BYLAWS OF THE LIVE OAK UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION
Article I. NAME.
The name of this religious society is the LIVE OAK UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION.
Article II. PURPOSE.
The purpose of this Congregation is to establish a religious community of compassion and mutual interaction, to affirm the worth and dignity of all human beings in a neverending search for truth, and to explore new and creative ways of expressing our religious experience.
Article III. DENOMINATIONAL AFFILIATION.
The Congregation shall be a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association
(UUA) and of the Pacific Southwest District (PSWD). It is the intent of the Congregation to make annual financial contributions equal to its Fair Share as determined by the Association and the District.
Article IV. MEMBERSHIP.
- A Member is a person who supports the purpose of the Congregation, who has signed the membership book, and who makes an annual financial pledge of record. Membership is open to all persons over 15 years of age and to youth who are at least 13 years of age and have completed the Coming of Age program.
- After at least 30 days of membership, a Member is eligible to vote and hold office.
- The Minister may make exceptions in special cases to waive the member’s required financial contribution.
This change reflects existing practice in our congregation.
- The procedure for resignation from membership is by written notice to the Board of Trustees.
- The Membership Ministry is responsible for maintaining a current list of all Members.
- The Board may terminate the membership of anyone who does not meet the requirements of membership as defined in Article IV, Section 1. As appropriate, notice shall be sent to the Member’s last known postal address. The member has thirty days to respond before the action becomes final.
- Any person whose membership has been terminated may be reinstated upon that person’s written request to, and approval by, the Board of Trustees.
- Any person who has previously resigned may re-join by signing the Membership Book.
Article V. GOVERNANCE.
- BOARD OF TRUSTEES.
- The Board of Trustees consists of six or seven Congregational Members, two of whom shall be the President and Vice President. Each Trustee shall be elected by the Congregation. Each Trustee serves for a two-year term.
- Prior to the end of the fiscal year, the incoming Board shall elect its officers for the upcoming year.
- The Treasurer and a Recording Secretary are appointed by the Board. They may or may not be members of the Board.
- Four Trustees constitute a quorum for Board meetings.
- The Board is responsible for upholding the Mission of the Congregation.
- COORDINATING TEAM.
- The Coordinating Team shall consist of the Minister, as leader, the Administrator and lay members appointed by the Board
- The Coordinating Team is responsible for oversight of programs, activities and the ongoing operations of the Congregation.
- The Coordinating Team establishes Ministries as necessary.
- The Board of Trustees appoints the lay Members of the Coordinating Team. The terms for each lay member are for two years and shall be staggered with the terms of other lay members and are for a maximum of 6 years consecutive service.
- The Coordinating Team is responsible to the Board and shall give regular reports.
- Board meetings shall be open to any member of the congregation except when the Board is in Executive session, e.g., when the Board is considering personnel matters.
- DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS.
- The President is Chief Corporate Officer, presides at meetings of the membership and of the Board of Trustees, sets the agenda for meetings and acts as spokesperson for the Congregation.
- The Vice President is Corporate Secretary, acts in place of the President in his/her absence and assists the President in the duties of the office of the Presidency.
- The Recording Secretary keeps and distributes the minutes of all meetings of the Board and the Congregation.
- The Treasurer administers the financial affairs of the Board of Trustees, keeps accurate and complete records of all funds entrusted to the Board, and makes a written report to the Trustees at each monthly meeting and to the full membership at the Annual Meeting. The financial records shall be open to inspection by any member of the Congregation.
Article VI. NOMINATING COMMITTEE.
- The Nominating Committee is composed of three Members who serve three-year staggered terms. One person is elected at each annual meeting, and no one can serve two consecutive terms.
- If a vacancy occurs on the Nominating Committee, the Board shall appoint a Member to fill the unexpired term.
- The senior member of the Nominating Committee shall act as Chair.
- The Nominating Committee nominates at least one Member for each Board vacancy. Candidate suggestions should be submitted to the Board of Trustees in time for the name(s) of the nominee(s) to be included in the list of candidates in the notice of the Annual Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall place the names of the nominees with a brief biographical statement for each in the notice of the Annual Congregational Meeting.
Article VII. ELECTIONS.
- Elections shall take place at the Annual Meeting. The terms of elected offices shall commence on the first day of the fiscal year following the election.
- Consecutive service on the Board of Trustees shall be limited to three terms.
- Board terms are staggered so that three or four Board members are elected by the Congregation at the annual meeting each year. Board members may serve more than one term as officers, up to the limits of their Board service (maximum of 6 years consecutive service).
- In case of a vacancy in the Presidency, the Vice President shall act as President.
- If the number of members of the Board shall fall below six, the Nominating Committee shall nominate a candidate for confirmation by the Board to fill the unexpired term as Trustee.
- Voting in contested elections is by secret ballot and is decided by simple majority.
- Any Member who finds it necessary to be absent may give their proxy vote to another Member. Each Member holds not more than one proxy vote.
Article VIII. BOARD OF DIRECTORS, LIVE OAK ENDOWMENT FUND.
- Membership: A Board of Directors for the Live Oak Endowment Fund, consisting of three Members, shall be elected at large for staggered three-year terms in the manner described in Articles VI and VII. The first such Board shall be elected for one, two or three year terms. Members may be re-elected for up to 6 years.
- Responsibilities: This Board of Directors shall be responsible to the Congregation for the preservation of the corpus of the Fund, investing the corpus of the Fund in a prudent manner, determining the annual rate of payout to the operating budget, and making the annual report to the Congregation on the State of the Fund.
Article IX. MEETINGS.
The annual business meeting of the Congregation is held each year during the month of June at such time and place as is fixed by the Board of Trustees. Special meetings may be called by the Board or at the written request to the Board of 15% of the membership. The business to be transacted at any meeting of the Congregation set forth in the notice of the meeting, which is sent to all members at least ten days prior to the meeting and is limited to stated business only. All noticed meeting agenda must include an item to discuss new business. No vote will be allowed on items under the new business section. The notice may be included in the newsletter. Twenty-five percent of the Members constitutes a quorum. The Democratic Rules of Order by Fred and Peg Francis is to govern the conduct of business at all meetings of the Congregation, unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws.
Article X. FISCAL YEAR.
The Fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30.
Article XI. MINISTER.
- The Minister must be a Parish Minister in Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
- A minister is called to serve the Congregation at a duly called meeting at which 75 percent of Members constitutes a quorum, on the affirmative vote by written ballot of at least 90 percent of the Members voting. A minister is released from service at a duly called meeting at which 50 percent of Members constitutes a quorum, on the affirmative vote by written ballot of a majority of the Members voting.
- Three months’ notice is to be given by either the Minister or the Congregation in the event of resignation or dismissal of the Minister. This time period may be reduced by the agreement of both parties.
- In search to call a Parish Minister the Congregation shall elect a Search Committee composed of seven Members at a Congregational Meeting from a slate prepared by the Board of Trustees.
- The Minister has freedom of the pulpit as well as freedom to express his or her personal opinion outside the pulpit.
- The Minister is an ex-officio member (without vote) of the Board of Trustees and of all other committees, task forces or teams. However, the Minister is not an ex-officio member of the Ministerial Search Committee formed following the announcement of the Minister’s retirement or departure.
Article XII. DISSOLUTION.
Should this Congregation cease to function and the members vote to disband, ownership of the Congregation’s real and personal property remaining after just debts are paid will be transferred to the Unitarian Universalist Association, Boston, MA.
Article XIII. AMENDMENTS.
These Bylaws may be amended or replaced at any duly called meeting with an established quorum of the Congregation by a two-thirds vote of the Members present and voting. Notice of any proposed changes shall be contained in the notice of the meeting.