Unitarian Universalist Association
Application Portal

Teaching Congregations Fiscal Year 2022

Ministerial Credentialing Director, The Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong


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Name of Site First Parish in Needham, Unitarian Universalist
Needham, MA
Address 23 Dedham Avenue
Needham, MA 02492  
Phone (781) 444-0823 
Website http://uuneedham.org 
Site E-mail Address office@uuneedham.org 
Size of Congregation 240 
Supervisor Name Rev. Catie Scudera 
Supervisor Phone (781) 514-5464 
Supervisor E-mail minister@uuneedham.org 
Informational Contact Name Jenna Crawford (current ministerial intern) 
Informational Contact Phone (781) 343-1520 
Informational Contact E-mail internminister@uuneedham.org 
Focus Parish 
Fulltime/Parttime Part Time 
Compensation $1,300 / month 
Other Benefits Paid federal holidays, sick leave, and vacation. The opportunity to serve as the part-time paid summer pastoral care provider in summer 2023 and summer 2024 (approximately $1,500 for July and August coverage at 10 hours per month). We expect to offer $1,000 of professional expenses, $500 for transportation expenses, and healthcare benefits if needed each year.  
Number of Months 20 
Start Date/End Date August 2022  June 2024 
Site Description First Parish in Needham is a stable mid-size congregation comprised of 240 adult members, 20 children and 20 teens, and many more “friends” in Boston MetroWest. We are a historic congregation, founded as a Puritan church in 1711 along with the town of Needham. Today, we are a vibrant, pluralistic, and inclusive Unitarian Universalist congregation, with heartfelt worship, robust lifespan religious exploration, compassionate caring ministries, and committed justice work. We are certified as a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary, and have voted to serve as a Level 2 Sanctuary congregation; we also take on many annual projects to serve our local community (e.g., food collection for the local pantry, hosting blood drives, participating the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace and Boston Pride). Our Racial Justice Task Force became a permanent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee in 2021. We had been livestreaming services for a few years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus were able to more easily transition to virtual worship over YouTube and occasionally live on Zoom in 2020. We began hybrid/multi-platform worship in October 2021, and have a Reopening Task Force of scientists and medical professionals to advise our board. The church building underwent a major renovation in 2007-2008, vastly improving accessibility and energy efficiency. Our staff team has a full-time Senior Minister, full-time Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration, a nearly-full-time Parish Administrator, a half-time Music Director, and four quarter-time-or-less positions: our Sexton, Cleaner, Worship Livestream Producer, and Accompanist. Needham itself is a suburban town of 32,000 residents, with excellent town resources and services, including a MBTA commuter rail and the 59 bus route with regular service during the week and reduced service on Sundays. First Parish has served as a proud teaching congregation for nearly fifteen years (with a short gap while our current senior minister worked toward Full Fellowship) and it is an important part of our congregational identity. Jenna would be happy to answer any questions you have about her experience at First Parish — her contact info is listed above.  
Job Description As a teaching congregation, we will craft the Learning/Serving Agreement around the intern’s needs for ministerial formation. The intern is invited to engage with any and all aspects of congregational life, including worship, pastoral care, lifespan religious exploration, administration (including communications and finances), rites of passage, and sacred activism. We seek an intern with a strong UU identity and a deep call to parish ministry. Candidates from historically marginalized groups are especially encouraged to apply. The position asks for 20 hours/week from August 2022-June 2024. The intern will preach once a month (including one of our two services on Christmas Eve and Easter), have one Sunday a month “off,” and will be “off” in the summer, unless the intern chooses to serve as our paid summer pastoral care provider.  
Site Accessibility See additional notes 
Application Procedure Please send Rev. Catie Scudera a one-page letter of intention; a resume; two sample sermons and one additional liturgical element (prayer, ritual, etc.); a video or audio recording of yourself preaching (if available); and, contact information for three references (one personal, one from your seminary, and one from a UU congregation or organization). Applications will be reviewed by the senior minister and lay leaders from the Intern Committee, with interviews by phone and video-chat (and in-person, if possible and low-risk). The final candidate will be recommended for a vote of hire by the Parish Committee (elected board of the church).  
Additional Notes A detailed note on site accessibility: After a major renovation was completed in 2008, our building was made wheelchair accessible, with the exception of the historic chancel, one meeting room, and the organ loft. We have an advanced audio/visual system in our sanctuary and Parish Hall, braille hymnals, and two gender neutral single-stall bathrooms.  
Application Deadline January 31, 2022, or unti 
Selection Date March 2022/until filled