First Parish in Bedford wins Pickett Award
The UUA awarded the First Parish in Bedford, Mass., with its 2010 O. Eugene Pickett Award for outstanding contributions to the growth of Unitarian Universalism. Presenting the award during Saturday morning’s plenary session, the Rev. Harlan Limpert, the UUA’s vice president for Ministries and Congregational Support, commended the church for its “vital presence in their community, and within Unitarian Universalism as a whole.”
“One of their guiding themes is the notion that ‘the Church has left the building!’” Limpert said, “and they have long been a leading voice for social justice in their community.”
First Parish, founded in 1729, has experienced steady growth over the last thirty years, coordinated memorial services for two soldiers killed in Iraq, provided outreach for returning veterans and their families, hosted forums on public policy featuring prominent guests such as the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and has sent more than 80 parishioners to Transylvania as part of a long-standing Partner Church relationship.
Senior Minister the Rev. John Gibbons accepted the award on behalf of the church.
Nominations for the Pickett award are made through the districts. Winners are selected based on honor society status, numerical growth, and commitment to the multifaceted growth of membership and Unitarian Universalism.