UUFD Bylaws

Adopted 20 February, 1966; amended 29 October 1967, 6 May 1973, 20 May 1990,
16 May 1993, 21 April 1996, 22 March 1998, 19 May 2002, 06 May 2007, 18 November 2018, 31 May 2020
-On file in UUFD Church Office-



The name of this religious society shall be "The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb," abbreviated "UUFD," and referred to in these Bylaws as "the Fellowship." The governing body of the Fellowship shall be the Board of Trustees, hereafter called "the Board.".  


  1. PURPOSE: The purpose of this organization shall be to pursue together the search for and practice of liberal religious principles in the Unitarian Universalist tradition.
  2. AFFILIATIONS: The Fellowship shall maintain affiliation with national and regional Unitarian Universalist Organizations.
  3. INCORPORATION: The Fellowship shall be incorporated in the State of Illinois as a not-for-profit corporation.  


1.       It is specifically understood that membership, programming, hiring practices and the calling of religious professionals in this congregation are not and cannot be predicated upon race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, class or national origin.  


  1. REQUIREMENTS: Any person who subscribes to the purposes of the Fellowship may
    join as a Member by signing the Membership book. After 30 days of membership, members aged 18 years and over shall have the privilege of voting at business meetings and in any other formal votes taken by the Fellowship. Young people may join at any time, and may become voting Members at age 18.
  2. FRIENDS: Participants in the life of the Fellowship who have not joined will be
    considered "Friends". Unless otherwise stated, provisions hereinafter applying to "Members" will also apply to Friends.
  3. MAILING LIST; All Members and Friends who have made an annual pledge or request to receive the newsletter will be included on the mailing list. Former Members and persons who have requested receipt of mail may be included in the mailing list at the discretion of the Board.
  4. WITHDRAWAL: Anyone may withdraw from the Fellowship at his or her own request or maybe dropped from the membership roll by the Board for extended non-participation.  


  1. TIMETABLE: The fiscal year shall run from July 1 through June 30. There shall be two regular business meetings of the Fellowship each year: in November and in May. The
    Nominating Committee shall be elected during the November meeting. The Board trustees shall be elected during the May meeting. The specific time and place of meetings shall be set by the Board.
  2. NOTIFICATION: Notification of meetings shall be mailed/emailed to all Members and Friends, no later than 14 days before special or business meetings. Publication in the regular newsletter of the Fellowship shall provide notification in a timely fashion.
  3. SPECIAL MEETINGS: Special business meetings shall be called by the President (or in the President's absence, by the President-elect) upon written request received from one or more members of the Board, or on -written request of 10% of the voting Members of the Fellowship. All Members shall be notified, under the conditions of paragraph 2, of the specific business to be transacted at a Special Meeting; no other business shall be in order.
  4. OPEN MEETINGS: All meetings of the Fellowship (including, but not limited to, regular and special business meetings, and meetings of the Board and its Committees) shall be open to all Members of the Fellowship. The Board reserves the right to move into executive session.  


  1. MINISTERS: In this Fellowship, all who contribute to the attainment of its goals and purposes and provide material or spiritual comfort to those in need are considered to be ministers.
  2. PROFESSIONAL MINISTER: Anyone called into paid service by the Fellowship will be designated as a Minister (capital M) and shall be employed only after a screening committee has:
    1. reviewed his/her qualifications;
    2. arrived at mutually agreeable conditions of employment;
    3. recommended action by the membership; and        
    4. the membership has approved the conditions of employment.
    5. Contracts between the Minister and the UUFD shall normally be for a 12 month period and shall be reviewed annually. 
    6. Priorities for the Minister's duties shall be established by consultation between the Board and the Minister.
    7. The Minister shall meet periodically with the Board but is not a voting member of the Board.  


  1. Description of the Board of Trustees (hereafter called the Board). The Board shall consist of the following officers (hereafter called Trustees): President-elect, President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and an At-Large Trustee. All Trustees shall be members of the Fellowship for at least one year prior to holding a Trustee position.
  2. Elections, Terms, and Limits: An election shall be held at the May business meeting to select Trustees to fill positions that are due to expire by June 30. These Trustees shall be selected from a slate of candidates submitted to the congregation by the Nominating Committee.
    1. The positions of President-elect, President, and Past President are one-year terms. Persons elected to the Presidential cycle will serve consecutive one-year terms as President-elect, President, and Past-President, for a total Board tenure of three years. If the office of Past President becomes vacant, an additional At-Large Trustee will be elected to fill the term.
    2. The positions of Secretary, Treasurer, and At-Large Trustee are two-year terms. These terms are staggered so that only two of these positions expire during a church year.
    3. Terms of office for all Board positions commence on July 1 following election at the May business meeting.
    4. A Trustee may not concurrently serve as chair of a standing committee. The only exception to this is the Nominating Committee.

    5. Persons who complete a three-year cycle as President-elect, President, and Past President, may not serve on the Board of Trustees for a period of one year.
    6. If any board member is unable or unwilling to perform the duties of their office, the board may vote on a motion to remove the board member from their office. Since this action could have very divisive impacts, the action must be approved by all the remaining members of the board.
  3. Replacement of Mid-Term Vacancies on the Board:
    1. Trustee positions that "become vacant during the term must be filled with an
      Interim Trustee by appointment by the Board. This Trustee serves until the
      next business meeting, where the congregation elects a Trustee to fill the
      remaining portion (if any) of the vacated position. An Interim Trustee may
      go on to fill a consecutive full-term Trustee position if desired and elected by the Congregation at the May business meeting.
    2. In the case of a mid-term vacancy in the position of President, the President-elect becomes Interim President for the remainder of the term. The Interim President becomes President on the following July 1 and continues the Presidential cycle for years two and three.  


  1. NOMINATING: A nominating Committee consists of four members, three of which shall be elected by proportional balloting at the November business meeting each year. The fourth member is a member of the board of trustees. The function of this Committee is to propose a slate of officers for the following year. No one shall serve two consecutive years on this Committee.
  2. ADDITIONAL COMMITTEES: The Board of Trustees, by resolution adopted by a majority of members in office, shall have the power to designate such additional committees as they deem necessary for the operation of the Fellowship. Committees shall be responsible to the Board of Trustees for their actions and may not take action on behalf of the Fellowship without prior approval of the Board of Trustees, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Trustees in office.
  3. MEMBERSHIP: Members of such committees shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Trustees in office. One member of each committee will be appointed as chair.
    1. TERM OF OFFICE: Members of committees shall serve as such until their successor
    2. Is appointed, unless the committee shall cease to exist or the member is removed by action of the majority of the Board of Trustees.
  4. VACANCIES: Vacancies in the membership of any committee shall be filled by appointment by the Board of Trustees.
  5. RULES: Each committee may adopt rules for its own government not inconsistent with these Bylaws or the purposes of the Fellowship
  6. INFORMAL ACTION: The authority of a committee maybe exercised without a meeting if consent to the proposed action is given by all the committee members verbally, in writing, or by a recognized e-mail account.  


  1. QUORUM: Thirty percent (30%) of eligible voting Members shall constitute a quorum at Fellowship business meetings. At meetings of the Board and its Committees, and special business meetings for Major Decisions, one-half of the voting members (50%) of each body shall constitute a quorum.
  2. In the event that a member is unable to physically attend a Business Meeting, that member may request in writing, five days prior to said meeting, to the President of the Fellowship that a proxy be issued to another member of the Congregation. The designated member's name must be entered in writing into the proxy request. Request for a proxy vote is subject to approval by the Board.
  3. AUTHORITY: The parliamentary authority of the Fellowship for all matters not covered in these Bylaws shall be the revised Robert's Rules of Order.
  4. AMENDMENT: These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Fellowship, a quorum being present, or by a majority of the entire Fellowship, whichever is smaller, provided that the substance of the intended amendments has been mailed/emailed to all members no later than 14 days before the meeting at which the amendments will be considered. At such meeting the amendments may be modified; if however, in the opinion of the Members present (to be decided by simple majority vote if there is disagreement) the modifications constitute a significant departure from the publicized intent, they will not take effect unless approved at a subsequent meeting of the Membership, held in accordance with the provisions of Article IV.  


  1. A major decision of the Fellowship shall be subject to a special decision-making process as defined by this section. Major decisions shall include the following matters: Approval of the purchase of real property, with or without improvements; purchases totaling over $10,000 (ten thousand dollars), and approval of the consolidation or other formal association of the Fellowship with another religious society. Final action on a Major Decision or Capital Expenditure shall require a quorum of 60% of voting members. Final action constitutes approval from 3/4 of the eligible members present. Fellowship members will be mailed/emailed notification of impending major decisions no later than 14 day prior to the meeting at which the issues will be considered. Voting will consist of a secret ballot of all those present. Absentee ballots must be received by mail before or by the time of the vote. Emergency proxies may be accepted by the Board.  


  1. Should the church cease to function and the Congregation vote to disband, all church property, real and personal, remaining after payment of all just claims, shall be conveyed to and held in a Trust fund by the Unitarian Universalist Association or its legal successor. The Board shall perform all actions necessary to effectuate such conveyance. This Trust fund will be held until such time that a new DeKalb area Unitarian Universalist Association-affiliated group is formed, at which time the Trust fund is released to the governing Board of this group.  

 Updated and approved on this date November 18, 2018.

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