How UUFA is Organized

Governance and Ministry

UUFA, a mid-size congregation, uses a ‘Governance and Ministry’ structural model developed by independent consultant Dan Hotchkiss, formerly with the Alban Institute. The Board’s primary responsibilities include setting policies, monitoring finances, stewarding buildings and grounds, and some employment oversight. The Board delegates to the Minister, Ministry Council, and Staff, responsibilities regarding programs and the daily management of the Fellowship. The Minister also serves as Chief of Staff.

Click here to learn more about this governance model directly from Dan Hotchkiss.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees serve as governors of UUFA who are the primary stewards of the Fellowship. They create and oversee global policies that guide the work performed to meet the congregation’s mission, vision and covenant. They act as general staff employer and supervise the Minister (who supervises the staff). They designate to the Minister and Ministry Council programmatic responsibilities. Click here for Job Descriptions of UUFA Board positions.

July 2016 – June 2017 Board of Trustees

Front L-R: Rich Rayburn, Treasurer (7/2016 – 6/2018, 2nd term), Lee CornellPresident FY 2016/17 (7/2014 – 6/2017), Barbara TeskeySecretary (7/2015 – 6/2017); Back L-R: Roger Bailey, Member-at-Large (7/2015 – 6/2018), Carol-Lee Baker, Member-at-Large (7/2014 – 6/2017), Liz WeaverMember-at-large (7/2015 – 6/2018), Linda Gilbert, Vice President FY 2016/17 (7/2015 – 6/2018); Not pictured: Fabiana HaydenMember-at-large (7/2016 – 6/2019), Rosemary WoodMember-at-large (7/2016 – 6/2019).

Board Notes

  • Reflections: Transformation

    When I first joined the Board some three years ago I recall that the “hot topics” of the day were the approval the Share the Plate program to split the Sunday offering with the Cause of the Month, parking pressures and the adoption of a second service, and the expansion of the building.  At the same time the Board was considering governance topics such as the movement from a small “family” type of congregational structure to that of more “corporate” type structure with all the organizational and policy changes that entailed.  Those seemed to be fraught times with long discussions over how Share the Plate would work, whether or not we really needed a second service, and how we would ever be able to plan for a building expansion much less fund it.

    Now, three years later, those conversations seem long ago and far away.  They are almost buried in the mists of time and the sharp edges around them have worn away.  Today, the Share the Plate program helps contribute to an average of $15,000 a year given to the various causes designated by UUFA for receipt of half of our offerings each month.  It is such a success that it has been jokingly suggested that we become our own Cause. The second service has become so well established that it is now developing its own program format.  Attendance is steady with a hard core group of early risers coming each Sunday.  With the establishment of second service discussions about parking became a little less earnest. As for the building expansion, we went from a closet full of plans started, looked at, and put away to the actual hiring of an architectural firm, the presentation of real plans, and the raising of over one million dollars. Talk about a transformation.  We still continue to have conversations about our transformation from a small congregation to a mid-size congregation and what that entails, but everyone is aware that we have undergoing a sea change and that times are changing in dramatic fashion.

    As I look back on how hard some of those conversations seemed three years ago, I realize that they were only small steps to larger conversations we are engaging in now.  As we transformed our conversations have transformed as well.  We’ll soon have hard discussions about the physical transformation of our building. These discussions will focus on walls and bricks and mortar and landscaping.  As fraught as these conversations will be we will also engage in difficult discussions about, governance, ministry, justice, and our continuing mission both inside our own community and with the community at large. These conversations will seem all consuming but I am confident that looking back three years from now the sharp edges that come with them will have worn down and that our congregation will be engaged in new transformative temporal and spiritual conversations. –Rich Rayburn, UUFA Treasurer

  • Reflections: Transforming Our Community

    As we undertake to transform our UUFA home into a larger and more functional building, I have become more aware of how our members have worked to transform not just our Fellowship and our building, but also our community.  Reaching out to the people around us in an effort to support those in need and to transform, when appropriate, the systems through which those people are helped has become one of the ways in which we live up to our Seven Principals.

    Our transformative efforts are carried out through many of our committees. UUFA’s Social Action Committee supports 13 of the Athens-area charities, which are provided support thorough the Cause of the Month Share the Plate offering.  UUFA is an active participant in the ‘Standing on the Side of Love’ campaign which supports ethical, respectful treatment of all people, and voted to serve as a “Welcoming Community” for support of the LGBTQ community.  Our members also have been involved in supporting “Black Lives Matter” and in forming an Exploring Racial Justice (ERJ) Task Force.

    In their covenant, the members of UUA’s Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee, lists as foremost among their commitments to: “recognize we are each and collectively ‘works in progress,’ and that there is no one ‘right answer’.”

    We are beginning a new journey of transformation with the expansion of our facilities, and as this work progresses, we are offered the opportunity to expand our vision of who and what we are as caring, loving members of our fellowship, our community, and our world.  In the coming months, as we see our building transformed, I hope we will put our hearts and our effort into transforming our membership into an even greater resource for ourselves and the people in need around us. — Rosemary Wood, Member-at-Large

  • Next Up: Apr. 30 Town Hall! The Great Reveal of the Building Plan!

    Prior to the May 21 Congregational Meeting, there will be discussion opportunities at two Congregational Town Hall Meetings:

    This past Sunday, April 23, the Board and Finance Committee presented and discussed the budget for the next program year with members of the congregation.  For more information, contact President Lee Cornell or Treasurer Rich Rayburn.

    NEXT UP:  This Sunday, April 30 EOV Building Project Town Hall, 10:05-10:50 a.m in the Fellowship Hall.  The Great Reveal of the Building Expansion & Renovation Plan developed by the EOV Teams working with our architects.  Click here for more information. For questions or concerns, email building@uuathensga.org.

    SAVE THE DATE: May 21, 2017, Annual Congregational Meeting

    The 2017 Annual Congregational Meeting of the members of UUFA will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017, right after our single Sunday service. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend. We will hear about programming, get the latest update on facility expansion, and vote on leaders and topics that will guide us into the coming year.

    In May, members will receive a mailing in preparation for the Congregational Meeting that will include: the May 21 agenda, proposed budget, election slate for 2017/18, and proposed wording of any special votes.

    In order to vote at the Annual Meeting, individuals must be “Active Members” of the Congregation: those who have signed the membership book, been members for at least four weeks, and have made a financial contribution of record during the previous 12 months. (See Article II, Section 2.1 of the UUFA Bylaws.) For minutes of past meetings, click here.

Governance & Denominational Affairs

  • Denominational Affairs: UUA President Peter Morales Resigns

    On March 30, 2017, Rev. Morales announced his resignation.

    Please click here to read his resignation letter.

    Please click here to read the latest communication from the UUA Leadership Council.

    Please click here to read the latest on this situation from the UUA Southern Region.

    Please click here to read about the three persons appointed by the UUA Board to lead UUA until the presidential election at General Assembly.

  • Denominational Affairs: UUA to Elect New President

    At the 2017 General Assembly (June 21-25) in New Orleans, delegates will elect a new UUA President.

    Every four (or more likely, eight) years, the UUA chooses a new president.  Our immediate past president is Hispanic, our previous president was African-American, and we are about to break yet another barrier and elect a woman to the presidency at General Assembly in June because all three candidates are women.

    Go here: http://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/elections/president to read about this process and view information about these three declared female candidates.

    Go here: https://www.facebook.com/SRUUA/videos/vb.1681592872110428/1889439194659127/?type=2&theater to view the video of the candidate forum held at the Southern Regional Spring meeting April 8 in Charleston, South Carolina.

  • General Assembly Matters–Let’s go to NOLA!

    Registration for this year’s General Assembly to be held June 21-25 in New Orleans opened March 1, and rates increase on May 1!

    Want to be put your name in nomination as one the six delegates representing UUFA? 

    Click here. Go to or nominate yourself at the April 30 Town Hall Meeting.

    Want more information about the UUA General Assembly?  Watch for upcoming General Assembly information sessions at UUFA. Go to www.uua.org/ga. Delegates to General Assembly 2017 will be electing the next president of UUA. To read more, go to http://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/elections/president.

    Bus to New Orleans for GA?!

    Dear UUFA Friends:

    We have just learned that the cost to charter a bus to G.A. is MUCH LESS than previously reported.  We hope you can circulate this updated announcement out to the UUFA Family.

    Atlanta Regional UUs are planning to rent a bus from Atlanta to General Assembly in New Orleans in June. We have just learned that the cost to charter a bus to G.A. is MUCH LESS than we previously reported. The bus travel cost would be about $130 per person round-trip, which is much less than flying or driving (at 55 cents per mile). We will be finalizing and confirming our plans by March 22nd if we can get tentative commitments from at least 50 attendees to travel down together by bus. We would depart Atlanta (Northwest UUC-Sandy Springs) on Wed. June 21st at 9:30 a.m., arriving at the New Orleans Convention Center at 4:30 p.m.  We would depart New Orleans on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. after worship, arriving back at Northwest UUC at 8:30 p.m. Please emaildavid.zenner@zennergroup.com  (with “Bus to G.A.” in the subject line) promptly if you are interested in joining a busload of enthusiastic UUs, or have questions or comments.

    Dave Zenner

    NWUUC president-Elect

    Unitarian Universalist Northwest Congregation

Past Congregational Meetings

May 15, 2016, Annual Congregational Meeting &Meeting with the Architect

The 2016 Annual Congregational Meeting of the members of UUFA was held in Fellowship Hall on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at 12 noon. Draft minutes are posted here – Draft 5/15/2016 Annual Meeting Minutes. After the business meeting, architect Hank Houser held a question and answer discussion with the congregation about the upcoming building expansion project. For the Q&A summary and continuing updates, please click here – Building Expansion & Resources. Please contact UUFA Secretary Barbara Teskey with any questions or concerns (secretary@uuathensga.org ).

May 31, 2015, Annual Congregational Meeting

The 2015 Annual Meeting of the members of UUFA was held on Sunday, May 31, at 12 pm in the UUFA sanctuary.  After the meeting, we celebrated five years of shared ministry with the Reverend Alison Eskildsen. Approved minutes are posted here — 5/31/2015 Annual Meeting Minutes. Please contact UUFA Secretary Barbara Teskey with any questions or concerns.(Secretary@uuathensga.org)