We know you are curious about Rev. Sophia Lyons and awaiting the chance to get to know her! Candidating Week will run from April 24 to May 2, 2021.  During this busy week there will be small group, larger group, and congregation-wide times to meet Rev. Sophia. Meeting links for committees and groups will be sent directly to committee members; links for the congregation-wide sessions will be sent to the all-church mailing list on Tuesday, April 20.  If you have questions or concerns about scheduling or meeting links, please reach out to searchcommittee@fpwatertown.org

We know many of our members are very busy and very committed to the congregation and community. You are encouraged to come to the events you feel will allow you to get to know Rev. Sophia, ask questions, and see her in the role of our next minister.

Should you experience a pastoral emergency during the week, contact Rev. Sophia at (978) 494-2191.

Sunday, April 25

Getting Acquainted & Trust: How is trust best built and broken? How does someone new become a valued part of the congregation?

10:30 am Worship Service: “Drawing Down the Moon”

The excitement that is Candidating Week will begin with this centering hour of worship. Rev. Sophia, candidate to be our next minister, will share more about her life and ministry with us as a way to begin this, our blessed journey together.

All are welcome! If you would like the Zoom link for the service, please contact office@fpwatertown.org by Saturday.

12:00 pm Religious Education

Rev. Sophia will join the children at their usual Religious Education meeting. There will be time set aside for kids to ask their questions and say what they have to say.

1:30 pm Congregation-wide Open Session, Q&A

A chance to drop in to a Zoom session and chat, ask your questions, and get to know Rev. Sophia, our candidate to be our next minister. This meeting will continue in the same link as the morning worship service.
All are welcome.

Monday, April 26

5:30 pm Finance Committee

Rev. Sophia joins the Finance & Giving Committees for a conversation about the church finances, stewardship, and work going forward with a new minister.

7:30 pm Anti-Oppression & Social Justice Efforts

A joint meeting of the Social Action, Green Sanctuary, and Helen Robinson Wright Fund Committees.

Anchoring questions:

  • What is our relationship with the wider community?
  • What does the wider community need from us?
  • In what ways do we live in a “UU Bubble?”

Tuesday, April 27

6:00 pm Parish Committee

Parish Committee meets with Rev. Sophia as part of Candidating Week, discussing governance of First Parish and the congregation as community: How do we serve, support, and strengthen our congregational community? What does it mean to lead well in today’s world?

Note that there is no other evening meeting scheduled on Tuesday, April 27, to avoid conflicting with the Social Action Committee’s virtual discussion about the book How to Be an Antiracist at 7 pm.

Wednesday, April 28

Spiritual Life: What do I need from Unitarian Universalism? What do I need from our UU congregational community?

5:30 pm Worship Committee

Rev. Sophia meets with the Worship Committee to get to know each other and to talk about worship services and spiritual life at FPW.

Anchoring questions:

  • What do I need from Unitarian Universalism?
  • What do I need from our UU congregational community?
  • How does the minister hope to introduce and deepen people in Unitarian Universalist faith?

7:00 pm Parish Council

A special meeting of the Parish Council to meet with Rev. Sophia. Questions for committee chairs to consider include: What is your committee working on? What are your hopes for working with a new minister?

Thursday, April 29

Rest: A day off from meetings. Do we really let the minister have a day off? Do we take off the time we need for ourselves?

Friday, April 30

3:00 pm Community Check-in

This is an opportunity to drop in and meet with Rev. Sophia and others in the congregation, either by phone or Zoom videoconferencing for an hour or so of informal conversation.
All are welcome.

5:00 Safe Congregation Committee

Members of the Safe Congregation Committee meet with Rev. Sophia to discuss their ongoing work to ensure physical safety, safety in our interactions, and spiritual safety within the congregation.

7:00 Families of Color Affinity Group

Saturday, May 1

Joy & Turning to the New Future: What do you hope for the next generation of Unitarian Universalists? What do you hope for ministry with children, youth, and families?

9:00 am Fellowship & Membership Committees

The Fellowship and Membership committees meet jointly with Rev. Sophia to discuss their work growing and deepening our community.

Anchoring questions:

  • What do welcome and hospitality mean to us? How do we live this?
  • How do we serve, support, and strengthen our congregational community?

10:00 am Congregational Social Event

Join Rev. Sophia for open-ended conversation and unstructured social time. Newer members and friends are particularly invited, and all are welcome.

4:00 pm Religious Education Program

Adults involved in the Religious Education program – RE Committee members, parents, teachers, and mentors – are invited to join Rev. Sophia to talk about our thriving RE program and our hopes for the future. What do you hope for the next generation of Unitarian Universalists? What do you hope for family ministry and ministry with youth? (Kids are, of course, welcome!)

Sunday, May 2

Hope & Moving Forward: Are we ready to move forward with a new future and new possibilities?

10:30 am Worship Service

All are welcome.

12:00 pm Congregational Meeting

Following the service, the members of the congregation will hold a meeting to vote on whether to call Rev. Sophia Lyons as our Minister. This meeting will be held on the same Zoom link as the worship service. Our By-Laws require a quorum of 40% of voting members, which is 51 members, and a vote of a ninety percent majority of the voting members of the parish present at the meeting. Please plan to attend this important meeting!

Search Committee
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The ministerial search committee is charged with finding the next settled minister of our congregation, to begin ministry in August 2021.  The committee members are Judy Kamm, Kyle Morton, Kate Hanson Plass, Ben Jerome, Silke Plesch, Beth Tappan-deFrees, and Will Twombly.