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Weekly Update
Friday, November 10, 2023

This Sunday

Welcome Sunday

Fall Worship (In Person and on Zoom!)

Sunday, November 12 at 10:00 a.m.

This Sunday...

PLEASE NOTE - NO SUNDAY SCHOOL THIS WEEK: With Pastor Amy away on retreat with our High school Youth Group, and a number of our other teachers and families also away for the long weekend, we will not hold Sunday School this Sunday. Instead, children are invited to remain in the sanctuary and to engage in activities at the Prayground. We look forward to Sunday School again on Nov. 19.
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

I’d like to share with you all the announcement I shared in the words of welcome last Sunday.

“One of our beloved saints, Janet Holly, who died just over a year ago, is continuing to take care of this church, even after she has gone to be with God. This week, we received from Janet’s estate a transformational gift, a gift that will change the future of this church, that will change the ministry that we can do together, that will allow us to thrive in new ways long into the future.
We are so grateful that this saint, our beloved Janet, is caring for us in this way. We are grateful that her beloved one, David, was so gracious, kind, and helpful in ensuring that Janet’s wishes were carried out, and that the church received this gift. We will have lots of conversations over lots of time about how much it is and what we are called to do with it but for now, we are called to celebrate: to celebrate the gift, to celebrate the giver, this faithful one among us who has cared for this community. Janet found a home here and she wanted to ensure that others would find a home here as well.
So we’ll be acknowledging that gift and celebrating it all throughout worship this morning, celebrating this tangible reminder of the way that our saints are always still among us, caring for us, and the way that we too are called to be saints for all around us and all who are to come after us. Thanks be to God!”
Dancers Backstage: Janet A. Holly

Prayers of the People

Gracious God, we turn to you in prayer, knowing that you strengthen us in every trial. Be with us, we pray, and for all those who are in need of your healing, transformational love.

  • We pray for peace all throughout the world. For the people of Israel and Palestine, the people of Ukraine, people in every part of the world whose lives are threatened by war and violence. Teach us to beat our swords into ploughshares, o God, and to sow wisdom and reap peace, justice, and joy for all people
  • For Tom Vawter, as he recovers from major surgery, God we pray that your Spirit would bring healing, comfort, and relief from pain. We pray for Anne and all who care for Tom in this time.
  • In celebration for the life of beloved member of this congregation, Ginny Rice, who died on November 3<sup>rd</sup> at 102 in the company of her family. Grant your peace and comfort to all who mourn, and receive Ginny into the embrace of your loving arms.
  • For all in our UCW community who are ill, or who are caring for loved ones. For all who grieve, God, we ask for the comfort of your presence.
  • We pray for our high school seniors, who are working hard on college applications and other plans for after graduation, and for their loved ones supporting them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, in whose Way we walk each day. Amen.
If you have other prayers of concern or celebration you
would like lifted up in community, please email
Pastor Megan at [email protected].

Church Matters

November Council Meeting

The Church Council met Sunday, November 5, after our All Saints Worship service. We were joined by Alison McCarty as we debriefed the Congregational Meeting discussions on Inreach and Outreach.
We identified a few follow-up steps, like making it simpler and clearer how to promote events happening at our church to the wider Newton community, how to encourage our church members to update our directory and provide photos, and how to keep everyone informed about the great work happening in various committees. We will continue this conversation on specific next steps at our next Congregational Gathering.
We concluded the meeting by reviewing a calendar for the remainder of the church year that will help us plan and update everyone about various events.

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

UCW Service Opporunities

Fall Clean-Up

Saturday, Nov. 18, from 8:30 a.m. - noon

It’s Time for another outdoor church clean-up! If you regret missing the last one, or you just want to enjoy outdoor fellowship, please come and help.

It won’t take too long as we did so much at the last clean-up. The weeds always win, so we need to keep on top of that! Bring your rakes, and any other items you think could be helpful.
Please email Judy Nagle ([email protected]) or
Jane Purser
([email protected]) if any questions!

Community Meal
Nov. 18

There's no such thing as too many volunteers!

Come join us to provide take-home Thanksgiving meals to families in partnership with the Newton Food Pantry and the Newton Senior Center. 8:30am-1:00pm.

Flexible slots!

Please email Alicia if you can help! ([email protected])

All-Church Gatherings & Adult Formation

Caregiving in the (Multi-Layered) Sandwich

This New Group will Gather Four Times - Nov. to Feb.

More and more members of our community find themselves caring for loved-ones across the generations -- caring for aging parents, as well as for children, adult children, grandchildren, and others. All are invited to gather for guided discussion, mutual support, and prayer once a month through the holidays and into Epiphany (in November, December, January, and February).
Please let Pastor Amy ([email protected]) know if you are interested. This will be an in-person group, with a hybrid option if needed. Once she has a list, she will send a Doodle to find the best time and arrange childcare as needed.

Weekly 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.
Zoom Link: HERE
Meeting ID: 863 1718 5274
Passcode: 386028
Dial in only: 1 309 205 3325
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.
Meeting details are also posted on our website at www.ucw.org.

November Book Group

Tuesday, November 28 at 7:30 p.m. (On Zoom)

Tom Lake by Anne Patchett
Please join us again on November 28 at 7:30 p.m. for our next book group. Our book will be "Tom Lake" by Anne Patchett.

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?"

First Meeting: Sunday, Nov. 19th from 9-9:45am - All are Welcome!

The Nicaragua Team is still finalizing long-term plans for Spanish lessons, but have decided we will begin by learning together, led by Pastor Amy and the Nica Team on Sunday, Nov. 19th. Cost and additional times will be shared soon. Please contact David Spertner if you are interested at [email protected]

Mission and Outreach

Exclusionary by Design | Boston Indicators

By Amy Dain, Dain Research
November 8, 2023

As part of Boston Indicators’ new Racial Wealth Equity Research Center initiative, we commissioned Amy Dain, among the region’s leading zoning experts, to research and write this new special report. Based on extensive review of local planning documents, state reports, and press coverage over the past 100 years, the report finds widespread use of zoning as a tool of social exclusion against residents of color, especially Black residents; lower-income and working-class residents; families with school-aged children; religious minorities; immigrants; and, in some cases, any newcomers/outsiders at all.

This report is timely as the scale and persistence of our regional housing shortage is leading policymakers to consider state-level zoning reform in a new way. Other states have recently passed laws that reclaim some land use authority for state or regional governments, and Massachusetts is in the process of implementing our own MBTA Communities Upzoning law. What can we learn about the past 100 years of municipal zoning in Massachusetts to inform these state efforts? Can municipalities be trusted to act in good faith and at the scale necessary? The report sheds new light on these questions and many others.

The full report can be viewed on the BostonIndicators website HERE.
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])

Intergenerational Community

Children, Youth and Families

Welcome Ileana Miller!

Our new Children's Ministry Sunday Associate

We are delighted to share the news that UCW has a new member of our Children's Ministry staff! Ileana Miller graduated from Newton North last year, and is now a student at UMass Boston, living in Newton. She has experience working with children at the All Newton Music School, and also serving elders at a nearby assisted living center. She will partner in leading our Sunday School, and possibly providing care/teaching at other times, as well. Ileana began her work with us on November 5, is away this weekend, but will be returning on November 19. Please join us in making her feel welcome!

Children's Ministry - No Sunday School this Week

Be sure to join us next Saturday and Sunday!

With Pastor Amy and Ileana, and many other teachers, away this weekend, we will have the kids remain in the sanctuary and engage with the Prayground during worship. Littlehale classroom will also be open if children would like to bring their responsible adults. Sunday School will resume on Nov. 19<sup>th</sup>.

NEXT SATURDAY MORNING - Special Service Opportunity for Children, Tweens and Teens

Kids of all ages are invited to the Clean-up and Thanksgiving Community Dinner preparations (see above). The Children's Ministry Team has special projects for children of all ages to help!

Youth Group and Exploring Our Faith

Overnight Retreat This Weekend

High Schoolers are attending Youth Retreat: Sabbath in a Modern Age at Silver Lake in CT on Nov. 10-12. You can find out more about the retreat HERE, and see the full Youth Group calendar below. Please pray for our teens as they seek rest and renewal this weekend.

Next EOF Meeting & Service Opportunities

Sunday, Dec. 3 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Exploring Our Faith students are strongly encouraged to help serve at the upcoming Nov. 18th Clean-Up and Community Thanksgiving Dinner. We hope to see you there! EOF students are also invited to our next meeting, along with any HS juniors, seniors, or mentors that would like to come eat dinner, explore faith in our world today, and share spiritual practices.

Save the Date: CityReach Overnight Confirmed for January 26-27!

Please Save the Date for this upcoming service overnight.

UCW Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday Reception Sign-Up

Thank you to Jane & Rob Purser 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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