We are in the process of cleaning up and preparing to say goodbye and getting ready for a new journey! The Parish Committee has been very busy lately. We are pleased and excited that we have made an offer to Rev. Wendy Bell to be our Interim Minister starting in August. We are now in the process of completing required background checks and writing a work agreement for Wendy.
At the same time, we are preparing for the departure of Mark Harris. He is working hard to share with us all the many details that must be taken care of as he prepares to leave. To that end, at our May meeting, we voted to donate our church archives, which Mark and Kathy Button have been sorting through, to the Massachusetts Historical Society. These archives will join the other First Parish archives dating back to 1630. We also established a group who will be working with Mark to clarify the details of his retirement and to disperse retirement funds.
Meanwhile, life goes on. We have purchased new church management software, Breeze, which is already in use by some committees. This will be a valuable tool for lists and documents of all sorts and will involve information on our membership. Because we want to use this software in ways that work best for the church and enable this to be a useful tool, we voted to establish a task force to help with the roll out and also to assess our other IT needs. In our May meeting, we voted Deborah Bloomberg as a new member and we welcomed Kelly Morton and Dia Warren as new members to the Parish Committee. Now that our beautiful Memorial Garden has been dedicated, we will be voting on a final version of policies for using and managing this wonderful space. The policies will deal with how we will sustain the upkeep of the gardens, what the procedure will be for carving names in the memorial wall and how requests for interment of ashes will be handled. These policies will be evolving as we gain experience with how this space fits with our values and our mission.
While we are preparing for the challenges and new understandings that lay ahead, we will be taking the time to honor and say goodbye to Andrea and Mark and their family who have grown and journeyed with us for so many years. We hope to see you all on June 9 at 2:00 for the celebration of their ministry with us.
The Parish Committee
Sue Twombly, Chair
Kate Hanson Plass
Jean Myrkl- Gorman