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The Compass, May 8, 2024


Our Mission is to encourage diversity and mutual acceptance and 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."


Ask yourself, “What kinds of people do I talk about but never talk with?” Whoever is underrepresented in your life, will be overrepresented in your imagination!... This is the truth of our divided landscape.

Mónica Guzman


May Services - Welcome to the Gift of Pluralism

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

The History of Our Church with Judy Lund & Welcome New Members

The Music of Scott Joplin with Rev. Karen LeBlanc and Music Director Randy Fayan

Social Justice Service Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month


See everything happening at UUNB on the website calendar!


Upcoming Events

Registration is preferred for the following events but not required.


Join the Social Justice Committee tonight at 6:30 pm. We will be discussing Pride events in June and NO BID New Bedford.


Did you miss Sunday service? Watch it here!

A very special thanks to our guest musicians Alan Powers, trombone; Jordan Bach, cello; Oden Fayan, trumpet; Mia Hamilton, soprano; Charlotte Knutsen, soprano; Andrew Boyacigiller, tenor; Orion Bloomfield, bass.


May 9: AHA Preservation Celebration 6-8pm {Sanctuary/Garden}, New Bedford native Brian Mello will give a presentation and book signing on his book Unchained.

May 12: Many Sources: “We Are Made of Many Roots!” Spirit Play UU Source Story {Nita Penfold}

May 19: Many People: “No One Get Left Out!”, Way Cool Sunday School Slideshow

Annual Meeting following Service

May 26: Many Things to Celebrate & Many Reasons to Honor Memorial Day,  Photos from the Sunday School Team

Thank you and appreciation to our Way Cool Sunday School team for an amazing year!


Thrift Shop Update

Now Featuring Spring Clothing!

Sale! Upholstered barstools, file cabinet, office chair, decorative pillows, and rugs.

New Donations of jewelry and high quality kitchen items have just arrived.

Donations accepted on Tuesdays and Saturdays during regular Thrift Shop hours Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10n AM - 1 PM.



Save the Date!

Tonianne Wong, Chair of the Social Justice Committee is hosting a Dumpling Party on May 18, at 4:00 PM, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This event is open to church members only. Please wear clothes you don't mind getting messy in as this is a hands-on experience. Attendees will eat together at about 6 PM. Please email admin@uunewbedford if you plan on attending so we know how many ingredients to buy.

The Annual Meeting of the Membership is scheduled for May 19, 2024, at 12:00 PM. Members were notified by mail as per the bylaws. Registration is NOT required.


**Karen has free COVID tests in her office if you need any.


We Are Looking for Business Sponsors

Have a business or know someone who does? We are selling sponsorship ads in the program. Prices start at just $45! The money raised will help offset the cost of musicians. Click on the image below to get started. So far we have received commitments from The Fiber Optic Center, Tri-Town Against Racism, and Tony's Auto Detailing. We have extra printed copies of the ad packet in the office. If you would like a few please let the office know. Ads are due by JUNE 1.


Behind-The-Scenes: The Carpenter's Son Restoration at Rotch-Jones-Duff House, May 9, 5:30 pm

Get a glimpse of museum collections and archives from an insider's perspective. The Carpenter's Son, a painting by Edward Simmons, would only return to the walls of the RJD Museum after it had been terribly vandalized [at UU New Bedford] and restored. Hear the story of its conservation from Jeremy Fogg, lead conservator, Northeast Painting Conservation.

Donations are accepted in lieu of a fee, as part of AHA! New Bedford. The RJD Museum is located at 396 County Street, New Bedford.


New Bedford Festival Theater has donated two tickets to their summer production. Raffle tickets will be available to purchase Monday - Friday, 10 AM - 1 PM, in the office or on Sundays after service. The winner will be drawn on June 30 after the Jazz Service.


UUs have supported Medical Aid in Dying since the Right to Die with Dignity was passed in 1988 as a General Resolution. Yet 36 years later, we residents of Massachusetts still don’t have the right of choice if we are terminally ill and suffering.  

The End of Life Options Act has been introduced in the legislature many times and has finally been voted forward out of two committees and it is now before the Senate Way and Means Committee.  Time is short before the end of this session and if you believe that this is a right that we should have, please contact your legislators and ask that they support H.2246 and S.1331, and ask them to urge leadership to move this bill forward. This is a link to find your representatives and senators and their contact information.

Please share this with friends and family who might also be supportive of this issue.

The End of Life Options Act would legalize medical aid in dying which would allow a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live to request from their doctor a prescription for medication they can decide to self-ingest to die peacefully in their sleep.  For more information please read the bill - Legislation Allows: if their suffering becomes unbearable.


Science and the Divine by Julie Rigano

Once upon a time in ancient Greece in the town of Delphi on the slopes of Parnassus, there stood a temple. This was a temple to the god Apollo. The ancient Greeks believed in many gods who had many different responsibilities. Apollo was the god of the sun, of music and dance, of healing and disease, and many, many more.

The temple of Apollo at Delphi was a very important temple because of the high priestess Pythia who served as an oracle or prophet. Greek leaders would travel from all over for the Oracle’s wisdom. The Oracle of Delphi was one of the most prestigious oracles among the Greeks, and she was among the most powerful women in the classical world.

Pythia would breathe in sweet-smelling vapors coming from a crack in the rock in the temple. These vapors would send her into a state of passion. She would channel the god Apollo and babble out what she received while another priest would translate that babble to prophecies. It was a miracle—a direct connection and relationship with the gods.

Usually when we hear the phrase, “once upon a time,” we’re ready to hear a story of make-believe. This is not one of those times. This story of the Oracle is real. The temple on the slopes of Parnassus is real. Pythia and the priest were real. Even the vapors were real. Really!

In 2000, geologists continued to think about the oracle and those sweet-smelling vapors that came from the rock of the temple. They wondered where those vapors may have originated. The rocks of the temple lay on the ground of the earth—could they be coming from there?

After more investigation and research, scientists discovered a previously unknown geological fault passing straight through Delphi on the slopes of Parnassus and through the Sanctuary and Temple of Apollo. This means that two tectonic plates of the Earth’s surface met far underground beneath the temple. And sometimes the movement of those plates could have heated up gases deep underground and lifted them up right into the temple into the nostrils of Pythia. Geologists believe these gases from the earth caused Pythia’s fits of passion and her prophecies.

So it was science. Right? That’s an easy way to end the story. It was just science, those silly Greeks. But that’s not the end of the story. The scientific answer does not mean the Greeks were foolish to believe they had a relationship with Apollo. The scientific reasoning does not erase the relationship they had with their gods. When we walk in nature on a sunny day, appreciate the muscles in our body as we dance to music, or watch a loved one heal from an illness, we are witnessing science in the same way the ancient Greeks might have shown their devotion to Apollo and the Oracle. Through these actions, we can connect with the holy and the scientific. Believing in science and feeling connected to the divine can absolutely happen at the same time, and often, they do.



Pledge Reminder FY 24/25

Thank you to all the members who sent in their pledge cards by May 1st. There is still time to get your pledge cards in by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. We have made it easier than ever to set up a recurring gift through our donation platform, GiveButter. They accept all forms of payment, even ACH payments, with approval from your bank.


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


ChurchByLaws revised2013
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