BUILDING USE POLICY
So as to provide space for meetings and programs compatible with the ministry and purpose of this church and the wider Unitarian Universalist movement, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County institutes this policy to ensure that rental use of the buildings:
- does not unduly interfere with regular the programs of the church, its committees & members;
- promotes good stewardship of the building & its furnishings;
- and guards against building damage.
PRIORITIES, LONG-TERM USE & CONFLICTS
First Priority Use:
The Board of Trustees, church committees and other bodies of the Church, as well as affiliate Unitarian Universalist organizations, may use the buildings for their regular meetings, programs and events at no charge. A damage deposit may be required for higher risk situations. Please read Building Use Fees for Priority One and Two.
Second Priority Use:
Church members and pledging friends may use the building without charge for rites of passage provided that they have been members for six months, or a pledging friend for no less than one year, prior to the request for space use. For other significant events, contact the Church Administrator. Some of the above uses may require a damage deposit as listed in the Building Use Fees.
Third Priority Use:
Non-profit groups, organizations and individuals, whose purpose is compatible with the purpose of the church, may arrange for use of church space on a regular, continuing or single event basis with the approval of the Church Administrator. An Agreement for Use of Church Space is required, and such Agreements will be made only with organizations (and for uses) which qualify for real property tax exemption under the laws of New Jersey. Building Use Fees apply.
It is not the policy to allow a partisan political group to use building space unless the purpose of the group is clearly within the stated purpose of the church. However, the building may be used for free and open, non-partisan discussions of political issues. For example, a neighborhood meeting to discuss new school construction would be allowed, but a precinct caucus for a political party would not; a debate between candidates would be allowed, but a rally for one candidate would not. If the Church Administrator deems it advisable, such groups may be asked to seek sponsorship of an appropriate church committee. For example, a political issue discussion group may be referred to the Social & Earth Action Committee.
Long Term Use Requests:
Groups wishing to lease church space on a continuing long-term basis must receive prior approval of the Board of Trustees. Every effort should be made to ensure that this use of church space does not have a negative impact on the regular programs of the church.
The above priorities notwithstanding, once an event has been scheduled, it is “on the calendar” and will not be canceled by the church to accommodate a program with a higher priority. If a scheduling conflict inadvertently occurs, the Church Administrator should notify both groups promptly and involve both parties in efforts of collaboration so that, if at all possible, both groups can be accommodated.
AGREEMENT FOR USE OF CHURCH SPACE
Building use must be scheduled in advance through the church office. An Agreement for Use of Church Space shall be required for all third priority uses. It is the responsibility of the Church Administrator to inform users of the space and facilities available, and conditions for use. It is the responsibility of users to leave the building in good order.
An Agreement for Use of Church Space is not required for first and second priority users. However, all users of space must schedule their events through the Church Administrator. The name and phone number of a contact person is required. User groups need to be made aware of Space Use Guidelines.
In keeping with Unitarian Universalist principles, no individual or group will be denied use of building space on the basis of religion, race, sex, national origin, disability, sexual preference, age or ability to pay.
BUILDING SPACE USE GUIDELINES
Both buildings (35 & 47 Cleveland Street) are smoke-free environments, although moderate use of incense is permitted for special ceremonies.
Candle usage requires close supervision. If your group chooses to use candles, please ensure that they are placed in a bowl or a wide-based candle holder.
Meals are to be served and consumed in the Parish Hall, or the front lawn area only. Alcoholic beverages may be served in the Parish Hall only, and may never be sold.
Food and beverages must not be served or consumed in the Sanctuary, the Osgood Room (narthex) or the church office. Light refreshments may be consumed in any other area provided that all crumbs, cups, drips and wrappings are appropriately cleaned up at the conclusion of the event. Clean-up is especially necessary in child care rooms.
It is your responsibility to ensure that, at the conclusion of the event, each room is properly cleaned, organized and returned to the same condition you found it. All dishes should be washed and all garbage disposed of and placed in one of the trash cans outside beside Hale House.
If you use the kitchen area, all dishes used must be washed and put away, all equipment cleaned (stoves, coffee makers, sinks, etc.), and all floors washed as necessary.
During winter months, please inform the Church Administrator if you require any special heating needs for your event at the time you schedule your event.
All building exterior doors are to be kept locked at all times except in cases where your group has arranged to have greeters monitor these doors. Please ensure that all exterior doors close securely behind you whenever anyone enters or exits the building.
Please turn off all interior lights, including restrooms, before you exit the building at the conclusion of your event. Please ensure that all exterior doors are closed and locked if you are the last person to exit the building.
Telephones are available in the church office if someone needs to make a local or emergency telephone call.
Unattended open flames are strictly prohibited. All sources and uses of open flames MUST be attended to by at least one adult person AT ALL TIMES.
Children must never be left alone or unattended anywhere within church buildings and grounds. Adequate adult supervision is required for any events involving children or youth.
BUILDING USE FEES
Priority One and Two
Use of building space for a reception after a rite of passage or other group event sometimes involves considerable expense for the church. All members, friends and groups will be expected to pay the Additional Fees listed below, although they will not be charged for any room use fees.
Building Space Use Fees by Individuals or Groups:
- Sanctuary: $150
- Parish Hall: $150
- Sanctuary & Parish Hall, or Parish Hall & Kitchen: $250
- Sanctuary, Parish Hall & Kitchen: $350
- Meeting Room: $ 30
The fees listed above include use of the respective area for a five-hour time period. Fees beyond five hours will be negotiated.
Priority One, Two and Three
- Sexton: $100
- Damage Deposit: $200 for parties, receptions, & high-activity events