Nurturing our Membership
The Parish Visitors extends the care and concern of First Parish Church to its members in a time of need. The committee members make a special effort to visit and listen to those who are ill, lonely, bereaved, homebound, or in nursing homes.
The Church sponsors a Prayer Circle. This group of Church members provides an important ministry: they receive requests for prayers for individuals and then hold those persons in prayer for a month. Requests may be renewed on a monthly basis.
The Caregivers Group (open to the community) meets every Monday at 2PM to provide support for those engaged in long-term care of infirm or disabled spouses or other family members.
The Grief Fellowship Group meets 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 1:30 in the Parlor of Pilgrim House with facilitator Rev. Virginia Derr.
First Parish has a number of Book Groups, some that meet in homes, and others that meet at Pilgrim House. FMI, please call the office.
The EarthCare team explores ways to reduce our adverse effect upon the environment. The team seeks ways to encourage ourselves and our church community to make choices that will reduce waste and improve energy efficiency.
Ministering To Our Community
First Parish Church through its members currently supports local hunger prevention, a free clinic, assistance to the homeless, youth mentoring, developmental disability, family crisis, sexual assault, and AIDS services. Groups and individuals at First Parish Church, as well as others in the community, were responsible for the inception of Pejepscot Terrace (low income senior housing), Tedford Place (homeless shelter), the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, MidCoast Hunger Prevention (food pantry and hot meals), and Oasis Health Network (free clinic).
The church has a Benevolence Team made up of volunteers who takes turns each week to meet with folks who are in need.
Our buildings are or have been recently used by groups holding regular weekly or monthly meetings of: Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays), Alcoholics Anonymous (several groups), Alanon, Community Caregiver Group, Brunswick Area Interfaith Council, Overeaters Anonymous, Spiritual Directors (interfaith teachers and counselors), Centering Prayer (ecumenical). Other uses: Labyrinth Walk (open to the public once a month), music classes for Brunswick High School, Home-to-Home (assisting children with divorced parents), Learning Land nursery school, Bowdoin College Convocations and Baccalaureate services (1846-2001), and monthly bean suppers to raise money for benevolences.
The Church Council
Acting in the name of and on behalf of the congregation, serves as First Parish Church’s governing body and sounding board to exercise general supervision over the life and work of the Church in all its aspects. Comprised of the chairs of all elected committees, three at large members from the congregation, and an elected Chair and Vice Chair.
Aid the Pastors in the general spiritual care of the congregation. Deacons assist at the celebration of the sacraments and preparation of the Communion table. They also receive applications for Church membership and assist in assimilation of new members.
The Christian Education Committee
Supports and promotes the educational work of the Church. The Christian Education Director, Susan Fitzgerald, plans and administers the educational program of the Church School. The Youth Ministries Team and organizes the educational program for the young people of the Church, including study, fellowship, and music. Adult education opportunities are offered regularly at a variety of times. These are coordinated by the Adult Ministries Team.
The Christian Outreach Committee
Provides leadership to enable the Congregation to reach out and help meet the needs of those in the community and the world. It encourages members’ participation in area volunteer ministries in areas such as hunger, health, housing, and mentoring. Learn more about the First Parish Church outreach mission program by clicking here .
The Long Range Planning Committee
In cooperation with the Church Council, develops, maintains and monitors strategic planning for the Church’s ministry. The Committee also reviews activities of the Church and assists groups in progress toward the current Long Range Plan.
The Music Committee
Works closely with our Minister of Music, Ray Cornils, to organize and direct the music ministry of the Church with participation of more than 80 adults and 60 children and youth in choral music and many adults in two hand bell choirs. Various special works are performed throughout the year and there is a well-received Annual Summer Organ Concert Series.
The Personnel Committee
Maintains job descriptions, monitors and evaluates performances, and proposes compensation adjustments for all staff members. The Committee serves as a liaison between the staff and the congregation. It also consults with the Senior Pastor about the hiring or dismissal of staff members.
The Prudential Committee
Is responsible for the financial affairs of the Church, under the direction of the Church Council. These include the annual operating budget and all other financial responsibilities, both real and personal. The Prudential Committee is in charge of the management and maintenance of all the property, business and finances of the Church, including investment and endowments.
The Stewardship Committee
Ensures that there is a comprehensive annual program of stewardship education concerning personal stewardship and the many ways by which people may contribute to First Parish Church and to the larger church, locally and globally. The Committee plans and conducts the annual commitment campaign.
For a full description of the church committee and governance structure, please review the FPC Bylaws.