By-Laws

ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP
 
A. Baptized Membership.  Baptized members are those who have been baptized with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, including the baptized children on the membership rolls who have not yet made public confirmation of their baptismal vows.
 
B. Communicant Membership.  Communicant members are all baptized members of the congregation who have either (1) participated in the Rite of Confirmation, or (2) have been declared eligible by the mutual consent of the Pastor, parent(s) and child to partake of Holy Communion prior to the Rite of Confirmation.
 
C. Reception of New Communicant Members.  Non-member Christians who are baptized may become communicant members of this congregation in one of the following ways, subject to recommendation by the Pastor and subsequent approval by the Church Council:
 
            1. By the Rite of Confirmation for all who have not been confirmed members of a Lutheran congregation, following completion of instruction by the Pastor.
 
            2. By Letter of Transfer for all who are currently members of another Lutheran congregation. 
 
            3. By Reaffirmation of Faith for all who, at one time, were confirmed members of a Lutheran congregation.
 
D. Termination of Membership.  The membership of both baptized and communicant members may be terminated by means of one of the following ways, subject to recommendation by the Pastor and subsequent approval by the Church Council:
 
            1. By Letter of Transfer for members joining another Lutheran Church. 
 
            2. By Letter of Release for members joining a non-Lutheran congregation. 
 
            3. By Removal for members whose whereabouts are unknown and members who have declared membership in another congregation.
 
E. Excommunication.  Members who are leading an openly sinful and impenitent life shall be lovingly and patiently admonished according to the Word of God.  If they refuse to submit to the spiritual care of the congregation by repenting and amending their sinful life, they may be removed from membership - but only by the unanimous approval at a Voters Assembly meeting.
 
ARTICLE II - ELECTED OFFICERS AND OFFICIALS
 
The elected officers of the congregation are the President, Vice President, Congregational Secretary, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary.  The elected officials are the Directors of the Boards of Christian Education, Christian Service, Christian Outreach, Church Properties, and Lay Ministry; also elected is each member of the Board of Lay Ministry.  The President and the Congregational Secretary shall be the corporate officers of the congregation.  Delegates to the District Convention and nominees for delegates to the Synodical Convention shall be elected by the congregational Voters Assembly according to the By-laws of the District and Synod.
 
ARTICLE III - GOVERNING BODIES
 
A. Voters Assembly.  Any confirmed member who has reached the age of eighteen (18) years, and has read and signed the Constitution of this congregation shall be accepted as a voting member of this congregation.  The qualified members at any meeting constitute a quorum, and the meetings shall be governed by generally accepted parliamentary procedures.  All meetings shall be announced at the regular worship services.  The Voters Assembly shall meet four times a year on a quarterly basis and the dates of such meetings shall be determined by the Church Council.  One meeting shall be held in the fall (preferably October) and will include consideration of the following years preliminary budget which will be finalized for adoption at the next quarterly meeting.  The fall meeting will also include election of church officers and officials.  Special meetings of the Voters Assembly may be called by the Pastor, the President of the congregation, the Church Council, or in response to a written request signed by at least ten (10) percent of the qualified voting members.
 
B. Church Council.  The Church Council consists of the President, who heads the Church Council, the Vice President, Congregational Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, the Director of each congregational board, and the Pastor. The Church Council prepares recommendations, resolutions, proposed budgets and reports for submission at the Voters Assembly meetings.  The Church Council has the authority to approve unbudgeted expenses of no more than $1,000.00 annually for each congregational board, except Church Properties, which would be limited to a maximum $5,000.00 annual variance.  In addition, the Church Council may authorize emergency expenditures as deemed necessary by them to prevent bodily injury or damage to church property.  The Church Council shall meet monthly, except in months when the Voters Assembly meets.  A simple majority of the Church Council members shall constitute a quorum for voting purposes, and a simple majority of those present is necessary to adopt any resolutions on voting matters within the Council's authority.
 
C. Congregational Boards and Committees.   All other congregational boards and committees shall meet bimonthly or more frequently when their activities require.  The meetings shall be open to all, except for executive sessions of the Elders.  The President of the congregation and the Pastor are nonvoting ex-officio members of all boards and committees.
 
ARTICLE IV - ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS
 
A. Elections.  The President of the Congregation, in conjunction with the Church Council, shall appoint a Nominating Committee each year.  This committee presents a slate of candidates to the Voters Assembly at the fall meeting, ensuring each candidate's eligibility for office and willingness to serve.  The slate will consist of at least one candidate for each elected office as defined in Article II.  Members of the Nominating Committee may be a candidate for any office.  Additional nominations may be made from the floor providing eligibility and willingness to serve are determined.  Elections shall be held at the fall Voters Assembly meeting, and those elected will assume office on January 1st the following year.  The election of all congregational officers will alternate years with the election of all Board Director positions.  One-half of the members of the Board of Lay Ministry will be elected each given year.      
 
B. Appointments.  The director of each board and the Church Council, with advice of the Nominating Committee, will appoint members to that board.  Members of any ad hoc committees and delegates to local church agencies will be appointed by the President and approved by the Church Council.  In the event of a vacancy in any office, the President, with the concurrence of the Church Council, will appoint a successor to serve until the next election.   
 
ARTICLE V - TERMS OF OFFICE
 
Elected officers and officials of the congregation shall serve terms of two years.  No elected individual shall serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.  Appointees to the standing Boards will also serve terms of two years.  All terms shall begin January 1st in the year following elections.  Members appointed to ad hoc committees and delegates to church agencies will serve one year terms beginning January 1st.
 
ARTICLE VI - RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS AND OFFICIALS
 
A. President.  The President presides at the Voters Assembly meetings and the Church Council meetings, ensuring that they are conducted in a Christian manner and according to generally accepted parliamentary procedures.  The President is an ex-officio member of all boards and committees, and will be welcomed at any meeting, except during an executive session of the Elders.  The Elders may chose to invite the President to attend an executive session, but is not obligated to do so.  The President will sign all contracts, divine calls, and other documents approved by the congregation.  The President will appoint an Auditing Committee consisting of two (2) members to audit the congregation's financial records at the end of each fiscal year.
 
B. Vice President.  The Vice President performs the duties of the President in that officer's absence, or when requested to do so by the President.  The Vice President shall be available for other duties the President may assign to him/her.
 
C. Congregational Secretary.  The Congregational Secretary keeps accurate minutes of the  Voters Assembly meetings and the Church Council meetings.  The Congregational Secretary will sign all documents issued in the name of the church when requested to do so by the President, the Church Council or the Voters Assembly.
 
D. Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall make payments by check of all current expenses or other payments as directed by the Voters Assembly or Church Council (providing that the payment directives of the Church Council are within their approved limits of authority), and shall reconcile all monthly bank account statements.  All special bills and obligations not budgeted must be previously reviewed and approved by the Church Council if within their limits of authority, otherwise approved by the voters assembly prior to payment.  The Treasurer makes available reports showing the results of all financial activities at Voters Assembly meetings, Church Council meetings and Stewardship Committee meetings.  The Treasurer shall receive from the Financial Secretary a report of all monies received at worship services, special offerings, or any other sources, and shall enter all receipts and disbursements in financial records which will remain the property of the congregation.  The financial records, together with the proper vouchers, shall be submitted for an annual audit to the audit committee appointed for this purpose.  The Treasurer shall be bonded in the amount specified by the congregation, and the premiums thereon shall be paid by the congregation.
 
E. Financial Secretary.  The Financial Secretary, with the assistance of any designated tellers, shall make accurate counts and keep accurate records of the congregation's financial receipts, shall deposit such receipts promptly into designated church bank accounts, and shall report all such receipts promptly to the Treasurer in the manner designated by the Treasurer.  An accurate record shall be kept of each member individual contributions which can be member identified, and confidential contribution reports shall be issued to each member at intervals prescribed by the Church Council or Voters Assembly, but in no event less often than annually for each calendar year.  The Financial Secretary shall be bonded in the amount specified by the congregation, and the premiums thereon shall be paid by the congregation.       
 
F. Directors of Congregational Boards.  The Director of each board shall cooperate with the Nominating Committee following the election of Board Directors to provide each board with the necessary number of members.  Each Director is the head of his respective board and will prepare his board's proposed annual budget for the subsequent year for presentation and review by the Church Council at their September meeting.  The Directors attend all meetings of the Church Council as a voting member, and report the activities of their respective Boards.  Any Director may give a report at the Voters Assembly meeting, but must advise the President in advance of the meeting to be included on the agenda.  Each Director consults with and supplies a summary of each board meeting to the Pastor.
 
ARTICLE VII - DUTIES OF CONGREGATIONAL BOARDS
 
A. Christian Education.  The Board of Christian Education supervises all educational ministries of the congregation.  These include, but are not limited to, adult bible classes at church and in homes, Sunday School, confirmation classes, Vacation Bible School, and special educational programs for our community.  This board shall seek the advice and counsel of the Pastor in matters relating to educational policies, programs and materials that are under consideration.
 
B. Christian Service.  The basic objectives of the Board of Christian Service are:
 
            1.  To foster programs for the development of good stewardship attitudes in the members of the congregation in regard to time, talents and treasures, to provide for the training and utilization of members of the congregation for the work of Christ's kingdom, and to ensure the financial stability of the congregation and its work through a developed program of dedicated, proportionate, first fruits giving.
 
            2.  To foster fellowship among congregation members spiritually and socially, the integration of new members into the life and work of the congregation, and the spirit of mutual cooperation, trust and enjoyment among the members of the congregation.
 
            3.  To develop youth programs and ministries to the aged and needy within the congregation.
 
C. Church Properties.  The Church Properties Board manages the real and personal property owned by the congregation, maintains it in good repair, and has the authority to make emergency repairs.  However, any unbudgeted major repair in excess of $500 must be approved by the Church Council if within their limits of authority, otherwise by the voters assembly.
 
D. Lay Ministry.  The Board of Lay Ministry will be composed of Elders who will pray for their appointed families and will be in contact with them on a regular basis.  The basic objectives of the Board are the spiritual welfare of the Pastor and members of the congregation, individually and corporately;  the supervision of everything pertaining to congregational worship including, but not limited to, (1) providing for Altar Guild service, (2) soliciting and developing the Ushering Staff, (3) assistance at baptismal services, (4) assisting the pastor in providing for worship services in the Pastor's absence, and (5) the proper soul accounting and other vital statistics of the church.  The board is also responsible for preparing the annual budget for the Board of Lay Ministry which includes the compensation of the Pastor and other church positions, and for all items necessary for conducting worship services.
           
There shall be elected one Elder for each twenty (20) family member units or fractions thereof.  If between Voters Assembly elections, additional Elder(s) are required due to membership growth, the Church Council may appoint them to serve until the next election.
 
E. Christian Outreach.  The basic objectives of the Board of Christian Outreach are:
 
            1.  To provide programs for evangelism outreach including, but not limited to, prompt follow up contacts to visitors and other individuals or families referred to this board.
 
            2.  To recommend proposed budgets for missions and charities at Synodical and District levels, and to provide outreach and consider aid to local charities and hardships.
 
            3.  To publicize the work of the congregation through various channels or media, thereby bringing to the public’s attention our Christian care and concern within the community we serve.
 
ARTICLE VIII - AMENDMENT TO THE BY-LAWS
 
With the exception of Article I, these By-laws may be amended by a simple majority vote of the Voters Assembly.  Amendment of Article I of these By-laws requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Voters Assembly in two consecutive meetings; such meetings shall be convened with at least thirty (30) days separating the meeting dates.