Proposed Bylaws Revision
January 20, 2024
As you have probably heard, we are proposing a revision to the Bylaws of Good Shepherd Parish. The main reason I suggested this is that, as our Parish membership has decreased, it has become increasingly difficult to find enough people to serve on the Vestry and as Officers who are both willing to serve and are not restricted from serving because they have recently done so. The proposed Bylaws will reduce the minimum number of Vestry members to six, while allowing a larger number if desired.
While making that change, it also seemed wise to incorporate into our Bylaws provisions allowing for virtual meetings and e-mail voting, things we have been able to do during the pandemic under a Declaration of Extraordinary Circumstances by Bishop Susan, but which we expect to continue to be useful.
You may remember that in the past, proposed Bylaw changes have involved the insertion or removal of words, sentences, or paragraphs into the existing Bylaws. However, the Diocese has instructed us that Parishes seeking to amend their bylaws should follow the Model Bylaws that the Diocese has prepared. That is why the proposed Bylaws we are considering are a complete replacement of our former Bylaws, rather than a marked up version of the old ones.
Other than the two provisions mentioned above and a third provision that will allow us to extend the terms of officers under special circumstances, so that we don’t have to change leadership in the middle of a crisis, the rules for the governance of our Parish will not change under the new Bylaws if they are adopted. The proposed Bylaws do change some of the legal language to comply with state laws governing non-profit organizations that have changed since our last Bylaw revision.
If you wish to compare the proposed Bylaws with the current ones, the current Bylaws are available via the link below. We will be voting to adopt the revised Bylaws at the Parish Annual Meeting in February, and I hope that you will attend and vote to approve them, as I believe the new Bylaws will be very beneficial to the life of our Parish.
I want to extend a huge “thank you” to Nancy South and the Bylaws Committee for the work they did in preparing this. And if you are on the Committee and notice that this document doesn’t look exactly like your draft, that is because the Standing Committee insisted that we follow the format as well as the content of the Model Bylaws, so we have rearranged the order of the draft to match their template.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me.
The Rev. Dr. Bill Doggett
Good Shepherd, Hemet