Our church is governed by a set of Bylaws describing the actions and responsibilities of each party. Our church is currently a lay-led congregation while we search for a permanent Minister.
All aspects of church governance are ultimately responsible to the congregation. Both the minister and the board are accountable to the congregation, not to each other, unless specified in the bylaws or other church documents. The minister and the board are responsible for different aspects of ongoing operations, but the congregation must vote on major decisions such as election of the board, approval of the budget, calling a minister, selling or purchase of property, approval of bylaws revisions, and other critical issues.
Congregational meetings are held every Spring and Fall and special meetings may be called by the board or petition. Times are announced a minimum of five days before the meeting. This is your chance to govern your church. Please don't miss out!
The minister is responsible for preaching and teaching and has complete freedom of the pulpit. They act as a consultant with the board, committees, and programs sharing experience and professional expertise.
The congregation looks to the minister for leadership, to lead the church toward deeper commitment and meaning for church members, and to suggest projects that could move the church in that direction.
The minister is the public face of the church and speaks out in the wider community for peace, justice, and living in harmony with nature. They are also responsible for pastoral care.
The minister supervises paid staff and is an ex officio (non-voting) member of all board committees. The minister does not serve on the Nominating Committee, as this is a congregational committee.
The board creates a vision of where our church wants to go and a plan for getting there. This includes setting goals for the coming year and creating church policies to guide the church in its work.
The board is responsible for the stewardship of the church and its resources. This includes monitoring how the money is spent, maintaining the church building and property, fundraising, and protecting the safety and well-being of all who attend church activities. The board represents the interests and concerns of the church in the wider community and considers groups or projects with which we wish to affiliate and social issues where the church feels we should take a formal, public stand.
The board needs to be aware of the image we have in the community and of things that might enhance or detract from this image. They approve all policy statements, changes in the budget, contracts with outside groups, and major projects. The board also has an overall coordination function and may serve as a resource to the minister if they request suggestions or feedback.
Board members are elected by the congregation and serve a two year term. Board meetings are held once a month. Look up the next meeting on the church calendar. All members are welcome to attend.
See the Church Offices page for a list of board members.
The COSM oversees the entire functioning of the church, including the minister and the lay leadership, and is a place where any member of the congregation can take a concern and be heard. It is a conduit for communication between the minister, board, and congregation where disagreements and misunderstandings can be resolved. It is their job to evaluate the overall health of the church and to initiate steps to address any significant concerns. In our church, the COSM also serves as the Personnel Committee.
See the Church Offices page for a list of COSM members.
Committees carry out the operations of the church within the goals, policies, and budget set by the board and are accountable to the board. Committees should have the freedom to pursue programs and activities without board approval as long as this action:
<li>Seeks to further annual church goals.</li>
<li>Is within the committee budget.</li>
<li>Does not violate existing policies or set a new policy.</li>
<li>Would not adversely affect our image in the wider community.</li>
<li>Does not involve or conflict with the work of other committees.</li>
Committees report quarterly to the board on actions in progress or completed. Planning for these projects should take place in committee meetings.