BYLAWS

Districts organize zones in different ways, and each zone should write basic bylaws that best describe its structure and method of transacting business. The person responsible for drafting the zone bylaws should study the district bylaws to determine the parameters set by the district. If help is needed, the Structure Committee Chairman should contact the district Structure Committee Chairman for guidance. Articles and sections on name, object, membership, representation at LWML conventions, and parliamentary authority must conform to LWML bylaws. Following are sample bylaws which zones may use as a guideline for writing zone bylaws. The sample is only a guideline for zones amending or revising their bylaws. If the zone combines some positions (such as Secretary-Treasurer) or assigns appointive positions to elected officers (such as assigning the Vice President the duties of Archivist-Historian), then the Structure Committee Chairman should combine the duties under the job description of one officer and eliminate unneeded sections from the following example.

 

SAMPLE ZONE BYLAWS

Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

(Name of the district) District (Name of the zone) Zone Bylaws

ARTICLE I — NAME
The name of this organization shall be Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (district name) District (zone name) Zone (hereinafter referred to as (short name) ). The (district name) District (hereinafter referred to as (short name) ) is a subordinate organization of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (hereinafter referred to as LWML).

ARTICLE II — OBJECT
The object of this organization shall be to:

  1. promote the LWML object: mission education, mission inspiration, mission service, and mission grants;
  2. support the programs of the district and the LWML;
  3. provide opportunities for spiritual growth and Christian fellowship among the women of the zone;
  4. provide opportunities for leader training; and
  5. provide representation at LWML conventions in accordance with LWML bylaws.

ARTICLE III — MEMBERS

Section 1

  1. The zone shall be composed of LWML groups in congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (hereinafter referred to as LCMS), on college campuses, in resident homes, or in other settings, and individual members within the geographic boundaries of the zone.
  2. If there is more than one (1) LWML group in a congregation or other setting, the groups in a single setting shall be considered one (1) unit for the purpose of representation at LWML conventions. (Districts may set their own guidelines for LWML group representation at district conventions.)

Section 2

An individual member:

  1. is not considered an LWML group or unit;
  2. is a woman communicant member of an LCMS congregation who is unable to be affiliated with the LWML group in her congregation for any reason or is a member of an LCMS congregation that does not have a group affiliated with LWML;
  3. may attend zone meetings and conventions;
  4. may have voice and vote at zone meetings (or not as determined by each zone); and
  5. may have voice and vote at district and LWML conventions only if she is a certified delegate.

Section 3

Application for both individual and LWML group membership is made to the LWML district as specified in the district bylaws.

ARTICLE IV — CONVENTIONS

Section 1

(This section on LWML district conventions must conform to district bylaws.)

Section 2

Zone representation at LWML conventions shall be as follows:

  1. One (1) certified delegate is sent from each zone having ten (10) or fewer units and one (1) certified delegate is sent for each additional ten (10) units or major fraction thereof as of January 1 preceding the convention. (Note: All LWML groups in one congregation or setting are considered as one member unit for the purpose of representation at LWML conventions.)
  2. Each certified delegate shall have a certified alternate if possible.
  3. The names of the delegates and the alternates shall be presented to the District President in accordance with the (district name) District bylaws for certification.
  4. In the event neither the delegate nor the alternate is able to serve, a member of this zone may serve as delegate upon certification in writing by the LWML District President and presentation to the LWML Recording Secretary.

ARTICLE V — OFFICERS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1

The elected officers shall be: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. (Other titles may be used for these positions, and if the zone has additional elected officers, they should be added here and in the following sentence.) The President and the Vice President shall be elected in (insert even or odd-numbered) years, and the Secretary and the Treasurer shall be elected in (insert even or odd-numbered) years. (Note: If it is considered desirable that the Vice President follow the President after her tenure as Vice President, then the two officers should be elected in the same year.)

Section 2

Officers shall be elected by ballot at the (season or month) rally to serve for a term of two (2) years or until their successors are elected, and shall be eligible for one (1) reelection. If there is only one (1) candidate per office, a voice vote may be taken. A majority vote shall elect.

Section 3

Newly-elected officers shall assume their duties at the close of the meeting in which they are elected (or insert date).

Section 4

Each officer shall keep notes and operational material pertinent to the responsibilities of the office and, with the exception of the Treasurer, transfer them to their successors within thirty (30) days following the election. The Treasurer shall transfer all records and materials pertaining to her office within sixty (60) days following the election.

ARTICLE VI — DUTIES OF OFFICERS

(Check district bylaws for additional duties required by the district.)

Section 1

The President shall:

  1. preside at all zone rallies and other zone meetings and all meetings of the zone Executive Committee (hereinafter referred to as the EC);
  2. attend meetings of the District Board of Directors (hereinafter referred to as the Board) and have voice and vote (this paragraph must conform to district bylaws);
  3. serve as ex officio member of each committee except the Nominating Committee; and
  4. perform such other duties as the EC may prescribe.

Section 2

The Vice President may perform the duties of the office of President when requested to do so by the President and shall:

  1. fill a permanent vacancy in the office of the President;
  2. (Here and in subsequent sentences, list additional duties the zone requires of the Vice President); and
  3. perform such other duties as the EC may prescribe.

Section 3

The Secretary shall:

  1. keep minutes of all rallies and meetings of the zone and the EC, or designate another person to substitute if she is unable to attend;
  2. keep an updated list of all zone and group officers and individual members, and furnish same to all zone officers and group presidents;
  3. provide copies of EC minutes to all members of the EC within thirty (30) days of each meeting;
  4. provide one (1) copy of rally or other zone meeting minutes to each local group and to each member of the EC within thirty (30) days of such meeting;
  5. conduct needed correspondence;
  6. provide notices of all zone meetings and activities to all local groups and individual members (unless the zone has a publicity chairman to handle this responsibility);
  7. provide zone minutes to the district Archivist-Historian as directed in the district bylaws; and
  8. perform such other duties as the EC may prescribe.

Section 4

The Treasurer shall:

  1. receive all monies and deposit them in a financial institution approved by the zone EC;
  2. keep an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements;
  3. make all authorized disbursements;
  4. submit financial reports at each EC meeting and each regularly scheduled zone rally or meeting;
  5. submit records for financial review at the close of each fiscal year and with the change of officer; and
  6. perform such other duties as the EC may prescribe.

Section 5

(If there are additional elected zone officers, their duties should be spelled out in this and subsequent sections.)

ARTICLE VII — NOMINATIONS

Section 1

A Nominating Committee of at least three (3) members shall be elected at the rally preceding elections. (Note: The Nominating Committee is independent of the President and EC and should not be appointed.)

Section 2

The Nominating Committee shall:

  1. solicit from members names of nominees for positions to be filled;
  2. receive from nominees consent to serve if elected; and
  3. prepare printed ballots with the names of candidates printed in alphabetical order by last name for each office to be filled.

Section 3

Nominations of qualified candidates may be made from the floor, provided consent to serve if elected has been obtained from the candidate.

ARTICLE VIII – APPOINTED OFFICERS

Section 1

The appointed officers may be an Archivist-Historian, Parliamentarian, and Public Relations Chairman, and shall:

  1. be appointed by the President with the approval of the EC and serve for a term of two (2) years and be eligible for reappointment;
  2. attend EC meetings in an advisory capacity; and
  3. keep notes and materials pertinent to the office and transfer them to their successors within thirty (30) days after the termination of their appointment.

Section 2

The Archivist-Historian shall:

  1. gather and preserve records and other materials of historical value to the zone;
  2. write an annual history of the zone and send to the district Archivist-Historian; and
  3. send material of historical value to the district Archivist-Historian.

Section 3

The Parliamentarian shall:

  1. attend all zone rallies and meetings and serve as advisor on parliamentary procedure upon request; and
  2. serve as an ex officio member of the Organizational Resources Committee when it amends the bylaws.

Section 4

The Public Relations Chairman shall:

  1. be alert for news from the zone and submit articles and information to the LWML district newsletter as directed in the district bylaws;
  2. be coordinator of publicity for all zone functions;
  3. notify all societies and individual members of zone activities; and
  4. perform other duties as requested by the EC.

ARTICLE IX — MEETINGS

Section 1

The zone shall hold at least two (2) rallies or zone meetings per year in the spring and fall for the purpose of Christian fellowship and conducting the business of the zone. Additional zone activities such as retreats, workshops, servant events, Gospel outreach activities, prayer services, etc. may be held as determined by the EC.

Section 2

All members of local groups and individual members in the zone may attend zone functions and have voice and vote. Members present at any rally or zone meeting shall constitute a quorum.

Section 3

(In this section, or in a standing rule, outline the method for selecting rally sites and responsibilities for hosting zone events.)

ARTICLE X — EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1

The Executive Committee (EC) shall be composed of the elected officers, standing committee chairmen, and group presidents with the appointed officers and pastoral counselor serving as advisors. A majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum.

Section 2

The Executive Committee shall:

  1. meet before each rally and at other times at the call of the President;
  2. conduct the business of the zone between rallies and other regularly scheduled zone meetings;
  3. with the President, plan zone activities and functions;
  4. assist the President in implementing zone activities and district and LWML programs;
  5. fill vacancies in elected offices; and
  6. approve the financial institution in which funds are deposited.

ARTICLE XI – PASTORAL COUNSELOR

The Pastoral Counselor shall:

  1. be an LCMS pastor serving a parish within the zone;
  2. be appointed by the President with the approval of the EC, or elected at a zone meeting;
  3. serve a term of two (2) years and be eligible for one (1) reappointment;
  4. attend all zone functions and EC meetings, serving in an advisory capacity;
  5. serve on the Christian Life Committee;
  6. prepare a short Bible study for EC meetings as requested by the President;
  7. attend LWML district conventions, serving in an advisory capacity;
  8. approve recipients for special designated offerings and Gifts from the Heart (ingatherings); and
  9. perform other duties as requested by the President and EC.

ARTICLE XII – STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1

The Standing Committees shall be Christian Life, Gospel Outreach, Special Focus Ministries, and Organizational Resources. The Committee Chairmen shall be voting members of the EC.

Committees shall:

  1. be composed of a chairman and two (2) members appointed by the EC;
  2. have its members serve a term of two (2) years, permitting reappointment to one (1) additional term;
  3. serve as liaison with their corresponding committees at the district level; and
  4. keep records and materials pertinent to the committee and transfer to their successors within thirty (30) days following the end of term of office.

Section 2

The Christian Life Committee shall:

  1. prepare devotions for zone rallies and other functions when requested to do so by the EC;
  2. with the EC, plan zone retreats and prayer services;
  3. publicize Christian Life materials available from the LWML Catalog and on the LWML website;
  4. encourage use of inspirational materials within the societies;
  5. maintain a file of Christian Life materials available for use within local groups and the zone; and
  6. perform other duties as requested by the EC.

Section 3

The Gospel Outreach Committee shall:

  1. publicize district and LWML mission grants and report on their progress;
  2. encourage use of the Mite Box and voluntary contributions to the district and LWML mission grants;
  3. plan Gospel Outreach activities for members of the zone such as sharing the Gospel with residents of nursing homes or veterans facilities, conducting inner city Vacation Bible School, etc.;
  4. encourage local groups to use Gospel Outreach materials available from the LWML Catalog and on the LWML website; and
  5. perform other duties as requested by the EC.

Section 4

The Special Focus Ministries Committee shall:

  1. plan zone servant event activities in which members can reach out in Christian love to those in their community who are hurting and in need;
  2. plan, at zone events, service projects such as Gifts from the Heart (ingatherings) for Lutheran World Relief, food banks, shelters, nursing homes, etc.;
  3. promote Special Focus Ministries projects of the district and the LWML; and
  4. perform other duties as requested by the EC.

Section 5

The Organizational Resources Committee shall:

  1. serve as encouragers to the local groups and lead them through the long-range planning process when requested to do so;
  2. plan leader development activities for zone rallies or other functions that help zone members recognize and use their leadership skills;
  3. encourage local groups to use Organizational Resource materials available from the LWML Catalog and free downloadable resources from www.lwml.org;
  4. be responsible for keeping the zone bylaws current, suggesting to the EC amendments it deems necessary;
  5. present all bylaws amendments or revisions to the district Structure Committee for review before presenting to the zone members for approval;
  6. send the required number of copies of zone bylaws to the district Structure Committee Chairman for filing after adoption by the zone members;
  7. review and keep a file of society bylaws and encourage local groups to keep their bylaws current; and
  8. Perform other duties as requested by the EC.

Section 6

There may be other standing committees or special committees added as the zone and EC deem necessary.

ARTICLE XIII — FINANCES

Section 1

The zone shall:

  1. adopt no mission grant projects; and
  2. promote use of the Mite Box and voluntary contributions by zone members to the district and the LWML mission goal.

Section 2

The zone may:

  1. collect registration fees or an offering at rallies or other zone functions to cover zone expenses such as:
    1. honorarium for speaker, rental of audio-visual equipment, or other program aids;
    2. food preparation when a meal is served at zone function;
    3. printing, postage, telephone, fax;
    4. convention costs for delegates, pastoral counselor, and young woman representative;
    5. district assessments; and
    6. other costs approved by the EC.
       
  2. designate a special offering and/or Gifts from the Heart (ingathering) for prayer services, retreats, servant events, etc. and request the zone pastoral counselor’s approval of the designated recipients.

Section 3

(Other zone financial policies may be listed in this section and subsequent sections if necessary.)

ARTICLE XIV — FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year shall be from (month, day) to (month, day), inclusive. (Note: As nearly as possible, the fiscal year should coincide with the Treasurer's term of office so that the books can be closed, reviewed, and transferred to the new officer in a timely manner.)

ARTICLE XV – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the proceedings of the zone in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, applicable law, or Christian principles.

ARTICLE XVI — AMENDMENTS

Section 1

  1. These bylaws may be amended by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at a regularly scheduled zone meeting. The proposed amendments shall have been approved by the district Structure Committee and then sent to each member LWML group and individual member sixty (60) days prior to the meeting in which they will be considered for adoption.
  2. By unanimous vote a proposed amendment may be presented to a rally or other regularly scheduled zone function without prior notice. A three-fourths (3/4) vote shall be required for adoption.

Section 2

  1. The required number of copies of these bylaws and all amendments or revisions shall be submitted to the district Structure Committee for review before being presented to the zone membership for adoption.
  2. Upon adoption by the zone, the required number of copies shall be submitted to the district Structure Committee for filing.

 

Date zone became member of district LWML (date)
Date of original bylaws (date)
Date of last amendments to bylaws (date)

(Suggested) STANDING RULES

  1. Method of selecting delegates to district conventions (date of adoption).
  2. Method of selecting delegates to LWML conventions (date of adoption).
  3. Rotation for hosting zone events (date of adoption).

 

View printable PDF of this article, Bylaws — Zones