Thursday, May 9, 2024

We join together to encourage spiritual growth, 
build a beloved community, and act for peace and justice.

This Sunday, May 12

10:30 a.m. Sunday Service in-person & online: 

"Opening Hymns: Mother’s Day Reflections on the 70th Anniversary of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Decision" 

- Dr. Debra Ambush

with Rev. Carl as liturgist

Music: Nick Int Veldt -- and

special guest jazz musicians Malcom Ambush & Allen Ambush

  • Debra & Allen Ambush are teachers, painters, artists, musicians, historians, and most importantly memory keepers. Their artistic work explores the story of their African American experience and pays respect to how generations pass down spirituality and religion as guides to navigate and achieve under extraordinary circumstances. 
  • Through music, Allen Ambush shares the rich, innovative traditions of jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, funk, folk, and African derived music. His performances center both on entertainment and preserving musical tradition in the African American community. 
  • Debra Ambush expresses narratives and personal family history through painting, drawing, printmaking, mixed media and ceramics.
  • Dr. Debra Ambush’s sermon connects to her exhibit this month in UUCF’s Art Gallery. Dr. Ambush is a retired art educator who lives in Frederick County. She is doing various exhibits focused on Farmville, Virginia, which was one of the school districts included in the Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education. The 70th Anniversary of this landmark decision will be May 17. Debra’s relatives were active in running schools for Black children after the state government shut down all the state’s public schools in opposition to the Brown decision. 
  • “While the fight for desegregation was heating up in the early 1950s, the country saw plenty of protests and counter protests, as well as walkouts, sit-ins and boycotts. One such walkout in Farmville, Virginia, was especially powerful because it was led by two young students: 16-year-olds Barbara Johns and John Arthur Stokes. They rallied a group of students and organized a walkout of all-Black Robert Russa Moton High School in protest of the school’s poor conditions. The NAACP then teamed up with the students and worked to integrate the schools of Prince Edward County. The lawsuit filed against the School Board of Prince Edward County was later incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education, making Farmville a key destination to learn about school integration and the overturning of Plessy v. Ferguson.” 
  • Her sermon will focus on the women who are intimately involved in Civil Rights Movement – and how notes from her great aunt’s trunk about children being chained out of schools inspired women to take action and create freedom schools. 

12:00 p.m. Opportunities after the Sunday Service

Earth-centered Spirituality Service (Chapel)

UUCF Knitting Circle (Room 125)

3:00 p.m. Atheists/Humanists/Agnostics Group (Zoom) pwd=L0ZFZjhvYnhvZWFoRkFHK08zQ1kzZz09; EXCEPT, beginning Sunday, May 26, in Room 120 at noon on the 2nd & 4th Sundays!

Please spread the word

to anyone you know who may be interested in the above opportunities.

Check our homepage for

upcoming classes, events, and Zoom links:

General Announcements

Join the Blanche Ames Gallery featuring the stunning paintings of Debra Ambush. The exhibit runs through June 30. To learn more about Dr. Ambush, go to the UUCF home page, tap “Visit.” Then tap painter’s palette icon. You also may visit the show at UUCF on Tues., Wed., Thurs. mornings 10:00-12:00 or by appointment at Send name, phone #, date/time of desired appointment. Enjoy the show!

Connecting through Poetry Group: Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. on Zoom.

UU Thursday Buddhist Meditation: 7:00 p.m. Dharma talk or reading, meditation, discussion. Beginners welcome.

"UUCF 101: Pathways to Membership”: Saturday, May 11, 10am-1pm (Zoom). Are you considering becoming a member of UUCF? Join Rev. Carl for an exploration of UU history and principles, sharing of our individual spiritual journeys, and learning more about our congregation. To register, email with (1) the first & last name of each person signing-up, (2) preferred phone number for receiving a text reminder about the class. Note that with our increasing options for digital accessibility (live-streaming Sunday Services and joining meetings/classes via Zoom, you do not have to live near UUCF geographically to become a UUCF Member. You only need to be committed to participating regularly (either online or in-person) and supporting the congregation.

Child Dedication: Each year we set aside a special time during a Sunday Service to welcome children new to the congregation. We typically schedule this ritual annually on the 3rd Sunday in May. The next opportunity is Sunday, May 19. If you have an infant or child that you would like to participate, please email Rev. Carl ( by Monday, May 13. More information, including a sample liturgy, is available at

The UUCF Book Club will be reading the following:

  • May 17 - Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder, in person at UUCF, Room 125
  • June 21 - The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride, in person, location TBD
  • July 19 - Whiskey Tender by Deborah Jackson Taffa, in person, location TBD

Meetings begin at 7:00 PM. For more information contact Diana Pitcher -

The UUCF Antiracist Book Group meets Tuesdays, 7-8:30 pm on Zoom. May 22 to June 18 we will read The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich. This historical novel was inspired by Erdrich’s grandfather who motivated Turtle Mountain Reservation to resist Indian termination policies of 1940s-1960s. All are welcome as we consider the impacts of policies on Indigenous people, and trends toward a different future. 

We will consider the impacts of government policies, and current restorative trends. Contact Barbara Schectman for information. Here’s the Zoom link 

Help Needed to Find Iryna a Job: Iryna Lytvynets is a Ukrainian refugee who has been attending UUCF along with her two children since fall 2023. She has been working as a nanny, but would like to find an office job. In Ukraine, she had a good government job for 10 years. She has a degree in public administration and management, her English is "high intermediate," and she would like to work in a library, office, maybe in a hospital. Perhaps someone needs an assistant, office assistant, etc. You can be in touch directly with Iryna at

UUCF 2024 Frederick PRIDE Booth for June 22 We're looking for help with everything from logistics to setup, staffing the booth, and everything in between. Reach out to Willow (Laurie) if you're interested: or 3016930680 (WhatsApp friendly/NO group SMS). Visit here to volunteer!

UUCF Job Opening: American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter: (1) ASL Interpreter for the weekly Sunday Service and reception afterward, 10am-Noon. Each week in advance, we will provide as much as possible of the spoken words and lyrics to music. (2) ASL Interpreter for weekly Sunday Children's Religious Education (R.E.) and reception afterward. Pay: $50/hour with two hour minimum. Requirements: Certification or proof of proficiency. Apply: Email a letter of interest, a recent video of you interpreting (if available), and a resume with three references to (We will reply within 24 hours to confirm receipt.) Deadline: open until both positions are filled. We are open to a team of interpreters who can each be present at least once/month or so. Let us know as well if you are interested in that option. Start date: ASAP. Details: Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested and qualified for this position.

JOB OPENING: Director of Religious Education (DRE): The ideal candidate will coordinate a high-quality Religious Education program for children and youth (nursery through high school). 25 hours/week; $36,625 - $40,687/year (depending on previous experience). Benefits: Health insurance (UUCF pays 50% of premium), Professional Expenses (10% of salary), Retirement contribution (10% of salary after first year). Resumes will be received through Thursday, May 16 (or until position is filled). If you know of someone who may be interested and qualified, details at

Joys & Sorrows

Zakir Bengali, a longtime UUCF Member, is now at Buckingham's Choice, a retirement community located at 3200 Baker Cir, Adamstown, MD, which is ~15 minutes from UUCF. If it would be convenient for you to sometimes pick up and drop off Zakir on your way to/from UUCF for the Sunday Service, he would be grateful for the opportunity to connect with UUCF folks. Zakir can be reached at 301-514-1315.

Items Loaned to Derail? If you loaned any items to Derail, they are now in the Office next to Rev. Carl's (labeled "Rabbi") Room #104. You may come by during the weekdays, Tuesday thru Friday, between 9 to Noon to pick up. (Or get them on a Sunday morning.) Otherwise, Polly, will be able to help. Please remove your items by this Sunday, May 12. Whatever remains will be donated next week to loving people.

Frederick Covenant of UU Pagans (FCUUPS) May Classes & Activities:

Sunday D&D Community Campaigns: First and Third Sundays, 1 PM At the UUCF

Grab your dice (or use ours!), bring a Level One character, writing supplies (and snacks if you'd like), and join the Frederick CUUPS community for an adventure! Our D&D Campaigns meet the first and third Sunday of the month at 1 PM. These campaigns are designed to run til May initially. Recommended for ages 10+. We currently have space for up to 24 folks. Donations are appreciated, but never required. Your presence is what truly matters! We suggest a donation of $10 to help support our awesome DMsRegister here.


Earth Centered Spirituality Service: Sunday, May 12th, 12 PM At the UUCF

Join members of the Frederick CUUPS community for our monthly Earth Centered Spirituality Service. This time provides an opportunity to focus on the Sixth Source of Unitarian Universalism: “Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.”

FCUUPS Kids & Teens: Birdhouses & Bird Feeders: Sunday, May 12th, 12 PM

At the UUCF during the Earth Centered Spirituality Service

Join us in learning to connect with the natural world around us! We will create birdhouses and a bird feeder, to connect with our feathered friends. Families are invited to drop their children or teens off in room 113 before the adults head to the chapel for Earth Centered Spirituality! We will provide the materials needed for the meeting, and discuss connection with nature in paganism and Earth centered practices. Email with any questions for FCUUPS kids leadership.

Donations are appreciated, but never required. Your presence is what truly matters!

We suggest a donation of $5 if you would like to contribute financially. Please bring cash or donate online at Write in your donation amount, select “once”, and add the note “FCUUPS Kids”

May Open Blót: Sunday, May 12th, 2 PM, At the UUCF

Join Elk Ridge Kindred for a blót (pronounced blōt), which is a traditional way of toasting and honoring Deity and our ancestors. The May blót honors the Norse God Thor. Elk Ridge Kindred is a small local group who practice the Norse traditions of Heathenry. While open to the public, blóts require supplies, so we are asking that people make reservations by emailing ElkRidgeKindred(at)gmail(dot)com if you wish to attend.

Please bring your own horn or ritual cup, donations of mead/other libations are welcome.

Elk Ridge Kindred practices #inclusiveheathenry and seeks to foster openness and inclusivity both individually and through our religious practices.

Shadow Work Circle with Renee Skipper: The 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7 PM

in the UUCF Chapel

Join Renee and others who are doing their own Shadow Work this winter in a safe space for sharing and learning from each other. We will meet once a month over the dark time of the year in a facilitated but not heavily structured meeting. Come prepared to discuss your own work or just to listen and be in community.

Donations are appreciated, but never required. Your presence is what truly matters! 

We suggest a donation of $5 if you would like to contribute financially. Please bring cash or donate online at Write in your donation amount, select “once”, and add the note “FC-SHADOW”


Blackfeather Mystery School: Magpie Training: Third Thursday of the month, 7 PM

At the UUCF

Magpie Training, the first level of Blackfeather Mystery School, offers a foundational, full-spectrum training in Empowered Witchcraft developed by mystic witch Irene Glasse and spiritworker Caine Dreamwalker. This training is focused specifically on reducing self-sabotage while providing a solid grounding in magickal theory, dedicant practices, mysticism, ritual structure and performance, spellcasting, beginning spiritwork and journeywork, and more. All participants will need a copy of “Blackfeather Mystery School: The Magpie Training.” This course can be taken as a complete path of study as well as individual sessions on a drop-in basis. May 16th is the eighth session, Chapter 11: Beginning Journeywork Donations are appreciated, but never required. Your presence is what truly matters! We suggest a donation of $10 if you would like to contribute financially. Please bring cash or donate online at Write in your donation amount, select “once”, and add the note “Blackfeather”

Gods Behaving Badly: Saturday, May 18th, 2 PM, At the UUCF

Join Rose Eleusis (she/her) for a presentation and discussion about the ugly side of Greek mythology. Modern Pagans have inherited a Pandora’s box of stories about sexual assault, but we don’t have to let that stop us from getting to know The Gods on a deeper level. This class explores three troublesome Greek myths- from Persephone to Cassandra to lesser known stories- and three ways to interpret them through the intersection of ancient history and modern spirit work. It’s about time.

Donations are appreciated, but never required. Your presence is what truly matters!

We suggest a donation of $5 if you would like to contribute financially. Please bring cash or donate online at Write in your donation amount, select “once”, and add the note “FCUUPS”

Monthly Moon Circle: Third Tuesday of the month, 6 PM, At the UUCF

Do you find yourself drawn to the moon? Join Amethyst and others in creating an FCUUPS Moon Circle! 2024 will be focused on exploring ‘Lunar Alchemy’ by Shaheen Miro. Discover how to integrate a moon practice into your daily life as well as strengthen your relationship with your most magical self. Designed for moon-minded individuals! No prior experience necessary. Writing implement and notebook suggested. Donations are appreciated, but never required. Your presence is what truly matters! We suggest a donation of $5 if you would like to contribute financially. Please bring cash or donate online at Write in your donation amount, select “once”, and add the note “FCUUPS”

May Full Moon Labyrinth Walk & Drum Circle: Friday, May 24th, 8:30 PM

At the UUCF

Come enjoy the beauty and peace of the Labyrinth by the light of the full moon! If the weather is good, this will be an outdoor, drumming walk. In the event of rain, we take our labyrinth practice indoors, into the Chapel and our canvas labyrinth.

The first half hour will be a quiet walk, the remainder drumming, so feel free to bring hand drums and other percussion instruments. If you haven’t walked a Labyrinth before, there is no ceremony or ritual. A Labyrinth Walk is safe, open Sacred Space for personal exploration. Please plan to arrive by 9 pm to allow enough time for your walk. For an in-depth article on Labyrinths and what to expect at one of our open walks, visit this link: Recommended donation of $5. Please help support Labyrinth Walks at the UUCF

Crystals 101 Workshop: Saturday, May 25th, 2 PM, At the UUCF

Crystals have been used and appreciated throughout all cultures, religions, and empires. Crystals (and stones) are used as sacred magical tools that can be used to help in healing, spells, rituals, or making charms. They are an easy, accessible, and fun way to enhance your magical practice. We will cover the basics of healing crystals (types, shapes, and clearing/charging). Then we will talk about crystal correspondences for different magical/devotional practices as well as combinations. Finally, we will cover different ways you can use them, including crystal grids and other techniques. There will be short optional exercises throughout the workshop. This workshop will be led by Sage Moon. Donations are appreciated, but never required. Your presence is what truly matters!

We suggest a donation of $5 – $15 if you would like to contribute financially. Please bring cash or donate online at Write in your donation amount, select “once”, and add the note “FCUUPS”

Death Café: Sunday, May 26th, 12 PM, At the UUCF

Death Cafés normalize discussions about death in the most comfortable and human way possible…with cake. The goal of a Death Café is to increase awareness of death and in so doing help people make the most of their finite lives. Sessions are not grief counseling or group therapy; they are merely gatherings of humans supporting other humans, and eating cake. Death Cafés were founded in the UK, and there are now thousands of Death Cafés worldwide. We are proud to be part of a growing death positive movement that believes, “Honest conversations about death and dying are the cornerstone of a healthy society.” Recommended donation of $10 per session, or a dish to share. Please bring cash or visit Click “To Donate click here.” Select “Adult Spiritual Enrichment.” Write in your donation amount, select “once, now” from the “Frequency” drop-down, and write “Death Cafe” in the Note box.

Come Have a Conversation and Learn Something Different


The Human Library is, in the truest sense of the word, a library of people. Individuals acting as “Open Books” are available for you to meet and have a one-on-one discussion or a small group conversation on topics you likely may not have had before.

This “library of people” will be held at the Frederick C. Burr Artz Library, 110 E. Patrick St, on Saturday, May 18, 2024 from 11-4, to share their life stories and in some cases the injustices they have experienced. You can check out a single book for a 20-30 minute conversation or check out more books whose topics pique your interest.

Three of the human books this year come from our UUCF congregation:


  • Scott Mohnkerin, “Being Heathen: A Faith That Builds Community”
  • Bobbi and Marin Mead, “Parallel Journey: A Mother and Trans Daughter”
  • Ursa Sylvest, “Queer and Pagan: The Rainbow Has Always Been There”


They will be joined by additional human books entitled:


  • “Deferred but Never Forgotten: Becoming a Professional Librarian During Segregation”
  • “Escaping War, But Leaving Home: A Mother's Refugee Story”
  • “How I Went From Surviving Child Abuse to Thriving”
  • “Perseverance: A Child of an Incarcerated Parent”
  • “Repairing The World, Pursuing Justice”

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick and the Frederick County Public Library are partnering to host the Human Library, and event which is built on the belief that two strangers can have an open, honest conversation about topics that can be considered taboo or too personal for typical venues. Such a conversation allows for a glimpse into a world in which you may not be familiar but one you have wondered about. These conversations may be about religion, lifestyle, ethnicity or disabilities, for example. You choose which “book” or “books” you’d like to “read.”

So come and have a conversation. It is a wonderful way to spend a few minutes or even a day, talking with people whose lives are different than your own, in a safe, judgment-free zone where preconceived notions are, hopefully, left behind, and freedom of thought is the rule. Who knows, a Human Library conversation may just change your life for the better!

Religious Education Committee: You are Needed! May 19th 12 – 1pm in the Chapel

Invitation to participate in RE:

Come make a difference in the lives of the young members of UUCF and in your own life as well! Religious Education volunteers have fun, get to know kids and teens and their parents, hear the perspectives of kids and teens, learn more about Unitarian Universalism and engage in an inter-generational Beloved Community.

Statement of support for volunteers:

  • You will be supported whether you offer to teach or assist on Sundays or help in another way!  
  • The curriculum is accessible on-line with options for each Sunday that you can choose or can be chosen for you.  
  • Materials for activities are provided and will be waiting for you - just communicate the need by a deadline during the week before TBD.
  • There will be another adult present to help AND 
  • You don’t have to do it every Sunday or work every event - unless you want to

Join us on May 19th after the service to learn more, ask questions and have the opportunity for some training if you like! Follow this QR code to let us know you are coming or to let us know you are interested but cannot come.

There are many ways you can help and a variety of required time commitments… something for everyone!

Thank you! – RE Committee: Lisa Bromfield, Carol Gosnell, Aaron Hansley, Angela Hansley, Janah Maresca, and Sabrina Smith

UU Academics Condemn Violent Repression of Student Movements

UUA President Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt Joins UU Seminary Presidents in Supporting Student Protest Movements. Read the full statement

Frederick Vigil for Palestine: every Saturday noon 'til 1:30 pm, Patrick and Market Streets., Frederick. Weekly witness for Ceasefire in Gaza. Saturdays, 12 -1:30 pm, Patrick and Market St. For info about other local activities, including calling on the City and County to sign a resolution in support of ceasefire and humanitarian aid, contact 

Too many Black Mamas are in cages rather than with their children. This Mother’s Day, donate to @NationalBailOut--a Black-led, Black-centered collective working to end pretrial detention and mass incarceration--and help #FreeBlackMamas:

sponsored by Highlander Research and Education Center

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Announcements for our weekly e-newsletter are due by each Wednesday noon. Please keep your announcement 50 words or less. If you have a graphic for the group or organization, please include that as well. Email to