How We Govern Ourselves

First United Church is part of the United Church of Canada.  As such we are members of, and subject to the oversight of, the Kamloops Okanagan Presbytery, the British Columbia Conference and the General Council of the United Church of Canada. The governance of our denomination is contained inThe Manual (2010) which you can order or download from http://www.united-church.ca/manual.

This section describes how our local congregation governs itself within the larger church.

Our Board of eight to twelve members is elected by the congregation, not on the basis of representing a committee but because its members are believed collectively to have the gifts to capture a vision of the future, to discern where God is leading us at this time.  Thus the Board is concerned with ends, outcomes and goals.  It generally concerns itself less with the day to day management of the church or the means by which the ends are achieved.

The hands-on work of the church is carried out by a variety of groups which we refer to as Ministry Teams. Sometimes we still call them committees though we chose the new name to emphasize our belief that all Christians are ministers and all are called to some form of ministry, either within or outside of the church itself. We also like the word team because it implies that something is to be accomplished (think hockey team) whereas the word committee for many people connotes meetings.

The Board governs primarily through the use of policies which guide and sometimes limit the authority of each Ministry Team. Click here for a list of all our current policies.  You can also download a template for writing new policies. In addition, you can check out these links for excellent materials that explain how Policy Governance works and how it applies to churches.

Some thoughts on Carver’s Ideas and Church Board Leadership

Brief articles from the Unitarian Universalist Church on Policy Governance for Churches

Our Ministry Teams

At First United, committees and other working groups are referred to as Ministry Teams, reflecting our belief that all Christians are called to their own unique ministries.  Some of these serve within the church (such as serving on one of the “committees” below) while others are exercised outside of the church (such as volunteering at the Second Harvest food bank). Many ministries just happen by themselves, when one or more people feel called to do something.  We encourage this.  Other ministries are needed to serve the church itself so that together we can serve our community and the world.  The list below is not exhaustive but pretty much covers the ground.

Click here for a list of all current Ministry Teams with contact information.