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The Compass, January 24, 2024

Updated: Jan 31


January 28: Social Justice Teach-In


See everything happening at UUNB on the website calendar!


Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.


Did you miss Sunday service? Watch it here!


What does it mean to be a people of LIBERATING LOVE?

January 28: Love Pulls Us Toward Beauty 

  • Social Justice Sunday

  • Birthday Blessings

  • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Walking Field Trip 10:45 am


30 Days of Love WEEK TWO: JANUARY 22 - JANUARY 28

Theme: Re-Imagining :: Climate Justice, Reflection by Rachel Myslivy

The North Carolina Climate Justice Collective offered a framework for the 4 Rs of Social Transformation for people working on climate: 

  • Resist: working against the current systems

  • Reform: working within the current systems

  • Reimagine: envisioning a just new system

  • Recreate: creating models for a  just new system

We need people learning, acting, reflecting in each of the four areas.  One approach is not better than the other; rather, they are complementary and each approach is as important as the other.  Take a moment to think about yourself and the way you approach climate justice… Are you a Reformer committed to policy change?  Do you take to the streets as a Resister?  Do you orient to dismantling and creating new systems? Do you light up with the possibilities of Recreating?  Once you find your natural inclination to this framework, ask yourself which approach feels the most difficult for you?  Which one do you admire the most?

When I first learned about this framework, the first prompt was: “Where are you in your work?” And the second was, “Where are you in your heart?” For me, most of my climate work has been squarely in the reform and recreate with resist sprinkled throughout.  In my heart, I reimagine.  For me, the magic happens when we are curious, exploring new ways of thinking and being in relationship with each other and the planet.  Reimagining encourages us to shake off our can’ts  and embrace our coulds.  What could the future hold if love was at the center of our selves, of our relationships, of our actions, of our world?  What does the idea of “reimagining” climate justice call to mind for you?  How does it feel in your body when you think of reimagining the future?  When we embrace reimagining, we move past myopic, my-way-or-the-highway thinking and into the space of possibility; shifting from scarcity into abundance.  

If we are to realize a world with no fossil fuels, where clean energy is a human right, and all beings thrive, we need new systems, norms, approaches, and ways of being to bring that world into existence.  For the Abolitionist Visions of Climate Justice (see video) event in May 2023, we asked now Pres. Sofía Betancourt, Dr. Rashid Shaikh, and Antoinette Scully to draw a picture of the world they want to see.  If you imagine the world we want to create, what does it look like?  How does it feel?  What does not exist in that future world?

Without a clear vision of the world we want, we prioritize short term gains and false solutions; we advance goals disconnected from cultural shifts, we divide our focus, and our movements are out of alignment with justice.  If we reimagine a world with justice, with love at the center, we cultivate communities of care where all beings thrive.  

Reimagining is not spiritual bypassing.  It is not daydreaming with no action.  It does not dismiss the harmful systems of oppression or ignore the climate disruption that is breaking our communities and our world.   As we work toward a future where all are free, we must dream beyond our current circumstances.  Those dreams are the seed of that future, and as we believe, we begin to shift our relationships, our commitments, and our actions to creating that world.  

2023 was the hottest year on record, and we broke the record for billion dollar disasters by September.  As we experience the climate crisis, we become increasingly distressed at the perilous state of our world. Climate anxiety, eco-anxiety, and climate grief are breaking the hearts of so many.  Reimagining the future we want can soothe this anxiety while also helping folks recommit to meaningful action.  

How?  What are the connections between anxiety and imagining?  How can reimagining inform our resistance?  Our efforts to reform?  What systems do we need to create?  As we reimagine together, what new (and ancient) ways of being can we bring to our relationships? To our organizing?  To our inner work?  How can reimagining nourish our individual and collective spirits for the long haul?

We invite you to explore these questions and more as we reimagine together this 30 Days of Love.

Rachel Myslivy is the climate justice organizer for the UUA's Side With Love Organizing Strategy Team.


You are invited! Are you curious about becoming a Pagan or want to meet more earth-centered individuals? Join us for a meet and greet at the First Unitarian Church's Parish House on February 2 from 6 pm - 9 pm.


  • Something for the nibbles table (snack or drink)

  • A poem, song, artwork, etc. to share in a "Bard's Circle."

We will discuss the needs of the Pagan community and ways to create a new, diverse Pagan group for the Greater New Bedford area.

RSVP below!


Social Justice Meeting - Today

The First Unitarian's Social Justice Committee meets weekly on Wednesday at 6:30 PM. We hope to see you there! We will be discussing the Social Justice service for January 28.


Only 7 days left to get your donations in! The Social Justice Committee is collecting food and personal care items through January to make care packets for those in need. Donations can be dropped off at the church office Monday-Friday 10 am - 1 pm or at Sunday service.


Thrift Shop Update
Heart Confetti

Now featuring:

  • Valentine's decorations and clothing

  • Athletic/exercise clothing

  • Miscellaneous items include an air purifier, a small plug-in heater, an alarm clock, radios, DVD players, and stereo headphones.

Sale items - Men's fleece jackets $5.00, all Women's pants $1.00

New donations - high-quality glassware, linens, and fabric pieces.


Pam has brought up some blankets from the Thrift Shop and left them in the back pew for those who are feeling a bit chilly during service. Thanks, Pam!


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


Side With Love!

Please join us for a webinar on Reimagining with Energy Democracy this Thursday, January 25 at 4pm PT / 5pm MT / 6pm CT / 7pm ET, to explore the ways Energy Democracy reimagines a world where everyone thrives and recreates the systems we need to bring about that future.

Energy Democracy helps frontline communities build power and liberation by reimagining how we organize our lives toward new systems that support the health and well-being of our communities and ecosystems.

We invite you to explore the power of Energy Democracy and the ways our congregations can reimagine energy for our communities.

This is the last session in our webinar series on Clean Energy as a Human Right. Please share this opportunity with members of your congregation, especially those who work with managing your congregation's building, facilities, and maintenance.

Join Side With Love and special guests from the Energy Democracy Project, Cleveland Owns, People Power Solar, and POWER Interfaith at Reimagining with Energy Democracy on January 25 at 4pm PT / 5pm MT / 6pm CT / 7pm ET. Register to join us!

During Black History Month, the New Bedford Historical Society will celebrate the connection between New Bedford and Frederick Douglass during the 21st Annual Frederick Douglass Read-A-Thon.

'The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An, American Slave Written by Himself' will be read from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4, at the First Unitarian Church, 71 8th St., New Bedford. This is the first autobiography of Frederick Douglass written in 1845.

The annual Read-a-thon is a celebration of the historical connection between the people of New Bedford and the young Frederick Douglass. Douglass found his way to New Bedford through the Underground Railroad as a 20-year-old freedom seeker in the fall of 1838. He earned his first paid wages as a free man gathering and putting away coal for the minister of the First Unitarian Church, Ephraim Peabody. Douglass cast his first vote as a free man in elections in the city.

Members of the New Bedford community are invited to join the event as readers in honoring the legacy of Douglass. Refreshments will be available. For additional information or to be a reader, contact the Society at (508) 979-8828 or



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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