Bylaws

First Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
Las Vegas, NV

The Bylaws

January 27, 2019
 
ADOPTED: Jan. 19, 1975
AMENDED: Jan. 18, 1976
AMENDED: Jan. 23, 1977
AMENDED: Jan. 8, 1978
AMENDED: Jan. 14, 1979
AMENDED: Jan. 13, 1980
AMENDED: Jan. 10, 1982
REVISED: Jan. 8, 1984
AMENDED: Jan. 19, 1986
AMENDED: Jan. 18, 1987
AMENDED: Jan. 22, 1989
AMENDED: Jan. 21, 1990
AMENDED: Jan. 22, 1991
AMENDED: Jan. 26, 1992
AMENDED: Jan. 15, 1995
AMENDED: Jan. 21, 1996
AMENDED: Jan. 9, 1997
AMENDED: Jan. 18, 1998
AMENDED: Jan 24, 1999
AMENDED: Jan. 20, 2001
AMENDED: Jan. 28, 2007
AMENDED: Jan. 25, 2009
AMENDED: Jan 23, 2011
AMENDED: Jan 27, 2013
AMENDED: Jan 5, 2014
AMENDED: Jan 27, 2019

 

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this church shall be FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, Las Vegas, Nevada.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

The purpose of this church shall be to worship God; to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ; to celebrate the Sacraments; to promote Christian fellowship and unity within this church and the Church Universal; to render loving service toward humankind; and to strive for righteousness, justice and peace.

ARTICLE III. GOVERNMENT

A. The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligation of cooperation, counsel, and aid which are common among churches of THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST.

B. The members of this church exercise the right of control in all its affairs, subject, however, to the Articles of Incorporation granted it by the Compiled Laws of 1929, Sections 3215 3222, of the State of Nevada, as amended.

ARTICLE IV. FAITH AND COVENANT

A. Faith.

This church acknowledges as its sole head, Jesus Christ. It acknowledges as brothers and sisters in Christ all who share this confession. It looks to the Word of God in the scriptures and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to enlighten its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the insights of the Protestant Reformers and in the Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ. It affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own. This church recognizes two Sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion (Lord’s Supper).

No creed is held to be binding upon individual members. Each member shall have the undisturbed right to follow the Word of God according to the dictates of his own or her own conscience under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

B. Covenant.

We covenant with one another to seek and respond to the Word and the will of God. We propose to walk together in the ways of the Lord, made known or to be made known to us. We hold it to be the mission of the Church to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ in all the world, while worshiping God and striving for truth, justice, and peace. As did our fathers and mothers, we depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and empower us. We pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God, and we look with faith toward the triumph of righteousness and eternal life.

C. Open and Affirming.

On May 18, 2008, this congregation Voted to become an Open and Affirming congregation by adopting the following statement.

As a people of the covenant, we, the members of First Congregational Church/United Church of Christ in Las Vegas, Nevada, welcome all people into the full life and ministry of this church. We recognize, celebrate, and give thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us.

In covenant, we declare ourselves to be open and affirming of all God’s children, and thus we celebrate God’s love for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, races, ethnicities, ages, and abilities. Our Mission Statement calls us to embrace an ever expanding community and a lifestyle of generosity, and service.

In covenant we pledge to do our part in proclaiming that all may know that any unjust discrimination is incompatible with Christ’s Gospel of unconditional love.

“Let Your light shine O God that all may see.”

ARTICLE V. MEMBERSHIP

A. Qualifications.

The church will welcome into its membership any person who seeks to live a Christian Life.

B. Conditions and Reception.

The membership of this church shall consist of those persons who confess their Christian faith and receive baptism (if not previously baptized), or who present satisfactory letters of transfer from other Christian churches, or who reaffirm their faith. They must publicly assent to the covenant and receive the right hand of fellowship. When, in individual cases, public assent would impose hardship, assent to the Covenant may be given privately and later announced publicly. Names of all new members and associate members shall be presented to all boards of the church and shall be recorded in the rolls of the church by the Board of Ministry and Fellowship as a matter of information.

C. Associate Members.

Members of other churches who for good reason do not wish to surrender membership in their congregation may, upon request of the person and upon the approval of the Board of Ministry and Fellowship, and with notification to their home church, be received as associate members. The same procedures as apply for reception of members shall apply to associate members. As associates, they shall have all the rights and privileges of membership in this church.

D. Covenant.

Members and Associates Members shall enter into the Covenant. The wording of the congregational response for receiving new members will be the responsibility of the Board of Ministry and Fellowship in agreement with the minister.

E. Rights of Members and Associate Members.

All members and associate members may act in the transactions of the church. Only members and associate members may vote and be officials of the church.

F. Responsibilities of Members and Associate Members.

Members and associate members shall pledge themselves to attend the regular worship services of the church and the celebration of Holy Communion, to live the Christian life, to share in the life and work of the church, to contribute to its support and benevolence, and to seek diligently the spiritual welfare of the membership and the community.

G. Termination.

The continuation of membership shall be subject to the following regulations:

  1. Any member in good and regular standing shall, on their request, be granted by the Church Clerk a letter of transfer to any other Christian church. These names shall be given to the Board of Ministry and Fellowship and read into its minutes.
  2. If a member in good standing requests to be released from the covenant obligation to this church, and after the Board of Ministry and Fellowship has patiently and kindly endeavored to secure their continuance in the fellowship of this church, the request shall be granted and membership terminated by the Board. The Board shall notify the church clerk of this action.
  3. Members and associate members whose addresses have long been unknown, or who for a period of one year have not communicated with the church, attended its services, or contributed to its support, may be transferred to the inactive roll. It shall be the duty of the Board of Ministry and Fellowship to review the church roll each year, with the guidance of the minister and the clerk, and to make revision of the roll for publication in the directory of the church officers and members.
  4. Any person whose membership has been declared inactive may, for good and sufficient reasons, be restored to the active roll by the Board of Ministry and Fellowship.

H. Disputes and Discipline.

If any member has a dispute or disagreement with any other member or with the church generally, he or she shall first discuss it with the pastor. If it cannot be resolved, it will be taken before the Board of Ministry and Fellowship. If it cannot be resolved, it will be taken before the Church Council. If the dispute continues to occur, staff of the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ will be asked to intervene. If after these interventions no resolution appears possible, the offending member(s) may be asked to leave the church.

ARTICLE VI. OFFICERS, BOARDS, AND COMMITTEES

A. Professional Staff.

1. Minister.

The minister shall be elected by the church members and shall serve until the term has been satisfied either by himself or herself, or by the church members at a regular or special meeting called for the purpose of acting upon the ministerial relationship. The minister shall be called by two thirds of the ballots counted. Absentee ballots shall be supplied by the clerk upon request for members who cannot be present for the election of a minister. To be valid, such absentee ballots must be returned to the clerk in time to be counted in the regular balloting at the duly called congregational meeting.

When a vacancy occurs in the pastorate, the Church Council shall present a Pastoral Search Committee, of nine persons, for approval at a regular or called meeting of the church. The Pastoral Search Committee shall be permitted to function as long as five of the original nine members remain on the committee. If the committee strength decreases below five members, the Church Council will present to the congregation a sufficient number of nominees to increase the committee to at least five but not more than nine members. The committee, after seeking the guidance of God, shall in consultation with the Conference Placement Minister and others make a canvass of available ministers, settle upon one who in their judgement is worthy of being called to the pastorate, inform the congregation of the candidate’s ministerial qualifications, provide the information which led to their selection of this candidate, and at a duly called meeting of the congregation propose the Minister’s election. The Board of Trustees shall make available reasonable funds for the Pastoral Search Committee to function effectively.

When a pastor has been called and has accepted the call, the Association to which the church adheres shall be invited to set up an ecclesiastical council for the purpose of installing the minister in accordance with the established usage. The minister shall become a member of the church and of the association of which the church is an adherent at the first opportunity. While the term of the minister shall be indefinite, the church may at any time, by two-thirds vote of those present at a meeting called for this purpose, request the minister’s resignation with the expectation that it will be presented within ninety days. Likewise, the minister shall give ninety days notice if he or she wishes to resign; but, in case of loss of ministerial standing on the part of the pastor, relations shall cease at once.

The minister shall have charge of the spiritual welfare of the church with the assistance of the Board of Ministry and Fellowship; he shall seek to enlist persons as followers of Christ, preach the gospel, administer the Sacraments, have under his care all services of public worship, and administer the activities of the church in cooperation with the Boards, Committees and Officers.

2. Other Professional Staff Members.

Other professional staff members may be hired or called at the discretion of the church, using the same procedure used in selecting a minister. If a professional staff member other than the minister shall have been called, that person also shall be an officer of the church. The termination of such officers shall follow the same procedure as that for a minister.

If other professional staff members are called or hired, these Bylaws shall be amended to include a brief description of the function of that professional staff position.

3. Interim Minister.

The process of obtaining the services of an interim minister shall be the responsibility of the church council. After presentation of the prospective candidate (either in person or by a taped session) the congregation will immediately cast a vote to accept or reject the candidate. The provisions of ARTICLE VIII Meetings, paragraph B, Congregational Meetings are waived for this congregational vote.

B. Officers.

The officers of this church shall be the minister, the moderator, the vice moderator, the clerk, the treasurer, the financial secretary, the members of the Board of Ministry and Fellowship, the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Outreach and Education.

1. Terms/Vacancies.

The following terms shall apply to officers:

  • Vice Moderator = two years,
  • Moderator = two years,
  • Clerk, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Members of elected Boards = three years,

All officers (except professional staff) shall hold office until successors are elected. No Officer is eligible for re-election to the same office until one year has elapsed following the fulfillment of a term in that office. Vacancies in any office may be filled by the Church council.

Should an officer complete a partial term, and an appointee is named by the Church Council, said appointee shall be eligible for election to the same office.

2. Elections.

An election of officers shall be held at each January meeting of the church following procedures outlined in ARTICLE VI, Paragraph D, 2. Election may be by voice vote except when a ballot is called for by the congregation or when nominations have been made from the floor. A majority vote of those in attendance, as determined by the moderator, shall be necessary for election.

3. Moderator,

The moderator shall be the chief executive officer of the church and the chief lay leader of the church. The moderator shall sign all necessary instruments for and on behalf of the congregation when ordered to do so by the church. The moderator is designated as the person upon whom all notices and processes directed to the church shall be served, and may at his or her discretion, acknowledge service of such notices or processes for and on behalf of the congregation. The moderator shall reside at all meetings of the congregation held for business purposes and shall do and perform any and all other duties usually done and performed by the chief executive officer of a religious corporation. The moderator shall act as president of the corporation for all corporate business as it affects the real property holdings of the corporation. The moderator shall be ex-officio member of all boards and committees of the church and shall chair the Church Council. The signature of the moderator shall be registered as a consignor on church treasury funds and the Capital Improvement Fund monies.

The moderator and minister shall prepare the agenda of regular and special meetings of the church and of the Church Council.

The Moderator will issue the call for all regular and special congregational meetings.

4. Vice Moderator,

The Vice-Moderator will serve as moderator in the absence of that person or fill the position in the event of a vacancy. The Vice Moderator may then serve as Moderator upon completion of his or her term.

5. Clerk.

It shall be the duty of the clerk to keep a record of the transactions of all business meetings of the church and of the Church Council in a book provided for that purpose; to keep in such book or books a copy of the Articles of Incorporation and a copy of the current church Bylaws; to countersign all instruments of conveyance and encumbrance, deeds, and mortgages; and to certify, where directed by the church or the Board of Trustees, actions taken in business meetings of the church.

The clerk shall also maintain a roll of church membership, those received and dismissed, and of all marriages, births, and deaths in cooperation with the Board of Ministry and Fellowship.

6. Treasurer(s).

It shall be the duty of the treasurer(s), who shall be ex-officio member(s) of the Board of Trustees, to keep an account of all monies and properties received, paid out, or held by him or her (them) on behalf of the church. He or she (they) shall not pay out any of the funds of the church except as directed by the Board of Trustees. At each January meeting and more often if required, the treasurer(s) shall make a report on the transactions of their office, which report(s) shall have first been submitted to and approved by the Board of Trustees. The Congregation shall maintain an account designated Invested Funds.

The minimum balance in said account shall be no less than 10% of the annual operational budget unless otherwise directed by the congregation. The Invested Funds account shall bear the title General Invested Funds and shall receive all monies not designated to the Operating Account. The Invested Funds account shall be a safety net for the church.

7. Financial Secretary.

It shall be the duty of the financial secretary to receive all payments on Operating, Benevolence and Building pledges; receive all offerings and special collections; to count all offerings and contributions, and after properly recording all receipts, to pay the treasurer(s). The treasurer(s) shall issue a receipt for monies received for deposits. The financial secretary may deposit monies for the church treasurer(s) in depositories designated by the Board of Trustees. A report of such deposits shall be sent to the church treasurer(s). Accurate accounts shall be kept for each contributor. Upon concurrence of the financial secretary, treasurer(s) and the Board of Trustees, a system for counting offerings shall be adopted. The financial secretary shall supply the Board of Trustees, at its monthly meeting a summary report of receipts on all budgeted and special categories for their information. The financial secretary shall be an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.

C. Boards.

The boards of the church shall be as follows: Board of Ministry and Fellowship, Board of Trustees, Board of Outreach and Education. All three Boards shall consist of five members.

1. Board of Ministry and Fellowship.

The Board of Ministry and Fellowship shall have five members, with the minister and moderator being ex‑officio members. The Board shall assist the pastor in the spiritual care of the church. The Board shall be in charge of preparing and serving the Sacrament of Holy Communion, preparing and assisting in the administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, advising the pastor in matters concerning the spiritual progress of individual members and of the church as a whole, attending to the supply of the pulpit in the absence of the minister and when there is a vacancy in the pastorate.

This Board shall counsel with the minister concerning services of worship, including the seasons of the church year. This Board shall review the total program of the church to assure that it meets the spiritual needs and fulfills the spiritual responsibility of the church. This Board shall have the responsibility for the care and conservation of church members. It shall provide ministries of care for the confined, the ill, and the bereaved. Persons sharing responsibilities for leadership in public worship shall be recruited, trained, and supervised by this Board.

This Board shall establish policy for all fellowship occasions, including meals, weddings, receptions, and coffees. All fellowship groups shall come under the purview of this Board.

It shall cooperate with the clerk of the church in keeping the church roll and revising the roll annually in accordance with ARTICLE V, Paragraph G, 3. This Board shall maintain a Ministry and Fellowship Fund to be used for support as deemed advisable by the Board. Contributions will be solicited periodically to maintain this fund.

It shall have responsibilities in the areas of stewardship. It shall keep the congregation informed of activities, recommendations, resolutions, and publications in that area. It shall, prior to meetings of the Conference and General Synod, hold hearings on proposed resolutions for action by those bodies. It may cooperate with ecumenical groups in those areas. It may initiate programs.

It may recommend goals for benevolence giving to the Budget Committee and shall clear any special offerings to be received for benevolence purposes. It shall endeavor to inform and alert the congregation to developing concerns and needs and indicate appropriate ways for the congregation to respond. It shall endeavor to serve both United Church of Christ programs and local needs. The Board shall promote and supervise subscriptions to UCC publications.

2. Board of Trustees.

The management of the business affairs of the church shall be by the Board of Trustees consisting of six members, with the moderator, treasurer, financial secretary, and minister as ex-officio members.

This Board shall have charge of the collection and disbursement of all revenues needed to carry out the budgeted programs of the church. It shall have the care, custody, and maintenance of all physical property of the church, according to the provisions of these Bylaws and pursuant to the corporate laws of the State of Nevada.

The Board of Trustees shall not borrow nor contract any debts nor encumber the church property except by order of the congregation at one of its regular business meetings or at a special meeting. The Board shall meet regularly for the transaction of business. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or moderator. The Board shall determine the manner of payment of the church’s bills and so instruct the treasurer. Disbursements not budgeted nor covered by bills shall be paid in accordance with the rules and regulations of the board.

The Board shall be responsible for the employment and dismissal of staff other than those called or hired by the congregation. The Board shall review annually the house rules of conduct and order.

The Board shall be responsible for the acceptance of all memorials and bequests. To expedite this work the Board shall annually appoint a Memorials and Gifts Committee which shall function under the recommendations of the Board, subject always to review by the Church. Terms or conditions of bequests or memorial gifts shall be scrupulously honored, once received. This committee shall maintain a record of all such terms or conditions. This committee shall keep and maintain a Book of Remembrance in which shall be recorded the gifts and the names of the memorialized persons. Gifts shall be appropriately acknowledged by the board.

The Board shall designate, after appropriate consultation, the chairperson of all fund-raising projects which provide budgetary support. All other fund-raising projects shall be cleared by this Board.

The Board shall designate depositories to be used for church accounts. The Board shall prescribe procedures employed by the treasurer and financial secretary and effect bonding needed.

The treasurer’s annual church records will be examined by an independent third party and reported in writing in the form of an audit, review, and/or any other means to determine the true financial condition as described by the treasurer.

The Board shall appoint a resident agent who is to be responsible for filing appropriate documents with the Secretary of State’s office. These are to be filed by September fifteen (15), which is the anniversary of incorporation.

3. Board of Outreach and Education.

The Board of Outreach and Education, consisting of five members, with the minister, moderator, church school superintendent, and youth Group advisor(s) as ex-officio members, shall direct and supervise the educational activities and programs of the church. It may enter into cooperative efforts with judiciaries of the United Church of Christ other congregations, or recognized ecclesiastical organizations in order to achieve its purposes.

This Board shall have the responsibility for the recruitment of church members. It shall arrange appropriate ways to receive and welcome new members. It shall have responsibilities in the areas of missionary education and information, and social action. It shall keep the congregation informed of activities, recommendations, resolutions, and publications in those areas.

The Board shall be responsible for selecting a curriculum and directing and conducting a church school. It may at its discretion or as directed by the congregation conduct courses, workshops, school activities for children, youths, adults, and families. It shall have responsibility for the operation of a church library. It shall direct and be responsible for all educational policies and personnel (superintendent, secretary, teachers, and advisors), subject to review by the congregation.

The camping activities and interests of the church shall be supervised by this Board.

The youth program of the church shall be determined, supervised, and directed by this Board or those they designate, subject to review by the congregation.

All church school offerings shall go to the total budget of the church. The Board shall prepare budget requests for education, present them to the budget committee, and shall supervise the expenditure of these funds, which shall be paid in allotments when requested by the Board of Outreach and Education. The church-time nursery shall be supervised by this Board.

D. Church Council.

There shall be a Church Council consisting of the minister, Moderator, Vice Moderator. clerk, treasurer, financial secretary, the chairpersons of the Boards (or designee), the stewardship program director, and a representative of church youth, chosen by church youth.

The Church Council shall serve as the Congregation ad interim, the Board of Directors, a forum for the discussion of church problems, programs and activities; a coordinating agency among and between the boards, committees, and organizations of the church; an executive committee to carry out policies and instructions of the congregation; to make appointments not otherwise provided for; to fill vacancies that may occur during the year; and to appoint delegates to association and conference meetings. The Church Council shall consider resignations and other evidence of departure in declaring a vacancy. The Church Council shall serve as a long-range planning committee seeking to anticipate the needs and responsibilities of the church,

It shall set the dates for all regular congregational meetings.

1. Ministerial Liaison Committee.

This committee shall be comprised of the Moderator, and the chairpersons of the Boards of Ministry and Fellowship, Trustees and Outreach and Education. The committee will meet every six months, or more frequently if necessary, with the Minister to assist with congregational concerns and issues (if any) related to the performance of the minister.

2. Nominating Committee.

No later than October of each year, the Church Council shall appoint a Nominating Committee of five persons. At least one but no more than two shall have served on the previous Nominating Committee. This committee shall prepare a list of candidates for all elected offices and committees and shall post in a place of prominence all such nominations at least one week prior to the January meeting. This committee shall nominate candidates for one, two, or three years to insure a balance of terms expiring. Other nominations may be made from the floor, provided prior consent of the person whose name is placed in nomination has been secured. The Nominating Committee shall present a ballot of its nominees for election, but a voice vote is acceptable provided no nominations have been made from the floor.

3. Budget Committee.

No later than August of each year, the Church Council shall appoint a Budget Committee. The committee shall consist of the chairpersons (or designees) of the Board of Trustees, the Board of Outreach and Education, the Board of Ministry and Fellowship, the church treasurer, the financial secretary, the stewardship program director, and two members at large appointed by the Church Council to serve for one year.

a. The Budget committee shall:

  1. prepare the budget
  2. present the budget to the Board of Trustees for revision and approval
  3. present tentative budget goals to the congregation for approval not less than three weeks before the annual meeting

b. The congregation may:

  1. adopt the budget if anticipated revenues are at least 95% of the tentative budget expenditure goals suggest revisions
  2. return the budget to committee

The final budget shall be presented at the annual congregational meeting, for adoption if necessary.

4. Bylaws Review Committee.

No later than September of each year, the church council shall appoint a Bylaws Review Committee consisting of three persons and the minister. It shall be the responsibility of this committee to solicit proposed changes to the Bylaws, conduct a comprehensive review of the existing Bylaws, and present proposed changes to the congregation at the annual meeting. Amendments or changes are to be submitted in accordance with Article IX.

5. Additional Committee Groups.

The church may elect or the Church Council may appoint from time to time special or ad hoc committees as may be deemed necessary to properly carry on activities of the church. A Board may appoint or create task forces or ad hoc committees for special purposes within the area of its responsibility. All committee actions are always subject to review and approval by the congregation.

The church encourages the formulation of special interest groups of its members and offers its facilities to such groups on a space available basis.

6. Historian.

A historian shall be appointed by the Church Council each year at its first meeting. The historian shall keep a record of all occurrences and events of interest to the church, including but not limited to, annual reports, monthly or special newsletters, clippings, and Sunday bulletins.

7. Auditor.

An auditor shall be appointed by the Church Council each year at its first meeting. The auditor shall conduct annual audits of the reports of the treasurer(s) and of all other persons having custody of church property or funds. The reports shall be in writing.

8. Parliamentarian.

A parliamentarian shall be appointed by the Church Council each year at its first meeting. The parliamentarian shall insure adherence to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised at ail congregational meetings.

9. Stewardship Program Director.

A Stewardship Program director will be appointed by the Church Council each year at its first meeting. The director shall direct and arrange for stewardship solicitation in support of budget goals; this may include a canvass of time and talent. In organizing the canvasses, methods and recommendations of the proper agency of the UCC, and of the appropriate conference should receive full consideration.

If teams of canvassers are used, their organization, instruction and training shall be the director’s responsibility. The results of the campaign shall be tabulated and reported to the necessary boards, committees and congregation. The distribution of pledge envelopes to contributors shall be the responsibility of the director in cooperation with the financial secretary. If requested, the Church Council shall provide assistance to the director.

The director shall contact new members to solicit monetary contributions for budgetary support and benevolence. The Board of Ministry and Fellowship shall provide assistance to the director.

Stewardship Sunday shall be held in November on a Sunday designated by the Church Council.

ARTICLE VII. PROPERTY

A. Corporation.

The church may in its corporate name sue or be sued, acquire by purchase, gift, devise, bequest or otherwise, and own, hold, invest, reinvest, or dispose of property, both real and personal, for such work as the church may undertake, and rent, lease, mortgage or otherwise encumber, sell, assign, transfer and convey such property for the general purposes of the church; it may receive and hold in trust both real and personal property and invest and reinvest the same and make any contracts for promoting the objects and purposes of the church; subject in legal matters to the Articles of Incorporation granted it by the Compiled Laws of 1929, Sections 3215 to 3222, of the State of Nevada, as amended.

ARTICLE VIII. MEETINGS

A. Additional Religious Meetings.

In addition to the regular Sunday services of worship, religious meetings may be called by the Board of Ministry and Fellowship in agreement with the minister.

B. Congregational Meetings.

There shall be at least two congregational meetings of the church each year. There shall be an annual meeting in January for the consideration of reports, the adoption of a budget if required by ARTICLE VI, paragraph D, 3, the election of officers, and the transaction of other business. Not less than three weeks prior to the January meeting there shall be a meeting to consider the proposed budget presented in accordance with ARTICLE VI, paragraph D, 3. The date of each meeting shall be set by the Church Council with at least 21 days notice of the time and place of the meeting. Special meetings for the transaction of business or the welfare of the church will be called at the request of the moderator, the Church Council, the Board of Trustees, or on written request of five members of the church. The nature of the business to be acted upon shall be stated in the call for all meetings.

C. Quorum.

A quorum for congregational meetings shall consist of 15 percent (15%) of the resident members for the conduct of business, and fifty per cent (50%) of the membership shall constitute a quorum for the Church Council and Boards.

D. Reports.

The professional staff, the moderator, the clerk, the treasurer(s), the financial secretary, the chairpersons of Ministry and Fellowship, Trustees, Outreach and Education, and any other persons designated by the moderator shall present a written report at the January meeting. Special reports may be requested for called meetings of the congregation. After having been received, these reports shall be entered by the clerk into the permanent records of the church.

A copy of the Trustees annual report shall be filed in the office of the County Clerk where the original certificate of incorporation is filed accompanied by an affidavit of the truth of the report and the statement that the congregation has not been engaged in any other business.

E. Voting.

Elections shall be by voice vote, except as otherwise provided for in the Bylaws. Unless otherwise required, a majority vote of those members and associate members present and voting shall be decisive, and unless restricted by law, all members and associate members of the church are entitled to vote. In a matter of dissolution or merger of the church, a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present at a duly called congregational meeting for this purpose shall be required.

F. Rules of Order.

Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority for procedural questions not covered in these Bylaws.

ARTICLE IX AMENDMENTS.

Amendments of these Bylaws may be made at any duly called meeting of the church or at a special meeting called for this purpose, provided that the proposed amendments or changes have been made available in writing at least four weeks prior to the meeting at which action is to be taken.

ARTICLE X EFFECTIVE DATE OF BYLAWS.

These Bylaws shall become effective immediately upon action by the church. They are to supersede all previous Bylaws, and officers are to be elected or appointed as provided in these Bylaws to fill all vacancies created.