By-Laws for St. Mark’s on the Campus Episcopal Church
Lincoln, NE | January 2007
Nothing in these by-laws shall contravene the authority of the Constitution, Canons, doctrines, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, or of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska.
2. Rector or Priest in charge
a. The Rector or priest in charge is EX-OFFICIO President of the Vestry and of the congregation, and has the casting vote in case of a tie on all questions brought before it.
b. The Rector or priest in charge has the spiritual oversight of this parish, and the church building shall be open to him/her for public Common Prayer, religious instruction, sacraments, rites and ceremonies of the church, and for such other purposes as he/she may deem proper.
a. The Senior Warden shall be elected annually. The Rector may nominate the Senior Warden, who shall hold office for not more than two successive one-year terms, and shall not be eligible for election to the vestry or office of Warden until after the expiration of one year from the date of said Warden’s previous service. In the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of Senior Warden, the Vestry, using the same system of nomination, shall have the power to fill the vacancy until the next Annual Meeting of the Parish.
b. The Junior Warden shall be elected annually and shall hold office for not more than two successive one-year terms, and shall not be eligible for election to the Vestry except as Senior Warden until one year from the date of said Warden’s previous service. In the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of Junior Warden, the Vestry shall have the power to fill such vacancy.
a. The Vestry shall consist of the Rector as President, two Church Wardens, nine lay members elected for staggered three-year terms, and one to three student members appointed annually by the Rector. All members shall have voice and vote. Eligibility for elected members is governed by the canons. Eligible couples may on occasion be nominated and elected to full or partial terms on the Vestry.
b. Duties of the Vestry include regular attendance at meetings, active church attendance and participation, and fulfillment of mutually agreed upon assignments. The Vestry acts to represent the congregation to parish leadership, and vice versa.
c. Elected members of the Vestry who have completed a full three-year term of service shall not be eligible for re-election except as Church Warden until one year from the date of said member’s previous service.
d. Vacancies occurring in this office may be filled by the Vestry until the next Annual Meeting of the parish, at which time additional lay members shall be elected to fill the unexpired terms, provided, however, that no person so appointed by the Vestry shall be ineligible for election de novo to the Vestry at the next Annual Parish Meeting.
e. The Vestry, at its first meeting immediately following the Annual Parish Meeting, shall elect a Clerk of the Vestry. The Clerk shall be elected from the Vestry.
f. The regular meeting of the Vestry shall be once a month, except when postponed with the approval of the Vestry, at such time and place within the parish as specified by the Rector. The Rector shall call and preside at all meetings of the Vestry and is entitled to vote on every question.
g. In case there is no Rector, or in the absence or inability on his/her part to act, the Wardens, according to seniority, shall preside at meetings of the Vestry and of the congregation. In case both Rector and Wardens are absent, a member of the Vestry shall be chosen to preside.
h. The Rector may call a special Vestry meeting to be held within the Parish at any time. A special Vestry meeting shall be called by the Rector at the written request of a majority of the lay members of the Vestry. The Vestry may also agree to confer by telephone or other means when urgent matters require consultation and a physical gathering is not possible.
i. A majority of the Vestry shall constitute a quorum, and a majority of the members in attendance at any meeting shall, in the presence of a quorum, decide its action; provided, however, that the Vestry shall not have the power to elect a Rector or to alienate or encumber real property of the Parish unless there be present and voting in favor thereof a majority of all such Vestry.
a. The Vestry, at its first meeting immediately following the Annual Parish Meeting, shall elect a Parish Treasurer. The Parish Treasurer must be a qualified elector in the Parish, but need not be a member of the Vestry.
b. The Parish Treasurer shall present monthly written reports to the Vestry, accounting for all income received and disbursements made during the previous calendar month.
c. The Parish Treasurer shall present written reports to the Annual Parish meeting, containing a full accounting of all funds held by the Parish, and of all income received and disbursements made during the previous calendar year, together with year-beginning and year-ending balances.
6. Funds and Assets
a. All funds of the Parish, excepting the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, are under Vestry control, and all funds are held in trust for the Parish. All parish accounts controlled by the Vestry are to be audited annually as provided by Diocesan canons.
b. Any unexpended monies in the Rector’s Discretionary Fund shall be relinquished to the Parish when the Rector leaves office.
c. The Vestry and Wardens shall conduct all affairs of the Parish in all matters concerning its corporate property and the relations of the Parish to its clergy, except as provided by the laws of the State or of the Diocese. The vestry is authorized, congruent with Diocesan canons, to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire, and to hold, own, sell, dispose or encumber real or personal property of all kinds, and to transact all other temporal business for the Parish.
7. Annual Parish Meeting
a. The Annual Parish Meeting shall be held during the month of January at a time and place within the Parish specified by the Rector. All confirmed communicants in good standing listed in the Parish Register who are at least age 16 and regular contributors of record to the Parish treasury shall be entitled to vote, and to be eligible for election to the Vestry. Notice of time, date, agenda, and place of the Annual Meeting shall be given by announcement at all regularly scheduled Divine Services during the two weeks immediately preceding said meeting, and by other means as directed by the Rector.
b. The President, or presiding official, shall appoint a member of the staff or other suitable individual to accurately record the activity of the Annual Parish Meeting and any votes taken.
c. The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting shall be made available for review and correction by posting outside of the church office, and by any
other means directed by the Rector, within 30 days of the Annual Parish Meeting. Any questions or corrections should be brought to the attention of the Rector.
d. Nominations to fill offices of Warden or members of Vestry by election at the Annual Parish Meeting may be made by slate or offering multiple candidates, at the discretion of the Nominating Committee. If additional candidates are nominated from the floor, provided such candidates are eligible and have agreed to serve the posts to be filled, the choice will be decided by majority vote of the members of the congregation present and eligible to vote at the Annual Meeting. The Nominating Committee, appointed by the Vestry, consists of the Senior Warden, retiring members of the Vestry, and one or more at-large members of the congregation.
a. These by-laws may be revised, rescinded, or expanded at any Annual Parish Meeting by a majority of the members present and eligible to vote.
b. Should the Vestry conclude that these by-laws are insufficient to conduct the immediate business of the parish, the Vestry may adopt interim amendments to the by-laws. Any such interim amendments shall be effective only until the next succeeding Annual Parish meeting.