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
We are dedicated to adopting every precaution in providing safety to all members of our community. It is the intention of our religious community to promote self-esteem and personal responsibility among our children and our membership. To these ends, we are herewith establishing the following policies and a code of conduct.
Screening and Selection of Workers with Children and Youth
Workers who provide direct care or supervision to children or youth at MVUU events or programs must meet the following criteria:
- Advisors for youth and volunteer Religious Exploration teachers must be active participants at MVUU or another UU congregation for at least six months. Active participants are congregation members or friends who are involved with (church) committees, activities and/or events on a regular basis.
- Advisors for MVUU Youth Group (YRUU) must be at least 25 years old; all other volunteer religious education teachers and nursery care workers must be at least 18 years old.
- Workers less than 18 years old may be used as volunteer or paid helpers for event childcare as long as they are supervised by an adult who meets the above criteria.
- All regular workers and volunteer religious exploration teachers and volunteer youth advisors and sponsors must complete an Application form, read the Child and Youth Protection Policy and sign the MVUU Code of Conduct included in this policy. A background check may be conducted for volunteers.
- Occasional volunteers, parents or congregants who serve the religious exploration program must read and sign the MVUU Code of Conduct before assuming their duties. The DRE and volunteer religious exploration teachers will supervise these volunteers.
- All compensated workers must meet MVUU Personnel Policy requirements that may include a criminal background check, completion of an Employment Application and supplying two references who have known the applicant for at least three years, preferably in relation to previous work with children or youth. A photo ID, such as a driver’s license, must be presented and a copy will be placed in the MVUU office file. Compensated workers must read and sign the MVUU Code of Conduct.
- A “group” is defined as one or more children or youth in a class, program or activity sponsored by MVUU.
- “Supervision” by adults is defined as the reasonable exercise of thoughtful action and responsibility working with the assigned groups. The amount of direct supervision will be determined by the ages and developmental stages of each group.
Supervision Guidelines and Policies
- There will be a minimum of two adults scheduled to supervise each group. The DRE or Minister may make exceptions to this two-adults rule on a case by case basis.
- If only one adult is alone with a group of children or youth at MVUU, thye window coverings will be open or the door to the classroom will remain open, and the DRE or their representative will check in with the group periodically.
- No group of children will be in a room with a closed door without supervision.
- If an adult other than a parent or guardian has a private on-site, one-to-one meeting with a child or youth, permission from the parent/guardian will be sought if possible prior to the meeting, and the parent/guardian will be informed of the meeting afterwards if prior approval was not available or possible. Another worker in the program will be notified about the meeting, either before the meeting or promptly afterward, the window coverings will be open or the door to the classroom will remain open, and the DRE or their representative will check in with the pair.
- Corporal punishment or abusive language will not be used under any circumstances (parents have a right to choose the way they communicate with their children, but are encouraged to keep to MVUU guidelines while at MVUU).
- Transportation to, from and during Congregation or District Events: It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to provide safe transportation to and from MVUU and District events. Volunteers and compensated employees are not allowed to pick up or drive children and youth home from MVUU or be alone in a car with one child or youth except by prior parental/guardian arrangement and written permission. The DRE will be notified of all arrangements and written permission placed in the files.
- Permission slips must be completed and signed by the parent or guardian before a child or youth can participate in an off-site field trip.Permission slips will be placed in the files.
- All drivers must be at least 25 years of age and must provide proof of insurance. There must be enough seat belts for everyone and everyone must wear a seatbelt. As mandated by Arizona law a child restraint system (child safety seat) must be used by all children under 5 years of age and those under 8 years of age and who are not more than 4 feet, 9 inches in height.
- No driver may consume alcohol or use any form of drug, including prescription medicine, that can affect physical or mental performance during or before carrying out their duty as a driver.
For children with special needs, it may not be possible to meet the child’s needs through the classroom setting with two volunteers. In such a case, the DRE and the child’s parents/guardians will try to work out a reasonable supervision and accommodation plan. Such arrangement will be agreed to in writing between the DRE and the Child’s parents. The Board and/or the Minister will approve the arrangement, in consultation with the RE Committee. All agreements will be made in writing and placed in the files.
Every effort will be made, within the constraints of the budget, to accommodate special needs of all children and adults within the congregation. Making the educational program and congregational events accessible is a priority.
Conduct for Adults Working With Children and Youth
Adults who work with children and youth at MVUU are expected to always have the best interests of the children and youth at heart. They are expected to nurture their physical, emotional, and spiritual growth by fostering an environment of kindness, trust, respectfulness and fun. No one’s enjoyment should ever be at the expense of another person’s health or self-esteem. Their charge is to encourage kindness and genuineness among the children and youth, and to discourage unkindness and falseness.
- “Friendship” with Youth: It is the adult volunteer or compensated worker’s responsibility to avoid or discourage inappropriate friendships. Inappropriate contact is defined as any sexual contact, or social contact that would provide minors will illegal use of substances as proscribed by state and federal laws or keep relationships private from parents, guardians and congregation personnel. The adult should take the responsibility to establish and maintain appropriate boundaries and to cultivate a healthy atmosphere of trust with both the minor and their parents/guardians.
- Unofficial Contact with Youth: Sometimes a genuine mentoring relationship will develop between a youth and an adult.These cannot only be healthy, but transformative for both. It is our concern that someone, who might not have the best interest of youth at heart, could try to disguise an unhealthy relationship with a youth as a mentoring relationship. Any relationship developed between an adult and a youth outside of MVUU must be with the knowledge of the youth’s parents/guardians, and the DRE should be notified. This is for the protection of the youth and the adult. Adults will best protect themselves from false accusations of misconduct by keeping the parents and the DRE informed of their actions.
- Official mentor/mentee relationships are encouraged. It is suggested that meetings take place where other adults are present, such as at MVUU or in public places.
Adults who work with children under the aegis of MVUU are responsible to the children and youth, their parents/guardians and to MVUU as well. Sometimes an adult will learn that a child or youth is a victim of abuse, is suicidal, has a serious drug problem, etc. It is MVUU policy that such information be communicated to MVUU’s professional staff immediately (the Minister or DRE). The Minister or DRE will report the incident to the parents of the apparent victim (unless good reasons exist for not doing so). For this reason, leaders must never give children or youth the impression that withholding information under the guise of keeping secrets is acceptable.All youth and children will be advised of the limits of confidentiality and, if appropriate, will sign a statement of understanding which will be placed in the file.
A covenant of confidentiality will mean that an adult does not repeat information told in confidence. When the information has the potential to cause harm, the child or youth should be encouraged to seek help from a parent or other authority figure. Additionally, that individual should be informed of the adult’s duty to speak to a professional staff person about the matter. It is the responsibility of the adults to both consult with appropriate congregation personnel and also to inform the youth that necessary actions will be taken to protect their safety and welfare. All youth who have the ability to understand will be informed of their rights and the laws that are prescribed for all adults to follow. In some cases, the person who has received the information from the child or youth is required by law to report to child protection authorities (see below).
No pictures or photos of children may be posted on public media or used in MVUU publications without signed parent/guardian permission.
Acceptance of the Policy and the Code of Conduct
Signing the Code indicates the signatory has read the Policy and the Code and agrees to abide by them. The signatory further acknowledges that failure to abide by the Code or the provisions of the Policy may result in dismissal from either paid or volunteer positions involving children and youth at MVUU.
Reporting and Response Procedure
If a worker, volunteer or any other adult suspects physical, sexual or mental abuse of a minor during a MVUU program or event, or elsewhere, the adult must immediately report it to the DRE or Minister, who will assist them in reporting and taking the appropriate action according to Arizona State Law. The law requires that any person responsible for the care of a child must personally report verbally immediately and in writing to law enforcement or Child Safety Agency. ARS 13-3620
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 Service, 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 SERVICE 5.4.0
Policy: It is the policy of MVUU regarding extra inserts in the Order of Service that they must
1. Be approved by the Church Administrator
2. Only pertain to:
That Sunday’s Service
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 Service 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 reasonable precautions in providing safety to all members of our community. The Board and staff shall ensure that all MVUU programs are safe for participants and staff; that facilities and grounds are maintained in a safe, sanitary, and secure condition; that hazards are corrected promptly; that required licenses and inspections are kept up-to-date; and that access to the MVUU building is limited to those who have legitimate business there.
GENERAL SAFETY AND SECURITY POLICY 8.0.1
The purpose of this General Safety and Security Policy is to encourage a culture of safety at MVUU by developing, communicating, and training emergency responses to threats to the lives, health, and wellbeing of our congregants, staff, and visitors, as well as the protection and care of our facilities and possessions. Most importantly, it is the goal of MVUU that safety will be integrated as an intrinsic value among staff, leadership, and all members of the congregation.
It is the intention of MVUU that the General Security and Safety Policies and Procedures will be communicated to the congregation every year, reviewed for updates, easily accessible in the building and online, and appropriate training will be available to key MVUU emergency response leaders, i.e. staff, Board, RE child ministry teachers, Greeters, Committee Chairs, as well as any interested congregational members who will be “Voluntary Responders”. To this end, it is proposed that the Board will appoint an MVUU Safety Coordinator, who will:
- Assist the Board and Minister in defining, communicating, and maintaining overall safety at MVUU, with sensitivity to and incorporation of the perspectives of minority and marginalized populations.
- Develop policies, procedures, protocols, plans, and best practices related to the physical safety of our property and the health and wellbeing of our congregations, and review and update regularly to assure accuracy and the appropriateness of MVUU safety policies.
- Communicate the above to assure staff and member understanding with the ability to carry out emergency plans and protocols as needed.
- Maintain easily retrievable online and paper copies of Safety Procedures and Emergency Response Plans.
- Develop, communicate, and train leadership for emergency responses to threats to the lives, health, and wellbeing of our congregants and visitors and the security of our facilities and possessions.
Specific tasks of the Safety Coordinator include:
- Develop emergency procedures and protocols as needed. Copies of these procedures and protocols are maintained in manuals located in the Meeting Room, Administrator’s office, Kitchen hallway, and in The Loft upstairs. They are also available online.
- Yearly training will be available through the Safety Coordinator utilizing Committee Chairperson’s leadership to review relevant safety measures at the initial meeting of their committees.
- Active Shooter and Bomb Threat training will be provided for the congregation annually after a regular Sunday Service.
- First Aid Training and the use of AED, Stop the Bleed, and other safety procedures and equipment will be arranged yearly for those interested by the Safety Coordinator.
- The Safety Coordinator will debrief health or security incidents, and keep detailed Incident Report Forms in the Administrator’s Office. The Safety Coordinator will update the safety manuals as needed to provide clear instructions as needed.
- The Safety Coordinator will purchase and restock First aid items and label the expiration date of needed items, discarding those items when expired.
- The Safety Coordinator will maintain the AED and BCK equipment and supplies after incidents
by repurchasing or cleaning as advised by the AED and BCK instructions.
In order to coordinate the actions of all persons present towards the common goals of stabilizing a safety incident and protecting life, property, and the environment, a chain of leadership and communication must be established. Such a system is based on the premise that every emergency has certain major elements requiring clear lines of communication. The chain of Authority, Responsibility and Leadership at MVUU is as follows:
- The primary leadership is provided by the Minister
- When the Minister is not available, the Board President substitutes.
- When the Board President is not available, the Vice-president of the Board substitutes.
- When none of the above are available, either Building and Grounds Chair, or available Board Member substitutes.
The “Incident Leader” is the first point of contact when a safety incident occurs and the person who will ensure that safety precautions are being followed. In the event of an evacuation order by police or fire department, this person will be second in command to the police or fire personnel to assist the evacuation and will conduct an “end sweep” of the building after an evacuation.
“Incident Responders” are the individuals nearest to the sick, injured, or disabled person and best trained including: Staff, Worship Associates, Greeters, RE Teachers, and anyone else who has specific training in emergency first aid response procedures. See “Volunteer Responders”
In the absence of trained incident responders, individual members of the congregation may need to render emergency assistance to sick or injured parties. Under Arizona Revised Statues (A.R.S.) 36-2263 (Civil liability, limited immunity, and Good Samaritan) and A.R.S., 36-2264 (Exemption from Regulation), anyone can, at their discretion, provide voluntary assistance to victims of medical emergencies. The extent to which these individuals respond shall be appropriate to their training and experience. Responders are encouraged to contribute to emergency response only to the extent they are comfortable. The emergency medical response of these individuals may include chest compressions, AED use, and/or medical first aid.
Following any safety or security incident, there may be need to provide information to the public and media. Only the Minister and/or Board President are designated to speak to the media and/or the rest of the congregation, and may make public announcements regarding an incident.
BUILDING SECURITY 8.0.2
It is the policy of MVUU to create and maintain a written plan for responding to reasonably foreseeable building emergencies, including fire, toxic conditions, water leakage, severe weather, utility outages, natural disasters, vandalism, and other circumstances that create or threaten to create dangerous conditions or threats to life and health of personnel or damage or deterioration of property. It is our policy to develop a culture of safety at MVUU by developing, communicating, and training emergency responses to threats to the lives and health of our congregants and visitors, and to the integrity of our facilities and property.
The MVUU Safety Coordinator (see General Safety and Security Policy) will develop and maintain a Safety Manual in electronic and printed format. The Safety Manual will be provided to all interested parties, but especially to those who may need to lead responses to emergency conditions, including Minister, Board members, administrator, sextant, worship associates, and greeters. The Safety Coordinator will review the Safety Manual on at least an annual basis to confirm that information is current and correct.
The Safety Manual will provide guidance for appropriate responses to water leaks, electrical and internet outages, fire and smoke, suspicious odors and gases, heating and HVAC system failures, and vandalism, including building evacuation procedures and contact of response services. The Safety Coordinator will check all fire extinguishers annually and, if necessary, see to their recharge or replacement.
The Safety Coordinator will lead loss prevention and risk mitigation efforts to minimize injury or loss of life and damage to facilities and property. A fire drill (announced) will be undertaken at least annually, both on Sunday and during the regular business week.
Following any incidents that result in injuries, damage or destruction of property, or emergency evacuations, the Safety Coordinator will photograph, video, and itemize destruction or damage to MVUU property and obtain statements from personnel involved in the incident. The information will be placed in an incident file kept by the MVUU Administrator, along with copies of police reports and/or emergency medical responders reports.
ECO-FRIENDLY CONGREGATION 8.0.3
The MVUU seventh principle states: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part” in all activities and actions. Accordingly, it is the policy of MVUU to encourage and facilitate actions by congregants that minimize the environmental impact of congregational activities and facilities. Among the actions that MVUU will strive to accomplish are:
- Minimize energy consumption by reducing heating and cooling settings when the building is not in use; turning off lights and electronic equipment when not in use; conduct an energy audit and strive for LEED certification, strive to satisfy our electrical energy needs through renewable sources of energy
- Encourage and facilitate recycling of paper, glass, and aluminum products; to the extent practical, use non-disposable cups, plates, and silverware for food service rather than paper, Styrofoam, and plastic; to the extent feasible, go “paperless” by using electronic communications; place recycling bins in convenient locations throughout the building
- Minimize water usage by promptly fixing leaking faucets and installing low-flow bathroom fixtures; plant only desert-friendly vegetation that requires minimal watering
- Buy and use sustainably grown and fair-trade food and beverages
- Ensure that cleaning products and pesticides used in the kitchen and by janitorial services are safe for the environment
- Encourage congregants to use non-motorized modes of transportation to the extent practical and facilitate car-pooling to MVUU services and activities. To this end, MVUU will provide safe and secure bicycle racks. Further, MVUU will strive to provide assistance to people attending functions and meetings in finding and arranging car-pools.
Additional information may be found in the publication “Environmental Guide for Congregations, Their Buildings, and Grounds” by David Glover and David Roades (https://www.webofcreation.org/ Environmental%20Guide.pdf)
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.
It is the policy of MVUU that all persons using the facilities will do so in a safe and healthy manner. The use of any form of tobacco products, illegal drugs, and the carrying of any form of weapons (including firearms) on MVUU property is strictly forbidden. Appropriate signs informing visitors of these prohibitions will be posted in accordance with state and local regulations.
Consumption of any form of alcoholic beverages on MVUU property shall be limited only to persons of legal age and it is expected that such consumption will be done responsibly and in moderation.