From Betsy Peterson, Chair of Parish Council: The parish is now considering several important updates to the by-laws for the Society of King's Chapel. This Sunday, at 12:30 at the Chapel, we'll have an opportunity to listen to each other's views. Members will vote on the by-laws proposals and the budget on January 28, 2018.
The covenant, and "the service of man”. The liveliest discussions have focused on the last phrase in our covenant: "In the love of truth and in the spirit of Jesus Christ, we unite for the worship of God and the service of man".
Because the meaning of “man” has changed in the last few decades, and many people no longer interpret it mean “all people,” the Parish Council and the Vestry have both affirmed the importance of considering different language.
The drafting team (Dan Taylor, Betsy Peterson, and Cliff Allen) suggested "the service of all", but the members will decide. Some people prefer "all people" or "humankind", others would like broader language, e.g. "all creation", and some would prefer to stay with the original language adopted in 1920 (“man”). The parish has struggled with these choices in the past without resolution. On January 28, members will vote on this issue for the first time since 1992.
To gather input and allow for discussion, church leaders are hosting “listening discussions” after each of our three services. On October 22, we heard from people after the 9 AM Morning Light Service. On Sunday we’ll gather in the sanctuary after our 11 AM Morning Prayer. A third session, after the Wednesday 6 PM service, will be held in January. We are also considering an online survey on this point.
Other proposals. The Chair of the Membership Committee, Cathy Price, urges us to eliminate the portion of our current by-law requiring prospective members to give written notice three months before joining. The three-month requirement - as if for a private club -- seems asynchronous in today's world, when we seek to welcome all and only offer the ceremony for new members twice a year. The Membership Committee and ministers get to know prospective members through their participation in church worship services and other events, in one on one conversations, and a dinner where they learn King’s Chapel history and governance structure.
Another significant proposal is to reconsider what percentage of members must vote in favor of calling a new Senior Minister. The current by-laws require 90%, which is higher than most other UU churches.
Want the Details? The proposals include other updates and edits. You can get a summary of the significant proposals and/or a copy of the by-laws showing proposed changes in a redline from the Parish Administrator.You are welcome also to send me any written comments or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.