Offering care to one another in a timely and effective manner is among our most important ministries. When we suffer a major life event, we acknowledge it. When people suffer from chronic life circumstances, we reach out and offer them our friendship and nurture. It is not possible for the ordained minister to provide all such care to the congregation.

The lay ministers work closely with our ordained minister, Marta Flanagan. They visit people in their homes, hospitals and nursing homes. They send cards and make phone calls. They express the care of this community. They maintain a Wider Network of Care, described below, of over a hundred members of this congregation who make casseroles and care packages, provide transportation and more. Please feel free to use the email address listed below to contact the lay ministry group at any time.

Lay Ministers apply and are selected by the Shared Ministry Committee. They receive training and support throughout their term of service. Our current Lay Ministers are Ann Abbott, Lorraine Cooley David Desjardins, Tom Estabrook, Ellen Faran, Loren Gomez, Paul Howard, Jim Jolley, Al Tosti, and Natalie Tyler.

Contact the Lay Ministers at layministry@firstparish.info

See next section – Becoming a Lay Minister – for more information and online application.

What is Lay Ministry?

An essential task of our church is to foster a sustaining sense of community, friendship and family among its members. Church is a place to experience spiritual growth, to make friends, to build support systems, and to encourage social action. For our church to be this kind of place, we must be a caring community that provides a readiness and willingness to reach out and help its members navigate the celebrations, concerns and crises of life.

At First Parish, Lay Ministry helps to extend the pastoral care of the ordained minister and complements both the intentional caring missions of other programs, and the countless individual spontaneous acts of caring that are an integral part of our church community.

Lay Ministry is not intended as a substitute for professional services or ministerial counsel, and appropriate referrals may be suggested. Lay Ministry is an intentional model of the responsibility that we all share to minister to one another.

What Do Lay Ministers Do?

Lay Ministers are ready to reach out to all participants at First Parish. They support those who are adjusting to change, loss, illness or death. They provide and coordinate practical assistance in times of transition. They share in moments of celebration and happiness. They reach out to those who are new and seeking greater involvement with the church and to others whose absence is noted. They involve themselves in planning and conducting events that strengthen our friendship, family and spiritual ties to each other. Lay Ministers can discuss the complexities of spirituality and life experiences, and can share in situations that require a special touch of human kindness and an open heart. In all of their work, Lay Ministers remember the importance of respecting privacy. Lay Ministers meet monthly to support one another and to consult with our Minister, Rev. Marta Flanagan.

Lay Ministers can be identified at Sunday services by their special nametags.

Wider Network of Care

Everyone at First Parish is encouraged to participate in providing ministry.  Lay Ministers coordinate a Wider Network of Care within First Parish. Once a year they invite members of the congregation to sign up for tasks they would be willing to perform for other members/families in a time of crisis. Tasks might include providing a meal or edible/non edible treat, running errands, or providing rides for appointments.