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 (
List of Current Committees and Groups
200th Anniversary Committee
The 200th Anniversary Committee is planning events to celebrate our congregation in 2025 and move us into the next 100 years. The committee welcomes participants in an on-going way or to help with a time-limited task. All are welcome to check out the team and what might be needed. The committee meets the first Wednesday of every month 7:00 to 8:00pm on Zoom. Contact the committee at (
For more information: 200th Anniversary Committee or email
The choir rehearses on most Thursday evenings and sings approximately monthly at Sunday morning services. Contact Ellen Cogen, our Music Director (
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.
For more information: Climate Action Group
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.
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.
For more information: Contact the Council (
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 medical services in the Cap Haitien region of northern Haiti. 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 have conducted a service every two or three years to inform and update members and friends about the work we are supporting and received donations at that service. In the past, we have also run successful book sales. 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.
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.
For more information: Haiti Support Group
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 (
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.
For more information: Racial Justice Team
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)
Small Group Circles offer a wonderful opportunity for newcomers and long-time UU members to get to know each another in a deeper way. Participants register in September and are placed in a specif circle. Each circle is led by a USNF community member and meets once a month between October and June. The meetings are structured around a monthly session guide; each session has a period for reflecting on quotes and questions about a specific theme, followed by a period of sharing and listening.
For more information: Small Group Circles
Small Group Circles Planning Team
The Small Group Circles Planning Team organizes the circles for the year and develops the monthly session guides. The Planning Team begins meeting in July and starts developing the monthly session guides. The team continues to meet throughout the year to work on the session guides and discuss the progress of the Small Group Circles. New members are invited to join the team at the start of the planning process in June/July.
For more information: Contact Katie Olmstead by email at
Social Media Team
Social media is an extension of our brick-and-mortar presence on Main St., Northampton, and furthers our mission of building "a caring community where children and adults can safely learn and grow – where we are supported and challenged on life's journeys, called to service and to our higher selves, and inspired to better our world." Our social media team keeps our social media presence accurate and up-to-date, relevant to the Society's work, consistent with its values, and informative both to the membership and to the outside world. The team manages the:
- USNF Facebook page - a public page where we post announcements. "Like" our page to see our news in your Facebook feed!
- USNF Facebook group - a moderated group where members and friends can make posts and engage in discussions. Join the group to participate!
- USNF Instagram - where we post information and share photos of our community. Follow us and tag us in your USNF photos/posts!
Contact the Social Media team at
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
USNF 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. 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.
For more information: USNF the Vote
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
The Worship Committee works with the minister and is responsible for the Society's lay-led worship services. New members are always welcome.
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 (