Our Minister and Staff
Reverend Kathleen Hepler, Senior Minister
Reverend Kathleen Hepler has been at First Parish as the Senior Minister since 2007. Before coming to Framingham, she served UU Churches in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. She is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry and was a social worker before she entered the ministry. Rev. Hepler has two adult children, Jacob and Kim.Contact
Claudia Keyian, Director of Music
Claudia Keyian began her work as Music Director of First Parish in January of 2015. She directs the First Parish Choir, accompanies them on piano and organ, and sings solos. She also directs the Chalice Choir.
She is an accomplished pianist, organist, singer, choral conductor and piano teacher. Claudia feels fortunate to make her living as a musician. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree, with a major in piano, minors in both organ and voice and a concentration in choral conducting at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. Claudia is thrilled to serve on the UUMN’s Conference Planning Committee. Claudia lives in Salisbury, MA, with her two dogs: Tucker and Louise.Contact
Dean Arvidson, Director of Handbell Choir and Children’s Choir
Dean is a long time member of First Parish, and a former member of the First Parish Senior Choir. He and his brother Doug used to direct the Children’s Choir many years ago and he accompanied the choir under Trish Ramey’s direction for several years before taking over as the Director. The Children’s Choir is for grades one to six.
Dean is a Composer / Performer, teaches several instruments privately, and is the Pianist for Temple Beth Am’s High Holy Days. Dean started playing piano in 1962 and now plays a lot of different instruments the main focus being piano. He is very glad to continue to work with the First Parish Music Staff.Contact
Rebecca Crawford, Director of Religious Exploration
Rebecca Crawford served on the Religious Exploration Council at First Parish as a member for several years, and as Acting DRE before becoming the permanent Director of Religious Exploration. She has spent the last 15 years creating dynamic programming for youth and families in a variety of capacities, most recently at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston as the Manager of Academic and Family Programs. Rebecca earned a Masters of Arts degree in Art + Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Smith College. She serves on the Board of Trustees at Summit Montessori School in Framingham and the Old State House Education Committee. Rebecca enjoys volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America Pack 12 in Framingham and with the Auction Committee here at First Parish. She resides in Framingham with her husband Matt Crawford and their two children, William and Abigail.Contact
Sara Morrison Neil, Church Administrator & Membership Coordinator
Contact Sara about First Parish publications, buildings, grounds, weddings and rentals or membership.
Sara joined our staff in December, 2011. Her passion to help others and make a difference in the world has led her to work in the non-profit sector for over twenty years in volunteer management, communications, education programming and event planning. She lives with her husband and son in Framingham.
Sara has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Earlham College in Indiana, and a Masters degree in Public Administration from UMass Amherst.