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Knowing Where You've Been: Maintaining Records and Archives
Maintaining Databases, Records and Archives
Congregational Administration

In today's world, there are many ways to keep and store records digitally. The most important thing about digital records is to make sure there you have redundant back-up systems using current technologies.

Church computers should have limited access and be password-protected.

Here are some general guidelines:

Current Records

 

Hard Copy

Church

Computer

Website

Password

Protected?

Membership Roster yes yes opt. yes
Member & Friends Directory (with photos) yes yes yes yes
Current Bylaws yes yes yes no
Current Policies yes yes yes no
Staff Contact Information yes yes yes no
Board Member Contact Information yes yes yes opt.
Committee Chair / Team Leader Info yes yes yes opt.
Board minutes (past 24 months) yes yes yes yes
Newsletters (past 24 months) yes yes yes no
Pledge and Giving Records opt. yes no n/a
Financial Reports yes yes yes yes

 

Church Office Basics

An efficient office requires creative management and close adherence to deadlines. It also requires close cooperation between staffs and volunteers.

Keeping Meeting Minutes

The meeting minutes from board meetings and congregational meetings create the official, legal record of the actions of the board or congregation. For the congregation, they are important as an accurate historical record. 

Annual Reports

Annual reports, often published in conjunction with a congregation's annual meeting, provide an opportunity to report on the annual goals that are serving the mission and vision of the congregation.

Tips for Church Archives

Important documents need to be kept securely. Here are some tips on what to keep and how to keep it.

Writing the History of Your Congregation

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.

About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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