Sunday Worship — October 15
Universalism: Wait; who goes to heaven? Them? — Rev. David Bryce
In the Universalist part of our tradition, everyone ends up in heaven. Yes, even me. And yes, even you. And, yes…even them. An exploration and celebration of our Universalist heritage.
Prelude: Priere du Matin by Joseph Jongen (1873-1953); Ian Garvie, organ
9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: i thank You God for most this amazing by Lloyd Pfautsch (1921 – 2003); poem by e.e. cummings
11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: God is Gone Up by Ned Rorem (b. 1923)
Offertory Solo: “No One Is Alone” from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim; Melanie Bacaling, soprano and Ian Garvie, piano
This week’s offering will benefit the Partner Church
Postlude: This Old Heart of Mine by Holland-Dozier-Holland; originally performed by the Isley Brothers; Richard Curzi, piano and Jon Svetkey, guitar
The flowers on the Chancel Table are dedicated by the Hicks family to Pam and Bill Zeigler, our devoted NeeNee and PopPop, for all of their care and support.
- Services at 9 & 11 a.m.
- Childcare is provided.
- Directions and parking
- Sermon archive
- Next Sunday, October 22: Sabbatical Musings — Rev. David Bryce
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
As in the above quotation from the Book of Luke, the Bible (like most sacred texts) calls for economic justice.
As many of you know, the Unitarian Universalist Association selects a Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAI) which it recommends to congregations if they choose to use them. It then publishes a Study Guides for the topic. The CSAI for 2014 to 2018 is Escalating Inequality, and last year the Program Council chose this as our congregation’s Theme for both last and this year.
Any events (and there will be many) connecting to this topic will be marked with a special logo.
This is a subject which connects many others.
Racial minorities often experience the worst of economic inequality, but as global free trade agreements have resulted in factory and mill jobs moving to new parts of the world, increasing inequality has also inspired many of the nationalist and anti-globalist reactions in the so-called developed world.
It has been pointed out by some economists that in the last few decades world trade has pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, but the cost has been felt by working class people in Europe and North America while the already wealthy in those regions gain ever greater riches.
In these circumstances, where does justice lie? Do we look to and celebrate the global wealth that is being created, or do we look to and mourn the losses in our own country? I believe we do both.
Let us recognize that all humanity is one people and that we ought to be glad that so many have risen out of poverty; and both within the United States and globally we should work to ensure that the wealth that is being created does not become concentrated in the hands of the few, of the “one percent”.
Our Unitarian Universalist Principles call for “justice, equity and compassion” and “The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all”.
Let us work to build that world.
A CALL TO A SPECIAL MEETING at THE FIRST CHURCH IN BELMONT
Sunday, October 15, 2017, 12:30 p.m.
Pursuant to a call by Ana Hammock, President of the Parish Board, you are hereby notified that a Special Meeting of The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist will be held on Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall for deliberation and voting on The First Church in Belmont Resolution to Divest of Fossil Fuels. 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.
— Jody Renouf, Parish Clerk
We invite all members of the church community to light the chalice, both in groups and as individuals.
Fossil Fuel Divestment Information
The Resolution to Divest First Church of Fossil Fuels 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 (www.uubelmont.org/FCB-Green). The wording of the resolution was vetted by the Parish Board and Finance Committee.
Reduced Price Season Tickets For The 2017-2018 Second Friday Coffeehouse Now Available!
Starting Sunday, October 15, coffeehouse season tickets for our remaining 7 Friday night concerts is only $99! Pay by cash, check or credit card. Come visit us at our table in the Gathering Hall after services — or send Janice in the church office a check — and we’ll set you up with your very own, fancy-shmancy season ticket. Don’t delay, act today!
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. He is also a folksinger-songwriter who toured the national folk circuit and performed regularly on A Prairie Home Companion.
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 was convicted of resisting the Vietnam War 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, 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 www.scottalarik.com.
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.
Please join us, old and young, as we explore the south side of the Middlesex Fells on a 2 hour hike.
The hike will cover some rocky terrain so bring sturdy shoes, water and snacks! We will hike mostly on the Skyline Trail with beautiful vistas over rocks, meadows, wet lands and thru woods, explore the Panther cave, pass an old Silver Mine and to the Wright Tower with views over Boston.
Meet at 2:00 p.m. at the First Church Parking Lot. We will carpool from here and will be back by 5 p.m. Rain cancels the event.
RSVP to Martin Plass at Fellowship@uubelmont.org or 617-484-1237.
Healing thoughts and wishes to Rev. Victor Carpenter, Minister Emeritus, as he undergoes treatment for cancer.
Our deepest sympathy to Rachel Bruno, Tony Fitzpatrick and family on the recent death of Rachel’s mother.
Our deepest sympathy to Kate Searle, Curtis Davidson and family, on the recent death of Kate’s mother.
Jean Lyon reports that her husband, Dick, is now living in the Memory Care Unit of The Commons in Lincoln, and that he would welcome visitors.
All children of CRE (including 7th & 8th graders) and adults are invited to dress up in their Halloween costumes to attend the party! Prizes will be given for best costumes!! Join us for cookie decorating, a spooky walk through a haunted house, a cider donut eating contest, face painting and lots of pizza! Join us on Saturday, October, 21st from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at First Church.
Circle Dinners are potlucks held in church members’ homes. Enjoy an evening out and build more connections with our church community. Get to know people from “the other service” and enjoy fellowship across the generational gap. Please sign up at coffee hour or at tinyurl.com/fcb-circledinners to attend or host a dinner. Hosts coordinate with their guests about food and time.
Adult Programs News
Call the church office with questions about adult programs: 617-484-1054, ext. 10. The fall brochure is online.
Men’s Support Group — Will Cordis and Joe Weiss
Sunday, Oct. 15, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to participate.
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 email@example.com.
Belmont UU Alliance Lunch & Program: Armenian Museum of America Tour
Wednesday, October 18; 12 p.m. lunch in the First Church Upper Gathering Hall and 1:15 p.m. 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-489-2058. RSVP to Janice Zazinski at email@example.com, 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 P.M.
Science and Spirituality — Ken and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, October 19, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Christine Stone will lead the Science and Spirituality Group in a discussion on Living With a Wild God 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for location.
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 offer support and share experiences in a non-judgmental space. Snacks provided. Meets monthly on the 3rd Friday.
Escalating Inequality (EI) Theme Discussion: EI Task Group (Lillian Anderson, Ariane Frank, Jackie Neel, Sana Saeed, Nate Sellers)
Sunday, October 22, 10:15 a.m., Library
What is “Escalating Inequality?”
Challenging extreme inequality is a moral imperative. The escalation of inequality undergirds so many injustices which our faith movement is committed to addressing: from economic injustice to mass incarceration; from migrant injustice to climate change; from sexual and gender injustice to attacks on voting rights. It includes the following:
- Economic Inequality: Roots and Realities
- Class and Classism
- Inequality, Class, and Our Congregation
- Interrupting Cycles of Inequality
Join the Task Group to discuss the genesis of the theme, what we hope to accomplish and the implications for programming at First Church.
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 has performed in “Present Laughter” at the Huntington Theatre and on Broadway, and locally at the New Repertory, Speakeasy, Gloucester Stage, Lyric, as well as the Williamstown Theatre Festival. 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.
First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, October 25, 7:30 p.m., Library
What Love Tells Me by Richard Waring
On October 25, the Book Group will be exploring the poetry of First Church’s own Richard Waring from his newest book, What Love Tells Me. Richard will join us for this special evening as we share poems from What Love Tells Me * and learn about the process and power of writing poetry. Richard has described his book this way:
The varied terrain of love, family, solitude, the natural world, the condition of loss, the spirit of place — all align themselves in poetry. As a letter from the front lines, where the latest changes are taking place, a poem is the frankest and most immediate communiqué that struggles to reenact the original feeling in all its complexity and singularity, lifting the personal into a transcendent music. As a spiritual discipline, poetry foregoes the familiar public domain in search of the unsayable, gesturing beyond words. The questions asked can be dangerous: How do you love? When do you forgive? Do you forgive?
We welcome all who want to join us. There is no ongoing commitment required. For more information about the Book Group, please contact Anne Stuart at email@example.com or Karl Klasson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*What Love Tells Me is available in the Minuteman Library network. If you would like to purchase your own copy, you can purchase it from Richard directly by contacting him at email@example.com, or order it from most local or national booksellers.
“Starshot” Program And Potluck Supper — Steve Saar and Andrea Prestwich
Friday, Oct. 27, 7:00 p.m. potluck, 8 p.m. program, Parish Hall
Exploring a New Earth in 40 Years: Project Starshot, Happening Now!
An Earth-like world has been discovered around the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. A daring plan to visit it robotically in about 40 years is underway… with a fleet of micro-craft sailing on beams of light. Will it succeed? How will it work? What will we find? A real Star Trek adventure is underway; find out all about it!
Andrea will provide an update to her previous talk, discussing the latest gravitational waves results, as well.
Adult Programs Committee Potluck
Friday, October 27, 7 p.m. (before the Starshot program above)
The Adult Programs Committee invites you to join us for a potluck supper at 7 p.m. followed by the above program at 8 p.m. Plan to bring a dish and a beverage to share. RSVP to Lillian Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mindful Yoga — Jess Hicks
November 4, First Saturdays, 4 – 5:30 p.m., Library
Mindful yoga for adults of all ages, abilities, and experience levels. Jess is a registered yoga instructor with a lifetime of practice to share. Just bring a mat, and a twin-sized blanket, and a curious mind.
“Sabbatical Learnings: People and Circumstances” — Rev. David Bryce
Sunday, November 5, 12:45 p.m., Library
While respecting confidentiality, David will reflect on the people he met, the circumstances they found themselves in and some thoughts about what could, or should be, done by us. Refreshments served.
Making Affordable Housing a Reality: Cosponsored by the Social Action Committee
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.
There will be three break-out groups discussing the Fernald property in Waltham, the Belmont Housing Production Plan, and zoning legislation and legislative priorities for affordable housing.
- Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1:30 – 4 p.m.
- St. Luke Lower Church Hall, 132 Lexington Street, Belmont
Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations
Sunday, October 29, 7 p.m., Library
Please join members of the Social Action Committee, the Belmont Religious Council, Belmont Against Racism, 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.
Discussions on how to close the gap on race, social, and class differences seem to be more needed now. The impact of our actions goes far. Join us and learn what we are planning to do, and please share what you would like for us to do together. This group meets monthly.
Criminal Justice Reform in Massachusetts
The state joint Judiciary Committee reported out a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill to the State Senate. The Senate will probably vote on this bill sometime in October. In the meanwhile, the House side of the Judiciary Committee is still deliberating on what to include in the House’s omnibus criminal justice bill, and the House might pass its own bill by the end of November. Contact your state senator and representative to say you support criminal justice legislation. (Find your rep at https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator .)
For a summary and information on the bill see Senator Will Brownsberger’s page. You can leave a comment or ask questions on this page.
In addition to Senator Brownsberger’s site, information on criminal justice reform can be found at: www.endmassincarcerationtogether.wordpress.com
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, raiseupma.org
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 (email@example.com) 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!
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.
About 11% of Grow Clinic children are homeless and live in shelters, a new and worsening problem. In addition to food and health care, the clinic provides basic necessities such as crib mattresses and high chairs.
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). Collection baskets are in the Lower Hall and Sanctuary vestibule.
Food: One of the Most Important Medicines
October 15 Film Screening
The UUUM is proud to host award-winning journalist and filmmaker Clennon L. King (Roxbury resident) for a free screening of his documentary, Passage at St. Augustine: The 1964 Black Lives Matter Movement That Transformed America, which won the Henry Hampton Award of Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking at the 2015 Roxbury International Film Festival.
This compelling film tells the story of the violent and bloody civil rights campaign in deeply segregated St. Augustine, Florida that led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Additionally, Mimi Jones, civil rights and community activist, who is featured in the film, will be present to discuss the historical times.
- Sunday, October 15, 4:00 p.m.
- UU Urban Ministry, 10 Putnam Street, Roxbury
Two Upcoming Forums for Youth
- Coming of Age Forum: Facing Race and Class
- Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- $30, includes lunch and swag bag
- Calling All High School Students: Let’s talk about Faith, Racism and Equality
- For more information about both programs, go to uuum.org
For the past six months, First Church has sponsored three Welcome Teams who have worked in Lowell with families from Syria, Somalia, and the Republic of Congo in a pilot project with the International Institute of New England (IINE).
Members of the church and community have been very supportive of the teams and we would like to offer a series of brief articles from the captains of the teams. Each has a unique story to tell.
If you would like to be involved in refugee resettlement, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Sam James
The Ahmed Family, by Sherry Malloy
Our Welcome Team of eight is very grateful that we had the opportunity to offer direct, concrete assistance and friendship to the Ahmed family — four remarkably resilient and kind Somali Muslim women, including Fatuma and her three young adult daughters, twins Hawo and Muna, and younger sister, Asha, who arrived in Massachusetts in January 2017 after living as refugees in Kenya for close to 20 years.
We understood that IINE wanted us to help the family develop skills needed to navigate their new environment so they could stay afloat financially and manage their daily affairs. As we spent more time with the Ahmeds, we could better appreciate how life in Lowell looks through their eyes and remind ourselves of the many daily life activities here with which they had no prior experience or confidence handling. We developed a better understanding of their anxieties, goals and needs as we learned more details of the disruption they had experienced in their religious, family and social routines.
What did we do? Among other things, individually and in small groups we met with them in Lowell, combining social visits with tasks such as food shopping, banking/bill-paying, using the library, dealing with mail, and handyman improvements to their apartment.
Those visits inevitably revealed new concerns or issues needing discussion, encouragement, or other follow-up. We researched resources in the community and available online, and initiated and responded to many phone calls and communications, which concerned their health care, transportation, apartment, public benefits, enrollment in classes, employment options, financial literacy and other financial issues. We provided transportation and attended appointments and meetings with them concerning most of these areas. We took them to a nearby mosque, to the beach, for a bus ride, celebrated the twins’ completion of a challenging course while working full-time, and enjoyed a cooking class hosted by Fatuma and her daughters. As a team we had festive meals with the family in Lowell and Belmont.
We believe that many of our efforts helped stabilize the family’s adjustment to life in Lowell and helped them establish contacts with other community resources geared toward helping refugees, thus improving their chance of managing their lives more independently. Many of us feel that we have made four special friends with whom we will stay in contact and want to share more of the Boston area.
While we will no longer have the same depth of involvement in their lives, paraphrasing what one member of our team aptly expressed, as our friendship continues, we can provide help and advice in the same way that good friends try to help one another.
~ Sherry Malloy, Heather LaPierre, Anne Graham, Priscilla Cobb, Dan Cherneff, Janet and Godfrey Amphlett
Stay tuned for another family’s journey next week.
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 firstparish.org/peter-mayer-concert.
- Saturday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m.
- First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord
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 rowecenter.org/wp/events/speaking-heart-art-speaking-without-manuscript/
Coffee and Conversation with Clergy
All are welcome to join in monthly coffee and conversation with Belmont clergy at the Black Bear Café (inside Belmont Books).
- Second Wednesdays of the month, through June
- 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
- 79 Leonard Street
- Sponsored by the Belmont Clergy Association
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 email@example.com 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.
UU actions, events & resources
- Unitarian Universalist Association, uua.org
- UU Mass Action, uumassaction.org
- UU Partner Church Council, uupcc.org
- UU Service Committee, uusc.org
- UU United Nations Office, uua.org/international/un
- UU Urban Ministry, uuum.org
Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Wednesday, October 18. Items may be edited for space and clarity.
- Staff Directory
- Office hours: Monday – Friday, 9 – 3.
617-484-1054 | email@example.com
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.
Support & stay in touch with FCB
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|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.