Arlington Street Church, Unitarian Universalist. Gathered in Love and Service for Justice and Peace. 351 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

About Us

Governance of Arlington Street Church

Arlington Street Church—A Democracy at Work

Arlington Street Church caught the democratic spirit of America and left outside control to become self-governing in 1788, when it was located downtown on Federal Street. No longer was the church assigned a minister, now it chose its own. Rituals once imposed by outside religious authority, were now fashioned by the ministers and members to suit their ways of worshiping.

Today, each member of the Arlington Street Church votes on the big decisions of the congregation. This democracy includes all the members who vote at our quarterly Corporation Meetings to elect officers and members of its governing board, called by the old Yankee name “The Prudential Committee.” Those wise — or prudent — members, young and old, supervise the day-to-day affairs of the church involving the staff, the money, the programs and the volunteers who make church life possible.

Connecting with the larger Unitarian Universalist world, each year, the Corporation selects delegates to represent it at the annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, held annually in June. At these General Assemblies, delegates not only vote on major program directions for the denomination, but also register their opinions on world issues of justice and peace. They receive information and challenging ideas to inform our congregation and the inspiration to motivate them to action it here at home.

The democracy of Arlington Street Church involves every member with in-reach to serve our own members, friends and community and in out-reach to a needy world.

— Rev. Eugene B. Navias, Associate Minister Emeritus

How Arlington Street Church Is Governed: The Congregational Structure

Arlington Street Church is governed by its congregation through two core groups: the Prudential Committee and the Corporation. Through an electoral process, we maintain a nine member Prudential Committee. Akin to a non-profit organization’s Board of Directors, our Prudential Committee is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Church, including finances, long-range planning, and program life; and for supervising ministers, clergy and administrative staff. The Arlington Street Church Corporation is comprised of the congregation’s entire membership. Co-Moderators, a Clerk and a Treasurer are elected by the congregation and preside over all meetings of the Corporation, where key decisions affecting the entire congregation are made.

Non-Voting Officers of the Corporation

  • Tori Bell, Co-Moderator
  • Gaby Whitehouse, Co-Moderator
  • Art Nava, Treasurer
  • Doc Kinne, Clerk

Updated June 2016


Our Board: The Committee on Prudential Affairs — The “PRU”

The Prudential Committee was formed as group of individuals who were respected for their prudent management of assets and were trusted to take care of church business between meetings of the congregation or corporation. The By-laws of Arlington Street Church, voted on by the corporation, serve as legal guidelines for the Prudential Committee.

The Prudential Committee is comprised of nine members elected by the congregation to serve three-year terms. This Committee is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the church, including membership, finances, long-range planning, program offering and is also responsible for leading efforts to call, hire and manage ministerial and administrative staff. The Prudential Committee meets once a month (except in August).

Members of the Prudential Committee

2016–2017 Chair: Tina Rose
2016–2017 Vice chair: Rick Cresta

Terms ending June 30, 2017
  • Dave Erbe
  • Art Nava
  • Tina Rose

Terms ending June 30, 2018
  • Rick Cresta
  • Eve Lauria
  • Connie Scanlon

Terms ending June 30, 2019
  • Lois Hartsough
  • Al Ingram
  • Ted Rudinsky

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Updated June 2016