The Kingston Congregational Church is a member congregation of a larger, national body (denomination) called the United Church of Christ. But we, like all churches in the UCC, are independent of the larger denomination. We make all of our decisions within our congregation by democratic process in accordance with our By-Laws and do not answer to any higher authority except God, inasmuch as we are able to discern God’s will for us. All members are encouraged to participate actively in the governance of the church.
The Congregational Meeting
In the course of the year, the whole congregation meets three times to consider important decisions before the church. At these congregational meetings we elect our leaders, adopt an operating budget for the congregation, decide on major initiatives, and act on any other business we need to consider. We sometimes hold additional special congregational meetings to address matters that may arise between our regular meetings.
Selection of Pastor and other Staff
Our Pastor is not appointed by a Bishop or other authority, but rather is elected by vote of the congregation. Our Music Director, Christian Education Director, and all our other staff members are also selected by the democratic processes of the congregation.
The Boards and Committees and Officers of the Church
A church is a complex social organism, with many things to accomplish, so we divide the work among groups, that is, boards and committees, each of which has responsibility for a particular area of the life of the church (our music program, our Christian Education program, our Fellowship events, our financial affairs, and others).
Members are elected to serve on our boards and committees by vote of the congregation at one of our congregational meetings. Members may serve two terms before cycling off the board or committee.
See Boards and Committees for a full list of our Boards and Committees and their various functions and roles in the congregation.
When the church is not in a congregational meeting, the governance decisions of the church are made by the Church Council, a body consisting of chairpersons of the various boards of the church, some at-large members, and the officers of the church.
The President of the Church is the chairperson of the Church Council. Our Moderator is in charge of leading our congregational meetings. We have a church Treasurer, who handles the financial records of the church. Our Registrar keeps track of our membership and other statistics of the congregation. The Clerk has responsibility for posting notices and taking minutes of official meetings.