The Unitarian – February 10, 2017

The Unitarian – February 10, 2017 (PDF)

Sunday Worship – February 12

Bound Together — Andrea Spencer-Linzie

We will explore what it means to be in covenant with each other. In our congregation, and other UU congregations around the world, we do not come together over a common creed, but in common bond. How do we create community at FCB, for ourselves and for the future?

Prelude: Trio Op. 49 No. 4 by Joseph Rheinberger (1839-1901); Simon Andrews, organ

11 a.m. Senior Choir: Jubilate Deo, by Orlando di Lasso (1532 – 94)

Offertory: Davron Monroe, tenor

Postlude: Mit Freuden Zart by Paul Laubengayer (contemp.); Simon Andrews, organ

The flowers on the Chancel Table are given by Kathy Crawley in gratitude for the First Church’s ongoing support of the infants, toddlers, and their families of the Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center.

  • Services at 9 and 11 a.m.; childcare is provided
  • Directions and parking information at
  • Sermon archive:
  • Sunday, February 19 — Andrea Spencer-Linzie

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Some of you may know that I am participating in a training for chaplains at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, MA. Every week I visit patients. Some of them are in the hospital for a short stay, others are there for much longer, some know that they will die there.
      The patients are the young and the old, from all walks of life, with many different languages and religious traditions.
      I have learned a lot… about myself and others. Experiencing what I have in my chaplaincy thus far has widened and deepened my understanding of what is truly at the heart of ministry.
      At first I was nervous about knowing enough about someone else’s religious traditions, culture, or their family life. But it really wasn’t “information” I needed to know.
      I learned to see in a new way that people are just people. Especially in a hospital setting when most people feel some vulnerability, what is needed is acknowledgement of their personhood, their sacred worth, to understand they may be afraid. As a chaplain, I can help in a small way to provide the humanity, comfort, and dignity that each person deserves.
      This lesson of learning to see the humanity and dignity in each person is important outside of the medical setting as well. There is something sacred in each of us. There is a larger reality, or movement of love and transcendence in the world that we can all tap into. We share our humanity and this can help us understand each other and our needs.
      In the end, it really comes down to each of us being accepted as a human being. A person’s religion, or language, or culture is important, but it is not what is existentially crucial. Rather, it is that each of us is “somebody”, yearning to be seen and understood. In this time of anxiety, perhaps this is what we need to remember. We are just people, with our frailties and dreams. Take a chance even if you don’t know everything you think you need to know. Reach out to somebody and see how it may transform you and them.


 Time is Running Out!

Tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:00 p.m., the Silent Auction ends—along with your chance to find great bargains and bid on a huge variety of items:

  • gift certificates for local shops and restaurants
  • cookies, cakes, and pies
  • vacation stays
  • sumptuous dinners and brunches
  • hand-made accessories
  • services such as bike repair, decluttering, spring cleaning, and computer help
  • plants and garden advice
  • cultural events
  • works of art

      Go to to have fun, shop from the convenience of your home, and help support all the programs at First Church as well. You can make this our most successful auction ever!

Silent Auction Winning Bidders

You may pick up physical items (including gift certificates) at First Church at the following times:

  • Monday, Feb. 13, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. in the Lower Gathering Hall
  • Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in the Lower Gathering Hall
  • Sunday, Feb. 19 at the coffee hours in the Upper Gathering Hall

From the Stewardship Committeestewardship logo

The March Stewardship Drive is coming up. Pledges packets will be mailed in two weeks. Please save the date for Celebration Sunday, March 5. Thank you!

~ Roger Read, Stewardship Chair

Among Us

Our deepest sympathies to Joan Loewenberg, Robert Donaghey and family on the recent death of Joan’s father.

UUA and UUSC Declaration of Conscienceuuadeclarationofconscience

Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President Rev. Peter Morales and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) President and CEO Hon. Thomas Andrews invite congregations and friends to sign the Declaration of Conscience, committing to put Unitarian Universalist values into action to resist hate, fear and bigotry.
     “We will oppose any and all unjust government actions to deport, register, discriminate, or despoil. As people of conscience, we declare our commitment to translate our values into action as we stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable among us. We welcome and invite all to join in this commitment for justice.” Join us in transforming faith into action! Read the full Declaration of Conscience and sign on today!




Second Friday Coffeehouse — tonight at 7:30!

Club Passim Emerging Artists Night Featured Act

Honeysuckle is a progressive folk act that blends older influences and traditional instrumentation with modern effects and inspiration.
      Comprised of Holly McGarry, Benjamin Burns, and Chris Bloniarz, the trio can frequently be found performing in the Boston area and surrounding cities in the Northeast, playing alongside bands like Boy & Bear, Shook Twins, John Craigie, Grey Season, and others.
      In 2015, Honeysuckle performed at Newport Folk Festival, was chosen as a Converse Rubber Tracks artist, and was nominated for Best Folk Artist of the Year, and Best Americana Artist of the Year at the annual Boston Music Awards. In 2016 the group played Lollapalooza on the Pepsi Stage as well as CMJ in New York City.
      Proceeds to benefit the UU Service Committee.

Church Library Additions

Edwin Taylor generously donated 60 prized books to our library. There are new books in most categories including Religion and Science, Spirituality/Practice, Bible, Social Action, and a newly formed category —Humor!
      Noteworthy additions are Gospel Parallels, a Comparison of the Synoptic Gospels by Burton Throckmorton (on the Bible shelf), Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (Death/Dying), Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast (Humor), and Morals of Jesus: The Jefferson Bible by Thomas Jefferson (Bible). We also recommend Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns (Social Action).
      Books are checked out on the honor system. You are invited to browse, take something home to read, and return it when finished.

Adult Programs News

Women’s Retreat: March 31 – April 2 at Rolling Ridge
There are a few places left and the deadline has been extended. Questions? E-mail Lillian Anderson at Information and Registration forms are online.

Foster Care in Massachusetts — Jeremy Lockett
Sunday, February 12, 12:30 p.m., Library
Dare Family Services’ primary mission is to find, train and support loving homes that will help children become resilient and overcome the trauma of serious abuse and neglect. Jeremy will share some of his own experiences in the system and help us to understand why children need foster care, who is in foster care and what it takes to be a foster parent. Co-sponsored by SAC. Refreshments served.

Mindful Yoga — Jess Hicks
Sundays, Feb. 12, all March, April 2, 9, and 23, 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

Belmont UU Alliance Lunch & Program — All Women and Men Welcomecoral reefs
Wednesday, February 15; 12:00; Lunch Upper Hall; 1:00 p.m. Program Upper Hall
Please join us on Wednesday, February 15 for the Alliance lunch and program. Bring a sandwich. The Alliance will provide soup, fruit and dessert. The suggested donation for the meal is $2.
     “The Fijian People and Their Coral Reefs “will be presented by Mark Rosenstein, an amateur marine biologist and avid scuba diver and underwater photographer. After ten trips to Fiji, he has visited several villages there as well as spending many hours studying the reefs.
     He will present a brief overview of the history and culture, then the coral reefs that surround the islands and creatures that live on them, illustrated with many colorful photos. R.s.v.p. to Janice at or 617-484-1054 (ext. 10).

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, February 16, 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 and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, February 16, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Elizabeth Archer will lead a discussion of Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and The Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith. The author gives vivid accounts of the behavior and particular intelligence of cephalopods. “The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien.” Selected pages can be downloaded from:

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Meets 1st and 3rd Thursdays, Feb. 16 and March 2, 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.

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, February 22, 7:30 p.m., Library
This month’s book is Americanah by Chimamand Ngozi Adichie
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.

“Frayed Lives” — Debra Michlewitz
Sunday, February 26, 12:30 p.m., Library
“As a first generation American in a Brooklyn household cobbled together from fragments surviving the Holocaust, Debra describes her experience as ‘a stranger in a strange land’”. Her memoir paints the panorama of a family record while depicting the desperation of refugees of war. A retired English teacher, Debra is now a docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Her book is available at Barnes and Noble.

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations
Sunday, February 26, 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.

Caring for Older Adults —Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Thursday, March 2, 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.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
 1st Fridays, March. 3, 7:30 p.m., Parlor
Does your child have special challenges? Has he/she been diagnosed with Aspergers, ADHD, or sensory problems? We will offer support and share experience in a non-judgmental space. Snacks provided.

The Camino Pilgrimage — Devon Beckett
Sunday, March 5, 12:30 p.m., Library
Join Devon for a living room version of her pilgrimage, walking 70 miles along Roman roads, following the yellow arrows and scallop shells which point The Way. Organizing tips and resources for making your own Buen Camino will be offered.

Social Action News

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

VDAY is a Global Movement to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls.
     In conjunction with many other Belmont organizations, First Church is proud to support this effort and to be the site of a program featuring essays on this subject. The collection is edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle, and each piece is written by a well known person.

“A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer” (MMRP) February 17 and 18, 7:30 p.m.
Members of First Church. a Belmont Selectman, a Belmont Police Officer, a Cambridge Vice Principal and a few semi-professional actors will be performing. We will be selling tickets at Coffee hour on February 5th and 12th or you can get them on line at
     This is our way of giving voice to the issue of violence against women and girls. Funds raised from the tickets sales, donations and our fabulous Gift Baskets will be awarded to our beneficiary, New Beginnings Reentry Services. Inc.
     This Sunday Stacey Borden, Founder and Director of New Beginnings, will be at Coffee Hour for you to meet and to learn more about her vision and the needs of the women leaving prison and transitioning back into their communities. Her personal story is compelling.

  • 90% of the profits will be donated to New Beginnings
  • 10% go to the global VDAY effort to stop violence against women and girls

We need your help! Please support these critical services. Come to the performance * buy raffle tickets *make donations.
     First Church performers include Anne Adams, Patricia Garcia, Karl Klasson, Jen Marler, Jackie Neel and former Belmont resident member Will Neely. A full cast list will appear in the Program.

Belmont Food Pantry
First Church members staff the opening of the Belmont Food Pantry on the second Tuesday of every month. Volunteers work for about 90 minutes, from 5 – 6:30 p.m.; sign up online: Questions to

Save the Date for the First Church Rummage Sale: Saturday, May 6, 2017
As you carry out your New Year’s resolution to de-clutter, please set aside any “saleable” items for the Rummage Sale!!

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.
     Currently, 25 people have expressed an interest in learning more and possibly participate in training for the next steps. Bev Freeman, Katharine Canfield, and Sam are part of IINE’s Summit (all of the volunteer groups that support IINE). In early February, we can schedule dates, probably a Saturday, for training and getting ready.
     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.

Welcome Dinners
IINE is scheduling welcoming dinners with new refugee family arrivals to Lowell. Two FCB families will “host” two refugee families on a weekday or weekend (at your request).
     FCB families will provide the full dinner and IINE will provide a location in Lowell. IINE will provide a facilitator and interpreter for the evening.
     These dinners are a great way to say hello and welcome moms, dads, and kids who have been on a long journey. It is also an amazing opportunity for FCB youth and children to meet with families from around the world.
     If you would like to sign up to help co-host one of the dinners or if two families would like to host a dinner or would like more information, please contact Joslyne Decker at

Grow Clinic!alt
Wouldn’t you like to Put Some LOVE in Your Cart this Valentine Holiday with a few extras for the infants and toddlers at the Grow Clinic?
February Special Request: Baby Food and Formula
There are collection baskets in the Lower Hall and the vestibule outside the Sanctuary.
Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

A Community Responds: Film Series
This fall a conversation began between Temple Beth-El Center, Belmont Public Library and First Church to host a town-wide education program about refugee resettlement. We invited members of Belmont World Film to join us and began exploring the possibility of a film festival that educates and promotes refugee resettlement. The final film is All of Me, February 16, 2017 at the Belmont Public Library.
     Efforts have been made to select films that complement each other and provide a diverse and comprehensive understanding of the challenge. We have been able to cover all of the expenses of the films; therefore, all proceeds will be donated to the International Institute of New England and the Refugee and Immigrant Assistant Center.
      Please join us in this journey of better understanding some of the 60 million people who are seeking shelter in foreign lands.

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’s website and Facebook page. 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. 10, or

All are welcome at the New England Regional Assembly: April 21-22, in Woburnuua

Your New England Region UUA is bringing you a unique opportunity to gather with New England Unitarian Universalists for a celebration of spirit. Worship with acclaimed liturgist-singer-music director Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout and UU/UCC preacher Rev. Robin Bartlett. Sing with composer-musician-song leader Dr. Ysaye Barnwell. Attend a UUA Presidential Candidates Forum. Meet and greet your New England Region UUA staff, and choose from three workshops being offered. REGISTER:
      Register by February 28 for Early Bird Pricing. Youth are welcome to participate; special rate for ages 12-19. Free child care available for ages 11 and under.

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

Next issue: February 17

The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, February 17. Please e-mail items to by noon on Wednesday, February 15. 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 on Monday, February 20 for Presidents Day.

Church Administrator Janice Zazinski will be out of the office from Friday, February 17 through Tuesday, February 21.

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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