Remember when the Bylaws Task Force was created back in the spring of 2021? We were empowered by the Policy and Governance (P&G) Committee to look at ALL of East Shore’s Bylaws AND Articles of Incorporation to ensure that they are up-to-date, comply with Washington State Law, conform to UUA standards, and are useful and easy to understand.
This past December we learned that the Washington state laws for Articles of Incorporation have also changed extensively so their review was added to our plate. The Articles are a foundational document required by state law in order for East Shore to exist. IF changes are made to them, they must be approved by the congregation. Bylaws flow from the Articles of Incorporation and also require congregational approval.
Some Bylaw changes were approved by the Congregation in June 2020 and October 2021. Our aim is to present all the proposed changes to the Congregation at its June 2022 Annual Meeting following a comprehensive review by an attorney and approval by the Board. This rather aggressive timeline may need adjustment as the project unfolds. The P&G Committee’s Task Force includes Grace Colton, Marcy Langrock, Rebecca Chatfield, Ryam Hill and Mary Anderson.
By the end of February 2022, the Bylaws Review Task Force will have received templates and other written information about new Washington state requirements for East Shore’s Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. Their arrival will kick off a period of detailed work for the Task Force.
Recently, the task force has been identifying and exploring issues around two bylaw topics: changing the church’s Fiscal Year to be January to December and the Membership section of the Bylaws. We are talking with groups and people who have historical knowledge and/or are currently engaged in these areas:
Many times over the years Board Treasurers and the Finance Team have asked to consider moving to a calendar year budget cycle and we are looking at it again. The Task Force has consulted with the Finance Team, Financial Stewardship, Director of Finance & Operations, Director of Religious Education, the Auction Team, and the staff Mission Fund Drive leader, Nicole Duff fto explore the pros and cons of a change.
For the Membership portion of the Bylaws, we have had discussion with Membership Director Nicole and reviewed the UUA guidelines on:
- moving the details of qualifications for membership to policies and replacing them with general statements so our bylaws become more comprehensive with easier to adjust, more specific policies.
- revising the current qualifications for membership.
- moving the details of resignation and removal from membership to policies and replacing them with a general statement so our bylaws become more comprehensive with easier to adjust, more specific policies.
There are other Bylaw topics to be explored that will be reported on in future articles.
How can you be involved?
- Your participation is crucial in this project! The Bylaws Task Force wants your suggestions, comments, and questions. These will help guide us in our work. The earlier in the process we receive your thoughts, the more thoroughly they can be addressed before voting. If you have comments about the above issues or any aspect of this work, email [email protected] or any other member of the Task Force. We want to hear from you.
- There will be additional Town Halls, e-blasts, and Beacon articles through the year to let you know what’s up. The Task Force counts on your review. Members are connected to East Shore through its Bylaws and are empowered to approve or reject changes and updates.
- Watch an introductory video HERE about the Bylaws Project.
- You can read our current Bylaws HERE and Policies HERE.