Teams and Committees
Please contact any board member if you are interested in volunteering to help with any of these teams or committees.
A Democratic System
Our Fellowship is governed by an Executive Committee (informally referred to as the “board,”) which includes a President, a President-Elect, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Faith in Action Officer. These officers are elected at each annual meeting. The President may not hold office longer than two terms in succession. Our Fellowship also has other committees, appointed by the Executive Committee. Only members of the Fellowship may serve on the Executive Committee, but Friends of the Fellowship may serve on any of these other committees.
Plans and arranges programs and worship services based on UU principles; trains and mentors Worship Associates. Includes a Chair, a Verger (set-up and take-down), and several regular members. Wide participation is encouraged.
Adult Religious Education Team
Plans Adult Education programs, such as our “Create Meaning Visalia” program, Small Groups, classes, and book discussions.
Children’s Religious Education Team
Plans and conducts children’s religious education curricula and programs and arranges for babysitting for younger children.
Social Justice /Green Sanctuary Team
Charitable activity is a familiar and important part of a religious life. However, when poverty, environmental degradation, inequitable access to health care, and discrimination are part of the structures of society, rather than unforeseen exceptions, then we know that charity is not enough. Our faith calls us to change policies and structures that inhibit human development, harm the environment, and destroy communities.
Unitarian Universalists thus take action on a variety of issues pertaining to social justice including civil liberties, economic justice, health, hunger, peace, energy, and climate change and the environment. Our congregation’s Social Justice Team is responsible for implementing these concerns in our Fellowship.
Compassionate Immigration Law reform remains a high priority for our UU Justice Ministry of California and the still forming San Joaquin Cluster of UULM.
Nationally, our denomination’s President, Peter Morales, and announced a new UU initiative addressing climate change. A collaboration of the UUA and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, with the support of the UU Ministers Association, UU Ministry for Earth, and other groups ,Commit2Respond is a movement of UUs taking action for climate justice in 2014-2015 and beyond.
Past efforts of our Fellowship have been on Ethical Eating projects and fulfilling our Fellowship’s Green Sanctuary status.
Ethical Eating is a topic that continues to be of great interest to us locally, and is also the 2008-2012 Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. Our Social Justice Team produced in 2012 an ethical eating cookbook which includes not only recipes but more information about environmental sustainability, nutrition, and ethical eating principles. The team in 2010 established an Ethical Eating reading group to bring our members up to speed on these issues, and sponsored a discussion course on Menu for the Future using materials from the Northwest Earth Institute.
The team frequently assists the Worship Team in identifying guest speakers for the whole congregation throughout the year.
Our Green Sanctuary program responds to the call to heal the Earth, combat global warming, and live more sustainable lives. The congregation has a Green Sanctuary Committee which meets concurrently with the Social Justice Team. The Green Sanctuary Program elements include Worship and Spiritual Practice, Religious Environmental Education, Environmental Justice, and Sustainable Living. We implement this by providing environmentally-themed topics for worship services, donating energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs for Habitat for Humanity homes, and replacing old appliances at the Friends Meetinghouse with energy efficient ones. The ethical eating program ties into the Green Sanctuary program due to the impact of agricultural and industrial practices on the environment.
Our congregation is an active member of the UU Justice Ministry of California which works statewide on issues like Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, Immigrant Justice, LGBTQ Equality, Healthcare, and other issues. The Social Justice Team responds to alerts and issues raised by this important state ministry.
We have had a Communications Team for several years which works on both internal communication and community public relations.
PURPOSE: To develop and maintain optimal lines of communication within UUFV and with the public.
GOALS: 1] Increase utilization of electronic communication systems; 2] Increase utilization of traditional communication methods; 3] Develop systems to document and preserve UUFV history. Responsible for newsletter and website; Bulletin boards; Signs and banners; Media outreach (newspaper, radio, TV); Press Releases, Librarian & Library Database manager, Web 2.0. Includes a Chair to coordinate efforts, and Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, Web 2.0 managers, bulletin board organizers, graphic designers, photographers, and others.
Membership and Welcoming
Focuses on the following:
- Greeting – Train and coordinate greeters and serve as greeters;
- Hosts – hospitality during the potluck – Follow up with visitors – handwritten note card with “beliefs” pocket card; and
- Membership Secretary – maintains member and friends directories and reports to UUA.
- “New UU Orientation” – responsible for UU Membership Orientation programs (usually twice a year)., and providing information to prospective and new members.
Responsible for checking on members and friends in need, and assisting where possible.