A positive path for spiritual living

BY-LAWS of UNITY CENTRE of PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY

Amended March 6th, 2011

 

Table of Contents

Article 1 - Identification

    Section 1.01 - Statement of Purpose

    Section 1.02 - ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL Membership and Responsibilities:

Article II - Membership

    Section 2.01 - Qualifications:

    Section 2.02 - Election of Members:

    Section 2.03 - Terms of Membership

    Section 2.04 - Powers of Members:

    Section 2.05 - Meetings and Quorum

Article III - Government

    Section 3.01 - Administration:

    Section 3.02 - Minister

    Section 3.03 - Board of Directors ~ Members

    Section 3.04 - Board ofDirectors - Election

    Section 3.05 - Board of Directors - Vacancy and Replacement

    Section 3.06 - Board of Directors - Meetings and Quorum

    Section 3.07 - Board of Directors - Officers

Article IV - Committees

    Section 4.01 - Formation:

Article V - Seal

    Section 5.01 - Description:

Article VI - Dissolution

    Section 6.01 - Action:

Article VII - Meeting Procedures

    Section 7.01 - Order of Business

    Section 7.02 - Rules of Order

Article VIII - Bylaws Amendments

    Section 8.01 - Procedure

    Section 9.01 - Sexually Inclusive Lanugaging

 

Article I
Identification

Section 1.01 - Statement of Purpose
 
     [1]The purpose of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity, an Ontario corporation without share capital, is to teach the Truth of Jesus Christ as interpreted by Unity School of Christianity, Unity Village, Missouri, and approved by the Association of Unity Churches, hereinafter referred to as ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL, a non-profit corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Georgia, with headquarters at Unity Village, Missouri, U.S.A.  In the accomplishment of this purpose Unity Centre of Practical Christianity shall endeavor to conduct services of worship, classes of instruction, and adopt other means that in the judgement of the Minister will further the principles of practical Christianity among mankind.

Section 1.02 - ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL Membership and Responsibilities

     Unity Centre of Practical Christianity is a member of ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL and the Association of Unity Churches Canada. The operation and conduct of this Ministry shall comply with the regulations and policies of ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL and the Association of Unity Churches Canada as outlined in the respective Bylaws, insofar as they do not conflict with the laws of the Province of Ontario.

(a) Leadership.  This Ministry shall have as its leader an ordained Unity minister or a Credentialed Leader approved by the Association of Unity Churches Canada. Refer to Section 3.02 (c) Minister Vacancy.

(b) Teaching. The Principles of practical Christianity shall be taught through this Ministry using methods, textbooks, literature, and other materials approved by the Association of Unity Churches and Unity Institute, and other materials in alignment with Unity Principles.

(c) Mailings. Copies of newsletters mailed by this Ministry to its Membership shall be sent to the office of the Executive Director of ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL.

(d) Reports. As Administrative Director of this Ministry, the Minister shall make annual reports to ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL on forms supplied by ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL and/or to the Association of Unity Churches Canada.

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Article II
Membership

Section 2.01 - Qualifications

 A member of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity shall endeavor to live in accord with the Jesus Christ principles of Love and Truth as taught by Unity.  The member shall further the work of this Ministry through active interest, love and support.


Section 2.02 - Election of Members
 
 Anyone desiring membership in Unity Centre of Practical Christianity shall file an Application for Membership card with the Ministry office.  The application shall be presented to the Board of Directors at its next regular meeting.  Upon meeting qualification requirements and a majority affirmative vote of the Directors present and voting, the applicant shall become a member and shall be notified accordingly by the Board Secretary.  All staff, ministers and licensed Unity teachers are considered members of this Ministry.

Section 2.03 - Terms of Membership

(a) [2]Tenure.  A member shall retain membership for one year.  Applying for the renewal of membership will be done in October of each year.  A member shall retain membership until the October following, or until it is voluntarily severed, and as long as their ideas and conduct are in accord with the qualifications specified in Section 2.01

(b) Removal. Removal from the membership role of any member whose qualifications are in question requires at least a two-third (2/3) affirmative vote of the Board of Directors, including agreement by the Minister.  Prior to action concerning removal, the member must be given an opportunity for a hearing before the Board.

(c)  [3]Renewal after lapse of membership

(1)  Reinstatement within two years: If a member who has become inactive wishes to return to active status within the first two years after becoming an inactive member, such a member who meets membership qualifications and fills out a yearly membership renewal card or document approved by the Board of Trustees shall be reinstated as an active member. In order to vote at a membership meeting such members must fulfill these requirements at least six (6) weeks before a membership meeting.
(2) Reinstatement after two years: If a member has been inactive for two years or more and desires to become an active member again, such a member must reapply for active membership in the same manner required of new members.

(d)  [4]Transfer of Membership from another Unity Church

(1) Active Member Transfer: If an active member of another Unity Church, a congregant’s membership can be transferred to Unity Centre of Practical Christianity with confirmation of their recent membership at their prior church.  See 2.03 (c) (1). 
(2) Inactive Member Transfer:  If prior church membership has not been active in over two years, refer to Reinstatement of Inactive Membership 2.03 (c) (2).

 
Section 2.04 - Powers of Members

Members of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity shall have the power to do the following:

(a) Vote at any membership meeting, at which the member is present, called in accordance with Section 2.05

(b) Elect members to the Board of Directors as specified in Section 3.04

(c) Ratify the Bylaws of this Ministry or any amendments thereto as specified in Section 8.01 Vote on any question of sale or pledge or real property owned and used for the operation of this Ministry which exceeds  [5]5% of the previous year’s income in value.  A three-quarters (75%) minimum affirmative vote of those present and voting is required to approve the sale or pledge.  Refer to Section 2.05 (e) (f) and Section 3.03 (b) (7).

(d) Elect a member, and an alternate, to serve on the Nominating Committee as specified in Section 3.04 (b) (1).

(e) Call a special membership meeting when the affairs of this Ministry warrant such action. Refer to Section 2.05 (b)

(f) Vote to override any action of the Board of Directors providing it is communicated to the membership in writing twenty-one (21) days prior to the subsequent meeting of the membership and a majority of those present and voting have the authority for determination.

(g) Vote for the removal of any Director from their office in accordance with Section 3.05 (a) (4).

(h) Vote on any matters officially brought to the attention of the Membership.

(i) Offer suggestions to the Minister or Board of Directors as may seem advisable for the good of this Ministry.

 

Section 2.05 - Meetings and Quorum

(a) Annual Membership Meeting. The annual membership meeting of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity shall be held at its official headquarters no later than the end of  [6]March in each year on a day and at a time designed by the Minister and Board of Directors.

(b) Special Membership Meetings.  Any time the affairs of this ministry warrant, a special membership meeting may be called by:

(1) The Minister
(2) A majority of the Directors of the Board
(3) Submitting a petition having been signed by  [7]one-third (1/3) of the membership

A written request must be submitted to the Board who shall call the meeting forthwith on behalf of the requesting party.  If a meeting is not called within twenty-one (21) days, then a meeting shall be held within sixty (60) days from the date of the original request.  The purpose(s) for the special meeting shall be stated both in the written request and the written notice to the Membership.  Business conducted at the special meeting shall be limited to the pre-stated purpose(s).

(c) Written Notice.  Written notice stating the date, time and place shall be mailed to all members at least twenty-one (21) days before any membership meeting and included in the monthly calendar.

(d) Quorum.[8]  Twenty-five percent (25%) of the membership shall constitute a quorum at any membership meeting. 

(e) Participation.[9]  Participation in the business affairs of any membership meeting shall be restricted to members in attendance.

(f) Voting.  Unless otherwise provided herein, the vote of a majority of the members present and voting shall be necessary for approval or disapproval of that action being voted upon.  Refer to Section 2.04, and Section 7.01

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Article III
Government

Section 3.01 - Administration

The government of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity shall be vested in the Minister, who is the Administrative Director, and the Board of Directors elected from the Membership.[10]

Section 3.02 - Minister

(a) Duties.   As the Spiritual Leader, the Minister shall be responsible for the scheduling, conduct, and content of services, classes, and all other activities that further the purpose of this Ministry as specified in Section 1.01.  As Administrative Director, the Minister shall be:
(1) Responsible for the complete functioning of this Ministry, in association with the Board of Directors.
(2) [11] Entitled to attend all meetings of the Board of Directors except such meeting where the Minister’s employment or their successor’s employment is considered.
(3) A member of all committees.  Refer to Section 4.01.

(b) Compensation.  The compensation of the Minister shall be fixed by agreement between the Minister and the Board of Directors.

(c) Vacancy. Should a vacancy occur in the office of the Minister, the Board of Directors shall communicate with the Executive Director of ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL and request another Minister.  The Minister shall be assigned by ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL upon their approval by the Board.

Section 3.03 - Board of Directors ~ Members

(a) Structure.  The Board of Directors shall consist of [12] six Directors elected from the Membership of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity. Each elected Director shall hold office for 3 years, or until a successor is duly elected.  The terms of [13] at least two elected Directors shall expire annually and their offices shall be filled at the annual membership meeting in accordance with Section 3.04.  No elected Director shall serve more than two consecutive terms of three years each without an interval of one year between terms. See section 3.05 (b).

(b)  Duties.  As representatives of the Membership, the Directors of the Board shall:
(1) Uphold the spiritual purpose of this Ministry as stated in Section 1.01.
(2) Uphold the highest interest of the Membership in conducting the business of this Ministry.
(3) Be conversant with these bylaws.
(4) Be faithful in attendance at services, board and membership meetings of this Ministry.
(5) Make determinations of the business needs of this Ministry and authorize payment of monies for those purposes.
(6) Administer the property of this Ministry, both real and personal.
(7) Make determinations on the sale or pledge of real or personal property belonging to this Ministry.  All decisions in favour of the sale or pledge of real property exceeding [14] 5% of the previous year’s income in value shall be presented to the Membership at a properly constituted membership meeting to be voted on in accordance with Section 2.04 (c).
(8) Be responsible for the hiring, contract of employment and termination of employment of the Minister, subject to confirmation by the Membership.
(9) Authorize the employment of all staff personnel of this Ministry, and set and approve their salaries.  See Section 3.02 a(2) and 3.02 b.  Set dates for the fiscal year.
(10) Have a qualified accountant review the financial records of this Ministry at the end of each fiscal year.
(11) May purchase liability insurance on the church and the board of directors.  
(12) Approve applicants for membership in accordance with Section 2.02.
(13) Act to fill the unexpired term of any Director in accordance with Section 3.05 (b)
(14) Elect officers of the Board, and their successors to fill any unexpired term when necessary.  See Section 3.07.
(15) Ratify committees and their chair as appointed by the Board President.  See Section 4.01.
(16) Communicate with the Executive Director of ASSOCIATION OF UNITY CHURCHES INTERNATIONAL for aid in resolution of all matters concerning the Minister’s services or administration of the Ministry which cannot otherwise be reasonably resolved.
(17) Consider other duties brought to their attention by the Minister and other Directors.

 
Section 3.04 - Board of Directors ~ Election

(a) Qualifications. Any person elected to the Board of Directors must be an active member of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity.  They shall be a person who:
(1) Desires to serve on the Board
(2) Is over the age of 18.
(3) Endeavors to live in accord with the Jesus Christ principles of Love and Truth as taught by Unity.
(4) Furthers the work of this Ministry through active interest, love, and support.
(5) Is a sincere and continuing student of Unity, conversant with its teachings.
(6) Has demonstrated leadership capabilities.

No church employee or active Licensed Unity Teacher shall be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors.

(b) Nominating Committee. A Nominating Committee shall be formed at least three months prior to the annual membership meeting, and shall initiate a search for qualified candidates for the Board of Directors.  The Committee shall consist of the Minister and three members selected in the following manner:
(1) At the annual membership meeting, the Membership shall elect one of its members, and an alternate, to serve on the Nominating Committee for the next year’s election.
(2) The Board shall elect one of its Directors.
(3) Together with the Minister, the above two Committee members shall select a third Committee member from the Membership. The committee will self-select a lay member chairperson.

(c) Nominating Procedure.  As the presiding officer of the annual membership meeting the President shall:
(1) Read Section 3.04 just prior to the call for nominations.
(2) Call upon the Chair of the Nominating Committee to present the Committee’s nominations.
(3) Call for additional nominations from the floor.

Nominees should never be chosen on the basis of a person’s business success or financial resources alone.  All nominees, no matter how nominated, must qualify in accordance with paragraph (a) of this Section.

(d) Election.  Votes shall be cast by ballot or [15] acclamation.  The nominees receiving the largest number of votes shall be elected to the Board of Directors.


Section 3.05 - Board of Directors ~ Vacancy and Replacement

(a) Vacancy. The office of a director may be vacated by any of the following means:
(1) The resignation of the Director.
(2) The Board voting for the removal of a Director due to absences from three successive regular board meetings.  Absences may be excused by the Board upon written request.
(3) The Board voting for the removal of a Director because of a failure to fulfill the duties of the office as specified in Section 3.03 (b).
(4) The Membership voting for removal of a Director because of failure to fulfill the duties of the office as specified in Section 3.03 (b).  See Section 2.04 (h).

(b) Replacement. Should a vacancy occur on the Board of Directors, the Board shall proceed to fill the vacancy by ballot at its next regular meeting.  In case of emergency, a special meeting may be called.  Only persons meeting the qualifications specified in Section 3.04 (a) may be considered as replacements.  No replacement shall have served as a Director during the year prior to their election.  A majority vote of those present and voting shall be necessary to elect.  The term of the newly elected Director shall expire on the same date as the term of the Director being succeeded. [16]  The time served by a director as a replacement Director shall not be included in determining eligibility under the provision of Section 3.03(a)

Section 3.06 - Board of Directors ~ Meetings and Quorum

(a) Regular Board Meetings. The regular business meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at the offices of Unity Kitchener monthly on a regular schedule, unless otherwise specified by the Board.

(b) Special Board Meetings. Special meetings of the Board shall be called by the President under any of the following conditions:
(1) By request of the Minister.
(2) By request of two or more Directors
(3) As the President deems it necessary.

The request shall be filed in writing with the Board Secretary.  Reasonable effort must be made to notify all Directors of any special meeting.

(c) Quorum.[17]  Four Directors eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

(d)  Minister Attendance.  The Minister has the responsibility and right to attend all board meetings.  The Minister must be notified of all special Board meetings. 

Section 3.07 - Board of Directors ~ Officers

Officers of the Board of Directors shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  All officers shall be elected by a majority vote of Directors present and voting, and shall hold their respective offices for one year, or until their successors are duly elected or qualified.
(a) President: The President shall:
(1) Preside at all Board of Directors meetings.
(2) Preside at all membership meetings.
(3) Appoint committees in accordance with Section 4.01
(4) Be a member of all committees by virtue of the office, except the Nominating Committee.
(5) Sign such papers and documents, upon proper authorization, as may be necessary.

(b) Vice-President. The Vice President shall:
(1) Perform all the duties of the President in their absence.
(2) Become President in case the office of the presidency becomes vacant.  In such a case, a new Vice-President shall be elected from among the remaining Directors to fill the remainder of the term.

(c) Secretary. The Secretary shall:
(1) Keep, or cause to be kept, an accurate record of the minutes of all board and membership meetings.
(2) Hold in custody and be responsible for all reports, contracts, other than legal papers, minute books, and the corporate seal, which items shall be kept in the Ministry office at all times, or in such other depository as prescribed by the Board.
(3) Attend to all official business required by the Board.
(d) Treasurer. The Treasurer shall:
(1) Be custodian of the funds of this Ministry.  The Treasurer shall pay out, or cause to be paid out, funds authorized by the Board.  Refer to Section 3.03 (b) (5)
(2) Keep, or cause to be kept, a record of all financial transactions, and submit a monthly financial report at each regular board meeting.
(3) Submit [18] or cause to be submitted, a financial report, covering the last complete fiscal period at the annual membership meeting.
(4) Count, or cause to be counted by the appointment of qualified persons, all funds received, and be responsible for their deposit.
(5) Place, or cause to be placed, the funds of this Ministry in the bank or other depository approved by the Board.

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Article IV
Committees

Section 4.01 - Formation
Committees for any specific purpose, with the exception of the Nominating Committee, shall be appointed by the Board President. [19] Ratification by the Board is required.

 

Article V
Seal

Section 5.01 - Description
The corporate seal of this Ministry shall include the name of the Ministry in the circle, which encloses the name of the city, province, and date of incorporation.

 

Article VI
Dissolution

Section 6.01 - Action
In the event of the dissolution of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity, the assets shall not be available for any member of the corporation but shall be distributed to religious organizations in Canada which are qualified as charitable organization for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada) and which further the teaching of Unity.

 

Article VII
Meeting Procedures

Section 7.01 - Order of Business
The regular order of business at Board of Directors and membership meetings, unless otherwise agreed on by the Board, shall be as follows.

1. Opening Prayer
2. Roll call
3. Reading of the minutes of previous meeting
4. Financial report
5. Bills and communications
6. Elections
7. Reports of committees
8. Minister’s report
9. Unfinished business
10. New business
11. Closing Prayer

Section 7.02 - Rules of Order

Robert’s rules of order shall be the authority of this Ministry on parliamentary law and its usage, unless otherwise provided by these Bylaws.

Article VIII

Bylaws Amendments

Section 8.01 - Procedure. Amendments to these Bylaws must be made by voting members of this Corporation at a legally constituted membership meeting. Written notice setting forth the proposed amendments must be mailed to all members at least 21 days prior to the required membership meeting. An affirmative vote of seventy-five percent (75%) of all members present and voting shall be necessary to pass any amendment to these Bylaws. These Bylaws fully supersede all previous Bylaws adopted by Unity Centre of Practical Christianity.

Article IX

[20]Section 9.01 - Sexually Inclusive Lanugaging. In this bylaw and every other bylaw and resolution of the corporation the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter and the sentence shall be read and construed as if the changes required in the context had been made. The headings in this bylaw are inserted for the convenience of reference only and shall not affect the construction or the interpretation of this by law.

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[1] The Bylaws were amended in February 2007 to gender neutral language, to correct reference numbers and to replace “AUC” with the appropriate governing body

[2] Amended February 2001 from “A member shall retain membership until it is voluntarily severed, or as long as his ideas and conduct are in accord with the qualifications specified in Section 2.01”

[3] New bylaw approved at 2008 Annual General Meeting

[4] New bylaw approved at 2008 Annual General Meeting

[5] Amended February 2007 from $10,000; Amended February 2000 from “Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000)”

[6] Amended December 1st, 1991 from “in May”

[7] Amended February 27th, 2000 from “ten percent (10%)”

[8] Amended March 6th, 2011 from “the lesser of 20 or 25%”

[9] Participation of other persons must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members in attendance.

[10] The following section became inapplicable in 1979 when Unity Centre became a full-time unity ministry. During the period of developing Unity Centre of Practical Christianity into a full-time self-sufficient Unity ministry, the government of this Ministry shall be vested in a Steering Committee composed of three members of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity, together with the minister and three other members of the Board of Directors of Unity Church of Truth, Toronto. This Steering Committee shall act as the Board of Directors and shall abide by these by-laws except for the structure specified in Section 3.03 (a) and the election procedures specified in Section 3.04. The Steering Committee will be dissolved and a regular Board reactivated, when a Unity minister has assumed full-time leadership of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity and has demonstrated his ability to conduct a self-sufficient ministry.

[11] Amended December 1st, 1991 from “A voting member of the Board of Directors except in consideration of his own employment, or that of his successor.”

[12] Amended December 1st, 1999 to delete “the Minister and”

[13] Amended December 1st, 1991 to add “at least”

[14] Amended February 2007 from $5000, five thousand dollars

[15] Amended December 1st, 1991 to add “or acclamation”

[16] Amended December 1st, 1991 to include the entire last sentence

[17] Amended February 3rd, 2002 from “Five” to “Four”

[18] Amended December 1st, 1991 to include “or cause to be submitted”

[19] Amended December 1st, 1991 to eliminate “Approval by the Minister plus”

[20] Amended December 1st, 1991 to include the entire 9.01 section

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