The Constitution of St. Paul Lutheran Church, 

Cut Bank, Montana

(January 2009)

PREAMBLE 

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Recognizing our unity in the Christian faith and our common practice of it, desiring to express our fellowship in worship and work, knowing our spiritual needs, mindful of our Christian privileges and duties, and wishing to observe orderly cooperation, we adopt the following constitution:

 

 

ARTICLE I    NAME OF THE CONGREGATION

The name of this congregation shall be St. Paul Lutheran Church of Cut Bank,Montana.  This congregation is incorporated under the laws of the State ofMontana.

 

 

ARTICLE II   CONFESSION

            This congregation accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as a whole and in all their parts as the divinely inspired, revealed, and inerrant Word of God and submits to this as the only infallible authority in all matters of faith and life.

            As brief and true statements of the doctrine of the Word of God, this congregation accepts and confesses the following symbols, ancient ecumenical creeds, the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian; (2) the Unaltered Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Small Catechism.

            As further elaboration of and in accord with these Lutheran Symbols, this congregation also receives the other documents in the Book of Concord of 1580:  The apology, Luther’s Larger Catechism, the Smalcald Articles, and the Fomula of Concord; and recognizes them as normative for its theology.

            This congregation accepts without reservation the Symbolical books of the evangelicalLutheranChurch, not insofar as, but because they are the presentation and explanation of the pure doctrine of the Word of God and a summary of the faith of the evangelicalLutheranChurch.

 

 

ARTICLE III  SYNODICAL MEMBERSHIP

  1. For the better attainment of its objectives and purposes, this congregation shall hold membership in the Montana Synod of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica, and shall be subject to the policy and discipline of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.
  2. Since it is affiliated with theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica, this congregation is ready to be served by representatives of the church in the various capacities to which they have been called or appointed.
  3. Severance of membership in theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmericashall require a two-thirds majority vote of all voting members present and voting at a legally called meeting.  Such a decision shall not be effective until at least ninety days after the Synod Bishop has been notified and until the initial action has been ratified by a two-thirds majority vote at a subsequent legally called meeting.

 

 ARTICLE IV  LITURGY, RITUAL, HYMNBOOK

            The public services of this congregation shall conform to the authorized liturgies and rituals of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.  The authorized hymnbooks of the church shall be used in its worship and its schools.  Only such variations as are authorized by the Congregation Council shall be permitted.

 

 

ARTICLE V   MISSION STATEMENT

            The object and purpose of this congregation shall be to proclaim and propagate the Christian faith through the Means of Grace, and to cooperate in the work and service of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.

As people called by God, saved by grace, united by the shed blood of Christ; we seek to proclaim the gospel as living witnesses and to be stewards of God’s creation.

 

 

ARTICLE VI  POWERS OF THE CONGREGATION

  1. In all matters of Christian faith and life the authority of the Word of God shall be supreme.
  2. In all matters not decided by the Word of God and not subject to civil laws, the congregation itself, not any individual or group within it, shall have the right of decision.
  3. The powers of this congregation are those necessary to fulfill its purpose.
  4. The powers of this congregation are vested in the Congregation Meeting called and conducted as provided in this constitution and bylaws.
    1. Call a pastor as provided in Article IX;
    2. Terminate the call of a pastor as provided in Article IX;
    3. Appoint or terminate the appointment of associates in ministry in conformity with the applicable policy of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica;
    4. Approve the annual budget to ensure the stability of the church;
    5. Acquire real and personal property by gift, devise, purchase, or other lawful means;
    6. Hold title to and use its property for any and all activities and consistent with its purpose;
    7. Sell, mortgage, lease, transfer, or otherwise dispose of its property by any lawful means;
    8. Elect its Congregation Council and require them to carry out their duties in accordance with the constitution and bylaws, and continuing resolutions; and
    9. Terminate its relationship with theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmericaas provided in Article III.
  5. Only such authority as is delegated to the Congregation Council or other organizational units in this congregation’s governing documents is recognized.  All remaining authority is retained by the congregation.  The congregation is authorized to:

 


ARTICLE VII             MEMBERSHIP

  1. Members of this congregation shall be those baptized persons on the roll of this congregation at the time that this constitution is adopted and those who are admitted thereafter and who have declared and maintain their membership in accordance with the provisions of this constitution and its bylaws.
    1. Baptized members are those persons who have been received by the Sacrament of Holy Baptism in this congregation, or, having been previously baptized in the name of the Triune God, have been received by certificate of transfer from other Lutheran congregations or by affirmation of faith.
    2. Confirmed members are baptized persons who have been confirmed in this congregation, those who have been received by adult baptism or by transfer and confirmed members from other Lutheran congregations, or baptized persons received by affirmation of faith.
    3. Voting members are confirmed members ofSt. PaulLutheranChurch.  Associate members are persons holding membership in other Christian congregations who wish to retain such membership but desire to participate in the life and mission of this congregation.  They have all the privileges and duties of membership except voting rights and eligibility for elected offices or membership on the Congregation Council of this congregation.
  2. Members shall be classified as follows:
  3. All applications for confirmed membership shall be submitted to and shall require the approval of the Congregation Council.
    1. Make regular use of the means of grace, both Word and sacraments;
    2. Live a Christian life in accordance with the Word of God and the teachings of the Lutheran church; and
    3. Support the work of this congregation, the synod, and the churchwide organization of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmericathrough contributions of their time, talents, and financial support as biblical stewards.
  4. It shall be the privilege and duty of members of this congregation to:
    1. Death;
    2. Resignation;
    3. Transfer or release;
    4. Disciplinary action by the Congregation Council;
    5. Removal from the roll due to inactivity.  Such persons who have been removed from the roll of members shall remain persons for whom the church has a continuing pastoral concern.
  5. Membership in this congregation shall be terminated by any of the following:

 

 

ARTICLE VIII            THE CONGREGATIONAL MEETING

  1. The power and authority of this congregation shall be exercised through the congregational meeting, called and held in conformity with civil laws and the provisions of the constitution and bylaws of the congregation. 
  2. The Annual Meeting of the congregation shall be held in January.  Notice of the meeting shall be given as provided in the bylaws.
  3. A special meeting of the congregation may be called by action of the congregation, by petition of at least ten percent of the voting members, or by any of the following:  The Church Council, the president of the congregation, the Pastor, or the Synod Bishop. Official notice of a special meeting of the congregation shall be in writing and shall be posted conspicuously in the place where the congregation customarily workshops.  Such notice shall state the time, the place, and the purpose of the meeting.  It shall be signed by the president and the secretary of the congregation, or by the person or persons who have called the meeting, as authorized by this paragraph.  The notice of a special meeting shall also be read at all public services of the congregation held during the ten days preceding the date of the meeting.  If no services are held during the stipulated time, notice of the meeting shall be mailed to all voting members at least five days in advance of the meeting; provided, however, that written notice of a meeting called to consider a resolution requesting the Pastor to resign must e mailed at least ten days in advance; and provided, further, that a meeting called to consider the disposition or encumbrance of real property must be called and held in conformity with such provisions of civil law as may be applicable.
  4. The Pastor shall be notified of the time and place at which a special meeting of the congregation is to be held.
  5. Only the business for which a special meeting has been called shall be transacted at the meeting.
  6. A meeting of the congregation may, by majority, vote to recess to reconvene at a specified time and place.  A meeting may also recess to reconvene upon call; provided, however, that the time and place of such a reconvened meeting must be announced at a public service of the congregation, or written notice by mailed to the voting members not less than three days in advance of the reconvened meeting.

 


 ARTICLE IX  THE PASTOR

  1. Authority to call a pastor shall rest in the congregation.  Such authority to call shall be exercised by at least a two-thirds majority vote of members present and voting at a meeting properly called for that purpose.  Before a call is issued, the officers, or a committee, as authorized by the congregation, shall seek the advice and help of the Bishop of the Synod.
  2. Only a members of the clergy of the Evangelical Lutheran church inAmericain good standing, or one who is recommended for a call by the Congregational Council of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica, may be called as a pastor of this congregation.
    1. Every ordained minister shall, consistent with the faith and practice of the Evangelica lLutheran Church in America:

                                  i.    Preach the word;
                                  ii.    Administer the sacraments;
                                  iii.    Conduct public worship;
                                  iv.    Provide pastoral care; and
                                   v.    Speak publicly to the world in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, calling for justice and proclaiming God’s love for the world.

    2.  Each ordained minister with a congregational call shall, within the congregation:
                                    i.    Offer instruction, confirm, marry, visit the sick and distressed, and bury the dead;
                                   ii.    Supervise all schools and organizations of this congregation;
                                  iii.    Install regularly elected members of the Congregational Council; and
                                  iv.    With the Council, administer discipline.

           3.  Every pastor shall:
                                    i.    Seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel and strive to extend theKingdomofGodin the community, in the

 nation, and abroad;
                                   ii.    Impart knowledge of this church and its wider ministry through distribution of its periodicals and other publications; and
                                  iii.    Endeavor to increase the support given by the congregation to the work of the ELCA churchwide organization and of the Montana Synod of

 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


        3. The Pastor, as spiritual leader of the congregation, shall be an ex-officio members of the Congregational Council and an advisory member of all other boards,

     committees, and organizations of the congregation.

  1. No one shall serve in the pastoral office of this congregation as an interim pastor, nor officiate and preach at occasional services, who is not a member in good standing of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica, or who is not acceptable according to the standards of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.
  2. If, in the judgment of the congregation, the Pastor is no longer able to serve it satisfactorily, he or she may be requested to resign.  However, before the resignation is requested, the matter shall first be carefully considered at a meeting of the Congregational Council and in consultation with the Bishop of the Synod.  A resolution requesting the Pastor’s resignation must be adopted by not less than a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a meeting of the congregation especially called to consider such a resolution.  When the Pastor’s resignation has been requested in the manner here specified he or she shall vacate the office at such a time as the congregation shall specify.
  3. Matters of discipline involving the pastor for alleged defection in doctrine or for alleged conduct unbecoming a pastor, shall be referred by the Congregational Council to the Synod Bishop for action in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.

 


 ARTICLE X   OFFICERS

  1. The officers of this congregation shall be a President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.
    1. Duties of the officers shall be specified in the bylaws.
    2. The officers shall be voting members of the congregation.
  2. The office of 2nd Vice-President is an elected position determined by congregational vote at the annual congregational meeting(s).  The 1st Vice-President and President offices shall be an annual progression from 2nd Vice-President over a 3-year period.  The offices of Secretary and Treasurer are for one year and shall be elected annually by the Congregation Council.  Their terms shall begin at the close of the meeting at which they are elected.
  3. No officer shall hold more than one office at a time.
  4. The President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be the trustees of the congregation, and shall hold the property of the congregation, both real and personal, in trust for the congregation in accordance with the law of the State ofMontana applying to trustees.  The trustees shall not, however, have the authority to buy, sell, or encumber real property unless specifically authorized to do so by a meeting of the congregation.

 


 ARTICLE XI  CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL 

  1. The voting membership of the Congregation Council shall consist of the pastor(s) and not more than 15 members of the congregation.  Any voting member of the congregation may be elected, subject only to the limitation on the length of continuous service permitted in that office.  A member’s place on the Congregation Council shall be declared vacant if the member a) ceases to be a voting member of this congregation or b) is absent from four successive regular meetings of the Congregation Council without cause.
  2. The members of the Congregation Council except the pastor(s) shall be elected by ballot for terms of three years by a plurality vote at the annual congregational meeting(s).  Their tenure shall be so arranged that one-third of the terms shall expire annually.  They shall not again be eligible for election to the church council until one year after the previous full term of office.  Their terms shall begin at the close of the annual meeting at which they are elected.
  3. Should a member’s place on the Congregation Council be declared vacant, the Congregation Council shall elect, by majority vote, a successor until the next annual meeting.
    1. To lead this congregation in stating its mission, to do long-range planning, to set goals and priorities, and to evaluate its activities in light of its mission and goals.
    2. To seek to involve all members of this congregation in worship, learning, witness, service, and support.
    3. To oversee and provide for the administration of this congregation to enable it to fulfill its functions and perform its mission.
    4. To maintain supportive relationships with the pastor(s) and staff and help them annually to evaluate the fulfillment of their calling, appointment, or employment.
    5. To be examples individually and corporately of the style of life and ministry expected of all baptized persons.
    6. To promote a congregational climate of peace and goodwill and, as differences and conflicts arise, to endeavor to foster mutual understanding.
    7. To arrange for pastoral service during the sickness or absence of the pastor.
    8. To emphasize partnership with the synod and churchwide units of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmericaas well as cooperation with other congregations, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran, subject to established policies of the synod and theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.
    9. To recommend and encourage the use of program resources produced or approved by theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.
  4. The Congregation Council shall have general oversight of the life and activities of this congregation, and in particular its worship life, to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Word of God and the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  The duties of the Congregation Council shall include the following:
    1. The Congregation Council shall be the board of directors of this congregation, and as such shall be responsible for maintaining and protecting its property and the management of its business and fiscal affairs.  It shall have the powers and be subject to the obligations that pertain to such boards under the laws of the State ofMontanaexcept as otherwise provided herein.
    2. The Congregation Council shall not have the authority to buy, sell or encumber real property unless specifically authorized to do so by a meeting of the congregation.
    3. The Congregation Council shall prepare an annual budget or adoption by this congregation, shall supervise the expenditure of funds in accordance therewith following its adoption, and may incur obligations of more than 10% in excess of the anticipated receipts only after approval by a congregation Meeting.  The budget shall include this congregation’s full indicated share in support of the wide ministry being carried on in partnership with the synod and churchwide organization.
    4. The Congregation Council shall ascertain that the financial affairs of this congregation are being conducted efficiently, giving particular attention to the prompt payment of all obligations and to the regular forwarding of benevolence monies to the synodical treasurer.
  5. The Congregation Council shall be responsible for the financial and property matters of this congregation.
  6. The Congregation Council shall see that the provisions of this constitution and its bylaws and the continuing resolutions are carried out.
  7. The Congregation Council shall provide for an annual review of the membership roster.
  8. The Congregation Council shall be responsible for the employment and supervision of the salaried lay workers of this congregation.
  9. The Congregation Council shall submit a comprehensive report to this congregation at the annual meeting.
  10. The Congregation Council shall normally meet once a month.  Special meetings may be called by the pastor or the president, and shall be called by the president at the request of at least one-half of its members.  Notice of each special meeting shall be given to all who are entitled to be present.
  11. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of the Congregation Council, including the pastor or interim pastor, except when such person requests or consents to be absent and has given prior approval to an agenda of routine matters which shall be the only business of the meeting.

  


ARTICLE XII CONGREGATION COMMITTEES          

  1. The officers of this congregation and the pastor shall constitute the Executive Committee.
  2. A Nominating Committee of six voting members of this congregation, two of whom, if possible, shall be outgoing members of the Congregation Council, and two of whom shall not be members of the Congregation Council, shall be appointed by the Executive Committee for a term of one year.
  3. A Staff Support Committee consisting of 5 members including 1st Vice-President (chairman), 2nd Vice-President and 3 additional members to be appointed by the Congregation Council
  4. When a pastoral vacancy occurs, the Congregation Council shall appoint a Call Committee of six voting members.  Term of office will terminate at installation of the newly-called pastor.
  5. Other committees of this congregation may be formed, as the need arise, by the decision of the Congregation Council.

 


 ARTICLE XIII            DISCIPLINE

            Discipline in the congregation shall be exercised in accordance with Matthew 18:15-18.

“If a brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them,. Tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.  Truly, I say to you, whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

 

 

ARTICLE XIV           LEGAL OWNERSHIP

  1. Title to all real or personal property acquired by the congregation, its organizations, or individuals, for use by the congregation and its organizations, shall be held by the congregation.
  2. Should the congregation by means other than legal dissolution cease to exist, or its property be abandoned, title to its land and other estates, real and personal, shall pass to theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.

  

ARTICLE XV                        AMENDMENTS

  1. The doctrinal basis and the confessional subscription as contained in Article II, the purpose as contained in Article V, and this section of Article XV shall be unalterable, and no amendment to this constitution shall conflict therewith.
  2. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by at least 5 voting members or by the Congregation Council.  Proposals must be filed in writing with the Congregation Council 60 days before formal consideration by this congregation at its regular or special meeting called for that purpose.  The Congregation Council shall notify the members of the proposal with their recommendation at least 30 days in advance of the meeting.
    1. Be approved at a property called meeting according tot his constitution by a majority vote of those present and voting;
    2. Be ratified without change at the next annual meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting; and
    3. Have the effective date included in the resolution and noted in the constitution.
  3. A proposed amendment to this constitution shall:

  

ARTICLE XVI           CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS

  1. The congregation Council may enact continuing resolutions, which further describe the function of the various committees or organizations of this congregation.
  2. Continuing resolutions shall be enacted or amended by a two-thirds vote of all voting members of the Congregation Council. 

Bylaws of St. Paul Lutheran Church


PART I – COMMUNION PARTICIPATION

                        (CF. Article II of Constitution) 

  1. This congregation invites all of its members who have been prepared to receive the Sacrament to participate regularly in Holy Communion.
  2. Participation in Holy Communion shall be open to members of other congregations who accept the Lutheran teaching in regard to this Sacrament.
  3. It shall be made known to prospective participants that the belief of this congregation is:

Participation in the Lord’s Supper is the reception of the “Body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given with bread and wine, instituted by Christ himself for us to eat and drink.”  We hold that a “Person is well prepared and worthy who believes these words: “given and shed for you for the remission of sins.”  But anyone who does not believe these words, or doubts them, is neither prepared nor worthy, for the words “for you” require simply a believing heart.

 

 PART II – CONFLICTING LOYALITIES

                        (CF. Article II and IV of Constitution and Article V of theMinneapolis

                        Theses as quoted in the United Testimony on Faith and Life)

 

  1. This congregation rejects all fellowship with organizations, secret or open, which are avowedly religious or which practice forms of religion without confessing faith in the Triune God and in Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God incarnate to be our only Savior from sin, and thus teach salvation by works.
  2. Ceremonies of lodges or other such organizations shall not be permitted in the church or on the church premises of this congregation.
  3. The pastor of this congregation shall take no part in any such ceremonies even if they are conducted outside of the church premises.

 

PART III – THE PASTORAL CALL 

  1. When the congregation has voted to call a pastor it shall issue a Letter of Call to the pastor-elect in a form approved by theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica.  It shall be signed by the chairperson and the secretary of the meeting at which the call was voted, and shall be attested by the signature of the Synod Bishop.  Calls to members of the clergy to positions of assistance to the Pastor, shall be issued in consultation with the Pastor and in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph.
  2. The call shall normally be for an indefinite time.
  3. If the Pastor accepts a call to another congregation, he or she shall thereupon notify his or her present congregation and the Synod Bishop.  The Pastor shall terminate his or her ministry and transfer to his or her new field of service as quickly as feasible.
  4. A desire for a change in pastorate by either congregation or pastor shall be brought to the attention of the Synod Bishop, who shall advise in the matter in accordance with this constitution (Article IX) and with the established procedures of theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmerica. 
  5. The congregation requires that its Pastor shall be loyal to the faith and purpose of the congregation, as stated in Articles II and V of this constitution.
  6. Pastors qualified according to Articles IX, Section 5, of this constitution, may occasionally perform pastoral functions in this congregation with the approval of the congregation and its Pastor, or, in case of a vacancy in the pastorate, with the approval of the congregation and Synod Bishop.

 

 PART IV – CONGREGATION MEETING

  1. The annual meeting(s) of this congregation shall be held at a time specified in the constitution.
  2. A special Congregation Meeting may be called by the pastor, the Congregation Council, or the president of this congregation, or the Synod bishop, or shall be called at the written request of 10% of the voting members.  The call for each special meeting shall specify the purpose for which it is to be held and no other business shall be transacted.
  3. Notice of all meetings of this congregation shall be given at the services of worship on the preceding two consecutive Sundays or by mail to all members at least 10 days in advance of the date of the meeting.  The posting of such notice in the regular mail., with the regular postage affixed or paid, sent to the last known address of such members shall be sufficient.
  4. Thirty voting members shall constitute a quorum.
  5. Voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.
  6. All actions by the congregation shall be by majority vote except as otherwise provided in this constitution.
  7. The business at the annual meeting shall include:

a)    Opening devotions,

b)    Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting,

c)    Reports of pastor, treasurer, boards, committees and others,

d)    Elections

e)    Approval of budget,

f)     Unfinished Business,

g)    New Business

h)   Closing prayer

  1. Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all meetings of this congregation.

 

PART V – OFFICERS

  1. The Officers of this congregation shall be:  President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.  The Secretary and Treasurer, if not members of the council, shall be accorded the privilege of voice without vote at its meetings.
  2. If any officer should cease to be a voting members of the congregation, the office shall at once be declared vacant by the council, which shall fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.
  3. The President shall preside at all meetings of the congregation and the Congregation Council, assist in appointing committees, and shall see that all elected or appointed officers, boards or committees of the congregation are functioning and carrying out their individual responsibilities. The president shall be an ex-officio member of all decision-making bodies.
  4. The 1st Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in his/her absence, disability or at the President’s request.  The 1st Vice-President shall monitor the progression of activities related to the goals established by the Congregation Council to ensure their timely attainment.
  5. The Secretary shall keep accurate records of all meeting of the congregation and of the Congregation Council in a volume provided by the congregation, and shall submit the minutes for approval at the next regular meeting.
  6. The Treasurer shall keep accurate and permanent records of the receipt and disbursements of the congregation.  He/She shall insure that all bills authorized by the congregation are paid, and be prompt in payment of salaries, remittances of benevolence receipts to the treasurer of synod.  His/Her books and records shall be audited annually.  All financial officers shall give corporate surety, in amounts to be determined by the Congregation Council, for which the premiums shall be paid by theEvangelicalLutheranChurchinAmericaor the congregation.

 

 PART VI – CONGREGATION COUNCIL

  1. Council positions are:

a)    President

b)    1st Vice-President (President elect and Chairperson of Staff Support)

c)    2nd Vice-President (Staff Support)

d)    Christian Education

e)    Finance

f)     Property

g)    Social Ministry

h)   Stewardship

i)     Evangelism

j)      Worship and Music

k)    Youth

l)     Nurture and Fellowship

m)  Member at Large

n)   Member at Large

o)    Member at Large

p)    Pastor 

  1. Each year, five congregation council positions become vacant.  In order to fill them, a three-year cycle has been developed to aid us in the search for leaders in specific areas of ministry.  In years A, B, & C nominations will be made for:

                 YEAR A                                   YEAR B                                 YEAR C

            Member at Large                  Member at Large                  Member at Large

            2nd Vice-President               2nd Vice-President               2nd Vice-President

            Finance                                 Social Ministry                      Youth

            Stewardship                          Evangelism                           Worship & Music

            Property                                 Christian Education                        Nurture & Fellowship

 

  1. In order to develop more effective leadership a process of nurturing experience has been developed that will move an individual from 2nd Vice-President to President over 3 years.  Each year, the congregation will elect at its annual meeting(s) a 2nd Vice-President.  The succeeding year he/she will become 1st Vice-President.  At the conclusion of their second year he/she will assume the responsibility of President for their final year on the Congregation Council.

  Cycle of Leadership

                          1st Year                                 2nd Year                          3rd Year  

                  2nd Vice President                1st Vice-President                President 

  1. The Congregation Council shall hold regular monthly meetings on a fixed day and time as the council may determine for the transaction of the affairs of the congregation. 
  1. The following may constitute the Order of Business at regular meetings:

a)    Devotions

b)    A period for the study of the life and work of the Church

c)    Roll call and action of excuses for absence

d)   Readingof minutes

e)    Report of the Pastor

f)     Report of the Treasurer

g)    Report of Boards

h)   Report of special committees

i)     Other reports

j)      Reception of petitions and communications

k)    New business

l)     Adjournment with prayer

 

 

PART VII – CONGREGATION BOARDS 

  1. Each Board shall consist of at least, but not limited to, four members.  Each Board shall be comprised of the Congregation Council member elected to that specific position, a Board Chairperson, and at least 2 voting members of the congregation.  Although appointed by and responsible to the Congregation Council, these Boards shall be recognized as representative of the interest of, and performing essential services for, the congregation as a whole.  The Pastor(s) and President shall have voice in all boards of the congregation.
  2. Except as stipulated in the following paragraphs, the duties of all Boards and Committees shall be assigned by the Congregation Council, along with such instructions as in its judgment are in the best interests of the congregation.  All actions of Boards and Committees shall be subject to review by council.
  3. All Boards shall meet at self-determined times.  Special meetings may be called by the chair, the Congregation Council, the Pastor, or the President of the congregation.
  4. There shall be a Board for Christian Education. Objectives:  Be responsible for the Christian nurture of children, youth and adults at St. Paul.  Establish objectives, select curriculum in consultation with teachers, and supervise all education programs, including Sunday School,VacationBibleSchool, confirmation, and other educational opportunities.
  5. There shall be a Board for Nurture and Fellowship. Objectives:  Oversee the Shepherd Ministry and other efforts to assist the pastor in the nurturing of the congregation.  Recruit members to provide and publicize fellowship activities for members and visitors.  
  6. There shall be a Board for Property. Objectives:  See to procurement, installation, proper maintenance, and repair of church property and the general protection of the congregation against loss or damage of whatever nature.  Preserve and maintain the heritage of the congregation.
  7. There shall be a Board for Stewardship.  Objectives:  Encourage members of the congregation for the work fo Christ’s Kingdom.  Initiate programs for the development of good stewardship attitudes in the members of the congregation in regard to time, talents, and treasures.  Develop a year-round program of dedicated, proportionate giving to ensure the financial stability of the congregation and its work.
  8. There shall be a Board for Youth.  Objectives:  To involve the young people of the congregation in the work of Christ and His Church.  To provide for their spiritual growth and nurture. To promote genuine Christian fellowship for the youth of the congregation.
  9. There shall be a Board for Social Ministry.  Objectives:  The Social Ministry Board shall encourage all members of the congregation to reach out in Christian love and compassion in the Church family, the community, and the Church-At-Large.
  10. There shall be a Board for Worship and Music. Objectives:  The Worship and Music Board shall have oversight of congregational worship services.  The Board will assist the Congregational Council in seeing that the services in God’s house are conducted regularly and in accordance with the liturgy of the ELCA.
  11. There shall be a Board for Evangelism.  Objectives:  Take the Gospel to the unchurched of the community.  Encourage Lutherans and other Christians moving into the area to unite with our congregation.  Seek out and witness to people who have become inactive.
  12. There shall be a Board for Finance.  Objectives:  Maintain fiscal health and financial responsibilities of the congregation.  Provide for annual audit.  Insure for proper insurance needs.  Provide and present annual budget for council and congregational approval.

  

PART VIII – NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS 

  1. The Nominating Committee shall select from the voting members of the congregation a minimum of one candidate for each of the five council positions to be filled.
  2. The congregation may nominate from the floor a minimum of one candidate for each of the five council positions to be filled.
  3. If there is more than one candidate for a position, the candidate for each position, receiving the plurality vote, will be elected.  Otherwise, each candidate will be ratified by the congregation.
  4. The Nominating Committee shall nominate and the congregation shall elect at its annual meeting(s) persons on the roll of voting members as delegates in the permitted numbers to the synod assemblies and the meetings of the conference to which this congregation belongs.  The expense incurred by such delegates in connection with their attendance may be paid by congregation.
  5. The Nominating Committee shall recommend Board Chairpersons and potential Board members to the Congregation Council and individual Boards, following the council election.

  

PART IX – DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS

                        (CF Article XIII) 

  1. Denial of the Christian faith as described in this constitution, conduct grossly unbecoming a member of theChurchofChrist, or persistent trouble making in this congregation are sufficient cause for discipline of a member.  Prior to disciplinary action, reconciliation will be attempted following Matthew 18:15-17, proceeding through these successive steps:  a) private admonition by the pastor, b) admonition by the pastor in the presence of two or three witnesses, and c) citation to appear before the Congregation Council.
  2. A member charged with the offense shall appear before the Congregation Council having received a written notice, specifying the exact charges that have been made against the member, at least 10 days prior to the meeting.
  3. Should the allegations be sustained by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the Congregation Council and renewed admonition prove ineffectual, the council shall impose one of the following disciplinary actions:

a)    Censure before the council or congregation

b)    Suspension from membership for definite period of time; or

c)    Exclusion from membership in this congregation.  Disciplinary actions b. and c. shall be delivered to the member in writing.

  1. The member against whom disciplinary action has been taken by the Congregation Council shall have the right to appear the decision to the Synod Council. Such right may be abridged and the decision of the Synod Council shall be final.
  2. Disciplinary actions may be reconsidered and revoked by the Congregation Council upon receipt of a) evidence that injustice has been done or b) evidence of repentance and amendment.

  

PART X – REPORTS OR ORGANIZATIONS

            All committees and organizations handling funds within the congregation shall submit accounts to the Treasurer or the Church Office at least twenty days prior to the

annual meeting, and the Treasurer shall include such accounts in his or her report to the meeting.

 

PART XI – PARISH RECORDS

            The Pastor shall be responsible for keeping accurate record of membership and of his or her ministerial acts on forms provided by the congregation, which shall remain the property of the congregation.  He or she shall report these statistics to the congregation annually and, when required, to the secretary of the Evangelica lLutheran Church in America.  Upon leaving the congregation, he or she shall complete the records of his or her ministry up to the time of his or her departure.