CONSTITUTION

PREAMBLE

It is the will of our Lord Jesus Christ that His disciples, should preach the Gospel to the whole world (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, He has commanded that Christians unite in worship (Hebrews 10:24-25), practice fellowship with one another (Acts 2:42), witness to all men (Acts 1:8), help each other grow in the Word (Ephesians 4:11-14), serve the needs of all men in Christian love (Ephesians 4:7-16, Mark 10:42-44, John 13:35, Galatians 6:10), administer the Office of the Keys as His Church (John 20:21-23, Matthew 18:15-20), and maintain decency and order (1 Corinthians 14:40) in the Church.

Therefore we, a number of Lutheran Christians living in and near Park Rapids, Minnesota, accept and subscribe to the following Constitution and Bylaws, in accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our congregation shall be governed.

ARTICLE 1 - Name

The name of this congregation shall be St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church.

ARTICLE 2 - Purpose

The purpose of this congregation shall be to seek the honor and glory of God, to carry out His will, to manifest the unity of our faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior, to spread the kingdom of God and to foster Christian fellowship and love, by the preaching of the Word of God, by the administration of the Sacraments, and by the religious instruction of all its members, according to the confessional standard of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (Article 3)

ARTICLE 3 - Confessional Standard

This congregation as a body and all its members as individuals declare unreserved acceptance of and adherence to the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice; and to all the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God, to wit: the three Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed), The Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord.

No doctrine or practice in conflict, or inconsistent, with the above norms of our faith and life shall be taught or tolerated in this congregation.

ARTICLE 4 - Membership

The membership of this congregation includes the following:

A. Baptized Membership

1. Baptized members are all members who have received Christian baptism.

B. Communicant Membership

Communicant members are those:

1. Who are baptized in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost;
2. Who accept all canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the only divine rule and standard of faith and life;
3. Who are familiar at least with Luther's Small Catechism and declare their acceptance of it;
4. Who study the Word of God diligently;
5. Who worship the Triune God faithfully and regularly;
6. Who lead Christian lives and do not live in manifest works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21);
7. Who partake of the Lord's Supper frequently;
8. Who contribute regularly and faithfully, as God has prospered them, toward the building of Christ's kingdom in the congregation and throughout the world;
9. Who devote their time and talents to the extension of the kingdom of God,
10. Who, for the sake of love and peace, submit to the decisions of the congregation;
11. Who permit themselves to be fraternally admonished and corrected (Matt. 18) when they have erred;
12. Who are not members of a religious lodge or other organizations whose principles and practices conflict with the Word of God.

C. Voting Membership

Section 1. All confirmed members of the congregation who are at least eighteen years of age shall be entitled to vote.
Section 2. Those desiring voting membership must apply and be accepted by the voting membership.

ARTICLE 5 - Office of Pastor, D.C.E, & Called Teacher

The Pastoral office in this congregation shall be conferred upon a male minister only, who professes his acceptance and adherence to all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God, and all the symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as enumerated in Article 3 of this Constitution, who has been certified for the Pastoral Ministry by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, or a Synod with whom the Missouri Synod is in fellowship. These requirements shall also apply to Director of Christian Education and Called teachers.

ARTICLE 6 - Authority of the Congregation

A. General

The Voters Assembly shall be the governing body of this congregation and shall be empowered to administer and manage all its affairs. The establishment and conduct of all organizations and societies within the congregation shall be subject to the approval and supervision of the Voters' Assembly. The Voters' Assembly shall not be empowered to decide anything contrary to the Word of God and the Confessions (Article 3) and any such decisions shall be null and void.

B. Right of Calling

The right of calling pastors or teachers shall be vested in the Voters' Assembly and shall never be delegated to a smaller group or to an individual.

 


C. Decisions

All matters of doctrine and of conscience shall be decided only by the Word of God. All other matters shall be decided by a majority vote of the Voters' Assembly unless otherwise specified by the Constitution or Bylaws.

D. Removal from Office

1. Any pastor, D.C.E., teacher, or officer may be removed from office by the Voters' Assembly by a two-thirds majority ballot vote, in Christian and lawful order, for one of the following reasons: persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, or willful neglect of duties.

2. The congregation may request the resignation of any pastor, teacher, or officer from his position in the congregation in the case of prolonged incapacity or general incompetence.


E. Removal from Membership

The Voters' Assembly shall have authority to exclude any communicant member according to Matthew 18:15-18. The person so excluded (excommunicated) shall forfeit all rights of a member.

ARTICLE 7 - Officers

A. The officers of this congregation shall be such officers, boards, or committees as the Bylaws of this Constitution may prescribe.

B. Congregational officers or committees, whether elected or appointed shall have no authority beyond that which has been conferred upon them, and whatever authority may have been delegated to them may at any time be altered or revoked by the Voters' Assembly.

ARTICLE 8 - Division

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 communicant members who continue to adhere in confession and practice to Article 3 of this Constitution and who also adhere in confession and practice to the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation and to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. If division takes place for any other reason, the property shall remain with the majority of the communicant members. In the event the congregation shall totally disband, the property and all rights connected therewith shall be transferred to that District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod of which the congregation has been a member at the time of disbanding.

ARTICLE 9 - Doctrinal Conformity

Only such hymns, prayers, and liturgies shall be used in the public services of the congregation and in all ministerial acts as conform to the confessional standard of Article 3. Likewise, in all classes for instruction in Christian doctrine, only such materials shall be used as conform to this confessional standard.


ARTICLE 10 - Synodical Membership

This congregation shall hold membership in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as long as this Synod remains true to the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions. It shall send its pastor(s), D.C.E., called teacher(s), and a lay delegate to the District Conventions of the Synod.

ARTICLE 11 - Bylaws

This congregation may adopt such Bylaws as may be required for the accomplishment of its purpose.

ARTICLE 12 - Changing the Constitution

A. Unalterable Articles

The provision of Articles 2, 3, 5 and 9 of this Constitution shall not be subject to change or repeal.

B. Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution may be adopted at a regular Voters' Assembly, provided:

1. That they do not conflict with the provisions laid down in Article 3, or with any other article that pertains to a Scriptural doctrine and practice; and

2. That the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing at a previous meeting of the Voters' Assembly and published prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendment will be acted upon; and

3. That an affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of the voters present is secured. BYLAWS

I.

MEMBERSHIP

A. ADMISSION INTO MEMBERSHIP

1. Communicant Membership

a. By Confirmation

All who receive the rite of confirmation become communicant members.

b. By Transfer

Persons coming with a communicant letter of transfer from a congregation in church fellowship provided they conform in all respects to the requirements of membership of this congregation, shall be received by the pastor and elders whose action is to be approved in a subsequent meeting of the Voters Assembly or the Parish Planning Council.

c. By Profession of Faith

Other persons shall submit their application to the pastor; and having given satisfactory evidence of qualifications for communicant membership to the pastor and elders, they shall be received as communicant members, to be approved in a subsequent meeting of the Voters' Assembly or Parish Planning Council. Applicants not familiar with the doctrines and confessions of the Lutheran Church shall be required to satisfactorily complete a course of instruction.

2. Voting Membership

a. Reception

An applicant for voting membership shall give notice of his intention to the pastor or one of the elders and shall read a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation, which shall be furnished him. At a subsequent constitutional meeting of the Voters' Assembly and in the presence of the applicant the pastor shall present such application. Upon majority vote of the voting members present, he or she shall be accepted and listed in the registry of voting members, and sign the Constitution.

b. Duties

It shall be the duty of every voting member to attend the Voters' Assemblies. By failing to attend such meetings, a member loses the right to cast his or her vote during that meeting and must conform to its resolutions. He or she shall accept nomination for office, committee appointments, etc., if possible, even if absent, and generally participate in the business activities of the Voters' Assembly.

B. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

1. Communicant Membership

a. Transfer to Other Congregations

Communicant members desiring to join a congregation in church fellowship shall present their request for transfer to the pastor, to whom authorization is granted to issue transfers. Such transfers of membership shall be approved by the Voters' Assembly or Parish Planning Council in a subsequent meeting.

b. Joining Other Churches

Communicant members desiring to join a congregation not in church fellowship with this congregation should first carefully examine both the doctrine and practice of such a congregation to determine if they can accept it in good conscience.

Having done this, they may request a release from this congregation without recommendation to the receiving congregation. The pastor is authorized to issue such letters of release which shall be approved by a subsequent meeting of the Voters' Assembly or Parish Planning Council.

In cases where communicant members have joined another congregation outside of our own fellowship, they shall, upon the recommendation of the pastor and elders, be considered as having terminated their membership, and their names shall be removed from the membership list by resolution of the Voters' Assembly or Parish Planning Council.

c. Whereabouts Unknown

The names of members whose whereabouts are unknown and cannot be established shall be removed by the Voters' Assembly, and forthwith such membership is terminated.

d. Excommunication and Self-Exclusion

Any member who conducts himself in an unchristian manner shall be admonished according to Matthew 18:15-20. If he refuses to repent and amend his sinful life after proper admonition, he shall be excommunicated. If the member refuses to attend the Voters' Assembly, or, to meet with a smaller group officially acting for the voters to discuss his case, he has thereby excluded himself. A ballot vote shall be required for every resolution by the Voters' Assembly for excommunication or self-exclusion. Such resolution shall be made at one Voters' Assembly and tabled for a vote to the next meeting of the Voters' Assembly. Excommunication or self-exclusion terminates membership. Such a person who has thus had his membership terminated with this congregation cannot in good conscience join any other church without first receiving forgiveness and reinstatement.

e. Status

A person whose communicant membership has been terminated has forfeited all rights of a member of this congregation and all claims upon the property of the congregation as such, or upon any part thereof so long as he is not reinstated into membership.

2. Voting Membership

A voting member who is absent from three consecutive regular voters meetings without offering valid excuse shall have his or her name removed from the roster as a voter. He or she may be reinstated by re-applying for voting membership. It is not necessary to sign the Constitution a second time. II.

MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION

A. REGULAR MEETINGS

1. Regular meetings of the Voting Membership shall be held two (2) times during each calendar year, on or about the first Sunday of the following months: June and November. Dates and times of all Voters' Meetings shall be set by the Parish Planning Council. The November meeting of the Voters' Assembly shall include the consideration and acceptance of the budget for the following year.

2. All communicant members of the congregation may attend the meetings of the Voters' Assembly and may, with the consent of the Voting Membership submit recommendations or participate in a discussion of any given item of business before the Voting Membership.

3. Every meeting of the Voting Membership shall be announced at the worship services on the Sunday preceding the date of the meeting.

B. SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special meetings of the Voters' Assembly may be called by the Board of Elders, the pastor(s), at the request of any one of the Administrative Boards, or at the request of 10 voting members of the congregation. Notice of the date and time of such a meeting, and of the nature of the business to be transacted, shall be given at the Sunday worship services immediately preceding the time of the meeting.

C. ORDER OF BUSINESS AT REGULAR MEETINGS

Regular meetings of the Voting Membership shall proceed as follows:

1. Scripture Reading and/or Prayer

2. Roll Call of Voting Members

3. Reception of New Voting Members

4. Minutes of Previous Meeting(s), including Special Meetings

5. Unfinished Business

6. Treasurer's Reports

7. Reports from Committees of the Voting Membership

8. Reports of Administrative Boards

9. New Business

10. State of the Parish Report by Pastor(s)

11. Adjournment

The Executive Director(s) may, with the consent of the Voting Membership, vary the above order in the interests of efficiency.

In general, for purposes of order, Robert's Rules of Order shall prevail.

D. QUORUM

Ordinarily 1/4 of the voters at a properly called meeting shall constitute a quorum to do business. However, for amending the Constitution, for the purchase of property, for the erection of buildings, or for the removal from office of a called pastor, D.C.E., or teacher, a majority of all voting members shall be required for a quorum. In the absence of a majority those present may fix the date for an adjourned meeting for which at least five days written notice shall be given. The members who are present at such adjourned meeting shall constitute a quorum.

III.

CALLING PROCEDURE FOR PASTOR, D.C.E. & TEACHER

A. NOMINATION

At a meeting of the Voters' Assembly properly convened, the list of candidates having been received from the District President shall be presented. Names submitted from the floor may not be considered until the following meeting unless the information on the candidate has been previously obtained from the District President.

B. ELECTION & CALL

The election of a pastor, D.C.E., or teacher, from the list of candidates chosen by the congregation shall be by ballot. The candidate receiving the majority of all votes cast shall be considered elected. The election shall, if possible, be made unanimous by a rising vote, and the call shall be sent to the candidate elect.

C. THE PASTORAL OFFICE

The Pastoral Office is the authority conferred upon pastors by God, through a call of the congregation (the holder of the priesthood and of all congregational authority) to exercise in public office the common rights of spiritual priesthood in behalf of all. The Pastoral Office is the primary office in the congregation from which all other offices of the congregation issue. However, the congregation may establish as many auxiliary offices as its needs require and determine what work is to be assigned to such offices.

Upon being installed the pastor is authorized and obligated to proclaim to the congregation, jointly and severally, the Word of God in its full truth and purity as contained in the canonical writings of the Old and New Testaments and professed in the Book of Concord of the year 1580. He is further:

To administer the sacraments in accordance with their divine institution;

To discharge toward all members of the congregation the functions of a minister and curate of their souls in an evangelical manner, in particular to visit the sick and the dying and admonish indifferent and erring members;

To spiritually guard the welfare of the younger members of the congregation and adults during their preparation for acceptance of Holy Communion;

To guide the congregation in applying the divinely ordained discipline of the church;

To provide spiritual leadership and oversight in the educational agencies and the various adult and youth organizations within the congregation;

To serve as an example by Christian conduct and to do all that is possible for the upbuilding of the congregation and for the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. By reason of his position the pastor is not only a servant and steward of God, but also of the congregation. The pastor(s) shall have the authority and responsibility for supervising the musical portion of all worship services in conjunction with the Board of Elders so that it is at all times in harmony with the doctrine and practice of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Members of the congregation are obligated to accord the pastor(s) honor, love and obedience in his ministry of God's Word, and to support his ministrations with diligence and faithful prayers; to help him in the discharge of his duties by cordial one-mindedness, by willing readiness, by peaceable conduct, and in every other way possible; and to provide for his maintenance according to the ability of the congregation.

In calling a pastor to preach the Word of God and to administer the Sacrament on their behalf, the members of the congregation exercise their royal priesthood and by no means relinquish it. This is the privilege and responsibility of all members of the Church.

IV.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS AND HIRING OF PAID OFFICERS

A. NOMINATION PROCEDURE

At the November meeting of the Voting Membership in an election year, the Parish Planning Council shall announce its selection of six (6) qualified Voting Members who, together with the pastor(s), shall serve as the Nominating Committee. At this meeting, the Voters may submit to the Committee the names of possible candidates for office.

The Nominating Committee, as soon after the November meeting as possible, shall prepare a list of candidates drawn from among communicant members of the congregation who are 18 years of age or over, either male or female, and from the list submitted by the Voters at the November meeting. This list shall then be made available to communicant members of the congregation at least three weeks prior to the June meeting. Members of the Board of Elders, Executive Director and Assistant Executive Directors shall be male communicant members.

Following the publication of the Nominating Committee's list any communicant member of the congregation may submit to the Committee additional names for inclusion on the list, and such names shall be placed in nomination by the Committee along with the candidates already chosen, provided:

1. That such names shall be submitted at least 10 days before the date of the June meeting of the Voters' Assembly, and

2. That the Nominating Committee, through consultation with the pastor(s) and the Board of Elders, shall have investigated the status of the proposed candidates and found them spiritually eligible for office and willing to serve.

The Nominating Committee, at least one week before the date of the June meeting, shall post conspicuously on the church bulletin board the list of candidates for the following offices:
Executive Director, Assistant Executive Director(s), Directors of the various Administrative Boards, and Board members as necessary to complete the membership of each of the Administrative Boards.

 

B. ELECTION PROCEDURE

From the list of candidates for each elective office submitted by the Nominating Committee, the Voting membership shall, at its June meeting, elect by ballot and simple majority, the following officers in the order herein indicated:

1. An Executive Director

2. An Assistant Executive Director(s)

3. Eight Directors, specifically nominated for the directorship of one of the following Boards: Elders, Evangelism, Christian Education, Young People's Work, Stewardship, Church Properties, Parish Fellowship, and Public Relations.

4. Board Members, to the number required to complete the membership of each of the Administrative Boards. The determination of the number of members required on each Board shall be an annual function of the Parish Planning Council and shall be decided no later than the March meeting of that body. Only candidates defeated for office may be placed in nomination by the Voting Membership at the election meeting for any office not yet filled.

C. INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS - TERM OF OFFICE

The newly elected officers and Board members of the congregation shall be installed on the last Sunday in June, and shall assume their duties of office as of July 1st. The term of office of all Officers, Directors, and Board members shall be two years terminating on June 30th of the second year of their terms. Directors may succeed themselves in the same directorate only once.

D. PAID OFFICERS

Office Manager/Treasurer: The Office Manager/Treasurer of the church shall be responsible for executing the duties of Treasurer as defined in Article V.A. of these By-laws.

V.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS - FUNCTIONS, POWERS, ORGANIZATION
OF ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS AND THE PARISH PLANNING COUNCIL

A. DUTIES OF OFFICERS

The Executive Director of the congregation shall preside at all meetings of the Voting Membership. He shall, to the best of his ability, enforce the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation and carry out the expressed will of the congregation as embodied in the resolutions of the Voting Membership. All Boards, committees, auxiliaries, groups, etc., in the congregation shall be responsible to the Executive Director, and he shall be welcome at any and all meetings of such groups, either in person or as represented by such person or persons as he may appoint. He shall also call and preside over the meetings of the Parish Planning 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 Christ's Kingdom in our midst.
The Executive Director shall appoint a Secretary immediately after he has taken office who shall continue in office until the Executive Director's term of office expires. The Secretary shall be present at all Voters' meetings of the congregation and at all meetings of the Parish Planning Council and shall enter the minutes of all meetings of said groups in a permanent record book over his/her signature. He/she shall conduct all official correspondence of the congregational Boards and committees under the supervision of the Executive Director. In general he/she shall perform all the duties normally pertaining to his/her office and such additional duties as the Voting Membership may delegate to him/her.

The Executive Director shall appoint an Auditing Committee consisting of any two qualified communicant members of the congregation other than the Treasurer and Stewards to audit the financial records of the congregation. The Executive Director shall submit the Audit Committee's report at the June meeting of the Voting Membership in each year.

The Assistant Executive Directors of the congregation in the absence of the Executive Director, shall act for and in the stead of the Executive Director. They shall be available for whatever duties the Executive Director shall assign to them as his representatives.

The Treasurer shall:

1. Be responsible for accurate recording of congregational receipts and disbursements and budgeted and actual expenditures according to proper accounting procedures and, as deemed advisable, shall suggest for congregational consideration improved methods and systems for keeping financial records.

2. Shall present a written, duplicated financial report at Voters' Meetings and a preliminary report at the Parish Planning Council meetings.

3. Shall submit permanent financial records for annual audit.

4. Shall be responsible for monthly remission of offerings for missions and church agencies and for prompt payment of salaries and bills authorized by the congregation or the Boards and Directors as duly constituted sources.

5. Shall furnish the congregation a surety bond in the sum designated by the Voters' Assembly, and such bond shall be procured and the premiums paid by the congregation.

6. Shall coordinate the flow of monies from the treasury to the various Boards in such a way that an adequate balance is retained for the payment of salaries and other regularly recurring expenses.

7. Shall remit to the professional workers of the church for documented expenses while attending professional workshops, conferences, conventions, etc., approved by the Board under whose jurisdiction they function.

8. Shall receive from the Stewards a report of all monies received through worship services, special offerings, or any other source and duly record same.

9. Shall sign all checks for payment of bills, salaries or other financial commitments of the congregation of any sort.

10. Shall have available for all Boards a current record of their accrued disbursements and budget allotment.

11. Shall have the authority to work out with salaried workers of the congregation a breakdown of the worker's total compensation into salary and fringe benefits as the worker requests.

B. THE PARISH PLANNING COUNCIL

The Parish Planning Council shall consist of the Executive Director, the Assistant Executive Director(s), the Treasurer, the eight Directors of the Administrative Boards, and the Pastor(s) of the congregation, all of whom will hold membership on the Parish Planning Council until their term of office expires. It shall be the specific functions of the Parish Planning Council to:

1. Serve as the point of liaison between the Pastor(s)s, the Officers of the congregation, and the various Administrative Boards in planning the total work of the congregation.

2. Settle jurisdictional disputes between the several Administrative Boards.

3. Present to the Voters' Assembly at its November meeting a yearly plan of activity for the entire congregation as well as long-range plans for the development and expansion of Christ's work in our midst.

4. Prepare the agenda for the two (2) meetings of the Voters' Assembly.

5. Set the dates and times for the Voters' Assembly meetings.

6. Appoint the Nominating Committee as required and at the time required.

7. Fill unexpired terms of shortages or personnel by appointment.

The Parish Planning Council shall normally meet in each of the following months: March, May, July, October, and December. Additional meetings may be called by the Executive Director of the congregation and/or the Pastor(s) as required.

The Parish Planning Council is not primarily a decision-making body but serves as a forum where the activities of the Administrative Boards may be discussed, evaluated, and coordinated, and where all such activities may be integrated into an overall congregational program. The Parish Planning Council shall be available at all times, however, for any additional functions which the Voting Membership may wish to confer upon it.

The Parish Planning Council shall keep a permanent set of minutes for each meeting, and such minutes shall be the property of the congregation.

C. THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS

1. General Duties and Powers of Administrative Boards

Each Administrative Board shall submit a report of its activities at each regular meeting of the Voting Membership, and on such other occasions as the Voting Membership shall require. Such reports shall include specific recommendations (if any) for congregational action and/or approval.

Each Administrative Board shall initiate and carry out such activities and programs within the congregation as will enable it to effectively perform the functions and duties assigned to it by the Constitution and Bylaws, or by specific resolution of the Voting Membership.

Each Administrative Board shall be empowered to administer all funds set aside for its work by budget appropriation or by special resolution of the Voters' Assembly, provided that the Voting Membership may, at its discretion, restrict such expenditures to conform with the actual financial condition of the congregation at any given time. Each Administrative Board shall be jointly and severally liable for all expenditures not authorized either by the budget or by special resolution of the congregation.

Each Administrative Board shall keep a permanent set of minutes for each meeting, and such minutes shall be the property of the congregation.

2. Organization and Meetings of Administrative Boards

Each Administrative Board shall be under the direct control and supervision of the Director of that Board. Following the election of the Director of each Board and the number of Board members required, the Director of the respective Board shall designate and appoint from among the Board members at his own discretion those individuals who are to be responsible for various phases of the work of that Board. Such appointments are to be made within two weeks of the date of their election, and notification of such appointments is to be given to the Executive Director of the congregation for publication to the members in the manner he deems most advisable.

The time and frequency of Board meetings shall be at the discretion of the Director of the Board and the Board members, except that, for good and sufficient reason, either the Executive Director of the congregation or the Pastor(s) may call a meeting of the Board at any time. Meetings thus called shall be classified as special meetings, and each person involved shall be notified of the date, time and purpose of such a meeting.

D. THE BOARD OF ELDERS

The nature of the duties of this Board requires that only men noted for their Christian knowledge, zeal and experience in the spiritual work of the Kingdom of Christ shall be elected to membership. The Board shall consist of at least eight (8) members, including the elected Director of the Board.

The basic objectives of this Board are the spiritual welfare of the Pastor(s) and congregation members, individually, and corporately, and the supervision of everything pertaining to congregational worship.

That the objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:

1. Pray for the Pastor(s) and other spiritual leaders.

2. Encourage the Pastor(s) in his work by word and action.

3. Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional and physical welfare of the Pastor(s) and his family (adequate compensation, housing, free time, vacation, assistance in times of illness), and to that end specifically review these items once a year.

4. Assist the Pastor(s) in counseling with difficult cases and in finding peaceful and God-pleasing solutions to personal problems within the congregation.

5. Review yearly the salary and performance of the Church Secretary(ies) and make appropriate recommendations to the Voting Membership, or, in case of vacancy, interview and hire a replacement in conjunction with the Pastor(s).

6. Exercise leadership in gathering call lists and calling a new Pastor when a vacancy occurs.

7. Maintain discipline within the congregation according to Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and Article 4 of the Constitution and Article 1 of the Bylaws of this congregation and exercise discipline when required.

8. Take spiritual charge and oversight of the geographical or familial groupings assigned to them in liaison with the Pastor(s) and other concerned Boards of the congregation.

9. Insure that the congregation functions in accordance with the established doctrine of the Church as listed in Article 3 of the Constitution.

10. Determine eligibility for membership of all individuals and families applying for membership in this congregation according to Article 4 of the Constitution and Article 1 of the Bylaws.

11. See to the prompt transfer of all members who move away and of new Lutheran families moving into the community.

12. Engage in member conservation and discipleship training in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism and the Board of Stewardship.

13. Engage in continual review of communion and church attendance of all members, make calls on delinquents, follow-up on all newborn children in the congregation until they are baptized.

14. Train and supervise a Visitation committee and engage in visitation of all sick, hospitalized, aged, and shut-ins in the congregation continually.

15. Investigate cases of severe financial need within the congregation and make specific recommendations to the Pastor(s) and the Board of Stewardship.

16. Be concerned about and supervise thorough instruction of youth and adults for confirmation and church membership.

17. Be responsible for a friendly personal welcome of visitors at worship and for orientation and integration of new members in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism.

18. Be present for periodic training as determine by the Pastor(s) and this Board.

19. For administrative purposes and program development supervise the total work of the women's organizations of the congregation.

20. Encourage spiritual programs in the societies of the congregation generally.

21. Submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.

For the worship of the congregation:

1. Supervise the organists of the congregation.

2. Provide for vicars, assistants, substitute pastors and guest speakers as needed.

3. Staff, train and supervise the ushering staff.

4. Assist the Pastor(s) with communion distribution, reading of Scripture, preaching, etc., as required.

5. Set the time, schedule and number of communion services in conjunction with the Pastor(s) and the Voting Membership.

6. Approve and disapprove new forms of worship, liturgies, and hymns for use in public worship.

7. Supervise the Altar Guild in the care, use and maintenance of the sacred vessels, the altar, the altar furnishings, and vestments.

8. Maintain an adequate supply of expendable items for worship such as communion cards, pencils, communion wine and wafers, baptismal napkins, candles, etc., in conjunction with the Altar Guild.

9. Coordinate with the Altar Guild all church and chancel decorations, and the distribution of altar flowers to the sick and shut-ins.

10. Plan and publicize the services for the year.

11. Supervise the budgeted allotment for the selections and procurement of appropriate music, supervision of choirs, and other related matters in conjunction with the choir directors and organists.

12. Recommend and annually review compensation and personnel for the music staff as required for public worship.

13. Arrange and publicize special services as required.

14. Maintain and supervise adequate nursery facilities and personnel.

E. THE BOARD OF EVANGELISM

The Board of Evangelism shall consist of at least eight (8) members, including the elected Director of the Board.

The basic objectives of this Board are the bringing of the Gospel to the unchurched, the enlistment of all of God's people in the work of spreading the Gospel, the deepening of the faith and activity of the members of this congregation, and proper soul-accounting at all times.

That the objective of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:

1. Share with the Pastor(s) in the entire program of proclaiming the Gospel to all people.

2. Encourage prayer in church and homes for sincere evangelistic concern toward all people inside and outside the Church.

3. Foster and promote a climate of evangelism, that encourages congregation members informally and spontaneously to share Christ with one another, the backsliding, and the unsaved.

4. Emphasize evangelism through an intensive every-member education program annually.

5. Maintain an ongoing Dialog Evangelism program, offering people more than a membership in a church - a saving relationship with Christ.

6. Be responsible for maintenance and follow-up of a prospect file at all times.

7. Be responsible, together with the Director of Public Relations, for a program of community relations that identifies the congregation with the Gospel of Christ.

8. Utilize the evangelism potential of The Lutheran Hour, This Is The Life, and other Synodical or Christian programs.

9. Emphasize evangelism and encourage evangelism programs in and through the societies and auxiliary organizations of the congregation and suggest projects for such organizations.

10. Emphasize, in conjunction with the Board of Christian Education, child and youth evangelism, both in participation and outreach.

11. Canvass the congregation's area of responsibility and effectively record, study and utilize the results in discipling the lost and straying.

12. Before organization of Pastor's instruction classes, conduct special visitations to witness for Christ and to invite prospective members to attend.

13. Be genuinely concerned for those moving into the community and for those (both members and prospects) moving into other areas. Use any and all means available for maintaining such contacts.

14. Periodically sponsor dinners, fellowship nights, youth activities, etc., in conjunction with the Board of Parish Fellowship which will serve the cultivation, reception, orientation, and integration of new families or individuals.

15. Be conscious of the atmosphere of friendliness in the congregation toward members and visitors and suggest ways and means of improvement.

16. Study and adopt or adapt suggestions by the evangelism departments of Synod, District, and Circuit.

17. For administrative purposes and program development, supervise the work of the Lutheran Laymen's League.

18. Engage at least once a year in self-study methods, progress, and the life of the Board's work.

19. Submit to the Board of Stewardship, in the appropriate form and at the time requested, a budget request for the coming year's work.

F. THE BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

The Board of Christian Education shall consist of at least seven (7) members, including the elected Director of the Board.

The basic objectives of this Board are to plan and administer the total educational program of the congregation, to determine policies, to select personnel for the various agencies, to provide the necessary means and facilities for the agencies, and to direct and supervise the entire educational program of the congregation.

That the objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:

1. Be responsible for the Christian nurture of children, youth, and adults in the congregation and, through them, in the community and beyond.

2. Establish objectives, set policies for, and supervise the total education program for each education agency in the congregation, including the personnel; i.e., for the Christian Day School, Sunday School, weekday school, Vacation Bible School, Bible classes, and all other educational groups.

3. Provide for active expression of Christian love and concern as an integral part of the total education program.

4. Approve curriculum and analyze performance of each education agency and seek constant improvement.

5. Continually review existing agencies to determine whether all age groups are being served, and recommend revisions and additions as deemed advisable.

6. Make annual analyses, by age groups, to determine the degree of participation of the total membership of the congregation in its total educational program.

7. Maintain a "people accounting system" to record members' participation in the education program and to follow up the uninvolved.

8. Be concerned, together with the Board of Young People's Work, for the assimilation of the newly confirmed youth into appropriate agencies for study and activity.

9. Work with organizations and other Boards and committees to coordinate educational activities within the congregation.

10. Provide, in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism, for the recruitment of pupils for the educational agencies of the church.

11. Encourage increasing participation of every congregation member in Bible Study, privately and in formal and informal groups.

12. Delegate administration of education agencies to qualified persons.

13. Exercise leadership in gathering lists of candidates for vacancies in the teaching staff and for properly calling or contracting professional teachers.

14. Supervise the conduct of professional teachers on the staff of the congregation.

15. Enlist, train, place and continue to train lay teachers and leaders as the congregation's needs require.

16. Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional and physical health and welfare of the professional education staff and their families.

17. Annually review and make recommendations concerning adequate compensation for all professional teachers on the staff.

18. Establish a system of commendation for and recognition of faithful service by all persons involved in the educational task of the congregation.


19. Strengthen families as basic units of Christian Education and closely relate congregational agencies to the homes through parent-teacher organizations, conferences, etc.

20. For administrative purposes and program development, supervise the work of the Parent-Teacher League, children's groups such as Boy Scouts, and all other such agencies.

21. Encourage Christian educational programs in societies of the congregation such as the L.L.L., Couples Club, women's organizations.

22. Consider special classes, courses, conferences, retreats and the like for special purposes and for special groups.

23. Consider provision of special education opportunities for mentally retarded and other handicapped persons.

24. Provide for the professional growth of the educational staff through conferences, conventions, continuing education and the like, and request the necessary funds for the same in the yearly budget.

25. Maintain, improve and cultivate the use of a church library.

26. Provide for and promote the use of audiovisual aids and to this end establish and maintain a film library.

27. Provide and/or promote subscriptions to church periodicals.

28. Study and adopt or adapt helps suggested by the education departments of Synod, District, and circuit.

29. Establish and maintain, in conjunction with other Boards, a continuing program for the recruitment of full-time workers in the church at large such as pastors, teachers, deaconesses and the like.

30. Establish and maintain a permanent file of all children and youth of the congregation by age, grade level, and the like and see to it that such a file is kept continually up to date. Example: Cradle Roll.

31. Annually examine the education facilities and equipment, and make recommendations to the Board of Church Properties as to upkeep, repairs, and replacements needed as well as new equipment needed.

32. Check the safety of education facilities - steps, handrails, lights, exits, housekeeping practices, fire drills and the like on a regular basis.

33. Prepare and submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.

G. THE BOARD OF YOUNG PEOPLE'S WORK

The Board of Young People's Work shall consist of at least three (3) members, including the elected Director of the Board.

The basic objectives of this Board are to involve the young people of the congregation in the work of Christ, provide for their spiritual growth and nurture, and to promote genuine Christian fellowship for the young people of the congregation.


That the objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:

1. Promote attendance and involvement of the congregation's youth at all youth activities.

2. Provide for the continuing spiritual growth of the young people of the congregation through Bible study, prayer, and Christian service.

3. Plan and carry out, together with other concerned Boards, a year-round program for the young people of the congregation.

4. Involve youth leaders from all parts of the congregation's work in developing a planned parish program for young people.

5. Develop a program for the social fellowship of both young people and the young adults of the congregation, including various recreational programs.

6. Actively engage in the selection and training of leaders for the young people's program at all times.

7. Plan and observe, together with the Pastor(s), a yearly Congregational Young People's Sunday.

8. Plan a special event to welcome the newly confirmed young people of the congregation and to invite them to join the young people's groups.

9. Provide for continual education of young people on topics of current interest to them.

10. Provide opportunities for involvement as servants in the life of the community such as civic, school, cultural, humanitarian, recreational and social groups.

11. Provide for public recognition of various youth achievements and accomplishments.

12. In conjunction with the Board of Evangelism, train and involve the young people of the congregation in bringing others to faith in Christ.

13. Provide counseling for the spiritual, moral, social, and vocational development of young people.

14. Recruit, together with the Board of Christian Education, young people for full-time service in the church as pastors, teachers, and the like.

15. Welcome and use college students during the summer months for various young people's activities.

16. Submit, at the time and in the form required, an annual budget as requested by the Board of Stewardship.

17. For administrative purposes and program development, supervise the work of all youth and Young Adult groups in the congregation.


H. THE BOARD OF STEWARDSHIP

The Board of Stewardship shall consist of at least eight (8) members, including the elected Director of the Board.

The basic objectives of this Board are to initiate programs for the development of good stewardship attitudes in the members of the congregation in regard to time, talents, and treasures, to provide for the training and utilization of members of the congregation for the work of Christ's Kingdom, and to ensure the financial stability of the congregation and its work through a developed program of dedicated, proportionate, first-fruits giving.

That the objectives of this Board may be carried out, the Board, either corporately or through specifically designated individuals, shall:

1. Study the Scriptural principles regarding the total stewardship calling of the Christian - as a member of his family, as a neighbor and citizen, and as a congregation member - and share these insights with congregation members.

2. Contact and encourage new members for service to the congregation and endeavor to stir up the talents of present members for use in Christ's work.

3. Maintain a program to discover and enlist for Kingdom service the talents God has given members, old and new, young people and adults.

4. Be responsible for maintenance of a congregational talent file at all times, and provide for the immediate recording of the talents and abilities of incoming members.

5. Provide opportunities for the development of talents (training courses, workshops, and the like.)

6. Conduct an intensive program annually to confront every member personally with basic Biblical stewardship principles and practices.

7. Encourage the Gospel-motivated practice of joyous, worshipful, liberal, proportionate, first-fruits giving in response to received blessings and recognized needs.

8. Annually give every member an opportunity to make a commitment of his treasure for Kingdom work through the congregation.

9. Initiate an annual preparation and presentation to the congregation of a God-pleasing work program, determine anticipated receipts and recommend a budget for adoption by the Voters' Assembly.

10. Foster support for missions and charities through an ongoing program of mission information and education through education agencies, committees, and organizations, rallies, festivals, films and videos, letters and tracts, appearances of missionaries, and the like.


11. Administer the congregation's Welfare Fund in conjunction with the recommendations of the Board of Elders.

12. Plan and recommend a year-round program of support for World Relief (financial gifts, clothing drives, kiddie kits, and the like) through the various agencies and committees of the congregation.

13. Enlist a Visitation Committee in conjunction with the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders.

14. Annually prepare and submit as part of the budget of this Board a selected list of charities for the congregation and suggest the source of revenue designated for that purpose.

15. Evaluate and make recommendations for gifts of love by individuals and the congregation as a whole.

16. Screen all outside appeals for funds and make the appropriate recommendations to the Voters' Assembly or initiate the necessary action appropriate to such an appeal.

17. Review, accept, or decline all offers of non-solicited gifts to the congregation.

18. Evaluate various programs for endowments, remembrance of the congregation in wills, bequests, and the like, and suggest ways of implementation to the Director of Public Relations as well as supplying workers at his request.

19. Study and maintain a list of available social agencies for help with alcoholics, drug problems, delinquents, mental retardation, emotionally disturbed individuals, unwed mothers, and the like, either of Lutheran, private or public nature.

20. Together with the Pastor(s), study the possibilities and recommend implementation of offering spiritual services and care to hospitals, homes for the aged, prisons, and other institutions within the community.

21. Encourage and enlist the young people of the congregation for full-time service in the church as pastors, teachers, and the like.

22. Be concerned, together with the Treasurer and Stewards, for safe deposit and recording of all funds, monthly remissions of offerings for missions and church agencies, and prompt payment of salaries and bills as authorized by the congregation and the appropriate Boards.

23. Evaluate the offerings of the congregation regularly, and share these evaluations with the members of the congregation.

24. Enlist, maintain, and administer a secretarial pool of qualified persons who will be available to Boards and committees for special secretarial assignments.

25. Encourage stewardship programs in the societies and auxiliaries of the congregation.

26. Annually review the budgeting procedures of the congregation in conjunction with the Treasurer and recommend to the congregation any necessary improvements or revisions.

27. Annually submit a suggested list for memorials to the Voters' Assembly for approval.

28. Be responsible for issuance of statements to members, showing their offerings to date.

29. Be responsible for requisitioning and distribution of offering envelopes.

30. Furnish the congregation a surety bond in the amount set by the congregation, and such bond shall be procured and the premium paid by the congregation.

STEWARDS

The Director of Stewardship shall appoint a team of stewards.

The stewards will be responsible for the accurate counting recording and depositing of all receipts for the congregation in a local financial institution or institutions. The stewards record all contributions by members for whatever purpose and shall notify the Board of Stewardship and pastor(s) concerning contributions by non-members. The stewards under the direction of the Director of Stewardship shall be responsible for the prompt counting of Sunday and other receipts.

Furnish the Church Secretary with the necessary records for all deposits.

Be responsible for the expediting and safe deposit and keeping of all funds.

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