1. ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES

A. Guidelines for Policies

B. Cancelling Church Services or Events

Sunday worship or events may be canceled by the senior minister or staff person directly responsible for the event.

If a worship service or event is canceled due to weather or other emergency, notice will be posted on the website and congregants will be texted and/or emailed.

C. Database

The database will keep track of our congregants names, addresses, contact information and the groups/classes they participate in. The database also tracks membership status, pledges, donations and facilitates communication.

Access to the church database shall be restricted to church-sponsored activities. Permission to have access to the database must be granted by X.  

D. Records Retention Policy

Administrative Records

Minimum Retention Period

Agenda and Official Minutes of Board Meetings and Committees Permanent
Building Blueprints, Floor Plans and Architectural Drawings Permanent
Building Use Records Three years
Calendars and Scheduling Records Three years
General Correspondence One year + current
Information on the establishment and implementation of policies and procedures, including manuals Permanent
Organization Charts Permanent
Membership Records Permanent
Personnel Records Seven years
Publications Two years
Special Programs and Events Schedules and Records Two years
Sunday Service Recordings Three years
Financial Records Minimum Retention Period
Accounting General Ledger One year + current
Audits (Inventory) Until updated + one year
Audits (Financial) Permanent
Bank Account Records Six years + current
Bonded Indebtedness Records and Payments Permanent
Budget Preparation Records and Budget Documents Six years + current
Insurance Policies Term of Policy
Payroll Records Two years + current
Pledging Records Three years + current
Purchasing Records Two years + current

E.  Office Equipment Use Policy

All office equipment is intended for official church business only. The office staff is responsible for monitoring use and arranging for maintenance of the equipment.

Copier

The general purpose copier in the church office is intended for official church business only. Church staff and church team members are able to use the copier as needed to conduct their official church functions

Computers

Each computer in the office has a designated primary user. Use of these systems is limited to those users.  There are currently several laptops owned by the church that may be used as needed with permission from a staff member.

F. Church Office Hours

The church office will be open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Thursday and 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM on Sunday. The office shall be closed on official holidays as specified in the Leave and Vacation Policy.

G. Policy for Maintenance of Accurate Membership Rolls

The Foothills staff will make an effort to keep the membership rolls accurate.

Every year the Church administrator with take the following steps to ensure the accuracy of our membership:

  1. Pledge commitments will be considered an affirmation of continued membership. Steps will be employed to affirm membership for members who do not contribute a financial pledge.
  2. A letter from the Church Administrator to non-pledging members and inactive members will be sent explaining the need to update membership records. This can be done electronically.
  3. Members who do not respond to the letter in the time allotted – not to be less than 2 weeks – will be changed to “inactive” and not counted in the official membership number.

This process will certify the number of members which will be reported to the Unitarian Universalist Association by February 1 of each year.

H. Responsible Behavior

While openness to a wide variety of individuals is one of the prime values held by our congregation and expressed in our denomination’s purposes and principles, we affirm the belief that our congregation must maintain a secure atmosphere where responsible behavior and openness can exist. When any person’s physical and/or emotional well-being or freedom to safely express his or her beliefs or opinions is threatened, the source of this threat must be addressed firmly and promptly, even if this ultimately requires the expulsion of the offending person or persons.

There have been times when the disruptive behavior of an individual within the church building has led members to voice their concerns about one or more of the following:

  1. Perceived threats to the safety of any adult or child;
  2. The disruption of church activities;
  3. Diminishment of the appeal of the church to its potential and existing membership.

The following shall be the policy of Foothills Unitarian Church in dealing with these issues:

  1. If an immediate response is required, the Minister(s), if available, and/or the leader of the group involved will undertake this. This may include asking the offending person or persons to leave, or suspending the meeting or activity until such a time as it can safely be resumed. If further assistance is required the Police Department may be called. Anytime any of these actions are undertaken without the Minister(s) being present, the Minister(s) must be notified. A follow-up letter detailing what steps must be taken before returning to the activities involved will be sent by the Minister(s) to the offending party or parties.
  2. Situations not requiring immediate response will be referred to an ad hoc committee appointed by the Board. The committee will respond in terms of their own judgment observing the following:
    1. The committee will respond to problems as they arise. There will be no attempt to define “acceptable” behavior in advance.
    2. Persons identified as disruptive will be dealt with as individuals; stereotypes will be avoided.
    3. The committee will collect all necessary information.
    4. To aid in evaluating the problem, the following points will be considered:

DANGEROUSNESS – Is the individual the source of a threat or perceived threat to persons or property?

DISRUPTIVENESS – How much interference with church functions is going on?

OFFENSIVENESS – How likely is it that prospective or existing members will be driven away?

    1. To determine the necessary response, the following points will be considered:
      1. CAUSES – Why is the disruption occurring? Is it a conflict between the individual and others in the church? Is it due to a professionally diagnosed condition of mental illness?
      2. HISTORY – What is the frequency and degree of disruption caused in the past?
      3. PROBABILITY OF CHANGE – How likely is it that the problem behavior will diminish in the future?
    1. The committee will decide on the necessary response on a case-by-case basis. However, the following three levels of response are recommended:
      1. LEVEL ONE – The committee shall inform the Minister(s) of the problem and either the Minister(s) or a member of the committee shall meet with the offending individual to communicate the concern.
      2. LEVEL TWO -The offending individual is excluded from the church and/or specific church activities for a limited period of time, with reasons and the conditions of return made clear.
    1. Any action taken under item f. (above) may be appealed to the Board and/or the Minister(s).
      1. LEVEL THREE – The offending individual is permanently excluded from the church premises and all church activities. Before this is carried out, the committee will consult with the Board and the Minister(s). If it is decided that expulsion will take place, the Minister(s) explaining the expulsion and the individual’s rights and possible recourse will send a letter.

Foothills Unitarian Church strives to be an inclusive community, affirming our differences in beliefs, opinions and life experiences. However, concern for the safety and well being of the congregation, as a whole must be given priority over the privileges and inclusion of the individual. To the degree the disruptive behavior compromises the health of this congregation, our actions, as people of faith must reflect this emphasis on security.

I. Registered Sex Offender 

Updated on September 12, 2018

Related Articles