Bylaws of the Williston Federated Church

 

ARTICLE I – ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION
The name, location of principal office and purpose of the corporation shall be as set forth in the Articles of Association; and these by-laws, the powers of the corporation and of its trustees and members, and all matters concerning the conduct and regulation of the business of the corporation shall be subject to such provisions in regard thereto, if any, as are set forth in the Articles of Association; and the Articles of Association are hereby made a part of these by-laws. All references to these by-laws in the Articles of Association shall be construed to mean the Articles of Association of the corporation as from time to time amended.
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
A person may become a United Methodist or United Church of Christ member of the Federated Church by baptism and one of the following: (1) by professing his/her faith after attendance at membership classes; or (2) by reaffirmation of faith. A person may become a United Methodist, United Church of Christ, or associate member of the Federated Church by presenting a satisfactory letter of transfer from another church. An associate member is a person who wishes to affiliate with the Federated Church without joining either the United Methodist Church or the United Church of Christ. An associate member may vote on all matters except those questions concerning the real property of the corporation. Any member moving from the locality shall be granted, upon written request, a letter of transfer to the church of his/her choice.

The name of any non-resident or resident member may be removed from the rolls after said member has been inactive in the church for a period of no less than three years. Removal shall be by vote of those present at the Annual Meeting. The Membership committee shall have the responsibility of actively attempting to contact such members each year during the three-year period. If after such attempts there is no written reply or request, the removal of such name shall be proposed to the Annual Meeting to be voted upon. Exceptions may be made for those persons who are physically incapable of attendance at worship or financially unable to contribute — such exceptions being made at the discretion of the Membership committee.

ARTICLE III – ANNUAL MEETING
The Annual Meeting of the voting members of the corporation shall be held between the 15th of May and the 30th of June in each year as determined by the Official Board. Purposes for which an Annual Meeting is to be held, in addition to those prescribed by law, by the Articles of Association and by these by-laws, may be specified by the Lay Leader, or by a majority of the Official Board then in office, or by five or more members of the corporation who are entitled to vote.

If such Annual Meeting is omitted during the period herein provided for, a special meeting of the members of the corporation may be held in place thereof, and any business transacted or elections held at such special meeting shall have the same effect as if transacted or held at the Annual Meeting, and in such case all reference in these by-laws, except in this Article III and Article V, to the Annual Meeting of the members, shall be deemed to refer to such special meeting. Any such special meeting shall be called, and the purposes thereof shall be specified in the call, as provided in Article IV.

ARTICLE IV – SPECIAL MEETING OF MEMBERS
A special meeting of the corporation may be called at any time by a majority of the members of the Official Board then in office. A special meeting of the corporation shall be called by the Recording Secretary, or in the case of the death, absence, incapacity or refusal of the Recording Secretary, by some other officer upon written application of five or more members who are entitled to vote. Such a call shall state the time, place and purposes of the meeting. The nature of the business shall be stated in the notice. Procedure for notification of such a special meeting shall be the same as for the Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE V – PLACE OF MEETING OF MEMBERS
The Annual Meeting of the members shall be held at the church building in Williston, Vermont. Any special meeting of the members held in place of the Annual Meeting, and any other special meeting of the members shall be held at the church building in Williston, Vermont, or in such other place in Williston as is stated in the call. Any adjourned session of annual or special meeting of the members shall be held at the church building in Williston, Vermont, or at such place in Williston as is designated in the vote of adjournment.
ARTICLE VI – NOTICE OF MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
Notice of each meeting of the members shall be given at least two weeks in advance by two or more of the following: from the pulpit of the church, in its weekly bulletin, in The Steeple, or by mail.
ARTICLE VII – QUORUM OF MEMBERS
Thirty members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any regular or special meeting of the members. In any case, any meeting may be adjourned from time to time by a majority of the votes properly cast upon the question, whether or not a quorum is present, and the meeting may be held as adjourned without further notice.

When a quorum for an election is present at any meeting of the members, a plurality of the votes cast for any office shall elect to such office, except where a larger vote is required by law, by the Articles of Association or by these by-laws. When a quorum for the consideration of a question is present at any meeting, a majority of the votes properly cast upon the question shall decide the question except in any case where a larger vote is required by law, by the Articles of Association or by these by-laws.

ARTICLE VIII – VOTING
Each voting member shall have one vote. Members shall vote in person.
ARTICLE IX – OFFICIAL BOARD
The Official Board shall consist of twenty-six persons. Said Board shall include twelve Representatives of the Congregation (who shall be referred to as Stewards) who shall be elected by the membership and shall serve for three years. At each Annual Meeting four stewards shall be elected to the Official Board each to serve for three years following his/her election and until his/her successor is elected and qualified or until he/she sooner dies, resigns or is removed.

Said Official Board shall also include the chairperson or chairperson’s representative of each of the seven Standing Committees of the Church and Chairperson of the Trustees. Each such chairperson shall hold office until the first Annual Meeting following his/her election and until his/her successor is elected and qualified or until he/she sooner dies, resigns, or is removed.

In addition, the Official Board shall include the Lay Leader, the Recording Secretary, the Financial Secretary, the Treasurer, the Pastor, and the Pastoral Assistant.

At its first meeting following the Annual Meeting, the Official Board shall elect a chairperson from among its membership.

ARTICLE X – POWERS OF OFFICIAL BOARD
The Official Board shall have and may exercise all the powers of the corporation except such as are conferred upon the membership by law, by the Articles of Association or by these by-laws. The Board shall be responsible for the spiritual and material welfare of the parish. In cooperation with the various committees, the Official Board shall plan the program and direct the ministry of the parish. The Board shall distinguish between its administrative duties and its planning duties. The first meeting of each quarter shall be devoted to administrative duties and shall consist of all the members of the Official Board able to attend. The primary business of the other regular monthly meetings shall be devoted to creative planning. At these meetings the Financial Secretary and Treasurer may be excused. No business concerning property or finances shall be made at these meetings. The Board shall act on all recommendations made to it by the various committees. It shall be responsible for appointing members to all ad hoc committees, to fill committee vacancies, and to individual tasks. It shall also be responsible for all affairs which are not specifically delegated to other committees and officers.
ARTICLE XI – MEETING OF OFFICIAL BOARD
Regular monthly meetings of the Official Board may be held without call or formal notice at such places and at such times as the Board may determine. A regular meeting of the Official Board may be held without call or formal notice immediately after and at the same place as the Annual Meeting of the members.

Special meetings of the Official Board may be held at any time and at any place when called by the Lay Leader, or three or more Official Board members. Reasonable notice shall be given to each member of the Board by the Recording Secretary or by the officer or member of the Board calling the meeting. It shall be sufficient notice to a member of the Board to send notice by e-mail at least forty-eight hours, by US mail at least five days, or by telephone or in person at least twenty-four hours before the meeting.

ARTICLE XII – QUORUM OF OFFICIAL BOARD
At any meeting of the Official Board, a quorum for any election or for the consideration of any question shall consist of a majority of the members of the Board then in office, but any meeting may be adjourned from time to time by a majority of the votes cast upon the question, whether or not a quorum is present, and the meeting may be held as adjourned without further notice. When a quorum is present at any meeting, the votes of a majority of the members of the Board present and voting shall be requisite and sufficient for election to any office, and a majority of the members of the Board present and voting shall decide any question brought before such meeting, except in any case where a larger vote is required by law, by the Articles of Association or by these by-laws.
ARTICLE XIII – BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Board of Trustees shall consist of nine members elected by the membership, and shall serve for three years following their election. At each Annual Meeting three Trustees shall be elected from the membership and will serve until the third Annual Meeting following his/her election, and until his/her successor is elected and qualified or until he/she sooner dies, resigns or is removed. The Trustees shall have the responsibility for the supervision, oversight, and care of all real property and equipment of the Williston Federated Church and shall have responsibility of all invested funds. The Trustees shall elect, at the first meeting of the Board of Trustees following the Annual Meeting, a chairperson, a secretary, and a treasurer. The secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings and the treasurer shall receive and disburse any investment or trust income as directed by the trustees for the maintenance and/or improvement of the property. The Board of Trustees shall be responsible to the Official Board.

The Trustees, in consultation with the Pastor and the Pastoral and Staff Relations Committee shall be responsible for the job description, hiring, supervision, annual evaluation, and termination of the custodian(s) and maintenance staff, and shall communicate the job description and evaluation to the custodian(s) and maintenance staff and to the Pastoral and Staff Relations Committee.

ARTICLE XIV – OFFICERS
The officers of the Williston Federated Church shall consist of the Pastor, The Lay Leader, the Recording Secretary, the Financial Secretary and the Treasurer. The corporation may also have such officers, if any, as the Official Board may in its discretion appoint. All officers shall be members of the Official Board.

All officers, except the Pastor, shall be elected at the Annual Meeting and shall hold office during the subsequent year. Interim vacancies shall be filled by a vote of the Official Board. Any person shall hold only one office at any one time. Each officer shall hold office until the next Annual Meeting of the membership or until his/her successor is elected and qualified or until he/she sooner dies, resigns or is removed or becomes disqualified. Each officer shall retain his/her authority at the pleasure of the Official Board.

ARTICLE XV – PASTOR
The Pastor shall hold office for an indefinite period of time. He/she may be removed by resignation or by a vote of the congregation upon recommendation of the Pastoral and Staff Relations Committee and concurrence of the Official Board. In the case of a United Methodist pastor, he or she may also be removed by appointment to another church by the Bishop. The Pastor shall be responsible for the spiritual welfare of the parish with the assistance of the various committees, officers and boards. The Pastor shall be a member of all boards and committees with the right to vote. The Pastor in consultation with the Pastoral and Staff Relations Committee shall be responsible for the job description, hiring, supervision, annual evaluation, and termination of the office personnel.
ARTICLE XVI – LAY LEADER
The Lay Leader shall be the lay spiritual leader of the congregation and the chief executive officer of the corporation. The Lay Leader shall preside at all meetings of the members at which he/she is present, except as otherwise voted by the Official Board. He/She shall assist the Pastor in directing and giving guidance to the various boards and committees of the church. He/she shall be a member of all committees of the church, with the right to vote.
ARTICLE XVII – RECORDING SECRETARY
The Recording Secretary shall keep a true record of all votes and the proceedings of the meetings of the members and of the Official Board. These records shall be kept in the Church office and shall be open at all reasonable times to the inspection of the members. In the absence of the Recording Secretary from any such meeting, a temporary Recording Secretary shall be chosen who shall record the proceedings thereof.

The Recording Secretary shall keep custody of the corporate seal.

The Recording Secretary shall procure and file in his/her own office and in the office of the clerk of the town where the principal office of the corporation is located certified copies of all papers required by law to be filed with the Secretary of State except the annual report of the corporation. A copy of all annual reports shall be filed with the Recording Secretary one week prior to the Annual Meeting. The Recording Secretary shall forward the Annual Reports to the Troy Conference and to the Vermont United Church of Christ Conference.

ARTICLE XVIII – FINANCIAL SECRETARY
The Financial Secretary shall be responsible for keeping accurate records of the contributions of all individuals and shall receive, count and accurately record all income for the current expense and missions programs of the church. The Financial Secretary shall be a member of the Finance Committee. The Financial Secretary shall, after counting, recording, and reporting to the Treasurer each week’s income, deposit all collected monies in the appropriate church accounts.
ARTICLE XIX – TREASURER
The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the corporation and shall be in charge of its funds and financial records and also be the chief accounting officer of the corporation and shall be in charge of its books of account and accounting records and of its accounting procedures, and shall have such other duties and powers as may be designated from time to time by the Official Board. The Treasurer shall be a member of the Finance Committee. The Treasurer shall be responsible to the Official Board. The Treasurer shall submit a quarterly report to the Official Board and a monthly report to the Finance Committee. The Treasurer shall receive weekly reports from the Financial Secretary of all money paid into the church for the current expense and missions programs, record same into the proper accounts and pay bills upon direction of the Official Board. The Treasurer upon going out of office shall deliver to his/her successor all books, papers, accounts and funds that he/she possesses.
ARTICLE XX – RESIGNATIONS AND REMOVALS
Any member of the Official Board, Board of Trustees, a Standing Committee, or any officer may resign at any time by delivering his/her resignation in writing to the Lay Leader, or the chairperson of the Official Board. The members, at any meeting called for the purpose, may remove from office any member of the Official Board, Board of Trustees, a Standing Committee, or officer. The Official Board may at any time terminate or modify the authority of any officer.
ARTICLE XXI – VACANCIES
If the office of any member of the Official Board, Board of Trustees, Standing Committee or of any other office becomes vacant, by reason of death, resignation, removal, or disqualification, a successor or successors may be elected by the members at a meeting called for the purpose, which may be the same meeting at which a former holder of such office was removed. In the absence of such an election by the members, a successor or successors may be elected by the Official Board. The Official Board shall have and may exercise all its powers notwithstanding the existence of one or more vacancies in its number.
ARTICLE XXII – STANDING COMMITTEES
There are seven Standing Committees. The chairpersons of these shall be elected annually at the first meeting of the committee following the Annual Meeting. No person shall serve for more than two consecutive three year terms on the same Standing Committee. Minutes of the meetings of the Standing Committees shall be retained by the Committee chairperson and passed on to the next chairperson. The seven Standing Committees shall consist of the following:

MISSIONS AND SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMITTEE

This committee will consist of no less than six members (two or more being elected each year by the membership). The responsibility of this committee will be to provide for the distribution of literature and information concerning the missionary activities (domestic and foreign) of the Church. Other responsibilities are to identify and promote community programs, to study and develop action projects in the areas of Christian social concerns, peace and world order, human relations and economic affairs, and health and welfare. The committee will endeavor to make known periodic missionary emphases of both the United Methodist and the United Church of Christ denominations. The Church Treasurer will disburse missions monies at the direction of this committee. It will inform the parish of the qualification and needs for missionary personnel and will present the challenge of both domestic and foreign missionary service to the congregation.

EDUCATION COMMITTEE

The Education Committee shall consist of no less than six members (two or more being elected each year by the membership). It is the responsibility of the Education Committee to provide the means for an effective program of Christian education in this parish for all age groups. The Committee shall, after studying the educational needs of the parish, formulate and carry out the policies to meet those needs. This committee, in consultation with the pastor, shall be responsible for making sure that a confirmation class is offered.

FINANCE COMMITTEE

The Finance Committee shall consist of no less than nine elected members (three or more being elected each year by the membership). The Financial Secretary and the Treasurer shall be ex officio members of this committee.

The Committee shall be responsible for the development and maintenance of the operating budget. The committee shall propose a yearly budget which shall be accepted, rejected, or modified by the Official Board and presented for approval to the Annual Meeting. Subsequent modifications to the budget shall be approved by the Official Board. The committee is also responsible for educating the congregation about the meaning of Christian financial stewardship, and shall administer an annual stewardship campaign to support the operating budget of the church. All fund-raising activities within the church, including capital fund-raising campaigns, must be coordinated through the Finance Committee. The committee is responsible for maintaining and publicizing the church’s planned giving opportunities.

The Finance Committee shall present a financial summary quarterly to the Official Board.

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

The Membership Committee shall consist of no less then six members (two or more being elected each year by the membership). The over-riding objective of the committee shall be to encourage people of the community in commitment to the Christian Faith. It shall be responsible to see that records of membership, baptisms, weddings and funerals are kept and that these records are reviewed and updated annually. The Committee, in cooperation with the pastor, shall be responsible for membership training classes for prospective new members. The committee may annually offer a series of discussions in which members of the church can explore and/or renew their membership commitments. The committee shall arrange for a continuing program for visitation of newcomers to the community, and shall arrange for the visitation of church and community members according to their needs. The Committee shall schedule and plan such special activities and organizations as may be needed to promote Christian fellowship in the community.

PASTORAL AND STAFF RELATIONS COMMITTEE

The Pastoral and Staff Relations committee shall be composed of no less than six members (two or more being elected each year by the membership). The Committee shall cultivate the pastor-parish relationship, providing opportunities for counseling on matters pertaining to the Pastor’s relationship with the congregation including proposals for salary, travel expense, vacation, housing and other matters relating to the effectiveness and well being of the Pastor and his/her family. It may arrange with the Official Board for necessary time and financial assistance for his/her attendance at such schools or institutions as may serve his/her intellectual and spiritual growth. The committee shall provide a sufficiently clear “job description” of the pastor’s job and the needs of the parish so that in case it becomes necessary to find a new pastor there will be guidelines for selection and a definite picture of the work outlined for the new pastor.

The Committee shall create a guide for making a yearly evaluation of the pastor’s effectiveness in carrying out his/her job. The committee shall make such evaluation each year prior to the end of the calendar year, and shall recommend to the Official Board a decision to retain or not to retain the present pastoral leadership.

When a vacancy occurs in pastoral leadership, this committee shall be responsible for selection of a pastor to fill the vacancy.

The Committee shall participate with the Pastor and the appropriate Standing Committee in the recruitment, hiring, supervision, annual evaluation, and termination of all regularly paid Church employees. It shall also participate with the appropriate Standing Committee in recommending to the Finance Committee yearly wage or salary adjustments for all regularly paid employees. The Committee in consultation with the Pastor shall be responsible for the job description, hiring, supervision, annual evaluation, and termination of any staff members not defined elsewhere in these by-laws. The committee shall assist the Pastor with the job description, hiring, supervision, and annual evaluation of the office personnel

THE MUSIC AND WORSHIP COMMITTEE

The Music and Worship Committee shall consist of no less than six members (two or more being elected each year by the membership). This committee oversees the worship life of the congregation including pulpit supply and the securing of guest pastors and organist. It shall be responsible for providing the services of a choir director and organist, obtaining music for the choir library, and for the improvement and advancement of the music program necessary for the life of the congregation when it worships together.

It shall help the congregation become increasingly aware of the meaning, purpose and practice of worship. With the pastor, it shall recommend plans for study by individuals and groups of the art of worship. It shall provide for ushers, greeters, altar appointments and for the general well being of the sanctuary and have general oversight over the communion stewards.

The Committee, in consultation with the Pastor and the Pastoral and Staff Relations Committee, shall be responsible for the job description, hiring, supervision, annual evaluation, and termination of the music personnel and shall communicate the job description and evaluation to the personnel involved and to the Pastoral and Staff Relations Committee.

YOUTH MINISTRIES COMMITTEE

The Youth Ministries Committee shall consist of no less than six members, three or more adult and three or more youth. The adults shall be elected, one or more each year, by the membership. The youth shall be selected by the youth in consultation with the adult members. An effort should be made to have a majority of the committee be youth. It is the responsibility of the Youth Ministries Committee to provide the planning and implementation of a Christian Youth Fellowship program for youth in grades 6 through 12.

The Committee in consultation with the Pastor and the Pastoral and Staff Relations Committee shall be responsible for the job description, hiring, supervision, annual evaluation, and termination of the Coordinator of Youth Ministries and shall communicate the job description and evaluation to the Coordinator and to the Pastoral and Staff Relations Committee.

ARTICLE XXIII – PERMANENT COMMITTEES
There shall be the following permanent committees (the chairpersons of which are not automatically members of the Official Board):

AUDITING COMMITTEE

The Auditing Committee shall consist of three members (one being elected each year by the members). This committee shall be responsible for conducting, prior to the Annual Meeting, an audit of all the financial records of the church and its organizations, according to an auditing guide provided by the Official Board. The member whose term expires at the coming Annual Meeting shall be chairperson.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE

The Nominating Committee shall consist of three members from the congregation (one being elected each year by the members) and the pastor. The pastor shall be chairperson. The committee shall present a slate of nominations for the various permanent offices, committees and boards each year to the Annual Meeting. If a vacancy shall occur in any committee, the Official Board shall temporarily fill the vacancy until the next Annual Meeting. The committee shall nominate a person for only one Standing Committee position at any one time.

PARSONAGE COMMITTEE

The Parsonage Committee shall consist of five members. There will be one member elected by the membership for a three year term each year, a representative of the pastoral family, and a Trustee appointed by the Trustees. The chairperson shall be the member appointed by the Trustees. The committee shall be responsible to the Trustees for the maintenance, interior decoration, and livability of the parsonage.

ARTICLE XXIV – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year shall be from July 1st through June 30th.
ARTICLE XXV – AMENDMENTS
Any amendments of these by-laws shall be proposed by the Official Board and ratified at an annual or special meeting of the Williston Federated Church by two-thirds of the members present and voting.
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