Community Church of Sebastopol

United Church of Christ

Come and Find the Quiet Center

1000 Gravenstein Hwy North           707.823.2484

2018 Church Leadership Council

Our new "Governance Model" provides the flexibility and transparency, essential as we move forward to pursue our future objectives. More information on our Governance Model can be found here. Our Moderator for 2018 is Nancy Shimetz. The list of 2018 Leadership Council, Committee and Team Chairs can be found here.


Our Leadership Council is responsible for administering the laws, traditions and day-to-day decisions that govern what happens at the Community church. Large items and small all fall under the guidance of these dedicated leaders. If you’d like to know what happens at a Council meeting, please come join them the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Media Room. Meetings are open to all, questions and opinions are welcome and we’re hoping that becoming more familiar with the Council’s activities just might encourage you to consider becoming a Council member in the future! Please join us for our next meeting.

Governance Change Process

For the past year, our church’s Council has been working on organizing and articulating a new governance model to serve our congregation in the coming years. After multiple general meetings with the congregation and committees to gather feedback and answer questions, and a presentation on the proposed governance model and revised by-laws at the Annual Meeting on January 28, 2018, the proposals will be voted on at a special meeting of the congregation on April 15.

  • Special Meeting of the Congregation:
  • Sunday, April 15, 11:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary Vote on proposed Bylaws Vote on slate of nominees for new Governance Model

Transition Process to new Governance Model and Revised Bylaws:
Why, How, What and When?

Our current bylaws have been in place since 1985 and in many ways have served us very well. However, in recent years, we have become aware that our current practices are not adequately reflected by these bylaws and that many aspects of them might more appropriately belong in a Policy Book. We also realized that several processes as currently defined are redundant and that an increasing amount of energy is put into getting people to fill committees rather than to carry out ministry.

As a result, beginning over a year ago, initial conversations led to the formation of a Council Subcommittee on Governance which discussed multiple approaches and eventually focused on a Governance Model which we believed was the best approach for us to pursue our future objectives. Over the course of 2017, Council held an offsite retreat to more fully explore the proposed model. The decision was made to move ahead with this model. Multiple sessions were held throughout the year to help everyone understand the new model and to answer any questions that might have arisen. Additionally, the model was presented at the Annual Meeting on January 28th of this year.

The revision of our current bylaws enables the new governance model and provides the flexibility and transparency that we all felt was essential as we move forward. The first draft of those bylaws is now complete and available for you to review. Copies can be found online, in the narthex and in the Church office. We will be holding the first of two planned feedback sessions on Sunday, February 18th at noon in the Media Room. The Transition Committee will incorporate your comments and suggestions wherever possible into the next draft. A second feedback session will be held on Sunday, March 18th at noon in the Media Room. Once again, your input will be utilized whenever possible.

After this second feedback session, a final draft will be presented for approval by Council prior to our Special Congregational Meeting on April 15th. At that point, everyone will have had multiple opportunities to offer their comments and the meeting process will be a simple yes/no vote on incorporation of the revised bylaws. Members of the Governance Subcommittee will be happy to provide you with additional information: Pastor Broadbent, Nancy Shimetz, Patty Raney, Mike Ott, Chris Dawson, Marge Holland, Judy Rice.

Those of us who have worked on the new governance model and the revised bylaws are excited about the opportunities it provides and especially grateful that our congregation has been able to be an active participant in the entire process.

Current By-Laws, revised November 13, 2011

Draft of proposed major revision By-Laws 2.0, dated February 23, 2018 and Governance Model update.

Proposed job descriptions, pending approval on April 15: Moderator, Nominating Committee, Council Officer for Facilities, Council Officer for Finance, Council Officer for Personnel, Member for Care & Fellowship Ministry, Member for Faith Formation Ministry, Member for Outreach Ministry, and Member for Worship & Arts Ministry.

Church Council Mission and Norms

At the February Council meeting, it was decided that Council should share with the congregation the Mission & Norms of the Church Council. They serve as a reminder about why we are there - the guidelines we want to keep in mind when considering various issues and concerns. The Mission & Norms are attached to each monthly agenda. Pastor Ben asked at the February meeting, “Are these still the norms we want to live by?” After consideration, we all agreed, “Yes, they are - we always want to further the Mission of the Church.” We invite you to consider them further within each of your groups.

The Mission of the Council:

    • To prayerfully and thoughtfully interpret and enact the Community Church’s mission, vision and values and to provide leadership and strategic direction

    • To safeguard the assets of the church, and to ensure adequate resources (human, spiritual, financial, and facility

    • To support, direct and partner with the church staff team

    • To be ambassadors to the community on behalf of Community Church of Sebastopol

    Norms for the Council:

      • Keep the mission of the Council in mind. No personal agendas.

      • Follow the Bylaws.

      • Attend meetings, arrive on time, and stop on time.

      • Come prepared. Do your homework and follow through.

      • Know the purpose of agenda items and stay focused.

      • Avoid interrupting, digressing, and repeating yourself.

      • Respect the expertise, time, and contribution-style of others.

      • Participate fully. Listen carefully and ask good questions.

      • Be honest. Agree to share disagreements, and agree to disagree amicably. Keep disagreements within the Council.

      • Maintain confidentiality.

      • Enjoy the work and enjoy each other.