Committees and teams are where much of the work of the church gets done, and there are lots of ways to get involved here. If you're interested in our beautiful old building, you could join the Building & Grounds committee. If you like to cook, consider helping prepare and serve at Community Meals. If you have financial expertise, a green thumb, or a desire to work for justice, there’s a team for you!
These committees are responsible for work that essential to the health and functioning of the church as an institution. They pay attention to a particular aspect of church life, and meet regularly to do their work.
The Parish Council is a "committee of committees." Its membership consists of committee and team chairs and representatives, who gather to share information about their teams and coordinate the efforts. The Parish Council generally meetsthree times a year, and is led by the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Finance And Administration Committee
This committee oversees the church budget and administrative matters. Their work includes monitoring income and expenses, and paying attention to staff compensation, fundraisers, insurance and other related issues. Members include the church treasurer and the chair of the Endowment Committee.
These trustees work with the investment advisor of the church endowment fund, articulating our investment policies and receiving quarterly reports as to the fund's performance. The endowment contributes an appropriate percentage of its annual income to the church budget. The committee is also are tasked with encouraging church members to consider the church in their legacy gift planning.
Building and Grounds Committee
The B&G committee takes care of our beautiful old building. They pay attention to the roof and the boiler, and everything in between! They work with contractors to keep systems running smoothly here, and when they have time, think about projects like painting and reorganizing our space. B&G also works on keeping our grounds and gardens healthy and beautiful.
The church depends on the financial support of its members and friends to be a healthy and vital presence in the community. The Stewardship Team helps us to be generous givers in support of the mission of the church. Each spring they organize our stewardship campaign, when we are all asked to make our financial commitment to the church for the coming year.
The WC meets monthly to reflect on the content and quality of our Sunday services, and to explore ways to make our worship vibrant and transformative. Working closely with the minister and the choir director, they reflect on our monthly worship themes and the ways music, words and ritual combine to nourish and inspire. The committee also oversees activities associated with Sunday Morning worship, including greeters, flowers, coffee hour, and special services.
Religious Education Committee
The RE committee works closely with the Director of Religious Education to support the faith formation of our children, youth and families. This includes talking about curriculum and structure of our RE offerings, as well as helping recruit and support teachers and youth advisors. The RE Committee also organizes and presents a number of annual events for children and families.
Committee on Ministry
The CoM is responsible for evaluating and supporting the overall ministry of the congregation. Working closely with the parish minister, the committee practices taking a "balcony view" of church life, in order to see patterns and details that need our attention. The CoM is responsible for conducting evaluations of the minister and of the ministries of the church. The three members of the CoM are appointed by the Board of Trustees, and serve three year terms.
Justice Committees and Teams
Every Sunday, in our unison affirmation, we say "Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest for truth is its sacrament, and service is its prayer." Central to our faith is the understanding that we are called to make ours a better and more just world. These teams are primary ways we are putting our faith into action.
Justice Resource committee
The three members of the JRC, appointed by the Board of Trustees, are responsible for overseeing and helping coordinate the justice efforts of various groups here. They're also responsible for the portion of the church budget allocated for general justice efforts. The current members of the Justice Resource Committee are Cil Dullea, Richard Smyth, and Bill Taylor.
Welcoming Congregation Committee
In UUism, "Welcoming Congregation" is a designation that means a church has done the intentional work of becoming a fully accepting place for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning folks. The WCC works to find ways to help assure we are continually and creatively doing this work of welcoming. They also help us actively participate in the Welcoming Faiths Coalition, a group of congregations committed to this work.
Twice a month, on the first and third Saturdays, volunteers gather here to prepare a hearty and nourishing meal in our downstairs kitchen. At 4 pm, they serve that meal to all who come here to be fed. This food ministry is a longstanding tradition here. Volunteers will tell you that they appreciate the teamwork involved, and that serving others is holy work indeed.
second Sunday collection
On the second Sunday of the month, we give the collection away to a worthy organization in the local community. This is one way we try to be intentional about supporting groups that are doing good work on the ground in our city. A committee of church members reviews proposals and decides who we'll direct our offering toward each month.
In the winter and spring of 2017, we began conversations about ways to support undocumented immigrants living and working in our area. Along with other clergy in the newly-formed Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network , Rev. Frank signed a statement of conscience committing himself to work toward justice for our undocumented neighbors. A number of UUCH folks have indicated their support for Sanctuary, and we are in conversation about how to move forward: supporting Sanctuary congregations and discerning if it is our calling to offer Sanctuary here as well.
Committees for Depth and Connection
A vital church offers a diversity of ways to connect with others and go deeper in your spiritual life, from making social connections to learning to exploring spiritual practice. These groups help to strengthen and broaden the fabric of community.
This committee promotes and encourage membership and fellowship in the Church. It is responsible for helping us all welcome newcomers here, and and inviting them to find their way into the life of the congregation.
Adult Religious Education
This team is currently led by Rev. Frank and Clare Fortune-Lad. We offer a number of opportunities to connect with others and grow in spiritual depth, including monthly "reflecting on" conversations focused on the monthly theme, Small Group Ministry, UU101 (an introduction to this church and UUism), and other classes and groups based on what's needed at a particular time.
These are small, intimate potlucks held in members’ homes for an evening of fun, food and conversation. This is also a time for new members to be invited and interact with others.
Mindful Meditation Practice
Meeting on Tuesdays at 7 pm, this meditation group offers time for sitting meditation and occasional dharma talks in the Buddhist tradition. It's also a welcoming and supportive community for those who participate.
Meets Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:00 pm in the Church’s lower dining area.
Like all churches, we need money to pay our expenses and run our programs. Below are some of the ways we raise funds, and hopefully have fun and build community at the same time!
Fall Craft Fair
A new tradition here, the craft fair offers a diversity of local crafters, some quality gently-used items for sale, delicious snacks, and fun activities.
Christmas Gift baskets
As the gift-giving season approaches, various committees assemble gift baskets on a particular theme, and these are raffled off at coffee hour. A great gift for yourself or to give away!
Soup on Sunday
In the winter months, church members make homemade soup that we sell at coffee hour in carry-out containers. It's delicious, and sometimes soup makers will give you the recipe too!
In the early spring we put on an auction, which is a fun evening that raises money for the church. It begins with a potluck dinner and the opportunity to view items in the silent auction. After dinner, the live auction begins, and we bid on goods and services, including dinner parties, vacation rentals, and much more.
The Rose Tea is a traditional high tea served on a Saturday afternoon in the spring. Sweets and entertainment guarantee that a good time is had by all! This is the major annual fundraiser for the Ladies Circle, which they use to supports the work of the church.