FUUSN Operates with Democratic Principles and Congregational Polity

This congregation is wholly owned by its members and governed using a representative process with regular elections of officers, a set of bylaws, an annual meeting of the full society, and the power to call the minister or ministers of its choice.

FUUSN is organized according to the principles of congregational polity–ultimate authority resides with the members and the most important decisions are made by vote at a duly constituted Annual Meeting of the members each spring. Daily operational authority resides with a democratically elected Board of Trustees and Operations Council and all funds are held and invested by a democratically elected Board of Investment.


By-laws of the First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton.

Policies and Information Issuances

Policies approved by the Board and Operations Council.

Board of Trustees

A seven-person Board of Trustees has overall authority over church finances, staffing, and high-level policy-making. The Board is responsible for seeing that all evaluations of ministers, programs, and operations are performed. Six trustees are elected by the members of the society and each serves a three-year term, with two new members elected at each Annual Meeting of the Society. In addition, one youth member is elected to the Board for a one-year term. The Board members elect a chair and vice chair from among their members.

The current Board of Trustees consists of: Chris Krebs (Chair), Christine Lookner (Vice-Chair), Demie Stathoplos, Brooke Welles, Karen Burns, Ted Hess-Mahan. Kit Ryan is Clerk. Clark Lakomski, Sienna Lerner-Gill, and Will Kisiel are sharing the responsibility of youth Board member.

Minutes from Board of Trustees meetings are online.

Operations Council (OC)

A six-person OC works in partnership with FUUSN staff to oversee day-to-day operations and supports FUUSN committees in their work. Conducts monthly reviews of the Budget Tracking Report prepared by the Finance Committee and oversees an annual budget review process which culminates with a recommended budget which is presented to the BOT each Spring.

OC Reports to BOT who is responsible for assuring performance against Congregational Priorities, the Limitations Policies and the OC Policies.

The current Operations Council consists of: Susan Bartlett, Chair (Education), Laurel Farnsworth, Vice-Chair, (Fundamentals/Administration), Jud Leonard (Communications), Eric Haas (Worship), Sharon Sisskind (Fellowship), Judy Curby (Treasurer).

Minutes from Operations Council meetings are online.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee consists of the Board Chair, the Minister, Assistant Minister, DLRE, and Operations Council chair. It helps route decisions and problems to the appropriate entity, but makes no decisions. It can also inform people of precedent when known.

The current Steering Committee consists of: Erin Splaine (Minister), Amanda Graff (DLRE), Susan Bartlett (OC), and Chris Krebs (BoT Chair).


Keeps the books, reports on financial matters and writes checks. An Assistant Treasurer is empowered to act in the Treasurer’s absence. Treasurer: Judy Curby. Assistant Treasurers: Faith Kreider and Karen Bottar.

Finance Committee (FC)

Prepares and monitors FUSN’s operating budget which is developed to reflect BOT initiatives and develops multi-year budget forecasts which reflect BOT priorities. The OC receives monthly analysis of income/expenses relative to the budget. In addition to a monthly spending analysis and the long range forecast, the FC prepares a year-end report for presentation to the congregation at the annual meeting and posts periodic reports on the FUUSN website. FC meet monthly September-April. Contact: Co-Chairs: Karen Bottar, and Brian Gill, Faith Kreider, Urban Larson, Alan Cody and Laurel Farnsworth.

Documents posted by the Finance Committee (requires you to be logged-in).

Board of Investment (BOI)

Holds and invests Society funds transferred to it by the Board of Trustees and consists of 3 members, elected 1 per year each for a 3-year term. Contact Urban Larson, Devon Wells, David Griswold.

Financial Oversight Committee (FOC)

Provides regular and reasonable review of FUUSN’s management of financial processes and policies. The committee includes: Lucy Boyle, Josh Cohen, and Dede Vittori.

Personnel/Policy Committee (PPC)

Appointed body that advises the BOT and Minister as staff supervisor, on current personnel policies, remuneration, and benefits with comparative organizations, and keeps Society aware of what it needs to do to keep up with standards set by denomination for fair compensation employers. Maintains current job descriptions for each staff position and up to date personnel manual for Society. Finally, the committee will provide advice and support whenever the board and Minister need to make any shifts in staffing for the Society. The Board appoints members with requisite expertise including experience with compensation, benefits, employment law, legal/litigation and Human Resource Management.

The Personnel/Policy Committee consists of: Karen Davis, John Adkins.

Safe Congregations

Working group comprised of reps from the Board, Ops Council, Lay Ministers, Minister and DLRE who will direct the development of a Safe Congregations policy manual. Brooke is currently board rep

Nominating Committee (NC)

Appointed by the Moderator and assembled in the Fall, the NC implements process whereby congregation offers names to be considered for elected leadership positions. Taking into account both a persons interest and qualifications to serve as member of the Board, Ops. Council, BOI or in other elected leadership positions, the NC presents a slate of candidates to be elected at the Annual Meeting in June.

Archive & Institutional Knowledge Team

2018/19 pilot program under the direction of archivists Barbara Bates and Lesley Sneddon whose purpose is to store and provide easy access to important board-related documents (agendas, minutes, and reports) as well as historical documents on governance change and conflict transformation.