Our Minister and Staff
Ministry & Programs
Originally from New England, Reverend Dan Harper has served in UU churches for more than 20 years. He was initially a Director of Religious Education at several churches in New England, and since his ordination in 2003, he has served both as a lead minister and as a Minister for Religious Education. He was the parish minister at the New Bedford UU Church from 2005 to 2009 and served as Associate Minister for Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto from 2009 until his recent departure to return to New England. First Parish welcomed Rev. Dan on August 1st, 2022.
Tracey Newman, Director of Religious Education.
Tracey lived for many years in Boston, working as an editor for 15 years at Boston’s Weekly Dig, the Reading Language Arts Department at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Educators Publishing Service in Cambridge. She earned a Masters of Education in Library Media at Salem State. Tracey is currently the Library Paraprofessional at Hingham High School, where she has also worked as an English Language Arts Paraprofessional and a long-term substitute English teacher.
Mary Beth Courtright, Music Director
Mary Beth began playing the piano and organ as a child, taking lessons privately with Teresa Newman and at the Oberlin College Conservatory. By age 9 she was playing organ and singing for daily, Sunday and special services in her church. Mary Beth earned her degree in Music Performance from Capital University in OH, where she studied organ with William Haller, and piano with Verena Dambrans and Bela Szilagyi.
Prior to joining First Parish in Cohasset, Mary Beth was a substitute organist for numerous churches and denominations in MA, the organist at High Street UMC and, most recently, the Music Director at First Church in Pembroke where she selected music to coordinate with the liturgical theme of each service, played the piano and organ and directed the adult choir.
Mary Beth sang for many seasons with The Harbor Choral Arts Society in Hanover, the Mystic Chorale in Arlington, and currently sings with the Fine Arts Chorale in Weymouth. In addition, she has accompanied musical groups in OH, PA and MA, the Opera Workshop in Columbus, OH, elementary and high school choirs, and vocal and instrumental soloists.
Mary Beth is passionate about the transformative power of music and how it can enhance the worship service and enrich the spiritual experience of the congregation. She encourages amateur and professional musicians in the parish and wider community to participate in the many musical opportunities available in the church.
Administration & Operations
Patty Mycroft, Congregational Administrator
Patty joined us in September 2021 with a diverse background in healthcare including human resources, fundraising, homecare, and holistic health. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from Stonehill College. Patty is a multi-tasker of many roles here at First Parish ensuring the smooth functioning of church operations and lending administrative support to the Carriage House Nursery School, as well. As a current holistic health practitioner and freelance writer, Patty is used to wearing different hats and prioritizing all responsibilities. Her motto is “Be that kind soul who makes everybody feel like a somebody!”