Ministers & Staff

Senior Minister

The Rev. Lisa Perry-Wood began her ministry at First Parish in Brookline as our 17th called minister on August 1, 2018. Rev. Lisa is a native New Englander, who recently served as Acting Parish Minister at First Parish in Bedford, MA (2018). She also served as summer minister at First Parish in Lexington (2017) and Winchester Unitarian Society (2016) and completed her two-year student ministry at First Religious Society in Carlisle, where she also served as Interim Director of Religious Education (2014-16).

Rev. Lisa is animated by a deep, long-time commitment to social justice with a particular focus on racial justice, prison ministry, immigration justice, and class inequity. She was a founding member of Lexington’s Coalition for Racial Equality and served as Executive Director of the MA Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. She is a Workshop Facilitator for UU Class Conversations and served as a chaplain for the UUA’s Beloved Conversations.

Rev. Lisa has a rich and varied work history to draw on for her ministry. Before entering seminary, she was a mental health counselor, trainer and community mediator; a charter school leader in Lynn, MA; a consultant and trainer in grant writing and fund development; and interim executive director at Boston area non-profits.

Rev. Lisa lives in Lexington, MA with her wife, Zoe, a school psychologist and artist-photographer. Rev. Lisa has three adult children, and she and Zoe are grandparents of three (including twins). For the past eight years, they have also supported a great niece, who is now in college.

Rev. Lisa draws on a wide range of spiritual traditions and experiences in UU communities; she identifies as a Buddhist-mystic, and finds inspiration in nature walks and time spent on, in or near water.

Office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 am-5 pm.

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Affiliate Ministers

The Reverend Eliza Blanchard

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.

Contact: or call 774-551-6071.

MaryHelen GunnThe 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.

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Staff

Parish Administrator

Alisa Joyce
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Coordinator of Religious Exploration Laci Adams
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Music Director Keith Kirchoff
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Custodian Boateng Serebour
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