Ministers and Staff

Contact information for ministers and staff can be viewed here.

The Rev. Dr. Stephanie May Dr. Stephanie May

The Rev. Stephanie May, ThD, has explored questions about life and religion throughout her life. She earned a degree in philosophy from Wheaton College (IL), a Masters in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. Her doctoral work focused on the intersection of religion and women, gender and sexuality studies. Prior to entering the ministry she served as a teaching fellow at Harvard College and Harvard Divinity School, and a Lecturer at both Brandeis and Boston College. She also served as the interim UU chaplain at Wellesley College and as a summer chaplain at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. A proud native of Michigan, she and her family currently live in Lincoln.

The Rev. Ken SawyerKen Sawyer next to church plaque
Minister Emeritus
The Rev. Ken Sawyer served First Parish from 1974 to 2012, a 38-year ministry marked by the congregation’s steady growth, strength of community, and long-term stability. A gifted preacher known for his humor and his affection for humanity and all its foibles, Ken mentored 17 ministerial interns during his tenure at First Parish. Upon his retirement in 2012, the congregation unanimously voted “with deep affection and gratitude” to designate Ken as our Minister Emeritus. This honor recognizes and sustains our continuing, but changed, relationship with Ken.

The Rev. Deborah Pope-Lance
Affiliate Minister
The Rev. Deborah J. Pope-Lance provides training and coaching to clergy and congregations on the ethics of ministerial practice and congregational life. In addition she maintains a therapy practice in Natick, Massachusetts, offering counseling to individuals and couples and supervisory support to ministerial staff teams. She holds Ministerial Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association in both Parish and Community Ministry, is an accredited Interim Minister with the Interim Ministry Network, and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Currently, she is engaged in a counseling ministry as an Affiliate Minister with the First Parish in Wayland, Massachusetts.

Kate Holland
Director of Lifespan Spiritual & Ethical Education
Kate Holland joined the First Parish staff after serving on the staff of the UU Area Church in Sherborn for eight years. Kate brings her warmth and wealth of religious education experience to our children, youth, families, and adults.

Pauline “Polly” Oliver
Music Director
Polly Oliver, First Parish Organist and Music Director, has enjoyed a lifelong career as a pianist, harpsichordist, organist, choral director and teacher. At First Parish, she conducts both the Adult and Children’s Choirs, each year preparing and conducting two major works with the choirs and orchestra. An active chamber musician herself, Polly truly loves searching out amateur musicians within the parish and surrounding community, encouraging them in their music and providing them opportunities to become involved in the First Parish Music Program.

Jaimie Dingus
Membership Coordinator
Jaimie is a life long Unitarian Universalist from southeastern Virginia. She holds a BA in Religious Studies from Boston University and is entering her second year as a Master’s of Divinity student at Harvard Divinity School. Most recently she has served as the chaplain intern at Essex County Correctional Facility and the children’s religious education assistant at Arlington Street Church. She is excited to bring her passion for welcome and her strong background in congregational life to First Parish.

Honor Herron
Youth Coordinator
Honor is a life long UU and alumni of the Wayland and Sudbury Youth Groups.  She savors the fresh perspective and curiosity of our younger members, and enjoys cheer leading the youths’ involvement within the congregation and passions for social change as they form their own spiritual sense of self and identity.

Paige O’Brien
Parish Administrator
Paige O’Brien is a former small business owner, sometime farmer, and longtime Unitarian Universalist who is delighted to match up her faith and her skills.

Michelle Poch
Nursery Care Provider
Michelle brings her love of children and her skill as a caregiver to our nursery every Sunday morning.

Christine Braken
Nursery Care Provider
Leo Monzon
Our Lay Ministry
First Parish also has a team of Lay Ministers, parish members who receive special training to assume this role. Lay ministers lead a time of “Joys and Sorrows” in our services and provide important one-on-one support for parishioners in need.