Committees provide structure to the work of the congregation, while also offering spaces for discussing important issues, like religious education, race, and social justice. Some committees are closed to visitors, due to the nature of the work they do. But most welcome anyone to attend and join.
Click on the name of the committee to see a description or email the committee coordinators or members. Meetings should be listed in the Events Calendar.
The mission of the Architectural and Historical Review Committee is to protect and preserve the architectural integrity of the Church buildings and their contents by reviewing and evaluating all proposed repairs, renovations and improvements to the physical plant and recommending needed restoration/improvement projects, and to make accessible the rich history of the church through the preservation, arrangement, and description of the church’s surviving documentary and artifact materials.
This body controls and directs legal and financial affairs of the church. In addition, the Board of Trustees thinks long-term, leading the congregation in planning for a robust and sustainable future. Members and friends of the church are welcome to attend meetings.
The Bicentennial Steering Committee is responsible for planning, preparing for and implementing the events and activities associated with the church’s three upcoming bicentennial celebrations: of the church’s founding (2017), the dedication of the building (2018) and the Baltimore Sermon (2019).
This committee plans and undertakes repairs and improvements in an architecturally sensitive manner that respects the historic and aesthetic values of the church and assures that church programs continue to thrive and grow.
The COM meets monthly to observe and evaluate the health of the professional and lay ministry. Committee responsibilities include oversight of affiliate ministers, reviewing any requests for ministerial affiliation, internship or ordination, and a tri-annual evaluation of the paid minister, which informs his professional goals for the subsequent years. The COM serves in an advisory capacity to the Board, so while the committee submits reports and recommendations regarding the above, the Board makes final decisions to approve or deny requests for affiliation, ordination, or the like. Members are asked to be empathetic and objective observers, and to take seriously the goal of promoting overall congregational health. Members of the COM are nominated by the board and by the minister, and meetings are closed to visitors.
The Fest Committee plans and executes three seasonal worship services (Spring Fest, First Fruits, and Winter Fest) each year. There is overlap between this Committee and the Worship Committee. Fest planning includes open calls for participants to bring in all those who are interested in participating.
This group meets to realize (make real at First Unitarian) the lessons learned from Healthy Congregations training. Members support one another in the practice of healthy behaviors and the development of healthy relationships with others in the church community, emphasizing the importance of communication and mutually beneficial and mutually respectful relations. All are welcome, even those who have not taken part in the Healthy Congregations training.
During the interim period, the church convenes a committee to help direct the Interim Director of Religious Education in his evaluation of our educational offerings and the future of our program. At the end of the interim period, the team turns its attention to decisions made by the congregation for future staffing of the Religious Education program.
Composed of committee chairs, ministers, and board representatives, the Leadership Council serves as a conduit for information, planning, coordination and support among the board, committee leadership, and members.
The Membership Committee helps engender a healthy, thriving congregation for the church and a sense of belonging and stewardship for each individual member. The group oversees our official membership lists, hosts the Beginnings Classes, and meets with prospective members.
This committee is convened/created when the church has a Ministerial Intern on staff. Its is to provide and maintain vibrant, challenging, supportive, and diversified education environments and experiences for the Intern, while being aware of the needs and observations of the congregation-at-large. The Committee sees as its charge preparation of the Intern for all areas of professional ministry.
The Music Committee assists the ministers, the Music Director, and the Worship Committee in the ongoing development of a comprehensive music program.
The circle facilitators convene and advertise neighborhood circle meetings on a regular basis. Each circle decides how often they meet and the format of their meetings. The facilitators meet with each other once or twice a year to discuss how each circle is functioning. These meetings include the minister and representatives from Membership (who advertise the circles) and Pastoral Associates (who help us understand the overlap and difference between neighborhood care and pastoral care).
A standing committee, the Nominating Committee is composed of five members, serving two-year staggered terms. Prior to each Annual Meeting, the committee submits a list of nominees and other candidates for each open seat on the Board of Trustees (including officers) and for each open seat on the Nominating Committee. Meetings are generally closed to visitors.
The Peace and Justice Ministry shines a light on opportunities to translate faith into action, leading the congregation to work for social justice and peace in accordance with the Unitarian Universalist Seven Principles.
The Personnel Committee provides the Board and staff with information regarding policies and procedures for employees. It also interviews prospective employees and makes salary recommendations during the budget process.
This committee plans and implements classes for children, youth and adults. The first half of each monthly meeting addresses program-wide issues. During the last half, the committee splits into two groups — one that manages children’s and youth programming and the other that manages adult programming. Responsibilities include curriculum development and choices, teacher recruitment, and promotion of classes and events.
Religious Education Advisory Council
When we have a professional Religious Educator on staff, the church convenes a committee similar to the Committee on (Shared) Ministry. This group offers support and guidance to the staff religious educator, while helping to set the future for the program. Meetings are closed to visitors, and members are appointed by the staff member and the Board of Trustees. Currently, this committee is defunct, as we have an Interim Religious Education Director.
The Stewardship Committee educates the congregation about the need for financial support of the church by its members and the opportunity that this gives to bring our lives in harmony with our values. In collaboration with the Board of Trustees, it develops and directs the Annual Stewardship Program, which secures pledges from the members of the congregation at levels adequate to support the mission of the church. It also develops materials to support stewardship and fundraising activities.
Ushers greet everyone who comes to services and try to make visitors feel welcome. Responsibilities include handing out programs, distributing hearing devices and Braille hymnals, taking up the offering, and providing assistance as needed during the service. This diverse group of men, women, and youngsters is dedicated to facilitating the worship service experience, and is is one of the easiest ways to volunteer at our Church.
The Worship Associates foster the spiritual growth of the congregation by providing opportunities for participation in the planning and leadership of worship. In collaboration with the ministers, the group fosters year-around worship experiences that touch the mind, heart, and soul. Responsibilities include planning intergenerational worship services, coordinating of the music program, summer services, Union Sunday, holiday decorating and ushering. The committee welcomes feedback from the congregation.