The Unitarian – November 24, 2017

The Unitarian – November 24, 2017(pdf)

Sunday Worship — November 26

Give Thanks This Day — Rev. David Bryce

Prelude: Fughetta by Johann Ernst Rembt (1749 – 1810); Simon Andrews, organ

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Nun danket alle Gott by J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Valediction by David Conte (b. 1955)

Offertory: Impromptu Op. 142 No. 2, by Franz Schubert (1797-1828); Ian Garvie, piano

Postlude: Nun danket alle Gott by Sigfrid Karg Elert (1877 – 1933); Simon Andrews, piano

The flowers on the Chancel Table are given by Edwin Radke and Janet Young, dedicated to families everywhere and to our world family.

Last week’s Unitarian inadvertently omitted the flower dedication:

The flowers today are donated by David Fung and Cheryl  Brown in honor of their late mothers, Ann R. Brown and Frances Hoy Fung, who passed around this holiday season.

We apologize for the omission.

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

You will be receiving this (and just maybe reading it) on the day after Thanksgiving, the day of leftovers and of rest. And, for some, of recovery!

As I believe I have said in the past, many years ago, when my parents cooked Thanksgiving dinner, I would cook another entire dinner on the day after just so I could have leftovers. We would invite friends and celebrate all over again.

So “rest day” for me was Saturday.

I love the business of making a big dinner. Somehow the rush and bustle, the grabbing this and that, the quick run from one end of the kitchen to the other, actually pleases me.

But I like doing it all on my own. I want to know that the living room is full of people, and that they are not in my kitchen.

Each year Genie tries to get me to cook most dishes the day before so that I can sit with our company while the turkey cooks, but that is not where my joy is. I want to do the work, then present it and see that people take pleasure in it.

Wherever your joy lies, I hope that you found it this Thanksgiving weekend, and that you will find it throughout the holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Story Starters – A New Racial Justice Program for Families!

The Social Action Committee and Children’s Religious Education Program are excited to support a new racial justice program for families in grades PreK – 4.

Story Starters uses children’s literature to give families the tools and support to talk about race and racism and to engage in family-centered social justice conversations.

The program includes parent workshops, fun family events, and home conversation guides. Check out their website and register:

Chalice Lighting Sign Up

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

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

It’s Post-Thanksgiving Hootenanny Time!!

Bust out your guitar/mandolin/fiddle/lute/lyre/harmonica/jawharp/spoons — or just bring your own fine self — and jam and sing along with Jon Svetkey, Heather Quay and Jeff Isen. We try our best to focus on easy to learn/play folk, pop, rock, country, sea chanties, etc. All levels welcome!

  • Wednesday November 29, 7:30 – 9:00pm-ish, in the Parlor. WOO HOO!

Ushers Needed for Winter Term (12/3/17 – 3/5/18)

Thanks to everyone who helped make our fall ushering a success. Now please consider volunteering to usher for the winter. You can sign up at or on the Ushering Sign-Up Poster in the Upper Gathering Hall during coffee hour. Thanks for your help.

Newcomers’ and Community Breakfast – December 10, 9:15 a.m. in the Parish Hall

Come to the Newcomers’ and Community Breakfast at 9:15 before the Major Music Service on December 10. If you are a First Church newcomer, or would like to meet and welcome a newcomer, please join us for bagels and coffee before enjoying some wonderful music at the Major Music Service. Everyone Welcome! For more information, contact Mark Thurber at

Adult Programs News

Call the church office about adult programs: 617-484-1054, ext. 10. Sign up for the weekly Adult Programs newsletter at

Save the Date!
First Church Women’s Retreat – March 9-11, 2018

Meditation — James Hencke
Mondays, 8:00 p.m., Library
In meditation practice, we allow ourselves to dwell in the present moment. We find that by developing our awareness and compassion we can open ourselves, relax into situations, and enjoy our life!

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations — Social Action Committee
Sunday, November 26, 7 p.m., Library
Please join Belmont Against Racism, The First Church in Belmont Social Action Committee, the Belmont Religious Council, the Belmont police department and graduates of Youth Build as we continue our discussion about how to end racism in Belmont and in the wider world. Meets monthly.

First Church Book Group — Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, November 29, 7:30 p.m., Library
Our November 29 book is Hope Jahren’s memoir, Lab Girl, which was a New York Times 2016 Notable Book and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. Here is a bit more about Hope Jahren and her book:

Hope Jahren was born and grew up in small-town southeastern Minnesota. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley in 1996, and in 1999 she was hired by Johns Hopkins University and went on to become the first woman ever to be promoted with tenure within their Earth and Planetary Sciences Department (est. 1876). In 2008 she was hired to build the Isotope Geobiology Laboratories at the University of Hawaii. She is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given within the Earth Sciences. She has been the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and in 2005, Popular Science named her one of the “Brilliant 10” young scientists in the United States.

“Gratifying, spirited . . . a moving chronicle of an eminent research scientist’s life . . . It takes a passionate geobiologist with the soul of a poet to make us swoon in the face of computational amplitude . . . Jahren’s aim is to make the reader appreciate the fascinations of studying flora, to infect us with the same enthusiasm that has driven her ever since she was a child hanging around in her father’s lab, falling hard for the sensuous allures of the slide rule.

The Book Group is always open to new members. There is no long term commitment. Feel free to join us for a single evening’s discussion or to become a regular participant. We ask only that you confirm your intention to attend on a particular evening by the Monday before each session. Please contact Anne Stuart at: or Karl Klasson at to confirm attendance if you are interested in participating or have any questions.

Prequel to Major Music — Ian Garvie
Wednesday, November 29, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
The Mass No. 13 in B-flat major was composed by Joseph Haydn in 1801.

On December 10th, as part of the long Major Music Service tradition, the Senior Choir will be performing Joseph Haydn’s Mass #13, accompanied by a professional chamber orchestra. The Schöpfungsmesse, or ‘Creation Mass’, derives its nickname from a notorious musical reference to his own famous oratorio The Creation. Join us for an evening lecture where Ian will explain the history, influences, and impact of this joyful mass.

Mindful Yoga — Jessica Hicks
Saturday, December 2, 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, or a twin-sized blanket, and a curious mind. Drop-in. Meets on the first Saturday of each month.

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Tuesday, December 5, 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 any questions.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
Friday, Dec. 15, 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.

Social Action News in Brief

Sign up for the Social Action newsletter at

In the spirit of the season, please join in the Holiday Gift Program

First Church’s holiday gift program kicks-off this Sunday, November 19, when you can pick up gift giving information during coffee hour after both services. The program benefits children and adults at four different organizations:

  • Heading Home – serving homeless adults through housing and support services that lead to self-sufficiency
  • Bristol Lodge – serving homeless adults in various sites
  • Mary’s House – serving homeless families with children
  • The Grow Clinic – serving failure to thrive kids and their families at Boston Medical Center.

Gift-giving information will also be available at coffee hours on Sunday, November 26 and December 3, with the gifts due on Sunday, December 10.

Don’t miss this chance to involve your kids in giving to other kids! For more information, contact Joan Stoddard at 617-347-3037or Happy Holidays!

Training for Welcome Teams — November 28

An introductory training to become a member of a Welcome Team working with a refugee family in Lowell will be held Tuesday, November 28, 7 – 9 p.m. in the Parlor. Attending does not commit you to becoming a member of a Welcome Team. Those who have attended an introductory meeting, do not need to attend.

SAVE THE DATE! Social Action Holiday Gift Fair!
Sunday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to do your holiday shopping…and help others. Buy gifts for everyone on your list by choosing from an array of products featuring the work of both local and international artisans and craft makers. Items for sale will include crafts, clothing and accessories, bags, baskets, children’s items, jewelry, coffee, note cards, calendars, photography, specialty food items, and more.

This year’s Social Action Gift Fair will benefit charitable causes including the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center, New England Home for Little Wanderers’ Waltham House for LGBTQ youth, the Refugee Immigrant and Assistance Center, the Appalachian South Folklife Center, Tilonia (rural poor in India), Zienzele Foundation (villages in Zimbabwe), residents of Chalatenanto Province in El Salvador, and more! It’s a not-to-be-missed longstanding, new and improved holiday tradition at First Church!

Come see Karl Klasson, Kristin Phillips and Jackie Neel performing in A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer at Haley House Bakery Café in collaboration with V-Day Belmont.

  • December 12 & 13 – 7:30 p.m.
  • $10 admission. Tickets sold at the door only.
  • Seating is limited, so come early to guarantee that you will have a seat.
  • Dinner served starting at 6 for an additional cost. Special menu offerings.

A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer is a collection of essays written by well-known authors, journalists, poets, writers, playwrights, and others that describe violence and abuse against women.

This is not The Vagina Monologues, but it is just as riveting.

Funds raised from ticket sales will benefit New Beginnings Reentry Services, Inc. a program designed to support woman transitioning from incarceration to citizens. For additional information contact

SAVE THE DATES- February 2 & 3 – The Vagina Monologues at First Church
This is a totally different performance then we have ever had at First Church!!

If you are interested in volunteering or would like additional information, please contact Eva Patalas, or Liz Keating

Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center

This Thanksgiving season, the GROW CLINIC COMMITTEE gives thanks for our loyal Grow Clinic shoppers who fill our baskets each week.

In addition to our regular shopping lists, we are highlighting SPECIAL REQUESTS. November and December: Start the Day Strong with infant rice cereal, cold and hot non-sugared cereals, Flintstone chewable vitamins, Polyvisol with Iron liquid vitamins.

Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

The popular UUSC Holiday Cards will be on sale at the First Church Holiday Fair on Sunday, December 3, along with other holiday gifts items. You can also order cards online:

Social Action Volunteer Opportunities

  • Bristol Lodge: We are looking for someone to transport the travel toiletries that are being collected at First Church to Bristol Lodge. It’s a quick, easy job, and lots of satisfaction. Please contact Kathy Crawley at
  • Volunteers needed for the Belmont Food Pantry. Contact for details.

Join us!The Social Action Committee welcomes your participation! We are a fun and energetic group which meets on the last/fourth Monday of each month. Our next meeting is on Monday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. in Classroom #5. We’d love to see you there!
~ Patricia Garcia and Jackie Neel, co-chairs;

Housing Available

A church member has for rent a comfortable, furnished room in lovely house on the Hill; off street parking; central a/c. Quiet and green. Garden work possible. Rent on request. Call 617-484- 6833.

In the Community

Annual Theodore Parker Lecture — December 3
Samer Naseredden, MAS Youth Programs Director at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, will deliver the fourth annual Theodore Parker Lecture on “Islam and the Beloved Community.” Naseredden is Muslim spiritual advisor at Northeastern University and Muslim co-chaplain at MIT.

  • Theodore Parker Unitarian Universalist Church, 1859 Centre Street, West Roxbury
  • 2 – 4 p.m., followed by a reception in the Parish Hall
  • Free and open to the public; registration requested
  • Register for tickets and more information at org/event/theodore-parker-lecture/

“Daring Democracy” —December 7, 7:30-9 p.m. at First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road
Legendary Diet for a Small Planet author Frances Moore Lappé and organizer Adam Eichen will share highlights of their empowering new UU Common Read Daring Democracy.

We will learn and discuss ways to engage in the movement to save our democracy. Their presentation will be followed by a book signing reception (books available for purchase).

Sponsored by Reclaim Our Democracy. Suggested donation: $5. Contact for questions.

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

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

In Case of Severe Weather

If a service is to be canceled a message will be placed on the church’s website, voicemail and Facebook page. However, in any weather condition which concerns you or your family, it should be clear that no one should ever feel pressure to come to the church if their travel conditions seem unsafe.

Next issue: Friday, December 1

Please send submissions to by noon on Wednesday, November 29. Items may be edited for space and clarity.

  • Staff Directory
  • Office hours: Monday – Friday, 9 – 3.The church office will be closed Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 in observance of Thanksgiving.
  • 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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