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Policy Based Governance
- Governance is based on policy, rather than case-by-case decision making or unconstrained discretion.
- Governance is mission-based. The Board, in partnership with the Minister and professional staff, is responsible for periodically leading the congregation in an exercise to articulate VUU’s expanded mission. VUU’s mission (the “ends” in our Board Policy) was last updated in April, 2009, as part of a “Searching for Our Future” weekend workshop that involved the entire congregation.
- Decentralization is used whenever feasible, with authority, responsibility, and trust placed in the hands of those with the greatest expertise and day-to-day operational experience.
- A clear distinction is made between Board authority and Ministerial authority; but there is no “wall of separation.” A vibrant partnership and communication flow is expected in relation to several shared aspects of governance and ministry.
- Board work is mainly “big picture” work (e.g., fiduciary responsibility, long-range planning, policy development, “big decisions,” oversight) with authority for “ministry work” belonging to the Sr. Minister, who serves as Chief of Staff.
- The Board is assisted in performing its responsibilities by several standing and ad hoc committees, such as Finance. Board committees, however, do not advise or supervise the work of the Sr. Minister, staff, or committees that report to the Sr. Minister unless specifically asked.
- VUU’s nine ministries are organized into clusters of related activities and all of these report to the Sr. Minister. Music ministry and Faith Formation are led by professional staff, whereas the seven lay-led ministries are pastoral care, worship, denominational, outreach, membership, fellowship, and communications.
- VUU’s current organizational structure of committees and ministries was implemented in 2010-2011.
- Ministers, staff, and the lay-led ministries that report to the Sr. Minister committee do not need to “seek permission” from the Board. They are empowered to determine the best means to achieve VUU’s mission – within broad limitations established by Board Policy.
- Board, Ministers, and Staff work in partnership to insure VUU’s future as a vibrant force in the lives of members and the larger community.
- The Board is committed to honesty, transparency, and integrity in all of its work for VUU.
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