St. John’s Constitution


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CONSTITUTION
ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN CHURCH
EVANSVILLE, WISCONSIN
Constitution changes ratified at Annual Meeting 2015
Constitution changes ratified at Annual Meeting 2009
Proposed changes to Constitution and Bylaws approved at Annual Meeting 2008
Proposed Amendments to Constitution approved at Annual Meeting 2004
Revised 1-28-04
Proposed Amendments to bylaws approved at Annual Meeting 2003
Revised 5-03
Asterisk
All items that are marked with an asterisk are taken directly from the ELCA model constitution
and may not be altered in any manner.
Missing Numbers
In the style followed here, the number “.10.” and multiples thereof have been reserved for possible use
as section headings in future editions. Therefore, Chapters 1, 9, and 12 do not currently have
constitutional provisions numbered with “.10.”
Codification Explanation
The provisions of the constitution, the bylaws, and the continuing resolutions that pertain to the same
matter have been placed together. This arrangement requires that the three types of material be
identified by means other than physical separation. The three types of provisions are identified by the
following devices:
a. Constitution provisions are codified with two sets of numbers; the chapter number and a twodigit
number preceding the second period in the codification. Thus, one constitutional
provision related to membership is C8.01. and is printed in bold face type.
b. Bylaw provisions are codified with three sets of numbers; the chapter number, the related
constitutional provision number, and a two-digit number. Thus, one bylaw provision could be
C8.01.01 and printed in light face type.
c. Continuing resolutions are also codified with three sets of numbers, except that the third set
is preceded by a capital letter and printed in italic type. Thus, a continuing resolution might be
numbered 13 to designate the chapter, 13.07 to designate the subject matter within the
chapter, and A06 where “A” indicates that it is the first continuing resolution regarding that
subject and “06” indicates that it was adopted in 2006. Thus, one continuing resolution could
be C13.07.A06 printed in italic print.
Chapter Headings
C1 Name and Incorporation
C2 Confession of Faith
C3 Nature of the Church
C4 Statement of Purpose
C5 Powers of the Congregation
C6 Church Affiliation
C7 Property Ownership
C8 Membership
C9 The Pastor
C10 Congregation Meeting
C11 Officers
C12 Congregation Council
C13 Congregation Committees
C14 Organizations within the Congregation
C15 Discipline of Members
C16 Bylaws
C17 Amendments
C18 Continuing Resolutions
C19 Indemnification
C20 Parish Authorization
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In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
1 *PREAMBLE
2 We, baptized members of the Church of Christ, responding in faith to the call of the Holy Spirit through
3 the Gospel, desiring to unite together to preach the Word, administer the sacraments, and carry out
4 God’s mission, do hereby adopt this constitution and solemnly pledge ourselves to be governed by its
5 provisions. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
6
7 Chapter 1.
8 NAME AND INCORPORATION
9
10 C1.01. The name of this congregation shall be St. John’s Lutheran Church of Evansville.
11
12 C1.02. For the purpose of this constitution and the accompanying bylaws, the St. John’s
13 Lutheran congregation is hereinafter designated as “this congregation,” the South-
14 Central Synod of Wisconsin is hereinafter designated as “this synod,” and the
15 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is hereinafter designated as “the church.”
16
17 C1.11. This congregation shall be incorporated not for profit under the laws of the State of
18 Wisconsin.
19
20 Chapter 2.
21 CONFESSION OF FAITH
22
23 *C2.01. This congregation confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
24
25 C2.01.01 COMMUNION PARTICIPATION
26
27 1. This congregation invites all of its members who have been prepared to receive the
28 Sacrament to participate regularly in Holy Communion.
29
30 2. Preparation for Holy Communion may be provided for persons as young as ten years
31 of age. Instruction will be provided for 5th grade students.
32
33 3. Participation in Holy Communion shall be open to members of other congregations
34 who accept the Lutheran teaching in regard to this Sacrament.
35
36 4. It shall be made known to prospective participants that the belief of this congregation
37 is:
38
39 Participation in the Lord’s Supper is the reception of “the body and blood of our Lord
40 Jesus Christ given with bread and wine, instituted by Christ himself for us to eat and
41 drink.” We hold that a “person is well prepared and worthy who believes these words,
42 given and shed for you for the remission of sins. But anyone who does not believe
43 these words, or doubts them, is neither prepared nor worthy, for the words “for you”
44 require simply a believing heart.”
45
46 5. Record of participation in Holy Communion shall be maintained. If a member of
47 another congregation communes, notice shall be sent to their congregation.
48
49 *C2.02. This congregation confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the
50 power of God for the salvation of all who believe.
51
52 a. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was
53 made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new
54 creation.
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55
b. The proclamation of God’s message to us as both Law 56 and Gospel is the
57 Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed,
58 beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and
59 centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
60
61 c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word
62 of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record
63 and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them
64 God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship
65 for service in the world.
66
67 *C2.03. This congregation accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments
68 as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation,
69 faith, and life.
70
71 *C2.04. This congregation accepts the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true
72 declarations of the faith of this congregation.
73
74 *C2.05. This congregation accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to
75 the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that
76 likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg confession.
77
78 *C2.06. This congregation accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord,
79 namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the
80 Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as
81 further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.
82
83 *C2.07. This congregation confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and
84 confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power
85 of God to create and sustain the Church for God’s mission in the world.
86
87 Chapter 3.
88 NATURE OF THE CHURCH
89
90 *C3.01. All power in the Church belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ, its head. All actions of this
91 congregation are to be carried out under his rule and authority.
92
93 *C3.02. The Church exists both as an inclusive fellowship and as local congregations gathered
94 for worship and Christian service. Congregations find their fulfillment in the universal
95 community of the church, and the universal church exists in and through
96 congregations. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, therefore, derives its
97 character and powers both from the sanction and representation of its congregations
98 and from its inherent nature as an expression of the broader fellowship of the faithful.
99 In length, it acknowledges itself to be in the historic continuity of the communion of
100 saints; in breadth, it expresses the fellowship of believers and congregations in our
101 day.
102
103 *C3.03 The name Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA or “this church”) as used
104 herein refers in general references to this whole church, including its three
105 expressions – congregations, synods, and the churchwide organization. The name
106 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is also the name of the corporation of the
107 churchwide organization to which specific references may be made herein.
108
109 Chapter 4.
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STATEMENT 110 OF PURPOSE
111
112 *C4.01. The Church is a people created by God in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, called
113 and sent to bear witness to God’s creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the
114 world.
115
116 *C4.02. To participate in God’s mission, this congregation as a part of the Church shall:
117
118 a. Worship God in proclamation of the Word and administration of the
119 sacraments and through lives of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, witness, and
120 service.
121
122 b. Proclaim God’s saving Gospel of justification by grace for Christ’s sake
123 through faith alone, according to the apostolic witness in the Holy Scripture,
124 preserving and transmitting the Gospel faithfully to future generations.
125
126 c. Carry out Christ’s Great Commission by reaching out to all people to bring
127 them to faith in Christ and by doing all ministry with a global awareness
128 consistent with the understanding of God as Creator, Redeemer, and
129 Sanctifier of all.
130
131 d. Serve in response to God’s love to meet human needs, caring for the sick and
132 the aged, advocating dignity and justice for all people, working for peace and
133 reconciliation among the nations, and standing with the poor and powerless,
134 and committing itself to their needs.
135
136 e. Nurture its members in the Word of God so as to grow in faith and hope and
137 love, to see daily life as the primary setting for the exercise of their Christian
138 calling, and to use the gifts of the spirit for their life together and for their
139 calling in the world.
140
141 f. Manifest the unity given to the people of God by living together in the love of
142 Christ and by joining with other Christians in prayer and action to express and
143 preserve the unity, which the Spirit gives.
144
145 *C4.03. To fulfill these purposes, this congregation shall:
146
147 a. Provide services of worship at which the word of God is preached and the
148 sacraments are administered.
149
150 b. Provide pastoral care and assist all members to participate in this ministry.
151
152 c. Challenge, equip, and support all members in carrying out their calling in their
153 daily lives and in their congregation.
154
155 d. Teach the Word of God.
156
157 e. Witness to the reconciling Word of God in Christ, reaching out to all people.
158
159 f. Respond to human need, work for justice and peace, care for the sick and the
160 suffering, and participate responsibly in society.
161
162 g. Motivate its members to provide financial support for the congregation’s
163 ministry and the ministry of other parts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
164 America.
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165
h. Foster and participate in interdependent relationships 166 with other
167 congregations, the synod, and the churchwide organization of the Evangelical
168 Lutheran Church in America.
169
170 i. Foster and participate in ecumenical relationships consistent with churchwide
171 policy.
172
173 *C4.04. This congregation shall develop an organizational structure to be described in the
174 bylaws. The Congregation Council shall prepare descriptions of the responsibilities of
175 each committee, task force, or other organizational group and shall review their
176 actions. Such descriptions shall be contained in continuing resolutions in the section
177 on the Congregation Committees.
178
179 *C4.05 This congregation shall, from time to time, adopt a mission statement which will
180 provide specific direction for its programs.
181
182 *C4.06 References herein to the nature of the relationship between the three expressions of
183 this church – congregations, synods, and the churchwide organization – as being
184 interdependent or as being in a partnership relationship describe the mutual
185 responsibility of these three expressions in God’s mission and the fulfillment of the
186 purposes of this church as described in this chapter, and do not imply or describe the
187 creation of partnerships, co-ventures, agencies, or other legal relationships recognized
188 in civil law.
189
190 Chapter 5.
191 POWERS OF THE CONGREGATION
192
193 *C5.01. The powers of this congregation are those necessary to fulfill its purpose.
194
195 *C5.02. The powers of this congregation are vested in the Congregation Meeting called and
196 conducted as provided in this constitution and bylaws.
197
198 *C5.03. Only such authority as is delegated to the Congregation Council or other
199 organizational units in this congregation’s governing documents is recognized. All
200 remaining authority is retained by the congregation. The congregation is authorized to:
201
202 a. call a pastor as provided in Chapter 9;
203
204 b. terminate the call of a pastor as provided in Chapter 9;
205
206 c. call or terminate the call of associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal
207 ministers in conformity with the applicable policy of the Evangelical Lutheran
208 Church in America;
209
210 d. adopt amendments to the constitution, as provided in Chapter 17,
211 amendments to the bylaws, as specified in Chapter 16, and continuing
212 resolutions, as provided in Chapter 18.
213
214 e. approve the annual budget
215
216 f. acquire real and personal property by gift, devise, purchase, or other lawful
217 means;
218
219 g. hold title to and use its property for any and all activities consistent with its
220 purpose;
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221
h. sell, mortgage, lease, transfer, or otherwise dispose of its 222 property by any
223 lawful means;
224
225 i. elect its Congregation Council, boards, and committees, and require them to
226 carry out their duties in accordance with the constitution, bylaws, and
227 continuing resolutions.
228
229 j. terminate its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as
230 provided in Chapter 6.
231
232 *C5.04. This congregation shall choose from among its voting members, laypersons to serve
233 as voting members of the Synod Assembly as well as persons to represent it at
234 meetings of any conference, cluster, coalition, or other area subdivision of which it is a
235 member. The number of persons to be elected by the congregation and other
236 qualifications shall be as prescribed in guidelines established by the South-Central
237 Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
238
239 Chapter 6.
240 CHURCH AFFILIATION
241
242 *C6.01. This congregation shall be an interdependent part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
243 in America or its successor, and of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the
244 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This congregation is subject to the discipline
245 of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
246
247 *C6.02. This congregation accepts the Confession of Faith and agrees to the Purposes of the
248 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and shall act in accordance with them.
249
250 *C6.03. This congregation acknowledges its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church
251 in America in which:
252
253 a. This congregation agrees to be responsible for its life as a Christian
254 community.
255
256 b. This congregation pledges its financial support and participation in the life and
257 mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
258
259 c. This congregation agrees to call pastoral leadership from the clergy roster of
260 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in accordance with its call
261 procedures except in special circumstances and with the approval of the
262 bishop of the synod. These special circumstances are limited either to calling
263 a candidate approved for the roster of ordained ministers of the Evangelical
264 Lutheran Church in America or to contracting for pastoral services with an
265 ordained minister of a church body with which the Evangelical Lutheran
266 Church in America officially has established a relationship of full communion.
267
268 d. This congregation agrees to consider associates in ministry, deaconesses,
269 and diaconal ministers for call to other staff positions in the congregation
270 according to the procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
271
272 This congregation agrees to file this constitution and any subsequent changes to this
273 constitution with the synod for review to ascertain that all of its provisions are in
274 agreement with the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
275 America and with the constitution of the synod.
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276
*C6.04. Affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may 277 be terminated as
278 follows:
279
280 a. This congregation takes action to dissolve.
281
282 b. This congregation ceases to exist.
283
284 c. This congregation is removed from membership in the Evangelical Lutheran
285 Church in America according to the procedures for discipline of the
286 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
287
288 d. This congregation follows the procedures outlined in *C6.05.
289
290 *C6.05. A congregation may terminate its relationship with this church by the following
291 procedure:
292
293 a. A resolution indicating the intent to terminate its relationship must be adopted
294 at a legally called and conducted special meeting of the congregation by a
295 two-thirds vote of the voting members present. Such meeting may be held no
296 sooner than 30 days after written notice of the meeting is received by the
297 bishop of the synod, during which time the congregation shall consult with the
298 bishop and the bishop’s designees, if any. The times and manner of the
299 consultation shall be determined by the bishop in consultation with the
300 congregation council. Unless he or she is a voting member of the
301 congregation, the bishop and the bishop’s designees, if any, shall have voice,
302 but not vote at the meeting.
303
304 b. The secretary of the congregation shall submit a copy of the resolution to the
305 bishop, attesting that the special meeting was legally called and conducted
306 and certifying the outcome of the vote, and shall mail a copy of the resolution
307 to voting members of the congregation. This notice shall be submitted within
308 10 days after the resolution has been adopted.
309
310 c. The bishop of the synod and the congregation shall continue in consultation,
311 as specified in paragraph a. above, during a period of at least 90 days after
312 receipt by the synod of the notice as specified in paragraph b. above.
313
314 d. If the congregation, after such consultation, still seeks to terminate its
315 relationship, such action may be taken at a legally called and conducted
316 special meeting by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present. Notice of
317 the meeting shall be mailed to all voting members and to the bishop at least
318 10 days in advance of the meeting. Unless he or she is a voting member of
319 the congregation, the bishop and the bishop’s designees, if any, shall have
320 voice but not vote at the meeting.
321
322 e. A copy of the resolution, attesting that the special meeting was legally called
323 and conducted and certifying the outcome of the vote, shall be sent to the
324 bishop within 10 days after the resolution has been adopted, at which time the
325 relationship between the congregation and this church shall be terminated
326 subject to paragraphs g., h., and i. below. Unless this notification to the
327 bishop also certifies that the congregation has voted by a two-thirds vote to
328 affiliate with another Lutheran denomination, the congregation will be
329 conclusively presumed to be and independent or non-Lutheran church.
330
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f. Notice of termination shall be forwarded by the bishop to the 331 secretary of this
332 church, who shall report the termination to the Churchwide Assembly.
333
334 g. Congregations seeking to terminate their relationship with this church which
335 fail or refuse to comply with each of the foregoing provisions in *C6.05., shall
336 be required to receive Synod Council approval before terminating their
337 membership in this church.
338
339 h. Congregations which had been members of the Lutheran Church in America
340 shall be required, in addition to complying with the foregoing provisions in
341 *C6.05., to receive synodical approval before terminating their membership in
342 this church.
343
344 i. Congregations established by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
345 shall be required, in addition to complying with the foregoing provisions in
346 *C6.05, to satisfy all financial obligations to this church and receive Synod
347 Council approval before terminating their membership in this church.
348
349 j. If a congregation fails to achieve the required two-thirds vote of voting
350 members present at the congregation’s first meeting as specified in paragraph
351 a. above, another special meeting to consider termination of relationship with
352 this church may be called no sooner than six months after that first meeting. If
353 a congregation fails to achieve the required two-thirds vote of voting members
354 present at the congregation’s second meeting as specified in paragraph d.
355 above, another attempt to consider termination of relationship with this church
356 must follow all requirements of *C6.05, and may begin no sooner than six
357 months after that second meeting.
358
359 *C6.06. If this congregation considers relocation, it shall confer with the bishop of the synod in
360 which it is territorially located and the appropriate unit of the churchwide organization
361 before any steps are taken leading to such action. The approval of the Synod Council
362 shall be received before any such action is effected.
363
364 *C6.07 If this congregation considers developing an additional site to be used regularly for
365 worship, it shall confer with the bishop of the synod in which it is territorially located
366 and the appropriate unit of the churchwide organization before any steps are taken
367 leading to such action.
368
369 Chapter 7.
370 PROPERTY OWNERSHIP
371
372 *C7.01. If this congregation ceases to exist, title to undisposed property shall pass to the
373 South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
374
375 *C7.02. If this congregation is removed from membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church
376 in America according to its procedure for discipline, title to property shall continue to
377 reside in this congregation.
378
379 *C7.03. If a two-thirds majority of the voting members of this congregation present at a legally
380 called and conducted special meeting of this congregation vote to transfer to another
381 Lutheran church body, title to property shall continue to reside in this congregation,
382 provided the process for termination of relationship in *C6.05. has been followed.
383 Before this congregation takes action to transfer to another Lutheran church body, it
384 shall consult with representatives of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.
385
386 *C7.04. If a two-thirds majority of the voting members of this congregation present at a legally
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called and conducted special meeting of this congregation 387 vote to become
388 independent or relate to a non-Lutheran church body and have followed the process
389 for termination of relationship in *C6.05., title to property of this congregation shall
390 continue to reside in this congregation only with the consent of the Synod Council. The
391 Synod Council, after consultation with this congregation by the established synodical
392 process, may give approval to the request to become independent or to relate to a
393 non-Lutheran church body, in which case title shall remain with the majority of this
394 congregation. If the Synod Council fails to give such approval, title shall remain with
395 those members who desire to continue as a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran
396 Church in America.
397
398 Chapter 8.
399 MEMBERSHIP
400
401 *C8.01. Members of this congregation shall be those baptized persons on the roll of this
402 congregation at the time that this constitution is adopted and those who are admitted
403 thereafter and who have declared and maintain their membership in accordance with
404 the provisions of this constitution and its bylaws.
405
406 C8.01.01 CONFLICTING LOYALTIES
407
408 This congregation requires that the Lord Jesus Christ shall be first in the life of a
409 member. A member is cautioned against any affiliation with any group, fellowship, or
410 organization, which would usurp the primacy of Christ in one’s life.
411
412 *C8.02. Members shall be classified as follows:
413
414 a. Baptized members are those persons who have been received by the
415 Sacrament of Holy Baptism in this congregation, or, having been previously
416 baptized in the name of the Triune God, have been received by certificate of
417 transfer from other Lutheran congregations or by affirmation of faith.
418
419 b. Confirmed members are baptized persons who have been confirmed in this
420 congregation, those who have been received by adult baptism or by transfer
421 as confirmed members from other Lutheran congregations, or baptized
422 persons received by affirmation of faith.
423
424 c. Voting members are confirmed members. Such confirmed members, during
425 the current or preceding calendar year, shall have communed in this
426 congregation and shall have made a contribution of record to this
427 congregation. Members of this congregation who have satisfied these basic
428 standards shall have the privilege of voice and vote at every regular and
429 special meeting of the congregation.
430
431 d. Associate members are persons holding membership in other Lutheran
432 congregations who wish to retain such membership but desire to participate in
433 the life and mission of this congregation, or persons who wish to retain a
434 relationship with this congregation while being members of other
435 congregations. They have all the privileges and duties of membership except
436 voting rights and eligibility for elected offices or membership on the
437 Congregation Council of this congregation.
438
439 C8.02.01 MEMBERSHIP
440
441 A. Baptized Members
442
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1. A child, one or both of whose parents or guardians 443 are members of
444 the congregation shall, upon receiving Baptism, become a baptized
445 member.
446
447 2. A child, neither of whose parents or guardians is a member of the
448 congregation, shall, upon receiving Baptism, become a baptized
449 member of the congregation; unless for good reason this child is to be
450 a baptized member of another congregation, in which case their
451 membership shall be transferred to that congregation.
452
453 3. A person baptized in another congregation shall be received as a
454 baptized member in the congregation when transfer has been
455 received.
456
457 4. An unbaptized adult who has received instruction and has given
458 evidence of an adequate understanding and acceptance of the
459 teachings of the Word of God as confessed by the Lutheran Church,
460 shall, upon confession of faith and Baptism, become a baptized
461 member of the congregation.
462
463 5. When one or both parents of baptized children are received into the
464 membership of the congregation, such children should be received as
465 baptized members with the consent of the member parent or parents.
466
467 6. When the parents of a baptized child are not themselves members of
468 the Lutheran Church but move into the area served by this
469 congregation and desire to have their child placed within the pastoral
470 care of this congregation, the child may be received as a baptized
471 member.
472 .
473 B. Confirmed Members
474
475 1. A baptized adult, not previously a confirmed member of a Lutheran
476 congregation, shall become a confirmed member of this congregation
477 after having received instruction, having given evidence of adequate
478 understanding of the teachings of the Word of God as confessed by
479 the Lutheran Church, and having made public profession of faith.
480
481 2. A baptized member of the congregation shall become a confirmed
482 member through the rite of affirmation of baptism; except that an adult
483 who has become a baptized member in accordance with the
484 provisions of Section A.4 of the bylaws shall be considered a
485 confirmed member without participation in the rite of confirmation.
486
487 3. An applicant for membership who presents evidence of confirmation
488 in a Lutheran congregation but does not have a Letter of Transfer,
489 shall be admitted to confirmed membership when the Council and/or
490 Pastor has determined that such person meets the standards of
491 Christian faith and life as indicated in the constitution and bylaws, and
492 when such person has reaffirmed their faith before the congregation.
493
494 C. Voting Members
495
496 The Council shall determine the roster of voting members of the congregation in
497 accordance with the provisions of the constitution and bylaws. The roster of voting
498 members shall be available at all regularly called meetings of the congregation.
499
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D. Discontinuance 500 of Membership
501
502 1. The congregation shall, in the event a member moves outside of the
503 community served by the congregation, encourage the member to
504 request a transfer to a Lutheran congregation in their new community,
505 which can serve them effectively. Should the member fail to request a
506 transfer, a Lutheran congregation in the community of his residence
507 shall be notified.
508
509 2. A confirmed member in good standing desiring a change of
510 membership to another Lutheran congregation shall, upon request,
511 receive a Letter of Transfer.
512
513 3. A confirmed member who does not, for a period of one year, partake
514 of Holy Communion, support the church with offerings, and does not
515 appear to desire to participate in the life and worship of the
516 congregation shall be visited by the pastor or the congregation’s
517 officers if they are local residents or contacted by mail if they live
518 elsewhere and encouraged by them to active membership. If, during
519 the second year, the confirmed member does not actively participate,
520 their name shall be removed from the membership roster of the
521 congregation but be retained on a responsibility list as one who is in
522 special need of the congregation’s prayer and concern.
523
524 4. A child, neither of whose parents or guardians is a member of the
525 congregation, may be removed from the roster of baptized members if
526 the child fails to participate in the life and the worship of the
527 congregation.
528
529 *C8.03. All applications for confirmed membership shall be submitted to and shall require the
530 approval of the Congregation Council.
531
532 *C8.04. It shall be the privilege and duty of members of this congregation to:
533
534 a. Make regular use of the means of grace, both Word and sacraments;
535
536 b. Live a Christian life in accordance with the Word of God and the teachings of
537 the Lutheran church; and
538
539 c. Support the work of this congregation, the synod, and the churchwide
540 organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through
541 contributions of their time, abilities, and financial support as biblical stewards.
542
543 *C8.05. Membership in this congregation shall be terminated by any of the following:
544
545 a. Death;
546
547 b. Resignation;
548
549 c. Transfer or release;
550
551 d. Disciplinary action in accordance ELCA constitutional provision 20.40. and the
552 accompanying bylaws;
553
554 e. Removal from the roll due to inactivity as defined in the bylaws.
555
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Such persons who have been removed from the roll of members shall 556 remain persons
557 for whom the church has a continuing pastoral concern.
558
559 C8.05.01 Responsibilities of the congregation for fostering faithful membership shall include:
560
561 a. proper instruction in the Word of God and the teachings of the Evangelical
562 Lutheran Church in America prior to reception as confirmed members;
563
564 b. transfer of membership to another Lutheran congregation or the issuing of a
565 certificate of standing and/or release to another evangelical congregation at
566 the request of the confirmed member (such transfer of membership or issuing
567 of a certificate of standing and/or release should be granted to baptized, but
568 unconfirmed, children at the request of their parents);
569
570 c. encouraging members who move from the community which the congregation
571 serves to transfer to a Lutheran congregation which can serve them effectively
572 and in which they can participate regularly. A Lutheran congregation in the
573 new community in which such members live shall be notified of their move;
574
575 d. continuing concern and conscientious pastoral care for members, in an effort
576 to encourage fulfillment of their duties and responsibilities, when they do not
577 partake of Holy Communion, support the congregation with their offerings, or
578 appear to desire to participate in the life and worship of the congregation.
579
580 Chapter 9.
581 THE PASTOR
582
583 *C9.01. Authority to call a pastor shall be in this congregation by at least a two-thirds majority
584 ballot vote of members present and voting at a meeting legally called for that purpose.
585 Before a call is issued, the officers, or a committee elected by this congregation to
586 recommend the call, shall seek the advice and help of the bishop of the synod.
587
588 C9.01.01 THE PASTOR
589
590 1. The congregation shall elect a “Pastor’s Call Committee” consisting of six
591 members. This committee shall inquire into, interview, and otherwise acquaint
592 itself with the qualifications of potential candidates for the office. After its
593 careful investigation, the committee shall recommend its choice first to the
594 Council, and then, upon Council approval to the congregation.
595
596 2. When the congregation has voted to call a pastor, it shall issue a Letter of Call
597 to the pastor-elect, in a form approved by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
598 America. It shall be signed by the chairperson and the secretary of the
599 meeting at which the call was voted, and shall be attested by the signature of
600 the Bishop of the synod. The pastoral office designations for this congregation
601 shall be senior pastor and associate pastor(s). An associate pastor shall be
602 called only with the concurrence of the senior pastor and in accordance with
603 the provisions of this paragraph.
604
605 3. The pastoral call shall normally be for an indefinite period of time. A call
606 issued to an associate pastor may be for a definite period of time.
607
608 4. If a pastor receives a call to another ministry, he or she shall consult the
609 Council, or if the pastor desires, the congregation, before reaching a decision.
610 This pastor shall announce a decision as quickly as possible, normally within
611 three weeks, and notify the synod Bishop of the decision. When a call has
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been accepted, the pastor shall terminate ministry at St. 612 John’s as soon as
613 feasible, normally within a month.
614
615 5. Should the senior pastor leave office for any reason and with an associate
616 pastor on the staff, the associate pastor may continue to serve the
617 congregation under his/her present call, as provided below.
618
619 a. The associate pastor may make his/her name available to the call
620 committee for consideration as a candidate for the position of senior
621 pastor, upon filing mobility papers with the synod. Should the
622 associate pastor apply for and not be selected to fill the position of
623 senior pastor, he/she will be expected to continue in the mobility
624 process, seeking a call to serve another congregation as timely as is
625 reasonably possible. The council may set a termination date for the
626 associate’s call should resignation not be offered within six months
627 from the date of the call committee’s decision not to call the associate
628 to the position of senior pastor.
629
630 b. The associate pastor may choose to continue serving in his/her
631 present call throughout the duration of the interim. Upon the
632 installation of a new senior pastor, the associate pastor may continue
633 to serve the congregation for a period of at least one year, during
634 which time the associate pastor and the new senior pastor will
635 participate in conversation and team-building exercises as directed by
636 the council and synod. After this one-year transition period has
637 passed, the associate pastor may continue to serve the congregation
638 in his/her present call upon the concurrence of the senior pastor.
639
640 c. Should the senior pastor, after the one-year transition period, not
641 concur with the continuation of the associate pastor’s service as part
642 of the pastoral team, he/she shall outline the reasons at a closed
643 session of the council. At the council’s discretion, the council shall
644 notify the associate of such decision, and request that he/she be
645 available to call immediately, terminating service to St. John’s as soon
646 as feasible. The council may set a termination date for the associate’s
647 call should resignation not be offered within six months from the date
648 of notification of the senior pastor’s decision.
649
650 6. Any pastor discontinuing employment with the congregation shall participate
651 in an exit interview with members of the Mutual Ministry team.
652
653 *C9.02. Only a member of the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or
654 a candidate for the roster of ordained ministers who has been recommended for the
655 congregation by the synodical bishop may be called as a pastor of this congregation.
656
657 *C9.03. Consistent with the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
658 a. Every ordained minister shall:
659 1. preach the Word;
660 2. administer the sacraments;
661 3. conduct public worship;
662 4. provide pastoral care; and
663 5. speak publicly to the world in solidarity with the poor and
664 oppressed, calling for justice and proclaiming God’s love for the
665 world.
666 b. Each ordained minister with a congregational call shall, within the
667 congregation:
668 1. offer instruction, confirm, marry, visit the sick and distressed, and
Page 14 of 31
669 bury the dead;
670 2. supervise all schools and organizations of this congregation;
671 3. install regularly elected members of the Congregation Council; and
672 4. with the council, administer discipline.
673 c. Every pastor shall:
674 1. strive to extend the Kingdom of God in the community, in the
675 nation, and abroad;
676 2. seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the
677 ministry of the Gospel;
678 3. impart knowledge of this church and its wider ministry through
679 distribution of its periodicals and other publications; and
680 4. endeavor to increase the support given by the congregation to the
681 work of the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran
682 Church in America (ELCA) and of the South-Central Synod of
683 Wisconsin of the ELCA.
684
685 *C9.04. The specific duties of the pastor, compensation, and other matters pertaining to the
686 service of the pastor shall be included in a letter of call, which shall be attested by the
687 bishop of the synod.
688
689 *C9.05. a. The call of a congregation, when accepted by a pastor, shall constitute a
690 continuing mutual relationship and commitment, which shall be terminated only by
691 death or, following consultation with the synodical bishop for the following
692 reasons:
693 1) mutual agreement to terminate the call or the completion of a call
694 for a specific term;
695 2) resignation of the pastor, which shall become effective, unless
696 otherwise agreed, no later than 30 days after the date on which it was
697 submitted;
698 3) inability to conduct the pastoral office effectively in the
699 congregation in view of local conditions;
700 4) the physical disability or mental incapacity of the pastor;
701 5) suspension of the pastor through discipline for more than three
702 months;
703 6) resignation or removal of the pastor from the roster of ordained
704 ministers of this church;
705 7) termination of the relationship between this church and the
706 congregation;
707 8) dissolution of the congregation or the termination of a parish
708 arrangement; or
709 9) suspension of the congregation through discipline for more than six
710 months.
711
712 b. When allegations of physical disability or mental incapacity of the pastor under
713 paragraph a.4) above, or ineffective conduct of the pastoral office under
714 paragraph a.3) above, have come to the attention of the bishop of the synod,
715 1) the bishop in his or her sole discretion may investigate such
716 conditions personally together with a committee of two ordained ministers and
717 one layperson
718 2) when such allegations have been brought to the synod’s attention
719 by an official recital of allegations by the congregation council or by a petition
720 signed by at least one-third of the voting members of the congregation, the
721 bishop personally shall investigate such conditions together with a committee
722 of two ordained ministers and one layperson.
723
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c. In case of alleged physical disability or mental incapacity, under 724 paragraph a.4)
725 above, the bishop’s committee shall obtain and document competent medical
726 opinion concerning the pastor’s condition. When a disability or incapacity is
727 evident to the committee, the bishop of this synod may declare the pastorate
728 vacant and the pastor shall be listed on the clergy roster as disabled. Upon
729 removal of the disability and restoration of the pastor to health, the bishop
730 shall take steps to enable the pastor to resume the ministry, either in the
731 congregation last served or in another appropriate call.
732
733 d. In the case of alleged local difficulties that imperil the effective functioning of the
734 congregation under paragraph a.3) above, the bishop’s committee shall
735 endeavor to hear from all concerned persons, after which the bishop together
736 with the committee shall present their recommendations first to the pastor and
737 then to the congregation. The recommendations of the bishop’s committee
738 must address whether the pastor’s call should come to an end and, if so, may
739 suggest appropriate severance arrangements. The committee may also
740 propose other actions that should be undertaken by the congregation and by
741 the pastor, if appropriate. If the pastor and congregation agree to carry out
742 such recommendations, no further action need be taken by the synod.
743
744 e. If either party fails to assent to the recommendations of the bishop’s committee
745 concerning the pastor’s call, the congregation may dismiss the pastor only at
746 a legally called meeting after consultation with the bishop, either (a) by a two747
thirds majority vote of the voting members present and voting where the
748 bishop and the committee did not recommend termination of the call, or (b) by
749 a simple majority vote of the voting members present and voting where the
750 bishop and the committee recommended termination of the call.
751
752 f. If, in the course of proceedings described in paragraph c. or paragraph d.
753 above, the bishop’s committee concludes that there may be grounds for
754 disciplinary action, the committee shall make recommendations concerning
755 disciplinary action in accordance with the provisions of this church’s
756 constitution, bylaws, and continuing resolutions.
757
758 *C9.06. At a time of pastoral vacancy, an interim pastor shall be appointed by the bishop of the
759 synod with the consent of this congregation or the Congregation Council.
760
761 *C9.07. During the period of service, an interim pastor shall have the rights and duties in the
762 congregation of a regularly called pastor, and may delegate the same in part to a
763 supply pastor, with the consent of the bishop of the synod and this congregation or the
764 Congregation Council. The interim pastor and any ordained pastor providing
765 assistance shall refrain from exerting influence in the selection of a pastor. Unless
766 previously agreed upon by the Synod Council, an interim pastor is not available for a
767 regular call to the congregation served.
768
769 *C9.08. This congregation shall make satisfactory settlement of all financial obligations to a
770 former pastor before calling a successor. A pastor shall make satisfactory settlement
771 of all financial obligations to this congregation before beginning service in a call to
772 another congregation or employment in another ministry setting related to the
773 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
774
775 *C9.09. When a pastor is called to serve in company with another pastor or pastors, the
776 privileges and responsibilities of each pastor shall be specified in documents to
777 accompany the call and to be drafted in consultation involving the pastors, the
778 Congregation Council, and the bishop of the synod. As occasion requires, the
Page 16 of 31
documents may be revised through a similar 779 consultation.
780
781 *C9.11. With the approval of the bishop of the synod, the congregation may depart from
782 *C9.05.a. and call a pastor for a specific term. Details of such calls shall be in writing
783 setting forth the purpose and conditions involved. Prior to the completion of a term, the
784 bishop or a designated representative of the bishop shall meet with the pastor and
785 representatives of the congregation for a review of the call. Such call may also be
786 terminated before its expiration in accordance with the provisions of *C9.05.a.
787
788 *C9.12. The pastor of this congregation:
789
790 a. shall keep accurate parochial records of all baptisms, confirmations,
791 marriages, burials, communicants, members received, members dismissed, or
792 members excluded from the congregation;
793
794 b. shall submit a summary of such statistics annually to the synod; and
795
796 c. shall become a member of this congregation upon receipt and acceptance of
797 the letter of call. In a parish of multiple congregations, the pastor shall hold
798 membership in one of the congregations.
799
800 *C9.13. The pastor(s) shall submit a report of his or her ministry to the bishop of the synod at
801 least 90 days prior to each regular meeting of the Synod Assembly.
802
803 *C9.14. The parochial records of this congregation shall be maintained by the pastor and shall
804 remain the property of the congregation. The secretary of this congregation shall attest
805 in writing to the bishop of this synod that such records have been placed in his or her
806 hands in good order by a departing pastor before the installation of that pastor in
807 another field of labor or the granting by the synod of retired status to the pastor.
808
809 Chapter 10.
810 CONGREGATION MEETING
811
812 C10.01. The power and authority of this congregation shall be exercised through the
813 congregational meeting. The annual meeting of this congregation shall be called and
814 held in conformity with civil laws and the provisions of the Constitution and bylaws of
815 the congregation.
816
817 C10.01.01 MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION
818
819 1. Announcement of the time and place of the annual meeting of the
820 congregation, which is to be held in January, shall be made at two public
821 services immediately preceding the meetings, said services to be at least a
822 week apart: and in such publications as the congregation or the pastor may
823 periodically issue, or by written notice to the voting members mailed not less
824 than ten days in advance of the meetings.
825
826 2. The officers of the previous year shall preside in their respective positions for
827 the annual meeting covering all business of this meeting.
828
829 3. The current rosters of voting, confirmed, and baptized members shall be
830 available at each meeting of the congregation.
831
832 4. The annual meeting shall receive reports and financial statements from all the
833 committees and organizations of the congregation.
834
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5. The meeting of the congregation shall elect directors 835 of the St. John’s
836 Lutheran Church Endowment Fund Board.
837
838 6. The annual meeting shall elect such delegates, representatives, or voting
839 members as are needed for conferences, synodical or national ELCA
840 gatherings, or other church related ministries. It may further elect those
841 needed for service on the Usher Board or other special committees of the
842 congregation.
843
844 C10.02. A special congregation meeting may be called by the pastor, the Congregation
845 Council, or the president of this congregation, and shall be called at the written
846 request of 10 percent of the voting members. The president of the Congregation
847 Council shall call a special meeting upon request of the synodical bishop. The call for
848 each special meeting shall specify the purpose for which it is to be held and no other
849 business shall be transacted.
850
851 C10.03. Notice of all meetings of this congregation shall be given at the services of worship on
852 the preceding two consecutive Sundays and by mail or electronic means, as permitted
853 by state law, to all voting members at least 10 days in advance of the date of the
854 meeting.
855
856 C10.04. Thirty five voting members shall constitute a quorum.
857
858 C10.05. Voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.
859
860 C10.06. All actions by the congregation shall be by majority vote except as otherwise provided
861 in this constitution.
862
863 C10.07. Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all
864 meetings of this congregation. The presiding officer of the meeting shall appoint a
865 parliamentarian who shall advise him/her upon matters of order.
866
867 Chapter 11.
868 OFFICERS
869
870 C11.01. The officers of this congregation shall be a president, vice-president, secretary, and
871 treasurer.
872
873 a. Duties of the officers shall be specified in the bylaws.
874
875 b. The officers shall be voting members of the congregation.
876
877 c. Officers of this congregation shall serve similar offices of the Congregation
878 Council and shall be voting members of the Congregation Council.
879
880 C11.01.01 DUTIES OF OFFICERS
881 1. The president shall preside at meetings of the Congregation Council and of
882 the congregation. The president, in cooperation with the pastor and church
883 secretary, shall secure supply pastors as needed.
884
885 2. The vice-president shall preside at meetings of the Congregation Council and
886 of the congregation in the absence of the president.
887
888 3. The secretary shall keep the minutes of the Congregation Council and of the
889 congregation. The Council Secretary shall oversee the office administrating
Page 18 of 31
secretary to ensure that all policies and procedures 890 developed by the
891 Congregation Council are followed.
892
893 4. The treasurer shall have responsibility for all funds of the congregation, and
894 shall oversee all those with access to these funds in accordance with the
895 decisions of the congregation or the Congregation Council. When there is a
896 financial secretary, the Council Treasurer will oversee him/her to ensure that
897 all policies and procedures developed by the Congregation Council are
898 followed. The treasurer has the ability to delegate the receipt and
899 disbursements of such funds to a financial secretary should these
900 responsibilities be delegated to a financial secretary.
901
902 C11.02. The Congregation Council shall elect its officers and they shall be the officers of the
903 congregation. The officers shall be elected by written or unanimous ballot and shall
904 serve for one year or until their successors are elected.
905
906 C11.03. No officer shall hold more than one office at a time. No elected officer shall be eligible
907 to serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.
908
909
910
911 Chapter 12.
912 CONGREGATION COUNCIL
913
914 C12.01. The voting membership of the Congregation Council shall consist of the pastor(s) and
915 not less than 9 and not more than 12 members of the congregation including the
916 officers of the congregation. Any voting member of the congregation may be elected,
917 subject only to the limitation on the length of continuous service permitted in that
918 office. No member of the congregation council shall serve more than two consecutive
919 terms as council member. A member’s place on the Congregation Council shall be
920 declared vacant if the member
921
922 a. Ceases to be a voting member of this congregation or
923
924 b. Is absent from four successive regular meetings of the Congregation Council
925 without cause.
926
927 C12.01.01 COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP
928 1. The Congregation Council shall have between 9 – 12 elected members.
929
930 2. A member of the Congregation Council who is absent from two consecutive
931 regular meetings, without an excuse acceptable to the council, shall be
932 consulted by the president, or any three members of the Congregation
933 Council.
934
935 C12.02. The members of the Congregation Council shall be elected at a legally called meeting
936 of the congregation during the month of December. Their term of office shall be for two
937 years with the term of office beginning on January 1, and ending on December 31.
938 Such members shall be eligible to serve no more than two full terms consecutively.
939 Newly elected Congregation Council members shall be installed at worship the first
940 Sunday of January.
941
942 C12.02.01 NOMINATION OF ELECTION OF THE CONGREGATION COUNCIL
943
944 1. The Nominating Committee may be composed of four members with the
945 Pastor serving as convener and advisor:
Page 19 of 31
946
a. Shall nominate one or more candidates from the 947 active membership
948 list for each office to be filled and shall secure the consent of each
949 candidate to serve if elected. One member per household shall be
950 permitted to serve on the Council, unless extenuating circumstances
951 exist.
952
953 b. Shall present the candidates on the second Sunday in November at
954 all services. At this time additional nominations from the active
955 membership list may be made from the floor. The Nominees shall
956 then constitute the ballot for election.
957
958 c. Shall see that the nominees are presented in any official mailing of
959 the Parish and listed in all service bulletins on the Sundays prior to
960 election.
961
962 2. On the first Sunday of December prepared ballots shall be distributed at all
963 services and all qualified voters shall vote. The ushers shall collect the ballots
964 and tellers appointed by the President shall tabulate the ballots following the
965 last service of the day. The tabulation shall then be given to the President,
966 Secretary and Pastor, and shall be so recorded in the official records of the
967 congregation.
968
969 3. The elected candidates shall be informed of their election and shall be
970 installed on the first Sunday of January following election.
971
972 4. At the December meeting of the Congregation Council the Congregation
973 Council shall elect the officers and representatives to the council committees.
974 The Pastor shall facilitate the election of officers as the first order of business
975 at the December meeting. Newly elected council members shall have the right
976 to vote for officers.
977
978 C12.03. Should a member’s place on the Congregation Council be declared vacant, the
979 Congregation Council shall elect, by majority vote, a successor until the next annual
980 meeting.
981
982 C12.03.01 VACANCY
983 If a vacancy occurs on the Congregation Council, the Council shall fill the vacancy for
984 the duration of the calendar year. The length remaining of the unexpired term shall
985 not be considered in determining eligibility for succession.
986
987 C12.04. The Congregation Council shall have general oversight of the life and activities of this
988 congregation, and in particular its worship life, to the end that everything be done in
989 accordance with the Word of God and the faith and practice of the Evangelical
990 Lutheran Church in America. The duties of the Congregation Council shall include the
991 following:
992
993 a. To lead this congregation in stating its mission, to do long-range planning, to
994 set goals and priorities, and to evaluate its activities in light of its mission and
995 goals.
996
997 b. To seek to involve all members of this congregation in worship, learning,
998 witness, service, support and stewardship.
999
1000 c. To oversee and provide for the administration of this congregation to enable it
1001 to fulfill its functions and perform its mission.
1002
Page 20 of 31
d. To maintain supportive relationships with the pastor(s) 1003 and staff and help
1004 them annually to evaluate the fulfillment of their calling, appointment, or
1005 employment.
1006
1007 e. To be examples individually and corporately of the style of life and ministry
1008 expected of all baptized persons.
1009
1010 f. To promote a congregational climate of peace and goodwill and, as
1011 differences and conflicts arise, to endeavor to foster mutual understanding.
1012
1013 g. To arrange for pastoral service during the sickness or absence of the pastor.
1014
1015 h. To emphasize partnership with the synod and churchwide units of the
1016 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as cooperation with other
1017 congregations, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran, subject to established
1018 policies of the synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
1019
1020 i. To recommend and encourage the use of program resources produced or
1021 approved by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
1022
1023 j. To seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the
1024 Gospel.
1025
1026 C12.04.01 DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHURCH COUNCIL
1027 In addition to the duties and responsibilities provided in the constitution, the
1028 Congregation Council shall:
1029
1030 1. Secure necessary staff other than the pastor(s) such as parish secretaries,
1031 parish worker, custodians, organists and choir directors, etc. and fix and
1032 annually review their salaries.
1033
1034 2. Annually review the performance and salary of the pastor(s) and make
1035 adjustments from time to time within the limits of the budget approved by the
1036 congregation.
1037
1038 3. Receive reports monthly from the treasurer to ascertain that the expenditures
1039 are within the budget and other limits as established by the constitution.
1040
1041 4. Prepare a budget to submit to the January annual meeting of the
1042 congregation.
1043
1044 5. Assure itself that the financial secretary and others who have access to the
1045 general funds of the congregation are adequately bonded.
1046
1047 6. Assure itself that all insurance policies are up to date and in order.
1048
1049 7. Be responsible for the buildings and premises of the congregation so that their
1050 use is normally limited to the functions of the congregation. Should groups or
1051 individuals not associated with the congregation desire to use such property,
1052 application shall be made to the Congregation Council, which committee shall
1053 have authority to accept or deny the application. Ceremonies of groups,
1054 fellowships, or organizations which would usurp the authority of Jesus Christ
1055 shall not be permitted in the church or on the church premises of the
1056 congregation.
1057
1058 8. Council committees and ministries shall include: Executive; Music and
1059 Worship; Building and Grounds; Stewardship; Parish Education; Life and
Page 21 of 31
Growth; Social Concerns; Fellowship; Memorials; and 1060 Youth. The Church
1061 Council shall elect from its own membership liaisons to the council
1062 committees. The Council shall be responsible for seeing that these
1063 committees and ministries, with the exception of the Endowment Fund, are
1064 staffed and that they carry out their constitutional assignments. The Council
1065 shall have the authority to appoint special or ad-hoc committees and task
1066 forces as the need arises.
1067
1068 9. Have authority between meetings of the congregation to choose delegates to
1069 any group or meeting in which the congregation is entitled representation.
1070
1071 C12.04.02 CHURCH ELDERS
1072 Elders allow for the potential to allow consistency to the council in decision making
1073 matters. By virtue of their knowledge, the expectation is that elders will provide
1074 continuity of knowledge and church history to assist the council in making judicious
1075 decisions.
1076
1077 1. A council may select two church elders to serve as advisors to the council.
1078
1079 2. Appointees may be reappointed annually.
1080
1081 3. Selection is based on at least one of the following:
1082
1083 a. Longevity of church membership
1084
1085 b. Previous experience on the congregation council
1086
1087 c. Knowledge of synod policies and procedures.
1088
1089 4. Responsibilities may also be assigned as they, in consultation with the
1090 president, or the council may deem necessary.
1091
1092 a. Duties may include presence at worship services as council representatives.
1093
1094 5. Each appointee shall serve as a member of the council with a voice and
1095 without vote.
1096
1097 C12.05. The Congregation Council shall be responsible for the financial and property matters
1098 of this congregation.
1099
1100 a. The Congregation Council shall be the board of trustees of this congregation,
1101 and as such shall be responsible for maintaining and protecting its property
1102 and the management of its business and fiscal affairs. It shall have the powers
1103 and be subject to the obligations that pertain to such boards under the laws of
1104 the State of Wisconsin, except as otherwise provided herein.
1105
1106 b. The Congregation Council shall not have the authority to buy, sell, or
1107 encumber real property unless specifically authorized to do so by a meeting of
1108 the congregation.
1109
1110 c. The Congregation Council may enter into contracts of up to 4 percent of the
1111 total operating budget for items not included in the budget.
1112
1113 d. The Congregation Council shall prepare an annual budget for adoption by this
1114 congregation, shall supervise the expenditure of funds in accordance
1115 therewith following its adoption, and may incur obligations more than 4
1116 percent in excess of the anticipated receipts only after approval by a
Page 22 of 31
congregation Meeting. The budget shall include this congregation’s 1117 full,
1118 indicated share in support of the wider ministry being carried on in partnership
1119 with the synod and churchwide organization.
1120
1121 e. The Congregation Council shall ascertain that the financial affairs of this
1122 congregation are being conducted efficiently, giving particular attention to the
1123 prompt payment of all obligations and to the regular forwarding of
1124 benevolence monies to the synodical treasurer.
1125
1126 f. The Congregation Council shall be responsible for this congregation’s
1127 investments and its total insurance program.
1128
1129 C12.06. The Congregation Council shall see that the provisions of this constitution and its
1130 bylaws and the continuing resolutions are carried out.
1131
1132 C12.07. The Congregation Council shall provide for an annual review of the membership
1133 roster.
1134
1135 C12.08. The Congregation Council shall be responsible for the appointment and supervision of
1136 staff of this congregation. Nothing in this provision shall be deemed to affect the
1137 congregation’s responsibility for the call, terms of call, or termination of call of any
1138 employees who are on a roster of this church.
1139
1140 C12.09. The Congregation Council shall submit a comprehensive report to this congregation at
1141 the annual meeting.
1142
1143 C12.11. The Congregation Council shall normally meet once a month. Special meetings may
1144 be called by the pastor, the president, or at the request of at least one-half of council
1145 members. Notice of each special meeting shall be given to all who are entitled to be
1146 present.
1147
1148 C12.12. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of
1149 the Congregation Council.
1150
1151 C12.13. The Congregation Council and its committees may hold meetings by remote
1152 communication, including electronically and by telephone conference, and, to the extent
1153 permitted by state law, notice of all meetings may be provided electronically.
1154
1155
1156 Chapter 13.
1157 CONGREGATION COMMITTEES
1158
1159 C13.01. The officers of this congregation and the pastor shall constitute the Executive
1160 Committee.
1161
1162 C13.02. A Nominating Committee shall consist of all members of the Congregation Council, as
1163 a vehicle to ensure that all positions are filled, with the Pastor serving as convener and
1164 advisor.
1165
1166 Cl3.03. An Audit Committee, of at least two voting members, shall be appointed by the
1167 Congregation Council. Audit Committee members shall not be members of the
1168 Congregation Council.
1169
1170 C13.04. A Mutual Ministry Committee (in the absence of a Mutual Ministry Committee, their
1171 duties shall be fulfilled by the Executive Committee) may be appointed jointly by the
1172 president and the pastor. Term of office shall be two years, three members to be
Page 23 of 31
appointed each successive year. Committee members will hold no other 1173 office in the
1174 congregation during their term.
1175
1176 C13.05. When a pastoral vacancy occurs, a Call Committee of six voting members shall be
1177 elected by this congregation. Term of office will terminate at installation of the newly1178
called pastor.
1179
1180 C13.06 Other committees of this congregation not specified by the constitution or the bylaws
1181 may be formed, as the need arises, by decision of the Congregation Council.
1182
1183 C13.07. The Congregation Council may authorize the establishment of a special committee or
1184 task force through a continuing resolution. The resolution shall define the purpose of
1185 the special committee or task force. The president shall recommend committee
1186 members to the Congregation Council for its approval. No special committee or task
1187 force shall become active without Council approval.
1188
1189 C13.08 Duties of congregation committees shall be specified in the bylaws and continuing
1190 resolutions.
1191
1192 C13.08.01 COMMITTEES
1193 Each committee is responsible for, and authorized to, carry out actions within the
1194 means of the annual budget.
1195
1196 (a) Executive Committee (Trustees) shall consist of the president, vice-president,
1197 secretary, treasurer and pastor. The pastor shall have a voice, but no vote. It shall
1198 serve as a Steering Committee and act on behalf of the congregation in legal and
1199 official matters.
1200
1201 (b) Ministry of Worship and Music shall oversee the work of the Ushers, Greeters,
1202 Acolytes, Worship Assistants, Altar Guild, nursery supervision, sound board operators,
1203 projectionists, and all others participating in the leadership of the service. They shall
1204 maintain liaison with the Music Director, Organist(s), and choirs; shall arrange for
1205 music instrument maintenance and tuning, and make recommendations thereon to the
1206 Council.
1207
1208 (c) Ministry of Building and Grounds shall oversee the care, management and
1209 maintenance of all properties of the congregation, serve in a liaison and oversight
1210 relationship with the Custodial employees, review maintenance contracts, review
1211 needs regarding purchase of new equipment, review insurance coverage for all
1212 properties and make recommendations thereon to the Church Council.
1213
1214 (d) Ministry of Stewardship shall attend to matters involving finances, Time and Talents.
1215 They shall plan and carry out an annual stewardship education emphasis providing
1216 members opportunities to grow in and commit themselves more fully to the ministry of
1217 the whole church. They shall see that offering envelopes are distributed, the
1218 congregation kept informed about our financial status, and the work of the ministry at
1219 home and abroad, and make recommendations thereon to the Church Council.
1220
1221 (e) Ministry of Parish Education shall formulate and supervise the Christian
1222 education programs and schools of the congregation for all age levels, shall review
1223 educational programs regularly, and make recommendations to the Church Council.
1224 They shall see that adequate staff is available for educational opportunities and that
1225 materials used are in accord with the Lutheran Confessions. The Sunday School
1226 Superintendent(s) shall be member(s) of this committee.
1227
1228 (f) Ministry of Life and Growth shall develop a sound program of visitation and
Page 24 of 31
spiritual care for members and for outreach into our community. The 1229 committee shall
1230 be especially sensitive to the needs of the inactive, the lonely, and the bereaved. They
1231 shall secure the training of visitation teams to assist the pastor(s) in this effort, making
1232 recommendations thereon to the council.
1233
1234 (g) Ministry of Social Concerns shall be alert to the social concerns and needs within
1235 society, studying church, local, state, and national issues as invited to do so, and
1236 making recommendations to the Congregation Council and/or congregation as to
1237 appropriate responses.
1238
1239 (h) Ministry of Fellowship shall have as its basic objectives the strengthening of the
1240 fellowship between congregational members spiritually and socially: the integration of
1241 new members into the life of the congregation; planning and implementation of
1242 outreach events in which the larger community’s participation is invited; and the
1243 general building of mutual cooperation, trust and enjoyment among the members of
1244 the congregation.
1245
1246 (i) Ministry of Memorials shall have oversight of memorial gifts and funds. It shall be
1247 responsible for developing and maintaining a suggested list of needs which
1248 can be met through memorials and other gifts.
1249
1250 (j) Ministry of Youth shall support and supervise the activities of various youth groups
1251 formed within the congregation. Youth ministries will be provided for youth of all ages,
1252 within the current staffing abilities. These groups are formed to bring a greater
1253 understanding of God’s word and thus provide a foundation from which their Christian
1254 faith can grow. The committee shall coordinate service and fellowship activities. In
1255 addition, it will provide the opportunity to collaborate for leadership needs, fund-raising
1256 activities, and offer mentoring opportunities for the youth and their leaders.
1257
1258 (k) Personnel Committee
1259
1260 1. The purpose of the Personnel Committee is to provide oversight review of the paid
1261 employees of the congregation, including the pastor(s).
1262
1263 2. The Personnel Committee, as an arm of the Council, shall:
1264 A. Review matters involving personnel policies
1265 B. Recommend various personnel policies
1266 C. Conduct at least annual evaluations
1267 D. Handle special personnel responsibilities which may arise
1268 E. Draft minutes of meetings
1269 F. Document personnel matters
1270 G. Provide recommendations to the Council dealing with salaries, wages and
1271 benefits, hiring, and terminations.
1272
1273 3. The Council through the Personnel Committee shall take any necessary action relative
1274 to employment including hiring, job description, evaluation, remuneration and termination
1275 for all staff including the pastor(s) with the exception of hiring and termination of rostered
1276 leaders.
1277
1278 4. They shall review at least annually all positions to assess the need for staff
1279 assignments, changes, expansion, or reduction. They shall assess at least annually the
1280 job performance of the Senior Pastor and all other positions and set the appropriate
1281 remuneration for each.
1282
1283 5. Membership on the Personnel Committee shall be by appointment of the church
1284 council.
1285
Page 25 of 31
6. Appointment by the church council shall occur at the regular council 1286 meeting in March
1287 of each year that the term expires
1288
1289 7. The Personnel Committee shall consist of three persons, each for a three year term,
1290 except in the initial formation of the committee. No member shall be re-elected for more
1291 than one additional term.
1292
1293 8. A member of the Personnel Committee shall not be a member of the Council.
1294
1295 9. The chairperson of the Personnel Committee shall:
1296 A. Serve as a member of the Council with voice and without vote.
1297 B. Serve as a liaison between the staff and the Council.
1298
1299 (l) Mission Endowment Fund
1300
1301 A Mission Endowment Fund, whose purpose, governance, and operational procedures
1302 shall be defined by special resolution adopted by the congregation, shall be established.
1303
1304 C13.08.A00 Resolution to Implement the Mission Endowment Fund
1305
1306 WHEREAS, Christian stewardship involved the faithful management of all the gifts God has
1307 given to mankind – the created worked, the gospel, life, time, abilities, money, including
1308 accumulated, inherited and appreciated resources: and
1309
1310 WHEREAS, the Scriptural principle of proportionate giving, to return to the Lord a portion of
1311 the gifts God has first given to his beloved children, is both a privilege and an appropriate
1312 response in all times and circumstances; and
1313
1314 WHEREAS, Christians can give to the work of the Church through bequests in wills,
1315 assignment of life insurance, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder and other trusts,
1316 assignment of certificates of deposit, and transfers of property (cash, stocks, bonds, real
1317 estate); and
1318
1319 WHEREAS, it is the desire of St. John’s Lutheran Church to encourage, receive and
1320 administer these gifts in a manner consistent with the loyalty and devotion of our Lord
1321 expressed by the donors in an accord with the policies of this congregation:
1322
1323 THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this congregation in annual meeting assembled on
1324 January 23, 2000, approve and establish the records of the church a new a separate fund to
1325 be known as THE MISSION ENDOWMENT FUND (hereafter called the “FUND”) of the St.
1326 John’s Lutheran Church, Evansville, Wisconsin;
1327
1328 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the purpose of this FUND is to enhance the mission
1329 outreach of St. John’s Lutheran Church apart from the general operation of the congregation;
1330 that no portion of the income generated by the FUND shall be used for the annual operating
1331 budget of the congregation;
1332
1333 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Missions Endowment Fund Committee (hereafter
1334 called the “COMMITTEE”) shall be the custodian of the FUND;
1335
1336 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following Plan of Operation set forth the administration
1337 and management of the “FUND:
1338
1339 The Committee
1340 1. The committee shall consist of five members, all of whom shall be voting members of St.
1341 John’s Lutheran Church. Except as herein limited, the term of each member shall be three (3)
1342 years. Upon an adoption of this resolution by the congregation, it shall elect five (5) members
Page 26 of 31
to the COMMITTEE: two (2) for a term of three (3) years; two (2) for a term 1343 of (2) years; and
1344 one (1) for a term of one (1) year. Thereafter, at each annual meeting, the congregation shall
1345 elect the necessary number for a term of three (3) years. No member shall serve more than
1346 two consecutive three (3) year terms. After a lapse of one (1) year, former COMMITTEE
1347 members may be re-elected. The Senior pastor and the vice-president of the Church Council
1348 shall be advisory members of the COMMITTEE. The Church Council of the congregation shall
1349 nominate for the COMMITTEE and report at the annual congregational meeting in the same
1350 manner as for other offices and committees. In the event of a vacancy on the COMMITTEE,
1351 the Church Council shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy until the next annual meeting of
1352 the congregation, at which time the congregation shall elect a member to fulfill the term of the
1353 vacancy.
1354
1355 2. The COMMITTEE shall meet a least quarterly, or more frequently as deemed by it in the
1356 best interest of the FUND.
1357
1358 3. A quorum shall consist of three (3) members. When only three (3) members are present a
1359 unanimous vote shall be required to carry any motion or resolution.
1360
1361 4. The committee shall elect from its membership a chairperson, recording secretary and
1362 financial secretary. The chairperson, or member designated by the chairperson, shall preside
1363 at all committee meeting.
1364
1365 5. The recording secretary of the COMMITTEE shall maintain complete and accurate minutes
1366 of all meetings and supply a copy thereof to each member of the committee. Each member
1367 shall keep a complete copy of minutes to be delivered to his or her successor. The recording
1368 secretary shall also supply a copy of the minutes to the Church Council.
1369
1370 6. The financial secretary of the COMMITTEE shall work with the congregation’s treasurer in
1371 maintaining and coordinating complete and accurate accounts for the FUND and shall sign
1372 checks and all other necessary documents on behalf of the Congregation in furtherance of the
1373 purpose of the FUND. The books shall be audited annually by a certified public accountant or
1374 other appropriate person who is not a Member of the COMMITTEE.
1375
1376 7. The COMMITTEE shall report on a quarterly basis to the Church Council and, at each
1377 annual or duly called special meeting of the congregation, shall render a full and complete
1378 audited account of the administration of the FUND during the preceding year.
1379
1380 8. The COMMITTEE may request other members of the congregation to serve as advisory
1381 members and, at the expense of FUND income, may provide for such professional counseling
1382 on investments or legal matters as it deems to be in the best interest of the FUND.
1383
1384 9. Members of the COMMITTEE shall not be liable for any losses which may be incurred
1385 upon the investments of the assets of the FUND except to the extent such losses shall have
1386 been caused by bad faith or gross negligence. No member shall be personally liable as long
1387 as he/she acts in good faith and with ordinary prudence. Each member shall be liable only for
1388 his/her own willful misconduct or omissions, and shall not be liable for acts or omissions of any
1389 other member. No member shall engage in any self dealing or transactions with the FUND in
1390 which the member has direct or indirect financial interest and shall at all times refrain from any
1391 conduct in which his/her personal interest would conflict with the interest of the FUND.
1392
1393 10. All assets are to be held in the name of the St. John’s Lutheran Church Mission
1394 Endowment Fund.
1395
1396 11. Recommendations to hold, sell, exchange, rent, lease, transfer, convert, invest, reinvest,
1397 and in all other respects to manage and control the assets of the FUND, including stocks,
1398 bonds, debentures, mortgages, notes, or other securities, as in their judgment and discretion
Page 27 of 31
they deem wise and prudent, are to be made by the COMMITTEE for approval 1399 by the Church
1400 Council, with subsequent execution by the delegated member of the COMMITTEE.
1401
1402 Distribution of Income
1403 1. The committee shall determine what is principal and income according to accepted
1404 accounting procedures.
1405
1406 Option 1A Gifts and bequests to the fund shall accumulate until principal amount of
1407 $1000.00 is achieved, after which the income generated from the investment
1408 of the principal shall be expended.
1409
1410 2. Income from the FUND shall be distributed annually and at such other times as deemed
1411 necessary and/or feasible to accomplish the following purposes:
1412
1413 Option 2A Minimum of 20% for outreach into the community and synod, including but not
1414 limited to, grants to ELCA seminaries, colleges, or students attending such
1415 schools, social service agencies, institutions and agencies to which this
1416 congregation relates, and to special programs designed for those persons in
1417 our parish area who are in spiritual and/or economic need.
1418
1419 Option 2B Minimum of 20% for missions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
1420 in this continent and worldwide, including, but not limited to, Grants to the
1421 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for new Congregational development
1422 in North America, professional leadership, educational ministries global
1423 mission, ecumenism, evangelism, social ministries, and capital financing.
1424
1425 Option 2C Minimum of 20% for capital improvements, debt reduction or a Building
1426 program of St. John’s Lutheran Church.
1427
1428 Option 2D Up to 40% for any one or all of the above designated areas in any proportion
1429 as determined by the COMMITTEE, or for causes and programs, which at the
1430 discretion of the COMMITTEE are consistent with the FUND purpose of
1431 enhancing the mission outreach of St. John’s Lutheran Church.
1432
1433 3. Programs for support shall be recommended by the COMMITTEE and approved by the
1434 Church Council for funding according to the guidelines established by the congregation.
1435
1436 4. Disbursement of income from the FUND need not occur annually in the event causes and
1437 programs have not been approved by the COMMITTEE sufficient to utilize total income
1438 available, or if in the judgment of the COMMITTEE total annual disbursement of income is not
1439 recommended.
1440
1441 Distribution of Principal
1442 When, in the opinion of the COMMITTEE circumstances are so dire and of such an
1443 emergency nature that the future of the congregation is at stake, and the only recourse seems
1444 to be the use of the FUND principal, the COMMITTEE may upon a two-thirds majority vote,
1445 recommend such authorizing action to the congregation.
1446
1447 Amending the Resolution
1448 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that any amendment to this resolution, which will change, alter
1449 or amend the purpose for which the FUND is established shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote
1450 of the members present at an annual meeting of the congregation or at a special meeting
1451 called specifically for the purpose of amending this resolution.
1452
1453 Disposition or Transfer of Fund
1454 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event St. John’s Lutheran Church ceases to exist
1455 through merger or dissolution, disposition or transfer of FUND shall be at the discretion of the
Page 28 of 31
Church Council in conformity with the approved congregational constitution and 1456 in consultation
1457 with the bishop of synod to which this congregation belongs at such time. Consultation with
1458 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may be desirable for continuation of Mission
1459 Endowment Fund obligations.
1460
1461 Chapter 14.
1462 ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE CONGREGATION
1463
1464 C14.01. All organizations within this congregation shall exist to aid it in ministering to the
1465 members of this congregation and to all persons who can be reached with the Gospel
1466 of Christ. As outgrowths and expressions of this congregation’s life, the organizations
1467 are subject to its oversight and direction. This congregation at its meeting shall
1468 determine their policies, guide their activities, and receive reports concerning their
1469 membership, work, and finances.
1470
1471 C14.02. Special interest groups, other than those of the official organizations of the Evangelical
1472 Lutheran Church in America, may be organized only after authorization has been
1473 given by the Congregation Council.
1474
1475 Chapter 15.
1476 DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS
1477
1478 *C15.01. Persistent and public denial of the Christian faith, willful or criminal conduct grossly
1479 unbecoming a member of the Church of Christ, continual and intentional interference
1480 with the ministry of the congregation, or willful and repeated harassment or defamation
1481 of member(s) of the congregation is sufficient cause for discipline of a member. Prior
1482 to disciplinary action, reconciliation and repentance will be attempted following
1483 Matthew 18:15-17, proceeding through these successive steps, as necessary: a)
1484 private counsel and admonition by the pastor, b) censure and admonition by the
1485 pastor in the presence of two or three witnesses, c) written referral of the matter by the
1486 Congregation Council to the vice president of the synod, who will refer it to a
1487 consultation panel drawn from the Consultation Committee of the synod, and d)
1488 written referral of the matter by the consultation panel to the Committee on Discipline
1489 of the synod. If, for any reason, the pastor is unable to administer the admonitions
1490 required by paragraphs a. and b. hereof, those steps may be performed by another
1491 pastor chosen by the Executive Committee of the Congregation Council.
1492
1493 *C15.02. The process for discipline of a member of the congregation shall be governed as
1494 prescribed by the chapter on discipline in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing
1495 Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. If the counseling,
1496 censure, and admonitions pursuant to C15.01 do not result in repentance and
1497 amendment of life, charges against the accused member(s) that are specific and in
1498 writing may be prepared by the Congregation Council, signed, and submitted to the
1499 vice president of the synod. The vice president shall select from the synod’s
1500 Consultation Committee a panel of five members (three lay persons and two clergy).
1501 A copy of the written charges shall be provided to the consultation panel and the
1502 accused member(s). The consultation panel, after requesting a written reply to the
1503 charges from the accused member(s), shall consider the matter and seek a resolution
1504 by means of investigation, consultation, mediation, or whatever other means may
1505 seem appropriate. The panel’s efforts to reach a mutually agreeable resolution shall
1506 continue for no more than 45 days after the matter is submitted to it.
1507
1508 *C15.03. If the consultation panel fails to resolve the matter, that panel shall refer the case in
1509 writing, including the written charges and the accused member’s reply, to the
1510 Committee on Discipline of the synod for a hearing. A copy of the panel’s written
1511 referral shall be delivered to the vice president of the synod, the Congregation
Page 29 of 31
Council, and the accused member(s) at the same time it is sent to 1512 the Committee on
1513 Discipline of the synod. The Executive Committee of the Synod Council shall then
1514 select six members from the Committee on Discipline to decide the case, and shall
1515 appoint a member of the Synod Council to preside as nonvoting chair. Those six
1516 members plus the nonvoting chair comprise the discipline hearing panel for deciding
1517 the case. The Congregation Council and the accused member(s) are the parties to
1518 the case.
1519
1520
1521 *C15.04. The discipline hearing panel shall commence and conduct the disciplinary hearing in
1522 accordance with the provisions governing discipline of congregation members
1523 prescribed in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical
1524 Lutheran Church in America.
1525
1526 *C15.05. By the vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the discipline hearing panel who
1527 are present and voting, one of the following disciplinary sanctions can be imposed:
1528 a. suspension from the privileges of congregation membership for a designated
1529 period of time;
1530 b. suspension from the privileges of congregation membership until the pastor and
1531 Congregation Council receive evidence, satisfactory to them, of repentance and
1532 amendment of life;
1533 c. termination of membership in the congregation; or
1534 d. termination of membership in the congregation and exclusion from the church
1535 property and from all congregation activities.
1536
1537 *C15.06. The written decision of the discipline hearing panel shall be sent to the vice president
1538 of the synod, the accused member(s), and the Congregation Council as required by
1539 the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran
1540 Church in America. The decision of the discipline hearing panel shall be implemented
1541 by the Congregation Council and recorded in the minutes of the next council meeting.
1542
1543 *C15.07. No member of the congregation shall be subject to discipline a second time for
1544 offenses that a discipline hearing panel has heard previously and decided pursuant to
1545 this chapter.
1546
1547 *C15.10. Adjudication
1548
1549 *C15.11. When there is disagreement among factions within this congregation on a substantive
1550 issue that cannot be resolved by the parties, members of this congregation shall have
1551 access to the synodical bishop for consultation after informing the chair of the
1552 Congregation Council of their intent. If the consultation fails to resolve the issue(s), the
1553 Consultation Committee of the synod shall consider the matter. If the Consultation
1554 Committee of the synod shall fail to resolve the issue(s), the matter shall be referred to
1555 the Synod Council, whose decision shall be final.
1556
1557 Chapter 16
1558 BYLAWS
1559
1560 *C16.01. This congregation may adopt bylaws. No bylaw may conflict with this constitution.
1561
1562 *C16.02. Bylaws may be adopted or amended at any legally called meeting of this congregation
1563 with a quorum present by a majority vote of those voting members present and voting.
1564
1565 *C16.03. Changes to the bylaws may be proposed by any voting member provided that such
1566 additions or amendments be submitted in writing to the Congregation Council at least
Page 30 of 31
60 days before a regular or special Congregation Meeting called for 1567 that purpose. The
1568 Congregation Council shall notify the congregation’s members of the proposal with the
1569 council’s recommendations at least 30 days in advance of the Congregation Meeting.
1570 Notification may take place by mail or electronic means, as permitted by state law.
1571
1572 *C16.04. Approved changes to the bylaws shall be sent by the secretary of this congregation to
1573 the synod.
1574
1575 Chapter 17.
1576 AMENDMENTS
1577
1578 *C17.01. Unless provision *C17.04 is applicable, those sections of this constitution that are not
1579 required, in accord with the Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical
1580 Lutheran Church in America, may be amended in the following manner. Amendments
1581 may be proposed by at least 15 voting members or by the Congregation Council.
1582 Proposals must be filed in writing with the Congregation Council 60 days before formal
1583 consideration by this congregation at its regular or special Congregation Meeting
1584 called for that purpose. The Congregation Council shall notify the congregation’s
1585 members of the proposal together with the council’s recommendations at least 30
1586 days in advance of the meeting. Notification may take place by mail or electronic
1587 means, as permitted by state law.
1588
1589 *C17.02. An amendment to this constitution, proposed under *C17.01., shall:
1590
1591 a. Be approved at a legally called Congregation Meeting according to this
1592 constitution by a majority vote of those present and voting;
1593
1594 b. Be ratified without change at the next annual meeting by a two-thirds majority
1595 vote of those present and voting; and
1596
1597 c. Have the effective date included in the resolution and noted in the
1598 constitution.
1599
1600 *C17.03. Any amendments to this constitution that result from the processes provided in *C17.01.
1601 and *C17.02. shall be sent by the secretary of this congregation to the synod. The synod
1602 shall notify the congregation of its decision to approve or disapprove the proposed
1603 changes; the changes shall go into effect upon notification that the synod has approved
1604 them.
1605
1606 *C17.04. This constitution may be amended to bring any section into conformity with a section or
1607 sections, either required or not required, of the Model Constitution for Congregations of
1608 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – as most recently amended by the
1609 Churchwide Assembly. Such amendments may be approved by a simple majority vote of
1610 those voting members present and voting at any legally called meeting of the
1611 congregation without presentation at a prior meeting of the congregation, provided that
1612 the Congregation Council has submitted by mail or electronic means, as permitted by
1613 state law, notice to the congregation of such an amendment or amendments together
1614 with the council’s recommendations, at least 30 days prior to the meeting. Upon the
1615 request of a quorum of 30 voting members of the congregation, the Congregation Council
1616 shall submit such notice. Following the adoption of an amendment, the secretary of the
1617 congregation shall submit a copy thereof to the synod. Such provisions shall become
1618 effective immediately following a vote of approval.
1619
1620 Chapter 18.
1621 CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS Continuing resolutions interpret, implement, and expand upon
1622 provisions of the congregation’s constitution and bylaws.
Page 31 of 31
1623
*C18.01. The congregation in a legally called meeting or the Congregation 1624 Council may enact
1625 continuing resolutions. Such continuing resolutions may not conflict with the
1626 constitution or bylaws of this congregation.
1627
1628 *C18.02. Continuing resolutions shall be enacted or amended by a majority vote of a meeting of
1629 the congregation or a two-thirds vote of all voting members of the Congregation
1630 Council.
1631
1632 Chapter 19.
1633 INDEMNIFICATION
1634
1635 *C19.01. Consistent with the provisions of the laws under which this congregation is
1636 incorporated, this congregation may adopt provisions providing indemnification for
1637 each person who, by reason of the fact that such person is, or was, a Congregation
1638 Council member, officer, employee, agent, or other member of any committee of this
1639 congregation, was or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending, or
1640 completed civil, criminal, administrative, arbitration, or investigative proceeding.
1641 Chapter 20.
1642 PARISH AUTHORIZATION
1643 [* Required provisions when congregation is part of a parish]
1644 *C20.01. This congregation may unite in partnership with one or more other congregations
1645 recognized by the synod named in *C6.01. to form a parish. Except as provided in *C20.02.
1646 and *C20.03., a written agreement, developed in consultation with the synod and approved by
1647 the voting members of each congregation participating in the parish, shall specify the
1648 powers and responsibilities that have been delegated to a Parish Council.
1649
1650 *C20.02. Whenever a letter of call is being recommended for extension to an ordained minister of the
1651 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or a candidate for the roster of ordained ministers
1652 who has been recommended to the congregation by the synodical bishop to serve the
1653 congregations of a parish, such letter of call shall be first approved by a two-thirds vote at
1654 congregational meetings of each of the congregations forming the parish. If any
1655 congregation of the parish should fail to approve extending this call, the other
1656 congregation(s) in the same parish shall have the right to terminate the parish arrangement.
1657
1658 *C20.03. Any one of the congregations of a parish may terminate the call of a pastor as provided in
1659 †S14.13.d. of the synodical constitution of the synod named in *C6.01. In such case, the
1660 other congregation(s) in the same parish shall have the right to terminate the parish
1661 arrangement.
1662
1663 *C20.04. Whenever a parish arrangement is terminated, the call of any rostered person serving that
1664 parish is terminated. Should any congregation that formerly was part of the parish
1665 arrangement desire to issue a new call to that rostered person, it may do so in accordance
1666 with the call process of this church.