Feedback from Monday’s Community Breakfast to Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Submitted by Bedford Embraces Diversity

Bedford Embraces Diversity had three goals for its 2018 Martin Luther King Breakfast- to hear from recent graduates of Bedford High School’s METCO program who are currently in college, alumni who graduated from BHS in the 1990s, and to get feedback from those in attendance. The breakfast’s final segment was a facilitated discussion led by Reggie Nichols -Director of Affirmative Action at Middlesex Community College. He led the audience in a conversation around themes that had emerged from the program’s presenters. At the very end of the program Bedford Embraces Diversity asked the audience to share their reactions were to the morning’s program, what they learned from it, or what they felt.

Here are some of the comments, grouped by theme:

Martin Luther King Breakfast Becoming a Bedford Tradition

By Ginni Spencer

Bedford Embraces Diversity hosted the second annual Martin Luther King Community Breakfast at the First Church of Christ, Congregational, on Monday, January 15, to mark the late Dr. King’s birthday.

The energy of the gathering was upbeat and hopeful as nearly 200 people gathered in the church’s Fellowship Hall to listen to featured speakers who have been part of Bedford’s METCO program. Time was also made available for brief discussion of issues raised by the speakers and how Bedford might respond to strengthen the program which is now 40+ years old.

Faith in Action: First Parish Welcomes Guest into Sanctuary

Submitted by the Sanctuary Committee at First Parish in Bedford, Unitarian Universalist

First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Bedford welcomes a woman from Central America into Sanctuary. She is a mother and grandmother who faces imminent deportation to a country where her life would be in imminent danger.

“Maria” has applied for asylum in the United States. Eligible for judicial review and possible relief, she is waiting for her case to be adjudicated. She sought sanctuary in an effort to keep her family together as she waits for a decision.

Update: Bedford Churches Offer Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Thanks to Bedford’s faith communities – First Baptist Church, Immanuel Baptist Church, St. Michael Parish, First Church of Christ Congregational, St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Lutheran Church of the Savior, and First Parish Unitarian Universalist – for sharing their updated Christmas Eve and Christmas service schedules.

The churches and services are open to the public, and newcomers are especially welcome during the holidays.

Editor’s Note: Bedford becomes a twinkling village at dusk on Christmas Eve, with luminaria glowing along roads and paths throughout the town. Thanks to neighbors, friends and the Bedford Minuteman Company the Historic District along The Great Road is especially lovely. (Shameless promotion: luminary sales at Chip-in Farm benefit the Minuteman Company’s scholarship fund — it’s a double win!)

‘The Church is Out of the Building’ – Parishioners and Choirs of First Parish’s Annual Holiday Visit to the Bedford VA

Submitted by First Parish Unitarian Universalist on Bedford Common

Adult and youth choirs from First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church on Bedford Common visited the Bedford VA last week – Courtesy image (c) Rev. Megan Lynes, 2017 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

The adult and youth choirs at First Parish Unitarian Universalist on Bedford Common, along with the congregation’s ministers along with parishioners and youth, visited Bedford’s Edith Nourse Rogers VA Hospital for a holiday program and social time last week.

Advent and Christmas Services at Bedford Churches

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Thanks to Bedford’s faith communities – First Baptist Church, Immanuel Baptist Church, St. Michael Parish, First Church of Christ Congregational, St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Lutheran Church of the Savior, and First Parish Unitarian Universalist – for sharing their Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas service schedules.

The churches and services are open to the public, and newcomers are especially welcome during the holidays.

Hearing at Middlesex Superior Court Considers Solar Panels for Bedford’s Historic Meeting House

By Andrea Cleghorn

When Bedford’s Historic District Commission (HDC) voted 3-2 against solar panels for the rooftop of the oldest section of First Parish Unitarian Universalist on the Common in June of last year, the church persisted in its belief that a greener energy source was both appropriate to the look of the structure and within the guidelines for solar panels in the Historic District.

Attorneys for First Parish, the congregation’s solar task force, and the HDC were at Middlesex Superior Court on November 28 hoping to get a favorable summary judgment from Judge Jeffrey Karp without the matter going to trial.

AIDS Quilt Panels on Display at First Parish on Bedford Common through December 10

Submitted by First Parish, Unitarian Universalist on Bedford Common

Panels from the NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt are on display in the sanctuary at First Parish on Bedford Common, through December 10, from 10 am to 3:30 pm. The public is invited to visit the panels; please enter through the fully-accessible Elm Street entrance. Click this link to learn more about the quilt.

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