The Unitarian – March 3, 2017

 The Unitarian – March 3, 2017 (PDF)

Sunday Worship – March 5

Living Our Values — Andrea Spencer-Linzie

Prelude: TBA; Miranda Loud, organist

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Gloria, from the Twelfth Mass; W.A. Mozart

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Let the People Sing Praise Unto the Lord, by Lena J. McLin, with Robin Pyle, trumpet

Solo: Walk Together Children, arranged by Moses Hogan; Davron Monroe, tenor

Offertory: When the Saints Go Marching In (traditional); Richard Curzi, piano

Postlude: Toccata, by Giambattista Martini; Robin Pyle, trumpet and Miranda Loud, organist

The flowers on the Chancel Table are given by Dorothy Stoneman and John Bell.

  • Services at 9 and 11 a.m.; childcare is provided
  • Directions and parking information at
  • Sermon archive:
  • Sunday, March 12: Gospel Music Sunday

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

People say,
“What can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?”
… we can lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time;
We can be responsible for the one action at the present moment. — Dorothy Day

Every shared kindness, every word of comfort, every brick laid, every garden seeded, every act of justice, every hug given, occurs in the present moment.
     No matter how complicated the project, or how big the goal, we still advance step by step. Every step is important because it paves the way for the next step, and the next, and the next.
     Rejoice in each step and have faith that as others join in, we can create great things together. This is the way to change the world.

Stewardship Drive: Please join us on Celebration Sunday, March 5
stewardship logoPlease join us at our festive services this Sunday as we come together in support of First Church in the 2017 March Stewardship Drive. We invite you all to bring your completed pledge forms for the Offertory, and we will also have a form available that you can use to tell us you have already pledged (Thank You!), or that you’re still thinking about your pledge. Our services will feature celebratory music, and coffee hour will feature special treats courtesy of Quebrada Bakery.
     If you have not yet decided on your pledge amount, please make your pledge no later than Thursday, March 16. And as you decide, please consider:

  • Our pledge goal is $610,000. We need to reach this goal to avoid another operating deficit, to provide reasonable adjustments to staff compensation, and to meet increased operating costs.
  • To reach our goal, we need strong increases at all levels of pledging.
  • Pledge revenue is 80% of our operating budget. The church depends on each of us!

Thank you for carefully considering our appeal. Please contact us with any questions, and let us know if you need another copy of your own pledge form or appeal letter.
~ With appreciation, Roger Read (Stewardship Chair,

Final offers from the Silent Auction!
If you did not have a chance to participate…or even if you did…there are a few items remaining! One is a NEW item — it did not appear in the auction as we received it too late. All remaining items are available on a best offer basis. If we have more than one person interested, the item will go to the highest best offer. If interested, contact Sara Oaklander by March 6:

  • NEW! Two night Cape Cod Getaway at the Bayside Resort in West Yarmouth ($250 value)
  • $65 Gift Certificate for a Premium Woman’s Haircut – At Salon SO Aveda in Watertown.
  • After Work Pool Billiards Party at Jillian’s Boston ($200 value) – For up to 20 guests (21 years+). Includes an appetizer and the use of pool tables for two hours.
  • Organize your files ($450 value) – Up to 6 hours with Carla Kirmani-Taylor, retired MIT Administrative Officer, who will discuss your goals and needs, shop with you for the appropriate materials (at your expense), and help you set up a filing system in your home or office.
  • Faux Antique Pewter Platter ($45 value) – A handsome pewter conversation piece that looks like it dates from the days of Paul Revere. Made in Holland.
  • Framed Photograph of Versailles ($90 value) – A lovely framed photograph of Versailles by our very own Nicole Bernstein
  • Framed Photograph of the Cathedral of Chartes ($90 value) – A lovely framed photograph by our very own Nicole Bernstein.
  • Stunning Framed Reefscape ($300 value) – A photograph of Fiji’s “Fantasea” reef (24˝x18˝) taken by our very own Mark Rosenstein.

Wine Tasting Soiree, Saturday, March 11, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Come and share a glass of wine with old and new friends, and learn the nuances of the following wines: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. Bring your good humor and cheer! Learn as we taste a varied selection, and impress your friends by winning our wine tasting contest.
    Admission: One bottle of wine (of one of the above types) and/or an hors d’oeuvres to share. Adults only. RSVP to

Nominating Committee Seeks Candidates for Church Offices 2017-18
The Nominating Committee is currently in the process of forming a slate of candidates to be voted on at the Annual Meeting on May 21 for the following: Parish Board, Finance Committee and Nominating Committee. We will be filling the Vice President and Trustee-at-Large positions for the Parish Board and two vacancies on the Nominating Committee and two vacancies on the Finance Committee. Further information is available on the church website or e-mail
     Nominations are due Monday, March 20. More information at

Ushers Needed for Spring Term (3/19-6/11)
Thanks to everyone who helped make our winter ushering a success. Now please consider volunteering to usher for the spring term. You can sign up online at or on the Ushering Sign-Up Poster in the Upper Gathering Hall during coffee hour. Thanks for your help.

Music Notes, by Ian Garvie
The Music Program at the First Church will be helping to usher in the early arrival of spring with a series of special offerings. All of the upcoming services will contain some exciting and different music, and will feature many of the talented members of our community.
     March 5th is Celebration Sunday, the biggest event in the annual Stewardship Campaign. Music for the day will be joyful and uplifting, featuring Davron Monroe, our tenor soloist, Robin Pyle on trumpet, and Richard Curzi on piano.
     On March 12th we welcome the First Church Gospel Band, led by Roger Brown. He will be joined by two singers from Kenya, to present a service filled with soulful and beautiful gospel music.
     On March 19th we welcome our Children’s Choirs to both services, for one of the annual multi-generational events. The Junior and the Chancel Choirs will sing at the 9:00 service, and the Youth and the Senior Choirs will sing at the 11:00service.
     On March 26th we welcome First Church favorites the Linden Singers, who will present three gospel quartets at both services.
     And finally, on April 2nd, our own Andrea Spencer-Linzie will join us once more on the cello, along with baritone Chuck Claus, to present Mendelssohn’s beautiful aria “It Is Enough,” from Elijah. I hope you can join us for all of these exciting services!

Adult Programs News

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. Refreshments served.

Mindful Yoga — Jess Hicks
Sundays, 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

Foster Care in Massachusetts — Jeremy Lockett
Sunday, March 12 (rescheduled from Feb. 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 or mentor in these youth’s lives. Refreshments served. Co-sponsored by SAC.

Theatre Discussion Series: Reading of  The Exception and the Rule by Bertolt Brecht — Downing Cless, Jane Minasian, Debbie Dobbins
Sunday, March 12, 4 p.m., Parlor
We will read Bertolt Brecht’s The Exception and the Rule. Brecht is generally considered to be the greatest political playwright of the 20th century and also one of the most innovative in stylistic conventions. This short play tells the story of a rich merchant who is increasingly cruel to his porter and guide as he tries to get them to travel faster. To this simple parable, Brecht adds songs, a chorus, and ironic juxtapositions that provoke thought. We will explore how this early play shaped the content and form of Brecht’s masterpieces like The Threepenny Opera and Mother Courage and Her Children, that in turn have had profound influence on theater and film of the last 50 years. We will provide copies of the play but if you’d like to read the play in advance please click here.

Belmont Unitarian Alliance Lunch and Program — All Women & Men Welcome
Wednesday, March 15, 12:00 Lunch, 1:00 p.m. Program – Upper Hall.
Bring a sandwich. The Alliance will provide soup, fruit and dessert. The suggested donation for the meal is $2.
     Join us for “Getting Started In Genealogy In the Computer Age.” Are you interested in identifying or finding out more about your ancestors? Do you have a stash of information on your family that you are looking to organize or share? Miriam Baker and Nancy Davis, both avid amateur genealogists, will provide an introduction to researching your family history.  This talk will cover how computers have made accessing, storing and sharing information easier. It will also briefly cover selected sources for information, both those available on-line and those to visit in person. RSVP to Janice Zazinski at, or 617-484-1054, ext. 10.

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, March 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, March 16, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Rick Eastwick will lead a discussion on the following: Assuming you are at the midpoint of your life, and you do not believe in any sort of personal afterlife, how would your life and values change if you discovered that the earth would be totally destroyed by a collision with a very large asteroid or comet when you are 90 years old? Questions similar to this one are posed and explored in Death and the Afterlife by Samuel Scheffler. Moreover, his conclusions are thoroughly thought provoking even if you don’t agree with many of his specifics.
     Please join us as we explore the stimulating ideas in this book. Excerpts from Scheffler’s book can be downloaded at

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

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.

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, March 22, 7:30 p.m., Library
Waking Up White by Debby Irving. Waking Up White is the book Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance.
     As Irving unpacks her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race.
     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.

Theatre Discussion Series: Precious Little — Downing Cless, Jane Minasian, Debbie Dobbins
Sunday, April 9, 12:00 p.m., Library
Plan to attend a performance of the play which performs at the Central Square Theatre from March 2 – 26, and join us on April 9 for a lively discussion. Refreshments.
     Precious Little is Madeleine George’s irreverent exploration of one of our most fundamental questions: when does too much knowledge get in the way of our basic instincts?
     A research linguist, Brodie, receives genetic testing results: her unborn child may never be able to learn a language. Her girlfriend’s unsympathetic; her genetic counselor’s a rookie; her own uncompromising intellect betrays her. Her search for guidance takes her to unexpected places.

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

FCB Refugee Welcome Teams Training — Saturday, March 4 in the Parish Hall
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 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, March 4, from 9  – 11 a.m. 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.

Good News from The Middle East — Sheila Katz
Sunday, March 26, 12:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Sheila H. Katz’s newest book, Connecting with the Enemy, reveals how thousands of ordinary Palestinians and Israelis have worked together to end violence and forge connections between their peoples. The stories from her book will inspire and encourage anyone grappling with social change, peace and war, oppression and inequality, and grassroots activism anywhere in the world. Discussion to follow. Co-sponsored by Adult Programs.

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations
Sunday, March 26, 7 p.m., 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.
     On Sunday, March 26, we will have special guests: Stacey Borden, founder of New Beginnings, an organization dedicated to helping women newly released from prison, will join us. We will be honored with the presence of some of her clients who are willing to share their stories with us and look together into ways we can collaborate.

FCB Refugee 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

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 New Date for the First Church Rummage Sale: Saturday, April 29
As you carry out your New Year’s resolution to de-clutter, please set aside any “saleable” items for the Rummage Sale!!
     Drop-off of saleable items begins on Sunday afternoon, April 23. And please plan to volunteer. Information about sign-up for volunteers coming soon.
     Kathy Crawley and Priscilla Cobb are co-chairing the rummage sale this year and they are looking for a third person to join their team. If interested please e-mail: Thank you!!

Grow Clinic!alt
It’s time again for our annual MARCH MAC & CHEESE MADNESS campaign for the GROW CLINIC. Boxes of MAC & CHEESE fly off the shelves and demand always exceeds the supplies. Please help us collect stacks and stacks of MAC & CHEESE during March. Thanks!
     Pick up a food list for shopping or bring a Special Request: March Special Request: Mac & Cheese.
There are collection baskets in the Lower Hall and the vestibule outside the Sanctuary.
Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

Feb./March 2017 Note —
uuadeclarationofconscienceThe presidents of UUSC and UUA, Tom Andrews and Peter Morales, have announced a joint initiative to address these extraordinary times. They state, “… we must be united in purpose to protect the values of our democracy and those vulnerable populations among us … To that end we have undertaken an unprecedented degree of coordination between the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.”
     As a first step they ask individuals, congregations, and their networks to sign the Declaration of Conscience which, in their words, is a principled response to the potential targeting of people not for what they have done, but for who they are. It is a commitment to speak out and to act in support of basic human rights. Parish Board President, Ana Hammock, has signed this pledge on behalf of our congregation, but individuals are encouraged to sign too.
~ Alice Trexler for the First Church UUSC Team

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

In the Community

Musica Sacra presents Handel’s Israel in Egypt, March 11 in Cambridge
Musica Sacra, directed by Mary Beekman, will present Handel’s “Israel in Egypt” on Saturday, March 11 at 7 p.m. at 1st Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden Street. Handel’s stirring oratorio describing the story of the Israelites deliverance from the Egyptians has particular relevance during the current refugee crises around the world, and, to that end, 10% of ticket sales and 50% of merchandise sales will go to benefit the International Institute of New England. Tickets and information available at or by contacting Mary Beekman.

Belmont High School’s “Real World” Career Night Needs You! Monday, March 6 at BHS
The third annual “Real World” Career Night at Belmont High School — designed, organized, and run by students — needs you! This event is designed to connect young professionals (high school graduates from approximately 1990-2010) in the Boston area with students at Belmont High who are interested in learning more about your career, the education required, and the steps you took to get to where you are today.
     If you are able to participate, please fill out this short form. We hope you can join us to make this year’s event the best yet! 2017 Young Professionals Interest Form. If you have any questions, contact BHS senior Anya Sondhi or the RWCN team at

Join Belmont Food Collaborative’s Winter 2017 Cooking Classes, held here at FCB
The best way to eat well is to cook! Learn delicious new recipes, explore new cuisines and enjoy our new classes, held right here in the First Church’s kitchen. The BFC is offering four great new classes: one in Italian, one in French and two in English. Click here for details and to register:

New England Regional Assembly: April 21-22uua
Gather with New England Unitarian Universalists for a celebration of spirit. 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. Visit for details.

UU General Assembly 2017: June 21 – 27,
New Orleans
General Assembly is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association. Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates. More at Contact Lillian Anderson at with questions.

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

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 voicemail, 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

Next issue: March 10
The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, March 10. Please e-mail items to by noon on Wednesday, March 8. 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.

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.

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