Critical Mass

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

News and events for

UU’s and Friends 18-35

April, May, June, July 1998

Newcomers welcome at all events

Stay Informed!

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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.

Young Adult Group info

(If your group is missing, please

send your info to the editor)


Critical Mass

The Critical Mass organization started about 8 years ago to assist in the development of young adult groups in DC area churches. (It was started by Mark Guttag at the River Road church.)

In that time, we have connected UUYA’s in the area by organizing events, publishing a newsletter and a web page, establishing an e-mail list, and attending various UU meetings.

Among other events, we have hosted the JPD YA retreat twice a year since 1994, have held an annual ski trip for the last 5 years, and have had a monthly book discussion for over 3 years.

You can check out our web page at, or contact Eric Carlson,, (703) 834-0356.

IMPORTANT: We are looking for new people to take on many of the responsibilities of Critical Mass. Most of the current leadership has been doing this for many years, and we would like to help in passing the roles (including newsletter editor) on to new people. Please contact us if you are interested in helping.


The Arlington YA group started in 1989 and is the largest in the DC area. The group has over 100 members, and hosts many events. Many members also attend the Sunday services.

Among their many events, the group hosts a weekly group discussion on Tuesday nights and pool playing on Thursday nights. They often go dancing (various types). They also host an annual YA service at the Arlington church.

They have a web page and send out weekly announcements via their own e-mail list. You can check out their web page at or contact:

Eddie Powers,, (703)379-2745

Alicyn van Dijs,, (703)765-1878

Beth Merkulov,, (703)892-0790



The Reston YA group holds occasional events, and also hosts various workshops at the church. There are usually at least a few YA’s at the Sunday services (especially the 11am service).

They are currently presenting a workshop on Sunday evenings called "Everything I wanted to Know About Life I Learned from Star Trek" (a.k.a. "The Philosophy of Star Trek").

Contact the "Lay Minister of Young Adults and Diversity," Karin K.,,
(703) 437-6307.


The Columbia YA group has a monthly meeting followed by an artmaking/collage event. They have pool night at Champions Billiards Club every other week. They also plan various other things so that they have something to do almost every weekend!

Kerri Irvine,, (410) 799-0124.

Mount Vernon

The Mount Vernon YA group hosts occasional activities including lunches every second Sunday of the month. Many members are active in church activities. The church services have a spiritual and musical flavor that many people are drawn to. Sunday services are at 9 and 11am.

Patricia Shumaker,, (703)768-5274.


(Contact each group for more events)



Fri-Sun, April 10-12 (Easter weekend) (Richmond)

Seventh Annual SPECTRUUM YA retreat in Wake, Virginia. Sandy Macon,

Tue, April 14, 8pm (Arlington)

YA Discussion Group. Alicyn van Dijs,, (703) 765-1878.

Thu, April 16, 7:45pm (Arlington)

Pool Playing at Bardos. Peter Harms,, (703) 525-2430. (This event is held every Thursday)

Fri, April 17, 8pm (Columbia)

Pool at Champions Billiards. Kerri Irvine,, (410) 799-0124. (This event is held every other Friday)

Sun, April 19, Noon (Arlington)

Monet's Art Exhibit at Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. We will leave after the second service and return late in the afternoon. We might go for lunch or visit some local gardens afterwards. We'll reserve tickets before hand. It is only at the Walter's for two months so imagine it will be pretty crowded. Julia Durand,, (703) 521-2787.

Sun, April 19, 6pm (CritMass)

Monthly book discussion/pot-luck The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, 1979, p.215. Eric Carlson,, (703) 834-0356.

Tue, April 21, 8pm (Arlington)

YA Discussion Group. Nature Writing Part 1: History & Authors, host: Beth Lachman. Alicyn van Dijs,, (703) 765-1878.

Sat, April 25, 9am (Arlington)

Nature Appreciation Hike -- 3-5 mile hike at Thompson Wildlife Management Area to view and learn about trillium and other spring wildflowers.

Bring water, jacket, lunch, and hiking boots. We will carpool from the church. Meet at UUCA at 9am. (Being held in conjunction with Nature Writing discussion groups on April 21 and May 11, but you need not attend discussion groups to participate in hike.) Beth Lachman, (703) 536-2469.

Sun, April 26, 12:30pm (Columbia)

Role playing game -- location and type of game to be determined. Kerri Irvine,, (410) 799-0124.

Sun, April 26, 6pm (CritMass)

Final planning meeting for the JPD YA retreat. Dave Cohen,, (703)256-4130. (see May 15-17)

Tue, April 28, 8pm (Arlington)

YA Discussion Group. Alicyn van Dijs,, (703) 765-1878.


Sometime in May (Arlington)

ComdeySportz in Alexandria. (Contact the Arlington group for details.)

Sun, May 3 (Arlington)

Bay Bridge Walk. (Contact the Arlington group for details.)

Tue, May 5, 8pm (Arlington)

YA Discussion Group. Alicyn van Dijs,, (703) 765-1878.

Sat, May 9 (Columbia)

Trip to Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore to see Monet exhibit. Kerri Irvine,, (410) 799-0124.

Tue, May 11, 8pm (Arlington)

YA Discussion Group. Nature Writing Part 2: Nature Appreciation & Spirituality, Host: Beth Lachman. Alicyn van Dijs,, (703) 765-1878.

Fri-Sun, May 15-17 (CritMass)

Tenth Semi-annual JPD YA retreat. "Roots and Branches: Staying connected while reaching for new heights." Camp Tockwogh on the Chesapeake Bay in Md. Dave Cohen,, (703) 256-4130. (See Flyer)

Tue, May 19, 8pm (Arlington)

YA Discussion Group. "Love" Hosts: Matt Connors and Alicyn. Alicyn van Dijs,, (703) 765-1878.

Sun, May 24, 6pm (CritMass)

Monthly book discussion/pot-luck The Chosen by Chaim Potok, 1967, p.284. Eric Carlson,, (703) 834-0356.


Sat-Sun, June 13-14 (Reston)

Bike-Camping trip on the C&O toe path, and W&OD bike trail. We will leave from Reston, Take the W&OD to Leesburg, Cross the Potomic River on Whites Ferry, Bike along the C&O toe path to Georgetown, camp Saturday night, then take the W&OD back from Arlington to Reston.

Please let me know at least a week before the trip if you want to go. David Tripp,, (703) 834-3151.

Sat, June 20, 6am (Reston)

Day trip to New York City. We will leave at 6am from Betty Ludwig’s in Montgomery County, Drive to Staten Island and take the ferry to Manhattan. David Tripp,, (703) 834-3151.

Sun, June 21, 6pm (CritMass)

Monthly book discussion/pot-luck Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams. This book is like Watership Down from a cat’s point of view. Eric Carlson,, (703) 834-0356.


Fri-Sun, July 10-12 (Arlington)

YA Trip to Boston. This sounds like a very interesting trip, contact Alicyn for details. Alicyn van Dijs,, (703) 765-1878.

Sat, July 25, 7:30am (CritMass)

HersheyPark amusement park and chocolate factory in Hershey, Pa. Meet at the Fairfax church parking lot at 7:30am. Heidi Foster & Eric Carlson,, (703) 834-0356.


Sun-Sat, August 2-8 (UUMAC)

UUMAC seventeenth annual intergenerational UU conference. Allentown College in Center Valley, Pa. Peter Dahlstrom,, (703) 620-0055.

Sun-Sat, August 2-8 (C*UUYAN)

OPUS ‘98 thirteenth annual international UUYA conference. College Corner, Ohio. Eric Carlson,, (703) 834-0356.


Al Colvill is looking for B level players for the next volleyball league at Sportsplex or Fairfax County. He knows one other B level player who is also interested. If you would like to form a team, give Al a call at (703) 690-6823.

CampuUs ministry

The GWA Campus Ministry Committee Needs You! Do you wish someone had created a UU Campus Ministry program at your college or university?

Would you like to help work on a model program here in the DC area?

If you have some time to volunteer, we need your help. Kent Matthies has been hired as the full-time campus ministry coordinator for this program, and he needs us all to pitch in to guarantee this is a successful program. If you can help in any of the following areas, or if you know someone who could help us out, please let us know!

  • Administration (general office help)
  • Fundraising
  • Publicity
  • Web stuff
  • Accounting/budgeting/treasurer type help


We are starting campus ministry programs at American University and the University of Maryland-College Park, and we are exploring possibilities at George Mason University. If you are a student, staff, or faculty member at one of these or any other DC area school, or if you know UUs or UU friendly folks, we'd love to talk with you!

Please contact Kent Matthies, his office is at the Universal National Memorial Church in DC, (202)518-5850,

UU Young Adult e-mail Lists

You can "subscribe" to any of these e-mail lists if you want to be included in e-mail communications of these groups (upcoming events, hot YA topics, etc.).

Critical Mass - DC Area YA’s (a few messages/month)

Send a message to:

On the first line of your message, type: subscribe critmass


Arlington, Va YA’s (a few messages/week)

Send a message to:

On the first line of your message, type: subscribe uuca-yag


Reston, Va YA’s (about one message/month)

Send a message to:

On the first line of your message, type: subscribe uucr-yag


UUYAN-L -International YA’s (a few digest-form messages/week)

Send a message to:

On the first line of your message, type: subscribe uuyan-l


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 join the Critical Mass e-mail list, or contact the editor.


If you have any questions, suggestions, addresses, or events, contact the editor, Eric Carlson,, (703) 834-0356.


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.

Wanted! - New Editor(s)

Editing Critical Mass has been a rewarding experience. Since I took over as Critical Mass editor 4 years ago, I have produced 16 Critical Mass newsletters. It has been fun working with event coordinators, group leaders, proofreaders, and of course newsletter recipients. It feels good to put together a publication that connects people together.

After 4 years, I feel it is time for a new person(s) to take over production of the newsletter, and add their own ideas to the process. I will be happy to work with the new Critical Mass editor(s) and to possibly continue to perform the functions of mailing list keeper, web page editor, and treasurer. Please contact me if you are interested in publishing one or many issues of Critical Mass - Eric Carlson,, (703) 834-0356.

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