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Church annual meeting/Roberts' Rules


Guest Virginia

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Guest Virginia

My question is regarding a church annual meeting that uses Roberts' Rules.

1. Must budget line items (and total operating budget) be passed by a 2/3 majority or does a simple majority suffice?

2. If a budget salary line item is amended on annual meeting floor by a congregation member, despite the fact that an Executive Board is charged by church bylaws to sign all contracts and employ all personnel, does the annual meeting vote trump the Executive Board vote's vote (to employ that person for less money than the annual meeting voted for, by a very close margin)?

THANK YOU for any help with these questions.

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Answering from an RONR viewpoint (your church may have different rules -- if so they supersede RONR's rules)....

1. Majority will do it.

2. This one will depend entirely on your bylaws: look there to see what powers your general membership (congregation) has when it is meeting vis a vis the E-Board's power.

This link may help you sort out the relative powers business.

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Look closely at the part of your bylaws that states what the powers, authority, responsibility, duties &c. of your E-Board are. Then compare the text(s) with RONR on p. 577, 578 & 586.

Depending on what "brand" of church you are in, there may be higher rules (no, not THAT high) that speak to how much relative authority the Board has and the congregation has.

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Guest Virginia

Thank you again. I think that our bylaws are sorely lacking. It's a federated church, formed 50+years ago and bylaws really don't address this beyond that the EB shall set salaries. . .but I will look again. Many thanks for your time and consideration.

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Thank you again. I think that our bylaws are sorely lacking. It's a federated church, formed 50+years ago and bylaws really don't address this beyond that the EB shall set salaries. . .but I will look again. Many thanks for your time and consideration.

If all they say is that the EB sets salaries, then that's all that the EB gets to do.

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If all they say is that the EB sets salaries, then that's all that the EB gets to do.

Well, when Virginia says that the "bylaws really don't address this beyond that the EB shall set salaries", she may, by "this", only be referring to part of the EB's authority.

All too often we're first told that the bylaws say just one thing only to later learn that they say more than that. And sometimes not even that.

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According to RONR, unless your bylaws vest complete power of governance with your board, then it is considered subordinate to your membership, and can be overruled or prohibited by the membership from certain actions. Complete power "between meetings" of the membership is not enough--that's still considered a subordinate position.

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