The Unitarian – October 25, 2016

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Sunday Worship — October 30

The Joy of Memory — Rev. David Bryce

Loss of loved ones is deeply painful, and death seems so final and merciless. But we also say at every memorial service that the dead live on within us and around us. Let us celebrate the lives of those now gone who filled our lives with learning, love and care. Let us recall them to our hearts and minds that we may truly feel their presence with us and within us in the gifts they gave.

Prelude: Te Lucis Ante Terminum, Simon Andrews (b. 1958)
9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: God is Seen, Alice Parker (b. 1925)
11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: French setting of the Our Father, Maurice Durufle (1902 – 86)
Postlude: Toccata in D minor, J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750)
The flowers on the Chancel table this Sunday are given by Louise Bray in honor of the Creamer Family.

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister

Rev. David Bryce

Rev. David Bryce

In almost every area of life there is some degree of compromise. We give up something or we agree not to gain everything we want in order to keep or gain something else.
If one party in a relationship insists upon always getting their way, that relationship is unlikely to survive for very long; and it probably ought not because that indicates a lack of respect for the other person.
     Politics has been called the art of compromise, and yet we have ambivalent feelings about politicians who engage in compromise. We dislike it when politicians will not work with one another to “get things done”, we call unyielding politicians whom we disagree with “extremists”, but use the term “unprincipled” for those politicians willing to compromise on something that we hold dear.
     And when it comes to our own votes we are often torn between principle and outcome, between voting for a major party candidate who is not enough to our liking, or voting for a minor party candidate who is closer to our views knowing that to do so will ensure the victory of someone we like even less.
     And yet, if we compromise with our vote, how far can we do so without betraying our own political principles?
     So we all recognize that compromise is necessary, but we struggle with the degree to which we are willing to do so.
     In religion, as well, there are questions of compromise; beginning with, “Is compromise acceptable at all?”
     Those who absolutely will not compromise on any religious point are rightly viewed by others as extremists. But how much can one compromise on such a fundamental grounding as religion? How much compromise so sullies our souls that we lose ourselves? Would God, the Gods, the Goddess still accept us, or would they condemn us for our weakness?
     Unitarian minister Theodore Parker (1810 – 60) spoke of the “Transient and the Permanent” in religion, and pointed out how often these become confused.
     What are the fundamental religious or spiritual principles that you hold which ought never to be compromised, and what are the “transient” things to which we cling but which we can let go of?
     For me, the principle of Love applied to humanity ought to be out guiding star.
     What is it for you?

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Currently I have the opportunity to drive across the state to Springfield, Mass. twice weekly as I participate in a Clinical Pastoral Education program.
     These drives across the state are often the best time of my day. In the mornings as I head west through a tunnel of color on Route 90, the day glows in reds, yellows, oranges, greens, and browns. The rising sun is bright in my rear-view mirror. The moon is bright and high in the sky above me. I play my favorite music on the stereo. I bask in the beauty of the earth. And I have lots of time to think and to muse.
     The changing colors of the trees at this time of year often reminds me of transformation and transition. The green leaves are turning colors, and will eventually fall off. And, it’s comforting to know that leaves will bud green again in the Spring. This seasonal change can help prepare us for transitioning to a new adventure, or a desire to do something different. What is that we need to slough off? Where do we want to grow, or try something new?
     What transitions, transformations, or renewal may you be experiencing or hoping for this season?
     “Sam Keen, a freelance philosopher, looks at how this impulse toward renewal is reflected in the world’s religions: The great metaphors from all spiritual traditions – grace, liberation, being born again, awakening from illusion – testify that it is possible to transcend the conditioning of my past and do a new thing.” (quoted from “Spiritual Literacy” by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat)
     Welcome the opportunity for transformation.
     “… human becoming in the spirit of growth, change and development … is part and parcel of this life.” (quoted from “Spiritual Literacy” by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat)

Among Us

Our deepest sympathies to Bev Freeman, Michael Collins, and family on the death of Bev’s brother Joseph Freeman, who died on October 17 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was 64 and Bev’s only surviving sibling.

Coffeehouse Season Ticket sales are within 10 tickets of reaching our goal of 70!

We are hoping to make October 30 the last day of running a sales table at the Coffee Hours. Now is the time!
     Imagine the safer, better-fed, healthier people with dramatically improved access to justice and brighter futures that your purchase of a ticket will support. And imagine deeply discounted admission for two at all Coffeehouse performances. And imagine coming to church in November knowing this major social action sales drive is complete!
     Do it now, if you can, as soon as you can! If you have bought before, please renew. If you have never bought, try it — you’ll like it! If you have already bought, ask a friend to buy! You can help make it all happen!
     Write a check (fully deductible) for $119 made out to First Church in Belmont with “Coffeehouse” written in the memo line. (And please remember to include your contact information — name, address, email, phone.) 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, or hand it to Janice or a Coffeehouse Committee Member.
  • And as always, Bravo and Many MANY THANKS to our wonderful FCB Family for participation in this model social action and musical tradition!
  • Click here for an updated schedule and list of beneficiaries.

Music Notes, by Ian Garvie

Thank you doesn’t even begin to express my gratitude for the work that all of the parents and volunteers have put in to this year’s musical. There are beautiful dresses, magnificent set pieces, countless costumes, and thousands of other details that are coming together wonderfully. The show promises to be amazing! My gratitude also extends to the players, who are putting in lots of work memorizing lines, songs, and staging.
     The shows will be Thursday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m., Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, November 20 at 3:00 p.m. Please stay tuned for more details about purchasing tickets for the musical.
     This Sunday, soprano Melanie Bacaling will be singing an offertory in honor of All Soul’s Day. Allerseelen, by Strauss, is beautiful song about a lover who uses the mood of All Soul’s day to try to revive an old love affair, the spark of which has long since gone out. The song was composed in 1885, and was published in 1887 as the last song in a set entitled “Eight Songs from Last Leaves.”

Place on the table the fragrant mignonettes,
Carry the last red asters here,
and let us speak again of love,
as once we did in May.

Give me your hand, so that I can press it secretly;
and if someone sees us, it’s all the same to me.
Just give me one of your sweet gazes,
as once you did in May.

Flowers adorn today each grave, sending off their fragrances;
one day in the year is free for the dead.

Come close to my heart, so that I can have you again,
as once I did in May.

     The Senior Choir anthem will be a French setting of the Our Father, by Maurice Durufle (1902-1986).

CRE asks: Love Working With Kids?

This fall, the CRE program is looking for enthusiastic congregants to join the temporary teaching rotation for the Preschool/Kindergarten class, during both the 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. services. This is a temporary commitment, while we search for a permanent teacher.
     Volunteer-teachers are not required to teach on a weekly basis, but serve at least one Sunday a month. If interested, please contact Nate Sellers ( or Wendy Conroy (

Youth Group’s Annual Odd Jobs & Leaf-Raking Fundraiser is here

leafrakingNeed help navigating Facebook or learning to use your iPhone? Cleaning? Moving heavy items? Youth Group members can help! Sign up for leaf-raking and other odd jobs during coffee hour or contact Sana Saeed (Youth Director) at

UU Mass Action Presents: The Third Annual Story Slam (like the “Moth” on NPR)

  • When: Saturday, November 5, 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: First Parish UU Arlington, 630 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington
  • Theme: Millennials in the Pulpit!
  • Come hear an all-millennial line-up of story tellers who will be sharing their personal stories about being a millennial and a UU. Ever wish there were more millennial UU’s in your congregation? Want to know what millennial are thinking? Then, be sure to make it to this year’s Story Slam!
  • Our emcee for the evening will be Sam Teitel, the 2015 Story Slam winner!
  • The Story Slam is UU Mass Action’s annual fundraising event — come for a night of fun and support UU justice building in Massachusetts at the same time! Tickets:

Adult Programs News

Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War DVD
We have two copies to borrow at the church office — contact Janice to see if they’re available before coming by (617-484-1054, ext. 201; If you have a “WGBH Passport,” you can view the program online at

Approaching the Election — Mike Widmer
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
As we approach the denouement of these past crazy months of election campaigning, Mike Widmer, who has had a long career in politics and government, will reflect on what he sees and how he interprets the current political landscape. What might the election results be and what can we anticipate in a new presidency?
     Following his remarks, there will be time for discussion.

Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey and friends
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
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, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m., Library
Our October selection, Nothing to Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes, was designated by the New York Times as a Best Book of the Year.
     Barnes gives us a memoir on mortality that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction.
     If the fear of death is “the most rational thing in the world,” how does one contend with it? An atheist at twenty, an agnostic at sixty, Barnes looks into the various arguments for and against and with God, and at the bloodline whose archivist, following his parents’ death, he has become — another realm of mystery, wherein a drawer of mementos and his own memories (not to mention those of his philosopher brother) often fail to connect.
     Deadly serious, masterfully playful, and surprisingly hilarious, Nothing to Be Frightened Of is a riveting display of how this supremely gifted writer goes about his business and a highly personal tour of the human condition and what might follow the final diagnosis.
     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!

Experiencing the Pyramids — Edwin Taylor
Sunday, October 30, 12:30 p.m., Library
Strictly speaking, the Pyramids is not a religious subject, but the journey is full of implications, both personal and cultural. The pamphlet “Experiencing the Pyramids” describes Edwin Taylor’s 1978 two-day visit to the Pyramids of Giza. On the first day a guide taught Edwin the system of baksheesh (bribes) used to enter passageways usually forbidden to the public.

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations — Social Action Committee
Sunday, October 30, 7 p.m., Library
Please join members of the Belmont Religious Council, Belmont Against Racism, the Belmont police department, First Church Belmont Social Action Committee and graduates of YouthBuild as we continue our discussion about how to end racism in Belmont and in the wider world.

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Thursday, November 3, 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
Meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday — next is November 3, 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.

Buddhist Spiritual Practices — Eleanor Hobbs
Sunday, November 13, 12:30 p.m., Library
Are you interested in understanding Buddhist practice of meditation or Buddhist retreats? Eleanor Hobbs will lead a short presentation followed by a Q&A about issues related to beginning and sustaining a Buddhist meditation practice and her 3 month silent meditation retreat in the fall of 2015.

Theatre Discussion Series of The Scottsboro Boys — Jane Minasian, Downing Cless, Debbie Dobbins
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
We are pleased to have cast member Maurice Parent with us to discuss this very interesting play. For more information contact

The Scottsboro Boys at Speakeasy Theatre performs Oct. 21 – Nov. 20
In this, their final collaboration, legendary songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago) bring to light one of the most infamous events in American history: the shocking true story of nine African American boys jailed in Alabama in 1931 for a crime they did not commit. Featuring a mix of gospel, jazz, and vaudeville, this audacious musical uses the construct of a minstrel show to tell the harrowing true story that provoked a national outrage and helped launch the American civil rights movement. Approximate running time: 1 hour 45 minutes; no intermission. Tickets are going fast!

Housing Needed
Katherine Canfield writes: A young man I know is looking for a room to rent in a neighborhood along the bus line to Harvard Square. Joseph, 23, is from Uganda, is legally in the U.S., is fluent in English, and has a job. He is lovely, soft-spoken, hard-working and honest. He was a serious amateur soccer player in Uganda.
     The most he can afford for housing is $600 per month. If you know anyone who would be willing to share their home or apartment — or have any suggestions about how to find something (most places, including those on Craigslist, are too expensive), I’d appreciate any leads. Katharine Canfield,

Looking for Elder Companion
Bea de Muinck Keizer’s daughter is looking for someone who can be a companion to Bea once or twice a week.
     This spring Bea moved into assisted living at Neville Place in Cambridge and although she likes her new home, she does not drive anymore and is looking for additional companionship during the week.
     She would very much enjoy someone who is engaging, has patience with her forgetfulness, and who has a car, to come by for 2 to 3 hours, 2 days a week, and either keep her company or take her where she might like to go (grocery store, bank, CVS, library, etc).
     Hours are flexible, but should be during the day (before 5 p.m.). Ideal part-time job for a college student, retiree or a parent who may have some time during the day when kids are at school.
     Hourly rate $15/hr. plus gas mileage (at federal mileage rate). Please contact her daughter Juliana Spofford via or call 508-735-6011 if you are interested or know of someone who might be.

Program and Committee News & Events

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Team Monthly Note (October 2016);
Many of us at First Church recently viewed Defying the Nazis, a documentary about the work of Rev. Waitsill and Martha Sharpe in World War II Europe. This compelling story connects to the 1940 origins of the Unitarian Service Committee located at our church.
     This organization evolved into the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee which, from then to now, continues to be on the front line of disasters and hot spots and to implement social justice campaigns. Go to to read about Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew and the organization’s actions to aid those who are most likely to be overlooked by traditional relief efforts. You can donate to this specific work on the site as well as signing a petition to DHS Secretary Johnson to stop the deportation of Haitian families from the US back into disastrous conditions.

Refugee Resettlement and First Church
According to the UN there are 65.5 million refugees in the world, the most since WWII and we can help. On Sunday, November 6, 2016, Rev. Bryce will preach on Refugees and he will be joined by Cheryl Hamilton, Director of Partner Engagement with the International Institute of New England (IINE). After the 9:00 service there will be a question and answer meeting with Cheryl in the Parlor for those who would like to learn more. After the 11:00 service we will host a meeting in the Parish Hall for members who would like to learn more about refugee resettlement and what we can do as a congregation.
     Many First Church members are actively engaged with IINE and the families in Lowell. If you would like to learn more and join us in these efforts, please attend the worship service and one of the follow up meetings.

Eagle Scout Project: Building Picnic Tables for the UU Urban Ministry
Ben Ackerson, a First Church youth, is working to achieve the Boy Scout rank of Eagle. His community service project is to build three picnic tables and install them at the UU Urban Ministry in Roxbury. Ben must raise $800 to buy materials for the project. First Church members can support this project by donating to Ben at coffee hour on October 23rd and October 30th or sending checks made out to Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry to: Picnic Table Fund, c/o Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, UU Urban Ministry, 10 Putnam Street, Roxbury, MA 02119.

Sign up for the new Social Action newsletter
The Social Action Committee now has its own weekly newsletter. Click here to sign up!

Volunteer Sign-Up Form
Share your time, talent and interest with our church community. Volunteer opportunities can be one-time activities, limited short-term projects or serving on an on-going committee.
     Click on this link and take a minute to complete the survey so the Membership Committee can match your interests and talents with volunteer opportunities at the church. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Membership Committee at

Grow Clinic!alt
Why not support the Grow Clinic by celebrating an upcoming birthday, anniversary or holiday? Encourage your friends and family to make a donation to help children. Complimentary guidance provided. Call 617-414-7415 or e-mail

  • 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: November 1
The next issue of The Unitarian is Tuesday, November 1. Please send announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, October 26. Submissions may be edited for space and clarity.

Church Staff
Senior Minister: Rev. David Bryce — 617-484-1054, ext. 202;
Ministerian Intern: 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 Upper Gathering Hall bulletin board.

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.

Support & stay in touch with FCB


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