If you would like to learn more about any of these programs please contact one of the leaders. All First Parish members and friends are welcome to join any of these groups.

Advocates for Women’s Empowerment (AWE)

Leadership:  Lora Venesy  Suzie Weaver   Jen Izzo

Meets: The 3rd Saturday of each month at 8am

AWE (originally Reproductive Justice) formed in response to a vote at the UU General Assembly in 2012, to support reproductive justice as a faith.  Our activities include:  Advocacy at the Statehouse, Marches, volunteering, educational events such as monthly feminist films, book discussions, presentations, etc.  This group is open to anyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, identity, faith, etc. We envision a world where all genders work to optimize women’s quality of life by removing social, economic, political and institutional barriers, to promote choices, access and agency.  AWE is a social action group dedicated to advancing women’s rights and improving their lives through advocacy, direct action and education.

Diversity Committee

Leader: Sara Ballard

Diversity CommitteeFirst Parish is a Welcoming Congregation for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, ability or disability, creed, sexual orientation or gender expression. The Diversity Committe
builds community awareness with films, speakers, and participation in the annual Boston Gay Pride Parade.

Have you noticed the gender-neutral bathrooms at First Parish? To learn more about why it is important to have explicitly gender-neutral bathrooms, talk to Sara Ballard or check the Unitarian Universalist Association’s resources on gender-neutral bathrooms.

Environmental Action Team

Leader: solar panelsPeter Lowitt

First Parish in Concord is an accredited Green Sanctuary congregation. But our work has just begun.

The Seventh Principle of our UU faith affirms our “respect for the interdependent web of existence, of which we are a part.” The Environmental Action Team (“EAT”) is committed to providing leadership for this congregation in translating this principle into individual and community action.

We ‘honor all beings” and work for a greater understanding and appreciation of how we are interconnected with the natural world. We believe that how and where we live, work, play, and pray impact that world and all of its inhabitants, now and for future generations of all beings.

Immigration Justice Task Force

Leaders: Tony Rodriguez or Laurie Van Loon

Meets: Once a month

Immigration is an extremely complex and moral issue. Extreme violence in other countries has led to increased flight to the US for safety at the same time as domestic political forces are denying access to entry, and treating as criminals those already here. The actions of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at local levels have escalated to include raids, detentions, and violations of human rights against non-criminal residents of the Boston area and all around the country.

The First Parish Immigration Justice Task Force convened in early 2017 and since then we  …

  1. Act – We call on all members of our group and First Parish in Concord to show up for justice and take action in this time of crisis. Together we confront the injustices of our immigration system and the effects of racism and xenophobia on our immigrant neighbors.
  2. Collaborate – We identify and collaborate with other Immigration Justice groups, formal or informal, faith and non-faith based groups, as leaders, followers and supporters.
  3. Educate – We educate ourselves and our fellow parishioners about the immigration crisis in our country.

Find us on Facebook

Microfinance Group

Leader: Toby Smith Ropeik

A group of parishioners administers a small pool of social justice funds to award microloans to entrepreneurs around the world, through the online microfinance organization kiva.org. These loans are so small that traditional lending institutions would not even consider them. As microloan repayments accumulate each month, the group then makes new loans.  Loans are selected to reflect many of the social justice priorities and interests identified within our congregation: environmental concerns, women, racial justice, and immigration. If you are interested in joining the group, email Toby.

Racial Justice Action Group

Resource List: Google Doc

Meets:  Monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the Month at 6:00 for Potluck Community Dinner, and at 6:45 for a Business Meeting

The Racial Justice Action Group is deeply committed to increasing racial justice through deepening our own understanding of racism, white supremacy, and white privilege and taking action to support communities of color who are leading the struggle for racial justice. RJAG takes action to:

  1. Realign congregational goals, mission, and decision-making processes to support racial justice.
  2. Continue and deepen a spiritually-grounded education and change process about race and racial justice.
  3. Create opportunities for more interactions for congregants across racial and cultural lines, including increasing the congregation’s ability to embrace more diversity.
  4. Support activists and activism in the congregation in the service of racial justice.

We welcome all who are interested in joining this effort.

Reclaim Our Democracy

Leader: Fred Van Deusen

Meets: about once a month to plan future events and actions

Reclaim Our Democracy is an inclusive, collaborative, multi-partisan movement to limit and control the corrupting influence of money on elections and politicians. Our goal is to reclaim our democratic rights as citizens of the United States of America to have a government that truly represents and supports the needs and desires of all people.


  • Help grow the democracy movement
  • Educate ourselves and others
  • Organize learning events
  • Collaborate with other organizations
  • Support actions to reclaim our democracy

Find the latest democracy news on our Facebook page

View our Website for more information about our group and our activities

Reverence for Life

Leader: Caitlin Selle

Reverence for Life is a First Parish group that seeks to promote the honoring of all beings, in particular those of animals. We host a monthly vegan potluck, as well as occasional film screenings that educate and inform the public about healthy, compassionate, and environmentally beneficial food choices. Come join us!

UU the Vote

Leader: Fred Van Deusen

Click HERE

Women’s Parish Association

WPA liaison to the Social Action Council: Marilyn Lowitt

The Women’s Parish Association was founded in 1881 as an independent organization, at a time when women had no voice in First Parish governance. We have a broad based mission and strong roots in social action. Then and now, we have championed women’s rights and civil liberties, and fought poverty locally and worldwide. The WPA raises funds to support social advocacy work. We are intergenerational and collaborate with other FPC social action groups in mutual endeavors. The welfare and elevation of women and children, support for First Parish itself and the broader Unitarian Universalist community, including our Partner Church in Transylvania, are priorities of the WPA.

The WPA board meets monthly at FIrst Parish and conducts its annual meeting each fall. All are welcome to our programs throughout the church year. We are grateful to the many volunteers who work with us on community events at First Parish in Concord.