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 overseeing some employment. The Board delegates to the Minister, Ministry Council, and Staff responsibilities regarding programs and the daily management of the Fellowship.
The Board of Trustees creates and oversees 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).
Click here for job descriptions of UUFA Board positions.
The members serving on the 2023-2024 Board of Trustees are
“I have been an active UU all my life. I started RE when I was 5 years old and during high school, college and graduate school I taught RE, trained teachers and conducted parent workshops. It was in that UU RE program that I discovered I that I wanted to be a teacher. My congregation was a place for me to grow and to fulfill my desire to serve. When my children were young, I did not have a UU congregation. Even though I taught UU principles in my home, I was spiritually lonely for a very long time. When I moved to Athens in 2001, checking out UUFA was a major priority. Here I have worked on countless committees, Lay Ministry Program, and served on the Board. Every day I am grateful for this caring community which provides a place for me to continue to grow, build deep friendships and a place where I can continue to serve.”
As the Children First, Inc. executive director, Susie continues to grow advocacy and awareness throughout the community. In her position, she oversees all aspects of Children First and furthers the goal of promoting safe homes for children in times of family crisis. Susie has dedicated over twelve years to child welfare through her work with Children First and as program coordinator for Athens-Oconee CASA. Susie earned her Bachelors of Social Work and Masters of Social Work from the University of Georgia. Her goal is to help children have better outcomes. When not in the office, Susie enjoys a plethora of activities such as reading, singing, walking, basketball, bike riding and experiencing new things!
“One of the most rewarding things to me about Unitarian Universalism is the diversity of paths we took to get here. I think I’m a relative rarity (at least in my generation) in that I was raised with no faith tradition at all. I didn’t go looking for a religion, but I was lucky enough to have a close friend in college who was born and raised UU (also a rarity). Once I learned about the denomination and joined a nascent UU student group, I realized that I had been UU all along – I just didn’t know it yet! Since then, I’ve been a part of UU congregations in three states, and I’m happy to say that UUFA embodies UU values and, most importantly, feels like home.”
In 2004, a good friend suggested I join the UUFA choir because of the great music director. From the choir I saw a congregation that looked and acted happy, a new experience for me. I realized that I knew quite a few from my civic involvement over decades of living in Athens.
What made me sign the membership book just a few months later was the UUFA ritual of “singing the children out” to their activities. Any congregation that treated their children with such love and respect is where I wanted to be. I intended to sing in the choir and sit in the pew when the choir didn’t sing.
Fast forward 18 years and I’ve been on numerous committees, the Board of Trustees, gone to three UUA General Assemblies and I have never lost my newbie enthusiasm for this community! I still sing in the choir as I join with other members and friends to keep this diverse Beloved Community thriving for all ages.
I’m a “borner” – a lucky life-long UU. I’ve served in leadership roles in UU congregations in Lincoln, NB, Athens, OH, Sioux Falls, SD. UUFA has been an important part of my life since 1990 where I have served on many committees, sung in the choir, participated in Small Group Ministry and served a previous term on the Board.
I love this congregation. This is where my “peeps” are. UUFA is a haven where I find inspiration and challenge to be involved in efforts to make the world a better place, and where I find comfort and support in challenging times. Our UUFA Covenant is not just some pretty words on a page. It is a living, dynamic document that means the world to me within our Beloved Community.
I have journeyed into various ways of worship and also ventured out to be a witness to different ways, times and spaces of other ways of worship and non worship for understanding. About 5 years ago, I was invited by a good friend to visit UUFA. I decided I wanted to see where my amazing friend I loved spent her time in worship. So I visited UUFA and have been here ever since.
Being a UU has given me an opportunity to contribute time and talent in a space that has become filled with individuals I refer to as family. I had the opportunity to be a member of our most recent ministerial search committee as well as learned about and attended our UU General Assembly (GA) last year. I participate on the membership committee and the worship arts team as well.
As a first term board member, I look forward to learning even more about governance while sharing in the process. During the weekday, I am the Almost Home program coordinator at Athens Area Homeless Shelter where our primary focus is women with children.
In my spare time, I enjoy singing at various venues, practicing Reiki to help others with relaxation and stress release, swinging from various apparatus as an aerialist at Canopy studio, drumming, writing, teaching yoga or volunteering in our amazing community. Fellowship is such a beautiful way to connect with each other. I am grateful to be in community on this journey we call life.
Why become a UU after many years in a mainline denomination? I needed a place to explore what I believe. I want to work with people committed to promoting justice and protecting our beautiful planet.
Here at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, I found a community where I can learn, grow, work, and simply be with people of all ages, genders, races, and cultures. I love it!