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The meetings are open to all.
Buildings and Grounds
Our buildings and grounds need regular maintenance that wouldn’t be possible without the involvement of our entire congregation. Check our calendar for Care Days.
If you want to get involved, please contact Ed Harlow.
Ours is a caring community. We offer each other help and counseling for healing and recovery in times of need. Our Pastoral Care Committee makes sure that our times of need do not go unnoticed. This group meets regularly off-site.
If you need help or want to offer your help to others, please contact Cory Woodcock.
In 2018-2019, The Pastoral Care committee did have a tough year with a number of longtime members being very sick and passing away. With much help from the congregation and our climate of caring they managed to provide meals, visits and collation/receptions. They continue to provide support for several spouses who have lost loved ones. They have sent numerous cards and made many phone calls to those in need. The committee records and sometimes introduces joys and concerns which continues to be one of their biggest sources of information.
They continue to work closely with our minister with whom we meet once a month. The committee is very grateful to the congregation for all their help, which is extensive.
Meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7PM in the Clara Barton Room
Meets first Thursday of each month at 7PM in the Clara Barton Room.
Kathleen Howland and Linda Clark are Co-Chairpersons of the Worship Committee
Each month’s meeting followed a format of spiritual moments, review of previous services and plans for future services. This year, the worship themes were inspired and informed by the Soul Matters curriculum. The themes included:
We offered one lay led service per month this year:•
“A Fair and Just World”-Justice Ministry Team
•“Breaking Bread Together” -Linda McLinden
•“A Love of Language or a Language of Love” guest preacher, Rev. Justine Sullivan
•“Let Us Celebrate” Youth Ensemble of NE –guest conductor, Connie Drexler, facilitator, Les Lambert
•”The Other Side of the Tracks” -Ware Lecture, Brittany Packnett, facilitated by the Justice Ministry Team
•“Tending to the Future Together”, Jeanne Cahill, speaker with Worship Team
•“Ruins Restored”-guest Minister, Rev. Daniel Gregoire, facilitator, Anne Lenault
•“Dance and Drill” -Lee Tabor, speaker with Worship Team•“General Assembly”-1PM !! (Live Stream 10 AM Pacific Time)–facilitated by Linda Clark
The Committee has distributed worship talent surveys and will continue to reach out for worship participants through the church year.
The Worship Committee periodically seeks to gauge the satisfaction of congregants with services. This occurred informally with considerations of more formal surveys, with the emphasis on direct feedback. Worship committee members are asked to reflect on their own experiences regarding the suggested considerations and engage fellow congregants in conversations when able.
Sunday Services Feedback Considerations
What from today’s service will stay with you through the week?
Why did you come to church this Sunday?
What touched your heart from today’s service?
What touched your mind from today’s service?
What else would you like to see in our Sunday Services?
We look forward to creating the environment and support for meaningful and uplifting worship on Sunday mornings and special occasions in collaboration with Rev. Lynda in 2019-2020.
The Hospitality Committee oversees the Christmas Eve Social Hour and Coffee/Social Hour after church weekly in the Parish Hall. In 2018-2019 there were five coffee hour teams and the Hospitality Committee also headed up three coffee hours to give the teams time off. Coffee Hour team members have been generous with their time, including bringing baked goods, dairy products, savory items, and fruit.
All efforts create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the congregation. We were fortunate to have received a gently used large coffee urn and small efficient hot water heater. Replacement of old equipment was done without financial expense.
The role of the Personnel Committee is to provide resources for hiring and retaining church employees. It reviews existing staff compensation annually and as new employees are hired. It meets monthly, and welcome new members.
The Personnel Committee formed in January 2019. The focus has been to update the 2015 Church Operations Manual.
The Personnel Committee needs each church committee provide an updated one-page description of their current role and practices, to include as an informational resource for recruitment of new members.
In May 2019 we learned that our office administrator was retiring from her position and the Religious Education Ambassador was leaving at the end of the church year as well. The Personnel Committee lead the recruitment of the next Office Administrator, who started training in mid-June 2019. The RE Committee lead the Religious Education Coordinator search process.
The Stewardship Committee is in charge of imagining, planning and organizing the annual stewardship campaign.
The Fundraising Committee organizes events and creates opportunities for fundraising for the church.
This year the approach for the auction was to hold a silent auction over the course of three Sundays and offer hosted meals, services, and gift certificates. Taking this approach brought in a solid amount of donations with significantly less abrasion on volunteers.
This successful fundraiser aligns with our UU values and Green Sanctuary. Amazon Smile
This brought in less than expected but is a passive income stream. Increased marketing may result in higher returns.
Open Mic Café
The Open Mic Night has become a monthly community event that is advertised to the congregation andthe larger community. It is marketed in the ‘Northborough Guide’ weekly email that is distributed to a large mailing list as well as word of mouth and other forums. The Coffee House is growing in popularity and brought in more than expected in entrance fees that after costs, are donated to the church.
This event happened in October at Not Your Average Joe’s and while it made less than 2018 it was a fun opportunity for people to gather.
Jewelry and small holiday items
Offered over the course of three weeks in December, this table at Parish Hall was a fun way to shop and brought in significant donations.
The introduction of the ‘baskets by committee’ has been a fun way to highlight the work of many of the committees of First Parish and has proven to be a reliable monthly fundraiser.
Memorial Day Fair
We offered all the same favorites that the community enjoys; shortcake, bar-b-q, yard sale, books, plants, etc. Committee chairs are assigned and are organizing donations and volunteers for the preparation and the day of.Thank you to the many individuals and groups participated in the successful fundraising activities during the year. Please refer to the report below.
The Nominating Committee selects a slate of nominees for Governing Board and Trustee positions, which is presented for vote at the Annual Meeting.
Membership Development Team
Everyone in our congregation is an ambassador for the Membership Committee. Your smile, your hand shake and your active listening are what newcomers to First Parish experience when they go through our red doors, walk across the path to Coffee Hour or attend one of our events. Thank you for your help!
Keeping with our new yearly membership building classes, we held our 5th annual Discovery Class in February with Rev. Lynda facilitating. During class, folks shared their personal spiritual journey, learned about Unitarian Universalism history and the inner workings of First Parish. On New Member Sunday, May 5, 2019, we welcomed five new members to our Beloved Community.
Our greeters continue to warmly welcome folks to service every week. I thank them for their continued service and jumping in to help when needed. Membership is looking for a couple more members to help with activities and outreach. We are at a crossroad where it might be prudent to collaborate and share resources with other committees in an effort to better serve First Parish.
Religious Education Committee
The RE Committee meets once a month to plan, oversee and work with the Religious Education Coordinator regarding activities that involve the youth of our community.