top of page

The Unitarian - April 6, 2023

Sunday, April 9: “Rolling Away The Stone” — Easter Sunday! One service at 10 am on the Town Green

Come and celebrate one service outside. We will have special music as always and join all together at 10:00 on the Town Green. Come and celebrate the resilience, resurrection and reemergence as we all come out of our caves into community, into spring, and into life.

Easter Sunrise Service, April 9, at 6:00 am, at Habitat, Belmont

Come celebrate the cycle of rebirth at our Easter Sunrise Service. Our service will take place at dawn, surrounded by the interdependent web of all existence in the Highland Farms meadow of the Habitat grounds, in Belmont. Meet us in the Habitat parking lot at 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont, at 6:00 a.m. Please contact Richard Waring, 617-962-1630,, or Kathy Crawley, 617-957-5842,, for more information or if you have questions.

Sunday, April 16: “The Depths”

Exploring the growth and transformation possible if we open to and explore our depths. With the various layers of the ocean as our metaphor, we will look at the various forms of life which lurk in the depth of water and find encouragement to dive deep. This service will also have a painter creating a live work of art in conversation with the service.

Services at 9 am and 11 am in the Sanctuary. Childcare is available.

Upcoming Vespers Services

Because of the April 6 Passover Seder, there will be no Vespers on Thursday, April 6.

Thursday, April 13: Meditation Vespers, 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary

Thursday, April 20: Music Vespers, 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary.

FCB Podcasts, Sermons, and Stories, Online

TOGETHER AGAIN: Help us close the gap!

The good news: Together, you, the congregation have pledged $600,000 in support of the church’s annual operations, beginning July 1st. Thank you to all who have pledged. Your support is vital.

The remaining challenge: We are $75,000 short of this year’s goal. In the weeks ahead, the Parish Board will be making crucial decisions about next year’s church activities. Your support is vital.

If you haven't yet pledged, please do so as soon as possible, by emailing or pledging at the green button below.

With appreciation from the Stewardship Committee,

Bruce Logan and Gina Carloni, co-chairs, with Susan Galli, Susan Kobayashi, and Katharine Canfield

From John O’Connor, Intern Minister

Them’s a Lot of Notes!

I’ve been thinking a lot about our theme for this spring, creativity. I’ve always enjoyed being around creative people — the ones who paint, write, dance, play music, or design clothing. But I’ve never really considered myself to be a gifted, creative person.

While I have certain facility for some things in the creative field, "I’m not all that,”as they say. But a lack of natural talent doesn’t stop me from giving it a go and enjoying the creative process. And sometimes the results aren’t half bad.

Reflecting on the creative process in her book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, choreographer Twyla Tharp, rejects the idea that creativity is reserved for those who are somehow naturally gifted in a particular artistic field. “I think everyone can be creative, but you have to prepare for it with routine. There’s no other way around it . . . The best creativity is the result of habit and hard work.”[1]

I understand habit and hard work. It’s how I live. And I like to challenge myself. I try to not get to invested in the actual outcome, preferring to stay present and to find joy in the process. In a way, throughout my internship, this has been my approach all along.

What creative ideas have been rattling about your head? Spring is the season to explore new possibilities. So go for it. Do a little writing or painting. Take a class. Join the choir! There are so many opportunities to be creative once we set aside the notion that we can’t do it unless we are born with some extraordinary talent. Get at it, go out there, and have some fun!

So what’s with all the notes? Well, in thinking about how to bring creativity to my preaching and to my internship, I’ve decided for my final service in June that I’ll play the Mozart piano Sonata in D Major for four hands with Simon. Since this piece is beyond my current ability, I have a lot of notes to learn in a short period of time! And for what habit and hard work may fail to produce, I shall have to rely on a bit of the luck of the Irish!

[1] Diane Coutu, Creativity Step by Step, Harvard Business Review, April, 2008.

Under the Sea: Party with a Porpoise

Tickets for “Under the Sea,” the Live Auction on May 6, are selling fast.

They’re $60 apiece until April 30 and $75 afterward. To buy yours, go to and update your password or create an account. You’ll need a Bidding for Good account to play in the Silent Auction, which goes live on April 22. Don’t miss out on all the fun: If you can’t attend the in-person event, get ready to join in the friendly competitive bidding for a wonderful array of items in the online auction: a tour of artist Derrick Te Paske’s studio, a swing dance lesson and dance party, a State House tour and lunch with Rep. Dave Rogers, a selection of 6 fine wines, a one-hour energy healing session, armloads of perennials for your garden, dinner with Rev. Chris at Il Casale in Lexington, and much, much more!

Please note, this is a 21+ only event since alcohol will be served.

We strongly encourage attendees and volunteers to do a COVID test before joining, and please stay home if you feel unwell or show any symptoms! Just a reminder that FCB recently upgraded the ventilation system in the Parish Hall in response to the public health emergency, and we also reduced the maximum ticket number. We hope that these precautions will make everyone feel safe.

For questions, please contact the auction co-chairs Ariane Frank and Marion Westgate at

Bylaws Appreciation - All in Favor Say Aye

A big Thank You to the 100-plus First Church members who attended Sunday's Special Meeting to amend the Bylaws. The Bylaw amendments passed unanimously, and the amended and restated Bylaws should be available this week on the church website at

As part of the Bylaw amendments, the “Ames Covenant” language was replaced with a placeholder, and work will begin soon on developing a new First Church covenant to be approved by church members in the spring of 2024. The thoughts, comments and suggestions that were shared at the meeting will be a part of the next phase of this important work. Stay tuned, and learn more from John Howe at the upcoming Annual Meeting on Sunday, June 11!

And a really HUGE Thank You to the Bylaw Review Task Force - Roger Read, Anne Stuart and Martha Courant - for taking on this task and the many hours they spent writing, editing, discussing and engaging church members.

We are all grateful.

In community -

Laurie Graham

Parish Board President

In case you missed it: UU World's article on Reflections on the 1980s Article II Revision—and Why it’s Time to Revise Again, featuring the participation of FCB's Minister Emerita, Diane Miller.

Save the Date for the Annual Meeting: Sunday, June 11

Our Annual Meeting is scheduled for June 11th at 11:30, directly after the Church service. Please save the date and plan to join us as we wrap up the church year.

Medical Aid in Dying/Death with Dignity with Jackie James and Will Brownsberger - April 11, 7:30 pm, online

What does death with dignity mean? We’ll explore the in’s and out’s of Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD), including its legal status in the United States and what it means. We’ll also review other legal, ethical ways to hasten death, being sure to explore concerns about ableism that are a part of this landscape. Register here.

The Installation of Rev. Chris Jablonski Sunday, May 7 at 4:00 pm on the Town Green

It is with joy and anticipation that we invite you to a special service on Sunday, May 7th at 4:00, for the installation of our minister, Rev. Chris Jablonski.

Come and celebrate this new chapter in the life of the church and join with UU ministers from the area and interfaith colleagues from Belmont as we mark the beginning of this ministry and chart our course together for the next many years.

We will gather on Sunday, May 7th at 4:00 pm on the Town Green.

Please do join us for this service and celebration.

In community,

Laurie Graham, Parish Board President

Recurring Weekly and Monthly Programs

FCB Sangha: Mondays at 7:30 pm (online)

Contact: James Hencke

Meditation practice allows us to dwell in the present moment.

SoUUper Lunch every Wednesday

All are welcome to a soup-based lunch at noon on Wednesdays in the Upper Gathering Hall.

Each week a volunteer brings a delicious homecooked soup to share with everyone. There will be bread, some sort of dessert, and tea and coffee. You are welcome to drop in for some sustenance, friendly conversation, and a chance to connect and deepen over something tasty. If you would like to volunteer to bring the soup, or something else to share, you can sign up online. Click here for more details on the church website. Questions? Contact Samuel Foster.

Board Games and Crafts on Thursday Evenings

Join us after Vespers for an evening of crafts and games. Bring your knitting project, your favorite games, or just yourself. There will be hot cocoa and snacks.

We'll be in the Parlor from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Click here for more details on the church events calendar. Questions? Contact Samuel Foster.

FCB Garden Group, first Thursday of each month, 4 pm

Share your gardening tips and learn from others. During the winter months we meet online but once the weather is conducive we meet outdoors to enjoy being together in a garden. The group meets monthly on the first Thursday of the month at 4:00 PM. Contact Jess Hausman for more information.

Upcoming Programs and Events

Saturday Film Discussion with Nate Sellers - April 8, 8:00 pm, online

April's film is Beau Travail, written and directed by Claire Denis

With her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sunbaked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Denis

Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (Grégoire Colin) plays out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard fold military and masculine codes of honor, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy, and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema.

The 1999 film is 90 minutes and is widely available on The Criterion Channel, HBO Max, rent from Amazon Prime or through the Minuteman Library System

“Green Cuisine: Preparing and Sharing Plant Based Meals” with Michael Griffin, 5 - 7:30 p.m. in the church kitchen; register below

Have you been thinking about going plant based or curious to see how to make simple plant

based meals? Join us for one or more plant based dining experiences. Michael Griffin will be sharing ideas and recipes for plant based meals that are simple to prepare. You can sign up to help prepare the meal and feast or just come for the Feast. Each session will feature a soup/appetizer, salad, entree with sides, dessert and a few surprises. You will leave with the recipes and a full belly. To help cover the costs, we ask for a $10 per person donation (to be submitted at each dinner). To sign up please go to: Eating for our Planet Sign Up.

  • April 11: Spring Classics

  • Food prep will be from 5:00 - 6:30 PM (limit 8 assistants)

  • Feast: 6:30 - 7:30 PM (In the Upper Gathering Hall)

You Are What You Eat: How Painting of Food Reveal a Culture: April 13, 11 am on Zoom

The Belmont UU Alliance welcomes back Nancy Baker for another presentation on art.

Every region of the world and all cultures have a food history and paintings reveal that to you through still life painting. This program is a look at the way still life painting developed, particularly with fruit, vegetables, cheeses, breads and other foods and drinks. We’ll look at not just the foods themselves, but the art techniques used to present them on canvas.

Nancy Baker, a member of the UU Church in Milford NH, has served as Chairman of the Board and volunteered at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH. She has given a series of lectures on art at libraries, senior education programs and living centers, community groups and churches.

Contact Miriam Baker to get the zoom link:

Second Friday Concerts present Danielle Miraglia & Lisa Bastoni - Friday, April 14, 7:30 pm in the Parish Hall

Our next concert is next Friday, April 14 and it features two incredible new artists -- Danielle Miraglia and Lisa Bastoni -- that we know you are going to love. Danielle is the winner of the 2021 New England Music Awards "Blues Act of the Year" and plays incredible blues tunes ranging from heartfelt to socially conscious that will move both your heart and hips. Lisa was the 2019 "New Folk" winner at the esteemed Kerrville Folk Festival, and she's opened for, and performed with, Lori McKenna, Dar Williams, Arlo Guthrie, Little Big Town and many more. Danielle and Lisa will each do a short solo set, and then they'll share the stage and swap songs. Don't miss this great show. Click here for tickets.

Bingo and Pizza Night: April 15, 5:30 pm, in the Parish Hall

All ages are welcome for a night of pizza and BINGO in the Parish Hall. There will be lots of prizes, including a bottle of good red wine, funky dish towels, kites, paper dolls, a quilted velvet purse, a nature explorer set, dive toys, fruit scented markers, puzzles, a crystal growing box kit, and more!!! Your pick each time!

There will be childcare with toys and games for the very little ones, in a corner of the parish hall. There will be plentiful food and drink for all.

Contact Samuel Foster or sign up online, so we order enough pizza.

Films with BIPOC Focus, Meets on the third Saturday of the month at 7:30pm on Zoom

April 15 - Uncle Tom (2020). Documentary. An oral history of the American black conservative. Director: Justin Malone. IMDB rating 8.3. Amazon.

May 20 - The Woman King (2022). Film. A historical epic inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood. Still in theaters. Amazon.

June 17 - Till (2022). Film. In 1955, after Emmett Till is murdered in a brutal lynching, his mother vows to expose the racism behind the attack while working to have those involved brought to justice. Director: Chinonye Chukwu. IMDB rating 7.2. Still in theaters. Amazon.

Facilitated discussion led by Richard Waring and Eva Patalas. Contact for the Zoom link.

Celebration for Ian Garvie and Clare McNamara: Sunday, April 16, 12:15 pm

The FCB Senior Choir and Music Committee invite you to a celebration for Ian Garvie and Clare McNamara as they prepare to welcome their new family member this summer.

When: following the 11 am service on Sunday April 16

Where: in the Parish Hall

What: refreshments, community celebration

Who: everyone young and old, singers and lovers of music

Journey to Membership, a workshop for newcomers to First Church, April 16 and April 30, 3:00 pm in the Parlor

New to First Church? Curious about Unitarian Universalism? Want to learn more about the church and what we do?

Join us for "Journey to Membership," a fun, interactive workshop led by Rev. Chris Jablonski and Samuel Foster on two Sundays, April 16 and 30, 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the Parlor. There will be opportunities to find out about social action, adult education, our worship services, and how to get involved. It's a great way to get connected and make new friends in the church.

You don't have to be a newcomer to take part! If you'd like to meet new folks, reconnect after covid, or deepen your connection to the church, you are very welcome to join us.

Register online to attend. Questions? Email Samuel Foster.

FCB Cooks with Richard Curzi: Paella Valenciana — April 16, 5:30 pm on Zoom

From Richard:

I plan to make “Paella Valenciana”, which is the original paella invented by the rice farmers in the paddies near the Albufera Lake in Valencia, Spain. We have come to expect paella to be a seafood dish, but the natives of Valencia refuse to call that “paella” — it’s just “Seafood rice”. The farmers would break for lunch and enjoy this dish made with ingredients hunted and picked that day: of course, rice; but also chicken, rabbit (we will substitute pork), and garden snails; green beans, butter beans, tomatoes, and such. During the class there will be plenty of down time while the paella cooks for us to share some photos of our 2020 visit to Valencia and explain the lore and etiquette of paella.

Unique Ingredients:

  • “Bomba” or “Paella” rice — available from Amazon and Formaggio Kitchen.

  • This unique short-grain rice is special in that it absorbs 4 times it’s volume in water. It does make a difference, but in a pinch, use Arborio or risotto-style rice.

  • Saffron threads

Everyday ingredients:

  • Chicken parts

  • Boneless country-style pork ribs

  • Green beans (the flat kind if you can find them)

  • Ripe tomatoes

  • Fresh rosemary

  • Small can of butter beans

  • Spanish paprika

  • Olive oil

For a vegetarian option, substitute for the meat any combination of:

  • Mushrooms

  • Green and red bell peppers

  • Carrots

  • Asparagus

  • Cauliflower

  • Garlic

  • Artichoke hearts

  • Also have vegetable broth on hand - 8 cups or so

If you have a paella pan, great…if not, you’ll want the largest flat skillet you can find.

FCB Cooks meets monthly until May on the third Sunday of the month at 5:30 pm. Contact Lillian Anderson for the Zoom link.

FCB Book Group - April 26, 7:30 pm on Zoom

April's selection is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

From Christine:

"We go from the American south and Zora Neale Hurston to South Africa and Trevor Noah on April 26, with Born a Crime. His memoir describes his youth in the Johannesburg area and his remarkable mother. Noah is a producer and political commentator as well as a comedian and actor, most recently on The Daily Show. Noah weaves tragedy and comedy into an incredible tale from his perspective from having been a child of a white and a child of a black in the Apartheid era.

There are lots of hard copies in the Minuteman Library system but not in large print. However, there are more than 20 copies of it in book-on-cd format with Noah as the reader. It's also available as a playaway audiobook. By listening you will get to hear his timing in the humor as well as multiple African languages you might not otherwise be able to pronounce. It's also available in Spanish and Chinese. I hope you are able to listen to at least part of it."

The book group is open to all and meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm online.

Contact: for the Zoom link

Science and Spirituality - April 27, 7:30 pm online

We are a small, long-running group meeting monthly to discuss the interplay of spirituality and science. There is generally a small set of reading followed by lively, intriguing discussion.

This month we will be discussing Blaise Pascal's Thoughts (Pensées), the source of Pascal's Wager. Click here for the summary we will be working from. Contact Kirk for the link.

Coming Up in May

Mother's Day Walk for Peace

Please join members of the Social Action Committee and Team Belmont in participating in the Mother's Day Walk for Peace, Sunday May 14, at 8 am in Boston, to support the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute which works "to empower survivors and communities impacteed by murder, trauma, grief and loss to cultivate cycles of peace and healing." Walk and/or donate with us!

UU Service Committee and First Church

Naw Wah Ku Shee - Stories of Hope

We continue to provide a story of the work of the UU Service Committee and their exceptional human rights outreach. The UUSC began in First Church during WWII and continues to provide care and service around the world. We hope you will consider joining or rejoining to help promote and support their excellent work.

~ Sam James

For decades, the people of Burma, also known as Myanmar, have experienced discrimination, persecution, and violent oppression by the military junta directed against ethnic and religious minorities. In February 2021, the military attempted to wrest control from the duly elected civilian government, dramatically escalating the violence and oppression experienced in Burma. In the face of public protests since then, the military has killed more than 2,000 civilians and imprisoned 15,000 more. Executions of pro-democracy leaders are now following sham trials by the military. It is estimated that more than a million people have been displaced.

Due to technical difficulties, we are unable to include a link to the full story at this time.

At the UU Urban Ministry

Community Conversations: A New Path to Closing the Racial Wealth Gap, April 18, 7 pm

Dr. Karilyn Crockett served as Director of Economic Policy & Research and the Director of Small Business Development for the City of Boston, then as Boston's first Chief of Equity, a Cabinet-level position Mayor Walsh. She is currently leading the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce to revisit the 2015 “Color of Wealth” report on closing the racial wealth gap.

Karilyn’s career mission is to continue to work at the nexus of education, economic development policy and urban revitalization, and will join us on April 18th to discuss a new path to closing the racial wealth gap. Join us via Zoom through the website!

Thank you to the sponsors of this event: Theodore Parker Church

The Complete Calendar of Building Use

Beautify the Sanctuary with Flowers

Thank you for donating flowers to beautify the Sanctuary. Our longtime partner, Paradise Flowers, will create the arrangements, which are $90. You can use the form below for either an online payment or if you wish to mail a check to the church. Click here to donate flowers.

This month, we Share the Plate with UU Mass Action

You can make a worship offering here, text the word “offering” to 617-819-8168, or mail a check to the church. Please make checks payable to The First Church in Belmont and write “offering” in the memo line.

Next Issue: Thursday, April 20

Please use this form to submit your news or event (you can upload photos and graphics and paste links to further information) by noon on Wednesday, April 19. Submissions may be edited for space and clarity.

The Unitarian is published the first and third Thursdays of the month, September - June, and monthly in July and August.

Forms for church members

  • Make a pledge payment online.

  • Submit church news and announcements.

  • Request an in-person meeting space or Zoom meeting link.

  • Submit a payment or reimbursement request.

We Are Here For You

Staff are working from home. Office hours are Monday - Thursday, 9 - 2. Feel free to contact us for anything you need.

  • Call/text 781-400-4587

  • Email the church office

  • Mail to: 404 Concord Ave., Belmont, Mass. 02478


bottom of page