Summary of Proposed Amendments to Bylaws
Section 1.01 - Statement of Purpose
Current bylaws provide that Unity Church of Hawai‘i’s purpose is to teach the universal principles of Truth, as taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ and interpreted by Unity School of Christianity and Unity Worldwide Ministries.
Proposed amendment would keep existing language and also expand purpose to include teaching universal principles of Truth as taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ and other Spiritual Masters.
Section 2.02 - Official Records
The proposed amendment would increase members’ access to official church documents.
Current bylaws provide that official church documents are available to church officers and ministers only.
The proposed amendment would make all official church documents, except donation records and personnel files, available to all church members upon request.
Sections 3.01 - 3.03 -- Membership: Qualifications and Terms
The proposed amendments would conform our bylaws to our existing practice.
Current bylaws require completion of the following steps in order to become a member: (1) File an application; (2) Minister must determine that applicant is sufficiently aware of Unity’s teachings and taking spiritual commitment seriously; and (3) Applicant receives invitation to become a member.
The proposed amendments would require completion of the following steps in order to become a member: (1) Complete an orientation program; (2) Sign the membership covenant; (3) Make a conscious commitment to spiritual growth. This reflects our existing practice.
Section 3.05(a) - Annual Membership Meeting
The proposed amendment would change the date of the meeting from the third Sunday in February to the first Sunday in March.
Article IV - Church Government & Administration
The proposed amendments would reflect our current practices and growth.
Section 4.01(a) - Operation
Current bylaws provide that full legal responsibility for our Church and its overall operation resides with the Board of Trustees and the Minister.
The proposed amendment would provide that full legal responsibility for our Church and its overall operation would reside with the Board of Trustees and the Ministry Team. The Board would designate a Lead Minister to lead the Ministry Team.
Proposed Section 4.02A(1)
Current bylaws provide that the Minister is hired by the Board of Trustees (current bylaws, Section 4.03(b)(16)).
The proposed amendment would expand the minister selection process to require that all ministers are first called by the Church, and then hired by the Board of Trustees. [“Called by the Church” means that there is a straw vote by members and attendees regarding the hiring of a potential minister.]
Proposed Section 4.02B
Current bylaws contain provisions for associate ministers, who are selected by, and have their duties and compensation determined by, the Senior Minister.
The proposed amendment would remove associate ministers from our organizational structure in favor of requiring all ministers first to be called by the Church, and then hired by the Board of Trustees who would develop their job descriptions and determine their compensation (see proposed Section 4.02A and current bylaws, Section 4.03(18)).
The proposed amendment would also add language governing Licensed Unity Teachers (LUT). This reflects our growing number of LUTs. Each LUT would be licensed in one of four focus areas: (1) Adult Education; (2) Pastoral Care; (3) Youth & Family Ministry; (4) Administration. The Board of Trustees will make the decisions necessary to fund LUT positions. The Ministry Team will make the specific LUT hiring decisions and set precise compensation amounts. If necessary, any termination decisions would also be made by the Ministry Team.
If you are a member of the church and will be attending the meeting via the web, you can cast your vote online. Click here to register for an online ballot.
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