Talking with newcomers about the Unitarian Universalist faith, we often emphasize that ours is not a single, centralized church, but an association of churches and fellowships. In other words, our denominational structure, the Unitarian Universalist Association, is a voluntary association of independent, self-governing congregations.
Our approach to congregational governance is signaled by our fifth principle which calls for “the use of the democratic process within our congregations.”
The Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees has charge of the real and personal property of the Church, conducts its business affairs, and controls its administrative affairs consistent with the Constitution and By-Laws. The Board meets monthly and its meetings are open to the congregation. A committee of congregants with management and leadership skills, the Advisory Team, supports the work of the Board by conducting research on management issues as requested by the Board.
The congregation meets to hear reports from the Board and the senior staff and to vote on important decisions that are reserved for the congregation, for example, the adoption of the church’s annual budget. The annual meeting is in the spring, and there are meetings in fall and winter.
The Church Council is made up of the chairpersons of the committees of the church, the Board of Trustees, and the church staff. The Council meets in the Fall and the Spring for purposes of coordination of church activities, training, and fostering collaborations between committees.
Approximately twenty committees made up of members of the congregation conduct a variety of tasks in support of the church’s mission. Finance, religious education, welcome/membership, worship, building and grounds, and ministerial relations are examples of those tasks. The names and official functions of all committees are listed in the By-laws.