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. The Prudential Committee delegates duties through a Program Council that works with areas of church life. It also charts the future through a Long Range Planning Committee which gathers the visions of the members.
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 acton 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. Emeritus Gene B. Navias
Arlington Street Church is governed by its congregation through three core groups: the Prudential Committee, the Church Council, 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 Church Council, made up of a host of committees described below, coordinates much of the programmatic work of the congregation. Finally, the Arlington Street Church Corporation is comprised of the congregation’s entire membership. A Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Clerk and Treasurer are elected by the congregation and preside over all meetings of the Corporation, where key decisions affecting the entire congregation are made.
The Council is a volunteer group of congregational leaders representing the varied committees and groups of Arlington Street Church. By coming together three to four times during the church year, the Council fosters communication, engages in leadership development activities, and assists in the coordination of the numerous activities of Arlington Street Church. The Council also supports the Pru in implementing goals around membership, long-range planning, and deepening connections. The Council is dedicated to building and maintaining a strong, inclusive spiritual community grounded in love and service.
Samuel Gloyd, Co-Moderator
Karl Paulnack Co-Moderator
Susie Nacco, Treasurer
David McClain, Clerk
Email us at council@ASCBoston.org
Updated July, 2012
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).
Art Nava (chair)
Shane McBride (vice-chair)
E-mail us at prudential@ASCBoston.org
Updated July, 2012