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Bell Street Chapel

 

Standing on the Side of Love in the West End and Beyond ...

We are a congregation rooted in Unitarian Universalism that seeks to build community both within and beyond the walls of our building. Join us for worship every Sunday at 10:oo am, as we gather in community for a time of reflection, inspiration, and music. 

Childcare is available during worship. Also, Religious Education for school-aged children is available during the school year.

 

Our mission is 
to welcome all people into our loving community;
         to nurture each other;
         to deepen our spirituality together
         and to work for peace and social justice

Theme-Based Ministry at Bell Street Chapel
 
This year at Bell Street we have organized the program year into monthly themes. This means that each month we will explore a particular theme in worship, religious education, and other aspects of church life.

Every month will focus on a different religious or spiritual theme, and we will explore these areas through a Unitarian Universalist lens.
 
The newsletter will include weekly questions (called "Possible Ponderings") to consider and engage as an individual, a family, or in other aspects of our lives outside of church. Check out this month's questions in the section below.
 
Themes for the year include:
 
October – Spiritual Practices
November – Gratitude
December – Peace
January – Truth
February – Change
March – Salvation
April – Letting Go
May – Grace
June - Simplicity
December
What does it mean to be a people of peace?

 
This Month's Possible Ponderings...
 
December 1-5: As we transition from a place of gratitude to a place of peace, how might we find space in our lives for both of these ideals? How are the two ideas of gratitude and peace related?
 
December 6-12: Hannukah is celebrated this week. How do you see hope and peace functioning in your life? How have you been surprised by the power of love this week?
 
December 13-19: Check out the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, based in Providence. Their website is here: http://www.nonviolenceinstitute.org. How might we partner with them to bring peace to this community?
 
December 20-26: As the Christmas holiday approaches, society tells us we need more stuff to be happy. What fills up your soul and calls you to your best self? Friendship? Community? Nature? Reflect on these things for a few moments each day.
 
December 27 – January 3: With the new year approaching, how might you find inner peace on a regular basis? What centers you and helps you find a sense of calm?
 
Upcoming Events
 
Thursday, Dec. 3: Urban Greens Food Co-op’s Cooperative Council is delighted to announce that we will be unveiling the future site of the retail grocery store at the Columbus Theater, 6:30-8:30 on December 3rd! The event will entail food, drink, music, special guests, and celebration from 6:30pm-8:30pm, with the formal announcement/speaking program and Q&A taking place at 7:00pm. 

Sunday, December 6 and 13 @ 11:30-1 (Eddy Hall): Pathway to Membership Class
Are you a newcomer or visitor to Bell Street? Are you looking to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and Bell Street Chapel? Join this group for newcomers! Meet others who are new to Bell Street and have the opportunity to ask Rev. Weis your questions. If you are interested, please let Rev. Weis know (mweis@uuma.org).

Wednesday, December 9 @ 6pm: Governing Board Meeting (Parish House)

Thursday, December 10 @ 7pm: Memorial Vigil for Gun Violence
Second Free Will Baptist, 75 Chester Avenue, Providence. This event will honor the lives of those lost to gun violence here in Rhode Island. Rev. Weis will be part of the event, and Bell Streeters are encouraged to wear your Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts (available for purchase during coffee hour). 

Sunday, December 13: Bring a Friend to Church Day
Know someone who is interested in checking out Unitarian Universalism or Bell Street Chapel? Have a friend, family member, or co-worker that might want to come to worship? Been away from Bell Street for awhile, but looking for an excuse to make your way back? Join us for Bring a Friend Sunday! Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, December 16 @ 6:30pm: Blue Christmas Service
The holiday season is full of brightness and cheer, except for when it’s not. For some of us the holidays bring up sadness and grief, and can be difficult. Join us for a vespers service of music, reflection, and time to be with one another in the spirit of healing and community. 

Thursday, December 17 @ 7pm: Pub Theology @ the Avery (18 Luongo Square, Providence – a purple and teal building with no sign; the Avery has no food, so it’s good to eat ahead of time)
Join other young adults (ages 18-40) for good food, good drinks, and good conversation. This month's theme is peace – How have you experienced peace in your life? What can we do to make the world more peaceful? 

Sunday, December 20 @ 6:30pm: Winter Solstice Service (Eddy Hall)
Join us on the longest night of the year as we welcome back the light and give thanks for the warmth it brings to this world. This service will include music, reflection, and story. All are welcome! 

Tuesday, December 22 @ 4:30-6pm: Committee on Shared Ministry meeting (Eddy Hall) 

Thursday, December 24 @ 8pm: Christmas Eve Service
Join us for a service of song, reflection, story and candlelight. This is a multigenerational service and all are welcome. 
 
             December Worship Schedule
 
Sunday, December 6, 10:00am: Wind in the Desert – Border Reflections, Rev. Weis, Preaching
In November, Rev. Weis traveled to the US/Mexico border to witness the human rights violations and complicated immigration situation at our nation’s border. In this service, she will reflect on those experiences and how we are called, as people of intention, to respond.
 

Sunday, December 13, 10:00am: Let it Begin with Me, Rev. Weis, Preaching
Our theme for December is “peace.” How are we called to be instruments of peace in this challenging world?
 

Sunday, December 13 and December 27, 11:30am: Free Knitting Classes
 

Wednesday, December 16, 6:30pm: Blue Christmas Service
The holiday season is full of brightness and cheer, except for when it’s not. For some of us the holidays bring up sadness and grief, and can be difficult. Join us for a vespers service of music, reflection, and time to be with one another in the spirit of healing and community.
 

Sunday, December 20, 10:00am: They Saw A Star Rev. Weis, Preaching
This multigenerational service will include song, story, and a “no-rehearsal” Christmas pageant! We will also collect the Guest At Your Table boxes and gifts for teenagers in DCYF care.
 

Sunday, December 20, 6:30pm: Winter Solstice Service (Eddy Hall)
Join us on the longest night of the year as we welcome back the light and give thanks for the warmth it brings to this world. This service will include music, reflection, and story. All are welcome!
 
 
Thursday, December 24, 8:00pm: Christmas Eve Service, Rev. Weis, Preaching
Join us for a service of song, reflection, story and candlelight to celebrate the Christmas holiday. This is a multigenerational service and all are welcome.
  

Sunday, December 27, 10:00am: Resolve, Ray Perreault, Preaching
Resolutions are those little promises that we make to ourselves that are rarely kept. Resolve is the strength that helps us use belief into change the world.
 
 
Sunday, January 3, 10:00am: Begin Again in Love
As we embark on a new year, let us reflect on what has served us well and called us to our best selves, and let go of that which has not. Our annual fire communion will follow the service (outdoors).
 
BELL STREET READS
 
Join in on this interesting and captivating opportunity to expand your mind, your commitment to justice and your circle of friends!

Discussions to be held on Thursdays, December 3rd, 17th, and January 7th from 7-8:30 or 9pm.

Contact Phil Smith (philip58@gmail.com) or Peg Boyle (pegboyle@hotmail.com) for more information!

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
 
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Join Rev. Weis for her office hours this fall! 

In an effort to be more present in our West End community, Rev. Weis will start holding Community Office Hours starting September 8th. Each Tuesday from 2-5pm, join Rev. Weis for a conversation, coffee, or bite to eat at Seven Stars Bakery (Broadway location).

If you're looking for more traditional office hours, you can find Rev. Weis at the Bell Street office on Wednesdays from 2-5pm (or by appointment). 

Ministerial Musings
~~~
 
What does it mean to be a people of peace?
 
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.
~Lao Tsu
 
To be a people of peace is to be a people of love – for ourselves, for each other, and for our world.
 
In order for us to have peace in our hearts, we must seek to address the ways that our heart feels burdened or heavy.
 
As the holiday season approaches, many of us look forward to celebrating with family, friends, and community, and others among us find that the season is a difficult one. This month, on Wednesday the 16th, we will be holding a “Blue Christmas Service”. It will be a reflective and meditative service focused on healing, community, and music. I hope that if you are having a tough time, or even if you are looking to be a support for those who are, you’ll consider joining us. Let’s foster peace and love this holiday season!
 
As the weather gets colder, there are some among us who are struggling to keep the heat on, food in the cabinets, and fuel in the car. If you are struggling to make ends meet and need temporary assistance, please speak with me or call the Bell Street office at 401-273-5678. The Minister’s Discretionary Fund is available for temporary help with financial issues, bills, and other needs.
 
December is a busy month, in our homes and neighborhoods, and here at Bell Street. Take a look at the newsletter and check out the opportunities to get involved, enjoy evening worship, and engage with other Bell Streeters and our community. I hope that we can work on building peace in our world by focusing on the peace in our community, our homes, and our hearts.
 
See you in church!
 
In faith,
Margaret
Bell Street Chapel has a new office manager. Tammy Schneider can be reached by email at contact@bellstreetchapel.org.  You can speak to her during her public office hours on Wednesdays from 2 to 5pm and on Thursdays from 9am to 12pm. Tammy will be out of the office on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  
From the Board
~~~
What is Peace?

 
What is Peace?  One definition is “a state of mutual harmony between people or groups”.  It’s probably more difficult to find peace in the world today, especially with all of the violence happening everywhere.  Sometimes it’s very discouraging when you do as much as you can to make this world a better place, and then you watch the news where terrorists are randomly killing innocent people.  But all we can do as Unitarian Universalist and human being is to continue to strive for peace.  We need to do this not only for our generation, but to show by example so that younger generations can continue to work towards world peace.

I believe that world peace begins within.  That’s why I come to Bell Street.  I find peace in knowing that we are all striving as a community to bring peace to those paces that don’t have it.  WE can all do our part by being kind to one another and helping those in need when we can.  Give of ourselves doesn’t necessarily mean monetarily, it can be as simple as holding a door open, or helping an elderly person reach something from the top shelf.  Together, we can make a difference in the world.

Sharon Constantineau
From the Worship Committee
 
The following is by Holly Near, Singer, songwriter on the subject of peace.

Holly Near - The Great Peace March Lyrics

    Ancient eyes are watching in the night
      The stars come out to guide the way
     The sun still shines despite the clouds
And the dawn is dusk is dawn is dusk is day

     Farmers rise and dream to feed the world
       The world awakes to feed the heart
    Hearts beat while a thousand flags are waving
And the farmer sees a dream has played a part

We will have peace, we will because we must
            We must because we cherish life
And believe it or not, as daring as it may seem
                  It is not an empty dream
                To walk in a powerful path
Neither the first nor the last great peace march
            Life is a great and mighty march
Forever for love and for life on the great peace march

            Are you black like night or red like clay
           Are you gold like sun or brown like earth
                 Grey like mist or white like moon
         My love for you is the reason for my birth

             Peace can start with just on heart
            From a small step to leaps and bounds
                  A walk becomes a race for time
            And a brave child calls out from the crowd

We will have peace, we will because we must
             We must because we cherish life
And believe it or not, as daring as it may seem
                  It is not an empty dream
                To walk in a powerful path
Neither the first not the last great peace march
            Life is a great and mighty march
Forever for love and for life on the great peace march

 
Kathy Lannigan
Love Reaches Out
Celebrations, Losses, Milestones, and Calls for Fellowship
~~~~~

Bell Street member Joe Laferriere's mother passed away November 13, 2015. If you would like to send Joe a card, please send it to the Bell Street office at 5 Bell Street, Providence, RI 02909 and we will get it to him.

~~~

Bell Street member Ellen Smith is at home recovering from major surgery. If you would like to send a card to Ellen and Stu, please find their address in the Directory or call the Bell Street office at 401-273-5678 for their contact information.
 
 
 
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