Leadership & Organization
traditional worship progressive theology welcoming community
First Church in Jaffrey is blessed with a wide variety of spiritual heritages, experiences, and expertise and we are blessed to have leadership that bring a broad diversity of theology, practice and gifts.
Rev. David K. Felton is First Church’s interim minister. David comes to us from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he was the conference minister and became close friends with his successor, the Rev. Gordon Rankin, who is now the NHUCC Conference minister.
David has served as minister to congregations in Rutland, VT; Henderson, CO; Anthony, KS; and Indianapolis, IN. He has been a chaplain in Houston’s Texas Medical Center, and has taught world religions and the history of religion at the college level for eight years. David has been a conference minister for more than 30 years in UCC state and regional conference headquarters based in St. Louis, MO; Austin, TX; Syracuse, NY; Buffalo, NY; and Sioux Falls, SD. David is now a member of Bridger UCC on the Lakota Nation’s Cheyenne River Reservation in Bridger, SD. His education includes a BA from Kansas State University, a BD from the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology, Advanced CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) from Houston’s Institute of Religion and Human Development, and a D.Min. (Doctorate in Ministry) degree from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis.
Minister of Music
Gene brings his experience with teaching music and his expertise on the organ, piano, and harpsichord. He leads the choir as well as organizes special musical worship and other church events. Gene is also an accomplished recorder player.
Judy brings her corporate experience. Working with our pastor and music minister, she creates the worship bulletins, sends out e-blasts, and monitors phone calls and church email. Working with our treasurer, she maintains the QuickBooks database and generates financial reports. Working with the communications team, she creates, prints, and distributes the church newsletter.
The lay leadership of First Church are its elected officers:
- Moderator: Carol Hess
- Clerk: Sylvia Hamilton
- Treasurer: Janet Grant
and the organization of circles (similar to committees) that do the work of the church.
First Church is developing a governance model that is built on an interlocking system of self governing circles (similar to committees) that do the work of the church. Some circles function like standing committees in that the work is ongoing and need ongoing support. Some circles are periodic and some will be for a single event or purpose.
The Executive Circle coordinates ongoing life of the church, providing guidance, counsel, and direction to all officers and Circles. All the core circle chairs are also members of the Executive Circle. It meets monthly.
The Trustees Circle is responsible for church’s financial stability and operations. Members are elected at the annual meeting. The Trustees maintain the buildings and grounds, contracting out the work as necessary. They prepare the annual church budget. The Trustees Circle meets monthly.
The Worship Circle partners with Minister, Minister of Music and the Church Community to help create meaningful worship and other resources and opportunities that help deepen faith and enrich lives. Membership in the Worship Circle is open to all. Some specific tasks of the Worship Circle include: Recruiting and training volunteers for tasks that support the Sunday worship service (greeters, ushers, communion prep, readers, flowers, service prep) and maintenance of church library. The Worship Circle meets every other month.
Membership in Benevolences Circle is open to all. This circle selects and funds worthy programs that benefit local, regional and broader communities. It selects recipients for scholarship awards. It oversees allocation of Fair income and the 5 for 5 UCC offerings. The Benevolences Circle meets three or four times a year.
Membership in Communications Circle is open to all. This circle coordinates information flow to our church community and reaches out to the Monadnock Region through advertisements/articles in local newspapers, our website, Facebook and the Weathervane newsletter. This circle handles outreach, as well as publicity for church-sponsored events as needed. The Communications Circle meets at least every other month to ensure preparation of the newsletter.
Membership in the Fair Circle is open to all. First Church holds its annual summer Fair the first Wednesday in August. This circle organizes a community-wide effort to hold the Fair, which raises funds to support a wide range of service efforts within Jaffrey and the Monadnock Region. The Fair Circle meets monthly starting in the spring and going through the summer to prepare for the Fair and learn from the experience.
Membership in the Fellowship Circle is open to all. This circle coordinates opportunities for the community to be together, sharing tidbits and more substantial meals at Coffee Hour, post-Memorial Service receptions, pot lunch luncheons and other celebrations. The Fellowship Circle meets as needed.
PASTORAL RELATIONS CIRCLE
Membership in the Pastoral Relations Circle (PRC) consists of the pastor and three individuals elected by the congregation. This circle provides a setting for sharing and mutual guidance in order to promote a healthy relationship between the minister and the congregation. The PRC meets at least monthly.
The Prayer Group offers daily prayers as needed for members of The First Church or their families and for friends and neighbors of First Church. This circle meets once a year and then maintains contact throughout the year via phone or email. This circle also arranges for the creation and distribution of prayer shawls. Requests for prayers should be made through the minister or to a Prayer Group member.