Special Thanksgiving Offering for Matenwa Community Learning Center

This year’s Thanksgiving offering will be given to First Parish’s long-term partner organization in Haiti, the Matenwa Community Learning Center, as it struggles to meet unexpected critical needs caused by recent outbreaks of violence and political strife that have precipitated fuel and food supply crises, aggravated by a sharp drop in value of the national currency.

The students and teachers at Matenwa, a school with a remarkable track record through troubled times in educating youth and training teachers, are suffering especially from an acute food shortage. Our support will be crucial in ensuring they all receive at least one full meal each day. The plentiful sources of nutrition we now take for granted, alas they cannot. Please give generously!

Donations may be made either by cash contribution to the collection plate at on Sunday, November 24; or by check (to First Parish in Lincoln with “special Thanksgiving offering” in the memo line) at one of the next two worship services (November 24 and December 1) or by mail to FPL, P.O. Box 6218, Lincoln MA 01773.

Church Council Meeting: October 30, 2019

Meeting Highlights

1. Committee chairs created a brief overview of their priorities for 2019-20. These are available for the interested reader.

2. The Shared Ministry Review was represented as a document that offered some important direction for First Parish. A brief summary of that document is available as well.

3. Responses to the question: “How is the transition is going?” varied. A number of members felt that the tone and tenor of the parish is much more relaxed and optimistic. Opportunities to contribute to parish life seem very present as is a greater sense of liveliness and fun. The Transition Team finds people willing to talk openly about their aspirations and the congregation seems to be engaged in the process of change. The awareness of the need to make changes around accepting and supporting more diverse points of view seems to be present.

On the other hand, some feel that there remain some challenging conversations to be had and differences of opinion within the congregation. These are particularly around spiritual values and congregational priorities. In addition, there is a sense of urgency regarding membership numbers and church finances that some feel, and others do not, but which need attention. These will be priorities for discussion by the Transition Team.

It is fair to say that the group had initial difficulty embracing this topic from a personal point of view. Eventually there was more open and personal discussion of how each member viewed their experience of the transition. The congregation will depend on this type of personal reflection to continue its preparation for the search for the new minister.

4. Opportunities for FPL to increase its engagement with the Greater Lincoln Community in order to increase membership are critical to identify. There was a sense of sadness and loss among a number of those present as they talked about those who have become disconnected or disenfranchised. With this, the group again addressed the challenge that FPL has with creating opportunities to encourage discussion and to resolve differences of opinion. The ‘centrifugal force’ noted in the SMR that invites members to spin off from the church in the face of disagreement seems to be a part of the church’s history from walking down the street to a new building to leaving Concord. Nonetheless, there was a sense that this dynamic doesn’t serve us well. Some thought will be given to how the church can reach out more to the diaspora to reconnect and, hopefully, to invite them back.

A good model for community engagement exists in the OWL program; it provides a necessary service for parents who enroll their young people. While this is not worship nor, exactly, religious education, the program engages the community around a need that they have in their family. There are more opportunities for this kind of engagement to happen around family life and parent concerns that could be developed into a regular series. Likewise, activities such as the music program, adult lectures on social and justice topics can be grouped into appealing series that could draw new people to the church. Some of these activities are happening, but they would benefit from greater organization.

5. This group agreed to convene again in early January and in the spring.

Nick Covino for the Parish Committee

Outreach Committee: Pre-Christmas Sing at Concord Prison—Date Confirmed!

Friday, December 6, 2019, 6:00-8:30pm | 965 Barrett’s Mill Road, Concord
Join Rev. Jenny and other First Parish folks for Christmas caroling at the Northeast Correctional Center in Concord with the men incarcerated there on Friday December 6, 6:00-8:30 pm. Sponsored by FPL Outreach partner Concord Prison Outreach. Registration (limited to adults 18 and over) required by November 29. Contact Larry Buell at fplgiving@gmail.com or after service on November 17 or 24 if (1) you would like a ride from the church or are willing to drive others and/or (2) to join the group registration. Individual registration also possible via email to outreach@concordprisonoutreach.org with this information: your full legal name (must match what’s on your ID), unexpired MA driver’s license number, birthdate (MM/DD/YYYY), phone number including area code, and email address for confirmation.

Parish Committee: October 2019 Notes

The Parish Committee met on October 18, 2019.

Dwight Gertz and Tim Moynihan were unable to attend. Rev. Rankin, Peter Sugar (Facilities), Ralph Smith (Personnel), Sarah Andrysiak (Generous Giving), Gert McDermott (Administrator), Becca Fasciano, Chris Hamilton, Ken Hurd, Kathy Huber (Transition Team) were present.

Summary of Business

The PC voted to increase the hours of Sarah Klockowski to allow her to assume the responsibilities for Youth Ministry that had been budgeted in RE, but unfilled for some time.

The Personnel Committee has been diligently at work under Ralph Smith’s direction. This group was involved in the reworking of Sarah’s position and creating a methodology and process for evaluating our Interim Minister and Parish Administrator. As part of the latter, the job description and scope of the Parish Administrator will be updated and revised as appropriate. The PC heard productive reports by the Transition Team, Facilities Committee and Generous Giving.

Facilities

Peter Sugar (Facilities Chair) reported on several projects that the committee is managing. The playground project has work to be done in terms of visioning and scope. Questions about public versus private use need to be resolved first by the Playground Planning Committee. These have implications for equipment and cost. Design issues also need resolution. The Playground Committee needs to evaluate the possibility of a supervised ‘Community Construction’ project versus a professional one. Also, the PC will reach out to see if the town is interested in partnering in creating a public option. A meeting of the Parks and Recreation Committee will schedule a discussion for this.

The parking lot has one bid for its repair that is approximately $22k-28k. Three bids would be optimal, and the additional bids are being sought. The Roof Project is to follow the same process of soliciting three bids. The Facilities Committee will pursue that along with the possibility of bringing Air Conditioning into the Parish Offices.

Transition Team

The Transition Team met with the PC to review their plan and to discuss avenues for collaboration, in addition to the timeline and outline that was distributed. The group thought that a discussion of Parish Finances, Settled Minister’s Salary, Parish membership and size, and the use of FPL’s financial resources would be important to address. This will be scheduled in keeping with the TT’s outline for discussion.

The TT feels very engaged with the Parish as it moves forward to select a new Settled Minister. They feel the enthusiasm of the congregation and its openness to examining ways to improve and to evolve. The TT would like the Search Committee selected by May, 2020, and they would like the compensation package for our new minister in the same timeframe. This falls to the PC to accomplish.

Generous Giving Plans


Sarah Andrysiak presented a thoughtful and thorough plan for Generous Giving that relies on creating multiple ways of engaging the congregation. A number of parish members have volunteered to advise and collaborate with Sarah as she creates opportunities for visiting, meeting in small groups and listening to the parish about their various ways of supporting the growth and work of FPL.

The parish will soon learn about the Generous Giving plans for the year.

Church Leaders Meeting

In an effort to increase collaboration among church committees, a meeting of the Church Committee Leaders will take place on October 30 at 6:00pm. This meeting will hear about the priorities that each committee has before them and discuss how each can further the general aim of engaging the greater Lincoln community in order to increase church membership.

Personnel

In addition to increasing Sarah Klockowski’s hours to include responsibility for youth ministry, the Personnel Committee has developed a structure and method for evaluating the job performance of both Pastor Rankin and Gert McDermott. The latter will also address the questions about the Parish Administrator’s job definition and scope in that were raised in the Annual Report. The Personnel Committee is, also, working on rewriting the Personnel and Policies Handbook.

There is one open position on the Parish Committee that is being addressed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully,

Nick Covino for the Parish Committee

Transition Team: November 2019 News

Continuing to lay the groundwork for a successful search for a new settled minister, the Transition Team will be asking the congregation to participate in two surveys during the next six months.  The first one in November will address who we are as individuals in our various beliefs, while the second one to occur next April will focus more on our congregational identity and what First Parish needs from a future ministry.

We anticipate the responses from the first survey in November will help us to create a “family portrait” of who we are as individuals, each on our own spiritual journeys despite, or in addition to, our affiliation with the two denominations. In it, this survey will ask several questions about one’s own spirituality, as well as their spiritual growth and wellbeing, and of course, all responses will be strictly confidential. 

As of Sunday, November 3rd, the survey will be available online as well as in paper format. In the interest of painting as accurate a picture of the breadth of religious diversity and backgrounds as we may have, it is important to have broad participation by as many parishioners as possible.  Ministerial candidates will need and want to know who we are as a spiritual community, and it will also be very helpful to the new Search Committee in finding the right match in a new settled minister.
We encourage everyone to participate, and if anyone has questions or needs help in accessing the survey, either online or on paper, please reach out to any member of the Transition Team, and we will be glad to help.

Respectfully submitted for the Transition Team,

Ken Hurd

History & Roots: An FPL Timeline Board As part of First Parish Lincoln’s exploration of its own history, the Transition Team will invite all parishioners to contribute to an FPL Timeline Board between November 3-24. Its purpose is to support us in telling our story and will serve to:

  • remember and reflect on the past
  • honor our history
  • recognize painful events
  • celebrate joyful moments
  • tell truths about our history 
  • make what may be invisible to many visible

The Timeline Board will be in the Stearns Room, and you will have the opportunity to contribute at any time, but especially following the Sunday service. Postings can be on note cards provided in the pews, stickies provided at the board, or copies of photos, articles, postcards, etc. depending on the memory or event – whatever is meaningful to you! There will also be table space for objects from the Religious Education program and for any other physical items that cannot be posted on the board (articles, books, artwork, etc). 

Several markers will already be on the board, including our early formation as a church and ministers’ tenures. More recent markers will include events that the Shared Ministry Review and Transition Team have organized over the past two years. These will show the work FPL has already done to purposefully remember and process the past as we work towards our future.  

In addition, the Transition Team will host Teas in November for seniors who live at residential communities and who have difficulty getting to FPL. (We’ll be reaching out to individuals with specific dates.) We will encourage them to contribute as well to the Timeline by sending us their memories.  

This promises to be a rich and engaging activity and will surely reveal some surprises! What will you post?? We look forward to seeing what you come up with, and many thanks in advance.

Outreach Committee: Seeking Applicants for Jean Wood Preston Grants

The Outreach Committee of the First Parish, Lincoln seeks qualified nonprofit organizations to apply for the Jean Wood Preston Fund Grant competition in 2019-2020. This year there are two options; (1) the traditional Jean Wood Preston Grant ($5000 – $25,000), which is for a one-time capital improvement project essential in enabling the organization to further its goals and/or (2) the Transformative Innovation Grant (also $5000-$25,000), potentially over a period of as many as 3 years), which is for critical program development that promises to take the organization in an important new direction or provide a major new extension of services.

A critical factor in our decision process will be the level of impact the project would have on the ability of the organization to fulfill its mission.  In submitting a proposal, we encourage you to be highly creative in determining the kind of project that would truly impact the effectiveness of the services that you provide your clients.  

Please find attached the guidelines for each Grant and the application by clicking the button below. Organizations may apply for both grants but they must be on separate application forms. Please read the application paperwork carefully because our terms and requirements have changed.  The application deadline is DECEMBER 31, 2019. Please submit the application to FPLgiving@gmail.com.

The Outreach Committee will begin choosing finalists for the traditional Preston Grant and site visits will be scheduled during March and April so that the Outreach Committee can learn more about the project.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Melissa Brooks, Administrator, Jean Wood Preston Grant

Transition Team: October 2019 News

The Transition Team met the last two Wednesdays, September 11th and 25th, in an effort to set goals and plan our activities for the coming church year.  The primary objective is to lead parishioners in the self-reflective work necessary to articulate who we are as a congregation, who we consider our neighbors to be, and what we believe we are called to do as a spiritual community.  By reaffirming the vision and mission of First Parish, it will allow us to prepare a foundational document for use by the Search Committee to be convened in May of 2020. It will also serve to convey who we are to candidates seeking to become our next settled minister.

The following is a rough outline of activities that we currently anticipate taking place throughout the year.  

This Fall, to better understand where we came from and who we are today, we have already begun to review the history and roots of our two denominations with sermons by Rev. Jenny Rankin and Wendy Van der Hart of the UCC.  Jenny will continue to refresh our memories from the pulpit on how transcendentalism affected the UUA as well as what brought our two churches together in 1942.

Later this Fall, we are planning to conduct a survey of our thoughts on our individual spirituality to further understand how First Parish addresses what we each seek from this community for our spiritual journeys together.

During the winter months, we plan to shift our focus to our identity as a congregation with discussions around core values.  Possibly using the model of last year’s Listening Circles, we hope that sharing thoughts through conversations will lead to reaffirming or redefining our vision and mission as a spiritual community.

In the Spring, we will sponsor a congregational survey to garner feedback on what emerges from our work during the winter.  This, together with the information gathered in the Fall, will form the basis of a congregational profile that will help a new Search Committee in their work to find the best candidate to walk with us as our next settled minister.  Again, as Jenny Rankin has expressed so well, any ministerial candidate will want to know, “who we are, who are we being called by the divine to become, and who is our neighbor that we wish to serve?”

Respectfully submitted for the Transition Team,

  • Ken Hurd

Parish Committee: September 2019 Notes

The Parish Committee met on September 18, 2019. Dwight Gertz and Karin Levy were unable to be present and Rev. Rosemary Lloyd filled in for Dwight to present an update on the Governance Task Force. Rev Rankin, Gert McDermott and Sarah Klockowski were in attendance.

As mentioned earlier, the PC is making an effort to connect more regularly and easily with the parish and its committees.  The list of PC Liaisons is below. Should you have business related to one of these functions, please be in contact with one of these members who will bring relevant concerns to the PC or to the relevant party. 

Committee Liaisons

Finance                 Chris Andrysiak
Personnel                                                                          Carrie Marotta
Youth ProgramsJean Welsh
FacilitiesTim Moynihan
Deacons, Music, AdministrationNick Covino
Generous Giving, Transition TeamRL Smith
OutreachPriscilla Damon
Membership and Community EngagementKarin Levy
Governance Task ForceDwight Gertz

The PC met after church on Sunday September 22 to hold an Open Meeting with the Parish

Summary of Business

The PC voted to returnthe title of the current “Membership Committee” to its original “Welcoming Committee” to reflect its current function.

The PC Voted to receive $60,000 of excess funds from FY19 Operations (i.e., last year’s budget) and transferred this total to the FY20 Operating account.

Treasurer

Mr. John Krzywicki (Treasurer) reports that the first two months of the fiscal year have been right on track.  With Generous Giving pledges last spring finishing short of what is required to cover the budget; a new position in Community Engagement likely to require additional funds to be successful (note; it did not exist last year when the FY20 budget was prepared); and the usual uncertainty regarding pledge collections, John has proposed some guidelines to manage a tight budget. Small (<$500) requests/requirements for funds to cover expenses not included in the budget (exclusive of Capital Expenses) can be presented for review to the Treasurer or the Parish Administrator. Those that seem to be ‘one time’ and that do not establish a ‘precedent’ for future funding will be seen in a favorable light. Larger items will be examined in light of available funds, rebalanced from other lines where possible and against the need to finish the year with a positive balance. The PC has authority to exceed the budget by $25,000, but it aims to keep expenses in line with the Parish Approved Budget.

John’s analysis of unused funds from prior years finds, not surprisingly, that the majority of the excess funds were from unspent salaries from unfilled positions. These positions are currently filled (e.g., Student Minister, RE, Community Engagement/Adult Programming) which means that the Treasurer, Parish Administrator and PC must manage this year’s budget very closely. It also means that next year’s budget is highly likely to be larger than FY20.  

Community Engagement/Adult Programming Coordinator

Sarah Klockowski joined the PC meeting to introduce herself and to speak a bit about her programs. Sarah has both an MA in Biblical Languages and an M.Div. degree with a specialty in Social Ethics. A former Youth Pastor and High School Educator, Sarah is already working to fulfill the Shared Ministry Review’s charge to create more ‘outward facing programs.’ Moving to her new home in Medford, she is excited to begin her work with First Parish.

Rev. Jenny will be Sarah’s supervisor and a small advisory group of Carrie Marotta and Chris Andrysiak will provide a sounding board as this position evolves.

Facilities

The Facilities Committee has been very active.  Unfortunately, there are three significant projects that require repairs that are likely to exceed $200,000.  These are the Parish House Roof, the Play yard, and the parking lot. In addition, Tim Moynihan reports that the committee identifies another 6-8 smaller projects (e.g., doors).  There are limited Capital Expense funds (near that $200,000 level) to cover these repairs.

Next month, Facilities Chairman Peter Sugar will report on the scope of the necessary work and present the plans and costs acquired from the relevant construction companies for this work.

Governance Task Force

Rev. Rosemary Lloyd presented an update of the work of this committee. The group has been meeting through the summer, reading Hotchkiss’ Governance and Ministry. They echoed the SMR findings that there is need to clarify roles, responsibilities and authority as well as to codify committee charges, volunteer roles, staff responsibilities and church policies. These members will make their report and recommendations to the Parish Committee next month. These ideas will be sourced through the parish in a thoughtful manner before coming to the PC for any required ratification.

Transition Team

Throughout this year the Transition Team will be exploring with the congregation questions like: Who & What is The First Parish right now?; Who are our neighbors? and What is our mission and the core values that will guide us into the future?

These will be the foundation for the document that the parish prepares to introduce itself to potential Settled Ministers.

The SEARCH COMMITTEE will be selected by the end of this year and it is the likely author of this document. At this point, the PC intends to ask for recommendations from the parish of members for a Search Committee and it will appoint three additional members to ‘round out’ a team of 7.  More on this to come.

Personnel Committee

This committee has been hard at work preparing job descriptions; recruiting, interviewing and hiring new staff; creating processes for a review of the Minister and FPL Staff. Several of these reviews have been completed by Rev Jenny with input from relevant others.  The question raised in the Annual Report regarding the scope and responsibilities of the Parish Administrator will be examined by this committee with assistance from several parishioners, Rev. Rankin and the Parish Committee. The parish is in debt to Ralph Smith, Carrie Marotta, Gus Browne and Jane O’Rourke.

Concluding Thoughts

  1. The FPL Green committee did a significant service for the Parish.  They built a proposal in keeping with the most popular priority from the survey of the parish of two years ago: Addressing Climate Change and the Environment. Their proposal for Solar Panels was impressively written and researched (with demonstrated cost-savings for the action) was presented clearly at two PC meetings. This team coordinated closely with the Generous Giving committee, including holding an evening meeting to discuss how to partner. FPL Green volunteered to fundraise for the project in a manner that did not compete with the Annual Pledge Drive. They raised funds from non-church colleagues, made personal gifts and, thus far, has raised about 60% of the cost of the panels.  This effort was not required. These members have been stewards of an important value of the parish and responsible partners with the church in conducting business and developing an asset that will save money and the environment.  The congregation says: “Amen.”
  • Volunteers are needed. The Religious Education program still has too few teachers. if you have the ability to share your values with our young people, please contact Elizabeth Kelly (Youth Programs Committee) or Margit Griffith, (Director Religious Education) as soon as possible.  The Touch of Christmas Fair has ONE LEADER who needs a partner and committee members for this important event.  Mentoring is available and the commitment to lead this effort can be limited to This Year only.  Please let Karin Levy know if you are able to help. Focused Task Forces always need help to gather information and deliver short products.  A Review of the “Safe Congregation Policy” that might include a talk by the Lincoln PD on Active Shooter Actions and a variety of updates to parish documents needs helpers.  Let me know if you are interested and have time to write, talk, and help.
  • The PC will hold a Leadership Retreat in October to draw committee chairs and other parish leaders together to discuss goals and strategies for the year.  This will be planned in the next two weeks.

The next official meeting of the Parish Committee is October 16 at 6:00.  The PC will hold a planning phone call on October 3 at 2:15.

  • Nick Covino, Chair, for the Parish Committee

Parish Committee: August 2019 Notes

The Parish Committee met for the third time this summer to address some of the pressing business of First Parish and to queue up some of the work for the upcoming year. As we wrote in June, the PC will be making a strong effort to communicate its work with the parish.

A note such as this that summarizes some of the main themes of the discussion will follow each meeting. There are point people from the Parish Committee assigned to key committees within the church. Should you have business related to one of these functions, please be in contact with one of these members (not the PC Chair!) who will bring relevant concerns to the PC or to the director of the small committee.

Committee Liaisons

a. Finance:  Chris Andrysiak
b. Personnel:   Carrie Marotta
c. Youth Programs:   Jean Welsh
d. Facilities:   Tim Moynihan
e. Deacons, Music, Administration:   Nick Covino
f. Generous Giving, Transition Team:  RL Smith
g. Outreach:   Priscilla Damon
h. Membership and Community Engagement/Adult Programming:  Karin Levy
i. Governance Task Force:   Dwight Gertz

Summary of Business
The PC voted to appoint Peter Sugar to become the Chair of the Facilities Committee and Thornton Ring as a new member. It, also, approved the hire of Sarah Klockowski, M.Div, MA as the church’s first Community Engagement/Adult Programming Coordinator.

Community Engagement/Adult Programming Coordinator
Sarah Klockowski has joined the First Parish as our first Community Engagement/Adult Programming Coordinator. Sarah has both an MA in Biblical Languages and an M.Div. degree with a specialty in Social Ethics. A former Youth Pastor and High School Educator, Sarah has a passion for faith-based community engagement, spiritual development and community building. The Personnel Committee, in keeping with the recommendations of the Shared Ministry Review to create more ‘outward facing programs’, expanded the ‘Communications’ role that Kathy Harvey-Ellis filled so well to provide leadership and a resource to help FPL be more connected to the greater Lincoln community with hopes to increase church membership. Rev. Jenny will be Sarah’s supervisor and a small advisory group will provide a sounding board for them as this position evolves into the right shape.

You will learn more about Sarah and her work shortly. Please welcome her to this new leadership position.

Parish House Playground
A combined Task Force with members from the PC, YPC, Finance, RE and a few parish experts will work with the Facilities committee to create a plan to renovate the church play yard. At this moment, the play yard is closed for safety reasons while the committee envisions a renewed space and develops a budget to support it. There are structural as well as design issues that preclude ‘clean-up/fix-up’ self-generated initiatives. The Task Force will move as swiftly as it can, but this project will take, at least, several months to design and several more to build.

The PC has asked for a monthly report from the Task Force and it will share the progress of this Task Force with the congregation.

Outreach
Larry Buell provided a review of the activities of the Outreach Committee last year. In addition to the energy of the FPL Green initiative that brought Solar Panels to the Parish House Roof and raised 2/3 of the funds to pay for them, there were a number of community engagement projects (Capital Improvement and Transformative Innovation grants) that were detailed in the Annual Report of First Parish. Larry added a final tally of the financial disbursements from Outreach for 2018-19 that were not completely covered in the Annual Report due to timing. Gifts to the community from the Preston Fund totaled $81,240. Larry and Melissa Brooks created a report to the Parish Committee that we will find a way to archive and make available. The PC began a discussion that it will have with ALL committees around how each can contribute to the goal of more closely engaging the greater Lincoln community with hopes to increase church membership.

Communications
Jennie Morris has generously agreed to help us to both train Sarah to be able to deliver the important “Communications” vehicles of First Parish and to help us to maintain the Web. This will be a bit of a work in progress as Sarah’s position will be focusing on programs and helping FPL to connect more vibrantly to the greater Lincoln area. Jennie, Rev. Jenny and the PC will continue to monitor the church’s needs in this area. Thank you to Jennie for her flexibility.

The PC voted to approve $4,296 for web design and maintenance for this year.

Treasurer
Newly elected Treasurer John Krzywicki reviewed the budget for the end of FY19 and looked ahead to FY20. With help from Gert McDermott, they identified the historical Over/Under areas of the budget for the past four years. While the variances are quite small, they can total as much as $50,000 in a year with ‘unfilled positions’ leading the way.

With the help of the Finance Committee, John will look to identify several budget areas to monitor more closely.

Concluding Thoughts

1. This year’s budget is quite tight. We are programmatically blessed with a full complement of staff and we are fiscally challenged with very little discretionary revenue for the upcoming year. Not only is it unlikely that there will be funds available from unfilled staff positions, these new, key, positions will require additional financial help to be successful.

The Transition Team and the new Community Engagement/Program Coordinator, in particular, are engaged in critically important work for the parish that will require additional funding to be successful. The Parish Committee will draw upon the small reserves from FY19 operations, as discussed at the Annual Meeting, but we see a need for the Parish to make time this year to review its relationship with finances.

2. Volunteers are needed. The Religious Education program is about to begin and there are too few teachers. While we will make an effort to address this in a more strategic fashion, if you have the ability to share your values with our young people, please contact Elizabeth Kelly (Youth Programs Committee) or Margit Griffith, (Director Religious Education) as soon as possible. The Touch of Christmas Fair is, also, looking for two leaders for this important event. Mentoring is available, but it will be optimal to have these positions filled by the next month.

3. The main goal of this, and the next few, years is to increase membership at First Parish. This is only going to happen over time and as a result of some intentional work.

There is a great story to tell about the strengths of this congregation that needs to be shared. By becoming a stronger part of the work, values and cares of greater Lincoln, we can have an opportunity to make a difference and, hopefully, invite our neighbors to worship and to work more closely with us. This is a priority for all members, leaders and committees. The PC will convene a longer meeting to invite parish groups and parishioners to plan this out, sometime in the fall.

The next official meeting of the Parish Committee is September 18 at 6:00.
Nick Covino, Chair, for the Parish Committee

Outreach Committee: September 2019 News

Drumlin-Farm to Open Table volunteer program news.

Every Thursday morning from late June through October, a team of FPL volunteers led by Bill Stason is delivering fresh produce from Drumlin Farm to Open Table, Maynard, Food Pantry, which serves clients in a half-dozen surrounding towns including Lincoln. Last summer, Bill ran this program singlehandedly. This summer he is working with a team including Gary Taylor, Becca Fasciano, Kathleen Dunlap, Monty Grob, and Deborah Youngman. Heartfelt thanks to all those early-rising volunteers! If you would like to join them in future seasons, please contact fplgiving@gmail.com

New Youth Service Grants

Outreach welcomes applications from children or grandchildren of FPL members up to 25 years of age for donations of up to $300 to registered charities in honor of service work or participation in bikeathons and walkathons. We hope to be able to fund 2-3 such projects yearly. Project descriptions of 500 words or less should be submitted to the Outreach Committee at fplgiving@gmail.com. Deadline for submission is May 1, but applications will be considered at any time of year at the monthly meeting after they are submitted.

Preston Grant competition

Candidate suggestions welcome. Thanks to an endowment created by the generous gift of Jean Wood Preston in the 1970s, Outreach is able to award up to 5 grants of $5000 – $25,000 each year to small regional nonprofit organizations for capital improvement or transformative innovation. (Winners in 2018-9 included GreenRoots Chelsea, Sudbury/Framingham-based MetroWest Free Medical Clinic, Acton-based Household Goods, Waltham-based Chaplains on the Way, and the Roxbury-based Refugee and Immigration Assistance Center.) We welcome additional nominations of worthy, well-run, small organizations to add to the list of invitations we’ll be extending on October 1. Please send nominations to Outreach Committee member Melissa Brooks at fplgiving@gmail.com

Call for volunteers

Outreach is looking for captains or co-captains to help organize some of our other traditional volunteer initiatives, such as the pre-Christmas sing at Concord Prison in early December and the Farrington NatureLinc work day in April. If you think you might be interested, please contact fplgiving@gmail.com or Outreach Chair Larry Buell. Please also let us know if you would like join an existing group volunteer initiative or FPL Faith-in-Action group, or if you might like to start a new one.

  • Larry Buell, Chair, Outreach Committee