The Unitarian – September 29, 2017

The Unitarian – September 29, 2017 (pdf)

Sunday Worship — October 1

Responding to Hate, Violence and Dominance — Rev. David Bryce

How do we respond to someone who wants to kill us? Or at least impose dominance over us? This has a personal dimension when we are immediately facing some individuals. It has a national dimension as we see a rising number of attacks on those of ourselves who are viewed as “different”, and as we see rising acts of vandalism and bombings against synagogues and mosques. It has international implications as we see global terrorist organizations that mean us harm.

Prelude: Kremser from Nederlandtsch Gedenckclanck (1626); edited by Adrianus Valerius (d. 1625), arr. Michael Burkhardt (b. 1957); Simon Andrews, organ

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Go Out With Joy by Hank Beebe (b. 1926)

Offertory: “Dream Variations,” from 3 Dream Portraits; music by Margaret Bonds, words by Langston Hughes; Davron Monroe, tenor and Ian Garvie, piano

Postlude: Voluntary for Cornet and Flute, attrib. John James (d. 1745); Simon Andrews, organ

The flowers on the Chancel Table are given by Frederica Frost and Rosalie Kerr in appreciation of all the generous members of our First Church community who signed up to donate this year’s altar flowers.

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior MinisterDavid

This morning I attended a memorial service for someone in the community of people who are homeless in Waltham. You may recall that during my sabbatical I volunteered with Chaplain On The Way, which serves that community.

One of the most important things for any community is the marking of rites of passage, and death is arguably the most important of those to mark.

Because of the clergy staff of Chaplains On The Way and because of the generosity of the Episcopal Church in Waltham which provides worship space for the services, people in the community of homeless in Waltham have the opportunity to come together, grieve together and say good-bye to loved ones.

For people who are homeless that is not always the case. People die and that is the end. There is rarely a place to have a memorial service, and no clergy to lead one. Often the person who dies is from out of town and any services are held by family, sometimes far away.

And so I am reminded of the importance of community to each of us. I am reminded that sometimes things we take for granted — that there will be a community to mourn with us, to support us, to care for us — are not offered to others. And could disappear for us.

May we truly live as community, providing care, nurture and support to every person here. May we build deeper connections and commitments to one another.

Chalice Lighting Sign Up

We invite all members of the church community to light the chalice, both in groups and as individuals.

While children are welcome to light the chalice, we also invite individual adults, couples, friends, or families with adult children.

Chalice lighting practice tips and practice sessions are available upon request. Please contact for information. Sign up online at

Fossil Fuel Divestment Information

An informational session about the upcoming vote on fossil fuel divestment will be held this Sunday, October 1 between the two services at 10:15 a.m. in the Parlor. Members of FCB Green and the Finance Committee will be present to answer questions about the Resolution to Divest First Church of Fossil Fuels.

It will be the sole subject of a Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, October 15 from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. The resolution, as well as background information on the church’s and UUA’s fossil fuel divestment, is available at the FCB Green page of the First Church website ( The wording of the resolution was vetted by the Parish Board and Finance Committee.

Seats available for the Hamilton Listening Party, this Sunday in the First Church Library

Are you among the lucky ones who have seen Hamilton already? Then come to relive the experience.

Have you got a ticket for a future performance? Then come to prep for the experience.

Do you already own the cast album and have the words memorized? Then come to sing along.

Is hip-hop not your thing and you can’t imagine listening to 2 hours and 40 minutes of it? Then come to see what all the fuss is about, perhaps be converted, and learn that it is much more than hip-hop.

Sunday, October 1, 6 p.m. in the First Church Library. The auction ticket price is $20. RSVP and questions to Lanier Smythe:

Belmont Serves: Monday, October 9

Please join your neighbors in Belmont’s 9th annual day of service on the Monday of Columbus Day weekend. 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet here at the First Church, enjoy breakfast snacks and proceed from there to project sites for a family-friendly day of community service.

Projects include: collecting & sorting donations for Belmont Food Pantry, Clay Pit Pond clean-up, conservation projects at Lone Tree Hill and Rock Meadow, and painting and other indoor & outdoor maintenance projects around town. Reconvene at First Church at 12:30 for pizza!

To register & for information:

Donate To Belmont Food Pantry With Belmont Serves
Belmont Serves makes it easy to donate to the Belmont Food Pantry.

Here’s how it works:

  • A grocery bag will be delivered to your door with instructions.
  • Fill the bag with non-perishable items (canned goods, paper items, toiletries).
  • Leave full bag on your doorstep/front porch before 8:30 a.m. on Monday October 9.
  • Volunteers will pick up the bag from your doorstep and deliver it to the Belmont Food Pantry!
  • If the bag is not picked up, please deliver to Belmont Food Pantry on Saturday, October 14

Thanks for participating!!

Perfect weather for a cookout! On September 26, members of FCB’s Men’s Group volunteered at a back-to-school cookout for the youth program at the UU Urban Ministry. Here UUUM staff and FCB folks take a break from grilling.

Support Social Action, Fellowship And Great Music — For Only $119!

Buying a season ticket for the Second Friday Coffeehouse gets you more than just a night of great acoustic music. It promotes awareness and support for 10 local charities. It spreads fellowship and friendship within our community. Admission for TWO is only $119. Pay by cash, check or credit card.

Come visit us at our table in the Gathering Hall after services and we’ll set you up with season ticket. We’re only 1/3 of the way towards our season ticket goal, so don’t delay, act today!

Second Friday Coffeehouse presents Scott Alarik with opening act Jim Hall, October 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Scott Alarik

Scott Alarik is best known as a writer, who covered folk music in the Boston Globe for over 20 years. He writes and hosts Folk Tales, a weekly program on WUMB public radio, and is the author of Revival: A Folk Music Novel, winner of the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Popular Fiction. He is also a folksinger-songwriter who toured the national folk circuit and performed regularly on A Prairie Home Companion.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Scott became a folksinger after graduating from high school in 1969. He became a weekend regular at an oh-so-’60s coffeehouse called Heads Together. He also actively opposed the Vietnam War, joining the Resistance Movement while still in high school by publicly refusing to register for the draft. He was convicted of resisting the draft and served 19 months in federal prison.

After his release in 1972, he became a fixture on the national folk circuit. He continues his extraordinary career these days, appearing at coffeehouses near his home in Cambridge, and releasing two CDs, “-30-” and “All That Is True.”

The Second Friday Coffeehouse is thrilled and honored to welcome him back to our stage. More at

Opening act, Second Friday Coffeehouse co-founder Jim Hall, has been singing for over sixty years, and has performed classical, pop, musicals, and barbershop. Jim performs regularly with the Arlington-Belmont Chorale and has traveled to several foreign countries with the Sharing a New Song Chorus. He especially enjoys performing folk music because of the emotional accessibility of the songs. His set will include songs by the “masters” of the 50s and 60s Folk Revival.

This month’s featured charity is Bristol Lodge.

Adult Programs News

Call the church office with questions about adult programs: 617-484-1054, ext. 10. The fall brochure is online.

A New Group is Forming! Deadline for registration is today! SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) — Joslyne Decker
1st Tuesday of every month, 6:30 – 9 p.m., Parlor
Last year Joslyne Decker facilitated a small group at First Church called Reflecting on Racism. The group had many meaningful, intense, and inspiring conversations. Over the summer Joslyne was able to attend a week-long professional development training to enhance her ability to facilitate groups around diversity and inclusion: SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity).

The National SEED Project is a peer-led program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity. She is excited to bring a SEED group to First Church!

A SEED group is not a lecture series. Instead, the facilitation task is to help us reflect on our own experiences with community, diversity, and connection through experiential, interactive activities as well as conversations often stimulated by films and readings. SEED equips us to connect our lives to one another and to society at large by acknowledging systems of oppression, power, and privilege — and challenges us to push for change. The group will explore topics such as gender, race, class, and ability.

Joslyne will be facilitating the seminars on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:30 – 9 p.m. in the parlor, beginning on October 3rd. A light dinner will be provided. Registration and regular attendance is required. If you are interested, please contact Joslyne Decker ( by September 29, as space is limited.

Tonight! Women’s Potluck Supper
Friday, September 29, 7 p.m., Upper Hall
All women are invited to share food, friendship and fun as we come together once again to connect and re-connect. Bring an appetizer, main dish, salad or dessert AND a beverage to share. No RSVP necessary. And bring your friends too!

“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.

Through study and spiritual curiosity, mystic and theologian Rev. Dr. Jim Sherblom unearthed disciplines in his journey from wealth and power to wisdom and purpose. With humor and grace, Sherblom elucidates the six principles: Resilience, Surrender, Gratitude, Generosity, Mystery, and Awakening.
Refreshments. Books will be available for purchase.

Men’s Support Group — Will Cordis and Joe Weiss
Sunday, Oct. 1, 4 p.m., Conference Room
This diverse men’s group welcomes both new and recent members as well as those who wanted to, but never joined, such a group. We share personal and professional concerns, aspirations, and experiences along with some community service activities. Meets 1st and 3rd Sundays from 4 – 5:30 p.m. Contact for more information or to participate.

Now on Tuesdays! Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 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.

Fiber Arts Fellowship — Eva Patalas
1st and 3rd Thursdays, 8 p.m., Location TBD
Enjoy the fun and fellowship of crafting with a genial group on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. 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 questions and for location.

Men’s Fall Potluck Supper
Friday, October 6, 7 p.m., Upper Hall
All are welcome. Bring a dish to share (appetizer, main dish, salad or dessert) and beverage of your choice. Contact with questions.

Mindful Yoga — Jess Hicks canceled for October
See you in November.

Difficult Conversations — Rick Hawkins
4 Tuesday sessions – Oct. 10, 24, Nov.14, 28
Learning to successfully work through interpersonal conflict may be the single most important skill for personal, family, and career success. It may also be the most difficult skill to learn and do well. We will focus on how to approach interpersonal conflict from a win-win position so that both peoples’ needs are met and so that the conflict strengthens the relationship rather than weaken it. It is important that participants attend all sessions. Contact Rick to register –

For most of us, our relationships with others are one of the things we value most. We spend a lot of time in relationships. Misunderstandings, impasses, and conflicts are inevitable. Learning to successfully work through interpersonal conflict may be the single most important skill for personal, family, and career success. It may also be the most difficult skill to learn and do well.

The focus of this workshop will be on the skills needed to have difficult conversations with significant others, friends, peers, parents, children, and people you work with, including your boss. It is important that participants attend all sessions.

Although not essential, participants will get more out of the workshop if they have read Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen.

Next Chapter — Rick Hawkins
Monday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
The Next Chapter group will consider major emotional, social, and spiritual issues for those of us who are either considering retirement or are in a major transition. We will explore our hopes, fears, losses, gains, surprises, barriers, and struggles throughout these transitions. Monthly on the third Monday from October – June. Contact Rick to participate

Belmont UU Alliance Lunch & Program: Armenian Museum of America Tour
Wednesday, October 18, 2017; 12:00 PM lunch in the First Church Upper Gathering Hall and 1:15 PM Tour
All men and women are invited to join us on Wednesday, October 18 at noon for the Alliance lunch and program. Bring a sandwich — soup, fruit and dessert will be provided. After lunch we will carpool to the Museum. The suggested donation for the meal is $2.

Our guided tour of the Armenian Museum of America will begin at 1:15 p.m. at 65 Main St, Watertown. The Museum has extensive exhibits of the artifacts, history and culture of the Armenian people. A donation of $3 per person is requested. If you would like payment assistance or have any questions, please contact Pat Hawkins at or call 617-489-2058. RSVP to Janice Zazinski at, or 617-484-1054 (ext. 10).

Facing Illness Together — Kathy Lind
Thursday, October 19, 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.

Please join us on a path of living positively and boldly. Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

Science and Spirituality — Ken and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, October 19, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
On Thursday October 19, in the Conference Room Christine Stone will lead the Science and Spirituality Group in a discussion on Living With a Wild Dog by Barbara Ehrenreich.

A spiritual quest often brings the searcher back to a position not far his or her starting point, presumably with a fuller and more nuanced view. C.S. Lewis returned to the Church of England; St. Augustine found his way back into the Christian faith his mother had taught him. It is interesting how spontaneous religious experience worked out in the life of, as Ehrenreich describes herself, a fourth-generation atheist with a lifelong commitment to figuring out what life was all about. She had the first of these experiences in adolescence and has tried for the rest of her life to date to make sense of it all.

Barbara Ehrenreich’s writing has a delightful scratch-where-it-itches quality, succinctly nailing her points and puncturing absurdities.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
Friday, October 20, 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. Meets monthly on the 3rd Friday.

Boston Theatre Scene — Nancy E. Carroll
Sunday, October 22, 12:30 p.m., Library
Surviving in the theatre — artistically and financially — is never easy. Nancy has been involved in the Boston theatre scene as a well-known actress for the past thirty years. She will share the struggles and joys of her life in the theatre with us. Prepare to laugh and to be surprised by her stories. Refreshments.

Social Action News

2017 Raise Up Massachusetts Signature Drive
Aims to have this question on the ballot:

  • raise the minimum wage to $15.00/hour
  • increase paid medical leave to 16 weeks for family members/caregivers of those with serious health problems and for families with newborns
  • increase paid medical leave to 24 weeks for a seriously ill individual and for service members

Each Sunday at coffee hour, from now through November, the Social Action Committee will be collecting signatures from Massachusetts registered voters who support these policies.

More information on this initiative can be found on the bulletin boards in the building and also at the website,

Artisans Wanted for Social Action Gift Fair
First Church’s Social Action Committee is seeking artisans from the First Church community who would like to offer their work for sale at this year’s social action gift fair on December 3.

Participation will allow you to market your work at the fair while at the same time supporting the work of the Social Action Committee’s projects by sharing the proceeds in a 50/50 split.

If you’d like to be considered, please submit a letter of application by October 20 with photos of your work to the Social Action Holiday Gift Fair Committee, c/o Sara Oaklander ( and we will be happy to consider your participation as we seek to put together a good mix of offerings for sale at the fair. Thank you!

V-DAY and The Vagina Monologues are back!
This is the 20th anniversary of the first production of The Vagina Monologues and the birth of V-Day the National Organization whose mission is the end violence against women and girls  There is much to celebrate that has been accomplished over these past 10 years.

“A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer” will be performed at the Haley House Bakery Café on December 12 & 13. Many familiar First Church faces will be front and center.

The Vagina Monologues will be performed here at First Church on February 2 & 3. Mark your calendars!

The V-Day Planning Committee, open to all, has much work to do, beneficiaries need to be picked, tickets need to be arranged, programs created and more. The Committee will hold its first full meeting the second week of October. New members welcome and are needed. Contact Jackie Neel if you have questions or are interested in attending:

Quality Household Items And Volunteers Needed For Belmont Serves — All Ages Welcome to Participate in this Community Project
As part of Belmont Serves, Plymouth Congregational Church will be coordinating a household goods drive for Household Goods in Acton. We will be collecting clean, good, quality household items:

  • Items must be smaller than a kitchen table and not have electrical cords.
  • Please mark size bed linens fit.
  • NO toys, books, clothing, holiday items of any kind or dishware (including mugs) with corporate logos.
  • Drinking glass sets, kitchen items, clean pillows, non-logo dishes and cookware are especially needed.

When and where:

  • Wednesday, October 4 through Sunday, October 8, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Bring donations to the Plymouth Congregational Church, 582 Pleasant Street, Belmont

During Belmont Serves, volunteers will be sorting, cleaning and packing the donations. More at

Through a collaboration with First Church Belmont, all flatware will be donated to Furnishings for Hope.

Contact Amanda Mujica if you have questions or are interested in volunteering:, or sign up the morning of Belmont Serves at First Church of Belmont.

Belmont Food Pantry
First Church members staff the opening of the Belmont Food Pantry on the second Tuesday of every month. There will be a sign-up table after today’s service to recruit volunteers for the months of October through January. Volunteers work for about 90 minutes, 5 – 6:30 p.m.

Please stop by the sign-up table in the Gathering Hall after Sunday services to volunteer to help out one evening during the upcoming months.

Won’t be at church on Sunday? You can sign up on line using this Sign-Up Genius Link: Questions? E-mail

Grow Clinic!

A child’s brain develops more in the first three years of life than it will at any other time. Without the proper nutrition, a child’s brain will develop far less quickly than it should, and a child is also far more susceptible to infections and illnesses that can result in avoidable hospital stays.

Pick up a food list for shopping or bring a Special Request. September and October: Protein Power!!! (peanut butter, canned tuna or chicken, canned stews, infant strained chicken/beef/turkey)

Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

In the Community

Some Belmont Speed Limits now 25 mph
This past spring, Belmont Town Meeting voted to lower the speed limit in “thickly settled” areas from 30 MPH to 25 MPH.

The Office of Community Development and the Belmont DPW have removed the 30 MPH signs and have replaced them with 25 MPH signs. According to the Belmont Citizen-Herald, the Belmont Police will begin to enforce the 25 MPH speed limit in thickly settled areas on October 1.

Peter “Blue Boat Home” Mayer Concert at First Parish in Concord, October 28
The Reclaim Our Democracy group at First Parish in Concord invites you to a performance by well known UU singer/songwriter Peter Mayer, author of the very popular hymn “Blue Boat Home.” Tickets are $20 and are available at

Making Affordable Housing A Reality: October 29
The FCB community is invited to the Tri-Community Coalition to End Homelessness’ Round Table Discussion on affordable housing in the Belmont, Waltham, and Watertown area.

  • Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1:30 – 4 p.m.
  • St. Luke Lower Church Hall, 132 Lexington Street, Belmont
  • Featured Speakers:
    • Rachel Heller, CHAPA & Belmont Housing Trust
    • Jesse Kanson-Benanev, A Better Cambridge

Speaking by Heart: The Art of Speaking Without a Manuscript
November 5 at The Rowe Center
Are you a pastor, an activist, or someone yearning to communicate with greater effectiveness? Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or you’re about to face your first audience, or even if you’re preparing to speak at a family gathering, do you have a feeling that you could be a better speaker — if only you knew how? Information and registration at

Among Us

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.

Ways to connect with the First Church in Belmont.

UU actions, events & resources

Next issue: Friday, October 6

Please send your submissions to by noon on Wednesday, October 4. Items may be edited for space and clarity.

Support & stay in touch with FCB

When you shop at AmazonSmile, First Church in Belmont receives 0.5% of the purchase price.
Our Facebook page is regularly updated with news, events & programs.
Second Friday Coffeehouse is on Facebook! Like the page, check out upcoming shows and “share” great music for great causes with your friends!
UUA Disaster Relief Fund Our UU friends and neighbors in Florida and the Caribbean—including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—have experienced devastation. The UUA Disaster Relief Fund (formerly the Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund) provides financial assistance to UU congregations impacted by these and other natural disasters.