UCCDM By-laws

UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST DISABILITIES MINISTRIES BOARD BY-LAWS

As Approved by the UCCDM Board of Directors on NOVEMBER 18, 2014

Article I:  Name

  1. The name of this organization shall be the United Church of Christ Disabilities   Ministries Board (hereinafter UCCDM).

Article II:  Vision

  1. The UCCDM envisions a world in which all people are included in the fullness of life because they are created in the image of God.

Article III:  Mission

  1. The mission of UCCDM is to support all settings of the United Church of Christ (hereinafter UCC) including but not limited to: local congregations, Associations, Conferences, camps, and National settings, as they seek to include people with disabilities in all aspects of the Church’s life and ministry.  The scope of this mission will include but not be limited to:
    1. Encourage all settings and all levels of the UCC to be physically and socially accessible to and welcoming of people with disabilities.
    2. Encourage and provide guidance to UCC settings as they become “Accessible to All” (hereinafter A2A).
    3. Participate in ecumenical conversations related to disabilities, and work with the UCC national setting and community partners to further the inclusion of people with disabilities in the life and leadership of the Wider Church.
    4. Affirm and claim as its own the commitments of the UCC to be a multiracial, multicultural, open and affirming, just peace, and accessible to all ministry.
  2. Actions to Achieve Mission
    1. Encourage local churches to be open, inclusive, affirming, and accessible in all aspects of their lives including their buildings, worship, education, fellowship, and service, in order to proclaim God’s word to all people, including people with disabilities.
    2. Advocate with and for people with disabilities, especially people who have been marginalized and alienated.
    3. Advocate for and collaborate with caregiving ministries for and with people with disabilities.
    4. Develop and support the leadership of laity and clergy with disabilities within all settings of the UCC.
    5. Encourage all settings of the UCC to consciously use language inclusive of and sensitive to accessibility and disabilities issues.  
    6. Develop and foster educational opportunities to reach the vision.  
    7. Establish and support scholarship funding to support persons with disabilities and mental health diagnoses in preparing for authorized ministry in the UCC.

Article IV:  The Board of Directors and its Duties

  1. There shall be a Board of Directors for UCCDM.
  2. The Board of Directors shall be comprised of at least seven (7) but not more than twelve (12) directors drawn from the diversity of the UCC, the majority of whom shall be persons with disabilities, members of families of persons with disabilities, or experts in the field of disability.
    1. Directors of the UCCDM Board shall be members of local UCC congregations.
    2. In addition, the UCCDM Board shall have the following ex-officio directors.  
      1. The Chair of the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network (hereinafter UCC MHN), or designated representative shall be an ex-officio director of the UCCDM Board with voice but with no vote.  The purpose of this partnership is to foster a sense of shared goals that can lead to collaboration between UCCDM and UCC MHN as desired or needed.
      2. UCC staff liaison(s) and consultant(s) of the UCCDM shall be ex-officio directors of the UCCDM Board, with voice but with no vote.
  3. The Board of Directors shall establish the strategic planning and conduct the business of UCCDM.
    1. The business of the Board of Directors shall include presentations by guest speakers, prepared reports, discussion of relevant topics or events, approval of minutes, approval of the Treasurer’s report, and any other relevant business.
    2. The Board of Directors will use these materials, discussions, and presentations to shape and plan the future goals, tasks, and projects of the Board.
  4. Meetings of the UCCDM Board may be conducted face-to-face, by telephone, or electronically.
    1. The Board of Directors shall meet in person at a minimum biennially.  
      1. In-person meetings may be held at the national offices of the UCC, in other parts of the country, and/or in conjunction with other UCC or UCCDM activities.
      2. If a UCCDM Board member cannot attend in person, he or she may request to attend by telephone or other electronic means.
      3. Notice of in-person meetings shall be sent by email or U.S. mail at least sixty (60) days prior to the start of the meeting.
    2. The Board of Directors shall meet by telephone or other electronic means once a month for at least nine (9) months of each calendar year.
      1.  Notice of monthly meetings shall be sent by email or U.S. mail no later than one  (1) week prior to the start of that meeting.
    3. The Board of Directors may conduct additional meetings as needed or desired.
      1. Notice of additional meetings shall be sent by email or U.S. mail with as much notice as possible before the start of the meeting.
    4. Non-directors and other persons who support the vision, mission, and actions of the UCCDM may request to attend Board meetings at their own expense.
    5. Accommodations for the special needs of Board directors or others who are attending meetings will be provided with two (2) weeks’ prior notice to the Chair.
    6. A quorum shall be established at the beginning of every Board meeting.
      1.  A quorum is defined as a simple majority of the voting members of the UCCDM Board.
    7. Minutes of all business conducted by the Board shall be kept by the Secretary of the Board and forwarded to each Board director, UCC national staff liaison, and other ex-officio directors within two (2) weeks of each meeting.  The minutes shall be approved at the beginning of the next meeting.
    8. All meetings of the UCCDM Board be governed by the consensus model of decision.
      1. The consensus model may be replaced by Roberts Rules of Order (revised) by simple majority vote of the Board. The consensus model may be reinstated by request of the chair, co-chair or vice chair.
    9. The Board of Directors may choose to accomplish its goals and tasks through the use of subcommittees.
      1. A director currently serving on the Board of Directors must act as chair or co-chair of a subcommittee unless permission is granted to do otherwise by a vote of the whole Board.
      2. The chair of a subcommittee shall call all meetings of that subcommittee.
      3. The chair of a subcommittee shall appoint a subcommittee member to take minutes at each meeting.  
        1. The minutes of every subcommittee meeting shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the Board of Directors at least one (1) week prior to the next meeting of the Board of Directors.
      4. A subcommittee may invite one or more persons who are not directors currently serving on the Board to help them accomplish their project goals or tasks.
        1. Those non-directors working in a subcommittee shall be known as Members-at-Large.
        2. Members-at-Large may serve on a subcommittee for the duration of the project goal or task or for a maximum of six (6) years, whichever comes first.
        3. A Member-at-Large may serve on more than one (1) subcommittee only when permission to do so is granted by a vote of the full Board.
        4. A Member-at-Large shall serve on a subcommittee with voice but no vote.
        5. A Member-at-Large may be invited to attend a meeting of the full Board of Directors, at the Board’s expense, with voice but no vote.
      5. Directors who miss two (2) consecutive meetings without compelling reasons shall be subject to replacement.
      6. Directors who miss two (2) consecutive in-person meetings without compelling reasons shall be subject to replacement.
      7. Members-at-Large who miss two (2) consecutive meetings without compelling reasons shall be subject to replacement.

Article V:  Officers and Their Duties

  1. There shall be four (4) officers of the UCCDM Board:  Chair, Vice-Chair (or Co-Chairs), Secretary, and Treasurer.  These four (4) officers shall constitute the Executive Committee of the UCCDM Board of Directors.
  2. The Chair shall:
    1. Preside at all meetings
    2. Appoint other members to specific tasks as needed with the prior approval of the other Officers
    3. Serve as spokesperson of UCCDM to the wider UCC.
    4. Serve on the Wilke Scholarship Fund Selection Committee as stipulated by the Chair of the United Church Board (hereinafter UCCB) on February 28, 2014
    5. Attend all subcommittee meetings with voice but no vote except on the subcommittee he or she is assigned to serve;  he or she shall have a vote on his or her assigned subcommittee.
    6. Serve on the Widening the Welcome Committee and leadership committees for other joint ventures with the UCC MHN.
    7. Serve as an ex-officio member of the UCC MHN Board of Directors with voice but no vote.  The purpose of this partnership is to foster a sense of shared goals that can lead to collaboration between UCCDM and UCC MHN as desired or needed.
    8. The Chair of UCCDM shall be recorded as additional signatory on the UCCDM bank accounts
  3. The Vice-Chair shall fulfill the duties of the Chair in the event of his or her absence.  
  4. If there are Co-Chairs, they shall fulfill the duties of the Chair and Vice-Chair.
  5. The Secretary shall:
    1. Take and keep minutes of all meetings of the Executive Committee and the full Board of Directors.
      1. All minutes shall be maintained in a digital archive accessible to all Board directors, national liaisons, and Members-at-Large.
      2. Update the UCCDM website quarterly by posting a summary of UCCDM meetings and activities.
    2. Send copies of all Executive Committee, full Board, and subcommittee minutes by email or U.S. mail to every Board director and national liaison in accordance with Article IV, Section D above.
    3. Send notice of meetings in accordance with Article IV, Section D above.
    4. Reserve the conference call line through the national offices prior to every telephone meeting.
    5. Maintain an up-to-date, accurate roster of all UCCDM Board directors and Members-at-Large.
      1. This roster shall be distributed to each director currently serving on the Board, the national liaison, and with the approval of the Executive Committee, to others who request it.
  6. The Treasurer shall:
    1. Maintain all financial records pertinent to the UCCDM Board of Directors.
      1. These records shall be open for review upon request by any Board director or national liaison.
    2. Provide a monthly written report of the donations, income, expenditures, and current balances of all funds maintained in the name of UCCDM to every Board director and the national liaison.
    3. Maintain statements for the Virginia Kreyer Scholarship Fund.
      1. Write thank you notes to donors for each new donation.
    4. The Board must authorize all expenditures in excess of $1500 prior to Treasurer tendering payment.
    5. Comply with all policies and procedures outlined in the UCC Disabilities Ministries Financial Procedures Manual. 
    6. Review and revise the Financial Procedures Manual at least every two years with the Finance Committee for approval by the Full Board of Directors.
    7. Submit to and assist with an internal audit of the UCC Disabilities Ministries Board every two years.  The audit will be conducted by a four-member team consisting of the Vice Chair of the full board, two members of the Finance Committee (excluding the treasurer), and one additional member of the full board.  A written audit report will be provided to the full board of directors at the annual meeting of the board.
    8. The Treasurer will chair the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors.
  7. The Officers shall have responsibility for acting on behalf of the UCCDM Board between Board meetings.
  8. Meetings of the Officers shall:
    1. Take place in person or by telephone or other electronic means at least once a month.
    2. Be called by any one of the Officers.
    3. Minutes of each meeting shall be taken and distributed in accordance with Article V, Section E, above .    

Article VI:  Nominations and Elections

  1. The UCCDM Board of Directors shall have a Nominating Committee.
    1. Members of the Nominating Committee will be the Chair, or, if there are Co-Chairs, one of them, plus two other members of the UCCDM Board.
    2. The Nominating Committee shall provide a slate of individuals they have selected to serve on the UCCDM Board.
      1. This slate must be approved by a vote of the full Board before the nominated individuals can be offered Board positions.
      2. The Nominating Committee may choose how they wish to select individuals for this slate.
        1. The Nominating Committee will reach out to and encourage people with disabilities in all settings of the UCC who are members of a UCC congregation to self-nominate to serve on the UCCDM Board.
        2. The Nominating Committee will seek diverse individuals to serve on the UCCDM Board in order to reflect the wide diversity of people within the UCC.
      3. The Nominating Committee shall ensure that an equal number of individuals will be serving in each Class Year.
      4. The Nominating Committee shall also provide a slate of Officers, chosen from among the voting directors, to put before the full Board for a vote.
      5. The Nominating Committee shall fill all vacancies in order to maintain appropriate rotation cycle.
        1. A vacancy shall be filled to complete the term vacated, no longer.
      6. The Nominating Committee shall select a diversity of people with disabilities to apply to serve on the UCCB.
        1. The Nominating Committee shall encourage directors of the Board to self-nominate to serve on the UCCB.
        2. The Nominating Committee shall encourage a diversity of people with disabilities in all settings of the UCC who are members of a UCC congregation to self-nominate to serve on the UCCB.
      7. The Nominating committee shall be responsible for the selection of the recipients of the UCCDM awards;
        1. for churches & organizations that have demonstrated leadership in accessibility and
        2. individuals who have shown exceptional leadership in disabilities ministries and
        3. as well as the Virginia Kreyer Award.
    3. Directors of the UCCDM Board shall be elected to serve a six (6) year term.  No one may serve two (2) consecutive six (6) years terms.  Former directors of the UCCDM Board may be asked to serve again after they have been off the Board for a minimum of two years.
      1. All persons elected for a six (6) year term shall begin their term October 1 and end their term on September 31 of their assigned Class Year.
      2. Persons elected to terms other than six (6) years may begin their term as needed and end their term on September 31 of their assigned Class Year.
    4. Directors of the UCCDM Board may be elected to serve terms of less than six (6) years if they are filling a vacancy.
      1. A person serving a term of less than two (2) years may be elected to a subsequent six (6) year term.
      2. A person elected to serve a term greater than two (2) years may not be eligible for election to a six (6) year term until he or she has been off the  Board for a minimum of two (2) years.
    5. Officers shall be elected to serve a two (2) year term to serve on the Executive Committee.  They may be elected to serve three consecutive terms.
    6. Officers unable to complete their terms shall be replaced by persons nominated by the Nominating Committee.
    7. Officers who miss two (2) consecutive meetings without compelling reasons shall be considered to have resigned their position and are subject to replacement in accordance with the provisions above concerning vacancies.

Article VII:  Amendment of Bylaws

  1. These bylaws may be amended or repealed at any time, in whole or in part, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full Board, provided that the substance of any proposed change is available for review by the directors of the Board at least two (2) weeks before the meeting.

Article VIII:  Adoption of Bylaws

  1. These bylaws shall be in full force and effect immediately upon their adoption by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board.

Approved November 18, 2014 by the United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries Board of Directors

Amended September 28, 2015 by the United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries Board of Directors

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