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The Compass, November 8, 2023


  • November 12: Veterans, Honor, and Peace with guest, Rev. Claire Donaldson

  • November 19: Thanksgiving service and potluck

  • November 26: Social Justice Committee, Eileen Sorrentino, The Doctrine of Discovery

Wes Moore joined the US Army to pay for college, but the experience became core to who he is. In this heartfelt talk, the paratrooper and captain—who went on to write "The Other Wes Moore"—explains the shock of returning home from Afghanistan. He shares the single phrase he heard from civilians on repeat and shows why it's just not sufficient. It's a call for all of us to ask veterans to tell their stories — and listen.


"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." -Ray Bradbury


Did you miss Sunday service? Watch it here!


What does it mean to be a people of Generosity?

November 12: The Gift of Connection

November 19: The Gift of Gratitude, Thanksgiving potluck following service

November 26: The Gift of Hope

STORY OF THE WEEK: The Circles All Around Us, written by Brad Montague, and illustrated by Brad and Kristi Montague. A story about how we can create bigger and bigger circles of community and connections as we grow. We hope you will share this read-aloud with your family and friends.


Evelyn Gifun let us know that Fred is not doing well right now and asked that our church please send love, light, and prayers their way. If anyone would like to send a card, etc. contact the office for information.


  • Women's sweaters 50% off

  • Thrift Shop coupons are now available! Visit us during regular hours to get $5 off a purchase of $25

  • Men's suits, blazers, dress pants - $1 each


The Social Justice Committee is happy to announce the new Social Justice Information Station & Lending Library. You will be able to borrow diverse reading materials provided by the SJC, learn about upcoming events happening in our community, and learn more about how you can get involved with the SJC. This will be a valuable resource for our members and those visiting our church. Let's build a stronger community, together!


You may notice things are a little less dusty in the church next time you are here! We have partnered with LifeStream, Inc. in New Bedford to bring volunteer opportunities to the individuals they serve in the greater New Bedford and Fall River area. LifeStream is a nonprofit that provides day programs, shared living, and employment support for individuals with varying abilities, acquired brain injuries, and those with autism.

We had our first groups this week and they were thrilled to help out with dusting, vacuuming, and sweeping in our Parish House and Sanctuary. They will also be volunteering in the Thrift Shop and helping with the food pantry as donations come in.


Our yearly Thanksgiving potluck will take place on November 19. There is a signup sheet in the kitchen to let everyone know what you are bringing.


I Am Not a Criminal; My Child Is Not a Crime, by Sarah Lawall, UUWORLD

June and her mother, Rev. Sara LaWall, at the Boise UU Fellowship booth at Pride Fest 2021.
Image:June and her mother, Rev. Sara LaWall, at the Boise UU Fellowship booth at Pride Fest 2021.

As a minister, it is my job—my calling—to support and accompany people—all people—in living their most whole, holy, authentic, faithful lives. My church community embodies this same practice with each other and with my family, too.

One of the guiding principles of our faith tradition affirms “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”

"We believe every person is worthy. Every person is beautiful. Every person belongs. Every person."

One of the ways we live out that principle is in identifying ourselves as a Welcoming Congregation. In our denomination, this means we openly, unequivocally, and enthusiastically welcome LGBTQ+ people, youth, and families among us and that we have done our work to fully integrate them into our worship and congregational life. In fact, last year we passed a congregational resolution affirming and pledging our support to our trans and nonbinary community. Because we believe every person is worthy. Every person is beautiful. Every person belongs. Every person.

When my teenager came out as transgender, I sprang into action, ensuring she had all the support in place as we began what we both knew would be a long journey. I wanted my child to feel supported, safe and loved for exactly who she is—who she knows herself to be. She also knew this path was not simple or easy, and we all worried about how kids at school and the community at large would accept her. Hers, like for so many trans youth, was not a rash decision; not an experiment that might be “fun” to try. Not in a society and a state that questions and attempts to criminalize her very existence.

Reflection Questions:

  • How have you and your congregation shown support for LGBTQ+ rights?

  • Are there local trans-led advocacy organizations you might support?

  • Have you written letters to your newspapers and politicians as a way of living your values?


UPDATE: Thank you to our donors who have given a total of $225 as of November 3.

We Need Your Help!

Our Flentrop organ, the musical centerpiece of our Sunday service, is facing an urgent need for plaster repairs directly above it. The cracks and damages, if left unattended, pose a serious threat to the performance of this beautiful instrument.

We are reaching out to you, our generous community, seeking support for these essential repairs. The organ holds not just musical notes but also a history of shared moments and connections. Without prompt attention, the damage could escalate, potentially causing permanent harm to the organ we hold so dear.

Your donation, no matter the size, will contribute to the restoration of this vital piece of our worship experience. Let's ensure that the organ continues to resonate with joyous sounds for generations to come!


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) 994-9636

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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