Our community is governed by congregational polity, which means that we are self-governing and democratic. Members vote on congregational lay leadership, chose our Senior Minister, decide on our annual budget and determine the direction and future of the congregation. Responsibility for the congregation’s continued sustainability rests on members too, their gifts of leadership and finances are essential for its continued care and sustenance.
Despite our independence, we are a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), an association of over 1,000 congregations throughout the United States. The UUA facilitates cooperation between congregations, offers resources and support, assists with ministerial transitions and represents Unitarian Universalism to the wider world. Within the UUA, there are five regions and Fourth Universalist is part of the Central East Region.
At Fourth Universalist, the congregation is led by our Board of Trustees and our Senior Minister. Both are voted on by the membership. The Board oversees the financial, missional, and governance aspects of the congregation, while the Senior Minister serves as head of staff and oversees the ministry of the congregation that includes worship, music, religious education, pastoral care, administration, membership, and outreach. The two work closely together, with the Senior Minister serving as an Ex-Officio member of the Board.
Together, the leadership works to be transparent and open in its work. Monthly Board meetings are open to all members, and board minutes are shared soon after in the weekly email. Our budget is reviewed annually at the formal Budget Townhall, and an Annual Meeting is held to communicate important developments in the congregation, solicit feedback, elect new leadership, and vote on the next year’s budget.
Below are several key documents that guide the governance of Fourth Universalist. We hope they are helpful in framing our organizational structure. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to either our Board President at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Executive Director at email@example.com with any questions or to learn more!