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.

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.