Our Governing Style
The Unitarian Universalist Association is organized around the principals known as Congregationalism. That means that each local group is independent, self-supporting, and self-governing. We determine how we will organize, how responsibilities will be shared among us, and our goals for our group. It is that particular brand of community that makes us responsible to ourselves and to each other. In our polity the governance is reliant on the Fifth Principle of Unitarian Universalism, which is “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large”, as well as the Second Principle, “Justice, equity and compassion in human relations”.
The members of our fellowship meet at least once a year as a whole to determine elected positions, changes to our governance, approve the budget, and other regular business decisions. Special business meetings can be called anytime in the year where members can vote on items that need to be resolved quickly, such as extending an offer to a minister. At any of these meetings, only those persons who are UUFA members according to our bylaws can vote, however any member of the congregation is welcome to be present and participate in discussions.
Authority in the fellowship resides in members of the congregation. At our yearly meeting one of the tasks required by our bylaws is to fill certain elected positions. the Executive Committee (or The Board), the Committee on Ministry (COM), and the Endowment Committee.
The Executive Committee consists of the following elected and appointed positions:
The following positions are elected by membership at the yearly general meeting.
- President of the Congregation – the President is empowered to represent the Fellowship as the public face of the Fellowship within the community and within the UUA. They are a de facto member of every committee of the congregation with the exception of the Committee on Ministry. The President of the Congregation oversees all daily business of the Fellowship and works to keep operations running in a smooth and orderly fashion and part of that is the nomination of the three non-elected officers, Treasurer, Recorder, and Sexton. The President presides over any special meeting of the congregations The President serves for a single one year term.
- President-Elect – the President-Elect serves as the assistant to the President in all matters and may carry out the representational and ceremonial duties of the President if the President is unavailable. In a case where the President is unable to complete their term as President, the Presiden-Elect assumes the office of President and the Executive Board elects a new President-Elect. The President-Elect serves for one year and then will assume the office of President of the Congregation.
- At-Large Representatives – there are Four At-Large positions withing the Executive Committee. Each representative serves a two year term on a rotating basis so that there are never more than two members elected in a year.
The following positions serve at the pleasure of the President and Executive Committee. They are nominated by the President and approved by the Executive Committee. They can be removed by the Executive Committee if they feel that this would be in the best interests of the Fellowship.
- Treasurer – the Treasurer is in charge of all Fellowship funds and financial records except for the Endowment, although they are charged with keeping track of the funds values. The treasurer keeps track of banking accounts, pledges, and donations and is responsible for the timely payment of bills, fees, and dues. The Treasurer reports to the Board and must present a monthly report.
- Recorder – the Recorder is in charge of all non-financial Fellowship records including meeting minutes of the board and congregational meetings. The recorder keeps track of membership records, visitor information, member communications (including the Greensheet), and the retention of all necessary records.
- Sexton – the Sexton is charged with maintenance and improvement of the Fellowship grounds, building, and any other associated facilities and properties. The Sexton arranges all maintenance services and utilities.
The UUFA has three groups where all members are elected, the Committee on Ministry and the Endowment Committee
Committee on Ministry
This committee is responsible for ministerial relations, congregational relationships, dispute resolution, ministry direction, mission, and covenantal interaction. Meetings of this committee may involve items of a sensitive and personal nature so most meetings are closed to all but its members. There are 4 members of this committee, two elected in alternating years. They are a self organizing group.
This committee is responsible for overseeing our Endowment Fund and its investment. There are 4 members of this committee, two elected in alternating years. They are a self organizing group.
The UUFA also has several committees which are mandated by our Bylaws, including Programming, Finance, Communications, Religious Education, Social Action, and Facilities. The Board selects a member to be the coordinating leader of the committee and any member of the Congregation can join and participate in these committees. They determine their goals and budgets and work with the Congregation to achieve those goals.
The are also other groups within the UUFA that don’t hold the responsibilities that committees hold but are just as important to our Congregation. Among these groups are the Choir, the Secular Humanist Study Group, and our local chapter of CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist PaganS). These groups are semi-autonomous and responsible to board only for following our principles and our Congregational Covenant.