Category: Church Council Minutes

Nov 02 2015

November Church council Agenda

Tuesday, November3, 7pm Alliance Parlor


  1. Chalice Lighting (5 min)
  2. Next Steps / Congregational Vote (10)
  3. Committee Budgets (5 min)
  4. Church Calendar  (5 min)
    1. Special congregational meeting, vote on launching a capital campaign for improving accessibility.  November 8, after church.
    2. Transgender 101 and Beyond – Sat Nov 14, 1pm, church
    3. Transgender day of Remembrance – Sat Nov 21, 7pm, chapel
    4. Talent Show/potluck: Saturday 1/23/16 7:00pm. (Snow date 1/30)
    5. Concert 1: “Steve Zocchi in Concert”. Saturday 2/6/15 7:00 (snow date 2/27)
    6. Concert 2: Saturday 3/12/15 7:00
    7. Auction 3/19
  5. FIA Grants (0-10 min?)
  6. Committee Reports (5 min)
  7. Teaching Parish/Intern Communication (15 min)


Committee Reports

Committee on Ministry: The Committee on Ministry met on October 16th. We discussed leadership development for First Parish. The Soul of a Leader was mentioned as a way we had addressed leadership development in the past. We also discussed the need for a more comprehensive approach to dealing with church finances. The possibility of future fiscal summits was mentioned. The committee also expressed appreciation for the outstanding work done by the Next Steps Task force in providing us opportunities through their forums to discern what is important as we move forward toward the vote at the special society meeting. We also appreciate the work of Church Council in providing a committee fair which is especially helpful for educating newcomers for about ways they can become involved in our church community.


CFAM: We still haven’t had our fall meeting due to the business of the fall Sundays so far, I think we will shoot for an early January meeting instead.  We have postponed our book discussion until after Thanksgiving (date TBA).  Dee and Joan attended a district session on Justice Ministries in October.  NOLA planning is on track, about 11 of us so far have committed and bought our plane tickets.


Worship Committee Report:

Worship Schedule/Sabbatical Guide: The Worship Schedule during Rev. Ellen’s sabbatical has been planned and the final draft of the “Sabbatical Guide” is in the making.

Signage:  Temporary signs (those “stick in the ground” kind of signs for lack of a better description!) have been ordered for “enter here”, “Worship With Us” along with our website info, and Christmas Eve services.

Hearing Assistance Devices: The WC is planning to purchase some hearing assistance devices as a short term solution, as bigger plans are in the making that may include updating our sound system.

Evening Service Team:   The Evening Service Team could use one more team member to help with planning and setting up for evening services. If you are interested, please contact our Ministerial Intern Justine Sullivan.

Chalice Lightings: There are lots of slots open during the months of January, February and March for chalice lightings. Please consider signing up on the sign-up sheet in the vestry.


Next Steps:  Planning to ask the congregation for permission to start planning a capital campaign with the goal of raising $500,000 for building accessibility.  The idea would be for a committee to start planning a campaign now and to start talking to individuals, and then to have public fundraising start early next fall.  In parallel with that, a different group would start working out more detailed plans for the building part of the project.


Sabbatical Committee:   Met Nov 1 to discuss coverage during Ellen’s Sabbatical from immediately after Pancakes & Carols at the end of December, through Easter, to her return to the pulpit on April 3rd.  Basic coverage is in place and additional backup plans are solidifying.


Welcoming Congregation: Planning Transgender 101 for Nov 14th, and the TDOR vigil for Nov 21.  Child care will be available for Transgender 101.  This is recommended for all church leaders.  Additionally, help is desired for reading of names for TDOR, setup and takedown, e.g. tables, chairs, snacks, candles, luminarias.  Anyone wishing to participate please contact Dee Halzack.

Music Committee Report:  Music Committee met on October 18th.  Primary issues discussed were:
  1.  Maintenance and care of instruments: Sanctuary piano holding tune well.  Repair process done earlier this year seems to be working.  Organ holding on and playing at present – waiting for repair process on keys to be scheduled by contractor.
  2.  2016 Special Musical Events: Steve has scheduled some musical programs for next year.  The concerts are likely to be fundraisers, purpose to be determined later.  Dates are follows:
    • Talent Show/potluck: Saturday 1/23/16 7:00pm. (Snow date 1/30)
      Concert 1: “Steve Zocchi in Concert”. Saturday 2/6/15 7:00 (snow date 2/27)
    • Concert 2: Saturday 3/12/15 7:00
    • Concert 3: TBA, will be planned by the Tervos.


REFF Council : The REFF Council held their first Family Potluck Gathering in the middle of October. Dolores led a wonderful parent child interactive activity. We will meet again in November, take a break in December, and continue in January. We had a table at the Committee Fair. Finally, we helped with the RE Halloween festivities.
Young Adults: Ellen is leading a class for the Young Adults. We had had four well classes with at least 6 people attending each class. We have continued to help with Coffee Hour clean-up as needed. The Young Adults will be attending the November Interfaith Service as a group.
Women’s Alliance: Women’s Alliance attended the Committee Fair. We held our first meeting of the year afterwards. We went to the Chelmsford Public Library and attended a presentation and then held a short business meeting. Depending on the weather, we may hold a luncheon at church for our November meeting.
Grounds Committee:  We are winding down slowly. Manure will be turned in to the gardens. Compost pile has been fixed and will be made ready for Winter. Bulbs will be planted. Our Sugar Maple Tree will be coming down the week of November 17th 2015, weather permitting.
Oct 02 2015

October Church Council Agenda

Tuesday, October 6, 7pm Alliance Parlor


  1. Chalice Lighting (5 min)
  2. Presentation – How to Run an Effective Meeting – Deirde Heck (20 min)
  3. Committees choose months for Welcome & Announcements (5 min)
  4. Committee Budgets (5 min)
  5. Committee Fair – Oct 18th  (15 min)
  6. Church Calendar  (5 min)
    1.  Three Forums to communicate results of Cornerstone Survey
      1. October 4 from 11:30 am -12:30 pm
      2. October 18 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm;
      3. October 25 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.
    2. A congregational vote on our plans for improving accessibility and launching a capital campaign will take place in November, tentatively November 8, at a special congregational meeting.
  7. FIA Grants (0 min?)
  8. Committee Reports (5 min)


Committee Reports

The Committee on Ministry met on September 18, 2015.  The main discussion focused on our supporting the process for the upcoming Next Steps forums with emphasis on the fact that the capital campaign is a proposal not  a plan at this point. Ellen’s and the church’s plans for her sabbatical was another topic of discussion.  We also briefly brainstormed ideas for evaluating the various ministries here at First Parish.


Grounds Committee: First Parish’s Sugar Maple Tree has been struggling to stay alive the last few years.Each year more branches small and large are dropping during wind and rain storms. Bark is falling off dead branches in good size chunks. I contacted the Arborist John Coppinger who had pruned our tree a few years ago. He stood under the tree on September 18th and left me the voicemail on my cell phone. The tree is dying. We talked again on September 23rd. Cutting the majority of dead branches would leave a very unattractive tree standing. His recommendation: Now is the time to cut the tree down and replant a new living tree. Take advantage of the nice weather we were having.

Another Arborist Rich Gambriel pointed out there is another large limb away from the Church ready to drop. I would love this tree to stay forever if it could. The danger to Parishioners or Visitors is increasing as well as damage to the church eventually. Neither one of these do I wish to witness. It is time to prepare for a new tree. I have collected two bids out of three to be presented to the standing committee as soon as possible.

 Grounds is looking into bids for the repaving of our asphalt sidewalks. If it can not fit into the 2015-2016 budget. It will be well presented to LRP and SC for 2016-2017 budget. I do not want to see it pushed out any further than that.
The Lawn Fertilizer has been spread out to the pantry door and picnic table. More needs to be  bought and applied. We hope to dethatch and seed the existing lawn before the frost. Our first load of manure is ready to add to gardens. Bulbs are ready to be put in. Lend a hand and learn how to make compost. Help is needed on any warm balmy day. All are welcome to help!
The Canvass detailed report could be discussed, and the need to get pledges increased come to mind.
For Membership, completed the Membership Recognition Day; (seemed to go ok) the next event is a New Visitor ‘tea’, probably in early November.
Women’s Alliance‘s October meeting will be attending a presentation at the Chelmsford Public Library on October 18th. Please see upcoming announcement for all the details.

The Religious Education Faith Formation Council met last Sunday to plan the Monthly REFF Family Gatherings, the Committee Fair, and the Halloween Parade and Carnival.

The Young Adults‘ theme for this year is turning a new leaf. Reverend Ellen and Justine led the first “Spirit of Life” class for the Young Adults. In addition to this class, the Young Adults are focusing on becoming more actively involved in church life.

Welcoming Congregation met Sunday.  We are planning Transgender day of Remembrance for November, sharing the video “Growing Up Trans” and considering ideas for the next book discussion.
Jun 27 2013

June 2013 CC Minutes

Church Council Meeting Minutes and Committee Reports

June 2013





Holiday Fair

Bonnie and Ami are hoping to find someone to shadow them on the holiday fair this year so they can both retire next year, though they would continue to be available to help out. Holiday Fair planning begins in August, so they are hoping to start working with someone, or a team of people, soon.


If you or anyone you know loves the Holiday Fair, please contact Bonnie and Ami.


Church Council Bulletin Board

The church council will be using the Bulletin Board on the Elevator side of the vestry for all committees to post “help wanted” signs as needed.


A request was made that no tables be set up blocking the bulletin board during coffee hour.


Music Committee Update

The music committee wanted to thank the Church Council for the wonderful conversation we had several months ago helping to brain storm ways to protect the Church’s pianos. Several ideas were implemented and are expected to be a success (see Music Report below).


Grounds Help

The Grounds committee put out a request for help. A conversation was had, and ideas to support the Grounds Committee were suggested.


The Youth Groups might be interested in helping. Dolores will talk with the youth groups, and Grounds and Dolores will continue to brain storm ways in which a relationship would be mutually beneficial. And perhaps even involve such things as pizza or ice cream and grounds maintenance parties.


Additionally it was suggested to get estimates from landscapers for mowing and landscaping to have a sense of the cost involved.


Welcoming Committee Parade Float         

We discussed the possibility of using the Welcoming Committee’s Pride Parade Float for the Chelmsford 4th of July Parade. They probably have missed the deadline for 2013, though this is being investigated. Assuming it is too late for this year, the hope is to do the same float for both the 2014 Pride Parade and 4th Parade.


The group decided this was a question to bring to the SC.


2013-2014 Timeline

The Standing Committee keeps a time line of church wide events that was passed around and added to during the meeting.


This will also be mailed out so all those committees not able to attend the meeting can suggest additions and corrections to the time line as well.


Committee Budgets Treasurer Report

Dave Kaffine wasn’t able to attend the meeting, but he left copies of this months report, which was shared. It was agreed that this will be a valuable addition to Church Council meetings going forward.



Faith in Action Grants

A Faith-in-Action Grant was requested by the REC and approved. $542 will be donated to the Morey School in Lowell for their end of year book project to give each child one book for the summer. We were not able to do our usual Book Drive, so the Morey School will be using this money to purchase $1 books for 542 students through Scholastic.


The Faith-in-Action money remaining is about $973.90 which will be rolled over to next year’s FIA budget.


Committee Fair for the 2013-2014 Church Year

It was discussed and decided to host another Committee Fair in the Fall. The date will be October 6th in the Vestry during Coffee Hour.  The Church Council will also be doing Social Hour.



Committee Reports



Archives: Nothing new.


Committee on Ministry: The Committee on Ministry has not met since the last Church Council meeting. They attended a workshop that was very valuable and informative.

Council of Faith in Action Ministries: Our Equal Exchange sales are still going well.
The Walk for Peace went very well, we had over 60 members of the congregation attend the walk, thanks to great work by Carla and Jaybe
We finally have a Habitat work Day for October 5th

Grounds:  Help is greatly needed in all aspects!!!!!!!
*”Especially Lawn mowing!”*
We have had no response to our adds in the Satellite and Shooting Star. Joan would you be able to put on the website all the help we need? Do you need a new list?
I have been interviewing landscaping company’s for mowing. I have fees starting at $75.00 to $250.00 a week. At the lowest price 20 to 25 weeks is costly.  I have some great tips from a well qualified landscaper on how to extend the life of slate and granite stairs which I will write up for long rang planning and standing committee tomorrow.
We are in full swing. Projects are being paced. So it may look a mess in some places and really keen in others. Help is always welcomed. The more the merrier and the faster the projects are done!

things Grounds


LRP: ‘LRP has completed a draft budget for 2013-2014 for consideration by SC


Membership: As May is Membership Month we eagerly filled our responsibility to read the Welcome and Announcements from the pulpit and to invite people to engage with us about Membership.  We had one more person sign the book last Sunday.  Aggie Brennan signed the Book of Membership.  We are in the middle of planning our New Member Reception and have invited a representation of Church Leaders as well as new members.  We decided that we did want to have some sort of event to welcome and honor these people instead of waiting for New Member Sunday next fall.  We have changed our meeting time to the third Tuesday of each month so that Jennifer Holder may moy join us and attend our meetings.  We continue to have newcomers walk through our doors and try to make sure they feel welcome.  There were three dedications recently for the children of people who began attending this year.


Peggy will continue as chair of the Membership Committee next year.  We will say goodbye to Carl Peterson and hello to Jen Holder as members.  The rest of the committee will remain stable: Jim Curley, Tracy Clifford, Caroline McMullin, Lara Smith and of course Laura Nutter as Clerk.  We continue to look for one or two more members for the committee.




Music Committee: Committee Met May 19th.  Issues discussed:

1) The donated electric keyboard (someone from Table of Plenty) is likely to be moved to the Junior High Room over the summer.  Delores supports and has approved the move.  She and the Music Committee feel the availability of a keyboard in that classroom will be useful and of interest to the RE and the students.

2) Purchasing covers for Vestry piano and Sanctuary piano as well as transport dolley for Vestry piano were discussed.  Funds were available in this year’s Music budget and Music Director and Committee supported their purchase.  Items ordered by Music Director.  Thank you for the ideas and recommendations made by the Church Council in September 2012 re the protection of the instruments.  The discussion helped the Committee to pinpoint these items as important investments!


NOLA: We will be hosting Social Hour on June 9th.  We will offer anyone who bought a ticket their choice of raffle tickets for the New Orleans basket, a  First Parish t-shirt,

We have a date for a trip to New York to help with Sandy recovery – August 5th through the 9th. Right now, this is being led through the Groton church (who has come with us to New Orleans for the past 4 years).


REC:        Our May meeting focused on discerning the roles of a full-time RE and the RE council as we plan for 2014.  It was the “retreat” we didn’t get to have in August because of scheduling issues and it was very productive as we were able to reflect on the current year.

·         Important dates –

o   On June 2nd, our students will be serving lunch to our RE volunteers!

o   RE Sunday is June 9th.  Milestone gifts will be presented to our children and youth.

·         Planning is well underway for our 2013/2014 RE program.  There will be some changes to the program next year and we will update folks after the June RE council meeting.

·         COA and OWL recruitment for next year is underway.


Website Publicity: Our communication policy has been approved by the Standing Committee. In the fal, we will communicate the new policy to the congregation.  We continue to work on the overall communications policy for the church.  We also worked with RE to get a new blog going for the HS class.  Aleric Heck and Nick Kaffine will be working on that, with guidance form Dolores

May 20 2013

May 2013 CC Minutes

Church Council Meeting

May 7, 2013

In Attendance:

Info Tech/Music Dave Kaffine

LRP Chris Sweetnam

Membership Peggy Stephens-North

Ministry Leslie Yauckoes

Nominating Chris Sweetnam

Publicity Joan Coyne

RE Council Dolores Heredia-Wood

Social Action Joan Coyne

Web & Publicity Joan Coyne

Welcoming Sarah Manning

Grounds Martha Sherburne

Caroline McMullin Women’s Alliance, Young Adults

Chair Deirdre Heck

Vice Chair David Blackburn


No committee reports

Mini Class Topics for the ’14 Church Year

Those in attendance agreed that mini classes should continue into the next year.

It was felt that the following should be repeated:  budget, annual reports, the ministry and

committee work, and canvass.

The following new topics should be discussed:  an overview of the faith in action program,

describe the roles and responsibilities of house management, roles and responsibilities of a

floating chair, and topics brought up in committee reports.


Leslie provided feedback from the usher committee regarding putting out temporary parking

signage for Sunday morning service. The committee felt that job could be accomplished by

the person assigned to the elevator.

It was also discussed that the sandwich boards for parking needed to be updated and that a

regular parking message should be included into the morning announcements.

Faith In Action

There were three faith in action grants nominated and approved.

The first was to provide a personal copy of a hymnal to those that participates in the UU

mentoring program. Amount:  $240.00. Motion proposed by Peggy and moved by Leslie.

Passed unanimously.

The second was made by the music committee to match the funds for Habitat for Humanity

raised at the Tervo’s recital. Amount:  $500. Motion proposed by Dave Kaffine and moved by

Chris Sweetnam. Passed unanimously.

The third was to fund a Boston Pride Parade float, offered by the Welcoming Committee.

Amount: $XXX. Motion proposed by Dave Kaffine and moved by Peggy Stephens-North.

Passed unanimously.

Budget Information

Dave Kaffine provided a budget update regarding committee expenditures.

Mini-class:  Annual Reports and End-of-Year reporting – Cindy Gist.

Submitted by David Blackburn, May 13, 2013

Committee Reports

May 2013

Archives: Nothing new at the Archives!

Committee on Ministry:

The Committee on Ministry met on May 3rd.  We discussed the fact that there are currently

a large number of pastoral care issues concerning health in our church membership.  We

brainstormed ways to help Ellen keep informed about the health status of members.  We

talked about the possibility of having a part time field ed/intern for the next two years.  In

addition there is a possibility of having an additional field ed. student to work on one  project

for the church.  The committee will meet again on June 7th.

Council of Faith in Action Ministries:

We raised about $300 for Habitat for Humanity at the Tervo’s concert on April 6th.

We had a successful cleanup of Jollene Dubner Park last Saturday, and a good collection

for our split the plate. Next week (May 12th), Carla Corey and Jayne Boissonnault are

coordinating our “alternative Sunday Service” at the Mother’s Day walk for Peace in


This month’s split the plate is First Nations Development Institute, whose mission is to

strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. They invest

in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support

economic development for American Indian people and their communities.


Grounds would like to have help with.:

Does anyone have expertise or would like to help strip the varnish off the bench on

Westford St., sanding the wood and paint with an exterior paint?

Grounds is considering redoing the garden of lilies the town gave us along Westford St.

We are trying to incorporate them into our existing beds and replant grass. We can put

some or all along the stonewall of the parking lot.  Where the town has our new lamps

we can put black plastic down/ landscape cloth and put stones down to keep away the

weeds. If we have more than we can handle on the Lillies there was a dream to have

a line of Lillies along the curved wall of the cemetery facing Rte. 110 from the White

dogwood. The Lilly part of the bed would be mulched!

We can use help anytime in distributing compost from our piles to our existing beds when

it is fully made (usually in the spring or fall) or bought compost when delivered to the

church. It would need to be turned into the soil of the existing bed at that time.

Pushing back the marble stones by the shed. Cutting and tacking down landscaping

cloth, pushing the stones onto the cloth and adding the extra stones we have to make

the area look especially nice and weed free!


Music Committee:

Meeting Date: Sun, April 28, 8:45 AM: Reviewed outcome of Tervo benefit concert.  Had a lot

of left-over refreshments.  Good that Coffee Hour was next day.  Collected $389 in donations

– given to Habitat for Humanity.  Thank you to all the Committees that supported this program!

Committee discussed potential use of a donated electric keyboard.  Further investigation

and discussion needed to determine best use.

The music committee would like to sponsor a Faith in Action grant for Habitat for Humanity –

basically something like a matching grant for the recent Tervos’ fundraising concert so that it

has a bigger impact.


We had an awesome trip! We will be hosting social hour on June 9th.

Website Publicity

We didn’t meet this month.

Mar 20 2013

March 2013 CC Minutes

Church Council Meeting

March 5, 2013

In Attendance:

Green Kristy Medina

Grounds Martha Sherburn

Info Tech Dave Kaffine

LRP Chris Sweetnam

Membership Peggy Stephens-North

Ministry Leslie Yauckoes

Music Will Reiter

Nominating Chris Sweetnam

Publicity Joan Coyne

RE Council John Schneider

Social Action Joan Coyne

Web & Publicity Joan Coyne

Welcoming Cong Sarah Manning

Chair Deirdre Heck

Vice Chair David Blackburn

Minister Ellen Rouse Spero


Green Committee – Kristy reported that the Green Committee would change its structure,

utilizing the model of the Social Action committee. The Green committee will use Facebook

and the Church website as a forum for ideas, information, and sharing events. The idea is to

give the entire Congregation better access to the concepts and work of the committee. Ellen

reminded the group that any use of  ‘First Parish’ name must receive Standing Committee

approval. Joan offered assistance in getting information onto the ‘scrolls’ of the First Parish



Issues with availability of parking were discussed, specifically related to easy and safe church

access for families with infants. There have been discussions of family parking in the past.

Core to the covenant of First Parish is practice of hospitality. Several ideas were discussed

including signage (permanent and temporary), and attendants at the door. Reverend Ellen

stated if it was going to happen, there had to be ownership of the problem and the solution.

A group will be formed to shepherd the proposals and insure they are implemented in a

consistent fashion. The Standing Committee will also discuss the issue in their next meeting.

Faith In Action

There were two requests presented. All three were approved

1) Lowell Transitional Living Center [Reverend Ellen] – Ellen requested $1000 and the

committee, following a suggestion by John Schneider, increased the amount to $1500.

The Center is the only such organization in the area and has seen an increase in the

numbers using the shelter with the recent spate of bad weather.

2) Central Baptist, Chelmsford [Reverend Ellen] — $1000 was requested to support this

support the purchase of new fire resistant cushions for the pews in the sanctuary. The

sanctuary was condemned last year due to structural issues. Sanctuary furnishings

and accouterments were lost to mold and moisture. This ‘good neighbor’ donation

helps to replace what insurance will not cover.

Mini-class:  Spiritual Ministry – Reverend Ellen

Submitted by David Blackburn

March 10, 2013


Nothing new here.

Caring Connection Committee:

Traditionally, February is Caring Connection month.  We read the welcome and

announcements and host the annual Valentine’s Day ice-cream social in conjunction with

the RE program.  This year, Mother Nature had other ideas.  Because of inclement weather,

our ice-cream event was canceled.  Fortunately, Table of Plenty benefited from the extra icecream and very much appreciated the donation.  Here’s hoping that February of 2014 will be

less snowy.

We also sent out several cards in commemoration of birthdays and milestones, in sympathy

for loss, and just to let various people know that they were in our thoughts during difficult

times.  In addition, we were able to connect several helpers with people in need of meals

during February.

Committee on Ministry:

The Committee on Ministry met on February 15, 2013.  We discussed the ideas presented

at the pot luck supper, “Dinner and Dreams” about the architectural plans for remodeling the

church.  We especially focused on the accessibility issues.  It was noted that the mentoring

program is progressing with recent membership book signers and their mentors about to

explore how we live out Unitarian Universalism here at First Parish.  As Ellen approaches the

completion of 10 years with us, the committee will be reading In It for the Long Hall by Glenn

E. Ludwig.  We will discuss how we can build an effective long-term pastorate.

There will be upcoming conferences on church ministries at the district level in May and

June.  We are looking into participating in these events.

Council of Faith in Action Ministries

Our Equal Exchange sales are still going well. Our February Split the Plate organization

was Monkey Helpers, who train monkeys to be used as helpers for the disabled. For

March, we will be splitting the plate with United Teens Equality Center of Lowell

(UTEC). UTEC’s nationally recognized model begins with intensive street outreach and

gang peacemaking, reaching out to the most disconnected youth by meeting them “where

they’re at.” UTEC engages youth in workforce development and alternative education.

Social justice and civic engagement are embedded in all programming, with special

emphasis in our youth-led grassroots organizing, locally and statewide.

We will be holding an open meeting on March 10th to invite anyone in the congregation

who is interested in social action.

The Tervo’s will be doing a concert on April 6th to raise money for Habitat. We area lso

hoping to organize a cleanup day at Jolene Dubner Park in April.

Green Ministry:

1. The movie night is being moved to March 22nd at 7 PM instead of this Friday. Ami is

bringing Wall-E and I am bring Food Inc.  Wall-E will be watched by the kids. There will be

popcorn and juice for the kids and wine, cheese, crackers, and juice for the adults.

2. What is left of our budget after the movie night can be spent on items to green up the

church. I can’t remember the suggestions, but we can email back and forth ideas.

3. It might be good to look into a Terracycle brigade and see if we might want to start one in

the church. It could be our way of giving back to the church financially.

The virtual meetings & Facebook group: During the Green Committee’s last meeting we

discussed going to virtual meetings next year and only doing 2 functions then. We

would still help “green up” the church as needed. If we are able to so this, then I will

stay on as the chair.  I need to talk to Joan and the standing committee about this new

direction first.  We discussed having a Facebook group for the green committee and

those wishing to be a part of our online discussions and links.   It might bring about a

more active green church community.


Grounds Committee almost started Spring Cleanup early in February. But then the Blizzard

came! Now we are waiting to start once again. If anyone knows of anyone interested in

helping please pass their names along to me.

LRP has nothing to report.


The New UU Class ended several weeks ago with five people expressing interest in joining a

Small Group Ministry.  All of the members of the class were invited to attend the Fellowship

Dinner which was held last night.

The Membership Committee has been busy planning the annual Fellowship Dinner where we

talk about the path towards membership.  We invited 31 guests to the dinner this year and 13

were able to attend.  Tom Coffey attended and spoke about Stewardship and Rev. Ellen was

there and spoke about “The Faith of Unitarian Universalism.”  Each couple/individual received

a packet with the Welcoming Guide, Membership Directory, Committee Spreadsheet (thanks

to Deirdre and Church Council), Auction Sheet, Refrigerator Magnet, Covenant Card, Listing

of Current Events and Activities, “Congregational Polity and Covenant” by Conrad Wright,

Packet of Chalice Lightings for last year.  Cindy Gist helped us out tremendously, THANKS

Cindy!  Bonnie Rankin donated Steeple Coffee Mugs, THANK YOU Bonnnie.

Most importantly it was an opportunity for these relative newcomers to get to know each other

and as well as members of the Membership Committee on a deeper level.

Five people signed the Book of Membership: Frank Brusca and Katharine Canada, Donna

Michelson, Chrissy and Nancy Martin-Roque.  We continue to have new folks walk through

our doors each Sunday and so we have tried to schedule three greeters to make sure that

everyone is welcomed and introduced to others.  If anyone on Church Council would like to

volunteer as a Greeter, please contact Jim Curley at [email protected]

We will probably hold another Newcomer Orientation in April and then May is Membership


Music Committee:

Our February meeting was cancelled due to weather.  The next meeting is scheduled for

Wed, 3/6 at 6:30 PM.  The Music Committee is currently working with Social Justice and

Publicity Committee to promote a Habitat for Humanity fundraising concert on Saturday, April

6th with musical performance by the Tervos.


We had to cancel our fundraiser twice, but will reschedule it for after our trip.

Nominating Committee:

The committee has asked and received acceptances for most of the positions we are

responsible for filling. We hope to have completed our slate by this time next month.


Our main discussion items at our last meeting were the FY14 budget and the CORI policy.

We have approved a proposed budget and sent it to the Treasurer and we have approved a

CORI policy and have sent that to the Standing Committee for their review and approval.  The

draft CORI policy is attached.

The Long Range Planning Committee asked for some input for their FY14 budget and we

approved several items to enhance the high school youth space, construction of a labyrinth,

and some storage units and paint.

We have all started a new rotation for the RE program.  The new rotation is about wisdom

from the east—Buddhism.

Website Publicity

We updated our photo policy last year to make is match the photo policy developed

by the RE Committee, but through a mix-up did not get it approved by the Standing

Committee. We have resubmitted it to the SC so they can vote on it in their next

meeting. Once it is approved, we will be posting it. Since the RE committee is also

asking parents for permission to post pictures on our bulletin boards, we will be working

on a policy for that too, just to make sure everyone is on the same page about that.

We are also working on publicity for the Tervo’s concert in April

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee is the Church's governing board. The Standing Committee works to ensure the vitality of our community of faith. There are 10 members of the Standing Committee – nine voting members elected by the congregation and the minister, who is a non-voting member of the Committee. Standing Committee members serve a 3 year term.

The Standing Committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm. Time is set aside at the beginning of every SC meeting as an open forum for members to bring forward any issues they would like to discuss.

The Standing Committee is responsible for the health and well being of First Parish. This includes maintaining communication among members and committees, managing Church property, and planning for the Church's short and long-term future. And of course members of the Standing Committee develop and manage the budget approved by the Congregation at the annual meeting.
The Human Resources Committee is a sub-committee of the Standing Committee.