UU Governance in Brief
Unitarian Univeralists affirm and promote the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; therefore, most decisions within our local congregation are made democratically or by some process by which all voices are heard and considered. Voting members of the congregation meet annually, or at specially called business meetings, to conduct the business of the congregation. Each Unitarian Universalist congregation is autonomous and self-governing.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northern Chautauqua is served by an Executive Board of seven voting members. (See link at left.)
Each year at the annual meeting in May or June, voting members of the congregation elect members of the Executive Board. They also elect the three members of the Nominating Committee and adopt the annual budget. The fiscal year begins July 1.
Together, independent Unitarian Universalist congregations make up the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA), as the congregations have freely chosen to pursue common goals together. The Association’s polity is congregational; Association decisions are made by congregational delegates in business sessions at the annual General Assembly.
Independent local congregations support the UUA by sending financial contributions. The Unitarian Univeralist Congregation of Northern Chautauqua does this by pledging a “fair share” contribution based on the number of members in our congregation.
Independent local congregations also support the Unitarian Universalist Districts — in our case, the St. Lawrence District, which includes all of New York State outside the metro New York City area — to provide a small staff and services to congregations in each region. Our congregation supports the St. Lawrence District by pledging a “fair share” contribution based on our total operating budget.