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Weekly Update
Friday, January 6, 2023

This Sunday

Sunday, January 8 at 10:00 a.m. (Hybrid)

Celebrating Epiphany

We will celebrate Epiphany! The visit of the magi following a star to the child Jesus will be the focus scripture of the day. We will ponder all the “yeses” the magi said along the way of their journey. We will join them in their possibility thinking and wonder together about what God makes possible in our shared ministry at UCW. Plan to stay after worship for a What’s Possible? conversation hosted by our stewardship committee. See more details below.

Online Option:

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

The bulletin is available HERE

Star Words for the Season of Epiphany and The Year Ahead

Star Words is a contemporary tradition of passing out intention words on Epiphany. In the common practice, a Star Word is chosen to contemplate and prayerfully consider throughout the coming year. Star Words will be available for this purpose in worship on Sunday.

If you are joining us online or otherwise unable to attend in person this Sunday you can select a randomly assigned additional word HERE or by clicking on the star wheel image .

You can also find some suggestions HERE on how to build a simple practice for your star word use.

Upcoming Sundays

Sunday, Jan. 15 - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (In-Person and Online)

We will remember the prophetic ministry of Rev. King on this day, as we look at the story of John the Baptist, and how he pointed the way to Jesus and God's kingdom of justice and peace. We'll sing favorite songs, pray together, and consider our roles in our beautiful and broken world today. Pastor Wendy will be away, and Pastor Amy will preach and lead worship.

Guest Preachers on Sunday, Jan. 22 & 29 at 10 00 a.m. (In-Person and Online)

Our denominational staff partners from the American Baptists and United Church of Christ who are assisting the Search Committee in their discernment will be preaching. Pastor Wendy will facilitate conversation after worship with each one so we can build relationship and help them learn more about the wonderful community of UCW.

Church Matters

January Council Meeting Report

We would love to hear from you as we enter a new year filled with promise. Here are a few words from us on the main topics we discussed at Church Council:
  • Governance: Based on last month’s Council decision to streamline our governing structure and increase congregational participation, we formed a Governance task force consisting of Alan Cody, Jaap van Reijendam, Karen Weisgerber, Susan Gedrick and Wendy Vander Hart. They will work out a more detailed proposal for you to consider to make our governance model more responsive and transparent.
  • Congregational Conversation is set for February 12 after worship. Food, childcare, and a zoom connection will be provided. We want to give you a “What’s Up at UCW?” as we provide updates on our Church Profile, the search for our new senior Pastor, and ask for your input on adjustments to governance and suggested signage. We want to hear from you. Hope to see you there.
  • Building / Riverside: The transformation of the Reception Room into a large up to date room for children at Riverside is now complete. While many of us will miss the Reception Room, we are glad Riverside can make such good use of this space in our church.
  • Communications: The Communications Team did a marvelous job of creating inviting mailings and signage for the Advent season. They are exploring creative signage inside and outside the building to make our church more welcoming. If you have ideas to offer, please see Jane Purser ([email protected]), chair of the Communications Team.
  • Outreach: The Council is discussing new ways to re-engage with all our members and friends as the Pandemic is winding down. We had over 200 at The Christmas Eve Service and would like to see them back again in Sunday worship. Stay tuned for further updates on this effort. Let us know your creative ideas for renewing connections.
Your co-moderators,
Jenny Weisz ([email protected] ) and Jaap van Reijendam ([email protected])

All-Church Gatherings & Adult Formation

Tomorrow! Saturday, January 7 at 6:00 p.m.

Celebration Dinner of our Nicaragua Ministry

- At The Union Church in Waban -

20 Years

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.
Come to see the stories, hear from the people and just have a fun night of fellowship.

If you are unable to attend our dinner but would like to make a donation to our mission work in Nicaragua you may do so at the link below. Thank you!
What is Possible Arrows Transparent.jpg

What’s Possible? Share Your Vision

This Sunday, January 8 after Worship

Stop by after church on January 8 to share your vision of
what’s possible in the coming years at UCW.

We’ll talk about where we want UCW to go,
and how to get there. Bring your ideas.
The Stewardship team will bring the snacks!

Also, Save the Evening

Sunday, February 5
for the

“What’s possible?” Potluck Dinner

All Are Welcome!

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

Exploring Grief and Loss

New Date! January 27 at noon

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]

Children Youth and Families

Mini Mission hands

Children and Sundays in January

We are excited to begin this New Year together with faith and joy, and have a wonderful month planned for our kids on Sundays. We hope you and yours will join us!
  • This Sunday - Epiphany! Come remember the wise ones who followed a star. We'll search for stars too, and each child will receive a star word to help guide them this year.
  • January 15 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - We'll remember Rev. King as a faith leader and talk about how his faith guided him, and how our faith can guide us.
  • January 22 and 29 - Special Music with Mijin! Our music director, Dr. Mijin Choi, will join the kids and teach them two new songs that we hope to share with the congregation in February.

Youth Team Calendar and Planning Meeting

The Youth Team is busy at work on the calendar for the Youth Groups and Exploring Our Faith for January through June! We are planning opportunities for gathering, faith formation, and service, including our CityReach overnight in March, and would for you to be part of this meaningful and joyful ministry!
  • Youth Team (adults) Meeting - January 22 at 6:30 p.m. (Hybrid)
    We'll have a planning meeting on January 22 at 6:30pm to finalize the calendar and assign adult leaders/chaperones. We hope you will come - all adults are welcome! Please let Pastor Amy ([email protected] )or Jane Purser ([email protected]) know if you can join us!


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.

Newton Freedge

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.

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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