HOLY TRINITY PARISH, COLLINGTON, MARYLAND
The name of the Parish is The Vestry of Holy Trinity Parish
Article I - Definitions
Unless otherwise provided herein, as used in these Bylaws,
1. "the Parish" shall mean The Vestry of Holy Trinity Parish, Collington (Bowie), Maryland.
2. "the Canons" shall mean the Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, also known as the Episcopal Church, and of the Diocese of Washington.
3. "Vestryperson" shall mean Vestryman as used in the Maryland Vestry Act, and the Canons.
4. “Member” shall mean a person whose baptism has been recorded in the Parish Register.
5. “Workers of record” and “contributors of record” are those persons known to the Parish Rector or Treasurer as providing to the church financially or by service.
Article II - Members Entitled to Vote in Any Annual or Special Meeting of the Parish
1. Qualifications. Members entitled to vote must meet the following qualifications for at least 30 days prior to the date on which the Voters List is published. Specifically, members entitled to vote -
a. are at least 16 years of age;
b. are baptized;
c. have their membership duly recorded in this Parish;
d. are workers of record or contributors of record; and
e. have been faithful in corporate worship, unless for good cause prevented, and have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God.
2. Voters List.
a. A preliminary list of qualified voters shall be published by the Vestry and displayed in a prominent place in the Parish for a period of not less than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting.
b. The list shall be updated until no fewer than 31 days before the Annual Meeting.
c. Any individual who believes he/she should be placed on the Voters List shall provide to the Parish Secretary sufficient information upon which to determine if the individual meets the qualifications in paragraph 1, above, not later than 45 days prior to the Annual Meeting.
d. The Vestry shall make the final determination regarding any individual’s inclusion on the final list.
Article III - Parish Meetings
1. Annual Meeting.
a. There shall be a meeting of the Parish at least once in each calendar year, designated as the Annual Meeting.
b. The date of the next Annual Meeting will be fixed during the Annual Meeting. The Vestry, by a majority vote, may change the fixed date of the Annual Meeting, if necessary.
2. Special Meetings. Special Meetings of the Parish may be called by the Rector, or by a Warden and five Vestrypersons, or by written petition signed by at least 25 persons who qualify as voters under Article II, Section 1, of these Bylaws.
3. Notice of Meetings.
a. Notification shall be given to all members entitled to vote of the place, day, and hour of any Annual or Special Meeting of the Parish, and, in the case of a Special Meeting, of the purpose for which the meeting is called not fewer than 35 days prior to such Meeting.
b. The notice shall take the form of whatever method(s) ensure that notification is received. The form of notice may include, but not be limited to, the Parish Bulletin. Additional notice of a meeting may be provided by means of direct mail to known Parish members, electronic mail, or other means.
c. For changes in Bylaws, at least 35 days’ notice shall be given of any proposed changes to the Bylaws to be presented for action at a meeting. The notice shall include the proposed changes and an explanation of them.
a. A quorum at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Parish shall be one-third of those members entitled to vote.
b. A homebound member may request and cast a printed absentee ballot. The absentee ballot must be received prior to the beginning of the Annual Meeting for voting purposes. It shall not count towards the determination of a quorum.
a. A simple majority of the quorum present at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Parish shall be necessary for the adoption of matters voted upon by the members, except as provided below.
b. A two-thirds majority of the quorum present shall be necessary for the amendment, modification, or repeal of any Bylaws.
c. The Rector will appoint an Annual Meeting or Special Meeting Manager. The Manager will determine whether a quorum is present as well as count ballots of any vote.
6. Presiding Officer.
a. The Presiding Officer at all meetings of the Parish shall be the Rector, if present.
b. The Senior Warden, if present, shall preside in the Rector’s absence.
c. The Junior Warden, if present, shall preside in the absence of the Rector and Senior Warden.
d. In the absence of the Rector or a Warden, the Vestry shall elect the Presiding Officer by majority vote.
e. However, if present, the Bishop shall preside at all meetings of the Parish.
7. Elections at the Annual Parish Meeting. Only members of the Parish entitled to vote (Art. II , Section 1, above) are qualified to fill any of the positions below.
(i) The Parish Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the Diocesan Convention shall be elected to two-year terms, expiring in alternate years on the day of the Annual Meeting.
(ii) If a Delegate or Alternate resigns or otherwise vacates the position before the end of the term, the Vestry may appoint a successor to fill out the unexpired term.
(iii) If the number of Delegates allowed by the diocese changes between Annual Meetings, the Vestry shall make an adjustment in the following ways:
(a) Increase in number: The Vestry shall follow the procedure for filling a vacancy.
(b) Decrease in number: The Vestry shall change the status of one Delegate to that of first alternate.
b. Wardens and Vestrypersons.
(i) A Senior Warden and a Junior Warden shall be elected for two-year terms and shall not be elected in the same year.
(ii) The Senior and Junior Warden shall be elected by separate ballot prior to the election of Vestrypersons at the Annual Meeting.
(iii) Each Vestryperson shall be elected for a term of three years.
(iv) Wardens and Vestrypersons can serve no more than six consecutive years (to include years as Wardens and Vestrypersons). Former Wardens and Vestrypersons are eligible for re-election or appointment after one year off the Vestry.
c. Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School Board of Trustees.
(i) Holy Trinity Parish shall elect 2 to 5 Members to serve on the Board on behalf of the Parish.
(ii) Each Trustee shall be elected for a term of three-years.
8. Computation of years. A year as used in this Article for computing the term of office of a Delegate, Warden, or Vestryperson shall be the period of time between consecutive Annual Meetings beginning with the date of the Annual Meeting at which such Delegate, Warden, or Vestryperson was elected.
Article IV - Nominations and Elections Procedures
1. Nominations for the Wardens, Vestrypersons and Delegates.
a. The Vestry shall appoint a Chair and at least two members as a Nominations Committee not later than 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting of the Parish.
i. Only one member of the Nominations Committee may be a member of the Vestry.
ii. The Nominations Committee shall receive nominations for the positions of Vestrypersons, Wardens, and Delegates to be filled at the Annual Meeting.
iii. Each nomination submitted by the Nominations Committee shall include a biographical sketch of the nominee.
iv. Nominations may be made only by members entitled to vote as provided in Article II, Section 1 of these Bylaws.
b. The Nominations Committee shall receive all nominations no later than 30 days before the Annual Meeting. The Nominations Committee shall publish the nominations in the Parish Bulletin on the Sunday occurring not later than two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting.
c. Nominations from the floor at the Annual Meeting may also be received.
2. Voting Procedures.
a. All elections shall be by written ballots; provided, however, that uncontested positions may be voted on by acclamation upon a successful motion to do so.
b. The Annual Meeting or Special Meeting Manager is responsible for counting ballots and may appoint other members to assist with this task.
3. Election Issues.
a. Issues that arise concerning the election of any person during an Annual Meeting, including the eligibility of nominees or voters, shall be decided by a majority of the Vestrypersons who are present during the Meeting, except that members who are running for an elected position must recuse themselves from deciding such issues.
b. Vestrypersons who are called upon to decide an election issue shall meet in closed session to consider the issue and shall present their decision orally to the Parish members prior to the close of the Annual Meeting.
c. The decision of the Vestry concerning an election issue is final.
Article V - The Vestry
a. The Vestry shall consist of the Rector, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden, and nine other lay members.
b. The following shall be ex-officio members of the Vestry: the President of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Women, the Treasurer of the Parish, the Secretary of the Vestry, the Chair of the Day School Board of Trustees, and the Cemetery Superintendent. Ex officio members have the right to a seat and a voice at all Vestry meetings, but cannot vote on any matter before the Vestry.
c. “Voting members” of the Vestry include only the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and the nine other lay members.
a. In the event of a vacancy in the position of Vestryperson, Senior Warden, or Junior Warden, a majority of the Vestry may appoint from members of the Parish, otherwise qualified, a successor to fill the vacancy until the next succeeding Annual Meeting. Notice shall be given to all members of the Parish consistent with Article III, Section 3 a and b.
b. Whether or not a vacancy is filled by appointment by the Vestry, the vacancy shall be filled by election at the next succeeding Annual Meeting and the person thus elected shall serve out only the unexpired term of such vacancy, if such term be unexpired.
c. Service by appointment by the Vestry to fill a vacancy on the Vestry shall not render a person ineligible for election to the Vestry at the next Annual Meeting.
3. Vestry Meetings.
a. Meetings of the Vestry may be called by the Rector, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden, or one-third of the lay Vestrypersons, upon not less than three days' notice; however, the time for this notice may be shortened by waiver of the majority of the Vestry at any meeting.
b. The agenda shall be established by the Rector in consultation with the Wardens; however, any member of the Vestry may request that an item be placed on the agenda.
(i) Requested agenda items received by the Rector not later than 48 hours prior to the meeting shall be placed on the agenda unless the Rector determines that time is not available for the item.
(ii) A majority of the Vestry may vote to accept an item on the agenda despite a late submission or the Rector’s prior determination that time is not available.
c. A quorum at any Vestry meeting shall consist of 6 voting members of the Vestry.
d. The act of the majority of the voting members of the Vestry present at a Vestry meeting at which there is a quorum shall be the act of the Vestry.
e. No Vestryperson under the age of 18 shall be counted toward a quorum during a meeting concerning, or vote on the acceptance of, any contractual obligation by the Vestry.
4. Presiding Officer of the Vestry.
a. The Rector, if present, shall preside at all meetings of the Vestry.
b. In the absence of the Rector, the Senior Warden shall preside, if present.
c. In the absence of the Rector and Senior Warden, the Junior Warden shall preside, if present.
d. In absence of the Rector and Wardens at a Vestry meeting, the majority of the Vestry shall select a Vestryperson to preside at that meeting.
e. However, if present, the Bishop shall preside at all Vestry meetings.
5. Duties of the Vestry.
a. The duties of the Vestry include responsibility for management of Parish assets, all decisions regarding financial obligations and contractual matters, participation in Annual and Special Parish Meetings, and such other duties as are consistent with the Canons of the Diocese of Washington and public law.
b. The Vestry shall ensure that payment of clergy salaries takes priority over all other charges on Parish income.
c. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the actions or obligations undertaken by a majority vote of the Vestry shall be deemed actions of the Parish.
Article VI - Parish Officers and Executive Committee
a. The Vestry shall appoint a Treasurer of the Parish who may or may not be a member of the Parish and/or the Vestry.
b. The term of office and extent of authority of the Treasurer shall be as prescribed by resolutions of the Vestry. These resolutions shall be recorded by the Parish Secretary and shall be made available to any member of the Parish upon request.
a. The Vestry shall appoint a Secretary of the Vestry who may or may not be a member of the Parish and/or the Vestry.
b. The term of office and extent of authority of the Secretary shall be as prescribed by resolutions of the Vestry. These resolutions shall be recorded by the Parish Secretary, under supervision by the Rector, and shall be made available to any member of the Parish upon request.
3. Executive Committee.
a. There shall be an Executive Committee of the Vestry made up of the Rector, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden.
b. The Executive Committee shall monitor the regular business and management of the Parish, discuss and prepare the agenda for each Vestry meeting, respond to emergency situations/business matters, and assist the Presiding Officer as he/she deems necessary in Parish management and in the conduct of Vestry meetings.
c. The Executive Committee shall not operate to relieve the Vestry of any responsibility otherwise imposed upon it by civil or canon law.
Article VII - Other Committees
1. The Vestry may appoint committees which shall exercise the authority of the Vestry within the jurisdiction of the committee.
a. Each committee established by the Vestry shall be given specific directions concerning the mission of the committee and the scope of its authority.
b. Each such committee shall include at least one Vestry member.
2. The appointment of a committee shall not relieve the Vestry of any responsibility imposed upon it by civil or canon law.
3. This provision does not limit or otherwise affect the Rector’s inherent authority to appoint such committees as he/she deems necessary to assist the Rector in the management of the Parish; however, such committees do not have the authority of the Vestry.
Article VIII - Clergy
1. The provisions of this Article incorporate by reference all required provisions of Canon 25, Section 6 of the Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington concerning clergy qualifications, salary, contracts, and other related matters.
a. When the Rectorship becomes vacant, the Vestry shall, by a two-thirds majority vote, call a new Rector.
b. The call of the Rector shall follow consultation with the Bishop.
3. Assistant Rectors. The Vestry may, by majority vote, call Assistant Rectors at the nomination of the Rector after consultation with the Bishop.
Article IX - Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School
1. The Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School (HTEDS), PK-8th grade school, is an extension of the educational, pastoral, and missionary arms of the Holy Trinity Parish.
2. The Day School is not an independent entity and is operated under the auspices of the Vestry; however, the Board of Trustees is delegated authority to oversee the operations of the School and to make all general management decisions concerning the School, including budgetary and staffing decisions.
3. The Board of Trustees shall keep the Vestry apprised of the operation of the School, including any significant issues or concerns that may affect the School.
a. The Board of Trustees shall make approved Board meeting minutes available to the Vestry.
b. The Head of School, Chair of the Board of Trustees, or Chief Financial Officer shall meet with the Vestry (or its designated committee) to discuss the financial state of the School on at least an annual basis.
c. The Vestry may request of the Board additional information or reports as deemed necessary by the Vestry. The Board shall promptly provide such information or reports.
4. Long-range planning concerning physical facilities and long-term debt shall include Vestry participation, and no decision regarding major contractual obligations or indebtedness, permanent changes to buildings and/or grounds, or significant changes in School policies (e.g., admissions policies) shall be made without concurrence by the Vestry.
Article X - Adoption of Bylaws
1. Bylaws may be adopted at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Parish by a vote of two-thirds of the members entitled to vote present at such meeting, provided proper notice is given as provided in Article III, of these Bylaws.
2. Any Bylaws adopted as authorized by this Article shall be subject to amendment, modification, or repeal at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Parish in the same manner as herein provided for adoption of Bylaws.
Last updated by vote at February 23, 2014 Annual Meeting