Last updated: Dec. 25, 2013

By-laws

Christian Science Society in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

 

Statement of Purpose

Our purpose for starting the Christian Science Society in Jamaica Plain is two-fold.  First, we feel that our community in Jamaica Plain deserves to have the opportunity to know more about Christian Science.  We feel a deep desire to share Christian Science with our local community by coming together as a formal group.  Jamaica Plain is a vibrant, diverse community with a lot of progressive thinkers.

 

Second, we started out of a love for God, our neighbors, the Church Manual and Mary Baker Eddy’s vision for church.  We love working within this foundation to find new ways to express a dynamic sense of love and fellowship in our church services and connect with our community in JP.

 

We strive to create a church community that expresses inclusiveness, friendship, volunteerism, and healing.  We love and support the work that the other CS churches in the area are doing and we would like to find ways to partner with these churches as well as other religious groups in the community to create a true and deep spiritual environment.

Membership

Joining this church signifies a love of Christian Science and a willingness to participate actively in the mission of  the Christian Science Society in Jamaica Plain.  

We are a democratic church. Every member of the church can vote in all elections. We prefer to reach consensus on decisions but will put things to a vote when necessary (see “Meetings” section).

Members can’t belong to another church except for The Mother Church (as indicated in the Church Manual).

If someone wants to apply for membership, he or she should submit an application to the clerk. The application process also includes an interview with at least two members. A person is considered a member upon approval of the majority of the church membership.  

If someone wants to withdraw from membership, he or she should submit a request in writing (email is fine) to the clerk.

Church Officers

The Church will have the following officers:

Officers will be elected once per year in January. Rotation in office is needed.  

Pastor

The pastor of this society will be the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Meetings

Church meetings. The church holds services on Sundays and Wednesday evening meetings. The services will follow the order of services in the Church Manual.  

Membership meetings. In order to function democratically, the following activities will be part of membership meetings:  

- Election of officers as needed

- Make decisions that involve $100 or more, or are not day-to-day (which is also done via other methods, like online surveys of members). When votes are taken, at least 50% of members should vote. Conducting day-to-day business doesn’t require votes (for example, selecting church meeting locations week by week).

- A simple majority vote of the members participating in the vote is required to elect officers or conduct business.

- A two-thirds vote of the members participating in the vote is needed to change or adopt by-laws.

- Votes are binding if and only if a quorum (strictly over 50% of membership) is present.

- The Clerk will conduct membership meetings.

The Society will have membership meetings as needed, at least once every six months. Meetings will be announced on the church schedule (available to members online), by email, and at church services prior to the meetings.

Relationship to The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist

Christian Science Society of Jamaica Plain is a branch of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The Society is governed by the Church Manual.  

Tenets

The Tenets of this society are those of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts. They are stated in the Church Manual, pages 15-16.

 

Roles of officers

Readers

The Readers’ responsibilities and qualifications are found in Article III in the Church Manual. For example, Readers must be members of The Mother Church.

Clerk 

The Clerk’s responsibilities include

- Ensure church schedule is up and running

- Oversees delegation of webmaster roles, or fulfils them (correspondence, update members)

- Checks JP church email

- Works with Treasurer on making financial decisions under $100

- Run membership meetings

Treasurer

The Treasurer’s responsibilities include

- Keeping an accurate record of contributions and expenses of the Society

- Paying the bills

- Reporting summary of financial activity to the members at membership meetings

- Works with Clerk on making financial decisions under $100

- Understand tax needs.  

Closing Society

A three-quarters vote of the number of members would be needed to make a decision to close the Society.

Dissolution of Assets. If this group dissolves, all assets shall be distributed to The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, MA.