News at First Parish—Summer 2020

Worship and Ministry in the Summer

Worship at First Parish in the summer is lay led.  Summer services provide us with the chance to hear wisdom and insight from one another. You can access the schedule which runs through Labor Day for those services on our News Feed.

In July and August, pastoral care is be provided by our lay ministers.  In case of emergency people can contact the chair of the Parish Committee Marie Meteer.

 

Virtual Religious Community this Summer

In these times of COVID-19 the Parish Committee has determined that worship will continue online through at least October.  A variety of gatherings and meetings will also continue online through the summer.

In addition, some activities may be conducted in the courtyard.  People must wear masks and practice healthy spacing.  NO food may be served and the building, including the restrooms cannot be used.  First Parish groups wanting to use the courtyard can do so by visiting our calendar page and clicking “Submit First Parish Event Request.”

 

Living our Faith in a Pandemic

In keeping with living our faith in the world, the building will be used by two groups this summer.  Because of challenges meeting the increased demand for food in these hard times, Food Link, will be storing food in our sanctuary.  That food will be delivered via vehicle to food programs in the area.  Also, the multilingual Mariposa Montessori School, our tenant in the Parish House, has re-opened in accordance with state guidelines.

 

Staff Doings This Summer

In the summer most of the staff are on vacation and the office hours are reduced.  But in August, behind the scenes, some of the staff will be at work getting ready for our new program year beginning in September.  Our new Parish Minister Erica Richmond begins in August and will be working with Lead Minister Marta Flanagan to create a professional ministerial team and determine each of their ministerial responsibilities.

As many know, Joan will be retiring.  On August 17th Sara Hidalgo will begin as our new Office Manager.  Sara is leaving her position as Office Manager at First Parish in Lexington to join us and has been a Unitarian Universalist for many years.  Joan will continue to work part time training and orienting Sara Hidalgo for the next several weeks.

During the week of August 24th, the staff will take time together for staff development.  They will be laying the foundations for a new staff team.

With the addition of a second minister we are eliminating the position of Executive Assistant to the Lead Minister.  Sara Delong will no longer serve in this position but at this point will continue to work at First Parish as part time Office Associate.

 

COVID 19 Plans

The Parish Committee created a COVID-19 Task Force to advise and counsel them in determining how and when it may be safe to reopen the building for a variety of uses.

In June, the Task Force began extensive work on a proposal featuring a Five Step process toward reopening. Each Step will depend on certain health indicators in the state and larger community.  Each Step will also be contingent on healthy practices and procedures within the building such as the wearing of masks, the availability of hand sanitizer, signage and more. We are currently in Step One with the building closed except for essential tasks.

The Parish Committee will review a draft of the opening plan this summer. For now, the building remains closed to general congregational use.  The earliest the building would be reopened for small group use would be late August.

 

 

 

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