Congregational Workings


Committees and Groups

Standing Committee Charters

Leadership Development Committee

General Purpose
To encourage and facilitate the participation of individuals in church committees and groups; to support our lay leaders by promoting leadership development throughout our congregation; to nominate people to fill vacancies on standing committees and as parish officers prior to the Annual Meeting.

Leadership and Membership
While membership in the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) is open to all members of First Parish, ideally LDC members will have prior experience on the Parish Committee (ParCom) or other standing or ad hoc committees. Prior leadership experience is presumed to correlate with a solid understanding of how First Parish works; the professional staff of First Parish, its lay leaders, and its congregants; and where opportunities for growth and improvement lie. Members are either recruited for LDC or volunteer to join.

In its nominating function, the LDC works separately from ParCom, thus avoiding the practice or semblance of a self-selecting and exclusive Parish Committee.

Terms, which are for three years, should be staggered and can be renewed once in succession. Members are appointed by vote at the Annual Meeting in May of each year. The Chair is selected by committee members. The committee should ideally be five or six members for our mid-size congregation.

Specific Duties

  • Nominate a slate of candidates for officer positions and ParCom membership
  • Assist in the recruitment of new members to standing committees
  • Publicize the importance of parishioner participation in committee work, and make transparent the structure, process, pleasures, and realities of committee life
  • Provide training opportunities for lay leaders in the form of Leadership Roundtables
  • Collaborate with ParCom, Membership, and other committees, task forces, and ad hoc groups on areas of common interest

                  For example:

    • During the 2011–2012 church year, LDC met regularly with a ParCom working group focused on Volunteer Engagement and Leadership Support.
    • In 2010–2011, LDC convened an ad hoc group to consider ways of “warming up” the space and atmosphere of First Parish as a crucial first step in attracting members to volunteer for the many tasks necessary to make our community work.

Annual Objectives and Mission Linkage
In accordance with two of our UU principles—”The inherent worth and dignity of every person” and “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations”—and our own First Parish mission statement—”We support one another on our spiritual journeys”—the LDC seeks to provide opportunities for church members to develop leadership competencies and to “demystify” the path to leadership, with the overarching goal of enhancing the quality of leadership within our congregation.
For the congregational year 2012–2013, the LDC seeks to:

  • Develop a slate of candidates for all available officer positions and ParCom openings
  • Support the standing committees and ad hoc groups in recruiting new members, as requested
  • Continue to develop mechanisms to know our community members and identify their skills, passions, and interests—through one-on-one conversations, roundtables, informational events, surveys, and other venues that enable us to effectively match talent to task—and, as a significant by-product, to provide feedback to ParCom, Membership, and other church leadership about the temperature and temperament of the community
  • Carry out at least three Leadership Roundtables, during the September–June church year, that respond to the needs and wishes of committee members and leaders (e.g., skills training, how to avoid leadership burnout)

Outcome Measurements
The committee will keep the following statistics, which will be reported to the congregation in the annual report at the end of the church year:

  • Ability to recruit a full complement of officers, ParCom members, and other committee members as requested
  • Number of participants at the Leadership Roundtables
  • Number of new committee members (i.e., people who have not served on a committee before)
  • Retention of LDC members
  • In addition, we will request that attendees of all Leadership Roundtables complete an evaluation.

Annual Budget and Spending Authority
The committee has an annual budget of $100.

Reporting Requirements
The committee shall report in writing annually to the congregation in conjunction with the congregation’s customary annual reporting process.

Authorities Reserved to the Board
ParCom approves the committee’s charter and annual working budget. ParCom will support appropriate congregation-wide policies with regard to the work of the LDC.

Relationship to Professional Staff

  • The committee will work cooperatively with the Office Manager to coordinate production of any LDC materials and the scheduling of Leadership Roundtables. The LDC may work with the minister to incorporate leadership development into the church life as a whole.

— Adopted October 2012


Copyright 2017 First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

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