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Events for this Month | Davies Concert Series

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September 30, 2013

We have a new web site with a new blog. You can subscribe by clicking the envelope in the right column under JOIN US ONLINE (on that site, not this one). You can also click ‘follow blog’ in the comment form on that blog.

If you have any problems, let us know by emailing: web at (put the @ in place of “at”).


Surviving Change by Savoring the Present (The Power of Now) – This Sun. at 10:30 AM

September 12, 2013

Woman at pulpit“Surviving Change by Savoring the Present (The Power of Now)” by Sheri Verdonk – Transitions and change are hard, but there is power in now. Let’s talk about that…….Time, Tantrums and Transitions.

This is Soup Sunday – enjoy great soup with friends (or make new friends). Suggested donation for soup is $3 and goes to support the Oxon Hill Food Pantry.


Looking for our services this month?

September 7, 2013

Our old calendar has not been updated with the new sermons. We’ve been working on a new web site, but don’t have it quite ready yet. However, the calendar on that site is where the latest sermons are listed on the web. Click here to see the Events Calendar on our new site.

man sitting on platform with electric bass guitar

Photo of Van Caldwell taken at Fish Fry and Open Mic on September 7, 2013

Tomorrow, Sunday, September 7, Van Caldwell will lead the service at 10:30, “Ingathering Service and a Celebration of Who We Are”. Members will bring water for our annual water communion and Van Caldwell will share his thoughts on “Feeling Good about Being a Unitarian Universalist and a Member of Davies Memorial UU Church.”

This is our ingathering, the first service of our church year. Summer is ending and Fall is in the air. We gather to reconnect with each other and celebrate life with all its joyful sorrows and sorrowful joys. And re-dedicate to liberal religion, one of the best hopes for the well being of human kind.

Be sure to bring a sample of water from a special place you visited during the summer (we will have some if you forget) and share with us how the place, the time was special.  We encourage families to let their children to tell their summertime stories. If you forget, we will have a common water vessel from which to share. The combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources.

hand holding small container pours into large decorative bowl

Pouring water during Water Communion

Community Fish Fry & Open Mike – Sat. 1:30-5 PM

September 4, 2013


fried fish fillet on a plateDavies Community Fish Fry – Saturday, Sept. 7 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM – Best fish you ever tasted for a donation of only $10 for 2 piece of fish, sides, and beverage (less for smaller portions).

Enjoy and/or participate in the open mic where all genres are welcome, including blues, country, jazz, gospel, poetry, and more. At 7400 Temple Hill Rd., Camp Springs, MD (at the Davies Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church just south of Padgetts corner / Allentown Rd.). Contact Van Caldwell for more information: 301-642-0840.

Van Caldwell with guitar

Meet our new RE director

September 2, 2013

Fontneau_PeteDavies Memorial Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church in Camp Springs, Md., welcomes Pete Fontneau as its new Director of Religious Education. Pete took the position in August 2013.

UU religious education is designed to give children an understanding and appreciation of the world’s religions and a thorough, age-appropriate, understanding of UU’s Seven Principles, which include respect for the worth and dignity of every person. ( ) Pete is the church’s first lifespan religious education director, meaning he oversees programs for children, youth and adults.

Davies is now accepting registration for its RE programs; programs for children and youth begin Sept. 15. Classes for preschoolers will nurture young children’s spiritual growth, creativity, and connection. Grades 1 – 5 will learn about making life choices that affect everyday actions. Grades 6-12 will explore current issues, how they affect their lives, and how living by principles will help them navigate life’s journey.

Pete is a life-long Unitarian Universalist, raised in the Winchester, Mass., Unitarian Society. He has been part of UU congregations in New York, Maryland and California and, since 1986, Accotink UU in Burke, Va., where he served as a religious education teacher, a member of the RE Committee and chair of the adult RE program.

He served in the U.S. Coast Guard upon graduation from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, and attended graduate school at George Washington University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He ended his Coast Guard career in Washington DC as an acquisition project manager. His post-service career was in acquisition support for Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard projects.

Pete served as president of the Greater Washington Association of UU Congregations from 2000 to 2006. He also has served on the Joseph Priestley District Board, as the JPD representative on the UUA Annual Program Fund Committee, and on the UUA Commission on Appraisal (2007-13). He is a co-author of the COA’s 2013 report: Who’s In Charge Here?: The Complex Relationship Between Ministry and Authority.

In 2007, Pete enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He interned as social justice coordinator for campus ministry at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and completed his Clinical Pastoral Education as a chaplain intern in a continuing care facility in Falls Church, Va.

Pete lives with Karin in Springfield, Va. His daughter, a Montessori educator in Arlington County, and two grandsons, are active in the Arlington, Va. UU congregation. His son, an IT professional who works for the House of Representatives, lives in Alexandria.

March on Washington, Living the Dream, & Education for All Ages

August 29, 2013

A member of our church was at the march 50 years ago, though many were too young and/or didn’t live in the DC area 50 yrs. ago. Most of us old enough did watch it on TV.

There are photos of our association in the 1963 March on Washington on Facebook here. In this news story, it is noted that, “Whitney Young national director, Urban League”,  who was a Unitarian, was one of the six organizers. It also refers to CORE’s leaders: “CORE was founded as a pacifist organization by… Unitarian minister Homer Jack”. More about our history in civil rights is here.

NBC News’ Tracee Wilkins reported on “Prince George’s County – 50 Years Later” – how it has made some strives in achieving the dream of which Martin Luther King spoke.

Some of our children were part of a march at a local school to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

We are trying to do our part to help make that dream more of a reality. We have monthly dialogues on race and ethnicity. We offer a religious education program for all ages using curricula that is unique (see this blog post). We are also trying to create a place for black and white hand in hand as Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in his speech that day 50 years ago. Join us as we teach, learn, and work to make our county better with projects, such as the Oxon Hill Food Pantry to help keep young families and others from going hungry.

Learning together - a class activity with a racial diversity in teachers and children

Photo of class from the past at Davies.
Photographer: Nola Shelton

Harry Potter and Child Slavery in Social Justice Sermon

August 24, 2013

On this day when the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington is being celebrated with many Unitarian Universalists present, as was true 50 years ago, I am reminded of last week’s service. How does it tie in with Harry Potter? Read on.

Martin Luther King’s speech with the much known quote, “The arc of the universe…” was borrowed from a sermon by Unitarian minister, Theodore Parker who said in 1850:

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see, I am sure it bends towards justice.”

Singers in witch costumesThe sermon last week was about justice and to tie it to Martin Luther King’s struggle that continues, African Americans are still being oppressed – many speakers during today’s march have mentioned all that still needs to be done. In Prince George’s County, a primarily African American county, there is a human trafficking problem now that people should know about. Human trafficking of children is a type of child slavery.

The sermon last Sunday was not about the problem here, but instead it was about the problem in Africa and other parts of the world. Ghana is the country the two speakers were particularly concerned about since they are a member of a council there.

Singers in witch costumesYou can hear the sermon on our audio podcast here, “Dobby and the Dark Side of Chocolate by Mac and Susan Goekler“. The service included some fun – photos here are by Marguerite Warner, one of our youth graduates and a talented artist, as it was a service for all ages, including young children. The connection to child slavery in Harry Potter comes from the second book with the character, Dobby. You can hear about it in the service where they advocate against the child slavery that makes chocolate and for the purchase of fair trade chocolate instead.

Singers act out stirring a cauldronPhotos by Marguerite Warner

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