The name change approved by the conference body last year (re-naming Southwest Unity Region to Unity Southwest Region) required that we update our Regional By-laws. These updates were primarily made for branding purposes so that the name “Unity” appears first. Other updates include: listing Unity Worldwide Ministries where “the Association” had previously appeared, clearing up cumbersome wording/language, and updating the amount for expenditures from 10k to 50k to reflect current prices (see Article 7.03).
Rev. Robyn Plante, Unity Southwest Region Board Member
BY-LAWS OF UNITY SOUTHWEST REGION
1.01 TITLE. The title of this corporation shall be as provided for in the Articles of Incorporation. For the purposes of these By-laws this corporation shall be referred to herein as “the Region.” The Association of Unity Churches, Intl. d.b.a Unity Worldwide Ministries shall be referred to as UWM”.
1.02 PRINCIPAL OFFICE. The principal address for the transaction of the business of the Region shall be:
UNITY Southwest Region
9018 Balboa Blvd. #401
Northridge, CA 91325-2610
The Board of Trustees is hereby granted full power and authority to change said principal address from one location to another. For the purposes of these by-laws the Board of Trustees shall be referred to herein as “the Board”.
2.01 PURPOSE. The purpose of the Region is to assist each other, mutually, in the conduct, operation, and management of the respective members’ Unity centers and churches through means of conferences, consultations, prayer, and education to further the teachings of Jesus Christ as taught and interpreted by Unity. We initiate cooperative action for the betterment of the Unity Movement in Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona and in adjacent states requesting inclusion in the Unity Southwest Region.
2.02 PROGRAM. In support of this purpose, a regular annual meeting of the Region will be conducted at a time and place decided by the Board. Services and programs to assist the Region’s ministries and spiritual leaders in obtaining their CEUs will be provided. In the event of a national emergency that prohibits the membership from meeting in person, the meeting may be held via the internet.
3.01 LEADERSHIP. We acknowledge Jesus Christ to be our leader and teacher, invisible though ever present, and His teachings our guide. In all things, we follow the inspiration and illumination of the Christ indwelling as taught by Him.
4.01 QUALIFICATIONS. The membership consists of Unity Ministries, Unity Ministers, Spiritual Leaders serving in an approved Unity Ministry, Licensed Unity Teachers and alternative ministries in good standing with UWM, that reside within the region boundaries. Unity Ministers, Spiritual Leaders serving in an approved Unity Ministry and Licensed Unity Teachers in good standing from adjacent states may also join the Region by requesting and receiving Board approval. Each member is entitled to one vote in the conduct of the Region’s business at membership meetings. If the representative of a ministry that is in good standing is not a credentialed Unity Leader; they must present, to the secretary of the Region, a letter of authorization from the ministry, before being able to vote.
5.01 BOARD OF TRUSTEES. The affairs of the Region will be administered by a Board consisting of six (6) Trustees elected by the conference body, plus a Licensed Unity Teacher Representative elected by the Licensed Teachers of the Region, and a Regional Representative elected by the conference body. The Board will meet annually during the Annual Regional Conference and as needed to conduct the Region’s business.
5.01A GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS OF LEADERSHIP FOR ELECTION TO BOARD OF TRUSTEES.
- Desires to serve in leadership capacity and is in good standing with the UWM.
- Has three years of field experience as a Minister/Licensed Unity Teacher
- Has one complete year or more of residence in the Region and currently resides in the Region.
- Furthers the work of this Region by his/her active interest, love and support and through regular attendance at Regional Conference.
- Upholds the spiritual purpose, vision and goals of the Region, and the highest interest of its membership.
- Has demonstrated capabilities and is willing to take assigned leadership roles.
- Supports this Region and the Association through prayer and finances lovingly given.
- Maintains loving, open communication with other Regional Officers and the ministers and ministries in the Region.
- Has the ability, time and prayerful commitment to fill the duties and responsibilities as outlined in the job description for Officers contained in the By-laws and Policies of the Region.
- Is on-line and available to respond to messages and phone calls regarding Regional business within 24-48 hours, under normal circumstances.
- Has the support of their board (ministers and spiritual leaders) or their minister (licensed teachers).
5.02 OFFICERS. Officers of the Region will consist of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All of these officers will be credentialed Unity leaders in good standing with UWM.
5.03 NOMINATING COMMITTEE. The President shall appoint a Nominating Committee of three members at least three months prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. The Nominating Committee is to be made up of Unity ministers, spiritual leaders and licensed teachers who are members of the Region. They will present a slate of best qualified nominees who are aware of the qualifications and responsibilities and have accepted the nomination. There will be at least one nominee for Regional Representative and one nominee for each Board vacancy. The Licensed teachers in attendance at the conference will nominate and elect their representative and an alternate.
The Nominee for each vacancy will be contacted and asked to prayerfully consider this leadership responsibility prior to acceptance of candidacy. The nominating committee shall carefully and prayerfully consider all aspects of the Board and the Region’s needs and consider the level of commitment which has been demonstrated by the candidates that it recommends. Open nominees from the membership will be allowed up to three weeks prior to the conference annual meeting. All nominees will be vetted prior to being placed on the ballot for election for any position.
5.03A ELECTION. In all elections where there is more than one candidate nominated for one vacancy a ballot is required and the person receiving the majority votes will be elected.
1. The elected Board will name the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer at its first meeting following the election. The highest ranking officer from the previous Board will preside at this meeting and, if requested by any member, the officers will be determined by a vote of the Trustees present.
2. The Licensed Teacher Representative is elected at the Regional Conference by the Licensed Teachers in the Region who are in attendance. The nominee receiving the second highest number of votes will be the Alternate Licensed Teacher Representative and will assume the duties of the Licensed Teacher Representative if the Representative is unable to perform the duties of the Office.
3. The Regional Representative will be the person receiving the highest number of votes for that position. The person receiving the second highest number of votes becomes the Alternate Regional Representative. The Regional Representative is a voting member of the Board. If the Board determines that the position of Regional Representative has become vacant for any reason, the Alternate Regional Representative will assume the duties of the Regional Representative and fulfill the remainder of the 3-year term before re-election. If the Alternate Regional Representative position becomes vacant then a new Alternate will be elected by the Board and will serve until the next membership meeting at which time a special election will be held for the purpose of electing an Alternate Regional Representative to serve the remainder of the 3-year term. In the event that there is no Alternate Regional Representative, the Board will appoint someone who is willing to meet the qualifications to serve the term.
5.03C QUALIFICATIONS. The basic qualifications of the Regional Representative will be as defined by the Standards Team of UWM.
5.04 TERMS OF OFFICE. The term of office for all members of the Board of Trustees will be for three (3) years, not to exceed two (2) consecutive terms, with the exception of those fulfilling vacant terms. The Regional Representative will have no term limits but will run for reelection every three years. All other Trustees, having served two consecutive terms, must step off the Board for at least one year before being re-elected.
5.04A VACANCY. In the event of a vacancy on the Board:
1. In the case of a Trustee the remaining Trustees will elect by majority vote, as soon as practical, a person who meets the qualifications who will fulfill the remainder of the term of the person whose vacancy they are filling. S/he may then be elected to their own terms, not to exceed two consecutive terms or 6 years.
2. In the case of the Licensed Unity Teacher Representative, the Board will accept the Licensed Unity Teacher Alternate Representative to fill the vacated Licensed Unity Teacher Representative position. S/he will fulfill the remainder of the term, no matter the length of time left on the term. S/he may then be elected to their own terms, not to exceed two consecutive terms or 6 years more.
5.04B REMOVAL. Any member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) may be removed from office by a majority vote of the membership at a regular or special meeting held in accordance with these bylaws. A BoT may be removed by a two thirds majority vote of the Board, if the member no longer meets the qualifications of serving as a Board member or is not fulfilling their job description. The remaining Trustees will appoint a replacement and that BoT will complete the term of the vacated Trustee.
5.04C RESIGNATION. Any trustee may resign from office at any time during his/her term by submitting a written resignation to the President.
5.05 DUTIES AND POWERS. The Board will transact all financial business, set policy for the Region, provide for appropriate programs for its membership and bring before the conference body any suggestions and recommendations for pursuing the purpose of this organization as set forth in ARTICLE II of these Bylaws. It will report all actions taken at its meetings and furnish an accurate and current financial report to the regional membership. It will be specifically charged with the stewardship of the assets of this Region. It will conduct the business of the Region with the well being of its member ministers and ministries as its first priority. It will be responsible for the employment of employees of the Unity Southwest Region and will be empowered to terminate the employment of any employee. Employees will be supervised by the Board President or as appointed by the BoT.
In addition to the specified responsibilities listed below, other specific responsibilities may be listed in the Policies of the Region.
5.05A The President is the principal executive officer of the Region and the Chairperson of the Board and will preside at all meetings of the Board and of the corporate meetings of the Region. She/He will have the power to perform all duties incident to the office of the President. She/He will sign for the Region all corporate records, instruments, contracts, and conveyances on which the President’s name is required.
5.05B The Vice President will perform all the duties of the President in the event of the President’s inability or refusal to assume the responsibility. When assuming the responsibility, the Vice President will have all the powers of and be subject to all the restrictions upon the President.
5.05C The Secretary will keep, or cause to be kept, accurate and current minutes of all decisions made and actions taken by the Board. The Secretary will keep, or cause to be kept, a current record of the terms of all Board members and supply it to the nominating committee. The Secretary will keep or cause to be kept a current list of the membership including mailing and email addresses.
5.05D The Treasurer will be accountable for all income and other assets of the Region. The Treasurer will maintain, or have maintained, an accurate set of records indicating all income and disbursements, the value of all equipment and other assets; she/he will pay, or have paid, all bills and compensations to employees promptly. Financial statements will be sent to the Board prior to all business meetings.
5.05E The Regional Representative will meet the qualifications as recommended by the Standards Team of UWM. She/He will be a voting member of the Board. The Regional Representative serves as a link between UWM, the Region, the ministers, and the ministries within the Region. He/she serves as a member of the UWM Standards Team. He/she serves in the review process regarding the expansion of new ministries in the Region and performs in other various capacities that help strengthen and expand the Unity presence within the Region.
5.05F The Licensed Unity Teacher Representative is a voting member of the Board and attends Board meetings. The LUT representative may serve as an officer of the Board.
5.06 COMPENSATION. With the possible exception of the Regional Rep, the Board of Trustees will serve without compensation for their duties as Board members, but may be reimbursed for expenses of carrying out their duties. The Board may, with the approval of the conference body, determine adequate compensation over and above said expenses, to be paid to the Regional Rep on a monthly basis or as mutually agreed upon by the Board and the Regional Rep.
5.07 LIABILITY. Trustees may be reimbursed for the expense of litigation arising out of the performance of their duties as specified in the Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. No Officer or Board Member will have any liability whatsoever to any person in connection with their conduct of the affairs of the Region, or the management, investment, or disbursement of corporate funds, in the absence of fraud or gross negligence.
5.08 COMMITTEES. The President, authorized by the Board, may appoint a committee or committees for a specified purpose. A Board Member may serve on any committee
s, and have a vote on that committee. The committee may be dissolved by the Board at any time.
5.09 BOARD MEETINGS. Board meetings may be held in person or online as long as all members are notified of the meeting, a quorum (majority) is present, and minutes are kept. Board decisions may be made by email response as long as all members are notified and the decision is noted at the next meeting and included in the minutes.
6.01 MEETINGS OF THE MEMBERSHIP. The Board has final approval of the time, the location and the program for the annual regional conference. A quorum will consist of not less than 15 members present and voting at any meeting of which all members have been notified at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting. Robert’s Rules of Order shall guide the conduct of member meetings.
6.02 SPECIAL MEETINGS. A special meeting of the Region membership may be called at any time by the President of the Region, by a majority vote of the Board of Trustees or by a petition signed by not less than 12 members of the Region and submitted to the President of the Board. The President shall respond to such a petition by calling a meeting within 60 days. Business transacted at a special meeting shall be confined to the stated agenda.
6.03 NOTIFICATION. Notification of a special meeting shall include the purpose, date, place and time of the meeting and shall be mailed or emailed to all members, at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting.
7.01 SUPPORT. The Region will be financially supported by the Infinite Source of All Good, including and not limited to tithes and offerings, legacies, bequests, endowments, and/or surplus income from events sponsored by the Region.
7.02 EMPLOYEES. Any compensated employees of the Region shall be hired and discharged by a majority vote of the Board. All compensation packages shall be by arrangement with the Board and held confidential.
7.03 BOARD LIMITATIONS. No sale of real property owned by the Corporation will be made without the affirmative vote of at least two thirds of the membership present and voting at a conference or special meeting. Any contract or single expenditure exceeding $50,000 outside of the normal conduct of Corporation business, must have the approval of the majority of the membership at the annual or a special meeting. Normal conduct of Corporation business includes employee and consultant agreements and arrangements for conference.
8.01 AMENDMENT. The By-laws will be amended by two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present and voting at the annual meeting. All proposed amendments will be posted on the regional website at least fourteen (14) days prior to the beginning of a meeting where voting on the proposed amendments will take place. Email notification will be sent to all available member addresses.
9.01 FISCAL YEAR. The fiscal year of the Region will begin on the first (1st) day of January of each year and end on the thirty-first (31st) day of December the same calendar year.
10.01 DISSOLUTION. Should this corporation dissolve, all assets remaining after the payment of debts of the corporation shall go to Unity Worldwide Ministries, a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Georgia for religious and educational purposes with headquarters located in Jackson County, Missouri.
10.02 ADOPTION. These By-laws will take effect and control the operation of the Region from the time and date of their adoption.