The Unitarian – April 12, 2016

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Sunday Worship — April 17

Sermon: Earth Day — Rev. David Bryce

Welcome and Announcements: 9 a.m. Jack Weis; 11 a.m. Todd Schatzki

9 a.m. Ushers: Bethany Allen & David Warner
11 a.m. Ushers: Martha Spaulding & Karsten Kueppenbender

Lay Pastoral Care: 9 a.m. Steve Saar; 11 a.m. James Hencke

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by John and Leslie Kolterman to honor the memory of their grandmothers and a great-grandmother: Bertha Kolterman, Lillian Adams, Claudia Westa, Doris Dodge and Mina Bellamy.

  • Services at 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • This week’s offering will benefit the Partner Church
  • Sunday, April 24 — Rev. David Bryce
  • Sermon archive

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

This is a season of meetings.
     The fifth Principle of Unitarian Universalism is: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
     And that is a good thing, a good thing which comes down to us from our Puritan forebears.
     It is especially important to remember in this election year. Democracy is only as strong as the willingness of voters to participate in the process.
     I am not sure how many religious traditions would call democracy one of their principles. Those on the “liberal” wing of the Reformation do: we and our Congregationalist (UCC) cousins; the Baptists; perhaps a few others. But many religious traditions can function just fine without democracy.
     I am glad that we are who we are. We have democracy at all levels of our denomination.
     But, again, that democracy is only as strong as the willingness of voters 9in our case, individuals and congregations) to take part in the process.
     Our own Annual Meeting is coming up in mid-May, and I hope each of you will do your best to attend that meeting. You are the ones who get to make decisions, including choosing our leaders for the coming year.
     But our congregation is not unconnected to other congregations. We are part of a broader association.
     We get three delegates to the Massachusetts Bay District. (That organization will be voting on April 23 on whether or not to dissolve itself.)
     We get eight lay delegates to the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association which will be meeting in Columbus, Ohio in June. At the moment we have no certain volunteers.
     We get three delegates to the UU Urban Ministry. While two of our current delegates will continue, one is stepping down and should be replaced. (This task is more involved than attending business meetings.)
     We get two delegates to the Belmont Religious Council, which serves to bring many of the town religious communities together to share fellowship and to do good works. One of those positions is open.
     Each of these is a means for us to express our democratic values. I hope you will consider participating.

Stewardship Drive — Have you responded?
stewardship logo

Make a Pledge Online Now!

Hi everyone – If you have not yet responded, please let us hear from you ASAP. Although we have raised more than $550,000 in pledges toward our $601,000 goal, closing the gap is the hardest part. To reach our goal, we need to hear from each of you, and your pledge can make a meaningful difference. If you haven’t pledged in the past, 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 this week.

Pledging is easy!

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

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

Queen Esther left) and Miriam

Queen Esther (left) and Miriam

On April 3rd the children in our CRE classes were visited by two Bible visitors, Miriam — the sister of Moses – and Esther — a queen who saved the Jewish people. Miriam and Esther talked to the kids about the Bible stories that tell us about them and what it was like for women during Bible times in the ancient Middle East.
     The life of Miriam takes place around 1500 BCE. Miriam saved her baby brother Moses by placing him in a basket and leaving him in the bulrushes to be discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses was then raised as one of Pharaoh’s own family. Pharaoh was the king of Egypt and he enslaved the Israelites. The story of Moses in Exodus tells of their journey to freedom in the Promised Land. Like Moses, Miriam died before her people reached this place of freedom.
     Queen Esther’s story is told in the book that bears her name; it is the basis for the Jewish festival of Purim, which some of the kids celebrated in CRE on March 20th. It is a fun holiday that also involves food, acts of charity and the giving of gifts.
     Although they lived about 1000 years apart, both of these women stood up for what is true and good and changed the history of the Israelite people. Their stories also include people who, in the midst of evil, act to do good in the world.

Mark Your Calendars – Events of Interest to Families

  • Forty to None Day, April 27th. The film, “Pariah” will be shown this evening with a discussion of issues related to LGBT youth homelessness following the movie. 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 (

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:

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

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
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.

Science and Spirituality — Ken Bernstein and Edwin Taylor
Thursday, April 21, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
This month Edwin Taylor will lead a discussion on two books: Travels with Epicurus by Daniel Klein and Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle. On the surface, conversation brings advice for living; more deeply, conversation is living itself. Download the reading from:

“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!

Film and Discussion: “Pariah”
#40toNoneDay — Jess Hicks
Wednesday, April 27, 7:00 p.m., Parish Hall
Join us for a film and discussion for #40toNoneDay. In the United States an estimated 1.6 million youth are homeless each year, and up to 40% of them identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. #40toNoneDay, a national day to raise awareness about LGBT youth homelessness, invites us all to gather together and get involved to make a difference and work toward bringing an end to homelessness in the LGBT youth community.
     On this #40toNoneDay, we will watch “Pariah” – the story of a lesbian teen in the Bronx who learns to balance the open expression of her sexuality among her close friends while keeping it hidden from her religious parents. After the film, we will discuss the impact of this story and how it relates to some of the real-life difficulties some youth in the LGBTQIA+ community face (family rejection, homelessness, poverty, abuse) along with some of the ways communities such as ours can work to foster broader acceptance and understanding and youth resilience. 86 minute film followed by discussion.
     Co-sponsored by Youth, CRE, Adult Programs and Social Action.

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, April 27, 7:30 p.m., Library
This month’s book is The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. It is this year’s One Book One Belmont selection and Anita Diamant will be speaking in Belmont at the Beech Street Center on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. There are also other events structured around Diamant’s visit. The link to find out about more of them is:
    Anita Diamant’s “vivid, affectionate portrait of American womanhood” (Los Angeles Times), follows the life of one woman, Addie Baum, through a period of dramatic change. Addie is The Boston Girl, the spirited daughter of an immigrant Jewish family, born in 1900 to parents who were unprepared for America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End of Boston, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine — a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women.

Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey
Wednesday, April 27, 7:30 p.m., Parlor
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 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. We’ll have copies of “Rise Up Singing”. All levels encouraged!  Save the dates – last Wednesday of every month!

Women’s Spring Potluck Supper — Adult Programs Committee
Friday, April 29, 7:00 p.m., Upper Hall
Celebrate spring by joining with new friends and old to share food, beverage and fun. Bring a dish to share + a beverage of your choice and encourage all to attend this semi-annual event.

Save the date! Men’s Spring Potluck Supper – May 6th

The complete calendar of events is online.

Program & Committee Updates

Grow Clinic!


”Do Giraffes smile?” Absolutely. Last week Gloria (right) was grinning broadly with the outpouring of wonderful food contributions from the RE classes and other First Church members. Food: One of the Best Medicines and One of the Best Ways to Make Children and Gloria Smile
     It’s Spring. Flowers and Children should grow. Won’t you help them by buying vitamins this month? Flintstone Chewables and Polysol with Iron Liquid Vitamins. Thanks for helping the Grow Clinic children to blossom!

  • April Special Request: Vitamins

Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Team Monthly Note (April)

From the web site:

In the wake of the Flint lead poisoning disaster, we need to ask ourselves and our elected officials: how can we let this happen? Today, one in five U.S. families are forced to spend more than they can afford — between 5 and 20 percent of their income — on water. Black and Latino communities are often hit hardest by these staggering expenses — and even at these outrageous prices, that water isn’t necessarily safe.
     Sign the petition on in the Advocacy section of “Take Action” to tell the EPA: ensure access to safe, affordable drinking water and adequate sanitation. The Obama Administration won’t do it unless they hear from us.
     UUSC is also working with partners in Michigan, including the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, the Detroit People’s Water Board, and Michigan UU Social Justice Network, to pass legislation led by state representative Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) that aims to begin restoring justice in Flint and prevent water disasters in the future.

~ 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 — 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

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

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

Easy ways to support & stay in touch with FCB

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Next issue: April 19

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, April 19. Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, April 13. 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 that the church office will be closed Monday, April 18, for Patriots Day.

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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