The Unitarian – April 19, 2016

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Sunday Worship — April 24

Sermon: Passover — Rev. David Bryce

9 a.m. Nova Choir: Songs of Nature, Antonin Dvorak

11 a.m. Senior Choir will sing a lovely choral arrangement of Eliyahu Hanavi, the song that welcomes the prophet Elijah into the room during the traditional Passover meal. The ushers will open the doors during the song, in keeping with the tradition of the song.

Offertory: a Passover prayer; Chuck Claus, cantor

Welcome and Announcements: 9 a.m. Peter Guthrie; 11 a.m. Deveaux Duckworth

9 a.m. Ushers: Barbara Terry & Cathy Olofson
11 a.m. Ushers: Jeanne Johnson & Michelle Johnson

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

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Jeanne and Michelle Johnson in memory of their beloved Jessica Johnson McKeen.

  • Services at 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • Sunday, May 1 — Youth Group Sunday
    The senior class will share personal reflections on their time at First Church, the junior class will give a musical tribute to the graduating seniors and the sophomore class will share a story for all ages. This is an opportunity to learn what our church community has meant to our youth over the years.
  • Sermon archive

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Moments of Failure
I recently spoke with someone (not part of this congregation) who had faced a moment of failure, an event that changed the course of their life. They had plans that were set aside, as Rev. David Bryceit were, by someone else.
     Imagine (as a hypothetical) working hard to enter a career and then finding out that you are blocked from doing so.
     This is not an unheard of experience. Sometimes it is because the “gatekeepers” of a career path turn someone away.
     Sometimes it is because of external events.
     Women and minority groups (ethnic, religious or other) have faced this in our country throughout our history.
     In Unitarian Universalist history there was an effort made about one hundred years ago to professionalize our ministry by ensuring that all of our clergy had graduated from seminary. A great idea, unless you were a woman or part of a racial minority: at the time, our seminaries were not accepting either.
     The blacklist of the nineteen-fifties destroyed or severely curtailed the careers of a number of actors, writers and directors. And sometimes they were not even aware that they were on the blacklist.
     When life changes on us, whether in our career plans or in some other area, how do we respond? I am not going to give the true but glib answer that we search for the silver lining or assume that another door will open. Life is not always so simple. And in the moments when this has happened to me, I do not want to hear that “everything works out for the best” or that “this will be the beginning of something better.” I need to grieve first.
     We human beings need to allow our grief to live in us; we need to allow ourselves to process what has happened. Then we can make some decisions about the future course we will follow.
     Yes, every failure can be turned into a success—or at least into a path that takes us to some other kind of success. But that takes time. It is acceptable to mourn what has been lost.
     And then, when we are ready, it is right to see the possibilities that have opened up before us because of the failure.

A Call to the Annual Meeting at The First Church In Belmont: Sunday, May 22, 2016, 4 p.m.

Pursuant to a call by Todd Schatzki, President of the Parish Board, you are hereby notified that the Annual Meeting of The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist will be held on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 4 p.m. in the Parish Hall for the election of officers, status of next year’s budget, committee highlights, and the transaction of such other businesses as may lawfully come before the meeting.
     Hereof, fail not, and make due attendance at said meeting and time.
     Only active adult members, who have had standing as such for not less than seven days prior to the meeting, may vote. No proxies will be accepted: you must attend the meeting in order to vote.
—Downing Cless, Parish Clerk

Stewardship Drive — Please pledge today

Make a Pledge Online Now!

Hi everyone – If you have not yet pledged or responded, please let us hear from you ASAP. We need pledges or responses from everyone now to fund essential church programs for the coming church year. Please visit today to make your online pledge. Questions? Please contact Roger Read ( or Mark Thurber (

Among Us

Our deepest sympathies to Kate Searle on the recent death of her father, in Arizona.

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

One day during the winter months, as I walked across the parking lot of my apartment complex, I found one of those jelly bracelets with these words on it: “KINDNESS MATTERS.” I decided to put it in my car in a place where I could see it while I driving the 250-300 miles that I do each week. I did this not because I need to be reminded to be kind, but because there are an awful lot of people on the roadways that need to be reminded. By keeping this mantra in view, I intended to energize a kinder, gentler driving experience for myself and for everyone else around me.
     In March, Donna Ruvolo decided that she needed to stand up to the increasing lack of civility being experienced by children and youth during the school day and at athletic events. She e-mailed as many people as she could asking her contacts to stand up to bullying and hate speech. Thus galvanized, a group of adults gathered to organize what is now being called the “Stand Up Campaign.” Fifty people met at First Church on March 29th to discuss these issues which are affecting kids locally as well as nationally. Taunts and jeers from peers, who are hiding behind the verbal and physical attacks, negative pronouncements and hate speech that are all too common in this year’s primary campaigning, have become much too vitriolic to not do something.
     There will be a second public gathering on May 1st from 1-4 pm at the Belmont Public Library. The group plans to offer ways to change the dynamic to one of community conversations.
     At First Church in Belmont, we strive to raise caring kids who know what it means to be kind and compassionate; who strive to live their lives according to our seven UU principles. I share with you a few ideas and resources on promoting kindness and civil discourse.
     There is a series on WBUR called, Kind World, stories of kindness and how one act can change our world ( The episode I heard this past week, #22: Chocolate Bar, focused on how a 9 year-old boy helped a friend with a rare and life-threatening medical condition. This boy started a fundraising effort that has helped researchers gain needed financial support. He wanted to raise a million dollars; he has succeeded and surpassed that goal.
     Daily acts of kindness are shared in a Facebook Group that I belong to; these can be experiences for which we are on the giving or the receiving end. It boosts spirits to focus on these moments of loving human-kindness. Participating in random acts of kindness actually changes our neural networks, releases endorphins and promotes de-stressing our lives. Consider starting your own Facebook kindness campaign.
     I see similarities between the positive approach of these media-based initiatives, Belmont citizen’s Stand Up Campaign and the UUA’s Standing on the Side of Love initiatives (
     If you haven’t seen the National Geographic film called Celebrate What’s Right With the World, I encourage you to find it on Netflix. Rather than putting our attention on the negativity in our society all of the time, it is important to celebrate what is good and right in our lives and the lives of our siblings all over the earth.
     The Stand Up Campaign is one way to call attention to the need for kindness in our lives. Community conversations are a proven way to make connections and develop relationships. I was part of such a program up in Lewiston, Maine after Somali Muslim immigrants were told to leave by the mayor of the city. (See The Letter, a documentary film about what happened there in 2002-2003.) Bridging what divides us leads to healing and reconciliation. Kindness matters.
     With loving human kindness,
     ~ Charlotte Lehmann

Mark Your Calendars – Events of Interest to Families

  • “Pariah,” film showing, 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27th – a Forty to None Day event. 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 (
  • Stand Up Campaign, 1-4 p.m., Sunday, May 1st at the Belmont Public Library. If you are concerned about the deterioration of public, civil discourse, please join Donna Ruvolo and other concerned citizens for this event.

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:

UUA General Assembly 2016: June 22 – 26, Columbus, Ohio

What is General Assembly?
General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates.
     The theme for GA 2016 will be “Heart Land: Where Faiths Connect.” 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.

How do I become one of First Church’s eight delegates?
First Church Membership is required to represent our congregation. For more information about GA go to If you are interested in attending, e-mail Rev. David Bryce at immediately; registration fees increase after May 1.

“Housing the Homeless: From Crisis to Shelter to Home,” presented by the Tri-Community Coalition to End Homelessness

  • When: Sunday, April 24, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Doors open at 1:00 for refreshments and opportunity to meet exhibitors.
  • Where: St. Joseph Parish Hall, 130 Common Street, Belmont
  • Keynote speaker: Chrystal Kornegay, Undersecretary, Mass. Department of Housing and Community Development

An Invitation to the Upcoming Youth Services

These services are a celebration of the values that we are passing on to the next generation and can also be a wonderful opportunity for those who are interested in learning more about our church community and the role it plays in the lives of our youth.
     Seventh- and eighth-graders and their families are especially encouraged to join us so they can learn more about what lays ahead for them.

Youth Service: Sunday, May 1 – 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

The senior class will share personal reflections on their time at First Church, the junior class will give a musical tribute to the graduating seniors and the sophomore class will share a story for all ages. This is an opportunity to learn what our church community has meant to our youth over the years.

COA Ceremony: Sunday, May 8 – 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

This is a great chance to get a glimpse into ninth grade. The Coming of Age program creates a supportive environment where youth are able to explore big questions, reflect on their beliefs, and ultimately to have the confidence to make decisions based on their values. In this program, participants explore their UU roots alongside the personal beliefs and values that they are developing. Together with adult mentors, youth put their faith into action through community service projects, social action and by working to develop language to express their personal beliefs. The Coming of Age culminates when the youth share their personal credo statements with the congregation at the COA Ceremony.
     Contact Julie Ennis with any questions you might have about our youth programs:

Seeking Housing

A longtime employee of Nanny Almquist seeks housing for herself and her young adult son. Willing to exchange housekeeping and/or senior/childcare for all or part of the rent. Very responsible, reliable, and trustworthy. Contact Nanny Almquist at or 617-484-4051.

Youth Volunteers for English Summer Camp needed

Eve Dill BHS ’12 and former youth group member, writes:
Dandelion Middle School in Daxing, Beijing, is looking for American volunteers age 14+ for its English Summer Camp (July 14-24). We are looking for fun, positive and energetic young adults to work with incoming 7th grade students and assist with a group of 50 students who are part of a special English program. Volunteers would assist with English lessons and would have the opportunity to lead activities such as cooking, games, music, dance, etc. to help students improve their English and learn about life in America. Room/board and meals will be provided by the school. You do NOT have to speak any Chinese.
     Dandelion School is a middle school for the children of low-income migrant workers in Beijing who don’t have access to public school. For more information, go to If you are interested in volunteering, contact Eve at Eve has been working with this school in Beijing for the year.

Resettle Together – Partners in Belmont’s Refugee Resettlement

I am pleased to announce that the Belmont Religious Council’s Annual Meeting will be held at First Church Thursday, May 5, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:15. Cheryl Hamilton, Director of Partner Engagement, from the International Institute of New Englander will discuss the resettlement process and what concerned citizens in Belmont can do to help alleviate one of the greatest crises in the world.
     Our meeting will also provide the opportunity to assess the possibility of developing collaboration within Belmont. Cheryl and her staff will speak for 45-minutes followed by Q&A for an additional 30-minutes. At the end, there will be a brief follow up meeting for those who want to explore getting to work. Please save the date and join us in the Parish Hall. I look forward to seeing you then.
~ Sam James

Adult Programs News – the Spring Brochure is now online

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 and is $12 per person. Lunch will be served following our annual meeting. Please RSVP for yourself and friends to Janice Zazinski (617-484-1054, ext. 201 or 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.

Men’s Spring Potluck Supper — Jim Staton and the Adult Programs Committee
Friday, May 6, 7 p.m., Upper Hall
Join in the fun and friendship of this gathering. Just bring the beverage of your choice and either an appetizer, main dish, salad or dessert to share. Contact Jim at for more information or to sign up.

Jimmy Tingle for President — SAC and A Path Appears in Belmont
Saturday, May 7, 7:30 p.m., Belmont High School, Concord Ave.
Unique, funny, pure entertainment. Humor for Humanity and A Path Appears in Belmont are pleased to announce a unique opportunity to FEEL GOOD.
     Funds raised are going to support the top three issues identified in the community surveys collected at the A Path Appears in Belmont events last year, leading up to bringing Nicholas Kristof to Belmont. These are Hunger, Education/Literacy and Homelessness. The three organizations selected are The Belmont Food Pantry, Belmont METCO and Bristol Lodge.
“Jimmy Tingle captures the sweet spot between Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. His unique brand of topical yet timeless comedy is as insightful as it is hilarious. Jimmy Tingle will make you laugh, make you think, and make you feel better. Clean, funny intelligent humor for all audiences.” — Comedian and commentator seen on 60 Minutes II and MSNBC
     Tickets $30 each available on or

Program & Committee UpdatesFCB Green Meeting on Gas Leaks, April 27
Did you know that within its 4.6 square miles Belmont has 80 gas leaks, the oldest dating back to 1996? Only 7 are scheduled to be fixed within the year. The methane they leak is 84 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period, contributing to climate change.
     Who pays for the leaked gas? We, the consumers.
     Join FCB Green Group, Sustainable Belmont, and Mothers Out Front for a gas leaks presentation on April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Belmont Library Assembly Room.

Grow Clinic!
Our campaign to help the GROW babies and toddlers GROW by sending them lots of Vitamins is nearing its end. Won’t you please make a note to put Flintstone Chewables or Polysol with Iron altLiquid Vitamins on your shopping list this week? Many, many thanks for your generosity!
     Pick up a food list for shopping or bring an 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!

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Next issue: April 26

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, April 26. Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, April 20.

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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