Updated September, 2017

Board of Trustees Expectations and Responsibilities

The First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor (UUAA) Board of Trustees (board) is composed of a diverse group of Congregational members to ensure that the board is well balanced. Members of the Board know the mission and purpose of UUAA, and understand how its programs and services are guided by the UUAA Core Values, Strategic Plan, Bylaws, Governing Policies and the mission of the Congregation. In addition, UUAA board members are committed to Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) principles and values, and to the support of the wider organizational structure of the Midwest Regional District and the UUA.

Board members voluntarily serve as elected stewards of the Congregation, and resolve issues in covenant with each other and the Congregation they serve. Like other members of the UUAA Congregation, members of the board demonstrate their faith and support in the Congregation through personal financial contributions to UUAA. Board members accept responsibility for their functions and for their actions, and acknowledge the role and value of the Congregation’s staff and the need for committed, consistent volunteers.

Purpose of the Board of Trustees

The purpose of the UUAA Board of Trustees is to govern on behalf of the Congregation through written policies to (a) see to it that the Congregation’s resources are expended to further the aspirations articulated in those written policies, (b) to achieve appropriate results at an appropriate cost, and (c) to avoid unacceptable actions. See: Governing Policies, First Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 2016 (section 3, p. 8).

Governing Principles

The Board will govern with emphasis on: the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles, outward vision, open and candid deliberations, collective rather than individual decisions, shared responsibility for decisions, spiritual and strategic leadership more than administrative detail, clear distinction of Board and Executive roles, the future while learning from the past and present. For more information, see: How We Govern.


Board Members Are:

  • Committed to governance that complies with all laws on all governmental levels.
  • Able to faithfully attend board meetings, spring and winter annual meetings, and special meetings and events (e.g., new member orientation and membership book signings, workshops, and fundraisers). 
  • Interested in engaging with members of the Congregation. 
  • Prepared to come to meetings, informed and ready to discuss concerns, address questions and work together to resolve disagreements about Congregation methods, goals and policies. 
  • Eager to learn, willing to be team players, and energetic in their service.

Expectations for Board Members

  • Member of the UUAA Congregation in good standing for a minimum of one year, prior to board service. (Recommended: Five or more years of membership and involvement in UUAA programs.)
  • Past or current experience in volunteer positions in the Congregation and/or professional experience or skills, which support the work of the Board, like finance, management/supervision, law and negotiation, meeting facilitation, strategic planning, note-taking, and working collaboratively. (Recommend: Meeting with current board members, talking with past board members, attending one or more board meetings prior to beginning of term.)
  • Willingness and ability to attend: Two board meetings each month, see: Board Meeting Schedule, spring, winter and special Congregational meetings, an annual day-long board retreat/orientation, and UUAA Sunday service, regularly (Recommended: Midwest Regional district meetings, annual UUA General Assembly or other conferences/workshops, as appropriate.)
  • Willingness to contribute a minimum of 8-10 hours per month to prepare, discuss, read or write, and work on projects as requested by the Board President to ensure full participation at all meetings.
  • Commitment to hold the welfare of the Congregation foremost, to work collaboratively with other members of the Board trustees, including the Senior Minister, and to put aside personal agendas.
  • Knowledge of /or willingness to learn about governance and commitment to adhere to UUAA Bylaws, Governing Policies and other guiding documents. (Recommend reading: D. Hotchkiss, Ministry and Governance, second edition).
  • Ability to engage in deep listening, discernment and decision in collaboration and covenant with other members of the board.
  • Willingness to engage in honest dialogue and to face conflict in love and respect.
  • Financial support (suggested 5% or better of income) of UUAA.
  • Knowledge of / or willingness to learn about Robert’s Rules.


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