Bylaws

As amended, June 2012

  1. Name

    The name of this religious society shall be the Unitarian Universalist Community Church. [UUCC hereafter]

  2. Purpose

    The purpose of the UUCC shall be to worship and operate consistent with our mission and vision.

    The mission of the UUCC is to worship, learn, and minister together embracing diversity and religious freedom.

    The vision of the UUCC is to:

    • enhance spiritual growth;
    • provide a respectful religious home for all ages;
    • join in celebration and friendship;
    • be a common voice for justice;
    • share the light of our principles with the wider community

    We also:

    • affirm, defend, and promote the worth and dignity of every person;
    • promote and provide religious exploration for all in our congregation;
    • promote a deliberately diverse and inclusive congregation that welcomes and supports all forms of respectful, loving, age-appropriate relationships:  gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight; and
    • create an inclusive ministry in the community and work against oppression in all its forms.
  3. Non-discrimination Policy

    The Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta, Maine declares and affirms its responsibility to promote the full participation of persons in all activities and in the full range of human endeavor, without regard to race, color, gender expression, disability, affectional or sexual orientation, age, or national origin and without requiring adherence to any particular interpretation of religion or to any particular religious belief or creed, in accordance with our safe congregation policy.

  4. Denominational Policy

    This church shall be a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and of the Northern New England District of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

  5. Membership

    Section 1. Any person 13 years of age and over may become a member by signing the membership book and declaring him/herself in sympathy with the purpose of this church, participating in congregational life, including congregational meetings,making an annual pledge, and transmitting this information to any officer of the church. The person will be acknowledged as a voting member by the Board of Trustees at its next scheduled meeting.

    Section 2. The Board of Trusteesmay remove members from the rolls if:

     

    • the member has not attended or financially supported the church for over a year’s time; and
    • there is no positive response within 30 days to a written notice asking if the person wishes to remain an active member or be removed from the rolls.

    Section 4. Any member may withdraw his/her membership at any time by so notifying the Clerk of the church.

  6. Authority

    All authority rests in the membership and is exercised through the meetings of the membership except as herein delegated.

  7. Membership Meetings

    Section 1. The business meetings of the congregation shall be referred to in these by-laws as “membership” meetings, and shall be open to all.

    Section 2. An annual membership meeting shall be held on the first Sunday inJune of each year.  Copies of an Annual Report (containing reports from the Minister, Director of Religious Exploration, Clerk, Board of Trustees, Treasurer, Collector, Comprehensive Long Range Planning Committee, and other active committees, election information, and by-laws) shall be made available at the church 10 days before this meeting. Budget and end-of-year financial materials shall be available at this meeting.

    The business shall be:

    • to elect Officers of the church, Members-at-Large of the Board of Trustees, and Chairs of all standingCommittees, except the Committee on Ministry.
    • to hear the Minister’s annual report and other reports scheduled by the Board;
    • to vote on the proposed annual budget of the church; and
    • to transact any other necessary business for which notice has been given.

    Section 3. Special membership meetings may be called by the Board of Trustees for any purpose deemed important for the maintenance and/or enhancement of the church.

    Section 4. The Board of Trustees shall call a membership meeting if petitioned in writing by twenty percent (20%) of active members.  The request must state the business to be considered, and actions at the meeting shall be limited to the stated purpose.  The meeting must be held within 30 days of the request.

    Section 5. Notices for all membership meetings shall be transmitted at least 10 days prior to the date of such meetings, and shall include a description of the subjects to be considered, date, time, and location.

    Section 6. Thirty percent (30%) of the active membership shall constitute a quorum.

    Section 7. Voting at membership meetings shall be afforded to members only. Voting shall be by ballot upon any issue, upon request by any member. Except where otherwise specified here, the outcome of votes will be determined by a simple majority of those present and voting.

    Section 8. The Board of Trustees shall select a member of the church to act as a Moderator during membership meetings.

    Section 9. The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised shall govern in all issues as to which they are applicable, to the extent that they are consistent with these bylaws or special rules of order adopted by the active members in the course of the membership meeting to which said special rules of order are to apply.

  8. Nominations for Elections

    Section 1. The Leadership DevelopmentCommittee shall serve until the final election of the Board of Trustees.  The President of the Board of Trustees shall convene the first meeting of the Leadership DevelopmentCommittee to deliver the charge to the Leadership Development Committee, and answer any questions,.

    Section 2. The Leadership DevelopmentCommittee shall nominate the officers, members at large of the Board of Trustees, chairs ofstandingcommittees, members of the Comprehensive Long Range Planning Committee, and member-at-large of the Finance Committee.

    Section 3. The Leadership Development Committee also shall nominate one active member of the congregation to the Subcommittee on Invested Funds each year. The Subcommittee on Invested Funds shall consist of three persons serving three-year staggered terms.

    Section 4. The Leadership DevelopmentCommittee shall publish the slate of qualified candidates 10 days prior to the General Elections annual membership meeting. The Committee shall, of possible, avoid nominating persons to a third consecutive term and shall nominate for the chairs of the committees persons who have served on those same committees for at least one year.

    Section 5. Nominations for the Board of Trustees positions may be made by petition of ten (10) active members to the Clerk of the Board.  This list will be published prior to the election and shall be made available at the church at least one week in advance of the General Elections annual membership meeting.  Such nominations shall be included in the slate for the position to be filled.

    Section 6. Nominations for any position may be made from the floor at the General Elections annual membership meeting.

  9. Officers

    Section 1. The elected officers shall be:

    • President
    • Vice President
    • Clerk
    • Treasurer. 

    Section 2. All officers must have been members for a minimum of one year.

    Section 3. The President shall:

    • preside at meetings of the Board of Trustees;
    • be the chief executive officer;
    • delegate responsibilities to others as appropriate. 

    Section 4. The Vice President shall:

    • chair the Council on Leadership
    • discharge the duties of the President in his/her absence;
    • aid and assist the President in his/her administrative duties; and
    • succeed to the Presidency for the unexpired portion of the term upon the death, resignation, or removal of the President.

    Section 5. The Clerk shall:

    • provide for the written record of all proceedings of the Board and meetings of the church;
    • issue notices of meetings;
    • conduct the correspondence of the Board;
    • verify the membership list prior to all membership meetings, and determine the proper quorum requirement, and determine the proper numerical vote required for all issues; and
    • be an ex officio member of the Membership Committee.

    Section 6. The Treasurer shall:

    • be custodian of all monies and securities;
    • present the current financial statement at each meeting of the Board and the membership meeting at which there is a vote on the proposed annual budget;
    • keep a full and accurate account of all receipts and disbursements and present these records upon reasonable notice, except for identification of individual pledges;
    • submit the books to be examined annually by a person(s) designated by the Board;
    • be bonded at the expense of the church; and
    • serve as an ex officio member ofthe Finance Committee in preparing budget recommendations for the next fiscal year.
  10. Board of Trustees

    Section 1. The Board of Trustees shall consist of the officers, the immediate past president, members-at-large, youth member,and the Chair of the Finance Committee. Ex officio members shall include the Minister and the Director of Religious Exploration.The immediate past president shall serve for one year.

    Section 2. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled by appointment of the President, subject to approval of the Board.  Persons appointed to fill vacancies shall serve until the next membership meeting.

    Section 3. The Officers of the Board of Trustees shall serve a one-year term.  There shall be three members of the Board of Trustees elected at large by the membership for staggered three-year terms.  One member shall be elected each year. There shall be one youth member of the Board of Trustees elected at large by the membership for a one-year term. Members at large will serve as liaisons to the standing committees. Board members and officers will not serve as chair of standing committees, except for the Finance Committee.

    Section 4. The members of the Board of Trustees shall assume office immediately following the vote of the slate of officers at the General Elections annual membership meeting.  The Board shall have its first organizational meeting at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

    Section 5. The Board shall hire and dismiss all employees of the church not elected by its members, and shall determine conditions of employment.

    Section 6. The outcome of votes of the Board shall be determined by a simple majority of those present and voting.

    Section 7. Attendance at Board meetings is a necessary function of all members of the Board of Trustees. Resignation from the Board may be requested by the President with Board approval if an individual’s absence interferes with the workings of the Board.

    Section 8. The Board of Trustees shall:

     

    • conduct and approve all business transactions of the church, consistent with these bylaws;
    • implement the decisions and policies of the membership, guided by the Strategic Plan;
    • establish such policies and appoint such persons and committees as necessary to achieve these functions andfill vacancies among committee chairs until the next annual meeting;
    • maintain a balanced budget with the provision that the Board may make changes to the annual budget not to exceed 10 percent of the total; and
    • publish a written annual report.

    Section 9. A quorum of the Board shall consist of two-thirds of the positions filled at the time of the vote, provided that at least one-half of the Board’s positions as specified in these bylaws are filled.

  11. Council on Leadership

    The Council on Leadership consists of the chairs of all standing committees, and is chair by the vice president of the board. It shall meet at least three times a year and will set goals and coordinate joint activities among the various committees, and carry out assignments as directed by the board.

  12. Long Range Planning Committee

    Section 1. The task of the Long Range Planning Committee is to monitor and update biannually the Five-Year Strategic Plan to reflect accurately the anticipated future needs of the church. The Plan will be guided by our Purpose, Mission Statement, and Vision Statement.

    Section 2. The Revised Five-Year Strategic Plan shall address the following items at a minimum: Staffing, Membership, Operating Budget, Programs, and Facilities. Items needing updating will be the primary focus of the biannual review. Prioritizing items for the biannual review shall be done with input from the Board of Trustees, church leadership, and congregation. This plan shall be used by the leadership of the church to maintain a steady and consistent course of action and direction that aligns with our Purpose, Mission Statement, and Vision Statement.

    Section 3. The Committee shall consist of six (6) members elected by the membership for staggered three-year terms.  Two (2) members shall be elected each year.  A seventh member shall be a member from and appointed by the Board of Trustees for a one-year term. There shall be no term limit restriction placed on the members. The Long Range Planning Committee may use short term or ad hoc non-voting members to support work in special focus areas. Vacancies on the Committee shall be filled by appointment of the Board of Trustees, subject to approval of the Committee. Persons appointed to fill vacancies shall serve until the next membership meeting.

    Section 4. The Committee shall provide a biannual planning process including the following elements:

    • Review and, if necessary, update the current Five-Year Strategic Plan;
    • Solicit input from the Board of Trustee, church leadership, and congregation to identify church needs, trends, and goal;
    • Document a consistent overall long range direction of church needs and activities, including how major church operations are working together or if improvements need to be made in church operations;
    • Present biannual revisions to the membership via the UUCC Annual Report, annual membership meeting, 5 year plan updates, and any requested reports by the Board of Trustees
    • Report to the Board of Trustees on changes needed in Long Range Planning Committee duties or functions.

    Section 5. The planning process shall provide for church members:

    • to be kept informed of the work of the Committee; and
    • to have input and be consulted in the updating of the strategic plan.
  13. Finance Committee

    Section 1. The Finance Committee assists the board in overseeing the financial affairs of the church, including its annual budget, stewardship, endowment, gifts and bequests. It will submit recommendations for the annual budget, and conduct reviews at the request of the board.

    Section 2. Membership. The committee chair and a member-at-large are elected by the membership to one-year terms. The chairs of the Long Range Planning Committee, Invested Funds Subcommittee, Stewardship subcommittee, Fundraising subcommittee, and the Treasurer serve ex officio. The committee chair also serves on the Board of Trustees, for a one-year term. Vacancies will be filled by the board, with the consent of the committee.

  14. Standing Committees

    Section 1. The Board of Trustees shall authorize other committees necessary to carry out the business of the church and will keep a list of committees and the charges of the respective committees.  This list will be posted in the church and will be included in the annual report of the Board of Trustees.  All authorized committees will submit a report for the church’s annual membership meeting. No members of the congregation shall chair more than one standing committee.

  15. The Committee on Ministry

    Section 1. The Committee on Ministry shall be comprised of four (4) members, serving staggered two-year terms.  No members shall serve more than two consecutive terms. Two (2) members will be appointed to the Committee on Ministry each year.  One member will be chosen by the Minister from a list of three (3) active church members submitted by the Board of Trustees.  One (1) member will be chosen by the Board of Trustees from a list of three active church members submitted by the Minister.

    Section 2. The Committee on Ministry shall have a chair nominated by the Committee members and approved by the Board of Trustees.

    Section 3. Vacancies in the Committee on Ministry occurring in unexpired terms shall be filled by the Board of Trustees, in consultation with the Minister.

    Section 4. The purpose of the Committee on Ministry is to strengthen the quality of ministry within the congregation. The Committee on Ministry focuses on all aspects of the congregation’s shared and professional ministry.

    • the Committee shall meet regularly in a non-crisis, goal-oriented manner with an agenda to explore the various concerns and challenges of the Minster/Congregation relationship and the Congregation’s own role and agreed-responsibility in shared ministry.
    • the Committee shall assist and support the Minister in his/her plans for professional development, continuing education, sabbaticals, etc. The Committee shall alert the Board to any emerging concerns between the Minister and Congregation.
    • consult with the Minister and submit an annual compensation recommendation to the Board of Trustees; and
    • the Committee shall promote and facilitate healthy relationships in all aspects of professional and shared ministry. The committee shall receive, investigate and respond to all matters affecting the shared ministry of the congregation and the professional ministries. The Committee shall alert the Board to any emerging concerns.
  16. Minister

    Section 1. A candidate for the office of Minister of this church shall be nominated as outlined in the Article of these bylaws concerning the Ministerial Search Committee.  The Minister shall be called by means of a vote at a membership meeting held for the purpose of decision on a candidate nominated by the Ministerial Search Committee.  The Minister shall be considered to have indefinite tenure upon election by the membership.

    Section 2. A contract detailing the terms of agreement between the Minister and the congregation shall be proposed by the Ministerial Search Committee, agreed to by the Board of Trustees, signed by the officers of the church, and shall be reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees.

    Section 3. A Minister may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any meeting convened for that purpose.  In the event of a potential dismissal, the advice of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association will be sought.

    Section 4. The Minister shall continue his/her duties for 90 days after written notice of resignation is received by the President, or after membership decision for dismissal, unless it is mutually agreed otherwise.

    Section 5. The Minister shall:

    • be in the fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations;
    • have primary responsibility for worship and other religious ceremonies;
    • be an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees
    • be available for advice and guidance of members and committees when requested;
    • in consultation with the President, supervise all employees and maintain written jobs descriptions for each position, and coordinate the administrative and communicative aspects of the church;
    • report at the annual membership meeting any matter which seems pertinent to the general welfare of the church, and make such recommendations as in his/her judgment may be appropriate; and
    • keep complete and accurate vital statistics (that is, marriages, dedications, and deaths) concerning the membership.

     

  17. Ministerial Search Committee

    Section 1. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Minister, the members of the church shall elect a Ministerial Search Committee.

    Section 2. The Ministerial Search Committee shall consist of seven (7) members of the church.  Two (2) members of the Committee will be selected by the Board of Trustees, and five (5) members will be elected from the membership at a special meeting following the rules for selection of the Leadership DevelopmentCommittee.

    Section 3. The membership shall instruct the Ministerial Search Committee regarding the general terms of agreement that it shall tentatively negotiate; a tentative salary shall be approved by the membership prior to any interviews.

    Section 4. The Ministerial Search Committee shall:

    • consult with appropriate members of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association;
    • conduct a membership survey;
    • interview potential candidates and select one;
    • make necessary arrangements to ensure the candidate has reasonable knowledge of and acceptance of the church, its membership, finances, and Bylaws, and of the community at large;
    • agree tentatively in writing with the selected candidate regarding the terms of agreement;
    • nominate such candidate, with the Board of Trustees’ concurrence, at a membership meeting called for the purpose of decision on that candidate, and present the terms of agreement for action at that meeting;
    • prepare a contract containing the detailed terms of agreement, in consultation with the candidate, and propose it to the Board of Trustees;
    • assist the new Minister to become settled and acquainted in the community; and
    • comply in all matters with the UUCC Non-Discrimination Policy.

    Section 5. Any vacancies on the Ministerial Search Committee can be filled by nomination of the President with the Board of Trustees’ approval.

  18. Calling a Minister: Quorum and Plurality of Call

    The Ministerial Search Committee shall present a Ministerial Candidate to the membership.  The minister shall be called by at least an eighty percent (80%) vote of the voting membership present at a special congregational meeting held for that purpose.  The vote to call a minister shall be by written ballot.  One half (1/2) of the members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum at such special congregational meeting.

  19. Fiscal Year

    The fiscal year shall be set at July 1 through June 30 of each year.

  20. Bylaws and Amendments

    Section 1. Suggested changes for these bylaws shall be submitted to the Clerk, and if approved by the Board of Trustees, shall be presented to the membership.

    Section 2. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any membership meeting, provided that written notice of any proposed change is included in the notice for that meeting, at least 10 days prior to the meeting.

    Section 3. If for five years no amendments shall have been made to these Bylaws, the president shall appoint, with the concurrence of the Board, a bylaw committee to review this document.

  21. Dissolution

    In the event of dissolution and liquidation of this corporation, either voluntarily or involuntarily, the Board of Trustees (in the event of voluntary dissolution) and the appropriate public official (in the event of involuntary dissolution) shall transfer any surplus in excess of the corporation’s outstanding liabilities to the order of the Northern New England District, Unitarian Universalist Office for Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, 10 Ferry Street, Suite 318, Concord, NH 03301.