Greetings from the Parish Committee!
What an exciting, gratitude-filled month it is has been!
As our church year came to an end, the annual meeting had a full agenda with productive zoom dialog culminating in approving updates to our by-laws, approving Article 5 of the warrant “Vote on expenditure of funds for infrastructure to enable The First Parish of Watertown to provide hybrid services,” and our ‘21-‘22 budget. Many thanks to our treasurer, Matt Calabro and the Finance Committee for all the financial planning revisions that were needed in this complicated year, thank you! The Giving Committee ran an amazingly successful virtual campaign this year and we are in deep gratitude to them for all their work and creativity. Thank you to all of you for your generosity!
Most importantly thank you to the whole congregation. All of you who enthusiastically adjusted to virtual services, your dedication and generosity of time and hard work serving on committees, creating music for our worship services and all the unseen work you all do for our church, a sincere heartfelt THANK YOU!
This month we began looking at what reopening “looks like”. Parish Committee approved small church committee groups gathering in the memorial garden, our first start at reopening (parish chairs received the policy details on the gatherings, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the Parish Committee). In May and June as the discussions continue on planning how best to install an AV system that will provide the ability of the church to have both in-person and virtual services, the Parish Committee will be working on the logistics of re-opening…researching UUA re-opening recommendations, state guidelines for our building size and the many other issues involved with re-opening. Stay tuned.
Three members of our committee are rotating off the Parish Committee: Sue Twombly, Nick Haddad and Kristin Bray. They have all served on the Parish Committee for the past 6 action-packed years here at First Parish. Thank you so very much for your service to the church, we are very grateful to you. We welcome Sue Sours and Tom Stepsis as new members, and welcome back Kate Hanson Plass in the fall as her year on the Search Committee comes to an end. Welcome! They join our current members, Kelly Morton, Dia Warren, Norah Mulvaney-Day and Jean Merkl (humbled and honored to be the next chair).
Our Search Committee has presented Rev. Sophia Lyons to be our next installed minister! We are in awe of their hard work, long hours and dedication in finding the best possible minister for our church. As Lauren so eloquently wrote in last week’s Arbella (thank you Lauren!) Candidating week begins April 24th, and the Search Committee has planned many opportunities for us all to meet Rev. Sophia. Rev. Sophia will be super busy during her week with us, meeting with as many people as she can (while somehow also not getting totally exhausted!), so please try to come to a gathering and also to the services she will lead on April 25 and May 2. Remember that our polity governance structure means that congregations call our ministers — our congregation, after meeting Rev. Sophia, will vote to call her in an important congregational meeting on May 2 after church. I know our Search Committee has done an amazing job of finding us a candidate who’s right for us — but in the end, the members of our congregation are the ones who make the final decision! So come and get to know your candidate!
Your Parish Committee