The Union Church in Waban   
Friday, February 17, 2017
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This Sunday - 
Bible Discussion at 8:00 a.m.    
Bible discussion continues this Sunday in Pastor Stacy's study.  .  All are welcome! 

Choir Rehearsal at 9:00 a.m.  
Singing the Psalms  at 9:35 a.m.   
Join us to sing Psalms together before worship on Sunday mornings. We gather at 9:35 a.m. in Memorial Chapel (the side chapel off the sanctuary),where we  sing and pray t ogether for ten minutes each week. Feel free to arrive a few minutes early for quiet centering prayer.
Learn more about this practice, and find  all of this saved on the Union Church website here
Worship at 10:00 a.m. 
This Sunday, Scripture takes us into the practice of forgiveness as we witness Jesus response to a woman who wept at Jesus feet and anointed them with ointment
(Luke 7: 36-50).  
Bell Choir Practice: 11:15 a.m.  

What is Lent?
Lent is a season in the liturgical, church year that begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1st and ends at sunset on Maundy Thursday, April 13th.   Lent is a season of renewal, a time of growing through repentance, fellowship, prayer, and the embrace of our covenant with each other and with God.  Lent is not so much about giving up something but rather about trying to be intentional about being open to the renewing work of God's grace.  Just as the bulbs planted deep in the ground begin to stir to new life as the days grow longer in the coming of spring, so too does this season encourage a kind of germination of God's spirit in us, calling us to new life and new beginnings, of which we will celebrate in the mystery of the empty tomb on Easter morning.  

In the very early church, this season was one of intentional formation where those who wished to join in following the Way of Jesus would undergo a concentrated period of study and preparation which would culminate with their baptism and welcome into the church during the Easter Vigil, Saturday service.  The liturgical color for Lent is purple which you will remember is also the color for Advent, which is si milarly a season of preparation.  

Ash Wednesday, March 1st 

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent.   It is a time to  put aside the ways that we may have fallen short of being the people God is calling us to be and to stand in the Grace of God's renewing Spirit.  Whether you chose to receive ashes (a cross of ash marked on your forehead) or prefer instead to receive a blessing, the Ash Wednesday service is a quiet, contemplative, and prayerful space to mark the beginning of our Lenten journey.  
This year we will have TWO Ash Wednesday services.  One at 6:00 p.m. that will be geared specifically to children and then our regular service at 7:00 p.m.  Child care will be available for the 7:00 p.m. service.  

Wednesday Evening Worship 7:00 p.m. throughout Lent
Every Wednesday evening throughout Lent, we will have worship in Memorial Chapel (off the sanctuary) at 7:00 p.m..  These less formal services will enable us to engage with different worship styles and will open opportunities to engage the senses and spirit through a variety of offering.  Child care will be available for these services.

Congregational Conversation Exploring Worship
February 26th, at 11:30 a.m.  (Last of Three)
Our next and last conversation will take place on February 26th.  Through facilitated congregational conversations we hope: to hear how the congregation is currently experiencing worship; to identify any changes that might be appropriate or desired with respect to the various components of our worship service (music, children's time, prayer, sermon, communion and how it is celebrated); and to learn of any experiences in worship people may be looking for that we are not currently providing. 
We also hope that these conversations may help our congregation think more broadly about worship as an experience we share.  Worship is best experienced not as a performance by a few, but for the participation of all who are gathered.  While some may have specific roles to play, worship is something experiential that we share.  Please plan on attending at least one of these conversations.  If you are not able to attend, please be in touch with Alan Cody, Diane Tillotson or Pastor Stacy.  We want to be sure we have an opportunity to hear from everyone.  

Adult Education, Fellowship, and Spiritual Formation 
Lunch Bunch Celebrated Valentine's  Day
                                                   ......... and the Love We Share!

Lunch Bunch meets on the third Wednesday of the month to share in a meal, good humor and conversation.  This month, we talked about what we love and what brings
us joy.  This time is open to all in the church.  It is a time of fellowship to gather at the table and be the beloved community.  If you are interested in coming to lunch bunch
on March 15th or in learning more, please be in touch with Pastor Stacy. 

February Book Group
BOOK  GROUP will meet on FEB. 28.
The last Tuesday of the month, 
7 - 8:30 p.m.
In the reception room.

We will be discussing  Just Mercy:  A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson .   Suggested by Sandra Dadalt, this book will be congruent with Black History month in February.  Bryan Stevenson is the founder of Equal Justice Initiative that advocates for African American inmates who have been unjustly incarcerated and assigned to death row.  It is a moving memoir , as well as a call for reforms in the  penal system.
Stevenson, born to poverty in Delaware, is a graduate of a Christian University and of Columbia, Oxford, and Harvard Law.  He has been featured in Ted Talks  (  

"Coming to our Senses"        
 A dult, Small Group Retreat
 Toah Nipi  Retreat Center                          Rindge NH

     April 28
th - 30th

Spring is the season when our natural world begins to wake up from its winter sleep and make ready for a new season and summer. It is when the frozen earth thaws; bears and their cousins emerge; tree sap flows. It is when many of our birds return home from their far away travels; and when our lakes and streams rebound with oodles of life. With all this stirring - "mixing memory with desire", the woods and fields become filled and pungent with ancient and new smells and sights and sounds and sensations that trigger and feed our own world and imagination.  Let us take up spring's invitation and "Come to our Senses". 
                                                                                                                         continue reading   
 C hildren,Youth, and
UCW Kids and Mini-Missions
Mini-Missions - the new initiative to engage our Rainbows (k-3rd graders) and Stars (4th and 5th graders) in service projects in the community - is well underway!  Last week, our kids chose which of the three organizations they will support (the MSPCA; Newton Food Pantry, or Birthday Wishes), and met for the first time in their 'Service Groups.'  You can see the signs they made for their groups on the doors in the hallway near the church offices.  If your child wasn't here last week, there is plenty of time for them to choose a group.  During the first three Sundays in March, the kids will work to prepare their presentations to the congregation, which are schedule for March 26th.   Information and a calendar about Mini-Missions has been sent to families, and is available in the Crocker Chapel.  If you would like to learn more, or volunteer to help, please contact Amy at  Thank you!
Youth Lenten Series and Sleepover - Beginning in March 
We are excited to share a creative new series for our youth that will begin on March 5th, and run through the five Sundays in Lent, and into Holy Week.   This hands-on series will explore the mystery of Communion and what it means to live together as beloved community.  As part of the series, we'll have a Lenten sleepover at the church (Friday, March 10th - Saturday, March 11th).   An overview of the series was sent to parents, and can be found in the Crocker Chapel. 
Youth Winter/Spring Calendar
Our Youth Ministry Team has an exciting rest of the winter and spring planned for our UCW youth.  An updated calendar-of-events is being sent to all youth families, and is available in the Crocker Chapel.  It will also be available online at  
Ash Wednesday - March 1
st - 6:00 p.m. Service for Kids
In the hour before our full Ash Wednesday worship service (which begins at 7:00 p.m.), kids and families are invited to an interactive service that will explore, in an age-appropriate way, the meaning and rituals of Ash Wednesday and Lent.   We will also have childcare and activities in the Littlehale room during the 7:00 p.m. service.

Mission Matters   "Let us love not in word or deed, but in truth and action" (1 John 3:18)
Loving Our Neighbors as Ourselves
Last Sunday we were joined by our partners; Josephine McNeil from CAN-DO, Lynn Weissberg from Engine 6/ Livable Newton, Sister Joyce and Anne Jarvis from Project Care and Concern and Adam Hearlson from Ecclesia Ministries.  We heard about their successes and struggles as they address homelessness, transitional housing and affordable housing in the greater Boston and Newton areas.  Those in attendance were not left with a heavy heart, but with the hope that we at the Union Church can support our partners on this journey! 
Kent Wittler reflects on our conversation: "The discussion after church of homelessness and housing was rich and probative. The stories of the experiences of Ecclesia Ministries, Engine 6, Can-Do, and Project Care and Concern, underscore just how broad, deep and enduring the problem of housing is."
"The rich testimony of our guests in the most personal terms of their daily experience with the homeless was quite moving and inspired. It really underscored the value of dignity in housing and all the positives that can flow from it ."
Here are some ways to stay connected

Engine 6/Livable Newton  
Attend a meeting!
March 1, 7:00 p.m. at the
Union Church (reception room)
CAN-DO Buy a ticket:  Yes! In My Back Yard!  14th Annual Celebration:
 A tribute to retiring Executive Director, Josephine McNeil
 Mistress of Ceremonies - Robin Young, Co-host of WBUR's "Here and Now"
 Sunday, March 12, 4:00 to 7:30 p.m., Boston Marriott Newton
 For details, go to
Project Care and Concern:         
Join our partners at a barbecue! UCW will be hosting a barbecue in
   Dorchester, early June. This will be an opportunity to meet recipients of Mitten gifts!
   More details to come!   CORRECTION: The correct phone number is 617-288-2372

Ecclesia Ministries
Join us on the Common, June 25th!  

Our partners remain in our hearts! Please see the Mission Board for information
from our February 12th conversation!

A Valentine's Letter to Russell School Teachers!
The teachers at our Partner School Russell Elementary in Dorchester do not have enough classroom supplies. They all received a gift of some copy paper as a Valentine from us this year! The letter to them read:

heart-paper-icon.jpg Happy Valentine's Day Russell Teachers! hearts-icon.jpg
From The Union Church in Waban

We love The Russell School and we are thinking of all you do for the
students and families.
We have been a Partner for Russell School for five years!  We have supported:
*     Literacy Night Math Night, Intercultural Night, Art Night,
Community Night, Open House
*     Field Day, BOKS,  and the 5K race
*     The Music program of both chorus and instruments
*     Parent Council School Support Council
*     Coat Drive, and Becoming a Level One School Celebration
*     Computer Coding Club Tutoring
*     And more
We heard from you that one way we could support teachers directly is to bring you
a valentine surprise of copy paper for your classrooms.
We deliver this with our thanks for all you do for the wonderful children you serve and please let us know how we can be even better partners to Russell Elementary School this year and in the years ahead.

The Week Ahead

Sun., Feb. 19
9:35 a.m.
Singing the Psalms
10:00 a.m.
11:15 a.m.
Bell Choir Rehearsal
   Wed., Feb. 22
7:30 a.m.
Prayer Group
9:00 a.m.
Coffee w/Stacy at Starbucks
Sun., Feb. 26
8:00 a.m.
Bible Study
9:00 a.m.
Choir Rehearsal
9:35 a.m.
Singing the Psalms
10:00 a.m.
11:15 a.m.
Bell Choir Rehearsal
11:30 a.m.
Congregational Conversation on Worship

For a complete listing, and details of all upcoming events, 
please visit our website calendar HERE

Help lay the table during fellowship hour
One of the many ministries of UCW is hosting a fellowship hour after worship on Sunday morning.  This table, laid with love and a simple spread is (as Adam Hearlson said in his mission moment a few weeks ago) very much a communion table.  It not only nourishes our bodies, but it also nourishes the relationships that make us one Body, one with each other and with God. If you would like to share in this ministry and host this time of communion, please go here.
Union Church in Waban 
Inclement  Weather Advisory

It is the hope of the Union Church to always have our sanctuary open on Sunday mornings for worship and fellowship.  We also realize that conditions may be such that the safest option for staff and congregants is not to travel.  We ask that all use their best judgment.  As such, in inclement conditions, the church will remain open - however we cannot assure that there will be childcare, Sunday School, professional music or pulpit coverage.  

Every effort will be made to keep walkways and stairs clear, although this cannot be guaranteed.  Congregants will find an open door, a worship service and sanctuary together with others.  

I n the extreme situation in which the church is unable to open, notification will be on the church website (, a message will be on the church phone, and media announcements can be found on WBZ-TV.