The Unitarian – March 17, 2017

The Unitarian – March 17, 2017 (PDF)

Sunday Worship – March 19

Multigenerational Worship Service
This week’s worship service celebrates First Church children and youth, who will sing, perform, and share insights from the recent Youth Group Service trip.

Prelude and Postlude: Improvisation; Simon Andrews, organ

9 a.m. Music:

Junior Choir Anthem: Lo, the Earth Awakes Again
Chancel Choir Anthem: Dodi Li, by Nira Chen
Junior Choir Offertory: Hi ho, the rattlin’ bog; English Folk Song
Chancel Choir: Shenandoah, American Folk Song, arr. Kevin Riehle; Hanna Racz-Kozuma and Penny Ellard, flutes

11 a.m. Music:

Youth Choir Anthem: You Shall Have a Joyous Song, by Eugene Butler
Senior Choir Offertory: An Irish Blessing, arr. Marguerite Shaw
Youth Choir: Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates, by John Carter

The flowers on the Chancel Table are given by Rebecca & James Hencke to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.

  • Services at 9 and 11 a.m.; childcare is provided
  • Directions and parking information at
  • Sermon archive:
  • Sunday, March 26 — Justice Sunday with Rachel Gore Freed, Vice President and Chief Program Officer of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

There is a Japanese art form called Kintsugi that takes broken pottery or china and fuses them back together with gold and lacquer. This technique actually highlights the breaks and fractures. The technique does not seek to recreate the original, but rather creates something new, and possibly something more valuable.
     Kintsugi is an artistic practice based on the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi seeks to emphasize the profundity of imperfection. It seeks authenticity.
     I was given a ceramic cup a couple of months into my CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) course. We used the cup for months. Then about a month ago we had to smash our cups with hammers. And then we carried the smashed pieces with us for 4 weeks. The cup reminded us of our broken places.
     Last week I glued my cup back together. I traced painted fractures from inside to outside. When finished there was a hole in the middle of the front of the cup. That’s just the way the chips fell. It reminded me of one of Rumi’s sayings: “The wound is the place where the light comes in.” (Rumi was a 13th century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, theologian, and mystic.)
     Rumi’s quote rings true in many ways for me. In our brokenness, sometimes we feel more intensely. This feeling, this deeper knowing of ourselves makes us stronger. We feel the cracks and we know who we are. And know that we can go on, even when we’re broken.
     By emphasizing the breaks, Kintsugi embraces the reality of its history rather than disguising it. As human beings, we have been broken, and we meet other people in their breaks. When we do the work of helping others and ourselves to move toward authenticity, the light shines from the cracks. Perhaps in the fissures and cracks of our lives we create new patterns, exposing holes and truth that let the light in. Perhaps, too, we can let others in as well, to know us more fully, cracks and all. For all of us have cracks. Our cracks unite us in shared experience, create bonds between us, help us understand and know each other.

2017 March Stewardship Drive: Please Pledge Today!
stewardship logoOur 2017 March Stewardship Drive continues.  To succeed, we need 100% participation from First Church members and friends.  If you have not yet made your pledge, please try to do so soon, and please consider increasing your pledge over last year.   We have reached nearly 80% of our goal of $610,000 thanks to more than 175 households.  And over 100 of those households have answered the call for new or increased pledge amounts.   Will you be among them?   To continue the excellent array of programs and offerings to children, adults and families, we depend almost entirely on the generosity of new and longstanding members and friends of First Church.  Please make a generous pledge to the March Stewardship Drive to support the coming year.
     How to pledge?  If you need another copy of your personalized pledge form or letter, please contact Roger Read, Stewardship Chair, at  You can return your completed form to the office, or scan and email it to  You can also make your pledge online at
     A heartfelt thanks to all who have pledged and donated so far!  This Sunday at church, we will post the honor roll of respondents to date, and at 10:45 a.m., between services, we will hold the drawing for Ariane Frank’s fabulous Black Forest Torte.  All pledges on record as of Saturday afternoon will be included in the honor roll and the drawing. 

~ Gratefully, The Stewardship Committee

Youth Group Service Trip Reflections — Sunday, March 19 at 12:30 p.m.
Join us on Sunday, March 19th at 12:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall for the Youth Group Service Trip Reflections event about our experiences in West Virginia. We’ll have a panel of seven awesome youth to share their thoughts and a slideshow of pictures including sunsets and sunrises over the mountains of Appalachia.

The Rummage Sale is back! Saturday, April 29
Many ways to help: Sign up to volunteer during the week before the sale and/or the day of the sale. Two ways to sign up: during coffee hour at SAC table, or via SignUp Genius:
     Volunteering for at least 2 hours qualifies you to shop at the Pre-Sale, Friday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. Thank you!!
     Donate your “saleable” items: gently used clothes, household items, linens, books (but no textbooks or encyclopedias), jewelry, furniture (but no items larger than 30˝ x 30˝ x 30˝), small working appliances and electronics, toys and games, etc. PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANYTHING THAT IS STAINED, RIPPED, MOLDY, DISCOLORED OR THREADBARE. Thank you!!
     Donations will be accepted starting on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. and through Wednesday, April 26 at 9 p.m.
     Questions? Email or

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.

Newcomers Breakfast — April 9 at 9:15 a.m. in the Parish Hall
If you are a newcomer to First Church or would just like to meet and welcome a newcomer, come enjoy a bagel and coffee at the Newcomers Breakfast in the Parish Hall at 9:15 before the Major Music service on April 9. For more information, contact Mark Thurber at

Community Seder on April 11
Please join us in a community potluck to celebrate Passover. We are hosting a family friendly event on Tuesday, April 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Passover is the story of the Exodus from Egypt many years ago. We share prayers, songs, and the retelling of the story. Each participant is asked to read a small part of the order of service, called the Haggadah.
     We ask each family or group to bring a traditional dish to share—and we have lots of recipes. To cover other expenses—$3 child, $5 adult, $12 family.
     To reserve a spot or ask questions:, or look for us at upcoming coffee hours.
~ Eleanor Sugarman and Jackie Neel

Music Notes, by Ian Garvie
Many, many thanks to the guest musicians who joined us for this past Sunday’s gospel service. The music was simply sublime. Congratulations also to both choirs for your beautifully sung anthems!
     This Sunday, don’t miss the children’s choirs as they join us for the multi-generational services. The Junior and the Chancel Choirs will sing at 9:00, and the Youth and Senior Choirs will sing at 11:00.
     Looking further ahead, mark your calendars for this year’s Prelude to the Major Music Service. I will be giving a presentation on the history and context of this year’s Major Music work, Lux Aeterna, by Morten Lauridsen. This beautiful requiem for choir and orchestra was composed in 1997, and this is the first time it’s being performed here at First Church. The presentation will be on Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

Adult Programs News

Mindful Yoga — Jess Hicks
Sundays, all March, April 2, 9; 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, 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.

Rescheduled — please note new date!
Belmont Unitarian Alliance Lunch and Program —
All Women & Men Welcome
Wednesday, March 29, 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.

Prequel to Major Music —Ian Garvie
Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
The Major Music piece this spring is Lux Aeterna, by Morten Lauridsen. This 30-minute requiem for choir was composed in 1997, the year Lauridsen’s mother died. She was the one who first taught him piano, and instilled in him a love of music.
     The five movements of the piece seamlessly integrate the musical essence of ancient modes, Renaissance polyphony, Romanticism, and modern dissonance.
     In the performance at First Church, Lux Aeterna will be paired with several arias from other requiems to round out the service.

Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey
Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m., Parlor
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!

Breast Cancer Wellness Journey — Melanie Deveikas
Wednesdays, March 29, April 12, 26 (conference room), May 10, 7:30 p.m., Library
An educational series focusing on life & wellness during and after breast cancer treatment. Each week there will be a wellness education topic for discussion. There will also be an opportunity for sharing your breast cancer journey and related concerns through and beyond treatment.
     Melanie Deveikas, PT, MHA is a physical therapy graduate of the University of Vermont. With 20 years of clinical experience, in 2011, Melanie was treated for breast cancer and upon completion of treatment, developed a strong interest in women’s health, nutrition and spiritual healing. Having both personal and professional experience with and treating breast cancer, Melanie recognizes the importance of balance and whole body wellness.
     For more information or to sign up please contact Melanie at

New UU Class — Jim Staton, Andrea Spencer-Linzie
Sunday, April 2, 10:15 a.m., Parlor
Join Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Jim Staton and members of the Membership Committee to answer your questions and discuss the structure and programs of First Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Thursday, April 6, 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.

What Occurs in Massachusetts Prisons While No One is Watching? — Leslie Walker
Thursday, April 6, 7:30 p.m., Library
Massachusetts has a laudably low per 100,000 incarceration rate. However, what occurs and does not occur fuels a high repeat crime rate, and keeps former prisoners in poverty. Leslie Walker, Executive Director of Prisoners’ Legal Services, will discuss proposed solutions and recommendations for our community, and our criminal justice system.

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Meets 1st and 3rd Thursdays, April 6 and 20, 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.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
Friday, April 7, 7:30 p.m., Library
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.

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.

Criminal Justice Reform — Will Brownsberger
Thursday, April 13, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
State senator Will Brownsberger, and other local politicians are working for Criminal Justice Reform, which recently has been described as an area ripe for progress.
     Senator Brownsberger will update us on mass incarceration, restorative justice, the overuse of solitary confinement and other issues being worked on by the Judiciary Committee.
     We’ll also learn how we can be supportive of legislative efforts to effect change. Discussion and refreshments.

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

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.

First Church Resettle Together
The First Church Resettle Together project continues to provide volunteer opportunities for our First community to welcome refugees to the Boston area. For more information contact

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

International Institute of New England Updates
An after-school program will be starting within the next week or two. As of now youth will meet at IINE-Lowell from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, Tuesday and Thursday.
     We are looking for 2-4 volunteers with tutoring or ESOL experience to help kids out with their homework after school. If there are any interested volunteers please refer them to Peter Saati, IINE Volunteer Coordinator, at
     Meet and Greets happen in Lowell on the first Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Please note at the Boston and Manchester sites they happen on different days and times.

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

Grow Clinic!alt
Only a couple of weeks left to cap off a great campaign to make this an extra bountiful drive. Please remember to toss some MAC & CHEESE boxes into your shopping cart this week—leave the boxes in your car—then bring them to church this Sunday. 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

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations
Sunday, March 26: 6 p.m. Potluck supper; 7 p.m. Program, Parish Hall
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. Our V-Day beneficiary Stacey Borden, founder of New Beginnings, will join us and bring some of her clients who are willing to share their stories. New Beginnings is dedicated to help women transitioning from incarceration. We will be honored with their presence and look for ways for future collaboration together.
     We are inviting our guests for a potluck dinner at 6 pm. And we will engage in discussion groups at 7 p.m.
     If you are interested in joining and/or contributing with food or drinks please contact Patricia Garcia at

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 (click to sign) 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

  • Roxbury Youth Programs Tutors
  • Explorers Club Children’s Activities Helper
  • English as a Learning Language (ELL) Tutors
  • English as a Learning Language (ELL) Childcare Providers
  • Wednesday Night Supper Cooks/Servers
  • Events Help throughout the year
  • Please contact for more information.
  • Please click here for details on all volunteer opportunities.

In the Community

Join Belmont Food Collaborative’s 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. Click here for details and to register:

UU Mass Action Advocacy Day, April 11
Let your voice be heard in the People’s House! The program at Arlington Street Church is from 10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., followed by lunch. We will then walk to the State House. Legislative appointments begin at 1:30.
     Location: Arlington Street Church, Arlington Street Church, 351 Boylston Street, Boston. Doors open at 9:30. Program Info (click links for full bios):

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: Resist and Rejoice!
Registration and housing reservations for the 2017 UUA General Assembly are now open! 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. This year’s theme of GA “Resist and Rejoice!” will awaken and deepen the commitment of Unitarian Universalists to the power and possibility of working in solidarity with those on the margins. 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:

Next issue: March 24
The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, March 24. Please e-mail items to by noon on Wednesday, March 22. 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.

Easy ways to support & stay in touch with FCB

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