Articles

WEFC Conversation Summary & Bylaw Updates

11/25/20 | The Pulse 2020, The Pulse - 2020.48 Issue 48 | by Steve Peery

    Register here for the Congregational Business Meeting

    June 17 at 7:00 pm via Zoom

    6/16/21 UPDATE

    A friendly reminder...please plan to attend the Congregational Business Meeting tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm. Register via the link above.

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    6/9/21 UPDATE

    No update this week

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    6/2/21 UPDATE


    If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to become familiar with the Elder/Deacon candidates. We will be asking the congregation to affirm these candidates at the special congregational meeting on June 17.

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    5/26/21 UPDATE

    No update this week.

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    5/19/21 UPDATE

    No update this week.

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    5/12/21 UPDATE

    Please remember that we will have a congregational meeting on June 17, 2021 to review and vote on the 2021-2022 General fund and Missions fund annual budgets. We will also be confirming candidates nominated as Elders and Deacons, who will take office on July 1, 2021. The registration link is at the top of the page.

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    5/2/21 UPDATE

    The training of elder candidates and deacon candidates is underway. To date the training has included the biblically defined calling, qualifications and roles and responsibilities of elders and deacons. The candidates are now beginning to process how best to coordinate in order to serve the needs of the church. We will keep everyone posted on training and transitioning progress through this forum, so please stay tuned.

    Also, please remember that we will have a congregational meeting on June 17, 2021 to review and vote on the 2021-2022 General fund and Missions fund annual budgets. We will also be confirming candidates nominated as Elders and Deacons, who will take office on July 1, 2021. The registration link is at the top of the page.

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    4/28/21 UPDATE

    The following is a brief summary of the 4/22/21 Congregational Business Meeting:

    The revised constitution and bylaws were approved at our Congregational Meeting on April 22, 7:00 pm. The revised bylaws and constitution include the Scriptural model of shepherding elders and caring deacons in the governance of our church and will go into effect July 1, 2021.

    The unamended revised constitution and bylaws were passed with a 94% approval. Two amendments to the revised constitution and bylaws were also presented and discussed at the congregational meeting. The first motion to open the office of elder to both men and women did not pass. The second motion to limit the office of deacon to men only did not pass.

    The Executive Board and the Bylaw Committee are so very thankful for your continued support, your patience, and your many contributions and we are eager to proceed in the transition and installation phase in a collaborative and transparent manner.  We will keep everyone posted on training and transitioning progress through this forum, so please stay tuned.

    A congregational meeting will be held on June 17, 2021 to review and vote on the 2021-2022 General fund and Missions fund annual budgets. We will also be confirming candidates nominated as Elders and Deacons, who will take office on July 1, 2021. 

    Thank you,
    Steve Peery

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    4/21/21  update

    Don't forget to register for the Congregational Meeting on April 22, 7:00 pm. We will be taking the final vote on the revised bylaws.

    Thank you to those who participated in the Biblical Complimentarianism class. We hope you found it helpful in understanding some of the key differences between Complimentarianism and Egalitarianism.  Please find the video links and a pdf file of the class material below.

    4/11/2021 – Biblical Complimentarianism session 1 video.

    4/18/2021 – Biblical Complimentarianism session 2 video.

    Biblical Complimentatianism - PDF presentation

    This material from the Bible was addressed originally to the people of Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church on April 11 & 18 at 511 Maple Street, Wethersfield, CT, 06109 by Steven Peery. This is a transcription that bears the strength and weaknesses of oral delivery. It is not meant to be a polished essay.  An audio copy of the sermon on CD is available by request at (860) 563-8286.  Please do not copy or distribute without consent from WEFC.

    The Executive Board and the Bylaw Committee are very thankful for your continued support, patience, and contributions and we are eager to proceed in a collaborative and transparent manner.  

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    4/14/21  update

    REMINDER: Please be sure to register for the upcoming events regarding our vote on the new revised Constitution and Bylaws. These events will be held virtually, so you will have to register ahead of time. 

    1. It is not too late to register for the second "Biblical Complimentarianism" class on Sunday, April 18 from 8:15-9:30 . This class processes the reasons  why the Board  believes that the role of elder is for men and that the role of deacons is open to women.
    2. The final vote on the revised constitution/bylaws as well as the two proposed amendments will then occur at our Congregational Meeting on April 22, 7:00 pm.

    The Executive Board and the Bylaw Committee are very thankful for your continued support, patience, and contributions and we are eager to proceed in a collaborative and transparent manner.  

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    4/7/21 Update

    REMINDER: Please be sure to register for the upcoming events regarding our vote on the new revised Constitution and Bylaws. All of these events will be held virtually, so you will have to register ahead of time. 

    1. We will have a WEFC Conversation on Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm.  Those making the amendment proposal will present their rationale and the board will respond.  We will then open the rest of the night for discussion.
    2. We will host a Sunday School Class on Sundays, April 11 and April 18 from 8:15-9:30 to explain the “Biblical Reasons Why We Are Complementarian.”  In other words, why the Board believes that the role of elder is for men and that the role of deacons is open to women.
    3. The final vote on the revised constitution/bylaws as well as the two proposed amendments will then occur at our Congregational Meeting on April 22, 7:00 pm.

    The Executive Board and the Bylaw Committee are very thankful for your continued support, patience, and contributions and we are eager to proceed in a collaborative and transparent manner.  

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    3/31/21 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    Please be sure to register for the upcoming events regarding our vote on the new revised Constitution and Bylaws. All of these events will be held virtually, so you will have to register ahead of time. 

    1. We will have a WEFC Conversation on Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm.  Those making the amendment proposal will present their rationale and the board will respond.  We will then open the rest of the night for discussion.
    2. We will host a Sunday School Class on Sundays, April 11 and April 18 from 8:15-9:30 to explain the “Biblical Reasons Why We Are Complementarian.”  In other words, why the Board believes that the role of elder is for men and that the role of deacons is open to women.
    3. The final vote on the revised constitution/bylaws as well as the two proposed amendments will then occur at our Congregational Meeting on April 22, 7:00 pm.

    The Executive Board and the Bylaw Committee are very thankful for your continued support, patience, and contributions and we are eager to proceed in a collaborative and transparent manner.  

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    3/24/21 UPDATE

    Dear WEFC Family,

    As we enter our joyous Easter season we would like to pause and share with you some information regarding our church body. It is amazing to reflect upon the past three years and realize that we have been working together on the revised constitution and bylaws. We set out to establish a biblical model of congregational elders and deacons to improve our care and ministry to our church members. It has been a long journey and it is good to remind ourselves that we started this journey so that we can better shepherd our flock and care for the practical and physical needs in our church “so that the Word of God may increase and the number of disciples multiply” (Acts 6:1-7).

    At the July 2020 Annual Meeting, the congregation passed a resolution that permits the Church to move forward with Proposed Revisions to the WEFC Constitution and Bylaws (WEFC Revisions).  The resolution passed with a 97% affirmative vote starting the one-year clock for approving the WEFC revisions. The Executive Board published their final recommended version of the revised constitution/bylaws on January 1, 2021. In advance of the vote to approve the revised constitution/bylaws, we adopted Special Rules to allow our members to propose amendments to the final version recommended by the Executive Board. Two amendments have been submitted for consideration. Both amendments deal with the role of women in church leadership. One amendment is requesting that the role of elders be opened to women while the other amendment is recommending that the role deacons be limited to men. 

    Clearly, this is a topic where there are differences of opinion within our church family, and we need to talk about this before we vote in April. In order to assure unity and transparency we have established several important events leading up to the final vote of the revised constitution/bylaws at our congregational meeting on April 22, 7:00 pm.  The following is our calendar for April.

     

    All of these events will be held virtually, so you will have to register ahead of time. As indicated on the calendar:

    1. We will have a WEFC Conversation on Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm.  Those making the amendment proposal will present their rationale and the board will respond.  We will then open the rest of the night for discussion.
    2. We will host a Sunday School Class on Sundays, April 11 and April 18 from 8:15-9:30 to explain the “Biblical Reasons Why We Are Complementarian.”  In other words, why the Board believes that the role of elder is for men and that the role of deacons is open to women.
    3. The final vote on the revised constitution/bylaws as well as the two proposed amendments will then occur at our Congregational Meeting on April 22, 7:00 pm.

    The Executive Board and the Bylaw Committee are very thankful for your continued support, patience, and contributions and we are eager to proceed in a collaborative and transparent manner.  

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at , or any of the board members (Ned Cornwall, Rob Durbois, Gerry Gingras, Glenn Horter, Skip Hardy, Brian Hucks, Janice Kooken, Karen Mann, Daryl Ostergren, John Rascius, Mike Schuberth, Scott Solberg, and Mike Conserva), and we would be happy to discuss them with you. 

    On behalf of the Executive Board,
    Steve Peery
    Chairman

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    3/17/21 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    1. Motions Received: We have received additional information that clarifies the rationale of one of the motions. Please review this document for the details regarding this motion. 
    2. The following is our April schedule of meetings in preparation for the congregational vote on the revised constitution/bylaws and the associated motions to amend:
    • Thursday, 4/8 at 7:00 pm - WEFC Conversation to review the motions to amend and the Executive Board’s response.

    • Sunday, 4/11 & 4/18 at 8:15-9:30 am - Sunday school classes on “Biblical reasons why we are complementarian.”

    • Thursday, 4/22 at 7:00 pm - Congregational Business Meeting. We will vote on the revised constitution/bylaws.

    • All meetings will be held via Zoom. Registration information will be available soon.

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    3/10/21 UPDATE

    There are no new updates this week.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    3/3/21 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    1. Motions Received: We have received 2 separate motions to amend the revised (new) bylaws from members of our church. We appreciate the input and we have been working with the church members to fully understand the motion and the related rationale. The Executive Board and Bylaw Subcommittee have prayerfully considered these motions and have developed a response. Please review this document for the details regarding this motion and the Executive Board's response.  
    2. Reminder: The period for submitting motions to amend the revised Bylaws has now concluded.
    3. WEFC Conversation: We will be scheduling a WEFC conversation in the near future to discuss the motions to amend that have been received as well as the Executive Board’s response. This WEFC conversation will be held sufficiently in advance of the April congregational meeting where the vote on the revised Constitution and Bylaws will take place.

    Please submit any questions regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    2/24/21 UPDATE

    Reminder: Sunday, 2/28, is the deadline for submitting any amendments.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    2/17/21 UPDATE

    There are no new updates this week.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    2/10/21 UPDATE

    There are no new updates this week.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    2/3/21 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021. The final drafts of the revised Constitution, Bylaws, and the Special Rules document, are now complete and are accessible via the links at the top of this page.

    1. The Bylaw subcommittee has received a few suggested edits from a church member. The subcommittee is processing these suggestions and coordinating directly with the church member.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    1/27/21 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021. The final drafts of both the revised Constitution and Bylaws are now complete and are accessible via the links at the top of this page.

    1. A Congregational Meeting was held on 1/24 at 11:30 am where the proposed Special Rules were approved. The Special rules were amended to include a sentence allowing continued discussion, at the discretion of the facilitating chairman,  during the proceeding to vote on the Revised Bylaws.
    2. No new motions or suggestions have been received.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    1/20/2021 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021. The final drafts of both the revised Constitution and Bylaws are now complete and are accessible via the links at the top of this page.

    1. Friendly reminder - we have the upcoming Congregational Meeting on 1/24 at 11:30 am where we will seek approval for the Special Rules. These Special Rules will provide us guidance as to how the congregation can propose amendments to the proposed Revised Bylaws. Register here for the congregational meeting.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    1/13/2021 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    The final drafts of both the revised Constitution and Bylaws are now complete and are accessible via the links at the top of this page.

    1. We had a good WEFC Conversation on the final draft of the revised bylaws this past Sunday, 1/10/21. Thank you to everyone who participated and we appreciate the continued interest and feedback.  
    2. Friendly reminder - we have the upcoming Congregational Meeting on 1/24 at 11:30 am where we will seek approval for the Special Rules. These Special Rules will provide us guidance as to how the congregation can propose amendments to the proposed Revised Bylaws. Register here for the congregational meeting

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee   
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    1/6/21 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    1. The final draft of the revised Constitution and Bylaws is now complete and is accessible via the links at the top of this page.
    2. Reminder of our January 10th WEFC Conversation on Sunday at 6:00pm. This Zoom Meeting conversation will focus on the final form draft of the proposed Bylaws. You can register for that conversation here.
    3. Our next congregational meeting will be Sunday, January 24th at 11:30 am via a zoom meeting. This Congregational meeting will include voting on the Special Rules for approving the bylaws. Register here for the congregational meeting.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    12/30/20 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    1. The final draft of the revised Constitution and Bylaws is now complete and is accessible via the links at the top of this page.
    2. No new suggestions or motions received these past 2 weeks.
    3. Reminder - WEFC Conversation, Sunday, January 10, at 6:00 pm. This Zoom Meeting conversation will focus on the final form draft of the proposed Bylaws. Register here for the WEFC Conversation
    4. Our next congregational meeting will be Sunday, January 24th at 11:30 am via a zoom meeting. This meeting will include voting on the Special Rules for approving the bylaws. Register here for the congregational meeting.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    12/23/20 UPDATE

    There are no new updates this week.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    12/16/20 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    1. No new motions received this past week.
    2. Reminder - WEFC Conversation, Sunday, January 10, at 6:00 pm. This Zoom Meeting conversation will focus on the final form draft of the proposed Bylaws. You can register for that conversation here.
    3. A final draft of the Constitution and Bylaws will be published to the Congregation no later than January 1, 2021.
    4. Our next congregational meeting will be Sunday, January 24, at 11:30 am via Zoom. This Congregational meeting will include voting on the Special Rules for approving the bylaws.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    12/9/20 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    1. Motion Received: A member of our church submitted a motion for consideration in the new Bylaws. We appreciate the input and we have been working with the church member to fully understand the motion and the related rationale. The Executive Board and Bylaw Subcommittee have prayerfully considered this motion and believe that the motion has been adequately addressed. Please review this document for the details regarding this motion and the Executive Board's response.  
    2. Reminder of our January 10th WEFC Conversation. This Zoom Meeting conversation will focus on the final form draft of the proposed Bylaws. You can register for that conversation here.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    12/2/20 UPDATE

    The following is a brief update on the work associated with the revised (new) Constitution and Bylaws which are being proposed for acceptance in April of 2021.

    • Draft Transition Section Completed: The Transition section of the revised Bylaws has been drafted and approved by the Executive Board. This “Transition Section” will be included in the new Bylaws and will govern the transition from operating under the existing Bylaws to operating under the New Bylaws. This Transition section provides guidance to assure continuity in church governance upon congregational acceptance of the proposed new bylaws. This Draft Transition Section is attached for your review.

    Please submit any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution & Bylaws by one of the following methods:

    • Email - to WEFC Bylaw Committee.  
    • Mail - addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

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    11/25/20 - WEFC CONVERSATION SUMMARY

    I WOULD LIKE to take a minute and provide a brief summary of the WEFC Conversation held on Sunday, November 15. We appreciated the involvement and input of ~ 30 members of our church regarding the use of “Special Rules” for the eventual vote on the revised Constitution and Bylaws.

    As a result of our meeting, we incorporated comments and feedback into the “Special Rules” to make sure that everyone at WEFC stays informed and is able to fully participate in this important process. A few key points:

    1. Special Rules for Amending the Constitution and Bylaws: As a result of our meeting on 11/15, we have amended some of the rules we will use for proposed amendments. Primarily, we are no longer requiring that secondary amendments be submitted in writing, they can be made from the floor. We want the discussion on amendments to be a dialogue, so we removed the restrictions on how often a person can speak. We will leave it to the chair of the meeting to make sure everyone who wants to speak can be heard. Revised Special Rules

    2. Communicating and Discussing Proposed Amendments: Any proposed amendments received by the Bylaw Committee, will be processed by the Board. The committee will then inform the congregation of proposed amendments along with the rationale for both the amendment and any decision/feedback by the board. We will also have a conversation on all proposed amendments in March ahead of the vote in April.

    3. Regular Updates: We will utilize the Pulse to post weekly updates on the status of the bylaws. Bi-weekly announcements will be made during worship services as to where the most up-to-date information may be found and to submit any input they may have to the bylaw committee.

    During our conversation, we also reviewed the latest revision of the Constitution. Final Draft Revised Constitution

    Finally, if you have any questions, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the revised Constitution and Bylaws, please submit them today to the WEFC Bylaw Committee via email at . You can also by mail addressed to Bylaw Committee WEFC, 511 Maple Street Wethersfield CT 06109.

    Thank you all for your interest and input.

    Blessings,
    Steve Peery