Constitution
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THE CONSTITUTION

and

THE BYLAWS OF THE

CONSTITUTION

OF

SAINT PETER'S ESTONIAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN

CHURCH OF TORONTO

Approved by the voters' assembly April 11, 1999

 

THE CONSTITUTION OF SAINT PETER'S ESTONIAN

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF TORONTO

 

December, 1998

 

Changed and accepted (first vote) January 1999

Accepted by the congregation (second vote) 11 April, 1999

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE CONSTITUTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 1

PREAMBLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 1

ARTICLE I - NAME AND INCORPORATION page 1

ARTICLE II - PURPOSE page 1

ARTICLE III - DOCTRINAL STANDARD page 1

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 2

ARTICLE V - ORGANIZATION page 3

Section 1. GENERAL........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 3

Section 2. VOTING MEMBERSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 3

Section 3. RIGHT OF CALLING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 3

Section 4. DECISIONS........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 3

Section 5. POWERS page 4

Section 6. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 4

Section 7. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP page 4

Section 8. OTHER WORKERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 4

ARTICLE VI - THE OFFICE OF PASTOR page 4

ARTICLE VII - OFFICERS AND CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL page 5

Section 1. OFFICERS AND CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL page 5

Section 2. CONFLICT OF INTEREST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .page 5

Section 3. LIABILITY OF MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE .... page 5

Section 4. FOR THE PROTECTION OF OFFICERS, MEMBERS OF THE

EXECUTIVE AND MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL

COUNCIL page 5

Section 5. INDEMNITIES TO OFFICERS, MEMBERS OF THE

EXECUTIVE AND MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL

COUNCIL page 6

ARTICLE VIII - PROPERTY RIGHTS page 6

ARTICLE IX - DOCTRINAL CONFORMITY page 6

ARTICLE X - SYNODICAL MEMBERSHIP page 6

ARTICLE XI - BYLAWS page 7

Section 1. ADOPTION........................ .. page 7

Section 2. AMENDMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. page 7

ARTICLE XII - CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION page 7

Section 1. AMENDMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. page 7

Section 2. APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . .. page 8

 

THE CONSTITUTION

 

PREAMBLE

 

It is the will of our Lord Jesus Christ that His disciples should preach the Gospel to the whole world (Mark 16: 16; Matthew 28:20; and Acts I :8). In order that Christ's mission for His Church might be carried out according to His will, He has commanded that Christians unite in worship (Hebrews I :24-25), practice Christian fellowship with one another (Acts 2:24), witness to all people (Acts I :8), help each other grow in the Word (Ephesians 4: 11-14), serve the needs ofall people in Christian love (Ephesians 4:7-16; Mark 10:42-44; John 13:35; and Galatians 6: 10), administer the office of the keys of His Church (John 20:21-23; Matthew 18:15-20), and maintain decency and order (I Corinthians 14:40) in the Church.

Therefore, we the members of Saint Peter's Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church ofToronto, accept and subscribe to the following Constitution and Bylaws in accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our congregation shall be governed.

 

ARTICLE I - NAME AND INCORPORATION

 

Section 1.

The name of this congregation shall be: Saint Peter's Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Toronto.

Section 2.

This congregation shall be incorporated under the laws of Ontario.

 

ARTICLE II - PURPOSE

Section 1.

The purpose of this congregation shall be to seek the honour and glory of God, to carry out His will, to manifest the unity of our faith in Jesus Christ as God and Saviour, to spread the Kingdom of God, to serve its members 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 doctrinal standard of the Lutheran Church - Canada and to foster Christian fellowship and charity.

Section 2.

The congregation shall be carried on without purpose of fmancial gain for its members, and any profits or other accretions to the organization shall be used in promoting its objects.

 

ARTICLE III - DOCTRINAL STANDARD

 

Section 1.

This congregation confesses the Triune God -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- as the one true God. It proclaims the Father as Creator and Preserver, His Son Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Lord, and the Holy Spirit as Regenerator and Sanctifier.

Section 2.

This congregation confesses that the Gospel is the revelation of God's saving will and grace in Jesus Christ, which He imparts through Word and Sacrament. Through these means of grace the Holy Spirit creates believers and unites them with their Lord and with one another in the fellowship of the Holy Christian Church.

Section 3.

This congregation acknowledges and accepts all the canonical books of the Old and the New Testaments as the revealed, verbally inspired and inerrant Word of God and submits to them as the only infallible authority in all matters offaith and life.

Section 4.

This congregation acknowledges and accepts all the confessional writing ofthe Evangelical Lutheran Church, contained in the Book of Concord of 1580, as true and genuine expositions of the doctrines of the Bible. These Confessional writings are:

a. The Apostles', the Nicene and the Athanasian Creeds as the chief confessions of the Christian faith;

b. The Unaltered Augsburg Confession as the basic formulation of Christian doctrine;

c. Luther's Small Catechism as a clear summary of Christian doctrine;

d. The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Luther's Large Catechism, the Smalcald Articles with the Treatise, and the Formula of Concord as further witnesses to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

Section 5.

Any controversy involving matters of the faith and doctrine that may arise within this congregation shall be judged and decided according to the doctrinal standard here set forth.

Section 6.

In this congregation no doctrine shall be taught or tolerated which is at variance with the Holy Scriptures and the aforementioned symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

 

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1.

The membership of this congregation consists ofthose baptized persons who

a. Have been baptized in this congregation, or

b. Having been previously baptized in the name of the Triune God, have been received either by

i. Transfer from another Lutheran congregation, or

ii. Confirmation, or

iii. Affirmation of faith.

Section 2.

Communicant Membership may be held by those who:

Subsection 2.1

a. are baptized in the name of the Triune God and have confrrmed their Baptismal vow,

or

b. are received by adult Baptism,

or

c. are received by transfer as confirmed members from another Lutheran congregation,

or

d. are received by affirmation of faith as baptized adults;

Subsection 2.2

and a.accept and abide by the doctrinal standards of Articles II and III of this constitution;

and b.are familiar with the contents of Luther's Small Catechism;

and c.are not members of organizations whose principles and conduct conflict with the Word of God (eg. secret, oath-bound anti-Christian organizations -- 2 Corinthians 6:14-16);

and d.have been accepted into communicant membership in accordance with the bylaws of this congregation and shall remain faithful to the responsibilities of membership as contained in these Bylaws;

and e.attend divine services faithfully, lead Christian lives and do not live in manifest works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21);

and f.partake of the Lord's Supper frequently;

and g.contribute regularly and faithfully, as God has prospered them, toward the building of Christ's Kingdom in the congregation and throughout the world;

and h.devote their time and talents to the extension of the Kingdom of God;

and i. permit themselves to be fraternally admonished and corrected when they have erred (Matthew 18: 1518).

 

ARTICLE V - ORGANIZATION

 

Section 1.  GENERAL

The congregation as a body, through the Voting Members, shall have supreme power to administer and manage all its external and internal affairs. The establishment and conduct of all institutions, auxiliaries, boards, committees and societies within the organization, such as Sunday School, Youth Group, Ladies' Guild, choir er aI., shall at all times be subject to the approval and supervision of the congregation. The congregation, however, shall not be empowered to decide anything contrary to the Word of God and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church (Articles II and III). Any such decision shall be null and void.

Section 2. VOTING MEMBERSHIP

The voting membership are those confirmed or otherwise designated members who are members in good standing and have attained the age of 18 years.

Section 3. RIGHT OF CALLING

The right of calling pastors, associate pastors or assistant pastors as well as the right of electing members of the Congregational Council shall be vested in the Voters' Assembly and shall never be delegated to an individual or to a minor body or circle within the congregation.

The calling of a pastor shall be by not less than a two-thirds majority of members present and voting at a meeting of the Voters' Assembly legally called for that purpose.

Section 4. DECISIONS

a. Matters of doctrine and conscience shall be decided by the Word of God;

b. other matters shall be decided by majority vote (50% + I) ofthe Voter's Assembly unless otherwise specified by the Constitution or Bylaws.

Section 5. POWERS

a. Congregational officers or boards, committees, auxiliaries, institutions and societies, whether elected or appointed by the voters, shall have no authority beyond that which has been conferred upon them according to the Bylaws.

b. Whatever power may have been delegated to officers of boards, committees, auxiliaries, institutions and societies may at any time be altered or revoked by the voters.

Section 6. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

Any pastor, associate pastor, assistant pastor or officer may be removed from office by the congregation by three quarters majority vote of the voting members present and voting in a regular meeting of the Voters' Assembly, in Christian and lawful order, for one of the following causes:

a.persistent adherence to false doctrine,

b.scandalous life,

c.inability to perform the official duties ofhislher office, or

d.wilful neglect of the official duties of hislher office.

Section 7. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

Communicant Membership in this congregation shall be terminated by any of the following:

a. resignation,

b. transfer or release,

c. dismissal,

d. inactivity,

e. excommunication, or

f. death.

Section 8. OTHER WORKERS

The Congregational Council may employ or remove from employment, for cause, any pastoral assistant, deacon or deaconess, or certified church worker. The Executive may hire, install and terminate the employment of social workers, musical staff (choir directors, organist, etc.), clerical workers and maintenance staff.

 

ARTICLE VI - THE OFFICE OF PASTOR

 

The Pastoral Office of this congregation shall be conferred only upon such qualified persons who:

a. preach, teach, profess and adhere to the doctrinal standard set forth in Articles 11 and 1lI of this Constitution, who are properly certified according to the Bylaws of the Lutheran Church -- Canada and who are acceptable to the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad. Pastors shall, in the call extended to and accepted by them, be pledged to this doctrinal standard;

b. are members of the Lutheran Church .- Canada or have qualified and applied for membership in the Lutheran Church -- Canada;

c. have been properly and rightly called by the congregation.

 

ARTICLE VII - OFFICERS AND CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL

 

Section 1. OFFICERS AND CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL

The officers of this congregation shall be such officers, societies, institutions, boards, auxiliaries or committees as the Bylaws of this congregation may prescribe. There shall be a Congregational Council, the membership and duties of which shall be prescribed in the Bylaws.

Section 2. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Every Officer, Member of the Executive, Member of the Congregational Council and any Voting Member who is in any way directly or indirectly interested in a contract transaction or decision or a proposed contract transaction or decision with the congregation shall:

a.declare the interest at the first meeting after the interest arises;

b.request that the declaration be recorded in the minutes of that meeting and leave the room during the discussion: and

c.not vote on any resolution concerning the contract transaction or decision or the proposed contract transaction or decision in which such individual has an interest.

Section 3. LIABILITY OF MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE

Every Officer, Member of the Executive or Member of the Congregational Council of the congregation when exercising the powers and discharging the duties of a Member of the Executive must:

a.act honestly, in good faith, and in the best interest of the congregation; and

b.carry out the duties as would a reasonable person in the circumstances.

Section 4. FOR THE PROTECTION OF OFFICERS, MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE AND MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL

Except as otherwise provided in law, no Officer, Member of the Executive, Member of the Congregational Councilor Officer for the time being of the congregation shall be liable for the acts, receipts, omissions or defaults of any other Member of the Executive or officer or employee or for any loss, damage or expense happening to the congregation through the insufficiency or deficiency of title to any property acquired by the congregation or for or on behalf of the congregation or for the insufficiency or deficiency of any security in or upon which any of the moneys of or belonging to the congregation shall be placed out or invested or for any loss or damage arising from the bankruptcy, insolvency or tortious act of any person including any person with whom any money securities or effects shall be lodged or deposited or for any loss, conversion, misapplication Or misappropriation or any damage resulting from any dealings with any moneys, securities or other assets belonging to the congregation or for any other loss, damage or misfortune whatever which may happen in the execution of duties of the Member of the Executive's or Officer's respective office or thrust or relation thereto unless the same shall happen by or through the Member of the Executive's or Officer's own willful neglect or default.

Section 5. INDEMNITIES TO OFFICERS, MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE AND MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL

Every Member of the Executive or Officer of the congregation or other person who has undertaken or is about to undertake any liability on behalf of the congregation and their heirs, executors and administrators, and estate and effects, respectively, shall from time to time and at all times, be indemnified and saved harmless out of the funds of the congregation, from and against:

a. all costs, charges and expenses whatsoever which such Member of the Executive, Officer or other person sustains or incurs in or about any action, suit or proceeding that is brought, commenced or prosecuted against the Member of the Executive, Officer or other person for or in respect of any act, deed, matter or thing whatever, made, done or permitted by them, in or about the execution of the duties of such office or in respect of any such liability; and

b. all other costs, charges and expenses which the Member of the Executive, Officer or other person sustains orincurs in or about or in relation to the affairs of the congregation, except such costs, charges or expenses as are occasioned by their own willful neglect or default.

The congregation shall also indemnify any such person in such other circumstances as the law permits or requires. Nothing in the Bylaw shall limit the right of any person entitled to indemnity to claim indemnity apart from the provisions of the Bylaw to the extent permitted by law.

 

ARTICLE VIII - PROPERTY RIGHTS

 

Section 1.

a. Should a division take place because of doctrine, the property of the congregation and all benefits connected therewith shall remain with those communicant members who continue to adhere in the confession and practice to Articles II and III of this Constitution.

b. If division takes place for any other reason, the property shall remain with the majority of the communicant members.

c. In either case, the advice of the officers of the District and the Synod shall be sought.

Section 2.

Should this congregation cease to exist or should its membership so diminish in numbers as to render it impossible or impractical for the congregation to function according to its constitution and bylaws, the District and Synod shall appoint trustees, including where feasible former members of the congregation, who shall take care and control of the property of said congregation to hold, manage and convey the same in behalf of the Synod.

 

ARTICLE IX - DOCTRINAL CONFORMITY

 

Only such hymns, prayers, and liturgies shall be used in the public service of the congregation and in all ministerial acts as conform to the doctrinal standard of Articles II and III. Likewise, in all classes for instruction in Christian doctrine, only such books and teaching aids shall be used as conform to this standard. In addition, in all classes of instruction, all teachings shall be in agreement with the doctrinal standard of this Constitution and shall be centered in the Scriptures.

 

ARTICLE X - SYNODICAL MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1.

This congregation shall hold membership in the Lutheran Church -- Canada and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.

Section 2.

This congregation shall send its pastor and a delegate to the Lutheran Church -- Canada (East District) convention. It shall send a delegate to the general Synod Convention when so delegated.

Section 3.

It shall be the duty of the congregation and its individual members to support the work of the Lutheran Church -- Canada and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.

Section 4.

The desire of the congregation to follow the customs of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad while remaining in the Lutheran Church -- Canada is affIrmed. Any conflicts should be dealt with by consultation with both The Lutheran Church -- Canada through its national offIcers or offIcers of the East District and through the Dean (EELK Kanada Praostkonna praost), Bishop, Archbishop and Consistory of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.

 

ARTICLE XI - BYLAWS

 

Section 1. ADOPTION

This congregation may adopt such Bylaws as may be required for the accomplishment of its purpose, providing that such Bylaws are in harmony with articles II and III of this constitution, do not conflict with the District or Synodical Handbooks and give due consideration to the Statutes of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.

Section 2. AMENDMENTS

Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by the Congregational Council or, in writing to the Congregational Council, by a member of the congregation in good standing supported by signatures of at least five other members in good standing. The proposed amendment must be presented for consideration at the next regular or special meeting of the Voters' Assembly. It shall be published and announced at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which it shall acted upon. Acceptance of amendments to the bylaws requires two thirds' majority of those present and voting.

 

ARTICLE XII - CHANGING THE CONSTITUTION

 

Section 1. AMENDMENTS

Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by the Congregational Council or, in writing to the Congregational Council, by a member of the congregation in good standing supported by signatures of at least five other members in good standing. Such proposed amendments shall be presented to the Voters' Assembly following review by the Lutheran Church -- Canada (East District) and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad and may be adopted at a regular Voters' Assembly, provided:

a. that they do not conflict with the provision laid down in Article II, or with any section of any other Article that pertains to Scriptural doctrine and practice;

b. that the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing at a previous meeting of the Voters' Assembly and published, and announced at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendment will be acted upon;

c.the affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of the voting membership present at the Voters' Assembly is received when voting on the adoption of any amendment.

Section 2. APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS

Amendments adopted by the Voters' assembly become effective when approved by the Lutheran Church -- Canada and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.

 

THE BYLAWS OF THE CONSTITUTION OF

SAINT PETER'S ESTONIAN EVANGELICAL

LUTHERAN CHURCH OF TORONTO

 

December, 1999

 

Changed and accepted (first vote) January 1999

Accepted by the congregation (second vote) 11 April, 1999

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PREAMBLE Page I

ARTICLE I - COMMUNICANT MEMBERSHIP Page I

Section 1. APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP - PROCEDURE ..Page I

Section 2. PRIVILEGES AND DUTIES OF COMMUNICANT MEMBERS………Page I

ARTICLE 2 - VOTING MEMBERSHIP Page 2

Section 1. ELIGIBILITY , .Page 2

Section 2. PRIVILEGES AND DUTIES OF VOTING MEMBERS .Page 2

Section 3. TERMINATION.......... .Page 2

ARTICLE 3 - DISCIPLINE IN THE CONGREGATION. . . . . . . . . . .. .Page 2

Section 1.1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 2

Section 1.2 Provisions Pertaining to Members. . . . . . . . . . .Page 2

Section 2.1 Provisions Pertaining to Church Officers Page 3

Section 2.2 Provisions Pertaining to Members of the Congregational Council: Vacancies. .Page 3

Section 3. PROVISION PERTAINING TO PASTORS. .Page 4

ARTICLE 4 - MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION. .Page 4

Section I. REGULAR MEETINGS . .Page 4

Section 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS . .Page 4

Section 3. THE PASTOR . . . . . . .Page 4

Section 4. QUORUM......... .Page 4

Section 5. ORDER OF BUSINESS AT REGULAR MEETINGS. .Page 4

Section 6. REAL PROPERTY Page 5

Section 7. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Page 5

Section 8. REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO VOTERS' MEETINGS..............Page 5

Section 9. AUDITORS Page 5

ARTICLE 5 - THE OFFICE OF THE PASTOR. . . . . . . . . . . .Page 5

Section 1. PROCEDURE FOR CALLING A PASTOR. .Page 5

Section 2. PASTORAL OFFICE. .Page 5

Section 3. COMPENSATION.............. .Page 6

Section 4. INTERIM PASTOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 6

Section 5. OTHER PASTORAL STAFF AND CERTIFIED CHURCH

WORKERS Page 6

ARTICLE 6 - ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND BOARDS Page 6

Section I. THE CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL. . . . . . . .Page 7

Section 1.1 Composition of the Congregational Council . .Page 7

Section 1.2 Nominating Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 7

Section 1.3 Candidates for the Congregational Council. . .Page 7

Section 2. ELECTION PROCEDURE Page 7

Section 3. INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS AND TERM OF OFFICE

Section 4. IN CASE OF VACANCY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

ARTICLE 7 - FUNCTIONS, POWERS, AND ORGANIZATION OF THE

CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL; DUTIES OF OFFICERS .

Section 1. CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL .

Section 1.1 The members of the Congregational Council shall:

Section 1.2 Procedure and Minutes of Council Meetings. . . .

Section 2. THE EXECUTIVE OF THE CONGREGATION

Section 2.1 Duties of the executive .

Section 2.2 Executive Meetings. . . . . . .

Section 3. DUTIES OF OFFICERS .

Section 3.1 The Congregational Chairman

Section 3.2 The Vice-Chairman shall: .

Section 3.3 The Treasurer shall: .

Section 3.3a Additional Responsibilities of the Treasurer.

Section 3.4 The Secretary shall: .

Section 3.5 Trustees .

ARTICLE 8 - BOARDS, COMMITTEES, AUXILIARIES, INSTITUTIONS,

SOCIETIES - GENERAL. Page 12

Section 1. POWERS AND DUTIES OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES,

AUXILIARIES, INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIETIES ... Page 12

ORGANIZATION AND MEETINGS OF BOARDS,

COMMITTEES, AUXILIARIES, INSTITUTIONS AND

SOCIETIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 12

ARTICLE 9 - THE ENGLISH SECTION AND THE BOARD FOR MINISTRY IN THE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 12

Section I. MEMBERSHIP OF THE ENGLISH SECTION. . Page 13

Section 2. BOARD EXECUTIVE . Page 13

Section 3. FINANCIAL RECORDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . Page 13

Section 4. FINANCIAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES. . Page 13

ARTICLE 10 - THE CHOIR CANTATE DOMINO. . . . . . . . Page 13

Section 1. MEMBERSHIP.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., . Page 13

Section 2. . FINANCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . Page 13

Section 3. CHOIR DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . . . Page 13

ARTICLE 11 - LADIES' GUILD (ESTONIAN SPEAKING) . . . Page 13

Section 1. MEMBERSHIP...... . . . . . . . Page 14

Section 2 THE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS . . . . Page 14

Section 3. FINANCES. . . . . . . Page 14

ARTICLE 12 - AMENDMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 14

THE BYLAWS OF THE CONSTITUTION

 

PREAMBLE

 

It is the will of God that Christ's disciples make wise use of the variety of gifts God freely gives in order to express and to further the unity of the One, Holy, Christian and Apostolic Church. It is God's will that believers be equipped for the work of ministry, "for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity offaith and knowledge of the Son of God ... we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body,joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love." (Ephesians 4:12,13,16)

Therefore, in order to insure that the God-given work of this congregation be carried out properly, we accept the following Bylaws. These will provide guidance and direction for meetings, members, officers and boards.

Because such Bylaws are simply tools to aid us in doing God's will, they may be reviewed and revised according to the changing needs and expanding ministry of the congregation.

 

ARTICLE 1 - COMMUNICANT MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1. APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP - PROCEDURE

Applicants for Communicant Membership in this congregation shall consult the Pastor who shall determine whether such applicants are eligible for membership in accordance with Article IV of the constitution. Applicants not familiar with the doctrines and confessions ofthe Lutheran Church shall be required to attend a course of instruction, and to make profession of their faith either before the congregation, or at the Pastor's discretion, before witnesses who are members of the Congregational Council, before being received as members.

Applicants from other Lutheran congregations shall submit a letter of transfer from their former congregation in order to establish their eligibility for membership. In the case ofapplicants whose previous membership in a Lutheran congregation has lapsed, the Pastor may, with the consent of the Congregational Council arrange for a period of re-instruction prior to their reaffIrmation of faith.

Section 2. PRIVILEGES AND DUTIES OF COMMUNICANT MEMBERS

It shall be the privilege and duty of Communicant Members of this congregation to:

a. grow in the Christian faith and life through faithful use of the means of grace, searching the Scriptures at home and in fellowship with other members of the congregation and its agencies, and partaking of the Lord's Supper frequently; and

b. live a morally decent life before God and all people, abstaining from open works of the flesh (Galatians 5: 19-21), so conducting themselves at all times as to bring credit rather than blame upon the Church of Jesus Christ; and

c. provide for the proper Christian training of their children by instruction at home and through the agencies of the church; and

d. contribute toward the maintenance of the congregation and the extension of the Kingdom of God at home and abroad according to their fmancial ability; and

e. be familiar with the contents and procedures outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws; and

f. place their God-given talents and abilities at the disposal of God's Church through the congregation, Pastor, officers, and other agencies of the congregation as set forth in its Constitution and Bylaws, so that the

purposes and functions of the congregation may be effectively carried out.

 

ARTICLE 2 - VOTING MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1. ELIGIBILITY

Communicant members who qualify under Article V Section 2 of the constitution and who have fulfilled their fmancial responsibilities and obligations to the congregation and have been on the roster of the congregation for at least one year, shall be eligible for voting membership.

Section 2. PRIVILEGES AND DUTIES OF VOTING MEMBERS

It shall be the privilege and duty of a voting member of this congregation to:

a.exercise prayerfully and conscientiously his/her right of suffrage in order to advance the work of Christ's Kingdom locally and in the church at large. Voters must be present at the meetings in order to vote. (i.e. no proxy votes are permitted); and

b.support and participate in the work of the congregation; and

c.serve willingly, whenever possible, in any office or capacity for which hislher talents and abilities equip him/her (a person shall be a member of the congregation for at least one year before he/she is eligible for any elective office or board); and

d.attend faithfully the meetings of the congregation; and

e.encourage other eligible Communicant Members to accept the responsibilities and privileges of Voting Membership.

Section 3. TERMINATION

Termination of Communicant Membership automatically terminates Voting Membership.

 

ARTICLE 3 - DISCIPLINE IN THE CONGREGATION

 

Section 1.1 As Christians we recognize the reality of human sinfulness and its danger to our faith. We also rejoice in the love and forgiveness which God shows us and in the spiritual care and concern which congregations exercise

in Jesus' name. Therefore, members of this congregation permit themselves to be counseled and corrected according to the following guidelines:

a. The Congregational Council will concern itself with the spiritual life of each member; and

b. together with the Pastor offer encouragement and aid for private and public expression of faith in Jesus Christ;

c. all discipline in this congregation shall be administered in accordance with the order of discipline laid down in Matthew 18: 15-20, I Corinthians 5: 1-5, and other related New Testament passages.

The following procedures shall be followed under the direction of the Pastor and Congregational Council.

Section 1.2 Provisions Pertaining to Members.

a. Transfers: Members in good standing may be transferred to the spiritual care of another Lutheran congregation. Such a request is made to the Pastor and includes the name and location of the other congregation, and is signed by the member or by the head of the family. By approval of the Pastor and Executive, a letter of transfer shall be issued.

b. Releases' When a member of this congregation has joined a non-Lutheran congregation, an anti-Christian lodge or organization, the member shall be deemed to have terminated their membership in this congregation, and to have forfeited all rights and privileges of membership. The name shall be removed from the membership list of the congregation.

Members may also request to be released from the rights and privileges of membership for other reasons.  Such a request shall be signed by the member and submitted to the Pastor and Executive of the Congregation for appropriate action.

c. Whereabouts unknown: Members whose whereabouts are unknown and whose addresses cannot be established within a period of 12 months shall have their names removed from the membership list of the congregation.

d. Self-exclusion: A communicant member who does not, for a period of one year, partake of Holy Communion, support the church with offerings and participate in the life and worship of the congregation shall be visited by the pastor and the congregation's officers and be encouraged by them to active membership. If, during the second year, the communicant member does not actively participate, the member's name may be removed from the membership roster of the congregation, but shall be retained on a responsibility list as one who is in special need of the congregation's prayer and concern.

Self-exclusion releases the individual from all responsibilities to this congregation, and also excludes the person from the rights and privileges of membership.

The pastor and the congregation's officers may extend the time for specific cases where it seems advisable to provide help and to restore people to a proper fellowship with Christ and members of His Church.

e. Excommunication: This is to be applied by the Voters' Assembly, in accordance with Matthew 18: 15-18, to any member who conducts himself/herself in an unchristian manner (i.e. to one who openly adheres to false doctrine, gives evidence of an immoral and offensive life, or willfully despises the preaching of the Gospel and to the Lord's Supper) The pastor and Congregational Council shall administer the steps of church discipline until such time as the step regarding the congregation's involvement is reached. The Voters' Assembly must make the final determination as it is obligated to do by the Lord. This action shall be reported to the whole congregation in whatever manner is deemed most suitable.

f. Reinstatement: Persons who have been removed from membership for whatever reason may be restored by the Voters' Assembly with all rights and privileges when they repent and ask forgiveness through the pastor in consultation with the Congregational Council and this is reported to the congregation in whatever manner is deemed most suitable.

g. Special Cases: When a member wishes to retain membership in the congregation but has moved or is unable to attend for whatever reason, the pastor or Congregational Council shall consider the request and establish procedures and policies appropriate for individual situations.

Section 2.1 Provisions Pertaining to Church Officers

An officer of the congregation who willfully neglects the duties of his/her office may be removed by three quarters majority vote of the members present and voting in a regular meeting of the Voters' Assembly. The Congregational Council will initiate disciplinary action.

Section 2.2 Provisions Pertaining to Members of the Congregational Council: Vacancies

When an office is made vacant by deposition, resignation, death or excommunication of the incumbent, the vacancy shall be made known to the congregation and a successor be appointed by the Congregational Council as provided in Article 6, Section 4.

Section 3. PROVISION PERTAINING TO PASTORS

Authority to terminate the call of the pastor shall rest in the congregation. Sufficient grounds for removing a Pastor are defined in Article V, Section 6 of the Constitution.. Charges on any of the counts defined there are to be carefully investigated by the Congregational Council. The Congregational Council will notify the Voting Membership of the congregation of the situation and submit the matter for action at a special meeting of the Voters' Assembly. A three-fourths majority vote of the Voting Members present and voting is required to remove the Pastor.

Throughout the removal process the Congregational Council shall seek the advice and counsel of the District President of the East District of the Lutheran Church - Canada and the Consistory of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.  The intended removal of the Pastor will be announced by the Chairman of the Congregational Council at regular divine services on the two Sundays preceding a special meeting of the Voters' Assembly for that purpose. All Voting Members will be notified (by mail) at least two weeks in advance.

 

ARTICLE 4 - MEETINGS OF THE CONGREGATION

 

Section I. REGULAR MEETINGS

Regular meetings of the Voting Membership will be held at least once during the calendar year. The actual times and dates of meetings are to be set by the Congregational Council.

All Communicant Members of the congregation may attend Voters' Assembly meetings, and may, with the consent of the Voting Membership, submit recommendations or participate in the discussion.

Every regular meeting of the Voters' Assembly is to be announced at the worship service(s) on the three Sundays precedingor falling on the day of the meeting.

Section 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS

A special Voter's Assembly meeting may be called by the Executive, Congregational Councilor at the written request of one-tenth (1/10) of Voting Members of the congregation. Notice of the date, the time, and the nature of the business to be transacted are to be given at the worship service(s) on the three Sundays preceding or falling on the day of the meeting or by mail to all voting members at least ten days in advance of the date of the meeting.

Section 3. THE PASTOR

The Pastor(s) shall be notified of all regular and special meetings of the congregation.

Section 4. QUORUM

Those members present shall constitute a quorum.

Section 5. ORDER OF BUSINESS AT REGULAR MEETINGS

The Agenda for regular meetings of the Voters' Assembly is:

1. Call to Order

2. Opening Devotion

3. Approval of Agenda

4. Pastors' Report

5. Treasurer/Financial Secretary Reports

6. Board and Committee Reports

7. New Business for the Assembly

8. Closing Devotion

9. Adjournment

When appropriate, the Agenda shall also include Elections and consideration of the Budget.

The Chairman may, with the consent of the Assembly, vary the above order in the interest of efficiency or if a special request is submitted.

Section 6. REAL PROPERTY

Real property shall not be purchased, disposed of or encumbered in any manner except by resolution adopted by no less than three quarters majority vote of the members present and voting at a legally called meeting of the Voters' Assembly.

Section 7. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Minutes of the Voters' Assembly meeting are signed by the Chairman, the Recording Secretary and three of up to five persons authorized by the Voters' Assembly at that meeting. The signing signifies the approval of the minutes.

Section 8. REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO VOTERS' MEETINGS

All meetings of the Voters' Assembly, the congregational Council and the Executive shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order.

All decisions shall be made by a simple majority vote of those present except as otherwise provided in this Constitution and Bylaws for dealing with certain specific situations herein defined. In the event of a tie vote, the chairperson shall cast the deciding ballot.

Voting shall be by a show of hands unless 1/5 (one-fifth) of those present request a secret ballot.

There shall be no proxy voting.

Section 9. AUDITORS

The Voters' Assembly shall also elect an audit committee consisting of three regular members and one alternate from the membership of the congregation. The members of the audit committee may not simultaneously hold positions on the Congregational Council.

 

ARTICLE 5 - THE OFFICE OF THE PASTOR

 

Section 1. PROCEDURE FOR CALLING A PASTOR

Authority to call a pastor shall rest in the congregation. Such authority to call shall be exercised by not less than a two thirds majority vote of members present and voting at a meeting properly called for that purpose. Throughout the call process the Congregational Council, or committee authorized by the congregation, shall seek the advice and counsel of the District President of the East District of the Lutheran Church - Canada or his representative and consult the Consistory of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad. Candidates for the office of pastor shall be proposed at a properly called regular or special meeting of the Voters' Assembly.

Only an ordained minister on the roster of the Lutheran Church - Canada, or the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad or a candidate who is recognized for a call by the Lutheran Church - Canada may be called as a pastor of the congregation.

Section 2. PASTORAL OFFICE

The Office of Pastor is the authority conferred by God, through a call of the congregation, to exercise in public office the common rights of spiritual priesthood on behalf of all. The Office of Pastor is the primary office in the congregation from which all other offices of the congregation issue.

The pastor is authorized and obligated to proclaim to the members of the congregation, jointly and severally, the Word of God in its truth and purity present in the Old and New Testaments and professed in the Book of Concord (1580). The pastor must further:

1.Discharge toward all members of the congregation the functions of a minister and shepherd of their souls as outlined in the call documents;

2.Preach the word, administer the sacraments and conduct public worship in harmony with the faith and practices of the church;

3.Baptize, confirm and marry in accordance with the teaching of the church and with the laws of the province, visit the sick and distressed and bury the dead;

4.Inculcate piety in individual and family life and provide pastoral leadership to all schools and auxiliary organizations of the congregation;

5.Install members of the Congregational Council and, with the Council, administer discipline;

6.Seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel and strive to extend the Kingdom of God in the community, at home and abroad;

7.Encourage the members to be generous in support of the ministry of the congregation, the synod and the church;

8.Keep accurate membership records including baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials and communicants, and submit a report of such statistics annually to the secretary of the synod on forms provided by the church.  The parish records shall be kept in a separate book which shall remain the property of the congregation;

9.Commend members who move to the pastoral care of the parish in which their new home is located.

Section 3. COMPENSATION

In order that a pastor of this congregation may be devoted fully to the duties of the office, adequate compensation and premiums under the church's pension plan shall be provided, paid in semi-annual or monthly installments. Expenses incident to attendance at conventions of the synod and the church and meetings otherwise required by the pastor's office shall be defrayed by the congregation, except where other provisions are made.

Section 4. INTERIM PASTOR

At a time of pastoral vacancy, an interim pastor shall be selected by the Congregational Council after consultation with the District President of the East District of the Lutheran Church - Canada or his representative and, as desirable, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad. The interim pastor shall have the responsibility of a regularly called pastor. All interim and supply pastors shall refrain from exerting influence in the call process.

Section 5. OTHER PASTORAL STAFF AND CERTIFIED CHURCH WORKERS

Associate and Assistant Pastors shall be called in the same manner as specified in Section I of this ARTICLE.

Properly qualified Pastoral Assistants, Deacons and Deaconesses, Certified Church Workers shall be proposed by the

Executive and approved at a properly called regular or special meeting of the Congregational Council.

 

ARTICLE 6 - ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND BOARDS

 

Section I. THE CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL

Section 1.1 Composition of the Congregational Council

The Congregational Council consists of ten (10) to fifty (50) members, with a suitable number of alternates. Before elections, the Council proposes the number of members and alternates to be elected. The pastor(s) is (are) automatically members of the Congregational Council.

Section 1.2 Nominating Procedure

a. Candidates for election to the Congregational Council are to be nominated by the executive four weeks before the election.

b. Members of the congregation in good standing may also nominate candidates. Such nominations are to be in writing, signed by at least 5 members of the congregation, and must be filed with the executive of the council at least 3 weeks before the election. Each member of the congregation may sign not more than three nomination forms.

Section 1.3 Candidates for the Congregational Council

Candidates nominated for election to the Congregational Council must be voting members of the congregation in good standing, at least 18 years of age, must satisfy the requirements of religious and moral behaviour, and be able and willing to fulfill the duties of office as outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2. ELECTION PROCEDURE

Members to the Congregational Council are elected by majority vote.  If any two candidates receive an equal number of votes, the winner shall be selected by lot.

Section 3. INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS AND TERM OF OFFICE

The newly elected Congregational Council will be installed formally within a period of two months from the date of election at a regular Sunday worship service of the congregation, unless otherwise specified in the Bylaws. The newly elected Congregational Council shall assume its duties at its first meeting, which shall be called by the outgoing executive.  The term of office for members of the Congregational Council is two years, unless otherwise specified in the Bylaws. Under special circumstances the Voters' Assembly may extend the term of office for members of the Congregational Council for up to one additional year, unless otherwise specified in the Bylaws.

Section 4. IN CASE OF VACANCY

In the case that a members leaves the Council, the alternate with the largest number of votes replaces himlher. The new member's term of office expires at the end of the departed member's term.

 

ARTICLE 7 - FUNCTIONS, POWERS, AND ORGANIZATION OF THE CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL; DUTIES OF OFFICERS

 

Section 1. CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL

The men and women who make up the Congregational Council shall be noted for their Christian knowledge, zeal and experience in the spiritual work of the Kingdom of Christ

Section I. I The members of the Congregational Council shall:

1. be concerned with all matters pertaining to the spiritual welfare and worship life of the congregation and of all its members;

2. pray for the Pastor(s), members of the congregation, and for the ministry and mission of the congregation;

3. offer encouragement and assistance to the Pastor(s); and be concerned for the spiritual, emotional and physical health and welfare of the clergy (pastor, etc.) and the clergy family(ies);

4. be concerned with the worship life of all members, review their worship and communion attendance, and exercise discipline as needed;

5. seek to give comfort, counsel, encouragement and help to all; seek to visit all families and give special attention to the needs of the sick, aged, and shut-ins;

6. encourage spiritual growth through Bible study, worship, and devotions in all areas of the congregational community;

7. ensure that the youth of the congregation receive instruction in the Word and feel welcome in the church community through programs provided by Sunday School, confirmation and youth groups;

8. apply themselves to regular and faithful study of God's Word and to personal growth in faith;

9. be responsible for assisting the pastor in organizing and carrying out proper worship services (including supervision of scheduling, worship forms, supplies, music, ushering, etc.);

10. ensure that the congregation functions in accordance with the established doctrine of the Church as listed in Article II of the Constitution;

11. keep good order in the church and church buildings and see that these buildings are not used for purposes contrary to the teachings and aims of the church;

12. present the budget for approval by the Voters' Assembly;

13. develop and present to the Voter's Assembly a yearly plan of activity for the congregation as well as long range plans for the development and expansion of Christ's work in our midst;

14. approve the agenda for the Voters' Assembly;

15. set the dates and times for the Voters' Assembly;

16. fill unexpired terms in accordance with Articles 3 and 6 of the Bylaws.

Section 1.2 Procedure and Minutes of Council Meetings

As required, the Congregational Council may establish Working Committees which terminate on completion of their assigned task. Members of these committees need not be members of the Congregational Council.

The Congregational Council shall meet at least two times a year at regular intervals. Additional meetings may be called by the Congregational Chairman and/or Pastor as required. Special meetings may be called at the request ofat least 20% but not fewer than three Congregational Council members. Quorum shall be a simple majority of members.

All decisions shall be made by a simple majority vote of those present except as otherwise provided in this Constitution and Bylaws for dealing with certain specific situations herein defined.

In the event of a tie vote, the chairman shall cast the deciding ballot.

Voting shall be by show of hands unless 1/5 (one-fifth) of those present request a secret ballot.

There shall be no proxy voting.

The Congregational Council shall keep a permanent set of Minutes for each meeting. The minutes are the property of the congregation.

Section 2. THE EXECUTIVE OF THE CONGREGATION

The Executive Officers of the congregation are elected by the Congregational Council from the members of the Congregational Council for a term of two years, unless under special circumstances through a decision of the Voters' Assembly the term of the Executive along with the Council is extended for a period not to exceed one year. The chairman shall be elected separately.

The Executive Officers are: Chairman, one or two Vice-chairmen. Treasurer, Secretary, Liaison Officer for the Board for Ministry in the English Language (who shall be elected by the English Section) and such other officers as the Congregational Council may deem necessary.

The Executive is authorized to make decisions when there is a quorum of at least a simple majority of members, including the chairman or the deputy. The Chairman is also chairman of the Congregational Council and Voters' Assembly; the Secretary is also the Council's secretary and the secretary for the Voters' Assembly.

Signing authority on behalf of the congregation shall reside in at least two of the following: the Chaiman or the Vice Chairman, the Treasurer and Secretary.

Section 2.1 Duties of the executive

The duties of the executive are as follows:

I. to manage the properties and assets of the congregation and to determine their use;

2. to prepare motions requiring the attention of the Congregational Council;

3. to propose candidates for election to the Congregational Council;

4. to call the Voters' Assembly on the authorization of the Congregational Council;

5. to approve the annual financial statements and to propose an annual budget to the Congregational Council;

6. to keep the financial books of the congregation;

7. to hire, install and terminate the employment of social workers, musical staff (choir directors, organist, etc.), clerical workers and maintenance staff, and to regulate their vacations;

8. to appoint the Sunday School superintendent, Sunday School teachers and other youth workers;

9. to attend to all other matters not requiring the attention of the Congregational Council or Voters' Assembly;

10. serve as the point of liaison between the Pastor(s), other Clergy on staff, Officers of the congregation, and the other boards and societies of the congregation in planning the total work of the congregation;

11. settle jurisdictional differences between various boards, auxiliaries, societies, institutions or committees of the congregation;

12. appoint the Nominating Committee.

Section 2.2 Executive Meetings

The Executive of the congregation shall meet at least ten times a year at regular intervals. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairman and/or Pastor(s) as required. Special meetings may be called at the request of at least three members of the Executive.

The decision making and voting procedures for the executive are identical to that of the Congregational Council outlined in Section 1.2 of this same article.

The Executive shall keep a permanent set of Minutes for each meeting. The minutes are the property of the congregation.

Section 3. DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Section 3.1 The Congregational Chairman

The Congregational Chairman shall:

I. use the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation to carry out the expressed will of the congregation as embodied in the resolutions of the Voting Membership;

2. ensure that all elected and appointed officers, boards and committees, societies, auxiliaries and institutions of the congregation carry out their individual responsibilities in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation. The Chairman will attend meetings of boards and committees whenever necessary or advisable;

3. preside at all meetings of the Voters' Assembly, Congregational Council and Executive and endeavour to coordinate the functions, plans, and activities of the congregation for the furtherance of the work of Christ’s Kingdom;

4. prepare an Agenda for each Executive meeting, and in consultation with the Executive prepare an agenda for Congregational Council meetings and after consideration of items by the Congregational Council prepare the Agenda for the Voters' Assembly meetings;

5. meet at least once a month with the Pastor(s);

6. be responsible, together with the Pastor(s) and the Congregational Council, for planning and implementing training programs for Church leaders;

7. share, when necessary, specific responsibilities with the Vice-Chairman.

Section 3.2 The Vice-Chairman shall:

1. preside at meetings of the Executive, the Congregational Council and/or Voters' Assembly meetings in the absence of the Chairman or when delegated to do so by the Chairman and

2. carry out any duties delegated by the chairman or the Executive or the Congregational Council or the Voters' Assembly;

3. assume the duties of the chairman for the unexpired portion of his term should the chairman's position become vacant.

Section 3.3 The Treasurer shall:

I. be responsible for the accurate recording of congregational receipts and disbursements, and budgeted and actual expenditures according to proper accounting procedures and, as deemed advisable, suggest improved methods for congregational consideration;

2. present a written, duplicated financial report at Voters' Assembly meetings, and have ready a preliminary report for the regular Congregational Council meetings, and a regular report at regular Executive meetings;

3. submit permanent financial records for annual audit;

4. be responsible for monthly remittance of offerings for missions (to the District Office), for other agencies (to the applicable agency), and for prompt payment of salaries and bills properly authorized;

5. receive from the Financial Secretary / Bookkeeper a regular report of all monies received from any source, and properly record the same;

6. prepare an annual budget for the congregation;

7. have available for all boards, committees, auxiliaries, societies and institutions of the congregation a current record of expenditures, as well as the amount of budget allotment;

8. ensure that all government report forms are submitted as requested.

Section 3.3a Additional Responsibilities of the Treasurer

The Treasurer shall supervise the financial record keeping in the following areas:

I. be responsible for prompt and accurate counting, recording, and depositing of all receipts for the congregation in a local financial institution. The Congregational Council may approve additional help for the counting of such contributions;

2. be responsible for the issuance of regular statements to members regarding their contributions;

3. see that duplicate deposit slips are furnished by the Bookkeeper;

4. be responsible for the safe deposit and keeping of all funds.

Section 3.4 The Secretary shall:

1. record all Minutes of Voters' Assembly, Congregational Council and Executive meetings and forward a copy of these Minutes to the church office for filing and for safe-keeping within one month of meetings;

2. conduct all official correspondence of the Voters' Assembly, Congregational Council and the Executive;

3. maintain an up-to-date accurate listing of all Voting Members of the congregation, and keep an accurate attendance record of Voters' Assembly meetings and Congregational Council meetings;

4. be responsible for notifying members of the congregation of the date, time, and place of regular or special Voters' Assembly meetings in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation;

5. be responsible for notifying members of the Congregational Council of the date, time, and place of regular or special Council meetings;

6. be responsible for notifying members of the Executive of the date, time, and place of regular or special Executive meetings;

7. be responsible to see that the annual statistical forms are filled out and submitted to the Synod and District.

Section 3.5 Trustees

The Executive of the congregation shall act as the trustees of the congregation and requires no special authorization to this effect.

Signing authority on behalf of the congregation shall reside in at least two of the following: the Chairman or the Vice-chairman, the Treasurer and the Secretary.

 

ARTICLE 8 - BOARDS, COMMITTEES, AUXILIARIES, INSTITUTIONS, SOCIETIES GENERAL

Boards may be created by the Voters' Assembly as needed for the work of the congregation. The number of Boards and their size will be determined by the congregation from time to time as the needs change. The Boards will have their own objectives and procedures to accomplish their task.

Auxiliaries, institutions and societies may be established by the Congregational Council.

Section 1. POWERS AND DUTIES OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES, AUXILIARIES, INSTITUTIONS AND

SOCIETIES

Unless otherwise specified in the bylaws each body shall:

a. submit a report of its activities at each regular meeting of the Voter's Assembly and on other occasions if the Voting Membership so determines and requests;

b. initiate programs and activities to enable an effective performance of functions and duties assigned by the Constitution and Bylaws, or by specific resolution of the Voter's Assembly;

c. prepare and submit, when requested, an annual operating budget to the Executive;

d. use the funds set aside for its work by budget allocation or by special resolution of the Voters' Assembly. However, the Voting Membership may restrict such expenditures to conform with the fmaneial conditions of the congregation at any given time;

e. use proceeds from fundraising and social events in the service and ministry of the congregation;

f. keep permanent Minutes for each meeting, which remain the property of the congregation. A copy of the Minutes is to be submitted to the church office within one month of the meeting;

g. report and give an account of its activities to the regular annual meeting ofthe Voters' Assembly and to the Congregational Council when requested to do so.

Section 2. ORGANIZATION AND MEETINGS OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES, AUXILIARIES, INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIETIES

a. Unless otherwise stated in the Bylaws, each board, committee, auxiliary, institution or society shall be under the direction and supervision of the Chairman of that body. Unless otherwise specified in the Bylaws, the time and frequency of meetings shall be at the discretion of the Chairman or convener of the board, committee, auxiliary, institution or society and its members.

b. For good and sufficient reason, either the Chairman of the congregation or the Pastor(s) may call a special meeting of a board, committee, auxiliary, institution or soeiety at any time, and each member of that body shall be notified of the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting.

c. Boards may establish operating rules and procedures as needed.

 

ARTICLE 9 - THE ENGLISH SECTION AND THE BOARD FOR MINISTRY IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

 

The English Section and the Board for Ministry in the English Language serve to facilitate the proclamation of the Gospel and the ministry of the congregation to the English speaking members of the congregation and the community at large.

Section 1. MEMBERSHIP OF THE ENGLISH SECTION

The membership of the English Section of the Congregation consists of those members, in good standing, on the roster of St. Peter's Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church who desire to partake in the ministry of the congregation in the English language.

Section 2. BOARD EXECUTIVE

The Board for Ministry in the English Language shall elect from among its membership an Executive which shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary and such other Officers as the Board may deem necessary, one of whom will sit on the Executive of the Congregation as outlined in Article 7 Section 2 of the Bylaws. The Congregational Chairman and Pastor(s) are automatically members of the Board.

Section 3. FINANCIAL RECORDS

The Board for Ministry in the English language shall keep separate financial records of its income and expenses which are subject to review by the Audit Committee.

Section 4. FINANCIAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The English Section is entitled to proceeds from fundraising and social events sponsored by it. Offerings and donations received during services in English shall be part of the revenue of the congregation.

 

ARTICLE 10 - THE CHOIR CANTATE DOMINO

 

Section 1. MEMBERSHIP

The membership of the Choir Cantate Domino is drawn from those persons in good standing on the membership rolls of the congregation. On occasion, persons from the community-at-large who are of good Christian character may be included as members of the Choir Cantate Domino.

The membership of the Choir Cantate Domino shall elect an Executive from among its members consisting of a Chairman, Elder (koorivanem), Treasurer, Secretary and such other officers as the Choir Cantate Domino may deem necessary. The choir director is automatically a member ofthe Executive and the church Organist, the Chairman of the congregation, and the Pastor(s) are ex-officio members of the Executive.

Section 2. FINANCES

The Executive for the Choir Cantate Domino shall keep separate fmancial records of its income and expenses which are subject to review by the Audit Committee.

The Choir Cantate Domino is entitled to the proceeds from fundraising and social events sponsored by it.

Section 3. CHOIR DIRECTOR

The Executive for the Choir Cantate Domino is responsible for the remuneration of the Choir director from funds allocated to it in the annual budget of the congregation as approved by the Voter's Assembly.  The hiring of the Choir Director is carried out by the Executive of the congregation as outlined in Article 7, Section 2.1 above, in consultation with the Executive for the Choir Cantate Domino.

Section 1. MEMBERSHIP

Membership in the Ladies' Guild consists of those women on the roster of the congregation who are in good standing.

Section 2 THE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

The Ladies' Guild (Estonian Speaking) shall elect from among its membership an Executive which shall consist of a Chairwoman, Treasurer, Secretary and such other officers as the Ladies Guild (Estonian Speaking) may deem necessary.

The Pastor(s) and Chairman of the congregation are ex-officio members of the Executive.

Section 3. FINANCES

The Ladies' Guild (Estonian Speaking) shall keep separate financial records of its income and expenses which are subject to review by the Audit Committee.

The Ladies' Guild (Estonian Speaking) is entitled to proceeds from fundraising and social events sponsored by it.

 

ARTICLE 12 - AMENDMENTS

 

The congregation may make amendments to these bylaws at a regular or special meeting of the Voters' Assembly by a two third vote of those present and voting. Such amendments must be proposed as specified in Article XI of the Constitution.