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  • Reference Checks for Staff (Other Than Ministers)

    Use the following reference check guidelines when hiring professional religious leaders and staff, and when recruiting volunteers whose work will put them in close contact with children and persons in vulnerable circumstances.
    2/13/2020
  • Background Checks

    Use the following guidelines when calling ministers, hiring professional religious leaders and staff, and recruiting volunteers whose work will put them in close contact with children and persons in vulnerable circumstances.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 2/13/2020
  • UUA Sponsored Insurance & Retirement Plans

    The UUA wants to help our congregations live into their values by offering benefit plans that protect their employees, including health plans that reflect UU values
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 2/13/2020
  • UUA Compensation Standards

    Compensation Standards include legal requirements related to pay and benefits administration. Complying with laws related to compensation is foundational to right relationship between employer and employee.
    By Jan Gartner, UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 2/10/2020
  • Options for the Back Office

    A big part of keeping a congregation going could be called “Back Office” tasks. These are important but hidden tasks, like emailing the newsletter and paying the bills. Doing these well can help a congregation stay healthy and vital.
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 1/8/2020
    Filed in: LeaderLab
  • Congregational Size Dynamics

    No one fact says more about a group of human beings than its size. Dan Hotchkiss shares some of the differences in dynamics.
    By Dan Hotchkiss | 12/19/2019
  • Completing W-2 Forms

    Guidance and resources for completing W-2 forms for both ministers and other congregational staff.
    By Jan Gartner | 12/6/2019
  • The Unique Finances of Your Minister

    You’ve probably heard that there are special tax rules for ministers. Most church leaders don’t need to be experts on ministerial compensation, but it’s important to understand the basics of how payroll and taxes for the minister differ from other employees.
    By Jan Gartner | 12/6/2019
  • Salary and Payroll Resources

    Be confident in your pay practices! Our guidelines and resources will help you establish appropriate salaries and benefits, understand wage and hour law, manage ministerial payroll, and more.
    By Jan Gartner, Richard Nugent | 12/5/2019
  • Negotiating an Agreement: Key Considerations for Ministers

    These recommendations and reminders are provided in order to support you in having meaningful, fruitful conversations with any congregation you might consider serving.
    By Richard Nugent, Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • Exempt or Non-Exempt?

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that protects employees by establishing standards for a minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and youth employment. Every employee needs to be properly classified as exempt or nonexempt. Make sure you are in compliance!
    By Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • Ministerial Compensation 101

    Is the minister an employer or independent contractor? Who is considered a minister?
    By Richard Nugent, Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • Housing Allowance for Ministers

    The Ministerial Housing Allowance enables ministers to exclude some of their salary from certain taxes. For most active and retired ministers, it is their most important tax benefit.
    By Richard Nugent, Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • UUA Compensation Consultants

    We know that learning about staff compensation can be confusing. UUA Compensation Consultants are here to help! Compensation Consultants are trained volunteers who work under the direction of the Office of Church Staff Finances.
    By Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • Inquire: Develop Feedback Loops for Leaders

    All systems need feedback loops and organizations like congregations are no different. Your Leadership Development program will be more responsive if you develop assessments and other tools to help you learn and adjust as needed.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 12/5/2019
  • A Guide to Leadership Development in Your Congregation

    Many congregations only think about developing new leaders around the time that the nominating committee is looking for potential board members. Instead, we recommend that congregations see leadership development as part of an arc of faith development that includes not just...
    12/5/2019
  • Immersion Experiences for UU Leaders

    Leadership Schools offer an immersion learning experience that can be transformational. Schools range from whole weeks to long weekends to online versions. Each school has its own culture and format, some offered by regions and some offered nationally.
    12/4/2019
  • Core Leadership Trainings

    Effective Leadership Development teams focus on recruiting and relationship building. By using our suite of four leadership development trainings, you can spend less time on content and more on connection. All of our courses have discussion questions that you can use for in-...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 12/4/2019
  • Copyright Policy

    Congregations need to follow copyright laws and ensure their leaders and staff are aware of these laws.
    12/2/2019
  • Fiduciary Policies

    The board, as "trustees," have specific responsibilities to the congregation that should be articulated in fiduciary policies. Along with the governance policies that guide the board's work , the board also needs to set policies around safety, finance, capital assets, and...
    11/25/2019
  • Governance Policies

    Governance policies augment the bylaws by giving more detail and guidance. Policies defining board member roles and conduct, meetings for both the board and congregation.
    11/25/2019
  • Board Committees

    Boards, especially in congregations with 100 or more members, find that delegating part of their fiduciary work to committees and/or task forces helps to free them up for big-picture and visionary discussions. The board reserves decision-making authority.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/24/2019
  • Adaptive Leadership (Training)

    Online Course. Develop advanced leadership skills that will help identify challenges. Learn how to help others see challenges in new ways, empower others and find creative solutions together. This course includes developing your own case study.
    By UU Leadership Institute, Renee Ruchotzke | 11/22/2019
  • Strategic Leadership (Training)

    Online Training. Develop a deeper understanding of how to focus your congregation on mission, build trust and develop a cohesive leadership team. Learn about stewardship, strategic planning, annual goal setting and ministry assessment and the basics of congregational governance.
    By UU Leadership Institute, Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, Kathy McGowan, Renee Ruchotzke | 11/21/2019
  • Centered Leadership Part Two (Course)

    Online Leadership School includes family and other systems thinking applied to congregations. (Similar to Healthy Congregations®) Learn healthy leadership practices, communication and conflict skills, the importance of being mission-focused and how to communicate across...
    By UU Leadership Institute, Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, Kathy McGowan, Renee Ruchotzke | 11/21/2019
  • Centered Leadership Part One (Course)

    Online Leadership School for new leaders and those interested in possible leadership. Covers covenant, healthy communication and boundaries, shared ministry, and stewardship & an introduction to congregational polity, UU theologies, and the wider UU movement.
    By UU Leadership Institute, Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, Kathy McGowan, Renee Ruchotzke | 11/21/2019
  • Starting a RACI Conversation

    RACI charts are helpful to be clear about shared process, especially the part about which body gets to have “final” say.
    By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong | 11/18/2019
  • Further Accessibility: Closed Captioning of Services via WiFi

    The technology in our pockets now makes it possible to provide live translation of speech to text at church.
    By Bob Renjilian | 11/6/2019
  • Denominational Affairs Committee

    The denominational affairs committee provides a liaison between the congregation and both the Unitarian Universalist Association and the region.
    10/17/2019
  • Congregational Membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association

    A list of the documents and procedures you need to apply to be a member congregation of the UUA.
    By Heather Bond | 10/17/2019
  • Process Observation

    Healthy groups provide feedback loops so they can learn and grow as a group. One practice is to designate a "process observer" who takes notes on group process.
    By DRUUMM (Diverse & Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries) | 10/6/2019
  • Radical Hospitality Theology

    I believe that the theological basis for hospitality – radical hospitality –is the concept of the Creative Interchange as expressed by process theologian Henry Nelson Wieman. In Wieman’s theological model, the source of human good is what he calls the Creative Interchange. You...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 9/29/2019
  • Whose Work Is It? Thoughts on Non-Violent Communication, Dominant Culture, and Power Dynamics

    Any tool, including NonViolent Communication, can be dangerous if it is used as a weapon, so let’s use the best tool for the job – and let’s use it in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone, including ourselves.
    By Lisa Bovee-Kemper | 9/25/2019
  • Sparking Creativity: Creating Abundance

    Every congregation I go to has a list of things they have to do or want to do that they just can’t do because they don’t have the resources – money, volunteers, energy, space, whatever it is. Maybe it’s time to change your framing so that you can create abundance.
    By Megan Foley | 9/11/2019
  • Sparking Creativity: Yes We Can If...

    When thinking about needed or wanted change, congregations can sometimes feel stymied. And, let’s face it, human systems like religious communities don’t tend to like to change. In a way, we need to trick the system in order to allow in energy and creativity.
    By Megan Foley | 9/11/2019
  • Communicating Changes to Bylaws

    Bylaws changes require approval by the congregation in a meeting of the whole. Like any significant change, changes to bylaws should be communicated as clearly as possible with lots of opportunity for questions and comments.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 9/11/2019
  • Worship Associates Training Sample (West Shore)

    This worship associates training model was developed by the Revs. Wayne Arnason and Kathleen Rolenz (authors of Worship that Works) during the time they serve West Shore UU Church in Rocky River, Ohio.
    By Wayne B Arnason, Kathleen Rolenz, West Shore UU Church, Cleveland, OH | 9/3/2019
  • Employee or Independent Contractor?

    Each individual you compensate is either an employee or an independent contractor. This is a critical legal distinction, with implications for benefits, taxes, and more.
    By Jan Gartner | 8/13/2019
  • Social Media Policy

    A congregation's web presence is often its first chance to make a good impression. Design policies that balance accountability with creativity and engagement.
    8/13/2019
  • Showing Films in Congregations

    Planning to Show a Film? You are legally and ethically required to follow public performance laws.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/13/2019
  • Sharing Photos or Video with the UUA

    Your UUA staff loves to use photos from our congregations on the UUA website! Here's how:
    By UUA Information Technology Service Staff Group: Web Team | 8/13/2019
  • Sample Photo and Video Permission Form

    Congregations and other Unitarian Universalist (UU) organizations should adopt a permissions policy for photos and video. Here is a sample.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/13/2019
  • Photo and Video Permissions Policy

    Even with the wide sharing of photos and video on social social media, congregations still need policies that enable them to follow copyright law, protect the vulnerable and follow the core value of consent.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/13/2019
  • Website Policies

    In most cases, a communications vehicle that represents a congregation should be owned and operated by the congregation as a whole, and be used to further the mission and values of the congregation. Along those lines, here are some specific areas that might be helpful for...
    8/13/2019
  • When Thinking About Fundraising, Think "Pockets"

    Giving to the annual operating fund is the “monthly expenses” pocket, giving to the capital campaign is the “home renovations” pocket. What other pockets of giving do we see in congregations?
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/13/2019
  • Personnel Committee Charter Policy

    Personnel Committees operate like Human Resources departments in that they don't hire, manage or supervise staff. Instead they advise on best practices.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/12/2019
  • Staffing and Interdependence: When a Staff Member Changes Congregations

    When a staff member changes congregations, these values and suggestions can help uphold sound processes and healthy relationships.
    By Jan Gartner, Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/4/2019
  • Assess Your Hospitality Using Secret Seekers

    Almost all of our visitors come hoping that they will find their spiritual home. They have not just wandered off the street and into our sanctuaries, they have done their homework: They know what Unitarian Universalism claims to be, and are now seeing if a particular...
    By Pacific Western Region of the UUA | 8/2/2019
  • Finance Committee

    The Finance Committee assists the board and financial officers (i.e. the Treasurer) in monitoring and managing the congregation's financial resources by providing reports and making recommendations. The authority to make decisions from this information rests with the board.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/2/2019
  • Money Matters Resources

    Consulting, Publications and Connects for Congregational Finance staff and leaders.
    7/29/2019

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For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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