Committees, Councils, and Volunteer Opportunities

Much of the work of the church is done by you, members, friends, and visitors of First Parish. Without your gifts of time, talent, and vision we would not be the vibrant religious community that you find when you walk through the meetinghouse doors.

Help support your community by volunteering on a committee, task force, or one-time volunteer opportunity. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the church office or email the contact  associated with each opportunity described below.

 

Archives Committee

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Responsible for preserving historical record, books, and other materials covering the more than three hundred years of First Parish activities. Most of these materials are in the Concord Free Public Library. Committee members inventory the collection, recommend how best to manage, store and preserve the materials, develop criteria for determining which current materials will need to be archived, and suggest policies covering the preservation and storage of archival materials. The Committee is also creating a finding aid, a tool for determining what is in a collection and how to find it.

Arts Council

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The purpose of the Arts Council is to further the mission of First Parish through facilitating, promoting and coordinating a diverse arts ministry that inspires and celebrates creativity and connection. The council is comprised of representatives from various arts groups in the congregation and any interested parishioners.

 

Caring Connection

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Keeps in touch with parishioners who cannot come to church and with those who may be in temporary need of assistance. Caring Connection participants provide a variety of services, including emergency child care, transportation, errands, meals, and elder services, and also visit those who live in Concord-area nursing homes. In its work, the Caring Connection collaborates closely with the ministers.

Coffee Hour Co-hosting

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Members and friends of First Parish care for the community and each other in a variety of ways. One fun and simple way to care for First Parish is to volunteer to co-host an occasional coffee hour. Teams of four or five individuals and/or families are grouped together by the coffee hour coordinator. These teams then plan how they would like to provide snacks and nourishment. Please no nuts due to allergies.

Denominational Affairs Committee

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Provides liaison between the Parish and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and its Massachusetts Bay District (MBD). Addresses issues of denominational concern and recruits delegates to the annual UU General Assembly.

Diversity Committee

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The Diversity Committee educates and raises awareness in the congregation about issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, racism, ableism, classism and sexism, and advocates for specific steps to foster a sense of inclusion for all parishioners and newcomers.

Ferry Beach Planning Committee

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Arranges for the Parish’s annual spring weekend outing to the Ferry Beach Camp and Conference Center on the beach in Saco, Maine. This is a great social event for individuals and families, and is shared with First Parish in Lexington.

Flower Committee

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Handles the flower arrangements that grace the sanctuary and the chapel at every service, and for the many gatherings, celebrations, and special occasions held in the parish hall. Volunteers help to arrange the flowers, which are often memorials and which are frequently drawn from local gardens.

Forum Planning Committee

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Arranges the Sunday morning presentations in the Chapel. This committee seeks to offer a wide variety of interesting programs on social and other issues, utilizing Parish members and outside speakers.

Green Sanctuary / Environmental Leadership Team

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The ELT formed in 2010 as an extension of our Green Sanctuary accreditation in 2009. In keeping with our UU principles and benediction, the ELT is working to help our congregation find ways to respond effectively to a variety of environmental issues. Click on Environmental Leadership Team here to go to the First Parish Social Action Environmental Leadership web pages.

Herb Garden Committee

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Helps maintain the Deborah Webster Greeley Herb Garden, located on the lower church grounds beyond the chapel. Through sales of herbs and herbal treats at occasional coffee hours and special fundraisers, and with an annual gift from the Women’s Parish Association, the committee provides supplies as needed for the garden. Members participate in several work days during the year, and take responsibility for watering and weeding in consultation with Doug Baker, Gardener-in-Chief. The garden is available for receptions and photo opportunities. These events are scheduled through the church office by Doug Baker.

Human Resources (Personnel) Committee

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Supports the staff, monitors personnel policies, performance reviews and salary matters, and is available to mediate potential staff conflicts.

Humanist Council

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Seeks to strengthen the understanding and voice of Humanism within the First Parish and in the surrounding community. We support programs through the Wright Tavern, and work with and sponsor events with Humanist organizations in the area.

Ministerial Intern Committee

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Responsible for screening and selecting a ministerial intern for First Parish, and then providing support to that person throughout the intern year. The committee meets monthly with the intern, gives feedback on sermons and other worship activities, serves as a sounding board, and in general, provides the intern with a supportive community. As a large teaching congregation, First Parish is in a strong position to help develop future ministers for our denomination.

Music Events Committee

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Develops and facilitates musical programs and events at First Parish to feed us spiritually, strengthen our sense of community, expand our musical horizons and offer a gateway to the wider community.

New Member and Visitor Welcomer

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Each Sunday during the coffee hour volunteers welcome visitors, answer questions, and, as requested, help people new to the congregation find their way on the path to membership.

Nominating Committee*

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The committee is responsible for identifying nominees for the Standing Committee and the posts of Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer. Holders of these positions are elected at the Annual Meeting of the Parish each June. 

 

Office Support Volunteers

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The church office relies upon regular volunteer office staff to assist with answering weekday telephone calls and directing visitors. Additional volunteers are needed to stuff, label, and seal envelopes four to six times per year.

Partner Congregation Program

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Promotes the exchange of clergy, parishioners, and resources between First Parish and the Unitarian Church of Székelykeresztúr in Transylvania, the birthplace of Unitarianism. These exchanges, between two historic churches on different continents and between congregations speaking different languages in different cultures, enrich the life and worship of both congregations and deepen our mutual understanding of what it means to be Unitarian.

Pastoral Care Lay Ministers

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Assist the ministers as they companion parishioners who are in need of spiritual and emotional support during hospitalizations, bereavement and long-term illnesses. They also offer support to elders, caregivers and families in crisis.

Pastoral Care Council

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The mission of the Pastoral Care Council is to work with the pastoral care ministers and promote the pastoral care networks of First Parish to extend and strengthen their reach. Council members work in collaboration with the senior minister and the ministerial intern to ensure that the pastoral care ministies at First Parish are vital and strong.

Religious Education Council

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Works with the Director of Religious Education to provide and support all religious education programs for children through eighth grade.

Social Action Community Council

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Helps parishioners "go out into the world ... and support the suffering" through a range of projects based upon your time, talents, or generousity, educational forums that teach about social needs, and grants to worthy and effective nonprofit organizations (7.5% of parishioner pledge giving). Activities include weekly, monthly, and annual projects for individuals, families, and groups; frequent email communication.

Standing Committee*

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Composed of eleven members, including the Clerk and the Treasurer, this elected committee has responsiblity for hte policies of the Parish, its business affairs, and the administration of the organization.

Transcendentalism Council

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As an historical hub for the development of Transcendentalism in the 19th century, First Parish continues as a location for the study of this important philosophy.

Trustees of Parish Donations*

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A five-member elected committee charged with supervision of the property of First Parish, including the historic buildings adjacent to the meeting house, and the endowed funds.

Ushers and Sound System Operators

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The ushers and sound system operators provide assistance at all worship services. Greets those arriving for worship services. Ushers rotate duties, serving once a month; sound system operators supervise the public address system and record the services on CDs.

Women’s Parish Association

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Founded in 1881, the WPA continues to be a large, active organization. It promotes the educational, charitable, and religious interests of First Parish. Meetings are scheduled once a month from September through May, and generally include speakers who address a wide variety of topics. Two major fund-raising events are held each year, with the profits given to special parish projects, as well as educational and charitable activities within the community and the denomination. The WPA is a member of the national Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation.

Womens' Retreats Planning Team

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The First Parish Women’s Retreats are held on two consecutive weekends at the end of January, in a cozy old retreat house in Connecticut. Participants talk, listen, play (indoors and out), write, talk, sing, enjoy great food, talk some more, and create and deepen friendships within the community of First Parish. Registration includes 2 nights and 6 meals. Check in the office for current registration fees. Scholarship funds are available.

Youth Advisory Council

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The Youth Advisory Council is open to any high school aged or adult who is active and invested in youth programming. Our monthly 1-hour meetings are fun, but we also get things done! Youth and adult advisors work together to plan Sunday evening youth activities, retreats, service trips and all any other youth programming at First Parish. We meet on the third Tuesday of the month (September through May) from 7:30 - 8:30. 

 

*Committees that are appointed or elected are denoted with an asterisk.