Bylaws Basics

Much more detail in the UUA Bylaws Guide


The name of this religious community shall be


[Mission statement]


[Do we want to specify in the bylaws that we shall be UUA and District members?


[Do we want a specific statement of including everyone here, in the Purpose, in the Membership clause or not at all?]


  • Who can become a member? Age? Covenant? Contributions (time, talent, treasure)? Attendance? Preparation (new member meetings, a training or previous UU membership?)
  • How do you become a member? Acceptance by the congregation? Signing the book? Agreeing to a covenant?
  • What can you do as a member? (Voting, committee membership, officer, board, committee chair, etc.)
  • How do you maintain your membership status? (Again, time, talent, treasure, attendance?)
  • If and how can your membership can be removed (with or without consent)?
  • What rights and restrictions do you have as a member?
  • What responsibilities and obligations do you have as a member?
  • Is there more than one type of membership?

Congregational Meetings

How often, regular and special, notification, quorum, majority percentages, absentee and proxy voting, rules of order

Board and Officers

  • composition
  • terms and term limits
  • election
  • basic duties and responsibilities
  • Executive Committee?
  • Meetings – frequency, notice, and quorum, open, executive session, minutes
  • removal from office
  • filling vacancies


Standing, provision for creating additional committees, qualifications for chair and members, how appointed

Nominating Committee

Committee on Ministry

Calling a Minister; Dismissal and Termination of Call


the fiscal year for the congregation, who has responsibility for financial matters, and what happens to the congregation’s assets upon dissolution of the congregation, budget preparation and audit of the financial records


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