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The Unitarian — October 20, 2022


Sunday, October 23; Services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the Sanctuary

Worship service led by Rev. Mary Margaret Earl from the UU Urban Ministry. All are welcome to Sunday services. Religious Education and childcare are provided at both services.

Upcoming Services

  • Sunday, October 30, “Day of Remembrance” worship, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the Sanctuary

  • 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.)

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.

  • Thursday October 27: Meditation Vespers with Rev. Chris

From Your Minister

This wouldn’t happen any more.

This was a while ago, when you still sent pictures away to be developed.

There was this mystery, going and picking up the pictures, looking at these images you hadn’t seen yet. So many were discarded and bad, but a few were great.

And every once in a while, something magical happened.

This image came back and was immediately one of my very favorites.

Somehow, two images were exposed in the same printing, and somehow, they overlaid perfectly.

There is a picture of a teenage me in semi formal wear, ready for a dance, a head on shot, which was perfectly exposed over a side facing image of my father on a beach, looking out over the ocean.

And what I love is that he is inside of me.

And what is even more magical is that I found this roll of film after he had died.

I was cleaning out his apartment and found a few rolls of film and not knowing what was on them went to have them developed.

And there it was.

And I share it with you all this week because in just a few weeks, on October 30th, we have our annual Day of Remembrance service, in which we are all invited to bring images and objects related to beloved folks we have lost.

We will bring them forward during the service and create an altar remembering them. We will hear from a few folks, sharing about some fresh grief, and some long grief. We will share stories and remember people who have helped shape who we are.

This is one of my favorite services every year because it is an opportunity to remember together. It is an opportunity to welcome in stories and memories, and together to bring back our beloved folks who have died.

This will be in both the 9:00 and 11:00 services.

One of the things I have loved most about this image as I have grown older is that I can feel more and more the ways that my father is alive in me. Just like the image, I hold him, hold his memory, alive in me, hold who he was in my living.

It is a good thing to remember them. It is a good thing, together, to share their stories, and to be connected in community as we remember and share.

So please bring objects and pictures on October 30th.

See you then.

So much love to you all,


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 UU Urban Ministry

UUUM serves the neighborhood of Roxbury and is engaged in an antiracist and empowering ministry. We are so grateful for many years of partnership with them and their transforming work. 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 go on sale November 1 for The Sound of Music

Performances are Friday, November 18 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 19 at 5 p.m. Stay tuned to church communications to buy your tickets.

Second Friday Thanks You!

Thank you for making our first Second Friday Concert of the season such a success! Join us on November 11 for Antje Duvekot. Tickets available at

Upcoming Adult Programs

Authentic Conflict Conversations : Mondays, November 2, 9, 16, 5:30-7pm, Online

Contact: Rick Hawkins. Registration deadline has been extended to October 23rd.

For most of us, our relationships are one of the things we value most. Misunderstandings, impasses, and conflicts are inevitable. Learning to successfully work through interpersonal conflict may be the single most important skill for personal, family, and career success. This workshop will focus on the skills needed to have successful difficult conversations with significant others, friends, peers, parents, children, and people we work with, including bosses and how to approach interpersonal conflict from a win-win perspective. We will also discuss how to have, end, and avoid conversations with others who hold different political views. We will schedule an optional follow-up meeting on January 2nd to share how our difficult conversations are going and what, if anything, we need to do differently going forward. It is important that participants make a commitment to attend all three sessions. Facilitator: Rick Hawkins.

FCB Sangha: Mondays at 7:30 pm

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

So—You Want to Publish a Book? Monday, October 24, 7:30pm, Online

Are you curious about the publishing process? Three First Church members will relate their experiences of working with a traditional publishing house, a hybrid publishing firm, and self-publishing via Amazon.

You are invited to listen to the experiences of Yasmin Azad, Dorothy Stoneman, and Kathy Crawley, and their journeys toward making their book dreams a reality.

First Church Book Group: Wednesday, October 26, 7:30pm Online

Our October book is Another Country by James Baldwin

Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, among other locales, Another Country is a novel of passions—sexual, racial, political, artistic.

Stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, this "brilliantly and fiercely told" book (The New York Times) depicts men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime.

Science and Spirituality: Thursday, October 27, 7:30pm, Online

"The Age of AI: And Our Human Future” discussion led by Erika Nesse.

Please contact Kirk to be added to the mailing list for excerpts link and meeting info.

Revisiting The First Church’s Historic Covenant with John Howe: Sunday, October 30, 12:30-1:15pm, Parlor

What does it mean to be a covenantal community, as distinct from a creedal community? Are you familiar with the First Church's statement of covenant? It reads: "In the love of truth and the spirit of Jesus we unite for the worship of God and the service of man." This historic "Ames Covenant," first recommended by the American Unitarian Association and adopted here in Belmont at the turn of the 20th century, has fallen into disuse over time. The Parish Board has decided, as part of a broader ongoing bylaw revision, to consider updating our statement of covenant to reflect the aspirations of our more diverse 21st century church community.

The FCB History Committee has been asked to develop and guide a process to consider updating our covenant. Please come to an initial presentation and brief discussion on this important topic led by FCB historian John Howe.

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

Learn from experienced and enthusiastic First Church gardeners.

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

FCB Historian, John Howe, will lead a discussion to develop ideas of programming for the coming year.

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

Cléo 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.

Gentle Yoga and Meditation with Teresa Howe: Wednesdays, November 9 - December 21, 9:30 - 10:30am, 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, 11am

“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!

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

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)

Social Action News

Grow Clinic Food Drive

Remember! 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.

The Social Action Holiday Gift Fair is back!

...and we are seeking artisans who would like to offer their work for sale at this year's fair on Sunday, December 4. Participation will allow an artisan to sell their work at the fair while at the same time supporting the church’s social action committee or a charitable cause of their choice that is aligned with our UU values. If you or someone you know would like to be considered for this opportunity, please contact or Sara Oaklander. Thank you!

Supporting an Afghan Refugee Family in Belmont

The Social Action Committee is supporting the Bakhshi family of four through volunteerism and fundraising. Both continue to be needed as family members work towards greater independence in their new lives in Belmont.

This is a challenging endeavor, as they seek full employment, study to improve their English language skills, seek resources to support their two children in school (ages 14 and 16, in grades 9 and 10 at Belmont High School), and cope with the cost of living in Belmont.

You can help in a number of ways, including volunteering your time to provide English language or other tutoring or transportation, introducing your children to their children, providing employment contacts, and most importantly, donating to a GoFundMe account that will supplement their financial resources for the short-term. This is urgently needed. Please make your donation here.

For more information about volunteering or other related questions, please contact Fran Yuan.

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 3

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 2.

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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