The current OSLC constitution was approved by a unanimous vote of the 95 people attending the special called meeting on Sunday, November 3, 2008. The bylaws passed by the same vote.
CONSTITUTION. BYLAWS, AND CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS
OUR SAVIOUR EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
OF JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE
We, baptized members of the Church of Christ, responding in faith to the call of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel, desiring to unite together to preach the Word, administer the sacraments, and carry out God’s mission, do hereby adopt this constitution and solemnly pledge ourselves to be governed by its provisions. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
NAME AND INCORPORATION
C1.01. The name of this congregation shall be Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran Church of Johnson City, Tennessee.
C1.02. For the purpose of this constitution and the accompanying bylaws, the congregation of Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran Church of Johnson City, Tennessee is hereinafter designated as “this congregation.”
C1.11. This congregation shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Tennessee.
CONFESSION OF FAITH
*C2.01. This congregation confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
*C2.02. This congregation confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.
a. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.
b. The proclamation of God’s message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God’s Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God’s revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.
*C2.03. This congregation accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.
*C2.04. This congregation accepts the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.
*C2.05. This congregation accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.
*C2.06. This congregation accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.
*C2.07. This congregation confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scripture and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God’s mission in the world.
NATURE OF THE CHURCH
*C3.01. All power in the Church belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ, its head. All actions of this congregation are to be carried out under his rule and authority.
*C3.02. The Church exists both as an inclusive fellowship and as local congregations gathered for worship and Christian service. Congregations find their fulfillment in the universal community of the Church, and the universal Church exists in and through congrega-tions. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, therefore, derives its character and powers both from the sanction and representation of its congregations and from its inherent nature as an expression of the broader fellowship of the faithful. In length, it acknowledges itself to be in the historic continuity of the communion of saints; in breadth, it expresses the fellowship of believers and congregations in our day.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
*C4.01. The Church is a people created by God in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, called and sent to bear witness to God’s creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world.
*C4.02. To participate in God’s mission, this congregation as a part of the Church shall:
a. Worship God in proclamation of the Word and administration of the sacraments and through lives of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, witness, and service.
b. Proclaim God’s saving Gospel of justification by grace for Christ’s sake through faith alone, according to the apostolic witness in the Holy Scripture, preserving and transmitting the Gospel faithfully to future generations.
c. Carry out Christ’s Great Commission by reaching out to all people to bring them to faith in Christ and by doing all ministry with a global awareness consistent with the understanding of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of all.
d. Serve in response to God’s love to meet human needs, caring for the sick and the aged, advocating dignity and justice for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the nations, and standing with the poor and powerless, and committing itself to their needs.
e. Nurture its members in the Word of God so as to grow in faith and hope and love, to see daily life as the primary setting for the exercise of their Christian calling, and to use the gifts of the Spirit for their life together and for their calling in the world.
f. Manifest the unity given to the people of God by living together in the love of Christ and by joining with other Christians in prayer and action to express and preserve the unity which the Spirit gives.
*C4.03. To fulfill these purposes, this congregation shall:
a. Provide services of worship at which the Word of God is preached and the sacraments are administered.
b. Provide pastoral care and assist all members to participate in this ministry.
c. Challenge, equip, and support all members in carrying out their calling in their daily lives and in their congregation.
d. Teach the Word of God.
e. Witness to the reconciling Word of God in Christ, reaching out to all people.
f. Respond to human need, work for justice and peace, care for the sick and the suffering, and participate responsibly in society.
g. Motivate its members to provide financial support for the congregation’s ministry and the ministry of other parts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
h. Foster and participate in interdependent relationships with other congregations, the synod, and the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
i. Foster and participate in ecumenical relationships consistent with churchwide policy.
*C4.04. This congregation shall develop an organizational structure to be described in the bylaws. The Congregation Council shall prepare descriptions of the responsibilities of each committee, task force, or other organizational group and shall review their actions.
C4.04.01 The organizational structure of the congregation shall consist of the pastor(s), the officers of the congregation as stated in C11.01, and such other members elected by the congregation to serve on the Congregation Council.
*C4.05. This congregation shall, from time to time, adopt a mission statement which will provide specific direction for its programs.
C4.05.A10 Statements of mission, purpose and vision will be created periodically by the Congregation Council.
1) Mission: We, at Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran Church of Johnson City, Tennessee, as part of the universal Body of Christ, chosen and redeemed by God, and brought into a living fellowship of believers that is sustained by His Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament, do hereby covenant to witness to the Love of Christ by proclaiming the Good News and by sharing our time and gifts to provide for the spiritual and physical needs of others in our congregation, in our local community, in our nation, and throughout God’s world.
2) Purpose: Make disciples, and grow in grace.
3) Vision: We love God and neighbor, so that all people will be disciples
POWERS OF THE CONGREGATION
*C5.01. The powers of this congregation are those necessary to fulfill its purpose.
*C5.02. The powers of this congregation are vested in the Congregation Meeting called and conducted as provided in this constitution and bylaws.
*C5.03. Only such authority as is delegated to the Congregation Council or other organizational units in this congregation’s governing documents is recognized. All remaining authority is retained by the congregation. The congregation is authorized to:
a. call a pastor as provided in Chapter 9;
b. terminate the call of a pastor as provided in Chapter 9;
c. call or terminate the call of associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal ministers in conformity with the applicable policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America;
d. adopt amendments to the constitution, as provided in Chapter 17, and amendments to the bylaws, as specified in Chapter 16.
e. approve the annual budget;
f. acquire real and personal property by gift, devise, purchase, or other lawful means;
g. hold title to and use its property for any and all activities consistent with its purpose;
h. sell, mortgage, lease, transfer, or otherwise dispose of its property by any lawful means;
i. elect its officers and Congregation Council, and require them to carry out their duties in accordance with the constitution, bylaws, and continuing resolutions; and
j. terminate its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as provided in Chapter 6.
*C5.04. This congregation shall choose from among its voting members laypersons to serve as voting members of the Synod Assembly as well as persons to represent it at meetings of any conference, cluster, coalition, or other area subdivision of which it is a member. The number of persons to be elected by the congregation and other qualifications shall be as prescribed in guidelines established by the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
*C6.01. This congregation shall be an interdependent part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or its successor, and of the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This congregation is subject to the discipline of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
*C6.02. This congregation accepts the Confession of Faith and agrees to the Purposes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and shall act in accordance with them.
*C6.03. This congregation acknowledges its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in which:
a. This congregation agrees to be responsible for its life as a Christian community.
b. This congregation pledges its financial support and participation in the life and mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
c. This congregation agrees to call pastoral leadership from the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in accordance with its call procedures except in special circumstances and with the approval of the bishop of the synod.
d. This congregation agrees to consider associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal ministers for call to other staff positions in the congregation according to the procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
e. This congregation agrees to file this constitution and any subsequent changes to this constitution with the synod for review to ascertain that all of its provisions are in agreement with the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and with the constitution of the synod.
*C6.04. Affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may be terminated as follows:
a. This congregation takes action to dissolve.
b. This congregation ceases to exist.
c. This congregation is removed from membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America according to the procedures for discipline of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
d. This congregation follows the procedures outlined in *C6.05.
*C6.05. This congregation may terminate its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by the following procedure:
a. A resolution indicating the desire of this congregation to terminate its relationship must be adopted at a legally called and conducted special meeting of this congregation by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present.
b. The secretary of this congregation shall submit a copy of the resolution to the synodical bishop and shall mail a copy of the resolution to voting members of this congregation. This notice shall be submitted within 10 days after the resolution has been adopted.
c. The bishop of the synod shall consult with this congregation during a period of at least 90 days.
d. If this congregation, after consultation, still desires to terminate its relationship, such action may be taken at a legally called and conducted special meeting by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present, at which meeting the bishop of the synod or an authorized representative shall be present. Notice of the meeting shall be mailed to all voting members at least 10 days in advance of the meeting.
e. A certified copy of the resolution to terminate its relationship shall be sent to the synodical bishop, at which time the relationship between this congregation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America shall be terminated.
f. Notice of termination shall be forwarded by the synodical bishop to the secretary of this church and published in the periodical of this church.
g. Since this congregation was a member of the Lutheran Church in America, it shall be required, in addition to the foregoing provisions in *C6.05., to receive synodical approval before terminating its membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
*C6.06. If this congregation considers relocation, it shall confer with the bishop of the synod in
which it is territorially located and the appropriate program unit of the churchwide organization before any steps are taken leading to such action. The approval of the Synod Council shall be received before any such action is effected.
*C6.07 If this congregation considers developing an additional site to be used regularly for worship, it shall confer with the bishop of the synod in which it is territorially located and the appropriate program unit of the churchwide organization before any steps are taken leading to such action.
*C7.01. If this congregation ceases to exist, title to undisposed property shall pass to the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
*C7.02. If this congregation is removed from membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America according to its procedure for discipline, title to property shall continue to reside in this congregation.
*C7.03. If a two-thirds majority of the voting members of this congregation present at a legally called and conducted special meeting of this congregation vote to transfer to another Lutheran church body, title to property shall continue to reside in this congregation. Before this congregation takes action to transfer to another Lutheran church body, it shall consult with representatives of the Southeastern Synod.
*C7.04. If a two-thirds majority of the voting members of this congregation present at a legally called and conducted special meeting of this congregation vote to become independent or relate to a non-Lutheran church body, title to property of this congregation shall continue to reside in this congregation only with the consent of the Synod Council. The Synod Council, after consultation with this congregation by the established synodical process, may give approval to the request to become independent or to relate to a non-Lutheran church body, in which case title shall remain with the majority of this congregation. If the Synod Council fails to give such approval, title shall remain with those members who desire to continue as a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
*C8.01. Members of this congregation shall be those baptized persons on the roll of this congregation at the time that this constitution is adopted and those who are admitted thereafter and who have declared and maintain their membership in accordance with the provisions of this constitution and its bylaws.
C8.01.01 Applicants for membership in this congregation shall consult the Pastor who shall determine whether such applicants are eligible for membership in accordance with Chapter 8 of the Constitution.
C8.01.02 Applicants not familiar with the doctrines and confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America shall be required to receive instruction and to make profession of their faith either before the congregation or, at the Pastor’s discretion, before at least one witness of the Congregation Council, prior to being received as members.
C8.01.03 Applicants from other Lutheran Churches shall request that a letter of transfer be submitted from their former congregation to establish their eligibility for membership. In the case of applicants for whom no letter of transfer is forthcoming, the pastor may arrange for a period of instruction prior to the applicant’s affirmation of faith.
*C8.02. Members shall be classified as follows:
a. Baptized members are those persons who have been received by the Sacrament of Holy Baptism in this congregation, or, having been previously baptized in the name of the Triune God, have been received by certificate of transfer from other Lutheran congregations or by affirmation of faith.
b. Confirmed members are baptized persons who have been confirmed in this congregation, those who have been received by adult baptism or by transfer as confirmed members from other Lutheran congregations, or baptized persons received by affirmation of faith.
c. Voting members are confirmed members. Such confirmed members, during the current or preceding calendar year, shall have communed in this congregation and shall have made a contribution of record to this congregation. Members of this congregation who have satisfied these basic standards shall have the privilege of voice and vote at every regular and special meeting of the congregation.
d. Associate members are persons holding membership in other Christian congregations who wish to retain such membership but desire to participate in the life and mission of this congregation, or persons who wish to retain a relationship with this congregation while being members of other congregations. They have all the privileges and duties of membership except voting rights and eligibility for elected offices or membership on the Congregation Council of this congregation.
*C8.03. All applications for confirmed membership shall be submitted to and shall require the approval of the Congregation Council.
*C8.04. It shall be the privilege and duty of members of this congregation to:
a. make regular use of the means of grace, both Word and sacraments;
b. live a Christian life in accordance with the Word of God and the teachings of the Lutheran church; and
c. support the work of this congregation, the synod, and the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through contributions of their time, abilities, and financial support as biblical stewards.
C8.04.01 Children will be admitted to Holy Communion (First Communion) after preparatory study and after reaching a specified age as defined in the continuing resolutions, but not until their names have been approved by the Congregation Council.
C8.04.A08 Children will be admitted to Holy Communion (First Communion)at the age of first grade or when the Pastor feels they are ready.
*C8.05. Membership in this congregation shall be terminated by any of the following:
c. transfer or release;
d. disciplinary action by the Congregation Council; or
e. removal from the roll due to inactivity as defined in the bylaws.
Such persons who have been removed from the roll of members shall remain
persons for whom the Church has a continuing pastoral concern.
C8.05.01 Anyone wishing to resign from membership in this congregation shall make the decision known either by letter to or by personal appearance before the Council.
C8.05.02 A member may request transfer to another congregation. If the member moves to another denomination, a certificate of standing shall be granted by the Pastor and/or Congregation Council.
C8.05.03 A confirmed member who fails to commune and make a contribution of record for two consecutive years may be removed from the rolls.
*C9.01. Authority to call a pastor shall be in this congregation by at least a two-thirds majority ballot vote of members present and voting at a meeting legally called for that purpose. Before a call is issued, the officers, or a committee elected by the Congregation Council to recommend the call, shall seek the advice and help of the bishop of the synod.
*C9.02. Only a member of the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or a candidate for the roster of ordained ministers who has been recommended for the congregation by the synodical bishop may be called as a pastor of this congregation.
*C9.03. Consistent with the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
a. Every ordained minister shall:
1) preach the Word;
2) administer the sacraments;
3) conduct public worship;
4) provide pastoral care; and
5) speak publicly to the world in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, calling for justice and proclaiming God’s love for the world.
b. Each ordained minister with a congregational call shall, within the congregation:
1) offer instruction, confirm, marry, visit the sick and distressed, and bury the dead;
2) supervise all schools and organizations of this congregation;
3) install regularly elected members of the Congregation Council; and
4) with the council, administer discipline.
c. Every pastor shall:
1) strive to extend the Kingdom of God in the community, in the nation, and abroad;
2) seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel;
3) impart knowledge of this church and its wider ministry through distribution of its periodicals and other publications; and
4) endeavor to increase the support given by the congregation to the work of the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA.
*C9.04. The specific duties of the pastor, compensation, and other matters pertaining to the service of the pastor shall be included in a letter of call, which shall be attested by the bishop of the synod.
*C9.05. a. The call of a congregation, when accepted by a pastor, shall constitute a continuing mutual relationship and commitment, which, except in the case of the death of the pastor, shall be terminated only following consultation with the synodical bishop and for the following reasons:
1) mutual agreement to terminate the call or the completion of a call for a specific term;
2) resignation of the pastor, which shall become effective, unless otherwise agreed, 30 days after the date on which it was submitted;
3) inability to conduct the pastoral office effectively in the congregation in view of local conditions, without reflection on the competence or the moral and spiritual character of the pastor;
4) the physical or mental incapacity of the pastor;
5) disqualification of the pastor through discipline on grounds of doctrine, morality, or continued neglect of duty;
6) the dissolution of the congregation or the termination of a parish arrangement; or
7) suspension of the congregation as a result of discipline proceedings.
b. When allegations of physical or mental incapacity of the pastor or ineffective conduct of the pastoral office have come to the attention of the bishop of the synod, the bishop in his or her sole discretion may, or when such allegations have been brought to the synod’s attention by an official recital of allegations by the Congregation Council or by a petition signed by at least one-third of the voting members of the congregation, the bishop shall, investigate such conditions personally in company with a committee of two ordained ministers and one layperson.
c. In case of alleged physical or mental incapacity, competent medical testimony shall be obtained. When such disability is evident, the bishop of the synod with the advice of the committee shall declare the pastorate vacant. Upon the restoration of a disabled pastor to health, the bishop of the synod shall take steps to enable the pastor to resume the ministry, either in the congregation last served or in another field of labor.
d. In the case of alleged local difficulties that imperil the effective functioning of the congregation, all concerned persons shall be heard, after which the bishop of the synod together with the committee described in *C9.05.b. shall decide on the course of action to be recommended to the pastor and the congregation. If they agree to carry out such recommendations, no further action shall be taken by the synod. If either party fails to assent, the congregation may dismiss the pastor at a legally called meeting after consultation with the bishop, either (a) by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present and voting where the bishop and the committee did not recommend termination of the call, or (b) by a simple majority vote of the voting members present and voting where the bishop and the committee recommended termination of the call.
e. If, in the course of proceedings described in *C9.05.d., the committee concludes that there may be grounds for disciplinary action, the committee shall make recommendations concerning disciplinary action to the synodical bishop, who may bring charges in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the constitution of this synod.
f. If, following the appointment of the committee described in *C9.05.b. or d., it should become apparent that the pastoral office cannot be conducted effectively in the congregation(s) being served by the ordained minister due to local conditions, the bishop of the synod may temporarily suspend the pastor from service in the congregation(s) without prejudice and with pay provided through a joint synodical and churchwide fund and with housing provided by the congregation(s).
*C9.06. At a time of pastoral vacancy, an interim pastor shall be appointed by the bishop of the synod with the consent of this congregation or the Congregation Council.
*C9.07. During the period of service, an interim pastor shall have the rights and duties in the congregation of a regularly called pastor and may delegate the same in part to a supply pastor with the consent of the bishop of the synod and this congregation or Congregation Council. The interim pastor and any ordained pastor providing assistance shall refrain from exerting influence in the selection of a pastor.
*C9.08. This congregation shall make satisfactory settlement of all financial obligations to a former pastor before calling a successor. A pastor shall make satisfactory settlement of all financial obligations to this congregation before beginning service in a call to another congregation or employment in another ministry setting related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
*C9.09. When a pastor is called to serve in company with another pastor or pastors, the privileges and responsibilities of each pastor shall be specified in documents to accompany the call and to be drafted in consultation involving the pastors, the Congregation Council, and the bishop of the synod. As occasion requires, the documents may be revised through a similar consultation.
*C9.11. With the approval of the bishop of the synod, the congregation may depart from *C9.05.a. and call a pastor for a specific term. Details of such calls shall be in writing setting forth the purpose and conditions involved. Prior to the completion of a term, the bishop or a designated representative of the bishop shall meet with the pastor and representatives of the congregation for a review of the call. Such a call may also be terminated before its expiration in accordance with the provisions of *C9.05.a.
*C9.12. The pastor of this congregation:
a. shall keep accurate parochial records of all baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials, communicants, members received, members dismissed, or members excluded from the congregation;
b. shall submit a summary of such statistics annually to the synod; and
c. shall become a member of this congregation upon receipt and acceptance of the letter of call. In a parish of multiple congregations, the pastor shall hold membership in one of the congregations.
*C9.13. The pastor(s) shall submit a report of his or her ministry to the bishop of the synod at least 90 days prior to each regular meeting of the Synod Assembly.
*C9.14. The parochial records of this congregation shall be maintained by the pastor and shall remain the property of the congregation. The secretary of this congregation shall attest in writing to the bishop of this synod that such records have been placed in his or her hands in good order by a departing pastor before the installation of that pastor in another field of labor or the granting by the synod of retired status to the pastor.
C9.20. Ecumenical pastoral ministry
C9.21. Under special circumstances, subject to the approval of the synodical bishop and the concurrence of this congregation, an ordained minister of a church body with which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America officially has established a relationship of full communion may serve temporarily as pastor of this congregation under a contract between the congregation and the ordained minister in a form proposed by the synodical bishop and approved by the congregation.
C10.01. An annual meeting and other regularly scheduled meetings of this congregation shall be held at times specified in the bylaws.
C10.01.01 The Annual Meeting of the congregation shall be held during the fourth quarter of each calendar year. During said meeting, the budget shall be approved and the Congregation Council and the officers of the Congregation shall be elected.
C10.01.02 In addition, there may be a congregation meeting in each of the other three quarters as scheduled by the Congregation Council.
C10.02. A special Congregation Meeting may be called by the pastor, the Congregation Council, or the president of this congregation, or shall be called by the president of the congregation upon the written request of ten (10) percent of the voting members. The call for each special meeting shall specify the purpose for which it is to be held and no other business shall be transacted.
C10.03. Notice of all meetings of this congregation shall be given at the services of worship on the preceding two consecutive Sundays or by mail to all members at least ten(10) days in advance of the date of the meeting. The posting of such notice in the regular mail, with the regular postage affixed or paid, sent to the last known address of such members shall be sufficient.
C10.04. Twenty (20) percent of the voting members shall constitute a quorum.
C10.05. Voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.
C10.06. All actions approved by the congregation shall be by majority vote of those voting members present and voting, except as otherwise provided in this constitution or by state law.
C10.07. Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all meetings of this congregation.
C11.01. The officers of this congregation shall be a president, vice president, secretary, financial secretary, and treasurer.
a. Duties of the officers shall be specified in the bylaws.
b. The officers shall be voting members of the congregation.
c. Officers of this congregation shall serve similar offices of the Congregation Council and shall be voting members of the Congregation Council.
C11.01.01 The President shall:
a) Preside at all meetings of the Congregation Council and the congregation.
b) Carry out the expressed will of the congregation as embodied in the voting and resolutions of the congregation.
c) Endeavor to coordinate the functions, plans, and activities of the congregation for the furtherance of the Kingdom of Christ.
C11.01.02 The Vice-President shall:
a) Serve as president pro tempore.
b) Chair the Strategic Planning Committee.
c) Coordinate and oversee other committees as directed by the President of the Church Council.
C11.01.03 The Secretary shall:
a) Attend all meetings of the Congregation Council and congregation and shall keep records and minutes of all meetings. At such times the secretary is not present, the president shall appoint a pro tempore secretary.
b) Place in a proper file of the congregation a signed original copy of all minutes.
c) At the request of the Congregation Council, conduct official correspondence of the congregation and the Congregation Council.
d) Maintain the official copy of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions and shall note on any change when and how it was authorized.
C11.01.04 Within his/her oversight, the Treasurer shall:
a.) Record all cash receipts and disbursements of the congregation according to appropriate accounting practices and congregation’s policies and practices
b.) Segregate revenues, expenses, and fund balances into three account types – unrestricted (operating funds), temporarily restricted (specified use), and permanently restricted (endowment funds). Contributions to restricted accounts will be recorded and disbursed with respect to the wishes of the contributor and subject to approval by the Memorials, Honoraria, and Special Gifts (MHSG) committee.
c.) Make timely payment of all payroll, invoices, and other budgeted items including the regular monthly payment of the benevolence covenant to the Synod.
d.) Reconcile checking and savings account balances each month.
e.) Prepare and submit all required reports and forms for taxes, social security, workman’s compensation, etc.
f.) Provide to the Congregation Council monthly financial reports as defined by the Finance Committee.
g.) Provide financial reports as required for the Congregation Annual Report and the parochial report to the synod and ELCA.
h.) Provide records and reports and support the completion of the annual audit.
i.) Serve as an ex officio member of the Finance and Stewardship committees.
C11.01.05 The Financial Secretary shall:
a.) Schedule tellers to perform weekly counting of the offering, banking of the receipts, and notifying the office secretary of memorials, honoraria and special gifts to enable mailing of acknowledgement to the donor and notification of the recipient.
b.) Record members’ identified offerings to their account. Allocate designated income to those funds indicated by the offering envelopes and checks, and allocate undesignated income according to the policies of the congregation.
c.) Provide the members with a quarterly summary statement of their offerings.
d.) Serve as an ex officio member of the Finance, Stewardship, and MHSG committees.
C11.02. The officers shall be elected by the congregation and shall serve for a term designated
in the bylaws.
C11.02.01 The officers shall serve for a term of two(2) years and shall be eligible for re-election once (four consecutive years).
C11.02A08 Class A officers, consisting of the president, vice-president, and financial secretary, will be elected in odd years. Class B officers, consisting of the secretary and treasurer, will be elected in even years.
C11.03. No officer shall hold more than one office at a time.
C12.01. The voting membership of the Congregation Council shall consist of the pastor(s), the officers of the congregation, and not more than twelve(12) nor fewer than eight(8) other members of the congregation at least one of whom shall be a youth and at least one of whom should be a young adult. Any voting member of the congregation may be elected, subject to the restrictions outlined in the bylaws. A member’s place on the Congregation Council shall be declared vacant if the member a) ceases to be a voting member of this congregation, b) is absent from three(3) successive regular meetings of the Congregation Council without cause, or c) found to be derelict in his/her duties. Consistent with the laws of the state in which this congregation is incorporated, the congregation may adopt procedures for the removal of a member of the Congregation Council in other circumstances.
C12.01.01 No two immediate family members (husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter) may serve on the Congregation Council simultaneously.
C12.01.A08 In addition to the executive committee, members of the Congregation Council will be comprised of nine lay members and one youth member.
C12.01.B08 The Youth representative shall be a confirmed member of High School age.
C12.01.C08 Each council representative, except for the youth representative, will be responsible for the communication and direction of each individual committee and other congregation groups or organization within their ministry.
C12.01.02 Should a Congregation Council member be charged before the Congregation Council with dereliction of duty, the following procedure applies:
a.) The accused shall be presented a written list of the charges and specifications.
b.) The validity of these charges and specifications shall be considered by an ad hoc committee of four non-council members, appointed by Congregation Council.
c.) The accused shall have the right to be heard prior to deliberations by the committee on this subject.
d.) The committee shall report its findings to the Congregation Council. Upon confirmation of the charges by ¾ vote of the ad hoc committee, the Congregation Council shall thereupon declare the position vacant.
C12.02. The members of the Congregation Council except the pastor(s) shall be elected to serve for a term as specified in the bylaws.
C12.02.01 Members of the Congregation Council, except for the Pastor(s), the officers, and the youth representative, shall be elected to serve for three (3) years beginning the first day of the year following their election. Such members shall be eligible to serve no more than two consecutive terms. The youth representative is elected annually.
C12.02.02 A class of Congregation Council positions as defined in Continuing Resolutions will be elected each year.
C12.02.A08 The classes of the council representatives will consist of three positions. Class A will consist of Teaching, Praising, and Exploring Ministries. Class B will consist of Tending, Caring and Seeking Ministries. Class C will consist of Gathering, Helping, and Sharing Ministries. These will be elected coinciding with the letters of the Lectionary Series for worship scripture readings.
C12.02.03 At least three weeks prior to the Congregation Annual Meeting, the Council shall nominate at least one candidate for each specific forthcoming vacancy. Nomination can also be made from the floor. The election shall be by written ballot if there is more than one candidate.
C12.02.04 The Congregation Council shall incorporate the name of the nominees in the meeting notice as specified in C10.03 of the Constitution.
C12.02.05 The Congregation Council shall be installed on a Sunday prior to the first day of the new calendar year.
C12.03. Should a member’s place on the Congregation Council be declared vacant, the Congregation Council shall elect, by majority vote, a successor until the next annual congregation meeting.
C12.04. The Congregation Council shall have general oversight of the life and activities of this congregation, and in particular its worship life, to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Word of God and the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The duties of the Congregation Council shall include the following:
a. To lead this congregation in stating its mission, to do long-range planning, to set goals and priorities, and to evaluate its activities in light of its mission and goals.
b. To seek to involve all members of this congregation in worship, learning, witness, service, and support.
c. To oversee and provide for the administration of this congregation to enable it to fulfill its functions and perform its mission.
d. To maintain supportive relationships with the pastor(s) and staff and help them annually to evaluate the fulfillment of their calling or employment.
e. To be examples individually and corporately of the style of life and ministry expected of all baptized persons.
f. To promote a congregational climate of peace and goodwill, and, as differences and conflicts arise, to endeavor to foster mutual understanding.
g. To arrange for pastoral service during the sickness or absence of the pastor.
h. To emphasize partnership with the synod and churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as cooperation with other congregations, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran, subject to established policies of the synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
i. To recommend and encourage the use of program resources produced or approved by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
j. To seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel.
C12.04.01 The Congregation Council shall hold an annual retreat for orientation and planning.
C12.04.A08 The retreat should include visionary planning beyond the scope of the usual monthly activities. It should provide an opportunity for spiritual studies and introspection by the Council members
C12.04.02 In cooperation with the pastor, the Congregation Council shall work out terms of any sabbatical subject to the approval of the congregation.
C12.04.B08 The ELCA has been encouraging its congregations to provide continuing education to maintain and improve the skills of their ministers. There comes a time when that is not enough and an extended period of time is required for him/her to study, to grow personally, to reflect and to be renewed without the pressures of current employment to hinder, that is, to have a sabbatical leave. The Congregation Council will consider approval of a sabbatical based on these guide lines.
1) Sabbatical leaves are granted to provide an opportunity for the minister to take an extended period of time for renewal, enrichment, study, spiritual growth, travel, skill development, research, and/or experimentation.
2) All full time pastors are eligible. Sabbatical leave is available after at least six (6) years of service to Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran Church and thereafter at seven(7) year intervals. The clergy member is expected to remain in his/her position for at least twelve (12) months of service following the end of the sabbatical experience, unless discharged by the congregation before that time is up.
3) Sabbatical leave time will be granted for a minimum of four (4) weeks and up to twelve (12) weeks upon the Congregation Council’s approval of a plan submitted by the pastor. Leave beyond that may be approved by the congregation and may involve reduced financial reimbursement.
4) Our Saviour Evangelical Lutheran Church will continue full financial benefits (base salary, housing allowance, pension and insurance coverage) except for leaves longer than twelve (12) weeks. Car allowance and other ministry expenses are normally not paid. Other expenses will be the responsibility of the clergy person. The congregation may want to give more.
5) The Congregation Council should plan for expenses for supply ministry, including preaching, visitation of sick, funerals, weddings, baptisms, etc. A contact person should be identified with special consideration given as to the reasons warranting any contact with the clergy person during his/her absence.
6) The planning for said leave should take place among the clergy, Mutual Ministry Committee and the Congregation Council at least one (1) year prior to the budgeting cycle. The completed plan should be submitted to the Congregation Council for approval and then to the Congregation for final approval with a majority vote.
C12.05. The Congregation Council shall be responsible for the financial and property matters of this congregation.
a. The Congregation Council shall be the board of trustees of this congregation, and as such shall be responsible for maintaining and protecting its property and the management of its business and fiscal affairs. It shall have the powers and be subject to the obligations that pertain to such boards under the laws of the State of Tennessee, except as otherwise provided therein.
b. The Congregation Council shall not have the authority to buy, sell, or encumber real property unless specifically authorized to do so by a meeting of the congregation.
c. The Congregation Council shall prepare an annual budget for adoption by this congregation, shall supervise the expenditure of funds in accordance therewith following its adoption, and may not spend more than five(5) percent in excess of the approved budget without approval given at a congregation meeting. The budget shall include this congregation’s full indicated share in support of the wider ministry being carried on in partnership with the synod and churchwide organization.
d. The Congregation Council shall ascertain that the financial affairs of this congregation are being conducted efficiently, giving particular attention to the prompt payment of all obligations and to the regular forwarding of benevolence monies to the synodical treasurer.
e. The Congregation Council shall be responsible for this congregation’s investments and its total insurance program.
C12.05.01 The proposed budget shall be provided to the congregation at least thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting.
C12.05.02 Congregation Council approval will be required on all single expense item bids or contracts exceeding five thousand dollars ($5000).
C12.05.03 All requests for the use of church facilities shall be approved by the Congregation Council and/or pastor(s) in accordance with the facilities policy as defined in Continuing Resolutions.
C12.05.04 The congregational year including the fiscal and administrative functions shall be the calendar year.
C12.05.05 The primary check signature responsibility resides with the Treasurer. President, Vice-President and Pastor(s) will also have the authority to sign checks.
C12.05.06 More than one signature will be required on all financial transactions greater than five thousand dollars ($5000) with the exception of recurring payments.
C12.05.07 Endowments may be created, guided by wishes from the grantors, with the approval of the Congregation Council.
C12.05.A08 The funds for an endowment shall be invested separately from other church funds and from other endowment funds. The funds held in perpetuity shall be invested in long term investments.
C12.05.B08 Each endowment shall have a committee established that is charged with managing the endowment funds per the approved directives. These committees will be created by approval from Council.
C12.06. The Congregation Council shall see that the provisions of this constitution, its bylaws, and the continuing resolutions are carried out.
C12.07. The Congregation Council shall provide for an annual review of the membership roster.
C12.07.A08 A roster of the membership will be published annually.
C12.08. The Congregation Council shall be responsible for the employment and supervision of the salaried and contract workers for this congregation.
C12.09. The Congregation Council shall submit a comprehensive report to this congregation annually.
C12.09.01 The annual report of the congregation shall be provided to the congregation during the first quarter.
C12.11. The Congregation Council shall normally meet once a month. Special meetings may be called by the pastor(s) or the president, or shall be called by the president at the request of at least one-half of its members. Notice of each special meeting shall be given to all who are entitled to be present.
C12.12. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of the Congregation Council.
CONGREGATION COMMITTEES AND MINISTRIES
C13.01. The officers of this congregation and the pastor(s) shall constitute the Executive Committee.
C13.02. A Nominating Committee, an Audit Committee, a Call Committee, and a Mutual Ministry Committee shall be formed as needed. The formation of the above mentioned committees shall be specified in the bylaws.
C13.02.01 The president, with the approval of the Congregation Council, shall appoint one present council member who shall act as chair and two non-council members to serve as a nominating committee.
C13.02.02 During the fourth quarter, the president shall appoint an audit committee of three (3) members. Members of this committee shall not be signatory on any of the congregational financial accounts or an officer of the congregation. The president shall appoint a chair from the committee membership.
C13.02.A08 Audit Committee Duties
1) This committee will audit all the financial records of the congregation, its officers, its staff, and its organizations.
2) The audit will be completed by the end of the first quarter of the following year and submitted to the president, vice president, Sharing Council Representative and the Finance Committee Chairperson.
C13.02.03 When needed, a Call Committee consisting of at least seven (7) members, including one council member, shall be appointed by the Congregation Council in consultation with the Mutual Ministry Committee and shall be broadly representative of the congregation. The chairperson shall be appointed by the Congregation Council.
C13.02.04 A Mutual Ministry Committee shall be appointed jointly by the president and pastor(s). The committee shall consist of six (6) non-council members. Each member shall serve a three (3) year term, renewable for one additional term and is appointed on a staggering basis – two (2) members shall be appointed annually. The chair shall be elected from within the committee.
C13.02.B08 Mutual Ministry Duties
The Mutual Ministry Committee will report to the president of the congregation. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Create an atmosphere in which each staff member may share and discuss professional and personal matters. The Mutual Ministry Committee shall be a friend, advisor, and counselor for the clergy, associates in ministry, and lay personnel.
2) Be alert to any friction or misunderstandings, either between the congregation and any staff member or between staff members, and will consequently attempt to resolve conflicts in a prayerful, Christ-like manner. The Mutual Ministry Committee may recommend to the Congregation Council any changes in personnel, if necessary. The Mutual Ministry Committee may recommend to the Congregation Council any changes in personnel, if necessary.
3) Be especially concerned for the needs of the families of the pastor(s), associates in ministry, and certified lay professional(s).
4) Provide an annual review based clearly on stated goals and expectations for each staff member, along with opportunity for discussing compensations, housing, benefits, continuing education, working conditions, and goals for the coming year. The Mutual Ministry Committee shall recommend to the Congregation Council any appropriate changes pertaining to those areas.
5) Study the need for additional professional staff. If an additional staff position is warranted, this committee will survey the congregation as to its feelings of the need and the required area of expertise for the new person. Upon positive approval of the congregation, the Mutual Ministry Committee will submit a list of persons to serve on a call committee to the Congregation Council for approval.
6) Assist in developing a written position description for additional professional staff. The position description shall be incorporated into the continuing resolutions after approval by this committee and by the Congregation Council.
7) Provide a representative from its committee to serve on any committee involved in recommending to the Congregation Council qualified clergy, associates in ministry, or lay persons for needed positions in the life of the congregation.
8) Seek guidance and help, as needed, from the Dean of the conference and from the Synod Bishop.
9) Maintain strict confidence with regard to all personal matters related to staff and share no information outside the group unless permission is clearly given by the one who shared it.
C13.03. Other committees of this congregation may be formed, as the need arises, by decision of the Congregation Council.
C13.03.A08 Committees may also be known as ministries.
C13.04. Duties of committees and ministries of this congregation shall be specified in the continuing resolutions.
C13.04.A08 General Responsibilities of all Ministry committees
1) Will be responsible for electing the chairperson for a term of one year. The chairperson may be re-elected to serve a total of six consecutive terms. The chairperson will be responsible for
a. Scheduling and leading meetings,
b. Delegation and assignment of tasks and activities and
c. Completion of other committee responsibilities.
2) Provide appropriate information and reports to the Council Representative to support the monthly report for the Congregation Council.
3) Provide appropriate information and reports to the Council Representative to support the preparation of the Annual Report for the Ministry.
4) Prepare a proposed operating budget for the coming year and provide to the Council Representative for submission to the Finance committee chairperson.
5) Conduct business to manage committee expenditures within the guidelines of the approved operating budget. Expenditures that will significantly exceed the budgeted line item and significant non budgeted expenses should be reviewed with the Council Representative and presented to the Congregation Council for approval as appropriate.
6) Work with the Council Representative responsible for the Ministry to insure good communications between Congregation Council and the Ministry
C13.04.B10 Christian Education
To provide church members of all ages with learning opportunities to study and to broaden their knowledge and faith in the Triune God resulting in a strong commitment to our church and to each other.
The Christian Education Committee will be represented by the Teaching Council Representative. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Organize and monitor Catechetical and First Communion training
2) Organize and monitor Vacation Bible School
3) Promote and monitor a viable Sunday School program,
4) Utilize congregation and synodical resources to conduct periodic activities that promote interest in full-time Christian vocations.
5) Organize and monitor group experiences that promote an examination of the spiritual life.
6) Appoint and supervise officers and teachers necessary to accomplish the above.
7) Work with the pastor(s) and associate(s) in ministry in providing Bible studies and other activities committed to family unity.
8) Organize and oversee the children’s Christmas Program and birthday party for Jesus.
9) Assist in planning for the installation of teachers and for Rally Sunday.
10) Appoint a librarian or library committee to oversee the upkeep, purchase, checkouts, and inventory of books, audio visual materials, and all materials to be housed in the church’s library.
To provide Age related and group special activities. To inform new members of fellowship opportunities available on Our Saviour Lutheran Church.
The Fellowship Committee will be represented by the Gathering Council Representative. The primary responsibility of this group is to provide opportunities for social networking and the development of personal relationships within the membership of this congregation. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Work with WELCA, LYO and other congregation committees and organizations as needed in “carrying out” the following teas, receptions, and social events:
a. Reception for pastor(s) accepting a call or resigning
b. Other receptions or teas requested by Congregation Council
c. Annual New Years Day Brunch
d. Annual Valentine’s Day Dance
e. Mother’s Day and/or Father’s Day appreciation event
f. Annual 4th of July Picnic
g. Annual Ice Cream Social
h. Annual Church Picnic
i. Annual Oktoberfest Meal
j. Annual Trunk or Treat Event
k. Annual Progressive Dinner
l. Reformation reception when area churches meet at Our Saviour for Reformation observance
m. Feed the Souls Family Night (1 program and 1 hosting per year)
2) Assist groups, organized for social purposes (i.e. Prime Timers, 20/30 Somethings, etc) as needed
Provide for the management and stewardship of OSLC’s financial gifts and resources to the glory of God’s work.
The Finance Committee will be represented by the Sharing Council Representative. Committee membership will include at least three additional congregation members. The vice president, treasurer, and financial secretary will serve as ex officio members.
The primary responsibility of the Finance Committee will be to provide direction and support of the Congregation Council for assuring compliance with the financial aspects of C12.05 of the constitution. In order to achieve this objective, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) As funds are available, assure that all obligations of the congregation are paid promptly and that benevolence monies are forwarded monthly to the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA.
2) Make recommendations to the Congregation Council on all congregation investments, banking procedures, and financial matters and carry out the directions of the Congregation Council.
3) Consult with Endowment Committees on investment decisions for respective endowments.
4) Solicit reports of budget needs to support the various congregation ministries from appropriate Council Representatives and Officer sincluding recommendations from the Mutual Ministry Committee with respect to Staff Salary increases.
5) Prepare and submit a draft budget to the Congregation Council in September for its action and submit the final budget for approval at the annual Congregation meeting.
6) Provide support and guidance for the treasurer with respect to accounting and reporting procedures and practices.
7) Oversee all financial matters of the congregation to insure that they are being conducted efficiently.
8) Review the insurance programs of the congregation annually and recommend changes as necessary to the Congregation Council.
9) Review the findings and report of the Audit Committee and implement recommendations as agreed by the Committee and the Congregation Council.
C13.04.E08 Global and Regional Missions
Hand in hand, we will serve God and each other throughout our region and around the world.
The Global and Regional Missions Committee will be represented by the Helping Council Representative. The primary purpose of this group is to help the congregation focus on areas of need outside the Tri-Cities area. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Oversee and publicize outreach projects or social action programs in the region, nationally and internationally.
2) Oversee, organize and publicize appeals of the Church at large.
3) Oversee the congregation’s study and consideration of the social statements proposed or issued by the ELCA.
4) Work with all congregation organizations in executing outreach projects, including but not limited to, such projects as Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran Disaster Response, ELCA World Hunger, and Heifer International.
5) Assist the president and Pastor(s), if requested, in maintaining and disbursing the Discretionary Fund to those in need.
6) Work with all congregation organizations in executing mission trips to aid needy individuals regionally, nationally and internationally.
C13.04.F08 Media and Technology
Facilitate the seamless use of media and technology in the church.
The Media and Technology Committee will be represented by the Tending Council Representative. The primary responsibility is to oversee the purchasing, functioning and training for all media and technology. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Advise on the selection of computers, software and computer peripherals. Advise on media equipment and training such as, but not limited to, recording equipment, phone tree, projectors, and audio/video equipment.
2) Maintain a list of members for first call in case of problems and a list of approved professional repair technicians. Foster good business relationships with these professionals.
Outreach will lead and encourage members of the congregation to work together to bring the un-churched to Christ and to Our Saviour Lutheran Church.
The Outreach Committee will be represented by the Seeking Council Representative. The primary responsibility is to reach into the community to bring Christ to the un-churched and reawaken a desire to worship God in the hearts of the inactive believer. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Advertise church news to the community through newspapers, signs, Website, yellow pages and other appropriate media.
2) Schedule, organize and supervise the Living the Great Commission.
3) Greet visitors, maintain records, and initiate contact with visitors.
4) Train and recruit hidden greeters to make contact with visitors at Sunday services.
5) Send postcards and maintain contact in other appropriate ways to newcomers.
6) Encourage prospective members to join the church.
C13.04.H10 Building and Grounds
In order to further the mission of the church, our vision enables visitors, members and staff to have a safe , accommodating, uplifting and enjoyable experience when visiting or using the OSLC facilities and provides resources that will improve effectiveness and productivity.
The Building and Grounds Committee will be represented by the Tending Council Representative. The primary purpose of this committee is to maintain the physical facilities. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Establish and Maintain a policy for the proper security of the church property and equipment.
2) Maintain a current inventory of all the church assets including buildings, equipment, furnishings, and other appropriate items and verify its accuracy annually.
3) Prepare and publish a schedule for those persons responsible for outside maintenance of the church and grounds.
4) Schedule and supervise a cleaning day each spring and fall for general cleaning of the buildings and grounds.
5) Monitor the contracts for pest control, cleaning (sexton), and maintenance of office equipment.
6) Arrange for the purchase and delivery of janitorial supplies (towels, toilet tissue, soap) and kitchen supplies (cleaners, paper products, coffee, etc.).
7) Purchase any item that is included in the approved operating budget after due consideration to the current cash flow position.
8) Develop a plan to finance major repairs and maintenance by projecting those needs and make provisions for funding in advance.
9) Arrange for monthly inspection of interior and exterior lights along with replacement of burned out bulbs as necessary.
10) Be responsible for overseeing the care and maintenance of the kitchen including purchases of equipment (appliances and utensils) from the Kitchen Fund.
We will tend to the needs of all God’s people at Our Saviour Lutheran Church; sharing his love through our personal contact and prayer.
The Shepherds Committee will be represented by the Caring Council Representative. The primary purpose of this committee is to minister and communicate to members of the congregation especially when they are in need. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Maintain communication with members using the phone tree/dialer, NewSense, Bulletin Boards, and other appropriate means.
2) Stimulate and lead all members of the congregation in a concerted endeavor to reawaken the spiritual indifferent, activating and mobilizing this church to pray for renewal grounded in the inspired Word of God.
3) Encourage not only established ministries but remain open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to nurture inreach evangelism and deeper the spiritual life of the congregation community
4) Oversee the integration of new disciples into the community of the church using but not limited to assignments of sponsors, giving them nametags, placing their photos on the bulletin board, having a New Disciples Reception regularly, baking bread for their gift bag and other activities designed to welcome new members.
5) Coordinate Bereavement meals for either the church or at-home meal.
6) Coordinate Angel Meals for those leaving the hospital or other homebound occasions that require help.
7) Organize teams to visit members in the hospital or homebound
C13.04.J08 Social Ministry
We will be leaders in seeking out all people in need of aid for the body, mind and/soul so they may feel the love of Christ through our ministries.
The Social Ministry Committee will be represented by the Helping Council Representative. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Oversee and publicize outreach projects or social action programs in the local community.
2) Oversee, organize and publicize appeals of the Church at large.
3) Oversee the congregation’s study and consideration of the social statements proposed or issued by the ELCA.
4) Work with all congregation organizations in executing outreach projects, including but not limited to, such projects as Red Cross blood drives, Melting Pot/Daily Bread, and Help House.
5) Maintain Food Pantry
6) Assist the president and Pastor(s), if requested, in maintaining and disbursing the Discretionary Fund to those in need.
7) Work with all congregation members to collect products and/or monies for organization that aid in working with the poor and other needy groups, including but not limited to, such groups as Good Samaritan Ministries, Safe Passage Domestic Violence Shelter, Ronald McDonald House, and The Crumley House.
To enable members to identify their God given gifts and invite them to use them internally at OSLC as well as the local and world communities.
The Stewardship Committee will be represented by the Sharing Council Representative. The purpose of Stewardship is to emphasize the members’ responsibilities as stewards of all God’s creation on a regular basis throughout the year and to make all members aware that stewardship includes gifts of time, talents and treasures. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Organize and conduct stewardship drives as directed by the Congregation Council
2) With input from the Finance Committee, inform the congregation of the church’s financial situation and any special needs.
3) Secure all offering materials on a timely basis and arrange for their distribution to the membership.
4) Provide for, distribute and tabulate a time/talents/treasure survey instrument to be sent to each household. Convey the results to the ministry chairs, to assist in the structure of that ministry’s membership.
C13.04.L08 Worship and Music
Make worship meaningful and glorify God.
The Worship and Music Committee will be represented by the Praising Council Representative. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Encourage faithful and regular participation by the whole congregation in the worship services of the church.
2) Plan each weekly and special worship service in a way to be most advantageous to all members. Recommend starting times and dates in consultation with the pastor(s) for approval by the Congregation Council.
3) Provide spiritual leadership on those occasions when the pastor(s) is absent.
4) Select the hymns and music for each service, as required, in consultation with the pastor(s), organist(s), and/or choir director(s).
5) Arrange for choir director(s), choir(s), and organist.
6) Arrange for cantors when needed.
7) Encourage the development of musical talent within the congregation, both voice and instrumental.
8) Supervise, train, and schedule acolytes, crucifers, banner bearers, lectors, ushers, and other assistants as needed for worship services.
9) Arrange for adorning the church in preparation for Advent, Christmas, Lent, and oversee the activities of the Altar Guild.
a) Arrange for care of paraments, linens, vestments, and communion robes.
b) Set up and clean communion vessels
c) Prepare for baptisms
d) Arrange for a flower sign-up chart and provide for reminders to those responsible for each service or event.
11) Order bulletins, inserts, and other worship supplies on a timely basis.
12) Oversee the scheduling and training of nursery volunteers and handle other needs of the nursery.
Our mission as young adults in the Christian Community is to worship God and live a lifestyle of faith by learning about Christ, serving our community, and expanding our ministry by bringing people into the church.
The Lutheran Youth Organization will be represented by the Exploring Council Representative. The primary responsibility is to activate Youth in the celebration of their faith through learning, prayer, service and fellowship with their peers. In order to achieve the objectives of this committee, focus should be on, but not limited to, the following duties and activities:
1) Work with appropriate staff member(s) to ensure that adequate opportunities are offered to the youth for spiritual development, leadership training, service and fellowship.
2) Recruit, organize and assist the advisors for the youth organizations(s).
3) Oversee the timely selection of youth delegates to assemblies, seminars, and other meetings.
4) Oversee and assist with Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) sponsored events.
5) Oversee the organization of Youth Sunday to be held at least annually.
6) Assist in organizing events such as All Tennessee, the National Youth Gathering, Affirm, TEC, WOW, and other youth focused events that occur within our district, synod, or the ELC.
13.04.N08 Archives Committee
Maintain an accurate and orderly history of this congregation in its many and varied facets. Through written, pictorial, and audio visual means the archives shall be, whenever feasible, kept on the property of the church.
C13.04.O08 Memorials, Honoraria and Special Gifts Committee
The purpose of the Committee will be to oversee designated gifts to the congregation.
This Committee will report to the president of the congregation.
1) Membership will be comprised of the pastor(s), treasurer and financial secretary (all ex-officio) and four members appointed from the congregation by the Congregation Council. The members from the congregation will be appointed for a term of four years. The terms will be staggered. A chairperson will be elected annually by the committee from its appointed membership to serve for the calendar year.
a) Will be alert to needs of the congregation and work with the Congregation Council to establish a list of authorized gifts for which funds may be received. All items on the list must be approved by the Congregation Council.
b) Will receive approval by the Congregation Council on acceptability of specific designated gifts that are not on the authorized gift list.
c) Will establish with the treasurer the procedures necessary to incorporate gift funds into the church bank account and to ensure that these funds are expended only on the purchase of designated and authorized memorials.
d) Will establish with the financial secretary the procedure necessary to ensure that all gift funds are properly identified, recorded and acknowledged.
e) Will establish and maintain a “book” as a permanent record of all gifts received. Plaques will not be affixed to any item acquired through gift funds.
f) Will contact the appropriate family member or representative of the person named with a memorial or honorarium to ascertain their desires for a memorial gift. Upon a decision agreeable to both the family representative and the MHSG Committee, such recommendation should be submitted to the president for Congregation Council approval.
g) No memorial plaques will be attached to any gift. It is understood that gifts are made to the Glory of God.
C13.04.P08 Harriet Bell/Jennifer Stafford Scholarship Endowment Committee
The Harriet Bell/Jennifer Stafford Scholarship Fund is established to provide financial aid to students who are preparing for pastoral ministry or other full-time vocations within a Christian church.
a. Membership will consist of four non-council members of the congregation. The pastor(s), president, treasurer, and Finance Committee chairperson will be ex-officio members. The members of the committee will be appointed by Congregation Council for a term of four years. The terms will be staggered with one new person appointed each year.
b. A chairperson will be elected annually by the committee from the non-council members to serve for the calendar year.
c. The pastor(s), president, Sharing Council Representative and Finance Committee Chairperson will nominate the non-council members to be appointed by the Congregation Council.
a. Establish qualifications for applicants and the period of time applications will be accepted.
b. Create and update as necessary an application for prospective applicants.
c. Determine on the first day of each year the amount of funds available from the endowment (preserving the principal amount and its purchasing power) to offer as scholarships. No more than 5% of the principal balance, total of all money including interest, is to be awarded in any one year. If a scholarship is not awarded or is awarded at less than 5% of the balance, then the remaining interest for that year becomes part of the principal.
d. Publish in the bulletin and newsletter for at least one month prior to and during the open application period the availability of the scholarship and qualifications necessary for application.
e. Review applications and present recommendations for award to the Congregation Council.
C12.04.Q08 Visionary Team
The purpose of this committee is to examine changing circumstances both within and without the congregation and plan for the future of the congregation.
a. The vice president, with the approval of the Congregation Council will select five (5) to seven (7) members to serve as the Visionary Team.
b. The term will be for two (2) years renewable for an additional term.
a. Study the programs, membership, fiscal and physical needs of the congregation.
b. Establish or modify a 2-year plan and a 5-year plan for the congregation.
c. Present a report of the plans to the vice president no later than the first day of December each calendar year.
d. Forward recommendation for future staffing to the Mutual Ministry Committee and work with that committee at their request to determine the new job description.
C13.05. The pastor(s) and the president of this congregation shall be ex officio a member of all committees and boards of the congregation with the exclusion of the committees listed in C13.02.
ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE CONGREGATION
C14.01. All organizations within this congregation shall exist to aid it in ministering to the members of this congregation and to all persons who can be reached with the Gospel of Christ. As outgrowths and expressions of this congregation’s life, the organizations are subject to its oversight and direction.
C14.02. Special interest groups, other than those of the official organizations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, may be organized only after authorization has been given by the Congregation Council.
DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS AND ADJUDICATION
*C15.01. Denial of the Christian faith as described in this constitution, conduct grossly unbecoming a member of the Church of Christ, or persistent trouble-making in this congregation are sufficient cause for discipline of a member. Prior to disciplinary action, reconciliation will be attempted following Matthew 18:15-17, proceeding through these successive steps: a) private admonition by the pastor, b) admonition by the pastor in the presence of two or three witnesses, and c) citation to appear before the Congregation Council. If, for any reason, the pastor is unable to administer the admonitions required by a. and b. hereof, the president (if not the pastor) or vice president shall administer such admonitions.
*C15.02. The process for discipline of a member of the congregation shall be governed as prescribed by the chapter on discipline in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. If discipline against a member proceeds beyond counseling and admonition by the pastor, charges against the accused member(s) that are specific and in writing shall be prepared by member(s) of the congregation who shall sign the charges as the accuser(s). The written charges shall be filed with the pastor, who shall advise the Congregation Council of the need to issue a written citation to the accused and the accusers that specifies the time and place of the hearing before the Congregation Council. The written charges shall accompany the written citation to the accused. The written citation that specifies the time and place of the hearing before the Congregation Council and requests the presence of a member charged with the offense shall be sent at least ten days prior to the meeting. If the member charged with the offense fails to appear at the scheduled hearing, the Congregation Council may proceed with the hearing and may pass judgment in the member’s absence.
*C15.03. Members of the Congregation Council who participate in the preparation of the written charges or who present evidence or testimony in the hearing before the Congregation Council are disqualified from voting upon the question of the guilt of the accused member. Should the allegations be sustained by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the Congregation Council who are not disqualified but who are present and voting, and renewed admonition prove ineffectual, the council shall impose one of the following disciplinary actions:
a. censure before the council or congregation;
b. suspension from membership for a definite period of time; or
c. exclusion from membership in this congregation.
Disciplinary actions b. and c. shall be delivered to the member in writing.
*C15.04. The member against whom disciplinary action has been taken by the Congregation Council shall have the right to appeal the decision to the Synod Council. Such right may not be abridged and the decision of the Synod Council shall be final.
*C15.05. Disciplinary actions may be reconsidered and revoked by the Congregation Council upon receipt of a) evidence that injustice has been done or b) evidence of repentance and amendment.
*C15.06. For disciplinary actions in this congregation, “due process” shall be observed as specified in 20.41.04. in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
*C15.07. No member of a congregation shall be subject to discipline for offenses that the Congregation Council has previously heard and decided, unless so ordered by the Synod Council after an appeal.
*C15.11. When there is disagreement among factions within this congregation on a substantive issue that cannot be resolved by the parties, members of this congregation shall have access to the synodical bishop for consultation after informing the chair of the Congregation Council of their intent. If the consultation fails to resolve the issue(s), the Consultation Committee of the synod shall consider the matter. If the Consultation Committee of the synod shall fail to resolve the issue(s), the matter shall be referred to the Synod Council, whose decision shall be final.
*C16.01. This congregation may adopt bylaws. No bylaw may conflict with this constitution.
*C16.02. Bylaws may be adopted or amended at any legally called meeting of this congregation with a quorum present by a majority vote of those voting members present and voting.
*C16.03. Changes to the bylaws may be proposed by any voting member provided, however, that such additions or amendments be submitted in writing to the Congregation Council at least 60 days before a regular or special Congregation Meeting called for that purpose and that the Congregation Council notify the congregation’s members by mail of the proposal with the council’s recommendations at least 30 days in advance of the Congregation Meeting.
*C16.04. Approved changes to the bylaws shall be sent by the secretary of this congregation to the synod.
*C17.01. Unless provision *C17.04. is applicable, those sections of this constitution that are not required, in accord with the Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, may be amended in the following manner. Amendments may be proposed by at least ten(10) voting members or by the Congregation Council. Proposals must be filed in writing with the Congregation Council 60 days before formal consideration by this congregation at a regular or special Congregation Meeting called for that purpose. The Congregation Council shall notify the congregation’s members by mail of the proposal together with the council’s recommendations at least 30 days in advance of the meeting.
*C17.02. An amendment to this constitution, proposed under *C17.01., shall:
a. be approved at a legally called Congregation Meeting according to this constitution by a majority vote of those present and voting;
b. be ratified without change at the next annual meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting; and
c. have the effective date included in the resolution and noted in the constitution.
*C17.03. Any amendments to this constitution that result from the processes provided in *C17.01. and *C17.02. shall be sent by the secretary of this congregation to the synod. The amendment shall become effective within 120 days from the date of the receipt of the notice by the synod unless the synod informs this congregation that the amendment is in conflict with the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or the constitution of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA.
*C17.04. This constitution may be amended to bring any section into conformity with a section or sections, either required or not required, of the Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America-as most recently amended by the Churchwide Assembly-by a simple majority vote of those voting members present and voting at any legally called meeting of the congregation without presentation at a prior meeting of the congregation, provided that the Congregation Council has submitted by mail notice to the congregation of such an amendment or amendments, together with the council’s recommendations, at least 30 days prior to the meeting. Upon the request of ten(10) voting members of the congregation, the Congregation Council shall submit such notice. Following the adoption of an amendment, the secretary of the congregation shall submit a copy thereof to the synod. Such provisions shall become effective immediately following a vote of approval.
*C18.01. The congregation in a legally called meeting or the Congregation Council may enact continuing resolutions. Such continuing resolutions may not conflict with the constitution or bylaws of this congregation.
*C18.02. Continuing resolutions shall be enacted or amended by a majority vote of a meeting of the congregation or a two-thirds vote of all voting members of the Congregation Council.
*C19.01. Consistent with the provisions of the laws under which this congregation is incorporated, this congregation may adopt provisions providing indemnification for each person who, by reason of the fact that such person is or was a Congregation Council member, officer, employee, agent, or other member of any committee of this congregation, was or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending, or completed civil, criminal, administrative, arbitration, or investigative proceeding.