Proposed Bylaws Change - June 5, 2022

For the congregational meeting on June 5, 2022, the session is proposing a change in the bylaws.  

PRIMARY CHANGE.  The primary change is in Article IV, which deals with officers and boards.  The intent of this change is to allow for fewer than the customary number of elders on session and deacons serving on the board of deacons.  Based on the results of the work of the Nominating Committee, the session is recommending that we move forward this year with a session of 9 members.  The current session and the pastor agree that a session of nine will be able to successfully lead the church.  The wording of "no more than" 12 elders would allow for the expansion from 9 to 12 if it was considered to be necessary.

Rationale: Those members of the congregation who have served on the Nominating Committee in recent years know that we have struggled in "feast or famine" mode in successfully calling elders and deacons to serve three-year terms on their respective boards.  Some years it seems deacons are hard to find; other years, it's elders.  For at least the last five years, our Board of Deacons has operated under capacity because of a lack of people willing to serve the required three-year commitment.  This year, while a full slate of deacons will be put forth for election, because there are less than four elder candidates it appears that the session will need to operate with a lower number than the 12 that is customary for NCPC.  This change in bylaws allows the church to operate legally with fewer than 12 session elders and 15 deacons, as long as they are comprised of three equal classes.  This would have the effect of both boards always having a membership in multiples of three (e.g. 12, 9, 6, etc.).

Read the basic at-a-glance proposed change below.

Click here for the full version of the bylaws with the proposed changes highlighted.

SECONDARY CHANGE.  A routine change to the bylaws is also being proposed based on the recommendation of our presbytery's stated clerk.  Washington state guidelines regarding non-profit corporations now refer to "directors" instead of "trustees."  The six times the word "trustees" appears will be changed to "directors."  Four of the six appear in Article IV, and two in Article II.

At-a-Glance Changes




The Sessionre shall be comprised of no more than twelve (12) ruling elders divided into three (3) equal classes of four (4), one class of whom shall be elected each year at a meeting of the congregation for a three- year term. No ruling elder shall serve on the Session for consecutive terms, either full or partial, aggregating more than six years; and  shall be ineligible to be elected to a new term until one year shall have elapsed. (G-2.0404)  

There shall be twelve (12) trustees of the corporation. The ruling elders in active service on the Session who are eligible under civil law, by reason of their office, shall be the directors of the corporation.  The elders in active service in the church who are eligible under civil law shall, by reason of their office, be trustees of the corporation.  (G-4.01)   

The pastor shall be an ex officio member of the board of trusteesdirectors. A president, vice president and treasurer shall be elected by the trusteesdirectors from their membership at the June meeting. The clerk of Session shall serve as Secretary of the Board.

There shall be no fewer more than fifteen (15) deacons divided into three (3) equal classes, one class of whom shall be elected each year, at a congregational meeting, for a three yearthree-year term. No deacon shall serve on the Board of Deacons for consecutive terms, either full or partial, aggregating more than six years; and shall be ineligible to be elected to a new term until one year shall have elapsed. The Session shall authorize the Board of Deacons to elect a moderator (and secretary) from its membership.  The records, including but not limited to budget and activities, of the Board of Deacons will be submitted at least annually and at other times upon the request of the Session. A joint meeting of Session and the Board of Deacons will be held at least annually.  

Vacancies on the Session or the Board of Deacons may be filled at a special meeting of the congregation or at the annual meeting, as the Session may determine.