Our family’s connection to First Parish begins with the story of my eight-year-old daughter, Susannah, expressing an interest in going to church. Because my wife is a lapsed Catholic, this task fell to me, a lapsed Methodist.
After some neighborhood inquiries, it looked like First Parish would be a safe place to visit for a couple of Sundays and then depart without disappointing anyone’s evangelical recruiting impulses.
We sat in the balcony. Sue, I think, enjoyed the spectacle of the ritual while I liked the nourishment of the silent mediation. At the coffee hour I recognized many active parents who coached youth soccer and who helped on School Committee campaigns. Later the next week, a passing remark of Sue’s surprised me and let me know that we had both been paying attention to the sermon.
Sue and I continued to attend. She tried the RE program but preferred to the adult service. The minister noticed and recruited her to the adult Worship Committee, which provided him with feedback on the service.
At home Sue would occasionally ask her mother to come with the two of us. Nancy politely declined, until one day she weakened and, in a cosmic deal with the political gods of Concord, she said, “If the high school bond debt override passes, I’ll go to church.”
The override passed narrowly. Nancy attended the Sunday service. However, the following Sunday, as Sue and I were getting dressed, Sue called to Nancy to start getting dressed.
“I’m not going.” Nancy replied.
“But you said you would go if the override passed.”
“I did. I went to church last Sunday.”
“No. You have to go with us every Sunday.”
And that’s how we became members of First Parish.
Since joining, our family has participated in many different roles at First Parish. Looking back at the richness and the variety of the many connections, I was surprised to realize how long ago they began. We became members in 1992 and recently, on my computer, I stumbled upon agendas and minutes for the past seven years of the Annual Pledge Campaign.
I suppose it’s no surprise that pledging to support First Parish is just a natural part of our family life. Hope you all will continue to make it a natural part of yours.