You can join the Martin Luther King Day March from the Freedom Center to Music Hall, beginning at 10:30 a.m., Monday, January 19, 2015, and enjoy a wonderful free program at Music Hall at 12:00 noon, including music from the Martin Luther King Chorale with several Heritage UU Church members participating. More information on the poster in the lobby, or ask Louise Lawarre.
Our winter Church Council meeting will take place Sunday morning, Jan. 18, before church at 8:30 a.m. in the Great Hall. Board members and committee chairs or representatives are requested to attend, but the meeting is always open to anyone who is interested in hearing about what’s going on at HUUC this (and next) year. Childcare will be provided. Coffee, tea and juice will be provided. However, breakfast will not be served since it is Potluck Sunday after the service. Please join us!
The Clara Barton Guild invites you to join us for beverages (including wine), snacks and mission statement work.
Child Care will be Provided.
All the adult women of Heritage are members of the Clara Barton Guild regardless of age, membership status or activity level. Please join us to mingle and mix with your sisters. The Clara Barton Guild is continuing the work of creating a mission statement.
The first 30-45 minutes will be dedicated to working on the mission statement. The remainder of the evening will be refreshments and socializing. Come for all or a part of the evening. All are welcome; newcomers, long-time members and especially YOU!
You can certainly bring a beverage and snack to share, but it is not necessary.
Contact Tracy Jo for more information. 474-6607 or email@example.com.
Please join the women’s spirituality group on Wednesday evening, January 7, from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Heritage room. January’s topic is “Living in the Moment.” We’ll practice some centering meditations, do a few fun activities, and discuss how we can spend less time thinking about the past and future, and more time living and learning in the present moment. Questions – Cori YvB, Cori@fuse.net or Vicki Summers, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Firearms are not permitted in the building. Ohio law states that licensed concealed carriers are permitted to bring loaded guns on premise as long as they are out of sight (glove box, under seat) and the car is locked. A sign is by law not required to be posted to notify our approved policy of no firearms in the building.
~ Approved by the Board of Trustees, December 8, 2014.
This Firearms Policy has been superseded by a revised policy approved by the Board on January 11, 2016. The revised policy can be found here.
First Universalist Society of Cincinnati
Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church
1.1 The name of the church is the First Universalist Society of Cincinnati, incorporated under the laws of the state of Ohio on May 25, 1827. This congregation may select and use such alternate name as it may desire.
1.2 For the purpose of the constitution, the word “church” shall mean the legal church organization as set forth in paragraph 1.1. The phrase “a vote of the church,” or any similar phrase shall mean a vote of the active members of the church present at any duly called meeting.
2.1 The object of this church shall be the enrichment and ennoblement of human lives through the study, practice, and promotion of liberal religion, especially as follows:
a) By maintaining a church for religious worship and the expression of religion which is free from all doctrinal emphasis: a church permitting each member complete freedom of belief and opinion; a religion advancing as human knowledge advances.
b) By maintaining a free pulpit in which the minister shall be free to declare the truth as he/she sees it, and to bring to bear upon the life and problems of our time, the message of our free religious faith.
c) By maintaining democratic control in the conduct of the affairs of the church, recognizing that the government of the church should be vested in those who continue in active association with it, as provided in the constitution.
d) By providing for the religious education of youth and adults, imparting the fundamentals of free religious as well as the historical characters who dedicate their lives to religious freedom and morality/ethics.
e) By maintaining and supporting civil and religious liberties.
f) By functioning as, and conducting the business of, a non-profit organization, namely, a church.
g) We affirm and promote the full participation of all persons without regard to race, color, gender, gender expression, affectional or sexual orientation, age, national origin or physical ability in any church-sponsored activity, including programming, hiring and the calling of religious professionals. We are committed to this value in all our practices and in building membership.
3.1 Any person who is in sympathy with the objects of this church as stated in 2.1 may become a member of the church, pursuant to the membership provisions of this constitution. Members eighteen years of age or older are eligible to vote in all congregational matters and are eligible for election to the Board of Trustees.
3.2 Membership in the church is attained by expressing in writing to the Board of Trustees the desire to accept the rights and responsibilities thereof and by signing the membership book. Acknowledgement of new members shall be recorded in the official minutes of Board of Trustees. Acceptance into membership will be followed by formal recognition at a service or public meeting of the church.
3.3 A member may at any time withdraw his/her membership by making a written request to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees.
3.4 If the following conditions are met with regard to a church member:
(a) the member has not made a verifiable financial contribution within the past twelve months, and
(b) a member of the Board or Membership Committee, or another person designated by the Board, has made an effort in the past four months to talk with the church member, to understand the member’s situation, and/or to encourage the member’s greater participation in the church, then the Board may decide, after seeking appropriate input and after considering any knowledge of financial hardship of the member, to ask the member in writing whether the member wishes to continue membership. If the Board does not receive within thirty days an expression of a desire to be retained as a member, the person will be removed from the membership roll.
3.5 Any member who, for reasons of health or age, is unable to satisfy section 3.4 above may be considered an inactive member without voting privileges.
3.6 A Membership Book shall be maintained by the church staff along with a complete and accurate list of current members, including name, address, telephone number and other contact information, and date of membership.
3.7 The membership list shall constitute the official accreditation for voting on all church matters requiring a vote of the active membership.
3.8 The Board of Trustees may revoke membership where there is evidence of misconduct or other action that is considered prejudicial to the interests of the church. This shall require a two-thirds vote of the Board of Trustees. The revokee(s) shall have the right of appeal, provided the Board of Trustees is notified within ten days following the notice of revocation. In this event, the Board shall, within sixty days from the date of the appeal notice, call a meeting of the congregation. A majority vote of the church membership present and voting shall either sustain the action of the Board or confirm membership.
3.9 There shall be no creedal tests or doctrinal provisions for membership in this church. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender expression, affectional or sexual orientation, age, national origin or physical ability.
4. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
4.1 The governing body of this church shall be the Board of Trustees, consisting of nine members. This Board shall have general charge of the administration of the church and the responsibility for its property both real and personal. The policies and activities of all subsidiary organizations shall be subject to the control of the Board. The Board may, at its discretion, delegate certain administrative responsibilities to an Executive Committee, thereof, whose actions shall be subject to review and ratification of the full Board. The Board shall also have the powers which the church itself has, except those reserved by law and those reserved by this constitution.
4.2 Where the sum involved exceeds two thousand dollars (2,000) the Board of Trustees shall not, for any purpose whatsoever:
a) incur any debts, obligations, or liabilities, or
b) convey, assign, or mortgage any real estate belonging to the church unless authorized to do so by a majority vote of the active membership present at an annual or special meeting of the church.
Notwithstanding the above strictures on debt or obligation, the Board shall specifically be empowered to spend funds for projects or needs that it deems appropriate, in an amount up to fifteen thousand dollars (15,000), without specific congregational approval, provided those funds are available in appropriate special or reserve funds held by the church.
4.3 The title to all property owned by the church shall be vested in the church and under the control of the Board of Trustees. Any transfer of property owned by the church shall be signed by both the President and the Secretary of the Board. This dual signature shall be the attestation that such sale or transfer has been authorized by the Board of Trustees and shall be sufficient protection for the other parties to the transaction.
4.4 The Board of Trustees shall have authority to make all contracts and to hire and to fix the wage or salary for anyone whom it deems necessary to engage for the operation of the church. Such expenditures shall be within the budget approved by the congregation.
4.5 The term of office for each member of the Board of Trustees shall be three years, beginning July 1 of the year in which elected. However, when a Trustee has been absent from three or more consecutive regular meetings of the Board (and such absence has not been excused by the Board for good cause), then, at the discretion of the Board, the term of such Trustee shall be declared vacant and filled by appointment or election in accordance with paragraph 4.13 or 8.1, whichever is appropriate. The provisions of 4.7 shall not apply to this paragraph 4.5.
4.6 Sixty days prior to the annual meeting of the church, the President of the Board shall appoint a Nominating Committee. This committee shall select nominees to fill those vacancies for those Board members whose terms will expire on June 30 of the current year. Anyone who has served a full term on the Board shall not be eligible to serve on the Board again until one year has passed. No two members of the same family shall be eligible to serve on the Board at the same time.
4.7 Any member of the Board of Trustees is subject to removal. This shall require a petition signed by at least three members of the Board setting forth the action desired and the reasons therefore. The Board, by majority vote, shall either reject or accept the petition. In event of the latter action, that Board member shall be notified of the charges and informed of the right to a hearing before the Board, if desired. To effect such removal shall require approval of both the Board of Trustees and the active membership in accordance with the following:
a) Notice from the Board of Trustees to the active membership recommending removal. Such recommendation shall require a two-thirds vote of the full Board membership. (The accused shall have no vote.)
b) A two-thirds vote of the active membership present and voting at a special meeting shall be required to sustain the Board’s recommendation.
4.8 A quorum for a meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be six members.
4.9 Meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be held monthly at a time and place designated by the Board. Special meetings may be called by the President of the Board or upon petition signed by three members of the Board. As much advance notice as possible shall be given of all special meetings.
4.10 Whenever possible, the Minister of the church shall attend all Board meetings and committee meetings as an ex-officio member without voting privileges. (See 4.12)
4.11 All meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be open sessions during which any member of the church may attend and be recognized to address the Board.
4.12 By majority vote of the Trustees present, the Board may adjourn a meeting and immediately reconvene in executive session from which the Minister and all visitors shall be excluded.
4.13 In the interval between annual elections, any vacancy occurring on the Board of Trustees shall be filled by appointment by the Board. The person so appointed shall serve until June 30 of the current fiscal year, except an appointment made in the last quarter of the church year shall have a term extending to June 30 of the following year.
5.1 In July of each year, following the annual election, the new Board of Trustees shall meet for the purpose of selecting its officers for the ensuing year. The offices to be filled are President, Vice President, Secretary, and up to two Treasurers: an Accounts Receivable Treasurer and an Accounts Payable Treasurer.
5.2 The President and Vice President must be Trustees and must be elected to office by the Board of Trustees. However, the other officers, namely Secretary and the Treasurer(s), need not necessarily be Trustees inasmuch as the Board, at its discretion, may fill these offices by appointment from the active church membership. Only those officers who are also Trustees shall have voting rights.
5.3 The President shall preside at meetings of the Board of Trustees and at other meetings of the church. He/she shall be the administrative officer in charge of all church affairs, subject to the restrictions imposed by the constitution.
5.4 The Vice President of the Board shall carry out the duties of the President in the latter’s absence and shall be charged with organizational responsibilities related to the standing committees of the church.
5.5 The Secretary of the Board shall be responsible for:
(1) notifying the Trustees and the church membership of all regular and special meetings where their attendance is required;
(2) recording the minutes of all Board and congregational meetings;
(3) preserving the official church records and business documents;
(4) performing other duties ordinarily associated with the office or as directed by the President of the Board.
5.6 The Treasurer(s) shall be responsible for:
(1) collecting and disbursing all church funds and keeping an adequate accounting record thereof;
(2) preparing monthly and annual financial reports in such form as is approved by the Board;
(3) preparing data for the annual budget in such form as is approved by the Board;
(4) preserving in a safe place all financial records and documents pertaining to all real and personal property of the church.
5.7 The records and accounts of the Treasurer(s) and Assistant Treasurer shall be audited annually in a manner as determined by the Board.
5.8 Any Treasurer(s) shall be bonded for an amount as determined by the Board
6.1 The STANDING COMMITTEES of the church shall be: Religious Education, Finance, Worship, Committee on Ministry, Building, Grounds, and Membership. Other committees shall be accountable to the Board. The Board of Trustees shall appoint a member as liaison for each existing committee. The Vice President of the Board shall be responsible at the beginning of each fiscal year for all organizational matters pertaining to standing committees of the church.
7. FISCAL YEAR
7.1 The fiscal year of the church shall be July 1 through June 30.
8. ANNUAL, SPECIAL MEETINGS AND ELECTIONS
8.1 The Annual Meeting of the congregation and the annual election of the Board of Trustees shall take place during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. The time and place shall be designated by the Board of Trustees. Members of the church shall be notified not less than ten days in advance of calling an Annual Meeting or special meeting of the church membership.
8.2 All subsidiary organizations operating within, or under the auspices or sponsorship of the church shall submit a written report of their previous year’s activities to the Secretary of the Board at the Annual Congregational Meeting.
8.3 The Minister shall furnish a report covering his/her activities during the fiscal year which shall be read at the Annual Meeting and placed in the official record.
8.4 The Minister shall attend the Annual Meeting or a special meeting of the congregation unless his/her exclusion has been specifically requested by the Board of Trustees.
8.4 Special meetings of the church may be called by the Board of Trustees whenever deemed advisable, or by petition signed by not less than 20% of the members of the church or 10 members, whichever is greater.
8.6 A quorum for any annual or special meeting of the congregation shall be 40% of the members of the church or twenty-five members, whichever is greater.
8.7 Members who are unable to attend a meeting at which an election for members of the Board of Trustees is held, and such absence is due to illness, absence from the city, or infirmities, shall receive an absentee ballot from the Secretary of the Board upon request. To be valid, this ballot must be voted and returned to the Secretary not later than thirty minutes before voting in the election is to begin. The Secretary shall deposit the ballot in the ballot box and enter the member’s name on the registration list. No church business other than the election of the Board of Trustees shall be voted by absentee ballot.
8.8 Persons voting by absentee ballot for members of the Board of Trustees shall not be counted to execute a quorum.
8.9 A number smaller than a quorum, in any case, shall cause the meeting to be adjourned until a later date.
8.10 The election concerning the Board of Trustees shall be by secret written ballot. Only members of the church in good standing may vote, and all voters shall be checked against a registration list before obtaining a ballot.
8.11 Where there is a multiple choice on a ballot (for example, “vote for not more than 3”), a grand total shall be made of the valid choices that were voted. Using this total as a base, those candidates shall be declared elected who receive the highest number of votes in accordance with the number of vacancies to be filled.
9. THE MINISTER
9.1 To conduct a search for a new minister, there shall be an ad hoc Search Committee of seven (7) members. A nominating committee appointed by the Board shall submit a slate of five (5) members to a special or regular meeting of the membership. Nominations from the floor shall also be accepted at this meeting. With the election of five (5) members, the Board shall appoint two (2) additional members to the Search Committee to constitute a seven (7) member Search Committee. This Search Committee shall be responsible for conducting a thorough search and recommending a ministerial candidate to the membership.
At the meeting of the congregation called by the Board, the congregation by secret ballot shall express approval or disapproval of the Search Committee’s recommendation in accordance with the following:
a) Appointment of a minister shall require a confirming vote of at least 75% of the members present and voting.
b) Dismissal of a minister shall require a confirming vote of at least 51% of the members present and voting.
9.2 The Minister shall serve for an indefinite term and shall have charge of all religious services of the church. The Minister shall also perform all duties usually considered those of a minister. The Minister shall be responsible to the Board of Trustees for observance of its policies and adherence to the constitution of the church and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Guidelines. Where differences exist, Board policies and the constitution of the church take precedence over the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Guidelines.
9.3 A register shall be provided which shall be the property of the church in which the Minister shall record all christenings, dedications, marriages and funerals performed and/or attended by the Minister.
9.4 The Minister’s salary shall be fixed for the coming year as a part of the annual budget.
9.5 Eligibility for minister of the church shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, gender, gender expression, affectional or sexual orientation, age, national origin or physical ability.
10. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
10.1 Religious education shall be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees, who may appoint a Director of Religious Education. The Minister shall be an advisor to the Religious Education Director. The Religious Education Director shall administer the Religious Education Program of the church in cooperation with the Religious Education Committee.
11. CHURCH RECORDS
11.1 All church records and documents of all types, including those of the Secretary and Treasurer, shall be and shall remain the property of the church.
12. CONSTITUTION EFFECTIVE DATE AND DISTRIBUTION
12.1 This constitution dated April 24, 1983, shall take effect, and be in force, immediately following its adoption by the active membership. Its adoption shall terminate the constitutions previously in effect.
13.1 Amendments to the constitution may be proposed by a resolution passed by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Trustees. Official adoption of the amendment shall require a two-thirds vote of the active members present and voting at a duly called meeting of the congregation.
~ Last amended May 12, 2012.
Adult Religious Education exists to nourish the intellectual, spiritual, and social needs of adult members and friends of Heritage Universalist Church and others in our community. The function of the Adult Religious Education Committee is to promote adult religious education at Heritage by planning, coordinating, and publicizing programs of interest to those who attend.
We contribute to the Mission and Vision of Heritage Universalist Church by providing opportunities for adult “hearts, minds, and spirits to grow” and “to offer a safe place to explore all questions with honesty.”
To this end we meet as needed between two and four times a year, generally in Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. At each meeting we plan upcoming programs for the following quarter, paying attention to the entire church year. Between formal meetings, Committee members meet informally in person, by phone or by email to report / discuss / decide minor logistics.
We need 5-7 members to function.
Selection of members
Our meetings are open to any member of Heritage who shares our goals and interests and is willing to support us in our efforts. The Committee participates in any church activities designed to encourage committee participation. Committee members recruit congregants whom they think could contribute to goals of the Committee.
2-4 years; two (2) year term limit for Chair. Committee members must make at least a commitment to the Committee.
We provide programs of interest to HUUC members and friends including programs that are intellectual, spiritual and/or social.
We note the sources from which UU churches draw:
- Direct experience of transcending mystery and wonder
- Words and deeds of prophetic women and men
- Wisdom from the world’s religions
- Jewish and Christian teachings
- Humanist teachings
- Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions
To acknowledge these sources, in a 2-3 year period of we intend to offer a program in each of these general categories:
- Self development and growth
- UU history / UU theology
- World religions
- The Jewish / Christian heritage
- Humanism / science
- Feminism / Goddess theology/ paganism
- Environmental / earth / green issues
- Aesthetics / graphic arts / music /dancing / architecture, etc.
~ September 2010
“Home for the holidays” is a phrase that has taken on new significance in my life this year. For the first time, our son Patrick will be “home for the holidays” – coming home after completing his first semester away at college. Things will be different, of course; though he did visit for two days at Thanksgiving, this will be the first extended visit home that Patrick has made after going out into the world on his own for the first time. The pressures of school will be off his shoulders, and he will be able to do all those things young people look forward to doing at Christmas break: sleeping late, eating home-cooked meals, catching up with friends. And for Jennifer and me, it will simply be a blessing to have him in our home once again, day after day, night after night. It is the best gift we could possibly receive!
With the holidays upon us, I hope that you will make time to share the spirit of the season with your Heritage Church family. For all of the women in our community, there’s the annual Clara Barton Guild Holiday Dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at church. Everyone – of all ages – is invited to our annual Christmas Tree Trimming party in the sanctuary after the church service on Sunday, Dec. 7. Be part of helping transform our sanctuary into a holiday wonderland. If you are new to HUUC and have never seen our spectacular Christmas tree, you’re in for quite a treat!
As always, Jennifer and I will open our home to church folks and friends for our Holiday Open House, on the following Sunday afternoon, Dec. 14, between the hours of 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. If you wish to bring a snack or drink to share, you are welcome to do so, but there is no expectation that you arrive with anything other than your holly, jolly self! Then the next Sunday, Dec. 21, our monthly potluck lunch after service takes on a decidedly Christmas-y feel. Don’t miss it – and do be sure to bring something hearty and festive to share with the hungry crowd.
We culminate the season with our Christmas Eve worship service at HUUC on Wednesday evening, Dec. 24. Our wonderful Choir and musicians will sing and play for us. We will share in the traditions of candlelight and sacred readings. There is nothing quite like the beauty of “Silent Night” in the darkened Heritage sanctuary, with faces lit by the warm glow of candles. After the service, stick around for a bit and enjoy Christmas cookies and apple cider in the Great Hall. Invite your friends and neighbors, and be sure to arrive early – parking is always at a premium on this very special night.
However you and your family choose to celebrate the holidays – and whatever holidays you choose to celebrate – I wish you a joyous season of love, laughter and light.
Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is suddenly upon us. Unbelievable! How did 2014 go by so fast?
As the Board of Trustees President, one of my roles is to be a part of our new member ceremonies. Last month we were pleased to welcome six new members. A big UU welcome goes out to Leslie and Terry Planitzer, Dan and Cherylin Loney, and Mehdi and H’Krih Shelhamer. Each couple brings with them two children to add to our family of young people here at Heritage. Welcome also to Nicole Dangelo, who signed our membership book at an earlier time. We are so pleased to have all of them as part of our loving community.
The Board working to tie up the loose ends of our new Safety Policy Manual. The Board approved the new policies in October and published them for public viewing. On Nov. 16, an open forum was held before church for discussion and feedback of the new policies. It is now our task to rewrite and add items that have been given to us in the form of additions and corrections. We are hoping to have the final changes approved at our December board meeting. Even though we are hoping to finish this up by year’s end, we realize this will always be a living document that can be changed as new needs arise. A copy of the Policy and Procedure Manual will be available on the Heritage website, and a hard copy is available in the church office.
We are still in need of childcare workers. It is the Board’s belief that we should have childcare available for all events and meetings. This will allow parents with young children to be fully engaged in our community activities. We now have a small handful of adults and youth who can support Lilly Hutchins, our paid staff member responsible for childcare. We are still looking for more people to add to our list so we can ensure coverage when needed. If you have questions or would like an application, please contact me, or Denise Martinez in the church office.
Thank you this month goes to Neal Watzman, who has been providing us with information on the many ways our members and friends give to Heritage. The Spirit of generosity is something that we cannot take for granted. We have a tendency to highlight it at the holidays, but we must remember that it takes such spirit year-round to make our church thrive.
May you and your family have a blessed holiday season!