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

  • Get on Board, July 2017

    At its June 13, 2017 meeting, the UUFA Board of Trustees accomplished the following:


    • expedient business practices during the building project;
    • the review and refinement of Houser Walker Architecture (HWA) contracts prior to signing;
    • debrief and recommendations from the Annual Congregational Meeting;
    • the new Board orientation meeting and discussion of strategic planning; and
    • revision to the Finance Committee recommendation on external fund management to include further review by the Investment Committee.

    Took the following action:

    • to form the Expanding Our Vision Building Project Committee (BPC);
    • to appoint Iva King as Chair of the BPC and Bob McArthur as Board representative;
    • to authorize President Lee Cornell to sign the HWA contracts;
    • to authorize Capital Campaign Treasurer John Olive to open a Capital One Spark interest-bearing account to hold capital campaign funds;
    • to appoint new members to the Committee on Shared Ministry;
    • to accept the resignation of Rich Rayburn as Treasurer and appoint Thrane Jensen to fulfill the remainder of Rich’s term;
    • to accept refinements to Appendix A definitions of “committee” and “team”;
    • to create a Bylaws Review Task Force for the next program year chaired by Lee Cornell with members, Bob McArthur, Karen Solheim, and Herb West;
    • to authorize Linda Gilbert to sign the contract for summer camp Nurse;
    • to authorize Camp Administrator hours for Kelly McConnell;
    • to approve one week of pay for July 2017 for Music Director, Amber Fetner, for the purpose of program planning; and
    • to accept Aleta Turner as a delegate representative to UUA General Assembly.

    Accepted the following reports and discussed when necessary:

    • Treasurer’s report; and
    • Leadership Council Year-at-a-Glance.

    Set as future agenda items:

    • to discuss a policy on offering leave to contract workers;
    • to select the Board Vice President;
    • to define operational procedures for teams;
    • to organize a strategic planning task force;
    • to appoint two new members to the Finance Committee;
    • to reflect on Rev. Alison’s sabbatical, the past year’s accomplishments, and vision for the coming year.

    To read the adopted May 9, 2017, Board minutes, please click HERE – May 9, 2017. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees is Tuesday, July 11, 2017, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Comments are invited. You are welcome to attend this meeting, or please share any feedback you have with any Board member.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Barbara Teskey, Secretary, UUFA Board of Trustees

  • At the next Board Meeting

    Board of Trustees Agenda  

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 7:00 p.m.



    Resources: UUFA Bylaws, UUFA Policy & Procedure Manual , Vision/Mission/Covenant


    Opening Words and One-word Check-In (5 min) 7:05-7:10 p.m.


    Consent Agenda (5 min) 7:10-7:15 p.m.    

    Approval of 06.13.2017 agenda

    Approval of 05.09.2017 minutes


    Guest Comments (5 min)


    New Business (35 min) Resources: 7:15-7:50p.m.

    1. Charging of a Building Committee Linda      Lee
    2. Building project HWA contract approval       Lee
    3. Committee on Shared Ministry appointments      Lee
    4. Appointment of a new Treasurer      Lee
    5. Policy Amendment; link for Appendix A, Governance Definitions     Barbara
    6. 2017-18 Bylaws Review Task Force       Lee
    7. Summer Camp Nurse and Administrator        Liz
    8. Annual Congregational Meeting debrief, draft minutes       Board
    9. New Board Orientation debrief          Linda
    10. Vice President eligibility Linda,     Lee


    Unfinished Business (20 min) 7:50-8:10p.m.

    1. Revision to Finance Committee recommendation on external fund management    Lee
    2. Request from Alison for compensation for Amber and leave for Crystal    Lee
    3. Strategic Planning — do we want to do this?     Lee
    4. Additional delegates to UUA General Assembly    Lee


    Big Picture Discussion (40 min)     8:10-8:50 p.m.

    Reflection on Rev. Alison’s sabbatical, what went well this year, where we are, what is coming up in 2017-18


    Reports (5 min)             8:50-8:55 p.m.

    1. Treasurer’s Report Rich/Thrane
    2. Leadership Council Year-at-a-Glance
  • Reflections from the President, Lee Cornell

    In February 2013 I signed our membership book, in May 2014 I was elected to be a Board Member At-Large, in July 2016 I became Board President. A year later I prepare for life after the board, but what a year it has been.

    Reflections on 2016-2017

    July was, as July’s are in Athens, relatively quiet. August found UUFA gearing up for the new program year while Reverend Alison took her first month of sabbatical leave, but we were ready.

    September and October seemed normal and things were running smoothly. The US election process was in full motion, we had a terrific retreat at The Mountain, and plans were firming up for the launch of our capital campaign. Then November 8th came, and the world shifted in response to an unexpected outcome of the US elections. Still we were ready.  Reverend Alison was prepared to offer comfort and encouragement amid disappointment for some and celebration for others. Our community came together in love and we supported each other as we worked to understand what this change in our government would mean. (Work that still continues)

    Throughout December, January, and February we were executing our very successful Capital Campaign. We exceeded our goal for the campaign, demonstrating that we are ready for a building project.

    Spring found us again without our Parish Minister as Alison continued her sabbatical, but we were more than ready thanks to our “trial run” in August. We have had, in my opinion, a wonderfully diverse group of guests that sometimes pushed us outside of our comfort zone. I would like to extend thanks to the Ministry Council, the Worship Arts Committee, and the Sabbatical Team for all of their extra work and leadership through Alison’s much deserved absence.

    March and April brought more change as our DRE announced her departure next week; and our UUA President, chief operating officer, and director of Congregation Life resigned amid controversy over UUA hiring practices. Still we were ready. Members of our congregation came together to form a search team to hire Kelli McConnell as a temporary Coordinator for Religious Exploration. We have had discussions at many levels on what the resignations at the UUA, the controversy that sparked them, and our own policies and practices mean to our congregation here in Athens.

    This month the leadership of our congregation has had many passionate meetings discussing a wide range of topics including the resolution on racial justice and equity, our annual budget, the building expansion plans, our investment practices, and the UUA’s challenge to have a White Supremacy Teach-In just to name a few. We have faced controversy over issues, practices, and procedures within our community, but we were ready to have those discussions because we came together in love and with common principles that allowed the conversations to happen.

    What does it mean to be a member of the UUFA Board of Trustees? What does it mean to be President of the Board of Trustees?

    Hesitantly accepting the offer to be a nominee three years ago I wasn’t able to find an answer to these questions. Having served on the board for a year I still didn’t really know the answer. Today as an outgoing president, I’m starting to get a rough idea of the answer.

    For me being a member of the UUFA Board of Trustees means being a steward of our physical, financial, and human resources. Being a Trustee means earning, keeping, and honoring the trust that you placed in me when you voted the slate three years ago. It means respecting my personal feelings and opinions along side many others’ opinions that often are at odds with mine. Being a Trustee who had only been a member for a year meant a lot of cramming. Learning the Bylaws, Policy and Procedures, Robert’s Rules of Order; the history of the Board and the Congregation; what our Governance structure is, how we came to it, and how it is evolving. Being a Trustee means thinking on where our fellowship will be in three years time, when you aren’t on the board anymore, and working to make sure the board three years from now has the resources they will need.

    For me being President of the Board of Trustees means learning to temper your own emotional response so that you can guide your team through a discussion while at the same time honoring your personal response and opinion as being of equal worth. It means getting to see behind the curtain at all the moving pieces that make our fellowship run.  It means seeing where the duct tape is that holds some of those pieces together, where duct tape is needed, and where pieces just need to be reengineered. Being President means lots of meetings (lots of meetings); some short, some long, some easy, some hard. It means getting stopped in the doorway, half awake, before coffee, on Sunday morning to respond to a concern or event. It means, not having all the answers, but having a pretty good idea of where to find the answers. It means staying in tune with not only the activities of our congregation, but what is going on in the Southern Region and at UUA headquarters in Boston. Most importantly, being on the Board of Trustees means that you receive a reward beyond measure as you watch the community you love grow, struggle, hurt, rejoice, and thrive.  I thank you for your trust in me, for your support, for your love, and for the opportunity to be a part of the board of trustees.

    An Outgoing President’s Vision of the Future

    Before I move on to my next adventure at UUFA I would like to share some of my vision for our future. Ideas, dreams, needs, and ways I have observed and thought on during my time as a member of the board.

    First, we need to get re-engaged in our fellowship. Our congregation operates through the hard work of volunteers and our volunteer base is shrinking. The Sanctuary Enhancement Team who resets the decoration of our ...

Governance & Denominational Affairs

  • Thanks, Elod! UUFA’s entrance looks great!

    Halfway through his trip to Athens, Elod has been busy! Ask him about his first couple of weeks in Athens when you run into him next at UUFA or around town. And take a moment to notice that our name is now visible on the front of the building! He expressed an interest in helping there and inspired a team of volunteers to pitch in to spruce up outside the front entrance this past week.

    Elod is the son of our partner church’s minister and his wife, and he will visit us from June 3rd until July 3rd. The Partner Church Committee is lining up volunteers to entertain and educate him. ( He’s an English as a Second Language student.) If you can contribute time and talent (and maybe a little treasure ) to making his visit memorable, please contact Heather Kleiner ( and/or Michelle Liebens-Mack ( to volunteer. Thanks! (L-R: Rev. Levente & Elod).

  • Denominational Affairs: UUA Southern Region–Read All about It!

    Click here to read the Mid-May 2017 Southern Region UUA newsletter.

  • Denominational Affairs: Love Resists…an Overview

    One month ago the UUA and UUSC rolled out a joint campaign, Love Resists, building on the Declaration of Conscience that many of you (over 14,000) signed (if you have not yet, click here).

    At the same time over 600 UU congregations signed up for the #UU White Supremacy Teach-In  organized by UU religious educators of color with support from Black Lives of UU.

    Thousands of UUs took to the streets for the People’s Climate March and May Day and we are receiving news daily of congregations voting to become sanctuary and solidarity congregations.

    Our movement is responding to the need to ready ourselves for deep, protracted, sustainable and intersectional justice-making—inside and out.

    In this issue, we have three invitations to help strengthen your justice work, revive your spirits, build multiracial UU and multi-faith community and defend our democracy:
    1. Join Love Resists monthly Conscience Calls – next one on June 9.
    2. View/host a monthly multi-faith livestream from Rev. William Barber on Reflection, Revival & Resistance and the new Poor People’s Campaign – June 4th
    3. Sign & share a Faith Leaders Letter from the UUA and other faith organizations to Congress to Defend Democracy and Keep our Houses of Worship Non-Partisan.

    Click here to read more.

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 ( ).

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.(