First Unitarian Church of Providence
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community, life & heritage ministry

The Deacons
The Deacons are charged with fostering the spiritual life of the Church. They undertake activities and programs that realize the principles outlined in the church mission statement. This includes fostering a sense of welcome and belonging among newcomers, friends and members through hospitality and fellowship. Past activities have included facilitated conversations before Sunday services, assisting professional staff with new member orientation, annual phoning of members and friends to greet them and solicit comments about the church and their relationship to congregational life, assisting the minister in preparing and leading communion services and monthly ushering. They promote participation and aid in an open governing process by encouraging congregational polity as part of the expression of spiritual life. Deacons are elected by the congregation to five-year terms.

Fellowship Committee
The Fellowship Committee provides opportunities throughout the year for members and friends of the congregation to meet socially and encourages newcomers to participate in the community. Ongoing activities include Saturday Social Suppers (gatherings at a member’s home) and All- Parish potluck suppers followed by programs usually held on the second Friday of each month. Special events have included church Thanksgiving dinners, fundraisers, and picnics.

Membership Committee
The Membership Committee welcomes newcomers, invites them to participate in the life of our church and supports them as they become part of our church community. Just as importantly, the committee connects all members of the congregation to the many opportunities for growth, enjoyment, and service offered by the church. Its purpose is to make the path to an active and engaged membership obvious and gratifying for all and to keep members informed about UUism and this congregation, including the opportunities and responsibilities of membership.

Caring Committee
In early 2008, the Caring Committee Planning Committee developed a framework and a volunteer Care Crew to meet the goal of ministering to one another. The first stage was implemented in June 2008, focusing on providing notes, cards, calls or visits, on request. A Caring Committee of five oversees the program and will connect requests with volunteer Crew members. This lay pastoral care effort is an evolving process. By the first of the year, the Caring Committee hopes to assume the EMT (Emergency Meals and Transportation), which the Deacons have been providing. Future plans include a Sunday ride program and collaboration with Rev. Ford on a full-scale lay ministry program.

The First Unitarian Women's Alliance
Since 1882, The Alliance has been an autonomous society of dues-paying members whose purposes are to support the First Unitarian Church and its denomination; serve the community, local and at large; and to provide friendship, support and spiritual and cultural stimuli for its members. Monthly meetings feature a variety of speakers and a catered luncheon. The group conducts fundraisers throughout the year and makes annual financial contributions to the church, as well as to other causes, most with an emphasis on women’s issues.