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The Compass, March 13, 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."


The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from. Frederick Buechner


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!


Did you miss Sunday service? Watch it here!


What does it mean to be a people of Transformation?

March 14: AHA! New Bedford: Women's Work, 5-7 pm. Join the Way Cool Sunday School team for a Soul Shakedown with art, music, and more! Soul Shakedown is an opportunity to express yourself via art, listen to music, and take part in a storytelling exercise! 

March 17: Spring Equinox - Changing Seasons Grow New Things. So Can We!

[Online-only service - New Bedford Half Marathon]

March 24: Change Ignorance Into Learning, Purim: Queen Esther

March 31: Easter - The Change from Sad Hearts to Hopeful Hearts; Remembering that Bad Times Won’t Last Forever, The Egg We Need by Anne Howard (UUA)

“Transformation: We adapt to the changing world. We covenant to collectively transform and grow spiritually and ethically. Openness to change is fundamental to our Unitarian and Universalist heritages, never complete and never perfect.”


Easter Flower order forms are available at the entrance to the sanctuary and in the Parish House. Please have all orders in by March 22. You will have the option to order tulips, hyacinths, or lilies.


Great news! We have an instructor who will be hosting yoga classes at the church. More details will be provided as we get them.



We are looking for vendors to set up in the yard during the 40th Annual Jazz service on June 30, 2024. The fee to set up is $35 and is open to anyone selling handmade items. Please share this with artisans you may know and support.


AHA! New Bedford, Thursday, March 14

Join us on Thursday, March 14th for Women’s Work, an AHA! Night celebration of Women’s History Month.

AHA! Night partners are hosting events for all ages in honor of the impact of the powerful and creative women around us. Here's a peek at what's happening:

See Blue Whales: Return of the Giants 3D film, featuring the research of Dr. Diane Gendron, the scientist is behind the world’s most comprehensive blue whale database. See it for free at the Whaling Museum before the film leaves on the 17th!

Explore the local Women’s History timeline created by the Women’s Alliance on display at the National Park Maker Space. There will be crafts and materials to make your own timeline.

Experience Herstory, an intergenerational oral history project pairing high school and college students with older women with ties to New Bedford’s fishing community - at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center.

Take part in a Soul Shakedown at the First Unitarian Church in New Bedford with art, music, and merriment.

To see the full list of activities, visit


Assurances & Affirmations

March 6, 2024

“I said to the sun, ‘Tell me about the big bang.’ The sun said, ‘It hurts to become.’"—Andrea Gibson

Recently, a friend of mine was lamenting to me about having a particularly “low ebb” day—my name for days that are hard for no identifiable reason. The dishes pile up in the sink. Those important emails go unanswered. The clothes don't get pulled out of the dryer and put away. Simple tasks aren’t so simple, and everything is…harder. As such, my friend was feeling a little down, and motivation was scarce for them.

I knew I was supposed to listen and not try to fix anything in our conversation, with one caveat: to help take the edge off, I decided to affirm all of the things I love about them, while I witnessed their struggle and pain.

My friend and I have a consent culture around this practice. We agreed years ago to affirm one another when the low ebb days hit, in an attempt to help get us out of the funk. I know a little something about those days: days where I don’t feel loved, worthy, or whole. When I feel that way, I need love from friends and my community but it’s hard to ask for it.

Slowly, my friend began to feel a little better. Then I got a few more friends in our circle to follow suit by sending them uplifting messages of affirmations of who they are, and what we so admire and love about them. Our friend then began to tackle their tough tasks, held by the healing balm of our small but fierce beloved community.

They texted me later that night to thank me, telling me how great it was to receive so much affirmation. It reminded them of who they are and why they’re so important to this world.

Appreciation and deep witness are beautiful gateways for returning to our most authentic selves. That day it was their turn to ask for help; tomorrow it might be mine. The day after, it might be yours.

What if we normalized asking for and receiving affirmations more regularly? If you have a few extra spoons, what would it look like to bless a friend who is out of spoons by sending extra affirmation, assurance, and love?


We are not just flesh and bone, we have stardust in our veins, a reminder that we carry within us the planets that align in our hearts. May we show up for one another, show up for ourselves in the process, and remember we are divinity incarnate. May we learn to lean into that pure and true source in each other more willingly, and with a love that will not abandon us and will sustain us for the many hard days that have passed and those yet to come.

About the Author -Jami A. Yandle

The Rev. Jami Yandle (they/them) is a non-binary UU minister, graduate of Union Theological Seminary, and a Board Certified Chaplain. Currently, Rev. Yandle serves the UUA as the Transgender Support Specialist.


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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