The proposed revision of the by-laws didn't pass at the Congregational Meeting today. Changes require 3/4 vote and passage was six votes short. My initial thoughts:
- I thought everyone presented their ideas, questions and opinions in a thoughtful and respectful manner. That's always a big win at any congregational meeting at any church. Way to go!
- Your vote counts. If you weren't there, you weren't counted. If you don't think by-laws make much of a difference, read the summary and rationale for the revisions; you might change your mind. It's at the back of the document (Download focc_bylaws_07_revision.pdf).
- We need feedback from those who voted "no." There were too many changes to be able to identify which ones might need to be addressed. Wayne and Jim asked the "no" votes to contact them and I hope they do so.
- A lot of time and energy went into forming that document, but I don't think one minute will have been wasted. Most of those changes will be adopted eventually because they are obviously needed. Some will need to be adapted to be adopted.
- I'm not discouraged by the vote. Irritated a bit, yes, but no loss of peace or joy. I see growth in myself on this, and that feels good.
- We got some good feedback and ideas that I'm certain we'll reconsider. For example, making it easier for a member of the congregation to call a meeting, proxy voting and posting more information about the Board minutes and members on the web site.
- Wayne did an awesome job of presenting the changes and the rationale. I would not have changed a thing in his presentation or in our approach. Face it, most people aren't interested in this topic. I can't blame them. No one came to the informational/discussion meeting except the committee members. We got one email with feedback and a few random comments leading up to today's meeting. Holding the vote and then asking for feedback is about the only way to get folks to think about it and give us feedback. That's okay by me. A little slower. A little irritating (because I'm impatient). But, in my mind, just part of the process. I see how the by-laws impact ministry, and I know full well how church structures can stymie a church's mission. But I also realize I'm geeky on this kind of thing and don't expect others to be. And I'm certainly not going to preach on it. What other avenues to we have to engage this conversation except the meeting? So we work the process.