Constitution

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BSLC Constitution

PREAMBLE

ARTICLE I – NAME

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

ARTICLE III – CONFESSIONS

ARTICLE IV – SYNODICAL AFFILIATION

ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP

ARTICLE VI – THE OFFICE OF PASTOR AND TEACHER

ARTICLE VII – POWERS OF THE CONGREGATION

ARTICLE VIII – OFFICERS

ARTICLE IX – PROPERTY RIGHTS

ARTICLE X – BY-LAWS

ARTICLE XI – CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION


PREAMBLE

Since the Word of God requires that a Christian congregation shall conform to this Divine Word in doctrine and practice (Psalms 119:105, Matthew 28:18-20, Galatians 1:6-8, 2 Timothy 4:1-5), and since all things are to be done decently and in good order (1 Corinthians 14:40), we, the members of Beautiful Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church, accept and subscribe to the following Constitution and By-Laws, in accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our congregation shall be governed.

ARTICLE I – NAME

The name of this congregation shall be “Beautiful Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church,” located at 1501 Deep Lake Road, Antioch, Illinois, 60002

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

The purpose of this congregation shall be to spread and strengthen the Kingdom of God by: nourishing its members through the preaching of the Word and administration of the Sacraments; training all members for mature, fruitful Christian living; encouraging Christian fellowship among members; reaching out to the surrounding community and to the entire world with the message of the Gospel; and by contributing to the total welfare of the community.

ARTICLE III – CONFESSIONS

This congregation acknowledges and accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God, verbally inspired; and acknowledges and accepts all the Confessional writings of the Lutheran Church contained in the Book of Concord of 1580, to be the true and genuine exposition of Christian doctrine found in the Bible. These confessions are the three Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian), The Unaltered Augsburg Confession, The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, Luther’s Large and Small Catechism, and the Formula of Concord.

ARTICLE IV – SYNODICAL AFFILIATION

In order to do the Lord’s work more effectively, this congregation shall maintain membership in The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, as long as this body remains true to the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions.

ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP

The membership of this congregation includes the following:

A. Baptized members

Baptized members are all members who have been baptized into the name of the Triune God and who are under the spiritual care of the congregation.

B. Communicant Membership

Communicant members are those who:

1. Have been baptized in the name of the Triune God;

2. Accept all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the only Divine rule and standard of faith and life;

3. Are familiar at least with the basic doctrines of the Lutheran Church and declare their acceptance of them;

4. Are not members of any secret society or organization whose teaching or practice conflicts with the Word of God;

5. Have been received into communicant membership through confirmation, transfer, or profession of faith;

6. Attend worship services faithfully;

7. Partake of the Lord’s Supper frequently, after their confirmation;

8. Lead Christian lives and do not live in unrepentant sin (Galatians 5:19-21);

9. Contribute regularly and faithfully, as God has prospered them;

10. Devote their time and talents to the development and extension of the Kingdom of God;

11. Permit themselves to be fraternally admonished and corrected when they have errored.

C. Voting Membership

All communicant members who have attained the age of eighteen years shall be eligible to become voting members

(Note the 1st Amendment below).

ARTICLE VI – THE OFFICE OF PASTOR AND TEACHER

The pastoral office of this congregation, as well as that of a called teacher, or any other called worker shall be conferred upon such ministers, teachers, and candidates who profess and adhere to the confessional standards set forth in Article III of this constitution; and who are well qualified for their work. Pastors and teachers shall, in the call extended to them, be pledged to this confessional standard.

ARTICLE VII – POWERS OF THE CONGREGATION

A. General

The congregation as a body, through the Voter’s Assembly, shall have supreme power to administer and manage all its affairs, both internal and external. The Voter’s Assembly may empower the Church Council or other designated committees to perform these functions, unless otherwise specified by the Constitution and By-Laws. The establishment and conduct of all institutions, societies and organizations within the congregation, such as a parochial school, Sunday School, youth groups, choir, etc., shall at all times be subject to the approval and supervision of the congregation, as represented by the Voter’s Assembly. The Voter’s Assembly, however, shall not be empowered to decide any matters contrary to the Word of God, and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church (Article III).

B. Right of Calling

The right of calling pastors, teachers, and other called workers shall always remain with the congregation, through the Voter’s Assembly, and shall never be delegated to a smaller body or individual.

C. Decisions

Matters of doctrine and conscience shall be decided in accordance with the Word of God as understood by the historic Lutheran Confessions. Other matters shall be decided by a majority vote of the Voter’s Assembly, or other organization that has been empowered by the Voter’s Assembly, such as the Church Council.

D. Powers of Officers

Congregational officers elected by the Voter’s Assembly, or committees appointed by the Church Council, shall have no authority beyond that which has been conferred upon them; and whatever power may have been delegated to them may at any time be altered or revoked by the Voter’s Assembly.

E. Removal from Office

Any pastor, teacher, other called worker, or officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds majority of all voting members of the Voter’s Assembly, in Christian and lawful order, for one of the following causes: persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, inability to perform official duties, or willful neglect of them. The vote must be on a written ballot. In the case of a pastor or teacher, the Circuit Visitor and District President shall be contacted for counsel.

ARTICLE VIII – OFFICERS

The officers of this congregation shall be such officers, boards, and committees as the By-Laws may prescribe.

ARTICLE IX – PROPERTY RIGHTS

If at anytime a separation should take place, the property of the congregation and all benefits therewith connected shall remain with those members who continue to adhere in confession and practice to Article III of this Constitution. In the event that the congregation should totally disband, the property and all rights connected therewith shall be transferred to the Northern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

ARTICLE X – BY-LAWS

This congregation may adopt such By-Laws as may be required for the accomplishment of its purpose, as stated in Article II of this Constitution.

ARTICLE XI – CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION

A. Unalterable Articles

The following article of the Constitution, or section thereof, shall be unalterable and irreparable: Articles III and VI

B. Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution and By-Laws may be adopted at a properly called meeting of the Voter’s Assembly, provided that:

1. They do not conflict with provisions of Articles III and VI.

2. The proposed amendment has been presented to the Church Council and has been published at least two weeks prior to the meeting of a Voter’s Assembly.

The adoption of an amendment shall require a two-thirds majority of the voter’s present at the meeting of the Voter’s Assembly.

BSLC By-Laws

ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP

ARTICLE II – MEETINGS

ARTICLE III – CALLING OF PASTORS AND TEACHERS

ARTICLE IV – ELECTION OF CONGREGATIONAL OFFICERS

ARTICLE V – THE CHURCH COUNCIL

ARTICLE VI – CORPORATE OFFICERS

ARTICLE VII – BOARDS AND COMMITTEES


ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP

A. Admission into Communicant Membership

1. By Confirmation

Confirmation itself being a reception into church membership, all who are thus received by this sacred act become communicant members.

2. By Transfer

Persons coming with a communicant Letter of Transfer from a congregation in church fellowship, provided they conform in all respects to the requirements of membership of this congregation, shall be received by the Elders and the Pastor (to whom authorization is granted to accept such transfers).

3. By Profession of Faith

Persons who have given satisfactory evidence of qualification for communicant membership and have submitted their request for membership to the Elders and the Pastor (to whom authorizations are granted to accept such professions of faith) shall be received as communicant members.

B. Termination of Communicant Membership

1. Transfer to other congregations

Communicant members desiring to join a congregation in church fellowship shall present their request for transfer to the Elders and the Pastor, to whom authorization is granted to issue such transfers.

2. Joining other churches

In cases where communicant members have joined another congregation outside our fellowship, they shall, upon the recommendation of the Elders and the Pastor, be considered as having terminated their membership, and their names shall be removed from the membership list by a resolution of the congregation.

3. Whereabouts unknown

The names of members whose whereabouts are unknown and cannot be established shall be removed from the membership list by a resolution of the Voter’s Assembly, and immediately such membership terminated.

4. Self-exclusion

Self-exclusion occurs in the following manner: Whenever a member publicly persists in a life of unchristian conduct and refused to repent after brotherly admonition (Matthew 18:15-20), he shall be invited to appear at a properly called meeting of the Voter’s Assembly to discuss his actions, and if he refuses to repent of those actions, he has thereby excluded himself from communicant membership and shall remain excluded until he does repent.

ARTICLE II – MEETINGS

A. Church Council

The Church Council shall meet at least quarterly at a time designated by that body. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Chairman of the congregation in consultation with the Pastor, or upon the request of a majority of the Church Council members.

B. Voter’s Assembly

The Voter’s Assembly shall meet annually in the month of January. Quarterly meetings may be held in the months of April, July, and October when there is sufficient business to warrant such meetings. The time of these meetings shall be designated by the Church Council. Every properly called meeting of the Voter’s Assembly shall be announced two Sundays worship services prior to the meeting.

(note the 2nd Amendment below)

In the case of need for an emergency meeting or special meeting of the Voter’s Assembly the two Sunday notice may be waived and the Voter’s Assembly may meet following any worship service. Emergency or special meetings of this nature may be called by the Church Council or a majority of the members of the Voter’s Assembly. All meetings of the Voter’s Assembly require a quorum of 20% of the voting membership to be considered properly called and capable of transacting business.

In all meetings, any voting member shall have the privilege of requesting a ballot vote on any issue. In the case of a tie vote, the Chairman may cast the deciding vote.

ARTICLE III – CALLING OF PASTORS AND TEACHERS

A. Nominations

The Church Council shall serve as a nominating committee. It shall secure a list of candidates with all available information concerning them from the District President. Any member of the congregation may submit the name of a candidate through the Chairman of the congregation. Available information concerning these candidates shall also be secured from the District President. From these candidates, the Church Council shall compile the official call list from which a pastor or teacher is elected.

B. Elections

The election of a pastor or teacher from the list of candidates submitted by the Church Council shall be by ballot in a special meeting of the Voter’s Assembly called by the Church Council. The candidate receiving a majority of all votes cast shall be considered elected. The election itself, if possible, be made unanimous and the call shall be sent to the pastor or teacher elect.

ARTICLE IV – ELECTION OF CONGREGATIONAL OFFICERS

A. Nominations

A nominating committee shall be appointed by the Church Council at a regularly scheduled meeting in the fall of the year. The committee shall prepare a slate of at least two candidates who are willing to serve for each vacant office and shall publish this slate at least two Sundays prior to the election meeting. Nominations may also be presented from the Voter’s Assembly prior to the acceptance of the slate of candidates.

B. Elections

The following congregational officers shall be elected for a term of three years; a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary, a Treasurer, Elders, Trustees, and a Financial Secretary. All elected congregational officers shall be limited to two consecutive terms of office. Elections shall be held during the January meeting of the Voter’s Assembly. Women may hold any elected office in the congregation except that of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, or Elder. Elections shall be staggered in a manner, such as an example presented in Appendix A to these By-Laws, to ensure continuity in the administration of congregational business. Candidates receiving the largest number of votes shall be considered elected. In the event of a vacancy, the Church Council may appoint a successor to serve until the next regular election. All elected officers shall be installed into office during a public worship service.

(Note the 3rd Amendment below)

ARTICLE V – THE CHURCH COUNCIL

A. Membership

The Church Council shall consist of the Pastor, the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Financial Secretary, and a designated representative of the Board of Elders, the Board of Trustees, and any other boards that may be established in accordance with Article IV of these By-Laws.

B. Duties and Powers

It shall be the duty of the Church Council to discuss the affairs of the congregation and to review all procedures, progress, problems and temporal welfare of all salaried workers and employees. Each individual member of the Council shall be responsible and accountable for the duties prescribed for his position and shall have the authority to make all decisions necessary to discharge that responsibility. The Church Council, however, as a group shall retain the right to exercise, as it may deem necessary, final authority over all matters with which it is empowered. The Council shall be responsible for preparing an agenda for each congregational meeting.

ARTICLE VI – CORPORATE OFFICERS

A. Membership

The corporate officers, namely the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be empowered to execute on behalf of the congregation and deeds, mortgages, bonds, notes, contracts or other instruments that the congregation has authorized. All important documents, such as calls, letters to the congregation of the called, credentials for the synodical delegates and the like are to be signed by two corporate officers. Legal and business documents are to be signed by three corporate officers.

B. Duties and Powers

It shall be the first responsibility of the corporate officers of this congregation to live a Christian life.

1. Chairman

The Chairman is the official representative of the congregation. He shall:

a. Preside at all meetings of the Voter’s Assembly and the Church Council;

b. Be an ex-officio member of all Boards and Committees.

2. Vice-Chairman

The Vice-Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman upon the Chairman’s request, during his absence, or his inability to serve. In case of death, exclusion or resignation of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall serve the unexpired term of the Chairman;

3. Secretary

The Secretary shall:

a. Record all transactions of all meetings of the Voter’s Assembly and the Church Council in books provided for that purpose. Each group shall be responsible for the correction and/or approval of their minutes at their next meeting;

b. Register all members attending meetings of the Voter’s Assembly;

c. Record all amendments that are adopted by the congregation on a matter copy of the Constitution;

d. Assume responsibility for the church seal, legal titles, deeds, policies and all other official papers in the custody of the congregation.

4. Treasurer

The Treasurer shall:

a. Keep an account of all money in a set of books provided by the congregation for that purpose;

b. Disburse all funds of the congregation by check in accordance with the resolutions of the Voter’s Assembly;

c. Prepare and submit monthly statements of receipts and disbursements to the congregation;

d. Submit the books, together with all receipts and other papers pertaining to the Office, for audit at the close of the year, and assist in making a complete audit of those books;

e. Prepare and file all reports and such other documents as are required by the United States Government and any political subdivision thereof;

f. Supervise the work of the Financial Secretary.

ARTICLE VII – BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

The Pastor shall be an ex-officio member of all Boards and Committees of this congregation.

The first responsibility of all members of the Boards and Committees of this congregation shall be to live a Christian life.

A. Board of Elders

It shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to:

1. Be responsible for all matters pertaining to the spiritual life of the congregation and the spiritual welfare of its individual members.

2. Personally and patiently admonish those who neglect the Word of God and the Sacrament of Holy Communion, or who err in Christian doctrine or in Christian conduct.

3. Recommend to the Church Council and the Voter’s Assembly that appropriate action regarding admission into communicant membership or the termination of communicant membership as the cases arise.

4. See that meaningful and orderly worship services are conducted, and assist the Pastor in the preparation and distribution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

5. Appoint a Sunday School Superintendent, whose responsibilities are listed in Appendix B to these By-Laws.

B. Board of Trustees

It shall be the duty of the Board of Trustees to:

1. See to it that the plant is clean, neat, and in good repair and complies with all fire, safety, and sanitary ordinances. It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to inspect, at least once a year, the church and any other buildings that may be erected on church property.

2. See to the proper use and upkeep of equipment, and that such equipment and all supplies are in sufficient quantity.

3. Promote and supervise volunteer work on church property.

4. Supervise the use of the congregation’s buildings and equipment and regulate the issuance of keys for the same.

5. Maintain a running inventory of the equipment owned by the congregation.

C. Financial Secretary

It shall be the duty of the Financial Secretary to:

1. Receive and deposit all money received by the congregation.

2. Receive and properly record all envelope contributions to the congregation in a set of books provided for that purpose.

3. Prepare and submit to the Voter’s Assembly an annual report of individual contributions.

4. Provide contribution envelopes to all members.

BSLC Amendments

AMENDMENT I

AMENDMENT II

AMENDMENT III


AMENDMENT I Supersedes and replaces Article V Section C of the Church Constitution

-All communicant members shall be eligible to become voting members.

AMENDMENT II Modifies Article II Section B of By-Laws

-The January Voter’s Meeting shall occur in December for election terms to begin the following January and in accordance with all other provisions of the By-Laws. This shall be effective beginning December 2015.

AMENDMENT III Supersedes and replaces Article IV Section B of the church By-Laws

-The following congregational officers shall be elected for a term of three years: a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary, a Treasurer, Elders, Trustees, and a Financial Secretary.