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The Unitarian — November 3, 2022


Sunday, November 6, one outdoor service on the Town Green at 10 a.m.

Remember that Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, November 6 ( 2 a.m. “falls back” to 1 a.m.) Religious Education and childcare are provided.

Upcoming Services

  • Sunday, November 13 and November 20, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the Sanctuary

Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. — Vespers in the Sanctuary

Vespers services are an opportunity to connect, to be in our beautiful Sanctuary, and have a midweek deepening and return.

From Your Intern Minister, John O’Connor

While I was walking through the dunes this past weekend at the outermost edge of Provincetown, I was struck by how much the change in seasons reflects the cycles our own lives.

The soft summer light that reflected warm tones of pink and rose gold, caught in sunsets and the undersides of clouds, has been replaced with a bright, cool light. The sky and the water have become impossibly blue, and sharp. It’s as is the veil of summer has been lifted, offering a different view.

The warm ocean breezes, scented with grasses and flowers as they pass through the dunes, lulled us to sleep in the summer. What’s better than a nap at the beach, the sound of waves rolling up and then receding on the beach, the sound of pebbles being dragged back into the sea?

Now the wind is cool, and scented with wet leaves, fallen from the trees. Gone are the vibrant greens of sea grass now turned brown, the purple of beach plum blooms but a memory. The warmth of the sun fades as she travels, lower in the sky, telling of much shorter days to come.

Soon, yes soon, the blues will turn to grays, the sand to snow, and the breeze to gales, and the gentle waves to storm-tossed white caps. The still cold silence of winter mornings is not far off.

And so too we change, and yet somehow, like the seasons, like the earth, we somehow come back to ourselves. We carry the seeds of ourselves into new springs. The memories of summer days warm us in the cold of winter. We light fires. We wear hats and mittens. And don’t forget your scarf — It’s cold out!

We tell stories of those who have passed, who will not themselves see the spring again. And that’s OK. That’s alright. That’s as it is. No cause for sadness.

For soon enough the crocus blooms, and the greens, the pinks, and the rose golds return. But for now, let us be present, and enjoy the impossible clear blue of the sky and water.

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.

This month, we Share the Plate with the Belmont Food Pantry

Located at Belmont Town Hall, the Belmont Food Pantry has made its services available to all Belmont residents since 1992. You can make a worship offering below, 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.

Candles of Joy and Concern

Each week, Samuel Foster lights candles of concern and celebration in his weekly video. Samuel looks forward to receiving your news, your reflections, your prayers, indeed anything you feel moved to share with your congregation. Click here to email Samuel. Emails received by Tuesday night will be included in the video for that week; otherwise, the week after.

Tickets are on sale for The Sound of Music

Come see the First Church Children's Choirs perform Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved classic, The Sound of Music. Tickets are selling fast, so reserve your seats now! All tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Second Friday Concerts Presents Antje Duvekot!

Antje Duvekot has won some of the top songwriting awards including the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, the prestigious, Kerrville (TX) "Best New Folk Award" and in one of the nation's top music markets, she won the Boston Music Award for "Outstanding Folk Act", three of the top prizes in the singer songwriter world. Don't miss her! Tickets here.

Journey to Membership, a workshop for newcomers to First Church — Sunday, December 4, 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 Sunday, December 4, at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. 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 let us know you'll be attending.

Return of First Church Cooks!

Calling all Chefs for “First Church Cooks” upcoming winter/spring season! The program takes place the third Sundays of the month, January-May, at 5:30pm.

We are continuing our online program and would love to have you share and present a favorite dinner recipe. The only requirement is that the dish should be able to be demonstrated and cooked in about one hour. Best to choose recipes that are straightforward and don’t require a lot of fussing or many hard to find ingredients. International cuisine and one pot meals are particularly welcome!

We are eager for new (and returning!) chefs to participate. Please email Jane Minasian if you have questions or are interested in signing up for a date.

Upcoming Adult Programs

FCB Sangha: Mondays at 7:30 pm

Contact: James Hencke Meditation practice allows us to dwell in the present moment.

First Church Garden Group: Thursday, November 3, 4 pm

We will be having the garden group at the garden of our newest member, Mary Wisbach! Learn from experienced and enthusiastic First Church gardeners.

FCB History Group: Thursday, November 3, 7:30 pm

FCB Historian, John Howe will lead a discussion about Henry Wilder Foote and FCB during the Great Depression.

As our church community navigates its way through the Covid pandemic and its lingering effects, it is useful to recall how our predecessors at FCB met the arduous challenges posed by the Great Depression. This presentation will focus on the pastorate of Dr. Henry Wilder Foote (1924-1940). A nationally prominent figure in the Unitarian Church, Foote was our church's longest-serving senior minister, providing steady guidance throughout a period of dramatic change for our church, the town of Belmont and the nation.

Gentle Yoga and Meditation with Teresa Howe: Wednesdays, November 9 - December 21, 9:30 - 10:30 am, Parish Hall

Bring a yoga mat, strap or fabric belt and blanket. Drop in. No registration required. This class will be held for 7 weeks. Teresa Howe is a certified yoga teacher with over 12 years of experience teaching.

Belmont UU Alliance: Thursday, November 10, 11 am

“Climbing to New Heights” with Michael and Nicole Griffin

Join Michael and Nicole Griffin as they tell us about their hiking and trekking adventures. They will share stories and pictures from their evolution in hiking from the backyards of Belmont and New England trails to the Alps and the Andes. In addition, they will tell us what you need to know to get out and enjoy nature, from planning a hike to having the 10 essentials. We hope you can join and learn about our great outdoors!

Saturday Film Discussion with Nate Sellers/Feminine Focus in Films: Saturday, November 12, 8 pm, Online

“This year we will be watching and discussing the work of 10 female filmmakers — spanning 80+ years of cinema. Each film is visually distinct and captures a unique, compelling narrative through the feminine lens. We hope to see you there!”

Cleo from 5 to 7 written and directed by Agnés Varda. Agnès Varda eloquently captures Paris in the sixties with this real-time portrait of a singer (Corinne Marchand) set adrift in the city as she awaits test results of a biopsy. A chronicle of the minutes of one woman’s life, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a spirited mix of vivid vérité and melodrama, featuring a score by Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and cameos by Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina. Available on The Criterion Channel, Minuteman Library System.

Science and Spirituality: Thursday, November 17, 7:30 pm, Online

Continuing that theme of AI and humanity's path next month we will discuss the short story "Manna – Two Views of Humanity’s Future", a speculation on how a post-work future powered by AI and automation could lead to a utopia or to a dystopia depending on how as a society we decide to channel those energies.

You can read the (~80 page) short story online at - it also has links to a $1 Kindle version. Please contact Kirk to be added to the mailing list for excerpts link and meeting info.

Films about Black Lives: Saturday, November 19, 7:30 pm

Selma (2014)- Ava DuVernay - Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for Blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated with President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (Amazon, Apple TV)

Meets regularly on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Facilitated discussion led by Diana Dill and Eva Patalas.

First Church Book Group: Wednesday, November 30*, 7:30 pm Online

The Magnanimous Heart: Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation, by Narayan Helen Liebenson

In her long-awaited debut, a beloved master teacher shows us how to move from the “constant squeeze” of suffering to a direct experience of enoughness. The magnanimous heart is a heart of balance and buoyancy, of generosity and inclusivity. It allows us to approach each moment exactly as it is, in a fresh and alive way free from agendas and “shoulds,” receiving all that arises. It has the capacity to hold anything and everything, transforming even vulnerability and grief into workable assets.

*November 30 is the Wednesday after Thanksgiving and the 5th Wed.

Save the Date!

The Watcher - Screening of Nate Seller’s short film and Q&A with the filmmakers: Saturday, December 3, 7:30pm, Parish Hall

The Watcher is an avant-garde film that examines the day-to-day life of the last remaining member of a small religious cult (The Children of Enoch) -- who is awaiting the resurrection of her recently departed "sisters" and their leader, Father Enoch.

The Watcher was filmed over a single weekend (36 hours) in northern Vermont. The production was made up of mostly female talent/crew and features the work of up-and-coming filmmakers (Nathan Sellers, Lucia Tarro, and Sandrine Morin). This film is not appropriate for children.

Social Action News

Grow Clinic Food Drive

It’s our November Grow Clinic food drive! Gloria, the giraffe, is expecting UU’ers to bring Baby food and diapers – but also Food for Baby Families. Donations as listed below can be brought to the church basement in the Gloria area (look for the big giraffe), or brought in person to the November 6 outdoor service at 10 am!

  • For the sweet Babies: Neosure (Similac) baby formula, Pediasure, with fiber if possible, Children's Vitamins, and Diapers

  • For their Families: Goya canned beans, instant white and yellow rice, quick Mexican meals, Mac & Cheese, Canned Beef Stew, Tuna, Vegetables, and Soups, Vegetable Oil, Peanut Butter, and Dried Fruit, especially Raisins.

Save the Date: Social Action Holiday Gift Fair: Sunday, December 4 in the Parish Hall

Do your holiday shopping…and help others at the same time! Buy gifts for everyone on your list by choosing from an array of products featuring the work of both local and international artisans and craft makers. Items for sale will include crafts, clothing and accessories, bags, baskets, children’s items, jewelry, soaps, coffee, photography, specialty food items, and so much more … and the sale of these items will benefit an impressive array of causes, including our own social action programming. The Social Action Holiday Gift Fair has been a treasured holiday tradition here at First Church – come to shop and learn about the good work we’re all doing together, both near and far.

In Our Community

Community Conversations with Byron Rushing, Nov. 15 and Dec. 6, 6 pm

Byron Rushing, Historian and former State Representative, will speak about the different factors driving people of color from the City, and what that will mean, short- and long-term.

Get your FCB gear here

FCB has a new store on Zazzle where you can purchase a new coffee mug, and more. (Hats are coming soon!). Check it all out at this link.

The Complete Church Calendar of Events

Next Issue: Thursday, November 17

Please use this form to submit your news or event (you can also upload photos and graphics and paste links to further information) by noon on Wednesday, November 16.

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 and staff

We Are Here For You

Staff are working from home. Church office hours are Monday - Thursday, 9 - 2. Feel free to contact the church office for anything you need.


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