About First Parish
The mission of First Parish of Northfield Unitarian is to embrace the spiritual through imaginative contemplation and reflection; to nurture fellowship, service and charity; and to share, celebrate and affirm diversity and explore common needs among members, friends and the larger community.
Growing out of the Judeo-Christian tradition, we also seek inspiration from great philosophers and world religions. We cherish diversity among our members, and require adherence to no creed.
As members of the Unitarian Universalist Association, we accept the following principles agreed to by its member churches:
- Every person is a person of inherent worth and dignity.
- Human relations should be based on justice, equity, and compassion.
- Spiritual growth should be encouraged in our congregation but we should accept one another without regard to judgments about our spiritual growth.
- The search for truth and meaning should be free and responsible.
- Within our congregation and society at large the rights of conscience should be respected and a democratic process followed.
- We should work for the goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
- We should respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The Reverend Cynthia A Frado is the Minister of First Parish Unitarian of Northfield. The granddaughter of Portuguese immigrants, the Reverend Cynthia A. Frado grew up on a farm in southeastern Massachusetts. Her family was Roman Catholic, yet they embraced revelation in the natural order and all the world's religions, hence inspiring her to pursue an interfaith journey that was grounded in nature and in spirit. Rev. Cindy is the sister of the late John Frado of Northfield, MA and Winchester, NH.
Rev. Cindy holds a BA degree in Theology from Boston College, studied at Schiller College in Heidelberg, Germany (and lived in a square where women had been burned as witches during the Middle Ages), participated in workshops at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, and did an academic internship at the Vatican. Her Master of Divinity degree is from Harvard Divinity School. She has been a UU parish minister for 22 years.
Rev. Cindy has received training in Reiki and has also earned national certification in Clinical Hypnotherapy. She has studied with Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard University and the Deaconness Hospital in Boston in the field of spirituality and healing, has trained with Dr. Brian Weiss in past-life regression therapy, and was Managing Director of Dr. Deepak Chopra's Global Network for Spiritual Success which had over 800 study groups in 120 countries. She spent part of a six-month sabbatical at Oxford, participated in a Heifer Project Study tour of Poland and Slovakia (and officiated at a worship service on the train tracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau), and attended a feminist theology retreat on the Greek Island of Lesvos. She was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1991 and has held positions as a hospital chaplain, pastoral counselor and parish minister. Her husband is Dr. James Walker, Professor Emeritus in Biology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is also a mother and grandmother.
Rev. Cindy has most recently completed a 16 year ministry in Westborough, Massachusetts which included preaching, pastoral care and counseling, teaching, administrative responsibilities, committee work, social justice projects; chairing the town's Interfaith Clergy Association; was the official storyteller for the Town of Westborough; participated in cluster, district and continental UUA organizations; and was the co-founder of a World Religions program at the Westborough Mill Pond School that is now in its 15th year. She was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Facing History and Ourselves Foundation in Westborough. In 2005 she received the first place honor of the Paul C. Borden Award for Sermonic Excellence in the UU Tradition which was preached at General Assembly and came with a $10,000 gift. Rev. Cindy was just bestowed the title of Minister Emerita at the Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society of Westborough.
The focus of her ministry has been and continues to be living an integrated spirituality in which everyday life becomes an expression of those beliefs that inspire both the mind and the heart. If you would like to make an appointment to meet with Rev. Cindy to explore your own spiritual journey or to discuss anything else, you may send her an email at TheRevFrado@aol.com. She will be on study mode during the summer months, but will be available for pastoral emergencies. All other appointments may be made for September.
Lynn Walker is the Music Director of First Parish Unitarian of Northfield. She was born and raised near the Colorado Rockies in the Denver area, moved to the East Coast in the 1960s raising her family, studying and making music in the Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Springfield, MA areas. She is currently co-director with Joseph Marchello of Music for Life Studios in Northfield where she lives and teaches piano. Lynne performs both piano and voice throughout the region in churches, community concerts, and in assisted living and nursing homes. She loves to hike, bike, read and create fabric landscapes.Back to top
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is responsible for managing our historic facility and endowment funds. Â Questions or ideas concerning church upkeep can be addressed to this committee. The Board meets monthly or as needed.
Communication between the Board and the Parish Committee is better than ever.Â The two groups have been collaborating more on managing the church and smoothing out the budgeting process. The Board also closely monitors the First Parish endowment and the health of our investments, making sure that the church weathers the current global financial meltdown with our assets intact.
Most importantly, the Board welcomes everyone's input!Â Anyone can attend a board meeting and offer ideas or just listen in.Â
The Parish Committee manages church operations including worship services, oversight to religious education, social and educational events and community outreach. Anyone proposing programs or expensible activities can contact the Parish Committee for advice, guidance, and authorization. The committee meets the first Sunday of each month. The Parish Committee meets periodically with the Board of Trustees and includes a liaison to the Religious Education committee.Back to top
Committee on the Ministry
The Committee on the Ministry is an appointed committee which is intended to help with communication between the minister and the congregation and to provide another avenue for assessing the ministry of the church. We meet quarterly or more often as needed, review First Parish church ministry concerns and provide support for the minister. The Committee on the Ministry is intended to be a safe, confidential and productive place to reflect on concerns about the church ministry. The congregation is invited to share concerns about the ministry with this committee.
Religious Education Committee
This is an appointed committee including the volunteer religious education coordinator/director, church members and the minister, focusing on supporting the religious education program at First Parish. We meet monthly or on an "as needed"Â basis to support the program and to be a link between the program, the parish committee and the congregation.Back to top
First Parish History
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For a brief history of the UUA, see the About Us section on the UUA websiteBack to top
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