Chilmark Community Church Bylaws


Article I: Name 

The name of this church shall be the Chilmark Community Church, Inc (“Church” or “CCC”). The Church is located on the island of Martha’s Vineyard at 9 Menemsha Crossroad, Chilmark, Massachusetts 02535. 

Article II: Purpose 

The purpose of the CCC shall be to worship together in spirit and in truth through the ministry of the Word and Sacraments, and to be faithful to the mission of the CCC. 

Article III: Policy 

The government of the CCC is vested in its members, who exercise the right of control in all its affairs. The CCC is not affiliated with any denomination and is an inclusive, independent, community church. 

Article IV: Church Faith and Mission 

Our Faith: 

The Chilmark Community Church proclaims our faith through our actions. Our theological stance affirms free inquiry on matters of spirituality; our faith is guided by Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason. We are an independent, community church, open to all, celebrating diversity. 


We will aspire to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God and with each other to be a community of love. We will gather to worship, pray, study, and celebrate the sacraments. We will encourage and pray for each other to bring love to all whom we encounter. 

Article V: Covenant Membership 

Covenant Membership in the Chilmark Community Church shall be open to all. Covenant Members shall be enrolled as members of the CCC. A person may be received into Covenant Membership by any of four methods: by Confirmation, by Profession of Faith, by a Letter of Transfer from another church, or by Reaffirmation of Faith. A Covenant Member is expected to be faithful to the Church Mission. Any Covenant Member may, upon request, be granted a letter of transfer to another church or a letter of dismissal from membership in the Church. 

A Covenant Member, upon recommendation by the Administrative Records Committee (ARC) and approved by the Church Council, can be removed from the active membership rolls and placed on an inactive membership list. A person who has been placed on the inactive membership list shall not be counted for quorum purposes or be 

entitled to vote at a Congregational Meeting. A person who has been placed on the inactive membership list may, by request to the ARC, be restored to active membership. 

Article VI: Associate Membership 

A constituent may become an Associate Member while a member of another church or while contemplating full membership and shall be recorded as such by the ARC. 

Associate Members shall have all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities in the conduct and fellowship of the CCC as Covenant Members, except that Associate Members may not vote on any measure affecting the disposition of CCC property, or the CCC’s relationship with its Pastor. 

Article VII: Governing Body 

The Governing Body of the CCC shall be its active membership assembled, in person or virtually, in a Congregational Meeting. A quorum shall consist of 12 Covenant Members or Covenant Members numbering 10% of the membership, whichever is less. 

Because it is desirable that all church business be resolved by consensus, a majority shall be defined as two-thirds of the voting members present. The exception is for any measure affecting the disposition of Church property or the Church’s relationship with its Pastor where the vote of three-fourths of the Covenant Members present and voting shall be required. 

The Annual Meeting, a Congregational Meeting, shall occur between October 1st and November 30th. Election of officers and budget approval shall be voted at the Annual Meeting. 

Article VIII: The Church Council 

The Administrative Council is the Church Council (Council) and shall coordinate, direct, and promote the overall programs of the Church. It shall consist of the President as chair, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the chair of each of the functioning Church Committees. The Pastor shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member. 

Church Council meetings shall be open meetings, except when it is necessary to meet in executive session. All members present at Council meetings may vote. Council meetings may be called by any member of the Executive Board and notice shall be given to the congregation at least one week in advance of the meeting, announced during regular worship service or electronically. 

The Church Committees shall be defined in the Chilmark Community Church Organizational Chart. 

Article IX: Officers of the Church 

The President shall preside at all Congregational Meetings and shall be a cosigner with the Secretary of all CCC legal documents. 

The Vice President shall assume the duties of the President in the President’s absence or inability to act. 

The Secretary shall be responsible for the Congregational Meeting and Council Meeting minutes and other duties consistent with the office of the Secretary or Clerk. 

The Treasurer shall carry out the fiduciary duties of the CCC. 

Article X: Pastor 

When a pastoral vacancy or anticipated vacancy occurs, a Congregational Meeting shall, upon recommendation of the Church Council, elect a Search and Call Committee to seek a candidate to fill the position. The Search and Call Committee shall recommend, if necessary, an interim Pastor to be elected at a Congregational Meeting to serve the Church during the vacancy. The Search and Call Committee shall present to the Church, at a Congregational Meeting duly called, the name of the candidate it recommends. A vote to call the pastoral candidate shall require the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the Covenant Members present and voting. 

The Pastor shall enter into a contract with the CCC which shall determine the details of employment. This contract shall be defined by the Search and Call Committee, presented to the Church Council for review and approval, and then presented for a vote at a Congregational Meeting. 

Article XI: Church Committees 

Detailed definition, specific duties, policies and procedures of each Church Committee, as defined in the Chilmark Community Church Organizational Chart (Organizational Chart), will be reviewed and approved from time to time by the Church Council and may be added to, altered, or withdrawn. The following committees are permanent committees with roles outlined in these bylaws and shall not be removed from the Organizational Chart: Administrative Records Committee, Nominating Committee, Search and Call Committee. 

The nominating committee shall put forth a slate of committee membership to be presented at the Annual Meeting. 

Article XII: General Provisions 

Election and Term of Office 

The Executive Board are the Officers of the CCC, the President, the Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and shall be elected for a term of three years at the Annual Meeting. Should a vacancy occur during the term of an elected officer, the position may be filled for the remainder of the term by a majority vote of the Church Council. 


Congregational Meetings, in addition to the Annual Meeting, may be called at the discretion of the Church Council. 

A Special Congregational Meeting may be called by the Executive Board or by petition to the Council signed by not less than twenty Covenant Members. The Council shall call such a meeting to be held within three weeks after receipt of such a petition. 

The time, place, and purpose of any Congregational Meeting shall be included in an announcement. The announcement shall be read during a church service on the two Sundays preceding the meeting and included in a written announcement, which may be digital, to the membership. The announcement will describe any procedural issues needed to carry out the meeting (such as voting). 

Article XIII: Amendments 

Amendments to the Bylaws may be made at a Congregational Meeting, in person or virtually, provided the meeting has been properly called and the text of the proposed amendment has been announced from the pulpit and made available to the congregation on the two consecutive Sundays preceding the meeting.