General Information about Committees and Groups

Our congregation includes standing committees, ongoing groups and teams formed around specific projects or interests, and other ongoing group activities. Most welcome anyone to attend their meetings and join in the work that they do.  Events they sponsor can be found in our Upcoming Events list.  To learn more about a committee, team or group, use the contact information listed in the group's information, below; join the group for a meeting or event; or contact the Coordinating Council (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

Please note: Some committees and groups are not currently meeting.  Most meet online.  To find a contact person, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

List of Current Committees and Groups

Adult Choir

The choir rehearses on most Thursday evenings and sings approximately monthly at Sunday morning services. Contact Ellen Cogen, our Music Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you are interested in joining the choir.

Board of Trustees (elected)

The Board of Trustees is the main governing body of the Society. It is made up of 9 members elected by the congregation; the minister serves ex-officio. Members hold staggered 3-year terms.

Boundless Way Zen Meditation

Boundless Way Zen Northampton meets weekly for Zen meditation practice in the Parlor of USNF. Meetings include a brief chanting service and two periods of Zen meditation (zazen) separated by a short period of walking meditation. Anyone is welcome to attend. There are no special requirements and no cost, although donations are gratefully accepted.. More information can be found at the Northampton Zen website.

Climate Action Group (CAG)

The Climate Action Group (CAG) meets twice a month to decide what we will do as a group to reduce climate destroying activity. We often join with other congregations and local groups. Actions take many forms, including educating ourselves and our congregation, organizing and carrying out worship services and action campaigns for the congregation, speaking up, advocating for community and/or legislative changes, bearing witness to and illuminating destructive actions, and highlighting existing and envisioned positive paths forward for our community and/or the world. All are welcome to join this group.

Coordinating Council

The Council is comprised of committee chairs or their representatives.  All are welcome to attend its meetings, which are generally on the second Monday each month.  The Council facilitates communication and cooperation among committees and helps oversee and coordinate the Society's social justice work. The Council supports the Society's mission by keeping abreast of its programs and addressing questions that arise in the its operations. Council members provide support and advice for committees and provide a forum for discussion among lay leaders. The Council also advises trustees on plans, policies, and the annual budget.  Contact the Council (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for the meeting schedule and link.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees on financial procedures and policies, including investment management, oversight of endowed funds, planned giving, and fund raising.

Hampshire County Interfaith Help Fund

This group works with other religious organizations to provide one-time emergency financial assistance to residents of Hampshire County who have exhausted their own resources.  Donations are welcome.  

Haiti Support Group

The Haiti Support Group was formed in 2010 to support the volunteer medical work of USNF members Doctors Matt Kane and Ann Markes in the Cap Haitien region of northern Haiti. While continuing to fund medical work, in recent years, we have also helped fund educational efforts for impoverished and orphaned children in the region.

Over the years, the congregation has supported our work generously. We conduct a service every two or three years to inform and update members and friends about the work we are doing in Haiti with their support. At each of these services, they have donated thousands of dollars. One year, our youth initiated a bottle drive that led to the purchase of a herd of goats for the northern town of Bas Limbe. The goats have since multiplied and provided families in several surrounding towns with much needed milk.

Another way we raise funds for our work is through a very successful annual book sale. The USNF Haiti Support Group is open to all members and friends interested in supporting the work of fellow Society members as they deliver health care and community support through several programs.

House and Property Committee

The House and Property committee helps maintain our beautiful building and grounds. Members work with the custodian and Manager of Congregational Operations.  Opportunities for involvement include serving on the committee, volunteering for spring and fall work parties, and other occasional tasks.   The group meetings are held once a month to review ongoing projects and address immediate concerns and long range projects. This is an active committee with a wide range of service possibilities! New members are always welcome. Contact the office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to learn more.

Interfaith Emergency Cot Shelter

This group provides volunteer assistance to the staff of the cot shelter. We organize  teams to cook and serve food for about 24 people. The YRUU youth also serve on one team a month.

Newcomer Connections Team

Newcomer Connections provides information for newcomers as they take their first steps into church activity.  The team also coordinate Sunday morning greeters and ushers, participates in membership classes, and offers several social events during the year.   New members are always very welcome, especially those newer to USNF.

Pastoral Care Team

The Pastoral Care team connects volunteers to members and friends who may need help or a friendly visit.  Anyone can volunteer to provide an occasional meal, ride, or other assistance to other members in need.  If you need assistance or want to volunteer, contact the Pastoral Care Team, or call the office 584-1390 and leave a message at extension 207.

Racial Justice Team

We work to support and strengthen the congregation’s commitment to racial justice. In the words of the proposed 8th principle of the UUA, “we affirm and promote journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community”. We offer a variety of learning opportunities to meet people’s learning styles, and work with other congregations and groups with similar goals. We encourage ourselves and the congregation to face and challenge personal and institutional habits that perpetuate white supremacy, unconscious bias and systemic oppression.

Religious Education Council

The RE Council oversees the Religious Education program for children from preschool through high school. In collaboration with the Director of Religious Education, the Council helps to select curricula; recruits, trains, and supports teachers; and plans special events for children and families.

Small Group Circles (SGC) and Planning Team

Small Group Circles offer a wonderful opportunity for newcomers and long-time UU members to get to know each another in a deeper way.  The meetings are built around quotations and questions addressing a different topic each month and led by a fellow UU.  Participants commit to once-a-month meetings, October through June.  The Planning Team organizes the sessions and logistics for the year, and collaborates in writing the monthly session guides.  For more information, contact Katie Olmstead at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 413-535-7250.

Social Justice - Coordinating Council Role

At USNF, social justice infuses virtually all that we do. We have a number of groups and teams that organize and sponsor activities and events and help to keep members informed about issues and social justice efforts in the greater community. Ad hoc groups often spring up around specific interests and humanitarian crises.

We show up at demonstrations and rallies, we circulate and sign petitions, and include a "social justice minute" in many of our worship services. We participate in efforts supporting local immmigrants and refugees, we cook for and serve at local shelters, take regular collections for the food pantry, and staff volunteer crews to clean the local bike trail. Reading our weekly newsletter and "Sunday Times" announcements that are emailed on Fridays are great ways to learn about our latests efforts and how you can join in.

Many groups and activities at USNF are involved in social justice work. For those projects that do not have a standing committee, the Coordinating Council serves as a hub.It also coordinates our share the plate program, selecting organizations from congregant suggestions to receive half of our Sunday collections. 

Stewardship Committee

The Stewardship Committee organizes activities that help build community within the Society and in the larger society outside USNF. We meet year-round, with an essential part of the group's work focusing on the annual pledge drive. See the Stewardship page for more information.

Sunday Service Helpers

Service helpers greet people, light the chalice at service, serve coffee at Social Hour, and contribute to the Sunday service in various other ways. It takes a community to put on a Sunday service and all members and friends can be a part of it! For more info and to sign up, view the Sunday Jobs page.

Transylvania Partner Church Committee

The Partner Church Committee maintains the Society's partnership with the Unitarian Church of Homoródkarácsonyfalva in Transylvania. Its activities include educating the congregation about our Transylvania connections, sending gifts and letters, raising funds to assist our Partner Church, and sponsoring visits.

USNF the Vote

UU the Vote lettersUSNF the Vote works to protect and strengthen democracy.  We work within the congregation, we work in concert with the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “UU THE VOTE” project, and we collaborate with other congregations and groups.

Voter suppression and other efforts to weaken democracy continue, and we take actions to overcome them, positive steps to make a more perfect union. In both 2020 and, over 150 congregants wrote postcards & letters and made phone calls – over 25,000 each year – to protect and turn out the vote. We regularly run postcarding campaigns, primarily through the Center for Common Ground’s “Reclaim our Vote” effort ( USNF the Vote uses two google groups, one to share action announcements, the other to participate in on-line discussions. If you want to join one of these groups, or learn more about USNF the Vote, contact the office and ask to be connected to Dave Roitman.

Web Committee

The Web Committee maintains the Society's website and works in coordination with the office, as well as other committees and groups. All levels of skill are welcome—it just takes a desire to learn and participate. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Worship Committee

The Worship Committee works with the minister and is responsible for the Society's lay-led worship services. New members are always welcome.

Youth Group

Our highly valued Youth Group is for high school aged youth. It is part of our Religious Education program. For more information, visit our Youth Group page or contact our Youth and Young Adult Coordinator (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

8th Principle Work

For several years, UU congregations across the country have been engaged in learning about and supporting adoption of an 8th principle to be added to the current seven.   The formal proposal is on hold because of an overall review of Section 2 of the UUA bylaws, which is where the principles are found.  Meanwhile many congregations have said, “We believe this is too important and we are not going to wait for the UUA. We will adopt it ourselves.”  As of June, over 215 congregations have already adopted the 8th principle.

The proposed 8th principle states:

“We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”

We are currently working with the wider congregation through its teams and committees to engage in learning about the proposed UUA 8th principle and to examine what we can do to participate in "accountably dismantling" behaviors and systems that sustain oppressions in our congregation and in ourselves.