Who We Are
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REV. LYNDA SUTHERLAND
Rev. Lynda Sutherland graduated from Meadville Lombard Theological School with her Master of Divinity degree in May 2015, at age 62. She completed two years as part-time intern minister at Cedar Valley UU in Iowa, and worked as a part-time assistant minister at Decorah Iowa Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC).
Drawing upon her experience with raising her eight children, and working in business, Rev. Lynda brings a wealth of gifts and talents to lead and support the mission of First Parish. Her many talents include developing a course in UU principle-grounded child discipline and is also co-authoring a book with UU feminist theologian Sharon Welch to name a few.
Rev. Lynda is excited and enthusiastic to share and serve in the life of First Parish and the local communities of Northboro!
Our Music Director
Olga Rogach received a Master of Music degree from Russia’s famed St. Petersburg Conservatory. After graduation she was appointed to the St. Petersburg Music College Faculty and became a featured pianist for the Literary Association of St. Petersburg and the All-Russian Theatrical Society. She emigrated to the U.S. in 1991 and made her home in Worcester, MA.
A leading regional piano teacher, Ms. Rogach has a private piano studio as well as being a private piano instructor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Many of her students have been prize and scholarship winners in International and local competitions.
Ms. Rogach performs extensively in New England, and is acclaimed for her recitals and collaborations with instrumentalists and vocalists.
In addition Ms. Rogach is an official pianist and a board member of the Greater Worcester Opera Company.
Ms. Rogach considers it a privilege to be a Music Director of the First Parish UU church. She has enjoyed this position since 1999.
I would like to introduce myself. I’m Pam, the newly hired Administrator for the church, and I’m completely thrilled about my new job. Those whom I’ve met so far have been very welcoming. I would be pleased to meet more members of the congregation, so feel free to stop by just to say hi, or to discuss church business with which I can help. Come September, my office hours will be Tuesday, Thursday and Friday until noon. During the summer my office hours may fluctuate week to week, so it’s best to call or email me at email@example.com to arrange a time to meet.
As was noted in last week’s Perspective, I grew up in this church. Below are photos of my sister and me (on the right) in December of 1980 when we were dedicated and visiting Santa. I am the daughter of Karen and David Nelson and I was married at the church in 1998. After 17 years of marriage, my husband and I divorced, but we remain friendly and have two wonderful teenage children together.
I live in Worcester and have been involved in the local community for many years. I served as both a volunteer and paid contractor for the Girl Scouts for 15 years. I was also on the board for the MOMS Club of Worcester and the Nelson Place Elementary School PTO (3 years as Secretary and 3 years as President). My current focus is to help the South High School band raise $50K to represent Massachusetts in the 2020 National Festival of States Concert in Washington, D.C. I’m excited about this endeavor, as my 16 year old daughter, Paige, is the fundraising manager for the South High band, so I think it will be fun to work together to raise money for the trip. Plus, the majority of students at South haven’t traveled outside the state, so I feel good about helping to facilitate this opportunity for them.
Beyond that, I’m not very exciting. I enjoy gardening and reading. I like knitting, too. My friend and I started an Etsy shop with hand-made cat toys. So far, it’s not profitable, but it’s still a pleasure to get together with my friend and knit and felt wool and make more toys for kitties. My family has 4 cats.
Our RE Coordinator
I am so excited and grateful to begin as your new Religious Education Coordinator! I have been privileged to serve as a professional religious educator for several Unitarian Universalist Congregations over the past fourteen years. I was credentialed by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 2014. I served as the President of the Unitarian Sunday School Society. I have led several multi-age service learning trips to New Orleans. I truly love the work of religious education. I have also worked in several church communities as an office administrator.
I have five grown children, two of whom currently live with me in Nashua, N.H. I also have a wonderful rescue dog. I enjoy spending my restorative “down-time” playing with different art forms, going for long walks in beautiful places, reading, and binge- watching shows on Netflix.
I look forward to meeting you! Please call, email or say hello in person and share something with me about yourself!
First Parish Governing Board 2019-2020
- Audrey Kracke-Lambert, President
- Janet Ruggieri, Clerk
- Jeff Hagelberg, Treasurer
- Kathleen Howland, Vice President
- Donna Morris, Overseer of Operations
- Cindy Bushey, Member at Large
- Rich Morreale, Member at Large
- Anne Lenault, Member at Large
- Ex Officio, Rev. Lynda Sutherland
We are a Welcoming Congregation
In June of 2001, the UUA recognized us as a Welcoming Congregation. A Welcoming Congregation affirms the presence and participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. On our journey to being recognized as a Welcoming Congregation, First Parish hosted a series of workshops, sponsored a diversity dance, a discussion group, sponsored movies, and led a number of worship services on the topic of what it means to be a Welcoming Congregation.
We are a Green Sanctuary
In 2008, First Parish Church, UU, Northboro became an accredited Green Sanctuary, an accomplishment in which we joyously celebrate. However, accreditation was just a stepping-stone in our individual and collective journeys to further actualize our Seventh Principle, “to respect the interdependent web of which we are part,” in and through our lives lived.
To become a Green Sanctuary, we followed a process developed by an organization called UU Ministry for the Earth. This group assists UU congregations looking to live in greater harmony with our planetary home, and helps congregations come together to address environmental crises that threaten humanity’s quality of life and the lives of future generations.