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Order of Business - Input Please


keefe
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It is being proposed to ad a "Order of Business" to our bylaws for our Annual Meeting.  Listed below is that proposal from the lawyer.  Would it not be better to have line 2 go before line 1?  That is my understand from what I read from RONR.  Any other input is appreciated.

Call to Order; Order of Business
When the time of a meeting has arrived, the presiding officer opens it, after he has determined that a quorum is present, by calling the meeting to order.

 

6.  Order of business at business meetings of the Congregation. The Order of Business for the Annual Meeting shall be:

1.     The Chairman calling the meeting to order.

2.     The Secretary declaring whether there is or is not a quorum for the Congregation to take action at the meeting.

3.     The reading/waiving of the minutes of the then previous Congregational meeting.

4.     The report of the Pastor concerning the spiritual condition of the Congregation and ministerial acts performed.

5.     The report of the Board of Elders.

6.     The report of the Board of Trustees, including the financial report of the Treasurer.

7.     The reports of church ministries, including the Sunday School, Youth, Women’s, and others.

8.     Unfinished business.

9.     The election of officers.

10.  New business including the consideration of the admittance of new confessing members.

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First of all, in accordance with RONR, #1 and #2 are not part of the Order of business, but preliminary to it.

Second, Secretaries have no authority to "declare" anything. They only advise the presiding officer. So you might consider wording such as:

"Once the Chairman has determined that a quorum is present and has called the meeting to order:" (then list the items in the order of business)

As background, I am both a parliamentarian and a Presbyterian minister. In our national constitution, it is a requirement that all congregational meetings be opened and closed with prayer. You might want to consider whether such a practice (or some other, depending on your particular faith tradition) is appropriate. RONR considers and sanctions such activities as opening and/or closing ceremonies.

Otherwise, your order looks appropriate and in accordance with RONR to me.

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No, don't put #2 ahead of #1. -- You don't need a quorum to call a meeting to order.

You are free to call a meeting to order, and then declare the quorum situation, and act accordingly. (e.g., if you have no quorum, then you may recess for while, or make motions to obtain a quorum). There are limited "actions" (your term) which can be executed despite no quorum. See "Fix the time to which to adjourn" for an example.

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43 minutes ago, Greg Goodwiller said:

Second, Secretaries have no authority to "declare" anything. They only advise the presiding officer.

Unless, of course, the bylaws give the Secretary the authority to declare something.  A Secretary Pro Tem, though, would then not have such authority, creating a pickle if the Secretary is absent at the meeting.

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Thank you all for your input.  Here is what I have changed it to so far, probably not the finished product but close.  I then submit this to a member and he discusses it with the lawyer who drafted the original revisions.

 

6.  Order of business at business meetings of the Congregation. The Order of Business for the Annual Meeting shall be:

1)  Reading and Approval of Minutes

2)  Reports of the Pastor concerning the spiritual condition of the Congregation and ministerial acts performed.

3)  Report of the Board of Elders

4)  Report of the Board of Trustees, including the financial report of the Treasurer.

5)  Report of church ministries, including Sunday School, Youth, Women's and others.

6)  Unfinished Business and General Orders

7)  Election of Officers

8)  New Business

   

Greg, thank you for mentioning opening and closing with prayer.  I saw that when reading and am going to recommend that as well.

"The call to order may be immediately followed by religious or patriotic exercises or other opening ceremonies."  I just purchased the downloaded version for my PC and am unable to see page numbers to reference, once I get to know the program better I will be able to reference as well.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, keefe said:

 

Thank you all  ....

"The call to order may be immediately followed by religious or patriotic exercises or other opening ceremonies."  I just purchased the downloaded version for my PC and am unable to see page numbers to reference, once I get to know the program better I will be able to reference as well.

Uh oh, downloaded version of WHAT?  To my knowledge (unless things have changed recently) there is no "downloadable" version of RONR 11th edition available on the Internet.  There is a CD version (PC only) available here  --  is that what you ordered?

If you ordered some other book with a similar name, try to get your money back, and get the real thing in (paper) hard copy.  The page references (and the content) won't (completely) match what you see here in "other" books.

When you do get the right book, you will see on page [XX - I can't spot it at this hour of the night!] that RONR recommends that you do NOT put an order of business in the bylaws, but rely on the rules found in the book.  This gives you more flexibility for special cases and can avoid confusion and arguments.

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7 hours ago, keefe said:

 

Thank you all for your input.  Here is what I have changed it to so far, probably not the finished product but close.  I then submit this to a member and he discusses it with the lawyer who drafted the original revisions.

 

6.  Order of business at business meetings of the Congregation. The Order of Business for the Annual Meeting shall be:

1)  Reading and Approval of Minutes

2)  Reports of the Pastor concerning the spiritual condition of the Congregation and ministerial acts performed.

3)  Report of the Board of Elders

4)  Report of the Board of Trustees, including the financial report of the Treasurer.

5)  Report of church ministries, including Sunday School, Youth, Women's and others.

6)  Unfinished Business and General Orders

7)  Election of Officers

8)  New Business

   

Greg, thank you for mentioning opening and closing with prayer.  I saw that when reading and am going to recommend that as well.

"The call to order may be immediately followed by religious or patriotic exercises or other opening ceremonies."  I just purchased the downloaded version for my PC and am unable to see page numbers to reference, once I get to know the program better I will be able to reference as well.

 

 

 

I gather that regular business meetings of your congregation are held throughout the year, presumably at least as often as once every three months, and that one of these meetings is the "Annual Meeting".

Is this correct?

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5 hours ago, Gary c Tesser said:

I don't see it on page XX, that's still the contents.  Can't you college graduates count in English once in a while?

There is no page XX, although there is a page xx.  Did you get NO classical education? Can you not distinguish UPPER CASE from lower case?

After a good nights sleep, I can replace my unknown page number ("XX") with 17, lines 13-18 as the location where RONR notes that placing an order of business in the body of the bylaws is "less desirable" than placing it in a set of stand-alone "Special Rules of Order".

Or don't specify it anywhere and leave the order of business in RONR's tender care. Which is where it belongs.

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3 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I gather that regular business meetings of your congregation are held throughout the year, presumably at least as often as once every three months, and that one of these meetings is the "Annual Meeting".

Is this correct?

Daniel,

Yes that is correct.  Our current bylaws currently call those "Special Meetings" in which we have two kinds, "Special Meetings" held quarterly which are commonly referred to as "Quarterly Meetings" and a "Special Meetings" called for a specific purpose.  I have been advocating to have the name changed to Quarterly Meeting and Annual Meeting, leaving Special Meetings for just that, Special Meetings.  Here is the actual Bylaw.

 


SECTION 2.  Business Meetings of the Congregation:

 

1.        The General Business Meeting of the Congregation has the highest authority to make decisions as to the governance of the Congregation.  There shall be two kinds of General Business Meetings: namely, the Annual Meeting and Special Meetings.

 

 

2.     The Annual Meeting shall be held in the fourth week of January, at which time the following items of business shall be transacted:

 

a.  Each confessing member shall receive and be prepared to discuss written reports from the Pastor, Secretary, Treasurer, Auditors, and heads of each of the other departments and committees.

 

b.  Adopt a budget for the coming year.

 

c.  Adopt plans and recommendations regarding spiritual and material developments in the Congregation.

 

            d.  Elect and appoint the necessary officers and committees for the coming year.

 

3.  Special Meetings shall be held quarterly, with the date for each being set at the previous business meeting.  Any other special meetings may be held when the Board of Elders deems it necessary or when desired by two-thirds of the confessing membership.  All meetings shall be announced at least one Sunday prior to their occurrence.

 

4.  A quorum shall be forty percent (40%) of the active resident (currently living in area) confessing members of voting age under discipline of the Congregation.  There shall be no absentee or proxy voting.  All confessing members of this congregation, who have reached legal voting age of eighteen (18) years, shall have the right to vote and to be elected.  Except for Elder and Pastor, those candidates receiving the most votes shall be elected.  The Membership and Parishioner Roster shall be available for inspection at any meeting of the Congregation.

 

            5.  All meetings of the church shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order.

 

      6.  Order of business at business meetings of the Congregation. The Order of Business for the Annual Meeting shall be:

1.     The Chairman calling the meeting to order.

2.     The Secretary declaring whether there is or is not a quorum for the Congregation to take action at the meeting.

3.     The reading/waiving of the minutes of the then previous Congregational meeting.

4.     The report of the Pastor concerning the spiritual condition of the Congregation and ministerial acts performed.

5.     The report of the Board of Elders.

6.     The report of the Board of Trustees, including the financial report of the Treasurer.

7.     The reports of church ministries, including the Sunday School, Youth, Women’s, and others.

8.     Unfinished business.

9.     The election of officers.

10.  New business including the consideration of the admittance of new confessing members.

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8 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Uh oh, downloaded version of WHAT?  To my knowledge (unless things have changed recently) there is no "downloadable" version of RONR 11th edition available on the Internet.  There is a CD version (PC only) available here  --  is that what you ordered?

If you ordered some other book with a similar name, try to get your money back, and get the real thing in (paper) hard copy.  The page references (and the content) won't (completely) match what you see here in "other" books.

When you do get the right book, you will see on page [XX - I can't spot it at this hour of the night!] that RONR recommends that you do NOT put an order of business in the bylaws, but rely on the rules found in the book.  This gives you more flexibility for special cases and can avoid confusion and arguments.

jstackpo,

Yes it came from the same place.  I have a Surface Pro 4 so it doesn't have a CD Drive.  I reached out to American Legal and they graciously provided a download link for me to use.

I do also have the paperback as well as In Brief and one other laminated pamphlet but it is much easier to have it all on my pc than to always carry the books with me.  I do find reading it from the book to be easier though.  I am sure I will really like the software once I get used to it and the features.

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Just now, keefe said:

jstackpo,

Yes it came from the same place.  I have a Surface Pro 4 so it doesn't have a CD Drive.  I reached out to American Legal and they graciously provided a download link for me to use.

I appreciate this information.  My office computer and my laptop don't have CD ROM's.......I'm going to contact them as well.

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6 hours ago, keefe said:

jstackpo,

Yes it came from the same place.  I have a Surface Pro 4 so it doesn't have a CD Drive.  I reached out to American Legal and they graciously provided a download link for me to use.

I do also have the paperback as well as In Brief and one other laminated pamphlet but it is much easier to have it all on my pc than to always carry the books with me.  I do find reading it from the book to be easier though.  I am sure I will really like the software once I get used to it and the features.

 

6 hours ago, keefe said:

George,

They were great.  It took no time for them to provide the link, very fast.

 

John, do you have any idea what these fershluggener under-fifties are talking about?

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20 hours ago, keefe said:

I do also have the paperback as well as In Brief and one other laminated pamphlet but it is much easier to have it all on my pc than to always carry the books with me.  I do find reading it from the book to be easier though.  I am sure I will really like the software once I get used to it and the features.

I suggest you look carefully at what is said in RONR (11th ed.), on pages 94-95, concerning annual meetings, and also what is said on page 372 regarding instances in which adoption of an agenda is customary.

I'm not sure you need to include an order of business for your Annual Meeting in your bylaws (if you do not do so, the one outlined in RONR, pp. 353 ff., will be the order of business), but if you do, you may want to specifically include all those items of business set forth in paragraph 2 of Section 2 of your bylaws, and not just some of them.

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On 1/19/2017 at 8:47 PM, keefe said:

. . . "The call to order may be immediately followed by religious or patriotic exercises or other opening ceremonies."  I just purchased the downloaded version for my PC and am unable to see page numbers to reference, once I get to know the program better I will be able to reference as well.

Keefe, on the CD-ROM version, the page numbers appear within the text in red print set off in brackets, like this: [page 174]. It represents the beginning of a page, not the end.

They correspond to the page numbers in RONR.  The CD-ROM does not, however, have line numbers. And footnotes are easy to miss:  They are indicated by teeny, tiny red asterisks, like this: Click on the asterisk to read the corresponding footnote.

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