In May of 2021 the Parish Committee assembled a new transitional Committee on Ministry to work for one year with our new minister, Reverend Sophia. The Committee consists of one person from the now-disbanded Search Committee (Judy Kamm); and two parishioners who had been nominated to the Search Committee (Katherine Calabro and Jean Gauthier). Our objective is to ensure that our new minister’s first year with us goes as smoothly as possible. Since August we have met monthly with Reverend Sophia to help her learn her way around our congregation and to serve as her sounding board. Our Committee has another responsibility: to ensure that First Parish meets the UUA’s requirements for ministers in Preliminary Fellowship, including an assessment of how our first year together as minister and congregation has gone.

POSTPONED: So that Reverend Sophia can be with us for the Committee on Ministry’s reflection session, we are postponing this week’s post-service Zoom conversation. As soon as we have a new date for it we will let you know. In next week’s Arbella we will also either confirm or provide a new date for the in-person session at the church on Saturday, April 16 at 10 a.m. Please continue to hold this date in the meantime. 

You are invited to join us for a conversation about our shared ministry this year on either April 10 at 11:45 on Zoom, or in person at the church on Saturday, April 16 at 10 a.m. Of course you may attend both if you wish. Each session will last for 90 minutes. Our committee will facilitate the sessions. Reverend Sophia will join us. Each gathering will start by establishing guidelines for respectful speaking and listening. Honest commentary is encouraged. We are fortunate as a congregation to be “in the formation phase” with our new minister, which gives us an opportunity to contribute to both our minister’s and our own as a congregation’s learning from the experiences we have had together thus far.  “Shared ministry” means that we as a congregation have a ministry, too. Therefore, these two meetings could also enable us as parishioners to evaluate how we are doing with respect to caring for our minister, for each other, and for the broader community. Reverend Sophia’s sermon on April 10 will open our reflection period.

At each gathering we will have some structured questions based on the UUA’s seven “areas of ministry:” 1) worship and rites of passage; 2) pastoral care and presence; 3) spiritual development for self and others; 4) social justice in the public square; 5) administration; 6) serves the larger Unitarian Universalist faith; and 7) leads the faith into the future. One question of particular importance is: “which of the seven competencies required more attention, creativity, and innovation?” We will ask you to share your thoughts about areas in which you were involved directly this year, including Religious Education.

We urge you to accept our invitation! If you have questions, please contact us at: Ministry@FPWatertown.org. Many thanks, Katherine Calabro, Jean Gauthier, and Judy Kamm, Chair.

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