• First Church Boston Ministerial Search Committee announced

    Beth Curran, Barbara Martin, John Benson, Margaret Moody, and Nancy Olson.

    The Standing Committee is delighted to announce the Ministerial Search Committee (MSC) who will lead First Church Boston’s search for our next Senior Minister. The MSC will be spending the summer organizing their work for fall and winter, planning multiple ways of gathering input from the congregation as well as becoming acquainted with UUA staff who will be consulting with them to support the search.

    Ministerial Search Committee Biographies

    Barbara Martin (Chair): Barbara grew up in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church of Knoxville, Tennessee, a strong source of community, social justice action, and spiritual inquiry for her family. As a relatively recent member of First Church Boston, she has been active on the Social Justice Committee and helped lead the Common Read discussion earlier this year, as well as organizing the building tours during the 50th anniversary celebration of our re-building in April. Barbara retired in 2019 as Alfond Curator of Education at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, after forty years in varied roles within the education department. A resident of Central Square in Cambridge, she serves on the program committee of History Cambridge, and is an enthusiastic consumer of the theater, music, and architectural streetscape of Greater Boston.

    Beth Curran: A member since 2015, Beth Curran has served on the Worship and Standing Committees,chaired the Membership and multiple Intern committees, and been a summer lay preacher.   She coordinated an update to the church brochure, and spearheaded what is now a regular calendar of potlucks.  Beth lives in Jamaica Plain and is a senior financial administrator at an investment management company downtown.  She is/has been active in several local arts organizations, including the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film, Fresh Ink Theater, the Footlight Club, the Independent Film Festival of Boston and Grub Street Writers.  Beth has a Masters of Divinity in Feminist Liberation Theology, and was an original member of GLIB – Irish American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, the first queer group to march in the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day / Evacuation Day Parade, in 1992.  

    John Benson: A member of First Church Boston since 2001 and, before that, of First Parish in Ithaca, NY, John has been active on many FCB committees. He is now serving as one of First Church’s five Trustees and will take a leave of absence from those duties during the lifetime of the MSC. He is a recently retired architect and worked with Barbara Martin and others on FCB’s 50th anniversary celebration of its Paul Rudolph building this spring. He is also a former chair of FCB’s Standing Committee and active in the Social Justice Committee and its numerous activities, as well as serving on several FCB Intern Committees in recent years.  He lives in Charlestown, Boston’s oldest and northernmost neighborhood, founded (as our church was) in 1630.  

    Margaret Moody: A  member of  First Church since 2001. Margaret helped to set up a phone tree outreach to members during 2020-21. Through the FCB Social Justice Committee Margaret found the issue of plastic and the environment and was able to be a key organizer for Climate Justice Learning Community programs. She is a member of the South Friendly and John Clarke committee, which distributes income from small church related restricted funds. A retired nurse, Margaret is a board member of Hale House, a residential care facility with ties to FCB. Other church related interests have been the Learning Community and the Caring Committee. 

    Nancy Olson: Nancy has been a member of First Church Boston since 2016, attending for several years before making the commitment to be a member. She was attracted by the comfortable atmosphere and thought-provoking sermons, often finding relevance to daily life. Nancy grew up in the Congregational Church tradition, the typical church on the green in a small New England town. As a member of FCB, she has been organizing volunteers for coffee hour refreshments, part of our welcoming tradition. She is on the Membership Committee and has also been pressed into service to help with the landscaping, satisfying her need to do a bit of gardening.  A Back Bay resident, she is happy to be able to walk to church.  Nancy retired from a career in Information Technology, including  many years spent as a Systems Analyst, communicating users’ needs to developers and trying to assure those needs were met.

  • 50th Anniversary Celebration of Church Rebuilding

    April 30 – May 1, 2022

    Festival Concert: “Remembrance, Reflection, and Rebirth”*
    April 30, 2022

    This inspiring program was a journey through music, narration, and dramatic slide projections as it made emotional commentary on the pivotal historical events of the First Church in Boston, and included a pre-concert reception.

    The program included:

    • John Rutter’s Gloria featuring choir, brass octet, tympani and organ
    • Adolphus Hailstork’s Seven Songs of the Rubaiyat for unaccompanied choir
    • Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise for cello and piano
    • And works by First Church composers Larry Thomas Bell and Leo Collins

    *This concert is presented in part with grants from the Music Pension Trust Fund and the Collins Memorial Fund.

    Tours of the Church
    Saturday, April 30 & Sunday, May 1, 2022

    Hour long guided tours explored the compelling spaces Paul Rudolph designed for First Church—from the outside amphitheater to the highest balcony of the sanctuary. Guides highlighted how the architect’s design responded to the congregation’s goals. They shared quotations from archived letters in which Rudolph explains his thinking on the use of the ruins, the importance of light, and the value of rooms without square corners!

    Worship Service
    Sunday, May 1, 2022

    The sermon ‘Risen from the Ashes’ by Rev. Edmund Robinson told the story of how the congregation decided to rebuild the church and why they chose a controversial modern design. Special musical selections were included for the occasion.

    Architectural Panel: Paul Rudolph and First Church in Boston
    Sunday, May 1, 2022

    There was a lively, well-attended panel discussion about the work of Paul Rudolph and his groundbreaking building for First Church. The program included an interview with Robert Campbell, the architectural critic for the Boston Globe, by artist and author Justin Beal.

    Panelists included:

    • Kelvin Dickinson, President of the Paul Rudolph Institute for Modern Architecture
    • Alice Friedman, Grace Slack McNeil Professor of American Art at Wellesley College
    • Eric Höweler, Co-founder of Höweler + Yoon Architecture LLP and Associate Professor in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design
    • Timothy Rohan, Associate Professor, Department of Art and Architectural History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of The Architecture of Paul Rudolph (Yale University Press, 2014).

  • Guide to FCB records at the Massachusetts Historical Society

    The Archival Task Force ran a campaign to attain funding for the cataloging of First Church in Boston records, dating back to 1630, which are held at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The trustees and several congregants contributed to the effort (thank you!) and it was completed in Fall 2021.

    The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to report that it has finished the guide to the First Church in Boston records, and it is now available on their website. You can find it here.