Our Church Governance
First UU is a Unitarian Universalist congregation. One of our most cherished principles is that of congregational polity. This means we, the members of the congregation, bear the complete responsibility for governing our church. Our members make all ultimate decisions for the church, including the adoption of church bylaws, the election of the Board of Trustees, the adoption of a church budget, and the call of a minister.
Our system of church governance requires that all members share in the ministry of the church. Within this context of shared ministry, leadership at First UU is shared between the Board of Trustees, the Minister, and the committee chairs. Each member of First UU’s leadership has specific responsibilities, but all cultivate communication and gather feedback, with the ultimate goal of representing the voice of the congregation as a whole.
Decisions about leadership, membership, finances, property, and worship are made by the congregation except when such decisions are delegated by the congregation or our bylaws to groups of members (for example, to the Board of Trustees and various standing committees).
There is no church hierarchy that seeks our obedience. Our church is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA,) through which the 1,000 UU congregations in the United States seek to help each other. We receive support and guidance from the UUA but are not beholden to this organization.
An Annual Congregational Meeting is held in May each year to hear reports from the president, the minister, and staff members; review the past year’s financial report; elect new members to the Board of Trustees; adopt the budget for the next church year; and conduct any other business specified in the notice of the meeting.
Unitarian Universalism has a long tradition of shared ministry and governance. The following links give more information about our lay leadership, our governance process, and the covenants created by our committees and staff.
If you are interested in leadership at any level, you are encouraged to contact the Leadership Development Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.