There are many people involved each Sunday to make our worship experience seamless. We have others in our community that love to cook pies for our Pie Palace and men who annually gather to make and sell Man Made Chili at Town Day. Still others with interest in art and gardening let us enjoy the Art Wall in the Parlor or the garden just outside the building entrance. And we all try to help one another by providing a prayer shawl or signing up to help our Wider Network of Care. These are simple ways to provide help to our community. And they also provide the opportunity to meet others and feel more connected to our First Parish community. Below is a more extensive list of what you might want to do to help out. .
The Sunday Morning Experience
Ushers provide a warm welcome to people entering on Sunday mornings and help the service flow in a smooth, safe and orderly fashion. There are roles for introverts and extroverts. Every week, the head usher organizes and guides the team. Questions? Want to sign up? Contact: ushercoordinator @ firstparish.info
Greeters welcome people at the front and side doors as they arrive for Sunday services. All you need is a smile, ability to open the door for people as needed, and knowledge of where to direct newcomers (RE office, Welcome table, etc.). The commitment is for about 30 minutes. You can sign up for a single Sunday, a month of Sundays, or whatever works for you. E-Mail membership @ firstparish.info
- Sunday Morning Baking
Two Sundays a month, a group of volunteer cooks will gather in the First Parish kitchen to make a delicious treat to be served at Coffee Hour. Volunteers will work with an experienced crew chief who will provide the ingredients and instructions. Volunteers should plan to be in the kitchen for baking and serving from 8-12 and can be on a crew just once or as many times as they like. A great way to get to know people! For more information, contact sundaybaking @ firstparish.info
- Religious Education Classrooms
Hold a baby in the Nursery, help preschoolers with their winter gear, read a story, do a craft project or make music with the kids, teach them a skill, help chaperone an outdoor walk, drive a group of seventh graders as they investigate other religions for Neighboring Faiths. For more information, contact Director of Religious Education Tina Schultz at dre @ firstparish.info
- One-Room Sunday School
During “low attendance Sundays” (usually holiday weekends), kids in grades K–4 meet together in one big room for a story, lesson, craft, and snack. Extra hands are always welcome! For more information, contact the Director of Religious Education: dre @ firstparish.info
- Sunday Morning Flowers
Our flowers are provided by parishioners, often with a special dedication which is printed in the order of service. The Flower Coordinator can assist in ordering an arrangement from our florist, or you may provide one. You can find more information and sign up for a specific Sunday at https://firstparish.info/flowers, or you can contact the flower coordinator at flowers @ firstparish.info
- Bell Ringers and Chalice Lighters
These special parts of our service are often, but not always, done by children in our congregation. Check with Worship Associates at worshipassociates @ firstparish.info or look for sign-up forms on the RE bulletin board in the Vestry/Hallway
Helping out at annual First Parish Events
- Harvest Moon Fair
The Harvest Moon Fair, held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is First Parish’s largest fundraiser and our largest volunteer event. From sorting and setting up displays of goods in the days before to manning tables, cooking our fabulous lunch, or waiting tables, there’s opportunities for everyone to join the fun and help out at the same time. Aaron Kitzmiller, email@example.com
- Town Day
First Parish is fully involved in Arlington’s Town Day, which occurs on a Saturday in September. We offer a Pie Palace, Man-Made Chili and a table of materials about the church. Volunteers are needed to cook, to set up and clean up and to work at the tables during the day. Be ready to sign up for what you’ll enjoy contributing on the first Sunday of the church year.
- Pie Palace
Each year, First Parish comes together as a community in a pie ministry — donating, cutting, and serving pies on Town Day to raise money for the myriad vital social justice activities our community undertakes throughout the year. The more pie we sell, the more Social Justice activities we can fund! Here are photos from the most recent Pie Palace, so sign up and join us for the Pie Palace!
- Man-Made Chili
The men take over the kitchen to raise spirits and money by making the famous “Man made chili”i for Arlington’s Town Day. Volunteers are needed to serve the chili and take in the cash during town day as well. Contact: David Desjardins, Aaron Kitzmiller, and Greg Ruccio, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ferry Beach Retreat Planners
Purpose: To plan the annual family retreat held at the Ferry Beach Retreat in Saco, Maine, and to establish policies and practices as needed.
Membership: New participants welcome, including Youth Group members.
Keeping our Building Beautiful
- Art Wall Committee
Purpose: To coordinate art shows in the Parlor and Narthex display window, and to host receptions. Meets as needed.
Membership: New participants welcome.
Contact: Carol Chamberlain, John Chamberlain, Debby Lewis, and Pat Plimpton-Magee, email@example.com
- Garden Tenders
Purpose: To beautify First Parish’s grounds by watering and tending the gardens.
Membership: New participants welcome, of any age.
Contact: Natalie Tyler, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Property Helper Bees
Purpose: To assist the Property Committee with special projects, such as raking leaves or fixing sanctuary chairs, without joining the Property Committee. Membership: New participants welcome. Let us know if you would like to hear about shared work days and special projects. Contact: Mike Birenbach, email@example.com
- Memorial Garden Committee
Purpose: To oversee the Memorial Garden and Remembrance Corner.
Membership: If interested contact Barbara Tosti.
Contact: Barbara Tosti, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stitch and Sew
Purpose: To knit, crochet, quilt, sew, and otherwise create a variety of handicrafts to be sold at the Harvest Moon Fair. Meets Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m., starting in March or April of each year and continuing until the Harvest Moon Fair.
Membership: New participants welcome.
Contact: Marilyn Jackson and Jean Nagle, email@example.com
Caring for One Another
- Wider Network of Care
Everyone at First Parish is encouraged to participate in providing ministry. Through the Wider Network of Care, administered by First Parish’s Lay Ministers, you can choose a task that you would be willing to perform for other members or families in a time of crisis, such as providing a meal or an edible/non-edible treat, running errands, or providing rides for appointments. For more information, contact the Lay Ministers at layministry @ firstparish.info
- Help with Blood Drives Hosted at First Parish
Blood Drives: Blood drives are held at First Parish six times per year. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, registration, entertainment, clean¬up, and more. For more information, contact John Hodges at blooddrive @ firstparish.info View upcoming dates and links to sign up here.
- Prayer Shawl Ministry
PURPOSE: To knit or crochet simple, warm shawls that are distributed by the Lay Ministers as needed.
MEMBERSHIP: New participants welcome. CONTACT: Barbara Tosti, firstname.lastname@example.org