Our Ministries

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UUCP thrives because of the hard work and dedication of the people who support our mission. One way to make a difference is to join one of the ministries, or teams that volunteer to take on various tasks or activities, which attend to and serve our members, friends, and the community. These activities are shaped and directed by our understanding of our mission and include everything from planning our Sunday services and programs, to planning communications, or planning and supporting the religious education program.

What is a Ministry?

Groups of people from our congregation, who volunteer to take on a task or take on activities, which attend to and serve our members, friends, and the community. These activities are shaped and directed by our understanding of our mission and include everything from planning our Sunday services and programs, to planning communications, or planning and supporting the religious education program.

Please click on the title to read more about each ministry.

The Racial and Social Justice Team grew out of the UUCP participation in the UUA Antiracist Multicultural Congregations Pilot Project. The Team has a 3-strand focus which includes: anti-racism and anti-oppression work, social service work, and the work of celebrating diversity. The UUCP Vision Statement and the UUCP Resolution On Anti-Racism are the guidelines for the development of the tasks and functions of the Justice Team.

What We Do:

  • Plan and implement programs of antiracism and anti-oppression study and action.
  • Serve the homeless and the hungry.
  • Create alliances with community and religious groups to foster racial and social justice education and action.
  • Sponsor celebrations of our diversity of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and age.
  • Acknowledge and develop the connection between justice seeking and the spiritual.
  • Coordinators of the UUCP JaZZEvent, a UUCP fundraiser that celebrates jazz, America’s classical music. Each year a musician or cause is chosen to be honored for their role in jazz history. For the past few years, piano virtuoso, composer, educator James Weidman, and the William Paterson University Jazz Chamber Ensemble have played at our JaZZ extravaganza. The Social Justice Team meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Join us! For more information, contact the Racial and Social Justice Team
Internet Team

The mission of the Internet Team is to promote activities of our congregation in order to attract new people and continue to inform our current members and friends about upcoming services, events, and topics of interest. Through updated content on our website as well as Facebook and Twitter, our team functions as an editorial board through which the Congregation and our other Ministries can get the word out about the wonderful things we do at UUCP through the web, email and social media.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact the Internet Team at webmanager@uucpalisades.org

Growth and Membership

The “Growth and MembershipTeam” coordinates the set-up of our Fellowship Coffee Hour to ensure that it is a friendly and nurturing environment for all.  We have a Welcome Table in place to welcome visitors to our congregation.  At least one member of the M-Team is available each Sunday to greet our visitors and answer any questions they may have regarding our congregation and/or Unitarian Universalism.  The M-Team offers new visitors at Sunday service the opportunity to fill out a Visitor Card and then follows up by sending a welcome letter from our minister.

In addition, the M-Team works closely with our minister in scheduling and organizing Orientation Classes, which are informal gatherings of people interested in learning more about UUism and our congregation and New MemberSundays which formally and warmly welcome new members into UUCP.  The M-Team maintains a directory of members and friends, and updates are sent out semi-annually to the congregation.

Caring Connections is that part of our team that reaches out to those in need within our congregation. We send cards to members and friends that have experienced a significant event in their lives (e.g. an illness, the arrival of a child), or just to say hello if we haven’t seen you in a while.

To foster connections within the congregation we schedule events such as the Welcome Back Picnic at the beginning of the church year and Circle Suppers which are intimate dinners where members and friends meet at each other’s home to share a meal, conversation and laughter.

For more information about the M-Team contact us at Membership. Or feel free to learn more from speaking with: Tom Gundling (Chair), Carol Hoffman, Maurene Laffey or Karen Washington.

Religious Education

As Unitarian Universalists (UU) our congregation encourages young and old to develop their own spiritual truth and meaning. We believe it is important to help children to understand our principles of justice, love, trust, safety, tolerance and encouragement and to recognize that we are all part of an interdependent web of life. Our Religious Education (RE) program invites children to pursue spiritual growth through learning about the world’s diverse traditions of faith and respect for the beliefs of others as well as learn about social justice, which is the foundation for our philosophy of how our faith is lived out in the world.

Learn more about the RE Program for Children and the curriculum.


Responsible for the financial health of the congregation, which involves budgeting, paying bills and of course raising the money to pay them. Finance runs most of our fund raisers including the pledge drive, auction, ethnic dinner and garage sale. For more information please contact us.

Program Team

The Program Team is responsible for planning Sunday services. The team meets approximately every other month. Currently, our team has six members: Saritha Clements, Judy Manton, Debbie Pires, Bonnie Savitz, Karen Washington, and Program Team Chair – Arlene Holpp Scala. Together with Reverend Dodenhoff, we plan upcoming Sunday morning services. Since our minister is part-time, to fill in the weeks when Reverend Dodenhoff is not here, the Program Team also researches and books other guest speakers, religious leaders, and congregants to lead services throughout the year.

The Program Team strives to plan services that include:

  • Meaningful content
  • Spirituality
  • Inclusiveness and outreach to those present and others
  • Building of UUCP community
  • Connection to Unitarian Universalism

Excellent delivery and an uplifting tone are important to our services. Since our congregation cares about music, we also strive to include hymns sung by the congregation, presentations by the choir, recorded music, and live presentations by pianists and occasionally other musicians. For more information contact us.