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Weekly Update
Friday, April 7, 2023

Today, Good Friday - April 7 from 6:30 p.m.
The sanctuary will be open for an hour of
self-guided reflection on the stations of the cross.

Easter Sunday

6:15 a.m. Easter Sunrise Service (In Person)

Early risers, join us for this informal service as we watch the swans and turtles wake up and greet the Easter sunrise with songs and shouts of Alleluia! Pastor Amy and family lead this service. We'll meet in the Wellesley Office Park, behind the building at45 Williams Street (the sign says 45 Wellesley Office Park, click to see a map - it's on the opposite side of the Charles River from Quinobequin Rd.). After you turn onto 45 Williams, go under the building and look to your right - you'll see an entrance to the Charles River Reservoir. Park and walk down the path until you find Crowley's Landing. The path is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible. Please call Pastor Amy's cell (617-938-8112) if you have trouble finding us.

10:00 a.m. Easter Service (Hybrid)

Bells, drums, a flower cross, Easter blooms, Farewell Liturgy with Pastor Wendy and an Egg Hunt to follow.
Zoom Link: HERE
Meeting ID: 826 8730 1128
Passcode: 386028
Dial in only: 1 646 558 8656
The bulletin is available HERE

11:00 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt - Can you help the Easter Bunny?

Join us for our beloved Easter Egg Hunt following worship! The Easter Bunny has lots of colorful eggs, but could use some help finding some candy (individually-wrapped, no nuts), stickers, or other goodies to put in them. If you can help, please leave any donations outside Pastor Amy's office this afternoon or email her ([email protected]) to arrange a pick up.

Our Middle Schoolers (and any teens and adults who would like to join) will be helping the Easter Bunny stuff eggs from 6-8 p.m. this evening (Good Friday). Please drop by Littlehale if you'd like to help - we'll have pizza! Thank you!

Special Easter Collection

In this time of Easter, of Renewal, and of Celebration we are reminded of rebirth and of God's Creation as we enjoy the beauty of Spring revealed.
We have the opportunity with our special Easter offering to support Green Newton (website here) and the work they do to combat climate change and improve our environment. In doing so they also work for climate justice for all and work for housing density to combat our current environmental crisis. If you would like to make a contribution to Green Newton, please use the link below.

Donate HERE

Church Matters

Bridge Pastor Announced to Serve from May until Mid-August at UCW

Rev. Jim Levitt
Last Sunday we had over 80 in attendance most of whom joined us in a farewell reception after church for our beloved Interim Senior Minister Wendy Vander Hart. Pastor Wendy will be preaching her final sermon at Union Church this Easter Sunday.

We are pleased to announce Rev. James Leavitt has agreed to serve as our Bridge Pastor from May until Mid-August when we anticipate the arrival of our new Senior Pastor. After twenty years in the business world, Jim became a student at Andover Newton Theological School. Following graduation, he served on the staff at Andover Newton for several years. He has since served as Interim Senior Pastor at several Baptist churches in Massachusetts and feels called to lead churches in transition. We welcome Jim to Union Church!

Jenny and Jaap

April Council Meeting Updates

The Church Council met last Wednesday evening (April 5). They reviewed the plans for the Candidating weekend with the Search committee. More details will be made available soon, but please make sure you try to attend a welcoming event on Friday evening April 28, and especially the Candidating Sunday worship service on April 30.

The council also completed the review of and accepted the recommendations in the Governance Task Force report. These recommendations will hopefully increase the participation of our full congregation in the governance of our church. To implement these recommendations we will need to make changes to our by-laws, and so we are going to have a Congregational Meeting on Sunday May 7, after worship to start this process.

The council also approved the expense of $ 8500 to fix the leaks in our Church tower.

UCW Pastoral Search Committee Updates

Candidating Weekend

Save The Dates! April 28-30.

Please mark the weekend of April 28-30 on your Calendars as we will all have the chance to meet Megan. The weekend details are still being formulated but we envision structured and informal gatherings something like this:
Rev. Megan Berkowitz
Please mark the weekend of April 28-30 on your Calendars as we will all have the chance to meet Megan. The weekend details are still being formulated but we envision structured and informal gatherings something like this:
We will have an event for the entire church on Friday evening which might include time for Q&A.

This will be followed by meeting with select groups on Saturday
  • Staff
  • Church council
  • Key committees
  • Youth
Megan will provide the sermon for Worship on Sunday. This will be immediately followed by a congregational meeting to discern the call. At the congregational meeting, after the moderator opens the meeting, someone from search committee will present the candidate to the congregation for consideration.
We very much look forward to everyone meeting Megan and we could not be more delighted to welcome her.

Meet Reverend Megan Berkowitz

The senior minister search committee is excited to announce that we have identified a candidate for senior minister! If you didn’t receive the letter that went out to the congregation introducing Rev. Megan Berkowitz, please click HERE.

Upcoming Sundays

Sunday, April 16 - Eastertide & Blessing our Runners

In this first Sunday following Pastor Wendy's departure, we will hold her in prayer and gather in the hope and promise of Easter. Pastor Amy will preach and share the story of doubting Thomas, and we will bless our Boston Marathon runners.

Sunday, April 23 - Creation Care Sunday
Rev. Brita Gill-Austern Preaching. Congregational Meeting following worship.

Please join us for this special Sunday as Rev. Brita Gill-Austern shares her reflections on the story of the Road to Emmaus, and the promise of Jesus' presence with us. Following worship, we will gather for an important congregational luncheon and conversation/meeting. Please mark the date and stay tuned for details.

What's Possible

What’s Possible?

Stewardship Invitation

Hopefully you have received an invitation to invest in “What’s Possible?” through the ministry of Union Church in Waban. We hope you will prayerfully consider generously supporting the ministries God is making possible through us. View our campaign Letter HERE.

Make a Pledge Commitment HERE.

All-Church Gatherings & Adult Formation

Advocates for Racial Justice

Tuesday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. (Hybrid)

The Next meeting of Advocates for Racial Justice is Tuesday, April 11 at. 7:00 PM. Please rsvp to Nancy Zollers for hybrid and in person meeting information. All are welcome!
February Book Group

Next Book Group

Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. (zoom)

"Poverty, by America" by Matthew Desmond
Please join us on March 28 at 7:30 p.m. for our next book group meeting. Our book will be "Poverty, by America" by Matthew Desmond

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

Children Youth and Families

Children and Sundays - Spring is here!!

We hope you and your kids will join us for special Sundays coming up!

EASTER!! Egg Hunt following worship.

The Easter Bunny is excited to come to the Union Church on Sunday morning! Please join us following worship for our fun annual Easter Egg Hunt, this year on the Waban Green in front of the church. We'll have separate spaces for our littlest ones. If any teens are able to help the Easter Bunny hide the eggs on Sunday morning, please come at 9am!

Youth Team Calendar - A Great Spring!

We have a great spring ahead for our Youth Groups and church and we hope you'll be part of it. Please find a calendar of High School, Middle School, and combo events coming up (thanks Jane and Abel for the great format!)

View Spring Calendar HERE

  • Middle School Movie and Egg Stuffing!
    April 7 (Good Friday) 6:00 p.m.
    Middle Schoolers are invited to come for dinner and a movie, and some Easter Egg stuffing fun!
  • Boston Marathon - UCW Cheering Station!
    Monday, April 17.
    All ages are invited to gather on the corner of Comm. Ave and Walnut St. (near Jenny Weisz's home) to cheer on our runners!
  • Meet & Greet with Candidate, Rev Megan!
    Saturday, April 29, 5:30-7 p.m.
    Middle and High School Youth are ind to come have pizza dinner with Pastor Megan. After supper, we'll have ice cream sundaes and invite all parents and younger kids to meet Pastor Megan too! Stay tuned for details.
  • Newton Fair
    Saturday, May 13.
    Please save the date and help out at the UCW tent at the Newton Fair! We're looking for teens to help with face painting and temporary tattoos! Please watch for a sign-up genius or let Pastor Amy know you can help!
  • Common Cathedral
    Sunday, May 21.
    We will gather in the morning to prepare sandwiches and lunches for our unhoused siblings, and then travel to Boston Common to serve lunch and worship with the Common Cathedral community.

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO)

GBIO is campaigning for $182 million budget for the underfunded and neglected public housing.
Public Hearing Budget!
NEW DATE MONDAY April 10 at 11am
GBIO Housing Justice Campaign leaders will be giving public testimony on the budget. Making the case for $184 Million in operating for state owned public housing!

We're in a critical moment for the campaign. We need $184 Million allocated for Public Housing in the FY24 Budget. There are several steps we can take, all of which will help get us there.

Call Your Legislators TODAY

The House files its budget by April 12! Our opportunity now is to tell our representatives [and State Senate] that when the House puts out its own budget proposal, we want the $184 Million required in operating funds for state public housing included.
Click Here For the Call and Email Script.

See Julie Heffernan or Frank Laski for more information

Nicaragua Mission

Letter from Scholarship Student
Ernesto Collado Vargas

March 9, 2023

To: The Union Church in Waban

Receive cordial greetings from me, hoping that everyone enjoys wonderful health in these difficult days. The reason for this letter is to inform you of all the events that have occurred throughout these days.
I am very happy because a few days ago I was with members of the church and I was able to be and talk with them again; it was a very pleasant moment, we laughed and I was very excited to see them again after 3 years. When I met you for the first time, I was beginning my studies, now I'm almost finished, and I feel satisfied that I haven’t disappoint you.

I'm doing very well in my classes; the work is a little more extensive and demanding now that we are in the final stretch of the degree. It is expected that in a couple of months I will be doing practical shifts at the hospital, it will be a little more exhausting, but I will always be giving my best.

In the community service work of the Fundación, I continue to work with my group of colleagues, giving talks to a group of young people, teaching sensitive topics such as sexuality, abuse, addictions, among others.

We recently had an activity in the Fundación for the 23 years of experience and 100 graduates, many of our fellow graduates were able to be there, we had a great time.
My family has been very well thank God, always enjoying good health. A couple of days ago my sister got married, so the family is celebrating. With this I say goodbye first of all thanking you for all the support, my family and I will always be grateful and may God bless you today and always.

Marvin Ernesto Collado Vargas .

Advocates for Racial Justice (ARJ)

April 4, 2023

A new study published in Pediatrics has provided new evidence on the relationship between neighborhoods and health—and heightened our collective commitment to advancing health equity across neighborhoods.

Neighborhood opportunity linked to mortality

Together with lead author Natalie Slopen, we find that lower neighborhood opportunity is tied to a higher risk of mortality for children and their caregivers. Previous research has used the Child Opportunity Index to demonstrate connections between neighborhood opportunity and life expectancy, deaths from gun violence, acute care usage and much more. This new study adds evidence that neighborhood conditions and resources are associated with children’s chances of dying or losing a caregiver. This evidence should be an urgent call to action for health professionals, policymakers, advocates and anyone who cares about child health to reduce child mortality and inequities in mortality between neighborhoods.

Read more | Full study

The study looks at more than 1 million children age 0 to 17 and uses the Child Opportunity Index to explore how neighborhood opportunity is tied to mortality over an 11-year period. The results are alarming: Children in very low-opportunity neighborhoods were 30% more likely to die over the study period than those in very high-opportunity neighborhoods; their caregivers were 57% more likely.

Mission Matters

Supporting UCW Congregants and their Boston Marathon Causes

This year’s running of the Boston Marathon is coming up soon, on Monday, April 17, and is calling forth commendable effort from our community. At least two church members will be running the 26.2 miles this year -- Kyle Pond and Joanne Walker -- along with several Newton North high school students who’ve been organized by our own Amy McMahon.

Pastor Amy Feldman will convene UCW youth and anyone else interested to cheer on the runners, gathering at the home of Jenny Weisz, which is close to the marathon route. Contact Amy ([email protected]) if you’re interested. Jenny promises to teach everyone how to cheer on Kenyan runners in Swahili, based on her time living in Kenya, and Kevin will do likewise for runners from Ethiopia.

Joanne Walker and The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
The Marathon is often a catalyst for support for charitable causes, and this year you can convey your admiration for this great effort by supporting the cause Joanne Walker is running for, The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. (The link for Joanne’s fundraising page is HERE.) If we missed anyone else who is running, and/or fundraising around the Marathon, please let us know so we can share that information next week.
Amy McMahon and Dreamfar High School Marathon
Dreamfar High School Marathon is a program that helps high school students reach their full potential--physically, academically, and socially by training for and completing a marathon over the course of the school year. Each of our five participating high schools (Newton North, Newton South, Needham, Brookline and Wellesley) have teacher/counselor leaders who train with our students three days a week. (I have been a Leader for the past 10 years). On weekends, students go for their "long runs" out of the Brookline Teen Center with adults who wish to mentor these teens in their journey to complete a half or a full marathon (13.1 or 26.2 miles).

Dreamfar is a non-profit organization that is run by a very small, part-time staff (part time program director, Level 2 running coach, development director and student intern) everyone else is a volunteer.

If you wish to donate to our Boston Marathon Charity Bib runners who are running for Dreamfar this year go HERE. That will take you to our list of runners. Click on anyone's name to make a donation! Right now, Dominique, Ronan and Anna could all use a gift or two to make their minimum!

Newton Freedge

Newton Freedge: Volunteers Needed

Click the sign-up link below for time slots available.

Our team of volunteers helps keep Freedge 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 on 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. Pastor Amy also serves off-site on Thursdays, and may not be immediately available on that day.

Community & Partners

Drivers Needed

Our sister church in Jamaica Plain is reaching out for our help.

During the pandemic, FBC JP began feeding hungry families in Boston. Each week, they currently deliver fresh, healthy, homemade food and meals to more than 340 households. A corporation they had partnered with to provide drivers recently pulled out of their partnership and they are in desperate need of help delivering food. They are very grateful for any assistance you can provide. Feel free to reach out to Pastor Amy ([email protected]) for more information.

Please email [email protected] as soon as possible with your phone and availability.

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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