Our Committees

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees comprises 9 members, all but the Treasurer serving staggered three-year terms. The Board members are responsible for the overseeing of the operations of the congregation as set forth at the annual meeting. The Board positions are President, Vice President, Clerk, and Treasurer. Responsibilities of the officers are as follows:
♦President: creates the agenda for meeting, moderate meetings, and attends as ex officio meetings of committees.
♦  Vice President: assists the President and presides when the President is absent.
♦Clerk: keeps the membership rolls, prepares quarterly pledge update statements and mails top ledgers quarterly, keeps all Church records, prepares Board meeting minutes and, with Treasurer, oversees the archives.
♦Treasurer: is an active member of the Finance Committee, prepares with committee the monthly financial statements and present them to the Board, oversees the Church archives with the Clerk.

The Board of Trustees meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. in the Activities Room of the church.   Members and friends are welcomed to attend to observe the meetings or to add agenda items in advance of the meeting.   Agendas are posted in the Members section of the website in advance of the meeting.   Contact Valerie Hall, Board of Trustees President, at scalloplady@gmail.com.

  • Valerie Hall (President)
  • Susan Richards (Vice President)
  • Peter Richards (Clerk)
  • Paul Stewart (Treasurer)
  • Alison K. Forsgren
  • Kat Robinson Grieder
  • Nancy Mack
  • Joanne Polster
  • Rev. Linda Simmons


Committees and Coordinators

Volunteers committees and coordinators do the work of the congregation on a day-to-day basis.   Newcomers, whether members or friends of the congregation, are welcome to volunteer for a specific task or to serve as a committee member or coordinator.   Areas where assistance is especially needed are noted on the list but no door is closed!   To volunteer, speak with our Board President Valerie Hall or Rev. Linda Simmons, our Minister.   Committee meeting times and dates are listed in the church calendar   and updates are provided in our monthly newsletter, the Weathervane, which can be accessed online.


Ed Rudd PaintingBuilding & Grounds Committee

The Buildings & Grounds Committee has primary responsibility for oversight of the physical condition of the Meeting House, the Parsonage, and the grounds. In consultation with the maintenance sexton, who is ex officio a (non-voting) member, the B&G Committee enlists and coordinates the efforts of volunteers in making repairs and keeping up the buildings, grounds, and gardens.

The B&G Committee forecasts the need for repair or replacement of equipment and structures, and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees for items to be included in the capital budget. It plans for regular review, upkeep, repair, and replacement of equipment and structures. Decisions about repairs and related minor expenditures are within the purview of the Committee. A larger project, a change to the historic structure, a substantial change to the grounds, or the purchase of a capital item or an item costing more than $500 require approval of the Board of Trustees. As requested by the Board, the B&G Committee consults on and cooperates with projects proposed by the South Church Preservation Fund, which raises funds to preserve the Meeting House and recommends for Board review proposed contracts for restoration and preservation.

The B&G Committee is the first line of oversight for outside contractors and the review of proposals by outside contractors. In conjunction with the maintenance sexton, the Committee is responsible for issues of accessibility, safety, snow removal, and the placement of window protection when storms are predicted. Their meetings are held once a month.


The Caring Team (includes the Shawl Ministry)

The Caring Committee was reactivated as The Caring Team in 2014. The mission of the Caring Team is to augment the pastoral care provided by the Minister and to facilitate a culture of caring within the Meeting House community.

In coordination with the Minister, the Caring Team will:
1. Facilitate providing meals, transportation and errands for those in need.
2. Help identify needs and determine resources among friends and families.
3. Reach out to parishioners with phone calls, visits and cards when appropriate.
4. Facilitate or provide help with small household chores as needed.
5. Encourage others to participate in fulfilling its mission.

It is clear that this community has a well-practiced history of caring for one another. Many times, when someone in the congregation has faced a time of challenge, the necessary meals, visits and transportation to appointments, church services and other church activities have already been arranged by members of the community without facilitation from the Team. Home visits to community members who are unable to get to the Meeting House is an ongoing priority.

In late 2013, the Shawl Ministry was initiated at the Meeting House. The response of volunteers has been heart-warming. The shawls are knit and crocheted by members of the congregation to be given to parishioners (and close affiliates) in times of challenge. The shawls are meant to convey the care of the whole congregation. Before they are given away, every attempt is made to pass the shawls through the membership for their good thoughts during a “shawl blessing”.     Contact the minister or the Church Office for assistance or to volunteer.


7th Principle Project

wLnnxSW8TSefC2QNINk33sU4jWauqW5bUUFYfLXr3wYThis new group is a Nantucket UU supported initiative whose goal is to create a more inclusive and informed community.   The group’s mission statement is as follows:   We, the members of the 7th Principle Project, declare our commitment to responsible stewardship of this island and earth, our intention to maintain a forum for open, honest discussion, and the belief that strong community is the foundation for action.

7th Principle Project has contributed to the community and congregation in 2014 by: planting a garden and sharing food, starting a composting initiative, running a voter registration drive, collecting clothes and distributing them to food pantry clients, and beginning the work of becoming a Green Sanctuary.



Finance Committee

1. General Purpose: The Finance Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Board on all matters relating to Church finances, but it is not a canvas, pledge, or fundraising committee.
2. Specific Responsibilities: The responsibilities of the Finance Committee include but are not limited to the following:
Reviewing the Church’s goals and needs as defined by the Board and articulating these in terms of short- and long-tern financial strategies
The Finance Committee shall develop the Church ‘s annual budget in conjunction with the various departments and committees, within the context of the actual financial realities and long term goals, and present a budget to the Board of Trustees for approval by
Congregational Committees December 15, and then to the congregation two weeks prior to the annual meeting. (Note: This text was adopted at the Congregational Meeting on July 25, 2010.)
Monitoring the Church’s assets, liabilities, income and expenses and making periodic (at least annual) reports to the Board and the congregation
Advising the Board on investment strategies and long-term needs for raising funds Arranging for an annual audit or review of the Church’s financial records
3. Membership: The Finance Committee has at least 3 but no more than 5 members, including the Treasurer, who serves as an ex officio member. All members serve one-year renewable terms (January 1 December 31).
4. Chairperson: The Finance Committee Chair is appointed by the Board for a one-year renewable term (January 1 – December 31), and the Constitution specifies that the Treasurer is a member of the
Committee. The Chair proposes the other members of the committee for approval by the Board, making a good-faith effort to make the membership of the FC as representative as possible of the congregation in terms of gender, age, personal experience, cultural background, and involvement in a variety of Church activities.
5. Vacancies: Any members resigning from the Finance Committee within their term of appointment shall, in so far as possible, be replaced for the remainder of the year, with the chair proposing the replacement to the Board for approval.
6. Guests: The Minister and the Chair of the Board, though not voting members of the Finance Committee, are welcome to attend all committee meetings and are to be notified of all such meetings. Other members of the congregation shall request an invitation from the Finance Committee   chair before a scheduled meeting.
7. Meetings: The Finance Committee normally meets once a month but will adjust its schedule as necessary.


Unitarian congregationFundraising Committee

The Fundraising Committee is responsible for initiating, reviewing and coordinating fundraising concepts to raise money to augment the annual operating budget.   The income generated from members and friends of the congregation at fundraising events is in addition to regular pledges or contributions to the Members Fund.   The committee coordinates the Bed & Breakfast program, Fall Harvest Fair participation, Spring Goods & Services Auction, Souper Bowl Sunday and St. Patrick ‘s Day Dinner fundraising events.   Volunteers are needed to help plan and carry out these events!


Welcoming Committee

The Welcoming Committee solicits and schedules volunteers to serve as greeters on Sunday morning, greets Sunday morning visitors, members and friends and maintains an environment of welcome and inclusion.


Coffee Hour Committee

Our congregation practices the welcoming tradition of hospitality.   The Hospitality Coordinator needs volunteers to prepare coffee and set out cookies or other items for the after-service coffee hour on Sunday mornings.   Sign up on the clipboard hanging on the kitchen door in the Activities Room for one or more Sundays.


Committee on Ministry

Under Article 5 of the Constitution, the Ministry Committee is the liaison between the Minister and the congregation. Its responsibility is to oversee the quality of ministry provided by the Minister and by the congregation as a whole. It serves as a communication channel between the congregation and the Minister in furtherance of the Minister ‘s role, and consults with the Minister about the ministry of the congregation as a whole. The Committee ‘s broad goal is to maintain a positive congregational environment, facilitating the reconciliation of people who desire to remain in relationship with one another. The Committee discourages anonymous submission of a concern, although discussion may begin with identities undisclosed. Members or friends of the congregation are encouraged to discuss any concerns they might have with regard to ministry first with the Minister and then if needed with a member of the committee.

The specific functions of the Ministry Committee are:
♦To aid the Minister in carrying on an effective ministry by being available for counsel.
♦To keep the Minister advised concerning conditions within the congregation as they affect relations between Minister and members, with the main intention of strengthening and improving relationships.
♦To be available to interpret to the congregation the nature and scope of work of the Minister, including clarification of role expectations for the Minister and development of realistic priorities for Minister and members.
♦To consider the overall picture of the congregation ‘s ministry and to be available to reconcile concerns among members.
♦To consult with the Minister on pastoral care needs of members and the resources available to meet them.
♦To consult with the Minister on continuing professional development, study leave, and sabbatical plans.
♦To consult with the Minister on and submit to the Board recommendations for changes in the Minister ‘s compensation.

The Committee on Ministry (COM) meets once a month with Rev. Linda Simmons. This committee is designed to keep the congregation in conversation with one other. The COM is available to hear feedback about all ministries in the church: Religious Education, Social Justice, Music, Sunday Service, Building and Grounds, the ministry of our settled minister.

Unitarian congregation


Music Committee

The Music Committee works with Barbara Elder, Interim Director of Music, in planning and coordinating the adult choir and the church’s music related events, including the summer-fall concert series.




Nominating Committee

Under Article 8 of the Constitution, the Nominating Committee is elected at the annual meeting following nominations from the floor. It has three members who serve for one year. Its primary task is to present at the next annual meeting a list of nominees for all vacancies on the Board of Trustees, including anyone currently filling an unexpired term. The committee ‘s presentation of its slate does not preclude nominations from the floor at the annual meeting. If a vacancy occurs on the Board of Trustees during the course of the year, the Nominating Committee appoints someone to fill the vacancy.


Members Fund (Pledge Campaign) Committee

The Pledge Committee is responsible for providing members with an opportunity to contribute financially so that the goals of the congregation may be realized. The committee ‘s primary responsibility is the annual pledge drive, conducted beginning the middle of September and ending October 31, in preparation for budget planning for the next calendar year. The result of the campaign will be submitted to the Board of Trustees by the second week in November. (Note: The text of this paragraph was adopted at the Congregational Meeting July 25, 2010.)

A Pledge Committee with new members should be convened following the completion of the campaign, if possible chaired by a person or persons who served on the prior year ‘s committee. The first meeting is a joint meeting of the retiring members and new members to conduct an evaluation of the just-completed campaign. The evaluation should include a review of the process: What went right? What can be done better? Did people understand their roles? Did they fulfill their responsibilities?

A second component of this meeting is a financial evaluation. How much was raised? How many pledges—
♦Stayed the same?
♦Dropped out?
♦Were new?

The committee needs to look for patterns that indicate areas in which the campaign needs improvement.

The committee is responsible for developing a calendar and timetable for pledge campaign activities and for coordinating these with the congregation’s master calendar. The committee also coordinates activities with the Finance Committees and works with it to develop campaign materials. The committee recruits, trains, and manages canvassers. It plans and conducts pledge campaign gatherings, including campaign kickoffs, canvasser training, and post-campaign celebrations.
Communication is one of the critical functions of the pledge committee. The congregation needs to be clear about its dreams for the coming year and what is needed from the membership for these dreams to come true. Information needs to be positive, upbeat, inspiring, and frequent. It should be communicated in a variety of formats: information sessions, pulpit testimonials, newsletter articles, brochures, and invitations.

The committee strives to ensure that every printed piece is attractive, appealing, and readable— especially the pledge card. The committee needs to communicate success to the congregation. Whenever possible, the congregation should celebrate its ability to fund its dreams.


IMG_3345Youth Programs Committee

The scope of the Youth Programs Committee ‘s work is ethical and religious programming for children and youth. Program development, teacher and leader recruitment, and publicity for programming are handled by the Committee.

The Committee sets goals and establishes a philosophy for the lifespan exploration programs of the congregation. In consultation with the Minister and the Youth Programs Coordinator, the Committee considers the interests and needs of all members, children, and youth, and—
♦explores program materials available from the Unitarian Universalist Association and other sources;
♦assesses the interests and skills of members within the congregation and recruits members and friends for program development, leadership, and promotion;
♦designs a program for each year that is balanced and adapted to the needs and interests of various segments of the congregation and that can be carried out with available resources;
♦evaluates the program in a way that includes feedback from participants and leaders;
♦plans programs with and for the congregation’s leadership so that religious exploration programming can be an expression of the congregation’s guiding vision and sense of mission, and reaches into the Nantucket community.

Religious exploration is the responsibility of the entire congregation. The Committee is composed of at least three members, not limited to parents. Adults without children, older teenagers, and grandparents in the congregation may also serve. The Minister and the Youth Programs Coordinator are members ex officio.


Lay Led Service Committee

The Lay Led Service Committee meets to discern, design, plan and implement one Sunday service a month. Subjects are chosen from a broad field of interests. Congregants and guest speakers share these Sundays that culminate in an experience of congregational and island talent and wisdom.

This committee works closely with Rev. Linda Simmons on lay participation in Sunday services and to lead services when the Rev. Simmons is not in the pulpit, particularly on the Fourth Sunday of each month.


South Church Preservation Fund (SCPF) Affiliate Organization

The SCPF is a separate 501(c)(3) organization for fundraising to support restoration and preservation of the historic Meeting House building and grounds.     The board of SCPF is comprised of several representatives from the Nantucket UU congregation.   SCPF will be responsible for the summer docent program in 2014 led by coordinator Libby Oldham.


Membership Committee

Reactivated in 2013, the mission of the Membership Committee is to build and support community. The committee works to:
1. Support and recognize current members.
2. Welcome and encourage new members.
3. Recognize summer members and facilitate their participation in congregational social activities, and
4. Encourage all members to participate in church activities and governance.

The focus for the Membership Committee is on community building social activities. Each season, several small dinner parties, “Seasonal Suppers”, are held simultaneously in members ‘ homes. In July, the committee works with the Board of Trustees to host the Summer Members ‘ Gathering.