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Leader Resource

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A Guide to Creating a Board Policy Book

  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Some responsibilities are held in common by all officers and directors, and some duties are specific to a particular office. The bylaws should set out these particularities in general terms, and specific responsibilities that may change over time should be stipulated in other governing policy...

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InterConnections: Articles for UU Leaders

LeaderLab

  • By Sarah Movius Schurr
    Systems theory is extremely helpful in understanding how people work in groups and why change is sometimes so difficult.
  • By UUA Information Technology Service Staff Group
    Hackers are getting more sophisticated every day. The best defense is to encourage your employees, volunteers and congregation members to pause and look for warning signs before responding to any unsolicited email.
  • By Sarah Movius Schurr
    What can the congregation do in a crisis to avoid a crash during conflict? The solution mostly falls to the work of the driver of the car or the congregational leaders.
  • By Laura Park
    Unity offers deep questions and commitments for governance within a progressive religious, covenantal context: Whose Are We? What Do We Value? What Are Our Commitments?
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    A wonderful exercise to elicit emerging ideas and to discover where the energy resides in a large group.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Small congregations need a governance system that is "right sized" for the unique needs and challenges generated by their size. ...
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Nurturing the relationship between a congregation and its governing body.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Leadership is an important, yet elusive concept. It takes on different forms in different settings. The intent of Policy Governance® is to give operational definition to "leadership" as it applies in the specific context of a governing Board. It addresses the questions: "How can a group of peers be...
  • By Kathy McGowan, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Procedures should have the flexibility to change as the organization changes size, staff, technologies and other situational factors.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    If you are proposing bylaws for a new congregation, you may wish to include a provision dealing with their initial adoption.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    The Bylaws of the UUA require that to be affiliated with the UUA all congregations must have a dissolution clause in their bylaws.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Congregations should include bylaws provisions that enable the congregation to terminate the covenantal relationship when the trust and confidence in the minister has been compromised or eroded.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Very few things that a congregation does affect it as greatly, or are as important, as the choice of a minister. Wonderful ministerial-congregational matches provide new life and purpose to an institution and help lead both parties well into the future. Therefore, congregations must ensure that they...
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Some congregations want more flexibility in how they approach membership. For the purpose of the bylaws, it's important to clarify who has voting rights.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    The minimum requirements for congregational membership should be included in the bylaws. Specific details about these requirements can be articulated in policies and updated as needed.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Spelling out membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in a congregation's bylaws clearly defines the congregation as a Unitarian Universalist congregation.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    The purpose provision of the bylaws distinguishes the congregation from other institutions in the community and sets out the basic parameters for all the activity of the congregation.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Choosing or changing the name of the congregation is an important decision, for it will help shape the congregation's vision and image.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Bylaws exist to support and enhance the functioning of the congregation. Good bylaws provide good process.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    All bylaws need to be amended from time to time. Ideas and thoughts change, and new situations arise that need to be addressed in the bylaws. Bylaws should include provisions on how they can be amended.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Working on Bylaws means learning together, designing a transparent process with input, and building consent before congregational voting.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    The Bylaws provide the formal structure of your congregation and allow for maintaining and changing that structure. Bylaws hold the highest level of authority of congregational guiding documents and are the hardest to change.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    Even without a clear shared theology, Unitarian Universalists have a clear shared polity, or governance structure, that helps to inform our theology. This overview summarizes why our polity is essential to who we are.
  • By Kathleen Parker, Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society, Inc.
    Church members generally agree that saving church records is a good thing – but the reality of doing that raises a number of questions. Which items should be saved, and by extension, is it okay to throw some items out?
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    A shared history is a powerful bond and an awareness of history can foster a sense of pride and a feeling of connectedness. The telling of this history, whether in oral or written form, is one of the most important ways that newer members of a family are welcomed into the group. ...
  • By Kenneth Hurto
    Whenever two parts of a system become uncomfortable with one another, they will turn their focus to a third person or issue as a way to stabilize their own relationship with one another.
  • By William E Gardner
    Church leaders need to give serious consideration to whether a controversial issue should be acted on or not.
  • By William E Gardner
    Some of the most volatile disagreements in the life of the congregations have to do with who speaks for the congregation on controversial issues. How does a congregation decide?
  • By Stefan Jonasson
    How might fees for Sunday School impact your congregation?
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    More resources to help understand and lead congregation growth!
  • By Jan Christian, Pacific Western Region of the UUA
    Beloved Community, Covenantal Relationships and Restoring Connection ...
  • By James Kubal-Komoto, Pacific Western Region of the UUA
    A congregation’s mission is an answer to the question, “Why does this congregation exist in the world?” Congregational leaders are constantly faced with a barrage of decisions. Without a clear mission, how can they make those decisions?
  • The vision, mission, covenant and other guiding documents can be incorporated into the life of the congregation in an unlimited number of ways in order to keep them in front of the members. The following are some suggestions:
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    To keep your mission, vision, covenant and other guiding documents relevant, it's helpful to revisit them every 5-7 years.
  • By Douglas Zelinski
    Mission speaks to the congregation’s calling, the source of its integrity and it’s central reason for being. What are we called to be and do?
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    Vision statements need to be useful to the leaders. Effective vision statements tend to have common characteristics.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    This process can be run in a morning, afternoon, or a longish evening. The program works well with teenagers on up to seniors.
  • By First Parish in Lexington, Lexington, MA
    A consensus decision-making model empowers participants to cooperate with one another in order to reach an outcome that is in the best interest of the group as a whole and that furthers the group’s stated purpose.
  • By Renee Ruchotzke
    What do we need as a core theology to take down today's giants of racism, patriarchy, environmental destruction, and other ills of the 21st century?
  • By Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe, David Pyle, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    What are the basic documents that every board member should have at their fingertips? Here is a handy list to construct your own board manual.
  • By Robert L. Eller-Isaacs, Laura Park
    Sample Scripts from the 2009 UU University Governance Track.
  • By Stefan Jonasson
    Establishing good communication practices and healthy boundaries are essential to attracting and keeping good staff. This article gives an overview of good practices, with special tips for congregations of various sizes.
  • By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group
    All congregations must understand that the instruments of congregational polity will vary with the size of the congregation. The practices of governance must be suited to the characteristics of the individual congregation.
  • An overview of how UU governance developed over time.

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