this post was updated on Jan 21, 2022: the proposed bylaws have been updated following a review on January 5 by interested congregants and subsequent approval by Vestry on January 19

An item on the agenda of the January 30, 2022, Annual Meeting will be a vote on a proposal to adopt new bylaws for the parish. Following strong direction from Canon Jim Gettel two years ago, a committee of St. Clarians has revised our bylaws to conform to a template being used throughout the Diocese. This template retains the core of the basic rules that St. Clare’s has used to regulate itself under previous bylaws and includes several new rules deemed necessary by the Diocese. It utilizes definitions and format common to the bylaws of our sister congregations. It does not include a number of items in our current bylaws that are merely operating procedures, not rising to the level of a bylaw.

An example is the current bylaw that requires that the church’s fiscal year coincide with the calendar year. While there are reasons this is a useful choice, should the treasurers and the Vestry decide that we would be better served by a fiscal year that coincides with that of TBE and Genesis (July 1 – June 30), that would not be a change that should require a congregational vote. The committee recommends that these operational guideline items be incorporated by the Vestry into a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document that Vestry would adopt and maintain.

The template has been tailored in minor ways to reflect St. Clare’s current Vestry structure of 12 members meeting at least 10 times a year, and has been augmented by an Article XII pertaining to our participation in the Genesis Partnership. The resultant bylaws (found here) being proposed for adoption have been reduced to 6 pages from 14 that, we hope, are easier to understand and implement.

Image by Jagrit Parajuli from Pixabay