Congregational By-Law Amendments

A number of congregations are concerned about how to hold annual meetings as required by their by-laws, including whether virtual meetings would be required. The Standing Committee is required to approve any amendments to congregational By-Laws. Below, we are offering a template for By-Law amendments that could be approved by the Bishop and Standing Committee under a streamlined process.

 

This process is based on the changes made to the diocesan canons to accommodate complications of the pandemic. These changes hinge on a Declaration of Extraordinary Circumstances, which includes the Coronavirus Pandemic. Once the Declaration is in effect, the Bishop and Executive Council have significant latitude in modifying our methods of doing business, which could include granting a “waiver, relaxation or other adjustment of the mandates of bylaws or other governing documents that would be applicable to a congregation.” 

 
Sample Addition to Bylaws or Addendum to Bylaws

At the 47th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, the Convention approved changes to the Diocesan Canons that are designed to accommodate various complications caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. The changes addressed topics including how the number of delegates may be elected by each congregation, and calculation of our annual Minimum Diocesan Contribution to the Diocese.
All of the changes hinge upon an initial Declaration of Extraordinary Circumstances, which is defined in the Canon, and which specifically includes the current Pandemic. Once the Declaration is in effect, the Bishop and Executive Council have significant latitude in modifying our methods of doing business, including the holding of Convention “virtually.” In addition, it provides that the Executive Council, with the consent of the Bishop, may take actions that could include granting a “waiver, relaxation or other adjustment of the mandates of bylaws or other governing documents that would be applicable to a congregation.”
Accordingly, we are offering this template to congregations to use if they wish. If your Bylaws do not allow for virtual annual meetings, you may either work these into your Bylaws or adopt them as an addendum to the Bylaws.
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ADDENDUM TO THE BYLAWS OF
St. Swithen’s in the Swamp

When the Bishop and Executive Council promulgate a Declaration of Extraordinary Circumstances as that term is defined in Title V, Canon 1.10.1 of the Canons of the Diocese, the Vestry, with the Consent of the Rector, may implement temporary modifications to these Bylaws. Those modifications may include allowing an annual meeting to be held virtually (rather than in person), and modifications to the methods of voting on parish business and the election of vestry, officers and delegates. Such provisions shall be enumerated and included in the Minutes of the Vestry meeting at which they were adopted.

Approved by the Bishop on ____________________

Approved by the Vestry _______________________

Accordingly, we are offering this template to congregations to use if they wish. If your Bylaws do not allow for virtual annual meetings, you may either work these into your Bylaws or adopt them as an addendum to the Bylaws. 

 

If your Vestry or Bishop’s Committee votes to incorporate the Amendment below into its By-Laws, you MUST apply for the Bishop’s approval under the streamlined process that has been approved. To apply for approval, please fill out the form below.

 

Congregational By-Law Amendments
Maximum upload size: 8.39MB
Maximum upload size: 8.39MB

 

Sample Addition to Bylaws or Addendum to Bylaws

At the 47th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, the Convention approved changes to the Diocesan Canons that are designed to accommodate various complications caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. The changes addressed topics including how the number of delegates may be elected by each congregation, and calculation of our annual Minimum Diocesan Contribution to the Diocese.

All of the changes hinge upon an initial Declaration of Extraordinary Circumstances, which is defined in the Canon, and which specifically includes the current Pandemic. Once the Declaration is in effect, the Bishop and Executive Council have significant latitude in modifying our methods of doing business, including the holding of Convention “virtually.” In addition, it provides that the Executive Council, with the consent of the Bishop, may take actions that could include granting a “waiver, relaxation or other adjustment of the mandates of bylaws or other governing documents that would be applicable to a congregation.”

Accordingly, we are offering this template to congregations to use if they wish. If your Bylaws do not allow for virtual annual meetings, you may either work these into your Bylaws or adopt them as an addendum to the Bylaws.
________________________________

ADDENDUM TO THE BYLAWS OF
St. Swithen’s in the Swamp

When the Bishop and Executive Council promulgate a Declaration of Extraordinary Circumstances as that term is defined in Title V, Canon 1.10.1 of the Canons of the Diocese, the Vestry, with the Consent of the Rector, may implement temporary modifications to these Bylaws. Those modifications may include allowing an annual meeting to be held virtually (rather than in person), and modifications to the methods of voting on parish business and the election of vestry, officers and delegates. Such provisions shall be enumerated and included in the Minutes of the Vestry meeting at which they were adopted.

Approved by the Bishop on ____________________

Approved by the Vestry _______________________