The Unitarian – November 24, 2015

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Sunday Worship — November 29

Sermon: “Thanksgiving”

Let us celebrate all of the gifts we have been given (life!) — Rev. David Bryce

  • Prelude: Adagio in Eb Major, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (Berlin, 1755); Dylan Sauerwald, organ
  • Senior Choir Anthem: Canticle of Thanksgiving (Finnish Folk Melody), arr. Edward Wetherill
  • Offertory: Priez pour paix, Francis Poulenc (1938); Livia Racz, soprano
    Francis Poulenc found this medieval poem reprinted in Le Figaro of 29 September 1938, and composed this song exactly at the time of the Munich crisis, when the whole world feared imminent war.
  • Postlude: Allegro in G minor, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach; Dylan Sauerwald, organ
  • Welcome and Announcements
    • 9 a.m.: Ana Hammock
    • 11 a.m. Deveaux Duckworth
  • Services at 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • Sunday, December 6: Rev. David Bryce
  • Sermon archive:

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Lay Pastoral Care
Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

In a congregation of our size (nearly 400 members) it is impossible for the minister to provide all of the pastoral care needed. There are just too many people and too many needs.

But people come to us for healing—spiritual and emotional healing. That is one of the purposes of religious community.

No doubt some of that happens in our services as people’s hearts are touched by what we do and say. And no doubt some of it happens at coffee hour as people reach out to one another and welcome each other into community.

But sometimes that is not enough. Sometimes people need a listening ear that goes beyond what coffee hour can provide.

It is for that reason that the Lay Pastoral Care team exists.

The members of the team fulfill important functions—helping with the candles on Sunday mornings, talking with people at coffee hour, calling people during the week and also keeping in touch with some who cannot get to services here. They do great work.

Right now there are seven members of the team.

And that is not enough.

Sometime during the New Year I will again offer a training program for those interested in joining the Lay Pastoral Care team.

I hope that you will consider being part of that training.

In the spirit of the season, please join in the Holiday Gift Program

First Church’s holiday gift program is underway and you can pick up gift giving information at both coffee hours on Sunday, November 29. The program benefits children and adults at four different organizations:

  • Heading Home — serving homeless adults through housing and support services that lead to self-sufficiency
  • Bristol Lodge — serving homeless adults in various sites
  • Mary’s House — serving homeless families with children
  • The Grow Clinic — serving failure to thrive kids and their families at Boston Medical Center.

Gift-giving information will also be available on December 6, with the gifts due on Sunday, December 13. Don’t miss this chance to involve your kids in giving to other kids!

For more information, contact Joan Stoddard at 617-484-5778 or or Sherry Mulloy at We look forward to your participation and seeing those gifts piled high! Happy Holidays!

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

I recently attended an excellent workshop titled “Pre-emptive Radical Inclusion” offered to UUs in the New England Region. The main assumption that participants worked with during the workshop – and around which their individual or team next steps centered – is that everyone is already in the room and this is true all of the time. What does that mean? It means that individuals and congregations, in presenting programs, planning worship, providing pastoral care and leading life-span faith development classes, remember always that there are people present who are different from us.

There were a number of religious educators at the workshop and one of them was asked why there were so many of us there. The consensus at the table I was sharing with other religious educators was that as religious educators we are grappling with how to include everyone in what we are learning and doing all the time. We recognize that this isn’t easy and that we often make mistakes, but our attention is on making the WE as big as possible.

Whether we are aware of another person’s sex, sexuality, gender identity, race or ethnic identity, religious beliefs, socio-economic status or background, family configuration, neurological status, health status or physical abilities, life experiences including trauma and abuse, and more, the people who come through our doors bring unique constellations of hopes and fears which can become barriers to inclusion. It is imperative that we expand our welcome based on drawing the circle of WE to include ALL.

How do we do that? Well, instead of singling out newcomers and visitors by making them identify themselves by taking a certain color of cup, each of us can make an effort to include people we don’t know in coffee-hour conversations. And in those conversations, it is important to leave some open space for others to come into the conversation by standing not in small rings like donuts or bagels, but open semi-circles like croissants (or horseshoes, if you are gluten-free!). Sometimes it means doing things differently so that those who learn or think or experience life differently get access to the Sacred. Sometimes that means that leaders step back so that others may step up.

What do we at First Church need to do with more intention so that everyone who comes through the doors feels welcome? Have we set enough places at our table for everyone?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and don’t forget to welcome a guest at your table.

CRE Opportunities for All at FCB

  • Would your family like to lead the Chalice Lighting during the worship service one Sunday this year? CRE is coordinating this effort to involve families in this element of the worship service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Click on this link to sign-up: You will receive an e-mail reminder.
  • Non-parent teacher-volunteers are needed to assist our Childcare Provider, Denise Azar, in the Nursery at 9 and 11 am each Sunday. You can easily sign-up here: You will receive an e-mail reminder.
  • Parent Orientation for 8th Grade OWL is December 6th All families with current 8th graders should have received an e-mail from about registering for OWL 8th, which begins in early January, and requires a parent orientation in early December. If you have not received the e-mail please contact Wendy Conroy at the above address. Registration is open now to non-FCB families who are on the waiting list. If there is still space available, we notify our neighboring faith communities.

Special Activities of interest to families in December:

  • Holiday Gift Fair, December 6th: CRE table features handcrafted items by FCB kids; proceeds will benefit an organization chosen by the 5th and 6th grade classes.
  • Multigenerational Worship Service on December 20th – celebrating the winter holidays, UU-style. Your participation is encouraged, contact Charlotte ( for ways you can help.

Children’s Religious Education Program Registration and Information:

If you haven’t registered your children for CRE, please do so ASAP using the registration link found on the Children’s Religious Education page of the FCB website ( which allows you to register children from birth through 12th grade. All children must be registered for CRE.

~ Charlotte Lehmann, Acting Director of Children’s Religious Education

Office hours: Mon-Tues-Weds, 10 – 6. E-mail:

Youth Program Happenings

Enjoy a date night out or power through your holiday preparations and help our youth go on their biennial Service Learning trip:

  • Babysitting is available Dec. 5 and Jan. 23. Spots fill quickly! $15/hr donation.
  • Easy online signup — click here. For more information, contact Julie Ennis at

Adult Programs News

Prequel to Major Music — Ian Garvie, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall

Join First Church Music Director, Ian Garvie as he helps us understand and appreciate the complexity of our Christmastime Major Music Service –The Magnificat, Wq 215, by C.P.E. Bach.

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Thursday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room

Many people are juggling jobs, families and their parents’ or other family members’ increasing medical needs, frequent emergencies and ongoing need for care. How do we cope with the needs of our loved ones and find some balance in our own lives? If you find yourself in this position, you are welcome at this group for discussion and support. This is a drop-in group so please attend when it is convenient for you.

Holiday Fair — Social Action Committee
Sunday, December 6, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30p.m., Parish Hall

Does your Holiday shopping need a shot in the arm? Looking for a unique gift that will indisputably receive ooohs and ahhhs? Trying desperately to spend your hard earned money on gifts that benefit something other than large corporations? Come to the Holiday Gift Fair and buy gifts that give twice. Experience the pleasure of knowing your purchasing power is really working to help people in so many ways. Discover unique gifts that support fragile situations and worthy causes. There are wonderful gifts for everyone on your list, so please join us at this festive occasion.

The complete events calendar is online here.

Program & Committee News

Fabulous! Nearly There!

This generous, music-loving, social action-oriented, and very special church family had purchased 50 Second Friday Coffeehouse Season Tickets as of November 18 — getting very close to our 30th-season-ending supergoal of 65! BRAVISSIMI! Thank you, First Church! And our ten highly worthy beneficiaries and their deserving clients thank you from the bottoms of their hearts, as do your First Church colleagues on the Coffeehouse Committee!

Please join in the final push and purchase of one of the last fifteen tickets we need to sell. We really do try hard to complete our major sales drive in the fall season. We know there are still a number of former and new friends who plan get a ticket. So here is your reminder: NOW is the time to get on board! Send your $99 check made out to First Church in Belmont, memo line marked Coffeehouse, to First Church in Belmont, 404 Concord Ave., P.O. Box 113, Belmont 02478. Or hand your check or cash to Jim Staton, Anne Selman, or Janice Zazinski.

Your becoming part of this exciting and deeply important social action commitment guarantees that the clients of all the causes we support will get the full benefit of your help, making it a real time for Thanksgiving for them all! And again … MANY, MANY THANKS! You are the greatest!

Welcoming ushers are needed!

Ushers are needed to welcome our church community to the winter Sunday services and to light the way into the holidays.

The Membership committee is enlisting ushers for the 9:00 and 11:00 Sunday services from December 1st through mid-March as well as the Christmas Eve Services. Here’s your chance to volunteer for a high profile, low time commitment role.

Sign up during coffee hour and we will soon have an on-line sign option up and available as well. Don’t delay. Sign up to usher today!

Caring Connection

The Caring Connection provides support to members of our community who need short-term help. Please let us know if you or someone you know would benefit from our support. Contact Laurie Graham at or Janice at the Church, 617-484-1054, ext. 201.

Lay Pastoral Care Team

The Lay Pastoral Care Team works with and supports the senior minister in reaching out to members and friends of The First Church who are adjusting to change, loss, illness or death. We share in moments of celebration and happiness. We reach out to those who are unable to get out and who would like a visit. Please contact us through the Web site or the church office if we might be of help or comfort.

Grow Clinic!


This Thanksgiving season, the Grow Clinic Committee gives thanks for our loyal Grow Clinic shoppers who fill our baskets each week.

Heartfelt thanks from your Grow Clinic Committee!

Please pick up a shopping list or bring a Special Request. November and December is “Start the day Strong!”

  • infant rice cereal
  • cold and hot non-sugared cereals
  • Flintstone chewable vitamins
  • Polyvisol with Iron liquid vitamins

There are collection baskets in the Lower Hall and the vestibule outside the Sanctuary.

Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

A list of all church committees & groups is online.

From the UU Urban Ministry

  • UU Teens wanted for the Roxbury Youth Program for Environmental Justice in the City
  • Save the Date: On Saturday, January 23rd we will be hosting an Anti-Racism Conference at the UUUM. Stay tuned for more details!
  • Visit for details on all upcoming events.

UUUM Special Projects

Please donate your unwanted jeans (in any condition) for a fundraiser for the Urban Ministry’s table at the Holiday Fair. Give to Nancy Davis or leave on the shelf in the Parlor coat closet. Thanks!

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

Church Staff

  • Senior Minister………………….. Rev. David M. Bryce; 617-484-1054, ext. 202;
  • Minister Emeritus……….. Rev. Dr. Victor Carpenter; 617-676-6186;
  • Minister of Music Emerita….. Rev. Alfa Joy Radford;
  • Director of Music…………………………….. Ian Garvie; 617-484-1054, ext. 206;
  • Organist & Assistant Music Director: …Dylan Sauerwald; 617-484-1054, ext. 206;
  • Acting Director of CRE…………. Charlotte Lehmann; 617-484-1054, ext. 205;
  • Director of Youth Programs………………. Julie Ennis; 617-484-1054, ext. 204;
  • Adult Programs Advisor……………. Lillian Anderson; 617-484-1054, ext. 207;
  • Church Administrator………………… Janice Zazinski; 617-484-1054, ext. 201;
  • Membership Coordinator…………………. Jim Staton; 617-484-1054, ext. 207;
  • Sexton………………………………………… Luis Carrion 617-484-1054
  • Office hours: Monday – Friday, 9 – 3. The church office will be closed Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27.
  • 617-484-1054 |
  • Street: 404 Concord Ave., Belmont
  • Mailing: PO Box 113, Belmont, Mass. 02478

Parish Board, 2015 – 2016


  • Catherine Claypoole
  • Deveaux Duckworth
  • Betsy George
  • Peter Guthrie
  • Jackie James
  • Sarah Oaklander
  • Jack Weis

Parish Board minutes are available online and are posted on the Lower Hall bulletin board.

More ways to support & connect with FCB——


When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to First Church in Belmont.


Our Facebook page is regularly updated with news, events & programs – and you don’t need an account to view it!

Next issue: December 1

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, December 1. Please send your submissions to Janice Zazinski at by noon on Wednesday, November 25.

Posted in Caring Connection, Fellowship Events, Second Friday Coffee House, Unitarian