As you may have heard, our Black Lives Matter banner has disappeared. It seems to have gone missing during a recent windstorm which could have caused it to come loose from the building. However, no one has been able to find it in the neighborhood around the church building so we do not know what really happened. The Parish committee has moved to replace our sign as soon as possible. It will be made of a stronger and heavier material but the lettering will remain the same size. Our commitment to social justice does not waver nor will our show of support.
We are getting ready for our Annual Meeting on April 11 after the service. This is a time when new members of committees are chosen and our next year’s budget is approved. Our nominating committee is working now to fill vacancies on committees. If you are interested in joining a committee please contact one of the members of our nominating committee, Bob Shay, Chuck Dickinson, or Martha Pederson. The Parish Committee will have several vacancies starting in the next church year. If you are a member of First Parish and are interested in joining the Parish Committee, we would be happy to talk to you about what’s involved.
I want to thank Kristin Bray and Nick Haddad who have served on the Parish Committee with me for the past six years. Our two three year terms will end at the end of this month although we will stay on to advise the new members through the end of the church year. Kristin and Nick have been thoughtful, thorough and creative in their responsibility to make sure that First Parish is well run and true to its mission. It has been wonderful to work with them. Thank you, Kristin and Nick!
At the Annual Meeting, we will also be voting on some by-law changes. The Parish Committee has been discussing the ways that we can support our new minister. We have been looking at how the Committee on Ministry could be configured to support our minister and the ministries of the church. With the help of Rev. Wendy, we have been looking at how other churches have approached this and what best practices are recommended. Here is the job description for this committee which we will be voting on at the Annual Meeting:
Committee on Ministry
There shall be a Committee on Ministry, the purpose of which is to serve as a liaison between the congregation and the Minister to foster effective ministry. During the first year of a new ministry, the Committee on Ministry shall be composed of a former member of the Search Committee, a member of the Parish Committee, and a third member selected by the Parish Committee. After one year, the Minister and the Parish Committee in collaboration shall nominate three Members to serve on the Committee on Ministry. In all cases, Committee members shall be acknowledged Members of First Parish of Watertown and shall serve for one-year terms, provided that no member will serve for more than six years without a break in service.
The Committee shall meet regularly with the Minister and also meet with the Parish Committee as needed or appropriate. Meetings will not be open, and the members of the Committee will be expected to exercise discretion unless otherwise agreed. The scope of work of the Committee will be determined by the Minister in consultation with the Parish Committee, and from time to time will be reassessed. The scope of work may include some or all of the following: (i) providing advisement and support for the Minister, (ii) supporting conflict resolution processes, if appropriate, (iii) professional development support, including assisting with collecting or providing feedback on the ministry on an ongoing basis, and (iv) assisting with assessing how well the ministries of the congregation are leading towards meeting the congregation’s purpose.
We have lots to look forward to at First Parish and we are approaching an important milestone in the life of this church. I have faith that our congregation is strong and ready for new growth and learning and new possibilities for creating an even more powerful and loving community.
Sue Twombly for the Parish Committee,