The Unitarian – May 10, 2016

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Sunday Worship — May 15

New Member Sunday — Rev. David Bryce

Welcome and Announcements: 9 a.m. Sara Oaklander; 11 a.m. Catherine Claypoole

9 a.m. Ushers: Eva Patalas & Peter Guthrie

11 a.m. Ushers: Martha Spaulding & Margaret Marks

Lay Pastoral Care: 9 a.m. Janet Amphlett;  11 a.m. Tom Neel

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Ariane and Stefan Frank in celebration of their 23rd anniversary. To Love!

  • Services at 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • Sermon archive
  • Sunday, May 22 — Rev. David Bryce

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior MinisterRev. David Bryce


On Monday, May 2, Leicester City became the champions of the Premier League, the top level English football (we would say “soccer”) league.
     For most Americans this means nothing. (And some of my baseball references later in this column will also mean nothing to at least a few folk, but the message may matter.)
     But it is the first time for Leicester since their founding 132 years ago. To put that just a tad into perspective, when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 it had been 86 years since they had last won — and they had won previously. The new Premier League winners had never taken it all. And they had waited 46 years longer.
      But wait, there’s more. English football uses a system that includes “relegation”. There are twenty teams in the Premier League. At the end of the season, the bottom three teams drop into the next lowest league and are replaced from teams in that league. Imagine that your favorite baseball team dropped down from the Major Leagues into AAA ball.
     What’s more, a team can drop year after year into lower levels (or rise year after year). I have a cousin in England who supports Blackpool, and has seen them drop from the top league to the second and then to the third and now are in danger of dropping into the fourth level.
     Imagine if we all had relegation as a possibility for us in life. Somewhat like a Reality TV show we could face being the “lowest scoring member” in our family and so find ourselves relegated.
     Or imagine a spiritual league where — purely on a scoring system — we could be relegated from heaven, or from the ranks of the “saved”, or from God’s love or just from serenity of spirit.
     Thankfully that does not exist, and our Universalist heritage tells us that all are saved.
     Yes, I know, many of us do not believe in salvation. But this is imagination, right?

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 ( 

Reminder: Rummage Sale Postponed to 2017

Just a reminder that, after 73 consecutive years, the annual First Church Rummage Sale is being postponed until May 2017.
     But fear not! We have the leadership in place for a rummage sale in May of 2017 and are already looking forward to next year’s sale brimming with two years’ worth of amazing deals.
     We are beginning to formulate plans for an alternative fundraiser for these three beneficiaries and would love to hear your ideas. Please send them to Patricia Garcia at (617-866-9366).

Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

There are certain experiences that appear on the “bucket lists” on many Unitarian Universalists. Some are ones that our religious education programs try to arrange for children and youth to have as part of their faith formation. Living in the Boston-metro area, it is pretty easy to incorporate visits to historic houses of worship, such as King’s Chapel and the Arlington Street Church, as well as other places of special historic interest to Unitarian Universalists, such as the Ralph Waldo Emerson home in Concord, Mass. (where I went on a tour recently) or Beacon Hill, where the UUA was headquartered for more than a century. Not long ago, a group of FCBers went to visit the new headquarters, a LEED certified building renovation in downtown Boston’s Innovation District. It’s worth stopping in sometime if you are downtown sightseeing during a weekday this summer. You can check out the interactive history displays and shop in the UU bookstore for books or bling.
     Other must-do’s on any serious UU bucket-list certainly include attending UUA district, regional or national assemblies, at least once in your life, especially as a delegate. I’ve mentioned this before. General Assembly is held in a different location in the U.S. each year; so it can be expensive to go, but in my opinion it is worth doing at least once. You can check it out on-line this year and see how exciting it can be to be among several thousand UUs. I’ll be walking across the stage during the Service of the Living Tradition on Thursday, June 23rd; this service recognizes milestones in the ministry of UU clergy.
     On my personal bucket-list has been a pilgrimage to Transylvania to see and experience something of our Transylvanian Unitarian roots. I am very excited to be a part of the group of FCB members, staff and friends who are making such a pilgrimage to visit our partner church in Transylvania early this summer. We will be meeting people, visiting locations important in Unitarian history, and doing some service work with and for our partner church. Gifts for our many hosts is an important part of this experience; I plan to do some shopping at General Assembly for the gifts that I personally give. I will also be carrying a gift to our partner church from the children of First Church in Belmont, which they will be working on this month. Thanks to volunteer quilters: Yolanda Aliberti, Dawn Anderson, and Sandy Nayak, I will be able to present a wall hanging with artwork created by our first through fourth graders. You’ll be able to see the completed project during our Flower Communion services on June 12th.
     However, I hope you will come Saturday, May 14th at 7 pm to see the 2014 documentary film “Beneath the Surface” in the Parish Hall and learn more about our Unitarian roots in Transylvania. Bring your whole family! Ticket sales provide funds for this year’s FCB trip.
     ~ Charlotte Lehmann

There are always volunteer opportunities in CRE for ALL at FCB; before the end of this church year, please consider:

  • 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:
  • Lead the Chalice Lighting during the worship service one Sunday. Click to sign-up: You will receive an e-mail reminder.
  • Assist our Childcare Provider, Denise Azar, in the Nursery at 9 and 11 a.m. each Sunday. You can easily sign-up here: 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 ( which allows you to register children from birth through 12th grade. All children must be registered for CRE.

~ Charlotte Lehmann, Acting Director of Children’s Religious Education
Office hours: Tues-Weds, 10am-6pm. E-mail:

Urgent Campaign to Support Asylum-Seeking Families from Central America

FCB Social Action Committee has joined forces with our FCB member, Bev Freeman, who has established a link to RAICES, a Texas legal services nonprofit, to help asylum-seeking families who were once incarcerated there and have already migrated to Massachusetts. These are women and children who were imprisoned in Texas for seeking asylum in the US – and who are now being released due to U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee’s court order and public pressure.
     The goal is $35,000 to support a half-time case manager position at the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) in Boston. This professional would be a lifeline for the families, and would be sure they get needed services including legal help. To donate, go to
     If you have questions, reach Bev Freeman who is organizing this fundraising campaign: The families are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and they fled very dangerous conditions. 55 families have already arrived in Massachusetts; many of the family members have suffered trauma and the women spouse abuse. This effort to help the families now here will hopefully serve as a model for other states.
     Any amount is appreciated. Those who donate will receive a full report of progress in resettling these families and giving them a truly openhearted welcome to Massachusetts. Read a recent New York Times article concerning family detention in Texas:

FLASH! Some Second Friday Coffeehouse changes ahead SOON!

After over two decades at the same rates, we are raising our price at the door and the price of our (two-people for the price of one) Season Tickets by 20%. This is still lower than comparable venues but closer to the norm. As a gesture of gratitude to our loyal supporters, and in an attempt to shorten our fall Season Ticket sales season, we are offering 2016-2017 Season Tickets to early bird purchasers at 2015-2016 rates from now until midnight August 31st.
     Sales of next year’s tickets at this year’s prices begin at the May 13th and June 10th Coffeehouses and by mail from now until the end of August. Don’t miss out on this great bargain on great music and your chance to support ten great beneficiaries!

Second Friday Coffeehouse: May 13 at 7:30, to benefit Renewal House

JohnBunzli2Colorado based singer-songwriter John Bunzli (left) writes songs that explore the darker side of the human condition with compassion and sincerity. His rich voice, fraught with the emotion inherent in the tales he tells, flows over the hypnotic, melodic grooves he weaves with his guitar.
     For as long as he can remember, John has been surrounded by music. As a child, he spent hours listening to his family’s record collection. He bought every one of the Beatles’ records with his hard earned paper route money. But it was a dream he had in high school that changed his life.
     “I woke up the next morning and knew I had to have a guitar.” He managed to wrangle his sister’s old beat up nylon string and never looked back. That decision, which can be heard on his stunning, award winning debut CD, The Well, has earned him considerable acclaim throughout the Colorado music scene.

GerriStrickler     Singer/autoharpist Gerri Strickler (left), leads a quintet that plays broadly influenced folk-music revival favorites, with beautiful vocal harmonies. She is joined by Belmont friends, Lakshmi Nayak on vocals, Eve Patalas on recorder and penny whistle, Roger Miller on guitar and vocals, and Jim Sugarman on percussion and bass. Additional appearance by Webb Sandquist on guitar and vocals.


Beneath The Surface Film Fundraiser — Partner Church Committee

Saturday, May 14, 7:00 p.m., Parish Hall

The Partner Church Committee presents Beneath the Surface, a feature-length documentary film.81611590
     A beautiful lake now covers the drowned village of Bözödújfalu in Transylvania (left), where members of three ethnicities and five religions used to coexist peacefully. The village was destroyed by a dam built by the Ceaușescu regime just before the 1989 downfall of Ceaușescu and the Iron Curtain.
     Twenty-five years later, now dispersed across different countries and social classes, former inhabitants of Bözödújfalu meet, as they have every summer, on the lakeshore to remember their heritage and pass on their traditions to younger generations. Among those featured in the film are the minister of Concord’s partner church, Rev. József Szombatfalvi, and his brother István, a beekeeper.
     This 90-minute documentary is a meditation on history, families, traditional values and loss. Directed and beautifully filmed by Alex Debreczeni, Beneath the Surface was nominated for the Ensor Award for Best Belgian Documentary in 2014.
     Members of First Church will travel to Bözödújfalu this summer, as part of our visit to partners in Désfalva, Transylvania. The film will help raise funds for the trip. Tickets are $10 each and there will be desserts and popcorn for sale.
     Please join us for the movie and fellowship with our travelers afterward. To watch the trailer visit

Musica Sacra presents “The Joke’s On” — May 14

Music to tickle your funny bone ends Musica Sacra’s season on Saturday, May 14 with The Joke’s On… Mary Beekman conducts music by PDQ Bach, Pinkham, Alkan, Lassus, and others, including Rossini’s Comic Duet for 2 Cats and a drop dead arrangement of Teddy Bear’s Picnic at 8 p.m. at The First Church Congregational, 11 Garden St. in Cambridge. NuBar, right next door offers a pre-concert prix-fixe dinner, so make a night of it! For tickets, go to or contact Mary Beekman.

Marian Melnick Reprises “Meet Fannie Barrier Williams” — May 18 at the Arlington Library

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESFor those who missed Marian Melnick’s wonderful in-character presentation of “Meet Fannie Barrier Williams” at the March Alliance meeting (left), there’s a new opportunity to see her.
     On Wednesday, May 18, Marian will reprise her presentation at Robbins Library Community Room, 700 Massachusetts Ave. in Arlington, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Marian portrays a black woman activist — and Unitarian — from the early 20th century. The event is free.
     Marian originally created her characterization for the FCB children’s RE program. She has embedded Fannie’s story in the historical context of 1855 – 1944, Fannie’s life span.

Adult Programs News – the Spring Brochure is now online

New Group Forming in the fall — “Next Chapter”
Are you thinking about retirement, about to retire, are retired, or considering (or in) retirement? The Next Chapter support/discussion group will consider major emotional, social, and spiritual issues for those of us who are either considering or are in that major transition. We will explore our hopes, fears, losses, gains, surprises, barriers, and struggles throughout these transitions. The members of the group will decide on the topics for each session based on our life experiences. We will meet monthly on the second Tuesday of the month from 7:30-9 p.m. from October – June. Facilitator: Rick Hawkins. If you would like more information or would like to participate contact Lillian Anderson at

Belmont Unitarian Alliance — all women and men welcome!
Wednesday, May 18, 12 noon, Upper Hall
Join us for the final meeting of the church year: a potluck lunch and discussion of summer reading and program ideas. R.s.v.p. yourself and guests to Janice at or 617-484-1054, ext. 201.

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, May 19, 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, May 19, 7:30pm, Conference Room
At this final spring meeting, Edwin Taylor will lead the group in a discussion of The Tides of Mind by David Gelernter. Your mind is not a machine and it is not computer. It is tidal. Memory is often disciplined and focused in the morning, wanders freely in the afternoon, and takes off on its own in the evening and as we sleep. Which tide accomplishes the most? Which tide creates the most? Download the reading from:

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, May 25, 7:30 p.m., Library
Our May book is the dazzling Life After Life by Kate Atkinson; a synopsis about the book from is posted below.
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual.
     For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.
     Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best, playing with time and history, telling a story that is breathtaking for both its audacity and its endless satisfactions.

Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey
Wednesday, May 25, 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 date — the next session will be on June 22!

Jobseeker Buddy Group — Martin Plass
Tuesdays, 10 – 11:30 a.m., Library
The jobseeker buddy group is a small support group for people looking for new or better jobs. We provide encouragement, feedback, ideas, resume suggestions, job leads, unemployment assistance, advice and networking opportunities to each other.

From the UU Urban Ministry

UUUM Annual Meeting, Sunday, May 15 at 1 p.m.
The UU Urban Ministry has moved 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! Details at

Program & Committee Updates

Grow Clinic!alt
“Summertime … and the livin’ is easy” except if your cupboards are bare and the meals your children have eaten at school all year are no longer available during the summer months. Please help to STOCK THE SHELVES FOR SUMMER. 

May and June Special Request: Your favorite items from the shopping list — clip and take with you.

All stages of baby food

Enfamil with iron

Vegetable or corn oil

Boxed infant cereals


Flintstone Chewable Vitamins

Polyvisol with Iron Liquid Vitamins

Canned fruits packed in syrup

Canned vegetables

Parmalat milk

Carnation Instant Breakfast

Canned chicken and tuna

Peanut butter

Macaroni and cheese

Dried fruits, especially raisins

Canned beef stews

Pasta sauce


May and June Special Request: Your favorite items from the shopping list
     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.

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

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Next issue: May 17

Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, May 11. 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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