Policy – Creating and Amending Policies

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Policy Statement:

It is the policy of UUCBG that Policies are developed with input from interested parties, are approved by the Board, are formatted in a consistent manner, and are available to members of the congregation. All church members and groups shall follow policy when making decisions or taking action. Members shall be kept informed of any changes to policy. Anyone in the congregation may suggest changes to a policy by contacting its sponsor.

Sponsor: Board of Directors, Unitarian Universalist Church of Bowling Green, Kentucky

Approved: 25 February 2016  

Procedure for Creating or Amending Policies

  1. The Board, a committee, the minister, or staff member (aka sponsor) creates a draft policy or an amendment to an existing policy for an activity in their purview.
    1. The sponsor should review existing policies and check for duplications and/or contradictions.
    2. The sponsor should also consult with other groups that might be affected by the proposed policy; sharing proposals with all members of the Church Leadership Council via email (clc@uubgky.org) is a good way to reach everyone.
    3. The sponsor may ask Communications for editorial assistance.
    4. An accompanying procedure is often developed for a policy; procedures are developed, reviewed, and maintained only by the sponsor.
  2. The final proposal for a new policy or a policy amendment shall be submitted as an Action Item to the Board for review.
  3. The Board shall review the proposal and either approve it or return it to the sponsor(s) with suggested changes. The Board may ask others within the church for feedback.
  4. The sponsor shall either make changes suggested by the Board and by others or shall work with them to come to a consensus. The amended proposal shall go back to the Board for approval.
  5. Once approved by the Board, the policy shall go into effect.

Recommended Documentation for Policies and Procedures

  • Church Policies Manual (CPM) – contains all church policies but not procedures
    • Three hardcopies maintained – for Office, for the Board, and for the Congregation
      • The Office Copy is not to be removed from that room.
      • The Board Copy is kept and maintained by the Board Secretary. It should be present at all Board Meetings, including Process Meetings. (or, the Board Secretary can use the Office Copy or rely on the online version)
      • The Congregation Copy (burgundy binder in the Horace Mann Room) is available any time the Thomson Building is open. Committees may borrow it during a meeting but should always return it.
    • an electronic version publicized on our website
    • Electronic files of all our policies should be on the office computer and backed up.
  • Group Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM)
    • Each group should maintain its own current Policies and Procedures Manual.
    • Keeping electronic copies of all groups’ procedures on the office computer is a good idea.

Procedures for Keeping Track of Policies and Informing Members

  • As part of submitting the minutes for a Board Business Meeting, the Secretary of the Board shall send a complete copy of all new or amended policies to the Communications Committee (comm@uubgky.org). To allow for consistent formatting, the policies should be in editable format, not PDFs.
  • Within thirty days of receiving a policy, the Communications Committee shall:
    1. Format the Policy in a manner consistent with other policies. All policies shall include the name of the sponsor and the date it was approved by the Board.
    2. Grammatical editing (i.e., punctuation and spelling) is allowed without review; more substantial editing (e.g. reworking a sentence for clarification) shall be reviewed by the sponsor.
    3. Send an electronic copy of the final formatted policy to its sponsor, the office manager, and the Board.
    4. Post the policy on our website.
    5. Submit an article for the newsletter that lists the titles of all policies that have been adopted or changed within the last thirty days and also stating where the full text of policies may be found. Highlights of the changes may be included; those should be reviewed by the sponsor(s) for accuracy. Short policies may be printed in full in the newsletter if they affect the congregation as a whole.
  • The Office Manager shall print four copies of the formatted policy and distribute as follows:
    1. One copy shall be placed in the Congregation’s copy of the Church Policies Manual (the burgundy binder in the Horace Mann Room).
    2. One copy shall be placed in the Office copy of the Church Policies Manual.
    3. One copy shall be placed in the mailbox of the Sponsor.
    4. One copy shall be placed in the Board Secretary’s mailbox.
  • The Office Manager shall remove or strike-out outdated policies in the Office Policies Manual and in the Congregation Polices Manual.
  • The Sponsor shall share the formatted policy with group members. They should put their printed copy in their group’s Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) and remove or strike-out outdated policy. A group’s PPM should be available at all group meetings. It’s good for all members of a group to have a copy of all its policies and any procedures relevant to them.
  • The Board Secretary shall place the printed copy of the policy in the Board’s copy of the Church Policies Manual (CPM) and remove or strike-out any outdated policy. (The Secretary may choose to print from the electronic version sent by Communications and use that instead. If so, please let the Office Manager know.) The CPM should be available at all Board Meetings (including Process Meetings) for reference. The Board may use the online version of the CPM, but backup is good to have.

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