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Weekly Update
Friday, September 15, 2023

This Sunday

Welcome Sunday

Sunday, September 17 at 10:00 a.m.

Blessing of the Backpacks (In Person and on Zoom!)

Be sure to bring your backpacks, laptops, briefcases, lunch boxes, walking shoes - whatever needs blessing as we begin this new year! - to worship this Sunday. We'll bless these items we carry, along with those who carry them, during worship.
Zoom Link: HERE
Meeting ID: 826 8730 1128
Passcode: 386028
Dial in only: 1 646 558 8656
The bulletin is available HERE

Mission & Children, Youth, Families Fair (In-Person)

Following worship, our special Mission & Children, Youth, and Families Fair returns! Leaders of our Mission Teams will set up tables where they will share updates and opportunities to engage in meaningful service and justice work this year. The Children and Youth Ministry teams will also have an area for Sunday School and Youth Group registrations, calendars, sign-ups, CORI background checks for volunteers, and more. There will be special treats and activities for all!

From Your Pastors

Suppose there was a book full of only the word,
let – from whose clipped sound all things begin: fir
and firmament, feather, the first whale – and suppose

we could scroll through its pages every day
to find and pronounce a Let meant only for us –
we would stumble through the streets with open books,
eyes crossed from too much reading; we would speak

in auto-rhyme, the world would echo itself – and still
we’d continue in rounds, saying let and let and let

until even silent dreams had been allowed.

The Book of Genesis
(by Kai Miller; shared by UCW member Tom Vawter)
Today we wish our Jewish siblings L'Shana Tova, a sweet and good New Year, holding them in prayer and love as they enter this season of High Holy Days.

At UCW, while our celebrations and understandings of this season are different, we too are in a time of new beginnings; beginning a new church year, with our new pastor. In worship, we've started at the beginning, in Genesis, and at a recent worship team meeting, UCW member Tom Vawter shared the poem above. In the beginning... God looked over all that was (and wasn't), and then, with awesome creativity and love, brought everything Tov (Good) into existence with the words "Let there be..." Miller's poem invites us to look at all that is (and isn't) in our lives, and to ask what God, with creativity and love, may be speaking into existence in us. What is God desiring to "Let there be..." in your life and in the life of our church today?

This Sunday we celebrate our Blessing of the Backpacks, a symbolic blessing of our journey into this new year. Please come, and be blessed! We also celebrate our Mission and Children, Youth, and Families Fair, and invite you to come, have fun, and imagine the new ways God may be calling you to find joy, meaning, and connection this season.

Our God is a God of new beginnings and new life. Beloved, God's creative and joyful Spirit is moving and busy at work in this new season at UCW. Come and be part of it -- It is so very Good!

With blessings and peace,
Pastor Amy

Church Matters

September Council Meeting

Council had their first official meeting of the new church year this Thursday evening at church. We used this meeting to adopt a covenant by which we will conduct ourselves. You can find this document here. It is a great document and we encourage other groups in the church to consider writing their own version based on their particular mission.
As part of our new governance model, we have identified liaisons for each committee/group in our church. They will check in every month to hear how things are going and if there are particular needs.

Lastly, we have decided that, per our new bylaws, our next congregational meeting will be Sunday October 22<sup>nd</sup> , after worship. So please mark that day on your calendar!

Susan Hunt Stevens & Jaap van Reijendam (co-moderators)

All-Church Gatherings & Adult Formation

JAVA Gents

Friday, September 22 at 7:00 a.m. (In Person)

Java Gents kicks off a new season on September 22, at 7:00 a.m. at Dan and Brian Heffernan’s home at 9 Parmenter Terrace, West Newton, MA.

A hearty hot breakfast for the Gents will include great hot coffee and bagels and cream cheese. All are welcome. Lively conversation is also on the agenda.
JAVA Gents is the informal get-together of the men of the UCW congregation (and community). The group aims to provide friendly fellowship and mutual support to the men. We will enjoy a lively and supportive discussion of timely topics as well as personal goings on in our lives.

Newcomers are always welcome. Please contact either Jay ([email protected]), or Buz ([email protected]) if you have any questions or would like to be added to the Java Gents mailing list.

September Book Group

Tuesday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m. (Zoom)

"Traffic" by Ben Smith

Please join us again on September 26 at 7:30 p.m. for our first meeting of the new church year. Our book will be "Traffic" by Ben Smith.
You will find a zoom link and sign-in information below. If you have any questions, please reach out to Alan Cody ([email protected]).

Zoom Link: HERE
Meeting ID: 832 4667 4155
Passcode: 431699
Dial in: 1 646 558 86560

Wellspring Women's Ministry

Wednesday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m.(In-Person)

Wellspring will be starting up again on Wednesday evening September 27 at 6:30 p.m. It will be a potluck gathering at the Union Church, so folks can bring whatever they would like. Newcomers are welcome. If you are interested in learning more about Wellspring, please contact Amy McMahon at [email protected].

Wellspring is our women's ministry at UCW. We come together to support each other as we journey together in these times.

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization

GBIO Updates - In-District Meetings

Learn More at this Sunday's Mission Fair

The GBIO Housing Justice Rally at the end of June was an enormous success! Now, with summer essentially behind us, it is time to dive into GBIO's fall initiatives for its Housing Justice Campaign.
GBIO is offering a crash course on In-District Meetings (IDMs) and how they are run. IDMs are localized actions in which community members engage their legislators directly. GBIO’s Housing Justice Campaign will use IDMs to urge lawmakers to commit to public housing, affordable rental/home ownership, reentry and mental health issues.

Sign up to learn more about IDMs at the next IDM training, which will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 21, on Zoom (registration link: HERE bit.ly/idmzoom921). To learn more about the great work GBIO is doing -- and to ask how you can be a part of it -- stop by the GBIO table at the UCW Mission Fair, downstairs in the vestry after Sunday’s morning service. See you there!

UCW Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday Reception Sign-Up

Thank you to Kathy Malone for hosting our reception this Sunday!

The next Sunday that we need a volunteer is October 1.

Sign Up HERE today
(Simple guidelines listed here also.)

2023-24 Communications Team

Are you interested in helping us spread the word about UCW?
We are looking for new members to help on various aspects of the Communications team. Please let Alison or me know if you are interested in joining us and if you have a preference of which area you would like to work on.
  • Outreach - connecting with other organizations in the Newton area, sending out postcards/messaging about UCW.
  • Events – local fairs etc.
    • Newton Family Fair – Oct and May
    • Waban Fair - May
  • PR – writing articles, posting on social media, sharing info in the community, online news.
  • Signage – Main sign, banners, events, signage inside church, Communication wall
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Jane Purser [email protected] and Alison McCarty [email protected]

Scripture Reader Sign-Up

If you are joining our Sunday worship, please consider signing up as a Scripture Reader for any of our upcoming services.

Scripture Reader Sign-up: HERE Thank you!

Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care Connections

Please don't hesitate to reach out to Senior Pastor, Rev. Megan Berkowitz, or Associate Pastor for Youth & Families, Rev. Amy Clark Feldman for prayer or pastoral support.
Pastor Megan's email is
[email protected]
and her phone is 617-965-3893
Pastor Amy's email is [email protected]
and her phone is 617-938-8112
Friday is a day of Sabbath for Pastor Megan; Monday is Pastor Amy's day of Sabbath. With a pastoral emergency, please don't hesitate to reach out to either pastor.

Intergenerational Community

Children, Youth and Families

Blessing of the Backpacks - All Ages

September 17<sup>th</sup>
Be sure to bring your backpacks, laptops, briefcases, lunch boxes, walking shoes - whatever needs blessing as we begin this new year! - to worship on Sept. 17. We'll bless these items we carry, along with those who carry them, during worship.

Children, Youth, Families and Mission Fair

Sunday, Sept. 17, following Worship

Following worship and the Blessing of the Backpacks, our special Children, Youth and Families Fair returns! We'll share Sunday School and Youth Group Registrations, Calendars, Sign-ups, and more. We'll also have a CORI background check station for all teachers, mentors, and others working with our kids this year. We hope you'll join us!

Exploring Our Faith

Sunday, Sept. 24 : Commissioning of Youth and Mentors

We are delighted to begin a new season of Exploring our Faith (confirmation/baptism) for
9<sup>th</sup>and 10<sup>th</sup> graders this year! We have a wonderful calendar of gatherings, retreats, and service opportunities planned, and will commission our students and their mentors on September 24. If you have a 9<sup>th</sup> or 10<sup>th</sup> grader and haven't been in touch with Pastor Amy, please reach out to her at [email protected].

Our Covenant

We, the members of The Union Church in Waban, true to our founding principle of being an inclusive church, covenant together to nourish and to sustain in our common life and practice a fully welcoming and affirming church for all persons. Welcoming all persons who seek to join with us in a commitment to love God and our neighbors, affirming the inclusive love of Jesus, we are open to all, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, nationality, ability or economic circumstance. We invite all to full participation in our worship, membership, leadership and life of this church.
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