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Constitution of Grace Part II

3.         By this call, the Pastor shall be held to teach, reprove, and comfort in accordance with the confessions of faith and the regulations of the Constitution and Bylaws.

 

4.         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 the pastor Christian respect and obedience, to pray for the pastor and his/her family, and to show him/her all manner of goodwill.  It shall also supply the pastor's material needs in such a manner that he/she may be able, as much as possible, to focus his/her time and talents on the  performance of  official duties.

 

5.         If a Pastor receives a Letter of Call to another ministry, the Pastor will consult the CAC before reaching a decision.  Thereafter, the Pastor will announce a decision to the Congregation within twenty-one (21) days and notify the NALC. Following acceptance of the Call, the Pastor's ministry in this Congregation shall be concluded in a timely fashion or as agreed upon by the Pastor and CAC.

 

6.         The call of a Congregation, when accepted by a Pastor, shall constitute a continuing mutual relationship and commitment which, except in the case of the death of the Pastor, shall be terminated only following consultation with the NALC and for the following reasons:

 

a.         mutual agreement to terminate the call or the completion of a call for a specific term of years;

 

b.         resignation of the Pastor;

 

c.         inability to conduct the Pastoral office effectively in the Congregation in view of local conditions, without reflection on the competence or the moral and spiritual character of the Pastor;

 

d.         the physical or mental incapacity of the Pastor;

 

e.         disqualification of the Pastor through discipline on grounds of doctrine, morality, or continued neglect of duty; or

 

f.          the dissolution of the Congregation.

 

7.         In the case of alleged physical or mental incapacity of the Pastor or ineffective conduct of the Pastoral office, it shall be the responsibility of the NALC when such difficulties are personally known or have been brought to the NALC’s attention by an official recital of allegations by the CAC, or by a petition signed by at least one-third (1/3) of the voting members of the Congregation, to investigate such conditions personally in company with a committee of two (2) ordained ministers and one (1) layperson.

 

8.         In case of alleged physical or mental incapacity competent medical testimony shall be obtained.  When such disability is evident, the NALC with advice of the committee shall declare the Pastorate vacant.  Upon the restoration of a disabled Pastor to health, the NALC shall take steps to enable the Pastor to resume the ministry, either in the Congregation last served or in another field of labor.

 

9.         In the case of alleged local difficulties which imperil the effective functioning of the Congregation, all concerned persons shall be heard, after which the NALC together with the committee described in SECTION 9, number 7, shall decide on the course of action to be recommended to the Pastor and the Congregation.  If they agree to carry out such recommendations, no further action shall be taken by the NALC. If either party fails to assent, the Congregation may dismiss the Pastor by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the voting members present and voting at a regularly called meeting after consultation with the NALC.  When the Pastor is dismissed, he shall vacate the office at such a time as the Congregation shall specify. Should the Pastor reject or ignore the dismissal after ten (10) days, the CAC shall declare the office of the Pastor vacant and so notify the NALC.

 

10.       The foregoing procedure shall never be invoked when questions of doctrine, morality, or continued neglect of duty are involved, all such cases being treated as disciplinary matters.

 

11.       If in the course of the proceedings, it should become apparent that the Pastoral office cannot be conducted effectively in the Congregation being served by the ordained minister due to local conditions, the NALC shall be consulted for guidance and direction.

 

12.       If the office of the Pastor becomes vacant, the CAC shall provide for an interim Pastor in consultation with the NALC.

 

13.       During the period of service, an interim Pastor shall have the rights and duties in the Congregation of a regularly called Pastor and may delegate the same in part to a supply Pastor with the consent of the NALC and the CAC.  The interim Pastor and any ordained Pastor providing assistance shall refrain from exerting influence in the selection of a Pastor.

 

14.       This Congregation shall make satisfactory settlement of all financial obligations to a former Pastor before calling a successor.  A Pastor shall make satisfactory settlement of all financial obligations to this Congregation.

 

15.       When a Pastor is called to serve in company with another Pastor(s), the privileges and responsibilities of each Pastor shall be specified in documents to accompany the Call and to be drafted in consultation involving the Pastors, the CAC, and the NALC. As occasion requires, the documents may be revised through a similar consultation.

 

16.       With the approval of the NALC the Congregation may depart from SECTION 9, number 6, and call a Pastor for a specific term of years.  Details of such Calls shall be in writing setting forth the purpose and conditions involved.  Prior to the completion of a term, the NALC or a designated representative of the NALC, shall meet with the Pastor and representatives of the Congregation for a review of the Call.  Such Call may also be terminated before its expiration in accordance with the provisions of  SECTION 9, number 6.

 

17.       The Pastor(s) shall keep accurate parochial records of all baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials, communicants, members received, members dismissed, or members excluded from the Congregation, and shall submit a summary of such statistics annually to the NALC.

 

18.       The Pastor(s) shall be a member of the Congregation that has extended the Letter of Call. The Pastor(s) shall have voice and vote in all committees unless prohibited by committee bylaws.

 

SECTION 10.                       Property Ownership

 

1.         If this Congregation is removed from membership in the NALC according to its procedure for discipline, title to property shall continue to reside in this Congregation.

 

2.         If a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting members of this Congregation present  and voting at a regularly or specially called and conducted meeting of this Congregation vote to transfer to another Lutheran Church body, title to property shall continue to reside in this Congregation. Before this Congregation takes action to transfer to another Lutheran Church body, it shall consult with representatives of the NALC.

 

3.         If a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting members of this Congregation present and voting at a regularly or specially called and conducted meeting of this Congregation vote to become independent or relate to a non-Lutheran church body, title to property of this Congregation shall continue to reside in this Congregation.  Before this Congregation takes action to become independent or relate to a non-Lutheran church body, it shall consult with representatives of the NALC.

 

4.         If there is not a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the voting members of this Congregation present and voting at a regularly or specially called and conducted meeting of this Congregation for any of the actions stated above in the numbers 1, 2, and 3 in SECTION 10, and there is a split in the Congregation, then title to property of this Congregation shall continue with those that adhere to the Constitution and these Bylaws.

 

5.         Should the congregation disband, title to its land and other estates, real and personal, must be used for charitable purposes as directed by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present and voting at a specially called meeting for this purpose.

 

SECTION 11.                       Congregational Meetings

 

1.         The annual Congregational meeting shall be held the second or third Sunday of the new year.

 

2.         The quarterly Congregational meetings will be held the second or third Sunday in the months of April, July, and October, unless these dates fall on a festival occasion, in which case, the CAC will give a substitute date.

 

3.         A special Congregational meeting may be called by the Pastor(s), the CAC, or the President of this Congregation, and shall be called at the written request of  two-thirds (2/3) of the CAC or twenty-five (25) voting members of this Congregation.  The call for each special meeting shall specify the purpose for which it is to be held, and no other business shall be transacted.

 

4.         Notice of all meetings of this Congregation shall be given at the services of worship on the preceding two (2) consecutive Sundays or by mail to all voting members at least ten (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.

 

5.         All voting members present shall constitute a quorum.

 

6.         Voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.

 

7.         All actions by the Congregation shall be by majority vote, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution and these Bylaws.

 

8.         Robert's Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all meetings of this Congregation.

 

 

 

 

SECTION 12:                       Officers

 

1.         The officers of this Congregation shall give a good and Christian example to the other members of the Congregation by regular participation in our Divine services, by hearing and doing God's Word, by frequent partaking of the Lord's Supper, and by regular attendance at all our regular and special AC and Congregational meetings.

 

2.         The CAC shall elect its officers and they shall be the officers of the Congregation.  The officers shall be elected by written ballot and shall serve for one (1) year, or until their successors are elected.  Their terms shall begin on January 1st of the new year.

 

3.         The officers of this Congregation shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Finance Chairperson.  Duties of the officers are as follows:

 

a.   President--Shall preside at the meetings of the CAC and of the Congregation and recommend members for the various committees to the CAC.  Shall perform all such other duties as may be required by the Congregation and CAC.

 

b.   Vice-President--Shall preside at the meetings of the CAC and of the Congregation in the absence of the President.  The Vice-President shall also assist the president in those duties assigned by the President.  Shall perform all such other duties as may be required by the Congregation and CAC.

 

c.   Secretary--Shall keep the minutes of the CAC and the Congregation.  Shall also keep a file of current policies.  Shall organize committee reports and present for review by the CAC.

 

d.   Finance Chairperson--Shall report to CAC and Congregation on contributions and disbursement; vs. budget.  Shall be Committee Chairperson of the Finance Committee.  Shall assist the Treasurer with all funds of the Congregation, except those mentioned in SECTION 15.

 

4.         No officer shall hold more than one office at a time.  An elected officer position shall be declared vacant if the member a) ceases to be a voting member of this Congregation, or b) is absent from two (2) successive regular meetings of the CAC without cause.  Therefore, it is possible for an officer of the CAC and Congregation be declared vacant and that member continue to be a voting member of the CAC until they are absent the fourth (4th) successive time.  In which case, their position on the CAC is declared vacant.

 

5.         Should an office on the CAC and Congregation be declared vacant, the CAC shall elect, by written majority ballot, a successor until January 1st of the new year.

 

6.         Following the election in December of the new CAC and before the end of January of the new year, the new CAC shall have planning session(s) to determine its officers, CAC members assignments to committees, ideas for committee members, and lay salaried personnel for the coming year.  These shall be voted upon at the first CAC meeting of the new year.

 

SECTION 13.                       Congregational Staff

 

1.         Except as stipulated in the following paragraphs, the duties and responsibilities of all Congregational staff (lay salaried personnel) shall be assigned by the Executive Committee.  Lay salaried personnel position(s) shall first be offered to members in good standing of this congregation.

 

a.   Church Janitor--Shall be a member of the Property & Trustee Committee.  Shall perform such duties as established by the Executive Committee.  Shall clean and  maintain Congregational real property.  Shall perform all such other duties as may be required by the Congregation and CAC.

 

b.   Office Secretary--Shall perform such duties as established by the Executive Committee.  Shall maintain Church records and make available to the CAC upon request.  Shall attend to all the authorized correspondence of the Congregation at the request of the Pastor(s) or CAC.  Shall perform all such other duties as may be required by the Congregation and CAC.

 

c.   Treasurer--Shall be a member of the Finance Committee.  Shall perform such duties as established by the Executive Committee.  With the assistance of the Finance Chairperson shall have custody of all funds of the Congregation, except those mentioned in SECTION 15.  Shall receive and disburse such funds in accordance with the decisions of the Congregation or the CAC.  Shall maintain accurate records of all funds received and disbursed.  Shall have the books open for inspection to any member of the Congregation, excluding personal giving record, at any reasonable time.  Shall participate in the preparation of the annual budget.  Shall perform all such other duties as may be required by the Congregation and CAC.

 

SECTION 14.                       Congregational Committees

 

1.         The Executive Committee shall be comprised of the officers of the Congregation and the Pastor(s).  Duties are to appoint and supervise the congregational staff (lay salaried personnel), oversee committees and provide the necessary communications between the committees, CAC, and Congregation.

 

2.         The Nominating Committee  shall be comprised of five (5) members of this Congregation--two (2) of the outgoing members of the CAC as appointed by the Council and three (3) voting members of this congregation as elected at the annual meeting for a term of one (1) year.  Members of the Nominating Committee are not eligible for consecutive reelection and/or reappointment.

 

A.        The Nominating Committee shall nominate at least one (1) person per vacancy on CAC and Nominating Committee.  Shall oversee the nominating and election process through the following duties and schedule:

 

a.         shall present a slate to the Congregation at the October quarterly Congregational meeting for additional nominations and acceptance;

 

b.         shall, by the first Sunday in November, see that  the ballots are in the mail to the voting members of the Congregation.  The mailing of such ballots in the regular mail, with the regular postage affixed or paid, sent to the last known address of such members shall be sufficient.  Ballots can be placed in the ballot box until 11:30 a.m. on the fourth Sunday in November;

 

c.         shall count the ballots and provide results for publication on the following Sunday.

 

B.        Pastor(s) shall serve as advisors to the nominating committee.

 

3.         An Audit Committee of three (3) voting members shall be appointed by the CAC.  Audit Committee members shall not be members of the CAC.  Members shall be eligible for reappointment.

 

4.         The Mission Endowment Fund Committee shall be comprised of five (5) voting members of this congregation which are appointed by the CAC.  The term of each member will be three (3) years, with two (2) members elected two (2) of the years and one (1) member elected the other year.  Members of this committee may serve no more than two (2) consecutive three (3) year terms.  The Senior Pastor and the President/Vice-President of the CAC shall serve as an ex officio members of this committee.  The purpose of this committee (Fund) is to extend the ministry of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church apart from the general operation of the congregation.  (See Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Endowment Fund Guidelines for procedure.)

 

5.         The Thrivent Choice Fund Committee shall be comprised of five (5) voting members of this congregation which are approved by the CAC.  The term of each member will be three (3) years, with two (2) members elected two (2) of the years and one (1) member elected the other year.  Members of this committee may serve no more than two (2) consecutive three (3) year terms.  The Senior Pastor and the liaison of the CAC shall serve as an ex officio members of this committee.  The purpose of this committee (Fund) is to extend the ministry of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church apart from the general operation of the congregation.  (See Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Thrivent Choice Fund  Guidelines for procedure.)

 

6.         A Mutual Ministry Committee for each Pastor  may be appointed jointly by the President and that Pastor.  Term of office shall be two (2) years, three (3) members to be appointed each successive year.  The purpose of this committee is to support the Pastor.

 

7.         When a Pastoral vacancy occurs, a Call Committee of seven (7) voting members, representing a cross section of the congregation, shall be appointed by the CAC.  When the congregation is in need of an Associate Pastor, the Senior Pastor will serve as an ex officio member of the committee.  Term of office will terminate at installation of the newly-called Pastor.

 

8.         At its annual meeting in January, the CAC shall appoint as many standing committees as the local and wider concerns of the Congregation shall require.  Each such committee shall be composed of one (1) or more members of the CAC (except Audit, Endowment Fund, Mutual Ministry and Nominating Committees) and, in addition, other persons on the active rolls of confirmed members of the Congregation keeping in mind their gifts and talents.  Although appointed by and responsible to the CAC, these committees shall be recognized as representatives of the interests of, and performing essential services for, the Congregation as a whole.   The Pastor(s) shall have voice and vote in all committees unless prohibited by committee bylaws.

 

a.         It shall be the responsibility of each committee to take notes and file a report with the Secretary before the CAC meeting each month if necessary.  The purpose of this is for review of actions by committee for approval by CAC.  Also, with at least one member of CAC on each committee and through committee reports, this should provide good communication.

 

b.         It shall be the responsibility of each committee to provide to the Finance Committee a draft budget request for the succeeding year by September.  The Finance Committee shall prepare a complete draft budget for the November CAC meeting.  Then the Finance Committee shall present the proposed budget at the annual Congregational meeting in January.

 

9.         Other Congregational committees may be formed as the need arises, by decision of the CAC.  The duties of all committees shall be assigned by the CAC.  All actions of committees shall be subject to review by the CAC.  The following are the suggested committees for this congregation:

 

Worship--Will do the long range planning of the worship life of the congregation.  By overseeing all worship services and planning thereof which would include the involvement of Laity.  The Worship Committee will be assisted by the Deacon and Music sub-committees.

 

a.   Deacon

 

1.   Shall take up all offerings at regular and special services, and aid in counting of the same.

 

2.   Shall have charge of the baptismal and communion vessels and shall arrange the Altar for baptismal and communion services; and shall assist the Pastor(s) before the Altar.

 

3.   Are directly responsible to the Worship Committee and Pastor(s).

 

4.   Shall organize at the January committee meeting; electing a head-deacon and an assistant head-deacon.  the deacon committee shall see to it that the duties of the acolyte, Crucifer, and Communion Assistants are carried out.

 

b.   Music

 

1.   Shall include the organists, Choir Directors, and the Pastor(s).

 

Education--Sees that the Word of God is taught to all ages through Sunday School, Catechism, Bible Study, etc. and encourage family Christian educational programs at home, emphasizing pure doctrine and proper instruction.

 

Lay Ministry--Assisting the Pastor(s) in visiting the sick and the needy as will as determining any other social needs in the community, making recommendations on how to meet those needs and seeing that appropriate steps are taken.  Examples are visiting the sick and hospitalize, helping with shut-in communion and reporting back to the pastor(s).  The major purpose of this committee is to show the Love of Jesus Christ as this congregation care for others.

 

Witness--Would help train members to be able to share their faith and Love of Jesus Christ through word and deed in their daily lives, as well as to carry that witness to inactive and non-members so that the Word of God is spread.

 

Youth Ministry--Is composed of youth leaders and adults who will develop programs and activities for the youth of this congregation and community and to help them develop in their Christian Faith, Hope and Love.

 

Finance--Shall consist of the Executive Committee and treasurer with the Finance Chairperson as the Chairperson of this committee.  Shall submit a detailed budget and handle all obligations regarding current and benevolent expenses to be met by the congregation during the coming year.

 

Friendship--Develop programs to promote Christian friendship among members, programs that welcome visitors and integrate new members, and organize the worship receptionist and Greeters.

 

Property & Trustee--Shall have charge of the property of the congregation and shall keep the same in good order and repair, having  the power to expend up to $1,000 of budgeted sums before obtaining approval of the CAC.  Shall make annual inspection and report condition of all congregational properties.  The Church Janitor is a member of this committee.

 

Constitution--Shall be called together by the CAC when necessary to review, study and answer any questions regarding the Constitution and Bylaws.

 

 

SECTION 15:                       The Sunday School

 

1.         The Sunday School, in all of its departments, shall be under the supervision of the Pastor, the Sunday School Superintendent, and the Education Committee.

 

2.         Subject to the control of the congregation, the business affairs of the Sunday School shall be managed by the Sunday School Board in compliance with Sunday School Constitution.

 

SECTION 16:           Organizations Within the Congregation

 

1.         All organizations within this Congregation shall exist to aid it in ministering to the members of this Congregation and to all persons who can be reached with the Gospel of Christ.  As outgrowths and expressions of this Congregation's life, the organizations are subject to its oversight and direction.  This Congregation at its meeting shall determine their policies, guide their activities, and receive reports concerning their membership, work, and finances.

 

2.         Special interest groups, other than those of the official organizations of the NALC, may be organized only after authorization has been given by the CAC.

 

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