The Unitarian – December 22, 2015

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December 24 — Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

  • 2 p.m.: Junior Choir; Lessons and Carols, Pageant
  • 4 p.m.: Chancel Choir; Lessons and Carols, Pageant
  • 6 p.m.: Youth Choir; Lessons and Carols, Pageant
  • 11 p.m.: Alumni Choir; Lessons and Carols

December 27 — Lay-Led Service

Looking back, looking forward, with a peaceful heart

Led by Catherine Stalberg; Prelude: solo Bach performed by Ken Stalberg

  • 10:30 a.m. in the church Library; no childcare or Sunday School

Sunday, January 3: Being New — Rev. David Bryce

A New Year begins: a time to begin anew, to reset our lives. What will our new year bring in the way of personal renewal?

  • Services at 9 & 11 a.m. Childcare available; Sunday School restarts.
  • Sermon archive

Christmas Offering

We invite you to consider special gifts for the Christmas offering:

  • A gift to The First Church (“gift”), or
  • A gift to the charitable projects of the First Church (“Xmas Charities”):
    • CARE, chosen by the Youth Group, is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty (
    • The Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry’s “new kitchen” campaignThe UUSC-UUA Refugee Crisis Fund, chosen by the Program Council, which responds to the forced movement of refugees caused by humanitarian crises around the world (

Please make checks payable to First Church and note on memo line of your check “Xmas Charities” or “gift.”

Hosannah in the Highest!

All previous Coffeehouse Season Tickets sales records have been broken! We slipped right past the target 65 to 67! (And of course folks are still and always welcome at any time to purchase a ticket, even though our formal sales drive is complete.)
     Profound thanks to each and every member of this lovely, loving church family who purchased a ticket in support of bringing truly meaningful change to the lives of the hundreds of grateful clients of our ten worthy beneficiaries, and of enjoying the warm and wonderful music and fellowship of the Coffeehouse shows.
     And of course we all need to offer special WOW! Thanks to the anonymous fairy godperson who offered us the Matching Funds Challenge Grant for our last 15 tickets, if we could make it to 65. AND we did it! So, mystery person, we are all deeply grateful to you for your support and your inspiration and your belief in this unique, model social action and acoustic music program!
     And we at the Coffeehouse Committee wish everyone a safe, sane, satisfying, healthy, and happy Holiday Season! May the force be with you!

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

Good news! The CRE Holiday Gift Fair table has raised over $300 so far for the UUSC-UUA Refugee Crisis Fund.

The 5th & 6th graders did an awesome job making sales of the crafts to which all of the children had a chance to contribute their creativity. The herbal sea salt scrubs continued to be sold on 12/13 and 12/20. I’ll be sure to let you know the grand total in January.
     Whew! Are you ready for a rest yet? Still need to shop, clean, and cook for the holiday? Looking forward to the pageantry of Christmas Eve at FCB with all the children, youth and alumnae taking part? I don’t know about you, but I am ready to get some rest.
     It’s a good thing that CRE takes a short break over the winter holidays; there are no Nursery care and no CRE classes on December 27, which is a single lay-led worship service at 10:30 a.m.

On January 3rd, Nursery, pre-K/K, grades 1-6, and 7th grade classes resume. The combined grade 1-6 class meets in the Library for Children’s Chapel/Community Sunday when their fourth UU Visitor will arrive through the Time Machine. CRE collects the children’s offering on the first Sunday of each month. Later in January, the children will brainstorm and then vote on the organization that will receive their gifts from the first half of the church-year.
     The 7th grade Building Bridges (formerly Neighboring Faiths) program launches 2016 with a Popcorn Theology lesson on cultivating an attitude of gratitude via “Forrest Gump.” Their next visit comes at the end of January after preparatory lessons on Buddhism. 
     Eighth graders have completed Neighboring Faiths. Those who are registered will be starting 8th grade Our Whole Lives (OWL) on January 10th. There is room for more participants, if you have friends and neighbors interested in a values-based sexuality program. Please contact for more information. Parents are required to attend an orientation session. A fee is charged for OWL programs at FCB to cover costs.

Volunteer Opportunities in CRE

  • 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. Please note: Volunteers must complete background check. You can easily sign-up for this volunteer opportunity here: com/go/409044ca9ad2aa02-nursery. You will receive an e-mail reminder.
  • Opportunity for 7th & 8th graders to help with ushering duties on select dates. You can easily sign-up for this volunteer opportunity here: com/go/409044ca9ad2aa02-youth. You will receive an e-mail reminder.
  • We always need more adults to help with teaching CRE classes. Please contact to get sign-up information.

Children’s Religious Education Program Registration and Information:

  • If you haven’t registered your children for CRE, please do so ASAP using the link found on the Children’s Religious Education page of the FCB website (org/childrens-re/) 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:

Youth Group Reunion Potluck, January 8

Dear Youth Group Alumni,

Merry December to you all!

It’s time for another Youth Group Reunion and we hope you can join us on Friday, January 8th at 6:00 p.m. in the Upper Hall. We will have a potluck dinner and goodies for dessert to entice you. The best part, of course, will be all of us! Need some Youth Group LOVE? This is the time and place! The Youth Group Coffeehouse will take place after our dinner, so feel free to stay for the show or if you’d like to perform send me a quick note to let me know! We miss you and want to catch up!

~ Julie and the YG seniors

  • What: Youth Group Reunion Potluck
  • When: Friday, January 8, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the Upper Hall
  • Contact:

Lost & Found

The First Church Lost & Found items are in a large labeled box in the Lower Hall, outside the Church Administrator’s office. There you will find garments of all kinds and larger items that we’ve found. Small valuables such as purses, glasses, jewelry and wallets, are locked in the administrator’s office. Every six months the Lost & Found contents are given to a donation center, so if you are missing something, don’t wait too long to look, or contact Janice at 617-484-1054, ext. 201 / to see if it’s turned up.

{ The complete events calendar is online. }

Program & Committee News

Giving to resettlement organizations helping refugees in Boston

The media has made us well aware of the plight of Syrian refugees. We have learned that at least 6 million remain inside Syria – evacuated from their homes and without any support. It will take at least two years for Syrians to arrive the US, eligible for resettlement as determined by the UN.
     At the same time, there are resettlement organizations in Massachusetts making a huge difference in the lives of refugees from Africa, from Afghanistan and Pakistan and from Central and South America. Most are asylum seekers, i.e., pushed out of their country by threats often supported by the government. Thus, they have left home with nothing and are channeled to Boston (and other cities) once cleared by the UN.
     If you are still deciding on your giving at the holidays, please consider the following resettlement agencies, which provide full services to refugees, including an array of social and mental health services. Your donations would go directly to families who need furnishings, linens, medications, clothing, etc.

  • Refugee Immigration Ministry – serving refugees settling in Malden, Medford and other places north of Boston
  • International Institute of New England – serving downtown Boston and Lowell.
  • Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (, serving refugees in Worcester, Lynn, Jamaica Plain
  • The New American Center, serving Lynn (
  • Ascentria Care Alliance, serving Worcester, Westfield, and southern New Hampshire,

~Sam James; for more information –

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Monthly Group Note

The UUSC’s December refugee update includes a list of its global partners:

  • Praksis in Greece to ensure decent reception conditions for new arrivals
  • The Helsinki Committee in Hungary to reunite refugee families
  • The Asylum Protection Center in Serbia to provide comprehensive mobile aid across the migration trail
  • The Center for Peace Studies in Croatia to provide long-term resettlement support to refugees

The UUSC upholds the right of all people to seek asylum across borders, irrespective of their place of origin or documented status. Go to to donate to this cause. Read more about the refugee update at:

~ Alice Trexler for the UUSC Group of FCB

Grow Clinic!alt

The Grow Clinic Committee wishes you Happy Holidays. We are supremely grateful for your generosity in remembering the families of the Grow Clinic at this time and throughout the church year. Thanks!!!

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

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.

{ A list of all church committees & groups is online. }

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 from Thursday, December 24 through Sunday, January 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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Our Facebook page is regularly updated with news, events & programs – and you don’t need an account to view it!

Next issue: January 5 … Happy New Year!

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, January 5. Because the office is closed December 24 – January 4, the deadline for this issue was December 16, as previously noted.

Please send your submissions to Janice Zazinski at by Wednesday, January 6 for the January 12 issue.

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