The Unitarian – March 1, 2016

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Sunday Worship — March 6

9 a.m. Sermon: Work — Rev. David Bryce

What are the purpose and the value of work? In a limited sense that depends upon our human perspectives: are we an employer or an employee? In a larger sense there is a larger meaning.

11 a.m. Sermon: The Impossible Hope — Rose Schwab

Please join us for a sermon about the presence of hope in even our darkest moments. Drawing on a foundational Muslim story, this sermon will explore how human agency and love can do the impossible.

Rev. Rose Schwab

Rev. Rose Schwab

Rose Schwab (left) is a UU minister from St. Paul, Minnesota. She recently graduated from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and is currently working as a Chaplain Resident at a large mental health hospital in Minnesota.

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Amazing Grace, arranged by Marguerite Shaw
This week’s Anthem and Choral Benediction are performed in memory of Marguerite Shaw, with thanks for the countless pieces of music that she arranged and composed for Alfa and the Senior Choir.

Welcome and Announcements: 9 a.m. Ana Hammock; 11 a.m. Deveaux Duckworth

9 a.m. Ushers: Ann Dexter & David Warner
11 a.m. Ushers: Laurie Graham & Pam Andrews

Lay Pastoral Care: 9 a.m. Janet Amphlett; 11 a.m. James Hencke

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday reflect the lasting legacy Sandy Barresi imparts to those who knew her, Cheryl Brown, her sister, and David Fung.

This week’s offering will benefit the Partner Church Committee.

  • Services 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • Sunday, March 13: Multigenerational Service — Rev. David Bryce
  • Sermon archive

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

From the Tao Teh Ching:

The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth
The named is the mother of myriad things

     I am someone who works with words—I leave it to others to decide whether I do so well or poorly. For me “The Word” is important in life, in politics and in religion. So, for example, I think of a sermon as the heart and core of any worship service. Without a sermon a worship service feels—to me–void and vapid; I find myself reminded of that old television commercial that has resurfaced of late where a woman at a fast food place looks at the burger she has just been served and says, “Where’s the beef?”
     And yet the Tao reminds us all that words — as important as they may be — are only signposts which point to something beyond themselves. They are symbols (verbal symbols) which point to ideas but which only imperfectly express those ideas. The real ideas cannot be fully expressed with words no matter how minutely we may refine and sculpt those words.
     We know that different languages express ideas in different ways, and that language can and does shape our understandings of concepts and ideas. Each language is valid, and each language provides different understandings of ideas.
     And when it comes to religious or spiritual truth, each word or set of words inaccurately expresses and therefore inaccurately limits our understanding of that truth.
      It is for partly for these reasons that I do not and cannot read any sacred text in a literal manner. The ideas they are pointing to are far too large to be fully encompassed by the limited nature of our human languages.
     Whether someone uses words like God, the Goddess, the Gods, Higher Power, the Cosmos, the Mystery, the Unknown, Ultimate Truth or whatever other terms, I interpret these in the same way. I read or hear them all as metaphors pointing to the unnameable and inexpressible. And I find all such metaphors enlightening.
     And so a paradox for me: words are absolutely necessary to expressions of worship, religion and spirituality; and yet are inadequate to all of these.
     As we speak with each other of our truths, may we recognize the limits of our means of expression; and may we strive to hear the greater and universal meaning behind the words.

2016 March Stewardship Drive
stewardship logo

Make a Pledge Online Now!Please make your pledge soon! This year’s campaign got a strong start on Celebration Sunday, Feb. 28, when many members and friends presented their pledge envelopes in a joyful gathering of fellowship and music. Please make your pledge no later than Thursday, March 10 to have your name on the Honor Roll of prompt pledgers and to be in the drawing for Ariane Frank’s delicious Black Forest Torte! As you consider the amount of your pledge, please consider the following:
     Our pledge target is $601,000. Please especially consider increasing your pledge over last year. Our pledge revenue has actually dipped slightly the past two years, due to the loss of several generous long-time donors. Increased pledges from the rest of us will strengthen and expand our base of financial support.
     You can mail your completed pledge form to the church office, or pledge online at
     For more information, visit, contact, or call the church office at 617-484-1054, ext. 201.

Thank you! – The Stewardship Committee

Among Us

Our condolences to Minister of Music Emerita, Rev. Alfa Joy Radford, on the recent death of her sister, Marguerite Shaw.
     Marguerite composed many Senior Choir anthems for The First Church in Belmont, as well as songs for the annual fall children’s musicals.
     A memorial service for Marguerite will take place on Saturday, March 5, at 1 p.m. at the First Religious Society in Carlisle, UU, at 27 School Street, Carlisle, Mass. All are invited to attend.
     Anyone wishing to make a donation in her memory may do so at her favorite charity: The Sharing Foundation, PO Box 600, Concord, Mass. 01742. The Sharing Foundation supports the physical, emotional, educational and medical needs of orphaned and seriously disadvantaged children in Cambodia.

Our congratulations to ML and Jim Landfried on the birth of their granddaughter, Elliot Ruby (“Ellie Ru”), to son Erik, Meg, and big brother Soren in Durham, NC.

Appeal from the Social Action Committee, the Partner Church Committee, and the Stained-Glass Committee

After 75 years, this year the Rummage Sale is in jeopardy; a few key Sale Committee members are unable to take a leadership role in 2016.
     We’re looking for a few people to step into vacant leadership roles and to step up to managing the Sale! (Finance, publicity, and organizational leaders are currently in place.)
     The Sale has built FCB community, provided useful goods to many local non-profits, and recycled a large quantity of donated items to buyers and agencies.
     Over the last 14 years (not 24, as reported last week), the Rummage Sale has also raised $65,000 for the work of The First Church (much of it “outside” money), funding leaded-glass and stained-glass repair, Partner Church exchanges, and social action outreach.
     Please consider volunteering for this important work. See Patricia Garcia, SAC Chair, or email Patricia Garcia at

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

March is upon us, and for some that means beginning to think about our annual UU pilgrimage to General Assembly (GA)! This year it will be in Columbus, Ohio from June 22-26. Registration and housing reservations open on March 1st. As a democratically structured association, each congregation sends delegates to GA to do the business of the Association. FCB can send up to eight (8) delegates. If you are interested, contact the Parish Board.
     In addition, there are lots of opportunities to worship, witness, socialize and learn during GA. For example, maybe you’d like to sing in the GA choir. It’s quite exciting to be among the several thousands of UUs who come together for GA. (Anyone may attend; but only delegates vote on the business before the Assembly.)
     The theme for GA 2016 will be Heart Land: Where Faiths Connect. The faith world is increasingly multifaith. People are crossing borders of religion and spiritual practice to create wholeness in their lives individually and collectively. The labels — Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, theist and non-theist — no longer define who or what we love, or how spirit moves in our lives. General Assembly 2016 in Columbus Ohio will assemble leaders and communities of many faiths to worship together, learn from one another, and create a new vision of faith that no longer divides us, but connects us to an interdependent future that works for all (
     In my experience as a life-long UU, I have noticed that many UUs know and point to the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism. I have also noticed that religious education programs are apt to rely almost solely on the 7 Principles as a go-to for explaining who we are and what we believe, or what values we share given our embrace of pluralism, celebration of diversity, and striving to be radically inclusive. From my perspective, this leading with our principles can fall short of helping people — those who are among us in the congregation, as well as those who are not (but wish to know something of who we are and what we stand for) — understand some of the basics of Unitarian Universalism.
     The Seven Principles are part of a larger statement of what it means to be a UU that is in the by-laws of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA). There is a further paragraph that describes the sources upon which our living tradition draws. You can find the text in the front of the grey hymnals, Singing the Living Tradition. Open the book to hymn #1 and then turn back one page. There are two editions of the hymnals in the pews, 1985 and 1994. It is worth comparing the two editions because the number of sources increased from five to six. Look and see what was added to the 1994 edition. Here’s a link to the by-laws: Take a moment to read Article II, Section C-2.1. Principles. The second half lists our six sources.
     The Children’s Religious Education (CRE) program at FCB takes into account the sources of our living tradition. It is structured to specifically focus on sources three and four: “Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life” and “Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves” in two of the four pillars in the two-year rotation – World Religions (fall of year two) and Judeo-Christian Heritage (spring of year one). The other four sources make their way into the lessons throughout the curriculum when the children learn about exemplary people, examine what human beings have learned through scientific research, explore the world of nature, and experience rituals and spiritual practices from earth-centered traditions.
     Attending GA is a fabulous way to experience what it means to be UU at a whole new level. I hope you will plan to go at least once in your life-time.

Mark Your Calendars – Family Friendly Fun

  • Parenting Concerns, 3/6 presented by Adult Programs between services from 10:15-11:00 am. FMI: contact Lillian Anderson.
  • Spring multigenerational worship service on 3/13. Readers needed. All FCB choirs sing this morning. Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins, turn clocks forward the night before.
  • “Transcending the Gender Binary: How to be an Ally and an Activist” – a Youth Programs multigenerational event on 3/13 in the Parish Hall from 12:30-2:30 pm. FMI: contact Julie Ennis.
  • Beyond Shelter annual “picnic” on 3/26 – FMI: please contact CRE or Patricia Garcia. This is Easter weekend.

CRE Volunteer Opportunities for All at FCB

  • Sign up to teach in any of the CRE classes on Sunday mornings: You will need to have recent background check (done by FCB in the last 2 years) or submit a new one using the form on-line:
  • 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 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 for this volunteer opportunity here: You will receive an e-mail reminder.

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 12thgrade. All children must be registered for CRE.

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

Office hours: Tues-Weds, 10am-6pm. E-mail:

Youth Group Multigenerational Event, March 13

Transcending the Gender Binary: How to be an Ally and an Activist; Facilitated by – Sunday, March 13, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Parish Hall
How do you gender yourself and others? This workshop utilizes experiential activities to investigate the gender binary through informative conversation and an introductory deconstruction of interlocking forms of systemic oppression.
     We will explore the connections among gender identity, biological sex, and sexuality in an effort to unravel the complexities and meanings of gender. Participants will be offered tools to aid them in becoming an activist and an ally in the gender justice movement. Light refreshments will be served.

Camp scholarships available at Camp Quinebarge

Camp Quinebarge has a limited number of camper sessions available to UU families for up to 58% off the full price. Scholarships are limited and awarded on a first come-first served basis. Scholarships are not income-based. Since 1936, Quinebarge has provided a fun and safe environment for children ages 7-15 to learn new skills, make friends and explore the world around them. Contact the camp at 603-253-6029 or with questions and visit for more.

Free screening of “Merchants of Doubt,” March 6

Wonder why people don’t believe climate change is real? FCB Green is co-sponsoring a free screening of the movie “Merchants of Doubt,” which tells how a small group of politically connected scientists have used public relations tactics to mislead the public and prevent government regulation of the fossil fuel and other industries.
    Peter Frumhoff, Director of Science and Policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and participant in the recent Paris climate talks, will introduce the film and lead the discussion that will follow. The movie will be Sunday, March 6, from 1:30 – 4 p.m. at Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Ave, Belmont (parking lot off Blanchard Road).

Berklee Night at the Coffeehouse, March 11

For the fifth year of this wonderful tradition, we once again heartily thank Roger Brown for bringing truly remarkable young performers to the Second Friday Coffeehouse stage. Friday, March 11, roots songwriting and multi-instrumentalist duo Ellie Buckland and Isa Burke, of the band Lula Wiles, will play two sets crackling with fearless heart, energy, and depth.
BucklandBurke     Together at one microphone, they pass around instruments and front-woman duties with style and ease. Centuries-old Appalachian ballads, classic country, and contemporary Americana stand beside and mutually inform original works with a distinctly modern sensibility, effervescent harmonies, deep musical chemistry, and fresh arrangements. Lula Wiles creates a live show that resonates like a whiskey slap to the heart!
     Our featured beneficiary is Youth Build, a model program founded by our own Dorothy Stoneman. Building low-income housing, with peer and adult guidance, low-income youth participants acquire education and real job skills as they work to unleash the positive energy to rebuild their communities and their lives, locally, nationally, and globally.
     Don’t miss this exceptional show at 7:30 p.m. on Friday March 11. Admission $10 or $5 for seniors and students. See you then!

Belmont Against Racism presents “Muslims in America: Hearing Their Story,” March 24

What We Need To Know To Counter Bigotry
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Avenue, Belmont (Parking lot entrance on Blanchard Road)


  • Ali Asani: Professor of Indo-Muslim & Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University
  • Shannon Erwin: Attorney & Executive Director, Muslim Justice League
  • Asif Razvi: Outreach Committee of the Islamic Center of Boston, Wayland

This event is free and open to the public. For more information:

Sponsored By:

Belmont Against Racism, Belmont Human Rights Commission, Belmont Religious Council, Beth El Temple Center Social Action Committee, & First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist Social Action Committee.

Adult Programs News

A Real World Perspective on the Presidential Campaign — Mike Widmer
Thursday, March 3, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Mike Widmer, who has a long career in politics and government, will speak briefly about what he sees and how he interprets the current political landscape. How did we get here and what is the current status of the Republican and Democratic parties, and where is our nation headed? Following his remarks, there will be time for open discussion.

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Thursday, March 3, 8 p.m., Location TBD
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-mess crafts, please come join us. Projects could include creating items for non-profit organizations such as Caps for Kids, making small gifts for the Holiday Fair or working on personal projects. Everyone is welcome and no commitment is necessary. Contact for location.

Parenting Discussion — Adult Programs Committee and CRE
Sunday, March 6, 10:15-11 a.m., Library
Join other interested parents and members of the congregation in a facilitated discussion. Deepening our discussion around the topics generated during our first “Children and Technology” discussion. Everyone welcome. Please contact us if you wish childcare.

“A Brush with the Past: Painting in the Boston School Tradition” — Jean Lightman/Laurie Noble
Sunday, March 6, 12:30 p.m., Library
The Boston School of Painting combines the drawing and design of the 19th Century European academies with the vibrant color and light of the French Impressionists. Jean Lightman will talk briefly about the founders: Edmund Tarbell, Frank Benson, Joseph DeCamp, and William Paxton; and the European masters who inspired them: Vermeer, Velasquez and Chardin; and their painting descendants from the early 20th Century until the present time. She will discuss her painting process that incorporates the principles of the Boston School tradition and show one of her own paintings photographed from blank canvas to finished painting.

Theatre Discussion Series: The Convert — Downing Cless, Jane Minasian
Sunday, March 6, 4 p.m., Parlor
See or read the play and join us for an interesting discussion!

The Convert tells a powerful tale set in Southern Africa in 1895 during the height of colonization and missionary action. A young Shona girl escapes an arranged marriage by converting to Christianity, becoming a servant and student to an African evangelical. As anti-European sentiments spread throughout the native population, she is forced to choose between her family’s traditions and new newfound faith. Look at for a fuller description of the play and some background information. The Convert runs through February 28. Use the promotional code DOWNING to receive a 25% discount.

Understanding Hospice – Part II — Adult Programs Committee
Tuesday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Our first program dealt with what is hospice, who gets into it, who pays for hospice care and other basic questions. Part II will focus on the role of the hospice volunteer, hear from several volunteers, and allow time for us to share our own experiences with hospice care.

Prequel to Major Music — Ian Garvie

Wednesday, March 9, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall

Belmont U.U. Alliance Lunch & Program — All Women and Men Welcome!
Wed., March 16, 12:00 Noon
On Wednesday, March 16, the Alliance will meet at noon at the First Church in Belmont for our lunch and program. Bring your own sandwich and we will provide soup, beverages, chopped fruit, and cookies. The suggested lunch donation is $1.00 per person. After lunch, Marian Melnick will portray Fannie Barrier Williams (born 1855, died 1944) an African-American woman educator, political activist, and women’s rights advocate from New York. Please reply to Janice Zazinski in the church office (; 617-484-1054, ext. 201) that you will attend and the number of your guests.

The complete calendar of events is online.

Program & Committee News

From the Membership Committee
Welcoming ushers are needed to welcome our church community to the spring Sunday services. Find out more during Coffee Hour! You can also visit for more information on being an usher and to easily sign up online.

Grow Clinic!alt
It’s time again for our annual MARCH MAC & CHEESE MADNESS campaign for the GROW CLINIC. Boxes of MAC & CHEESE fly off the shelves and demand always exceeds the supplies. Please help us collect stacks and stacks of MAC & CHEESE during March. Thanks! Pick up a food list for shopping or bring a Special Request:

  • March Special Request: Mac & Cheese

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

Food: One of the Most Important Medicines — Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Team Monthly Note
We are delighted that First Church member, Sara Oaklander, became a full-time Executive Assistant at the UUSC on February 16. As an integral part of the Programs, Advocacy, and Action Department, she provides administrative, personnel, budgetary, technical, and logistical support to the Vice President/Chief Program Officer.
     Before joining UUSC, Sara worked for 11 years with the Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC), where she provided content and project management services to IISC and IISC’s social sector clients. Sara’s new position adds to the special bond we already experience with UUSC in relation to its founding.
     Also, go to to read more about Tom Andrews, former Congressman and human rights advocate, who has been appointed new President and CEO of UUSC.

~ Alice Trexler for the UUSC Team

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.

From the UU Urban Ministry

  • Spirit and Action: A Three-Part Series on Structural Racism in Boston
    Beginning March 1, “Spirit and Action” creates a sacred space for participants to learn about, and engage in, issues surrounding income inequality, environmental racism, and the impacts of urban renewal and gentrification on low-income communities. All sessions at the UUUM.
  • For details on this and other UU Urban Ministry events, visit

A list of all church committees & groups is online.

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

More ways to support & stay in touch with FCB


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Church Staff

Senior Minister: Rev. David 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;
Office Assistant: Alexandra Nichipor — 617-484-1054, ext. 207;
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

President: Todd Schatzki —
Vice President: Ana Hammock —
Treasurer: Penny Schafer —
Clerk: Downing Cless —
Ex-Officio President: Carolyn Howard —


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

Next issue: March 8

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, March 8. Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, March 2. Please note that announcements may be edited for space and clarity.

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