Congregation as Employer
Whether it is as a Religious Educator, a Building and Grounds Manager, a Membership Director, an Administrator, a Child Care Coordinator, or any of the other professional staff positions that exist in our congregations, working for a Unitarian Universalist Congregation can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. It can allow someone to blend their personal values and beliefs with a professional calling that works to create a better world, and support a congregation that serves the community.
And, working for a Unitarian Universalist Congregation can be difficult. Congregations often struggle with issues of authority and responsibility. There are often challenges in providing professional staff with appropriate professional development support, guidance, and the necessary authority to fulfill their responsibilities.
It is also a challenge for many congregations to provide the level of compensation and benefits that adequately compensate the dedicated professionals to serve our congregations. For many congregations, staffing costs constitute the majority of the congregational budget, and so when the congregation faces financial difficulty, it is often most felt in staffing compensation and benefits.
The Unitarian Universalist Association and the Central East Region recognize the challenges and the blessings both of working for a Unitarian Universalist congregation, as well as the challenges and the blessings of congregations as they seek to be good employers. Each CER-UUA Staff Primary Contact can help congregations to make good staffing practices, develop good personnel policies, and engage systems of accountability and professional development support that will help each employee of a congregation to both serve well, and to find their work fulfilling of their own values and beliefs, as well as the congregation’s mission.
In times of major staff transition, the CER-UUA Team can provide guidance to help a congregation to revision their staffing needs, to best fulfill the congregation’s goals, vision, and mission. We can also help a congregation vision and develop a Volunteer Staffing program, to create the necessary structure and support to integrate volunteers more effectively with a congregation’s staffing team.
There is also the UUA Office of Church Staff Finance, which supports congregations through providing access to Compensation Guidelines, Benefit Programs, and some staffing and personnel consultation, along with many other resources. The Church Staff Finance Office is always ready to assist congregations in becoming and remaining Good Employers.
- NEW - pages explaining Federal COVID-19 changes and special programs. Congregations as Employers During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Federal Policies and Actions Related to COVID-19
- NEW - the UUA Compensation Standards Page, which provides both recommendations and legal requirements for pay and benefits.
- Office of Church Finance Benefits Tune-up Guidebook (PDF)
- Congregations as Employers Resource Pages
- UUA Office of Church Staff Finance
- Sign up for Compensation and Staffing News
- Sample Congregational Personnel Manual
- Publications of the Office of Church Staff Finances
- UUA Health Plan
- UUA Retirement Plan
- Book - When Moses Met Aaron: Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations by Gil Rendle and Susan Beaumont
- UUA Benefit Plans and Compensation Guidelines
- Susan Beaumont’s Blog
- Book - The Business of the Church by John Wimberly (on Amazon)
- Fulfilling the Call (Ministerial Professional Development Support)
- Article on When Members become Employees by Rev. David Pyle
- Article on Designing a Staff Retreat by Rev. David Pyle