A Democratic System
Our Fellowship, like all UU congregations, is self-governing on a democratic basis, with authority and responsibility vested in the membership. Our local UU Fellowship does not at this time have a permanent clergy, but is lay-lead. On both a national and congregational level, even UU churches which have clergy, decisions are made by the democratic process, with final authority resting in the membership of each person in the congregation or the denomination itself rather than an organized hierarchy.
Our local executive committee members are elected annually by the congregation. Various committees and teams are made up of volunteers from the congregation. The annual budget is drafted by the Board and approved by members of the Fellowship at our annual business meeting.
See Bylaws of UU Fellowship of Visalia (revised 6-25-17)
Our Fellowship is governed by an Executive Committee, which includes a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and the immediate past President. These officers are elected at each annual meeting. No person may hold the same office longer than two terms in succession.
Our Fellowship also has other committees, appointed by the Executive Committee, for Caring, Worship, Religious Education, Green Sanctuary, and Social Justice.
Executive Committee Job Descriptions
- Calls and presides over Fellowship meetings (regular and special executive committee meetings, annual congregational meetings) or delegates this function to others.
- Determines that the quorum is present when official business is transacted and assures that minutes are taken.
- Directs Executive Committee and submits committee meeting agenda items to the committee approximately one week before a meeting.
- Appoints a nominating committee of three members at least thirty days prior to the annual meeting.
- Remains in contact with Executive Committee throughout the month.
- Provides leadership and suggestions at board meetings that keeps the Fellowship moving in a positive direction.
- Appoints, with the concurrence of the Committee, subcommittees to handle routine matters or to study proposals before proposals before the Committee and to prepare recommendations for actions of the Committee (e.g. incorporation, safety policy.)
- Reviews and attempts to resolve problems relevant to the committee chairpersons, the Executive Committee or membership.
- Signs any documents requiring the signature of the President.
- Checks every week the Fellowship post office box.
- Occasionally conducts Sunday services so that members, friends and visitors can make a visual and spiritual connection with the elected officers of the President.
- Participates in committees of the Fellowship if it does not interfere with other duties of the President.
- Attends Fellowship, Pacific Central District (PCD) and UUA functions.
- Responds to Fellowship e-mail queries and notices.
- Ensures committee chair positions are filled.
- Serves as an assistant to the President
- Assumes the duties of the president in the absence of the president.
- Assumes the office of President after the final term of the incumbent President unless another President is selected at the annual meeting.
- Participates as a member of the Executive Committee.
- Serves as liaison to committees as requested by the President.
- Keeps a record of the financial transactions of the fellowship in a manner that is open for inspection by any member of the Executive Committee.
- Makes a report at each business meeting and at each meeting of the Executive Committee.
- Prepares with Executive Committee the annual budget to be approved by the Fellowship with the financial year from July 1 to June 30.
- Sees that monies received by the Fellowship are deposited in the name of the Congregation in such depositories as are designated by the Board.
- Sees that funds are disbursed in accordance with due authorization of the Committee.
- Reconciles the various Fellowship accounts each month.
- Signs any documents requiring the signature of the treasurer.
- Accepts responsibility or the timely preparation and filing of all local, state and federal reports and taxes.
- Accepts responsibility for payroll, including check signing for Fellowship employees, including the accuracy and the retention of all necessary payroll records, payments of payroll taxes and submission of payroll reports to the State and federal governments.
- Supervises and administers church insurance program, including fire, liability, worker’s compensation.
- Posts pledge cards and other cards such as fund raising or encumbered funds to record all monies coming into the church.
- Keeps minutes of all Executive Committee meetings and all business meetings, maintaining them in permanent form with other corporate records and making them available for inspection by any church member upon written request to the Clerk.
- Signs any documents requiring the signature of the secretary.
- Sees that all notices are duly given as required by bylaws (in regard to congregational meetings, votes, etc.)
- Maintains for reference at any meeting the Fellowship membership list.
Faith in Action Officer
- Guides the Fellowship as a whole to follow its convenant, vision, and mission
- Assists the board in coordinating the congregation’s ministries for peace, social justice, environmental sustainability, and community involvement.
- Participates as a member of the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee may assign other duties to its members.