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Officer Responsibilities: Writing Congregational Bylaws

Some responsibilities are held in common by all officers and directors, and some duties are specific to a particular office. The bylaws should set out these particularities in general terms, and specific responsibilities that may change over time should be stipulated in other governing policy documents.

Common Responsibilities

Sample Provisions

Example 1: The authority and duties of the officers shall be as prescribed in writing by the Board of Trustees.

Example 2: The Officers shall perform the duties normally associated with their respective offices. In addition and not in limitation, the Officers shall have the duties defined herein and in a statement of "Officer and Committee Responsibilities" approved by the Board.

Example 3: In addition to serving on the Executive Committee and exercising the powers and duties of their respective offices, each Officer shall have any further powers and duties assigned to them by the Board.

Example 4: The treasurer shall sign checks and the president and the secretary shall sign all minutes and legal documents of the corporation. The secretary shall record minutes for the meetings of the Governing Council and of the Congregation. The president-elect shall assume the duties of the president when the president is absent. The president and treasurer shall submit a comprehensive report to the congregation at each annual meeting.

Example 5: All officers shall represent the Church on appropriate occasions and perform all duties incident to the office and such other duties as may be requested by the Membership or Minister from time to time. Because the Church has a goal of shared leadership rather than functioning under a traditional hierarchy, officers have limited responsibilities. Officers will be elected to handle dealings with federal and state offices and financial institutions because they are accustomed to doing business with an organization's President, Treasurer or Secretary.

Example 6: (In bylaws that designated the Secretary and Treasurer as ex officio members of the Board, the following provision also exists.) The ex officio members of the Board of Trustees, like all Church staff, have administrative responsibilities and must, therefore, make reports to the Board of Trustees, function as a resource in their area of expertise and be given notice of all Board meetings. No ex officio member may propose motions or vote on proposed motions.

For more information contact growthresources@uua.org.

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Last updated on Thursday, February 7, 2013.

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