Sample Congregational Policies (Southwest Michigan)
Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Southwest Michigan Faith in Action Committee
Policy on Public Statements
- No member or friend of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Southwest Michigan (hereafter known as the Church) will make a statement, on their own, in the name of the Church or on behalf of the church. This includes letters to the editor, statements to any governmental body, oral or written, or to any public or private organization. A person may identify himself or herself as a member or friend of the Church if it is clear that the opinion expressed is that of the individual making the statement and not the position of the Church. Statements may be about or refer to ballot issues, or any other type of issue. However, in no case will a statement contain a political partisan reference and the name of the Church.
- The Faith in Action Committee identifies issues that may be important to the Church and the greater community. The Committee provides information to the entire congregation and initiate discussion on the issue. Issues may include, but are not limited to, resolutions that will come before the General Assembly or that have previously been passed by the General assembly.
- When the Faith in Action Committee believes an issue is worthy of taking a public stand, the Committee presents to the issue to the Board of Trustees in the form of a resolution. The Board may recommend a resolution for congregational discussion with the intent of having the congregation reach formal consensus (copy attached) at a duly called Congregational Meeting called for this purpose. The discussion may take several formats and need not be part of a Congregational Meeting, but no formal agreement may be reached other than at a Congregation Meeting for that purpose. Informal discussions may continue for weeks or months. The Board may choose not to recommend a resolution to the Congregation. In this case, the Board is advised to pursue a process for discussion of the resolution among Church members and friends. Alternatively, if the Board chooses not to recommend a resolution for any discussion, a Congregational Meeting may be called by a petition signed by thirty percent of the active members of the Church.
The Board’s decision in response to a resolution from the Faith in Action Committee should be based on at least the following considerations:
- Fit with the core values of our Church;
- Fit the UU Principles;
- Timeliness/ Urgency;
- Availability of sufficient information to make a decision;
- Discussion of the issue will advance the mission of the Church.
- The Board will report back to the Faith in Action Committee the rational for its decision.
- No resolution may support or criticize a candidate for public office or any political party.
When consensus on a resolution is reached, the Congregation must then concur as to how the resolution will be made public: some options are:
- The Board President;
- Any member of the Board;
- The chair of the Faith in Action Committee;
- Any member of the Committee;
- Any member of the congregation;
- The minister;
- Or some combination of the above.
- The resolution may be expressed either written or orally to an appropriate recipient which may also be designated.