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

September 8: Joy of Living Meditation Class. 2 p.m. Village Square Music Room

Sept. 15: Worship (Chapel and broadcast on Channel 972) 1 p.m.

Crisis of Hope
Speaker: Leo Jones

So much has happened during the last two years–much of it negative: a once in a lifetime pandemic, a tumultuous election, an assault on our seat of government, the murder of a Black man and the protests that followed, the list is nearly endless. We could be forgiven and understood if our hopes are dashed and we are given to despair. But human history is rife with times of almost unimaginable pain and sorrow. Yet those who suffered the unthinkable managed to hold on to the hope that they would survive and their descendants would thrive. What might we learn from those who suffered and endured?

Leo Jones has been a member of Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church for more than 22 years. He has served as a worship associate, a member of the board of trustees, co-founder of the Diversity/Anti-racism Transformation Team (DARTT), a bass-baritone on the PBUUC choir, and has led many lay services.

Leo has had several careers: as an attorney (four years as an assistant prosecutor in Prince George’s County), a school reform facilitator in the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University, and as the Chief Program Officer at All Souls Church, Unitarian.

He is happily retired, and lives with his wife, Sabrina, in Laurel, MD. Leo spends each day attempting to master the art of doing as little as possible. When he doesn’t succeed, he reads, listens to music, learns to play the piano, participates in church life, and, begrudgingly, completes household chores.

Leo is very happy to visit his friends at Riderwood again, some of whom are fellow congregants at PBUUC.

Sept. 22: Unconventional Bible Study: Revelation. 11 a.m. Town Center Classroom.

October 6: Discussion: What do you regret? 10:30 a.m. Town Center Classroom.

Oct. 13: Joy of Living Meditation Class. 2 p.m. Village Square Music Room

Previous Events

Aged by Culture, Jo B. Paoletti, August 18, 2022 — Synopsis 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.

Annual Pledge Drive

We are nearing the end of the month well on our way to funding our programs for the next year, and replenishing our Chaplain’s Fund. A big ‘Thank You!!’ to all who have already pledged.

But…we have not received pledge forms from more than half of those we sent out on July 31. If that envelope with the pledge materials is still lurking around your apartment, please take a moment to fill out the pledge form and return it – a return envelope was enclosed! Besides your generous contribution, returning the form will help us in updating our records and mailing lists, which we are trying to declutter from 2 years of pandemic fog. We hope to continue to provide programming and pastoral services to all of you, but we need to be sure we have your correct information. So please return the form, and of course we hope that you will include your membership dues and a contribution to the Chaplain’s Fund.

If you have questions, or you can’t find that envelope and need a new one, or if you never received a pledge packet, please contact me.

Jim Paoletti, treasurer

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.