The Unitarian – March 29, 2016

Click here to download a printable Unitarian (pdf file)

Sunday Worship — April 3

Sermon: Good and Evil — Rev. David Bryce

Welcome and Announcements: 9 a.m. Betsy George; 11 a.m. Downing Cless

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

Lay Pastoral Care: 9 a.m. Steve Saar; 11 a.m. Martha Spaulding

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Rebecca & James Hencke in celebration of their 44th anniversary.

  • Services at 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • This week’s offering will benefit the UU Urban Ministry
  • Sermon archive

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

[Note: On Sunday, April 3 we will have a brief visit during each service from Rev. Mary Margaret Earl of the UU Urban Ministry who will update us on their efforts —and ours — to rebuild their kitchen.]

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

There are events that happen over a brief period of time which are avidly watched by some folk.
     March Madness in basketball, the NFL draft in April and–somewhat more extended—the quadrennial four-month long Presidential primary process.
     Each of these has its partisans, its fascinated viewers.
     I have long been interested in politics — and not just as a “partisan.” The process is engrossing for me. Once, when talking with my brother, I mentioned a congressional election taking place somewhere in America and spoke of the two candidates. My brother was surprised that I would know anything about them since they did not represent my district. I pointed out that he, as a NASCAR fan, knows many of the drivers besides his favorite.
     This is the time of year when I watch the unfolding of Unitarian Universalist congregational search committee announcements about their selection for ministerial candidates to be presented to their congregations. I watch in part because I know some of the congregations, but also — more importantly —because I know some of the ministers.
     I watch as ministers leave their congregations, as some take interim positions and as some are called to be the new settled ministers.
     Over the past two years I have served as a professional reference for a few of my colleagues. This means that although the search process is “secret”, I sometimes know of a minister who is up for consideration at certain congregations — and therefore know at least one person who has been selected by those congregations, or who has not.
     In some cases, therefore, I am “pulling” for one person to be chosen; in all cases I watch with fascinated interest to see who is going where and who is moving on.
     While I do not want or intend to compare the ministerial search process to a sporting event, there is a certain similarity in the emotional interest that each evokes in its “followers”: interest, surprise, happiness, and sometimes disappointment.
     Though these really are “minor” events for the observers (well, that does not apply to the Presidential race), they do fill an important place in our lives, a place of intellectual and emotional interest. And they do lift us out of our daily lives in ways that give us a kind of vicarious excitement. While we are not directly involved, somehow we are filled with emotional reactions to them.
     And I think that’s great.

Wrapping up the March Stewardship Drive — Have you responded?
stewardship logo

Make a Pledge Online Now!

Our 2016 March Stewardship Drive is wrapping up this week. If you have not yet responded, we need to hear from you now, as this will save us from having to make follow-up phone calls and emails. Although we have raised more than $500,000 in pledges toward our $601,000 goal, closing the gap is the hardest part. To reach our goal, we need to hear from all members and friends.
     If you are newer to the church, please join us with a pledge now. And if you pledged last year, please consider increasing your pledge this time.
     We hope you can consider First Church as your top charitable priority. If your circumstances are such that you are not able to make a financial commitment to First Church for the coming year, please let us know; as long as we hear from you, we can count you as participating in this year’s drive. Either way, please try to send us your pledge or response no later than this Thursday, March 31.

Pledging is easy!

With thanks, The First Church Stewardship Committee – Roger Read, Chair 

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

It was with regret that I accepted Alex Nichipor’s resignation from the position of Pre-school/ Kindergarten Lead Teacher week before last. Alex has been a wonderful asset to the CRE program since October. She has provided the consistency that our very youngest children require to be comfortable in the classroom each week. Alex recently accepted a full-time position with a non-profit in Wellesley and, although she very much wanted to keep teaching our pre-k/k classes, it soon became apparent that it didn’t allow her much needed time for adjusting to several concurrent changes in her life. Alex’s last Sunday on the job will be April 3rd, please stop in and thank her for her service to our community and wish her well that day.
     The timing of Alex’s departure coincides with the conclusion of the Chalice Children curriculum. The following week, April 10th, the pre-k/k classes start “Spirit Play” and this runs for 10 weeks through June 12th. As in the past, Eleanor Sugarman will lead Spirit Play at 9 am, ably assisted by her husband Jim in the “door-keeper” role. Obviously, since Alex is no longer our lead teacher, we have a very desperate need for two additional people from the congregation to step-up and fill the roles of story-leader and door-keeper at 11 a.m. Both Charlotte and Eleanor will serve as a resource to the other teacher-volunteers. There is also a manual that you can use as a reference guide.
     Spirit Play is a Montessori-based curriculum with a specific structure centered around story-telling and “work” time. Eleanor Sugarman has produced the “baskets” for each of the lessons in the series. If you want to learn more about Spirit Play, talk to Eleanor or Charlotte. Kate Searle and Melissa Irion have also helped to teach these lessons to the children last year and can tell you about their experience with the curriculum and its structure.
     Please contact me ASAP, if you can teach these last ten weeks of the church-year.

Mark Your Calendars – Events of Interest to Families

  • 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 ( 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: 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 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

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.

CoffeeHouseHeaderSecond Friday Coffeehouse features Heather Quay and Jon Svetkey — April 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Second Friday favorites Heather Quay and Jon Svetkey — now using the folk-friendly name “The Yellow Room” — have been singing and strumming together for almost twenty years. Their original songs combine elements of classic pop, folk, and country music while showcasing their love of two-part harmony and fun.
     Opening act: Tammy Patrick and The Merkin Wranglers, roots music. Proceeds will benefit the Unitarian Transylvania Archives Project:

Ushers Still Needed for Sundays from 4/10 to 6/12 for 9:00 services and 5/1-6/10 for 11:00 services

Please consider signing up to usher at one or more of these 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:

Visit for information on being an usher and to sign up online. Thank you for your service to First Church!

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

Adult Programs News

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 (

Breast Cancer Wellness Journey — Melanie Deveikas
Wednesdays, 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

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Thursday, April 7, 7:30pm, 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? This is a drop-in group so please attend when it is convenient for you.

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Thursday, April 7, 8 p.m., Location TBD
Enjoy the fun and fellowship of crafting with a genial group. Everyone is welcome and no commitment is necessary. Contact for location.

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.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Andrea Prestwich
Sunday, April 10, 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.

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 ( 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 to sign up, or for childcare.

The complete calendar of events is online.

Program & Committee Updates

STEREOTYPES: A Conscious Look at Race, Faith, Gender and Sexual Identity; cosponsored by SAC
“Stereotypes: A Conscious Look at Race, Faith, Gender and Sexual Identity,” an exhibit of 15 photos by Kevin Briggs, is now on view at the Arlington Center for the Arts Gibbs Gallery. The show is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, April 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. with an artist talk at 2 p.m. ACA is at 41 Foster Street in Arlington.
     The show is presented by Arlington Vision 2020 Diversity Task Group and ACA; First Church in Belmont UU Social Action Committee is a co-sponsor of this event. Learn more at; click on Gallery.

Grow Clinic!alt
Boxes and boxes of thanks to all of you who made this year’s MAC AND CHEESE MADNESS such a great success. Thanks!!! 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

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.

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

From the UU Urban Ministry — details at

  • 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
  • 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

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

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

Easy ways to support & stay in touch with FCB

When you shop at AmazonSmile, First Church in Belmont receives 0.5% of the purchase price.

Our Facebook page is regularly updated with news, events & programs – no account needed!

Next issue: April 5

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, April 5. Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, March 30. Please note that announcements may be edited for space and clarity.

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;
Membership Coordinator: Jim Staton — 617-484-1054, ext. 207;
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 |
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

Parish Board minutes are available online and are posted on the Lower Hall bulletin board.

Posted in Unitarian