Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing Revision to Original Bylaws
Accepted by the Membership
on April 23rd, 2017
At a Special Members’ MeetingTable of Contents
ARTICLE I - Name
The name of this association shall be Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing (USCL).
ARTICLE II – Purpose
Section 1. Statement of Purpose. The purpose of Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing, a Michigan ecclesiastical corporation, is to teach the universal principles of Truth, as taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ and interpreted by Unity and the Association of Unity Churches, Inc. [DBA and hereafter referred to as Unity Worldwide Ministries] a nonprofit corporation organized and existing under the laws of the state of Georgia with headquarters at Lee’s Summit, Missouri, hereinafter referred to as Unity Worldwide Ministries [UWM].
Section 2. Accomplishment of Purpose. In the accomplishment of this purpose, Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing shall endeavor to conduct services of worship and classes of instruction and to demonstrate the principles of Truth by using them in the operation of the ministry and to adopt other means that in the judgment of the minister will further the principles of practical Christianity among people everywhere. If the ministry is temporarily without a minister, the Board of Trustees (Board), collaborating with the Leadership Council, shall carry out this and all other functions until a new minister is selected.
Section 3. Unity Worldwide Ministries. Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing shall be a vital part of the worldwide Unity movement and a member of the Unity Worldwide Ministries. Any member of this ministry may call upon the resources and support of the Unity Worldwide Ministries through its senior minister or co-ministers, Board of Trustees, staff, or through direct communication with the Unity Worldwide Ministries.
In the spirit of cooperation, the operation and conduct of this ministry shall comply with the regulations and policies of the Unity Worldwide Ministries as outlined in the Unity Worldwide Ministries Bylaws, insofar as they do not conflict with the laws of the State of Michigan.
- Participation. This ministry may have its voice heard and its wishes expressed in the membership meetings of the Unity Worldwide Ministries, its members may participate in workshops, seminars, and classes designed to encourage and foster their spiritual development and that of the ministry.
- Resources. This ministry can benefit from its membership in the Unity Worldwide Ministries and the Great Lakes Region of Unity Churches (GLRUC) through direct support, materials, and coaching regarding organization, finances, music, adult and youth education, church growth programs, ethics compliance, and other topics related to church function.
- Leadership. This ministry shall have as its leader an ordained or licensed Unity minister(s) approved for ministry employment by the Unity Worldwide Ministries or a person serving under special dispensation approved by the Unity Worldwide Ministries. For the purpose of these bylaws, the term “minister” shall include a person serving under special dispensation of the Unity Worldwide Ministries.
- Teaching. The principles of practical Christianity shall be taught through this ministry using, but not limited to, methods, textbooks, literature, and other materials approved by the Unity Worldwide Ministries.
- Mailings. Copies of all printed matter mailed by this ministry to its membership shall be sent to the offices of the Unity Worldwide Ministries.
- Reports. The ministry shall make annual reports to the Unity Worldwide Ministries as required.
ARTICLE III – Office and Official Records
Section 1. Principal Office. The principal executive office of the corporation will be fixed by the Board of Trustees. Said office shall be in the County of Ingham, State of Michigan, or at such other place within the State of Michigan, as the Board of Trustees hereafter shall designate. The Corporation may also have offices at such other place or places, as the Board may from time to time designate.
Section 2. Official Records. Records of membership, finances, donation, corporate minutes, and other records required by law or as designated by the Board of Trustees shall be maintained at the principal office of the corporation. The access and use of confidential documents are available only to the minister(s), board members, or designated professional staff. Other documents are available to active members upon request.
ARTICLE IV - Members
Section 1. Qualifications.
A member of Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing will live by
- The Jesus Christ Principles of love and truth as taught by Unity and to further the work of this ministry through active interest, love and support. Appendix A
- Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing’s Diversity Statement Appendix B
- The Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love Covenant. Appendix C
Section 2. Election of Members.
Anyone desiring membership in Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing will file an application for membership card with the ministry office. In addition, prospective members may need to meet additional requirements according to current ministry policy. The application will be presented to the Board of Trustees at its next regular meeting. A majority vote of the trustees present and voting will be required for the applicant to become an active member. The Board Secretary will notify the applicant of the Board’s action. All staff ministers and licensed Unity teachers are considered members of this ministry.
Section 3. Classes of Members.
There shall be two classes of members of this ministry, active and inactive. Active members have full membership rights and may participate and vote in any membership meeting.
- Active Membership.
- New Members. After acceptance as a new member, each member shall have voting rights at all membership meetings up through and including the next regularly scheduled annual membership meeting after joining the church.
- Existing Members. To retain active membership rights, each member must indicate a desire to remain a member by completing and returning to the church a yearly membership renewal card or such other document as approved and distributed by the Board. If no current membership renewal card or approved document is on file prior to the annual membership meeting, that person becomes inactive and cannot serve on the Board of Trustees or vote at any membership meeting.
- Reinstatement of Inactive Membership.
- Reinstatement within one year of inactive status. If a member who has become inactive wishes to return to active status within the first year after becoming an inactive member, such a member who meets membership qualifications and fills out a yearly membership renewal card or document approved by the Board of Trustees shall be reinstated as an active member. In order to vote at a membership meeting such members must fulfill these requirements before a membership meeting.
- Reinstatement after one year of inactive status. If a member has been inactive for one or more years and desires to become an active member again, such a member must reapply for active membership in the same manner required of new members.
- Removal of Membership for Cause. A member may be removed for cause by the Board of Trustees after consultation with the senior minister or co-ministers. Prior to any vote concerning removal, the member in question must be notified by certified mail at least ten (10) days prior to the Board of Trustees meeting on the charges that may lead to removal of membership and thereafter be given an opportunity for a hearing before the Board. A two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the Board shall be required for removal.
Section 4. Powers of Active Members.
Each active member of Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing shall have the following powers:
- To vote at any membership meeting at which the member is present.
- Serve on ministry teams.
- Offer suggestions in writing to the minister(s) or Board of Trustees as may seem advisable for the good of this ministry.
- Contact the Unity Worldwide Ministries Regional Representative or the Unity Worldwide Ministries directly for guidance, support, or information on available resources.
- Participate in all activities and programs of the ministry.
- Be eligible to serve on the Board of Trustees.
- Speak in debate at any membership meeting according to the rules provided for debate.
ARTICLE V – Meetings
Section 1. Annual Meetings.
There shall be one annual membership meeting each year.
- Date and Location of Annual Meeting. The annual membership meeting shall be held at the principal location of the ministry at a time and date established by agreement between the senior minister or co-ministers and Board of Trustees, but no longer than thirteen  months from the last annual membership meeting.
- Notice. Written notice stating the date, time, and place of the annual meeting will be mailed to all active members at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting. [NOTE: “Mailed” because the notice needs a postmark for legality.]
- Quorum. Those active members present will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any annual membership meeting.
- Presiding Officer. The President of the Board of Trustees shall serve as the presiding officer of the annual membership meeting.
- Participation. The right to speak in debate, make motions, and vote during annual meetings shall be restricted to those active members present. The right of other persons to speak during membership meetings may be extended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote. Unity Worldwide Ministries’ representatives have a right to speak when they have been invited by the senior minister or co- ministers, the Board of Trustees, or any member.
- Voting. Unless otherwise provided in these bylaws, a majority vote, of the active members present and voting will be necessary for approval or disapproval of the action being voted upon. Proxy, absentee, or electronic (Internet, email, fax, etc.) voting are not allowed.
- Power and Authority. At an annual membership meeting, the voting members shall have the power and authority to do all of the following:
- Elect members to the Board of Trustees;
- Approve proposed amendments to these bylaws;
- Approve by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote any of the following with regard to real property:
- a. sale or purchase
- b. pledge (mortgage)
- c. proposed financing
- d. or expenditure with regard to any of the above.
4. The USCL Building Fund is a restricted fund with the purpose of accumulating resources needed for the purchase, acquisition, renovation and/or construction of facilities recommended by the Board and approved by the membership for permanent ministry facilities used to house the Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing ministry. A two-thirds (2/3rds) vote shall be required for all disbursements from this fund by all voting members via Special Membership Meeting. Use of these funds for any other purpose is prohibited without such vote from the membership.
5. Elect a member and an alternate, to serve on the Nominating Ministry Team.
6. Override any action of the Board of Trustees provided that a notice of the action to be voted upon is submitted to all active members in writing ten (10) days prior to the meeting and is approved by a three-fourths (3/4ths) vote;
7. Remove by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote any or all trustee(s) from the Board of Trustees;
8. Vote on any matters officially brought to the attention of the membership.
9. Approve annual budget.
- Prayer. In any annual membership meeting, the Board President, minister(s), and Unity Worldwide Ministries Representative, or any member may request that action on an item of business be suspended while the membership enters into a time of prayer on the issue. Upon such request, the President will provide a period of prayer and silence.
Section 2. Special Membership Meeting.
A. Requesting Special Meetings. Any time the affairs of this ministry warrant, a special membership meeting may be requested by the senior minister or co-ministers; a majority vote of the entire number of trustees currently serving on the Board of Trustees; or a petition signed by one-tenth (1/10th) of the active membership and submitted to the Board of Trustees.
B. Calling Special Meetings. Upon receiving proper request for a special membership meeting, the President of the Board shall call the meeting on behalf of the requesting party(s) within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the request. The location, notice, quorum, presiding officer, participation, voting, and prayer provisions for special membership meetings shall be the same as those for annual meetings.
C. Special Meeting Business. Business conducted at a special meeting shall be limited to the pre- stated purpose(s) given in the meeting notice.
ARTICLE VI – Board of Trustees
Section 1. Membership.
The Board of Trustees shall be composed of the senior minister or co-ministers and no fewer than seven (7) other trustees elected from among the active membership of Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing at the annual membership meeting. [NOTE: Churches with fifty (50) members or less may choose to have less than six (6) trustees, but no fewer than three (3) trustees.]
Section 2. Term of Office.
Elected trustees will hold office for three years, or until their successors have been elected and assume office. Trustees elected at any annual membership meeting shall take office at the conclusion of the annual membership meeting at which they were elected. No elected trustee will serve more than two consecutive terms without an interval of one (1) year between terms. Any person who serves on the Board more than half of a term shall be credited with having served a full term.
Section 3. Prohibition of Service.
The following persons are prohibited from serving on the Board of Trustees:
- any active licensed Unity teacher;
- relatives, significant others or household members of any board member or local licensed Unity teacher;
C. individuals receiving compensation from the ministry (including the minister or co-ministers);
D. relatives, significant others, or household members of any individual consistently receiving more than $100.00 per month compensation from the ministry.
Section 4. Regular Board Meetings.
Regular monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees will be held at the principal executive offices of this ministry or other location on the day and time established by the Board. Only members of the Board of Trustees may vote at a regular board meeting.
Section 5. Special Board Meetings.
Special meetings of the Board will be called by the President of the Board if requested by the senior minister or co-ministers; if requested by two or more trustees; or if the President of the Board deems it necessary. Any request for a special board meeting shall be made in writing to the Board Secretary. All current board members, including the senior minister or co-ministers, shall be given notice of any special board meeting at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting. The attendance of any member of the board at the meeting shall serve as a waiver of this notice requirement. Only members of the Board of Trustees may vote at a Special Board Meeting.
Section 6. Quorum
More than half of the total number of trustees currently serving shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Unless otherwise provided herein, the vote of more than half of the trustees present shall be necessary for approval of the action being voted upon. Should the total number of trustees fall below four (this does not includes the minister) refer to Section 12 [Vacancies]. When needed a board member may be deemed present by electronic communication.
Section 7. Minister(s) Attendance.
The senior minister or co-ministers has/have the right to attend all board meetings, with the exception of those meetings or portions thereof that pertain to determinations of the minister’s salary and/or review of the minister’s work record.
Section 8. Prayer.
It is important that in addition to adhering to the normal procedures for legal functioning set forth in these bylaws, that the spiritual principles taught by Unity be utilized in the handling of decisions before the Board of Trustees. During the discussion of an item of business, any trustee may request time for prayer about an issue. Upon such request, the President shall provide a period of prayer and silence.
Section 9. Duties and Responsibilities of the Board of Trustees.
As representatives of the membership, the Board of Trustees shall:
A. Uphold the spiritual purpose of this ministry as stated in Article II, Section 2 of these bylaws;
B. Uphold the highest best interests of the membership in conducting the business of this ministry;
C. Be conversant with these bylaws and establish policy for the operation of this ministry;
D. Be faithful in attendance at services as well as Board and membership meetings of this ministry;
E. Determine the business needs of this ministry and authorize payment of funds for those purposes.
F. Administer the real and personal property of this ministry with the following provisions: any unbudgeted emergency expenditure from the general fund that would exceed 10%of the previous year’s gross income shall be presented to the membership for final approval;
G Make decisions regarding the sale, pledge, or proposed financing of real property belonging to this ministry provided that all decisions concerning the sale, pledge, or proposed financing of the real property, shall be presented to the membership at a properly constituted membership meeting for final approval.
H. Employ a licensed or ordained Unity minister(s) through collaboration with the employment management procedures of the UWM.
I. After a ministry, and its senior minister, or co-ministers, have sought to reconcile differences and cooperated with the procedures and guidance of UWM, the Board of Trustees may terminate the employment of a senior minister or co-ministers by a two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of all Board members ;
J. As recommended by the senior minister or co-ministers determine staff positions and authorize funds for their financial support;
K. Establish the dates for the beginning and ending of the fiscal year;
L. Cause to be prepared and posted each year a complete financial statement with disclosures that will set forth the financial conditions and operations of the ministry;
M. Post an income and expense statement for each month;
N. Secure a fidelity bond or theft and dishonesty insurance for persons handling church funds;
O. Approve applicants for membership;
P. Provide an annual membership renewal process for all active and inactive members;
Q. Fill the unexpired term of any trustee if necessary;
R. Elect officers of the Board and their successors to fill any unexpired term when necessary;
S. Seek UWM assistance in the event of a dispute adversely affecting the ministry;
T. Attend and actively participate in ongoing board education programs of the Board;
U. Consider other issues brought to their attention by the minister or members of the Board;
V. Keep or cause to be kept an accurate record of active and inactive members;
W. Keep or cause to be kept accurate records of gifts to the ministry in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations;
X. Issue or cause to be issued necessary 1099 and W-2 forms and other required forms in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations and any other state and federal laws.
Y. Acknowledge in writing contributions in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations;
Z. Secure liability insurance for all Board members, minister(s), and others handling funds on behalf of the ministry;
AA. Take such other actions necessary for the best interests of this ministry.
Section 10. Nomination and Election.
- Qualifications. To be eligible to be elected to the Board of Trustees, a person must be an active member of Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing. In addition candidates for election shall endeavor to live in accord with the Jesus Christ principles of love and truth as taught by Unity; work to further the purposes of this ministry through active interest, love, and support; be a sincere and continuing student of Unity always remaining conversant with its teachings; and shall have demonstrated leadership capabilities.
- Nominating Ministry Team.
- Selection. A Nominating Ministry Team will be formed at least three months prior to the annual membership meeting. The ministry team will consist of the senior minister or co- ministers and three active members selected in the following manner:
- At the annual membership meeting, the membership shall from among the active membership of the ministry select one member and one alternate to serve on the Nominating Ministry Team for the following year’s election.
In the event the person elected to serve becomes unavailable, he alternate shall serve. If the alternate also becomes unavailable to serve, he Board will elect a person from among the active members who is not a current member of the Board to fill the vacancy.
- The Board will elect one of its trustees to serve on the Nominating Ministry Team.
- Together with the senior minister or co-ministers, the above two ministry team members will select a third person from among the active non-Board members to serve on the Nominating Ministry Team and be its chairperson.
- In the event of an interim Board, the Nominating Ministry Team shall complete its selection process within fourteen (14) days from the establishment of the interim Board.
- Duties and Responsibilities. The Nominating Ministry Team will initiate a search for at least two qualified candidates for nomination as members of the Board. The report of the Nominating Ministry Team will be sent to all active members at least ten (10) days prior to the annual membership meeting.
C. Nomination Procedure. The presiding officer of the annual membership meeting shall:
- Read Article VI, Section 10A and 10D of these bylaws just prior beginning the process of nomination and election;
- Call upon the Chairperson of the Nominating Ministry Team to offer the ministry team’s nominations; and
- Call for additional nominations from the floor.
D. Election Procedure. The election shall be by ballot if there are any partial terms to be filled or there are more than two nominees. The result of the vote shall be announced to the annual meeting. The two nominees receiving the largest number of votes will be elected to full three (3) year terms. The candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to the longest unexpired term.
Section 11. Removal from Office by the Board of Trustees.
Any trustee may resign at any time. In addition, any trustee may be removed by the Board of Trustees due to unexcused absences from three successive regular board meetings or because of a failure to fulfill the duties of the office.
Section 12. Vacancies.
- Should one or two vacancies occur among the elected members of the Board of Trustees, the board shall select qualified replacements to fill the position(s). A vote of more than half present shall be necessary for election. The term of service for any replacement shall expire on the date of the next annual meeting.
- Should more than two vacancies occur simultaneously among the elected members of the Board, or should the total number of trustees fall below five, two special membership meetings will be called (unless the regular annual meeting is scheduled in this time period, then Board elections will be held at the regular annual meeting). The Board shall recruit and provide names of interim Board. Candidates to be voted on at the first special membership meeting.
- The first meeting will occur within thirty  days. The purpose of this meeting shall be to:
- elect interim Board members.
- To constitute or reconstitute the Nominating Ministry Team [see Section 10, B. Nominating Ministry Team].
- To set the date for a second meeting. The second Special Membership meeting will be held no later than sixty [ 60] days after the first meeting.
2. In the event that the regular annual meeting is not scheduled within sixty  days of the first special meeting then the Nominating Ministry Team shall:
- Complete their search for Board nominees within thirty  days of the first Special Membership meeting.
- The names of nominees shall be made available to all members within forty-five  days.
- In the event that a second meeting is held (not superseded by a regular annual meeting), the replacement Board members will be elected at the second of these Special Membership meetings [see Section 10, C. Nomination Procedure].
C. Election Procedure. The candidate receiving the largest number of votes will fill the longest unexpired term; the candidate receiving the next highest number of votes receives the next longest term. This procedure is followed until all vacancies are filled.
Section 13. Board of Trustees Officers.
The officers of the Board of Trustees shall be a president, a vice president, a secretary, and a treasurer. All officers will be selected in a manner determined by the board at the first board meeting after the annual meeting or at a special meeting called for the purpose of selecting officers. The term of office shall be one year or until successors are elected.
Section 14. Duties of Officers.
- President. The president shall preside at all Board of Trustees meetings; preside at all membership meetings; serve as an ex officio member of all ministry teams except the Nominating Ministry Team; sign such papers and documents upon proper authorization as may be necessary; and be responsible for the planning of board orientation, retreats, and workshops.
- Vice President. The vice president shall assist the president in the performance of that officer’s duties; perform all the duties of the president of the Board in the absence of the president; and succeed to the office of president in case the office of the president becomes vacant. In such a case, a new vice president will be elected from among the remaining trustees to fill the remainder of the unexpired term.
- Secretary. The secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, an accurate record of the minutes of all Board and membership meetings; hold in custody and be responsible for all reports, contracts, other legal papers, and the meeting minute books which will be kept at the principal executive office of the ministry at all times or in such other depository as prescribed by the Board; attend to all official business as directed by the Board; keep or cause to be kept accurate active and inactive membership lists; and send or cause to be sent yearly membership renewal cards to all active or inactive members.
- Treasurer. The treasurer shall be custodian of all funds belonging to this ministry; pay out or cause to be paid out funds authorized by the Board; keep, or cause to be kept, a record of all financial transactions; submit a monthly financial report to the congregation and at each regular Board meeting; submit a financial report covering the last complete fiscal year at the annual membership meeting; and account for, or cause to be accounted for by the appointment of qualified persons, all funds received being responsible to assure that they are deposited in accounts authorized by the Board. When counting ministry funds there should be at least two (2) persons present.
ARTICLE VII - Administration, Management and Leadership
Section 1. Definitions.
A. Unity Ministry. A member ministry in the Unity Worldwide Ministries recognized by the Unity Worldwide Ministries will have a duly ordained or licensed Unity minister, or a person serving under special dispensation as its Spiritual Leader.
B. Senior Minister. A Unity minister duly ordained, licensed or serving under special dispensation by the Unity Worldwide Ministries, who assumes the spiritual and administrative leadership role in a member ministry.
This leader works in conjunction with the Board of Trustees of the member ministry, and is to oversee the teaching, Sunday lessons, worship services, healing, counseling, prayer, administrative, and fellowship activities of the ministry.
- Co-Minister. In shared partnership ministries, a Unity minister duly ordained or licensed by the Unity Worldwide Ministries, who equally assumes the spiritual and administrative
leadership role with another co-minister in a member ministry. These leaders work in conjunction with the Board of the member ministry, and oversee the teaching, Sunday lessons, worship services, healing, counseling, prayer, administrative, and fellowship activities of the ministry.
- Associate Minister. In ministries with more than one minister, a Unity minister duly ordained or licensed by the Unity Worldwide Ministries, serving in a member ministry. The Associate Minister may be equal in ability, but functions with less responsibility than the Senior Minister. The Associate Minister reports to the Senior Minister, who determines the scope of the associate’s responsibilities.
- Assistant Minister. In ministries with more than one minister, a Unity minister duly ordained or licensed by the Unity Worldwide Ministries, serving in a member ministry. The skills and/or experience of the Assistant Minister may be less than those of the Senior Minister. The assistant may be placed in a specialized service area of the ministry, i.e., pastoral visitation, or administrative support. The skills of the assistant are, therefore allowed to develop for a more comprehensive range of ministry service of the assistant, and the ministry.
Section 2. Administration.
The administration of Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing shall be vested in the senior minister or co-ministers as the administrative director(s), and the Board of Trustees elected from the membership.
Section 3. Minister(s).
- Senior Minister or Co-ministers. The senior minister or co-ministers will be duly licensed or ordained Unity minister(s).
1. Duties. As the spiritual leader(s) of this ministry, the senior minister or co-ministers in collaboration with the mission teams and Board, will be responsible for the scheduling, conduct, and content of services, classes, and all other activities that further the purpose of this ministry. As administrative director(s), the minister(s) shall:
a. Share with the Board the responsibility for the complete functioning of this ministry, including the hiring and termination of all employees including associate or assistant ministers;
b. Serve as non-voting member(s) of the Board, however, the minister shall not be present at meetings or portions thereof concerning their own employment, evaluation, or that of their successor(s);
c. Assist in the biannual, formation or reformation of ministry teams related to these duties;
d. Serve as ex officio members of all ministry teams;
e. Be responsible for seeking the UWM assistance in the event of a dispute adversely affecting the ministry that cannot be resolved by implementing:
1) The Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love Covenant (Appendix C)
2) The enlistment of Great Lakes Region of Unity Churches
- Selection. The Board of Trustees shall select the senior minister or co-ministers following the employment procedures for ministerial personnel of the Unity Worldwide Ministries.
- Compensation. The compensation of the senior minister or co-ministers employed by this ministry shall be set by the Board.
- Associate and/or Assistant Ministers. Associate and/or assistant minister(s) will be duly licensed or ordained Unity minister(s) who function(s) with less responsibility than the senior minister or co-ministers.
- Duties. The associate and/or assistant minister(s) will perform the duties and fulfill the responsibilities assigned them by the senior or co-ministers.
- Compensation. To the extent funded by the Board, the compensation of the associate and/or assistant minister(s) shall be fixed by the senior minister or co-minister(s).
ARTICLE VIII - Ministry Teams
With the exception of the Nominating Ministry Team, ministry teams may be approved by action of the Board and the senior minister or co-ministers for their respective areas of responsibility.
ARTICLE IX - Dissolution
In the event that this corporation is dissolved, all property and funds remaining after the payment of the debts of the corporation will be delivered to Unity Worldwide Ministries, a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Georgia, for religious and educational purposes. Such funds or property will be for the use and benefit of Unity Worldwide Ministries as may be determined by the Board of Trustees of Unity Worldwide Ministries, in alignment with current policies and procedures. The Unity Worldwide Ministries will make available according to its current policies and procedures, funds for the reestablishment of a Unity ministry in the greater Lansing area. Should Unity Worldwide Ministries no longer exist, any assets remaining of this corporation after dissolution will be disposed of by a court of competent jurisdiction of the County in which the principal executive offices of the corporation are then located and shall be used exclusively for such purposes or distributed to such organization or organizations, as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for purposes set out in Section 5.01(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
ARTICLE X – Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the meetings of this corporation in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the corporation may adopt.
ARTICLE XI – Amendment of Bylaws
Any active member shall be authorized to submit proposed Bylaw amendment(s) to any Board member of Minister for consideration. Board approval is required before submission to membership for a vote.
Any amendment(s) to or general revision of these bylaws may be adopted at any annual or special membership meeting provided that written notice setting forth the exact wording of such proposed amendment(s) or general revision has been mailed to all active members at least ten
(10) days prior to the meeting at which they will be considered. An affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4ths) of the active members present and voting will be necessary to adopt any amendment(s) to or general revision of these bylaws.
APPENDIX A - The Jesus Christ Principles as the Five Unity Principles
1. GOD IS. God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.
2. I AM. We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
3. I THINK. We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.
4. I PRAY. There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our awareness of God.
5. I ACT. Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
APPENDIX B - Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing’s Diversity Statement
We recognize and honor the Divine within as the one common denominator that we share on our human journey. We recognize inherent good in all people. Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing, its members and affiliates, welcome with love all people in every form of God’s creation, regardless of how that creation presents itself.
It is the intent that Unity organizations are inclusive and non-discriminatory. We honor all components that contribute to the diversity of community. We affirm and support Unity principles and programs that manifest diversity in our teachings, policies, buildings and within our communities.
We are resolute in walking the course of human rights and social justice for all.
APPENDIX C - Agreeing and Disagreeing in Love
- We accept Conflict: We acknowledge that conflict is a normal part of life in the church. Romans 14:1-8, 10-12, 17-19, 15:1-7
- We affirm the Truth: We endeavor to see conflict as symptomatic of what’s missing in our intention to create authentic community. Peacemaking is creating a pathway to God. Matthew 5:9
- We commit to Prayer: We examine where we are coming from and release our need to be right. We acknowledge that all parties have needs and pray for win/win solutions (no prayers for my success or for the other to change). James 5:16
- We go to the Other: We go directly to those with whom we disagree; we avoid behind the back criticism. We refrain from engaging in “parking lot” conversations. Matthew 5:23-24, 18:15-20
- We go in the spirit of Humility: We go in gentleness, patience, and humility. We own our part in the conflict instead of blaming others and acting as if others are responsible for how we are. Galatians 5:1-5
- We are quick to Listen: We listen carefully, summarizing and checking out what is heard before responding. We seek as much to understand as to be understood. James 1:19; Proverbs 18:13
- We are slow to Judge: We suspend judgments, end enrolling others in our position, discard threats, and act in non-defensive and non-reactive ways. Romans 2:1-4; Galatians 5:22-26
- We are willing to Negotiate: We work through disagreements constructively. Acts 15; Philippians 2:1-11
- We identify issues, interests, and needs of all.
- We generate a variety of options for meeting all party’s’ needs (rather than defending our own individual way).
- We evaluate options by how they meet the needs and satisfy the interests of all sides (not just one side’s values).
- We collaborate in working out a joint solution (so that each side gains, grows and wins).
- We cooperate with the emerging agreement (accepting the possible, not demanding the ideal).
- We reward ourselves for each step forward, toward agreement. (celebrating mutuality).
- We are steadfast in Love: We are firm in our commitment to seek a mutual solution: we are steadfast in acting out of Principle (doing the right thing); we are hard on issues and soft on people. Colossians 3:12-15
- We are open to Peacemaking: We are open to accept skilled help. If we cannot reach agreement among ourselves, we will use those with gifts and training in peacemaking. Philippians 4:1-3
- We trust the Unity Community. We trust the wisdom of the community and if we cannot reach agreement or experience reconciliation, we will turn the decision over to the membership or seek assistance from Unity Worldwide Ministries. Acts 15
- We seek to be an expression of Christ: We are committed to peacemaking and the demonstration of Principle rather than resorting to courts of law. Corinthians 6:1-6
Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing adopted the standard bylaw recommended by Unity Worldwide Ministries at their first Membership meeting in March 2016. These bylaws were with a task team to make any necessary adjustments which may be better suited to the operations and intentions of this ministry over the past year. Proposed changes will be presented at a Special Members' Meeting on Sunday, April 23rd, directly following the Celebration Service. Below is a draft of the proposed new bylaws. Formatting is not finalized in this version. Original bylaws following the revised bylaws.