Corporation Bylaws of the
UNIVERSALIST UNITARIAN CHURCH OF RIVERSIDE
Adopted November 1, 1980, amended March 13, 1983, November 10, 1985, June 8, 1986, May 21, 1989, December 8, 1991, May 31, 1992, December 4, 1994, June 8, 1997, June 13, 1999, December 12, 1999. December 16, 2001, November 10, 2002, and June 12, 2005.
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside.
Section 2. This Church maintains congregational autonomy and has membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Pacific Southwest District -UUA.
Section 3. Membership in, and employment or retention for religious or other professional services by this Church is open to all qualified persons regardless of race, color, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, age, or national origin.
Section 1. It is the purpose of this Church to provide an atmosphere where men, women, and children may seek, practice, and celebrate a free religion: that respects the dignity and potentiality of each person; that honors the democratic process; whose roots areas varied as our experience on earth; that is as relevant as our concern and commitment make it.
We affirm the freedom of the pulpit and the freedom of the pew.
We accept in concept the peaceful solution to all national and international conflicts; we encourage individuals to follow their consciences.
We respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are all a part.
We warmly welcome all persons to join us in the quest for meaning that respects feelings, inspires imagination, values reason, and encourages social responsibility.
Section 1. Any person who is in sympathy with the purposes of UUCR (Article II) and signs an affirmation of membership shall be enrolled as a General Member.
Section 2. Qualifications for Voting Membership of the Church:
(1) Shall have been a General Church Member for not less than ninety (90) days.
(2) Shall have made the minimum contribution of record to the operating fund (see Article V, Section 7). However, any member may apply to the Minister or the President of the Board of Trustees for a waiver.
Section 3. Section 2 of this Article shall be quoted in the written notice to Members preceding all meetings of the Membership.
Section 4. The Membership Roll shall be revised annually after completion of the annual pledge drive. Members who have been inactive for a period of one (1) year and who have not indicated an interest in maintaining membership, shall be removed from the Membership Roll by the Board of Trustees. These Members shall be sent prior notice of such action and shall have thirty (30) days in which to reply to the Board of Trustees. Notice shall be sent to the last known address on Church records.
Section 5. A Member may resign membership in the Church at any time and is requested to submit such resignation in writing.
Congregational Meetings and Elections
Section 1. The regular meetings of the Membership of the Church shall be held on the first Sunday in November and the second Sunday in June unless otherwise ordered by the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. The regular meeting on the second Sunday in June shall be known as the annual meeting and shall be for the primary purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, and approving the budget for the next fiscal year. Notice and purpose(s) of the meeting, including the proposed agenda, shall be mailed to all Members at least fifteen (15) days before the meeting.
Section 3. The regular meeting on the first Sunday in November shall be for the primary purpose of electing members of the Nominating Committee (see Article VI Section 9) and for receiving reports of officers. Notice and purpose(s) of the meeting, including the proposed agenda, shall be mailed to all Members at least fifteen (15) days before the meeting.
Section 4. Special meetings of the Membership of the Church shall be held at the time and place designated in the Call of the President, or the Call of a majority of the Board of Trustees, or in the Call of the Secretary upon receiving a written request for a Special Meeting signed by at least twenty percent (20%) of the Voting Members of the Church. Notice and purpose(s) of the meeting, including the proposed agenda, shall be mailed to all Members at least fifteen (15) days before the meeting.
Section 5. Twenty percent (20%) of the Voting Membership shall constitute a quorum at all Meetings of the Congregation, except when calling or dismissing a Minister. (See Article VIII, Section 4.)
Section 6. All votes shall be cast by Voting Members in attendance, there shall be no proxies. Section 7. Voting shall be by secret ballot whenever requested.
Section 8. Minutes of Congregational Meetings, both regular and special, shall be approved by the Board of Trustees at the next Board of Trustees meeting.
Board of Trustees
Section 1. The Corporate powers to conduct, manage, and control the business affairs o f this Church shall be vested in the Board of Trustees. The final authority in all matters shall rest in the Voting Membership of the Church.
Section 2. The Board of Trustees shall hold an organizational meeting the week following the Annual Meeting of the Membership and elect a President and Vice President.
Section 3. The Board of Trustees shall conduct regular, usually monthly, open meetings, appropriately publicized, at the time and place determined by its members. In cases of Special Meetings or polls by telephone, all members of the Board shall be contacted. The Board may hold closed meetings to discuss personnel matters.
Section 4. The Board o f Trustees shall be responsible for recording current policies, procedures, detailed reports, and legal documents of all Church business for Corporate Record in a loose-leaf binder. The Corporate Records, except for personnel, shall be available for use on the premises to any Church Member upon written request to the Board o f Trustees.
Section 5. The Board of Trustees shall be accountable for the preservation of all historical data.
Section 6. Vacancies on the Board of Trustees shall be filled by the Board of Trustees. Board Members so appointed shall hold office only until the next Annual Meeting when the vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the Voting Members. A vacancy is created by written resignation from the Board, or by three unexcused absences in one year's time from Board Meetings.
Section 7. The Board of Trustees shall take action prior to the annual pledge drive to establish the minimum contribution of record for the coming fiscal year.
Section 8. A nominee for the Board of Trustees shall have been a Voting Member of the Church for at least the immediate twelve (12) months prior to being nominated, and shall have served on the Council or have exhibited exceptional leadership skills as determined by the Nominating Committee or the Board of Trustees.
Section 9. The Board of Trustees shall consist of seven (7) Members who are elected by the Voting Membership for a term of two (2) years; no member shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms or four (4) consecutive years.
Section 10. The Board of Trustees shall consist of four (4) Officers and three (3) General Members. The Officers shall be the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.
Section 11. The President and Vice President shall be elected by the Board of Trustees from among its Membership at its organizational meeting which shall be held within one ( 1) week following the Annual Meeting. The term of office for President and Vice President shall be one (1) year and each shall not serve more than two (2) consecutive years.
Section 12. The Treasurer and two (2) General Members shall be elected in each even- numbered year by the Voting Membership at the Annual Meeting.
Section 13. The Secretary and three (3) General Members shall be elected in each odd- numbered year by the Voting Membership at the Annual Meeting.
Section 14. Four (4) Members of the Board of Trustees shall constitute a quorum to conduct business.
Affiliates, Committees, and Church Council Standing Committees and Church Council
Section 1. Standing Committees are those committees that exist on an ongoing basis in the life of the Church. All committee meetings shall be open to all Members of the Congregation.
Section 2. The Church Council is composed of the Chairperson from the Standing Committees and Affiliated Groups. Ad Hoc Committee Chairs shall be members of the Council as long as the Ad Hoc Committees are in existence.
Section 3. The Church Council shall coordinate activities of Standing Committees, Affiliated Groups, and Ad Hoc Committees and carry out other responsibilities as requested by the Board of Trustees. The Church Council may make policy recommendations to the Board but shall not make policy.
Section 4. All Church Council Members shall be Voting Members of the Church.
Section 5. The Church Council shall be presided over by the Vice President of the Board of Trustees and hold regular meetings, usually monthly, at a time and place determined by the Council Members.
Section 6. Special Meetings of the Church Council shall be held at a time and place designated by the presiding officer or in the Call of a majority of the Council Membership.
Section 7. Committee Chairs shall be selected by committee members, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees. Should a vacancy occur during the year the same procedure shall be followed to fill the vacancy. If a committee is unable to select a Chair, the Board of Trustees may appoint the Chair. The Board of Trustees may remove for cause any Standing Committee Chair.
Section 8. The Board of Trustees has the authority to create or dissolve any non-elected Standing Committee.
Section 9. The Nominating Committee shall consist of (5) Voting Members who are nominated from the floor, with their consent, and elected at the regular meeting held on the first Sunday in November. The terms of office shall be until the next regular meeting. They shall elect their own Chair. The Presiding Officer shall appoint a member to convene the first meeting.
Section 10. The function of the Nominating Committee shall be to furnish a slate of qualified nominees from the Voting Membership of the Church to serve on the Board of Trustees (Article V, Sections 1 -15). This list of names together with a brief resume of each nominee's qualifications shall be included with the Call to Meeting.
Ad Hoc Committees
Section 11. Ad Hoc Committees as needed shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees or the Congregation. The Church Council may appoint the Ad Hoc Committees, as needed, to coordinate activities or to carry out other responsibilities as requested by the Board o f Trustees.
Section 12. Voluntary autonomous organizations which are largely made up of Church Members and friends, and whose bylaws shall be in keeping with the purposes and principles of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside (Article II) and the Unitarian Universalist Association may be recognized as Affiliated Groups upon recommendation of the Board of Trustees and/or vote of the Voting Membership.
Section 13. Each Affiliated Group shall be responsible for its own finances, including fund raising and the cost of its activities. Fund raising must not conflict with other Church fund raising. The Affiliated Group shall reimburse the Church for direct expenses incurred on its behalf if so requested.
Section 14. Chairs of Affiliated Groups shall be Voting Members of the Church.
Section 15. An Affiliated Group may use the name of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside in its title, but it shall not speak for or in any way represent the Congregation in any concern without Congregational approval.
Section 16. Acceptance, rules, and regulations governing Affiliated Groups shall be specified in the Policies and Procedures Manual.
Section 1. The fiscal year of the Church shall be July 1 to June 30.
Section 2. All Church money shall be held in funds as designated by the Board: i.e. Operating, Restoration, Memorial Gifts, etc. All money designated for a special purpose(s) shall be maintained separately, i.e., the $50,000 Church Building Maintenance Capital.
Section 3. The Annual Operating Budget shall be approved by the Board o f Trustees, and submitted in accordance with Article IV, Section 1, to the Voting Membership for final approval.
Section 4. The Board of Trustees shall have the power to revise the operating fund budget or any other budget approved by the congregation by ten percent (10%). Any such budget revision exceeding this amount must have approval of the Voting Membership of the Church.
Section 5. The Board of Trustees shall require surety bonds of the Administrator and the check signatories: the Treasurer, the President, and one other Board Member. The Board shall fix the amounts and terms of each bond, the premiums thereon to be paid by the Church.
Section 6. Funds shall be budgeted at least every two years for an independent audit of the fiscal records of the Church to coincide with the election of the Treasurer.
Section 7. The Board of Trustees shall not incur any indebtedness not authorized at a meeting of the Voting Membership of the Church.
Section 8. No land or buildings shall be purchased, no permanent building shall be erected or torn down, and the present property of the Church shall not be mortgaged, sold, or otherwise disposed of without consent of two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast at a meeting of the Voting Members called for that purpose.
ARTICLE VIII The Minister
Section I. The Minister shall guide the conduct of worship within the Church and shall guide the Church's spiritual interests and affairs, and shall perform such duties as are usually performed by ministers and authorized by law.
Section 2. The Minister shall consult with and advise the Board of Trustees as to the affairs and the work of the Church and, except for the Nominating Committee, shall be ex-officio member of all Standing Committees as well as such other bodies as the Trustees or Congregation shall designate.
Section 3. The Minister shall have freedom of the Pulpit as well as freedom to express his or her opinion outside the Pulpit with the understanding that his or her views are not necessarily to be regarded as being those of the Congregation.
Section 4. The Minister shall be called by secret ballot by three-quarters (3/4) of the votes cast at a special meeting of the Voting Membership duly called for this purpose. The Minister may be dismissed by secret ballot by a simple majority of the votes cast at a meeting of the Voting Membership duly called for this purpose. A quorum for a meeting for either purpose shall be forty percent (40%) of the Voting Membership.
Section 5. There shall be a Committee on Shared Ministry (minimum three (3) members), the composition of which and the charge to which shall be decided by the Minister and the Board of Trustees.
Section 6. No Minister shall be called to take regular pastoral charge of the Church unless he or she has Fellowship in the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Section 7. In the event of a vacant pulpit, a Search Committee of five to eight (5 -8) members shall be elected by the Voting Membership from a slate of at least eight (8) persons submitted by the Board of Trustees at a regularly scheduled Congregational Meeting or at a Special Meeting called for that purpose. The slate may be extended to ten (10) members by nominations from the floor. The Committee shall follow the procedures for finding a Minister as defined by current Policies and Procedures of the Pacific Southwest District -UUA and the Unitarian Universalist Association. At least three (3) Members of the Search Committee must have served on the Board of Trustees or the Council within the past five (5) years.
Section 1. The terms of all Officers, all members of the Board of Trustees and all Committee Chairs shall run from July 1 to June 30.
Section 2. There shall be a Policies and Procedures Manual which will give broader definition to the operation of the Church and which will supplement the Bylaws.
Section 3. All Officers, elective and appointive, and all Committee Members shall carry out the responsibilities outlined in the Policies and Procedures Manual.
Section 4. The recall of Officers and Trustees is reserved to the Voting Membership of the Church. (See Article IV, Section 4)
Section 5. Only Persons authorized by the Board of Trustees or the Congregation in accordance with the Bylaws shall speak for or represent the Congregation.
Section 1. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote at any Regular or Special Meeting of the Voting Membership shall be required to amend these Bylaws. The proposed changes shall be mailed to the Membership fifteen (15) calendar days prior to the meeting.
Section 2. When needed, a Bylaws Review Committee of three (3) members shall be appointed by the Board, whose purpose shall be to analyze the Bylaws and Policies and Procedures Manual. This Committee shall report to the Board of Trustees and shall make a report to the Congregation as needed.
Section 3. An Amendment to these Bylaws shall become effective at the close of the meeting at which it is adopted.
Section 1. The rules contained in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Revised shall govern all meetings of the Corporation in all cases to which they are applicable. Where inconsistencies occur, these Bylaws shall prevail. A Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees and shall be present at all meetings of the Voting Membership.
ARTICLE XII Dissolution
Section 1. If this Church ever dissolves, all remaining assets of this Church shall revert to the Unitarian Universalist Association or its successors.