The Unitarian – September 1, 2017

The Unitarian – September 1, 2017 (pdf)

Click here to donate to the UUA/UUSC's Hurricane Harvey recovery fund.
Click here to donate to the UUA/UUSC’s Hurricane Harvey recovery fund.

Sunday Worship — September 10

Ingathering Ceremony
We join together in our sanctuary to renew ourselves, and to re-dedicate ourselves to one another and to the ongoing life of spiritual growth. Bring water collected from a special place: from your travels over the summer, from a place nearby or from your home; these living waters will flow together as we join hearts together.

  • Services at 9 & 11 a.m.; childcare is provided.
  • Sunday, September 17 — Rev. David Bryce
  • Sermon archive:

Welcome Back Reception & Open House, Thursday, September 7 at 7 p.m.

Reconnect with old friends, learn something new about the church at our committee exhibit, and help us welcome any visitors who may be interested in joining our community. Stop by anytime between 7 and 8:30 p.m. for light appetizers, refreshments and a festive atmosphere before the church year officially begins.

This event is complimentary, all are welcome and you are encouraged to bring a friend or neighbor who might be interested in learning more about First Church.

Sandy Island Registration is Open — some spaces still available! Register now!!!

The Fellowship Committee invites you to join us for the popular First Church Sandy Island Retreat. This is a wonderful opportunity to kick back, relax, and meet new and old friends after a long summer. Sandy Island offers recreational opportunities for people of all interests and ages.

Information and the registration link are online:

Questions? Please contact the fellowship committee at

The Second Friday Coffeehouse Committee extends sincere thanks to supporters of its programs. Shares of net proceeds from the 2016-17 performance season were distributed to ten charities in summer 2017.

The 2017-18 season begins on Friday, September 15, with performers Scott Janovitz and Paul Judge & Jim Wooster (see below). Credit card, checks and cash payments are accepted for event attendance and season ticket purchases. Co-chairs of season ticket sales, Jon Svetkey and Jeff Isen, may be consulted at Sunday coffee hours.

Please consult our website and our Facebook page for updated information: and

The Coffeehouse Committee: Richard Curzi, Lauraine Dalton, Kathleen Dunlap, Monty Grob, Jim Hall, Jeff Isen, Roger Miller, Anne Selman, Lanier Smythe, Jim Staton, Jim Sugarman, Jon Svetkey, Deborah Youngman

Second Friday Coffeehouse features Scott Janovitz with openers Jim Wooster & Paul Judge, September 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Songwriter Scott Janovitz is a Boston-based musician who has been a member of The Great Bandini, The Russian, The Figgs, and Graham Parker’s touring band. In 2010 his album, Crashing the Party, earned him a Boston Music Award and was named among the Best Music of 2010 by The Wall Street Journal. His new solo album is due in 2017. More at

Roots rockers Jim Wooster & Paul Judge — Second Friday favorites — will be opening with some of their favorite songs, accompanied on guitars and mandolin.
This month’s beneficiary is Renewal House at the UU Urban Ministry.

Music Notes — Ian Garvie

It is time to register for the Children’s Music Program! This fall the musical is The Gondoliers, by Gilbert and Sullivan. This wonderful show tells the story of two handsome gondoliers in Venice, Marco and Giuseppe, who get married after finding their brides in a game of blind man’s bluff. Then in comes a grand procession of the Duke and Duchess of Plaza Toro, their daughter Casilda, and their entourage, consisting of just “His Grace’s own private drum, Luiz.”

To everyone’s surprise, it is discovered that one of the gondoliers is in fact heir to the throne of the kingdom of Barataria, and in infancy was wed to Casilda. The only problem is, no one knows which of the two young men is in fact a gondolier, and which is now a king! They solve the problem by deciding to all travel to Barataria, to rule the kingdom together.

Rehearsals for the musical will begin on Monday, September 11th, at 6:30 p.m. for Kindergarten through 4th Grade, and at 7:00 p.m. for 5th Grade and up. Even if you are not sure if you will join, feel free to stop by and join the first rehearsal! More information will be available at the rehearsal.

The Senior Choir will start rehearsals on Sunday, September 10th, at 9:30 a.m., and the Nova Choir will start rehearsals on Thursday, September 7th, at 6:45 p.m. If you are interested in joining any of the wonderful choirs at First Church, please contact Ian Garvie at

Youth Group News — Sana Saeed

COA Mentors Needed for THIS Year
The Coming of Age Ceremony is the culmination of a year of small and large group conversation, an exploration of the beliefs and values by our ninth graders, some wonderful shared food, community building and community service.

The goal of the Coming of Age program is to create a supportive environment where youth are able to explore big questions, reflect on their beliefs, and ultimately have the confidence to make decisions based on their values. In this program, students explore their UU roots and the personal beliefs and values that they are developing. There’s no pressure to believe in one thing, the youth have full autonomy over their spiritual journey and learn together in this special program. Together with adult mentors, 9th graders put their faith into action through community service projects, social action and by working to develop language to express their beliefs. The Coming of Age program runs from September through May and culminates when the youth read their personal credo statements at a ceremony in the spring.

We encourage any of you (except for the parents of 9th graders) to volunteer to be a mentor for the COA program this year.

I hope you can join us!

Please send Sana Saeed, Director of Youth Programs an email if you’re interested in applying and/or learning more about details of the role of a COA mentor at

“You and I
we make the circle
if we choose to.”
— Rev. Marta I. Valentín, from “Waiting,” in Voices From the Margins
(Rev. Marta is a Latinx UU Minister and the Harvard Divinity School UU Denominational Counselor)

I want to take this opportunity to tell you all a little bit about the Coming of Age and Youth Group programs for the 2017-2018 year:

Coming of Age
The Coming of Age (COA) program is a space for 9th graders to explore their beliefs, values, spirituality, religion and search for meaning with the support of 6 adult mentors. COA will typically meet 3 times a month on Sundays, in the parlor from 2:00-3:30 p.m. We will engage in a mix of large and small group activities, which will combine discussion and reflection with fun and action. There will also be a few full day events throughout the year, where we will take part in community service or social action as part of our exploration and search for meaning.

The culmination of the program will be in May when each youth will write a personal credo statement to be read at the Sunday COA service.

Youth Group
This year Youth Group members (grades 10-12) will have the opportunity to practice leadership skills, engage in social action, explore spirituality, and model Unitarian Universalist principles in a supportive, inclusive community. Youth Group will meet Sunday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Our first meeting will be Sunday, September 10th. Youth Group will engage in community building activities, spiritual experiences, and will have plenty of opportunities for fun and learning through action. We have a busy year ahead including a few full day events, fundraisers, retreats, and a week of service, so please keep an eye on the calendar!

Youth Advisory Council
The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who are eager to take on a leadership role in Youth Group. YAC will meet weekly for an hour to plan and organize Youth Group events, in addition to facilitating Youth Group activities and leading small group discussions. Youth who are interested in YAC should attend YAC meetings on Sundays, from 6-7 p.m.

I am really excited to begin working with the youth this year. I am sure a great deal of personal growth will take place as the youth come together in community for reflection, action, and a spiritual experience.

If you have any questions about the youth programs, please feel free to contact me anytime at ssaeed@uubelmont.orgor 617-484-1054 ext. 11 and I’ll be happy to hear from you.

Adult Programs News

Call the church office with questions about adult programs: 617-484-1054, ext. 10.

Belmont Unitarian Alliance (Men & Women)
Concord River Boat Cruise & Lunch — Wednesday, September 20
Please join us for the Belmont UU Alliance Concord River Boat Cruise & Lunch on Wednesday, September 20. Make your reservation early as we are limited to 18 seats. We will carpool from the Church at 12 noon; the cruise leaves the dock at 1:00 p.m. from the South Bridge Boat House, 496 Main St. (route 62), Concord.

R.s.v.p. to our First Church Administrator, Janice Zazinski, at or 617-484-1054. The deadline for registrations September 12. Inform Janice of your sandwich choice for lunch: chicken or tuna salad, ham & cheese, sliced turkey, vegetarian. Lunch also includes salad, fruit, dessert and drinks.

Please make your $35.00 check payable to the Belmont Unitarian Alliance and deliver or mail it to the Church at First Church Belmont UU , P.O. Box 113, Belmont, MA 02478. If you would like payment assistance, or have any questions, please contact Pat Hawkins at 617-489-2058 or email

Science and Spirituality — Ken and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, September 21, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Kirk Israel will lead us in the discussion of an excerpt from Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman.

Alan Einstein Dream’s Lightman’s book Mr g is a fabulistic telling of the story of the making of the Universe, drawing from multiple influence to make a new creation myth that is in keeping what science and rationality suggest our reality is made of. It is a portrait of an omnipotent and omniscient god, but one who is more of an artist than a micromanager, and in that presentation the book touches on aspects of free will in a universe made of cause and effect and how a universe made by a compassionate god could still have bad things happening to good people.

Group members are encouraged to acquire and read the full work (a brisk 225 pages) but excerpts can be downloaded at

2017 UUA General Assembly Report
Sunday, September 24, 12:30 p.m., Library
The General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association where attendees worship, witness, sing, learn, connect, and make policy through the democratic process.

“Resist and Rejoice” in New Orleans was a really powerful experience. The combination of the extraordinary events within our own denomination and the focus of the upheavals in our society combined to encourage honest discussion about the issue of white supremacy. Adult Programs Director, Lillian Anderson, Music Director, Ian Garvie, and Youth Director, Sana Saeed, as well as youth group member Cam Anderson will share their impressions.

Here are some links from the GA Website to inspire you –

One of the important issues discussed at GA was the Sanctuary Movement. We will meet and hear from Alfredo Garcia, a Master of Divinity student at Harvard Divinity School who is undocumented. He will speak about the context in which undocumented immigrants find themselves.

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson & Anne Stuart
Wednesday, September 27, 7:30 p.m., Library
In September, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, we will be reading her classic, Sense and Sensibility, which tells the story of two sisters and their very different approaches to love and marriage.

“Spiritual Audacity” — Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom
Sunday, October 1, 12:30 p.m., Library
Why do some people flourish and others do not? Jim’s spiritual memoir, Spiritual Audacity: Six Disciplines of Human Flourishing, addresses this question from a Unitarian Universalist minister’s perspective. Refreshments and books available.

Meg O’Brien Bequest

Many of us were saddened by the news of the passing this spring of Meg O’Brien, a long-time member of First Church who had moved to Florida. A memorial service was held for Meg at First Church on June 10, where many shared fond memories of Meg.

Over the summer, we were honored to find out that Meg had left a bequest to First Church. A separate fund named for Meg will be established in the First Church endowment and payments from the fund will be distributed to the church each quarter. Meg will also be added to the Hal Babcock Society, along with all others who have made planned gifts to First Church.

In the Community

Belmont Food Collaborative invites you to their Fall cooking classes, held here at First Church in Belmont
BFC’s mission: to share our passion for cooking meals at home with easy, authentic and delicious recipes, and fresh ingredients. We believe everyone can cook a great meal, and these classes will help you do just that.

We have three great new classes: Flavors of the Amalfi Coast, Zero Cooking, and Language in the Kitchen. Payment information and other details are at the bottom of the registration page.

First Parish in Concord invites FCB to “Go Granny D!”
Saturday, September 16, 7:30-9:30 p.m. at First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord
At age 90 Doris “Granny D” Haddock blazed a 3200-mile trail across the U.S. for campaign finance reform, precipitating the passage of the McCain-Feingold Act. Off-Broadway actress Barbara Bates Smith and musician Jeff Sebens highlight the story of this crusader who took the world by surprise and was elevated to national fame.

After the show there will be a conversation with the performers, followed by a discussion about a planned Massachusetts ballot initiative. Suggested donation is $10 to support the ballot initiative work. For tickets, click here.

Among Us

News from Susan Street
FCB’s former church administrator, Susan Street, has relocated to Tampa to be near her son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Susan reports that she had to move sooner than planned so didn’t get to make her farewells, but sends her love to all.

The FCB community is invited to the Service of Ordination for Charlotte Lehmann at the First Universalist Church in Auburn, Maine

  • October 28, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.
  • 169 Pleasant Street, Auburn, Maine 04210
  • Reception to follow in the church vestry.
  • All religious professionals are invited to process; please arrive by 2 p.m.
  • RSVP to:; email Charlotte for lodging information.

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. 10.

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.

Connect with UU actions, events & resources

Next issue: September 8

The next issue of The Unitarian is Friday, September 8. Please send your announcements, news, events, and other submissions to by noon on Wednesday, September 6. Items may be edited for space and clarity.

Staff Directory

Office hours: Monday – Friday, 9 – 3. The church office will be closed on Monday, September 4, for Labor Day.
617-484-1054 |
Street: 404 Concord Ave., Belmont
Mailing: PO Box 113, Belmont, Mass. 02478

Parish Board minutes are online and posted on the Upper Hall bulletin board.

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