Community of Grace Lutheran Church Constitution and Bylaws
We, baptized members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 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.Chapter 1. NAME AND INCORPORATION
C1.01. The name of this congregation shall be Community of Grace Lutheran Church.
C1.02. For the purpose of this constitution and the accompanying bylaws, the congregation of Community of Grace is hereinafter designated as “this congregation” or “Community of Grace.”
C1.03. This congregation shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Arizona.Chapter 2. 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 Scriptures 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.
Chapter 3. NATURE OF THE CHURCH
Chapter 4. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
C4.02. To participate in God’s mission, this congregation as a part of the Church shall:
C4.05.01. Mission Statement: Following Jesus on the bold, reckless adventure of Grace starting in the home, in partnership with the church and out into the world.
Chapter 5. POWERS OF THE CONGREGATION
C5.04. In all matters left undecided by the Word of God and not subject to Civil laws, the Congregation itself, and not any individual or group within or without of the congregation, shall have the right of ultimate decision.
Chapter 6. CHURCH AFFILIATION
Chapter 7 PROPERTY OWNERSHIP
Chapter 8. MEMBERSHIP
C8.03a.01. It shall be made known to prospective participants that the belief of this congregation is:
1. Participation in the Lord’s Supper is the “reception of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given with bread and wine (or grape juice), instituted by Christ Himself for us to eat and drink.”
b. live a Christian life in accordance with the Word of God and the teachings of the Lutheran church; and
1. Members who move and are no longer able to participate in this congregation shall be encouraged to transfer their membership. A confirmed member in good standing desiring to change membership to another Church shall receive a Letter of Transfer when so requested.
Chapter 9. THE PASTOR
C9.03.01. The Board of Directors shall designate one pastor to be the Senior Pastor. The duties of the Senior Pastor are:
1. The Senior Pastor shall offer spiritual guidance and leadership training to equip the Board of Directors members and advisory boards.
8. The Senior Pastor shall be responsible for ensuring that accurate records of the membership and of ministerial acts are kept. The Senior Pastor shall report these statistics annually to the congregation and, when required, to the Secretary of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Upon leaving the congregation, the Senior Pastor shall complete the records of this ministry up to the time of his or her departure. These records shall be and shall remain the property of this congregation. Should this congregation be dissolved, these records shall be deposited in the archives of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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.
Chapter 10. CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
C10.03. Notice of all regular meetings of this congregation shall be made at no less than two public services immediately preceding the meeting, said services to be at least one week apart. One annual congregational meeting shall be held in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year to present the annual budget and to elect members of the Board of Directors.
C10.04. A quorum shall consist of the voting members that are present at the properly called Congregational Meeting.
Chapter 11. OFFICERS
C11.04 Duties of the officers:
a. Duties of the President are to:
1. preside over congregation meetings and he or she shall also preside over Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings;
3. sign all forms, documents, and official papers requiring signature by the congregation;
b. Duties of the Vice-President are to:
1. perform all duties of the President in the President’s absence and, in case of extended disability or expulsion of the President, shall succeed the President in office for the remainder of the term;
c. Duties of the Secretary are to:
1. ensure the keeping of accurate minutes of each meeting of the congregation, the Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee;
d. Duties of the Treasurer are to:
1. ensure that the Board of Directors is provided the necessary financial reports to fulfill their responsibilities as defined in Section 12.06 of the Constitution;
3. ensure that an annual financial audit or compilation is performed as required by the financial institutions with which the church does business.
Chapter 12. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
C12.02.01. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the Senior Pastor and three voting members of this congregation. The Board of Directors shall elect the three members once annually at the first regularly scheduled board meeting immediately following the congregation meeting at which elections were held.
C12.03. A board member shall be a voting member of the congregation in good standing who honors his or her Christian commitment as evidenced by regular worship attendance, a personal devotional life, being actively involved with group life, committed to tithing and actively involved with giving away their faith. Board members may be elected, subject only to the limitation on the length of continuous service permitted in that office. A member’s place on the Board of Directors shall be declared vacant if the member a) ceases to be a voting member of this congregation or b) is absent from four successive regular meetings of the Board of Directors without excuse. 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 Board of Directors in other circumstances.
C12.06. The Board of Directors 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 Board of Directors shall include the following:
b. Board members shall be familiar with the Constitution, Bylaws and any Continuing Resolutions of the congregation.
c. The Board leads this congregation in stating its mission, doing long-range planning to set goals and priorities, and evaluates its activities in light of its mission and goals.
d. The Board oversees and provides for the administration of this congregation to enable it to fulfill its functions and perform its mission.
d. No individual or group affiliated with the Community of Grace shall enter into a contract with an aggregate value of greater than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) without a resolution adopted by not less than a majority vote of the of the Community of Grace Board of Directors present at a legally called and conducted meeting of the Board.
C12.10. The Board of Directors has the authority to order an independent audit as needed.
C12.14. Electronic Meeting: Electronic meetings may be called by the President to transact urgent business. Directors may be notified of the meeting by E-mail. All materials necessary for the Directors to consider the business for which the meeting has been called may be delivered electronically. A quorum of Directors is required to transact business. Voting may be done by E-mail. The Secretary must record minutes for the meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken at any meeting of the Board, other than removal of a Director (unless such Director waives in writing his or her right to appear before and be heard by the Board), may be taken without a meeting if the action is taken by two-thirds of the Board. Any such action shall be evidenced by one or more written consents describing the action taken and signed by each Director. Such action shall be effective when the last Director signs the consent; provided, however, that if the consent specifies an effective date, then such action shall become effective as of the specified date when the last Director signs the consent. A consent signed under this section has the effect of a meeting vote and may be described as such in any document.
Chapter 13. CONGREGATIONAL COMMITTEES
Chapter 14. ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE CONGREGATION
C14.02.01. All employees of any organization within the congregation as defined in Chapter 14 of the Constitution are employees of the Community of Grace. Upon approval of the Community of Grace Board of Directors, the organization may establish personnel policies for the organization that differ from the Community of Grace Employee Guide.
C14.02.02. Organizations that formally establish policies and procedures for financial responsibility shall submit such policies and procedures to the Community of Grace Board of Directors for approval. Upon approval by the Board of Directors, the organization may establish accounts independent from the Community of Grace.
Chapter 15. DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS AND ADJUDICATION
Chapter 16. BYLAWS
Chapter 17. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
Chapter 18. CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS
Chapter 19. INDEMNIFICATION
Chapter 20 DISSOLUTION OF THE CONGREGATION
This Corporation is not organized, nor shall it be operated for pecuniary gain or profit, and it does not contemplate distribution of gains, profits or dividends to the members thereof and is organized solely for non-profit purposes. The property, assets, profits and net income of this Corporation are irrevocably dedicated to charitable and religious purposes and no part of the profits or net income of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of a director, officer, or member thereof or to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. Upon the dissolution or winding up of this corporation, its assets remaining after payment of, or provision for payment of, all debts and liabilities of the corporation, shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation, which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and religious purposes and which has established its tax exempt status under the Code of the State of Arizona, and/or Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. If this corporation holds any assets in trust, such assets shall be disposed of in such a manner as may be directed by decree of the superior court of the county in which this corporation’s principal office is located, upon petition therefore by the Attorney General or by any person concerned in the liquidation.