Teams and Committees
Please contact any board member if you are interested in volunteering to help with any of these teams or committees.
A Democratic System
Our Fellowship is governed by an Executive Committee (informally referred to as the “board,”) which includes a President, a President-Elect, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Faith in Action Officer. These officers are elected at each annual meeting. The President may not hold office longer than two terms in succession. Our Fellowship also has other committees, appointed by the Executive Committee. Only members of the Fellowship may serve on the Executive Committee, but Friends of the Fellowship may serve on any of these other committees.
Plans and arranges programs and worship services based on UU principles; trains and mentors Worship Associates. Includes a Coordinator a Verger (set-up and take-down), and several regular members. Wide participation is encouraged.
Adult Religious Exploration Team
Plans Adult Education programs, such as our “Create Meaning Visalia” program, Small Groups, classes, and book discussions.
Children’s Religious Exploration Team
Sorry, we do not currently have a Children’s religious education program.
If you’d like to start one, this Team plans and conducts children’s religious education curricula and programs and arranges for babysitting for younger children.
Social Justice /Green Sanctuary Team
Charitable activity is a familiar and important part of a religious life. However, when poverty, environmental degradation, inequitable access to health care, and discrimination are part of the structures of society, rather than unforeseen exceptions, then we know that charity is not enough. Our faith calls us to change policies and structures that inhibit human development, harm the environment, and destroy communities.
Unitarian Universalists thus take action on a variety of issues ?pertaining to social justice including civil liberties, economic justice, environmental justice, immigrant justice, LGBTQ justice, racial justice, reproductive justice, and voting rights. ?Our interests span the areas of health, hunger, peace, energy, and climate change and the environment. ?Our justice efforts are grounded in our congregationally-driven?social justice statements?and our call to break down divisions, heal isolation, and honor the interconnectedness of all life and all justice issues. We strive to model these commitments by creating a just, welcoming, and inclusive congregation. Our denomination has recently focused on equity ministry, i.e., the place where justice intersects with issues of race, class and culture. We act in partnership with groups and communities most impacted by injustice on local, state, national, and international levels. Our congregation’s Social Justice Team is responsible for implementing these concerns in our Fellowship.
Past efforts of our Fellowship have been on Ethical Eating projects and fulfilling our Fellowship’s Green Sanctuary status.?Our Social Justice Team produced in 2012 an ethical eating cookbook which includes not only recipes but more information about environmental sustainability, nutrition, and ethical eating principles. The team in 2010 established an Ethical Eating reading group to bring our members up to speed on these issues, and sponsored a discussion course on Menu for the Future using materials from the Northwest Earth Institute.
The team frequently assists the Worship Team in identifying guest speakers for the whole congregation throughout the year.
Our Green Sanctuary?program responds to the call to heal the Earth, combat global warming, and live more sustainable lives. ?The congregation has a Green Sanctuary Committee which is currently evaluating the possibility of re-accreditation. ?The Green Sanctuary Program elements include Worship and Spiritual Practice, Religious Environmental Education, Environmental Justice, and Sustainable Living. We implement this by providing environmentally-themed topics for worship services, donating energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs for Habitat for Humanity homes, and replacing old appliances at the Friends Meetinghouse with energy efficient ones. The ethical eating program ties into the Green Sanctuary program due to the impact of agricultural and industrial practices on the environment.
Our congregation is an active member of the UU Justice Ministry of California which works statewide on issues like Economic Justice, Environmental Justice, Immigrant Justice, LGBTQ Equality, Right to Water, and other issues. The Social Justice Team responds to alerts and issues raised by this important state ministry.
We have had a Communications Team for several years which works on both internal communication and community public relations.
PURPOSE: To develop and maintain optimal lines of communication within UUFV and with the public.
GOALS: 1] Increase utilization of electronic communication and record-keeping systems; 2] Increase utilization of traditional communication methods; 3] Develop systems to document and preserve UUFV history. Responsible for newsletter and website; Bulletin boards; Signs and banners; Media outreach (newspaper, radio, TV); Press Releases, Librarian & Library Database manager, Social media. Includes a Coordinator to coordinate efforts, and Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, social media managers, bulletin board organizers, graphic designers, photographers/videographers, and others.
Membership and Welcoming Team
Focuses on the following:
- Greeting – Train and coordinate greeters and serve as greeters;
- Hosts – hospitality during the potluck – Follow up with visitors – handwritten note card with “beliefs” pocket card; and
- Membership Secretary – maintains member and friends directories and reports to UUA.
- “New UU Orientation” – responsible for UU Membership Orientation programs (usually twice a year)., and providing information to prospective and new members.
- Implementation of our “Welcoming Congregation” status.
Responsible for checking on members and friends in need, and assisting where possible.
Our bylaws provide: “At least 30 days prior to the annual meeting the Executive Committee [which we informally?call our “board] shall appoint a nominating committee of three members.” The board-adopted “Procedures” document further provides: “The Nominating Committee should recruit Board members and Committee Leaders.” It is the duty of a nominating committee to find the best candidate for each office. Pursuant to Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, persons serving on the committee can be nominated for office. The committee should meet, carefully review the membership list, and select the people who they think will do the best job in each office and as the leader for each committee or team. It needs to bear in mind that “No President shall hold office longer than two terms in succession;” however frequently two successive terms is desirable because of the learning curve involved. The other positions do not have this restriction.?The nominating committee may consult with members of the board and with the members of the various committees or teams for recommendations from among their own members for leadership positions. A member (or members) of the committee should then be designated to call each nominee to see if he or she is willing to serve if elected. No one should be nominated without his or her consent.? If someone is not willing to serve, the committee needs to meet again and find another candidate. If no candidate is found, the committee can tell members publicly that they do not have a nominee for a certain office; this allows members to volunteer. ?Our bylaws also provide, “Members may nominate additional candidates for officers or committee chairpersons at the annual meeting.”