large outdoor chalice with stone base and dark metal shallow bowl surrounded by garden plantings

Search Committee

We Said Yes!

On Sunday, May 2, 2021, the members of First Parish voted to call Rev. Sophia Lyons as our 30th settled minister!

Preparing to Call Our Next Minister on Sunday

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...

Candidating Week Schedule

Candidating Week Schedule

We know you are curious about Rev. Sophia and awaiting the chance to get to know her! Candidating Week will run from April 24 to May 2, 2021.  During this busy week there will be small group, larger group, and congregation-wide times to meet Rev. Sophia.

Candidating Week Schedule

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...

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.

February 2023