Our Interim Ministers

REV. ABIGAIL STOCKMAN & REV. MISTY-DAWN SHELLY

Both Reverend Abigail Stockman and Reverend Misty-Dawn Shelly lovingly and intentionally stepped forward to join First Parish Northboro to become our interim ministry team for the 2022-2023 church year.
Reverend Abigail Stockman will serve as a half-time interim minister, primarily responsible for coordinating and leading worship. Our congregation knows Reverend Abigail from her work with us during Reverend Lynda’s sabbatical. Though Abigail resides in Vermont, she plans to travel to Northborough a minimum of two times per month to be here in person with us to lead worship services.

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Our Music Director

OLGA ROGACH

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.

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Our Office Administrator

PAM LANDRY

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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 office@firstparishnorthboro.org 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.

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Our RE Coordinator

DEBRA ZAGAESKI

Greetings FPUUN Families!
I am Cynthia Menard, the new Director of Religious Education for First Parish Northboro, and I am so happy to be a part of this wonderful congregation! Thank you so much for bringing me on board and trusting me with your youth’s spiritual growth and education – it is an honor!
I am looking forward to meeting you all in person in the upcoming weeks. I will be joining service for the first time this Sunday and will share a family story with you for our Story for All Ages.
The following Sunday, Nov. 21 will be the start-up of our Circle RE Cooperative – the joint efforts of Marlboro/Hudson, Northboro and Westboro congregations to come together and offer a richer UU education for our youth (and adults)! Information about Circle RE will be going out separately.
So, how did I get here? I have been a DRE for just over 3 years, serving at the Unitarian Church of Marlboro and Hudson, teaching youth Religious Education programs, and until this past spring, managing the Spiritual Growth and Community Center – UCMH’s public programming. I was tipped off to your need for a DRE after co-worshipping with you folks this spring, and am so glad to be back with you all!
Prior to coming to UU Religious Education, I worked as an informal (non-classroom) educator for over 20 years, teaching environmental education, natural history, challenge/adventure programming, and outdoor skills to a wide variety of audiences and abilities. I spent many of those years running summer camps, so you can expect some campiness from me. 😉 I particularly love to be outdoors (a big part of my spiritual practice) and will be bringing some fun outdoor education into our RE curriculum this year.
I live in Lunenburg with my husband and two sons: Rowan, who just turned 17 (!!!) and will be at Youth Group when his schedule allows, and Alder who will be 12 in a few weeks. Alder (to my surprise) still loves coming to RE, and will be joining the Junior High age group. Rowan is a musician – percussion and vocals – and Alder has his Black Belt in Taekwondo. I hold Alder responsible for the fact that I now have my high Brown Belt in Taekwondo and will be testing for my Deputy Black Belt at the end of the year.
As I am planning on offering adult RE this year, I hope to get to know you all quite well before too long! Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions, requests, or just to say hi. I’m so delighted to be here!
Brightest Blessings,
Cynthia

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First Parish Governing Board 2022-2023

  • Cindy Bushey, President
  • Kathleen Howland, Clerk
  • Rich Morreale, Treasurer
  • Janet Ruggieri, Vice President
  • Dave Sherman, Overseer of Operations
  • Stephanie Sullivan, Member at Large
  • Celia Brown, Member at Large
  • Anne Lenault, Member at Large
  • Ex Officio, Rev. Abigail Stockman & Rev. Misty-Dawn Shelly

Read more about our Governing Board.

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We are a Welcoming Congregation

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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

greensanctuaryIn 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.