• Supports people through crises, transitions and difficult situations
  • Listens compassionately and helps individuals sort out what can and cannot be changed
  • Is present with people in their pain, loss, struggle, anxiety, and joy
  • Relates gently to individuals as whole people
  • Offers encouragement and comfort in times of trouble
  • Is available to everyone at any stage of life

Seek Pastoral Care

During crises and transitions such as divorce, health issues, retirement, death of someone close to you, marriage, family concerns, mid-life crises, coming to terms with sexual identity, losing a job, making a career change or financial distress

You need to talk confidentially with a compassionate listener, even if you are not sure what is bothering you

You are facing a major life decision

You are grieving or hurting and need emotional and spiritual support

Pastoral Care Process

1. A First Parish member or friend contacts a minister or associate to express his or her concerns.

2. The minister or associate talks with the member to better understand his or her needs.

3. Together, the member and the minister or the associate decides what type of support or referral would be helpful, and initiate support.

4. The minister or associate follows-up with the member to see if the pastoral care support has been beneficial and whether further support is needed.

Pastoral Care Visit

Please click on this link to view a video of a sample Pastoral Care Visit by one of the Pastoral Care Associates.

How Can You Be Involved?

You are encouraged to let us know, through the ministers, the church office, or one of the groups below, when you or someone you know is in need of support.

If you would like to volunteer to help with pastoral care or the Caring Connection, please contact Rev. Elizabeth Ide at eide@firstparish.org or the front office.

Our Ministers

The ministers offer counseling, hospital or home visits, and phone calls. Please call the church office (978-369-9602) to schedule an appointment or email the ministers directly:


Rev. Elizabeth Ide is our Acting Associate Minister for Pastoral Care while Rev. Liz Weber is on medical leave.


Acting Associate Minister for Pastoral Care: Elizabeth Ide, eide@firstparish.org

Senior Minister:  Seth Carrier-Ladd, scarrierladd@firstparish.org, 978-369-9602 x 411

Minister of Religious Education:  Amy Freedmanafreedman@firstparish.org, 978-369-9602 x 450


Pastoral Care Associates

The ministers are assisted by the Pastoral Care Associates, who companion parishioners who are in need of spiritual and emotional support during hospitalizations, bereavement, and long-term illness; they offer support for elders, caregivers, and families in crisis. The Pastoral Care Associates are selected by the ministers. They receive significant training and meet monthly for supervision, reflection and support. Please click on this link to view a video of a sample Pastoral Care Visit by one of the Pastoral Care Associates. Contact Rev. Elizabeth Ide at eide@firstparish.org for more information.


 Paula Adelson  apauladog@comcast.net  
 Sally Brandon Bemis  sgbrandon@me.com  
 Diane Clapp  dianebamclapp@gmail.com  
 Lori Gill-Pazaris  gillpazaris@gmail.com  
 Dana Snyder Grant  dana.snydergrant@gmail.com  
 Virginia Taylor                


 Rebecca Winborn



Caring Connection Services

The Caring Connection provides concrete assistance to parishioners by preparing and delivering meals, offering rides, writing personal notes, welcoming new babies with gifts, and providing opportunities for parishioners to reach out to others through card writing, shawl ministries, and friendly visits. Contact one of the ministers or the associates to request these services or to volunteer.

Meal Delivery brings meals to parishioners during illness, injury or bereavement.

By Your Side Singers are a pastoral choir that helps through life’s transitions by singing rounds, chants, lullabies, choral music, hymns and spirituals to parishioners in their homes or at the hospital.

Friendly Visitors are matched with members and friends of First Parish who would like to be contacted regularly.

Shawl Ministry provides shawls to those who are experiencing a time of loss, difficult transition, illness or injury.

In addition, there are other Pastoral Care Services that you may contact directly.

Rides to appointments and First Parish events can be arranged with Rev. Elizabeth Ide, eide@firstparish.org


New Baby Welcomers: Louisa Paushter, louisa@wimoweh.com



Holiday Memorial Wreath: Judy Dembsey, judydembsey@gmail.com

Holiday Plant Delivery: Caitlin Selle, selle.caitlin5@gmail.com


Pastoral Care Brochure

If you would like a printed copy of the Pastoral Care Brochure you can pick one up outside the office at First Parish or click on this link: Pastoral Care Brochure-2019

Pastoral Care Newsletter

If you would like to receive a copy of the weekly Pastoral Care Newsletter to your email, please sign up here.

On-line Resources

We have compiled a very useful list of available on-line resources to assist with caregiving, parenting, family support, health and mental illness on the On-line Resources page.

Personal Information Form

This form is of help to members, their families, and their ministers.  In the event of serious accident, illness or death, when immediate family members are not nearby, First Parish is sometimes expected to serve as a source of information.

This form is kept in a confidential file and only accessed if and when needed.  Some items are merely “memory joggers” and may remind you to review documents you have in your own files.  Please fill out this Personal Information Form to any extent you wish, and send to the attention of one of our ministers.  It is also helpful to keep a copy of the completed form with your own personal papers.

Mission, Vision, Goals

Pastoral Care offers compassionate support and practical assistance to members and friends of all ages who are experiencing transition, loss, struggle, anxiety or joy; and creates opportunities to deepen spiritually and enrich connections with others.

Click this link to view a copy of Pastoral Care Mission Vision Goals fy19

Educational Events

Pastoral Care offers workshops on aging, preparing for death, living well and communicating with compassion. Stay tuned to FP Weekly and the Sunday Announcements for more information on upcoming events. 

Pastoral Care Lending Library

The Pastoral Care Lending Library is a self-serve library, located in the hallway leading to the Peter Bulkeley room, available to all parishioners. To view a list of books available in the library, click this link: Pastoral Care Library Catalogue 11-8-19.

My Faith Community Is Important to Me

If part of conveying your wishes is making sure that First Parish in Concord is contacted in case of your bereavement, serious illness, hospitalization, or death, then you should communicate your wishes to your loved ones or representatives who will speak for you. To facilitate that process we’ve developed a simple form, “My Faith Community is Important to Me.”

Download this form, print it out, fill it out, and save it with your other important documents. If you reside in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility make this form available to your caregivers there.

The form provides those who care for and about you with the contact information for First Parish in Concord. It will be easy for them to let us know of your situation, and we will follow up with you.


Small Group Ministry Program

Small Group Ministry provides a safe and caring way for small groups of members and friends of the congregation to come together and explore the greater meanings of our lives.

Small Group Ministry groups will meet during a term of approximately four months with a trained facilitator. At the core of each meeting is a topic or activity that serves as a spring-board for reflection on deeper issues of who we are and what gives our lives meaning. Topics cover a range of spiritual and experiential themes such as Forgiveness, Creativity, Mentors, Conscious Consuming, Gratitude, Doubt.

For additional information on the Small Group Ministry Program contact Rev. Elizabeth Ide at eide@firstparish.org

Caregiver Support Group

If you are taking care of a spouse, parent, friend, or family member, you know how exhausting it can be. Consider joining FP’s Caretaker’s Group. This confidential , Zoom group has been meets on the first Monday of every month 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. In this group, you will be able to share the challenges you face and explore ways to take care of yourself.

If you have questions, or wish to attend this zoom group, contact Rev. Elizabeth Ide at eide@firstparish.org or Diane Clapp at dianebamclapp@gmail.com.

The Holden Fund of First Parish

The Holden Fund was established at First Parish in 1901 when Ellen Emerson contributed $3,500 in honor of Nancy Holden for “daughters taking care of mothers in straitened circumstances.”  Those original instructions have been interpreted more liberally since then to support residents of Concord (and First Parish members wherever they reside) who require care so they can continue to live in their own homes. Monthly stipends of varying amounts, based upon need, are awarded to help support caregivers (family members or paid professionals). Questions or request for application contact: Rev. Elizabeth Ide at eide@firstparish.org.

Holden Fund Panel: Rev. Seth Carrier-Ladd, Susan Dobbie, and Alice Van Deusen.