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Types and Dates of Meetings: Annual and/or Regular Meetings: Writing Congregational Bylaws

Congregations should think about when the annual meeting should be held. Considerations include when the fiscal year of the congregation begins (for the presentation of budgets for approval), when the governing body changes its membership (for election of new members and officers), any seasonal fluctuation in attendance patterns, and other such events. It is often hard to balance the need for presenting a budget prior to the commencement of the fiscal year and the desire to have as close to year-end figures as possible to enable good estimates on the proposed budget. Some congregations operate their fiscal year and governance year on separate schedules; they hold two separate meetings to reduce confusion and provide multiple opportunities to disseminate information about congregational status and progress. The required channels for publicizing meetings should be clearly identified to ensure that all members are notified.

Sample Provisions

Example 1: An Annual Meeting of the Congregation shall be held in October of each year, with the exact meeting date to be as determined by the Steering Committee, provided however that such date must be determined and publicized by the Steering Committee not less than sixty (60) days prior to any Annual Meeting. At this meeting the Vice President shall preside as Moderator. The Board of Trustees, Officers and any committees required to be elected at that time shall be elected, a budget for the ensuing year shall be presented by the Steering Committee for discussion, changed if necessary and adopted by the Congregation, and any other appropriate business transacted. The time, place, and agenda of the Annual Meeting shall be as designated by the Steering Committee, and all such information shall be published in writing and made available to the Church Membership in such manner and through such procedure as shall be recommended by the Steering Committee and approved by the Congregation.

Example 2: There shall be at least two regularly scheduled Congregational Meetings per year, the Winter Meeting and the Spring Meeting.

(a) Winter Meeting. A congregational meeting shall be held each year on or between January 1 and February 15, and shall include as part of its agenda: (1) consideration of a goal budget for the next fiscal year, and (2) any other business that may properly come before the meeting.

(b) Spring Meeting. A congregational meeting shall be held each year on or between April 15 and May 31, and shall include as part of its agenda: (1) election of officers; (2) election of trustees, including filling any partial-term vacancies; (3) election of congregational committees, including filling any partial-term vacancies; (4) approval of the annual budget; (5) any other business as may properly come before the meeting.

Example 3: The annual congregational meeting shall be held each year on the last Sunday in April at such time and place as shall be fixed by the Governing Council. The purpose of the annual meeting shall be to elect officers and trustees, elect members of the nominating committee, elect delegates to the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, adopt the budget for the following fiscal year and to hear officers', ministers' and committees' reports.

Example 4: The annual business meeting of the church shall be held in the final quarter of each fiscal year, at such time and place as determined by the church board.

Example 5: The annual business meeting shall be held each year in the month of March at such time and place designated by the President. The agenda for the Annual Meeting shall include adoption of an annual budget, election of Officers, Board of Trustees and Nominating Committee, and other business as appropriate.

Example 6: The annual meeting of the corporation shall be held at the building where the usual religious services are held, or elsewhere in St. Paul at such place as may be designated by the Board of Trustees, at such time in the month of June in each year as the Board of Trustees shall determine. The annual budgets shall be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting.

Example 7: Regular meetings of the Association shall be held during the months of May, October, and January at a time and place designated by the Moderator. The Board of Governors may vote to omit the October meeting. The meeting held in May shall be for the purpose of adopting an annual budget for the fiscal year, commencing July first, and other business that may be properly brought before the membership. The meeting held in January shall be for the purpose of electing officers who will take office February first, to receive reports from Board members, and other business that may be properly brought before the membership. The meeting held in the month of October shall be to transact any business that may be properly brought before the membership.

Example 8: The annual business meeting shall be held each year in the month of May at such time and place as shall be fixed by the Board of Trustees, in order to hear reports of officers and staff, to elect new officers, to adopt an annual budget, and to transact any other business that may properly come before the congregation.

Example 9: The Parish will hold regular meetings at the time or times established by the Board of Trustees, provided that at least one meeting of the Parish will be held annually between March 1 and June 1. The agenda for regular meetings will be set by the President.

For more information contact growthresources @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, February 7, 2013.

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