Critical Mass Newsletter

... encouraging UU Young Adult activity in the greater Washington area

News and events for UU's and Friends 18-35

Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 1997

Newcomers welcome at all events



It is a good idea to call the host of an event to verify the meeting place and time. It also gives the host a better idea of how many people will show up.
If you need a ride to an event, please call the event host in advance to see if he/she can find someone in your area who is driving.

Group information


Every Tuesday at 8pm we play pool at Champions in Laurel (in the Laurel Shopping Ctr on Rt 1). Contact Kerri Irvine,, (410)799-0124.
The main thing that we are planning is a religious education program. This program is based on a young adult curriculum designed by Caitlin Anderson and Mary Ann Macklin, entitled "Building Your Spiritual Home". The dates we have tentatively scheduled are as follows:
The retreat and all the sessions, except October 30, will be held at the Columbia congregation. Contact Kerri Irvine,, (410)799-0124.


Come join the Arlington Young Adult Discussion Group every Tuesday at 8pm.
Please send questions to Alicyn AVandijs@AOL.COM, or (703) 765-1878.
Arlington has lots of other YA events. See the group contact list to get more information.

General Events


Sat, Sept 6 (Arlington)

Late Summer Picnic, Hike and Canoeing at Lake Accotink. Watch the Arlington YA e-mail for more details. Contact Diane McConkey, or the Arlington group contact.

Sat, Sept 13, 3-6pm (CritMass)

Bidness meeting. Are you concerned about the future of Critical Mass (the group and the newsletter)? Please attend to share your ideas, concerns, and enthusiasm. Stay for games at 6pm, or head over to Arlington for the dance. Contact Eric Carlson,, (703)834-0356.

Sat, Sept 13, 6pm (Reston)

Games Night in Reston.
Boggle, Pictionary, Taboo, many others -- Bring your favorite party game and some snacks. Bring money to order pizza. Contact Heidi Foster,, or Eric Carlson,, (703)834-0356.

Sat, Sept 13, 8pm (Arlington)

DANCE PARTY at the UUCA. Cost $10 at the door. Lessons start from 8 to 9pm with the dance 9pm to midnight. Learn ballroom, Latin and line dances. Refreshments provided BYOB beer or wine AOK.

Fri-Sun, Sept 19-21 (Arlington)

UUCA Book sale.

Sat or Sun, Sept 20 or 21 (Columbia)

We will be attending a Wine Festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum. Contact Kerri Irvine,, (410)799-0124.

Sun, Sept 21, 6pm (Reston)

Book discussion/Pot-Luck.
Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach, 1977, p.192. Contact Eric Carlson,, (703)834-0356.

Sun, Sept 21 (Arlington)

Calling all able-bodied WALKERS!!!!! Arlington church has formed a team to walk the AIDS WALKATHON. For more information on how to join the WALKING CROWD contact Erin Eichelberger (703)385-7282 or Andrea Beard (703)578-1871. If you can't join us but still want to support the effort, call one of the above numbers to learn how to pledge a walker.

Wed, Sept 24, 6:30pm (Arlington)

SULLIVAN HOUSE - The 4th Wednesday of each month the UUCA YA group has an ongoing commitment to volunteer at the Sullivan House.
The Sullivan House is a homeless shelter for young families out of luck. The 4th Wednesday of every month the Young Adults volunteer to look after the children while their parents attend a support group. Most of the children are between 3 & 7 and love to play games, read books, tell stories, and just have fun!
Meet at the Clarendon Grill between 6 & 6:30pm. If you get there by 6pm you'll have time to eat dinner. From there we'll go over to the shelter. From 7 to 8:30pm we'll play games and watch over the kids.
If possible please RSVP - Matt Connors,, H: (703)522-4236, W: (703)834-8542

Sat, Sept 27, 5:30pm (CritMass)

MAKE-YOUR-OWN-PIZZA PARTY at Peter & Laura's place in Reston. Bring a crust, good cheer, and your appetite; we'll supply lots of sauces, cheeses, and toppings to try! Experimentation encouraged but not required. The party starts around 5:30pm Call (703)620-0055 or send e-mail to or

Sun, Sept 28, 7:30pm (Arlington)

DC United Soccer Game. We must choose our seat and buy a block so please RSVP early. Price $12 to $22 depending on location. Andrew Gilson, (703)922-4615,, or Mike Petrilli, (703)522-5389,

Sun, Sept 28, 5pm (CritMass)

Fall retreat planning wrap-up meeting. Contact Dave Tripp,, (703)834-3151.


Sat, Oct 4 (Arlington)

Maryland Renaissance Festival. Contact Andrea Beard (703)578-1781 or Felicia Wach (703)573-4453

Sat, Oct 4 (Columbia)

If we get enough interest, we will be going to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Contact Kerri Irvine,, (410)799-0124.

Sun, Oct 5 (Arlington)

Octoberfest Weekend. 11:00 AM til ???. Maryland Renaissance Festival. Contact Alicyn at AVandijs@AOL.COM or (703)765-1878.

Fri-Sat, Oct 10-11 (Arlington)

UUCA Yard Sale.

Fri-Mon, Oct 10-13 (CritMass)

Twenty to thirty young adults will spend a fun-filled weekend on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, delving into the theme topic of "Trust." The weekend will include great company, worship, games, music, workshop time, and general unstructured merriment. Special this year -- we'll be doing a ropes course! Any young adult is welcome!
If you want any information, please call the very friendly Dave Tripp at (703)834-3151 and, or Ken Stroh at (410)426-5235. A fun time will be had by all -- trust us!

Fri-Sat, Oct 17-18 (Cedar Lane)

The JPD and Women and Religion Committee Fall Conference will be held the weekend of October 17 and 18 at the Cedar Lane church in Maryland.
The theme is "Creating Community: A UU Spiritual Adventure."
The conference guide will be Thandeka (name given to her by Bishop Tutu meaning "one who is loved by God"). She will be leading the participants of the weekend through group discussions on Saturday. Friday there will be a 20th anniversary bash of the '77 Women and Religion Resolution.
This is a wonderful opportunity to network with other UUs in the district, discuss issues that are important to us (and be heard) and to truly participate in the workings of the JPD. Let's show the people of the JPD the large, strong, and enthusiastic group of Young Adults that live right here in the Greater Washington Area.
For more information contact Helen Popenoe (301)229-0549 or Erin Eichelberger (703)385-7282.

Sat, Oct 18 (Arlington)

Hike in the Shanandoah Mountains. Ted Mittman, (703) 532-8609,, or Jason Ford, (703) 276-8127,

Sun, Oct 19, 6pm (CritMass)

Age Range Discussion.
Nationally and regionally, this has been a hot UU Young Adult topic. Is the 18-35 age range a help or hindrance? Should we specify any age range? Should we change or split the age range? Do we care?
Bring money to order pizza. Contact Dave Tripp, (703)834-3151,

Wed, Oct 22 (Arlington)

Sullivan House (See Sept 24).

Sat, Oct 25, 4pm (CritMass)

Come see how strange the Bard can be at the REVISIONIST SHAKESPEARE MOVIE NIGHT at Laura & Peter's place in Reston. We plan tmayo start at 4pm and see two movies, possibly "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," "Ran," and/or "Romeo and Juliet" (other movie suggestions welcome). This will also be a Potluck dinner, so bring your favorite food to share!
Call (703)620-0055 or send e-mail to or

Sun, Oct 26, 6pm (Reston)

Book discussion/Pot-Luck.
Surfacing by Margaret Atwood. Contact Eric Carlson,, (703)834-0356.

Fri, Oct 31 (CritMass)

Deadline for reserving Christmas Revels tickets. See the full listing in December.

Fri, Oct 31, 8pm (Arlington)

!!! Third Annual UUCA Young Adult Halloween Costume Party !!! Location (Alev Volkan's apartment complex party room, across from the Balston Metro station in Arlington. Contact Alev Volkan, (703) 807-0674,


Sun, Nov 2 (Arlington)

UUCA Choir Concert.

Sat, Nov 8 (Arlington)

UUCA Service Auction.

Sat, Nov 15, 10am (River Road)

Exploration of the Maryland side of Great Falls. Expect rock scrambling. Meet in front of the River Road church at 10am. Bring lunch & fluids.
Contact Peter Dahlstrom (703)620-0055,

Sun, Nov 23, 6pm (Reston)

Book discussion/Pot-Luck.
UH-OH: Some Observations from Both Sides of the Refrigerator Door by Robert Fulghum, 1991, p.246. Contact Eric Carlson,, (703)834-0356.

Wed, Nov 26 (Arlington)

Sullivan House (See Sept 24).


Sat, Dec 6 or 13 (CritMass)

The Christmas Revels is a performance in celebration of the winter solstice. It's usually based on a location's medieval traditions -- medieval France, England, or Scandinavia, for instance -- and includes singing and dancing and drama.
Anyone interested please contact Peter Dahlstrom (703)620-0055, BEFORE OCTOBER 31.

Sun, Dec 21, 6pm (Reston)

Book discussion/Pot-Luck.
The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss, 1995, p.188. Contact Eric Carlson,, (703)834-0356.

Other YA Stuff

YA Coup at UUMAC!

This year's UUMAC was excellent! It was a wonderful time to reconnect with old friends & make new friends (of all ages!), inquire into spiritual topics like the theme -- "Theological Diversity", relax & rejuvenate, and play some darn good Fizbee!
In addition, after all the chips fell, young adults held 3 of the 11 positions on the board, including the presidency! Look for an excellent UUMAC in '98, and increased YA offerings!
- Peter Dahlstrom

Call to Bidness!

I (Peter Dahlstrom) have recently agreed to be President of the UUMAC board! The bad news is that I don't believe that I can adequately continue to be the Critical Mass emissary with this new commitment.
This does not mean that I will disappear from Critical Mass -- I intend to continue my current level of involvement, as can be evidenced by the number of my (as the editor keeps reminding me, long-winded) blurbs in this newsletter. However, it does create openings & possibilities in the leadership of Critical Mass.
If Critical Mass is important to you and you want to help keep it going, please attend the September 14 business meeting -- it's important!

OPUS '97 Reviews and C*UUYAN Information

(C*UUYAN, in case you don't know, is the Continental UU Young Adult Network, a small grassroots organization whose annual meeting is called "Opus.")
The trees, trails, and lake at Camp Wilmot, New Hampshire made an ideal setting for this year's Opus conference. By all accounts, Opus was a huge success. Approximately forty young adult UU's, from as far away as Honolulu, Hawaii and Edinburgh, Scotland, gathered for C*UUYAN's annual week-long meeting. The worships, workshops, meals, and other activities arranged by the Opus planners were wonderful at creating community and building trust. In addition, many creative attendees took it upon themselves to spontaneously create even more worships, workshops, dances, and sing-alongs.
C*UUYAN's mission to foster leadership development for young adults was realized by several well-attended leadership training workshops that were led by Mary Ann Macklin, a member of the Young Adult Ministries Advisory and Outreach Task Force. Many workshop attendees are now in leadership positions as C*UUYAN's new Steering Committee, and many more have volunteered to lead a number of new young adult ministry projects.
The Opus business meeting was perhaps more productive than in any of the past five years. It created plans for up to three "Mini-Opus" leadership conferences, discussed plans for raising funds (donations welcome!), revised C*UUYAN's bylaws to make them more understandable, elected a fabulous and energetic new Steering Committee, and picked several young adults from Ohio and Michigan to plan Opus '98. It seemed that everyone left Opus with new friends, new ideas, and a renewed commitment to serving young adult interests in our denomination.
...but that's just my impression. I look forward to reading what others say about their week in New Hampshire!
David May
former Facilitator, C*UUYAN

"Opus provides an opportunity for like-minded young adults to create a sacred space in which to share our chosen faith - to fellowship, work, and play. I appreciate and value the gift of new friends which it has given me."
- Twanna LaTrice Hill

> From C*UUYAN

We are a spiritual community of Young Adults within the Unitarian Universalist Movement. We encourage the formation, growth and networking of UU Young Adult groups. We provide leadership training and leadership experience for Young Adults. We foster meaningful worship experiences within our Association. e-mail:

A Sampling of C*UUYAN's Services

- UU Young Adult Finder Service

Sometimes called the transition years. Young Adults tend to move, to college, to a new job, or just to find greener grass. We help UU Young Adults find other UU Young Adults. Contact Harley Stenzel, C*UUYAN Outreach Coordinator and ask him where the locals hang out:, (614)589-5667

-What will you be when you grow up? Is UU one of those things?

C*UUYAN can help you learn the possibilities for continued UU involvement if you are aging out of the Youth Programs. Drop Sabrina Harle, C*UUYAN YRUU Liaison, a line and ask her about the transition into the Young Adult UU:, (313)872-6788

- I am Curious. I have a question about....

Joey Lyons, C*UUYAN facilitator, is the person to call when you don't know whom to call. He can help you with general C*UUYAN information and help answering that particular question:, (503)636-8710

Even more stuff

Advanced call for the '98 ski trip

Last year's ski trip was a BLAST! with ~25 people and 3 (yes 3) houses! If anyone already knows that they're interested in going to next year's ski trip (February 13-16), please call me before Sept 30. It's really important to get a head count this early so I know how many houses to rent. Also, if anyone's willing to give me a hand organizing, I'd really appreciate it and everything will run just that much smoother.
Peter Dahlstrom, (703)620-0055,

A note from Reston

I have recently applied for and have been appointed to a Lay Ministry of Worship position at the Reston church on the encouragement of my good friend Erin Eichelberger. I will hopefully be helping her with the Campus Ministry programs, but the main reason I applied for the Lay Ministry position is to help make UUCR more young adult friendly, mainly in terms of our offerings for spiritual development programs.
I am really impressed with the efforts of the Arlington church, and would like to reach out into the Reston/Fairfax West community and create the same sort of spiritual/educational environment for young adults people who live in this end of the county.
My goal is to set up some programs that might meet the spiritual needs of people in our age group, and then reach out into our community and let people know that we exist.
By working with the UU national office - I believe they have someone assigned to young adult concerns - and people within and outside our congregation, I hope to build a larger, stronger young adult community within UUCR.
With America Online and all the high-tech companies that have moved here within the past five years, I'm sure there is a "critical mass" of young people out in the Reston/Herndon area who are spiritually seeking, and maybe we can offer them something.
I'm placing this "ad" in Critical Mass for two reasons: 1) if there is anybody out there with energy and ideas who wants to help us develop spiritual programs for the Reston church, please give me a call or send an email, and 2) if anyone doesn't have the time or energy to be very involved, but might occasionally
attend programs at UUCR and has some definite (or even wishy washy but good) ideas, please call or email me. Karin K., (703)437-6307,


If you have any pictures or flyers from your events (ancient, past, recent), please send me copies so I can include them in our scrapbooks. Call Erin Eichelberger (703)385-7282.


"Emissary" is really an overblown title, meaning general point of contact. If you have any questions about YA activity in the area, or about filling the Emissary position, contact Peter Dahlstrom at (703)620-0055, (see group listing)


If you have any questions, suggestions, addresses, or events, contact the editor, Eric Carlson (see group listing)


All you have to do to get your events listed is give the editor (Eric) write-ups of them. Please include time, cost, and contact information.
If you would like to be notified when we are collecting events for the next Critical Mass, please contact the editor.


It costs over $150 to print and mail this newsletter. To make a donation, please make a check out to GWA-UUYAN and send it to the editor. Donations are appreciated, but not required.