The Unitarian – September 27, 2016

Click here to download a printable Unitarian (PDF)

Sunday Worship — October 2

The Spirit of Renewal — Rev. David Bryce

New Year festivals abound throughout each year. This year the Jewish and Muslim New Year’s overlap. Of course, “new year’s” is not only about a turning of the page on our calendars; it is also about spiritual renewal.

Prelude: Veni Redemptor, Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 75)
9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Gather Us In, Jay Althouse (contemp.)
11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Psalm 150, Cesar Franck (1822 – 90)
Postlude: Fugue in E flat, “St. Anne” (Part 1), J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Marianne Leahy and Bruce Logan.

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

There is a brief story in Tales of the Hasidim by Martin Buber which goes as follows:
     Once, when Rabbi Mordecai was in the great town of Minsk expounding the Torah to a number of men hostile to his way, they laughed at him. “What you say does not explain the verse in the least,” they cried.
     “Do you really think,” he replied, “that I was trying to explain the verse in the book? That doesn’t need an explanation! I want to explain the verse that is within me.”
     Unitarian Universalism encourages each of us to find and explain the verse that is within us. For me that does not mean rejection of sacred texts, which are the repository of spiritual wisdom from many cultures and traditions. I read these fairly avidly.
     But it does mean that I read them seeking those individual texts that resonate with something within my own mind, heart or soul.
     Ultimately it is the truth within that I seek. And it is that truth within, that “verse that is within me” that I seek to express.
     And that is the UU path. The searches we engage in throughout life, whether of reading or of experience, are about finding the verse within.
     It is not only our path, of course. Many faiths teach that truth lies within us. But we tend to be more open about in the “outside” sources of our reading and search.
     May our searches be fruitful and fulfilling.

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “It is a happy talent to know how to play.” In an Apache myth the Creator gave humans many talents and abilities. But it wasn’t until the Creator gave humans the ability to laugh that the Creator said “Now you are fit to live.”
     To play and to laugh is such a gift. We feel good when we play, and laughing is quite contagious. Play and laughter bring people together even when we are very different from each other. This was demonstrated many times over the weekend at Sandy Island. We built playful camaraderie while playing volleyball and so many other games. I laughed the hardest while watching the wild and crazy kayak polo. I felt really good and had a huge grin on my face.
     The spirit of playfulness is so important to our daily lives. You can’t feel bad when you’re laughing! Play and laughter help us keep a positive outlook and a sense of hope. Play and laughter create bridges to each other. I hope we can all find a way to laugh and play each day. It’s good for the soul.

Reverend Bryce’s Spring 2017 Sabbatical

Please visit for details about pulpit and pastoral coverage while Rev. Bryce is away, from January to June 30, 2017.

Among Us

Sending healing wishes to Laurel Damashek.

Program and Committee News & Events

Angelica Reyes and her son fled Honduras and were imprisoned in Texas for crossing the border.

Benefit Concert for asylum-seeking women and children: October 1 in the Parish Hall
Please join us for a Benefit Concert October 1, 7 p.m. at the First Church for asylum-seeking women and their children now in Massachusetts. Featuring the Loomers, the Yellow Room, and The Blood Mountain Brothers, the concert will help raise $35,000 for a case manager at the Irish International Immigrant Center. Once hired, this professional will immediately extend support and refer to legal services for them. If you would like to help: Tickets can be purchased in advance: Donations can be made here: We hope to see you Oct. 1 and enjoy the show!

Second Friday Coffeehouse 2016 – 17 Season
Beautiful people, we are on a roll! WOW!!! As of September 21, 51 (fifty-one!) Coffeehouse Season Tickets have been sold!!! Super thanks from our beneficiaries. Super thanks and from our Coffeehouse Committee. Together we can keep it up the momentum! Remind your friends! With each other’s help, we can hit our goal of 70 tickets, and we can do it as fast as we can! We need to sell 19 more. If we can do it by October 16, we’ll be done by the next full moon, and we be in a position to give to all our beneficiaries at a level comparable to last year’s great distributions!
     Did we mention that the ticket admits two adults to all shows at roughly $100 off the price at the door? Here’s how to jump on the band wagon of unforgettable music and charitable giving made easy!
     Write a check (fully deductible) for $119 made out to First Church in Belmont with “Coffeehouse” written in the memo line. Submit it in one of three convenient ways:
Mail: Check to First Church in Belmont, 404 Concord Ave., P.O. Box 113, Belmont, MA 02478
Drop-off: In a clearly labeled envelope, put your check (or cash) into the secure drop-box immediately to the left of the door to the church office, Janice’s office.
Face-to-face: Bring your check (or cash) to any Coffee Hour in September or October or to the 10/14 Coffeehouse, or hand it to Janice or a Coffeehouse Committee Member.
     In any case, please include your contact information (name, address, email, phone).  P.S. Do it now, as soon as you can! Thanks! Click here for an updated schedule and list of beneficiaries.

Belmont Serves: Monday, October 10
Please join your neighbors in Belmont’s 8th annual day of service on the Monday of Columbus Day weekend. 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Meet at St. Joseph Parish Hall (corner of Common & School Streets) and proceed from there to project sites for a family-friendly day of community service.
     Projects include: collecting & sorting donations for Belmont Food Pantry, Clay Pit Pond clean-up, sorting & labeling winter clothing for refugee assistance, and painting and other indoor & outdoor maintenance projects around town. To register & for more information: Schedule of Events:

  • 8:30 a.m.: All volunteers sign-in at the St. Joseph Parish Hall
  • 9:00 a.m.: Service projects begin
  • 12 noon: Service projects end
  • 12:30 p.m.: Pizza and ice cream celebration at the St. Joseph Parish Hall

We received a request to help at the registration. Please e-mail if you can help.

Donate to Belmont Food Pantry with Belmont Serves
Belmont Serves (Monday, October 10) makes it easy to donate to the Belmont Food Pantry. Here’s how it works:

  • A grocery bag will be delivered to your door with instructions.
  • Fill the bag with non-perishable items (canned goods, paper items, toiletries).
  • Leave full bag on your doorstep/front porch before 8:30 a.m. on Monday October 10.
  • Volunteers will pick up the bag from your doorstep and deliver it to the Belmont Food Pantry!

Thanks for participating!!

2nd Fellowship Fall Hike – Middlesex Fells
Saturday, October 1st, 1 – 4 p.m.
Please join us, old and young, for our 2nd annual fellowship fall hike. This year we will explore another beautiful local nature area: The Middlesex Fells Reservation.
     We will hike mostly on the Skyline Trail with beautiful vistas over rocks, meadows, wet lands and thru woods, explore the Panther cave, pass an old Silver Mine and to the Wright Tower with views over Boston. We will stop for a picnic lunch (please bring your own) near the South Reservoir.
     Meet at 1 p.m. at the Bellevue Pond Parking Lot, 161 S. Border Road, Medford. If you would like to share a ride, please let the organizers know and we try to arrange something.
     RSVP: or Martin Plass @ 617-484-1237. Click here for more.

Putting Our Dollars Where Our Values Are: A Church-wide Conversation on Fossil Fuel Divestment
Sunday, October 23, 12:30 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., Library (please note the October 2 session has been cancelled)
All members are urged to attend an informational session leading up to the congregational fossil fuel divestment vote. Panelists will discuss the decision processes and financial experiences of other divested UU congregations, as well as UU values in relation to divesting. The attendees will be able to ask questions.
     Watch for more information and sign-up sheets at fall coffee hours. We’ll meet on Sunday, October 23 at 12:30 and Monday Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. (overlapping a children’s choir practice).

From the Membership Committee
Ushers Needed
Please consider helping out with the worship services by signing up to be an usher. You can sign up online ( or on the Ushering sign up poster in the Upper Gathering Hall during coffee hour. Thanks for your help.

Grow Clinic!alt
Did you know that as part of our FCB Grow Clinic mission we deliver food collected every month by students at Hanscom Elementary School at the Hanscom Air Force Base?
     At the end of the school year, the 5th graders hold a sale of plants from their science project, walk to the PX, and use their proceeds to buy food and gifts for the Grow Clinic babies and toddlers. This year their offerings included pacifiers, baby bottles, and even sparkly barrettes. What a joy to deliver overflowing bags for them!

  • 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. ]

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.

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. No RSVP needed.

Theatre Discussion Group — Jane Minasian, Downing Cless, Debbie Dobbins
Sunday, Oct. 2, 3 p.m., Library
We will be reading aloud Jean Paul Sartre’s 90-minute play, No Exit, Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1944 play rooted in his emerging philosophic principles of existentialism. In this 45-minute play, three damned souls are locked inside a very plain room in Hell. They had expected physical torture, but instead they discover that “Hell is other people,” as Sartre bluntly puts it.
     We will read aloud and then discuss this famous modern drama, sometimes translated as NO WAY OUT or VICIOUS CIRCLE or DEAD END.

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Thursday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Many people are juggling jobs, families and their parents’ or other family members’ increasing medical needs, frequent emergencies and ongoing need for care. How do we cope with the needs of our loved ones and find some balance in our own lives? What do we need to learn as we take on this task? How do we find information and community? If you find yourself in this position, you are welcome at this group for discussion and support. This is a drop-in group so please attend when it is convenient for you.

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Thursday, October 6, 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 Fall Potluck Supper
Friday, Oct. 7, 7 p.m., Upper Hall
All men are welcome to join their friends for food, fun and discussion. Bring an appetizer, main dish, salad or dessert AND a beverage to share. No RSVP necessary but contact Jim Staton ( with any questions.

Folk Music in the Digital Age — Jim Wooster and Scott Alarik
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Jim Wooster, Executive Director of Passim in Harvard Square will be joined by veteran folk music reporter Scott Alarik for a discussion on how folk music has changed over the past sixty years, from the folk revival of the nineteen sixties to the modern, digital music industry. This will be a chance to hear from two people who have a keen understanding of the subject from the inside. Refreshments.

Spiritual Pilgrimages — Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom
Sunday, Oct. 16, 12:30 p.m., Library
Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom is an author, mystic, investor, entrepreneur, and ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. While on sabbatical he engaged in spiritual pilgrimages with Sufis in Turkey and Taoists in China. He has tales to tell from those travels.

Belmont UU Alliance Lunch and Tour — Tufts Art Gallery
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 11:45 a.m., Upper Hall
All Women and Men Welcome!
Bring a sandwich and contribution of $1 towards the remainder of the meal. After lunch we’ll carpool to the nearby Tufts Art Gallery to view “Mortal Things: Portraits Look Back and Forth,” an exhibition about the changing role of artists and subjects and portraiture as a means for examining individual, social, and institutional identities. R.s.v.p. to or call at 617-484-1054.

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

Next issue: October 4

The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, October 4. Please send announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, September 28. Submissions 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.

Support & stay in touch with FCB


When you shop at AmazonSmile, First Church in Belmont receives 0.5% of the purchase price.


Our Facebook page is regularly updated with news, events & programs – no account needed.

Posted in Unitarian