This congregation — that’s all of us! — hopes you find this to be a place where your gifts and values come to life and your spirit grows.
The UU Society of Greater Springfield (UUSGS) is a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Association (UUA) — an association of liberal congregations but not a governing body. Our church governs itself. We invite you to become a member and add your voice.
This congregation is large enough that we need a formal structure to make things happen. Here’s how we take care of business at UUSGS.
The Board of Trustees, made up of seven members, is elected democratically and serves the congregation for two-year terms. Staying in close touch with the congregation, the Board articulates the congregation’s vision through its governing policies and, referring to those policies, monitors the work of the Executive Team. The Board speaks only through its written policies (decided by discussion and voting).
Governing policies give direction to the work of UUSGS. They set forth our Mission, Values, and the Ends we reach for. They describe the Board’s relationship with the congregation, with the Executive Team, and within itself. The policies also list what must not be done, as limitations. Outside of what is expressly stated it cannot do (such as mistreat staff or spend outside the budget), the Executive Team may do anything to achieve the Mission and Ends of UUSGS. This allows for a lot of freedom and creativity.
Each Trustee may be involved in other activities around the congregation, out of personal interest and as one way to connect with other members. But the three “jobs” of the trustees are: to stay in touch with the congregation, to articulate its vision (envision the future) through governing policy, and to monitor the work of the Executive Team. The Executive Team is the leadership group responsible for day-to-day operations. It includes our ordained minister Rev. Jason Seymour and our Business Administrator Marie Krause.
The Executive Team is responsible for all decisions about how things happen here. While each member of the team – and the staff members who report to them – focuses on a particular area of responsibility, the whole team decides broader issues, such as staffing priorities and preparation of the budget. The team is also responsible for operational policies, such as: personnel policies, Safe Congregation, and financial procedures.
Guided by the Mission and Ends and restricted by the limitations, the Executive Team reports directly to the Board. So long as it does not do anything the Board says not to do (and these things are written in policy so there is little room for misinterpretation or forgetting), the team has the freedom to do anything and everything else to help us grow our spirits and bring our gifts and values to life.
Back to the congregation. We have “jobs,” too: to elect the trustees, to be involved in whatever ways fit for us, to share our time and other resources, to speak up when we have something to say, and to support our Board and staff. Members help carry out the work of UUSGS through committees like social justice teams, music ministry, facilities & finance committees, religious education, and the Pastoral Care Team, among many others. These teams all report to someone on the staff, who eventually reports to someone on the Executive Team. Sometimes the Board recruits time-limited teams (like a Ministerial Search Team) to do board-related work. Those teams report directly to the board. Currently, those teams are: Audit, Planned Giving, and Leadership Development.
Current Trustees of UUSGS include:
- Jon Todd, President
- Les Couture, Vice President
- Kathy Moss, Clerk
- Carolyn Bradley
- Mary Kapner
- Edward Hernandez Matos
- Erin Placey