Contact Information

First Parish Unitarian Universalist
630 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476-5070


Office:  781-648-3799

FAX:  781-643-2723

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
E-Bulletin: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Spire: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Office Hours September-June:

Monday, Wednesday,
Thursday & Friday:
10:00 am to 4:00 pm,
Tuesday 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm


Minister and Administration

Rev. Marta Flanagan


Sara Haugland
Executive Assistant to the Minister


Joan Dyer
Office Manager


Nancy Keeler
Office Associate


Derrick Banks
Weekday Sexton


Leigh Powers
Communications Associate



Jonathan Brennand
Music Director


Brendon Shapiro


Religious Education

Tina Schultz
RE Director


Steve Carmody
Youth Program Coordinator


Aisha Ansano
RE Evening Assistant


Amy Rogers
Nursery Supervisor


Serving Us at First Parish


Minister and Administration

Rev. Marta FlanaganReverend Marta Flanagan

marta @

Rev. Marta Flanagan began her ministry as our twentieth called minister at First Parish in the fall of 2009. She is a genuine and forthright preacher. In conversation she is direct and engaging. She speaks of prayer with as much ease as she laughs at human foibles. We call her "Marta."

Marta is a religious liberal, a theist, a feminist, and a lover of the woods. As a student of American history at Smith College she was captivated by the stories of social reformers who were motivated and sustained by their faith. That led her to consider the ministry and to study at Harvard Divinity School from where she was graduated in 1986. She was the first woman minister in the city of Salem, Massachusetts, serving at the First Universalist Church there (1987-1997). She served in a co-ministry at South Church (Unitarian Universalist) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, (1997-2005) from where she is minister emerita. Marta served as interim minister in Montpelier, Vermont (2008-2009). She is trained as a spiritual director. For three years she lived in the Vermont woods practicing voluntary simplicity and the spiritual life.

Marta enjoys the vitality of First Parish and our strong sense of community. She celebrates the yearning for depth and the desire to make a difference in the world that she finds here.

HauglandSara Haugland
Executive Assistant to the Minister

execassistant @

Sara joined First Parish in August 2016 in the new half-time position of Executive Assistant to the Minister. If you need to set aside time with Marta, please do not hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sara moved to the Boston area in 2013 and holds a Bachelor of Music from CSU Sacramento, CA. She also works for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston during after hour events and is active both on stage as a performer and behind the scenes as a producer in Boston's operatic community. Sara's favorite thing (aside from singing) is board games!

Joan DyerJoan Dyer
Office Manager

officemanager @

Joan Dyer joined the First Parish staff as Office Manager in October, 2009. She has deep roots in this area, having grown up "right next door" in Lexington.

After graduating from college, Joan worked for a large insurance company, first as supervisor of a clerical unit and later as a trainer while the company was installing their first computers in their field offices. The company sent her to learn computer programming, after which she worked there as a programmer. When her first child was born, she began ten years as a stay-at-home mom and community volunteer.

When her second child entered elementary school, Joan became the part-time Administrative Assistant at the church she was attending. Although she didn't realize it right away, she says that in using her administrative skills to support a faith community, she had found her calling. She held that position for 15 years. When Joan sought full-time work, she jumped at the opportunity to come to First Parish. She enjoys supporting and collaborating with the staff and volunteers in our active church community.

placeholderNancy Keeler
Office Associate

officeassociate @

Derric BanksDerrick Banks
Weekday Sexton

Derrick has been involved with custodial work one way or another for the better part of his adult life by way of a family-owned cleaning and floor service business. Over the years, Derrick says, he has acquired the nickname "Mr. Clean." Derrick works about 18 hours per week on Monday morning, Wednesday morning, and Saturday.

leigh powersLeigh Powers
Communications Associate

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Leigh grew up in the Southeastern U.S, lived in the Boston area for many years, and is now living on the Wesleyan University campus in Middletown, CT. Leigh has a background in Library & Information Services and has worked for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations. Leigh oversees the website, the weekly E-Bulletin and the printed Sunday Bulletin. In addition to First Parish, Leigh also works on communications with St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Cheshire, CT. When not working, Leigh enjoys spending time with family, including two beautiful Whippet - Phoenix and Shanti. 


jonathan brennandJonathan Brennand
Music Director

jonathan @

Jonathan Brennand, a native of Middlesex, England joined First Parish as Music Director in Fall 2014. His conducting has been praised by the Cape Cod Times for its "precision and vitality." He was recently appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra (CT) where he leads a 90-member orchestra in five subscription concerts each season. He enters his third season as Artistic Director of the Worcester Youth Orchestras, where he conducts the Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra and Worcester Youth Baroque Orchestra. In two years he has grown the organization from one orchestra to three orchestras, and rejuvenated the 67-year-old program into a thriving member of the central Massachusetts music community. In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, he regularly conducts district orchestra festivals and appears with orchestras around New England. 

Jonathan had his first UU experience as a tenor section leader at First Unitarian Society of Newton before going on to serve as choir director at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst for three years, and music director at First Parish in Framingham prior to his arrival First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Arlington. 

brendon shapiroBrendon Shapiro

brendon @

Brendon is a collaborative pianist, vocal coach, musical director, and conductor based in Boston. He currently serves as Staff Pianist at Boston University and the Accompaniment Department Chair at Powers Music School. In addition, Brendon has been hired by numerous opera companies, recitalists, choral ensembles in the area. He holds a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano Performance from Boston University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Ithaca College School of Music where he won the Mary Hayes North Piano Competition Award.

Recently, Brendon has performed with the Juventas New Music Ensemble for several exciting world premiere performances, conducted a series of choral concerts in Canada with the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus, and appeared in a production of the operatic play "Master Class" with the New Repertory Theatre, portraying Manny, the onstage pianist character.

Brendon has also found success in musical theater. He served as musical director for the first four seasons of the newly renovated Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, NY, and has been part of the music staff at the College Light Opera Company, the Fiddlehead Theatre Company, and the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, as well as performing in the orchestras for many Ithaca College, Boston University, and Boston Conservatory productions.

You can contact Brendon at brendon @ if you have any questions or would just like to welcome him to Frist Parish and introduce yourself.

Religious Education

Tina SchultzTina Schultz
Director of Religious Education

tina @

Tina Schultz brings to her position of Director of Religious Education a background in early childhood development, teaching and corporate training. Tina’s commitment and skillfulness meet the needs of our growing congregation.  She has a deep love of children of all shapes, sizes and ages that have fueled her work as DRE since 1994.

She says " Each year I look forward to meeting new families to draw them into our great program, and watching our children grow to be active Unitarian Universalists.  The RE Committee, minister and I have created a clear plan for what we want our children and youth to come away with after being part of our vibrant, stimulating and loving church community."

Prior to becoming DRE Tina was active in our religious community for 8 years, serving on the Welcoming Congregation Committee and the Religious Education Committee and teaching children and youth programs.

Learn more about our RE program.

CarmodySteve Carmody
Youth Program Coordinator

youthadvisor @

Steve grew up in Arlington, and started attending First Parish in high school. This congregation was a very important and formative spiritual home for him. Steve finished his undergrad at Brown University, studying religion. After graduating college in 2012, he stayed in Providence, RI, working at a preschool for children with autism for two years. Steve started working at First Parish in the fall of 2014, serving as the Religious Education Assistant. He is so glad now to be working with the youth community. Steve will also be attending Harvard Divinity School, to prepare for Unitarian Universalist ministry. Steve loves chatting about religion, thinking about social change and leadership, cooking for one another, and listening.

AnsanoAisha Ansano
RE Evening Assistant

aisha @

Aisha is excited to join the First Parish RE team as the RE evening assistant, and to get a chance to work with the youth and young people of the congregation. Aisha grew up in Curacao -- a small island in the Caribbean -- as well as in Durham, NC. She studied religion at Stanford University and graduated in 2012 before making her way to Boston. First Parish has been her spiritual home for the last several years. Aisha graduated from Harvard Divinity School with an MDiv in 2016, and is preparing for Unitarian Universalist ministry. She is also serving as a ministerial intern at First Church in Boston through June 2018. Aisha considers food to be her ministry, and would love to talk to you about what that means.

amy rogersAmy Rogers
Nursery Supervisor


Copyright 2017 First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

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