Committees

Our Church offers many diverse opportunities for people to get involved by providing services and programs to the congregation and the community.

Adult Enrichment

The Adult Enrichment Committee is committed to the lifelong learning and spiritual development of our congregation and community. We offer people the opportunity to grow, learn, explore, and share common interests and concerns consistent with our liberal religious traditions. We seek to accomplish this by offering a variety of both short-term and on-going programs and groups.

Programs sponsored by the Adult Enrichment Committee:

Men’s Group
The Men’s Group of the church meets to plan activities for the year, such as the men’s retreat (see below).
Men’s Retreat
Each year the men of the parish are invited to attend a weekend retreat in early Spring. A team of folks are assembled to select a location and activities to work on during the retreat. Announcements about registration and location will be posted on the website as they are known.
Women’s Retreat
Each year the women of the parish are invited to attend a weekend Women’s Retreat in the spring. The retreat is always full of fine company, lots of laughs, good food, thoughtful reflection, singing, and dancing. A team of folks are assembled to select a location and activities to work on during the retreat. Announcements about registration and location will be posted on the website as they are known.

To contact the Adult Enrichment Committee, e-mail adultenrichment [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Denominational Affairs

The Denominational Affairs committee keeps the church connected to the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) and to our district (Mass Bay) activities. The committee informs the congregation of resolutions passed at the annual General Assembly and works with the Social Justice committee on denominationally sponsored social justice efforts.

To contact the Denominational Affairs Committee, e-mail denominationalaffairs_list [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Fellowship

The Fellowship Committee is responsible for helping all members, friends, and visitors feel welcome and connected to the Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church.

The Fellowship Committee meets monthly at the church. For more information, e-mail fellowship_list [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Programs of the Fellowship Committee

Circle Suppers

Three or four times a year, the committee coordinates potluck dinner gatherings at members’ home. As many as ten dinners are held concurrently for 7-9 adults, with the specific intention of developing new relationships within the congregation.

Other Responsibilities of the Fellowship Committee

Welcoming Members and Newcomers

  • Greeting
    The committee schedules greeters for Sunday services who are responsible for welcoming members and new visitors. The greeter may conduct brief Church tours, answer questions, and provide literature on UU beliefs and history, and our Church’s programs.
  • New Members
    The committee sponsors newcomer luncheons for individuals who are interested in learning more about UU principles and our congregation. Those who choose to join the Church are recognized at a New Member Sunday service coordinated jointly with Religious Services.
  • Outreach
    The committee, with input from Church members, identifies individuals who may be unable to attend Church and follows up with them through notes, phone calls, or referrals to the Minister or Caring Ministry group.

Organize Social Events

  • Intergenerational events
    Several times a year the committee organizes all-church social events where children and adults, members and visitors can get to know one another better and feel connected to the community. Examples of past functions have been an Ice Cream Social, a Square Dance, a Chili Cook-Off Contest, a Mardi Gras Night, and a St. Patrick’s Day Potluck and Dance.

Maintain Membership Information

  • Roster
    The committee, along with the Church Administrator and Collector, reviews and maintains the accuracy of the membership list. This is particularly important for voting and payment of dues to the Unitarian Universalist Association.
  • Directory
    The committee, along with the Church Administrator, maintains the all-church directory, which is published annually.
  • Photo Board
    The committee maintains a photo board in the Parish Hall to assist individuals in getting to know the names and faces of congregation members and friends.
  • Nametags
    The committee, along with the Church Administrator, maintains nametags for members and friends used at Sunday services.

Finance

The mission of the Finance Committee to ensure that the Melrose UU fiscal resources are managed responsibly and in accordance with the annual budget as developed and approved by the congregation. The Finance Committee has overall responsibility for the fiscal activities of the Church. This includes but is not limited to: annual budgeting, pledge recording, preparation of monthly and annual financial statements, arranging for appropriate insurance coverage, ensuring the conduct of an annual audit, reporting to the Board on the fiscal condition of the Church, and other generally accepted fiscal practices.

The Finance Committee is a committee of the Board. The Finance Chair is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Board. The Committee meets monthly.

If you would like to receive information on the Finance Committee or would like to send a comment, suggestion, or advice, please email finance [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Green Sanctuary

What is Green Sanctuary?

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Green Sanctuary Program provides a path for congregational study and reflection and a call to individual and collective actions in response to environmental challenges.

The Green Sanctuary Program goals are:

  • To build awareness of societal environmental issues among Unitarian Universalists.
  • To generate commitment for personal lifestyle changes.
  • To motivate Unitarian Universalists to community action on environmental issues.
  • To build a connection between spiritual practice and environmental consciousness.
  • To build awareness of and rectify environmental injustices.

What is happening at MUUC?

Our solar array was completed in 2015!! See the link on the left of our Home page to see our daily energy power creation.

MUUC received UU accreditation as a Green Sanctuary in 2010!!

As part of the accreditation process, we fostered a number of projects to make our community – at church, at home, and in the wider world – more sustainable. Working with other committees and groups within the church and our larger community, we are:

  • Working with our minister and RE committee to enhance the earth-honoring aspects of our RE curriculum and our worship services
  • Conducting an energy audit and presenting updates on our findings – as well as tips, tools, and techniques we can use at home – in congregational workshops
  • Promoting ethical eating through book discussions, workshops, and a hunger banquet
  • Sponsoring a film series on environmental and sustainability topics
  • Participating in service projects in water protection/clean-up
  • Looking for ways to reduce trash, expand recycling, and use green cleaning practices within the church – both at our events and in the activities held here by others

To contact the Green Sanctuary Committee, e-mail greensanctuary_list [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Information Technology

The IT Committee provides support and expertise in managing, maintaining, and securing the information technology systems of the church. This includes assisting and advising on the purchase, installation, and maintenance of hardware and software, supporting Internet and e-mail services, and developing and maintaining the church website in collaboration with the staff, the board, and the committee council.

To contact the IT Committee, e-mail itc_list [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Music

The Music Committee is involved with the Sunday worship service, specifically our musical ministry.

To contact the Music Committee, e-mail our administrator at office [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Nominating

The Nominating committee seeks volunteers to fill chairperson vacancies on church committees.

To contact the Nominating Committee, e-mail nominating_list [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Property

What we do

The Property Committee’s work encompasses three important aspects of our congregational experience:

  • Stewardship – we appreciate those that built this community.
  • Fellowship – we enjoy our opportunities to work together.
  • Service – we are the caretakers of our spiritual home.

The Committee’s work includes:

  • Arrange for routine maintenance & repairs.
  • Develop policies and provide oversight about the use of the church by members and outside groups.
  • Budget and approve expenses for utilities, supplies, and contracting for outside services.
  • Project planning and implementation.
  • Interface with neighbors, government, utilities, renters, and members.

Interested?

If you have an interest in caring for our building and grounds, we welcome participation of new committee members and FOPC (“Friends Of Property Committee”).

To contact the Property Committee, e-mail property_list [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

About our building

unit cong 1871According to the “History of Melrose” by Elbridge Henry Goss, the Unitarian Congregational Church was constructed on the corner of Myrtle and West Emerson Street and dedicated on May 1, 1872. In 1891 an addition was constructed to house the church school, ladies parlor, supper room, and kitchen.

A new church, designed by Boston architects Kilham, Hopkins and Greeley was constructed over the foundations of the original building in 1936. The brick front colonial revival structure features a brick tower entrance topped with an octagonal open steeple topped by a harp weathervane donated by member Errol Twitchel. On the interior the present bldgSanctuary has a vaulted ceiling with timber trusses, large windows and painted woodwork. The Parish Hall has 5 arched windows, and Doric columns supporting plaster arches. Adjacent to the Parish Hall is the Parlor and the Supper Room and kitchen on the lower level. In 1965 and addition was constructed to house the church school. Today the first floor of the addition includes church offices, the library, and the Melrose Montessori School on and the church school, nursery and supper room on the lower level.

Our building spaces are available for use by members and outside groups. Please contact our Church administrator for further information on availability and rates.

Activities

In addition to spring and fall building and grounds work parties we have a number of special projects that need skilled hands or managers to plan and implement the projects. Our project list is posted on the Property Committee section of the bulletin boards in Parish Hall. We always welcome new ideas and suggestions for our ongoing improvements. Current priority projects in development include:

  • church exteriorParish Hall lighting Phase 2
  • PV solar array
  • Attic retrofit insulation and air sealing
  • Attic storage cleanout
  • Gutter and drainage improvements
  • Various painting projects
  • Accessibility improvement
  • Parish Hall Kitchenette & storage improvements

Religious Education

The mission of the Religious Education Committee is to provide vibrant and engaging age-appropriate and intergenerational programming for the congregation. The combined goal of the RE Committee, Team Leaders, and the Director of Religious Education is to nurture and support the needs of children. At the same time, the adults of the congregation find that their own path of spiritual and faith development is often enhanced by teaching children in the Religious Education Program.

The Religious Education Committee meets monthly.

To contact the Religious Education Committee, e-mail religioused_list [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Social Justice

The Social Justice Committee coordinates the social justice work of the church and sponsors events and forums open to the general public. For more information, please contact socialjustice_list [at] melroseuu [dot] org or join us for one of our meetings, held the first Sunday of each month at 9:00 am in the Church Library.

Some of our activities include…

Supporting our community:

  • About once every six weeks, volunteers from Melrose UU cook and serve meals for more than one hundred guests at the Malden-based Bread of Life. Dinners are held at St. Paul’s and First Baptist churches in Malden. Watch for emails asking for volunteers about a week before we are scheduled to cook and serve dinner.
  • Melrose UU Church belongs to the North Metro cluster of churches that are part of Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM). RIM is an Interfaith, community-based organization based in Malden that helps resettle refugees and asylum seekers. Melrose UU members have aided RIM by contributing clothing, furniture, money, and household goods; teaching English as a second language; and providing transport to medical and social service appointments.
  • Through our Food Is First initiative, Melrose UU collects and delivers canned and packaged food to the Melrose First Baptist Church’s Pantry of Hope. We encourage donations be left in the church’s front hall on the first Sunday of the month, but donations are welcome at any time. Protein items such as canned meat, shelf-stable milk, and peanut butter are especially needed.

Supporting Fair Trade:

  • About once a month, SJC members sell fair trade coffee, tea, nuts, chocolate, and other products at coffee hour after church. The “Fair Trade” mark means producers and traders have met Fair Trade Standards, offering small farmers a better deal and improved terms of trade. Fair Trade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their everyday shopping.
  • The popular Melrose UU Alternative Fair, held the first weekend of December during Melrose’s citywide “Home For The Holidays” celebration, features a wide selection of products from vendors offering fair trade “gifts with a conscience.” The Alternative Fair features items from Africa, South America, Central America, as well as from local farms and community organizations.

Supporting the larger UU community:

  • Melrose UU supports the activities of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), a nonsectarian organization that advances human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world.
  • Melrose UU is in a Partner Church relationship with a Unitarian church in the village of Ikland in eastern Romania, in the ethnic Hungarian area known as Transylvania. Melrose UU members have traveled to Ickland to learn about our Unitarian heritage and to work with the minister and members of the congregation to support the Ikland Church and Transylvanian Unitarianism both spiritually and financially. We sponsor a student’s tuition to attend a Unitarian High School and we are assisting the Ikland Church in renovating their parish house.
  • Bob Jones Lecture: Every year Melrose UU sponsors a social justice lecture in honor of a prior pastor, Bob Jones.
  • Habitat for Humanity Greater Lowell: Melrose UU has just begun a relationship with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell. Volunteer opportunities may include fundraising, helping on a build site, and helping at Habitat’s ReStore.

Trustees of The Endowment

The Trustees of Trust/Endowment Funds manage the holdings of the MUUC portfolio.

To contact the Trustees, e-mail trustees [at] melroseuu [dot] org.

Welcoming Congregation

Rainbow Congregation

We have been a proud Welcoming Congregation since 2001!

The Welcoming Congregation Committee supports the acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) people within the congregation and community by integrating awareness of issues that LGBT people face. The committee sponsors programs for church members and the general public and builds coalitions with other churches and organizations in the community.

What does it mean to be a welcoming congregation?

To contact the Welcoming Congregation Committee, e-mail welcomingcongregation [at] melroseuu [dot] org.