New Member-led Programs, Groups, and Ministries

Revised Sept 2016 

In response to the many wonderful ideas for activities at our new facility, the Board of Trustees adopted this policy for members to use to propose new member-led programs, groups, and ministries. The policy is designed to help funnel proposals through appropriate channels to capture the mission, commitment, and resource needs for each proposal. 

Shawnee Mission UU Church Mission Statement

INVITE everyone into a caring community

INSPIRE the search for spiritual growth

INVOLVE all in working for a peaceful, fair and free world 

This policy is for new member-led Programs, Groups, and Ministries that will be done in the name of Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church. 

This includes:

  • Social affinity groups
  • Special interest groups
  • Advocacy groups
  • Community outreach ministries
  • Item or fund drives
  • Emergency response efforts
  • Services to members, friends, participants, and visitors of our church community. 

New Programs, Groups, and Ministries must reflect: 

  • The mission and vision of our church
  • The values reflected in our denominational Principles
  • The short and long term goals of the church 

In addition, they will be evaluated by impact on the church budget, staff, facilities and other considerations. 

Guidelines for evaluating a new Program, Group, or Ministry:

  1. Does it reflect our mission and our principles and/or the short or long term goals of the church?
  • This answer should always be yes.
  1. Is it sustainable? What is your vision one year from now? What will be the measure of success?
  • Church staff will contact group leaders at the one-year anniversary to evaluate the sustainability of the group.
  1. Will it impact the church staff, and if so, how?
  • If it will impact church staff, it will need to be within the staff member’s current job description or approved by the staff member’s supervisor.
  1. Will it require funds or materials to support?
  • If church funds are required, these funds will need to be subject to the finance policies of the church or within the current church budget.
  • If church-provided materials are required, any effect on the current budget will need to be addressed.
  1. Is there enough interest among the membership?
  • At least three Members* or Friends** must agree to participate in the new program, group or ministry.
  1. Is it political in nature?
  • SMUUCh may never support a political candidate or party. The church may support or endorse issue advocacy.
  1. Is this a partnership with an outside organization?
  • If yes, the partnership program must reflect either the principles and/or the long and short term goals of our church.

An application form must be completed by the lead Member or Friend interested in starting the new program, group, or ministry. This application form will be housed on the website and will include the following information:

  1. Are you a Member* or Friend* of the church?
  2. Please describe the program, group, or ministry you are interested in leading.
  3. How does it reflect the mission of the church? How does it reflect the principles of our faith? Does it reflect the short or long term goals of the church? (A goal can be as simple as socializing with others with a common interest.)
  4. Who is the target beneficiary of this new program, group, or ministry?
  5. Is this new program, group, or ministry for our church community, or will it include outreach to the community at large?
  6. Do you expect any budget, staff or facility impact of this new ministry? If funds are required, how will they be raised? Please describe.
  7. List the names and contact information of the three members or friends who will serve as leadership for the new program, group, or ministry. 

Process for Approval

  1. A Church Member or Friend completes the application. .doc application OR .pdf application
  2. The application is reviewed. For new social justice groups and programs, it goes to the Social Justice Council (Adam Wathan, chair). For all other programs, groups, and ministries, it goes to the Church Life Team (Vickie Trott, chair).
  3. If the application is approved, the program, group, or ministry can go forward.
  4. If the application needs further review, either because of uncertainty about compliance to this policy, or because it will have a financial impact outside of the current approved church budget, it will be reviewed by the Board.
  5. If the new program, group, or ministry has an impact upon staff, that staff member’s supervisor must approve.
  6. If an application for a new ministry, program, community outreach or affinity group is denied by the Social Justice Council or the Church Life Team, the applicant may request a review by the Board. 

NOTE: For existing programs, groups, and ministries seeking approval for a new event, please see the New Events Policy & Application


*Members – People who have signed the Membership Book and have a current pledge in good standing.

**Friends – People who have a current pledge in good standing.