The Parish Board has developed this first draft of “Committees at a Glance” for two reasons. Spurred by conversations at several of last year’s DEEP conversations, we want to make the “workings” of First Parish in Brookline more transparent: we want every member to 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.

If you're interested in getting involved, have updates to this information, or have a question, please reach out to our Parish Administrator, Alisa Halliday, at .

Committee Name and Description Committee Membership

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). Makes policy decisions.

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

Gene Thompson-Grove and Janet Britcher, Co-Chairs

Karla Baehr, Clerk
Ellen Blaney
Micaela Coady
David Demerjian
Steve Pratt-Otto
Charles Sandmel, Treasurer
Bob Williamson

Buildings and Grounds

Responsibilities: Supports the congregation with facilities and grounds planning and capital projects, in collaboration with the Parish Administrator who oversees the budget for routine maintenance

Membership: open to any volunteer

Clint Richmond, Chair

Tim Dailey
Sam Dennis
Will Spears
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: chosen by the Board

Sue Andrews, Chair

Jeff Cadow
Betsy Coons
Amy Stofflemayer
Rev. Lisa Perry-Wood


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

Membership: open to all

Whit Larrabee and Steve Pratt-Otto, Co-Chairs

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

Membership: All are welcome

Alfred Brownell and Deane Coady, Co-Chairs

Marga Dieter
Ann Gilmore
Ed Loechler
Ann Eldridge Malone
Tai Melendy
Clint Richmond
Peter Sakura
Mia Szymkowicz
Jud Wolfskill


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

Bill Dwyer, Chair

Sheila Hussey
Laura Walters
Midge Wilcke
Bob Williamson
Ray Wellbaum
Jim Womack

Digital Ministry

Responsibilities: Uses social media to make known our activities and events, Including our website, First Parish Facebook, and slides during worship service

Membership: open to all volunteers

Ellie Boynton
Alisa Halliday
Keith Kirchoff
Paul McLean
Noah Schachter
Scott Ullrich
Jud Wolfskill
Rev. Lisa Perry-Wood


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

Members: current Treasurer, a current or past Canvass Team member, current church bookkeeper and up to 3 others chosen by Board

Charles Sandmel, Treasurer

Margie Beal
Steve Pratt-Otto
Margaret Williams
Adam Berman
Rev. Lisa Perry-Wood

Immigration Justice - Hearts Without Borders

Responsibilities: Takes action in solidarity with community partner organizations and in interfaith collaborations to raise consciousness and encourage action at First Parish

Members: open to all

Ellen Blaney and Tania Erlij, Co-Chairs

Ann Gilmore
Julie Horvath
Gerry Leader
Jody Leader
Martha Leader
James Shillaber
Laura Walters
Ron Wilkinson

Ministerial Formation

Responsibilities: Supports Rev. Lisa to meet the UUA professional standards for ministry during her first three years as a parish minister

Membership: chosen by Rev. Lisa from volunteers

Kristen McIntire, Chair

Nathan Freitas
Susan Larrabee
Martha Leader
Paul McLean

Ministerial Internship

Responsibilities: Oversees the professional development of our ministerial intern, Judd Wolfskill, over two years in all competency areas of UUA ministerial formation

Members: selected by the senior minister and supervising minister.

Midge Wilcke, Chair

Madeline Fine
Ann Gilmore
Whit Larrabee
Scott Ullrich


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.

Ray Wellbaum, Chair

Sarah Griffen
Mitra Morgan
Gene Thompson-Grove
Rev. Lisa Perry-Wood

Pastoral Care Associates

Responsibilities: Provides and coordinates help with meals, rides and chores for members who need assistance (Care) and offers a compassionate listening ear and works directly with Rev Lisa, assisting with candles of joy and concern, organizing small group ministry, and providing summer care coverage (Pastoral Care)

Membership: open to all, with agreement from Rev. Lisa.

Jeff Cadow, Chair

Alfred Brownell
Marga Dieter
Madeline Fine
Tanya Gurian
Anne Modena
Dorothy Richardson

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 learning builds as conversations deepen over time through regular participation.

Members collaborate on chairing the committee and facilitating the meetings

Alfred Brownell
Almas Dossa
Ann Gilmore
Robson Goulart
Jami Jordan
Danny Keefe
Kathryn Kirschner
Jody Leader
Martha Leader
Michael Luke
Ann Malone
Gene Thompson-Grove
Ron Wilkinson

Religious Exploration

Responsibilities: In collaboration with DRE and Senior Minister, helps shape the RE program for children and youth including recruiting teachers and volunteers, and planning and supporting activities such as parent breakfasts and social justice work

Membership: Open to all with three-year term limits

Jessica Aguilera-Steinert
Karley Ausiello
Nate Freitas
Jennifer Goulart
Sara Warren


Responsibilities: Explores and implements training, equipment and adaptations in our facility, to ensure the physical safety of our congregation

Membership: open to all

Eliza Blanchard
Mike Luke
Kristen McIntire
Ray Wellbaum
Bob Williamson
Rev. Lisa Perry-Wood

Social Action

Responsibilities: Provides guidance and support for social action, primarily through an email list serv through which recipients communicate news and opportunities to learn and get involved in social justice work aligned to the FPB mission; maintains FPB financial support for UU-affiliated organizations, e.g., UUUM

Membership: open to all

Clint Richmond, Chair

Space Use

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

Sara Warren, Chair

Debba Andree
Karla Baehr
Alisa Halliday
Barbara Simonetti
Bob Williamson


Responsibilities: Support First Parish members and friends to be actively engaged in voter activism efforts in ways that also build community within and beyond our walls.

Membership: open to all

Jami Jordan and Karla Baehr, Co-Chairs


Responsibilities: Welcomes everyone to Sunday services with special attention to visitors; reaches out to newcomers weekly; publicizes events and activities of interest to members and newcomers; supports individuals on their membership journeys; and reaches out to those who haven’t been seen recently

Membership: 8 members, open to all; unlimited number of greeters

Rev. Eliza Blanchard, Chair

Nancy Clark
Ann Dinsmoor
Alfred Brownell
Elena Garofoli
Megan Hansen
Whit Larrabee
Branch Moody
Julie Palmer


Responsibilities: Collaborates 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 serve as the lay participants and worship associates in worship services

Membership: in 2019-20, open membership with three-year terms for congregants who have strong interest in planning and participating in Worship. All members participate in worship planning, but serving as Worship Associate during services is not required

Carol Spitzer, Chair

Sue Andrews
Emily Cherry
Michele David
Ann Gilmore
Susan Larrabee
Martha Leader
Elizabeth McIntire
Steve Peterson-Davis
Landon Rose
Leigh Smith
Rev. Lisa Perry-Wood