The Unitarian – April 5, 2018

The Unitarian – April 5, 2018  (pdf)

Sunday Worship, 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.

Prelude: Up Above My Head by Sister Rosetta Tharpe; The Linden Singers

11 a.m. Senior Choir Anthem: Te Quiero by Alberto Favero; poem by Mario Benedetti

Offertory: You’re Drifting Away by Bill Monroe; The Linden Singers

This week’s offering will benefit the Partner Church.

Postlude: Brother Moses Smote The Water, Traditional; The Linden Singers

Special thanks to The Linden Singers: Richard Curzi, John Howe, Paul Judge, and Roger Read

The flowers on the Chancel Table today are given by Anthony Vagnucci and Anjali Kumar to honor their fathers and father figures: Anthony Vagnucci Sr., Krishan Kumar, Papan Panjabi, Cesare Pacifici and Father Erkins.

Reflections from Rev. David Bryce, Senior Minister


Fifty years ago this week, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

I am struck by both how far we have come, and how far we have to go to achieve genuine equality in America.

I am also struck by the fact that the vast majority of people today have no living memory of Dr. King. To most Americans his life and the events of those days are ancient history. And yet the issues of those times are still very much alive.

The killing of a young, unarmed black man was the motivating action that led to the march from Selma to Montgomery; it was the reaction to that march by the government of Alabama that shocked the nation and led to the Voting Rights Act.

A few nights ago I was watching a replay of the movie “Judgment At Nuremberg” about trials of the Nazi leadership and those who went along with that leadership. I was reminded that ABC was showing that movie on the evening of the march and interrupted it to show tape of what had happened earlier that day in Selma. (In1965, live television coverage of events did not happen; instead, events were filmed and the film was sent to the network for later airing.) Because there were fewer television choices at that time, 48 million people were watching the ABC movie. Most of them got the message: what is happening in Alabama is the immoral violation of human rights.

What is saddening and shocking is that the killings of young, unarmed black men continue to happen and we as a nation are largely unmoved by that fact.

I have faith in the future, and do believe that this will change, that we shall overcome our own biases. But I am saddened that it is taking so very, very long.

Let us do all we can to bring the day closer when genuine equality exists.

Stewardship Update – Finish Strong!

Our 2018 March Stewardship Drive has raised $586,000 from 243 pledges in support of our church and programs so far! If you haven’t made your commitment yet, please let us hear from you right away. We still need over $39,000 to meet our goal. The Parish Board is meeting to discuss next year’s budget on April 9th.

Please join your fellow parishioners and pledge today. You can mail or bring in your pledge form. You may also:

Let us all do our part so we can 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.

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 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.

Music Notes, by Ian Garvie

This Sunday, don’t miss a truly special service! We will be joined by Grammy-nominated hip-hop artists the Alphabet Rockers, co-led by Kaitlin McGaw. They will be presenting a short program at the service, as well as a workshop for the CRE program, and a public concert and dialogue at 12:30 in the Parish Hall. Also joining the service will be the Linden Singers, presenting their unique blend of vocal harmony for the Prelude, Postlude, and Offertory. It promises to be a very special service!

And looking forward, on Sunday, June 3rd the First Church will have its second annual Community Concert, and we are looking for performers! This is an opportunity for community members both young and young at heart to perform music of all styles. We welcome folk singers and cowboys, pianists and violinists, steel drummers and more. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and other young musicians to perform as well! If you are interested, please contact Ian Garvie ( for more information.

Rummage Sale!

Volunteer sign-up begins this week for the Grand Recycling Marketplace that is First Church’s 75th Rummage Sale. Over 100 volunteers are needed for pre-sale starting Sunday April 29th through Sale day May 5th.

In person sign-up will be at Coffee Hour starting this Sunday and on-line sign-up will be available soon. Be sure to secure your favorite spots as we recycle and re-purpose goods, while raising funds for important First Church projects. It’s fun and a great chance to connect with your First Church friends, new and old.

Money, Money, Money — Sunday, April 29, after each service

Join us for a conversation about church finances and preparing for the future. The Capital Campaign Task Force and the Finance Committee are hosting a Q&A to learn more about our budget, expenses, and overall financial health. Get all your questions answered! Details coming soon.

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!

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.

For my money, Michael Ondaatje is the greatest living writer in the English language … The wide-eyed love of the world and its wonders, the kindness he offers to his characters and readers, the elegant lyricism of his sentences, the joy of storytelling — all that is great in his other books is fully present in The Cat’s Table … In this dark, terrible world, The Cat’s Table has healing powers. — Aleksandar Hemon, The Wall Street Journal

     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 or have any questions.

“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.

Tufts University Associate Professor of Drama Emeritus, longtime collaborator with Underground Railway Theater, and board member of Central Square Theater, Downing Cless, will explore Brecht and activist theatre such as Bread and Puppet Theatre, and many more.

First Church Director of RE Nate Sellers has developed a curriculum to explore existential cinema and has lectured in film and media studies. Using 12 Angry Men, Philadelphia, The Thin Blue Line, Birth of a Nation and other films he will discuss the social changes these films inspired.

Songwriter and musician Jon Svetkey has released 10 albums of original music. He’ll explore how music and social action have walked hand in hand, voices raised for decades – Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, James Brown, The Clash, Bob Marley, Public Enemy and others.

Photographer Betty Stone is a member of the Cambridge Art Association and the Winchester Artists Network. Photographers have “told the stories” of the disenfranchised to “bear witness” and trigger change from the civil rights movement to today.

Women’s Spring Potluck Supper
Friday, April 27, 7 p.m., Parish Hall
All women are invited to share food, friendship and fun as we come together once again to connect and re-connect. Bring an appetizer, main dish, salad or dessert AND a beverage to share. No RSVP necessary. And bring your friends too!

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.

Annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace — Sunday, May 13
To support the work of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which aids families impacted by murder
Sign up to walk as an individual or as part of the “Team Belmont” group. Ask your friends and family to sponsor you. Donations can be made on-line or by checks payable to LDB Peace Institute, mailed to 15 Christopher Street, Dorchester, MA 02122.

Belmont walkers will meet at the Alewife T station, in front of the entrance to Bertucci’s, at 7 a.m. to take the T to Fields Corner. For more information or questions about walking with the Belmont group, contact Priscilla Cobb at .

Details and registration are at

Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center

It’s Spring. Flowers and Children should grow. Won’t you help our Grow Clinic infants and toddlers by buying vitamins this month? 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 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.

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.
Details and registration at org/register-for-uu-advocacy-day/

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

UU actions, events & resources

Next issue: Thursday, April 12

Please send submissions to by noon on Wednesday, April 11. 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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