When to Hold the Congregational Meeting

Q. Our church has just gone to two services and had our first congregational meeting after the second service. We wonder if we are disenfranchising those who attend the first service since few people return for the meeting. How do other churches handle congregational meetings when they have multiple services?

A. Dalroy Ward of the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregation of Columbia, MD (345), which recently went to two services, has its congregational meetings in the evening. "We tie them to a potluck dinner so they're social events as well," he says.

Scott Norris, president of the UU Congregation of Frederick, MD (279), says, "We have switched to one service on Sundays when a congregational meeting occurs that would require voting. We have also placed the meeting between the two services when the meeting can be kept short."

Vance Bass, a board member of First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, NM (613), says they hold their meetings late on Sunday afternoon. "This gives people a chance to go home, get lunch, do some gardening or whatever, then come back. Often, the meetings are cast as community-building affairs, with refreshments afterwards."

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.

For more information contact interconnections@uua.org.

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