Governance refers to the way we organize our leadership and run our church.  The Bylaws of Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church are our formal statement of governance practices. Unitarian Universalist congregations are self-governing; Saltwater members elect the the governing Board at Congregational Business meetings held in the spring, where the congregation also votes on any proposed changes to our foundational documents including our Bylaws and Covenant of Right Relations.

Here’s an explanation of how we govern ourselves here at Saltwater Church:

Saltwater Church made a shift to Policy-Style Governance in 2016.  Under this style, leadership is broken down into two main groups: Visionary and Operations.

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The Visionary Group is the Board of Directors. They ask and answer the question, “Why do we do what we do?”

The Operations Group is made up of the Minister, Staff, and all the volunteers who do the work of the church. This group answers the question, “How do we do what we do?”

The Executive Team, is made up of the Board President, Board Vice President, and Minister. They work together to determine if items need to go to the Visionary Group (Board) or Operations Group.

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Following pandemic closures of the early 2020s, our congregation has entered a period of rebuilding. As we find our new ways forward, know that the idealized description of our Operations described below may not reflect exactly where we find ourselves now — and that’s ok! We are a vibrant and ever-changing community, a living system whose complexity can only ever be partially explained. If you have questions about our governance practices, please feel free to reach out to our Congregational Administrator, who will make sure your question gets to the right place.

As mentioned above, the Operation Leads coordinate and facilitate the work of each of the five operation areas. Click on the operation area for more information.

We have been progressing toward Policy-Style Governance for many years through the work of previous Boards of Directors.  In 2016, we made a major shift to this style of governing ourselves, which, in turn, has lead to more shared leadership and increased creativity and collaboration.  It is a side-by-side model as opposed to a top-down model.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about how we operate at Saltwater UU Church, check out our guiding documents.