The Unitarian – March 1, 2018

The Unitarian – March 1, 2018 (pdf)

Sunday Worship, March 4: Celebration Sunday — Rev. David Bryce

Prelude: Sonata for piano four-hands, K. 381 (Allegro), by W.A. Mozart; Simon Andrews and Ian Garvie, piano

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Ave Maria by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Creator Rhythm, arranged by Pepper Choplin; Nate Sellers, drums

Solo: Walk Together Children, arr. by Moses Hogan; Davron Monroe, tenor and Ian Garvie, piano

Offertory: When the Saints Go Marching In, Traditional; Richard Curzi, piano

Postlude: Sonata for piano four-hands, K. 381 (Molto Allegro), by W.A. Mozart; Simon Andrews and Ian Garvie, piano

The flowers this Sunday are given by Paul Santos & Anne Stuart in loving memory of Robin, Cristina, Paul, & Peter Santos.

  • Services at 9 and 11 a.m.; childcare is provided
  • Directions and parking information at
  • Sunday, March 11 — Multigenerational Worship at 9 & 11 a.m.

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister


I have not spoken about the Parkland High School shooting in Florida that resulted in seventeen deaths. Part of the reason for that is that I do not know what to say that I have not said before, and do not know what to say that will make any difference.

It is an unfortunate fact that, as shocking as these events are, they are no longer as shocking as they once were—and deserve to be.

I have arrived at the point where, though my heart is heavy with each of these mass shootings, and though I cry for the dead and for their families, I also feel a bit numbed. And I feel a bit more numbness with each event.

Forty years ago it was shocking to see homeless people on the street, especially outside of the small areas they were “expected” to inhabit (the Bowery in New York City, Skid Row in Seattle). Today, people who are homeless live all around us, not because they have left the small areas but because there are now so many more of them. And we as a society have become inured to their existence.

I seem to be doing the same thing with mass shootings. I am becoming inured.

I hate that. I hate the fact that these shootings are becoming so common, and I hate the fact that I am becoming increasingly numb. Paradoxically, it is a deeply sad numbness, one full of anger and despair.

Unfortunately, we human beings can become “used to” even the worst of circumstances.

I want to wake myself out of this; I want to be sure that I do not allow myself to become desensitized to the horror of these occurrences, to the suffering that they bring, or to call to take action to see that these once-unimaginable incidents stop.

May we find a way to bring sanity to this nation.

Stewardship Drive: Please join us on Celebration Sunday, March 4 

Celebration Sunday is the focal point of our 2018 March Stewardship Drive – Find Your Sanctuary. Be a Steward. We hope you will join our festive worship services as we come together to support our church, our sanctuary. Please bring your completed pledge forms for a special Offertory. Enjoy delicious treats at Coffee Hour, courtesy of Quebrada Bakery!

In a strong show of support, all members of the Parish Board, Finance and Stewardship Committees have pledged early with increased financial commitment to First Church, as have others in the congregation. Please join them, as there is a long way to go.

To meet our increased goal of $625,000, we need generous increases from everyone at all levels of pledging. Please remember that pledges are 80% of our operating budget – First Church depends on each one of us. Thank you for being stewards of First Church and for being as generous as you can.

On Sunday, we will have special pledge forms available for the Offertory so you can tell us you have already pledged or you need additional time. Need another copy of your personalized appeal letter and pledge form? Please contact us at You can also pledge online if you prefer.

With appreciation, Anjali Kumar, Stewardship Chair

Among Us

Our best wishes and healing thoughts to John Little as he begins medical treatment for cancer.

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.

Berklee College of Music Night at Second Friday Coffeehouse! Friday, March 9

Featuring Brooks Robertson and Big Little Banter

Friday March 9 @ 7:30 p.m.

Fingerstyle-guitarist Brooks Robertson blew us all away when he played at FCB last year. We are thrilled to have him back.

Big Little Banter is duo of Nate Daviau and Julia Gartha. They are bringing a new energy to folk and country pop. Details at

Music Notes, by Ian Garvie

Thank you to the wonderful crowd of people who came to the piano recital on Saturday, February 24th! The Parish Hall was completely full, and we raised more than $1800 for the Piano and Organ Fund here at the church. And thank you specifically to Paul-André Bempéchat, for offering his time and talent to give us such a wonderful program. I look forward to another recital in the future!

Looking forward, this is promising to be a busy Spring for the music program. This Saturday, there will be a dance party in the Parish Hall! Starting at 7:30, the Loomers will provide live music for everyone to dance the night away. Bring your own beverages of choice, and your dancing shoes.

Sunday, March 4th is Celebration Sunday! To celebrate the Stewardship Campaign, we will have a Sunday service full of great music from many people in our community. Please have your pledges in by then!

Sunday, March 11th, join all of the Children’s Choirs as we sing in the spring season, and the start of Daylight Savings Time. The Chancel Choir and the Junior Choir will be singing at the 9amservice, and the Youth Choir will join the Senior Choir for the 11am service.

Sunday, March 18th is Gospel Sunday! Once again, we will welcome Roger Brown and his gospel band, joined by members of Berklee College of Music. They will be providing a whole service full of wonderful music for everyone to enjoy.

And finally, Sunday, March 25th is Major Music Sunday. The Senior Choir will be joined by a professional orchestra led by Ken Stalberg. This spring, they will perform two wonderful pieces – JS Bach’s magnificent Cantata #126, and Vivaldi’s Gloria.

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.

Housing Needed This Fall

We are looking for a two bedroom apt./condo/home to rent or housesit for three months or so while our home being renovated, starting 9/1 through November. Ideally, we’d like to be in Belmont, but nearby towns okay, too. A family of three, no smokers, no pets. Thank you, Leslie Talmadge, Brian and Lauren (11) Kopperl.; 617 686 3166

Visit by UUA Consultant Liz Coit

Under the leadership of Anjali Kumar and other veteran Stewardship volunteers, the annual Stewardship Drive is in full swing to support next year’s ministries and operating costs. The Parish Board also has charged a Task Force, co-chaired by Heather Quay and Diane Lopez, to explore approaches to addressing FCB’s longer-term financial challenges.

Stewardship for Us consultant Liz Coit will join us for the weekend of March 2-4 to help with that process. Stewardship for Us is affiliated with the UUA and offers our denomination advice about stewardship, capital and endowments campaigns, and strategic and financial planning. She brings with her a full range of professional fundraising, planning, organizational development, and campaign experience. She will be meeting with committee members, volunteer leadership, staff, and other interested individuals to learn about our goals and needs as FCB plans for a sustainable future.

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!

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.

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.

Parenting Adolescent Girls — Veera Mylapore
Tuesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m., Library
Connecting with other parents of adolescent daughters for sharing, visioning, brainstorming and building a support network to help navigate this time in ours and our kids’ lives.

The target audience is current parents of adolescent girls, but parents of formerly adolescent girls would be most welcome for guidance and support!

  • Discussing – Anything! No subject is off the table. Examples are – Thoughts and ideas in regard to – friendships, technology, fashion, sports, sexuality, relationships, changing bodies, school, media, the world, self-image, gender identity.
  • Informal discussion and sharing. Depending on interest, we might have special speakers join us for future meetings.
  • Takeaways – A rich network of parents who care, to whom we can reach out for inspiration and thoughts during challenging times and/or to celebrate victories, sharing wisdom and current research and local resources.
  • Contact for more information.

Prequel to Major Music — Ian Garvie
Wednesday, March 14, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
This spring, the Senior Choir will be perform two wonderful pieces as part of the enduring Major Music tradition – J.S. Bach’s magnificent Cantata #126, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Though both of these pieces are somewhat short, they are some of the most thrilling music the composers wrote. Join Ian Garvie for a talk about the pieces, how they came to be composed, and what to listen for. Wednesday, March 14th at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

Science and Spirituality – Ken and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, March 15, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Richard Eastwick will be the presenter. Please view the 27 minute episode and join us. See it at:

In the episode Richard would like the group to view and discuss, Kuhn focuses on the question, “Did God Create Time.” The answers are thought provoking and worthy of being the focus of our Thursday, March 15 meeting.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn has been a scientist, an entrepreneur, and an expert on China with 25 books to his name. In addition, he is the creator, producer, writer, and host of “Closer to Truth,” a series of public television shows featuring interviews with leading scientists, philosophers, theologians, and scholars where he poses life’s biggest and toughest questions. For more on Kuhn or the show, check out Wikipedia or the “Closer to Truth” website.

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 (, or at coffee hour. Refreshments.

Parenting Kids with Challenges — Melissa Irion
Friday, March 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.

Belmont UU Alliance Members and Friends
Wednesday, March 21, 12 p.m. Lunch, 1 p.m. Program, Upper Hall
Program: “Our Democracy is in Trouble”
All men and women are invited to join us on Wednesday, March 21 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.
Fred Van Deusen from the First Parish in Concord’s social justice group, Reclaim Our Democracy, ( will be presenting on the topic “Our Democracy is in Trouble”. Fred will trace the roots of escalating inequality to the dysfunction we see in our federal government, and we will discuss what we as citizens can do about it. R.S.V.P. to or 617-484-1054 (ext. 10). Please email or call Pat Hawkins, Alliance Program, with any questions:, 617-489-2058.

SAVE THE DATE! Friday, March 23, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Chuck Collins – Lecture and discussion
With the heart of an agitator and the soul of a storyteller, Collins upends our assumptions about America’s deep wealth divide-and offers bold new solutions for bridging the economic divide, and suggests re-engaging the wealthy to rebuild communities for a resilient future.
Chuck Collins — the great-grandson of one of America’s iconic industrialists — grew up in the one percent, gave his inheritance away at 26, and became one of the nation’s leading thinkers and activists on solving inequality.
Book signing and refreshments. Cosponsored by Social Action. This program is part of First Church’s ongoing theme of addressing issues of Escalating Inequality.

Theatre Discussion Series – Downing Cless and Jane Minasian
Sunday, March 25, 4 p.m., Library
Guards at the Taj, Rajiv Joseph’s dark comedy, performs at Central Square Theatre March 1 – April 1.
1648, India. At morning’s first light, the Taj Mahal, an awe-inspiring edifice representing the pinnacle of beauty and the power of an empire will be unveiled. For the two Imperial guards who are protecting the palace, close friends since childhood, dawn’s first light will set in motion a ghoulishly unthinkable task that will challenge their faith, friendship, and duty. See the play and join us for a lively discussion and refreshments.

Social Action News in Brief

Sign up for the Social Action newsletter at

Create signs for Gun Safety events: Sunday, March 4, 6:30 – 8 p.m., First Parish Watertown, 35 Church Street
The Oscars ceremony is not the only place to make a political statement. Join us to make posters for upcoming marches while watching the Red Carpet Oscars Preshow. Make posters for The National School Walkout Day, Wednesday, March 14, at 10 a.m., and the March For Our Lives, Saturday, March 24, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. on the Boston Common. Materials and ideas for posters and signs will be provided as well as some pre-printed posters. Please feel free to bring your own supplies.

“March for Our Lives” — March 24, Boston Common
Join members of the Social Action Committee at 11 a.m. at Alewife Station, inside and downstairs, in front of the Charlie Card machines across from the turnstiles.

Save the Date for the First Church Rummage Sale: Saturday, May 5, 2018
As you carry out your New Year’s resolution to de-clutter, please set aside any “saleable” items for the Rummage Sale!!

Drop-off of saleable items begins on Sunday afternoon, April 29. And please plan to volunteer. Information about sign-up for volunteers coming soon.

Kathy Crawley and Deb Lockett are co-chairing the Rummage Sale this year. For more information, contact:

Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center

It’s time again for our annual MARCH MAC & CHEESE MADNESS campaign for the GROW CLINIC. Boxes of MAC & CHEESE fly off the shelves and demand always exceeds the supplies. Please help us collect stacks and stacks of MAC & CHEESE during March. Thanks!

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

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. 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

In the Community

Books in Bloom at Belmont Library, March 2 – 4
A celebration of the Belmont Library’s 150th Anniversary. The opening reception on Friday, March 2 features the unveiling of the Belmont Garden Club’s floral interpretation of books with refreshments from local businesses and musical performances by talented students. Tickets can be purchased here and at the Library, Beech Street Center and Belmont Books.

On Saturday the Belmont Historical Society hosts a day long presentation on the history of Belmont and the Garden Club demonstrates floral arranging. Sunday is a birthday party for children and their parents, with cake and balloons. Learn more at

Winchester Unitarian Society presents Singer/Songwriter Vance Gilbert, March 16, 8 p.m.
Gilbert has recorded numerous albums and has been the opener for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, George Carlin, and Paul Reiser and The Subdudes. Admission by suggested donation; a reception will follow the concert. Details:

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. 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 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. 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

UUA Commission on Appraisal Seeks Input

The UUA Commission on Appraisal serves similarly to a “think tank” on larger issues facing Unitarian Universalism. As it prepares to select a new issue the commission would like to have input and feedback on topics to be considered. Members of the congregation are invited to take a brief survey at


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, March 8

Please send submissions to by noon on Wednesday, March 7. Items may be edited for space and clarity.

Contact Us

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