Pastoral Care at First Parish
As a large and vital church, there are many ways we care for one another at First Parish. Our benediction, which we say together every Sunday, serves as our mission statement for pastoral care.
Go out into the world in peace,
hold onto what is good;
return to no person evil for evil;
strengthen the faint-hearted,
support the weak,
help the suffering;
honor all beings.
The ministers offer counseling, hospital or home visits, phone calls, and are always available to respond when called. Please call the church office (978-369-9602) to schedule an appointment or email the ministers directly:
Pastoral Care Advisory Committee (PCAC)
The mission of the Pastoral Care Advisory Council is to offer advice to the ministers of First Parish and promote its networks of pastoral care to extend and strengthen their reach. The council members (Judy Dembsey, Irmi Doane, Sue Dobbie, Berni Jenkins, Ursula Kristoffy, Pam Ressler, and Caitlin Selle) work in collaboration with ministerial intern, Tony Fisher, to ensure that the pastoral care ministries at First Parish are vital and strong.
Pastoral Care Lay Ministry
The ministers are assisted by the Pastoral Care Lay Ministers, who companion parishioners who are in need of spiritual and emotional support during hospitalizations, bereavement, and long-term illness; they offer support for elders, caregivers, and families in crisis. This lay ministry group is selected by the ministers. They receive significant training and meet monthly for supervision, reflection and support.
- Food Preparation: Rhoda Miller, Carolyn Shohet, and Tracey Hurd
- Food Delivery: Bev Bringle, Petra Betts, and Pat Kane
- Notes: Kitsy Rothermel and the Women's Parish Association
- New Baby Welcomers: Jane Stewart, Louisa Paushter and Bridget Neale Paris
- Pastoral "Thinking of You" Note Cards: Kathleen Elcox and Leslie Fisher
- New Baby Blankets: created by Kitsy Rothermel
- Shawl Ministries: Regina Hugendubler
Beginning the Sunday before Thanksgiving through the month of December, a memorial wreath stands in front of the Sanctuary. Parishioners are invited attach ribbons to acknowledge a loved one who has died.
Pastoral Care offers workshops on aging, preparing for death, living well and communicating with compassion. See the First Parish Program Guide and Wright Tavern Center Brochure for details.
Pastoral Note Cards
Note cards are available during the Sunday coffee hour in the Parlor. Parishioners can take the opportunity to write a caring note to a congregant who was remembered on the Pastoral List prior to silent meditation during the Sunday service. It will be mailed for you.
Pastoral Care Lending Library
The Pastoral Care Lending Library is a self-serve library, located in the hallway leading to the Peter Bulkeley room, available to all parishioners. The Library List of its contents is posted on this website.
Pastoral Care On-Line Resource Library
The Pastoral Care On-Line Resource Library on this website, provides links to resources for individuals, families and caregivers.
By Your Side Singers
Singing and pastoral care join together in the By Your Side Singing group. The group meets the first and third Thursdays at First Parish from 7:30 to 9:00 PM under the direction of Beth Norton, Music Director. You do not need to be a member of the Adult Choir to participate. The By Your Side Singers provide pastoral care through life’s transitions by singing rounds, chants, lullabies, choral music, hymns and spirituals to parishioners in their homes or at the hospital.
How Can You Be Involved?
You are encouraged to let us know, through the ministers, the church office, or one of the groups above, when you or someone you know is in need of support.