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When to Rent the Building

Q. Do any churches have a formal policy on calendar setting? That is, how do you decide when the building may be rented to outside groups and when it should be reserved for the congregation's use? Which bodies within the congregation make decisions about the church calendar for the year and how far in advance do you do that?

A. The Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento (UUSS), CA (460 members), has the following policy, says Board President Tiffany Urness:

"The primary function of the UUSS facilities is to benefit and serve the needs and interests of the Society, both short term, for our current membership, and long term, preserving and extending the useful life of the facilities for future generations of members.

"We also allow appropriate community groups to share our facilities when that can be done without displacing regular congregational activities and programs. Under certain limited conditions, we allow the personal use of the facilities by active and current members, and we allow the rental of our facilities to the general public.

"Scheduling is entrusted to the business manager, who establishes policies and procedures for day-to-day use and assigns rooms and settles conflicts by consulting with the appropriate congregational leadership."

In many congregations key leaders hold a meeting in the summer or at the beginning of the church year to put all the significant events for the year on the calendar. Another way to do it is to schedule an event for the following year immediately after that same event has occurred in the present year.

About the Author

  • Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.

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