By-Laws

National *Black Staff Association

 (People of African Descent)

Of The United Methodist Church

By-Laws

Article I: NAME

 

The name of this organization shall be the Black Staff Association (BSA) of The United Methodist Church.

 

Article II: PURPOSE

The BSA is a non-profit professional association dedicated to serving the needs of black staff serving The United Methodist Church (UMC) in staff positions with UMC boards, agencies, conferences, jurisdictions and districts.  BSA will work collaboratively with all segments of The United Methodist Church in order to strengthen the Black UMC congregations and programs, and will serve exempt and non-exempt staff members at all stages of their career by providing the following services:

  1. Networking: Create opportunities to meet professional peers and colleagues, and provide a forum for sharing ideas, experiences and information relating to BSA members’ professional activities;
  2. Liaison/Coalition: Provide strategic linkage between BSA, Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR), general agencies, general commissions and the black constituency of the UMC and; provide counsel and evaluative feedback to BMCR and the broader church regarding program initiatives.
  3. External Collaboration: Promote and serve as a resource for interactive collaboration among Pan-Methodist denominations,
  4. Education: Encourage participation in seminars, training events and educational programs directed at the interests and needs of BSA members (including, but not limited to, educational programs that qualify for certification and continuing education credits – CEUs); and
  5. Career Development: Identify career development and planning assistance to members (including, but not limited to, maintaining a current list of employment opportunities and developing a mentoring relationship with more experienced black staff serving the UMC).
  6. Interpretation: Help educate and interpret to the UMC constituency the purpose of BSA as well as BMCR.

 

Article III: MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1: Classes of Membership

The BSA offers two (2) classes of membership:

  1. Full-Members (“Members”), and
  2. Associate Members (“Associate”)

 

Section 2: Full-Members (Members)

Membership Criteria

All people of African descent who are employed in The UMC beyond the local church and meeting the following criteria are eligible for membership as a “Full-Member” if:

  • They subscribe to the objectives of the BSA and agree to abide by the By-Laws of the BSA;
  • They are staff and not a consultant to any of the boards, agencies, conferences, districts, jurisdictions or local churches, nor connected to any other UM affiliate entity as a consultant.
  • They have paid BSA membership dues as set by the Board of the BSA.

Benefits of Membership

All BSA members whose dues are paid in full:

  • Shall be entitled to one (1) vote on all matters before the BSA ;
  • Are eligible to serve on the Board of the BSA.
  • May invite appropriate guests to attend BSA meetings and to participate in BSA events, projects and committees at the request or approval of the Board of the BSA.
  • Have access to member-restricted content and events, including but not limited to BSA-sponsored meals, webinars, training sessions, selected web content, and emailed material.

 

Section 3: Associate Members (Associate)

The Board of BSA may grant Associate Membership status to any current retiree or former Black staff member who holds membership in The United Methodist Church or served at least five years in an UMC entity and meeting the following criteria.

  • They subscribe to the objectives of the BSA and agree to abide by the By-Laws of the BSA;
  • They have paid BSA membership dues as set by the Board of the BSA.

Benefits of Membership

  • Shall be entitled to one (1) vote on all matters before the BSA;
  • Is eligible to serve on the Board of the BSA.
  • May invite guests to attend BSA meetings, and when deemed appropriate, guest(s) may participate in BSA projects and committees at the request of the Board of the BSA.
  • May access member-restricted content and events, including but not limited to NBSF dinners, webinars, training session, selected web content, and emailed material.

 

Section 4: Termination of Membership

Resignation: Any Member may resign at any time by oral communication or by filing a written resignation with the Secretary. Such resignation shall not discharge any obligations to pay dues, thus no refund shall be made on any dues, or assessments.

Suspension, Termination and Expulsion: The Board of the BSA may by majority vote terminate the membership of any Member, but shall be reinstated without readmission if the condition, which caused the suspension, is remedied.

 

 

Article IV: MEETINGS

Section 1: Annual Meeting.

The BSA annual meeting will be held in conjunction with The National Black Methodist For Church Renewal biennial meeting and is designated as the annual business meeting of the BSA. The current Board will present to the membership a summary of the proposed activities and 2-year budget for the organization. Members will approve the budget by majority vote of the members, present or by proxy.

 

Section 2: Meeting to Elect New Officers.

The annual meeting is designated as the meeting at which the current Board of the BSA presents to the membership a slate of candidates who will hold office for the next two years. Members will elect the officers by majority vote of the members, present or by proxy.

 

Article V: DUES

The Board of the BSA shall assess dues from its Members to cover BSA expenses. Members shall pay dues at or before the annual meeting in order to maintain membership privileges. Members not in good standing will not be permitted to vote during meetings and will lose access to member-restricted content and events.

 

Article VI: FISCAL MATTERS

Section 1: Fiscal Year.

The fiscal year of the BSA is the calendar year.

 

 

Section 2: Management of BSA Funds.

The President and Treasurer or other designated officers of the BSA are empowered to open, maintain, and close bank accounts on behalf of the BSA. The authorized signatories of the bank accounts must be members and may be the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, or their designees.

 

Section 3: Finance Committee

There shall be a Finance Committee which shall be responsible for fiscal management. It shall recommend budget and budgetary adjustments, membership dues, as well as implementation of the adopted budget. The Treasurer is the chairperson of the committee and can select the members of the committee.

 

Article VII: BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Section 1: General Powers.

The Board of Directors of the BSA shall assume the general management of the affairs of the BSA. The Board of Directors shall by majority vote of the members present at the first Board meeting of each year and will take action(s) on the President’s submitted plan of action for that year.   The Board shall take action on other matters that come before it by majority vote of the members present at each Board meeting.

 

Section 2: Composition of the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors of the BSA shall consist of 8 officers:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Chairperson, Communications Committee
  • Chairperson, Membership & Nominating Committee
  • Chaplain

 

Section 3: President.

The President shall be the Chief Executive Coordinator of Affairs for the BSA, and shall hold all powers over the business affairs of the BSA and its officers. The President shall prepare a plan of action for each fiscal year, outlining objectives in alignment with the overall purpose and goals of the BSA, and present the plan to the membership at the annual meeting of each year. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors and the membership, and shall enforce the rules and regulations set forth in these Bylaws. The President shall appoint the chairperson of each additional committee designated by the Board of Directors. All officers and chairpersons shall be supportive of and responsible to the President. The President will also represent BSA at National BMCR.

 

Section 4: Vice President.

The Vice President shall assist and counsel the President in BSA duties and shall, in the absence of the President, assume all the duties of the President. The Vice President shall perform the duties assigned to him/her from time to time by the President, and shall also share responsibilty for all arrangements, program and logistics for general meetings.

 

Section 5: Treasurer.

The Treasurer will have general supervision of the funds of the BSA, and shall maintain a current record of all receipts, disbursements, assets and liabilities of the BSA. The Treasurer shall recommend and collect membership dues amounts, assessments, and guest fees of the BSA. The Treasurer shall make a biennial report to the members at the biennial meeting of the financial condition of the BSA at the end of prior fiscal year, and perform all other duties relative to the Office of Treasurer as may be assigned from time to time by the President. The Treasurer will coordinate with the Communications chairperson and Secretary to maintain an accurate list of members in good standing. This officer will chair the finance committee and provide for the organization of proxy and absentee voting ballots.

 

Section 6: Secretary.

The Secretary will keep minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors, keep a record of all official actions of the BSA, issue notices of all meetings, mail notices to members, keep a register of all members, maintain attendance records of members, and perform all duties relative to the Office of Secretary. The Secretary shall conduct the election of the Board of Directors at the biennial meeting of the BSA. The Secretary will coordinate with the Communications chairperson and treasurer to maintain an accurate list of members in good standing.

 

Section 7: Chairperson, Communications.

The Chairperson, Communications shall be responsible for ensuring a consistent, two-way dialog between the Board of Directors and the membership. The Chairperson, Communications, shall also serve with the President as the BSA’s primary contact persons for communication with the press. The Chairperson, Communications will manage the BSA web site, including supervision of the Webmaster. The Chairperson, Communications will employ the latest services and technologies to ensure that members are informed of Chapter meetings and other special events. The Chairperson will coordinate with the Treasurer and Secretary to maintain an accurate list of members in good standing. The Chairperson, in the absence of the Secretary, shall assume the duties of the Secretary.

 

Section 9: Membership & Nominations Chairperson.

The Membership & Nominations Chairperson shall recruit and coordinate a standing committee of BSA, comprised of not fewer than three (3) members and elected from among the BSA membership. The duty of the Membership & Nominating Committee shall be to assess, cultivate and try to grow the roster of dues-paying BSA members, in coordination with other executive officers, to identity potential BSA leaders, and to find the best candidates for each office to nominate to the BSA membership for election.  The committee shall meet at the call of the chairperson and shall make the slate of nominees available to the membership at the annual meeting twenty-four (24) hours before elections.

 

Section 10: Chaplain/Parliamentarian

The BSA Chaplain serves as Chaplain (devotional and spiritual care leader) and Parliamentarian during BSA membership or executive board meetings.

 

Section 11: Election.

Each officer shall be elected by a majority vote of the members, present or by proxy, at the annual meeting of the BSA.

 

Section12: Term Limits.

The term of each office shall be two years. The Membership & Nominations Committee and BSA members will attempt to stagger elected board officer terms annually to allow for continuity in some leadership positions while others are filled by new officers. No officer may serve more than one (1) two-year term in any one office, unless recommended to the membership by the Nominations Committee for a subsequent two-year term and elected to such term by a two-thirds vote.

 

Section13: Resignations.

Any officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President and Secretary and such resignation shall take effect at the time specified in such notice.

 

Section14: Removals.

A Board Director may be removed from office with or without cause by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Board of Directors, taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors held at least thirty (30) days after notice in writing is given to all directors that such removal action will be considered and the reason(s) thereof.

 

Section15: Vacancies.

The President may fill any vacancies in any office of the Board of Directors for the balance of the term in consultation with the balance of the remaining Board of Directors.

 

Article VIII: QUORUM REQUIREMENTS

Members present and voting constitute a quorum.

 

Article IX: RULES

The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the BSA in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws.

 

Article X: MODIFICATION AND AMENDMENT

Modifications and amendments to these Bylaws shall be made only with the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the national/international membership, present or by proxy.

ARTICLE XI: VOTING PROCEDURES

Voting Procedures: All Black Staff Association Members who are in good financial standing are eligible to vote

 

All members will use the voting form when voting for an Officer or Board Member.

 

Vote in Absentia: A vote provided by an eligible member (in good financial standing) via Nomination Form, that is unable to attend a meeting where elections will take place and has expressed a desire to vote in the upcoming election.

 

In order to vote by proxy or by absentia, all eligible voting members must have their dues paid in full by the close of mail-in/on-line registration for the upcoming meeting date of the election for that year. 

 

Members who wish to vote by absentia are to provide the completed Nominations Form for each office to be voted for, to the Treasurer (who will have ensured that the member is in good financial standing).  The nominations will then be given to the Nominations Committee Chairperson to be tallied in their absence. Absentia votes will be received by the Nominations Committee Chairperson beginning one week prior to the Annual Meeting, and voting will close one day before the meeting start date.

 

Vote by Proxy: A vote provided by an eligible member (in good financial standing) for an eligible voting member (in good financial standing) that is absent during a meeting where an election will take place.

 

A voting member wishing to vote at the annual meeting via proxy shall designate a member of the organization who is eligible to vote. The proxy form must be completed and returned one week prior to the biennial meeting.

 

Abstaining from Voting: A member may choose to abstain from a vote if they feel that they cannot make a choice. This does not count as for or against (when there is one item) as a majority – yes or no – is still required for a tally; however, their presence assists in forming a quorum necessary for the meeting to take place.

 

Article XII: EFFECTIVE DATE

These Bylaws shall become effective in April 2019 during the annual BSA meeting by approval of the voting body or within three weeks after the annual meeting if approved by a mail ballot.