Calvary Lutheran Church
Rev. 0001 Accepted by Congregation December 6, 2015
The constitution contained herein was adopted by this congregation on 6 December 2015, Rev. 0001 and supersedes all documents of similar nature previous to this date.
Whereas, the Word of God requires that a Christian congregation not only conform to the Divine Word in doctrine and practice (Psalm 119:105, Galatians 1:6-8, II Timothy 4:1-5, Matthew 28:18-20) but that all things be done decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:40), therefore, we, the members of Calvary Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, North Carolina, accept and subscribe to this constitution in accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our congregation shall be governed.
The name of this congregation shall be “Calvary Lutheran Church” of Jacksonville, North Carolina.
The congregation is unincorporated under the laws of the State of North Carolina.
The purpose of this congregation shall be to serve God and love our neighbor by:
- Giving honor and glory to the Triune God
- Carrying out His will
- Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world
- Nurturing the faith of its members
- Manifesting the unity of our faith in Jesus Christ as God and Savior
- Fostering Christian fellowship and love
- Extending a helping hand to human need
- And to achieve its objectives by the preaching of the Word of God, by the administration of the sacraments, and by the religious instruction of all its members according to the confessional standard of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Confession of Faith
The doctrinal standard of the congregation is the 66 canonical books of the Holy Scriptures as the sole rule of faith and life. The documents of the Book of Concord of 1580 are accepted as a correct exposition of Christian doctrine. As such, the congregation accepts without reservation:
1. The Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice;
2. All the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God, to wit: the three Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasius Creed), the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord.
This congregation finds that in this present day and age it is also necessary to specifically enunciate our deeply held belief regarding the Biblical sanctity regarding the institution of marriage:
We believe that marriage is a sacred union of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18-25). As our Lord Jesus says in Matthew 19:4-6: “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be united to his wife and the two shall become one flesh’?” Completely opposite are sexual relations between people of the same sex, which are condemned and prohibited by God in both the Old and New Testaments (Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) and are in contrast to the Creator’s design (Romans 1:18-32). Although all people are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God, we cannot condone sin, including sin of sexual relations between people of the same sex. Therefore, while we will gladly minister to people who have an urge toward same sex relationships, but because of our beliefs, our Pastors shall not officiate over any marriages other than those between one man and one woman. Furthermore, our church property shall not be used for any marriage ceremony, wedding reception, or any other activity that would be inconsistent with those beliefs regarding the God given institution of marriage.
This congregation shall be affiliated with and a member of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod as long as the confessions and constitution of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod are in accord with the confession of faith delineated in Article III of this constitution. Termination of the congregation’s membership in The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod shall require a three-quarters vote of the Voters’ Assembly.
The membership of this congregation includes the Baptized Members, Communicant Members, Voting Members, and Associate Members as defined in the bylaws.
- Voters’ Assembly
The Voters’ Assembly shall consist of all voting members present at a regular or special meeting of the congregation. The congregation, through the Voters’ Assembly, shall have final authority in managing its internal and external affairs.
2. Policy and Governance Board
There shall be a Board of Directors of the congregation, which shall be called the Policy and Governance Board, that shall be the elected governing body representing the congregation. The Policy and Governance Board shall consist of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and two members elected at large. The Policy and Governance Board shall have the authority to establish such boards, committees, and ad hoc groups as they deem proper and necessary to carry out the mission of the congregation. Subject to the overriding authority of the Voters’ Assembly, the Policy and Governance Board shall have complete responsibility and authority for the governance of the congregation and all of its business and spiritual affairs, except for the following matters which are specifically reserved for the Voters’ Assembly:
- 1. Call or remove a called worker.
- 2. Purchase, encumber, or sell church property or buildings valued over 10% of the current annual budget.
- 3. Incur a non-budgeted emergency expense of over 5% of the annual budget of the congregation.
- 4. Adopt the annual budget.
- 5. Dissolve the congregation.
- 6. Modify the Constitution or Bylaws.
- 7. Terminate the congregation’s membership in The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod.
The Voters’ Assembly of this congregation may adopt such bylaws as it may deem suitable for the implementation of this constitution and the work of God in its midst. In the event of conflict between the terms of this constitution and the bylaws, the terms of this constitution shall control.
- (A) Division within the congregation
If, at any time, a separation shall take place within this congregation, the advice of the officers of the denomination, beginning with the Circuit Counselor and District President, shall be sought. If, despite all efforts to resolve differences in peace and love, a division into factions of the congregation shall occur, the property of the congregation and all benefits connected shall remain with the majority.
- (B) Dissolution of the congregation
If the congregation is dissolved and ceases to exist, the Voter’s Assembly and Policy and Governance Board shall dispose of necessary congregational property to pay all debts and just claims against the congregation. After settling all debts, the remaining assets shall be conveyed to and become the property of the District of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod to which the congregation belongs.
All congregational matters decided by the Voters’ Assembly shall be decided by a simple majority of the voting members present at a properly convened meeting of the Voters’ Assembly, except as otherwise provided in this constitution or the bylaws. Procedural questions will be decided by following Robert’s Rules of Order.
This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast in a meeting of the Voters’ Assembly. The wording of the proposed amendments to the constitution 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.