Oct 22 2016

Church Council Minutes October 2016


Church Council


October 4, 2016

7:00 pm


In attendance: Aggie Brennan, Carla Corey, Dolores Heredia – Wood (guest), Caroline McMullin, Edith Murphy, Theresa Popoloski, Marth Sherburne, Leslie Yauckoes



  1. Welcome and centering (5 min)


Leslie light the chalice.


  1. Choose a recording secretary (5 min)


Leslie asked for volunteers for recording secretary. Caroline McMullin volunteered. It was approved that Caroline McMullin will be the recording secretary.


  1. Sign ups for welcome and announcements for the Sunday services (5-10 min)


Sign up for Welcome and Announcements went well.  All of the months were filled in at the meeting. Discussion was held based on last year’s list that was provided by Edith Murphy within a committee report. RE asked to move to May. It was discussed that Internship and Sabbatical did not need a month this year, so that freed October and December. We discussed that the Accessibility Task Force and Nominating should have a month this year. There are a few that still need to be confirmed, which are marked with an asterisk (*).

September – Standing Committee

October – Worship

November – Membership

December – Music

January – Accessibility Task Force*

February – Nominating

March – CFAM*

April – Caring Connection*

May – RE

June – Welcoming


  1. Discussion of possible committee fair for this year (10-15 min)


We discussed if we needed a committee fair this year. Discussion was held about the value (what each committee really gets out of the fair) versus how much work it is to run. Leslie highlighted that the church year and Church Council are all later than normal. Caroline proposed that we have a committee fair but move it to the second half of the year. She discussed that for RE the main idea was to get the following year situated and that September and definitely October was already too late for that. Theresa expressed concern that the Membership committee typically found greeters at the Committee Fair and that they needed more sooner rather than later. Both Carla and Aggie expressed that they felt they were underutilized as greeters and were willing to greet more often. It was agreed that the second half of the church year was best. We discussed February and decided that it was too early due to weather. March looked to be too busy as we did not want to pull Coffee Hour time away from the Auction, as they do not have a firm date set yet. April was decided to be the best month. Leslie read off events that were happening every Sunday around and immediately following Coffee Hour. Theresa asked that we schedule the fair on a day that did not have a Newcomers Tea scheduled as newcomers are the primary focus for the Committee Fair. As a group we decided that April 9th was the best day. Leslie will ask Leila to reserve the Vestry and Church Council signed up for both parts of Coffee Hour.


  1. Faith in Action Grants (10-15 min)


There were no Faith in Action grants.


  1. Discussion on possible mini lessons for C.C. this year (10-15 min)


Before discussing possible min lessons for Church Council, Leslie read a document from the Standing Committee related to what Church Council is supposed to accomplish:

The leader is the conduit between Church Council and the Standing Committee.

The committee reports should be compiled two days before the meeting.

The leader will plan and run the meetings.

The committee will decide who is responsible for the Welcome and Announcements.

The Church Council is responsible for fundraisers.


Leslie framed this discussion by asking who we would want to hear from within the church. Ideas that were raised include the Board of Investments (what they do, how the endowments work, what their part in the Capital Campaign will be); Accessibility possibly by Tom Coffey; a discussion about how we view money given by Justine; and Soul Matters which Reverend Ellen is using as a spiritual underpinning for this year, potentially given by Reverend Ellen.


  1. Any calendar items (5 min)


Dolores talked about how RE now has Sunday night events. We have a Parents Night as well as having COA this year. Aggie mentioned that Steve’s first concern will be in November and will raise money for the Capital Campaign.


Church Council

Committee Reports

October 2016


Please be ready to choose a month to do announcements if possible.  Worship is doing October.  Here are last year’s:


Oct: Internship

Nov: Worship

December: Sabbatical

January: Music

February: Caring Connection

March: CFAM

April: RE

May: Membership

June: Welcoming Congregation




Ushering is going well.


The Internship Committee is thrilled with Justine’s excellent review by the MFC and looking forward to working with her this year.  We had our initial meeting of the year.


Parish Affairs:  We have got a supply of fair trade coffee.  We have divided set up and cleanup for Social Hour (though choosing both is great).  Signups are currently low, but I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about people being able to sign up for either.  We could use more signups.  I’m wondering if all the post (and pre) church meetings make it harder for people to sign up.  Thanks to Junior Choir parents for helping with cleanup!





Membership Committee

Membership Committee held meetings on 7/27 and 9/20, starting early to get a jump on things happening at the beginning of the church year.  We will continue meeting the third Tuesday of each month in the parlor.


Pat Snow has joined our committee, and we are hoping for Peter Mellish, as well.  Current members include Theresa Popoloski, Neil Harmon, Chris Sweetnam, Emma Buckley, Rose Leher, and Edith Murphy in her role as Clerk.


Membership co-sponsored the potluck on 9/10 with RE/FF.  The event was well attended and went well.


Greeters have been scheduled from 9/11 until the end of December.  Anyone wanting to join in greeting will be added to the schedule in January.


Planning for 4 Newcomer Info. Sessions is underway, hopefully 2 for the fall and 2 for the spring.


10/16 will be a special Church Family oriented service.  Part of this will be honoring new members, who have signed in the last year, and 10-year members with small gifts and recognition of their milestone within our covenant.
We have many other things in the works!




The Worship Committee

The Worship Committee had their first 2016/17 church year meeting on Tuesday evening, September 27th.  We are happy to report both Bonnie Rankin and Ami Hughes have joined us, and we are looking forward to another productive, fun, and worshipful year.  The Worship Committee will be responsible for welcome & announcements for the month of October and would like to request committees volunteer to cover a month during the church year.

More to come as the church year moves forward.

AND, I would like to take the opportunity to extend my sincere appreciation to Edith Murphy for representing the Worship Committee at Church Council meetings again this year.  Thank you Edith!

Grounds Committee

Starting on September 2nd the weeds that prevailed started to disappear for our first Church Service on 9/11/16.

Sept 17th, we had six parishoners help out on Rejuvenation/Fall Cleanup day. Dogwoods were pruned, weeding was done and compost put down as well as picking up. Since that date we have had some more parishoners help out with the weeding, planting the plants that were donated, putting down all the rest of the compost from our compost piles, fertilizing trees and shrubs, helping to put down 7 yards of bark mulch. We have three yards of loam to fill in some beds and soil for grass seeding.

Grounds needs some last minute help. We have maybe five yds of bark mulch left to spread. some weeding and bulb planting and a last minute pruning of yews on the Westford St. side.

The tree to replace the maple tree is still in the discussion stage with a possibility of it being planted this fall.



CFAM hasn’t met yet, so no news there.

NOLA will be going over April vacation, although from Monday to Saturday, due to Easter.

Joan Coyne




RE Council


RE had a wonderful retreat in August where we focused on the gifts each member brings to the RE program and the Council. We discussed where we see the program going in the future and how we can make that vision a reality. We had our first regular meeting in the beginning of September. We discussed changes in the program and how the Council will support Dolores and the program in the upcoming year. We will have our next meeting this upcoming Sunday.


The Young Adult group meet today for the first time this church year. We had a general check-in and shared a meal. We discussed that Sundays after church was not an ideal day for our meetings. We will most likely move our meetings to Fridaynight or Saturday afternoons.


Women’s Alliance has not meet yet this church year. Hopefully, we will meet at the end of October.



Caroline McMullin


Nominating Committee


Nominating had their first meeting in August as a welcome for new committee members and met again in September to talk about the elected positions for which we need to find volunteers. We also discussed the need for the other committees at the church to share their committee members so that we can avoid taking good people from positions they are currently filling before they’ve finished their commitments, and to discover if any committees need help finding people. Additionally as a committee we’ve committed to touching base with members new to elected positions to support them in any way we can.


Music Committee


The music committee had their first meeting on Sunday, October 2nd.  Steve had all of the pianos tuned this past summer. There will be 3 concerts this church year, the 1st of which will be on Saturday, November 5th.  The proceeds will be going to the Capital Campaign.







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.