Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Visual aids, such as a list of the congregation's board members and their roles, copies of board agendas, or photos of board members
Preparation for Activity
- Invite two congregational board members as guests. Seek diversity in age, ethnicity, gender, and length of service. It would be nice if one is an officer and the other an at-large member. Ask them to prepare a short (no more than five minutes) presentation on the congregation's board and what it does, with a focus on decision making and one or two examples the children will understand. Offer the guests these questions as a guide:
- How did you come to be a member of the board? Did you need to be elected, or did you simply say "yes?"
- How is taking part in the governance of the congregation a sign of your UU faith?
- What does the board do?
- What are the roles on the board?
- What happens at board meetings?
- When is board work hard?
- What kinds of decisions does the board make? Can you give an example?
- How does the board make decisions?
- How do our UU values inform the board's decision-making process?
- Who and what else helps the board to govern? What other ways does the congregation make group decisions?
Description of Activity
Children talk to board members about congregational governance.
Say that any group of people will find itself having to make decisions if they want to do anything. Ask the group what they know about how the congregation makes decisions. Affirm that different groups within the congregation might have decisions to make, and they might make them in different ways. If your congregation has staff, tell the group what kind of decisions the staff makes and how-for example, who chooses the hymns that will be sung in worship? Who decides what will be posted on congregational bulletin boards? Who decides what the snacks will be at coffee hour?
Introduce the guests and explain that they are members of the board of trustees or directors (use your congregation's language), which makes decisions for the entire congregation. Invite the guests to give their presentation, using any visuals you or they brought. Encourage the children to ask questions.