The Unitarian – June 2, 2017

 The Unitarian – June 2, 2017 (PDF)

Sunday Worship, June 4

Sermon : Being Both; Sana Saeed, Director of Youth Programs

9 a.m. Prelude: Cantate Domino by Giuseppe Pitoni (1647-1743); Nova Choir

11 a.m. Prelude: Gnossienne No. 3 by Erik Satie (1866-1925); Simon Andrews, piano

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Cantique de Jean Racine by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: The Road Not Taken by Randall Thompson; words by Robert Frost

Offertory: Love Right Now by Jon Svetkey; performed by Jon Svetkey & Jeff Isen

Postlude: Step Inside by Jon Svetkey; performed by Jon Svetkey & Jeff Isen

The flowers in the Chancel are given by Alfa Radford in memory of her sister, Marguerite Shaw.

Upcoming Services

  • 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!
  • Lay-Led Worship Services start Sunday, June 18, in the Parish Hall

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.

From Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

Andrea Spencer-Linzie, Ministerial Intern

In other parts of this Unitarian issue is news about the UUA General Assembly being held in New Orleans. It’s so exciting that at least 4 of us from First Church Belmont will be attending, and others plan to participate online. Attending a General Assembly is invigorating, provocative, inspiring, educational and well, sometimes tiring. It is a wonderful means of learning from others, gathering together as UUs committed to standing on the side of love, creating a just world, and helping each other.
     First Church Belmont has a deep history, and we are especially proud of our part in creating the UU Service Committee.
     There is a reason that most religious denominations and organizations have connecting structures. It’s because we learn from each other, inspire each other and create meaning and justice together. It keeps us strong. It helps to create community. When we work together, we’re better.
     I write today to encourage us as a congregation to think about the ways that we are connected, boosted, supported, challenged, inspired, and motivated to be more than we are.
     I am very happy that the Program Council chose to implement a congregation-wide study and action program on escalating inequality. In learning and working together over time, we will forge stronger bonds and we will be well equipped to create significant change and impact in the way that we lead our lives, not only in FCB, but in the world around us.
     And as we look beyond our own community, there are many others who are ready to join us. There are 53 UU congregations in the greater Boston area. There are 231 UU congregations and 4 districts in the New England Region.
     The New England Region has 9 staff members with deep and varied experience in UU life, traditions, programs. They are there to help us in any way that we envision our future for our congregation and how we shape the world around us.
     We are better together. To shape the world in a deep way, a significant way, in a broad way, in a lasting way we need to work in concert with others who have the same goals.
     I hope we can take advantage of the ties that bind us within the Unitarian Universalist world. When FCB undertakes is work on escalating inequality, we will benefit from the wisdom and interaction of others who are also working on these issues. We’ll be smarter, more prepared, and we will be surrounded by others who are walking with us and supporting us on this journey.
     It is a strength to reach out to others. I envision FCB as a thriving, caring community, connected with friends and allies, working together to make strong coalitions and relationships. May we be fearless in working together and reaching out to one another. Let’s go deep. Let’s go wide. When we do, then we will not be moved from our vision of a just, loving and sustainable world.

Annual SPARK Benefit Concert — this Sunday, June 4
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!
~ Ian Garvie

In Memoriam – Meg O’Brien

Meg O’Brien

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of longtime First Church member Meg O’Brien, who passed away peacefully on May 19 in Jacksonville, Florida.
     She is survived by her sons, Thomas Peter O’Brien and Robert H.N. O’Brien, and her grandsons Timothy O’Brien, Benjamin O’Brien, Jonathan O’Brien, and Matthew Recalde.
     Her burial will be private at Highland Meadow Cemetery, Belmont on June 9. Meg’s memorial service will be held here at the First Church in Belmont on June 10th at 11:00 a.m.
     Meg’s full obituary is online at

Volunteer Sign Up for 2017-2018 Church Year
As we plan for the new church year, we need your volunteer commitment to run the church and keep our congregation strong. The Membership Committee is distributing the bright green Volunteer Sign up forms on your pews this Sunday.
     Please take a moment to consider how you can contribute your time and talent to the church community next year and fill out your form. The volunteer forms are available at church and on our website and can be mailed to the church or emailed to a member of the Membership committee who are all listed on the form.
     You can also sign up online at Thank you!

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. You can also be a delegate and not attend or attend remotely.
     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

First Church Theme for 2017/2018 – “Escalating Inequality”
“Escalating Inequality” is the theme that has been chosen by the Program Council for the next church year. “Escalating Inequality” was selected by the 2014 General Assembly as the 2014-2018 Congregational Study/Action Issue. The Study Guide at provides UU congregations with materials and guidance for beginning or deepening their exploration of economic justice, helping to navigate this complex and inspiring subject with many ways to engage at personal, congregational, local, state, national, and global levels. Hard copies of the study guide are available in Lillian’s box in the conference room.
     A Task Group has been formed to shepherd the coordination of programming and currently Ariane Frank, worship, Jackie Neel, SAC, Sana Saaed, youth director, Nate Sellers, RE and Lillian Anderson, Adult Programs have volunteered but we’d love to have your input. We have had one meeting and we have plans for the use of a logo, developing bulletin boards and a banner which will be in place for the fall. The Adult Programs Committee is reviewing books for a common read and hope to announce the title soon so that it might be available for summer reading.
     If you’d like to be involved or would like more information contact

Housing Wanted!
Our family of three is looking to buy a home in Belmont, but we realize we may need to rent while we search. If you know of an apt/condo/home in Belmont for rent, starting in July, Aug. or Sept, we’d be grateful for any suggestions.
     We’re looking for two (or three) bedrooms; ideally, within walking distance of the middle school and Belmont center. Thank you!
~ Leslie Talmadge and Brian and Lauren Kopperl;; 617 686 3166

Fiscal Year Ends June 30
The end of the church’s fiscal year is Friday, June 30. All requests for reimbursement must be submitted to the church office by Friday, June 23, in order to be booked to this fiscal year. Please contact Janice at if you have any questions, and thank you!

Adult Programs News

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, June 15, 7 p.m., Kathy Lind’s house – 68 Fairmont St., Belmont
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.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
Friday, June 16, 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.

First Church Book Group Pot-luck and Discussion — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, June 28, 7 p.m., Upper Hall
The Book Group will be hosting its Sixth Annual Potluck Supper when we will enjoy summer salads and desserts, talk about books, swap books we’ve brought, and plan for the coming year.
     Please feel free to come (and bring a friend), even if you have not participated in the group during the past church year. All are welcome. Please bring a salad, cold entree, or dessert. RSVP to or if you plan to attend.

Hootenanny/Jam Session — Jon Svetkey
Wednesday, June 28, 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.

The Sanctuary Movement — Liz Keating and Eva Patalas
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 Muslim Friends invites you to the first Belmont Community Iftar
Iftar is the meal eaten by Muslims at sunset to break their fast
Saturday, June 10; 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall
The Belmont Muslim Friends is a Belmont-based coalition of Muslims working to foster ties and promote a sense of unity between the Muslim community and the town of Belmont. Belmont Muslim Friends promotes tolerance, acceptance, and understanding of all faiths within the Belmont community.
     On June 10 (3rd week of Ramadan) we invite all our faith friends and people from the community to join us for an interfaith Iftar at the First Church in Belmont’s Parish Hall.
     There are a few remaining slots for First Church members. If you would like to attend the event, please contact Priscilla Cobb ( The evening will include a call to Prayer and a full meal prepared by Belmont Muslim Friends.

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 
Did you know that you contributed almost 200 bags of groceries this year to families served by the Grow Clinic? Do you know what a difference YOU made in the lives of infants and toddlers carrying the diagnosis of Failure To Thrive and to their families? Did you know you’re the absolute best congregation? Sending our heartfelt thanks to you….Your Grow Clinic Committee
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.

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, June 9
The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, June 9. Please e-mail items to by noon on Wednesday, June 7. This is the last “regular” issue of the church year. Please see the special deadlines below:

Unitarian Issue



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, 2017 – 2018
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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