Our Staff

Rev. Marta Flanagan

Rev. Marta Flanagan, Lead Minister

Rev. Marta Flanagan began her ministry as our twentieth called minister at First Parish in the fall of 2009. She is a genuine and forthright preacher. In conversation she is direct and engaging. She speaks of prayer with as much ease as she laughs at human foibles. We call her “Marta.” Marta is a religious liberal, a theist, a feminist, and a lover of the woods. As a student of American history at Smith College she was captivated by the stories of social reformers who were motivated and sustained by their faith. That led her to consider the ministry and to study at Harvard Divinity School from where she was graduated in 1986. She was the first woman minister in the city of Salem, Massachusetts, serving at the First Universalist Church there (1987-1997). She served in a co-ministry at South Church (Unitarian Universalist) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, (1997-2005) from where she is minister emerita. Marta served as interim minister in Montpelier, Vermont (2008-2009). She is trained as a spiritual director. For three years she lived in the Vermont woods practicing voluntary simplicity and the spiritual life. Marta enjoys the vitality of First Parish and our strong sense of community. She celebrates the yearning for depth and the desire to make a difference in the world that she finds here.

Rev. Erica Richmond

Rev. Erica Richmond, Parish Minister

Rev. Erica Richmond joined the First Parish team in August 2020. After several years as a hospital chaplain and one year at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in North Andover, Rev. Erica is thrilled to be settling into Arlington. She brings humor, warmth, and curiosity to her ministry, all the while making space for grief and injustice to be heard and honored. Rev. Erica grew up as a Unitarian Universalist at the First Parish in Brookline- she will be forever grateful for the faith formation she received there. She then went onto Clark University in Worcester where she studied International Development and Gender Studies. After completing her undergraduate degree she stayed at Clark to earn her Masters in Community Development. Next it was onto New York City- she graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 2013. Rev. Erica spent two years in Seattle at Harborview Medical Center and then served as the Palliative Care chaplain at Hartford Hospital from 2015-2019. In this complex and aching world, she believes we must hold each other tenderly, creating a beloved community that can journey together, through joys and sorrows, through triumphs and challenges. She loves all things New England, including our sports teams, our autumns, and our history. Beyond that, she loves reading psychological thrillers, going on rambling walks with friends, and perfecting her newly-discovered commitment to biking.

Rev. Stevie Carmody

Rev. Stevie Carmody, Minister of Religious Education

Stevie came to Unitarian Universalism through First Parish Arlington, drawn in by how our community values young people. Regularly attending during high school, Stevie found a spiritual home here, and first felt a pull towards ministry.

Stevie studied religion while attending Deep Springs College and Brown University. In his early twenties, Stevie worked in a preschool for children with autism in Providence, RI. During this time, Stevie also co-created a young adult social justice retreat at Rowe Camp & Conference Center (one of our UU camps).

Stevie initially worked as First Parish’s Religious Education Assistant in 2014, under the direction of Tina Schultz. Called to UU ministry, Stevie completed a Master of Divinity program at Harvard Divinity School while simultaneously putting his ministry training into practice as the First Parish Youth Program Coordinator. Additionally, Stevie served as an intern minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, CA. In 2019, First Parish voted to ordain Stevie, which we celebrated together in October of that year.

Immediately before returning to First Parish in August 2023, Stevie served as the Youth and Young Adult program staff in the UUA’s Office of Lifespan Faith Engagement, accompanying the denomination’s youth and young adult ministries.

From Stevie
“Dear First Parish,
I am delighted to serve the congregation as the minister of religious education. I am honored to carry on Tina’s legacy and help chart our future together. First Parish is a vibrant, empowered community with an incredibly dedicated staff team. And First Parish has committed to its religious education program, especially for its young people, over and over again. Let’s continue that work together.
Warmly, Stevie”

Learn more about our RE program.

Emily Spisto

Emily Spisto, Religious Education Assistant

Emily Spisto joined First Parish as the Religious Education Assistant in October, 2023. With a background rooted in UU values, Emily draws from her experience growing up/working at Star Island, attending the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester, and learning from her family of RE Educators. She studied Psychology, Nutrition, and Leadership at the University of Rhode Island. Emily now provides executive support to leaders at the Broad Institute in Cambridge. She is passionate about fostering creativity and engaging with children, and is so glad to be a part of the First Parish community.

Rose Sawyer Marsh

Rose Sawyer Marsh, Youth Program Coordinator

Rose Sawyer Marsh joined the staff at First Parish as the Youth Program Coordinator in the fall of 2019. Having grown up in Arlington, Rose attended religious education programming at First Parish. Rose studied religion at George Washington University in Washington, DC. While there, Rose continued to be involved with the Unitarian Universalist community, volunteering with All Souls Church. Most recently, Rose graduated with her master’s in clinical social work from Smith College in 2019. Rose has a deep love for the youth group program and feels passionate about empowering youth in the community.

Daniel Parsley

Daniel Parsley, Interim Music Director

Daniel Parsley enjoys an active career as a conductor, educator, scholar, and professional chorister. Daniel is Director of Choral Activities and Director of Graduate Conducting Programs at the historic School of Music at Boston University, the oldest degree-granting music program in the United States. At BU, Daniel oversees the comprehensive MM, MSM, and DMA conducting programs, teaches graduate conducting and choral literature, and leads the BU Singers and Symphonic Choir. Daniel was most recently the Director of Choral Activities and Program Head at Thomas More University in the Cincinnati area. At Thomas More, he founded and directed three choruses that included over 125 singers and taught music history and music theory. While in Cincinnati, he also served as associate director for the Cincinnati Youth Choir, Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Since 2019, Daniel has served as associate conductor of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (CCO). At the CCO, he leads the We Are One series, special events such as the Walk with Amal project, and assists with an annual Summermusik festival. In 2023, Daniel will make his guest conductor debut with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Coro Volante. Most recently, Daniel was the assistant conductor and choral conducting fellow for the Cincinnati May Festival, where he prepared choruses for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops. Daniel’s passion for choral arts extends beyond conducting: He has performed with many choruses as a professional singer, including the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cincinnati May Festival Chorus and Youth Chorus, Toledo Opera, Tuscia Opera Festival (Viterbo, Italy), and Berkshire Choral Festival. As a conductor of symphonic choral literature, Parsley has most recently prepared choruses for John Morris Russell, Gerhardt Zimmermann, James Meena, and Giordano Bellincampi.

Parsley has enjoyed a wide breadth of diverse professional experiences globally ranging anywhere from roles as a research fellow in Ghana, West Africa through the Edward Brueggeman Center for Dialogue to engagements with the National Chorus of Korea in Seoul. Upcoming engagements, masterclasses, and residencies include the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, the University of British Columbia, and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. He has served as faculty for the Kentucky Institute of International Studies (KIIS) Salzburg Study Abroad Program and Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA) London summer study abroad since 2013.

A Cincinnati native, Parsley completed a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Choral Conducting with a cognate in orchestral conducting at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (CCM). Daniel also holds a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Bowling Green State University and a B.M. Voice Performance and B.A. International Studies with concentrations in economics and history from Xavier University. In 2019, Daniel was selected as one of four finalists for the 2019 American Choral Directors’ Association National Graduate Conducting Competition held in Kansas City. Parsley has studied conducting under Robert Porco, Earl Rivers, Brett Scott, AikKhai Pung, Mark Munson, and Tom Merrill.

Ken Seitz

Ken Seitz, Pianist

Kenneth Seitz, First Parish Staff Accompanist, brings to First Parish extensive experience as a seasoned soloist and accompanist, as well as director of a number of Boston area choral and instrumental ensembles. He was chosen to serve as Music Director at First Parish beginning in the fall of 1984, and remained in that position until the fall of 2002. Continuing his musical connection with the congregation, Ken was designated Music Director Emeritus as of 2008, and was asked to serve as interim director of music in the fall of 2014 while First Parish sought a new director. He was again asked to serve in the 2018-2019 church season, this time as staff accompanist, and continues in that position to this day.

Ebiere Omoregie

Ebiere Omoregie, Office Manager

Ebiere (E-Berry) Omoregie joined the staff of First Parish as the Office Manager in the spring of 2024. Having grown up in the Northshore area, Ebiere has closely connected with such a diverse and culturally influenced population. She hopes to carry this experience within her role here at First Parish. Ebiere enjoys meeting new people, outdoor nature and exploring different cultural dishes. In addition, she enjoys collaborating with with colleagues to meet its mission.

Joe Cook

Joe Cook, Office and Communications Associate

Joe joined the First Parish staff In January 2023, as Office and Communications Associate. Joe manages the News and Events feed on our web site and helps edit and send the weekly eBulletin. He also edits and prints the Order of Service and the Sunday “Teaser”. He can also help you schedule or rent space at First Parish.

Joe grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, one of five children. He has been a resident of Arlington since 1991. He and his wife Laura have two adult sons. Joe worked for over 25 years at Harvard University, retiring in 2017, and then was on the staff at the Arlington After School Program, at Thompson and then Hardy school — where both Cook children attended elementary school! Joe’s favorite free time activities are tennis, biking, tennis, tennis, tennis and reading mysteries.

Jaqueline De Jesus

Jaqueline De Jesus, Sexton