First Parish in Needham Logo

23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492


First Parish Committees

Serving on a committee is a great way to get to know other folks in the church while contributing to the essential operations of the church.

Archives Committee

The Archives Committee collects, maintains and safely stores any material of continuing historical interest to First Parish.

The committee also stages periodic exhibits of the materials in our collection, and often helps the staff and committees answer questions about past events.

The Archives Committee meets twice a month on Tuesday mornings in the Youth Room.

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Caring Crew

The Caring Crew consists of a wide group of people in the parish who volunteer to occasionally help out those in need — whether it be for meals during sickness, rides to medical appointments, or just helping out with the odd task or errand.

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Committee on Ministry

The mission of the Committee on Ministry (“COM”) is to ensure the smooth functioning of the ministries of First Parish, and to provide counsel for the minister and DRE, as well the congregation at large as needed.

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Communications Committee

The mission of the Communications Committee is to ensure that Parish communications meet the needs of our members and friends, staff, and visitors.

To fulfill this mission, the committee oversees key print and online publications, facilitates the communications efforts of other committees, works to ensure that our information and communications infrastructure is up to the task, and coordinates special projects as needed.

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Continuing Education Committee

The Continuing Education Committee coordinates a rich and steady stream of adult-focused programming that helps members of our congregation and interested members of the greater community:

  • explore and grow spiritually and intellectually,
  • reflect and develop spiritual practices,
  • participate in self-help groups,
  • learn about Unitarian Universalism, and
  • learn about and discuss topics related to our mission in the local community, our nation and the world.

The Continuing Education committee is responsible for the majority of our highly popular Lane Lyceum events.

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

The DEI Commitee began as the Racial Justice Task Force and became a permanent congregational committee in 2021. The DEI Committee’s mission is to advance anti-oppression and anti-racism within First Parish and beyond. 

The Task Force was  formed in the light of the crisis sparked by the killings of young African-American men by police officers. One of our goals is to provide multiple ways for our congregation to deepen our understanding of issues around race in our culture, and to explore ways of living our UU principles to make a difference and effect change, both socially and politically.

Our work is part of the larger Commit2Respond initiative that our congregation has approved. We have also been working closely with the Social Action and Green Congregation committees. We have learned that racial justice, social justice, and environmental justice are closely intertwined, as communities of color are often those most adversely affected by climate change and pollution. 

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Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is responsible for overseeing the financial affairs of the Church in conjunction with the Treasurer and parish administrator, including preparation of the annual budget based on information provided by the Parish Committee, Minister, parish administrator, and other program and operational committees.

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Friends of Social Hour

The Friends of Social Hour (“FoSH”) provide the infrastructure and organizational support needed to maintain a vibrant weekly Social Hour at First Parish.

Our Social Hour is a multigenerational opportunity for socializing and community building.  It is a central part of the Sunday morning experience for all ages.

FoSH also maintains the kitchen instructions and conducts training on the equipment

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Green Congregation Committee

Guided by the UU Seventh Principle, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,” the Green Congregation Committee strives to bring about positive environmental changes through congregational activities across all ages, encouraging personal lifestyle changes among the congregants, and involvement with the broader community.

The activities of the Committee maintain Green Sanctuary certification from the Unitarian Universalist Association.

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Homegrown Coffeehouse Steering Committee

The Homegrown Coffeehouse was launched as a First Parish volunteer activity in 1983, with a mission to bring to Needham a wide variety of the then “folk revival” performers that were just beginning to surge locally and nationally.

We are about to complete 40 seasons of presenting nearly every major folk performer, and a lot of lesser-known folk artists, plus jazz artists, and pop performers touring nationally. O

ur First Parish-based folk club is widely recognized as one of the top venues in New England, with a national reputation for excellence.

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Human Resources Committee

The Human Resources Committee supports First Parish in hiring employees and developing and applying the Parish’s employment policies and benefits.

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Interior Arrangements Committee

The Interior Arrangements Committee is responsible for overseeing the furnishings and decorations of the building, including all furniture, floor coverings, window treatments, visible accessories (lamps, clocks, etc.), wall coverings, permanently displayed artwork and posters, and interior signage.

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Intern Committee

Suspended until Intern Program resumes.

Kitchen Crew

The Kitchen Crew makes sure that the kitchen and related storage areas are kept in good order and stocked with the basic supplies needed for Social Hour, occasional receptions, and so forth.

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Membership Committee

The Membership Committee supports the work and mission of First Parish in Needham by:

  • Attracting and welcoming newcomers to First Parish;
  • Introducing newcomers to Unitarian Universalism and First Parish;
  • Connecting newcomers with the ministry, programs, religious education, outreach, and social programs of First Parish; and
  • Where appropriate, facilitating and supporting the journey of newcomers from first time visitors to active members.

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Memorials & Special Gifts Committee

The Memorial Committee manages Memorial gifts to First Parish, insures that donors are thanked and recognized as appropriate, and uses the funds with guidance of the deceased’s family for special needs of the church.

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Music Committee

The Music Committee contributes to a vision for the role of Music in all aspects of congregational life and its implementation, especially (but not limited to) in worship in all its forms, support for congregational programs, e.g.: religious Exploration, fund raisers and social events.

In particular, the committee supports the Music Director with ideas for music in worship, for guest Musicians (both in-house and paid), and for recruiting such people as needed.

The Music Committee also has the responsibility of ensuring that First Parish is funded adequately for its music program (including staff), for guests and special needs, and for the care and maintenance of its instruments.

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Parenting Young Children Steering Committee

Parenting Your Children (“PYC”) Committee’s mission is to provide parents of infants, preschoolers, and school-age children in our congregation with a community and resources focused on raising children with Unitarian Universalist values.

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Parish Committee

The Parish Committee is, in essence, the governing body of First Parish.

Because it is an elected body, the ultimate authority rests with the membership.

Parish Committee is comprised of 4 officers (president, vice-president, clerk, treasurer) and 6 general members.

Parish Committee meets monthly and its meetings are open to all.

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Pastoral Care Team

The mission of the Pastoral Care Team is to nurture a spirit of hope and caring that reaches out to all members of our congregation.

The Pastoral Care Team works together to:

  • Identify situations that need caring attention and make appropriate assignments to meet those needs;
  • Support and visit those who are unable to attend church regularly;
  • Support families and friends involved in care giving;
  • Provide mutual support and fellowship for one another in monthly meetings, while also looking toward our own spiritual growth and enrichment.

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Program Council

The Program Council is made up of all of the chairs of First Parish committees.

The purpose of the Program Council is to help committee chairs coordinate their activities and programs in support of the Church’s mission/vision and to serve as a forum to discuss issues and problems, inform each other and the Parish Committee of their activities, and look for support where appropriate.

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Property Committee

The Property Committee attends to the many needs of the Church facility such as repairs, maintenance, utilities, landscaping, plowing, storage and related matters.

Our Mission Statement states that “the Property Committee shall insure that the buildings & grounds of First Parish are in the best possible condition to serve the needs of the Congregation”.

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Religious Education Committee

The mission of the Religious Education Committee is to ensure that the RE program is of the highest quality, meets the needs of First Parish families, and is consistent with UU and First Parish principles.

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Small Group Ministry Facilitators

The facilitators of each of First Parish’s Small Group Ministries meet regularly to discuss session plans, make recruiting plans for getting new people interested in Small Groups, and to work out placement of new registrants into a specific Small Group Ministry.

Participation is limited to Small Group Ministry facilitators.

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Social Action Committee

The Social Action Committee is an organizing body that facilitates and promotes social action activities in the First Parish community through supporting opportunities for charitable giving, service to others, education and advocacy.

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Stewardship Committee

The Stewardship Committee supports the mission of the church by organizing various fund-raising activities, in particular our semi-annual auction and our annual pledge drive.

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Welcoming Congregation Committee

The Welcoming Congregation Committee serves to further the welcoming congregation at First Parish.

As a Welcoming Congregation, we at First Parish welcome the presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and pledge ourselves to foster an environment of understanding and respect.

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Worship Committee

The Worship Committee is concerned with all aspects of the worship experience.

The Worship Committee works with the Minister on the design of weekly and long-term worship experience at First Parish.

The Worship Committee oversees the summer component of worship and coordinates worship for Sundays when the Minister is not in attendance.

The Committee provides assistance to the Minister in setting up the chancel and church for service and cleaning up afterwards.

The Committee works with the RE Minister, the RE Committee, the Music Director, the Children’s Choir Director, the Music Committee, and other committees to ensure smooth functioning before during and after each service.

It also serves as a resource for the congregation to incorporate their ideas and respond to concerns about the worship experience.

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Young Adult Committee

The Young Adult Committee (“YAC”) is comprised of Youth Group representatives, adult volunteers, parents, and the Youth Group Advisor.

YAC strives to support the mission of the Youth Group by:

  • Providing youth with a safe and affirming social environment where they can build strong bonds of friendship, experiment with their own identity, and grow as social beings within the community;
  • Giving youth a place and the tools to explore religious understandings and spiritual issues – issues of meaning, purpose, ethics, and responsibility;
  • Exposing our youth to Unitarian Universalism, giving them a greater understanding and ownership of our religious tradition;
  • Helping our youth to grow to be responsible members, contributors, and leaders in the communities they are a part of, including, the First Parish community, the Needham and Greater Boston community, the district and continental Unitarian Universalist community, and the world community;
  • Helping our youth to feel connected to the world through direct service and reflection, and to help them to explore and think about important social issues;
  • Reaching out to youth who are searching for community or grappling with religious and spiritual questions.

With this as our mission, the YAC strives to foster and create an inclusive and welcoming community, open to the presence and contributions of all youth.

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