Your Search Committee is anticipating (hopefully!) the culmination of our work with you, the congregation, to welcome our next settled minister. On Sunday, May 2, at 12:15 congregation members will meet to vote on whether or not to call our candidate, Reverend Sophia Lyons. At the meeting, the Search Committee will present why we believe she will be a great minister for First Parish of Watertown. Time for questions and discussion will follow before the vote. 

Candidating Week has been a time of many questions and stories, thoughts and feelings, as we process a lot of information and get ready to make a critically important decision in the life of this church community.  to prepare yourself in advance of Sunday’s vote by reviewing all of the pages of Rev. Sophia’s website: Scrolling down to the colorful tree on the About Me page brings you to her Ministerial Record, which is really a narrative form of a resume. If you prefer to review her credentials and experience in a more traditional format, please email a request to We monitor that account frequently and will send you the link to a document right away.

The Search Committee adhered closely to the UUA’s procedures for conducting our search, which you may review on our website:

As with all three pre-candidates, we interviewed Reverend Sophia twice, using a standard protocol of questions developed to ensure that we got the information we needed to determine the best fit with the expressed needs and desires of the congregation. We relied heavily on the information we collected last autumn from the survey, cottage meetings, and focus groups. e received five glowing references for Rev. Sophia, some in writing, some in live interviews, again using a protocol of questions. Her references included her internship supervisor; the UUA; and the DRE with whom she has worked closely during her internship. During her Pre-Candidating Weekend we observed Rev. Sophia conduct a live on-line service at another Massachusetts-based UU church. To make our decision to name Rev. Sophia as our candidate, we developed a list of more than 20 criteria drawn from what the congregation indicated was most important. We also paid close attention to how each pre-candidate made us feel in our time together, how much they ministered to us in the moment, and in how they behaved overall during our interactions. Rev. Sophia consistently stood out for us because of her varied life experience, her enthusiasm to serve our Watertown congregation, and most importantly, her remarkable warmth, empathy, compassion, and deep listening skills. We sensed from our first meeting with her that she was actively ministering to us, while responding to our questions at the same time. 

We hope that you will attend the congregational meeting on Sunday, at which we will share with you the criteria we used as well as our other reasons for recommending Reverend Sophia to be our next minister. Our By-Laws require that a quorum of 51 members be present and an affirmative vote of at least 90 percent in order to bring our search to a successful conclusion and, most importantly, to the beginning of a great new chapter in First Parish of Watertown’s history.

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.