The Unitarian – February 15, 2018

The Unitarian – February 15, 2018 (pdf)

Sunday Worship, February 18: UU Practices — Rev. David Bryce and Worship Assistants

Many religions offer spiritual practices that help people deepen their faith and their religious experience. Unitarian Universalism does not provide a single set of practices. What are some practices that can help us to achieve the same goals?

Prelude: Prelude in D (Wohltempierte Klavier, Book 1) by J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750); Simon Andrews, piano

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Go Not Far From Me, O God by Nicolo Antonio Zingarelli (1752-1837)

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Lullaby by Daniel Elder (b.1986)

Offertory: Down In The River To Pray, a traditional spiritual; Melanie Bacaling, soprano and Simon Andrews, piano

Postlude: Fugue in D major by J. S. Bach; Simon Andrews, piano

The flowers today are given by Louise Bray in honor of the life of Nat Creamer. His memory daily enriches the lives of Louisa, Luke, and Tess.

  • Services at 9 and 11 a.m.; childcare is provided
  • Directions and parking information at
  • Sunday, February 25: Is Religion Just A Hobby? — Rev. David Bryce

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister


Today is Valentine’s Day. In our part of the world this is the first “Spring holiday”.

Spring? Yes. The cards that we send are full of birds and flowers.

This is called, I believe, wishful thinking.

Given that in some years spring begins in early March with the blooming of the snow drops, and gains full strength in mid-March with the unfolding of the crocus, the “wishful thinking” is only two to four weeks early.

But in some years, snow remains in the ground right to the end of March. In fact, I recall at some point in the past a snowstorm on April 1; a perfect April Fool’s joke.

We tend to be dismissive of wishful thinking, acting as if it is foolish or naïve, but I think it has its place.

Many religious traditions codify wishful thinking as part of their “theologies”. In the Jewish tradition (and therefore absorbed into the Christian tradition) is the hope that one day the lion will lie down with the lamb, that somehow the kingdom of God will exist here on Earth.

If we believe that someday there can and will be peace between the nations, full human rights for all and food and shelter for every person on this planet, then we engage I wishful thinking.

If we believe that we can guard the environment, cure disease and reach for the stars, then we engage in wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking is really just formative dreams; dreams of what could and should be.

And these dreams, this wishful thinking, can lead us to the time when dreams come true.

May it be so.

Find Your Sanctuary. Be a Steward. 

The 2018 March Stewardship Drive — Find Your Sanctuary. Be a Steward. — is underway! You should have received your pledge packets in the mail. We have challenged ourselves to an increased goal of $625,000 to support First Church’s 2018-2019 fiscal year. This increase is necessary at this time. Our pledges account for 80% of the church’s budget and ensure that we can sustain our programs, our church, our sanctuary. Please consider our appeal carefully. With generous increases at all levels of pledging, we can get there. Let us all do our part. Let us all be stewards.

Please bring your pledge for collection during a special offertory on Celebration Sunday, March 4. Please join your fellow church members and friends in joyful and festive worship services with inspiring music. There will be delicious treats during coffee hour, courtesy of Quebrada Bakery! You can also pledge online. Please contact with any questions or come by the Stewardship Table on Sunday.

~ With appreciation, Anjali Kumar, Stewardship Chair

Chalice Lighting — All Are Welcome

In order to see more and varied faces of the congregation participate in some part of the service we invite ALL members of the church community to light our Chalice on Sundays, children and adults, both in groups and as individuals. There is a sign up list near the elevator in the Upper Gathering Hall, or you can sign up here.

Upcoming Music Events 

The music program is happy to announce two wonderful community events that will be happening soon. The first is coming up next weekend! World- renowned pianist Paul-André Bempéchat will be giving a piano recital to benefit the First Church and our wonderful instruments. The program will be some of the best music Chopin wrote, featuring all four Ballades, and all 24 Preludes. Light refreshments will be served after the concert. Admission is by suggested donation at the door – $15/person, $25/family. The concert will be held in the Parish Hall at the First Church in Belmont, on February 24th at 7:30 p.m.. This is a family friendly event, so please bring friends, children, and neighbors.

The second is the upcoming Winter Dancy Party … see below!

Saturday March 3 — FCB Winter Dance Party!!

Get ready for a fabulous night of fun, fellowship, and dancing. The Loomers will be playing songs from the 1950s through the 1980s to keep you on the dance floor all night long. So let’s kick off our annual stewardship drive in style! Co-sponsored by the Stewardship, Fellowship and Music Committees! Adults only please.

Adult Programs News

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

Sign up for the weekly Adult Programs newsletter or download the Winter 2018 brochure

The Adult Programs Committee Wants To Know….
What is the one group, event, or program you’d like to see in the adult programs’ offerings that is currently not happening? Please email Lillian Anderson — — with a suggestion.

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!

Science and Spirituality – Ken and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, February 15, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Edwin Taylor will lead a discussion on the book The Last Man Who Knew Everything, The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age by David N. Schwartz. In 1955 Edwin met Fermi at a graduate laboratory at Harvard and shook Fermi’s hand. Edwin has not washed his right hand since then. Ken Bernstein will e-mail the corresponding reading to the Science and Spirituality list upon request; contact him at

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 join us. Everyone is welcome and no commitment is necessary. Contact with questions.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
Friday, February 16, 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.

Patricia Fillingham and Warthog Press — David Fillingham
Sunday, February 18, 12:30 p.m., Library
Former First Church member Patricia Fillingham’s son, David, will discuss, through poetry, writings and objects from his mother’s extraordinary life, how she founded the local publishing house, Warthog Press.

Belmont UU Alliance Members and Friends Lunch and Tufts Art Gallery Tour
Wednesday, February 21, Lunch 12 p.m., Upper Hall; Carpool to Tufts at 12:50 p.m.; program begins at 1:15.

Please bring your own sandwich. We will provide soup, fruit, dessert and beverages. The suggested lunch donation is $2.00 per person.

We will carpool from the Church to Tufts at 12:50 p.m.; the program will begin at 1:15 and lasts about an hour.

We’ll be viewing A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas. Drawing from the hemispheric context of the Americas, and broad questions of civilization and culture, the exhibit presents recent works by artists from the United States and Latin America who grapple with continued questions of colonialism and post-colonialism. The exhibition highlights the medium of video, in addition to painting, photography, sculpture and works on paper.

R.S.V.P. to or 617-484-1054 (ext. 10). Please contact Pat Hawkins with any questions:, 617-489-2058.

Beyond Ferguson: Bridging Class, Cultural and Racial Separations — Social Action Committee
Sunday, February 25, 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.

First Church Book Group – Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, February 28, 7:30 p.m., Library

The book for February is Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case for Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good by Chuck Collins.

Escalating Inequality is a focus of First Church this year and we are delighted that Chuck Collins will be speaking here on Friday, March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

The Book Group is always open to new members. 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.

Mindful Yoga — Jess Hicks
Saturday, March 3, 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 monthly.

Unitarian Universalism: Who we are today – Rev. Doris Hunter
Sunday, March 4, 12:30 p.m., Library
Let’s look at our diversity and acknowledge strengths and weaknesses as we remember our history and confront the current challenges of this age.

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Tuesday, March 6, 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.

First Church “Moth” Hour — Ian Garvie and Richard Waring
Friday, March 16, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Join us for First Church’s own “Moth Hour”, an evening of unscripted, first-person storytelling in five to six minutes. Stories affirm who we are and allow us to experience the similarities and differences between ourselves and others. For more information or to sign up see or e-mail Richard ( or Ian ( Refreshments.

Social Action News in Brief

Sign up for the Social Action newsletter at

First Church Rummage Sale Coming May 5
If you would like to help with planning, please let us know. And please get your own Good Stuff ready to find new homes. ~ Kathy Crawley and Deb Lockett,

Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center

The seriously ill infants and toddlers served by the Grow Clinic are in need of dietary supplements. Would you be willing to help? *Bright Beginnings Pediatric Soy Supplements ($18/6 pk); *Duocal ($30/can); *Enfagrow Toddler Transitions Soy Infant and Toddler Formula ($72/4 pk); *Poly Vi Sol with Iron Liquid Vitamins; *Flintstone Complete Chewable Vitamins or equivalent; *Infant Formula.

Pick up a food list for shopping or bring a February Special Request: Baby Food and Formula. There are collection baskets in the Sanctuary vestibule and the Lower Hall. Food: One of the Most Important Medicines

FCBGreen plans on rolling out information on how individuals can bring a Social Responsible Investment approach to their own personal investments.  Stay tuned. And all are welcome to assist with a variety of sustainability programming and initiatives in the church. Contact

Bristol Lodge
We continue to collect travel toiletries for the clients at Bristol Lodge; baskets in Upper Gathering Hall.

The Sanctuary Committee is thrilled with the congregational response to support our fellow UU church, First Parish in Bedford. If you are interested in volunteering, we would love to hear from you! Volunteers must complete a CORI process through FCB and then attend a 1.5 hour training. The next trainings will be Monday, February 26. Questions to Eva Patalas at or Liz Keating at

Belmont Food Pantry
First Church members staff the opening of the Belmont Food Pantry on the second Tuesday of every month. Volunteers work from 5 – 6:30 p.m. You can sign up at or send questions to

Next SAC Meeting: February 26 at 7 p.m.
The Social Action Committee welcomes your participation — we are a fun and energetic group. Meetings are open to anyone interested with no requirements for attendance or becoming a member. For additional information contact

Wikipedia Writer Wanted

First Church member Sara Oaklander is looking for a writer with a successful Wikipedia track record to revise and expand on an existing Wikipedia page.

Whatever Wikipedia requires of its writers and of the content…I’m looking for someone who can bring all of that knowledge to the project to ensure its success. Email or call Sara for information: or 617-504-3369.

In the Community

Interfaith Valentine’s Dance on Saturday, Feb. 17
The Belmont Religious Council will be hosting a Valentines Dance with Oldies at the LDS (Mormon) chapel on Ledgewood Place in Belmont on Saturday evening Feb.17. The event will run from 8-10:30 PM. All are invited, so please let your friends and neighbors know about this event. The music will be mostly from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s with some newer stuff occasionally thrown in.

Meet Belmont Presents “Talk of the Town,” March 20
Register for the 2nd Annual Meet Belmont – Talk of the Town event, a community event presented by the Vision 21 Implementation Committee and co-sponsored by Belmont Public Schools. If you didn’t attend last year, four notable Belmont residents provided fascinating speeches in a “TED-talk” like format. An exciting new development for this year is that there will also be two Belmont Public Schools students speaking. or

Lowell Institute Lecture, April 3, with Rev. Traci Blackmon
The Boston University School of Theology invites the community to the upcoming Lowell Institute Lecture Series featuring Rev. Traci Blackmon on April 3, 2018 at 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the Boston University School of Theology.

Rev. Blackmon is the Executive Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ as well as the Senior Pastor of Christ the King UCC in Florissant, MO. Her prophetic voice and powerful witness has called churches, congregations, and the public to speak out against handgun violence, advocate for just healthcare reforms, and dismantle white supremacy. The event is free but reservations are suggested. Details:

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. 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. 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: Thursday, February 22

Please send submissions to by noon on Wednesday, February 21. Items may be edited for space and clarity.

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