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Sample Congregational Policies (Fairfax)

Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Fairfax (UUCF) Social Justice Council (SJC) Advocacy Policy And Procedures
Approved 2000

Policy

The purpose of the Social Justice Council Advocacy Policy is to make policy decisions and take positions as a Council on social justice issues, and to take positions as a congregation after completion of an appropriate policy-making process which the Board has approved.

From the UUCF SJC Charter approved by the UUCF Board of Trustees, 7/13/97

Concept Statement on Advocacy

The Social Justice Council accepts the authority and responsibility for making, on its own behalf (and not on behalf of the UUCF as a whole), public expressions of position on matters of social justice and conscience in connection with public policy, and related issues of the day. The Council will arrive at such positions following full and open discussion within the Council, guided by commonly shared UU Principles and Beliefs, and the UUCF Mission & Covenant Statement. The goal shall be to arrive at a consensus, but it shall be sufficient and required that at least 6 Council members (including the Lay Minister) be in favor of the position to be taken. It is expected that all council members be engaged in the discussion surrounding any position considered for public advocacy.

Advocacy Statement appended to charter by the SJC 10/22/97

Procedures

  1. There are two ways in which UUCF can take public positions on social justice issues: (1) Social Justice Council (SJC) resolutions and Congregational Resolutions. The Social Justice Council (SJC) reviews both types of resolutions. Also UUCF members may seek direct approval of a Congregational resolution by petitioning for a congregational meeting.
     
  2. Individuals seeking Social Justice Council endorsement of a position submit a proposal to the Council for action. The Council then reviews the proposed resolution for consistency with UU Shared Principles, existing UUA resolutions, UUCF mission statements, and other relevant considerations. The Council decides by vote, as provided in SJC by-laws, whether to endorse the proposal. Social Justice Council endorsements represent the views of the Council only and do not constitute congregational endorsement.
     
  3. If the Social Justice Council feels that wider congregational support for a resolution is desirable, it proceeds, with the cooperation of all interested parties, as follows:
     
    1. The Council notifies all UUCF ministers (including lay ministers), relevant UUCF committees and the congregation as a whole of the proposed resolution and invites comment within 90 days of notification. During that period, the Council coordinates appropriate measures for congregational study and discussion, such as background papers, forums, newsletter articles and the like.
       
    2. The Social Justice Council arranges to provide each UUCF member with (1) the text of the proposed congregational resolution as approved by the SJC, (2) a summary of comments received to date, 3) a copy of these procedures and (4) appropriate supplementary documents.
       
    3. The Board then schedules a congregational vote on the resolution at the next Annual Meeting or at a special congregational meeting for the purpose of considering one or more social justice resolutions in accordance with UUCF by-laws. A Congregational social justice resolution requires a favorable vote by three-fourths of all members present and voting.

In keeping with our UU [Unitarian Universalist] Shared Principles, a Congregational social justice resolution does not bind any individual UUCF member to the position nor in any way devalues those members who oppose the position. Minority opinions foster the diversity we cherish and represent an opportunity for continued dialogue among ourselves and in the community at large.

Unanimously approved by the Social Justice Council on 3/13/00 and approved by the UUCF Board of Trustees

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Monday, August 29, 2011.

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