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Weekly Update
Friday, October 13, 2023

This Sunday

Welcome Sunday

Fall Worship (In Person and on Zoom!)

Sunday, October 15 at 10:00 a.m.

Aided by the story of Ruth and Naomi, whose ancient wisdom speaks into the very present pain in our world, our worship this Sunday will explore the particular power of connections of love and friendship across ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries.

Please don't forget to bring a donation of diapers, tuna, bags, or boxed mac & cheese for our collection to the Centre Street Food Pantry (see details below).
Zoom Link: HERE
Meeting ID: 826 8730 1128
Passcode: 386028
Dial in only: 1 646 558 8656
The bulletin is available HERE

From Your Pastors

Image by Quin Stevens
We pray for all who are in harm’s way.
We hold them in our hearts.
We hold all the children in our hearts.
We hold all the elderly and the vulnerable in our hearts.
Our fate is bound up in theirs.
We pray for all who have died; may their lives be for a blessing.
We pray for all who work for an end to this killing and violence.
We pray for our friends and neighbors who are mourning,
who are afraid, who wait for news.
God, with all the desperation of our hearts we plead:
may it be true that peace will yet come.
For all that cannot be fully expressed in words,
when words have poor power, we still pray.
A chaplain’s interfaith prayer in war
Beloved, I had another reflection planned for today, but it has been hard for me, as I’m sure it has been for you, to turn my heart and mind away from the heartbreak of the war in Israel and Palestine. My prayers have been especially with my Jewish family, friends, and colleagues, some with loved ones in Israel, and others deciding as late as this morning whether to send their children to school given antisemitic threats and calls for violence here in the US. At times like this, we turn to our faith looking for answers and hope. The answers may not always be clear, but in our faith, a way forward towards hope, compassion, and peace does always emerge. In gathering together, praying together, grieving together, wrestling with our faith and discerning how to move forward in love together, there is always hope.

This week’s scripture reading is the story of Ruth and Naomi, two women from different lands and religions who reach across their differences with a love that changes history. The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), of which UCW is a part, sent a note to clergy this week - not a statement, but a call for each of us in that very diverse group to stand alongside one another in a common place of grief. The note said, “More is called for than shared grief, of course, but shared grief is one way to offer and receive solidarity in this season, even amidst our differences. And it is one opportunity to practice love in the service of justice.” Come this Sunday to worship with hope, pause and pray for peace, and consider where love is calling you. There is much work to be done, dear church. May we do it together with God’s guidance.

With Blessings and Peace,
Pastor Amy

Church Matters

October Council Meeting

Council met this Thursday evening (Oct.12) at church. Jane Purser presented the design and implementation proposal for the new lawn sign, including the history and process of getting to this design. Council provided feedback on the design and voted to delegate the completion of the design and implementation to the Communications Committee. The funding comes from the Capital Campaign and has already been approved separately.
We also planned and prepared for the Congregational Meeting on October 22. The agenda will be published online in the coming days, but one of the items we want to bring up is the Church Profile as it was written by the Transition Team and the Search Committee over the last 1-2 years and which brought Rev. Megan Berkowitz to our church. It articulates who God is calling us to be and we thought it would be good to keep talking about this document as a congregation. So in anticipation of that, we wanted to already share this HERE.

We also reviewed feedback from the various committees through the assigned liaisons. And lastly we reviewed and talked through our ongoing priorities for this church year.

We look forward to seeing you and hearing from you all at our Congregational Meeting (in person or on Zoom), and remember, lunch will be provided!

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

All-Church Gatherings & Adult Formation

Bible Study with Pastor Megan

Thursdays at 12:00 p.m. on Zoom

Join Pastor Megan for a weekly, drop-in lunchtime Bible study on Zoom throughout October and November (except 10/19 and 11/23) ! We will discuss the history and context for the given passage each given week, and think together about how this sacred scripture speaks into our own lives and this historical moment.
We’ll be studying the coming Sunday’s scripture for worship, which means there is no supplemental reading and no issues with missing a week and returning. Whatever your comfort and familiarity with the Bible, you are welcome! All have wisdom to share, and all have new things to learn.
Zoom Link: HERE
Meeting ID: 863 1718 5274
Passcode: 386028
Dial in only: 1 309 205 3325
Meeting details are also posted on our website at www.ucw.org.

Blessing of the Animals

Sunday Afternoon, October 22, 1:00 p.m.

Bring your furry, scaly, feathery friends to this special outdoor service, as we bless the animals that live with us, and offer prayers for all creation. If your animal friend is more comfortable at home, bring a photo or animal toy!
Rain date, Sunday, Oct. 29.

Community Game Night (All-Ages!)

Saturday, October 28 at 5:30 p.m.

Be sure to join our awesome game night for dinner, fun, and a little friendly competition! Bring a friend and favorite game to share. We'll gather at the church from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

October Book Group

Tuesday, October 31 at 7:30p.m. (On Zoom)

Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury
by Drew Gilpin Faust
Please join us again on October 31 at 7:30 p.m. for our next book group. Our book will be "Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury" by Drew Gilpin Faust.
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

"Quieres aprender español?"

Do you want to learn Spanish?

The Nicaragua committee is going to arrange weekly Spanish lessons.

Everyone and anyone is invited. We are in the process of determining the times.

Please let David Spertner ([email protected]) know if you are interested in this opportunity or if you want to learn more about the ministry of
Nicaragua at the Union Church and what we will be up to this year!

Mission and Outreach

UCW GBIO Plans to Attend In-District Meeting

Thanks to our Mission Fair, UCW’s GBIO committee has added a few new members: James and Lisa Crockett, Tanya Lazar, and Julie Catalano.

Beyond UCW, Brookline and Newton GBIO member churches have joined together to form an in-district committee, which will hold a joint meeting for our legislators (Sen. Creem; Reps. Peisch, Khan, Balser, Vitolo) at which we will share stories related to the myriad housing challenges in MA to illustrate for them why GBIO’s Housing Campaign is asking for a $184 million budget ($77 million more than the legislature okayed) to address housing issues in our state.

Our UCW GBIO team plans to attend the in-district meeting (date not yet determined) and we would welcome any other UCW members who would like to join us for this important meeting.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

by Traci Blackmon

Scripture records, in the sixth chapter of the Gospel Matthew, Jesus’ model for prayer shared with the early disciples. The first petition of that prayer reads: “give us this day our daily bread.” The Greek word artos, translated as bread in this text, undoubtedly denotes not only food but everything necessary to sustain life. The communal nature of the prayer suggests these petitions are for the benefit of everyone and not a selective few.
With the threat of a government shutdown still looming, currently proposed budget cuts by House Republicans would translate to a 30% reduction in resources and services for the most vulnerable among us. If adopted, the cuts in the House appropriations bills would:

  • cause 3.2 million women, infants, and children to lose vital nutrition assistance through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • decrease Title I funding by 80%, impacting 26 million students in schools that teach low-income students by forcing a reduction of up to 226,000 teachers, aides or other key staff.
  • eliminate tens of thousands of Head Start slots for preschoolers who would lose access to high-quality preschool—undermining their education, leaving 290,000 children ill-prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn, and making it more difficult for parents to join the workforce.
...continue reading HERE

©️Rev. Traci D. Blackmon

About the Author
Traci Blackmon is Associate General Minister, Justice and Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ.
If you would like to learn more about Advocates for Racial Justice activities at the
Union Church, please reach out to Nancy Zollers ([email protected])

Centre Street Food Pantry

Partnering with our colleagues at Eliot Church UCC

We can join with the social Justice and mission work of Eliot Church in Newton. They have a new drive to support the Centre Street Food Pantry and we can join the collection!

It is starting this week and will run through October 15

We checked with the Pantry to be sure that items we collect are still needed - and they are! So our drive will focus on the following:
  1. Diapers - They continue to be especially in need of diapers sizes 4,5, and 6. The Pantry spends over $25,000 each year on diapers, wipes and adult incontinence products.
  2. Tuna - Chunk or white in water.
  3. Mac 'n cheese - boxes or microwavable. The tuna and mac 'n cheese items go into Kids Bags. The Pantry distributes over 500 of these bags each month.
  4. Paper grocery bags with handles - The Pantry uses hundreds of these bags each week so if you have some at home they would also be most welcome.
Place your items in the Crocker chapel this Sunday.

Thank you very much in advance.
Amy McMahon

Intergenerational Community


Seeking a Sunday Children's Ministry Associate

We are seeking a new Children's Ministry Associate/Teacher for our Sunday mornings. This is a fantastic opportunity for an adult who loves sharing God's love with children. If you know of someone who is grounded in Christian faith, inclusive of all, and has experience teaching/leading children, please share this opportunity and/or let Pastor Amy know.

Children, Youth and Families

Sunday School and Children's Ministry


We are very excited for a new year with our Children's Ministry and Sunday School! We'll be sharing new Bible stories, age-appropriate spiritual practices, and service opportunities with our kids of all ages this year, and hope you and yours will be part of it! Please fill out a registration form below for your children/youth so we can make this year a great experience for them.

Youth Group and Exploring Our Faith

Next EOF Meeting

This Sunday, Oct. 15<sup>th</sup> from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Our High School Exploring Our Faith group had a great first meeting and now is in full swing! All EOF students are invited to our next meeting, along with any HS juniors, seniors, or mentors that would like to come hang out. Please note that this meeting is from 6:00 -8:00 p.m., an hour later than last meeting.

November Overnight Retreat Registration

All High Schoolers are also invited to the Youth Retreat: Sabbath in a Modern Age at Silver Lake in CT on Nov. 10-12. Our registration is due this week, so please let Pastor Amy know if you can come if you haven't already. You can find out more about the retreat HERE, and see the full Youth Group calendar below.

UCW Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday Reception Sign-Up

Thank you to Brita Gill-Austern for hosting our reception this Sunday!

The next Sunday that we need a volunteer for is November 26. Please consider signing up if available.

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

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.

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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