National Crisis: Fervently Pray for Peace

Dear Students and Friends,

Our beloved nation, “We the People,” usually a beacon of democracy for the world is this day in crisis.

A mob stormed the Capitol, stopped our democratic process, and necessitated our lawmakers to evacuate to a place of safety.  The rioters hoped to burn the electoral college votes.

Those who illegally damaged property, and entered the capitol in the manner they did were not engaged in democratic civil dissent; they were participating in disorder, and chaos.

President Trump told a crowd of supporters today “We will never give up. We will never concede.”

Whatever your political party affiliation, “We the People”, are called to a more perfect union, called to be the United States of America.  Healthy debate, and respectful disagreement are essential components of our democracy.  Threatening our lawmakers, and our democratic process with lies, and violence are not, and indeed put our democratic corporate life together in grave danger.

The full opening clause of our Constitution is: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.”

Those of us who follow in the way of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, let us witness at this hour by denouncing all violence, and embody Christian LOVE for the safety and wellbeing  of everyone.

Let us join our hearts and hands and prayers with our dear interfaith brothers and sisters at this critical hour.

Let us fervently pray for the restoration and continuation of national order and democracy.

Fervently pray this night and in the days ahead for peace in Washington DC and across our nation; for the peace and well-being of all Americans; for the healing of our divisions.  For the peace and well-being of the world.

Fervently pray for our national and local leaders that they provide calm, clarity, and healing guidance in this critical hour, and in the days ahead.

Fervently pray for all law enforcement charged with protecting our democracy.

Fervently pray this night and in the days ahead for PEACE, as we seek to faithfully follow Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Let us fervently, and with confidence place our trust in the Living God, who through the centuries brings order to creation, blesses those in need with strength, courage, healing and hope.

In this hour let us love God with all our hearts, minds and souls, and indeed all of our neighbors.

In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray.


Chaplain Holly

Christmas Blessings to You and Yours!

Dear Students and Friends,

Christmas greetings!  🎄

The Holy Night and day are upon us when Christians around the world celebrate the birth of our precious Lord Jesus Christ; when joyful songs and bells ring out, “the Lord is come,” “peace on earth, good will to all.”

Christmas celebrates Emmanuel, the miracle of God with us, and the divine love, peace, joy, and hope God gifted the world 2000 years ago, and brings to us, to you and me, anew today.

Yes, even in this unimaginable 2020.

More than ever this season we need the good news of Christmas, the hope of a Savior.

We may miss many of the beloved ways and traditions we typically use to celebrate. In some ways it may not feel like Christmas. The “holyday” is so different this year due to COVID, but it still comes, with no force on earth, microscopic or mighty,  to stop it or separate us from it. For nothing will ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:39)

Many of us will be apart from loved ones. Others will risk being with loved ones.

However we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace, may we fully open our hearts and minds to the Christ child, and seek to love and live as Christ loves. May we give Christ our hearts and live into the blessings of giving and receiving, and Christ’s call to work for the justice and peace of all people.

May we celebrate the love that connects us to our loved ones, and friends, near and far, and those who are no longer physically with us, having gone home to God, but yet are mysteriously present with us.

While there is much we would like to leave behind in 2020, may we never forget the countless first responders who risk, and for some, even gave their lives for others suffering from COVID; may we honor and remember all those on the front lines, such as the grocery workers, firefighters, school teachers, nursing home caregivers, nurses, doctors, all hospital workers, taxi drivers, janitors, postal workers, to name some.

And may we ever remember the over 300,000 people who died from COVID in this country.  And earnestly pray for their families, and do what we can for anyone experiencing loss at this time, and economic hardship.

We pray fervently for all those suffering from COVID and for an end to the world-wide pandemic.  We pray steadfastly for racial justice, and peace to prevail on earth.  May all of us do everything in our power to protect one another, look out for one another, and have empathy and compassion for each other. “Love one another, as I have loved you,” says our Lord Jesus, who poured out his life in his living, dying, and rising again that we might truly live.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. . . full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Sending you and your loved ones blessings and love for a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.

In Christ,

Chaplain Holly

Denouncing Vandalism of Black Churches

United Campus Ministry with our denominational partners, denounces the racist acts of vandalism that occurred this past weekend. (Denominational partners: United Church of Christ {Potomac Association}; Presbyterian Church (USA) {National Capital Presbytery}, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) {Christina Church Capital Area}.

United Church of Christ – Central Atlantic Conference, Potomac Association

Statement Regarding the Vandalismof Black Churches
Glowing flaming crosses are just as American as glaring red rockets. Systemic racism and White supremacy are among our nation’s cornerstones. Stolen Native American land and enslaved Africans made the United States a superpower.
Dehumanizing and demoralizing Black people made America great. Some believe standing on people of color’s necks can only preserve greatness. Fear and hatred drove MAGA March attendees to destroy Black Lives Matter banners from two Black Washington, D.C. churches.
Racist vandals ripped them from Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal and Asbury United Methodist Church’s edifices. That action didn’t satisfy their lust for dehumanization and disrespect. Their unquenchable desire inspired them to set the banners ablaze, sparking a fire with a familiar glimmer.
Common and John Legend remind us in their song, Glory, freedom is a religion. Systemic racism denies Black people the spiritual practice of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Dismissing the sacred worth of Black people is part of some Trump supporters’ liturgy.
As people of faith, we affirm all people as fabulous creations of God. The Story of Ham isn’t proof that Black people are the Black sheep of God’s family. She loves all her children equally. We denounce both the action and the rhetoric that challenges the latter reality.
Variations of that rhetoric and action have haunted Black people since 1619, according to Black liberation theology’s father, the Rev. Dr. James Hal Cone.
“To keep hope alive was not easy for African Americans, facing state-endorsed terrorism nearly everywhere in America. Trouble followed them wherever they went—in the morning, at night, and all day long—keeping them awake and stalking them in nightmares, like a wild beast, waiting to attack its prey,” Cone wrote in his 2011 book, The Cross & The Lynching Tree.
Our current national leadership created a safe space for those who consider Black people prey. It unleashed individuals giving into impulses to act like wild beasts. Their disregard for humanity and decency has kept the oppressed wide-awake – living a nightmare.
That disregard for humanity and decency is an abomination to the God of the oppressed. We stand in solidarity with both the Black faith communities and the Black community at large. Our God and her son, Jesus, call us to treat everyone as a gift.
This attack on these Black churches, though, isn’t just a hate crime; ripping those Black Lives Matter banners from church fronts violated religious freedom. Affirming and proclaiming that Black lives matter – by any means necessary – is also a spiritual practice.
The Potomac Association Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ, on the recommendation of the Justice and Witness Committee and the principal author of the above statement, Rev. Jason Carson Wilson, adopted this statement on December 15, 2020.

12/15 Season of Hope Interfaith Event, 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm

Join in this inspiring and encouraging end of semester interfaith event via Memorial Chapel’s Facebook page 

Students and chaplains representing varied faith traditions will share reflections, stories, and prayers about this season of hope. 

Peace on earth, good will to all!

Sponsored by Memorial Chapel

Part of Stamp Study Zone

12/13 Link for Tonight’s Movie

Hi Everyone, 
We hope to see you soon! We will be starting How the Grinch Stole Christmas at 6pm using this link through Teleparty
I meant to mention earlier that in order to watch this movie you will need a Netflix account, but if you do not have one, you can use the free trial that Netflix offers. 
Again, if you can, have the Teleparty extension downloaded through Chrome prior to 6pm. Here are the instructions in case you need them. 
After you sign into Netflix
1) You must use Chrome as your browser. 
2) Go to to install the Teleparty button.
3) To install Teleparty, start off by clicking the “Install Teleparty” button on this page. Once you are redirected to the Chrome Web Store, click “Add to Chrome” to finish installing Teleparty.
4) Pin Teleparty to Chrome Toolbar. After installing Teleparty, you should see the “Tp” button next to your address bar.If you do not see the “Tp” button, click on the  puzzle icon located next to the address bar and pin the “Tp” button to your Chrome toolbar.
5) To join a party click on the party URL (at the top of this email), which will redirect to Netflix’s website. Then click on the “Tp” button next to the address bar, and you should automatically join the party.

If you already have the Teleparty button, just click this link and then, click the “Tp” button near your address bar to join. 

If you need help accessing the movie, you can email me here or join for help.
See you soon, Samantha, L3 Intern Rachel, Chaplain Intern Chaplain Holly

12/13 Movie Night: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 6 p.m.

Hi Everyone, 
I hope your weekend is going well! Get your hot chocolate and popcorn ready. 🍿☕Tonight we will be watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Netflix through Teleparty. We are hoping that this event will give everyone a break from the stress that comes with the end of the semester and also provide an opportunity to join together during this holiday season.

Below are the instructions for how to download the Teleparty Chrome extension. 

We recommend you set this up before 6 p.m. You need a Netflix account ALSO, you can get a free trial.

After you sign into Netflix
1) You must use Chrome as your browser. 
2) Go to to install the Teleparty button.
3) To install Teleparty, start off by clicking the “Install Teleparty” button on this page. Once you are redirected to the Chrome Web Store, click “Add to Chrome” to finish installing Teleparty.
4) Pin Teleparty to Chrome Toolbar. After installing Teleparty, you should see the “Tp” button next to your address bar.If you do not see the “Tp” button, click on the  puzzle icon located next to the address bar and pin the “Tp” button to your Chrome toolbar.
5) To join a party click on the party URL (which we will post on this website right before air time; if you are, which will redirect to Netflix’s website. Then click on the “NP” button next to the address bar, and you should automatically join the party.

We will post the movie URL on this blog just before we start the movie at 6pm. Feel free to email Rachel at if you have trouble setting up Teleparty, but try to have the extension ready before we meet so that we can start right away. 

The movie is just under two hours, so feel free to watch it all or come and go.

Also, join the regular UCM-L3 Zoom link if you want to chat face-to-face or need help accessing the film. Here is the link  for movie assistance

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Samantha, L3 Intern Rachel, Chaplain Intern Chaplain Holly

12/11 UMD Festival of Lessons and Carols

Always a beautiful holiday celebration featuring UMD student vocal ensembles.

When: Friday, December 11, 2020
Time:   8:00 p.m.
How:  Stream online:         
Facebook event: For more info    (There is a dot between “r” and “p”)
Featuring:  University Chorale, UMD Treble Choir, UMD Men’s Chorus, UMD Chamber Singers,Femmes de Chanson, MannerMusik, Festival Organ & Brass
Sponsored by University of Maryland, School of Music – Choral Activities

Additional links

12/9 L3: Power of Purpose – How to Find Gratitude During the Pandemic Holidays

12 – 1 p.m., event link

Hi Everyone!

During the holiday season, there is so much for which to be thankful. From the gift of family, friends, and community to holiday surprises. However, this season comes with a mix of emotions, and gratitude may seem harder in this time of twin pandemics, which leads to some questions. 

How do we practice gratitude more meaningfully? How do we incorporate it into our daily routine? How do we acknowledge the difficulties in expressing gratitude?

Join L3 (Listen, Learn, Lead) this Wednesday at 12p.m. to explore the complexities of extending gratitude especially during this time. Here is the link We will be exploring what things we feel grateful for, and why it may be hard to feel gratitude during times of crisis.

We will also be sharing a few resources to take care of yourself during finals season!
Hope to see you there!

Best, Samantha, L3 Intern, Rachel, Chaplain Intern, Chaplain Holly

Photo by Ben Mack on

12/6 Lessons and Carols Service

6 p.m. Meeting link

How has your week been? We pray that the end of your semester is going smoothly, but we realize how stressful it can be, especially this year with the pandemic. Let us know how we can support you. 

This Sunday we will be celebrating the holiday season with a Lessons and Carols service.

This is a strange year, but we are looking forward to taking a moment and soaking in the hope that Christ’s birth brings to us as we come together through scripture lessons and song. We hope that you will join us and take the time to nurture your soul. 

As always it will be on Zoom from 6-7pm at

All are welcome!
Blessings, Samantha, L3 Intern Rachel, Chaplain Intern, Chaplain Holly

I Will Light Candles This Christmas

By Howard Thurman
I will light candles this Christmas,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all my living,
Candles that will burn all year long.

12/2 L3: Power of Purpose – Food as a Spiritual Practice & Holiday Food

Meeting link 12 – 1 p.m.

Hello Everyone,
Hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving. 
As the holiday season is coming soon 🎄🌟 food might be on a lot of people’s minds! For many, the holidays are a time to eat amazing food with your loved ones. However, this is not always the case. Join L3 (Listen, Learn, Lead) this Wednesday to explore the varying relationships and associations many have with food. We will also be exploring the idea of food and cooking as a spiritual practice.
Come prepared to share a story, a recipe, or an experience with cooking or family traditions during the holiday season.  🍰

Jump in at
from 12 to 1 pm this Wednesday, 12/2,to have a fun discussion that will motivate you to get through finals and get to the holidays!
All are welcome!
Also if you play an instrument or sing, we are looking for soloists for Sunday’s Lessons and Carols worship service, 6 – 7 p.m You can also pre-record your segment. Be in touch by emailing Samantha at

Upcoming Virtual Programs:

12/6    Worship: Lessons and Carols

12/9    Power of Purpose: How to find Gratitude During the Pandemic Holidays

 12/13  Sunday: Virtual Holiday Party and Movie Night!  Bring your own popcorn. 

Peace and Blessings,
Samantha, L3 Intern. Rachel, Chaplain Intern, Chaplain Holly