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Weekly Update
Friday, December 9, 2022

This Sunday

Third Sunday in Advent

All-Ages Telling of the Christmas Story!

December 11 at 10:00 a.m.(in Person & Online)

First Sunday in Advent Cover Image
Our intergenerational telling of the Christmas story will help us live out our theme. We will be visited by Joseph and Mary seeking a space of welcome. As we invite them in to bring God more fully into our human experience we will delight in the chorus of angels, maybe a little dancing and joyous spirits.

Please email Pastor Amy ([email protected]) if you and/or your kids can be part of this wonderful service. Thank you!
To join Sunday Worship on Zoom:

Zoom Link: HERE
Meeting ID: 826 8730 1128
Passcode: 386028
Dial in only: 1 646 558 8656

The bulletin is available HERE
More service details HERE

2022 Mitten Tree

Mitten Tree Gifts for Project Care & Concern

Please return gifts by this Sunday, Dec 11 at 12:00 p.m.

Mitten Tree Gifts for Project Care & Concern
Thank you for you generosity in providing Christmas gifts for our friends at Project Care & Concern . All of our gift slots were filled!

Gifts need to be returned to UCW and placed under the Christmas tree by noon this Sunday, December 11.

If you need help getting your gift(s) to church or need more time, please email Erika Pond ([email protected] ).

Please wrap and label gifts with the recipient's name and house name.

Thank you for joining us in joyful giving this holiday season!

Christmas Cards to Our Partner at Partakers

We would like to invite all members of the church to send a Christmas card/note to Peter Bin who is incarcerated at MCI Concord. Peter is working on his bachelor’s degree while incarcerated and we have been mentoring him through the Partakers program for the last year and a half. We are impressed by his positive attitude, his hunger to learn, and gentle disposition. This season can be challenging for Peter and we feel being flooded with cards would surprise him and brighten his days.

Thank you,
Anya Bassett and Carol Bascom-Slack
Note: There are restrictions on sending mail to the prison: No glitter, no inserts, no staples. It is best to send a simple card with a nice handwritten note. A handmade card or drawing would also be appropriate as long as there is no glitter or glued pieces. Simple is better! Please use the return address noted below.
Send to:
Peter Bin – W105814
MCI Concord
PO Box 9106
Concord, MA 01742
Return address:
Team Peter at Union Church
c/o Partakers at UCW
14 Collins Rd.
MA 02468

Upcoming Sundays - Advent for All Generations

As part of our theme Generation to Generation we will

examine what God is calling us to pass along to new generations.

From Generation to Generation oval
This year, our theme for Advent is "From Generation to Generation," as we share the story of Christmas through the generations and remember that God is always with us.

Advent 4

Special Music Sunday and Dedications* and Family Photos

Sunday, December 18, 10:00 a.m. Worship

From Generation to Generation ART
The choir, special singers and musicians will offer us the gift of music.

*Dedication Names and Family Photos
Due by This Tuesday, Dec. 13

As we connect through generations, next Sunday we will continue our annual tradition of including in the bulletin a dedication list of the names of those you would like to Remember, Celebrate, or Honor.

We also invite you to share photos of your family and loved ones. You can either bring a copy of your photo(s) to worship or upload your digital photo at the links provided below.

Christmas Eve

Saturday, Dec. 24 at 6:00 p.m.

We hope everyone will join us for this special service for all ages of lessons and carols, with a candle-lit singing of Silent Night, and interactive elements for little ones.

All-Church Gatherings & Adult Formation

Java Gents - Special Guest

Java Gents - Special Guest (Zoom)

Thursday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m.

We’ll have a very special church member as a SPECIAL GUEST at our next meeting on December 15. He will share his experience with the war in the Ukraine by traveling there with his wife to help others.

Check your e-mail for the Zoom connection/link from Buz ([email protected]) as the date approaches.
Newcomers are always welcome. Please contact Buz Bedford ([email protected]) if any questions or to be added the Java Gents mailing list.

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.

Hope you all can attend.

Jay and Buz!

Exploring Grief and Loss

Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 p.m.

With gratitude to Tom Vawter for the suggestion, on the Longest Night, December 21, Pastor Wendy will open a discussion on grief guided by the podcast All There Is. The podcast, created by Anderson Cooper of CNN, explores grief and loss. In the episodes Cooper engages in a series of emotional and moving conversations about the people we lose, the things they leave behind, and how to live on - with loss, with laughter, and with love. In a prayerful atmosphere we will listen to the podcast together, pausing for conversation.

You can hear a trailer about the podcast here.

We will meet in the Meeting Room at church, across from the Church Office. Please let Pastor Wendy know if you plan to attend [email protected]
20 Years Anniversery

Nicaragua Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Saturday, January 7

All Are Invited !!!!!

Please all join us for food, fun, stories and inspiration as we celebrate 20 + years of mission work in NIcaragua. Come to see the stories, hear from the people and just have a fun night of fellowship. Saturday night January 7th at 6PM right here at the Church. Don't miss this opportunity that could only come after 20 years !! Whether you have traveled there, supported the mission from home or just want to have a great night and be part of the fun. RSVP and for more info click here ------ Celebration Info or RSVP here
reading 2

UCW Book Group (Zoom)

Next Meeting - January 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Diamonds and Deadlines by Betsy Prioleau

Please join us on Tuesday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. for our next book group meeting. We decided not to meet in December and, instead move our January meeting earlier in the month. Our book will be “Diamonds and Deadlines: A Tale of Greed, Deceit and a Female Tycoon in the Gilded Age” by Betsy Prioleau. 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 8656

Church Matters

December Council Meeting Report

Here are some updates from the Co-Moderators, Jenny Weisz and Jaap van Reijendam about our most recent Council meeting:

Church Break-in - We had an intruder at the church on
December 1, primarily impacting Riverside classrooms and leaving a mess in the kitchen. Fortunately no major damage was incurred nor anything found missing. We have a small taskforce working on improving the security around our building. In the meantime, please make sure the door is locked behind you when you enter or leave the church, especially for evening meetings.
Governance: Church Council has discussed changing the governance model for our congregation and making it more responsive to the whole congregation as we strive to practice and share the love of God. We are creating a small taskforce to come up with detailed recommendations.

Congregational Conversation: In order to reconnect more as a church, and to keep all of us aware of hopes and concerns of the congregation, we are planning a "Congregational Conversational Meal” for February 12th (Superbowl Sunday) after worship. We plan to talk about the vision for our church as we search for a new pastor.

Union Church Senior Pastor Listing is Live

The Search Committee has moved into the public and confidential phase of their work. This week, the profile was listed with the national United Church of Christ website and has also been sent to the American Baptist staff. Pastoral candidates can now view the listing HERE. You may use this link to share information with interested clergy from your networks. Will you pray for the Search Committee and their partnership with God discerning a new Senior Pastor?

Fourth Quarter Giving Statements

Fourth quarter 2022-23 pledge statements were e-mailed this week. Please check your statement for accuracy. If it serves as a reminder to catch up on your giving- thank you!

Our ministry is sustained because of the generous giving of friends and members of Union Church. We are grateful for every gift and offer thanks for the many ways we are able to practice and share the love of God because of it. Thank you for your generosity.

If you would like to make a pledge to support Union Church you can do that HERE. May God bless all our giving.

Poinsettias Still Available for Purchase -

Order Now!

Some of the poinsettias decorating the sanctuary have not yet been claimed so order yours now and you can take them home after Christmas eve service.

Poinsettias can be ordered at 6" for $15, or 8" for $25,. Email your orders, or for more information contact Kevin Johnson at [email protected].

Thank you!!

Mission & Outreach

Newton Freedge: Volunteers Needed

Click the signup link below for time slots available.

Our team of volunteers helps keep Freege running one Saturday a month. Please use the the link below, or reach out to Vinita Leslie, Karen O'Beirne or Erika Pond to learn more or to join our team.

You may also find us our Facebook group - @newtonfreedge Facebook group for updates!

Despite Newton’s image as an affluent suburb, too many of our neighbors struggle to put food on their tables. The Newton Freedge is one way we can help. A free, 24/7 outdoor refrigerator and pantry, the Freedge provides free food and personal supplies to anyone who needs them.

Children Youth and Families

Coming in Advent - Kids & Families

Kids and Families in Advent!

Kids & Families

We have an Advent season full of peace, hope, joy, and love ahead for children and families, and we hope you and yours will join us! Please see the list of Upcoming Sundays above for many intergenerational services and activities including:

Dec. 11 - The Christmas Story for All Ages!

Kids and grown-ups of all ages are invited to join in this beloved, fun, and informal telling of the Christmas Story. Costumes will be available the morning of, for any who want to join in – no rehearsals necessary – just a Spirit of joy and Christmas! Please email Pastor Amy at [email protected] if you and/or your kids can be part of this wonderful service. Thank you!

Dec. 11 - Youth Christmas Party Lunch

Youth Christmas Party Lunch, Dec. 11

Joy to the World!
It's the Youth Christmas Party!!

All Middle and High Schoolers are invited to a fun Christmas lunch and party after the pageant on Dec. 11. Come for a morning of fun, just for lunch, or for any time you can. The schedule is:
11:30 a.m. - Cookies and Mittens
Meet in the kitchen to make some cookies and cards, and help sort gifts for Project Care and Concern (youth and other members of the Search Committee can go to their meeting)

12:30 p.m. - Christmas Party and Lunch
We're still picking a venue, so keep an eye out and RSVP to the Evite, or contact Pastor Amy ([email protected]) with ideas of where we should go. Bring a free-to-under-$10 wild, wacky or wonderful gift and we'll have our White Elephant exchange!

Christmas Eve – Dec. 24 at 6:00 p.m.

We hope all families will join us for this special service for all ages of lessons and carols, with a candle-lit singing of Silent Night, and interactive elements for little ones.


February 2023 Service Trip

February 18 - 26

After a discussion and thoughtful discernment about politics, local needs, covid and trip safety, it was decided with joy by the Nicaragua Task Force that a Feb. 2023 service trip to Nicaragua is going to be planned. As the trip is fast approaching (Feb. 18 - 26), please let David Spertner (dspertner@gmail) if you are interested in going or want to learn more.

Advocates For Racial Justice (ARJ)

Newton Interfaith Coalition for Housing Equity

The Newton Interfaith Coalition for Housing Equity gathered at Union Church again this week.
Representatives from a variety of faith communities have come together to advocate for housing in Newton that will be abundant, diverse and affordable. You are very welcome to join us. Housing is everything. And housing in Newton should be attainable by many kinds of people in order for us to thrive as a vibrant community.
Scales of Justice Clear
If you would like to learn more about ARJ activities at the
Union Church please reach out to Nancy Zollers ([email protected] ) or Kathleen Hobson ([email protected]).

Sunday Sign-Up


Sunday Reception Sign-Up

Every Sunday after worship we gather on the stage for a time of fellowship. This reception is hosted each Sunday by different members of the congregation.

Reception Sign-up: HERE Thank you!
Scipture-Reader-1 (1)

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

Pastoral Care Connections

During this time of transition, please know that your church is here for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Pastors Wendy or Amy for prayer or pastoral support:

Mondays are days off for both pastors. If you have a pastoral need, please reach out to Pastor Wendy this week.

In The Wider Community

Newton Food Pantry

Our Covenent

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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