Our By-Laws

Bylaws

Calvary Lutheran Church

Jacksonville, North Carolina

Rev. 0001                Accepted by Congregation November 8, 2015 

Article I

Membership 

The membership of this congregation includes the following:

    A.  Baptized membership – Baptized members are all members who have been baptized in the name of the Triune God and who are under the spiritual care of this congregation and not another.
    B.  Communicant membership – Persons seeking to attain communicant membership shall make that fact known to the Pastor. The Pastor shall ascertain the understanding and commitment to the purpose and theological doctrine contained in Article III of the constitution. The Pastor will determine if additional education and instruction is needed and the appropriate method for that instruction.  The Pastor is authorized to extend confirmed membership to the person and shall announce that in a public service.

Communicant members are those who:

  1. Are baptized and confirmed
  2. Accept all canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the only divine rule and standard of faith and life
  3. Believe in Christ as Savior and Lord
  4. Attend divine services and partake of the Lord’s supper frequently

Communicant members, empowered by the Holy Spirit, also strive to live out their faith by:

1.  Witnessing to the same in Word and Life
2.  Remaining on guard against associations which deny Christ’s Lordship
3.  Leading Christian lives and not living in manifest works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21)
4.  Serving God faithfully with time, talents and treasures as God has prospered them, toward the building and extension of His kingdom
5.  Living within the discipline of love as exercised by the church in its ministry.

    C. Voting membership – Voting members are those communicant members who have attained the age of 18 and have read and signed the constitution and bylaws of the congregation.
    D. Termination of Membership:
  1. Communicant members may be transferred to a sister congregation upon their request, by approval of the Pastor or the Board of Elders.
  2. Communicant members who join congregations outside our fellowship thereby terminate their membership.  Their names shall be removed from the membership.
  3. Communicant members whose whereabouts are unknown and whose addresses cannot be established shall be removed.
  4. Communicant members who conduct themselves in a non-Christian manner shall be admonished according to Matthew 18:15-20.  If they remain impenitent, they shall be excommunicated. A unanimous vote of the Board of Elders and Pastor shall be required for excommunication.

ARTICLE II

MEETINGS OF VOTERS’ ASSEMBLY

Meetings of the Voter’s Assembly shall be as follows:

    A. Regular meetings:
  1.  Regular meetings of the voting body shall be held each fall.
  2.  At the annual meeting the principal officers of boards or societies of this Congregation shall present annual reports from the preceding year to the voting body, elections shall be held, the ministry plan shall be presented by the Policy and Governance Board for ratification, and the budget shall be voted upon.
    B. Special Meetings:
  1. A special meeting of the Voters’ Assembly may be called by the Pastor, the Policy and Governance Board, or by the members of the congregation..
  2. The Policy and Governance Board Secretary shall notify members in advance of a special meeting,
  3. Two weeks’ notice must be given to the congregation in the event of a special meeting.
  4. In the event that members of the congregation desire to call a special meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, a written petition signed by at least one-fifth of the voting body of the congregation is required to call this special meeting.
  5. The notice of any special meeting shall specify the purpose for which such special meeting is called.
    C. Quorum:
  1. One fourth of the voting members of the congregation shall constitute a quorum at a regular or special meeting.
  2. A quorum shall be required to conduct business at any regular or special meeting.

Article III

Policy and Governance Board

The Policy and Governance Board, as the chief governing council of the congregation, shall act in all matters pertaining to the legal and general welfare of the congregation, except those reserved to the Voters’ Assembly in Article VI of the constitution.

       A. Board Members – The Policy and Governance Board shall consist of five voting members elected by the Voters’ Assembly who shall consist of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and two members at large. The Pastor shall also be a member of this group as a non-voting member. 

    B. Term of Office – The term of office shall be two years, with the Chairman and one member at large being elected on odd years and the Vice Chairman, Secretary, and one member at large being elected on even years. Members of the Policy and Governance Board shall serve no more than two full successive terms without a break of at least one year.  The term of office commences after installation before the congregation in the month of January.
    C. Meetings – The Policy and Governance Board shall meet at least quarterly and may be called more frequently at the request of any of its members.  Four voting members of the Policy of Governance Board constitute a quorum for any meeting.  The minutes shall fully disclose all actions taken and be signed by the Chairman and Secretary.  Minutes of the meetings shall be kept in the church office and posted on the church bulletin board within five days of the meeting.
    D. Responsibilities:
  1. Set, write, and maintain policy in keeping with the mission and purpose of this congregation.
  2. Outline a ministry plan annually, for the congregation to ratify at the annual voter’s assembly, providing focus for the purpose of the congregation as stated in the constitution.
  3. Build structure for the execution of the mission of this congregation and adjusting it as necessary.
  4. Appoint leaders of boards and committees and hire church staff as deemed necessary by the Policy and Governance Board, except the church secretary and elders.
  5. Evaluate the Pastor, formally, on an annual basis.
  6. Ensure all activities of the congregation reflect the purpose and faith of the congregation.
  7. Oversee and execute authority over the appointed leaders and church staff, all other boards, committees, task forces, action teams, or other entities of the congregation, with the exception of the pastoral office, Board of Elders, and church secretary.
  8. Maintain a complete and up to date policy manual in the church which all members may have access to.
  9. Ensure the congregation is notified of changes to the policy manual within a week.

Article IV

Officers

    A. Chairman:
  1. Preside at all meetings of the Voters’ Assembly and the Policy and Governance Board.
  2. Appoint any necessary vacancies to any office except that of an elder, the church secretary, or a called office.
  3. Sign all legal documents, with the Secretary, on behalf of the congregation.
  4. Enforce the constitution and bylaws and ensure the responsibilities of the Policy and Governance Board are met, in addition to such duties as may be directed by the Voters’ Assembly from time to time.
  5. Ensure that the Ministry Plan is developed by the Policy and Governance Board, presented for approval by the Voters’ Assembly, and executed by the Pastor and staff.
  6. Make disbursements in the event of incapacity or absence of the Treasurer.
  7. Serve as a non-voting member of the Policy and Governance Board except in the case of a tie.
    B. Vice Chairman:
  1. Perform all of the duties of the Chairman in the absence or incapacity of the Chairman.
  2. Succeed the Chairman’s Office for the remainder of the term should the Chairman resign or leave the congregation.
    C. Secretary:
  1. Keep and preserve accurate records of all Voters’ Assembly meetings, Policy and Governance Board meetings and handling such correspondence as the Policy and Governance Board may require.
  2. Sign all legal documents, with the Chairman, on behalf of the congregation.
  3. Notify the congregation via church announcement of any changes to the policy manual, ensuring that the written policy is posted and added to the policy manual.
  4. Perform other duties customarily required of the office.
    D. Members at Large:
  1. Aid with the responsibilities of the Policy and Governance Board.
  2. Seek input from the congregation on policies and the effectiveness of implemented policies.

Article V

Election and Vacancies

    A. Eligibility
  1. An officer of this congregation must be a voting member and in good standing in keeping with 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
  2. An elder of this congregation must be a male voting member and in good standing in keeping with 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and Titus 1:5-9.
    B. Nominations – A nominating committee will be utilized to provide the Voter’s Assembly with candidate for all elected positions as follows:
  1. The Nominating Committee shall be composed of three members, appointed by the Policy and Governance Board and consisting of members of the congregation.  Members of the Policy and Governance Board shall not serve on the nominating committee.
  2. The Nominating Committee shall present a slate, when possible, of at least one willing and able voting member as a candidate for each office at a meeting of the Voter’s Assembly in the fall.  At least two candidates are preferable.
    C. Election – Nominees who receive a majority of the ballots cast at the Voters’ Assembly shall be elected.
    D. Taking Office – All elected officials shall begin their term of office after installation before the congregation in the month of January.
    E. Vacancy – The Chairman shall be authorized to appoint a person to fill an unexpired term of any elected office.
    F. Removal of an Elected Leader – A Church Officer, elder or any person holding an elected position of the congregation may be removed from office by the Voters’ Assembly for any of the following reasons:persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, willful neglect of their office, or inability to perform the duties of office.  A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Voting Members present in a meeting of the Voters’ Assembly is required for such action.  The Policy and Governance Board should initiate such disciplinary action, if the Policy and Governance Board is unwilling then the congregation should convene the Voter’s Assembly.

 

Article VI

Called Offices

 

The pastoral office of this congregation as well as other called positions shall be conferred only on those who profess and adhere to the confessional standard set forth in Article III of the constitution and who are qualified and on the rosters of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod. Pastors and other called persons shall be pledged to the confessional standard of Article III of the constitution.

    A. Powers and Duties of the Pastoral Office:
  1. Serve as the recognized Called spiritual leader of this congregation.
  2. Fulfill duties common to the office including the conduct of worship services and Holy Communion.
  3. Care for the spiritual needs of the congregation fostering spiritual growth, fellowship, and stewardship, in order to aid in making disciples of all nations.
  4. Supervise the execution of the Ministry Plan and operations of the church, including the various boards and schools which may be established, in accordance with published church policy.
  5. Ensure all activities of the congregation reflect the purpose and faith of the congregation.
  6. Hire and supervise the church secretary, in accordance with published church policy.
  7. Provide spiritual oversight, mentorship, and guidance to the Board of Elders.
  8. Provide recommendations for potential candidates to fill vacancies on the Board of Elders.
  9. Appoint committees, when necessary, to perform specific tasks, as required.
    B. Calling into Office:
  1. After authorization is received from the Voters’ Assembly, the Chairman shall appoint a call committee chair person who shall assemble a Call Committee. A majority of the Call Committee members shall not also be members of the Policy and Governance Board.
  2. The Call Committee shall consult with those in the affected ministry area and with the District Office as part of their efforts to secure the names of candidates.
  3. The Call Committee will present a final list of candidates to the Voters’ Assembly for the election of the call; the election shall, if possible, be made by unanimous vote, and the call shall be sent to the elected called worker.
  4. The called worker shall be installed under the oaths of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod at a regular church service.
  5. Called workers must profess and adhere to the Confession of Faith as stated in Article III of the constitution and live upright lives in keeping with this confession.
      C. Removal of a Called Worker:

In Christian love and lawful order, any called worker may be removed from office by the Voters’ Assembly for any of the following reasons: persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, willful neglect of their duties, or inability to perform the duties of office to which they were called. The Policy and Governance Board should initiate such disciplinary action after having carefully investigated charges on any of these counts. Should such charges be substantiated by clear evidence, and after consultation with the District President or his designated representative, the Policy and Governance Board shall notify the Voting Members of the situation and submit the matter for action at a special meeting of the Voters’ Assembly. Such a meeting shall be announced by mail at least two weeks in advance of the meeting and at regular worship services on the preceding two Sundays. All Voting Members shall be notified of such meeting by mail at least two weeks in advance. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote is required to remove any divinely called servant or staff member from office.

When a vacancy occurs in an office of an ordained pastor or commissioned church worker, the congregations shall notify the President of the District to receive assistance in temporarily filling the vacancy and to receive his counsel in calling a new pastor or commissioned church worker.

 

Article VII

Board of Elders:  A Ministry of Spiritual Care

 

The Board of Elders shall consist of four to six men each serving a three year term.  They shall be selected by the nomination committee, tested by the Pastor and Head Elder, and confirmed by the Voter’s Assembly.

The Elders shall concern themselves with the spiritual health of the Pastor and the congregation.  They shall:

    • Nurture and encourage the spiritual growth of members
    • Serve as advisers and assistants to the Pastor in matters of worship and preaching, congregational care, administration of the sacraments and church discipline
    • Serve as congregational representatives monitoring and advocating for the spiritual, physical and emotional well-being of the professional leadership of the congregation

The Board of Elders shall:

    • Elect a Head Elder from its membership.
    • Submit a written report to the Policy and Governance Board at least on a quarterly basis.
    • Submit a written report at the annual meeting of the congregation.

Article VIII

Amendments

The bylaws may be amended by a simple majority of the votes cast in a meeting of the Voters’ Assembly.  The wording of the amended bylaws shall be distributed to all members in a mailing as far in advance as possible, but no fewer than two Sundays in advance.  In addition, the revisions will be distributed to the congregation assembled for worship on two different Sundays prior to the date upon which the amendment is presented for action.