The Unitarian – January 5, 2016

The Unitarian – January 5, 2016 (printable PDF file)

Sunday Worship – January 10, 1016

Sermon: Rev. David Bryce

Welcome and Announcements: 9 a.m. Betsy George; 11 a.m. Jackie James

Ushers: 9 a.m. Thomas Schieber & Margaret Ekland; 11 a.m.    Connie DiCocco & Katharine Canfield

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

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Eleanor Hobbs to all the caring and compassionate church family members who support one another and First Church with their time and resources, and work towards a more just and sustainable world.

This Sunday, both coffee hours will be hosted by the CRE program in the Lower Hall.

  • Services 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • Sunday, January 17 — Rev. David Bryce
  • Sermon archive

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

I write this column on the Solstice, that time in the year when, supposedly, we are at the least amount of light and when winter officially begins.
     A recent article in the paper dispelled that myth. Apparently the first time we will actually be gaining daylight will be on December 23. And it will be January 5 (the date you are scheduled to receive this newsletter) before sunrise begins to get earlier. (I will not go into the details of this; they are irrelevant for my column.) Also, it seems that meteorological winter began on December 01.
     The point here is that many of the things we take for granted as “true” simply are not. Or are true, but only partly.
     How disturbing.
     So disturbing that there is a human tendency to reject genuine truths, facts or complications that challenge what we “know”. That is so in many fields: politics, religion, society, etc.
     In this new year, may we pledge ourselves to be open to new ideas, new facts, new ways of seeing.

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

8th grade Our Whole Lives (OWL) begins 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.
   Registration for OWL 5-6 will open soon. Start thinking now about whether your 5th or 6th grader will participate. CRE is delighted to be selected as a field test site for the upper elementary level OWL curriculum revisions. 
   CRE applied to be a field test site for a new UUA curriculum for “Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators.” This curriculum is designed to provide tools and skills to parents and caregivers that will assist them in providing sexuality education to their children, especially teenagers. CRE doesn’t know yet, if FCB will be selected, but certainly hopes so.

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: 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: 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: 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.

CRE Program Registration and Information

If you haven’t registered your children for CRE, please do so ASAP using the registration link here ( 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:

Winter Clothing Drive, January 3 – 24

Donation boxes are in the Lower Hall.

The 9th grade COA group will be volunteering with homeless people in the Boston area and learning about poverty and homelessness in January.  Please help us with a clothing drive in advance!

Used items for men and women including:

  • Winter coats
  • Sweat shirts and sweat pants (especially hooded sweatshirts)
  • Sweaters, Long-sleeve shirts, T-shirts
  • Jeans, khakis, other casual pants and belts
  • Waterproof boots, comfortable shoes and sneakers
  • Hats, waterproof gloves, scarves
  • All kinds of carrying cases such as backpacks, tote bags, fanny packs and small suitcases with wheels (in good condition)
  • Sleeping bags and blankets (clean & in good condition)

New items for men and women, including:

  • New white socks
  • New underwear – size L, XL, XXL

Travel Sized Toiletries, including:

  • Soap, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, Chapstick, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream and razors. (Please no aftershave or mouthwash containing alcohol.)

*Please NO children’s clothes, dress clothes, slippers, bathrobes, pajamas or out-of-season clothing.

For questions, please contact Julie Ennis at

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:

January 8: Youth Group Coffeehouse!

Join us for performances by our talented Youth Group members and alumni.

  • Admission $10 adults, $5 seniors and youth
  • Friday, January 8, 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall

January 18: Belmont’s 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast

Please join the community for this multi-age gathering, including Belmont Schools’ families, Belmont Town and School officials, the Religious Council, and others from Belmont and Boston, and surrounding communities, for community, conversation and celebration.

  • Monday, January 18, 2016
  • Belmont High School Cafeteria, 221 Concord Avenue
  • Registration at 8:30 am, program from 8:45 am
  • $5 per person, $10 per family, by ticket, or at door, fee may be waived
  • Guest speaker: State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry
  • Pastries, juice, fruit and coffee to be served
  • Supervised activity, including gym activities with Girls Basketball Coach Hart and childcare, for children 2- 12
  • Accessible to persons with disabilities
  • African Dance to be performed by middle school students, including one of our Belmont Boston students, from the Tony Williams Dance Center
  • Advance registration requested but not required. RSVP at, at org or at the door.
  • Questions: e-mail or call 617-993-2795.

Adult Programs News

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg; Thursday, January 7, 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. 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.

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas; Thursday, January 7, 8 p.m., Classroom #4

Enjoy the fun and fellowship of crafting with a genial group on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. If you knit, crochet, quilt, bead or dabble in other low-miss crafts, please come join us.. Everyone is welcome and no commitment is necessary.

Spiritual Renewal Through Poetry — Peter Guthrie; Sundays, January 10, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 3pm, Parlor

Robert Frost once defined a poem as a “momentary stay against confusion.” Good poems can help us see ourselves and our lives more clearly, trigger moments of epiphany, and cut through the confusion of life to what truly matters. We will read and discuss poems that deal with spiritual issues in the broadest sense of the term.

Small Group Ministryis Welcoming New Members — Robert Donaghey and Joan Loewenburg; Wednesdays, January 13 and 27, 7:30 p.m., Library and Parlor

Small group ministry is a vital part of our First Church community as it is in many UU congregations. In this group you will have the opportunity to get to know others and yourself during discussion of significant life topics. Themes such as Gratitude, The Gifts We Already Possess, Prayer, Family Communication are a few examples of topics. On January 13 the group will be suggesting and choosing discussion topics for the coming year and would welcome your participation.
   If you are interested in attending Small Group Ministry but are unable to attend on Wednesdays we also have other groups that meet regularly on Thursday evenings or Friday afternoons. For more information contact Lillian Anderson at

Belmont UU Alliance Program and Lunch – Wednesday, January 20, 12 noon, Upper Hall

Mary Carter, Belmont Library Reference Librarian will speak about new books and the use of the library website. All are welcome for lunch, conversation and discussion.

Living Positively (formerly known as “Living with Serious Illness”) — Kathy Lind; Thursday, January 21, 7 p.m., Tinkham Room

We welcome you to join our ongoing group as we explore ways to live bravely while facing health challenges – either of our own, or of loved ones for whom we act as caregivers. Our group provides a safe place for us to talk about our concerns and our ideas for moving forward. We share strategies for setting goals and living positively with the medical issues in front of us. By nurturing our connections, we comfort and support each other. Through compassionate listening, we help one another understand his or her own challenges.

     Please join us on a path of living positively and boldly in the New Year. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month from 7 – 8:30 p.m.

The complete events calendar is online.

Program & Committee News

Grow Clinic!alt

Wow! Thank you, First Church Family, for your amazing generosity at the Multigenerational Service. Thirty five bags of food and $1,045 were collected for the Grow Clinic. Thank you for opening your hearts and your wallets to the Grow children and their families.
     We’re starting off the New Year with the 9th Annual GREAT JANUARY JAR RACE. WHY a baby food drive?Forty-five percent of new referrals to the GROW CLINIC are less than 12 months old. Thirty-three percent of new referrals are between 12 – 24 months. A small jar can make a big difference.

January: The Great January Jar Race

  • Baby Foods of All Kinds!
  • 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.

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.

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.


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: January 12

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, January 12. Please send your submissions to Janice Zazinski at by Wednesday, January 6.

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