The Union Church in Waban
Friday, December 3 2021
This Sunday
Worship (In-person and Online)
Second Sunday in Advent - December 5th, 10:00 a.m.
Join us as we participate in Communion (Zoomers, prepare your bread and juice ahead of time!), celebrate the baptism of Erin Rose O'Connell and continue with our theme - Housing the Holy. We hope you'll join us!

Please note that Pastor Amy will join worship this Sunday via Zoom (please see her note to the congregation sent 12/2 HERE for more information).

To join Sunday Worship at 10 a.m. on Zoom:  
Zoom Link: HERE
Meeting ID: 832 2059 8969
Passcode: 458322
Dial in only: 1 646 558 8656 

The bulletin is available HERE
To connect to Sunday Worship or to any of our online offerings,
you may also go to our website at  
Christmas Eve Plans for UCW
We want to house the holy in this season. Based on recommendations from the Phase Forward Team managing our Covid practices, UCW will offer two opportunities for worship on Christmas Eve.
  • At 4:00 p.m. - a simple Christmas Eve with candlelight and carols OUTDOORS.
  • At 6:00 p.m. – an in-person capacity-limited hybrid Lessons and Carols in the Sanctuary.
Registration for in-person attendance is required for both services for planning and tracing purposes. Zoom will be offered at 6:00 p.m. and does not require registration. We hope these multiple options secure an option that feels right for you.

You can register:

Masks will be required for both in-person services.

Church Matters
New Phase Forward Covid-19 Safety Action
The Phase Forward Team’s most recent review of UCW Covid safety protection measures has led to a recommendation that UCW install medical-grade HEPA filtration units in the Sanctuary. Use of HEPA filters is a proven COVID-19 mitigation strategy recommended to upgrade indoor air quality. In making this recommendation the Phase Forward Team was guided by the advice of our infectious disease specialist. Dr. Sandra Nelson and current research from the Healthy Buildings Project of the Harvard School of Public Health. The Church Council, in meeting on Dec. 2nd, approved the purchase and installation of effective and affordable filtration units in the Sanctuary. We are now in the process of procuring the HEPA units.
Installation of HEPA filters is only one supplementary measure to help UCW reduce the risk of transmission in the Sanctuary, especially during the winter months. We will continue to be vigilant to strictly maintain our indoor guidance requiring mask wearing, physical distancing, hand sanitation, and frequent cleaning, prohibitions on eating and extra precautions for singing. We will also continue to offer and improve our capacity for hybrid Zoom worship take other measures, as changing circumstances require, to keep our church building healthy and our congregation and staff safe.
Giving Statements
Available by e-mailed in the up-coming week.

Thank you for your generous support of our shared ministry. Giving Statements for the first half of our fiscal year will be available soon and provide an opportunity for some to know how to catch up on their pledge of support. You might also consider a special calendar year end gift if your income source requires meeting a year end threshold. For any and all gifts that make us who we are - we are grateful!
Advent Devotional
Housing the Holy
Join us this Advent as we open the
doors of our hearts and church to the Holy
Read online or download a copy
of our Advent Devotional: HERE
View a video about our
Advent journey this year below.
Mitten Tree Returns in Hybrid Form
Once again, UCW will be providing Christmas gifts for our friends at Project Care and Concern, and Norwood Healthcare
via in-person and virtual Mitten Trees!

There are red and green paper mittens on the Christmas tree at UCW, and also a the virtual mittens link below.
Sign-Up Genius HERE
Feel free to claim either paper or virtual mittens, or both!
Please sign up for as many slots as you'd like and note in our comments that we've asked for gifts to be wrapped and labeled for either PCC (with name and house) or for Norwood Healthcare.

Gifts will need to be returned to UCW by December 14th
(Details to follow for when and where to drop off your gifts.)

Please contact Molly Owen-Kiristy ( or Erika Pond ( with questions or concerns.

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

Poinsettia Orders and Dedications
Christmas is Coming! Join in the tradition of 'decking the halls' of our sanctuary and your homes with beautiful poinsettia plants. While we are unable to have our usual Greens Sale this year, we do invite you to purchase Large ($40) or Medium ($30) sized poinsettias for Advent and the celebration of Christmas.

Donor names and the names of those who the flowers are dedicated to will be printed in our Advent 4, December 19th bulletin. 
Orders and Payments Due By Sunday, December 12th
You may order and submit your dedication
details at the link below.
Thank You!
(Your order may be collected following our Christmas Eve Service.)
Meet and Greet with Pastor Wendy- Last chance to sign-up!
In an effort to join this community more fully and get to know your stories, Pastor Wendy is offering times for 1 - 2 people to meet gathering on Zoom or in person.

The Sign-up Link can be found HERE

We hope these times work for you. Please email Pastor Wendy if you cannot find a time that is suitable and we'll make another plan.

Please review the available slots and click on the button to sign up.

Upcoming Sundays & Gatherings
10:00 a.m. Worship - Coming Up!
We hope you will join us online or in-person following Covid safety guidelines!
Come, and find reconnection, renewal, hope, and joy as we gather together
Third Sunday in Advent - Children and Youth-Led Service!
Sunday, December 12th
Our Christmas Pageant will look a little different this year and will include all ages in the telling of the Christmas Story! Children, youth, and the young-at-heart who would like to participate, please contact Pastor Amy (; 617-938-8112)

Fourth Sunday in Advent - Special Music
Sunday, December 19th
The UCW Choir is busy preparing special music for the congregation on this Christmas Sunday. Please plan to join us on this day, and if you can add your voice to the choir, please contact Mijin at

Longest Night Worship Service - Special Opportunity
Tuesday, December 21st @ 7:00 p.m.
This is a service for those who wonder about the generative power of darkness and wintering. We will create room for the holy even as we recognize the loss in this community of faith of a beloved Pastor, the practices we have sacrificed to be safe in Covid, the hybrid nature of things now and questions that do not always have answers. This service seeks to comfort by reminding us we are not alone and that all feelings are honored.

Christmas Eve Services
Friday, December 24th @ 4:00 & 6:00 p.m.
This year we will be holding Christmas Eve services at 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. We hope you will join us. More details in the news item above.

Kids and Families
Christmas is Coming!
Mark Your Calendars
for these Family Gatherings
Exploring Our Faith - Mentors and Students
Sunday, December 5th 6:30-8pm
As Pastor Amy quarantines (see her email to the congregation on 12/2), we will postpone our visit to NH this Sunday, and instead gather on Zoom. Pastor Amy sent an email inviting mentors and students to gather with the Zoom link.

All-Ages Christmas Pageant
Sunday, December 12th
We'll share a relaxed, interactive, all-ages telling of the Christmas Story! We'd love to have some readers, and also kids who might share their gifts of music or dance (or any other gift they'd like to share!). Pre-recorded pieces can be played during worship if that is more comfortable. Pastor Amy will send an email to families, but please be in touch if you can participate in some way!

Youth & Families - Crafts & Caroling
Sunday, December 19th
We'll create Stick Stars to light our homes and church, and then travel to the homes of members who aren't able to make it to church in person to share some Christmas cheer!

Youth Group Christmas Parties
Friday, December 17th -- Middle School (evening)
Sunday, December 19th -- High School (after Caroling)
We are working out the details and whether and where we can be in-person or on Zoom, but please save the date!

Advocates for Racial Justice
Some Newton Housing Facts
Updated 11/18/2021
  • The median sales price for a detached single-family house has increased 70% in the past 10 years, from $737,750 to $1,260,000.
  • Compared with 2010, Newton in 2019 had 4,200 fewer households with annual incomes of less than $100,000, and 3,800 more households with annual incomes greater than $200,000.
  • Only 27% of our school employees live in Newton.
  • Over 30% of households—including over 75% of low-income residents—are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing.
  • Only half of the 449 households with portable housing vouchers administered by the Newton Housing Authority were actually able to find a home in Newton.
  • 76% of “developable” land in Newton is zoned for residential use, and on 80% of that, only detached single-family houses can be built “by right,” without a special permit.
  • We have 2,425 deed-restricted homes for low- to moderate-income households (earning up to 80% of AMI)—but almost 3.5 times that many (8,105) eligible households (see 2019 Newton income limits and max affordable rents).
  • We are less racially diverse than Massachusetts as a whole: Only 3.1% of our population is Black or African-American (vs. state's 6.7%), and only 5.5% is Hispanic or Latino (vs. state's 11.2%).
  • We are only permitting 20.6% of the housing we should, relative to our proportional need. This is in contrast to Boston (109.8%), Cambridge (78.1%), Somerville (46.8%), and Watertown (131.5%).
  • Many of these numbers come from the Newton Leads 2040 Housing Strategy (2016).

Mission Matters
Newton Freedge: Volunteers Needed!
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. We are in need of more volunteers to help on Saturdays.

Union Church Freedge Sign-up: HERE

Common Cathedral Sandwich-Makers!
Common Cathedral
Sandwich-Making for BostonWarm!
We continue to make sandwiches for our friends at Boston Warm every week. This month, we will bring sandwiches to the center on Monday or Wednesday mornings.

If you can help make 25 sandwiches, donate granola bars,
or drive in on Mondays, please sign up HERE.
With questions, please contact Pastor Amy (

Your Pictures and Stories Needed!
What is Your Story; What is Your Song?
Please be part of this all-church initiative!

You should have received an invitation to contribute a paragraph about yourself (individual or family) along with a photograph, and your favorite hymn, to be compiled into a new church booklet or directory. We hope that these brief biographies will help us to get to know each other better and to connect more deeply during this time of transition, and we also hope that they will help Pastor Wendy and our future Senior Pastor to get to know us. We look forward to hearing your story! We'd love to receive all submissions by Dec. 3rd, and will reach out to folks

Please CLICK HERE to learn more,
and share your story and song. Thank you for participating!

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 Revs. Wendy Vander Hart or Amy Clark Feldman for prayer or pastoral support:
  • Pastor Wendy's email is and her office phone is 617-965-3893
  • Pastor Amy's email is, and her cell phone for calls or texts is 617-938-8112.
Please note: Both of our pastors take Mondays off as a day of rest and Sabbath. If you are in need of urgent pastoral support on this coming Monday,, you can reach out to Pastor Wendy, who will be available for emergencies.

Sunday Sign-Ups
Scripture Reader Sign-Up
If you are joining our Sunday worship in person, please consider signing up as a Scripture Reader for any of our upcoming services

Scripture Reader Sign-up: HERE

Note: Previously we had hoped to include scripture readers who could join us from their home via zoom but unfortunately this is currently not possible.
Host Reception - Sign-Up
Hosting Reception after Worship is so meaningful. This year guidelines are a little different e.g. individually wrapped snacks keep it simple and in lieu of coffee, lemonade or something that can be served easily is preferred. Please follow the link below to sign up or for more information.
Hosting Reception Sign-up: HERE
Our Covenant

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.