This summer, the front of the North Parish sanctuary was transformed, the result of a congregational conversation last spring followed by a vote to proceed at a Special Meeting on June 12, 2022. The pulpit and stairs were disassembled and re-purposed. The wide base of the original pulpit now creates the backdrop to the space. A new base will be added to the top section; with the addition of rollers, it will become the new portable pulpit later this fall.
The front of the sanctuary is now more reminiscent of the spare beauty of colonial worship spaces. It is better suited to instrumental and larger choral ensembles, allowing us to rent and use our space for more concerts. It is accessible for those using a wheelchair or walker. For those coming from a hierarchical religious tradition that elevates clergy above the members of a congregation, the new look counteracts that potential impression, reminding us that our ministers are called out from our congregations. Our Unitarian Universalist commitment is to the intellectual and spiritual freedom of both the pulpit and the pews.
The Board of Trustees as well as the House and Grounds, Worship, Music and Crossroads Committees express their deep thanks to preservation carpenter and North Parish alum Nick Lemire and to his unpaid assistant and project manager, Debb Putnam. They spent many days of the summer in the very hot sanctuary. We are also grateful to North Parish volunteers who assisted with the initial demolition and responded “on demand” to lend a hand when needed, including Joe Ferguson, Kirk Olsen, John Lennhoff, Mark Lemire, Rich Sarro, Jeff and Linda King, Pat Grimm and Tina Klein.
The Board and the congregation also extend deep and lasting thanks to the anonymous donors who made this project possible with a $34,000 gift. We hope you will invite friends to experience the beauty of concerts and services in our Meeting House sanctuary this fall.
The Board of Trustees
Erika Cohen-Maddaluno and Gail Forsyth-Vail, co-chairs
Tad Bickford, Lynn Langton, Susan Malloy, Kirk Olsen, John Williams; Treasurer Don Melson and the Rev. Lee Bluemel