By-Laws

By-Laws of the Summit Interfaith Council

Adopted: November 2009

Article I: Name

The name of the organization shall be:

THE SUMMIT INTERFAITH COUNCIL, hereafter also referred to as “The Council.”

Article II: Purpose

The Mission Statement of the Summit Interfaith Council (adopted September 18, 1997):

The Summit Interfaith Council, a coalition of leadership of the religious communities of Summit, exists to “seek the welfare of the city (Jeremiah 29:7).”  We recognize our common spiritual ground while celebrating the diversity of our traditions.  Our purpose includes developing a voice to speak to the city and its people of out of our common religious perspectives.

To do this, we will:

  1. Foster mutual understanding and respect;
  2. Seek to include all religious perspectives;
  3. Exercise stewardship through communication and the coordination of our resources; and
  4. Encourage dialogue in order to appreciate the unique contributions of various perspectives.

Article III: Membership

Section 1: Members

Membership in the Interfaith Council is open to the leaders of religious organizations in the City of Summit (hereafter referred to as “Members”).  Leaders of religious organizations located outside the City of Summit, which serve the citizens of Summit, may be admitted as Members by The Council with the consent of a simple majority at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Section 2: Dues

Each member organization shall pay the annual dues as set by the Members each fiscal year.

Article IV: Officers

Section 1: Officers

The officers of The Council shall be the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary/Treasurer.  Each term of office shall be two years, with elections held in May of even-numbered years beginning in 2010.

Section 2: Vacancies in Office

In the event that the office of President is vacated, the Vice-President shall succeed to the office of President.  The Members will elect a new Vice-President at the next regularly scheduled meeting.  Other vacancies shall be filled by the Members at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Section 3: Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the President:

  • Presides over all meetings of The Council
  • Develops the agenda for all meetings of The Council in consultation with the Members
  • Appoints a Chair to all standing and ad-hoc committees including – but not limited to – the Nominating Committee and the Thanksgiving Service Committee, subject to approval by the Members
  • Oversees the functioning of all committees
  • Represents The Council publicly
  • Appoints representatives to community boards and councils as necessary, subject to approval by the Members

The responsibilities of the Vice-President:

  • Presides over any meetings of The Council in the absence of the President
  • Represents The Council publicly when the President is unable to do so
  • Succeeds to the office of President in the event that the office of the President is vacated
  • Serves on the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Committee
  • Sets the meeting calendar for The Council’s program year by May of the preceding year

The responsibilities of the Secretary/Treasurer:

  • Notifies the Members of upcoming meetings in a timely fashion
  • Takes attendance and confirms the presence of a quorum at meetings
  • Records the minutes of each meeting and distributes them at the following meeting for approval by the Members
  • Oversees the production of The Council’s annual directory
  • Oversees the Council’s electronic communications
  • Collects all dues from the Members
  • Provides financial report at all meetings
  • Disburses funds on behalf of The Council as determined by a simple majority of the Members at a regularly scheduled meeting

Section 4: Term Limits

  • No officer shall be elected to serve in the same office for more than two (2) full consecutive terms or five (5) consecutive years (in the event that an officer comes into office by filling a vacancy mid-term).
  • The office of President shall not be held by any single denomination or organization for more than two (2) full consecutive terms or five (5) consecutive years (in the event that the President came into office by filling a vacancy mid-term).

Article V: The Fiscal Year

The Council’s fiscal year shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30 of the following year.

Article VI: Meetings

Section 1: Frequency

The Council shall meet nine (9) times during the course of a fiscal year – once a month from September through May.

Section 2: Quorum

Representatives from not fewer than seven (7) religious institutions shall constitute a quorum.

Section 3: Voting

Each member organization shall be entitled to at least one (1) vote.  Additional leaders from any member organization can earn the right to vote by attending three meetings during the twelve months preceding a vote not including the meeting at which the vote is being held.

Article VII: Committees

Section 1: The Thanksgiving Service Committee

  • The Interfaith Thanksgiving Service shall take place on the Sunday immediately preceding the Thanksgiving holiday each year.
  • The Chair of the Thanksgiving Service Committee shall be appointed by the President no later than December 31 of the previous year.
  • The Chair shall also serve as the host of the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service.
  • The Thanksgiving Service Committee shall be comprised of The Chair, the host of the previous Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, the Vice-President of The Council, one music director from a member organization and any other religious leaders who wish to serve.
  • The first meeting of the Thanksgiving Service Committee shall take place no later than May of the year in which the service is to take place – six (6) months prior to the service.

Section 2: The Nominating Committee

  • The President shall appoint the Chair of the Nominating Committee no later than March of every even-numbered year beginning in 2010.
  • The Chair, in turn, shall recruit two additional members to form the Nominating Committee.
  • The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of officers to the Members at the May meeting.

Section 3: Ad-Hoc Committees

  • The President shall create ad-hoc committees and appoint Chairs to those committees as needed.  Such actions shall be subject to the approval of the Members by a simple majority vote at the next scheduled meeting.
  • The continued existence and functioning of those ad-hoc committees shall be reviewed annually by the members at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Article VIII: Elections

Election of Officers shall take place in May of every even-numbered year beginning in 2010.  The slate presented by the Nominating Committee shall be approved by a simple majority of the Members present at the meeting.  In the absence of a quorum, a special meeting shall be convened in June to elect officers.

Article IX: Removal from Office

Removing an Officer requires a two-thirds vote of the Members at a regularly scheduled meeting.   All member organizations must have at least seven (7) days’ written notice that such a vote will take place.  In the event of a removal, the vacancy shall be filled according to Article IV, Section 2.

Article X: Parliamentary Rules

Robert’s Rules of Order shall apply on all questions of procedure and parliamentary law not specified in these by-laws.

Article XI: Amendment

These by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Members at a regularly scheduled meeting.  All proposed amendments must be distributed in writing to all member organizations at least thirty (30) days in advance of said meeting.

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