The Unitarian – September 13, 2016

Click here to download a printable Unitarian (PDF) 

Sunday Worship — September 18

Being Enough — Rev. David Bryce

Prelude: In dieser Morgenstund; M.G. Fischer (1773 – 1829)
Nova Choir Anthem: Come Down O Love Divine; Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872 – 1958), arr. Donald Busarow
Senior Choir Anthem: Antiphon, “Tota Pulchra Es Maria;” Anton Bruckner (1824 – 96)
Postlude: Choral Song; S.S. Wesley (1810 – 76)
The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Heli and Bill Tomford to celebrate Autumn!

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

Keeping the Sabbath

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work… Exodus 20.8-9

     In some religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) the observance of a Sabbath Day is enjoined upon the followers.
     One can find many good reasons for keeping a Sabbath, and good values from doing so. For me part of the importance is that one has set aside a time for gratitude, celebration and thanksgiving for life. Whether one offers that thanks to Divinity or to the universe or to the mystery does not matter much to me; but the giving of thanks, the pause from the regular and mundane to be aware of the joys of living, these are important.
     One can argue that every day is precious and therefore every day is a time for celebration. I agree. However, in the crush of making a living, of getting tasks and chores done and of arranging for the things of life the reminder to pause and celebrate, to stop and give thanks, to be grateful too often gets lost. And so it is important—and has always been important—to set aside a special time for this. Thus, the Sabbath.
     In today’s world, aside from some more orthodox religious followers, we are losing or have lost this time. We have lost the Sabbath.
     Not so many years ago I remember when the laws of Connecticut required that most businesses close on Sunday. Sundays have become just another day of work or of sports. I do not recommend a return to Sunday closing laws because that was a matter of placing one religious tradition (Christian) above all others.
     But I do think, we as individuals would benefit from having a Sabbath and from having special rituals or practices to mark that day.
     For members of The First Church in Belmont Sunday is our worship day and so could easily be our Sabbath day. I would ask us each to consider the possibility that this be the case; that we consider doing on Sundays only those things that enhance and grow out of gratitude, celebration and thanksgiving.

Reverend Bryce’s Spring 2017 Sabbatical

This fall we begin preparations for our minister, David Bryce, to take a well-earned sabbatical leave, an established tradition for Unitarian Universalist clergy. The sabbatical is intended to offer an extended time for rest, renewal, reflection, and study for our minister.
     Please visit for details about its purpose, the schedule of services, and both pulpit and pastoral coverage while David is away, from January to June 30, 2017.
     On Sunday we welcomed Andrea Spencer-Linzie as a student intern who will work with David over the next four months in preparation for covering many of David’s responsibilities during his leave. As you many have already seen, Andrea comes to us with a wealth of wisdom and experience.
     Please address any questions you might have to Jackie James,, chair of the sabbatical committee. We will keep you informed about the process as the year moves along.

Music Notes

Costumes and set pieces are being planned, music is being learned, and lines are being recited hundreds of times before bed. I’m truly excited to be working with such a wonderful group of children on this year’s show, The Magic Flute. I also have to thank the small army of parent volunteers, without which the musical would not happen.
     But wait — it’s not too late to join! If your children are not part of the choir program at First Church, and would be interested in a fun, vibrant music learning experience, please reach out to me at There is a musical to start the year and four choral performances throughout the season, including a featured spot in one of the Christmas Eve services. More information about rehearsal times and performance dates can be found on the church website.

~ Ian Garvie, Music Director

From Ana Hammock, Parish Board President

Nate Sellers & family

Please join me in welcoming Nate Sellers as the Acting Director of the Children’s Religious Education program! Nate joins us from First Parish in Framingham where he served as the Director of Religious Exploration. Prior to Framingham, Nate served for four years as a Youth Director for a UCC congregation in Pennsylvania.
     Nate has taught preschool, worked in Autistic support, lead teen programs for the Anti-Racism Institute, and served as a graduate lecturer at Lancaster Theological Seminary and at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Eastern University, and more recently received a Master’s Degree in Religion from Lancaster Theological Seminary.
     Nate lives in Milford, New Hampshire with his wife, Typhany, and his six year-old daughter Auden. Nate is an avid coffee drinker, who loves silent-era films and the written works of Nietzsche, Camus and Dr. Seuss. If you know of a great apple-crisp recipe, please contact him ASAP!

Among Us

Our deepest sympathy to Martha Read and Roger and Lynn Read and family on the recent, sudden death of their 16-year-old nephew, Charles Read.

Parking at First Church

Parking has been a First Church issue since our founding members needed to “park” their horses and buggies across the street in 1857. We ask that you use the following guidelines:

  • Reserve the spaces in our lot for the physically challenged, people with small children, and newcomers who may be discouraged from visiting if they cannot find parking.
  • If you park on church grounds, use only designated spots. Parking on the grass and the driveways damages the grass and blocks fire lanes.
  • Please do not park in the “hatched” area between the two designated handicapped spaces — it is not a parking space. The hatched space enables wheelchairs and physically challenged individuals to enter and leave vehicles.

Sunday parking:

  • The Post Office lot. (We have an agreement with the Post Office.)
  • On Concord Avenue between the Underpass and the Underwood pool.
  • In front of the Lion’s Club/Train Station.
  • In the Claflin Street lot in the Town Center (a 5-minute walk)
  • At the Belmont Town Library.
  • Alternative transportation: there is a bicycle rack by the Lower Hall entrance and Google Maps can generate a bicycle-friendly route from your starting point. MBTA bus routes 72 and 75 run on Sunday and stop across the street from the church.

Program and Committee News & Events

Second Friday Coffeehouse 2016 – 17 Season
The Coffeehouse Committee wants YOU to have LESS!!! Yes, you read that correctly!
     Less what, you ask? Less time reading our pleas and listening to our announcements about Season Ticket Sales. We really want to shorten our active sales season, for your sake and for ours!
     We made record distributions to our beneficiaries last year, approximately two thirds of which came from Season Tickets. This church family made a REAL difference. We should all feel proud! And our demonstrated commitment and generosity proves we can do it again. We just don’t think we need it to take so long each fall!
     So join your friends and colleagues in this major social action commitment and wonderful series of musical events and buy your Season Ticket as soon as you can! Use the drop box outside the church office, send by mail to the church, or get it in person at either Coffee Hour after church in September and October! Full details below.
     By the way, this Ticket admits two adults to all nine shows, a savings of about $100, and ensures your support of all ten featured beneficiaries! Click here to see this season’s amazing schedule!!!

Cash or check for $119 made out to First Church in Belmont, memo line noting “Coffeehouse,” in the office drop box, in person at a Coffee Hour, or by mail to First Church in Belmont, 404 Concord Avenue, P.O. Box 113, Belmont, MA 02478.

See you soon!
Your Second Friday Coffeehouse Committee

SAC to host benefit concert for asylum-seeking Central American Families: October 1

Angelica Reyes witnessed a child getting shot on the street in Honduras; because she took the victim to the hospital, she was targeted by area gangs. She and her son fled Honduras and were imprisoned in Texas for crossing the border.

Bev Freeman, who has helped organized the benefit concert, says, “Our church is the first organization in Boston area to raise funds for these families. They have to live “under the radar” and thus most people here are not even aware they exist. Previously incarcerated in Texas for crossing the border, Central American families like those now in Boston have recently been released, thanks to successful litigation in their behalf. Other families are still being detained in Texas and in a prison in Pennsylvania for the same reason.”
     The benefit concert will raise money for a case manager position, crucial to the 86 families now in the Boston area settling into their new lives here. Without support, the women can continue to feel isolated; missing their legal obligations around asylum status can put them at risk.
     We hope to see you Saturday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m. in the Parish Hall. We are delighted to present The Loomers with The Blood Mountain Brothers and a special guest appearance by The Yellow Room (Jon Svetkey and Heather Quay). Tickets will be $25 at the door. Donations will be requested.
     Donate online easily at: For more information, email Bev Freeman at

First Church and Refugee Resettlement
First Church continues to be involved in partnering with the International Institute of New England, a State Department contracted resettlement agency, to assist resettling refugees. We have been joined by approximately 100 people from eight towns and many congregations, social service groups, and individuals who want to be involved. We have focused primarily on collecting bins of household goods, and assisting families—mostly from the Democratic Republic of Congo—settle into their new homes. In time we will also help with ESL, finding jobs, interpreting (French, Swahili, and Arabic interpreters are needed right away), adapting to the US culture, and getting to know one another. All activities occur in Lowell because of the need for a reasonable rent and access to the IINE’s offices and resources.
     With 65.3 million refugees, we are seeking to do what we can to help make the transition into a new life a little easier. If you would like to be involved, let Sam James know,

Adult Programs News

The Fall 2016 Adult Programs brochure is online.

Next Chapter Support/Discussion GroupNew program
Are you thinking about retirement, about to retire, are retired, or considering (or in) some other major transition in your life? The Next Chapter group will consider major emotional, social, and spiritual issues for those of us who are either considering or are in a 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 use a format similar to Small Group Ministries that will include a 2-4 minute check-in at the beginning of each session followed by individual sharing about one’s personal experiences regarding the topic.
     After everyone has had the opportunity to share we will have a more open, free flowing discussion regarding the topic and other issues raised as a result of the individual sharing.
     We will meet from October – June on the second Tuesday of each month for two hours from 7-9 PM. Facilitator: Rick Hawkins. For more information or to sign up contact Registration is required.

Defying the Nazis: the Sharps’ War — SAC, UUSC, & Adult Programs
Friday, September 23, 7 p.m., Parish Hall
A Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky film, released as a PBS documentary and airing on 9/20/16, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War is the story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a young Unitarian minister and his wife who undertook secret missions in Nazi-occupied Europe to rescue Jews, dissidents and refugee children at great personal sacrifice. Those missions by the Sharps, in 1939 and 1940, were the first undertaken by the new Unitarian Service Committee – which was founded by members of The First Church in Belmont. That heroic rescue effort continued until the end of the war.
     This film is a powerful reminder of the never-ending refugee crisis which continues to cry out for our attention.
     Join the Social Action Committee, UUSC and the Adult Programs Committees for discussion and refreshments following the 90-minute film.

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, Sept. 15, 7:00 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 — Nicole and Ken Bernstein
Thursday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
The discussion, led by Nicole Bernstein, will be based on readings from the book The Throwing Madonna (McGraw-Hill, 1983) by William H. Calvin. These readings will be posted (by September 7) on our email “drop site”, accessed at The cited reference is a group of essays describing the development and organization of the human brain (as it was accepted 30+ years ago), but the ensuing discussion will go further by including current understandings.

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Thursday, Sept. 15, 8:00 p.m., Location TBD
Enjoy the fun and fellowship of crafting with a genial group on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. If you knit, crochet, quilt, bead or dabble in other low-mess crafts, please come join us. Projects could include creating items for non-profit organizations such as Caps for Kids, making small gifts for the Holiday Fair or working on personal projects. Everyone is welcome and no commitment is necessary. Contact with questions and for location.

Men’s Support Group — Will Cordis and Joe Weiss
Sunday, Sept. 18, 4 p.m., Conference Room
This diverse men’s group welcomes both new and recent members as well as those who wanted to, but never joined, such a group. We share personal and professional concerns, aspirations, and experiences along with some community service activities. Meets 1st and 3rd Sundays from 4-5:30pm. Contact for more information or to participate.

Belmont UU Alliance (for women and men) — Concord River Cruise
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 — Meet to carpool from the Church at 12 noon
Please join us for the Belmont UU Alliance Concord River Boat Cruise & Lunch on Wednesday, September 21. Seats are limited and reservations are required.
     Rsvp to First Church Administrator, Janice Zazinski, at or 617-484-1054. Inform Janice of your sandwich choice for lunch: chicken or tuna salad, ham & cheese, sliced turkey, vegetarian. Lunch also includes salad, fruit, dessert and drink.
     Please make your $30.00 check payable to the Belmont Unitarian Alliance and deliver or mail it to the Church at First Church Belmont UU , P.O. Box 113, Belmont, MA 02478. Call Pat Hawkins at 617-489-2058 or e-mail with any questions. Other Belmont UU fall events:

  • October 19: The Tufts Art Gallery with Interactive Guide
  • November16: Documentary: Merchants of Doubt
  • December 14: Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain for Artists and Non-Artists

Reflections from UUA General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio — Alice Trexler, Lillian Anderson, Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Downing Cless
Sunday, September 25, 10:15 a.m., Parlor
Each year in June, UU congregations send members and delegates to participate in General Assembly. It is a way to share information and make collective decisions that affect all of us. Our impressions will give you some idea of the current issues and transmit our excitement about the impact on congregations. Join us in the parlor between services!

Together We Walk: Reflections on a Summer Pilgrimage — Transylvania Partner Church Committee
Sunday, September 25, 12:15 p.m., Parish Hall
On June 30th, thirteen First Church members and friends embarked together on what was to become a profoundly meaningful 10-day pilgrimage with our Transylvanian partners. We invite you to share this experience with us. Come join us for reflections, fellowship, and incriminating videos. Light refreshments provided and gratefully accepted.

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations — Social Action Committee
Sunday, September 25, 7 p.m., Library
Please join members of the Social Action Committee, the Belmont Religious Council, Belmont Against Racism, the Belmont police department and graduates of YouthBuild as we continue our discussion about how to end racism in Belmont and in the wider world.

Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey and friends
Wed., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Welcome back to the start of our fall singing! 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. We’ll have copies of “Rise Up Singing”. All levels encouraged!

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, September 28, 7:30 p.m., Library
Our September book will be Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, a slim but memorable and graceful book that will provide us with much to discuss.
     In Our Souls at Night, Haruf shows us two lonely neighbors who find unexpected companionship, share reflections on their lives, and scandalize the neighborhood. In developing the quiet story of Addie Moore and Louis Waters, Haruf provides an exquisite meditation on life’s meaning and its ending.
     The Book Group is always open to new members and does not require a continuing commitment. Please contact Anne Stuart at with questions and to confirm attendance. Happy reading!

Women’s Fall Potluck Supper — Adult Programs Committee
Friday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m., Upper Hall
Welcome back from summer. Please save the date for this opportunity to share food, talk and laughter with old friends and new. Bring an appetizer, main dish, salad or dessert + the beverage of your choice. RSVP to so we’ll know how many tables to set up.

Announcing New Nametags!
The Membership Committee is pleased to announce the rollout of a new name tag system that began the very first Sunday of our Church year.
     To help us with this large undertaking of transitioning the entire congregation to new name tags, we ask you to pick up your new name tag at the Membership table in the upper gathering hall either before you attend Sunday service or during coffee hour. Before you leave church, we then need you to hang up your name tag on your preferred alphabetized name tag peg located at either the front entrance to the sanctuary outside of David’s office or on the pegs located in the upper gathering area.
     We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Judy McSwain and Miriam Baker for their tireless hard work and coordination to make this name tag roll out possible. With everyone’s participation, we can all help to make this transition go as smoothly as possible.

Grow Clinic!alt
More than 200 children each year benefit from the Grow Clinic services; 90% of those fully recover; average treatment time is 19 months. “Many of these children would not be alive today were it not for the Grow Clinic” (The Boston Globe). Pick up a food list for shopping or bring a Special Request:

  • September and October: Protein Power!!! (peanut butter, canned tuna or chicken, canned stews, infant strained chicken/beef/turkey). Collection baskets are in the Lower Hall and Sanctuary vestibule.

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. ]

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

Next issue: September 20

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, September 20. Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, September 14. Please note that announcements may be edited for space and clarity. Click here to download the 2016-17 editorial calendar.

Church Staff
Senior Minister: Rev. David Bryce — 617-484-1054, ext. 202;
Intern Minister: Andrea Spencer-Linzie — 617-484-1054, ext. 207;
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 and Assistant Music Director: Simon Andrews — 617-484-1054, ext. 206;
Acting Director of CRE: Nate Sellers — 617-484-1054, ext. 205;
Director of Youth Programs: Sana Saeed — 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, 2016 – 2017
President: Ana Hammock —
Vice President: Catherine Claypoole —
Treasurer: Penny Schafer —
Clerk: Downing Cless —
Ex-Officio President: Todd Schatzki —


  • Lauren Corning
  • Deveaux Duckworth
  • Peter Guthrie
  • Jackie James
  • Eloise McGaw
  • Sara Oaklander
  • Marion Westgate

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

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