Constitution and By-Laws

Constitution And By-Laws

Preamble

Our pioneer ancestors having come from Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Congregational persuasion have through the past decades merged many congregations.  These mergers have brought us in love through our heritages to a place of commonality in our Christian Faith.  Therefore believing this faith is founded upon the Word of God which is lived out individually and corporately in the following manner within this congregation-we this day, the 27th of January 2019 do repeal all other Constitutions and bylaws and adopt the following to the Glory of God.

CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I NAME 1

ARTICLE II                         MISSION STATEMENT                         1

ARTICLE III                        FAITH STATEMENT                             1

ARITCLE IV                        FORM OF GOVERNMENT                      6

ARTICLE V                         MEMBERSHIP                                     7

ARTICLE VI                        OFFICERS                                          7

ARTICLE VII                       CHURCH COUNCIL (BOARDS)               8

ARTICLE VIII                      COMMITTEES                                     8

ARTICLE IX                        SERVICES AND MEETINGS                   8

ARTICLE X                         PASTOR                                             9

ARTICLE X1                        CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS                   11

ARTICLE XII                       PROPERTY                                         11

ARTICLE XIII                      INDEMNITY                                       11

ARTICLE XIV                      RULES OF ORDER                               11

ARTICLE XV                        AMENDMENTS                                    11

BYLAWS

SECTION I                         MEMBERSHIP                                     12

SECTION II                        OFFICERS                                          13

SECTION III                       CHURCH COUNCIL AND BOARDS           13

SECTION IV                        COMMITTEES                                     16

SECTION V                         AMENDMENTS                                    20

Revised 7-21-2016

Constitution
Article I                                            NAME

1.1     The name of this church shall be Heritage Church of Odessa, Washington—a consolidation of many Congregational Churches.  It is non-affiliated following in the congregational tradition.

Article II                                          MISSION STATEMENT
  • As people of this church we are called to worship God.

   We call upon Him to bind us together in His Spirit,

         To grow in His love, grace and strength,

              To walk with Him daily, in our Christian lives.

          As people of this church we are called

   To minister to and support the individual believer,

        To reach out to the family, community, and the world

            By teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ

               And His redeeming love.

Article III                                         FAITH STATEMENT

3.1 About The Bible – Acts 20:28-31; Romans 15:3-4; Titus 1:9; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 2 Peter 1:16-21

We believe that the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God, infallible and written without error in the original texts. The Bible is the guide and final authority in the matters pertaining to Faith and Life.

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14–17 (NASB95)

The deacons and pastor(s) will have the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application in regards to the life of the church and its members.

3.2 About God – Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:13-14; Deuteronomy 6:4; I Kings 8:27; Psalm 90:2; 102:26-28; 139:1-10; Isaiah 44:6; Jeremiah 32:17-19; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 28:18-19; John 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3;  Revelation 1:8; 17b-18

We believe that there is one infinite God, eternally self-existent in Trinity-Father, Son and Holy Spirit, equally worthy of our worship and obedience. God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omni-present (present everywhere), and immutable (does not change).

3.2.1 About God The Father – Psalm 103:8, 13-17; Isaiah 64:8; Luke 11:9-13; John 1:12-13; 4:23-24; Acts 1:4, 7-8; 2:33; Romans 6:1-14; 8:14-17; Ephesians 1:17-23; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 12:9-11; James 1:17, 27; I Peter 1:1-5, 17-19; I John 4:7-19

God the Father functions in the roles of the Sovereign One, the Creator, the Sustainer, the Provider, the Protector, the Law Giver, and the Judge.  God the Father is a spirit that by nature is full of grace and glory. He is loving, holy, just, righteous, and good. He exhibits those characteristics not only through mercy, compassion, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness, but also through proper jealousy, righteousness, vengeance, wrath, and discipline.  God the Father is the giver of all good things and He sent forth the Son and the Spirit so that we could become children of God and the recipient of those good things. Salvation comes from the Father through the Son, and is applied by the Holy Spirit.

God is the Father only of those who have placed their faith in the Son and have been adopted into the family. God the Father relates to the redeemed individually and distributively; but when the people, or church is conceived collectively, God is pictured as a husband or bridegroom.

3.2.3 About Jesus The Son – Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20-23; 20:28; Mark 10:45; 16:19; Luke 24:51; John 1:1-14; 14:2-3; 20:19-30; Acts 2:22-24; Philippians 2:5-7; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:3; 7:24-25; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 2:1 3:5; Revelation 14:11-16.

We believe Jesus Christ is true God and true man.  We also believe His incarnation, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His substitutionary death on the cross to provide for our redemption, His bodily resurrection, His ascension into Heaven to the right hand of God the Father, His intercession for all believers and His personal return to earth in power and glory.

3.2.3 About The Holy Spirit – John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 5:22-24; Ephesians 2:22; 4:30; 5:18; Titus 3:5

We believe in the Holy Spirit who came from the Father and Son to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgment.  The Holy Spirit regenerates all true believers, then indwells, sanctifies and empowers them for Godly living and service to the glory of God.

3.3 About The Creation And God’s Original Ordering Of Gender, Sexuality, And Family – Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139:13 – 18; Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 12:28–31; Luke 6:31; 1 Corinthians 6:18–7:5; Ephesians 5:21-33; Hebrews 13:4

We believe that God created the cosmos and everything in it.  We believe that He created earth as a privileged planet to hold and sustain life. We believe that before sin entered the cosmos, everything was created good and perfect by God’s standards.

We believe that mankind was created in God’s image.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Genesis 1:27 (NASB95)

Thus we believe that God created each person immutably and biologically distinct as male or female. We believe that two distinct genders perfectly reflect God’s image and nature. Therefore the rejection of God’s created order of one being distinctly male or female is a rejection of God’s image and perfect creation.

We also believe that marriage is an exclusive union between one man and one woman. This union is one that should be maintained throughout their lives. Sexual activity, then, is reserved for the confines of marriage. We are to abstain from any sexual activity outside the bonds of holy matrimony. We believe sex was created for the mutual pleasure of the couple, for protection against fornication and adultery, and for the procreation of children.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”…So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:18–25 (NASB95)

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it…” Genesis 1:28 (NASB95)

Since we are created in the image of God, we believe all human life is sacred. Each individual is deserving of love, respect, compassion, kindness and dignity, regardless of age, ability (physically or mentally), or status. Therefore, we will not tolerate any hateful or disrespectful speech or behavior toward any individual.

As a result, Heritage Church will defend, protect and value all human life from conception through natural death.

3.4 About The Fall – Genesis 2:17; 3:1-24; 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5;  Jeremiah 17:9;  Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-23; 8:6-8; Ephesians 2:1-3

We believe that through Adam’s Original Sin God’s good and perfect creation became disordered. Sin is defined as any act, thought, or behavior that does not meet God’s standard of perfection. In so doing, mankind brought about separation from God and the wrath of God upon themselves.

The result of the fall was God’s condemnation of sin and its consequence leading to death. This death was not just physical but also spiritual, relational, and emotional and affected all of creation. As a result we are now physically disordered, spiritually disordered, relationally disordered, and emotionally disordered.

Through the disordering of mankind we have now what is called a sin nature. This nature left to its own devices will continue to sin with the propensity to desire more sin. This continual sinning against God is a rejection of His Truth. As a result God gives mankind over to the lusts of their hearts to impurity to do those things which are unnatural, improper, and indecent. Some of these acts of unrighteousness are seen in the following scriptures:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  1 Corinthians 6:9 – 10 (NASB95)

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19–21 (NIV84)

We believe that due to the Fall, mankind is considered to be lost and in need of redemption, reconciliation, regeneration by the Holy Spirit and restoration which we call salvation.

3.5 About Salvation – John 5:24;  Romans 6:1-23;  Romans 8:23; 10:9-10, 13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9;  Philippians 3:1-11;  Titus 3:5-7;  2 Peter 3:9

We believe that salvation is the gift of God. We believe one becomes saved when one repents of their sins, accepts Christ as their Savior, and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord of their life. This salvation is received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is given by God’s grace and mercy because of his compassionate lovingkindness to us.

We believe that we are redeemed and reconciled to God the Father through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross through the shedding of His blood. This salvation process occurs in three stages.

3.5.1 Through Jesus Christ’s crucifixion believers are assured of their forgiveness of sins, right standing with God, and freedom from the penalty of sin (justification). This regeneration, or new birth, occurs by the power the Holy Spirit and cannot be obtained by any work or merit of our own.

3.5.2 Through Jesus Christ’s burial the believer’s old lifestyle is put to death and through the power of the Holy Spirit we are called to live a new life in Christ (sanctification). We are set free from the power of sin no longer offering the parts of our body for evil intent and sin, but rather for God’s righteousness and glory.

3.5.3 Through Jesus Christ’s resurrection believers are raised to walk in newness of life not just here on earth, but we have an eternal hope of the glory of our resurrection through Christ (glorification). We will one day be set free from the presence of sin and will dwell in God’s presence forever where all things will be made new including our physical bodies.

Finally, we hold firm what Jesus says:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  John 14:6 (NASB95)

There is no other way to God the Father except through His Son Jesus Christ.

3.6 About The Christian WalkExodus 20:3-17; Matthew 10:38-39; Romans 6:11-13; 7:14-25; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 1:4; 4:1; 22-24; Philippians 3:14; 1 Peter 1:14-19; 1 John 1:4-7

As the Fall brought disorders to mankind, we continue to struggle to live up to God’s standards in all areas of our life. By God’s continuing grace he enables us to live a holy and righteous life. As Paul reminded Titus:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11–12 (NIV84)

Therefore, we believe that the Christian has a high calling: to live a life set apart for Christ, not offering the body to sin; to put on the new self in Christ and His righteousness; to live by the Spirit and His fruit; to walk in the light as He is in the light and to be a holy person for Christ as His bride.

As a result, we believe all forms of immorality are sinful. This includes, but is not limited to, what Paul wrote:

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Colossians 3:5 (NIV84)

As noted earlier under 3.4 About The Fall, there are lifestyle choices that would prohibit one’s entrance into the kingdom of God. However the following verse states:

Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.   1 Corinthians 6:11 (NASB95)

All lifestyle choices that run counter to the Word of God and His standards can be forgiven. As believers then, we are to adjust our lifestyle choices to come into conformity with the Word of God. Although in this life we may occasionally stumble back into a sin, true believers will mature and grow and consistently apply God’s standards to their lives.

3.7 About Christian Service – Matthew 5:13-16; 28:18-20; John 15:5-17; Romans 12:3-8 6; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 27-30; Ephesians 4:11-12; I Peter 4:7-11

We believe that there are supernatural gifts and talents given by the Holy Spirit to those who have salvation: to be energized and called to their own divinely appointed service as the Holy Spirit wills, to reach out to unbelievers, to witness for Christ, to build the Body of Christ and to exalt Christ Himself.

3.8 About Our Hope – John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14

We believe that Jesus Christ has prepared a place for us, that He will descend from heaven to raise the dead and the living in Christ and, by the Grace of God, bestow eternal life upon all in Him.

3.9 About The Eternal State – John 3:16-18; 5:24-30, 40; Philippians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15

We believe our yearning is to be with Christ, therefore we are of good courage and willing to be absent from the body to be at home with Him.  Those who do not believe in Christ as their Savior will be eternally separated from His presence unto condemnation.

3.10 About The Sacraments – Matthew 26:27-29; 28:19; Luke 22:14-20; Acts 2:41-42- 10:47-48; 16:32-33; 18:7-8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-27

We believe there are two sacraments, Water Baptism and The Lord’s Supper, both sacred because they are given by Jesus Christ our Lord.  In Water Baptism, we are identified with Jesus through faith.  Neither the amount of water nor the mode is critical.  Faith, maintains our living relationship with Jesus Christ. In the case of Infant Baptism, as a child grows in the knowledge and understanding of Christ, they are encouraged to make a personal and public profession of faith.

The Lord’s Supper is believers communing with their Lord Jesus Christ, experiencing His presence in their lives.  This is a binding together of the Body of Christ.  The forms of the Bread and the Cup are immaterial, as this is a spiritual meal.

3.11 About The Church1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 4:1-5:20; 1 Peter 1:22; 2:2-5, 9

We believe we are a body of believers who are called to be God’s people, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, being one body and having one spirit. Just as we are called to one hope, we are called to love one another deeply from the heart and make spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Therefore in order to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, we feel it is important to provide a Biblical role model to Heritage’s members and the community. All persons employed by Heritage church in any role, whether paid or volunteer, will need to agree to adhere to our faith statement in its entirety. Also, all activity done on church property must be in line with our faith statement.

ARTICLE IV                                      FORM OF GOVERNMENT
  • This church acknowledges Jesus Christ as its sole Head and finds in the Holy Scripture -interpreted by the Holy Spirit through faith, conscience, and reason – its guidance in the matters of faith and discipline.
  • The governing body of this church is vested in the congregation, whose members exercise the right of control in all its affairs, subject to the laws of the State of Washington relating to non-profit corporations.
  • The fiscal year of this church shall be January 1 through December 31.
ARTICLE V                                       MEMBERSHIP
  • Membership in this church shall be open, upon request, to any person who: has made a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; has been baptized; and has been confirmed or has completed a membership class;
  • The membership roll shall be subject to annual review regarding the spiritual responsibilities as stated in section 1.1 of the Bylaws. The review shall be the responsibility of the Board of Deacons.
  • A letter of transfer shall be granted at any time to any member who desires to move his/her membership to another church.
ARTICLE VI                                              OFFICERS
  • The officers of this church shall be (a) moderator, (b) clerk and (c) treasurer.
  • Election of officers shall be by secret ballot.
  • If any officer is unable to serve the full term in office, a new officer shall be appointed by the church council and shall assume the office for the balance of the unexpired term.
  • Any officer may be recalled or removed, with our without cause, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members voting by secret ballot. Recall elections shall be called for by a vote of any congregational meeting.  If any officer is recalled or removed, a new officer shall be elected by the congregation and shall assume the office for the balance of the unexpired term.
  • Officers shall assume office after the installation service, which shall occur on the first Sunday following the election of said officers, unless otherwise set by the church council.
ARTICLE VII                            CHURCH COUNCIL AND BOARDS
  • It shall be the duty of the Church Council to carry out the programs and polices of the congregation. The church council shall have the authority to interpret the constitution and bylaws.  The church council shall develop and adopt standing rules for the church council and congregational committees.
  • The Church Council shall consist of the pastorate, the officers of the church, the Board of Deacons, and the Board of trustees.
  • The Board of Deacons shall be responsible for the spiritual life of the congregation. Further, they shall have the oversight of designated committees.
  • The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for the management of all financial matters, physical plant(s), and real estate. Further, they shall have the oversight of designated committees.
ARTICLE VIII                                   COMMITTEES
  • Committees may be authorized by the congregation, church council, moderator or board and may be abolished by the respective authority. Committees shall either be standing, regular or appointed in nature.

8.1.1   Standing committees shall report directly to the church council.

8.1.2   Regular committees shall report directly to the authorizing board.

  • Appointed committees shall report directly to the authorizing body or moderator.
ARTICLE IX                                      SERVICES AND MEETINGS
  • Services shall be held each Sunday except when temporarily suspended by vote of the church council or due to emergency situations, i.e.: inclement weather. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper shall be celebrated monthly and at such times as the pastor or deacons determine.  Other services of worship, inspiration, prayer and study may be held as determined by the pastorate in cooperation with the deacons.
  • The Church Council shall meet regularly as specified in the By-Laws. Special meetings of the Church Council may be called by the moderator, the pastor or church officers.
  • Special meetings of boards and committees may be called by the respective chair or by the pastor.
  • A majority of members of the Church Council, boards or committees shall constitute a quorum at their respective regular or special meetings and shall be sufficient to carry any resolution or motion or transact any business.
  • A Congregational meeting of this church shall be the membership assembled at that meeting. The moderator shall chair all meetings of the congregation.  A quorum shall consist of not less than 10% of membership plus 10 members. 
  • Until a quorum is present there can be no meeting. At any given time a quorum is lost, the meeting will be recessed until a quorum is re-established.  If adjourned, the meeting will be reconvened at a later date set by the Church Council.  Any member, who doubts a quorum is present, may call a point of order and ask if a quorum is present.
  • A valid vote is a simple majority of members present, with a majority of those votes required to pass the motion on the table.
  • In the case of the call or dismissal of a pastor, a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members present is required.
  • In the case of the purchase or sale of real estate or dissolution of the corporation, a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members present is required.
  • The annual congregational meeting shall be held on the fourth (4th) Monday in January unless otherwise set by the church council. Business to be conducted shall be to review and file the yearly reports of the officers, boards, committees, and groups; to elect officers, board members and committee members; to transact business; to adopt the proposed annual budget or take action thereon; and to formulate plans for the succeeding year.
  • All congregational meetings shall have at least two (2) weeks prior notice. The notice must be announced from the pulpit and a written notice mailed, via postal service, to all members.  Such notice shall specify the place, date and time of the business to be undertaken, and, in the case of special meeting, the purpose(s) for which the meeting is called.
  • Special congregational meeting may be called by the moderator, a majority of the church council or upon written request of quorum of members as specified in Article 9.5.
            ARTICLE X                                        PASTOR
  • The responsibility of the pastorate, with the assistance of the board of Deacons, shall be:

10.1.1     To attend to the spiritual welfare of the Church including:

  • Preaching the gospel
  • Administering the sacraments
  • Counseling
  • Officiating at all public services
  • Overseeing the educational ministry of the church
  • The visitation of congregants
  • To oversee and direct the administration of the church under the direction of the Church Council including:
  • The maintenance of all pertinent records
  • The performance of other duties as determined/required by the Church Council
  • A pastor shall be a non-voting member of the church council, and a non-voting member of all boards and committees.
  • Upon the recommendation of the Pastor Search Committee, a pastor shall be called for an indefinite time by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at any properly called congregational meeting.
  • The acceptance of a call shall make the pastor automatically a member of this church. Should the spouse or eligible children desire to become members of this church, they shall then be publicly recognized as such at the installation service or during any morning worship service. The resignation of a pastor shall terminate that pastor’s membership with the church.  Should the spouse or any other family member desire to be released at the same time, such request must be mentioned in the resignation.                          
  • Should a pastor choose to resign, that pastor shall give the congregation a sixty (60) calendar day resignation notice. The congregation may, at any time, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at a congregational meeting called for this purpose, request a pastor’s resignation effective within sixty (60) calendar days of written notice.                               
ARTICLE XI                                      CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS
  • All church organizations must be approved by the Church Council and shall function under the jurisdiction of the Church Council.
  • Each organization shall give a written report with the financial statement at the annual meeting of the congregation.
ARTICLE XII                                    PROPERTY
  • In the event this corporation ceases to operate, dissolves or liquidates, the Church Council, unless an existing covenant, restriction or limitation mandates the Board of Trustees to so act, is directed to dispose of the net assets and funds of the said corporation to like doctrinal organizations, charitable in nature, who have qualified under the Internal Revenue code under 501 (c) (3).
ARTICLE XIII
INDEMNITY OF OFFICERS, COUNCIL, AND BOARD MEMEBERS
  • Officers, council members, and board members shall be indemnified by the congregation against all expenses and liabilities, including attorney’s fees, reasonable incurred by or

imposed upon him or her by judgment or settlement in connection with any proceeding to which he or she may be a party, or in which he or she may become involved, by reason of his or her being or having been an officer, council member or board member of this church, except in cases of fraud, gross negligence or bad faith of the officer, council member, or board member in the performance of his or her duties.

ARTICLE XIV                                    RULES OF ORDER
  • The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure by Alice Sturgis shall be the parliamentary authority for all matters of procedure not specifically covered by the constitution and bylaws.
ARTICLE XV                             AMENDMENTS OF CONSTITUTION
  • This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present at any properly called congregational meeting provided (a) that the proposed amendment(s) has/have been submitted in writing, (b) that the proposed amendment(s) was/were accepted by a majority vote, of members present, at a properly called congregational meeting held at least two (2) months prior.
BYLAWS
                SECTION I                                       MEMBERSHIP
  • Members shall be committed to Jesus Christ by faith. Their spiritual responsibilities shall be to celebrate the Lord’s Supper; to faithfully attend worship services; to faithfully contribute (time, talents, or treasure) in support of the church’s mission, ministry, and fellowship; and to seek the spiritual welfare of the membership and the community.

   1.1.1         One who is unable to fulfill their spiritual responsibilities due to extenuating circumstances outside of their control (i.e. health, etc.) will still be considered a member.

  • A person as defined in membership bylaw section 1.1 shall have full voice and vote at all congregational meetings and shall be entitled to hold any elected position in the church.
  • Anyone desiring membership shall first be counseled by the pastor or deacons as to that person’s duties and responsibilities. Upon recommendation by the Board of Deacons and approval of the Church Council, the proposed member shall be received into our fellowship during any Sunday morning service.
  • The rule of this church’s discipline is the law of Christ found in Matthew 18:15-18. Should a member persistently breach the membership commitment as stated in the bylaws (Sec 1.1) that membership may be terminated upon recommendation of the Board of Deacons and a majority vote of the Church Council.
SECTION II                                      OFFICERS
  • The moderator shall be elected for a one-year (1) term by the congregation at the annual meeting. The moderator shall be an ex officio member of all church boards, groups, and committees and shall chair all meetings of the congregation; church council; and the Pastoral Relations Committee.  The moderator may serve only three (3) consecutive elected terms in office, then have at least one year off before being elected again as moderator.
  • The clerk shall be elected for a one-year (1) term by the congregation at the annual meeting. The clerk shall record and present the minutes at all congregational and church council meetings, give timely legal notices of all meetings when such notices are necessary, preserve on file all written official reports and conduct all necessary correspondence.  The clerk may serve only three (3) consecutive elected terms in office, then have at least one year off before being elected again as clerk.

2.2.1  The clerk shall be a non-voting member of the Church Council

  • The treasurer shall be elected for a one-year (1) term by the congregation at the annual meeting. (If necessary, this position may be filled by a non-member, in which case this position will be non-voting.) The treasurer shall receive all monies from the church and give receipts for the same, deposit funds received in such depository as the Board of Trustees shall order, pay the bills of the church, keep an accurate account of all receipts and disbursements and keep a separate account of all mission funds.  The treasurer shall submit the church financial records to the auditing committee whenever requested.  Remuneration for this position shall be recommended by the Board of Trustees in the annual church budget.

2.3.1  The treasurer shall be a non-voting member of the Church Council.

SECTION III                    CHURCH COUNCIL AND BOARDS
  • The Church Council and all boards will meet regularly; keep records of their proceedings, financial activities, and other activities; and submit an annual report in writing to the church secretary not less than two (2) weeks before the annual meeting of the congregation, at which time they will give an oral review of their activities.
  • The duties of the Church Council will also include: approval of all special events, final approval of any capital expenditure exceeding one thousand five hundred ($1500.00) dollars,(this does not apply to ordinary maintenance and repairs) and the review and consideration, for final approval, of all board and committee recommendations.
  • The Church Council and all boards shall meet at least nine (9) times a year and report all actions to the church council.
  • Only church members can serve as officers of the church (except in the case of a non-member treasurer) or members of a board. Church officers and Board members are expected to attend church regularly.
  • Officers and board members shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee or by the congregation, provided that consent of the nominee has been obtained and term limit requirements are met. Members may submit names of individuals recommended for officer or board positions to the Nominating Committee in lieu of open floor nominations.  Officers and board members shall be elected by ballot with a majority vote (per 9.5.2), of the congregation, at the annual meeting of the congregation.  Any vacancy may be filled by the Church Council and that person shall serve until the next annual meeting.
  • The boards of this church shall be the Board of Deacons, and the Board of Trustees.
  • Board members shall assume office after the installation service which shall occur on the first Sunday following the election of said board members.
  • All boards shall elect a chairperson from their members.
  • The Board of Deacons
  • The Board of Deacons shall be comprised of five (5) members. Their three (3) year terms shall be staggered so that at least one (1) and not more than two (2) terms will expire each year.  A deacon may serve only two (2) consecutive elected terms in office (for no more than a total of six (6) years) and then have at least one (1) year off before being elected again to the Board of Deacons.
  • The Board of Deacons shall:
  • Assist the pastor in duties as needed
  • Provide the essentials for and serve the sacraments
  • Serve home communion to the sick and shut-in with or without the pastor
  • Be responsible for church discipline
  • Review the church membership roll annually
  • Work for the resolution of conflicts which arrive within the church
  • Assist in planning worship services and arranging lay leadership for the services
  • Devise a plan for visitation
  • Help make confirmation meaningful and memorable
  • Counsel with the pastor about spiritual life of the congregation
  • Provide a member to the Pastoral Relations Committee
  • Provide pulpit supply and/or interim ministry in the event of vacancy and/or the absence of the pastor
  • Appoint a deacon to the Christian Education, a liaison to Mission and Stewardship and other committees as needed
  • Present for approval by the Church Council, all curriculum and instructional materials recommended by the Christian Education committee
  • Present for approval by the Church Council, all members and non-members wishing to teach within the congregation
  • Provide for background checks/fingerprinting for all personnel dealing with children and youth in conformity with the Abuse Policy of the church
  • The Board of Deacons shall supervise:
  • The Christian Education Committee
  • The Hospitality Committee
  • The Mission and Stewardship Committee
  • The Music Committee (if active)
  • The Sanctuary/Worship Committee
  • Other committees the Board of Deacons might create
  • The Board of Trustees
  • The Board of Trustees shall be comprised of five (5) Their three (3) year terms shall be staggered so that at least one (1) and not more than two (2) will expire each year.  A trustee may serve only two (2) consecutive elected terms in office (for no more than a total of six (6) years) and than have at least one (1) year off before being elected again to the Board of Trustees.
  • The Board of Trustees shall with the Pastor, consider how facilities can be used in new ways to further the mission of the church including:
  • Buildings, grounds, and furnishings
  • Maintain custody of all pertinent documents relating to the property of the church
  • Make regular inspections of the property
  • Shall have the authority to prioritize and make decisions for repairs and maintenance
  • Provide for regular service on all equipment
  • Properly address emergency conditions and situations
  • Determine who can use the church property under what circumstances and at what cost (funerals may take precedence over other regularly scheduled functions)
  • Determine who is issued keys to the church
  • Maintain records of issued keys
  • Church Staff
  • Hire and supervise office and custodial staff
  • Determine wages for office and custodial staff
  • Provide for annual staff review
  • Make final recommendation to the Church Council of the pastoral wage and benefit package(s)
  • Maintain appropriate insurance coverage
  • Liability
  • Property (this includes maintaining buildings and property in such manner as to minimize insurance costs.)
  • Maintain an appropriate bond
  • Workman’s compensation
  • Oversee all matters pertaining to finance within the Church
  • Operation of the budget
  • Management of endowments, invested funds, and loans
  • Sign contracts and the borrowing or loaning funds
  • Review and accept memorial gifts selected by the Memorial Gift Committee
  • Serve as legal entity to act on behalf of the church in buying and selling property
  • Provide service to any building committee
  • Appoint a trustee as liaison to Memorial Gift Committee
  • At least one (1) month prior to the closing of the church financial books the Board of Trustees shall appoint an auditing committee of three (3) persons with sufficient skill and training to do a final audit of all financial accounts of the church, including all committee accounts, subject to review. The Board of Trustees shall receive their report and deliver it to the church council and to the members of the church gathered at the annual congregational meeting.
SECTION IV                                     COMMITTEES
  • All active church committees and groups are expected to keep records of their proceedings, finances, and activities and are to submit an annual report in writing to the church secretary not less than two (2) weeks before the annual meeting of the congregation, at which time they are to give an oral review of activities.
  • Only Church members can serve as members of committees.
  • Committee members may be nominated by the Nominating Committee or by the congregation, provided that consent of the nominee has been obtained and term limit requirements are met. Members may submit names of individuals recommended for committee positions to the Nominating Committee in lieu of open floor nominations.

Committee members shall be elected by ballot with a majority vote (per 9.5.2), of the congregation, at the annual meeting of the congregation.  Any vacancy may be filled by the Church Council and that person shall serve until the next annual meeting.

  • The Pastor Search Committee and the Music Committee (if active) shall be appointed by the Church Council. The Pastoral Relations Committee shall be selected according to the process as stated in the bylaws. Section 4.10.1
  • The term of office for all committee members elected by the congregation shall be (unless otherwise specified) no more than two (2) consecutive elected terms in office (for no more than a total of six (6) years) and then have at least one (1) year off before being elected again to the same committee. Their three (3) year terms shall be staggered so that at least one (1) and not more than three (3) will expire each year.
  • Committee members shall assume office after the installation service which shall occur on the first Sunday following the election of said committee members.
  • Any vacancy occurring in any standing committee may be filled by the Church Council and said appointee shall serve until the coming annual meeting of the congregation.
  • Any vacancy in any other committee may be filled by that committee with a report of such action made to its board for church council approval. Said appointee shall serve until the coming annual meeting of the congregation.
  • Each standing and regular committee shall elect a chairperson from its members.
  • A majority of all members of any committee shall constitute a quorum.
  • The STANDING COMMITTEES of this church shall include these: Pastoral Relations Committee, Nominating Committee, and Heritage Committee. These committees will report to the church council.
  • The Pastoral Relations Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members: the moderator; a deacon; a trustee; and two (2) members, nominated by the pastor and approved by the church council. This committee is responsible for conducting an annual pastor(s) evaluation, seeing to the provision of continued education for the pastor(s), responding to the concerns of the church about the pastor(s) and the pastor’s (s’) concerns about the church, negotiating salary and benefits package with the pastor(s) and referring all recommendations to the appropriate boards.
  • The Nominating Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members elected by the congregation. This committee will present a list of nominees to be elected at the annual congregational meeting. The Nominating Committee shall keep in mind requirements of active membership for Boards and Officers as listed in Bylaw section 1.1
  • The Heritage Committee shall be comprised of at least three (3) members elected by the congregation. They shall maintain the bulletin board in narthex; maintain and update the history of the congregation through the collection of photographs, sermons, tapes, videos, memorabilia, and writing a yearly history for the annual meeting. They shall be responsible for other projects as directed by the church council.
  • The REGULAR COMMITTEES of this church shall include, but not be limited to: Missions and Stewardship, Memorial Gift, Sanctuary/Worship, Hospitality, Music (if active) and Christian Education committees. These committees will report to their authorizing board.
  • The Missions and Stewardship Committee shall be comprised of four (4) members elected by the congregation and responsible to the Board of Deacons. This committee, shall with the pastor, have an understanding of and uphold the mission of the congregation, set goals for and promote special appeals, recommend mission priorities, promote giving to local and foreign missions, and plan mission programs.
  • The Memorial Gift Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members elected by the congregation and responsible to the Board of Trustees. This committee shall be obligated to receive all memorials donated and deposit the same in a trust fund, counsel with the donor(s), decide on and buy gifts for the church.  Purchase of gifts shall be made only after proposals are reviewed by the Board of Trustees and approved by the Church Council.
  • The Sanctuary/Worship Committee shall be comprised of six (6) members elected by the congregation and responsible to the Board of Deacons.  This committee shall assist the Pastor in planning worship services and be responsible for changing the liturgical colors, the decor of the sanctuary, providing the altar supplies, and assisting the Pastor(s) in planning special services.
  • The Hospitality Committee shall be comprised of six (6) members elected by the congregation and responsible to the Board of Deacons. This committee shall select, train, and assign ushers and greeters; organize coffee hours and other events; distribute the church hospitality brochure/packet; and notify deacons and the pastor of any visitors at service(s).
  • The Ushers shall welcome guests; receive the morning offering; be responsible for taking attendance count; serve at all Sunday morning services, and at other special services; supervise the lighting of the candles; and operate lights, fans, and sound system as needed.
  • The Greeters shall assist the ushers in welcoming guests, oversee the guest book, and perform other duties as assigned by the hospitality committee.

4.11.5 The Music Committee (if active) shall be comprised of up to five (5) members appointed by the church council and responsible to the Board of Deacons. This committee shall assist the pastor(s) in preparing the music program of the church by purchasing music, overseeing the overall program of the church music, and recruiting members to help meet the needs of the program.  

4.11.6 The Christian Education Committee shall be comprised of at least five (5) members and responsible to the Board of Deacons.

  • The committee shall be comprised of the Sunday School Superintendent, the Pastor, a Deacon and at least two (2) member Sunday School teachers. The Sunday School Superintendent shall be elected annually by the congregation for not more than six (6) consecutive terms and then have at least one (1) year off before being elected again to the same office, unless the Sunday School Superintendent’s position is being filled by the Pastoral Assistant of Youth and Family.

4.11.6.2   The committee shall implement an educational program in concert     with the Pastor and Board of Deacons.  The program shall include, but not be limited to, the education of the children and youth.

4.11.6.3   The Christian Education Committee shall recommend to the Board of Deacons all members and non-members wishing to teach classes within the congregation, provide necessary classes in teacher training, have substitute teachers in reserve, recommend to the Board of Deacons all curriculum and instructional materials and promote age appropriate leadership opportunities.

  • The APPOINTED COMMITTEES of this church shall be the Pastor Search Committee and any necessary Ad Hoc Committees.
  • The Pastor Search Committee shall be comprised of at least (7) members and no more than nine (9) members, appointed by the church council among who must be a deacon, a trustee and the moderator. At the direction of the church council, this committee shall institute a search for a pastor.  The committee shall name provisions for interviews and recommend one or more candidates to the church council and congregation at a meeting called for that purpose.  The committee shall negotiate a salary package with the prospective pastor(s) and with the Board of Trustees.  The committee shall make regular reports to the church council and congregation during the search process.  Once the congregation accepts the pastor(s), the committee shall cease to function as a search committee and shall then become the support group of the new pastor(s) for a period of no less than six months.
  • Ad Hoc Committees may be appointed by the Moderator, Church Council or by one of the church boards. The pointing authority shall stipulate the duration and purpose(s) of the committee and has the right to appoint the chairperson.  An ad hoc committee is responsible solely to the appointing authority.  Such appointments shall be made public to the congregation in a manner deemed fit by the appointing authority.
                    SECTION V                       AMENDMENTS OF BYLAWS
  • Bylaws may be changed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the congregation present at any duly called congregational meeting.