Ministry bylaws support a ministry in establishing order and clarity and governing with integrity. They provide the structure for the organization in working effectively to thrive in fulfilling its mission. They also establish the relationship between the individual Unity ministry and Unity Worldwide Ministries.
- The new bylaws template has been approved by the UWM board, and we are giving ministries until September 1, 2019 to review this template and send recommendations for revisions to Member Services CFoster@unity.org. These recommendations will be reviewed by the UWM Bylaws Ministry Team. The template will be revised as deemed necessary and made available to our member ministries
- The bylaws policy goes into effect January 1, 2020
- Member ministries have until January 1, 2023 to review the template, receive approval for changes, and submit their final bylaws to UWM’s Member Services.
Do we need to adopt the template word for word?
- No, you are not required to adopt the template exactly as is. We are requiring you to submit proposed changes to UWM Member Services prior to bringing them to the congregation for vote. This allows us to dialogue and collaborate with you in creating bylaws that serve you well.
With today’s technology and people traveling a great deal, some of our members cannot be present for membership meetings, but they want to be engaged in the decision-making process. Why does the template not allow for absentee voting?
- This concern has been brought up, and we are working on creating a clause that would support absentee voting. This would be included in the revision process that will be done by the bylaws team after September 1. The absentee voting clause would be offered as an option for ministries to adopted on an individual basis and based upon the facts and circumstances in the ministry. If you have a clause for absentee voting that you would like to share with us, please send it to CFoster@unity.org.
Can a paid employee sit on the board?
- The minister works for the board, therefore no board member can be an employee. This is an obvious conflict of interest.
- The minister has the right to fire them for cause.
- If they were allowed (and they should not be because of number 1 above). They would need to recuse themselves from financial discussions, because it may be perceived that any discussion of the board may be overly influenced by their interest in area in which they serve: i.e. education, music, youth & family ministry, etc.
- They would not be able to be involved in a discussion about the minister’s job performance or salary adjustments and benefits.
- There is an IRS provision called inurement. It is not allowable for individuals to benefit from non-profit funds of an organization. An employee has a job description and function to perform, the Board is a representative of the membership. These two items are in opposition to one another.
Is it necessary for us to use Robert’s Rules of Order in running meetings?
Our parliamentarian has advised that since our bylaws do not specifically say ‘no floor nominations’ and ‘no write-in votes’, they both have to be offered. We do not desire to continue those processes – do the bylaws need to explicitly state this?
The parliamentarian in question is correct. Unless the bylaws prohibit write-in votes, they are allowed. Also unless the bylaws prohibit nominations from the floor, they are allowed.
Unity Worldwide Ministries Bylaws
Unity Worldwide Ministries is governed by its own set of bylaws. They establish the standards by which we operate and also define our relationship with our members. Unity Worldwide Ministries bylaws