Policies

As of April 2019

1. Mission Statement
2. Open and Affirming Statement
3. Policies
a. Confidentiality
b.
Estate Donations Endowment
c. Working with Children
d. Alcohol, Drugs, Firearms
e. Smoking
f. Speaking for the Church

Suquamish Community Congregational
United Church of Christ

Mission Statement

We the Suquamish Community Congregational United Church of Christ are on a spiritual journey in convenant with God and one another.

As a worshipping people, we seek to know the living God in the experience and the sacredness of our daily lives.

We witness God’s love, spreading and sharing the Good News through word and action.

As an Open and Affirming church, ever greatful for God’s unconditional love, we welcome and accept everyone into worship and full participation in church life.

Following the example of Jesus Christ, we strive to heal the broken, to feed the hungry and to provide service through outreach and involvement in seeking wholeness, justice and righteousness for all people.

As stewards, we are called to be a caring people, living in harmony with the environment, respecting and honoring the gives of God’s creation.

Adopted at Annual Meeting  January 21, 1996

Open & Affirming Statement

In the spirit of Jesus’ message and life, the Suquamish Community Congregational United Church of Christ is an Open and Affirming Church. We welcome and accept all people into worship, participation in church life, full membership and leadership, and are affirming to members of groups that continue to suffer injustice for reasons that may include sexual orientation, race, gender, gender identity and expression, ethnic background, age, marital status,  physical ability,  and developmental difference.

In the vision of unity, wholeness, integrity, compassion, and justice, as a community of God’s people, we covenant to be open and affirming:

  • Of ourselves and others as God created and is creating us,
  • Of our ordinariness and uniqueness in our exploration and struggle to know more fully our Creator,
  • Of our race, heritage, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age and sexual orientation,
  • Of our physical, mental and emotional abilities,
  • Of relationships of support and nurture founded on principles of love and justice: single persons, lesbian and gay relationships, extended families, blended families and nuclear families.

In the call of wisdom of action as God intends, we seek:

  • To further our knowledge and understanding of what it means to be richly diverse and humanly similar,
  • To celebrate, enrich, honor and nurture the whole person, recognizing our sexuality as a gift from God, as a channel through which we experience life, and as an integral part of that wholeness,
  • To live in community with love, respect, responsibility and trust, finding through diversity, strength; and through inclusiveness, a deepened sense of intimacy with our Creator.
  • To heal the brokenness experienced in ourselves, with each other and with our God,
  • To support and advocate efforts to-insure justice and to condemn all acts of discrimination and violence against persons because of race, age, gender, gender identity and expression, religion, sexual orientation,  marital status, ethnic background or physical/ mental/developmental limitations or differences.

Policy

Confidentiality Policy

Rationale for new policy

The  previous Confidentiality Policy  lent itself to an interpretation where  members  of the Board  of Boards  could  not discuss  certain issues  even when  it seemed  necessary. As a result,  the Council  has labored  to create a policy  that protects  individuals  and  situations where  appropriate yet still leaves the  Council  the ability to openly  discuss  sensitive issues when  it needs  to.

One point that requires clarity is that there is a difference between the Church as a non-profit organization and the Church as its congregation. Non-pastoral staff are considered to be under the auspices of the non-profit organization and as such are governed by state and federal law and have a right to confidential personnel files. Pastoral staff are considered to be beholden to the congregation and as such, have their files as open records for the congregation to review.

New  Policy

The Suquamish United Church of Christ defines confidentiality as a limit on when, with whom, and in what context information is to be shared. In the event of the need to share confidential information, the following criteria will be established by the “originator” of the information:

  • Who needs to know?
  • When does it need to be shared?
  • How will the information be shared?

When sharing confidential information, the expectation is that the fewest number of people will be involved and the utmost sensitivity with all parties will be used. In general practice, e-mail is not considered to be confidential. The categories of information deemed to be confidential by the Suquamish Church are as follows:

  • Health information
  • Personal financial information
  • Personal legal information (non-church-related)
  • Human resource information (non-pastoral staff only)
  • Conversations identified by the originator as being sensitive and not to be widely shared

At each level of sharing, a presumption of confidentiality is re-established. Those who know the information must re-evaluate the need to share the information with a wider audience, using  the aforementioned  criteria. The originator is included in this discussion, not as a means to get permission, but to maintain ethical standards and engage them in the conversation.

Adopted November 5, 2017

Estate Donation Endowment Policy

Proposed by Board of Trustees
Suquamish UCC  January 27, 2013 Semi Annual Meeting

The following proposed policy was adopted by the Board on October 14, 2012 as an interim procedure, by unanimous consent.

It is proposed for Approval by the Congregation to adopt as a Church Policy.

This is to guide and inform the use of funds donated to Suquamish UCC designated in the wills of deceased benefactors of the Church. Estate derived funds shall accumulate in a separate balance sheet account entitled “Estate Endowment”.

To further the goals of sustaining the physical plant of the Church or program development  into the future, and recognizing the limited sources of revenue for capital projects and major programs, it shall be the policy of the Church to reserve the subject funds for such projects, and to allocate them on a defined basis in each fiscal year.

The goal is to utilize these funds in a manner that will provide a long term source of funding that will hopefully be replenished by periodic estate contributions. Since the frequency and amounts so obtained cannot be reasonably predicted, the goal is to maintain an income earning fund corpus that is drawn down slowly, to be relatively self- sustaining.

These funds may be invested in moderately encumbered  instruments of medium term duration, such that the defined percentages to be allocated as designated herein shall be available on an annual basis.

Eligible capital projects will be defined by prioritizing needs identified by the Board of Trustees through work of its Facilities Committee and authorized according to Church practice. Eligible New Program development shall be defined by the Board of Boards. (Now Council)

The Trustees (now Council) shall be authorized to allocate up to 12% of the current fund balance annually each fiscal year to undertake the prioritized projects. These funds can be combined with other funding sources to accomplish the subject projects. Funds not allocated in a given year can be carried over to Projects in the next year. In the event a priority Project is identified, and agreed to by the Board of Boards, (now Council) a higher percentage of the fund corpus can be spent in a given year.

In addition to the use defined in this policy, any portion of the fund balance can be spent for emergency use to preserve or repair the physical plant of the Church.

Adopted January 27, 2013 

 Various Policies

Alcohol, illegal drugs, and illegal weapons are prohibited on church property. (1/05)

Smoking is not allowed inside the church building. (1/05)

Anyone whose role within the church is to work with children and/or youth will have a current Washington State Background Investigation Form on file with the church office. (1/05)

When speaking/writing in a public forum, it will be clearly stated who is doing the speaking and that they are speaking only as their position allows. The Board of Boards (now Council) may authorize certain individuals or groups to communicate in the name of  the church.

Adopted January 2016

Copies of policies adopted and superseded or which no longer apply prior to 2005 are located in the policies binder in the church office.