Committees at First Parish are how our volunteer-run organization manages everything thing from policy decisions to changing the light bulbs in the sanctuary (a big challenge given the ceiling height). While a few require you to be a member to join, most are open to everyone and tend to meet monthly.
Joining a committee is a great way to become fully involved in life at First Parish. Contact the committees directly or contact the Leadership Development Committee who can give you more guidance on what each one does and the level of commitment required.
The committees below are some of our larger committees that organize and run major programs, address both governance (from policy to property), and support the Sunday service and spiritual and ministerial mission, such as pastoral care, worship, and discernment. Many other committees and groups can be found on the Seeking Community and Volunteering and Helping Out pages.
- Music Committee
Purpose: To work closely with the music director and organist in creating a music program serving the mission of First Parish, to serve as a congregational liaison for music staff and a sounding board for ideas and projects, to be actively involved with equipment and instruments relating to the music program, and to coordinate music events at First Parish.
- Open to all; a musical background is helpful but not essential. Meets the second Thursday of each month, September–June.
- Associated Staff: Jonathan Brennand, Music Director
- Contact Chair and Music Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Religious Education Committee
Purpose: To provide oversight of and support to the RE program at First Parish.
Open to all. Meets the first Thursday of each month, September–June.
- Associated Staff: Tina Schultz, Director of Religious Education (DRE), and Aisha Ansano, Youth Group Coordinator
- Contact Co-chairs: email@example.com, Full committee and DRE: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Social Justice Committee
Purpose: To support opportunities to live our faith, both within First Parish and in the larger world; to raise funds at the annual Pie Palace, support the social justice working groups (see pages 20-21), plan the annual Shinn and Living Our Faith Services, oversee the Giving First program, and serve as a clearinghouse for social justice initiatives emerging from within and external to our congregation.
- Open to all. Meets the first Wednesday of each month, September–June.
- Contact email@example.com
- Parish Committee (also known as ParCom)
Purpose: To serve as the governing body of First Parish: to create parish-wide policy, hold a long-term vision, oversee and empower committees, foster new initiatives and discern priorities among them, prepare and oversee the annual budget, conduct an annual evaluation of the Minister and overall ministry of the parish, approve non-called program staff, monitor the overall condition of the physical plant, and speak for the congregation on matters of public concern.
- Members include Clerk, Treasurer, and seven other individuals, all of whom must be First Parish members.
- Meetings are open to any First Parish member. Meets the third Tuesday of each month, year-round, with additional meetings as needed.
- Contact Chair and Vice-Chair – ParishExec@firstparish.info
- Finance Committee
Purpose: To monitor and oversee the church’s financial condition and to prepare a draft of the annual budget for approval by ParCom and the church membership.
- Must be a First Parish member; a numbers background is helpful but not essential.
- Meets at least every other month, and more often as needed.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Human Resources Committee
Purpose: To support the congregation and its Parish Committee in the arena of human resources, including creating and maintaining employee procedures and policies, job descriptions, clear organizational reporting lines, and hiring and termination practices (e.g., offer letters, exit interviews, and grievance process); to assist the congregation in adhering to fair compensation guidelines and providing competitive benefits in line with our budget; to assist the staff in its process to set annual goals as well as conducting annual performance reviews and feedback; and to serve as counsel to the staff and Parish Committee on the above topics.
- Open to all; human resources experience is helpful but not essential. Meets monthly or as needed.
- Contact email@example.com
- Leadership Development Committee
Purpose: To encourage and facilitate participation in First Parish committees, support our lay leaders by promoting leadership development throughout our congregation, and nominate individuals to fill vacancies on standing committees and as parish officers prior to the Annual Meeting.
- Open to all; past participation in one or more First Parish committees is ideal. Meets monthly, September–June.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Membership Committee
Purpose: To greet and welcome newcomers to our church, to help them learn about our community, and to increase the awareness of the entire congregation about welcoming newcomers and including them in the life of the church. To inspire those who wish to become active and involved members of the church, and to guide them on the path to membership.
- Open to all. Meets the second Sunday of each month, 8:25-9:25 a.m.
- Contact email@example.com
- Property Committee
Purpose: To maintain and enhance the First Parish buildings and grounds, making the First Parish property an inviting and safe environment with minimal environmental footprint.
- Open to all; new participants welcome. Meets the third Thursday of each month, year-round.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stewardship Committee
Purpose: To foster a culture of stewardship at First Parish, ensure financial support of First Parish by members and friends via year-long education regarding its financial needs, and oversee the annual pledge campaign.
- Open to all. Meets as needed.
- Contact email@example.com
- Trustees of Trust Funds
Purpose: The purpose of the Trust Funds is to ensure the long-term survival of First Parish. The Trustees are fiduciaries for the congregation who are guided by that purpose to manage, invest and distribute the Trust Funds, including both restricted and unrestricted monies. The primary goal for distribution of unrestricted funds is to support the capital needs of First Parish’s infrastructure.
- Trustees must be members of First Parish.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry Related Committees
- Lay Ministry
Purpose: To offer care and pastoral support to those in our congregation in a timely and effective manner, working closely with our Minister.
- Lay Ministers are interviewed and selected by the Committee on Shared Ministry (see below). Any First Parish member who has regularly attended services for at least two years and will commit to a two-year term may apply. If you might be interested in becoming a Lay Minister, contact email@example.com. Lay Ministers may serve three consecutive two-year terms, and must then take at least two years off before reapplying.
- Generally meets the second Wednesday of each month, 7 p.m., year-round
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Worship Associates
Purpose: Worship Associates help shape worship services that serve the spiritual needs of the congregation and run smoothly on a practical level, both during the program year (September–June) and during the summer (when lay people lead services). The Worship Associates work closely with the Minister and coordinate with other church staff and volunteers as needed.
- Worship Associates are interviewed and selected by the Committee on Shared Ministry (see below). Any First Parish member who has regularly attended services for at least two years and will commit to a two-year term may apply.
- If you might be interested in becoming a Worship Associate, contact email@example.com. Worship Associates may serve three consecutive two-year terms, and must then take at least two years off before reapplying.
- Meets one Wednesday per month, September–June
- Committee on Shared Ministry
Purpose: To oversee and support the work of the Lay Ministry and Worship Associates (see above two entries) and to conduct the application process for those wishing to become Lay Ministers or Worship Associates.
Members are invited and appointed by the Parish Committee. They may serve for a maximum of three two-year terms.
- Committee on Ministry
Purpose: To help interpret the scope of the ministry to the congregation and interpret the scope of the congregation to the Minister, and to conduct an annual evaluation of the ministry with the Parish Committee and make recommendations regarding the ministry.
- Members are invited and appointed by the Parish Committee for a three-year term. They may serve for no more than two consecutive terms.
- Usually meets the third Wednesday of each month, September–June
- Affiliate Minister Committee
Purpose: To provide support, guidance, and feedback to First Parish’s Affiliate Minister, Rev. Wendy Page.
- Appointed by the Parish Committee for a three-year term, 2017-2020: Sibylle Bosslet, Dorothy May, Cindy Tavilla, and Bonnie Zimmer.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org