Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro Bylaws
(Revised March 2009)
Article I. Name
The name of this religious society shall be the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Statesboro.
Article II. Purpose
The purpose of this fellowship is to further individual freedom of belief, discipleship to the advancing of truth, the democratic process in human relations, brotherhood and sisterhood undivided by nation, race, or creed, and allegiance to the cause of a united world community.
Article III. Membership
- Voting membership in the Fellowship is open to any person who is at least 16 years of age, who is in sympathy with the purpose and principles of Unitarian Universalism, who actively contributes to the life of the Fellowship (through regular attendance at services and functions, service to the Fellowship, or financial support), and who has read the bylaws. Individuals become members by informing the Chair of the Membership Committee of their wish to become a member and by signing the Membership Book. Members may vote in Congregational Meetings, hold elected offices and appointed positions in the Fellowship, and serve as a Fellowship delegate to the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Members receive free copies of The World and the Fellowship’s newsletter.
- It is generally understood that all Members will have an understanding of the history of and current issues in Unitarian Universalism. It is specifically understood that membership is open to all qualified persons regardless of color, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, age, or national origin.
- An individual who is in sympathy with the purpose and principles of Unitarian Universalism and who wishes to be involved in the Fellowship, but who does not wish to become a Member of the Fellowship may be designated as a Friend of the Fellowship. An individual who wishes to become a Friend may do so by contacting the Chair of the Membership Committee. Friends are welcome to participate in the Fellowship’s activities, may receive the Fellowship’s newsletter, and may serve in appointed positions in the Fellowship, but they may not vote in Congregational Meetings, hold elected office, serve as a Fellowship delegate to the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, or receive free copies of The World.
- Members who have not actively contributed to the life of the Fellowship (through regular attendance at services and functions, service to the Fellowship, or financial support) for the period of one year will be designated as Inactive Members at the end of that year. (During the first year of inactivity, individuals will continue to receive all benefits of membership.) Inactive members may reinstate their membership by requesting a change in membership status from the Membership Chair and by actively contributing to the life of the Fellowship as stipulated above.
- Individuals who no longer wish to be formally associated with the Fellowship may terminate their membership by notifying the Chair of the Membership Committee. Members who have moved away, who cannot be located, or who have died will be dropped from membership, as will those who have been inactive in the Fellowship for a period of two years. (During a second year of inactivity, individuals will not receive the benefits of membership.) Individuals who have been dropped from membership may reinstate active membership by requesting a change in membership status from the Chair of the Membership Committee and by actively contributing to the life of the Fellowship as stipulated above.
- The determination of active, inactive, and dropped membership status will be made annually by the Board of Trustees, typically in December.
Article IV. Denominational Affiliation
This society shall be a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association and of the Thomas Jefferson District. It is the intention of this society to make annual financial contributions equal to its full share as determined by the Association and the District.
Article V. Meetings
The dates of regular non-business meetings of the congregation shall be determined by the congregation itself, or by any person or persons designated by it. The annual business meeting shall be held each year in the month of September, October, November or December at such time and place as shall be fixed by the Executive Committee. Special business meetings shall be called at the written request of any five members. 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 mail fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting. Eleven (11) members or twenty percent (20%) of the members, whichever is fewer, shall constitute a quorum.
All meetings of the society, of the Executive Committee, or of any other committees shall be open to all voting members of the society as observers when they are not members of the committee. If it is necessary for a committee to go into executive session, no final or formal actions may be taken while the body is in executive session.
Article VI. Officers
- A. At each annual meeting there shall be chosen by majority ballot a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, all of whom shall hold their offices for one year and until their successors have been elected and qualified, and who shall perform the duties usually pertaining to those offices. These officers shall constitute the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall also include the immediate Past President for a term of one year. If the current President serves for two or three years, the Executive Committee will select an At-Large Member from the Fellowship to replace the immediate Past President for the remainder of the current President’s term. The Executive Committee shall have general charge of the property of the society and the control of its administration, including the appointment of such committees as it may deem necessary. It may fill vacancies with persons who shall serve until the next annual meeting.
- B. Officers shall serve terms of one year with a maximum of three consecutive terms in office. After this maximum term, the officer must step down for at least one year.
- C. A Nominating Committee of three members who shall not be members of the Executive Committee shall also be chosen prior to the annual meeting. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the annual meeting by any voting member.
- D. Duties of the officers:
- The duties of the President shall be the general and active management of the operation of the Fellowship and the supervision of the policies. The President shall execute bonds, mortgages, and other contracts under the seal of the corporation. The President shall have the power to appoint assistants as needed.
- The duties of the Vice-President shall be those activities dealing with membership and such other duties as may be delegated by the President or the Board of Trustees.
- The duties of the Secretary shall be to keep the minute book, membership lists, and corporate seal and other such duties as delegated by the President or the Board of Trustees.
- The duties of the Treasurer shall be to manage the financial affairs of the Fellowship and to recommend actions concerning financial affairs to the President or the Board of Trustees. The Treasurer shall be an Ex-Officio Member of the Finance Committee.
Article VII. Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees as a body shall be listed as owners of record of any property acquired by the corporation. The initial membership of the Board of Trustees shall be the elected officers. As the membership grows, the number of members on the Board of Trustees may increase to five percent (5%) of the membership but shall not be fewer than three members.
Article VIII. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year shall end December 31.
Article IX. Dissolution
Should this society cease to function and the membership vote to disband, any assets of the society shall be transferred to the Unitarian Universalist Association for its general purposes, this transfer to be made in full compliance with whatever laws are applicable.
Article X. Amendments
- These bylaws, so far as shall be allowed by law, may be amended or replaced at any meeting of the society by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting, provided a quorum is present. Notice of any proposed change shall be contained in the notice of the meeting
- Any amendment to these bylaws put forth at any official meeting of the Fellowship without prior notification of members shall require a unanimous affirmative vote of those present and voting, provided a quorum is present.
Article XI. Committees
Committees designated to further the interests of the society shall be formed only with the consent of the membership. The committees of this society and their duties shall include: the Nominating Committee, which shall be responsible for preparing a slate of officers to be voted on by the membership at the annual meeting, and other such committees as may be appointed by the President or Board of Trustees with the consent of the membership. The Committee on Ministry shall consist of three members chosen by the Executive Board from a slate of six provided by the minister. The purpose of this committee shall be to strengthen the quality of ministry by serving as a support group for the minister and a communication channel between the minister and the congregation.
Adopted April 1, 1990
Amended June 9, 1994
Amended January 19, 1997
Amended March 7, 1998
Amended April 30, 2006
Amended March 2009