This week at First Church – January 8 – 14

Spiritual Renewal through Poetry – January 7, 14, 21, 28
Belmont UU Alliance – January 17
“Requiem for the American Dream” – January 25
Theatre Discussion Series – January 29

James Hencke, 8-9 p.m., Classroom #5

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!

Martin Plass
Tuesdays as needed, Library

The jobseeker buddy group is a small support group for people looking for new or better jobs. We provide encouragement, feedback, ideas, resume suggestions, job leads, unemployment assistance, advice and networking opportuniites to each other.
For more information contact to be sure they are meeting. For a list of needed jobs go to


Peter Guthrie
Sundays, January 7, 14, 21 and 28, 3pm, Parlor

Robert Frost once defined a poem as a “momentary stay against confusion.”

Good poems can help us see ourselves and our lives more clearly, trigger moments of epiphany, and cut through the confusion of life to what truly matters. We will read and discuss poems that deal with spiritual issues in the broadest sense of the term.



Sana Saeed: Islam and Unitarian Universalism
Wednesday, January 17, 12:00pm, Lunch; 1pm Program, Upper Hall

All men and women are invited to join us on Wednesday, January 17 at noon for the Alliance lunch and program. Please bring your own sandwich. We will provide soup, fruit, dessert and beverages. The suggested lunch donation is $2.00 per person. Lunch will be in the Upper Gathering Hall.

Sana Saeed is the Youth Director at First Church, and she is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. Born in Manchester, UK into a Pakistani home, she moved to the US when she was sixteen. Sana has seven years of experience working on youth leadership development, religious discrimination, interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution with organizations including the Interfaith Alliance, the UUA, the Interfaith Youth Action Group, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and more.

R.S.V.P. to Janice Zazinski at, or call
617-484-1054 (ext. 201).

Please email or call Alice Trexler, Alliance Program, with any questions:; 781-643-8032


Ken and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, Jan. 18, 7:30pm, Conference Room

Kirk Israel will be leading a discussion on Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion”.

The history of the intense division between “left” and “right” in the United States has a long history. Haidt uses research backing a “moral foundations” theory, exploring the fundamental priorities that drive well-meaning people to very different outlooks and assumptions of how the righteous life should be lived.

A pdf of the selected portions will be e-mailed to those on the e-mailing list of the group.

Those not on that list can contact Kenneth Bernstein at


Eva Patalas
Thursday, Jan. 18, 8:00pm, 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 Eva with any questions.


Melissa Irion
Friday, Jan. 19, 7:30pm, 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.


Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 7:30pm, Library

Slouching Toward Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion

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.


“REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM” Documentary with Noam Chomsky
Discussion moderated by Will Brownsberger
Thursday, Jan. 25, 7:00pm, Parish Hall

How did we become a nation that is so far removed from our core beliefs?

In this extraordinary 2016 documentary, “Requiem for the American Dream”, Noam Chomsky discusses how the concentration of wealth and power among a small elite has polarized American society and brought about the decline of the middle class. Through interviews filmed over four years, Chomsky unpacks the principles that have brought us to the crossroads of historically unprecedented inequality.

Join members of the Adult Programs and Social Action Committees to view this 75 minute film which will be followed by a discussion moderated by State Senator Will Brownsberger. Refreshments served.

This program is part of the First Church’s ongoing theme of “Escalating Inequality”


Downing Cless and Jane Minasian
Monday, Jan. 29, 7:00pm, Central Square Theatre

“Every Tongue Confess” by Marcus Gardley is the fifth play in The God’s Closet Reading Series presented by The Front Porch Arts Collective, in residence at Central Square Theater. The reading will take place on Monday, January 29, 2018 at 7pm and tickets are free.

First Church has reserved 15 seats for this reading and we will carpool from the church parking lot. If you would like to reserve a place please contact Lillian Anderson at

About “Every Tongue Confess”:
In the backwater town of Boligee, Alabama, the summer heat is rising higher, driving the townsfolk to distraction and conjuring the spirits of the past to walk the earth. Wrapped in the combustible music of a Deep South juke joint and the sweat-soaked gospel of a revivalist church tent, intergenerational stories of loss and redemption collide. Based upon biblical stories and events in the town’s history, Every Tongue Confess awakes a fiery theatrical furnace in which some will be saved, some will be purged, and the truth cannot escape.”


Give yourself a gift for the new year and join a Small Group Ministry (SGM) group!

Joining a small group ministry (SGM) is a powerful wayto explore important topics with a small group of people over time. (SGM) is a program that gives First Church members the opportunity to build relationships with one another while exploring topics related to spiritual and life issues.

Facilitators Robert Donaghey and Joan Loewenburg meet monthly on the fourth Monday at 7:30pm in the conference room
and they are eager to add a few new members. Their next meeting is on Monday, January 22, 2018.

If you are interested in joining please contact Joan at

If Monday night is not possible for you we also have groups that meet on
1st & 3rd Tuesdays evenings
1st & 3rd Thursdays evenings
1st & 3rd Friday late afternoons

If you are interested in finding out more about SGM’s please contact Lillian Anderson, adult programs advisor at


First Church Women’s RetreatRetreat registration form 2018
March 9 – 11, 2018
Rolling Ridge Conference Center

Places are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so please register promptly if you’re interested. Registration begins January 2, and we will be able to accommodate 30 women only.

If you’ve never taken part in this event before, you will find that it creates new friendships and connections and strengthens existing ones. We share our thoughts, explore our spirituality, laugh together, and enjoy community meals prepared by the staff. You’ll have the opportunity to join in group activities and to spend some quiet time in reflection and self-restoration. The response from last year’s attendees was overwhelmingly positive.

The theme we’ve chosen for 2018 is Creativity.

Cost: The cost for the weekend is $262 per person, which covers two nights’ stay and 6 meals together with craft supplies and incidentals. Some scholarship assistance is available, on a confidential basis by contacting Lillian Anderson (

If you wish to attend the retreat, we must have your Retreat registration form 2018 and a nonrefundable payment of $262 by January 29.

Women’s Retreat Planning Committee
Niti Seth, Martha Spaulding, Hayat Weiss