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Church Bylaws

Bylaws Revised March 27, 2011

BYLAWS
The Haydenville Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
Incorporated 1952

Article I      Church Services

Section 1. Sunday worship shall be held at designated hours and at any other time
designated by the Minister and the Diaconate.
Section 2. The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper shall be celebrated at any time designated
by the Minister and the Diaconate.
Section 3. The Sacrament of Baptism may be administered to those taken into the church
as members (if they have not previously been baptized) and to children, one of whose
parents stands in covenant with the church. Others may be baptized at the discretion of
the Minister.

Article II      Congregational Meetings

Section 1: Church Service: Public Services for worship shall be held on Sundays and on
weekdays as the Diaconate may determine. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at such
times as the Minister and the Diaconate may determine.
Section 2: Annual Meeting: The Trustees shall call for the Annual Meeting of the
Church which shall be in February or such near date as the Church Council may approve,
at which reports shall be presented, and officers for the ensuing year elected.
Section 3: Special meetings of the Church shall be called by the Trustees on request of
the Minister, or Clerk, or on petition of any five members of the Church within fifteen
days of request, notice thereof being given by warrant signed by three Trustees.
Section 4: Notice of meetings shall be given from the pulpit, printed in the Sunday
worship bulletin and mailed, or emailed to all members no later than two (2) weeks prior
to the date of the meeting. The call shall include a written agenda of all items to be
discussed.
Section 5: At their first meeting each committee shall elect, and each Board shall
recognize in accordance with its rules of succession, a presiding chairperson. Each body
will also elect a recording secretary. The recording secretary, in accordance with the
simplified version of Robert’s Rules of Order, will keep accurate minutes of the
deliberations and actions of each body, and send them to all committee members within
one (1) week of the meeting and then to the Clerk after the committee has approved the
minutes.
Section 6: Thirty-five (35) active members shall constitute a quorum at the Annual
Meeting and at any special meeting.
Section 7: The fiscal year for the Church shall be January 1st through December 31st.

Article III      Leadership

All officers and Board members of the Church shall be covenant members. The officers of the
Church shall be Minister (Minister), Deacons, the Trustees, Clerk, Treasurer and Moderator. The
boards of the Church shall be the Diaconate, and the Board of Trustees

Section 1 Minister
A. The Minister shall be called or dismissed at a congregational meeting called for that
purpose, by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of active members, with voting to be done
by secret ballot. In order to terminate this relationship, three (3) months’ notice shall be
given by either party. When the relationship is terminated, notice of such termination
shall be sent to The Hampshire Association of the United Church of Christ.
B. The Minister shall have charge of the spiritual affairs and welfare of the church and
responsibility for the conduct of the services of public worship. The Minister shall seek to
enlist people as followers of Christ, preach the Gospel, administer the Sacraments, have
care of services of worship, and oversee the Christian education of the congregation. The
Minister shall be a voting ex-officio member of all boards and committees and shall have
a seat and vote on the Church Council, except in personnel matters regarding the
Minister.
C. The Minister shall become a member of the church and shall have standing in the
Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.
D. The Minister shall give a monthly update of her/his activities, concerning Ministerial
care to the Diaconate.
E. The Minister, on an ad hoc basis, may select, appoint and supervise individuals and
groups to assist with her/his Ministerial duties, such as the Shepherds.
F. The Minister will maintain an active association with local clergy and keep the
congregation informed of religious activities and events in the greater community.

Section 2 Moderator and Vice Moderator
A. The moderator and the vice moderator shall be elected for terms of one year.
B. The moderator, and in her/his absence the vice moderator, shall preside over all
congregational meetings and chair meetings of the Church Council.
C. In addition, the moderator shall guide the Church Council in developing and
implementing long-range planning. All resignations by officers and board members shall
be submitted to the Moderator.
D. Should an incumbent Moderator or Vice Moderator seek to resign from the position,
such resignation shall be in writing to the Church Council.
E. The Vice Moderator shall chair the Nominating Committee

Section 3 Clerk
The Clerk shall be elected for a term of one year, and shall:
A. Retain and maintain records of all Congregational Meetings, minutes of the Church
Council meetings and all written policies adopted by the Church Council. Such records
shall be retained and maintained in a manner that makes the documents readily available
to Church members.
B. Maintain records of all Baptisms, marriages and funerals conducted by the Church and
shall report of these events once a year at the Annual Meeting.
C. Prepare, as directed by the Minister, a duly authorized officer and/or by any Board, all
correspondence pertaining to the official actions of the Church.
D. Notify the Diaconate of all changes in membership status and shall notify members of
their election or appointment to any official position within the Church. In addition, the
Clerk shall notify any individual, or all individuals who were the subjects of any actions
taken at a congregational meeting.
E. Accept and file all reports presented at the Annual Meeting and note any corrections
made thereto.
F. Prepare an annual report to the Church Council, and forward all records to the Church
Council once a year, for inspection and verification.
G. Upon request issue members letters of transfer and recommendations to another
church
H. Issue the call to congregational meetings
I. Perform other duties as required by the Church Council

Section 4 Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be elected to serve for a three (3)] year term and shall:
A. Receive all monies belonging to the Church and keep accurate records of all
operating, endowment and special funds, securities, receipts and disbursements of the
Church.
B. As an agent of the Board of Trustees and, as directed by the Trustees, maintain the
investment accounts of the Church.
C. Deposit or cause to be credited to the Church, all investment income in such manner
as the Board of Trustees shall direct.
D. Promptly pay all bills and salaries as directed by the Board of Trustees.
E. Disburse the monies received from special funds and outreach funds in accordance
with the orders of the board or committee which is charged with the collection and
disbursement of such funds.
F. Disburse funds from the Minister’s Discretionary Fund at the sole direction of the
Minister.
G. Keep separate, accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements for each fund
handled.
H. Render at the Annual Meeting, and at other times as requested, an accounting of the
financial condition of the Church.
I. Shall be bonded by the Church at the expense of the Church.
J. Prepare the annual budget for the Trustees.
K. Perform other duties as required.

Article IV      Rules Governing Boards and Committees

Section 1: All boards and committees shall schedule regular meetings, at any interval
which supports and facilitates their work. Meetings shall be called by the Chair of each
body who shall give at least one (1) week’s notice, and who shall provide a written
agenda with the call to the meeting.
Section 2: A quorum for any board or committee shall be at least one-half (1/2) of the
body’s total number of voting members. All decisions shall be by majority affirmative
vote.
Section 3: All boards and committees shall hold their first meetings during the first month
after the Annual Meeting where members of the boards and committees are elected. The
outgoing chair of each committee shall chair this first meeting to oversee the selection of
the new chairperson, and offer guidance to the incoming members.
Section 4: Boards and committees that administer their own budgets shall prepare a
projected budget for the upcoming program year. They will submit this proposed budget
for deliberation by the Board of Trustees no later than one (1) month prior to the Budget
Meeting.
Section 5: At their first meeting each committee shall elect, and each Board shall
recognize in accordance with its rules of succession, a presiding chairperson. Each body
will also elect a recording secretary. The recording secretary, in accordance with the
simplified version of Robert’s Rules of Order, will keep accurate minutes of the
deliberations and actions of each body, and provide a copy thereof to each member of the
respective board or committee within one (1) week of the meeting. Once the minutes
have been approved by the respective board or committee the recording secretary shall
send a copy thereof to the Clerk.
Section 6: Any vacancy among the elected positions of the church shall be filled by a
member selected by the Vice Moderator after deliberation with the relevant Board or
Committee and with the Minister, and approved by the Church Council.
Section 7: Should a member of any body of the church fail to attend at least 60% of that
body’s regular meetings during any six-month period, that member shall be deemed to
have resigned. The vacancy must be reported at the next meeting of the Church Council.
Section 8: No later than one (1) month prior to the Annual Meeting, the chair of all
boards, committees and auxiliary organizations of the church shall submit to the Clerk an
annual written report summarizing the activities of their group for the past year.
Section 9: Any questions which may arise with respect to the execution or interpretation
of this Constitution and Bylaws shall be resolved by a two thirds (2/3) majority of the
Church Council.
Section 10: All meetings of the church, boards and committees shall be conducted in
compliance with parliamentary procedure as specified in the simplified version of
Roberts’ Rules of Order.

Article V      Church Council

The Church Council shall be the overall policy and planning body of the church. It shall
have complete power to supervise and coordinate the plans and activities of the boards,
committees, and organizations of the church, and to plan prayerfully for its future. The
Church Council shall:
Section 1: Be composed of the Moderator, who shall act as chair; the Clerk, who shall act
as secretary; the Treasurer; the Minister; and the chairs of all boards and committees. The
Vice Moderator shall be a nonvoting member of the Church Council, but shall be able to
vote when acting as Chair.
Section 2: Establish regular meeting times at its first meeting after the Annual Meeting.
Notice of regular meetings shall be printed in the worship bulletin on the Sunday
preceding the meeting and shall be provided to all members of the Church Council by the
Clerk.
Section 3: No person may represent more than one (1) group on the Church Council.
Members, excluding the Minister, shall appoint alternates to represent them on the
Church Council in the event they cannot be present at any meeting
Section 4: At least three (3) months prior to the Annual Meeting, the Church Council
shall appoint a Nominating Committee, consisting of at least three (3) members of the
Church, including the Vice Moderator, who shall act as Chair of the committee. The
Minister shall be an advisor to the Nominating Committee. It shall be the responsibility
of the Nominating Committee to bring to the Annual Meeting nominations for all elected
positions.
Section 5: The Council shall have the authority to establish ad hoc task forces and
committees, as needed.

Article VI      Diaconate

The Diaconate shall be a board of up to twelve (12) Deacons. Four (4) Deacons shall be
elected each year for a three-year term. With the Minister, the Diaconate shall have the
general oversight of the spiritual activities of the church. The Diaconate shall:
Section 1 : assist the Minister in promoting the spiritual interests of the church, the work
of parish visitation and the administration of relief within the Church community.
Section 2: receive applications for church membership and verify that the requirements of
membership have been met. Each new member shall be sponsored by a Deacon and will
be formally received into membership during a worship service.
Section 3: conduct, with the Minister, an annual review of the membership list of the
church and present a list of active members to the Clerk at a meeting of the Church
Council no later than two months prior to the Annual Meeting. If a member is fully
separated from the fellowship, worship, service and support of the church for a period of
one year, the Diaconate shall instruct the Clerk to inquire into the reason(s) for such
separation. If such a member remains inactive for an additional year, the Diaconate may,
with permission of the Minister, remove the member’s name from active membership.
Section 5: Provide for the supply of the pulpit in the absence of, or upon request from, the
Minister. The Diaconate shall provide elements for the Sacrament of Communion and aid
in its celebration and distribution.

Article VII      Board of Trustees

Section 1: The Board of Trustees shall consist of four Trustees, the Treasurer and the Chair
of the House Committee of Ladies Aid, or her designee.
One (1) Trustee shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Church for a four-year term. A
Trustee shall be eligible for re-election after one year has elapsed. The Trustees shall have
responsibility for the care and custody of the property of the Church, as prescribed by law.
The Board of Trustees shall elect its own Chair and Recording Secretary. A quorum of the
Board of Trustees shall consist of the Chair or his/her designee and at least three other
members of the Board. The Board of Trustees shall:
A. be responsible for generating income for the Church and, within the provisions of the
budget, be responsible for all expenditures.
B. make provision for the audit of all financial accounts of the Church.
C. call the meetings of the Church, including the annual meeting and special meetings
Section 2: There shall be a Building Sub-committee that reports to the Trustees. The subcommittee
shall find and report to the Trustees all necessary maintenance and up-keep of the
Church building, and shall oversee any projects that are recommended and approved by the
Trustees. All authorizations and financial matters related to such projects must be approved
by the Trustees.
Section 3: There shall be a Grounds Sub-committee that reports to the Trustees. The subcommittee
shall find and report to the Trustees all necessary maintenance and up-keep of the
Church grounds, and shall oversee any projects that are recommended and approved by the
Trustees. All authorizations and financial matters related to such projects must be approved
by the Trustees.
Section 4: Shall be responsible for the hiring and oversight of all church employees. Where
such employees will work with Ministerial staff, the Board will strongly weigh the views of
Ministerial staff when performing this oversight function.

Article VIII      Stewardship Committee

The Stewardship Committee shall:
Section 1: consist of at least three (3) members who shall be elected at the Annual
Meeting to serve a term of one (1) year, and who shall be regular members of the church.
Section 2: be responsible for encouraging the principles of Christian stewardship in the
church.
Section 3: plan and carry out a stewardship drive and perform other duties relevant to the
stewardship program of the church. Stewardship, education and enlistment shall be a
continuing responsibility of the committee.

Article IX      Youth and Family Ministries Committee

The Youth and Family Ministries Committee shall determine the curriculum for the
Church School Program and:
Section 1: it shall be comprised of a total of three (3) members, two (2) of whom shall be
elected at the Church’s annual meeting and shall serve one (1) year terms. The third
member shall be the Director of Youth and Family Ministries, who shall be a permanent
member.
Section 2: there shall be a Youth and Family Ministries Advisory Sub-committee,
comprised of one member of the Diaconate who shall be appointed by the Diaconate; one
Trustee who shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees; and one safe church liaison
who shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees. In addition the Director of Youth and
Family Ministries shall appoint one (1) rotating minister of music, Children’s Church
coordinators and as many teachers as are required.

Article X       The Music Committee

Section 1: The Music Committee shall consist of the Choir Director, who shall be a
permanent member, and three (3) members who shall be members-at-large. One at-large
member shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Church and shall serve for a period
of three (3) years, or until a successor is elected.
Section 2: within the provisions of the budget, the Music Committee shall arrange for the
vocal and instrumental music and materials appropriate for the services of the Church.

Article XI      Peace and Justice Steering Committee

Section 1: The primary function of the Peace and Justice Committee shall be to engage in
projects, programs and actions that bear witness to our understanding of the radical
commitment to peace and justice embodied in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It
shall pursue its objectives through whatever peaceful means appear to be appropriate in a
given circumstance with the gifts, talents and consciences of its members.
Section 2: It shall be comprised of at least three (3) members, one elected each year for a
three (3) year term.