Members of the congregation are the ultimate authority for First Parish Plymouth. The congregation always gathers for one Congregational Meeting each June, and will schedule more if needed. The congregation has adopted and periodically amends the First Parish Plymouth bylaws.
The Minister is called by a vote of the congregation.
An elected Parish Committee represents the congregation and conducts the business of the congregation, subject to authority granted under our Bylaws. The Parish Committee governs through Parish bylaws and acts on behalf of the congregation to further the congregation’s mission.
The work of the congregation is accomplished by committees.
The Parish Committee shall function as the Executive Committee of the Parish and shall establish policies and make final decisions on policy changes recommended by standing, special, or ad hoc committees. The Parish Committee shall conduct Parish business affairs and control its administration, including the appointment of such committees and agents, as it may deem necessary. It shall have general charge of the Meetinghouse and other properties of the Parish. No contract shall be made involving the expenditure of money exceeding $2000 without the vote of the Parish Committee.
The Worship and Music Committee works closely with our minister to promote worship experiences that are consistent with the First Parish mission. The Committee, together with our minister, plans content and delivery of worship services to ensure a positive, meaningful experience for members, visitors and guests. We arrange for guest and lay speakers when our minister is away and we plan and facilitate major theme-based services. Other duties include recruiting greeters, making sure the chancel is fully supplied with candles and other accessories, taking attendance, ensuring the chapel is ready for Sunday morning services, and closing up the chapel when services are completed. The Committee also serves as a resource to the congregation to incorporate their ideas and respond to concerns about the worship experience. The Music Program falls within the scope of this Committee and we work collaboratively with the music director and minister to support and enrich the church music program including encouraging wider participation of the congregation in the musical life of the church.
The Religious Education Committee, working in conjunction with the Director of Religious Education, shall be actively engaged in the Church School Program. The committee has responsibility for overseeing the expenditure of monies allotted for religious education in the annual budget and shall also make recommendations for the next fiscal year.
The Social Action Committee shall recommend to the Parish Committee policies on social concerns; plan and oversee projects and activities that put Unitarian Universalist religious values into practice; provide opportunities for church members and friends to get involved in working for social justice.
The Buildings and Grounds Committee shall oversee the maintenance and security of the grounds, and all equipment, except for office equipment, computer systems and media/sound systems. Manage the Church’s property and equipment in accordance with established policies. Create and maintain an inventory of Church equipment. Analyze possible future needs and/or improvements to existing property and make recommendations to the Church as appropriate.
The Restoration Committee working in conjunction with Friends of First Parish Meetinghouse, determines which restoration projects deserve priority, obtains consultant advice, and gathers the necessary data to request funding from Friends. Friends is a private, tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, whose mission is to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of First Parish, and to educate the public about the historical and architectural importance of this national American landmark.
For more information on our ongoing restoration progress, you can read alot more on our Friends website.