Congregational United Church of Christ Constitution

Revised January 2012 and Adopted 1/29/12

PRINTABLE

ARTICLE I – NAME

This Church shall henceforth be known as “Amherst Congregational United Church of Christ”.

ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

The object of this Church shall be to bind together followers of Jesus Christ for the purpose of sharing in the worship of God and in making His will dominant in the lives of all persons, individually and collectively, especially as that will is set forth in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

ARTICLE III – COVENANT OF MEMBERSHIP

We confess our faith in God, our heavenly Father, and our reverent love for Jesus Christ our Savior, and our willingness to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

We promise to walk together as Christian sisters and brothers, obedient to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, and to submit to the government and discipline of this Church as long as we remain members. This we do for the glory of God, for the good of fellow persons, and for our mutual growth in Christian grace, seeking to do all in faith, fellowship, and service in the Spirit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

ARTICLE IV – GOVERNMENT

The government of this Congregation is vested in its members who exercise the right of control of all its affairs, subject in legal matters to the Articles of Incorporation granted by the State of Ohio. We hold to the autonomy of the local Church, and we cherish the fellowship of churches united in Association, State and National groups for counsel and co-operation in matters or common concern. While affirming the liberty of our churches, and the validity of our ministry, we hold to the unity and universality of the Christian Church and will unite with all branches in hearty co-operation, and will earnestly seek, so far as in us lies, that the prayer of our Lord for His Disciples may be answered. That they may all be one.”

ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP

Article V, Section 1, Joining

The members of this Church shall be persons entering our fellowship on confession of faith, or reaffirmation of faith, or letter from other churches. After counseling with prospective new members (number of sessions and type of material to be determined by the Pastor), the Pastor shall recommend the prospective new members to the Deacons for approval. New members may then join the fellowship by giving public assent to the covenant of this Church with a Church sponsor.

Young persons must be at least in the eighth grade of school and classes of not less than twelve lessons shall be conducted by the Pastor for these young persons being presented to the Deacons for approval. These persons may join the fellowship by giving public assent to the covenant of this Church with a Church sponsor.

Membership in this Church is open to all who thus confess their faith, regardless of race, class or nationality background.

All members are entitled to act and vote in all meetings of the congregation and hold office as specified herein.

Article V, Section 2, Status

Members - Those who have been accepted into membership in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of this Constitution.

Friends of the Church - Those who have not been received into membership, but who desire to participate in public worship, the life and fellowship of the Church, and/or contribute to its support and benevolence. They shall share in the privileges of membership with the exception of the right to vote in congregational meetings or hold elective office.

Article V, Section 3, Release

Members may be released by letter to unite with other churches by vote of the Board of Deacons. If, because of change of faith, or for any other reason, a member requests in writing to be released from his or her covenant obligations, the membership shall be terminated by vote of the Board of Deacons.

Any person whose membership has been terminated for any reason may have their membership restored at the person's own request upon action of the Board of Deacons.

ARTICLE VI – SERVICES

Article VI, Section 1, Worship

Services of Worship shall be held at given hours each Sunday.

Special Services shall be held upon recommendation of the Pastor and/or the Board of Deacons for worship, inspiration, prayer and study.

Article VI, Section 2, Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper shall be celebrated at the morning service of Worship a minimum of four (4) times a year, as determined by the Pastor and/or Board of Deacons.

Article VI, Section 3, Sacrament of Baptism

The Baptism of adults and the Baptism or Consecration of Children shall be administered at such time as the Pastor may appoint.

ARTICLE VII – CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS

All Congregational meetings must be duly called by announcing time, place and purpose one (1) week prior to the meeting during regular Sunday Services or by mail to each member.

A quorum, consisting of at least one fourth (1/4) of the membership reported on the membership rolls at the last annual meeting, is required for official action at all duly called congregational meetings. Vote must be made in person, or by proxy.

A majority vote of all members present, inclusive of any votes by proxy, is required for elections and passage of business unless directed otherwise in this Constitution.

Each member is entitled to one (1) vote. (please refer to ARTICLE XIX for further eligibility criteria)

Article VII, Section 1, Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Congregation shall generally be held on the fourth (4th) Sunday of January, to hear Annual Reports of the Pastor, Officers, Boards and all Committees.

Article VII, Section 2, Special Meetings

Special Meetings for the transaction of business may be called by the Pastor, Moderator, Church Council, or by five (5) members of the Congregation.

Article VII, Section 3, Budget Meetings

A meeting of the Congregation shall be called on a Sunday in October to discuss and vote the proposed operating budget.

After projected income has been determined for the ensuring year, the Proposed Budget will be revised accordingly.

The revised budget will take effect on January 1st. Any revision made must be approved at Annual Meeting.

Article VII, Section 4, Parliamentary Authority

All Church meetings shall be conducted under Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised Addition, unless it is in conflict with this Constitution, which will supersede Roberts Rules.

ARTICLE VIII – PASTOR

Article VIII, Section 1, Call by Local Church

The Pastor shall be called by vote of the Congregation at a special congregational meeting called for this purpose.

The call shall be for an indefinite time. However, the Congregation may at any time by a majority vote at a duly called Congregational meeting, request the Pastor’s resignation with the expectation that it will be presented within ninety (90) days. The Pastor may at any time present his or her resignation giving the Congregation ninety (90) days notice. Other arrangements may be made by mutual agreement with the Pastor Parish Relations Committee. However, in the case that the Pastor’s ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ is revoked by the proper ecclesiastical body of the Denomination, all relations between the Pastor and the local church shall cease at once.

The “Call Agreement” should comply with the documents authorized by the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ and must be duly executed by the Pastor, Moderator, Chairperson of the Search Committee and one (1) other member of the Congregation, preferably the Clerk/Secretary, and confirmed and signed by the Association Minister of the Western Reserve Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Article VIII, Section 2, Basic Expectations and Functions

The Pastor shall:

Become a member of the Church and shall hold ministerial standing within the Western Reserve Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Have charge of the spiritual welfare of the Church, with the assistance of the Board of Deacons.

Seek to enlist men and women as followers of Christ, preach the Gospel, administer the Services of the Word and Sacrament, and administer the activities of the Church in collaboration with other Boards and Committees of the local Church. Additions or changes to these basis expectations and functions will be the responsibility of the Church Council upon recommendation of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee.

Be a non-voting advisory member of the Church Council, Boards and Committees, and shall uphold and be governed by this Constitution.

Article VIII, Section 3, Pastoral Vacancies

When a vacancy occurs in the pastorate, the Church Council shall appoint a Pastoral Search Committee composed of nine (9) members of the church who shall consult at once with the Association Minister of the Western Reserve Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ, and with his/her cooperation shall make a canvas of available ministers; agree upon the one, who in their opinion, shall be called to the pastorate; request the candidate to conduct a regular Sunday Worship Service; and at a duly called quorum meeting within a week following the Service, propose the candidate’s selection, A two thirds (2/3) vote by written ballot of the members present shall constitute a call. The candidate is to be informed at once of the results of the selection. If the Congregation accepts the candidate proposed, the Pastoral Search Committee is automatically dissolved. The Church Council will then name five (5) of the nine (9) members of the Pastoral Search Committee to constitute the Pastor Parish Relations Committee. (For Term and Function of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee refer to Article X- Church Council)

If no call is issued, the Committee shall repeat the process until a satisfactory candidate is found and called.

Be responsible for ensuring that the process specified in the Church Policy Concerning Abuse Prevention is followed and also for maintaining the associated records and files.

ARTICLE IX – OFFICERS

Article IX, Section 1, Moderator

A Moderator shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one (1) year and shall be limited to two (2) consecutive terms, after which there must be a lapse of at least one (1) year before re-election.

The Moderator shall:

Be the presiding Officer at all Congregational Meetings of the Church and of the Church Council. In the absence of the Moderator, the Assistant Moderator shall assume the Moderator’s duties.

Make certain that all Officers, Boards and Committees are functioning following the annual meeting.

Be a non-voting advisory member of the Church Council, Boards and Committees.

Be in charge of the spiritual welfare of the Church in the absence of the Pastor and with the assistance of the Board of Deacons.

Have the obligation and duty (and Assistant Moderator) to insure that the Church, in its various meetings, decisions, and actions, follow and uphold this Constitution as prescribed herein.

When the Moderator retires from office, the Moderator shall become the Moderator Emeritus” and serve as helpful consultant to the new Moderator during the term of his/her successor.

Article IX, Section 2, Assistant Moderator

An Assistant Moderator shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one (1) year and shall be limited to two (2) consecutive terms, after which there must be a lapse of at least one (1) year before re- election.

The Assistant Moderator shall:

Assist the Moderator in all duties as the Moderator sees fit and preside in the absence of the Moderator at all required functions.

Supervise in a non-voting advisory capacity the effective functioning of all Boards and Committees, especially making certain they meet regularly and prepare necessary reports, with the direction of the moderator.

Be responsible for ensuring that the process specified in the Church Policy Concerning Abuse Prevention is followed and also for maintaining the associated records and files.

Be a member of Church Council.

Article IX, Section 3, Clerk

The Clerk shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one (1) year.

The clerk shall:

  • Keep a Church Register of the members of the Church with dates and modes of their reception and removal.
  • Issue letters of transfer per the direction of the Board of Deacons.
  • Keep a record of the Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages, and Funerals performed by the Pastor.
  • Be the secretary for all Church Council meetings and Congregational meetings.
  • Preserve on file all communications and official reports; notify all persons named/elected to Officers, Boards and Committees; conduct all correspondence as far as this is not otherwise provided for; perform such other duties as are prescribed by law, or as usually pertains to the Office of the Clerk or an assembly.
Article IX, Section 4, Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be hired by the Board of Trustees and shall be bonded.

The Treasurer shall not serve as Moderator, Assistant Moderator, Clerk, Church Historian or Chairman of any Board.

The Treasurer shall be a non-voting advisory member, and is expected to attend the meetings of the Board of Trustees and the Endowment Fund. In the absence of the Treasurer, the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees is authorized to endorse checks for the payment of bills as authorized by the Board of Trustees.

Article IX, Section 5, Church Historian

A Church Historian shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of one (1) year.

The Historian shall:

  • Be responsible for organizing all the historical books, records, and data from the various Church Boards and Committees, etc; storing them in one (1) location in the Church building.
  • Label and display these records at frequent meaningful times throughout the Church year.
  • Organize all photographs, including Confirmation pictures, and newspaper articles of the Church for display.

ARTICLE X – CHURCH COUNCIL

The Church Council is composed of the: Moderator, Assistant Moderator, Treasurer, Clerk, and a representative from each of the designated Boards and Committees, as further outlined in this ARTICLE, and from those Boards and Committees yet to be formed by the members of this Congregation. The Church Council shall have the power to appoint such other advisory members as it may deem necessary. The Church Council shall be chaired by the Moderator and the Clerk shall serve as the recording secretary. The Church Council shall meet as required.

The Church Council shall:

  • Visualize the entire task of the Church and advise the Pastor on the general direction of the Church activities.
  • Act for the Church in minor matters, always assuming that unless such action is taken with practical unanimity, it must have the confirmation of the Congregation as prescribed herein.
  • Act as arbitrator between Boards and Committees, should a conflict in the policy issues arise. If necessary the Church Council may refer the matter to the Congregation for final arbitration.
  • Seek the participation of up to nine (9) members of the Congregation to serve as the Pastoral Search Committee whenever a vacancy in the Pastorate occurs. The Church Council shall enlist, as possible, a cross section of the members which reflects the constituency of the Church (at the time of the search), inclusive of all genders, all age groups, (including children and youth), all special needs, and all other cultural and ethnic voices.
  • Be responsible for furnishing guidance as required to the following designated Boards and Committees, and may establish, or cause to establish any temporary committees, as deemed desirable to enhance and fulfill their goals and responsibilities, always making certain that such committee(s) do/does not infringe or conflict with the work of any other working body of the Church, as specified in this Constitution.

ARTICLE XI – BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Article XI, Section 1, Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees shall consist of twelve (12) members, each serving a term of three (3) years. A Trustee named to fulfill an unexpired term will continue to serve until the expiration of said term.
The 12 members will rotate their three-year terms with four (4) members going off each year and four (4) new members coming on the Board. If there is a problem obtaining four (4) new members, a member going off the board may stay on for a one-year term. No trustee shall be eligible for re-election until after the lapse of one year. Paid employees of the Church cannot be members of the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees shall elect a chairperson, a vice- chairperson, a secretary, one (1) representative to the Helping Hand Fund, three (3) people to the Personnel Committee, and at least one representative to the Auditing Committee. The Board shall send one (1) representative to Church Council meetings, who will render a report and have a voice and one (1) vote at said table.

Ex-Officio Members (voice without vote) of the Board of Trustees: Pastor, Moderator, Treasurer

Board of Trustees shall:

  • Have custody of the real and personal property of the Church, under the direction of the Church, as specified herein. This Board shall have general oversight of the use and maintenance of the Church Property. They shall establish, publish, and update periodically, a list of rules and fees for use of Church property and equipments.
  • Ensure that repairs and improvements necessary for the general upkeep of the church property and equipment are made. They shall recommend major improvements, changes, or renovations of Church property to the congregation, for which a two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members of the Congregation at a duly called congregational meeting is required for approval.
  • Have charge of the financial affairs of the Church, subject to regulations prescribed by law. This Board must approve all expenditures (exclusive of Memorial Funds and designated Mission Funds) before being paid by the Church Treasurer. They shall be responsible for the evaluation of income and expenditures of the church relative to the budget adopted by the congregation, allowing only minor or immediate necessities to exceed budgeted accounts without the approval of two thirds(2/3) majority vote of the members at a duly called congregational meeting.
  • Have sole responsibility to act for the Church, only after specific authority is granted by a two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members at a duly called congregational meeting to buy, sell, mortgage, transfer or encumber real church property. Signatures for such acts on legal documents shall include those of the Chairperson and Secretary of the Board of Trustees.
  • Employ all personnel (exclusive of the Pastor) for such jobs and positions as authorized by the Congregation and evaluate their performance and pay scale annually.
  • Provide such bonding as deemed appropriate for those employees or members who handle or are responsible for Church monies or other valuables.
  • Determine the mode of, and the depository for church monies and other valuables (exclusive of the Endowment Fund and Memorial Funds) and shall so direct the Treasurer.

The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, shall in the absence of the Treasurer, be authorized to endorse checks to pay the bills of the church as authorized by the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for and furnish guidance as required to the following committees:

Endowment Fund Memorial Fund Personnel Committee Helping Hand Fund Needy People Fund Auditing Committee

Article XI, Section 2, Endowment Fund Committee

The Endowment Fund Committee shall be charged with providing the Church with capacity to maintain its on-going mission and ministry; to provide a means by which gifts, devises, and bequests can be received, administered, and utilized for the under girding of the Church in capital projects that are beyond its budgetary expenditures. This committee shall insure all donors an effective means to execute their wishes and maintain the spirit and purpose of each gift, and to handle all gifts of this nature and other designated Church monies placed with the fund for investment with the integrity provided for in the by-laws of the Fund.

By-Laws - The Fund shall be governed by the following by-laws:

1. Board of Directors – Administration of the Fund shall be carried out by a board of directors (here after referred to as “the directors”) named by and responsible to the congregation of the church. This Committee shall consist of three (3) directors, all members of the Congregation, the Moderator, and the Treasurer of the Church. At the Annual meeting of the Congregation, three (3) at large committee members will be named to carry out a three (3) year term, with one (1) director being replaced each year. Only one member of the Board of Trustees may be named to the fund. The Pastor shall be a non-voting advisory of the Fund’s Board of Directors.

2. Responsibilities – Directors of the Fund shall be responsible for:

  1. Soliciting participation from the congregation estate planning.
  2. Administering proper safekeeping, disposition, or investment of Fund’s assets.
  3. Developing an investment philosophy consistent with the objectives of the Church providing income growth and security.
  4. Reporting on the status of the Fund at Church Council meetings, and to the whole Congregation at its Annual Meeting.
  5. Segregating special purpose funds to protect donor requests and to determine application of funds from special purpose bequests.
  6. To consider requests for funding of projects from the congregation as set forth by these by-laws.

3. Procedures for handling proposals made to the Fund. The Following procedures shall govern the disbursement of the assets of the Fund.

  1. Proposals for utilizations of the Funds assets (except Designated Church monies being placed with the Fund for investment benefit only) may be brought before the Fund’s directors by any Board, Committee, Ministry Committee or member of the Congregation. The directors must consider the proposals merits as to whether it is a current budgetary item or a capital budgeting item that is applicable to the Fund’s objectives.
  2. If the directors approve a proposal, it shall be forwarded to the Board of Trustees of the Church for a feasibility study as to its merit for financing and approval by that Board.
  3. If a proposal requires and expenditure in excess of the constitutional stipulation, or if it involves an invasion of the principal of the Fund, the expenditure shall be approved by the Congregation at a special business meeting called for that purpose, in accordance with ARTICLE VII, of this Constitution. The vote shall be by a written ballot.
  4. A favorable vote of two thirds (2/3) majority of the membership of the Congregation, who are present or who have noted by proxy, is required to authorize the expenditure of any portion of the principal fund.

4. General Guidelines and Principles of the Fund – The following guidelines and principles shall be followed in the administration of the assets of the Fund.

  1. The Fund here covenants with every person, firm or Corporation that shall make, or promise to make, a gift, devise, or bequest to said fund that the principal thereof will be held in trust in perpetuity as provided in this document and will not be invaded except as otherwise provided herein unless so specified by the donor.
  2. The net income of the Fund shall be available for current budgetary applications to the Church. The maximum annual expenditure from the Fund shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the total value of the fund as of February 1st of each year. If the annual distribution exceeds five percent (5%) in any year, the amount exceeding five percent (5%) percent will be deducted from the next year’s distribution.
  3. The Fund’s principal shall be available for both replacement and capital expenditures with Congregational approval, unless forbidden specifically by the donor, and with the exception of other Church monies placed with the fund for investment benefits only.
  4. Any conditions or stipulations that accompany a gift or bequest must be strictly adhered to by the directors.
  5. The services of an attorney shall be secured for writing the rules and regulations of the Fund, as required. The cost of this service shall be considered an expense of administration of the fund.
  6. The book of the Fund shall be subject to an annual financial records review by the Auditing Committee.

5. Rights of Successors

  1. If the Church should merge with or be merged into another Church the assets of the Fund shall remain with the Church and be administered as set forth herein.
  2. If the Church or its successors shall go out of existence, the assets of the Fund shall revert to the Western Reserve Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ.
  3. All references in this document to the Fund, its directors, the Church, or the Constitution of the Church shall be construed to include, by whatever name called, the Fund, its directors, Church or Constitution of any successor or successors in interest of said Church.
Article XI, Section 3, Memorial Fund Committee

The Memorial Fund Committee shall consist of (3) members: a member of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Board of Deacons and a volunteer who shall be the Secretary/Treasurer of this Committee.

This Committee shall authorize the mode and depository for funds contributed to this Fund and shall authorize the expenditure of undesignated contributions.

The Secretary/Treasurer of this Committee shall be responsible for receiving and depositing contributions, keeping accurate records of deposits, contributions, purpose (if any) expenditures and balances.
He/She is also authorized to spend designated monies as per contributor’s request, and spend undesignated monies as authorized by this Committee.

The Secretary/Treasurer will also be required to give a report of the status of this Fund at Church Council meetings. This Committee shall have voice and (1) vote at said table.

Article XI, Section 4, Personnel Committee

The Personnel Committee shall consist of three (3) members of the Board of Trustees and will report to the Board of Trustees.

The Personnel Committee shall be responsible for the development and implementation of personnel policies and procedures including:

  • Employment and dismissal of employees.
  • Creating and maintaining job descriptions for employees. Conducting annual staff performance reviews.
  • Making recommendations for salary and benefits for employees.
  • Resolving disputes between staff members.
Article XI, Section 5, Helping Hands Fund

The Helping Hands Fund Committee shall consist of the Pastor, and a representative from the Board of Social Concerns, the Board of Deacons and the Board of Trustees. The Moderator and Treasurer shall be ex-officio members.

The Helping Hands Fund was established to provide short-term loans to Church members or Church members’ families who are experiencing financial difficulties.

A request for a loan must be made directly to the Pastor or a member of the Helping Hands Fund Committee. The services of other agencies may also be incorporated in order that the member’s or members’ family’s needs may be fully evaluated to determine the availability of community assistance through existing programs.

The annual budget is $2,000. This amount may be changed at the request of the committee and with the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Church member requesting the loan for self or family member will be required to sign a promissory note for the amount of the funds loaned.

Article XI, Section 6, Needy People Fund

The Needy People Fund is the Pastor’s discretionary fund to be used for immediate needs such as food or medicine.

A $200.00 balance will be maintained in this fund. Payback is not required.

Article XI, Section 7, Auditing Committee

The Auditing Committee shall consist of three (3) members, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Board of Trustees, each serving a term of three (3) years. The Auditing Committee shall be responsible for performing a financial records review of the accounts and records of the Church Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Secretary- Treasurer of the Memorial Fund, and the Endowment Fund to ascertain their completeness and accuracy. This Committee shall report their results to Church Council at their March meeting. The Congregation shall be notified of the results in the weekly bulletin, The Parish Piper, or by letter.

ARTICLE XII – THE BOARD OF DEACONS

Article XII, Section 1, Board of Deacons

The Board of Deacons will consist of twelve (12) members. The 12 members will rotate their three-year terms with four (4) members going off each year and four (4) new members coming on the Board. If there is a problem obtaining four (4) new members, a member going off the board may stay on for a one-year term. No deacon shall be eligible for re-election until after the lapse of one year.

The Board of Deacons shall elect a chairperson, a vice- chairperson, a secretary, one (1) representative to the Helping Hand Fund and one (1) representative to the Memorial Fund. They will also oversee the Hospitality chairperson and that committee and will assist in any way they can. The Board shall send one (1) representative to Church Council meetings, who will render a report and have a voice and one (1) vote at said table.

The Board of Deacons shall:

  • Be responsible for the spiritual aspects of the Church.
  • Assist the Pastor wherever the Pastor deems necessary in ministering to the spiritual interests of the Church and community.
  • During the Pastor’s absence the Deacons will assist the Church in visiting any in the hospital or those who are shut in and the Chairman will assist the Pastor in filling the pulpit for Sunday morning.
  • Receive requests for letters of transfer , letters of resignation, letters of reinstatement, and take action on such requests. Report actions concerning membership to the Clerk.
  • Open the Church and make sure everything is ready for all the services including the preparation and administration of the Sacraments of Communion and Baptism, in caring for the poor, the sick, the sorrowing, the indifferent and the stranger. They will make sure everything is turned off and locked up after all services.
Article XII, Section 2, Flower and Decorating Committee

The Committee shall consist of at least four (4) members elected at the annual meeting for a term of one (1) year.

The Flower and Decorating Committee shall:

  • Be responsible to see that there are flowers for all regular church services and for the beautification of the church sanctuary, including special decorations for special seasons of the church year.
  • Send available flowers used in the services of the church to the sick and shut-ins of the congregation.
  • Be responsible for sending flowers to the bereaved of our church membership. The expense of this ministry shall be borne by the church.
Article XII, Section 3, Hospitality Committee

The committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members elected at the annual meeting for a term of one (1) year. Members attending any of the functions during which drink and/or food are served will be considered part of the committee at that time and will be expected as part of the Church family to help in any way they can.

The Hospitality Committee shall:

  • Be responsible for all functions during which drinks and/or food are served, including, the annual Thanksgiving Dinner, the potluck after the Annual meeting, the luncheon for the Advent workshop, the
  • refreshments for the community Lenten service at our church, any coffee hours held at the church, and any other potlucks.
  • Clean, with the help of the function attendees, the Fellowship Room/Hall and kitchen after each function.
  • Help with any funeral luncheons as requested by the family.
  • Replenish kitchen supplies, organize the kitchen, and cover the tables for any function in the Fellowship Hall.

The expense of this ministry shall be borne by the Church and donations from members and friends.

ARTICLE XIII – BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCTION

The Board of Christian Education shall consist of a Sunday School Superintendent and four (4) to eight (8) members, each serving a term of two years. Members will be named to the Board at each Annual Meeting. The Superintendent shall be named at the Annual Congregational Meeting and shall serve for a term of one (1) year.
There will be no mandatory lapse between terms. The Board shall send one (1) representative to Church Council meetings, who will render a report and have a voice and one (1) vote at said table. The Superintendent shall serve on the Personnel Committee when an application for an Authorized Volunteer who will work with children or youth is being considered.

The Board of Christian Education shall:

  • Conduct the Church’s educational programs for all grade school levels. Recruit, instruct, remove and appoint teachers. Select and institute the materials and curriculum. Design special activities of this ministry.
  • Adhere to their budgetary limits. Should additional funds be required for any functions of this ministry, the Board will bring its proposal before the Board of Trustees.

ARTICLE XIV – BOARD OF SOCIAL CONCERNS

The Board of Social Concerns shall consist of three (3) to five (5) members, each serving a term of two years. New members will be named to the Board at each annual meeting. There is no mandatory lapse between terms. The Board shall send one (1) representative to Church Council meetings, who will render a report and have a voice and one (1) vote at said table. They will also send one (1) representative to the Helping Hand Fund.

The Board of Social Concerns shall:

  • Plan and pursue the missions program of the Church, formulate and promote missions through education and “Mission Moments” during designated Worship Services, and raise the awareness of missions within the Congregation.
  • Study, evaluate, recommend, and carry out social action programs to provide aid in the community for the poor, oppressed, and any Church member determined to be in need.
  • Keep in touch with the work of the Social Action Committee of the Western Reserve Association of the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ, and with the Council of Social Action, for the purpose of strengthening the ministry of the local Church.
  • Appoint a Chairperson and Secretary who will be responsible for taking the minutes at each Board meeting.
  • Adhere to their budgetary limits. Should additional funds be required for any functions of this ministry, the Board will bring its proposal before the Board of Trustees.

ARTICLE XV – STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE

The Stewardship Committee shall consist of three (3) to five (5) members, each serving a term of two years. New members will be named to the Committee at each annual meeting. There is no mandatory lapse between terms. The Board shall send one (1) representative to Church Council meetings, who will render a report and have a voice and one (1) vote at said table.

The Stewardship Committee shall:

  • Plan and pursue the Stewardship program of the Church.
  • Formulate and promote Biblical Stewardship through education and “Stewardship Moments” during designated Worship Services. Plan and execute an annual Stewardship Drive.
  • Adhere to their budgetary limits. Should additional funds be required for any functions of this ministry, the Committee will bring its proposal before the Board of Trustees.
  • Appoint a Chairman and Secretary who will be responsible for taking the minutes at each Committee meeting.

ARTICLE XVI – PASTOR-PARISH RELATIONS COMMITTEE

The Church Council, after a Pastor is called, shall appoint five (5) of the nine (9) members that served on the Pastoral Search Committee to serve on the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee. This Committee shall serve indefinitely, but must be reaffirmed at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation. Should the Pastor or the Congregation request that a member resign by showing just cause or a Committee member resigns, the Church Council will submit candidates for said vacancy/vacancies, with the agreement of the Pastor, and the Congregation will name the replacement(s). Should a committee member resign, the position will remain vacant until the next annual meeting of the Congregation. The Board shall send one (1) representative to Church Council meetings, who will render a report and have a voice and one (1) vote at said table.

The Pastor-Parish Relations Committee shall:

  • Be the conduit for all concerns between the Pastor and the Parish.
  • The Committee will endeavor to foster honest communication between the Pastor and Parish. The Parish shall be encouraged to address their concerns directly to the Pastor first. Should the Pastor not respond to said concern in a timely manner (30 days), then this concern should be taken to the Pastor-Parish Ministry Team who will discern the validity and feasibility of the concern/request and bring it to the Pastor’s attention. A member of the Committee and the Pastor will then meet with the individual(s) to address the matter.
  • Review Pastoral salary and allowances and will forward its recommendations to the Church Council by October 1st of each year.
  • Meet as frequently as deemed necessary, but no less than quarterly.
  • Appoint a Chairman and secretary who will be responsible for taking the minutes at each Committee meeting. The contents of the minutes and the discussion itself will not be published and shall remain confidential. Committee members who do not adhere to the rule of confidentiality shall be asked to resign.

ARTICLE XVII – NOMINATING COMMITTEE

The Nominating Committee shall consist of three (3) to five (5) members, each serving a term of two (2) years. New members will be named to the Committee at each annual meeting. There is no mandatory lapse between terms. The Committee shall send one (1) representative to Church Council meetings, who will render a report and have a voice and one (1) vote at said table.

The Nominating Committee shall:

  • Prepare a slate of members who have been affirmed in accordance with this Constitution, and who have agree to be candidates to be named to the various Offices, Boards, and Committees of the Church at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation. Copies of the slate shall be made available the Sunday preceding the Annual Meeting of the Congregation.
  • Remain active all year round by publishing a list of any changes that might occur within any of the Offices, Boards, or Committees of the Church, as they occur.
  • Secure the delegates who shall represent this Congregation at the semi-annual meeting of the Western Reserve Association – (2) members, and at the annual meeting of the Ohio Conference of the United Church Christ – (1) member.
  • Appoint a Chairman and Secretary who will be responsible for taking the minutes at each Committee meeting.

ARTICLE XVIII – EVANGELISM COMMITTEE

The Evangelism Committee shall consist of three (3) to five (5) members, each serving a term of two (2) years. New members will be named to the Committee at each Annual Meeting. There is no mandatory lapse between terms. The Committee shall send one representative to Church Council meetings, who will render a report and have a voice and one (1) vote

The Evangelism Committee shall:

  • Encourage members to bring visitors to Church and to follow-up on contacting visitors and members of the Church. Hold an Annual Event to increase the membership of the Church. Produce and circulate vehicles of marketing for the Church, such as flyers, brochures, announcements on the radio, newspapers, cable access, etc.
  • Appoint a Chairman and Secretary who will be responsible for taking the minutes at each Committee meeting.

ARTICLE XIX - ADDITIONAL ITEMS

ELECTION, ELIGIBILITY, VOTING, INSTALLATION, ABSENTEEISM, TERM OF OFFICE, AND ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHAIRS AND MINISTRY LEADERS

Article XIX, Section 1, Election

Officer, Board Members, and Committee Members as specified in this Constitution shall be named/elected at the Annual Meeting of this Congregation.

All members named/elected to Offices, Boards, and Committees shall assume their duties immediately after the annual meeting.

Article XIX, Section 2, Eligibility

Any person named to a working body of this Church, be it an Office, Board, or Committee, shall be member of the Church. Any member is entitled to be named to any working body, unless otherwise noted elsewhere in this document. Although it is preferable that all Sunday School Teachers, committee members of the Hospitality Committee and the Flower and Decorating Committee be members of this Church, it is not a requirement, but the individual must be an ACTIVE friend of this local Church and uphold the Statement of Faith embraced and upheld by this Church.

Article XIX, Section 3, Voting

Voting shall be by show of hands of members. The majority of the members present or those members voting by proxy shall be decisive, unless otherwise specified elsewhere in this document. Voting shall be by written ballot if requested by a member.

Article XIX, Section 4, Installation

All newly named/elected/appointed members to the Offices, Boards, and Committees of this Church shall be installed in their ministry at a Service of Installation to be held in conjunction with a Sunday Worship Service in February.

Article XIX, Section 5, Absenteeism

Officers, Board, and Committee members with three (3) un- excused absences shall be asked to resign. This vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the terms set forth in this document.

Article XIX, Section 6, Term of Office

The definition of “term of office” as used or as referred to in this Constitution shall be the term for which elected/appointed members shall serve, unless otherwise stated in this document.

Article XIX, Section 7, Additional Responsibilities of Chairs

Outgoing Chairs and Ministry Leaders shall call together the initial meeting of their respective Boards and Committees after the Annual Meeting of the Congregation at which time they will turn the leadership over to the newly named Chair if already named.

ARTICLE XX – FISCAL YEAR

The FISCAL YEAR of the Church shall coincide with the CALENDER YEAR. All FINANCIAL RECORDS/BOOKS must be closed on DECEMBER 31. All the financial records of the Church will be subject to a financial records review annually by the Auditing Committee, who will report their findings to Church Council at their March meeting.

The Congregation shall be notified of the results in the weekly bulletin, The Parish Piper, or by letter.

ARTICLE XXI – AMENDMENTS

This Constitution may only be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members attending a quorum meeting. Voting to amend or adopt a new Constitution may take place at any regular or special Congregational meeting or by proxy, providing that such meeting was duly called by announcing time, place, and substance of the proposed amendment one week prior to the meeting during regular Sunday Service.