Unitarian Universalists

Welcome to Unitarian Universalists at Riderwood.

Who are the Unitarian Universalists at Riderwood?

We are a “Covenanting Community” of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Covenanting Communities claim a UU identity and advance UU values, but they look and feel different from a traditional congregation. Covenanting communities include small meeting groups, missional communities, intentional living cooperatives, national networks, and more.

Some of us are current or former members of Unitarian Universalist congregations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Others were members of UU churches in other parts of the nation and world before coming to Riderwood. Others are new to Unitarian Universalism. We welcome all who find something here that sustains them.

Our chaplain,  Rev. Ashley Burczak, an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, holds a B.A. in Comparative Religion from Barnard College, Columbia University and a Master of Divinity in Ecumenical Studies from Union Theological Seminary in New York.

What we stand for

Unitarian Universalists believe that the development of spirituality is a journey that draws upon experience and reflection. We affirm an approach to life that encourages openness and questioning, rather than calling upon certain beliefs. We encourage each person to engage in life to the fullest of our capabilities.

What We Offer

We hold a chapel service the third Thursday of each month at 1:00 p.m.In the Riderwood Chapel. This gathering may be led by a local minister or an active lay leader. In other weeks, we offer a variety of engaging events.

Upcoming Events

May 18, 2023 1 PM, Chapel and Riderwood TV 972

Speaker: roddy bell-shelton biggs

Why Our Gathering Matters
As Unitarian Universalists, we gather each week. Some get dressed and come in person, while others join from home. Why do we gather? Could it be that we do so for change and need one another to create change? Is this why our gathering matters?

Our speaker: roddy bell-shelton biggs (lowercase preferred) is a Queer, BIPOC, Nonbinary person using they/them pronouns. roddy is a Meadville Lombard Theological School seminarian and an aspiring Public Theologian. They are currently the Intern Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fredericksburg. Owning the Christian faith and the spiritualities of their ancestors, roddy is grounded in Unitarian Universalist faith communities by choice. roddy is called to lead radical Love, care, and sanctuary movements, simultaneously disrupting patriarchy and all systems of oppression plaguing our world. They genuinely believe that we must “Do everything in love” – (1 Corinthians 16:14) as we “Do justice, love mercy and tread humbly” – (Micah 6:8)
When roddy is not working or studying, they love being out in nature, traveling, eating good vegan food and all things theater.


May 4 10:30 AM Discussion: Faith, Town Center Classroom
May 11 noon Lunch Hour at Potomac Café
May 11 2 pm Joy of Living Meditation Class, Village Square Music Room
May 18 1 pm Worship, Chapel and Riderwood TV 972
May 25 11 AM Exploring Cultures and Faiths: Atheism Town Center Classroom

June 1 10:30 AM Discussion: God, Town Center Classroom
June 8 noon Lunch Hour at Potomac Café
June 8 Joy of Living Meditation Class, Village Square Music Room
June 15 1 pm Worship, Chapel and Riderwood TV 972
June 22 11 AM What can I do? Social Action at Riderwood, Town Center Classroom

Previous events:
Aged by Culture, Jo B. Paoletti, August 18, 2022Synopsis and Resources


  • If you are fully vaccinated and boosted, you are not required to wear a mask in small gatherings. 
  • Masks are required for everyone at in-person gatherings of 30 or more.
  • Masks are required for unvaccinated persons in all locations and situations.

Liberal Lines

Liberal Lines is the monthly newsletter of the UU’s at Riderwood. It offers information about activities of interest to our community. Want to be on our mailing list? Please contact UUs@riderwoodlife.com

Steering Committee

Activities of the Unitarian Universalists at Riderwood are coordinated by a Steering Committee composed of nine members. The Steering Committee meets the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 p.m. in the Village Square Classroom. Andrea Nicolls serves as Chair of the Steering Committee.