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First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County

Proposed Bylaws Revisions Concerning the Basis for Establishing a Quorum at Congregational Meetings

Approved by the Board of Trustees at its February 26th, 2013 meeting, for consideration by the Congregation at a special meeting on Sunday March 10th, 2013 at 12:00 noon.

The first sentence of Article V, Section 3, Quorum, is replaced by the following two sentences: "The basis upon which a quorum for any Congregational meeting shall be computed shall be the number of voting members residing within fifty miles of the church, as measured along the shortest land transportation route. Except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, the quorum for a Congregational meeting shall be twenty-five percent of the basis specified in this section."

And Article XIII, Section 4, Quorum and Notice for Congregational Decisions on Ministry, is revised to read: "All Congregational meetings provided for in this Article shall require a quorum of at least thirty-five percent of the basis specified in Article V Section 3, and notice given to each Member of the Church by electronic mail, United States mail, or personal delivery not less than twenty days prior to the date of the meeting."

Note: At the present time, of the forty-seven voting members, seven reside more than fifty miles from the church. The present effect of the amendment would therefore be that the 35% quorum for a Congregational meeting relating to the Minister under Article XIII would decrease from 17 to 14, and the 25% quorum for all other Congregational meetings would decrease from 12 to 10.

Explanation: The Board of Trustees is concerned that the drop in membership is having an adverse impact on achieving and maintaining a quorum at Congregational Meetings, especially those concerning ministerial decisions. The above amendments will make achieving a quorum easier, and thereby conduct business, but still allow for the breadth of the congregation to be gauged.