Volunteering at First Parish
A large group of volunteers at First Parish make our mission real through their participation and leadership at Frist Parish. Many opportunities exist—both short- and longer-term—for volunteering your time and talents. Volunteering not only helps us "get the job done," but is a great way to make friends and be a part of our community.
Please check out the volunteer opportunities below, and see if one is right for you. If you'd like to discuss other opportunities for getting involved in the life of First Parish, please contact the Leadership Development Committee at leadership @ firstparish.info
Sunday Morning Tasks
Ushers provide a warm welcome to people entering on Sunday mornings and help the service flow in a smooth, safe and orderly fashion. There are roles for introverts and extroverts. Every week, the head usher organizes and guides the team. Questions? Want to sign up? Contact: ushercoordinator @ firstparish.info
Greeters welcome people at the front and side doors as they arrive for Sunday services. All you need is a smile, ability to open the door for people as needed, and knowledge of where to direct newcomers (RE office, Welcome table, etc.). The commitment is for about 30 minutes. You can sign up for a single Sunday, a month of Sundays, or whatever works for you. E-Mail membership @ firstparish.info
Sunday Morning Baking
Two Sundays a month, a group of volunteer cooks will gather in the First Parish kitchen to make a delicious treat to be served at Coffee Hour. Volunteers will work with an experienced crew chief who will provide the ingredients and instructions. Volunteers should plan to be in the kitchen for baking and serving from 8-12 and can be on a crew just once or as many times as they like. A great way to get to know people! For more information, contact sundaybaking @ firstparish.info
Religious Education Classrooms
Hold a baby in the Nursery, help preschoolers with their winter gear, read a story, do a craft project or make music with the kids, teach them a skill, help chaperone an outdoor walk, drive a group of seventh graders as they investigate other religions for Neighboring Faiths. For more information, contact Director of Religious Education Tina Schultz at dre @ firstparish.info
One-Room Sunday School
During "low attendance Sundays" (usually holiday weekends), kids in grades K–4 meet together in one big room for a story, lesson, craft, and snack. Extra hands are always welcome! For more information, contact the Director of Religious Education: dre @ firstparish.info
Sunday Morning Flowers
Our flowers are provided by parishioners, often with a special dedication which is printed in the order of service. The Flower Coordinator can assist in ordering an arrangement from our florist, or you may provide one. You can find more information and sign up for a specific Sunday at http://www.firstparish.info/flowers, or you can contact the flower coordinator at flowers @ firstparish.info
Bell Ringers and Chalice Lighters
These special parts of our service are often, but not always, done by children in our congregation. Check with Worship Associates at worshipassociates @ firstparish.info or look for sign-up forms on the RE bulletin board in the Vestry/Hallway.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Lead a Summer Service
Each of our summer services is led by an individual or group from our congregation. Do you have a personal practice, important influence, or spiritual question to share with us? Is there a different approach to worship you could lead or a subject you feel we should consider together? Are you part of a group that would like to share your work with the wider community? If so, the Worship Associates would like to hear from you. We are available as needed to help you develop your idea into a full service and there will be a training session with Rev. Marta in May of each year. Visit firstparish.info/summerservices to complete a short form, or for more information please email summerservices @ firstparish.info
Harvest Moon Fair, the Saturday before Thanksgiving
This annual major fundraiser for our church operating budget is an all-church effort and great fun. The Fair needs people to staff the many different booths selling books, toys, jewelry, art, crafts, and more, to run the quilt raffle, as well as to cook and serve food in our café, which will have live music featuring some of First Parish's premier musicians. Volunteering for the Fair is an easy, time-limited way to get involved. For more information contact fair @ firstparish.info
Stocking Pantries – Two Ongoing Projects
1) Arlington Food Pantry – Non-perishable items are donated on a regular basis to the Arlington Food Pantry – buy extra cans or packages when you see a good sale and bring them to church. Ask if you don't find where to leave them and you will get some ready help in stashing your goods.
2) Lay Ministry Freezer – Frozen soups and casseroles in the "Lay Ministry Freezer" and used to provide good quick meals for First Parish community members going through a rough time, when a home-made food offering will ease stress and provide a the recipient a reminder that we are thinking of them.
Our property committee makes frequent calls for help – room captains as well as volunteers for clean up days on the grounds in the fall and spring, snow clearing in the winter, and watering over the summer.. For more information or to let the committee know you're open to a call as needed, email property @ firstparish.info
Wider Network of Care
Everyone at First Parish is encouraged to participate in providing ministry. Through the Wider Network of Care, administered by First Parish's Lay Ministers, you can choose a task that you would be willing to perform for other members or families in a time of crisis, such as providing a meal or an edible/non-edible treat, running errands, or providing rides for appointments. For more information, contact the Lay Ministers at layministry @ firstparish.info
Your musical offerings can take many forms at First Parish: singing in the choir, playing in an instrumental ensemble, adding to the entertainment for a special occasion, playing for a church school class. You do not need to be a professional musician—all of our musical groups warmly welcome beginners as well as those with more musical experience. Let Music Director Jonathan Brennand know what you might enjoy doing at jonathan @ firstparish.info or email your information to music @ firstparish.info. To be placed on notification lists for music-making opportunities complete our online Musicians List Form.
Help with a Church Service
Let the Worship Associates know if you'd enjoy participating in a church service by providing a reading, sharing a credo, or creating a summer service. Contact Worship Associates at worshipassociates @ firstparish.info
Offering a Church School or Adult (STAR) Class
Our church school has three terms and recruits a new group of teachers for each term. Teaching is often done by pairs of teachers and good support and carefully created curricula support the teaching. Contact the Religious Education Committee chair at re @ firstparish.info, or Director of Religious Education at dre @ firstparish.info if you'd like to learn more.
STAR (adult religious education) provides opportunities for adults within and outside the First Parish community to come together to teach, explore, and share passions with one another. You can teach/coordinate a topic of interest or assist in the STAR program offering. Contact star @ firstparish.info
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Do you like to knit or crochet? Would you like to provide support to members of the congregation? Our supply of prayer shawls is running low and we could use your help. Participants in the First Parish Prayer Shawl Ministry knit or crochet prayer shawls for Marta or the Lay Ministers to give to people who could use a "hug with blessings." If you are interested please contact Barbara Tosti at abtosti @ outlook.com. I would be happy to talk with you and/or provide simple prayer shawl patterns.
Help with Blood Drives Hosted at First Parish
Blood Drives: Blood drives are held at First Parish six times per year. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, registration, entertainment, clean¬up, and more. For more information, contact John Hodges at blooddrive @ firstparish.info
Linking to Others via Email List
First Parish offers a moderated email list created to provide a forum for making connections. Email fpconnectionboard-admin @ firstparish.info with questions and/or a request to be subscribed to the list. Click here for the FP Connection Board web page, which offers the option of joining.
First Parish is fully involved in Arlington's Town Day, which occurs on a Saturday in September. We offer a Pie Palace, Man-Made Chili and a table of materials about the church. Volunteers are needed to cook, to set up and clean up and to work at the tables during the day. Be ready to sign up for what you'll enjoy contributing on the first Sunday of the church year.
If you have any changes or additions to Volunteer Opportunities, please contact leadership @ firstparish.info