The Union Church in Waban   
Friday, March 3, 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. 
ls here.)
Worship at 10:00 a.m. 
This Sunday is the first Sunday in Lent.  The Scripture passage brings us into the house of Mary and Martha.  Jesus is visiting and Martha is busy.  Mary, however, (much to Martha's dismay) is sitting at Jesus feet.  This is also a Communion Sunday and when our Lenten prayer station will be introduced to the congregation. 
Bell Choir Practice: 11:15 a.m.  


Psalm 23:  A Musical Theme for Lent
by Bill Merril

As we enter the season of Lent, our thoughts turn inward in contem
plation of the forty day journey that we make with Jesus.  This journey is reflected in the music that we sing along the dark and lonesome path, music that comforts and assures us that we will arrive at the bright light of Easter morning.

One of the most comforting of all texts during Lent is the 23rd Psalm of David.  In Judaism,this psalm is referred to as the "Shepherd's Psalm", because it describes God as a shepherd leading his sheep along safe paths.  In Christianity, we understand that the shepherd is Jesus.  This psalm has been set countless times by many composers throughout the ages.  During our Lenten season you will hear some varied musical settings that create quite different moods, while remaining faithful to the essential meaning of the words.

On March 5 th, the first Sunday in Lent, we will sing Howard Goodall's setting, which was made famous by its use as the theme music for the BBC series "The Vicar of Dibley"
(listen HERE).  This setting has a pastoral mood to it that makes you feel you're practically walking through the quiet English countryside.  The "still waters" and "green pastures" are very much invoked in this music.

ON March12th, the choir will offer a more folk-like setting by the contemporary worship composer, Stuart Townend.  It sounds more like a folk hymn, with the same music used for all the verses, yet intensely moving in its simple harmonies and guitar-like accompaniment.

Bethany Worrell, our soprano soloist, will sing the beautiful setting of the psalm by Albert Hay Malotte on March 19 th.  Those of you who love Malotte's setting of the Lord's Prayer will also enjoy this more "operatic" version, which although being somewhat grander in expression, is very uplifting.
The most unusual setting of the 23rd psalm, composed by Bobby McFerrin, will be sung by the Men's Choir on March 26th.  McFerrin, a popular jazz vocalist and composer, dedicated this lovely setting to his mother, changing all the pronouns to feminine ones.  The nature of God becomes a maternal one, nourishing and leading us along right paths.  Another unusual aspect of this setting is that it ends with a Doxology.  "Glory be to our Mothers, Our Daughter, and to the Holy of Holies".

I hope that our music this month will lend comfort as well as much beauty to your Lenten 

William Merrill,
Director of Music

Worship - 

Does UCW feel like home? 
 Do you want to join the church?

        We will be receiving new members into our life
        together this Spring.  If you are interested in
        learning more about UCW and/or becoming
        a member, please be in touch with 
        Pastor Stacy .

Lent at the Union Church in Waban
"Creating the Beloved Community - A Lenten Journey of Communion"

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 opening up 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.  

Food for the Journey
Wednesday Evening Worship at
                                       7:00 p.m. Throughout Lent
Come be nourished each week as we journey towards Easter! Each Wednesday night, we will share bread and cup as we are nourished for our pilgrimage. Each worship service will be unique, and there will also be some ongoing practices that we include each week. Come walk the labyrinth, pray with paint, hear a story, sing a song. There will be many opportunities to be renewed with each other!
Memorial Chapel (the side chapel off the sanctuary). Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m., starting March 8thChildcare will be provided.   
March 8:
Poetry for the Journey
March 15:
I Wonder... Engaging Our Imaginations
March 22:
Walking the Labyrinth
March 29:
Feeding the Soul with Quietness
April 5:
Babbette's Feast
 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!  Over the last few weeks, our kids have chosen 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 hasn't yet chosen a group, there is still plenty of time to join in.  During the first three Sundays in March, the kids will work to prepare their presentations to the congregation, which are scheduled for March 26th.   Information and a calendar about Mini-Missions has been sent to families, and is available in the Crocker Chapel and online under the Children's and Youth Ministry tab of  If you would like to learn more, or volunteer to help, please contact Amy at  Thank you!
Youth Lenten Series - This Month    
We are excited to share a creative new series for our youth that will begin today, 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. Today our youth will help prepare our bread, and serve Communion.  This morning, the youth will also be introducing our new Lenten Prayer Station, which they helped to create during Sunday School in February.   An overview of the Lenten series was sent to parents, and can be found in the Crocker Chapel or online under the Youth Ministry tab of  

Youth Lenten Sleepover - Next Weekend! 
As part of the series, we'll have a Lenten sleepover at the church (Friday, March 10th - Saturday, March 11th).   During this sleepover, we'll eat together, play games, talk about the Lenten journey and walk the church's labyrinth.  We'll also begin to plan youth-led portions of the worship service on April 2nd.  Youth are invited to all or part of the time, with a Friday night pick-up at 11:00 p.m. Parents should have received an Evite to this event.  If you haven't received the Evite, or if you have any questions, please contact Amy at .  We're also still looking for a few overnight chaperones, and are grateful for anyone interested in volunteering (please contact Amy.)

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 under the Youth Ministry tab.   

Adult Education, Fellowship, and Spiritual Formation 

"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   

NICA Service Trip 2018

Information for Potential Travelers

NICA Service Trip
The City of Newton became a strong supporter of Nicaragua after the controversial US policy backing the Contra Rebels in the 1980's. By 1988 the small fishing town of San Juan Del Sur became Newton's Sister City. The Union Church spent many years in the late 1990's supporting Nicaragua with donations of supplies and prayers of healing but we knew we wanted to do more.
The Union Church, as part of our mission work, completed our first service project in 2002 and we have never looked back.  Clean water, school uniforms and supplies, rehabilitation of schools have made up the 8 completed physical projects to date but that is only part of the story. The love, spirit, connections and hope that crossed intergenerationally between ourselves and by and between our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua has been truly amazing. If you want to find out more about the upcoming trip, please go 
here .
The Week Ahead
Sun., Mar. 5
9:35 a.m.
Singing the Psalms
10:00 a.m.
11:15 a.m.
Bell Choir Rehearsal
11:30 a.m.
Confirmation Conversation
Mon.,  Mar. 6
6:00 p.m.
Nimbus Mtg.
7:00 p.m.
Choir Rehearsal
Tue.,  Mar. 7
6:00 p.m.
Deacons Mtg.
   Wed., Mar. 8
7:30 a.m.
Prayer Group
9:00 a.m.
Coffee w/Stacy at Starbucks
7:00 p.m.
Wednesday Evening Service
Fri.,  Mar. 10
6:00 p.m.
Lenten Youth Sleepover
Sun., Mar. 12
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

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.
Our Partner  Russell School faces this issue everyday and counts on their partners to achieve opportunity and equity for marginalized students. You are invited to attend.