PROPOSED AMMENDMENTS

C-Constitution

B-By Laws

C III

This church shall be independent and not affiliated with any denomination.

AMENDED TO: This church shall be affiliated with Converge North Central and Converge (formerly known as the Baptist General Conference).

REASON: To update our constitution with our recent affiliation.

C IV

VIEW CURRENT STATEMENT OF FAITH

AMENDED TO: Adopt the Converge Statement of Faith - CLICK TO VIEW

 

REASON: To update our statement of faith to be in line with the Converge statement.

 

 

C VII

The business meeting in January shall be the Annual Business Meeting (and Election Meeting), with the sole exception being an initial meeting to ratify this constitution and elect Elders.  After the initial meeting, the church the following year shall resume having the annual business meeting in January.  Initial Elders and Deacons will thus have a term slightly longer than the two years prescribed in the By-Laws.

AMENDED TO: The business meeting in January shall be the Annual Business Meeting (and Election Meeting).

REASON: To remove language regarding the initial launch of the church, and to remove reference to elder term limits.

C VIII

In case of church dissolution, any church property or assets shall be assigned by the Elders to a Christian nonprofit organizations not operating as a church or directly affiliated with any denomination.

 

AMENDED TO: In case of church dissolution, any church property or assets shall be assigned by the Elders to a Christian nonprofit organization not operating as a church.

 

REASON: Remove “affiliated with any denomination” to allow additional options in the event that River’s Edge were to close.

 

 

B 2 5

 

Any matter brought before the Elders must pass by at least a 70 percent vote to be official.

 

AMENDED TO: Any matter brought before the Elders must pass by at least a majority vote to be official.

 

REASON: Adjust percentage of positive vote required to avoid deadlock in the future.

 

 

B 3

 

Deacons

 

AMENDED TO: (Remove)

 

REASON: Remove section, because we do not have deacons.

 

 

B 4 3

 

The Call Committee shall solicit questions from the congregation they would like the pastor to answer, and sends the pastoral candidate those questions with a request the answers shall be returned in writing.  The Call Committee interviews each candidate in person. The Call Committee shall listen t at least two taped sermons of the candidate.  The pastor chosen by the Call Committee shall preach at least once before the entire congregation.  

 

AMENDED TO: The Call Committee shall solicit questions from the congregation they would like the pastor to answer, and sends the pastoral candidate those questions with a request the answers shall be returned in writing.  The Call Committee interviews each candidate in person. The pastor chosen by the Call Committee shall preach at least once before the entire congregation.  

 

REASON: Remove reference to “two taped sermons”, as this is both dated and not always possible.

 

 

B 4 3

 

Once a pastoral candidate has been chosen by the Call Committee, and the Elders approve that choice with at least 70 percent vote, the choice shall be announced during a Sunday worship service and a Business Meeting called.  The congregation shall then be urged to pray. Once a Pastor has been called, and the position accepted, the Call Committee shall be disbanded.

 

AMENDED TO: Once a pastoral candidate has been chosen by the Call Committee, and the Elders approve that choice with at least 70 percent vote, the choice shall be announced during a Sunday worship service and a Business Meeting called.  The congregation shall then be urged to pray.  The congregation shall vote at a Business Meeting on the candidate. If the candidate receives 70% of the congregational vote, the candidate will be called. Once a Pastor has been called, and the position accepted, the Call Committee shall be disbanded.

 

REASON: Add language to clarify that a congregational meeting and vote will take place regarding a candidate.

 

 

B 5

Committees

 

AMENDED TO: (Remove)

 

REASON: Remove section; the elders have the ability to create committees as needed, without the required structure of this section.

 

 

B 6 1

An Election Committee shall be responsible for carrying out Elections at the Annual Business Meeting.  The committee shall consist of three at-large representatives chosen by the congregation immediately before any vote.  No person up for vote may be on this committee.  All three committee members must be present at the vote counting and make sure the number of votes matches the number of people eligible for voting.

 

AMENDED TO: The Elders shall be responsible for carrying out elections at the Annual Business Meeting.

 

REASON: Adjust language to meet our current operating practices; the elders are in charge of elections.

 

 

B 6 1a

Any issues voted on must pass by at least 70 percent.

 

AMENDED TO: Any issues voted on must pass by a majority vote.

 

REASON: Adjust percentage of positive vote required to avoid deadlock in the future.

 

 

B 6 1b

The Pastor or another Elder shall convene the committee to see the provisions of this article are carried out each year.  The Election Committee shall be responsible for preparing, distributing, and counting the ballots for the Annual Election.

 

AMENDED TO: The Elders shall be responsible for preparing, distributing, and counting the ballots for the Annual Election.

 

REASON: Adjust language to refer to elders as overseeing the election process.

 

 

B 6 1b

Absentee ballots are allowed for voting members.  People seeking to vote absentee have the responsibility of acquiring a ballot from the Elders and having their ballot mailed in a sealed envelope to the church for receipt before the Annual Election.  That envelope will then be opened in the presence of all three Election

Committee members and counted appropriately.  Any absentee ballots will then be destroyed along with all other ballots immediately after the election.

 

AMENDED TO: Absentee ballots are allowed for voting members.  People seeking to vote absentee have the responsibility of acquiring a ballot from the Elders and deliver their ballots to a designated Elder before the Annual Election. Any absentee ballots will then be destroyed along with all other ballots immediately after the election.

 

REASON: Simplify and clarify process of turning in absentee ballots; allow for electronic sending of votes.

B 6 1c

No person shall serve more than two consecutive terms in the same elected or appointed position of the church, with the exception of the Pastor serving as an Elder.

 

AMENDED TO: (Remove)

 

REASON: Remove term limits for elders.

 

 

B 6 1e

Two weeks before the Annual Election, the Elders shall prepare a ballot of an approved list of nominees to all elected and appointed positions—and a listing of holdover officers.  They shall make public that list on a table in the back of the church two weeks before the actual vote and at that Sunday service publicly announce the Annual Election.  At the Annual Election itself, the ballot shall be distributed to all church members along with a current church membership list and a current church officer list.

 

AMENDED TO: Two weeks before the Annual Election, the Elders shall prepare a ballot of an approved list of nominees to all elected and appointed positions—and a listing of holdover officers.  They shall make public that list two weeks before the actual vote and at that Sunday service publicly announce the Annual Election.  At the Annual Election itself, the ballot shall be distributed to all church members along with a current church membership list and a current church officer list.

 

REASON: Remove requirement that the election list be posted “on a table in the back of the church”.

 

 

B 6 1f

The ballot shall have names in alphabetical order by last name for each position.  The results of the Annual Election shall be announced the next Sunday with only the names of those elected, not the number of votes being announced or revealed.  After the election, the ballots shall immediately be destroyed by the out-going Committee Chair.

 

AMENDED TO: The results of the Annual Election shall be announced the next Sunday with only the names of those elected, not the number of votes being announced or revealed.  After the election, the ballots shall immediately be destroyed.

 

REASON: Remove unnecessary requirements on ballot process; “alphabetical order by last name”; remove reference to “committee chair.”

 

 

B 7 1

The Annual Business Meeting shall be held in the month of January, on a date determined by the Elders.  The time and place of the Annual Business Meeting shall be publicized by the Pastor from the pulpit at least two Sundays in advance of the Annual Business Meeting. This meeting shall be concerned with the review of the church’s previous year through reports from the Elders and Deacons, and any committees.  An Annual Budget shall be presented for discussion and adoption.  This meeting shall also include the election of officers.

 

AMENDED TO: The Annual Business Meeting shall be held in the month of January, on a date determined by the Elders.  The time and place of the Annual Business Meeting shall be publicized at least two Sundays in advance of the Annual Business Meeting. This meeting shall be concerned with the review of the church’s previous year through reports from the Elders, and any committees.  An Annual Budget shall be presented for discussion and adoption.  This meeting shall also include the election of officers.

 

REASON: Remove unnecessary requirements on meeting announcements; “by the Pastor from the pulpit”.

 

 

B 7 2

A special Business Meeting may be called for a special purpose by the Elders, Pastor or by a petition signed by at least 20 percent of church members.  The time, place and purpose of such a special Business Meeting shall be publicized by the Pastor from the pulpit at least two Sundays in advance of the Special Business Meeting.

 

AMENDED TO: A special Business Meeting may be called for a special purpose by the Elders, Pastor or by a petition signed by at least 20 percent of church members.  The time, place and purpose of such a special Business Meeting shall be publicized at least two Sundays in advance of the Special Business Meeting.

 

REASON: Remove unnecessary requirements on meeting announcements; “by the Pastor from the pulpit”.

 

 

B 7 4

Voting on all matters shall be determined by at least a 70 percent vote of the votes cast by members in attendance, except when otherwise specified in these By-Laws or by prior congregational decision to do otherwise.

 

AMENDED TO: Voting on all matters shall be determined by a majority of the votes cast by members in attendance, except when otherwise specified in these By-Laws or by prior congregational decision to do otherwise.

 

REASON: Adjust percentage of positive vote required to avoid deadlock in the future.

 

 

B 7 6

Robert’s Rules of Order (current revision) shall govern business meetings of this organization when it is not inconsistent with this Constitution and By-Laws.

 

AMENDED TO: (Remove)

 

REASON: Allow elders to conduct business as they see fit.

 

 

B 9 2

The proposed changes shall be available in written form to members and announced from the Sunday pulpit at least two weeks prior to the Business Meeting at which they are to be voted on.

 

AMENDED TO: The proposed changes shall be available in written form to members and announced at least two weeks prior to the Business Meeting at which they are to be voted on.

 

REASON: Remove unnecessary requirements on announcements; “by the Pastor from the pulpit”.

Constitution of

River’s Edge Christian Church

 

ARTICLE I: NAME

 

The church name shall be River’s Edge Christian Church.

 

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE

Purpose Statement-TO GLORIFY GOD

 

We intend, by God’s grace, to fulfill our purpose to glorify God by obeying the commandments of Jesus given in His Word, by being empowered by the Holy Spirit(Acts1:8), by reflecting the oneness of God, with God and with each other, and by worshipping God in Spirit and truth. (John 17:20-23) We will proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed through both witnessing and evangelism.

 

ARTICLE III: AFFILIATION

 

This church shall be independent and not affiliated with any denomination.

 

ARTICLE IV: STATEMENT OF FAITH

 

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, sustainer of life, infinite in love, holy, infinitely perfect, unchanging, and existing eternally in three persons—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mark 12:29-31).

 

We believe Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man.  We believe in His virgin birth, His sinless life and His miracles.  He died on the cross as a sacrificial offering for the sins of all people.  On the third day He rose from the dead and appeared to many.  He ascended to heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father.  His atoning death and victorious resurrection are the only means for salvation. Filled with hope and anticipation we look for Christ’s return when He will come with power and great glory and judgment (1 John 5:20).

 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the giver of new life in Christ.  By His power He teaches us, guides us into all truth and builds up the body of Christ for Christ-like living and service.”(Ephesians 4:11-13, Acts 9:31).

 

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God. It is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all things, and trusted in all that it promises (II Timothy 3:16).

 

We believe the true church is made up of all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone.  They are united by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, of which He is the Head (John 17:13-20).

 

We believe the Lord Jesus instituted two ordinances: baptism by water and The Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the Gospel which is the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Baptism by water symbolizes union with Christ in both His death and life.  You are considered by God to have died with Christ on the cross and to have been raised up in His resurrection.  Then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you reject sin and live a new life for Christ.  Communion or the Lord’s Supper is a holy meal of remembrance.  By eating the bread and drinking the cup we proclaim and accept Christ’s great sacrifice of His own body and blood on the cross for our salvation.  Though these ordinances are not the means of salvation, they do confirm and nourish the believer when celebrated in genuine faith (Acts 2:38 and I Corinthians 11:23b-25).

 

We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:16; John 1:12)  We believe that God will one day raise the dead and judge the world. (1Cor 15:42-43)  All unbelievers will be condemned, assigned to be forever tormented in Hell (Rev 20:15), while all believers in Christ are instead pardoned, assigned to be with God forever in His Kingdom (1Peter 2:9), and experience joy in His presence. (Jude 1:24)Praise Be to God for His glorious grace. (Eph 2:8)

 

ARTICLE V: MEMBERSHIP

 

Affiliate membership shall be open to anyone, including the children of members.  A voting member must be at least 18 years old and have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, give evidence of faith in daily conduct, are willing to support the church through faithful attendance, service, prayer, and financial contributions, hold without reservation to the statement of faith as described in ARTICLE IV, and fulfill all the requirements described in the by-laws.

 

Members in the church shall not be open to anyone belonging to an organization or secret society with beliefs, oaths, rituals or practices conflicting with the teaching of God’s Word.

 

ARTICLE VI

 

The body of members composing this church shall serve as the legislative and governing entity within this organization.  We ultimately are congregational led.

 

ARTICLE VII: CHURCH GOVERNMENT

 

The business meeting in January shall be the Annual Business Meeting (and Election Meeting), with the sole exception being an initial meeting to ratify this constitution and elect Elders.  After the initial meeting, the church the following year shall resume having the annual business meeting in January.  Initial Elders and Deacons will thus have a term slightly longer than the two years prescribed in the By-Laws.

 

Regular business meeting may be called at any time by the Elders or any church member following the procedures established in the By-Laws of this constitution.

 

ARTICLE VIII: PROPERTY

 

This church shall have the power to receive by gift or purchase to hold such real, personal, or mixed property as authorized by state law and deemed necessary by the Elders for conducting the business of the church.  All such property shall be held in the name of the church.  The Elders shall have the power to receive, purchase, acquire, sell, lease, convey, mortgage, deed, or otherwise transfer church property, but only after having been duly authorized by the church at a regularly called Business Meeting.  The Elders shall be responsible to oversee and properly execute all contracts, notes, mortgage conveyances, assignments, leases, releases, and other documents and papers on behalf of the church.

 

In case of a division within the church—from which we pray God’s protection—church property shall belong to those abiding by this constitution.  In case of church dissolution, any church property or assets shall be assigned by the Elders to a Christian nonprofit organization not operating as a church or directly affiliated with any denomination.

By-Laws of

River’s Edge Christian Church

 

 

Article 1: Membership

1—Admission to Membership 

 Basic Qualifications for being an affiliate member and voting member are outlined in Article V of the Constitution. In addition, admission into voting membership shall be according to the following procedures.

  1. Applicants shall complete a board-approved membership class that includes a basic presentation of the Gospel and gives a solid Scriptural foundation for church relationships.  Applicants must have been baptized by water.  Church members cannot have a second membership with another church.

  2. Applicants shall give a credible testimony of faith in Jesus.  The Elders shall conduct individual interviews to ascertain the viability of the testimony.

  3. The Elders shall publish a list of recommended candidates for membership at least two weeks prior to the Business Meeting at which their application is to be voted on.  Anyone with a valid, Scriptural reason why a potential member should not be accepted should communicate that concern to the Elders immediately.  The Elders shall then consider the validity of the concern.

  4. Candidates for membership shall be voted on at any Business Meeting.  They shall not be present during any applicable discussion on their membership evolving from a person concerned about their membership as per 1c. They shall be approved for membership after receiving a favorable vote from 70 percent of those voting.

  5. Candidates for membership become members immediately after receiving an affirmative vote.  New members may begin exercising full rights and responsibilities of church membership from that moment on.

  6. The Pastor or an Elder will formally accept new members into membership at a worship service following the affirmative vote.

2—Withdrawal or Transfer of Membership

  1. Letters of Recommendation:  Any member in good standing wanting to join another church may request a recommendation letter.  The Pastor shall write this letter after receiving approval from the Elders.

  2. Request for Removal:  A church member may request his or her membership be removed after consulting with the Pastor or an Elder.  This action shall be reported at the next Business Meeting.  

3—Church Discipline

The process for dealing with issues of church discipline is outlined in Matthew 18:15-17:

  1. In case of a conflict between two parties within the church, the final step Jesus refers to is bringing the matter before the church  To “bring the matter before the church” shall be defined as having one or more parties in an unresolved conflict bringing the matter before the Elders in the form of a written statement. The Elders shall seek to intervene in a spirit of love and Christian understanding.  The goal of this intervention shall be repentance of sin, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  Should an erring party refuse the counsel of the Elders and display a continued unwillingness to repent, the Elders shall recommend to the church this person be removed from membership. Such removal can take place at any Business Meeting of the church where 70 percent of those voting vote in favor of dismissal.

  2. In cases where an individual church member displays a pattern of continued, willful sin, or a disregard for the Word of God, or a violation of the Constitution and/or By-Laws, the Pastor and an Elder shall lovingly, but directly, confront the person.  The goal of this intervention shall be repentance of sin and   reconciliation to the Lord.  Should there still be an attitude of resistance to this counsel; the matter shall be referred to the Elders who shall seek once again to bring the erring party back to the Lord in a spirit of love and understanding.  Should the person persist in an unrepentant condition, the Elders shall recommend to the church this person be removed from membership.  Such removal can take place at any Business Meeting where 70 percent vote in favor of dismissal.

4—Baptism

Believers desiring to be baptized should be baptized by a licensed or ordained minister. Also, a parent or parents may have their infants dedicated to the Lord and explain the purpose behind the ceremony in front of the congregation.

 

Article 2: Elders

1—Leadership

Under the headship of Christ, the Elders shall be the spiritual leadership of the church. The Elders, individually and collectively, shall:

  1. Provide spiritual direction.  The Elders provide spiritual direction for the church (Acts6:1-7) using Scripture as their sole guide in terms of faith and practice; provide counsel to the Pastor in matters relating to doctrine and practice; be a primary source of encouragement and support to the Pastor; administer confidential or sensitive matters of church discipline; determine the doctrinal teaching of the church in matters not addressed specifically in Article IV of the Constitution (Statement of Faith); oversee the church membership process; and maintain confidentiality on all sensitive matters.

  2. Provide business direction.  Act as the final say on all financial decisions or business-related items.

  3. Set church policy.  The Elders bring up all church policy for a vote before the congregation.

  4. Responsibilities.  Each one of the five Elders, excepting the Pastor, will be responsible for one of these five areas of responsibility:  Property and Finance, Christian education, Evangelism, Fellowship, and Worship. 

2—Qualifications

Elders shall meet the qualifications of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, have been active church members at least two years prior to selection, with the sole exception being the initial group of Elders.  Up to two of the Elders on a five or six person Elder board can be women.  (1Tim 2:12-14.) 

3—Composition

The Elders shall include the Pastor and five Elders elected at large by the congregation members. Each Elder term shall be two years in length with either 1 or 2 elder board positions being up for election each year, depending upon the year in which they began their term. They may serve another two year term if elected by the congregation.  Each Elder may not serve more than two consecutive terms.  After their term or terms expires, they become immediately eligible for a Deacon position.  A retiring Elder may not become eligible for another Elder position for one year.  Spouses may not be Elders at the same time.  Elders will elect among themselves a chair and vice chair.  After the installation of the first Elders, in future elections they become nominated by the congregation, and then the Elders on the board at the time present qualified candidates before the congregation for approval with a 70 percent or better vote.

4—Removal

An Elder may be removed from office by the Elder’s own decision; by a unanimous vote of the other Elders, or by a vote of at least 70 percent of voting members at any Business Meeting.

5—Voting

Any matter brought before the Elders must pass by at least a 70 percent vote to be official.

 

Article 3: Deacons

1—Helpers

The purpose of the Deacons is to handle many day-to-day tasks in order for the Elders to devote themselves to prayer and ministry of the Word as outlined in Acts: 1-7.  The Deacons shall consist of the Secretary Deacon, Treasurer Deacon, and two at-large Deacons, with the latter working on various tasks assigned by the Elders.  As necessary, other Deacon positions can be created by the Elders and brought forth for vote at Business Meetings.  If the Elders cannot find or do not nominate a willing candidate for any Deacon position, the duties of that particular position fall to the Elders.  The Deacons have all their assigned work, projects or expenditures approved by the Elders.  Deacons can be men or women.

2—Selection

The Elders shall take nominations from church members, and after the Elders approve each nomination for Deacon by at least a 70 percent vote, then present each Deacon for vote before the congregation.  The nominees then must receive at least 70 percent of the vote from church members.  Two of the first four Deacons elected must choose a one-year term after which they will become eligible for one remaining two-year term.  All Deacon Terms thereafter will run two years.  After their term or terms expires, they become eligible for Elder or another Deacon position, but not the same Deacon position for another two years.

  1. Secretary Deacon shall keep the minutes of all business meeting, assist the Pastor in church correspondence, and keep in good order minutes, correspondence, and records, including a list of church members. The Secretary shall keep a current list of church policies and make them available to any church member.  In the absence of the Secretary Deacon, the Elders can appoint another Deacon (either Treasurer Deacon or at-large Deacon) as acting Secretary Deacon.

  2. Treasurer Deacon is responsible for supervising the collecting of funds, making weekly bank deposits, providing deposit receipts for the Annual Audit, and keeping a accurate record of all money received on an individual/family basis.  The Deacons and Elders will meet annually to agree on an annual budget, which is then presented by the Elder responsible for Property and Finance at the Annual Business Meeting.  The Treasurer Deacon also shall maintain accounts showing the receipts, expenditures, and balances of each church fund, and reveal those at the Quarterly Business Meetings.  The Treasurer Deacon must count the weekly offering immediately after Sunday worship in the presence of one other voting member who is not related to the Treasurer Deacon.  In the physical absence of the Treasurer Deacon, another Deacon named by the Elders may be acting Treasurer Deacon.  An annual Audit Committee shall consist of two unrelated church members appointed by the Elders to examine the financial books at the end of each fiscal year (December 31), which includes all deposit receipts, and to submit that report at the Annual Business Meeting in January.

  3. At-Large Deacons help the Elders.  They are to be helpers.

3—Vacancies

Vacancies regarding deacons shall be filled by election at the Business Meeting following the creation of the vacancy. 

 

Article 4: Pastor

1—Purpose and Responsibilities 

He or she shall be a spiritual leader and automatically upon accepting the position of pastor made an Elder and will be accountable to the other Elders.  Responsibilities shall include preaching and teaching the Word of God, leading worship, advising and being an equal voice and vote with the other Elders, and providing guidance to the congregation and organizations within the church.  The Pastor shall administer or supervise the administration of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The Pastor shall represent the church in the community.  The Pastor shall be a voting member of the Elders and a member of any committee within the church except a Call Committee for a new Pastor.

2—Qualifications  

The Pastor must have experienced God’s saving grace and be of established Christian character. The Pastor must have the desire and ability to preach the Word and meet the requirements set forth in Scripture for Elders.  The Pastor shall agree with the beliefs and practices of this church.  If the Pastor or a Pastoral Candidate over time does not agree on any point in the church Statement of Faith, that disagreement must be made known as soon as possible to the Elders along with a written explanation.

3—Call Committee 

The church shall be called to prayer to consider electing five voting members to a Call Committee.  At the next Business Meeting, the congregation shall elect these five voting members to search for and recommend a candidate to fill the position of Pastor.  Two Elders (or two initial Church Board members) must be on the Call Committee.  The Call Committee then seeks out qualified candidates and accepts suggestions from church members.  The Call Committee members then solicit resumes, make telephone calls, check at least three references, and does other background checks necessary, and prayerfully considers each pastoral candidate.  The Call Committee shall solicit questions from the congregation they would like the pastor to answer, and sends the pastoral candidate those questions with a request the answers shall be returned in writing.  The Call Committee interviews each candidate in person. The Call Committee shall listen t at least two taped sermons of the candidate.  The pastor chosen by the Call Committee shall preach at least once before the entire congregation.  The congregation shall have an opportunity to raise questions with the candidate.  Once a pastoral candidate has been chosen by the Call Committee, and the Elders approve that choice with at least 70 percent vote, the choice shall be announced during a Sunday worship service and a Business Meeting called.  The congregation shall then be urged to pray.  Once a Pastor has been called, and the position accepted, the Call Committee shall be disbanded.

4—Call

The Pastoral Candidate shall be called to the church by the Elders within one week after the Candidate receives at least 70 percent of the vote at a Business Meeting.  The Call must be in writing and state all the terms of employment, such as pay and specific job responsibilities.  Only one Pastoral Candidate shall be brought before the congregation at a time for a vote. 

5—Dismissal

The Pastor shall be removed from the position when, upon unanimous recommendation of the Elders (with the exception of the Pastor) and 70 percent of church members present and voting vote in favor of the Pastor’s removal at a congregational meeting.

6—Resignation

The Pastor must give the Elders at least 30 days notice.

7—Supervisory Responsibilities

All staff employed by the church shall report to the Pastor.

 

Article 5: Committees

1—Committees

 The Elders are authorized to create committees (such as the Call Committee or potentially any Youth, Evangelism or Christian Education committees), which shall carry out aspects of the total ministry.  Each committee shall consist of at least two members.

2—Election

Each committee shall elect a chair responsible for guiding the committee to accomplish its purposes.  The committee shall call meetings and take all necessary steps to bring about the achievement of objectives established by the Elders.  They shall advise elders of committee progress.

3—Goals

Each committee shall annually develop and submit to the Elders for review a summary of ministry goals and activities to accomplish the committee purpose.

4—Committee Membership

Elders shall nominate at least two members to serve on each committee for terms of one year, with a maximum of three consecutive terms per service.  The voting members of the congregation shall approve the committee members.  When possible, the terms shall be arranged so one person shall come up for election at each Annual Meeting.  The Elders shall appoint a member of the congregation to fill vacancies created by the resignation of an elected committee member during their term of office.

5—Oversight

In the absence of a specific committee, the Elders have oversight over aspects of the ministry, such as Christian Education and Youth.  The Elders can overrule a decision made by a committee if believing the decision isn’t in the best interests of the church.  Should a majority of members on a committee sense the need to pursue the matter, they can have a hearing before the Elders.  If an agreement satisfactory to both parties cannot be reached at the hearing, the majority on the committee may appeal the matter to the entire congregation at a business meeting.  Written notice of committee intent to appeal to the congregation shall be given to the congregation at least two Sundays before the meeting and to the Elders at least two weeks before the meeting.

 

Article6: Annual Elections

1—Committee

An Election Committee shall be responsible for carrying out Elections at the Annual Business Meeting.  The committee shall consist of three at-large representatives chosen by the congregation immediately before any vote.  No person up for vote may be on this committee.  All three committee members must be present at the vote counting and make sure the number of votes matches the number of people eligible for voting.

  1. An Annual Election shall be held at the Annual Business Meeting each year.  Voting shall be by secret ballot unless agreed upon otherwise by at least 70 percent of voting members present.  Candidates in the Annual Election shall be elected after receiving at least 70 percent of the votes.  Those elected to office shall begin their term following the annual meeting.  Any issues voted on must pass by at least 70 percent.

  2. The Pastor or another Elder shall convene the committee to see the provisions of this article are carried out each year.  The Election Committee shall be responsible for preparing, distributing, and counting the ballots for the Annual Election.  Absentee ballots are allowed for voting members.  People seeking to vote absentee have the responsibility of acquiring a ballot from the Elders and having their ballot mailed in a sealed envelope to the church for receipt before the Annual Election.  That envelope will then be opened in the presence of all three Election Committee members and counted appropriately.  Any absentee ballots will then be destroyed along with all other ballots immediately after the election.

  3. No person shall serve more than two consecutive terms in the same elected or appointed position of the church, with the exception of the Pastor serving as an Elder.

  4. No person may hold more than one elected office simultaneously.

  5. Two weeks before the Annual Election, the Elders shall prepare a ballot of an approved list of nominees to all elected and appointed positions—and a listing of holdover officers.  They shall make public that list on a table in the back of the church two weeks before the actual vote and at that Sunday service publicly announce the Annual Election.  At the Annual Election itself, the ballot shall be distributed to all church members along with a current church membership list and a current church officer list.

  6. The ballot shall have names in alphabetical order by last name for each position.  The results of the Annual Election shall be announced the next Sunday with only the names of those elected, not the number of votes being announced or revealed.  After the election, the ballots shall immediately be destroyed by the out-going Committee Chair.

 

Article 7: Business/Congregational Meetings

 

  1. The Annual Business Meeting shall be held in the month of January, on a date determined by the Elders.  The time and place of the Annual Business Meeting shall be publicized by the Pastor from the pulpit at least two Sundays in advance of the Annual Business Meeting. This meeting shall be concerned with the review of the church’s previous year through reports from the Elders and Deacons, and any committees.  An Annual Budget shall be presented for discussion and adoption.  This meeting shall also include the election of officers.

  2. A special Business Meeting may be called for a special purpose by the Elders, Pastor or by a petition signed by at least 20 percent of church members.  The time, place and purpose of such a special Business Meeting shall be publicized by the Pastor from the pulpit at least two Sundays in advance of the Special Business Meeting.

  3. A quorum shall consist of at least 50 percent of the voting membership.  A quorum is that number of people which must be present at a Business Meeting in order to transact business.  The quorum shall be at least 50 percent of the church membership in the calling of a Pastor or on legal matters.  Legal matters shall include such items as the purchase or sale of real property; mortgaging any property or a decision to construct or remodel which will require indebtedness.

  4. Voting on all matters shall be determined by at least a 70 percent vote of the votes cast by members in attendance, except when otherwise specified in these By-Laws or by prior congregational decision to do otherwise.

  5. The fiscal year of the church shall be January 1 to December 31.

  6. Robert’s Rules of Order (current revision) shall govern business meetings of this organization when it is not inconsistent with this Constitution and By-Laws.

 

Article8: Miscellaneous

 

  1. Approval of Organizations: No organization shall be formed within or considered part of the church until the sponsors have submitted their plans to the Elders and formal approval has been given.  No organization shall be permitted to function using the church name unless the primary leader is a church member.

 

Article 9: Amendments

 

  1. These By-Laws may be altered or amended by an affirmative vote of 70 percent of the members voting at any Business Meeting.

  2. The proposed changes shall be available in written form to members and announced from the Sunday pulpit at least two weeks prior to the Business Meeting at which they are to be voted on.