Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty
Rev. Dr. Marjorie has traveled the world, is a self proclaimed geek having worked in technology for years, and more recently has pursued her doctorate and standing as a scholar she writes: “I believe whole-heartedly that each life is a journey from birth to the grave with the potential of living in a genuine, open-minded and open-hearted way in between! As we live these lives, that we have been gifted, we find opportunities to share our personal experiences along the way. This sharing with another is our way to connect and cultivate meaning in our lives. Each experience that we encounter adds to the collective whole, each experience is hand crafted, refined with care, compassion, and love. Each of our life stories reveals who we are, our wisdom, and our deeper humanity. My call as a minister is to help those in my care to realize our place in the order of things and to call each of us, including myself, to embrace the potential to become our best transcendent selves.
“Be present, be mindful, take care and love one another— this is our call to shared ministry.”
What Unitarian Universalism means to me
We, all of us change, we evolve throughout our lives and Unitarian Universalism garners my faith because it is expansive enough to encompass me, ever encouraging me to evolve towards my better self. Unitarian Universalism provides a framework where I am able to bring my whole self, the things that I love and dislike about me.
I am able and asked every day to share my beliefs through direct community outreach and action. Unitarian Universalism holds as Francis David shared centuries ago, which guiding principles confirm today that, “We do not have to think alike to love alike.” Unitarian Universalists are able to be at home in a sanctuary of diversity.
The charge that I hold most dear is from the Rev. Theodore Parker:
Be ours a religion which, like sunshine, goes everywhere;
its temple, all space;
its shrine, the good heart;
its creed, all truth;
its ritual, works of love;
its profession of faith, divine living.
Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty’s Bio
Rev. Dr. Marjorie Matty grew up in central New York and spent her summers on an island in the Saint Lawrence River; she self identifies as a St. Lawrence “River Rat.” Marjorie moved to Massachusetts in 1987 to pursue her higher education in Architecture and was invited instead to pursue a career in the technology industry specializing in architectural software and computer-aided design.
Marjorie’s business career began in technical support and evolved into roles such as a senior design engineer, a product manager and eventually market development manager. Much of her time was spent working with software developers, technical writers and “end users” helping them to envision and bring to market software solutions that addressed real-world design needs. She worked with high profile clients such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Robert Stern Architects, and Frank Gehry Architects. Marjorie traveled extensively in her career both domestically and internationally presenting to small and large audiences. In describing those times Marjorie explains, “I traveled and learned so much about how people make meaning and the incredible cultures and beliefs that exist around the world; ultimately these experiences are what sustained me on my spiritual quest.” Rev. Marjorie answered “the call” to ministry 1998 in a cave in southern England, which compelled her to earn a bachelors degree in the distance learning program at Goddard College in Comparative Religions and Consciousness Studies. She “retired” from her career in for-profit business in 2001 and started her masters of divinity that same fall. While attending Andover Newton Theological School, Marjorie worked for the Unitarian Universalist Association first in international relations and then as the assistant of the President of the Association. These roles provided Marjorie with an expansive knowledge of Unitarian Universalism from a national perspective. She graduated with her Masters in 2007, was ordained by the Arlington Street Church and the Congregation at Wellesley Hills. That same year Marjorie was called to be the senior minister of the First Universalist Society of Salem, Massachusetts.
Rev. Dr. Marjorie was granted final fellowship at the UU General Assembly in 2010 and began working on her doctorate of ministry at Andover Newton Theological School. She completed her work on her dissertation, Engaging Technology in Twentieth-Century Patterns of Meaning Making in 2013 and graduated with honors. In describing her doctoral work, Marjorie explains, “I wanted to marry my love of technology with my love of the spiritual quest. The Internet helped me to expand my knowledge, build connections with others on a similar journey, and to research what was available to me on a grand scale. Without the internet I would not have made my way to this incredible place in my life, my dissertation helped me to acknowledge the importance of the advent of such technology as the Internet and social media in our lives and in making meaning.” Upon completion of her Doctorate in 2013, Marjorie was called to be the Senior Minister at the First Parish of Sudbury Unitarian Universalist. “I feel blessed to be with this cadre of people in Sudbury, we are working hard to build the beloved community where all are welcome. It is true that our world is in a state of flux, it always has been and it always will be, but I am here to remind and help us to do better with and for one another. I encourage us to embrace faith instead of fear and to choose generosity instead of greed, it is only then that we can be a voice of reason on the Sudbury green, ever standing on the side of love.”
She is a member of the Sudbury Interfaith Clergy Association.
Rev. Debra Morris-Bennet
Minister of Music
Debra Morris-Bennett has been the Music Director and Organist at the First Parish of Sudbury since 19_____, and in November 2018 was ordained at First Parish and became Minister of Music. She received a M.M. degree in Organ Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. During her tenure at First Parish she has enjoyed exploring the wide range of choral literature—both sacred and secular—that the Unitarian Universalist service embraces.
Some of the diverse works performed with the First Parish Choir over past seasons include Henry Mollicone’s Beatitude Mass for the Homeless, Missa Gaia by Paul Winter and Jim Scott, Acquaintance With Nature by Gwyneth Walker, a collaboration with Celtic harpist Áine Minogue entitled “A Celtic Harvest,” and lesser known choral works of Johannes Brahms, selections of Aaron Copland, John Rutter’s Requiem, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Irish choral music, Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, and Dietrich Buxtehude’s Cantate Domini.
Jenna Kyes, M. Ed.
Director of Religious Exploration
Jenna Kyes received a Masters in Early Education from Lesley University and a Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, from Brandeis University. She has an extensive teaching background that includes experience working with children and youth in Unitarian Universalism religious education programs, schools, and academic enrichment programs, and she is a trained Spirit Play teacher.
Most recently, she served as Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society of Westborough and was responsible for the development and implementation of religious education programming for students of all ages. Jenna also led a Coming of Age program for eighth grade students, as well as a high school youth group, and coordinated a team of volunteer teachers. She is experienced with Tapestry of Faith curricula, as well as Spirit Play, Coming of Age and OWL.
“I love helping children learn, and I am committed to the Unitarian Universalist mission,” says Jenna. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support the faith development of the children and youth in First Parish’s Religious Exploration!”
Tom Stirlen, First Parish’s bookkeeper and office administrator, began serving as our bookkeeper in 2015 and assumed the administrator role in 2019.
Tom received a BA in Economics from Wagner College. Over his extensive career he has worked as a small business consultant, was the owner of Northeast Fabricating, Inc., and worked as an accountant in the fields of casualty insurance, textile manufacturing, group medicine, hospitality, and at a local CPA firm. He is the former Treasurer of Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester.
After singing for 42 years, Tom ended his avocational music career in 2017. During that time, he served as Director of Music at Lutheran churches in Gardner, MA, and Wilbraham, MA, and performed widely with numerous groups throughout Worcester and Springfield.
Board of Trustees
Valerie Tratnyek (chair)
For more information about the Board of Trustees, please click here.
|Chair, Board of Trustees||Valerie Tratnyek|