Sunday Worship — March 27
Sermon: Easter Sunday — Rev. David Bryce
Welcome and Announcements: 9 a.m. Peter Guthrie; 11 a.m. Jackie James
9 a.m. Ushers: Debora Hoffman & Leland Ackerson
11 a.m. Ushers: Margaret Marks, Marcus Davidson & Graham Backman
Lay Pastoral Care: 9 a.m. Devon Beckett; 11 a.m. Steve Saar
The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by the Belmont Unitarian Alliance.
- Services at 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
- Sunday, April 3 — Rev. David Bryce
- Sermon archive
Reﬂections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister
You will receive this just after the official beginning of astronomical spring.
Already I have seen the blooms of crocus and daffodils and — earlier today — some very impatient creeping myrtle.
I suspect that flowers will be much more bounteous a week from now.
It is no wonder it was thought that many ancient divinities died or disappeared at some point in the year and then were re-born in the spring. There is always a sense both of renewal and of unexpected possibility when the world is coming to life around us and it seems appropriate to think of a divine spirit preceding or causing that renewal of life.
There is almost always a day in spring when I feel that everything seems brand new — the earth, the air, the birds and even me. That day is liberating and joy-filled. And then, just as the day and the Earth seem to be, I feel full of potential and possibility.
In that moment I also feel a deep connection to all that is. I sense myself full of power, power that is connected to, not separate from, all of being. It is the power of life flowing through me as part of the All. So it is not power over; it is power with.
Maybe “power” is the wrong word to use. Perhaps we humans are too prone to think in terms of power and control. Maybe creativity is what I feel in that moment, the ability to engage in the co-creativity of the universe and to do so without preconceiving what that creativity will result in.
Would that I could feel that in every moment of my life.
Perhaps some people can, and perhaps that is what is meant by enlightenment.
The Intern Committee (Mike Widmer, Kathy Crawley, Tony Vagnucci, and Sam James) are very pleased to announce that Andrea Spencer-Linzie will be our intern starting this fall. Andrea will work closely with Rev. David Bryce for four months and then fill in for him while he is on his sabbatical from January 1-July 1, 2017. While he is away, she will work with Rev. Doris Hunter. Andrea has the skills and abilities to cover for David and we, as a congregation, have an opportunity to contribute to her education. We are very pleased that she will be joining us and we believe you will be as well.
Andrea, like many of us, was raised in a Christian denomination and as an adult became a Unitarian. Currently she is the Interim Director of Religious Education at the UU Congregation in Rockville, MD. She grew up in New Jersey within the United Methodist tradition. Her home church in Red Bank, NJ was a liberal, progressive congregation that solidified her passion for personal and social responsibility, justice, and spiritual grounding. About 15 years ago, she became an active UU and is currently a member of the UU Church in Cherry Hill, NJ where she has been a Board VP, active in the choir, RE, Worship, Music, and Social Justice Committees, and taught OWL for 7-9th grades.
Andrea graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut with a major in Religious Studies and a minor in Spanish Literature. After Wesleyan she spent two years in Brownsville, TX as part of the United Methodist US-2 social justice program for young adults. She worked as a social worker in a Settlement House and as the Youth Choir Director and Social Justice Coordinator at the local United Methodist Church, which included work on the issues of El Salvadoran refugees and collaboration with Mexican United Methodist churches.
Andrea has a Master of Divinity from Drew Theological School and a Master of Philosophy from the Casperson School of Graduate Studies at Drew University in religious feminist social ethics. She has also directed religious education programs, is certified to teach OWL for 7-9 and 10-12 grade levels, has worked with several church youth programs, and taught Adult Education. She loves to sing and is a cellist. If all of this were not enough, she has complemented her religious education and experience by spending 20+ years as an Executive Director in several not-for-profit organizations, and currently teaches in the Rutgers University Certificate Program in Violence Against Women and Children. (You can see why we are impressed with her!)
Andrea has two sons. Justin has a BA in Sports and Recreation Management and an MBA from Springfield College, MA. He currently is the Director of Youth Programs for the Camden County (NJ) YMCA. Her younger son Galen has a BS in Business Administration from Bucknell College and currently works with the CBX advertising agency in New York City.
We look forward to welcoming Andrea in person and giving each of you a chance to say hello this fall.
Welcome Andrea, First Church Belmont is a great place to offer your skills and abilities while rounding out your ministerial education.
Stewardship Drive Update – $89,000 to go!
Last week we reached over $500,000 in pledges in record time for a stewardship campaign. If you helped contribute to that record, many thanks for your timely pledge response. But now is the hardest part; we still need $89,000 to reach our $601,000 pledge target. If you have not yet made a pledge, please respond thoughtfully and promptly, and in any case no later than March 31. Please also consider increasing your pledge over last year. Our total pledge dollars have actually dipped slightly during the past two years due to the loss of number of generous long-time donors. To make up the difference, the rest of us, including new members and friends, need to generously increase our pledge to meet the budgetary needs for the 2016-17 church year.
Pledging is easy!
- Pledge online at www.uubelmont.org/stewardship; or
- Complete a pledge form and bring it to church this Sunday, or mail it to the church office; or
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org the amount of your pledge
- Don’t have your last year’s pledge amount handy? Contact us at email@example.com.
With thanks, The First Church Stewardship Committee – Roger Read, Chair
Easter Sunrise Service — March 27
Come join our ritual of creating sacred space at sunrise at Habitat in Belmont. Meet in FCB parking lot at 5:45 or meet at the Habitat parking lot (10 Juniper Road, Belmont) at 6 a.m.
Breakfast will be served at church following the service. All are warmly welcomed to be in fellowship with us. Questions: contact Kathy Crawley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kristin Phillips at email@example.com.
Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation
Based on the feedback I have received from so many of you, the spring multigenerational worship service — “Celebrating Our Differences” — was meaningful and inspiring. The music was terrific and a wonderful blending of younger and older voices in songs of praise, spring themes, and celebration of the diversity of life forms on our Mother Earth. The personal reflections by Ian Garvie, Ellie Somers and Andrea Prestwich revealed how often our differences are hidden, not readily visible to those around us. The story “George Wants a Dress” reminded everyone that our identities, too, are complex with internal aspects that even our families may need to learn to accept. Many thanks to Stephen Burt for helping me tell that story, and also to Jeanne and Michelle Johnson for leading us at 11 a.m. in the responsive reading, an adaptation of Sophia Lyon Fahs’ piece “It Matters What We Believe.”
One of the things that made this worship service so effective is that personal stories were shared as a part of it. When we share the stories of our lives, the challenges and the successes, we connect with each other in deeply meaningful ways. Why? Because we make ourselves vulnerable to the person(s) who is listening to us. And as the hearer listens and connects with our stories, they restore our humanity. The process of story-telling is one of communion. We nurture each other and feed each others souls through the acts of speaking and listening. But this only happens when we speak from a place of honesty and integrity. Defensive, angry or hate-filled speech does not produce the openness to learning, the deep connection or the healing balm that sharing stories does.
A dozen years ago, I participated in a program of “community conversations” between Somali Muslim immigrants and white, non-Muslim, often Catholic Franco-American, residents of Lewiston, Maine. The idea behind the program was to share stories about our experiences around themes such as religious rituals, family-life, and personal values. By sharing personal stories with each other, we got to know each other and what it was like to be who we are in the context of the culture we were raised in. In so doing, barriers such as walls of misunderstanding or misinformation were dismantled and relationships were formed. The “We” became bigger as we recognized ourselves in the person we were talking to or noticed that we could relate to their experiences despite the obvious external differences of race, class, religion, ethnicity, sex and gender, physical and intellectual abilities, etc.
Connecting with each other is a powerful antidote to the fear and anger being whipped up by the political process in our nation. Take some time to get to know your neighbors better as Spring lures us outside our homes to enjoy fresh air, sunshine and the renewal of life’s energy.
Mark Your Calendars – Family Friendly Fun
- Beyond Shelter annual “picnic” on 3/26 – FMI: please contact CRE or Patricia Garcia. This is Easter weekend.
- Stand Up rally on March 29th on the Belmont Town Green – FMI: please contact Donna Ruvolo. If you are concerned about the level of violent rhetoric that is making its way into how children are treating each other, please put these on your calendar.
- Forty to None Day, April 27th. According to True Colors, “approximately 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), yet LGBT young people make up less than 7% of the general youth population.” The goal of True Colors is to reduce the disproportionate percentage from 40% to none (https://truecolorsfund.org/40tononeday/). If you are interested in helping to organize an event at FCB, contact Jess Hicks.
CRE Volunteer Opportunities for All at FCB
- Sign up to teach in any of the CRE classes on Sunday mornings: tinyurl.com/teachCRE. 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: uubelmont.org/coriandsori/.
- 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: tinyurl.com/chalicelighting. 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: tinyurl.com/sundaynursery. 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 (www.uubelmont.org/childrens-re/) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Group News
UU College of Social Justice trainings
The UU College of Social Justice is offering three Activate youth justice trainings this summer! High schoolers can sign up for Activate Boston: Climate Justice (July 9 to 17), Activate Tucson: Immigration Justice (July 23 to 31), or Activate New Orleans: Racial Justice & Beloved Community (July 30 to August 7). Generous financial aid is available for those who need it. For more info visit uucsj.org/youth.
UU Urban Ministry hosts Youth Week in April — “Making Friends, Doing Justice”
What are you doing during April School Vacation Week? Join the Roxbury Youth Program for three days of service learning!
- Tuesday, April 19, 10 – 5
- Wednesday, April 20, 10 – 5
- Thursday, April 21, 10 – 8, with a fun field trip planned for the evening!
Come learn about urban social justice issues, challenge oppression, roll up your sleeves and volunteer in the City of Boston! Click here for more.
Ushers needed for the spring term (3/20-6/12) for both the 9:00 and 11:00 o’clock services
Please consider signing up to usher. This key volunteer responsibility is a tremendous contribution to the smooth operation of our worship services. To select your dates now, sign up to usher on the bulletin board in the upper gathering area, sign up on the church website or contact Leslie Kolterman (email@example.com), Martha Read (firstname.lastname@example.org), David Warner (email@example.com) or Mark Thurber (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit uubelmont.org/membership-committee/ for information on being an usher and to sign up online.
Job Opportunities at The First Church
The church is looking to fill the following vacant positions; please share with any suitable candidates you may know:
- Director of Youth Programs
- Director of Children’s Religious Education
- Part-time Nursery Assistant
- Part-time Office Assistant — a good fit for a stay-at-home parent, as the hours are flexible and the summers are free
Descriptions of all the positions are online, at uubelmont.org/jobs/
Adult Programs News
“Five Wishes” — Adult Programs Committee
Tuesday, March 22, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
We will conclude our series on end of life issues by discussing the FIVE WISHES. This document includes many of the subjects we have explored in our previous programs (Understanding Hospice, The Conversation Project and Being Mortal).
Eleanor Hobbs, who has used this document in her medical practice, will be available to clarify and answer medical questions.
“Five Wishes is an easy-to-use legal document written in everyday language that lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill. It is America’s most popular living will with more than 23 million copies in circulation.
Five Wishes helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it speaks to all a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. Five Wishes also helps structure discussions with your family and physician.”
First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, March 23, 7:30 p.m., Library
This month’s selection is The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for the Gold at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin by Daniel James Brown.
The Book Group is always open to new members. There is no long term commitment. Feel free to join us for a single evening’s discussion or to become a regular participant. We ask only that you confirm your intention to attend on a particular evening by the Monday before each session.
Please e-mail Anne Stuart at email@example.com or Karl Klasson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating or have any questions.
Breast Cancer Wellness Journey — Melanie Deveikas
Wednesdays, March 23, April 6, 7:30 p.m., Parlor
An educational series focusing on life and wellness during and after breast cancer treatment. Each week there will be an education topic for discussion as well as an opportunity for sharing your breast cancer journey and related concerns through and beyond treatment. For more information or to sign up please contact Melanie at email@example.com.
“Muslims in America: Hearing Their Story,” March 24
Thursday, March 24, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Avenue, Belmont (Parking lot entrance on Blanchard Road)
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.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey
Wednesday, March 30, 7:30 p.m., Library
Are you a closet guitar hero with no band? A great shower singer?
Then we’ve got just the thing for you: a good old fashioned hootenanny! Bring along your portable acoustic instrument (i.e., guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, shaker, suitcase, jaw harp, spoons …), your voice or just yourself and — most of all — bring your enthusiasm. And your iPads, iPhones, etc. so we can access words to the songs. All levels encouraged!
Save the dates – there is a hootenanny the last Wednesday of every month!
UUA Tour and Refreshments — Adult Program Committee
Sunday, April 3, 12:30 p.m., Library
Our denomination, the Unitarian Universalist Association, has a new headquarters at 24 Farnsworth St., Boston. Previously located at 25 Beacon St., right next door to the State House, this move was necessary to provide for a wider range of services. Join David Bryce and Jim Staton for light refreshments at First Church before we carpool for the 2 p.m. tour of the building. Register by contacting Lillian Anderson (email@example.com)
UU Purposes and Principles — Doris Hunter and Edwin Taylor
Sunday, April 10, 12:30 p.m., Library
“Unitarian Universalists can believe anything they want to believe.” WAIT! That is not true. Let’s look at our Principles and recognize again the religious demand they place on our lives.
Theatre Discussion Series, with Downing Cless, Jane Minasian, and Debbie Dobbins
Sunday, April 10, 3 p.m., Library
Attend the theatre with friends or on your own and join an informed, lively discussion about the play. Our next discussion will be about Bootycandy, performing at the SpeakEasy Stage (www.speakeasystage.com/bootycandy) through April 9.
This unconventionally provocative play by Robert O’Hara is over-the-top and definitely bawdy but thought-provoking. Bootycandy was voted by the NY Times as one of the top 10 plays of 2014. The play contains strong language, mature themes and full nudity.
Potluck Supper and Program: “Behind the Headlines: What Gravity Waves Tell Us About the Universe” — Andrea Prestwich & Edwin Taylor
Friday, April 15, 7 p.m. – potluck; 8 p.m. – program, Upper Hall and Parish Hall
Join the Adult Programs Committee for a shared potluck supper (bring whatever you’d like to share + beverage) followed by an interesting program. RSVP for the supper. Childcare will be provided upon request. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up or for childcare.
Program & Committee Updates
Thanks so much to all of you who are putting the MAC & CHEESE boxes in your shopping cart. Cruise by our basket downstairs and look at all the boxes. Just imagine all the kitchens where YOUR boxes will end up. Keep up the good work! There are collection baskets in the Lower Hall and the vestibule outside the Sanctuary.
- March Special Request: Mac & Cheese
Food: One of the Most Important Medicines
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 email@example.com 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.
UU Mass Action’s Advocacy Day, April 12
Join our annual gathering at the State House
- Where: Arlington Street Church, 351 Arlington St., Boston
- When: Tuesday April 12
- The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration and the program will begin at 10:00 a.m. sharp! We will gather at the Arlington Street Church in Boston for our program and then head to the State House together after lunch.
- Worship Leader: Rev. Sarah Stewart, First Unitarian Worcester
- Keynote speaker: Senate President Stan Rosenberg
- Information and registration at uumassaction.org/events-2/
From the UU Urban Ministry — details at uuum.org
- UUUM Annual Meeting, Sunday, May 15 at 1 p.m.
After many years of holding our Annual Meetings on Thursdays, the UU Urban Ministry is moving this important event to Sunday in the hope that more of our friends will be able to join us. Same great gathering, different day! We’ll see you there!
- Volunteers needed for Jericho Road Roxbury
Are you looking to volunteer and make a difference? The Jericho Road Roxbury matches skilled volunteers (especially in grant-writing, administration support, 501(c)3 assistance, and website development/IT support) with Roxbury-based non-profits. Please contact Rev. Rebecca Hinds if you would like to volunteer and for more information: 617-318-6010 x214 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hope Out Loud 5: Open Doors, Open Hearts, Sunday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m.
This annual concert will feature members of the UUUM Roxbury Youth Programs, Mssng Lnks and the Hope Out Loud Festival Chorus, and special guests musiConnects and the South Boston Training Choir of the Boston Children’s Chorus
Connect with UU actions, events & resources
- Unitarian Universalist Association, uua.org
- UU Mass Action, uumassaction.org
- UU Service Committee, uusc.org
- UU United Nations Office, uua.org/international/un
- UU Urban Ministry, uuum.org
Easy ways to support & stay in touch with FCB
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Next issue: March 29
The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, March 29. Please remember that the deadline for this issue was noon on Monday, March 21, because of the church administrator’s time off.
The following issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, April 5. Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to email@example.com by noon on Wednesday, March 30. Please note that announcements may be edited for space and clarity.
Senior Minister: Rev. David Bryce — 617-484-1054, ext. 202; firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister Emeritus: Rev. Dr. Victor Carpenter — 617-676-6186; email@example.com
Minister of Music Emerita: Rev. Alfa Joy Radford — firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Music: Ian Garvie — 617-484-1054, ext. 206; email@example.com
Organist & Assistant Music Director: Dylan Sauerwald — 617-484-1054, ext. 206; firstname.lastname@example.org
Acting Director of CRE: Charlotte Lehmann — 617-484-1054, ext. 205; email@example.com
Director of Youth Programs: Julie Ennis — 617-484-1054, ext. 204; firstname.lastname@example.org
Adult Programs Advisor: Lillian Anderson — 617-484-1054, ext. 207; email@example.com
Church Administrator: Janice Zazinski — 617-484-1054, ext. 201; firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Assistant: Alexandra Nichipor — 617-484-1054, ext. 207; email@example.com
Membership Coordinator: Jim Staton — 617-484-1054, ext. 207; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sexton: Luis Carrion — 617-484-1054
Office hours: Monday – Friday, 9 – 3
Please note: Janice Zazinski, church administrator, will be out of the office from March 23 – 29.
617-484-1054 | email@example.com
Street: 404 Concord Ave., Belmont
Mailing: PO Box 113, Belmont, Mass. 02478
Parish Board, 2015 – 2016
President: Todd Schatzki — firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President: Ana Hammock — email@example.com
Treasurer: Penny Schafer — firstname.lastname@example.org
Clerk: Downing Cless — email@example.com
Ex-Officio President: Carolyn Howard — firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.