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The Unitarian — February 2, 2023


Sunday, February 5: “The People, United”

Rev. Chris on the power of community and connection to strengthen resistance and help us build a more just and loving world. Services at 9 am and 11 am in the Sanctuary. Childcare is available.

Upcoming Services

  • Thursday, February 9: Chanting Vespers in the Sanctuary with Camila Parias at 6:30 pm

  • Sunday, February 12: “The Shadow Of Your Dog” Rev. Chris, John and members of our worship committee explore why we are confused about love and how we can love more wisely and well.

FCB is Online

Visit this link for FCB Podcasts, children’s stories, and sermon recordings.

From Your Intern Minister, John O’Connor

Resistance Is Futile. Or Is It?

In Start Trek: The Next Generation, the Borg proclaim that “Resistance is futile” — that there is no chance of escaping conquest and incorporation into the collective. And yet we know that Captain Jean-Luc Picard does resist, and the crew of the Enterprise does survive. Who, or what, are the Borg of our time? How best can we resist, so as to not only survive, but to thrive? Two offerings in this year’s CommUUnity Collaborative programs offer us some insight.

The Four Horseman, as if from a nightmare out of some long-past time, do seem to be raining plagues down upon us today—war, famine, disease, and all manner of horrible deaths. What are we to make of the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, the murder of Tyree Nichols, the mass killings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, and climate catastrophe? The Apocalypse might seem like an unlikely bit of scripture to turn to for comfort in these challenging, troubling times — especially for Unitarian Universalists. After all, isn’t it all about the end of the world and eternal damnation?

For a different view of the Apocalypse, check out the course, The Revelation of John: Notes from the Abyss. Explore with Intern Minister John O’Connor how coming to recognize repeated patterns of human behavior can offer us all a chance to pause, to reflect, to come to know where we have fallen short of the mark, and finally to make changes that will yield better results, for ourselves and for the world. Come and dive into this rich and lurid text filled with beasts, dragons, demons, and even an army of 144,000 virgins! The world need not come to a cataclysmic end. Come, dip your toe into the lake of fire on February 14th and 28th. The water’s warm.

Another scourge many of us are all too familiar with is that of addiction and alcoholism. Most models of recovery are based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which require a belief in a Higher Power — which in the literature often reads as a Christian-centric, providential god. As Unitarian Universalists, how can we successfully engage with 12 step programs to resist temptation and recover when we may not believe in this type of god, or any god for that matter? Join professor, author, and former chair of the Nobel Conference on Addiction Peg O’Connor as she agues for a far more spacious conception of High Power based on the writings of William James. Rev. Chris Jablonski, Rev. Kim Crawford Harvie, and Intern Minister John O’Connor will then lead a panel discussion on her latest book, Higher and Friendly Powers ,on February 8th. A limited amount of free copies of the book are available to attendees!

To register for these and other life-affirming courses, simply go to

Together Again: First Church stewardship campaign is launching

Stewardship season is here! Be on the lookout for pledge packets, which will arrive in your mailbox next week, and take time to consider what First Church means to you. The many gifts we receive from this special place are possible only with *our* financial support.Please pledge as generously as you can, by March 1st. If any questions, thoughts, or comments, feel free to contact the Stewardship Committee (, Bruce Logan and Gina Carloni, co-chairs, with Susan Kobayashi, Susan Galli, and Katharine Canfield.

The Bylaws Are Coming! The Bylaws Are Coming!

Please mark your calendars for a Special Meeting of the congregation on Sunday April 2.

The First Church Bylaws Task Force has been reviewing and updating the church Bylaws, and you the members of First Church will be asked to approve the amendments at the April 2 Special Meeting.

We invite you to learn more and share your thoughts at the Task Force’s next informational meeting on Zoom this Sunday February 5th at 4:00 pm. Please send an email to the Task Force at to request the Zoom link and the current drafts. You can also find the current draft materials at The Task Force also presented the current draft at a well-attended meeting after church on Sunday Jan. 29.

Please save the date for the congregational Special Meeting – Sunday April 2nd at 12:30 pm. With thanks from First Church Bylaws Task Force: Roger Read, Chair Martha Courant Anne Stuart

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.