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The Unitarian — August 25, 2022

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

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Summer Worship in the Parish Hall at 10 am

August 28

Rev. Lauren Smith

Director of Stewardship and

Development at the UUA


September 4

Rev. Chris Jablonski

Awakening


Childcare is available.

From Your Minister

I was preparing for one of the summer worship services, having arrived habitually early, having helped to set up chairs and a table outside to bless the animals. Holy water and chalice in place, all was ready and I turned to go back into the church, and the light was just so, and the reflection was just so and I saw the image above.


And it looked as if there was light and life inside the church. It looked like there was a bright, growing life inside the church. And it made me smile.


Partly because it is so true.


We have so much life right now at First Church.


After a few challenging years of unknown programming parameters, of plans made and changed, we enter this year in a different way.


Building on our COVID strategies of last year we will continue to provide many ways for folks to connect and to deepen and to serve, allowing everyone to manage their own risk tolerance with many different sizes and styles and mechanisms of gathering.


We will have outdoor services once again, three in the fall and three in the spring, inviting the whole community to gather outdoors for worship. These were such a joy last year, and will continue this year. The first of these will be on October 2nd pending town approval.


We will also continue to have vespers services every week from Labor Day to Memorial Day. We will experiment a bit with these but for now we are thinking Thursday evenings again, an opportunity for folks to connect for some contemplative worship in the middle of the week.


And we will also return to Sunday worship at 9:00 and 11:00, starting with our Water Ingathering Service on September 11th. Please remember to bring water from someplace special to you to combine on that morning with everyone else’s water.


And then we will also have lots of online programs. Many small groups and committees and classes will meet online. Many will also return to in person meetings, each group finding its way.


First Church is alive.


Stay tuned for exciting invitations this year. This year will see the return of the youth service trip, as well as a service learning journey for adults. We will have retreats and workshops, both online and in person, so many ways to reach out and to dig deep.


And as always, lots more wonderful ideas we haven’t even hatched yet.


And this, I think is the verdant, growing, alive thing in the center of the church.


This, I think, is what I saw that day.


It is you. Yes you, dear reader, you are the thing which makes the church come alive. You and your creativity, these ideas just forming inside of you.


And this magical thing that happens when you bring all of you and your ideas and your creativity and your commitment and your passion, and then the person next to you in your row at the outdoor service, or the person in the box next to you on the zoom meeting, when you all, when we all bring all that we have and all that we are, this beautiful community comes alive.


So thank you.


I am so deeply grateful for this opportunity to serve you as your minister.


We have the beginnings of something special here together, and I am so excited for this next chapter, for this coming year.


As always, if you have any questions, if you are hungry to dig deeper, if there is any way I can be of support, do not hesitate to reach out.


I am here for you.


And stay tuned, there will be lots coming your way in the coming weeks from the church, and our communications are always most effective when you read what send you. But you know this if you’ve made it all the way to these words. (Well done! I appreciate you!)


I am often in the church alone. Coming in for meetings before anyone is in the building, I was preparing to meet someone a few days ago, and walked into the sanctuary, and the light was just perfect and illuminated our beautiful window in such an exquisite way.


And I sat in the empty sanctuary and thought of you all.


And I thought of this glowing, beautiful window, this vibrance at the center of our worship space.


And I thought of last year, a year in which we had six different open up strategies, pivoting and pivoting, swirled up in so much change.


And through it all, this glowing center, this aliveness.


Friends, we have been through a lot these last few years.


Know that you are held by your community.


Know that this aliveness, that this glowing warmth and love at the center of First Church is holding you now and always.


I look forward to seeing so many of you in these coming months.


I look forward to this new year, to this next chapter in the long and beautiful story of First Church.


So much love to you all,


Chris


This month, we Share the Plate with the UU Urban Ministry

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.


From the Music Program

The summer is winding down, and that means that once again it's musical season at the church! The children's choir will be starting out the season with a fully staged production of The Sound Of Music, and registration is open! If you would like to learn more or register for the show, please click here, or visit uubelmont.org and look under music. You may also contact Ian Garvie, the Director of Music, for more information. Performances will be the weekend of November 17th through the 20th, so mark your calendars!


Second Friday Concerts Update