The Constitution of
Holy Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church
of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession
Approved by the Voters’ Assembly, 8 August 2004
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
It is the will of our Lord Jesus Christ that His Church should
bring to the whole world the forgiveness of sins that He earned by
His perfect life and atoning death on the cross (Mark 16:16,
Matthew 28:18–20, Acts 1:8). That Christ’s mission for His
Church might be carried out according to His will, we, as a
Christian congregation, pledge our conformity to God’s Word
in doctrine and practice (Matthew 28:18–20, 1 Corinthians 1:10,
Romans 16:17), and to the fulfillment of His desire that all things
“be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
For this reason, and that Christian love might prevail in all that
we do, we, the members of Holy Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church, UAC, set forth and by
our own signatures accept the following Constitution and Bylaws, in
accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our
congregation shall be conducted to God’s glory and under His
Article I - NAME
The name of this congregation shall be:
HOLY TRINITY EVANGELICAL-LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE UNALTERED AUGSBURG CONFESSION OF HARRISON, ARKANSAS, INC. in Boone County, under the laws of the State of Arkansas.
Article II - CONFESSIONAL
This congregation accepts without reservation that:
A. All the books of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired and inerrant Word of God;
B. All the confessional writings contained in the Book of Concord of 1580, are a true and correct exposition of the Word of God.
These set forth and declare God’s purpose and design for the Church and for the individual Christian; they are the standard for our faith and life, and according to them shall all controversies which may arise in this congregation be decided and settled.
Article III - DOCTRINAL
Only such hymns and other music, liturgies, and prayers shall be
used in the public services of this congregation and in all
ministerial acts as conform to the Confessional Standard stated in
Article II and serve to promote the same (cf. Colossians
Article IV - SYNODICAL
This congregation shall be affiliated with the Lutheran
Church—Missouri Synod as long as the Synod remains true to
the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions, that its official
doctrine and practice remain in accord with the confession of this
congregation as stated in Article II.
This congregation shall, to the best of its ability, work with said Synod and assist it in effecting all sound measures intended for the building up of the kingdom of God.
Article V - PURPOSE AND
The purpose of this congregation shall be to proclaim and
propagate the Christian Faith through the Divinely appointed Means
of Grace locally, and throughout the world through its affiliation
with the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For this purpose
the congregation will own and hold title to and manage such real
and personal property, which will be purchased, given, devised and
bequeathed, as is necessary or incident to the purpose. It shall
operate as a nonprofit corporation.
As a community of Baptized Christians, committed to God’s Word and will, we recognize and have our life together formed by the following:
Our Lord has commanded that Christians unite in worship, so that He might strengthen and nourish them by the reading and preaching of God’s Word and by the administration of the Holy Sacraments (Hebrews 10:24–25, Romans 10:10–17). We shall, therefore, come together to rejoice in His forgiveness, praying to Him and praising Him for His gifts and proclaiming to all the world what He offers to all, seeking through this worship, and in our daily lives, to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19–20), carrying out Christ’s mission to the world, testifying to Christ in word and deed, and supporting the various means by which His worldwide mission is extended through prayer and financial offerings. As He has given us fellowship with one another through the Gospel and Sacraments (Acts 2:42), we shall endeavor to practice the same, celebrating what God has done for us in Christ, making diligent use of preaching, teaching, Bible study, worship, and all gatherings and all encounters with one another for mutual edification through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (Colossians 3:13–16). Further, we will seek to serve the needs of all men in Christian love, (Ephesians 4:7–16, Mark 10:42–44, John 13:35, Galatians 6:10), and shall endeavor to make proper use of the Office of the Keys (John 20:21–23, Matthew 18:15–20), and to maintain decency and order in accord with His Word (I Corinthians 14:40).
Article VI - RIGHTS AND POWERS OF THE
This congregation, subjecting itself to the limiting provisions
and regulations of this Constitution and its associated Bylaws,
shall always retain supreme authority in the administration of its
affairs. No one shall have any power or authority within the
congregation beyond that conferred upon him by the same acting
through its Voting Membership. Each board, Council or committee
shall be responsible for the performance of such duties as the
Voters’ Assembly may delegate to them by special
Resolutions that are passed must be in accord with the provisions that are laid down in Article II and with any other Article that pertains to Scriptural doctrine and practice.
Article VII - MEMBERSHIP
All life is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Christians are
to do God’s work through their vocation in the home, Church
and state. They are to seek and extend justice and social
acceptance for all, and endeavor to minister to man as a total
being. They are to contribute unselfishly, as God has blessed them,
of their love, talents and treasures for the extension of
God’s mission on earth. Therefore, it shall be the privilege
and duty of members to faithfully use the Means of Grace, regularly
attending the Divine Service at Holy Trinity, and searching the
Scriptures at home, nurturing their children in them, and in
fellowship with other members of the congregation in its Bible
classes and organizations, so that they may grow in Christian faith
It is to be expected that such as do this shall live a morally decent life before God and men, abstaining from works of the flesh (Galatians 5: 18–21) and thus conducting themselves at all times to bring credit to the Church of Jesus Christ. In thanksgiving to God for the administration of His Means of Grace, they shall be obligated to accord the pastor honor, love, and obedience in his ministry of God’s Word, and to support him in his ministration with diligence and faithful prayers; to help him in the discharge of his duties by cordial one-mindedness (1 Corinthians 1:10), willing readiness, peaceable conduct, and in every other way possible; and to provide for his maintenance according to the ability of the congregation.
Membership in this congregation shall include:
A. Baptized: Those who have received a valid Christian Baptism according to the Word of the Triune God and who are under the spiritual care of this congregation and her pastor(s).
B. Communicant: Baptized members who accept, without reservation, the Confessional Standard of Article II, and have given satisfactory evidence of this to the pastor(s) (and to the Board of Deacons in a time of pastoral vacancy or as otherwise deemed necessary and God-pleasing), and who are not members of any organization that maintains principles, doctrines, or conduct conflicting with God’s Word and sound Lutheran doctrine, and who:
1. have been received into the communicant membership of the Lutheran Church and this congregation by the Rite of Confirmation (which, in the case of adults not previously Baptized, is in connection with Holy Baptism); orC. Voting: Those communicant members who have attained the age of legal majority (as established by the State of Arkansas) and have applied for, and been accepted into, Voting Membership (as prescribed in the Bylaws of this congregation, Article I, A), shall have the privilege of voting on issues pertaining to the administration of this congregation and of the Church at large.
2. have been received by letter of transfer from congregations in fellowship with the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as Confirmed members; or
3. come from a Lutheran congregation not in fellowship with the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and renounce all that varies with the Confessional Standard of Article II through a “Profession of Faith”; or
4. who have been excommunicated from Christian fellowship for a “manifest and impenitent sinful life,” but who have also given satisfactory evidence of repentance, so that they may be readmitted to full Christian fellowship with love and open arms.
Article VIII - RELEASE FROM CONGREGATIONAL
Release from membership in this congregation may be made:
A. By transfer to another congregation with whom we are in doctrinal fellowship;
B. By death, which is transfer to the Church Triumphant;
C. By self exclusion:
1. By relocation to another community (unless retained because of special circumstances) or their whereabouts are unknown (as determined in the Bylaws);D. By excommunication: When members purposefully and willfully conduct their lives in clear and manifest disobedience to God’s Word, such will be admonished according to the words of our Lord in Matthew 18:15–20. If they refuse to repent and amend their sinful life after such proper admonition, they shall be excommunicated by the pastor(s) with the unanimous approval of the Board of Deacons and the Voters’ Assembly at the meeting called for this purpose (cf. The Small Catechism, Part V, “Office of the Keys,” the LCMS’s An Explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism, under “Church Discipline,” and John 20:23). Any objections shall be spoken to with Christian love and understanding in accordance with Article II of this Constitution, and shall be resolved in a godly manner before the congregation acts upon the excommunication itself.
2. By joining a congregation outside the doctrinal fellowship of this congregation;
3. By persistent membership in any organization that maintains principles, doctrines, or conduct in conflict with Article II of this Constitution;
4. By purposeful and willful neglect of God’s Word and Sacraments for an extended period of time (as determined in the Bylaws, Article III);
5. By refusal to submit to fraternal admonition as outlined in section ‘D’ of this Article;
6. By written request to be excluded.
Article IX - THE OFFICE OF
The Church, properly speaking, is the assembly of all believers
among whom the Gospel is preached in its truth and purity and the
Holy Sacraments administered according to the Word of God (Augsburg
Confession VII). Therefore, God instituted the Office of the
Ministry for the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of
the Sacraments, through which means He gives the Holy Spirit, who
creates faith in those who hear the Gospel (Augsburg Confession V,
John 20:22–23, Romans 10:13–15). While, as a congregation, we care
for the pastor’s earthly needs, the pastor is not an
‘employee’ of the congregation in the secular sense.
Rather, God, working through the congregation, calls men to serve
as ministers in His Church (Acts 20:28). Those holding the Office
of the Ministry are accountable to God for their stewardship of the
‘Power of the Keys’, which they exercise publicly in
behalf of God’s people (John 20:23, Hebrews 13:17, 1
A. Only those men (cf. 1 Timothy 2:12–15, 1 Corinthians 14:34–38) shall serve in the Office of the Ministry who are properly qualified (1 Timothy 3:1–7, Titus 1:5–9), ordained, and rightly called. They shall profess acceptance of, and pledge faithful adherence to, the confessions of this congregation as set forth in Article II of this Constitution and shall hold certification from the synod in which the congregation has membership.
B. They shall be readily available for private Confession and Absolution and to lend pastoral counsel whenever needed or desired, and shall preach, teach, and administer the Sacraments in accord with Article II of this Constitution, bringing God’s holy Word to those whose needs are known.
C. They shall seek to improve and enhance their theological knowledge and pastoral skills by continued pastoral study, both formally and informally.
D. They shall work in unison with the Board of Deacons (see Article XI, B) for the continuing spiritual welfare of this congregation in accord with God’s Word, providing spiritual leadership and oversight of everything pertaining to congregational worship, of the educational groups (Sunday schools, Confirmation classes, and Bible studies, etc.), and all other adult and youth organizations within the congregation, especially laboring to guard the spiritual welfare of those who are being prepared for the reception of the Lord’s Supper.
E. Along with lay representatives chosen by the congregation, they shall diligently represent the congregation’s ongoing interests by service to the synod in which the congregation holds membership, and shall report the same to the congregation.
The Scripture verses relevant to providing guidance to the office of the pastor (II Timothy 4:1–8, I Timothy 3:1–7, Titus 1:6–9, Ephesians 4:1–16, Acts 20: 28, 1 Peter 5: 1–5) shall be an ever-present guide for those holding the Office of the Ministry.
Article X - RELEASE FROM THE PASTORAL
OFFICE OF THIS CONGREGATION
When a pastor is called, it is for life, and release is to be
granted only on the basis of such reasons as are given in the
written Word of God, as it is God Himself who has placed him into
his Office (Acts 20:28). These are:
A. Death (which is a call to the Church Triumphant);
B. Physical incapacity (such as would indicate retirement);
C. A Call from God to serve elsewhere in the Church;
D. Unfaithfulness to God’s Word (cf. Article II) by:
1. persistent adherence to false doctrine;If such charges are made, the Board of Deacons shall carefully investigate the matter on the basis of God’s Word, securing the counsel of faithful pastors known to them and the appropriate officers of the synodical district as necessary to ensure that doctrinal matters are considered in accordance with God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions, and to ensure that all proceedings are carried out in a manner befitting the honor due the Office of the Holy Ministry and Christian charity. Should the charges prove actionable by clear evidence, the pastor will be given the opportunity to repent; if he refuses, he shall be given the opportunity to resign. If he refuses, the Board of Deacons will have no choice but to call a Special Meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, at which a three-quarters majority vote will be required for removal (cf. Bylaws, Article I, Sections C and E).
2. a scandalous or immoral life;
3. continued willful neglect or refusal to exercise properly the “Power of the Keys” entrusted to him.
Article XI - ORGANIZATION
Christ’s Church is not a ‘democracy’; it is
the Bride of Christ. He alone has all authority in Heaven and on
Earth (Matthew 28:18); therefore, He alone is to rule and govern
His Church, doing so through His written Word.
The Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostles, urges congregations to do everything in a “fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians 14:40); therefore, it is proper that some outward form of government be employed. Since no specific form of church government is commanded by God in His written Word, each congregation is free to devise its own form of governance—as long as such government does not conflict with Article II (Confessional Standard) of this Constitution (such as: hindering the free and pure preaching of God’s Word and the proper administration of the Sacraments, undermining or dishonoring the Office of the Public Ministry, discouraging or interfering with the manifestation of agape [Christlike love] for any member of the congregation, or disregarding the God-given roles of men and women in the Church as specified in His Word).
With these principles in mind, this congregation establishes a Voters’ Assembly as its ultimate deliberative body, to meet and function as prescribed in the Bylaws (Article I). The Officers of this Assembly, who are to be chosen from those who have been Voting Members of the Congregation for not less than one (1) year, shall be:
A. A Church Council, consisting of the following:
5. The Chairman of the Board of Deacons (cf. section B, below) (or his appointed representative from that Board in the case of his absence);
6. The Chair of each Committee specified under section ‘C’ of this Article (or the other elected member of the Committee in the Chair’s absence).
B. A Board of Deacons.
The word ‘deacon’ means ‘servant’, and, as such, the deacon is not like a business executive or a corporate head, but is a servant to the congregation, modeling himself after his Lord Jesus, who came “not to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:25–28).
The objective of the Board of Deacons is to provide for the welfare of the pastor and of this congregation (individually and corporately, physically and spiritually) and, in conjunction with the pastor(s), the supervision of everything pertaining to congregational worship and life. As requested, the Deacons will assist the pastor in addressing problems within the congregation to find God-pleasing solutions.
The men who serve in this way shall be carefully selected in accordance with God’s Word (1 Timothy 3:8–13), and as outlined in the Bylaws of this congregation (Article IV). It shall be evident that they are men of prayer and of personal maturity, well-trained and experienced in the Lutheran faith (as expressed in Article II), whose commitment is reflected through faithful attendance at the Divine Service and Bible classes. They shall be willing to spend as much time as necessary to supervise life in the parish with a positive attitude, and prepared to receive special training from the pastor(s) as needed, to keep them Scripturally and spiritually focused in the discharge of their duties.
The Board of Deacons will have broad authority to act on behalf of the congregation in all matters, except as restricted by this Constitution, its Bylaws, and/or specific resolutions of the Voters’ Assembly.
C. The following Committees, which shall each be staffed by two persons elected from the Voting Membership of the congregation, as specified in the Bylaws (Article V) and at least one deacon (who shall serve as a spiritual resource and, as much as can be done without interfering with his primary duties as a deacon, as a participant in the general functions of the Committee):
1. Evangelism and Public Relations;The Board of Deacons shall also serve as the Council’s Worship and Stewardship Committees (cf. Bylaws, Article IV, B, 2, and Article V, D).
2. Human Care and Fellowship;
3. Buildings and Grounds.
4. Education and Youth
Article XII - PROPERTY RIGHTS AND
Title to all real or personal property acquired by the
congregation, its organizations, or individuals, for use by the
congregation or its organizations, shall be held by the
congregation. Property shall not be purchased, disposed of, or
encumbered in any manner except as prescribed in the Bylaws,
Article I and Article V, C, 4, e.
It is contrary to the expressed will of God to have division in the Church (1 Corinthians 1:9, Psalm 133:1, John 17:21); however:
A. If at any time a division should take place on account of doctrine, the property of the congregation and all benefits connected therewith shall remain with those members who continue to adhere to the confession and practice of Article II.
B. If a disagreement arises for any reason other than doctrine, the congregation shall seek to resolve the controversy using all the resources God supplies, including the aid of faithful pastors of the congregation’s choosing (with whom the congregation is in doctrinal fellowship) and the appropriate officers of the district and synod in which the congregation holds membership. The disagreeing parties shall seek a compromise in the spirit of Christian love, which is not “self-seeking” or “easily angered” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7), but which always seeks the interests of others over self, after the pattern of our Lord’s suffering for us on the cross (1 Corinthians 10:24, Galatians 6:2). If, however, a compromise cannot be reached, the position of the majority shall be accepted.
C. In the event the congregation disbands entirely, the property and all rights connected therewith shall be transferred to that district of the synod in which the congregation holds membership at the time of disbanding.
Holy Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church
of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession
Article I - Congregational Meetings
All meetings of the congregation will adhere to the following
guidelines, with the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of
Order informing good procedure:
A. Admission and Removal of Voting Members
Application for Voting Membership shall be made as a part of ‘New Business’ at a regular Voters’ Meeting (see section B, 4, f, below). The applicant, having read the Constitution and Bylaws of this congregation, shall affix his signature to the official copy thereof, pledging his willingness to conduct himself according to and be governed by the same, and those assembled shall act upon his application. If approved, the new Voting Member shall be eligible to vote at the next Voters’ Meeting.
If a Voting Member is absent at three consecutive regular Voters’ Meetings, his name shall be removed from the roster of Voting Members, and shall be required to re-apply for such membership in the same fashion as described above if he desires to vote. Such removal shall be announced by the President during ‘New Business’ at the meeting of the Voters’ Assembly at which it takes place.
B. Regular Meetings
1. Regular meetings of the Voters’ Assembly shall be held four times during each calendar year, on or about the fourth Sunday of January, April, July, and November. The dates and times of all voters’ meetings shall be set by the Council.C. Special Meetings
2. All communicant members are encouraged to attend and may submit recommendations and participate in discussions of any given item of business before the Voting Membership.
3. Every meeting of the Voting Membership shall be announced at least two Sundays prior to the actual meeting and posted in the Church Newsletter (if date and time are available at printing.)
4. The suggested procedure for the order of business shall be as follows;
a. Scripture reading and/or Prayer5. All meetings will be presided over by the president or vice-president of the congregation. If neither are available, then a designated male member of the Council will preside.
b. Minutes of previous meeting read and approved including any special or emergency meetings held since the last regular meeting.
c. Treasurer’s report and approval
d. Any unfinished business
e. Committee Reports (as necessary)
f. Any new business1. The January meeting shall include:g. State of the parish report by the Pastor
a. the election of Church Council members, President and Vice-President.
2. The April meeting shall include:
a. Reading of the Qualifications and Exhortation to the Nomination of Deacons
3. The July meeting shall include:
a. the election of members of the Board of Deacons.
4. The November meeting shall include:
a. the consideration, and, if possible, the acceptance of the spending guideline for the following year,
b. election of the Nominating Committee for Church Council elections;
c. approval of the appointment of the financial review committee that has been selected by the Council.
h. Adjournment with prayer
1. Attending Voting Members of a properly called meeting shall constitute a quorum unless the reason for the meetings are for;
a. Purchase or sale of real propertyIn those cases, a simple majority of all Voting Members must be present for the meeting to be held. If not enough are present, the procedure for the notification of members given under Article I, Special Meetings, is to be employed. If the meeting again fails a quorum, those present may call a subsequent Special Meeting not having this requirement.
b. Erection of buildings
c. Calling or removal of a Pastor
d. Hiring or removal of a church worker
e. Amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws of the Congregation
2. In the passing of all resolutions in Voters’ Meetings, a two-thirds majority is required for approval, except for those special issues listed above, which will require a three-quarters majority. (The Calling of a pastor shall be by unanimous consent; cf. Bylaws, Article II.) Any issue not clearly settled by voice vote shall be decided by call of roll.
3. There shall be no voting by proxy or absentee ballot.
4. The Deacons are responsible for all ‘elections’, which shall be conducted by lot, the lot being drawn by a confirmand who is not yet a voting member.
Article II - Divine Call of
After consultation by the Board of Deacons with the District
President or his representative (see Titus 1:5) who is a called and
ordained pastor that adheres fully to Article II of this
Constitution, the candidates for the office of pastor shall be
proposed at the next meeting of the Voters’ Assembly or at a
special meeting called for that purpose. Additional candidates may
be proposed by any voting member at the meeting called to discuss
candidates. Objections to any candidate must be reasonable and
justifiable. After open discussion of each nominee, a list will be
compiled of all candidate(s) that are approved by a unanimous vote
(see Bylaw Art. I). If more than one is on that list, then,
following the example of the Apostles (Acts 1:15–26) and
recognizing that a faithful pastor is a gift from the risen Christ
(Ephesians 4:11–13), a prayer shall be offered that the Lord of the
Harvest would bless the calling of a new pastor and the name of one
of the approved candidates shall be selected ‘by lot’.
The Divine Call shall then be extended to that candidate with
thanksgiving to God. If God has deemed that the approved candidate
is to remain where he has already been called or to accept another
call, then the approved list of candidates will be revisited at the
next called meeting.
If it is desired to call a new graduate from the seminary, the Board of Deacons will investigate what procedures are mandated by the synod and report on the same to a special meeting of the Voters’ Assembly. If the Voters’ Assembly agrees in principal to the synod’s procedures, a vote shall be taken to request a newly-certified graduate. Such a vote requires the same unanimous approval as the selection of any other candidate.
Article III - Discipline in the
Our Lord and Savior died for us all so that we would have
redemption and everlasting life through the Word of His grace. As a
Christian family, we are charged to love one another and care for
one another’s spiritual welfare. It is, therefore, important
that if one of God’s sheep stray from the flock, we make
every effort to bring Christ’s blood-bought sheep back to
the fold, as God would have us do. To that end, we must, if
necessary, also discipline that member who is confessing or acting
contrary to God’s Word, out of Christian love for that
person and for any who might be led astray (cf. Constitution,
Articles II and VIII and the Scripture references contained
A. Discipline of members
1. Self-Exclusion: When a member of this congregation has not attended Church services for two months for no known and legitimate reason, he will receive a call or visit from his deacon(s) to determine his welfare and, as necessary, admonish and encourage him to attend the Divine Service and receive Holy Communion. If such a member continues in nonattendance of church services or has not communed in four months time, then at least two representatives of the Board of Deacons will call on that member officially to encourage him back into Christian fellowship. If this behavior continues for up to two more months, the member will be considered as having excluded himself from the congregation (as stated in Article VIII of the Constitution) and will be notified of such by the Board of Deacons by official letter, which shall be recorded in the church’s files.B. Discipline of an Office Holder
If a member has not been in attendance for a period of six months and contact has not been able to be established during that time by the Board of Deacons, pastor, or other members of the congregation, he will be removed from the membership of the congregation and recorded as Whereabouts Unknown and reported at the next regular congregational meeting by the pastor and Board of Deacons and recorded in the church’s files.
2. Excommunication: The guidelines in Article VIII, section D, of this congregation’s Constitution shall be followed. Every member of the congregation is encouraged to pray for such members to repent and to seek the Lord’s forgiveness and blessings.
Article IV - Board of Deacons
A. Selection Process
1. The Deacons Nominating Committee, consisting of the pastor(s) and the Board of Deacons, will carefully screen all persons suggested by the Voting Membership for nomination, using the criteria listed in Article XI, B, of the Constitution, before revealing any potential names. Self-nomination and solicitation to be nominated shall be considered inappropriate. There is to be at least one more candidate than the number of seats open on the Board, if possible. All approved candidates will be considered alternates for those elected to office, and may be considered to fill a vacant position in case a serving deacon is unable to finish his term. This temporary appointment will endure until the July meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, when the unexpired term will be filled by election.B. Duties of the Board of Deacons
2. The term of office shall begin with the installation in August, at which time the outgoing deacon’s term is considered to be expired (unless that person has been re-elected). Deacons are elected for a three year term and may succeed themselves if re-nominated and elected. These terms shall be so staggered that an equal number of regular openings exist each year.
3. The number of deacons shall be determined by the Voters’ Assembly, with consultation of the pastor.
1. Ensure that the congregation functions in accordance with Article II of the Constitution and all other Articles pertaining to doctrine, worship, and spiritual life. They shall work closely with all committees and societies of this congregation to lend spiritual encouragement, and shall be welcome at all their meetings.C. Chairman of the Board of Deacons
2. Serve as the Stewardship Committee and, along with the pastor(s), Altar Guild, and musicians, serve as the Worship Committee. The Chairman of the Deacons will serve as the chair of these committee.
3. The Board of deacons will divide the families of the congregation into groups to better serve their spiritual needs, though the members are free to seek any deacon for spiritual counsel.
4. Continually review Communion and church attendance with the pastor(s) and make calls as needed.
5. Be mindful of newborn children in preparation of Baptism, encouraging parents as needed, and faithfully visiting the sick, hospitalized, aged, and shut-in, and encouraging others to do the same.
6. Investigate cases of severe financial need within the congregation, making specific recommendations to the pastor and to the Human Care Committee.
7. Provide for assistant and substitute pastors and guest speakers as needed. Also to assist as directed by the pastor with Communion distribution, reading of Scriptures, preaching, etc., if necessary.
8. Each be assigned to a Council committee as a spiritual advisor. He may also perform committee functions, as long as this does not detract from his primary duties as a deacon.
9. Assist in instruction for communicant membership, as requested by the pastor(s).
10. Set the schedule of services, with the advice of the pastor(s) and the Voting Membership.
11. Hold monthly meetings with at least one representative from each membership group (cf. Article IV, B, 3). Failing that, at least two-thirds of the Board will constitute a quorum.
12. Discuss all matters concerning the spiritual welfare of the members. Such discussion will be considered confidential and not to be communicated to anyone outside of the Board of Deacons without the express permission of the member(s) under discussion, with the exception of those facts necessary for the congregation’s consideration in cases of excommunication.
The Board of Deacons shall select its own chairman, who will be a voting member of the Church Council. His term as chairman shall be for one year, with possibility of succession.
The Chairman of the Board of Deacons:
1. Will assist the pastor(s) in setting an agenda for the meetings of the Board. A short Bible study will begin the meeting.
2. Will, in consultation with the pastor, determine the need for closing due to severe weather, etc.
3. (Or his representative from the Board) will report on all matters that pertain to the Church Council at the monthly Council meeting.
Article V - Church Council
The Church Council shall be charged with the day to day
administration of the affairs of the church, including the use of
legal counsel. They shall bring recommendations in all legal
matters to the Voters’ Assembly for consideration. The
pastor and Treasurer are considered non-Voting Members of
A. Selection Process
1. A minimum of three persons shall be elected from the Voting Membership at the November meeting to serve as a Nominating Committee. The Committee shall select its own chairman, and shall receive nominations from the Voting Membership.B. Council Meetings
2. Voters should suggest nominees for the various Committees no later than the second Sunday of December. Self-nomination and solicitation to be nominated shall be considered inappropriate. Only those who have been Voting Members for at least one year may be considered.
3. The chairman of the Nominating Committee is responsible to consult with the pastor and Board of Deacons on the status of any proposed candidates to determine if there are any hindrances to their election, to see whether the approved candidates are willing to serve, and to bring this information back to the committee before revealing any of the names selected.
4. The Nominating Committee is to submit at least two candidates to the President for each position needed, if possible. These names must be announced at least one week before the election. All approved candidates will be considered alternates for those elected to office, and may be considered to fill a vacant position in case a serving Committee member is unable to finish his term. This temporary appointment will endure until the January meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, when the unexpired term will be filled by election.
5. The chairman of the Nominating Committee will submit a list of all the approved candidates to the President, who shall present them to the Voting Members as part of the January meeting. The Voters’ Assembly unanimously approving all candidates, the office holders shall be selected by lot (see Article I, E, 4 of these Bylaws).
6. The elections shall proceed as follows. First, a president shall be selected by lot, then the various Committee Members, and then the election of the Council Vice-President from the male Committee Members (cf. Constitution, Article XI, F.). The terms of President and Vice-President shall be for one year, with election to successive terms being permitted.
7. The senior member of each Committee shall serve as that Committee’s representative on the Church Council; in that member’s absence, the junior member will so serve.
8. The term of office shall be two years, and shall begin with the installation during the Divine Service on the first Sunday in February, at which the outgoing member’s term is considered to be expired (unless that person has been re-elected). These terms shall be so staggered that an equal number of regular openings exist each year.
1. Emergency meetings can be called by any serving member of Council or the pastor.C. Duties of Officers, Secretary, and Financial Secretaries:
2. A simple majority of the committees represented by Council members must be present to conduct official business at any Council meeting.
1. The President of the congregation shall, to the best of his ability, enforce the Constitution and Bylaws of this congregation and carry out the will of the congregation as embodied in the resolutions of the Voting Membership. He shall work closely with all committees, auxiliaries, groups, etc., in the congregation to ensure that they function in accord with the Constitution and Bylaws, and he shall be welcome at any and all meetings of such groups, either in person or as represented by such persons as he may appoint. He shall also call and preside over the meetings of the Council and shall endeavor to coordinate the functions, plans, and activities of the congregation in all its parts for the total furtherance of the work of God’s kingdom in our midst. The President and Treasurer shall sign all official documents in the name of the congregation and he shall sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer.D. Service
2. The Vice-President of the congregation shall, in the absence of the president, act for and in the stead of the president. He shall be available for whatever duties the president shall assign as his representative. In the absence of the Treasurer and President, he is authorized to sign checks for the congregation.
3. The Secretary shall be present at, and shall enter the minutes of, all meetings of the Council and Voters’ Assembly; if absent, a Secretary pro tempore shall be appointed by the Council. The Secretary shall conduct all official correspondence of the congregational committees under the supervision of the president, and such additional duties as the Voting Membership may delegate. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping the official copy of all actions of the Council and Voters’ Assembly and all documents pertaining thereto.
4. The Treasurer, although not a voting member of the Council, shall present a written (and duplicated) financial report for all Council meetings. The Treasurer shall be responsible for accurate recording of congregational receipts and disbursements and budgeted and actual expenditures according to proper accounting procedures:
a. Shall present a written, duplicated financial report at scheduled quarterly Voters’ Meetings; submit permanent financial records for financial review; be responsible for monthly remittance of offerings for missions and Church agencies and for prompt payment of salaries and bills authorized by the congregation and/or the Council, coordinate the flow of monies from the treasury to the various committees in such a way that an adequate balance is retained for the payment of salaries and other regularly recurring expenses;5. The Financial Secretary and Assistant Financial Secretary(-ies) shall be responsible for the accurate counting, recording and deposit of all receipts for the congregation in an approved financial institution. The Financial Secretary shall furnish the Treasurer with a duplicate of all deposit slips, and shall be responsible for the requisition and distribution of offering envelopes, and preparing and distributing to each member an annual statement of contributions received from that member, suitable for tax puposes.
b. Shall receive from the financial secretary a report of all monies received and duly record same;
c. Shall have available for all committees a current record of their accrued disbursements and spending guide allotment;
d. Shall, together with the Council, prepare a spending guide for presentation at the November meeting of the Voters’ Assembly;
e. Shall report all expenditures of over $500.00 (except
1. those already approved in the spending guide,which will require the approval of the Voters’ Assembly.
2. those required to prevent further damage or increased expense,
3. or those that hamper the ability to conduct worship),
6. For the protection of their reputations, the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary shall not be members of the same immediate family, and shall be bonded by the congregation’s insurer.
Article VI - Parish
The pastor shall be responsible for keeping accurate records of
membership and of his ministerial acts, on forms provided by the
congregation and which shall remain the property of the
congregation. He shall report statistics to the congregation
annually and, when required, to the Lutheran Church-Missouri
The Board of Deacons will assist the pastor, if needed, in this area, and will assume this responsibility in the case of a pastoral vacancy.
Article VII - Amendments
A. The Constitution and these Bylaws may be amended at any
meeting of the Voting Membership with a three-quarters majority
1. That a motion has been made at a regular meeting of the Voting Membership to submit such a proposal to amend for consideration.
2. That the Voting Membership has been notified of the proposed change(s) and of the date of the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be acted upon in accord with Article I of these Bylaws under “Special Meetings” (cf. Bylaws, Article I, C and E), if the matter cannot wait until the next regular meeting.
B. All amendments that have been properly adopted shall be recorded in the official copy of the Constitution and Bylaws in the possession of the Secretary of the congregation, after approval by the Synod.
C. A copy of the current Church Constitution and Bylaws shall be made available to all members of this congregation and a copy given to all new members. The pastor shall be encouraged to discuss this document (especially Articles II and III of the Constitution) with all new members and confirmands for the sake of their understanding as they become oriented to their church’s activity.
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