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.

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.