The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship is trying a new approach to empowering
members to take action in their passions. The Ministry Team concept is being successfully employed
throughout many UU congregations. Ministry teams can be developed for one-time projects or for long-term
and ongoing projects. Below are is the framework for starting ministry teams.
Here at BUF, ministry applications will be reviewed by the Program Implemenation Group (PIG) and the application
will be forwarded to the appropriate leadership for support. Simply address each area below in writing and
submitted it to any member of the PIG or to the Social Justice Communications chair and begin your work!
Principles in Action Ministry Team Framework
A ministry team must be made up of at least five people. One person is a lone voice in the wilderness
with little connection. Two people can have a conversation. Three people may be able to pull something
off for a little while, but will not be able to create a sustainable program. Four people can certainly
hold regular meetings but may not be fully connected to the congregation. But five people can represent
the broad-base of the community and five people can achieve anything if they set their hearts and minds
Theological Foundation. Why is your ministry church? What is your spiritual reason for doing this? What
in your heart inspires you to devote yourself to this ministry? This is not a ten page justification filled
with quotes from long-dead theologians. In your words, from your heart, just say why your ministry is important.
Three sentences ought to do it. This criterion can be a wonderful adventure in intentional faith development.
Learning to articulate your beliefs and learning how to transform your beliefs into justice is a blessed
journey. If you need help articulating this part leaders from Lifelong Learning, Social Justice, and Green
Sanctuary are happy to help you.
BUF's Mission and Vision. How does your ministry fit into BUF's Mission and Vision? Find the "buzz" words in our
slogan, mission and vision statements. Do those "buzz" words have anything to do with your ministry? How so?
Timeline and Success. Is your plan to achieve a one-time event or an ongoing ministry? How often will you meet?
What will you plan to achieve by what date? Do you need a budget, if so, then how much and why? How will you know
you have succeeded in achieving your goals? What will you put in your annual report to the congregation?
Engaging the Congregation. How will your ministry team engage the congregation in its ministry? A team of five
congregational members doing good work does not a congregational ministry make. However, a team of five congregational
members, bringing more congregational members into active participation in saving the world - now that's ministry!
How are you going to do it?
|Sustainable Practices Team
This team will assist the BUF Building & Grounds Oversight Committee and support
various programs like Toward Zero Waste, Smart Trips and Community Energy Challenge. It is also available
to assist other groups and individuals in sustainable practices in fellowship programming in the church and
in their personal lives.
BUF Building and Grounds Oversight Committee.
The Building and Grounds Oversight Committee has the responsibility for the upkeep and
maintenance of the church building and grouns and monitoring of ongoing renovation projects in both the new
and old buildings. The Sustainable Practices Ministry team will provide any assistance required by the
committee to ensure that the upkeep, maintenance and renovation functions incorporate the most sustainable
practices, services and materials available.
Toward Zero Waste.
Toward Zero Waste is a waste handling and recycling program sponsored by
Sustainable Connections. Zero Waste is the concept that when we throw something away, there is no
'away,' – that the very idea of 'waste' can and should be eliminated. Garbage that is sent to landfills
is simply taken out of its natural cycle and put into a holding place for later generations to deal with.
Reducing waste now can make for big benefits in the long run; reducing environmental and climate impacts,
encouraging more efficient uses of resources, and even saving money! Over 100 local companies have signed
on to reduce their waste by 50%. Sustainable Connections offers a variety of tools, including workshops,
to help businesses reduce their waste. Recycling plays a key role in waste reduction and so does eliminating
behavior and use of materials that are not sustainable. To see more information on BUF's recycling program,
see our recycling page.
Smart Trips is a Whatcom County program that encourages residents to walk, bike,
share a ride, or ride the bus. Smart Trips can be recorded by anyone age 18 or older. Whatcom Smart Trips is
sponsored by the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County, WTA, Whatcom Council of Governments, the State of
Washington, and grants from Northwest Clean Air Agency, Puget Sound Energy and ConocoPhillips Ferndale
Refinery. For addtional information, check our transportation page.
Community Energy Challege.
In the early stages of constructing that the new building, BUF signed up with the
Community Energy Program sponsored by Sustainable Connections. As part of the challenge program, an energy
and resource audit was conducted. The Sustainable Practices team is responsible for reviewing the audit and
implementing recommendations as necessary.
Other events and activities.
The SP team will make itself active and available to the various functions and
groups within the congregation including helping groups understand the above programs and provide
assistance in any other area that may be required.
The Food Security Team will be working towards working with those social
and environmental issues surrounding food. Some of the initial issues discussed included our monthy
food bank donations, Genetically Modified (GM) foods, access to gleaning, local foods in general and
organic gardening. As activities and purposes are more fully developed, they will be posted here.
Monthly Food Bank Donations.
Food bank donation receptacles are readily available for members and friends
to drop off any donations. Nine months of the year, donations are delivered to the Bellingham Food
Bank. The other three months, donations are delivered to the Lummi Reservation Food Bank. The third
Sunday of every month, food donations are brought forward during the service for blessing. For more
information on the food bank donations, see our environmental justice