We are a democracy
The Unitarian Church of Norfolk operates under bylaws. The church employees, officers, trustees and bylaw-required committees derive their authority from the bylaws. In effect, we are a republic in which our elected officials and our employees work on behalf of the congregant as directed by our bylaws.
We entrust day to day planning, operations, and spending decisions to our staff, but the congregant approves important functions such as buying and selling property, calling a settled minister, approving the operating budget and employee salaries, etc by vote of the members in good standing. Members in good standing have taken membership vows and are current in an active pledge.
With careful preparation by our employees, officers, and committee chairs, most such actions occur by consensus with over 80% of the congregant voting in the affirmative.