Check out the NEW Ministry Teams below and learn more during coffee hour each Sunday during the month of September.
INWARD MINISTRIES’ TEAMS
(Pauline Bassett & Laura Dalton)
WELCOME TEAM – Part of our ministry of hospitality is making connections with those who gather on Sunday morning, especially visitors. If you are glad to be a part of the First Churches community and enjoy welcoming and helping others, please consider being a part of the welcome team. We’d like to develop a core group of 5-8 (or more) folks who would be available once every 4 – 6 weeks to be a designated “connection person” at a welcome desk in Lyman Hall (near the newly redesigned corner bulletin board). Answer questions, assist with volunteer sign up sheets, or take down information to be passed on to our pastoral team.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH: SMALL GROUP/HOUSE CHURCH MINISTRIES
· Spiritual Growth: Growing together to be more like Jesus. Growing in one’s relationship with God and others.
· Community Building: Getting to know each other (authentically) on a deeper level and supporting one another.
First Churches’ small groups will meet once a week for a set number of weeks. We will read and discuss a common Christian book or engage in some type of biblical study. There will be a need for people to volunteer to be home hosts and/or group facilitators. The host will provide a comfortable environment that can seat at least ten people. The group will decide if food/beverages (such as a tea and cookies) will be provided. The facilitator will receive discussion questions in advance and will be prepared to facilitate the discussion. They will be given a handout on best practices for facilitating small groups.
DORCAS SOCIETY – The Dorcas Society meets for lunch once a month, developing camaraderie and support among those who attend as well as sharing news of church activities and needs. This First Churches’ women’s group has met continuously since 1809, with a dedication to “deeds of kindness and acts of charity,” as exemplified by Dorcas of the Bible (Acts 9:35-43). Each year, we fund various charities or projects, with the focus in recent years being on needs of our church community (youth scholarships, Common Ground, our rainbow flag and banner, the organ, etc). All women are invited to attend our monthly luncheons, held at 12:30 p.m. at the Brewmaster’s in Williamsburg, usually on the second Thursday of the month. Our four business meetings each year occur during the luncheon.
SUNDAY PREPARATION TEAM – Provide for the comfort and support of members, friends and visitors attending Sunday worship services by insuring:
• that there are greeters and ushers;
• the sanctuary is ready with bulletins, offering plates, hymn numbers, and a welcoming altar;
• that all who attend feel welcome.
COMMUNION TEAM – Prepare and serve Communion the first Sunday of every month except July and August and clean up afterwards. We serve Communion by intinction eight Sundays of the year and with trays two Sundays a year, including World Communion Sunday.
CARING AND VISITATION – Assist the minister in visiting and caring for members and friends of First Churches during times of illness, home confinement, bereavement or other difficult times. The Team will also reach out to members who have not been attending church.
COFFEE HOUR COORDINATION – Coordinate the preparation, serving and clean up of coffee and snacks after the worship service. At coffee hour we extend the extravagant hospitality we proclaim. Many people judge a congregation by its coffee hour hospitality—especially newcomers. It is a vital part of our ministry.
ADMINISTRATIVE MINISTRIES’ TEAMS
MEETINGHOUSE – team manages the physical building – ongoing maintenance issues and develops recommendations about capital improvements; oversees the development and implementation of approved plans.
PERSONNEL – team manages the policies guiding church human resources (of the paid staff), including hiring, performance reviews, job descriptions and addresses issues to help build positive work environment
VISION ALIGNMENT -team stewards First Churches’ stated vision and leads efforts to live into and up to our articulated vision for our church community.
FINANCE -team shepherds financial resources of First Churches including budget development (a sub-team of the Finance Team), budget monitoring, and investments (a second sub-team of the Finance Team)
BUDGET – an ad hoc sub-team of finance that develops, presents and finalizes the final annual budget
INVESTMENT -on ongoing team that monitors and makes decisions about the use and investment of the Churches endowments.
STEWARDSHIP – an ad hoc team that develops and leads the annual stewardship campaign; and should we decide to have one – a capital campaign.
CHURCH FAIR – an ad hoc team to lead the all decks on hand effort for an successful annual Church Fair (on the Saturday before Thanksgiving)
ADMINISTRATIVE MINISTRY BOARD – team of members elected by the congregation to hold the whole ball of wax together.
OUTWARD MINISTRIES’ TEAMS
(Kelsey Flynn & Carolyn Anderson)
Our Neighbors/Neustros Veices – Stina Soldering and Hanifah Murfin
Coordinates efforts on immigration issues and cooperating with other groups such as the Pioneer Valley Workers Center and Iglasia Baptista Qechua.
Peace and Justice Team – Sharon Moulton
First Churches’ Peace and Justice Team has been active for many years in the community sponsoring and supporting events and forums that promote Peace and Justice. They work collaboratively with other churches and organizations to endorse, sponsor and promote events and to disperse funds for peace and justice events. Peace Prayer Vigil meets weekly for silent prayer vigil every Tuesday held in the church’s sanctuary from noon to one. Everyone is welcome to join at any time.
Environmental Team – New team possibility; interested in taking the lead?
Possible roles include making sure the church is engaging in “Green” practices, and work on environmental advocacy issues with other environmental groups in the area.
Pride Team – New team possibility; interested in taking the lead?
Possible roles include organizing for the PRIDE March, and helping the church engage with and advocate for LGBTQ people.
Anti-Racism Team – New team possibility; interested in taking the lead?
First Churches is already working on sponsoring Anti-Racism Training events in the Fall. This team would help plan and coordinate next steps.
Cot Shelter Team – This team is in need of a coordinator, contact Pauline Bassett or Jenna Sellars for more info. The Cot Shelter Team helps prepare and serve meals on a monthly basis for about 25 people at the Center Street Shelter.
Haiti Team – Contact David Entin, Pauline Bassett, Judy Sherman for more information. This team takes an annual mission trip to Haiti, and raises funds to support school scholarships
CROP Walk – This team is in need of a coordinator. First Churches often joins the wider community in the annual CROP walk to raise money to stop hunger.
Mission Stewardship Team – promotes special offerings from the denomination such as Neighbors in Need, One Great Hour of Sharing and special disaster relief offerings; and disperses mission dollars to various organizations.