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Weekly Update
Friday, April 21, 2023

This Sunday

Sunday, April 23- Creation Care Sunday
Rev. Brita Gill-Austern preaching.

Please join us for this special Sunday as Rev. Brita Gill-Austern shares her reflections on the story of the Road to Emmaus, and what it means to walk faithfully with Jesus. We'll be invited to put our faith into action following the service by learning about and signing the letters below.

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

The bulletin is available HERE

Letters to Tennessee

Advocates for Racial Justice Letter Signing This Sunday

What have you done today in response to racism? Brita Gill-Austern's sermon this Sunday will challenge us to reflect the way of Jesus as we act by faith in response to events in our culture that impact the lives of all people. The Advocates for Racial Justice, formed after our former pastor led a group of us to Selma and Montgomery, drafted several letters to those in Tennessee who had to bear witness to the tragic school shootings, the statehouse demonstrations against weapons of war on the streets, and the senseless retaliation to silence two Black members of the state house through expulsion.

After church this Sunday, Kent Wittler and Jenny Weisz will have these letters available for you to sign if you wish, in response to Brita's challenging words. The separate letters are addressed to the Governor, the House Speaker, each of the three legislators known as the Tennessee Three, and letters of support to several UCC and Baptist churches in Nashville.

If you would like to review any or all the letters
before church this Sunday, please click on the links below.
If you would like to learn more about ARJ activities at the
Union Church, please reach out to Nancy Zollers ([email protected]) or Jenny Weisz ([email protected]).

UCW Pastoral Search Committee Updates

Meet Reverend Megan Berkowitz

Announcing Candidate Weekend: April 28-30

Rev. Megan Berkowitz
Happy Spring UCW Community,
The Ministerial Search Committee is excited to invite you to meet our proposed candidate for Senior Pastor the weekend of April 28-30.

On Friday evening, April 28, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., all are invited to the home of Alicia Collins and Tony Abbiati for an informal “meet and greet” with Rev. Megan and her spouse, Leila Quinn. Light refreshments will be served.

On Sunday, April 30, Rev. Megan will provide the sermon and immediately following service, we hope you will stay for a congregational meeting where we will formally present Megan and discern the call. Fellowship will follow the meeting and we hope all will stay!
Friday, April 28: “Meet and Greet” at 128 Avalon Road, Waban 02468. Please RSVP for the Friday evening event using SignUpGenius so Alicia can plan accordingly. If you have questions about the location, email Alicia [email protected].


Saturday, April 29: Youth and Families Dinner. Families with kids of all ages are invited to dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by ice cream sundaes and a meeting just with youth. Youth and families should have received an Evite. Please contact Soo Laski ([email protected]) or Pastor Amy with questions.

Sunday, April 30: Sermon by Rev. Megan followed immediately by a congregational meeting and fellowship. Please come!!

If you didn’t receive the letter that went out to the congregation introducing Rev. Megan Berkowitz, please click HERE.

We are very much looking forward to a robust turnout for each event and are excited for everyone to meet Megan and Leila.

Upcoming Sundays

Sunday, April 30 - Candidate Weekend
Rev. Megan Berkowitz preaching. Congregational Meeting and Reception following worship.

Please see above for more details about this special weekend.

Sunday, May 7 - Welcome our Bridge Pastor, Rev. Jim Leavitt
Rev. Jim Leavitt preaching.

Congregational Meeting and Luncheon following worship .

We are delighted to welcome Rev. Jim Leavitt as our Bridge Pastor from May to mid-August. Please join us this Sunday to welcome him and share Communion. Please plan to stay for the Congregational Meeting and Luncheon, along with an important gathering about UCW and our Care of Creation Ministries . Please see below for more details.

Church Matters

Congregational Meeting, Care of Creation, and Luncheon

Sunday, May 7, following worship

Please plan to participate in the after church congregational luncheon meeting on May 7. We will welcome our new Bridge Pastor James Leavitt and after Bylaw business, will enjoy a presentation about a new Mission activity in Newton that is working on improving our environment. Our Bylaw business merits your consideration of important changes so that we can move ahead to prepare for our Annual Meeting and election of officers on June 4.

Based on recommendations of the Governance Task Force to increase involvement of the congregation in church activities, the Church Council proposes changes to the church Bylaws to:

a. increase number of congregational meetings,
b. reduce number of members of Council,
c. limit terms of leadership to increase opportunities for new members to take on roles, and
d. change membership of Nominating Committee to encourage more congregational involvement.

To review the changes that are recommended, see this link to the Bylaws: HERE

Many thanks to the members of the Governance Task Force: Alan Cody Susan Gedrick, Karen Weisgerber, and Jaap van Reijendam.

If you are interested in serving as a church leader or on a committee, please let a member of the Nominating Committee know. See Pastor Amy Feldman, Jim MacDonald, Lisa Crockett, Jean MacDonald, Jenny Weisz, or Jaap van Reijendam.

Care of Creation Sunday on May 7

Come find hope for our future (and lunch too!) Downstairs after church

The Mission Committee had a burning question (with apologies to the poet Mary Oliver):

Tell us, what is it we plan to do
to save our one wild and precious planet?

After the bylaws vote, stay for lunch and sharing of great ideas for how we all can commit to action that can help stave off the threats to God’s glorious creation.

We’ll hear a presentation about Newton’s 4 our Future, explaining four simple steps we can all take to meet Newton’s Carbon neutral by 2050 commitment.

And we’ll talk about other great campaigns under way or in design focused on housing density, composting, carbon saving at UCW and other easy and needed steps.
Be there!!

UCW Tent at the Newton Family FunFEST on May 13

The Newton Family FunFEST on Saturday, May 13 from 10:00 - 4:00 p.m. is a celebration of art and community for all ages including live musical performances, carnival, arts & crafts workshops, a live public art event, vendor booths and more -- And UCW has a tent! We'll share photos and stories of UCW's offerings for children and youth, as well as our mission and service work. Most of all, we hope to connect with and listen to our neighbors, building relationships and learning about their needs and experiences. We'll also have face painting, crafts and activities for kids, and free baked goods!

We need your help to make the day a success! If you can help with the preparations, providing goodies, setting up, or being a welcoming face at the tent that day, please sign up below. We also love any youth to help with face painting and the kids' activities! With questions, please contact Linda Lynch ([email protected]) or Pastor Amy ([email protected])

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

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

Wellspring Meeting

Wednesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m.

In person at the Union Church.
Wellspring is our women's ministry at UCW. We come together to support each other as we journey together in these times. If you are interested in learning more about Wellspring, please contact Amy McMahon at [email protected].

Mission Matters


Nine new apartments for chronically homeless people are built and ready for move-in! The new apartments are located close to us and the church, at Golda Meier on Washington St. and Stanton Ave.

Knowing our prayers and our support for these homes has been vigorous, we wanted you to know this breaking news:
Formerly homeless people have a lovely, new home with support. As we say here, Housing is everything!

These homes are the result of the Engine 6 HUD complaint of ten years ago when Newton housing was denied at the former Firehouse on Washington St and Beacon.

We will have many opportunities to welcome these new neighbors of ours. As a part of our initial welcome please consider providing a few things that every new homeowner needs.

Place any of these new items on the porch at 19 Crofton Rd. Waban this week.
bath towels
dish towels
dishes, utensils, cups
coffee maker

(No furniture please)
With love and hope.
Any questions at all - contact Nancy; Dr. [email protected]

Thank You Church 💞⛪

Children Youth and Families

Children, Youth and Families - Spring is here!!

Join in the Eastertide Joy!

Meet & Greet with Candidate, Rev Megan!
Saturday, April 29, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Families with kids of all ages are invited to come have pizza dinner with Pastor Megan. After supper, we'll have ice cream sundaes and invite the youth for a special time with Pastor Megan too! All families should have received an Evite with details and RSVP. Please contact Soo Laski or Pastor Amy ([email protected]) with questions.

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

  • Mission-Service Trip Opportunity - Cabell-Lincoln Workcamp, WV
    June 18-24 - Please let us know if you can come by Monday, April 24.
    High Schoolers, including rising 9th graders, are invited to join this exciting and meaningful trip (CLICK for details). It's not too late! We are looking to finalize the size of the group who will travel. If you have questions or need more information (including the registration form distributed at the orientation), please reach out to Soo Laski or Pastor Amy (see emails above).
  • 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 SIGN UP HERE 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.

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 Pastor 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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