The Unitarian – June 9, 2017

The Unitarian – June 9, 2017 (PDF)

Sunday Worship, June 11 — Flower Communion

Prelude: No. 5 Moderato from Les Cinq Doigts by Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971); Simon Andrews, piano
9 a.m. Junior Choir Anthem: Round and Round the Earth is Turning, a traditional round
11 a.m. Chancel Choir Anthem: An Die Musik by Franz Schubert, arr. Henry Coleman
9 a.m. Junior Choir Anthem: Tree Song by Ken Medema, arr. Robert Sterling; with Chuck Claus, recorder
11 a.m. Chancel Choir Anthem: Ave Maria by Mark Baltz
Offertory: “Oh for the Wings of a Dove,” from Hear My Prayer by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
     9 a.m.: Melanie Bacaling, soprano, and Simon Andrews, organ
     11 a.m. Senior Choir, Melanie Bacaling, soprano, and Simon Andrews, organ
Postlude: Ellacome by Albert L. Travis (b. 1940); Simon Andrews, organ
The flowers on the Chancel Table this Sunday are given in loving memory of Carl Steven Feske, from Carlee Blamphin and Steven Feske.

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!

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

It’s hard to believe, but I’m coming up to the end of my internship here at FCB. This Sunday’s Flower Communion will be my last worship service here. I will be around through the end of June, with a short 6 day hiatus in New Orleans for the General Assembly.
     I am so grateful for my journey with you over these last 10 months. Thank you for being a teaching congregation. You have the privilege in shaping new UU ministers. I have felt welcomed, supported, encouraged and challenged here. And, it was a marvelous way to start my journey with you at Sandy Island….laughing, praying, and playing together … fertile soil in which to grow.
     As you may have gathered by now, I love poetry. And so Marge Piercy is helping me here to share my thoughts with you through her poem “The seven of pentacles”.

Under a sky the color of pea soup
she is looking at her work growing away there
actively, thickly like grapevines, or pole beans
as things grow in the real world, slowly enough.
if you tend them properly, if you mulch, if you water,
if you provide birds that eat insects a home and winter food,
if the sun shines and you pick off caterpillars,
If the praying mantis comes and the ladybugs and the bees,
then the plants flourish, but at their own internal clock.

     You were gracious when I stumbled, shared your stories with me, let me in to know you in joy and grief, and encouraged me to push the limits. I grew in understanding and wisdom, in terms of who I am, and how to continue to grow in spirit, in community, in how to minister. I even figured out how to whittle down the sermon length! It was a good thing to learn. And, as you have heard me so many times, we are stronger when we live, pray and work together in covenanted community. Where we help one another, learn together, act together, hear one another into speech, and vision together. I am grateful for what I have learned, I am grateful for what I’ve been able to share with you, and I am grateful to know you as friends on a shared journey.

Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.
You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.
More than half a tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.
Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.
Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.
Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.
Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

     The history and the bonds among you build a foundation for a community that is strong and able. I wish for you an invigorating vision for your community and your collective impact on the world around you. You’ll have to go deep and wide for sustainable justice making. Always know that you are surrounded by friends in FCB, in Belmont, in the Region and the UU Association who work together with you side by side.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.
Live a life you can endures: make love that is loving.
Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in,
a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

     You are in my heart. You are part of me. I am better for it. You have allowed me to minister with you, for which I am deeply moved and grateful. You have been part of shaping me into a minister. May our journeys intersect again in the years to come.

Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen:
reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.
This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,
for every gardener knows that after the digging, after the planting,
after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.

     Peace to you my friends, and may your harvest be bountiful indeed.
~ Andrea

Music Notes, by Ian Garvie
On Sunday, June 4th, 27 performers came together for the first annual Community Concert in the Parish Hall. The program featured eight young musicians in our community, and was a wonderful illustration of the wide variety of musical talent that we have in the First Church community.
     There were folk musicians, classical musicians of all ages, and even some contemporary songs. Thank you to all of the performers, it was a beautiful concert. And thanks to the generous donations from the rather large audience, we raised $926, which will go to support the SPARK Center at the Boston Medical Center.
     The SPARK Center is an organization which helps many impoverished children in the Boston area with healthcare, nutrition, education, and childcare – services that their families are unable to provide themselves. Located in Mattapan, the SPARK Center provides an essential service for some of the area’s most impoverished families. The Community Concert marks the 39th annual benefit concert that the music program has held to support this charity, showing our strong commitment to enrich the lives of as many people as possible through the musical talents of our church community. Thank you to each and every one of you who helped!

Registration for the Children’s Music Program for the 2017-2018 season is now open!
Please use the following link to register for the Youth/Children’s music programs at The First Church in Belmont for the 2017/2018 year. The Children’s Music Program starts every year with a fully staged musical.
     You may register to start either September 11th with the musical, or November 20th, after the musical finishes. All children in the musical must participate in the choir for the entire school year. The musical this year will be The Gondoliers, by Gilbert and Sullivan.
     To register, please click here

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. Please take a moment to consider how you can contribute your time and talent to the church community next year. You can sign up online at Thank you!

Judi Curcio (left) and Christine Dudley-Marling (right) wearing their red “Ask Me Anything about Sanctuary” T-shirts from the Sanctuary Committee at First Parish in Bedford, flanked by presentation organizers Eva Patalas (far left) and Liz Keating (far right).

The Sanctuary Movement at FCB
The Sanctuary Movement is a growing movement of faith and immigrant communities working to protect immigrants facing deportation by literally offering sanctuary to people who are at risk of being deported.
     There are two levels of sanctuary that can be offered.
Level 1- These churches offer physical sanctuary in the church building. In Massachusetts, there are ten Level 1 sanctuary churches of various faiths.
Level 2 – These congregations commit as an institution to support the Level 1 sanctuary congregations in their region.
     The UUA is very committed to the Sanctuary Movement and encourages congregations and individuals to sign the Declaration of Conscience ( The Declaration reads in part “We will oppose any and all unjust government actions to deport, register, discriminate, or despoil.” The UU churches in Massachusetts that have signed this declaration include:

  • First Parish in Bedford
  • Arlington Street Church, Boston
  • Community Church of Boston
  • First Parish in Brookline 
  • First Parish Cambridge UU
  • First Church in Jamaica Plain UU
  • UU Church of Medford

     Of these, the First Parish in Bedford has gone through a discernment process and declared itself a Level 1 Sanctuary church. Whether First Church Belmont should sign the declaration and become a Level 2 supporting congregation is on the agenda for the next Parish Board meeting.
     On Sunday June 4 at 12:30, members of the First Parish in Bedford spoke to us about their experience of becoming a Level 1 sanctuary church. In the event that an individual or family were to seek sanctuary at their church, they would require the support of nearby congregations and individuals for a wide variety of needs including groceries, transportation, emotional support, entertainment and overnight stays.
     The Sanctuary subcommittee of the Social Action Committee is forming to develop a framework for offering help to Level 1 sanctuary churches in the area. This committee will meet regularly initially in the fall and then on an as needed basis.
     If you are interested in joining the Sanctuary subcommittee, or in being available to help during the summer, please contact Eva Patalas ( or Liz Keating (
     A second presentation about the Sanctuary movement will be held on September 24 at 12:30 in the Library.
     Further information on actions organized by immigrant communities and their faith allies: Sanctuary-Solidarity-Overview-5-2-17.

Short-Term Use of a Car Needed
Andrea Spencer-Linzie’s 23 year old car has finally died. If you have a car that isn’t used much, Andrea would like to borrow it for grocery shopping and other errands during her last couple of weeks through the end of June. She’ll be away at the General Assembly from June 20-25. Of course she will pay for gas and light maintenance as necessary. You can connect with Andrea at

Many thanks to everyone who helped with ushering during 2016-17!
Ushers this year included the 75 individuals (67 adults and 8 youth ushers) listed below. During the course of the year there are 74 Sunday services, as well 4 Christmas Eve services. Thus, many people served at multiple services during each term. Our appreciation to:

Adult Ushers – Lee Ackerson, Bethany Allen, Monte Allen, Pam Andrews, Jessie Bennett, Cheryl Brown, Katharine Canfield, Alan Cantor, Sarah Cliffe, Priscilla Cobb, Lauren Corning, Martha Courant, Kathy Crawley, Lauraine Dalton, Ann Dexter, Connie DiCocco, Dianthe Eisendrath, Margaret Ekland, Paul Estin, David Fung, Susan Galli, Laurie Graham, Denis Green, Nicole Griffin, Peter Guthrie, Ana Hammock, James Hencke, George Henman, Laura Hill, Debora Hoffman, Carolyn Howard, Jeanne Johnson, Michelle Johnson, Bayard Klimasmith, Leslie Kolterman, Anjali Kumar, Marianne Leahy, John Little, Bruce Logan, Diane Malcolmson, Margaret Marks, Judy McSwain, Claudia Nasson, Sandy Nayak, Sara Oaklander, Kathy Olofson, Eva Patalas, Hanspeter Pfister, Martin Plass, Eugene Pool, Andrea Prestwich, Cindy Primett, Martha Read, Cae Saar, Thomas Schieber, Dave Scott, Lanier Smythe, Martha Spaulding, Jim Staton, Barbara Terry, Mark Thurber, Alice Trexler, Andree Vezina, David Warner, Marion Westgate, Sean Westgate, and Leslie Wolf

Youth Ushers – Nico Albano, Molly Calkin, Josh Crocker, Emma Jones, Will Keating, Maddy Keaveney, Georgia Kermond, Brendan Walsh, and Jasper Wolf.

Housing Available in Belmont
Comfortable furnished room available in Trudy Egyes’ home “on the hill.” She’s searching for a student or professional and garden work is possible to offset rent. Call Trudy at 617-484-6833.

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
We have just concluded a church year filled with interesting programs thanks to all of you and the work of the adult programs committees.
     Our year-end appreciation party is next Monday, June 12th at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. We’ll have refreshments and it will be an opportunity to thank you personally. Some of our programs continue during the summer -Meditation every Monday night, Book Group, Hootenanny, Parenting Kids with Challenges — so please do join us.
     I am looking forward to attending the UUA General Assembly in New Orleans and will be bringing back lots of ideas for next year!
~ Lillian Anderson, Adult Programs Advisor

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. We will be meeting throughout the summer so please join us.

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. We will be meeting throughout the summer on the 4th Wednesday of the month.

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!
We will meet again on Wednesday, July 26th at 7 p.m. in the Parlor.

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

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

Help Fill Move-In Boxes for Refugees
Since January, Central American asylum women and children have been relocating in the Boston area with the assistance of Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) and the support of First Church Belmont. For these families, it has been a long and difficult journey. These women fled the violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. They were incarcerated in Texas for crossing the border. Once released, the women are migrating to different parts of the US, where they can join a family member or friend, settle, hopefully, find jobs.
     Currently, 100 families are in the Boston area. The congregation has been very supportive of the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC). We have raised substantial funds to support a case worker to serve these families to through a Second Friday Coffeehouse and grant writing. Move-In bins collected in the fall have already greeted some new arrivals.
     The Social Action Committee is helping welcome more women by creating more move-in boxes. We encourage you to sign-up for items to donate. Donations can be dropped off in the lobby of First Church or at the back door at the home of Liz Keating (122 Larch Road, Cambridge) between now and June 30. For any questions, contact or 617-721-2536. The items needed are:

  • Place Settings: plates (big and small), mugs, glasses, bowls) for 4
  • Set of Pots and Pans (including fry pan, 2 saucepans) MUST BE NEW
  • Mixing and serving bowls
  • Silverware (4-6 people) MUST BE NEW
  • Cutting board (plastic preferred)
  • Colander/Strainer
  • Food storage containers
  • Alarm clock with batteries
  • Pens, pencils, notepads, paper, etc.
  • Light bulbs
  • Liquid dish soap & Laundry Detergent
  • Kitchen/Bathroom Cleaner, Toilet Bowl Brush
  • Tall Kitchen Trash can and bags

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 16
The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, June 16. Please e-mail items to by noon on Wednesday, June 14. This is our lay-led and summer programs issue. Items may be edited for space and clarity. Please see the special deadlines below:

  • Friday, July 28; deadline, Wednesday, July 26 — Midsummer issue
  • Friday, September 1; deadline, 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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