UUCS - Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling is a congregation of open hearts and open minds.

About the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is a religious organization (PDF) that combines two traditions: the Universalists, who organized in 1793, and the Unitarians, who organized in 1825. They consolidated into the UUA in 1961. Both groups trace their roots in North America to the early Massachusetts settlers and to the founders of the Republic. Overseas, their heritages reach back centuries to pioneers in England, Poland, and Transylvania. Each of the 1,041 congregations in the United States, Canada, and overseas are democratic in polity and operation; they govern themselves. They unite in the Association to provide services that individual congregations cannot provide for themselves. Each congregation is associated with one of the UUA’s 19 districts. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion with Jewish-Christian roots. It has no creed. It affirms the worth of human beings, advocates freedom of belief and the search for advancing truth, and tries to provide a warm, open, supportive community for people who believe that ethical living is the supreme witness of religion.

Mission: Our Unitarian Universalist Principles Principios en Espanol There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote: The inherent worth and dignity of every person; Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Unitarian Universalism (UU) draws from many sources: Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life; Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love; Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life; Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves; Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit; 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. These principles and sources of faith are the backbone of our religious community.

We are “Touching the Earth” this morning with our ministerial candidate Aileen Fitzke!

[04/28/19]   THis Sunday’s Service at 10am
"Touch the Earth"
Our Candidate Minister, Aileen Fitzke, will be exploring the inter-connectedness of all living things by looking at the way we interact with and participate in the human and more than human world through all of our senses.

Welcome to the world, sweet Thomas Wade Lorenz, born last Tuesday! Congratulations to Sonia, Thomas and big brother Jonas!

[04/05/19]   "Happiness, Holiness, and Wholeness"
This Sunday's Service at 10am
What does it mean to be a person or a community of wholeness? This is the question for April’s worship theme, and Rev. Wayne Arnason is excited to explore it with you in a return visit to the UUCS pulpit. "It’s my belief that personal wholeness is the key to happiness in this life. It bothers me that some religions teach that you can only find true happiness in their particular approach to holiness. I want to propose instead four foundational elements of wholeness that a person of any religious persuasion needs in order to be happy."

[03/22/19]   "Mary Oliver-Wild Geese Fly"
This Sunday's Service at 10am
In this service, we honor the life and lyrical nature poetry written by the Mary Oliver. Her work has a special connection with Unitarian Universalists because of her "clarity of vision...suggesting that life was a matter of learning to love the world even in the face of ugliness and pain" (H. Smith, Washington Post). Members of the congregation will help us delve into the personal meaning of poetry for them.

[03/15/19]   All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) will be holding a Vigil this evening Fri Mar 15th 7pm-9pm at ADAMS Sterling – 46903 Sugarland Rd, Sterling, VA 20164. Faith Leaders and Government Officials will be giving remarks.

"Choose to Bless the World"
This Sunday's Service at 10am
Sharon Williams and Rev. Alexa Fraser will lead this service which focuses on the LCPS Backpack Coalition and why their efforts in Loudoun County are so needed. They will also explore the questions: What is charity? What is Social Justice work and where do they intersect?

Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend
Just a gentle reminder that at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, Daylight Saving Time begins.
While most clocks on computers and phones will change the time automatically, remember to set other clocks forward one hour before going to bed, and join us bright and early at UUCS tomorrow morning at 10:00 for a wonderful service to kick off our Stewardship Campaign, Faith in our Future!

[03/03/19]   "Brain, Heart, and Courage"
This Sunday’s Service at 10am
So many stories involve a journey. What can we learn from those who have gone on such a journey? How do we grow as we embark on our own adventures? To find out, just follow the yellow brick road and join RE Coordinator Rachael Roman as she leads this inter-generational service.

[02/23/19]   "UU Mysticism? Religious Experience without Dogma"
This Sunday’s Service at 10am
What is mysticism? How can UU's bring this longstanding form of human religious experience into our practice? Join Christian and Janine Straubhaar-Jones as we look to other traditions and their relationship to mysticism and ask, "How do we borrow from and honor them without requiring dogma?"

[02/15/19]   "What Do I Want at the End?"
This Sunday's Service at 10am
This adult-oriented sermon will focus on end of life issues and, particularly, the Medical Aid in Dying movement with which Rev. Alexa Fraser has been active for many years in Maryland. There are many choices people could make for themselves at the end of their life. Maryland and Virginia, however, have limited those choices.

[02/08/19]   “It's All Offering”
This Sunday’s Service at 10am
To live in relation with others can be stressful and confusing as well as nourishing and fulfilling. What does it mean to bring our full selves to our relationships and our communities? How can we avoid the trap of feeling that we don't measure up or that we are constantly disappointed? Former UUCS Intern John Monroe explores what it means to view our lives, in all of their messiness, as gifts that we offer others.

[02/07/19]   Sign up today!
Adult RE Class:
Western Mysticism
Mondays, February 11 & 25, March 11 & 25, April 4 & 22
Come explore the traditions of mysticism from ancient paganism, through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, learning a little of the history and practices, as well as tips to translate their wisdom into agnostic-friendly, non-culturally-appropriative thought experiments and rituals today!
Taught by Janine and Christian Straubhaar-Jones. Christian has a PhD in Christian Mystic Literature and Janine has degrees in both Judaism and Islam, including a PhD in Modern Middle Eastern History. Sign-up in Fellowship Hall or email [email protected].

Dessert and Coffee Night for New to UU
Wed., Feb. 27, 6:30-8:30 PM
Connect with others in the congregation for a more in-depth conversation and presentation about UUCS and Unitarian Universalism, including opportunities for you to share your hopes for your own or your family’s spiritual journey, to make connections and consider the many ways to create a home at UUCS and learn what it means to become a member.

[02/01/19]   “Clearing and Centering”
This Sunday's Service at 10am
This month's theme is Trust and our work as an inter-generational community in this week's service is to figure out what we need and what we needlessly hold on to. Yes, this week's sermon led by Rev. Alexa Fraser is focused on stuff, things, gadgets, and, more broadly, objects. **Children are invited to bring an item they have outgrown to donate during the service.

The All-Ages Talent Show scheduled for this evening has been postponed.

Stay tuned for the new date, and keep working on that talent!

[01/25/19]   Adult RE Class:
Western Mysticism
Mondays, February 11 & 25, March 11 & 25, April 4 & 22
Come explore the traditions of mysticism from ancient paganism, through Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, learning a little of the history and practices, as well as tips to translate their wisdom into agnostic-friendly, non-culturally-appropriative thought experiments and rituals today!
Taught by Janine and Christian Straubhaar-Jones. Christian has a PhD in Christian Mystic Literature and Janine has degrees in both Judaism and Islam, including a PhD in Modern Middle Eastern History. Sign-up in Fellowship Hall or email [email protected].



Poetry Slam Workshop with Regie Cabico
High Wattage: Elements of the Slam Poem
Saturday, February 16, 3-5pm
Participate in this free poetry slam workshop led by Regie Cabico and funded by The Virginia Commission for the Arts in support with UUCS. Regie is a spoken word pioneer having won The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and later taking top prizes in three National Poetry Slams among many other honors. This inter-generational workshop is for participants ages 16 and up and is a chance for jazz poetry slam participants to rehearse their poems and generate material. Sign-up and learn more about the workshop and Regie at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/high-wattage-elements-of-the-slam-poem-tickets-54837065138 Sign-ups are limited. Register now!

eventbrite.com In these spoken word performance workshops, participants will use “imagery” to create a poems that incorporate pop culture & autobiography to celebrate "who we are” by exploring our dreams and our most fanciful urges. We will combine outrageous lies into hyperbole and use sense memory and expe...

“Singing the Living Tradition”
This Sunday’s Service at 10am
The grey hymnbook under each of our chairs in the Sanctuary is an artistic representation of the Unitarian Universalist theology. Christin Green will preach on how UU music has been shaped by its priority of social justice. Just as she was introduced to UU principles through the music and responsive readings, visitors and longtime members alike can reference the hymns (and readings) to remind them of the Spirit of Life that runs through the faith tradition.

Leesburg Patch

Look for the Loudoun Interfaith Bridges banner or Albert Pucio at the courthouse to meet up with fellow marchers from UUCS.

The 27th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration begins Monday morning at the Loudoun County Courthouse.

The On Being Project

We are saddened to hear the news of Mary Oliver's death. Often quoted, but rarely interviewed, she was one of our greatest and most beloved poets. Revisit her conversation with Krista from 2015.

[01/13/19]   Due to deteriorating conditions, tomorrow morning's service has been cancelled.

See you next week!

With the prediction for total snow accumulation being 6-10 inches, we are monitoring the situation on the neighborhood roads around and state of the parking lot and sidewalks at church and will make a final call on the service early in the morning. We will notify the congregation of the final decision with an email and Facebook announcement at 8 a.m.

Please note the inclement weather policy on our website: http://uusterling.org/leadership/policies/inclement-weather-policy/

Stay safe and warm!


7th Annual Jazz Poetry Slam: A Fierce Flower of Infinite Possibilities


eventbrite.com Come spoken word artists, rappers, sages, veterans, therapists, activists, students, student-groups, actors, first-time poets, dreamers, scribes and lovers of the spoken word for a night of jazz and poetry. This is a TRUTH ZONE! Poets will be offered 3 minutes to recite their poem over quiet jazz. T...

Bingo Night at UUCS!
This Friday, January 11, 6:30pm
Everyone is invited to help a local youth group raise money for their canned goods drive and a youth trip to New York. Play bingo and win cool prizes donated by local business by playing bingo. Other activities include face painting, carnival games, live music, hot chocolate bar, mini-thrift shop, and a raffle. Cost: $15/family package which includes four bingo cards and access to all of the activities. $5/single for two bingo cards, a raffle ticket, and access to all activities. Bring canned goods for the food drive and claim a free bingo card!


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Sterling

Special Message from Rev. Alexa

Dear ones,

The government shutdown is still going and, indeed, is launching into week three. Rosalie Clavez delivered a beautiful statement as we rang the chime and prayed in service Sunday. She said in part:

"Today we consider the strains that the partial government shutdown is placing on the households of more than 800,000 furloughed government workers; the even greater strains on the larger number of government contract workers who also have families to clothe, feed and care for, and who will probably never recover wages for their lost working hours; the rippling economic strains on the businesses and service organizations which government employees and contract workers normally patronize; and the wear and tear imposed on our democratic institutions by the animosity of some in government towards persons of different religions, ethnicities, and political opinions. Violence in its myriad forms includes emotional violence inflicted by denigration of others by persons in authority, and by those who welcome organizational and societal chaos as a means of social control."

Truly friends this is a time for prayer and re-consideration of the type of country we want to be. UUCS is here for you. Please contact me if you want to talk. minister(at)uusterling.org.

Rev. Alexa

uusterling.org Building a loving, diverse, caring community

[01/04/19]   “Beyond Categorical Thinking”
This Sunday's Service at 10am
The theme of this month is Possibility and this worship service, led by Carol Carter Walker and Rev. Alexa Fraser, will ask the congregation to be open to the possibilities about who the recommended ministerial candidate will be and to be open to possibilities about what it might mean to have a minister with an unexpected identity. Join us for some feedback from the previous day's workshop and to inform the ministerial search work moving forward. All are welcome whether you were able to make the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop or not.
**Not too late to attend Saturday's workshop! Just show up--it's from 9am-noon.**

[12/28/18]   “Man of Constant Sorrow?”
This Sunday's Service at 10am
It is said every preacher has only one sermon and each sermon is but another way of expressing the same subject. Paul Roche believes his sermon is Hope vs Despair.
Join Paul and our church rock group, jUUStUUS, as they explore this theme in words and music. As the old year prepares to turn, be uplifted as the band plays an eclectic blend of music from Joni Mitchell, R.E.M.,The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, and, of course, The Soggy Bottom Boys.

Amazon Sign In

Just a reminder to shop Amazon through this link so UUCS benefits!


Save the Date! More info to come soon!

Sun., Dec. 23, 10am - No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant
Mon., Dec. 24, 7pm - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

“Shared Memories”
This Sunday's Service at 10am
What are our congregational milestones? What have we done together and when? Let's reminisce together and get the stories out! Rev. Alexa Fraser and the Transition Team will lead this service.

“Words on Mystery”
This Sunday's Service at 10am
Members of the UUCS Writers Group share their stories and reflections on the mysteries in our lives. The congregation will also be invited to write and post their own words on mystery.

This Friday, Dec. 7 at 6:30pm

Joun us for winter/holiday music, crafts inspired by multiple beliefs, cookies to decorate, and loads of FUN! Bring a potluck dish to share and come celebrate the joys of this season together.

[11/30/18]   “Spirit and Mystery and More”
This Sunday’s Service at 10am
What do we reach out to when we are doing soul work? With what do we seek to connect? Ineffable, transcendent.... Rev. Alexa Fraser will lead this introspective service which calls us into song, silence, and prayer.


Trans Day of Remembrance in Northern Virginia


uucf.org The Trans* Day of Remembrance service, organized by the Transgender Education Association of Greater Washington, DC, occurs annually as a day to memorialize those killed from hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially those who exist on the margins.

“Remember to Rise”
Multigenerational Service and Bread Communion
Service at 10am
Bread provides us a rich (sometimes delicious) metaphor for life. We can resonate with the messiness of the mixing, the struggle of the kneading, the faith required in the waiting, the fire needed for the baking, and the restorative power of breaking bread together. In what ways do we remember (and forget) that "rising" is a part of our own formation?
Christin Green, a third-year seminary student at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, will lead this service.



Hey everyone--the 2018 Auction Catalog is now available here: http://wp.me/P69UiH-70. You can also purchase auction tickets there!

uusterling.org YOU'RE INVITED! The 22nd Annual UUCS Auction Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 6:30pm Join us for our congregation's largest fundraising event! Bid on a variety of silent and live auction items while ...

Get your tickets online today at https://bit.ly/2SVuHHc or this Sunday at church!

“In Honor of Veterans Day”
This Sunday's Service at 10am
Join us for this service honoring veterans, active duty service people, and their friends and families. Our guest speakers are Larry and Leann Whitley. Larry was drafted into the US Army in 1971, served in the military as a public affairs advisor, and retired as a Sergeant Major. He is now serving as an army civilian in the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office. He was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and his five siblings all still live there. Larry says that ‘the concept of service, nurtured and matured through his military experience, is a defining characteristic for him.’ Leann, volunteered in 1978 to serve in the US Army, and she served as a public affairs advisor until 1998, when she retired as a Master Sergeant. Since her military retirement, Leann has been self-employed in the event management field. She was raised in Newark, New Jersey, and has three siblings.

[11/02/18]   “Stories About Life”
This Sunday’s Service at 10am
What stories have have formed us and in what ways? Were you always the smart one or the pretty one or the athletic one in your family of origin? What challenges did you face along the way. Stories, stories and more stories....How do they define us? Rev. Alexa Fraser will lead this service.

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Videos (show all)

Help-Portrait Day 2015
We're Gonna Be Ready
UUS Choir sings Lachrymosa by Mozart




22135 Davis Dr Ste 104
Sterling, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 14:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 14:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 14:00
Sunday 09:30 - 12:30
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