Governance

First Congregational Church of Essex Junction follows in the tradition of the Congregational Church by having the membership involved in the decision making and much of the work of the church.

Church Council

The Church Council is the governing body of the Church.  The Council is comprised of the Church officers, the chairs of the various Church committees and a designee from the major programmatic organizations of the Church.  The primary task of the Council is to oversee all operations of the Church and its committees, develop an annual budget for review and approval by the congregation, prepare any needed amendments to the bylaws and oversee the work of the Senior and Associate Pastors.  The Council meets the first Tuesday of every month, except July, at 7:00 PM in the Marvin Lounge. Contact: Maureen Evans

Church Officers:

  • President: Cathy Shearer
  • Vice President: Brenda Dawson
  • Treasurer: Dan Petherbridge
  • Assistant Treasurer: Ann Gray
  • Financial Secretary: Rob Sinkewicz
  • Assistant Financial Secretaries: Pam Blake and Linda Bogardus
  • Clerk: Christine Sinkewicz
  • Historian: Ann Gray

Committees

First Church has a number of committees that meet on a regular basis. Below is a description of our various committees. If you wish to learn more about any of them, please contact the designated representative.

Christian Education

The Christian Education Committee is responsible for the creation and coordination of spiritual activities within the church for the enrichment and education of our members of all ages. Through these activities we promote the growth of our congregation, recruit and cultivate new members, and serve our larger community with our outreach and social efforts. Meetings occur on the third Tuesday of every month at 7pm in Fellowship Hall. Contact: Lisa Clark

Communications

The Communications Committee provides guidance and/or support for the sharing of information with our members and also outside of the Church, including, but not limited to, the church’s website and social media accounts.  Contact: Francis Gravel

Deacons

The Deacons are primarily responsible for the spiritual life of the Church. They provide direction to the Pastors regarding church services; they help set up for, and clean up after, services, and participate in services; they plan special services such as Maundy Thursday and Good Friday; and they address other issues regarding the life of the Church as they pertain to its spiritual well-being. The Deacons meet the second Tuesday of the month at 7pm. Please contact them in advance if you plan on attending. Contact: Judy Pomainville

Finance

The Finance Committee is tasked with overseeing the finances for the Church. They have prime responsibility for developing the annual budget, managing the endowment, providing input on financial requests from committees, and assuring the financial health of the church. The committee consists of the Treasurers, Financial Secretary, Trustee Chair, a member of the Stewardship Committee, the church Vice President and our pastors. Contact: Dan Petherbridge

Hospitality

The Hospitality Committee is responsible for providing the coffee hour between services and after second service from September to June. We also provide funeral receptions when requested. The committee meets on the first Sunday of the month between services (Sept – May). Contact: Jim Glatz

Human Resources

The Human Resource Committee (HRC) is comprised of the President of the church (who serves as Chairperson), the Vice-President, and the Chairpersons of the Christian Education Committee, the Diaconate, and the Music Committee. The HRC may receive information in confidence, and its meetings are generally closed to persons other than those the HRC chooses to invite. The HRC is responsible for the oversight of all personnel matters; i.e. job descriptions, personnel evaluations, and is responsible for addressing concerns regarding the spiritual leadership of the Pastors or any other aspect of Church life. Contact: Cathy Shearer

Missions

The Missions Committee is responsible for conducting ongoing education and highlighting social action issues, promoting and supporting denominational offerings (Neighbors in Need and One Great Hour of Sharing) and supporting ongoing and new mission endeavors and programs, including active missions work such as work done through Mission Possible or passive missions work by giving financial donations to chosen organizations, which may differ from year to year. The committee meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Contact: Paula Sargent

Music

The Music Committee is responsible for all aspects of the ministry of music. Committee members work in concert with the Church Music Director to plan music for worship services, maintain leadership of the various choirs and musical groups, and maintain the pipe organ and pianos. Contact: Denise Keating

Nominating

The Nominating Committee in conjunction with the church’s professional staff is responsible for providing names of nominees for each office and committee position. Contact: Dick Harris

Pastoral Relations

The Pastoral Relations Committee supports our pastors and facilitates an open and productive relationship between church members and our ministers. They meet four times a year or as needed and have five members: one of which is the Vice President who serves as chair. Contact: Brenda Dawson

Planned Giving

The Planned Giving Committee educates members and others about the benefits of planned giving and the various ways people can leave legacy gifts for the church through estate planning. Contact: Dave Johnson

Stewardship

The Stewardship Committee oversees the Annual Giving Drive which allows members to support the church.   The financial generosity of our members is the foundation to the many ministries that occur at First Church.  The Stewardship Committee educates the congregation about the many opportunities to partner with our church with their treasure, time and talent. The Steward Committee meets the 4th Tuesday of the month. Contact: Kathryn Brennan

Trustees

The Trustees of First Church are comprised of 6 individuals from diverse backgrounds who have the great and noble responsibility for maintaining the church buildings and grounds, in order that all who visit are welcomed with clean, comfortable and safe surroundings in which to work, meet, play and worship. We strive to maintain a balance between preserving the historic nature of the buildings and making sure that we comply with modern safety regulations and building codes. When possible, we also strive to upgrade the buildings with modern, energy efficient fixtures and appliances to ensure that we are responsible stewards of our planet’s precious natural resources. Trustees meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of every month. Contact: Kaki McGeary

Ushering

The Ushering Committee is responsible for recruiting and scheduling Ushers and Greeters for all services. Ushers and Greeters welcome everyone to our worship services, and can help anyone needing special assistance. Click this link to learn more about ushering and/or greeting duties. Contact: Marlene Frank