This update is a part of a Governance Update being sent by email to all Foothills members.
The Board of Trustees hopes all members are prepared to vote on governance changes at our upcoming annual meeting. Since the Governance Task Force formed about 18 months ago, we have received support and encouragement from members and staff throughout the church through congregational meetings, informational discussions, book discussion groups, and electronic communications conducted over the last twelve months. We hope you have had a chance to participate, provide feedback, and learn about this important work to help align our governance structure with our church size and mission.
We are planning to conduct a trial year using our new governance structure, and will need to slightly amend our bylaws to enable that trial. The key changes we are proposing include:
- Role of the Board – The Board will shed its administrative role and instead concentrate on discerning mission, setting goals, dialogue with the congregation, and oversight. This is something that the Board has been already in many ways practicing over the last 5 years as we have grown in size. This will formalize this role and add clarity, as well as enhanced methods of monitoring and accountability.
- Board Size – The Board will reduce to seven, a more appropriate size for its new role (currently there are 11). The congregation would elect 2-3 Board members annually.
- Delegate Operations – The senior minister, in partnership with the congregation and Board, would manage “operations” as head of staff. This role would hold responsibility for all administration, programming, and shared ministry as well as Sunday services and pastoral care through delegation to paid staff and members/friends of the congregation, aka volunteers. Again this is already in many ways the case; this would formalize and add additional structures for accountability, alignment and monitoring of this work.
- Policy-Based Guidance – The Board will use written policies both to guide and hold accountable all those who help carry out the mission, including the ministers, staff, and volunteers. Overseeing and keeping effective these policies will be a part of the Board’s new role.
- Committee Structure – The Board will have three appointed committees: Finance, Personnel, and Governance. It would have one elected committee, Nominating.
- Nominating Committee – The Nominating Committee will reduce to three elected members (from the current five). Its members will interact with the congregation, ministers, board, and Leadership Development team to identify the coming needs, develop job descriptions, and clarify role requirements, and ultimately nominate a slate of nominees for all elected positions that comply with established policies.
- Leadership Development Team – This team will be a newly formed ministry team charged with building and developing our future leaders through training, coaching, and open and inclusive engagement with the congregation.