The congregation makes its own decisions about our shared life, our goals, and how we allocate our resources.
In United Church of Christ polity, the basic unit of governance is the congregation. Our pastor enters into a covenantal relationship with us (as we do with one another) and provides leadership and expertise. The denomination provides guidance and resources. But the congregation makes decisions about our life together.
At Community UCC, we meet at least three times a year to set our direction and to take action when we want to speak with one voice (for instance, supporting a justice resolution or creating a new staff position). We elect our leaders and set our budget at the January congregational meeting. Between congregational meetings, we entrust our work to our Council. The chair of each of our seven ministries serves on Council, as do our officers (our current, elect, and past moderators, the treasurer and assistant treasurer, the clerk and the pastor). Both the congregational meeting and the Council are guided by our constitution and bylaws.
The day to day work of engaging in ministry within and beyond the congregation is planned by the seven ministries and their subcommittees. Rather than do all the work themselves, they research, strategize, and identify action steps, then invite the rest of us to take action. While the chairs of the ministries and committees are elected by the congregation, anyone in the congregation may serve on a ministry (with the exception of the Deacons Ministry). Each January our nominating committee presents a list of people who want to serve, but you can volunteer throughout the year by contacting the ministry chair. The seven ministries (and their standing subcommittees) are:
- Community Outreach Ministry – engages the congregation in meeting the practical needs of people in the wider community. Our support of LGBTQ rights is part of their work.
- Deacons Ministry – cares for congregational members and works with the pastor on worship
- Arts in Worship Committee – enriches our worship through a variety of artistic media, and works with our music staff
- Caring Committee – prays for and invites the congregation to provide practical support for members in times of joy and crisis
- Sacraments and Chancel Committee – prepares our sanctuary for the liturgical year and communion
- Ushers Committee – prepares our sanctuary for worship and provides welcoming supplies (assistive hearing devices, orders of worship, children’s coloring packs) to worshippers
- Do Justice Ministry – engages the congregation in advocating for justice in systems of all kinds (including political). Our support of racial and economic justice and our work for peace is part of their work.
- Property Ministry – arranges for the maintenance of our buildings and grounds, either inviting members to do the work or hiring professionals
- Religious Education Ministry – creates opportunities for learning for all ages of both spiritual practices and intellectual engagement. This ministry works with our staff for children’s and for youth ministries, as well as our intergenerational learning events.
- Stewardship Ministry – manages our resources of time & talents and of financial gifts, while also preparing the annual budget and recommending policies.
- Nominating Committee – engages members of the congregation as they discern which parts of the shared work of CUCC is the best fit for their interests and tasks; prepares the slate of officers and ministry chairs.
- Welcoming and Fellowship Ministry – assists people new to CUCC on a pathway to connection both with other CUCCers and with our shared work. This ministry also provides opportunities for fun and relationship building
- Communications Committee – maintains our tools of communication and supports the staff and ministries in reaching out to people within and beyond the congregation.
We also have a variety of groups which pop up as the need or interest arises. These “fellowship groups” may focus on relationships (like the current Hand and Foot card game group or a bookclub) or have a shared goal (our worship tech team or Justice in a Changing Climate). If you have an idea for a fellowship group, contact Pastor Lacey who can direct you to the most closely related ministry for “how to” advice on getting started and resources which might help you fledgling group.
How do you find out who leads each group? Look in Breeze in the Tags section. There is a tag for each ministry and standing committee, as well as most of the fellowship groups; there you will find contact information for all of our leaders. If you are not yet on Breeze, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.