Annual Meeting a Time for Affirming Our Faith and Building Toward Our Future

The First Religious Society’s Annual Meeting will be a time for our beloved community to celebrate our successful Annual Campaign, affirm our faith and build our future. Members will gather after worship services on Sunday, June 9, to vote on a number of items made possible by this year’s campaign.
Among the articles in the warrant is the FY 2019-2020 budget which includes increased staff hours, establishing both a building reserve and a sabbatical reserve fund, and the creation of two new religious education positions. Members will also vote on becoming a level two Sanctuary church, a topic that has been discussed in meetings held earlier this spring.
“The Annual Meeting is a celebration of all of the work achieved so far this year,” said Rev. Rebecca Bryan. “The votes members cast will position us for our future—living into who we are becoming and supporting the growth of the congregation and individuals within it.”

Change for Young Church

A Letter from Director of Religious Education Julie Parker Amery

Dear families,

I want to let you know about a probable change to religious education staffing for next year.

Over this past year, the parish board has been working to address the congregation’s long-held desire for a more comprehensive adult faith formation program.  What has resulted is the creation of a new position and some restructuring of my current position. This change is contingent upon the congregation voting to approve next year’s budget at our annual meeting on June 9.

The new position, the Director of Faith Formation and Spiritual Exploration, will be responsible for developing, implementing, and/or supervising a program of spiritual development and faith formation at the First Religious Society and, if time allows, assist the minister with attending to spiritual and pastoral needs of the congregation. The current Director of Religious Education position will become the Director of Children’s Ministry and that person will develop and implement the Sunday morning program for children in nursery through 8th grade. Both of these positions will be half-time. Contingent on the budget being passed, I will assume the role of Director of Faith Formation and Spiritual Exploration and we’ll be looking to hire a new Director of Children’s Ministry. I will continue to assume responsibility for high school youth ministries—Up and Coming UUs, youth justice trips, and—through supervision—youth group.

While I’m excited for the new challenges this brings, it’s mingled with sadness. I’ve had the privilege of watching several generations of children grow up during my tenure here as the Director of Religious Education and truly, spending my Sunday mornings sharing joys and sorrows, telling stories and hearing their perspectives, laughing, sharing concern for the Earth and its people, engaging with them in big questions—this has enriched my life in countless ways. I love them and I love our community. I have also cherished the opportunity to get to know so many of you and have so appreciated your stepping up time and again when I’ve asked for help, for your good humor and caring as Young Church teachers and guides, and for your devotion to your children’s faith development.

The good news for me, of course, is that I’ll still be here at the FRS and will still get to see you and your children.

I’m certain that this change will be good for Young Church, as I believe that it’s time for some fresh eyes to look at our program and determine a new course. After 19 years, though I say I can think outside the box, I think it’s unlikely that I can do so in any significant way. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us.

Though this change won’t be official until after the congregational vote, we want to get the word out so that there will be no surprises.

Again, thank you for your wonderful support through the years, and… see you in church!

With kind regards,

Julie Parker Amery





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