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Adult Programs: November Newsletter

A message from the Director of Adult Programs, Lillian Anderson

Welcome to November’s exciting programs. First Church is blessed to have so many engaged members of the congregation who are willing and eager to offer new programs. And of course thanks so many of you who are attending our programs, both in person and online. There is always something new to intellectually or spiritually stimulate you. So dive in!

Upcoming Special Programs

FCB History Group Presentation Thursday, November 2, 2023 7:30 - 9 pm, Online Where, how, and why did our specifically American strand of Unitarianism originate? What led this brand of liberal religion to grow to lofty heights of influence in the early nineteenth century and then to a declining role and influence in the following era? What lessons might we draw as we seek to reenergize the influence of our faith tradition in a 21st-century nation and world threatened by rising illiberalism? At our November History Group virtual meeting, we will watch a brief (~fifteen minutes), entertaining, and even affectionate film about “The Rise and Fall of Unitarianism in America." It is presented by "The Cynical Historian," a talented and articulate young history buff who happens to be a former UU. I hope we will have ample time to share our reactions to the film and also to share ideas and plans for upcoming History Group meetings. Please join us at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 2, with John Howe, Lead Parish Historian. Contact Lillian Anderson:

Saturday Film Discussion with Nate Sellers Saturday, November 11, 8-9:30 pm, Online The next short program is titled Facade. It includes four very different films that look at credible reality within the realm of science fiction.

  • The Black Hole - Dir. Philip Sanson and Olly Williams (The Black Hole | Future Shorts - YouTube)

  • Rest - dir. Joan Cassin

  • PARTNR - Dir. Kaylin Allshouse

  • Goldilocks - Dir. Blake Simon

Films are subject to change; additional links will be provided during the week of discussion. Contact: Lillian Anderson:

Just Talk: For Deepening Fellowship with Rachel Greenberger Sunday, November 12, 12:15 pm, Parlor Just Talk is a lightly facilitated, circle-conversation alternative to coffee hour. Come in when you can; leave when you need to. It's a relaxed opportunity to discuss deeper subjects and get to know folks you don’t already know in our church.

FCB “Playgroup” with Jane Minasian, Matt Mayerchak, and Richard Waring Sunday, November 12, 4:30-6:30 pm, Library Please join us for our Nov 12 meeting of FCB’s “Playgroup,” where we learn about playwrights, read short, thought-provoking plays aloud, and discuss our impressions. For our upcoming get-together, we will continue to explore the work of Playwright Tennessee Williams by reading aloud and discussing two short one-act plays that will further reveal some of his early character studies for later plays, as well as themes that have run throughout other works. No preparation or reading prior to the meeting is necessary. Just come and join the reading and conversation. If you are interested but can’t attend a meeting, please contact Jane Minasian at to be placed on the email list.

Living with Health Challenges 2nd Tuesdays Starting November 14 – May 14, 5:30 – 7 pm Online Many of us are facing health challenges. Sudden and unexpected diagnoses, chronic conditions, and the resultant changes in our lifestyle may bring an altered perspective of one’s body and self that creates uncertainty and anxiety. Our relationships may change in unexpected ways. We are forming a new support/discussion group based on the Small Group Ministry model. We will explore our personal experiences around our challenges as well as explore topics and your concerns related to the impact of health challenges. We will listen to one another and provide support by building trust that provides mutual understanding. We ask for participants to make a commitment to the monthly meetings. Facilitators: Debbie Dobbins, Sophia Doescher, First Church Intern Minister, and Rick Hawkins. Please Contact Debbie at with questions and/or to register.

Your Next Chapter Group 2024 with Rick Hawkins Monday, November 20, 5:30-7 pm, Online Are you thinking about retirement, about to retire, are retired, considering, or anticipating some other major transition in your life? Transitions or anticipating a major change in a significant role may force us to ask the question: “Who am I now that I am no longer who I used to be?” We will explore our hopes, fears, losses, gains, surprises, barriers, and struggles throughout these transitions or anticipated transitions. Questions and issues to be explored will be emailed before each session. It is important that members make a commitment to try to attend all sessions. We will meet monthly from November to May. Contact Rick Hawkins at to sign up.

The Biblical Prophets: Relevance to our Lives and Contemporary Events with Joe Weiss Thursday, November 30, 7:30 pm, Online In this participatory session, we survey several notable Old and New Testament Prophets, their central messages, and how those messages inform mainstream ethics in our own lives. We then discuss if and how the Prophets' messages are relevant to current situations and crises, including the Israeli/Palestinian situation in Gaza. Finally, we ask, "Who among us are today’s prophetic voices?" Contact Lillian Anderson at for the Zoom link.

Ongoing Adult Programs

FC Garden Group 1st Thursdays, 4 pm, Online and in person Contact: Jess Hausman Learn tips from fellow gardeners FCB History Group with John Howe 1st Thursdays, 7:30 pm, Online Contact: John Howe Engaging in discussions about aspects of our FC history

UU Belmont Alliance 2nd Thursdays, 11 am, online Contact: Miriam Baker Nov. 9: Bert and Louise Halstead - Adventures in Chile Dec. 14: John Howe - “The Boston Religion” Saturday Film discussion with Nate Sellers 2nd Saturdays, 8 pm, Online Contact: Lillian Anderson Short films will be this year’s focus.

Films with BIPOC focus discussion group 3rd Saturdays, 7:30 pm, Online Contact: Eva Patalas Watch the films on your own and come for a discussion. Nov. 18 - Smoke Signals (1998) Dec. 16 - Sorry to Bother You (2018) First Church Book Group 4th Wednesdays, 7:30 pm, Online Contact: Christine O’Neill The book group is open and does not require a commitment to attend meetings. Nov. 29 - Silent Spring by Rachel Carson Dec. 27 - Poetry by Robert Frost

Science and Spirituality 3rd or 4th Thursdays, 7:30 pm, Online Contact: Kirk Israel Kirk Is FCB Sangha Mondays, 7:30 pm, Online Contact: James Hencke James Hencke In meditation practice, we find that by developing our awareness and compassion, we can open ourselves, relax into situations, and enjoy life more completely!

To learn more about special and ongoing adult programs, Small Group Ministry, or joining the Adult Program Committee, email Lillian Anderson at


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