​​The United Covenant Union 

The United Covenant Union, like the early Methodists, is governed by a connectional polity.  This means that all of our clergy covenant unions, congregational units and partner congregations are part of a network of indivisible relationships; as important parts of a whole. 

There are three distinct types of organization in The United Covenant Union: 

Clergy Covenant Unions
Clergy Covenant Unions are chapters of the UCU. They are associations of clergy who work together to alleviate hunger and wage theft. Clergy covenant unions do the following: 

  • Prayer Meetings (weekly opportunities to pray and practice their craft of ministry together). 
  • Food Relief (have a contract with a regional food supplier of some kind to resource foodstuffs to their affiliated congregational units.  )
  • Clergy Employment Advocacy (advocate for living wages for clergy in their secular jobs). 
  • Congregational Unit Development  (train clergy to organize families battling hunger and poverty into congregational units) 

Congregational Units
Congregational units are chapters of each covenant union. Each congregational unit is a peer group that bands together to alleviate poverty in their communities. Every congregational unit does the following:

  • Prayer Meetings (weekly meetings for prayer and support)
  • Food Sharing (a peer run program to distribute and deliver food to members in a relational way that builds community)
  • Employment Advocacy (a peer run program to combat wage theft, designed by the members) 
  • Voter Registration ​(registering new people to vote every year) 

Partner Congregations
A partner congregation is a church, synagogue or mosque that does the following: 

  • has clergy who are members of a clergy covenant union.
  •  pays dues to respective clergy covenant union.
  •  will house or support a congregational unit, and be in solidarity with said unit’s public work

​​Our Polity 

 Why so Complicated? 
On the surface it might seem as though The United Covenant Union has an overly complicated governance. The United Covenant Union's constitution establishes this system of governance for a reason. The members of our clergy covenant unions, and the members of our congregational units (mostly underpaid workers) are in no position to do the fundraising necessary to enable  The United Covenant Union to pay chaplain organizers.  By empowering the Coordinating Council to elect General Members to serve on the General Council - we are empowering our rank and file members to select the body who will do fundraising on their behalf. This ensures that our clergy members and members battling hunger, unemployment and low wages are at the center of decision making. 

The United Covenant Union has three governing bodies that each take responsibility for fundraising and fiscal affairs,  vocational and organizational strategy matters, and the public action. 

 The Coordinating Council
The body of clergy covenant union presidents and unit congregational stewards who speak and act for The United Covenant Union. The Coordinating Council has the following responsibilities: 

  • Set the rate of membership dues 
  • Draft public statements  and Approve public actions taken on behalf of The United Covenant Union  
  • Review and draft a budget and calendar for Union Conference 
  • Vet and elect General Members to the General Council 

The Chaplain Organizers Guild
The company of trained congregation-based community organizers who set standards for the practice of organizing within The United Covenant Union. The Chaplain Organizers Guild has the following responsibilities: 

  • To form and approve partnerships with other organizations engaged in congregation-based community organizing. 
  • To nominate General Coordinator from among their ranks. 
  • To set vocational standards for chaplain organizers. 

The General Council 
The body of General Members who are tasked with fundraising and fiscal oversight. The General Council has the following responsibilities: 

  • Oversee fiscal affairs and regulatory compliance matters. 
  • Raise money to benefit The United Covenant Union. 
  • Formally appoint the General Coordinator, once the Chaplain Organizers Guild has made their nomination. 

The Union Conference 
The combined meeting of these three bodies which meets annually to ratify the annual budget and calendar.