I: Authority Acknowledged II: Membership III: Officers, Delegates and Elections
IV: Meetings of the Parish V: The Rector VI: Wardens
VII: Treasurer VIII: Clerk IX: Bonds
X: Vestry XI: Organizations XII: Gifts and Memorials
XIII: Amendments XIV: Indemnification of Parish Officers  


The name of this corporation shall be the “Parish of the Advent”; and its objects are to secure to a portion of the City of Boston the ministrations of the Holy Catholic Church, and more especially to secure the same to the poor and needy, in a manner free from unnecessary expense and all ungracious circumstances; and for this purpose this Parish accedes to the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship and the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and to the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and acknowledges their authority.


Any baptized person of the age of sixteen years or more, who acknowledges in writing the authority of the By-laws of the Parish, and by declaring the intention to support the Parish by regular attendance at public worship and by financial aid, shall be considered a member of the Parish and entitled to vote in its affairs. Any member who, for one year, shall have refrained from regular worship, and from contributing toward the support of the Parish, may, after due notice and an opportunity to be heard, by vote of the Vestry be removed from the list of members of the Parish. No person who disclaims or refuses conformity to the authority of the Episcopal Church shall be eligible to hold office in the Parish or entitled to vote in its affairs.


Sec. 1. Officers. The officers of the Parish, all of whom shall be members of the Parish and at least eighteen years of age, shall include two Wardens, who shall be confirmed communicants of the Episcopal Church and shall be members of the Vestry, a Treasurer, a Clerk and ten other Vestrypersons. The officers, together with the Rector, shall constitute the Vestry of the Parish.

Sec. 2. Delegates. The Parish shall also have such Delegates to the Diocesan Convention and to the Regional Assembly as it may be entitled to under the relevant canons and rules. Delegates may also be members of the Vestry.

Sec. 3. Elections. The Treasurer, Clerk, Delegates and Vestrypersons shall be elected at each Annual Meeting of the Parish. The Senior Warden shall be appointed by the Rector from among the Vestrypersons at the first meeting of the Vestry following each Annual Meeting of the Parish, and the Junior Warden shall be elected by the Vestry from among the Vestrypersons at such meeting. The Treasurer, Clerk and Delegates shall hold office until the next Annual Meeting, and the Vestrypersons until the third Annual Meeting following their election, and all shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualify; provided, however, that at the meeting at which this Article takes effect four Vestrypersons shall be elected to hold office until the next Annual Meeting, four shall be elected to hold office until the second next Annual Meeting, and four shall be elected to hold office until the third next Annual Meeting, and in each case, until their successors are elected and qualify. The Wardens shall hold office until the first vestry meeting following the next succeeding Annual Meeting of the Parish, and until their successors are selected and qualify. Any Vestryperson whose second successive three-year term expires at any Annual Meeting shall be ineligible for reelection to the same office until the next succeeding Annual Meeting.

Vacancies in the office of either Warden shall be filled in the manner set forth above for the balance of the unexpired term. All other vacancies may be filled at any meeting of the Parish. Unless so filled, they may be filled by the Vestry until the next Annual Meeting of the Parish.


Sec. 1. Annual and Special Meetings. The Annual Meeting shall be held at such date, hour and place as the Vestry shall determine.

Special meetings may be called at any time by the Wardens or Vestry, and shall be called by the Wardens whenever so requested in writing by the Rector or by five members of the Parish.

Sec. 2. Warrant. All meetings of the Parish shall be announced by posting an attested copy of the Warrant calling the meeting at a public entrance of the church or place of worship occupied by the Parish. The Warrant shall be posted at least fourteen calendar days before the date fixed for an Annual Meeting and at least seven calendar days before a special meeting. No action shall be taken at any meeting of the Parish other than that set forth in the Warrant for such meeting.

Sec. 3. Presiding Officer. The Rector or in the Rector’s absence the Senior Warden shall preside and in the absence of the Senior Warden the Junior Warden shall preside; in the absence of all three, a moderator shall be chosen by the meeting. Fifty (50) members present shall constitute a quorum, and a majority vote of those present determine any matter presented except as provided in Article XIII respecting the amendment of these By-laws.


Sec. 1. Election. The Rector shall be elected for the Parish at a meeting duly called for that purpose by the Vestry. Such election shall not take place, however, until after all the steps required in Section 1 of Canon 15 have been taken. No person shall be eligible to the office of Rector other than a qualified priest of the Episcopal Church in good standing. The Rector shall have jurisdiction over the spiritual affairs of the Parish and supervise and direct the Parish staff.

Sec. 2. Vacancy. If the office of Rector becomes vacant or the Rector is incapacitated, the Vestry shall appoint an Interim after consultation with the Bishop, until such time as a new Rector is elected as provided under this Article in case of a vacancy, or until the termination of the Rector’s incapacity.


It shall be the duty of the Wardens, when the Parish has no Rector, or in the Rector’s absence, to provide for the temporary performance of the Rector’s duties. In the absence or incapacity of either Warden, or of a vacancy, the powers and duties of the Wardens shall devolve upon the remaining Warden.


Sec. 1. Duties. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and disburse all monies collected under the authority of the Vestry, to keep a true record of receipts and disbursements, and to present a full statement of these and of the financial condition of the Parish at Annual Meetings and at other times required by the Vestry. The Treasurer shall also maintain the records of all trusts and permanent funds belonging to the Parish, listing the source and date of such trusts and funds, the terms governing the use of principal and income, to whom and how often accounts are to be made and how the trusts and funds are invested.

Sec. 2. Voting of Securities. Except as the Vestry may otherwise designate, the Treasurer may act or appoint any members of the Vestry (with or without power of substitution) to act as proxy or attorney in fact for the Parish at any meeting of stockholders of any corporation, the securities of which may be held by the Parish.


It shall be the duty of the Clerk to keep the records of the Parish and of the Vestry and to keep a roll of the members entitled to vote in its affairs. The Clerk shall make available a membership list for any member to inspect as long as the purpose of the inspection is related to the general affairs of the Parish.

Article IX: BONDS

The Treasurer and other custodians of funds as designated by the Vestry shall be bonded under a blanket bond maintained by the Diocese for that purpose. If such blanket bond is at any time not available, adequate bonds shall be procured by the Parish and each bond shall be placed in the custody of some officer other than the person who is bonded. (See Canon 17, Sec. 3)

Article X: VESTRY

Sec. 1. Authority and Duties. The Vestry shall exercise all its powers in accordance with the usage and discipline of the Episcopal Church, in compliance with the statutes of the Commonwealth and the provisions of these By-laws. It shall be the duty of the Vestry to manage the prudential affairs and to care for the property of the Parish; to provide for the furniture, books, vestments, and all things necessary for the celebration of public worship; to see that all buildings and personal property belonging to the Parish are adequately insured (see Canon 17, Sec. 3); to supervise the investment of funds of the Parish (see Canon 17, Sec. 1); to authorize and direct such purchases and sales as the Vestry may from time to time deem wise, and any and all transfers, assignments, contracts, deeds, leases, bonds, notes, checks and other instruments which may be necessary or proper in this connection; and to supervise and direct the officers in the discharge of their duties. The Vestry, in consultation with the Rector, shall authorize staff positions and the terms of employment.

The handling of all or any of the investments, including their purchase, custody, sale and transfer, may be delegated by the Vestry to the Wardens or Treasurer. The Vestry may delegate to the Wardens and/or Treasurer generally or in particular cases the authority to execute contracts, deeds, leases, bonds, notes, checks and other instruments which may be necessary or proper. The Vestry may appoint or authorize the appointment of any committee that it deems desirable. All such committees shall be accountable to the Vestry.

Sec. 2. Annual Audit. The Vestry shall cause to be made an annual audit of the accounts of the Treasurer and other custodians of funds of the Parish. The audit shall be made by a certified or independent public accountant or by any agency permitted by the Office of the Treasurer of the Diocese. Such auditor shall be appointed by the Vestry at least thirty days before the end of the year. (See Canon 17, Sec. 2)

Sec. 3. Restrictions on Alienation or Encumbrance of Real Estate. No consecrated church or chapel, nor any church or chapel which has been used solely for divine service, nor any property which is being used as a parish house or rectory, nor any land incidental to or regularly used in connection with any of the foregoing, shall be alienated or encumbered without the previous written consent of the Bishop, acting with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee. (See Canon 18)

Sec. 4. Meetings. Meetings of the Vestry may be called by the Rector or either Warden or any two members of the Vestry. The Vestry may schedule regular meetings and determine the manner of notifying its members. The Rector, or such other member of the Vestry designated by the Rector, shall preside. The records of the Vestry shall be open to the members of the Parish at its meetings. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum and a majority vote of those present shall determine any matter presented.


All formal organizations connected with the Parish shall be responsible to the Rector. Each organization shall present at the Annual Meeting of the Parish a report containing a summary of its activities and finances and a list of its officers. The funds of any organization which has not met for three years shall be turned over to the Treasurer of the Parish to be used as the Vestry may direct.


No object intended as a permanent addition to the Church or Parish property, or to be used therein during public worship, shall be accepted as a gift or memorial without the approval of the Rector and the Vestry. All objects so accepted may be removed when deemed necessary by the Vestry. The names of donors of such gifts and memorials, any terms and conditions, and the dates of acceptance shall be recorded in the permanent records of the Parish.


These By-laws may be amended in the following manner: first, the proposed change shall be approved by vote of two-thirds of the members of the Parish present at a properly called meeting; next, the proposed change shall be submitted to the Bishop and Standing Committee with a copy of the By-laws; and finally, if they approve it as submitted or subject to specific revision, it may become effective immediately but only in the form so approved.


The Parish shall, to the extent legally permissible, indemnify each person who may serve or who has served at any time as a Warden, Treasurer, Clerk, or other officer of the Parish (collectively “Indemnified Officers”), against all expenses and liabilities, including, without limitation, counsel fees, judgments, fines, excise taxes, penalties and settlement payments, reasonably incurred by or imposed upon such person in connection with any threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative (a “proceeding”), in which that person may become involved by reason of serving or having served in such capacity (other than a proceeding voluntarily initiated by such person unless that person is successful on the merits and the proceeding was authorized by a majority of the Vestry). However, no indemnification shall be provided for any such person with respect to any matter in which that person is adjudicated not to have acted in good faith on behalf of the Parish; and further provided that any compromise or settlement payment shall be approved by the Vestry in the same manner as provided below for the authorization of indemnification.

Such indemnification may, to the extent authorized by the Vestry, include payment by the Parish of expenses incurred in defending a civil or criminal action or proceeding in advance of the final disposition of such action or proceeding, provided that the person indemnified agrees to repay such payment if that person is not entitled to indemnification under this Article; the repayment agreement may be accepted without regard to the financial ability of such person to make repayment.

Any payment shall be conclusively deemed authorized by the Parish under this Article, and each officer of the Parish approving such payment shall be wholly protected, if:

(i) the payment has been approved or ratified (1) by a majority vote of a quorum of either (a) the members of the Parish who are not at that time parties to the proceeding or (b) the members of the Vestry who are not at that time parties to the proceeding or (2) by a majority vote of a committee of two or more Vestry members who are not at that time parties to the proceeding and are selected for this purpose by the full Vestry (in which selection Vestry members who are parties may participate); or

(ii) the action is taken in reliance upon the opinion of independent legal counsel (who may be counsel to the Parish) appointed for the purpose by vote of the Vestry in the manner specified in clauses (1) or (2) of subparagraph (i) or, if that manner is not possible, appointed by a majority of the full Vestry then in office; or

(iii) the Vestry members have otherwise acted in accordance with the standard of conduct applied to directors under Chapter 180 of the Massachusetts General Laws; or

(iv) a court having jurisdiction shall have approved the payment.

This indemnification shall inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors and administrators of Indemnified Officers entitled to indemnification.

The right of indemnification shall be in addition to and not exclusive of all other rights to which any person may be entitled. Nothing contained in this Article shall affect any rights to indemnification to which Parish employees, agents, Vestry members and other persons may be entitled by contract or otherwise under law.

This Article, as amended, constitutes a contract between the Parish and the Indemnified Officers. No amendment or repeal of the provisions of this Article which adversely affects the right of an Indemnified Officer under this Article shall apply to the Indemnified Officer with respect to the Indemnified Officer’s acts of omissions which occurred at any time prior to such amendment or repeal without the Indemnified Officer’s written consent.


Adopted by unanimous vote of the Vestry of the Parish of the Advent this nineteenth day of March, 1996. ATTEST ______/s/___________ Henry G. Stewart, Clerk

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