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Search Committee

Introducing Reverend Sophia Lyons

Introducing Reverend Sophia Lyons

Your FPW Search Committee members are delighted to formally announce that Rev. Sophia Lyons is our ministerial candidate! We have so many things to tell you about her, but first and foremost, we are grateful beyond words that she followed this path to our congregation.

Our Pre-Candidating Weekends Are Complete!

In the Search Committee’s journey since late January, when we narrowed our candidate field from 24 to 3, we have been busy!  Over the course of three weekends in February and March, we’ve conducted 12 hours of interviews, 6 hours of social gatherings, and attended 3 services hosted by other “neutral pulpit” UU congregations.

Search FAQ: When do I get to vote on a minister?

Search FAQ: When do I get to vote on a minister?

We have been waiting a lot since mid-March 2020… waiting for a vaccine, waiting to see our loved ones, waiting for a hug, waiting for our communities to be open, waiting for a kinder world… At FPW, there is also waiting for the Ministerial Search Process.

What’s with the big secret?

Wait. What? The Search Committee can’t say anything about pre-candidating ministers?

No. We cannot. Out of respect for the confidentiality of the candidates and their current communities, we can’t tell you things that would give any idea of who they are.

Where is the white smoke?

Where is the white smoke?

While your Search Committee is not a group of church officials sequestered day and night waiting to send a signal of a decision, we are a group of church leaders working very hard to be sure we have crossed all our t’s and dotted all our i’s on good process to determine the candidate to present to you for a vote in the spring.

Opening the Search and Next Steps

Beloved community, Happy New Year from your Ministerial Search Committee!!! Thanks for your interest and patience!!! Here is a bit about where we have been and where we are going: Evaluated and summarized your survey feedback Facilitated 11 cottage meetings and focus groups. (80 attendees) Hosted 43 attendees at Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop. Revised the 2-year-old Congregational Record (CR) with 29 discussion points Wrangled answers and data for 52 questions about ourselves, submitted...

Beyond Categorical Thinking

Will the new minister hear me? Will my concerns and needs be met? Will the minister understand what I’m living with? How will the community respond to our minister? In answering these questions, a picture of the “ideal minister” (categorized by age, gender identity, nationality, physical or cognitive ability, race, sexual orientation, etc.) comes to mind. With this picture in place, it can be easy to unintentionally exclude ministers who fall into certain categories. At times, as we get caught...

Get Involved in the Ministerial Search

The members of the Search Committee have been working hard behind the scenes over the summer - receiving training from the UUA, delegating roles, and beginning to gather information. As the church year begins this fall, we are looking forward to hearing from you, the members, friends, and staff of First Parish Watertown, as part of the phase the UUA calls “Building the Structure to Search.” Listening is vitally important in understanding the hopes, visions, and perspectives of the congregation...

Congregational Survey Questions

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your experience of our congregation! We estimate the survey will take 20-40 minutes to complete. This survey will help you, our congregational leadership, our Search Committee, and our future minister understand our congregation better. Responses to these questions will help guide cottage meeting discussions and enrich the narrative about our ministry context that the Search Committee shares with ministerial applicants. The survey...

Our congregation is in an exciting and unusual time. Following the retirement of Reverend Mark Harris after more than twenty years of ministry at First Parish, we are in a two-year interim period while we prepare to call a new minister, to begin in August 2021.

April 2021
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