The fifth UU Principle, which calls for “the use of the democratic process within our congregations” is the foundation for the congregational polity that each congregation is self-governing, choosing its own leadership, handling its own finances, and choosing its own delegates to the General Assembly.
Just as Unitarian Universalists emphasize – in our theology and history – the independence of each congregation rather than our interdependence through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), we emphasize the independence of each person more than our interdependence as members of a congregation.
How we relate to each other as individuals within a congregation mirrors the interrelations among congregations, entailing the same issue: balancing independence with interdependence. Governance of ALUUC is spelled out most clearly in the ALUUC bylaws. ALUUC is governed by a Board of Directors, which is responsible for day-to-day decision-making for the congregation. The Board is elected yearly by the congregation. Because the Minister is called by the congregation and the board is elected by the congregation, the congregation has dual leadership.
Two committees are directly elected by and responsible to the Congregation, the Nominating Committee and the Endowment Committee, which work in cooperation with the Board and Minister. Other committees are responsible to the Board of Directors, and a Board liaison is appointed to each. The Committee on Ministry members are appointed by the Nominating Committee with consultation by the Minister and Board and is responsible to the Congregation.
Adapted from Congregational Governance by the UUA.