The 5th Principle of Unitarian Universalism is “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large”. Each UU congregation is democratic—congregational leaders elected by the membership set their own priorities and choose their own ministers and staff.
UUCLB’s governance arises from our congregation’s membership.
Our Minister is called by the congregation to be our spiritual leader, and to direct all activities in pulpit. As described by the UUA, ministers “help us explore life’s questions, challenge us to live out our values, and comfort us in times of suffering. Ministers teach, preach, listen and learn by leading congregations, serving as chaplains, and working for justice in the community.” The minister is also an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board and all committees, and oversees the staff.
Currently, we are in transition between “settled” ministers, and have hired an Interim Minister to serve us for two and a half years and to assist us in our search for a new minister.
The Minister and the Board of Trustees have overlapping roles in the overall ministry of our church.
Our 9-member Board of Trustees articulates the mission of the church, has fiduciary responsibility for the church, including setting and overseeing the budget, sets broad policies for the church, and empowers committees to do the work of the church.
Board members are elected for 3-year terms at the annual meeting of members of the congregation. The President and Vice President of the board are elected by the board from among their members. In addition to the nine board members there are two other ex-officio officers: the Clerk is directly elected by the members of the congregation, and the Treasurer is appointed by the Board.
The members of the Board take on the duties of acting as liasons to the congregation and committees in seven areas of ministry (in alphabetical order):
- Administration and Finance
- Buildings and Facilities
- Fellowship and Congregational Life
- Lifespan Religious Education
- Social Justice and Denominational Affairs
- Worship and Spiritual Practices
Monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees are open to church members and friends. All church members and leadership are encouraged to participate in the meetings that determine how the church moves forward. Friends are also welcome to come and observe how we reach consensus on long- and short-term goals for our beloved community. Board meetings are generally held in the Lounge in the evening on the second Tuesday of the month.
You can get on the list to receive copies of the Board’s minutes and other reports by email.
Much of the work of the church is carried out by various standing committees and task forces or teams made up of church members and attendees. For instance, the Worship Committee works with the Minister to plan and deliver our Sunday services, the Religious Education Committee works with the Director of Lifespan Religious Education to plan and run Sunday programs for children and youth and classes and events for adults and all-age groups, the Buildings and Facilities Committee maintains our buildings and grounds, and so on. Task forces are brought together as needed to complete particular projects, such as creating our play area and figuring out how to cool our hall.
Individuals are welcome to propose and run events, classes, and projects, and additional volunteers are always welcomed and needed in all areas.
The bimonthly Town Hall Council is a great way to find out what’s going on in different parts of the church, and to discuss or bring issues important to the community. You are welcome to attend these meetings and participate, which are bimonthly, generally on the last Thursday. Check the calendar for the next Town Hall.
It’s up to us all to work together to make our church a vibrant, dynamic, beloved community and institution that reflects and expresses our shared principles.
OUR COVENANT OF RIGHT RELATIONS
We covenant to build a religious community guided by respect and sustained by our principles. We want to listen appreciatively, speak with care, express gratitude, honor our differences and assume good intentions. We endeavor to communicate directly, honestly and compassionately, particularly when we are in conflict. When we hurt one another, we will try to forgive, make amends and reconnect in a spirit of right relationship. In celebration of the common purpose that unites us, we will do our best to abide by this covenant.
– Adopted by UUCLB at Congregational Meeting, November 1, 2009