The Unitarian – January 13, 2017

Click here to download a printable Unitarian (PDF)

The church’s telephone system is still out of service. In an emergency you can leave a voicemail at 617-484-1054, which is retrieved twice daily during business hours. We have scheduled a new phone system to be installed on Tuesday, January 17. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Sunday Worship – January 15

Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution — Rev. Doris Hunter

Prelude: Improvisation on Deep River; Simon Andrews, organ

11 a.m. Senior Choir: Like a Mighty Stream, by Moses Hogan

Offertory: “Molasses to Rum” from the musical 1776, by Sherman Edwards; Chuck Claus, baritone

Postlude: Postlude in G minor, by J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750); Simon Andrews, organ

The flowers on the Chancel Table are given by the Herbert-Miller Family, in honor of our parents, Marjorie and Walt Herbert and Nann and Bill Miller.

  • Services at 9 and 11 a.m.; childcare is provided
  • Directions and parking information at
  • Sermon archive:
  • Sunday, January 22 — Partner Church Sunday
  • Notice about Sunday services on January 22nd, Partner Church Sunday
    Our Sunday worship services on January 22nd will be very special, being built around the video of the summer service in which First Church pilgrims took part in our partner village.  Due to technical requirements, we will worship in the Parish Hall that morning, which will be specially decorated for the occasion.  We hope you can join us for this special occasion and find it meaningful.  Watch this space for more details.
    ~ The First Church Pilgrims and Partner Church Committee

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

A grandfather tells his grandson, “Two wolves are fighting in my heart. One wolf is angry, fearful, envious, resentful, deceitful. The other wolf is kind, compassionate, honest, generous, and wise.” The grandson asks which wolf will win the fight. The grandfather answers, “The one I feed.” — Cherokee Parable
We always have a choice.
     I will readily admit that sometimes it feels downright good to be angry and resentful. This is especially true while I’m driving. I get to rant and rave, sometimes honk the horn, possibly cut someone else off, and even use the occasional angry hand gesture at drivers who are obnoxious, unfriendly, and sometimes downright dangerous.
     I often behave the same way when watching or listening to the news and political shows on TV or the radio.
     In times like these when I give my anger free reign, it feels like my anger and resentment can conquer another’s. I “win.” Yet, the feeling is fleeting. And soon, I start talking to myself to calm down. It feels good to let off steam, but gradually I realize that another may be angry or fearful because they are late to an important appointment, or that they had a fight with a loved one before going to work. Or, maybe they are just lost and can’t figure out how to get where they need to go. Or they’ve lost their job. I’ve been in the same types of situations several times! So, recognizing our mutual humanity I am able to calm down and enter the place of kindness and compassion.
     For sure there are a lot of reasons to feel angry these days. So let anger be a beacon that points to a wrong, an injustice, unfairness, deceit. Let it be an “alarm.” But, I don’t think anger is the solution. It can wake us up, but it cannot heal, or right the wrong. Once we are awakened by anger, then we can choose another way. I believe that we must choose the way of compassion, kindness, honesty, generosity and wisdom. These are the paths to healing and justice, seeing the humanity in others, recognizing the loss that others carry, realizing that each of us needs love and to live in a welcoming world.

Save the Date for the Alfa Radford Celebratory Concert and Commemorative Plaque Unveiling!

The Music Committee is thrilled to invite you to a musical celebration of the installation of the Alfa Radford Commemorative Plaque Unveiling and Concert. The plaque recognizes and memorializes Alfa Radford’s 55 years of bringing music and joy to this community.
     Please join us Saturday, January 21 at 7:30 p.m. for an inspirational evening:
Unveiling of the bronze plaque, followed by musical performances by:

  • Nina Grimaldi, Piano
  • Kira Garvie, Organ
  • Simon Andrews, Organ
  • Alfa Radford, Piano
  • Chuck Claus, Baritone
  • Davron Monroe, Tenor
  • Irina Kareva, Mezzo-soprano
  • Robin Pyle, Trumpet
  • Ian Garvie, Piano

Reception in the Parish Hall
     Tickets are $10 at the door. All proceeds will go to the Alfa Radford Legacy Music Endowment, a fund that supports significant purchases that benefit the entire church community. Past purchases have included new robes for the Children’s Choirs, an upgraded sound and video system in the Parish Hall, microphones for the Sanctuary, and more. Additional donations are encouraged!
     It will be an unforgettable evening memorializing Alfa’s contribution to our lives, and to the lives of those to come.



“Might as well jump. Jump! Go ahead, jump.” Don’t put off buying your tickets to First Church’s 2017 auction, on Saturday, February 4 (snow date February 5). They’re selling fast, and your friends are eager to see you there. A $50 ticket buys you hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail reception (cash bar), a delicious dinner with wine, musical entertainment, dancing, and most important, the Live Auction! Go to to register and buy your tickets, or stop by the Auction table at coffee hour.
     New this year: Raffle tickets are on sale at Bidding for Good, so you can buy them three ways: online, at the Auction table, or at the Live Auction (1 for $5; 5 for $20; or 10 for $35—What a bargain!). This is a great solution for people who can’t attend but want to be part of the excitement. Two outstanding items will be raffled this year: (1) a romantic overnight stay at a South End B&B, with dinner at a nearby restaurant; (2) two tickets for a show of your choice at Passim, with $50 toward drinks/refreshments, and a chance to meet the performer.

End of Year Contribution Statements Coming Soon

We will be mailing out end-of-year contribution statements, to assist you in preparing your tax returns, by the end of January.

Youth Group!

What’s Going on in West Virginia? An Awareness Event: Sunday, January 29

Join the Youth Group, Social Action Committee and Adult Programs for a community dialogue abowvirginiamap2ut Appalachian culture and the challenges communities face in West Virginia.
     First Church Belmont members Bethany Allen and Veronica Canas, and other guests, will share stories of growing up in West Virginia and what’s at stake for the vulnerable communities living there today.

  • Sunday, January 29th 12:30- 2:00 in the Parish Hall
  • All donations collected at the event will benefit the Youth Group Service Trip to West Virginia in February.
  • Contact Sana Saeed for more information at:

Annual Winter Clothing Drive, January 10 – 25
Donation boxes are in the Lower Hall.

The 9th grade COA group will be volunteering with homeless people in the Boston area and learning about poverty and homelessness in January. Please help us with a clothing drive in advance!

Used items for men and women including:

  • Winter coats
  • Sweat shirts and sweat pants (especially hooded sweatshirts)
  • Sweaters, Long-sleeve shirts, T-shirts
  • Jeans, khakis, other casual pants and belts
  • Waterproof boots, comfortable shoes and sneakers
  • Hats, waterproof gloves, scarves
  • All kinds of carrying cases such as backpacks, tote bags, fanny packs and small suitcases with wheels (in good condition)
  • Sleeping bags and blankets (clean & in good condition)

New items for men and women, including:

  • New white socks
  • New underwear – size L, XL, XXL

New, unopened travel sized toiletries, including:

  • Soap, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, Chapstick, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream and razors. (Please no aftershave or mouthwash containing alcohol.)

Please NO children’s clothes, dress clothes, slippers, bathrobes, pajamas or out-of-season clothing.

For questions, please contact Sana Saeed at

MLK Breakfast: Monday, January 16, featuring FCB member Dorothy Stoneman

Many of us may have sat next to her in the sanctuary or joined hands during a local vigil or had any number of encounters with Dorothy Stoneman. Now it is time for us to thank her. She has been tireless in her efforts to help improve the lives of at-risk youth, and been successful on a global level. Dorothy is being honored at this year’s MLK Breakfast.
     This recent NY Times article describes the magnitude of her accomplishments:

  • Monday, January 16, 2017, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Belmont High School Cafeteria, 221 Concord Avenue
  • Featuring: Dorothy Stoneman, Founder of YouthBuild, Civil Rights Activist and BHS Graduate, and a Panel of METCO Alumni and Friends
  • $5 per person/$10 per family (at the door)
  • A multi-generational community gathering with children’s activities. Advance registration requested but not required by emailing, or by calling 617-993-2795. Continental breakfast. Proceeds to benefit Belmont’s METCO support fund and late day transportation.

Adult Programs News

Women’s Retreat: March 31 – April 2
Information and Registration forms are now online.

New Program! Reflecting On Racism From The Inside Out — Joslyne Decker
First Tuesdays, February 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6 7 p.m., Parlor
This group will function as a non-judgmental, supportive space for those open to learning, self-reflection, personal change, and honest conversation around race and racism. Goals include increasing our understanding of racism and learning how to leverage our privilege to end it. Registration is required as the class is limited to 12 participants.
     Regular attendance requested, first session required. Occasional short reading assignments. For information or with questions, please contact Joslyne at Co-sponsored by Social Action Committee.

Spiritual Renewal Through Poetry — Peter Guthrie
Meets Sundays, Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, 3-4 p.m., Parlor
Robert Frost once defined a poem as a “momentary stay against confusion.” Good poems can help us see ourselves and our lives more clearly, trigger moments of epiphany, and cut through the confusion of life to what truly matters. We will read and discuss poems that deal with spiritual issues in the broadest sense of the term.

Feminism and Reproductive Justice — Andrea Spencer-Linzie
Sunday, January 15, 12:30 p.m., Library
Join our ministerial intern as we examine these issues using feminist theology and our Unitarian Universalist principles as our guides. Refreshments served.

UU Belmont Alliance — Lunch and Program
Wednesday, January 18, 12 noon, Upper Hall; All Men and Women Welcome
The program will be a screening of Alvin Ailey’s choreographic masterpiece, “Revelations”. Alice Trexler will introduce the choreography and offer some comments after. R.s.v.p. to Janice Zazinski at, or 617-484-1054, ext. 201.
     Bring a sandwich; the Alliance will provide soup, fruit and dessert. The suggested donation for the meal is $2.

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, January 19, 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.
     Please join us on a path of living positively and boldly in the New Year. Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Science and Spirituality — Ken and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, January 19, 7:30 p.m., Conf. Room
Edwin Taylor will lead a discussion on the book Tribe by Sebastian Junger. Why did colonists captured by Native Americans refuse to return home, while Native Americans captured by colonists returned to their tribes when released? CAUTION: A couple of pages in this reading may be too graphic for children. A selection of pages from Tribe is online at

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday, 8 p.m., Location TBD
Enjoy the fun and fellowship of crafting with a genial group. 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. Email with any questions.

Poetry and Music — Richard Waring and Sam Waring
Friday, Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Enjoy the creative energy between father and son in this presentation of words and melodies. Richard will read from his book, “What Love Tells Me,” interspersed with classical pieces for oboe performed by Sam. Refreshments served.

Serenity in the Age of Trump — Edwin Taylor, Will Brownsberger, James Hencke, Eleanor Hobbs
Sunday, January 22, 12:30 p.m., Parish Hall
The election of Donald Trump is one sign of a new Age, a national and international political turn away from some current visions of governance. Our session will NOT be about this turn, but rather about our individual response: how much to participate, how much to hibernate; in any case, how do we establish and maintain equanimity? Refreshments served.

Mindful Yoga — Jess Hicks
Sundays, beginning January 22, 2:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Mindful yoga for adults of all ages, abilities, and experience levels. Jess is a registered yoga instructor with a lifetime of practice to share. Just bring a mat, and a twin-sized blanket, if you have them, and a curious mind. Drop-in. To be continued if there is interest. For more information contact

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, January 25, 7:30 p.m., Library
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Book Group is always open to new members. There is no long term commitment. Feel free to join us for a single evening’s discussion or to become a regular participant. We ask only that you confirm your intention to attend on a particular evening by the Monday before each session. Please contact Anne Stuart at: or Karl Klasson at to confirm attendance if you are interested in participating or have any questions.

Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey
Wednesday, January 25, 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. All levels encouraged!
Save the dates — last Wednesdays of each month.

Before the Flood: Film and Discussion — FCB Green/Adult Programs
Sunday, January 29, 4 p.m., Parish Hall
Before the Flood is the new movie created by filmmaker Fisher Stevens and actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio about the dramatic changes now occurring around the world because of climate change—the most pressing challenge of our time.
     The film follows DiCaprio as he travels to 5 continents and the Arctic, speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue.
     This 96 minute film will be followed by a guided discussion. Refreshments provided. Co-sponsored by Belmont Mothers Out Front, and Temple Beth El Climate Team.

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations
Sunday, January 29, 7 p.m., Library
Please join Belmont Against Racism, the First Church Social Action Committee, the Belmont Religious Council, the Belmont police department and graduates of Youth Build as we continue our discussion about how to end racism in Belmont and in the wider world.

Social Action News

Click here to sign up for the Social Action e-newsletter.

Boston Women’s March on Washington DC
Join us on Boston Common from 11am – 3 p.m. Schedule at
We are pleased to announce that planning group members have rented a bus to take Marchers directly to Boston Common. There are 47 seats on the bus and no one is permitted to stand. Tickets are $10 each on a first come-first served basis. Tickets are available at coffee hour this Sunday, subject to pre-sale.
     The bus leaves Belmont promptly at 9:30 a.m. (we must arrive in Boston by 10 a.m.) from the Belmont High School parking lot. Please arrive by 9:15 a.m. for boarding and park only at the Underwood St. side/eastern end of the BHS lot, near the softball field and the buses. Carpooling and drop-off to the BHS lot is encouraged!
     The bus will leave from Boston promptly at 2:15 p.m., with arrival back in Belmont expected at about 3 p.m.
     If for any reason after you buy a ticket, you find that you cannot attend on Saturday, please call Nancy Davis at 617-480-6866 so your ticket can be resold. There may be one or two tickets available this way at the last minute.
     If you wish to contact the group, please send a message to Frederica Frost at We are excited about participating in a strong statement to the new administration regarding human rights.

“A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer” (MMRP) will be performed on February 17 and 18, 7:30 p.m.
MMRP is a collection of essays solicited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle , written by well known public figures, that tell the stories of women who have experienced violence and abuse. These stories will be performed by local residents including: a Belmont selectman, a Belmont Police Officer, a professional dancer, a Vice Principal, members of First Church of Belmont, Unitarian Universalist, and local semi-professional performers.
     Tickets available on Eventbrite or at the door – $15.00 and at coffee hour on Feb. 5th and 12th.
     The designated beneficiary for the proceeds from the ticket sales is New Beginnings Reentry Services Inc., a program for women leaving prison based in the Boston area. It’s the first of its kind in Massachusetts; click here to see services offered.
     Stacey Borden, the founder and Director of New Beginnings, will be at First Church Coffee hours on Feb. 5th and 12th. Please stop by the table to say hello and learn more about this unique and ever so needed program.

Deadline January 29th to Donate Your Gently Used or Never Worn Shoes to New Beginnings Reentry Services — Beneficiary for VDAY Belmont 2017
If New Beginnings can collect 3,000 pairs of gently worn or new pairs of shoes which they in turn donate to Funds2org, they will receive $5,000.
     Please leave shoes in the bin by the Social Action table in the Upper Gathering Hall. And don’t forget to ask your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to donate too!

Grow Clinic!alt
Help us start off the New Year with the 9th Annual GREAT JANUARY JAR RACE. How many jars of BABY FOOD can First Church collect by the end of the month? A small jar can make a big difference.
January and February: The Great January Jar Race: Baby Foods of All Kinds!
There are collection baskets in the Lower Hall and the vestibule outside the Sanctuary.
Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

UUSC Team Monthly Note (Jan. 2017):
In his end-of-the-year message, Tom Andrews, President/CEO of UUSC, discussed the creation of hate-free zones in schools, town, states, etc. The UUSC is now laying the groundwork for a “Hate-Free-Action Network,” and it is this activity that is supported by the Guest at Your Table (GAYT) program this time.
     In November, church members received their GAYT boxes, including stories of hope and a donation envelope. It’s now time to convert all of those overfull boxes to checks or online donations to support “defying hate” which aims to carry forth the Sharpe’s (UUSC founders) legacy by protecting the rights of marginalized peoples in the US and abroad.
     Please do not return boxes of cash and coins to the church. Instead, donate online at or write your check to UUSC (GAYT), PO Box 808, Newark, NJ 07101. All donations are tax-deductible, and all over $125 are matched by the UU Shelter Rock congregation. Membership benefits begin at $40. Your most generous tax-deductible contributions before the end of January are greatly needed and appreciated.
~ Alice Trexler for the FCB UUSC Team

FCB Refugee Welcome Teams
by Sam James
First Church (FCB) has been working with the International Institute of New England (IINE) to determine the best way to move forward with volunteers. Thus, First Church will be the first partner in IINE’s Resettle Together network to pilot a new Welcome Team program.
     Sunday January 22, 2017 after the 9:00 and 11:00 services in the parlor there will be an opportunity to better understand being a Welcome Team Member.
     Each team will include 6-8 FCB members who work together to support a refugee family’s successful resettlement. Each team will be responsible for a minimum of 4 hours of combined work per week and will coordinate their weekly efforts based on the family’s needs. Each member will make a six month commitment to a family. The work can be spread out over days, evenings, and weekends. The core responsibilities for the teams will be as follows:
Orient newcomers to America and provide valuable life skills, e.g., bus transportation, grocery store shopping, visit to library, post office, etc.
Provide opportunities to learn and practice English skills e.g., tutoring, conversations, etc.
Assist with employment preparation, e.g., practice interviews, resume preparation, travel to interviews, etc.
Help with financial literacy, e.g., budget, saving money, learning to pay bills, deal with banks, etc.
Organize social events, especially for the children
All team members will be trained by IINE. The process begins with a meeting between the IINE staff member, new refugee family, (interpreter, if required), and our welcome team members. Each team’s responsibilities will be tailored to the family’s needs and there will opportunity to work closely with family members, IINE, and each other. Following the first members, the Welcome Team will organize a dinner for the new arrivals.
     This is a wonderful opportunity for us to be involved with refugee resettlement. It is very structured, allows our members the opportunity to work together, and helps a family make a successful transition to life in Lowell after a long journey. Please join us Sunday January 22, 2017 and learn more about the program.

The Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry — Volunteer opportunities in Roxbury
Please click here to see current volunteer opportunities.

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. ]

In Case of Severe Weather
As winter approaches there maybe foul weather around service times. If a service is to be cancelled a message of the cancellation will be placed on the Church phone system, website, Facebook page, etc. However in any weather condition which concerns you or your family, it should be clear that no one should ever feel pressure to come to services if their travel conditions seem unsafe.
     Read the complete, updated weather policy here:

Lost & Found
The First Church Lost & Found items are in a large labeled box in the Lower Hall, outside the Church Administrator’s office. Every six months the Lost & Found contents are given to a donation center, so don’t wait too long to look, or contact Janice at 617-484-1054, ext. 201 /

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

Next issue: January 20, 2017

The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, January 20, 2017. Please email items to by noon on Wednesday, January 18. Items may be edited for space and clarity.

Church Staff — click here for directory

404 Concord Ave., Belmont | 617-484-1054 |
Office hours: Monday – Friday, 9 – 3. The church office will be closed Monday, January 16, for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Parish Board, 2016 – 2017 — click here
Parish Board minutes are available online and are posted on the Upper Gathering Hall bulletin board.

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

Easy ways to support & stay in touch with FCB


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