First Parish Bedford UU

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Worship Service & Religious Ed. Program at 10:00am

Bedford Lyceum at 9:00am most Sundays

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use the elevator at the Elm St. entrance


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Parish Board Print

Parish Board 2015-16:  Dan Bostwick (President), Joan Bowen (Treasurer), Dawn LaFrance-Linden, Marya Dantzer, Cecile Mercado, Mike Nosal, Catherine VanPraagh, Rev. John Gibbons, Rev. Megan Lynes  

To preserve the viability and vitality of First Parish and its mission by:

  1. Providing fiduciary oversight of all church assets;
  2. Setting overarching policy and procedures;
  3. Helping to frame important opportunities and issues affecting the church;
  4. Establishing and overseeing the achievement of a long-term strategic plan; and
  5. Evaluating the performance of the senior minister.


  • Voting: Seven members, including the Treasurer, elected by the parish to rotating three year terms
  • Ex officio: Ministers, Chair of the Parish Council, Clerk
First Parish Governance Model Print

How well the church runs and how well we use the time of our paid and volunteer staff is crucial to the quality of life at First Parish. Starting in church year 2008-9, First Parish adopted a new governance model, and is still in the midst of a transition to this new operational concept.  Our previous system of governance reflected how a smaller, pastoral church should be run, but didn't quite fit the needs of First Parish now that we are considerably larger.

Our new model aims to clarify people’s roles and further improve the strategic and operational effectiveness of the church. This three-tiered governance model includes:

  1. A Parish Board to meet monthly on policy, long-term planning, and finance.
  2. A Leadership Team headed by the senior minister to meet monthly to act on the day-to-day level decisions and church operations.
  3. A Parish Council of committee chairs to meet quarterly to review budget reports, initiate figures for annual budget, and coordinate programs. The committees are clustered by related functions to better coordinate church activities.

The focus of the Parish Board is to deal with all matters having to do with strategy, policy, and the stewardship of church assets. The Leadership Team focuses on operational matters germane to the successful, day-to-day running of the church. The Parish Council supports operational efforts of the Leadership Team and provides a forum for coordination and communications.



Two internal studies formed the foundations for First Parish's governance changes:  the 2007 Planning Our Growth report, and the 2008 Sustainable Growth Team report.  Both of these reports may be downloaded from the links below.

Download this file (POG_Report_Final.pdf)POG_Report_Final.pdf[Planning Our Growth report, June 2007]516 Kb
Download this file (SGT_Report_2008.pdf)SGT_Report_2008.pdf[Sustainable Growth Team report, June 2008]738 Kb
Leadership Team Print


To provide operational management of First Parish in accordance with the annual plan and budget (membership approved), policies (board approved) and long-range plan (membership approved).


  • Senior Minister, Chair
  • Assistant Minister
  • Chair of Parish Council (appointed by the Parish Board)
  • President of Parish Board
  • Treasurer
  • Church administrator
  • Other staff at the Senior Minister’s discretion
Parish Council Print

Council promotes communication and coordination between Church Committees (clustered by related functions: Spiritual Growth, Community Inreach, Community Outreach, Infrastructure) and the Leadership Team regarding church programs, scheduling, and the development of the annual operating plan and budget.  
Council Chair (appointed by the Parish Board), Committee Chairs (or their delegate), Leadership Team Liaisons (Treasurer, Ministers), Director of Religious Education, Music Director, and Clerk.  

Bylaws Print

As amended June 8, 2008

Article I (Name)  The name of this religious society shall be “The First Parish in Bedford, Unitarian Universalist”, referred to hereafter in the bylaws as “The Parish.”

Article II (Purpose)  We unite to celebrate in community the values of liberal religion which illuminates our lives.  Cherishing the heritage of the past, we seek to grow through continuing renewal and reasoned change.  We seek to provide for public religious worship, charitable and benevolent activities, and instruction in liberal religion as is needed by a religious society.  Aware of human potential and limitations we affirm the ideals of mutual love, justice, peace, and human dignity, and strive to realize the religious commitments we share.



75 Great Rd. Bedford, MA 01730
(781) 275-7994
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