First Parish in Malden
About First Parish:
The congregation dates to 1648, and the founding of the city of Malden, but First Parish is growing after a decline to single-digits in the 1990’s. New members find with us a spiritual home: a place of caring, spiritual growth, and from which to step out from and make a difference in the larger community. First Parish hired Reverend David Horst in 2003 following the aforementioned decline in church membership, which took place throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. Through the combined effort of church leadership, staff, and Reverend Horst, the ministerial, organizational, programmatic, and outreach aspects of the church were dramatically improved. Membership grew from single-digit numbers in 2003 to nearly 60 today.
In September 2011, with the growing number of members with families with young children, a Director of Religious Education was hired. The DRE and RE Committee have worked together to build the foundations of a vibrant and sustainable family ministry.
The past two years have been a period of transition for the congregation. The growth of the RE program is just part of the rebirth of First Parish. We have had an interim minister who has helped the congregation through a time of change. In the fall of 2012, we hired a new Director of Music, Joel Sindelar, who has enthusiasm, creative ideas and a wide variety of musical talents. We are hopeful he will continue to strengthen the music program in our parish. Also in the fall of 2012 we added a new position to the existing staff and hired a part-time Church Administrator, Ellen Shore, to provide much needed support in the areas of finance and ongoing administrative work. Lastly, the congregation will be voting in a new settled minister at the end of May who is looking forward to working with our new DRE in an effort to continue building on a program that has increased the growth of our membership these past two years.
Mission Statement of the First Parish in Malden:
A dynamic religious home since 1648. We welcome and nurture the questing spirit.
Written and adopted at the Leadership Retreat, March 12, 2011
Religious Education Mission Statement:
The purpose of the Religious Education program of the First Parish in Malden is to provide an environment of acceptance and belonging for its children and youth, where they may grow as moral and spiritual persons nurtured on their quests to personal faith.
Modeled after the First Parish Mission Statement. Adopted 5/23/2012 by the RE Committee
A covenant of the Members of the First Parish in Malden:
We, the members of the First Parish in Malden, Universalist, covenant in friendship to create together a community of respect, equality, openness, trust, and compassion. We pledge ourselves:
- To hospitality - Extending a warm welcome to all and caring for each other in times of need;
- To understanding - Fostering an atmosphere of acceptance based in goodwill;
- To spiritual growth - Honoring the spiritual and religious journey of each person;
- To sharing - Openly and respectfully offering our views, seeking others’ views, listening attentively, and honoring our differences as we honor that which we share;
- To participation - Supporting the church through our presence and the many, diverse gifts we bring.
Our covenant, founded in the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism, calls us:
- To deal with disagreements constructively and to communicate with each other in a direct, caring, and responsible manner;
- To express gratitude and support to all who volunteer their time and talents in support of the church;
- To call each other lovingly back into the circle of covenant when necessary;
- To live our values within the church, and throughout our wider community, bringing the best of each to the other.
Approved by vote by Members of the First Parish in Malden on Sunday, January 31, 2010