Standing Committee News

Standing Committee Meeting Summary – 12/11/16

On Sunday, December 11, 2016,  Margie King Saphier presented recent and upcoming racial justice work in support of our Black Lives Matter banners. The committee also finalized the remainder of its biennial goals. In January, the Standing Committee will discuss staff compensation, our further response to the Concord Historic Districts Commission and a governance committee charter. We welcome anyone interested to attend our next meeting on Sunday, January 8, 2016 at 6:00pm in the Emerson Room.


Black Lives Matter Banner Update

Rev. Margie King Saphier came before the committee to request that the “Black Lives Matter” and “Join the Conversation” banners remain in place after the new year.  She reported to the Standing Committee on the current and future work of the Race Conversations group.  She supported the banners by describing them as “a beacon” and credited their presence with helping to forge many connections and to begin difficult and important conversations.  The Standing Committee voted to continue hanging the banner through annual meeting on June 11, 2017.


Ministerial Housing Allowances Approved

There is a provision in our tax code that allows housing costs for ministers to be deducted from their personal federal income tax as a housing allowance. The Standing Committee officially approves these amounts requested by the ministers, but the verification of the amounts in case of an audit are the sole responsibility of the minister.  At our meeting, the Standing Committee approved the applicable allowances for Rev. Howard Dana and Rev. Marion Visel.


Standing Committee Goals Update

The Standing Committee has finalized the remainder of our goals through 2018.  Our five goals are:

  1. Create a process to ensure policies are maintained;
  2. Nurture leadership within First Parish;
  3. Strengthen connections to other UU congregations and to the wider denomination;
  4. Support SAC and its pilot programs;
  5. Complete a congregation-wide exploration on social action funding.

To see the indicators for all five goals, please visit the Standing Committee News at


Standing Committee Covenant

(adopted September 11, 2016)

As we gather for our regular Standing Committee meeting, we covenant to remember our UU Principles and that we are here to represent the congregation of First Parish in Concord.

We will:
Be kind and supportive to others
Listen respectfully,
Assume best intentions,
Accept disagreement,
Welcome diverse opinions,
Welcome questions,
Ensure others are heard,
Consider others as we express ourselves, Speak with truth and compassion,
Speak what is helpful and necessary, Make decisions thoughtfully.

We are aware that our words are for others to hear.
We are committed to the processes and principles of effective governance.

Standing Committee Goals 2016-18

As of December 11, 2016, The Standing Committee has set the following goals through 2018:

  • Create a process to ensure policies are maintained
  • Strengthen connections to other congregations and to the wider denomination
  • Nurture leadership within First Parish
    • Support our Senior Minister in the organization of an annual First Parish leadership meeting, including all chairs/co-chairs of FP committees with an agenda aimed at strengthening relationships and leadership capabilities
  • Support SAC and its pilot programs
  • Complete a congregation-wide exploration on social action funding
    • Initiate discussions aimed at re-affirming, modifying, or eliminating our annual allocation of 7.5% of annual pledge payments to social justice
    • Coordinate timing with SAC pilot initiatives
    • Create and disseminate objective information at Annual Meeting 2017
    • Evaluate congregational input on funding mechanisms from last year’s SAC survey, and assess whether and how further input should be gathered
    • Determine if and when to hold a congregational vote regarding our policy on SAC funding mechanisms