The Unitarian – March 24, 2017

The Unitarian – March 24, 2017 (PDF)

Sunday Worship – Justice Sunday, March 26

Supporting Communities Under Siege—Harnessing This Moment Together; Rachel Gore Freed
Rachel Gore Freed, Vice President and Chief Program Officer of UUSC will be our Justice Sunday speaker on March 26th. Rachel’s sermon will focus on UUSC’s Rights at Risk program which supports communities targeted by harmful policies of the U.S. administration, the Rohingya people living on the brink of genocide in Western Burma, and refugees around the world.
     Rachel Gore Freed is the UUSC Vice President and Chief Program Officer responsible for the Programs, Advocacy and Action Department. She is a human rights lawyer with a deep commitment to social justice. Rachel has worked with the Irish Center for Human Rights, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the American Society for International Law.

Prelude: Some Day, by Blue Highway; The Linden Singers

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Don’t Be Weary, Traveler; arr. Merel Young

Offertory: Down in the River to Pray, traditional; The Linden Singers

Postlude: How Far Am I From Canaan, arr. Sam Cooke; The Linden Singers

Special thanks to The Linden Singers: Richard Curzi, Paul Judge, John Howe, and Roger Read

Correction regarding the March 19 flowers on the Chancel Table; the dedication should have stated: The flowers are dedicated by Martha Spaulding in joyful celebration of the sixth wedding anniversary of her daughter, Rachel, and son-in-law, Cristiano.
The March 26 flowers on the Chancel Table are given by Rebecca and James Hencke to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to Rachel and Cristiano as well as Rebecca and James Hencke.

  • Services at 9 and 11 a.m.; childcare is provided
  • Directions and parking information at
  • Sermon archive:
  • Sunday, April 2: Long Remembered — Rev. Dr. Victor Carpenter, Minister Emeritus
  • Sunday, April 9: Major Music Sunday; one service at 10:30 a.m.

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Disconcert. I think this the word for our times. Its meaning is to throw into disorder, confusion, disarrange.
     I am not yet as calm and centered as I would like to be in this new political and social world that is emerging during the current president’s administration.
     I find myself thinking almost daily about “what to do,” how to respond to the barrage of changes in the social temperament, laws, and relationships in this new political order. I am sometimes off-balance, and even overwhelmed.
     Certainly, these are times that provoke us and inspire us to pay attention and act as we can. To act in a way that is in concert with our principles. All of our actions may not result in our intended purpose. Indeed, most of our actions may not result in what we intend.
     Some may scoff at our intentions that bring no “tangible” results. However, I believe the purposeful act of intention is critical to our spiritual lives as well as our ability to engage in our social-political life. In fact, I believe that the cultivation of intention over a life-time is crucial. Intention is one of the most important spiritual disciplines that we can learn and carry out. Intention centers and keeps us on course.
     The inspiring leadership by the youth last Sunday during worship and in dialogue after the service is a result of focused intention by this congregation to create a religious environment and vision that helps shapes the lives of our youth. Their development of their own inner intention will be an inner guide to them for how they live the rest of their lives.
     To live with intention is to have a purpose. This is a crucial piece to our spiritual strength, our sense of wholeness, and how we act in the world. It is in some sense an act of faithfulness.
     To live an intentional life keeps us in balance. Do not worry if your actions do not result in the “right way.” Your faithfulness in your intention will make a difference in your life, and in the lives you touch. For if we only act for assured success, then we will be mightily disappointed. When we faithfully live an intentional life, built on the principles and values we cultivate in our religious and spiritual communities, we do make a difference. Our intention powers our ability to stay the course, it is a source of our strength over the long run. It is the marathon we run with our intention, not a sprint.

2017 March Stewardship Drive — Mind The Gap!
Our 2017 March Stewardship Drive ends soon, and this is the hardest stretch. If you haven’t made your commitment yet, please let us hear from you before March 31. We still need over $80,000 to meet our goal. Your pledges and contributions to the Stewardship Drive are crucial to the excellent programs and facilities at First Church for the coming church year. Over 200 families have committed more than $520,000 so far — Thank You! Please join them promptly with your pledge, and please increase your pledge over last year if you can. The success of our drive depends on new and increased pledges, and on participation from everyone. If for any reason you are unable to make a commitment during the Stewardship Drive, it is very helpful to know that too — please be in touch.
     If you need a copy of your personalized pledge form, please contact Roger Read, Stewardship Chair, at You can deliver your form to church or send it by email to, or you can make your pledge online at Please be as generous as you can.
~ With thanks, The Stewardship Committee

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, through June 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

Easter Sunrise Service — April 16th
Come celebrate the cycle of rebirth at our Easter Sunrise Service. Our service will take place at dawn, surrounded by the interdependent web of all existence in the Highland Farms meadow of the Habitat grounds, in Belmont.
     We’ll meet in the Church parking lot Easter morning, leaving at 5:50 a.m. for the brief drive to Habitat. (Or, you can meet us in the Habitat parking lot at 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont, at 6:00 a.m. Take Leonard St. to Clifton St., left onto Fletcher Rd. then 2nd left onto Juniper Rd.)
     After the short service, all are invited back to church for a community breakfast. Please contact Kristin Phillips, 781-929-9638,, or Kathy Crawley, 617-484-3810,, if you have questions.

Opportunity To Lead Summer Worship Services
Summer Lay-Led Services have become an important aspect of our shared ministry. These are important touchstones during the summer months, when travel and vacation separate us as a community. They provide opportunities to gather in less formal ways and smaller numbers to engage in worship led by members and friends of First Church.
     Have you ever thought to yourself “This would make a great worship service” or “This aspect of spirituality is rich and intriguing for a lay led theme”? Do you have a personal or professional interest that would enrich us?
     The Worship Committee welcomes inquiries about leading a service this summer from June 18- September 3. Committee members will be available for support, resources, and brainstorming themes/ideas for services. Recent themes included Ethical Eating, Buddhist Meditation and Mindfulness in Everyday Live, Tolerating Intolerance, Lughnasadh Ritual Celebrating First Fruits and many others.
     If you would like to consider leading a service this summer or partnering with someone else to develop a meaningful experience for fellow parishioners, please contact Ariane Frank at 617-48-2149 or Although it’s hard to imagine with storm and freezing temperatures outside, summer will come to lighten our hearts again!

Adult Programs News

Mindful Yoga — Jess Hicks
Sundays, March 26, 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

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.
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. Bring a sandwich. The Alliance will provide soup, fruit and dessert. The suggested donation for the meal is $2. 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.

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. Cosponsored by the Social Action Committee. Discussion and refreshments. 

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
Friday, April 21, 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.

Poetry and Music — Richard Waring and Sam Waring, with Special Guest Leander Frank
Friday, April 21, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Enjoy the creative energy between father and son in this presentation of words and notes. Richard will read from his book, “What Love Tells Me,” as well as new works, interspersed with classical pieces for oboe performed by Sam, including works by Bach, Saint-Saëns, Rimsky-Korsakov, Britten, and Ravel. In a special first appearance, Leander Frank will present “Night,” lyrics by Richard, piano and vocal music by Leander.

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 soon. 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
Boxes and boxes of thanks to all of you who made this year’s MAC AND CHEESE MADNESS such a great success. 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 p.m. 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 click here for details on all volunteer opportunities.

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. With:

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 may be 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 31
The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, March 31. Please e-mail items to by noon on Wednesday, March 29. 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.
Church Administrator Janice Zazinski will be out of the office on Monday, April 3 and the office will be closed.

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

When you shop at AmazonSmile, First Church in Belmont receives 0.5% of the purchase price.


Our Facebook page is regularly updated with news, events & programs – no account needed.


Second Friday Coffeehouse is on Facebook! Like the page, check out upcoming shows and “share” great music for great causes with your friends!

Posted in Unitarian