Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Warrensburg By-Laws
The name of this spiritual society is the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Warrensburg, Missouri. The purpose of this society is to foster liberal religious living through worship, study, service, and fellowship. The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Warrensburg is to be a sharing, nurturing and caring community which encourages spiritual growth through free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We honor the inherent worth and dignity of every person and we respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. We are committed to social action on behalf of local and global communities.
It is specifically understood that membership in this congregation is not, and cannot be, predicated upon race, color, sex or sexual orientation.
Any person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age may become a voting member of this society if they are in sympathy with its purpose, have signed the Membership Book, and support the fellowship through financial and personal participation. All who sign the Membership Book shall become eligible to vote thirty (30) days after they sign.
Removal of Membership
A member’s name shall be removed from the Membership Roll in case of: (1) the member’s death; (2) written request by the member to the Secretary; (3) one year without involvement, pending review by the Membership; or (4) removal by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the enrolled Membership for actions that threaten the well-being of the Congregation.
The annual Fellowship meeting shall be held each year on the last Sunday in April at such time and place as shall be fixed by the Executive Committee. The purpose of the annual meeting shall be to elect officers, elect delegates to the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, adopt the budget for the following fiscal year and to hear officers’, ministers’ and committees’ reports.
Meetings shall be open to the membership and minutes of each meeting shall be made available to the membership.
Special business meetings of the Fellowship may be called by the Executive Committee, the minister, or at the written request to the Executive Committee of any five (5) members.
Method of Notification
The business to be transacted at all meetings shall be set forth in the notice of the meeting, which shall be sent to all members by e-mail if available and if not, by U.S. mail ten (10) days prior to the meeting.
Thirty (30) percent of the membership shall constitute a quorum.
A simple majority of those votes cast shall be sufficient to either approve or disapprove matters submitted for determination by vote except that approval and revision of the budget shall require a 2/3 approval of members present.
Absentee and Proxy Voting
Absentee and proxy voting will not be allowed. Exceptions will be granted by the committee of the whole on an issue by issue basis.
Committee of the Whole
Authority with respect to the governance of the congregation and the conduct of the Congregation’s business and administration of its affairs shall be vested in the active membership of the congregation, or the Committee of the Whole, subject to the provisions of law, any limitations imposed in the Articles of Incorporation, the articles of Association, or these By-laws, and as may be amplified in the organization’s Policy and Procedures Manual.
A Committee of the Whole quorum shall consist of at least thirty (30) percent of the membership. Members present at a duly called and held meeting at which a quorum is initially present may continue to do business notwithstanding the loss of a quorum at the meeting provided that any action taken after the loss of a quorum is approved by at least a majority of the members required to constitute the previously existing quorum.
The Committee of the Whole shall retain and not delegate to any congregational committee the authority and responsibility to (1) ordain a minister, (2) call a minister to serve the congregation, (3) dismiss a minister, (4) approve contracts and other matters related to the purchase, sale, or mortgage of real property, (5) adopt the congregation’s operating budget, and (6) amend the Articles of Association and By-laws.
There shall be an Executive Committee made up of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chair of the Program Committee, Chair of the Membership/Publicity/Communication Committee, and Chair of the Finance/Building Committee.
The Executive Committee may act as described in the By-Laws.
The Officers shall perform the duties normally associated with their respective offices. In addition and not in limitation, the Officers shall have the duties defined herein and in a statement of “Officer and Committee Responsibilities” approved by the Membership.
Responsibilities of the President
The President shall preside at Fellowship meetings, shall provide leadership for the operations of the Fellowship and shall represent the Fellowship on all appropriate occasions. Presidential duties may be delegated.
Responsibilities of the Vice President
The Vice President shall act in the absence of or at the request of the President, at which time she/he shall have all powers and functions applicable to the President.
Responsibilities of the Secretary
The Secretary shall have general charge of and responsibility for all non-financial records of the Fellowship and shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings of the Fellowship and the Executive Committee. The Secretary shall maintain records of membership in the Fellowship and the voting eligibility of the members. The Secretary shall keep the Congregation informed of the actions of the Executive Committee.
Responsibilities of the Treasurer
The Treasurer shall receive and safely keep all money and other property of the Fellowship entrusted to his or her care; make disbursements as directed or approved by the Executive Committee; keep a complete account of the finances of the Fellowship, including direction and coordination of any public accounting firm employed by the Fellowship; render a current statement at each regular meeting of the Executive Committee and of the membership; and ensure that all federal, state or local returns and reports or other items required by law are properly prepared and filed with the appropriate authorities in a timely manner.
The Executive Committee may appoint standing and temporary committees as it deems necessary. All committees shall report to the Executive Committee at the time and in the form determined by them. All committee chairpersons shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Committee.
The standing committees shall be Membership/Publicity/Communication Committee, Program Committee, and Finance/Building Committee. Each committee will have a chair and at least one additional member. Members will be elected for a year term at the annual meeting.
At each annual Fellowship meeting, the Executive Committee shall submit an operating budget for the coming fiscal year. The budgeted expenses may not exceed the anticipated income. A budget is adopted by a 2/3 vote of the members present at the meeting. Once a budget is approved, the Executive Committee may authorize and expend the funds as budgeted. The Executive Committee may reallocate funds, as long as the reallocation does not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the approved.
The fiscal year of this Fellowship shall begin on May first of each year and end on April thirtieth of the following year.
In keeping with Unitarian Universalist Association guidelines, expenditures and investments must meet social responsibility criteria. All such purchases and investments shall be from companies that: do not produce products, offer services, or operate in a manner which might be unsafe to the consumer or threatening to our environment; that are not predominantly involved in the production of war material; that are not dependent on discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, age, national origin, or religion; that do not exploit the poor or deprived for their business success; and that provide safe and healthy work environments and fair and equal employment opportunities for all persons in their labor force.
Any action to dissolve the Fellowship must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of eligible Voting Members of the Fellowship present at a meeting called to specifically consider such action, for which meeting written notice has been issued to all Members eligible to vote in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws. Should this Fellowship cease to function and the membership vote to disband, any accrued assets of the Fellowship will be assigned to the Unitarian Universalist Association if any remain after payment of debts.
A duly elected or appointed officer, trustee, employee, or agent of the Fellowship shall not be personally liable to the Fellowship or to its Members for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty, except for liability resulting from: (1) any breach of duty to the Fellowship or its members, or (2) acts or omissions not in good faith or which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of the law. The Fellowship shall indemnify any person and his/her estate and personal representative against all liability and expense incurred by reason of the person being or having been duly elected or appointed as an officer, trustee, employee or agent of the Fellowship.
These bylaws shall be liberally interpreted in order to accomplish their basic intent, which is hereby stated to be the efficient operation and management of the Fellowship in order to accomplish the purposes stated in the Fellowship’s mission statement.
Protection of Non-Profit Status.
Neither the Church, nor the Board, nor any officer or employee of the Church shall take any action or allow any activity or use of Church property which shall endanger the non-profit corporate status or charitable, tax-exempt status of the Church or its property. Nothing in these bylaws shall be construed to allow a violation of this section.
Initial Adoption of Bylaws
The initial adoption of these bylaws shall be by majority vote of those persons attending a meeting called and held for such purpose, without regard to any voting qualifications or requirements provided for in these bylaws.
Amendments to the Articles of Incorporation, or to these Bylaws, may be made at duly called Annual or Special Meetings, and voted upon, affirmatively, by at least two-thirds (2/3) of those present and voting. The content of such amendments shall be stated in the notice or call for the meeting as prescribed in these bylaws.
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