Committee Structure

The elected Standing Committee authorizes the creation of all committees of the Parish.  Each committee has a statement of purpose, a list of major tasks, and a structure which includes number of members, length and number of terms for members and the chair, frequency of meetings, and any other structural characteristics appropriate for that committee. Committee chairs and new members need to be approved by Standing Committee.

Nominating Committee members are elected by the Congregation and serve as the nominating committee for elected positions including Standing Committee, Deacons and delegates for UUA related responsibilities.

Transformation Team is a committee that is charged with leading the congregation through the process of becoming a multi-cultural, multi-racial congregation.

The Social Justice Council consists of 3-5 at large members and representatives of each Social Justice Task Force. They coordinate social justice activities and support the Task Forces elected by the congregation. The selection of Task Forces occurs annually at the Spring Semi-Annual Meeting.

Transformation Team and Social Justice Council work closely with the ministers and Standing Committee to coordinate activities throughout the congregation and our relationships with the larger community. They provide support to committees, groups and task forces.

Program Council meets three times a year and provides a venue for group leaders, task force leaders, and committee chairs to share information, coordinate activities, negotiate meeting space and time, and improve communication. Program Council is coordinated by the Vice-Chair of Standing Committee.

Denominational Action consists of the delegates to UUA related groups and General Assembly. They coordinate closely with Social Justice Council and encourage congregational involvement in the larger UUA movement.


The committees of First Parish are divided into three groups:

Ministry Committees are focused on Sunday Worship and supporting our shared ministry. These committees include Committee on Ministry, Deacons, Intern Committee, Music Committee, Pastoral Care Associates and Worship Associates. Deacons are elected by the congregation and work closely with the Worship Associates and the Sunday Morning Welcome Team. First Parish has a joint Committee on Ministry that supports both called ministers.

 Relationship Building Committees are focused on strengthening our community and our spiritual growth. Committees include Abilities and Access, Community Auction, Covenant Groups, Concert, Hospitality, Membership, Religious Education, and Spiritual Pathways. The Community Auction and Concert Committees are active for short periods of time for specific tasks.

Operations Committees are focused on the financial, physical and infrastructure work of our congregation. Committees include Buildings and Grounds, Finance, Investment, Personnel and Stewardship.

Social Justice Task Forces and Program Groups

In 2013-2014, there are two Social Justice Task Forces: Environmental Justice and Immigration. Task Forces are voted on by the congregation at the June semi-annual meeting and are the priorities for the Congregation’s social justice work during the year. Task Forces need to have at least 5 organizers and 5 supporters who are voting members of the congregation.

Program Groups are organized by members – each group needs to have at least 4 voting members participating and groups are approved annually by Standing Committee.

First Parish has two Community Service Programs – Paine Senior Services and the Tuesday Meals Program. These programs have paid staff and Advisory Boards appointed by Standing Committee.

First Parish has two Affiliated Organizations – Cambridge Forum and Harvard Square Library. Both of these organizations are 501(c)3 organizations with Boards of Directors. The Standing Committee serves as the members of the Corporation for both organizations and approves members of the Boards of Directors.

A current list of Committees, including chairpersons and members of the committees, can be found here.

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