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The Unitarian — October 6, 2022


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

“The Call of Freedom”

Worship service led by Rev. Chris. All are welcome to Sunday services. Childcare is provided at the service.

Upcoming Services

  • Sunday, October 16, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the Sanctuary with Rev. Chris Jablonski

  • Sunday October 23, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the Sanctuary with Rev. Mary Margaret Earl from the UU Urban Ministry

Childcare is available at Sunday worship services.

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 13: Vespers with Rev. Chris

  • Thursday October 20: Chanting Vespers with Ian Garvie

From Your Minister

This is one of my very favorite pictures of my sons.

Aliyah had just been born a few weeks before.

And Jack was about to start Kindergarten at a school which Ben had gone to for a few years at this point.

And Jack was predictably nervous and excited and so many other things.

We walked them across the street and then Ben took Jack’s hand and walked him into his new school.

I love this image for a few reasons.

The first is that at the ripe ages of eight and six it was one of the first times I saw so powerfully what it is to have an older sibling. One who knows the halls, who knows the way to your classroom and can hold your hand and show you the way.

And it also was one of the first times that I saw so clearly their relationship which existed so deeply and clearly between them already.

This fall, our theme is courage, and I think of little Jack that morning, and the courage it takes to dive into the unknown of a new school, of the beginning of school at all.

I think of our people facing medical diagnoses, of people moving through grief and loss, so many times and so many ways that we are called to answer the bell of life and show up.

Sometimes it can feel like we are unequal to the task.

Sometimes it can feel like it’s all too much.

But the good news is that just like Jack had Ben, we have each other.

If you reach out, there is a hand to hold.

There are my two hands to be sure, but even better, there are hundreds of others, so many people here at First Church ready to reach back, ready to hold you.

This fall, keep a look out for podcasts on courage, for a special mailing coming soon and for worship services. We will deepen into these themes each season, Courage in the fall, Resistance in the winter and Creativity in the spring.

It’s also fitting that this year’s musical lands during the theme of courage.

I think of all those littlest kids, singing their solos, many of them for the first time in front of a live crowd, their little hands stretched out, and hundreds of hands reaching back out, supporting them, holding them in love. Be sure to mark your calendars for Friday November 18th and Saturday November 19th for the Sound of Music.

And if there is any way that you need support, do not hesitate to reach out.

There are so many hands reaching back.

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. The form below is for online payments; if you would like to pay by check, please contact the church office by email or call/text 781-400-4587.

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.

New! Weekly Fellowship Events at First Church

Our church is buzzing with life again! Samuel Foster has launched some new weekly fellowship events in the church building. These include:

  • Tea and Scones with the Ministers & Staff on Mondays at 4:00 PM.

  • Lunch and Conversation on Wednesdays at 12:30 PM.

  • Crafts and Games after Vespers at 7:00 PM.

To get the latest information about these events, consult our brand new event calendar. Be sure to check back each week to make sure the events are happening at their regular times.

All are welcome to these events and no RSVP is required. Newcomers are especially encouraged to attend. We don't currently plan to offer childcare, but reach out to Samuel if this is a dealbreaker. Kids of all ages are more than welcome to take part.

A few extra details: The lunch will be simple, usually soup based, but will have a vegan option. The crafts and games will involve hot cocoa and snacks. You can always bring your own crafts, games, snacks, even your own lunch. Knitting projects are encouraged. Samuel does not play Scrabble, but you do you.

Questions? Email Samuel.

Belmont Serves: October 10, 2022

Register at 9:30 a.m. in the First Church Parish Hall

"Belmont Serves" is organized and sponsored by the Belmont Religious Council and brings together members of faith communities across town to serve together in the community. Meet at FCB at 9:30am for various outdoor service projects and help restocking the shelves at the Belmont Pantry. Pizza and Ice cream will be served afterward. All ages are welcome!

Second Friday Season Opener Next Friday!!

Friday, October 14 is this year's first Second Friday Concert and it features songwriter-author-comedian-storyteller extraordinaire Don White! Tickets are still available. Don't miss it! Season tickets for the 2022-2023 Second Friday Concerts are also available. Visit for more information about tickets and shows.

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

Contact: Rick Hawkins. Registration deadline is October 15

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.

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, October 6, 4pm, In Person at Judi Berman’s house

Learn from experienced and enthusiastic First Church gardeners.

FCB History Group

Thursday, October 6, 7:30pm

Contact: Lillian Anderson

FCB Historian, John Howe will share his ideas for the coming year.

Saturday Film Discussion with Nate Sellers: Feminine Focus in Films; Saturday, October 8, 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!”

‘The Hitch Hiker’ (1953) by Ida Lupino* AND… ‘The Ocean Waif’ (1916) by Alice Guy-Blanche, a film by the first female director.

The Hitch-Hiker is a 1953 American film noir co-written and directed by Ida Lupino, starring Edmond O'Brien, William Talman and Frank Lovejoy, about two friends taken hostage by a hitchhiker during an automobile trip to Mexico. The Hitch-Hiker was the first American mainstream film noir directed by a woman. Available in the Minuteman Library System or to rent from Amazon Prime.

Gather Round on Values with Rachel Greenberger and Martha Spaulding: Sundays, October 9 and 23, 12:30pm, Parlor

On three Sundays in October, immediately following the church service, we will be gathering in person to share thoughts on Values. What values are most important to you? How did you develop them? Did you come to First Church in search of others who hold them?

This series will be co-facilitated by Rachel Greenberger and Martha Spaulding. To help us set up the room appropriately, please register in advance. Drop-ins are also welcome, and you need not attend all sessions.

  • Sunday, October 9, 12:30 (after the 11:00 service): Parlor

  • Sunday, October 23, 12:30 (after the 11:00 service): Parlor

Next Chapter 2022/23 Group: 2nd Mondays, 5:30-7pm. Online

Are you thinking about retirement, about to retire, are retired, or considering (or in) some other major transition in your life?. The Next Chapter group will consider major emotional, social, and spiritual issues for those of us who are either considering or are in a major life transition. We will explore our hopes, fears, losses, gains, surprises, barriers, and struggles throughout these transitions. Questions and issues to be explored will be emailed before each session. We will use the same group process as Small Group Ministries. It is important that members make a commitment to try to attend all sessions. To register contact Rick.

Mid-term Elections with Scott Ferson: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7:30pm, Online

The 2022 midterms will determine the fate of President Biden’s first term agenda and whether he runs for a second term. It will also set the positioning of the parties, and the choice of direction of the country, going into 2024. That election will, if the cycles of history repeat, hold in place for a generation.

Scott Ferson has been across the country listening to voters. A former press secretary to Senator Ted Kennedy and strategist for Congressman Seth Moulton and communications consultant to Congressman Stephen Lynch, he teaches about elections at Stonehill College.

He founded the Liberty Square Group, a public relations firm in 1999 and the Blue Lab, an election incubator for first time Democratic candidates, in 2013.

First Church Belmont UU Alliance Zoom Program: Thursday, October 13 at 11 a.m.

Presented by Robin Brown

“Pilgrimage and Mystery: Mark Twain and Agatha Christie in the Middle East."

Robin Brown will present "Pilgrimage and Mystery: Mark Twain and Agatha Christie in the Middle East." Robin's presentation will discuss Twain’s influential travel memoir and the ways he experienced the Holy Land, as well as Christie’s memoir of life in Syria and her novels with Middle Eastern settings. The powerful and enduring influences of these writers are considered through the lens of today’s UU values.

Robin, who grew up in First Church, is an historical anthropologist who lived and worked in the Middle East for many years. She studies a wide range of aspects of Middle East culture and history.

Films about Black Lives: Saturday, October 15, 7:30pm

10/15/22 - Da 5 Bloods (2018)- Spike Lee - Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide. (Netflix) Meets regularly on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Facilitated discussion led by Diana Dill and Eva Patalas.

In Person: An East Coast Liberal Talks Politics with People in Rural Wisconsin: Sunday, October 16, 12:30pm, Parlor

Monte Allen grew up in the sizable city of Madison, Wisconsin and went to Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Though he hasn’t lived in Wisconsin for half a century, he recently spent 8 full days canvassing for the Wisconsin Democratic Party in rural Dunn County.

He had scores of very worthwhile conversations. But - Why Wisconsin? Why rural Wisconsin? What were his conversations like? What did he learn about the people he talked with? Where did the common ground lie and what is the pathway to that common ground? What general observations did he come away with? Did he end up liking the people he talked with? Would you like them?

Monte will talk about this at 12:30 on Sunday, October 16th in the church Parlor. Bring your questions.

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

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.

Social Action News

11th Hour for the Climate! Tuesday, October 11, and the 11th of every month

Please join us in front of First Church to hold signs and ring the church bells for 11 minutes, to bring attention to the urgency of climate change and need to respond.

November Grow Clinic Food Collection

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 Lower Hall 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: 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.

Social Action Holiday Gift Fair: Vendors Invited!

Please assist us with outreach for new vendors/artisans for this year's Social Action Holiday Gift Fair!

We are delighted to announce that the Social Action Holiday Gift Fair is returning! For those of you for whom this is new, the gift fair is a gathering of cause-related organizations and artisans selling gift items to raise funds for UU values-aligned causes or for social action programming at First Church. The gift fair will be ever more successful with an even greater variety of goods for sale to benefit the good work of a broader array of groups, including some of our very own!

And we are seeking new vendors for the fair! Here's the language you can use to help spread the word!

The Social Action Committee at First Church Belmont, Unitarian Universalist is seeking artisans and representatives of artisans who would like to offer their work for sale at this year's Social Action Holiday Gift Fair on Sunday, December 4. Participation will allow you to market your work at the fair while at the same time supporting the work of either the church’s social action committee or a charitable cause of your choice that is aligned with our UU values by sharing the profits in a 50/50 split.

If you'd like to be considered for this opportunity, please submit a letter of interest with a photo or two of your work to by November 1 and we will be happy to consider your participation as we seek to put together a good mix of art work/gift items for sale at the fair.

In Our Community

Get Out the Vote Concert with Emma's Revolution: Saturday, October 15, 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT

First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA In-Person and Livestreamed

Join us for a special pre-Election-Day concert in the First Parish Sanctuary. In- person tickets are $25, livestreamed tickets are $20, and both are available for purchase online at

Emma's Revolution is the dynamic, award-winning activist duo of Pat Humphries & Sandy O, whose songs have been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger, and covered by Holly Near. With beautiful harmonies and genre-defying eclecticism, Emma’s Revolution delivers the energy and strength of their convictions, in an uprising of truth and hope for these tumultuous times.

Event sponsored by Reclaim Our Democracy and First Parish UU the Vote. All are welcome! Masks required for in-person concert.

LUNAFEST screening in Concord! November 5, 7 p.m.

Lunafest is an amazing collection of short films by and about women & is a fundraiser benefiting Planned Parenthood. These movies are recommended for ages 13 and up. This year, we're also offering a virtual option- please choose when purchasing a ticket. Virtual tickets allow viewers 48 hours to watch, starting at in-person showtime.

In-person show will take place at Concord Academy in the auditorium. Bring your friends for a fun night! Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

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.

Next Issue: Thursday, October 20

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, October 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 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. The church office will be closed Monday, October 10, for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.


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