Table of Contents
With love as our guide we covenant to:
Welcome the stranger
Encourage and support one another
Honor our diversity
Ask questions with an open mind and heart
Listen deeply and seek understanding
Speak directly and compassionately when we have differences
Trust one another and remain in community while differences are resolved
HANDLING DISRUPTIVE PEOPLE 1.1.0
In keeping with our Covenant, the Board of Trustees, aware that MVUU is a caring community where mutual respect must prevail, has established the following process to ensure that the fabric of the community is protected against the disruptive behavior of a person or persons.
Disruptive behavior does not need to be tolerated by this congregation or any committee or group within it. When any participant experiences what he/she perceives as disruptive behavior, that person is urged to draw the disruptive person(s) aside and explain in what way he/she finds the behavior unacceptable.
If the offended person continues to experience the disruptive behavior does not feel able to deal directly with the person(s) deemed to be disruptive, he/she should bring the matter to the attention of the leadership of the committee or group, or to a member of the Board of Trustees. That leadership person will discuss the matter with the person(s) deemed to be disruptive.
If a second complaint about the behavior occurs, a formal letter will be written by the Board member or Committee chair to the disruptive person(s), stating that the behavior must be corrected, with copies to the Board of Trustees and the Minister. The letter should explain in what way the behavior is damaging to the congregation and invite the individual to meet with the Board and the Minister for mediation.
In the event that mediation fails to resolve the problem, the Board will determine what action to take. This action could include exclusion from one committee or activity, from all committees, or from the congregation totally – or whatever other steps the Board finds appropriate.
If, in time, the person reconsiders and wishes to re-enter the group, he/she may meet with the leadership of the committee/organization to request re-entry, subject to Board approval.
NOTE: In some situations, immediate action is warranted and should be taken. It is appropriate to call the police to remove a person exhibiting violent behavior. Note, too, that the five steps may be accelerated if the behavior is threatening.
CONFIDENTIAL CORRESPONDENCE 1.2.0
To determine what items of correspondence received by the Board of Trustees should be held as confidential and be distributed to Board members only.
Correspondence may not be distributed beyond the Board until a deliberation and disposition of confidentiality has been completed. In some cases, such as those involving personnel issues, the correspondence shall remain confidential.
The President is solely authorized to determine which correspondence shall be considered confidential and shall initially be distributed to board members only.
ANNUAL REPORT TO THE CONGREGATION 2.1.0
To inform the MVUU community of what has been accomplished in the current year.
Each Standing Committee & Task Force shall submit a written or electronic report of year’s activities, due one month before the meeting.
Printed Report of all such activities provided to the congregation one week before the meeting.
TO BE REVISED
Endowment Committee: The Endowment Committee consists of three voting members of the congregation, elected in the annual election. The term of each committee member will be three years.
Nominating Committee: As set forth in the bylaws, the Nominating Committee is elected by the congregation at the Annual Meeting. It is an autonomous committee and is not part of the council structure.
At the beginning of each church year, the Board of Trustees will approve the establishment or continuation of standing committees and approve the committee chair.
Only Congregation members may chair committees.
The Minister is an ex-officio member of all committees. Attendance is at their discretion.
Activities of committees are determined by the committee members in conjunction with or by charge from the Board of Trustees and by the needs of the congregation.
No individual may chair more than one standing committee.
No member of the Board of Trustees may chair a standing committee.
Standing committees will form teams for specific tasks and functions. Each team will have a leader. Each team leader will be a member of the committee.
Every committee chair, with the committee’s support, should groom her/his future replacement.
There should be someone on each committee who can chair in the absence of the committee chair.
Each committee should designate a substitute who may be contacted when the chair is unavailable.
Committee chairs/committees are responsible for recognizing and appreciating (publicly and privately) the contributions and efforts of their members and teams.
Each committee will submit an annual report of the committee’s activities and accomplishments to the Board of
Trustees for inclusion in the Annual Report to the Congregation.
Meeting dates and times of the committees will be set at its first meeting every year. Every effort should be made to set meeting dates and times that do not conflict with the meeting time and date of other standing committees or with the minister’s ability to attend. Meeting dates and times will be publicized in the Newsletter.
COMMITTEE CHAIR TERM LIMITS
Term limits provide for a rotation of responsibilities that support the congregation, help to avoid burnout, and ensure that fresh ideas are introduced in the management and business of the congregation.
Each chair will be appointed by the Board of Trustees each year for a maximum of three consecutive years, except in extenuating circumstances and then for not more than five consecutive years.
This policy covers appointed chairs of current and future committees except those exempted below.
Standing Committees at the time this policy was approved are:
Building and Grounds (Inactive)
Justice Coordinating Council
Religious Exploration Committee
Exempted Committees, because term limits are included in their associated policies, are:
Purpose: To ensure regular communication between the Board, committee chairs, and staff members. The council
will establish goals and objectives, coordinate programs, scheduling, and committee training and activities, and make recommendations for actions to the Board of Trustees.
Religious Education Committee
Justice Coordinating Committee
Building & Grounds Committee
Pastoral Care Assoc. Team
Finding Heart Team
Neighborhood Care Team
Right Relations Team (TBD)
Chaired by the Vice President. Members consist of the chairs of the committees listed, the Board President, the Minister, and the Director of Religious Exploration.
SELECTION OF REPRESENTATIVES TO DISTRICT, CLUSTER AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2.5.0
This policy is for determining who will represent our congregation at Cluster, District, and General Assembly meetings.
The Association/District Representative (ADR) shall notify the Board, in a timely manner, of upcoming meetings where representatives may be required. The Board shall determine whether to send a representative to that meeting and whether or how much to fund the representatives. If the Board decides to send a representative to the meeting, it shall advertise in the newsletter for interested congregational members. Those interested will Contact the Board President to express interest. The Board shall take a vote to determine who should go. Only members in good standing may represent the congregation at such events. “A member in good standing is one who has made a contribution of record in the previous year.”
PERSONNEL CANDIDATE SEARCH 2.6.0
It is the policy of MVUU to consider candidates for paid positions from applicants who are not members of the congregation or in a position of authority within the congregation that is related to the open position and who are not Board members.
To ensure that no conflict of interest exists during the hiring process of MVUU personnel. This is to include the positions of Minister, Church Administrator, Director of Religious Education, and Music Director as well as custodial workers and independent contractors.
It is considered a conflict of interest for a congregational member to be a candidate for a vacant, paid position at MVUU (such as Minister, Church Administrator, Director of Religious Education, and Music Director, A position of authority is a committee chairperson and/or position on a committee related to the paid position (e.g., Religious Education Committee and Director of RE), or a member of the Board of Trustees. If a conflict should arise, the candidate must immediately resign the position of authority. If unwilling to do so, the candidate is disqualified from pursuing the vacant position.
Search teams appointed by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees determines the successful candidate.
WEDDING/MEMORIAL SERVICE 3.1.0
The facilities are available to contributing members of the congregation without charge. Standard usage fees will be charged for non-members. The minister will determine their own fees.
If a minister other than our current minister to conduct the ceremony, the scheduling must still be made through our minister. It is customary for an outside minister to be invited by our minister when such a request is may be made. Standard usage fees will be charged to non-members in accordance with current rental fees.
It is expected that the pianist employed by MVUU will have the right of first refusal for any services or ceremonies.
MINISTER’S DISCRETIONARY FUND 3.2.0
The intent of the Minister’s Discretionary Fund is to protect the privacy of members who ask for help in a time of financial need. The Minister’s Discretionary Fund is not part of the minister’s compensation package. The Fund is not a budget item. It is the policy of MVUU to have at least one special collection a year, i.e. Christmas Eve Collection in order to fund it.
RELIGIOUS EXPLORATION 4.0.0
LATER WITH DRE INPUT
CHILD CARE 4.1.0
MVUU is committed to providing safe child care for MVUU events.
CHILD SAFETY 4.2.0
LATER WITH DRE INPUT
To publish for public consumption appropriate information about MVUU programs and activities for members of the MVUU community.
Communications Committee oversees the website, newsletter, Order of Practice, social media, and any future vehicles as they become effective methods of communication. No one can speak for MVUU in the outside community without prior approval from the Board.
Information appropriate for written publications include:
Sunday services, all-church activities, and Religious Exploration programs.
Communications of importance to the congregation.
Information that may interest visitors and those unfamiliar with MVUU and UU.
Activities sponsored or supported by other UU and UUA entities.
Activities of MVUU’s Justice Outreach Partners and Affiliates.
Images and material that comply with Image Use Policy.
Information appropriate for Email and Newsletters:
All email between and among members of the congregation is not under control of the congregation or Board, and MVUU does not take responsibility for and does not necessarily agree with, nor support the opinions expressed by members.
Information appropriate for publication includes:
Information about Sunday services, all-church activities, Religious Education programs.
Communications of importance to the congregation.
Information that may interest visitors to our congregation.
Not to be published by MVUU or in any MVUU vehicles are:
Advertisements for business, professional services, or non-UU related not for profit organizations.
“For Sale” or “For Rent” advertisements.
Any article that advocates a partisan political position as it would endanger our 501(c)(3) status.
Solicitation of funds or other assistance for or from any individual other than youth under the age of 17 or outside organizations.
MVUU may purchase ads in other media as it sees fit.
Best practices state that we do not publish non-mvuu.org emails without permission the account holder.
IMAGE USE 5.2.0
It is the policy of MVUU to protect, respect, and honor the property of others (e.g., copyrighted images) and the privacy of our members (e.g., photographs) in all of our published material, including our newsletter, brochures, social media and website.
The image use policy is to ensure that we have the information necessary to not unknowingly publish images of members who wish that photos of themselves or their children to not appear in any MVUU digital media/photos/videos for public display. Also, to respect the copyright of others.
To ensure that this policy is effective, MVUU will not knowingly publish any copyrighted material without permission. No one will be tagged on social media without their permission.
ONLINE OWNERSHIP 5.3.0
It is the policy of MVUU to maintain ownership and control of all its online tools.
The Online Ownership Policy is to ensure that ownership and control of its online tools is shared by the Administrator and at least two (2) Members.
The online tools are, but not limited to, the following:
Facebook – Mountain Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Twitter and Instagram
Google My Business
Google for Non-Profit
Main public website
Other historical websites, social media, and email addresses
Other online accounts
Responsibility: Communications Committee
INSERTS IN THE ORDER OF PRACTICE 5.4.0
Policy: It is the policy of MVUU regarding extra inserts in the Order of Practice that they must
1. Be approved by the Church Administrator
2. Only pertain to:
That Sunday’s Practice
Religious Exploration Programs
Activities of our Justice Partners
Insert may be formatted and printed by the Church Administrator if it does not compete with work priorities. If the Church Administrator is unable to produce the insert, then the requestor must produce it.
Each fiscal year, a budget is created by the Finance committee, amended and/or approved by the Board of Trustees, and presented to the congregation at a special congregational meeting for final approval by majority. (See Bylaws, Article V, Section 3.)
Requests for budget allocations must be submitted according to the schedule established by the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee.
Funding established by the budget of MVUU is designated for the sole purpose of support for the staff, facilities and programs of the congregation. Except for required dues or fees related to congregational affiliation with or participation in programs or activities of the UUA, UU districts, or for Board approved memberships that support MVUU’s mission.
MVUU will not act as an agent for or be the administrator for programs external to MVUU. Support for such activities may take the form of special collections or sharing of collections at Sunday Practices with proper approvals (Board or Justice Coordinating Council).
When salaries are below the UUA recommended fair compensation level, it is the policy of MVUU Board of Trustees that there be continual annual progress to increase all staff salaries to the appropriate fair compensation level subject to the availability of pledged funding, satisfactory performance assessment, and recommendation by the appropriate supervisors.
ENDOWMENT FUND 6.2.0
Mountain Vista UU shall have a separate endowment, called the Endowment Fund, to ensure the long-range financial future of the congregation, to help the congregation manage and survive financial emergencies, and to fund capital needs and special projects that further the mission of the congregation.
The purpose of the Endowment fund shall be to provide a means to support the mission and work of the congregation. This includes, but is not limited to transfers of property (cash, stocks, bonds, real estate), charitable bequests in wills, charitable remainder and other trusts, pooled income funds, charitable gift annuities, assignment of life insurance and retirement plans and memorial gifts of all amounts.
The Endowment Fund shall be governed by an Endowment Committee, which shall serve as the custodian of the Endowment Investment and Distribution Policy. This policy shall provide for the protection of the corpus of the Endowment over the long term and shall require the Committee to exercise the utmost of care to respect the integrity of restrictions placed on any gift to the Endowment. This policy may be amended or repealed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the congregation present and voting at a duly called congregational meeting.
The principal of the Endowment Fund shall be considered a permanent fund, not to be used for the day-to-day operating expenses of MVUU. These assets are to serve as income generation for special programs related to the mission of the congregation and capital improvement. The principal can be used only for purposes deemed essential to the survival of the congregation and may take place only with a two-thirds majority vote of the congregation. If MVUU is dissolved, the balance in the Endowment Fund will revert to the Unitarian Universalist Association.
The Endowment Committee shall consist of three members of the congregation, elected in the annual election by members of the congregation. Except in the initial election, when shortened terms will enable a staggered rotation of members, the term of each committee member will be three years. No member may serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. After a lapse of one-year, former committee members may be re-elected. Mid-term vacancies may be filled by action of the Board. No member may serve on the endowment committee while also serving on the congregation governing board or as an elected officer of the congregation. The Board Treasurer (as Board Liaison) shall serve ex- officio on the Endowment Committee. The terms shall begin at the beginning of the congregation’s Fiscal Year, currently July 1 through June 30. All elections will be for a three-year term. The Nominating Committee of MVUU will submit names for each position for the annual congregational election.
A majority vote of the members of the Endowment Committee is needed to carry any motion or resolution. The Endowment Committee shall elect its own chair on an annual basis. The Committee shall meet at least quarterly and report to the Board on a quarterly basis. The Committee will provide a written report to the Congregation at its annual meeting.
The Endowment Committee is empowered to hold, sell, exchange, rent, lease, transfer, convert, invest, reinvest, and in all other respects manage and control the assets of the endowment pursuant to the policies.
Endowment Investment and Distribution Policy (see below). The Committee shall act in its sole judgment and discretion as it deems wise and prudent, without further approvals.
Committee members shall not be liable for any losses incurred by the Endowment except to an extent that such losses arise out of acts or omissions of willful misconduct or gross negligence. Each member shall be liable for their own acts and omissions of willful misconduct or gross negligence and not for the acts or omissions of other members. No member of the Committee shall engage in any self-dealing or transactions with the Endowment in which the member has direct or indirect financial interest. Members shall refrain at all times from conduct in which their personal interests would conflict with the interest of the Endowment.
Investment and Distribution Policy:
The Committee shall invest the assets of the Endowment with the objective of earning an average annual total return percent consistent with moderate risk. Treasury bills, notes, certificates of deposit, time deposits in federally insured institutions, mutual funds or a diversified portfolio of common or preferred stocks, bonds and such other investments as are generally considered acceptable for fiduciaries under the laws of the State of Arizona and the General Investment Fund of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
In order to protect the corpus of the endowment over the long term, the Committee shall distribute no more than five percent a year of the total market value of the assets, as determined by the average total market value on the last business day of each of the four immediately preceding calendar quarters. If less than five percent is distributed in one year, the Committee may distribute more than five percent in a subsequent year, as long as the distributions do not exceed five percent on a cumulative basis.
The Committee may provide for such professional counsel on investments or legal matters as it deems best, and it may incur reasonable expenses in the execution of its duties. The expenses shall be paid from the endowment.
Investment and Distribution Policy and Endowment guidelines may be amended only by a two-thirds majority vote of the Congregation.
Amendment to these bylaws shall be made by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the congregation present and voting at a duly called congregational meeting.
FINANCE COMMITTEE 6.3.0
FUND RAISING 6.4.0
Other than special collections taken during Sunday Services, all fundraising activities must be approved in advance by the Stewardship Committee. The Congregational Administrator will supervise the calendaring and site scheduling. Complete accounting of the activity should be submitted to the Stewardship within seven days after the event. Unless otherwise designated and approved in advance, all funds raised will go into the general operating account.
Sales for Profit
The sale of items on church property where the profits or a portion of the profits do not go to MVUU, PSWD, UUA, or any UUA affiliate or associated organization will be permitted only with the approval of the Board. Donations to the church from sale profits are encouraged.
DIRECTED AND NONDIRECTED GIFTS 6.5.0
TO BE REVIEWED BY FINANCE COMMITTEE
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS 7.0.0
Mountain Vista UU is committed to the removal of all barriers – attitudinal, physical, and programmatic – that prevent the full participation of all persons.
BUILDING USE 7.2.0
CARE AND PRESERVATION OF BUILDING SPACES 7.3.0
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR SANCTUARY 7.4.0
We are dedicated to adopting every precaution in providing safety to all members of our community.
It is the policy of MVUU to provide occasions for hospitality and socializing for congregants and friends; and to ensure that food served is prepared and handled safely.