The Unitarian – December 1, 2015

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Sunday Worship — December 6

Sermon: “Hannukah”
Let us celebrate the joys of the miracle of Hannukah and the joys of the miracles of everyday. — Rev. David Bryce

Offertory duet: Milost’ Mira, Chant from the Divine Liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church; Davron Monroe, tenor, and Chuck Claus, baritone

According to the liturgy, peace must be a part of every offering, for in the Gospels God said “I will have mercy and not sacrifice.”  Mercy is the fruit of true peace.  Therefore the people proclaim: A mercy of peace, a sacrifice of praise…Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth.  Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.  Hosanna in the highest…We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we give thanks unto Thee.  And we pray unto Thee, O our God.

Welcome and Announcements
9 a.m.: Peter Guthrie; 11 a.m. Jack Weis

Lay Pastoral Care
9 a.m. TBA; 11 a.m. Devon Beckett

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Bruce Logan and Marianne Leahy in celebration of the lives of their parents, Rex and Faith Logan and Mary and Arthur Leahy.

  • Services at 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • Sunday, December 13: Major Music Sunday; one service at 10:30 a.m.
  • Sermon archive

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

This year, for the second year in a row, we will be having a food collection during the December multi-generational service, which this year is on Sunday, December 20.

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

We will be collecting food and money for the Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center.
     The Grow Clinic, as you know, provides food for children suffering from failure to thrive. The primary cause of this is that their families lack the resources to provide food.
     Because of the ages of the children involved, the food requests are fairly specific. Also, there is need for particular vitamins.

     There are Grow Clinic displays on tables in both the upper foyer and the downstairs gathering hall where “shopping lists” are available.

     I encourage each of us to do two things: First, bring food for the Grow clinic, and do so not only at the December 20 service, but throughout the year; Second, advocate for social change so that no child goes hungry.

     As a nation we once set for ourselves the noble task of ending poverty in America. We have failed to do so.

     Ending poverty is a two-pronged approach.
     The first aim is to ensure that there are jobs for everyone — adequate jobs with adequate pay and benefits. Anyone working full-time should be able to support a family. That means (among other things) providing a minimum wage that is a living wage.

     The second aim is to guarantee a decent living standard to those who cannot work or cannot find work. We have enough wealth in this nation that we can do that. We lack only the willingness.

     I do not believe that individual and private efforts will ever meet the needs of the poor. The task is too large. Only proper government programs can do that.

     But until such time that we as a nation again take up the task of meeting these goals individual efforts are necessary no matter how inadequate they may be. And so we must engage in efforts like collecting for the Grow Clinic.

     Please join me in doing so on December 20.


An anonymous Matching Funds Challenge Grant has just been offered to the Coffeehouse! If we can sell our last targeted 15 Season Tickets to reach our 65 total goal by Jan.1st, the mystery donor will match the income from those last 15 tickets! But … ONLY if we can sell all 15! On Nov. 23, we had sold 4. That’s 11 to go! Double your money: double your impact! This will have a truly meaningful effect on the support we can extend to our beneficiaries. This is a wonderful opportunity for a longstanding First Church social action program. Please jump at the chance and help us meet this generous challenge. NB: Fully tax deductible. Thanks so much!
     P.S. Brain wave: Buy a Season Ticket as a gift; we have six great shows coming up and your ticket still gets two people in for less than the price at the door.     How? At both Coffee Hours at our table, or see Jim Staton, Anne Selman, or Janice Zazinski, or by mail: mail your check for $99, written to First Church in Belmont, memo line marked Coffeehouse, to First Church in Belmont , 404 Concord Ave., P.O. Box 113, Belmont 02478, or drop it off with Janice from 9 til 3 weekdays.

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

This Sunday will be your last chance to participate in this year’s holiday gift program! If you haven’t already done so, please be sure and stop by and pick up gift giving information during one of the coffee hours on Sunday, December 6. Please remember that all gifts must be brought to church by Sunday, December 13. 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!

Music Notes

After the Musical

Words cannot even begin to express how grateful I am to all of the parents, friends, and family members who helped out with the musical this year. The show was a smashing success, and it would not have been possible without the help of the entire community. From props to makeup, set to costumes, food to rehearsal supervision, and tickets to publicity, there were dozens of jobs that took hundreds of hours to complete. Thank you to everyone who took valuable time from their busy lives to help make this possible for the kids. They had a wonderful time!
      Now that the musical is over, it’s time to focus on the next few things that are coming up for the music program. On December 13th the Senior Choir will be joined by some guest singers and a full orchestra for one of our annual Major Music services. They will be presenting C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat – a stirring and inspiring musical celebration by one of J.S. Bach’s talented sons. On December 20th the Children’s Choirs will be providing the music for both services – bringing in the holiday season with joyful song. And of course on Christmas Eve we will have one of our Children’s Choirs leading the music for each of our four services.

~ Ian Garvie, Director of Music

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

Unitarian Universalists have a long history of learning about the many faith traditions practiced by cultures around the world as well as service and witness to people in need regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, country of origin, and each of the many categories listed in non-discrimination statements.

     Educating ourselves about issues related to difference is a necessary component of social justice work. Here at First Church, the CRE program for grades 1-6 includes a pillar that focuses on World Religions offering age appropriate lessons about major religious and philosophical traditions, specifically: Ba’hai, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. In alternate years, this being the year for these two pillars, children in CRE delve into our Judeo-Christian Heritage as well as Unitarian Universalism. Thus, over the course of six years, the kids are exposed twice to each of these three pillars.

     This educational grounding is then developed more fully in a 1-1/2 year program, which is now known as Building Bridges. During the entire 7th grade year and the first half of the 8th grade year, FCB’s young people visit the houses of worship of our neighboring faith communities, such as: several different Christian denominations (e.g. Latter Day Saints, African American Methodist Episcopal, Catholic, Quaker, Orthodox Christian, Unitarian Universalist), a Hindu temple, a Buddhist center, a Jewish synagogue, and an Islamic mosque. On each of their visits they experience directly the people, the sacred space and the liturgy. The kids have the opportunity to ask questions directly of someone in leadership in the faith community.

     A life-span faith development program of this kind is instrumental in overcoming bias and breaking down barriers. Children raised in Unitarian Universalist congregations are way ahead of their peers in classes devoted to educating about religion and culture. UU kids welcome kids from differing backgrounds more readily into their social circles than many of their school classmates.

     This year, parents and caregivers have been receiving “Taking It Home” materials each week. Many have expressed appreciation for this information, which includes links to resources and suggestions for further exploration of the topics being covered in the classes.

     With recent events in Europe, I wanted to provide some specific resources for responding together. Several of them were written in 2001, but are still relevant today. I hope you will find them useful.

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: com/go/409044ca9ad2aa02-light. 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: com/go/409044ca9ad2aa02-nursery. 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 6: 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 20 – celebrating the winter holidays, UU-style. Your participation is encouraged, contact Charlotte ( for ways you can help.
CRE 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, 10am-6pm. E-mail:

Support the Youth Group Service Trip while enjoying a night out!

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

The complete events calendar is online }

Adult Programs News

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Andrea Prestwich

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., Parlor and Sunday, Dec. 13, 2:30 p.m., Library

Does your child have special challenges? Has he/she been diagnosed with Aspergers, ADHD, or sensory problems? We will offer support and share experience in a non-judgmental space. Childcare upon request. Snacks provided.

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.

The Greening — Saturday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. – noon

Please join us for a morning of decorating our lovely church with wreaths and garlands on Saturday, December 5, from  10 a.m. – 12 noon. We welcome your participation in the festivities, followed by hot apple cider and doughnuts.

Questions? Contact Eleanor Sugarman ( or Frederica Frost (

Holiday Fair — Social Action Committee

Sunday, Dec. 6, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.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.


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! alt

As a community we are placing food on a high chair or a table to fill the stomachs of someone desperately in need of sustenance. In that one act we are being our brother’s and sister’s and children’s keepers. Thank you. 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 23 we will be hosting an Anti-Racism Conference at the UUUM. Stay tuned for more details!
  • Visit org for details on these and other events.

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. 
  • 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.


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Next issue: December 8

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, December 8. Please send your submissions to Janice Zazinski at by noon on Wednesday, December 2.

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