to experience this form of “moving meditation” that combines sound, simple movements, and sacred phrases from the world's spiritual traditions. Everyone can participate in some way — you don't have to be a “dancer” to experience the joy and peace of connecting with spirit and your fellow humans. Paula Markham, the worship leader for this service, has been leading the dances in Blacksburg for over 30 years.

Music is provided during the service by Sharon Stacy (gitar) and Jeff Tiebout (percussion).

Please join us for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

August 18: Don Johnson, Ethical Culture Society leader, The Sacred Restlessness of Uncertainty. Don will explore the doubt and virtues of uncertainty in our intellectual musings and our spiritual journeys. In the second part of his sermon, he intends to emphasize the commonality and opportunity we share in seeking to cope and be positive in dealing with the larger uncertainties of life. Don's wife, Beverley Collier, does the Reading, and Sharon Day is the Worship Associte for the service.

August 25: Rev. Dara Olandt, Beginning in Joy. This Sunday we celebrate the beginning of our ministry journey with Dara. We'll explore: what can it mean to be led by joy and to “lead with joy”? What does joy challenge in us? Reveal to us? We will prepare for the turning of the season as a time for celebration, for personal and collective renewal. All are welcome. UUC President, Laureen Blakemore, does the Reading.

Music is provided during the service by Natalie & Jared Gibbs (piano for four hands).

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit the Valley Interfaith Childcare Center.

All are invited to the Appreciation Reception to welcome Rev. Dara and to thank our Ministerial Search Committee following the service.


Sunday Circle does not meet during the summer


Services: September 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be WELCOMING: How do we welcome one another, our neighbors, the “stranger” and &ldquo,the other”? How might we create new spaces for welcome within ourselves, UUC and the world of which we are a part?


September 1: Rev. Dara Olandt, Season of Transformation: The Days of Awe. In Jewish tradition, the ten days beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are known collectively as “The Days of Awe.” What can the meanings of this festival time have for us as Unitarian Universalists? How might this season of introspection challenge and open us? All are welcome for this service of contemplation and renewal.

Music is provided during the service by Jared Gibbs (piano) and Leon Kok (violin).

September 8: Rev. Dara Olandt, Ingathering Service, Merging of the Waters. UUC's Annual Water service! We travel diverse paths to meet in the common house of Unitarian Universalism. This Sunday we honor the individual's path and celebrate our congregation as a whole. Please bring a small portion of water with significance from your summer. The waters will be gathered and merged as part of our service. All are welcome for this special Sunday!

Music is provided during the service by the UUC Choir.

Please join us for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

September 15: Rev. Dara Olandt, Legacies and Promises, Embracing “Our Theological House”. How do we create liberal religious communities of hope and radical, restorative welcome in the complex world of today? What theological ideas helped to form the common “theological house” we call “Unitarian Universalism”? How is our liberal religious movement changing in the 21st century? Might we be keepers of a dream for generations long after? Join together for engaging and heartening exploration of these questions and more.

Music is provided during the service by the UUC Choir.

September 22: Rev. Dara Olandt, Deepening the Welcome. Years ago, UUC became an official Welcoming Congregation, intentionally committed to welcoming all people, and specifically folks who identify as LGBTQ. Today, what can it mean to “deepen our congregational welcome”? What are our personal, and congregational “growing edges”? How does honoring differences within our human unity challenge us to spiritual growth? All are welcome for this service of hope and celebration. Rev. Dara is assisted during the service by UUC member KC Arcenau, who reads the Opening Words and shares a Reflection.

Music is provided during the service by Jared Gibbs (piano) and Natalie Gibbs (marimba).

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit Literacy Volunteers of the NRV.

September 29: The service today includes reflections on Welcoming and Hospitality by three members of the Congregation: Matquita Hill, Kerry Sangster, and Bill Patterson. Bill also is the convener for the service.

Music is provided during the service by Leon Kok and his Quintetto Carabelli: Jacob Roege (violin 1), Charles Robert Shafer (violin 2), Brooke Mahanes (viola 1), Alistair Leon Kok (viola 2), Vanessa Belknap (violon/cello).


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.


September 1: Sam Pincus, retired history professor from Piedmont Virginia Community College and Linda Power's brother-in-law, will lead a discussion on Being Jewish — A Personal Explanation. What does it mean to be Jewish? Is it a matter of belief, of intellect, or of emotion? Is it a way of thinking or a way of acting? Does our belief affect our life, or does our life affect our belief? Each Jew has his or her own answer. His belief starts with the statement in the Talmud that God declared, “Better that the children of Israel abandon Me, but follow My laws.” Come for a personal perspective on life as a Jew.

September 15: David Burr, UUC member, will lead a discussion on What I Learned at The Inquisition. He cautions that it will not include any serious discussion about the medieval inquisition in itself.


Services: October 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be REMEMBERING:

We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it once was
all that was humanly possible. — George Santayana

How do you create new memories? How do you recall what is most important?

October 6: Rev. Dara Olandt, Time Keeps on Slipping Into the Future. This Sunday we kick off our monthly theme,& Remembering. We'll be talking about our human relationship to time - and how language shapes relationship to time. In the West, we often speak of ldquo;spending,rdquo; ldquo;using,rdquo; and ldquo;losingrdquo; time. Is time a precious resource?

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

October 13 : Deepening the Welcome Part II — National Coming Out Day. This is the second in a three-part series exploring what it can mean to “Deepen the Welcome” for LGBTQ folks at UUC and beyond our congregational walls. The service is led by three UUC members: Jane Mahone, Diane Jackson, and Jane Aronson.

Please join us for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

October 20: Rev. Dara Olandt, Do Generations “Collide”? Gloria Steinem writes, “across the generations there is as much to learn as there is to teach.” What is there to learn and to teach as we share across the generations? What shapes “a generation”? How does multi-generationalism enrich us? Challenge us? Inspire us?

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

October 27: Rev. Dara Olandt, Casting Forth Light, Considering Eternity — Remembrance Service. Today we recognize and celebrate the lives of those who have passed on from life but are carried forward in our hearts and memories. We acknowledge the wisdom in the traditions of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Samhain (conclusion of harvest season and moving towards winter). Please bring an object or photo of a loved one to share on the altar we create together along with a non-perishable food donation for It's Scary to be Hungry.

Music is provided duinr ghe service by Kit Currie (Alto), Leon Kok (Violin), Jacob Roege (Viola), Nicole Paglialonga (Violin), David Feldman (Cello).

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit the Interfaith Food Pantry.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

October 6: UUC member, Carl Hansen, will lead a discussion on Economics. What is wealth? How is it created and how should it be allocated? These are age-old questions that have occupied the attention of such disparate writers as Adam Smith, Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, Henri de Saint Simon, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx and most recently J.M Keynes, as well as a host of lesser-known writers and thinkers. Each of these has had a profound influence on the evolution of economic history. Carl will attempt to present their thoughts, and how they have influenced modern economic thought.

October 20: UUC members, Dick Kates and Searcy Bason, will lead a discussion on the Metaphysics of a Course in Miracles.


Services: November 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be THANKING.

November 3: Rev. Dara Olandt, Solidarity Is a Spiritual Practice. The English word “solidarity” derives from the French, meaning solid and interdependent. How is solidarity a framework for ethical living in today's world? In what ways is solidarity a spiritual practice?

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

November 10: Waking the Vision, Beloved Community — Installation of Rev. Dara Olandt as Settled Minister. In this special service, we formally covenant with our settled minister. Guest ministers include Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry (preaching), Rev. Lindi Ramsden, Revs. Cathy and Heather Rion Starr, Rev. Marti Keller, Rev. Jamie McReynolds, and a representative from the UUA Southeast District. The service will also feature our UUC Choir. A reception will follow the service.

November 17: Rev. Dara Olandt, Transgender Day of Remembrance (Deepening the Welcome Part III). Leslie Feinberg, author of Trans Liberation writes, “Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught.” This Sunday we positively honor transgender identities and realities. This service coincides with National Transgender Day of Remembrance and is the last in a series of three exploring ways to Deepen the Welcome for folks who identify as LGBTQ in our congregation and community. All are welcome.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

November 24: YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists). This annual service is led by members of UUC's high school youth group. They will share their thoughts and perspectives along with music, readings, and more. Come and support our youth!

Special music is provided during the service by Grace Ross (voice and guitar) andFinn Roberts (piano).

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit the Women's Resource Center.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

November 3: UUC member, Dan Taylor, professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics at VT: Current Observations on Economic Development in Africa and Gay Rights in that part of our world.

November 17: Jim Politis, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, A Perspective on Growing Hemp in the U.S......Perhaps in Virginia.


Services: December 2013
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be WAITING.

In this season we honor the darkness and the period of waiting before light returns.

What is your approach to “waiting”? In what ways does waiting challenge us? Teach us?

December 1: Rev. Dara Olandt, The Gift of Creativity. Mathew Fox has written, “Creativity keeps us creating the life we wish to live and advancing humanity's purpose as well.” How does creativity keep us connected to the sacred or holy? How does the creative process relate to the journey of the spirit and community? No RE classes today.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

December 8: Service cancelled because of freezing rain.

December 15: Rev. Dara Olandt and Karen Hager, DLFD ...and ALL, Charlie Brown No-Rehearsal Christmas Pageant: Come journey into the heart of the holidays by participating in this multigenerational service. We'll play, laugh and sing together while remembering the teachings of Christmas. Bring your good humor and playful spirit!

Special music provided during the service by Jared Gibbs (piano), Patrick Turner (bass), Nathan Alexander (drums), Amado Ohland (vocals)

December 22: Rev. Dara Olandt, Blessing Light and Darkness. In wintertime, we experience the recession of light and periods of darkness. The world's religious traditions offer teachings about welcoming darkness and waiting for light. This Sunday, we explore together the gifts of light and what can be learned by &ldqup;waiting” in the darkness.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

December 24 (Tuesday) at 6:30 PM: UUC Christmas Eve Service. Celebrate Christmas Eve together at UUC. The service includes singing and candle lighting. All are welcome. Stay following the service for warm drinks, cookies and conversation.

December 29: Dr. Norman Bakken, A Journey of Faith. What is a “journey of faith”? Guest speaker Norman K. Bakken, Ph.D., shares his personal odyssey to develop a fitting approach to his faith. Dr. Bakken is a former Lutheran pastor and has taught in the US, as well as Brazil, the West Indies, Africa, India and Indonesia. He is a retired professor of biblical literature and languages. No RE classes today. Nursery care provided.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

December 1: The Pursuit of Happiness is the title of a week-long program this past summer at the Chautauqua Institute in NY. Bobbie Littlefield will share some thoughts and “tools” that were provided at a workshop she attended and will describe some of the wonders of The Chautauqua Institute, in general.

December 15: How Some UUs Celebrate Christmas. Christmas is often a time of unease for some UUs. Do we celebrate a traditional Christian holiday? Do we honor the pagan tradition? Are we from other religious traditions that never celebrated Christmas? Come hear a panel of UUs talk about how they approach and mark this holiday.


Services: January 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be JUSTICE.

What is the connection between justice and your spiritual and religious life? How is justice-seeking a “creative force”?

As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation - either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.


January 5: Peter Olandt: Beloved Economy. How do we create a Beloved Economy that supports the concept of Beloved Community of which Martin Luther King Jr. wrote and preached? Our guest speaker, Peter Olandt, M. Div., is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry and is founding team member of Beloved Cafe, a new Unitarian Universalist-inspired cafe and community hub launching in California's Bay Area. Beloved Cafe was recently featured in UU World magazine at this link. Peter is husband of our minister, Dara. Peter and Dara met in seminary in 2006 in a course titled Spirituality and Social Transformation. All are welcome for this celebratory service as we kick off our month's theme of Justice.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

January 12: Rev. Dara Olandt, Jazz 'n Justice and The Ability to Improvise. Does “justice-making” have anything to do with jazz and improvisation? Join us this morning as we explore the connections between spirituality, ethics… and jazz! All are welcome.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

January 19: Rev. Dara Olandt, Bending the Arc of the Moral Universe. Dr. King said famously: “... The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.” Dr. King was influenced in his thoughts by the Unitarian preacher, Theodore Parker. In 1858 Parker spoke about the “arc of the moral universe.” Today, we celebrate the connection between Dr. King's teachings and our Unitarian Universalist values.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

January 26: Alvin Humes, President of our local NAACP, with UUC member Frank DuPont, Weaving a Tapestry of Community. What does it take to weave a tapestry of justice-seeking community? How do we connect with one another in ways that make a difference, and in what ways is racial justice work alive here in the New River Valley? All are welcome for this service of celebration and hope.

Special music provided during the service by Leon Kok (violin), Cameron Williams (cello), Jared Gibbs (piano).

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit Guest at Your Table.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

January 5: Carl Hansen, UUC member will discuss the Psychology of Marketing. Carl will explore some of the more recent techniques and ideas behind marketing campaigns. They are not quite as innocent as one might be led to believe. He finds some of these to be interesting and a bit “disturbing.”

January 19: Bill Clarkson, UUC member, Is the World Committing Demographic Suicide? Bill will tell us about some convincing research showing a trend toward human population DECLINE.


Services: February 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be CARING.

How do you use your power to express care for those around you?

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around?

Leo Buscaglia, Educator


February 2: Rev. Dara Olandt, A Rose In Wintertime. “I'll bring you hope, when hope is hard to find. I'll bring a song of love, and a rose in the wintertime.” These lines in a popular UU hymn remind us of the transforming power of caring presence — especially in bleak times. In today's service we'll explore the tricky and transforming aspects of both giving care and receiving care. For some, lending a helping, caring hand is no problem. Yet, receiving help is far harder. Why? What can we learn about the gifts of receiving help, as well as offering it? All are welcome as we celebrate caring community this Sunday!

The UUC Choir will sing at the service./p>

February 9: Karen Hager, Director of Lifespan Faith Development, Faith Formation. This Sunday we explore and celebrate UU “faith formation”.

Music will be provided during the service by UU Music Breakfast Club: Jim Kern (guitar, banjo, vocals); Peter Golladay (guitar, ukulele); Natalie Gibbs (ukulele, flute, piano, percussion, vocals); Jared Gibbs (piano,trumpet, vocals)

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

February 16: Rev. Dara Olandt, The Arts of Living Language. Gary Chapman suggests that all people have a primary “love language”. Is this framework helpful? If so, what happens when our “primary love language” differs from those we care for and about?

February 23: Rev. Dara Olandt, Universe & Web: Perils and Promises of Ecological Theologies. Is there relationship between how we tending the spirit and how we tend the planet? What inspires and challenges us about ecological theology?

Music will be provided during the service by UU Music Breakfast Club: Meredith McCree (oboe, vocals); Cameron Williams (cello); Natalie Gibbs (ukulele, vocals); Nancy Norton (ukulele, vocals); Jane Mahone (ukulele, vocals); Jared Gibbs (piano).

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit the UU Congregation in Charleston, WV/Freedom Industries Chemical Spill.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

February 2: Manna Lundberg, UUC friend, will make a presentation and lead a discussion on The Concept of Faith in Buddhism.

February 16: Jim Copenheaver, UUC member, will present a program on The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and How It Affects Human Beings.


Services: March 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be AWAKENING.

All month we'll be considering what it means to break open into new perspectives on living. For your reflection, you are invited to consider this poem:

What to Remember When Waking by David Whyte

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others
. To remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window toward the mountain presence of everything that can be what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?


March 2: Rev. Dara Olandt, Doubt & Faith. “Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery.” These are lines from Robert T. Weston. Does it ring true that doubt is the handmaiden of truth? Is there a connection between “doubt” and “faith”? All are welcome to this service of exploration and celebration.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service./p>

March 9: Rev. Dara Olandt, Her-Stories: Voices from UU Women's History. This morning we celebrate International Women's Day by lifting forward voices from UU Women's history. To what do these prophetic voices call our attention today?

Music will be provided during the service by UU Music Breakfast Club: Leon Kok (violin), Peter Golladay (guitar), Jane Mahone (vocals, Nancy Norton (vocals), Jane Hendricks (vocals), Natalie Gibbs (vocals, and ukulele), Jared Gibbs (piano)

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

March 16: Rev. Jennifer Owen-O'Quill, Grace and Grit. Sharing stories and spiritual insights of surviving, thriving, growing and getting by, Rev. Jennifer offers up some touchstones we can count on as we navigate our ups and downs. Rev. Jennifer is a church planter and life coach whose work is focused on spiritual leadership and personal vitality. She is currently living in Roanoke where her husband is serving as interim minister to the Roanoke UU congregation. Frank Nepalitano is the Worship Associate.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

March 23: Rev. Dara Olandt, How Do You Spell “G-d”?... or “the great G-D sermon”. How do you spell “God”? Big “G”? Little “g”? Is this word dear to your heart? Do you avoid this word all together? Are you somewhat ambivalent about its use? Today we explore the word God (big and little “g”). It is perhaps the biggest and most baffling of short words in our common language. How does this word serve to help, hinder, inspire, confound, conceal or reveal? All are welcome for this service of exploration. Frank Nepalitano is the Worship Associate.

The Fourth Sunday collection will benefit Virginia CARE.

March 30: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Amado Ohland, Awakening. Whether it is through flashes of insight or slowly dawning realization, humans have spoken about a sense of “awakening” or breaking open to new experiences of life for millennia. This morning we explore how these experiences shift our lives,

Music provided during the service by Tommy Iafrate (clarinet), Leon Kok (viola), Jared Gibbs (piano).


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

March 2: UUC member, Bonnie Wall-Lievsay, will lead a discussion on The Two Sides of Niceness

March 16: Rev. Christine Brownlie, our Minister Emerita, The Wisdom of The Blue God. The Hindu wisdom tradition found in the Bhagavad-Gita has much to offer the busy, buzzing western mind. We'll catch a glimpse of Krishna's teachings to the warrior Arjuna as they prepare for battle against hundreds of a brave and determined foe.


Services: April 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be RENEWAL.

April arrives on the heels of the Spring Equinox, and this month we celebrate Passover and Easter. April becomes a time to consider these questions: Where is hope arising? Where is new life shooting forth? What is renewing itself within you?


April 6: Rev. Dara Olandt, Stewardship Committee and Congregation; Gather the Spirit, Harvest the Power. UUC Stewardship Brunch and Community Celebration: This morning we celebrate the present and future of our congregation! Enjoy a delicious brunch along with music and fellowship! This Sunday we recognize and gather the time, talent and treasure that will strengthen our congregation for our shared future! All are welcome for this joyful Sunday! Children's program provided.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service, and the UU Music Breakfast Club will provide additional music. Sunday's musicians: Meredith McCree (oboe, vocals), Natalie Gibbs (flute, ukulele, vocals), Jim Flowers (trumpet, guitar, vocals), Jim Kern (guitar, vocals), Nathan Alexander (drums) Jared Gibbs (piano).

April 13: Rev. Dara Olandt & Worship Associate Victoria Taylor, Crossing the Sea? Passover Stories for Living. Lifting up the stories and teachings of the Passover holiday, we'll explore how the themes of liberation and courage are relevant in life today. All are welcome for this service of inquiry and hope.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

April 20: Rev. Dara Olandt & Director of Lifespan Faith Development Karen Hager, Easter Service and Earth Day Celebration for All Ages. Our mutigenerational service explores the wisdom and stories of the Easter holiday! We'll also celebrate the occasion of Earth Day. Join together for this engaging and joyous service for all ages.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

April 27: Rev. Karen Day, Feed the Soil, Feed the Soul. Renewing the soil is not just good for the planet. Let's ponder the depths to remember what the ancients knew linking the earth to the realm of death and rebirth. From burial caves to composting, we'll search for soil/soul food. Frank Napolitano was the Worship Associate for the service.

Music is provided during the service by The Shadow Lake Cello Quartet: (Mia Lazar, Charlie Skutt, Kaelan Imani, Eleanore Liske-Doorandish) and The Community Cello Works students of Lisa Liske-Doorandish and guest cellists from Tennessee and North Carolina./p>

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to The Humane Society of Montgomery County.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

April 6: UUC member Linda Powers will lead a discussion on the book The End of Faith by Sam Harris. In the book, Sam Harris delivers a startling analysis of the clash between reason and religion in the modern world. He offers a vivid, historical tour of our willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs — even when these beliefs inspire the worst human atrocities. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris draws on insights from neuroscience, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism to deliver a call for a truly modern foundation for ethics and spirituality that is both secular and humanistic.

April 20: Four UUC members: George Lally, Isabel Berney, David Burr, and Alan Heath, will recount their experiences at the February 8 Mass Moral March in Raleigh and discuss the event and movement.


Services: May 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be BRIDGING.

Our month-long theme, “Bridging”, invites us to consider how we may navigate the bewildering myriad of “bridges” in our lives - those “bridges” that connect stages and phases of our life experiences.

This month we'll consider what it means to “move” and “transition” between life experiences. And, this month at UUC, we will support and celebrate the bridging of our 12th graders into Young Adulthood.

All month we ask: What helps ease our ways as we humans move through transitions and across bridges large and small? How do you approach moving across “bridges” in your own life? How are you facing transitions, meeting “change” with its challenges and promises?

Also this month, we explore how people experience moving within and between distinct circles (or micro-communities) nearly each day: these may be circles of family or friends, spheres of “work” and “home”, distinct cultural, academic, spiritual or religious circles. So, this month we also ask each day, how may we cross “bridges” between the micro-worlds of our daily lives?

How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.

Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow


May 4: May 4: Rev. Robin Gorsline and Worship Associate Diane Jackson, Let's Be Real, for a Change! Today we explore how we, with other diverse faith communities, are making Marriage Equality a reality in Virginia. All are welcome for this service of hope and celebration. Guest speaker Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline serves as President of POFEV: People of Faith for Equality in Virginia.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

May 11: Rev. Dara Olandt, Wabi Sabi World or The Perfectly Imperfect World. Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic philosophy. It means that which is “perfectly imperfect”. How do we embrace the “perfectly imperfect” in our lives and in the world? How does a notion of wabi sabi, found in art, literature, and music recall us to ways of being with oneself and others with more ease and acceptance? How do we embrace imperfection itself? In today's service we celebrate Mother's Day and offer our UU Child Dedication Ceremony for James Pursley Gibbs, Grace McElvery, and Dylan William McQuain.

Music during the service is provided by by Finn Roberts & Jared (piano: four hands).<.p>

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

May 18: Ella Kromin, Choir Director, Pianist Jared Gibbs and our UUC Choir with Rev. Dara Olandt, UUC's Choir Music Celebration Service:. Join together for a rich and moving array of music led by our UUC Choir! Today we also hold our New Member Recognition Ceremony.

Please stay for the Informational Meeting following the service for info on the budget and slate of officers.

May 25: YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists, our High School Youth Group), Worship Leaders, and Rev. Dara Olandt, Bridging Service. Organized and led by UUC's Youth Group, our service recognizes YRUU and specifically honors the passage of our UUC 12th graders from Youth Group to Young Adulthood. With special music, ritual and stories, all are welcome for this service of celebration and reflection as we acknowledge life's transitions. Come support this powerful youth-led service!

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to the NAACP Scholarship Fund.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

May 4: Phil Olson and Courtney Stewart of the Funeral Consumers Alliance will discuss Reducing your carbon footprint even in death.

May 18: UUC member, Anita Puckett, will discuss Rock Castle Gorge: A story of chestnuts, gold, and intrigue.


Services: June 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be CELEBRATING.

This month we embrace the practices of celebration! You are invited to consider this thought by Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Wisdom of Heschel:

People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state—it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle.... Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one's actions.

What are you appreciating this month? How do you engage with the idea of “reverence” in your own life?


June 1: Rev. Dara Olandt, Flower Communion & Celebration. Join us for this long-standing Unitarian Universalist tradition — our Flower Festival or &ldqup;Flower Communion”! Today we celebrate the gifts of each unique, individual life and the diverse community we make when we come together in a human family. The origins of this tradition go back to Prague in the 1940s. All are welcome as we celebrate our living UU tradition and our beloved UUC community! Please bring a flower to share and exchange during our service!

The UUC Choir will sing at the service, and the UU Music Breakfast Club will provide special music./p>

June 8: Rev. Dara Olandt, “Worth-Ship” — Ritual and Worship for UUs. The word “worship” derives from the Latin for “worth-ship” meaning to lift up that which is worthy and of value! Today we explore what worship and ritual mean within the context of liberal religion. What do these words mean to us as Unitarian Universalists? As seekers and explorers for meaning? We also celebrate the new Worship Services Committee and Worship Associates Program! All are welcome for this joyous service.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

June 15: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Savoring Experience: Soul Conversations. Is it possible to “make a good thing last”? How do we hold on to what is “good”? What does this have to do with “opening the soul”? This Sunday we lift up the challenges and gifts of savoring experiences. We also celebrate Father's Day. All are welcome for this service of possibility.

Music is provided during the service by Leon Kok (violin) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

June 22: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Ellen Plummer, Bless this Mess. What does it mean “to bless the mess”? How do chaos and disorder impact our spiritual and religious lives? How can we find “blessing” in the messiness? Come find out at this service of inquiry and hope. All are welcome!

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to the Free Clinic of the NRV.

June 29: Worship Associate Victoria Taylor: Connectvity.

Music is provided during the service by Leon Kok (violin) and Rick Masters (piano).


Sunday Circle is on Summer break through August


Services: July 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be GROWING.

What does love call us to do and to be? How does reaching out to others in a spirit of love help us to grow personally, and as a faith community? What can it mean to “grow” a soul?

Life is just a chance to grow a soul
A. Powell Davies, Unitarian Minister (June 5, 1902 – September 26, 1957)


July 6: Rev. Dara Olandt, Spirit on Sale! Spiritual Materialism in Our Times. What is “spiritual materialism”? How does it help or hinder our process of spiritual and religious growth? It is said we are exposed to 250–3000 commercial ads per day. Some advertise “tools” to help us grow in spirit. Are these useful? What are the authentic resources we need to grow in our spiritual and religious journeys?

July 13: Worship Associate Victoria Taylor, UUC Annual Poetry Service. Back by popular demand! All are welcome for our lay-led summer poetry service! Please bring an original work or a published piece that inspires you! Share your voice in the service or simply hear what others have to share.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

Junly 20: Rev. Dr. Morris W. Hudgins with Worship Associate Amado Ohland, Our Many Spiritual Paths. When Rev. Hudgins began ministry 42 years ago, no one asked him about his spiritual path. Today it is different. Unitarian Universalists have many spiritual paths. In this sermon he will share his journey within the context of other Unitarian Universalist faiths. (Rev. Dr. Morris Hudgins is serving as Interim Minister at the Westside UU Church in Knoxville, TN and will be leading a worship service at SUUSI (which begins today) this year.)

July 27: Rev. Jennifer Y. Ryu with Worship Associate Frank Napolitano, Let Your Life Become Your Answer. When we grow weary of the fight against the oppressive, unjust forces in the world, the Hebrew prophets can walk with us and inspire us. One of her favorites is Jeremiah. (Rev. Ryu visits us today from the UU congregation in Williamsburg, VA where she has served since 2006 and also serves as vice-president of the UU Minister's Association. She will also be leading a worship service at SUUSI.) The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program (MCEAP).

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program (MCEAP).


Sunday Circle is on Summer break through August


Services: August 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, Rev. Dara's services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be RETURNING..

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. — T.S. Eliot

This month we explore the monthly worship theme of Returning. Given the quote above, what have you been exploring in your life this summer? Do you find you “return” from summertime with some new awareness? Or with a deepening appreciation for some elements of truth you have held for many seasons? As life unfolds this fall, are there pearls of wisdom to which you may “return”... again and again?

To read Rev. Dara's reflection on "returning" this month, please see the first page of of our August newsletter.


August 3: Members of VoiceExchange (Amado Ohland, Paris Kern, and Taunya Ferguson) with Ellen Plummer, Worship Associate, Singing in the Spirit: The impulse to make music is as old as humanity itself, and the singing voice is the original musical instrument. Join us for an exploration of what it means for all people to be naturally endowed with this ability to make music - how it helps to create bonded community, comforts the sick-at-heart, and inspires transcendent wonder. Members of VoiceExchange will speak on these aspects of singing together, and more importantly, lead us in joyful, tender, and uplifting experiences in song. Let's raise our voices in song together!

August 10: Rev. Dara Olandt, The Beauty Builders. In our hymnal there is a song whose lyrics offer this instruction: “Seek not afar for beauty.” What is “beauty”? Can we replace commercial ideas of “beauty” with a sense of beauty that restores the spirit and our communities? How do we become “beauty-builders”, “beauty-growers”, and “beauty-shapers” in the world? All are welcome for this service of celebration.

Special Music is provided by Susan Barrett (piano) and Leon Kok (violin).

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

August 17: Rev. Dara Olandt, Beyond Binary Thinking. Much of the news frames issues in terms of polarities: one side and another side. How can we nourish our spirits to move beyond “binary thinking”? And, what opportunities arise when we break from “binary” living? All are welcome for this service of exploration. Ellen Plummer is the Worship Associate for the service.

August 24: Rev. Dara Olandt, Ingathering Water Service. After summer, we come together to celebrate UUC as a congregation of “many voices, and one common home”! All are welcome for our Ingathering Water Service! Please bring a small portion of water from home. Water can be from your tap, from the New River, or any place that holds meaning from your summer experience. (Extra water will be available for those unable to bring some, so come one and all.)The service includes reflections by UUC members: Eric Thomas, George Lally, and Ellen Plummer. Ellen also acts as the Worship Associate for the service.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

August 31: UUC members Marquita Hill and Isabel Berney lead a Labor Day Service. Labor Day offers us an opportunity to reflect on the history of the Labor Movement and how it connects with our UU values. On this occasion we honor economic justice and the contributions of workers from all sectors of our society. All are welcome for this service which featuring personal stories, singing, and a Labor Day litany. Ellen Plummer is the Worship Associate for the service.


Sunday Circle is on Summer break through August


Services: September 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Our settled minister, Rev. Dara Olandt is currently on maternity leave. We are pleased to have many guest ministers participating in our services during this time.

Each month, our services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be AWE.

For September 7 & 14, “Awe-some” Women: The second source of our UU living tradition calls us to heed the words and deeds of prophetic women (and men) who confront powers and structures of evil with awe-inspiring justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.


September 7: Rev. Marti Keller with Worship Associate Victoria Taylor, Prophetic Sisterhoods. A look at the first wave of women ministers who pioneered UUism in the American heartland with their vision of compassionate and empowering congregations. What were the joys and challenges, and where are we today with a female-inclusive movement?

Rev. Keller served as President of the UU Women's Federation and is now their affiliated minister working to promote justice and equity for women and girls and to inspire their spiritual growth.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

September 14: Rev. Marti Keller with Worship Associate Frank Napolitano, Unfrozen. Two hugely popular animated films, “Frozen” and “Maleficent”, show us mean girls and wonder girls. Why the huge box office, and what is the status of girls (and women) here and around the world in real time?

Prior to her ordination as a UU minister, Rev. Keller had been a professional film and theater critic and commentator on popular culture for daily, weekly and monthly publications and cable television. She is still a dedicated moviegoer, especially bargain matinees.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

September 21: Rev. Marti Keller with Worship Associate Ellen Plummer, Ah Wilderness. This year is the 50th anniversary of the National Wilderness Act, which created and protects areas across the country including Alaska and Hawaii from permanent human incursion. One of the sources of our faith is the direct experience of transcending mystery and wonder — often found in places like these.

Rev. Keller was selected as an artist (poet) in residence for a project this summer which placed her in a wilderness area in the company of visual artists, photographers, and composers charged with capturing the beauty and the threats to these precious resources and exploring their gifts to us.

The UU Music Breakfast Club will perform during the service featuring Rob Fentress (guitar & vocals), Jim Kern (guitar & vocals), Natalie Gibbs (ukulele & vocals). Jared Gibbs (piano & vocals), as well a Amado Ohland, Ellen Rockett, Nancy Norton, Jane Mahone, and Jane Hendricks (vocals).

September 28: Rev. Karen Day with Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Awe-ful Dark: Exploring the Wonders of Darkness. How do you experience darkness? We will explore the terrors and treasures that lie in the dark and where they lead us.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to Plenty!.

CThe UUC Choir will sing at the service.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

September 7: Sam Pincus (Linda Powers' brother-in-law), Anglophobia, Nationalism, Capitalism, and Politics: The Attempt to Steal the Origins of Baseball. Abner Doubleday didn't invent baseball, but the idea that he did is one of the most enduring myths in American history. How did it originate and why did it prosper? The answers to these questions tell us something about baseball but, more importantly, they tell us even more about various aspects and developments in American history.

September 21: UUC member Darrel Clowes will lead a discussion on The Role of Shape Note Music in the Development of American Music.


Services: October 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Our settled minister, Rev. Dara Olandt is currently on maternity leave. We are pleased to have many guest ministers participating in our services during this time.

Each month, our services will focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme will be REBELS.


October 5: Revs. Rose Edington & Mel Hoover, Co-Ministers Emeriti of UU Congregation of Charleston, WV with Worship Associate Tommy Iafrate, Dissenting for Justice: UUs and Civil Rights. Fifty years ago, in 1964, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing. Some of the issues from a half-century ago are still with us. UUs have a history of being involved in working for Civil Rights. The Reverends Edington and Hoover will offer some reflections on the Civil Rights movement, its current conditions and calls to action.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

October 12: Rev. Christine Brownlie, Minister Emerita of UUC with Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Where Is God When I Need Her?. Rev. Brownlie will speak about looking for hope in a time of tragedy.

We welcome New Members during the service.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

October 19: UUC member, Rev. Dr. Betty Powell with Worship Associates Tommy Iafrate and Ellen Plummer. Betty will speak about her story of standing up to the Episcopal Church over women's ordination. She will connect her journey with that of one of our UU forebears.

Both the UUC Children's Choire and the (adult) UUC Choir will sing at the service.

October 5October 26: Rev. Karen Day with Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Born to Be Tame: Notes from a Reluctant Rebel. Our heritage as Unitarian Universalists is full of rebellious souls. Do you identify as a rebel? We will explore how that history and identity impact our sense of community today.

The Fourth Sunday Collection will be donated to The Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

October 5: UUC member Carl T. Hansen will discuss economic inequality, an ongoing problem which could have profound effects on our society's well-being. Three books: The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, and The Son Also Rises by Gregory Clark will serve as the basis for the discussion of a subject which has broad societal impact.

October 19: UUC member William Baker will deliver a talk and lead a discussion on evidence-based medicine.


Services: November 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Our settled minister, Rev. Dara Olandt has been on maternity leave. She willl return to the pulpit on November 30.

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme is GRATITUDE.


November 2: Members of EarthSpirit Sisters and CUUPs (Covenant of UU Pagans), Samhain Celebration: Honoring Our Beloved Dead. Join our two Earth-based spirituality groups as we honor and remember those who are no longer with us. Victoria Taylor is the Worship Associate for the service.

November 9: Rev. Christine Brownlie, Minister Emerita of UUC with Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Who Taught You How to Knit? A few months ago as I was waiting for a flight that had been delayed due to weather, I pulled out my knitting bag and began to create a little hat for the newest member of my family. A young woman sat down across from me and asked, “Who taught you how to knit?”, and suddenly I felt a presence. “Bubbie”, I answered. Today we recall and honor those people who shared their talents and skills, giving us a special gift that shaped our lives.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

All are invited to stay for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service. This month only, please bring a finger food.

November 16: Rev. Karen Day with Worship Associate Tommy Iafrate, No Thanks. How does gratitude or a lack of it affect your sense of generosity? When is it difficult to give, and what do we do when it is hard to give thanks?

Both the UUC Choir and the UUC Children's Choir will sing at the service.

November 23: Members of YRUU, our High School Youth Group, Gratitude. It's important for each of us to stop and ponder what we have in our lives that we are grateful for. Come hear what provokes gratefulness in our teens. (The YRUU members lead two services a year.)

The Fourth-Sunday Collection will be donated to To Our House.

November 30: Rev. Dara Olandt returns from maternity leave. Her sermon is titled Satisfaction Guraranteed?. If not, what is guaranteed in our lives? This morning we explore two realities: our human longing and what it means to be satiated. We'll ask: What fills us up, restores us and meets our deepest longing for a life fulfilled? Frank Napolitano is the Worship Associate for the service.

Felicia Etzkorn (vocals) and Jared Gibbs (piano) will perform during the service.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

November 2: UUC member, Dean Mook, will discuss science and religion.

November 16: UUC member, Pauletta Copenheaver, will lead a discussion on the topic “Does Charity Harm or Help Its Recipients?”, based upon the book Toxic Charity by Robert D. Lupton, and the sermon Why Servanthood is Bad given by Rev. Marti Keller.


Services: December 2014
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month, the theme is SIMPLICITY.

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu offers that “simplicity”, “patience”, and “compassion” are the three greatest treasures.

In addition to the words above, we find a Shaker hymn (written in 1848) in our gray UU hymnal. It says: Tis a Gift to Be Simple.

What do you think? Is “simplicity” a gift? What is the role of simplicity in your life? How does “simplicity” challenge you? Renew you? And if you were to strip away everything else this month, what for you is at the heart of this holiday season?


December 7: Rev. Dara Olandt, Simple Things Are Holy: Unwrapping the Gift of the Present. We dive into this month's theme of “simplicity” by “unpacking” the simple gifts in our lives. This morning we explore these questions: How does simplicity challenge us? Revive us? What is the “simplicity on the other side of complexity”?

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

We collect mittens for our Mitten Tree during the service!

December 14: Rev. Dara Olandt, Director of Lifespan Faith Development Karen Hager, and Worship Associate Ellen Plummer, A Christmas Carol — UUC's Multigenerational No-Rehearsal Christmas Pagaent. All are welcome for this lighthearted, meaningful journey through Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol! What can warm Scrooge's cold heart this Christmas season? What messages can we take home about this special holiday?

The “Buddies” meet during the service as the Buddy Project wraps up.

The UUC Choir and Children's Choir will sing at the service.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

December 21: Rev. Dara Olandt with Members of UUC's EarthSpirit Sisters, Winter Solstice Service. What is the Winter Solstice? We'll explore the winter solstice as joyful occasion for personal and collective introspection. This morning we honor the winter solstice as a time to turn inward and also cast our attention outward towards the world. All are welcome.

The UU Music Breakfast Club will perform during the service.

  • Prelude: “Frozen Heart” — Anderson-Lopez/Lopez
    Jane Mahone, Nancy Norton, Jane Hendricks, Kai Duncan, Felicia Etzkorn, Tommy Iafrate, Wayne Neu, Jared Gibbs, Amado Ohland (Vocals & Percussion); Natalie Gibbs (Piano); Meredith McCree (oboe)
  • Offertory: “Rise Up, O Flame“ (#362 in the Grey Hymnal) — Christoph Praetorius
    Jane Mahone, Nancy Norton, Jane Hendricks, Kai Duncan, Felicia Etzkorn, Wayne Neu, Natalie Gibbs (Vocals & Percussion); Jared Gibbs (piano); Tommy Iafrate (flute); Meredith McCree (oboe)
  • Postlude: “Here Comes the Sun“ — Lennon/McCartney

December 28: Worship Associate Stephanie Gilmore, Looking Back, Looking Forward (a lay-led service): Stephanie Gilmore along with fellow Worship Associates Tommy Iafrate and Ellen Plummer offer their insight and wisdom on the past and the future. All are welcome. There are no children's Religious Education classes today, but nursery care is provided for those under 3.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

December 7: UUC member Tim Pickering will discuss the topic Science Assumptions.

December 21: UUC member, Dick Kates, will lead a discussion on Christmas from the perspective of A Course in Miracles.


Services: January 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month our theme in worship is PATIENCE. Is “patience” a virtue? What is the role of “patience” in your life? What about in your religious or spiritual life? Many of the world religious traditions teach a variation on the notion of “patience” as a virtue. Do you think it is? Does “patience” come easily to you? Or do you struggle to find “patience” in your life?

IN YOUR IMAGE — AN INVITATION!

What does patience “look” like to you? We invite you to look around your daily life and then take a photo of what “patience” looks like to you!

Please share your image with us at UUC by sending it to Rachel Craine, our Facebook administrator. We'll be uploading these to our UUC Facebook page to share with all during this month! Not yet a friend of our Facebook page? Simply follow this link to be able to see all the wonderful images that will be posted.


January 4: Rev. Dara Olandt, Patience, Fearlessness & “Forbearance”. Is “patience a virtue”? If so, what does this mean for our lives? This morning we explore how “patience” means not just waiting, but how we act during the period of waiting itself. All are welcome!

January 11: Rev. Dara Olandt, Everyday Ethics. “And how shall we live?” is a perennial question explored across the spectrum of the world's religious traditions. Today we examine “everyday ethics” to live by. In doing so, we lift up a few key Unitarian Universalist voices addressing this important question. All are welcome!

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

All are invited to stay for the Second-Sunday Potluck following the service.

January 18: Rev. Dara Olandt, Now Is the Time. What teachings did Martin Luther King, Jr. offer on “patience” and “impatience”? What wisdom does King offer for social justice movement-building in our times? This morning we celebrate the living legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. We explore his messages of hope, possibility and opportunity. All are welcome!

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

January 25: Reverends Makanah and Bob Morriss, Gifts for the Liberal Spirit. What distinguishes Unitarian Universalism from most other religious traditions is both our openness and our commitment to using a variety of sources for insight, understanding and wisdom. Join us this Sunday as we explore the six sources that are named as the second half of our UU Principles and Purposes. Which ones are most important in your current religious journey? Are there any you might like to explore more fully? Victoria Taylor is the Worship Associate for today's service.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

January 4: UUC member Susan Baker will present a recap of the highlights, intrigue and mistakes of WWI in the Middle East and Near East and the role that T.E. Lawrence (the man and the legend) played in shaping the strategy and the outcome. Was he a hero, a traitor, or both?

January 18: Susan Baker will continue her talk about the fascinating journey of T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) leading the Arab Revolt in the Middle East during WWI. Learn how WWI Middle East events have implications for the current Middle East and Near East. One needn't have attended part 1 on January 4 to appreciate events in part 2.


Services: February 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month our theme in worship is INQUIRY.
Our Unitarian Universalist tradition celebrates “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning”. What does this mean? How does the “asking of questions” help us — or hinder us — in the meaning-making adventures of our lives? How do the pathways of “inquiry” challenge us to new growth, spiritually and religiously? What questions about life and liberal religion are present for you?


February 1: Rev. Dara Olandt, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Inquiry as a Practice of Growing. Today we honor the roles of “inquiry”, “seeking”, and “questing” in our own paths and shared UU tradition. Taking Paul Gauguin's painting, “Where Do We Come From, What Are We, Where Are We Going?” as a starting point, we explore some of life's most challenging questions through the lens of our liberal religious heritage.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

February 8: Rev. Dara Olandt with Molly & Peter Lazar, So, What's the Transylvania Connection?. Unitarianism has a fascinating and often unsung history in Transylvania. With roots in the Radical Protestant Reformation, European Unitarianism goes back to the 16th century in this part of the globe. Today we explore this history and highlight ongoing relationships between UU congregations in the U.S. and in present day Hungary and Romania.

To learn more about Unitarian Universalists' “Partner Church” program, go to http://www.uupcc.org. And, stay tuned for a post-service “Learn about Partnership Church Program” to be held in March!

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

The services for both February 15 and February 22 were canceled because of ice and snow.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

February 1: Carl Hansen will review the controversial book, A Troublesome Inheritance, by Nicolas Wade. Wade argues that human races exist, and that they are the result of natural selection. Join us for what is sure to be a lively discussion!

The Sunday Circle for February 15 was canceled because of ice and snow.


Services: March 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month our theme in worship is KNOWING.

In order to properly understand the big picture, everyone should fear becoming mentally clouded and obsessed with one small section of truth.

Xunzi (c.312 BC-c.230 BC, Chinese Confucian philosopher)

This month in worship we explore these questions: How does Unitarian Universalism embrace many ways of knowing? We'll celebrate and reflect upon the six “Sources” in our Unitarian Universalist living tradition. Is there a Source that is most meaningful to you? What are the particular sources of knowledge that you rely on in your spiritual and religious journey?


March 1: Rev. Dara Olandt, Mysticism, Awe & Knowledge of the “Heart”. What is the role of mysticism in Unitarian Universalism ... and in the world's religious traditions? What do ancient and contemporary “Mystics” teach? What ways of knowing are embraced and challenged by a “mystic” path? All are welcome to this service of inquiry and possibility.

Music is proviided by the UUC Choir, plus Ellen Rockett & Amado Ohland (voice) accompanied by Jared Gibbs (piano).

March 8: Rev. Dara Olandt, Sacred Texts & Opening the “Text” of Life. What is the role of “sacred texts” in Unitarian Universalism... and in the world's religious traditions? In what ways may literature, poetry, music, art, and our very lives be approached as “sacred texts”? Why do we — or should we — care? All are welcome for this service of celebration.

Music is provided during the service by Tommy Iafrate and Jared Gibbs, both on piano.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

March 15: Rev. Dara Olandt, Reason & Humanism. What is “Religious Humanism”? What is the historical role of “reason” and “science” in Unitarian Universalism? What ways of knowing are embraced by these perspectives? All are welcome for this service of exploration.

The UUC Choir and Children's Choir will sing at the service.

March 22: Rev. Dara Olandt with Lay Pastoral Care Ministries Associates, A Rose in Wintertime (rescheduled for this month due to severe weather cancellation last month). In our Singing the Living Tradition hymnal is a song with lines, “I'll bring you hope, when hope is hard to find, I'll bring a song of love and a rose in the wintertime.” In this annual service, we celebrate the Lay Pastoral Care Ministries program at UUC. Today we explore the life-renewing hope which can be found in practices of giving and receiving care when humans most need it.

During the service, we welcome new members in our New Member Recognition Ceremony!

The UU Music Breakfast Club will provide the music: Kai Duncan (vocals & percussion), Natalie Gibbs (vocals & percussion & ukulele), Peter Golladay (guitar & vocals), Ellen Rockett (vocals), Jane Mahone (vocals & percussion), Jared Gibbs (piano), Leon Kok (viola), Brooke Mahanes (violin).

March 29: the theme of today's service is Guiding Moral Choices. Stephanie Gilmore is the Worship leader, and Frank Nepalitano is the Worship Associate. The service includes reflections by Arthur Snoke, Amy Pruden-Bagchi, and Frank.

During the service, all were asked to write comments on cards in response to the request for ONE value or moral lesson or precept for our children. Here are the results: The Golden Rule (9 cards); Kindness (12); Respect for all/tolerance/ acceptance/equity (19); Honesty (9); Compassion (4); Generosity (4); Love (5); Care for the earth (9); No violence or killing (3); Live with justice (5). Random comments: You have the right to be happy. Embrace science. It is important to try and correct an injustice when you find one, because one person can make a difference. Be willing to take a stand on social issues and follow through from your stand. Being fortunate is not an entitlement. Work hard and be a good citizen. Work hard and be nice — that's all there is. People mostly do the best they can, given their circumstances.

Music is proviided dudring the service by Leon Kok (violin) and Jared Gibbs (piano).


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

March 1: Today will be an open discussion of current issues. Come with several topics you would like to present and have discussed.

March 15: UUC member William (Bill) Baker will be discussing the one &ldqu;thing” you hate most—ponder what that is and be ready to discuss why you chose it, and what impact it has on you and the world in which we live, as well as any “solutions” toward diminishing this hate. Please come prepared. Each person will be given three minutes to make their case. Come join this fun and illuminating exercise!


Services: April 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month our theme in worship is Forgiveness. This month in worship we'll ask:

What shapes our human abilities for forgiveness? What hinders our abilities to forgive? How might forgiveness expand our capacity for fulfilling lives and meaningful relationships? Why ought we speak about and practice the challenging arts of forgiveness? I invite to consider the role of “forgiveness” in your own life.


April 5: Rev. Dara Olandt with Director of Lifespac Development Karen Hager, he Blessing of Life Renewing. Today in this service for all ages we'll explore the themes of Easter, spring, and new life! Today's worship will also feature interactive “worship stations” with creative opportunities to engage all of your senses. Everyone is welcome for this service of celebration and hope.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The service is followed by our Easter Egg Hunt! Search for Easter Eggs filled with dog and cat treats that will be donated to our local furry friends in need!

Today is the first Sunday in our experiment in generosity, giving ½ the plate (or basket) away to a worthy organization. Today's recipient is Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley. The total given is $154.41.

April 12: Rev. Dara Olandt, Generous Life! What makes a person “generous”? Who is the most generous person you know? What brings this person to mind? This morning we ask what it means to live lives of generosity. We'll explore ways to, as our Stewardship theme suggests, “be generous with our time, our love, our lives.” We lift up what it means to grow and strengthen generous lives and our collective religious and spiritual home.

Music is provided during the service by Meredith McCree (oboe), Tommy Iafrate (flute), Charlie Skutt (cello), and Jared Gibbs (piano).

Please bring your pledge card and/or talent inventory to receive a leaf for the UUC “tree of life”! More supplies will be available at the door. Note: A UUC Beloved Community Celebration will occur on Sunday, May 17 and include a post-service All Congregation Picnic. We'll celebrate the full conclusion of the Stewardship season this year with feasting and fun for all!

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

The ½-plate recipient this week is New River Family Shelter. The total given was $235.63.

April 19: The Worship Leader is Victoria Taylor,A Taoist Look at the Interdependent Web of Life. Victoria is assisted by Worship Associate Frank Nepalitano at this Earth Day Service.

The UUC Choir and Children's Choir will sing at the service. In addition, music is provided by Community Cellow Works.

The ½-plate recipient this week is The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, a UU retreat serving youth, adults, and families located in Highlands, NC. The total given was $199.30.

April 26: Rev. Dara Olandt, The Forgiveness Dilemma. What is forgiveness? What shapes our human abilities to forgive? What hinders our abilities to forgive? How might forgiveness expand our capacity for fulfilling lives and meaningful relationships? Why ought we speak about and practice the challenging art of forgiveness? All are welcome for this service of contemplation. Jane Aronson is the Worship Associate for the service.

The UU Music Breakfast Club will provide music during the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Warmhearth Foundation to support the Neighbors in Need Fund which helps those having difficulty paying the monthly assisted living fee. The total given was $203.58.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

April 5: o have compassion for others, disgust can actually override morality causing people to reject any perceived outsiders. How does this happen?

April 19: Shelley Fortier and UUC member Leslie Hager-Smith will discuss lifespan friendly homes, neighborhoods and communities that support aging in place, including the issue of accessory dwelling units (ADU's) in Blacksburg.


Services: May 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Delight”.

What brings you a sense of delight in the fullness of your life?

when faces called flowers float out of the ground...

"By E.E. Cummings

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
-it's april(yes,april;my darling)it's spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving-
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
-alive;we're alive,dear:it's(kiss me now)spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living-
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
-it's spring(all our night becomes day)o,it's spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
all the mountains are dancing;are dancing
)


May 3: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Earle Irwin, Dissolving Stigma: A Mental Health Sunday. Today we honor May as National Mental Health Month. Join us as we help reduce stigma and increase knowledge on this Mental Health Sunday! In worship we'll explore how we may dissolve stigma and increase awareness of the complex ways wresting with mental health can impact the lives of individuals and communities. The service features personal reflections from members and friends of UUC. All are welcome for this service of reflection and hope and are encouraged to stay for the Panel of Perspectives & Discussion following the service.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is RAFT (Montgomery County Crisis Hotline), a community service that offers free paraprofessional phone counseling services to the community. The total donated is $205.89.

May 10: Rev. Dara Olandt, The Daring Delight of Flowers. This Sunday we celebrate our annual Flower Festival, a unique Unitarian Universalist celebration of human diversity and unity, rooted in traditions from our Unitarian congregations in Prague. We'll also honor the occasion of Mother's Day. Please bring a flower for our flower exchange ritual! Find a blossom in your yard or garden and bring it along to contribute! (Note: additional flowers will be available for those who need one.) All are welcome for this celebration of possibility & joy.

Children of our UUC community will also be dedicated this morning.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) - UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. As is their practice with international disaster relief, UUSC will take the lead in distributing funds where they can do the most good, directing support toward people who are left out of mainstream relief efforts. The total donated is $813.14.

May 17: Rev. Dara Olandt, Creating a Beloved Future. The service also included reports from four groups on UUC initiatives: members of the Strategic Planning Committee, discussed plans over the coming year of revisiting our mission statement and our vision; members of the Social Justice Steering Committee brought us up to date on their work; a representative from the International Partnership Church committee told us about plans to find a partner church; and we heard from “Posse 16” about a plan to have a large contingent of UUC members and friends going to the 2016 UU General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. Links to their presentations are on the sermon-archive page. Today also concludes our annual Stewardship season. We'll honor the Tree of Life we formed together and conclude the service by dedicating a living tree on our UUC grounds!

We will honor new members in our New Member Recognition Ceremony during the service.

The UUC Choir and Children's Choir will sing at the service. Music was also proavided by Jared Gibbs (piano), Peter Golladay (guitar), and Bill Ray (drums)

Stick around for the delicious fun of the All Congregation Picnic following today's service!

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Radford Child Development (RCD), a grassroots, community-led, non-profit organization established in 2012 which works with other partners to bring a licensed, high-quality, and affordable daycare to Radford. The total donated is $216.

May 24: YRUU (High School Youth Group) with Rev. Dara Olandt, Bridging Service. Today we hear reflections and insights from our High-School-age youth. We honor the experience of “bridging” and transitioning to new experiences along life's journey. All are welcome for this moving service generated by the creativity of YRUU. Come out to support and celebrate UUC's incredible young people!

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Kevin Hartley Scholarship fund: an annual scholarship that will honor Kevin's memory by giving back to the community. It is hoped that Kevin Patrick be remembered by what was most important to him, thinking of others first. The total donated is $125.50

May 31: Sunday Service: Rev. Michael Tino: Breathing into Delight. Rev. Michael Tino is the settled minister of the UU Fellowship of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco, NY and the director of SUUSI (Southern UU Summer Institute) being held July 19-25 on the Virginia Tech campus. He is dedicated to justice work and was the 2013 John Murray Distinguished Lecturer at UUA General Assembly 2013 in Louisville, KY. Tommy Iafrate is the Worship Associate for today's service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is New River Community Action for the Giles County Food Bank to help provide food for those in need. The total donated is $115.82.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

May 3: UUC member Marquita Hill will discuss making ethical purchasing decisions and ethical decisions when accepting corporate money. To what extent can we make use of ethics?

May 17: Lindsey Boyer will present information about the Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley: what the services are, and who they serve. A discussion will follow.


Services: June 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Grace”.

“I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”

Anne Lamottwhen


June 7: Rev. Dara Olandt, Grace for Beginners. What is “grace”? Where does it come from? A source human or divine? Must a per;son “believe” in grace to experience it… or vice versa? How can approaching &ldquograce” with a “beginner's mind&rdqu; help us in our relationships to self and others? You are welcome to this service of exploration and celebration!

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The Annual Congregational Meeting will follow the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad to help provide food for those in need. The total donated is $169.57.

June 14: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Beyond Shame Brené Brown's work on shame has been widely referenced and shared. Today we explore what possibilities lie beyond “shame”, and why shame keeps us back from living most fully and using our gifts to heal the world. All are welcome for this service of hope! Jane Mahone is the Worship Associate for the service.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Friends of the Farmers Market, a voluntary group of citizens who provide support to the Blacksburg Farmers Market and local community through development, educational programs about benefits of locally grown food and sustainable agriculture. Funds will also be used to support the SNAP Double Value Program which enables those using the SNAP Program to purchase goods to get double the value. The total donated is $160.27.

June 21: Rev. Dara with Peter Olandt and Frank Nepalitano, Fierce and Fragile Fathering: A Fatherhood Service. Today we honor the celebrations and challenges faced by fathers and hear meditations on what it means to be a father in the 21st century. No matter your relationship with your father, no matter whether you are a father or not… all are welcome for this service of reflection and joy!

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is VICCC (Valley Interfaith Childcare Center), which provides high-quality, affordable childcare to low-income workers in the NRV. The total donated is $132.

June 28: Carter Turner, Death, Mid-life, and What to Do about Facebook. Dr. Turner is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and an Associate Professor and Acting Department Chair in Sociology at Radford University and a former member of UUC. Stephanie Gilmore is the Worship Associate for this service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Women's Resource Center of the NRV to support their work in creating a community free of domestic and sexual violence. The total donated is $172.08.


Sunday Circle is on Summer break through August


Services: July 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Inspiration”.

What inspires you?


July 5: John Imbur and Worship Associate Victoria Taylor, Annual Poetry Service. Please bring your favorite poems to share. They can be original or not. If you prefer not to share, come, listen, and enjoy. There will be a sign-up sheet in the foyer the day of the service for those wishing to share.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Friends of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library to support their work of promoting and supporting the many functions, services and needs of the Library. The total donated is $73.50.

July 12: Rev. Karen Day with Worship Associate Jane Aronson, Come Breathe with Me. This is gonna be boring. We will do nothing and learn nothing. So, come take a breather. Karen Day is a UU Community Minister in Floyd who strives to do nothing every day.

Music was provided throughout the service by Sequoia Kantara.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC to help with their efforts at healing from the recent tragedy. The total donated is $172.02.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

July 19: Rev. Meg Barnhouse with Worship Associate Earle Irwin, You Are Made of Stars and Other Songs & Stories. Rev. Barnhouse will talk about being Unitarian Universalist and living our values and will also lead us in song. She is the senior minister at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, a fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, an author, motivational speaker, columnist and a singer/songwriter.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the NrV Habitat for Humanity to support their work of bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. The total donated is $108.

July 26: Rev. Don Johnson with Worship Associate Frank Napolitano, Inspired to Action: Rev. Johnson will seek to identify sources of inspiration that lead us to act for good through time, charity and social justice. Some of these sources include scriptures and readings, experiences, knowledge, history, reflection, poetry and the other arts, and through connections with others. Specific examples of people who were inspired to make a difference will be given. Readings will be by UUC member George Lally and Don's wife, Beverly Collier.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Beans and Rice, Inc. in Radford that helps low-to-moderate-income families with food, job creation, after school programs, and more. The total donated is $119.50.


Sunday Circle is on Summer break through August


Services: August 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Inspiration”.

What inspires you?


August 2:August 2: EarthSpirit Sisters, Abundance, Gratitude, and Lammas. We will reflect on the meaning of Lammas, the time of the first fruiting, when grain is ready for harvest, and what it means for us as we practice gratitude and celebrate abundance in our lives.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Blacksburg Food Pantry. The total donated is $114.82.

August 9: UUC member Mark Benson, Singing the Children Out — Mentoring the Next Generation. Cultural transmission has occurred throughout human history. Each generation passes on symbols, values, and information. Much of the transmission occurs through relationships between parent-child, mentor-mentee, teacher-student, friend-friend, and others. These bonds can promote learning in human capacities for cooperation but also for aggression. What makes the difference? Stephanie Gilmore is the Worship Associate.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society to help provide free, high-quality legal aid to low-income residents in southwest Virginia. The total donated is $82.00.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

August 16: Rev. Dara Olandt, Sustaining Joy. In this service we explore what it means to sustain our joy and hope. We consider what it means to harness our own spirit of inspiration in the tumultuous world. All are welcome for this celebratory service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Planned Parenthood (Blacksburg Health Center) to support their good work promoting women's health and family planning. The total donated is $424.50.

August 23: Rev. Dara Olandt, A Place for Poise & Purpose. What is the role of purpose in our lives? How can we prepare our physical, social and spiritual environments for purpose-oriented living and decision-making? Inspiration for this service includes permaculture, the tiny-house movement, and theological ecologies. All are welcome for this service of exploration.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Virginia Organizing, a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. The total donated is $122.97.

All are invited to stay for the Lifespan Faith Development ice cream social following the service.

August 30: Rev. Dara Olandt, Ingathering Water Service — River Carry Me Home. Today we join in an annual Unitarian Universalist ritual practiced around the country. We gather together to merge waters symbolic of our summer experiences. Please bring a parcel of water to share that symbolizes a portion of your summer experience. (If you forget, water from the New River will be available so all may participate!) All are welcome for this festive morning. See you there!

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is UUSC's Water Is a Human Right Campaign to promote access to safe, sufficient, and affordable water for everyone. The total donated is $245.02.


Sunday Circle is on Summer break through August


Services: September 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Reaching Ou”.

Why reach out? What happens to us as individuals and as a community when we reach out deliberately? What if we were brave in “reaching out”?


September 6: Rev. Dara Olandt and UUC member George Lally, Our Year of Living Bravely &mdas; Part 1: The Courage to Dream & Dare. In 2015–2016 at UUC we will explore a yearlong theme, “Our Year of Living Bravely”. How did this theme arise? What does it mean to be brave? What about become brave? Who are the bravest people you know? Why? We explore these questions in this joyful service... All are welcome!

The UUC choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the International Red Cross Aid to Syrian Refugees. The total donated is $376.

September 13: Rev. Dara Olandt and Worship Associate Earle Irwin, “Dynamic Common Ground” and Teachings of the High Holidays. Dr. Cornel West addressed Unitarian Universalists at the recent UU General Assembly. He referenced the vital importance of “common ground”. How do we, diverse people, come to know “common ground” with one another, with our neighbors, in our country? What is the “dynamic” that forges “common ground”? We also honor the season of the Jewish High Holidays. The service includes a reflection by UUC Member Judy Snoke.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program (MCEAP) to support their efforts in providing emergency needs to our community. The total donated is $185.50.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

September 20: Rev. Dara Olandt anc Worship Associate Jane Aronson, Our Year of Living Bravely — Part 2. We continue to explore what it means to “get brave” in our living. What calls forth bravery... in you? In us? All are welcome for this service of exploration!

The UUC choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UUSC/UUA Refugee Crisis Fund. The total donated is $905.50.

September 27: Rev. Dara Olandt and and Worship Associate Victoria Taylor, Sukkot Celebration. This Sunday we partake in the joyous Jewish festival of Sukkot (“sue-coat”)! This is a harvest festival honoring gratitude, the abundance of harvest, hospitality and welcoming “the stranger”. During this festival, a Sukkah (“sue-kah”) or temporary dwelling place is created. The Sukkah is formed from mostly natural materials. It is a place for resting, relaxing, singing, eating, telling stories, personal reflection, and observing Sukkot rituals. This Sunday we decorate our own UUC sukkah. All are welcome to learn and explore the gifts of this festival. Please bring a piece of fruit to share for our fruit exchange.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Radford Food Pantry to help feed those in need. The total donated is $173.38.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

September 6: UUC member Jim Copenheaver will discuss a modern day mystic, Joe S.

September 20: UUC Member Carl Hansen will discuss the book, Foragers, Farmers and Fossil Fuels, whose thesis is that the successive modes of energy capture determine, or at least limit, the possible forms of social organizations, and, therefore, the social values that may prevail. Please join us for an unconventional view as to how moral values evolve


Services: October 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “I” and “We”.

What are the gifts and tensions that are part of the relationship between the individual and the collective? How are both affirmed in our UU movement? What brings us together as diverse peoples? What are the promises and opportunities of being part of a “We”? Are there distinctions between individuality and individualism in our contemporary world?


October 4: Rev. Dara Olandt, Whose Covenant? Part 1: The Gifts and Tensions of “I” & “We”. What is covenant in our UU movement and beyond? How is “covenant” a way of building collective power to pursue common purpose? How and why do we do this in Unitarian Universalism?

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Virginia CARES, which operates a state-wide network of ex-offender reentry programs. The total donated is $905.50.

October 11: Rev. Dara Olandt, Whose Covenant? Part 2: Interdependence. Who's “in” the covenants we create? In our personal lives? In our collective life at UUC? What about in our larger society? Who is “in” and who is “out”? What does our living tradition have to say about interdependence and the web of life? If you have a pet who has died, we welcome you to bring a picture to this Sunday service.

We will also hold a ceremony welcoming new members into the congregation during the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry, which helps feed those in need in our area. We will be donated to this same organization again on Sunday, October 25, as part of our Children's RE Program's Service Project, It's Scary to Be Hungry. The total donated is $316.07.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

Post-Service Ritual — Blessing of the Animals: 11:45 – 12:45 PM. Our service will be followed by a blessing of our animals! We'll honor the web of all life and the “covenant of all creation” in this simple practice. We also celebrate the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi and all of those prophetic voices who have championed the animals of the earth. We celebrate and acknowledge our feathered, furry companions. Rain or shine. If raining, the ritual will occur in the sanctuary. If not, we will hold this ritual on UUC's grounds!

Note: Live animals are invited for blessing post-service! Please bring your live pet companion to the ritual following the service. You may also bring a picture of your animal if you cannot bring your live pet. Children may bring a stuffed animal if they wish to have their stuffed animal blessed!

October 18: October 18: Rev. Robert Latham and Rev. Dara Olandt, Our Mission Is Our Journey. Today we explore the present and future of Unitarian Universalism! Rev. Robert will unpack questions such as: Why are many Unitarian Universalists confused about why we exist? Why do we mistakenly believe our religious mission is up for grabs? What could happen if we understand and commit to the mission for which we were created? Come and engage the issues that will determine our social destiny!

Bio for special guest: Reverend Robert Latham: Rev. Latham is a native Texan and grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition. He began preaching at the age of 13, was leading revival meetings during his mid-teens and ordained at 18. Robert has a BA from Baylor University and two Master of Theology degrees. As a result of a challenging educational experience in seminary, his religious view of reality was transformed. And, as a result of an equally shattering experience in Vietnam, his cultural perspectives were also transformed. On the wake of these transformations, he discovered UUism and officially entered its professional ministry in 1969. His engagement as a minister has ranged from such varied experiences as a prolonged battle with the KKK in NC during the 1960s and serving the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada districts as International Minister at Large in the 1980s. He created the Committee on Ministry concept and had what is now called a Worship Associates program back in the late 1970s. As a UU he has been the settled minister in four congregations and Interim Minister at six congregations. He also served as District Executive for the Pacific Central District. Robert is head of MYTHing Link Consulting, which provides a variety of services to liberal congregations and organizations. His published works consist of The Unitarian Universalist Extension Manual, Moving on from Church Folly Lane, A Tale of Boxes, and several brochures.

The UUC choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UU Congregation of Charleston, SC to provide assistance in the aftermath of the recent flood, to members and friends of the congregation and to the wider community. The total donated is $307.60.

October 25: October 25: Lay-led service led by Worship Associate Victoria Taylor with contributions from UUC members Dick Bauman and Frank Nepalitano. The theme of their reflections is Participation as a Faith Practice. How can a rich sense of individuality be nurtured while at the same time enable us to participate in something greater than oneself?

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry to help feed the hungry in our area. This will be donated along with 228 bags of food items (valued at $2280) collected both at UUC and the University Mall Kroger this afternoon by our RE kids. The total donated is $478.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

October 4: UUC member Isabel Berney will discuss Optimism. In a world beset with bad news, it is a challenge for many to remain optimistic; Isabel will share some ideas which may help us see the glass as at least half full.

October 18: UUC member Dean Mook takes a quick look at one of mankind's greatest inventions: Mathematics.

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Services: November 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Journey”.

We often speak of our lives as a “journey”, yet what does it mean to conceive of our lives in this way? Where are you, personally, in the journey of your life at this particular juncture? Why does pausing to explore this matter?


November 1: Rev. Dara Olandt with members of UUC's Exploring International Partnership Church Committee, The Journey that Connects: What does it mean and why does it matter that we “approach life as a journe?”. This morning we consider the journey of our lives, as individuals and as a congregation. We continue this year on our journey to re-articulate our mission, covenant and our vision! And, today in particular, we celebrate the next steps on our journey to cultivate meaningful partnership with a Unitarian congregation in Transylvania! Come to learn more about this exciting process. All are welcome for this service of memory and celebration! Jane Aronson is the Worship Associate for the service.

Note: Within the service this morning we will observe a time to honor those loved ones who have passed from our lives and whose memories are carried forward in our hearts. Please bring a photo of a loved one you wish to remember and place it on the altar we create in the service.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Community Health Center of the NRV, which provides affordable, high quality medical, dental, behavioral and preventive health services to everyone, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status. The total donated is $247.93.

November 8: Worship Associate Earle Irwin, with members of the Social Justice Steering Committee, Singing the Journey of the Spirit: Mental Health and Hope. Beginning last year, our congregation started an intentional journey to support mental health justice in our community and region. What does this mean? Where are we going and why? How do we sustain ourselves when the road of justice — seeking is bumpy and unsure? What does it mean to carry lanterns of hope that illuminate the journey? All are welcome for this service of possibility and hope!

Special music is provided by Jim Kern: voice and guitar.

Note: This Sunday is the Buddy Project kick-off!

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the NRVCS Therapeutic Day Treatment Program, which provides help to children with emotional disturbances. The total donated is $265.46.

November 15: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Ellen Plummer, Where My Spirit Onward Leads: Reproductive Justice and Unitarian Universalism. Is there a connection between reproductive justice and our Unitarian Universalist tradition, past and present? This morning we explore the quest for reproductive justice in the U.S. today and the core theological and spiritual questions at stake in our very lives in relationship to reproductive justice issues. The service includes Greetings delivered by Melinda Britt, a Planned Parenthood Community Health Educator.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Planned Parenthood. The total donated is $559.

November 22: YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists), A Personal Journey. This Sunday we offer a meaningful and celebratory worship led by our High School Youth Group. This annual service is the result of the creativity of our high school age youth. All are welcome to grow, explore and be challenged in new ways by these powerful and engaging voices. Please join together to support the YRUU.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UU Congregation of Charleston, SC to provide assistance in the aftermath of the recent flood, to members and friends of the congregation and to the wider community. The total donated is $307.60.

November 29: Rev. Don Robert Johnson, Always in Debt. This morning we welcome a familiar guest minister to our pulpit. Don is a former Methodist minister, a former college chaplain, and is currently Leader Emeritus of the Ethical Society of St. Louis. Victoria Taylor is the Worship Associate for the service. There will be no Children's RE classes today. Nursery care available.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington, WV to help with those repairs, not covered by insurance, needed after a recent devastating fire. The total donated is $150.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

November 1: UUC member Julia Lewis will discuss “How Poverty in the U.S.: Is Having a Negative Effect on Our Public School System?”.

November 15: UUC member Ted Veggeberg will discuss the provocative question, ”Is military service compatible with living a moral life?”.

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Services: December 2015
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Pilgrimage”.

Pilgrimage — simple definitions:

  • A journey to a holy place.
  • A journey to a special or unusual place.

This month we explore the nature and purpose of pilgrimage. We consider “pilgrimage” as a spiritual practice, a journey undertaken with particular spiritual and/or religious purpose. In your life have you ever undertaken a pilgrimage? Where did you go? What made this a pilgrimage? Is pilgrimage a journey of a special purpose and significance? What does “pilgrimage” mean to you?


December 6: Rev. Dara Olandt, Sparks in the Dark: Pilgrimage into Winter. What does pilgrimage mean? How might winter be a time to engage in the practices of pilgrimage? In these darkening days of winter, we explore the ways in which winter provides us opportunity to journey “within” and renew ourselves for the holiday season. This service is inspired by the imagery and spiritual practices associated with the “spiral” that deepens and expands from a “center point”.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Montgomery County Christmas Store, which assists low-income families by providing a dignified holiday shopping experience. The total donated is $298.50.

December 13: Rev. Dara Olandt with Director of Lifespan Faith Development Karen Hager and Worship Associate Victoria Taylor, &ldauo;The Polar Express”: A Multigenerational No-Rehearsal Christmas Pageant. All are welcome for this joyful, multigenerational service based upon the classic book by Chris Van Allsburg and inspired by the movie of the same name.

Those participating in The Buddy Project will get to meet and sit with their buddies.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Community Health Center of the NRV, which provides medical, dental, behavioral and preventive health services to all regardless of ability to pay. The total donated is $224.00.

December 20: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Frank Napolitano, Solstice & Pilgrimage. In this service, we celebrate the approaching winter solstice and deepen our exploration of the nature of pilgrimage in our lives. We also celebrate our unfolding relationship with our International Partner Church!

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The UUC Junior Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Church of the Larger Fellowship, a UU online congregation without walls with 3,500 members of all ages who live all over the world. The total donated is $190.00.

On Christmas Eve, a special collection was held for UUC's Community Assistance Fund, which enables our minister to help those in our congregation and the wider community with assistance in paying rent and utilities, buying food, finding transportation and temporary housing, etc. Thanks to your generosity, $1338 was raised! If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please contact Rev. Dara.

December 27: Rev. Karen Day, Bearing Gifts. What gifts do we bring on our journey to honor new life? Let us gather in this quiet dark moment before the year turns to reflect and renew. Rev. Day is a UU community minister in Floyd who co-founded the community food organization Plenty! with her husband, McCabe Coolidge. She is also a Faithful Fool and a member of the Shalem Society for Contemplative Leadership. Ellen Plummer is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the RAFT Crisis Hotline, a program of NRV Community Services, which offers free paraprofessional phone counseling services to the community including suicide and crisis intervention, empathy and support, mental health and substance abuse information and referrals. The total donated is $103.50.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

December 6: UUC member Bob Stimson will discuss The joys and work on the Appalachian Trail including a DVD of a hike on the Trail in 1997.

December 20: Have you ever wondered just where your money goes at UUC, and, what, if anything you can do about it? Treasurer Linda Powers will be on hand to tell you everything you wanted to know about the budget but were afraid to ask.

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Services: Jxanuary 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Imagination”.

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Albert Einstein

Everything you can imagine is real.

Pablo Picasso

What is the link between imagination and the spirit? What about “imagination” and what is &lauo;real”? How can we engage our imaginations in ways that foster new possibilities for personal and collective growth?


January 3: Rev. Dara Olandt, Imagination and Being. It is January, 2016. Let's get imaginative! Are there links between imagination, ethics, and the life of the spirit? What role does imagination play in the formation and growth of our religious, spiritual, and human identities? What does it mean to grow brave with our imaginations? What can we generate when we unleash imagination?

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program. It was established by the 2008 General Assembly to ensure veterans who experienced stress-related injuries in combat, and their families, receive timely assessment, treatment and support. Services to veterans and their families include mental health, substance abuse and traumatic brain inury services as well as case management, outpatient, family support, and rehabilitation services. The total donated is $218.

January 10: Rev. Dara Olandt, “Brave New World?” Religious Imagination in the 21st Century. Today we explore the landscape of “religious America” today. What do the trends across the U.S. have to do with Unitarian Universalism? What is “transient”? What is “permanent”? In what ways does considering broader context help us orient towards areas for our own growth and transformation? All are welcome for this service of possibility.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UU College of Social Justice, which was launched in June 2012 as a joint collaboration of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Its mission is to help Unitarian Universalists deepen and sustain the work of justice in their congregations and communities. UUCSJ offer service-learning journes for all ages, social justice trainings for high school youth, and internships for college-age young adults. The total donated is $223.

January 17: Rev. Dara Olandt, Towards Justice. How do we “imagine” justice? What does it mean to build, shape, and grow spiritually aware and alive movements for justice in our times? This Sunday's service is followed with a “meet-and-greet reception” with Andrae Hash and Keith Johnson of Virginia Organizing. All are welcome for this celebratory service and reception!

The UUC Chalice Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Virginia Organizing, a non-partisan statewide organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. The total donated is $378.

January 24: Service cancelled because of snow.

January 31: Worship Assoiate Earle Irwin and members of the Social Justice Steering Committee, Imagine ... Care for a Common Struggle. Exploring the theme of imagination and Patrick Kennedy's A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction. Catherine Breese presents a Reading. Janet Sawyers, Earle Irwin, and Margo Walter share Reflectoins.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the National Alliance on Mental Illness that works to support the lives of those with mental illness. The total donated is $189.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

Janiary 3: UUC Member Susan Baker will discuss work using Studs Terkel's book, Working, as a resource. We'll look at work in refreshing and sometimes jarring new ways. How does the unspoken hierarchy and status in jobs affect job satisfaction? Can work bring respectability? What does work do for the worker? How have changes in society, inventions and new technology affected jobs and workers' views of their jobs? Come prepared with a memory of all of the past paid jobs you have had. This talk is work!.

January 17: UUC Member Patrick Feucht will discuss solar energy applications.

.
Services: February 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Direction”.

Finding our direction can be tricky! How do we find our “direction”? How do we clarify “direction” in our personal and congregational lives? How and why do we choose a “brave” direction?


February 7: Rev. Dara Olandt with members of the Lay Pastoral Care Ministry, A Rose in Wintertime. Contributing to the service are members of the UUC Lay Pastoral Care Ministry Cynthia Luke, Jane Mahone, and Barbara Taylor, as well as UUC member Ben Logan. This morning we'll highlight the Caring Network of our congregation. We'll celebrate the Lay Pastoral Care Ministry and share the ways in which this ministry is available to provide listening and supportive presence to UUCers when need arises. We'll explore the hope possible when people accompany each other in purposeful, non-judgmental relationships. We'll also ask “what are the barriers to asking for help in times of distress?” All are welcome for this service of contemplation and celebration.

The UUC Choir and the UUC Junior Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Help Save the Next Gir. This organization was selected in light of the recent and tragic death of Nicole Lovell. The total donated is $248.

February 14: Rev. Dara Olandt, Love & Direction in Digital Times. How does living in digital times both tax and strengthen relationships? How does living in the age of interconnection help or hinder us in finding and expressing love? How about living with purpose and direction? All are welcome for this service of joy and inquiry! New members will also be recognized this Sunday!

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Virginia Interfaith Childcare Center,, which provides affordable, licensed, high-quality childcare to low-income families in the NRV. The total donated is $280.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

February 21: Rev. Dara Olandt with special guest speakers, Cathy Cordes and Dick Van Duizend, Unitarian Universalist Partnership Church Council, The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship. Our International Partnership in Transylvania. Have you heard? We are starting a friendship with a Unitarian Partner Church in Transylvania! What is the Unitarian-Transylvanian connection? What is “partnership” all about? What is the Unitarian-Transylvanian connection, again? How can we be good partners? Why do UU congregations in the state grow international partnerships with Unitarians abroad? Today we will welcome two very special guests form the Unitarian Universalist Partnership Church Council to share with us their expertise in how to start a meaningful international partnership. All are welcome as we celebrate an evolving friendship and imagine its possibilities!

The UUC Choir will sing at the service. Also, special music will be provided by Glen Chilcote (percussion), Jacob Davenport (percussion), Jared Gibbs (piano), Natalie Gibbs (marimba), and Brian Peters (vibraphone).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UU Partner Church Council, which works to connect congregations around the world. The total donated is $223.

Stay for the post-service Meet & Greet reception, including additional presentation and Q & A with UU Partnership Church Council representatives. Check out http://www.uupcc.org for more information on the UU Partner Church program.

February 28: Worship Associate Ellen Plummer, Reflections on Our Monthly Theme: “Direction”. Join us as we continue to explore this month's worship theme of “Direction”: What role do we play in setting a direction in our lives? To whom or what do we turn to inspire, guide, challenge, and support our decisions and actions? What role does fate, destiny, faith, and self-efficacy play in shaping our journey?

Special music is provided by Charlie Skutt (cello).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Sanctuary of Pastoral Hope and Healing, which provides an 8-day therapeutic experience for ministers in crisis. The total donated is $158.50.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

February 7: Meredith Ledlie-Johnson, manager of the Food Security Project at the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension, will discuss food security. What are food deserts, and how can we decrease them in Virginia?

February 21: UUC Member Darrel Clowes will discuss his travels along the Amazon.

.
Services: March 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Fate, Luck, Destiny”.

What is fate? What is luck? How about destiny? How do we end up on the road we are on, and how do things change? What can we decide, and what is beyond our control? What is the role of the inexplicable in shaping life's direction?


March 6: Rev. Dara Olandt, UU Lent?. Today we honor the messages and teachings of Lent, celebrated this time of year by our faith neighbors and some among us. What is Lent all about? How is Lent connected to our living tradition, Unitarian Universalism? What is relevant for Unitarian Universalists? How is Lent a time to deepen and challenge ourselves?

The UUC Choir will sing at the service, featuring Natalie Gibbs and Wayne Neu.

Additional music was performed during the service by Leon Kok (violin) and Jared Gibbs (piano).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UU Fellowship of Raleigh, NC to help support their efforts in voter registration as the right to vote has been seriously curtailed in NC over the past 6 years. The total donated is $192.

March 13: Rev. Don Johnson, Leader Emeritus of the St. Louis Ethical Culture Society, Embracing Life's Reality amid the Gift of Uncertainty. Reality is composed of this world of which we can on occasion have a partial perception and the set of worlds of which we almost never have any perception. Reality will never deliver up entirely the means to its own comprehension because it does not contain the rules for decoding which would allow us to uncover with certainty its nature and meaning. Yet, we can see this uncertainty as a gift which we can embrace in dynamic and fluid ways. Jane Aronson is the Worship Associate for the service.

Music was provided during the service by Ella Kromin (mezzo-soprano) & Jared Gibbs (piano), as well as George Tatum (piano).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is our own Posse'16 in support of their efforts to send many of our youth to UUA General Assembly in Columbus, OH, June 22–26. The total donated is $1,522.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service. We will also be celebrating the conclusion of the Dessert Parties! Come enjoy a special cake for dessert and celebrate the conclusion of this year's Mission-Covenant Focus Group Dessert Parties. Thanks to everyone who participated! Be sure to pick up the 2nd draft of the Mission-Covenant statement issued by the Refining Team which will be discussed next week (see below). The 2nd draft is based upon a journey of listening deeply to large and small groups of members and friends at UUC.

March 20: Rev. Dara Olandt, with Mission-Covenant Refining Team Members & Strategic Planning, “Our Year of Living Bravely” Mission, Purpose, Promise. This morning we celebrate this exciting juncture in the unfolding work of the Mission-Covenant process. Come learn about all that has been shared in the process, as our congregation rediscovers what calls us and brings us alive. All are welcome for this participatory service of joy, creativity and celebration.

The UUC Adult Choir and the UUC Chalice Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blue Ridge UU Cluster of Congregations for their gathering April 30 in Waynesboro. The total donated is $97.

Post Service: All are welcome to the feedback and discussion session with members of the Refining Team on the 2nd draft following today's service. Share your thoughts before the team issues the Final Draft statement which will be submitted for an up-or-down vote at the Congregational Meeting in the spring. Thank you for your participation!

March 27: Rev. Dara Olandt, Courageous Love, For the Beauty of the Earth. An intergenerational Easter service of hope, celebrating Earth's regeneration and renewal. Victoria Taylor and Karen Hager participated in the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Humane Society of Montgomery County to help with their care and treatment of homeless cats and dogs. The total donated is $264.70.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

March 6: UUC Member Denise Mathews will discuss master naturalists, nature and health.

March 20: UUC Member Ted Veggeberg will lead a discussion on the Syrian refugee crisis. Is there a role for the military? How do we balance compassion and security?

.
Services: April 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Afterlife/Next”.

This month in worship we explore topics related to the notion of afterlif and what comes next after we pass from this life. As human beings, this dimension of experience is filled with musing, mystery, and questions. What are your spiritual and religious questions regarding, death, the “end of life” and what happens “next”? What are your concerns, your hopes and fears? How can we be courageous in our questions regarding the end of life and what happens “afterward”? As Unitarian Universalists, we lift up religious and spiritual guidance regarding death, the unknown, what is, and the cycle of life. All month we'll explore the tender, insightful theological and spiritual issues related to this topic.


April 3: Rev. Dara Olandt, Recognizing the Past, Stewarding the Future. This morning we explore the notion of past, present and future. What does it mean to experience a human “lifetime”? What does it mean to be part of the lifetime of a congregation? Today we kick off our Stewardship Campaign with a special commissioning and celebration of our UUC Stewards. Our annual UUC pledge campaign will run April 3 to 24. Please see page 2 in the April newsletter and the Fundraising/Stewardship page on our Web site for more information.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the he UUSC/UUA Refugee Crisis Fund. It will be matched by the UU Congregation of Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY. The total donated is $536.

April 10: Rev. Dara Olandt, “Being Mortal” and “The Guest House”. The Islamic sage Rumi wrote, “This being human is a guest house.” This morning we'll explore questions such as: What does it mean to be “mortal”? Drawing inspiration from Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, we'll reflect upon end-of-life issues, our human stories, and what we make of life's cycles and passages. What is in our hands? How do we practice both holding on and letting go? How can we approach the end of life with compassion for ourselves and one another? During the service, Isabel Berney gives an introduction to the UUC Memorial Garden.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is o Our House, a local organization that provides winter overnight shelter for homeless men. The total donated is $164.50.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

An End-of-Life Workshop will be offered from 3–5 PM by Rev. Dara Olandt and Isabel Berney sponsored by the Memorial Committee. Workshop is appropriate for adults of all ages.

April 17: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Earle Irwin, Afterlife/Next. This morning we explore what happens after we pass from this life. What happens after we die? Is it, as John Lennon suggests: “no hell below us, above us only sky”? What does Unitarian Universalism, our shared tradition, offer on this subject? And, how does that way in which we conceive of what comes “next” impact our lives here and now? Inspiration for this service comes from last year's question-box Sunday. All are welcome for this service of exploration.

The UUC Chalice Choir and the UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Ms. Wheelchair Virginia program whose goal is to educate, advocate, and raise awareness of the abilities and needs of those with disabilities. The funds will be used to help support travel expenses for this year's Ms. Wheelchair Virginia, Laura Tollin, a member of UUC, as she travels around the state educating the public. The total donated is $265.

April 24: Rev. Dara Olandt, Sundae Sunday. This morning we celebrate the conclusion of our Annual Stewardship Campaign. We'll honor our vibrant ministries, all of our members and friends, the present and future of our beloved congregation. And yes... you heard it right! We'll have a sundae bar for all to enjoy the success of a deliciously accomplished pledge drive. Victoria Taylor is the Worship Associate for the service.

Special music is provided during the service by Jim Kern (guitar & vocals), Jared Gibbs (piano), Patrick Turner (bass), and Bill Ray (drums).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blue Ridge UU Cluster of Congregations for the gathering April 30 in Waynesboro. The funds will cover 1) cost of invited speaker, UU educator Chris Crass, who will be leading the programming, 2) food and publicity, and 3) scholarships for those unable to cover registration costs. The program title is Developing Spiritual Leadership to Act against Racism and for Racial Justice. The total donated is $141.93.

Don't forget to turn your pledge cards in by April 24!


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

April 3: UUC Member Janet Sawyers will lead a discussion of the book, Being Mortal in which Dr. Atul Gawande describes the inadequacies of our society's approach to end-of-life care and suggests some guidelines that can enable us to live out the final chapter of our lives with clear direction and purpose.

April 17: UUC Member George Lally will take a detailed look at the UUC Grounds Plan. Come learn more about this beautiful component of our congregation.


Services: May 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “Transformation”.

What is transformation? This Spring we explore the risk and hope of transformations. We honor transformations large and small. Is transformation trying or inspiring? Easy or painful? Uncomfortable or joyful? Is it all of the above? How has transformation been in your own life? What possibilities of transformation do you notice in your own life right now? What does “bravery” have to do with transformation?


May 1: Rev. Dara Olandt, The Risk and Beauty of Transformation. Today we explore the month-long theme &ldauo;Transformation”. What does it mean to shift, change, transform? What is risky and inspiring about transformation? And, what does &ldauo;bravery&rdauo; have to do with transformation? Today we also celebrate an important milestone - the conclusion of the UUC Refining Team's work! The final Mission/Covenant statement will be shared. This statement will be submitted for an up/down vote at the Congregational Meeting on June 5 following the service. All are welcome for this service of inquiry and hope.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UUSC's (UU Service Committee) Earthquake Relief Fund to help support their ongoing efforts in Ecuador. The total donated is $204.50.

May 8: Rev. Dara Olandt, Unstoppable Love?! What is the contemporary, interfaith effort, &ldauo;Unstoppable Love&rdauo; all about? Today we also honor Mother's Day, its history and complexity. Worship Associate Jane Aronson shares a reflection titled, &ldauo;My thoughts on being a mother in today's world&rdauo;. And, we hold our annual Child Dedication celebrating new children and recognizing these young people and their families in our Sunday service. All are welcome for this service of celebration and joy.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Mayapple School: a wonderful, nature-based non-profit preschool program for children ages 3–6 located in Newport, VA. Many of the children receive financial assistance and food from the school. The total donated is $152.

All are invited to stay for the Second Sunday Potluck following the service.

May 15: Worship Associate Ellen Plummer. The theme for the service is World's Religions — Building Bridges, and members as well as Middle-School students contribute reflections. We explore the many other religions from which we can learn in an attempt to deepen our understanding of different faiths. How are we alike? What values do we share? How can we build bridges between our faiths?

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Farmers' Market to help support educational and outreach programs and the SNAP Double-Value Program. The total donated is $103.

May 22: High-School Youth Group (YRUU) with Youth Advisors and Rev. Dara Olandt. Today is the annual YRUU Bridging Service, in which the four high-school seniors are “bridged” out of the YRUU. New high schoolers are also welcomed into YRUU. All are welcome for this special service of joy and reflection.

The UUC Chalice Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Students Vs Cancer, whose goal is to help local students and teachers in SWVA beat the fight against cancer. This organization was chosen by our YRUU members. The total donated is $229.

May 29: Rev. Dara Olandt, who is assisted by Worship Associate Ellen Plummer and UUC member Peter Olandt. This is Memorial-Day weekend, and the theme of the service is Love Letters: War and Memory. We honor Memorial Day and also share love letters and memories of those who have experienced war. All are welcome for this service of memory and hope.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is UU Military Ministry to purchase copies of the book, Bless All Who Serve, given FREE to those in the military, chaplains, and ministers. The total donated is $297.88.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in Room A.

May 1: UUC member Susan Baker will discuss Cuba including a brief history of Cuba's colonialism, revolution, and socialism. A recent traveler to Cuba, Susan will also show slides depicting life in Cuba and discuss how Cuba's socialism and the American embargo affect everyday life of Cuban citizens.

May 15: UUC member Becky Keller will discuss Bird Conservation including the current state of U.S. bird populations and how our actions matter.


Services: June 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “YES!”.

Just as long as I have breath, I must answer, Yes, to life;
though with pain I made my way, still with hope I meet each day.
If they ask what I did well, tell them I said, Yes, to life.
in my dream and in my dark, always: that elusive spark.
If they ask what I did well, tell them I said, Yes, to truth.
Just as long as my heart beats, I must answer, Yes, to love;
disappointment pierced me through, still I kept on loving you.
If they ask what I did best, tell them I said, Yes, to love.

Just as Long as I Have Breath
(Hymn #6 Singing the Living Tradition
Words: © 1981 Alicia S. Carpenter)

What do you think it means to answer“YES!” back to life, truthm and love?


June 5: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associates Jim Kern and Ali Neff, Annual Multigenerational Flower Service. This service features a uniquely Unitarian ritual: our flower exchange honoring the vital nature of both individuality and community. All ages are welcome to participate in this service of celebration and hope. Please bring a flower from your yard, a park or roadside, or the store to exchange with others in the service. There will be extra flowers on hand, so come one and all! (Thanks to additional helping hands from the Worship Associates Program.)

The UUC Choir, plus a plus a vocal quartet (Chelsea Craine, Natalie Gibbs, Jane , and Paula Markham), will sing at the service.

A New-Members Celebration is held during the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Apple Ridge Farm in Roanoke. Apple Ridge Farm transforms the lives of the community's underserved children and families through engagement in unparalleled educational, cultural and outdoor experiences. For 35 years Apple Ridge Farm has provided an environmental education and camping experience for more than 68,000 youth, many from Roanoke's inner-city neighborhoods and public housing projects.UU. The total donated is $162.50.

Today's service is followed by our Annual Meeting.

June 12: Rev. Dara Olandt, Yes... to Life!. Celebrating the courage to live whole-hearted and the Year of Living Bravely. What can it mean to answer back “YES!” to Life? This morning we celebrate the year and reflect upon our big theme of “living bravely”. What has been learned? Where can we, as individuals, and UUC as a congregation, go from here? Rev. Dara will share thoughts on the future of the congregation, a topic continued on June 19.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Dress for Success NRV whose mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The total donated is $219.

Today's service is followed by our Celebration of Shared Ministry & Farewell to Rev. Dara, Pete and Micah. All are welcome for this All-Congregation BBQ & Picnic. Come enjoy food from the grill, play on our beautiful grounds, and say goodbye to the Olandts!

June 19: Rev. Dara Olandt with Worship Associate Earle Irwin, Waking the Future's Promise. This Sunday Rev. Dara offers her last sermon at UUC and reflects upon our shared ministry. We also explore Fathers' Day and the complex journey of finding faith along life's surprising path. All are welcome for this service of appreciation and inquiry!

Music is provided dyring the sservice by Susan Barrett (piano) and Linda Plaut (violin).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Equality Florida's Pulse Victim Fund to directly support the victims' families and survivors of the tragic hate crime in Orlando. The total donated is $331.

June 26: Worship Associate Jane Mahone, A Service in Song —–The Hymn Service. All are welcome as we lift up favorites from our hymnals and discover the stories behind the music. Please join us for this joyful exploration through song.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Intensive Community Treatment, which provides treatment to those with serious and persistant mental illness The total donated is $248.53.

Thanks to our very generous congregation, UUC donated $13,892.95 to local, national, and international charities during the 2015–16 fiscal year!


Sunday Circle does not meet during the summer


Services: July 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service

Each month, our services focus on a particular theme. This month we explore the theme of “ARTS and BEING HUMAN”.


July 3: Worship Associate David Lally will lead our annual Poetry Service. How does poetry inspire us and invite us to examine ourselves in the world in which we live? Several members and friends share poems they have written or just like.

Willie Caldwell will provide the music.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Clean Water Fund of the UU Congregation in Charleston, WV to help with their much good work providing relief to those areas affected by the recent severe and deadly flooding. The total donated is $171.

July 10: Worship Associate Victoria Taylor and guest, Ajeet Khalsa, will lead a Bhakti Service. Bhakti yoga is a spiritual path or spiritual practice within Hinduism focused on the cultivation of love and devotion through chanting and prayer. Ajeet will provide the music, along with drummer Chris T. K. Wimmer.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Yoga Collective, a traveling yoga collective committed to providing thoughtful, inspired, and affordable yoga offerings for the NRV. The total donated is $120.50.

All are welcome to stay for our monthly potluck following the service.

July 17: Hesham Rakha, a Trustee with the Islamic Society of the New River Valley, Exploring Ramadan. Jane Aronson is the Worship Associate for the service.

Willie Caldwell provides the music.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is NRV Master Gardener's Share the Spare. The total donated is $96.

July 24: Rev. Kirk Balin, On Being Religious: What Does It Mean to Be Religious?. “I have been troubled for a few decades about how lsquo;being religious’ is defined (or not); who is and who is not. My take is that either we're all religious — or none of us are!” Jim Kern is the Worship Associate for the service.

Susan Barrett (piano) and Linda Plaut (violin) provide the music.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Community Health Center of the NRV, which provides affordable, quality health care regardless of ability to pay or insurance status. The total donated is $264.50.

July 31: : Rev. Dr. Cathie Stivers with Worship Associate Earle Irwin, Making Beauty — A Human Necessity. Rev. Human beings are built and wired to be co-creators in the world. In fact, our beauty-making is needed for the perpetuation of life. Tapping into ancient and contemporary themes, Rev. Stivers will talk about beauty-making as an essential practice of being fully human.

Rick Masters provides the music.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Community Foundation of the NRV's Project Hope, which provides scholarships to local seniors who have experienced homelessness. The total donated is $127.50.


Sunday Circle does not meet during the summer


Services: August 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


August 7: Reverend Don Rollins, The Ideas Peddler. Today is the first service led by our Interim Minister, Reverend Don Rollins. Rev. Don will lead us in a celebration of creativity and its role in the interim period.

Rev. Don and Worship Assciate Jim Kern will provide the music.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program Project Hope, which helps to meet the emergency needs of low-income families in the NRV. The total donated is $298.

August 14: Reverend Don Rollins, Top Ten Reasons Why Liberal Religion Still Matters. It's important for any tribe to revisit its place in the world now and then. Rev. Don will suggest how our way of religion has unfinished and important business left to do.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Giles County Food Pantry (part of New River Community Action) to help provide food bags to low-income families in Giles County. The total donated is $260.

All are welcome to stay for our monthly potluck following the service.

August 21: The Posse Returns. Members of our Posse '16 contingent who attended this year's UUA General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio, in June will offer reflections of their awesome week with UUs from all over the country and world. We'll also sing hymns and songs from GA. Presenters are Worship Associate David Lally plus Ben Lally, Carol Kern, Chelsea Craine. Ellen Plummer is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Standing on the Side of Love campaign of the UUA. The total donated is $163.

All are invited to stay following the service for our annual ICE CREAM SOCIAL sponsored by Lifespan Faith Development. Enjoy a delicious cone and hope for sunshine so we can be outdoors.

August 28: Reverend Don Rollins, The Water Communion. Join in as Rev. Don leads our annual intergenerational water ritual — a sharing of waters symbolizing spiritual places and/or experiences gained over the summer. The service includes reflections by Worship Associates Earle Irwin, Jim Kern, Rhonda Johnson, and Rev. Don. Jane Mahone is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge's Flood Fund to assist those congregants who suffered home loss or damage due to the recent flooding. The total donated is $231.


Sunday Circle does not meet during the summer


Services: September 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


September 4: Reverend Don Rollins, My Father's Labor Day. Rev. Don will lead us in a look at Labor Day through the eyes of the fading working class. Rhonda Johnson is the Worship Associate for the service.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is ROC-United (Restaurant Opportunities Centers United), a UUSC partner that works to promote the rights of and fair treatment of restaurant workers. The total donated is $231.

September 11: Reverend Don Rollins, A Religious Liberal Theology of Evil. Our tradition is often criticized as a “sunshine religion” for its bedrock, First Principle belief in inherent worth and dignity. Rev. Don will make the case that our critics may be right. Jim Kern is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UU College of Social Justice, whose mission is to help UUs deepen and sustain the work of justice in their congregations and communities. Major areas of focus include immigration and climate change. UUCSJ offers experiential learning programs for youth and adults. The total donated is $134.

All are welcome to stay for our monthly potluck following the service.

September 18: Reverend Don Rollins, Why God Is a Baseball Fan. Process theology holds that everything is in flux, including God — or our notions thereof. If so, God is code for change — everywhere, all the time. Including sports. Jim Kern is the Worship Associate today and provides music during the service.

The UUC Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership (BRP) to help with the resettlement of two refugee families. Ten other faith communities and organizations are participating. Note that UUC will be supporting this effort with a donation of $100/month for the next year. To raise these funds, we will dedicate a ½-plate collection each month to BRP until the goal of $1200 is reached. The total donated is $594.

September 25: Dr. Carter Turner, United We Kneel: Patriotism, Division, and the Desperate Search for Optimism. No matter whom we elect as president in November, that person will likely start the job as one of the most despised presidents in American history. Are we strong enough as a nation to withstand the next four years? Is there anything we can do as individuals to begin bridging our divisions? And where do we find hope when there appears to be so little to find? Carter is the chair of the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Radford University and is a former member of UUC. Jane Mahone is the Worship Associate for the service.

Music is provided during the service by Christopher Dunleavy (guitar) and by the UU Music Breakfast Club, featuring Jake Davenport (guitar); Susan Baker (percussion); Alan Moore (vocals); Meredith McCree (vocals & oboe); Kai Duncan (vocals & euphonium); Barbara Taylor (vocals); Rhonda Johnson (vocals); Jared Gibbs (vocals & piano); Natalie Gibbs (vocals & ukulele and xylophone).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Glade Church's Laundry Love Project, which assists those struggling financially by paying for their laundry to be washed and dried. The total donated is $49.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

September 4: UUC member Julia Lewis will discuss death with dignity.

September 18: Nathan Kranowski will discuss life and death for Jews in Nazi-occupied France.


Services: October 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service


October 2: Rev. Don Rollins, Letters to Grandmother. It was Antoine de Saint-Exupery that reminded us that love and wisdom must be transmitted generation to generation. Rev. Don will lead us in a look at how important that process really is. Earle Irwin is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Alzheimers Foundation of America, whose mission is to provide optimal care and services to those with dementia as well as to families and caregivers. The total donated is $208.

October 9: Rev. Don Rollins, Johnny Cash for President: 2016. Rev. Don will draw upon Cash's life and music to make the case for “wounded-healer” leadership in the White House. (Wear black, everybody!) Rhonda Johnson is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UU Service Committee to support their efforts in Haiti responding to the humanitarian crisis from the recent hurricane. The total donated is $321.

All are welcome to stay for our monthly potluck following the service.

October 16: Rev. Don Rollins, Silent No More: Domestic Violence. October is Domestic Violence Month. Rev. Don will lead us as we remember victims and rededicate ourselves to ending the pain. Jane Mahone is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry in support of their efforts in feeding the hungry in our community. The total donated is $193.

UC's Choir will sing at the service.

October 23: The service today is lay-led by Worship Associates Steve Rameriz and Rhonda Johnson, and the topic is “How I Am a UU”. Often when talk about Unitarian Universalism, we talk about what we believe and WHY we are UU. Today we explore about our faith by sharing what we DO. After an introduction by Steve, Stephanie Gilmore, Sheila Winnett, and Ellen Plummerthree share how they live the values of Unitarian Universalism through their community action and service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Women's Resource Center in Radford, which helps women and children escape domestic abuse and violence. The total donated is $260.

October 30: Rev. Don Rollins, Hell? No!. On the heels of Halloween comes All Souls Day, a time of prayer for those in purgatory. What does Universalism, classic and modern, say about an afterlife? Rhonda Johnson is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection: Thanks to your amazing generosity and the children's It's Scary to Be Hungry collection, $655.57, a $100 gift card to Kroger, plus 265 bags of food (total value of donation is $3213.30!!) will be donated to the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry, which helps feed the hungry in our area.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

October 2: UUC member Mary Houska discusses The League of Women Voters.

Octomber 16: Nathan Kranowski discusses his efforts to obtain answers about his parents and himself in Nazi-occupied France.


Services: November 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


Service and Event Cancelation: In the event of snow or ice resulting in our canceling a Sunday service, a message will be sent to all those on our announcement listserv by 8:30 AM. You can also check for a message on our website, on our Facebook page, or go to wsls.com and look under the list of church closings. This should also run across the top of your TV screen on WSLS Channel 10.


November 6: Members of the Lay Pastoral Care Team, Mental Health Justice Ministries, and Reverend Don Rollins, Growing Shadows: Season Affective Disorder and the Spirit. All are welcome as we explore the link between depression and the soul. Earle Irwin is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the NRV Community Services which works to support those with mental illness, developmental disabilities and/or substance abuse disorders. The total donated is $387.

November 13: Trained UUA volunteer Jacqui C. Williams and UUC's Ministerial Search Committee, An Open-minded Search for a Settled Minister. How do the presumptions we carry keep us from making the best and fairest decision? As the congregation moves forward in its search for its new settled minister, doing so in an open-minded and open-hearted way is important. Today's worship service and Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop that followed the service will foster that process. Earle Irwin is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism, which works to provide support, information and resources for Black UUs as well as to expand the role and visibility of Black UUs within our faith. The total donated is $171.

All are welcome to stay for our monthly potluck following the service and the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop following the potluck.

November 20: YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists), Perspectives on Inclusion and Acceptance. This Sunday we offer a meaningful and celebratory worship serviced led by our high-school youth group members. All are welcome to grow, explore and be challenged in new ways by these powerful and engaging voices.

Chalice Singers: Lillian Hall, Ava Lazar, and Norine Rensberger

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership (comprised of 11 faith communities including UUC and nine local community organizations) which works to resettle Syrian refugee families in Blacksburg. To date, one family has already arrived. The total donated is $231.

November 27: Reverend Don Rollins, Thanksgiving on East Point. From the writings of the late UU minister Alec Craig, Don, will present Alec's one-man story of life, family and gratitude. Rhonda Johnson is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Giles County Emergency Assistance Program to support their good work in fighting poverty and helping the low income and unemployed. The total donated is $188.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

November 6: Peter Binkley discusses Open-Source Assistive Technology

November 20: Alan Heath discusses Climate Change.


Services: December 2016
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


Service and Event Cancelation: In the event of snow or ice resulting in our canceling a Sunday service, a message will be sent to all those on our announcement listserv by 8:30 AM. You can also check for a message on our website, on our Facebook page, or go to wsls.com and look under the list of church closings. This should also run across the top of your TV screen on WSLS Channel 10.


December 4: Rev. Don Rollins, Checking In: Reflections on Our Shared Ministry. As we approach the midpoint of our scheduled interim ministry, our Interim Minister, Don Rollins, will offer some observations on our shared journey. Jim Kern is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service. Chelsea Craine and Amado Ohland are soloists

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Giles Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville Emergency Response Fund to support affected communities and non-profits helping victims of the recent wildfires with their ongoing needs. The total donated was $235.

December 11: Rev. Don Rollinsand Director of Lifespan Faith Development Karen Hager, UUC's annual Holiday Multi-Generational Service featuring our famous No-Rehearsal Holiday Pageant. This year, our non-rehearsed performers will present the holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We will once again be seated at tables, and those who have a buddy will get to sit with and meet their buddies.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Giles County Emergency Assistance Program to support their good work in fighting poverty and helping the low income and unemployed. The total donated was $250.

Everyone is then invited to stay for the potluck following the service.

December 18: Worship Associate Victoria Taylor, assisted by Worship Associate Rhonda Johnson, A Season of Miracles. With Christmas, we celebrate the miracle of birth. With Hanukkah, we celebrate the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight nights when it should have only lasted for one. With Solstice, we celebrate the return of the sun – a phenomenon that seemed like a miracle to the ancient Celts. In this season of celebrating ancient miracles, can we open our hearts and minds to recognize the possibility of miracles in our own lives?

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Giles County Emergency Assistance Program to support their good work in fighting poverty and helping the low income and unemployed. The total donated was $173.

December 25: Worship Associates Rhonda Johnson & Jim Kern, Hot Chocolate Communion. Join us for a laid back, intergenerational service of seasonal readings, songs, and sharing stories. (There will be no Children's RE classes or nursery care this morning.)

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Giles County Emergency Assistance Program to support their good work in fighting poverty and helping the low income and unemployed. The total donated was $49.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

December 4: Jim Copenheaver will present and discuss Why Humans Rule the World.

December 18: Carl Hansen will present A Decade of Observations of Four Species of Cavity Dwelling Birds.


Services: January 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


Service and Event Cancelation: In the event of snow or ice resulting in our canceling a Sunday service, a message will be sent to all those on our announcement listserv by 8:30 AM. You can also check for a message on our website, on our Facebook page, or go to wsls.com and look under the list of church closings. This should also run across the top of your TV screen on WSLS Channel 10.


January 1: Rev. Don Rollins and Worship Associate Jim Kern, Straight Up, How Do You Want to Be Remembered? We're all working on a legacy — several, really. As we begin a new year, Rev. Don will offer a reminder that what we do (and leave undone) affects others.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the NRV Agency on Aging to support their work to enhance the lives of older adults, their families, and caregivers through advocacy, information, and services. The total donated was $131.

There is no RE or nursery care today.

January 8: Service canceled because of snow.

January 15: Rev. Don Rollins, Fran Schindler, and Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Existential Angst and the Practicalities of Getting Dead. Your inevitable demise is hopefully not on your mind too often, but it's still something you should think about long enough to get everything in order. Doing so ensures that everything in your life is organized so others can see how you want to “get dead” and what you want to happen after you're gone. Rev. Don is joined by Fran Schindler of Final Exit Network, a registered non-profit organization that operates throughout the U.S. providing education on all end-of-life choices as well as a compassionate presence to those suffering from incurable diseases who have chosen to end their suffering.

UUC's Choir sang at the service, and Patrick Feuch (trupet) also played.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Final Exit Network. The total donated was $385.

January 22: Rev. Don Rollins with Worship Associate Rhonda Johnson, The Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In order to accommodate last week's guest speaker, Rev. Don postponed the annual observance of MLK Day to this Sunday. We'll revisit Dr. King's legacy with help from a recorded sermon from Benjamin Hooks depicting the struggle for civil rights.

Special Music was provided by Chalice Singers (Lillian Hall, Ava Lazar, Norine Rensberger) and by Jared Gibbs (piano) and Patrick Turner (stand-up bass).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership to help with the resettling of refugee families in Blacksburg. The total donated was $278.

An informational meeting followed the service.

January 29: The service features a message titled Reflections delivered to us by Dr. Timothy Sands, President of Virginia Tech. The service includes a question-and-answer exchange between Dr. Sands and the Congregation. Dr. Sands was introduced by Worship Associate Ellen Plummer.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the YMCA at VT to support their many community programs in cooperation with VT. The total donated was $239.

A special congregational meeting followed the service to vote on proposed bylaws changes. All members are requested to attend, either in person or by proxy.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

January 1: Carl Hansen will discuss ethical considerations in the latest advances of genetic modification..

January 15: Fran Schindler of Final Exit Network presents the provocative topic, “Are You Planning to Die?”..


Services: February 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


Service and Event Cancelation: In the event of snow or ice resulting in our canceling a Sunday service, a message will be sent to all those on our announcement listserv by 8:30 AM. You can also check for a message on our website, on our Facebook page, or go to wsls.com and look under the list of church closings. This should also run across the top of your TV screen on WSLS Channel 10.


February 5: Reverend Don Rollins, All You Need is Love?. It's been forty years since John Lennon told us if life is the question, love is the answer. He was right...kind of. With the help of musical messengers, Rev. Don will suggest there's more to it than that. Earle Irwin is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Southern Region Chalice Lighters call to support extending the Pledge to End Racism program at the First UU Church of Richmond. This program is designed using a leadership development model so participants gain skills and develop competence in not only talking about racism, but in facilitating discussions about race, and then working together to organize Living the Pledge workshops for people throughout their community. The total donated was $233.

February 12: UUC Choir, A Valentine from the Choir. Join us for a music-filled Valentine Concert featuring our UUC Choir, pianist, and guest musicians. Choir Director Ella Kromin and pianist Jared Gibbs have put together a collection of songs and poems that speak to the many forms of love. You'll hear classic favorites, great contemporary pieces and new arrangements of familiar songs. Come, sit back, and be filled with the words and sounds. Victoria Taylor is the Worship Associate for the service.

Musicians: F.M. Turner (bass, Bill Ray (drims), Chelseaa Craine (flute), Jared Gibbs (piano).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is NR Community Action's Rapid Rehousing Program to assist homeless individuals and families with rent and utilities. The total donated was $244.

All are invited to our monthly potluck following the service. Please bring a generous dish to share. As an additional sweet valentine to the congregation, choir members will provide all the desserts.

February 19: Reverend Don Rollins, Unitarian Universalism in 20 Questions. What do you say when Sean from Accounting wants to know about your religious views? Rev. Don and Lisa Evanylo will offer real-life answers to some of the real-life questions UUs encounter about who we are and what we believe. Jim Littlefield is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is our Partner Church in Szentivanlaborfalva, Hungary to help purchase a minibus to transport the sick and elderly to local activities, programs and festivities. The total donated was $349.

February 26: Reverend Don Rollins, Billie Holiday as Spiritual Guide. In light of the growing prejudice being aimed at America's religious and racial minorities, Rev. Don has elected to reschedule his service on UU Humanism for next month. This week's service will be a celebration of the troubled life and musical legacy of Billie Holiday. Victoria Taylor is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the good work of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of SWVA in supporting families of critically ill children receiving medical care. This collection was in support of our Gr. 4–5 RE class (Dumbledore's Army) in their fight against the Sickness Horcrux. The total donated was $466, which includes $226 raised by Dumbledore's Army from soup-mix sales.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

February 5: Molly & Peter Lazar discuss Reducing Medication Dosing Errors through Simple and Innovative Methods.

February 19: Manna Lundberg discusses the Sport of Letterboxing.


Services: March 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


Service and Event Cancelation: In the event of snow or ice resulting in our canceling a Sunday service, a message will be sent to all those on our announcement listserv by 8:30 AM. You can also check for a message on our website, on our Facebook page, or go to wsls.com and look under the list of church closings. This should also run across the top of your TV screen on WSLS Channel 10.


March 5: Reverend Don Rollins, UU Humanism. Humanism has served as the primary paradigm for UUs for the better part of a century. Yet, many humanists are a bit foggy on where their tradition came from, and where it might be heading. Jim Kern is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the local NAACP Samuel L. Clark Memorial Scholarship Fund. Each year 5 x $500 scholarships are given to NAACP Youth Council members or children or grandchildren of NAACP members. Students must attend a 2-year or 4-year college or technical school in the fall following their high school graduation. The total donated was $211.

March 12: Worship Associate Rhonda Johnson, “One Wild and Precious Life”. As we look forward to Spring, are you looking back on your one wild and precious life? What's still ahead of you? In this special service, members of the congregation spanning various ages and stages of life address the question posed by poet Mary Oliver, “What would you do with your one wild and precious life?” The message is delivered by seven congregants: Natalie Gibbs (and her daughter Caroline), Ava Lazar, Willie Caldwell, Victoria Taylor, David Lally, Janet Sawyers, and Alan Heath.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is a UU-supported Welcome Table Community Center in Turley, OK which burned down March 2. It serves as a food bank and gathering center in this destitute part of the state. The total donated was $200.

All are invited to our monthly potluck following the service. Please bring a generous dish to share. As an additional sweet valentine to the congregation, choir members will provide all the desserts.

March 19: Spiritual director, Mims Driscoll, UU Mysticism. Led by Mims, we explore mysticism, within and without UUism. This is the second installment in a series on liberal religious thought and theology. Ellen Plummer is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to support Showing Up: A Racial Justice Conference for Youth & Adults sponsored by the UU Blue Ridge Cluster of Congregations. The conference was held March 10–12, and congregations in the cluster (including UUC) are asked to provide financial assistance to help cover expenses. The total donated was $205.

March 26: Reverend Don Rollins, Mission, Music and Money. Rev. Don will help kick off the 2017–18 generosity campaign with a look at congregational basics, including money. Earle Irwin is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Chalice Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Special Olympics NRV, which provides athletic training and competition for adults and children with intellectual disabilities. The total donated was $206.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

March 5: Sam Pincus discusses Patriotism, Penmanship, and American Values: Schoolbooks and the Establishment of Our National Character”. We often refer to “our American values, especially politicians who claim to stand for them. But when and where did those values originate? What role did early schoolbooks play in their creation and spreading? We may laugh at Parson Weems' tale of George Washington and the cherry tree, but there was a serious theme behind it.

March 19: Karen Hager discusses Setting a Personal Sabbath. Sabbath is an ancient religious concept, long abandoned by religious liberals. Today, some folks are re-imagining it and finding benefit in adding personal Sabbath time to their lives. Come learn how to incorporate a Sabbath into your own life.


Services: April 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


April 2: Rev. Don Rollins, UU Christianity. Rev. Don traces the roots and living tradition of progressive Christianity within our movement and beyond.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service, accompanied by Chelsea Craine (flute).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Humane Society of Montgomery County. This will be combined with an additional ½-plate donation for HSMC on April 16. The total donated was $224.

April 9: Seeking Unity in Our Diversity. The service today is led by Itraab, an Arabic music ensemble that grew out of the Moss Arts Center's 2015 Islamic Worlds Festival. Itraab is composed of VT students, faculty & staff, and community members, and is led by Anne Elise. Their program will include traditional and contemporary Arabic songs, accompanied by qanun (78-string zither), 'ud (11-string lute), accordion, cello and percussion as well as a recitation from the Qur'an by Aimane Najmeddine. Worship Associates for the service are Rhonda Johnson and Ellen Plummer.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry to help feed the hungry in the NRV. The total donated was $362. This includes $150 that was donated previously.

All are invited to our monthly potluck following the service. Please bring a generous dish to share.

April 16: Rev. Don Rollins, Remembering and Overcoming. Rev. Don and Worship Team members will lead us as we mark both the 10th anniversary of the April 16 shootings at VT and Easter hope. (Note: the first part of the service will be child-friendly.) Earle Irwin is the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Humane Society of Montgomery County to help our animal friends in need of a home. The total donated was $274.

April 23: Rev. Don Rollins, Stories from Church. This service is based on Don's experience growing up in an evangelical, Appalachian congregation. The lessons have more to do with life and UU congregations that you might think. Jim Kern is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is UUC's Mental Health Justice Ministry to help support the showing of the film, Touched with Fire, being shown free at the Lyric on May 27 at 2 PM. The film portrays two bipolar patients who meet in a psychiatric hospital and begin a romance that brings out all the beauty and horror of their condition. The total donated was $384.

April 30: Settled-minister candidate Pam Philips, Finding Our Way. As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm individual searches for truth and meaning and encourage collective spiritual growth. Pam will explore how we might support and challenge each other to find our way. Ellen Plummer is the Worship Associate for the service.

Special music is provided during the service by our UU Music Breakfast Club, featuring Kai Duncan, Felicia Etzkorn, Patrick & Kim Feucht, Rhonda Johnson, Jane Mahone, Alan Moore, Barbara Taylor. and the Gibbs family (Jared, Natalie, Caroline, and James).

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Deptartment to help support all the good work they do for our community. The total donated was $267.

Stay for the Meet & Greet with Pam following the service.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

April 2: Elaine Myers discusses Death With Dignity — A Personal Story of Choice.

April 16: Matt Hart discusses NOVA (National Organization for Victim Assistance) Training and the Virginia Tech Tragedy, including why it's important to remember and what we can do to help others cope with tragedy.

April 23: Bonus Sunday Circle! Join Rev. Don for a discussion on UU history based on the UUA pamphlet, Unitarian Universalist Origins: Our Historic Faith. Want to read ahead? Follow this link for a preview.


Services: May 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


May 7: Pam Philips, Ministerial Candidate, Courageous Love. As we envision a future together, how might we live into the mission of transforming ourselves, our community, and our world through courageous love? Ellen Plummer was the Worship Associate for the service.

UUC's Choir sang at the service. Special music guest, Tyler Flowers, played saxophone.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to support Bending the Arc to Justice, a film by UUC Birmingham exploring the congregation's and Alabama's role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The total donated was $292.

After the service, at the special Congregational Meeting, the Congregation voted unanimously to call Pam as our Settled Minister.

May 14 (Mothers' Day): Nikki Giovanni, The Courage of Mothers. Renowned poet, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni has taught at Virginia Tech where she is a University Distinguished Professor since 1987. She has been recognized with several honors, including 25 honorary doctorates, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, several NAACP Image Awards, the Rosa Parks Women of Courage Award, the Langston Hughes Award and the Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award. Victoria Taylor was the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to support the NRV Re-entry Program, which provides guidance and resources to individuals being released from prison back to community. Our donation will be used specifically to support the transitional housing program. The total donated was $233.

All are invited to our monthly potluck following the service. Please bring a generous dish to share.

May 21: YRUU (high-school youth group), Bridging Ceremony. The graduating seniors shared thoughts about bridging from high school to adulthood, and the group welcomed rising freshman to YRUU for the fall.

During the service, Reverend Don Rollins welcomed new members into the congregation.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership to support efforts to help resettle refugee families in Blacksburg. This recipient was selected by our high school youth group, YRUU. The total donated was $134.

May 28: Rev. Don Rollins, Ric Masten: UU Troubadour. A preacher never knows what might happen when offering a sermon-of-your-choice for bid at a congregation's service auction. So far, my favorite is van Gough. My least? Why Cats Are More Fun Than Dogs. Don's feeling good about Marilyn & Frank DuPont's choice: UU traveling poet and musician, Rev. Ric Masten. In these times of trouble — both in the world and our denomination — come learn what Ric had to say about justice, joy, and hard times. Pam Philips read the meditation, and Rhonda Johnson was the Worship Associate for the survice.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is the UU Church of Spartanburg, SC as part of a Chalice Lighter call to enable ADA accessibility improvements to their campus. The total donated was $130.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

May 7: Anne Campbell discusses Hospice House.

May 14: Tamin Younos discusses the topic, Bottled Water: panacea or plague?.


Services: June 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


June 4: Today is the annual intergenerational UU Flower Communion, and it is aso Rev. Don Rollins last service at the UUC. At his request, we have removed from our Web site the podcasts of all his services. During the service Wayne Neu sang a song about Don written by George Lally titled “Hello Donald”. Don has given us permission to put and keep that presentation on our Sermon Archive page.

UUC's Choir sang during the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to our local Head Start Program (part of New River Community Action), whose mission is to build on the unique strengths of children and families; through positive engagement, health education and a quality preschool experience. The total donated was $223.

June 11: Reverend Kirk Ballin, Getting High: Changing One's State of Mind. We all probably have some preconceived ideas and images in our minds when we hear the phrase, “Getting High”. Reverend Kirk hopes to make some modifications to those preconceived ideas and images. It's a topic that goes to the heart of our being human. Reverend Kirk is a part-time Visiting Minister to the Harrisonburg UUs and is a Program Coordinator of AgrAbility Virginia. Victoria Taylor is the Worship Associate for the survice.

UUC's Choir will sing at the service and will then be on summer hiatus until August. Soloists are Linda Pfeiffer, Sara Kominsky, and Nick Gowen.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to Feeding America: Southwest Virginia to support their work fighting hunger in our area. The total donated was $214.

All are invited to our monthly potluck following the service. Please bring a generous dish to share.

June 18: Professor Alan Forrest, Self-Compassion and Loving-Kindness through Meditation. Do you ever find it difficult to experience compassion and self-love? How often do you engage in harmful self-talk that harshly criticizes and judges yourself? You cannot fully extend compassion and love to others if you're unable to extend them to yourself. By bringing loving kindness into your life, you will gradually experience deeper levels of love and compassion; both for self and for others. Loving-kindness is a boundless love that softens and opens the heart. It's important to note that loving-kindness also includes the essential qualities of compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. This session will provide an overview of self-compassion and loving-kindness, a loving-kindness meditation, and how you can integrate them into your life as a way of cultivating inner healing. Dr. Forrest, Ed.D. is a Professor in the Department of Counselor Education at Radford University. Jane Mahone is the Worship Associate for the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to the National Center for Fathering, which works to equip fathers to be actively engaged in the life of every child. The total donated was $128.

June 25: George Lally, Annual Poetry Service. How does poetry inspire us and invite us to examine ourselves in the world in which we live? Members and friends are invited to bring and share poems, either their own or those written by others that they admire. David Lally is the Worship Associate for the service.

Jim Kern provides the music during the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to Preserve Montgomery County VA to help in their efforts to keep fracked gas pipelines from going through our county. The total donated was $148.


Sunday Circle is on Summer Break through August


Services: July 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


July 2: The theme of today's servce is The Language of Music and is led by the musical duo Constellation, featuring Eric Thomas (voice and guitar) and Helen Wolfson (hammered dulcimer). Music can evoke a range of strong emotions (including joy, sorrow, wisfulness, elation) and powerful images. In this service, Constallation uses their music to lead the congregation on a journey through a variety of emotions and images, from deep contemplation to celebration. Rhonda Johnson is the Worship Associae for the service.

There are no Children's RE classes today.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to Micah's Backpack, which provides weekend meals for local low-income school children. The money will be used to purchase jars of peanut butter for their Peanut Butter from Heaven project. This past year, the community partnership with Micah's Backpack packed over 10,000 bags of food for kids in all Blacksburg schools, Valley Interfaith Childcare Center, and two Head Start programs. The total donated was $141.

July 9: Michele Deramo with Worship Associate Earle Irwin, White Allies' Humble Path. How can predominantly white congregations end racial injustice? It begins with a commitment to humbly walk a risky path, fraught with missteps and leading to places unknown. Michele Deramo is Assistant Provost for Diversity Education at Virginia Tech. On the sermon archive Web page, there are links to two articles she suggests we read as a follow-up to the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to NRV Agency on Aging, which supports and enhances the lives of older adults, their families, and caretakers through advocacy, info and services. The total donated was $170.

All are invited to our monthly potluck following the service. Please bring a generous dish to share.

July 16: UUC member Ohland, with Worship Associate Victoria Taylor and musician Brian Peters, Circle Singing, an opportunity for individuals to gather as community and use their voices in an exploratory, free, safe and playful way. No special musical ability required so come make a joyful noise!

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to our local United Way's Stuff the Bus Campaign, which provides school supplies to local children in need of them. The total donated was $181.

July 23: Rev. Paul Boothby with Worship Associate Jim Kern, What Would a UU Do? What does Unitarian Universalism look like in public life? Though we try to interject civility and find common ground in all situations, what do we do if we feel angry, afraid or uncertain? How do we respond from the heart of our values with people who seem unreasonable? Rev. Paul Boothby is a fifth-generation UU and identifies himself as a Religious Humanist. He has served First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg for ten years.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to the Women's Resource Center in Radford, which provides programs and services to victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. The total donated was $261.

July 30: Guest speaker Jim Best, with Worship Associate Victoria Taylor, Saying Yes: A Journey from Pain to Purpose. The meaning of experience, discovery and revelation have developed with increasing clarity. Jim's story collects the loose ends of a lifetime into a pattern only now evident, only now linking purpose to existence and self to community for a gay man. Jim has been a leader in the Floyd chapter of PFLAG for the past five years and is a member of Floyd Friends Meeting.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread, which sponsors Meals on Wheels and free weekday lunches for those living in Radford and Fairlawn. The total donated was $109.


Sunday Circle is on Summer Break through August


Services: August 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


August 6: Reverend Pam Philips with Worship Associate Earle Irwin, New Beginnings. The rhythms of life at church, and especially in a university community, mean that August is a time to look ahead to beginnings — a new church year, a new school year, a new ministry. So we'll consider what it means to begin again.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to the Church of the Larger Fellowship, which is an independent UU online church serving and connecting UUs around the world. The total donated was $260.

August 13: Reverend Pam Philips with Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Confront the KKK! Expressions of hate have become all too common lately, from groups that were thought long gone, like the KKK, and newer, recently legitimized movements like the alt-right. The recent demonstrations by those promoting white nationalism in Charlottesville force us to consider how we should respond and what we are called to do as people of faith. [The title refers to a confrontation in July in Charlotetesvillewhile, and Rev Pam was there. Yesterday there was a larger confrontation in Charlottesville.]

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. The total donated was $346.

All are invited to our monthly potluck following the service. Please bring a generous dish to share.

August 20: Reverend Pam Philips and UUC GA delegate Ellen Plummer with Worship Associate Rhonda Johnson, Lessons from New Orleans. This year's General Assembly brought unique challenges and opportunities as the Unitarian Universalist Association begins a new chapter in its commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism. We'll share some highlights from GA and consider how being a part of the larger denomination might impact who we are and might become as the UUC.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU), in honor of Jim Key, long-time UUA moderator. BLUU provides information, resources, and support for Black UUs and works to expand the role and visibility of Black UUs within our faith. The total donated was $288.

All are invited to stay following the service for our annual ice cream social sponsored by Lifespan Faith Development. Enjoy a delicious cone and hope for sunshine so we can be outdoors.

August 27: Reverend Pam Philips with Worship Associate Jim Kern, Intergenerational Water Communion. The annual celebration of a congregation's ingathering, practiced by UUs across the country. All are invited to bring water representing what we bring to this community. Whether from the tap at home or from some adventure — all water can be a source of inspiration, healing, rejuvenation, or sustenance. Likewise, we all bring unique gifts and perspectives that combine to create this beloved community. (No RE classes today, but nursery care is available.)

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to the UU Service Committee's Emergency Humanitarian Crisis Fund to help those affected by famine in East Africa and a destructive cyclone in Burma. The total donated was $188.


Sunday Circle is on Summer Break through August


Services: September 2017
10:00 AM in the Meeting Hall
Children’s Religious Education and nursery care
Everyone is invited to coffee & conversation following the service,


The theme for September is Welcoming.

September 3 Rev. Pam Philips with Worship Associate Jane Mahone, Welcome Home. As we begin a new church year, some of us are returning to a place that has felt like our spiritual home for years and others are “coming home” for the very first time. What is it that makes this a place where we have felt welcome? How might we extend that feeling of welcome to others who may want or need a new spiritual home?

UUC's Choir will sing at the service.

The ½-plate Collection recipient this week is to Houston's Coalition for the Homeless, which coordinates the city's response to homelessness and is working to find shelters with beds during the current crisis. The total donated was $346.

September 10: Andrew McKnight with Worship Associate Rhonda Johnson, Beyond Borders. Andrew is an award-winning UU poet and singer/songwriter from northern Virginia. This special musical service is rich with themes of welcoming new experiences and personal growth as we challenge our individual “comfort zones”. Andrew will also perform a concert on Saturday, September 9 at 7 PM in our sanctuary. | Andrew McKnight's Web site

The amount of the donation to the UUA/UUSC Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund will be included with next Sunday's announcements.

All are invited to our monthly potluck following the service. Please bring a generous dish to share.


Sunday Circle

The Sunday Circle meets on the first and third Sundays of the month beginning at 8:30 AM. All are welcome to join us for stimulating conversation. The group meets in the library.

September 3: Alan Moore will discuss The Radford Arsenal: 77 years of open burning on the New River.

September 10: Steve Keighton will provide an overview of the National Weather Service mission and services and discuss communicating for decision support.


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