The Unitarian – May 19, 2017

The Unitarian – May 19, 2017 (PDF)

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
     Ana Hammock adds: Are you ready to vote on divestment? Looking for more information? If so visit If you are interested in voting on this important decision come to the Annual Meeting. No Proxy votes will be accepted. Come one, come all!

Annual Meeting materials are online.

Sunday May 21 — New Member Sunday

Prelude: Prelude in G Flat Op. 16 No.3 by Alexandre Skryabin (1872 – 1915); Simon Andrews, organ

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Choose Something Like A Star by Randal Thompson (1899 – 1994)

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: “Take Care of this House” from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, by Leonard Bernstein

11 a.m. Youth Choir Anthem: Like as the Hart Desireth the Waterbrooks by Herbert Howells

Offertory: “Lullaby,” from The Consul by Gian Carlo Menotti; Irina Kareva, alto, Simon Andrews, piano

9 a.m. Postlude: Voluntary : Allegro by John James (d. 1745); Simon Andrews, organ

11 a.m. Postlude: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen; Youth Choir

The flowers in the Chancel are given by John Howe and Teresa Masterson-Howe.

Upcoming Services

  • May 28: Memorial Day; one service at 10:30 a.m. Bring photos, framed or not, of loved ones who have passed away to display on our Memorial Table.
  • June 4: Sana Saeed, Director of Youth Programs
  • June 11: Flower Communion — Each person is asked to bring a flower to leave behind, and each will leave with a different flower. If you can, please bring an extra flower or twelve for those who will forget! Followed by the Annual Picnic …

All-Church Picnic: Sunday, June 11
Mark your calendar and plan to attend the annual All-Church Picnic immediately following the 11:00 service on Sunday, June 11. There will be delicious food, including burgers, chicken, hot dogs and vegetarian options, lots of yummy salads and, of course, dessert. The cost is $5.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 4-12 years, and $20 for families.

Salad Contest
Don’t miss the annual First Church Salad Contest! Bring your favorite salad to share at the picnic – green salads, pasta salads, fruit salads, all types are welcome. Please bring your salad to the kitchen the day of the picnic and enter your name on the list to be part of the contest. Then at the picnic everyone will vote for their favorite. We serve almost 200 people at the picnic, so the more salads, the better!

We will have a sign-up sheet at coffee hour listing different opportunities for people to help with this fun annual event — volunteers needed to run games for kids, grill, sell tickets, set-up, clean-up, shop, etc. If you have any questions, or would like to help out, please e-mail or call Melissa Irion at or 617-571-9391.

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

Lead A Summer Worship Service
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 617-484-2149 or

Divestment Information for the Annual Meeting
Please visit to read up on divestment material prepared by FCBGreen.

Music Notes, by Ian Garvie
As the year rapidly ends and we all set our sights on the summer, the music program has one last concert for you! On Sunday, June 4th we welcome musicians from all parts of the community for a concert at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. There will be violinists, singers, guitarists, harpsichordists, pianists, students, teachers, and more. Children are welcome to come to this fun, family-oriented concert.
     Admission will be by suggested donation, and for the first time cash, check, and credit cards will be accepted. All proceeds will benefit the SPARK Center — the Pediatric division of Boston Medical Center. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Gloria’s Give-Away!
Please check out Gloria’s bookshelf in the Lower Gathering Hall. You will find several great books that did not sell at the Rummage Sale, nor were they wanted by the Brattle Bookshop. You can give an older, distinguished book a new home on your bookshelf. Unclaimed volumes will be donated to the Belmont Library at the end of our church year.
     Thanks from your Rummage Sale Committee.

News from Our Partner Church in Désfalva
We have recently been informed that the longtime minister at our partner church in Désfalva, Transylvania, Rev. Sándor Szentgyörgyi, has moved on to take another position. The Désfalva congregation is now engaged in a ministerial search, which is expected to take 6 months to a year. In the meantime, they will be served by an interim minister, who is also serving in four other congregations. The lay leadership is expected to take on an expanded role during this time of transition, and the Partner Church Committee will support them as they work through the process.
     We will continue our scholarship program and our other regular exchanges with Désfalva through the transition and beyond. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the work of the committee, contact

Adult Programs News

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
Meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday, 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.

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Thursday, June 1, 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. This will be the last session until October 5th.

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

The Sanctuary Movement
Sunday, June 4, 12:30 p.m., Parish Hall
The Sanctuary Movement is a growing movement of immigrant and faith communities, protecting and standing with immigrants facing deportation. Come and learn about Sanctuary and about how we can get involved as individuals and as a congregation.

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 Stock The Shelves For Summer!
Here are a few of “their favorite things”… Baby Foods (Stages 1 & 2). Enfamil with Iron. Vegetable or Corn Oil. Boxed Infant Cereals. Cheerios. Flintstone Chewable Vitamins. Parmalat Milk.
     May and June Special Request: Your favorite items from the shopping list
Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

UUSC Team Note for May/June
Visit (UU College of Social Justice within UUSC) for information on cross cultural, Immigration, and environmental justice trainings, trips, and resources. Find downloadable courses for individual or group use as related to any of these topics. For example, the environmental justice course begins with an examination of Naomi Klein’s book, This Changes Everything.
     The author of the lesson asks that we reflect on US capitalism and its foundational link to fossil fuels. In the meantime, Klein asserts that such a foundation cannot be changed without “heavy duty interventions.” During this first lesson, students consider how UU values can shape a better response to climate change. First Church will have an opportunity to vote on a small step in this direction at the annual meeting.

Community News

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. 
     For more information contact Nancy McColm, or 617-993-2870. You can also find out more on the library’s website

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 26
The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, May 26. Please e-mail items to by noon on Wednesday, May 24. Please see the special deadlines below:

Unitarian Issue



Friday, June 9

Wednesday, June 7

This is the last “regular” issue of church year

Friday, June 16

Wednesday, June 14

Lay-led summer services and summer programs issue

Friday, July 28

Wednesday, July 26

Midsummer issue

Friday, September 1

Wednesday, August 30

First issue of the church year

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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