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The Compass, February 21, 2024


Our Mission: Our Mission is to encourage diversity and mutual acceptance and to work for positive change in ourselves and our community.

"We envision a congregation in which we practice the principles of our faith. We seek to enjoy peaceful reflection and inspiration in intellectually and spiritually satisfying church services. We aim to embrace the people and efforts of our church community by supporting our children and their programs, our committees and their goals, our staff and their efforts on our behalf, and each other."


February Services

Registration is not required. Tap "Register Now" to see service details.

Lee Blake, President of the New Bedford Historical Society

Lee has been active in education reform and community development for over 30 years as a teacher, administrator, and nonprofit manager in New Bedford and New York. She served as director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Education Services under Mayor David Dinkins for 8 years creating public policy that strengthened public education in New York and across the country. 

In New Bedford, she served as the executive director of the Campus Compact at the University of MA-Dartmouth for 15 years which worked to support public school education and teacher development in the region. Lee retired from her work at UMass in 2018 and recently received an Honorary Doctorate in African American Studies and Social Justice from UMass in 2023. 

As president of the New Bedford Historical Society, Lee partners with a variety of arts and cultural organizations across the city of New Bedford to plan and implement educational and cultural activities that promote the history and contributions of African Americans, Cabo Verdeans, Native Americans, and other people of color to the historical narrative of New Bedford. Her leadership has helped to make New Bedford’s history more inclusive and that promotes all members of the Greater New Bedford community. Lee includes a strong component of youth and educational programming to events the Historical Society sponsors.

You can see her work in our city’s murals that celebrate the Black and Cape Verdean experience in New Bedford including the 54th Mural and 54th Regiment MA Park, the Jazz Mural, and recently Abolition Row Park and the Douglass Memorial statue. 

Lee has received many local, state, and federal awards for her work preserving African American history and historic sites. These awards include the Governor’s Award for the Humanities from Massachusetts Humanities, the Julie McCarthy Community Spirit Award for her work in Historic Preservation from Preservation Massachusetts, the Robert Stanton Award from the National Park Service for her work preserving the history of the Underground Railroad and Women of the Year for the City of New Bedford for her work reclaiming Black History.   


March Services - Welcome to the Gift of Transformation

Registration is not required. Tap "Register Now" to see service details.


See everything happening at UUNB on the website calendar!


i don't want America no more.

i want to be a citizen of something new...

i want a country that keeps its word...

i want a country that don't treat it's people like a


i want a country not trying to cure itself of me...

I want a nation under a kinder god.

I want justice the verb not justice the dream.

i want what was promised to me

i want 40 acres and a vote that matters.

i want no prisons and a mule...

i want peace. i want equity. i want guns

melted into a masque, a church

a place for us to pray

and i wanna stop praying for my country

to be mine


Did you miss Sunday service? Watch it here!


What does it mean to be a people of Justice & Equity?

February 25: The Gift of Joy and Beloved Community - Birthday Blessings


UUA Condemns Violence Against Gaza, Urges Immediate and Total Ceasefire

February 14, 2024

There are crystallizing moments in the course of history when, in spite of the differences that exist among us, our common reverence for life demands that we speak with moral courage and clarity on the side of love. As people of faith and conviction, Unitarian Universalists share a belief that every human life is sacred, endowed with worth and dignity from the moment of birth, with no person more deserving of freedom and flourishing than any other. Our living tradition has long maintained that the only hells that exist are those that we create for one another, here on earth.

We are watching in real-time as the people of Gaza exist in a human-made hell that grows more unimaginable every day. At this point, 28,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed and nearly 70,000 have been injured by Israeli attacks in Gaza since Hamas attacked Israeli citizens on October 7. The medical infrastructure in Gaza has been decimated, and the Israeli government continues to prevent humanitarian aid, including food and water, from reaching refugees. And this week, the Netanyahu administration has announced the forced evacuation and ground invasion of Rafah, where 1.3 million displaced Palestinians have set up a massive tent city as a last refuge. The UUA first joined the call for a ceasefire on October 17, rooted in our historic positions as an organization; nearly four months later, this situation could not be more urgent.

In their January 26 emergency interim ruling, the International Court of Justice found that these atrocities in Gaza plausibly constitute genocidal acts and issued an immediate order to the Israeli government to “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II,” the United Nation’s Convention on genocide (PDF, 4 pages). While the UUA has historically affirmed the importance of the Genocide Conventions, we know there is a wide range of opinion among Unitarian Universalists about how this terminology is used today. What should be clear to all of us, however, is that the Israeli government’s forced displacement, punishment, and intentional inflicting of suffering and death upon children and civilians in Gaza is a moral catastrophe that our faith demands we condemn and resist.

In that spirit, the Unitarian Universalist Association reiterates our condemnation of the Israeli military’s ongoing violence against Gaza and joins again with the growing chorus of voices across the globe urging immediate and total ceasefire, the provision of massive emergency humanitarian aid, and the safe return of all hostages and prisoners.

As longtime proponents of the crucial work of the United Nations and its official agencies (see resolutions from 1965, 1969, 1972, 1981 and 2010), the UUA is grateful for the nuance and thoroughness of the UN International Court of Justice’s January 26 findings. We decry the Israeli leadership’s ongoing rejection of all ceasefire proposals and outright flouting of the ICJ’s findings and directives in its ongoing military assault.

The UUA further condemns the US government’s unabated complicity in the crisis in Gaza, from providing massive military aid to Israel to slashing funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees. Without international pressure, the Netanyahu administration will undoubtedly follow through on their vow to achieve “total victory” by decimating the entirety of Gaza. We call for the US government to stop funding Israel’s military machine, and to leverage its unrivaled influence upon Israel and in the world community to intervene and stop the attacks on Gaza.

Each day the assault on Gaza continues brings us closer to the brink of calamitous international war. Tensions continue to escalate among nations, and violence has already transgressed national borders and international waters. As a faith community that has historically advocated for peaceful resolution of conflict and protection of international law, we believe it is imperative that the global community respond decisively to mitigate ongoing harm and prevent further catastrophic loss of life. This terrifying moment calls all people of faith and conscience to do everything in our power to push our governments to interrupt genocide, address humanitarian crisis, avert multinational war, and weave just and lasting peace across the globe.

In that spirit, we offer our prayers to all those working to mitigate harm and stop the atrocities, from journalists and doctors and humanitarian workers on the ground, to Israeli citizens and Jews across the diaspora faithfully engaging and courageously protesting the right-wing Netanyahu regime, to global multi-faith and secular movements advocating for ceasefire. We urge Unitarian Universalists to listen deeply, especially to the voices of Palestinians whose lives and communities have been the vast majority of casualties of this war, and to think critically about the ways the United States is complicit in enabling this disaster to continue.

Like many, we dream of an enduring peace in the Middle East. Israelis and Palestinians deserve real and lasting safety, as do all people in the Holy Land. Long-term diplomatic solutions that honor international human rights and religious freedom are essential. However, in this critical moment we must pressure our leaders to turn back from this precipice of unspeakable violence, or this dream will not have a future.

We call upon all Unitarian Universalists to open our hearts and be present to the depths of human suffering in this moment – not just by one group, but by people of many nationalities, identities, and religions. We commit to identifying and mitigating the evils of anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism, and Islamophobia in our own tradition and to address their toxic legacies wherever we encounter them. Our faith rejects all forms of nationalism and supremacy, and insists that we struggle for multiracial, multi-religious democracy in our own nation and across the world. We encourage all Unitarian Universalists to take action in solidarity not only with global movements for ceasefire, but with liberatory pro-democratic movements of all kinds that are working toward a future that contains the conditions of possibility for a true and enduring peace.

For Further Reading

UUA Resources and Statements on the War in Gaza

Statements and Resources from UUA Partners


Thrift Shop Update


  • Set of vintage Hall china

  • Princess House glass

  • Vintage Beanie Babies

Sale Items:

  • All women’s winter jackets and coats 50% off

  • Snowmen decorations 2 for $1

New Donations:

  • Framed prints

  • Pots & Pans



We want your feedback! Please take our anonymous survey to understand the congregation's specific needs better as we plan for the future. Thank you for your participation.


Volunteers Needed!

The 40th Annual Jazz service will be held on June 30th, 2024. We are looking for a few church members to serve on a committee to work out the details of the event, plan fundraising, and sell ads to help offset the cost of hiring performers. If you are interested, please email


The New Bedford Whaling Museum's First Fridays is a 21+ after-hours experience of fine art, music and culture, featuring signature cocktails, and delicious tapas.

On Friday, March 1, fire up your winter season with us at the museum, as we host internationally renowned djembefola Sidy Maïga, hailing from Mali, and steel drummer Becky Bass from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.

Between performances, experience the joy of learning some djembe drum beats from the djembe master himself, alongside other curious learners. Bring your own djembe or borrow one of the dozens of drums provided (early ticket buyers get first pick).


For more than 25 years, Sidy Maïga has shared the wonder of drumming with students and audiences around the world. Sidy’s expertise in traditional Malian and West African music was just the beginning of his professional musical journey. He employs global rhythms that are as expressive as they are joyful.

Becky Bass is a renowned vocalist, steel drummer & actor. A two-time New England Urban Music Award winner, Becky’s beautiful, angelic voice and skillful steel pan playing can now be heard while performing her Caribbean Soul music as a solo artist as well as with several bands all over the New England area. She has had the opportunity to open for and perform with many international artists, including Oumou Sangare, Yellowman, Warrior King, and Wyclef Jean


From the Unitarian Universalist Hysterical Society


Our Promises

  • Each person is important.

  • Be kind in all you do.

  • We help each other learn.

  • We search for what is true.

  • Each person has a say.

  • Work for a peaceful world.

  • The web of life’s the way.

  • Build the beloved community, free from racism and oppression.

First Unitarian Church in New Bedford

71 8th Street, New Bedford, MA 02740

(508) 994-9686

Administrator ext. 10

Minister ext. 13

Karen cell: (508) 441-9344

Board Members & Officers

Steve Carmel, President

Charles Morgan, Vice President

Deborah Carmel, Treasurer

Cora Peirce, Clerk


Committee Chairs


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