Delegates to the Ohio Conference Annual Gathering have a unique opportunity on September 28-29, 2018.
There will be an opportunity to vote on amendments to the United Church of Christ Constitution and on amendments to the Ohio Conference Constitution and bylaws.
Members of the Eastern Ohio Association and the Western Reserve Association have worked patiently and diligently for several years to reshape the ministry of the two Associations. In those years they have combined staff, office location, and adjusted policies and practices so that administration and services of the two Associations function as one Association.
The two Associations have petitioned the Ohio Conference to formally consider them one Association. The request is reasonable and appropriate since to do so matches their current practices.
The Board of Directors of the Ohio Conference, which includes representatives from each of the current five Associations, has endorsed the request. In order to support this decision various adjustments to the current bylaws of the Conference are needed.
Proposals regarding those changes have been reviewed by the Associations Council, by an attorney, and are now in the hands of the Board of Directors.
Our bylaws direct us to provide every congregation and all authorized ministers with a copy of the proposals sixty days prior to the Annual Gathering. A special message will be sent later this month to all parties. If approved at the Annual Gathering, the bylaw changes go into effect immediately.
Adoption of the bylaw amendments requires a two-thirds affirmative vote of those present and voting.
Most of the proposed amendments refer to changes in numbers and representation which occur when two Associations become one.
Some may question the advisability of making changes in bylaws at this time, while potential changes to the all-Ohio Conference structure are pending. Those changes, if any are to occur, will require a lengthy period of study and preparation, so to accommodate and celebrate the work of EOA/WRA Associations the Board chooses to respond to their request now.
A copy of the bylaws is available below.