chaliceandflowers“… this is our covenant with each other: to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another…

 

As we enter a new era of ministry at UUAA, we will be experimenting with a new lay-staffed “Shared Ministries Team” (SMT) to support and nurture the overall health of the Congregation and its many thriving ministries.

The primary goal of the SMT is to receive, reflect on, and directly respond to feedback from the congregation, including feedback related to the professional and lay staff of the congregation, the congregation’s policies, and its ministries and programs. The SMT will serve as an open and transparent channel in responding to feedback or questions that may arise in our increasingly complex organization, in particular paying attention to areas/issues where it may become apparent that there is a significant critical mass of congregational interest.

At times, the SMT may wish to survey the congregation and staff to actively solicit feedback on a particular topic, but it is anticipated that most congregational feedback will be in the form of email, phone calls, and personal communications with the SMT and/or the congregation’s staff.

The SMT will work collaboratively with the staff to find a way forward on issues that warrant an adjustment of congregational policies or practices, and provide clarifying information when that would be helpful. The work of the SMT will reflect UUAA and UU values and the congregation’s governing policies, and will seek to strengthen the shared covenant-based fabric of our community.

Members of the SMT will facilitate “right relationship” conversations* in the event of significant conflict among congregation members or between congregation members and staff. If one of the ministers becomes the focus of a conflict, the minister and the SMT will work together toward an appropriate response.

The SMT, and its members, will remain fair and impartial in matters related to congregational life, not serving as an advocate for individual congregants, the staff, the ministers, or specific program areas of the congregation.

Members of the SMT will be selected by the senior minister in consultation with the Board of Trustees. Committee members will serve 3-year staggered terms. The committee will report to the senior minister and will submit an annual report on its activities to the congregation’s Board of Trustees. The committee will be composed of 3-5 members who have broad knowledge of UUAA and its organizational systems, are generally trusted by the congregation and its members, and can be relied on to keep the best interests of the full congregation at the heart of their work.


* "Right relations exist within a group when its members share a sense of fellowship in an atmosphere of trust, respect and cooperation.  Group members accept responsibility for their actions, openly share information and listen and clarify what they hear; they let others have their say, respect boundaries and confidentiality, refrain from harmful gossip about others, speak honestly and bring to light concerns about things which threaten the health of the congregation.    When conflicts or differences of opinion arise, the group works to manage or resolve them through compromise or consensus." Drawn/adapted from:  Sample Covenant of Right Relations,(From UU Faithworks Shared by Rev. Deborah Mero, Interim Minister (2000-2002), All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist (UU) Brattleboro, VT) Maintaining Right Relations: Expectations and Remedies, Adopted 5/6/01 (https://www.uua.org/safe/covenant/sample)

 

 

Current SMT Members

Margie Teall (Chair)

Joan Burleigh

Mike Halerz

Jim Lee

Lisa Lemble

Tim Richards

 

Contact the SMT

You can email the Shared Ministries Team by clicking on this link.