An Emerging Congregation is one that has not yet been accepted into the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) for membership. It may be new and growing toward full service or not yet ready to become a UUA member congregation. Once a group has Emerging Congregation status, it is listed along with UUA member congregations on UUA.org and so gets the benefit of reaching people who may be new to or visiting the area where they are located, as well as attracting people from the town and surrounding area who may be looking for a liberal religious community. The designation "emerging congregation" indicates the commitment to grow and eventually become a full member congregation of the UUA.
The first step in the process for a group to be listed as an Emerging Congregation on UUA.org is to contact the District Staff in your district. The mission of the UUA Districts is to serve as a resource for local congregations and to help extend Unitarian Universalist influence in the larger community. Building a relationship with the district staff will give access to important resources focused on growing Unitarian Universalism in your town and region. The District staff member is the person that requests the UUA headquarters office to add a group as an Emerging Congregation to UUA.org. In addition to the District staff member's recommendation, the following information (sent to both the District staff member's and to the email address listed at the end of this page) is required:
To list a group as emerging, the group should have either a meeting address or working website or both. It's best if visitors have a way to quickly find out where the new group meets especially if the group meets in more than one location. A website is the best way to list that information. (The UUA has some information on creating a website for a congregation.) Contact phone number/s and email address/es for the group must be working and kept up to date. It is acceptable to list personal contact information if there is no group-specific phone number or email address yet.
Once the Emerging Congregation has grown and is ready, a minimum of 30 members is required for Congregational Membership in the UUA.
New Congregation Development (PDF, 51 pages)
Your Congregation's Bylaws: A Guide to Effective Writing and Revising
A resource for emerging and new congregations on 501(c)(3) processes.
For questions concerning the incorporation of congregations, 501C3 and tax or legal related matters, please contact the office of the UUA's Executive Vice-President at administration @ uua.org.
Congregational Membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association
Belonging: The Meaning of Membership (PDF, 166 pages)—Reports Issued by the Commission on Appraisal
For more information contact growthresources @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Friday, December 12, 2014.
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