How We Are Organized
Congregational Life and Governance
Individuals can affirm Unitarian Universalist Principles and find inspiration in one or more Unitarian Universalist Sources but a vital part of Unitarian Universalism is a personal commitment to a larger community. Belonging to a UU congregation affirmed that fact that we are fundamentally interdependent. It’s who we are. It’s the nature of existence. Being in community, then, is not incidental to being a Unitarian Universalist, but intrinsic and inescapable. Our congregation is a vital matrix of all that we are together. And who we are together, in turn shapes each one of us individually. Unitarian Universalists share their gifts of service in community in service to the world.
Unitarian Universalist congregations form an association of churches and fellowships called the Unitarian Universalist Association. This voluntary association allows us to share resources and form coalitions but it is not a hierarchical structure with a centralized authority. Each congregation operates independently, using the democratic process to make decisions. This form of governance is called Congregational Polity.
Unitarian Universalist congregations own their own buildings, call their own ministers and live into their own sense of mission. Every congregation tends to have it’s own unique feel based on the it’s members, it’s history and it’s context. Members of a Unitarian Universalist church are active participants in making decisions that impact the ministry of the church. It’s important to note that this form of polity requires a balance between the rights of the individual and the responsibility of the individual to work towards what’s in the best interest of the whole.