Constitution of Grace Part I

CONSTITUTION OF

THE GRACE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

JACKSON CENTER, SHELBY COUNTY, OHIO

ISSUED APRIL 6, 2014

Revised October 15, 2017 1st. Vote

PREAMBLE:

 

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. We, the members of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jackson Center, Shelby County, Ohio, sensible of our spiritual needs, and mindful of our Christian duties, in Jesus' Name, and with hope of His Blessings, adopt the following Constitution:

Bold blue type articles cannot be amended, repealed or altered. This includes articles II, III, IV, V, VIII, IX, X, XI.

CONSTITUTION

 

ARTICLE I: Name and Incorporation

 

  1. The name and title of this Congregation shall be: The Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jackson Center, Shelby County, Ohio.

 

  1. This Congregation is incorporated in its own name, as a corporation not for profit, under the laws of the State of Ohio.

 

ARTICLE II: Confession of Faith

 

This congregation incorporates Article 2 of the constitution of the North American Lutheran Church (the “NALC”), confessing:

 

  1. The Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

 

  1. Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.

 

  1. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.

 

  1. The proclamation of God’s message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
  2. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by the Holy Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them the Holy Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

 

  1. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God are the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith and life, "according to which all doctrines should and must be judged." (Formula of Concord, Epitome, Part I)

 

  1. The Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of the Church.

 

  1. The Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

 

  1. The other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.

 

  1. The Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God’s mission in the world.

 

  1. It is to be understood that other Christian Congregations may have the use of our facilities upon the discretion of the Church Administrative Council.

 

ARTICLE III: Purpose

 

  1. It is the purpose of this Lutheran congregation, whose members are disciples of Christ, faithfully to proclaim and propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people by:

 

  1. nurturing the members of the Congregation towards growth in faith and in discipleship; and

 

  1. reaching beyond itself in mission to the community and the world, and to support the mission of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).

 

  1. For better attainment of its purpose, the Congregation from time to time will adopt a mission statement which will provide specific direction for its programs.

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE IV: Church Affiliation

 

  1. This congregation is an interdependent part of the NALC or any successor and is subject to the disciplinary rules of the NALC.

 

  1. This congregation subscribes to the constitution of the NALC and will act in accordance with it.

 

  1. This congregation will conduct its ministry in a manner consistent with its membership in the NALC:

 

  1. This congregation is responsible for its life as a Christian community.

 

  1. This congregation pledges its participation in the life and mission of the NALC, including the prayerful consideration of appropriate financial support.

 

  1. This congregation shall call only pastors who are members of the NALC or otherwise are authorized by the NALC to serve.

 

  1. This congregation shall appoint only commissioned lay leaders who are members of the NALC or otherwise are authorized by the NALC to serve.

 

  1. Affiliation with the NALC may be terminated as follows:

 

a This congregation dissolves.

 

  1. This congregation ceases to exist.

 

  1. This congregation is removed from membership in the NALC according to the procedures for discipline of the NALC.

 

  1. This congregation, at a legally called and conducted special meeting, approves by at least a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting, a resolution directing that this congregation withdraw from the NALC. If this congregation adopts a resolution withdrawing from the NALC, all provisions of this constitution binding this congregation to the NALC shall be immediately ineffective. The congregation shall promptly deliver a copy of the withdrawal resolution to the NALC General Secretary and the Dean of our Mission District.

 

ARTICLE V: Power of Congregation

 

  1. In all matters of Christian faith and life, the Word of God is the highest authority.

 

  1. In all matters left undecided in Holy Writ and not subject to civil laws, the Congregation itself, and not any individual or group within it, shall have the right of ultimate decision.

 

  1. All schools, auxiliaries, societies, and other organizations within the Congregation shall be organized and operated under the consent and purpose of the Congregation.

 

  1. This congregation may select voting members of this congregation to serve as lay delegates and alternates to represent it at meetings of any conferences, convocations, and other meetings where this congregation is entitled to such representation.

 

ARTICLE VI: Membership

 

  1. The Congregation will not deny persons membership or place restrictions on members because of gender, race, color, or national origin.

 

  1. All baptized children in this Congregation and all children baptized by the Pastor in this community shall be baptized members of this Congregation.

 

  1. All adults and children who have been baptized in the Name of the Triune God, who have been received into this Congregation by confirmation, baptism of adults, profession of faith, vote of the Church Administrative Council (CAC), or transfer of confirmed membership, shall be communicant members of this Congregation. All children who are baptized members of this congregation and whose parents feel they are ready, shall be allowed to receive Holy Communion upon completing of the following:

 

  1. consultation with the Pastor

 

  1. completion of a class instructing them in the meaning of Holy Communion.

 

 

  1. It shall be the privilege and duty of members of the Congregation to:

 

  1. make regular use of the Means of Grace, both Word and Sacraments;

 

  1. live a Christian life in accordance with the Word of God and the teachings of the Lutheran Church; and

 

  1. support the work of the Congregation and the NALC through contributions of their time, abilities, and financial support as Biblical stewards.

 

  1. Voting members are confirmed members who have communed at least 3 times during the previous 12 months. Members of this congregation who have satisfied this basic standard shall have the privilege of voice and vote at every regular and special meeting of the congregation.

 

ARTICLE VII: The Church Administrative Council (CAC)

 

  1. The voting membership of the CAC shall consist of the Pastor(s) and nine (9) members of the Congregation. Any voting member of the Congregation that is eighteen (18) years of age or over, may be elected, subject only to the limitation on the length of continuous service permitted in that office. A member's place on the CAC shall be declared vacant if the member a) ceases to be a voting member of this Congregation, or b) is absent from four (4) successive regular meetings of the CAC without cause.

 

  1. The members of the CAC, except the Pastor(s), shall be elected by written ballot to serve for three (3) years, or until their successors are elected. Such members shall be eligible to serve no more than two full terms consecutively. Their terms shall begin on January 1st of the new year.

 

  1. Should a member's place on the CAC be declared vacant, the CAC shall elect, by majority vote, a successor to serve the duration of that term.

 

  1. The duties of the CAC shall be to counsel and assist the Pastor(s) in the spiritual oversight of the Congregation, to see that all rules and regulations of the Congregation are rightly executed, and that discipline is properly exercised in all cases where dispute arises within the Congregation.

 

  1. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of the CAC, including the Pastor(s) or interim Pastor. Voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.

 

  1. Robert's Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all meetings of the CAC.

 

ARTICLE VIII: Indoctrination of Children

 

  1. As Lutheran Christians, we recognize it our duty to rear our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and to have them carefully and conscientiously instructed in the articles of our Holy Christian faith.

 

  1. In order that the children may be adequately taught in the faith of the Church and trained in the fear, love, and trust of God, thorough instruction to prepare them for their confirmation shall be under the Pastor's supervision with all diligence and faithfulness.

 

 

ARTICLE IX: The Pastor

 

  1. The Congregation alone shall have the power to call its Pastor. Before doing so, the officers of the Congregation shall seek the advice and help of the Dean of our Mission District of the NALC.

 

  1. Only such a Pastor shall be called who is or will become a member in good standing of the NALC.

 

  1. The Pastor of the Congregation must preach and teach purely Lutheran doctrine, which is in full accord with the Word of God, the Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church, and the principles set forth in this constitution.

 

  1. The Pastor shall lead a Christian life, and possess the qualifications required by St. Paul, 1 Timothy 3:2-7, Titus 1:7-9.

 

  1. No Pastor or Theological student shall be permitted to officiate in the pulpit or at the Altar of this congregation who is not a member in good standing of the NALC or its successors, or Christian body in pulpit and altar fellowship with the same.

 

  1. A Pastor shall be a voting member of the CAC by virtue of the office, and an ex officio member of all organizations/committees of the congregation.

 

  1. The above provisions shall also be observed when the congregation calls another Pastor or an Assistant to the Pastor.

 

ARTICLE X: Legal Ownership in Case of Division

 

  1. Should disagreement among the members bring about a separation in this congregation, which God forbid, all property shall revert to those who adhere to this constitution.

 

ARTICLE XI: Unalterable Articles

 

  1. In order to preserve and maintain intact the doctrine and confessional positions of this Congregation, ARTICLES II, III, IV, V, VIII, IX, X, and XI cannot be repealed or altered.

 

ARTICLE XII: Bylaws

 

  1. This Congregation may adopt Bylaws. No Bylaws may conflict with this Constitution.

 

  1. Bylaws may be adopted or amended at any legally called meeting of this Congregation with a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those voting members present and voting.

 

  1. Changes to the Bylaws may be proposed by any voting member or by the CAC. The proposed additions or amendments shall be submitted in writing to the CAC at least sixty (60) days before a regular or special Congregational meeting called for that purpose and the CAC notify the Congregation of the proposal with its recommendations at least thirty (30) days in advance of the Congregational meeting.

 

  1. Approved changes to the Bylaws shall be sent by the Secretary of this Congregation to our Mission District.

 

ARTICLE XIII: Constitution Changes

 

  1. Articles of this Constitution, except those that are made unchangeable in ARTICLE XI of this Constitution, may be changed or repealed, or new ones may be added.

 

  1. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by at least twenty-five (25) voting members or by the CAC. Proposals must be filed in writing with the CAC sixty (60) days before formal consideration by this Congregation at its regular or special meeting called for that purpose. The CAC shall notify the Congregation of the proposal with their recommendations at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting.

 

  1. A proposed amendment to this Constitution shall:

 

  1. be approved at a properly called meeting according to this Constitution and Bylaws, by a majority vote of those present and voting;

 

  1. be ratified without change at the next regular meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those present and voting; and

 

  1. have the effective date included in the resolution and noted in the Constitution.

 

  1. This Congregation agrees to file the constitution and any subsequent changes to the constitution with our Mission District for review to ascertain that all of its provisions are in agreement with the constitution and bylaws of the NALC and with the constitution of our Mission District.
    BYLAWS

 

  1. 1. Nature of the Church

 

  1. All power in the Church belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ, its head. All actions of this congregation are to be carried out under His rule and authority

 

  1. The body of Christ is made up, as Martin Luther states, as anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. Martin Luther encourages all believers to work together in faith, active in love. The Church acknowledges itself to be part of the history-long and world-wide communion of saints, in all times and all places.

 

  1. 2. Confession of Faith

 

  1. This Congregation confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.

 

  1. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.

 

  1. The proclamation of God's message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

 

  1. The Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

 

  1. This Congregation accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

 

  1. This Congregation confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God's mission in the world.

 

  1. This congregation subcribes to the common confession as follows:

 

The Common Confession

(The faith statement of Lutheran CORE – Coalition for Renewal. Adopted: November 2005)

 

CC1) The Lord Jesus Christ

We are people who believe and confess our faith in the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We trust and believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.

CC2) The Gospel of Salvation

We believe and confess that all human beings are sinners, and that sinners are redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God alone justifies human beings by faith in Christ — a faith that God creates through the message of the Gospel. As ambassadors for Christ, God uses us to speak his Word and build his kingdom.

CC3) The Authority of Scripture

We believe and confess that the Bible is God’s revealed Word to us, spoken in Law and Gospel. The Bible is the final authority for us in all matters of our faith and life.

CC4) A Common Confession of Faith

We accept and uphold that the Lutheran Confessions reliably guide us as faithful interpretations of Scripture, and that we share a unity and fellowship in faith with others among whom the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and the sacraments are administered in accordance with the Gospel.

CC5) The Priesthood of All Believers

We believe and confess that the Holy Spirit makes all who believe in Jesus Christ to be priests for service to others in Jesus’ name, and that God desires to make use of the spiritual gifts he has given through the priesthood of all believers.

CC6) Marriage and Family

We believe and confess that the marriage of male and female is an institution created and blessed by God. From marriage, God forms families to serve as the building blocks of all human civilization and community. We teach and practice that sexual activity belongs exclusively within the biblical boundaries of a faithful marriage between one man and one woman.

CC7) The Mission and Ministry of the Congregation

We believe and confess that the church is the assembly of believers called and gathered by God around Word and Sacrament, and that the mission and ministry of the church is carried out within the context of individual congregations, which are able to work together locally and globally.

 

  1. 3. Statement of Purpose

 

  1. The Church is a people created by God in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, called and sent to bear witness to God's creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world.

 

  1. To participate in God's mission, this Congregation as a part of the Church shall:

 

  1. Worship God in proclamation of the Word and administration of the sacraments and through lives of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, witness, and service.

 

  1. Proclaim God's saving Gospel of justification by grace for Christ's sake through faith alone, according to the apostolic witness in the Holy Scripture, preserving and transmitting the Gospel faithfully to future generations.

 

  1. Carry out Christ's Great Commission by reaching out to all people to bring them to faith in Christ and by doing all ministry with a global awareness consistent with the understanding of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of all.

 

  1. Serve in response to God's love to meet human needs, caring for the sick and the aged, advocating dignity and justice for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the nations, and standing with the poor and powerless, and committing itself to their needs.

 

  1. Nurture its members in the Word of God so as to grow in faith and hope and love, to see daily life as the primary setting for the exercise of their Christian calling, and to use the gifts of the Spirit for their life together and for their calling in the world.

 

  1. Manifest the unity given to the people of God by living together in the love of Christ and by joining with other Christians in prayer and action to express and preserve the unity which the Spirit gives.

 

  1. To fulfill these purposes, this Congregation shall:

 

  1. Provide services of worship at which the Word of God is preached and the sacraments are administered.

 

  1. Those intending to commune shall sign cards provided for that purpose.

 

  1. Participation in Holy Communion shall be entered in church records.

 

  1. Holy Communion shall be celebrated at least once a month.

 

  1. Provide Pastoral care and assist all members to participate in this ministry.

 

  1. Challenge, equip, and support all members in carrying out their calling in their daily lives and in their Congregation.

 

  1. Teach the Word of Go

 

  1. Witness to the reconciling Word of God in Christ, reaching out to all peopl

 

  1. Respond to human needs, work for justice and peace, care for the sick and the suffering, and participate responsibly in society.

 

  1. Motivate its members to provide financial support for the Congregation's ministry and the ministry of other parts of the NALC.

 

  1. Foster and participate in interdependent relationships with other Congregations, our Mission District and the NALC.

 

  1. Foster and participate in ecumenical relationships consistent with NALC policy.

 

  1. This Congregation shall develop an organizational structure to be described in the bylaws. The CAC shall prepare descriptions of the responsibilities of each committee, task force, or other organizational groups and shall review their actions. Such description shall be contained in the bylaws or the policies of the CAC.

 

  1. 4. Church Affiliation

 

  1. This Congregation acknowledges its relationship with the NALC in which:

 

  1. This Congregation agrees to be responsible for its life as a Christian community.

 

  1. This Congregation pledges its financial support and participation in the life and mission of the NALC.

 

  1. This Congregation agrees to call Pastoral leadership from the clergy roster of the NALC in accordance with its call procedures, except in special circumstances and with the approval of the NALC.

 

  1. This Congregation agrees to consider associates in ministry for appointment to other staff positions in the Congregation according to the procedures of the NALC.

 

  1. Any amendments to the Constitution shall be sent by the Secretary of this Congregation to our Mission District. The amendment shall become effective within 120 days from the date of the receipt of the notice by our Mission District unless our Mission District informs this Congregation that the amendment is in conflict with the constitution and bylaws of the NALC, or the constitution of our Mission District

 

  1. Affiliation with the NALC may be terminated as follows:

 

  1. This Congregation takes action to dissolve.

 

  1. This Congregation ceases to exist.

 

  1. This Congregation is removed from membership in the NALC according to the procedures for discipline of the NALC.

 

  1. This Congregation follows the procedures outlined in SECTION 4, number 3.

 

  1. This Congregation may terminate its relationship with the NALC by the following procedure:

 

  1. The NALC shall be notified of a meeting of this Congregation that will take action on a resolution to terminate its relationship, at least ninety (90) days in advance.

 

  1. A resolution indicating the desire of this Congregation to terminate its relationship must be adopted at a legally called and conducted meeting of this Congregation by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting members present and voting.

 

  1. The Secretary of this Congregation shall submit a copy of the resolution to our Mission District and shall mail a copy of the resolution to voting members of the Congregation. This notice shall be submitted within ten (10) days after the resolution has been adopted.

 

  1. The Dean of our Mission District may consult with this Congregation during a period of at least ninety (90) days.

 

  1. If this Congregation, after consultation, still desires to terminate its relationship, such action may be taken at a legally called and conducted meeting of this Congregation by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting members present and voting. Notice of the meeting shall be mailed to all voting members at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting.

 

  1. A certified copy of the resolution to terminate its relationship shall be sent to the Dean of our Mission District, at which time the relationship between this Congregation and NALC shall be terminated.

 

  1. If this Congregation is considering relocation, it shall confer with the Dean of our Mission District in which it is territorially located before any steps are taken leading to such action.

 

  1. 5. Powers of the Congregation

 

  1. The powers of this Congregation are those necessary to fulfill its purpose.

 

  1. The powers of this Congregation are vested in the Congregational Meeting called and conducted as provided in the Constitution and Bylaws.

 

  1. Only such authority as is delegated to the CAC or other organizational units in the Congregation's governing documents is recognized. All remaining authority is retained by the Congregation. This Congregation is authorized to:

 

  1. call a Pastor as provided in ARTICLE IX in the Constitution and SECTION 9 in these Bylaws;

 

  1. terminate the call of a Pastor as provided in SECTION 9 in these Bylaws;

 

  1. appoint or terminate the appointment of associates in ministry in conformity with the applicable policy of the NALC:

 

  1. approve the annual budget;

 

  1. acquire real and personal property by gift, devise, purchase, or other lawful means;

 

  1. hold title to and use its property for any and all activities consistent with its purpose;

 

  1. sell, mortgage, lease, transfer, or otherwise dispose of its property by any lawful means;

 

  1. elect its CAC, boards, and committees, as necessary and require them to carry out their duties in accordance with the Constitution, and Bylaws;

 

  1. terminate its relationship with the NALC as provided in ARTICLE IV of the constitution and SECTION 4 of the bylaws.

 

  1. 6. Membership

 

  1. Admission to baptized membership:

 

  1. Children, one or both of whose parents or guardians are members of this Congregation, shall, upon receiving Christian baptism, be received as baptized members of this Congregation.

 

  1. Children neither of whose parents or guardians are members of this Congregation, shall, upon Christian baptism duly recorded as a ministerial act performed under the auspices of this Congregation, be received as baptized members of this Congregation unless there is understanding that, for good reason, they will be enrolled as baptized members of another Congregation, in which case, notice of the baptism shall be sent to the Congregation in which the child is to be enrolled as a baptized member.

 

  1. Children baptized in other Congregations shall be received as baptized members of this Congregation upon admission of one or both parents or guardians to membership, or by consent of one or both parents or guardians, or by action of the CAC.

 

  1. Unbaptized adults who have received instruction and have given evidence of having 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 Christian baptism duly recorded as a ministerial act performed under the auspices of this Congregation, be received as baptized members of this Congregation.

 

  1. Admission to confirmed membership:

 

  1. Baptized adults, not previously members of the Congregation who have received instruction and have given evidence of having adequate understanding and acceptance of the teachings of the Word of God as confessed by the Lutheran Church, shall be admitted to confirmed membership through the rite of Confirmation.

 

  1. However, adults received as baptized members according to the provisions of SECTION 6, number 1d of the Bylaws shall be recognized as confirmed members, whether or not at the discretion of the Pastor, they have participated in the rite of Confirmation.

 

  1. Children who are baptized members of this Congregation shall be admitted to confirmed membership through proper instruction and participation in the rite of Confirmation.

 

  1. Applicants for membership presenting letters of transfer showing them to be confirmed members in good standing in other Lutheran Congregations shall be admitted to confirmed membership upon acceptance of their letter of transfer by the CAC and the report of their names to the Congregation.

 

  1. Applicants for membership who present evidence of confirmation in a Lutheran Congregation, but do not have letter of transfer, shall be admitted to confirmed membership when the CAC has determined that they meet the standards of Christian faith and life indicated in the Constitution and Bylaws and when they have reaffirmed their faith before the Congregation.

 

  1. Discontinuance of members:

 

  1. Members who have moved away shall be encouraged to transfer their membership. Confirmed members in good standing desiring to change their membership to another Lutheran Congregation shall upon request, receive a letter of transfer.
  2. A confirmed member who, in the judgment of the CAC, shows no interest in attending church services and does not partake of Holy Communion, and who does not contribute to the treasury (according to the Congregation's records) for a period of two (2) years, may be contacted by the Pastor and/or a representative of the Congregation concerning restoring active membership. Such a person will be encouraged to take part in the Congregational life, or transfer elsewhere as the situation may indicate to be advisable. It is the duty of this Congregation to continue to reach out to restore active membership.

 

  1. Members who have been dismissed, or who have resigned, and members who have transferred to other Lutheran Congregations, or who are definitely known to have become members of other Congregations without transfer, have thereby surrendered their membership rights in the Congregation.

 

  1. Children, neither of whose parents or guardians are active members of the Congregation, shall be dropped from the baptized membership roll if they fail to participate in the Christian education program of the Congregation.

 

  1. Such persons who have been removed from the roll of members, (because of resignation, disciplinary action, or who fail to participate in the Christian education program of this congregation,) shall remain persons for whom the Church has a continuing concern.

 

  1. Associate Membership – Associate members are persons holding membership in other Lutheran (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 retain a relationship with this congregation while being members of others congregations. 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.

 

  1. 7. Discipline of Members

 

  1. Denial of the Christian faith as described in the Constitution and Bylaws, conduct grossly unbecoming a member of the Church of Christ, or persistent trouble-making in this Congregation are sufficient cause for discipline of a member. Following Jesus example of Love and Grace, reconciliation will be attempted using Matthew 18: 15-18, proceeding through these successive steps:

 

  1. private admonition by the Pastor

 

  1. admonition by the Pastor in the presence of two (2) or three (3) witnesses and

 

  1. citation to appear before the CAC.

DOES CAC WANT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO ADD THIS?

  1. DISCIPLINARY ACTION BY THE CAC AS DEEMED APPRIORIATE TO THE SITUATION..

 

 

  1. Disciplinary actions may be reconsidered and revoked by the CAC upon receipt of:

 

  1. evidence that injustice has been done, or

 

  1. evidence of repentance and amendment.

 

  1. 8. The Church Administration Council (CAC)

 

  1. The CAC 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 NALC. The duties of the CAC shall include the following:

 

  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.

 

  1. To seek to involve all members of this Congregation in worship, learning, witness, service, and support.

 

  1. To oversee and provide for the administration of this Congregation to enable it to fulfill its functions and perform its mission.

 

  1. To maintain supportive relationships with the Pastor(s) and staff and help them annually to evaluate the fulfillment of their calling, appointment, or employment.

 

  1. To be examples individually and corporately of the style of life and ministry expected of all baptized persons.

 

  1. To promote a Congregational climate of peace and goodwill and, as differences and conflicts arise, to endeavor to foster mutual understanding.

 

  1. To arrange for Pastoral service during the sickness or absence of the Pastor.

 

  1. To emphasize partnership with our Mission District and the NALC, as well as cooperation with other Congregations, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran, subject to established policies of our Mission District and the NALC.

 

  1. To recommend and encourage the use of program resources produced or approved by the NALC.

 

  1. To seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel.

 

  1. To appoint, from among its voting membership, layperson(s) to serve as official voting lay delegate(s) and alternate(s) to the NALC Convocation as well as persons to represent it at meetings of any conference, cluster, coalition, or other area subdivision of which it is a member. The number of persons to be elected by this congregation and other qualifications shall be prescribed in guidelines established by the NALC.

 

  1. The CAC shall be responsible for the financial and property matters of this Congregation.

 

  1. The CAC shall be the Board of Trustees 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 of Ohio, except as otherwise provided herein.

 

  1. The CAC shall not have the authority to buy, sell, or encumber real property unless specifically authorized to do so by a meeting of the Congregation.

 

  1. The CAC may enter into contracts of up to $8,000 annually for items not included in the budget. Under emergency conditions such as broken water heater or furnace, CAC may exceed $8,000 to protect Church property.

 

  1. The CAC shall prepare an annual budget for adoption by this Congregation, and shall supervise the expenditure of funds in accordance therewith following its adoption. The budget shall include this Congregation's support of the wider ministry being carried on in partnership with the NALC.

 

  1. The CAC shall be responsible for this Congregation's investments and its total insurance program.

 

  1. The CAC shall see that the provisions of the Constitution, these Bylaws, and enabling resolutions are carried out.

 

  1. The CAC shall provide for an annual review of the membership roster.

 

  1. The CAC shall be responsible for the appointment and supervision of the salaried lay personnel of this Congregation.

 

  1. The CAC shall submit a comprehensive report to this Congregation at the annual meeting.

 

  1. The CAC shall normally meet once a month at such time and place as is designated by the CAC. Special meetings may be called by the Pastor or the President, and shall be called at the request of at least three (3) members of the CAC. Notice of each special meeting shall be given to all who are entitled to be present and announced to the Congregation ahead of time.

 

  1. The Annual CAC meeting shall be held in January after the planning session(s) following election in December of the new CAC. Due to holiday schedules and family activities, this meeting could be later in the month than regularly monthly CAC meetings. During this meeting, voting on officers, CAC members committee assignments, and appointment of committee members keeping in mind their gifts and talents.

 

  1. CAC, new and continuing, members shall be publicly installed by the Pastor by the last Sunday in December.

 

  1. 9. The Pastor

 

  1. Authority to call a Pastor shall be in this Congregation by at least a two-thirds (2/3) majority ballot vote of members present and voting at a meeting regularly called for that purpose. Before a call is issued, the officers, or a call committee appointed by the CAC, shall seek the advice and help of the Dean of our Mission District.

 

  1. After the Congregation has elected a Pastor, a written Call which would include the specific duties of the Pastor, compensation, and other matters pertaining to the service of the Pastor, shall be signed by the members of the Call Committee, attested to by the President of the Congregation, and approved by the NALC shall be transmitted to the Pastor Elect.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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:

 

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

 

  1. resignation of the Pastor;

 

  1. 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;

 

  1. the physical or mental incapacity of the Pastor;

 

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

 

  1. the dissolution of the Congregation.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. All voting members present shall constitute a quorum.

 

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

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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:

 

  1. shall present a slate to the Congregation at the October quarterly Congregational meeting for additional nominations and acceptance;
  2. 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;

 

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

 

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

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)

 

  1. 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.)

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

DO WE FOLLOW?

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

DO WE FOLLOW?

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

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

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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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