Unitarian Universalists use Congregational Polity, which empowers congregations to be entirely independent. Congregational Polity is an important part of our theology, declaring congregations the final word on what is good for us, collectively.
But this gift comes with great responsibility. There is no higher authority, no church council or presbytery or hierarchy to tell us what to do. We call our own ministers, we hire our own staff, we write our own bylaws. We also raise all our own funds and shovel our own walk and make our own coffee and teach our own children. Caring for our congregation is one way we live our faith. It's also a great way to get connected.
Here are some of the things you can do:
Art/Amenities: The Arts and Amenities Committee arranges for the exhibition of artwork, and cares for aesthetics of the entrance hall and meeting room. Though open to suggestions by the congregation, the Arts & Amenities Committee should be consulted before any additions or changes are made to these areas of the building.
Facilities: The Facilities Committee oversees all repairs and maintenance of the building, communicating with contractors and vendors, the Office Administrator, and facility users. The Committee delegates various projects which involve the upkeep and improvement of the building and its environment.
Finance: The Finance Committee, in connection with the Board of Trustees, the Treasurer and Committee Chairs, supports the Board's responsibility to preserve and protect the financial assets of the congregation.
Grounds: The Grounds Committee cares for the entire property outside the building: the parking lot and driveways, lawn, front porch and all plantings. We do pruning and some planting, keep the grounds clean, and maintain contact with the lawn and snowplow services. We also maintain two gardens, one for vegetables and perennials, and one for herbs, and maintain the garden shed and hoses.
Hospitality: The Hospitality Team hosts the Coffee Hour after each minister-led service. This includes brewing coffee, making tea, and presenting a variety of tasty snacks and other beverages. Adults and children gather round the table to munch and socialize, giving us a special opportunity to chat with each other, meet newcomers, and continue to share our thoughts on that morning’s service.
Nominating Committee: Nominating makes nominations from among the members for the officers, trustees and leaders of the Society.
Membership: The vision of the Membership Committee is to build a caring, interconnected and diverse spiritual community. Our mission is to attract and welcome guests (i.e., first-time visitors), educate guests about what membership means and ultimately to invite them to become members.
Public Relations: The Public Relations Committee works on finding ways of getting information about the programs and services of FUSW out to the public through a variety of means.
Religious Education: The Religious Education Committee oversees the Religious Education Program. The mission of the Religious Education Program is to provide an extraordinary spiritual, intellectual, educational, and social experience for the children and youth in our congregation; to create a safe and nurturing environment in which they feel free to learn together, develop their own theology, build community, and work for a better world; and to support parents and caregivers in their role as the primary religious educators of their children.
Staff Relations: The Staff Relations Committee supports the Board in official employment matters concerning the minister, professional staff and other employees. It serves as a communication channel between staff and congregation, supports staff members, keeps staff advised of conditions within the congregation, and advises the board and finance committee on compensation and professional development.
Stewardship: The Stewardship Committee runs our annual auction and pledge drive, helping not only to raise nearly our entire operating budget each year, but making fundraising a whole lot of fun.
Summer Services: During the summer, we have a lay-led service each Sunday morning at 10:30am. Members and friends of the congregation lead our whole congregation services.
First Unitarian Society of Westchester 25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706 914-478-2710