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Weekly Update
Friday, December 2, 2022

This Sunday

Second Sunday in Advent

Communion Sunday - with Wreath and Star-Making

December 4, at 10:00 a.m. - & 11:30 a.m.(in Person & Online)


We will examine a refrain heard all throughout the Christmas story- do not be afraid- and remember it is the most common phrase in all the bible. From generation to generation, God shows up in the midst of our fear and uncertainty and confusion. From generation to generation, faithful people have said, “yes,” despite apprehension. From generation to generation, our ancestors in faith have accepted the invitation. We will share in communion as we ponder this phrase together.
We will also welcome staff from Project Care and Concern to hear about their ministry which we support through the Mitten Tree.

Following worship, all ages are invited to cocoa and cookies, as we make Advent wreaths and shining stick Stars to bring the light of Advent back to our homes.
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 the afternoon of Dec. 11 - Thank you!

Mitten Tree Gifts for Project Care & Concern
Once again this year, UCW will be providing Christmas gifts for our friends at Project Care & Concern via UCW's Mitten Tree!

Please sign up for as many slots as you'd like by clicking on the Sign-Up Genius link below. Please also note in our comments that we've asked for gifts to be wrapped and labeled with the recipient's name and house name.

Gifts will need to be returned to UCW and placed under the Christmas tree by the afternoon of December 11. If you need help getting your gift(s) to church, please email me and I can arrange to pick them up.
Thank you for joining us in joyful giving this holiday season!
Please contact Erika Pond ([email protected]) with questions or concerns.

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 3

All-Ages Telling of the Christmas Story!

December 11, 10:00 a.m.

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!

Advent 4

Special Music Sunday and Dedications and Family Photos

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

Come Deck the Halls!
As we connect through generations, we invite you to dedicate this service to someone you would like to remember or honor this season. We invite you to click below to fill in the dedication form, and we will add all dedications to the bulletin and to our Advent Prayer Station. We also invite you to share photos of generations of your family and loved ones. You can either bring a copy of your photo(s) to worship, or upload photos into the Google folder linked below. Please remember to label your photo if you would like us to identify who it is.

The choir, special singers and musicians will offer us the gift of music.

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]
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

Mission & Outreach

Newton Freege: Volunteers Needed for December 10

Click the signup link below for time slots still open.

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. 4 - Advent Wreaths and Stick Stars

In Sunday School, we’ll remember the Christmas Story and get our costumes ready for the pageant on Dec. 11, before returning to share Communion. Following worship, families are invited to cocoa and cookies, as we make Advent wreaths and shining stick Stars to bring the light of Advent back to our homes. Depending on the weather, we’ll either meet outside or in the Vestry. This event is free and open to all, so bring a friend!

If you have sticks from home that you’d like to use, or a wire frame for your Advent wreath from past years, please feel free to bring them. We’ll have extra materials, greens, lights, and more.

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.


20th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday evening, January 7, at UCW

Save the date for our 20th anniversary celebration of our work in Nicaragua.

Saturday evening January 7, at the Union Church for dinner, fun, reconnecting with friends. After several years of support from home, The Union Church first traveled to Nicaragua in 2003 to serve in partnership with the local people in San Juan Del Sur. The experience was incredible and the people they met changed many lives for the better. What grew from that was more powerful connections by and between our parishioners and the locals and by and between the travelers. More than 100 people have traveled since and more than 100 people have helped from home. On Feb 18, 2023 we will be traveling on our 11th trip and we couldn’t be more thrilled than to celebrate our 20th anniversary with a party here at home on Jan 7th, so please save the date !!

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)

Some Newton Housing Facts


There were over 15 times as many applicants for affordable housing units than there were units in the three most recent developments in Newton.

Citywide over 30% of all households are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing.

For those households in Newton with income less than $75,000, three-quarters of both homeowners and renters are cost burdened.

As of 2022, the median sales price in Newton for a single-family home has more than doubled since 2010 from $737,000 to $1.6 million making Newton even more out of reach for many families.

The price of a single family home has averaged close to 75% more than a condominium during the past 5 years. As of Sept. 2022 single-family homes were $1.6 million and condos were $900,000.

However, most of Newton’s residential districts only allow the more expensive single-family homes restricting ownership opportunities.

Fewer households who live in multifamily homes have children under 18 than those in single family homes in Newton. (28% of multifamily households and 38% of single family households).

Of the households who rent, only 20% have children under 18.6

The median income in Newton was almost 45% higher in 2020 than in 2010 as the cost to buy or rent in Newton has gone up by so much.

Only 27% of our school employees live in Newton.

Newton is less racially diverse than Massachusetts as a whole: As of 2021, only 4.3% of our population is Black compared to 10.1% in the state, and only 4.7% is Hispanic compared to 12.8% in the state.

The Newton Housing Authority waitlist for families runs more than 10 years. For applications for emergency housing priority, the wait is more than 5 years. The wait for senior and disabled housing is at least 3-5 years.

Multi-family homes use 31% less energy/ft2 than single family homes for heating, on average.
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.

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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