Constitution/By-Laws/Continuing Resolutions

CONSTITUTION FOR

TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH,

HECKTOWN BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA

 

PREAMBLE

We, baptized members of the Church of Christ, responding in faith to the call of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel, desiring to unite together to preach the Word, administer the sacraments and carry out God’s mission, do hereby adopt this constitution and solemnly pledge ourselves to be governed by its provisions.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

CHAPTER ONE:  NAME AND INCORPORATION

C1.01.    The name of this congregation shall be Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hecktown.

C1.02.     For the purpose of this constitution and the accompanying bylaws, the congregation of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is hereinafter designated as “this congregation.”

C1.11.     This congregation was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1908.

 

CHAPTER TWO:  CONFESSION OF FAITH

C2.01.      This congregation confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

C2.02.      This congregation confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as

                 the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.

                 a.  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.

                 b.  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.

                 c.  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.

C2.03.     This congregation accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New  Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.

C2.04.     This congregation accepts the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.

C2.05.     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.

C2.06.     This congregation accepts 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.

C2.07.     This congregation confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scripture 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.

CHAPTER THREE:  NATURE OF THE CHURCH

C3.01.     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.

C3.02.   The Church exists both as an inclusive fellowship and as local congregations gathered for worship and Christian service. Congre­gations find their fulfillment in the universal community of the Church, and the universal Church exists in and through congrega­tions.  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, therefore, derives its character and powers both from the sanction and representation of its congregations and from its inherent nature as an expression of the broader fellowship of the faithful. In length, it acknowledges itself to be in the historic continuity of the communion of saints; in breadth, it expresses the fellowship of believers and congregations in our day.

 

CHAPTER FOUR:  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

C4.01.     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.

C4.02.     To participate in God’s mission, this congregation as a part of the Church shall:

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

                b.   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.

                c.   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.

                d.   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.

                e.   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.

                f.    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.

C4.03.     To fulfill these purposes, this congregation shall:

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

                b.   Provide pastoral care and assist all members to participate in this ministry.

                c.   Challenge, equip, and support all members in carrying out their calling in their daily lives and in their congregation.

                d.   Teach the Word of God.

                e.   Witness to the reconciling Word of God in Christ, reaching out to all people.

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

                g.   Motivate its members to provide financial support for the congre­gation’s ministry and the ministry of other parts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

                h.   Foster and participate in interdependent relationships with other congregations, the synod, and the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

                i.    Foster and participate in ecumenical relationships consistent with churchwide policy.

C4.04.     This congregation shall develop an organizational structure to be described in the bylaws. The Congregation Council shall prepare descriptions of the responsibilities of each committee, task force, or other organizational group and shall review their actions. Such descriptions shall be contained in continuing resolutions in the section on the Congregation Committees.

C4.05.     This congregation shall, from time to time, adopt a mission statement, which will provide specific direction for its programs.

 

CHAPTER 5:  POWERS OF THE CONGREGATION

C5.01.     The powers of this congregation are those necessary to fulfill its purpose.

C5.02.     The powers of this congregation are vested in the Congregation Meeting called and conducted as provided in this constitution and bylaws.

C5.03.     Only such authority as is delegated to the Congregation Council or other organizational units in this congregation’s governing documents is recognized. All remaining authority is retained by the congregation. The congregation is authorized to:

                a.   call a pastor as provided in Chapter 9;

                b.   terminate the call of a pastor as provided in Chapter 9;

                c.   call or terminate the call of associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal ministers in conformity with the applicable policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America;

                d.   adopt amendments to the constitution, as provided in Chapter 17, and amendments to the bylaws, as specified in Chapter 16;

                e.   approve the annual budget;

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

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

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

                i.    elect its Congregation Council and require the members of the council to carry out their duties in accordance with the constitution and bylaws and continuing resolutions;

                j. terminate its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as provided in Chapter 6.

C5.04.     This congregation shall choose from among its voting members laypersons to serve as voting members of the Synod Assembly 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 the congregation and other qualifications shall be as prescribed in guidelines established by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

C5.05.     This congregation shall have a mission endowment fund that will operate as specified in this congregation’s bylaws.  The purpose of this mission endowment fund is to provide for mission work beyond the operational budget of this congregation.

 

CHAPTER 6:  CHURCH AFFILIATION

C6.01.     This congregation shall be an interdependent part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or its successor, and of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This congregation is subject to the discipline of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

C6.02.     This congregation accepts the Confession of Faith and agrees to the Purposes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and shall act in accordance with them.

C6.03. This congregation acknowledges its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran church in America in which:

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

                b. This congregation pledges its financial support and participation in the life and mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

                c. This congregation agrees to call pastoral leadership from the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in accordance with its call procedures except in special circumstances and with the approval of the bishop of the synod.

                d. This congregation agrees to consider associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal ministers for call to other staff positions in the congregation according to the procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

                e. This congregation agrees to file this constitution and any subsequent changes to this constitution with the synod for review to ascertain that all of its provisions are in agreement with the constitution and by laws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and with the constitution of the synod.

C6.04.     Affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may be terminated as follows:

                a. This congregation takes action to dissolve.

                b. This congregation ceases to exist.

                c. This congregation is removed from membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America according to the procedures for discipline of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

C6.05.     This congregation may terminate its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by the following procedure:

                a.   A resolution indicating the desire of this congregation to terminate its relationship must be adopted at a legally called and conducted special meeting of this congregation by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present.

                b.   The secretary of this congregation shall submit a copy of the resolution to the synodical bishop and shall mail a copy of the resolution to voting members of this congregation. This notice shall be submitted within 10 days after the resolution has been adopted.

                c.   The bishop of the synod shall consult with this congregation during a period of at least 90 days.

                d.   If this congregation, after consultation, still desires to terminate its relationship, such action may be taken at a legally called and conducted special meeting by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present, at which meeting the bishop of the synod or an authorized representative shall be present. Notice of the meeting shall be mailed to all voting members at least 10 days in advance of the meeting.

                e.   A certified copy of the resolution to terminate its relationship shall be sent to the synodical bishop, at which time the relationship between this congregation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America shall be terminated.

                f.    Notice of termination shall be forwarded by the synodical bishop to the secretary of this church and published in the periodical of this church.

                g. Since this congregation was a member of the Lutheran church in America, it shall be required, in addition to the foregoing provisions in C6.05., to receive synodical approval before terminating its membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

C6.06.     If this congregation considers relocation, it shall confer with the bishop of the synod in which it is territorially located and the appropriate unit of the churchwide organization before any steps are taken leading to such action. The approval of the Synod Council shall be received before any such action is effected.

*C6.07. If this congregation considers developing an additional site to be used regularly for worship, it shall confer with the bishop of the synod in which it is territorially located and the appropriate unit of the churchwide organization before any steps are taken leading to such action.

 

CHAPTER 7:  PROPERTY OWNERSHIP

C7.01.     If this congregation ceases to exist, title to any un-disposed property shall pass to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. See by-laws for process of dissolution of a congregation.

C7.02.     If this congregation is removed from membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America according to its procedure for discipline, title to property shall continue to reside in this congregation.

C7.03.     If a two-thirds majority of the voting members of this congregation present at a legally called and conducted special 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 Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod.

C7.04.     If a two-thirds majority of the voting members of this congregation present at a legally called and conducted special 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 only with the consent of the Synod Council. The Synod Council, after consultation with this congregation by the established synodical process, may give approval to the request to become independent or to relate to a non-Lutheran church body, in which case title shall remain with the majority of this congregation. If the Synod Council fails to give such approval, title shall remain with those members who desire to continue as a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

C7.05.     Notwithstanding the provisions of *C7.02. and *C.7.03. above, where this congregation has received property from the synod pursuant to a deed or other instrument containing restrictions under provision 9.71.a. of the Con­stitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolu­tions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, this congregation accepts such restrictions and:

a.   Shall not transfer, encumber, mortgage, or in any way burden or impair any right, title, or interest in the property without prior approval of the Synod Council.

b.   Shall—upon written demand by the Synod Council, pursuant to †S13.23. of the cons­titution of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod—reconvey and transfer all right, title, and interest in the property to the synod.

 

CHAPTER 8:  MEMBERSHIP

C8.01.     Members of this congregation shall be those baptized persons on the roll of this congregation at the time that this constitution is adopted and those who are admitted thereafter and who have declared and maintain their membership in accordance with the provisions of this constitution and its bylaws.

C8.02.     Members shall be classified as follows:

                a.   Baptized members are those persons who have been received by the Sacrament of Holy Baptism in this congregation, or, having been previously baptized in the name of the Triune God, have been received by certificate of transfer from other Lutheran congregations or by affirmation of faith.

                b.   Confirmed members are baptized persons who have been confirmed in this congregation, those who have been received by adult baptism or by transfer as confirmed members from other Lutheran congre­gations, or baptized persons received by affirmation of faith.

                c.   Voting members are confirmed members. Such confirmed members, during the current or preceding calendar year, shall have communed in this congregation and shall have made a contribution of record to this congregation. 

Members of this congregation who have satisfied these basic standards shall have the privilege of voice and vote at every regular and special meeting of the congregation.

                d.   Associate members are persons holding membership in other Lutheran 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 other 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.

C8.03.     All applications for confirmed membership shall be submitted to and shall require the approval of the Congregation Council.

C8.04.     It shall be the privilege and duty of members of this congregation to:

                a.   make regular use of the means of grace, both Word and sacraments;

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

                c.   support the work of this congregation, the synod, and the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through contributions of their time, abilities, and financial support as biblical stewards.

C8.05.     Membership in this congregation shall be terminated by any of the following:

                a.   death;

                b.   resignation;

                c.   transfer or release;

                d.   disciplinary action in accordance with ELCA constitutional provision 20.40 and the accompanying bylaws;

                e.   removal from the roll due to inactivity as defined in the bylaws.

Such persons who have been removed from the roll of members shall remain persons for whom the Church has a continuing pastoral concern.

 

CHAPTER 9:  THE PASTOR

C9.01.     Authority to call a pastor shall be in this congregation by at least a two-thirds majority ballot vote of members present and voting at a meeting legally called for that purpose. Before a call is issued, the officers, or a committee elected by the Congregation Council to recommend the call, shall seek the advice and help of the bishop of the synod.

C9.02.     Only a member of the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or a candidate for the roster of ordained ministers who has been recommended for the congregation by the synodical bishop may be called as a pastor of this congregation.

C9.03.     Consistent with the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,

                a.   Every ordained minister shall:

                      1)   preach the Word;

                      2)   administer the sacraments;

                      3)   conduct public worship;

                      4)   provide pastoral care; and

                      5)   speak publicly to the world in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, calling for justice and proclaiming God’s love for the world.

                b.   Each ordained minister with a congregational call shall, within the congregation:

                      1)   offer instruction, confirm, marry, visit the sick and distressed, and bury the dead;

                      2)   supervise all schools and organizations of this congregation;

                      3)   install regularly elected members of the Congregation Council; and

                      4)   with the council, administer discipline.

                c. Every pastor shall;

                      1)   strive to extend the Kingdom of God in the community, in the nation, and abroad;

                      2)   seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel;

                       3) impart knowledge of this church and its wider ministry through distribution of its periodicals and other publications; and

                       4)   endeavor to increase the support given by the congregation to the work of the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA. 

C9.04.     The specific duties of the pastor, compensation, and other matters pertaining to

                the service of the pastor shall be included in a letter of call, which shall be

                attested by the bishop of the synod.

C9.05.     a.   The call of a congregation, when accepted by a pastor, shall constitute a continuing mutual relationship and commitment, which shall be terminated only by death or, following consultation with the synodical bishop, for the following reasons:

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

                      2)   resignation of the pastor, which shall become effective, unless otherwise agreed, no later than 30 days after the date on which it was submitted;

                      3)   inability to conduct the pastoral office effectively in the congregation in view of local conditions;

                      4)   physical disability or mental incapacity of the pastor;

                      5)   suspension of the pastor through discipline for more than three months;

                      6)   resignation or removal of the pastor from the roster of ordained ministers    of this church;

                      7) termination of the relationship between this church and the congregation;

                      8) dissolution of the congregation or the termination of a parish arrangement;            

                          or

                      9) suspension of the congregation through discipline for more than six months.

                b. When allegations of physical disability or mental incapacity of the pastor

                    under paragraph a.4) above, or ineffective conduct of the pastoral office under

                    paragraph a.3) above, have come to the attention of the bishop of the

                    synod,

1)     

the bishop in his or her sole discretion may, investigate such

                      conditions personally together with a committee of two ordained

                      ministers and one layperson. Or

                    2) when such allegations have been brought to the synod’s attention by an official recital of allegations by the congregation council or by a petition signed by at least one-third of the voting members of the congregation, the bishop personally shall investigate such conditions together with a committee of two ordained ministers and one layperson.

                c.       In case of alleged physical disability or mental incapacity, under paragraph a.4) above, the bishop’s committee shall obtain and document competent medical opinion concerning the pastor’s condition. When disability or incapacity is evident to the committee, the bishop of this synod may declare the pastorate vacant and the pastor shall be listed on the clergy roster as disabled. Upon removal of the disability and                   restoration of the pastor to health, the bishop shall take steps to enable the pastor to resume the ministry, either in the congregation last served or in another appropriate call.  

    d.      In the case of alleged local difficulties that imperil the effective functioning   

            of the congregation under paragraph a.3) above, the bishop’s committee 

            shall endeavor to hear from all concerned person, after which the bishop

            together with the committee shall present their recommendation first to the

            pastor and then to the congregation. The recommendations of the bishop’s

            committee must

            address whether the pastor’s call should come to an end and, if so, may

            suggest appropriate severance arrangements. The committee may also

            propose other actions that should be undertaken by the congregation and by

            the pastor, if appropriate. If the pastor and congregation agree to carry out

            such recommendations; no further action need be taken by the synod.

    e.      If either party fails to assent to the recommendation of the bishop’s 

            committee concerning the pastor’s call, the congregation may dismiss the

            pastor only at a legally called meeting after consultation with the bishop,

            either (a) by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present and

            voting where the bishop and the committee did not recommend termination

            of the call, or (b) by a simple majority vote of the voting members present

            and voting where the bishop and the committee recommended termination

            of the call.

                f.      If, in the course of proceedings described in paragraph c. or paragraph d. 

                        above, the bishop’s committee concludes that there may be grounds for

                        disciplinary action, the committee shall make recommendations concerning

                        disciplinary action in accordance with the provisions of this church’s 

                        constitution, bylaws and continuing resolutions.

C9.06.     At a time of pastoral vacancy, an interim pastor shall be appointed by the bishop

                of the synod with the consent of this congregation or the Congregation Council.

C9.07.     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 bishop of the synod and this congregation or Congregation Council. The interim pastor and any ordained pastor providing assistance shall refrain from exerting influence in the selection of a pastor.

C9.08.     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 before beginning service in a call to another congregation or employment in another ministry setting related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

C9.09.     When a pastor is called to serve in company with another pastor or pastors, 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 Congregation Council, and the bishop of the synod. As occasion requires, the documents may be revised through a similar consultation.

C9.11.     With the approval of the bishop of the synod, the congregation may depart from C9.05a. and call a pastor for a specific term. Details of such calls shall be in writing setting forth the purpose and conditions involved. Prior to the completion of a term, the bishop or a designated representative of the bishop shall meet with the pastor and representatives of the congregation for a review of the call. Such a call may also be terminated before its expiration in accordance with the provisions of C9.05a.

C9.12.     The pastor of this congregation:

                a.   shall keep accurate parochial records of all baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials, communicants, members received, members dismissed, or members excluded from the congregation;

                b.   shall submit a summary of such statistics annually to the synod; and

                c.   shall become a member of this congregation upon receipt and acceptance of the letter of call. In a parish of multiple congregations, the pastor shall hold membership in one of the congregations.

C9.13.     The pastor(s) shall submit a report of his or her ministry to the bishop of the synod at least 90 days prior to each regular meeting of the Synod Assembly.

C9.14.     The parochial records of this congregation shall be maintained by the pastor and shall remain the property of the congregation.  The secretary of this congregation shall attest in writing to the bishop of this synod that such records have been placed in his or her hands in good order by a departing pastor before the installation of that pastor in another field of labor or the granting by the synod of retired status to the pastor.

C9.20.     Ecumenical pastoral ministry

C9.21.     Under special circumstances, subject to the approval of the synodical bishop and the concurrence of this congregation, an ordained minister of a church body with which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America officially has established a relationship of full communion may serve temporarily as pastor of this congregation under a contract between the congregation and the ordained minister in a form proposed by the synodical bishop and approved by the congregation.

 

CHAPTER 10: CONGREGATION MEETING

C10.01.   The annual meeting of this congregation shall be held at a time specified in the bylaws.

C10.02.   A special Congregation Meeting may be called by the pastor, the Congregation Council, or the president of this congregation, and shall be called by the president of the congregation upon the written request of 25 of the voting members. The president of the Congregation Council shall call a special meeting upon request of the synodical bishop. The call for each special meeting shall specify the purpose for which it is to be held and no other business shall be transacted.

C10.03.   Notice of all meetings of this congregation shall be given at the services of worship on the preceding two consecutive Sundays and by mail or electronic means, as permitted by state law, to all [voting] members at least 10 days in advance of the date of the meeting.

C10.04.   25 voting members shall constitute a quorum.

C10.05.   Voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.

C10.06.  All actions approved by the congregation shall be by majority vote of those  voting members present and voting, except as otherwise provided in this constitution or by state law.

C10.07.  Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary pro­cedure of all meetings of this congregation.

 

CHAPTER 11: OFFICERS

C11.01.   The officers of this congregation shall be a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.

                a.   Duties of the officers shall be specified in the bylaws.

                b.   The officers shall be voting members of the congregation.

                c.   If the Congregation Council elects its officers, the president, vice president,

                      and secretary shall be selected from the elected member­ship of the

                     Congregation Council.  If the treasurer is not selected from the elected

                      membership of the Congregation Council, the treasurer shall have voice but

                      not vote at the meetings of the Congregation Council.  The pastor shall be a

                      voting member of the Congregation Council.  

C11.02.   The Congregation Council shall elect its officers by ecclesiastical ballot and they

                shall be the officers of the congregation. The officers shall be elected by written

                ballot and shall serve for one year or until their successors are elected. Their

                 terms shall begin at the close of the council meeting at which they are elected.

C11.03.   No officer shall hold more than one office at a time. No elected officer shall be 

                 eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.

 

CHAPTER 12:  CONGREGATION COUNCIL

C12.01.     The voting membership of the Congregation Council shall consist of the

                  pastor(s), andtwelve members of the congregation.  Any voting member of the

                  congregation may be elected, subject only to the limitation on the length of

                  continuous service permitted in that office. A member's place on the

                  Congregation Council shall be declared vacant if the member a) ceases to be a

                  voting member of this congregation; b) is absent from four successive regular

                  meetings of the Congregation Council without cause; or c) resigns.

C12.02.     The members of the Congregation Council shall serve for three years.  Such

                  members shall be eligible to serve no more that two full terms consecutively.

                  Their term shall begin at the close of the annual meeting at which they are

                  elected.

C12.03.     Should a member's place on the Congregation Council be declared vacant, the

                  Congregation Council shall appoint by majority vote, a successor until the next

                  annual meeting.  Individuals who have served less than one-half of a regular

                  term shall be eligible for nomination and possible election to a full term.  

C12.04    The Congregation Council shall have general oversight of the life and activities of this congregation, and in particular its worship life, to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Word of God and the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The duties of the Congregation Council shall include the following:

                a.   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.

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

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

                d.   To maintain supportive relationships with the pastor(s) and staff and help them annually to evaluate the fulfillment of their calling or employment.

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

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

                g.   To arrange for pastoral service during the sickness or absence of the pastor.

                h.   To emphasize partnership with the synod and churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as cooperation with other congregations, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran, subject to established policies of the synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

                i.   To recommend and encourage the use of program resources produced or approved by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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

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

                     Gospel.

C12.05.   The Congregation Council shall be responsible for the financial and property matters of this congregation.

                a.   The Congregation Council 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 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, except as otherwise provided herein.

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

                c.   The Congregation Council may enter into contracts of up to 2% of the

                      budgeted annual weekly offering for items not included in the budget.

                d.   The Congregation Council shall prepare an annual budget for adoption by this congregation that must be approved by the Congregation Council and voted on by the membership at a congregational meeting. The budget shall include this congregation’s support of the of the wider ministry being carried on in partnership with the synod and churchwide organization.

                e.   The Congregation Council shall ascertain that the financial affairs of this congregation are being conducted efficiently.

                f.    The Congregation Council shall be responsible for this congrega­tion’s investments and its total insurance program.

C12.06.   The Congregation Council shall see that the provisions of this constitution and its bylaws and the continuing resolutions are carried out.

C12.07.   The Congregation Council shall provide for an annual review of the membership roster.

C12.08.   The Congregation Council shall be responsible for the employment and supervision of the salaried lay workers of this congregation.

C12.09.   The Congregation Council shall submit a comprehensive report to this congregation at the annual meeting.

C12.11.   The Congregation Council shall normally meet once a month. Special meetings may be called by the pastor or the president, and shall be called by the president at the request of at least one-half of its members. Notice of each special meeting shall be given to all who are entitled to be present.

C12.12.   A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of the Congregation Council, including the pastor or interim pastor, except when the pastor or interim pastor requests or consents to be absent and has given prior approval to the agenda for a particular regular or special meeting, which shall be the only business considered at that meeting. Chronic or repeated absence of the pastor or interim pastor who has refused approval of the agenda of a subsequent regular or special meeting shall not preclude action by the Congregation Council, following consultation with the synodical bishop.

C12.13.   The Congregation Council and its committees may hold meetings by remote communication including electronically and by telephone conference, and, to the extent permitted by state law, notice of all meetings may be provided electronically.

 

CHAPTER 13:  CONGREGATION COMMITTEES

C13.01.   The officers of this congregation and the pastor shall constitute the Executive Committee, but may not act without approval of the Congregation Council.

C13.02.   The Nominating Committee, chaired by the Congregational Council

                Vice-President, shall consist of the outgoing Council members plus two

                appointed non Council members.  Each member will serve for one year.  This

                committee will propose candidates to fill all vacant church positions.

C13.03.    An Audit Committee consisting of at least three voting members, not of the

                 same household, shall be elected by the Congregation Council. The term of

                 office shall be three years, with one member elected each year.

C13.04.   A Mutual Ministry Committee shall be appointed jointly by the Congregational

    Council President and the Pastor. The committee will have six members.  Each

    member will serve for three years. Two terms will expire each year. A member 

    of the Congregational Council will be assigned to the committee.

C13.05.   When a pastoral vacancy occurs, a Call Committee of six voting members shall be elected by the Congregation Council. Term of office will terminate upon installation of the newly called pastor.

C13.06.   Other committees of this congregation may be formed, as the need arises, by decision of the Congregation Council.

C13.07.   Duties of committees of this congregation shall be specified in continuing resolutions.

C13.08.   The pastor of this congregation shall be ex officio a member of all committees and boards of the congregation. The president of this congregation shall be ex officio a member of all committees and boards of the congregation, except the Nominating Committee.

 

 

CHAPTER 14:  ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE CONGREGATION

C14.01.   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.

C14.02.    Special interest groups, other than those of the official organizations of the

                 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, may be organized only after

                 authorization has been given by the Congregation Council.

 

CHAPTER 15:  DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS AND ADJUDICATION

C15.01.  Persistent and public denial of the Christian faith, willful or criminal conduct grossly unbecoming a member of the Church of Christ, continual and intentional interference with the ministry of the congregation, or willful and repeated harassment or defamation of member(s) of the congregation is sufficient cause for discipline of a member. Prior to disciplinary action, reconciliation and repentance will be attempted following Matthew 18:15-17, proceeding through these successive steps, as necessary: a) private counsel and admonition by the pastor, b) censure and admonition by the pastor in the presence of two or three witnesses, c) written referral of the matter by the Congregation Council to the vice president of the synod, who will refer it to a consultation panel drawn from the Consultation Committee of the synod, and d) written referral of the matter by the consultation panel to the Committee on Discipline of the synod. If, for any reason, the pastor is unable to administer the admonitions required by paragraphs a. and b. hereof, those steps may be performed by another pastor chosen by the Executive Committee of the Congregation Council.

C15.02.   The process for discipline of a member of the congregation shall be governed as prescribed by the chapter on discipline in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. If the counseling, censure, and admonitions pursuant to C15.01 do not result in repentance and amendment of life, charges against the accused member(s) that are specific and in writing may be prepared by the Congregation Council, signed and submitted to the vice president of the synod. The vice president shall select from the synod’s Consultation Committee a panel of five members (three lay persons and two clergy). A copy of the written charges shall be provided to the consultation panel and the accused member(s). The consultation panel, after requesting a written reply to the charges from the accused member(s), shall consider the matter and seek a resolution by means of investigation, consultation, mediation, or whatever other means may seem appropriate. The panel’s efforst to reach a mutually agreeable resolution shall continue for no more than 45 days after the matter is submitted to it.  

 C15.03.  If the consultation panel fails to resolve the matter, that panel shall refer the case in writing, including the written charges and the accused member’s reply, to the Committee on Discipline of the synod for a hearing. A copy of the panel’s written referral shall be delivered to the vice president of the synod, the Congregation Council, and the accused member(s) at the same time it is sent to the Committee on Discipline of the synod. The Executive Committee of the Synod Council shall then select six members from the Committee on Discipline to decide the case, and shall appoint a member of the Synod Council to preside as nonvoting chair. Those six members plus the nonvoting chair comprise the discipline hearing panel for deciding the case. The Congregation Council and the accused member(s) are the parties to the case.

C15.04.   The discipline hearing panel shall commence and conduct the disciplinary hearing in accordance with the provisions governing discipline of congregation members prescribed in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

C15.05.   By the vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the discipline hearing panel who are present and voting, one of the following disciplinary sanctions can be imposed:

a.      

suspension from the privileges of congregation membership for a designated period of time;

b.     

suspension from the privileges of congregation membership until the pastor and Congregation Council receive evidence, satisfactory to them, of repentance and amendment of life;

c.      

termination of membership in the congregation; or

d.     

termination of membership in the congregation and exclusion from the church property and from all congregation activities.

C15.06.   The written decision of the discipline hearing panel shall be sent to the vice president of the synod, the accused member(s), and the Congregation Council as required by the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The decision of the discipline hearing panel shall be implemented by the Congregation Council and recorded in the minutes of the next council meeting.

C15.07.   No member of the congregation shall be subject to discipline a second time for offenses that a discipline hearing panel has heard previously and decided pursuant to this chapter.

C15.10.   Adjudication

C15.11.   When there is disagreement among factions within this congregation on a substantive issue that cannot be resolved by the parties, members of this congregation shall have access to the synodical bishop for consultation after informing the chair of the Congregation Council of their intent. If the consultation fails to resolve the issue(s), the Consultation Committee of the synod shall consider the matter. If the Consultation Committee of the synod shall fail to resolve the issue(s), the matter shall be referred to the Synod Council, whose decision shall be final.

 

CHAPTER 16:  BYLAWS

C16.01    This congregation may adopt bylaws. No bylaw may conflict with this constitution.

C16.02.   Bylaws may be adopted or amended at any legally called meeting of this congregation with a quorum present by a majority vote of those voting members present and voting.

C16.03.   Changes to the bylaws may be proposed by any voting member provided, however, that such additions or amendments be submitted in writing to the Congregation Council at least 60 days before a regular or special Congregation Meeting called for that purpose and that the Congregation Council notify the congregation’s members of the proposal with the council’s recommendations at least 30 days in advance of the Congregation Meeting. Notification may take place by mail or electronic means, as permitted by state law.

C16.04. Approved changes to the bylaws shall be sent by the secretary of this congregation to the synod.

 

CHAPTER 17:  AMENDMENTS

C17.01.   Unless provision C17.04. is applicable, those sections of this constitution that are not required, in accord with the Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, may be amended in the following manner. Amendments may be proposed by at least sevenvoting members or by the Congregation council. Proposals must be filed in writing with the Congregation Council 60 days before formal consideration by this congregation at a regular or special Congregation Meeting called for that purpose. The Congregation Council shall notify the congregation’s members of the proposal together with the council’s recommendations at least 30 days in advance of the meeting. Notification may take place by mail or electronic means, as permitted by state law.

C17.02. An amendment to this constitution, proposed under C17.01., shall

a.   be approved at a legally called Congregation Meeting according to this constitution by a majority vote of those present and voting;

               b.   be ratified without change at the next annual meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting; and

               c.   have the effective date included in the resolution and noted in the constitution.

C17.03.  Any amendments to this constitution that result from the processes provided in C17.01 and C17.02. shall be sent by the secretary of this congregation to the synod. The synod shall notify the congregation of its decision to approve or disapprove the proposed changes; the changes shall go into effect upon notification that the synod has approved them.

C17.04.  This constitution may be amended to bring any section into conformity with a section or sections, either required or not required, of the Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran church in America – as most recently amended by the Churchwide Assembly – by a simple majority vote of those voting members present and voting at any legally called meeting of the congregation without presentation at a prior meeting of the congregation, provided that the Congregation council has submitted by mail or electronic means, as permitted by law, notice to the congregation of such an amendment or amendments, together with the council’s recommendations, at least 30 days prior to the meeting. Upon the request of seven voting members of the congregation, the Congregation Council shall submit such notice. Following the adoption of an amendment, the secretary of the congregation shall submit a copy thereof to the synod. Such provisions shall become effective immediately following a vote of approval.

 

CHAPTER 18:  CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS

C18.01.   The

congregation in a legally called meeting or the Congregation Council may enact continuing resolutions.  Such continuing resolutions may not conflict with the constitution or bylaws of this congregation.

C18.02.   Continuing resolutions shall be enacted or amended by a

majority vote of a

    meeting of the congregation or a two-thirds vote of all voting members of the  

    Congregation Council.

 

CHAPTER 19:  INDEMNIFICATION

C19.01.     Consistent with the provisions of the laws under which this congregation is

                  incorporated, this congregation may adopt provisions providing indemnification

                  for each person who, by reason of the fact that such person is or was a

                  Congregation Council member, officer, employee, agent, or other member of

                  any committee of this congregation, was or is threatened to be made a party to

                  any threatened, pending, or completed civil, criminal, administrative,

 

                  arbitration, or investigative proceeding.

 

 

BYLAWS OF

TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

HECKTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

________________________________________________________________________

Organization of the congregation

C4.04.01   The congregation is the principal governing body of Trinity Evangelical  

                   Lutheran Church.

C4.04.02   At its first meeting each year, the Congregational Council (hereafter referred         

                   to as Council) shall appoint as many standing committees as the concerns of

                   the congregation shall require.  Each committee shall have at least a council    

                   liaison and other baptized members of the congregation in good standing,

                   and shall be required to meet a minimum of once per year.  All members of a

                   committee have voice and vote.  Although responsible to the Council, these

                   committees shall be recognized as representative of the interests of, and

                   performing essential services for, the congregation as a whole.  The pastor

                   and president of Council shall have voice and vote on all committees and task
                   forces.

C4.04.03   The committees shall be responsible to the Council and report regularly their

                   activities and recommendations to the Council for consideration and action. 

                   The work of committees shall enhance the ministry of the whole  

                   congregation.  Committees may create, with Council approval, as many

                   groups and/or subcommittees as may be necessary to accomplish the various  

                   tasks, duties and events required in the life of the congregation.

C10.01.01  The annual meeting of this congregation shall be scheduled on a date after the

                   first day of each year, but no later than the second Sunday in February.  This

                   date shall be selected at the discretion of Council.  There will be one service

                   on that Sunday, followed by the congregational meeting.

C10.01.02  The congregation elects the members of Council and delegates to them the

                   responsibility of executing all congregational decisions, managing the fiscal

                   affairs, maintaining all real property, supervising all programs, and exercising

                   discipline as may be necessary in the life of the congregation. 

C11.01.01  The Council elects congregational officers (as specified in the Constitution) at  

                   the first Council meeting following the annual meeting.  They shall carry out

                   their duties as defined in these Bylaws.

C11.01.02  Duties of the officers of this congregation:

                   a.  The President shall, in general, supervise the organizational affairs of the

                   congregation, shall see that all orders and resolutions of the congregation and

                   the Council are carried into effect, and shall preside at all meetings of the

                   congregation and of the Council  The president is an ex officio member of all  

                   committees of the congregation.  Additional duties may be described in the

                   Continuing Resolutions of the Council.

                   b.  The Vice President shall have such powers and perform such duties as the

                   Council may prescribe.  At the request of the president, or in the case of the

                   president's absence or inability to act, the vice president shall perform the 

                   duties of the president and when so acting, shall have all the powers of the

                   president.

                   c.  The Secretary shall act as both recording and corresponding secretary for  

                   this congregation. The secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all meetings

                   of the congregation and of the Council, and record these and all Continuing

                   Resolutions of the Council permanently in its archives; see that all notices are

                   duly given in accordance with the provision of the Constitution of the

                   congregation, these Bylaws, or as required by law; affix the seal of the

                   congregation to all documents when so directed by the Council; and perform

                   all duties incident to the office of secretary.  The secretary of this

                   congregation shall, in the event both the president and the vice president of

                   this congregation are unable to perform their duties, serve in their stead. 

                   Additional duties of this office may be described in the Continuing

                   Resolutions of the Council.

                   d.  The Treasurer shall keep the books of account of the congregation;      

                   receive from the financial secretary reports of all monies paid to the

                   congregation and deposit receipt to the credit of the congregation in the                   

                   appropriate banks or depositories; disburse any funds by check upon proper        

                   order of the Council; make regular remittance of mission support; and

                   perform all duties incident to the office of treasurer.  The treasurer shall make

                   written report of all of his/her transactions to the Council on a monthly basis

                   and to the congregation at the regular annual congregational meeting.

                   Additional duties of this office may be described in the Continuing

                   Resolutions of the Council.

                   e.  The Financial Secretary shall oversee the counting and depositing of all

                   donations to the church no later than the Tuesday following a Sunday service;

                   train individuals in counting weekly receipts; provide a tally sheet to the

                   treasurer each week of the deposits, by major fund categories; provide total

                   offerings of each fund, as well as any special payments (i.e. bulletins,

                   flowers, etc.) and memorial gifts to the parish administrator; maintain a

                   weekly record of contributions for each member, and produce quarterly

                   statements of their contributions year-to-date; prepare and present records for

                   audit at the end of the year; and prepare a report of yearly contributions for

                   inclusion in the annual report.  The Council will appoint the financial

                   secretary when congregational officers are elected.  The financial secretary

                   may not serve in any position within the congregation involving

                   disbursements of funds, including approving and signing checks, charges or

                   cash payments.  He/she is accountable to the finance committee and the

                   Council.

 

Congregational membership

C8.01.01   Active membership shall be defined as any confirmed member who has

                   communed or contributed within the past two years.

C8.01.02   Confirmed members who no longer qualify as active members will be

                   contacted by the church to determine if they want to continue as active 

                   members.  Their response will determine their membership status.

C8.01.03   A person who has been removed from the membership rolls shall be restored

                   to active membership when he/she affirms his/her Baptism before the

                   congregation and receives Holy Communion.

 

The Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Endowment Fund

C5.05.01   Trinity's endowment fund consists of the Howard and Betty Ritter Endowment

                   for Mission and the pooled endowment funds accrued over time.  The general

                   purpose of this endowment fund is to enhance the mission work of Trinity

                   Church in its ministries, programs and expenses of the congregation, that,

                   except where authorized otherwise in the terms of the gift, all principal

                   amounts will be retained and only the income expended.  The Ritter

                   Endowment for Mission is to be used to encourage youth and adults to

                   participate in mission opportunities either in the U.S. or abroad.  The

                   Endowment Committee shall be custodian of the fund.  Income may be

                   distributed annually and at such other times as deemed necessary and/or

                   feasible to accomplish the purpose of the fund.

C5.05.02   Any change or amendment to the purpose of the endowment fund shall be

                   adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a congregational

                   meeting.

C5.05.03   In the event Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church ceases to exist, disposition

                   or transfer of the fund shall be at the discretion of the Council.

 

Process for the dissolution of the congregation

C7.01.01   The following guideline for the dissolution of the congregation is in accord

                   with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's process for the 

                   dissolution of a congregation.

             a.  Schedule a consultation of the congregation with the Synod to develop a

                   plan for the dissolution process, and develop a recommendation to dissolve    

                   by the Council, if such is required by the commonwealth corporation statute.

             b.  Convene a special meeting of the congregation, properly called in

                   accordance with the requirements for such a special meeting, as specified in

                   the congregation's Constitution and in the commonwealth corporation statute.

             c.  Adopt a resolution to dissolve, which shall be approved by the required

                   majority of voting members present at the special meeting of the 

                   congregation called for that purpose.

             d.  The resolution to dissolve shall include:

                       1.  The stated effective date of the dissolution

                       2.  Provision for payment of liabilities

                       3.  Authorization to the appropriate officers to carry out the proper transfer   

                            of title or disposition of the property

                       4.  Provision for dissolution of the corporation

             e.  Establish a plan, effective upon dissolution, for the transfer of remaining 

                   members to other congregations.

             f.  Carry out promptly, before dissolution of the congregation, payment of all  

                   debts and liabilities of the congregation.

             g.  Determine, in consultation with the Synod, the future of the building: 

                       1.  Is insurance coverage (fire, windstorm, theft, vandalism) to be 

                            maintained, and by whom?

                       2.  Is the building to remain standing?  If so, how will it be maintained?

                       3.  Is the building to be destroyed or moved by a specific date?

                       4.  What will be done with the building's furnishings?

             h.  Carry out promptly, before dissolution of the congregation, the transfer of                   

                   the title to real estate and other assets to the appropriate successor in title

                   (such as the Synod).

             i.  File the necessary documents with government authorities to dissolve the

                   corporate status of the congregation.

             j.  Make arrangements for the care and upkeep of the cemetery, including             

                   determination of clear title of land involved, completion of any corporate

                   details, selection of directors, and disposition of any excess land.

             k.  Gather and transfer historical materials and the congregational records to

                   the Synod for the archival record of disbanded congregations.

              l. Consider any additional matters related to special circumstances in the

                   dissolution of this congregation.

            m.   Formally notify the Synod that all these steps have been properly 

                    completed.

             n.  Plan a special service of celebration and thanksgiving for the years of

                   ministry of the congregation.

 

 

Continuing Resolutions

 

C13.07.A11:  The following committees shall constitute the standing committees of

                   Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church:

                   a.  Christian Education:  This committee, in association with the pastor, shall   

                       oversee the religious education of our congregation through Sunday

                       School, Confirmation, Vacation Bible School, Bible Studies, and all related

                       activities.  It shall encourage the use of teaching materials approved by the

                       Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  This committee shall encourage

                       and support all members of the congregation in their continuous journey of

                       faith.  It shall also be responsible for administering the Bear Creek Camp

                       Scholarship Fund.

                   b.  Property:  This committee shall see to the proper maintenance and

                       protection of all property of the congregation, and shall take care that the

                       same is kept in good repair.

                   c.  Evangelism:  This committee shall motivate congregational members to

                       witness to their faith at every opportunity in daily life.  It shall try to

                       restore those who have lapsed from active membership, bring new

                       members into the fellowship of the church, and recruit, equip and support

                       members of the congregation for these activities.  It shall provide for the

                       communication of the gospel to the wider community.

                   d.  Finance:  The treasurer and financial secretary shall be members ex officio

                       This committee shall prepare a draft budget for the succeeding year.  It

                       shall submit each draft budget to Council for its action and later

                       presentation at a congregational meeting.  The committee shall exercise

                       oversight of all the financial affairs of the congregation, giving particular

                       attention to the prompt payment of all obligations and to the regular

                       forwarding of mission support monies to the Synodical treasurer.  It shall

                       be subject to the approval of Council, be responsible for the congregation's

                       investments and shall also provide for annual audits of the accounts of the

                       congregation.  They shall oversee any accounts of organizations within the

                       congregation, excluding the endowment funds.

                   e.  Mutual Ministry:  This committee is a conferring and consulting

                       committee.  Its primary function is to aid the pastor in making his/her

                       ministry effective, by being available for counsel and by keeping him/her

                       advised about conditions in the congregation as they affect relations

                       between the pastor and the parishioners, as well as the staff.  This

                       committee shall continually interpret the ministry of the pastor and of the

                       congregation to each other and the entire staff.

                   f.  Personnel:  This committee is to care for and support the church staff by

                       providing current job descriptions and duties, annual reviews, and to   

                       consider issues, grievances, concerns and other matters dealing with the   

                       staff, excluding the pastor.  It will make recommendations to the Finance

                       Committee of annual compensation based on performance reviews.  The

                       committee includes five members, a council representative and the pastor. 

                       Members serve for three year terms and may serve two terms, or a

                       maximum of six years.

                   g.  Social Ministry:  This committee shall extend compassion and helpfulness

                       to the ill, the aged, the orphaned, the underprivileged, the imprisoned and

                       to persons of all ages in need of aid in body or spirit.  The committee shall

                       help to coordinate the programs of the congregation, which will help

                       members become more aware of the needs of the wider community so that

                       they might bring to them the healing light of Jesus Christ.

                   h.  Stewardship:  The treasurer and financial secretary shall be ex officio

                       members of this committee. This committee shall evoke and promote the

                       expression of Christian faith as a way of life lived in relationship with God,

                       others and creation.  It shall impart knowledge of the congregation's local,

                       synodical, national and worldwide ministries.  It shall lead all its members

                       to higher levels of proportionate giving of time, talent and financial

                       resources for the Lord's work.  This committee shall also foster awareness

                       and responsibility for the care of creation.

                   i.  Worship and Music:  This committee shall assist Council in seeing that the

                       services of God's house are conducted regularly in accordance with the

                       traditions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; that the services

                       are regularly assessed and refined; that ushers and other worship assistants

                       are recruited and trained; and that hymnals and other devotional materials

                       are provided and properly maintained.  It shall arrange for the care of the

                       paraments, vestments and musical instruments in consultation with the

                       pastor and cantor.  It shall ensure that worship supplies are appropriate and

                       available for use in the worship of a congregation of the Evangelical

                       Lutheran Church in America.

                   j.  Youth Ministry:  This committee shall encourage the youth of Trinity

                       (including Teens-N-Trinity) to grow in faith through fellowship, learning

                       and service to others.

  

C13.07.A11   The following committees shall be ad-hoc committees:

                   a.  Long Range Planning:  This committee shall identify the future needs of

                       all ministry areas of the congregation.  These needs will be determined by

                       gathering data from committees, Council, the congregation and the staff.  It

                       shall consist of a representative from Council and at least eight members

                       not presently serving on Council.  This committee shall meet a minimum

                       of five times each year.

                   b. Helping Hands Group:  This committee shall assist the congregation

                       in raising funds that help to maintain the church buildings and/or to support

                       an outreach project.  Activities may include the Strawberry Festival, Ham

                       Dinner, Penny Parties and the sale of peach pies and vegetable soup.

 

CR 1.01.A11  Cyberspace quorum rules

Summary:  On occasion there may be a need for a Council decision between formal Council meetings, due to time constraints.  The process will be limited to "simple" requests that need Council approval.  A primary example is a short notice building use request and approval.

    a.  The process description:

            1.   Any Council member can submit a motion to the secretary, or to another           

                 officer in the secretary's absence.

            2.   If a staff member needs action, they should contact a Council member to make

                 the motion to the secretary.

            3.   The secretary will:

                    i.  Email the motion to all Council members for a second and a vote,

                        requesting a 48 hour response time.

                   ii.  Phone non-email Council members.

                  iii.  Gather the results of the vote.

                              1.  If any Council member believes any discussion is necessary, then

                                   no action will be taken and this will be communicated to Council

                                   members.  This item will be added to the next Council agenda.

                              2.  Non responses will be considered votes to abstain.

                              3.  Normal majority voting rules will be followed.

                   iv.  Send out a confirmation of the result to Council, and to staff as

                        appropriate.

    b.  Results of the vote need to be added to the minutes of the next Council meeting.

    c.  The pastor, president, vice president or secretary will ensure action status is

         communicated to the proper parties. 

CR1.02.A14  Any work requiring outside contractors will require three bids on the work. Any Committee of the church or staff member may seek bids for work that is based on a written project/scope. The Committee/staff member will make a motion to Council of their chosen bid for the work with reasons why and also provide information on the other two bids. In regards to preferred vendors who provide ongoing services to the church, bids will not be required for annual work/ service calls. However, every three yearsthe appropriate committee or staff member will ask for bids on the service/work from other providers in order to compare prices for the work provided. Our preferred vendors are: Fogels Fuel, Allen Organ, Paul Wright Roofing and R and J Electric.  

C11.01.A14  The congregational treasurer should follow the following order of payments for regular/monthly expenditures in this order: Mission support,  salaries, utilities, service contracts, ongoing ministry expenses/materials, taxes, etc. Any “non-regular” expenditures should be approved for payment by either the committee chair or staff member responsible for the expense or the Pastor.