ST. PAUL EV. LUTHERAN CHURCH CONSTITUTION
It is the will of our Lord Jesus Christ that His disciples should preach the Gospel to the whole world (Mark 16:16, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8). That Christ's mission for His Church might be carried out according to His will, He has commanded that Christians unite in worship (Hebrews 10:24-25), practice fellowship with one another (Acts 2:42), witness to all men (Acts 1:8), help each other grow in the Word (Ephesians 4:7-16, Mark 10:42-44, John 13:35, Galatians 6:10), administer the Office of the Keys as His Church (John 20:21-23, Matthew 18:15-20), and maintain decency and order (1 Corinthians 14:40) in the church.
We, the members of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Appleton, Wisconsin, heeding the admonition of the Apostle Paul, do herewith in the name of the Triune God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- acknowledge these Articles as the revised Constitution and By-Laws adopted in a duly constituted meeting of the Voters' Assembly on the 26th day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred ninety-nine, in accordance with which all affairs of this congregation, both spiritual and secular, shall be conducted.
The name of this congregation shall be ST. PAUL EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF APPLETON, WISCONSIN.
ARTICLES OF FAITH
This congregation accepts and confesses all the canonical books of the Old and the New Testaments as the verbally inspired, revealed and inerrant Word of God and submits to this Word as the only infallible authority in all matters of faith and life. (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
This congregation accepts and confesses these symbolic books without reservation, not insofar as, but because they are the presentation and explanation of the pure doctrine of the Word of God and a summary of the faith held by the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
A. The three Ecumenical Creeds
1. The Apostles'
2. The Nicene
3. The Athanasian
B. The six Lutheran Confessions
1. Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism
2. Dr. Martin Luther's Large Catechism
3. The Unaltered Augsburg Confession
4. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession
5. The Smalcald Articles
6. The Formula of Concord
No doctrine shall be taught or tolerated in this congregation which is in any way at variance with these symbolical books of the Holy Scriptures.
Likewise, all controversies which may arise in this congregation shall be decided and adjusted according to this norm of doctrine and practice.
The continuing purpose of this congregation shall be:
1. to do all things for the glory and honor of the Triune God (1 Corinthians 10:31; 6:20),
2. to proclaim the Law and the Gospel, to lead sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for life and salvation (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8),
3. to strengthen and preserve ourselves and our children in the one true faith (Ephesians 4:11-15; 1 Peter 2:2; Mark 10:13-14; 1 John 3;23),
4. to equip and train believers as disciples, stewards, and witnesses for sharing the Gospel of Jesus with our fellow men (Ephesians 4:11-15),
5. to do all in accord with the confessional standards of this congregation as they are stated in Article II (John 8:31-32).
If this congregation wishes to affiliate with a synod, it shall affiliate itself only with a synod that holds to all the truths of God's Word in doctrine and practice and is bound to the confession of faith as set forth in Article II of the constitution, if, and as long as, such a synod exists.
Section 1. Conditions for Membership
Only those can be and remain members and enjoy the rights and privileges of membership in the congregation, who:
A. confess Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior,
B. are baptized,
C. declare, if of an adequate age for understanding, their adherence to all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, without qualification, as the only rule and norm of faith and life
D. are familiar, if of an adequate age for understanding, at least with Luther's Small Catechism and declare their agreement with its contents,
E. do not live in manifest works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), but lead Christian lives,
F. together with the congregation partake of the Lord's Supper frequently, if of mature age (1 Corinthians 11:25-29; 2 Corinthians 13:5),
G. permit themselves to be fraternally admonished and corrected when they have erred, in accord with Matthew 18:15-17,
H. do not hold membership in an organization which has rules, teachings, or practices that conflict with the Word of God (anti-Christian lodges, etc.) (John 8:31-32; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
Every communicant member joining this congregation is thereby signifying acceptance of this constitution.
Section 2. Classifications of Membership,
All members who have been baptized into the Christian faith in the name of the Triune God.
All baptized members who have declared their adherence to all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, without qualification, as the only rule and norm of faith and life, and are familiar with Luther's Small Catechism and declare their agreement with its contents.
All male communicant members (1 Corinthians 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:12) who meet the requirements expressed in Article III of the By-Laws.
Section 3. Privileges and Responsibilities
"God is Love" (1 John 4:8), and His love ever moves Him to bless the members of His Church with innumerable physical and spiritual gifts (1 John 3:1, James 1:17). In return for all of these undeserved blessings, we can do nothing less than to love him with all our hearts (1 John 4:19) and to show that love with the works that we do. The giving of such expressions we acknowledge as both a privilege and a responsibility. Some of the privileges and responsibilities are the following:
A. His Word
Our God has given us His Word, the one thing needful (Luke 10:42), which alone can save our souls and tell us how to live a God-pleasing life. (2 Timothy 3:15-17) Consequently, a member of His Church will consider it a distinct privilege and a responsibility to:
Hear and receive the Word of God diligently. and attend public worship services as regularly as possible (Luke 11:28, Hebrews 10:24-25, Luke 10:16, Colossians 3:16)
B. The Sacraments
Our God has given us two Sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, which are means that our Lord uses to bring His grace to us. Consequently, a member of His church will:
1. Have his children baptized early in life, for "Baptism that also now saves you." (1 Peter 3:21)
2. Frequently partake of Holy Communion (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), if he is recognized as one who can properly examine himself. (1 Corinthians 11:28, 2 Corinthians 13:5)
Only those in confessional fellowship of faith are permitted to commune at our altar. (Close Communion - 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, Romans 16:17)
Our God has given us the privilege and responsibility of being managers over a certain portion of his estate and assures us he will graciously bless such faithful management (2 Corinthians 9:6). Therefore members of his church will under grace:
1. Continually remember that all their possessions, time and abilities are really a trust from God.
2. Cheerfully decide in their heart (2 Corinthians 9:7) the portion of their possessions and time and abilities which they will regularly devote to the Lord for use in carrying out that which the congregation has made its concern, not omitting the work of the synod (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 9:14; 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:11; 1 Peter 4:10).
3. If eligible, become voting members and regularly attend the voters' meeting and lend the congregation their counsel and aid.
D. Christian Education
It is the privilege and responsibility of every member to provide the means to bring up the children of the congregation in the fear of the Lord. Parents and guardians are encouraged to teach them the Word of God at home and to send them to the school of the congregation (i.e., instruction classes for confirmation, Christian day school and high school, Sunday School, and to use such other opportunities as the congregation shall provide).
It is also the privilege and responsibility of communicant members to further their own Christian education and spiritual growth through their study of God's Word at home, in Bible classes, and in the meetings of the congregation's various organizations (John 8:31-32; Colossians 3:16).
The Lord in His Great Commission commanded (Matthew 28:16-29) all who follow Him to proclaim all His truths to the whole world. It is the high privilege and responsibility of all members to share the joy and meaning of their faith with fellow Christians and with those who have not as yet learned to know their Savior.
This may be accomplished by working with the congregation and as an individual for the extension of God's Kingdom, letting their Christian lights shine by leading God-pleasing lives, and by keeping the Lord Jesus and His will in the center of all they do.
It is the privilege and responsibility of the members of this congregation to exercise Christian discipline in the spirit of Matthew 18:15-20 toward those who err from the faith or who in other ways have given offense.
At all times this shall be done in the spirit of the Gospel; namely, to regain the erring as brethren.
Section 4. Termination of Membership
A. By Transfer
A member in good standing wishing to join a sister congregation shall apply for a transfer of membership from this congregation, whereupon he shall receive a letter of transfer.
B. By Release
Members who sever their affiliation with St. Paul by joining a Christian church not in fellowship with St. Paul shall receive a letter of release from this congregation.
C. By Removal
Members who cannot be located or who sever their affiliation with St. Paul shall be removed from membership in this congregation.
D. By Excommunication and Self-Exclusion
A member giving offense by an unchristian life or by deliberate and continued absence from public worship or Holy Communion shall be dealt with according to Matthew 18. At all times this shall be done in the spirit of the Gospel, namely, to regain the erring brethren. Refusing to repent and amend, a manifestly impenitent sinner shall be publicly excommunicated from the congregation. Self-Exclusion applies to those who have cut themselves off from disciplinary action by the congregation by refusing contact with the pastors, elders or congregation itself.
E. Termination of Fellowship
Members who persist in an error which in itself does not make the presence of saving faith impossible, shall be excluded from the fellowship of the congregation (Romans 16:17-18)
Section 5. Reinstatement
When an excommunicated member by the grace of God repents of his sin, he is to be reinstated with all former rights and privileges of this congregation. (2 Corinthians 2:6-8)
POWERS AND RIGHTS OF THE CONGREGATION
In all matters of Christian faith and life, the Word of God is supreme. (Psalm 119:105)
In all matters not decided by the Word of God, the congregation alone , represented by the voters' assembly, shall have the right of decision. (Romans 12:10; 14:19; Ephesians 5:21)
All congregation matters shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the qualified voting members present at a properly convened meeting of the voting membership, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution and its associated By-Laws for dealing with certain situations or matters therein specifically mentioned and defined.
The church council, any other elected board or organization within the congregation, and any of its elected or appointed officers shall have no power or authority beyond that conferred upon them by the congregation.
However, the church council in an emergency may act in the name and for the welfare of the congregation. Such action must be submitted for approval at the next voters' meeting.
The various boards shall be charged with the execution of policies and programs that have been directed by the voters' assembly and church council. Any male communicant in good standing in the congregation may serve on these boards unless otherwise indicated.
The committees, sub-units, agencies and functionaries will conduct the daily administration of the above policies and programs. Any communicant member may serve in most capacities on these committees. (1 Tim. 2:12, 1 Corinthians. 14:34)
OFFICERS OF THE CONGREGATION
The first New Testament congregation at Jerusalem chose men "known to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom" (Acts 6:1-6) to aid the Apostles in the administration of its temporal affairs. Likewise shall this congregation choose officers and committee members with like qualifications to aid the pastors in administering its affairs. (1 Timothy 3:8-13)
The listing of the officers and their duties is given in the By-Laws.
These officers shall be given the respect and esteem of the congregation in the performance of their duties and they shall conduct themselves in a manner befitting their office. (1 Timothy 3:8-13)
The congregation has the exclusive right to call pastors and teachers.
The pastorate of this congregation shall be conferred only upon such ministers or ministerial candidates as unqualifiedly and publicly profess their acceptance of and adherence to Article II of this Constitution. Such acceptance and adherence, shall be required of them in the call of vocation extended by the congregation. (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; Colossians 4:5-6)
The teachers called by the congregation shall be such as are in accord with the confessional standard of the congregation, Article II, and are qualified for this field of work. (Ephesians 4:11-16; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 14:40)
In case of a vacancy in the position of pastor or teacher, the congregation shall notify the president of the local district of the Synod that he may assist in temporarily filling the vacancy and in giving his good counsel in regard to the calling of a new pastor or teacher. (Procedure for filling vacancy is outlined in Articles V and VI of the By-Laws).
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Any officer or board chairman of the congregation who willfully neglects the duties of his office may be deposed by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present in a regular meeting of the voter's assembly.
The Board of Elders and/or the church council shall initiate an investigation into such neglect of office. During the investigation these bodies have authority to suspend the individual officer until the investigation and congregation action is complete.
When an office is made vacant by disposition, resignation, death or excommunication of the incumbent, a successor to such office or chairman shall be elected by the voting membership at the next regular meeting. An interim appointment may be made by the church council until the successor is elected.
An appointee (non-elected office) who willfully neglects the duties assigned may be deposed by a simple majority of the church council. An investigation may be authorized by the church council. The voting membership will be asked to ratify the decision at their next regular meeting.
Sufficient and urgent causes for removing a pastor or a teacher are persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, willful neglect of duty or established inability to perform the duties of his office. (1 Timothy 3: 1-7; Titus 1:6-9) In such a case the advice and good counsel of the appropriate district officer shall be sought.
A three-fourths majority of the voting members present, shall be required to rescind the call of a pastor or teacher.
If groups of church members within the congregation or within and between groups of affiliated congregations unite for the purpose of serving the common welfare of the congregation, such organizations shall exist only with the approval of the voter's assembly.
All such organizations shall be under the supervision of the Pastor(s) and the appropriate Administrative Board under whose jurisdiction they function. Only communicant members of this congregation shall be officers of such organizations or groups. Any decision or enactment of performance of or by organizations or groups shall be invalid if they conflict with this Constitution and its associated By-Laws. The Pastor(s), by virtue of their office, shall be the advisers for such organizations or groups within the congregation. (1 Corinthians 1:10-11; 1 Corinthians 12:20-28; Rom. 16:17; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
PROPERTY RIGHTS, SEPARATION, DISSOLUTION
A. All members whose membership has been terminated lose all rights in the congregation and its property.
B. If at any time a separation should occur in this congregation -- may God graciously prevent it -- the property and all equipment of this congregation shall remain with that portion of the membership which adheres to this Constitution and By-Laws, regardless of
C. In the event of termination or dissolution of the congregation, the church council shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the congregation, dispose of its remaining assets, if any, exclusively for the purposes of the congregation, by distributing, at the direction of the voters’ assembly, the remaining assets to (and only to) one or more organizations with which the congregation is in fellowship, which shall at the time qualify as exempt organization(s) (under section 501c3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1994 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Code(s).
This Constitution may be changed or amended, with the exception of the Articles listed in section 2 of this article, by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast in a regular meeting of the Voting Membership, provided that the intention to amend the Constitution and the wording of the amendments proposed shall be given to the congregation assembled for worship on two different Sundays prior to the date upon which the amendment is presented for action.
Articles II, IV, V, VI , VIII, and XI are hereby irrevocable.
THE BY-LAWS OF THE CONSTITUTION
RECEPTION INTO MEMBERSHIP
Persons who wish to be received into membership in this congregation other than through the sacrament of holy baptism or rite of confirmation shall bring their request to the attention of a pastor. The Board of Elders shall honor the request when accompanied by a letter of transfer or other recommendation from a sister congregation or when qualifications for membership, as specified in Article V of this Constitution, have been met.
Such action of the Board of Elders shall be ratified by the regular meeting of the voters' assembly and notice of such receptions reported to the congregation.
TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Methods
Membership may be terminated by transfer, by release, by removal, by excommunication, self-exclusion and by termination of fellowship as specified in the Constitution, Article V, Section 4.
Section 2. Procedure and Powers
A. Requests for transfer or release shall be submitted to the Board of Elders who together with the pastors shall be empowered to transfer members in good standing (not under church discipline) who express a desire to join a sister congregation and to grant releases to members requesting a release. The actions of the Board of Elders shall be subject to ratification by the voter’s assembly.
B. The Board of Elders together with the pastor(s) shall be entrusted by the congregation with the authority and the responsibility of handling all cases of membership termination in accord with Scriptural concerns for the welfare of the souls involved and in accord with established constitutional procedures.
C. Cases for removal, excommunication, self-exclusion or termination of fellowship shall first be brought for action before the Board of Elders, then before the Church Council, and finally before the voter’s assembly.
D. Cases for excommunication require a unanimous vote of the voter’s assembly.
Section 3 Right to Appeal
Any person who has been subject to disciplinary action by this congregation shall be notified in writing by the congregation of the right to appeal. This notification shall occur within 30 days of the completion of the disciplinary action. Such appeal must be filed with the district president in writing, with a copy to the congregation, within 60 days of the disciplinary action.
Section 1 - Eligibility
Any male communicant member of this congregation who is 18 years of age or over, is eligible and encouraged by the Evangelism Board to apply for voting membership. A copy of the Constitution and By-Laws will be provided to him for study. Upon receipt of his written signature, on a form established by the congregation, acknowledging his affirmation to fulfill the duties as are required of a voting member, to the best of his ability, and agreeing to the terms of the Constitution and By-Laws of the congregation, he shall be eligible for acceptance as a voting member with all rights and privileges pertaining thereto. The voters' assembly will act on his application for membership at a regular meeting of that body.
Section 2 - Privileges and Duties of Voting Members
It shall be the privilege and duty of a voting member of this congregation to:
A. Conscientiously and prayerfully exercise his right to vote in all measures that will advance the work of Christ's Kingdom both locally and in the church-at-large.
B. Willingly serve in any office or capacity for which his talents and abilities equip him.
C. Faithfully attend all meetings of the voting membership.
D. Assist with wholehearted diligence in administering the temporal and spiritual affairs off the congregation.
E. Encourage, by personal example and friendly interest, such eligible communicant members who are not yet voting members to consider seriously accepting the responsibilities and privileges of voting membership.
MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION
Section 1 - Regular Meetings
A. Regular meetings of the voting membership shall be held four times during each calendar year, on or about the third Sunday of the following months: January, April, July and October. Elections shall be conducted at the April meeting. The April meeting of the Voters' Assembly shall include consideration and acceptance of the budget for the following fiscal year. Dates and times of all Voters' Meetings shall be set by the Church council.
B. Every meeting of the voting membership shall be publicized to the members of the congregation by oral and written means at the worship services for two Sundays immediately preceding the time of the meeting.
Section 2 - Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Voter's Assembly may be called by the President, the pastors, the church council, one of the administrative boards, and at the request of 10 voting members of the congregation. Notice of the date and time of such a meeting and of the nature of the business to be transacted shall be given at the regular service on the two Sundays immediately preceding the time of the special meeting, except in the case of removing a called worker. (see Article V and VI of the By-Laws)
Section 3 - Order of Business at Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the voting membership shall include:
A. Call to order and devotion
B. Approval of Agenda
C. Minutes of previous meetings, including special meetings
D. Reception of new voting members
E. State of the Parish Report by the pastor(s)
F. State of the School Report by the principal
G. Reports from committees of the voting membership
H. Unfinished business
I. New Business
J. Treasurer’s Report
K. Reports of Administrative Boards
In general, for purposes of order, Robert's Rules of Order shall prevail. No one shall bring to any meeting a charge or complaint against any member or against a pastor, a teacher, or a staff minister unless he has first admonished him in a Christian manner in the spirit of Matthew 18:15-20.
Section 4 - Restrictions Pertaining to Voter's Assembly Meetings
A. Voting members present at a properly called Voter's Assembly meeting shall constitute a quorum.
B. In the event of a tie vote, the President shall cast the deciding ballot.
C. There shall be no voting by proxy.
Section 1 - Procedures for the calling of Pastors and Lutheran Elementary School Teachers
When the voters' assembly shall determine the need to call a pastor or a teacher to the congregation, the president of the local district of the Synod shall be notified and a list of candidates for the position shall be requested as well as any other help and advice he may be able to give.
Opportunity and time should be made available for any member to submit a candidate subject to the approval of the District President. (Paragraph added 7\28\91)
This list, approved by the District President, shall constitute the slate from which the pastor or teacher shall be chosen.
At the call meeting, the voters shall elect one of the proposed candidates by ballot and simple majority. After this vote, the President shall call for a unanimous ballot. It shall be the duty of the President to see that notice of his election is delivered promptly to the candidate.
Section 2 - Duties of Pastors and Lutheran Elementary School Teachers
The duties of the pastor(s) shall be to preach the Word of God in accord with the Holy Scriptures and the confessional writings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to administer the Holy Sacraments as instituted by Christ, to lead the education and training of all members of the congregation in order to help them live sanctified lives and accomplish the purpose of the congregation as set forth in Article III of this Constitution, and to set an example for the congregation by leading a Christian life. The specific duties and responsibilities of the pastor(s) may be found in the pastoral job descriptions.
B. Lutheran Elementary School Teachers
The duties of the Christian day school teachers shall be to diligently and faithfully instruct and train the children entrusted to their care in the chief truths of the Word of God as they are revealed in the Scriptures and the confessed in the symbolic writings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to teach effectively the elementary branches of learning in the spirit of the Gospel, to maintain Christian discipline in the school, and to set an example for the children and the congregation with a Christian life. Called teachers shall be expected to serve the congregation in any manner consistent with their professional training and their role as spiritual leaders in the congregation.
A Christian day school teacher whom the congregation may call to be principal of the school is responsible for developing the curriculum and, ultimately, conducting the school in an orderly and effective manner together with such other individuals, committees and Boards as the congregation may designate to share in the responsibility.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS (TRUSTEES)
BOARD CHAIRMEN AND DEACONS
Section 1 - Nomination, Election and Appointment Procedures
A. Nomination Procedure
1. The church council shall appoint a nominating committee made up of qualified voting members of the congregation and the pastors.
2. Only male voting members of the Congregation who are eighteen (18) years of age or over and have been a member for at least one year shall be eligible to hold an office, to serve as a chairman of an administrative board or be appointed members of an administrative board. As soon as possible after the January meeting, the Nominating Committee shall select properly qualified persons who are members of the Voters' Assembly to serve as candidates for the various elected and appointed positions specified in these Bylaws. Prior to twenty (20) days before the election any communicant member of the Congregation may submit additional names to the Nominating Committee. Additional members will be added to the proposed ballot upon being found eligible and willing to serve by the Nominating Committee. The proposed ballot shall be published prior to the election meeting.
B. Election Procedure
At the regular meeting in April of each year, the Congregation shall elect by ballot and simple majority one-third (1/3) of the officers, board chairmen, Board of Education and Deacons.
Each elected person shall hold office for a term of three (3) years commencing July 1 of the year elected and terminating on June 30 three (3) years later
The church council may appoint Board Chairmen and fill vacancies as needed. The church council approves appointments of the board chairmen. The church council shall present all appointments to the Voters' Assembly for approval at the next regular meeting. (Refer to Page 25.0.2)
Section 2 - Installation of Officers - Terms of Office- Vacancies
The elected officers, trustees, chairmen of administrative boards, administrative board members and appointed officers shall be installed prior to assuming their duties of office on July 1 following their election.
B. Terms of Office
The terms of office for all officers, and chairmen of administrative boards shall be for three (3) years. They may succeed themselves in office only once.
Terms of office shall expire according to the following three year rotation:
1. President, Elders Chairman, Evangelism Chairman
2. Vice President, Secretary, Church Properties Chairman
3. Treasurer, Spiritual Growth Chairman, Education Chairman, Family Ministry Chairman
The congregation shall have the following Officers and Boards:
Section 1 - Officers of the Congregation
The officers of the congregation shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. They shall be responsible for legal issues, appointing Special Committees, and general supervision of office staff.
The officers of the congregation will constitute the Board of Trustees required by Wisconsin law for religious corporations. They shall have the powers and duties delegated to them under the laws of the State of Wisconsin, including but not limited to the following powers and duties:
Manage and administer the secular and temporal affairs of the congregation.
Have custody and control of the corporate property and make rules and regulations for the use of the same, subject, however, to the congregations By-Laws.
Govern their official acts by the confessions of the Church Constitution Article II, these By-Laws and resolutions of the congregation applicable thereto; not inconsistent with the laws of the State of Wisconsin.
Control the corporate property of the congregation according to the direction given to it by the voters' assembly. The Officers of the congregation are hereby empowered to borrow money, pledge the assets of the congregation, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the real and personal property of the congregation all at the direction of the voters' assembly. It shall also have the right to acquire property by any legal means as directed by the voters' assemble. The president and secretary (or the treasurer, in the secretary's absence) are hereby designated as the persons who shall sign all documents of the congregation.
Work with the Pastors on behalf of the congregation and church council. They shall assist the Pastors and President in planning and other duties as necessary. The secretary of the congregation shall keep the minutes the officers meetings.
1. The President of the congregation shall preside at all meetings of the voting membership. He shall enforce the Constitution and By-Laws of the congregation and carry out the expressed will of the congregation as embodied in the decisions of the voting membership.
2. He shall also call and preside over the meetings of the Church council and shall endeavor to coordinate the functions, plans and activities of the congregation in all its parts for the total furtherance of the work of Christ's Kingdom in our midst.
3. The president shall represent the congregation from time to time at various meetings of the Boards, Committees, organizations or groups within the congregation, either in person or as represented by such person or persons he may appoint.
4. The president shall serve as one of four (4) trustees. The President shall submit the Auditing Committee's report annually to the voting membership.
B. Vice President
The Vice President shall assist the President, and in the absence of the President, act for and in the stead of the President shall be available for whatever duties the President shall assign to him as his representative.
The Vice President shall serve as one of four (4) trustees and as the Investment Committee Chairman.
The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping and being the custodian of the secular records of the congregation, and the minutes of the Board of Trustees' (Officers) meetings. He shall also be responsible to record all minutes of the Voters' Meetings and of the church council meetings. These records shall be kept in a permanent record. He shall include in the same permanent record the date of the appointment and name of persons appointed by the church council. He shall perform such other duties that are normally required of a Corporate Secretary, and serve as one of four (4) trustees. He shall perform such duties as the Voting Membership or the President may delegate to him provided they are not in conflict with this Constitution and By-Laws and the corporate laws of the State of Wisconsin covering Religious Societies.
D. The Treasurer shall:
1. Serve as one of four trustees on the Board of Trustees.
2. Be responsible for accurate recording of congregational receipts and disbursements and budgeted and actual expenditures according to proper accounting procedures and as deemed advisable, shall suggest for congregational consideration improved methods and systems for keeping financial records.
3. Present a written, duplicated financial report at Voters' meetings and a preliminary report at the church council meetings.
4. Submit permanent financial records for annual audit.
5. Be responsible for monthly disbursement of offerings for missions and other church agencies and for prompt payment of salaries and authorized bills
6. Coordinate the flow of monies from the treasury to the various boards in such a way that an adequate balance is retained for the payment of salaries and other regularly recurring expenses.
7. Remit to the professional workers of the church for documented expenses while attending professional workshops, conferences, conventions, etc., approved by the board under whose jurisdiction they function.
8. Receive from the Financial Secretary a report of all monies received through worship services, special offerings or any other source and duly record the same.
9. Oversee the signing of all checks for the payment of bills, salaries, or other financial commitments of the congregation of any sort.
10. Have available for all boards a current record of their accrued disbursements and budget allotment.
11. Have the authority to provide salaried workers of the congregation a breakdown of their total compensation into salary and fringe benefits as requested.
12. Have the authority, with concurrence of the President, to appoint an assistant to the treasurer to maintain records, pay bills, etc.
Section 2 - Church Council
It shall be the responsibility of the church council to coordinate and administer the policies and affairs of the entire congregation in accord with articles and bylaws of this constitution. All boards, committees, auxiliaries, groups, etc., in the congregation shall be responsible to the church council. The council shall receive, in all regular meetings, a report from all existing boards and is to see that the total welfare of church is considered in all decisions that are made by any board. The church council is responsible to the voters for all its actions.
The church council may not take any action for which it has not been empowered by the voters' assembly. The church council alone shall have:
1. The power to make appointments necessary to carry out directives of the voters assembly. ( This action shall be subject to review by the voters' assembly),
2. The power to bring before the voters' assembly its own recommendations and the recommendation of any other board or committee,
3. The power to expend funds for needs not provided for in the budget up to $5,000.00 in any quarter without voters' assembly approval, but such expenditures shall be subject to their review, 4. The power to expend special funds for the purpose so designated.
5. The power to place spending limitations on all Boards and committees.
C. Fiscal Limitations
Upon approval by the voters' assembly the budget shall constitute the body's approval of expenditures for purposes specified within the limits set forth by the budget classifications and amounts, subject to further limitations as provided.
While the budget may be amended during the year by the voters' assembly, no board or committee except the church council is empowered to authorize expenditures of funds not provided for in the budget.
The Church Council shall be convened in regular monthly meetings at least ten times each calendar year, and hold such extra meetings as may be called by the chairman, pastor(s), or a majority of its members.
The Church Council shall consist of the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and the chairmen of the Board of Elders, the Board of Evangelism, the Board of Education, the Board of Family Ministry, the Board of Spiritual Growth and the Board of Church Properties, The pastors shall be an ex-officii embers and the principal shall be an advisory member of the church council. The president of the congregation shall be the chairman of the church council.
Section 3 - Administrative Boards
A. A brief description of the basic objectives for each board follows. Responsibility and authority for the daily administration of congregational affairs shall be delegated to these Boards. Detailed definitions of responsibilities are developed by each board and approved by the church council.
The basic objectives of this Board are the spiritual welfare of the Pastor(s) and congregation members, individually and corporately, and the supervision of everything pertaining to congregational worship. Deacons will serve as assistants to the pastors to visit, counsel and encourage members who have demonstrated a lack of concern for hearing God’s Word and receiving the sacrament.
â–¸ Soul Conservation
â–¸ Worker Care
â–¸ Altar Guild
â–¸ Parish Needy
Note: Deacons are elected by the congregation.
The basic objectives of this Board are reaching out with the gospel of Christ to the neighborhood around the church, enlisting all of God's people in the work of spreading the gospel, encouraging support of home and world missions and overseeing new member assimilation into the life of the congregation.
Home & World Missions
The basic objectives of this Board are to establish and maintain a sound, Christian education for Pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. Therefore, this board will oversee and promote the Christian Day School. It will be responsible for the policies, staff and school related activities. It will encourage our members to make use of Fox Valley Lutheran High School, Lutheran prep schools and colleges. It will also supervise the staff and policies of the Child Care Center.
After School Care
Day School Activities
Child Care Center
Note: The Board of Education is elected by the Voters' Assembly.
4. Family Ministry
The basic objectives of this Board are to oversee the part time educational agencies of the congregation, to determine policies and select personnel for the various groups and to promote and plan programs for the spiritual growth and fellowship of the youth and families of our church.
Lutheran Boy Pioneers
Lutheran Girls Club
Non-School Recreation Leagues
5. Spiritual Growth
The basic objectives of this Board are to plan and administer the congregation's educational program of Bible classes, seminars, workshops, etc., to initiate gospel-based programs for the development of good stewardship attitudes in the members of the congregation, to provide for the training and utilization of members of the congregation for the work of Christ's kingdom, and to plan and encourage opportunities for fellowship in the congregation.
Continuing Education (Bible Classes)
Communications (WELS & FVL)
6. Church Properties
The basic objectives of this Board are the proper maintenance and repair of church property, and the general protection of the congregation against loss or damage of whatever nature.
Homes & Grounds
Church & Schools
General supervision of Custodians
B. There shall be one (1) chairman for each of the administrative boards who shall be a member of and the chairman of that board. The chairman shall also hold membership on the church council.
C. General duties and Powers of Administrative Boards
1. Each Administrative Board shall submit a report of its activities at each regular meeting of the voting membership, and on such other occasions as the voting membership shall require. Such reports shall include specific recommendations (if any) for congregational action and/or approval.
2. Each Administrative Board shall initiate and carry out such activities and programs within the congregation as will enable it to perform effectively the functions and duties assigned to it by the Constitution and By-Laws, or by specific resolution of the voting membership.
3. Each Administrative Board shall be empowered to administer all funds set aside for its work by the budget appropriation or by special resolution of the Voters' Assembly. However, the voting membership may, at its discretion, restrict such expenditures to conform with the actual financial condition of the congregation at any given time. Each Administrative Board shall be jointly and severally liable for all expenditures not authorized either by the budget or by special resolution of the congregation.
4. Each Administrative Board shall keep a permanent set of minutes for each meeting and such minutes shall be the property of the congregation. A copy of all minutes will be furnished to the President, Secretary and Treasurer.
D. Organization and Meetings of Administrative Boards
1. Each Administrative Board shall be under the direct control and supervision of the chairman of the board. Following the election of the chairman of each board, the chairman of the respective board, with the assistance of the nominating committee, shall promptly appoint and designate board members subject to the approval of the church council and ratified by the voter's assembly. Such appointments are to be made promptly after the date of their election and notification of such appointments is to be given to the President of the congregation for publication to the members in the manner he deems most advisable.
2. The time and frequency of board meetings shall be at the discretion of the Chairman of the Board and the board members, except that, for good and sufficient reason, either the President of the congregation or the pastors may call a meeting of the Board at any time. Meetings thus called shall be classified as special meetings, and each person involved shall be notified of the date, time and purpose of such a meeting.
Section 4 - Standing Committees
A number of standing committees are either responsible to the Board of Trustees or Church Council:
A. Board of Trustees --Investment and Audit
B. Church Council -- Budget, Long range planning, and Nominating
Additional standing committee may be created as needed by either the Board of Trustees or Church Council.
These By-Laws may be amended at any meeting of the Voting Membership by a simple majority vote, provided:
A. A motion to submit for consideration such a proposal to amend has been made at a regular meeting of the Voting Membership.
B. The proposed changes and the date of the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be acted upon shall be announced at least two (2) Sundays prior to the meeting.
C. The proposed amendment must be submitted in writing to the church council for its study and recommendation.
All amendments to the By-Laws or to the Constitution shall be recorded in the official copy of the Constitution and By-Laws in the possession of the current Secretary of the congregation.