CONSTITUTION of First Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee
PREAMBLE AND PURPOSE
We, the members of First Lutheran Church, gather together as a congregation to equip one another (Ephesians 4:11-14) by the power of God's Spirit in His Word and Sacraments to be God's agents of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:16-21), restoring more and more men, women, and children to life in all its fullness through faith in Jesus Christ (John 10:10). Seeking to do the will of God as new people in Christ, we will together worship the Triune God (Matthew 4:10), witness to the saving power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16,17), teach and learn this Gospel as we nurture one another in the faith (Colossians 3:16,17), serve others in their physical, emotional, and social need (2 Corinthians 8:8-15), and in Christian fellowship support with our love and personal resources the ministry of the Word of God (Philippians 1:3-11; 1 Corinthians 9:1-8) in Chattanooga and in every place where Christ Jesus Himself will come (Luke 10:1-12).
In order to accomplish this purpose, and since the Word of God teaches that all things should be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40), the members of First Lutheran Church, 2800 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee, do hereby establish and make known this Constitution as the rules and regulations under which we are united in a Christian congregation.
ARTICLE I: Name
The name of the congregation shall be:
First Lutheran Church, Incorporated, of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee.
ARTICLE II: Confession
The Congregation, and every member of the congregation accepts without reservation:
A. The Canonical Scripture of the Old and New Testament, as the written and inspired Word of God and as the only infallible authority, source, rule, and guide in all matters of faith and practice.
B. All the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as written in the books of Concord of 1580 A.D., to wit, the three ecumenical creeds, The Augsburg Confession, The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, The Smalcald Articles, Luther's Small and Large Catechisms, and The Formula of Concord.
No doctrine or practice in conflict, or inconsistent, with the above norms of our faith and life shall be taught or tolerated in this congregation.
ARTICLE III: Synodical Affiliation
This congregation shall be affiliated with THE LUTHERAN CHURCH--MISSOURI SYNOD through THE MID-SOUTH DISTRICT OF THE LUTHERAN CHURCH--MISSOURI SYNOD.
This congregation shall, to the best of its ability, collaborate with said Synod and assist it in effecting all sound measures intended for the building up of the Kingdom of God.
ARTICLE IV: Membership
The membership in this congregation shall include the following:
A. Baptized Membership
Baptized members are all members who have been baptized with water in the name of the Triune God. This includes the children on the membership rolls who have not yet confirmed their baptismal vows.
B. Communicant Membership
Communicant members are those:
1. Who are baptized with water in the name of the Triune God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
2. Who accept all canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the only divine rule and standard of faith and life;
3. Who are familiar at least with the teachings of Luther's Small Catechism and declare their acceptance of them;
4. Who attend divine services faithfully, as they are physically able;
5. Who lead Christian lives and do not live in manifest works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21);
6. Who partake of the Lord's Supper frequently during each year;
7. Who contribute regularly and faithfully, as God has prospered them, toward the building of Christ's Kingdom in the congregation and throughout the world;
8. Who devote their time and talents to the extension of the Kingdom of God;
9. Who provide for the proper Christian training of their children by instruction at home and through the agencies of the Church;
10. Who permit themselves to be fraternally admonished and corrected when they have erred;
11. Who are not members, affiliates, or supporters of secret societies and organizations that conflict with the Word of God.
C. Voting Membership
All communicant members who have reached their eighteenth birthday, are familiar with the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation and are in agreement therewith, have applied for membership in and been accepted by the Voters' Assembly, and have signed the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation, shall be entitled to vote and to hold office in accordance with the Bylaws.
A member who voluntarily severs his connection with this congregation, or who has been released or transferred, or who has been excommunicated or excludes himself according to the provisions of the Bylaws, shall be deemed to have terminated his membership in this congregation along with all rights and privileges of such membership.
ARTICLE V: Authority of the Congregation
The congregation shall be represented by, and administer all its affairs through, its Voters' Assembly. The Voters' Assembly shall have supreme power to administer and manage all external and internal affairs of the congregation. The Voters' Assembly shall not be empowered to decide anything contrary to the Word of God and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church, and any such decision shall be null and void.
B. Right of Calling
The right of calling pastors, teachers, or professional staff shall be vested in the Voters’ Assembly and shall never be delegated to a smaller body or to an individual.
C. Societies and Organizations
All schools, societies, boards, institutions, groups, and organizations within the church must be organized with the consent and function under the control of the Voters' Assembly.
D. Removal from Office
Any elected official or called professional of the congregation may be removed from office by two-thirds majority of the Voters' Assembly (written ballot), in Christian and lawful order, for one of the following reasons only:
1. Persistent adherence to false doctrine;
2. Public and persistent sinful conduct;
3. Willful neglect of their official duties;
4. Permanent inability to perform their official duties.
ARTICLE VI: Administration of the Congregation
A. Voters' Assembly
See ARTICLE V, Section A. There shall be at least two annual meetings of the Voters' Assembly. Special meetings may be called as prescribed in the Bylaws.
B. Officers and Boards
The administration of the regular and usual business of the congregation shall be the direct responsibility of the members of the standing boards and elected officers of the congregation as described below.
The officers of this congregation shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Financial Secretary, and any other officers who may be added from time to time as provided for in the Bylaws.
The boards of this congregation shall be a Board of Elders, a Board of Stewardship, a Board of School Directors, a Board of Christian Education and Youth, a Board of Buildings and Grounds, a Board of Evangelism and Church Growth, a Board of Social Ministry, a Board of Parish Fellowship, a Board of Camp Ministry, First Lutheran Child Development Center, and any other Boards that may be added from time to time as provided for in the Bylaws.
3. Church Council
The congregational officers, together with the Chairman of each Board (or their appointee) shall constitute the Church Council. The Pastor(s) and the School Principal shall be non-voting members of the Church Council.
4. Authority of Church Council and Boards
The Officers, Boards, Committees, and Council have only such official powers as are committed to them by the congregation through the Voters' Assembly. Any authority or instructions given them may at any time be changed and/or abrogated by the congregation.
5. Eligibility for Office
The officers of President, Vice-President, and Elders shall be limited to male members only. Other eligibility requirements are prescribed in the Bylaws.
ARTICLE VII: The Calling of Pastors, Teachers, and Professionals
A. Should there be a vacancy in the office of a called pastor, teachers, or professional staff person, a meeting of the Council shall be held promptly for the purpose of selecting a Call Committee consisting of a minimum of six _______ members. Following this selection, a meeting of the congregation shall be held promptly for the purpose of approving the Call Committee.
B. The congregation through the Call Committee shall seek the advice of the respective District Officials when calling a pastor, teacher, or professional staff person in accordance with established procedure of the District and Synod.
C. Members of the congregation shall be invited to submit names of prospective candidates to the Call Committee. Only such candidates shall be called and elected to serve as pastors, teachers, or professional staff persons who:
1. Profess acceptance of, and pledge faithful adherence to, the confessions of this congregation as set forth in Article II of this Constitution.
2. Have been certified by an orthodox Lutheran Church Body, and have been found orthodox, apt to teach, and of blameless conduct.
3. Are elected by eighty percent of the votes cast.
D. In the absence of adequate cause for dismissal, as defined in the Bylaws and Article V,
Section D, of this Constitution, the tenure of office of a called or elected pastor, teacher, or professional staff person shall be for as long as the position of ministry exists, or for the remainder of their active life, or until the Lord calls them into another field of service.
ARTICLE VIII: Right of Ownership
If at any time a division should take place on account of doctrine, the property of the congregation and all benefits connected therewith shall remain with those communicant members who continue to adhere in confession and practice to Article II of this Constitution. If division takes place for any other reason, the property shall remain with the majority of the communicant members. In the event the congregation shall totally disband, the property and all rights connected therewith shall be transferred to the Mid-South District of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.
ARTICLE IX: Amendments and Unalterable Articles
A. This Constitution may be changed or amended, with the exception of the Articles listed in section B of this article, by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast in a properly called meeting of the Voters' Assembly. The intention to amend and the wording of the amendments must be presented to the congregation on two different Sundays prior to the date upon which the amendment is presented for action.
B. Article II is declared irrevocable and any amendments contrary to this article shall be declared null and void.
BYLAWS of First Lutheran Church Chattanooga, Tennessee
ARTICLE I: Membership
A. Baptized Membership
Baptized members are all members who have been received through the Sacrament of Baptism administered by a pastor of this congregation or by transfer of members who were baptized in another Christian congregation. This shall include the children on the membership rolls who have not yet confirmed their baptismal vows.
B. Communicant Membership
Applicants for communicant membership in this congregation shall consult the Pastor who shall determine whether such applicants are eligible for membership in accordance with ARTICLE IV of the Constitution. Applicants not familiar with the doctrines and confessions of the Lutheran Church shall be required to attend a course of instruction, and to make professions of their faith either before the congregation or, at the Pastor’s discretion, before witnesses who are members of the Board of Elders, before being received as members.
Applicants from other Evangelical Lutheran Churches shall submit a letter of transfer from their former congregation to establish their eligibility for membership. In the case of applicants whose previous membership in a Lutheran congregation has lapsed, or whose membership is in a Lutheran congregation which is not in altar or pulpit fellowship with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Pastor may, with the consent of the Board of Elders, arrange for a period of re-instruction prior to reaffirmation of faith for such applicant.
After applicants have given satisfactory evidence of their eligibility in accordance with the two preceding paragraphs, their admission as communicant members shall be recommended by the Pastor to the Board of Elders which shall have the authority to act on such applications in behalf of the Voters Assembly. The roster of new members shall be publicized in the various news media of the congregation.
C. Voting Membership
All communicant members who have reached their eighteenth birthday, have read the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation and are in agreement therewith, have applied for membership in and been accepted by the Voters' Assembly, and have signed the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation, shall be entitled to vote and to hold office.
It shall be the privilege and duty of a Voting Member of this congregation to:
Conscientiously and prayerfully exercise their right of suffrage in all measures that will advance the work of Christ’s Kingdom both locally and in the church-at-large;
Willingly serve in any office or capacity for which their talents and abilities equip them;
Faithfully attend all meetings of the Voters Assembly;
Assist with wholehearted diligence in administering the temporal and spiritual affairs of the congregation.
D. Termination of Membership
1. Transfers. A member desiring transfer to a sister Lutheran congregation shall apply to the Pastor. Upon approval by the Pastor and the Board of Elders, a letter of transfer shall be issued by the Pastor. The Board of Elders shall report all transfers to the congregation via church publications and to the Voters Assembly at the next regular meeting of the body.
2. Joining other Churches. In cases where communicant members of this congregation have joined a non-Lutheran congregation, they shall, upon the decision of the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders, be deemed to have terminated their membership in this congregation, forfeiting all rights and privileges of such membership. Their name(s) shall be removed from he membership list of the congregation.
3. Whereabouts Unknown. The names of members whose whereabouts are unknown and cannot be established within a period of six months shall be removed from the membership list of the congregation and placed in a file designated "Whereabouts Unknown". Such membership is terminated and shall be reported as such to the next regular meeting of the Voters’ Assembly.
4. Excommunication and Self-Exclusion. The intent of this section is to help reconcile people to Jesus and the church in the manner directed by Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20. The procedure should be carried out in a loving way, always keeping in mind that God’s love is unconditional. No one may be removed from membership without the prescribed personal visits noted below. Persons who have been removed from membership for whatever reason shall be restored with all rights and privileges when they repent and ask forgiveness through the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders. Both acts of discipline and restoration shall be made known to all communicant members by whatever method the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders deem most suitable.
When a member of this congregation has not attended for three months or communed in six months, he or she will receive a visit from their respective Elder. The person should be asked if there is a problem with which the church may help and encouraged to return to worship and/communion. If such a member has not attended after six months or communed after nine months, he or she shall receive another visit by at least two members of the congregation, one their respective Elder and the Pastor or some other concerned member of the congregation. Additional concern shall be expressed and encouragement shall be given. If, after nine months, such a member still is not attending the worship services of the Church, he or she shall be evangelically admonished more firmly and told that if such neglect continues for another three months, it shall be interpreted as impenitence, lack of faith in Jesus Christ, and indifference to church membership, privileges, and responsibilities. If, then, after 12 months, the member has not responded to Christian admonition as outlined above, the member’s name shall be transferred to the mission file of the congregation or turned over to the Board of Evangelism and Church Growth. The individual shall be notified of such action by registered mail and shall be declared to have excluded himself from this Christian congregation.
Such self exclusion releases the individual from all responsibilities to this congregation, but it also excludes the former member from the privileges of church membership, such as Christian burial, Holy Communion, transfer to a sister congregation, and of any claim against the properties of this congregation. Such a person, however, will at all times be cordially welcome to attend all divine services in our church.
Excommunication is to be applied to any member who conducts himself in an unchristian manner; i.e., to one who openly adheres to false doctrine, gives evidence of an immoral and offensive life, or willfully despises the preaching of the Gospel and the Lord’s Supper. The Board of Elders shall administer excommunication at the direction of a unanimous vote of the congregation.
ARTICLE II: Meetings of the Congregation
A. Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the Voters’ Assembly shall be held two times during each calendar year, in the months of December and May/June. The May/June meeting will be for election of officers and the December meeting will be for consideration and acceptance of the annual operating budget of the congregation. Dates and times of all Voters’ Assembly meetings shall be set by the President with the consent of the Church Council.
All communicant members of the congregation may attend the meetings of the Voters’ Assembly and may, with the consent of the Assembly submit recommendations, or participate in a discussion of any given item of business before the Assembly.
Notice of the date and time of every meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, and of the nature of business to be transacted, shall be announced at least the Sunday prior to the time of the meeting.
B. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Voters’ Assembly may be called by the Board of Elders, the Pastor(s), at the request of the Administrative Boards, or at the written request of 10 voting members of the congregation. Notice of the date and time of every meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, and of the Nature of business to be transacted, shall be announced at least the Sunday prior to the time of the meeting.
C. Order of Business at Voters’ Assembly Meetings
In general, for purposes of order, Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail.
D. Restriction Pertaining to Voters’ Assembly Meetings
Attendance of 25 voting members at a properly called Voters’ Assembly meeting shall constitute a quorum. The presiding officer of the meeting may only vote when their vote may change the outcome of the decision. There shall be no voting by absentee ballot or by proxy.
ARTICLE III: Calling of Pastors, Teachers, and Professional Staff
The Pastoral Office is the authority conferred upon pastors by God, through a call of the congregation (the holder of the priest hood and of all congregational authority) to exercise in public office the common rights or spiritual priesthood in behalf of all. However, the congregation may establish as many auxiliary office as its needs require and determine what work is to be assigned to such offices.
Upon being installed the pastor is authorized and obligated:
1. To proclaim to the congregation, jointly and severally, the Word of God in its full truth and purity as contained in the canonical writings of the Old and New Testaments and professed in the Book of Concord of the year 1580.
2. To administer the sacraments in accordance with their divine institution;
3. To discharge toward all members of the congregation the functions of a minister and curate of their souls in an evangelical manner, in particular to visit the sick and the dying and to admonish indifferent and erring members;
4. To guard the spiritual welfare of the younger members of the congregation and adults during their preparation for acceptance of Holy Communion;
5. To guide the congregation in applying the divinely ordained discipline of the church;
6. To provide spiritual leadership and oversight in the educational agencies and the various adult and youth organizations within the congregation;
7. To serve as an example by Christian conduct and to do all that is possible for the up-building of the congregation and for the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ.
By reason of his position the pastor is not only a servant and steward of God, but also of the congregation. The pastor(s) shall have the authority and responsibility for supervising the musical portion of all worship services in conjunction with the Board of Elders so that it is at all times in harmony with the doctrine and practice of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Members of the congregation are obligated to accord the pastor(s) honor, love, and obedience in his ministry of God’s Word, and to support his ministrations with diligence and faithful prayers; to help him in the discharge of his duties by willing readiness, by peaceable conduct, and in every other way possible; and to provide for his maintenance according to the ability of the congregation.
In calling a pastor to preach the Word of God and to administer the sacraments on their behalf, the members of the congregation exercise their royal priesthood and by no means relinquish it. This is the privilege and responsibility of all members of the Church.
PRINCIPAL, TEACHER OR PROFESSIONAL STAFF
The office of a called teacher or other professional staff person (i.e. deaconess, director of Christian education (DCE), director of evangelism (DE), etc.) is the authority conferred upon a person by God, through a call of the congregation, to perform the duties of his office in all its parts according to the Word of God and the needs of the congregation.
Upon being installed, a called teacher is authorized and obligated:
1. To instruct and train the children under his care diligently and faithfully in the Word of God as contained in the canonical books of the old and New Testaments and confessed in the Confessional Writings of the Lutheran Church, (Constitution, Article II), and to base such instruction on the Small Catechism of Martin Luther.
2. To accord them also a thorough Christian education in branches of learning prescribed by a course of study adopted or approved by the congregation;
3. To maintain Christian discipline in the school and to this end employ such means as are in accord with the Holy Scriptures and within the bounds of Christian reason and justice.
4. To serve the congregation as an example of Christian conduct, to endeavor earnestly to live in brotherly unity with his pastor(s) and his fellow teachers, to work under the supervision of the principal and, by the grace of God, to do everything possible within the sphere of his calling towards the promotion of the school and for the general advancement of the Kingdom of Christ, both locally and generally.
5. To perform such other offices as are in the interest of Christian education and for the welfare of church and school and as have been mutually agreed upon, as the circumstances of the congregation may require and as time and ability may permit.
The following duties are assigned to the Principal:
1. The principal shall represent the school whenever representation of the school as a whole is necessary and endeavor to work for the efficiency of the entire school.
2. The principal shall exercise his office in a climate of brotherly unity, and serve as educational leader of the school.
3. The principal shall lead all his colleagues, in zeal for, and devotion to, his school, and its improvement as an educational agency and a Christian institution.
4. The principal shall keep the pastor(s) fully informed as to school activities and problems, counsel with the pastor(s) and strive to manage and lead the school in accordance with the pastor(s) spiritual advise, based on the Word of God.
5. The principal shall serve as executive advisor to the Board of School Directors. He shall keep the Board informed as to the courses of study outlined by the Board of Parish Education of Synod, the local and the State Department of Education. He shall administer the policies established by this Board.
6. The principal shall periodically submit a report on some area of school work at regular meetings of the congregation.
7. The principal shall supervise instruction in the school, have charge of enrollment, attendance, hygiene and sanitation, decorum, safety, and records.
8. The principal shall be responsible for supervising the school lunchroom program.
9. The principal shall show interest in all endeavors in the field of Christian education, and perform such other duties as are assigned by the congregation.
10. The principal shall endeavor to advance professionally.
11. The principal shall help prepare and administer the school budget in cooperation with the staff and the Board of School Directors.
Members of the congregation are obligated:
To receive each called person as a servant of the Word, to honor and love him as such, and to support his work among us with diligent, faithful assistance and prayer.
To render the discharge of his duties pleasant for him by a peaceable conduct and in every other possible way, to encourage him by word and deed; to provide for him maintenance according to the ability of the congregation.
At least two months prior to elections, the Church Council shall announce its selection of a minimum of six (6) qualified Voting Members who, together with the Pastor, shall serve as the Nominating Committee. The six qualified voting members shall include one Elder who will not be leaving office in the upcoming election, and at least two members who are not holding any elected office. At this time, the voters may submit to the Committee the names of possible candidates for office.
The Nominating Committee, as soon after the announcement as possible, shall prepare a list of candidates drawn from among communicant members of the congregation who are 18 years of age or over, either male or female, and from the list submitted by the voters previously. This list shall then be made available to the communicant members of the congregation at least 3 weeks prior to the May/June meeting. Only male candidates shall be eligible for Board of Elders, President and Vice President.
Following the publication of the Nominating Committee’s list, any communicant member of the congregation may submit to the Committee additional names for inclusion on the list, and such names shall be placed in nomination by the Committee along with the candidates already chosen, provided:
1. That such names shall be submitted at least 10 days before the date of the May/June meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, and
2. That the Nominating Committee, through consultation with the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders, shall have investigated the status of the proposed candidates and found them spiritually eligible for office and willing to serve.
The Nominating Committee, at least one week before the date of the May/June meeting, shall post conspicuously on the Church bulletin board the list of candidates for the following offices:
President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Secretary, Chairpersons of the various Administrative Boards, and Board members as necessary to complete the membership of each of the Boards.
From the list of candidates for each elective office submitted by the Nominating Committee, the Voting Membership shall, at its May/June meeting of major election years, elect by ballot and simple majority, the following officers in the order herein indicated:
3. Three or Four Elders based on rotation
4. A Treasurer
5. A Secretary
6. A Financial Secretary
7. Nine chairpersons, specifically nominated for the chairmanship of one of the following Boards: Evangelism and Church Growth, Christian Education and Youth, Stewardship, Buildings and Grounds, Social Ministry, Camp Ministry, School Directors, and Parish Fellowship.
8. Board Members, to the number required to complete the membership of each of the Administrative Boards. The determination of the number of members required on each Board shall be an annual function of the Church Council and shall be decided no later than the March meeting of that body. Only candidates defeated for office may be placed in nomination by the Voting Membership at the election meeting for any office not yet filled.
During minor election years, the Voters’ Assembly shall, at its May/June meeting, elect by ballot and simple majority, the following officers in the order herein indicated:
1. Three or Four Elders based on rotation
2. Two persons to serve on the Board of School Directors.
3. Board Members, to the number required to complete the membership of each of the Administrative Boards. The determination of the number of members required on each Board shall be an annual function of the Church Council and shall be decided no later than the March meeting of that body. Only candidates defeated for office may be placed in nomination by the Voting Membership at the election meeting for any office not yet filled.
The newly elected officers and Board members of the congregation shall be installed on the last Sunday in June, and shall assume their duties of office as of July 1st. The term of office of all officers, chairpersons, and board members, except Elders, shall be two years, terminating on
June 30th of the second year of their terms. Elders shall be elected for three year terms. The President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Chairpersons, may succeed themselves in the same position only once. The Treasurer, the Financial Secretary, Elders, and Board Members may serve an unlimited number of terms.
ARTICLE V: Duties of Officers and Administrative Boards
President of the Congregation
The President of the congregation shall preside at all meetings of the Voting Membership. He shall, to the best of his ability, enforce the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation and carry out the expressed will of the congregation as embodied in the resolutions of the Voting Membership. All Boards, committees, auxiliaries, groups, etc. in the congregation shall be responsible to the President, and he shall be welcome at any and all meetings of such groups, either in person or as represented by such person or persons as he may appoint. He shall also call and preside over the meetings of the Church Council and shall endeavor to coordinate the functions, plans, and activities of the congregation in all its parts for the total furtherance of the work of Christ’s Kingdom in our midst.
The President shall appoint an Auditing Committee consisting of any two qualified communicant members of the congregation other than the Treasurer and Financial Secretary to audit the financial records of the congregation. The President shall submit the Audit Committee’s report at the May/June meeting of the Voting Membership in each year.
Along with the Secretary, he shall sign official documents and contracts that have been negotiated and approved by the congregation.
The Vice-President of the congregation in the absence of the President, shall act for and in the stead of the President. He shall be available for whatever duties the President shall assign to him as his representative. He shall be welcome at any and all meetings of all Boards, committees, auxiliaries, groups, etc. in the congregation. In addition, he shall serve as a Council Member at Large. Members of the congregation who have been unable to get action on a specific problem or request through the responsible administrative board may ask the Vice-President to bring the matter directly to the Church Council. If the matter is still not resolved to the member’s satisfaction, the member may request a special meeting of the Voters’ Assembly as specified in Article II, Section B. of these By-Laws.
1. Be responsible for accurate recording of congregational receipts and disbursements and budgeted and actual expenditures according to proper accounting procedures and, as deemed advisable, shall suggest improved methods for congregational consideration.
2. Shall present a written, duplicated financial report at Voters’ Assembly meetings and a preliminary report at the Council Meetings.
3. Shall submit permanent financial records for annual audit.
4. Shall be responsible for monthly remission of offerings for missions and church agencies and for prompt payment of salaries and bills authorized by the congregation or the Boards and Chairmen as duly constituted sources.
5. Shall furnish the congregation a surety bond in the sum designated by the Voters’ Assembly, and such bond shall be procured and the premiums paid by the congregation.
6. Shall coordinate the flow of money from the treasury to the various Boards in such a way that an adequate balance is retained for the payment of salaries and other regularly recurring expenses.
7. Shall remit to the professional workers of the congregation for documented expenses while attending professional workshops, conferences, conventions, etc. approved by the Board under whose jurisdiction they function.
8. Shall receive from the Financial Secretary a report of all monies received through worship services, special offerings, or any other source and duly record same.
9. Shall sign all checks for payment of bills, salaries, or other financial commitments of the congregation on any sort.
10. Shall have available for all Boards a current record of their accrued disbursements and budget allotment.
11. Shall have the authority to work out with salaried workers of the congregation a breakdown of the worker’s total compensation into salary and fringe benefits as the worker requests.
The Secretary shall be present at all Voters’ Assembly meetings of the congregation and all meetings of the Church Council and shall enter the minutes of all meetings of said groups in a permanent record book over their signature. They shall conduct all official correspondence of the congregational Boards and committees under the supervision of the President. In general they shall perform all the duties normally pertaining to their office and such additional duties as the Voting Membership may delegate to them.
Along with the President, they shall sign official documents and contracts that have been negotiated and approved by the congregation.
1. Be responsible for the accurate counting, recording, and depositing of all receipts for the congregation in a local financial institution or institutions and to that end shall enlist a staff of recording secretaries and a Finance Committee. The recording secretaries shall record all contributions by members for whatever purpose and shall notify the Board of Stewardship and the Pastor(s) concerning contributions by non-members. The Finance Committee shall be responsible, under the direction of the Financial Secretary for the prompt counting of Sunday and other receipts.
2. Be responsible for issuance of regular quarterly statements to members, showing their offerings to date.
3. Furnish the Treasurer with a duplicate deposit slip for all deposits.
4. Be responsible for the expediting and safe deposit and keeping of all funds.
5. Be responsible for requisitioning and distribution of offering envelopes.
6. Furnish the congregation a surety bond in the amount set by they congregation, and such bond shall be procured and the premium paid by the congregation.
7. Give reports to the regular meetings of the Voters’ Assembly.
The Church Council
The Church Council shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Financial Secretary, Chief Elder, the Chairmen of the Administrative Boards, (all whom will hold membership on the Church Council until their term of office expires). The School Principal and the Pastor(s) shall be non-voting members of the Council. The Church Council shall be responsible for the following:
1. Serve as the point of liaison between the Pastor(s), the officers of the congregation, and the various Administrative Boards in planning the total work of the congregation.
2. Settle jurisdictional disputes between the several Administrative Boards.
3. Present to the Voters’ Assembly at its December meeting a yearly plan of activity for the entire congregation as well as long-range plans for the development and expansion of Christ’s work in our midst.
4. Prepare the agenda for the regular and special meetings of the Voters Assembly.
5. Set the dates and times for the Voters’ Assembly meetings.
6. Appoint the Nominating committee as required and at the time specified.
7. Fill unexpired terms or shortages of personnel by appointment.
8. Authorization of non-budgeted expenditures, not to exceed $1000. Such expenditures must be reported to the congregation within 2 weeks of such authorization.
The Church Council shall normally meet monthly. Additional meetings may be called by the President of the congregation and/or the Pastor(s) as required.
Organization and Meetings of Boards
Each Board shall be under the direct control and supervision of the Chairman of the Board. Following the election of the chairman of each Board and the number of Board members required, the Chairman of the respective Board shall designate and appoint from among the Board membership at his discretion those individuals who are to be responsible for various phases of the work of that Board. Such appointments are to be made within two weeks of the date of their election, and notification of such appointments is to be given to the President of the Congregation for publication to the members in the manner he deems most advisable.
The time and frequency of Board meetings shall be specified by the Church Council. The President or the Pastor(s) may call a meeting of the Board at any time for good and sufficient reason. Meetings thus called shall be classified as special meetings, and each person involved shall be notified of the date, time and purpose of such a meeting.
General Duties and Powers of Administrative Boards
Each Board shall submit a report of its activities at each regular meeting of the Church Council and Voting Membership, and on such other occasions as the Voting Membership shall require. Such reports shall include specific recommendations (if any) for congregational action and/or approval.
Each Board shall initiate and carry out such activities and programs within the congregation as will enable it to effectively perform the functions and duties assigned to it by the Constitution and By-Laws, or by specific resolution of the Voting Membership.
Each Board shall be empowered to administer all funds set aside for its work by budget appropriation or by special resolution of the Voters’ Assembly, provided that the Voting Membership may, at its discretion, restrict such expenditures to confirm with the actual financial condition of the congregation at any given time. Each Board shall be jointly and severally liable for all expenditures not authorized either by the budget or by special resolution of the congregation.
Each Board shall keep a permanent set of minutes for each meeting, and such minutes shall be the property of the congregation.
Responsibility of Board of Elders
The nature of the duties of this board requires that only men noted for their Christian knowledge, zeal, and experience in the spiritual work of the Kingdom of Christ shall be elected to membership. The Board shall consist of 10 members. Three members are elected each year to serve three year terms. Every three years, four members are elected to serve three year terms. The Chairman shall be elected each year by the members of the Board.
The basic objectives of this Board are the spiritual welfare of the Pastor(s) and congregation members, individually and corporately, and the supervision of everything pertaining to congregational worship.
That the objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:
1. Pray for the Pastor(s) and other spiritual leaders.
2. Encourage the Pastor(s) in his work by word and action.
3. Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional, and physical health and welfare of the Pastor(s) and his family (adequate compensation, housing, free time, vacation, assistance in times of illness), and to that end specifically review these items once a year.
4. Assist the Pastor(s) in counseling with difficult cases and in finding peaceful and God-pleasing solutions to personal problems within the congregation.
5. Review yearly the salary and performance of the Church Office Secretary(ies) and make appropriate recommendations to the Voting Membership, or, in case of vacancy, interview and hire a replacement in conjunction with the Pastor(s).
6. Exercise leadership in gathering call lists and calling a new Pastor when a vacancy occurs.
7. Maintain discipline within the congregation according to Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and the Constitution and By-Laws of this congregation and exercise and discipline when required.
8. Take spiritual charge and oversight of the geographical or familial groupings assigned to them in liaison with the Pastor(s) and other concerned Boards of the Congregation.
9. Insure that the congregation functions in accordance with the established doctrine of the Church as listed in the Constitution.
10. Determine eligibility for membership of all individuals and families applying for membership in this congregation according to the Constitution and By-Laws.
11. See to the prompt transfer of all members who move away and of new Lutheran families moving into the community.
12. Engage in member conservation and discipleship training in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism and Church Growth and the Board of Stewardship.
13. Engage in continual review of communion and church attendance of all members, make calls on delinquents, follow-up on all newborn children in the congregation until they are baptized.
14. Train and supervise a Visitation program to help the Elders in visitation of all sick, hospitalized, aged, and shut-ins in the congregation continually.
15. Investigate cases of severe financial need within the congregation and make specific recommendations to the Pastor(s) and the Board of Social Ministry.
16. Be concerned about and supervise thorough instruction of youth and adults for confirmation and church membership in accordance with the policies and aims of the Board of Christian Education.
17. Be responsible for a friendly personal welcome of visitors at worship and for orientation and integration of new members in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism and Church Growth.
18. Be present for periodic training as determined by the Pastor(s) and this Board.
19. Encourage spiritual programs in the societies of the congregation generally.
20. Be responsible for welfare of professional staff of congregation.
21. Be responsible for Professional growth and development of professional staff through continuing education.
22. Submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.
23. Supervise the organists of the congregation.
24. Provide for vicars, assistants, substitute pastors and guest speakers as needed.
25. Staff, train, and supervise the ushering staff.
26. Assist the Pastor(s) with communion distribution, reading of Scripture, preaching, etc., as required.
27. Set the time, schedule, and number of communion services in conjunction with the Pastor(s) and the Voting Membership.
28. Approve and disapprove new forms of worship, liturgies, and hymns for use in public worship.
29. Supervise the Altar Guild in the care, use, and maintenance of the sacred vessels, the altar, the altar furnishings, and vestments.
30. Maintain an adequate supply of expendable items for worship such as communion cards, pencils, communion wine and wafers, baptismal napkins, candles, etc. in conjunction with the Altar Guild.
31. Coordinate with the Altar Guild all church and chancel decorations, and the distribution of altar flowers to the sick and shut-ins.
32. In conjunction with the pastor, plan the worship services for the year and make schedule public.
33. Supervise the budgeted allotment for the selection and procurement of appropriate music, supervision of choirs, and other related matters in conjunction with the Director of Music.
34. Recommend and annually review compensation and personnel for the music staff as required for public worship.
35. Arrange and publicize special services as required.
36. Maintain and supervise adequate nursery facilities.
Responsibility of Board of Evangelism and Church Growth
The Board of Evangelism and Church Growth shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members, including the elected Chairman of the Board, who will serve for a two (2) year term.
The basic objectives of this Board are the bringing of the Gospel to the unchurched, the enlistment of all of God’s people in the work of spreading the Gospel, the deepening of the faith and activity of the members of this congregation, and proper soul-accounting at all times.
That the objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:
1. Share with the Pastor(s) in the entire program of proclaiming the Gospel to all men.
2. Encourage prayer in church and homes for sincere evangelistic concern toward all people inside and outside the Church.
3. Foster a climate of evangelism that encourages congregation members informally and spontaneously to share Christ with one another, the backsliding, and the unsaved.
4. Emphasize evangelism through intensive education programs annually.
5. Maintain an ongoing visitation program to potential members, offering people more than membership in a church -- a saving relationship with Christ.
6. Promote and direct congregation - wide evangelism undertakings.
7. Be responsible for a program of community relations that identifies the congregation with the Gospel of Christ.
8. Utilize the evangelism potential of The Lutheran Hour, This is the Life, and other Synodical or Christian programs.
9. Emphasize evangelism and encourage evangelism programs in and through the societies and auxiliary organizations of the congregation and suggest projects for such organizations.
10. Emphasize, in conjunction with the Board of Christian Education, child and youth evangelism, both in participation and outreach.
11. Canvass the congregation’s area of responsibility and effectively record, study, and utilize the results in churching the lost and straying.
12. Be responsible for maintenance and follow-up of a prospect file at all times.
13. Be responsible for identification and follow-up of visitors.
14. Before organization of Pastor’s instruction classes, conduct special visitations to witness for Christ and to invite prospective members to attend.
15. Be genuinely concerned for those moving into the community and for those (both members and prospects) moving into other areas. Use any and all means available for maintaining such contacts.
16. Be concerned for the reception, orientation, and integration of new members into the congregation. Review their progress after 6 to 12 months with Board of Elders.
17. Periodically sponsor dinners, fellowship nights, etc. in conjunction with Board of Parish Fellowship which will serve the cultivation, reception, orientation, and integration of new families or individuals.
18. Be conscious of the atmosphere of friendliness in the congregation toward members and visitors and suggest ways and means of improvement.
19. Study and adopt or adapt suggestions by the evangelism departments of Synod, District, and circuit.
20. Engage at least once yearly in a self-study of methods, progress, and the like of the Board’s work.
21. Work with other churches to improve the unified Christian image to the community and to implement the church’s mission.
22. Establish and maintain a continuing program of publicity for the congregation and its activities which will reflect favorably on the congregation and its commitment to the Gospel of Christ.
23. Work for the overall enhancement of the congregation’s image in the various news media and publications of the community.
24. Establish and maintain friendly relationships between the congregation and the professional, community service, and governmental agencies within the community.
25. Submit to the Board of Stewardship, in the appropriate form and at the time requested, a budget request for the coming year’s work.
Responsibility of Board of Christian Education and Youth Work
The Board of Christian Education and Youth shall consist of a minimum of three elected members, including the chairman of the board, to serve a two year term.
The basic objectives of this Board are to plan and administer the total educational and youth programs of the congregation, to determine policies, to select personnel for the various agencies, to provide the necessary means and facilities for the agencies, and to direct and supervise the entire educational and youth programs of the congregation.
That the objectives of the Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:
1. Be responsible for the Christian nurture of children, youth, and adults in the congregation and, through them, in the community and beyond.
2. Establish objectives, set policies for, and supervise the total education program for each education agency in the congregation, including the personnel; i.e., for the Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, confirmation classes, Bible classes, and all other educational groups.
3. Provide for active expression of Christian love and concern as an integral part of the total education program.
4. Approve curriculum and analyze performance of each education agency and seek constant improvement.
5. Continually review existing agencies to determine whether all age groups are being served, and recommend revisions and additions as deemed advisable.
6. Make annual analyses, by age groups, to determine the degree of participation of the total membership of the congregation in its total educational program and report analysis to congregation.
7. Maintain a "people accounting system" to record member’s participation in the education program and to follow up the uninvolved.
8. Be concerned for the assimilation of newly confirmed youth into appropriate agencies for study and activity.
9. Work with organizations and other boards and committees to coordinate educational activities within the congregation.
10. Provide, in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism, for the recruitment of pupils for the educational agencies of the Church.
11. Encourage increasing participation of every congregation member in Bible study, privately and in formal and informal groups.
12. Delegate administration of education agencies to qualified persons.
13. Enlist, train, place, and continue to train lay teachers and leaders as the congregation’s needs require.
14. Establish a system of commendation for and recognition of faithful service by all persons involved in the educational task of the congregation.
15. Strengthen families as basic units of Christian education and closely relate congregational agencies to the homes through parent-teacher conferences, etc.
16. Encourage Christian educational programs in societies of the congregation such as the L.L.L., L.W.M.L., Sonshine Club, etc.
17. Consider special classes, courses, conferences, retreats and the like for special purposes and for special groups.
18. Consider provision of special education opportunities for mentally retarded and other handicapped persons.
19. Provide for the growth of the educational staff through conferences, conventions, continuing education and the like, and request the necessary funds for the same in the yearly budget.
20. Maintain, improve, and cultivate the use of a church library.
21. Provide for and promote the use of audiovisual aids and to this end establish and maintain a film library.
22. Provide and/or promote subscriptions to church periodicals.
23. Study and adopt or adapt helps suggested by the education departments of Synod, District, and circuit.
24. Establish and maintain, in conjunction with other boards, a continuing program for the recruitment of full-time workers in the church-at-large such as pastors, teachers, deaconesses, and the like.
25. Establish and maintain a permanent file of all children and youth of the congregation by age, grade level, and the like and see to it that such a file is kept continually up to date. Example: Cradle Roll.
26. Annually examine the education facilities and equipment, and make recommendations to the Board of Church Properties as to upkeep, repairs, and replacements needed as well as new equipment needed.
27. Check the safety of education facilities -- steps, handrails, lights, exits, housekeeping practices, and the like on a regular basis.
28. Prepare and submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.
The basic objectives of this Board are also to involve the young people of the congregation in the work of Christ, provide for their spiritual growth and nurture, and to promote genuine Christian fellowship for the young people of the congregation. That these objectives may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals shall:
29. Promote attendance and involvement of the congregation’s youth at all youth activities.
30. Provide for the continuing spiritual growth of the young people of the congregation through Bible study, prayer, and Christian services.
31. Plan and carry out, together with other concerned Boards, a year-round program for the young people of the congregation.
32. Involve youth leaders from all parts of the congregation’s work in developing a planned parish program for young people.
33. Develop a program for the social fellowship of both young people and the young adults of the congregation, including various recreational programs in conjunction with Board of Fellowship.
34. Actively engage in the selection and training of leaders for the young people’s program at all times.
35. Plan and observe, together with the Pastor(s), a yearly congregational Young People’s Sunday.
36. Plan a special event to welcome the newly confirmed young people of the congregation and to invite them to join the high school youth group.
37. Provide for continual education of young people on topics of current interest to them.
38. Provide opportunities for involvement as servants in the life of the community such as civic, school, cultural, humanitarian, recreational, and social groups.
39. Provide for public recognition of various youth achievements and our accomplishments.
40. Plan and coordinate activities for youth with other young people’s groups outside the congregation, particularly with other Lutheran young people’s groups at various levels.
41. In conjunction with the Board of Evangelism, train and involve the young people of the congregation in bringing others to faith in Christ.
42. Provide counseling for the spiritual, moral, social, and vocational development of young people.
43. Recruit young people for full-time service in the church as pastors, teachers, and the like.
44. Welcome and use college students during the summer months for various young people’s activities.
45. For administrative purposes and program development, supervise the work of all youth and Young Adult groups in the congregation.
Responsibility of Board of Stewardship
The Board of Stewardship shall consist of a minimum of three elected members, including the chairman of the board, to serve a two-year term.
The basic objectives of this Board are to initiate programs for the development of good stewardship attitudes in the members of the congregation in regard to time, talents, and treasures, to provide for the training and utilization of members of the congregation for the work of Christ’s Kingdom, and to ensure the financial stability of the congregation and its work through a developed program of dedicated, proportionate, firstfruits giving.
That the objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:
1. Study the Scriptural principles regarding the total stewardship calling of the Christian -- as a member of his family, as a neighbor and citizen, and as a congregation member -- and share these insights with congregation members.
2. Contact and encourage new members for service to the congregation and endeavor to stir up the talents of present members for use in Christ’s work.
3. Maintain a program to discover and enlist for Kingdom service the talents God has given members, old, and new, young people and adults.
4. Be responsible for maintenance of a congregational talent file at all times, and provide for the immediate recording of the talents and abilities of incoming members.
5. Provide opportunities for the development of talents (training courses, workshops, and the like).
6. Conduct an intensive program annually to confront every member personally with basic Biblical stewardship principles and practices.
7. Encourage the Gospel-motivated practice of joyous, worshipful, liberal, proportionate, firstfruits giving in response to received blessings and recognized needs.
8. Annually give every member an opportunity to make a commitment of his treasure for Kingdom work through the congregation.
9. Initiate preparation and presentation to the congregation of an annual God-pleasing work program, determine anticipated receipts, and recommend a budget for adoption by the Voters’ Assembly.
10. Foster support for missions and charities through an ongoing program of mission information and education through education agencies, committees and organizations, rallies, festivals, films and filmstrips, letters and tracts, appearances of missionaries, and the like.
11. Evaluate and make recommendations for gifts of love by individuals and the congregation as a whole.
12. Screen all outside appeals for funds and make the appropriate recommendations to the Voters’ Assembly or initiate the necessary action appropriate to such an appeal.
13. Review, accept, or decline all offers of non-solicited gifts to the congregation.
14. Evaluate various programs for endowments, remembrance of the congregation in wills, bequests, and the like, and suggest ways of implementation to the Council.
15. Together with the Pastor(s), study the possibilities and recommend implementation of offering spiritual services and care to hospitals, homes for the aged, prisons, and other institutions within the community.
16. Encourage and enlist the young people of the congregation for full time service in the church as pastors, teachers, and the like.
17. Be concerned, together with the Treasurer and Financial Secretary, for safe deposit and recording of all funds, monthly remissions of offerings for missions and church agencies, and prompt payment of salaries and bills as authorized by the congregation and the appropriate Boards.
18. Evaluate the offerings of the congregation regularly, and share these evaluations with the members of the congregation.
19. Encourage stewardship programs in the societies and auxiliaries of the congregation.
20. Annually review the budgeting procedures of the congregation in conjunction with the Treasurer and the Financial Secretary and recommend to the congregation any necessary improvements or revisions.
21. Consolidate the various Board’s budgets and submit them to the Church Council as well as prepare the recommended budget from the Church Council for submission to the congregation.
Responsibility of Board of Camp Ministry
This Board shall consist of a minimum of three elected members, including the chairman of the board, to serve a two-year term.
The basic objectives of this Board are to establish and promote programs which encourage the members, potential members and Christian friends of the congregation to use the camp facilities in Christian fellowship, education, and recreation. This Board shall also be responsible for the proper maintenance and repair of the camp property and the general protection of the camp against loss or damage of whatever nature.
That the basic objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:
1. Be responsible for planning and administering the Summer Camp program of the congregation.
2. Be responsible for developing and implementing various camp programs, such as vespers, to utilize the camp for growth and outreach.
3. In conjunction with other boards, consider special classes, courses, conferences, retreats and the like at the camp for special purposes and for special groups.
4. Make an annual inspection of camp properties and equipment and recommend to the Voters’ Assembly needed repairs, improvements, or replacements.
5. Conduct an annual inventory of all camp properties, equipment, and supplies, including acquisition date and approximate value of each item.
6. Carry out all resolutions of the Voters’ Assembly on purchases, repairs, replacement of camp property and equipment.
7. Determine and establish, with the approval of the Voters’ Assembly, regulations governing the use of camp property and equipment.
8. Coordinate the schedule of activities within the camp facilities in conjunction with the Board of Parish Fellowship.
9. Make and issue keys for camp property, and keep and review annually a list of the keys issued.
10. Enlist work crews for special repair, improvement, cleaning, painting, decorating, landscaping and other projects.
11. Arrange for immediate repair of an urgent nature and all normal repairs and alterations for which budget funds have been allocated.
12. Set all policies and fees for rental, use, and lending of camp properties.
13. Be responsible for the recruitment, supervision, and compensation of caretakers for the camp.
14. Submit an annual budget to the Board of Stewardship in the form and at the time requested by that Board.
Responsibility of Board of Buildings and Grounds
The Board of Buildings and Grounds shall consist of a minimum of three elected members, including the chairman of the board, to serve for a two-year term.
The basic objectives of this Board are the proper maintenance and repair of the church property, and the general protection of the congregation against loss or damage of whatever nature.
That the basic objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:
1. Make an annual inspection of church properties and equipment and recommend to the Voters’ Assembly needed repairs, improvements, or replacements.
2. Conduct an annual inventory of all church properties, equipment, and supplies, including acquisition date and approximate value of each item.
3. Carry out all resolutions of the Voters’ Assembly on purchases, repairs, replacement of church property and equipment.
4. Determine and engage, with congregational approval, adequate custodial help. The Board shall also meet periodically with the custodians to discuss the care of the buildings, needs and problems in custodial service, and the like.
5. Prepare for the custodial help a detailed list of the required daily and weekly, monthly or annual maintenance of the facilities and equipment of the congregation.
6. Annually review and recommend salaries for all custodial help and to that end study and recommend policies regarding union labor, fair employment practices and the like to be applied to suppliers and to the congregation.
7. Determine and establish, with the approval of the Voters’ Assembly, regulations governing the use of church property and equipment.
8. Coordinate the schedule of activities within the facilities in conjunction with the Board of Parish Fellowship.
9. Make and issue keys for church property, and keep and review annually a list of the keys issued.
10. Supervise, control, recommend adequate storage facilities for all church property, equipment, and supplies and the orderly maintenance of the same.
11. Annually check the adequacy of all types of insurance for church property and equipment (including school and church camp), and negotiate insurance contracts.
12. Check all properties twice a year for fire hazard.
13. Enlist work crews for special repair, improvement, cleaning, painting, decorating, landscaping and other projects.
14. Arrange for immediate repair of an urgent nature and all normal repairs and alterations for which budget funds have been allocated.
15. Obtain legal information necessary for the wise consideration of contracts, deeds, and the like by the congregation.
16. Negotiate service contracts for the organ, office machines, and the like.
17. Make an annual inventory of official documents in safekeeping, and enter its completion in the official minutes of the congregation.
18. Obtain legal information on the laws governing nonprofit organizations.
19. Set all policies and fees for rental, use and lending of church properties.
20. Submit an annual budget to the Board of Stewardship in the form and at the time requested by that Board.
Responsibility of Board of Parish Fellowship
The Board of Parish Fellowship shall consist of a minimum of three elected members, including the chairman of the board, to serve a two-year term.
The basic objectives of the Board are the strengthening of the fellowship between congregation members spiritually and socially, the integration of new members into the life of the congregation, and the general upbuilding of mutual cooperation, trust, and enjoyment among the members of the congregation.
1. Plan, supervise, and implement larger gatherings of the congregation from time to time through the year which will further the goals of the congregation.
2. Maintain constant contact with other Administrative Boards both suggesting to them ways of furthering the work of their Boards through fellowship and drawing from them requests and suggestions for fellowship activities.
3. Maintain an adequate group of willing workers who will help plan, coordinate and execute the work necessary to the successful accomplishment of fellowship goals.
4. Provide a general atmosphere of friendliness among the members on a smaller scale by suggesting to groups, societies, Bible classes, and the like ways of bringing their members into meaningful personal relationships.
5. Provide for the integration of new members and their families into the congregation through periodic fellowship nights, dinners, rallies and the like in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism.
6. Review and adopt or adapt materials and ideas from various sources which will bring congregation members into personal contact in groups such as family nights, plays fun fairs, talent shows, and the like.
7. Plan, supervise and implement recurring yearly events which will focus attention on the major aspects of the congregation’s work.
8. Receive and approve requests for the use of the congregation’s facilities for wedding receptions, recreational activities by various groups and all other activities of whatever nature and from whatever source.
9. Develop policies and rules for the use of the facilities at the functions sponsored by this Board in conjunction with the Board of Church Properties.
10. Maintain and publish a weekly and monthly schedule of activities within the congregation’s facilities and coordinate, approve or disapprove requests for such activities in the best interests of the congregation.
11. Be responsible for and supervise the use of all property, supplies, and equipment for the various activities sponsored by this and other Boards, groups or committees who have requested and received approval of an activity in our facilities. This includes the kitchen, fellowship hall, etc. as well as the stocking of the supplies closet with paper plates, tablecloths, etc.
12. Submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.
Responsibility of Board of Social Ministry
The Board of Social Ministry shall consist of a minimum of three elected members, including the chairman of the board, to serve a two-year term.
The basic objectives of this Board are to establish and continue programs that serve the persons of the community in their physical, emotional, and social needs through the use of congregational resources to promote the work of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth.
1. Be concerned, together with other appropriate Boards, with the congregation’s role in the community and develop useful means of becoming a better servant to the community.
2. Maintain contact with benevolent and charitable agencies in the community, state, and on the national level and recommend to the congregation responses to opportunities for service.
3. Administer the congregation’s Welfare fund in conjunction with the recommendations of the Board of Elders.
4. Administer the congregation’s Food pantry.
5. Plan and recommend a year-round program of support for Lutheran World Relief (financial gifts, clothing drives, kiddie kits, and the like) through the various agencies and committees of the congregation.
6. Study and maintain a list of available social agencies for help with alcoholics, drug problems, delinquents, mental retardation, emotionally disturbed individuals, unwed mothers, and the like, either of Lutheran, private, or public nature.
7. Coordinate social ministry activities of the congregation with the Lutheran Activities Council and Lutheran Social Ministries of Tennessee. The board shall appoint a representative to serve on the Lutheran Activities Council.
8. Annually prepare and submit as part of the budget of this Board a selected list of charities for the congregation and suggest the source of revenue designated for that purpose.
9. Submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.
Responsibility of Board of School Directors
The Board of School Directors shall consist of four elected members from First Lutheran and four elected members from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and one at large member, not a member of either congregation, chosen by the Board of School Directors. The Board of School Directors shall elect by majority vote, the Chairperson of the Board from within their ranks. Members from First Lutheran will serve a two year term with two board members elected one year and two board members being elected in the alternating year. The presidents of each congregation become voting members of the Board in the absence of a board member form their respective congregation. The pastors of First Lutheran Church and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church shall serve as Co-Superintendents of the school.
The basic objectives of this Board are to plan and administer the total educational program of the school, to determine policies, to select personnel for the various programs, to provide the necessary means and facilities for the programs, and to direct and supervise the entire educational program of the school.
1. Be responsible for the Christian nurture of children in the school and through them, in the community and beyond.
2. Establish objectives, set policies for, and supervise the total education program for the school, including the personnel.
3. Provide for active expression of Christian love and concern as an integral part of the total education program.
4. Approve curriculum and analyze performance of the school and seek constant improvement.
5. Continually review existing programs to determine whether all needs are being served, and recommend revisions and additions as deemed advisable.
6. Provide for the recruitment of pupils.
7. Delegate administration of education agencies to qualified persons.
8. Exercise leadership in gathering lists of candidates for vacancies in the teaching staff and for properly calling or contracting professional teachers.
9. Supervise the conduct of professional teachers on the staff of the congregation.
10. Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional and physical health and welfare of the professional teachers on the staff.
11. Annually review and make recommendations concerning the adequate compensation of all professional teachers on the staff.
12. For administrative purposes and program development, supervise the work of the Parent- Teacher League, children’s groups such as Boy Scouts, and all other such agencies.
13. Provide for the professional growth of the educational staff through conferences, conventions, continuing education and the like, and request the necessary funds for the same in the yearly budget.
14. Study and adopt or adapt helps suggested by the education departments of Synod, District, and Circuit.
15. Check the safety of education facilities -- steps, handrails, lights, exits and housekeeping practices, fire drills and the like on a regular basis.
16. Prepare and submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.
PROPOSED ADDITION TO ARTICLE V: OF THE CHURCH BYLAWS
Responsibility of the Satellite Mission and Ministry Board.
In a special voter’s meeting on March 23, 1998, after much prayer and discussion, First Lutheran Church in partnership with the Mid-South District decided to pursue a satellite ministry.
This Satellite Ministry is an extension of First Lutheran Church. New members received through the Satellite Ministry will become members of First Lutheran Church.
This Board shall consist of seven (7) elected members, including the Chairman of the Board, to serve a two year term in accordance with the Nomination and Election Procedures in Article IV. The Chairman and three (3) members will be elected in the Major election years and three (3) members elected in the Minor election years. This Board is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the policies and activities of the Satellite Ministry and shall be accountable to the Church Council and Voting Membership of First Lutheran Church. The policies and activities shall conform with the Constitution and Bylaws of First Lutheran Church. The Board Chairman shall present a monthly progress report to the Church Council.
The basic objectives of this Board are to extend the ministry of First Lutheran Church at the Satellite location(s) establishing programs to reach the unchurched, leading people to the joy of a new life in Christ, following the Mission and Vision statements of First Lutheran Church and ensuring that the Satellite(s) functions in accordance with the established doctrine of the Church as listed in the Constitution.
So that the objectives of this Board may be achieved, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals shall:
1. Pray for the Satellite Spiritual Leader(s).
2. Encourage the Satellite Spiritual Leader(s) in their work by word and action.
3. Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional and physical health and welfare of the Satellite Spiritual Leader(s) and their families.
4. Assist the Satellite Spiritual Leader(s) with difficult situations.
5. Follow the mission and Ministry Plan and the Partnership Agreement between First Lutheran Church and Mid-South District Department of Missions, as approved by the Voting Membership of First Lutheran Church.
6. Regularly communicate with the Membership, keeping the members informed of the total ministry of First Lutheran Church involving all locations.
7. Coordinate Satellite activities with the appropriate Administrative Boards.
8. Prepare projection of personnel needed (seek qualified people for Spiritual Leader, Music Leader, Secretarial support, etc.)
9. Be responsible for public relations and worship materials relating to the Satellite Ministry.
10. Deliver all contributions to the Financial Secretary where they will be deposited in the checking account of First Lutheran Church.
11. Refer all expenses to the Treasurer for payment, after they have been approved by the Board Chairman. Any projected/proposed expenses not in the budget, must first be approved by the Church Council.
12. Annually prepare a Budget stating the projected needs of the Ministry and submit it through the Board of Stewardship, where it will be merged with the needs of other Boards and presented to the Voting Membership.
ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
These By-Laws may be changed or amended by a simple majority of the votes cast in a properly called meeting of the Voters’ Assembly. The intention to amend and the wording of the amendments must be presented to the congregation on two different Sundays prior to the date upon which the amendment is present for action.
Proposed Addition to Church Bylaws
ARTICLE VII: CONGREGATIONAL ENDOWMENT FUND
This congregation shall have a Fund called The First Lutheran Church Congregational Endowment Fund. It shall be one of the funds of this congregation.
2. GENERAL PURPOSE
A. This Fund's purpose shall be to receive gifts and bequests and to use them for the mission and ministry of The First Lutheran Church and The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, its districts, seminaries, colleges, institutions, or agencies.
B. Both the principal and income from unrestricted gifts and bequests to the Fund are to be used for the purposes, projects, and programs recommended by the church council and approved by a simple majority of the voters' assembly, provided that the purposes, projects and programs, shall be consistent with the general reason for which this Fund has been established. The list of approved purposes, projects, and programs shall be appended to these bylaws and shall be distributed to the members of the congregation.
C. At least annually, the church council shall make recommendations to the voters' assembly regarding distributions of the income and/or principal of the Fund. None of the income or principal from unrestricted gifts shall be distributed to the congregation's operating budget, except as hereinafter set forth. The distribution of the income and/or principal from unrestricted gifts for purposes other than the operating budget shall be determined by a simple majority of the voters' assembly.
D. Gifts and bequests may be made upon special terms or conditions or containing limitations and directions as to the investment or use of the substance of the gift, or the use of acumulation of the income, provided that such are acceptable to The First Lutheran Church. The church council shall submit at the next meeting of the voters' assembly (or request a special meeting) its recommendation on the acceptability of such a gift or bequest. The acceptance of such gift shall be by a simple majority of the voting members present and voting at a duly called and constituted meeting of the voters' assembly.
The First Lutheran Church Congregational Endowment Fund shall continue in existence and be used as hereinabove provided, unless earlier revoked, so long as The First Lutheran Church shall continue to exist. If The First Lutheran Church should cease to exist, then the assets constituting the Fund shall become the property of a successor Lutheran Church or, if no successor Lutheran Church, then it shall become the property of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Foundation (except that any and all properties held by the fund upon special conditions, restrictions, or limitations shall continue to be subject to the conditions, restrictions, or limitations upon which such properties are held). If The First Lutheran Church dissolves, it shall, at the time of such dissolution, have the right and duty to determine the existence of a successor Lutheran Church, if any, providing such successor Lutheran Church must qualify as an exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code, and The First Lutheran Church shall execute the necessary documents to effect such transfer.
4. GOVERNING BOARD AND OFFICERS
A. The church council shall promote and manage the Fund. The Financial Secretary shall be responsible for receipts and bank deposits. The Treasurer shall be responsible for disbursements and shall maintain complete and accurate books of accounts, and shall provide a printed financial report to the church council monthly, and at least annually, to the voters' assembly.
B. The church council, if it deems it to be in the best interest of the congregation, may recommend that the assets of the Fund be delivered to The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Foundation for investment management. Any agreement entered into for the management of the Fund shall be valid only if approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting members present at a duly called and constituted meeting of the voters' assembly.
C. The church council shall meet at least once a month at the church at a time fixed by resolution of the council, or as frequently as it may be deemed necessary in the best interest of the Fund. Special meetings may be called on 24 hours written or oral notice to the members of the council by the chairperson or any two members.
D. No member of the council shall engage in any self-dealing or transactions with the Fund in which the member of the council has direct or indirect financial interest and shall at all times refrain from any conduct in which his/her personal interest would conflict with the interest of the Fund.
5. FISCAL YEAR
A. For tax, accounting, distribution, or other purposes, the fiscal year of the Fund shall end on December 31, or the same as for The First Lutheran Church.
B. Within a month after the close of each of the Fund's fiscal years, an itemized printed statement should be prepared. It must accurately reflect the position of the Fund's income and corpus accounts as of a date reasonably close to the date the statement should be submitted, and should indicate the receipts, disbursements, and changes therein since the Fund's inception or the previous accounting, as the case may be. The statement should then be submitted to the voters' assembly.
A. The church council shall, at least annually, render a full and complete account of the administration of the Fund during the preceding year.
B. Gifts and contributions from any individual, firm, or corporation, in money, in real estate, in securities, or in any other form of property, including, by way of explanation and not in limitation, direct gifts for the purpose of the Fund, gifts in memory of any deceased person or in appreciation or recognition of any living person, gifts in the form of a devise or bequest under will or trust instrument, and gifts or proceeds or portions of proceeds of insurance, annuity, or endowment policies or contracts, may be received by the Fund at any time.
C. Means for acknowledging the receipt of each gift and contribution shall be established and maintained, including, whenever feasible, a designation of the value ascribed to each gift.
D. Gifts and contributions may be made upon special terms of conditions or containing limitations or directions as to the investment or use of the substance of the gift, or the use or accumulation of the income, provided that such are acceptable to The First Lutheran Church. Separate identification and recording shall be made of all transactions with respect to any such special or restricted gift or gifts.
E. All funds and property shall be kept and maintained separate, distinct, and independent from the funds and property otherwise belonging to the church. However, the council shall not be required to make physical segregation of the assets of the Fund in order to conform to the direction of any individual donors, but should establish separate accounts in its accounting records.
F. The council is to inform members of the congregation of the purpose of the Fund, and may periodically arrange for members of the congregation to meet with professional counselors in the area of charitable giving, wills, bequests, insurance, etc.
G. All new members of the council are to receive a copy of the bylaws of the congregation in order to become acquainted with the function and purposes of the Fund.
A. The manager of the Fund, whether the Fund is managed and administered by the council, or whether the Fund is delivered to The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Foundation for management and administration, shall have the following powers and authority:
B. The property constituting the corpus of the Fund shall be invested and reinvested in any kind of property (whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, and/or domestic or foreign), including, but not limited to, securities, real estate, or accounts or certificates of banks or other lending institutions, and each investment shall be managed and protected in accordance with the principles herein established. In exercising the authority granted in this section, the decisions with respect to investment shall be guided by the concept of a prudent investor whose investment purpose includes both income and capital appreciation.
C. In amplification, but no limitation, of the foregoing, authority is granted:
(a) to acquire interests in property by purchase, lease, rental, or other methods; to sell, option, exchange, redeem, or convert any property interests; and to rent or lease property of the Fund;
(b) to exercise all rights and privileges accruing to a holder of securities, including all voting, conversion, subscription and pre-emptive rights; to deposit any securities with, delegate discretionary power to, and participate, cooperate, and contract with, as a member or otherwise, any protective committee of security holder; and to effectuate any merger, consolidation, dissolution, reorganization or financial adjustment of the issuer of any securities and/or any transfer, demise, or encumbrance of any of its properties;
(c) to manage and/or develop any real property owned, leased, or otherwise held by the Fund; to erect, repair, remodel, reconstruct, demolish, or remove buildings or other improvements on it; to partition or subdivide it; to dedicate all or any part of it to public or semipublic use; and to grant easement or other charges with respect to it;
(d) to abandon any property interest deemed worthless or of insignificant value;
(e) to borrow money from any source, to encumber property of the Fund, and to repay any loan due by the Fund;
(f) to foreclose any mortgage, lien, or other encumbrance, and to purchase the encumbered property, whether through foreclosure or private arrangement;
(g) to establish and maintain, out of income, depreciation, depletion, and/or amortization reserves;
(h) to maintain a portion of all of the property constituting the Fund in liquid or nearly liquid form, even though little or no income is earned thereon;
(i) to use income or corpus funds (irrespective of their derivation) for any purpose of the Fund and with respect to any property of the Fund (irrespective of the income, if any, it produces) even if such funds are derived from the sale of or income from other property of the Fund or from a loan (from income or an outside source) using such other property as security.
Any amendment to this bylaw that will change, alter, or amend the general purpose for which the Fund is established shall be adopted only if approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting members present at a duly called and constituted meeting of the voters' assembly, the notice of which has stated that such an amendment will be proposed to the voters' assembly.
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AS AMENDED 12 JULY 2009
This proposal was taken from "A Congregation's Guide to Effectively Structuring Endowment and other Special Funds," from The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Foundation, and a memo from Draheim & Pranschke, Attorneys at law, "Re: Tax and legal implications for congregations considering establishing foundations or congregational funds."