CUCC Constitution and By-Laws
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CUCC CONSTITUTION AS AMENDED 10/14/2018
Article 1 - NAME
The name of this organization is Community United Church of Christ (Community UCC). Community UCC is located in Boulder, Colorado, and is incorporated under the laws of the state of Colorado.
Article II – PURPOSE AND COVENANT
The purpose of Community UCC is to be a means through which its membership may serve one another, the community, the nation, and the world, following the example of Jesus Christ’s ministry. In pursuit of this purpose, the faith community, with its minister, will:
Assist each person with his/her spiritual journey, while valuing diversity and encouraging individuality;
Nurture each person’s understanding of the Christian heritage and of present-day Christian living;
Offer opportunities for reconciliation and healing between separated individuals, groups and nations;
Work actively to alleviate suffering and promote social justice; and
In the manner of a family, love and support individuals in their daily lives
The covenant taken by members of Community UCC is “We, in fellowship with Community United Church of Christ, covenant with God and with one another to work and worship together in the name of Jesus Christ.
Article III – GOVERNMENT
Section 1. Governing Body.
The government of this Church is vested in its members. The governing body is the membership assembled in regular or special meeting.
Section 2. Relationship to Denomination.
This Church is part of the United Church of Christ (UCC). It is self-governing, but recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual aid and cooperation which are common among churches of the UCC denomination.
The members of Community UCC share a commitment to seek the will of God through the guidance of Scriptures, the example of Jesus Christ and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, but no creed is held to be binding upon individual members. Each member has the undisputed right to follow the word of God according to the dictates of his or her own conscience, under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The statement of faith adopted by the UCC is not a test but an expression of the spirit in which the denomination interprets the word of God.
Article V – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Qualifications.
The Church will welcome into its membership any person who has entered into the Church’s covenant.
Section 2. Rights and Duties.
(a) All members may act in the transactions of the Church. Only members may vote and be officers of the Church except by approval of the Coordinating Council.
(b) Members shall pledge to attend the regular worship of the Church and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper; to endeavor to live Christian lives; to share in the life and work of the Church; to contribute to its support and benevolence; and to seek diligently the spiritual welfare of the Church, the community and the world.
Section 3. Associate Members
A member in good standing of another church may become an associate member of this Church while maintaining his or her previous church membership. Associate members have all the rights and responsibilities of members of this Church.
Section 4. Termination.
The continuance of membership is subject to the following conditions:
(a)Any member, at his or her request, may be granted a letter of transfer to any other church or religious body.
(b)If a member asks in writing to be released from membership obligations, the Church, after seeking to understand the member’s reason for discontinuance, shall grant the request and terminate the membership. Such a request shall be approved by the Minister and the Coordinating Council. The Scribe shall provide the appropriate letter of release.
Article VI - ELECTIONS
Nomination and Election of Officers.
a. The officers of this Church are the Moderator, the Vice-Moderator, the Scribe, the Treasurer and the Financial Secretary.
Article VII– COORDINATING COUNCIL
Section 1. General
The Coordinating Council is the executive body of this Church. It is responsible for conducting the business of the church as well as planning and coordinating the overall programs of the Church; for overseeing the stewardship of time, talents and treasure; for carrying out policies and instructions of the congregation; for making all employment decisions regarding employees and/or independent contractors other than the employment of the Minister but in consultation with the Personnel Committee; and for serving as the long-range planning committee that seeks to anticipate the needs and responsibilities of the Church. The members of the Council are designated as trustees of the Church. A trustee is one who acts for the benefit of the Church with scrupulous good faith and candor.
Article VIII - EMPLOYEES
Section 1. Minister.
(a) The Minister is the spiritual leader of the Church and shall have charge of the pulpit, preach the Gospel, administer the sacraments, be responsible for religious services and assemblies, exercise care for the spiritual welfare of the Church, and seek to enlist men and women as followers of Jesus Christ. The Minister is a member of the Coordinating Council and all commissions and committees of the Church.
(b) The pulpit of this Church shall be filled by a minister in good standing in the United Church of Christ or by one who has the privilege of call, or a theological seminary graduate who is preparing for ordination in the United Church of Christ and has formally requested ministerial standing in the Metro Denver Association of the United Church of Christ if being ordained in and by another Association.
(c) When a vacancy occurs, the Coordinating Council shall nominate a Ministerial Search Committee of at least nine persons representative of a cross-section of the congregation, for election at a regular or special meeting of the congregation. The Search Committee, in cooperation with the Executive of the Rocky Mountain Conference, United Church of Christ, will seek out and conduct interviews with potential, qualified candidates; will present to the Church the name of the candidate it recommends; and will conduct an election. A two-thirds majority vote of Church members present at the meeting is required to extend the call. Proxy voting shall be permitted and a proxy shall be considered present at the meeting for all purposes, including determining a quorum and for the vote on the call.
(d) In the call, the terms of the relationship shall be stated, including the agreement of the Church to participate in the Pension Fund of the United Church of Christ, the Ministers’ Health Insurance Program, or other terms agreed upon by the candidate and the committee.
(e) When a minister accepts a call to this Church, it is understood that he or she will join the Church at the first opportunity. The Church and the Minister may join in requesting the Metro Denver Association of the Rocky Mountain Conference to arrange for a service of installation or recognition. When such a service is held, the church will arrange for a report to be signed by an appropriate officer of the Association, and by the Conference Executive. Copies will then be sent to the Secretary of the United Church of Christ and to the Council for Church and Ministry.
(f) The ministerial relationship may be terminated by either party on two months written notice. The Minister may terminate by letter to the congregation; the Church may terminate by a two-thirds vote of members present at a congregational meeting called for this specific purpose. In the case of the loss of ministerial standing on the part of the Minister, the relationship shall cease at once.
Section 2. Associate Minister.
Community UCC may from time to time need an Associate Minister. That position shall be filled in the same manner as the Minister by the Ministerial Search Committee.
Article IX– COMMISSIONS
Section 1. General
Commissions are groups formed to provide leadership and initiative in the principal areas of church life. The commissions are intended to be permanent and are essential for the operation of the church. There are six commissions: Spiritual Life Commission, Social Action Commission, Christian Education Commission, Property Commission, Nominating Commission, and Fellowship Commission.
Article X – COMMITTEES
The Church may elect or the Coordinating Council may appoint from time to time such standing, special or ad hoc committees as may be necessary to carry out the activities of the Church. A commission may appoint or create task forces or ad hoc committees for special purposes within its area of responsibility.
Article XI—CHURCH PROPERTY AND FINANCES
Section 1. Periodic Audit.
One or more persons shall be appointed by the Coordinating Council in consultation with the Finance Committee, if any, to conduct a periodic audit of the Church’s financial record. No auditor may be a member of the Council. The Treasurer and Financial Secretary will maintain a series of checks and balances, appropriate to the situation and finances of the Church and approved by the Coordinating Council, which is designed to discover errors and prevent wrongdoing.
Section 2. Remuneration.
No part of the net earnings of the Church shall accrue to the benefit of any particular member, officer or employee of the Church.
Section 3. Disposition of Assets.
In the event this organization should be dissolved, the net assets, after just debts have been paid, shall be distributed to the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ unless certain assets provide for their disposition.
Article XII – MEETINGS AND SERVICES
Section 1: Regular worship services shall be held on Sunday each week.
Section 2. Regular Congregational Meetings.
At least two congregational meetings of the Church shall be held regularly each year.
Section 3. Special Congregational Meetings.
Special meetings of the Congregation may be called on seven days public notice by the Minister, the Moderator, or the Coordinating Council, or on written petition of ten members of the Church to the Minister, the Moderator or the Council. The Scribe shall issue written notice of such special meeting to all members and shall state the specific purpose of the meeting.
Article XIII – AMENDMENTS
The presence of 50% of the members of the Congregation constitutes a quorum for a vote on amendments to this constitution. Voting by absentee ballot and proxy shall be permitted and such votes shall be considered present at the meeting for all purposes, including determining a quorum. Amendments require approval by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present, such vote to be held at any regular or special meeting of the Congregation.
Article XIV - DEFINITIONS AND USAGE
Within this document any reference to gender includes male, female, and gender expression.
BYLAWS as amended 12/13/2018
Article I - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Community UCC welcomes into its membership any person who has entered into its covenant.
Section 2. The Spiritual Life Commission shall consider the case of any member whose address has long been unknown, or who has not attended worship or contributed to the Church’s support for two years. After due consideration, the Commission may recommend to the Coordinating Council (or Council) that such person be removed from membership. If the relationship remains unchanged after an additional year, the member’s name will be dropped from the Church roster by vote of Council.
Article II - ELECTIONS
Section 1. An election of officers shall be held every two years at the annual meeting of the Congregation. Voting shall be by written ballot except as provided in Section 4 below. The Moderator, Vice Moderator, Scribe, Treasurer and Financial Secretary are elected for two-year terms and may not serve more than three consecutive terms unless otherwise permitted by Council.
Section 2. The Nominating Commission shall recommend candidates for the positions of Moderator, Vice Moderator, Scribe, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary. Nominations shall also be taken from the floor.
Section 3. Vacancies may be filled temporarily by Council, but such appointments are effective only until the next annual or semiannual meeting of the Congregation, at which time an election shall be held. Persons elected to fill mid-term vacancies shall serve for the unexpired term.
Section 4. In the event that there is only one nominee for an office, by general consent, a voice vote may be taken for that office. In the event that there is only one nominee for each office, by general consent, a voice vote may be taken for the entire slate.
Section 1. Moderator. The Moderator is the chief executive officer of the Church corporation and the chief lay leader of the Church. He or she presides at all meetings of the Congregation and the Coordinating Council; may serve as an ex-officio and non-voting member of all commissions and committees except the Nominating Commission; and is authorized to sign all legal documents.
Section 2. Vice Moderator. The Vice Moderator helps the Moderator and Minister with planning Council meetings; presides at meetings of the Congregation and Council in the absence of the Moderator; and may chair Commissions or Committees on a temporary basis as deemed necessary. The Vice Moderator may also assist the Moderator in ways agreed upon between them. It is anticipated that the Vice Moderator will become Moderator when the current Moderator's term ends.
Section 3. Scribe. The Scribe is responsible for preparing and keeping records of all business meetings of the Congregation and Coordinating Council; maintaining copies of the current Church Constitution and Bylaws; conducting all correspondence not otherwise provided for; and performing any other duties that are prescribed by law or usually pertain to the office of Scribe of an assembly.
Section 4. Treasurer. The Treasurer pays all bills and invoices once approved by the appropriate person/s designated by Council. Checks over an amount set by Council must be cosigned by the Moderator, by the chair of the Property Commission, or by other members designated by Council. The Treasurer also prepares financial reports for Council meetings and summary reports for the annual and semiannual Congregational meetings. The Treasurer’s duties are further defined in the Community UCC Financial Policy.
Section 5. Financial Secretary. The Financial Secretary deposits money collected by the Church and keeps accurate records of pledges and contributions. He or she also prepares quarterly statements of giving for each pledge showing the amounts contributed.
Article IV - COORDINATING COUNCIL
Section 1. Members. The following are members of the Coordinating Council:
(a) The Moderator, Vice Moderator, Scribe, Treasurer and Financial Secretary, who are officers of the Church and are elected by the Congregation,
(b) The Minister, who is a professional staff member, and who is called by the Congregation,
(c) One delegate from each of the six Commissions, chosen by the members of their Commission. These individuals may be, but need not be, the chairs of their Commissions.
(d) Council may ask a youth of the Congregation between the ages of 14 and 19, inclusive, to serve as a member of Council.
(e) Council may also ask a member of any Committee that it creates to become a member of Council.
Section 2. Quorum. A quorum must be present before a formal vote can be taken at any regular or special meeting of the Coordinating Council. Fifty percent of the members of Council plus one constitutes a quorum.
(a) Except where otherwise provided, a majority vote of members present and voting shall be decisive.
(b) Notice of all regular or special meeting of Council shall be given at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
Section 3. Responsibilities. The Coordinating Council’s responsibilities are to:
(a) Serve as a forum for the discussion of Church business, problems and activities,
(b) Maintain a cooperative relationship between the Congregation and the Minister, including an annual review of the Minister’s salary and the covenant relationship as set forth in the call,
(c) Oversee the annual stewardship drive and encourage the giving of time, talent and treasure to the Church and its activities,
(d) Oversee all fiscal matters, including the collection and disbursement of funds,
(e) Develop and present to the Congregation a yearly budget, drawing on recommendations of the Commissions and other groups within the Church,
(f) Provide for the periodic auditing of financial records,
(g) Oversee the acceptance and care of gifts and memorials in accordance with adopted gift acceptance policies,
(h) Act on special budget requests throughout the year,
(i) Oversee the planning of special events, such as retreats, leadership training sessions, and fund-raising activities,
(j) Call and plan the agendas for regular and special meetings of the Congregation,
(k) Make the following appointments: members of the Nominating Commission, delegates and alternates to meetings of the Metro Denver Association and the Rocky Mountain Conference of the UCC, delegates to such other outside organizations as Council may choose from time to time,
(l) Nominate, when necessary, a Ministerial Search Committee, for the approval of the Congregation at a meeting called for such purpose,
(m) Act as the custodian of Church records, for which purpose the Church may appoint a church historian to preserve records, clippings and other historical documents pertaining to the life of the Church,
(n) Oversee all church publicity.
All acts and deliberations of the Council may be overruled or revised by a vote of the Congregation.
Article V - EMPLOYEES
Section 1. Other Employees. Hiring and supervision of other positions, as deemed necessary for the functioning of the Church, shall be by the Personnel Committee. A clear job description must be created for each position, and the Congregation must approve, by formal vote, its creation and the monetary expenditures necessary for the position. This approval may occur with the Congregation’s approval of the annual budget.
Article VI - COMMISSIONS
Section 1. The chairs of all Commissions and Committees it creates shall be approved by Council.
Section 2. Spiritual Life Commission. The Spiritual Life Commission oversees all worship services and adornment of the sanctuary; prepares and assists in administering the sacraments of community life; coordinates with the pastor to call on those desiring personal outreach from the church community; attends to the supply of the pulpit; supports programs that encourage the spiritual development of the Congregation, the community and the world; and performs other related duties and such other activities as approved or requested by Council. This Commission also works with the Minister and the Caring Ministry Committee in contacting persons who are not participating in worship or other activities of the church.
Section 3. Social Action Commission. This Commission investigates, coordinates and implements opportunities for the Congregation to put their faith into action by working actively to alleviate suffering and promote social, environmental and economic justice locally and throughout the world. The Commission seeks to increase the Congregation’s awareness and support for the social action programs sponsored by CUCC, the United Church of Christ and interfaith organizations. Subgroups or committees that focus on a particular social action issue report to Council via the Social Action Commission.
Section 4. Christian Education Commission. This Commission supports and aids in developing faith formation as described in the CUCC Mission Statement. It generates and oversees the childcare and educational programs of the Church for newborns through high school youth. It also develops classes and workshops for families with children. The Commission recruits, places, and trains teachers; works with the Christian Education Director and teachers in selecting and using curriculum for the church school; and maintains a children's library. It also coordinates and cooperates with the Personnel Committee to fill the positions of Christian Education Director and Youth Director when such positions are open, and supports and oversees the activities of the Christian Education Director. The Commission also coordinates and cooperates with the Personnel Committee to select and hire caregivers for the younger children.
Section 5. Property Commission. This Commission oversees the care of Church buildings, grounds and other property. It identifies current and potential needs for maintenance, repair, replacement or new construction; alerts Council and the Congregation to such needs; and assigns responsibility among its members and throughout the Congregation for the care of Church property. The Property Commission coordinates and cooperates with Personnel Committee to fill the position of Steward when this position exists, and supports and oversees the activities of the Steward. The chair of the Commission or his or her designee may sign contracts that are within the Commission’s budget up to a value of $10,000 for the care and maintenance of the property and building.
Section 6. Nominating Commission. The Nominating Commission recommends candidates for the positions of Moderator, Vice Moderator, Scribe, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary to the Congregation at its annual meeting. It assists Council in selecting chairs for all other Commissions and Committees. This Commission also assists Council in filling vacancies as they occur throughout the year. It works closely with the chairs of Commissions and Committees to increase their membership when this is desirable.
Section 7. Fellowship Commission. The Fellowship Commission provides opportunities for members and friends of CUCC to interact socially in order to build and strengthen relationships and community. It arranges activities for various segments of the Congregation, such as seniors, young adults, single adults, and families, as well as for the entire CUCC community. The Commission also coordinates fellowship activities and aids in the celebration of holidays and special CUCC events.
Article VII - COMMITTEES
The following standing committees report to the Coordinating Council.
Section 1. Stewardship Committee. The work of the Stewardship Committee is divided into two roles. First, it is responsible for an annual financial canvass of the members and friends of CUCC to cover the subsequent year’s proposed operating budget. In fulfilling this responsibility the Stewardship Committee: (a) plans activities to educate the Congregation about the projected budget for the coming year; (b) sets with the minister a date for and then organizes a Stewardship Sunday; (c) creates and distributes all necessary materials related to pledging prior to Stewardship Sunday, (d) engages speakers for “Stewardship Moments” for Sunday worship up to and including Stewardship Sunday; (e) reports after Stewardship Sunday on pledging progress and carries out any follow-up activities needed to ensure adequate funding of the budget.
Second, since Christian stewardship involves more than donating money to the church, the Stewardship Committee also encourages commitments of time and talent.
Section 2. Caring Ministry Committee. This Committee provides lay visitations and lay prayer ministries to individuals in need of support during times of physical or spiritual duress. It also actively participates in memorial services.
Section 3. Personnel Committee. This Committee, with input from the appropriate Commissions and with the approval of Council, oversees the hiring of, and, if necessary, the termination of non-pastoral employees. It creates and maintains job descriptions for each position. It ensures that the supervisor of each employee conducts a performance review annually, or more often if needed, providing every employee with constructive comments on his or her performance. The Committee keeps copies of past and current performance reviews for all current employees.
The Personnel Committee also coordinates an annual or more frequent review of the Minister and Associate Minister. For this, it may seek input from the Parish/Pastoral Relations Committee and the Caring Ministry Committee. When the Church is looking for a new minister, the Committee assists the Search Committee as requested, for example, by conducting background checks or helping with contract negotiations.
Section 4. Finance Committee. This Committee advises the Coordinating Council regarding (a) the policies needed to ensure the proper management of CUCC’s finances, (b) the terms of the church’s relationships with banks and other financial institutions, and (c) the terms and other details of any proposed borrowing. The Committee also offers guidance to Council regarding the Church’s Gift Acceptance Policy, its Endowment Fund, and other related matters.
Section 5. Parish/Pastoral Relations Committee. This Committee provides a confidential sounding board for the pastor and for participants in the Congregation. When appropriate, it serves as an intermediary between members of the Congregation and the pastor to facilitate the resolution of concerns and other issues. It may also suggest policy recommendations in the area of pastoral relations to the Coordinating Council. This Committee may have four or six members, half of whom the pastor selects and half of whom Council appoints after receiving the recommendations of the Nominating Commission.
Article VIII —CHURCH PROPERTY AND FINANCES
Section 1. Periodic Audit. The Coordinating Council in consultation with the Finance Committee shall appoint one or more persons, who are not Council members, to conduct periodic audits of the Church’s financial records. The Treasurer and Financial Secretary will maintain a series of checks and balances, appropriate to the situation and finances of the Church and approved by Council, that is designed to discover errors and prevent wrongdoing.
Section 2. Remuneration. Aside from the salaries of employees, no part of the net earnings of the Church shall accrue to the benefit of any particular member, officer or employee.
Section 3. Use of Buildings by Community Organizations. As a matter of policy, the Church encourages and welcomes the use of its building by other organizations in the community that share its principles. The Property Commission advises the Coordinating Council regarding appropriate use of Church property. It establishes written policies and procedures, for the approval of Council, regarding the use of Church buildings and property. It may delegate this responsibility to a Facility Use Committee or Church Administrator if it chooses.
Section 4. Disposition of Assets. In the event that CUCC should be dissolved, the net assets, after just debts have been paid, shall be distributed to the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ except where certain assets provide for their disposition.
Article IX – MEETINGS AND SERVICES
Section 1. Regular worship services shall be held on Sunday each week.
Section 2. Additional Religious Meetings. In addition to regular Sunday services, the Minister or the Spiritual Life Commission may call additional religious meetings.
Section 3. Regular Congregational Meetings. At least two Congregational meetings of the Church shall be held regularly each year. There shall be an annual meeting in January for the consideration of reports, adoption of a budget, election of officers and the transaction of any other business. The second meeting shall be held, roughly at mid-year, to consider the progress of Church programs, review budget goals, and discuss other issues before the Church. Council shall set the date of each meeting with at least two weeks' notice to the Congregation of the time and place.
Section 4. Quorum. A quorum must be present before a formal vote can be taken at any regular or special Congregational meeting. One-third of the members of this Church constitute a quorum. Except where otherwise provided, a majority vote of members present and voting shall be decisive. Proxy voting shall be permitted at any regular or special meeting, and a proxy shall be considered present at the meeting for all purposes, including determining a quorum.
Section 5. Parliamentary Authority. “Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised” shall be the parliamentary authority in the conduct of Congregational meetings.
Article X – AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of a quorum of the Coordinating Council, such vote to be held at any regular or special meeting of Council, provided that wording of the proposed amendments is circulated to the Congregation at least 15 days prior to the meeting at which Council considers the amendments. Council shall provide a reasonable time for comments at its meeting. A quorum of the Congregation at any regular or special Congregational meeting may veto any amendment passed by the Coordinating Council.
Article XI - DEFINITIONS AND USAGE
Within this document any reference to gender includes male, female, and gender expression. The terms Community UCC, CUCC, and the Church all refer to Community United Church of Christ. The term Council refers to the Coordinating Council
Whenever written notices are required, notice by electronic or telephonic communication shall be deemed as perfected notice.