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Becoming a Congregation
Becoming a Congregation or Covenanting Community
Congregational Administration

Being a Unitarian Universalist is all about interconnection! 

If you don't have a UU community nearby, you may want to join the Church of the Larger Fellowship, which has a robust online presence.

If you have a local group who are interesting in creating your own UU community, here are some resources:

Holiday concert at First Parish in Bedford, MA.

Options for New UU Communities

The UUA bylaws require a minimum number of 30 adult members to apply to be a member congregation, but there are other ways to connect to the UUA and get advice and support.

  1. Contact your regional staff. They have experience and can be a thought partner with your leaders.
  2. Consider becoming a Covenanting Community, which can be a first step, or be an option for housing co-ops, groups in retirement homes, or other non-congregational ways of being a community.
  3. Review resources for New and Emerging Congregations to help guide you in a path toward becoming a congregation.
  4. Consider applying for 501c3 status.

Intentionality for New Congregations

Decisions made in the early years of a new congregation will influence its future for years to come. An organizing approach should include the following:

  • A long-term vision and understanding of purpose.
  • Inspiring lay and ministerial leaders who are knowledgeable about organizing a new congregation.
  • Knowledge of previous efforts and strategies known to work.
  • An assessment of the geographic area, including needs of the population to be served.
  • A carefully crafted plan.
  • Adequate financing and resources.
  • Support from the larger UU community. 
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Additional Resources for New UU Communities


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...

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