Interim Senior Minister
The Rev. Rebecca M. Bryan is a 2015 graduate of Andover Newton Theological School where she was awarded membership into the Jonathan Edwards Honor Society and was the recipient of the Unitarian Universalist James Luther Adams Award for Excellence in the Study of Liberal Theology and the Gabriel Fackre Award for Excellence in Constructive Theology.
She was ordained into the fellowship of Unitarian Universalist ministers after a long and rewarding career in the nonprofit sector. She worked in the field of fundraising and organizational development for over twenty-five years including operating her own consulting business since 2008. The practice focused on work with nonprofits on capital campaigns, annual and planned giving and organizational development.
Rebecca has been a Unitarian Universalist for forty years serving in many lay leader positions including president, treasurer, membership chair and religious education teacher in her local congregations. Rebecca is committed to sharing the good news of UUism through congregational life, preaching and denominational engagement. Some of her additional areas of focus include interfaith partnerships, addictions ministry and spiritual direction. She aspires to live her life and her ministry guided by the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism, authenticity, joy and love.
Before coming to First Parish in Brookline, Rebecca served as the contract minister for the Unitarian Universalist Parish in Monson, MA. In addition she has been a consultant with the New England Region of the UUA where she helped the Region explore the possibility of offering access to shared professional services to congregations. She also served as a project consultant with the New London, CT congregation helping them to reconfigure their approach and systems of volunteer engagement.
Rev. Rebecca’s Schedule
Rev. Rebecca is available for pastoral care and other one-on-one meetings Monday - Wednesday from 10am through 8pm. Other times can also be arranged as necessary. Meetings generally last for 50 minutes unless otherwise agreed to in advance. Rev. Rebecca or another minister or pastoral care associate is always available for pastoral emergencies. Rev. Rebecca is at church Sundays through Wednesdays. Her writing day is Thursday and her Sabbath day is Friday.
For pastoral emergencies contact her on her cell at 860-882-9410.
The Rev. Eliza Blanchard is an Affiliate Minister at First Parish. Formerly an English teacher, she received her M.Div. degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2004 and was ordained the following fall at the First Church in Belmont. After serving as the settled minister in Grafton for five years, she experienced a new call: as a community minister she provides spiritual guidance, especially to animal caregivers, and often preaches at local churches on Unitarian Universalism’s seventh principle – reverence for our interdependence on the web of all existence.
At First Parish she offers pet loss groups several times a year, in which she helps caregivers honor the bonds they have with animals through listening, sharing stories, thanks giving, and readings. She also leads a Blessing of the Animals in early October. She lives in Brookline with her husband, Ralph, and their dog, Maisie.
The Rev. MaryHelen Gunn is our Affiliate Minister for Campus Ministry in the Greater Boston area. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, Tufts University, and Andover Newton Theological School. Since her internship and ordination here in 2011, Rev. MaryHelen has pursued her calling to ministry in higher education settings, where some of our youngest adults engage the powerful spiritual work of self-(re)formation and (re)defining their maturing roles in a complex world. She focuses her ministry on supporting UU, secular-humanist, and seekers alike. Building outward from her role as Spiritual Advisor at Northeastern University, Rev. MaryHelen is now working under a 2015 grant from the UU Funding program, cultivating institutional relationships to bring sustained, ordained, progressive ministry to students in many Boston-area campus communities. Watch for the Faithify fundraising campaign later this year: follow @CampUUsBoston on Twitter and find us on Facebook!
Rev. MaryHelen also conducts the Children's Choir here at First Parish. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her spouse Matt, their child, Sophie (all active here), and their beloved canine companion Buddy (who loves to visit here, especially for the animal blessings!). For personal renewal, MaryHelen enjoys walking outdoors, observing and studying wildlife, and cultivating beautiful, soul-nourishing habitats for humans and other creatures.
|Coordinator of Religious Exploration||Laci Adams
|Music Director||Keith Kirchoff