Our Mission

The First Parish Social Action program engages First Parish members, friends and neighbors in deepening our understanding of social and environmental injustices, and opens our hearts and minds spiritually to act in support of those in need.

What We Do

The Social Action Council oversees a number of Social Action Programs that engage congregants in many different types of social justice action and advocacy. The Council also accepts and manages funding requests for Social Action Giving and Share the Plate recipients.

There are many opportunities for the wider congregation and community to engage with social justice through education, films, panels, speakers, and direct action. We at First Parish in Concord believe that social action is a pillar of our community life and that doing this work is an inherently spiritual act.

Our activities are regularly updated on our Social Action Calendar and on our Facebook page.

New Social Action Manager

We are pleased to welcome Adrienne Betancourt as the new Social Action Manager at First Parish in Concord.  Adrienne comes to us from the Washington, DC area where she is an active member of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, Maryland. Over the past ten years she has worked closely with the Social Justice Council and the Senior Minister to support and improve the social justice ministry work of this large UU congregation.

Adrienne is passionately engaged in her own peace and social justice and climate action work as she focuses on organizing people of color in Montgomery County.  Recently she has helped build relationships and foster collaborations with external social justice groups promoting activities such as the women’s march, refugee support, and partnering with new climate action organizations.

Adrienne has extensive experience in training, supporting, coordinating, and recognizing volunteers and developing leaders.  Her decades working in the non-profit, university, college, and adult education arenas make her a good choice for First Parish in Concord.  She is a native New Yorker who will bring her Puerto Rican and Venezuelan heritage to enrich the perspectives of our discussions and breadth of our work.

Rev. Howard Dana joins search committee members Fred Van Deusen, Marilyn Lowitt, Jan Power, and Jim Snyder-Grant in welcoming Adrienne to First Parish.  She will begin work with us on January 2, 2020.

Who We Are

Many congregants are active in making our Social Action community vibrant. Feel free to contact any one of the Social Action Council members below, for further information on how to get involved in social justice work at First Parish; or review the list of currently active Social Action Programs and contact the leader of that program directly.

Bob Brack – Chair of the Council: brackrobert@gmail.com

Fred Van Deusen – Vice-chair of the Council, Reclaim Our Democracy Representative on the Council; manages the website: fredvandeu@gmail.com

Liz Rust – Treasurer of the Council; leads the Social Action Grants and Share-the-Plate programs, manages the Social Action candle at Sunday services: liz@therusts.net 

Sue St. Croix – Council Co-secretary: sue@suestcroix.com

Ted Bayne – Council Co-secretary, Environmental Action Team and Immigration Justice Task Force Representative on the Council: tedbayne@comcast.net

Kate Kavanagh – manages Social Action email and Facebook page: katekav@gmail.com

Lora Venesy – Standing Committee and Advocates for Women’s Empowerment Representative on the Council: venesy@comcast.net

Marilyn Lowitt – Women’s Parish Association Representative on the Council: marilyn.lowitt@verizon.net

Wendy Holt – Racial Justice Action Group Representative on the Council: wendyh@dmahealth.com

Margie King Saphier: margie.king.saphier@gmail.com

Tammie Foote: tamasinfoote@feete.com