2016 ANNUAL REPORT: CLICK HERE
BYLAWS OF THE UNITED PARISH OF AUBURNDALE
Adopted April 20, 1980
As Amended to February 1, 2009
The bylaws of this Parish are guidelines for the proper functioning of a religious institution. Except for those portions which must of necessity deal with legal aspects under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, these bylaws are flexible, allowing freedom which permits change and renewal without the sacrifice of traditions and denominational ties. The real strength of any local parish is Christian love, and these bylaws presume that this love is both the tradition and the basic freedom of this Parish.
The corporate name of this Parish is United Parish of Auburndale. The Parish is located in Auburndale, City of Newton, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
PURPOSE AND POLITY
The purpose of this Parish is to maintain and promote public and private worship of God. The Parish seeks to advance the teachings and spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of faith, to develop Christian fellowship, and to minister to and in the world. The Parish also seeks to support and enable members in their individual ministries. The government of this Parish is vested in its members, who exercise the right and responsibility of control in its affairs, subject to the laws of this state. This Parish recognizes its responsibility to the larger denominations of the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ, and to such other fellowship with which it chooses to associate.
Membership in this Parish shall be open to any person who seeks to deepen his or her relationship with God as part of a Christian faith community that encourages us to live more fully in Christ’s image. A full member shall also be a member of either the Auburndale Congregational Church or the Centenary United Methodist Church. Members are expected insofar as they are able to attend regularly the services of this Parish, to participate in the corporate decision making process of the church including attending its business meetings, to give systematically for its support and its benevolences, to share in its organized work, and to practice increasingly the principles and the spirit of the life of Jesus Christ.
Any person may become a full member of this Parish on affirmation of faith, or reaffirmation of faith, or by letter of transfer from another church. Upon the recommendation of the Parish Council, any person may become an associate member who desires to join the life and mission of the parish, but does not desire to become a full member. Only full members and ordained United Methodist Church clergy whose charge conference is in the United Parish of Auburndale shall have the right to vote at Parish Meetings and to hold office. Both full and associate members shall have the right to speak on all matters of the Parish and to serve on Boards and Committees of the Parish.
Membership in the Parish shall be terminated in the following ways:
1. by transfer, upon the request of a member desiring membership in another
2. by a written request, filed with the Clerk; such action may be taken by the
Parish Council after due consideration and concern; or,
3. by vote of the Parish Council, after both written notice to the member and an
opportunity for a hearing has been provided. Such action shall not be
instituted until after a period of three years during which a member has been
voluntarily absent from the Parish or has failed to meet the responsibilities of
membership, the Board of Membership Cultivation shall state in writing to the
former member the grounds on which the action is taken; or,
4. by death.
Any person whose membership has been terminated in any manner may be restored to membership at any time upon written request to the Clerk, and after such request has been duly considered and voted upon by the Parish Council.
The annual corporate meeting of the Parish shall be held on the first Sunday of February each year at a time and place to be determined by the Parish Council. The fiscal year shall be the calendar year.
Special and quarterly meetings shall be called by the Clerk whenever requested by the Pastor(s), the Moderator, the Parish Council or any five members. Such a request stating the purpose of the meeting shall be in writing to the Clerk. Notice of the time, place and purpose of annual, quarterly, and special meetings shall be given not less than seven days before the appointed time of the meeting by posting the Notice in the Narthex of the church, and by reading the Notice at a service of worship.
Fifteen members who are entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Service of public worship shall be held each Sunday and at such other times as the Board of Worship in consultation with the Pastor(s) shall direct. The Sacrament of Holy Communion shall be observed on those days designated by the Board of Worship in consultation with the Pastor(s).
This local Parish has a two-fold function: (1) to manage the institutional and temporal affairs of its corporate body, and (2) to promote and participate in the mission of fulfilling the will of God and the spirit of Jesus Christ. The members of this Parish are called upon to minister to one another and to the world; to this end they shall be organized into Parish Council, Boards, Committees, and Officers.
Selection of leaders shall be made with consideration of proportional representation of denominational affiliation of the entire membership of the Parish. All Board members shall serve until their successors are elected, and their term of office shall begin at the close of the Annual Meeting in which they are elected. Pastor(s) shall serve ex-officio on the Parish Council and Boards.
Each Board shall be composed of not less than nine members. Members shall serve a term of three years and be elected in such a manner that at least three members shall be elected to each Board and one person selected to be Chairperson of each Board at each Annual Meeting. One may serve as chairperson for two years consecutively. No member shall serve on more than one Board at a time.
The Parish Council and Boards are authorized to create task forces and subcommittees to carry out particular projects and services of limited scope and time as needed.
Following the annual corporate meeting, the Moderator shall appoint a Nominating Committee chaired by the Vice Moderator to nominate individuals and members for Officers, Boards, Staff Parish Committee, and Denominational Representatives. The Pastor(s) shall serve ex-officio on the committee. This committee will be responsible for reviewing the participation of elected officers and board members throughout the year and for making nominations to fill vacancies as they occur.
THE PARISH COUNCIL shall be responsible for the overall supervision and coordination of programs, projects and services developed in the several Boards and areas of Parish life. This shall include the operation of a planning process that contributes to the identification of needs, setting goals, fixing of priorities, scheduling of events and evaluation for outcomes. The Council as a support body shall provide for the orientation and training of Board members and leaders. It shall prepare the agendas for Annual Meetings and Quarterly Meetings, resolve differences between Boards and establish patterns of communication throughout the Parish.
The Council shall be composed of the Moderator, Vice Moderator, Clerk and Chairpersons of the Boards, and the Pastor(s); a majority of members of the Council shall constitute a quorum. The Council shall serve as a standing committee of the Parish and shall have the authority to fill vacancies in any of the officers or Boards or Committees of the Parish until the next Annual Meeting.
THE BOARD OF WORSHIP shall be responsible with the Pastor(s) for planning and evaluating the worship life of the Parish. This shall include establishing a time of worship, the overseeing and promoting of special worship services, and the presentation of the arts as creative expressions of the human spirit. It shall be responsible for choir supplies; the scheduling and supervision of weekly liturgists and ushers; the care, tuning and repair of musical instruments; the taping of sermons, and pulpit supply in the absence of the Pastor(s). The Board may create committees to carry out altar maintenance and communion preparation. The Board, in cooperation with the Pastor(s) and the Staff Parish Committee, shall be responsible for recommending the appointment of the Director of Music. The Board of Worship, in cooperation with the Pastor(s) and the Director of Music, shall be responsible for recommending the appointment, evaluation and termination of services of other musical staff and shall recommend remuneration for these positions within established guidelines and budgetary provisions.
THE BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP shall be responsible for the management of Parish property and financial resources in a manner that will further the mission of and purpose of the Parish. It shall work with other Boards to build an annual budget for Parish review and adoption, conduct fund-raising activities, provide for a system of accounting, and supervise financial officers. The financial responsibility of the Board shall also include management of investments and memorial gifts, and the cultivation of bequests for ministry in wills and estate plans. The Board shall provide for the repair and maintenance of Parish property, insurance coverage, and a policy on room use by Parish groups and community or outside organizations. The Treasurer shall serve ex-officio on this Board.
THE BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION shall be responsible for the overall coordination of the Christian education programs of the Parish. Its planning and programming shall include Sunday Church School, youth ministries, confirmation class, and other educational programs of interest to the youth and children.
The Board shall be responsible for planning and coordinating educational events of interest to adults of the parish. These events shall generally take the form of forums and workshops scheduled to follow the fellowship time after Sunday worship. The Board shall also periodically sponsor study groups, workshops, and classes at other appropriate times, particularly during special seasons of the church year such as Lent. Subjects addressed shall include learning opportunities of interest to adult Christians, outreach possibilities, Bible study, lifetime experiences, and spiritual and denominational concerns.
The Board shall be responsible for making diligent effort to meet and become acquainted with newcomers to the United Parish. The Board is to continually explore ways of reaching out into the community to bring in new people and to make certain that those who attend regularly be shown ways they may become active participants, with the hope they will join the ranks of full membership. The Board shall act on the requests from those who ask to join as members and as associate members and send their recommendations to the Parish Council.
THE BOARD OF COMMUNITY shall be responsible for personal group activities that contribute to the nurture of individuals and builds a sense of community in the church. Its community building responsibility may include the creation of sharing groups and other invitations to involvement. The Board shall also promote an informal group climate, fellowship and hospitality activities, and provide support services for shut-ins and hospitalized members. It shall also provide church-wide activities and functions that promote the sense of community for the church.
THE BOARD OF OUTREACH shall be responsible for framing and overseeing programs that minister to human needs beyond the United Parish in a manner reflecting the church’s moral, social, and ecumenical concerns. Such programs may be local, national, and international in scope and encompass such issues as peace, justice and freedom. Its programs should also take into account the promotion and coordination of local and national mission concerns with due consideration of denominational responsibilities. The Board shall recommend to a quarterly meeting of the Parish the percentage of the previous year’s undesignated income which shall be allocated to outreach the following year and report how monies are spent.
THE MODERATOR shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one year and may serve no more than two consecutive terms. It is the duty of the Moderator to conduct corporate business meetings of the Parish, to conduct the meetings of the Parish Council, and to represent the Parish as its principal lay leader.
THE VICE MODERATOR shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one year and shall assume the duties of the Moderator in the absence of the Moderator and shall chair the nominating committee.
THE CLERK shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one year. It is the duty of the Clerk to attend corporate business meetings of the Parish, to keep records of these meetings, to keep a complete record of the membership of the Parish, to be the secretary of the Parish Council and keep records of the same, and to call meetings of the Parish in the manner herein provided. The Clerk shall be sworn into office at the Annual Meeting. The Clerk may be authorized to cast one ballot for the election of any Officer, Board or Committee member or Denominational Representative when there is only one nominee for each position.
THE TREASURER and Assistant Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one year. The Treasurer shall have charge of receiving and disbursing all monies, and the custody of all securities belonging to the Parish; shall make such investments or changes in investments of the Parish’s funds as may be directed by the Board of Stewardship; and shall present accounts properly audited at each Annual Meeting. The Treasurer shall furnish such other reports regarding financial matters as the Boards or Parish Council may from time to time require.
The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer, and in the absence of the Treasurer shall assume the same duties as that of the Treasurer. The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall furnish a bond in such amount as may be determined by the Board of Stewardship, the premium for which is to be paid by the Parish.
THE COLLECTOR AND ASSISTANT COLLECTOR shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one year. The Collector shall attend to the collection of pledges and all contributions to the Parish, shall keep a record of such collections, and notify the members and contributors to the Parish quarterly as to the status of their giving. The Collector shall furnish a bond in such amount as may be determined by the Board of Stewardship, the premium for which is to be paid by the Parish.
THE AUDITOR AND ASSISTANT AUDITOR shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one year and may serve no more than four consecutive terms. The Auditor shall examine the accounts of the Treasurer and Collector and the securities of the Parish and make a report of the same at the Annual Meeting.
DENOMINATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES shall be elected at the Annual Meeting to represent the Parish at meetings of the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ and to report to the church. The Denominational Representatives shall be responsible for advising the Pastor(s), Parish Council and members of on denominational matters and to enable the church to realize its responsibility to the denominations with which it is associated. Denominational Representatives will publicize and promote denominational concerns within the life of the Parish.
THE STAFF PARISH COMMITTEE shall consist of at least six lay persons who shall be representative of the entire membership of the Parish. Members shall serve a three-year term and shall be elected in such a manner that at least two are elected to the Committee at each Annual Meeting.
The Committee shall relate to the Pastor(s) and the Director of Music and, in special circumstances, to other staff members. The Committee shall maintain relations with appropriate denominational officials.
The Committee shall meet at least quarterly but preferably monthly. It shall meet additionally at the request of responsible denominational officials, the Pastor(s) or other staff members, or the Chairperson of the Committee. The Committee shall meet only with the knowledge of the Pastor(s).
The Committee may meet with responsible officials without the Pastor(s) being present; however, when the Pastor(s) are not present, the Pastor(s), or any member of the staff under consideration shall be informed prior to such meeting and immediately thereafter be brought into consultation either by the Committee or by denominational officials.
The duties of the Committee shall include the following:
1.) to confer with the Pastor(s) and Director of Music in the development of an effective ministry. To keep the Pastor and staff advised concerning conditions within the Parish as they affect relations between the Pastor(s), staff and members. To interpret the nature and function of the ministry to the members.
2.) to counsel with the Pastor(s) and Director of Music on matters pertaining to their relationship with the Parish, including priorities to be given in the use of their time. To counsel with other staff members on matters pertaining to their relationship with the Parish or their associates insofar as these are not considered or specifically dealt with by the Board to which they are responsible.
3.) to evaluate annually the effectiveness of the Pastor(s) relationship to the growth and depth of the life of the Parish; and in consultation with the chair of the Board of Worship, to evaluate the effectiveness of the Director of Music.
4.) to consult on matters pertaining to pulpit supply, proposals for salary, travel expense, vacation, health and life insurance, pension, continuing education, housing, and other matters affecting the work of the Pastor(s). To make recommendations regarding such matters to the Parish Council, and to report requested budget items to the Board of Stewardship. The Committee may arrange with the Parish Council for the necessary time and financial assistance for the attendance of the Pastor(s) at such continuing education events as may serve the Pastor(s) professional and spiritual growth.
5.) to recommend in consultation with the Chair of the Board of Worship, remuneration for the Director of Music, within established guidelines and budgetary provisions.
6.) to interview, evaluate, review and recommend to the Parish meeting or charge conference persons who are candidates for entering the ministry.
7.) to confer with the Pastor(s) if it should become evident that the best interests of the Parish and Pastor(s) will be served by a change of Pastor. A three months notice shall be given in writing when a Pastor resigns or is terminated.
8.) to confer with the Director of Music, Pastors, and Chair of the Board of
Worship if it should become evident that the best interests of the Parish and Director of Music will be served by a change of Director of Music. A three months notice shall be given in writing when a Director of Music resigns or is terminated.
PROCEDURE FOR CHANGE OF PASTOR
When a change of Pastor(s) is indicated, the following guidelines shall determine the procedure for making a new appointment or appointments:
1.) In cooperation with the Parish Council, the Staff Parish Committee shall lead the Parish in defining the Pastor’s mission and function, assessing leadership needs, and drafting selection criteria. Insofar as possible, the Committee shall involve the Parish in defining the priorities to be considered in the evaluation of candidates, and keep the Parish fully informed and consulted in the selection process.
2.) The Committee will review alternative staffing possibilities and, in the light of
changing needs and available resources, determine the kind of appointment or
appointments it considers most appropriate. Any substantial alternative staff arrangement will be submitted to a vote of the Parish for its approval.
3.) The pastoral leadership shall alternate between the United Methodist Church
and the United Church of Christ.
4.) The Committee will be responsible for recommending a pastor in accordance with the procedures of either denomination and subject to the endorsement by a two-thirds vote of members present and voting at a special Parish meeting called for that purpose.
5.) Upon being called, a Pastor shall be asked to have fellowship in the local
conference or association of the United Methodist Church or United Church of Christ. A Pastor may be installed or recognized by the association or denomination in which this Parish has its membership, if the Pastor and the Parish agree to such a procedure.
TEACHING PARISH COMMITTEE is a sub-committee of the Staff Parish Committee, and serves as an expression of the United Parish’s commitment to theological education. The Teaching Parish Committee supports and provides feedback to graduate interns in ministry and serves as a liaison between the theological school(s), the student interns and the Parish.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Parish in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with thee bylaws and any special rules of order the Parish may adopt.
These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Parish members present and voting at any such meeting called for that purpose, provided that notice of the proposed
amendment be given in the Call to the Meeting.