Our governance structure allows us to participate in shared ministry. The structure provides accountability so that the church can be responsive and agile. This model was created based on the work of Dan Hotchkiss, a well-respected Unitarian Universalist church consultant and author of Governance and Ministry.
Our plan is to experiment with this model and refine it as we go.
In this model, the congregation is the foundation. Out of the congregation come governors who meet to play a formal, corporate decision-making role. Out of the congregation come ministers and volunteers who offer skills and gifts to do the work of the church. And out of the congregation come discerners who decide what good the congregation exists to do, what we will do to live our mission.
On the left “arm” of the diagram, you will see that governance is led by the Board of Trustees.“Governance” means oversight, policies, foundational documents like Bylaws, and resource allocation. It also includes fiduciary responsibility. The Board charters Committees and and asks them to focus on certain areas.
On the right side, you will see Ministry is the rest of what a congregation does – achieving the inward and outward results the congregation exists to achieve.
Anyone whose job it is to lead a program, teach a class, serve food, lead worship, or help visitors find a seat, is part of ministry. Ministry teams making daily choices about money, time, and space. It requires staff with written job descriptions, annual goals, and ongoing evaluation.
Both governance and ministry arms work together to discern, create vision and strategy. They work together to determine how money will be spent and manage when it is being spent. And both build relationships, enthusiasm, and renewed faith. In these ways, we share ministry!
When we know who is accountable for what, we can move to creativity and collaboration. We can delegate authority to committees and ministry teams without micromanaging them. We can keeping asking: “Is it safe to try?” When two or more people work together like this, we generate a creative interchange!
Board of Trustees, 2021-22
- President: Jim Rowe
- Past President: Chris Zanoni
- President-Elect: Will Kropp
- Scharmin Dorostkar
- Allison Churnside
- Sarah Vollmann
- Steve Todd