Category: Church Council Minutes

Feb 20 2013

February 2013 CC Minutes

Church Council Meeting
February 5, 2013

In Attendance:

CFAM Joan Coyne
Green Kristy Medina
Grounds Martha Sherburn
HRSC Deb Grad
LRP Chris Sweetnam
Membership Caroline McMullin
Ministry Leslie Yauckoes
Music Will Reiter
Publicity Joan Coyne
RE Council Dolores Heredia-Wood
Web & Publicity Joan Coyne
Welcoming Cong Warren Flewellen
Women’s Alliance Caroline McMullin
Worship Lynne Cole
Youth Alliance Caroline McMullin

Chair Deirdre Heck
Vice Chair David Blackburn

Committee Updates
The Church’s lawn mower is getting an overhaul at Casins.
Bonnie and Amy are willing to chair the 2013 Holiday Faire but are looking for chairs-in-training to lead the 2014 Faire.

Dinner and Dreams Follow Up
All those on Council that were in attendance declared the evening a success. It built a positive vibe around a challenging concept and allowed us to come together in fellowship over the tangible structure that represents our community of First Parish.

Committee budgets are due today (February 5th)!

Faith In Action
There were three requests presented. All three were approved
1) Table of Plenty [Bonnie Rankin] — $1000 requested to support the three meals that First Parish directly sponsors. The group discussed, and agreed, that this should become a line item in the Church budget.
2) UML Protestant Campus Ministry [Reverend Ellen] — $250 requested to support this group. The group has sponsored talks on issues of sexuality and support our local Habitat for Humanity.
3) Faith Formation in the 21st Century [Reverend Ellen] — $100 will purchase ten copied of the book The Last Word for use by a Lenten Book Club.

Mini-class: Human Resources and First Parish – Deb Grad

Submitted by David Blackburn
February 11, 2013

Committee Reports
February 2013

Archives Committee: There is nothing new at Archives this month!

Caring Connection Committee report:
The Caring Connection Committee continues its work of linking members of our community with each other in times of need. We also recognize milestones by sending cards. February has been designated as Caring Connection month, which means that we will be doing the Welcome and Announcements at the beginning of each service. In addition, we will be hosting our annual ice-cream social in collaboration with RE next Sunday. We continue to seek volunteer helpers and potential committee members.

Council of Faith in Action Ministries:
Our Equal Exchange sales are still going well. In January, we decided not to do split the plate, but
instead to donate the whole plate to the Woodcrest Fire Relief Fund. We are still looking for new
suggestions for our Split the Plate organizations for the spring. We will be holding an open meeting on
March 8th to invite anyone in the congregation who is interested in social action.

LRP – Has begun the process of costing potential projects for the 2013-2014 year.

Grounds – Grounds has sent the Snapper Rider out to Coson’s for an overhaul. WE are busy setting up projects and would love as many volunteers and helpers as we can get!

Membership Committee Report – February 2, 2013

There is a new, large bulletin board in the Vestry that will be used by Membership and anyone else who wants space to communicate. Ellen will be using it next Sunday. Thank you Joan Coyne and Jim Curley for getting this up. Take a look to see how many newcomers you know.

We have had lots of newcomers and many are returning weekly. Peggy has been facilitating the New UU Class on Tuesday nights and has 12 people registered for the class. Attendance varies, but the Church Community has really been supportive as invited guests. Many thanks to Carla, Chris Kaffine, Dolores Heredia-Wood, Jill Hayes and Jonathon Crockett for coming to talk about RE. Thanks to Paul Windt, Cindy Gist, Ellen, Dee Halzek, Bill Drury and Akiko Sano for giving me information about First Parish History. Thank you to Joan Coyne, Dee Halzek, Sarah Manning and Bonnie Rankin for talking about Social Justice work and finally thanks to Walter and Dave Kaffine for helping me out this Tuesday when we will talk about Church Governance. Ellen will be joining us for the last session next week.

I will be facilitating the New UU Class and so cannot be at Church Council, but Caroline McMullin will be there to represent Membership and will present a budget for us.

Jim Curley has taken responsibility for the Greeter Schedule and we have regularly had three people greeting, which has been helpful with the amount of newcomers coming through our doors. If anyone on Church Council would like to join us, please contact Jim,[email protected] You do not have to be a member of the Committee to help out.

We held a Newcomer Orientation on January 27 with five newcomers in attendance and are presenting planning the Fellowship Dinner, scheduled for March 2nd. This is an evening where we invite folks who have been attending for a while to join us for food, socializing and thoughtful conversation about the path to Membership. We are looking for copies of the UU World so as to give complimentary copies to guests at the Fellowship Dinner. If you have any please consider donating.

We have made contact with some Friends and Members who we haven’t seen in a while to make sure that they are okay. We have received about 50% response and with help from Carla Corey we have looked through the names on the nametag board to identify folks we haven’t seen in a while.

We were able to talk to a family who had some confusion about the Canvass/Stewardship Drive and were reluctant to sign the book of Membership. Jim and I were able to clear up the confusion and explain that people share their Time, Talent and Treasure to the best of their ability.

While we would still like to work towards inserting photos in the Church Directory, this project has taken a back seat to other things.

Committee on Ministry met on January 18th. We discussed the potluck dinner “Dinner and Dreams” to be hosted by the SC on Feb. 2nd. We hope to see conversations begun around how how building reflects our covenant and/or should reflect our covenant in the future. We also discussed the concept of radical hospitality (being more intentionally welcoming to all) which will be the focus of the upcoming sermons during the 30 Days of Love. Another topic of discussion was the anniversary of Ellen’s ten years as our minister and where do we go from here.

Music Committee: Music Committee: At our January meeting the Music Committee reviewed the FY 2013/2014 music budgets. Our submitted budget will include protective covers for the Vestry and Sanctuary pianos as well as a transport dolly for the Vestry piano. There was also agreement that the Vestry cover is the top priority among these items. We also had a preliminary discussion about the Committee’s support and participation in a musical fund-raising event to support Habitat for Humanity, in March.

We have 22 people going on our trip, 9 youth and 13 adults. 5 members of the group, 3 adults and 2 youth, are from the Groton. We will be holding a Mardis Gras fundraiser on February 9th to help raise money for our trip. WE have 4 groups signed up to play, Mark Tervo’s Jazz band, Flyin; High, which includes 2 members of First Parish, Little Prophet and The Backseat Drives, made up of First Parish HS youth.

Nominating Committee Report
We have started the process of inviting people to serve in elected position. We are hoping to have a full slate by mid March.
Wendla Windt, Chair

Parish Affairs (Social Hour): Parish Affairs had to buy a new hot water urn, so perhaps we are needing to buy more urns these days, but however the possible increased wear and tear is coming about, it seems a good investment in the “radical hospitality” that Ellen encourages us in.

Website Publicity:
We updated our photo policy last year to make it 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.

Jan 20 2013

January 2013 CC Minutes

Church Council Meeting
January 10, 2013

In Attendance:

CFAM Joan Coyne
LRP Chris Sweetnam
Membership Caroline McMullin
Ministry Leslie Yauckoes
Publicity Joan Coyne
RE Council Claudia Smith
Social Action Joan Coyne
Welcoming Cong Sarah Manning
Women’s Alliance Caroline McMullin
Worship Lynne Cole
Youth Alliance Caroline McMullin

Chair Deirdre Heck
Vice Chair David Blackburn

High School Youth and Committees
Discussion focused around integrating high school and youth into overall church committee structure. Questions revolved around how to initiate such a move and defining the groups that are available to join. A thought expressed was to have committee reps talk directly to the high school group to give them insights on what the committees accomplish.

Committee budgets are due the first Tuesday in February. They need to be in Deirdre’s hands by February 5th.

Faith In Action
There is $7475 available for Faith in Action grants. Faith in Action grant recipient Joe Buckley spoke to the Women’s Alliance on January 12, focusing on his volunteer work in New Zealand, an activity partially funded through a Faith in Action grant.

Committee Info/Updates
Deirdre still needs the short paragraphs from committee heads for the matrix being created.

• Ministry: The committee is posting a nine-part scavenger hunt to provide congregants an opportunity to explore space issues in the Church. It is being done in preparation of the “Dinner and Dreams” buffet on February 2nd.

Mini-class: The Public Face of Committees

Submitted by David Blackburn
October 5, 2012

Nov 20 2012

November 2012 CC Minutes

Church Council Meeting
November 6, 2012

In Attendance:

Green Committee Kristy Medina
Human Resources Carlene Merrill
IT Dave Kaffine
LRP Chris Sweetnam
Membership Tracy Clifford
Ministry Leslie Yauckoes
Music Will Reiter
Nominating Sarah Manning
Publicity Joan Coyne
Religious Ed. John Schneider
REY John Schneider & Dolores Heredia-Wood
Standing Comm Walter Cole
Social Action Joan Coyne
Welcoming Cong Sarah Manning
Women’s Alliance Caroline Mcmullin
Worship Sally Seekings & Lynne Cole
Young Adult Caroline McMullin

Chair Deirdre Heck
Vice Chair David Blackburn

Meeting called to order by the Chair at 7:01

Long Term Care of Pianos
Music committee chair Will Reiter discussed the damage noted to the Vestry piano. There are gouges on the exterior of the and the tuner noticed interior stress to the case. All the damage was noted after the Vestry floor was refinished.

The committee discussed potential longer term solutions to carrying for First Parish’s pianos. Solutions offered:

• Examine existing policies regarding the pianos in the policy and procedures manual. It may need updating.

• Improve lines of communication and insure the music committee is informed when maintenance is being executed in a space where the pianos reside. Include the Chair in the early stages of project planning. Communication to the music committee should also be initiated when the piano needs to be moved for events and activities in Church spaces.

• Covers should be made or purchased to provide better protection of the instruments. Should also examine the possibility of a piano dolly to make movement of the Vestry piano safer and easier. Place a plastic insert on the cover that allows a sign to be inserted with communication info regarding moving and/or using the piano.

Committee Updates
John Schneider and Dolores Heredia-Wood reported on the RE committee’s long term initiative to better integrate the High School program into the life and activities of the Church community. There is a desire to better integrate the teens into regular services as well as providing them insights and experience into the life and governance of First Parish. One idea expressed was to create a youth liaison to the Church Council and other Church committees. There is a desire to recruit youth for participation in the Thanksgiving service. Finally, specific committees were identified to chat and possibly recruit from the High School group: Welcoming Committee, NOLA, Social Action, Green, Music, Worship, and Ushers/Greeters.

Mini-class: Carlene Merrill: Visioning and Succession Planning

Meeting adjourned at 8:15

Submitted by David Blackburn
November 9, 2012

Committee Reports
November 2012

Archives Committee: Nothing new.

Committee on Ministry: The Committee on Ministry met on October 19th. We reviewed Ellen’s goals for the 2012-2013 church year. We discussed the idea of expanding our hospitality to be more inclusive and reaching out to a wider and more diverse population. Carrie Little presented an overview of accessibility issues for our church building. We agreed that this would be an important focus of our work this year.

Council of Faith in Action Ministries October 2012: We have started selling Equal Exchange items at social hour and have already sold almost everything. We will be placing our second order soon. We also held 2 showings of “The Darker Side of Chocolate” and held a chocolate tasting. We get to keep the DVD, and will be lending it out.

Grounds Committee report: Grounds would like to thank the youths of Table of Plenty for raking leaves at Church this week after Hurricane Sandy and Walter Cole for providing the mulcher to help get the leaves into the Compost Piles. It is greatly appreciated. The compost bin needs food scraps. We are only half full. We are working hard to finish preparing the beds for winter. If you don’t mind a brisk day and can help to plant bulbs, weed etc., please see me at church or email me at [email protected] Martha Orr Sherburne
LRP: LRP completed a walkthrough of the church to generate a list of potential maintenance and improvement projects. Committees with suggestions or requests are asked to send them to Chris Sweetnam ([email protected]) by the end of November.

The Music Committee reviewed the condition of the Vestry piano and submits the following request:

Music Committee: The piano in the Vestry sustained some damage over the summer. A recent assessment by the piano tuner noted gouges to the exterior finish on both sides and physical stress to the case and bottom board on the interior. The Vestry piano is old and has ongoing challenges. Still, the extent of the repair needed is unusual. The condition of the piano was first noticed after the floor refinishing in the Vestry.

To assist with the maintenance and protection of the musical instruments throughout the Church, the Music Committee respectfully submits the following recommendation:

When work is being contracted in the Vestry, Chapel or Sanctuary, the Music Committee requests that the Music Director and Chair of the Music Committee be notified of the work being done and the anticipated time-frame for work to begin. The Music Committee can then help to determine what, if any, protective measures should be taken un relation to the musical instruments of the church.

Thank you for helping us to protect our musical treasures and investments. They don’t come cheap!

The Music Committee

Music Director: Cyndi Bliss, Committee Chair: Will Reiter, Committee Members: Carla Corey, Don Hayden, Dave Kaffine, Geneva NiSiobhan

Nola October 2012: We will be having our first meeting next week

Nominating: The Nominating Committee has been narrowing our list of candidates for elected positions in the church. We will be formalizing our choices at our next meeting in order to send out offer letters by early January.

REC/REY: The RE Council approved a Statement of Purpose to guide our work this year. We initiated this work during our retreat in August and approved the statement at our October meeting. The statement is posted below:
The Religious Education Ministry at First Parish offers a religious education program for children and youth in a manner consistent with our Unitarian Universalist Association Covenant (also known as our Purposes and Principles, and our Sources) and the Covenant of First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church. We would like our children, youth, young adults, and adults, as members of this Unitarian Universalist community and as citizens of the world explore, learn about and live out these Unitarian Universalist covenants by focusing on them through four areas of religious development:
1) Spiritual Development: a sense of connection to others, to the earth and to the sacred as they experience it, and with their experiences of wonder, awe and joy, .
2) Ethical Development: an ability to reflect on their actions and act on their reflections with regard to the values articulated in our Unitarian Universalist Purposes and Principles and First Parish Covenant, and to work together within and beyond Unitarian Universalism to make the world a better place.
3) Faith Development: explore, ask questions, and articulate responses to the “Big Religious Questions” and to discern through their own spiritual experiences and through our UU Sources what sustains them individually and gives meaning to their lives
4) Unitarian Universalist Identity: This is the core of our religious education/faith formation ministry: to affirm Unitarian Universalist identity through all of the above and through to connection to our community, our Unitarian and Universalist heritage and history, and a sense of stewardship for our Unitarian Universalist living tradition.

Website Publicity: We were able to get articles in the Sun, and the Independent for the Darker Side of Chocolate. We are currently working with the Holiday Fair Committee to start working on publicity for the Holiday Fair. We are also working with Peggy Stephens to get a new bulletin board in the vestry for membership.

Welcoming Congregation report:
Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil – Friday Nov 16th, 7pm , Chapel – Please come! Book dicussion Feb 8 – Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches Movie night – movie TBD – May 17th Does anyone know of old oak floorboards that could be recycled for for more bookracks in the church? Is anyone interested helping procure, decorate, or ride, a float in the Pride parade in June? We are considering staging a float instead of just marching, but do need a trailer.

Woman’s Alliance: The alliance had the first meeting of the year on October 15th. The alliance voted to host Joe Buckley’s Faith in Action Grant presentation as an evening event for the congregation. This will take place sometime in January during Joe’s college break.
The appraisal of the Alliance Parlor furniture is an ongoing effort, and we are narrowing in on finding someone who has the knowledge to adequately evaluate our furniture. At that time it will be decided whether to sell or refurbish the furniture.
Our next meeting will be at Indian Hill Music on November 15th. Everyone is welcome to attend. If you are interested please pack your own lunch, desserts and drinks are provided. We will be leaving the church parking lot at 12:30pm. If you have any questions, please see Rosemary McMullin at coffee hour or e-mail [email protected]

Worship Committee: The Worship Committee will be responsible for the morning Worship service on Nov. 25th. The focus will be on Gratitude.
There will be no Evening Worship Service on Nov. 25th.
The Welcome and Announcement script has been changed to inform the congregation of the
availability of hearing assistance devices, large print hymnals, and braille hymnals. We are also
including information on the sound system and the fact that anyone who may need to leave the
sanctuary will be able to continue to hear the service in the narthax.

All slots for Welcome and Announcements have been filled by committees. Thank you!

We are collecting the Chalice Lightings for the year and will put them in a binder to have them
available for people to read. The binder will be in the narthex.

Jun 20 2012

June 2012 CC Minutes

Committee Reports and Minutes
June 7, 2012

2 Faith in Action Grants:
1 First Parish’s Young Adult Group. Caroline McMullin.This grant of $600 will support the YA group’s summer efforts. These will include but not be limited to: gatherings, event outings, their own Faith in Action Projects, visiting other churches, etc. The Church Council unanimously voted to support the Young Adult Group, and wants to help them to insure their future success.

We suggest that the Greeters and the Membership Group should be aware that we have a growing Young Adult Group that we can tell people about.
Suggested that the YA Group get a business card with a First Parish email address printed on it for members of the group, Greeters, and Membership can hand out to relevant individuals.

2 Lowell Transitional Living Center: Steps to home/Walk for homelessness sponsor. Ellen Spero. This grant of $400 will support this fundraiser which benefits the work of the Lowell Transitional Living Center. The CC unanimously supported this effort, with great appreciation for the work this organization has been known to do.

Committee Fair September 30th: We planned for the Committee Fair. Each Committee will be responsible for their own table. In bold are requests to be made of those not at the meeting.

Key Words/phrases to share with people at the committee fair: Our committees are Ministries. Being on a committee is a worshipful opportunity.

Leila: is being sure it is known that we are using the vestry for this purpose on that Sunday
Worship: is signing us up to do Welcome and Announcements and Chalice Lighting
Edith: Can you please sign us up for Social Hour?
Paul: Agreed to be in charge of making Coffee
All Committees: will provide refreshments at their table, as well as materials about their committee and a committee member available to answer questions
Deirdre: will put a blurb in the Shooting Star and Announcements about the event
Membership: personally inviting newcomers to explore/partake of the Committee Fair. Perhaps even helping them know what table to go to (?)
Website: Will you please create Committee Fair fliers to put up when church year starts to advertise this event from the “get go.”
We should advertise this event at the Sep. 23 State of the Society meeting.

Other thoughts and ideas still welcome!

Committee Reports:

It was suggested that Committees should start doing “end of the year visioning” for the next year because September is such a busy month and it is hard to do Committee Visioning AND get the activities of a committee underway all at the same time.

Archives Committee: Nothing new with the Archives Committee.

Caring Connection: This was a relatively quiet month for the Caring Connection Committee. As usual, we sent out cards to recognize milestones and to offer our love and support. Beyond that, there was no one in need of rides or meals. Although the church year is drawing to a close, the Caring Connection Committee and our helpers stand ready to provide short term support and assistance to any member of our community in need over the summer.
Respectfully submitted, Suzanne Wilson, Caring Connection Committee Chair and Mickey O’Connor

Council of Faith in Action Ministries: We have continued to be present in Social Hour. The main focus for this month was the Pride Parade, which is this Saturday. WE also got permission from the SC to start a “Share the Plate” program. Once a month on the third Sunday of the month, we will be splitting the money in the place (except pledge money) with a different non-profit. WE plan to start this in June, and share the plate with the Lowell Humane Society.

Bonnie and Joan met with Deirdre to talk about how to continue the leadership development work that
Russ has been doing. We were not able to schedule the talk we had planned, but we will have a representative from Greater Lowell Habitat come to speak at the church.

DRE Search: We are pleased to announce we have officially hired our new Director of Religious Education, Dolores Heredia-Wood. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about her during our Church Council Meeting.

Grounds: Construction slowed things down, as well as the rain. Everyone appreciated all the efforts the Grounds Committee has made because our Church looks just wonderful.

H RSC: The Human Resources Sub-committee is working diligently to compile effective and accurate performance evaluations for our staff based on feedback gathered from the congregation. The staff identified members from whom they think feedback would be helpful. The HRSC identified additional members to ensure a fair cross section of the membership with differing interactions and experiences. Once the performance evaluations, which ask for feedback related to job descriptions, have been written and reviewed by the Standing Committee Chair, Tom Coffey, a date will be set with each staff member to meet and discuss the document. Goals for next year will be developed.

The annual evaluation of our minister follows at a later date and that document is reviewed by the entire Standing Committee before it is presented to Ellen for discussion and development of goals for next church year.

The HRSC is also working to set up up caring and reliable nursery staff for next year. We have interviewed a new care provider and recommended her hiring. We are looking for one additional provider to act as a substitute in the event one of the 2 scheduled providers isn’t able to attend on Sunday mornings. Can you recommend a compassionate, responsible young person 15 years or older to care for our youngest UU’s? He/she must be willing to be trained in CPR (we pay the course fee), and be available from 10:15am to 12:15pm on Sunday mornings, then please contact Jill or Carlene Merrill.

The HRSC continues to review and update our HR Manual including proposing a policy regarding assignment of employees who are related. The SC votes on all changes to the manual.

The HRSC also works with the DRE Search Committee to ensure the process is legal and fair and assists with offer letters and letters of employment once a hire is confirmed.

The HRSC is looking for an additional member. If you have management or Human Resources experience and would like to work with us to ensure a fair and equitable work environment for our dedicated and talented staff please contact Carlene Merrill.

Intern Support Committee: is working with Russ on closure. We are doing his final evaluation and planning a recognition ceremony for June 17. We’ve also discussed with Russ strategies for “institutionalizing” his work for next year and beyond, where we will also host social hour in his honor.

Membership: Membership Committee would like to thank Russ Menk for leading us in putting together a great Changing Beliefs adult RE gathering on the evening of June 3rd. We had about eight people in attendance and had a lovely evening discussion. Thanks Russ!

We have also had such a great May is Membership Month activity this year, that we are extending it into June. Our team done a great job of checking-in with our longer time newcomers about their path to membership. Some are fine as friends and newcomers, but ten have become members in May.

In addition to this effort, we are still busy planning a New Member Reception to celebrate with all of these new members from the entire FP year. This celebration will be on June 23rd at Rev Ellen’s house, and we are very grateful for her hospitality again. Thanks Ellen!

Membership Committee is finishing this great FP year on a very high note.

Nola: Duane Nettles, the Exec. Director of the Annunciation Mission in New Orleans came to First Parish in May to talk about some new projects that Annunciation is working on.
I have continued to attend the meeting of the Greater Lowell Habitat for Humanity Interfaith working group. Bill Mersch, the chair of the committee will speak at First Parish on June 20th about the GLHFH’s new project for the Acre, and the InterFaith Committee plans for that project

REC: The RE team is working to prepare the RE Volunteer survey to be emailed this week. Please respond as soon as possible with your availability to help in all areas of the RE program. We hope to have the 1st 2 months staffed with volunteers before we close in mid-June.
On June 10 the RE team is hosting Social Hour as an expression of our appreciation of all our dedicated volunteers.
Bridging also takes place on June 10, as does Field Day run by Mitch Hayes our RESES coordinator. We want all our RE program volunteers to join us on June 10 so we can recognize and thank you. We could not have had a successful year in our cooperative Sunday school without all of you.

We are working to plan our curriculum next year. Our focus is World Religions. We connect these teachings to Unitarian Universalism through connections to our Sources.
Earth centered religions: (Source #6)
o Paganism
o Native American Religions
o Transcendentalism and how it changed the focus of Unitarianism from Christianity to a more humanistic and environmental approach
• Western Wisdom (Source #4)
o Christianity and Judaism and how Islam informed each,
• Eastern Wisdoms (Source # 3)
o Hinduism
o Buddhism,
• Prophetic Wisdom (Source #2)
o People who changed the world practicing their faiths wisdom, e.g. Gandhi, MLK, UU’s for example.

REY The 7th/8th grade class recently wrapped up the book drive for the Morey school in Lowell. In all, they collected $850 as well as generous book donations, and every student will be able to take home a book this summer.
We look forward to the prospect of working with a new DRE next year.In the event we will again have a lay lead program we are grateful to have Jill Hayes continuing to support our program. Jill has worked with Rev Ellen, the RE team and her colleagues all year to ensure the program runs smoothly. Thank you Jill.
If you have an interest in joining us on the RE team in the pre-school through 6th program or the 7-12 grade program please contact Jill or Rev Ellen. You are welcome.
Website Publicity: We helped the Jr High group advertise their coffee house this month.

Welcoming committee: Warren Flewellen and Tim O’Hara have been busy organizing First Parish’s delegation to the Boston Pride Parade this Saturday. Most of us plan to carpool from church (meeting at 9:15 am, leaving by 9:30 am). Some of us may look for us in town, at the staging area (on Boylston street, somewhere between Dartmouth and Hereford). Some of us may even meet up with us at the end of the Parade, at the festival area at Government Center.

The Committee will be doing a service on July 22. Edith Murphy is organizing it, inspired by Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Having not found a replacement chair, the Committee will be working meeting by meeting. I.e., someone has agreed to call the first meeting in the fall. We will take turns taking responsibility for future meetings. At each meeting, it will be decided who will attend Church Council on behalf of the committee.
Warren Flewellen and Tim O’Hara have been busy organizing First Parish’s delegation to the Boston Pride Parade this Saturday. Most of us plan to carpool from church (meeting at 9:15 am, leaving by 9:30 am). Some of us may look for us in town, at the staging area (on Boylston street, somewhere between Dartmouth and Hereford). Some of us may even meet up with us at the end of the Parade, at the festival area at Government Center.

The Committee will be doing a service on July 22. Edith Murphy is organizing it, inspired by Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Having not found a replacement chair, the Committee will be working meeting by meeting. I.e., someone has agreed to call the first meeting in the fall. We will take turns taking responsibility for future meetings. At each meeting, it will be decided who will attend Church Council on behalf of the committee.

Worship Committee: We had a very successful credo service. It was so well received we have a list people who want to be included for next year’s service.

We were planning another healing Service before the church year end, however, that never came to fruition.

We discussed the possibility of training a new summer service coordinator as Lynne Cole has been doing this for the past few years. Sally has offered to shadow Lynne as a possible future coordinator.

We are discussing having a workshop for those who want to lead a summer service.

We have decided to ask people who have done chalice lightings if they would agree to have their
lightings published in a collection that all congregants can enjoy.

This has been a very exciting year for the Worship Committee starting with our new chalice and ending with our collection of chalice lightings.

Submitted by Phyllis King

May 26 2012

May 2012 CC Minutes

Committee Reports and Minutes
May 3rd, 2012


Russ’ mini class on Leadership Succession:
Another Big Thank You to Russ for presenting and leading a wonderful discussion on Leadership Succession. The conversation was lively and engaged, and led to more and more questions. I can’t possibly do justice to it here, and Russ has handouts for all those who missed. But, for the most part we identified two equally important but distinct categories:
+The first is the need to support and encourage our existing leaders and Committee Chairs and help them prepare their committee members to become the future chairs of their committee.
+The second is the need to support new members and those who might not be new but haven’t stepped into committee/leadership roles to find their interests and utilize their talents for the benefit of both our committees and their individual selves. We all need to share information about the individuals we interact with and help them connect with the best niche for them within our church.

The church council also discussed the idea of considering our committees to be ministries. All the chairs and reps present really liked this way of thinking and it was believed that Church Council should champion this idea (next year?) and bring this way of thinking back to their committees.

We also discussed needing to reinstate the Committee Fair at a coffee hour. We voted to hold this Committee Fair on September 30, 2012. Please mark your calendars so that we can make this a valuable and terrific event. More on this later.

What to do with Church Council Minutes:
Joan Coyne suggested that she can add a private “back end” area of the website that can be accessed ONLY by a link that is provided. The Minutes could be posted there and the link can be advertised in the Shooting Star and the Announcements. That way people who are interested can choose to read them, without bothering those who are not interested.

Announcements during Social Hour: all at the same time.
We decided to institute a new Social Hour announcement system to minimize disruptions during social hour. We will talk to Cyndi about when she makes her 12:15 announcement for Junior Choir, if at that time she can ask if there are any other announcements. We hope that over time it will become “common” to announce things at this time.
Committees: PLEASE notes this change and if you are meeting after church, please use this time to make the announcement. We thought this would work since most post service meetings are at 12:15 or 12:30.

Faith In Action Grants
1. Martha Hicks-Courant requested a $200 grant for Music & Memory, a nonprofit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital technology, vastly improving their quality of life.
2. Joe Buckley requested a $250 grant to support his volunteer time this summer with the organization International Student Volunteers. He will be going to New Zealand in August to support endangered species preservation and habitat restoration. Some of his time will also be spent exploring and learning about the culture of New Zealand.
1. Joe will present his experiences to either the Youth Groups or the entire congregation. More on this to come…
3. Amy Totten requested $200 on behalf of the Youth Group Book Drive. Their goal is to provide two books for every student at the Morey School in Lowell.

The church council voted unanimously to approve these Faith in Action Grants for $500 each.

Committee Reports

Please note: 3 committees, Welcoming, Green and REC, are in need of Committee Chairs for next year.

Archives Committee: Nothing new to report. Nothing old, either! Another quiet month.

Caring Connection: For the most part, April was a quiet month for the Caring Connection Committee. Fran Guerard took over operational responsibilities while Suzanne was getting her new guide dog. For the foreseeable future, Sandy Johnston will not be sending out the milestone, birthday, sympathy, etc. cards. Instead, Leila has offered to take on this task. People can continue to come to any Caring Connection Committee member with needs for short-term meals, transportation, or cards.

DRE Search: We have interviewed several individuals over the phone and in person. We are pursuing one particular very promising candidate currently, and have another couple we like very much as well. We will keep you posted on how this process moves forward.

Green Committee: – We raised $230 for the Steeple Fund during the Earth Fair. – Kristy most likely can not be the chair next year.

Grounds Committee: We have begun weeding beds we still need people to help mow the lawn. Volunteers, people who would like to help water flowers and lawn, edge prune and weed, are greatly needed. ALL ages are welcome.

House Management: Projects in process:
+It has been brought to my attention that the vestry floor should be refinished. I started looking
into this and will revisit get quotes within the month. The cost will determine what budget it should
come out of, whether it is house management or LRP.
+The grease tanks will need to be emptied soon so I will get in touch with Action King. It was reported to me last week that the sink is not draining properly.
+The exterior handicap door was planned to be replaced. It will be discussed at the next LRP meeting
which is this Sunday
+The door knob on the handicap bathroom needs to be replaced
+T-Mobile will be replacing the cabinet and antenna in mid-June

Steeple update: The steeple is 95% complete. Yankee steeple has to install the louvers and finish the
weather vane which will be done by the end of next week. The town decided to change the light fixtures that shine on the clock. This work will not be completed until the end of May.

Human Resources Sub-committee (HRSC) Report to Church Council:
The HRSC is conducting the annual staff performance evaluation process for the
church staff. Letters have been sent to people in the congregation from whom
the staff would like feedback or who were identified by the HRSC as people who
could provide useful performance feedback for that staff member. If you have
received an evaluation, please read it carefully and return it in a timely manner.
Performance evaluation meetings will be held in June with each staff member
after they have received a copy of their evaluation document.

We continue to revise the Human Resources Manual. Currently we are working
on a model for carrying accrued vacation time through the summer.

HRSC has been consulting with the DRE Search Committee to ensure a legal and
effective process in making an offer to a candidate, negotiating compensation and
developing the Letter of Employment.

We continue to work on formatting and customizing a document for each staff
person to report pertinent information monthly to both Standing Committee and
HRSC. Cindy Bliss is currently using a customized document for this purpose.

HRSC is working closely with the finance committee and the treasurer, Dave
Kaffine, to develop the 2012-2013 staff compensation projections for the annual
operations budget.

The Standing Committee would like to hear from any member of First Parish who
has experience in human resources work who is interested in working with the
HRSC team at First Parish. Please contact Tom Coffey.

Intern Committee: The Intern Committee is preparing for the end of Russ’ year at First Parish. We have organized two subcommittees, one focused on Russ’ final evaluation and one to assist Russ with closure and to plan an end of the year ceremony. More to come on the final evaluation; we’ll be looking for feedback!

Membership: Membership Committee has continued to see a stream of newcomers, with more returning than usually happens at this time of year. In addition, we have been gearing up for Membership Month, where we make an intentional invitation for longer term newcomers to consider where they are on their path to membership. Membership Month will be capped by our annual New Member Reception in June. Finally, we are working with Russ on a single session adult RE course on Changing Beliefs; check out the Shooting Star and Announcements for details!

Ministry Committee: The committee met on April 6th. Our discussion focused on how to develop cultural and attitude changes around the word ministry. The idea being that we, as members
and friends of First Parish, are all involved in ministry. This is not just the role of the
minister. Some of the particular areas that were explored were: creating a sense of
hospitality in our church, being more intentional about welcoming new people, and
encouraging volunteer passion to ministries/service. Carrie Little is writing a reflection
piece for the Shooting Star to explain the committee’s thinking on this topic.

Nominating Committee: Completed and forwarded 4 April the FY 2012-2013 Slate of Officers to Clerk Laura Monteodorisio for Annual Meeting. Though we are not meeting again officially until June transition meeting, we continue to update our database, search for a Treasurer candidate that Dave Kaffine can mentor during next year, and contact all committee chairs for perspectives on future leaders.

REC/REY: The team met on May 1st.
The team is looking for interested volunteers to join the group next year. Please contact Gail Burati, Maura Snow or Jill Hayes to ask about the opportunity to help run our cooperative program. This will be a great year to join as we will have a new DRE, with new ideas and new energy! We are currently having a lot of fun (honestly – not just a sales pitch!) working on:
– Service Project Sundays for K thru 6
– a Talent Show Coffee House (whole congregation welcome to participate!) fundraiser for the Lowell Morrey School book-drive – Friday June 1st
– World Religions as a UU Source Curriculum for next year
– an REY/REC-sponsored social hour to honor our volunteers – Sunday June 10th
– End-of-Year Field Day
There are also the wonderful Milestones for our Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th graders as well as the bridging and Coming Of Age ceremonies coming up. It’s pretty awesome what our children and youth and over 70 volunteers can do.
The “RE Wing Only” Fire Drill is tentatively planned for Sunday May 20th.
May 11 – 7th and 8th grade sleepover at red wing conservation area. Tree planting and midnight tree dedication.
Book drive for Morey school ongoing – ends at the end of May
We recommend that both the high school and 7th and 8th grade RE programs for 2012 – 2013 each have a summer social to introduce the new class members to the rest of the group. REY will help to plan.

Again, we welcome you to join us in shaping the RE program.
Respectfully submitted by Gail Burati (with plenty of help from Jill Hayes, Maura Snow and Debra Grad)]

Upcoming events:
May 18 Movie Night Saving Face
Pride Parade Saturday June 9

This year is the fifth anniversary of the vote to become a Welcoming Congregation. As part of our celebration of that historic vote, we are hoping to organize the biggest and most joyful participation in the Pride Parade. Sign-up sheets are available at the Social Action Council table or the Welcoming Congregation Committee table each Sunday.

We are still looking for a new chair.

Worship: While Rev. Ellen and Russ Menk were working in NOLA, the Worship Committee
organized and coordinated a lay led service entitled “What Matters Most in First Parish?”
Thanks very much to our contributors: Maura Snow, Richard Surko, Beverly Volicer,
Elizabeth Valentine, Amanda Miller, Jim Curley, and Judith Taylor. The service was
very well received by the congregation. The Committee and Rev. Ellen are planning this
year’s second Healing Service during the evening service on June 10th. Summer services
begin June 24th and will again be coordinated by the Worship Committee.

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.