by Susan Curtis
Chair, Policy Governance Task Force
Vital Church Initiative Prescription #6, “Policy Governance Model,” calls for UUMC to “adopt a policy governance model of accountability, responsibility and authority for faithful and fruitful accomplishment of shared vision, mission and values.”
The eight-member Policy Governance Task Force has been meeting every two weeks since early April to plan for transition from UUMC’s current Administrative Board to a Policy Governance Board. As part of the planning and preparation process, our task force is reading “Governance and Ministry” by Dan Hotchkiss and “Leadership and Organization for Fruitful Congregations” by Stephan W. Ross. We have reviewed transition and guideline documents from several United Methodist churches that have moved to a policy governance board model.
In the policy governance model, the current Administrative Board would be replaced with a Policy Governance Board responsible for UUMC’s goal setting, strategic planning, final budget approval, setting policies, goal adjustments and allocation of resources. This structure will allow us to move to a mission focus with decisions being guided by the mission, vision and values of UUMC.
The task force is working on: 1) developing a plan for transition to a policy governance model which will be presented at the UUMC Church Conference in the fall of 2017; 2) developing rules for the new Board; and 3) creating a slate of nominees to present for the new board at the Fall 2017 Church Conference. It must also ensure that the transition plan is in alignment with the United Methodist Book of Discipline. A vote on whether to approve the transition plan to a policy governance model will be voted on at the Fall 2017 UUMC Church Conference. If the plan is approved, the current Administrative Board will be celebrated and retired and the new Board will assume its responsibilities effective January 1, 2018.
To date, decisions for the transition plan that have been made include: The Board will consist of 9 lay members and the lead pastor and secretary. The pastor and secretary will be non-voting members. We will have 3-year terms with staggered classes of three members each. Qualifications for the Board include being an active UUMC member for at least 2 years, regular giving and demonstration of services/volunteering.
Work in process: We are developing a participant covenant and the application process which will include a letter describing the individual’s calling, spiritual gifts and desire to serve and commitment to complete leadership training in early 2018. We are also developing a formal transition plan and the relationship for SPRC, Finance and Trustees to the Policy Governance Board.
The Policy Governance Board Task Force welcomes your participation in the planning process. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact Rev. Bill Bills (firstname.lastname@example.org or 351-7030) or Susan Curtis (email@example.com) or any task force member.
Note: This report references several items discussed in our VCI Prescriptions and Cathy Townley's report to UUMC. To read the complete text of the prescriptions and recommendations, see the full version of this Policy Governance Model Prescription at: www.universitychurchhome.org/vci.