The Bylaws Team (Al Thompson, Pam Thompson, Paul Campbell, Karen Graham, and Pastor Tracey) met twice in multi-hour work sessions with the express purpose of reviewing and revising the church Bylaws. Once we had all reached consensus on the changes, the Bylaws Amendments for 2019 were presented to Council for consideration and vote. After discussion, Council voted unanimously to approve the Amendments.
By our congregational polity, the Bylaws Amendments now go to the church community for comment. The comment period will be open for the next thirty days, ending on March 14. Any comments or suggestions should be addressed to Al Thompson and sent to the church office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few notes: Most of the changes were administrative: wording, grammar, punctuation, consistency corrections. There are two substantive changes to the Bylaws as a result of the Amendments:
1. The Team was tasked with reviewing and revising the current way we count membership in the church. The terms "members" and "covenantal partners" is confusing and not capable of accurate identification. Our reporting to the Conference and Association of our membership has been difficult due to some long-standing confusions brought forward, especially after Parker UCC and Hilltop UCC reunited to form UCC Parker Hilltop. "Membership" was not redefined at that time, the prevailing policy being that any former member of either church was automatically considered a member of UCCPH. There was a great deal of leakage here and a lack of clarity. Our next attempt to clarify the issue changed "membership" to "covenantal partnership," but that was likewise confusing and never really caught on. The result was that we had active and inactive members and active and inactive covenantal partners and we did not have a solid definition of any of these! The problem came to a head within our difficulty of establishing the correct quorum number for our recent Constitutional Amendment.
The Bylaws Team agreed to replace "members" and "covenantal partners" with a single designation, "active church partner." In the Bylaws Amendments, Section 300, "active church partner" is defined as an adult who:
1. is active in the worship life of the church;
2. gives of their time and talent (participation) as is reasonable for their circumstances; and
3. participates in identified financial giving to the church in a sum equal to or greater than $100 per year + their per capita assessment (currently $12 + $2 per adult)
Active church partners may vote in congregational elections, hold church office, and bring resolutions before Council or congregation for consideration. Active church partners may also receive pastoral services for themselves and their immediate family members living within in their household such as a wedding, baptism, funeral/memorial service, and a preferred rate for Memorial Garden purchases (ash crypt inurnment and memorial pavers.)
Inactive church partners may be listed our church directory and may participate in all activities of the church, but may not hold office or bring resolutions or motions to Council or the congregation. Per Capita obligations to the Rocky Mountain Conference and the Southeastern Association will be paid based on our total "active church partners" calculation.
2. The Pastor Parish Team may have up to five members (up from 3) who are active church partners, vetted by Nominating Team and approved by Council for a three-year term, renewable once.
3. The Standing Response Team language has been stricken in its entirety, the feeling is that it was unnecessary for the Bylaws (we don't have one and we do have other safeguards in place).
UCCPH Bylaws Team