B Y L A W S
Bylaws: n. the written rules for conduct of a corporation, association, partnership or any organization. They should not be confused with the Articles of Corporation which only state the basic outline of the company, including stock structure. Bylaws generally provide for meetings, elections of a board of directors and officers, filling vacancies, notices, types and duties of officers, committees, assessments and other routine conduct. Bylaws are, in effect, a contract among members, and must be formally adopted and/or amended.
The changing landscape of church and denominational life in the 21st century impacts the form and function of ministry, including the ways in which congregations organize and govern themselves. Church bylaws from long ago no longer accurately reflect current governance and organizational structure. Churches want their bylaws to reflect their function, but they do not know where to begin.
Member congregations in the Maine Conference who were willing to share their bylaws with the wider church are posted below. The Maine Conference is not endorsing these bylaws in any way; we are merely providing this information as a resource on what other churches have decided for themselves. Perhaps this will help sister congregations to start thinking about your governance and structure and feel less intimidated to amend your own bylaws.
The Maine Conference strongly recommends that local churches obtain your own legal advice, and make decisions based on your own unique circumstances.
Belfast – First Church in Belfast, Sept 7 2014
Bethel – West Parish Congregational Church UCC, Jan 29 2017
Boothbay Harbor – The Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor, Jan 25 2015
Casco Village – Casco Village Church UCC, Jan 18 2015
East Sumner – The Congregational Church of East Sumner, Oct 25 2015
Frankfort – Frankfort Congregational Church UCC, 2016
South Portland – First Congregational Church UCC, Nov 20 2008
Woolwich – Day’s Ferry Congregational Church, Jan 20 2013
Constitution and Bylaws of Your Church
Organization and Structure of Your Church