Policy – Sunday Services

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The Board of Directors reviews policy proposals from committees. If a proposal passes board review, it is adopted as a formal policy of the church, and everyone is expected to abide by it. Anyone may suggest changes to a policy by writing to its sponsor committee.

Management of Sunday Services

  Bad Weather or Emergency? See “Who decides if we should cancel”

Coordination of Services (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

The Sunday Services Committee coordinates all Sunday Services. If a Church committee or the Board wishes to make a presentation during a service (such as a membership ceremony, a child dedication, or a special announcement), they should contact the Service Coordinator for that day or the minister (if he is speaking), who will coordinate with each other to add the item to the regular order of service. Such additions shall be shared at least a week before the service with the Service Coordinator and the Minister, as the Order of Service is due on the Monday before the service.
– Planning ahead is strongly encouraged, so please contact SSC as soon as possible to pick a good date for your event.

Inserts in the Sunday Bulletin (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

All inserts submitted for use during the Sunday Service (readings, songs, ceremonies, additional information for the sermon, etc.) shall be reviewed by the Service Coordinator and the Minister. The inserts must be received by the Service Coordinator and the Minister at least ten days before the service date. (Inserts relating to other church matters, such as financial announcements, third-Sunday beneficiaries, flyers, etc., are reviewed by the Communications Committee and/or the Minister, and are due to the office the Monday before the service.)

Cancellation (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

The Board President and the Minister shall consult with each other, and with input from the Chair of Buildings and Grounds Committee and/or the Chair of Sunday Services Committee, make the decision whether to cancel the service (and usually other activities on Sunday morning) due to weather, impassable roads, or emergency.

If the Minister or the President is not available, then the Chair of the Sunday Services Committee and/or the Vice President (or other Director) shall consult and decide. In the rare event that other people can’t be reached in a timely fashion, the Minister or a Director has the authority to cancel on their own. See “Procedure for Sunday Cancellations”.

Deadlines (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

The SSC shall meet all our deadlines.

Sharing Information during Sunday Services (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

Since not everyone attends Sunday Services or arrives on time, sharing News and Events only during the service is not an effective way to reach everyone, and so information should also be shared via the newsletter, the website, the Facebook page, the bulletin boards, printed in the bulletin itself (send information to the office manager by the Monday before the service), and (for time-critical and very important items) email announcements.

Items shared aloud during a Sunday Service should be succinct (refer to a newsletter or a person for details), and fulfill at least one (preferably more) of these requirements:

  • Event should be happening soon
  • Be sponsored by a UUCBG church body
  • Be of importance to the congregation at large
  • Be in line with the mission of the church

The Minister or the Moderator has the authority to decide not to read announcements submitted on Sunday morning that do not meet these criteria, and to condense long announcements. The Minister and/or the Service Coordinator should screen announcements submitted during the week.

Compensation (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

Lay speakers from our own congregation are not compensated monetarily. A thank-you card is recommended, probably from the Service Coordinator who worked with them.

Guest speakers (both cleric and laic) may be compensated for travel expenses if they are not already in Bowling Green, and may be compensated with an honorarium. Guest speakers should receive a thank-you card from the SSC committee, and an invitation to lunch on Sunday. The committee may choose to reimburse the host for the cost of lunch.

Content of Sunday Services

Creating services that are welcoming for all (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

  1. The SSC should select effective and interesting speakers.
  2. The SSC shall strive to provide a diversity of voices and viewpoints during Sunday services.
  3. The SSC shall strive to use inclusive language with regards to race, gender (e.g., during songs, separate by high voice and low voice, not by women and men), age, and family (e.g., caregivers of children, not parents or mother and father).
  4. The SSC shall follow pertinent guidelines for Welcoming Congregations, including
    • Use inclusive language and content as a regular part of worship services, and provide worship coordinators and speakers with guidelines on inclusive language.
    • For members and members’ families, provide main worship space and ministerial services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer rites of passage, such as services of union, dedications of children, and gender-affirming ceremonies.
    • Welcome people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer in places such as the … orders of service.
    • Celebrate and affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues and history during the church year (possible options include Pride, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and National Coming Out Day).
  5. The SSC shall strive to make the children’s time in the service engaging for them.
  6. The SSC shall create several multi-generational services each year.

 Attire during Sunday Services (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

The SSC recognizes that personal appearance involves freedom of expression and that appropriateness is subjective; however, the committee has the responsibility to ensure that the service is the main focus on Sunday mornings. People who are scheduled to participate publicly in the service on Sunday mornings (i.e., speakers, readers, musicians, song leaders, moderators, chalice lighters, etc.) are expected to ensure that their appearance does not distract from the service or draw undue attention to themselves. The Sunday Services Committee will not schedule people who do not follow this policy.

  • Due to IRS tax regulations, while people are representing the church they are not permitted to wear politically partisan attire.

Sermon Topics (adopted 1 Sep 2015)

  • Sermons shall be aligned with Unitarian Universalist principles.
  • Federal tax law means that support or opposition (even implied) of a political candidate or a political party is not allowed by anyone speaking on behalf of the church or from the pulpit (speaker, moderator, coordinator, board member, etc.), whether during a sermon or another part of the service. Individuals who speak from the floor have freedom of speech while also being mindful of separation of church and state and being respectful of others’ views.
  • Freedom of the pulpit and the right to the democratic process means that sermon topics about issues considered political are allowed. Speakers shall make it abundantly clear that they speak for themselves, not for the congregation or denomination as a whole, and that people should form their own conclusions. If the speaker does not make this clear during the presentation, the moderator shall mention that at the close of the service.
  • Our called minister has freedom of the pulpit, and the SSC does not review his sermons or choice of topics.
  • The SSC has the responsibility to review topics chosen by guest speakers and lay speakers from our congregation for compliance with these policies. The SSC has the right to request different topics and to rescind invitations to speak.

Partnership Model (adopted 5 August 2014)

For one service a month, Peter will be coordinator and moderator and speaker. The other two services he will be the speaker. The speaker may write the summary, choose the readings and hymns that match the topic, select a short quote, or may delegate one or more of those tasks to the service coordinator. (Guest speakers who are not UUs are not expected to be familiar with our hymnals.)

 

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