Social Action Events and Opportunities

The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist

February 2017

Together we can make a difference!

To stay connected to the UUA information read the
latest UUA bulletin

It’s Almost Here

“A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer”
February 17 and 18 at 7:30 PM

Tickets $15.00
On Sale at Coffee Hour

Members* of First Church along with 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 12th or you can get them on line at Eventbrite

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.”

A highlight this Sunday and next is that 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


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.

This is a VDay event- Vday is a global movement to STOP violence against women and girls. Vday was founded by Eve Ensler 19 years ago.


“New Beginnings” is collecting new or gently-worn shoes in order to obtain additional funds. Please look in your closets and ask your friends and colleagues to do the same. New deadline is February 19th. Collection bin is at the SAC table. Your generosity is hugely appreciated!!!

For more information about New Beginnings Reentry Services, Inc. please visit our website:
Contact: Kristin Phillips – 781-929-9638


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.

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
The Welcome Team training has been scheduled for Saturday, February 25 from 9:00-11:00 in the Parish Hall. We will cover all of the responsibilities of the Welcome Team and have time for Q&A.
Please reserve this time and we will see you then.

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. For more information contact

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 First Church Member Joslyne Decker at

“A Community Responds:
Three Films on the Global Refugee Crisis”
a series of documentaries

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 documentaries that are excellent. The first film “Sonita” was very well attended; there are two remaining films.

“After Spring”, February 9th at the West Newton Cinema at 7pm
“All of Me”, February 16th at the Belmont Public Library at 7pm

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 save the dates and join us in this journey of better understanding some of the 60 million people who are seeking shelter in foreign lands.

International Institute of New England –
Volunteer Opportunities
Below are the latest listings:

*Employment Services Assistant
Responsibilities include assisting with crafting resumes and completing on-line and paper applications for refugee and asylee clients. Assistants will work with interpreters to apply past work experience to the needs of the positon sought by the client. Administration and or HR experience is helpful but not necessary. Training is provided.

ESOL Assistant
Working with Refugee and asylum clients whose first language is other than English. Volunteers would assist with one on one tutoring, guiding clients through lessons and facilitating conversation circles. An education or ESOL background is helpful but not necessary. Training will be provided.

*Front Desk Assistant
This position involves assisting refugee and asylum clients at the front desk reception area of IINE-Lowell. This is a dynamic position which requires patience, problem solving and coordinating client requests between and among IINE-Lowell Program departments. Clerical requests like filing and copying are also a component of the position.

Training will be provided.

*Please contact Peter Saati- IINE Volunteer Coordinator


Foster Care in Massachusetts

Jeremy Lockett
Sunday, February 12,
12:30pm, 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 or a mentor in these youth’s lives.

Co-sponsored by SAC. Refreshments served.



The Women’s March for America, whether in Boston or D.C., was a powerful and energizing experience.Let’s build on that by participating in a Huddle to gather our community and plan what’s next.Let’s envision how to transform the energy we saw at the March into local and national action.

The Huddle is in the Parlor at First Church in Belmont on
Monday 2/20 at 7:30 pm.

We hope you can join us. For more information contact Eva at

More information is at


Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations

Sunday, February 26, 7pm, Library

Please join Belmont Against Racism, The First Church in Belmont 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.


Grow Clinic!

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?

Pick up a food list for shopping or bring a Special Request
February Special Request: Baby Food and Formula



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.

Thanks to Hannah Fischer, we have recently created an on-line sign-up option via Sign-Up Genius for people to use who are interested in volunteering but didn’t have a chance to sign up in person.

Sign up online: Questions to .


The Diversity Task Group of Arlington’s Vision 2020 and True Story Theater and co-sponsors Martin LutherKing Birthday Observance Committee of Arlington andArlington Commission on Disability

invite YOU to participate in:

Bystander Intervention Workshop
Wednesday, February 22nd, 7-9pm

Please arrive a few minutes early so we can start right at 7pm
At the Robbins Library, Community Room, 700 Mass Ave. Arlington, MA

What do you do when you witness someone mistreated (at work, school, on a bus)? In this workshop:
● Explore incidents, feelings, actions, and thoughts on being an ally.
● See True Story Theater embody common experiences.
● Gain perspective on the pivotal role of a bystander to shift a situation.
● Explore ideas as a group and try out effective ways to intervene.

REGISTER: or email:


Criminal Justice In Massachusetts:
How It’s Broken and Ways to Fix It  

February 16, 7:00 p.m.

First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Rd.,
Concord, MA

Join State Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington), Clarence Bevins and Louellyn Lambros for a panel discussion on the need for criminal justice reform in Massachusetts.

Panelists will share personal experiences, explain legislative initiatives and provide concrete suggestions on how attendees can help establish a more just system.

For more information contact Leslie Fisher at or click on link




For over thirty years, the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter has operated in the University LutheranChurch, providing a safe and welcoming haven for countless people experiencing homelessness. And in December of 2015, Y2Y Harvard Square officially opened its doors for the first time to become the nation’s first student-run shelter specifically for homeless youth between the ages of 18-24. Though we are separate shelters, we are united in the fight against homelessness.

With Y2Y’s and HSHS’s Spring volunteering shifts starting February 15th, we need your help once again. Learn how you can get involved as a volunteer this upcoming Spring by heading to our websites (HSHS and Y2Y) and
filling out our volunteer application today!


~FCB’s Famous RUMMAGE SALE Returns May 6th~

Contacts for the Social Action Committee

Patricia Garcia – co-chair (
Jackie Neel – co-chair (

The Social Action Committee welcomes your participation. There are lots of events/activities planned for this year. We are a fun and energetic group. The Committee meets on the last fourth Monday of each month. Our next meeting is Monday, February 27 at 7pm in Classroom #5. We’d love to see you there!

Get Involved!

We can make a difference.

Links to important organizations for more information.

Unitarian Universalist Service Organization UUSC
Unitarian Universalist Mass Action UUMA
Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry UUUM

A few words from Nicholas Kristof…

I’m so impressed with Belmont! When I visited, I
could see the enthusiasm for making a difference,
but so often in my reporting around the country or
abroad I encounter apathy or meanspiritedness.

And what’s the antonym for mean spirited?
It is Belmont!

I love the idea that at a time when so
many people are vilifying refugees, you are helping
them. As a son of a refugee who was sponsored by
a church in Portland, Oregon, I thank you for that.

And keep on being a model for all of us!”


Posted in Opportunities for Action, Social Action Events, Uncategorized, Volunteer