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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

    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
  • 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, UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 8/6/2019
  • 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
  • Endowment Funds

    Endowments need special handling to ensure transparency, accountability and impact.
    7/29/2019
  • Money Matters: Financial Management for Congregations

    As organizations largely staffed by volunteers who may not have a business or accounting background, congregations will want to establish systems, policies and procedures to reinforce financial health and vitality.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/29/2019
  • Embezzlement

    Embezzlement from congregations is not unusual, and it almost always occurs when one individual has been granted such a high degree of trust with no safeguards.
    By Kim Sweeney | 7/29/2019
  • Audits

    Rarely can congregations pay for a full-blown audit of the church books by a CPA. An alternative is a management review of the congregation’s cash management procedures, which can be done by any other accountant or experienced church bookkeeper.
    7/29/2019
  • Tax Exempt Status

    UU Congregations are churches, and exempt under U.S. Tax Law. There may be advantages to seeking 501(c)(3) such as sales tax exemption.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/29/2019
  • Financial Reports

    Financial reports help the finance committee and the board assess the financial health of the congregation so they can make adjustments or decisions as needed.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/26/2019
  • Minister’s Discretionary Fund

    A Minister’s Discretionary Fund is an account that the minister or pastoral care team can use to provide confidential assistance to those facing emergency financial need.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/26/2019
  • Cash Reserves

    A congregations’ income ebbs and flows, so it is a good idea to have some cash reserves that can help keep the bills paid in the summer when attendance and pledge payments fall off.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/26/2019
  • Operating Budget

    Your operating budget helps your congregation live its mission in the world. How you allocate your resources reflects your values and goals.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/26/2019
  • Restricted Accounts

    A portion of the money in the church’s checking accounts may represent money that is held for specific restricted purposes, including various religious education accounts, social action accounts, the minister’s discretionary fund, etc.
    7/26/2019
  • Payroll

    Once the salary and benefits are set by the appropriate church leadership based on recommended practices, it’s important to make sure the payroll is handled accurately and confidentially.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/26/2019
  • Rental Income

    There are nuanced tax rules regarding income derived from renting your building and/or parking lot, depending on its relation to your core purpose.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Gifts and Gratitude: Reporting Contributions and Record Keeping

    When it comes to tracking financial gifts from members in the form of pledge payments and other donations, it's important to remember that the gifts of money are a form of relationship, not just another financial transaction.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/25/2019
  • Electronic Giving

    If dropping a check or cash into the basket is the only way your congregation invites financial gifts, many in your pews can’t participate in the offering even if they feel called to do so.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/25/2019
  • Avoiding Scams

    Because relationship, compassion and trust are all qualities that congregations are trying to cultivate, church members and staff can fall prey to bad actors and con artists.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/25/2019
  • Staff Credit Cards

    Many congregations supply a credit card to more easily segregate work-related expenses. Staff members would only use the card for professional or church expenses.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Expense Reimbursements

    Employees and volunteers should be reimbursed for approved church related expenses upon submission of receipts and accurate expense reports that conform to the annual budget and IRS requirements.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Professional Expense Allowances

    US tax law provides that staff may consider certain items as usual business expenses that are reimbursed beyond the compensation paid to individuals as a necessary expense that is not reported for income tax purposes.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Paying Bills (Disbursements)

    When making sure that your bills are being paid efficiently, accurately and on time, your congregation also needs safeguards to make sure no one has the opportunity to use your system to embezzle funds.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Church Financial Management Software Safeguards

    In setting up church financial management software, it’s important to provide safeguards to prevent tampering with the electronic records
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Segregation of Financial Duties

    All financial best practices depend on reducing the risk of embezzlement or theft by increasing transparency and detection by creating systems and roles that segregate key duties.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/24/2019
  • Handling Petty Cash

    Any petty cash kept in the building should be in a locked file cabinet or safe and should be disbursed only upon submission of a written request.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/24/2019
  • Securing the Sunday Offering

    The Sunday offering is fairly vulnerable to theft or embezzlement unless good checks and balances are in place.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/24/2019
  • Congregational Financial Health

    Having a healthy culture around money will help a congregation have less anxiety and more open communication around money.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/24/2019
  • Typical Board Role Responsibilities

    Some responsibilities are held in common by all officers and and trustees, and some duties are specific to a particular office. The bylaws should give an general description.
    7/24/2019
  • Levels of Conflict

    Not all conflict is alike. Different kinds of conflict require different kinds of responses. This is an overview of a model of conflict by Alban Institute consultant Speed Leas.
    By Renee Ruchotzke, UU Leadership Institute | 6/14/2019
  • Experiencing Conflict? Start with Covenant

    Living in a committed, covenantal community is a great way to avoid destructive conflict.
    By Kathy McGowan | 6/14/2019
  • Developing a Behavioral Covenant

    Does your congregation suffer from constant, divisive conflict? Is your congregation looking to develop its first covenant to help members with healthier behavior? Here is a quick guide:
    By Connie Goodbread | 6/13/2019
  • Watch Out for Triangulation!

    Avoiding triangulation will not eliminate conflict in a congregation but it will help keep it in the constructive and creative zone.
    By Kathy McGowan | 6/11/2019
  • The Unitarian Fellowship Movement

    The History of the Unitarian Fellowship Movement
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 5/14/2019
  • Systems Theory: The Basics

    Systems theory is extremely helpful in understanding how people work in groups and why change is sometimes so difficult.
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 5/10/2019
  • Phishing: Don't Take the Bait!

    Hackers are getting more sophisticated every day. The best defense is to encourage your employees, volunteers and congregation members to pause and look for warning signs before responding to any unsolicited email.
    By UUA Information Technology Service Staff Group | 5/10/2019
  • Five Types of Growth

    ...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 5/8/2019
  • Driving on Ice: A System in Times of Crisis

    What can the congregation do in a crisis to avoid a crash during conflict? The solution mostly falls to the work of the driver of the car or the congregational leaders.
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 5/8/2019

Pages

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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