The Unitarian – May 5, 2017

The Unitarian – May 5, 2017 (PDF)

Sunday Worship —May 7

Escalating Inequality — Andrea Spencer-Linzie

Prelude: Improvisation; Simon Andrews, organ

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: With A Voice Of Singing by Martin Shaw (1875 – 1958)

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Hugo Distler (1908 – 42)

Offertory: Every Night and Every Morn, words by William Blake, music by Ralph Vaughan Williams; Roger Miller and Gerri Strickler

Postlude: Waiting for a Miracle by Bruce Cockburn; Roger Miller and Gerri Strickler

The flowers in the Chancel are given by Mary Beekman and David Warner in celebration of the lives of their parents.

Upcoming Services

  • Sunday, May 14: Coming of Age Sunday
  • Sunday, May 21: New Member Sunday
    • Sunday, May 21, 4 p.m.: Annual Meeting in the Parish Hall
  • Sunday, May 28: Memorial Day — one service at 10:30 a.m.

A Call To The Annual Meeting at The First Church In Belmont — Sunday, May 21, 2017, 4 p.m.
Pursuant to a call by Ana Hammock, President of the Parish Board, you are hereby notified that the Annual Meeting of The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 4 p.m. in the Parish Hall for the election of officers, status of next year’s budget, a resolution on divestment, and the transaction of such other businesses as may lawfully come before the meeting.
     Hereof, fail not, and make due attendance at said meeting and time.
     Only active adult members, who have had standing as such for not less than seven days prior to the meeting, may vote. No proxies will be accepted: you must attend the meeting in order to vote. — Downing Cless, Parish Clerk

UU General Assembly: June 21 – 25, New Orleans: Resist and Rejoice!
General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of the UUA, where attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association. First Church has eight delegate positio ns and since this year we will elect the next President of the UUA, it is important to vote. You can also be a delegate and not attend or attend remotely. Registration fees increase after May 1.
     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. Registration and housing information are on the web-site
     Delegates must be FCB members, and there is the possibility of partial subsidy which can be discussed with Andrea Spencer-Linzie. If you are interested in attending or being a delegate contact Lillian Anderson at

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

The book The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett is a study of the effects of inequality on society. It is not so much one’s income level that impacts one’s condition of health and wellbeing, but rather the relative inequality within the society.
     The more unequal the society is the more likely that the people on the bottom suffer ill-health. In most of the charts and graphs used in the book, the US is the country with the widest inequality. The US is the wealthiest country financially in the world, but the poorest country in terms of health and well-being because of the wide inequality throughout the US.
     Benjamin M. Friedman, the William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy at Harvard, and formerly Chairman of the Department of Economics, has stated that “The gap between rich and poor has been growing for the past 30 years in most of the world’s advanced economies, and especially in the US.”
     What does this mean for us as a country? As a community? As a congregation? How do we live our first principle of the” inherent worth and dignity of each person,” when we have created such an unequal society? Our society is not unequal because people have different talents and skills. It is unequal because we have structured our society so.
     We should not be timid about this crisis. As a people, as UUs, what do we prioritize? How do we sift through the slogans and anger to zero in on what it means to be worthwhile, and to live with dignity?
     And then, what do we do?
     I believe the work of uncovering the history of inequality in our country is crucial if we are ever going to steer in a new direction of justice and equity. We need to expose the structural underpinnings that continue to support and replicate the state of inequality in our country: racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and more.
     And then, as religious people, we dream, and vision, and educate, and legislate, and proclaim. We hold the course in order to build a new way for all of us.

The 74th Annual All-Church Rummage Sale Was A Tremendous Success
It was well organized and everything ran smoothly. The donations were beautiful and high quality and lots of money was made to support the Partner Church, the Tiffany Window and Social Action Initiatives.
     Please thank Kathy Crawley and Priscilla Cobb for their amazing and untiring leadership. They are two gems. Many people spent hours and hours preparing for the big day. Much was sold, some was given to refugee families and charity organizations. Nothing was wasted; all leftovers were donated to be used by others.
     So proud to be part of this congregation.
~ Jackie Neel

Ushers Needed for Spring Term, through June 11
Many thanks to everyone who has helped with ushering at First Church. We have had a great response to ushering for this spring term and only have one slot left to fill:

  • 6/4 – 9:00 1 slot

    You can sign up at; e-mail me at; or sign up on the poster at coffee hour. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thanks again for all your help.

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

Livia Racz to Receive Steward of Partnership Award
The Partner Church Committee is proud to announce that Livia Racz has been selected to receive a Steward of Partnership Award by the UU Partner Church Council. This award is “given annually to recognize those who provide exceptional care for their own congregation’s partnerships.” Livia was recognized for her constant attention, organization, energy, planning and communications in Hungarian, which for ten years have kept the partnership between Désfalva and Belmont vital for both congregations. She has provided tireless leadership for two pilgrimages to Désfalva and a visit to Belmont by eight members of the Désfalva congregation, and has presented worship services and shared Transylvanian dinners, music, poetry, dance and more with First Church. This award will be presented at General Assembly in June in New Orleans. Congratulations, Livia!!!

Music Notes, by Ian Garvie
Thanks and congratulations to the Youth Group for a wonderful service this past weekend!
     The year is quickly drawing to a close, but there will be one more music event! On Sunday, June 4th, at 7:00 p.m., the Music Program will be hosting it’s first Community Concert. This program will feature many of the church’s talented musicians, both students and adults, in musical styles that range from jazz to classical, from bluegrass to baroque, and everything in between. Donations raised will benefit the Pediatric SPARK (Supporting Parents and Resilient Kids) program at the Boston Medical Center. This program helps Boston’s highest risk children (5 and under) whose lives are affected by significant medical, emotional and behavioral challenges. If you are interested in participating, please contact me at

Lisa Bastoni

The Second Friday Coffeehouse on May 12
The Second Friday Coffeehouse on May 12 will feature singer-songwriter Lisa Bastoni, accompanied by Jeff Butcher. The opening act is Roger Miller, John Mc Gah, and Chuck Greene. The featured beneficiary is Belmont Against Racism.

Fellowship Spring Hike — Saturday, May 13, 2-5 pm
Pack up your kids, put on your hiking boots and join us for the Fellowship Spring Hike at Belmont’s Rock Meadow & Beaver Brook -1:45pm – meet at FCB Parking Lot or come at 2:00 pm to Lone Tree Hill Parking Lot at 248 Mill Street, Belmont
     This year we will hike through Lone Tree Hill, Rock Meadow and into Beaver Brook. The hike will take us over meadows, hills, along streams, through pine alley and passed the infamous Lone Tree. On the way back we will stop for a snack at Martin’s house.
     The hike is ~3-4 miles, easy terrain, will take about 2 hours plus a snack break and is suitable for kids and older people capable of walking in the woods (bring some water). Rain date is May 20. Please RSVP to
     For last minute questions, call Martin Plass at 617-484-1237.

Adult Programs News

Renaissance Worlds — Toby Lester
Sunday, May 7, 12:30 p.m., Parish Hall
In his two books, Toby Lester has told the story of important Renaissance images and brought to life the worlds they contain. In The Fourth Part of the World, the image is the world map of 1507. In DaVinci’s Ghost, the image is Leonardo’s famous drawing of a man standing inside a circle and a square—the so-called Vitruvian Man. Both images are the culmination of long traditions of thought and belief and investigation, which Toby will explore in this talk. Discussion and refreshments.

Breast Cancer Wellness Journey — Melanie Deveikas
Wednesday, 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

Belmont UU Alliance Lunch & Program — All Women & Men Welcome
Wednesday, May 17; 12 noon Lunch in the Upper Hall; 1 p.m. Program
All women and men are invited to welcome Spring with a social gathering, including a pot-luck lunch, for our closing meeting of the year. Please let us know whether you will bring: a salad, main dish or dessert when you RSVP.
     After the meal, we will gather in small groups to become better acquainted with each other. Please bring a photo or object meaningful to your life, to share with the group as we get to know each other.
R.s.v.p. to, or call 617-484-1054 ( ext. 10) to let us know you are coming and what you will bring.

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, May 18, 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, May 18, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Stuart Carter will lead a discussion on a reading from the book The Meaning of Human Experience by Harvard Professor Edward O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of numerous publications on science and the humanities. Professor Wilson lays out his science-based alternative to what he terms the “creation myths” of major western religions. A selection from this book is available at the website

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday, May 18, 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. Contact with any questions.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
Friday, May 19, 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.

The New World of Genome Editing — Alan Cantor
Sunday, May 21, 12:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Alan will take us through the clinical promise and ethical considerations in this new field. Examples of how gene editing are currently being applied to treat human disease and an understanding of the basic information about genetics will be provided so that we can discuss the implications of this new technology.

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations — Social Action Committee
Sunday, May 21, 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 YouthBuild as we continue our discussion about how to end racism in Belmont and in the wider world.

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson & Anne Stuart
Wednesday, May 24, 7:30 p.m., Library
This month’s book is Lila by Marilynne Robinson
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.

Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey
Wednesday, May 31, 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!
Save the dates – last Wednesdays of each month.

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

Mothers’ Day Walk for Peace, May 14
Please join a group from Belmont that will be walking in the 21st Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace on Sunday, May 14 to support the work of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. To register for the 6.8-mile walk, from Fields Corner to City Hall, please go to and sign up as an individual or as part of the “Team Belmont” group. Ask your friends and family to sponsor you.
     Donations can be made on-line or by checks payable to LDB Peace Institute, mailed to 15 Christopher Street, Dorchester, MA 02122. Belmont walkers will meet at the Alewife T station, in front of the entrance to Bertucci’s, at 7 a.m. to take the T to Fields Corner.
     For more information or questions about walking with the Belmont group, contact Priscilla Cobb at
     The Peace Institute, founded in 1994 after the murder of 15-year-old Louis D. Brown, is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people and the community about the value of peace and assisting survivors of homicide victims with immediate crisis management services and ongoing support to continue to make Louis’ vision a reality. It was co-founded by Louis’ mother, Chaplain Tina Chery. For more

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

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
Can it be that we’re already speeding toward the end of our church year? That also means that our GROW CLINIC families will be losing one of their supports (us!) to help feed their infants and toddlers over the long summer months. Join in to help STOCK THE SHELVES FOR SUMMER. Thanks!!!
     May and June Special Request: Your favorite items from the shopping list
Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

Community News

First Parish in Concord invites you to “Requiem for the American Dream” — Monday, May 15, 7 – 9 p.m.
In this 2016 documentary Noam Chomsky discusses how the concentration of wealth and power among a small elite has polarized American society and brought about the decline of the middle class. Through interviews filmed over four years, Chomsky unpacks the principles that have brought us to the crossroads of historically unprecedented inequality.
     Join us to view this 75 minute film which will be followed by discussion. Home-made refreshments included. Free and open to the public at the First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord.
     For more information about our group, please visit

Share your “Belmont story” in a town-wide oral history project
The Belmont Story Project, the town’s local, oral-history recording project, is seeking participants. If you have a Belmont connection and a story, they would like to hear from you. Story topics are decided on by participants, but can include things like, one’s work life, growing up here in Belmont, family lore, a touching memory, or a funny story — whatever seems most relevant to you.
     For more information contact Nancy McColm, or 617-993-2870. You can also find out more on the library’s website

Picadilly Farm to offer a discount to FCB community on CSA shares
Announcing a new option for summer veggie lovers: CSA produce boxes delivered to First Church on Thursdays, from Picadilly Farm! For $735 paid in advance, reserve 23 deliveries, June through mid November. Each pre-boxed share contains nine to twelve different items, and comes in a ¾ bushel reusable waxed box. The entire share is grown on Jenny and Bruce Wooster’s (brother to parishioner Jim Wooster!) family farm, and is certified organic. To learn more and then sign up, visit
     If you sign up by May 15, type SPRING into the coupon field to receive $20 discount. Shareholders support every aspect of operating our farm — from paying a living wage, to caring for the soil with the long view in mind, to growing our food with organic and other best practices. Since 2006, we thank you!

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.

Next issue: Friday, May 12
The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, May 12. Please e-mail items to by noon on Wednesday, May 10. 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

Buy your Mother’s Day gifts at AmazonSmile, and 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!

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