A Ministerial Sabbatical

January 1- May 15, 2022

Sabbatical comes from the root word “sabbath.” In the Bible, it is a time for letting fields lie fallow in preparation for future plantings, as well as a day for reflection and spiritual rejuvenation.

Rev. Marta Flanagan began her ministry at First Parish in August 2009 as the sole ordained minister. This is her thirteenth year at First Parish. With the arrival of Rev. Erica Richmond in the fall of 2020, Marta became Lead Minister and Rev. Erica became our Parish Minister

As is customary for Unitarian Universalist ministers, Marta and Rev. Erica each accrue a month of sabbatical for every year of service. Marta has taken two short sabbaticals while at First Parish and will be taking another from January 1-May 15, 2022.

During this four and half month sabbatical Rev. Erica will serve as Acting Lead Minister and a part time Adjunct Sabbatical Minister will assist her.

Rev. Erica Richmond, Parish Minister Serving as Acting Lead Minister

During this time, Rev. Erica will be working closely with the Parish Committee, supervising our staff, and continuing to provide pastoral ministry to the congregation. In order to balance her new portfolio, she will preach once a month (not twice) and offer less adult programs than usual. She will continue to be available to committee leaders though with less attendance at meetings. She will be available for individual pastoral appointments. Rev. Erica cherishes this congregation and is looking forward to more incarnate interactions in the coming months.

  Photo of erica                  

Rev. Marc Fredette, Adjunct Sabbatical Minister

Rev. Marc Fredette will be our Adjunct Sabbatical Minister. Rev. Marc retired in July from eleven years of ministry at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Waltham and continues to live in the area. Previously a lay leader at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Portsmouth NH while pursuing a tech career, Marc is graduate of Harvard Divinity School. Rev. Marc will be working half time, preaching once a month, participating in worship on the other Sundays, supporting the Lay Ministry team, and offering adult education programming during the winter and spring. He will also be available for pastoral counseling appointments. He is thrilled to be joining Rev. Erica, the staff team, and the congregation.

Picture of Marc      

Rev. Marta Flanagan, Lead Minister, on Sabbatical

Marta plans to take courses at Harvard Divinity School as a “Minister in the Vicinity” as well as return to an exercise regime at the gym once her neck heals from a pinched nerve, an injury she incurred last summer. Marta will begin and end the sabbatical with silent retreats at an area retreat center. Depending on COVID travel restrictions, she may travel either to the American Southwest or to Germany to further her exploration of remembrance and repair and how cultures and individuals deal with wrongdoing in their past. Some will recall during her last sabbatical she explored this question while traveling in South Africa and in the American South. She is eager to return to us on Sunday, May 15 when she will be back in the pulpit.

Photo of Marta

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