December 1, 2010
Dear First Church Members and Friends,
At this time of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the church community where my family has found a caring, inspiring, and loving spiritual home. I’m also grateful for the talented staff, Parish Board, and committees who work incredibly hard and give countless volunteer hours to run this organization. We have a lot to be thankful for at First Church!
Your Parish Board has been working behind the scenes to ensure that the business of the church is humming along and changing, in what I call “church time,” to meet the needs of the congregation. We kicked off the year with an all-day retreat, held here at the church, facilitated by the Leadership Development Director of the Clara Barton/Mass Bay District chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). We learned about governance structures and policies that work for a church our size, and have begun to incorporate what we learned into our already strong organization.
The Community Convention held last October, and the subsequent church-wide survey, have helped inform our goals for the year. In all areas of church life – worship, lifespan religious education, social action, community, and who we are as a religious community in our surrounding world – the key theme that emerged was a desire to strengthen our sense of community. The Parish Board has identified improving communication within our congregation as critical to helping us feel more connected as a community. Not a new idea, I know. Make sure we have your current e-mail address as a first step!
Also this year, as part of our community-building effort, First Church joins with the UUA in learning about immigration. In May, the UUA General Assembly selected “Immigration As A Moral Issue” as the 2010-2014 Congregational Study/Action Issue of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Julie Franzini and our Youth Group have been organizing this year’s service-learning trip to Tucson where they will learn firsthand about border issues and immigration in Arizona. Our Adult Programs team and the Social Action Committee will be offering programs on immigration throughout the year. We hope you will join us in learning about the complexities of this fascinating topic.
Many of you helped us celebrate Reverend Alfa Radford’s 50th anniversary with First Church as Music Director/Minister of Music last weekend. The Parish Hall was packed, both Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, in a joyous tribute to Alfa’s extraordinary dedication to our Church. Countless volunteers worked to make this celebration memorable for Alfa and friends, and I can’t think of a warmer, more inspiring community event.
These are just a few of the many things that are happening at First Church so far this year. Look forward to more notes as the year progresses, and please contact me or any member of the staff or Parish Board with your thoughts and suggestions.