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Bylaws Committee: Writing Congregational Bylaws

If you are creating new bylaws, establishing a representative committee of a minimum of three people to create the initial draft is recommended. This committee need not try to foresee and plan for every eventuality—that cannot be done. However, by referring to this guide and other resources (see Appendixes A and B), the committee can create a basic structure. Ultimately, the draft bylaws should be subject to discussion by the board and congregation before being adopted. Any differences of opinion should be acknowledged and addressed, and the committee, board, and congregation should seek to resolve major differences before adopting the bylaws. Before they are voted on, the bylaws should be reviewed by an attorney to make sure they are in compliance with local, state and federal statutes.

If you are amending an existing set of bylaws, the amendment process may already be addressed in those bylaws. In the absence of a process, we recommend that you follow the above procedure.

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Last updated on Thursday, February 7, 2013.

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