View our current bylaws HERE.

Board of Trustees

First UU is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by the congregation. The 2024 Board of Trustees is an enthusiastic and engaged group, who seek to reinforce and strengthen our current programs, and be a voice for liberal religion in the Ozarks. The Board of Trustees meets monthly. Times and dates can be found on the Calendar of Events.

First UU is currently engaged in conversation about shared governance as opposed to a hierarchical structure. The system under consideration is called sociocracy.

Sociocracy, also called dynamic governance, is a system of governance that seeks to create psychologically safe environments and productive organizations. It is distinguished by the use of consent, rather than majority voting, in discussion and decision-making by people who have a shared objective or work process. (from Wikipedia) For more information, go to

Members in sociocratic circles engage with each other in a spirit of experimentation, with ongoing evaluation of how policies are working. The mantra for developing policies is “Good enough for now and not likely to cause harm.” For the purposes of this document and until a name is agreed to by our group, the term “General Circle” will be used instead of “Board.”

Three types of work for the General Circle:

  1. Fiduciary – Tending to the stewardship of the tangible assets
  2. Strategic – Working to set the congregation’s priorities and seeing that resources are aligned with those priorities
  3. Generative – Problem framing and sense making about the shifting environment of the congregation and community

Responsibilities of the General Circle:

  • Establish the church’s yearly budget
  • Confirm the vision cast by the congregation and establish yearly goals for the church
  • Work in partnership with staff and committees to ensure they fulfill the mission and vision of the church


  • General Circle role is governance
  • Minister role is leading
  • Staff role is managing
  • Member role is doing

Steps toward adoption:

Step 1: Know our why.
Step 2: Consult MidAmerica liaison.
Step 3: Prepare congregation.
Step 4: Leadership and model discernment with timeline.
Step 5: Bylaws Revision
Step 6: Affirmation of delegates and approval of bylaws
Step 7: First meeting