Our fellowship is governed by members and lead by our Board of Trustees.  Berrien UU has approximately 30 members.

Member Definition

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.

Friends Status

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.

Our Board

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].

Vicky Thomas Dwyer

Vicky Thomas Dwyer

Board Trustee

I am relatively new to the Unitarian religion but find that it fulfills my spiritual needs in an honest and caring manner. I am very honored to serve on the board.
I am a retired teacher and librarian. I now volunteer at the senior center, Caring Circle, and Krasl Art Museum. I enjoy nature hikes, reading, travel, learning new things, music, local productions, gardening, games, cooking and sewing.
I am the proud mother of four children, three step children, four grandchildren and three step grandchildren. I married Rick, a retired engineer, two years ago here at BUUF with Reverend Jim officiating!
I have been amazed at the inspiring services and caring members here at BUUF. I am looking forward to getting to know more BUUF members and friends, and serving BUUF as much as my skill set allows
Joan Guilfoyle

Joan Guilfoyle

Board Secretary (2020-2022); Nominating Committee (2021-2023)

Joan has been a UU for many years but this is her first time on such a board. With 50 years of family ancestry in the State of Michigan, Joan also hails from Illinois, Minnesota and Washington DC. She retired from federal civil service in 2016, having worked for the large land and resource management agencies such as National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Major projects included the reintroduction of migrating whooping cranes into the eastern U.S. (and other endangered species), seeking to manage the over-population of free-roaming horses and burros on western rangelands, de-listing the American Bald Eagle and diving for WWII barrels in Lake Superior! She led movement, breath and spiritual-practice workshops and retreats through her Gorgeous Spirit NGO for ten years; and spends her free time kayaking, hiking, reading, many dance traditions and political activism.

Harvey Johnson

Harvey Johnson

Board President (2021-2022), 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.


Bylaws

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.

Elected Committees

Nominating Committee

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.

Joan Guilfoyle

Joan Guilfoyle

Board Secretary (2020-2022); Nominating Committee (2021-2023)

Joan has been a UU for many years but this is her first time on such a board. With 50 years of family ancestry in the State of Michigan, Joan also hails from Illinois, Minnesota and Washington DC. She retired from federal civil service in 2016, having worked for the large land and resource management agencies such as National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Major projects included the reintroduction of migrating whooping cranes into the eastern U.S. (and other endangered species), seeking to manage the over-population of free-roaming horses and burros on western rangelands, de-listing the American Bald Eagle and diving for WWII barrels in Lake Superior! She led movement, breath and spiritual-practice workshops and retreats through her Gorgeous Spirit NGO for ten years; and spends her free time kayaking, hiking, reading, many dance traditions and political activism.

Lisa Marie Fuller

Lisa Marie Fuller

Nominating Committee (2021-2022)

Beth La Fleur

Beth La Fleur

Music Director, Endowment Committee (2021-2024), Nominating Committee (2021-2022)


Endowment Committee

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.

Dennis Higdon

Endowment Committee (2020-2021)

Glen Smith

Glen Smith

Endowment Committee Chair (2020-2022)

Beth La Fleur

Beth La Fleur

Music Director, Endowment Committee (2021-2024), Nominating Committee (2021-2022)


UU Resources

logo_gradientUnitarian Universalist Association

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.

 

Mid America Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association

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.