UUMAN’s Program Council

Article VII of our bylaws states that the “Program Council shall consist of the Chair of each functional committee of the Congregation. The number will vary with the changing make-up of the committees of the congregation….[and] shall be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Congregation through the committees….”


Article IV of our bylaws states that the “Board of Trustees (“Board”) shall be the governing board of the Congregation….develop governance-related policies; monitor the Program Council, and attend to the control and governance of the business, property and affairs of the Congregation. The Board shall also delegate the day-to-day operation of the Congregation’s business to the Program Council.”


UUMAN’s Board is responsible for setting the mission and vision of the congregation (with input from the congregation of course). The Board also has other responsibilities (e.g. long range planning, Personnel, etc.).


It may come as a surprise to some, but according to our bylaws, the Board is not responsible for carrying out the “ministries” of the congregation. The ministries of the congregation belong to the Program Council. It is the Board’s job to determine whether the ministries carried out by the Program Council are consistent with UUMAN’s mission and established goals.


At least since I’ve been here at UUMAN, the Program Council (i.e. Program Council Chair and all Committee Chairs) have been meeting monthly. Because we have many committees, there are a lot of people in the room for any given meeting. Although it’s always nice to know what all the committees are doing, sometimes a conversation about Adult Enrichment has little bearing on Care Circles, Facilities or Music (and vice versa).


For this reason, for the 2017-2018 church year, we are going to divide the Program Council into five (or perhaps six) functional groups. The groups are tentatively aligned as follows (this list doesn’t show all subcommittees):


  1. Spiritual Arts: Worship, Ushers, Music, Audio Visual
  2. Faith Development: Adult Enrichment, MCY, Small Group Ministry, Arts, Contemplative Groups
  3. Justice: Social Justice, Earth Ministry, Family Promise, NFCC, Denominational Affairs
  4. Care: Care Circles, Membership, Hospitality, Brew Crew
  5. Operations: Facilities, Finance, Endowment, Stewardship


A possible future sixth functional group is also being discussed. It might consist of the following committees (some of which do not yet exist):

  1. Outreach & Connections Ministry: Public Relations, Facebook, Website, Newsletter, Communications

Throughout the church year, each of these functional groups will meet periodically which will allow for a more focused agenda for each group. Each group will be convened by a Chair and each of these Chairs (e.g. Spiritual Arts Chair, Justice Chair, etc.) will meet periodically with one another and the Program Council Chair in what we hope to be a more streamlined Program Council. (Please note that anyone at UUMAN is welcome to attend any of these meetings.)


During the coming year, the Board Past President and I will be working closely with the Program Council Chair to help ease this transition.


Although this is a big change, we hope that it will result in a better use of everyone’s time.


Take care & be well,