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  • The Unity Consulting Approach to Congregational Governance

    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 Laura Park | 5/2/2019
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  • Election and Composition of the Governing Board for Bylaws

    The governing board is the fiduciary agent for the congregation, operating as a single unit in service of the congregation's mission.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 4/16/2019
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  • Governance Manual for Congregational Boards

    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 Sunshine Jeremiah Wolfe, David Pyle, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 1/22/2019
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  • Job Descriptions for Board Officers

    What are typical job descriptions for the officers on a congregational board? Here is summary of typical roles and responsibilties.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/31/2018
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  • Stewardship Overview for Congregational Presidents

    A supportive board is essential for a successful stewardship campaign. This overview helps congregational boards understand what is needed.
    By William Clontz, Southern Region of the UUA, Stewardship for Us | 10/4/2018
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  • Help Keep Your Board Out of the Weeds with "Dashboard" Financial Reports

    It's hard for boards to operate with a 30,000 foot view of the congregation's finances when they are given detailed spreadsheets of tracking the minutia of the budget. A much more useful tool is a "dashboard" report.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/16/2018
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  • Should We Have a Youth on Our Board?

    Here are some guiding questions and ideas about including a youth on your congregation's board.
    By Evin Carvill Ziemer | 4/3/2018
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  • Executive Sessions

    pen process and transparent communication are essential to self-governing institutions like congregations. Board meetings are usually open to any of the members. If this happens, good hospitality and boundaries can make it a positive experience for all. But there are also times...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 3/16/2018
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  • Executive Committees

    Congregations often have unexpected issues that arise between board meetings that need immediate attention. ...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/16/2018
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  • Board Retreats

    Many congregations start the church year with a retreat for the Board of Trustees (including the Minister). Ideally, this retreat is held Friday evening through Saturday afternoon, at a site away from the place you usually meet. Perhaps you could go to someone's lake cabin or a...
    By MidAmerica Region of the UUA | 2/28/2018
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  • Five Strategic Tasks of a Governing Board

    After a congregational governing board has begun to transition the operations and management of a congregation out of the governing board and towards the congregational staff or a lay and staff leadership team, I will regularly receive the same question from congregational...
    By David Pyle | 2/25/2018
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  • The Relationship Between the Governing Board and Congregational Professional Staff

    One of the most common sources of tension in a congregation where conflict occurs that involves governing boards is the relationship between governing boards and the congregation’s professional staff, including the minister. I have found that much of this conflict arises from...
    By David Pyle | 2/25/2018
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  • Great Teams Make Great Boards

    Congregational boards are intended to provide collective discernment rather than be a forum for competing interests or agendas. Faithful boards are in alignment with and accountable to the mission and vision of the congregation. Effective boards trust each other enough to listen...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 2/14/2018
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  • Governance and Ministry: A Partnership

    A brief overview of how Governance and Ministry partner to serve the mission of the congregation. (Based on Dan Hotchkiss's Governance and Ministry, 2nd Edition.)
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 2/7/2018
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  • 6 Styles of Congregational Governing Boards

    Every Unitarian Universalist Congregation is designed differently. How each congregation functions is a blend of congregational experience, culture, and history. Congregational structures are also affected by whether and which other congregations members have attended or been a...
    By David Pyle | 1/17/2018
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  • When in Doubt Retreat

    Fun and Effective Team Building Activities for Your Board, Committees, and Congregation Synergy is what happens when a group of people accomplish something that one or two or a few alone could not. Where there is teamwork, there is synergy. This session will describe several...
    By Mark Bernstein | 12/17/2017
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  • Self Care for Board Members

    Serving on a congregational board can be both rewarding and stressful. Some stress is natural, but certain kinds of stress can lead to burn-out. It's important for board to develop a culture that supports board members in their work as well as in their own growth and development...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 11/16/2017
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  • Practicing Intercultural Agility

    In order for a congregation to reflect the global majority in its membership, its leaders must learn to model how to de-center the culture of the congregation from White identity and culture. Here are some practices to get you started.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 11/15/2017
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  • Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice

    There is virtually nothing that you can do in your congregation that is more exciting or enlivening as serving as a lay leader. Moving from receiving to giving back to your community can be a rewarding experience of growth and deepening. ...
    By Erik Walker Wikstrom, Skinner House Books | 11/15/2017
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  • Tips for Holding a Meeting

    Learn how to better prepare for a meeting with tips on setting up space and meeting flow.
    11/3/2017
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  • Meeting Preparation

    Planning well in advance enables leaders to relax and be more present at the actual event, in addition to creating a comfortable environment for participants. The following are nine key areas to consider in preparing meetings. ...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/3/2017
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  • Maximizing Participation in Meetings

    If meetings are to be truly meaningful and transformational, it is crucial to involve participants fully. Read eleven ways to maximize participation.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/3/2017
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  • Congregational Meetings

    The practice of congregational polity dictates that the business of our congregations take place at congregational meetings. Learn how to hold an annual meeting and how to hear reports, elect new positions and approve the annual budget.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/2/2017
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  • Duties of a Board

    Congregational boards hold the authority and responsibility for the congregation as an institution, as designated in the bylaws. Though comprised of individuals, the board must operate as a single entity in service of the mission of the congregation. In other words, individual...
    By Renee Ruchotzke, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 9/15/2017
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  • Congregational Policies and Procedures - An Overview

    Congregational bylaws, which lay the foundation for the congregation as a legal entity, are augmented by other documents that guide the day-to-day operations and decisions of the leaders and members of the congregation. Policies Policies are voted on by the board of trustees...
    9/12/2017
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  • Congregational Bylaws - An Overview

    Bylaws are important in laying the groundwork for any organization. Although written in legal language to satisfy governmental requirements, bylaws also tell the story of a congregation. They encapsulate the vision, hopes, and dreams of the congregation and are also a last...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 9/12/2017
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  • Effective Meetings: Tips and Techniques

    Smooth and efficient meetings require planning, structure, transparency and practice! It takes a lot of practice to be a good facilitator. Even more importantly, good facilitators don't go it alone--they ask other leaders to take on different roles to keep the meeting on...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 6/7/2017
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  • Creating Meetings that Matter

    In many congregations, meetings are considered a necessary evil. It doesn't have to be that way. Learn spiritual and practical ideas for running efficient, effective and faith-based meetings
    By Mark Bernstein, Central East Region of the UUA | 6/7/2017
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  • Green Eyeshades and Rose Colored Glasses

    Congregational budget-makers frequently divide into two camps that approach the task in different ways. The first camp is likely to include children of the Great Depression, experts in finance, elementary school teachers, and persons anxious about their own money situation....
    By Dan Hotchkiss, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/20/2017
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  • 3 Parts of Effective Governance

    When you understand the purpose of governance and what it needs to be effective, your work as a board becomes much clearer.
    By Dan Hotchkiss, UU Leadership Institute | 3/16/2017
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  • Bored with Board Retreats?

    Are you planning a board or leadership retreat for the fall? Do you want something engaging and relevant to the challenges you are facing this upcoming year? Here are some ready-to use resources for you! ...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/21/2012
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  • Vital Leaders for Vibrant Congregations

    Vibrant congregations in today's world live out of a sense of core mission or purpose. Twenty-first leaders need to find ways to embed that mission into all parts of congregational life. This workshop will provide strategies to help your congregation focus its development of...
    By Renee Ruchotzke, Central East Region of the UUA | 4/28/2012
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  • Ten Good Ideas About Effective Governance

    Many of our most committed leaders have sat in congregational board meetings and said to themselves “there must be a better way to do this work”! Many new people have volunteered to do simple task and found themselves frustrated amidst lack of clarity. In this workshop we will...
    By Ian Evison, Lisa Presley, MidAmerica Region of the UUA | 4/14/2010
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