UNITY NORTH TAMPA BYLAWS 2021 DRAFT
[Revised by Special Meeting, October 3, 2021]
ARTICLE I – Name
The name of this local ministry shall be Unity North Tampa, Inc.
ARTICLE II – Purpose
Section 1. Statement of Purpose. The purpose of Unity North Tampa is to teach the universal principles of Truth, as taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ and other spiritual teachers, and interpreted by the Association of Unity Churches, Inc., d/b/a Unity Worldwide Ministries, Unity Headquarters and Unity Worldwide Ministries, a nonprofit corporation organized and existing under the laws of the state of Georgia with headquarters at Lee’s Summit, Missouri, hereinafter referred to as UWM; and, to live its vision, mission and core values as adopted by the members UWM and by the ministry from time to time.
Section 2. Accomplishment of Purpose. In the accomplishment of this purpose, Unity North Tampa shall conduct services of worship and classes of instruction and demonstrate the principles of Truth by using them in the operation of the ministry and adopt other means that in the judgment of the minister(s) shall further the principles of positive practical Christianity and practical spirituality among people everywhere.
Section 3. Unity Worldwide Ministries. Unity North Tampa shall be a vital part of the worldwide Unity movement and a member of UWM. Any member of this ministry may call upon the resources and support of UWM through its senior minister (or co-ministers), Spiritual Leadership Council, staff, or through direct communication with UWM.
In the spirit of cooperation, the operation and conduct of this ministry shall comply with the bylaws, policies and regulations of UWM, insofar as they do not conflict with the laws of the State of Florida.
A. Participation. This ministry may have its voice heard and its wishes expressed in the membership meetings of UWM, and, its members may participate in workshops, seminars, and classes designed to encourage and foster their spiritual development and that of the ministry.
B. Resources. This ministry can benefit from its membership in UWM and its corresponding region through direct support, materials, and coaching regarding organization, finances, music, adult and youth education, church growth programs, ethics compliance, and other topics related to church function.
C. Leadership. This ministry shall have as its spiritual leader an ordained or licensed Unity minister(s) approved for ministry employment by UWM or a person serving under special dispensation approved by UWM. For the purpose of these bylaws, the term “minister” shall include a person serving under special dispensation of UWM.
D. Teaching. The principles of practical Christianity shall be taught through this ministry using methods, textbooks, literature, and other materials consistent with the guidelines of UWM and/or approved by the minster(s).
E. Comply with Requests. The ministry shall comply with all requests for identifying information from UWM, including, but not limited to copies of the ministry’s:
1) Articles of Incorporation;
2) Bylaws whenever updated;
3) Deeds to properties owned by the ministry;
4) Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, once it has been returned by the IRS to the ministry;
5) Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party.
F. Reports. The ministry shall make annual reports to UWM as required.
ARTICLE III – Office and Official Records
Section 1. Principal Office. Said office shall be in the County of Hillsborough, State of Florida, or at such other place within the State of Florida as the Spiritual Leadership Council hereafter shall designate. The Corporation may also have offices at such other place or places, as the Spiritual Leadership Council may from time to time designate. The ministry may also have offices at such other place or places as the Spiritual Leadership Council may from time to time designate.
Section 2. Official Records. Records of membership, finances, donation, corporate minutes, and other records required by law or as designated by the Spiritual Leadership Council shall be maintained at the principal office of the ministry. Confidential documents are available only for use by the minister(s), Leadership Council members, or designated professional staff and advisors. Non-confidential documents are available to members.
Section 3. Parliamentary Authority. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern this ministry in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the ministry may adopt.
ARTICLE IV – Members
Section 1. Qualifications. A member of Unity North Tampa will endeavor to live in accord with the Jesus Christ principles of love and truth as taught by Unity. He/she will further the work of this ministry through his/her active interest, love, and support.
Section 2. Membership Application. Anyone who has reached the age of thirteen (13) and desires to become a member of Unity North Tampa may file an application for membership with the ministry office. Prospective members may also need to meet additional requirements according to current ministry policy. The membership application shall be presented to the Spiritual Leadership Council at its next regular meeting. A majority vote of the Council members present and voting shall be required to accept the application. The applicant shall be notified of the Council’s action by the Council Secretary. All staff ministers and active Licensed Unity Teachers are considered active members of Unity North Tampa.
Section 3. Membership.
A. New Members. A prospective member must attend a basic Unity course approved by the minister(s) and a membership orientation class presented by the minister(s) or their designee. They become new members upon acceptance of their membership application as described above. Sixty (60) days after acceptance, a new member shall become an active member with voting rights at all membership meetings.
B. Active Members. To retain membership rights, each member must indicate a desire to remain an active member by completing and returning a yearly membership renewal document as approved by the Spiritual Leadership Council. If no current membership document is on file prior to, or at, the annual membership meeting, that person becomes an inactive member and cannot serve on the Spiritual Leadership Council or vote at any membership meeting. The Council Secretary shall notify said member of their inactive status within ten (10) days.
C. Youth Members. Youth membership is open to those who are no less than thirteen (13) years of age and no more than seventeen (17) years of age. Youth member shall have the right to speak at all meetings which members have the right to speak, but they shall be ineligible to vote at membership meetings or to serve as members of the Spiritual Leadership Council. A youth member becomes an active member upon attaining the age of eighteen (18). Any additional qualifications for youth membership shall be at the discretion of the minister(s).
D. Reinstatement of Inactive Member. Within three (3) years of inactivation, members who have been advised by the Spiritual Leadership Council of inactive status may be reinstated by returning to regular attendance or active participation as determined by the minister(s) and the Spiritual Leadership Council. To be eligible to vote at a membership meeting the reinstated member must have been attending regularly or actively participating for at least 60 days before the meeting. After three (3) years of inactivation, former members must reapply for active membership as provided by Spiritual Leadership Council policy.
E. Removal of Membership for Cause. A member may be removed for cause by the Spiritual Leadership Council. Prior to any vote concerning removal, the member in question must be notified by certified mail at least thirty (30) days prior to the Spiritual Leadership Council meeting of the charges that may lead to removal of membership and thereafter be given an opportunity for a hearing before the Council. The member shall have the right to be present at the hearing by the Spiritual Leadership Council and may bring a person to counsel him/her who must be a member of the local ministry. A two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the entire membership of the Council currently in office shall be required for removal of membership. A member so removed is ineligible to be reinstated as a as a member within two years of removal unless approved by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote.
Section 4. Rights of Active Members. Each active member of Unity North Tampa shall have the following rights:
A. To vote at any membership meeting, either in person, by telephone, or by other electronic means simultaneously with a minimum standard being oral communication
B. To participate in all activities and programs of the ministry;
C. To serve on ministry teams when selected as provided in Article VI, Section 16 [Ministry Teams];
D. To offer suggestions for the good of this ministry to the minister(s) and the Spiritual Leadership Council;
E. To review the annual financial report of the past year;
F. To speak in debate at any membership meeting as provided in Article V, Section 1 (E) [Meetings – Participation];
G. To call a special membership meeting when the affairs of this ministry warrant such action as provided in Article V, Section 2 [Special Membership Meeting];
H. To contact a Regional Representative or UWM directly for guidance, support, or information on available resources;
I. Any ten (10) active members may request Peacemaking assistance by notifying the President of UWM in writing with copies to the Spiritual Leadership Council and minister(s). Upon receipt of a request for Peacemaking assistance from ten or more active members to the President or designee of UWM, said person will confer with the minister(s) and/or the Unity Southeast Regional Representative to evaluate whether further action is required.
ARTICLE V – Meetings
Section 1. Annual Meeting. There shall be one annual membership meeting each year.
A. Date and Location of Annual Meeting. The annual membership meeting shall be held during the first quarter at the principal location of the ministry at a time and date established by agreement between the senior minister or co-ministers and the Spiritual Leadership Council.
B. Notice. Written notice stating the date, time, and place of the annual meeting or any special meeting shall be sent by postal or electronic mail to all members at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the meeting.
C. Quorum. Those active members present and voting at a membership meeting called pursuant to the above notice provisions will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any membership meeting.
D. Presiding Officer. The President of the Spiritual Leadership Council shall serve as the presiding officer of the annual membership meeting unless the President relinquishes the chair to another Council member, to a representative of UWM, or to a professional registered parliamentarian.
E. Participation. The right to speak in debate, to make motions and to vote during annual membership meetings shall be restricted to those active members who are present or in person by electronic means, and who were admitted to membership at least sixty (60) days prior to the date of the annual meeting. The right of other persons to speak during membership meetings may be extended by the presiding officer or by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote. UWM’s representative(s) have a right to speak when they are at the meeting.
F. Voting. Unless otherwise provided in these bylaws, a majority of the active members present and voting shall be necessary for approval or disapproval of the action being voted upon. In the spirit of unity, the broadest possible consensus is always preferred.
G. Prayer. In any membership meeting, the Council President, minister(s), UWM representative or any member may request that action on an item of business be suspended while the membership enters into a time of prayer concerning the item of business. Upon such request, the presiding officer shall provide a period of prayer and silence.
H. Power and Authority. Active members shall have the power and authority to do all of the following:
1) Vote to ratify any Council recommendation regarding employment or termination of employment of the senior minister(s) by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote as outlined in Article VII, Sections 2 and 3 [Employment and Termination];
2) Elect two (2) active members to the Spiritual Leadership Council at each annual meeting as provided in Article VI, Section 11 [Nomination and Election];
3) Elect a member and an alternate to serve on the Nominating Team for the next annual meeting, as provided in Article VI, Section 11 (A) [Nominating Team];
4) Fill vacancies on the Spiritual Leadership Council as provided in Article VI, Section 13 [Vacancies].
5) Approve proposed amendments to or revisions of these bylaws as provided in Article XI [Amendment of Bylaws];
6) Approve by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote any expenditure regarding the sale, pledge, or proposed financing of real property belonging to this ministry that exceeds fifty-thousand dollars ($50,000) or thirty-five percent (35%) of the previous year’s income, whichever is less;
7) Override any action of the Spiritual Leadership Council provided notice of the action to be voted upon is sent by postal or electronic mail to all members in writing fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting and is approved by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote;
8) Remove by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote any or all member(s) from the Spiritual Leadership Council provided notice of the action is sent by mail to all members in writing fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting;
9) Any active member may request in writing, no later than thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting, that a specified matter be placed on the agenda;
10) Vote on any matters officially brought to the attention of the membership.
Section 2. Special Membership Meeting.
A. Requesting Special Meetings. Any time the affairs of this ministry warrant, a special membership meeting may be requested by the senior minister (or co-ministers); by a majority vote of the Spiritual Leadership Council; or by a petition signed by ten percent (10%) of the active members and submitted to the Spiritual Leadership Council.
B. Calling Special Meetings. Upon receiving proper request for a special membership meeting, the President of the Spiritual Leadership Council shall call the meeting on behalf of the requesting party within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the request. The notice of a special meeting shall be sent by postal or electronic mail to all members at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting. The location, quorum, presiding officer, participation, voting, and prayer provisions for special membership meetings shall be the same as those for annual meetings.
C. Special Meeting Business. Business conducted at a special meeting shall be limited to the pre-stated purpose(s) given in the meeting notice.
ARTICLE VI – Spiritual Leadership Council
Section 1. Composition. The Spiritual Leadership Council shall be composed of the senior minister (or co-ministers) and six (6) active members elected as provided herein.
Section 2. Eligibility and Term of Office.
A. Qualifications. To be eligible for election to the Spiritual Leadership Council, an active member must:
1) have been an active member of Unity North Tampa for at least one (1) year and have furthered the work of this ministry through active interest, love and financial support;
2) have the time and the desire to serve on the Spiritual Leadership Council;
3) have demonstrated spiritual leadership qualities and a sincere commitment to continued study of Unity teachings;
4) endeavor to live in accord with the Jesus Christ principles of love and truth as taught by Unity Worldwide Ministries.
B. Term of Office. Elected Spiritual Leadership Council members shall hold office for three (3) years, or until their successors have been elected and assume office. Spiritual Leadership Council members elected at any annual membership meeting shall take office at the conclusion of the meeting at which they were elected. No elected Council member shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms without an interval of one (1) year between terms. Any person who serves on the Council more than half of a term shall be credited with having served a full term. The terms of two (2) elected Council members will expire annually so as to stagger the three (3) year terms of the Council members over a period of three (3) years.
Section 3. Prohibition of Council Service. The following persons are prohibited from serving on the Spiritual Leadership Council:
A. Any active licensed Unity teacher from this ministry;
B. Relatives, significant others or household members of any Council member of the ministry;
C. Individuals receiving compensation from the ministry with the exception of the senior minister (or co-ministers);
D. Relatives, significant others or household members of any individual receiving compensation from the ministry.
Section 4. Regular Council Meetings. Regular meetings of the Spiritual Leadership Council shall be held at least once a month, unless otherwise determined by the Council. There must be a minimum of one (1) meeting per quarter.
Section 5. Special Council Meetings. Special meetings of the Council shall be called by the President of the Council if requested by the senior minister (or co-ministers), by three (3) or more Council members, by a written petition of ten percent (10%) of the ministry’s active members, or by the President, if the President deems it necessary. Any request for a special Council meeting shall be made in writing to the Council Secretary. All current Council members, including the senior minister (or co-ministers), shall be sent notice by postal or electronic mail of any special Council meeting at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance of the meeting. The attendance of any member of the Council at the meeting shall serve as a waiver of this notice requirement.
Section 6. Action without a Meeting. The Council may take an action without a meeting if a consent in writing, setting forth the action so taken, is signed or electronically acknowledged by all of the Council members and is thereafter ratified at a regular or special meeting.
Section 7. Quorum. A majority of the total number of Council members including the minister(s) constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Unless otherwise provided herein, the vote of a majority of the Council members present and voting shall be necessary for approval of the action being voted upon. Should the total number of Council members, including the minister(s), fall below a quorum, the remaining Council members shall refer to and implement Section 13 concerning vacancies. Telephonic or electronic attendance is permitted and is not considered an absence.
Section 8. Council Authority.
A. Except as provided in these bylaws, all authority is vested in the Spiritual Leadership Council only when it meets in session after notice to all Council members and the senior minister (or co-ministers), and a quorum is present.
B. When discussing the minister’s (or co-ministers) compensation, working conditions, or review of the minister’s work record the Council (including the minister) may decide to exclude the minister from that portion of the discussion.
Section 9. Prayer. It is important that in addition to adhering to the normal procedures for legal functioning set forth in these bylaws, that the spiritual principles taught by Unity Worldwide Ministries be utilized in the handling of decisions before the Spiritual Leadership Council. During the discussion of any item of business, a Council member may request time for prayer concerning the topic. Upon such request, the President shall provide a period of prayer and silence.
Section 10. Duties and Responsibilities of the Spiritual Leadership Council. As representatives of the membership, the Spiritual Leadership Council shall:
A. Uphold the spiritual purpose of this ministry as stated in Article II [Purpose];
B. Uphold the highest interests of the membership in conducting the business of this ministry;
C. Be conversant with these bylaws and establish policy for the operation of the ministry;
D. Be faithful in attendance at weekly services as well as Council, membership and special team meetings of this ministry;
E. Determine the business needs of this ministry and authorize payment for those purposes;
F. Provide for the administration of the real and personal property of this ministry;
G. Make decisions regarding the sale, pledge, or proposed financing of real property belonging to this ministry provided that all decisions concerning the sale, pledge, or proposed financing of real property exceeding fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or thirty-five percent (35%) of the previous year’s income, whichever is less, shall be presented to the Voting Members at a properly constituted membership meeting for final approval;
H. Employ an ordained or licensed Unity Minister(s) through cooperation with the employment procedures of the Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) and in accordance with Article VII, Section 2 [Employment};
I. When conflict arises between the Council and the Council and/or the senior minister (or co-ministers), such ministry shall seek to reconcile differences and immediately notify UWM for help with procedures and to provide guidance and consultation. After a ministry and its senior minister (or co-ministers) have sought to reconcile differences and cooperated with the procedures and guidance of UWM, two-thirds (2/3rds) of the Spiritual Leadership Council (excluding the minister) may call a special membership meeting to terminate the employment of a senior minister (or co-ministers) in accordance with Article VII, Section 3 [Termination]. If the senior minister (or co-ministers) position becomes vacant, the Council shall notify UWM within three (3) business days;
J. As recommended by the senior minister (or co-ministers), determine staff positions, including associate and assistant ministers, and authorize compensation through the annual budget process;
K. Adopt an annual income and expense budget and set dates for the fiscal year;
L. Authorize periodic reviews or audits of the finances of the ministry of which may be conducted by an outside auditor or from a committee of members elected by the Council;
M. Ensure accounting records are current and properly maintained for all aspects of the ministry. When deemed appropriate by the Council, a qualified accountant may be employed for this purpose;
N. Approve applicants for membership and remove former members from the membership rolls;
O. Keep or cause to be kept an accurate record of members and former members;
P. Fill the unexpired term of any Council member;
Q. Elect officers of the Council and their successors to fill any unexpired term when necessary;
R. Ratify ministry teams as appointed by the Council President and the minister(s);
S. Attend and actively participate with ongoing Council education programs;
T. Consider issues brought to their attention by the minister(s) or members of the Council;
U. Keep or cause to be kept a background check on all staff and volunteers directly involved with the children’s programs;
V. Keep or cause to be kept accurate records of gifts to the ministry in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations; acknowledge in writing contributions in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations;
W. Issue or cause to be issued necessary 1099 and W-2 forms in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations;
X. Secure insurance covering the building, grounds and other properties, as well as such other insurance as the Council deems necessary;
Y. Take such other actions as may be deemed necessary for the best interests of this ministry;
Z. Send the Annual Ministry Report to UWM.
Section 11. Nomination and Election.
A. Nominating Team. The Nominating Team shall consist of three (3) members: a) the senior minister; b) one (1) current Council member selected by the Spiritual Leadership Council; and c) one (1) active member (and an alternate) who are not currently serving on the Council as selected by the active members at the annual meeting. In the event that the senior minister or the active member is unavailable, the alternate active member shall serve in their place. Any other vacancy on the Nominating Team shall be filled by the Spiritual Leadership Council, subject to the above guidelines.
B. Duties and Responsibilities. The Nominating Team shall initiate a search for at least one (1) qualified candidate per opening for nomination as a member of the Spiritual Leadership Council and select a chairperson to present the team’s nominations at the annual membership meeting.
C. Other Nominations. Any active member wishing to nominate another active member may do so by contacting the Nominating Team no later than fifteen (15) days in advance to the annual business meeting.
D. Self-Nominations. Any active member not nominated by the Nominating Team may submit their name to the Spiritual Leadership Council no later than 15 (fifteen) days prior to the annual membership meeting. Such nominees shall then be placed on the Council ballot for election at the annual business meeting.
E. Nomination Procedure. The presiding officer of the annual membership meeting shall:
1) Read Article VI, Section 2 (A) [Qualifications] of these bylaws just prior to beginning the process of nomination and election; and
2) Call upon the chairperson of the Nominating Team to present the team’s nominations; and
3) Read the names of additional nominees whose names have submitted at least fifteen (15) days prior to the annual business meeting.
F. Election Procedure. The election shall be by ballot if there are any partial terms to be filled or there is more than one (1) nominee for each position. The result of the vote shall be announced to the annual meeting. The two (2) qualified nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected to fill three (3) year terms. The candidates receiving the next highest number of votes shall be elected to the longest unexpired term.
G. Interim Council. In the event of an interim Council, the Nominating Team shall complete its selection process within thirty (30) days from the establishment of the interim Council.
Section 12. Removal from Office by the Spiritual Leadership Council. Any Council member may be removed by the Spiritual Leadership Council due to unexcused absences from three (3) successive regular Council meetings, failure to fulfill the duties of the office, disruptive or unethical behavior. Removal requires a majority vote of the other Council members.
Section 13. Vacancies.
A. Should there be a vacancy on the Spiritual Leadership Council, the Council shall select a qualified replacement to fill the position. A majority vote shall be necessary for election. The term of service shall expire on the date of the next annual meeting.
B. Should the number of Council members fall beneath the quorum requirement, the remaining Council members shall be empowered to call and hold the special meetings allowed by Section 13 (C) and to carry on the necessary day-to-day activities of the ministry.
C. Should the number of Council members fall beneath a quorum, two special membership meetings shall be called.
1) The first special meeting shall occur within thirty (30) days with notice of the meeting sent by postal or electronic mail to all Voting Members at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting. The purpose of this meeting shall be:
a) To elect interim Council members;
b) To constitute or reconstitute the Nominating Team;
c) To set the date for a second special meeting. The second special membership meeting shall be held no later than seventy-five (75) days after the first meeting with notice sent to all members by postal or electronic mail at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting.
2) The Nominating Team shall complete their search for Council nominees within thirty (30) days of the first special membership meeting and forward their nominations by mail to all active Voting Members to all Voting Members within forty-five (45) days.
3) The Council members shall be elected at the second of these special membership meetings. If the regular annual meeting of this ministry should be scheduled in this time period, then Council elections shall be held at the regular annual meeting of this ministry.
D. Election Procedure. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall fill the longest unexpired term; the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes receives the next longest term. This procedure is followed until all vacancies are filled.
Section 14. Spiritual Leadership Council Officers. The officers of the Spiritual Leadership Council shall be a president, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and other officers as the Council may decide. All officers shall be elected by a majority of the Council members present and voting at the first Council meeting after the annual meeting, or, at a special meeting called for the purpose of electing officers. The term of office shall be one (1) year or until successors are elected.
Section 15. Duties of Officers.
A. President. The president shall preside at all Spiritual Leadership Council meetings, preside at all membership meetings, appoint members of ministry teams related to Council functions (except the Nominating Committee) with the advice of the Council, serve as an ex officio member of all ministry teams except the Nominating Committee, sign such papers and documents upon proper authorization as may be necessary and be responsible for collaborating with the senior minister in the planning of Council orientations, retreats, and workshops.
B. Vice President. The vice president shall assist the president in the performance of that officer’s duties, perform all the duties of the president of the Council in the absence of the president, and succeed to the office of president in case the office of the president becomes vacant. In such a case, a new vice president shall be elected from among the remaining Council members to fill the remainder of the unexpired term.
C. Secretary. The secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, an accurate record of the minutes of all Council and membership meetings, hold in custody and be responsible for all reports, contracts, other legal papers, keep the meeting minute books at the principal executive office of the ministry at all times or in such other depository as prescribed by the Council, be a signatory to any legally required documents which the state or local government determine necessary, attend to all official business as directed by the Council, and keep or cause to be kept up-to-date membership lists.
D. Treasurer. The treasurer shall be custodian of all funds belonging to this ministry, pay out or cause to be paid out funds authorized by the Council, see that all expenditures are evidenced by proper receipts and vouchers, keep or cause to be kept a record of all financial transactions, submit monthly financial reports at each regular Council meeting, submit a financial report covering the last complete fiscal year and a budget for the upcoming year to be approved by the membership at the annual membership meeting, and account or cause to be accounted for by the appointment of qualified persons all funds received being responsible to assure that all such funds are deposited in accounts authorized by the Council. When counting ministry funds there should be at least two (2) persons present. The Council may require the treasurer to pass background checks for the faithful performance of his or her duties.
Section 16. Ministry Teams. Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, ministry teams for any specific purpose shall be appointed by and agreed upon by the minister(s) and the Council President and ratified by the Spiritual Leadership Council.
ARTICLE VII– Administration and Leadership
Section 1. Administration. The administration of Unity North Tampa shall be vested in the senior minister (or co-ministers) as the administrative director and the Spiritual Leadership Council elected from the membership.
Section 2. Employment. The Spiritual Leadership Council shall select their recommendation for senior minister (or co-ministers) following the employment procedures for ministerial personnel of UWM.
A. The Council shall appoint a Ministerial Search Team consisting of no less than five (5) Voting Members, with no more than three (3) members from the Spiritual Leadership Council. The Search Team shall seek qualified ministerial candidates and present them to the Spiritual Leadership Council and the congregation.
B. The candidate recommended by the Council for employment must be ratified by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the active members present and voting, as provided in Article V, Section 1 (H) (1).
Section 3. Termination. After a ministry and its senior minister or co-ministers have cooperated with the Peacemaking procedures of UWM, or with any other mediating organization, a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the active members present and voting is required to terminate the employment of a senior minister or co-minister, as provided in Article V, Section 1 (H) (1).
Section 4. Senior Minister (or Co-Ministers). The senior minister (or co-ministers) shall be duly licensed or ordained Unity minister(s) or someone serving under special dispensation.
A. Duties. As the spiritual leader(s) of this ministry, the senior minister (or co-ministers) shall be responsible for the scheduling, conduct, content of services/classes, and all other activities that further the purpose of this ministry. As chief executive officer(s), the minister(s) shall:
1) Be responsible for the complete functioning of this ministry, including the hiring and termination of all employees including associate or assistant ministers;
2) Be and serve as voting member(s) of the Spiritual Leadership Council on all matters except their own employment, or that of their successor(s);
3) Serve as ex officio member(s) of all ministry teams;
4) Be responsible for creating specific ministry teams related to these duties; and appoint the members of these teams as provided in Article VI, Section 16 [Ministry Teams;
5) Be responsible for promptly seeking UWM’s assistance in the event of a dispute adversely affecting the ministry.
B. Compensation. The compensation of the senior minister (or co-ministers) employed by this ministry shall be set by the Spiritual Leadership Council and be in alignment with the approved budget.
C. Vacancy. A senior minister or co-minister position may be vacated by: a) resignation; b) inability to serve or; c) termination in accordance with Article VII, Section 3 [Termination].
D. Associate and/or Assistant Ministers. Associate and/or assistant minister(s) are hired by the senior minister (or co-ministers) with the consent and approval of the Spiritual Leadership Council. These minister(s) function with less responsibility than the senior minister (or co-ministers).
1) Qualifications. Any associate and/or assistant minister shall agree to abide by the UWM Code of Ethics and the Sexual Conduct Policy.
2) Duties. The associate and/or assistant minister(s) shall perform the duties and fulfill the responsibilities assigned them by the senior minister (or co-ministers).
3) Compensation. To the extent funded by the Council the compensation of the associate and/or assistant Minister(s) shall be fixed by the senior minister (or co-ministers).
Section 3. Definitions.
A. A Unity Ministry. A member ministry is a ministry recognized by UWM.
B. Senior Minister. A senior minister is a Unity Minister duly ordained, licensed or serving under special dispensation by UWM or Unity School of Christianity prior to July 1, 1966, who assumes the spiritual and administrative leadership role in a member ministry. This leader oversees teaching, preaching, healing, counseling, praying and all spiritual services and fellowship activities of the ministry. The senior minister shall also be responsible for overseeing the administration and operation of the ministry.
C. Co-Minister. In shared partnership ministries, a co-minister is a Unity Minister duly ordained or licensed by UWM or Unity School of Christianity prior to July 1, 1966 or serving under special dispensation, who equally assumes the leadership role with another minister in a member ministry.
D. Associate Minister. In ministries with more than one minister, an associate minister may be equal in ability, but function with less responsibility than the senior minister. The associate minister reports to the senior minister, who determines the scope of the associate’s responsibilities.
E. Assistant Minister. The skills and/or experience of the assistant minister may be less than those of the senior minister. The assistant minister reports to the senior minister, who determines the scope of the assistant’s responsibilities. The assistant may be placed in a specialized service area of the ministry, i.e., pastoral visitation or administrative support.
ARTICLE VII – Emergency Situations
In the case of a national emergency declared by the President of the United States, a State of Emergency declared by the governor, or a local emergency as determined by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the Spiritual Leadership Council present and voting, the Council is authorized to meet by electronic means and to have the full power to adjust budgets and cancel/postpone events or reschedule them as electronic meetings. As long as the emergency lasts, the Spiritual Leadership Council may take any other emergency actions deemed helpful and necessary to assure the welfare of this ministry.
ARTICLE IX – Dissolution
In the event that this ministry is dissolved, all property and funds remaining after the payment of the debts of the ministry shall be delivered to UWM. Such funds or property shall be for the use and benefit of UWM as may be determined by the UWM Board of Council members in alignment with current policies and procedures. Should UWM no longer exist, any remaining assets of this ministry after dissolution shall be disposed of by a court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the principal executive offices of the ministry are then located and shall be used exclusively for such purposes or distributed to such organization or organizations as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for purposes set out in Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as amended.
ARTICLE X – Amendment of Bylaws
Any amendment(s) to or general revision of these bylaws shall be adopted at any annual or special membership meeting provided that written notice setting forth the exact wording of such proposed amendment(s) or general revision has been sent by postal or electronic mail to all members at least fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting at which they shall be considered. An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3rds) of the active members present and voting shall be necessary to adopt any amendment(s) to or general revision of these bylaws.