Proposed By-laws Christ Church

Proposed changes August 2014 to CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH BY-LAWS


Article I – Name

The name of this corporation shall be the “The Vestry of Christ Protestant Episcopal Church of Valdosta, Georgia, Inc.” / (hereafter “the Vestry”).

The headquarters of the Vestry shall be located in Lowndes County, Georgia.

Article II – Purpose

The purposes of the Vestry are to acquire and afford to the Christ Protestant Episcopal Church of Valdosta, Georgia (hereafter “Christ Church”), a proper and appropriate church building and other properties, real and personal, needed or useful in the conduct of the services and affairs of the Christ Church, and, in general, to do any and all things to promote the cause of the Christian religion, charity, and education and to promote the welfare of Christ Church.

Article III – Membership and Officers

The membership of the Vestry shall consist of the members of the Vestry of Christ Church as the same is from time to time constituted pursuant to the constitution and canons of the Diocese of Georgia.

The Rector, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden, the Treasurer, and the Secretary of the said Vestry, by virtue of their offices, shall also be President, Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary respectively of the said corporation.

The entire membership of the Vestry shall constitute the corporation’s Board of Directors.

The general management of the Vestry’s affairs shall be vested in the Board of Directors, which board shall be vested with all the powers and authority usually had by boards of directors charged with the administration of the affairs of business corporations.

The President and Vice-President of the Corporation shall also be the chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the Board of Directors.

Article IV – Acknowledgement

The Members of the Vestry of Christ Church shall:

“acknowledge and accede to the doctrine, discipline and worship, and constitution and canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and the constitution and canons of the same church in the Diocese of Georgia”. (Canons Diocese of Georgia Title II, Canon 2, Section 2 and see also Title II, Canon I.)


Article I – Elections

    1. The Vestry shall consist of 12 members; 4 shall be elected each year to serve a term of three years.

A nominating committee made up of those Vestry persons completing their terms shall prepare a ballot containing at least 9 names (to be increased proportionately if it is necessary to elect additional members to fill unexpired terms). The committee shall request names of potential nominees from the communicants during the first two weeks of October and prepare a ballot reflecting the wide diversity of our membership. Elections to be held at annual meeting.

The qualifications to be nominated for the Vestry are as follows:

  • A confirmed member of the church
  • A regular communicant of the church
  • A pledging member of the church
  • At least 18 years of age

The nominating committee should be sure that these requirements are met and that the nominee has expressed that he/she is both willing and able to serve the three year term.

Those NOT eligible for nomination include:
a.  An immediate family member of anyone rolling off the Vestry or currently serving on the Vestry;
b. Clergy family or household members
c. Employees of Christ Church
d. Anyone who has served for the three years prior

Nominees should submit a short bio and a brief statement about what they would like to see accomplished by the Vestry, should they be elected. These should be submitted at least three weeks prior to the election, so that this information, along with a picture, may be published in our electronic bulletin and the Sunday Service sheet for at least two weeks prior to the election.

2. Election will be determined by secret ballot by the Vestry at the regularly scheduled January meeting.

a. The Senior Warden shall be appointed by the Rector to serve a term of one year. The Senior Warden is eligible for re-appointment.
b. The Junior Warden shall be appointed by the Rector to serve a term of one year. The Junior Warden is eligible for re-appointment.
c. The Secretary of the Vestry (Clerk) shall be appointed by the Rector to serve a term of one year. The Secretary is eligible for re-appointment.
d. The Treasurer of the Church shall be appointed by the Rector. The Treasurer is eligible for re-appointment.
e. The Rector shall appoint, or in his or her absence the Senior Warden, Committees of the Vestry.
f. Vacancies on the Vestry may be filled by election of the Vestry.
g. Newly elected Vestry members and officers shall assume their positions as of the regularly scheduled January meeting.
h. The Vestry shall elect the Parish’s delegates and alternates of the Diocesan Convention.


Article I – Duties and Responsibilities of the Vestry Members

  1. The Senior Warden
      a. shall be authorized to sign all deeds, papers, etc., which apply in the name of the Parish;
      b. shall coordinate procedures necessary in the call and search for a Rector;
      c. shall stay in close communication with the Rector and share the responsibility of preparing the agenda for Vestry meetings;
      d. shall be a member of the Finance Committee;
      e. shall in the absence of the Rector provide regular worship and have charge of the registers of the Parish.
  1. The Junior Warden
      a. shall have general oversight of the building and grounds maintenance and shall be responsible for grounds at the church, the church buildings, and offices and for the cleanliness and attractiveness of the parish;
      b. shall present to the Vestry recommendations for improvements of property;
      c. may authorize repairs, and improvements when the amount does not exceed $500 without specific permission of the Vestry if the budget allows and in consultation with the Rector. “All bids exceeding $500 shall be submitted in writing before being accepted.
      d. Shall communicate with the Rector and other Executive Officers to set the agenda for Vestry meetings;
      e. shall in the absence of the Rector and Senior Warden preside at the Vestry meeting.
  1. The Secretary (Clerk)
      a. shall keep precise and accurate notes on the content of all meetings of the Vestry;
      b. shall deliver minutes of a meeting to the Church Office within one week of meeting of the Vestry;
      c. shall write and compose letters of thanks, etc., to persons whom the Vestry directs; (A copy will be placed in the official minutes).
      d. Shall communicate with the Rector and other Executive Officers to set the agenda for Vestry meetings.
  1. The Treasurer
      a. shall keep written accurate records of receipts, disbursements of the church;
      b. shall have prepared a written report for each month showing the budget, expenses of the month, total for the year, and amounts owed in unpaid bills;
      c. shall be responsible to see that all papers and policies which affect the temporal operation of the church be kept in the safe or church office;
      d. shall be a member of the Finance Committee;
      e. shall be responsible for the securing of all information necessary for the Annual Parochial Report. Said report should be in the Diocesan Office no later than date specified by said office;
      f. shall be responsible for having the offerings secured and placed in the safe for deposit;
      g. shall communicate with Rector and other Executive Officers to set the agenda for Vestry meetings;
      h. shall pay money allocated to the Diocese monthly, prorated over 12 months;
      i. shall pay the Church Pension Fund promptly and never be in arrears.
  1. Vestry Committees shall be as follows:
      a. Executive Committee – the Vestry Officers.

      b. Finance Committee – five (5) members including Senior Warden, Treasurer, and past Stewardship Chairman.

      c. Weekday Pre-School Committee – five (5) members, at least one Vestry member, one teacher and two parents.

      d. Members of any other committee shall be by appointment of the Rector or the Vestry; such committees shall report to the Vestry annually as to their activities


Article I – Vestry Meetings

    1. The Vestry shall meet monthly at a regular time agreed upon – special called meetings may be set up by the officers or at the request of any member(s) acting in accordance with Title II, Section 4 of the Canons of the Diocese of Georgia.
    2. Eight (8) elected members shall constitute a quorum.
    3. Persons elected serve from their election to the election of their successor three calendar years later.
    4. Business shall be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order. At the annual meeting a Parliamentarian should be appointed to assure compliance therewith. The annual meeting:
    a. to be held on a Sunday in January right after worship. At this meeting reports should be made by every committee chair. Reports should be submitted in time for them to be disseminated and handed out at the meeting, and made available to anyone not able to attend.
    b. Elections of Vestry Members should be held at this annual meeting. Ballots should be passed out to every eligible communicant in attendance at the beginning of the meeting. After ample time to vote, the ballots should be picked up and counted by the nominating committee.
    c. New vestry members will then be announced. They will start their service at the January meeting.
    5. Vestry meetings shall be open to all parishioners. Any parishioner may request an item be placed on the Vestry agenda before the meeting. The Vestry may request the wisdom of any visitor on a specific topic.


Article I – Parish Elections

The electors of the parish are:

    a. Those who qualify as communicants in good standing of the congregation of Christ Church, Valdosta, of the Episcopal Church , and of the Diocese of Georgia (according to National Canons Title I, Canon 17, Section 1, 2, & 3 and Diocesan Canon Title II, Canon 2; a confirmed member of the church
    b. Contributors of record in the previous year; a pledging member of the church
    c. Those who meet the age requirements of Canon and Georgia law. (Diocese of Georgia Canons Title II, Canon 2, Section 3); at least 18 years of age.