Bylaws of UUCT
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BYLAWS OF THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH OF TUCSON
Adopted March 5, 2006
Revised bylaws adopted: April 26, 2009; May 1, 2011, May 6, 2012, May 4, 2014, May 3, 2015, April 30, 2017, May 5, 2019, Nov. 1, 2020,May 1, 2022
The name of this religious society shall be the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson.
Section 1. This congregation provides a place where freedom of worship, thought, and dissemination of ideas shall be fostered, and maintains a pulpit where such freedoms are exercised. We strive to mutually develop our intellectual, social, moral, and spiritual facets without discrimination based on age, sex, race, color, national origin, political persuasion, religious conviction, physical ability, sexual orientation, or personal lifestyle, and to support the cause of a united world community.
Section 2. This congregation is organized exclusively for religious purposes within the meaning of section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue law.
Section 3. This congregation shall maintain membership in and cooperate with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Should the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson (UUCT) disband, after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the church, remaining assets shall be distributed to the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Section 4. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, the UUCT shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law.
Section 1. Conditions: UUCT is an intentionally diverse and welcoming congregation. Regular membership is open to all persons sixteen (16) years of age and older, regardless of color, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, class or economic status, educational level, national origin, ethnicity, or political affiliation. This includes members who maintain a primary membership in a different congregation but make a financial contribution of record at UUCT.
Section 2. Rights and Responsibilities: All members in good standing must support the mission of the UUA and UUCT and accept responsibility for the well-being of UUCT through active participation and making an annual financial contribution of record unless granted a wavier from the Minister or Board President, based on hardship.
A member in good standing is eligible to:
- Vote on all matters before the congregation at the Annual Congregational Meeting or any specially called Congregational Meeting;
- Serve as a delegate from UUCT at the annual Pacific Southwest District Assembly, Pacific Western Region and Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly;
- Stand for election to the Board and all other UUCT committees, and to chair or to be appointed to the chair of all other UUCT committees, task forces or councils, and;
- Obtain low cost or no cost weddings and memorial services provide by the minister.
Section 3. Membership may be terminated for any of the following:
- Upon submission of an oral or written resignation of the member;
- For actions that threaten the well-being of the Congregation per the Destructive Behavior Policy, as determined by a vote of two-thirds of the Board, provided that the member has the right to appear and respond before the Board acts.
- Lack of participation in church life, including not pledging (if no wavier has been granted) as determined by the Welcoming and Membership Team, Minister, and or Staff efforts to contact the member; or
- Upon the death of the member.
Section 1. The Congregation, in the spirit of mission as set forth under Article II, Section 1 of these bylaws, shall be the final authority in matters of finances, policy and procedure.
Section 2. The Annual Meeting of the Congregation shall be held each year at a time and place (which may be physical and/or on-line) designated by the Board of Trustees, between the dates of April 15 and May 15. The Purpose of the meeting shall be: (1) to elect, from the membership, the President, the Vice President for Operations, the Vice President of Finance, six other members of the Board of Trustees, members of the Nominating Committee and Leadership Development Team (NCLDT), and members of the Congregation Evaluation Team (CET) ; (2) to adopt the annual budget and governance plan; and (3) to vote on any other business prescribed by the Letter of Call. The newly elected officers, trustees, and committee members shall assume office on July 1st.
Section 3. Special congregational meetings shall be called by the Board of Trustees or by the written request of twenty percent of the voting membership at a date agreed upon by the board.
Section 4. Congregational meetings shall be called by mailing a notice of the meeting to every voting member of the Congregation at his or her last known physical or email address at least fourteen days before the meeting. The business to be transacted at any congregational meeting shall be specified in the notice of that meeting.
Section 5. A majority of voting members shall decide any question except as required in Article VIII, Section 1 and Article IX, Section 1 of these bylaws. Twenty percent of the Congregation shall constitute a quorum for conduct of congregational business. The Board of Trustees will arrange for absentee voting on candidates for election and original motions announced in the Annual Meeting Call. If a proposal submitted for a vote is amended substantially at the meeting, then absentee ballots will not be counted as votes on the revised language for that proposal. A written ballot shall be used upon a majority vote of the members present and voting or by pre-designation by the board in the Letter of Call.
Section 6. The President shall appoint a parliamentarian and teller to serve at any Regular or Called Congregational Meeting.
Section 7. Robert’s Rules of Order (most recent revision) shall be used to govern the conduct of all congregational meetings.
Section 8. The minutes of any Called Congregational Meeting shall be approved by the Board of Trustees at its next regular meeting.
Board of Trustees
Section 1. The function of the Board of Trustees is to conduct the affairs of the Congregation in between its Called Meetings. In the fulfillment of this function it shall determine its own mode of governance and organization and shall facilitate and lead the Congregation toward its stated vision.
Section 2. The number of Trustees of the Congregation shall be nine. The terms for six members shall be three years with a staggered rotation.
- Three of the Trustees shall serve as the Congregation’s President, the Vice President for Operations and the Vice-President of Finance. They shall each serve a two-year term.
- The NCLDT shall present all candidates for election at the Congregation’s Annual Meeting. No person shall serve more than 6 consecutive years on the Board of Trustees.
- A quorum shall be defined as five members.
- Other than its President and Vice Presidents , the Board shall elect a secretary and may elect any other officers it deems necessary to fulfill its function.
Section 3. The Board of Trustees shall lead the Congregation toward its vision. The Board’s responsibilities shall include setting policies and the management and operation of the Congregation’s affairs and facilities.
Section 4. In addition to presiding over the Trustees’ Meetings, the Congregation’s President shall preside over all of the Congregation’s Called Meetings and serve as its titular head. The Vice President for Operations shall preside in the absence of the President.
Section 5. The Trustees shall have authority over all Congregation finances and shall incur no debts or liabilities except those specified by operational policy or authorized by the Congregation. The Vice President for Finance shall have the responsibility of monitoring the finances of the congregation.
Section 6. Regular meetings of the Board shall be held monthly at the same time each month. Meeting dates may be changed by a majority vote of Board members when circumstances deem this appropriate.
Section 7. The Board shall propose a budget and a governance plan for the upcoming fiscal year to the Congregation at its Annual Meeting. The fiscal year shall run from the first day of July through the last day of June. The process of developing the budget shall be left to the board’s discretion.
Section 8. The Board shall see that the church is organized in any way it deems to be in the best interest of fulfilling the Congregation’s mission through appointments or empowerment of its designees.
Section 9. In the event of a vacancy occurring for any elected position between the Congregation’s Annual Meetings, the Board may select members, outside its own body, to fill the unexpired portion of the term. Upon the completion of the term, this person may be nominated for this position for a (first) full term.
Nominating Committee and Leadership Development Team (NCLDT)
Section 1. It shall be the function of the NCLDT to make recommendations to fill positions of leadership as indicated in the bylaws or requested by the Board of Trustees or its designee and to organize leadership development to prepare members for these positions.
Section 2. The NCLDT shall consist of six members who shall be elected at the Congregation’s Annual Meeting by nomination of the NCLDT. Members will serve two year staggered terms and may not succeed themselves without an intervening year.
Section 3. The NCLDT shall nominate one person for each office or position to be filled. At least twenty-eight days prior to the Annual Meeting it shall notify, by mail, the Congregation of these nominations and the procedure for nominating by petition. Additional nominations require a petition with signatures of at least twenty members and the nominee’s agreement. The Congregation must receive notification of these additional nominees by mail at least fourteen days prior to the Annual Meeting.
Section 4. No nominations for office or position under the auspices of the NCLDT shall be made at Annual Meeting.
Congregational Evaluation Team
Section 1. UUCT shall maintain an Evaluation Team (CET) to conduct annual reviews and prepare reports on the Congregation’s ministries based on feedback from members.
Section 2. The CET shall conduct assessments of both lay and staff led UUCT activities, appraising all programs on a regular cycle in order to provide assessments and informed recommendations to the congregation, minister(s), Staff, and Board of Trustees.
Section 3. The CET shall consist of six members who shall be elected at the Congregation’s Annual Meeting by nomination of the NCLDT. Members will serve staggered terms of three years each. Members shall serve no more than two consecutive full terms.
Section 4. The CET may be suspended by an interim minister and during the first year of a new settled minister. During such suspension, the election of committee members is also suspended.
Section 1. All professional ministers shall be Called by a vote of the Congregation at a meeting specified for that purpose as indicated in Article IV Section 3 of the bylaws. The Letter of Agreement shall be voted on by the Congregation at the same meeting. The affirmative voting percentage required for a Call shall be at least ninety percent (90%) of those present at the meeting.
Section 2. The Parish Minister’s duties shall be defined in the Letter of Agreement and shall include the normal prerogatives and freedoms afforded a professional minister in the free church tradition. The minister shall commit to the ethical conduct guidelines of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s ministerial association.
Section 3. The Parish Minister shall make a report to the Congregation at its Annual Meeting and to any other of the Congregation’s ministry agents when the minister deems it appropriate.
Section 4. Any minister may be dismissed by a majority vote at a meeting specified for that purpose as indicated in Article IV Section 3 of the bylaws. The call of such a meeting shall not violate the terms of the Letter of Agreement. The Board of Trustees shall determine the terms of the dismissal. It may, if deemed in the best interest of the Congregation, call on the services of a denominational consultant or negotiator.
Section 1. These bylaws, so far as allowed by law, may be amended or repealed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the Congregation present and voting at a duly Called Congregational Meeting. Notice shall include written proposals of bylaws amendments.
Commitment to Anti-Opression, Equity, Inclusiveness & Diversity
Section 1. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson declases and affirms its responsibiity to become anti-opressive and equitable and to serve the full diversity of those who resonate with our theological tradition. Our flame of love and justice requires our active and deep commitement to the flourishing and full inclusion of Black people, Indigenous people, People of Color, and members of other historicallly marginalized groups. We hold our Board of Trustees, Ministry Leadership, staff, members and friends accountable and active in promoting, engaging, reflecting upon, and implementing measurable systemic changes to dismantle oppression, racism, and white supremacy culture.