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Interim Director of Religious Education

P.O. Box 6218
Lincoln, MA 01773

The First Parish in Lincoln (FPL) is a congregation of 360 active members and 100 children and youth. We are an open and welcoming community church in association with both the Unitarian-Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. The Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti is our newly settled Senior Minister who will be starting on August 15, 2015. We are seeking to hire an Interim Director of Religious Education (IDRE) who could start August 15, 2015. The position is 30 hours per week, August 15 through June 15, a 10 month interim position for the 2015-16 church year.   The salary is commensurate with experience and in keeping with denominational guidelines plus benefits.

The IDRE will be responsible for the coordination and implementation of the Religious Education programming for the children and youth at FPL as well as assisting the wider FPL community discern what is needed in their next DRE.

Principal Responsibilities include:

  1. Provide an engaging and effective ministry to the children, teens, and families of our Religious Education (RE) program, and to the broader church community.
  2. Participate actively in recruiting and welcoming new families to the RE program.
  3. In conjunction with the Youth Programs Committee (YPC) and Senior Minister, lead the church community through a discernment process of determining the vision for the RE Program at FPL which leverages its current strengths while expanding and seizing new opportunities.
  4. Administer and supervise curriculum and instructional materials for Sunday School Grades K-8. Because of the theological orientation of our church, our curriculum includes both denominational and internally-developed materials that require a creative approach to develop and deliver.
  5. Help recruit, train and supervise both paid and volunteer teachers for pre-K through 8 and facilitators for High School programs. We currently have 2 paid teachers and will be looking to hire 2 more.
  6. Help develop 9th-12th grade programming.
  7. Lead Children’s Chapel one Sunday a month and work with the Senior Minister to develop and present a Time for All Ages message three Sundays a month.
  8. Coordinate and help deliver special events, such as the Rally Sunday, Advent Workshop, Christmas Eve Family Service, Christmas Pageant, Winter Workshop, Easter Activity, Mother’s Day, Celebration Sunday, Spring Arts Festival.
  9. Write a weekly email to the congregation and a column in The Parish News.
  10. Prepare and submit annual budget for youth programs in conversation with the YPC.
  11. Maintain regular office hours.
  12. The IDRE will report to the Senior Minister, and attend YPC meetings as well as other meetings determined by the Senior Minister or Parish Committee.

A strong candidate will possess the following skills/qualities:

  • Teaching experience; experience in a spiritual/religious context is preferred.
  • Experience leading or participating in a discernment process.
  • Strong creative instincts, including an interest in youth-oriented art, literature or music.
  • Administrative and management skills: an ability to work independently and to delegate.
  • Excellent “people” skills which include the ability to understand and communicate with both children and adults using the best methods for the type of communication (phone, email, letter, social media); a community organizer.
  • Open-mindedness and flexibility to work in the FPL environment which combines aspects of UCC and UUA traditions.
  • Working knowledge and fluency with current technology-based communications channels.
  • Ability to collaborate with the Senior Minister, YPC and Parish Administrator.

To apply, please send a cover letter stating why you are interested in this position and your resume to For phone inquiries please contact Becca Fasciano at 978.387.5055.

Rev. John H. Nichols


Interim Minister

John Nichols graduated from Dickinson College and Meadville/Lombard at the University of Chicago from which he received a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1969. While in Chicago he studied with Martin Marty, Daniel Boorstin,  Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Karl Nighswonger and Henry Nelson Wieman.

After graduation he served the First Parish in Canton, MA, the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale, IL and, for twenty-three years, the Unitarian Society of Wellesley Hills, MA.  He left Wellesley Hills in the year 2000, to serve as an interim minister to twelve different congregations concluding with The First Parish in Lincoln.

John is married to Nancy Falor Nichols.  They are parents of two adult children and five  grandchildren.

Ruth Owen

Director of Religious Education

Ruth is new to First Parish in Lincoln but not to religious education. She previously served U.U. congregations in Ridgewood, N.J. and downtown Boston. Ruth first became involved in religious education because of her then young sons’ fascination with the sand table in the RE classroom at her first congregation. That led to volunteer teaching, committee work and eventually to Meadville Lombard Theological School and a career in religious education.

She lives in Cambridge, MA with her very spoiled dog. She enjoys reading, knitting, and walks in the woods with her dog. She considers her devotion to the Boston Red Sox to be a part of her personal spiritual practice.

Gert McDermott


Gert McDermottGert McDermott grew up in Newtonville, the eldest child of Italian immigrants.  After high school she settled down with her husband to raise a son, and took a job with Seaside Associates, a non-profit organization in Weston.  She remained there for 11 years, assuming the role of Office Manager as the organization grew.  During that time she earned an Office Management Certificate from Mt. Ida College. 

After leaving Seaside, Gert spent three years with a business in Concord before returning to the non-profit world by joining the staff of The First Parish in October 1997.  She  enjoys serving the church community, and when she’s in the office, her door is always open to visitors.

As a member of the local chapter of the Association of UU Administrators, Gert has served as a co-chair and is currently the treasurer.

Gert and her husband live in the Nashoba Valley, and their son lives nearby.  She spends part of each summer touring the nation on her motorcycle, and enjoys reading, baking bread, and doing home repairs and renovations.

Ian Watson

Music Director & Organist

Ian closeup Ian Watson came to First Parish in September 2012. Trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, he is a top church musician and educator, with wide-ranging experience embracing novice, advanced and professional levels. His most recent church post was the Music Director at Cathedral of St. Paul in Worcester, MA. He is also an internationally-known, dynamic, multi-faceted music professional who maintains an active performing and recording career in collaboration with major artists and ensembles as an organist, pianist, harpsichordist and conductor in both standard and historically-informed practices.

Ian is currently principal keyboard player with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra and Artistic Director of Arcadia Players Baroque Orchestra. During his first year at First Parish, he initiated a concert series which has been quite successful and has increased the church’s visibility in the community.