Tapestry of Faith: The New UU: A Program for Welcoming Newcomers to Unitarian Universalist Congregations

Alternate Activity 2: Our Congregation's Organizational Structure

Part of The New UU

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Complete Leader Resource 2, Our Congregation's Structure, with help from appropriate leaders in the congregation.
  • Make copies of the congregational organizational chart or summary.

Description of Activity

Introduce the activity with these or similar words:

We have talked in an abstract way about democracy and congregational polity and how they function within our congregations. Each Unitarian Universalist congregation functions a little differently in terms of the specifics, because we are self-governed. This activity gives us a chance to introduce the structure of our congregation. Our hope is to make the process transparent enough that you will know to whom to take your questions or concerns as they arise.

Briefly share about your congregation's structure, based on the information you have gathered using Leader Resource 2, Our Congregation's Structure. Distribute the organizational chart or summary you have prepared.

Invite participants to suggest who they would contact about:

  • A social justice issue that you felt needed attention?
  • A fundraising idea?
  • A pastoral need (e.g., hospitalization)?
  • An offer to play music?
  • An idea for an adult religious education program?
  • A concern about an interaction with a staff person?
  • Publicity for a community event?
  • Requests for child care during a congregational activity?

Be sure each correct answer is clearly identified, for example, by a response such as, "Yes, our child care coordinator handles all requests for child care." Gently correct misconceptions, for example, by eliciting other responses. Acknowledge areas where there is confusion or ambiguity. For example, you might say, "It's confusing who to go to about a problem with a staff interaction, since they all have different supervisors. You do want to know who the appropriate supervisor is, and the Human Resources Committee could help you determine that." Invite any questions or comments that participants may have.