Request to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Oxford for Rev. Gail Stratton to be affiliated with the congregation as a Community Minister.
I am grateful to be affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation since my ordination by UUCO in Oct. of 2016. Attached is an updated letter and covenant that outlines my affiliation. I request that UUCO consider this affiliation and consider extending the affiliation for another year. In the letter, I specify that the spring Congregational meeting is a time to affirm my relationship with UUCO and that I will present a report the UUCO board near the end of the fiscal year and thus include the newly elected board members.
I welcome conversation about my role in the congregation and am happy to answer questions.
Affiliation and making a covenant with the congregation is an opportunity to practice being faithful. To make a comparison, I am reminded at how much work can go into making an edge of a garden, but that the work of making such an edge helps the garden immensely! Unexpected and some times wonderful things can happen in a garden, but without some kind of edge, it is quickly overtaken by grass and weeds. Taking time for this affiliation is like making an edge to our garden. And, like a garden edge, it periodically needs some work.
In this letter I agree to continue my professional relationships with the UUMA (Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association) and the UUCMA (Unitarian Universalist Community Ministers Association.
The letter includes the following, which spells out my role in the congregation:
Affiliation with a community minister often allows a Unitarian Universalist congregation to develop an outward focus of care and concern and we expect this to be the case with this affiliation. In developing her ministry, Rev. Stratton will seek to invite and involve congregants where appropriate, with a goal of shared ministry and mutually supporting the congregation and outreach to the community.
Ministerial services, such as weddings, funerals and rites of passage will be provided in a case by case arrangement, generally with individuals contacting Rev. Stratton directly. In some instances, it may be appropriate for the UUCO Board to make a request for services of life passages. Rev. Stratton is willing to provide such services, generally at the UUA rate for compensation. Rev. Stratton is willing to preach at least four times per year, two of which will be provided gratis and the others to be compensated at standard guest preaching amount. She will also provide an annual report to the UUCO board at the end of the fiscal year and will seek to be in touch with the UUCO Board at least quarterly. Rev. Stratton is willing to provide one workshop or lead one retreat free of charge and beyond that would expect to be compensated at the UUA rate of compensation. When asked by a UUCO board member, Rev. Stratton is willing to be a consultant around particular challenges the congregation faces.
Other than the above, there will be no compensation for Rev. Stratton’s services in the congregation. Meeting space at the building owned by UUCO may be provided to Rev. Stratton for events consistent with the mission of UUCO and consistent with the UUCO Building Use Policy and will be arranged through the building scheduler. If Rev. Stratton uses the space for an event such as a wedding, she will negotiate the rental fee to go to UUCO for that event using the Building Use guidelines.
Members of UUCO may participate on the Committee of Ministry for Gail.
Rev. Gail Stratton will be identified as a Unitarian Universalist Community Minister affiliated with UUCO on the UUCO website and where needed, in orders of service, newsletters and in reports to the UUA.
If, at some point in the future, UUCO calls a part time, developmental, interim, or full-time minister, Rev. Stratton agrees to respect the authority of that minister and will develop a covenant of understanding with that person.
There will be an annual meeting between the UUCO board and Rev. Gail Stratton to discuss their relationship in connection to the Mission of UUCO. This affiliation agreement will be reviewed annually and reaffirmed by the UUCO Board before the Annual Congregation meeting in spring of each year.
Am grateful to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation!
Rev. Gail Stratton