The Unitarian – April 5, 2016

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Sunday Worship — April 10

Sermon: Hanuman, Religion, Human Beings and All Beings — Rev. David Bryce
Hanuman is the Monkey God of the great Indian epic the Ramayana who was a devotee and supporter of Rama. Recent studies of chimpanzees have indicated that they engage in ritual behavior which may point to them having a spiritual nature. Perhaps we are less distinct from other animals than we like to pretend.

This week’s music will feature gospel quartets by the Linden Singers — Richard Curzi, John Howe, Paul Judge, and Roger Read:

  • Farther Along, B. Stevens
  • Sit Down Servant, Pop Staples

Welcome and Announcements: 9 a.m. Sara Oaklander; 11 a.m. Penny Schafer

9 a.m. Ushers: Thomas Schieber & Ana Hammock
11 a.m. Ushers: Laurie Graham & Judy McSwain

Lay Pastoral Care: 9 a.m. James Hencke; 11 a.m. Tom Neel

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Roger Read and Lynn Peterson Read.

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

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

A problem is an issue you can do something about; if you cannot do anything about it, it is not a problem it is just context.”
     I forget who said that. But it contains wisdom.
     Racism is a problem; the rising tide of anti-Muslim attitudes in America is a problem. We can and must do something to change these.
     But perhaps the source of these—the tendency for human beings to categorize things and then to label those categories as good or bad—perhaps that is just context.
     Categorizing things can be a very good process with very good outcomes.
     It helps us to learn about the universe that we live in, about the stars in our galaxy, about the planets in our solar system.
     It helped us to recognize the existence of and process of evolution.
     It helps us to decide which plants to eat and which to avoid. It helps us to decide which animals to make pets of and which to leave in the wild. It helps us to decide which school to go to, which political party to join, which congregation to attend.
     Choosing to judge our created categories as good or bad is a separate step, and one that requires some extra discernment.
     In looking at stars, for example, we do not apply terms like good and bad to red giants and white dwarfs. We categorize, but do not judge.
     In thinking about mushrooms, on the other hand, because some are delicious but some are poisonous we do tend to “judge”. There are “good” mushrooms and “bad” mushrooms. We are not judging the morality of these fungi, just the effect of eating them.
     We ought not to judge people as good or bad, either; not in a categorical way. There are behaviors that we should judge as good or bad. Those that promote life and health in ourselves or in others are good, those that harm ourselves or others are bad. And those that intentionally harm ourselves or others are morally and ethically bad. But that is behaviors, not people.
     Our Universalist heritage calls upon us to love everyone. Whether we believe that the ability to have universal love is imparted to the human heart by divine power or is the product of evolution matters not. We can and must learn to see all people as siblings. We can and must learn to apply the golden rule to all, not just some.
     Our problem is to figure out how to do that.

Stewardship Drive — Have you responded?
stewardship logo

Make a Pledge Online Now!

There’s still time to make a pledge if you haven’t responded, and we need your pledge to reach our goal. As of Wednesday, March 30, we had raised over $550,000 of our $601,000 target. But there’s still about $50,000 to go, so please pledge today. 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 as soon as possible so that the Parish Board can plan properly for next year’s budget.

Pledging is easy!

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

Among Us

Our sympathies to Bruce Kozuma, Livia Racz, and family. Bruce’s mother, Doris Miura Kozuma, recently passed away.

Our sympathies to the family of former longstanding First Church member Nancy Miller Kriebel, who passed away in November 2015 at her home in Santa Fe. Her son Steven let us know that there will be a celebration of Nancy’s life, along with an unveiling of one of her paintings, on May 1 at 4 p.m. at the Arlington Center for the Arts, 41 Foster Street (Nancy was a founding member of the A.C.A.), and that all are welcome to attend.

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

There is news in the past week that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) have made significant progress towards re-establishing relations after almost 20 years. Ain’t that Good News?
     For the members of First Church who are actively involved in scouting leadership and-or with boys who are participating in local scout troops, this is certainly good news. For my recently deceased classmate and colleague, Michael P. Healy, Sr., it didn’t come soon enough, but I am certain that his Spirit is rejoicing over this step in a process of reconciliation.
     Many, many UU congregations severed their ties with the BSA in 1998 over disagreements about the UUA’s “Religion in Life” award (created for UU scouts so they could fulfill their religion merit badge requirements) and the BSA’s ban on gay scouts and LGBT scout leaders. Congregations opted not to rent their space to local scout troops and many parents steered their boys away from boy scouting. Over the years, I have heard from older UUs who found their way into our congregations through their participation in scouting. Others still grieved the loss of the relationship between their congregation and the local scout troop that performed many acts of community service to the congregation.
     A program called “Navigators” that was modeled on scouting, but with a liberal and co-ed format, was created and some UU congregations sponsored the organization of Navigator programs. In some places this filled the need; in others there wasn’t enough interest. It’s worth reminding ourselves that the Girl Scouts of America never had the same issues with UU-ism’s progressive stances on gender identity and sexual orientation.
     First Church in Belmont used to have a relationship with the local BSA, but voted to cut ties like other UU congregations. FCB continued to rent space to GSA troops. And FCB families continued to be actively involved in the BSA.
     Under the terms of the memorandum, each UU congregation will need to make its own decision about revisiting past policy decisions and FCB is no different in this respect. Expect to hear more about this in the months ahead. For more information and links to the memorandum between the UUA and the BSA, follow this link:
     As someone who, for a short time, was a Webelo — ask me in person about the story of how that happened — and whose siblings were all scouts, I applaud this reconciliation that has taken place at the national level. It is my hope that local congregations and local scout troops will also reconcile. I believe that healing relationships such as these is an important part of what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist.
     Yours in faith, Charlotte Lehmann, M.S., M. Div.

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 Spring 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 – the Spring Brochure is now online

Breast Cancer Wellness Journey — Melanie Deveikas
Wednesday, 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.

  1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

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.

UU Alliance Lobster Roll Lunch and Annual Meeting
Wednesday, April 20, 12 noon, Upper Hall
This lovely once-a-year Lobster Roll Lunch also includes salad and dessert. The price for this luncheon is $12 per person. Lunch will be served following our annual meeting. Please contact Janice Zazinski right away (617-484-1054, x. 201 or e-mail to register yourself and friends for the lunch so that we will have enough Lobster Rolls for everyone. (The final deadline for signing up for a Lobster Roll is Thursday, April 14.)
     Our Annual Meeting will begin at noon and will include voting for new Alliance officers (co-presidents, secretary, etc.). The voting is restricted to paid members of the Alliance. If you have not yet paid for your 2015-16 membership, please bring an additional $15 to pay for your membership at this meeting, so that you can vote.

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, April 21, 7 p.m., Tinkham Room

Science and Spirituality — Ken Bernstein and Edwin Taylor
Thursday, April 21, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room

“Solar Flares” — Steve Saar
Sunday, April 24, 12:30 p.m., Library
Many stars (including the sun) have “flares”. A flare is a sudden flash of brightness observed near the sun’s surface. BUT flares have potentially HUGE implications for us humans. A really big flare plus CME (a superstorm) has the potential to knock out satellites (e.g. weather satellites and GPS) as well as bring down the electrical grid. It will also lead to spectacular “northern lights” but that will be small consolation if civilization is temporarily brought to its knees! Steve will describe efforts to find out just how often these super flares happen.

“Salsa Sensation,” with Patricia Garcia and Laurie Carter Noble
Tuesday, April 26 and May 3, 7-9 p.m., Parish Hall
Join us for two evenings of Cuban music, dance and culture. Cuba has been a pioneer in the visual arts, music and dance throughout its history. Learn about this unique country and its gifts to our own artistic heritage. We will conclude our celebration with a Salsa demonstration and ask all of you to join in the fun. Come dance with us!

Save the dates!

  • Women’s Spring Potluck Supper – April 29th
  • Men’s Spring Potluck Supper – May 6th

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 runs through April 15. 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

Happy Spring! How about celebrating by purchasing vitamins this month for our Grow Clinic children? Flintstone Chewables and Polysol with Iron Liquid Vitamins. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Thanks for helping the Grow kids GROW! Pickup a food shopping list or bring a special request:

  • April Special Request: Vitamins

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. }

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Next issue: April 12

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, April 12. Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, April 6. 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

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.

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