At a congregational meeting after the service on Sunday, January 31, parishioners approved a new set of Vision, Mission, and Covenant statements to guide First Parish into its future. In her sermon on January 24, the Rev. Dr. Stephanie May described these statements as “our communal touchstones, reminding us who we are, pointing to who we want to become, and outlining a course of action for getting there.”
The statements emerged from a months-long process led by the Parish Committee, which solicited input from parishioners during open meetings, in Parish Committee Listening Hours, via email, and in informal conversations. The Vision, Mission, and Covenant Team — Anne de los Reyes, Jenny Silberman, Keith Sims, and Stephanie May — shepherded the statements from first draft through final approval.
The statements also reflect the extensive feedback, both formal and informal, gathered during the Ministerial Search process in 2014. Surveys and cottage meetings helped the congregation articulate its strengths and aspirations. In the recent open meetings to discuss early drafts of these statements, parishioners said they hoped that our new statements would reflect both the joy of being in community and the desire to engage with the world in principled, positive, and effective ways.
The vote to approve the new statements was unanimous.