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The Unitarian — September 1, 2022


Summer Worship in the Parish Hall at 10 am

September 4

Rev. Chris Jablonski


Sunday, September 11, at 9 am and 11 am

Water Ingathering in the Sanctuary

Please bring water from someplace special to you to combine on that morning with everyone else’s water.

Childcare is available at all worship services.

From Your Minister

Early on in the summer, I was out on my front porch.

I was sitting in the shade on a beautiful sunny day when a butterfly flew towards me in wild loops and landed on a verbena right in front of me.

I was very close to it, and rapt as it explored the many blossoms, and then the most beautiful thing happened.

It leaned in, its whole body angling down as it moved its proboscis down into the fluted flower to drink in the nectar.

I breathed deep, witnessing the grace of form and design and nature and evolution.

The flower, perfectly fluted to hold the nectar safe from wind, the proboscis evolved to reach the depths.

And I immediately thought of us all.

There is something so similar to us all, and the spiritual path we are on together. We, too are seeking depths. And we too, are made for this.

We have spiritual hunger and curiosity. We are seekers and strivers, not satisfied with superficiality, but looking deeper, asking questions, seeking to know and grow.

But we are also the blossom. So many of us in leadership are also creating the blossoms, creating the containers for others to go deep.

As we craft small group ministry sessions, as we prepare agendas for meetings, as we learn new music with the choir, in so many ways that we connect and serve, we are creating the pathways for others to go deep.

And so this is one of my many prayers for us all this coming year.

That we go deep.

That we are butterflies, leaning our whole selves in, that we seek depth and growth and expansive learning.

And that we are blossoms.

That we create pathways and opportunities for others to go deep. That we support one another along the pathways of our spiritual growth.

We do this in so many ways.

I am full of excitement and joy for this coming year.

We have so many wonderful programs and opportunities.

We will be reaching out with lots of invitations and communications in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

This year will see the return of the youth service trip, as well as opportunities for adults to travel as well. We will have even more online workshops and classes as well as in person retreats and classes. We will have worship featuring even more kinds of Vespers services as well as outdoor services and more. We will have two new seasons of the podcasts as well as brand new communications to explore and enjoy. And so much more. So stay tuned.

And as always, if you have any questions, or if there is any way we can be of support, please reach out.

Just now, months later than that first butterfly, I was in the backyard watering plants, and sure enough, another butterfly swept into the yard and settled on a brilliant cluster of blossoms on a butterfly bush my wife planted inspired by that first butterfly visitor. And sure enough, all over again, that butterfly landed gently, leaned in and drank deep.

Welcome back everyone.

See you soon.

So much love,


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 Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU)

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.

September is here!

Adult Programs are beginning/continuing. The following programs are being offered online:

FCB Sangha: Mondays at 7:30 pm

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

Belmont Unitarian Alliance: Thursday, September 8, 11 am

“Retirement Security: It’s Not Just About Money”

Presented by Dr. Jacquelyn James

Jacquelyn “Jackie” James PhD is the Senior Advisor, at Sloan Research Network on Aging and Work at Boston College. Jackie and her husband Sam have been active member of the First Church, Belmont since 1988.

Jackie will present “Retirement Security: It’s Not Just About Money” including her research on the psychological, physical and social dimensions of retirement at any age. She will discuss the resources available for assistance for people retiring. To get the zoom link contact Miriam Baker.

Science and Spirituality

Thursday, September 22, 7:30pm

First Church of Belmont’s Science and Spirituality Reading and Discussion ‘22-’23 season begins with Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.

To quote Wikipedia, a 2013 nonfiction book by Potawatomi professor Robin Wall Kimmerer, about the role of Indigenous knowledge as an alternative or complementary approach to Western mainstream scientific methodologies.

It came to us suggested from a couple of different sources, and so I am confident it will be a great read, inviting consideration of the reductionist and analytic tools of science vs the more holistic and interactive ways indigenous peoples evolve their knowledge and relationship with the plant world.

(online) Films About Black Lives

9/24/22 - Hidden Figures (2017)- Theodore Melfi - Three brilliant African American women at NASA -- Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson -- serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world. (Amazon, Disney, Apple TV)

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)

11/19/22 - Selma (2014)- Ava DuVernay - Although the Civil RightsAct 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, AppleTV)

12/17/22 - Straight Outta Compton (2016) - F. Gary Gray - In1988, a groundbreaking new group revolutionizes music and pop culture, changing and influencing hip-hop forever. N.W.A’s first studio album, “Straight Outta Compton,”stirs controversy with its brutally honest depiction of life in Southern Los Angeles.With guidance from veteran manager Jerry Heller, band members Ice Cube (O’Shea JacksonJr.), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren navigate their way through the industry, acquiring fame, fortune and a place in history. (Amazon, Apple TV)

Diana Dill and Eva Patalas are facilitating this series. Please watch the film on your own and join us for the discussion. We will talk about what we learn about the experience of Black people in America and beyond and our reactions to what we learn. This is not an expert-run group, but rather a facilitated group of movie-watchers interested in educating themselves about the Black experience. Monthly on 3rd Saturdays. Email Eva Patalas for the Zoom link.

First Church Book Group

Wednesday, September 28, 7:30pm Online

Our September book is Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which is based on a 12 part radio series the BBC did in 1978.

Order your copy from the library asap. There are not as many copies in the Minuteman Library System as we usually see for the book group selections. This comedy became a cultural phenomenon so it is available in multiple formats and languages. Both the book and movie are not direct copies of the radio series.

Here is a link to other BBC programming related to the series:

The 2005 movie is available through streaming services and was not received as enthusiastically as the radio or book version but you may enjoy it.

Save the Dates - in October……

A Tribute to Leonard Cohen in film, poetry and song

Saturday, October 1, 7:30pm, Parish Hall

Gather Round on Values with Rachel Greenberger and Martha Spaulding

Sunday, October 2, 11:30am, Parish Hall

Social Action News

Film : Suppressed and Sabotaged: the Fight to Vote

September 13, 7 pm

Please join FCB's UU the Vote group for a virtual screening of the film Suppressed and Sabotaged: the Fight to Vote, followed by discussion, featuring updates and action items from Jacob Love, Esq., Lawyers for Civil Rights & Beth Huang, Massachusetts Voter Table. Even is sponsored by the Belmont Public Library, Belmont Against Racism, the League of Women Voters, and FCB's UU the Vote SAC group. Register for the event here.

At the UU Urban Ministry

Arias on the Steps - Thurs., Sept. 1, 6-7:30 PM

Hear performances from Marshall Hughes, Alan Rias, Sarah Cooper, Isabel Randell, D’Anna Fortunato, and pianist Michael Weinstein, as they perform operatic ballads from the steps of the Meetinghouse at 10 Putnam Street, Roxbury. Bring a chair or blanket.

Makanda Jazz, Sat., Sept. 10, 1-4PM

Jazz on the Green at the UU Urban Ministry, John Eliot Square, 10 Putnam Street, Roxbury. Bring a chair or blanket. Check UU website for weather changes.

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, September 15

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, September 14. 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.

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, September 5, for Labor Day.

Keep Up-to-Date on Church Operations


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