First Unitarian Church of Providence
news & notes

Courtesy Richard Boobernews & events

These are just some of the many events happening in our community. See them all in the latest newsletter!

Coming of Age Taco Night
El Noche por una Fiesta del Tacos!
Saturday, January 28, 6:00 - 8:00p
(snow date: February 4th)
What’s better than tacos with teens?! Your hosts, the First Unitarian Coming of Age families, invite you to join us for a First Unitarian Fiesta featuring a festive evening with delicious tacos and more, plus entertainment.

Chase the winter chill away with good company and food. Relax, visit, and mingle as your hosts and their families serve you.

To further spice up your time, purchase a raffle ticket or two for a chance to take home one of a variety of specialty items. This event helps support the eighth-graders’ trip to the UUA headquarters in Boston later in the spring. Bring your family and invite your friends!

Donations for the raffle table are welcome! Contact Cynthia Rosengard (crosengard@gmail. com).

Individual Tickets: $8; Family Tickets (4): $25 Tickets are on sale during Coffee Hour.

Standing on the Side of Love: January
SSL Monthly Meeting
Monthly meeting: December 11
Program: Accessible Transportation in RI - November 20, 12:00p
Join the RI Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty, RI Organizing Project and Olneyville Neighborhood Association to talk about transportation access at the intersection of faith, poverty, and justice. Learn about two important advocacy concerns:
(a) protecting the no-fare RIPTA bus pass for seniors and people with disabilities; and
(b) making driver’s licenses accessible to undocumented Rhode Islanders.
What are the facts on theseissues? What are the stories behind the numbers? How does our faith inform our thinking about transportation justice here in Rhode Island?

Contact: Tiffany Reed (

January Suppers!
January All-Parish Parish Supper, featuring Curt Spalding of the E.P.A.
Friday, December 15
Everyone, young and old and in between, is welcome at these monthly gatherings of members and friends of the congregation.
5:45p Social Hour: Bring hors d’oeuvres to share and/or wine for your own party if you wish.
6:15p Potluck Dinner: Please bring a dish to share that serves at least eight people. You can bring a main dish, a vegetable, a salad, or a dessert.
7:45p 7:45p Program in the Auditorium: "Protecting our Waterways and Communities in RI"

Our waterways are precious resources that not only define the places where we live, but also serve as an economic driver for our region. Our presenter will be Curt Spalding, EPA Regional Administrator and former director of Save the Bay in Rhode Island.

Curt is an engaging speaker who will give a PowerPoint presentation about the condition, protection, and improvement of our waterways, especially Narraganset Bay. A major challenge that threatens the health of our waterways is climate change. He will discuss how the EPA has been approaching the various environmental challenges in partnership with communities and the state. The goal is to find holistic environmental economic and social solutions that put communities first. Please plan to join us for this important program on climate change in Rhode Island.

Reservations for the dinner are strongly requested. Please fill out the tear-off form in the Sunday Meeting House Times and put it in the collection plate; see Jim Estey at Coffee Hour; or call the church office in advance (401.421.7970). Childcare for infants and children to age 10 will be available for parents who request in advance; call Jim Estey (401.351.1748).

Saturday Social Supper
Saturday, January 7, starting at 5:30p
In January there will be two concurrent Social Suppers. One will be held at the home of Tony and Irene Allen in Providence, while the other will be held at the same time at Stew and Beth Armstrong’s in Bristol. People new to the church are encouraged to attend; it’s a very nice way to meet others from our church family.

The host for the February 4th Supper is Mary Frappier in Providence. For reservations, contact Shirley DiMatteo (, 401.477.9668) with the number of people in your party and what you would like to bring.

Upcoming: Save the Date!
Summer Escape in Europe
Next meeting TBA
The Transylvania Partner Church Committee has begun to plan a new adventure to visit our Partner Church. Last June, there was great interest in going to visit our friends again next summer.

We have a draft itinerary that includes visiting a number of UNESCO sites including medieval castles and fortified churches. The trip will culminate in Szentegyhaza, the home of our partner church. There we will renew old acquaintances for four eventful days. If there is enough interest, there is also the possibility of visiting the painted monasteries and historic 400–500 year old Wooden Churches in northern Romania.

Please come to our meeting to learn more. If you want more information prior to the meeting, contact Tom Getz (

Opening Events
Guest at Your Table
starting November 20
Guest at Your Table is the UUSC’s annual intergenerational program to raise support for and awareness about their work to advance human rights.

This year’s program theme is “Defying Hate,” based on the recent release of the Ken Burns documentary about UUSC founders Martha and Waitstill Sharp, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War (on PBS in September). The Sharps defied hate by helping Jews and dissidents escape Nazi Germany using brave, creative methods, many of which could have caused them to be imprisoned, tortured, or worse. Learn more about the Sharps and UUSC’s beginnings at this link.

The UUSC is proud to carry forward the Sharps’ legacy by continuing to defy hate and protect the lives and rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and other marginalized groups, both here in the United States and throughout the world.

Guest at Your Table offers an array of program materials to help you engage with this year’s theme while learning about the initiatives and grassroots partners the UUSC works with to confront hate and bigotry and support human rights from the ground up – just as the Sharps did during their rescue missions.

For more information, contact the Office at (401) 421 7970

Calling All Parents!
Parent Network Nest

Sundays, beginning October 2 The RE Committee (Spiritual Pathways Team) and the Caring Network are offering a drop-in for parents during Coffee Hour in the Web Room (2nd floor, next to the Auditorium).

Grab your Coffee Hour treats and come on by for a chance to talk and connect with other parents!

The Caring Network
First session: all groups on-going
The Caring Network met on October 16 and exchanged updates and ideas. We were very pleased that our interim minister, Charlie Ortman, included a description of our goals and how they relate to the overall good workings of the church community. Friends and members also had a chance to sign up for the Care Crew and Support Groups. We heard reports from all groups of the Caring Network. These are some highlights:

• Our Chalice Circles have 24 new participants to add to our nine groups.
• There is now a chat room for parents of young children to get to know each other – the Parenting Network meets during Coffee Hour in the Web Room, off the Auditorium.
• Anyone who is living alone might be interested in joining the Phone Buddies. This involves a daily check-in with another person. A pilot was run successfully last summer and now we are looking for more people to partner and become Phone Buddies. Please contact Coordinator Judie Knilans if you are interested ( or 401.246.0192).
• A Path to Membership Class with eight participants is under way. There will be a new membership book signing during the service on November 13. Please be sure to say “Hi“ to newcomers holding a blue or purple mug and drop by the Newcomers’ Café after the service.
• The Care Crew was busy last summer and into the early fall serving Meal Trains, shopping, providing rides, sending cards, and making visits. Would you or do you know anyone who would like a friendly visitor? Do you need some meals during an illness or an emergency? Do you need a ride to church or to an appointment?

To be connected to the Care Crew, please contact Shirley DiMatteo (shelley-dimatteo@, Steve McCloy ( or Posey Kooris in the church office (

First Unitarian’s Food Share Pantry
Distribution Day: Monday, November 21
The biggest social justice program at First Unitarian is the Food Share Pantry. It takes many volunteers to keep the program going! Volunteer with your van or truck to transport food from the RI Food Bank to the church, or volunteer for a shift on Distribution Day:
2:00p - 3:00: Set-up
3:00p - 5:00: Shopping with clients
5:00p - 6:00: Restock, recycle, and clean up
To sign up, visit our table in the atrium on Sunday or email our contacts: Martha Manno ( or Nori Duncan (

Loaves & Fishes Mission
Tuesday, November 1, noon to 7:00p
This month, as always, we could use your help - whether time, goods, or money - with carrying out our monthly Loaves & Fishes Mission for the men and women at Emmanuel House. On the first Tuesday of every month, volunteers deliver food, clothing, and respectful companionship to those at Emmanuel House, a homeless shelter in Providence. All are welcome and are encouraged to come to the church to help prepare sandwiches or collect clothes and help load delivery vehicles.
There are three shifts to sign up for:
noon - 1:00p: sandwich crew;
3:00 - 5:00p: clothing organizers and supply loaders;
5:00 - 7:00p: delivery crew.
Contact Joe Salvatore ( for details.

Continuing Programs

Follow Your Muse
Wednesdays starting October 26, 6:30p - 8:30
The Writers’ Circle originated at the First Unitarian Church in 1993. The program moved on to the public sector and became the state’s premier writers’ group. Twenty years later, the Circle returns to the church to offer a helping hand to those who want to tell their story – and every person has a story. It may be a work of fiction, nonfiction, a memoir, poem, or essay, even a play. Follow your muse wherever it takes you.

Are you writing for yourself? Perhaps you’re stuck with an idea and need help getting started. Need others to hear your story, give you feedback, and support your work? You may even dream about being published. Experienced and newcomers are welcome to meet, share, and learn from one another.

For more information or to sign up for workshops, RSVP to Rose Pearson (

Benevolent Street Zendo
An Ongoing Zen Meditation Group
Every Monday at 7:00p

Benevolent Street Zendo is a member community of the Boundless Way Zen Sangha, an interfaith Zen community that maintains close ties with the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and the American Zen Teachers Association. Everyone is welcome. Brief instruction available at 6:45p.
Leaders: Cindy Bapties and George Beshers

Innate Wisdom and Compassion Meditation
Every Wednesday at 7:00p
This drop-in group offers guided meditations of wisdom, love, and compassion. These practices are adapted from Tibetan Buddhism into new forms that can touch the hearts and minds of people from all backgrounds. No previous meditation experience required. You can visit our website at http://foundationforactive
Contact: Ken Bent (

Tai Chi
Every Tuesday at 7:00p
Tai Chi class for beginners to advanced, children to seniors. All inclusive. Instruction and performance.
For information or to sign up, contact Sean Connor (

Reimagining Religion
Second and fourth Tuesdays, 7:00p
Reimagining Religion is an ongoing attempt to employ the best recent scholarship in coming to grips with issues raised by radically new developments in the study of religion and thereby achieving a fuller appreciation of what religious literacy entails in the twenty-first century.
Leader: Tom Hall (

Sunday, October 9, 7:00 - 9:00p
Topic: TBA

Questions for discussion will include:
Join us for this conversation.
Facilitator: TBA ( @ .com)