Annual Budget Drive
Planning begins early each year for the Annual Budget Drive to solicit financial pledges from First Unitarian members and friends. The funds pledged determine the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This year-long effort engages the entire congregation through church leadership strategic planning, visiting steward one-on-one conversations, small group cottage talks and targeted communications. This year we continue a strategic effort to reduce our reliance on the endowment to support our annual operations.
Contacts: Greg Waksmulski and Beth Armstrong
Building and Grounds
Do you enjoy working outdoors? Gardening? A couple of times a year there are opportunities to contribute to the upkeep and improvements of the church’s buildings and grounds. Volunteers are needed for annual spring and fall garden projects. This is a good way to help and enjoy being outdoors at the same time.
Contact: Nancy Weiss-Fried
Flowers bring our pulpit to life each week. Members and friends can donate flowers in honor or memory of a loved one or to celebrate a special occasion. Donors are acknowledged in the order of service.
Finance and Investment
The Finance and Investment Committee oversees the investment of the church’s invested funds and provides strategic financial advice to the treasurer and Prudential Committee.
Contact: Jennifer Laurelli
First U Community Band
Band members meet either at church or in each other’s homes to eat and make music together. The idea is to learn UU hymns, folk and roots music, spirituals, or songs with a positive social message with the goal of performing in a church service or event several times a year. The Band focuses on projects one at a time. Each participant decides whether they have the time or ability to participate on each project.
Contact: Kate Bowden
Archiving the historical records of the church, the History Committee develops ways to share the nearly 300-year history of First Unitarian with the congregation. Recent activities of the group include:
- organizing the 200th anniversary celebration of the Meeting House in 2016
- publishing “Some Moments in the 200-Year History of the Meeting House,” “A Self-Guided Walking Tour of the Meeting House,” “The Meeting House Coloring Book,” and “Pastor’s Rest,” a booklet about First Unitarian’s five-acre burial ground at Swan Point Cemetery
- selling booklets, note cards, and photos during Coffee Hour; proceeds help offset the costs of future publications
Interested church members and friends are welcome to join the History Committee as it coordinates with the 300th Anniversary Task Force to plan for the celebration of the gathering of the congregation in 2020.
Contact: Janet Downing Taylor
The Membership Committee works closely with our staff membership coordinator to focus on congregational life. Activities include:
- welcoming newcomers
- integrating new members
- building community
Committee initiatives include:
- the rainbow scarf program for Sunday morning greeters
- the Newcomers Café
- the Path to Membership Classes
- sponsoring community events
All these initiatives are in collaboration with the staff membership coordinator, who facilitates the welcoming, integration, and programming. This group contributes to the growth, development, and life of the church by bringing us together as a community through shared experiences.
Contact: Karen Silva-Sabitoni
The Music Committee recruits choir members, assures maintenance of the organ and other instruments, acts as a resource for the music program for children and youth, assists with providing music and musicians for summer services, maintains the hymnal collection, formulates the music budget, and facilitates special fundraising.
Parish House Pot Luck Suppers
Held monthly usually on the second Friday evening of the month, our casual Pot Luck Suppers provide an opportunity for shared food, fun, and fellowship. Members and friends bring vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes as well as more standard fare. A program of family fun or learning follows the dinner. Cost is $2 per person or $5 for a family; the fee helps pay for kitchen supplies and childcare.
Contact: Samantha Cole
Religious Education Committee for Children & Youth
The Religious Education Committee holds congregational responsibility for the program for children and youth. Up to nine members each serve three-year terms. They meet monthly during the academic year and support education and congregational gatherings.
Contacts: Ellen Anderson and Meghan Smith
Ushers greet people as they enter the Meeting House on Sunday mornings, distribute orders of service, answer questions, and assist with special needs. They also collect the offering and take attendance. Everyone is invited to share in this welcoming experience.
Contact: Lyn Bradford
The World Affairs Committee provides presentations regarding humanitarian concerns. Topics have included the war in Iraq, climate change, Native Americans. Each year, this group co-sponsors the Global Write-a-Thon for Human Rights at First Unitarian.
Contact: John Petell
The Worship Committee works with the minister to help plan Sunday worship services and to assist on Sunday mornings in any way that is needed. This group also plans and hosts summer services, including providing speakers and music.
Contact: Neil Bartholomew