Councils and Committees
The Board of Assessors, the Board of Trustees,
eight councils and numerous
govern, run, and/or are responsible for most of the wide-ranging
programs and activities at First Parish.
For more information on the groups described here, please contact
the parish office.
Board of Assessors
One of the most important groups of volunteers within the church is the
Board of Assessors, which is the elected governing body of the church.
It consists of ten assessors, who serve three-year, rolling terms; a
treasurer; and a clerk.
The Board works with the ministers and staff. It
is responsible for the business affairs of the church, including
praparing and reviewing the annual budget; personnel issues; the annual
parish meeting; and defining and implementing First Parish policies and
directions, in accordance with the bylaws and wishes of the
congregation. The Board meets on the second Thursday of each month.
Board members serve as liaisons to the various
committees and councils to assess the overall health of the
Members of the congregation are invited to contact
the chair or another Board member with any questions or concerns about
First Parish business matters.
Board of Trustees
The First Parish Trustees are responsible for the First Parish
Endowment consists of a general fund and several smaller sub-funds,
for specific long-term purposes. The Trustees invest the assets of the
for long-term growth and income. The goal is to make the assets
to provide a growing stream of annual contributions to the operations
The Facilities Committee
This committee is comprised of people who are interested in helping
to maintain the facilities and grounds of the First Parish Campus.
The committee takes on short term projects, such as fence painting, or sign repair. The facilities committee chair contacts the members about projects that need to be completed.
The purpose of the Church Council is to
facilitate communication and coordination among
councils, committees, and other organizations
relating to programs of First Parish. It
coordinates activities on the Church calendar as
needed and deals with issues affecting many
areas within the Church, like volunteerism and
membership. It helps to ease pressure on the
Board, freeing them to focus on long-range
planning, finances and personnel.
initiatives in the past have included holding a
Committee Fair in September; reviewing some of
First Parish’s space-sharing issues; and the
storage and upkeep of First Parish’s historical
records. Information is exchanged by committee
leaders regarding topics such as Social Action
and RE programs, upcoming fundraisers, Green
Sanctuary and First Parish stewardship, with the
aim of finding synergy and shared goals.
Councils represented: Religious Education, Adult
Religious Education, Maintenance, Stewardship,
Board of Assessors, Green Sanctuary, Worship and
Arts, Women’s Alliance, Social Action
Religious Education Council
The Religious Education Council oversees the operation of the church school and youth
groups. It works with the Director of Religious Education to
establish policies and budget, welcome new families, support the
contributions of the volunteer teaching staff and advisors, and to
The Council sponsors several annual events, such as intergenerational
social gatherings, the UUSC’s Guest at Your Table, the December
Intergenerational Service, the Undecorate the Christmas Tree Project,
the Intergenerational Holiday Service, and the Eighth Grade Statements
The Belonging is a Religious
Experience (BRE) subcommittee provides assistance to children
with a disability and their families, so that they may fully
participate in the life of the church and truly belong.
Social Action Coordinating Council
The Social Action Council
is an overarching council that coordinates communications, Share-the-Plate donations, volunteer recruitment and volunteer recognition for the social action working groups. The SACC meets monthly, and is open to newcomers who are interested in learning more about the existing working groups, or in starting a new social action project.
Worship and Arts Council
The Worship and Arts Council consults with the minister and music
director in supporting Sunday morning worship services through the
year. The Council sponsors Sunday services when the ministerial staff
is not in the pulpit. The Council is comprised of the following
Sunday Morning Ushers and Greeters ensure
that the Meeting House is ready, greet parishioners and visitors and
direct them to their seats, distribute the Order of Service, and close
the Meeting House after services.
Christmas Eve Meeting House Decorations Committee
decorates the Meeting House for the holiday season.
Sunday Morning Chancel Decorations Committee offers
opportunity for individuals, families, or groups in First Parish to
provide Sunday service flowers or other decorations in memory or honor
of a loved one, a celebration, or an event. This is noted in the week’s
Order of Service. Parishioners are invited to reserve a Sunday during
Summer Sundays are lay-led services on
a wide range of topics at 9:30 on Sunday mornings, followed by a social
The Canvass Committee organizes the yearly pledge drive. The type of
campaign varies from year to year (Celebration Sunday event,
contact, small group dinners) but the goal is always the same: to
obtain a commitment
of financial support from all our members. Pledges from our members
of our operating budget. The team welcomes volunteers to assist in its
The Bylaws Committee publishes the Bylaws in proper form and recommends
amendments to the Parish.
First Parish in Framingham Committee on
The Committee on Ministry (CoM) supports and promotes the shared
First Parish by acting as a communication conduit among the
minister, and the Board of Assessors. Ministry is
everything our congregation
does in pursuit of the welfare of our membership and wider community;
CoM’s focus is the whole congregation, not any one program. Because
is a shared ministry, there can be no anonymous communication or
and offered by the CoM; rather the activities of the CoM are to:
1. Provide counsel to the minister, in
an informal, confidential setting, with respect to any matters he/she
might wish to put before the committee.
2. Advise the minister of circumstances or events that might provide
opportunities, or pose difficulties, in the conduct of the ministry,
and discuss or recommend possible avenues of action.
3. Devise and implement processes to improve the flow of communication
among the congregation, the Board of Assessors and the minister.
4. Coordinate periodic assessments of the effectiveness of every facet
of the congregation’s ministry.
5. Support to the Board of Assessors in its evaluation of the whole
ministry of the congregation and the minister's performance.
The Music Committee meets monthly with the goal of integrating music
more completely into the life of First Parish. The committee’s
responsibilities include advocating for the Music Director and
parishioners, publicizing music activities and the goals of the music
program, soliciting opinions from the parishioners, recruiting for the adult and children’s choirs, and
working with the Worship and Arts Council in planning services through
A five-member elected Nominating Committee meets during the year to
identify and recruit nominees to present at the next annual meeting, as
required, for the positions of Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, Collector,
Registrar, Historian, Assessors, Trustees, Auditor, Bylaws Committee
Chairperson, and members of the Nominating Committee. The committee
also fills vacancies that have occurred during the previous year.
Pies on the Common Committee
Pies on the
Common is our annual church fair held on
Framingham Centre Common on the first Saturday
following Columbus Day in October. Pies on
the Common was conceived during a coffee hour in
A few members were discussing ways to
augment the annual church budget. One of
the women suggested using the Common to sell
home baked pies.
The idea was to raise some extra money
from people other than parishioners, involve
First Parish members in a united volunteer
effort, and have some fun at the same time. Each year
we sell over 500 home baked pies.
popular attractions include Kids’ Corner, with
children’s games and crafts; raffle of a quilt
made by members of the parish; hot drinks and
breads at the Coffee Shop; the Food Court which
sells hot dogs, sausages and more for lunch and
the Candy Shop offering homemade fudge, novelty
candies and treats for every age group. Renting
space to over 50 local crafters is another
source of income for the church.
year more than a hundred First Parish members
and friends volunteer in the effort, making the
quilt, baking pies, selling raffle tickets,
setting up tents, and working at the fair. The
committee holds early planning meetings once or
twice in the spring, but we really swing into
gear in September. All
parishioners at every level are invited to join
in helping to make this major fundraising event
a huge success.
It’s a wonderful way to make friends and
deepen your connection to the church community.
more information, see the church web site at
www.uuframingham.org, read the notices in
church bulletins, visit the Committee table at
Sunday Coffee Hours beginning in September, call
the church office at 508-872-3111, or contact
the Pies chairman at
firstname.lastname@example.org. We look
forward to seeing you on Saturday, October 15,
Talent and Treasure Auction
Each spring, First Parish holds an annual fundraiser called the Talent and Treasure Auction.
The live and silent auctions feature items donated by parishioners and
local businesses. The items offered have been as diverse as weekend
getaways, handcrafted items, writing wills, dinners on the town, and
homemade biscuits for a dog.
Themed baskets, created by church councils and
committees, are raffled during the evening. Each year, a Pay It Forward
item is chosen, to benefit a worthy program, and a significant amount
is raised from the many contributions, small and large. All this is
enjoyed in Scott Hall, with entertainment, wine, dinner, and dessert.
For the unfortunate souls who are unable to attend the event, proxy
bidding is available.
This significant fundraiser for First Parish
rivals only Pies On The
Common for monetary success. The committee is growing every year and
help is needed in many areas, big and small. It is a fun event to plan