CHRIST EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH BYLAWS

 

CHAPTER 8

MEMBERSHIP

 

B8.02.a Baptized Members

 

  1. A child, one or both of whose parents or guardians are members of the congregation shall, upon receiving Baptism, become a baptized member.

 

  1. A child, neither of whose parents or guardians is a member of the congregation, shall, upon receiving Baptism, become a baptized member of the congregation; unless for good reason is to be a baptized member of another congregation, in which case membership shall be transferred to that congregation

 

  1. A child baptized in another congregation shall be received as a baptized member in the congregation when a transfer has been received.

 

  1. An unbaptized adult who has received instruction and has given evidence of an adequate understanding and acceptance of the teachings of the Word of God as confessed by the Lutheran Church, shall, upon confession of faith and Baptism, become a baptized member of the congregation. 

 

B8.02.b Confirmed Members

 

  1. A baptized adult, not a previously confirmed member of a Lutheran congregation, shall become a confirmed member of the congregation through the rite of “Affirmation of Baptism/Reception into Membership” or like procedure after having received instruction and having given evidence of adequate understanding of the teachings of the Word of God as confessed by the Lutheran Church.

 

  1. A baptized member of the congregation shall become a confirmed member through the rite of Confirmation; except that an adult who has become a baptized member in accordance with the provisions of item B8.02.b1 of this Section of the Bylaws shall be considered a confirmed member without participation in the rite of Confirmation.

 

  1. An applicant for membership who presents a Letter of Transfer, which certifies confirmed membership in good standing of a Lutheran congregation shall become a confirmed member of the congregation upon approval by the Congregation Council. The acceptance of the applicant shall be reported to the congregation.

 

  1. An applicant for membership who presents evidence of confirmation in a Lutheran congregation but does not have a Letter of Transfer shall be admitted to the confirmed membership by reaffirming faith and by approval of the Congregation Council.

 

B8.02.c Voting Members

 

The Congregation Council shall determine the roster of voting members of the congregation in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and by-laws. The roster of voting members shall be available at all regularly called meetings of the congregation.

 

A voting member shall be regarded as being “in good standing” as defined by the following requirements:

  1. Those who partake of Holy Communion and make a contribution of record to the congregational treasury during the current or preceding year, and

 

  1. Those who participate in the life and ministry of the congregation.

 

B8.02.d Associate Members

 

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, or persons who wish to maintain a relationship with this congregation while being members of another congregation. They have all the privileges and duties of membership except for voting rights, and eligibility for elected office or hold membership on the Congregation Council of this congregation.

 

B8.05 Discontinuance of Membership

 

The congregation shall, in the event of the removal of a member from the community it serves, encourage the member to request a transfer to the Lutheran congregation that can serve them effectively. Should the member fail to request a transfer, a Lutheran congregation in the community of their residence shall be notified.

 

  1. A confirmed member “in good standing” desiring to change membership to another Lutheran congregation shall, upon request, receive a Letter of Transfer.

 

  1. A confirmed member who does not, during the current or preceding year, partake of Holy Communion, support the church with offerings, and does not appear to desire to participate in the life and ministry of the congregation shall be visited by the pastor and the congregation’s representative and encouraged by them to active membership. If, during the second year, the confirmed member does not actively participate, their name may be removed from the membership roster of the congregation but be retained on a responsibility list as one who is in special need of the congregation’s prayer and concern. 

 

 

CHAPTER 9

THE PASTOR

 

B9.01  The candidate for pastoral office will meet the following criteria:

1)   A minimum of a Master of Divinity degree or equivalent (e.g. Masters of Sacred Theology or advanced degrees in religious and/or biblical studies)

 

2)   Demonstrate a thorough understanding of Lutheran theology, particularly in matters of Word and Sacrament the doctrines of “Justification by Grace through Faith” and “Law and Gospel”. To that end, those candidates who are on the certified roster of clergy for LCMC would serve as a good starting point.

 

3)   The congregation is responsible for contacting and vetting the candidates.

 

B9.02  The duties of the pastor shall be consistent with Chapter 9 of the constitution. In the call the congregation shall bind itself, in accordance with the Word of God, to receive the pastor-elect as its pastor and spiritual advisor, to render Christian respect and obedience, to pray for and to show all manner of good will. It shall supply temporal wants in such a way that the pastor may as much as possible devote all time and talents to the performance of official duties. 

 

B9.03  A written call signed by the president of the Congregational Council and the chairperson of the call committee shall be transmitted to the pastor elect.

 

B9.04  Since both the pastor and the congregation are mutual parties to the call, the pastor shall be expected to consult with the Congregation Council, before making a decision on any call.

 

            If the congregation deems a change of pastors advisable, the matter shall first be discussed with the pastor at a meeting of the council. If this fails to result in a peaceful adjustment of the difficulties to the satisfaction of the pastor and the congregation, they shall consult with the Board of Trustees of LCMC.

 

CHAPTER 10

CONGREGATION MEETING

 

B10.01The annual meeting of the congregation normally shall be held on the third Sunday of January. The primary purpose for the annual meeting shall be:

  1. to elect council members

  2. to receive reports

  3. to approve a budget

  4. to conduct any other business

 

CHAPTER 11

CONGREGATION COUNCIL

 

B11.01            The members of the Congregation Council shall be Christian examples to the other members of the congregation by regularly participating in divine services, by hearing and doing God’s Word, and by frequent partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Council Members will serve as liaisons to various committees. The Congregation Council shall be structured as follows:

 

B11.01.01 The Executive Board

 

The Executive Board shall consist of the Pastor(s), President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, (no more than 1 person from an immediate family may serve on the Executive Board at the same time- immediate family defined as father, mother, and children). Their duties as outlined below:

 

  1. The President shall conduct all regular and special meetings of the congregation and Congregation Council, be an authorized signatory on accounts, and perform any duty given him by the congregation.

 

  1. The Vice President shall:
    1. Act in the President’s absence.
    2. Review all insurance coverage annually.
    3. Participate on the Nominating Committee.

 

  1. The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of all proceedings of the congregation and the Congregation Council.

 

  1. The Treasurer shall:
    1. Keep a record of accounts (receipts and expenses).
    2. Form an annual Audit Committee.
    3. Make a monthly financial report to the Congregation Council.
    4. Provide a year end financial report to the congregation at the annual meeting.

 

  1. The Special Funds Treasurer (not a member of the Executive Board)
    By nature of the position, the Special Funds Treasurer works with a variety of ministries, and is a financial officer of the congregation, but is not considered a part of the Executive Committee. The responsibilities are the same as the Treasurer, listed above.

 

B11.01.02 The Board of Spiritual Development

 

The Board of Spiritual Development is responsible for the development of programs and practices to enhance the overall spiritual growth of the congregation. It consists of:

 

  1. The Ministry of Worship is responsible for the worship life of the congregation, working with other committees and musical expressions as necessary. The specific duty is to see that the church is ready and equipped for worship, including but not limited to ushers, altar guild, offering counters, and greeters.

 

  1. The Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing the Educational aspects of the congregation. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, Sunday School, Confirmation, and Vacation Bible School.

 

  1. The Ministry of Youth and Family is responsible for developing/implementing programs and activities that will enhance the lives of our youth and their families. 

 

  1. The Ministry of Congregational Life and Social Outreach is responsible for congregational life within the church and our community by:

    1. initiating programs which enhance the life of the congregation, promoting fellowship and unity.  These programs may include, but are not limited to; church dinners, church celebrations, euchre nights, Christmas Walk, movie with Pastor, renewal of vows ceremony.

    2. overseeing programs which are specifically intended to reach those who are in need both within and beyond the congregation. Several programs that already exist and require little "oversight" are UCCS and Emergency outreach Fund.

 

Others may be developed.

 

A principal function of this committee will be to investigate those agencies this congregation will support with Mission Support offerings. They shall develop a plan, and present it to the whole Congregation Council for approval, who in turn will present it to the congregation at the annual meeting. 

 

B11.01.03 The Board of Congregational Services

            

The Board of Congregational Services is responsible for programs that deal with the day-to-day operations of the congregation, which may not necessarily encompass a “spiritual” component. It consists of:

 

  1. The Ministry of Property is responsible for the physical properties of the congregation, keeping them in good repair.

 

  1. Ministry of Communications is responsible for initiating and maintaining methods of contact both within and beyond the congregation. This includes, but is not limited to: electronic media such as Web Page and Facebook, and notifying the media and other agencies (congregations, businesses, etc.) of upcoming events.

 

B11.02As structured in these Bylaws, the Congregational Council consists of 4 executive board members, a special funds treasurer, and 7 regular members plus the pastor(s) with no more than 2 immediate family members serving on the Congregational Council at the same time. All council members will be elected to 2 year terms. In the event of a vacancy, the Congregation Council will appoint a replacement to fill the position until the next annual meeting. The members of the Congregational Council will be elected at the annual meeting in the following manner:

 

The congregation will elect executive board members and the special funds treasurer to their position and regular members just to the Congregational Council. The selection of newly elected regular board members to ministry areas will take place at the first council meeting after election.

 

  1. The nominating committee will provide a slate of candidates for each Executive Council/Special Funds Treasurer opening, and a slate of candidates equal to or greater than the number of regular council member openings. The Ballot will be prepared to include these candidates plus room for floor nominations.

 

  1. Nominations will be taken from the floor.

 

  1. Executive board members/Special funds treasurer voting will be by position with election to candidate receiving the highest number of votes cast.

 

  1. Regular council members will be elected to the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes cast (in descending order) until the number of open positions is filled.

 

  1. Spoiled or illegally marked ballots will be discarded.

 

  1. Official installation will take place as soon as practical.

 

B11.04Council members may serve two consecutive terms (plus up to one year of an unexpired appointment, for a total of five consecutive years). At that point the individual may not be elected or appointed to council until he or she has been off for 1 year. No council member may serve on the Executive Board for more than 2 consecutive terms. No person may hold more than 1 (one) office at a time.

 

B11.08bReal property shall not be purchased, disposed of, or encumbered in any manner except by a resolution adopted by not less than a two-thirds majority ballot vote of the members present at a legally called meeting of the congregation.

 

B11.09In addition to the duties and responsibilities provided in the Constitution and Bylaws as enumerated above:

 

B11.09.01 The Executive Board shall:

            

  1. Secure necessary staff other than the pastor(s), such as Parish Assistant, Office Secretary, Custodian, Musicians, etc., and fix and review annually their salaries and performance. 

 

  1. Annually review the salary and performance of the pastor(s).

 

B11.09.02 The Congregation Council shall:

 

  1. Be responsible for the buildings and premises of the congregation so that their use is normally limited to the functions of the congregation. Should groups or individuals not associated with the congregation desire to use such property, application shall be made to the Congregation Council for its approval.

 

  1. Appoint committees and supervise their activities.

 

  1. Exercise discipline in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws. 

 

  1. Convene at least once each year a meeting of all committees to meet jointly with the Congregation Council to review the life, work, and program of the congregation.

 

  1. Have authority between meetings of the congregation to choose delegates to any group or meeting in which the congregation is entitled to representation. 

 

CHAPTER 12

CONGREGATIONAL COMMITTEES

 

B12.02 Nominating Committee

 

1)   The Nominating Committee of four members (the Vice President, 1 sitting council, and two members chosen by the Congregation Council) will submit a slate of candidates in accordance with section B11.02.A of these bylaws.

 

2)   The pastor(s) will serve as advisory members to the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall serve as tellers for the election, distributing the ballots and tabulating the results.

 

B12.03The Audit Committee shall report its findings to the Congregation Council in writing within 60 days after the annual meeting. 

 

CHAPTER 13

ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE CONGREGATION

 

B13.01While the buildings of the congregation shall be open to all people to share in its worship, instruction, pastoral care, and fellowship, the 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.

 

B13.02Ceremonies of lodges or other such organizations shall not be permitted in the buildings or premises of the congregation; nor shall its pastor(s) or lay assistant(s) take part in any such ceremonies wherever they are conducted. 

 

CHAPTER 14

DISCIPLE OF MEMBERS

 

B14.02If a person fails to appear at the time and place without valid excuse, the Congregation Council may proceed with the hearing and may reach its conclusion in his or her absence.

 

CHAPTER 19

COMMUNION PARTICIPATION

 

B19.01Participation in Holy Communion shall be open to properly instructed members of this congregation and to individual members of other congregations who accept the Lutheran teaching in regard to Holy Communion.

 

B19.02Holy Communion requires sincere repentance, faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, and an earnest desire to amend one’s sinful life, as well as acceptance of the scriptural teaching of the Real Presence of Christ with His Body and Blood in the Sacrament. Such written and oral announcements shall be used, as it will make prospective participants aware of these requirements. 

 

CHAPTER 20

PARISH RECORDS

 

B20.01The record of the congregation shall be and remain the property of the congregation. The pastor shall be responsible for maintaining the records. The records shall consist of:

  1. The roster of baptized, confirmed, voting, and associate members.

  2. The official acts performed by the pastor.

  3. The minutes and reports of Lutheran Congregation in Mission for Christ.

  4. The minutes of the meetings of the congregation and the Congregation Council, for which the secretary of the congregation shall be responsible.

  5. The financial records of the congregation, for which the treasurer of the congregation shall be responsible.

 

B20.02Should the congregation be dissolved, the official records of the congregation shall be forwarded to the offices of LCMC or its successor.