Committee on Ministry
“Ministry” consists of everything a congregation does to fulfill its mission. The Committee on Ministry (COM) supports the church’s mission by working to strengthen all aspects of the ministry of the UUCP, including ministry of and by the congregation, minister, staff, and lay leadership. It serves as an advisory team to the minister and lay leadership of the church.
Responsibilities and Scope
The COM is involved in monitoring, educating, evaluating, advising, and protecting the congregation’s ministry as a whole. It serves as a primary entity within the church for promoting shared responsibility for the ministry through collaboration, right relations, and mutual trust. It provides guidance in honoring our Covenant of Right Relations.
The specific functions of the COM are as follows:
- Serve as leaders to minister, staff, and congregants. This may involve making ideas or concerns known for improving the ministry of the church, and working with the minister and church committees to facilitate solutions to problems as they arise.
- Support the continuing education of the congregation regarding the UUCP’s mission and its ministry, in partnership with the minister, to promote understanding of congregational ministry, including roles and realistic priorities for the minister. Create brochures and other educational materials about the COM and the ministry of the UUCP.
- Aid the minister in carrying out effective ministry by being available as a sounding board. Note that this is not meant to be a substitute for professional support, which should come from colleagues of the minister who understand the unique issues of professional ministry. Rather, the COM should provide the minister with a group of caring and open laypeople who will give honest, pertinent feedback and advice about the effectiveness of the minister’s work in the context of the congregation’s ministry as a whole.
- Solicit ideas and feedback from the congregation for enhancing the ministry of the church using various methods. Listen for members’ concerns as they participate in the life of the congregation as a way to assure continuous assessment of the overall health of the ministry.
- Facilitate conflict management within the UUCP, in cooperation with the Board of Trustees and other Lay Leadership. The role of the COM is not to resolve conflict, but to help process concerns and complaints without triangulation, and with an aim toward reconciliation (see Conflict Management Policy).
- Monitor the entire ministry of the church, keeping the board and the congregation informed about the health of the ministry.
- Conduct periodic assessments of the health of the ministry, including a formal congregational evaluation of the professional and shared congregational ministry at least every three years. This should be accompanied by the submission of a written report with recommendations to the Board of Trustees and the congregation and should include an assessment of the church’s entire ministry. Note though that formal evaluation of a settled minister is done by the Board of Trustees.
General Committee Expectations
It is the expectation of the UUCP congregation and Board of Directors that all committees will transparently conduct their business within the letter and spirit of the UUCP vision, mission, and bylaws. Committees are required to do the following:
- Once per year, provide a short written report to the Board summarizing the committee’s activities during the previous year and plans for the year ahead. This report can be included as part of a budget request but is required whether a committee requests funding from the Board or not. This report must include the name and contact information of the Committee’s current chair.
- Stay within their allotted budget (if applicable).
- Retain meeting minutes or some other record of committee decisions and activities.
- Notify the Board whenever the committee chair changes.