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Committees at a Glance

The Parish Board has developed “Committees at a Glance” for two reasons. We want to make the “workings” of First Parish in Brookline more transparent so that every member can know who plays what roles in what kinds of decisions and actions here at First Parish. We also want to make it easier for everyone to have their voice heard and to deepen their connections in this community by joining or visiting one of the 20 committees, task forces, and boards identified here. Interested? Please reach out to a member to find out more!

If you’re interested in getting involved, have updates to this information, or have a question, please reach out to our Parish Administrator at You may also look up contact information in the Online Membership Directory.

Parish Board

Responsibilities: Calls meetings of the Congregation, supervises the senior minister, appoints other committees as needed, prepares and submits annual budget at Annual Meeting; ensures responsive communication with members of the congregation, and manages all the concerns of the congregation (from the By-Laws). Establishes annual goals and makes policy decisions.

Membership: 9 members, each elected for 3-year terms at Annual Meeting

Contact the Co-Chairs
Jody Leader, Chair
Kristen McIntire, Vice-Chair
Ed Page, Treasurer
Nancy Clark, Clerk
Susan Faja
Whit Larrabee
Sarah Luchansky
John Mignano
Brad Reich
Building & Grounds

Responsibilities: Supports the mission of the congregation with facilities and grounds planning and capital projects, in collaboration with the Facilities Manager who oversees the budget for routine maintenance.

Membership: open to any volunteer
Clint Richmond, Chair
Debba Andree
Tim Dailey
Sam Dennis
Jeff Fogleman, Facilites Manager
Carol Spitzer
Bob Williamson

Responsibilities: Solicits from members suggestions for changes to the bylaws, considers further changes on its own, considers input from the Board and makes recommendations to the Board for amendments and/or additions in time for the Board to prepare recommendations before Annual meeting or any special membership meeting (from the By-Laws)

Membership: self-nominations welcome; chosen by the Board
Jim Womack, Chair

Responsibilities: Coordinates the annual campaign for pledges to fund the annual operating budget

Membership: open to all
Ed Page, Chair
Climate Justice Action

Responsibilities: Supports our congregation to know about and take action on climate issues affecting First Parish, our local community and the world
Supports a path to achieve environmental and financial sustainability of our church property, and supports  our members’ efforts to personally live in a more sustainable manner.
Supports “Earth Defenders” around the world.
Works  closely with the Religious Education teachers to assist them in teaching our children about Nature and caring for our living Earth.  
Welcomes anyone concerned about a livable climate for future generations and willing to take action.

Membership: All are welcome
Alfred Brownell & Deane Coady, Co-chairs
Debba Andree, Nancy Clark, Betsy Coons, Marga Dieter, Ann Gilmore, Perry Grossman, Jody Leader, Martha Leader, Jayleigh Lewis, Ed Loechler, Ann Eldridge Malone, Paul McLean, Tai Melendy, Clint Richmond, Elena Rippell, Prilla Smith, Carol Spitzer, Mia Szymkowicz, Bob Williamson, Jim Womack

Responsibilities: As the “designated elders” of the congregation, the Deacons act as the institutional memory of the community and support the well-being of the congregation by being a strong presence in institutional life and ceremonies such as memorial services and four-time-a-year communion services

Membership: recommended by the Senior Minister, appointed by the Board
William Dwyer, Chair
Sheila Hussey
Laura Walters
Ray Wellbaum
Midge Wilcke
Bob Williamson
Jim Womack
Digital Ministry

Responsibilities: Is developing and leading implementation of a digital strategy that uses social media to make known our activities and events, including our website, First Parish Facebook, video messaging and worship service support

Membership: open to all volunteers
Ellie Boynton
Nathan Freitas
Keith Kirchoff
Paul McLean

Responsibilities: Advises and counsels the Board on budget and financial matters; communicates financial information to the community regularly and with transparency

Membership: current Treasurer, a current or past Canvass Team member, current bookkeeper and up to 3 others chosen by Board
Margaret Williams, Treasurer
Margie Beal 
Ed Page
Charles Sandmel
Adam Berman, Bookkeeper
Immigration Justice – Hearts Without Borders

Takes action in solidarity with community partner organizations and in interfaith collaborations to raise consciousness and encourage action at First Parish
Operates from our guiding principle of seeking  to be in relationship with neighbors who are directly impacted by immigration – either working directly with them or with those who serve them
Seeks to raise consciousness, encourage solidarity actions, and mobilize resources at FPB through partnering opportunities, educational events, crowdfunding efforts, and outreach to legislators, elected officials, and decision makers
Meets via Zoom the third Thursday of every month.
Membership:  open to all
Group leadership shared by active members
Ellen Blaney
Barbara Cone
Julie Horvath
Sue Kalt
Jody Leader
Martha Leader
James Shillaber
Marilyn Tressel
Laura Walters
Ministerial Internship

Responsibilities: Oversees the professional development of our ministerial intern, Erin Scott, over two years (2022-24) in all competency areas of UUA ministerial formation

Members: selected by the Senior Minister and UUA supervising minister
Midge Wilcke, Chair
Madeline Fine
Luciano Lima
Ginger Melton
Sasha VanDerzee

Responsibilities: Recommends to the Congregation at Annual Meeting candidates for Parish Board, Clerk, Treasurer, Moderator, Alternate Moderator, and for open position(s) on the Nominating Committee

Membership: immediate past Chair of Parish Board, 1 current Board member, 3 members at large who have not served on Board during past 4 years; self-nominations welcome
Chair, Carol Spitzer
Lori Day
Jody Leader
Bob Williamson
Kiara Zani
Pastoral Care Associates

Responsibilities: Works directly with ministers, assisting with candles of joy and concern, organizing small group ministry, and providing summer pastoral care coverage. Also provides and coordinates help with meals, rides, and chores for members who need assistance and offers a compassionate listening ear.

Membership: open to all, with agreement from the minister
Tanya Gurian, Co-Convener; Ministerial Intern, Erin Scott; and Family and Community Ministries Director, Jayleigh Lewis

Alfred Brownell
Jeff Cadow
Marga Dieter
Anna Eisengart
Madeline Fine
Wendy Grossman
Jami Jordan 
Elizabeth McIntire
Racial Justice Action

Responsibilities: Supports the congregation in our commitment – embodies in our mission statement – to become a multicultural, anti-racist beloved community

Membership: A covenantal group, open to all volunteers who commit to the covenant which requires that people make themselves vulnerable and commit to  learning that builds as conversations deepen over time through regular participation
Members collaborate on chairing the committee and facilitating the meetings
Karla Baehr, Alfred Brownell, Almas Dossa, Ann Gilmore, Hobson Goulart, Jami Jordan, Kathryn Kirschner, Martha Leader, Michael Luke, Ann Malone, Ron Wilkinson
Religious Exploration

Responsibilities: In collaboration with Director of Family & Community Ministries, helps shape the RE program for children and youth including recruiting teachers and volunteers, and planning and supporting activities such as parent gatherings and social justice work. Also collaborates with other groups to develop and sustain intergenerational programming to strengthen community bonds.

Membership: Open to all with three-year term limits
Micaela Coady, Chair
Nathan Freitas
Jennifer Goulart
Jayleigh Lewis*
Kiara Zani

*Director of Family & Community Ministries

Safety Task Force (meets on an as-needed basis)

Responsibilities: Meets on an as-needed basis at the discretion of the Minister; explores and implements training, equipment and adaptations in our facility to ensure the physical safety of our congregation

Membership: open to all
Mike Luke
Kristen McIntire
Bob Williamson
Social Action Listserv

Responsibilities: Provides guidance and support for social action by maintaining  a listserv through which recipients communicate news and opportunities to learn and get involved in social justice work aligned to the FPB mission

Membership: open to all
Clint Richmond, Moderator
Space Use  (meets on an as-needed basis)

Responsibilities: Charged by the Board to expand use of First Parish facilities for rentals in ways that are consistent with our mission, recruits and advises potential renters; negotiates rental agreements; coordinates with FPB committees, staff and users; supports the church administrator in implementing the FPB space rental policy; and advises the Board

Membership: open to all
Debba Andree
Karla Baehr
Barbara Simonetti
Bob Williamson
Worship and Welcoming

ResponsibilitiesCollaborates with the minister and staff to create a grounded and spiritual place for faith expression through the church year; organizes summer lay-led services; provides and relays feedback regarding Sunday worship; members may  serve as  lay participants and worship associates in worship services, as well as greeters (membership on the worship and welcoming committee is not required to serve as a worship associate or greeter for a Sunday Service.

Those interested in learning more about what is involved in serving as a Greeter or Worship Associate are invited to reach out to Parish Administrator Ebiere Omergie at 

Membership: Open to all
This Committee will be redeveloped 

Members currently serving as Worship Associates: Jeff Cadow, Nancy Clark, Susan Larrabee, Whit Larrabee, Jody Leader, Martha Leader, Elizabeth McIntire, Paul McLean, Sally Moore
Members currently serving as Greeters: Debba Andree, Eliza Blanchard, Alfred Brownell, Nancy Clark, Eleanor Clarkson, Deane Coady, Almas Dossa, Elena Garafoli, Tania Gurian, Jami Jordan, Whit Larrabee, Luciano Lima, Michael Luke, John Mignano, Darlene Millman, Branch Moody, Laura Walters, Ron Wilkinson

Note on what the By-laws say about Standing Committees

Standing Committees other than those explicitly described in these Bylaws may be established by the Parish Board. The structure and functions of each such Standing Committee shall be determined by the Parish Board and described in the Standing Committee’s charter. Charters should be accessible to all members of the congregation. The charter may be modified by the Parish Board at any time. Once established, a Standing Committee shall report on its activities to the Annual Meeting, shall have its budget included in the annual operating budget of the Society, and shall continue in operation until its charter is revoked by the Parish Board. The Parish Board shall ensure a list of active Standing Committees is kept.