Accotink UU at 40

We’re celebrating Accotink’s 40th year as our spiritual home beyond belief.

The theme of this year-long recognition is “Looking back with gratitude, looking forward with hope and love.”

We would like to hear your thoughts about your favorite memories or milestones of the church, as well as hopes for the future here; please send them to us at [email protected] We are interested in displaying photos of such milestones if you have ones you would like to share. With permission, we will share thoughts and images with the congregation. Watch this space for regular inputs as well as posts on our social media.

Click here for a very brief history of our beloved community.

We confidently anticipate an in-person celebration when it is determined to be safe to do so.

Happy Big 4-0, Accotink Community!



Herb B & Shirley L

For several years during the 1980s we held an “All Church Retreat” in the fall at Prince William Park. Counting the children, there were about seventy attendees. People signed up to cook in shifts, clean up, provide entertainment, and run activities. Forest rangers provided educational tours during the day. The afternoons involved discussion groups and, in the evenings, we enjoyed entertainment programs. Sunday, after lunch, we headed home to Northern Virginia.

In 1987 Shirley and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We were assigned what was called the “Honeymoon Cabin” and we got special recognition during the evening program. These early memories reinforce our deep commitment to AUUC.

Nancy M

When I joined Accotink —wow, can it have been 11 years ago? I was welcomed into Sacred Wheel, but Sacred Wheel wasn’t really part of the life of the church. Today we present services on a regular basis, participate in many parts of church life, and are delighted to have Rev. Pippin as part of Sacred Wheel. My hope for the future is that we will all work together to ensure that Accotink UU Church sees another 40 years at least! 

Accotink at 40: A Brief History

In the summer of 1980, feeling that they had too far to travel to attend UU churches in Arlington, Mount Vernon, or Oakton, a group of Unitarian-Universalists from the
Springfield-Burke area gathered at the Kings Park Library to form a congregation in their immediate area. They chose “Accotink” for our name because Accotink Creek
and its tiny tributaries wend their way through virtually every neighborhood that housed our members.     READ MORE

An Accotink Retrospective




Moe M

I have so many great stories going back to the beginning. Here are just a few. When we started holding Sunday services in the school cafeteria, I would disassemble my own sound system and bring it in every Sunday until we were able to purchase an amplifier for the church. Sharon Jaffee was one of our four pianists and she started a campaign to purchase a piano. We sold 88 keys to raise the funds. At the beginning of each pledge campaign, I enjoyed writing lyrics to well-known songs and hymns (for example “Rock of Ages”) that we performed during a special program that we put on to start the pledge drive. My dear wife, Ginny, and I served in many capacities. As did others. we were each responsible for an entire year’s program, including finding speakers, selecting hymns, and drafting the Order of Service, which we did long-hand, deliver it to a typist who would type it up and we ran it off on the mimeograph machine –sometimes at the Mount Vernon church. Our church offices were on the 2 nd floor of a building in a strip mall in Springfield. We held Board meetings in a neighboring law firm’s conference room. Meetings sometimes ran until 1:00 AM. For a number of years I was responsible for writing checks for the church. Ginny organized Circle Suppers – they went really well. On Christmas eve we always had a big affair at the school. 

Jim G and Connie D

We joined Accotink around 1994. Living close by, we watched as the building was built and started attending Sunday services when it opened. After listening to the wonderful and insightful sermons from Becky Edminston-Lange, and looking at the RE program for our kids, we decided to sign our names to the book. Accotink and UU made a great place for us to be in a spiritual environment together while having different faith traditions. We became active in the community with Jim serving as board president in the late 1990’s, and Connie serving from 2014 to 2017. We both have been on numerous committees and task forces throughout the years. As our children grew and left the “nest” we became more and more involved with AUUC life and formed our closest friendships there. For the future, we both envision AUUC as a growing and thriving community, working hard for social justice, maintaining a safe space for all members, and providing a rich foundation for the children. Our hope is that others in AUUC have found as comfortable a spiritual home as we have.