The Unitarian – March 29, 2018

The Unitarian – March 29, 2018  (pdf)

Sunday Worship, April 1 – Easter Sunday

Easter: What Does It Mean To Be Risen? — Rev. David Bryce

Prelude: Prelude in D major by J.S. Bach (1685-1750), Simon Andrews, piano

9 a.m. Nova Choir Anthem: Hallelujah, Amen from Judas Maccabeus by G.F. Handel (1685 – 1759)

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Gloria In Excelsis by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Offertory: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth by G.F. Handel; Melanie Bacaling, soprano

Postlude: Every Time I Feel The Spirit, arr. Kurt Kaiser; Simon Andrews, piano

  • Services at 9 and 11 a.m.
  • Childcare is provided
  • Directions and parking information
  • Sunday, April 8: Biases and the Beloved Community — Sana Saeed, Student Minister
    Sana Saeed will be preaching on building a beloved community and disrupting our biases, inspired by our Grammy-nominated guests, the Alphabet Rockers.

Easter Sunrise Service

Come join our ritual of creating sacred space at sunrise at Habitat in Belmont. The service will be co-led by Parrish Dobson and Kathy Crawley. Meet at FCB parking lot at 5:45 or come directly to the Habitat parking lot at 10 Juniper Road at 6:00 a.m. Breakfast served at church following the service. Questions:

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister


On my desk right now is an old Unitarian Hymnal, the 1942 version. According to the sticker on the inside of the front cover, it belonged to John Nicholls Booth, a former minister of the First Church in Belmont. He must have left it here when he moved on.

Because it is such an old hymnal (76 years now) it uses old language and references. It has hymns that celebrate “America Triumphant!” that contain lines like,

“…thy sons have fought and fallen…
lies of law and custom
they blasted with their hate.
America Triumphant!
Grasp firm thy sword and shield!”

Not a sentiment most of us would approve today. So we will probably never sing hymns from this hymnal.

Interestingly, our current gray hymnal from the nineties, our blue one from the sixties, and this one from the forties, all say in their introductions that they are being created to serve the modern needs of congregations, which have changed over time. The red hymnal replaced the black hymnal which was produced, if I remember correctly, in 1914. So, if I may put it this way, the red hymnal saw itself as modern and as superseding its predecessor.

This old red hymnal, Hymns of the Spirit, will probably never be used for any musical purpose here at FCB. So why keep it?

Well, it does have historical significance; but what does that even mean? I guess it means that someday someone will flip through it, as I sometimes do, just to look at it. But only an historian would then use that “flipping” to develop a paper or a book.

And yet, as “useless” as this hymnal seems to be, I would not be able to bring myself to toss it away. It somehow holds too much meaning and history. It is part of who we Unitarian Universalists were.

I have other things like that in my life, things I no longer use, but that are laden with emotive power from their long existence. And so I keep them though they seem “useless” to others. They are not really useless. These things are part of my history; they have helped to make me who I am.

Stewardship Update – Mind the Gap!

Our 2018 March Stewardship Drive ends very soon. We still need over $49,000 to meet our $625,000 goal. Thank You to the 225 households who have committed more than $575,000 in support of our church and programs so far! If you haven’t made your commitment yet, please let us hear from you before March 31.

The success of our drive depends on new and increased pledges, and on participation from everyone. If for any reason you are unable to make a commitment during the Stewardship Drive, please let us know that too.

Please join your fellow parishioners and pledge today or no later than March 31. You can mail or bring in your pledge form. You may also:

Work on next year’s church budget is underway. Let us all do our part and please help us finish strong! Find your Sanctuary. Be a Steward.

~ With appreciation, Anjali Kumar, Stewardship Chair

Alphabet Rockers — Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Shepherd

Sunday, April 8, 12:30 p.m., Parish Hall

Please join us for an exciting multi-generational event. Bob and Eloise McGaw’s daughter is the co-founder with Tommy Shepherd of the Alphabet Rockers, the Grammy nominated kid-focused hip hop group from Oakland, California.

They will be with us during both worship services, in the RE program and for an after-church program. The group is dedicated to addressing complex issues surrounding identity and social justice through their hip hop music. Their passion is to create positive messages and modern beats to help children love who they are, fight bias, and celebrate difference.

Their Grammy-nominated album “Rise Shine #Woke”, created to interrupt racial bias and lift up the voices of young changemakers, has songs that bring joy to tough topics. Visit their web-site for more information. This participatory program will inspire and energize people of all ages.

Co-sponsored by the UU Urban Ministry and Social Action, RE and Music. Refreshments.

Support Group For Parents of Adopted Babies

The Center for Early Relationship Support and Adoption Resources will be meeting at First Church on the second and fourth Fridays of the month from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Library.

This is a free support group that provides safe and nurturing spaces for adoptive parents and their babies (birth to one year) to give and receive support, ask questions and begin building a parent community.

This is open to all parents in the community. For information contact


Program and Committee News & Upcoming Events

Community Potluck Passover Seder, April 3
6 p.m. in the Parish Hall
Please join us in a community potluck to celebrate Passover. We are hosting a family friendly event on Tuesday, April 3, at 6:00 PM in the Parish Hall. Passover is the story of the Exodus from Egypt many years ago. We share prayers, songs, and the retelling of the story. Each participant is asked to read a small part of the order of service, called the Haggadah.

We ask each family or group to bring a traditional dish to share—and we have lots of recipes. To cover other expenses—$3 child, $5 adult, $12 family.

To reserve a spot, ask questions:, or look for us at upcoming coffee hours.

Coffee and Conversation with David Bryce – April 8th after each service
Have a question about First Church, UUs, or just want to meet the minister and discuss the Sunday sermon? On Sunday, April 8th, all (especially any newcomers) are welcome to join a new monthly gathering with David in the minister’s study after each service. We hope the discussion will be wide-ranging and open-ended. Any questions, contact Mark Thurber at

Friday April 13 at 7:30 p.m.! Featuring Jon Svetkey & Heather Quay (Aka The Yellow Room) With Jeff Isen!

Heather and Jon have been singing and strumming together for almost twenty years. Their original songs combine elements of classic pop, folk and country music while showcasing their love of two-part harmony and fun.

Jeff is multi-instrumentalist who has played with a jug band in California, a bluegrass group in Malawi, a rock band in Sri Lanka, and a few different outfits in Boston, including Jon’s band The Loomers. He is also a song writer just waiting to share his music with you!

Admission: $12/$8 students and seniors. Coffee and refreshments for sale. This month’s beneficiary is the UU Urban Ministry.

Chalice Lighting — All Are Welcome

We invite ALL members of the church community to light our Chalice on Sundays. There is a sign up list near the elevator in the Upper Gathering Hall, or you can sign up online.

Ushers Needed for Spring Term, through June 10
Thanks to everyone who helped make our winter ushering a success. Now please consider volunteering to usher for the spring. You can sign up online or on the Ushering Sign-Up Poster in the Upper Gathering Hall during coffee hour. Thanks for your help.


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 Spring 2018 brochure (pdf)

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!

Caring for Older Adults — Miriam Baker and Deborah Blumberg
Tuesday, April 3, 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 join us. Everyone is welcome and no commitment is necessary. Contact with questions.

What Matters in Our Relationships: Short-term Couples Group — Joe Weiss
Sundays, April 8, 15, 22, 2 p.m., Library
Explore UU (and other values) that we inherited, chose, lost, and wish to re-discover with other couples. Share how we met and where we are now in our relationships. This will be limited to 6 couples and will resemble a small group ministry miniseries, offering opportunities for further growth within our relationships. To register contact

Belmont Garden Club Anne Allen Memorial Lecture with Joann Vieira — “Native Plants in the Home Garden”
Wednesday, April 11, 7 p.m., Parish Hall
Founding Director of Horticulture, Tower Hill Botanic Garden and a frequent lecturer on a variety of horticultural topics, Joann is passionate about native plants and will focus on incorporating native plants into suburban gardens. Anne Allen’s family were early members of First Church and were responsible for the Tiffany window.

“The Story of the Universe, Ignoring Details” — Andrea Prestwich and Edwin Taylor
Sunday, April 15, 12:30 p.m., Library
We live in a universe with many wonders … a multitude of stars with planets, stars that explode, galaxies that host super-massive black holes. In this talk, Ed and Andrea will ignore details and focus on the big picture. What is our universe made of? How did it begin and how will it end? We’ll show that current evidence points towards a universe that is expanding and started with a hot Big Bang, contains a mysterious substance called Dark Matter and that the expansion is being accelerated by an unknown force called Dark Energy. The end? Death of our Sun and a sky with fewer and fewer stars.

Belmont UU Alliance Members and Friends – (postponed from March)
Wednesday, April 18, 12 p.m. Potluck Lunch, 1 p.m. Program, Parish Hall
Program: “Our Democracy is in Trouble”
All men and women are invited to join us on Wednesday, April 18 at noon for the Alliance Pot Luck Lunch and program. Please let us know whether you will bring: salad, main dish or dessert when you RSVP. The program will begin in the Parish Hall at 1pm. Fred Van Deusen from the First Parish in Concord social justice group, Reclaiming 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 questions:, 617-489-2058.

Science and Spirituality – Ken and Nicole Bernstein
Thursday, April 19, 7:30 p.m., Conference Room
Kirk Israel will lead the discussion on “Hidden Motives”
In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Robin Hanson about our hidden motives in everyday life. They discuss selfishness, hypocrisy, norms and meta-norms, cheating, deception, self-deception, education, the evolutionary logic of conversation, social status, signaling and counter-signaling, common knowledge, AI, and many other topics.”

Parenting Kids with Challenges – Melissa Irion
Friday, April 20, 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.

Socially Responsible Investing – John Keller and John Kolterman
Sunday, April 22, 12:30 p.m., Parish Hall
Would you like to better align your personal investments to match your social, moral and ethical beliefs? Society is demanding that companies serve a social purpose and should benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers and the communities in which they operate. If you’d like to learn how you might align your own investments accordingly, join us for this informational session.

First Church Book Group – Karl Klasson and Anne Stuart
Wednesday, April 25, 7:30 p.m., Library
This month’s book is The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje.

“Can the Arts Foster Social Change?”: A panel discussion with Downing Cless (theatre), Nate Sellers (film), Jon Svetkey (folk music), and Betty Stone (photography)
Thursday, April 27, 7:30 p.m., Parish Hall
We live in a time of uncertainty and the arts can both provoke us to action and sharpen our focus about what is important.

Women’s Spring Potluck Supper — Friday, April 27, 7 p.m., Parish Hall

Social Action News in Brief

Sign up for the Social Action newsletter at

Sanctuary Committee
Volunteers are welcome to support sanctuary efforts at the UU Bedford church. And on April 8, volunteers will hold a “reflections session” between services here in Belmont to share their experiences. Contact Eva Patalas at or Liz Keating at for information.

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

Happy Spring! How about celebrating by purchasing vitamins this month for our Grow Clinic children? Flintstone Chewables and Polysol with Iron Liquid Vitamins. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Thanks for helping the Grow kids GROW! Pick up a food list for shopping or bring an April Special Request: Vitamins. Collection baskets are in the Sanctuary vestibule and 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.

Food Pantry
First Church members staff the opening of the Belmont Food Pantry on the second Tuesday of every month, You can sign up at or send questions to

In the Community

April 8 Forum on Gun Violence, sponsored by Follen UU Church, Lexington
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Louis D. Brown Peace Institute President Tina Chéry will meet at a forum in Lexington to discuss gun violence prevention.

  • Location: Temple Emunah, 9 Piper Street, Lexington
  • Date/time: Sunday, April 8, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Free; sponsored by the Follen Church Gun Violence Prevention Group; cosponsored by many local groups

Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir benefit for Sanctuary at the First Parish in Bedford

  • Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
  • $10; tickets at — No one turned away!
  • First Parish in Bedford, 75 The Great Road , Bedford
  • Billy is part high-energy ecstatic theatre, part politics, part non-sectarian all-inclusive religion. Check out their website:
  • This sanctuary is now supported by nine covenanted congregations, including many from First Church in Belmont

Belmont Food Collaborative Spring Cooking Classes
The BFC’s mission is to share their passion for cooking meals at home with easy, authentic and delicious recipes, and fresh ingredients. Some of the classes are held here in the FCB kitchen. Visit for details and to register.

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

UU Mass Action Advocacy Day
Tuesday, April 10, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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.

In Search of Housing

From Leslie Talmadge, Brian and Lauren (11) Kopperl:
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. A family of three, no smokers, no pets. Thank you.; 617 686 3166.

From Judy Gallagher:
I am looking for a home or apartment to share: retired schoolteacher; does not smoke or drink (alcohol); can move anytime. Thank you. or 603-387-6606.

High School Student Seeks Homework Assistance

Are you bilingual in Russian and English? High school student seeks help with biological terminology for class. If you can assist or have questions, please email Nancy Davis at

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, April 5

Please send submissions to by noon on Wednesday, April 4. Items may be edited for space and clarity.

Contact Us

Parish Board minutes are online and posted on the Upper Hall bulletin board.


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