Congregational-Christian Conference of
As in force June 1, 1966, amended May 1967, 1968, 1971, October 1975, 1976, 1978, 1982, September 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2008, June 2010 and June 2011)
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
We are the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ. We affirm that the Conference, as a part of the Body of Christ, includes the local church, its members, associations, and all the ministries of the Maine Conference, working together in shared mission.
Remembering that Jesus Christ is the head of the church and relying on the power of Holy Spirit to lead us, we seek to respect one another, challenge one another, empower one another and support one another in our struggle to build a loving community of faithful servants to the glory of God.
ARTICLE III. PRINCIPLES
3. Organizational: The Maine Conference is organized as a conference in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of the United Church of Christ.
ARTICLE V. OFFICERS
The Moderator, Vice Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee.
Nominations may also be made from the floor of the Annual Meeting but no nomination shall be in order until consent of the nominated person has been obtained. All shall be elected for a term of two years. The officers elected shall each serve until a successor is elected.
The terms of all such officers, except when chosen to fill vacancies, shall begin at the close of the Annual Meeting when elected. Vacancies occurring between meetings of the Conference shall be filled by the Coordinating Council until the next meeting of the Conference.
ARTICLE VI. CONFERENCE MINISTER(S) AND ASSOCIATE CONFERENCE MINSTER(S)
2. The Conference Minister(s) shall be chosen as needed to exercise spiritual leadership consistent with the faith and order of the United Church of Christ. The office of Conference Minister is both pastoral and administrative.
3. The Conference Minister(s) shall be responsible for the overall operation and spiritual welfare of the Conference, and the implementation of the Conference's Mission Statement, goals and policy. Conference Minister(s) shall be accountable to the Conference through the Coordinating Council and shall make regular reports to the Council. Conference Minister(s) shall usually attend Coordinating Council meetings and shall have voice but not vote.
4. The Conference Minister(s) and Associate Conference Minster(s) shall maintain active church membership in a local church of the Maine Conference and shall hold ordained ministerial standing in an association of the Conference. The Council may arrange with that association's Church and Ministry Committee appropriate procedures for how Fitness Reviews of Conference Ministers and Associate Conference Minster(s) are to be handled.
5. The Conference Minister(s)
shall serve renewable five-year terms. Should the Coordinating Council
determine that it is in the best interests of the Conference to dismiss a
Conference Minister, the Council may recommend such action to a special
Conference Meeting called for that purpose, and may suspend the Conference
Minister with pay and benefits until that meeting. The Council may accept a
resignation and negotiate terms of dismissal.
Should the designated
6. The Associate Conference Minster(s) shall serve terms in accordance with the terms of their call.
7. The duties, responsibilities, accountability, and reporting requirements of the Associate Conference Minister(s) will be specified according to the terms of their call.
ARTICLE VII. COORDINATING COUNCIL
(a) The Coordinating Council ("Council") shall be the Board of Directors. It shall consist of:
1) The Moderator, Vice Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer;
2) The chairs of the Finance Committee and the Personnel Committee;
3) One (1) member appointed annually from and by each commission;
4) One (1) member elected annually from and by the State Youth Council or its successor;
5) One (1) member appointed annually from and by the Board of Trustees of the Maine Conference;
6) One (1) member elected from and by each association for a three-year term; and,
7) Four (4) at-large delegates elected by the Conference at the Annual Meeting for three-year terms.
8) The immediate past Moderator for a two-year term.
(b) The Conference Minister(s) and Associate Conference Minister(s) shall have voice but
not vote in the Council.
(c) Other Conference staff may be granted voice without vote by the Council.
(d) Terms of office for Council members shall begin at the close of the Conference Annual
Meeting at which they are elected, or at the next Council meeting following their appointment.
(e) When the office of Moderator becomes vacant, the Vice Moderator shall become
Moderator. The Council shall fill a vacancy in the office of Vice Moderator, Clerk or Treasurer. Other vacancies shall be filled by the appointing body. If an appointing body fails to fill a vacancy, the Coordinating Council shall appoint a substitute member for the remainder of that term of office. The substitute member need not be from the same appointing body in which the vacancy occurred. The Council may declare a vacancy in office when a member of the Council or a Commission is absent for two consecutive meetings.
(a) The Council shall have authority and responsibility of the Conference between annual
meetings. Among its areas of responsibility shall be: finance; search committees; management of properties, including the purchase, sale, mortgage and lease of real estate other than real estate held in trust; stewardship concerns; communications, public relations and marketing; personnel; administrative support; long-range planning and evaluation; policy; and the Maine Ministerial Relief Society.
(b) The Coordinating Council may advise as to the care, investment, management, and
disbursement of all general trust funds of the Conference and in relation to the trust funds they may transmit to the Trustees their views regarding same.
(c) It shall recommend to the Conference the call of Minister(s), and shall, when determined
to be necessary, effectuate the termination of any such officer.
(d) It shall make report of its work to the Annual Meeting of the Conference. It shall
determine the business items to come before the Annual Meeting. Should the Coordinating Council decline to present a matter of business, appeal may be had directly to the Conference Annual Meeting.
5. Standing Committees of the Coordinating Council:
(a) Annual Meeting Committee
The Annual Meeting Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, three
(3) At-Large members (one of whom will be a member of the Coordinating Council),
three (3) Commission members (one appointed by each Commission), and the Moderator
and Vice Moderator serving ex-officio. This committee shall prepare a program for the
Annual Meeting. It shall make provision for providing such documents and papers as may
be necessary for the work of the Conference. Setting of the business items for the Annual
Meeting shall be the responsibility of the Coordinating Council.
(b) Executive Committee The Executive Committee of the Coordinating Council shall
consist of the Moderator, Vice Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, the chair of each
Commission, the Conference Ministers and Business Manager, and shall act on behalf of
the Coordinating Council between its meetings.
(c) Finance Committee The Finance Committee shall consist of two (2) members of the
Coordinating Council appointed annually, two (2) other persons appointed for (staggered)
2 year terms, renewable one time, and the Conference Treasurer. At least two (2)
members shall have sufficient expertise to follow and interpret the accounting and
auditing processes. The chair of the Finance Committee shall be elected from among and
by the Committee. The chair shall serve as a member of the Coordinating Council. This
Committee shall advise in relation to the general finances of the Conference, and shall
make a report thereof to the Coordinating Council as it may require. Prior to the Annual
Meeting, this committee shall prepare a report on the state of the treasury, and the amount
of money needed for the ensuing financial year and ways and means for acquiring it,
which report shall be submitted to the Conference through the Coordinating Council.
(d) Personnel Committee The Personnel Committee consisting of one (1) member of the
Coordinating Council and four (4) others persons appointed for (staggered) 2-year terms,
renewable one time. The chair of the Personnel Committee shall be elected from among
and by the Committee. The chair shall serve as a member of the Coordinating Council.
This Committee shall assist the Conference Ministers in developing job descriptions for
staff positions, and make recommendations to the Coordinating Council as to salary
adjustments, leaves of absence, retirement, and the employment and discharge of support
The Resourcing the Local Church Committee shall consist
ing of six
(6) members and
shall disburse the income from the Resourcing the Local Church Endowment Fund in
accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Committee, said Rules of Procedure of
which require approval of the Coordinating Council. The chair of the Resourcing the
(f) Audit Committee
An Audit Committee consisting of four (4) members of the Finance Committee, excluding
the Conference Treasurer, elected annually, plus one member of the Coordinating
Council, appointed annually. At least two (2) members shall have sufficient expertise to
follow and interpret the accounting and auditing processes. The Audit Committee shall:
1) Assist the Coordinating Council in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities relating
to the Conference’s financial reporting, which shall include: the integrity of the Conference’s financial statements; the Conference’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements; the independent auditor’s qualifications and independence; and the performance of the Conference’s internal audit function and independent auditors.
2) Acquire the services of an independent auditor to perform audits on The Maine
Conference Consolidated Trust and the
Christ, the reports of which shall be presented to the Coordinating Council prior to
the Annual Meeting. These audits will then be submitted to the Conference
through the Coordinating Council.
3) Make reports to the Coordinating Council as the Council may require.
(g) The Council may establish such other committees as it deems necessary.
ARTICLE VIII. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
ARTICLE IX. STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE CONFERENCE
ARTICLE X. COMMISSIONS
The programming and ministry of the Maine Conference will be directed through Commissions, each of which shall consist of:
a. Four at-large members and the chair elected by the Conference at the Annual Meeting for three-year terms;
b. One delegate elected by and from each association of the Conference for three-year terms. If an association fails to elect a delegate or fill a vacancy when one exists, the Coordinating Council shall appoint a substitute member for the remainder of that term of office. The substitute member need not be from the same association in which the vacancy occurred.
Terms for all members of Commissions shall begin at the close of the Conference Annual Meeting following their election or at the next Commission meeting following their appointment. Each Commission shall have responsibility for programming which relates to its area of ministry. The Commissions shall support, enable, and encourage activities in the local church, association and Conference and the wider church. The Commissions shall establish ongoing and short-term committees working in collaborative ways. Members of ongoing (or standing) Committees established by a Commission shall serve rotational terms. After two consecutive absences from meetings of a Commission, a Commission may declare a vacancy and consult with the representative body on the needs of the Commission.
1. Commission for Spiritual Life
This Commission shall focus on areas of ministry relating to God through: Christian study and nurture; leadership development and renewal of clergy and laity; pastoral care; worship life; theological education; church and ministry; interim ministry; in consultation with the Coordinating Council, new or emerging ministries.
2. Commission for Community Life
This Commission shall focus on areas of ministry relating to one another through: care and assistance to local churches, including search processes; conflict management consultations; financial development; and church growth, Pilgrim Lodge ministries; the Resource Center; Youth; Young Adult and intergenerational ministries; relationship of the associations to the Conference and each other; and, in consultation with the Coordinating Council, new and emerging ministries.
3. Commission for Witness Life
This Commission shall focus on areas of ministry relating to God's world globally, nationally, state-wide, locally and ecumenically through: serving human need; proclaiming peace and justice; promoting the integrity of creation; witness of evangelism; denominational and ecumenical ties; stewardship and mission interpretation; and in consultation with the Coordinating Council, new and emerging ministries.
ARTICLES XI. MEETINGS
The Coordinating Council shall present a proposed budget to the Annual Meeting for its consideration and action. The Annual Meeting shall have the power to amend the proposed budget; however, no motion on the floor of the Annual Meeting which has the effect of increasing total expenditures shall be in order unless such motion includes the funding of said increase in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and the customary financial practices of the Conference.
The Coordinating Council shall have the power to amend the approved budget between Annual Meetings as deemed appropriate and necessary. Within its approved budget, each Commission shall have the authority to fund increases in individual line items by corresponding decreases in other line items.
No person shall be ineligible to serve the Conference as a member of the Coordinating Council, any Commission or Committee of the Conference, or as an officer, agent or in some other representative capacity on behalf of the Conference solely by reason of also serving in a representative capacity with some organization or entity with which the Conference does business or has some other significant relationship.
Any contract or transaction engaged by the Conference shall be valid notwithstanding any such potential conflict of interest if (1) the material facts of the dual relationship are disclosed or known by the Coordinating Council or other body acting on behalf of the Conference and the action is authorized in good faith by a majority of the disinterested members of the Council or body even though less than a quorum; or (2) the material facts of the dual relationship are disclosed or known to the membership and are approved in good faith by them; or (3) the contract or transaction is fair as of the time authorized, approved or ratified by the Council or other acting body thereof or by the membership.
1. The Conference shall indemnify any Coordinating Council member, commission and committee member, officer, employee or agent, and the officers and church and ministry committee members of all associations affiliated with the Maine Conference, either current or former, against any and all liability or expenses incurred in connection with any proceeding arising out of their role on behalf of the Conference or association to the fullest extent permitted by law. Expenses are intended to be broadly interpreted to include attorney’s fees, costs and any other reasonable and necessarily incurred expenses.
2. The Conference shall maintain liability insurance for the benefit of any corporate official, agent, or employee against any liability asserted against or incurred by a corporate official, agent, or employee.
It is the
intention of this section to provide the maximum protection available under
The Conference and its property shall be forever devoted to religious purposes. No officer, member or employee thereof shall receive any pecuniary profit from the organization, except reasonable compensation for services in effecting one or more of its purposes. In the event of the dissolution of the Conference, its property shall become vested in, and its functions as trustee, if any, administered by, such organization which is organized and operated exclusively for religious and charitable purposes as the Coordinating Council of the Conference, acting with the approval of the Conference by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at any Annual or Special meeting, shall determine.
ARTICLE XVI. AMENDMENTS
These By-Laws may be amended at any duly called meeting of the Conference by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided that the amendment shall have been submitted to the Conference in writing at a previous meeting of the Conference, or have been incorporated in the Call for the Meeting.