First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

Name Change

Ad Hoc Name Change Committee

A new committee has been appointed to resume the process to determine whether or not to change the name of our congregation.  Jo Burnham, Patrick Gutierrez, Mary Kirwin, Peggy Portman, Roz Hunter and Paul Schattman are the members of the committee.

First we are examining what actions must be taken and what costs will be entailed – in man hours, in legal impediments if any, and in money – incurred by changing the name of the church.

Second, to insure clarity we routinely will be posting such information as we have gathered in the weekly bulletin along with any procedural steps taken as they occur.

Third, if the decision to change the name is to be acted upon in an open, fair, and democratic manner, then we MUST have input from the members of our congregation.

To facilitate this we would ask you individually and very briefly, submit to the committee your opinion , for, against, or neutral.  We will also provide an option for each member to comment on their choice.  These comments may be put into the bulletin and/or the Courier for all to read and ponder.  Such are the limits on open debate imposed by the pandemic restrictions.

Fourth the decision will be determined by the vote of the whole congregation but the decision WILL NOT be determined by simple majority.  Because of the importance of this change to the life and the spirit of the church, we will require a super-majority,  the same percentage as needed for a minister's call.


Section 2. The Minister shall be called upon recommendation of the Ministerial Search Committee by four-fifths (4/5) majority of the Members present at any meeting legally called for the purpose; quorum for such a meeting is to be constituted by forty percent (40%) of the Members rather than twenty-five percent (25%) of the Members as called for in other congregational meetings.

If you are wondering why such a high bar for the name change, the reason is that in the time that our church has been called First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church the congregation has had two full time ministers, an interim minister, two part time ministers and a period of several months when the Worship Arts Committee filled our pulpit with guest ministers and speakers.

That is five ministers in a 40 year span of time. So this committee feels that the name of the church is more enduring than its ministers. And this is true in other faith traditions as well: First United Methodist, Saint Patrick's, Beth El Congregation, they are known by their name and value to the community, more so than by their current senior minister. Our intent is not to serve humble pie to senior ministers but to argue for the importance, durability and signature of a church's name.

It is our hope to finish the work of the committee in time for the Congregational Meeting in May 2021 and then to be able to produce a timeline for selecting a name and accomplishing a change IF and only IF that is the choice of the congregation.

That being the case, we ask that when you receive any communication from the committee requiring your input, please, reply as soon as possible.
The committe can be reached at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 January 2021 15:27

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