CONSTITUTION OF TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF NORFOLK, VIRGINIA
Whereas the Word of God demands that a Christian Congregation not only conform to the Word of God in doctrine and practice (Psalm 119:105; Gal. 1:6-8; 2 Tim. 4:1-5), but that all things be done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40); therefore, we the members of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norfolk, Virginia set forth by this present document, signed by ourselves, this Constitution in accordance with which this Congregation’s affairs, spiritual and material, shall be conducted.
Article I NAME
The name of this congregation is: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norfolk, Virginia.
Article II PURPOSE
This religious, non-profit, unincorporated congregation is the body of Christ and is organized for the purpose of:
l. Worshipping and adoring the true God;
2. Strengthening its members in the life of Christ as they gather around the Word and Sacraments;
3. Serving as priests to one another in God’s kingdom;
4. Training its members to go forth into the world to love, serve, and to win others for the Kingdom of God;
5. Carrying out a ministry of concern to its own community and to all the world.
Article III CONFESSIONAL STANDARD
This congregation accepts all the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God, and acknowledges all the symbolical books of the Lutheran Church contained in the Book of Concord of the year 1580, viz., the Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian); the unaltered Augsburg Confession of 1530; the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Catechisms of Martin Luther; the Smalcald Articles, the Formula of Concord, to be the true and genuine exposition of the doctrines of the Bible. From this Word of God, all doctrines are to be deduced and proven, and according to these confessional books, all religious disputes are to be decided.
Article IV SYNODICAL AFFILIATION
This congregation shall be affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, as long as the confessions and constitution of said Synod are in accord with the confession and constitution of this congregation as set forth in Article III above, and said Synod abides by the same.
This congregation shall, to the best of its abilities, cooperate with the said Synod and participate with it in the up building of the Kingdom of God.
Article V MEMBERSHIP
A. Baptized Membership
1. All souls who are baptized “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”, who are committed to the congregation’s care and for whom the congregation has assumed pastoral and spiritual responsibilities, are Baptized Members of this congregation.
B. Communicant Membership
1. All persons are Communicant Members of this congregation:
- Who have been baptized “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”
- Who, after receiving Christian instructions, signify their agreement with the Confessional standard as set forth in Article III of this constitution, and
- Who have been accepted into Communicant Membership in accordance with the Constitution of this congregation.
2. Those persons who become Communicant Members should:
- Continue to be faithful to the Word and Sacraments,
- Serve the Lord through the congregation and in their own personal lives in the up building of the Kingdom of God.
- Contribute regularly of their time, talents, and treasures to the support of the congregation.
- Submit willingly to live within the discipline of love as exercised by the congregation in its ministry of reconciliation,
- Avoid membership in, or association with organizations, which deny the Lordship of Christ, or conflict with the Confessional standard of the congregation.
3. Communicant members may be received by transfer, profession of faith, adult baptism, or confirmation. They are received by the Board of Deacons according to the current practices of the congregation.
4. The Board of Deacons shall terminate the membership of those transferring to other Lutheran congregations, joining without transfer churches of other denominations, or whose whereabouts cannot be ascertained. In the case of self-exclusion or excommunication, the Board of Deacons shall make recommendations to the Voters Assembly for action.
C. Voting Membership
- The voting membership shall constitute the Voters’ Assembly. All communicant members who have reached their 18th year and have been accepted by the Voters’ Assembly after having read and signed the constitution of the congregation shall be entitled to a vote.
- A voting member is expected to attend meetings of the Voters’ Assembly, accept office and participate in the other activities of the congregation as the Lord gives strength and ability.
Article VI OFFICERS
A. Communicant Members of this congregation who are at least 21 years of age and qualified to vote shall be eligible for elective office of this congregation.
B. Reasons for dismissing an officer shall be: persistent adherence to false teaching contrary to the Confessional Standard of the congregation, a scandalous life, or willful neglect of duties. This congregation shall take no action to dismiss an officer until he has been advised of the charges preferred against him and given the opportunity to answer such charges.
Article VII PASTORS AND TEACHERS
A. This congregation shall call only such pastors, teachers, or other workers whose beliefs are in accord with the Confessional standard of this congregation (Article III), and who have been approved by the Synod as being qualified for their positions. Reasons for dismissing such workers shall be: persistent adherence to false teaching contrary to the Confessional Standard of this congregation, a scandalous life, or willful neglect of duties. This congregation shall take no action to dismiss a called worker until he has been advised of the charges preferred against him and given the opportunity to answer such charges.
B. This congregation shall generally follow the calling practices recommended by The Lutheran Church-Missouri synod. Upon vacancy in a position of one of the congregation’s called workers, the calling procedure the congregation intends to follow shall be presented to the Voters’ Assembly for approval. The final vote to issue a call shall never be delegated to an individual or other body.
Article VIII GOVERNING AUTHORITY IN THE CONGREGATION
The Voters’ Assembly (Article V, C) shall be the governing authority in the congregation, and any members may appeal to it regarding any matter relating to the affairs and government of the congregation. A decision of the Voters’ Assembly shall be final and binding, but such decisions must always be in accord with the Word of God and the Lutheran Symbolical Books (Article III).
Article IX PROPERTY RIGHTS OF THE CONGREGATION
This religious, non-profit, unincorporated body may receive, acquire, hold title to, and manage such real estate and other property, as it may deem necessary to accomplish its purpose as a congregation. The congregation may sell or dispose of such real estate and other property, or any part thereof, in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and this body shall have all other rights and powers that are granted a religious congregation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Should a separation in the congregation occur, (May God graciously avert it) the entire property of the congregation and all rights connected therewith shall remain with those members who hold fast to this constitution. In the event that the congregation shall disband, the property and all rights connected therein sha1l be transferred to that District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod of which the congregation is a member.
Article X AMENDMENTS
Amendments to this constitution must be submitted to the Voters’ Assembly in writing at one regular meeting and acted on at the next regular meeting of the Voters’ Assembly (Article V, C, l).
The foregoing constitution adopted on October 14, 1975, effective January 1, 1975, as and for the constitution of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norfolk, Virginia, super-cedes all similar documents previous to October 14, 1975.
Amended at Voters’ Assembly on April 26, 1987
THE BY-LAWS OF THE CONGREGATION
ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP
A. BAPTIZED MEMBERSHIP.
1. Reception. Baptized members are received through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism; or if previously baptized, by transfer, at their request, or at the request of one or both parents or guardians of a child who has been baptized in the name of the Triune God.
2. Duties and Privileges. Baptized members are called to grow in faith by:
- Attending church services of worship, and programs of Christian education.
- Conforming their lives to their baptismal vows.
- Attending confirmation classes and receiving instruction for Holy Communion. The traditional practice of this congregation is that its children receive pastoral instruction and confess their faith by way of the Rite of Confirmation prior to participating for the first time in the Lord’s Supper as “communicant members”.
- The privileges of baptized members include receiving nurture and assistance from members, access to the Pastor in his professional role, and reception of Christian burial.
B. COMMUNICANT MEMBERSHIP.
1. Reception. The Pastor shall inform applicants for communicant membership of the requirements needed for such membership in accordance with Article V of the Constitution. Applicants not familiar with the teachings and confessions of the Lutheran Church shall be required to attend a course of instruction, and to make affirmation of their baptismal covenant either before the congregation in worship, or, at the Board of Deacons discretion, before witnesses who are members of the Board of Deacons, before being received as communicant members.
Applicants from other Lutheran congregations shall submit a letter of transfer from their former congregation. In the case of applicants whose membership in a Lutheran church has lapsed, they shall receive a period of re-instruction at the discretion of the Pastor with the consent of the Board of Deacons, prior to the reaffirmation of faith by an affirmation of their baptismal covenant.
Junior confirmands shall be received as communicant members according to the procedures outlined in Section A.2.c. of this article.
When these requirements have been met, the applicant’s admission as a communicant member shall be recommended by the Pastor to the Board of Deacons which shall have authority to act on such applications on behalf of the Voting Membership. The new members shall be received at a public worship service after approval by the Board of Deacons. The roster of members shall be publicized in various news media of the congregation.
2. Duties and Privileges. Membership in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is a concrete expression of commitment to Christ and to “the church which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22-23). The privileges of communicant members include partaking in Holy Communion, access to the Pastor in his professional role, concern and assistance from fellow members, eligibility for Voting Membership (as per Article IV, Section A of these By-Laws), and reception of Christian burial. Members of the congregation shall therefore recognize their call from God to:
- Gather regularly in worship so as to rejoice and be nourished in Word and Sacrament individually and communally.
- Grow in knowledge and understanding of the Word of God by personal and family Bible study and devotion, and by making use of opportunities for Christian education of children and adults by the congregation.
- Love and forgive, care for and be cared for by one another as brothers and sisters in one body, which “makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love” (Ephesians 4: 16).
- Use their gifts to serve God together in the work of the congregation through offerings of time, talent, labor, money and prayer.
- Use their gifts to serve God in the world on every frontier of life, at home, work, school, commerce, and society, by reflecting His character, obeying His commandments, trusting His promises, doing their Work with joy, and becoming voices of the Word by which God reconciles people to himself and to one another.
- Rejoice in the sure promise of forgiveness and life, even in the face of personal contradiction, weakness, and failure, in order that the life freely given in the cross and baptism may be renewed and strengthened every day.
C. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP.
1. Fulfillment. Membership in the church is not terminated but fulfilled when the Lord of the church receives one of his saints into the promised inheritance; where he will serve and praise God forever in the ranks of “angels and archangels and all the company of heaven”.
2. Transfers. A member desiring to transfer to another Lutheran congregation shall apply to the Pastor. Upon approval by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, a letter of transfer shall be issued. The Board of Deacons shall report all transfers to the congregation via church publications and to the Voters’ Assembly at the next regular meeting.
3. Joining Other Churches. Members of this congregation who request transfer to a non-Lutheran congregation shall be informed their membership cannot be transferred to a non-Lutheran congregation. Pastor, in conjunction with the Board of Deacons, may issue a Release from Membership when requested.
In cases where members have joined another non-Lutheran congregation, they shall, upon the decision of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, be deemed to have excluded themselves from membership at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church. Their names shall be removed from the membership list of the congregation and that action reported at the next Voters’ Assembly.
4. Whereabouts Unknown. The names of members whose whereabouts are unknown and cannot be established within a period of one year shall be removed from the membership list by the decision of the Pastor and Board of Deacons and placed in a file designated “Whereabouts Unknown”. Such membership is terminated and shall be reported as such at the next Voters’ Assembly.
5. Self-Exclusion: The procedures currently in the Policy File will be followed by the Pastor, the Board of Deacons, and the Voters’ Assembly.
Such self-exclusion releases the individual from all responsibilities to this congregation, but in addition, also excluded the person from the privileges of church membership, such as Christian burial, Holy Communion, transfer to another Lutheran congregation, and any legal claim against the properties of this congregation. SUCH A PERSON, HOWEVER, WILL AT ALL TIMES BE CORDIALLY WELCOME TO ATTEND ALL WORSHIP SERVICES IN OUR CHURCH.
6. Forced Removal (Excommunication). Any member who persists in living in an unchristian manner, i.e., openly adheres to teachings contrary to the exposition of the Holy Scriptures in the Lutheran Confessions, gives public evidence of an immoral and offensive life, or willfully despises the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments, shall be admonished in a manner similar to that under “Self-Exclusion” above, and if unrepentant after repeated admonition, shall be removed from membership by the Board of Deacons on behalf of the congregation.
7. Restoration to Membership. An individual who has been removed from membership for whatever reason shall be restored with all rights and privileges when the errant person repents and asks forgiveness through the Pastor and/or the Board of Deacons. Both acts of removal and restoration shall be made known to all members by whatever means the Pastor and/or the Board of Deacons deem most suitable.
8. Intent. In terminating membership, the congregation shall be guided by love, by the earnest desire that none be lost, and by the word of Christ in Matthew 18:15-17 and other New Testament passages.
ARTICLE II – OFFICE OF THE PASTOR, TEACHERS, AND PARISH WORKERS
A. PROCEDURES FOR SECURING A PASTOR. As soon as a Pastoral vacancy occurs the President of the congregation will contact the District President and the Circuit Counselor and appoint a Call Committee. Call procedures will be in accordance with the Southeastern District Operations Manual and specific guidance from the district.
The Board of Worship in conjunction with the Circuit Counselor shall secure the services of a vacancy Pastor. The vacancy Pastor shall perform all necessary Pastoral services and/or arrange to have them performed properly. The Church Council will determine the duties and salary of the vacancy Pastor.
B. PROCEDURE FOR SECURING TEACHERS AND OTHER PARISH WORKERS. Negotiations for calling or contracting teacher for the Day School (new or renewal) shall be delegated to the Day School Board and such negotiations and the terms agreed to shall come before the Voters’ Assembly for approval in a regular or special meeting.
Negotiations for calling or contracting other parish workers (such as Deaconess, Minister of Education, Director of Youth Activities and Sexton) shall be delegated to the Board or Boards under whose supervision the worker will serve. Such negotiations and the terms agreed to shall come before the Church Council for approval and be presented to the Voters’ Assembly for final approval.
C. THE PASTORAL OFFICE.
1. Purpose. The Pastoral office is the servant ministry conferred upon Pastors by God, through the call of the congregation (all members of which have been called to spiritual priesthood and ministry according to the Scriptures) to exercise in public the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments on the behalf of all.
2. Duties. Upon being installed the pastor is authorized and obligated to:
- Proclaim and teach the Word of God in its full truth and purity as contained in the Sacred Scriptures and professed in the Book of Concord of A.D. 1580.
- Administer the Sacraments in accordance with their divine institution;
- Shepherd the congregation for its comfort and growth in faith and unity;
- Guard and promote faithfully the spiritual welfare of the members, in particular, instruct the catechumens, both children and adults in the Scriptures and thus prepare them for communicant membership in the church;
- Minister to individuals in times of disability, distress, division or sin; i.e., aid, counsel, and guide all members; visit the sick and dying; and admonish the delinquent and the erring;
- Lead and encourage the members in their love, servant hood, and witness to one another and to the world;
- Guide the congregation in applying the divinely ordained discipline of the church;
- Provide spiritual leadership and oversight in the educational agencies and the various adult, youth, and family organizations within the congregation;
- Promote and guide the mission activity of the congregation in particular, assist in training workers and guiding them in evangelism activities and enlist the support of the congregation for mission work;
- Serve the congregation as an example of Christian conduct;
- Endeavor earnestly to live in brotherly unity with the members of the congregation and with fellow workers of sister congregations in the Synod;
- Do everything possible by the grace of God to edify and build the church in Christ, both locally and generally;
- Keep a church record of all official acts for the permanent records of the congregation;
- Serve on the Executive Board
- Supervise the activities of the Minister of Education; and
- Evaluate the performance of the Minister of Education and review compensation of the Minister of Education together with the Day School Board annually and submit recommendations to the Board of Stewardship for budget purposes.
3. Congregational Responsibility. Members of the congregation obligate themselves to:
- Receive the Pastor as a servant of Jesus Christ;
- Give the Pastor the honor, love, and obedience which the Scriptures prescribe;
- Support the Pastor with encouraging words, cooperative actions, and ardent prayers;
- Provide for the Pastor’s maintenance according to the ability of the congregation by reviewing salary, housing requirements, and all allowances periodically;
- Support the Pastor’s continuing education as a professional person in the service of the Gospel; and,
- In so calling and installing a Pastor, the members of the congregation exercise their spiritual priesthood and by no means relinquish it. This is the privilege and responsibility of all members of the church.
D. THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION.
1. Purpose. The Minister of Education shall give glory to God through the means of Christian education and nurture. In general, the Minister of Education is responsible for developing a program of Christian education for all age levels in the congregation.
2. Duties. The Minister of Education shall:
- Be responsible to the Pastor who shall convene meetings to discuss past and future weekly activities and short, medium, and long range planning.
- Serve as Principal of the Day School.
- Serve as a voting member of the Church Council hold one vote only.
- Assist boards, committees and organizations with counsel and leadership.
- Have special responsibility in the areas of the Board of Christian Growth and Board of Youth Ministry with duties to include:
- Be a resource person for the Directors of Boards of Christian Growth and Board of Youth Ministry, Sunday School Superintendent, and Youth Leaders, to locate review educational material.
- Work with the Directors of the Boards of Christian Growth and Youth Ministry in planning and implementing a well-balanced youth program in conjunction with the overall church program with special emphasis on developing and maintaining a Preteen, Junior High, and Senior High youth program.
- Develop a program of personal visitation to the youth of the parish currently not participating in the congregation’s ministry.
- Work with the Board of Christian Growth in evaluating, planning, promoting, and monitoring the Sunday school and Vacation Bible School ministry.
- Work with the Sunday School Superintendent, recruit and train new teachers and assist in the training of new and present teachers
- Assist the Pastor in teaching responsibilities as requested.
E. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. Any Pastor, teacher, or other parish worker may be removed from office by the congregation in Christian and lawful order, for one of the following reasons:
- Persistent adherence to false teaching contrary to the Confessional standard of this congregation.
- A scandalous life.
- Willful neglect of official duty.
- Evident and prolonged inability to perform the functions of the office.
Charges of any of these counts shall be carefully investigated by the Board of Deacons in the case of the Pastor, by the Day School Board in the case of a teacher, and by the supervising board in the case of a parish worker under the supervision of the Church Council.
Should such charges be substantiated by clear evidence, the individual shall first be given an opportunity to resign his/her position in the congregation. Such opportunity having been given and declined, the Church Council shall notify the voting membership by mail of the situation, and shall submit the matter for action at a special meeting of that body. A two-thirds majority vote of the Voting Members present shall be required to dismiss a Pastor, teacher, or parish worker.
The Circuit Counselor and District President shall have full knowledge of removal procedures when they are preferred against a Pastor, teacher or parish worker, and all such actions shall be taken in full consultations with said officials. The congregation shall act in love and concern for the personhood and family of the one who had the call, as to a brother or sister given by the Lord himself.
ARTICLE III- VOTERS’ ASSEMBLY, CHURCH COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE BOARD
1. Regular live meetings of the Voters’ Assembly shall be held in the months of May, August, and November on the second Sunday of the month or as designated by the President.
- The May meeting shall include the consideration and acceptance of the Day School budget and Church budget for the following school year, as well as the election of Officers and Directors of the various boards of the congregation.
- The August meeting of the Voters’ Assembly shall be the annual Planning/Mission Renewal meeting.
- The November meeting in odd number years of the Voters’ Assembly shall announce the selection of the Nominating Committee.
2. Special meetings of the Voters’ Assembly may be called by the President, Pastor or a quorum of the Church Council.
The date, place and time of special Voters’ Assemblies shall be set by the Church Council and properly publicized throughout the membership at least a week in advance. Publication in the church bulletin, written notice mailed ten days in advance or announcement at the previous meeting of the Voters’ Assembly are acceptable means of serving notice.
3. The Church Council shall meet during the months of February, March, April, June, August, October and December. Additional meetings may be called by the President and/or the Pastor as required. In addition to the regular order of business, the following items will be placed on the agenda during these months:
February - The Nominating Committee makes its initial report.
March - Review church budget for presentation to May Voters’ Assembly.
June - Begin planning of the Yearly Program.
August - Yearly program formalized.
October - In odd-numbered years the Nominating Committee shall be appointed.
December - Review Day School proposed Budget for presentation to the January Voters’ Assembly
The meetings of the Church Council shall be held on the last Wednesday of the months indicated above except for the December meeting, which will be held the 1st Wednesday.
B. RULES OF ORDER.
- All meetings of the Voters’ Assembly shall be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of this congregation. In questions of parliamentary procedure not covered by the Constitution and By-Laws, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be used as a guide in reaching a God-pleasing decision. (“Ex-officio” means “membership with full voice and vote on the basis of the person’s office.” “Advisory” would denote “membership with voice only.”)
- All communicant members of the congregation may attend the meetings of the Voters’ Assembly and may, with the consent of the Voting Membership submit recommendations, or participate in a discussion of any given item of business before the Voting Membership. Only Voting Members may cast votes except in the case of calling a Pastor, where all communicant members present may vote.
- A quorum for the Voters’ Assembly shall be a 10% average of the attendance at weekly Sunday worship services over the past 12 months period to be calculated every July 31, coinciding with the installment of a new church council. A quorum of the Church Council shall consist of eight or more Council members. There will be no voting by proxy.
- In the absence of a quorum at the Voters’ Assembly, those present may fix the date for an adjourned meeting, which shall be publicly announced at least one week prior to the date of such meeting. The members who are present at such adjourned meeting shall constitute a quorum.
C. ORDER OF BUSINESS.
- The following order of business shall be used at regular meetings of Voters’ Assembly:
- Opening devotion.
- Recording of attendance.
- Reception of new members who have signed the Constitution form.
- Reading and approval of the minutes of previous meetings, including special meetings.
- Unfinished business.
- Reports, including correspondence, Pastor’s, Officer’s, Board’s, Committee’s and delegate’s
- New business.
- Special agenda item(s).
- Adjournment, with prayer.
2. The following order of business shall be used at special meetings of the Voters’ Assembly:
- Opening devotion.
- Recording of attendance.
- Reception of new members who have signed the Constitution form.
- Reading of any minutes pertaining to announced businesses.
- Special business as listed on agenda.
- Adjournment, with prayer.
3. The President may, with the consent of the Voters’ Assembly, vary the above orders in the interest of efficiency.
D. AUTHORITY OF VOTERS’ ASSEMBLY. The following matters shall be vested in the Voters’ Assembly and shall never be delegated to another group or person:
- Approval of additions and deletions to the church and Day School full-time staff.
- Any non-budgeted expenditure in excess of $2,000.00.
- Any sale or disposal of church property valued in excess of $2,000.00.
- Adoption of yearly budgets and revisions.
- Adoption of resolutions to the District and Synod.
- Approval of major building plans.
- Nominations for office in the District and Synod.
- Decisions assigned to the Voters’ Assembly in accordance with specific sections of the By-Laws.
E. THE CHURCH COUNCIL. The Church Council shall consist of sixteen (16) members as follows: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Trustee, and the Directors of Deacons, Worship, Outreach, Christian Growth, Day School, Stewardship, Special Ministries, Youth Ministry, the Minister of Education, and the Pastor. Additionally, a representative of the Lutheran Woman’s League shall be entitled to vote.
- Purpose. The Church Council shall serve as a forum where the activities of the Administrative Boards may be discussed, evaluated, and coordinated, and where all such activities may be integrated into an overall congregational program. The Council will make decisions regarding the various programs of the church and will carry out the responsibilities as set forth in these By-Laws.
- Responsibilities. The Church Council shall:
- Serve as the point of liaison between the Pastor, the Officers of the congregation, and the various Administrative Boards in planning the total work of the congregation.
- Sett1e areas of responsibilities in disputes between Administrative Boards.
- Present to the Voters’ Assembly at its September meeting a yearly plan of activities for the entire congregation for the development and expansion of Christ’s work in our midst.
- Prepare the agenda for the four meetings of the Voters’ Assembly.
- Appoint the Nominating Committee at the time required.
- Be available at all times for additional functions, which the Voting Membership may wish to confer on it.
- Keep a permanent set of minutes for each meeting. Such minutes shall be the property of the congregation. The final disposition of these records shall be at the discretion of the Voters’ Assembly after ten years.
F. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD. The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, the Minister of Education, and the Pastor.
- Purpose. The Executive Board shall project plans for the midterm (one to five years) for all activities of the church. The Board should also consider the long-range plans of the District and Synod in their deliberations.
- Responsibilities. The Executive Board shall:
- Seek opportunities for mission churches.
- Plan areas of outreach to the community in coordination with the Lutheran Council of Tidewater and the Circuit Forum.
- Conduct an overview of the church activities; that is, Boards, physical plant of the church and school, etc.
- Develop plans to integrate church and Day School growth.
- Design public relations objectives.
- Make all recommendations to the Church Council at its regular meetings.
ARTICLE IV – ORGANIZATION
A. VOTING MEMBERSHIP.
- Eligibility. Any communicant member who has attained the age of eighteen (18) years shall be received into Voting Membership upon signing and dating a form, thereby signifying that he/she has read the Constitution and intends to fulfill the duties of a Voting Member. This action must be completed prior to a Voters’ Assembly.
- Duties and Responsibilities. It shall be the duty and privilege of the Voting Members of this congregation to:
- Faithfully attend all meetings of the Voters’ Assembly.
- Conscientiously and prayerfully vote on all measures that will advance the work of Christ’s Kingdom.
- Willingly serve in any office or capacity for which their talents and abilities equip them.
- Encourage eligible non-members to consider accepting the responsibilities of Voting Membership.
- Termination. The status of Voting Membership, and all rights and privileges thereof, shall be deemed terminated whenever:
- The individual’s communicant membership is terminated in accordance with Article I, paragraph C, of these By-Laws, or
- Upon written request to the recording secretary.
First Trustee (Director of Board of Church Properties)
Any two or more of the above may function as Trustees under Virginia Law.
C. ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS.
Board of Deacons Board of Day School
Board of Worship Board of Stewardship Board of Church Properties Board of Outreach Board of Special Ministries Board of Christian Growth Board of Youth Ministry
D. ELECTION PROCEDURES.
1. Eligibility. All voting members, male or female, shall be eligible for elected office. Candidates for office must have attained the age of twenty-one (21).
2. Nomination. At the November meeting of the voting Membership, the Church Council shall announce its selection of four (4) qualified Voting Members, who together with Pastor, shall serve as the Nominating Committee. Two members of the Nominating Committee shall be selected from the membership of the Church Council and two from the Voting Membership at large shall serve for two years. At this meeting, the voters may submit to the committee the names of possible candidates for office.
The Nominating Committee shall prepare a list of candidates in March. This list shall be made available to all communicant members of the congregation in the April issue of the “Trinitarian” along with procedures for additional nominations.
Following the publication of the Nominating Committee’s list, any communicant member of the congregation may submit to the committee additional names (who have agreed to be nominated) for inclusion on the list and such names shall be placed in nomination by the committee along with the candidates already chosen, provided:
- That such names shall be submitted at least ten days before the date of the May Issuance of Ballots.
- That the Nominating Committee shall have investigated the status of all proposed candidates and found them eligible for office and willing to serve.
The Nominating Committee, at least one week before the date of the May Ballot Issuance, shall post conspicuously on the church bulletin board the list of candidates for the following offices:
Financial Secretary (as appropriate)
Treasurer (as appropriate)
Third Trustee and
Directors of the various Administrative Board (as appropriate)
3. Election Procedure. From the list of candidates for each elective office submitted by the Nominating Committee, the Voting Membership shall, by use of paper ballots in May elect by simple majority, the following “officers” in the order herein indicated:
a. Vice President
b. Recording Secretary
c. Financial Secretary (as appropriate)
d. Treasurer (as appropriate)
e. Third Trustee
f. Directors specifically nominated for the directorship of one of the following boards:
4. Christian Growth
5. Day School
7. Special ministries
8. Youth Ministry
A Vice President shall be elected every other year. When elected, the Vice President shall serve for two years and advance to President for two years. A Third Trustee shall be elected every year. When elected, the Third Trustee shall serve for three years, as he/she shall advance automatically to Second Trustee during the second year, and to First Trustee the third year. The Directors, Financial Secretary and Treasurer shall serve for two years with the latter two being elected in alternate years. The Recording Secretary shall serve for one year. The term of office shall be from August 1st to July 31st.
During even-numbered years the following shall be elected:
Director of Deacons
Director of Christian Growth
Director of Day School
Director of Youth Ministry
During odd-numbered years, the following shall be elected:
Director of Worship
Director of Outreach
Director of Stewardship
Director of Special Ministries
4. Installation of Officers and Administrative Directors. Officers elected by Ballot for the coming years shall assume their duties August 1st following each election. Those elected to fill vacancies shall assume their duties as soon as elected. Officers shall be installed at the second Sunday service in August.
E. TERMINATION. The tenure of any elected official may be terminated upon voters’ acceptance of a written resignation. The voters may remove an elected official at their discretion (following similar procedures as set forth for Pastors, Teachers, or Parish Workers – Article II, Section E of these By-Laws).
F. FILLING OF VACANCIES. Vacancies shall be filled by immediate presidential appointment, with approval of the Church Council. In unique circumstances when this is not possible, a called meeting of the Voting Assembly will be required to approve such appointment.
G. ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD MEMBERSHIP. Upon favorable recommendations of the Director of each Administrative Board the Church Council shall appoint the necessary Board members to the respective Boards. The member’s appointment shall coincide with the normal term of office of elected Board Directors.
ARTICLE V – DUTIES OF OFFICERS ANDADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS
A. DUTIES OF CHURCH OFFICERS.
- Purpose. To preside over the affairs of the congregation, ensuring adherence to the Constitution and By-Laws, and to ensure that the expressed will of the congregation as embodied in the resolutions of the Voting Membership is fulfilled.
- Responsibilities. The President shall:
- Set the place, date, time and agenda of the meetings of the Church Council.
- Preside at all meetings of the Voters’ Assembly, Church Council and Executive Board.
- Coordinate the functions, plans, and activities of the congregation in conjunction with the Church Council.
- Communicate regularly with the Pastor, Officers and Board Directors regarding congregational matters.
- Ensure that each Board carries out its functions according to the Constitution and By-Laws.
- Be an ex-officio member of all Boards, committees, auxiliaries and groups, except the Nominating Committee.
- Appoint any special committees formed by action of the Church Council. The purposes and names of members of these committees and individuals shall be reported to the congregation. Appoint delegates to the Lutheran Council of Tidewater and the Circuit Forum after approval of the Church Council.
- Appoint an Auditing Committee consisting of any two qualified communicant members of the congregation, other than the Treasurer, or Financial Secretary, to audit annually all financial records of the congregation. The Audit Committee’s report shall be submitted to the Voters’ Assembly.
- Activate annually a Salary, Wage and Benefit Review Committee whose members shall be the President, Vice President and a member of the Board of Day School. The committee shall:
- Review the salaries and benefits of all church and school employees.
- Consult with the Directors of Deacons, Worship, First Trustee, and Day School regarding evaluations and recommendations of employees for whom they are responsible.
- Forward to the Director of Stewardship the committee’s financial recommendations for inclusion in the church budget at the appropriate time.
- Co-sign checks or withdraw bank funds and have access to the safe deposit box.
- When a Pastoral vacancy occurs, contact the District President, Circuit Counselor, and appoint a Call Committee.
2. Vice President.
a. Purpose. In the absence of the President, the First Vice President serves in his
b. Responsibilities. The First Vice President shall:
- Act for and on the behalf of the President in his absence, at his request, or in the event of his inability to function.
- Co-sign checks or withdraw funds from the bank and have access to the safe deposit box.
- Supervise all Boards. Review reports from these Boards and keep the President informed if deemed necessary.
- Be available for whatever duties the President shall assign to him and serve on the Executive Board.
3. Recording Secretary.
a. Purpose. To serve as Recording Officer of the congregation, Voters’ Assembly, and Church Council, as well as Planning Board meetings; and be custodian of their records, except those assigned to others, such as the Treasurer’s records.
b. Responsibilities. The Recording Secretary shall:
- Transcribe and permanently record the minutes of the Voters’ Assembly, Church Council, and Planning Board meetings and submit minutes for adoption at the following regular meeting. Supply copies of minutes to all Council and Planning Board members within one week after each meeting.
- Keep the roll of attendance at meetings and maintain a roster of the Voting Membership.
- Maintain a file on all Administrative Board reports.
- Prepare and dispatch official correspondence and notices.
- Maintain an adequate supply of up-to-date copies of the Constitution and By-Laws for distribution to the congregation.
- Maintain the Policy File as policies are established indicating date and identifying the originating source.
- Perform the normal duties of a Corporate Secretary and other duties as may be delegated by the Voters’ Assembly or Church Council.
- Have access to the safe deposit box.
4. Financial Secretary
a. Purpose. The Financial Secretary shall be responsible for complete and accurate accounting of all congregational receipts and prompt deposit of the same.
b. Responsibilities. The Financial Secretary shall:
- Order and distribute offering envelopes.
- Enlist, train and oversee tellers for counting and recording worship service contributions.
- See that all funds are deposited expeditiously.
- Promptly report to the Treasurer the source and amount of all receipts.
- Maintain individual records of contributions and furnish statements to the members at least annually.
- Prepare statistical summaries of offerings and gifts when requested by the President or Board of Stewardship.
- Prepare a monthly financial report for the Voters’ Assembly or Church Council.
- Serve as an advisory member of the Board of Stewardship regarding the annual budget.
a. Purpose. The Treasurer shall be custodian of all congregational funds and financial assets and shall be the principal advisor regarding all financial matters. Along with the President, Vice President and Director of Stewardship, the Treasurer shall be the primary signatory to all bank accounts.
b. Responsibilities. The Treasurer shall:
- Sign all checks after reviewing attached invoices for accuracy for payment of
bills or other financial commitments of the congregation.
- In conjunction with the Board of Stewardship, prepare an annual congregational budget for recommendation to the Church Council.
- Present a monthly recap of expenditures to the Church Council.
- Prepare a written annual financial report for the Voters’ Assembly.
- Have the authority to transfer funds within all bank accounts as needed for the payroll or as directed by the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly for other needs.
- Have authority to approve for payment unbudgeted or non-routine expenditures up to $500. Greater amounts require Church Council approval.
- Supervise the Bookkeeper in accordance with the current job description.
6. First Trustee (Director of Church Properties).
a. Purpose. The Trustee together with other officers of the congregation shall be authorized to sign official documents and contracts that have been negotiated and approved by the Voters’ Assembly.
b. Responsibilities. The Trustee shall:
- Serve as the Legal Trustee of the congregation.
- Serve as Director of the Board of Church Properties.
B. DUTIES OF ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS.
- General Duties of Administrative Boards.
- Overall Responsibilities. Each Administrative Board shall initiate and carry out such activities and programs within the congregation as will enable it to effectively perform the functions and duties assigned to it by the congregation and By-Laws, or by specific resolution of the Voters’ Assembly.
- Reports. Each Administrative Board shall submit a written report of its activities at each regular meeting of the Church Council and the Voters’ Assembly, and on such other occasions as the Assembly may require. Such reports shall include specific recommendations (if any) for the Voters’ Assembly action and/or approval. The Recording Secretary will retain a copy of all such reports and a copy will be made and given to the church office.
- Administration of Funds. 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. This shall include adjustments in line items within the Board’s budget. Each Administrative Board shall be jointly and severally liable for all expenditures not authorized either by the budget or by special resolution of the voters. The Voters’ Assembly may at its discretion, restrict expenditures to conform to the actual financial condition of the congregation.
- Organization. Each Administrative Board shall be under the direct control and supervision of the Director of that Board. Following the election, the Director of each respective Board, in coordination with the other Directors shall seek candidates to fill the Board’s membership. The names of each candidate shall be submitted to the Church Council for appointment. The President shall report such appointments to the congregation.
Each Administrative Board may appoint committees or individuals for special projects to help it accomplish its assigned tasks. Upon acceptance of appointment, the names of members of these committees or individuals should be reported to the President for publication to the congregation.
- Meetings. The time and frequency of Board meetings shall be at the discretion of the Director of the Board and the Board members, except that, either the President or the Pastor may call a meeting of the Board at any time. Meetings thus called shall be classified as special meetings and each Board member shall be notified of the date, time and purpose of such a meeting.
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 the minutes of each Board meeting will be given to the cognizant Vice President and to the church office. The final disposition of these records shall be at the discretion of the Church Council.
The first meeting of the newly elected Church Council shall be a joint meeting with the preceding Church Council and the Executive Board, and shall meet in June. Reports from preceding Boards and Committees will be received, so as; to continue the overall planning of the congregation, to project new plans and to monitor the activities of the congregation. The Church Council shall meet at least bimonthly beginning in June or more often as required by the President. Also during the first meeting, the Policy File will be reviewed by all members of the Council. The pertinent Boards and Church Officers will adhere to the instructions contained in the file. The copy of the Policy File in the Church office is available to all church members.
- Board of Deacons. The Board of Deacons shall consist of at least thirteen (13) members, including the Director of the Board.
- Purpose. The purpose of the Board of Deacons shall be to assist the Pastor on all matters pertaining to the spiritual welfare of the congregation. The Board shall see that all members shall make faithful use of the means of grace, continue steadfast in the confession of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, conform their lives to the rule of the Word of God, and shall assist in the exercise of brotherly admonition and church discipline, keeping all matters of a private nature strictly confidential.
- Responsibilities. The Board shall:
- Have authority to act upon all applications for membership and all requests for letters of transfer and shall report the actions to the Church Council.
- Review and promote regular attendance at church services, at the Lord’s Table and at Voters’ Assembly meetings.
- Encourage those members who are over eighteen (18) years of age to become voting members.
- Continually review communion and church attendance of all members, make calls on “inactives”, and follow up on newborn children in the congregation to encourage baptism and confirmation when eligible.
- Be concerned about thorough instruction and spiritual development of youth and adults for confirmation and church membership in cooperation with the Pastor.
- Be conscious of the atmosphere of friendliness in the congregation towards members and visitors and suggest ways and means for improvement.
- Prepare reports of individual visits or telephone calls, which shall be made available to the Pastor and the Director of the Board.
- Provide for the training of its members as determined by the Pastor and the Board in accordance with the Deacons Handbook, copies of which will be placed in the Policy File, Church office and with the Recording Secretary.
- Make certain that each zone selects two persons from its respective zone as Deacons to guard and promote the spiritual welfare of the zone members, in liaison with Pastor and other concerned Boards.
- In conjunction with the Board of Outreach be concerned for the reception, orientation and integration of new members into the congregation. Review their progress after six (6) months and one (1) year.
- Show concern for the spiritual, emotional, and physical welfare of the Pastor and his family by urging the congregation to give him adequate salary, health, and retirement coverage, housing, free time, vacation, continuing education and assistance in times of stress. To that end, the Board shall specifically review these items once a year.
- Show concern for the Church Secretary regarding duties, adequate salary, vacation, hours of work, insurance, health coverage and retirement.
- Submit an annual budget request in the form and time requested by the Board of Stewardship.
- Board of Worship. The Board of Worship shall consist of at least seven (7) members, including the elected Director of the Board, the Director of Music, the Head Usher and the representative of the Altar Committee.
- Purpose. The purpose of the Board is to plan and supervise all activities pertaining to congregational worship.
- Responsibilities. The Board shall:
- Set the time and schedule of all regular and communion services in conjunction with the Pastor.
- Continually evaluate the congregation’s participation, responsiveness, and acceptance of various forms of worship and be receptive to suggestions for enhancing the worship experience. The Board shall approve or disapprove new forms of worship, Liturgies and Hymns for use in public worship in conjunction with the Pastor.
- Select, train and supervise lay people to assist the Pastor with Scripture readings, preaching and public prayer, as required. Also to train, schedule and supervise the acolytes in conjunction with the Head Usher and the Pastor.
- Supervise adequate nursery facilities and personnel.
- Annually review compensation of the Director of Music for performance, benefits and contract.
- Submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.
- Supervise the work of the Head Usher, who shall:
- Select, train and supervise the ushering staff.
- Maintain a procedures handbook with copies to the Director of Worship, Policy File, Recording Secretary and church office.
- Supervise the work of the Altar Committee, who shall:
- Select, train and supervise the Altar Committee staff in the care, use and maintenance of the sacred vessels, the altar, the altar furnishings and vestments in conjunction with the Pastor.
- Coordinate all church and chancel decorations, including the procurement of altar flowers and the coordination and distribution of the altar flowers to the sick, shut-ins and others.
- Maintain an adequate supply of expendable items for worship, such as communion wine and wafers, baptismal napkins, candles and also to distribute attendance cards, pencils and prayer request forms, as required.
- Supervise, record, disperse and report to the Director of the Board of Worship all monies received specifically for Sanctuary purpose and this report shall be included in the minutes of the Board of Worship. To this end, the Altar Committee shall maintain a Sanctuary Fund.
- Supervise the work of the Director of Music who shall:
- Coordinate musical activities of the congregation while striving for harmony and inspiration in accordance with God’s Word.
- Arrange for choir, organ and/or instrumental music and for personnel to fulfill the same.
- Supervise the organists, instrumentalists and choirs of the congregation.
- Foster and promote spiritual growth in the level of musical understanding and appreciation in the congregation.
- Arrange for tuning and repairing congregation-owned musical instruments in conjunction with the Board of Church Properties.
- Board of Outreach. The Board of Outreach shall consist of at least five (5) members, including the Director of the Board.
- Purpose. The basic purposes of the Board are: to bring the Gospel to the un-churched and to enlist all God’s people in the work of spreading the Gospel.
- Responsibilities. The Board shall:
- Develop a program to promote prayer in the church and homes, for spreading the Gospel to everyone.
- Help congregation members informally and spontaneously to witness Christ to one another, to the weak in faith and to the unsaved, through congregational educational programs.
- Maintain an ongoing visitation program offering people not only membership in a church but rather a saving relationship with Christ.
- Be responsible for training lay workers for evangelism, in strengthening their own faith and spreading the Gospel.
- Promote and direct congregational evangelism undertakings and special visitations.
- Be responsible for maintenance and follow-up of a prospect’s file at all times.
- Utilize the evangelism potential of Christian mass media of such as, “The Lutheran Hour” and “This is the Life”.
- Encourage and promote evangelism programs through individuals and societies and auxiliary organizations of the congregation and emphasize child and youth evangelism, in conjunction with the Board of the Day School and the Board of Christian Growth, both in participation and outreach.
- Be genuinely concerned for those moving into the community and for those (both members and prospects) moving into other areas. Use, any and all means available for maintaining such contacts.
- In conjunction with the Board of Deacons be concerned for the reception, orientation and integration of new members into the congregation. With the Board of Special Ministries, sponsor activities, which will serve to integrate new families and individuals.
- Study and adopt or adapt suggestions by the evangelism departments of Synod and District and engage in a continual evaluation of methods used and progress made in reaching the Board’s objectives and make periodic reports to the Church Council through the Vice President.
- Submit to the Board of Stewardship in the form and at the time requested, a budget request for the coming year.
- Board of Christian Growth. The Board of Christian Growth shall consist of at least seven (7) members, including the Director of the Board, Minister of Education, Sunday School Superintendent and Vacation Bible School Coordinator.
- Purpose. The Board shall be responsible for planning, administering and supervising the total educational program of the Sunday school, Bible Study classes and periodic programs to advance the teaching of the Christian faith in general and of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in particular. It shall select personnel to administer and carry out its programs and policies, and provide the necessary means and facilities for its programs. The Board shall assist the Pastor in the conduct of the confirmation classes, as may be required and shall conduct programs to strengthen the Christian faith of all members of the congregation.
- Responsibilities. The Board shall:
- Be responsible for the Christian nurture of adults, youth and children of the congregation as well as those in the community.
- Establish objectives, set policies for, and supervise the total, educational program of the congregation, including the personnel i.e., the Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, confirmation classes and all other educational groups.
- Approve curriculum and analyze performance of each educational program, seek constant improvement and delegate administration of educational programs to qualified persons.
- Make an annual analysis, by age groups, to determine the degree of participation of the total membership of the congregation in its total educational program.
- Maintain an educational accounting system to record members’ participation in the educational program and follow up on the uninvolved.
- Be concerned, together with the Board of Youth Ministry, for the continued spiritual growth of the newly confirmed youth.
- Enlist, train, place and continue to train lay teachers as the congregational needs require.
- Encourage special classes, courses, conferences, and retreats for special purposes and for special groups.
- Provide for the growth of the educational staff through conferences, conventions and request the necessary funds for the same in the yearly budget.
- Encourage member subscriptions to church periodicals, such as the “Lutheran Witness” and the “Reporter”.
- Study and adapt or adopt suggestions made by the education departments of Synod and the District.
- Establish and maintain a permanent file of all children and youth of the congregation by age, grade level, etc.
- Continually examine the education facilities and equipment and make recommendations to the Church Council.
- Submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time required by the Board of Stewardship.
- Supervise the work of the Sunday School Superintendent whose responsibilities shall include all Sunday morning Christian education in coordination with the Pastor:
- Provide for an active expression of Christian love and concern as an integral part of the total Sunday school program.
- Recommend a curriculum for and analyze the performance of each class of the Sunday school so as to seek constant improvement.
- Be responsible for carrying out the programs and objectives set by the Board of Christian Growth.
- Be concerned with the assimilation of newly confirmed young people into the Sunday school program.
- Provide for the recruitment of pupils into the Sunday school.
- Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional and physical health of the Sunday School staff.
- Prepare and submit to the Board of Christian Growth an annual budget for the Sunday School.
- Supervise the work of the Vacation Bible School (VBS) Coordinator, whose responsibility shall be to:
- Provide for the Christian nurture of all children enrolled in the VBS.
- Recommend objectives, policies for and supervise the total educational program of the VBS, including the personnel.
- Recommend a curriculum and analyze the performance of the VBS so as to seek constant improvement.
- Be responsible for the programs and objectives set by the Board of Christian Growth.
- Make an annual analysis, by age, to determine the future educational material needs for the program.
- Provide for the recruitment of pupils and teachers into the VBS.
- Supervise the conduct of the teachers on the VBS staff.
- Enlist, train and place lay teachers for VBS as needed.
- Prepare and submit to the Board of Christian Growth an annual budget request.
- Board of Day School. The Day School Board shall consist of the following members: Director of the Board, the Pastor and five (5) members-at-large from the Voting Membership. Advisory member shall be the Principal, and may also include the School Secretary and a representative from the Parents Teachers Organization.
- Purpose. The purpose of the Day School Board shall be to train the whole child: body, soul and mind. Christian faith, knowledge, attitudes and conduct are emphasized. This enables the church, school and home to join bonds in providing a Christian education, while stressing God’s gracious promise of salvation through Jesus Christ and applying Christian truths to daily living, at the same time providing a thorough grounding in the educational subjects appropriate for each grade and age level.
- Responsibilities. The Day School Board shall:
- Manage all the affairs of the school, subject to the Church Council and the Voters’ Assembly, including but not limited to the following:
- Be responsible for the spiritual atmosphere, the curriculum, the academic standards, staff qualifications, professional growth (education), the public image and long-range development plans.
- Solicit prayer and promote the interest and participation of congregational members, parents (through the Parents and Teachers Organization), alumni, and other friends in the school activities and development.
- Establish and publish the school policies and forward to Principal for implementation.
- Interview and employ all school staff and teachers for all positions approved by the Voters’ Assembly.
- Prepare the annual budget, setting fees, payment of contracts, and obligations and the auditing of the financial records.
- Present the approved school budget to the Principal for implementation. The Principal shall be responsible for the maintenance of the budget through monthly budget reports.
- At the May meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, the Day School Board will present for approval the financial plan for the following school year. Any proposed changes in numbers of classes and associated staff personnel will be presented with the budget as will the annual review of the teachers’ compensation plan and any adjustments to be made to staff salaries.
- Present an evaluation of the school curriculum, programs, personnel, facilities and financial status at the October meeting of the Church Council.
- The Day School Board shall meet monthly. Additional meetings may be called when needed, either by the Director or any two members with notice to all Board members. Said notice shall set forth the purpose of the meeting.
- Board of Stewardship. The Board shall consist of at least four (4) members, including the Director and the Financial Secretary.
- Purpose. The purpose of the Board of Stewardship is to help members of the congregation grow as faithful stewards of Jesus Christ as they carry out His mission and ministry in their personal lives and corporately through the congregation, Circuit, District and Synod. The Board will also promote understanding and appreciation among members of the congregation of opportunities for worldwide mission and ministry through Synod and other agencies, and encourage their support.
- Responsibilities. The Board shall:
- Maintain a congregational spiritual gifts and talent file and provide for the recording of talents and interests of incoming members.
- Maintain and publicize a list of all vacant officers, positions and jobs which apply to their time and talents.
- Encourage the young people of the congregation to consider full-time service to the church as pastors, teachers, deaconesses and similar occupations.
- Promote the stability of the congregation and its work through a developed program of dedicated, proportionate, first-fruits giving of time, talent and treasure.
- Annually give each member an opportunity to make a commitment of his treasure for the support of Christ’s ministry through the congregation.
- Encourage various programs for endowments, for remembrance of the congregation in wills, bequests, trusts, and the like and suggest ways to implement the most promising programs.
- Oversee the raising of funds within the congregation to ensure that methods used are consistent with the primary goal of developing healthy stewardship attitudes in regard to time, talent and treasure.
- Inform members of the congregation how they can participate in the expansion of the Lutheran Church through the District’s Church Extension Fund.
- Together with the Treasurer and Financial Secretary, collate an annual budget with requests from all Administrative Boards and prepare a consolidated congregational budget for presentation to the Church Council for review and recommendation to the voters.
- Annually recommend a budgeted level of support for the District and Synod.
- Evaluate the offerings of the congregation regularly and share these evaluations with the members of the congregation. On a quarterly basis, evaluate trends in the budgeted allocation of congregational resources and recommend ways to enhance our corporate stewardship through more effective management of those resources.
- Board of Church Properties. The Board shall consist of at least three (3) members. First, Second and Third Trustees. The First Trustee is also the Director of the Board.
- Purpose. The basic purposes of the Board are the proper planning for maintenance and repair of church property and the general protection of the congregation against loss or damage of whatever nature.
- Responsibilities. The Board shall:
- Systematically and thoroughly inspect all church properties and equipment at least quarterly and also check all property quarterly for fire hazards. Make recommendations to the Church Council for major repairs, improvements or replacements. Arrange for immediate repairs of an urgent nature and all normal repairs and alterations for which budgeted funds have been allocated.
- Supervise, control and recommend adequate storage facilities for all church property, equipment, and supplies and their orderly maintenance.
- Approve service contracts for office machines, pest control, heating and air conditioning, etc.
- Annually review all insurance policies for adequate coverage.
- Enlist work crews for special repairs, improvements, cleaning, painting, decorating, landscaping and other like requirements. Necessary work will be accomplished by crews from the various zones.
- Determine needs and hire adequate custodial help. The Board shall also meet with the custodian periodically to discuss the care of building, the purchase of custodial equipment and materials, and needs and problems in custodial service. Prepare for the custodial help a detailed list of the required daily, weekly, monthly or annual maintenance of the facilities and equipment of the congregation.
- Annually review and recommend the salaries for all custodial help. Job descriptions should be maintained and reviewed annually.
- Conduct an annual inventory of all church property, equipment and supplies, including acquisition date, approximate value, and model and serial number of each item. A copy of this inventory and any changes shall be placed in the congregation’s safe deposit box and a copy in the church office. Also an annual inventory of official documents and congregational records will be made and its completion date will be entered in the official minutes of the Church Council.
- Set all policies and fees, with the approval or the Voters’ Assembly, for rental, use and lending of church property. Also determine and establish, with the approval of the Voters’ Assembly, regulations regarding the proper use of church property and equipment. Copies of these policies and regulations will be placed in the Policy File, Church office and with the Recording Secretary.
- Establish and maintain a current list of keys issued for the church property.
- Submit an annual budget request to the Board of Stewardship in the form and time requested.
- Obtain legal information on the laws governing nonprofit organizations.
- Determine and establish, with the approval of the Voters’ Assembly, regulations governing the acceptance of donated property and equipment. Property and equipment accepted in donation becomes the unreserved property of the congregation to be used and disposed of by the Board of Church Properties and the voters.
- Board of Special Ministries. The Board shall consist of at least five (5) members, including the elected Director of the Board, the Mission Services Chairman of the Lutheran Women’s League, representatives to the Lutheran Council of Tidewater, Circuit Forum and a representative from the Fellowship League.
- Purpose. The basic purpose of the Board is the concern of the church for human needs. This includes the work of the church through various channels and the general integration of the congregation’s work into the community in support of institutions and agencies established by the church and society in response to special human needs. In addition, efforts should be made to identify mission work outside the community.
- Responsibilities. The Board shall:
- Represent the church in activities of the Lutheran Council of Tidewater as well as keeping the congregation informed of social and economic developments within the community.
- Represent the congregation in the Circuit Form so as to work with other churches and implement the church’s mission.
- Maintain contact with benevolent and charitable agencies in the community, state, and on the national level and recommend to the congregation responses to opportunities for service.
- Administer a food pantry for members and needy families within the community.
- Screen all outside appeals for funds and make recommendations to the Voters’ Assembly or initiate the necessary action appropriate to such an appeal, except for the Pastor’s discretionary fund.
- Encourage the support of social ministry within the societies and auxiliary organizations of the congregation and suggest projects for their consideration.
- Establish and maintain friendly relationships between the congregation and the professional, community service, and governmental agencies within the community and maintain a file of Christian professionals.
- Appoint an editor, editorial aides, and assistants to collate and distribute the congregation’s newsletter.
- Be responsible for and supervise the use of all facilities and equipment when used by various activities sponsored by the Board for community groups and organizations. This responsibility shall be in conjunction with the Board of Church Properties.
- Engage in a continuing evaluation of the social and human needs of the community and of the effectiveness of the congregation in serving these needs.
- Prepare a list of and recommend levels of support for charities to be supported by the congregation as a part of the annual budget.
- Submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.
- Board of Youth Ministry. The Board of Youth Ministry shall consist of at least seven (7) members including the elected Director, the Minister of Education, one counselor from each youth group, and one high school age youth representative.
- Purpose. The basic purpose of the board is to supervise the youth ministry of Trinity Lutheran Church,
- Responsibilities. The Board shall:
- Establish goals and direction for a balanced youth ministry consisting of the following: Worship, Education, Outreach and Nurture.
- Develop and supervise operating policies of each youth group.
- Promote attendance and involvement in the total congregation’s ministry.
- Plan and observe, together with the Board of Worship, an annual congregational Youth Sunday.
- Submit at the time and in the form required, an annual budget as requested by the Board of Stewardship.
- Supervise the work of the various youth leaders whose responsibilities are to:
- Encourage all youth in the congregation to faithfulness in Worship, Word and Sacrament.
- Provide for Christian Growth through Bible Study, Prayer and Christian Service.
- Plan and carry out, together with the Board of Youth Ministry, a year-round program involving the young people of the congregation.
- Plan and coordinate activities for youth with other people’s groups outside the congregation.
- Provide opportunities for involvement as servants in the life of the community, such as civic, school, cultural, humanitarian, recreational and social groups.
ARTICLE VI – ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS
A. SACRAMENTS OF HOLY BAPTISM. The Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper will normally be administered by the Pastor. Male members of the congregation may assist the Pastor. In the absence of the Pastor, a supply Pastor in alter fellowship with this congregation may administer the sacraments. In an emergency and in the absence of the Pastor, a layman may administer Holy Baptism.
B. BAPTISM. The Baptism will normally be performed during regularly scheduled worship services. In the case of an emergency or sickness, privately as deemed advisable.
C. ELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION. All persons seeking the Sacrament of Holy Communion shall be served provided that they acknowledge the presence of Christ’s body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins. The Pastor shall satisfy himself as to their belief and decide whether or not to administer the Sacrament.
ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENTS TO THE BY-LAWS
These By-Laws may be amended by any properly convened Voters’ Assembly by a two-thirds majority of voting members present, provided the proposed amendment has been introduced at a previous Voters’ Assembly.
Revised 9-10-89 Revised 11-12-89 Revised 11-8-92 Revised 2-14-93 Revised 5-22-94
Retyped November 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011