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Q&A: Editing Bylaws

Can we correct grammatical errors without calling a meeting to amend our bylaws?

Q&A: Editing Bylaws

Is it possible to correct spelling and grammatical errors in our church's bylaws without going to the trouble of amending the bylaws at an annual business meeting?

This is a common question. Spelling and grammatical errors often result from the adoption of bylaws without a thorough review and editing by a bylaws committee. Once bylaws have been formally adopted, they cannot be "edited" without going through the formal process of amendment, unless the bylaws themselves provide that they may be edited to correct obvious errors. This is not a bad idea. However, you need to be very careful to define precisely what can be edited. If the scope of editing is not clearly delineated, then whoever is tasked with the responsibility of doing the editing (i.e., a bylaws committee, or the church board) may go too far and amend substantive provisions.

Here is an example of a bylaw provision ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • July 1, 2010

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