Our fellowship is governed by members and lead by our Board of Trustees. Berrien UU has approximately 30 members.
From our bylaws:
Eligibility for Membership and Voting. Two types of membership exist: voting member and member. Only voting members will be included in the population count of the Fellowship.
Voting Member. An individual at least eighteen years of age becomes a voting member thirty days after signing the membership book by signing the Affirmation and Pledge form annually to affirm the purpose of the Fellowship and to pledge financial support in dollars or in kind for the current fiscal year.
Member. An individual at least fourteen years of age becomes a member by signing the Membership Book. Members are encouraged to sign the Affirmation and Pledge Form annually to affirm the purpose of the Fellowship. All members are encouraged to pledge financial support in dollars or in kind for the current fiscal year.
Become a Member: Sign the Membership Book
If you have visited our church and feel it’s right for you, we invite you to become a member. Membership is open to any person 14 years of age or older who is in general sympathy with the spirit and purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association and signs the membership book.
Become a Voting Member: Make a Recorded Pledge of Support
An important privilege of membership is the right to vote in congregational meetings. In open congregational meetings, voting members use parliamentary procedure to elect officers, approve the annual budget, and make other major decisions. An Annual congregational meeting is held the first Sunday of June.
To be eligible to vote, a person must have been a member for at least 30 days. He or she must also have made a recorded pledge–financial or in-kind–in the current church year (July 1 – Jun 30). The financial requirement may be waived in cases of hardship.
Voting members are eligible to sit on the Board of Trustees. Details are spelled out in our Bylaws.
Those who do not choose to sign the membership book, but regularly participate in church services and activities and make a financial contribution, are referred to as friends of the church. Friends are welcome to participate in almost all church activities. However, since only members can vote and hold office, friends cannot fully participate in our democratic process.
The business, property, and affairs of the fellowship are managed by the board of trustees. To be elected and to serve as a trustee a person must be a voting member. The board has five trustees elected by members at the Annual Meeting and holding office for two years. The board sets long-term policies and makes sure the fellowship is on a path to fulfill its mission. Board meetings are held monthly (see the calendar for dates). Fellowship members and friends are welcome to attend the meetings and encouraged to read the [board meeting minutes].
Board Secretary (2020-2022)
Board Trustee (2019-2021), Co-Leader of Green Sanctuary Team
Diane Gibbons joined BUUF's Board of Trustees in July, 2019. Diane is retired with four adult children, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. She first attended a UU church when she lived in Illinois. "I enjoyed the people and spiritual freedom I found with the UU faith." A few years after moving to Southwest Michigan, Diane discovered and joined BUUF. She is a member of BUUF's Green Sanctuary Team and enjoys volunteering in the Children's Garden and at the Soup Kitchen. Diane travels frequently and loves to collect seeds and rocks wherever she goes. "It is one of the first skills I teach the grandkids much to their parent's dismay."
Board Vice President (2020-2022), Green Sanctuary Team
Harvey has been a member of BUUF since 2001. He lives in St. Joseph and works as an Industrial Hygiene consultant with Michigan OSHA. He is married and has three lovely and brilliant daughters. He is co-leading the Green Sanctuary team to make BUUF good stewards of the earth.
Board Treasurer (2019-2021), Fundraising Committee, Welcoming Congregation
Dave Sarra has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist faith since high school. He has attended UU churches in New York, Phoenix and, of course, Southwest Michigan, where he has lived since 1977. Dave is married and has two adult daughters. For many years, Dave served as Berrien UU's Office Administrator and Director of Religious Education. He has also served as the fellowship's president, secretary and board trustee. Dave's favorite thing about BUUF is "being surrounded by people who want to make the world a better place and do so with no other incentive than they feel that it's the right thing to do. Also, being surrounded by BUUFers who have a good sense of humor and accept me as I am, blunders and all."
Beth La Fleur
Board President (2020-2021), RE Teacher, Substitute Pianist
Our fellowship is a non-profit corporation. Our bylaws define our basic governing procedures, such as how one becomes a member or voting member and when elections are held.
Nominating Committee members are elected at the Annual Meeting and the committee shall consist of at least three members serving two-year terms. One member shall be elected in some years and two members shall be elected in other years as needed to maintain the minimum membership. The committee is responsible for soliciting and nominating members for the Board of Trustees, Endowment Committee and Nominating Committee for the election held during the Annual Meeting.
Nominating Committee (2020-2022)
David La Fleur
Nominating Committee (2019-2021)
Nominating Committee (2020-2022)
Endowment Committee members are elected at the Annual Meeting and the committee shall consist of at least three members serving three-year terms. One member shall be elected annually to maintain the minimum membership. The committee is responsible for managing the fellowship’s endowment funds. The Endowment Committee is completely independent of the board. Therefore, members of the Endowment Committee may not concurrently serve on the Board of Trustees. Participation is limited to two terms.
Endowment Committee (2020-2021)
Endowment Committee Chair (2020-2022)
Endowment Committee (2020-2023)
Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. The UUA’s 1000+ member congregations are committed to Seven Principles that include the worth of each person, the need for justice and compassion, and the right to choose one’s own beliefs. UU congregations and faith communities promote these principles through regular worship, learning and personal growth, shared connection and care, social justice action and service, celebration of life’s transitions, and much more.
Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is a member of the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association which includes nearly 200 UU congregations in parts or all of these states: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.
The MidAmerica Region seeks to covenant with each other to find new ways of partnering and standing together on the side of love for the flourishing of our world, our communities, our congregations and our members.